Rossano Sportiello, piano, and Ed Metz, snare drum with wire brushes, made up a fully satisfying combo / band / orchestra in their morning set at the 2014 Atlanta Jazz Party. The music they made has resonated happily in my memory, and now I have the pleasure of sharing it with you.
Rossano began the set with a heartfelt BLUE AND SENTIMENTAL — which had a Strayhorn coloration at the start. In an age of bright colors and high volumes, it is so reassuring to hear a Maestro like Rossano play a ballad — not in any hurry to get through, to speed it up:
From Basie to his teacher, Fats, for HANDFUL OF KEYS, joined by Ed:
Then, a long interlude-concert which allows both players to shine as soloists and as part of a wondrous duo. The selections are MISTY, IT’S THE TALK OF THE TOWN, CHINATOWN (with a hand-drum solo a la Jo Jones), LUCKY TO BE ME, Liszt’s CONSOLATION #3, SHOE SHINE BOY — a full circle back to Basie:
Throughout this morning serenade, I was reminded of the beautiful sound of Johnny Guarnieri and Sidney Catlett, and I marvel at Rossano’s beautiful precision and the astonishing variety of sounds and textures Ed gets out of this most minimalist drum kit — and the duo’s apparently indefatigable swing. Proof, once again, that you don’t need a lot of volume to swing.
All this happened at the April 2014 Atlanta Jazz Party, and I have every expectation that equally beautiful music will be created there again this April. Details and registration information here. And since — as is the custom in most parties — the earlier you register, the better your seating . . . carpe diem in a big way.
The players this year will be Ben Polcer, Duke Heitger, Bria Skonberg, Allan Vache, Tom Fischer, Dan Barrett, Russ Phillips, John Cocuzzi, Rossano Sportiello, Johnny Varro, Dalton Ridenhour, Eddie Erickson, Nicki Parrott, Paul Keller, Sean Cronin, Danny Coots, Chuck Redd, Darrian Douglas, Rebecca Kilgore. Quite a varied and energetic crew.
May your happiness increase!