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Thread: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

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    Default Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    I acquired several cassette tapes of master mandolin players who lived and played in San Francisco and the Bay Area. I don't think these tracks are available elsewhere. I have been slowly digitizing them and want to make them available on Sound Cloud to those who are interested.

    Here is the first attempt at posting with some wonderful recordings of Lawrence Andrini. I'm stumbling through this process and I'm not very tech savvy. For some reason not all of the Andrini tracks uploaded so I will be trying to get them up soon.

    None of the tracks had titles. I recognized a few of the melodies. If you can identify some of the nameless tracks please let me know what they are.

    The complete collection of tapes includes performances by Andrini and other mandolinists such as Matteo Casserino and Gino Pelligrini who all passed away some time ago.

    If there is interest in these recordings I will continue to make them available as my time permits (it's very time consuming!).

    Enjoy

    https://soundcloud.com/bill-foss-32969476

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Wonderful stuff - grazie! I'm sure I've seen them here at the cafe ... but - somewhere - there are photos of a mandolin player who made a living playing in and around the restaurants on Fisherman's warf. I recall a sound sample as well. Interesting in that he was playing "Funiculi-Funicula" type music on a "F" style mandolin.

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Thanks, Bill!

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Thanks Bill, for sharing! From this kind of recordings we can learn a lot about mandolin playing! Thanks again and best wishes, Alex.

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by billkilpatrick View Post
    somewhere - there are photos of a mandolin player who made a living playing in and around the restaurants on Fisherman's warf. I recall a sound sample as well.
    I don't know who this might have been. I wonder if he could have been a member of one of the local mandolin orchestras?
    Shall I post more tracks? There's a ton of material.

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by billkilpatrick View Post
    Interesting in that he was playing "Funiculi-Funicula" type music on a "F" style mandolin.
    And "Addio Arezzo" on an A-style mandolin?

    Mick
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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Foss View Post
    I don't know who this might have been. I wonder if he could have been a member of one of the local mandolin orchestras?
    Shall I post more tracks? There's a ton of material.
    Thanks, Bill!

    Absolutely....if you can post more there are many of us who would love to hear (and learn from them). That kind of tremolo is so awesome. So great of you to share this stuff.

    BTW, I had forgotten how much I enjoy "Oh, Marie" from your first batch. Going to have fun playing that again tonight.

    Mick
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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    And "Addio Arezzo" on an A-style mandolin? Mick
    Could you whistle a few bars? ...

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Great to hear these tracks.
    I often find many more recent players (including myself) don't approach this type of music with the required brash 'in your face' gusto that really brings them alive. It's great to hear these as a reference for just how much you really have to throw yourself into them.
    Bravissimo.
    Really appreciate your efferts here Bill.
    Eoin



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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    and "addio arezzo" on an a-style mandolin?

    Mick
    lol!

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Absolutely....if you can post more there are many of us who would love to hear (and learn from them). Mick
    OK, I'll post more as my time allows. I'm glad there's interest in this music.

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Foss View Post
    The complete collection of tapes includes performances by Andrini and other mandolinists such as Matteo Casserino and Gino Pelligrini who all passed away some time ago.
    Thanks, Bill. I will give a listen and see if I can label anything. I have the Silent Fountain LP I bought new when it came out. I also downloaded all the sound files of Matteo Casserino's music that Bruce Zweig made available on this web page. I know there are some Caffe Trieste live tracks there but it sounds like your collection is different.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Thanks Jim, a majority of the tracks are nameless, so any help in identification is appreciated.

    The Silent Fountain is a wonderful recording. My first guitar teacher was Gino DiMichele, who was Matteo's main backup guitarist in his later years (although he also played with Tom Marion). Because of this, I was able to hear Gino and Matteo practice quite a bit and that's where I first became interested in the music of the Italian mandolin players of San Francisco.

    The material I have is different from the music Bruce has made available. I have talked to him about the process of digitizing the tapes a bit. We are both so busy that it's difficult to find the time. But when people express interest, it gives me some motivation.

    There is a tape in my collection of Gino and Matteo practicing and it takes me back in time to those days (the late 70s/early 80s). Some of their rehearsals are quite good performances and I will post them too, although the sound quality is poor (they were done on a $10 Radio Shack portable cassette recorder).

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Thanks Jim, a majority of the tracks are nameless, so any help in identification is appreciated.

    The Silent Fountain is a wonderful recording. My first guitar teacher was Gino DiMichele, who was Matteo's main backup guitarist in his later years (although he also played with Tom Marion). Because of this, I was able to hear Gino and Matteo practice quite a bit and that's where I first became interested in the music of the Italian mandolin players of San Francisco.

    The material I have is different from the music Bruce has made available. I have talked to him about the process of digitizing the tapes a bit. We are both so busy that it's difficult to find the time. But when people express interest, it gives me some motivation.

    There is a tape in my collection of Gino and Matteo practicing and it takes me back in time to those days (the late 70s/early 80s). Some of their rehearsals are quite good performances and I will post them too, although the sound quality is poor (they were done on a $10 Radio Shack portable cassette recorder). Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Thanks Jim, a majority of the tracks are nameless, so any help in identification is appreciated.

    The Silent Fountain is a wonderful recording. My first guitar teacher was Gino DiMichele, who was Matteo's main backup guitarist in his later years (although he also played with Tom Marion). Because of this, I was able to hear Gino and Matteo practice quite a bit and that's where I first became interested in the music of the Italian mandolin players of San Francisco.

    The material I have is different from the music Bruce has made available. I have talked to him about the process of digitizing the tapes a bit. We are both so busy that it's difficult to find the time. But when people express interest, it gives me some motivation.

