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It Was Only a Dream

Rhonda Giannelli Quartet

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Album Review

Not to take away from the quartet leader's wonderfully lyrical lead and harmonic piano performances, but Rhonda Giannelli's enjoyably eclectic contemporary meets traditional jazz debut is also noteworthy for the contributions of one of L.A.'s greatest saxmen, Sam Riney. Long before Boney James was on the scene, Riney's early solo albums defined the melodic soul of what became the smooth jazz genre, and his melodic work throughout this disc captures the trad side of his artistry. Riney also co-produced with the pianist and contributed four of the collection's original tracks, including the thoughtful, easily percussive "Aqua Ribbons"; the soulfully swinging title track; and the freewheeling and speedy, staccato note-driven "Northern Light." Giannelli contributes two wonderful compositions of her own, the graceful waltz "Jenny" and the cool, samba-flavored "Splendor," whose seductive groove is propelled by John Smith's prominent basslines. The quartet also draws strong inspiration from Freddie Hubbard (the whimsical "Little Sunflower"), Billy Strayhorn (a thoughtful midtempo reading of "Chelsea Bridge"), and Chick Corea. Corea's lovely "Crystal Silence" features a spot for Giannelli — who owns the music school Giannelli Square of Northridge, CA — to do her most expressive soloing.

It Was Only a Dream, Rhonda Giannelli Quartet
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  • €9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop
  • Released: 31 October 2006

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