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Eric Schugren/Vin Scialla/Brian Charette/Mike DiRubbo: Wake Up!

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Wake-Up! is one of those surprises that jazz lovers live for. The names--four of them on the very well-designed, 1960s Blue Note Records-like cover--aren't top shelf in terms of profile. They might even be completely unfamiliar to the less than fanatical jazz fans. But what a band! What a set! There's just something that says “lacking pretense" about a set of good old-fashioned organ combo sounds. Grant Green, Larry Young, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff are names familiar for organ group releases, beginning with the format's heyday in the late 50s and early 60'sixties. What drummer ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike DiRubbo: Threshold

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New York-based alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo is one of the most recognizable and formidable forces in the jazz world today. A former student of the late great jazz icon Jackie McLean and a fixture in the Big Apple's vibrant jazz scene, DiRubbo is no novice. He has a substantial discography, and experience performing with some of the best players in the world. The adventurous Threshold is the artist's eighth album as leader where--with the exception of Charlie Parker's Bebop classic “Bloomdido"--DiRubbo presents a landscape of fresh new original music, superbly interpreted by the latest incarnation of his swinging quintet.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike DiRubbo: Threshold

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Mike DiRubbo's eight disc as a leader, Threshold finds the ever inventive alto saxophonist in a solidly hard bop environment that is reminiscent of Blue Note records of the 1950s but has a clear modern edge. In addition to leading a superb and sympathetic quintet, DiRubbo penned eight of the nine tracks on this riveting record with a momentum that never slacks from the first note to the last.DiRubbo's acerbic, passionate tone marks his tight and intelligent improvisations that seamlessly arise from the intricate and memorable heads of each composition. His embellishments of the melody on the dynamic ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Mike DiRubbo

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Meet Mike DiRubbo:Born on July 25, 1970 in New Haven, Connecticut, Mike DiRubbo began his musical life as a junior high school clarinetist, and switched to alto saxophone at 12. A primarily self-taught saxophonist, he developed into a talented instrumentalist drawn inexorably to the notion of improvising. At a high school band concert, Mike had the opportunity to perform with the Dwike Mitchell--Willie Ruff duo, an experience that would add to his desire to be a professional musician and also spark his interest in jazz music. In the fall of 1988 DiRubbo entered the Jackie McLean ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike DiRubbo: Chronos

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Piano has always been part of the package on saxophonist Mike DiRubbo's albums. Still, when DiRubbo made his Posi-Tone debut with Repercussion in 2009, he left the piano behind, relying instead on some harmonic underpinnings from vibraphonist Steve Nelson. Now, on his follow-up disc for the label, he moves into different piano-less territory with his first organ trio record. DiRubbo digs in on these nine original tracks, which shy away from organ group stereotypes. DiRubbo penned two-thirds of this material, with organist Brian Charette providing the other three tracks, and the majority of the songs lean heavily ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike DiRubbo: Repercussion

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Over the past several years Mike DiRubbo has made engaging discs for the Criss Cross and Cellar Live labels. On Keep Steppin' (2001), Human Spirit (2003), and New York Accent (2006), the young alto and soprano saxophonist distinguished himself in bands comprised of some of the cream of New York City's straight-ahead players--Jim Rotondi, Joe Farnsworth, Mike LeDonne, and Peter Washington. One of DiRubbo's strengths during two of these sides is navigating the strong, expressive accompaniment of pianists David Hazeltine and Harold Mabern.

The difference between Repercussion, DiRubbo's most fully realized work to date, and its predecessors stems from a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike DiRubbo: Repercussion

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Seven originals among nine songs usually means the music will be fresh. Originality and improvisation are key ingredients to saxophonist Mike DiRubbo's Repercussion.After playing clarinet in his early years, DiRubbo, a native of New Haven, Connecticut, switched to alto saxophone and later studied under Jackie McLean. His associations include Eric Alexander, Jim Rotondi and Michael Weiss. On Repercussion, he is supported by vibraphonist Steve Nelson, drummer Tony Reedus and bassist Dwayne Burno.The title song is an upbeat piece where Nelson's vibes function as a rhythm guitar. Burno's bass line helps carry the piece, likewise with Reedus' ...



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