Bill Vitek and Dan Gagliardi began playing music together in the autumn of 2004, after a chance meeting, but each of them has been playing jazz for more than three decades.
Gagliardi first developed an interest in the bass when at ten years old he cut the top two strings off of a guitar and learned to play “Day Tripper” by the Beatles. In high school he took up the string bass and studied classical and jazz at Manhattan School of Music’s Preparatory Division. He furthered his studies at the Eastman School of Music with James B. Vandermark. After Eastman, he studied with classical bassist Homer Mensch and jazz with Mike Richmond. Dan has played with Tom Harrel, Bruce Barth, and Steve Hobbs to name a few. Dan also has a deep love for mathematics and is a professor of mathematics at SUNY Canton.
Vitek studied with the late Schenectady pianist Ray Bozenski, and later with Crane School of Music graduate Frank Stagnitta. He worked for many years in New York’s Capital District region. His jazz nursery rhyme arrangements can be found on three recordings that have won various awards, including the Family Life's Critic's Choice Award, an American Library Association "Notable Children's Recording," and The Oppenheim Gold Seal Best Audio Award. Vitek has been a professor of philosophy and ethics for seventeen years at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York.
The Art of the Duo: Respect, Trust, and Joy
From their very first gig, Gagliardi and Vitek have worked to create music that celebrates the duo rather than vaunting the soloist. Bass and Piano are equal players in this ensemble, and there is plenty of room in this drum-less setting for both players to express themselves. The music moves easily from hard, driving swing to open ballads, and the players are always listening and responding to each other. And they’re having fun too!
About the song selections
The American Jazz Songbook is rich with melodies that challenge and move musicians and listeners alike. Gagliardi and Vitek have chosen some personal favorites and frequent requests from their most loyal fan base: Andrea Ferro, Hugo Attemann, Jim DeFranza, Deanna Errico, and Steve Yurgartis. . “My One and Only Love” is dedicated to Marie (Gagliardi’s mom), and Maria (Vitek’s wife). “Aicetektonic” is a Vitek original written for his children Anderew, Ian, Carolyn, and Elizabeth. “Blue State Blues” was written and arranged by Vitek and Gagliardi.
Gagliardi and Vitek dedicate this recording to their wives