Vinnie Colaiuta: Chauncey
Vinnie Colaiuta (drums)
Vinnie Colaiuta (Stretch Records STD 1110)
Steve Tavaglione (tenor sax), Dominic Miller (guitar).
Composed by Vinnie Colaiuta.
Recorded: July 1994
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
A lot of people don't know that Sting started out as a jazz musician. As a young fan and a learning musician, he would travel down to London to catch all the jazz and blues shows. I remember reading someplace that he would check out bands like the Graham Bond Organisation in the city's then-thriving R&B and jazz scene. He was hardcore. So it is no surprise that he has sought out jazz musicians to be sidemen in his pop bands for years. Branford Marsalis, Kenny Kirkland and Vinnie Colaiuta are a few of them. Colaiuta was his drummer for about 7 years.
On "Chauncey," the tables are turned and Sting is the guest. He is not there just for show. There are Eastern and Arabian influences heard in this music, and it was at about this time that these were showing up in Sting's own pop music. I assume Vinnie Colaiuta wrote the piece with that in mind. Guitarist Dominic Miller, a gifted player also in Sting's band, is included to offer his own view of this mix. Saxophonist Steve Tavaglione provides a very good solo. The piece's mood changes several times. A strong slow backbeat and low throbbing bass provide textural background for some disembodied chanting. The tune morphs into ethnic atmospherics until it fades and is suddenly interrupted by silence. Great stuff!
Once on Showtime cable TV, I saw Sting sit in with Herbie Hancock and do a respectful bass introduction on Herbie's "Chameleon." Sting is a good musician. Someday I would like to see him tour as part of a jazz group as bassist only.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky