The Whole Thing

Reciprocal Uncles

CD Dicipack
Feb 2020

Rendi forti i vecchi sogni
Perché questo nostro mondo non perda coraggio
A lume spento

Make-strong old dreams
Lest this our world lose hearth
With tapers quenched

To understand each other implicitly is a serendipitous event in our life. It is a thing that is born and strengthens over time, gradually succeeding in the task of showing us unknown things about ourselves: the person with whom we relate acts as a magic means of transferring and at the same time receiving the unknown feelings of the other. This relationship is stronger when the two people love the arts: Gianni Mimmo and Gianni Lenoci shared music for 10 years, their music and that of the artists they loved, working with complementary means in a communion of abstract-art jazz, artistic sensitivity, coherence. What Mimmo and Lenoci were working on, before the pianist's untimely demise, was a precious fusion of perspectives to be developed through free and vibrant interventions on their instruments: The Whole Thing is the excellent posthumous CD of Reciprocal Uncles, a place of musical delicacies played in the form of a suite, over 50 minutes in which we can feel the implicit pact between the two musicians, their particular complicity, their instrumental evolutions embedded in a global result, an intense, differentiated, courageous flow, full of freedom: in practice, the revelation of that transfer mentioned above, the truth embodied in the creative experience. Through the exchange of  instant composition, the two musicians "read" each other, they do justice to a dream that has long been linked to a different interpretation of music and art: an immensity that immediately becomes a noble and new heritage.
Ettore Garzia, Jan.2020

This album is respectfully dedicated to the memory of my beloved Reciprocal Uncle Gianni Lenoci.
Not easy to let you go.

Tracklist

1. The Whole Thing [50:48]

Credits

Gianni Lenoci: piano
Gianni Mimmo: soprano saxophone

Music by Gianni Lenoci and Gianni Mimmo
Recorded on May 17, 2019 at Wave Ahead studio, Monopoli, Italy, 
Sound Engineering, mixing and mastering: Mimmo Galizia
Cover artwork: Lazlo Moholy-Nagy “A19”,1927, oil and graphite on canvas
Inside photo: Shanu
Cd Photo: “Brooklyn Transfiguration” 2011, shot by a visitor at the Moma-PS1 museum, Queens, NY
Poem: Ezra Pound “A Lume Spento / With Tapers Quenched”,1908
Graphics: Nicola Guazzaloca
Production: Gianni Mimmo for Amirani Records

This album is respectfully dedicated to the memory of my beloved Reciprocal Uncle Gianni Lenoci. 
Not easy to let you go.

The Whole Thing

Reciprocal Uncles - The Whole Thing by Amirani Records

Rockerilla
Francesco Buffoli

È probabile che un giorno si parlerà di Gianni Mimmo con gli stessi toni di devozione che oggi si usano per Massimo Urbani. È infatti difficile scovare nel pur vasto e ricchissimo panorama italiano un musicista altrettanto coraggioso e lucido. The Whole Thing è una suite di cinquanta minuti che Mimmo ha concepito e registrato con il pianista Gianni Lenoci. Siamo in orbita jazz avveniristico:  Lenoci è ispirato dal fuoco divino che incendiava le mani di Cecil Taylor, mentre Mimmo si conferma musicista di un eclettismo disarmante, in grado di maneggiare con naturalezza la ballad così come l’estetica di Steve Lacy e Roscoe Mitchell. MUSICA SENZA COMPROMESSI.

