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Mike Rossi | The Mike Rossi Project: Journey

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The Mike Rossi Project: Journey

by Mike Rossi

Journey features a whirlwind tour of musical styles including Standards, Latin, Jazz-Rock, Swing, Modal and South African Jazz with some twists along the way.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Got a Match?
7:03 $0.99
2. Big Sax
4:52 $0.99
3. Ciao Roma: Don’t Say Lazio!
6:08 $0.99
4. Star Dust
3:34 $0.99
5. Kwazulu Zam Sam
5:46 $0.99
6. Alpe Camasca, Italy
7:13 $0.99
7. Greasy Pan Blues
6:54 $0.99
8. Land of Make Believe
4:37 $0.99
9. Shiny Stockings
6:18 $0.99
10. Cucciulitti-Snails of Fermo
4:49 $0.99
11. Hilda
3:06 $0.99
12. Mra
6:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Journey is a follow-up to the Mike Rossi Project II 2016 release of Take Another Five (dedicated to Nelson Mandela and Dave Brubeck) Journey features a whirlwind tour of musical styles including Standards, Latin, Jazz-Rock, Swing, Modal and South African Jazz with some twists along the way. After an early 1970s introduction to jazz from by my Dad Andimo, Journey is a collection of pieces that reflect over forty years of jazz experiences and influences from past and present heroes that shaped my life and musical being.

Got a Match? is dedicated to Chick Corea, who was and still is a great influence after first hearing Now He Sing, Now He Sobs, Light As A Feather, Friends and other Corea classics from the 1970s and 80s. Following the opening introduction solo statements by Andrew Ford and Kevin Gibson, it features the band giving their all in this classic Corea tour de force.

Big Sax with its relaxed and whist full melody, is one of my earlier works from the 1990s and specifically arranged in 2017 with the “sound” of my Altello saxophone in mind, one my desert island saxes hand-made in Italy by Rampone & Cazzani. The cd features throughout a collection of R & C saxophones also including the soprano, alto, tenor and baritone, as well as piccolo, flute, alto flute and clarinet. Big Sax features some lovely, gentle and thoughtful playing my Marco Maritz on flugelhorn and trumpet, William Haubrich on trombone and Wesley Rustin on bass.

Ciao Roma; Don’t Say Lazio! was written in 2017 after the great pleasure of being part of Mandela Night 2017 in Rome that featured Take Another Five arranged for the Progressive Italian Jazz-Rock group Agora. The invitation from Renato Gasparini to perform with this Grammy nominated group in Rome was certainly one of the highlights of the year. While in Rome I had another chance to catch up with the outstanding Italian Jazz singer and friend Susanna Stivali whom I have known since 2011 as part of the Arcevia Jazz Feast (Jazz Festival). The original title of this work was Ciao Lazio but after its premiere at the Arcevia Jazz Feast I was told you can’t say Lazio to a Roman due to some past Italian football conflict! The Phrygian based structure is a reflection of the Italian happy/sad way approach to life. It also features Andrew Ford and some great drumming by Kevin Gibson.

Star Dust is dedicated to my dear mother Janet Rossi who passed away in September 2017. It was her favourite song and if it wasn’t for Mom I doubt I would be playing the saxophone. When Mom was asked, what instrument she liked the most, she replied "the saxophone". Many of my works stem from my Italian-American upbringing by Janet and Andimo Rossi; a culture and heritage that reflect the regions of Abruzzo, Benevento and Naples.

KwaZulu Zam Sam is a new arrangement of KwaZulu Zam that was recorded for the first MR Project Trespassing Permitted but not released due to an already abundance of material on the cd. It is South African in nature and style (now with a "Basie" like shout chorus), and is always a pleasure to perform for South African and international audiences. KwaZulu Zam is also published as an arrangement for mixed ensemble by Advance Music, Germany.

Alpe Camasca, Italy is an extended work and multi-layered nine movement work that moves two main themes through different time signatures and feels. (I also move from clarinet to tenor, to soprano). It was inspired by visits and special times with my wife Diane to Northern Italy and Quarna Sotto where Rampone & Cazzani is located. At an altitude of 1300 meters Alpe Camasca is a complete different world with breathtaking views in every direction and Italian life at its most basic and very best. The work is dedicated to Maria Rita Zolla (wife of Roberto, and mother of Claudio and Simone Zolla), who passed away in 2016 and was a dear friend to my wife and myself.

Greasy Pan Blues is one of the oldest/newest pieces on the cd as it was first written in 1992 and arranged in 2017 for the MRP III Journey Project. It is basically a blues in two keys at the same time, thus the “strange” sounds! The melody was first inspired while visiting and performing in South Africa in 1992 at a then quite well known Cape Town jazz club, however the food was not so famous and I wound up in hospital the morning after an evening performance. The blues really gets stretched to say the least on top of some fun group improvisations and brilliant solo by Andrew Ford on organ. Hope you enjoy the vocals by the band!

Land of Make Believe. As a “kid” growing up in the 1970s no one could escape the popularity across all genres of Chuck Mangione. His mega hits such as Land of Make Believe, Chase the Clouds Away, Feels So Good were all part of my collection. As a young sax player trying to play flute and clarinet I always admired Mangione’s saxophonists who were all outstanding woodwind players as well as fantastic and exciting soloists. It was a great time growing up in the 1970s listening to and seeing the likes of Jazz-Rock artists Chuck Mangione, Weather Report, Tower of Power et al, and the big bands of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Don Ellis, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich and Maynard Ferguson.

Shiny Stockings is dedicated to the great Count Basie and his band, and is based on the great Frank Foster arrangement. In this version, it’s re-worked for quartet and features the clarinet (an instrument not often heard in jazz today) along with tasty playing in the rhythm section by Andrew, Kevin and Wesley.

Cucciulitti-Snails of Fermo was written in 2017 and features the baritone sax and William Haubrich on trombone. It is dedicated to my dear friends in Fermo, Italy; mainly Umberto and Maria Bufalini, and Roberto Zechini. Cucciulitti is the local dialect for snails which were prepared with loving care for hours by Umberto in an endless feast of these little creatures and accompanied by lots of local wine.

Hilda is a beautiful piece by Lars Jansson. The melody stands on its own without any real need for improvisation. It is dedicated to the many friends I have made from Norway and the “Hildas” everywhere. Many thanks to Emilio Marinelli for introducing me to this beautiful piece.

Mra is a South African classic and features bassist Wesley Rustin with a brilliant opening introduction before setting the groove! There have been numerous versions of this piece recorded and I hope this 2018 version takes you and leaves you the listener in a place only South African Jazz music can. Enjoy!

Mike Rossi
Cape Town, South Africa

The Mike Rossi Project 2018
Mike Rossi: soprano, altello, alto, tenor, baritone saxophones, clarinet, flute, alto flute, piccolo
Marco Maritz: trumpet & flugelhorn, William Haubrich; trombone, Andrew Ford; piano & organ, Wesley Rustin: acoustic bass, Kevin Gibson; drums.



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