Renato Chicco – organ
Stefano Bedetti – sax
Ratko Zjaca – guitar
Marco Frattini – drums
The collaboration between four outstanding artists forms a peerless combination of sax, guitar, organ and drums. The result is stunning in terms of sound and arrangement experimented with rhythmic ideas, texture and space impressed by the artists’ enthusiasm, passion, intensity and warmth. An inspiring, enjoyable, powerhouse of original compositions and standards.
Pianist and organist Renato Chicco studied at the University of Music in Graz, Austria, and at Berklee College of Music in Boston. While living in New York City (1990-1998) he was a member of the Lionel Hampton Orchestra (1991-1992) and pianist and musical director with Jon Hendricks & Company (1991-1997). Being active on the New York scene during that time, aside from playing in clubs like the Blue Note, Birdland and the Village Gate, he took part in radio and TV shows (with Lionel Hampton and Jon Hendricks), performed at festivals and in clubs all over the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. Renato also performed with Lou Donaldson, Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Red Holloway, Al Grey, Joe Williams, Wynton Marsalis, Gary Burton, Milt Hinton, Reggie Workman, Jerry Bergonzi, Steve Grossman, Al Foster and many others. Among his recordings as a leader (on piano) Renato recorded two CDs of his jazz arrangements of Slovenian folk songs and recently one CD as a leader and three as a co-leader on organ. As a sideman he has appeared on over 50 recordings. Renato is currently professor for jazz improvisation at the Music University in Graz and continues to perform all over the world.
As a leader and co-leader:
Renato Chicco & Jerry Bergonzi trio “Spotlight on standards”
Renato Chicco & Flip Philipp, “Hammond & Vibes – Face to Face” (ATS Records, 2014)
Menza-Chicco-Reiter “Non dimenticar” (Alessa Records, 2013)
The European Leaders “Live at Birdland Neuburg” (Barnette Records, 2012)
Renato Chicco Organ Trio “This is New” (Barnette Records, 2012)
Renato Chicco Quartet “Terrestrial” (Goga Musica)
Renato Chicco Trio “Lipa zelenela je”, Slovenian Folk Songs in Jazz (ZKP)
Renato Chicco Trio “Slovenian Folk Songs in Jazz Vol. 2” (ZKP)
As a sideman:
Jerry Bergonzi Quartet “Tenor Talk” (Savant, 2008)
Jerry Bergonzi Quartet “Tenor of the Times” (Savant, 2006)
Jerry Bergonzi Quartet “Live Gonz 1 & 2” (Double Time, 2002)
Jim Rotondi and the Loop “Hard Hittin’ at the Bird’s Eye” (Sharp Nine Records, 2013)
Dusko Goykovich “The Brandenburg Concert” (Enja, 2013)
Flip Philipp “Duffin'” (ATS Records, 2013)
Maaike Den Dunnen “Arrival” (ATS Records, 2013)
Guido Di Leone “Standards on Guitar” (Four, 2011)
Vincent Herring “Ends and Means”
Dave Santoro “The New Standard” (Double Time)
Hendrik Muerkens “Quiet Moments” (Evidence, 1997)
Jon Hendricks and the All Stars “Boppin” at the Blue Note” (Telarc)
Hal Crook/Jerry Bergonzi Quintet “Conjunction” (Konnex Records, 1992)
Woody Shaw with Tone Jansa Quartet (Timeless)
Tone Jansa feat. Woody Shaw “Dr. Chi” (Timeless)
Ratko Zjaca with many critically acclaimed recordings under his name has recorded and performed with some of the most influential musicians in jazz and modern improvised music. He is an innovative musician, who is widely recognized as a technically advanced guitarist. He is known for being a relentless individualist, which is evidenced in his improvisational style. Ratko has had a prolific and extensive session history as a recording guitarist having played on many released recordings. He is a highly versatile player covering many areas of music but is best known for his work in the modern jazz and improvisation idiom. Ratko has released a number of albums as leader and sideman.
Ratko is considered a very gifted stylist, assumes many roles in his macrocosm of music: contemporary guitarist, composer, performer etc. Born in Croatia, Ratko in his early days was attracted by the sound of the guitar, both subversive sounds like those produced by Jimi Hendrix and from the classics like Bach and van Beethoven. He studied and graduated from Zagreb University. In his drive for the necessary knowledge and the enormous need for studies he sought his refuge in The Netherlands at the Rotterdam Conservatory, famous for its studies of modern music. There he could get teachings by well-known masters. He also followed masterclasses and personal courses with Joe Pass, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Mick Goodrick, Mike Stern, Bob Brookmayer, John Abercrombie and others.
Unlike some of his colleagues Ratko is not focusing only on saxophone phraseologies, but is continuously expanding the guitar’s vocabulary within today’s world of music. Whilst improving his performance to create his typical own sound and style, Ratko as a gifted teacher with a loaded teaching schedule, is capable of transposing most advanced phrases and concepts into structures, suitable for every musician. He gives master classes all around the world for guitar and fretless guitar, in countries like Slovenia, the Netherlands, France, Croatia and the United States.
