Global Music And Circular Thought, Suite In Eight Movements: Dances And Sequences For Cellos And Nonet
Giorgio Occhipinti Hereo Nonetto plus Cello Sequences

"A phenomenal CD whose boldness has produced genuinely original and highly entertaining results."
Philip Clark


1) Cellos n° 2 (2000)
2) Allegro Ibleo Con Ninna Nanna (1997)
3) Cellos n° 1 (1999)

4) Canone (1998)

5) Cellos n° 3 (2000)

6) Danza Del Canto Supremo (1998)

7) Cellos n° 4 (2000)
8) La Genesi Del Kaos (1993)

all compositions written by Giorgio Occhipinti
texts from compositions n° 2 and n° 5 are written by Ermelinda Simona Buccheri


Giorgio Occhipinti: piano, conductor
Tiziana Cavaleri: cello
Paolo Botti: viola
Giuseppe Guarrella: double bass
Carlo Actis Dato: bass clarinet
Lauro Rossi: trombone
Maurizio Maiorana: voice, clarinet
Luca Calabrese: trumpet, flugelhorn
Francesco Branciamore: drums, kettledrums


Tiziana Cavaleri: cello (left channel)
Vito Amatulli: cello (right channel)

recorded at G.C.C.R. Studio, Rosolini (SR, Italy), March 15, 16, 24, 25 and 26, 2000 by Marcello Prati
photography by Jan Vernieuwe


"Imagine Charles Ives filtered through the wacky theatricals of Maurico Kagel. Then add the gritty rhythmic momentum of Stravinsky’s Les Noces, score it for jazz musicians and you arrive at something approaching Giorgio Occhipinti’s music. Despite wearing those influences on his sleeve, Occhipinti is his own man and I’ve never heard music like this. What makes this embarrassment of riches stand out from the crowd? Occhipinti has created a weird and surreal sound-world all of his own. The music sounds like a performance of a fantastical opera, the difference being that we’re not in on the plot. Occhipinti’s melodies often hover on the brink of parody without ever falling over the edge. Familiar phrases and gestures are slightly blurred as our expectations are unremittingly teased by Occhipinti’s droll changes of pace and new material. Often these different types of material collide like a musical equivalent of the Keystone Cops. Occhipinti’s score is a first rate compositional achievement. This music is incredibly difficult to perform and the level of musicianship shown by Occhipinti’s players is remarkable. His writing is very well conceived for the instruments and is fastidiously detailed. Moreover musical irony and humour can backfire spectacularly, but these musicians fully understand Occhipinti’s dry sense of humour and how to realise it in performance. Maurizio Maiorana’s clarinet solos crackle with saucy energy and his Zappaesque vocals - with a characteristic self deflating bravado - seem to encapsulate the joie de vivre of the music. There are a number of wild duets with Carlo Actis Dato on bass clarinet and their ‘chase’ sequences over the backdrop of Occhipinti’s composed music are spectacular.

Occhipinti’s charisma and musical personality oozes from every note and he anchors the music from the piano with colossal energy and drive. A phenomenal CD whose boldness has produced genuinely original and highly entertaining results."
Philip Clark

"Young Sicilian pianist Giorgio Occhipinti describes the sound on this CD as global music, but it certainly has little if anything in common with what most call world music. Instead the suite he has written for this nonet reflects his version of global music: a mixture of opera buffa, Italian folk and marching songs, romantic pop, so-called classical music and a large parcel of jazz improvisation.

Nomenclature be damned, however. Global Music is a stirring showpiece for the pianist's compositional skills that, in four lengthy compositions, utilize every one of his influences, flinging them together in a dense -- and very palatable -- mass. Separating the orchestral blow-outs are four miniature and airy dual-cello interludes, which serve the same purpose an amuse-gueule of sherbet does between courses in a hearty French meal: as an airy interlude to set you up for the substantial fare to follow. Theatrical and splashy as only someone hailing from the birthplace of opera can be, Occhipinti's major compositions have a certain heft to them, and are decorated with the many orchestral colors he has available to him with nine plus instruments. The plus is Palermo-born clarinettist Maurizio Maiorana, whose tenor singing voice is used for little arias, both wordless and with Italian lyrics. Whether you understand the language or not is unimportant, since the key to those songs is the vocal blend with the tunes and instrumentalists. And what sounds they produce. During the course of "Allegro Ibleo Con Ninna Nanna," for instance, the disc's showpiece at nearly 26 minutes, the tempo shifts from march to swing to free to jig and back again. Philharmonically-voiced string and horn passages follow a straight ahead jazz motif with carefully accented snare and cymbal zaps and bop piano runs, Earlier passages move among raucous gutbucket trombone, quasi-Dixie high-note trumpeting and the clarinets' approximation of a tarantella. From time to time the dramatic Maiorana asserts himself, switching from a soaring operatic pitch to lyric reading that approximates a Virgilian Jacques Brel.

