Thom Rotella | Odd Ball (Radio Edit)

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz Blues: Jazzy Blues Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Odd Ball (Radio Edit)

by Thom Rotella

“Oddball,” the opening tune on Thom’s new recording ‘Storyline’, is being presented here as a single and its funky-retro groove is as inviting a “smooth” tune as ever there was and is likely to capture a wide spectrum of jazz listeners.
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
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1. Odd Ball (Radio Edit)
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
After a 12-year absence from the smooth jazz scene, guitarist Thom Rotella has returned with a single that most certainly recalls why he was a favorite of smooth jazz listeners – his songs and his playing perfectly reflect a mood of mellow ease with lines that are simple and melodic, but sophisticated and eminently musical. He is joined on this track by Mitchel Forman: Rhodes; Nick Mancini: vibraphone; Trey Henry: bass; Jimmy Branly: drums.

Thom’s absence from the scene does not by any means reflect that he’s been idle – he’s continued to compose, to perform live and to work for film and television. But with the encouragement and urging of fellow guitarist Chris Standring, Thom has decided to step back into a musical arena in which he had so much success years before.

“Oddball,” the opening tune on Thom’s new recording ‘Storyline’, is being presented here as a single and its gentle yet funky groove is as inviting a “smooth” tune as ever there was and is likely to capture a wide spectrum of jazz listeners. It’s vital and solid evidence that Thom Rotella has retained his flair for writing and playing music to capture the ear and soul.

"I remember it like it was yesterday...I'm eight years old and my buddy, Rich and I are looking through the basement window of Mt. Carmel Church (Niagara Falls, NY) where there's a dance going on. I see this multi-headed monster, with arms flailing and all this sound and energy blasting me, and people dancing... it was the first time I saw a live band and I said to myself, man I gotta be a part of this!!!!
-- Thom Rotella

Now a talented instrumentalist and composer, Thom Rotella has achieved both critical and commercial success. He has produced and recorded 13 CDs as a leader, been a vital musician for many years with experience as a best-selling recording artist and an in-demand sessdion player for film and television. Above all he’s been a creative performing jazz musician, whose talents have led him to work with Stanley Turrentine, Tom Scott, Gerald Albright, Plas Johnson and musicians as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti, Cher, Donna Summer, Norah Jones and many, many others. All this great history beautifully informs this special new recording.

Thom Rotella was born in Niagara Falls, N.Y., surrounded by a very musical family. When he was six years old he started playing for the fun of it on his grandfather's guitar. He began serious guitar lessons at the age of ten. As a teenager, Rotella played rock 'n roll, but soon discovered jazz through the recordings of Wes Montgomery. He subsequently attended Ithaca College (as a classical guitar major), and while at Berklee College, studied under Gary Burton (1970-1972). Rotella left Berklee to tour with a lounge band, then moved to Los Angeles where he found a mentor in the legendary studio guitarist Tommy Tedesco. He quickly established himself as a top call studio musician. However, after a few years of this work, he began to miss performing live, so in 1980 moved to New York, where although he continued studio work, he also had more opportunities for live performance.

It was at this time that he was "discovered" by the pioneer digital recording company, DMP (Digital Music Products) and made 3 CDs, (1987-90) all of which found a world-wide market, receiving extensive radio airplay.

By 1988, with enough of New York under his musical belt, he moved back to Los Angeles. A 1996 Christmas album for Telarc led to a signing with that label and the recording of 1997s "Can't Stop," which included the top radio hit "What's the Story." Taking a hiatus for a while, in 2002, Rotella returned to the scene with an "homage" to Wes Montgomery, titled "A Day In The Life." That was followed by a straight-ahead jazz release, "Out of the Blues." in 2007 and another Christmas CD, "12" in 2012.

He is currently working on a new jazz CD; is featured on a big band collaboration with composer Walter Murphy ("Family Guy", "Ted, Fifth of Beethoven") and continues performing with his 4tet, with sax legend Ernie Watts. Rotella says: "There is nothing more fun than playing live, because I'm able to get an instantaneous response to what we're doing as a band, and to see how that moves people emotionally. The interplay between these musicians is incredible, and always leads to surprises."

Rotella continues to surprise and lead his audiences into often-uncharted territory -- but always with that sense of adventure and passion that have been a cornerstone of his musical life.

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