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Alex Milella
guitar

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Arranger Guitarist and musical Programmer, starts at the age of 6 studying classical piano; at the age of 13 he moves on the guitar, in a private school, to keep up later as a self-taught, with several "live" experiences in the clubs of his home town. Around the age of 18 he perfected himself in his musical studies with jazz and modern harmony, following the specialization classes of Siena Jazz with teachers such as Tomaso Lama, Amedeo Tommasi, Giancarlo Schiaffini, Marcello Piras, and also with the great American guitarist Mick Goodrick.

In July '95 he achieved the technical diploma of Musical Composition, Arrangement and Programming at the Department of New Technologies of the Higher Musical Specialization School of Saluzzo, managed by Corrado Buffa, and assisted by teacher such as Emanuele Ruffinengo, Marti Jane Robertson, Gianni Nocenzi, Giancarlo Gazzani.

He worked together with several line-ups and with musicians such as: Crystal White, Cheryl Porter and Bobby Durham (along with the band "Black & Blues" in the first edition of the "San Nicolas Gospel Festival"); Artur Miles – a relative of Wes Montgomery (with the band "Melting Pot"); Jurgen Seefelder (with the "Variabile Jazz Orchestra" of the Piccinni Conservatoire of Bari); Jenny B. (with the Bari Province's Symphony Orchestra" for the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar"); Luca Cacucciolo, Claudio Colasazza, Nico Marziliano, Davide Santorsola, Pierluigi Balducci, Giuseppe Bassi, Vito Di Modugno, LeoPoldo Sebastiani, Fabio Accardi, Giuseppe Berlen, Mimmo Campanale, Pippo D'Ambrosio, Michele Di Monte, Guido Di Leone, Michele Carrabba, Felice Mezzina, Rocco Ventrella.

He's been teaching for fifteen years as guitar teacher, jazz harmony, dialectics in modern improvisation, history of Rock and computer music, and he he's been cooperating for five years with "Il Pentagramma", one of the biggest and well known Italian music schools.

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Alex you are a VERY talented and obviously a super-guitarist!!! This, in and of itself, was a huge accomplishment!!! Congratulations from me!!!
Steve Khan
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From NbM, we introduce you a young italian fusion guitarist that plays like Allan Holdsworth and Scott Henderson, and dedicates them two tracks played as their style. For who loves this kind of music, a revelation not to miss. Alex Milella axe-man, an outstanding Italian musician feat. Pierluigi Balducci, Giuseppe Berlen, Luca Cacucciolo, Beppe Sequestro, Roberta Carrieri, Michele Carrabba, Davide Santorsola.
IRD News
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Blues on the night: "Alex Milella Blues Quartet"
In a joint work with Jazzitalia and Dixieland Events presents on Friday the 4th of March 2005 at 9:30 pm. the Alex Milella's Blues Quartet.
"Alex is VERY talented and obviously a super-guitarist!!!" This is what Steve Khan cried out listening to Alex's record. A night of blues with energy at top level thanks to music by Robben Ford, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.
The quartet, besides the famous Alex Milella, acknowledged by the critics as one of the best European guitarists, is made by Mino Lionetti (voice and harmonica), Ernesto Losavio (electric bass) and Paolo Galante (drums).
www.jazzitalia.net/viscomunicato.asp?ID=4155
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Alex Milella
Light Shades



REVIEWS:
Light Shades: the great debut album of a talented new italian guitarist
Alex Milella
has faced this first composition and execution performance with great competence and control of the instruments of a musician. He is able to give warmth and enthusiasm, not a simple thing to do in the realm of a musical genre where it's easy to fall in technicalities for the sake of it.
From www.allaboutjazz.com (USA)
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=3918

