Flying with the Comet
From the original 1986 liner notes: \'I recently heard Second Sight. I was impressed both individually and collectively. Excellent solo playing and ensemble playing. It is gratifying to hear some young guys playing with the caliber of musicianship that these guys have. Their original compositions are worthy of much merit.\' ... Horace Silver Nobody who loves Jazz \'in the Tradition\' could fail to be enthusiastic about SECOND SIGHT. Their music calls to mind so many favorites; writers and players that have made rabid jazz fans of us all. Echoes of the writing of Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter and McCoy Tyner ricochet around this LP and resolve themselves into a voice that belongs to this group of players alone. One suspects from listening to this record, that they are bigger fans of \'the music\' than the rest of us. The phrasing and shadings in the horn solos bespeak of care and respect for detail that lift the performances into the rarified atmosphere of the greats. Formed in January of \'86, all have had extensive experience playing with the likes of John Stubblefield, Carter Jefferson, Dave Liebman, Lou Donaldson, Larry Coryell and James Spaulding. Their collective credits only begin there. What excites me most about SECOND SIGHT as a unit is the ensemble feel in the playing, the musical ESP that seems to happen less and less in this era of pre-packaged, over-hyped product. My favorite compositions are \'Flying with the Comet,\' \'Birthright\' and the delicious ballad \'Barbara\'; but I know that like all my favorite records, those will change each time I listen. I tried to make these liner notes restrained and scholarly to give you a balanced perspective on the group and their sound, but that\'s just not me. I\'m a listener and I\'ve had my turn. Now it\'s yours, I envy you. Joseph A. Milner John Esposito - Piano Dave Douglas - Trumpet Jeff Marx - Saxophones Allen Murphy - Acoustic Bass Jeff Siegel - Drums Frederick Berryhill - Percussion John Esposito is a New York State native and grew up in a family steeped in musical tradition. His grandfather was a noted teacher and violin maker who played violin with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and also worked with various theatre and jazz bands on violin and reeds starting in the early 1920â€™s. Johnâ€™s first performance experiences were playing harmonica in a blues band as a teenager. He attended SUNY Albany as a composition major. He spent several years after college in Albany as the house pianist at the Gemini Jazz cafÃ© working with J.R. Monterose and Nick Brignola and led his own group before coming to New York City in 1980. It was then that he began working with talented, young saxophonist/pianist/guitarist Arthur Rhames. For the next five years he would be an integral part of the Arthur Rhames Quartet with Jeff Siegel (drums) and Otto Gardner, documented on only one recording, â€œArthur Rhames Live At Soundscape.â€ In 1985, John formed Second Sight â€" a jazz quintet with Dave Douglas, Jeff Marx, Allen Murphy, Jeff Siegel, and Fred Berryhill. They recorded Flying With The Comet in 1986. Soon to be re-released, the album was comprised of original compositions which they released on Johnâ€™s independent label: SunJump Records. Their second recording, Tiger Tracks, recorded in 1987 is an upcoming SunJump release. Of Second Sight, Gene Santoro in Pulse! Magazine wrote: â€œThis sextet swings like mad and bubbles over with lively effervescent chops to spare.â€ Throughout the eighties John also put in time as a sideman for Carter Jefferson, John Stubblefield, Roswell Rudd, Hugh Brodie and many others. In the nineties John began working with the groups of Franklin Kiermyer and Eric Person as a pianist and arranger. He has recorded four albums with Kiermyer including Solomonâ€™s Daughter, with tenor saxophone giant Pharoah Sanders, and four albums with Eric Personâ€™s MetaFour beginning with Ericâ€™s More Tales to Tell with Dave Holland and Gene Jackson. John is on the faculty of Bard College and teaches ensembles, jazz theory, repertory, and advanced composition techniques classes there. He has recently returned to being a bandleader with two current releases. One is Down Blue Marlin Road â€" a trio album of reharmonized and rearranged jazz standards with Ira Coleman (bass) and Pete Oâ€™Brien (drums) â€" and the other is The Blue People â€" a quintet date of original material featuring Eric Person (sax), Greg Glassman (trumpet), Kenny Davis (bass), and Peter Oâ€™Brien. He is preparing several projects for CD release including two Second Sight sessions, a nonet session - â€œThe Book of Five Rings,â€ and some previously unreleased Arthur Rhames performances.