Jason Yeager Trio, "Ruminations"

"The tunes on this album are elaborated through improvisation into fuller compositions, taking on new and distinct characteristics as the trio continues to develop its musical language".
                                                  Jason Yeager ...

 I first heard Jason Yeager on Emily Wolf's "Nevermine", he now has this wonderful CD..............
I have two ear marks I like to apply to trios, one they must sound like more then a trio, and they do.
Two they must share the spotlight and they do. Blending together is a must of course, and again they do.

The Jason Yeager Trio; Jason Yeager, piano, Tal Gamlieli, bass, and Michael Gleichman, drums.

I am not one who uses comparisons to more established artists, but here I must say the Modern Jazz Quartet comes to mind, in that there are some totally new concepts here.

Especially with "Zen Chant". If you like chords coming from all angles and rhythm variations you will love this tune. The bass work of Tal Gamlieli takes you from an almost Tibetan "tweek" to a more traditional
riff to get back to the chords of Jason Yeager's keys. And then a "Zen" like run to conclude a piece that I found to be excellent "jazz for the brain".

The deeper I got into this album, the more I realized this was a case of today's artists keeping the music alive.
Respecting the genre and taking it into the 21st century. Wonderful work!

"Inner Journey" took me back to the progressive jazz era, when guest vocalist Aubrey Johnson
spread her range and vibrato on me, in a Yeager composition. Miss Johnson seems to just reach in and
take the group to a place where she is the guiding force.

"In Pursuit"a piece featuring Yeager is another wonderfully done number that is for the jazz hearted.
More great rhythms that work on you throughout the piece.Yeager is smooth, clean and inventive and this tune will show he is a talent to be heard from.

Trio; Jason Yeager, Michael Gleichman, Tal Gamlieli

The final cut on Ruminations is "Lullaby For A Better World"...A composition of Yeager's that includes strings. Beautifully done! The tune has the strings lead you in to a moving piano riff, and a mix of the two create a sound of just what the title implies, a better world. Piano and cello...a great sound and when the genre is jazz, so much the better. This is the evidence that Yeager is a force on the rise in composition too.
(the strings; Rose Drucker, Marjorie Gere, violins,  Betsy Hinkle, viola and Catherine Bent , cello)

Nine cuts on the CD, all are unique and jazzzz top to bottom.

I asked Jason the two questions I ask everyone;
If you were leaving the planet and could take only one album with you, which would you take?
Jason;  "Speak No Evil" by Wayne Shorter.

If you could play with anyone, who would it be?
Jason; Roy Haynes.

Jason Yeager Trio will be at;   July 16th Amazing Things Arts Center,
                                                                 Framingham, Mass.

by Pete Cataldo follow Pete



Artists in New York, Part II, Greta Panettieri

Greta Panettieri, CD "Brazilian Nights"
Greta Panettieri (Greta's Bakery) was one of my favorite singers in New York City for years.

She has now returned to her home, Italy.

One of the most talented and versatile singers I have ever heard in the Greenwich Village club circuit, has left us, but not only are her friends and followers sad, Greta has a constant Big Apple mania tugging at her from New York as well.

Here is my last review of Greta.

I spoke with Greta last week, I wanted to see how she was doing;

Q; How much do you miss New York?
Greta;  I miss New York City a lot, I feel like I'm more of a New Yorker than an Italian...sometimes I'm so New York sick that I can't think about it!

Q;  I know the way of life there must seem to be in slow motion, how do you stay busy?
Greta; Well yes it's slower but it's got its good sides, Italy is going through some hard times, you must work really hard to get gigs and  "break the wall" and stuff, but as you know art is more inspired during dark times, so there is a lot to do, and it's nice to find out that there is a lot of people that are trying to change things here, so it's not too bad...

