Piero Piccioni was the only Italian musician to have played alongside Charlie Parker for one night. It happened in New York in 1949, when Piero found himself suddenly sitting at a piano for a television show to which he had been invited. Other than Parker, Kenny Dorham, Tommy Potter and Max Roach were also present. Unfortunately we do not have a recording of that show but a first-hand testimonial by the charles Delaunay confirms that he sat in for the pianist Al Haig and that he played very well indeed. Although we do not have the recording of that programme, we do have the ones with Piero and his 013 Orchestra which had been on Italian radio since 1944. The 013 was the first great Italian Big Band, assembled even as Rome was still under Nazi-Fascist occupation. Upon the arrival of General Patton’s troops, Orchestra 013 was immediately invited to play for Radio Roma. The notes of their theme tune, “Ritmando con la 013” was the symbol (together with Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood”) for the newly found peace after WW2. Personally, I owe my love for jazz and radio to Piero and his brother Leone. I was a little boy when Louis Armstrong’s “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue” was the opening tune for the radio programme “Galleria del Jazz” hosted by Piero Morgan and Leone Piccioni. I used to be glued to the radio listening to that great music and the conversations on the topic, and I still have some notebooks with my scribblings on them. Thank you Piero, you have taught me a lot.

Adriano Mazzoletti

Pianist, organist, conductor & composer
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