FOR THE SOUL – AVAILABLE MAY 22 ON RANDOM ACT RECORDS
BOB BELDEN-PRODUCED ALBUM SPOTLIGHTS ORGAN
HEAVYWEIGHTS PAT BIANCHI AND JOEY DEFRANCESCO, AS WELL AS GUITARIST JOHN HART AND SAXOPHONIST JON IRABAGON
PAT MARTINO SIDEMAN FLOURISHES AS LEADER
WITH FUSION OF JAZZ, FUNK AND SOUL
LISTEN TO EXCLUSIVE STREAMING TRACKS FROM FOR THE SOUL
Drummer/Percussionist Carmen Intorre is pairing up with producer Bob
Belden on his debut album For The Soul (Random Act Records); the
organ-based session covers a wide range of musical stylings from Stevie
Wonder and Steely Dan to Chick Corea and Weather Report. Intorre is
joined by John Hart on guitar, Jon Irabagon on alto and tenor sax, and
Pat Bianchi and Joey DeFrancesco – two of the world’s most formidable
jazz organists. The album swings within the tradition while expanding
upon the vocabulary and boundaries of the idiom.
Currently Intorre performs with legendary jazz guitarist Pat Martino,
touring extensively throughout the world with the guitarist’s organ
trio. He is always eager to uncover the latest information about music
and drumming and to share that information with others. He states, “This
is my job. I have to give back what I was given a chance to do.” He
goes on to explain, “Music is an opportunity for me to give up my soul,
while in the process connecting with the audiences’ souls as well. I
want the musicians on the bandstand and the members in the audience to
feel uplifted after a performance, to feel great about themselves
through the experience that they encountered. That is what For The Soul
is all about.”
The opening track, Stevie Wonder’s “Too High,” sizzles with intensity.
Along with the leader’s backbeat, Bianchi’s funky bass line and Hart’s
strumming sets up a compelling groove. Everyone solos with aplomb, with
Hart rocking out, Bianchi displaying harmonic depth and Irabagon
illustrating how and why he won the prestigious Thelonious Monk
Competition in 2008. Of course, Intorre makes his own joyous statement
while driving the arrangement to its conclusion.
Gene Perla’s “Tergiversation” is a seldom-performed gem. Intorre’s
version features the organ tandem of DeFrancesco and Bianchi. Friendly
fireworks ensue as the two masters solo and trade statements; the fire
escalates as they trade fours with the leader’s thoughtful drums. This
is an organ-lover’s dream.
The Chick Corea opus, “Steps” is rendered by Intorre, Bianchi and
DeFrancesco. Few organ groups could handle this tricky composition, let
alone perform it at a breakneck tempo. These three navigate the time and
changes in a romp, with Intorre taking his longest solo on the album.
Producer Belden contributed “Carmen’s Caddie,” his homage to Intorre’s
ride of choice. A boogaloo out of the McDuff tradition, the quirky
melody leads to solos from Hart’s clean lines, Irabagon’s throaty tenor
and a master class in the blues from the irrepressible DeFrancesco.
The album progresses with an homage of a different sort: Joe Zawinul’s
tribute to Mr. Adderley, “Cannonball.” Intorre leads the group with
soothing percussion, DeFrancesco delves into his Weather Report vibe,
and Bianchi contributes keyboard textures. The ballad tempo still cooks,
with Intorre piloting the ensemble to soaring flights. Everyone pays
their own heartfelt testimony to Cannonball – However, perhaps the most
heart is displayed on the drummer/leader’s own tune, the gorgeous “Only
One.” Inspired by the wisdom, courage and beauty of the drummer’s
deceased mother, Joan, the beautiful melody is underpinned by
sophisticated harmony. Everyone does Mrs. Intorre proud:She surely
smiled down upon the entire session.
More soulful sounds emanate from Big Chief Donald Harrison’s “Good For
The Soul,” as Irabagon features his alto for the only time. Swinging
from the jump, the happy melody is as sunny as Intorre’s big beat. His
joyful countenance is also felt on Freddie Hubbard’s “Gibraltar,” as
DeFrancesco takes over the organ again and is provoked by the soul/funk
influences to quote from Parliament Funkadelic.
Another unique tune choice, “Josie,” is far different from the original
Steely Dan version. This Josie is on the corner, maybe a bit too high,
but still ready for anything. With Hart’s rollicking opening guitar
riffs to the free conversation that ensues, the tune is a highlight of
modernity. Towards the end, Intorre absolutely raises the roof – the
musicians evoke memories of Tony Williams’ Lifetime. The album’s closer
is a flag-waver for the soul. Weather Report’s “Black Market” struts
with pure ingenuity, prompting a howl from an exuberant DeFrancesco, who
wails with impunity as Irabagon does Shorter. Intorre drives it home,
ending abruptly on the stately melody.
Born in Buffalo, NY, Carmen Intorre developed an early interest in music
and began playing drums at age five. A graduate of The Institute for
Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School, he has performed and recorded with
numerous musicians such as George Benson, Larry Coryell, Wynton
Marsalis, Monty Alexander, George Coleman, Eric Alexander, George
Cables, Benny Golson, Richie Cole, Joe Locke, Lew Tabackin, Bobby
Watson, Ira Sullivan, Bobby Watson, and many others.
A 2011 GRAMMY® nominee for his performance on the critically acclaimed
album by Joey DeFrancesco entitled Never Can Say Goodbye: The Music of
Michael Jackson, Intorre also had the pleasure of performing alongside
DeFrancesco and Dr. Lonnie Smith on the PBS show Legends of Jazz, hosted
by Ramsey Lewis. “Carmen is one of my favorite drummers; he has a very
wide groove and strong beat, and most of all he swings his ass off! I
love him!” says DeFrancesco.
Perhaps one word best describes Carmen Intorre and his music: Joy.
Reminiscent of Billy Higgins, Intorre brings a palpable swing and drive
to virtually all the tracks, making this a palatable musical feast “for
Random Act Records’ motto “Great Music for the Greater Good” adheres to
Carmen’s philosophy of “giving back.” The label donates 10% of all
proceeds to charities.
Upcoming Carmen Intorre Tour Dates:
Carmen Intorre – drums/percussion
Jon Irabagon – saxophone
Pat Bianchi – organ
John Hart – guitar
June 14 | Birdland (album release celebration) | New York, NY
June 18 | Iris | Buffalo, NY
June 19 | Abbott’s Downtown | Rochester, NY
June 20 | Night Town | Cleveland, OH
** Carmen Intorre is currently on tour with Pat Martino. Click here for dates near you.
Carmen Intorre · For The Soul
Random Act Records · Release Date: May 22, 2012
For more information on Carmen Intorre and Random Act Records, visit: