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MP3 Michael Mazzarella - Grey Over An Autumn Winter

Michael Mazzarella''s first solo album borrows the seasons autumn and winter for a backdrop to this sparse and intense effort. Musically heartbreaking at times and lyrically poetic for those who like long walks on cloudy days.

11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Acoustic, POP: Delicate

Michael Mazzarella''s name and reputation have risen to cult status through his singing and song writing for over a decade now. The Rooks established themselves in 1994 following their debut CD. With a press-kit of rave reviews behind the them, Mazzarella subsequently continued to supply his fan base with solid material without retracing his steps, always with an eye and ear to developing The Rooks sound and scope in excellence and maturity. Michael''s first solo effort, Grey Over An Autumn Winter is neither a departure from, nor a recreation of his old Rooks catalog. His new songs retain the melodious characteristics he''s become known for, while reflecting the work of a writer whom continues to grow and expand his craft without sacrificing quality in his compositions. From the lovely opening track "Fairground Is Gone," to the album''s chilling ode to his mother finale "Dear Mariann," we anticipate that you will find beauty in Mazzarella''s recent efforts.


God bless Michael Mazzarella. The frontman of the pop band The Rooks just went out on a limb and I feel like I''m dangling up there with him. Mazzarella''s broken voice makes my skin crawl in a way that excites my ears. There was no screwing around when this vastly under-appreciated singer/songwriter/producer decided to title his new solo CD Grey Over An Autumn Winter. No false advertising here. This is probably the last CD you''d ever pick when you''re looking to get laid, but if you ever want to hear a naked artist bearing his innards on a chilly day - play this one.

"Listening to this record on a rainy day could have dangerous repercussions, but after several spins, one is likely to discover a minor-key masterpiece lurking in the shadows." WILL HARRIS/https://www.tradebit.com

New music from Michael Mazzarella of The Rooks is always welcome, and his solo excursion, Grey Over An Autumn Winter, is the sound of a gifted songwriter following his muse down a muted, often harrowing path. Mazzarella seems to be channeling his inner Nick Drake here. No Reasons or Night Writer to be found and he continues to evolve as an artist in the process. It’s intensely personal and obviously deeply felt music, culminating with Dear Mariann, written about Mazzarella’s late mother. It’ll be very interesting to see where he goes from here.

2007 solo release from The Rooks leader and visionary. This is not the follow-up to the stunning genius of The Rooks` "A Wishing Well" (that is coming, we’re assured!), but a purely solo album of utter genius, and one that demands the listener to engage in the place - the musical sketch that is being created. The rewards and the pay-offs are substantive, sublime and worth every nuanced-drenched note. What is always present in Mazzarella`s work is a poet’s keen, lyrical and observational eye for the delicacy of the human condition. Its humanity and poignancy are always evident in every carefully-placed syllable. The sparse but still spacious instrumentation enhances every corner of music. There’s some mighty fine background vocals from Gail George, who released a nice little out-of-print gem (Follow Your Bliss) back in 2004. Mazzarella steps boldly and stronger into 2007 with an effort that while not what more casual Rooks fans would expect to hear, the ones most deeply moved and challenged by Mazzarella`s vision in the past will be very happy to walk this most leaf-soaked city sidewalk with him.

If Mazzarella’s Rooks set their sites on scaling the musical mountains created by their heroes, then Michael’s aim as a solo artist seems to want to stay as close to the sidewalk as possible. Grey Over An Autumn Winter is so stripped down and basic in comparison, it could be argued that this is Mazzarella’s version of John Lennon’s first solo go John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Certainly there are harmonies here and there and a cello or two peek out but for the most part his new CD is dark, personal and haunting. Within eleven songs, Mazzarella has managed to (at least to this listener) conjure moods and sounds of confusion, mystery, acrimony, warmth, loss, beauty, isolation and finally heavy reflection. I simply cannot recall another album sounding quite like this one. Perhaps it’s the start of something great.

Brand new release from Rooks frontman! Backed primarily by acoustic guitar and piano and gorgeous harmonies, this is a rather intimate look at an artist - stripped away of band trappings - as he bares his soul in a way seldom heard before - resulting in a gorgeous, haunting, intimate, Sunday morning kind of record!

Grey Over An Autumn Winter, the first solo album from longtime Rooks regular Michael Mazzarella, could be considered something of a sleeper, not only in a figurative sense, but in a literal one as well. However, sleeper is also an apt description of the album’s narcoleptic sound; infused with the wistful melancholia implied in the album title, Grey Over An Autumn Winter creates a kind of aural haze manifest in dewy-eyed sentiment and a dreamy lilt. Confining his accompaniment primarily to piano and softly strummed acoustic guitars, Mazzarella’s plaintive vocals and billowing harmonies add a mournful quality to these tentative open-ended melodies and tepid ruminations.
LEE ZIMMERMAN/Amplifier Magazine

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