Born: March 29, 1973 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
Name: Leonardo La Peruta Address: Marbella (Spain) Telephone: (0034) 651330015 E-mail: email@example.com Year of Birth: 1973 Principal web site: www.myspace.com/leonardolaperuta Cd Distribution http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/leonardolaperuta
2/92 to date: saxophone player and arranger in: “Matera concert Band”, “Teano Jazz Festival” “Petit Journale Montparnasse” of Paris, university “La Sapienza” of Roma, “Concorso internazionale città di Stresa”, CD “ On my browser” of Pietro Condorelli, CD “Tribute to Steve Wonder”, CD “Cantanapoli” , CD “C’è un’orchestra sincopata”. Play live with some italian jazz entourage: Franco D’Andrea, Flavio Boltro, Ettore Fioravanti, Bruno Tomaso, Pietro Condorelli.
QUALIFICATIONS Study saxophones, flute, clarinet, composing, arrangement and improvising c/o: Conservatorio “Domenico Cimarosa” Avellino and Ass. Siena Jazz. Master class with: Paolo Fresu, Gianluigi Trovesi, Steve Coleman, Flavio Boltro, Ettore Fioravanti, Bruno Tomaso, Pietro Condorelli, Fulvio Di Castri.
Jazz as an art form is becoming less and less prevalent in the United States and, arguably, the world. It’s getting tougher and tougher to make a name playing such sounds, and a good number of special musicians are being ignored. Phenomenal players, such as Leonardo La Peruta, are always making fine music that flies beneath even the most attuned jazz radar. His quartet’s first release, The Emotional Touch, is a disarmingly playful, mentally engaging collection of original tunes that features loads of dynamic group interplay. It is a pleasure to see the date “2011” stamped on such an enjoyable listen, as presumptive as that may be. Such is the mindset of the modern jazz listener, in which musical quality is so often proportional to the age of a recording. La Peruta and his pals (drummer Julio Perez, bassist Guillermo Morente, and pianist David Lenker) aren’t going to replace any of the old guard in the hierarchy of jazz. Rather, their strengths lie in the noble continuation of the form and the sizeable dose of talent, creativity, and nuance they bring to the table.
The album’s title may foster thoughts of sterile synthesizers and safe playing, but the music on The Emotional Touch is quite the opposite. Avoiding the smooth jazz tendencies of so many modern instrumentalists, La Peruta doesn’t shy away from sonic flamboyance. Two tracks in, on the sneaky “Mark Makes Miles,” he unleashes a jarring squall of sound that puts to rest any notions of taking it easy. He and Lenker fool around with all manner of moods within the song’s loose boundaries, from hectic note-mongering to thoughtful, measured runs. Lenker is afforded nearly as much room as La Peruta, and it’s no surprise given his apparent ability. His notes dart over and underneath each other in layers of dizzying motion when the band is hot, and his timely chords provide foundation for quieter moments, such as his own “Blues Andaluz.”
Morente and Perez make up one of the most unrestrained rhythm sections you’ll ever hear. Perez somehow keeps his eyes on the rhythmic target while his hands and feet wander elsewhere. La Peruta’s compositions are as tricky as the listener would expect from such a limitless player, alternately swinging, stopping, starting, and fluttering, often within the same timespan. Perez is unflappable, conquering every colorful burst of melody that La Peruta and Lenker can conjure, as heard on the mellifluous “Very Vain Vagary.” Perez is never content to let the honkers and plinkers have all the fun, frequently reaching out into the unknown as easily as his counterparts. Morente exhibits similar qualities, holding down the music’s essential melodic and rhythmic moorings while engaging everyone’s ears. He never makes the expected move as he wryly wriggles underneath Lenker’s Fender keyboard and La Peruta’s righteous blowing on “No Chance No Way” and strides ruefully beside the beat on the mellow “Sky Smart Sunrise,” where he also takes a gut-wrenching solo.
La Peruta may be the namesake of the band, but he by no means dominates The Emotional Touch. Anyone smart enough to play six different wind instruments on one album is smart enough to know when he’s in the presence of monster players, and the quartet mentality pays off magnificently for him here.
Review by Bryan Rodgers Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students