Sal La Rocca

Sal La Rocca

Musicians | Instrument: Bass, acoustic | Location: Brussels

 Sal La Rocca is a major bassist of the Belgian and European scene. He is the guardian of actual hard bop and post bop, solid and strong. He’s a protector of a mainstream jazz that knows how to reinvent itself, look forward and jostle with the ordinary while respecting fundamentals. Alongside his old accomplice Phil Abraham at the trombone, he’s gathered a new guard of spirited and talented jazz musicians. Nothing beats this ensemble in blowing up an already energetic music, and melodies full of sensitivity. On stage, the incandescent saxophonist Maayan Smith responds to the attacks of pianist Igor Gehenot, while, behind his ‘barrels,’ Umberto Odone beats skins and cymbals. It’s incredible! Sal’s jazz is pleasure in its purest form: good mood that travels along the stage and spills into the audience. It’s a jazz slightly tainted by Latin or Caribbean choruses, but also a jazz full of demands (it remains a music born out of struggles) turned towards optimism. If you don’t like this kind of jazz, then you don’t like life. You’re welcome. Link Here !

—Jacques Prouvost (Jazz In Belgium)

Updated: February 16, 2024

Born: August 20, 1961

Sal La Rocca is originally from Seraing, Belgium, near LIEGE.

He was first a Rock guitarist, but switched to the bass as his instrument of choice after hearing (for the first time) music by several jazz greats. After switching, he taught himself how to play by the age of 23. Over time, he become one of the most "in demand" double bassists in Belgium and in the European theater.

Starting in the mid 80's, Sal has toured and performed with a wide array of musicians on the European continent. The 90's saw him expanding his presence with world tours. His list of celebrity musicians he performed with continued to grow, adding well known names like Lee Konitz, Philippe Catherine and Toots Thielemans to his musical resume. During his career, Sal has recorded on numerous albums.

In 2003, he released his first album "Latinea", included musicians Bruno Castellucci, Peter Hertmans, Kris Goessens and Jacques Pirotton. Around this time, Sal became the official bassist of singer Anne Ducros, playing, recording and touring with her group for several years. He added several jazz greats to his resume, including trumpeter Randy Brecker and pianists Thierry Eliez, Enrico Pieranunzi, Jacky Terrasson and Rene Urtreger.

In 2006, RTB TV Live Recording with : Steve Houben (a.sax), Richie Beirach (p) and Martijn Vink (drs). Live @ Palais Des Congrès – Jazz à Liège Festival. - S.Houben/R.Beirach 4tet

In 2007, he became the bassist for pop rock group Vaya Con Dios. Sal participated in both a European and world tour with the group.

In 2010, he was bassist for the Steve Grossman Quintet (Two Tenors Quintet feat Joe Lovano) performing at the Dinant Jazz Night Festival. The group featured Steve Grossman, Nico Menci, Alvin Queen, Joe Lovano and Sal.

In 2011, he joined the Gregory Houben Quintet, which was comprised of Gregory Houben (trumpet), Pierrick Pedron (alto sax) and Sal La Rocca (bass). Sal met American singer Denise King through French pianist Olivier Hutman. They formed a trio that performed in what is referred to as the Benelux States (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and France.

In 2013, Sal released his second album "It Could Be The End" (featuring a number of original compositions) through Igloo Records. The group was comprised of Lorenzo Di Maio, Pascal Mohy, Hans van Oosterhout and Jacques Schwarz-Bart.

New Album 2018 "SHIFTED" - Sal La Rocca’s new album breathes groove and freedom. His modern jazz with captivating sounds is tinged with avant-gardism. Walloon and Flemish, Belgian and Italian, his group is defined by a multiple identity. The project explores a certain duality. First, by the presence of Flemish and Walloon musicians; then, by the apparent opposition between avant-gardism and tradition. Jeroen and Lieven open doors to unexpected sounds and colors. Sal and Pascal are more anchored in the tradition, while remaining permeable to other sounds. This alliance offers open music, with surprising tones, groove background that recall the hard-bop of the 60s.

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23
Live Review

Live From Brussels: Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Sal La Rocca, Igor Gehenot, Diederniko Kummsels & Makas

Read "Live From Brussels: Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Sal La Rocca, Igor Gehenot, Diederniko Kummsels & Makas" reviewed by Martin Longley


Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège Bozar January 9, 2019 Much of this evening's programme featured compositions that are probably of interest to jazzers, particularly with the presence of George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein, although Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber will doubtless have more crossover appeal than most composers. There was even a rock'n'roll frisson to this night, as acts such as ELP, Tom Waits and Alice Cooper have successfully mauled this raw matter. There ...

