The Art Studio group was established in 1974 but its first record, simply
called as the band itself, was only released in 1977 by the label DRUMS (Art Studio).
This was followed by four LPs for the "Cooperativa Musica Creativa", established in 1977.
Then, in 1987, there was a record with Tiziana Ghiglioni,Onde, presently inserted in the SPLASC(H) catalog, the last work before a long pause.
As you see, quite a scanty production, rationed and commercially marginal, given the uncertain distribution of the small label. Yet the presence of Art Studio on the scene of Italian Jazz was all but negligible: its incisiveness can be perceived even better today, given the happy state of present-day Italian Jazz.
When Carlo Actis Dato (sax), Claudio Lodati (guitar), Enrico Fazio (bass) and Fiorenzo Sordini (percussion) set up their Art Studio in Turin in 1974, Italian Jazz was experiencing an artistic improvement and a growing audience, chaotic as well as fruitful. A new generation of young, talented musicians was quickly making its way: the late Massimo Urbani and Marcello Melis, Bruno Tommaso, Gaetano Liguori, Eugenio Colombo and then, in the second half of decade, Giancarlo Schiaffini and Mario Schiano.
Of course music was brewing more actively in Milan and (above all) Rome, but gradually this phenomenon began to affect other towns, from Bari to Turin. In particular, the historical Swing Club of Turin saw people like Ornette Coleman, Steve Laccy, Byard Lancaster. Just there our four musicians (in 1974, when they were all 18 to 22 years old) began their cereer as the Art Studio, soon drawing the attention of critic Giancarlo Roncaglia.
So even Turin had her avant-garde band. Unlike their colleagues, Lodati and company soon took a very different direction than the prevailing one. Actually, while the Italian avant-garde was shaken by the blows of the most radical free jazz, especially with the Rome group, the Art Studio immediately choosed a more project-oriented line, where composition and a long, considered collecctive elaboration were to become the hub and the guideline of the whole group,
This explains a full three years went by after the establishment of the Art Studio band before their first record appeared, something very strange even then and absolutely exceptional if compared to the frantic production rate of today.
Of course the most typical feature of this group is the tenor sax - guitar sound relationship, exploited in all sorts of different combinations, from unison to dissonant intervals, which add an annoying roughness to the music, wickedly matching some more singable melodies. The other constantly present element is the presence of manifold themes: they are divided into several contrasting sections and developement of pieces often involves a change of ambience and different writing techniques.
Contrast may well be the leading principle of Actis Dato's and Lodati's compositions: composed themes, different rhythms, pauses, wrongfootings, repetitions.
The presence of Irene Robbins since Paralisi in 1981, with her piano and her voice, prevented the groupe from fossilizing on a formula and enabled it to attain new depths. Some quintet pieces on Paralisi and Pensieri undoubtedly rank among the best of the band's whole production.
After the meeting with Irene Robbins, Art Studio touched another important collaboration:Onde with Tiziana Ghiglioni, an artist whose qualities are indisputable.
Done this work, Art Studio melted, but only for few years, because the expressive art of this group couldn't be silent forever, so it was born the record:Off Limits.
Finally, in 2004, for the 30th birthday of the group, another reunion has setted at "Hiroshima Mon Amour" in Turin. From this reunion a new record has issued: Trenta_Live in Torino. Just touch it!