Take Five With The Brett Sandler Trio
Meet The Brett Sandler Trio:
Brett Sandler: I'm a classically trained pianist who began studying Jazz in college. I started composing my own jazz tunes after listening to Wayne Shorter for the first time. I love music, movies, and videogames and enjoy spending my time on those three pursuits. I grew up in Rocky Hill CT, a typical suburban town in New England.
Adam Pin: One day I told my mom I kind of wanted to play drums, and a week later she brought home a drum set, and so I became a drummer. I played a lot of music in high school, and then majored in it along with computer science at Hofstra University. I play Frisbee and run and jump around often. I like meeting new people and will someday move away from New York City, although it will be hard to leave a playground of such high caliber musicians.
Peter Longofono, now living in Astoria, NY, hails from a variety of different places, from Germany to Kansas. He didn't encounter serious jazz (i.e., gimmick-less) until his sophomore undergraduate year. He's been trying to make up time since then, with varying levels of success. When not performing/rehearsing, he loves to cook, hike, and especially to read. He'd love to live in Europe and translate German literature someday.
Piano, drums, electric bass.
Teachers and/or influences?
Brett: I've been taught by, David Lalama, Bob Bowen, Rick Stone, Greg Babal, Jen Allen, Robert Dagnaeu. I'm most influence by Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, and McCoy Tyner.
Peter: Mingus, Mingus, Mingus! I would give just about anything to have met him at all. My time with Wayne Hawkins was extremely fruitful, as well as a short period I spent with Latin musicians in a specialized combo. Sink-or-swim situations like that forced my playing to another level.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
Brett: Ever since the day I started playing piano.
Adam: I realized that rhythm made so much sense to me.
Peter: It occurred to me that not everyone walks around all day with automatic music going in their head.
Your sound and approach to music:
Brett: I'm very harmonically focused, I like the interplay between changing chords. I like to find the common tones and weave them back and forth throughout the song. I always like to listen closely to whomever I'm playing with, and attempt to have their sound mesh with mine, fill in the cracks so to speak. I also like repetitive motifs and sounds. For instance, I'm enthralled by the sound of time being kept on a ride cymbal.
Adam: Observe her behavior from a short distance and, when the time is right, serenely embrace her from behind.
Peter: It's all about progressive arrangement for me. Knowing the capability of each voice, and then smashing through the barriers you erect for yourself. Discipline, discipline, discipline is the only way to always know exactly where and how to apply your ideas. One must develop the ability to approach the same material differently in each performance. Improvisationally, much can happen when there's full trust and a good measure of humor between the musicians.
Your teaching approach:
Brett: Fundamentals. You can't build a house without a proper foundation.
Adam: The teacher is more of a guide. It is good to teach strong technical fundamentals to allow the student to grow and adapt without inhibition, but the teacher must also consider the student for who he is and accept that he will take the music in his own direction.
Peter: Be able to sing absolutely everything you're doing. Be able to harmonize everything if need be. Listen for things that are done well in the music you hate. If you can't listen to the classical masters all day without constantly discovering things, you're not letting yourself be creative enough. It never hurts to ground yourself in a genre for periods, as long as the intent is to refresh the whole of your playing.
Peter: This one's always changing, but lately I've had an unsatisfied hankering for standard jazz instrumentation with the capability of lapsing into gypsy jazz at the drop of a hat. I also prefer instrumentalists who double on vocals, and vocal harmony that explores chord extensions thoroughly.