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Sandro Dominelli - The Alvo SessionsThe Alvo Sessions is the most recent recording undertaken by Sandro Dominelli. Recorded in New York City, the Indian inspired guitar playing of Rez Abbasi, with the electric bass sounds of Chris Tarry, and the thick grooves of Sandro Dominelli have all come together to create an unprecedented sound. This is an exciting new project, that brings jazz aficionados and new listeners alike together in the appreciation of great music.

Featuring Sandro Dominelli’s interpretation of Chris Issak’s Wicked Games, Keith Jarret’s Personal Mountains, and his own original compositions, The Alvo Sessions stays true to the spirit of jazz. Sandro Dominelli is one of Canada`s most creative, talented and tasteful drummers. Catching the attention of local and international jazz icons alike, Sandro has collaborated with a long list of the veritable whos who such as Joe Lovano, Sheila Jordan, Ernie Watts, Doug Riley, Oliver Jones, Hugh Fraser, PJ Perry and Tommy Banks. With a Juno Nomination, Western Canadian Music Award, and Canadian Independent Music Award under his belt, Sandro’s achievements continue to make him one of Canada’s most endearing musicians.

In support of the Youth Emergency Shelter Society, Sandro will be donating $1 from each sale of ’The Alvo Sessions’ to support this remarkable organization. The Youth Emergency shelter provides shelter, safety, and hope to homeless and at-risk youth, visit www.yess.org for more information.

REVIEW

From the very first stroke of the Ride cymbal, on the opening tune of The Alvo Sessions, I knew I was going to enjoy this CD. I've got to say this upfront; I really dig Sandro's cymbal and drum sounds. But as great as those instruments sound, it's the musician and what he does with those instruments that brings them to life.

The Alvo Sessions ... with the lyric bass lines of Chris Tarry, along with the Indian sounding influenced guitar stylings of Rez Abbasi, and thick drum grooves of Sandro Dominelli, makes for an exciting and inspirational musical experience. There's no doubt that Dominelli, Abbasi, and Tarry are individually great musicians, but the symbiosis that I hear from this trio clearly comes out of an analogous companionship; the three flow as one.

In the opening track of The Alvo Sessions, the group takes a playful, yet inquisitive, excursion through Keith Jarrett's "Personal Mountains".

Dominelli's original composition, "Foggy Bridge", has a self-propelled rolling feel in triple meter, and features some wonderful cymbal work as well as a very musical drum solo, over a vamp, towards the end of the tune.

The exceptional, haunting arrangement of the Chris Isaak tune "Wicked Game" features some tasteful and artistic brush work by Dominelli. This is definitely one of my favorite tunes on the album; alone, well worth the price of admission.

"Number 11" by Marc Beaudin takes the trio into more of a fusion direction with unexpected progressions and Dominelli giving the listener some periodic, implied, metric-modulation. The tune works its way into a high-energy drum solo with a lot of syncopation, diddle-groove and rhythmic displacement. Drummers are going to love listening to Sandro's very musical pyrotechnics on this track.

The appropriately titled "Hot Sauce", another tune by Dominelli, is a very interesting latin jazz tune. The drum's broken swing feel implies a 3/4 meter (although the tune is in 4/4), and when you mix that along with the salsa tumbao from the bass, you get some musica caliente reminiscent of Chick Corea's "La Fiesta" ... de buen gusto!

The third Dominelli composition, "S.B.", is a lyric quasi-ballad in which the group makes good use of tension and release; nice.

Another favorite of mine is the Marc Beaudin composition, "Number 17". Here Sandro starts out (actually carries the entire tune) exploring a muffled Snare drum (snares-off) using drumsticks (one hand playing cross-stick), all while the HiHat (foot) is pulsing. This simple, yet extremely creative approach, makes room for those occasional Bass drum and cymbal accents, which really draws the listener in. Sandro's solo at the end of the tune is a work of art. His choice to limit his time-keeping to one main voice (the muffled Snare) left him plenty room to expand, using more color from the drumkit, which resulted in a beautiful sonic bouquet. Drummers of all skill levels should study Sandro's performance on this tune just to glean and learn more about solo development. Wonderful.

The final track, "KATA", was composed by bassist, Chris Tarry. It's an alluring jazz ballad that features, once again, some wonderful brush work by Sandro Dominelli.

If you enjoy the trio/quartet works of Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and John Abercrombie, you're going to love The Alvo Sessions. I found it very refreshing, and after my first listen through, I immediately hit replay for another round.

To purchase this CD and learn about upcoming performances, visit Sandro Dominelli's website at www.sandrodominelli.com.