Monday, November 20, 2006

Another Side of Gary Versace

Somewhat related to my post on Maria Schneider—since he's often a mainstay in her orchestra—are some comments on Gary Versace, who I heard the other night with Ottawa bassist John Geggie and Montreal saxophonist Christine Jensen.

Best known for his organ playing, Versace is also an exceptional pianist and composer. He has a deceptively understated way of building a solo, and his method of emphasizing and repeating key climactic phrases seems to reflect his concentration on organ.

Versace has only been on the New York City jazz scene for a few years, and most of that time has been spent in bands like Ingrid Jensen's O (for organ) Project and in John Scofield's funk unit, but it would be great to hear him more widely on piano with his own group.

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