Ermi Bombi (1927-2005)


Erminio Bombi (1927-2005),a great Goriziano, a jazz pianist with extraordinary interpretative skills. Shy, almost shy, the only well recorded testimony of his art that Gorizia3.0 has the pleasure to present to you was thanks - as the good and attentive journalist Giuliano Almerigogna remembers - to a patient work of "pressing" carried out by the musicophile Aldo Miani, who in '78 convinced him to have an excellent reels Revox of Radio Gorizia Uno recorded at home.

It is also thanks to the companion of many adventures, musical and not, Gianluigi Devetag, excellent guitarist in the footsteps of Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt, who has been more than a friend of Bombi and has jealously preserved that tape until now. In Gorizia few now remember a challenge between Bombi and the great Italian jazz pianist Giorgio Gaslini in October 1977, when in an after-concert of the second, the two took turns at the piano of Casa de Savorgnani, trying to outdo each other. After more than an hour and a half, with a lot of savoir-faire, Gaslini declared himself "pleasantly surpassed by an incredible pianist", adding "but Ermi is from another planet, it's like saying Evans, Peterson, Garner, Tatum", and again: "I can hardly believe he has never recorded an album, and that he is hiding here in Gorizia".

Gorizia and jazz: an incredible love, which exploded immediately after the Second World War when the American troops showed from life what that music was like in Italy, with a few valid exceptions. Gorizia and jazz, a love that we hope will not end, is also one of the elements that made Gorizia a real city, with its own distinctive trait, with its own style.

Music meant joy and the improvisation proper to jazz music allowed to vent all the happiness of the tragedies finally ended and the regained freedom. "At that time - says Giuliano Almerigogna, unparalleled expert in jazz and pop music - there were no clubs where jazz was played by Gorizians, but only the "Off limits" bars where the "black and white" boys would meet to listen and play their music, watering with a few beers and a few glasses of whiskey: the only people from Gorizia who had access to the American orchestras were guitarist Tullio Devetag, bassist "Piffio" Rosolen, especially the pianist Erminio Bombi, who became part of the US jazz "tour" and played with various orchestras; in particular he did so in various radio sessions broadcast in half of Europe from a radio station that was located in the building that houses the Ursuline Mothers; from Gorizia jazz, at certain hours, in programs that lasted an hour or so, reached Balkan Europe."

Ermi Bombi,therefore: an exceptional pianist whose great Italian jazz musician Giorgio Gaslini who engaged a friendly "duel" on the keyboard with Bombi eventually threw in the towel "Ermi - said this immense musician - is from another planet". It was the music of Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller, who made not only all the Americans in Italy dance, but "took" many young Italians who wanted to forget the terrible drama of a devastating war and that had lasted longer than it should in Gorizia. After the "Americans" left, Bombi, together with sometimes the more melodic Edy de Leintenburg, became the king of live jazz music in Gorizia. Below you will find some music videos with the rare live reproductions of Ermi Bombi.


We have been able to listen to him in the most unexpected places, without warning; from the first floor of the Teatro atarda notte café to the Osbat pastry shop: he used to play also to tempt his daughter Raffaella, and so it happened when she celebrated her classical maturity with some classmates. Bombi was born artistically in the immediate post-war period, in the period of '45-'47 of peaceful coexistence with the US troops stationed in Gorizia. He also played with Maestro Edy de Leintemburg and his friends were then Italo "Piffio" Rosolen on double bass and Tullio Devetag on guitar. At that time there were no clubs where jazz was played by the people of Gorizia, but only "offlimits" bars where "black and white" guys met to spend their evenings listening to their music full of warmth and rhythm, watering it with some beer and whisky. The only people from Gorizia who had access for their talent in U.S. orchestras were Ermi Bombi, who was invited in '47 for his talent to go to the States where he would find golden bridges and instead decided to continue with friends in his Gorizia, guitarist Tullio Devetag and double bassist "Piffio" Rosolen.


Bombi there was the most prepared of all, even of the U.S. talents present among the troops and stood out in a band of 16 elements led by Marshal Mr. Horns, professional musician. It was the music of Basie, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller, who made not only all Americans in Italy dance, but also "took" many young Italians who wanted to forget with a bit of joy the terrible drama of a war that had brought us to our knees. Gorizia, cool city After the "Americans" left, Bombi, sometimes together with the more melodic Edy de Leitenburg, became the king of live jazz music in Gorizia. The great friend and guitarist Gianluigi Devetag said about him: "the evenings, after the radio station directed by a Hawaiian captain was closed and dismantled, they moved to clubs such as the reading circle in Via Morelli, the Lanterna d'Oro in the castle and others". Thanks to Gianluigi, the guests of the city, distinguished musicians, did not miss: we remember the two evenings of '69 and '70 with Modern Jazz at UGG and Verdi, the legendary concert of Quartet Earl "Fatha" Hines in December '74 at Verdi, that of Franco Cerri at Verdi, Enrico Intra (with De Piscopo) and Giorgio Gaslini on the same evening of '77 at UGG: These appointments by the Salvemini club never missed Ermi Bombi, who had the opportunity to duet with John Lewis of MJQ, Hines and, as said, Gaslini and others, always receiving the sincere compliments of these Big, struck by the precious touch and great imagination of Bombi and incredulous that such a talent did not sound like a professional all over the world.

Gorizia Jazz