Imaginary Numbers is a superb recording in every way.
Through the richly textured arrangements of longtime collaborator Nick Lane and a stellar new ensemble of some of LA's finest, veteran guitarist and composer Tom Rizzo creates a swinging and wide-ranging new recording of interesting standards and provocative originals. The top-flight band, including Joe La Barbera, Bob Sheppard & Bob Summers, digs deep on the swinging original opener "B-Like," paints a lush landscape on the gorgeous J.J. Johnson classic "Lament," and roasts on the dynamic arrangement of Sonny Rollins' "Oleo." By supplementing the Birth of the Cool instrumentation on "Imaginary Numbers" with his sleek guitar work, Rizzo adds a twist to that classic ensemble sound and contributes a worthy modern gem to Los Angeles' recorded jazz heritage.
1. B-Like 3:38
2. Imaginary Numbers 3:52
3. Oleo 4:28
4. Sco-Mi 5:10
5. Lament 5:30
6. One For Daddy-O 4:55
7. Shirley 4:29
8. Stella By Starlight 5:42
9. Along Came Betty 6:29
Bob Sheppard - soprano ad tenor sax
Bob Summers - trumpet
Nick Lane - trombone
Ken Kugler - tuba
John Dickson - french horn
Joe LaBarbera - drums
Tom Warrington - bass
Rich Eames - piano
Tom Rizzo - guitar
Produced by Tom Rizzo/ Rick Simpson
Recorded by Brian Vessa
at Conway Studios, Hollywood, CA on 9/4/2009
Mixed by Terry Sampson
at Terry Sampson Studio
Photography by Ray Bengston
Design & layout by John Bishop
Cadence (Bill Donaldson)
Tom Rizzo's Imaginary Numbers, though putatively a showcase for the guitarist, features on every track a group of matured Jazz professionals performing witty arrangements that concentrate instead on their intuitive cohesiveness and effortless abilities to express the emotions evoked by the tunes. One wouldn't expect the emphasis upon ensemble playi ...
All About Jazz (C. Michael Bailey)
Los Angeles-based guitarist Tom Rizzo originally released Imaginary Numbers as a self-produced offering from his website, with the title Imaginary Numbers?Guitar Plus Eight. The disc has, fortunately, been picked up by Origin Arts, joining several other notable guitarists at the label including Corey Christiansen, Larry Koonse, Mimi Fox and John St ...
Jazzreview.com (Corey Hall)
Remember how bassist Oscar Pettiford would take huge breaths between notes while soloing? This bad brother seemingly envisioned his instrument, his-self, as a horn, so you could hear him inhale before his fingers would pluck out a low-end exhale-ation. Pettiford came to mind while listening to guitarist Tom Rizzo's debut album, Imaginary Numbers ( ...
All Music (Ken Dryden)
Tom Rizzo's long-delayed debut recording as a leader is an impressive outing. Active since the early '70s as a professional guitarist, including stints with the Tonight Show Orchestra (where he also contributed as a composer/arranger), Maynard Ferguson, and Blood, Sweat & Tears, Rizzo started work on his dream project some six years prior to the re ...
The Urban Flux (Rob Young)
Through the richly textured arrangements of longtime collaborator Nick Lane and a stellar new ensemble of some of LA's finest, veteran guitarist and composer Tom Rizzo creates a swinging and wide-ranging new recording of interesting standards and provocative originals. The top-flight band, including Joe La Barbera, Bob Sheppard & Bob Summers, digs ...
Jazz Society of Oregon (George Fendel)
Sometimes we simply tilt our head and mutter, "where has this guy been hiding??" Rizzo is veteran of the Los Angeles jazz crowd, so why haven't we heard about him ... ever ... in any context. Well, go figure. You can catch him right here, and in the top rung company of LA greats including Bob Shepard, Bob Summers, Joe LaBarbera, Rich Eares and Tom ...