There are a few countries in Europe where the culture of that particular country and the culture of Jazz go well together. Sweden is one, Italy is another. Why ? Who knows...- However, Italy has been producing some truly wonderful players over the last years: Enrico Pieranunzi, Enrico Rava, Franco d'Andrea, Roberto Gatto, Furio di Castri, Paolo Fresu... There is a passion there, a melodic sensitivity, an emotional openness.
Although we consider the United States a multi-cultural melting pot and a breeding ground for new styles, new ideas, a dynamic culture, in Europe cultures have been moving and mingling also over the last half century. Especially the Italians have been moving to more Northern countries to seek employment. They brought their warmth, their food their sensitivity and their musicality !!
Well, Mimi is an exponent of this wonderful culture, and he put together a group that is very much in touch with his Italian roots. On alto saxophone he invited Rosario Giuliani. Rosario lives In Rome, and has been playing with many of the great players in Italy. The piano chair was offered to Mimi's long time colleague Eric Legnini, another Italian in Belgium. Eric has been considered one of the new young talents in Europe. After spending some very intense years In New York where he was much inspired by Richie Beirach, Eric came back to Europe to commute between Brussels and Paris and playing with many of the great players in these cities. The solid non-Italian factor in the group is Bart de Nolf. Bart has been around. At an early age he was a member of the radio big band in Brussels and had the opportunity to play with and learn from many great internationally renowned musicians.
This band is not just a gathering of four musicians, it is a band, a well-functioning unit where everybody serves a role. They fit together, they complement each other, they understand each other, they create together. In January 1999 the group decided to go into the studio and record together, and the result was an extraordinary CD.