Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Pop-Culture Blues A Suite in 10 Parts

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Pop-Culture Blues A Suite in 10 Parts

Article excerpt

The Michael Treni Big Band

Pop-Culture Blues A Suite in 10 Parts

Bell (No #)

Collective personnel: Chris Persad, Nathan Ecklund, Vinnie Cutro (tp) Bill Ash, Freddie Hendrix (tp, flgh) Michael Trini (tb, Idr, comp, arr) Joe Petrizzo (tb) Bob Ferrel (tb, buccin tb) Philip Jones (b-tb, tu) Jerry Bergonzi (ts, ss) Frank Elmo, Ken Hitchcock (ts, cl, alto fl) Sal Spicola (as, fl) Craig Yaremko (as, fl, alto fl) Roy Nicolosi (bs, cl, b-cl) Charles Blenzig, Jim Ridl (p) Joe Labelle (g) Takashi Otsuka (b) Ron Vincent (d) Rick Dekovessey (perc). Montvale, NJ, October 21 and December 15, 2012.

One For Duke/BQE Blues/Minor Blues/Bluesy Bossa/More Than 12 Blues/Summer Blues/Blues In Triplicate/Mr. Funky Blues/Smokin' Blues/Pop-Culture Blues. TT 67:08

This is Treni's latest album and all titles are based on the blues (For those with a more structural sense, Treni describes each one along these lines: "One for Duke is a 12-bar atonal blues, meaning the listener will have difficulty determining its key. Its atonality is actually created thru polytonal writing (the sounding of more than one key at the same time). The theme is presented throughout in 4 (or more) keys simultaneously using double diminished cord voicings which were a favorite of Ellington."

But for our purposes, One for Duke is a medium tempo low voltage quietly swinging piece that features long boppish solos by pianist Ridl and Bergonzi on tenor, all sparked by excellent Vincent drumming.

BQE Blues has a Basie feel, with the band's sections see-sawing in the beginning until settling down to comp under exiting solos by Elmo (ts) and Persad (tp).

Minor Blues has the band in low gear, with the reed and brass singing and swelling in easy cascades. Treni solos against Blenzig's piano and rhythm section, followed by Blenzig's liquid and moving solo and Persad (tp) skying as the full band finishes.

Bluesy Bossa has a light footed Latin cadence with a frothy opening by a combination of flue, alto flute, and two clarinets. Yaremko (fl), Treni and Cutro (tp) then bob and weave, soloing over the infectious platform laid down by Vincent and company.

More Than 12 Blues features the baritone of Roy Nicolosi and Otsuka's bass in the opening and closing segments with some delightful swinging spinning alto sax magic by Spicolo in the middle. …

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