The Squid's Ear Magazine

Armaroli, Sergio / Steve Piccolo / Elliott Sharp: What Went Wrong (Leo Records)

The fifth album on Leo Records for vibraphonist Sergio Armaroli, and his second with NY guitarist, saxophonist & electronic artist Elliott Sharp and bassist Steve Piccolo, using lyrical interpretations of jazz standards as a jumping off point for experimental and unusual approaches to improvisation, a unique balancing point in a fascinating collection.

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product information:

UPC: 5024792092420

Label: Leo Records
Catalog ID: CD LR 924
Squidco Product Code: 32036

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: UK
Packaging: Digipack
Recording at White Studio, in Milano, Italy, on October 23rd, 2021, by Raffaele Stefani.


Sergio Armaroli-vibraphone

Elliott Sharp-guitar, soprano saxophone, computer, electronics

Steve Piccolo-vocals, electric bass

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Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Sergio Armaroli occupies a strong position in the Leo Records catalogue. What Went Wrong is his fifth CD and the second with Steve Piccolo and Elliot Sharp. Is it possible to be utterly spontaneous and totally self-governed at the same time?

In this new session recorded in Milan a couple of years after Blue in Mind (CD LR 920). Armaroli-Piccolo-Sharp have used the idea of the "standard" as a pretext for intense improvised interaction, carefully honing what by now has become a very specific, recognisable style that offers great immediacy even when it remains firmly rooted in clear self-imposed structural frameworks. Enjoy Stephen Piccolo's writings in the booklet."-Leo Records

Artist Biographies

"Sergio Armaroli is a composer, percussionist, vibraphonist, teacher and total artist. His actions resonate through various artistic and musical fields, that of jazz being, perhaps, his most practised. He declares himself to be a painter, concrete percussionist, fragmentary poet and sound artist as well as founding his work "within the language of jazz and improvisation" as an "extension of the concept of art"."

-Sergio Armaroli Website (

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"Elliott Sharp is an American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer.

A central figure in the avant-garde and experimental music scene in New York City for over 30 years, Elliott Sharp has released over eighty-five recordings ranging from orchestral music to blues, jazz, noise, no wave rock, and techno music. He leads the projects Carbon and Orchestra Carbon, Tectonics, and Terraplane and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition and interaction.

His collaborators have included Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt; pop singer Debbie Harry; Ensemble Modern; Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Kronos String Quartet; Ensemble Resonanz; cello innovator Frances Marie Uitti; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; pipa virtuoso Min-Xiao Feng; jazz greats Jack deJohnette, Oliver Lake, and Sonny Sharrock; multimedia artists Christian Marclay and Pierre Huyghe; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jajouka.

Sharp is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2014 Fellow at Parson's Center for Transformative Media. He received the 2015 Berlin Prize in Musical Composition from the American Academy in Berlin. He has composed scores for feature films and documentaries; created sound-design for interstitials on The Sundance Channel, MTV and Bravo networks; and has presented numerous sound installations in art galleries and museums. He is the subject of a new documentary "Doing The Don't" by filmmaker Bert Shapiro."-Elliott Sharp

-Elliott Sharp website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Steve Piccolo (USA, lives and works in Milan, Italy). After studying at Bard College and New York University, he began his career in the 1970s playing bass in jazz groups and doing sound/performance in New York art spaces. In 1979 he started the Lounge Lizards with the Lurie brothers, a project which continued for about five years.

