The truth is, I can´t move forward with any more re-releases of the tunes on the Four Sweets CD without writing this piece—at least something—one of the more difficult of a lifetime of writing—about Enzo.
In fact I can´t even find all the different bits I´ve written about him, scattered over years and hundreds of journal pages, never to be resurrected.
I first met Enzo (Todesco, who played drums on my Four Sweets CD) at a gig down at one of the hotels near the airport, where they used to have jazz regularly. I went to see Liz playing (Kinnon, who directed and played keys on Four Sweets) and Hussain was playing (Jiffry, bassist on it), and I knew immediately and finally that those two men were the rhythm people I wanted to work with. I went up to both of them and asked, would you like to record with me? and I told them I was working with Liz, and was familiar with their work from her recent CD (Ms. Behavin´).
They both said yes, just like that~
Enzo was quiet, polite, deeply professional. Gracious, open, but also kind of reserved, always very focused on the work. He was also strikingly handsome. But the stunning effect was indeed his drumming: I think it´s fair to say that both he and I were deeply enamored of sixteenths, rhythm-wise.
Over the years of occasional rehearsals and finally recording, he made it clear that he loved my singing, was totally there for me, as the saying goes.
He once came to an extra rehearsal at my apartment to "fine-tune" the rhythms we had developed, that had evolved from Kirk´s (Brundage) Afro-Brasilian cache.
His energy was always palpable, like a live wire, or coiled, ready to release or to fire his beats.
When the CD was done and I sent him a copy, he listened to it immediately and texted me how much he liked it. I took note of what he said and kept it in my mind, for when I got discouraged.
The last time I saw him, I think, was at the Big Getty, probably in 2014. I had my mom in her wheelchair; he was with his girlfriend—it was lovely to see them. Delightful to see him so totally out of context!
He died of cancer less than two months after my mom died, end of 2016.
I haven´t reached out to anyone in his family. I didn´t know him personally really, although it felt like I did.
If I could, I would open up Chega de Saudade and A Felicidade and turn him way up now.
Enzo, you were a consummate artist, and you are so sorely missed.