There are two images which accompany my thoughts of Piero Piccioni, a “true” musician, and a friend.
The first was in Via Asiago, RAI’s auditorium in Rome, as he was conducting a concise suite of his own themes for an important anniversary of Italian radio. His was still also known as Piero Morgan, as he commanded horns and percussion, stabs, clusters and solos with his hand in his left pocket (!). The audience would applaud his unique ability to bring the sounds of Jazz to Italy.
The second image is one of him in Prato, during an encounter with music students, when listening to one of his pieces he exclaimed, ‘Today I would not play this in the same way!” I know he was not joking, as when he would sit at the organ even he would not know precisely how it would sound! Eclipse! Genius and simplicity, power and harmony, inventions, solutions and originality. I see no successors unfortunately.
I remember “Firestar Express” as one of my most cherished memories, a theme song for his orchestra for many years on the radio.
I would always seem to meet him as he was playing, and the reasons for our encounters would always be apparent later on, after I had heard what had come from his fingers, at the piano and on the organ…and the same notes would never seem to happen twice in the same way!
I say this candidly because I believe it- I think he took all the music with him, and he plays on…
With affection and recognition.