Franco Manzecchi

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Franco Manzecchi

Franco Manzecchi (* 10. September 1931 in Ravenna , Italy; † 25. March 1979 in Konstanz , Germany) was an Italian, acting in Paris Jazz - drummer .


From 1945 Franco Manzecchi learned the craft of dance music from his brother Gino, who was six years older than him, with a great interest in swing music. In 1949 he discovered the bebop . The following year he moved to Bologna, from there the journey continued to St. Moritz and Vienna (where he worked for Fatty George alongside Karl Drewo and Oscar Klein . It is still unclear whether Joe Zawinul was also in at the same time this formation played).

From 1957 he made music in his new adopted home Paris with Tony Scott and Bill Coleman (1 record), Mezz Mezzrow , Don Byas , Bud Powell and Pierre Michelot , Guy Lafitte (1 record), René Urtreger , Lou Bennett and Jimmy Gourley (1 TV recording by Bennett with Elek Bacsik in Paris 1961 and 1 record with the young Philip Catherine in Prague 1966), Jack Diéval with Eric Dolphy and Donald Byrd (radio production, which will be released as a record and CD Last Recordings ), then with guitarist René Thomas (Record “Relaxez-vous avec Jack Diéval”) and also with Lucky Thompson (tour in Italy), Chet Baker (1964 TV recording with René Urtreger at the piano for Belgian television, which was released on CD in 1992 and on DVD in 2006), Dionne Warwick (Belgium, with, among others, Nathan Davis ), Larry Young , Memphis Slim , Johnny Griffin , Studio with André Hodeir (the legendary record "Anna Livia plurabelle" with Jean-Luc Ponty and Michel Portal among others), Stépha ne Grappelli (1 record), the "Trio Michel Roques " with first Henri Texier , then Benoît Charvet and finally Patrice Caratini on double bass (7 records including "Safari", which was awarded the " Django Reinhardt Prize " in 1969) and is highly praised by American critics), Stuff Smith (1 record with u. a. Jan Hammer “Live” in Warsaw ), Dexter Gordon , Hank Mobley , Joe Henderson , Mal Waldron (record in a trio with Caratini), Clark Terry and Ernie Wilkins (record “Live” from the Montreux Jazz Festival 1969), Teddy Wilson , Barney Kessel , the "swingers" and many others.

Manzecchi fell ill at heart, left France, moved to Germany in 1977, where he died two years later (a few weeks earlier he was made an honorary member of the newly founded jazz club in Konstanz ). He recorded one last record in Paris in June 1978, which gained a certain popularity and a new edition was pressed after two years: “Organ” (on OPEN Records), together with Marc Fosset and Patrice Galas and under all three names . With this still new formation he made one last recordings with Johnny Griffin for French radio a few weeks before his death . Franco Manzecchi left behind a wife and two children (the son Patrick Manzecchi is now himself a respected and renowned jazz drummer in Germany).


Franco Manzecchi is a drummer on the French jazz scene who is almost forgotten, but whose contribution to modern jazz in Europe in the 1960s should not be underestimated (excessive touring and recording activities for radio and television throughout Europe, but also North Africa and the Middle East ). Beautiful, smooth sound on the cymbals, melodic solos with a lot of elegance and swing, highly valued by all colleagues for his qualities as a sideman. Memphis Slim and Johnny Griffin are said to have called him their favorite drummer in Europe. Also respected by the drummers Kenny Clarke (who recommended him to Bud Powell ), Art Blakey (who gave him his hi-hat), Elvin Jones (who served him a memorial concert) and his long-time friend Max Roach , whose ideas and developments he was uses convincingly.

Discography (excerpt)

  • André Reweliotty et son orchester jouent des inédits de Sidney Bechet (1959) EP
  • Bill Coleman (1960) EP
  • Guy Lafitte Jazz Sextet (1962) EP
  • Relaxez Vous Avec Jack Diéval Et Son Quartette (1966) LP
  • Chet Baker Quintet Brussels 1964 (1992) CD / (2006) DVD
  • Eric Dolphy Naima (rec. 1964, ed. 1988) LP / CD
  • Jack Diéval Ambiance Pour Deux Pianos (1964) LP
  • Club du Piano N ° 1: Jack Diéval Présente (196?) LP
  • Geo Daly Avec Stéphane Grappelli: Baroque Up To Date (196?) LP
  • Larry Young: In Paris - The ORTF Recordings (rec. 1965, ed. 2016) LP / 2CD
  • André Hodeir Anna Livia Plurabelle (1966) LP
  • Michel Roques Dédicace (1966) EP
  • Jazz Jamboree 66 Vol. 1: Stuff Smith Quartet (1966) LP
  • Nathan Davis With Georges Arvanitas Trio - Live in Paris - The ORTF Recordings 1966/67 (2019) LP
  • Lou Bennett Trio Ovzeni Jazzohevo Festivalu 1966 (1967) LP
  • En Avant La Zizique (w / Michel Roques Trio) (1968) LP
  • Eraldo Volonte Free And loose (1968) LP / CD
  • Michel Roques Trio Safari (1968) LP
  • Bill Coleman :? (1969) EP
  • Mal Waldron Ursula (1969) LP
  • Clark Terry International Festival Band At the Montreux Jazz Festival (1969) LP
  • Michel Roques Chorus (1971) LP
  • Jean Bonal Guitare Jazz (1974) LP
  • The Fabulous Pescara Jam Sessions 1970-1975 (w / Chet Baker) (1991) CD
  • Patrice Galas / Marc Fosset / Franco Manzecchi Organ (1978) LP

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