Q;  What do you think of your Prime Minister's problems? (I know that answer already)
Greta;  You can post "Astroprincipe" and you'll have an elegant answer...But I'll try to give you some more without getting too nasty ( he can get the worst out of me)...I think the situation got to a very dramatic point, it's clear to everybody that this man is involved not only in corruption scandals, tax evasion (we're talking about millions of euros) sex scandals etc...he's destroying this country, all his ministers are not capable and not even legally eligible to do their job, they are seriously damaging the financial, schools, sanitary work even the postal system...Italy has always had a corrupt political scene but at least the public system worked, they were stealing money but at least they were covering it up. Berlusconi has no shame he can do whatever he wants  under the sun, and still it's really difficult to stop him. I mean it's a complicated matter we could talk about this for hours, they will write history books about this case. Anyway I can't wait for him to go...

Q;  Do you have a circle of friends there like you had here in New York?
Greta;  I am one of those very lucky people that has really good friends spread around the world, and it has been really good to find out that with almost all of my old friends, nothing has changed. It almost feels like we've been in touch all along, even though some have kids, changed career, moved away and came back, you know 11 years have passed...

Q;  How do you find the audiences in Italy?
Greta;  Well there is not one kind of audience anywhere, NYC can be great and can be really rough, and it's the same here, but generally speaking NYC is of course better trained to listen to new sounds, it can be straight ahead jazz or experimental punk, and you will always find someone ready to enjoy it, here you have to work your way to the listener but once you get through of course you feel really special...

Q; So all in all, you are working hard, and bringing your beautiful voice to everyone?

Greta;  This summer is gonna be good since we're playing some great shows, we have 3 days at the Matera Jazz Festival (July 28th thru 30th), we're very exited about this because the person who hired us is a great Italian jazz singer, who is curating some of the best music events in Italy, his name is Gege' Telesforo, check him out, we feel like it's the beginning of a very prolific collaboration, both artistic and business wise.We also have a RAI event (national public television) in August, and that is also gonna be a very exiting event for the band, since we will be the house band for the entire event. I will send you the link to a formal program once it's ready . Oh! I don't know if I told you but we have put together a new EU Greta's Bakery, of course Andrea Sammartino is playing the keys, with the addition of a vintage "synth" that has a killing sound, one of the above old friends on Bass, his name is Daniele Mencarelli and I must say he used to be a talent when he was a teen, and now he's one of the best musicians you can came across ...on drums we found a young Florentinian, Stefano Tamborrino that has one of the most unique drumming personalities I've heard in a long time, and man I played with some good drummers as you know. So at least the band is making the distance from New York more bearable.

I feel good knowing Great and Andrea are working and doing well, but we all here in New York, miss them sooo much!

Here is Greta's "Astroprincipe"
Here is Greta "live" in Perugia, Italy
Here is Greta's page...
by Pete Cataldo...follow Pete


Vividly Dim, EP "Quicksand"

Vividly Dim, EP "Quicksand"
Vividly Dim, an emerging young group that I would like to put you on to...

Once again I found this great young group of talented and unique musicians when I showed up early to review other artists. That is what makes NYC the music capitol of the world. Yes I know there are other cities where there is a lot more recording going on, but neighborhood by neighborhood and for diversity Da Apple is #1.

Their EP is "Quicksand".

Weather it's the soulful seductive sounds of lead singer Chasidy Ryan, blending with the cool but unconventional guitar sounds provided by Joni Stephens, on "Tell Me I'm Wrong"...or...

the more Pop/Punk beat of the final cut "End Of Time", it is evident to me that this mix of young musicians has the potential to produce some profound
sounds, and make their mark on the New York music scene.

The group: Chasidy Ryan, Vocals/writer  .. Joni Stevens, Guitar  .. Donni Lee, bass and 
Ashley Jayde,  drums/percussion.

Here's a bit about them, and another story we love telling about the young artists that work hard to give us all some great music:

Chasidy;  born in Bushwick, Brooklyn, raised in Ridgewood, Queens, her influences were Sade and Janet Jackson.
Ashley;  also raised in Ridgewood, said "Sheila E made me pick up the drums, I love her" 
Donni;  raised in "DUMBO" that's downtown Brooklyn, and was influenced by Kittie and "A Perfect Circle"
Joni;  born in Nicaragua and raised in South Jamaica, Queens, was influenced by Nirvana and The Ramones.

