Music of the Americas Ensemble

Music of the Americas

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Frank Ferrucci Music of the Americas Ensemble

The Pan-American Music of the Americas Ensemble, led by pianist/composer Frank Ferrucci, was one of the prominent Latin/Brazilian Jazz Groups on the New York City Music Scene in the late 1980s and 1990s. To celebrate Frank's music and the 2009 re-birth of the Music of the Americas Ensemble, Baioca Records has released a 13 track CD of never released sessions of this notable group.

Frank Ferrucci's broad compositional palate has long been a focus for New York's most acclaimed Latin and Brazilian leaning jazz players. He has an almost Ellingtonian ability to incorporate the strengths of his soloists into rich, flexible structures that allow them to step out of ensemble to wail. And so he attracted to these recordings the very best: Claudio Roditi (trumpet), Mario Rivera (tenor sax and flute), Dick Oatts (alto sax), Conrad Herwig (trombone), Rolando Briseño (alto and soprano saxes, flute), Bernard Purdie, Richie Morales, Kim Plainfield, and Phoenix Rivera (drums), Lincoln Goines and Frank Gravis (bass), Romero Lubambo (guitar), Daniel Ponce, Joe Gonzales and Isidro Bobadilla (Congas), Cyro Baptista, Freddy Diaz, Endel Dueño (percussion), Rudy Colzado (vocals), and Dan Carter and Paul Wegman (guitar).

Ferrucci's own piano never fails to match the caliber of his musicians bar for bar. At the Bottom Line, the Blue Note, S.O.B.'s, Seventh Avenue South and throughout Europe, Ferrucci has garnered rave reviews, for pieces that were both complex yet swinging, intelligent yet seductively accessible. After nine years with Gato Barbieri, and a host of acclaimed sessions and concerts, Frank Ferrucci has stepped out once again into his own deserved spotlight with material for another sizzling album. His recently re-released first, "Jewel Eyes" (Baioca Records, 2009) is an exciting and mature work released to excellent notice. In sessions yielding over 70 minutes of music, Music of the Americas Ensemble shows even greater growth, vitality and realization.

Here's what the reviewers have said about Frank's music:

"Frank Ferrucci has assembled a pan-American jazz band, leading musicians from Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the United States through ''Music of the Americas'' - compositions that fuse the advanced harmonies of 1960's jazz with an array of tropical rhythms. By turns, the music evokes salsa, Brazilian pop and Weather Report."
New York Times

"This is a band with a concept that comes out of Dizzy Gillespie's 1940s collaboration with the late Chano Pozo"
Washington Post

"...combining Latin, Jazz and Folk elements into a rhythmically infectious sound"
CODA Magazine

Mario Rivera
Claudio Roditi
Dick Oatts
Conrad Herwig
Rolando Briseño
Bernard Purdie
Cyro Baptista
Daniel Ponce
Romero Lubambo
Richie Morales
Kim Plainfield
Lincoln Goines
Frank Gravis
Isidro Bobadilla
Endel Dueño
Freddy Diaz
Joe Gonzalez
Rudy Colzado
Phoenix Rivera

All Selections Composed and Arranged by Frank Ferrucci

Selections with Timing - Click Titles to Hear Excerpts:

1. Qué Tú Quieres (1987 Session) (5:29)
2. Quiet Moments (4:04)
3. Nada Por Nada (5:36)
4. Solita (6:28)
5. Aubrey (6:34)
6. E Aí (4:37)
7. Chanson de la Mer (9:43)
8. The Message (7:20)
9. FM (6:11)
10. Qué Tú Quieres (1991 Session) (7:01)
11. Weo (4:03)
12. Carolina (4:08)
13. Prá Dançar (5:33)

1987 Sessions Produced by Frank Ferrucci and Chris Brown
Recorded and Mixed by Chris Brown at Passport Recording, NYC

1991 Sessions Produced by Frank Ferrucci and Scott Lehrer, Recorded and Mixed by Scott Lehrer at Passport Recording, NYC

Mastered by Luiz Tornaghi at Batmastersom Studios, Rio de Janeiro

Cover design and artwork by Rita Ivanissevitch

Music published by Leenalisa Music (BMI)

Frank's Commentary:

On this CD are the core compositions performed by my pan-american Music of the Americas Ensemble. These never before released sessions showcase some of the finest jazz soloists, rhythm and ensemble players based in New York during the 1980's and 1990's.

In these compositions and arrangements my goal has been to integrate, in a small ensemble, extraordinary soloists, jazz harmony and rhythms of Brazil, Cuba, and North America.

The first series of sessions, in the summer of 1987, were recorded with a rhythm section grounded by Bernard Purdie, Phoenix Rivera, Isidro Bobadilla, Cyro Baptista, Romero Lubambo and Frank Gravis. You will hear incredible solos by Claudio Roditi, Dick Oatts, Conrad Herwig, and Mario Rivera. It was a privilege to have these and other well known musicians perform my music during this time.

Although the nine pieces from the first session would have made an album in themselves, I've added 4 more compositions I wrote for my smaller group which featured Rolando Briceño. These were recorded in a second set of sessions in June 1991. Here the energy is focused around Rolando's sax or flute and strong rhythm sections led by Richie Morales, Kim Plainfield and Lincoln Goines. Endel Dueño, Joe Gonzles and the late Freddy Diaz join them, putting in strong, dynamic performances on Congas and Timbales.

Qué Tú Quieres appears twice in two different arrangements. I originally recorded this song on my first CD, Jewel Eyes, and this song has always been a signature song for me-- the musicians always want to play it. The first time around (cut #1), Mario takes the melody on the flute over a Latin Groove and the original harmony. In cut #11, the song reappears 4 years later as a re-harmonized, aggressive, more dramatic and open Qué Tú Quieres with Rolando hitting the melody hard and featuring a strong Coro led by the late Rudy Colzado.

Carolina was composed with a father's joy for my young daughter Carolyn shortly after her birth. Weo, a song of island celebration and an exuberant Caribbean dance, gathers a talented group of children led by Fifi Bernard (who co-wrote the lyrics) to sing the melody as only kids can.

Thank you to Chris Brown and Scott Lehrer for their tireless work on these recordings, to Luiz for his impeccable mastering and to all the musicians who appear here and have performed with me in the Music of the Americas Ensemble.

Special thanks to my love Cecilia who has stood by me during the long process of making this CD and Baioca Records a reality.

This CD is dedicated to my friend Mario Rivera, with whom I had the pleasure to spend much time making music.

Frank Ferrucci 2009

Contact Frank via email at <>.

Frank Ferrucci, Film Music Inspired by the Indian Railway
℗2008 Baioca Records, 302A West 12 Street PMB 356 New York, NY 10014
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