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Elevator Man

by Lorenzo Feliciati

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about

As a followup to his most personal project to date, 2015’s KOI, in-demand Italian session bassist and RareNoise recording artist Lorenzo Feliciati has upped the ante on his latest project, Elevator Man. A powerhouse recording with echoes of King Crimson, Allan Holdsworth and other Prog Rock icons in its ten tracks, this latest outing by the prolific bassist-composer-arranger features a rotating cast of stellar musicians, including King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto, former Holdsworth drummer Chad Wackerman, Swedish Freak Guitar shredder Mattias IA Eklundh (of the Jonas Hellborg Trio and Art Metal), Italian progressive metal guitarist Marco Sfogli (currently of the legendary Italian Prog Rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi, aka PFM), trumpeter Cuong Vu and Feliciati’s Naked Truth bandmate Roy Powell on distortion-laced clavinet. As well as composing and arranging all the material, Feliciati plays fretted and fretless basses, electric guitar and keyboards on his seventh and most potent recording as a leader to date

“Elevator Man has a different lineup on every song,” explains Feliciati, a member of RareNoise bands Naked Truth, Berserk!, Twinscapes and Mumpbeak. “It’s the same ‘one song-one line up’ philosophy that I used on Frequent Flyer, but this time all the music for Elevator Man was composed at the same time, in a three-month period. So I was probably able to concentrate more and think more deeply about the direction of the album. And while a varied stylistic approach is something I always try to achieve, this one has a more clear Prog Rock flavor that was a planned decision. After KOI, I felt the need to move from the soundtrack-ambient soundscapes attitude that is a crucial ingredient of both KOI and Twinscapes, my duo project with bassist Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree, to a more songs-oriented project.”
From the opening track, “Elevator Man,” fueled by drummer Roberto Gualdi’s powerful drummer and the low-end punch from a three-piece horn section, Feliciati shifts to the dynamic “The Brick,” underscored by Wackerman’s power-precision playing on the kit and featuring Roy Powell’s guitar-like clavinet work. “14 Stories opens with an ambient, mysterioso vibe with Cuong Vu’s evocative trumpet playing over the top before the piece erupts into an orchestral crescendo, paced by Mastelotto’s drumming. The melancholy ballad “Black Book, Red Letter,” underscored by Gianni Di Renzo’s sensitive brushwork, also highlights some lyrical trumpet playing by Claudio Corvini and some impassioned soloing from alto saxophonist Sandro Satta. The aggressive rocker “Three Women” has Feliciati grooving on fretless bass and Vu soloing over the powerhouse horn section while “Unchained Houdini” is a slamming jam that pits Feliciati’s bass, guitar and keys against David Pettriossi’s whirlwind wailing on the kit. “The Third Door” has Feliciati going mano-a-mano with turntable wizard DJ Skizo while “S.O.S. introduces the mellow vibraphone of Luca Giacobbe and the intense, Steve Vaiesque shredding of guitarist Eklundh. The swinging “Thief Like Me,” fueled by Gianluca Plamieri’s surging pulse on the kit, features a strong bass solo from Feliciati, who also anchors the proceedings on Moog bass. And the haunting closer, “U Turn in Falmouth,” has Feliciati interacting on bass, guitars and keyboards with virtuosic drummer Savarese “The power to have such great people ready to play on the songs forced me to be a more focused composer on this project,” said Feliciati. “So this one is less on the abstract/improvised side. When you have so many great musicians ready to collaborate with you, you are the luckiest person in he world but you must have a very clear idea of what you will ask them to play on, what you want them to add to your music. Also, if I always have very clear in my mind what I don't want instead of what I want, with musicians like them you can be sure that you will be surprised in a very good way! I don’t like albums that never surprise you with something when the new song starts, It's like eating the same meal or reading the same book everyday!”
Feliciati, who has worked with some of the great drummers throughout his career, seemed especially pleased with the crew of time-keepers he was able to recruit for Elevator Man. ”I love drums and drummers and to have such great players on this album as Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson, Stickmen), Chad Wackerman, Roberto Gualdi (PFM), Davide Pettirossi, Armando Croce, Gianluca Palmieri (Greg Howe Band) and the young star Davide Savarese is such a wonderful privilege. To compose some music and have so many choices in front of you is wonderful. And to realize that everyone involved is so enthusiast and willing to collaborate is truly something that still surprises me.”
He also heaped high praise on the two sensational guitarists who appear on Elevator Man. “Marco Sfogli is a great friend of mine and we played together several times,” explains Feliciati. “I played on his latest solo album. Mattias Ecklundh did a masterclass at the school where I was teaching in Rome. I asked to do some music together and he enthusiastically agreed. And we’ve played together a couple of times after that., so I was happy when he agreed to play on this record.”
Returning from KOI is the three-piece horn section of trombonist Pierluigi Bastioli, baritone saxophonist Duiliu Ingress and bass trombonist Stan Adams, who also arranged and conducted the section. The three add a big low-end punch on such tracks as “14 Stories,” “The Brick,” “Three Women” and the title track. “The idea for the horns came while working on KOI, where the same three-piece section plays on several tracks,” Feliciati explains. “I was wondering about doubling the bass riffs with a horn section on that recording but I immediately understood that a funky-jazzy section of trumpet/sax/trombone would have been too conventional or traditional sounding. So I switched to this low-end section consisting of bass trombone, trombone and baritone sax, and the final result was so good I immediately decided to use them on some of the songs of Elevator Man. And now I like that the low-range horn section has became sort of a trademark of mine.”
The bassist-composer-arranger describes his daily creative process that has led to the realization of such visionary projects as Frequent Flyer, Koi and Elevator Man: “I love to wake up early in the morning, have breakfast with family and then walk upstairs where my home studio is, turn on the studio machines, look at the screen of the computer with all the folders and ask myself, ‘What do you like to work on today?’ This way, projects that are different, needing a different attitude, have always a fresh, focused approach from me. I always had a home studio and the technology related to recording (software like ProTools, etc.) became way less expensive. This way I can work on different projects at the same time, switching from one to another; not to mention all the sessions I do at home for music that arrives via Dropbox from all over the world,. People want me on their music and with the files-exchange approach they can have my bass track on their album easily and fast. But in the end, I guess that all the music I composed, produced and played on in the last years is the result of my endless curiosity and love for music.”
The great bassist also acknowledges the towering influence of Jaco Pastorius on his own playing and on this recording, particularly on such groove-oriented tracks as "Elevator Man" and "S.O.S." as well as the harmonics playing on the intro to "Black Book, Red Letter." Says Feliciati of Jaco’s influence: “For me you can easily divide not only bass playing but also Jazz Rock Fusion in before Jaco/after Jaco segments. The influence he had on my love for the bass and music is endless. I saw Weather Report in 1980 in Rome on their Night Passage tour. That night changed my life. I decided to play the bass after that because I realized how much the instrument can also drive a band and be the center of the sonic spectrum. If the song, the music needed one note, Jaco was playing one note...if the song needed one hundred he was playing the right ones the most soulful ones and with such an incredible timing and groove. But I really love Jaco the composer. And of all the wonderful tunes he wrote and played, the one that is touching me the most is still ‘John and Mary’ from his Word of Mouth album. Together with Night Passage and Joni Mitchell’s Shadows and Light, these are timeless classics.
That Pastorius influence is present throughout Elevator Man. But Feliciati also carves out his own unique niche on this superb prog-rock flavored outing.

