Alexandra Caselli | Rough Edges

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Jazz: West Coast Jazz Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Rough Edges

by Alexandra Caselli

Who would think a Texas girl would come to California and make all these beautiful jazz compositions? Three of the songs have been nominated for best song in various categories in the 2009 "Just Plain Folks" Music Awards.
Genre: Jazz: West Coast Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Waiting for Jennifer
4:35 $0.99
2. Blues for Stevie
4:26 $0.99
3. Colors of the Rain
5:51 $0.99
4. Field Trip
6:51 $0.99
5. If You Loved Me As Much As I Can Imagine
4:51 $0.99
6. Out of the Blue
3:45 $0.99
7. Butterfly Eyebrows
2:54 $0.99
8. Home At Last
4:42 $0.99
9. Rough Edges
6:12 $0.99
10. Still Time
5:43 $0.99
11. Lift Me Up
5:20 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A rather inappropriate title for an album that is seemingly flawless with no discernable rough edges heard, Rough Edges is another blazing effort from pianist Alexandra Caselli and a pleasing one at that. A classically-trained pianist who began playing the instrument at the age of six, Caselli begins to reveal the depth of that training on the light ballad of “Colors of The Rain” with a warm performance on the keys. Not only is Caselli an exceptional player, she's also a talented composer providing eleven creative and lively original compositions to sample.

Unlike her previous album, Out The Aquarium (Moonjumpers 2, 2004), where Caselli performs with two different rhythm sections in a standard piano trio format, she augments her core trio of bassist Jennifer Leitham and drummer Randy Drake with several guest players. Among them are flautist Jennifer Hall who is part of ABC's Dancing with The Stars house band, former Ray Charles guitarist Brad Rabuchin and saxophonist Carol Chaikin. Adding yet another element to her music, Caselli includes two lyrical pieces with “Blues for Stevie” and “Out of the Blue” with vocals provided by Jonathan Dane, who also plays the trumpet and flugelhorn on other tracks.

The music is quite charming as the program opens up with the lively, upbeat ”Waiting for Jennifer,” featuring spirited playing from Hall on alto flute, and well accompanied by guitarist Rabuchin as Caselli plays the melody. On ”Blues for Stevie” it's saxophonist Chaikin, following the vocal intro from Dane, who distinguishes herself with a sparkling solo on alto while Leitham and Drake make their presence felt. The guitarist takes part of the limelight with cool, crisp play on “Field Trip,” sharing the stage with Leitham's brisk acoustic bass.

While graced by excellent solos from her band mates and guests, it's pianist Alexandra Caselli who delivers a marvelous performance and deserves the credit for crafting, sanding down and polishing the Rough Edges off one very fine recording.
- Edward Blanco

"Rough Edges- It’s a nice one, opening with a samba featuring just the right mix of lilt and syncopation, Caselli comping and soloing lightly round the surdo, and then proceeding jazzily on with a damn fine mellowed tinge that gets cut up with soloing by Jennifer Hall, Jonathan Dane and especially saxophonist Carol Chaikin (who nails it on soprano, on that title cut .?.?. man, can that lady play)"
- Brick Wahl
L.A. Weekly

"This is the second CD I’ve reviewed by pianist Alexandra Caselli, and if there are any Rough Edges I’ve yet to hear them. As on that earlier album—Out the Aquarium (Moonjumpers 2, 2004)—Caselli plays with impeccable style and unerring tastefulness, affirming this writer’s previous comparison to another remarkable pianist, the celebrated and seemingly ageless Marian McPartland."
-Jack Bowers,
Cadence Magazine

“Pianist Caselli, classically trained, who also writes some of the band’s original music, is a delight at the piano, creating moods with her mellow ballad stylings, setting the pace with bop, or for whatever is the call of the moment.”
-Bob Agnew,
L.A. Jazz Scene

“Alexandra Caselli at the piano... comps with the best, improvises on the ballads with a depth of feeling that can be felt in the soul of those that listen. When Caselli brings on the heat and gets into the blues.... the toes start tapping and the fingers start snapping. “
-Johnny Jazz ,
Performance Reviews

“Her tunes are some of the best written originals I’ve heard in years. Great feel, harmony that is hip and I love her time.”
Tim Price,
saxophonist and educator

"Her touch moves from a Keith Jarrett sound to almost a Bill Evans sound (though not quite) to something entirely her own (perhaps even a bit of church music influence?)."
Adam Greenberg,

Add to that great name the classical heritage of Muzio Clementi, the impressionistic philosophy of Lynne Arriale (by way of Bill Evans), and a great ear for melody, and you have the total package that is Ms. Caselli.... She plays with a double-fisted abandon that imparts a real orchestral sound to her trio.
C. Michael Bailey



to write a review

Al Menzl

Rough Edges
What a delight to have rediscovered Alexandra Caselli and her music after a 17 year hiatus. Back in the late 80’s when she was playing in the Reno/Tahoe area I had the pleasure of often listening to her live performances.
Performing her alluring compositions on “Rough Edges”, Alexandra's polished technique is surrounded by swinging musicians who together impart a masterful performance.