‘Mr. Fascetti plays an electric seven string bass and would seem an honorable disciple of the Steve Swallow style of playing bass as an electric guitar. Fascetti has developed a bold arch top sound, somewhere in the median of a Jim Hall, Kenny Burrell flavour. The music flows with passion, the sounds are delightful, a stirring tribute.’ Paul J. Youngman
Andrea Fascetti, who is also a double bass player and composer, plays mainly the electric seven string bass with an unique style that makes it a real solo instrument.
He has been playing since he was 8. At the end of the ’80s he started to study the instrument privately, then at CPM in Milan and, some time later, at the Puccini Conservatory in La Spezia with the teacher Gian Pietro Zampella.
Andrea has performed on tour with several groups: Nomenclatura, his first independent band, and on ‘Nessuna resa mai Tour’ at the beginning of the ‘90s with Massimo Priviero (produced by Little Steven).
He is a great teacher: since 2008 his bass lessons have been published by Bass Musician Magazine an American magazine and since 2011 he has written lessons about improvisation for the Italian magazine Guitar Club. He focuses also on the importance of ear training, it makes the difference in respect to a musician who can just read the music sheets, ear training is very useful for the awareness of the intervals and intonation.
He has played at several jazz clubs and festivals with Ernie Wilkins, Gianni Basso, Massimo Manzi, Riccardo Arrighini, Riccardo Fioravanti, Riccardo Fassi, Mauro Grossi, Andrea Melani, Walter Paoli, Stefano Onorati, Franco Santarnecchi, Nico Gori, Vittorio Alinari and many others. He has collaborated with a huge number of bands and has taken part into hundreds of recordings.
Dedicated To Steve (Philology Records; 2008 – iTunes and Spotify) is the first solo album dedicated to Steve Swallow’s music. Massimo Manzi, Riccardo Arrighini and Riccardo Fioravanti played with Andrea. Critics have appreciated very much this work, Steve Swallow too: he congratulated Fascetti.
Tracklist: Mr. Steve Swallow, Eiderdown, Outfits, Mia’s Blues, Wrong Together, Blues For Electric Bass, Muddy In The Bank, Falling Grace, Bug In A Rug, Matilda’s Bop, Blues For Electric Bass – Reprise.
Cinema (iTunes e Spotify) was launched in 2011: it’s the second album for Andrea as the leader. It has received a great success from critics and sales. Andrea Garibaldi played with Fascetti.
Tracklist: Schindler’s List – “Schindler’s List” Theme, A Mario Monicelli, Cinema centrale, Twisted Nerve – From “Kill Bill Pt.1” Soundtrack, Alice In Wonderland – From Walt Disney’s “Alice In Wonderland” Soundtrack, Secret Love – From “Calamity Jane” Original Soundtrack, Days Of Wine And Roses – from “Days Of Wine And Roses” Original Soundtrack, Vincent Price, Mission Impossible Theme – Bonus track from “Mission Impossible 2” Original Soundtrack , When I Fall In Love – Bonus Track from “One Minute To Zero” Original Soundtrack’.
In 2013 Andrea Fascetti established his new quartet and recorded the third album Pop Music (iTunes and Spotify). Andrea Garibaldi and Vladimiro Carboni played with him and with the singer Michela Lombardi.
Tracklist: Human Nature, We Found Love, This Must Be The Place – Naive Melody, Una notte in Italia, Police On My Back, Thinking Of You, Touch From Your Lust, I’m Waiting For The Man, War Baby, Sunrise, Downtown Train.
During this period of time Andrea Fascetti has been recording a new album with Fabrizio Bosso.
You were born in a family of musicians: your grandpa was a pianist and a composer. Tell us something about your first approach to music please.
My grandpa used to play several instruments, especially the piano. When I was a kid he let me sing some of his little compositions and I have to say that I loved it. Unfortunately he passed away very soon… then I was in trouble cause my dad didn’t agree with my decision to start a musical career. To be honest, I envy the lucky musicians who have parents that have encouraged them to play. So I started to study music when I was no more a kid. I was affected by this fact.
Would you like to explain us your particular technique on playing the electric seven string bass?
