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MP3 Nick Bisesi - Gemini - Digital Download

Modern alternative jazz

10 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo, JAZZ: Free Jazz

Nick Bisesi - Tenor Sax & Wood Flutes
Neal Alger - Guitars
Patrick Williams - Bass
Eric Montzka - Drums

It used to be possible to assign specific styles of playing to top jazz musicians such as dixieland, bop, free jazz, etc. However, since the mid-1970s, unless a musician is purposely performing in an historic style, the music has become much more difficult to easily classify or describe. Many of today''s jazz musicians grew up listening to rock, soul and singer/songwriters and, even when they are playing strictly jazz, the influences of their youth have at least an unconscious effect in making their music more open-minded and less distant from other idioms.

The talented and highly individual tenor-saxophonist Nick Bisesi, in discussing his choice of musicians, says "I look for versatility, big ears and people who don''t limit their musical scope to just jazz. The guys in this group grew up listening to Led Zeppelin and Rush. You don''t hear anything specific to that music on this program but there is a common thought process in our playing. It''s a matter of not denying anything to the music, even if the ideas come from beyond the jazz world."

Bisesi''s originals demand fluid musical communication and effortless technique for unfettered self-expression. Of his bandmates, Nick says "Neal Alger brings a willingness to push further than the usual jazz guitar player. He''s not afraid to use distortion then turn around and play a beautiful, delicate line. Bass player Patrick Williams has a great sound, is extremely creative and has a wide range of musical interests that he brings to the table. The drummer Eric Montzka seems to have E.S.P. He knows exactly what I want to hear and where I want to go with the music. He doesn''t need any direction; he has such a great instinct."

Nick Bisesi, who''s played alto all of his career, has recently shifted his focus to tenor. "It hits me on a deeper level. I''m drawn to the different textures of sound and the tenor has a whole new palette I want to explore."

Nick''s nine originals cover a wide variety of moods, grooves and ideas. "Waltz For Gayle" is a lyrical piece dedicated to his wife. The piano-less trio leaves plenty of space for Bisesi to express himself, and the group builds upon his musical ideas closely.

Witty and a bit quirky, "Gorilla Cookies" is a funky tune with a twist, full of extroverted emotions and particularly passionate tenor playing along with the bluish ideas of guitarist Alger.

The ballad "A Short Visit" is quite unusual in that the melody was improvised on the spot yet sounds as if it must have been written out. Bisesi and Alger think as one on this melancholy piece.

"Secret Agent Of Change," refers to Bisesi''s interest in using his music as a a subtle way of getting his audience to think about the state of the world. It starts out with a bit of ska before becoming fiery post bop. As with other top jazz musicians, Bisesi uses his experiences as part of his music in a very creative way.

In summary Nick Bisesi says, "Self-expression, my spirituality and my communion with others - it''s all tied in with music. Music is a vehicle to get beyond words. I want to continue playing creative music, whether as a bandleader or a sideman and to reach as many people as possible." On the evidence of this stimulating and enjoyable recording, Nick Bisesi will be reaching many more people in the future.

Scott Yanow
Author of nine books including Jazz On Film, Trumpet Kings, Bebop and Jazz On Record 1917-76

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