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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Petrucelli: Presence

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Call it what? Jazz-op? Jazzical? Silly names aside, histories of jazz and classical music are littered with failed attempts. Saxophonist John Petrucelli, an instructor at Carnegie Mellon University and student of jazz history, astronomy and philosophy, takes the lessons in and presents us with Presence. This ambitious and rewarding album successfully melds an up-for-it jazz quintet and expressive, equally ready-for-anything string quartet to produce an arching narrative of human potential and possibilities. Add in the daring fact that it's all ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Petrucelli: Presence

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Tenor-saxophonist John Petrucelli's Presence is an ambitious sprawl of an album. Petrucelli features a jazz quintet (with piano, bass, guitar and drums) together with a string quartet, then gives his tunes titles like “Field of Heaven," “Garden of Angels," and “Scallop Shell of Quiet," as if to warn the listener that the album carries more conceptual weight than the average blowing session. The vaguely Sun Ra-ish cover art is another indicator, and the 82 minute running time is a big ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Petrucelli: Presence

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The sophomore effort from saxophonist John Petrucelli is a fresh and timely release of original compositions that were recorded in 2017 at the New Hazlett Theatre in Pittsburgh. The forthcoming album, titled Presence, pairs a jazz quintet with a string quartet as they perform John's majestic ten-movement suite. The album also features a guest appearance from Melvin Butler of Brian Blade's Fellowship Band. From the outset, John poses the question “Where are we going, what are we doing? The easiest ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Petrucelli Quintet: The Way

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The debut release from saxophonist John Petrucelli packs a mean punch. For his first outing, this Pittsburgh-based tenor man put together a lengthy, two-disc program that showcases his writing and, of greater note, his chops. In some ways, this can be seen as a musical shock and awe campaign. Petrucelli's muscular tenor proves to be a dominant and somewhat domineering force, steamrolling through this music and putting on shows of athleticism--darting and daring sprints, keening gusts, Coltrane-ish ...