One often has to wonder at an artist's musical choices, where they might have gone had they taken a different path.
Fusion guitarist Scott Henderson, following his landmark record, Tribal Tech, turned his back on more complex composition, going instead for a more improvised concept where tunes evolved out of lengthy jams. Likewise, guitarist Allan Holdsworth, while as harmonically unique as always, has in recent years eschewed the more overtly lyrical compositions of albums including "Wardencliffe Tower" and "Secrets", going instead for the more abstruse compositions and oblique solo style of "Sixteen Men of Tain" and the live recording "All Night Wrong". Now Italian guitarist Alex Milella, with Light Shades, tries to shed light on where these two artists would be had they gone for more evolutionary development rather than revolutionary change.
While Milella's playing style is unapologetically rooted in the work of both Henderson and Holdsworth, with a smattering of Frank Gambale thrown in for good measure, he's still his own man. Although the opening track, "High Pressure" with its unison riff, synth pads and jazz harmonies, clearly shows what might have happened had Scott Henderson continued with the direction of Tribal Tech, Milella's approach is less orchestral, and less overtly influenced by Joe Zawinul's synthesizer textures. And while Milella clearly has chops to burn, he's less concerned with putting them on display, going instead for solos which tell compelling stories. Likewise, "Signal for Scott" is an unabashed homage to another Tribal Tech track, "Signal Path" but Milella's writing and playing is more controlled than Henderson's, which is sometimes the epitome of reckless abandon "Allan's Worth", with its chorused chordal theme and legato solo phrasing, demonstrates Milella's debt to Holdsworth. But, again, where Holdsworth sometimes leans to excess - but oh, what beautiful excess! - Milella remains more in control. What is great to hear is the combination of legato lines with tasteful whammy bar bends, something Holdsworth hasn't done in years.
While Milella is unapologetic about his musical influences, there are signs of an emerging voice. "Orient Express" begins with a simple acoustic guitar, before developing into a nine-minute tour-de-force that has, in its simplicity and air, a certain Mediterranean flavour. Keyboardist Luca Cacucciolo, bassist Pierluigi Balducci and drummer Giuseppe Berlen provide just the right support, fervent at times, but never losing site of the groove.
Light Shades is, quite simply, a remarkable pedal-to-the-metal first release from Alex Milella, a fusion guitarist who may wear his influences on his sleeve today but, given time, will surely evolve into a personal player with his own distinct voice.
John Kelman for www.allaboutjazz.com (USA)
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=14403

This Country is teeming with talents that, with the passing of years, have shortened the distances with the "Saints" of the other side of the Ocean. Alex Milella, a guitarist born in Bari, doesn't keep away from this reality, making us a present with Light Shades (NbM) a début CD of unquestionable class and maturity, rich with Holdsworthian reminiscences, in a synthesis with a home-grown melodic vein and the cold currents of the complex harmonic patterns. Alex' Steinberger GL, switched off, introduces "High Pressure" that declares the aforementioned intentions, pressing close to a style similar not to the inflated Holdsworth as author of the masterpiece "Metal Fatigue", but to the more recent "Hard Hat Area". The good old Milella keeps from the Allan the harmonic textures and the improvisation fantasy thick with out notes and never ending legatos, but keeps the distance from it for an inclination to the sanguineous wickedness of the blues, and a marked melodic taste.
The acoustic guitar that introduces "Orient Express (Chinese Way)" lets us foresee that Alex definitely doesn't despise more aggressive solutions.
The singing of Roberta Carrieri in "Inside You (Prelude)" further customizes Milella's production, and enriches the tune with tasty voicings played with swell volume. "Allan's Worth" is clearly a tribute to the artist, and Alex draws out all of his melodic-harmonic preparation to go after a tune absolutely worthy of the master.
"Signal for Scott" is the second "dedication" of the CD and declares the other great passion of Milella: Scott Henderson. But regarding this musician, we can say that in his way of playing emerge many tracks of very good guitar culture, from Duane Allman to John McLaughlin to Bill Frisell, all processed and worked out with refined style and technique, sparkling and definitely personal.
The record keeps flowing until "Alti e Bassi", tribal and atonal, almost hypnotic; "Before The" takes the streets sounds and then moves the focus with complex harmonic drawings. "Light Shades", "Oversteppin" and "Inside You" seal a record with sounds maybe a little dated, but for sure extremely well made and a must for all the enthusiasts, that sheds a light on a very good composer and a new great Italian guitarist.
Gianluca Russo for AXE Magazine www.axwmagazine.it (Italy)
http://www.alexmilella.com/axe.pdf

