RADIO TRIO | Abstract Blues Session

ELLIOTT SHARP, guitar, soprano sax, computer

STEVE PICCOLO, voice

SERGIO ARMAROLI, vibes

Nov. 1 - Sergio Armaroli/Steve Piccolo/E# Recording - Ronco Biella

Perhaps a little too early, we piled into Sergio's Skoda and headed up to Biella for a session at the same studio where in 2018 we had previously recorded Syzygy. Sergio was producing and the overriding concept was that of blues abstraction. We set up quickly with Steve and I each in an iso booth and Sergio in the big room with his vibraphone. There would be an improvisation over an electroacoustic drone that I had created, a series of short pieces made from loopy fragments, a longer three-part suite composed by Sergio using phrases from jazz/blues riffs from the canon of 'standards', and finally, solos from each of us: Steve using texts and his voice, Sergio on vibes, and myself on guitar and soprano sax. Sergio had arranged for the use of a Lucian straight soprano, a decent horn, and for which I had brought my mouthpieces and the Beyer clip-on mic for processing the horn through my effects. Our first takes on each of the two first pieces were keepers. There was a break for lunch and then we ran down the other tracks - first takes all. We listened a bit and were pleased then packed and returned to Milano, reconvening at Osteria del Treno, a slow-food restaurant that began years ago as a canteen for the railroad workers from nearby Centrale. A fantastic and congenial meal was had with Veniero and Benedetta joining us. Returning to the apartment, I packed for my flight and managed to get a couple of hours of sleep before rising at 0445 to to head to Centrale for a bus to MXP. Rain was forecast but it held off during my short walk to the bus depot, commencing just as the bus pulled out. Clouds mostly covered the Alps as we headed north but the peaks peaked out and the Matterhorn was visible.