01. Freedom Jazz Dance – Alto – 3:12
02. Make me A Memory – Soprano -6:04
03. Moody’s Mood – Alto – 3:20
04. Equinox – Soprano – 6:20
05. Bernie’s Tune – Flute – 3:48
06. Carioca – Flute – 2:33
07. Everything Happens to Me –Alto- 4:35
08. Tickle Toe – Clarinet 2:20
09. Blue Bossa – Flute – 3:45
10. Struttin’ with some BBQ – Clarinet – 2:10
11. Clarinet Marmalade – Clarinet – 2:38
Steve Giarratano- Leader – Woodwinds
Jim Markway- Bass (electric)
Bill Huntington – Guitar
Cover art by James Few (Title of the painting -“The Sideman” © 1989)
Recorded and mixed by Gary J. Edwards
Sound of New Orleans Studio
5584 Canal Blvd. New Orleans, LA.
Mastered by David Farrell
This album features a full palette of jazz hues from different eras, performed by a most versatile group of jazzmen led by the multi-talented and adaptable Steve Giarratano. He’s heard here on flute, alto and soprano saxes, and clarinet, with Bill Huntington on guitar, Jim Markway on electric bass, and John Vidacovich on drums---veteran jazzmen all.
The varied repertoire runs the gamut from the traditional jazz warhorse CLARINET MARMALADE to the swing era’s Count Basie and Lester Young showcase TICKLETOE, on to the West Coast jazz staple BERNIE’S TUNE and beyond to the “smooth jazz” anthems FREEDOM JAZZ DANCE of Eddie Harris and MAKE ME A MEMORY of Grover Washington, Jr., finally terminating with the John Coltrane composition EQUINOX. The set also includes the Matt Dennis ballad EVERYTHING HAPPENS TO ME, the 1940s dance craze CARIOCA, James Moody’s improvisation as vocalesed by King Pleasure on I’M IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE morphed into MOODY’S MOOD FOR LOVE, Kenny Dorham’s BLUE BOSSA, and a delightful bossa nova treatment of STRUTTIN’ WITH SOME BARBECUE that will please fans of both Louis Armstrong and Luis Bonfa!
Not only is it rare to find such a variety of styles on a CD, it is rarer still to find an artist and supporting players not only adept but outstandingly so in the handling of all of these genres of jazz. Moreover, Steve is heard on a variety of woodwinds, and is talented and proficient on all.
Steve played in the Roosevelt Hotel’s Blue Room Orchestras for over two decades, always doubling on reeds. In 1968 he was part-time with Leon Kelner’s aggregation, and later hired full time by Dick Stabile ( no mean alto sax player himself) when Dick commandeered the band. Upon Stabile’s passing, Steve was retained when Bill Clifford took over the orchestra. In 1989 Steve left and has been much in demand as a sideman with almost everyone.
This recording dates from 1995, but the sound and sounds are current. It’s more than a historical sound bite in the past. It’s not been heard for 20 years, and it’s remarkable to reflect on the music and the players. The music is still most relevant, as are its creators.
Bill Huntington was the premier on-call bassist in the City before his post-Katrina move to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Here he is heard on guitar, and that’s a real treat, because he has not often been recorded on that instrument. He’s played with a wide range of jazz combos and styles, from the Dukes of Dixieland to Al Belletto’s quartet. Likewise, bassist Jim Markway is an adaptable player, being heard with harpist Patrice Fisher’s 1980s jazz group Jasmine and recently at jazz festivals with Bruce Daigrepont’s Cajun band, as well as other jazz combos. John Vidacovich is the drummer, also a Belletto alum. John has played everywhere with almost every local group, and has appeared nationally at festivals with his own group and others.
Steve has here a grand variety of music and talents, and he is at the top of his game. Listen and enjoy!
--Rhodes Spedale, author of A Guide To Jazz in New Orleans (Hope Publishing 1984), musician.
© 2015 SoundOfNewOrleans.com - updated 10/22/2015 GLA3D