Gazzara – The Bossa Lounge Sessions (A Live & Studio Experience)

It’s been 25 years since their debut album “One” – over 10,000 copies sold in the pioneering era of Italian acid jazz, with guest James Taylor Quartet – and the best way to celebrate without stopping at the reissues of old material is to witness the state of health of a band that in a quarter of a century has never stopped producing and playing live. That’s why “The Bossa Lounge Sessions”, the new album of the soul / jazz / bossa trio led by the Roman keyboardist and composer Francesco Gazzara – with Massimo Sanna (bass) and Mauro Mirti (drums and percussion) – looks like a gluttonous double CD divided into two parts.

The first contains 14 songs recorded live between 1998 and 2010 on the international stages frequented by the group (Italy, Russia, Portugal, Japan, UK), with the classic bossa / jazz of Gazzara’s discography, some unreleased covers – “ Chitlins Con Meat “by Kenny Burrell ,”Do It Again ”by Steely Dan ,“ Hot Barbecue ”by Jack McDuff – and a couple of never-before-released live original tracks that date back to the acid jazz period (1996) with the band’s formation of“ One ”, which in addition to the trio it also included Gianni Del Popolo (guitar) and Alex Gigli (drums).

The second part (CD 2) instead contains 15 recordings – always live but in the studio – from a more recent period: 2013-2020. Here the repertoire is largely the soul / bossa one of the last two albums of “Gazzara – The Bossa Lounge Experience” and “Portrait In Acid Jazz” – revised and corrected in a completely instrumental key by the trio with the participation of long-time guests of the group like Dario Cecchini (sax, flute) – also present in several live songs of the first CD – and Eduardo Piloto Barreto(flute). The peculiarity does not end there: CD 2 also unveils two brand new songs by Gazzara and instrumental versions – never released before – of three Latin jazz and bossa compositions contained in the albums “Brother And Sister” and “My Cup Of Tea”.

A Live & Studio Experience”, as the subtitle of The Bossa Lounge Sessions says, is not only the first fully live album in Gazzara’s discography. It is in fact also the first double live album in the catalog of the Bolognese label IRMA RECORDS, a publication that therefore has its vintage charm not only for the warmth of the bossa / lounge sound – Hammond, Rhodes, Moog, Latin percussion etc … – but also because it recalls the double album live releases of the jazz / rock labels of the years ’70. When to make the public better known their artists were also presented on disk in an “on stage” version.

The double live album was therefore the missing piece in Gazzara’s discography, who in the last 25 years has released 7 studio albums, reaching an early notoriety in the acid jazz and house circuits first – starting with the song “Timeless” inserted in 2000 in the best-selling French collection “Hotel Costes Vol.3” – and bossa / lounge later, with some tracks taken from “The Spirit Of Summer” (2001) used by HBO for the TV series “Sex & The City” and the success on the dancefloor and in radio of the title-track of the album remixed by Dave Warrin , still present today in compilations and playlists all over the world.

“The Bossa Lounge Sessions: A Live & Studio Experience” thus testifies to the live reality parallel to all these successful productions, the true DNA of a group that has never stopped playing together and tried to do it – the two new original songs of the CD 2 proves this – even when the global pandemic has made it impossible to perform in front of the public.

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