Gary with Luca Visciola at VinCaffe,
Corso Cavour, Orvieto, Italia.
  Gary with Carl Thompson in Carl's

June 2000

Tribal Voodoo Jazz: NOSTOS at Izzy Bar

Just another Tuesday evening in the East Village. I step out of my apartment and somehow end up at Izzy’s, a quaint little jazz club. Expecting the typical boring same ole’, I walked into what I call ‘tribal voodoo jazz.” [A group] Consisting of only 3 members…with only clarinet, bass and percussion; the music was scary — but I like it!

As the band launched into another song, the pace picked up real quick. Unbelieveably, George Stathos made his clarinet sound like a violin. I’m not too fond of clarinets, but this guy knows how to work it…the sound switches back and forth from violin to horn. The bass also impressed me; Gary Kelly doesn’t project any of that typical slap-stick, “see how fast I can go” stuff. He devours the instrument, with each note heard clearly and with such richness that it made me feel like I was swimming in a warm river of chocolate.

The mystical language of music can bring out the psycho side in anyone. There’s a devilish side to it that feels so good, and then a feeling of love takes over. Both of these feelings filled me with ecstacy without actually taking it in pill form: NOSTOS is providing it the natural way. — Pam Purple

Folignio Masthead

July 2006

Il jazz di Gary Kelly lascia il segno

Orvieto – Gary Kelly ha le idée molto chiare. Secondo lui – a prescindere dai generi – esistono due tipi di musica: “good and bad”. Quella proposta durante il suo ultimo seminario appartiene di certo alla prima categoria.

Si e concluso ieri il workshop organizzato di “Orvieto Centro Musica” in collaborazione con il grande bassista di New York. Il bilancio e positivo: buon afflusso di studenti per una serie di lezioni estremamente interessanti, durante le quali Kelly ha messo in mostra la suo ottima tecnica di insegnamento e quel vasto back background musicale che gli consente di spaziare dal jazz al pop fino al funk, l’R&B e il rock. Non a caso, il bassista ha lavorato con aristi di varia provenienze, come Bill Frisell, Leroy Jenkins e The Mama’s & Papa’s.

Accanto a Kelly, a supporto della sezione ritmica ma anche come interprete, il giovane batterista orvietano Luca Visciola. Nei prossimi giorni, i due musicisti — che hanno gia collaborato all inizio dell’anno, si pensi ai concerti di Pisa e Orvieto — daranno il via ad un tour attraverso l’Italia. Si partira d Firenze, dove suoneranno, fino al primo luglio, nei locali del Caruso Jazz Café. Per completare il trio, il pianista Fabrizio Moscata, con il quale Visciola si e gia esibito in numerose occasioni, ad esempio assieme a Piero Odorici (sax) e Ares Tavolazzi (double bass). In seguito, il gruppo di Kelly — a cui stavolta si aggiungera il pianista e compositore Marco Pezzola — fara nuovamente tappa in Umbria, a Trevi, presso la vineria Gustavo. Appuntamento fissato per il sei luglio. — Gianpaolo Bonuso

July 2006

Grande successo per Gary Kelly

TREVI - Grande successo per Gary Kelly che si è esibito giovedì 06 Luglio aprendo il nuovo programma GUSTAVO JAZZ. Numerosa la partecipazione degli amanti della musica e del buon vino, che hanno potuto assistere alle prodezze musicali di un grande talento del jazz-fusion quale è Gary Kelly, magistralmente accompagnato da due grandissimi del jazz, Luca Visciola e Marco Pezzola.


Folignio Masthead
January 2006

Dalla Rupe applausi per Gary Kelly e il suo trio

Orvieto – L’experienza italiana di Gary Kelly termina ad Orvieto con un concerto da applausi. Dopo aver fatto tappa a Pisa, il bassista di New York — cresciuto al Berklee College of Music di Boston  — é tornato sulla Rupe, confermando, se ce ne era bisogno, le ottime impressioni suscitate durante i concerti tenuti in comcomitanza di Umbria Jazz. Kelly — che nella sua lunga carriera ha collaborato con artisti del calibro di Bill Frisell e Leroy Jenkins — ha presentato una serie di composizioni originali, fra le quali “ After This, What?” e “Count Blood”, alternate a standard come “Song for My Father” e “Footprints”.  Eccellente accompagnatore, riescea dare il massimo anche negli assolo, con soluzioni sempre nuove, mai scontate. Grande merito va anche agli altri componenti del trio. Da una parte, Luca Visciola, orvietano doc, ventiduenne, batterista, tornato in Italia dopo un anno di studio a New York con Kim Plainfield, Peter Retzlaff e molti altri. Anno che ha sortito ottimi effetti. Visciola ha aquisito la grande capacita di tenere evata l’intensista del beat senza alzare troppo il volume della sua betteria e invadere lo spazio dei solisti.  Dote tutt’altro che commune ne batteristi di ultima generazione. Si ascoltino, in questo senso, anche le registrazioni fatte a New York con Kim Plainfield, Bob Quaranta, Mark Karwan e lo stesso Kelly. Dall’altra, il pianista e compositore jazz, Marco Pezzola, che ha recentemente realizzato un disco con marco Tamburini e Daniele Malvisi. Il trio si e arricchito, in alcuni brani, della presenza di Simone Visciola all tromba, impeccabile su “Song for My Father”. — Gianpaolo Bonuso

