This is the complete interview appeared tonight on “All About Jazz”, American Jazz Magazine
Take Five With Alessandro Bottura
Teachers and/or influences?
Bass Teachers (in chronological order): Enrico Lazzarini, Glauco Zuppiroli, Jeff Berlin, Massimo Moriconi, Pierpaolo Ranieri, Luca Pirozzi, Mario Guarini, Alessandro Patti.
Influences: Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Jeff Berlin, Marcus Miller, Weather Report, Yellowjackets, Spyro Gyra, The Rippingtons, Medeski Martin & Wood, Mezzoforte, Mike Stern, John Scofield, Prince, Jimi Hendrix
I knew I wanted to be a musician when…
I first listened to Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child.”
I was nearly 10 years old, and I remember that I was flashed by that awesome guitar intro! Every time I listen to that track, I feel the same I did then!
Then, at the age of 16, I definitely chose the electric bass after listening to (guess who?!) Jaco’s first solo CD, Jaco Pastorius (Epic, 1976).
Your sound and approach to music:
I try to catch something from all the great musicians. If I listen something I like-a solo, a riff, it doesn’t matter what the instrument is-I try to understand it, play it on the bass, get it in my hands and in my head, and then insert it totally changed in a different context. On the other hand, I love when I’m training and I like something I’ve improvised, I repeat it and then it starts to take the form of a track. I simply think about music as the most pure form in which I can express the real me.
Your teaching approach:
I think that a good teacher always knows what to teach. If you’re going to a lesson, and your teacher asks you “Well, what do you want to learn today?,” well, I don’t think you’re spending your money well!
I’m convinced that we’re always both teachers and students, because in life you never know, maybe one of your students may make you think about something you’ve always bypassed. Definitely, we never stop learning!
Your dream band:
The best formation for me is a classic quartet: guitar, keyboards, bass, drums.
Choosing some names is difficult but I think that they’d be:
Mike Stern (guitar);
John Medeski (keyboards);
Dennis Chambers (drums);
And if I’ve got to choose my favorite bass player, no way: Stanley Clarke!
Road story: Your best or worst experience:
Well, between the worst experiences I just can’t choose.
Regarding the best, I like to think that the best will be the one that’s coming!
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
I’ve got only one, is there some choice?
The first Jazz album I bought was:
Jaco Pastorius, Jaco Pastorius (Epic, 1976)
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Trying to bring fusion music back.
Did you know…
I’m losing all my hair?
CDs you are listening to now:
Medeski, Martin & Wood, Radiolarians (Indirecto);
Yellowjackets, Lifecycle (Heads Up);
The Rippingtons, 20th Anniversary (Peak Records);
Prince, Ultimate (Universal)
Mezzoforte, Anniversary Edition (BHM).
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Unlike what I constantly hear, I don’t think that the situation is so bad. I mean, the continued development of technology applied to music gives new flow to everyone’s creativity so that we can find a new musical reality that starts from the idea of a mainstream group, i.e. a trio. Then, by developing our own sound through the use of effects and technology in general, we start to create a brand new thing, making a step forward in jazz experimentation.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Ongoing, creative experimentation, but with a constant glance at the past masters’ lessons.
What is in the near future?
Surely, the second album, upcoming in the beginning 2010.
Then, perhaps, some other projects of a more experimental nature (but we’ll see..).
If I weren’t a jazz musician, I would be a:
A rock musician! No, I don’t know, maybe a soccer player? More probably, an unemployed!
See the origianl version @ All About Jazz