Stockton CA, June 28th, 2019
- Pianist Randy Sandoli has produced, arranged, and wrote all but one (
) tune for his newly released CD
Joy is a very appropriate word to describe this 9 tune set of music! The writing is original and fresh! Listen to tune after tune as they shape shift for a complete sheet of sound!
With the tender solo piano playing at the intro of the opening tune
), from there Randy leads it to a hot mix of rhythm changes with a fierce tenor saxophone solo from Alex Reyes!
From there, track 2
with alto saxophonist Levi Saelua and trumpeter Joe Mazzaferro, both take very inventive solo's. Randy's writing is very open and percussive throughout the track.
Randy's use of the horn section as a chorus for parts of nearly every tune is very tasty. On
Help Me To See
, track 3, we're introduced to the rich and soul filled vocals of Randy Sandoli. Randy says
"my goal is to continue to develop my voice as a means of expression along side my instrumental expression on the piano".
The message in this tune seems to be one the evokes enlightenment
Next up is track 4,
, written by the
album's bassist, Aaron Rousseau. It is a nice change of pace for
this release. It has a
round groove sounding bass work. Levi Saelua returns here with an arousing tenor solo that builds to a "BANG" of sound explosion! The thunderous cymbal work from drummer Joseph Evans, adds just the right energy with Randy's piano playing being ever so subtle.
Randy's classical training shines through on track 5,
Chazak Amatz (For Amos, Be Strong and of Good Courage)
. A fantastic trio piece!
The writing creates a series of movements with percussive accents, and exquisite hummingbird like piano playing by Randy Sandoli.
There is some excellent writing and arranging throughout this recording but perhaps none more so than that on track 6 Simcha (Joy). It has lots of snappy curves, breaks and wonderful soloing. Definitely very joyous. Certain to be a radio favorite!
While both tracks 7
, V'nivrechu (Grafted In)
and track 8, The
First Seven Miles,
continue with the same musical excellence as those prior it's the final track
Port City Stomp "
a tune inspired by the spirit of New Orleans" Randy clarifies". Another crown jewel on the CD!
"Port City Stomp" is dedicated to my home town of Stockton. California's deepest inland water port city. Drummer Joseph Evans, strikes the perfect
New Orleans beat!
Port City Stomp
seems to segue into some modern piano soloing, with both saxophonist Levi Saelua and Alex Reyes engaged in a romp roaring exchange!
This is followed by another amazing solo by trumpeter Joe Mazzaferro closed out with short fat bass solo from Aaron Rousseau and the ensemble re-convenes to take it home!
Randy has assembled a great lineup of musicians, some who play in his working band. The collaboration results in a very tight cohesive unit, that is flawless and you can hear that everyone brought their "A" game!
Hopefully many others will follow this lead and use the formula of great writing, imaginative arranging, incredible leadership and top notch musicianship to create music of this quality.
is definitely setting the bar high!