When you hear that Alan Pasqua
has put out a new record, the first thoughtother than perhaps happinessis what genre are we talking about? Pasqua has worn many hats in his career. To his credit, he looks quite fashionable in any of them. Maybe you think of fusion Pasqua, who mixed it up with the genre's finest, from Tony Williams
to Allan Holdsworth
. Perhaps it is the highest order of straight ahead jazz with the likes of Peter Erskine
on the classic live 3 Nights in LA
(Fuzzy Music, 2019). Then again, maybe paying homage to the great Bill Evans
with Twin Bill: Two Piano Music of Bill Evans
( BFM Jazz, 2011). The versatile Pasqua also plays with Bob Dylan
, in 2020 completing another work with the prolific songwriter, Rough and Rowdy Ways
(Columbia). That is just tip of the iceberg of a discography that also showcases a skill set and pension for personal solo records.
Yes, it is the latter on the docket here. Day Dream
(self produced, 2020) allows Pasqua to breathe and share his take on a unique collection of works from Rodgers & Hart to Duke Ellington
to Bill Evans. The title track establishes a mood to do just thatdaydream that is. This collection of songs are as personal in the manner in which they are played as in their selection. Some are quite well known classics, such as "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered." Others such as "Old Cape Cod" and " Turn Out The Stars," while familiar to some, were more welcome as selections that fit the mood, as opposed to simply playing the hits. In all, Pasqua played ten pieces that fit together like a glove in this dream sequenced stroll.
A highlight for sure was rolling seamlessly into "Smile" without skipping a beat from the "In The Wee Small Hours" lead in. This connection, although smooth, more importantly featured some of Pasqua's most nuanced playing. You get the vibe that he is transfixed into the moment and carries you with him. Evan's "Turn Out The Stars" is also played, not surprisingly, with passion and reverence. In fact, a smoldering inner glow is apparent throughout the record.
The recording has the feel and sound of a man alone with only his thoughts and his Steinway. This, in fact, was the setting. What we have here is not a performance. It is the true essence of a man in a quiet and undisturbed room. Although "In a Sentimental Mood" is not among the tunes on the play list, it well describes Pasqua's emotions and the ambiance in the air. Finishing with "The Sounds Around The House" and "When I Grow Too Old To Dream" well represent the reflective zone he was in this night. Listening to this record is the rare opportunity to experience the joy of being a fly on the wall in Pasqua's personal space.
Day Dream; Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered; In the Wee Small Hours/Smile; Old Cape Cod; Polka Dots and Moonbeams; Upper
Manhattan Medical Group; Prelude To A Kiss; Turn Out The Stars; The Sounds Around The House; When I Grow Too Old To Dream.