Thursday, November 28, 2013
Fusion CD of the Month - "Amanda Ruzza: This Is What Happened"
Amanda Ruzza: "This Is What Happened" (Pimenta Music) 2013
Rating: **** (musical performance & sound quality)
Produced by Amanda Ruzza & Mauricio Zottarelli
Featuring: Amanda Ruzza (electric bass), Mauricio Zottarelli (drums & percussion), Mamiko Watanabe (Fender Rhodes electric piano), Cliff Korman (acoustic piano), Alex Nolan (acoustic & electric guitars), David Binney (alto sax & soprano sax), Lucas Pino (tenor sax & soprano sax), Chris Stiver (trombone)
Recorded by Michael Brorby @ Acoustic Recording Studios (Brooklyn, NY) and Matt Graff @ N.S. Studios (New York, NY, assisted by Nacho Amil)
Mixed & Mastered by Dave Darlington @ Bass Hit Studios (NYC, NY)
Package Design: Luke Moelmann
Photos: Samantha Knoop
All songs composed & arranged by the phenomenal NY-based Brazilian bassist Amanda Ruzza, except "Pagão" (Pixinguinha, with the melody played in unison by bass and trombone) and "Gin" (written by the excellent keyboardist Mamiko Watanabe, a Rhodes expert), a track that features the nice combination of trombone & soprano sax in the ingenious score. The brilliant drummer Mauricio Zottarelli, a revelation to my ears through the "Mozik" project a couple of years ago, shines throughout the CD in a fiery performance (an astonishing combination of technique, emotion & groove), confirming that he is one of the top drummers in the current jazz scene. On this dazzling debut album as a leader, the Berklee-graduate Amanda showcases her huge talent by combining her own musical personality with elements from bass masters like Larry Graham (to whom she dedicates the funkyfied opening track, "Larry and I"), Chuck Rainey, Marcus Miller and Will Lee. "Slap" it in your face!