After completing his study at the Rotterdam Conservatory, he also studied at New York University School of Music. He started to work with own group and with American trumpet veteran Benny Bailey. Ratko participated at many international festivals and has been booked for the major club dates at the European and American scene. Ratko has constantly made major efforts to enrich his experience with appearances and recordings. He was also performing and recording with Benny Bailey, Randy Brecker, Gary Peacock, Reggie Workman, John Pattituci, Al Foster, Steve Gadd, Antonio Sanchez, John Riley, Miroslav Vitous, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Jeff Tain Watts, Alvin Queen, Adam Nussbaum, Shawn Monteiro, Denise Jannah, Simone Zanchini , Renato Chicco, Stefano Bedetti etc.
Ratko endorses Mirabella Guitars.
Ratko endorses Godin Guitars.
Ratko uses CP-1A pickups for acoustic guitar from Carlos Juan.
Ratko Zjaca is nominated for best jazz guitarist in South American El Intruso New Creative Music Critics Poll Award for 2010.
The CD “Don’t try this anywhere” has won the Orpheus Award for 2016 – the best Italian production 2015 for jazz music.
Ratko Zjaca Nocturnal Mission Quartet
“The Bag is Packed” – Benny Bailey Group
Ratko Zjaca Quartet live jazz festival
“A Day in Manhattan” – Ratko Zjaca, Reggie Workman, Al Foster
“Live” – Reggie Workman and Jim Cobb Sextet
“Shades of Spirit”, Fretless Guitar Project – Ratko Zjaca and Stanislav Mitrovic
“Crossing The Border” – Ratko Zjaca, Stan Mitrovic, John Pattituci, Al Foster
“Continental Talk” – Ratko Zjaca, John Patitucci, Steve Gadd, Stan Mitrovic, Randy Brecker
“The Way We Talk” – Ratko Zjaca, Simone Zanchini, Adam Nussbaum, Martin Gjakonovski
“Now and Then” – Ratko Zjaca with Simone Zanchini, Miroslav Vitous, John Patitucci, Reggie Workman, Adam Nussbaum, Steve Gadd, Al Foster and others
“Beyond the Lines” – Ratko Zjaca, Simone Zanchini, Adam Nussbaum, Martin Gjakonovski
“Don’t try this anywhere” – Ratko Zjaca with Simone Zanchini, John Patitucci, Adam Nussbaum and Stefano Bedetti
“Life on Earth” – Ratko Zjaca, Antonio Sanchez, Stefano Bedetti and Renato Chicco
Stefano Bedetti began to play tenor saxophone at the age of 14. He discovered jazz music listening to records of Charlie Parker. Other influences include John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Cannonball Adderley, Hank Mobley, Sonny Stitt etc. Giulio Capiozzo (famous italian drummer, cofounder of well-known group Area) was the first to notice his talent and invite Stefano in his group.
Starting from 1995 Stefano played with famous european group Jestofunk, toured with them all round the world for ten years and took part in numerous jazz festivals. Stefano played on three remarkable disks of the group.
In 2004 Stefano joined Marco Tamburini Quintet featuring Billy Hart on drums and Cameron Brown on bass.
Stefano formed his own quartet in 2005 and released his first disk as a leader in 2007: The Bright Side of the Moon. Stefano has proved himself not only as a world class player but also as a gifted composer. The record enjoyed rave reviews from critics, Italian Jazz Awards voted it the best jazz disk of the year.
Over the course of his career he has performed with lots of well-known musicians including Billy Hart, Ed Howard, Victor Lewis, George Cables, Jimmy Howens, George Garzone, Dave Stryker, Billy Drummond, Tony Scott, Barry Altschul, Gianni Basso, Roberto Gatto, Marco Tamburini, Giulio Capiozzo, Antonio Farao, Dado Moroni, Fabrizio Bosso and many others.
Starting from 2009 Stefano performs with his trio featuring Bill Hart / Victor Lewis and Ed Howard.
The band infuses instrumentation with a progressive attitude and modern sound, creating music that is rhythmically and technically complex and at the same time harmonically rich, melodically satisfying, and emotionally compelling.
2015 finds Bedetti entering an exciting new creative phase, with his varied talents showcased on a variety of notable new recording projects.
He has followed master classes in Europe (with Jimmy Cobb, Buster Williams, Benny Golson among others) and overseas at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory in Boston (with Bob Moses, Terri Lyne Carrington, Skip Hadden, John Ramsay, Jon Hazilla).
His activity as a performer and session musician has brought him to collaborate with numerous artists across different styles and genres like George Garzone, Howard Levy, Randy Bernsen, Karen Asatrian, Tom Kirkpatrick, Gianmaria Testa, Darryl Hall, M+A, The Mixtapers, Flavio Boltro, Marco Sabiu and many others. He has contributed to over 30 studio recordings and to several music, theatre and television productions.
He has performed in the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Italy and participated to many festivals such as Glastonbury Festival, Babel Med, Norwich Sound & Vision, Roskilde Festival, Teriaki Festival, To be jazz Festival, Eurosonic Festival, Simple Thing Festival, MTV Days, RDV de l’Erdre Jazz Festival, Fano Jazz, Reeperbahn Festival, Nitra Jazz Festival, Bologna Jazz Festival, Premio Fabrizio De Andrè, Bassano Opera Festival, Crossroads, B.I.A., Premio Tenco, Folkest, Tango Y Mas.