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About 2017-10-08T11:00:34+00:00
BRUSKERS GUITAR DUO

Since 2003 these things happened

BIOGRAPHY

Eugenio Polacchini and Matteo Minozzi, the Bruskers Guitar Duo, have been defined “two leading figures in the motley world of guitar” and “a source of inspiration for guitarists”. Molded by the classical (Eugenio) and modern (Matteo) music worlds, they use jazz as a common ground and their repertoire covers traditional jazz standards and soundtracks in addition to original songs.

Based in Modena, Italy, the Bruskers have been invited to international guitar festivals such as Acoustic Franciacorta, South Bay Guitar Society Festival, Plovdiv International Guitar Festival, Sarzana Acoustic Guitar Meeting, Madame Guitar Festival, Pizzicar de Corda, Arte a 6 Corde, San Benedetto Guitar Festival. They have also performed in theaters, auditoriums, and summer festivals.

Ever since they began playing together in 2003, the duo has recorded three albums for the label “Fingerpicking.net”: “Guitar Sketch” (2009), “Addition” (2011) and “Four Hands Party” (2016) .  All the records have been sold in all European countries, America and Japan, receiving many praises from Italian and foreign music press.

The Bruskers Guitar Duo has played in Italy, USA, China, South Korea, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Hungary and Portugal as a duo or as soloists in the Lybra Guitar Orchestra. Besides their concert activity, Eugenio and Matteo are also guitar teachers.

They are the authors of the book series “How to play Guitar Duos”, published by the Italian publisher Fingerpicking.net.

Matteo Minozzi and Eugenio Polacchini are the artistic directors of the “LybrAcustica Guitar Festival, a concert series that combines classical and modern music.

CD reviews

FOUR HANDS PARTY (2016) – REVIEWS

Eugenio Polacchini and Matteo Minozzi, the “Bruskers Guitar Duo”, have just released “Four Hands Party”, their third excellent album, following the leitmotiv of “Guitar Sketch”, dated 2009, and “Addition”, all edited by the worthy label fingerpicking.net.
Praising the masterly technique of these two guitarists, as already written in reviewing their second album “Addition”, is almost unnecessary. They succeed in facing the repertoire with a stunning simplicity playing with nonchalance some of the pieces which made the history of music in the 20th Century. We are put in front of their very personal point of view of the everlasting “Summertime” by George Gershwin – one of the most reproduced pieces ever – or of another standard like “Yesterdays” by Jerome Kern, or even their version of Sting’s ballad “Fragile”. But there’s still a place for Italian music: Renato Carosone, for example, or Fiorenzo Carpi with his original compositions written for the film “Pinocchio”, which are so beloved by many jazz players and which thanks to the 4 hands of the Bruskers Guitar Duo get new colors and shades.
However the album contains not only reinterpretations, but also two original compositions and even the covers of two traditional Korean songs. Minozzi and Polacchini indeed are very well known in the International guitar environment, where they have built a very strong reputation thanks to their albums as well as playing their music around the world. The same music which during years has not lost its early freshness, living rather a maturing and improving process resulting to the Bruskers being one of the most interesting guitar duos on the run. Well done!

In spite of the suggestions their name reminds to, the acoustic music of the Bruskers Guitar Duo would probably loose its peculiarities if played along the streets, forced between noise and inattentive listening.
“Four Hands Party” – entirely based on the interaction between the guitars of Eugenio Polacchini and Matteo Minozzi – expresses indeed the most intimate aspect of the genre. It contains 11 pieces: jazz standards, rearrangements of exotic standards, and original compositions.
The liner notes leads us in case we want to enjoy ourselves gathering their style and instrument diversities (Polacchini is mainly on the left channel while Minozzi is on the right one). The whole album is actually built around a continuous creative interplay between the two superb musicians. In some cases rhythm patterns and solos are more discernible (as in the reinterpretations of the jazz standards “Yesterdays” and “Summertime” for example), while some other pieces are articulated as guitar conversations, overwhelmed by emotions in its most delicate shadows (as in the mini suite “Music from Pinocchio” or the exquisite “Arirang” – nothing less than a Korean traditional song).
Thanks to the synergy of instrumental ability, harmonic sensitivity and rhythmic research “Four Hands Party” succeeds in definitely emerging in the world of acoustic duos, which has several prestigious preexisting examples. “Four Hands Party” is a perfect lesson in which feeling and musical technique merge perfectly. And what’s more is that not only experts are going to enjoy it!

