One On One

Denis DiBlasio & Dave Mancini


Maynard Ferguson alumni break out with a powerful duo set recorded live in the studio.


01 Theme From Sesame Street (09:18)
02 On The Trail (06:46)
03 Fiesta Latina (Part III) (07:22)
04 Himalaya (02:35)
05 Sweet Georgia Brown (07:46)
06 Pedro's Dance (07:34)
07 St. Thomas (07:18)
08 March (10:08)
09 Fungi Mama (10:08)
10 Billie's Bounce (06:04)


Dave Mancini and Denis DiBlasio have been performing together since 1981 when they both joined the Maynard Ferguson Band. It was Maynard himself who led to them playing as a duo.

Dave recalls the incident:

'We were on tour with the band. During one of our concerts, while Denis was in the midst of an unaccompanied flute solo, Maynard came up behind me and said, "Drummer man, why don't you grab a cowbell and go out front and play with him." It was completely unplanned, but I trusted Maynard's instinct. I went out there and started playing. Denis fell into step with me and the audience loved it.”

As Maynard continued to let the duo perform, Dave began to experiment with the formula.

β€œOne evening I decided that I would bring out my agogo bells. When Maynard heard the combination of Denis' flute and my agogo bells, he liked ft so much that he featured our duet at almost every concert from that point on.'” It is this musical combination that is represented on this, their first album as a duo, - with the tune, "Fungi Mama."

Since leaving Maynard's band, Dave and Denis have continued their association, performing together and developing further the duo-concept. The process has been a fruitful one. Denis notes, 'Dave and I have experimented with all styles of music, including many tunes that we created on spur of the moment improvisations. Performing as a duo provides us with a great deal of creative freedom to express ourselves in a variety of ways. It enables us to be as spontaneous as we would like to be without needing to take into account whether or not the musicians in a larger ensemble are familiar with our music.'

The high caliber of interplay between Dave and Denis was evident in the recording process of One On One. 'The album was done live to two track, without overdubs or edits of any kind,' Dave explains. 'And the entire thing was recorded in five hours. Denis and I preferred ft this way. Prior to the recording session we had only performed two of the tunes as a duo, but we wanted everything to sound fresh and to capture the energy of the moment.'

All of the above is not to imply that either Dave or Denis do not enjoy performing in other than duo situations, however. In fact, they plan to records quartet albumin the very near future. They are also currently active as artist/clinicians for the Yamaha Music Corporation, and each year make numerous appearances as guest soloists with college and high school jazz and concert ensembles across the country. Their visits to schools usually involve one or two day residencies, where the music to be performed in concert is rehearsed with students, and workshops on jazz improvisation, as well as master classes on their respective instruments are held.

'At our clinics we involve all the students so that everyone gets to try improvising, whether they've done it before or not,' Dave comments. 'Likewise, at the concerts, ft's our policy to get all of the students on stage to participate. Everyone gets a chance to improvise a solo. What Denis and I try to do is reveal the rewarding and enjoyable experience that playing music is for us. As the students perform, they discover what they're capable of. Hope fully, they'll be inspired and further motivated while experiencing first hand that playing music can be fun. And ft should be fun, because if ft isn't, why bother?'

A commendable philosophy, and fittingly done justice on this, their debut album, One On One.

β€” Larry Trivieri