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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 love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.