“Judging from the luminous results on Harmolodic Monk, Lavelle and Pietaro have found—nay, invented—a fertile musical vein that’s ripe for exploration,” (FLORENCE WETZEL, allaboutjazz.com).
In the work of both Ornette Coleman and Thelonious Monk, the dichotomy of ancient, pre-western approaches and extreme modernism live side-by-side so comfortably that one mistakes one for the other. Like the story that Ornette told of performing in a psychiatric hospital; once he started playing and looked out into the audience he couldn’t distinguish between the doctors and the patients.
Bëla Bartók believed that new music must have deep roots in folk music, music of the earth, chthonic in that sense. Besides virtuosity as servant to meaningful expression, communication and sensitive interplay, what Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro reveal to us through this many-layered concept of uncovering new secrets in Monk’s compositions via the Harmolodic highway is their profound understanding that the root of all this is the Blues.
Ornette’s view of the Blues, like his late friend Buckminster Fuller’s view of the world, is multi-dimensional, here imbued with both Monk’s and Ornette’s focus on personal expression. Matt and John provide an extended view into myriad musical possibilities when Harmolodic Monk is in the hands of two improvisational masters. – Jack DeSalvo
“With each track, Lavelle and Pietaro manage to find something new to say, moving away from Monk’s viewpoint and shifting gears from the previous number(s),” (DAN BILAWSKY, allaboutjazz.com).
MATT LAVELLE (Paterson NJ 1970), began his Music career with a High School Big Band tour of the Soviet Union in 1988, and then a 5 year period of study with Hildred Humphries, a Swing era veteran that played with Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and many others of the time. With over 10 appearances as a sideman on record, Lavelle has 4 records released with himself as a leader. Find his full bio at mattlavelle.org.
JOHN PIETARO is a percussionist, a writer and cultural organizer from Brooklyn, New York. Instruments: vibraphone, xylophone, drumkit, frame drums, hand drums, glockenspiel, multi-percussion, voice. Musical genres of New Music/New Jazz, Free Jazz, Protest song, No Wave, Progressive Pop music. Check out his full bio at dissidentarts.com.