Pat Senatore (b), Josh Nelson (p), Mark Ferber (d)
Reference: FSRCD 5051
Bar code: 8427328650519
Ascensione, is the culmination of the many years these three great musicians worked together at Vibrato Club. In the process, they developed a special confidence in one another, which kept expanding to a higher level, like the title tune, which is Italian for ascending. The trio will be performing the songs from the album, which is a combination of their original tunes and jazz standards.
"The first time I played with Josh Nelson and Mark Ferber, I knew they were special. After a career of playing with some of the best in the businesstoo many to mention here but a few great ones like Joe Pass, Joe Henderson, Eddie Harris, Joe Farrell, Freddie Hubbard, Cedar Walton, Alan Broadbent, George Cables, Billy Higgins, Carmen McRae, Peggy Lee, Anita O'DayI knew it would be fun to record with them.
Both of them could be my sons and you know how hard it can be to communicate with your children. Yet when I play with these guys, its timeless. I benefit from their musical youth and I hope they benefit from my many years of playing with greats. I know they like to hear my stories.
They make me feel connected to my younger self.
There was a long interval between the two sessions we did and time for us to evolve even further after the many times we played together. Never rehearsed. Just spontaneous playing, much like I did at my club, Pasquales, and at Vibrato with all the famous players that have played there.
Jazz to me is the now. Each time you play is a different experience, and at the worst, it is superb. Its a form of communication like no other, and unless youve done it, theres no way to explain the feeling of being in the moment. I think thats why we make the commitment to this music. The passion, the hours of practice, and all the other sacrifices we make are rewarded when we walk off the bandstand and people are touched by what we play. They feel the intensity.
The groove as we call it. This is the ultimate reward and what keeps us addicted to the devotion of reaching the supreme high of being in the zone. This is why so many of my peers literally continue to play until they leave this planet and hope to continue in the hereafter. How lucky we are to have this form of expression. Its unique.
As for the music on this CD, we opened and closed with two compositions by the late Michel Petrucciani, one of the most exceptional musicians I have known in my life. Sahara and The Prayer are two examples of his beautiful soul. Con Alma is one of Dizzys most famous tunes. It features a drum solo by Mark, then a fugue by piano and bass that opens into Joshs solo. A Change in the Wind by Josh Nelson is an example of the extent of his development as a composer, among his many musical talents. In his piano solo you become aware of his classical chops as well as his writing skill.
Positano Blues is a tune we used to warm up, Lets play a blues. This tune evolved after I returned from a vacation in Positano, one of the most beautiful places on earth. While the name may seem like an oxymoron, it shows you can have the blues anywhere.
Next is my tune Ascensione. Josh and Mark nailed this tune the first time we played it. One take. Why mess with it? While writing this tune, the melody kept reaching higher and I felt a sense of ascendingthus ascensione.
Minority by Gigi Gryce starts out as a vibe. We dont play the melody. Josh starts blowing and we support him on his journey. Finally in the last chorus we state the melody with Joshs reharmonization that takes the tune to another place. I loved his creation. Night Dreamer is by Wayne Shorter, the only true genius I can say Ive known in my life so far. We both grew up in Newark, NJ, a few blocks from each other and went to grammar school and to Arts High School together, where we were both Music and Art majors.
Theres no way I could do a CD without one of his tunes. I could have picked any one and it would have been the best on the CD. We played All the Things You Are in 3/4. Its a different feelmore spacey and open. We closed with Michels The Prayer. I hope this CD is uplifting, an Ascensione and I pray that you enjoy this CD and jazz forever.