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New Album: Gaetano Letizia, Orange Sunset



New Album: Gaetano Letizia, Orange Sunset

Gaetano Letizia, Orange Sunset…

The versatile and highly original guitarist Gaetano Letizia teams up with electric bassist Kip Reed and drummer Mark Gonder to debut nine of his fresh and stimulating originals.

In his career, Gaetano (“Tom”) Letizia has led ten jazz and blues CDs with the emphasis on strong melodies, close interplay with his sidemen, and subtle surprises. The upcoming Orange Sunset is his latest accomplishment.

While there are hints of Jim Hall in his quiet and relaxed yet adventurous improvising and Grant Green in his emphasis on single-note lines, Letizia has a colorful and inventive style of his own. His playing is instantly recognizable and always quietly inventive.

Orange Sunset teams Letizia with electric bassist Kip Reed and drummer Mark Gonder, two musicians who react instantly to the guitarist’s ideas and flourish in the intimate setting. The set begins with the uptempo and catchy title cut, a jazz waltz that serves as an excellent introduction to the trio and to Letizia’s original sound. “Blue Ionosphere” is particularly noteworthy for the interaction between the leader and bassist Reed, “Wandering” is a thoughtful piece that lives up to its title while “Punch Drunk” is a slyly witty original that is bluesy and a little funky.

“Chartreuse” has one of Letizia’s strongest melodies along with his thoughtful single-note playing. The catchy bassline on “Expanding Reality” is infectious. “Back & Blue” is the most straight-ahead performance of the set, a cooker that brings out the best in these musicians. Orange Sunset closes with the melodic and atmospheric “Paradise Found” and the lightly funky “Genrecide.”

Gaetano Letizia, who is originally from Cleveland, has a strong background in the blues, the foundation of his jazz playing. He sounds like no one else, is a skilled composer, and gives new life to the traditional guitar-bass-drums trio. Orange Sunset is arguably his strongest jazz recording to date.

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