Steve Plays Duke

Daniele Ciprì & Franco Maresco

Italy, 110 min, Betacam color, 1999

Directed by : Daniele Ciprì & Franco Maresco

Music : Steve Lacy & Duke Ellington

Production: Cinico Cinema, via Leanti 5, 90141 Palermo, Italy (tel. & fax +30-091-6251946)

The encounter between Steve Lacy and the pair Cipri and Maresco dates back to 1996 when the two Palermo directors made the middle lengthfilm, A memoria, against the background of whose images the American musician improvised with his soprano sax. On that occasion, Cipri and Maresco shot a documentary video in which Steve Lacy himself tells the story of his debut in the world of jazz at first in the role of a photographer and then as a musician. He played Dixieland jazz with musicians of the caliber of Pee Wee Russell and Red Allen. He then tells of his first, fundamental experiences with his masters, Cecil Taylor and Thelonious Monk. On the invitation of Cipri and Maresco, Steve Lacy returned to Palermo in 1999 to pay homage to Duke Ellington on the hundredth anniversary of his birth. In the video Lacy talks of the Duke's music and that of his band (leading off with Johnny Hodges). He tells of the enormous influence that the Duke had over modern jazz. The two directors feel particularly attached to Steve Plays Duke because they conside this shortfilm a very important musical document, in which Lacy interprets, solo and without rhythm section, ten classics pieces from the Ellington repertory. It turns out to be really exceptional again to hear the unmistakable sound of the most important saxophonist in contemporary international jazz.

From "17e Torino Film Festival" - Edizioni Lindau, Torino (1999)


Pasta e patate (1989), Isole comprese (1990), Illuminati (1990), Loro di Palermo (1990), Omaggio a E. (1990), Piu liberi con la mafia (1990), Seicortosei (199l), Addio o a rivederci (199l), Santa Maria (1991), Home (199l ), Stanley's Room No. 1 e No. 2 (199l ), Pel di carota (1991), Verso Vertov: frammenti necropolitani (199l), Martin a Little… (1992), Il corridoio della paura (1992), Muri (1992), Cani (1992), Keller (1992), Blob Cinico TV (1992), Publimania (1994), Ceilito lindo (1995), Lo zio di Brooklyn (1995), Grazie Lua - Breve inchiesta a proposito di Santa Rosalia (1996), A Memoria (1996), Totò che visse due volte (1998), Steve plays Duke (1999), El sentimento cinico de la vida. Dieci anni di Cinico TV (1989 - 1999) (1999).