“A great love is something you will never forget. I was a child when I first met Music. All around me was dark, a pitch dark, but at the end of this dark tunnel I could see the light. No, I was not in a coma, I was sitting in a cinema! An old fourth-rate cinema, where first-runs have not been shown for years. But suddenly the light of the screen turned in a bright-coloured fuchsia, and an unexpected sound made me feel like I had butterflies in my stomach. It was a piano chord, and it sounded too difficult to the ears of a five years old boy: it was the opening chord to the theme of The Pink Panther“.
Alessandro Magnanini was born and grown up in Reggio Emilia. Guitarist, composer and producer, since the childhood he showed a keen interest in both music and songwriting. Among the years he focused his interest in jazz, both studying harmony and developing the approach to his instrument, which he had initially started as a self taught player. The aim in that first part of his artistic career was focused on the modern evolution of the jazz language, availing himself of the teachings of the great musicians and performers of the genre (Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, A.C. Jobim, Paul Desmond, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery and Barry Galbraith among all). The training years are described by an intensive concert activity in the clubs and theatres of the peninsula; they were the years of “militancy” in bands such as the Jazz Art Orchestra, with which also landed in the USA territory on the occasion of the San Francisco Jazz festival. In the same way the experience achieved in the recording sessions also becomes fundamental to complete his technical-productive background.
2005 is the year of the meeting with Cesare Cremonini, with whom he collaborated both as instrumentalist and arranger, especially with reference to the orchestral parts of the last productions by the Bolognese songwriter. This meeting further expand his music perspective, progressively closer to the pop field.
In 2006, while he was working on a new piece, the friend and producer Luca Pernici suggested to Alessandro to contact a singer both living and working near Parma. In his friend’s opinion this singer was gifted with a vocal timbre fitting that production. The singer is Mario Biondi, the song is This Is What You Are. Then, thanks to the meeting with Luciano Cantone and Davide Rosa, who understood immediately the potential of the piece, the project “Was-a-bee” was born, quickly becoming an international success. As a first step it was the BBC to recognize the potential of the song, then it achieved a great success in Italy too, thanks to the new production of the song, more suitable for the market in question, becoming the hit that anyone knows.
The success of this piece marks once again the rising of the composer Alessandro Magnanini, to whom they entrusted with the orchestral arrangements for the tour of the Catanese singer. For this reason he become the director of the Duke Orchestra, an ensemble of 25 elements which achieve a great success in prestigious location such as the Teatro Romano in Verona, the Teatro Antico in Taormina and the Auditorium in Ravello. It was during this experience that started growing the idea of a soloist project following the tradition of the great adult pop productions of the past, where the melodies prominently easy listing are here filtered through a jazz approach and a more cultured language alike. Furthermore these melodies are identified with the arrangements of excellent artists such as Claus Ogerman, referring in particularly to those ones produced for the performances of Astrud Gilberto, the orchestral atmospheres proper to the Shirley Bassey’s repertory, and the “playful” evocative ability of Henry Mancini. We could probably consider all of these models unreachable, but anyway they show to Alessandro Magnanini the artistic line where to draw inspiration from.
In this way Someway Still I Do comes out, a record whose value is increased by the immediacy of pop, the quality of the arrangements, the delicacy of a timeless music and the world of soundtracks. representing a kind jazz whose breathing is typically orchestral. For this work the Italian composer avails himself of some collaborations which further enhance the structure of the tunes. Among the guests we mention the warming voices of Jenny B, the singer winner of the Sanremo Festival in 2000 and Liam McKahey, frontman of the English band Cousteau, and the instrumental section of the High Five Quintet.
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