71
Album Review

Sal La Rocca: SHIFTED

Read "SHIFTED" reviewed by James Fleming


The saxophone lines snake out of the speakers, rustling the airwaves like a breeze through firs or singing with all the lyricism of the finest vocalist. The double bass's hardwood lays a strong foundation. The electricity of the Wurlitzer piano growls atop that age-old sound, like a lightning storm rolling over treetops. Sal La Rocca's Shifted melds the gentleness of a forest with all the freedom of its animals. The sounds can roam uninhibited and wild. But they all play ...

314
Take Five With...

Take Five With Sal La Rocca

Read "Take Five With Sal La Rocca" reviewed by Sal La Rocca


Meet Sal La Rocca: Sal La Rocca discovered jazz in the early '80s, and switched to double-bass, which he intensively explored on his own, taking Paul Chambers as a model. Instrument(s): Doubl-bass, electric bass, guitar. Teachers and/or influences? Paul Chambers, Sam Jones, Charles Mingus, Scott LaFaro. I knew I wanted to be a musician when... when i was 12 years old. Your sound and ...

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Articles Across the Web

...or were mentioned in an All About Jazz article.

SLR 5|Joker

Sal La Rocca never ceases to surprise us. After the hit album "Shifted", the Sicilian-born double bass player returns with a new and profoundly different project. There is a quintet version of a brand new line-up with Maayan Smith on tenor sax and Noam Israeli on drums. Two Israeli musicians newly arrived in Brussels, whom Sal met during a jam, and whose ardor and energy quickly seduced. On the piano, it is the incomparable Igor Gehenot whose percussive sound tinged with Caribbean tones gives a warm and welcoming music. Phil Abraham, who collaborated on Sal’s latest album, enters the band with beautiful textures highlighting the compositions of Sal La Rocca. These sound groovy, resolutely optimistic. They make you think of the sea, the beach, make you want to dance, hug, laugh ... It feels great at the time when these few words are written ... (Jazz Station BE)

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Sam Jones
bass, acoustic
Charles Mingus
bass, acoustic
John Patitucci
bass, acoustic
Paul Chambers
bass, acoustic

Contact

Publicist

All About Jazz

Management

Christine Verdussen (SAMSA)

Management and booking

CONTACT BOOKING (BE)

Contact

Official Agent : Christine Verdussen (SAMSA)

Christine Verdussen is active in the Brussels publishing world (SAMSA). She also collaborated for many years with the conductor and musician Dominique Jonckheere (1954-2018), both for jazz and rock projects (Bach to rock, Beatles, etc.) and for philharmonic projects (La Musique storytelling, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms) or chamber music. She knows the musical networks where she has made many friendships, which leads her to devote herself to the promotion, distribution, in particular of jazz, classical or mixed musicians.

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contact

[email protected]

Concerts

  Sat, Mar 2
Brussels, Belgium
SLR 5 New Band EX
Sounds Jazz Club
Sat, Mar 2. 8:00 pm
  Wed, Mar 6
Lasne (Ohain) , Belgium
Igor Géhénot New Quintet
Le Rideau Rouge
Wed, Mar 6. 8:45 pm
  Sun, Mar 10
Brussels, Belgium
Little Henny Penny
The Music Village
Sun, Mar 10. 8:30 pm
  Sun, May 5
Liège, Belgium
SLR 5 New Band EX
Festival International Jazz à Liege
Sun, May 5. 8:00 pm
Mar2Sat
Mar6Wed
Mar10Sun

Music

Bicycle

From: Shifted
By Sal La Rocca

Last Kiss

From: Shifted
By Sal La Rocca

Waiting (Lieven Venken)

From: Shifted
By Sal La Rocca

RAGGA

From: Shifted
By Sal La Rocca

Cache-Cash

From: Shifted
By Sal La Rocca

Shifted

From: Shifted
By Sal La Rocca

Osuna

From: It Could Be The End
By Sal La Rocca

Lazy Lion

From: It Could Be The End
By Sal La Rocca

It Could Be The End

From: It Could Be The End
By Sal La Rocca

Season Heat

From: It Could Be The End
By Sal La Rocca

Standpoint

From: It Could Be The End
By Sal La Rocca

Crescent (J.Coltrane)

From: It Could Be The End
By Sal La Rocca

Insomnia

From: It Could Be The End
By Sal La Rocca