Knowing it would be a difficult question to answer I asked .."what genre are you guys?"
Joni, "man, we've been trying to figure that one out for a while"
Chasidy, "bookers call us "Post Punk", and she's cool with that".
Ashley; "we don't fit any genre, we are not trying to start a movement, we just want to be heard".
Donni; "you can label us whatever you want, we just want to play, and if you dig us, even better".

I say get out and see them, you be the judge and you won't be disappointed!!

They will be @  National Underground, June 10th
                          Goodbye Blue Monday, July 1st
                          Sullivan Hall, July 26th and
                         "The Rew & Who Show" (via ustream) on 7/27.


by Pete Cataldo, follow Pete..


Artists in New York City, Part 1... Emily Wolf

This blog was set up by me to encourage and help in any way I could, young artists.
No genre was excluded except Rap, because I simply don't like the negativity of it.

After all my years (67) I began to notice the lack of consistency, quality, and respect for the artist who blazed trails, and opened doors for the “stars” of today.
Don't misinterpret the above, there are many brilliant musicians, singer/songwriters,
working hard today, leaving a huge mark, making a fortune and doing it with class.

For every one of them, there are many, many others just as talented, working just as hard,
producing some wonderful music. These are the ones I would like to expose you to. a series of articles I will do just that. Every few weeks I'll have a conversation with one of them and I'll share it with you. We'll kick this off with .....

Emily Wolf ;   
Here is my original review of her, back in March.

Q; Emily is from the UK by way of Boston, I asked how she was adjusting to NYC,
and compare it to other cities.

A; “Life in NYC”- I've just been here a few months, and discovered the great thing in NYC is that anything will happen if you let it- you can go out one evening and meet great people, new places, or a whole new scene you didn't know existed.  Forgetting what time it is and never having to worry about what times the trains finish is a huge plus, and makes me question if I could live anywhere else...

Q; Do you get back to England much?

A; “The UK”, I get back to the UK about once a year.  It feels like more because I also get to meet up with my family when they come to the US.  It always surprises people when they find out I'm a dual citizen because I have such a strong English accent, but my parents grew up in the States, so we meet up every year here too!
CD, "Nevermine"

      Q; Your competition around the city, is plentiful, have you seen anyone recently that impressed you?

      A; Singers in NYC are varied and interesting.  I have randomly stumbled across some great ones, for example Kay Lyra, a great Brazilian singer who was playing after me at Caffe Vivaldi.  I had never heard of her but was really impressed by her tone and feel.  Generally the city is so full of talent- so it's hard for people to make a mark, but it's great because you can always hear people who really know what they're doing, and there's something for everyone, as well as some really cutting edge stuff.

    Q; Do you prefer the classic jazz you do so well, or other genre?

A; Classic Jazz... I see Classic Jazz as an essential template for anyone who wants to become an educated and ultimately progressive Jazz musician.  If you don't know where you've come from, how can you know where you're going?  It's important to identify and absorb it so that you can later make an informed decision about how much of it you want to use.  It is a little arrogant to assume you know better than the "Greats", and you also have to take into account what your audience wants to listen to on a night off from work, and their life; nine times out of ten, they won't object to something smooth, swinging and feel-good!
Emily Wolf, CD "Nevermine"
...Other styles' that I am into are R&B, Soul, Latin, Blues, and Baroque music which I feel is intrinsically linked to Bebop.  As many have said before, Bach was the first "jazz man".

Q; What are you involved in now, are you keeping busy?

A; New Projects-  Right now I am writing more, with the aim of recording a full length album within the next year consisting of my own writing and arrangements.  My tunes are becoming part Pop, part Bebop, part Jazz standard as far as I can see, and I'm trying to extend my ideas and really say what I mean.   However I continue to explore Jazz rep, and other tunes that interest me.   I have regular gigs with my awesome Trio in NYC and although I went to school for Jazz I am not done learning! I continue to study Piano and Theory, to keep my brain ticking and my skills growing...

See Emily @  Caffe Vivaldi, NYC, June 18, and LIC Bar, Long Island City, July 25.


 by Pete Cataldo follow Pete at;