Of Night & Day
CREATIVE SPONTANEITY WITHIN STRUCTURE Time In sets an Ellington-esque vibe as the opening track of Joe Derenzo's debut CD, but what follows isn't what one would expect after such straight-ahead swing. The title, of Night and Day suggests the juxtaposition of extremes. Compositions of melody and chord changes within a given structure are set alongside amorphic streams of consciousness guided by the musicians experience and creative spontaneity. The former are akin to the orderly world of day with it's times and places as opposed to the latter which inhabits the realm of night's dream-state. Different as night and day? Yes, but only until one song ends and another begins to unfold. It's at these points where for a brief moment one mood is taken over by another creating an audio space of chiaro-scuro. Such is the case with Russell Ferrante's spontaneous piano motifs on Mexican Hat which dance above the rhythmic mantra and latin pulse provided by Richie Garcia on congas. As Dante's View embarks on it's journey between the stars and terra firma, the true nature of this project is revealed. Tracks such as the surrealistic Lost in Hollywood and Dealing with My Demons have Steve Crum and Jimmy Haslip evoking images of Dali with their respective solos. Crum's trumpet takes a more melancholy turn on Last Lovers and Ferrante's bluesy piano rounds out the evening on Walks Like This. Keith Jarrett's Take Me Back bursts forth with Ferrante giving us a Sunday morning sermon in Db with Glen Berger and Gannin Arnold both contributing equally infectious choruses. [ It's no accident that this song was covered from the 1972 release Expectations. That album's eclectic spirit inspired the musical approach for this project. ] Mountain Song features Arnold's guitar cadenza as an open country pastoral and following Berger's joyous soprano, Kevin Axt provides a lyrical outing on acoustic bass. Adonis Tsilimparis conjures up the atmospheres of North Africa with his vocal intro to Moroccan Joyride, the homagé to pianists Zawinul, Guaraldi and McCann. Here, Tom Zink helms the piano with a blusey R&B tip- of-the-hat to the three masters of the keyboard. The session ends with the trio of Ferrante, Haslip and DeRenzo recognizing Jarrett as a true innovator of the piano. How apropos. If Time In suggests an Ellington-type swing, then We're Rolling acknowledges KJ's gospel like influences with this D pedal summation. Shaping rhythms and sonic colors of darkness and light as creative spontaneity within structure sparks a musical evolution through the cycles of Night and Day. --- Victor Zurbel March 2005.