Saxophonist Marco Pignataro dedicates hauntingly gorgeous new album to young daughter with heart defect
(Published: September 13, 2011)
September 11, 2011 (Boston, MA) Written by Robert Sutton. The depths of sorrow can inspire the most dazzling beauty.
For saxophonist Marco Pignataro that whirlpool of sadness stems from what he has experienced with his youngest daughter Sofia, who was born with a serious heart defect common in children with Down Syndrome like herself. Only 6, Sofia has already undergone three open-heart surgeries; she and her condition is what Pignataro's latest album, Sofia's Heart, is named after.
But Sofia's presence is felt throughout the record. There is an emotional weight to Pignataro's performances here that are definitely attached to real-life experiences. The opening cut, "Sleepless in Ocean Park," introduces the album with a breezy, gentle vibe that is gradually darkened by clouds. Pignataro's soothing sax paints an image of summer afternoon tranquility that is short-lived. By the second track, "Homesick," the melancholia begins to settle in. Mark Kramer's dramatic piano and the slow burn of Pignataro's saxophone create a solemn atmosphere.
Pignataro offers a respite from the gloom with the upbeat and shuffling rhythms of "Interplay" and the swirling sax and throbbing bass lines (courtesy of jazz legend Eddie Gomez, who also produced the record) of "Grande Theodore." However, the final piece, which is actually the title cut, is a hauntingly gorgeous meditation on life and death. "It describes my perception of the time preceding Sofia's second operation, from the agony of the wait to the post operation in seeing her in a hospital bed with tubes sticking out every which way to our overall feeling of uncertainty about the final outcome," Pignataro revealed. "There was this moment preceding the operation when we had her in our arms, and the nurse came to get her from us to bring her to the surgery room; in my heart it felt like an empty space in the universe that not enough tears could ever fill."
Those feelings spilled over into not only that track but the rest of the CD as well. They're so powerful that they linger long after the record has stopped playing.
More Information: http://www.marcopignataro.net