Jazz drummer Joe DeRenzo follows up his outstanding release "Of Night and Day" with another outstanding release - Core Beliefs.
Joe DeRenzo - Core Beliefs
Joe DeRenzo - Core Beliefs: Umbria Suite Parts I, II, III, Lenore, 2nd Sunday in August, Pouts' Over, She's a Woman, iEartoe Parts I & II
Personnel: Joe DeRenzo: drums, percussion, arrangements; Russell Ferrante: piano; Kevin Axt: bass; Bob Mintzer: soprano and tenor sax; Brian Hughes: guitars, oud; Richie Gajate-Garcia: percussion; Adonis Tsilimparis: voice; Tom Zink: piano; Glen Berger: flute, tenor sax; Jimmy Haslip: bass; Anne Walsh: voice
Core Beliefs was produced by Joe DeRenzo for DeRenzo Productions. It was serendipitous when I heard about Joe DeRenzo's latest release Core Beliefs as it was one-year ago (January 2006) that I reviewed Joe's first release - Of Night and Day. During the past year, I have had the opportunity to review and listen to all types of genres, artists and bands, and I will honestly say that Joe's release Of Night and Day remains one of my favorites; so, you could see why I was excited to give Core Beliefs a spin. Joe brings together some of the best jazz musicians and through his creative arrangements, he blends their unique talents to create great music. Core Beliefs is a series of tracks that pays tribute to the 1960's and 1970's jazz era, and as Joe states "the late 60's and much of the 70's was no less important than the eras which preceded it."
There are ‘only' eight tracks on Core Beliefs, but this is a powerful release that not only pays tribute to jazz from the 60's and 70's, but through Joe's arranging, it reminds us how influential and exciting the music from this period was. Joe has assembled an eclectic set of tracks featuring music from jazz greats such as Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and Joe Zawinul, along with a Lennon/McCartney track, and one original track.
The opening track is Umbria Suite Parts I, II, III, which was performed live in 1974 as a piano solo by the jazz legend Keith Jarrett; Joe has arranged this score for a full band, and he has preserved the amazing energy that was part of the live performance by Keith Jarrett. It is easy to take a song and arrange it with the many influences over the past 30 years, but with Joe's arrangements the tracks have not lost that 60's/70's feel; in particular is his arrangement of 2nd Sunday in August, a Joe Zawinul song, with the echoing vocals that were so familiar with that period. Joe had some fun with the arrangement of the Keith Jarrett track Pouts' Over, letting the band capture Keith's style and energy, while preserving the jazz/rock sound that Keith Jarrett was looking for. The arrangement of the Lennon/McCartney classic She's a Woman is a classic in itself, as Joe turns to another legendary jazz pianist, Ramsey Lewis, for his inspiration in this arrangement. The last track on Core Belief is an original song written by Joe entitled iEartoe. The track contains the familiar no limits, free flowing sound that was the ‘signature' of jazz in the late 60's and early 70's. iEartoe weaves the vocals of Anne Walsh with the haunting sax of Glen Berger (part I); Joe then lets the band loose on the middle section (part II), before closing out the track with the percussion section featuring Joe on drums and Richie Gajate-Garcia on percussion playing what sounds like the quica, a Brazilian instrument, and providing vocals.
After two outstanding releases in just over a year, you wonder how this talented musician and arranger could have stayed away from music for 15 years, but we are happy that he is back, and with fervor.
Websites where you can procure Core Beliefs are CD Baby and iTunes.
Note - Music Scene is not sponsored by any third party. All music that is written about in Music Scene are the views and experiences of the writer, and reflects a compilation of music, sent to us by musicians, producers, acquired during travel to unique destinations, recommended by our country host or a local resident, just happening upon a music event, searching out a Jazz club, or other live music venue.
© January 2007. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.