The great Charlie Mingus defined the reflection of the modern schizophrenia on the psyche by identifying in himself three characters, one frantic, another extremely kind and the last quietly observing the whole. To me, it’s enough to define myself bipolar, or, in a mythical way, a musical two-headed.
I belong in a strange category, the singers-pianists one, half musicians and half singers, half artists and half entertainers.
Singing and playing piano together has been always done from vocalists, composers, ecc., but as artistic dimension it is a tradition born in America along with jazz and blues. From Jelly Roll Morton, to Nat King Cole in the jazz, such as Roosevelt Sykes or Menphis Slim in the blues, up to rock such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Leon Russell, Elton John, Billy Joel, ecc.
Pianist-Singer has become a familiar figure in the twentieth-century musical panorama, with his ability to express in intimate way his own artistic vein, with a self-sufficiency that often gives the freedom to filter in its style the most disparate musical genres. The pianist-singers have in fact always played an heterogeneous repertoire, they’re eclectic, because with piano you can play everything people ask you for.
And here we are to more hurting contraindications of the case. It is not easy to be a blues – soul – jazz Pianist-Singer in Italy. If you play and sing the first answer people make is : so, is that a pianobar?
The pianist-Singer is not perceived like whom can have a clear musical or artistic identity, unless he’s famous and variously airplayed by radios. Personally I consider myself a struck by lightning on the way of Ray Charles. I have had the chance to see him when I was 18 years old, and what I saw and I listened in that magical evening has changed the rest of my life. Ray projected me with a never felt strenghtin a sidereal space in which the borders between body, mind and spirit did not exist anymore, tearing me to the narrow and asphyxiated province, in which I had lived until that moment. Itwas a revelation.