Dedicated to Stefano Scodanibbio (1956-2012)
Memories Of Ourselves
(composed by Thollem, 2008)
This is a series of comprovisations Thollem devised originally for his project with Stefano Scodanibbio and the album On Debussy’s Piano And… (Italian label Die Schachtel).
On Debussy’s Piano And…
Anyone who has heard Thollem or Scodannibio as a soloist might well imagine what a combination of their unique genius could produce. Now you can hear it for real on Debussy’s Piano…yes…the same piano the magical, marvelous and world-changing Claude Debussy once owned and played himself. And Debussy’s spirit certainly hovers here in the auras of ferocious demoniacal energies and delicate impressionistic shades of vibration emanating from these mesmerizing, polished structures.
Stefano Scodannibio, for many years now, has redefined and expanded greatly the techniques of playing the double bass. He has made this instrument speak in ways never before experienced and has unleashed a sonic arsenal for this instrument that has inspired composers like Cage, Berio and Stockhausen to heap praise on this wonderful 21st c. Paganini. On this recording he burns through Thollem’s structures with fire and elegance.
Thollem’s keyboard flights unleash cascades of notes of seemingly impossible velocity and no matter where he goes tonally, it always seems right, fresh and satisfying. He should be on everyone’s listening list who appreciates great piano music. As an improviser, he inhabits a world uniquely his own, rhythmically, harmonically and formally. A true original.
Debussy’s Piano, Thollem and Scodanibbio. An imaginative idea, wonderfully realized with virtuosity, improvisational mastery and intuitive communication of deep sensibility all residing here in the magical marriage of their artistry.
Terry Riley, liner notes for On Debussy’s Piano And…
(Die Schachtel, 2010)
A mix of restraint, lucidity, sudden bursts of fervor and scents of earlier eras defines the duo, making us forget about the merely technical aspects of this union.
Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
Now, fourteen years since its conception, Thollem will be revisiting Memories Of Ourselves with the great contrabassist Alvaro Rosso (Uruguay) the end of 2022 in Portugal.
Alvaro Rosso began his studies in 1997 at the University School of Music in Montevideo, Uruguay. In 1999, he began his orchestral experience, in the same city, with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Ministry of Education and Culture. In 2002, he won a scholarship from the National Music Fund to continue his studies in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with Oscar Carnero, soloist of the National Symphony Orchestra. In 2004, he entered the National Conservatory of Strasbourg, France, studying classical music with Stephan Werner and jazz with Jean-Daniel Hégè. In this study center, he begins to make contact with free improvisation and its language. He performed at the Strasbourg jazz festival – Jazz D’Or, as well as concerts and recordings with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bas-Rhin Opera. Between 2008 and 2011, he studied in Barcelona, with Trent Hellerstein,
the master’s degree in Musical Interpretation by the Luthier School of Musical Arts.
During his career he taught in Spain, France and Uruguay.
Thollem is a perpetually traveling pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher. He’s spent most of his life living on the road throughout North America and Europe. His work is ever-changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. Thollem’s known internationally as an acoustic piano player in the free jazz and post-classical worlds, as the lead vocalist for the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti and as an electronic keyboardist through a multitude of projects.