It's been Blue Note Milano the last stage of Five Angry Men's tour
Five Angry Men, winners of the Conad Jazz Contest 2022.
The band, born within the walls of Siena Jazz, is a quintet whose repertoire ranges from free jazz, hard bop and modern jazz. The group is made up of saxophonist Lorenzo Simoni, trumpeter Giacomo Serino, pianist Pierpaolo Zenni, double bass player Matteo Bonti and drummer Mauro Patti. Coming from 4 different regions (Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzo and Sicily), they share the desire to experiment with new languages starting from tradition.
We accompanied them throughout the tour – which is part of the prizes reserved for the winners of the Conad Jazz Contest and which is organized by Umbria Jazz for the winners – and we told you about their performances during the various exhibitions on the most prestigious stages in Italy.
We asked them to tell us how it went immediately after the conclusion of the tour which saw the Blue Note Milano as the last stop.
How do you feel after completing your promotional tour? What was it like playing at the Blue Note?
This first experience of touring together was a great opportunity to get to know each other deeply both musically and personally. After each concert, we realized the aspects to work on but also a progressive improvement on a collective and individual level. It is certainly an opportunity that does not happen to everyone and it is important to draw as many lessons as possible from it. Our series of concerts ended at the Blue Note in Milan, a fantastic stage halfway between a concert hall and a jazz club, a wonderful experience and perhaps the most suitable place to conclude this first journey together.
What were your expectations before participating in the Conad Jazz Contest and how did these compare to reality?
The idea of forming this group came about by chance, just before we entered the contest. We already knew the prize through colleagues who had participated in the past and some announcements on the net; we didn’t know what to expect, we did it to challenge ourselves but also for fun, without too many pretensions. After the unexpected award, we certainly had the opportunity to expand our contacts and visibility as a group, starting with our debut in L’Aquila for the review dedicated to the lands affected by the earthquake.
UJ Weekend, Umbria Jazz Winter, Blue Note, Jazz for earthquake lands, Bologna… A nice tour! What were the most memorable cities or performances during your promotional tour?
Perhaps precisely the aforementioned Blue Note di Milano, a real-time of world jazz in the heart of Milan, a city we don’t visit often. Another concert that we remember with emotion was the opening of Umbria Jazz Winter in Orvieto: sold out in the hall of 400 inside the magnificent Palazzo del Popolo.
Are any funny anecdotes you want to share that happened to you during your promotional tour?
A certainly amusing anecdote that comes to mind is related to the day after our performance at the Camera Jazz Club in Bologna, when Pierpaolo, taken by the celebrations for the success of the concert, forgot his backpack inside the Club. however, it wouldn’t have been a big problem, if not for the fact that Mauro and Pierpaolo would have left for Turin for the next five days, leaving in the morning. Inside the backpack was all the pianist’s clothing for those days. In the end, we were forced to lend Pierpaolo one outfit each.
What are the next projects for Five Angry Men after the promotional tour?
The idea is to invest the prize to push the quintet to the maximum by finding the right professional figures who can help us promote the project and, surely soon, make our first recording work.
How has your music evolved during the tour?
We started by sharing some of our original compositions arranged for the quintet, ours is very heterogeneous; therefore, each song came from different backgrounds. Our goal was to transform this diversity, initially difficult to combine, into our strong point. Gradually trying out new songs, getting to know each other better and shaping the quintet’s repertoire in order to create a group sound that is as sincere and identifying as possible.
Do you have any advice for young musicians who want to register for the Conad Jazz Contest?
Our advice is certainly to try, especially if you have an already formed group, it will certainly be a wonderful opportunity to consolidate those formations that have already matured over time or to create new groups and establish new relationships.
How do you prepare for your live performances?
We usually reserve the first part of rehearsals for the study of new pieces, generally composed specifically for the training. We propose and collect ideas, trying to structure the pieces in an original and functional way. The second part of the rehearsals is dedicated to deepening the pieces that are already part of the repertoire.
Your songs are composed by various members of the band. How do other members contribute to the finalization of a piece?
Depends. Sometimes the pieces arrive at the rehearsal phase with a structure already defined from the beginning to the end of the piece, therefore on a formal level, there are no changes with respect to the original compositional idea. Other times, however, new sections or different arrangements are proposed. In many cases we discuss the dynamics together, trying to broaden the range from fortissimo to pianissimo. In most cases, in particular, the rhythm has some starting elements for building the accompaniment, but space is left for individual initiatives and interplay.
Is there any venue or festival you would absolutely like to play or play again in the future?
Surely it would be wonderful to perform at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia and at the Blue Note again. For the rest, we would like to play at the Ferrara Jazz Club, and abroad between Jazz Festival and Jazz Club.
We can’t wish the best for these talented guys and look forward to hearing from them for a long time to come!