Alfabeats Nu Jazz

Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra

Alfabeats Nu Jazz

  • Roberto MAGRIS - piano & organ
  • Max “Mbassadò” MARZIO - rap vocals
  • Giuliano TULL - sax
  • Paolo ANDRIOLO - bass
  • Paolo PRIZZON - drums
… the band originates in the mid 90’s under the name Dma Urban Jazz Funk… after a few cd’s, videos and numerous festivals, tours and liveshows throughout Europe and America… in 2004 the artistic breakthrough and the new foundation of the band, under the name of Alfabeats Nu jazz… under the sign of a new sound bridging nu jazz with hip-hop and acoustic new age… an unpredictable and amazing kind of urban music yet rooted in jazz and progressive rock, wrapped up with impressive rap lyrics, with references to Coltrane jazz, hip-hop, trip-hop, ambient… with an eye to King Crimson, Traffic, Soft Machine… and new age awareness… a new alfabeatical code to decipher the nu sound…

… of remarkable interest for the international specialized critique and press, the band was hence able to tour Europe and America, with numerous features in International festivals, from Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada) to San Sebastian Jazz Festival (Spain), from Cervantino International Music Festival (Mexico) to Ocho Rios Jazz Festival (Jamaica)… other major festivals include Curacao Jazz Festival (Dutch Carribean), Jazzkaar Tallin (Estonia), Caracas (Venezuela), Cervantes en todas partes and Merida Music Festival (Mexico), Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival and Atlantic Jazz Festival Halifax (Canada), Corinthos Jazz Festival (Greece), Gostenhofer Jazztages Nuremberg (Germany), Half Note Athens (Greece), Kaunas Jazz Festival (Lithuania), Distrito Jazz Bilbao (Spain), Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia…

…in the years, the need to establish these wide range experiences leads to a first Cd “Urban Jazz Funk”, meeting a favourable response among the audience and the international jazz critics and magazines, soon to be followed by “Up to the beat!” and especially by the new amazing “Alfabeats Nu Jazz Stones”. Since its release in the USA in December 2006, the Cd “Stones” has received stunning reviews from the international jazz community…

new age or new stage ? inside or outside ? be-bop or hip-hop ? acoustic or electric ? unplugged or unthugged? progressive urban jazz or what ?...
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Review from “Jazz World Quest”:

“Filtering and mixing Jazz, Rock, Hip Hop and New Age on one album requires some serious creative powers and, last but not least, good taste.The proof is this wonderful new album “Alfabeats Nu Jazz Stones”, a synthesis of new and old genres, captured in a fresh, visionary orchestration that builds bridges between themes, integrates voice and instruments in a free architecture of sounds and melodies.Very interesting how the Hip Hop singer, turns into a kind of lyrical storyteller whose poetry mixes with music and rhythms in a such delicate balance of energies. There are many surprises on this album, just to mention “Reaching the Holy land” a superb mediterranean new age ballad with mystical highlights. At organ and piano, an ubiquitous Roberto Magris is at the command of the ensemble, driving, leading, improvising, highlighting in a permanent dialogue with his talented band mates.”

Review from “All About Jazz USA”:

“For those who think that authentic, urban informed jazz is the unique purview of North American musicians, one need only look to Stones. Emerging from the ashes of the more electronica-centric Italian group DMA, the equally all-Italian Alfabeats Nu Jazz makes music that sounds like it could be coming from the streets of any large American city • or does it? The Alfabeats member who will be best known to American audiences is Roberto Magris, whose mainstream Europlane group released the critically well-received Il Bello del Jazz (Soul Note, 2006).Here the talented pianist is found just as often on electric piano and organ as the acoustic variety. While Alfabeats is an electric band• not just literally, in that bassist Paolo Andriolo and guitarist Luca Boscagin play the plugged-in versions of their instrumens, but also in the sense that this group is charged • this is no electronica outfit that utilizes the samplers and turntables some jazz fans find anathematic and very arguably un-jazzy. First and foremost, Alfabeats is a playing band, albeit one with a language that extends far beyond the conventional definition of jazz to include elements of soul, R&B, funk... even hints of progressive rock and classic '70s Brit-rock. Regardless of how the group amalgamates a seemingly disparate group of influences, groove is priority number one. Whether it’s the hip-hop-centric rhythm of “Syeeda’s Flute in Wonderland”, with its reference to John Coltrane, the more balladic funk of the title track, or the rocking “Islamic Spires”, this is music that’s sure to move the body without sacrificing any appeal for the mind. Outside of a couple of passages where he delivers his message in Italian, one would be hard-pressed to hear any trace of an accent from rap vocalist Max “Mbassado” Marzio. Not that there would be anything wrong with that, but combined with the rest of the group’s overall sound, it lays total waste to any claims of stylistic propriety. Far from the vapid (or sometimes downright offensive) lyrics of so much rap music, Marzio delivers poetry with a purpose, as on the cautionary tale “Red Cap & The Bad Loop”.The group never overstays its welcome, but Magris and Boscagin deliver strong solos throughout, buoyed by Andriolo and drummer Paolo Prizzon’s visceral grooves. The language never gets too complicated, but it’s clear, even on the strightforward “Floppy Generation Blues”, that everyone • not just Magris • possesses a rich vernacular. Stones is an exciting debut that will no doubt appeal to a younger demographic. But it’s just as certain to attract more seasioned jazzers who don’t have a knee-jerk reaction against rap or the idea of straying away from convention.” (by John Kelman)

Review from “Smooth Jazz”:

“I heard the music of this band some weeks ago and it instantly sounded fresh and very groove-laden. Once founder, keyboard player and composer Roberto Magris had mailed me the 2006 release “Stones” and his press kit, I started to realise that I’ve been missing some very good music coming out of Italy… That music includes his own “Il Bello del Jazz” and 4 albums released by the current band in its pre-2003 incarnation DMA. It’s immediately obvious from “Syeeda’s Flute in Wonderland” that Magris is equally at home on piano and organ, and the organ sound on this funky number is somehow retro but up-to-date at the same time. Max Marzio’s rap vocals fit on top of this acid jazz groove nicely and you’ll be nodding your head to this right away, as you will to the insistent and urgent “L.A.P.D.”, the irresistible “Get Coltranized” and the riotous “Floppy Generation Blues”. The jazz and hip-hop blend so well you soon stop thinking about it. The rap on “Terra Nuda” is in Italian and for broad-minded listeners who can get to MC Solaar and other European rap artists, this will please. You’ll hear some great guitar playing too • Luca Boscagin burns on “Floppy Generation Blues” and Paolo Andriolo’s electric bass solo on the same song gives me the just what I’m looking for! A rock guitar sound opens the majestic title track and the complex, atmospheric “Islamic Spires”, where it doubles Magris’ melody line on the organ. You have to hear “Red Cap & the Bad Loop” for yourself. I just smile whenever I hear it • an urban nursery rhyme. As for the atmospheric “Reaching the Holy Land”, with its haunting percussion (and what sounds like a didgeridoo) I find it moving and I’m totally drawn it. It’s very hard to play this just once…”

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