It does help, of course, to have some of the country's most accomplished musicians on board here. Trombonist Lauro Rossi, like Occhipinti and bass clarinettist Carlo Actis Dato a member of trumpeter Pino Minafra's all-star Sudori combo, can measure the bar lines in strict tempo with a proper sound as easily as he plays freely. Reed madman Actis Dato, who is also known for his contributions to the Italian Instabile Orchestra and his own bands, is never at a loss for notes or ideas. Violaist Paolo Botti can put a folksy sheen on his tone on "Canone," then seemingly effortlessly soar over the massed ensemble as he does on "Danza Del Canto Supremo." One minute trumpeter Luca Calabrese, who first learned his trade in a wind banda, is making like an Italian Cat Anderson on "La Genesi Del Kaos," pushing higher and higher notes out of his horn. Shortly afterwards he's amplifying the Latin motif of "Canone" to such an extent that you next expect someone to yell "cha cha cha."

Despite its title, that tune, which is lively from beginning to end, comes across with a boogaloo beat following an introductory theme, that could be used on a TV cop show. While chaos may be created with blended horn section explosions and the many free passages -- not to mention Siracusa-based drummer Francesco Branciamore's apocalyptic kettledrums on "La Genesi Del Kaos," some of the earlier compositions switch between parade rhythms and Kurt Weillian-style waltz time. Occhipinti is no slouch as a pianist either. When he takes centre stage, he can easily create some flowing Herbie Hancock-like contemporary keyboarding. Elsewhere he caresses compositions with right-handed glissandos. A number of impressive European and North American orchestral projects have been released recently. With his creative mixture of inspiration, swing, humor and high musical standards, the pianist's disc certainly deserves to take its place near the top."
Ken Waxman

"Pianist/composer/conductor Giorgio Occhipinti and his “Hereo Nonetto” (nonet) invites the listener to partake on a ubiquitous journey consisting of disparate musical notions and multifarious implementations in concert with intermittent strings sequences (“Cellos Sequences”) by cellists Tiziana Cavaleri and Vito Amatulli.

The leader’s suite in eight movements titled, Global Music and Circular Thought features beefy trombone parts, stately themes and intertwining movements as the artist frames his works around geometric and interleaving patterns often brimming with sonorous interludes, modern jazz interplay and cascading rhythms. Occhipinti touches upon concepts pioneered by Gershwin, Ellington or perhaps Aaron Copeland within the scope of his rather expansive vernacular, where the band often launches into medium tempo swing vamps or harmonious choruses, awash with bustling strings and serenading motifs. However, on part eight, the musicians’ engage in spurious free-jazz dialogue amid chamber-like passages and episodic movements. Essentially, this recent release prevails as an altogether impressive – Third Stream – type affair, thanks to Giorgio Occhipinti’s cleverly constructed and richly thematic arrangements along with the musicians’ rousing performances. Recommended."
Glenn Astarita (All about Jazz)

“Jazz, classica contemporanea, poesia e folklore di sapore mediterraneo: Giorgio Occhipinti fonde nella sua musica questa molteplicità di linguaggi con facilità e leggerezza disarmanti.

Il tentativo di creare una produzione che esca dallo schema dei generi, per certi versi limitativo, è stato più volte perseguito in varie forme nel corso della storia musicale europea. La lettura di Occhipinti sembra propendere verso l'indefinito e il transitorio, in un processo creativo che libera i generi, rendendoli quasi i "colori" di una tavolozza da cui attingere continuamente. È forse questo un esempio di musica totale? L'autore ci dice di sì. Difficile rispondere. Il risultato è pretenzioso, ma senza dubbio di notevole spessore artistico.
Questa album ha per sottotitolo Suite in Eight Movements: Dances and Sequences for Cellos and Nonet. Raccoglie infatti in una suite di otto movimenti alcuni tra i suoi ultimi lavori; quattro danze, affidate all'Hereo Nonetto, inframmezzate da altrettante sequenze per due violoncelli, di più recente composizione.

