Contemporary Jazz

VOICES Notes and news on Contemporary Jazz releases

Experiment With Vinnie

19 DEC 11 JONATHAN WIDRAN

Originally released on Chick Corea's Stretch Records in 1994 and re-released when Stretch became part of the Concord family in 1997, this self-titled recording by legendary session and touring drummer Vinnie Colaiuta was a true player's album that invited daring listeners to experience his slightly experimental side.

The wide range of styles and impressive guest list (including Corea, Herbie Hancock, John Patitucci, Dominic Miller and many of L.A.'s top jazz and session cats) is befitting of an eclectic musician who has pretty much traversed the musical landscape. A few highlights: Colaiuta launched his career with Frank Zappa, toured with Sting for seven years, has appeared on hundreds of pop and jazz recordings and movie and TV soundtracks, won 18 Drummer of the Year Awards from Modern Drummer and was inducted into the magazine's Hall of Fame in 1996.

Beginning with the funky, metallic, jazzy rocker "I'm Tweeked," the 8-track set eases into everything from hip-hop and world beats to bluesy atmospheres, straight ahead jazz and a rock jazz vibe. Along the way there is a wailing dance cut ("Momoska"), moody sonic effects, monster expressions by his high powered pals and, for the listener, the overall feeling that Colaiuta is extending an invitation to jazz fusion's version of The Twilight Zone.

Softening the intensity is a gentle, ambient piano-focused oasis called "Darlene's Song." Colaiuta's whirlwind schedule as a consummate sideman prevented him from recording a follow up, but he continues to be omni-present in the jazz world. His first recorded appearance of 2012 is on Galaxy, the new album by Jeff Lorber Fusion on Heads Up.



Jeff Lorber - Hacienda