Italian Jazz Trumpeter: Influential Trumpet Player Enrico Rava

Written By Sonny Akbar Sembada

Hi, my name is Sonny Akbar Sembada and I welcome you to my blog, The Uncle Jazz. The main topic of my blog is everything related to jazz music.. 

Italian jazz trumpeter Enrico Rava born in Trieste, Italy, on August 20, 1939. This guy practically carried the torch for Italian jazz worldwide.

He kicked off with a Dixieland trombone in Turin, but as soon as he caught wind of Miles Davis, he swapped it for a trumpet and delved into a more modern vibe.

The Pioneer of Italian Jazz and The Italian Jazz Trumpeter

Now, let’s get into the highlights of the Italian jazz trumpeter Rava’s journey. Rubbing shoulders with Gato Barbieri, cooking up a film soundtrack in ’62, and sharing the stage with the legendary Chet Baker. Serious street cred, right?

Fast forward, he teamed up with Steve Lacy and grooved with South African buddies Louis Moholo and John Dyani, even dropping a live recording of “The Forest and the Zoo” in Argentina. That’s the real deal.

Big Apple Adventures

In ’67, Rava packed his bags and hit the Big Apple. Picture this lineup: gigs with Roswell Rudd, Marion Brown, Rashied Ali, Cecil Taylor, and Charlie Haden. Oh, and a quick European pitstop to release albums with Lee Konitz (“Stereokonitz”) and Manfred Schoof (“European Echoes”).

From ’69 to ’76, Rava swung back to the Big Apple to create “Eskalator Over the Hill” with jazz composer extraordinaire Carla Bley.

After dropping his debut solo album, “Il Giro del Giorno di 80 Mondi,” he took charge leading quartets and quintets without a piano. His discography? Over 100 releases, with more than 30 calling the shots.

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ECM Records dug up some gold from the ’70s, re-releasing classics like “Pilgrim and the Stars,” “The Plot,” and “Enrico Rava Quartet.”

Jamming with the Crew

Now, let’s talk collaborations. The Italian jazz trumpeter Rava teaming up with keyboard maestro Franco D’Andrea and trumpeter Paolo Fresu. They dropped “Bix and Pop” and “Shades of Chet,” tipping their hats to Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, and Chet Baker.

Youtube video by Torino Jazz Festival 

In 2005, Rava snagged an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music during a jazz celebration at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy.

2012? He’s hitting the dance floor with “On the Dance Floor.” In 2019, he linked up with saxophonist Joe Lovano for “Roma,” featuring Giovanni Guidi, Dezron Douglas, and Gerald Cleaver, all wrapped up by ECM Records.

Rocking Influence and Props

Italian jazz trumpeter Enrico Rava didn’t just stop at making sweet tunes. He set the stage for the next generation of jazz cats, inspiring them to find their groove.

Right now, he’s kicking it with the RAVA TRIBE and a fresh quartet featuring Francesco Diodati on guitar, Gabriele Evangelista on bass, and Enrico Morello on drums. They dropped “Wild Dance” in 2015, and man, did it hit the sweet spot. Musica Jazz even crowned Rava New 4et the best group of 2015.

Fast forward to 2019, he’s rolling with the Rava – Lovano 5et crew. The live album “Roma” landed in September 2019, recorded at the Auditorium Parco della Musica.

Jump to 2020, and the trio dropped “RAVA – HERBERT – GUIDI: For Mario Live,” a digital collection of live performances dedicated to Mario Guidi, Rava’s manager for three decades, who sadly passed away in December 2019.

in 2021 Rava dropped “EDIZIONE SPECIALE,” a live album from Middelheim in 2019, by ECM.

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