L'ascolto chiarisce puntualmente il concetto di "pensiero circolare" espresso nel titolo; nelle composizioni di Occhipinti a rincorrersi in cicli di due, quattro, otto misure sono linee melodiche dissonanti, altre cantabili, echi jazzistici e stravinskiani (e di Stravinskij vengono recuperati il dinamismo, l'interesse ritmico, l'andamento danzante; si ascolti soprattutto "Allegro Ibleo Con Ninna Nanna"), cantilene sognanti che affondano le loro radici nella Sicilia, crocevia di culture e linguaggi al centro del Mediterraneo.

L'orchestrazione manifesta gli stessi segni; le linee principali sono affidate alternativamente agli archi, al pianoforte o ai fiati, spesso raddoppiati dalla voce dell'ottimo Maurizio Maiorana, che, oltre a creare un pregevole impasto, quasi ci ricorda che questa musica, pur nella sua complessità, non perde mai di vista la melodia, il canto.

L'impatto sonoro del nonetto è straordinario, il clima torrido, palpabile, sostenuto, tra gli altri, dal fido collaboratore Francesco Branciamore e da un dolphiano Carlo Actis Dato; discorso a parte meritano le sequenze per violoncello, eseguite da Tiziana Cavaleri e Vito Amatulli, in cui l'atmosfera si fa al contrario eterea, sospesa.

Le complesse tessiture ritmiche e armoniche si intrecciano sotto il rigido controllo del pianista e compositore, che sembra prediligere il ruolo di piano conductor rispetto a quello di solista, pur ritagliandosi qualche spazio personale di notevole intensità espressiva, come in "La genesi del kaos". Occhipinti sembra incline al predominio della scrittura sull'improvvisazione; o forse sarebbe più esatto parlare di Global Music in altri termini, visto che il procedimento dell'autore tende ad eliminare ogni schematizzazione. Niente più scrittura e improvvisazione, soltanto genesi spontanea.
Così in "Allegro Ibleo Con Ninna Nanna", ad esempio, i momenti improvvisativi, affidati all'ottimo Lauro Rossi al trombone o all'intero collettivo, si fondono con la audace e vigorosa scrittura del leader.

A suggello di un disco magistrale per condotta artistica e coerenza due piccoli saggi di poesia, i testi di Ermelinda Simona Buccheri, cantati dalla voce cullante di Maurizio Maiorana, sospesi tra il sentimento nostalgico per le radici e la sfera dell'onirico.”
Valutazione: * * * * *
Francesco Bigoni in AllAboutJazz.com (03/2001)

"On se souvient de l'album " Incandescences " qui nous avait permis d'apprécier les prestations de Giorgio Occhipinti. En duo avec Joëlle Léandre, le pianiste nous avait déjà montré ses qualités musicales. L'enregistrement qu'il nous propose ici nous a subjugué dès la première écoute. Giorgio Occhipinti se propose en huit pièces de sa composition de nous faire voyager dans une musique poétique, évanescente et en même temps très présente et ancrée.

L'album est mené par des morceaux joués en duos de violoncelle et par des pièces interprétées par neuf musiciens. Ces mélanges créent des atmosphères différentes et complémentaires comme si les musiciens s'appelaient l'un l'autre. Cet album a été enregistré dans une ferme sicilienne isolée. Le lieu revêt ici toute son importance. Il est comme une trace de la tension des musiciens qui se livrent à un jeu entre utopie et réalité. L'inconscient laisse peu à peu sa place à une conscience pleine de promesse ; il se délie pour aller vers la création et affirmer un espace musical de plus en plus omniprésent. La tension monte, les phrases se nouent et les notes se tissent à travers un échange qui ne cesse de se complexifier.

Cet album agit comme la source qui nous apaise et nous montre en même temps un au-delà qui n'était jusqu'alors qu'esquissé."
Jazzosphère (France) 2003

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