Thursday, April 09, 2015


Finding opportunities for growth and development are important aspects in the process of evolving as a creative musician. Discovering and tackling new challenges helps to keep music making a fresh and worthwhile occupation for many, including pianist Joey Calderazzo, who found his next test in the form of the piano trio.

Since the beginning of his illustrious career, Calderazzo has mainly played in quartets highlighting remarkable saxophonists, namely greats Michael Brecker and Branford Marsalis. As a musician and composer, the pianist had become comfortable in this format, developing an intensity in his playing and predilections in his composing that the ensemble s size demanded.

Calderazzo saw the establishment of his trio as a means to strengthen his craft by working on material and musical concepts that he would not ordinarily work on. The exclusion of a horn has made a focus on dynamics more important. Calderazzo also began to explore standards again, as he hadn t focused on them since the duo gigs he made as a teenager and there were no opportunities to play them with Brecker or Marsalis.

In light of the progress he has made with his trio, Calderazzo views his new recording Going Home as a snapshot of a work in progress, an experiment that continues to progress and wield an abundance of intriguing results. The recording provided an opportunity for Calderazzo to step away from his natural inclinations and approach the music in a new exciting way.

While a number of musicians have been featured in his trio, Calderazzo employed two musicians whose contrasting strengths pushed the ensemble into fascinating new areas. Bassist Orlando le Fleming instantly became the instigator, continually challenging the group with his harmonic drive. Drummer Adam Cruz was a perfect foil as his controlled intensity and beautiful tone helped to refine the group s musicality.

The music generated by the ensemble showed the musicians desire to balance freedom and responsibility. To stimulate this, Calderazzo intentionally wrote pieces and arranged two standards without too much structure, which created a focus on improvisation and group interplay, features that do not ordinarily stand out in studio recordings such as this. The originals were generally sketches, moods or vibes, which provided a starting point for the ensemble s explorations. ~ Amazon

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