Based out of Durham, North Carolina, multi-talented musician Gary Brunotte draws on his years of experience as an organist and pianist to create Manic Moments, a unique blend of jazz that defies generic categorization. The disc encompasses moments of straight-ahead blowing, funky grooves and soulful Latin vibes to create an intriguing musical landscape.
Manic Moments succeeds at being original through Brunotte's imaginative composing and arranging. Most notably the title track, an original up-tempo blues with a Blood, Sweat and Tears-type horn intro, and "Mas Que Nada, the Jorge Ben Brazilian classic, featuring the Durham Children's Choir.
While the primary focus of the disc is Brunotte's organ playing, he also displays his prowess as a pianist ("You and the Night and the Music ), accordionist ("Sometime ) and vocalist ("Agua de Beber ). Regardless of instrument, his approach is aggressive and commanding, yet sensitive to the spontaneity of the other musicians. His organ solos move from ultra-greasy ("That's All ) to Larry Young-inspired intricacy ("Slightly Blue ).
Brunotte's supporting cast is dynamic and versatile, adapting easily to the session's many stylistic shifts. Rock-solid drummer Bill Berg propels each groove with intuitiveness and finesse. With tight comping and creative soloing, guitarist Scott Sawyer displays a thorough understanding of the organ trio genre. His well-developed solo on the title track is a stand-out of the session. Brunotte's Chick Corea-inspired samba, "Chickish Tinge, showcases the lucid blowing of Jim Ketch on flugelhorn, Glen Ingram on tenor saxophone and Gregg Gelb on alto saxophone. Other memorable moments include electric bassist Damon Brown's bop-influenced solo on "Bridgemix and acoustic bassist John Simonetti's lyrical serenade on "Sometime.
Manic Moments unravels into a comprehensive, well-conceived representation of an artist with a provocative vision. Brunotte's music finds pleasure in its influence while pushing forward through broad-minded inspiration.
Track Listing: Mas Que Nada; Manic Moments; Agua de Beber; You & The Night & The Music; Bridgemix; That's All; The Peacocks; Chickish Tinge; Sometime; Slightly Blued; Mas Que Nada (Unplugged).
Personnel: Gary Brunotte: organ, piano, accordion, vocal; Bill Berg: drums; Scott Sawyer: guitar; Damon Brown: electric bass (2, 5, 8, 10); John Simonetti: acoustic bass (4, 9); Jim Ketch: trumpet, flugelhorn (2, 5, 9); Glen Ingram: tenor saxophone (2, 5, 8); Gregg Gelb: alto saxophone (2, 5, 8); Scott Hill and the Durham Children's Choir (11).
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.