Vinylmine
Πέρυσι (2019), την τελευταία μέρα του Σεπτεμβρίου, πέθανε ένας σημαντικός πιανίστας και τζαζ-αυτοσχεδιαστής, ο Ιταλός GianniLenoci. Ήταν 56 ετών. 
Όπως είχαμε γράψει και παλαιότερα εδώ στο δισκορυχείον... ο Lenoci ήταν γνωστός και στην Ελλάδα, αφού είχε συνεργαστεί σε παραστάσεις και στη δισκογραφία με τον Σάκη Παπαδημητρίου και την Γεωργία Συλλαίου (άκου, ας πούμε, το άλμπουμ “Nosferatu a Monopoli” από το 2005), ενώ είχε βρεθεί στο ίδιο πάλκο και με την ελληνική Plus’ n’ Minus Collective Orchestra στο πλαίσιο των 49ων Δημητρίων, στη Θεσσαλονίκη, το 2014. 
Αν αυτές ήταν οι ελληνικές διασυνδέσεις του, σκεφθείτε τι γινόταν στην Ιταλία και ευρύτερα. Έτσι, ας θυμίσουμε μερικά άλμπουμ του Lenoci ή με τον Lenoci, για τα οποία υπάρχουν reviews στο blog. Λέμε, λοιπόν, για το “Earle Brown / Selected Works for Pianoand/or Sound-Producing Media” [Amirani Contemporary, 2018], στο οποίον ο ιταλός πιανίστας απέδιδε συνθέσεις του Αμερικανού Earle Brown, το “Wet Cats” [Amirani, 2017] μια συνεργασία του Lenoci με τον ντράμερ Francesco Cusa, το “Glance and ManyAvenues” [Amirani, 2015] των Reciprocal Uncles / Ove Volquartz (Reciprocal Uncles ήταν ο σοπρανίστας Gianni Mimmo, ο πιανίστας Gianni Lenoci και ο ντράμερ Cristiano Calcagnile), το “Morton Feldman: for Bunita Marcus (1985)” [Amirani Contemporary/ Teriyaki, 2013], με τον Lenoci να παίζει στο πιάνο του συνθέσεις του Morton Feldman, συν το πρώτο φερώνυμο άλμπουμ των Reciprocal Uncles (Gianni Lenoci & Gianni Mimmo – δίχως ντράμερ δηλαδή) ηχογραφημένο τον Μάιο του 2009. 
Υπήρχε λοιπόν μια δεκαετής (τουλάχιστον) συνεργασία Gianni Lenoci-Gianni Mimmo, η οποία φαίνεται πως ολοκληρώνεται μ’ αυτό το CD των Reciprocal Uncles, το “The Whole Thing”, που περιλαμβάνει μία και μόνη εγγραφή του ντούο από τον Μάιο του 2019, σ’ ένα στούντιο της Monopoli (ιταλικός νότος-Αδριατική). 
Η ηχογράφηση δείχνει, προφανώς, το υψηλό επίπεδο συνεννόησης και λειτουργίας των δύο αυτοσχεδιαστών, και ακόμη την φαντασία τους στο ξετύλιγμα και την υπηρέτηση των μικρομελωδιών που εκπηγάζουν από το session, και από ’κει και πέρα την διευθέτησή τους... πάντα με όρους ελευθερίας. 
Ο Lenoci είναι εκπληκτικός, αναπτύσσοντας όλη την «Monk-ική» και avant-garde παιδεία του, ενώ ο Mimmo επιχειρεί πάντα με γνώμονα το κύρος που διαθέτει, ως αυτοσχεδιαστής, στη δημιουργική εμπειρία. 
Το αποτέλεσμα είναι αντάξιο των δύο μουσικών και ενδεικτικό, προφανώς, του τι σημαίνει για το ιταλικό και ευρωπαϊκό avant / free-improv η απώλεια του Gianni Lenoci.
Onyx Improv and Sound
Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg

Une vraie plénitude. Et tristement, cette chose entière (the Whole Thing) est le chant du cygne de ce maestro de l’Italie du Sud, pianiste jusqu’au bout des ongles, enseignant apprécié par ses lèves, à la fois musicien de jazz et chercheur contemporain. R.I.P. Gianni Lenoci. Le saxophoniste soprano Gianni Mimmo et le pianiste Gianni Lenoci, les Oncles Réciproques, ont formé jusqu’à la disparition subite du pianiste un duo, une équipe qui étendait parfois sa collaboration avec d’autres improvisateurs, comme Ove Volquartz. J’aime me souvenir du concert donné au Negocito à Gand où les deux musiciens m’avaient invité à partager la scène pour le final du concert. Je me souviens de l’activité maîtrisée et trépidante mue par une logique supérieure des doigts de Gianni Lenoci dans les cordes et la table d’harmonie et leur premier album en duo, Reciprocal Uncles, où il pétrissait ce champ d’investigation en contraste avec le jeu étoilé – écartelé dans les intervalles polytonaux du souffleur du saxophone droit. The Whole Thing nous fait entendre le duo dans sa dimension contrapuntique où le pianiste choisit de jouer avant tout du clavier et de toute sa science harmonique à la fois Schönbergienne, post Monkienne et péri-classique avec toute la brillance de sa virtuosité jusqu’à la minute 28 des cinquante et 48 secondes de l’unique suite qui compose The Whole Thing à laquelle il esquisse une plongée dans les cordes, dont il se servira ensuite pour souligner un passage vers une autre phase du jeu. Justement, j’écris Suite car il s’agit de différents mouvements reliés l’un par rapport au suivant par le savoir-faire de l’improvisateur expérimenté. Soutenu et émulé par la superbe compétence du pianiste, Gianni Mimmo peut pointer ses aigus dans tous les angles que son imagination le pousse à investiguer, délivrant un lyrisme secret, comme s’il jaugeait en permanence la valeur et le poids des notes, leur densité, leur luminosité et leur part d’ombre. Ses déboulés en zig-zags, étirements de timbre, accents dans le suraigu, growls, harmoniques chantantes trouvent leur chemin dans l’espace, secondés ou anticipés par les mains fermes et toutes les capacités de compositeur de l’instant de son camarade, dont on goûte la chevauchée fantastique des ostinatos tournoyant autour de la minute 40:00. Créateurs de formes conjointes et articulées en phase ou en décalage, les deux improvisateurs ont le don de faire coexister et interagir leur univers personnel en assumant leurs différences et leurs intérêts communs dans une remarquable empathie. Un bien bel ouvrage. 

