Maurizio Geri – Guitarist, singer, composer. His first experiences, tied to the recovery of the traditional repertoire of the mountains of Pistoia, will lead him to meet in the early eighties the singer and researcher Caterina Bueno, with whom he performs with for about 15 years.
Among his colleagues is guitarist Alberto Balia (Ritmia, Argia). Thanks to him Maurizio gets back deep into guitar and dives into Django’s music and the alsatian gypsy tradition;
Crucial is his encounter with fellow citizen organist Riccardo Tesi, who brings to life the quartet BANDITALIANA. With this band he records five albums and another four relative to original tuscan and emilian tradition, the rightful closure of a project where anthropologic rigor is balanced by composition and arrangement.
In ’95 the “Maurizio Geri Swingtet “ is born, pioneer band for gypsy jazz in Italy. From the beginning an original repertoire, with few concessions toward standards and with a regard towards composers such as Gorni Kramer o Alessandro Morelli.
The stylistic research refines itself along with the repertoire, in a creative process that includes old and new and offers a coherent and personal musical universe.
The originality of the project distinguishes it from the countless Django imitators, it never chases solely a technical display, and the artistic value is what will lead to the international acclaim, among the many, the invitation to the festival “ Django Reinhardt “ in Samois sur Seine in 2000.
Creation, interpretation and adaptation are the components of this constantly evolving mosaic, elements that have always characterised its path and that ultimately culminate in the creation of text of both the Banditaliana repertoire and that of the Swingtet.
With his Swingtet he renders homage to the style of grandmaster Django Reinhardt, blending the typical Manouche technique with Swing and Italian cantautori tradition. The result is a unique sound that over the years has made the band Italy’s number one of Swing Manouche.
The Swingtet is Maurizio’s core activity around the heritage of Django Reinhardt. He has studied and played with Manouche artists, but without ever renouncing to his own roots. This means that he has learned Django’s lesson not only for the guitar and the repertoire, but above all in the dialogue between originality and belonging that had made of the master the great idol of generations of European, non academic musicians.
So far Maurizio Geri has released five critically acclaimed albumss. His musical approach is passionate and free, strict but open for innovation. Django’s heritage is presented in the disguise of Jazz, dance music and und improvisation, very European but at the same time full of respect for the Italian singer-songwriter tradition and Maurizio’s first musical love, the folk tunes of his native Tuscany.
The Swingtet is formed by: Michele Marini (clarinet), Nicola Vernuccio (double-bass), Luca Giovacchini (guitar), Giacomo Tosti (accordion), but in the past the following musicians have played in it: Leonardo Boni (guitar), Klaus Lessmann (clarinet) Chris Brashear (violin), Enzo Biordi (accordion), Daniele Mencarelli (double-bass), Ruben Chaviano Fabian (violin), Paolo Ghetti (double-bass), Emanuele Parrini (violin), Claudia Tellini (voice).
Maurizio collaborated with many musicians from the world, jazz e pop italian scene, and has bene invited to the most prestigious festivals in Europe, Canada, Argentina, Australia and Japan, as well as national and international radio programs, theatre productions and film scores.
As a guitarist, he embodies the fusion of mediterranean ethnic music with the phrasing and improvisation of gypsy swing.
- Canti di maremma e d’anarchia (Avvenimenti 1994)
- Un ballo liscio (Silex 1997)
- Manouche e dintorni (Felmay 1998, fy 8010)
- A volte ritornano (1998, fy8018)
- Banditaliana (il manifesto 1998, fy 8022)
- A cielo aperto (Visage 2001, ristampa TRJ 2011-0029)
- Thapsos (il manifesto 2001, CD 063)
- Acqua, foco e vento (il manifesto 2003, fy 8060)
- l’Uovo di Colombo (Delta 2004, TRI 001)
- Lune (Il manifesto 2004, CD 140)
- Crinali (Felmay 2006, fy 8114 )
- Ancora un ballo (Egea/Radar 2007, Radar 40005)
- Swing Chopin (Jardis 2008, JRCD 20853)
- Secondo a nessuno (Visage 2009)
- Sopra i tetti di Firenze (Matson 2010)
- Madreperla (Visage 2011, VM 3001)
- Tito tariero (Matson 2013, 99570)
- Maggio (Visage 2014, VM 3003)
- Swing a sud (Visage 2015, VM 3006)
- Djambolulù Swing Trio (Visage 2016, VM 3012)
- Malcesine jazz (Malcesine più, 1996)
- Django Festival 3 (Hot Club Records 2004)
- Jazz manouche vol. 2 (Wagram, 2006)
- Django 100 Italia (Simpaty Record’s 2010, SR-2010-025)
L’idea di scrivere questo libro nasce da una duplice intenzione: seguire un percorso di base per accompagnare l’allievo alla scoperta del jazz-manouche e offrire uno spaccato dell’ambiente chitarristico italiano riguardo a questo stile. La sua naturale conseguenza va oltre il classico metodo personale; da autodidatta sono portato a dare un valore aggiunto alla pratica del confronto, al condividere l’esperienza musicale, all’apprendimento più orale che scritto, alla tradizione come trampolino di partenza e alla composizione mai come unico traguardo assoluto. Punti cardine questi, che spingono alla sperimentazione e che arricchiscono il musicista lungo la via tortuosa e stimolante dello studio prima e della progettazione poi. Tutto questo ho tentato di racchiudere e organizzare a livello didattico in questa pubblicazione. Insieme ai colleghi Augusto Creni, Tolga During, Jacopo Martini e Dario Napoli, a cui sono legato da profonda stima e amicizia, abbiamo intrapreso questo viaggio faticoso e bello dentro la musica del geniale Django Reinhardt. Un genere così articolato, padre di quella che oggi con brutta parola chiamiamo “contaminazione”- la musica semmai produce incontro e integrazione addirittura prima e nonostante le sovra-strutture politiche o geografiche – aveva bisogno di essere osservato da prospettive diverse per far si che tutto il suo potenziale potesse emergere ed evocare appieno tutta la sua bellezza. E poi se viaggiare bisogna, meglio farlo in buona compagnia..
Maurizio Geri, in collaboration with Galli Strings, designed a range of Picks. See details.
I remember some place where I’ve played