Garry Dial & Rich DeRosa – Keep Swingin’ (ENG review)

The music of Charlie Banacos // Outside In Music - Available
Garry Dial & Rich DeRosa - Keep Swingin

It is truly a magnificent idea to pay tribute to Charlie Banacos, who sadly passed away but created over 100 programs for improvisation since the 1950s and whose compositional work remains prominent in 20th-century music. The collaborative project, led by the renowned pianist Garry Dial and the faithful arranger-drummer Rich DeRosa, honors the great jazz educator Charlie Banacos, whose pedagogy has influenced generations of jazz musicians over the past 50 years. The album, consisting of 10 tracks, presents Banacos’ music reimagined and rearranged by Dial and DeRosa, performed by some of Banacos’ most accomplished disciples and friends, including Mike Stern, Jeff Berlin, Jerry Bergonzi, Wayne Krantz, and many others. A 100-page book accompanies the album, containing personal anecdotes, photographs, artistic renditions, and more, provided by Charlie’s students, with corresponding QR codes for each piece and chapter.
The richness of Banacos’ compositions is perfectly conveyed in this album by Garry Dial & Rich DeRosa, who have succeeded in modernizing the works through the arrangements while preserving the original spirit. Charlie Banacos, often compared to a jazz Jedi master, was not just a pianist, composer, author, and educator but exceeded the sum of these parts. His music has a complex architecture, challenging to play, navigating between the harmonies of various instruments with formidable efficiency, demanding precision and extreme rhythmic sense from the musicians. It was a perfectly executed endeavor that surely required many hours of preparation.
Taking on Banacos’ work requires great motivation and vision, as his music retains a certain naivety that has disappeared in today’s era, an appearance of joy and frivolity, far from the music of the 21st century. This is undoubtedly what appealed to the editorial teams at Bayous Blue Radio and Paris-Move, who particularly appreciate this form of reinterpretation, translated for modern times. Our hope is that you will enjoy this album, which we consider “essential,” as much as we do.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, January 22nd 2024


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