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Don't Wait Too Long

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Album Review

Don't Wait Too Long, the debut release by the Rocco John Group, is an impressive offering by this steadily burning quartet of improvisers. Much of the excitement can be attributed to the originality inherent in the five compositions penned by its leader Rocco John Iacovone. The alto saxophonist adds a contemporary dimension to the approaches used by such altoists as Lee Konitz, Greg Osby, Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, and Charles McPherson. Rocco's atonal improvisations contain enough melodic content as to not remove the audience from the parallel moods and thoughts the musicians toss around and wring out. On the title track, which represents his ongoing philosophy, Rocco gets a richness of tone and clarity in the upper register that is not easy on this particular reed instrument. As the main sibling in his family of instruments (he also plays the soprano saxophone and piano) the altoist "doesn't wait too long" to attach his sound to some strong trumpet playing by Michael Irwin before the two of them have some fun at the bridge before the out chorus. As a tribute to one of Rocco's early influences — Charles Mingus- the ensemble plays "Ming's Things" with the same intensity, swing, and unvarnished feel that listeners still revere Mingus for. Rocco and Irwin brilliantly converse through melody lines and reach heights of true fire before bassist Aaron Keane takes a passionate solo that leads to a showcase of drummer Dalius Naujokaitis' unique vision. Overall, this recording is a testament to the high quality and experimentation that continue to attract new enthusiasts to the creative jazz idiom.


Formed: 1997

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Rocco John Group began as a trio in 1997. Originally called the Rocco John Trio, the group invited trumpeter Michael Irwin to join in 2006. They are known for playing freewheeling standards and original compositions by the band's leader, Rocco John Iacovone. The Rocco John Group are also the standing musical ensemble for the Coalition of Creative Artists, a N.Y.C.-based interdisciplinary improvisational arts group. Miles to Go, an avant-garde collection of original and standard tunes, was the...
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Don't Wait Too Long, The Rocco John Group
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