Two new albums I am very proud to have collaborated on with some dear friends. They were both labors of love and I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as we enjoyed making them.
Joe Santa Maria Quartet feat Larry Koonse: The Illustrated Man (self release 2012)
Joe’s gift for melody, harmonic ingenuity and beautiful sound on alto saxophone allow for even his more cerebral ideas to come across with a folk-like clarity. There are no grand concepts or showboating egos here. Just a varied and memorable collection of songs with an original approach to the jazz tradition, a soulfully swinging and subtly progressive sound world. And world class session guitar master Larry Koonse is the perfect foil. For the album’s warm and earthy feel, big kudos must be given to engineer Nolan Shaheed who really made the sound shimmer. He’s played with Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington and was Marvin Gaye’s musical director so clearly this man knows about great acoustic sound. The album has a distinctly West Coast feel, which I hope Joe’s NYC crew finds refreshing.
Vinny Golia Sextet: Abstractions and Retrocausalities (NineWinds 2011)
Vinny is an iconoclastic genius of modern music, up there with Threadgill and Braxton. There is a common misconception among musicians who come in contact with his music that because it is often ridiculously challenging, non-idiomatic, and emphasizes group improvisation that it is not meant to be played correctly. I hope this album serves to dispel any such notions. This ensemble has dedicated the last few years developing a personal group sound as Vinny’s working band with a more groove-oriented electric approach. His music is like nothing else in this universe and this record sounds like none of his other records.