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Andrea Marcelli: “Beyond the Blue”

(Art of Life AL1012-2)

Digital Downloads | About the Music | Liner Notes | Selected Quotations

Andrea Marcelli: "Beyond the Blue"

Andrea Marcelli: drums, clarinet,
additional synthesizers & percussion
Mitchel Forman: piano
Eddie Gomez: acoustic bass
Bob Mintzer: tenor saxophone
Mike Stern: guitar

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Between Poles
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Summer Nights
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Herbst (Autumn)
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The Meaning of the Family
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Beyond the Blue
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Orange Green
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(Listen with Real Audio: lo-fi)

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(Listen with Real Audio: lo-fi)

(Listen with Real Audio: lo-fi)

(Listen with Real Audio: lo-fi)

(Listen with Real Audio: lo-fi)

Digital Downloads {top}

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About the Music {top}

Following in the footsteps of his "Silent Will" and "Oneness" albums, the long overdue new album by Andrea Marcelli is now available. The composer/drummer/clarinetist, Italian born and naturalized U.S. citizen, has finally produced "Beyond the Blue". The executive co-producer of the album is Paul G. Kohler for Art of Life Records.

Joining Andrea Marcelli are some of the Jazz scene's finest soloists: saxophonist Bob Mintzer, guitarist Mike Stern and bassist Eddie Gomez, with whom Marcelli has already worked in various projects before; pianist Mitchel Forman, a longtime collaborator, performs on all of the trio, quartet and quintet tracks.

The 12 tracks, totaling 64 minutes, are previously unreleased original compositions by Andrea Marcelli chosen from music he has composed over the past several years in Los Angeles, New York and Berlin. The album was digitally recorded on October 2nd, 2004 by Michael Brorby at Acoustic Recording in Brooklyn, New York and digitally mastered by Jan Erik Kongshaug at the Rainbow Studio in Oslo, Norway.

Completing the final picture of the project is the CD artwork. Designed by Paul G.Kohler, it includes several oil artworks by Andrea Marcelli painted in the same period in which the music was composed.

For more information about Andrea Marcelli and his music please visit

Liner Notes {top}

I always agreed with the thought that one of the basic facts in life is to dig beyond appearance until the real meaning is found. This is also the sense of "Beyond the Blue". My new album, long overdue, is autobiographic. Music sometimes reveals the truth better than words.

Often during the session I explained to the musicians what the composition meant to me. For example the track Meaning of the Family is about the long voyage to form a family and the strong determination to keep it. Distances is again written for the people who we love, too often far away, while Between Poles was inspired by the feeling of being attracted by different roads at the same time and Retirantes is dedicated to the many people who left their home to find a new one in another country. Of course in our lives we always find the time for serenity and celebration like on Summer Nights, Orange Green and Welcome, this last one dedicated to my newborn son Paul. Other tunes are descriptive like Herbst, which in German means autumn, and the more abstract paintings Emotions, Still and Fragments.

There is no need to introduce the musicians involved in this project: Bob Mintzer, Mike Stern, Mitchel Forman and Eddie Gomez. Their great talent has been celebrated for many years. I already had the privilege to collaborate with them in different occasions and I am particularly grateful to them for their commitment and sensitivity to dig and bring out the deepest meaning of the music.

"Beyond the Blue" is about intensity, but most of all it is about the sincerity to express and describe, through music, our inner world. Hopefully, one more time through the arts, we can affirm how precious and irreplaceable human life always is.

I hope you enjoy the music.

Andrea Marcelli

Selected Quotations {top}

I just listened to your CD last night, and really enjoyed it! And, you play the clarinet and sound beautiful. How do you do all those things? Was your father a clarinetist? Anyway, it was alot of fun to hear all my friends with you playing. All the Best.
Musician - Eddie Daniels

Drummer/clarinetist/keyboardist Andrea Marcelli records so infrequently that it's difficult to know where he will be stylistically at any given time. But, unquestionably, expectations for his new record, Beyond the Blue were that it would be another disc in the fusion vein of his first two releases, Silent Will ('90) and Oneness ('95). These first two records are notable for their remarkable lineups, artists including Wayne Shorter, Allan Holdsworth, Mike Stern, Mike Manieri, Gary Willis and others were involved to varying degrees, giving the releases both a sense of credibility for people naturally unfamiliar with Marcelli's name and some idea what to expect musically.

