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Pasquale Grasso Pays Tribute to Bird and Diz With His New Release, Be-Bop!

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Grasso’s new release Be-Bop!, is a brilliant tribute to be-bop pioneers Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. ‘A Night In Tunisia’ preview below!

Be-Bop! kicks off in exhilarating fashion with today’s release of Dizzy’s quintessential composition, “A Night in Tunisia,” originally composed in 1942 when he was a member of Benny Carter’s band and which marked the beginning of Gillespie’s unique blending of Afro-Cuban rhythms with American jazz. Grasso achieves an astonishing balance of technical wizardry and swing, sounding like two guitarists coming out of the gate on the challenging head on top of the syncopated Latin rhythm. And his fleet-fingered solo break at the 1:03 mark is in the breathtaking tradition of Charlie Parker’s famous alto sax break from his 1946 Dial recording of the tune. Pasquale’s stream of single notes that follows for the next two minutes in his solo is even more astounding, brimming with rare facility and abandon to match his fertile imagination. Roland also turns in an animated bowed bass solo here while Balla engages in some slick trades with the leader near the end of the piece. Finally, catch Grasso’s brief dazzling quote from one of Paganini’s Caprices (the extremely difficult No. 24 in A minor) in the coda.

In support of the new album, fans can catch Pasquale Grasso on tour in several US and European markets both as a headliner and as a featured guest artist in Samara Joy’s band, including upcoming stops at The Django in New York (May 18), the Montreal International Jazz Festival (July 2), the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia (July 9-17), the Jazz in Marciac Festival (September 23), and New York’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola (August 22), the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival (August 28) and The Blue Note (September 12 and 26).

Top Photo Credit Stefania Curto


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