354

Denis DiBlasio: View from Pikes

Victor L. Schermer By

Sign in to view read count
Denis DiBlasio: View from Pikes Originally released in 2006, this "sleeper" of an album may not contain breathtaking breakthroughs, but it's so good for what it does that it deserves attention. View from Pikes provides consistent listening pleasure from start to finish. The absence of drums actually facilitates the sweet, laidback playing of the Denis DiBlasio/Steve Varner/Jim Ridl trio, which maintains the pulse quite well. DiBlasio did five years as Music Director with Maynard Ferguson, was a prime mover at the late, great Ortliebs Jazzhaus in Philadelphia, and currently directs the jazz program at Rowan University. In this CD, he honors the "cool" traditions of baritone saxophonists Pepper Adams and Gerry Mulligan as he leads a musical tour of moods and perspectives evoked by a couple of standards and a bunch of originals that lope along in a relaxed manner.

The one rapid-fire track, "Tear Up an Anvil in An Open Field," jumps and sparks in the open field of a drum-less trio, making its title an apt metaphor for a tune that is a cross between a jazzed up Irish jig and boogie woogie; a number that would have pleased Mulligan, who frequently spiced up his music with humor.

Since there are no liner notes—unfortunately an all-too-common occurrence in the CD and MP3 universe these days—the album title, View from Pikes, remains something of a mystery. While it undoubtedly refers to Pikes Peak in Colorado, it must have had a personal meaning for DiBlasio, as reflected in the title tune as well as other song titles that suggest a hard-working settler there, such as the aforementioned "Tear up an Anvil," "He Owns the Place" and "A New Kind of Tired." Stretching the metaphor, and, seeing that Pikes Peak is almost half way between L.A. and New York, the playing melds East and West Coast sounds and styles.

All three musicians have done time in Philadelphia, which is noted for its stable of excellent, dedicated musicians, some of whom, like Ridl, have used the City of Brotherly Love as a home base for careers elsewhere (but keep coming back on occasion), and some of whom, like the great tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna, take up lifetime residence here and whose influence on DiBlasio is unmistakable. Varner, heard around Philly in numerous contexts, is a top of the line bassist who, in this CD, artfully sustains the light rhythmic pulse throughout. Ridl, a truly amazing pianist with enormous creativity and grasp of the idioms that comprise jazz, is a perfect accompanist for DiBlasio, and his solos have their own inner beauty and structure, adding to the CD's interest; one of those special items—juicy, easy-going, and flowing—that bears repeated listening.


Track Listing: The Days of Wine and Roses; Aria; Pacific Ride; View from Pikes; Tear Up an Anvil in an Open Field; Abbraccio; He Owns the Place; A New Kind of Tired; Whereyabin; Tenderly.

Personnel: Denis DiBlasio: baritone saxophone and flute, Jim Ridl: piano, Steve Varner: acoustic bass.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Dreambox Media | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Geri Allen Geri Allen
piano
Greg Murphy Greg Murphy
piano
Mike DiRubbo Mike DiRubbo
sax, alto
Joe Magnarelli Joe Magnarelli
trumpet
Bob Sneider Bob Sneider
guitar
Anthony Branker Anthony Branker
composer/conductor
Pete Christlieb Pete Christlieb
saxophone
Greg Chako
guitar
Roy Assaf Roy Assaf
piano

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Stranger Days" CD/LP/Track Review Stranger Days
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "A Zoology of the Future" CD/LP/Track Review A Zoology of the Future
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4" CD/LP/Track Review Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Concentric Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Concentric Circles
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Emergence" CD/LP/Track Review Emergence
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 15, 2016
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!