An eclectic pianist / composer who has recorded with many different musicians such as Lester Bowie and Frank Gambale, plus a few Italian jazz and pop stars. Carlo Mezzanotte has touched most of the branches of music, but he thrives in Jazz.
Born in Rome in 1959, he studied piano at the Rome conservatory. He had p rivate composition studies with several teachers, the most important being Gino Marinuzzi. Later, he studied contemporary music with Vinko Globokar at the Fiesole Music Academy. He got interested in jazz and played with bands in Italy and abroad. He began his jazz studies under the guidance of jazz pianist Mike Melillo and former member of the Phil Woods quartet.
Among the most important collaborations in jazz were Lester Bowie, Frank Gambale, Al DiMeola, Maurizio Giammarco, Umberto Fiorentino, Paolo Fresu, Javier Girotto, Sandro Satta, Dario Deidda and many others. In the pop field, he collaborated with Paolo Conte, Mauro Pagani, Enzo Gragnaniello, Eugenio Bennato, Indaco, and Banco.
From 1982 to 1986 he worked mainly in theater with some of Italy’s leading companies as a composer, arranger, and pianist. He w rote two short musicals, staged by the MTM company.
In 1985-86, he was the leader of the modern jazz group Relapse where he wrote and arranged his repertoire. The group recorded an album.
In 1988, he was the pianist and stage director for the concert / stage play Satierik , based on Erik Satie’s music and writings.
In 1991, he became a founding member of the contemporary music group Diacronic Ensemble. He won several pieces for the first prize at the Lamezia National Competition.The repertory goes from Stockhausen and Cage to original material.
In 1993, he formed the Syntaxis electric jazz group. He also published the CDs Visibile (1997), Cieli Diversi (2000), and L a Linea (2006). A fourth CD is in the works c alled Lighter and features the great guitarist Frank Gambale, soprano sax virtuoso Javier Girotto, and other guests.
In 1994 he was a composer and performer in “The Return to Reason“, a performance of electronic music based on the surrealistic short films of Man Ray. The performance has been repeated in several occasions.
With the ethno-rock group “Indaco”, he toured extensively on keyboards/programming from 1995 to 2005. The group recorded four successful CD’s, Vento del deserto (1997), Amorgos (1999), in a live concert Spices (2000 ), and Terra Maris (2003), plus the Porte D’Oriente compilation (2006).
In May 1996, he performed at Rome’s Teatro Argentina in a series of evenings produced by the Italian National Theater as an electronic music improviser (on synthesizers) over readings and dance by some of Italy’s leading performers. The experience was repeated in May 1997.
In 1997, he wrote and recorded the score for a short film by director Mauro Paracini, Al (L) Ways Night where is went on to win the National Film and TV Critics Award.
In November 1999, he took part in Robert Shackelton’s Antarctic Expedition of 1914, that was recently restored by the British Film Institute.
In 1999, he recorded Bach to the Future, a CD of Baroque music plus original compositions, played on both piano and synthesizers.
In the last decade, in addition to pursuing the Syntax project, he created several acoustic jazz projects: Possible Piano (trio), with the self-named album on the German YVP label, Jazz Tales (quartet) with self-named CD’s published by Wide Sound, Northward Flight on the Terre Sommerse label, a series of concerts about Cole Porter’s songs in re-elaborated versions, duo concerts with singer Marina De Santis, piano only concerts, and seminars about various topics in jazz. He also increased his teaching activity, especially in the jazz field.
In 2005, in the live album Midsummer Night in Sardinia, the great guitarist Al DiMeola recorded the song Amargura, written originally for the Indaco album DiMeola with the singer Andrea Parodi, who sadly died the following year.
Played in New York (Lincoln Center), Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Argentina, Tokyo, London, Rotterdam and in all the important Italian cities. Appeared in all of Italy’s principal public and private TV networks.
Wrote music for all kinds of classical and jazz ensembles.
Among the most recognized pieces in the contemporary music field:
Rewind for saxophone quartet and electronic music; first performed at the 12th World Saxophone Congress in Montreal, Canada (July 2000)
Introduction and Dance for clarinet and piano; first performed at the State Disco in Rome (December 1999)
Quaderno D’Autunno for vibraphone, piano and double bass; first performed at the Rotterdam Conservatory (February 1994)
Let me take your hand … for double bass and electronics; first performed at Teatro dell’Orologio in Rome (1993)
Has toured as a pianist and composer with Anita Bucchi’s modern dance company for two seasons.
Has written music for RAI (the Italian state television) and has appeared on all major national media networks.