Active since the mid-1970s in music, theater, performance art, sound installations, video and film soundtracks. His activities as a musician, composer, artist, curator and teacher have become too numerous, frequent and varied to list them all here. He has exhibited/performed at the Kitchen, Franklin Furnace, Environ, Squat Theater, PASS, La Mama, Issue Project Room, The Stone (all in NYC, from 1979 to 2010), Zona Gallery Florence (1982), Galleria Peccolo Livorno (1982, 2006), Documenta 8 Kassel (1987), La Rada Locarno (1989, 2004), Japanese Institute of Culture Rome (2003), MAMCO Geneva (2003), Palazzo delle Papesse Siena (2003, 2005, 2007), Base Gallery Florence (2004), FRAC Bretagne (2004, 2014), Triennale Milan (2004-05-07-09), Villa Croce Genoa (2005, 2012), Berlin Jazz Festival (1981 and 2005), Technical Breakdown Copenhagen (2005-06), Swiss Cultural Center Milan (2005), Venice Art Biennale (with WPS1, 2005, and with performances in Belgian and Greek pavilions, 2015), Sant'Arcangelo Festival (2005), Itinerario Festival Cesena (2005, 2007, 2014), Galleria Mazzoli Modena (2006), Turchin Center for the Arts Boone NC (2006, with residency), Trinity College Wales (2006), Venice Music Biennial (2006), ArtBasel Miami (2006), Kettle's Yard Cambridge (2006), Babel Festival Bellinzona (2006), Moscow Biennial (2007), MiArt (2007), Swiss Cultural Institute Rome (2007), Spazio Mudima Milan (2007), SoundRes Lecce (2007), Experimenta Arts Festival Alberobello (2007), Performa New York (2007), Istanbul Biennial (2007), Body Process Arts Festival Istanbul (2007), Art Shakes Politics Messina (2007), Spazio Oberdan Milan (2008), Venice Film Festival (2008), Plektrum Festival Tallinn (2008), Venice Architecture Biennial (2008), GAM (now MAGA) Museum Gallarate (2008), City of Bergamo public art project (2008), Casino Luxembourg (2009), Metropolitan Museum New York (2009), City of Piacenza public art project (2009), Neon Bologna (2009, 2010), Parco d'Arte Vivente Turin (2010), Galleria Continua San Gimignano (2010), Loop Festival Barcelona (2010), Novara Jazz Festival (2010), (un)defined festival Merano (2010), Grrr Jamming Squeak Rotterdam (2011), TeatroStudio Scandicci (2011), group show I Miss My Enemies (collateral event Venice Art Biennial 2011), Festival of Imperial Gardens St. Petersburg Russia (2011) Isola Art Center Milan (exhibitions and local activism since 2002), Tirana Art Center (2011), Taller Seite Medellin (2011), Milano Film Festival (2011), Evento Bordeaux (2011), Auditorium Parco della Musica Rome (2012), Contemporary Locus Bergamo (2012), Festival della Filosofia, Modena (2012), MAAXI Rome (2014), Manifesta 10 St. Petersburg (2014), Vienna Secession (2014), Expo Milano (2015), Italian Cultural Institute Bratislava (2015), National Gallery of Arts Tirana, ONUFRI Prize (2016), Vienna Kunsthall (sounds for Nathalie Du Pasquier, 2016), Innsbruck International (with LF Nagler, 2016), Palazzo Reale Milan (VR project in exhibition by A. Pomodoro, with Oliver Pavicevic). Many of these projects were done in ongoing collaboration with Japanese musician/sound artist Gak Sato. Piccolo was sound curator at ArtVerona in 2008 and for the exhibition "Club 21" during Frieze 2010 in London, and curator of the project Chinatown Temporary Art Museum for's participation at InContemporanea Milan in 2008. His collaborations on art video/performance/installation soundtracks include works with Adrian Paci, Luca Pancrazzi (including sound art group DE-ABC with Gak Sato), A Constructed World, Giancarlo Norese, Alessandro Mendini, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Gabriele Di Matteo, Marc Vincent Kalinka, Marzia Migliora, VedovaMazzei and many others. He has published many records (see discography on this website). He has taught art courses at Accademia Carrara Bergamo (2002-2014), NABA Milan (2005-13), and Politecnico di Milano (Piacenza campus). His writings have been published in many international journals, magazines and books, including 4 years of a monthly column for the magazine InSound and curating of sound art pages at the Undo.Net website. Steve was one of the active members of Isola Art Center in Milan (2001-2013), and is currently part of the magazine-collective E IL TOPO (since 2009). Projects for 2017 include a workshop at Galleria Nazionale Rome and a performance at Museo Vincenzo Vela (Ticino). He has founded and curates, together with Sergio Armaroli, a space for sound art and poetry in Milan, ERRATUM, and he is a founding member of the cultural association Città Sonora."

-Steve Piccolo Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. In The Right 1:29

2. Buffalo Bill 4:54

3. The Expedition, Part 2 3:25

4. Slummin' 3:05

5. But Beautiful 2:49

6. Hunting For Parrhesia 5:20

7. The Expedition, Part 1 6:51

8. New Bones 9:01

9. Beautiful Love 2:12

10. Muck 4:00

11. What Went Wrong 5:19

12. File It Away 4:26

13. Dearly Beloved 3:40

Related Categories of Interest:

Leo Records
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Spoken Word
Trio Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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