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Tony Moreno, Bill Gerhardt, Mike Holstein: “Trio Music”

(Art of Life AL1028-2)

MP3 Digital Downloads | About the Music | Liner Notes | Selected Quotations

Tony Moreno, Bill Gerhardt, Mike Holstein: "Trio Music"

Tony Moreno: drums
Bill Gerhardt: piano
Mike Holstein: acoustic bass

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Limited Edition of 500 copies.

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Float
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Tree
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The West's Best
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Black Mountain
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Erroll Garner
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Calendar
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Wolfe
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Oh Henry
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Hibitat
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Old Books
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MP3 Digital Downloads {top}

About the Music {top}

Art of Life Records is proud to present the recording debut of New York based drummer/leader Tony Moreno. Joining Tony on "Trio Music" are Bill Gerhardt on piano and Mike Holstein on acoustic bass. The album features ten original compositions written by each of the band members. "Trio Music" was recorded and mixed by Tom Hamilton at Bond Street Studio in Brooklyn, New York in June & July 2006. All tracks have been digitally mastered using 24-bit digital technology.

Drummer/composer Tony Moreno has recently performed and/or recorded with Dave Phillips and Freedance, Marc Mommaas and Global Motion, Jurgen Friedrich Trio and Quartet with Dave Liebman, Kendra Shank Quartet, Roberto Bonati and the European Jazz Orchestra - Parma Frontiere Jazz, Tribute to Elvin Jones with Larry Willis, Eddie Henderson, Frank Lacy, Miguel-Angel Chastang and Sonny Fortune, Ole Mathiessen Quartet, Timucin Sahin-Greg Osby Quartet, Bruce Arnold Trio, Jean Michel Pilc Trio, Spooky Actions, OK/OK, Art Lande, Fred Favarel Quartet with Richie Bierach and many others. DVD's include: The Lounge Lizards "Live in Tokyo" and Spooky Actions "Live in Moscow". Tony teaches in the Jazz Studies Program at New York University and Columbia University and endorses Paiste Cymbals and LeSoprano Drums. Tony has also composed music for film and dance as well as having recently published a new text: "Rhythmic Studies for all Instruments"

