NEW RELEASE OUT TODAY!
Jon De Lucia - Live at the Drawing Room with Ted Brown Out Today (July 2018)
The Jon De Lucia Octet's Live at The Drawing Room with Ted Brown is out today on Gut String Records.
“This impassioned group swings…For this gig, the Octet had a great spiritual asset in the gently fervent playing of Ted Brown, a sage of melodic invention. I am grateful that Jon De Lucia has created this group: so delightful in whatever they play. You’ll hear it too. “
Michael Steinman, JazzLives
Thus the Jon De Lucia Octet was formed. A Five Saxophone and Rhythm lineup with unique arrangements by the great clarinetist/saxophonist Jimmy Giuffre. The original charts featured Lee Konitz on every track, and the first step in 2016 was to put a session together reuniting Brown and Konitz on these tunes. An open rehearsal was held at the City College of New York, Lee took the lead and played beautifully while Ted took over the late Warne Marsh’s part. This then led to the concert you have here before you.
De Lucia steps into Lee’s shoes, while the features have been reworked to focus on Brown, including new arrangements of his tunes by De Lucia and daughter Anita Brown. The rest of the band includes a formidable set of young saxophonists, including John Ludlow, who incidentally was a protege of the late Hal McCusick, who also played on the original recording session of Lee Konitz meets Jimmy Giuffre, and plays the alto saxophone, now inherited, used in the session. Jay Rattman and Marc Schwartz round out the tenors, and Andrew Hadro, who can be heard to great effect on Venus De Milo, plays the baritone. In the rhythm section, Ray Gallon, one of NYC’s most swinging veterans on the piano, Aidan O’Donnell on the bass and the other legend in the room, the great Steve Little on the drums.
The show was sold out at Brooklyn’s now defunct Drawing Room, operated by Michael Kanan and Stephanie Grieg. Along with the music previously mentioned, De Lucia had recently acquired some of the original parts from Gerry Mulligan’s Songbook session, which featured Konitz, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims and Allen Eager in another great sax section recording, this time arranged by Bill Holman. Here the band plays “Sextet,” and “Venus De Milo” from that session. Brown, here making the band a Nonet, plays beautifully and takes part in every tune, reading parts even when not soloing. Not included in this CD is an extended take of Konitz’s “Cork n’ Bib” and Giuffre’s piece for three clarinets, “Sheepherders.” Possible bonus releases down the line!
Since this concert, the Octet has taken on a life of its own, covering the repertoire of the original Dave Brubeck Octet, more of the Mulligan material, Alec Wilder, and increasingly De Lucia’s own material. De Lucia continues searching for rare and underperformed material, rehearsing regularly in NYC and performing less regularly. One can hope there is much more to come from this talented group!
Ted Brown, Lee Konitz and Jon De Lucia
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