    There is a tape in my collection of Gino and Matteo practicing and it takes me back in time to those days (the late 70s/early 80s). Some of their rehearsals are quite good performances and I will post them too, although the sound quality is poor (they were done on a $10 Radio Shack portable cassette recorder). Here's a shot of Matteo and Gino at one of the Western Regional Folk Festivals about 1978?Check out that Gibson harp guitar!Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Sorry for the triple post! Every time I tried to delete it I wound up with an additional post!!!

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Nice, Bill. Thanks. It's great to have another link into the deep SF Italo-mandolin scene.

    Cool picture of Matteo.

    Hmmm. He seems to be playing an F style arched top mandolin....

    That should provide a little choppy water for rocking a few bowlista boats around here.

    Mick
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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Cool picture of Matteo.

    Hmmm. He seems to be playing an F style arched top mandolin....

    That should provide a little choppy water for rocking a few bowlista boats around here.

    Mick
    Not really, since the F mandolin was designed to be a classical instrument. It was not invented to play Bluegrass - that happened later!

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Not really, since the F mandolin was designed to be a classical instrument. It was not invented to play Bluegrass - that happened later!
    We all know that, David. I was just just jivving you.

    Most of the pictures of Matteo I've seen have him playing a Gibson A-50 (or maybe A-40.) First time I've seen a photo of him with an F model. Can't tell from the photo if it is a Gibson or not.

    I don't really think of Matteo of a classical player. I think I've only heard him play music from the ballo liscio and bel canto songbooks and some Italo-American pop music. That's the stuff I mostly have been into myself over the years. I like to listen to bluegrass music a lot (particularly live.) I just don't really enjoy playing it.

    The SF guys I've admired and tried to learn from: Matteo, Tony Flores, Gus Garelick, all play / played archtop mandolins with the longer scale lengths.

    I'm fortunate enough to have a number of mandolins I enjoy to play regularly: bowlbacks, archtops, canted tops, electrics. I like to hear what I can coax out of the old songs on the different styles of mandolin.

    I'll leave the "great mandolin debate" to you and others.

    Mick
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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Most of the pictures of Matteo I've seen have him playing a Gibson A-50 (or maybe A-40.)
    I don't really think of Matteo of a classical player. I think I've only heard him play music from the ballo liscio and bel canto songbooks and some Italo-American pop music. That's the stuff I mostly have been into myself over th....

    The SF guys I've admired and tried to learn from: Matteo, Tony Flores, Gus Garelick, all play / played archtop mandolins with the longer scale lengths.

    Sorry to be too serious!

    A mandolin is a mandolin. I really don't care if the music is well played.

    And all those great guys were Italian-Americans. Like me. We use what instruments we have, can get, like, whatever.

    I don't care what sort of mandolin we play this music on...just as long as we keep playing it.

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Bill....My husband Gino Pellegrini is on these recordings playing with Nick Sfarzo and Lawrence Andrini and has always played these numbers and actually did the recordings on reel to reel. I can name most of them. #2 is Andalucia or The Breeze and I; #7 is Carioca; #8. Migliavacca, and #10. is Mano a Mano. Hope that helps. I do have many of Andrini's handwritten music arrangements that Gino had in his possession. I also have many tapes. Still trying to get the music transcribed so it's legible. I was prompted to write to you so this is the first time I've been on Mandolin Cafe.
    J.T.Pellegrini

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    I would like to clarify that Matteo Casserino and Gino Di Michele are not playing on any of these tapes. I do have their "Silent Fountain" LP and your list of songs does not include any of them. It seems that the 10 numbers you've listed are of Lawrence Andrini on mandolira, Nick Sfarzo on guitar, and Gino Pellegrini on his Lyon & Healy. Some of the numbers have Frank Andrini on guitar. They met often at Nick's house when Lawrence was not travelling with his brother.
    J.T.Pellegrini

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Sorry to be too serious!

    A mandolin is a mandolin. I really don't care if the music is well played.

    And all those great guys were Italian-Americans. Like me. We use what instruments we have, can get, like, whatever.

    I don't care what sort of mandolin we play this music on...just as long as we keep playing it.
    I know Matteo made at least a few mandolins (he was a cabinet maker by trade). Makes me wonder where they might be???

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    Mrs. Pellegrini, thank you so much for the information! And welcome to the Mandolin Cafe! I know you have been the Director and Conductor of the Aurora Mandolin Orchestra since your husband Gino Pellegrini passed away. If the Cafe members don't know about Aurora they should! Here's the website:

    http://www.auroramandolin.com/

    I had no idea your husband was on these tracks. I hope it is alright that I posted them. I thought it would be a good way to preserve them and share their artistry with other mandolin players.
    According to Sheri Mignano Crawford's book "Mandolins Like Salami" Frank Andrini died in 1969, so that would date these recordings to some time before that. Do you know when they were made?

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    Default Re: Tracks of San Francisco Italian Mandolin Masters

    YES, Bill--please keep 'em coming!
    I just returned tonight from playing with Bruce Zweig and the gang at the Caffe Trieste in Berkeley--a few of the songs from Silent Fountain, as well as 4 Andrini tunes (though none of the ones on your tape). I have several recordings Jo Pellegrini gave me, even a cassette tape Gino gave me of he and Nick Sfarzo playing. I only met Lawrence Andrini once, right before I left for college, but often heard Gino and Nick playing his stuff. It's so great to hear the great man again--please continue!

    BTW: I've played one of the mandolins Matteo made, but unfortunately, it was quite disappointing.

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