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Silvano Monasterios / Mark Egan / Paul Wertico - Jazz Impressions 1


All About Jazz

"Recorded live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the spring of 2006, Jazz Impressions 1 is an inspired, piano-led set of straight-ahead jazz, co-led by Venezuelan-born pianist Silvano Monasterios, bassist Mark Egan and drummer Paul Wertico. Monasterios, who regularly performs with Latin jazz percussionist Sammy Figueroa, demonstrates astonishing facility throughout. The notes fly fast and furious on modern jazz gems like Wayne Shorter's "Wildflower," Bill Evans' "Very Early" and Steve Swallow's "Falling Grace." The pianist's take-no-prisoners approach inspires intuitive group interplay, especially on his free-wheeling original "Jerusalem" and the standard "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise." Egan's fretless bass dances gracefully around Monasterios' lines—reminiscent of the way Eddie Gomez used to poke and prod at Bill Evans in the 1970s. The veteran bassist, who came into prominence some thirty years ago as a member of guitarist Pat Metheny's group, solos with the kind of melodic playfulness usually lost to overzealous electric bassists. His vigorous and inventive lines on "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise" are a disc highlight. Wertico, also a Metheny alumnus, swings tastefully and solos with dynamic sensibilities. The Chicago native gets in the last word on the bombastic closer "Avila/Drum Solo." With an abundance of technical flourishes and unwavering camaraderie, Jazz Impressions 1 is an impressive release. Hopefully these three stalwarts have plans to develop into a regular working unit."

South Florida Jazz Organization

"Recorded live at the April 15, 2006 "Jazz Impressions" concert in Fort Lauderdale, New York bassist Mark Egan and Chicago drummer Paul Wertico, familiar to South Florida JAZZ audiences because of their appearances with guitarist Larry Coryell, dug very deep to handle the often daunting arrangements of standards, jazz covers, and originals created by Miami pianist Silvano Monasterios, arguably the most accomplished composer and player on the local scene. This was not a jam session with visiting firemen, as sometimes occurs when players converge for a gig. This music was shared well in advance and rehearsed solidly prior to the performance. Still, it required the unique listening abilities of veteran professionals such as these to produce such a notable event. The music represented on this CD was culled from two performance sets that evening. Because of time constraints, only Wertico's remarkable drum solo from Monasterios' "Avila" in 5/8 time is reproduced on the CD. Few drummers could maintain the feel of the music through such a creative and extended solo. Silvano must be commended not just for his arranging and playing, but for the diversity of the tunes, which include Bill Evans' "Very Early," Wayne Shorter's "Wildflower," Steve Swallow's "Fallen Grace," and chestnuts like "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" and "Alone Together" all of which sound remarkably fresh. His own pieces, "Jerusalem" and "Avila" crackle."

Ron's Top 10 CD Picks for 2007 (Ronald B. Weber, MD, President & Artistic Director of the South Florida Jazz Organization)

Silvano Monasterios / Mark Egan / Paul Wertico - Jazz Impressions 1 - April 2006 (Dogleg) "This is a marvelous live recording of daunting material played by very accomplished musicians. Pianist Silvano is a Miamian (by way of Caracas, Venezuela) and arguably the area's most talented player and composer. He teams with New York electric bassist Mark Egan and Chicago percussion phenom, Paul Wertico. Mark and Paul came to prominence with Pat Metheny and later Larry Coryell (see the "Jazz Impressions" concert for June 2008). They are two very sought-after musicians, both of whom gravitated to Silvano's music. There were no gimmies on this tune list. Paul's solo on the 5/8-time "Avila" is jaw-dropping. The shame is that the entire dazzling performance doesn't appear here."

Chicago Jazz Magazine

"From the first note of Jazz Impressions 1, an album co-led by Silvano Monasterios, Mark Egan and Paul Wertico, you know you're in for something interesting and different. I suppose that I shouldn't have been surprised, but considering Wertico's recent recorded output, I was a little bit surprised to find him on a piano trio record doing (some) standard fare. What these three do with that format, however, is nothing short of breathtaking. While I hesitate to say that this has the flavor of the classic Bill Evans Trios, that element is certainly in place. One can hear it in the ongoing dialog between these three from the first note to the last. They start off the disc with "Alone Together," and what a version it is! Egan is in full Jaco Pastorius mode. His tone has that Jaco-esque ring to it throughout he disc, but especially on "Alone Together" and their take on "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise," that horn-like sound coming in handy when the bass player decides to play the head to the tune. There are two originals, both by pianist Silvano Monasterios. They're both well worth mentioning. "Jerusalem" starts off as what one assumes will be a languid ballad, until the soloing starts. Then it turns into the burning centerpiece of the album. The other, "Avila," gives Wertico some space to stretch out. It's a rousing tune with an interesting feel to it, and it's a great way to close the CD. Those who like their jazz with some adventure and teeth would do well to check this one out."

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