Nestled just behind his house in scenic Woodstock, Scott Petito's NRS studio feels more like a cozy summer cottage than a recording studio.
Oriental rugs adorn the floors, and the walls are filled with posters,
photographs and memorabilia of his over three-decade long experience working in that studio with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, Garth Hudson and hundreds of other heavy hitters.
Inside the main room, alto saxophonist Keith Pray blows a muscular solo that spans the instrument's full dynamic range. Impassioned and at the same time sensitive, the energy climbs and then fades into Lou Pappas' full-bodied double-bass lines and the polyrhythmic beats laid down by consummate drummer Jeff "Siege" Siegel.
Within seconds Chuck D'Aloia's electric guitar picks up the slack and tastefully projects out into the room. Its streaming notes flow effortlessly, never straying far from the jazz undercurrent of the melody line.
Soon, they disappear and blend into rhythmic chords to set up a solo for pianist Peter Tomlinson. His expressive playing dances joyously over the rhythms until Tomlinson shoots a quick glance at Pray, who nods his head and brings in his saxophone to wind down the tune until the last harmonic note fades away into thin air.
In the control room, engineer Petito moves the slide all the
way down to stop the recording. Cracking a warm smile, he turns to look through the studio glass at Pray and his collaborators. "I think we got it," he assuredly says through the intercom.
Andrzej "Andre" Pilarczyk, Chief Photographer for Nippertown.com and
contributor to Albanyjazz.com..
This recording has been in the back of my mind for several years, but with little direction. Most of the songs presented here have been in the rotation of my quartet for a while (some as far back as 2003) and starting in about 2009, I was fortunate to unite the “right” rhythm section for these tunes. As we played them over the next two years, I was inspired by the interpretation and creativity that was happening between the members of the group and began thinking of making a recording with this group. I chose to record the group all in the same room as was the standard up until the mid 1960’s as I feel those recordings have a certain quality and honesty that is not possible with the new standard of isolating all of the instruments allowing any imperfections to be corrected. This recording is a snapshot of where the band was at the day of the recording.