Fabrizio Sciacca Quartet
Getting’ It There
Italy-born, NYC-based bassist Fabrizio Sciacca makes his debut as a leader with Getting’ It There. Fabrizio studied under his mentor, the most prolific jazz bassist of them all, Ron Carter, and recruited the pianist from Ron Carter’s Trio, Donald Vega. Joining Vega and Sciacca are drummer Billy Drummond, and on three of seven tracks, tenor saxophonist Jed Levy.
Sciacca composed one tune in tribute to his mentor, “For Sir Ron” while Levy composed “Lonely Goddess.” Levy performs on both of those as well as on the standard “A Nightingale Sand in Berkley Square.” Sciacca is in a trio format for the other pieces written by Sam Jones, Sonny Clark, Elmo Hope, and Andrea Domenci, with a balance of swing and elegance.
There’s a nice, rather humorous touch on the inside sleeve from Ron Carter – “Some time in May, 2019…I received a package from the mailman…It was the usual package wrapped in brown paper with no name or any identification on it…Sooo I carefully opened it …and found a CD. Hmmm…What’s up with this? I Can’t imagine that the work that goes into making a CD…someone would be too shy to accept credit for all the work. Sooo I listened with a carefully experience ear, and was delightfully surprised…very crisp snare drum sound and nice ride cymbal feel…great piano chord voicings and swing solos…very interesting sax solos…not too long…and a wonderful, bassist…Can’t wait to get the rest of this package from the mailman to find out who’s playing the music.” Certainly, Carter must have recognized his pianist’s playing but it’s fun just the same.
Each song has a brief, courtesy of Sciacca’s notes. The mid-tempo “One For Amos” was written by bassist Sam Jones, as a nod to his style of playing in the trio format. “Lullaby in Central Park” was written by Andrea Domenici at the request of Sciacca, apparently after a long walk in Central Park. It’s another trio rendering, this in ¾ time. Then the tempo picks up considerably in Sonny Clark’s boppish “Zellmar’s Delight,” a tune Clark originally recorded on his own Leapin’ and Lopin’.
All three trio members solo sprightly on the mid-tempo “For Sir Ron.”“ A Nightingale in Berkley Square,” performed warmly and delicately, is a ballad that Sciacca first heard performed by the duo of pianist Michel Petucciani and bassist Niels-Henning Ostred Pedersen, whose playing Sciacca was especially fond of. Levy’s composition “Lonely Goddess” is moody and stands apart from the others. They finish in hard bop fashion, with Levy blowing again on Elmo Hope’s “One Second Please,” a tune that Sciacca first heard on Harold Land’s The Fox.
This is a strong debut from bassist Sciacca, with a nice balance of tempos, strong contributions from each player, and solid, full-bodied tasteful bass work throughout. Next time, now that Sciacca has built some confidence, he’ll bring more originals.
- Jim Hynes