But while his first two records were clearly fusion in nature, they did demonstrate more diverse musical concerns. Now with Beyond the Blue he pares things down, going for a purer approach and a broader reach. Mike Stern may, again, be involved, but the context is definitely not fusion. With a rhythm section that includes pianist Mitchel Forman and Eddie Gomez, along with saxophonist Bob Mintzer, the direction is decidedly acoustic. The harmonies and melodies reflect the romanticism, lyricism and impressionism of Marcelli's European background (though he is now a naturalized U.S. citizen) rather than the more aggressive stance of his earlier recordings.

Still, there's no question that Marcelli can swing when he needs to, as he does on Between the Poles, an harmonically ambiguous composition that is propelled by Gomez and Marcelli's interplay, all the more remarkable for this being a session that was recorded in a single day. The title track demonstrates how far Marcelli has come as a player since his last recording; with a looser, more elastic time sense, he often provides a clear pulse more by implication than overt rhythm.

Demonstrating Marcelli's interest in Brazilian music, the gentle bossa Summer Nights features Forman's Evans-inflected playing, as does the more impressionistic ECM ambience of Herbst (Autumn). While there is a world of difference between Stern and John Abercrombie, Orange Green bears some lineage to Abercrombie's early-'80s quartet. The Meaning of the Family may resolve into a lightly funky affair rhythmically for Stern's solo space but ultimately demonstrates Marcelli's more evocative long-form sense of composition.

In fact, while Marcelli's compositions bear little resemblance to the work of Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays stylistically, there is a similarity in the travelogue-like nature of his writing. The title track may be a mere six minutes long, but it navigates from melancholic suggestion to light swing to deeper intensity and sheer power. Marcelli's compositions transcend simple melody, transporting the listener to places known and unknown, eliciting hidden emotions.

Beyond the Blue represents something of a quantum leap for Marcelli as a player, but more notably as a writer. There's a maturity of concept, a clarity of vision, that makes Beyond the Blue something of a watershed for Marcelli, encouraging the hope that another nine years won't have to pass before he records again.
John Kelman - All About Jazz

At the age of 43 Andrea Marcelli has hardly released three personal albums, but each of them makes up a star meeting. In "Beyond the Blue" which came about with a 10-year distance from its predecessor, the drummer from Rome has the privilege to be host to Mike Stern (guitar), Bob Mintzer (sax), Mitchel Forman (piano) and Eddie Gomez (double bass). Even if someone has not listened to Marcelli's music before, these names give him an imprint of how it sounds. Although it often comes close to fusion, mainly due to Stern's guitar, most of the time it does not move away from solid straight jazz ground. Marcelli not only stands equivalent to his noble guests but also proves that he is doing well in composing (all tracks were composed by him) and he is adept in playing the clarinet, for that matter he was classically educated at that instrument. In two tracks he stands alone with his clarinet, accompanied by himself with atmospheric chords on synth. In "Summer Nights" and "Retirantes" he envelops the melody with breezy Brazilian rhythms, the latter being reminiscent of Bill Evans with Eddie Gomez recalling his glorious days with the great pianist's trio. Best tracks of the album are "Between Poles" and the also Bill Evans allusive "Beyond the Blue". In short "Beyond the Blue" is an album of high quality music and immaculate performances by top-level players.
Vangelis Aragiannis - Apopsy

Andrea Marcelli is very cosmopolitan and his drumming is very imaginative, similar of Peter Erskine's sound. The main topic of the album is Andrea's life experiences and his family. The music on the CD evokes painting images. The most interesting composition on the album is "Orange Green" where Mike Stern's guitar solo is fantastic. It would be worth listening to the album even just for this tune. Also Minzter's playing is very impressive. It is great how producer Andrea Marcelli was able to mix all these components together.
Eiji Kitahara - Jazz Life - Japan

The members are carefully chosen so we can expect a lot of content. Marcelli and Gomez are creating rhythms together, while Mintzer, Stern and Forman are playing very creative melodies on top. All in all their music is more than just comfortable for the listener's ears.
Takao Ogawa - Swing Journal - Japan

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