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CD Feature/ Edoardo Ricci & Thollem Mcdonas: " SONOCONTENTODISTAREQUA"

img  Tobias

A mild breeze and a friendly sun usually caress the green hills and lush valleys of Tuscany. Life seems to have come to a pleasant, everlasting break, inviting passing hikers to a glass of wine in the shadow of an old tree under a blue, white-cloud-dotted sky. Some day in December, however, the pleasant scenery has changed. The old cold stone house ducks under grey skies, somehow tries to hide away from rough, icy winds, and the old tree has shed the last of its leaves. A crumbled chair lies on the ground, and there, amid tired strewn grass a fallen green empty bottle is resting. Remnants of conversation long ago.
But a lonely wanderer, who would pass by on his way to nowhere, would suddenly stop dead in his tracks and turn his head, listening. Sounds emerge from the cold old stone house, sounds he may never ever have heard before. So he stands there and listens, listens as if magnetized by this idiosyncratic music, a quiet witness of a conversation with few words, but all the more fascinating. And while the wind drags at his bleached torn coat he still stands there, listening to the dialogue from the house of cold old stone…

Peering through dirty curtains and a stained narrow window pane one would see a small sparingly furnished room. At one of the brick walls there is a rickety, beat-up upright piano, the keys yellow colored from age and endless encounters with bypassing musicians, that left the almost worn out strings inside slightly out of tune. A man by the name of Thollem Mcdonas sits on a wooden chair in front of it and his hands move effortlessly but all the more intense over the keys, his eyes closed in concentration and his mind pinpointed to the exciting conversation he is having with the other person in the room. This persons name is Edoardo Ricci, and he is standing there trying to answer the questions of Thollem with his alto saxophone, bringing up his own issues from time to time. Back and forth the conversation goes, sometimes both men engaging in talking the same theme at the same time, fine tuning their arguments and then again bursting into wild, yet well defined rants that make the house of old cold stone shake on its fragile fundament. Their language is highly educated, their articulation precise and punctuated, their technique of discussion sharpened through philosophical training which their completely different lives provided so generously.

Edoardo first appeared on the musical scene in 1968. He played in different bands and orchestras, running the famous NEEM and E-NEEM orchestras since the 70’s. Called the father of modern Italian improvisation, he is more engaged than ever working with young musicians still being a leading figure on the modern scene.

Thollem on the other hand completed his studies for piano and composition and then, instead of choosing a career as concert pianist, decided to study life at its very roots. He hiked and tramped through the US for several years, living out of his backpack. Later, he turned to a life of concerts celebrating his seemingly endless creativeness and playing his ‘comprovisations’, which he calls ‘post-classical circus punk world jazz free music, for people and everyone else’.

So, back then in December, in the Tuscany hills, in that house of stone cold old, these two so very different characters met for a few hours and complimented each others skills in a musical conversation, that has left an original blueprint in the big ancient book of music, never to be extinguished. A great dialogue, worthy to be told again and again at the campfires of modern music.
When the last sounds out of the Old Stone Cold House vanished in the brisk breeze, the wanderer with the bleached torn coat removed his face from the window pane. He strode on, his way to nowhere enriched with the fascinating tale of two great musicians.
By Fred Wheeler

Homepage: Edgetone Records
Homepage: Thollem McDonas

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