L.A.-based saxophonist Mike Vaccaro shines like fireworks on new CD
March 23, 2011 (Los Angeles, CA) Written by Robert Sutton. Spring has definitely returned; its arrival can be heard in saxophonist Mike Vaccaro's new album, A Dué. Its laidback, sun-splashed good vibrations not only reflects the West Coast roots of Vaccaro and his collaborator, pianist Gerry Schroeder, but the season in which it was released.
Featuring mostly original material composed by Schroeder, A Dué basks in the lambent glow of a Southern California afternoon. On the opening track, Vaccaro and Schroeder take the Broadway tune "You Can Always Count on Me" and charge it with an air of intimacy. The minimalist setup - just sax and piano - strips the music down to its gorgeous melodies. Vaccaro and Schroeder jam both together and individually on the cut; one provides the other with moments to shine and when their grooves interlock the results are like fireworks.
The chemistry between the two musicians is the key ingredient in A Dué's success. On Vaccaro's own "Confused Blues," Schroeder offers a driving rhythm as Vaccaro cuts loose on his sax. But they know how to take it slow as well. "With Every Breath I Take" and "Wine and Stein is Fine" are suffused with candlelit romanticism. Vaccaro's soulful saxophone and Schroeder's mood-spinning piano create an atmosphere of elegance and serenity.
According to Vaccaro, the spellbinding prettiness of the record was not unintentional. "When I started out I tried to play perfectly and hoped some beauty would come of it. Now I try to play beauty and hope some level of perfection will come of it," he explained.
Fittingly, Vaccaro decided to become a professional musician after a visit to a magical place, Disneyland. "When I was in eighth grade I went to Disneyland and heard Count Basie's band. I was playing saxophone in addition to clarinet by then and after hearing Marshall Royal play I decided that was what I was going to do with my life," he revealed.
More Information: http://www.mikevaccaro.com