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Altoona Sessions

Altoona Sessions

  • By John Valerio
  • Release 26/12/2006
  • Music Genre Jazz
  • Media Format CD
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Price: £10.03

Product Notes

John Valerio is one of those rare pianists who, in an instrumental performance, can capture the sophisticated phrasing of great masterful singers. His impeccable phrasing is in evidence throughout this collection of great classic tunes. Bassist Tom Hildreth is solid, lyrical, inventive, and the perfect compliment for this pianist. The bright and natural swing tunes, graceful jazz waltzes and sensitive flowing ballads crafted by the duo on this CD are straightforward and genuine with no pretense. No need for a drummer here, as this duo's feels and tempos are solid and assured throughout, and Valerio's warm, confident sound makes listening to this CD as warm and cozy as snuggling with an old friend. I'm Old Fashioned has a wonderful, comfortable, and easy swing feel. The tune kicks off with solo bass, and then the duo weaves it's way through the head into the well-crafted solos. Here, Hildreth shows us that in addition to solid rhythmic playing, he is also a strong lyrical soloist. Valerio displays his skill at merging out of a solo back into the head by gradually easing out of the improvisational sections with recognizable tune fragments, which grow subtly into a restatement of the tune's melody. Other noteworthy examples of Valerio's incredible mastery over the seamless and organic integration of head and solo can be found on Stella by Starlight, and he does a wonderful spin out of the head on Taking a Chance on Love into his solo. Throughout this recording, while maintaining complete respect for the logic and integrity of the phrases, Valerio displays his compositional approach to improvisation by developing and transforming melodic motives and ideas. In fact, Valerio and Hildreth's performances meld to create structures that make the tunes feel like complete pieces. Emily reveals Valerio's skill at crafting attractive chord melodies, and an elegant rendition of My Romance offers up an outstanding example of his masterful phrasing. The duo's beautiful version of Manha De Carnaval is captivating, and the waltz feel and quirky melody of The Boy Next Door is fun and playful as Hildreth's prowess keeps the tune prancing. At all times, one is aware of Valerio's attentiveness to the unsung lyrics of these songs: check out Blame it on My Youth or That's All. An accomplished composer, knowledgeable jazz historian, and connoisseur of the great vocalists and horn players, pianist John Valerio, accompanied by skillful bassist Tom Hildreth, infuses his experience and expertise into beautiful performances on this thoughtful and refined CD. Kaylé Brecher (jazz singer/composer/arranger)

Details

Artist: John Valerio
Title: Altoona Sessions
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 26/12/2006
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 837101277952

Credits