MAURO PAOLUZZI : GIANNA NANNINI, AN­NIE LEN­NOX AND A LIFE OF MU­SIC

Mauro Paoluzzi tells his long jour­ney in mu­sic, un­veil­ing new episodes of his long col­lab­o­ra­tion with Gianna Nannini and other in­ter­na­tional stars

All About Italy (USA) - - All About Italy - Paolo Del Panta

Mauro Paoluzzi is a name that em­bod­ies multi-di­men­sional per­son­al­i­ties and pro­fes­sion­al­ism. As the most zeal­ous afi­ciona­dos and lis­ten­ers know well, Mauro Paoluzzi’s sig­na­ture in­cludes an in­cred­i­ble num­ber of over­whelm­ing Ital­ian mu­sic suc­cesses, from the 70s up to to­day. A mu­si­cian who has evolved over the years into com­poser and record pro­ducer, Paoluzzi has contributed to the con­se­cra­tion of iconic and rev­o­lu­tion­ary artists like Gianna Nannini, the first Ital­ian rocker to garner ac­claim not only in Italy, but also abroad. Nannini tri­umph with the song ‘Amer­ica’ is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked Paoluzzi, an au­then­tic blend that ab­sorbs and am­pli­fies the cre­ativ­ity and tal­ent of the artists he met dur­ing his long and pro­lific ca­reer. A gold­mine of anec­dotes and sen­sa­tions about the Ital­ian and in­ter­na­tional mu­sic-scene pro­tag­o­nists, Mauro Paoluzzi leads the scene, draw­ing on an in­ex­haustible wealth that leads him to new chal­lenges: past and present blend with a broad and for­ward-look­ing vi­sion of the fu­ture that feeds on the de­sire to con­tin­u­ously give emo­tions to lovers of po­etry of qual­ity mu­si­cal com­po­si­tions.

You are a com­poser, pro­ducer, record pro­ducer, drum­mer and gui­tarist. What roles make you feel the most com­fort­able?

I was born as a drum­mer: I played the drums from the ‘60s to the’ 80s, then I evolved into gui­tarist and com­poser in the ‘70s, thus dis­cov­er­ing my com­po­si­tional vein. From the ‘80s to to­day I am a pro­ducer and com­poser. To­day, my fa­vorite

in­stru­ment is gui­tar, even if the drums re­main in my DNA. My most com­fort­able role to­day is that of pro­ducer, be­cause it gives me cre­ative space to ex­press my ideas more com­pletely, with a to­tal vi­sion of the com­po­si­tion I am work­ing on.

‘Amer­ica’ by Gianna Nannini is cer­tainly high up amongst your suc­cesses there is cer­tainly, and was a song and a record that, start­ing from the cover, was a clear at­tack on con­ven­tional be­liefs and so­ci­ety. How did you come up with the idea? Was it just a provo­ca­tion?

Surely provo­ca­tion was a key in­gre­di­ent for the al­bum’s mood and the cover was its nat­u­ral con­se­quence. In the midst of a male-dom­i­nated rock scene, the song ‘Amer­ica’ com­posed by me, with lyrics by Roberto Vec­chioni and Gianna Nannini, was an al­ter­na­tive style.

The song hit in Ger­many first and then in Italy. A free fem­i­nine spirit was be­ing born and Gianna was its spokesper­son. In fact, the fem­i­nist move­ment had been strug­gling since the mid-1960s and the con­cept of an Amer­ica as the land where ev­ery­thing is pos­si­ble, and dreams can come true are what the much-cel­e­brated “Amer­i­can Dream” reaf­firms.

Gianna Nannini is amongst the most well known Ital­ian artists abroad, es­pe­cially in Ger­many. What are your mem­o­ries of her aside from her mu­si­cal per­son­al­ity?