Eugenio Polacchini and Matteo Minozzi, the Bruskers Guitar Duo, are two guitar virtuosos who have just released their third album: “Four Hands Party”. This is the turn of some representative authors of the 20th Century. Their skillful hands perform with a colorful touch some eternal standards like “Summertime” by George Gershwin or “Yesterdays” by Jerome Kern, up to some classical to be like Sting’s “Fragile”, not to forget Renato Carosone or Fiorenzo Carpi with his pieces for Pinocchio, collected in a very original and persuasive suite.
This album contains furthermore some original compositions, which prove the creative skills of the two guitarists, and the reinterpretations of some traditional Korean standards.
But what’s most striking in this album, apart from the eclectic and ample repertoire of the guitar duo, used to playing all over the world, is the wonderful synergy between the two guitarists, which makes their exhibitions intense and brilliant, full of ironic shades and reinterpretations in a Bob Brozman’s way.
Nothing to do but browse their web-site looking for live dates, in which they will surely confirm the fine impressions left by the album.

Il loro secondo disco, “Addition”, mi era particolarmente piaciuto per come era stato affrontato il repertorio, ed anche dal vivo Eugenio Polacchini e Matteo Minozzi mi avevano piacevolmente convinto per l’intelligente approccio verso la musica per chitarra: serio, impeccabile ma anche ironico e pertanto molto originale, “alla Bob Brozman” per capirsi. E questo nuovo lavoro, “Four Hands Party” prodotto sempre dalla Fingerpicking Records conferma tutta la positività fin qui espressa dai due chitarristi. bruskersguitarduo_largeAnche in questo disco c’è una grande varietà nella scelta degli autori dei brani: da Sting (presente anche loro precedente lavoro) a Renato Carosone, da Jerome Kern a George Gershwin, riletture non pedisseque ma personalizzate grazie anche alla padronanza dello strumento ed a quella voglia di giocare con gli spartiti che non guasta mai (vedi l’interplay in “Tu vuo’ fa l’Americano” o i temi da “Pinocchio” di F. Carpi). E poi ci sono i brani originali, come “Tu hai torto, io ho ragione” scritto a quattro mani e quelli di derivazione popolare come i due temi della tradizione coreana come “Airang”.
Un duo che piano piano si è costruito una meritatissima credibilità anche fuori dal nostro Paese, come dimostrano i concerti tenuti in Nordamerica, Corea del Sud ed in Germania. Guardate i video disponibili su You Tube e sul loro sito, vi divertirete e vi verrà voglia di approfondire……

