RIP Marco Eneidi

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Marco Eneidi at Amati Jazz Club, January 2016. Detail from a photo by “Mike in Mexico

(UPDATE:  Point of Departure has published a thorough Marco Eneidi bio, written by Pierre Crépon. Find it here.)

I was saddened to learn that Marco Eneidi passed away earlier this week. I don’t know the circumstances, but he apparently did not make it to San Francisco for the aforementioned concert on May 18.

Marco was a tornado on the alto sax, using a nimble and aggressive approach to craft persuasive, emotional stories. Jimmy Lyons is the commonly referenced touchpoint, and like Lyons, Marco did play with Cecil Taylor. He also recorded with Peter Brotzmann, William Parker, Bill Dixon, and a host of other greats. Though he hadn’t lived in the Bay Area for more than a decade, Marco still felt like part of the scene here, at least to me. He’ll be missed.

In honor of Marco, a few random treats from the web:

Here’s a gem: a previously unreleased session that includes Marco on alto sax alongside his brother-in-arms Glenn Spearman on tenor. It’s from 1997, the year before Spearman was prematurely taken away from us, and it was posted the other day by bassist George Cremaschi.

The trio Sound on Survival, which teamed Marco with drummer Peter Valsamis and bassist Lisle Ellis, is a must-hear. Their album on Henceforth Records — with Eneidi,  — is worth seeking out; they also released American Roadwork, following a marathon U.S. tour, on the CIMP label. And here’s a video snippet, with Marco in prime form.

All About Jazz has a couple of nice Eneidi interviews in its archives.

One, from 2005, was conducted by Taran Singh for Taran’s Free Jazz Hour. they discuss Eneidi’s move to Europe and the strategies and philosophies behind his playing. An excerpt:

Sonny Simmons taught me about long tones, about getting the sound a certain way, doing things a certain way, through breathing and meditation and Yoga. Jimmy showed me how to hold the horn the proper way, and Jimmy was about speed, that was his thing. He played Charlie Parker twice as fast and I try to play Jimmy Lyons twice as fast.

You can read the transcript here.

A second interview, by Anna Poczatek in 2013, is shorter but gives some details about the Cosmic Brujo Mutafuka band and Marco’s relationship with (and learnings from) Cecil Taylor.

Finally, Marco always had a special rapport with Bay Area drummer Donald Robinson. Here’s one of their final duo performances, from 2015. Rest in peace, Marco.

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