|Ivano Fossati (1951)
Ivano, as he is called by those who like him, was born in Genoa – nothing exceptional there for a singer-songwriter. He soon began to form groups and played everything; then the progressive rock era arrived. The first album with the Delirium and the “Jesahel” number came out in 1971 – an immediate hit. Thoroughly restless, he travelled a lot in Europe and the USA. He quietly took it upon himself to go solo, recording many albums full of influences that were never overtly declared. He has a very particular way of presenting himself, his voice is also a bit special and in fact there are those who do not appreciate him at all (that’s their affair!). The lyrics have to be read and re-read and listened to, as they are very important; the lexicon is original, some verses are astounding and many of his tales are true. Simplicity, no frills, and such astonishing and fresh metaphors. Basically Ivano is a poet, a writer who, however, certainly does not feel himself restricted within the confines of a song.
He is a traveller and great chronicler of everyday stories and loves. Love is constantly there and every time leaves us in doubt, every time we recognise ourselves in that refusal, in that despairing night, that pursuit of a dream, that unexpected joy and then going against common morality and scheming: stolen kisses as per Truffaut. However, he has not held back from plunging into the news, the story of our times, by speaking about immigration, injustice, human rights, and his own views on politics. Touring, travel, moving about, the adventurous side of all this, the intimate aspect, curiosity, expectation, even fear; travelling is in the chords of Ivano, and in his life, because staying in one place, according to him, is as if one is abandoning life.
He has collaborated with jazzmen such as Trilok Gurtu, Tony Levin, Enrico Rava, and with singer-songwriters such as De
André, De Gregori, Ivan Lins and written songs for Mina, Patty Pravo, Fiorella Mannoia, Gianni Morandi, Ornella Vanoni, Anna Oxa, Mia Martini, Loredana Bertè, Adriano Celentano (this alliance didn’t go down well with some, but there you are). Ivano has also worked for the theatre (the favoured venue for his concerts) and composed music for Carlo Mazzacurati (“Il Toro”, “L'estate di Davide”, “La lingua del Santo” and “A cavallo della tigre”).
But that’s enough of this Ivano in a nutshell. In concert live is his ideal medium, and the public also has the opportunity to really savour many details, meanings, expressed with his words, voice and music, which are inevitably lost in a studio recorded album. His music is always very refined, as are its tones, and this plays a very important role. Very often he has with him excellent instrumentalists and, strangely, his son Claudio on the drums; Marti Jane Robertson has worked with Ivano as sound technician (a role he has also filled with Steely Dan)…that just about says everything. That’s why the well known albums with the “Live” tag (vols. 1, 2 and 3) are essential for acquainting oneself with his music.
In 2006 he brought out “L’Arcangelo” containing the interesting “Cara Democrazia”.
The years go by but Ivano continues to wear that ageless and above all innocent smile (“di chi innocente non è” not at all innocent, as one of his songs goes), and he even may unexpectedly produce a flaming red guitar to reproduce “La Musica Che Gira Intorno”, or other pieces from the past, without ever singing his own praises. Natural, rigorous, measured, and yet capable of stirring up great and extraordinary enthusiasm.