It’s hard to make a short sum of James Senese’s career. He’s been playing music with passion since ’60, having a leading role in Italy.
At first James Senese was a member of an excellent band, the Showman, together Mario Musella (singer), Elio D’Anna (winds) and Franco Del Prete( drum). They released many records from 1968 to 1970.
After the end of the Showman, James Senese and Franco Del Prete founded the Showman 2, trying both to develop the previous musical language and to keep a deep tie with what previously made.
The result was very effective. After a short break, Senese and Del Prete founded a new band, Napoli Centrale, playing jazz-rock music and singing in neapolitan slang. Two English musicians played with them: Tony Walmsley( bass ) and Mark Harris ( piano ). As a result of this new project, they released a new record, “Napoli Centrale”, produced by Ricordi in 1975.
The fresh sounds recalling Weather Report contributed to their success and the song “Campagna” was in the hit parade for a long time.
After performing in important live happening, the band changed again: Walmsley and Harris were replaced by Pino Daniele (close to Napoli Centrale as “roadie” for a very long time) and by Ciro Ciscognetti. But the success Pino Daniele got as a soloist and the desertion of Ciscognetti compelled the band to change again: they were replaced by Agostino Marangolo (drum), Kelvin Bullen (bass) and Pippo Guarnera (keyboards). After this changes, two new albulms were released: “Mattanza” and “Qualcosa ca nu ‘mmore”
In the early ’80s James Senese played in Pino Daniele’s band, then decided to play as a soloist and recorded 4 very good albulms: “James Senese” in ’83, “Il passo del gigante” in ’84, “Alhambra” (guest musician: Gil Evans) in ’88 and “Hay James” in ’91. Then James decided to found Napoli Centrale again (with Agostino Marangolo, Gigi De Rienzo and Savio Riccardi), did many concerts and two new albulms : “Jescealla’h”, where there are both “old” songs remade with a big intensity and new ones (it’s remarkable the presence of two members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Lester Bowie e Famoudu Don Moye) and “N’gazzatenire”.
At the end of 2000 James released a new albulm as a soloist:“Sabato Santo” published by Polosud. The eight tracks are a trip through jazz and more, a passage to the artist’s soul, the result of a research that brought the artist from Weather Report to Pino Daniele..and everything under the sign of his afro-neapolitan roots.