6

Dave Pietro: New Road: Iowa Memoirs

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Pietro: New Road: Iowa Memoirs
In 2011, New York City-based saxophonist Dave Pietro was invited to spend three weeks as artist-in-residence at the University of Iowa. While there, he worked with young musicians in school programs across the state. It proved to be a rewarding commission for the native New Englander who was so enheartened that he chose to recreate the experience musically on his seventh album as leader, New Road: Iowa Memoirs.

The journey begins quietly with Pietro's impression of "Sunrise on the Muscatine Highway," on which his alto saxophone and Alex Sipiagin's trumpet retrace the exquisite scene in bold strokes while pianist Gary Versace, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller, drummer Jonathan Blake and percussionist Rogerio Boccato sketch in the background before Versace steps forward with an exquisite design of his own. The serenity continues on the leisurely "Sleep Prairie, Sleep" before the group adopts a busier stance on "It's a Half-Decent Muffin," underlined by Sipiagin's nimble trumpet and Blake's assertive drums.

Restfulness returns on "The Sanctuary," which in this case isn't a place of worship but a local pub. Weidenmueller is first to be served, followed by Pietro whose alto solo is earnest and well-drawn. The sunny "Heartland," introduced by Versace's eloquent piano, was inspired, Pietro writes, by "all the wonderful people [he] met during [his] three-week residency and how welcome and at home" they made him feel. Sipiagin is impressive here, as is Pietro, again on alto, while Blake adds a muscular exclamation mark. Having traversed the state, the only remaining ingredient is a graphic two-part "TRavel Guide," on which Pietro uses soprano sax, flute and clarinet to help lead the way. The tempos, as elsewhere, are explicitly moderate but no less agreeable, and the quintet (sextet on "Sunrise," "Heartland" and Part 1 of "TRavel Guide") dispatches them with deftness and ardor.

As a series of tone poems, Pietro's themes (he wrote and arranged everything) work well. On the other hand, while beauty abounds, a touch more heat would have been welcome. In sum, an admirable showcase for the ensemble, which endorses Pietro's vision and endues it with spirit.

Track Listing

Sunrise On The Muscatine Highway; Sleep Prairie, Sleep; It's A Half-Decent Muffin; The Sanctuary; Heartland; TRavel Guide - Part 1; TRavel Guide - Part 2.

Personnel

Dave Pietro: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone; flute; clarinet; Alex Sipiagin: trumpet, flugelhorn; Gary Versace: piano; Johannes Weidenmueller: bass; Johnathan Blake: drums; Rogerio Bocatto: percussion (1, 5, 6).

Album information

Title: New Road: Iowa Memoirs | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: ArtistShare

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Warmer Than Blood
Warmer Than Blood
Chris Montague
Read Off Brand
Off Brand
Collage Project
Read Iron Starlet
Iron Starlet
Connie Han
Read Expanding Light
Expanding Light
Whit Dickey Trio

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.