Federico Ughi Quartet
I was born in Rome and raised on the melodic traditions of Italian folk and classical music. The same strong sense of melody is present in Ornette Coleman’s music and I have been a great admirer of his work ever since I discovered it in my early 20's. I have since had the good fortune to study with Ornette and to get to know him personally. He has had a strong influence on me spiritually, philosophically and as a composer. This group started as a saxophone-bass-drums trio but soon evolved into a two horn-bass-drums quartet, inspired in no small part by Ornette's great success in using this same format to deliver strong melodies in his early career.
In addition to delving into the melodic universe, this album is an exploration of the line between being an improviser and a composer. This question has been a dilemma for me for many years. I had always thought of composition and improvisation as being two radically different approaches to experiencing music. However, with this album I have found my own balance between the two. I feel that this is a musical project in which I am able to experience the freedom of improvisation while still being able to stay true to the composition. I believe that this is due to the fact that this group plays together so frequently and is made up of strong improvisers whose personalities come through in the music.
Being a drummer and not much of a singer I have to rely on others for these melodies to manifest outside of my head. I am very thankful that David, Kirk and Max are part of this band and are helping me in this search for the experience of hearing back and sharing these sounds that keep coming to me, that talk to me year after year. It's hard to compare the feeling of hearing a melody that has been with you for a long time and one day having it played, performed and recorded. It's something like the realization of a dream.
- Federico Ughi, Brooklyn, New York, 2012
Federico Ughi Quartet
David Schnug alto sax
Kirk Knuffke cornet
Max Johnson bass
Federico Ughi drums, compositions
Recorded at Tedesco Studios, Paramus, New Jersey September 9th, 2011
Mixed by Tobias Wilner
Mastered by Steve Vavagiakis
All music by Federico Ughi, Five Seven Seven Records Music, ASCAP