The Dreamings is the second volume of Mike Mainieri's An American Diary project. The vibraphonist and leader appears primarily with saxophonist George Garzone, bassist Marc Johnson, and drummer Peter Erskine. But thanks to the rotating cast of guest musicians, each track is a wholly new experience, distinguished by unexpected timbres and colors.
In addition to a few group originals, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri performs some unusual pieces with his quartet (Joe Lovano on tenor, soprano, and alto clarinet; bassist Eddie Gomez; and drummer Peter Erskine) on this CD, including two folk songs and selections by Leonard Bernstein ("Somewhere"), Frank Zappa ("King Kong"), Aaron Copland ("Piano Sonata"), Roger Sessions ("Piano Sonata No. 1"), and Samuel Barber ("Overture to the School for Scandal"). The pianoless quartet (which displays a lot of versatility by Joe Lovano) turns all of the music into creative jazz. The most interesting aspect to this thought-provoking disc is how difficult it is to tell which compositions are taken from classical music and which are new. There is a surprising unity to the potentially difficult material; the performances on the rather moody outing reward repeated listenings.
The Dreamings is the second volume of Mike Mainieri's An American Diary project. The vibraphonist and leader appears primarily with saxophonist George Garzone, bassist Marc Johnson, and drummer Peter Erskine
The idea of An AMERICAN DIARY sprung from my memories of youth. There were two camps in my family, the jazzzers and the longhairs. Picture a very crowded tenement, three railroad rooms in the Bronx filled with my father, his brother, out of work tapdancers billed in vaudeville as ‘Moe’ and ‘Boe’, and my aunts and uncles who were struggling singers, musicians and composers....
"…Mainieri had opportunities to work with Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, and Wes Montgomery (1967-1968), among many others, and played in the early fusion band Jeremy & the Satyrs. During 1969-1972, he led a 20-piece rehearsal group called White Elephant that included the Brecker Brothers and other studio players. In 1979, he formed Steps (which later became Steps Ahead), an all-star jazz-oriented R&B/fusion band that included such players as Mike Brecker, Don Grolnick, Eddie Gomez, and Steve Gadd in its original lineup. .."
Vibraphonist Mike Mainieri has never garnered the same attention as Gary Burton, five years his junior, despite being equally cutting edge. Mainieri was one of fusion's early progenitors: Journey Through an Electric Tube (Solid State, 1968) and White Elephant (Solid State, 1969) explored new ways to incorporate a rock aesthetic with jazz. But while Burton has settled into a more mainstream comfort zone in recent years, Mainieri continues to test new waters. Northern Lights teams him with the "Norwegian Posse"—a veritable who's who of the contemporary Norwegian scene. The result blends the groove and ambience of nu jazz with a somewhat more emphatic approach to soloing.
Kazumi Watanabe is the indisputable #1 guitarist in Japan, voted Best Guiatrist in Swing Journal magazine a mere 31 years in a row! Although jazz is his preferred modus operandi Watanabe has also collaborated with Japanese legends like Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sadao Watanabe and the Yellow Magic Orchestra, bringing huge success at home and international recognition that led to him playing alongside Steps, the Brecker Brothers, Jaco Pastorius and Bill Bruford.
Placed at New York City's Seventh Avenue South, the Village Vanguard is one of the truly legendary venues in jazz, a name that ranks along the fabled Birdland, Lighthouse, Bohemia, Basin Street, Blackhawk, and Blue Note of yesterday and today. Since the Vanguard first opened its doors in 1935, the list of jazz greats who have appeared on its stage at one time or another reads like a who's who in the field: John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Gerry Mulligan, Charles Mingus, Bill Evans, Stan Getz…
Twelve Pieces is mostly gentle and lyrical jazz, something to enjoy with wine and a cozy fire. But it’s not sleepy; because of its stylistic diversity it stays interesting without the need to be bold or aggressive. Mainieri and Busstra meld nicely, Eric van der Westen provides excellent support on the double bass, and drummer Pieter Bast provides a lesson on rhythmic adaptation across jazz styles; his work on brushes is noteworthy throughout.