Tony Moreno grew up in New York City. His mother, Nina Dunkel Moreno, was a major influence on his interests in music. She was harpist, musicologist and teacher who studied at Juilliard and the Paris Conservatory with Marcel Grandjany and Nadia Boulanger. She later worked at Charles French Restaurant in Greenwich Village where she met many great composers (Alec Wilder, Vernon Duke and Burt Bacharach) and mucicians (Stan Koor). Stan was Tony's first drum teacher with whom he began a long apprenticeship at 10 continuing throughout high school. Tony began playing and studying the piano at the Dalcroze School of Music at 4. At the age of 11, Tony's mom took him to the neighborhood club to hear Elvin Jones from whom he purchased his first set of drums and cymbals a week later. Tony studied with Elvin at Frank Ippolito's Professional Percussion Center over the next 6 years (depending on Elvin's schedule!). Tony also attended Jazz Interactions in NYC where he studied with Al Heath and Freddie Waits. Tony also met Bob Moses who as a drummer and composer encouraged the idea of writing and performing original music. After attending the Manhattan School of Music Tony freelanced in NY and began working in Europe where he resided for 6 years. Tony has performed with a variety of musicians that include: Dave Phillips and Freedance with John O'Gallagher and Rez Abbasi. The group has made three recordings, the latest is "Live in France 2005". Between 2005-07 they performed in France, Switzerland, Mexico, Portugal and the U.S. Tony is a member of Jurgen Friedrich's trio with John Hebert . They have recorded four CD's, the latest is "Seismo". Between 2005-07 they have performed in Germany, Switzerland and the U.S. In quartet, they perform with Dave Liebman. Tony has recorded four CD's with Bruce Arnold in trio with Ratzo Harris; the latest is "Blue Lotus". Tony also performs with Bruce in Spooky Actions with John Gunther and Dave Phillips, who have made three recordings. The latest release is "Music of Arnold Schoenberg". The group performed twice in Moscow (2005-2006). Tony is a member of Kendra Shank's Quartet with Frank Kimbrough and Dean Johnson, which performs throughout the U.S. and has recorded two CD's, the latest is "The Abbey Lincoln Songbook". Tony has also performed and recorded with Marc Mommaas and the band Global Motion with Nicolaj Hess and John Hebert. Their second recording will be released soon. Between 2005-06 they performed in Holland, Denmark and NYC. In addition, Tony also plays in Marc's trio with Nate Radley. Tony also has performed and recorded with Roberto Bonati in various ensembles (touring throughout Italy) including trio with either Mario Piacentini or Gianluigi Trovesi to Quartet: "Circles" with Mario Piacentini and Paul McCandless and "Silent Voices" with Stefano Battaglia and Ricardo Luppi as well as the Parma Frontiere Orchestra which has issued three recordings, the latest: "A Silvery Silence (fragments from Moby Dick)". Other tours include: "Tribute to Elvin Jones" 2005-06 (Spain and France) with Larry Willis, Miguel-Angel Chastang, Eddie Henderson, Frank Lacy and Sonny Fortune. Timucin Sahin Quartet with Greg Osby 2005 (Istanbul and Baku, Azerbaijan). Jean Michel Pilc Trio 2005 (Los Angeles and San Diego). OK/OK with Kyoko Kitamura, Khabu Young and Mike McGinnis NYC 2005-07 (a new recording is due out soon). And of course, with Bill Gerhardt and Mike Holstein in trio and quintet with Marc Momaas and Ron Horton 2005-06. Other recordings Tony has appeared on include: Frank Kimbrough and Noumena with Scott Robinson and Ben Monder; Riccardo Luppi: "Mnemosine" and "Moire Signum" with Stefano Battaglia and Paolino Della Porta; Rez Abbasi: "Modern Memory" with Tim Hagens, Gary Thomas, Michael Formanek and Scott Whitfield; Gene Ess: "One World Tribe" with Lonnie Plaxico, Ravi Coltrane and Takuya Nakamura; Ole Mathiessen: "Chinese Horoscope" with Russ Lossing and Francois Moutin; Paolo Botti "Viola Trio" with Salvatore Maiore; Fred Favarel: "The Search" with Richie Beirach, Peter Herbert, Dave Pietro, John O'Gallagher, Tim Ries, Oscar Noriega, Mark Feldman and Erik Friedlander. Tony also appears on a number of DVD's: The Lounge Lizards "Live in Tokyo"; Barry Harris "Madrid Concert"; Spooky Actions "Live in Moscow". Webcasts include two Mordy Ferber Quartet "Live at the Blue Note" sessions with Dave Liebman/George Garzone and Eddie Gomez/Richard Bona. Tony is also a member of the faculty at New York University (Jazz Studies Program) and Columbia University. Tony uses Paiste Cymbals and Le Soprano Drums.

