Francesco Beccaro debuts as a leader on Auand Records
A wise work that balances personal roots and cosmopolitanism
After a decade of on-stage and recording activity in New York, while also teaching at the Collective School of Music, and having just set up home in Berlin, Italian bass player Francesco Beccaro has recently finalized “Upward” – his debut album as a leader, out in stores and also on BandCamp on Friday, May 21st – in his hometown Biella, Italy.
He joins forces with Omri Abramov (sax), Tal Arditi (guitar) – both Israeli-born, Berlin-based musicians, and his brother Andrea Beccaro (drums). Another relative also pops up: their father Bruno Beccaro is the painter behind the CD cover art.
While the entire album will be available in May, seven singles are set to be out earlier on all major streaming platforms – the first one will be out on Friday, April 23rd, and the other six will follow every other week, until July 16th.
Highly energetic, intense, and improvisation-heavy, “Upward” relies on layered structures. It’s a sort of fusion music favoring a raw yet evocative sound that reminds of Metheny, Zawinul, Mehldau, Scofield, as well as of pop-rock, Bowie, Prince, Radiohead, and D’Angelo.
«I met Omri – Beccaro recalls – when I landed in Berlin, and we immediately bonded. He’s a great musician with a 360-degree perspective. And I met Tal even earlier, before officially moving to Berlin, while I was still trying to get a sense of the city. His approach struck a chord. He was willing to play and experiment new things. He’s such a pure talent that it would be a shame to let him go. My brother Andrea was a predictable choice. I grew up with him, musically speaking. He can read my mind. That’s why he is also a co-producer: we made every choice together. And we shared so much! We toured 3 continents in different scenarios ranging from 30 to 30 thousand people, and recorded on stage and in studio. We know each other so well that playing together comes naturally.»
Composed over several years, most of the tracks date back to Beccaro New York years, others were penned in Berlin and Italy. They show a sense of cinematic storytelling, partly revealing his background as a composer for dance performances and documentaries.
«My idea of music – he says – is quite simple: trying to convey something to the listener. This album draws heavily from daily life, including all political and social matters that shape its quality. Each track tries to send a clear message and aims at involving the listener in an emotional journey. I believe you can sense moments of rebellion, melancholy, positivity, or just an easy grooving-along feeling. I wrote “Via Vespucci” when walking back home on Graham Avenue in Brooklyn, along those two blocks called, you guessed it, Via Vespucci. I was lost in my thoughts, while the sunset over the buildings and the streets made me feel a sense of adventure, as if I were a cowboy discovering new frontiers. “Territorio Barbaro” was written when I got back to Italy, with that melancholy of leaving friendships built over a decade. “No Breakfast Blues” is exactly what it seems: a tune written as soon as I woke up, before breakfast, and there’s nothing like the early morning blues! “Rocky” poured spontaneously when Trump won, and I believe my feelings are quite clear in that track.»