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GA Russell

The Grasso-Rivita Jazz Ensemble - Jagged Spaces

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  Artist Title Time    
  Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble Jagged Spaces (original) 06:46    
  Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble Her Life Incomplete (original) 05:32    
  Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble Songhai (original) 06:52    
  Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble Blue Sunshine (Original) 06:45    
  Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble Circles (Original) 08:09    
  Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble All About Cynthia (original) 07:57    
  Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble Latin for Leandro (original) 09:06    
  Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble The Homecoming (original) 04:57    
  Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble Chasing Shadows (original) 04:29    



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Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble
Jagged Spaces

January 18th, 2021

Format(s): Jazz

GRASSO-RAVITA JAZZ ENSEMBLE “JAGGED SPACES” Co-led by guitarist Skip Grasso and bassist Phil Ravita, the Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble performs nine vibrant new jazz pieces on their recording debut, Jagged Spaces.

Artist Website:

Release Date: JANUARY 15, 2021

Musicians: Skip Grasso – guitar Phil Ravita - acoustic bass and electric 6 - string bass Benny Russell - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, Greg Small – piano Nuc Vega – drums

Their set, which also features saxophonist Benny Russell on tenor and soprano, pianist Greg Small, and drummer Nuc Vega, covers a variety of moods and grooves, and includes some heated straight-ahead jazz. Guitarist Skip Grasso and bassist Phil Ravita have recorded a set of original and fresh new jazz, high-quality material that can be adopted by today’s jazz artists. They gathered a particularly strong quintet and the results are the nine new originals that comprise Jagged Spaces. With tenor and soprano-saxophonist Benny Russell, pianist Greg Small, and drummer Nuc Vega all adding their musical personalities to the quintet, the Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble on Jagged Spaces performs four songs by Grasso, two apiece by Ravita and Russell, and one from Small.

The set begins with Grasso’s “Jagged Spaces,” which has a singable melody along with fluent and unpredictable soprano, guitar, piano and drums solos. It serves as a fine introduction to the group. The relaxed jazz waltz “Her Life Incomplete,” “Songhai” (highlighted by Benny Russell’s tenor solo which is both soulful and explorative), and the minor-toned straight ahead blues “Blue Sunshine” (which has a particularly speedy bass solo by Ravita) keep the momentum flowing.

One piece flows logically to the next one yet each stands out as a potential future standard. “Circles” is mildly funky and has thoughtful piano and passionate soprano solos. “All About Cynthia” is a warm tender ballad while “Latin For Leandro” has a bit of urgency in its theme, leading to inspired guitar, tenor and bass solos. The last two pieces, “The Homecoming” and “Chasing Shadows,” conclude the project with optimistic and quietly joyful playing.

All of the five musicians are skilled improvisers who are active in the Baltimore/Washington area. Skip Grasso is a freelance guitarist and has recorded with the Don Junker Big Band and the Hank Levy Alumni Band in addition to occasionally performing as a solo guitarist. Bassist Phil Ravita has performed in a wide variety of settings with nationally known artists. Benny Russell has led an all-star orchestra (the New York Association), worked with the Next Legacy Orchestra, produced concerts, and written several notable commissioned pieces for large ensembles. Pianist Greg Small, who is also a talented trumpeter, has worked with many local artists at numerous jazz festivals while drummer Nucleo Vega is also in great demand for his tasteful and supportive playing. Together, these five musicians on Jagged Spaces have not only recorded the debut of their promising group but are introducing nine new pieces that deserve to be heard and savored by jazz listeners.

"A delightfully spent hour of the funkiest, wildest yet cool, intimate and caressing jazz you’ve heard in ages... It was chemistry at first chord, melody, groove and listen."


“GRASSO RAVITA JAZZ ENSEMBLE/Jagged Spaces: A guitar/bass led crew that puts the sax up front and center delivers a modern sound that has roots in fusion--but the roots go deep. With a sound that sounds like it was burnished on the road and in the clubs, this is a smoking crew that knows how to pack them in. Add a bunch of cigarette smoke and some waitresses dressed in black and you have the whole package. Smart stuff.”  Chris Spector Midwest Record   



Available From: Amazon • Apple Music • Bandcamp





The Grasso...


The Grasso...





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