All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Review: Joe Parillo Trio w/ Jay Hoggard - Segments

Joe Parillo Trio with Jay Hoggard - Segments
2008, Neoga Records

Joe Parillo is a master on the piano. His grasp of jazz and classical styles and the ability to meld the two into new and exciting directions sets him apart from the crowd. Parillo brings a sense of joy into his writing and playing that is infectious. The Grammy-nominated songwriter/musician (for the song One Day In January from the movie Sandbox) is a Steinway Artist and is currently the director of Jazz Studies at the University of Rhode Island. He's released several albums with his trio (bass player Bryan Rizzuto and drummer Eric Platz) and has continued to grow musically at each step along the way. Parillo's most recent recording, Segments, with Vibraphonist Jay Hoggard is nothing short of visionary. Parillo blends gorgeous melodies and lively rhythmic confections into a jazz/classical patois that will hold listeners in awe.

My favorite tune here is the final track, Aura. Forget the fact that it sounds like it came right off a major movie soundtrack. Forget that the musical imagery melds the concept of a person and the light/energy of a living being into a conceptualization is both and neither. The images conveyed are both larger than the life they portend and smaller than the mind can conceive. The maturity and compositional construction displayed here mix with an articulate sense of melody and tension that will blow the studied listener away. Clouds is an upbeat, sunny meeting of Parillo and Hoggard. The interplay of piano and vibraphone is as old friends who meet on the street and enjoy pleasant reminiscence while the minutes of the day turn to evening as clouds passing by overhead.

The sultry bossa nova of Crying Moon turns to the Vince Guaraldi style Turn Around Back. You can just picture Woodstock and Snoopy on one of their adventures to the gentle trills of the laughing piano line. Other highlights include the bluesy Where Are You Now and the almost pop/Broadway melodic sense of One Day In January.

Joe Parillo and Jay Hoggard each are talented and accomplished in their own right. As a pair they achieve a sort of pentatonic alchemy that spills forth from their respective instruments. Segments is a glorious listen, soft enough for dinner or relaxation and full of enough life to distract you from both. The Joe Parillo Trio with Jay Hoggard have hit a homerun with Segments.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about the Joe Parillo Trio at You can learn more about Jay Hoggard at You can purchase a copy of Segments at

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