A Day At Drummers Collective
Life of a Drum Student
pp. 90, 92

By David Weiss

1:00 P.M. It would make sense to take a break now, but that’s not in the cards. Immediately following Crews’ session with Petrillo, it’s time to jog downstairs to the Studio class. Here, his mission is to play along with a pre-recorded song, sans drum track, naturally, and record the results, to get him comfortable with the studio setting and prepare him for recording with a live band in a few weeks.

The studio will never be confused with Room A at the Hit Factory, but the sun drenched live and control rooms are very well equipped for recording drums and small ensembles. Instructor Gary Kelly has nine microphones on the kit, including two Shure SM81s for the overheads, an AKG D112 on the kick, and a Shure SM57 covering the snare, plus additional mikes for the toms and hat, all going through a Tascam DM24 mixer and recording into Digital Performer.

Inside the control room I find Crews and all of his classmates from Groove Mechanics (previous class) reunited, only they’re not talking to each other very much right now. Most of them have headphones on, carrying out last minute cramming on the song that they’ve selected and have now been memorizing for the last week. Just as Crews had predicted earlier, no one wants to go first. Finally, Huiu steps forward, goes into the live room, and puts on the headphones. Kelly cues up his selection, a track from Dave Weckl Ultimate Play-Along, and the two go through a sound check.

Once Huiu’s comfortable, Kelly hits “RECORD” and Huiu lays down a pretty good drum performance for the song. Afterwards, he comes back into the control room so he and Kelly can critique the performance. Aside from not getting in time quickly enough in the beginning, they agree that his recording, which has to keep up with some tricky blues-shuffle moves, went off pretty well.

Crews decides to take his turn next, and with “the Mystic’s Glance” by Omar Hakim cued up, he hits the kit. It’s a good tune with opportunities for some great grooves, and Crews definitely does his thing. He lays into the drums with confidence, displaying sharp instincts, especially for someone who’s only been playing less than five years. His fellow students seem equally impressed — “Man, I couldn’t do that if I tried,” one of them groans after Crews nails an especially tasty lick.

Back in the control room for playback, things still sound pretty good. Kelly is concerned that he sounded like he was forcing things at times, and there’s one major flub in the middle where Crews gets completely off track. It’s a promising session, but Crews is upset: he wants it to be perfect. “Don’t worry, “ Kelly assures him. “You’ll never be happy [with your performances].”

Kelly, a bassist outside the studio, explains that the Studio class is important for getting younger players ready for the pressures of the studio. “ I try to give them a taste of what it’s like to be a studio player,” he says. “I’ve done it for ten years, I know what you need to know. You’ve got headphones on, and you’re under a time constraint. I assume different guises so they’re dealing with the evil producer who wants their performance green, for example. I’m trying to get the nerves out of their system so they can relax and play music. For the final, the guys have to prepare a piece that they really think will assimilate the ideas I’ve put across: the idea of being in the studio, cutting a track, and then mixing it. Then everyone takes a CD out mixed so they have something to show for the class.”

Kelly hasn’t had many encounters with Crews, but he likes what he sees. “The material he did was difficult, with a high level of musicianship. He picked something that was done live, so there was no steady click throughout the tune, meaning the onus was on him to make it flow. He’s really into it, enthusiastic, anxious to learn. He’s with the program, he’s looking for the challenge, and he’s rising to the occasion.”

“That class is a great experience,” Crews confirms. “We work with live musicians next semester, so now we pick a song without drums then we hammer it out. For me it seems tougher than playing with live musicians, so it’s about really listening and hearing a metronome and playing with it — you’ve really got to focus on what you’re doing. The part that I messed up is the part that I’ve been having trouble with all week, but like Gary said, ‘If there had been live musicians with you, there wouldn’t have been any mistakes,’ and that’s what’s important. One thing I’m learning is don’t be hard on yourself at all, have fun with what you’re doing.” — DAVID WEISS