Pianist Bill Gerhardt is a prolific composer and arranger. He teaches privately and has been commissioned to compose for movies and television. He is a founding member of the Jazz Composers Forum and has traveled the world playing Jazz music with the top musicians in the field. He has played with Joe Locke and Ingrid Jensen, Jackie Allen and Kendra Shank while they toured in the South . Based in Asheville, NC he is a first call musician by his peers in NYC and Europe. He has a new recording being shopped for a label by his NYC based Band Cotangent. An unsigned artist Bill Gerhardt is most deserving of greater recognition. Bill Gerhardt was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. His interest in music was encouraged by his father who also played piano. He began taking lessons at age nine. In high school he was a member of the Jazz ensemble under the direction of Bill Ewing. He continued his studies with Herb Drury in St. Louis and later attended North Texas State University. After touring the United States for five years, Bill settled in North Carolina and formed a quartet with bassist Ron Brendle to focus on original music. Their group won 1st prize at the 1988 Down Beat Music Fest and Bill was recognized for his composing and arranging. In 1989 he moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands. He performed throughout Europe, Asia and Africa and recorded with various projects as both leader and sideman. His last CD with Pere Soto "Particular Vernacular" included guest-performances from David Liebman and Dave Douglas. Since 1999 Bill has lived in New York City where he has recorded with such artists as Billy Higgins, George Mraz, Billy Hart and Tom Harrell. He is a member of a nine-piece group, The Staring Into the Sun Orchestra and a trio featuring Michel Gentile on flute and Masa Kamaguchi on bass as well as leading his own quartet. He is head of the advisory board and a founding member of the Jazz Composer's Forum in Asheville, North Carolina, a non-profit organization dedicated to performing and documenting new original music. In concert settings Bill's music has been heard on festivals, concerts, radio, television and in Jazz clubs around the world. His music has also been featured in an independent film by Robert Dew. Since his first professional job at age 15, Bill has played with Ben Allison, Benny Bailey, Jeff Ballard, Clarence Becton, John Betch, Michael Blake, Jeff Brillinger, Joe Daley, John Engels, Leonard Gaskin, Arjen Gorter, John Hebert, Ron Horton, Leonard Jones, Jed Levy, Tony Malaby, Ron McClure, Billy Mintz, Rutger Molenkamp, Tony Moreno, Idris Muhammed, Emily Remler, Mike Richmond, Roswell Rudd, Mike Sarin, Gary Thomas and Steve Wilson among others.

Bassist/composer Mike Holstein has been playing music since early childhood. His first instruments were guitar, violin, piano and drums. It wasn't until he was attending Western Carolina University that he discovered the bass. His affinity for the instrument was immediately apparent. Within a few years he was performing regularly and became one of the most sought after bassists in the Southeast. From the beginning he was writing his own music. He joined the creative young Jazz group, the Taken Back Quartet. This ensemble soon became a fixture on the thriving Asheville, North Carolina music scene. They played to a loyal almost cult-like following. In 2001, the members of the quartet along with Sharon LaMotte formed the Jazz Composers Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to the presentation and documentation of original, instrumental Jazz. The Forum became a mainstay of the local music fabric as Mike and the Taken Back Quartet accompanied guest composers in concert presentations. Mike's involvement grew with the forum whose activities now include workshops, presentations in grade schools and tours of venues throughout the region. He has presented his own music multiple times as leader and in the capacity of "Composer-in-Residence". Since 2004, Mike has been a member of the band Cotangent, a New York based group led by pianist/composer Bill Gerhardt. He has played on two recordings with this band, "Stained Glass" and "Thrive". He also appears on Tony Moreno's "Trio Music" (Art of Life Records). He has performed with Joe Locke, Ingrid Jensen, Randy Brecker, Frank Kimbrough, Kendra Shank, Ron Horton, Marc Mommaas and Tim Horner among others. A truly gifted musician, Mike is finding himself more in demand than ever as he performs in Jazz clubs in New York, throughout the Carolinas and continues to be a force with the Jazz Composers Forum.

Liner Notes {top}

In May of 2006 I received a composing commission from the Jazz Composer's Forum based in Asheville, North Carolina. Having performed there previously, I decided to write a suite of pieces based on my reflections of the city. Asheville is surrounded by great natural beauty: the Blue Ridge Mountains, Douglas Falls and Mount Cammerer and has historically been an important contributor to American Arts and Letters. Of the seven pieces that comprise the suite, five are represented on this recording. Having worked with Bill and Mike on other projects, I knew that they were both inspired performers and prolific composers. Their pieces fit perfectly both thematically, with all the previously written material, and as part of the group sound we were developing. I thank them for their help and support. And most importantly, thanks to Paul G. Kohler for listening and caring enough to produce this recording. Without his enthusiasm and attention to detail, none of this would have come to be.

With all my love to Susan, Evan and Antonio.