A lot of musicians are quite sensitive when it's about supposed influences, afraid as they are to be called a clone or unoriginal. Apparently Alex Milella from Italy hasn't got any troubles with that, since he placed with Allan's Worth and Signal For Scott a tribute to Allan Holdsworth and Scott Henderson respectively on his solo-debut Light Shades. Especially the work of the latter leaves its traces in most of the other tracks too, which is being expressed by many virtuoso though melodic joyous guitar-solos, full of syncopate attacks which are typical for Tribal Tech records like Nomad and Illicit. But it would be going too far to call Millela a clone. His compositions have an own character for sure, by which the exciting structure, the accompaniment of bass and drums which are substantiating the sphere and the refreshing keyboard-play produce an hour of sparkling jazz-rock.
Two songs (the mentioned Signal For Scott and Oversteppin') are being adorned by catchy saxophone-play which causes driving impulses, comparable with Steps Ahead and Weather Report, while the heavy themes in Overstepping, furiously played by guitar and saxophone, equal Mike Stern collaborations with Bob Berg and Bob Malach. For more modest moments Milella lets Roberta Carrieri sing the floating melody of part one of the two-piece Inside You, while he himself lifts this melody into great heights in the second part, which closes the album. Another two-piece is being formed by Before The … and … Light Shades, in which part 1 forms an introvert, partly acoustic introduction on the title-track. In this track Milella produces a different tone, which has more similarities with the unique sound of Shawn Lane. Bassist Pierluigi Balducci and drummer Giuseppe Berlen also get the space to exhibit themselves solo, while the climax is partly being shaped by a strong guitar-loop. A crystal-clear production makes this catchy piece of work complete.
René Yedema per iO Pages www.net4u.nl/io/index.html (Olanda)
http://www.therealallanholdsworth.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1740&start=25

Bari Hi-End 2004
The evening concert is dedicated to the presentation of the first work as a leader from Alex Milella, talented guitarist from Bari, always in search of new sonorities and new musical frontiers. His style takes from Allan Holdsworth and Scott Henderson. But for goodness' sake he's not a clone neither of the former nor of the latter. His improvisation ability can be found whole also in the compositions and the arrangements, signed by the Barese guitarist. Milella performed with the harmonic/rhythmic trio that supported him in the recording studio, made by Pierluigi Balducci at the electric bass, Giuseppe Berlen at the drums, and Luca Cacucciolo at the Fender Rhodes. The topping of this rich quartet were the wrapping licks of Michele Carrabba's sax. Milella's sound is explosive, to say the least, his solos are never affected, but always meaningful, and gifted with a unique brand. "Light Shades" (the title of his first release, label NbM) is played fully. It's involving both in its most soloist aspects that in the ensemble ones that put the focus on a good amalgam formed mostly in the recording studio. The first live performance of the quartet-quintet (Carrabba is a very welcome guest, also in the album) arouses the enthusiasm of the large audience attending the show.
The program, properly organized, also provided for a workshop by Outline, held on Sunday the 28th of November. The work of research, sorting and coordination by Fabio Valenza's Pro.box, granted us to see and hear musical, technical and programmatic paths at peak level. How too often it happens, and I apologize for being repetitive, I hope that these initiatives could draw more and more the attention of both the media and the local institutions.
Alceste Ayroldi for jazzitalia.net (Italy)
http://www.jazzconvention.net/articoli/articolo122.html

Though Alex Milella is a relatively unknown musician, he is one of many artists today that deserve more attention. Lightshades is Fusion at it's best. The CD is filled with music that is complex yet not to "formulary" (as one ProGGnosis member says in describing so many fusion albums these days).
Many fusion releases end up sounding very similar to one another in the opinion of this review and so I find it refreshing to hear something original and and obligation to report to you on it. Lightshades is one such original album. The influances are there of course - who can't hear them in almost any genre and artist today? But the team of Pierluigi Balducci on bass, Giuseppe Berlen on drums, Luca Cacucciolo on keys and guests on various other tracks all do a great job of making this a very synergistic album.
This is simply a fantastic CD. Alex where have you been hiding? Ok, I'm not the best person to describe a CD intricately by pulling it apart bit by bit. I just know what I like and this is definatly one of my favorites for 2004. I hope to hear more very soon.
Larry Marchiony per proggnosis.com (USA)
http://www.proggnosis.com/MUSIC_DBCDInfo.asp?txtCDID=13318

INTERVIEWS:

Jazzitalia Interview (by Alceste Ayroldi)
AXE Interview (by Gianluca Russo)
Interview with Scott Henderson by Alex Milella for Jazzitalia

OTHER LINKS:
http://www.apopsy.gr/t_147/music.htm (Review by Vangelis Aragiannis)
http://stage.vitaminic.it/main/alex_milella
http://truthinshredding.blogspot.com/2005/05/alex-milella-distance-and-desire.html
http://www.jazzconvention.net/italianconvention/italianconvention4.html
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/entity.php?id=5445 (American Web Radio)
http://members.home.nl/m.dam/ (Dutch Web Radio - go to Archive and choose February month 2005)
http://www.bitches-brew.com/Playlists/playlist041204.html (Australian Web Radio)


Per contatti e informazioni:
Alex Milella

email: management@alexmilella.com
web: www.alexmilella.com



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Publishing Date: 30/06/2005



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