credits

released October 27, 2017

Elevator Man

Lorenzo Feliciati - fretted and fretless bass, electric guitars, keyboards
Roberto Gualdi - drums
Stan Adams - trombone and horn section arrangement
Pierluigi Bastioli - bass trombone
Duilio Ingrosso - baritone saxophone

The Brick

Lorenzo Feliciati - fretted bass
Roy Powell - hohner clavinet
Chad Wackerman - drums
Stan Adams - trombone and horn section arrangement
Pierluigi Bastioli - bass trombone
Duilio Ingrosso - baritone sax

14 Stones

Lorenzo Feliciati - fretted bass, electric guitars, keyboards
Cuong Vu - trumpet
Alessandro Gwis - acoustic piano with Reaktor running on laptop
Pat Mastelotto - drums
Stan Adams - trombone and horn section arrangement
Pierluigi Bastioli - bass trombone
Duilio Ingrosso - baritone sax

Black Book, Red Letters

Lorenzo Feliciati - upright bass, fretted bass with effects
Sandro Satta - alto sax
Claudio Corvini - trumpet
Gianni Di Renzo - drums

Three Women

Lorenzo Feliciati - fretless bass, electric guitars, keyboards
Cuong Vu - trumpet
Antonio Jasevoli - electric guitar solo
Davide Savarese - drums
Stan Adams - trombone and horn section arrangement
Pierluigi Bastioli - bass trombone
Duilio Ingrosso - baritone sax

Unchained Houdini

Lorenzo Feliciati - fretted bass, electric guitars, keyboards
Davide Pettirossi - drums

The Third Door

Lorenzo Feliciati - fretless bass, electric guitars, keyboards
DJ Skizo – turntables & rhythm design

S.O.S.

Lorenzo Feliciati - fretted and fretless bass, electric guitars, keyboards
Mattias IA Eklundh - electric guitar solo
Luca Giacobbe - vibraphone
Armando Croce - drums

Thief Like Me

Lorenzo Feliciati - fretted bass, moog bass
Marco Sfogli - electric guitars
Aidan Zammit - keyboards
Gianluca Plamieri - drums

U Turn in Falmouth

Lorenzo Feliciati - fretted bass, electric guitars, Keyboards
Davide Savarese – drums

All tracks composed, arranged and produced by Lorenzo Feliciati, except ‘The Brick’ composed by Roy Powell

Mixed by Alessandro Marcantoni at Metropolis studio, Milan
Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtletone Studios, NYC

© + ℗ RareNoiseRecords 2018

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Lorenzo Feliciati Paris, France

Lorenzo Feliciati's career is split between his role as one of Italy's greatest studio and live professional musicians and his evolving career as one of the contemporary electric bass greats - but what sets him truly apart are his talents as composer, arranger and producer.
He has played live and/or in the studio with Pat Mastelotto,Chad Wackerman,Cuong Vu,NilsPetter Molvaer,Eivind Aarset,etc etc
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