The Visitor is Vazquez’ tenth album as composer/leader, his first studio recording in thirteen years, & a 19-piece all-star Afro Latin “big band” project made possible through a grant from The Aaron Copland Fund For Music
The Roland Vazquez Band featuring:
Aaron Heick, Joel Frahm, Dan Willis, Roger Rosenberg,
Tony Kadleck, Alex Norris Luis Perdomo (piano),
James Genus (bass), Ignacio Berroa (drums)
Samuel Torres (congas & percussion), Pete McCann (guitar)
Roland Vazquez (composer/conductor/producer)
To know Roland Vazquez is to know his music, and vice versa. Like many true artists, his work is inseparable from the essence of his character. One can hear in the music of Vazquez, the powerful optimism, wisdom, love, humor and joy that exudes so effortlessly from the man. Nowhere has this been more prevalent than on the award-winning and critically-acclaimed composer, bandleader and drummer’s glorious new recording, The Visitor, to be released on RVCD through iTunes on July 8, and through CD Baby on August 9.
The Visitor was recorded in Clinton’s Studio A in New York City, one of the last big rooms on the East Coast (this recording now stands as a testament to the dynamic energy of a big band sound captured “live in a room”), and was made possible in part by a Recording Grant from The Aaron Copland Fund For Music, Inc.
Roland Vazquez Band, an all-star 19-piece group of unique individuals, whose origins are from all over the Western Hemisphere, delivers the most fully-realized performances of these brilliantly elaborate compositions to date. Just assembling this A-list of musicians in the studio was a major feat. The Visitor marks the first time many of these players have recorded together. Vazquez explains further, “It has been a real gift for me to work with each of these outstanding musicians while preparing, performing, and recording this music. Their individuality of spirit clearly resonates throughout the recording – they have succeeded, beyond my best expectations, in lifting this music ‘off the page’. While this is certainly my biggest project, I feel The Visitor could well be my most significant recording to date.” Co-producer and engineer Todd Whitelock (a long-time collaborator and friend) commented that he had never experienced “so much goodwill” surrounding a recording, from everyone involved. Tangible evidence of this goodwill pours from the speakers as the spirit of selflessly giving to one another, and to the music, comes shining through the notes that collectively make up The Visitor.
The Visitor includes six Vazquez compositions, as well as “Guarabé” by Grammy winning composer/arranger, and Roland’s inspirational mentor, Clare Fischer. The CD is deeply rooted in the Afro-Latin and contemporary jazz traditions, and all of the compositions are rich with riveting ensemble passages and exciting solos. “Each of these compositions holds a special meaning for me, either in their story-oriented subtext, or as a mirror of an actual life experience or dream,” explains Vazquez.
Since his last studio album, Further Dance, Vazquez has been most active writing new music, performing with his Quintet, and presenting works for various ensembles while giving clinics, lectures, and performances at residencies around the country (Berklee School of Music, Eastman School of Music, UCCM, Ohio University, and others). In addition, he has dedicated time to teaching (Jazz Faculty at Manhattan School of Music, 1988-1998, and The University of Michigan, 2000-2005). Vazquez also spent an amazing, productive year in Rome as an Artist-in-Residence at the American Academy, collaborating with jazz and world musicians in Italy.
What a thrill for listeners to experience the return of Roland Vazquez with The Visitor, a joyously gripping recording that presents over 72 minutes of dynamic & demanding music which Vazquez has been conceptualizing, refining and composing during the past thirty years.
Recorded Feb 28, March 1-2, The Visitor (RVD7007) was made possible in part through the generous support of the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. Recording Grant Program. The Visitor will be available on iTunes on July 8, and through CD Baby on August 9, 2010.
..:: Source: Red Cat Publicity ::..