Joe DeRenzo: iEartoe (parts I & II)


iEartoe (parts I & II)


Joe DeRenzo (drums, percussion)


Core Beliefs (DeRenzo Productions JD 002)

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Joe DeRenzo (drums, percussion),

Anne Walsh (vocals), Glen Berger (tenor & soprano saxes), Tom Zink (piano), Brian Hughes (guitar), Jimmy Haslip (bass), Richie Gajate-Garcia (percussion, vocals)


Composed by Joe DeRenzo


Recorded: Long Beach, CA, January-October 2006


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Drummer Joe DeRenzo has had quite an interesting career. In the late '70s, he played jazz and fusion music. But in the mid '80s, he caught the acting bug and left music behind. After appearing as a movie extra and having a few TV gigs, DeRenzo changed careers again and became a photographer. A chance meeting with graphic artist Peter Max led to a long-term gig with financial and artistic success. But music was still deep in his core. In 2001, after 15 years of not picking up a drumstick, DeRenzo sat down and played. The comeback was on!

DeRenzo is a very gifted musician, composer and arranger. Perhaps because of that 15-year hiatus, he approaches music with a fresh and open mind. This is quite evident on "iEartoe parts I & II," his tribute to the great Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira. The tune is purposely reminiscent of Airto's old recordings on the CTI label. DeRenzo and fellow percussionist Richie Gajate-Garcia create a Brazilian landscape with shakers and sundry percussion oddities. Vocalist Anne Walsh enters with her own heartfelt tribute to Airto's wife, the wonderful singer Flora Purim. On part II, pianist Tom Zink and saxophonist Glen Berger continue the theme, now joyful and bouncy. DeRenzo plays it Brazilian cool in the background as Gajate-Garcia camps it up both on voice and percussion to the tune's end. DeRenzo is not out to blow people away. He is out to have fun. On this tune, and on the album it comes from, he succeeds in a contagious way.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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