Being able to watch Paolo while he’s composing is a very rare thing, even though it happened to me; on the other hand, watching him play guitar is indeed a pleasant sight and any of his friends can get the chance to watch him. He doesn’t like any formal displays simply because he doesn’t have a big group of instrumentalists at his disposal . Consequently, he always refuses formal invitations, but whenever he’s amongst friends, he won’t ever let you go: he is able to entertain all night, playing all kinds of Music.
I happened to be going to his place one autumn evening and I caught him-as he, himself, puts it -“in the act” while he was practicing on his guitar, using Roland and Yamaha electronic sets of instruments which he uses for his musical base and which are already stylistically programmed. In no time at all, he had laid down a style and had put together a series of harmonies, picked up his guitar and had instantly created Music. Paolo told me he had acted quickly so that he wouldn’t bore me while I waited. He was unaware that I had gotten ready to tape him.
You will now find a sequence of the same pieces –like those I listened to that evening- that you can download; parts of which were performed from some vague memory of famous guitarists, others which were altered to his liking, yet others, I assure you, which were created right on the spot – this, because Paolo is a master of improvisation. I don’t wish to continue singing his praises with words; you may not even believe me. It’s for this very reason that I invite you to download (at no cost) all of the Music Paolo played that evening so that you , yourselves, can have a better understanding of what I’m trying to say. I started taping while Paolo was warming up, playing a personal version of the very famous “Gazza Ladra” by Gioacchino Rossini. Paolo, himself, calls the shortened and modified version an “ adaptation for the guitar only”. He certainly mentioned the fact that it was quite absurd to expect to sound like an entire band with the sole use of the guitar; the important thing, in his estimation, was to simply give a sample, even if the only thing on my mind at that moment was having a “crazed guitarist” in front of me. I started to tape him and I heard the sound of drums coming from his guitar –how incredible!- He was playing the Ouverture of Rossini’s Opera followed by “his” own cut version , with the sole intention of fooling around with his guitar, and that of having fun and entertaining a friend.
He then spoke to me at length about the guitar, about this instrument that he defines as “ odd and disquieting” and he started playing pieces by some famous guitarists who are very dear to him: two highly personalized pieces on Wes Montgomery immediately followed.
Following the piece on Montgomery, I enjoyed practicing on myself and then on Paolo Piccirilli.
He then told me, “Let’s create a piece on other people”.
He uttered “I will now have you listen to Al Di Meola play; he’s a giant amongst guitarists.”
We did a piece on Al Di Meola.
And another two on Paolo Piccirilli.
A renowned piece by Chet Atkins.
Paolo starts to talk to me again about Montgomery and then plays another small piece, as always, for fun. Finally, he plays Boogie-Woogie and I realize that there is no longer any ribbon left on the tape. What a pity; the evening was a whole lot of fun.
Try to listen and then, if you wish, you could contradict me.
The pieces contained in this download are obviously without a title (except for “Gazza Ladra”).
We will call them exactly as we did that evening, as they are here displayed, namely:
· Small adaptation on the guitar of G. Rossini’s “Gazza Ladra”;
· First practice piece on Wes Montgomery;
· Second piece on Wes Montgomery;
· First practice piece on Paolo Piccirilli;
· A practice piece on the “Others”;
· A practice piece on Al Di Meola;
· Second practice piece on Paolo Piccirilli;
· Third practice piece on Paolo Piccirilli;
· A practice piece on Chet Atkins;
· Third practice piece on Wes Montgomery;
· Boogie - Woogie.