In his second CD, Alba, Marco Bittelli shows his continued commitment to the quality of the music he composes and plays. Whether Latin or swing, acoustic or electric, intense or contemplative, the Italian guitarist is dedicated to originality in his compositions and recordings. The second CD features the same experienced rhythm section as the first, with drummer Dave Jarvis and bassist Dave Snider. New instrumentalists included piano player Brian Ward, saxophonist and Washington State University chair of the music department Gregory Yasinitsky and trumpet player Vern Sielert, an accomplished performer and professor of trumpet.
Listen to Marco’s just released track (2016) “Nigella” – Riccardo Pittau: trumpet & Marco Bittelli: guitar here
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As with the first CD, Bittelli chose to record the melodies of his compositions on a variety of instruments, not just his guitar. “When I compose a song, even before writing down the music, I often hear the instrument that it should play the melody,” Bittelli said. “Sometimes it is a guitar, but sometimes it is a horn. The most important element for me is staying true to the first feelings and atmosphere that inspired the composition.” Alba was influenced by the diversity of blended rhythms and sounds of South American music.
“The tune Sambando was inspired by the sound of the Samba as played in Brazil with the cavaquinho, a small string instrument of the European guitar family with four strings. It is often played with simple, repetitive melodies with a staccato rhythm, utilizing the guitar more as a percussive instrument rather than a melodic one. ”
“Ritorno (return) is written as a slow Zamba, a popular Argentinean rhythms that incorporate guitars, voices and an Argentinean drum known as bombo which is a double headed drum popular throughout the Andean region. Instead of a voice, often used to sing the Zamba songs, the tenor sax playes a long tone melody with a vocal feel.”
“Barcelona is dedicated to a city I love. Here we blended the sound of a nylon strings guitar, typical of the Spanish guitar style, with the sound of a flugelhorn.”
Born in Bologna, Italy, Marco Bittelli began studying jazz guitar under the tutelage of Jimmy Villotti, a noted Italian guitarist. In 1992 he moved to Los Angeles to study under legendary jazz guitar great Joe Pass. He has performed throughout the West Coast of the United States as well as in Germany, where he appeared with Brazilian guitarist Sergio Iglesias. Currently he performs regularly with Teo Ciavarella, one of Italy’s leading jazz pianists and noted Northwest jazz composer and saxophonist Greg Yasinitsky.
He began composing his own music in 1995 and soon began performing his originals in the Northwest with Horace Alexander Young who had also recently moved to Washington State from New York City. Alexander Young, one of the America’s versatile and talented flute and saxophone players, has performed in 19 countries with some of the leading artists, including BB King, Abdullah Ibrahim and McCoy Tyner. [Young is also a PCJ artist, please see him here]
Marco Bittelli concentrates on the good feeling vibrations of life on his recording Libera. Its escapist jazz dressed to the nine’s. The Italian-born Bittelli shows many world music influences in his tracks supported by Mediterranean-dance rhythms and overtones of smooth jazz. Libera is an album that injects fumes of solace in the listener’s mind and permeates warmth in every note. ~Susan Frances, JazzTimes, September 2009
Alexander Young and Bittelli performed extensively as a duo before heading into the studio to record the original tunes they had perfected over the years. Other musicians on the CD include composer and pianist Charles Argersinger, David Jarvis (drums), Dave Snider (bass) and Ruth Boden (cello). Jeremy Krug recorded and mixed the album. The result of this international collaboration is Libera, a collection of nine original jazz songs influenced largely by the Mediterranean rhythms and melodies he was raised on. Bittelli currently splits his time between Italy and the United States.
And visit Marco’s website here