Sabatella - piano
Erik Turkman - bass
Thomas Van Schoick - drums and
Peter Sommer - tenor and soprano saxophones
reviews & comments
"Sabatella attacks the music with an intensity and
passion rarely found in the age of Kenny G and John Tesh. Shades of everything
from Keith Jarrett and Gonzolo Rubulcaba to Duke Ellington and Oscar Peterson
can be found on this powerful, impressive album."
Joe Endorf, "The Scene", July 1997
Marc Sabatella is a jazz pianist who will appeal to both
mainstream and avant-garde audiences alike. After all, how many 30-something
musicians list both Bill Evans and Cecil Taylor as major influences (and
truly mean it), yet have managed to develop an identifiable sound of their
own? The release of this CD, The Spanish Inquisition (Golden Horn Records),
should establish Sabatella as one of the most interesting new voices in
the "inside/outside" jazz tradition.
The CD features the Colorado-based Sabatella's working
band, also called The Spanish Inquisition, with Peter Sommer on soprano
and tenor saxophones, Erik Turkman on acoustic bass, and Thomas Van Schoick
on drums. The name of the group derives from the Monty Python line, "Nobody
expects the Spanish Inquisition", and refers to the band's
ability to surprise audiences with their range, which often wins converts
from outside the world of jazz.
Almost all of the compositions performed on the CD are
Sabatella originals, ranging from the mainstream trio piece Lazy and the
Monk-inspired solo Patience, to the freebop of Or Not and the collective
improvisation of Frantic, with several stops between, including the Shorter-ish
ballad Shades of Gray, the modal workout Something Else (Called Something
Else), and the constantly surprising Blue Honda a la Truck and Pygmalion.
Bassist Erik Turkman contributes the waltz How Can I Tell You? and an
arrangement of The Quest (The Impossible Dream) that is reminiscent of
Coltrane's later treatments of show tunes. The compositions are as strong
as the playing, which is intense and always personal, even while making
reference to the music of other individualists like Don Pullen or McCoy
Tyner. The saxophone playing of the 21-year-old Peter Sommer is similarly
direct and unlikely to be confused with that of anyone else of his generation.
The combination of memorable compositions and engaging performances makes
this a CD well worth checking out.
While this is Sabatella's debut as a leader, he has recorded
with trumpeter Hugh Ragin, and he produced a widely distributed compilation
of performances by Internet jazz musicians that received favorable reviews.
Sabatella is also the author of A Whole Approach To Jazz Improvisation
(ADG Productions). This book is the published version of his highly acclaimed
free online text, A Jazz Improvisation Primer, which has probably been
the most popular site relating to jazz education on the net over the past
from the press release / April 21, 1997