by Bob Putignano
"Mardi Gras Around The World Part 2"
The day after Mardi Gras at Mexicali Blues in Teaneck NJ, Luther Kent and I headed off to Milano Italy to continue are Mardi Gras celebrations throughout northern Italy and Switzerland. Luther was backed by one of Italy's finest bands: The Robi Zonca Band who has two successful releases which received strong US airplay.
Robi's band was well prepared as they studied Luther's material and they swung mightily through Forli Italy, Mendrisio Switzerland, plus 2 nights in Bergamo Italy, and 2 nights in Milano. The final performance in Bergamo was at a beautiful three hundred seat auditorium which was sold near to capacity; the audience really dug the vibe, and this was the musical highlight of all the performances. Each of the performances on this tour started with a 30-45 minute set by Robi Zonca's band and they would then bring on Mr. Kent to close out the evening's festivities. It was great to see the European crowds dig the Big Easy/Mardi Gras groove and tunes, and as of this writing it looks like a follow up tour may take place in the fall!
Be on the lookout for Robi's next recording done in the NY/NJ area where Robi employed the services of the Vivino Brothers (Jimmy & Jerry) and the great Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, plus Robi's bass player Paolo Legramandi. Speaking of Mr. Legramandi; Purdie was really moved by his playing, and after I spent over a week listening to his bass playing I would have to say Paolo could be the premiere bassist in all of Italy- he's that good!
Finally; a track was also recorded in Italy with Luther and Zonca's band and this track is also expected to be on the new CD of Robi's with the Vivino's & Purdie.
Mardi Gras on Italia!
Radio Host WFDU's "Sounds of Blue"
President of the NY Blues and Jazz Society