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Paolo Rustichelli

Paolo Rustichelli

Paolo Rustichelli

How did this new album and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?

It came from a dream I had. I was drivin’ super fast with a Viper red convertible along the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, Italy. I was really high on the hills and below was a fantastic panorama of the blue Mediterranean Sea. All of a sudden I stopped the car and heard a melody in the air, and I jumped out from the car. The melody was more and more in my head, since my body was moving with the beat and all of a sudden I exit the dream, get up from the bed, open my computer and record the melody immediately down in the sequencer. Late at night, after I worked all day, the song was ready and mixed: It was the single “Soul Italiano”!...

What elements do you look for in a song that makes it especially satisfying for you to perform?

First it is extremely important, after being inspired by something consistent, to create and enter musically a right “groove” status, which usually is a blend of a good rhythmic beat, a great “walkin’” bass and also that samples are really sounding good, especially for me that in my latest productions I use just audio plug-ins, synths and samples and not real instruments or players (besides me). The meaning of “right groove” is like in yoga entering into an interior status of peaceful silence. In other words if you are “out of the groove” everything becomes more difficult, like finding a good mix equilibrium, a good overall sound. Finally if the “groove status” is not achieved the whole track sounds also kind of repetitive and boring. A special mention goes to create a good strong hook with an original melody…

Of your touring and gigs so far in your career, do any stand out as being particularly memorable or defining moments?

This is a really cool episode: I remember in the 70s I was playin’ in Naples at a Pop-rock concert, something similar to Woodstock where many bands play one after another… In particular I remember that after a disastrous concert of a really famous Italian Pop singer called Patty Pravo, people where so mad at her that they started literally throwing the chairs and everything else on the stage!...

At that point many bands refused to play, including Rob Fripp “King Crimsom” and “Deep Purple”, that at the time where popular in Italy almost like “The Beatles”. The promoter of the festival where horrified and in big trouble, not knowing what to do. Instead Carlo Bordini and me - we were a duo called “Rustichelli & Bordini” - offered to play. We were without any fear and really excited to play at the place of really famous bands like “King Crimsom”, “Bruce, West and Laing”, “Deep Purple”!... We were a really unique duo. I was playin’ the organ C3 Hammond and Bordini the drums. I remember that the first song included me having to trigger the Leslie tremolo of my Hammond C3. As we began to play, and as I initiated the Leslie tremolo, a big chunk of a melon that was previously thrown at Patty Pravo from the enraged crowd and had landed unknown by me inside the Leslie, sailed out and flew over the audience!! I was making a wild screaming sound with the Leslie and combined with the flying melon, we creating a moment of surreal effects, grabbing the crowds attention and killing the previous moment of wild stress!...then we started playing extremely loud and voila’! We were a big success in fact grabbing also the attention of RCA records and a good contract with them a few days later.

Another fantastic moment years after my early rock gigs, was when I played for the first time at the Beacon Theatre in New York with Carlos Santana and Gorge Harrison, who was a guest that evening. After that concert I played together with Carlos for a whole Santana world tour and further. Playin’ with Carlos feels to me always like to be at home, playin’ with my brother.

Lastly, but this was when I was only a teenager, I played in Rome with Jimi Hendrix, at the time I was playin’ the bass….just f’n great!

Unfortunately, even though there was an intention to do so, I didn’t have the honor and pleasure to play “live” with Miles Davis. But Miles did play for me in two of my albums…

Outside of your musical career, what else in your life gets you excited and fulfilled?

I love wild nature, swimming in the ocean even in winter when seawater is cold. I also enjoy archeology, quantum physics and astronomy. A special place in my life is also for philosophy. I consider myself a free spirit, but if I really need to describe my spiritual beliefs I can say that Neo-Platonism is really close to my spiritual vision. I share also many beliefs with Carlos Santana in natural magick and so on..etc.

What would be the most important piece of advice you’d impart to a young musician just starting out in the jazz/smooth jazz arena?

Respect the texture and genre of smooth jazz, but DON’T follow blindly or be inspired to repeat what other artists already did. Be genuine, personal and unique the more you can…Avoid as hell to be a clone of another artist.

What’s your absolute favorite part of the World, and why?

Italy cause it’s small, but not too small…really diversified in her many geographical layers…smooth…friendly… erotic…jazzy…juicy…romantic…hot & ready to be eaten like a good Italian pizza!

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