GUITAR MASTER GENE BERTONCINI LEADS TRIO WITH
AKIRA TANA & RUFUS REID
A guitarist who takes “soft, seductive jazz to new levels of grace and
— Daniel Gewertz, The Boston Herald
New York, NY – Sons of Sound proudly announces the September 2, 2003
release of Acoustic Romance (SSPCD017), a quietly beautiful jazz recording
featuring the guitar and arrangements of Gene Bertoncini on a program of classic
songs that includes “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Gone With
The Wind,” “Stella By Starlight,” “Two For The Road,” “Emily,” and
other love themes.
In a piece written for The New Yorker, Whitney Balliet described Bertoncini
as “an affecting, highly original guitarist who moves easily back and
forth between classical and jazz guitar.” Bassist and frequent collaborator
Michael Moore describes Bertoncini as “a melodic improvisor. What he’s
after is a beautiful melody.” An architect by training, Bertoncini is
acutely aware of arrangement and harmonic structure while applying his prodigious
technique to express that beauty.
Gene Bertoncini is unique in his application of classical, nylon-stringed
guitar to jazz, an instrumentation that allows him to explore classical and
styles in his arrangements and improvisation. A recognized master of the
instrument, his improvisational sensitivity is melodic, his approach disciplined
Audiences are currently being treated to live solo performances of these
arrangements. Mr. Bertoncini’s concert performances have been described by Bob Blumenthal
in The Boston Globe as “the most beautiful jazz to be heard.” Now
these arrangements can be enjoyed for the first time in a trio context, supported
by a rhythm section of comparable stature.
Drummer Akira Tana is an active performer and clinician whose credits span
22 years and include Kenny Burrell, Sonny Rollins, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt,
Cedar Walton, and Dizzy Gillespie. Bassist Rufus Reid has played among
legends such as Gene Ammons, Kenny Dorham, Eddie Harris, Sonny Stitt, Don Byas,
Joe Jones, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Dexter Gordon, Bill Evans, Stan Getz,
Dizzy Gillespie, and Art Farmer.
Sons of Sound is an independent jazz label founded in 1997 to support musicians
who support music education. Among many educational endeavors, Mr. Bertoncini
was the musical director of the first annual Swing ‘N Jazz event in Rochester,
NY, a three-day celebration of music education with workshops, concerts, and
a fund-raising golf tournament for the benefit of The Commission Project, a
music education nonprofit. Messrs. Tana and Reid are dedicated music educators
in their own right.
Through commerce as well as education, the label strives to bring artistic
jazz and classical music to a broader popular audience, under the marketing
tag “Popular Culture.” With Acoustic Romance, the label is making
a conscious attempt to bridge a love of jazz artistry with an appreciation
for contemporary graphics and popular music. The Acoustic Romance recording
has much to offer traditional jazz audiences as well as contemporary listeners
drawn to the vibe of ‘60s Bacharach or ‘00s lounge or chill-out.
Indeed it was Mr. Bertoncini who originally provided the guitar work many of
Mr. Bacharach’s resurgently popular hits.
Akira Tana and Rufus Reid are set to return in 2004 with another trio project
for Sons of Sound, Moon Over The World with pianist Ted Lo. Until then, they
may be heard on Mr. Tana’s Secret Agent Men (Sons of Sound SSPCD012).
Mr. Tana also provides the groove for Girl Talk by Jodi Stevens (Sons of Sound
For additional information see the label’s web site at http://sonsofsound.com/.
For more about The Commission Project, see http://tcp-music.org/.