[Tony] Deangelis’ sparse, wonderful brushwork on the drums...closely tracked [the pianist’s] thoroughly thought-out improvisations.
Drummer Tony Deangelis was born in Reading, PA, in 1969. By age six he was playing the drums, and by age nine he was in his first working trio. He then attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, on scholarship. There he met and played with today’s top players on the jazz scene including Kurt Rosenwinkel, Larry Grenadier, Geoff Keezer, and Roy Hargrove. After graduating from Berklee in 1990, Tony moved to Philadelphia. There he formed several groups and performed throughout the Northeastern United States.
Once you have experienced Tony’s playing, it is immediately apparent who has influenced his style of drumming. Tony incorporates the rolling triplets of Elvin Jones, the space used by Jon Christensen, and the hard-driving time of Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette. Because of his distinctive sound, stage presence, and ability to adapt to any situation, Tony is held in high regard by his musical peers.
Bassists Matthew Parrish, Charles Fambrough (Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner,) and Tony Marino, trumpeter John Swana, legendary trombonist Al Grey, saxophonists Ralph Bowen, Ralph Lalama, and Gerry Niewood, and pianist Jim Ridl are just some of the high-caliber musicians Tony plays with regularly. While working with these influential artists, he has learned from the musicians that have helped shape the jazz we hear today.
Tony can be seen performing in clubs, at festivals (i.e. Berks Jazz Festival and Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz Festival) and on CDs by regional artists. He has performed clinics and judged high school jazz festivals as well as recorded jingles for NFL Films and soundtracks for HBO Films.
The Tony Deangelis Quartet was created not to show off the talent of any one member, but rather to emphasize the talents of all. Expertise in improvisation, interpretation, expression, and use of space are just some of the distinctive qualities that can be heard in this group. Based in Philadelphia, this new quartet is fast becoming part of the music scene and has begun its journey to reach fans further than the eye can see.
Being a jazz musician willing to push the envelope of straight ahead jazz, Tony has let himself be influenced by many types of music. This original sound that he has created can be heard on his debut recording as a leader Everybody’s Song, volumes I/II. From the wide display of dynamics on “Takin’ Off“ to his hard, driving groove on the original “Hail Caesar,” Tony has studied, learned, and mastered the art of drumming. Listening to his solo in the Leonard Bernstein song “Some Other Time” will give you a firsthand look at his sensitivity and creativity.
Creating the quartet with long time friend and confidant Matthew Parrish (bass) was relatively easy. Having worked with Jim Ridl
(pianist with Dave Liebman Big Band) in various settings, it was obvious that his style, interpretations, and use of space would be the right fit to fill out the rhythm section. Ralph Bowen (reeds with Orrin Evans’ Luv Park and Ralph Peterson Jr.’s Fo’tet,) came as a strong recommendation from Matthew. His individuality, expressive interpretation of melodies (check out the head to Little Waltz,) big, round sound, and beautiful, melodic solos made him the perfect player to compliment the trio. Matthew, who tours with Regina Carter and Stefon Harris, creates the basis for which the group can interact and solo over. He improvises memorable solos that you would swear were written out in advance and composes songs and arrangements that have the group in mind.