"Tenderly" is a CD that has the relaxing and uplifting emotional appeals of beauty, peace and romance. Under the title "An Evening To Remember" (a duo release by Dennis Marcellino on sax and Mark Stefani on guitar) this CD proved to have strong popular appeal by the fact that it sold over 40,000 units in one year (1996) mainly in the gift market niche through the #1 gift market recording label, Sugo Music, where ETR was the #2 selling CD at that label, even outselling Johnny Mathis and Benny Goodman. In a mild test marketing into the mainstream, ETR also proved popular by placing at #23 on the annual chart (1996) of popular mainstream jazz station WGMC in Rochester, charting over Tom Scott, Sonny Rollins, Dave Koz, Stan Getz, Grover Washington Jr., etc. (This can be seen online at http://www.wgmc.org/top1001996.htm).
It also received great mainstream reviews:
5-star review in Jazzscene Magazine: “Marcellino/Stefani earn A+! I can’t remember when I’ve been so entranced by an album! Marcellino is a master virtuoso. FIVE STARS!"
Bob Carlisle, Grammy award winning writer and singer of "Butterfly Kisses" about Dennis’ playing on his CD “New Beginning”: "When it comes to soul, Dennis Marcellino redefines the term. His remarkable tone and feel are full of passion and soulful expression."
These are in addition to the MANY great quotes received by individual listeners.
Also, the popular Soviet-American website has Dennis listed as one of the top 10 sax players of all time based on “Autumn Leaves” from that CD. "Tenderly" expands on the ETR duo release by including some light backup, such as strings, bass, keyboard and percussion on some songs and includes two originals.
The appeal of this CD is attributed to the very underserved niche in modern “mainstream” radio of beauty and romance. Modern music may have changed, but the human heart hasn't, to which this kind of music still has great appeal.
The songs on "Tenderly" include such time-tested classics as: Misty, Autumn Leaves, The Girl From Ipanema, Tenderly, Since I Fell For You, I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face, The Shadow Of Your Smile, Summertime, Someday My Prince Will Come, My Funny Valentine, etc. These greatly loved songs give “Tenderly” a high “name appeal” and credibility, just as they did for “An Evening To Remember”.
But, the two musicians on this CD aren't exactly unknown in the music field, where just a few of Dennis Marcellino's many top credits include being a former member of: Sly & The Family Stone, The Tokens ("The Lion Sleeps Tonight"), and The Elvin Bishop Group. Mark Stefani currently heads up the #1 music instruction site on the internet, www.VisionMusic.com. Also, Dennis has held down #1 spots in the charts at mp3.com with this and other CD releases of his, receiving around 400,000 listens there.
The Artists (from the CD liner notes):
Dennis Marcellino is a former member of The Tokens (The Lion Sleeps Tonight), Sly & The Family Stone, The Elvin Bishop Group, and Rubicon. With these groups he recorded 10 albums. As a solo artist he had the #1 selling cassette in the Northwest in 1992 & 1993 (“It’s Christmas”), and a 1994 CD release “Daddy’s Home”, on which he played all of the instruments and sang all of the vocal parts. He also did the same for a 1999 release called “New Beginning”. This is what Bob Carlisle, Grammy and Dove awardwinning writer and singer of "Butterfly Kisses" had to say about this CD: "When it comes to soul, Dennis Marcellino redefines the term. His remarkable tone and feel are full of passion and soulful expression ". Besides being a member of the above groups, over the years he’s recorded and toured as a musician/vocalist with Sha Na Na, Rare Earth, 3 Dog Night, Danny & The Juniors, The Coasters, The Electric Flag, Mike Bloomfield, Graham Central Station, The Shirelles, Fabian, and The Platters. He has also been a special guest star on many television shows, including “The Tracey Ullman Show” (twice), American Bandstand, and Merv Griffin. While living in Los Angeles, he scored and performed the music for a number of movies, and sang the lead and played sax on two songs in “Sweet Bird Of Youth”, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mark Harmon. Although most of his credits have been in pop music, Dennis says that he feels especially good about this CD because it’s allowed him to return to what he first fell in love with in music: the peace and beauty of the “M.O.R.” music of the 1950s. About this CD, Dennis says: “It’s funny when I think about how Mark and I started by just jamming on these tunes in his apartment in the 1970s, never realizing that that was all we would need to make a great CD.” “My biggest thank you is to God, for giving me talent, inSpiration and feeling; and also for being a perfect standard to look up to, rest on and be greatly inspired by. This recording is dedicated to all of the great music craftsmen and artists of the 1950s and early 1960s, most of whom lost their careers when the rock and roll era came along. It is also dedicated to the simple happiness, romance and purer love in the music of that era.” Dennis performs and records on a 1967 Selmer Mark VI tenor sax.
Mark Stefani, son of legendary jazz trombonist Roy Stefani, has devoted most of his life to music. He began playing guitar in 1969, and was inspired by his father along with Bay Area jazz guitarist Eddie Duran. Mark received his early jazz education while studying with guitarist Dave Smith, and later began his classical training under the guidance of George Sakellariou at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Mark is a highly eclectic guitarist, though best noted for his skill in the rhythm & blues and jazz idioms. Throughout his career, his influences (among many) have been guitarists George Benson and Kenny Burrell, jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, and saxophonist Tom Scott. On the acoustic guitar, Mark has amassed a repertoire of over 700 instrumental classical, popular, jazz, and latin standards. In 1986 he began composing original music in a variety of styles to match his diverse background. Mark has been involved in the music educational field for over 30 years, and in 1997 designed "Vision Music" (www.visionmusic.com), the largest online guitar and bass instruction website in the world. His talent as a music coach has been felt by countless professionals and hobbyists everywhere. In 1987, his career was spotlighted in Guitar Player Magazine, where he was described as possessing a "versatile style on both electric and acoustic guitars" in addition to having a "master's touch." "Thanks to God for blessing me with an inspired existence; my late parents Roland and Margaret, for their encouragement and guiding musical influences; my wife Janice, and daughters Francesca and Gina, for their love and continuing support; and a very special thanks to my dear friend and playing partner Dennis Marcellino, who's musical talent, positive energy, and spiritual influence has had such a profound effect on my life!" Mark performs and records on a 1970 Gibson Super 400 archtop jazz guitar.