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Italian Free Jazz Pioneer Mario Schiano Dies at 75

Mario Schiano, an alto and soprano saxophonist considered the father of free jazz in Italy, died May 10th in Rome after a long illness. He was 75. Born in 1933 in Naples, Schiano moved to Rome in the ’60s. In 1970, his Gruppo Romano Free Jazz recorded “If Not Ecstatic We Refund,” often recognized as one of the most important free jazz recordings from that country. Schiano worked groups such as like Musica Elettronica Viva and Nuova Consonanza as well as his own bands, which ranged from trios to large ensembles, and he was a recent member of the Italian Instabile Orchestra. Schiano conceived the Controindicazioni festival, a free jazz event that takes place annually in Rome. He released more than 20 albums as a leader in Italy.

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