For Mario (Live)

album cover: For Mario (Live)



Featured Artists

  • Enrico Rava
    • Trumpet
  • Matthew Herbert
    • Electronics
  • Giovanni Guidi
    • Piano
  • Hugh Jones
    • Electronics
album cover: For Mario (Live)


For Mario (Live) - foto di: Ph. Gabriele Lugli
For Mario (Live) - foto di: Ph. Gabriele Lugli

Ph. Gabriele Lugli

Everyone assumes that For Mario was an idea of mine or Enrico's, but it was actually Matthew who thought of it. My father had died a few months before, we were finalizing the record and Matthew suggested this title. We immediately agreed.

It's a unique record, fundamentally different from anything else Enrico or I (and maybe Matthew as well) have ever done. There's not even a single note that wasn't improvised. The day before the first concert we met in the studio and Matthew just recorded a bunch of sounds, notes that he then decomposed and manipulated, filtering and reprogramming them with synths, software and the strange machines that he keeps inventing. From this material, he created a sort of sonic landscape, and Enrico and I then explored this slowly shifting terrain, complex and difficult to traverse, filled with obstacles, crevices, sharp edges and strange angles. But somehow, it feels like home every time.

When does three equal four? In this case, the explanation is as simple as the results are remarkable.
(Brian Morton su Down Beat)


  1. 1 Part One
    ( Giovanni Guidi )
  2. 2 Part Two
    ( Giovanni Guidi )
  3. 3 Part Three
    ( Enrico Rava, Matthew Herbert, Giovanni Guidi )
  4. 4 Part Four
    ( Enrico Rava, Matthew Herbert, Giovanni Guidi )
  5. 5 Part Five
    ( Enrico Rava, Matthew Herbert, Giovanni Guidi )

When I'm with Enrico and Matthew, I feel like the sorcerer's apprentice watching two master wizards. Matthew is a guru, a living legend of electronic music and specifically, of electronic music which is played and improvised live. Enrico is simply one of the greatest jazz musicians in the world.

Matthew Herbert: At first, I was intimidated by the idea of mixing electronic music - usually inflexible - and rigid computer music with the fluid and free approach typical of musicians of their level. We met in the middle, recording hundreds of samples of Giovanni and Enrico while they played their respective instruments (piano and flugelhorn). These samples became the source material for every sound I manipulated and used for the project.
Thus, what you will hear is a sort of quartet, with two acoustic musicians improvising over samples of their own playing. I stand at the center, transforming the samples into a sort of a rhythm section and manipulating the density and layers of orchestration, the musical fabric, while Hugh adds layers of live samples taken during the performance itself. (Alceste Ayroldi, Musica Jazz)

The sounds pour over us like a flood, submerging us, and we find ourselves floating, immobile. We are no longer on Earth, there is no feeling of weight, and we accept this temporary feeling of detachment.
We are guided through this parallel dimension by the sounds of For Mario (Live), released on May 22 for Accidental Records and dedicated to Mario Guidi, Italian jazz manager and close friend of Enrico Rava (trumpet) as well as father of pianist Giovanni Guidi, both present on the record. This is no cobbled together experiment with computers running amok, nor an extreme exploration of free jazz's most remote reaches. Rather, it is true group improvisation, a new exploration of the concept of ensemble. This is clear from the very first sounds, an irregular pulse, broken whispers drawing us in, ineffable - for in the next moment, the sonic fabric will be flipped, twisted, compressed, stretched and reinvented. We can feel it in the industrial forms which surround us. This is something fresh and new, musical research whose moments of apparent stillness conceal deep shifts destined to erupt again with furious activity. (Serena Antinucci, All About Jazz)

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