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MUSICIAN Born:

Joe Policastro

Chicago bassist JOE POLICASTRO grew up in the fertile jazz, classical, and popular music scene of Cincinnati, OH. He studied Classical Double Bass Performance on full scholarship at Miami University. Joe earned his Bachelor of Music in Jazz/Studio Music from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and his Master of Music in Jazz Studies from DePaul University in Chicago. After performing and recording in Germany, he relocated to Chicago where he quickly established himself an in-demand bassist and arranger/composer. He has performed and recorded with a wide array of artists such as Diane Schuur, Jeff Hamilton, Howard Levy, Phil Woods, Pat and Debby Boone, Tim Ries, IraSullivan, Howard Alden, Rick Margitza, Jim Snidero, David "Fathead" Newman, and Billy Hart

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Policastro Trio: Nothing Here Belongs

Read "Nothing Here Belongs" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

The Joe Policastro Trio is a working band that has been playing together in Chicago area clubs for almost ten years. This CD reflects that history in how the three musicians play off each others' twists and turns with a near-telepathic rapport. Guitarist Dave Miller darts and swoops with cool assurance while bassist Policastro and drummer ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

They're New to Me

Read "They're New to Me" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

Four 2019 releases are in the dock this session, and three are so new they won't drop until June. We've got two trios who are willing to search beyond the Great American Songbook for material, largely with positive results; a prog epic whose cover is a lot more ethno-musical than its contents; and a young and ...

Joe Policastro Trio: Nothing Here Belongs

Read "Nothing Here Belongs" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Everything belongs here on Nothing Here Belongs, the first Joe Policastro Trio album to focus primarily on original material. The three previous outings from this Chicago-based outfit sold themselves with a pliable approach to covers. On West Side Story Suite (Self Produced, 2013) it was an expansive brush with Bernstein; with Pops! (Self Produced, 2016) the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Policastro Trio: Screen Sounds

Read "Screen Sounds" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

There are always new wrinkles to be found in the familiar. That's a philosophical stance that seems to serve the Joe Policastro Trio well. This Chicago-based outfit's debut album--West Side Story Suite (Self Produced, 2013)--served as a distillation and expansion on Bernstein's masterpiece, turning Broadway on its head; Pops! (Self Produced, 2016) referenced both the venue ...

Guitars Galore: Major Vistas, Joe Policastro Trio, Dan Arcamone, Charlie Ballantine, Sound Underground, & Kay-Ta Matsuno

Read "Guitars Galore: Major Vistas, Joe Policastro Trio, Dan Arcamone, Charlie Ballantine, Sound Underground, & Kay-Ta Matsuno" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

A brief overview of several notable 2016 contemporary jazz releases featuring guitarists. Major Vistas Minor Anthems Self Produced 2016 A fresh approach to the jazz trio, and the debut release from Madison, Wisconsin's Major Vistas. Keyboardist Mike Weiser says he thinks of it as a modern “organ" ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Lark and His Alumni Big Band: Sweet Return

Read "Sweet Return" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As was the case two years ago (2012) with its first album, Reunion, trumpeter Bob Lark's Alumni Big Band on Sweet Return is comprised of musicians he has supervised in various groups during a long and eminent career that embodies more than twenty years as director of Jazz Studies at DePaul University in Chicago. Even so, ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

In Tune or Not in Tune... That Is the Question

Read "In Tune or Not in Tune... That Is the Question" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Suppose a month goes by, you have a column to publish, but nothing has happened that's worth writing about. What do you do then? Read on, as the question is about to be answered. A while back there was a discussion at a Stan Kenton web site (Kentonia) about musicians or groups of ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

"Lone Wolf" Finds Plenty to Chew On

Read ""Lone Wolf" Finds Plenty to Chew On" reviewed by Jack Bowers

With Betty sidelined by a bad cough, it was up to me to seek out local jazz events in February, and I managed to find a couple of pretty good ones, starting February 7 at the University of New Mexico's Keller Hall where SuperSax New Mexico performed for the third time in Albuquerque. As you may ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Petra's Recession Seven: Live In Chicago

Read "Live In Chicago" reviewed by Jack Huntley

Petra van Nuis' voice is at once alluring and robust. Her tone alternates between delicate playfulness and declarative strength, perfectly suiting the combination of hot jazz and standards on Live In Chicago, an enchanting portrait of her band, Petra's Recession Seven. And oh, what a band it is--capable of captivating backing as well as exciting soloing.


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