ADDITION (2011) – REVIEWS

Matteo Minozzi and Eugenio Polacchini are two guitarists that in 2003 formed this eclectic duo. What makes them heterogeneous are their musical background (‘modern’ for Minozzi, ‘classical’ for Polacchini), the instruments they play (a classical guitar for Polacchini and a silent one for Minozzi) as well as their stage presence: gently fanciful Minozzi and more controlled Polacchini. All these differences merge in a perfect musical blending, where there is no desire of stepping on each other’s feet or attempting to outdo one another. The resulting well-calibrated guitar ensemble tends to sum up the different characteristics of the two musicians, who alternatively play a solo role. And it is probably no accident that their second cd is called ADDITION. It is brand new (December 2011) and like the first one, Guitar Sketch, it’s released by the label Fingerpicking.net. This work contains thirteen tracks: several jazz standards and three original compositions. My attention went particularly to those three, signed by the two musicians. In contrast to the swing-gipsy-bossa spirit Minozzi and Polacchini have demonstrated up to this point, they now show their romantic and intimate side through “Cliffs of Moher”, “La Mamma e il Bambino” and “Dreams of a Black Cat”, which are the proof of how wide-ranging their musical personality is. Listening to the cd is a pleasure, for the most curious of you: you can listen Polacchini to the left channel and Minozzi to the right. Among the tracks you can enjoy innovative rearrangements of some music giants like Sonny Rollins (“Alfie’s Theme”), Quincy Jones (“The Midnight Sun Will Never Set) or Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli (“Minor Swing” e “Nuages”) and an evergreen “Blue Moon” by Rodgers & Hart. The cd ends with a peculiar reinterpretation of a classic pop song: in Sting’s “Englishman in New York” Minozzi plays with its silent guitar while Polacchini plucks a cello producing very interesting bass counterpoints. An extremely tidy, flawless and delightful work, by which you forget the exclusive presence of the two six-strings in favour of the pure and simple pleasure of the music stream. Further information about the Bruskers and several live videos are available on-line at their web site and on fingerpicking.net.

The Bruskers are guitarists Matteo Minozzi and Eugenio Polacchini. Based in Italy, they’ve performed together since 2003, playing concerts throughout Europe as a duo and as members of the Lybra Guitar Orchestra. addition+ is their second CD, which includes three fine originals, some jazz (both standards and rarities), and popular tunes. Improvisation is a key element of everything the Bruskers play (check out “Jersey Bounce” and “Minor Swing”), although their approach to time, dynamics, and harmony reflects their own vision, rather than any dominant jazz tradition (e.g., swing, Latin, gypsy, or smooth jazz). Their attack tends to be fairly soft, and their timing rhythmic without an insistent pulse. This restraint rewards the listener, who will be pleasantly surprised by their charming, inventive arrangements of familiar tunes like “Blue Moon,” “Nuages,” and “Lullaby of Birdland.” Of Minozzi and Polacchini’s three originals, I most enjoyed “La Mama e il Bambino,” which is an unhurried, unabashedly romantic conversation between the two guitarists. Their two other compositions, “Cliffs of Moher” and “Dreams of a Black Cat,” reflect a New Age calm and playful impressionism, respectively. The closing number, Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” is played by Minozzi on guitar and Polacchini on pizzicato cello, and adds some nice variety. The Bruskers’ website offers a slew of great performance and instructional videos and free downloads of selected scores (in February, “Take Five” and “Blue Moon” were offered). This disc offers great music, presented with originality and taste. I recommend it for pleasurable listening and as a source of inspiration for guitarists.

In Mahler’s words “A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.”
Although not a symphony, the analogy comes to mind after listening to the second album of Italian guitarists Matteo Minozzi and Eugenio Polacchini aka The Bruskers. “Addition” contains a suite of 13 miniatures or “movements” harmoniously integrated in an unitary stylistic “world” where classical and modern reach a refined level of fusion. The impeccable connection between the personalities of these 2 virtuoso musicians previously displayed on their first album, is clearly discernible on “Addition” and is not surprising that the result is again enchanting.
Yet there are many surprises on their new album that features nine jazz standards, three original compositions and a pop song. But these numbers do not tell about the essence of expression and clarity of music which is not only enjoyable but also touching.
What is delightful in the first place is the duo’s personal perspective on evergreens such as Kendall Bright’s Bright Boy, played here in an improvisational ingenious free style or the fresh flavored Minor Swing. Lullaby of Birdland receives a subtle bluesy-classical aura while Blue Moon is distilled through a classical filter. Finally a leitmotif from Sting’s Englishman in New York is developped in a clever improvisation.
On the original compositions we can appreciate the duo’s grace and inventivity that goes from a well tempered romanticism on “Cliffs of Moher” to a lyrical-capricious exchange on “Dreams of a black cat” . Notable the heart warming “La mamma e il bambino” a ballad of refined beauty. Yet delicacy does not mean lack of vigour or depth, “Addition” abounds in dazzling colors, rhytm breaks, humorous, joyful exhanges, unexpected twists and turns masterfully balancing composition with virtuosity. A special album for intimate moments.

