MP3 The Jay Azzolina Trio - Live At One Station Plaza
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7 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo, JAZZ: Jazz Fusion
Jay grew up in Meriden Connecticut in a family whose musical diet primarily consisted of Frank Sinatra , Jack Jones, The Beatles and every other British rock group. At age seven, Jay began taking trumpet lessons from his dad (along with a few years of piano). At around twelve, he got his hands on a harmony guitar from his dad's music store and gradually made the switch from brass to strings. After high school, Jay spent a year at the Hartt School Of Music studying classical guitar with Alan Spriestersbach and Dick Provost before moving to Boston and attending the Berklee College Of Music. While in Boston, Jay had the good fortune of studying with Mick Goodrick, Charlie Banacos and Pat Metheny.
After leaving Boston in 1981, Jay moved to New York and entered a multitude of musical settings. His first gig in New York was with violinist Michael Urbaniak, ushering in the next several years of playing fusion music. During this time Jay worked and recorded with Harvie Swartz, and later SpyroGyra, which earned him a Grammy nomination. In 1989, Jay recorded his first C.D. as a leader entitled Never Too Late, produced by Teo Macero on Antilles New Directions. During this time, the versatile guitarist was also working and recording with artists such as Dave Samuels, Kenny Werner, Fred Hersch, Jeff Beal, David Mann, Ron McClure, Herbie Mann, Chuck Mangione, Jerry Bergonzi, Marc Copeland and singers Michael Franks, Donna Summer, The Manhattan Transfer, Carly Simon and Rickie Lee Jones.
In 1995 Jay received a Masters of fine arts degree from the Conservatory Of Music At Purchase NY. During this time he studied composition with Edgar Grana and began teaching at the Conservatory as well as at Manhattanville College.
In 1997, Jay became a member of the John Patitucci band. This group afforded Jay the opportunity to play more expansive music in the acoustic jazz setting. The groups that John put together for tours were always great, especially the one in Mexico City which included Chris Potter and Adam Nussbaum. In January of 2000, Jay recorded his second https://www.tradebit.comitled Past Tense on Doubletime Records, which included performances by Patitucci, Potter, and Nussbaum, along with pianist Charles Blenzig and singers Jill Azzolina and Julie Eigenberg. This recording of seven original songs was produced by both Azzolina and Patitucci, marking a new period of playing and writing for Jay.
This past year has been a busy year of performing, writing and teaching closer to home. Jay's new compositions have been captured on a live gig at One Station Plaza, in Peekskill, New York. Adam Nussbaum is back on drums along with B-3 organist Gary Versace. This recording entitled, Jay Azzolina Live at One Station Plaza, revisits the classic organ trio with a twist of the unpredictable. Best of all it's live-----------
Live at One Station Plaza is upstate New Yorker Jay Azzolina's third album as a leader. His first, Never Too Late, was released in 1989, the same year he joined the seminal fusion group Spyro Gyra; the second, Past Tense, two years ago, with contributions by saxophonist Chris Potter and bassist John Patitucci. Now more than two decades into a career that has included work as a sideman for musicians such as Michael Franks and Chuck Mangione, Azzolina has spent recent years teaching at several area colleges and honing his craft and modern compositional style.
Comprised entirely of Azzolina originals, this outing is an enjoyable one, more cerebral than visceral, more "cool" than "hot," although with moments of real intensity. Azzolina seems inspired now by Metheny, now by Abercrombie, with an occasional whiff of Schofield; members of the organ trio share an enviable rapport. A bluesy samba opens the set, followed in turn by a driving, ¾-time, fusion-flavored cooker; a lovely ballad (a memorial to his mother); a tongue-in-cheek tip-of-the-hat to John Coltrane; a waltz, written for his daughter; a back-beat blazer; and to take us home, a wry groove dedicated to an unnamed "cranky chanteuse." https://www.tradebit.com
Reviewed by J. Robert Bragonier 52nd St. Review
Best known for his stint with jazz fusion group Spyro Gyra, guitarist Jay Azzolina has recently taken a welcome tangent into the jazz mainstream, with last year's overlooked Past Tense --a crisp, snappy jazz workout featuring Chris Potter's fiery tenor sax and John Patitucci on bass--and now fronting a B-3 organ (Gary Versace) and drums(Adam Nussbaum) on Live at One Station Plaza.
This set has a very different feel to it than the previous CD, with the cool breeze of the B-3 blowing washes of sound behind Azzolina's sharp, clean lines. The set--all Azzolina originals--is energized by the improvisational openess afforded by the backing organ taking over the bass chores. The CD opens with an uptempo blues, "It's All About You", closes with a jaunty, driving cooker with "It's All About Me", gets thoughtful, poignant with "Irene", and tips a hat to Coltrane in the middle with "So Steps the Giant"
Azzolina has spent his time of late close to home for sake of family, teaching and working on his technique and writing, a mode that's obvious paid off.
And the sound: This is a live recording, but you'll have to listen closely to tell. The sound is clean and sharp with the after-song crowd applause set low in the mix; the band is tight, in a loose, flowing sort of way, the performance seamless.
All About Jazz
A former member of the fusion super group Spyro Gyra, guitarist Jay Azzolina opts for a straightahead organ-trio format on his third solo effort. Though his rock-and funk- inspired roots are never far from surface, the more traditional setting allows Azzolina to express more warmth and depth in his playing than he's exhibited in the past.
The dual nature of Azzolina's musical personality is best exemplified by "Peace Of Jack," which features a rock-fueled refrain tempered by a more contemplative theme. Then there's Azzolina's style itself: Often when his long free-flowing lines settle into an easy-going groove, he adds a dose of tension by peppering his solos with bursts of staccato phrases.
Among the highlights is the disc's opening track, "It's All About You," a bluesy number that glides smoothly atop Adam Nussbaum's bossa nova -style rhythms. Another standout track is "So Steps The Giant," a sly interpretation of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" that allows Azzolina and B-3 organist Gary Versace to plow their way through the piece's original chord changes with their personal stamps.
Versace, in fact, serves triple duty as bass player, soloist, and the group harmonic foundation, all the while delivering excellent boppish counterpoint to Azzolina's slick approach. That type of contrast makes the disc rewarding even after repeated listenings.
-John Frederick Moore- Jazziz magazine
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