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"The Assassins è per me una nuova formula di quartetto, un progetto che eredita l'approccio compositivo del mio precedente gruppo Skrunch. The Assassins, grazie alle specifiche caratteriste dell'hammond, si apre adesso certe influenze a sonorità più vicine al funk e al jazz. Il lavoro di esplorazione dei materiali tematici è vincolato da schemi poliritmici atti a evidenziare le cellule melodiche, i riff e le modulazioni cromatiche e timbriche. Il rapporto tra scrittura e improvvisazione è dialettico. I vari elementi vanno dunque combinandosi in un gioco continuo di tensione e rilassamento, con uno sguardo alla tradizione e l'altro alla contemporaneità." (Francesco Cusa)

Francesco Cusa thinks of The Assassins as a new kind of trio-quartet.

“The Assassins” is my new quartet formula, this project inherits the same approach towards composition from my previous group Skrunch. Thanks to the special features of hammond “the assassins” moves foward new influences and sounds as funk and jazz music. The themes exploration is strictly to polyrhythmic schemes that aim at underlining the melodic cells, riffs, chromatic and timbre variations. The relation between writing and improvising is a dialectical one. The different elements are therefore mixed following a tug of war shifting from tension to relaxation, from tradition to contemporary music.  (Francesco Cusa)

Also thanks to the features of the hammond organ, The Assassins play around with jazz and funk. The Assassins makes a point of experimenting with polyrhythmic patterns that aim at emphasizing the melodic units and the timbric variations. The Assassins understand the relationship between composition and improvisation as a perpetual dialectic process. This process constantly combines the various elements to create from time to time tension and release, reaching for both tradition and contemporary music.

With the previous lineup (Zanuttini/Pittau, Dell'Anna, Bittolo Bon), The Assassins have featured in important national and international festivals, including Novara Jazz, Tarcento Jazz, JazzWide Young and Acacia Festival in Addis Abeba. In 2012 The Assassins have released their first album "The Beauty and The Grace" by Improvvisatore Involontario-

The Assassins is now composed of Francesco Cusa (drums), Flavio Zanuttini (trumpet), and Giulio Stermieri (hammond organ). Flavio Zanuttini is solo improviser and lead trumpet in a variety of musical situations, from improvised music to punk (Arbe Garbe, Eugene Chadbourne, Kyle Gregory's Abbey Town Jazz Orchestra); Giulio Stermieri is also pianist and composer (Foursome, Orn Ensemble).

The saxophone player Cristiano Arcelli joins The Assassins when they play as a quartet. Cristiano has played in many prestigious festivals (Umbria Jazz, Roccella Jazz, Torino Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center , ...) with some of the most important musicians of the Italian and international jazz scene (Enrico Rava, Joe Chambers, Paolo Damiani, Cristina Zavalloni, ...).

The current lineup performed at Jazzycolors 2013 (Paris, FR), Trentino in Jazz 2013 (featuring flutist Emilio Galante and broadcasted on Italian Radio Tre Suite), Sajeta 2014 (Tolmin, SLO), ZomerJazzFietsTour 2014 (Groningen, NL) besides several clubs, Thelonious Jazz Club in Trieste and Siena Tubo Jazz among others.

Track List

01. Escher
02. Intricate Corvai
03. Oslo
04. Wrong Measures
05. The Act of Killing Music
06. Ending 1
07. Ending 2 


Cristiano Arcelli: alto sax
Flavio Zanuttini: trumpet, electronics
Giulio Stermieri: hammond, keyboards
Francesco Cusa: drums, compositions


Listen here:

On Italian Jazz Music http://www.ijm.it/index.php?view=display&id=500&option=com_music

On soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/francesco-cusa/francesco-cusa-the-assassins-live-at-torrione-ferrara-italy

Video https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL92379E3EAACCCA8F 


Buy the CD (digital download) on cdbaby and on Jazzos (physical disc)