Leo Genovese

Palmetto Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Leo Genovese was born and bred in Venado Tuerto, Argentina where he spent his formative years studying classical and modern music. In the early 2000's, he made the move to Boston to attend the almighty Berklee College of Music. Though he was already a talented musician who took an interest in jazz, his inclusion into Berklee furthered his skills and he was fortunate enough to be aligned with the legendary vocalist Esperanza Spalding, with whom he performed with at Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

With this knowledge, it's no surprise that Seeds is an extremely detailed album with instrumentation that would seem nearly impossible for most to play. Spalding lends a hand on vocals on several cuts here, and the Chromatic Gauchos – i.e. John Lockwood, Bob Gulloti and Dan Blake – are in the mix with sax, bass, and drums. Still, with this many players on hand, Genovese manages to plays half a dozen instruments or more, proving he's got a lot more up his sleeve than the piano he's most known for.

Disc opener “Pph” introduces Genovese's unique take on melody with some fleeting noise against the meticulous foundation and quick flashes of vocals. This leads into “Father Of Spectralism” where sax, drums, and a bass are all on board against Genovese's piano acrobatics. Elsewhere, he gets experimental with the energetic, almost futuristic “Left Hand Words” and the prog rock feel of “Letter From Wayne,” though on the opposite of the spectrum “Los Ejes De Mi Carreta” is a sad sounding tune with just piano. In "A Minor Complex" he injects beats, and the song with the most vocals, "Portuguese Mirror," runs over eight minutes but is so interesting it never out welcomes its stay. The album culminates on the nearly 10 minute closer “Chromatic Hymn,” where Genovese plays seven different instruments, displaying a kaleidoscope style of music that twists and turns in unpredictable ways.

Amazingly, this was all recorded in one day. When it comes to progressive jazz, few could pen an album like this. There is so much to appreciate regardless of how much or little your interest in jazz might be, as mine is next to nothing and I played this three times consecutively with unwavering interest.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Palmetto Records, and is used for informational purposes only.