Eduardo de Crescenzo has been breathing musical air since he was a child: his uncle Vincenzo de Crescenzo is the famous author of “Luna Rossa” and his cousin Eddy Napoli is a well known musician as well.
Eduardo approached music at very young age and after years of hard work he unconsciously experienced San Remo stage. “Ancora” suddenly became a great International success.
From 1981 till 1991 he produced one disc every two years then he came back in 2002 with “La vita è un’altra” and in 2006 with “Le mani”. Today Eduardo De Crescenzo needs to return to his roots and to the Music origins. He wants to rediscover genuine sounds and true messages. This is “Essenze Jazz”.
1. You have met music very early thanks to your passion for the accordion. At 3 you had your first instrument and at 5 you played for the first time at Teatro Argentina in Rome. Then piano and keyboards arrived. Did music occupy all your adolescence thoughts and time?
At the beginning it was just my favourite play, a very natural state for me. At 3 I played classical Neapolitan songs by ear with a very small accordion. After my fist performance at Teatro Argentina I started study classical music. I don’t remember whether music occupied all my thoughts or not but I keep in mind that my father made great sacrifices to pay my studies and in spite of my young age I perfectly understood it and tried to work hard.
2. You have realized the power of your voice by chance, only several years later. Could you tell us about that night in 1977 at Quattro 1 studios?
In those years groups of friends with a common passion for music used to play at private parties or night clubs. That way young students could make some money too. I played piano and keyboards but sometimes substituted the singer. The Accordion was too popular for us who were so deep in American emulation! In that period a friend of mine wanted me to have an audition at Quattro1 Studios of Claudio Mattone. It was December, late at night and I didn’t imagine they wanted to listen to me but Mattone did. I sang a piece written by the guy who came with me. The music was from Czardas by Monti. Mattone and Franco Migliacci became my producers. Everything started there!
3. “Ancora” quickly became an extraordinary, international success carrying celebrity and fame. Has been simple to live with them?
I couldn’t be prepared. I’ve never done the usual series of auditions and competitions and I was not comfortable with television. The day before I was at home and the day after on San Remo stage. I have closed my eyes and sang hoping to finish as soon as possible. As long as San Remo lasted I stayed like sucked into a vortex unable to realize things around me but once came back home I started to be chased by unknown people: my fans!
4. The success and star system often bring to compromises, imposed rhythms and forces decisions while you just loved to be a musician. How did you deal with it?
The first two or three years were very difficult. It was like living inside the body of someone else . Then I gradually got used to and understood how to find my music, my way, my contact with the audience and my style on the stage.
5. Naples is deep rooted in your music and songs. The city, its people and atmosphere are not your exclusive sources of inspiration. What else?
Artists are sons of their times, places, meetings and cultures. I can’t communicate things I don’t know well. Anyway Naples is not a cliché for me. It’s a root and I feel it in my melodic approach, in narrow streets, harbor and Mediterranean sounds. But I also feel classical music, typical of my studies, jazz and blues which influenced my adolescence and finally my personal experiences that produced my compositions. So my life has decided what kind of musician I am today.
6. Let’s talk about Essenze Jazz, your project of discovering the true nature of feelings. Could you tell us about its birth and partnerships? And what has Essenze Jazz given to you?
In the 80’s my generation had the opportunity to produce creative, experimental, innovative music. Pop music has been turned into a plastic, flat, repetitive production right for mass media tastes for more than 10 years. Essenze Jazz was born from my need to come back to an acoustic sound and to rediscover my production through my present inspirations. I have started to rewrite the arrangements with the Italian jazz pianist Stefano Sabatini, my memorable colleague since 1983. Then the gradual choice of these wonderful musicians came: the double bass player Enzo Pietropaoli, the drummer Marcello di Leonardo, the saxophonist Daniele Scannapieco, and the violoncellist Lamberto Curtoni.
ESSENZE is giving me the pleasure of their improvised composition during the concert, the surprise intrigue, live musical dialogues causing amazement, the magic perception of living all my past musical experiences once again and finally the emotion of the first time.
7. What are your next performances with Essenze Jazz?
I’m playing at Teatro Sistina in Rome on 21st March, at Teatro Morlacchi on 7th July for Umbria Jazz festival in Perugia and at Negombo in Ischia on 30th August. We are fixing other concerts and are working at the disc as well.
This article is available also in: Italian