They seem to be like oil and water, but they go along pretty well with each other. Eugenio Polacchini, classical guitar, and Matteo Minozzi, modern guitar, succeed perfectly in merging two completely different styles. The ‘purists’ may turn up their nose, however, the combination of the two is really working, and although I do not dare to give a technical comment, as I am not a musician, I still have a lot of things to say after listening to “Addition”. The pleasure of playing together creating a dialog within music; choosing a repertoire with several very well-known pieces, which have already been played by a great number of guitarists, without ending in a simple technical exercise; being able to give a clever interpretation: all this comes together in a cd, which is extremely pleasant and attracts you more and more. We can start with a beautiful arrangement in homage to the “Saxophone Colossus” and continue with two reinterpretations of Reinhardt’s repertoire (the two classics “Nuages” and “Minor Swing”), the three introspective original compositions, or even the reinterpretations of Duke Jordan or of Rodgers & Hart up to the final track, a beautiful version of one of the most famous songs by Sting. For the moment we enjoy the three “originals”, but confess the curiosity of listening to an entire cd made up with original creations of Polacchini and Minozzi. In the hope the two musicians manage to make this “Addition” known as it deserves, despite the enormous difficulties of the record distribution industry, selling door-to-door is for sure the best option. In particular, given the beauty of this cd, it is hard to resist and not to buy it after a concert.

Nouvel album “ADDITION” pour Bruskers duo jazz
Aprés leur précedent album “Guitar sketch” les deux compères Italiens Eugenio Polacchini et Matteo Minozzi nous proposent leur nouvel album”ADDITION”.
Du jazz revisité à la sauce “Bruskers”,deux guitaristes qui osent avec beaucoup d’originalité interpréter des standards comme “nuages” “minor swing” et autre “blue moon” une musique joyeuse et tout en finesse, un duo à découvrir.

Amanti del cross-over, udite udite, perché c’è un annuncio importante da fare!
Tutti coloro che non hanno mai immaginato davvero credibile un Sonny Rollins o un Quincy Jones privati di uno dei loro mastri strumenti quale il sax e della propria band, o uno Sting senza Sting alzino la mano, perché è giunto il momento di farvi cambiare idea.
Se in matematica, permutando l’ordine dei fattori il risultato non cambia, in musica, cambiando i musicisti, il risultato è “Addition”, nonché secondo recentissimo lavoro del duo chitarristico modenese Bruskers. Questa formazione è nata dall’addizione di due realtà del medesimo emisfero, che ne fa il vero valore aggiunto: la tradizione classica, di cui si fa portavoce Eugenio Polacchini, e la dimensione non accademica rappresentata da Matteo Minozzi.
Come nel loro precedente progetto “Guitar Sketch” (2009), anche questa volta i Bruskers propongono rivisitazioni di standard jazz e brani della tradizione pop più o meno famosi: da “Blue Moon” di Rodgers-Hart e “Minor Swing” dell’immenso Django sino a “Englishman in New York” di Sting -che per l’occasione sente un inedito Eugenio Polacchini al violoncello- apparentemente del tutto fuori luogo… e invece!
“Lavorare su proprie composizioni inedite è un’esperienza indubbiamente attraente”, sostiene Matteo Minozzi, “e sicuramente ben accolta” viene da ribattere: tanto è vero che questa volta sono ben tre i brani presentati in prima assoluta, di produzione rigorosamente propria. Azzardo? Tutt’altro! “La mamma e il bambino” e “Dreams of a black cat” sono interventi di carattere meditativo che bene sospendono la marcia marcatamente ritmica e incalzante del discorso musicale globale che, oltre a esser egregiamente eseguito, risulta essere molto raffinato e mai banale, soprattutto nel lavoro di arrangiamento.
Meritano infatti una menzione di lode la rivisitazione di “Alfie’s Theme” di Sonny Rollins -che non a caso apre il cd- e una quasi -piacevolmente- irriconoscibile “Blue Moon”.
E chi non si fida delle parole, si fidi del proprio orecchio!

