Okay, here's the skinny...
The Paul Abella Trio is here to get its groove on. Their agenda is simple: to make jazz fun again. Taking their cues from a long line of jazz giants who had themselves a grand old time, they seek to build upon the legacies of Nat King Cole, Mose Allison, Eddie Harris, Les McCann, Mongo Santamaria and a thousand other jazz giants by playing tunes that people know and grooving on those tunes like there's no tomorrow.
The Paul Abella Trio is made up of three of the more unique musicians in the Chicago area. Paul is best known as the music director at WDCB and as the review writer for Chicago Jazz Magazine. But he*s also an inventive percussionist who can juggle polyrhythms while keeping things grooving all night long. Add to that a knowledge of music that can only come with working in record stores and at one of the hippest radio stations anywhere, and you have a solid rhythmic base with which to build a band upon.
Guitarist, singer, songwriter and all around great guy Mitch Corso is another invaluable asset of the Paul Abella Trio. Having studied with Fareed Haque at NIU's prestigious jazz program, Mitch is a talented and driven guitarist, capable of swinging hard and rocking hard. Besides leading his own group, he's also the music director at Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church. As if all of this doesn't keep him busy enough, he*s also going for his master's degree in music business at Columbia College.
Bob Ferraris has played in practically every situation known to man, from symphonies and musicals to avant-garde jazz. Boasting flawless technique and a deep pocketed groove that comes from listening to greats as diverse as Charles Mingus and Larry Graham, Bob can best be described as Jaco Pastorius on an upright bass.
The Paul Abella Trio got its start in late 2006. Paul's original idea was to emulate the later edition of the Nat King Cole Trio with Jack Costanzo. In a way, they have accomplished this with great elan, by using Nat's playbook, without using his songbook. By utilizing percussion as opposed to a full drum set, they're not only unique, but they're also quiet enough for just about any situation that could ever arise. That said, their sound is still full enough that they can get good and funky when the mood strikes them. Beyond the left of center instrumentation, The Paul Abella Trio also concentrates on witty arrangements, quirky medleys and songs that people love. What they ended up with was a setlist that covered everything from Louis Armstrong to Johnny Cash, played in a way that has consistently left jaws dropping and fingers popping.
Contrary to what the name might suggest, The Paul Abella Trio is a band in every sense of the word. You can see it in the constant communication on stage. You can hear it in the cohesive vision that blends gritty grooves, African rhythms, jazz harmonies and great melodies. You can feel it when the band hits a jam and feet start tapping and fingers start snapping. Equal parts jazz band, jam band and world-blues fusion, The Paul Abella Trio is at once familiar and fresh.
In 2007, The Paul Abella Trio released their debut album, "mainstreamism." Their quirkiness is fully evident on their charming rendition of Caravan, their world-fusion romp through La Vie En Rose and Paul's original, Love Blossoms At Stateville. Grab your copy while you're here and find YOUR favorite tune off of this incredibly fun jazz album.