MP3 Dan Lamaestra and One Step Up - Just A Thought
A modern jazz collection of originals and standards for jazz piano trio, quartet, and quintet featuring Dan Lamaestra, pianist/composer.
11 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo, JAZZ: Bebop
“Just a Thought”, the debut recording by jazz pianist/composer Dan La Maestra and his group, “One Step Up” on Tangent Records, features nine fantastic east-coast jazz musicians, including Marty Nau, Tom Palance, Glenn Wilson, Paul Pieper, Peter Fraize, Rob Holmes, Peter Revell, and Dominic Smith. The album features 5 original compositions by the leader, one original by guitarist Paul Pieper, and a variety of standards arranged by La Maestra for his group in a trio and a quartet format.
Of the CD, Cadence magazine wrote, “…Just a Thought is just good listening…”, and, “…..a recording that just hits the right chord…”, and The Washington Post wrote, “..Just a thought…invites repeat plays…”, and “…is spacious and shimmering…”.
The concept from the start was to feature his piano in various different musical situations, from post-modern bop to good old-fashioned blues and ballads, all the while leaving plenty of space for the other musicians to play.
The title track, “Just a Thought”, was arranged for septet by saxophonist and bandleader Rob Holmes, giving La Maestra a colorful cushion over which to expand on the main themes of the piece, and it features some amazing blowing by Rob, Marty, Glenn.
“A Delicate Balance” and “A Colorful Tangent”, both by La Maestra, are quartet outings, and feature some beautiful dynamic interplay between the piano and the sax. The idea was not to “swing” in the traditional sense on these cuts, but to “ride the waves” of the music, to follow the “ebb and flow”, and to let that be the forward momentum of the group’s performances.
“One Step Up” and “RUMI-nations” are the other originals on the date. The former (and the group’s name-sake), features the burning sax of Peter Fraize, from Washington DC. It was composed, in it’s completion, late one inspired night in 1997 after hearing fellow pianist George Colligan and his group perform at the DC jazz club, “One Step Down”.
The rest of the program features several different arrangements of standards, the most notable being the trio’s reading of the Sinatra-vehicle “All the Way”, a sentimental yet touching song about commitment, and “Laverne Walk”, an Oscar Pettiford tune included here to feature the amazing and soulful young bassist, Peter Revell.
Born in Argentina and raised in both the United States and his home country, Dan La Maestra brings a diverse set of musical influences to his music, ranging from classic swing-era jazz of the mid 20th century and European classical music to authentic and modern Argentinian Tango and Brazilian bossa-nova. A classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist as well( guitar and bass), he is comfortable in a large variety of musical situations, from solo piano in a lounge to featured soloist in a large jazz orchestra, and just about anything in-between.
As a sideman, composer and/or arranger, Mr. La Maestra has recorded 18 projects with different artists in the past ten years, including “The Brightest Star” and “This is New” with vocalist Patty Mckay for Peppermint Records, “Live at Blues Alley”, “Live at the Lyceum”, “The Lady Sings Jazz”, and "The Essence of Me", with vocalist Nia Olabesi for D.E.M Enterprises, “Half-past Swing” with jazz vocal quartet “Uptown”, his own critically acclaimed CD debut as a leader, “Dan La Maestra and One Step Up…Just a Thought”, featuring 5 of his own compositions with various arrangements of standards, and most recently, “Island Life”, “Old Friends”, and “Slow Dance” for nationally known smooth-jazz guitarist Ken Navarro, as well as appearing as keyboardist and as the composer of “Open Road” on “Every Moment”, the 2001 smooth-jazz debut CD release of Cincinnati sax giant Randy Villars for Positive Music Records..
He has also perfomed with the likes of Bob Mintzer, Jerry Bergonzi, Jim Snidero, Ken Navarro, Eric Marienthal, Nelson Rangell, Gary Grainger, Slim Man, Blues Webb, Patty Mckay, Nia Olabesi, Ron Holloway, The Tom Cunningham Orchestra, Rob Holmes, Loston Harris, Carmen Bradford, Sunny Sumpter, and numerous other musicians and bandleaders, as well as shared the stage with the likes of Joe Sample, Kirk Whalum, Boney James, Brian Culbertson, Tower of Power, George Benson, Spyro-Gyra, and other great artists at major Jazz festivals around the country.
In the fall of 2000, Dan toured the United States as the keyboardist with The Smooth Grooves Tour, featuring Ken Navarro, Eric Marienthal, and Slim Man, playing for huge audiences across the country.
Since 2002, Dan has held the prestigious position of Pianist with the internationally renowned Navy Commodores Jazz Ensemble. After an arduous audition process, and nine trying weeks at Navy Boot Camp in Great Lakes, he secured the spot and became Active-duty Navy, permanently residing in the Washington DC area.
In addition to his jazz music, Dan also writes and performs pop and rock music as a guitarist and singer with “The Sarah Croker Band”, playing Dobro, acoustic guitar, and keys. Her Debut album is due sometime in the late summer of 2006. Be sure to look for it here on CD Baby.
A prolific composer and arranger, Dan is working on the music for his next CD, featuring a number of original big band compositions and arrangements. It is expected to be out sometime in 2007 on Tangent Records.