Paul Wertico Trio | Don't Be Scared Anymore

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Rock: Experimental Rock Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Don't Be Scared Anymore

by Paul Wertico Trio

This CD has been described as "Scary good", "Nine tracks of pure high-octane fusion, showcasing Wertico's compositional prowess alongside his incomparable drum style." and "This album is like the soundtrack to the world's coolest vacation."
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Clybourn Strut
5:54 $0.99
2. The Underground
4:56 $0.99
3. African Sunset
8:25 $0.99
4. The Visit
5:03 $0.99
5. Liftoff
5:39 $0.99
6. Long Journey's End
7:07 $0.99
7. Taliaville
3:47 $0.99
8. Justa Little Tuna
3:41 $0.99
9. Testament
10:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Let the reviews speak for themselves:

In the best recording of his career by far, Chicago drummer-bandleader Paul Wertico crosses stylistic barriers that may frighten jazz purists. Combining the energy of the best rock'n'roll with the smarts of top-notch jazz improvisation, Wertico and his all-star trio have cut a record that sums up several facets of the drummer's free-ranging career. If Wertico's strutting rhythms and guitarist John Moulder's incendiary lines on "Clybourn Strut" underscore the leader's populist tendencies, the strange chord progressions and outrageously bent notes of "The Underground" point to the trio's fearlessness in exploring unconventional tuning and unorthodox ensemble sound. With this tour de force, Wertico, Moulder and bassist Eric Hochberg open up new directions for themselves and for jazz musicians bold enough to build upon the achievements of "Don't Be Scared Anymore." - One of the Best 10 albums released in 2000 - Chicago Tribune
You've seen him on the cover of Modern Drummer; you've heard him play drums with the Pat Metheny Group. Now, Paul Wertico realizes his own musical vision with "Don't Be Scared Anymore", the latest release from The Paul Wertico Trio. Paul's album is difficult to categorize. There are hints of fusion, avant-garde jazz, and progressive rock; however, this album is more than just the sum of its influences. "Don't Be Scared Anymore" conveys raw sounds and raw emotions to the listener. The musicians, though highly skilled, are less concerned with displaying their technical abilities than creating feelings of intensity and energy in the listener. Don't get the wrong impression: there is lots of impressive drumming on this album. For example, the song "African Sunset" contains some blazing tom rolls. "The Visit" shows Paul's mastery of the "straight swing" rhythm on the ride cymbal. In "Taliaville" Paul executes some amazing patterns between the snare and the ride. Besides Paul's superlative drumming, "Don't Be Scared Anymore" also features the off-the-wall guitar playing of John Moulder and the impressive bass playing of Eric Hochberg. These three musicians clearly had the same intention in releasing this album: to create the kind of music they wanted to play and hear, with no rules or inhibitions. Undoubtedly, many people will purchase this album to hear Paul's drumming, and they will not be disappointed. But anybody with taste for the bold and the unusual will also enjoy "Don't Be Scared Anymore." - Drum Talk
The late jazz drummer Art Blakey used to tell young new members of his musical fold, The Jazz Messengers, words to the effect: "Step out there onto that stage and play with an attitude; nobody's interested in your lack of self-confidence." To my knowledge, no member of The Paul Wertico Trio -- Wertico on drums and percussion, John Moulder on guitars, and Eric Hochberg on bass, guitar and trumpet -- ever joined the ranks of The Messengers, but they have taken that "play with an attitude" advice and run with it hard on this recording. The title of the disc -- "Don't Be Scared Anymore" -- is musical advice from drummer Wertico's daughter, words that parallel Mr. Blakey's. The trio listened to her, apparently, and went into the studio and went at it for all they were worth, playing with the vitality of a teenaged hard rock garage band, with about ten times the musical skills. In fact, that's what the Trio's sound conjures: a high-energy rock band that stayed together over the years, kept at the craft and evolved along the lines of jazz, and got really, really good at what they do. The collection of tunes -- all of them band-member penned -- is solid from start to finish, opening with Hochberg's "Clybourn Strut," with its slashing guitar riffs, driving bass lines and a tight Chico Hamilton-like metallic back beat. There are some fine Hendrix-style moments on Moulder's "African Sunset," and the churning, chopping accoustic "Taliaville" -- and a bonus: Wertico's "Justa Little Tuna" that features (and leaves one wanting more of) Hochberg's muted trumpet work. The closer is the hard and tight-grooved "Testament." A power listen; a jazz trio with an attitude! - The American Reporter
It's not too often that a local jazz release leaps out of the mailbox and thrashes the listener's head against the wall. Then again, this isn't exactly a jazz album. Nor is drummer Paul Wertico -- who collected seven Grammy awards as drummer for the Pat Metheny Group -- just another local musician. "Don't Be Scared Anymore" brims with creativity from the get-go. Its rough edges may sound downright frightening to fainthearted mainstream listeners, but for those who are bored with the same old jazz (even the same old fusion and free jazz), this is a welcome change of pace. This is Wertico's second CD with this trio, which teams him with guitarist John Moulder and bassist Eric Hochberg. The compositions are entirely original, with each trio member contributing songs. "Clybourn Strut," a Hochberg composition named after one of the city's finest diagonal avenues, begins the disc with a smash. Wertico lays down an insistent groove consisting of a clave beat on drums and a complementary pattern on cowbell. Moulder takes the lead on a distorted guitar line that leads into an intriguing chord change. By all appearances, the whole performance is right out of the "jam band" craze that's swept the nation in recent years. But there's a feeling underlying it -- a dark, disturbing, manic force -- that carries more weight than the average hippie dance groove. Moulder's "The Underground" is slow and dreamy, like a bad trip gone good, and the form is unusual: It's a 16-bar blues in 6/4 with a pleasant melody on top. Moulder's style bears a resemblance to that of John Scofield, especially in the way he lays way back behind the beat. Throughout the album, he employs a variety of guitar effects, churning out unique timbres that give the CD much of its characteristic edge. "The Visit," a Wertico composition, is a highlight of the disc, which is surprising since it's a bass feature. Too often an upright bass solo is something listeners merely put up with -- we appreciate the artistry but fight off yawns -- but in this case, Hochberg improvises lines that are truly inviting. The number begins with a free-form intro played on bowed bass and some sort of wood chimes (a rain stick, maybe?) that seems to shimmer back and forth from one channel to the other. It moves quickly into another wonderful groove with a simple, repetitive guitar line that seems plugged into some kind of mandolin-like effect. Then there's the fine bass solo by Hochberg -- actually two bass solos laid on top of each other, one bowed, one fingered. Combining the two bass styles, the guitar effects and the percussion, the trio comes up with a style that is inventive, but not self-indulgent. In his PR notes, Wertico is quoted as saying: "The records that I like, regardless of the style, have a real, almost hitting-the-ceiling kind of energy, as though it's continuously peaking. It's as if the record's going to melt if it got any hotter. That is what I hope we achieved with this record, an uplifting, energetic, almost exhausting (in a good way) musical experience." I couldn't have put it better myself. -



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