GUITAR SKETCH (2009) – REVIEWS

Matteo Minozzi and Eugenio Polacchini are two excellent musicians, coming from two completely different backgrounds the modern guitar for Minozzi and the classical for Polacchini. They formed the Bruskers in 2003. As suggested by their name, they were fascinated by busking and have taken part to many buskers’ festivals, making experience through Europe. ‘Guitar Sketch’ is their first studio recorded work and it collects the great experences of those years. Exactely the diversity of the two artists is the strength of this CD, which benefits from the tension this difference creates. It is totally based on jazz standards but it is not, and absolutely does not want to be a traditional jazz cd. What it wants is suggesting are new ideas and points of view reinterpreting very famous pieces. They decided to use only nylon strings and this contributes to create very particolar moods, resulting also from the use of modern and percussion-based sounds. The technical level of the two musicians is really remarkable, and reflects the expertise gained through the years thank to the most difficult stage you can face with: the street. The cd is involving, the ideas are very good and also a good groove is there. The sounds of the two guitars are maybe too similar, but this is really a quibble, just for six-strings addicted.

Sometimes the best things are the result of the melting pot between the famous opposites which attracts. In this case the “opposites” are the two acoustic guitarists Matteo Minozzi and Eugenio Polacchini, two musicians coming from two different musical backgrounds who decided to deal with several modern standards in the album “Guitar Sketch”.
The result of the interaction between Minozzi’s classical style and Polacchini’s jazz style are actually interesting. The most appealing characteristic of this work is the quality and the unpredictability of the arrangements, which are always original and dynamic, especially as far as rhythm is concerned. The pleasant jazz solo of Blue Bossa finds its crescendo through Minozzi’s percussions. The two guitarists play then a percussion-based version of the traditional Luis Bonfa’s Black Orpheus.
Brilliant and successful the re-interpretations of the “hard” I remember Clifford (Benny Golson) and of the timeless Take Five.
An enjoyable album.

A really well integrated guitar duo can often outdo quartets such as, oh, the L.A. Guitar Quartet, whose arrangements frequently are lackluster or leave the players stepping on each other’s feet…er, frets. The Bruskers are just such a superior twosome. Eugenio Polacchini and Matteo Minozzi present, in their own satirical words, “unconventional new snob jazz ideas” that are anything but snobby, instead bright and energetic, playful and intelligent, as well as, yes, unconventional (in the sense of extending interplay, trade-offs, deviations) and lightly fusionized—in other words, everything you’d hoped to hear when laying hands on the LAGQ, whose fidelity to the moribundities of the classical realm tend to smother. The Bruskers canon is a book of jazz standards and not-so-standards, plus a cut written by Polacchini. Latinate rhythms predominate as the seasoning of choice, thus we hear Bonfa’s immortal Black Orpheus and Velazquez’s Besame Mucho while bouncing over to the style Al Di Meola took when forsaking his Return to Forever days—travel, in other words, to world musics, though there’s quite a same degree of the ingenuity shown in Guitar Sketch that was demonstrated in the work Al did with McLaughlin and DeLucia as well. Every so often, Kessell and Herb Ellis pop up, as in Little Piece in C for U, but I suspect Polacchini & Minozzi are rounded in their listening diets, as I hear Coryell, Byrd, Catherine, Hall, and others, even hot jazz (All of Me). The recording of Guitar Sketch is absolutely crystalline, every single note pure and undistorted, shining and effervescent, and the two gents’ approach is damn near that of jam bands but with a finessy knowingness most such ensembles are thoroughly incapable of, hence my reference to light fusion (which, frankly, is here more than light but not of the wild 70s Brit fusioneers or Miles). The balance of the core of the originals when weighed against the pair’s interpretations is engrossing and striking. Not Tomorrow, should he hear it, will delight Ralph Towner, whose unique posture is well echoed here, and Take 5 departs significantly from the charts while adding a page to the song’s immortality…but then, every cut of Sketch is a finely faceted diamond of modern craft and intelligence.