The first time I met her I felt that there was a frag­ile, and at the same time ex­tremely de­ter­mined, girl in front of me. These two so con­trast­ing souls drew an in­ter­est­ing per­son­al­ity from the hu­man and artis­tic point of view. An in­deli­ble mem­ory of that pe­riod was a day in the stu­dio, re­hears­ing ‘Amer­ica’, it came time to record. I felt like I was next to a li­on­ess, and it was then I felt the true, pow­er­ful po­ten­tial of Gianna.

You have worked with the core of Ital­ian mu­si­cal greats, like Patty Pravo, Roberto Vec­chioni, An­tonello Ven­ditti, Loredana Bertè, Anna Oxa, Mina, Mia Mar­tini. What is your take away from work­ing with these artists?

Ev­ery­one gave me some­thing dif­fer­ent that en­riched my ex­pe­ri­ence. For ex­am­ple, Roberto Vec­chioni has given me imag­i­na­tion and cul­ture, Patty Pravo magic and mad­ness, Mango the com­po­si­tional ir­rev­er­ence of his pure tal­ent, Loredana Bertè the un­con­scious abil­ity to con­vey feel­ings, Ben­nato the abil­ity to tell life through fairy­tales, Gianna Nannini the scream of rage and the need for love, Fabio Con­cato the fear of lov­ing. Morgan dei Blu­ver­tigo, aka Marco Cas­toldi, rep­re­sented the ar­ro­gance of a gen­er­ous teacher, while Andy, An­drea Fu­ma­galli, gave me back the band’s pin­na­cle phi­los­o­phy.

A singer you wish you could have worked with?

Adri­ano Ce­len­tano. Without a doubt. A singer who man­ages to be pop­u­lar, to touch hearts, but is not na­tional pop-chart pop­u­lar. Bright even in his con­tra­dic­tions. I have great es­teem for Paolo Conte, as I’ve said many times — an artist whose flex­i­bil­ity makes him an ideal song in­ter­preter.

Have you writ­ten any songs that are just waiting in the drawer for a new artist?

No, at the mo­ment not. Some of the songs I have on hold are in Ari­anna Anti­nori (Hostaria Co­hen), last al­bum, re­leased Oc­to­ber 2017.

How has mu­sic changed? What do you miss about the past?

Mu­sic hasn’t changed, there is still good and bad, but ob­vi­ously I miss the beau­ti­ful songs of the era. I do miss the times when artists were judged for their abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate with their fans and au­di­ence, not sim­ply ap­plauded or dis­carded for a hand­ful of tele­vi­sion sta­tion man­agers.

Do you have any ca­reer anec­dotes?

It would take a whole magazine to tell them all, but there are some that stand out. In 1982 we were work­ing on Gianna’s fifth al­bum, Latin Lover. The band, in­clud­ing Gianna, and my­self fea­tured Clau­dio Go­linelli on bass, Mauro Pa­gani on the vi­olin and oth­ers I can’t re­mem­ber now. The pro­ducer Conny Plank (Ger­man syn­the­sizer ge­nius) had called a fe­male, Scot­tish piano-and-key­board player that gave in­ci­sive power to Gianna’s. We recorded at Stone Cas­tle Stu­dios in Cari­mate for about a month and in the end, thanks to the at­mos­phere, left as friends as well as col­leagues. One day, dur­ing a break, the Scot­tish mu­si­cian ap­proached me ask­ing me if I would like to listen to a tape. She placed my head­phones on my head and pa­tiently be­gan to wait for my opin­ion. By the first piece, I was floored. Nearly rip­ping my head­phones off, I asked who was singing. Can­didly she an­swered: “It’s me, don’t make fun of me!” I told her, “I’ve been lis­ten­ing to you for a month and you’re not a singer!” She got very an­gry and turn­ing

“I do miss the times when artists were judged for their abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate with their fans and au­di­ence”

her back, be­gan to sing the a cap­pella ver­sion of the song I had just fin­ished lis­ten­ing to on the head­phones. “In a month of back­ground singing, I’ve never heard you sing like that!” I was al­most shout­ing. “And why should I? It wasn’t called for,” she replied. That mar­velous voice had been kept for her­self. I am talk­ing about the Eury­th­mics first piece. And she ... well, she was An­nie Len­nox, des­tined to soon be­come one of the most fa­mous pop rock singers in the world.

