Genre: Jazz
Label: Venus


John Di Martino's Romantic Jazz Trio The Sweetest Sound Single-Layer Stereo Japanese Import SACD

The John Di Martino's Romantic Jazz Trio

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This Single-Layer SACD can only be played on a Super Audio CD Player!

John Di Martino, Ugonna Okegwo & Grady Tate Together on SACD!

Multiple Grammy nominee John Di Martino--composer, arranger, pianist--has recorded many albums for Venus Records with his Romantic Jazz Trio. Noted for his versatility, John has performed and recorded with such notables as Kenny Burrell, James Moody, Joe Lovano, David "Fat Head" Newman, Pat Martino, Paquito D'Rivera and Houston Person.

"In his time on the New York scene pianist John di Martino has established a widely respected reputation as an adaptable straight-ahead player, a sensitive and sought-after accompanist of singers, and, having worked in the bands of Ray Barretto and Bobby Sanabria, among others, a brilliant Latin jazz keyboard artist. How wonderful it is that the versatile di Martino, at last, has gotten the chance to highlight his many gifts in a classic trio setting with two exemplary associates. Ugonna Okegwo is one of the most active freelance bassists working today, and with good reason. For over four decades Grady Tate has served as 'the musician's drummer,' having backed an astounding array of instrumental and vocal talent. Di Martino presents Tate with a rhythmic tour de force on the opening track, infusing Ernesto Lecuona's 'La Comparsa' with a New Orleans street beat. Two other Cuban standards, the rumba 'Drume Negrita' and the bolero 'Historia de un Amor,' receive more traditional treatments, revealing di Martino's experience in and regard for the genre. Jazz musicians know that 'My Melancholy Baby' is one of those tunes—OK, you all may roll your eyes now—but the pianist, supported by Okegwo's clean two-beat feel and Tate's clipped, tightly closed hi-hat time, paraphrases the shopworn melody without a hint of irony or condescension. The trio's handling of 'And I Love Her,' leisurely and languid, until suddenly energized in the coda, demonstrates that there still are many riches left to mine in the Beatles' songbook. Di Martino seems to take inspiration from the title of Luis Bonfa's bossa nova, 'The Gentle Rain,' employing a light touch that makes each notes fall like drops of rain. This lovely track also offers up still more joys of Grady Tate, whose subtle brush work is, at times, more felt than heard. He truly is the 'anti-Buddy Rich,' making his presence known, not as an overpowering or dominating force in the ensemble, or even as a soloist (although he is a wonderful one), but by what he can contribute to enhance the collective performance. You may not always notice Grady Tate when he is there, but you miss him when he is not. The same can be said of Ugonna Okegwo, who, on a straight-ahead, unpretentious treatment of Richard Rodgers' 'The Sweetest Sound,' does exactly what a bassist should do in a trio setting, working in close tandem with di Martino, strengthening and supporting the pianist's elegantly swinging lines. The romanticism of 'John di Martino’s Romantic Jazz Trio' is unbound in 'The Things I Love,' based on a theme by the ultimate romantic, Tchaikovsky, but discreet touches of the blues help keep it real. At over nine minutes, the CD's longest track, 'You Must Believe in Spring,' affords di Martino an opportunity for extended, inspired exploration. Especially instructive is his use of block chords, richly voiced, effectively placed, always an enhancement, never a cliché or a crutch. John di Martino's Romantic Jazz Trio is, in fact, a recording session-generated group, but after hearing this CD you just may think it was a permanent working unit—and you'll wish it was." - Bob Bernotas

• Super Audio CD
• SACD Stereo SACD Layer
• This Single-Layer SACD can only be played on a Super Audio CD Player! It will NOT play on conventional CD Players!
• Made in Japan

John Di Martino, piano
Ugonna Okegwo, bass
Grady Tate, drums

1. La Comparsa
2. My Melancholy Baby
3. And I Love Her
4. The Gentle Rain
5. The Sweetest Sound
6. Drume Negrita
7. In My Solitude
8. The Lamp Is Low
9. The Things I Love
10. You Must Believe In Spring
11. Historia De Un Amor

Recorded at Avatar Studio in New York on August 30 & 31, 2003

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