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Francesco Cusa & The Assassins meets Duccio Bertini

Francesco  Cusa drums
The Assassins:
Giulio Stermieri  hammond, piano | Flavio Zanuttini  trumpet, electronics | Giovanni Benvenuti  tenor sax
Florence Art Quartet:
Daniele Iannaccone  violin | Lorenzo Borneo  violin | Agostino Mattioni  viola | Cristiano Sacchi  cello
Duccio Bertini  keyboards (on “Elegia”)

Here is a record of crossed challenges. A band (The Assassins) with a vocation to improvise freely is co-operating with a classical chamber string ensemble (Florence Art Quartet) specialized in the interpretation of written compositions, determining a very special way to combine two different musical worlds. Drummer Francesco Cusa assumed that task as a composer and an improviser and asked for an experienced partner in order to establish the necessary arrangements and applied strategies, someone who works either with jazz big bands and symphonic orchestras, Duccio Bertini. Italian creative jazz may not be widely known outside of its frontiers, but considering what “Black Poker” show us, we wonder why this happens. The music is organized by parallel planes and these frequently imply the gradual re-composition of the original ideas, in a constant renewal and adaptation of all the parameters. Always searching for the best combination of what comes from the two quartets, without “jazzifying” the strings or turning classical the jazz combo, what you find here is pure gold. That something which defines a good poker player «who deals with hazard and parsimony», to use Cusa’s own words.

All compositions by Francesco Cusa, except “Interludio” and “Elegia” by Duccio Bertini | Arrangements by Duccio Bertini

Recorded at Studio Hermes (Vignola) on June 11th and September 11th, 2017 by Marco Ferri | Mixed and mastered at Sonoria Recording Plant (Prato) by Andrea Benassai on December 27th 2017
Produced by Francesco Cusa | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos | English text: Rebecca Hayward


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