On Guitar Sketch virtuoso Italian guitarists Matteo Minozzi and Eugenio Polacchini give a personal expression to a set of ten well-known jazz standards. The album features also a beautiful piece composed by E. Polacchini. It is a surprisingly fresh and energetic guitar dialogue, sometimes punctuated with humour, blending classical and “sketchy” jazz. The beauty of the album as a whole relies undeniably on the clever interplay between the two musicians. Their musical personalities intersect, complete and compliment each other, spontaneously filling the right space, telepathically finding the right tone at the speed of sound. There is no cliché here, their swing is rather impressionistic and warm with an inventive twist to each song that often takes the listener by surprise.

Originally from Modena, undoubtedly moved by a common spirit of research, each belonging to a different musical world: one classical and the other modern, Eugenio Polacchini and Matteo Minozzi are better known as the Bruskers. Authors of an interesting album, entitled “Guitar Sketch”, they have adventured into the re-visiting and at times re-elaborating of a number of jazz classics for two guitars. The resulting style is virtuosic, but never invasive, never circus-like, never saturated as so often happens on entering a territory so open to free interpretation. Polacchini and Minozzi succeed in creating an erudite contrapuntal interlacing without predominating and without breaking the delicate balance that arises from a common vision which on the one hand respects and underlines almost emphatically the structure of the original track and on the other hand re-elaborates it in a very personal manner, almost a trademark one could say, without ever overdoing it. In this way a track designed for a full orchestra such as Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” becomes rhythmically more regular, more variegated and more jumpy and, all in all, more essential; in the same way a classic like “All of Me” develops in a skilful interplay of emptiness and fullness, pauses and counterpoints, losing its characteristic swing progression and taking on instead a multifaceted character enriched by moments that enhance a melancholy seldom seen in previous renderings; while Kenny Dorham’s renowned “Blue Bossa” becomes a kind of samba rebuilt on a rif of stopped notes with a sense of suspense, tension and release. Moving on, the revised version of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” seems to be almost suspended in a vacuum and even more obsessive and hypnotic than ever; the homage to the late trombone player Clifford Brown in Benny Golson’s “I Remember Clifford” returns to its melancholic origins while gaining an original pop interpretation. Highly arousing is the new interpretation of Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia”; most original the intervals that open and close the theme of “Black Orpheus”; delicately touching “Besame Mucho” and “Nature Boy”. The icing on the cake is “Not Tomorrow”, a mysterious track, restless and Hispanic, by Eugenio Polacchini.

This website is dedicated to acoustic guitarists and it’s main objective is to involve fans and music-lovers in growing numbers to create an international community with a common passion: the acoustic guitar. It’s therefore no surprise to see CDs, demos, MP3s and videos arrive on our desks adding new friends and skills to our work. From the range of things we have received, I would like to talk to you about a duo called “Bruskers”. Its members are Eugenio Polacchini and Matteo Minozzi. The CD entitled “Guitar Sketch” is a very interesting piece of work full of “unconventional new snob jazz ideas”. I don’t know the two guitarists personally but I will certainly try to put this right as soon as possible. Fluidity and touch make the Cd a pleasure to listen to and a complete attention-gripper. The choice of the musical arrangements in the different tracks shows definite skill. Gillespie, Bonfa, Petrucciani and Brubeck are only some of the authors who the duo have allowed themselves to cross guitars with. Even though my favourite is “Blue Boss” by Dorham, I must also praise the only original Polacchini, “Not Tomorrow”. Hoping to hear a lot more beautiful acoustic music and looking forward to meeting the Bruskers in one of the Italian Guitar Festivals soon!

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