Tony Moreno

Selected Quotations {top}

Your CD arrived in todays mail. I've listened to it once and said without exageration, this is the surprise of the year! A giant step forward in interactive Trio-music indeed. When Mark Reboul sent me 2 yet unreleased recordings of Bill Gerhardt I immediately knew that an absolute master is at work, a composer and pianist in the first rank. After listening to your recording I must say that I was slightly wrong. Bill is not in the first rank, he is the first in the first rank! The same can --from my point of view-- be said of your percussion work and Mike's playing the bass. The conception of the album is breathtaking from A to Z, the interaction is unmatched by any other trio. And the music is full of surprises, a class of its own without clichés with chord progressions, with melodic and rhythmic turns that are fresh, unparalleled and unheard in the history of jazz. And the music is not only interesting, it's beautiful and charming as well. Thank you so much for making this music happen and for preserving this document that makes us long for many follow-ups, hopefully. Thanks so much once again to make such beautiful music happen.

"If it is art, then it is not for all. And when it is for all, then it is not art." The first part of this striking quotation of the great composer Arnold Schoenberg fits perfectly the CD "Trio Music" of the three artists Tony Moreno (dm), Bill Gerhardt (p) and Mike Holstein (b). New York drummer Moreno is widely known to Jazz aficionados as a sensitive percussionist in the tradition of Elvin Jones and Paul Motian. Highly talented professionals Gerhardt and Holstein, both very active in North Carolina, are truly "musicians' musicians". In the business this is the highest possible praise of distinction among the community of Jazz musicians. And the gathering of these three exceptional musicians resulted in an artistically stellar recording session full of unexpected surprises: Interactive trio Jazz of the highest level indeed!
Jürg Sommer

Tony Moreno's Trio Music: The naked city is full of sordid tales: greed, lust, corruption, angst, glee, misery, madness, all the stuff that makes a great jazz record. What? You question that assertion? Drummer/leader Tony Moreno is one of the city's denizens of the night, a street worker who has performed in all of Manhattan's jazz clubs and jazz alleys, a tough guy with a million tales to tell. A few of those tales are heard on his debut as a leader, Trio Music (Art of Life Records). Accompanied by fellow jazz travelers Bill Gerhardt on piano and Mike Holstein on acoustic bass, Moreno imagines a New York where people still listen to Erroll Garner, read books by O. Henry, and generally stay in their habitats 'til the town cools off.

Though recorded in New York, Trio Music was actually inspired by that most civil of American cities, Asheville, North Carolina. Like all good travelers, Moreno observed the locals and drank at their watering holes, and came away sated.

"In May of 2006 I received a composing commission from the Jazz Composer's Forum based in Asheville, North Carolina," he writes in the albums liner notes. "I decided to write a suite of pieces based on my reflections of the city. Asheville is surrounded by great natural beauty: the Blue Ridge Mountains, Douglas Falls and Mount Cammerer and has historically been an important contributor to American Arts and Letters. Of the seven pieces that comprise the suite, five are represented on this recording. Bill and Mike's pieces fit perfectly both thematically, with all the previously written material, and as part of the group sound we were developing."

The selected MP3, "Float," perfectly represents Moreno's trio. As influenced by Euro styles as classic American post-bop, the trio dance and duel, float and punctuate with great skill and panache, as if operating a sail boat on the high seas. There is much wind in their collective sails, the music flowing in swells and rainy impressions. Though once a proponent of the Elvin Jones school of drumming ferocity, Moreno is more light and supple in style here, his shimmering cymbal work especially propulsive.
Ken Micallef - Better Living Through MP3

The trio of drummer Tony Moreno, pianist Bill Gerhardt, and bassist Mike Holstein performs ten originals on Trio Music, including five that Moreno wrote as a suite to celebrate Asheville, NC. Overall, the music is introspective, mostly taken at slower tempos and challenging while swinging. The close interplay between the three musicians (each of whom is technically skilled) shows that they have large ears, fast reactions, and a similar creative spirit. This set becomes more accessible with each listen and is well worth exploring.
Scott Yanow - All Music Guide



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