THE STRATO ENSEMBLE:
In the fall of 2003, Dean De Benedictis, a former keyboardist for Brand X yet better known for his electronic music as alias Surface 10, contacted fellow recording artists Giuseppe Patane (bass player from rock band Maata Haari), Andrea "Jako" Giacomini (drum player from rock band Socadia), and Takeshi Nishimoto (guitar player from progressive jazz duo I'm Not A Gun) to start a project. The intention of this project was to keep their chops up and keep their sense of progressive-jazz roots in tact. The result was an LA-based, improvisational-jazz ensemble yielding an alternative/progressive sound tenuously compared to that of Tortoise, Pat Metheny, Ozric Tentacles, and ECM jazz artists from the 70's and 80's. Fateless Music Records has compiled the ensemble's best jam sessions as a CDR release for 2007 called "Drawn Straws."
For more audio downloads of unreleased Strato Ensemble material, visit:
THE STRATO ENSEMBLE IS...
Dean De Benedictis - keyboardist, programmer, producer
Andrea "Jako" Giacomini - drummer
Takeshi Nishimoto - guitar player
Giuseppe Patane - bass player
TO THE LISTENER - From late 2003 to late 2004, myself, Dean De Benedictis, along with music colleagues Andrea Giacomini, Takeshi Nishimoto and Giuseppe Patane, banded together to record scattered sessions for a project based on the principal of liberation through improvisational flow. Rather then take the same, atonal, sparsely-punctuated path into experimental jazz, so thoroughly explored and exploited through the generations, we decided to indulge our genuine interest in a modal approach so as to allow for extra-aesthetic qualities such as mood, expanse, and build.
Our reflection on The Strato Ensemble was of the position that it is best categorized when seen as having carried on in the tradition of electric jazz musicians who so eloquently explored this modal realm throughout the 70’s and early 80’s (although we still condone such concepts as listener interpretation and progressive-mindedness on the part of the composer).
Some of our pieces were marathons of length, edited down a fraction, which also pays a virtually-intended homage to the tradition of this genre, and all the better that it parade how they are indeed pieces as apposed to being seen as songs of any kind. Also, amidst the spirit of experimentation, the ensemble carried out creative impulses that could easily be interpreted by the listener as audio dropouts or blemishes, to which we affirm, with utmost confidence, were ninety-nine percent intentional.
We do hope that, regardless of any individual’s possible tastes or preconceptions, the soul of the ensemble’s unrefined intentions communicates outwardly, clearly and gracefully. -Dean De Benedictis