Primary Instrument: Bass, acoustic
Anyone familiar with the Los Angeles jazz scene probably is already acquainted with bassist Chris Colangelo: he has worked at length in the City of Angels jazz circuit, as a leader or a guest, has recorded with other artists, and done stints for television and soundtrack projects.
Colangelo, however, is not as well known for his composition skills, which hopefully will change with his latest outing, Elaine’s Song, the nine-track, hour-long album Colangelo has spent two years putting together.
The mostly postbop material is a showcase for Los Angeles talent and positions a basic trio setup (celebrated pianist John Beasley, drummer Steve Hass and Colangelo) alongside other notable L.A.-based players: Benn Clatworthy (who adds tenor sax and flute), Bob Sheppard (who contributes tenor and soprano sax) and alto saxophonist Zane Musa.
Chris Colangelo has been living, working and recording in Los Angeles for about the last 20 years or so. He hails from the Philadelphia area and got his start working in the casino music scene of Atlantic City before moving west. Over these many years Colangelo has been honing his skills as bassist and composer all the while playing with many of the finest jazz musicians L.A. has to offer.
His dedication to his sound and musicality are apparent. The title song, “ Elaine’s Song” , is dedicated to Colangelo’s wife he met at Trump Plaza,( they have three children and are married after all these years), features some of this fine player’s solo bass lines. He has a round, generous tone that is warm, precise and inventive. Chris’ connection to his family is the same dedication to his music is apparent from his “thank you” in the liner notes on Elaine’s Song.
Born in Camden, New Jersey, Chris attended Rowan University, majoring in jazz performance. Then a resident of the Philadelphia area, Chris was part of the local jazz scene, with session work throughout the Delaware Valley, including gigs in Atlantic City. After moving to Los Angeles in late '91, Chris began performing and traveling with heavyweights such as the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Yusef Lateef, Jimmy Cleveland, Alex Acuna, Roy McCurdy, Doc Severinsen, Ernie Watts, Kei Akagi, Les McCann, Richie Cole, Sal Marquez, Joe La Barbera and Peter Erskine among many others.
Chris's album, 2 trios + 1 -- “Live” (BluePort Jazz), earned plaudits at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas soon after its appearance in nationwide distribution. Legendary pianist Jane Getz joined Chris for this “in concert” recording, along with percussionist Dave Hocker and saxophonist Chuck Manning.
Recently, Chris co-led two recordings: the first album,“Blue Coast ” with the group 4 WEST; another, “ LIVE ”, featuring Benn Clatworthy on tenor sax and Otmaro Ruiz on piano, with Jim Paxson on drums, recorded at a Los Angeles club.
The Michael Pedicin Quintet Everything Starts Now
Colangelo • Clatworthy • Saunders • Branly: Live at Charlie O's
4 West: Blue Coast
Colangelo • Clatworthy • Ruiz • Paxson: Live
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