Bassist Tom Brigandi recorded just two albums as a leader. Both albums are exceptional. From my online research, I know he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated in 1981. I also know that he played with Chuck Mangione in the 1990s along with J.R. Monterose and Nick Brignola. And this past May, Brigande played in a band at a Central New York Jazz Arts Foundation event, which provides scholastic and public jazz programs for the Upstate New York region. It seems he lives up there someplace. What's strange is that he's completely off the online grid—no website, no Wikipedia entry, no nothing.
Brigandi's first album as a leader was Late Night New York (Bass on Top), featuring Joe Carello (as,bar), Eric Alexander (ts), Dino Losito (p), Tom Brigandi (b) and Danny D'Imperio (d). Recorded at Redrock Recording Studios in Delaware Water Gap, Pa., in September 1999, the album features a range of songs: Chuck Mangione's Brooks Brothers, Brigandi's Rack 'Em, J.R. Monterose's Bobbie Pin, Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington's Day Dream, Monterose's Beauteous and the standards This Time the Dream's on Me, Secret Love and Easy to Love.
The band was spring-loaded and tiger hungry. Brigandi's bass is foot-tapping solid while Alexander and Carello on reeds are gunslingers. Equally impressive is Dino Losito, a gorgeous bop player.
Brigandi's only other leadership album is After Hours (Bass on Top). Recorded in New York in 2002, the album features Joe Magnarelli (tp), Eric Alexander (ts), Dino Losito (p), Tom Brigandi (b) and Danny D'Imperio (d). This one carves out more solo space for Brigandi. The songs are Joe Zawinul's One for Newk and Young and Fine, Jimmy Raney's Five (which also was Bill Evans's end-of-set theme), Brigandi's Sharkey and the standards Candy, I Fall in Love Too Easily and Falling in Love With Love and Too Young to Go Steady.
Overall, Eric Alexander is a standout on these two albums and his playing is completely out of the park.
Hopefully Brigandi will emerge from the mountains and record again. If these two albums are any indication, he never should have stopped. A gorgeous player and leader.
JazzWax tracks: Both Late Night New York and After Hours are out of print. At Amazon, I see several used copies of Late Night New York starting at 45 cents. After Hours is going for $31.
This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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