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Take Five With...

Take Five With Bob Albanese

By Published: August 12, 2009
One Way/Detour, Bob Albanese trio with Ira Sullivan.

It was a spontaneous session. First and second takes, nice piano, great rhythm section (Tom Kennedy, bass, Willard Dyson, drums) and guest Ira Sullivan, who was 76 at the time of the recording in 2008. It was a simple session without a lot of preparation or preconceived notions. I wanted to document the way I play in write in the moment. Ira Sullivan was one of many great artists that I had the opportunity to play with once. I wanted to make it happen again. By virtue of a gig that I was doing in Palm Beach, Florida with the trio backing singer, dancer, stage and screen star, Ben Vereen, we seized the day(s) on our two days off and went in to a newly found local studio in Jupiter, Florida (instead of relaxing by the pool) and recorded One Way/Detour. I chose the title based on an oxymoronic street sign that me and my father and law spotted in Manhattan previously. The One Way going one direction and the Detour sign posted below in the opposite direction. I identify with that sign as a motif for how much of my life and career has gone. The titles on the project are oxymoronic in nature as well, "Ugly Beauty," "Midnight Sun," "Major Minority," "Joyful Noise," "Friendly Fire," etc...

It was picked up by Zoho music label aka producer Jochen Becker and is now in world distribution. It has made it to the JazzWeek charts and is my first official release to have made it to WBGO Jazz 88 radio Newark, N.J. (my home town--- my grandmother had a restaurant, Mama Lucia's Home Style Italian Restaurant, on Bloomfield Ave. for 40 years).

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Oscar Peterson Night Train, Jimmy Smith Home Cooking, Miles Davis Bitches Brew.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

A fresh approach to the mainstream.

Did you know...

Newark, N.J. is my home town—my father played trumpet in the house band at the Adams Theatre, also played with Charlie Spivak (once). My grandmother had a restaurant, , on Bloomfield Ave. for over 40 years.

CDs you are listening to now:

Michel Colombier Old Fool Back on Earth.

Desert Island picks:

Bill Evans, Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside);

Clare Fischer, Salsa Picante (out of print);

Miles Davis, Seven Steps to Heaven (Columbia);

Egberto Gismonti

Egberto Gismonti
Egberto Gismonti
guitar, acoustic
with Nana Vasconcelos, Danca Das Cabecas (ECM);

Stevie Wonder, Innervisions (Motown).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Fertile but often unyielding to the present times. The zeitgeist is present but rarely acknowledged and broadcasted. Jazz education is overrun by politics and is far too ensconced in the agenda of a few.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Openness, public awareness, encouraging of longer attention spans, embracing world cultures and nurturing originality and talent.

What is in the near future?

Solo piano project. small band (quintet, sextet, and up). Cafe Sympatico Large Ensemble.

By Day:

A husband, father.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

A chef, author, photographer, artist.

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