How to put the poetry of a generation of anarchic, eccentric and out-of-the-box visionaries into music. Paolo Fresu has written and played the soundtrack of “The Beat Bomb”, a documentary film on Lawrence Ferlinghetti, one of the protagonists of the Beat Generation, together with Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. “Ferlinghetti” is the name of an album with that music, released on Fresu’s label, Tŭk Music, and it is also a live project.
Fresu turns his attention to a time of great creativity, passion and nonconformism that shook the America of McCarthyism, discrimination, nuclear obsession, and the Cold War. From his San Francisco bookstore, militant publisher Ferlinghetti – a poet, painter and activist – used to publish his beatnik friends’ works, not without some legal troubles.
In “Ferlinghetti”, Fresu plays with his closest collaborators: pianist Dino Rubino and bassist Marco Bardoscia – they have been playing with him since the trio “Tempo di Chet”) and bandoneonist and long-standing musical partner Daniele Di Bonaventura.
Fresu’s music gives a scent of nostalgia: the Sardinian trumpeter feels at complete ease in this mood, and the bandoneon emphasizes it. There is a sense of something precious that was lost with the end of that generation, maybe a poetic and visionary approach to life. There is also the awareness of something that remains: the intellectual concern reluctant to authoritarianism. In this sense, the beat bomb is still not a completely defused device. Fresu and his musicians play notes that nowadays mingle verses and images of that time in an idea of all-encompassing art that makes this project precious.