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Palatino in Marciac

Dee Dee Bridgewater takes us to the southwestern French countryside, two hours from Toulouse, to the village of Marciac. This rural town sits among rolling, sunflower-covered hills, studded with wineries and cellars of armagnac, the regional spirit. During the annual jazz festival in August, Marciac swells with thousands of visitors.

Aldo Romano

A group of JazzSet listeners from WBGO in Newark made the trip to Jazz in Marciac in 2001. One of the best sets they heard was from a French/Italian quartet. Palatino takes its name from the overnight train between Paris and Rome. Aldo Romano (left) from Italy and France leads on drums, with Sardinian-born Paolo Fresu on trumpet, U.S.-born Glenn Ferris on trombone, and Algerian-born Michel Benita, raised in Nice, on bass. Ferris used to work with Frank Zappa in California in the 70s. He emigrated to Paris more than twenty years ago.

Palatino's leader, Aldo Romano, was born in Italy in the 1940s and began his career as a side musician for American beboppers playing in Paris. He continued to explore free music and electric jazz. He introduced the thrilling pianist Michel Petrucciani to the world, and -- like the gifted bandleader he is -- has continuously created and led many wonderful ensembles with repertoires all their own. At the 2004 Montreal International Jazz Festival, he performed with a trio. Wherever Romano plays, the music has quality and is interesting!

Trumpeter Fresu has earned some of the most prestigious jazz awards in Europe, including the Bobby Jaspar Prize and the Django d'Or, and he and Benitez participate in the mingling of jazz and world music, including Vietnamese music, that is such a vital scene in Paris.

JazzSet host Dee Dee Bridgewater lived in Paris for fifteen years, and says she came to appreciate the talents of European jazz musicians like the members of Palatino.

"Down" (Romano)
"Aléas" (Benita)
"Calabrian Nights" (Ferris)
"Variazione" (Fresu
"Country Boy" (Benitz)
"Gush" (Romano)


  • Jazz in Marciac
  • Radio France Internationale article about Aldo Romano

  • Paolo Fresu on the Web
  • Glenn Ferris on the Web
  • Michel Benita on the Web

    Contributions to meet John Stubblefield's medical expenses can go to:

    John Stubblefield
    163 Ludlow St #4B
    New York, NY 10002

    CREDITS Special thanks to Jazz in Marciac's founder and leader, Jean Louis Guilhaumon.

    The recording engineers were Benoit Gegout and Ivan Charbit, with Field Producer Alain Cheiroux of Radio Fance Inter, Executive Producer Andre Dumain.

    JazzSet's Producer is Becca Pulliam, with Technical Director Duke Markos, recording engineer Ginger Bruner of KUNV Jazz 91 in Las Vegas, and Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe III of WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark.

    Copyright 2007 NPR