Ari­anna Anti­nori is amongst your new re­cruits. What did you see in this young artist?

A jour­nal­ist, Francesco Parac­chini, who made me listen to the first Ari­anna’s al­bum in English, asked me. The sound of the voice struck me, the pro­duc­tion less, in short, I was puz­zled, we or­ga­nized a meet­ing in the stu­dio to know each other and the im­pact was very pos­i­tive. We hit it off im­me­di­ately. I told her that her voice re­minded me of Ja­nis Jo­plin and she showed me one of her videos in which she sang Jo­plin’s iconic

An in­deli­ble mem­ory of that pe­riod was a day in the stu­dio, re­hears­ing ‘Amer­ica’, it came time to record. I felt like I was next to a li­on­ess, and it was then I felt the true, pow­er­ful po­ten­tial of Gianna.

“Mercedes Benz”, for which she won a prize in 2010 from the Jo­plin broth­ers them­selves. At that mo­ment, I un­der­stood the rea­son of her love of English, and that Jo­plin piece truly rep­re­sented it. I was be­com­ing in­creas­ingly in­ter­ested in the hu­man and artis­tic part of Ari­anna. Francesco in­vited me to go and see her per­form live at the “All’un­e­trentac­inque” club in Cantù, then and there I was be­witched by the artis­tic gen­eros­ity, the abil­ity to trans­port the pub­lic and the heart and the pas­sion that em­anated on stage. From that mo­ment I de­cided to col­lab­o­rate with her: Ari­anna is in love with mu­sic and not with the suc­cess that comes from it, that is what won me over. To­day her Ital­ian de­but al­bum “Hostaria Co­hen”, will be re­leased. The end of 2017. There couldn’t have been a bet­ter end­ing to 2017.

Above: Nuovi An­geli , 1974 - From left: Paki (vo­cals), in the cen­ter Mauro Paoluzzi (drums), Re­nato Sab­bioni (bass), Al­berto Pasetti (gui­tar) Be­low: Blu­ver­tigo On the op­po­site page: Gianna Nannini

Ari­anna Anti­nori, 2017 Live at the Mi­lan Al­ca­traz: de­but of the al­bum “Hostaria Co­hen” pro­duced by Mauro Paoluzzi.

Above: Lani Groves (Ste­vie Won­der’s cho­ris­ter), Hamish Stuart (Aretha Franklin, Paul Mc­cart­ney, Ringo Starr, A.W.B. vo­cal­ist), Wal­ter Cal­loni. “Cast” Al­bum pro­duced by Mauro Paoluzzi. - Stu­dio Mas­ter­disk - New York, NY 1981 Be­low: Mauro Paoluzzi in the...

Left to right: 40th an­niver­sary of col­lab­o­ra­tion with Warner Chap­pell. Mauro Paoluzzi e Roberto Razz­ini, CEO and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Warner Chap­pell Mu­sic Ital­iana srl. Gianna Nannini, An­nie Len­nox, Jaki Liebzeit. Latin Lover al­bum record­ing. 1982, Stone...

Be­tween 1992 and 1993 Bertè was work­ing with Mauro Paoluzzi on the “Uf­fi­cial­mente Dis­persi” al­bum. At that time the singer was split­ting-up with Borg: her great pain re­mained im­printed on the song “I miss you” (Mi manchi), ded­i­cated to him. The...

Mauro Paoluzzi to­gether with the Bri­tish rock gui­tarist Phil Palmer: the two artists have worked to­gether on many projects. For­ward Stu­dios, Grotta­fer­rata (Roma).

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