Jazz Institute of Chicago

Paul Wertico Trio: Don't Be Scared Anymore

Paul Wertico Trio: Don't Be Scared Anymore

A versatile drummer, Paul Wertico summarizes his various musical experiences on "Don't Be Scared Anymore", a trio date with guitarist John Moulder and bassist Eric Hochberg. Despite the variety of styles and the fact that compositional duties are shared, Mr. Wertico must be credited for making a coherent record with a unique sound. Paying tribute to the power trios of the late sixties-early seventies was surely on Mr. Wertico's mind, but he manages to avoid the pitfalls of the genre: no purposeless solo or battle of the egos.

Mr. Wertico aims at mixing rock and jazz, but the music contained here does not fall under the fusion category as evidenced by the very first track, "Clybourn Strut". This uplifting track offers a surprising combination that really works: John Moulder's blazing guitar is backed by a full-throttle New Orleans beat topped with Brazilian percussion. On "Long Journey's End", the most intense piece, Paul Wertico uses his drum kit to create a relentless wall of sound on which John Moulder soars. The triptych closer "Testament" is an exposé of two themes followed by a blowout session where each musician gets to take a solo. Mr. Wertico likes to describe the content of his new CD as "in-your-face" music, but you will get some respite with the bluesy "Underground" or "Justa Little Tuna", a humorous lullaby which features Eric Hochberg on trumpet.

"Don't Be Scared Anymore" is a very enjoyable effort that will keep your feet moving and tickle your brain.—Alain Drouot

Available on Premonition Records, widely distributed in Chicago stores or online at www.premonitionandmusic.com.

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