On the second festival day we had way more time to enjoy everything slowly in Zermatt. We decided to go uphill to the highest event stage located on 3030m over the sea level to hear some fine jazz and face fully to the sun shining down. And who had known… later on I would be very amazed by an artist I should have heard about a long long time already.
But let’s get back to the afternoon first. The Swiss mountains’ tops were waiting for us and I was very excited to reach a height I think I’ve never been on in my entire life. After an initial dizziness because of the superthin air, we were totally in to reach the Gandegghütte, a little hotel and restaurant in the middle of nowhere, just surrounded by the greatest winter wonderland. 20 minutes walk uphill they said. They became around 45. The walk is surely an easy thing for those armed with appropriate shoes and clothes. Not me. Imagine yourself in your normal clothes, including your non profiled city boots, and try to walk up in the snow as fast as you can. That was me feeling like a weirdo passing skier and snowboarders, hoping not to fall straight on my face.
But I knew that it was going to be a very unique experience, and so it was! The british Jazz Ensemble Ronnie Scott’s Allstars are regular guests at Zermatt Unplugged and they’re daily mountain top sessions during the festival are superpopular. It’s easy to see why: the band entertained the cheering crowd and the final set song, a cover of Pharrell’s “Happy”, lead a good bunch of people to get up and funnily trying to dance in their skiing boots. Amazing. A walk up to Gandegghütte is always worthy, even on a normal day. You’ll rarely eat or drink by having around you another outdoor scenery like this. And if I was able to climb up there, you’ll be too trust me.
The sky high trip didn’t consume all our energy. I was very looking forward to see Jack Savoretti‘s show later on. He’s been almost a resident at Zermatt Unplugged, selling out every show. Somehow I didn’t make it before, and somehow, I never heared a single track of this talented guy. I know, shame on me: since I usually have a good perception for upcoming artists, he never crossed anyone of my playlists. Savoretti’s been an insane poet since a young age, and because people listen more to poems when turned into music, his mother put a guitar in his hands one day in order to make the magic happen. Thanks god for that move!
And there I was, entering a dark club venue a couple of minutes too late, with pretty much no idea what to expect. It was one of those classical moments where you know exactly that you’re stepping into something great. You’ll hear a few chords, you’ll get thrown the first lyrics of a song in the face and you’re in, it got you. This is what happens to me when I discover an artist, a band, a dj or any musical being that totally blows me away. This is what music does to me pretty much.
Jack Savoretti is on tour with his album “Written in Scars” and belongs to the category of musicians that should be bigger out there than they currently are. This album seems to be the one that will give him this ride though. “Written in Scars” was inspired by French and Italian artists of the 60s and 70s, including the legendary Lucio Battisti. This guy belongs to Italy’s musical institution, every generation can sing along to most of his songs by knowing every single word. He was able to turn poetry and drama into wonderful melodies, just like Savoretti does. Speaking for myself, I think I might have one of Battisti’s largest LP collection in my livingroom, and I love it. I learned to appreciate his art on a daily basis, it was hard not to since my mother used to play out loud his music across our entire home in South Italy. There was no escape, literally.”Written in Scars” turned out to be a masterpiece of acoustic, folk and sometimes country rythms in combination with gorgeous stories, actually as great as Jack Savoretti’s previous works. And in between uptempo tracks like “Knock Knock” or by singing about “the bruises on his bones”, he wrapped us audience up with hilarious stories happened during his career, by being amazed to play on such a special event like Zermatt Unplugged or by simply showing that he’s just the guy next door, armed with a guitar, who hits our heart.
A special Thank you to Zermatt Unplugged for having me and supporting my trip.
The next Zermatt Unplugged takes place from April 4th to April 8th, 2017. If you can’t make it uphill then visit Zermatt Unplugged Kaufleuten that will be held in Zurich this Fall. More infos here.