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Denis DiBlasio Quintet: “Where the Jade Buddha Lives”

(Art of Life AL1030-2)

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

Denis DiBlasio Quintet: "Where the Jade Buddha Lives"

Denis DiBlasio: baritone saxophone, flute
Paul Klinefelter: acoustic bass
Jim McFalls: trombone
Joe Mullen: drums
Ron Thomas: piano

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Distressing Disguises
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Buonarroti's Ceiling
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Teach Me I Dare You
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Baby Dom
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Song of India
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The Truth Will Out
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Where the Jade Buddha Lives
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The Puppy's Not Cute Anymore
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The Long Goodbye
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Digital Downloads {top}

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About the Music {top}

Art of Life Records is proud to welcome baritone saxophonist & flautist Denis DiBlasio to its roster of recording artists. Joining Denis on "Where the Jade Buddha Lives" are Paul Klinefelter on acoustic bass, Jim McFalls on trombone, Joe Mullen on drums and Ron Thomas on piano (Paul Klinefelter, Joe Mullen and Ron Thomas can also be heard on the Ron Thomas Trio's-"Music In Three Parts" CD, Art of Life AL1010-2). The album features seven songs composed by Denis specifically for this quintet in addition to Rimsky Korsakov's Song of India and The Long Goodbye which was written by the quintet. "Where the Jade Buddha Lives" was recorded and mixed by Glenn Ferracone at The Music Centre in Exton, Pennsylvania on August 27th, 2006. All tracks have been digitally mastered using 24-bit digital technology.

Liner Notes {top}

Distressing Disguises - There's a quote by Mother Theresa where she was asked "Where do you see God?" and she said "I see God everywhere in all his distressing disguises". She was referring that God was in everyone but was hidden behind, ego identification, hate and a host of other things that suppress the goodness in people. I thought it would make a nice title for a forward moving, positive feeling yet reflective mood.

Buonarroti's Ceiling - If you ever thought you wrote a good tune or took a great solo just look at the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, it'll really put you in your place as an artist. Magnificent, beyond words! I tried to create the mood with this piece that puts me in that chapel and in the Vatican in general. Meditative and ethereal is what I was going for.

Teach Me I Dare You - A quote by a fellow professor colleague that succinctly defines the feeling of teaching a student who doesn't want what you are selling which can be frustrating and confusing.

Baby Dom - A tune dedicated to my two year old nephew Dominic. Just a cute happy baby who laughs and plays the way a two year old should.

Song of India - Rimsky Korsakov's song has always been a favorite. I always liked the melody and always thought Ronnie would make something great happen with this piece which he did. A different groove along with the bass flute and Jim's great trombone playing simply put this in a unique zone that feels like a bath or mist or something: very smooth and just right.

The Truth Will Out - This piece sort of reflects a truth that suddenly and magically appears when in a meditative mood. Truth sometimes allows itself to be realized when in a calm mood. A meditative sketch type piece that, once again, Ronnie owns.

Where the Jade Buddha Lives - On a trip to Thailand with Maynard Ferguson to play with King Bhumibol (who plays sax) I visited Thailand's oldest and largest temple, Wat Pho in Bangkok. There is a building in the temple called Main Bot which houses a Jade Buddha that contains the ashes of Buddha. Very grand, eastern, beautiful and calming.

The Puppy's Not Cute Anymore - There was a music student that was cute when young. As he matured he became more knowledgeable, worldly and unfortunately, cynical. Years later he went on a tirade about how some of the best players in the world didn't really impress him and thought they were weak players blah, blah, blah... It was such an insane conversation I wasn't listening anymore to what he was saying and I found myself just watching as he dug himself deeper and deeper into non-cuteness. When he left one of my friends turned to me and said "Well, the puppy's not cute anymore". That was that.

The Long Goodbye - I named this tune after we recorded it. All I said was let's play around with an 'F' tonality. I felt it captured the feeling of dealing with someone suffering through any type of prolonged drawn-out illness or bad situation. Exhausting, realizing, waiting, coming to grips with it etc... Whenever I listen it puts me into a 'good place' (calmer, peaceful). This is probably my favorite tune of the project.

I tried to create inherent moods for each piece. The goal for the players was to create within that 'space' each piece offered, not simply plug in standard licks and such. I knew that something special would show itself with this particular group. The synergy and organic blossoming was something I was hoping for. It wouldn't have happened without the special talents and contributions of these great artists.

Denis DiBlasio

Selected Quotations {top}

This CD paints a lush portrait of foreign lands, perhaps the Far East, using the Jazz vocabulary. Denis DiBlasio, composer of seven of the nine selections, brings thought-provoking melodies which make liberal use of open space and fertile harmonies. The sensitive rhythm section of Ron Thomas on piano, Paul Klinefelter on bass, and Joe Mullen on drums quietly captures and interprets the essence of each tune, laying down oriental-sounding harmonies in an unusual time signature on Where the Jade Budda Lives, creating a feeling of wide open space on The Truth Will Out and providing subtle but swinging forward motion on Distressing Disguises and Teach Me I Dare You. Song of India is an exotic treat, with DiBlasio's bass flute adding texture. Trombonist Jim McFalls is stellar throughout on solos and in the highly effective front line with DiBlasio on baritone sax. The trombone/baritone sax combination, lower-pitched than the classic trumpet/tenor combination, conveys a dark sound, which works extremely well in depicting DiBlasio's conceptions. Superior and group-minded playing by all make this strong performance of DiBlasio's evocative material a highly interesting and musical listening experience.
Don Lerman - Cadence Magazine

There's a spiritual quality, a metaphysical vibe, to DiBlasio's "Where the Jade Buddha Lives". Some of the titles invoke religious themes and the exquisite sonic detail and cerebral approach-sleek tempos, wafting rhythms, ruminative solos-would make a blindfold test on labels suggest ECM. Pianist Ron Thomas' spare touch and meditative approach-reminiscent of Bill Evans' "Peace Piece"-especially has that ECM feel. DiBlasio, who also plays bass flute and flute on a couple of tracks, has been known as a hard charging bari (he anchored one of Maynard Ferguson's bands) but here he favors a gentler, but admirably versatile, approach, favoring a light vibrato at times but never foreswearing the gutsy end of his range nor the occasional quicksilver boppish run. But the CD is most impressive on the leader's terms, as a fulfilling expression of particular moods.
George Kanzler - All About Jazz

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