Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Since the '70s, Sicilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Stefano Maltese has worked in a variety of situations ranging from solo to large ensembles including strings and unusual instruments like harmonica and glockenspiel. He has actively explored the interaction between writing and improvising, and followed his own personal path inspired by music, literature, and other arts, independently arriving at results similar to those reached by musicians of other post-jazz environments, such as Chicago's AACM and Amsterdam's ICP Orchestra. Similar to John Tchicai or Roscoe Mitchell, Maltese is very much his own man, and his aesthetics stem from jazz as much as from the rich artistic and philosophical heritage of his beloved Sicily.
In 1987, Maltese set up the first orchestra that grouped avant-garde musicians from different areas of Italy, a forerunner to the Italian Instabile Orchestra. In 1990, he created the Open Sound Ensemble to which he invited musicians from different areas of the world (Living Alive, Leo 2000), and in 1993, organized the As Sikilli Ensemble (the Sicilian in Arabic) to play his own articulated suites (Seven Tracks for Tomorrow, Dischi della Quercia 1997). His impressive CDs in duo with Marilyn Crispell on Black Saint (Red and Blue) focus on open improvisations, as does the ad hoc quartet with Evan Parker, Keith Tippett, and Antonio Moncada (Double Mirror, Splasc(h) 1996). He regularly collaborates with excellent vocalist Gioconda Cilio, a major song stylist and improviser (Sounds of My Soul, Dischi della Quercia 1995) and performs solo (Good Morning Midnight, Splasc(h) 1998). In his town of Syracuse, he promotes the Labirinti Sonori Jazz Festival.