A Sneak Peak: EL CHICO BLANCO (listen below)

From left to right: Steve Blanco, Anthony "Chico" Riscia, and Geoff Gersh

Ok, I wanted to wait until the mixing was done, but, man, life is too short… so I’ll tell you all about it.   Basically, this project is really what launched FloodMix into reality.

This past March I was asked to record all April 2010 shows of  jazz titan Steve Blanco at Domaine Wine Bar (7 train Vernon Blvd stop in Queens.)  There were two groups to record: the Steve Blanco Trio (his Friday jazz ensemble) and Steve’s hitherto-unnamed and incubating side project, a fully-improvised acid/soul/ambient trio featuring soundscapist & shredster Geoff Gersh on guitar, and infectious groovesmith Anthony “Chico” Riscica on drums.  First of all, a huge thanks to Gus Rodriguez, Long Island City’s most important live events promoter, and a hell of a guy, for getting me connected to James Landrito and John Roselli, the fuelers of the project.

Me

Before the recording began, and even well into the first few sessions, the plan was to make a recording showcasing Steve Blanco’s improvisational personalities as portrayed in these two very different groups.  During the next few weeks, however, the second (and still unnamed) group was really developing into a force of its own.  Steve confessed he might want to devote the majority of the recording budget to this growing new group (after all, he did have two albums under his belt with his jazz trio.)

The next week when I arrived, just about midway into the month of recording, Steve was donning a Nord Electro-3, a hugely popular sample-based keyboard with so many settings it’ll practically give you ADD just trying to commit to one you like.  He now had a veritable keyboard arsenal: upright piano, Electro-3, and a Yamaha PSR to his left for bass.  Maybe it was the Nord… and maybe it was all those microphones everywhere… but regardless, one thing was clear after the first minute into the April 26 set:  El Chico Blanco was born.

Here is an unmastered glimpse of the April 26 set:

The mixes are almost done — see you soon with the mastered album!

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