My bass, a modified Manne Acoustibass, comes from the need of stress the sound of high notes in a distinguished and clear way. The technique is certainly different from the one of the traditional four string bass. The seven strings have a great resonance during the performance, so I started to use the thumb on the strings to dominate the resonance of them; I’ve learnt it watching the performances of Jeff Berlin and John Patitucci, the masters of bass.
I use a double bass technique with the right hand (I’m a left-handed person, so the left one for the right-handed people) for the first positions. It helps me not to tire the hand. I use the traditional technique with 4 fingers for the more comfortable positions instead.
However the 6 or 7-string instrument isn’t more difficult to the others, for me is easier cause you can play fast notes stuck in the same position!
Charlie Banacos, a Bostonian teacher of Mike Stern, Jeff Berlin, Jimmy Earl, etc, with whom you studied for several years, has changed your ‘musical life’.
Could you tell us how? What means his teaching for you?
I studied with Charlie Banacos for 19 years, till one month before he passed away. Critics and jazz players consider him one of the musical genius of our time. His ideas and his innovative techniques have enriched talented musicians as you mentioned before, but also Michael Brecker, Danilo Pérez, Jerry Bergonzi, Wayne Krantz and others from all over the world.
I consider each lesson of Charlie an immeasurable gift. He explored every technique and musical style. His lessons about bebop, Coltrane’s superimpositions and ear training are memorable milestones in teaching.
In 1996 the Riccardo Arrighini trio and you won the Barga Jazz competition. How did this experience leave a mark in your career?
It was a great experience. For a person from Tuscany like me, Barga is a bench mark. It’s a festival with a long tradition and it is managed with dedication and professionalism.
Each time one of my albums is launched I try to present it to them. Fortunately the organization has also a club where you can play also in Winter and it’s a wonder if we think about the nowadays musical situation.
You dedicated your first solo album Dedicated To Steve to Steve Swallow, a world-renowned musician (whose compositions have been played by several musicians: Jim Hall, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Stan Getz, Gary Burton, etc) who has collaborated with Pat Metheny, Gary Burton and other well-known jazz artists.
Why is he a reference for you? And which song do you like most?
An atypical bass player like me had to begin with an album dedicated to Steve Swallow. Steve is the electric bass player who has created an excellent reputation in the world of jazz. Other teachers usually choose the double bass or don’t play jazz. My aim was to play jazz with this instrument and I had to have him as a reference model. I must say that he is very kind: my wife sent him the album in secret. Then I got a letter: Steve thanked and congratulated me. It was a real thrill and honor for me.
The piece of Steve Swallow I love most is Falling Grace.
Cinema and Pop Music albums contain some of your unreleased songs and some jazz arranged cover songs. The arrangement of the pieces sounds prepared and researched, did you leave improvisation during the recording or did you mostly play ‘at that moment’?
I consider myself as a ‘little music artisan’. My albums are completely different one from each other, even if there is a thin thread that bonds them. Each one pays homage to things I like. You’ve captured the spirit we had during the recordings and the answer is that we didn’t absolutely leave improvisation: we used it during the solos as the tradition. We played as a tiny big band, arrangements are prepared and improvisations are played spontaneously. This is the behavior I thought and realized them also thanks to the great musicians who played with me.
Could you please tell us previews of your next album of your compositions?
First of all I thank Paolo Caivano, organizer of Massarosa Jazz Fest, he helped me to record an album with the great and kind Fabrizio Bosso. It deals with my original compositions.
The album describes some of my journeys around Europe and talks about cities and places I visited. I play also with other very good musicians: Andrea Garibaldi (piano, he played also on Cinema and Pop Music) and Vladimiro Carboni (who played also on Pop Music).
I take advantage to thank all the artists of the other albums: Michela Lombardi, who sang on Pop Music, and the collaborators of the first CD dedicated to Steve: Riccardo Fioravanti, Riccardo Arrighini and my friend and great drummer Massimo Manzi.
On behalf of the magazine and all of our readers I thank you very much. It’s been a great pleasure for all of us having known you. We are looking forward to ‘travelling around Europe’ with the amazing music of your new album.