“During the tour presenting our first album I was very fascinated by the Swiss landscapes; so much so that I decided to compose this homage, letting myself be inspired by seven of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland.” Federico Monetta
Recorded & Mastered in February 2017 at Only Music Studio Turin
All songs written & arranged by Federico Monetta
Valentina la Barbera,
JFM Records Lugano
New Release to Federico Monetta Quartet feat René Mosele.
“Lakes” is a concept album, produced with the support of “Pro Helvetia” (association which promotes culture in Switzerland); in it, each track is inspired by a different Swiss lake. Seven compositions alternate between swing and straight eighths, ending with a chamber music-like track waiting to be discovered.
How was born this geographical-musical project?
LAKES was born in a very spontaneous way, without any kind of premeditation, during the launching tournée of our album Walking in my soul around Switzerland.
It was the 6th January 2016, after 2 concerts, Berna and Baden. 4 o’clock in the morning, I don’t remember why we decided to go for Neuchâtel instead of Friburg (the same old brilliant ideas). Running along Neuchâtel lake we made a quick siesta. A cigarette and the last energy burst of heat allowed me to start singing a “light motif” which stayed balanced between 12/8 and 4/4: the album was starting unconsciously Prende poco.
There are more than 1500 lakes in Switzerland, how did you choose these 7 ?
Switzerland is the nation of lakes, and in reality, I didn’t have to make a choice because everything happened naturally. I have always been in love with nature, in particular with mountains, nevertheless also water has always had a huge influence in my life. Lakes in this album often become “carrier” (well-known feature of water) of the strong emotions lived by the band during the tournée 2015/2016. The only exception is “Keep calm and listen” where an heartfelt relationship with Lac Léman is described. Every track tells a small story where the lake is a messenger.
Fête de la musique in Zürich at 9pm, Thoune is on the road so at 3.30pm we can make a concert and leave again. Once we are in the city we set the Navi to quickly find the place of the show. The Navi flips out and we turn around for about an hour without results, at the end we are on the lake. We decide to turn it off and hope for our instinct. Only at that moment we understand that we were only turning around, so we went back following the river and reach destination, Macchinoso.
Zürich. We get to the stage without problems, a perfect organization. Concert. It rains but people seem not to take care about that, excellent feedback. The party continue all night long near the lake with fantastic groups, an inviting catering and flowing alcohol. We cannot stay. The guy of double bass, the only one who doesn’t have children, wasn’t prepared for it… Manuel who was in full party mood is completely disappointed, and sometimes talks about that still today, Party lost.
It was May and we were in Ticino for 2 concerts, the first evening we play at Jazz in Bess, an extraordinary club, exceptional audience, the staff of the club taking care of us before, after and during the show. We stayed out late (when we are out we always stay late). I have problems to sleep, so early in the morning I decide to go for a walk, I seat on an iron bench at the lakeside, a piece of paper and a lot of emotions mixing up. Grey.
Luzern, long and hard after concert, and as many other times happened, I had to be the dad of the band even if I am not the older one: at 4 in the morning Manu was moving the furniture in the room, putting it on a corner.
The day off is passed at the lakeside, and considering that, after the evening before, no one but Jake is able to pronounce Vierwaldstättersee, we continue to call it lac des Quatre-cantons. The day after all headaches have gone and Puzzle Ring is born.
Adverse day, a huge ticket for a stupid carelessness, problems at home, concert in St. Gallen, Gambrinus, big energy of the group, we play at the top. The evening continues, Manu is enthusiastic, and not less the rest of the band; at 4 am we are in the hotel, we uncork the last bottle talking about Bible. At 6 I got up awakened by a strong German shouting, after a damned hour I realise that it was not the room near us but the TV shouting…. (starting set up at 6 am). Thank you! On our way home, we stop at Bodensee lake. The islet enchants me, I think about the evening before, Crazy Head.
Keep calm and listen, the last composed piece, is a tribute to the lake that waits for me every morning, and that donates to me beautiful sunsets in the evening, dominating with royal calm the view from my window. I simply looked at it carefully but with method: 8 am at the piano, looking at the lake, 9 pm track completed. A 13-hour non-stop, forgetting to eat and drink, fascinated by changing glares and shades on the surface.
The music styles are different for every lake, can you explain the process?
The album has for sure different music styles which find their common denominator in improvisation. In reality, once again, emotions that I wanted to express drove me to the choice of the arrangement style. Two tracks of the album are purely swing, Puzzle Ring e Crazy Head; Keep calm and listen is a delicate samba, Grey clearly a binary ballad, Macchinoso is an attempt to put a second line near a melody based on odd rhythm.
I don’t know how to define Party Lost. I remember well when I tried to explain to Jack (the drummer) the idea I had in my mind. The others had scores that were quite clear. After some trials of explanation, he answered me “a bit like The Simpson?” Exactly!
The album ends with Prende poco that I would define a song where I wanted to dust off an instrument beloved for its lyricism, the accordion.
Federico Monetta quartet was born in 2013. After 2 years of concerts around Europe, the group realized the first album “Walking in my soul” published by Unit records 2015. The album was introduced and presented during festivals and in international clubs such as: Expo Milano 2015, Montreux Jazz Festival (CH), Verbier Festival (CH); Espace Abri, Genève (CH); Gambrinus Jazz Club St Gallen (CH); Chorus jazz club Lausanne (CH), Ono Berne (CH), Sunside Paris(F), Ducs des Lombards Paris(F), Jazz in Bess Lugano (CH), Jazz club Torino, Blue Note Milano...the band is now preparing for the launching tournée of the new album “Lakes”.