Avant Music News
Daniel Barniero

When pianist/composer Gianni Lenoci died last year at age 56, improvised music lost a major voice. Lenoci earned conservatory degrees in piano performance and electronic music, but he also studied improvisation with pianists Mal Waldron and Paul Bley. He played with many of the great improvisers, among whom were Steve Lacy, Roscoe Mitchell, Markus Stockhausen, Enrico Rava, and John Tchicai, but the improviser with whom he had perhaps the deepest connection was soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo. On The Whole Thing, the uncanny chemistry Lenoci and Mimmo shared manifests itself in a single, fifty minute-long improvisation recorded in May 2019 in Lenoci’s hometown of Monopoli, Apulia.

The excellent rapport between Lenoci and Mimmo is apparent from the first note. The music is always assured and imbued with purpose—and even though it was completely improvised, it moves with an implicit sense of structure that always seems to know exactly where it needs to go next. The two voices range over a variety of ambiences including an extroverted expressionism, the reserved abstraction of a dynamically controlled atonality, and a quiet introspection. Both Lenoci and Mimmo are fluent in the two major modern musical languages of the postwar classical and jazz avant-gardes. Lenoci’s pianism is highly chromatic, often fragmented and always precise. His sound here as elsewhere is permeated by the phrasing and textural sensibility of classical experimentalism—no surprise, since he was a noted interpreter of New York school composers Morton Feldman and Earle Brown, important works of whose he recorded and released. Mimmo’s playing is, as always, liquidly lyrical and marked by a strong sense of melodic continuity and a refined tone.

The Whole Thing ends on a contemplative note that carries a striking poignancy. For, only four months after the recording was made, Lenoci was dead. This album is a remarkable memorial to that remarkable talent.

Percorsi Musicali
Ettore Garzia

Intendersi è una splendida causalità della nostra vita. È una cosa che nasce e si rafforza nel tempo, riuscendo gradualmente a mostrarci le cose sconosciute di noi stessi: la persona con cui ci relazioniamo agisce come un mezzo magico di trasferimento e allo stesso tempo riceve i sentimenti sconosciuti dell’altro. Questa relazione è più forte quando le due persone amano l’arte: Gianni Mimmo e Gianni Lenoci hanno condiviso la musica per 10 anni, la loro musica e quella degli artisti amati, lavorando con mezzi complementari in una comunione di arte astratta jazz, sensibilità artistica, coerenza. Ciò a cui Mimmo e Lenoci stavano lavorando, prima della prematura scomparsa del pianista, era una preziosa fusione di prospettive da sviluppare attraverso interventi liberi e vibranti sugli strumenti: The Whole thing è l’eccellente postumo dei Reciprocal Uncles, un luogo di prelibatezze musicali suonato in forma di suite, oltre 50 minuti in cui si avverte il patto implicito dei due musicisti, la loro particolare complicità, le evoluzioni strumentali incorporate in un risultato globale, un flusso intenso, differenziato, coraggioso, pieno di libertà: in pratica la rivelazione di quel trasferimento di cui si diceva prima, la verità incarnata nell’esperienza creativa. Attraverso lo scambio della composizione istantanea, i due musicisti si “leggono” l’un l’altro, rendono giustizia ad un sogno che è stato a lungo collegato ad una diversa interpretazione della musica e dell’arte: un’immensità che diventa immediatamente un patrimonio nobile e nuovo.