Friday, March 18, 2011

Todd DelGiudice: Pencil Sketches

OA2 Records
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Pencil Sketches

Back when jazz was in its prime, most artists were lucky if they finished high school before entering the profession. If college even entered their scene, it was after dues had been paid on the road and, if talented enough, they had become a star with a big band.

The opposite often is the case with today's musicians; they earn multiple degrees in universities that usually offer both jazz- and classical-oriented courses, and then become teachers as well as players.

Todd DelGiudice is such an individual: He earned two degrees from the University of Miami, then a master's degree at the University of Oregon. he currently teaches at the University of Eastern Washington. He plays reed instruments with both classical and jazz organizations. And, oh yes, he also composes and arranges music for both genres.

Pencil Sketches, DelGiudice’s debut album, features his quartet: John Hansen on piano and Fender Rhodes, Jon Hamar on bass, and Byron Vannoy on drums. DelGiudice demonstrates his skills on alto and tenor sax, as well as basic and alto clarinets. Further, through the use of overdubbing, some tracks include simultaneous performances on several of these instruments.

All but one of the tunes are DelGiudice’s compositions; the exception is a re-harmonization of the standard "All The Things You Are."

The result is tasteful, classically tinged jazz that swings delightfully.

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