Achille Gajo is a wild horse who has been waiting in the
corral for too long! This is a defining moment for the Italian pianist as he is
joined by Jean-Jacques Avenel and John Betsch in their debut album as a trio on
Piadrum Records. Jean-Jacques and John have been long-time rhythm section
musicians for Steve Lacy Trio, and the bond and rapport between the two of them
has always appeared effortlessly in their music.
“Achille,” says by Jerome Wilson in Cadence, “has a
bright touch more bluesy than even Bill Evans.” Bill Mikowski for Bass Player
Online has praised Jean-Jacques; “a player of peerless technique and impeccable
intonation, Jean-Jacques Avenel has grounded soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy’s
sinewy, cerebral music with muscular, searching lines since 1981.” John Betsch
is a prolific drummer who approaches drums with compositional and melodic
temperament, a distinct signature of his teacher, Max Roach.
Recorded on a Bosendorfer, the same piano that Oscar
Peterson once called “my big lady,” “Blue Sand” is a recording that charms with
musical virtuosity and artistry. Without relying on complex forms and
interplays, this music speaks directly to your heart. It is instrumental music
that tells stories without lyrics and touches our souls without pretense.
Achille is the composer for all of the new originals in
this recording. Perceptive and thoughtful in the approach to his compositions,
his music is rich with human emotions and melodic portraits of minds and
nature. The liner notes included a detailed description on what went through
his mind at the time these compositions were written. He is a musician who has
finally come into his own, and we are excited to open yet another door for him.