This album recorded in May of 1993 has finally emerged from the Mapleshade label's vaults to be released eight years later in 2001. Why it took so long to see the light of day is a puzzler. Brooklyn born pianist Gerard D'Angelo has been on the jazz scene since 1988 when he teamed with Dave Meade and Frank Wagoner to form Primary Colors. He made an album or two with the group. But until this release, D'Angelo has been pretty much a stranger to recording studios. Although he was a student of one of the leaders of modern jazz piano, D'Angelo shows the influence of many who have gone before him, from Bill Evans through Chick Corea to Keith Jarrett. He is also a follower of another modernist, Gary Dial, whom D'Angelo honors by including four of his compositions on the play list. D'Angelo is a mainly quiet player, introspective and giving the impression that a good deal of thought has gone into every note he strikes. This attitude permeates the session which lasts for a little more than an hour. Even on up tempo pieces such as Dial's "Funkalero", there is a delicacy present to make sure that while the group swings, it doesn't swing out of control. A state of calmness also sways the contributions of bassist Jay Anderson and Jeff Hirshfield's drums on this cut. One of the most engaging pieces coming from the session is the trio's take on Maurice Ravel's "Forlane". Playing with that luminous precision which seemed to characterize Ravel's music (as well as his own work on piano), this is a tour de force track. "I'll Take Romance" as much as any of the cuts on the album, recalls Bill Evans' seminal trios of the 1960's. Based on this effort, one hopes this doesn't fall into the category as the title of one of the songs on the program, a "One Shot Deal".
Track Listing: Who's Kidding Who?; No Turn on Red; Heavy Blue; Forlane; I'll Take Romance; One Shot Deal; La Pardida; Ballad for Frederick; Freshwater Girls; Funkalero; Mary's Secret; Not What My Hands Have Done
Personnel: Gerard D'Angelo - Piano; Jay Anderson - Bass; Jeff Hirshfield - Drums
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.