Giacomo Gates


Origin 82428

Giacomo Gates is simply quite unique.
L.A. Jazz Scene

Origin presents the latest release by the singular jazz vocalist Giacomo Gates. Featuring the all-star band of Harold Danko, Ray Drummond, Greg Bandy, Vic Juris and Vincent Herring, Gates propels the band through a set of classics highlighted by his own lyrics and those of King Pleasure, Eddie Jefferson and Cole Porter.

"Gates continues to cement his place in the tight coterie of 'main men' of jazz singing. Indeed, he is a standout member of an endangered species. His inventive manifestations on Centerpiece reveal his mastery of this niche art form. Not only is he a natural talent, Gates is gifted with the temperament of a purist and a skilled craftsman of a high musical intelligence. Little wonder for the past eight years his performances have recruited rabid audiences of many stripes."
Herb Wong, past-president IAJE

Track Listing:

1 Summertime
2 I Told You I Love You, Now Get Out
3 Centerpiece
4 How High the Moon / Ornithology
5 You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
6 All of Me
7 Lady Bird
8 Route 66
9 Scotch & Soda
10 Lester Leaps In / I Got the Blues
11 Milestones
12 Hittin' the Jug / Swan Song


Giacomo Gates - vocals
Harold Danko - piano
Ray Drummond - bass
Greg Bandy - drums
Vincent Herring - alto saxophone
Vic Juris - guitar

Production Info:

Recorded at Presence Studios Westport, Westport, CT
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Jon Russell
Produced by Jon Russell and Giacomo Gates
Bag Man: Charles Turyn
Gates photos by Susan Wilson
Bridge photos by Todd Bishop
Layout & Design by John Bishop/OriginArts

Reviews of Centerpiece

All Music Guide (Adam Greenburg)
Centerpiece is the third album from Connecticut-based crooner Giacomo Gates. This is full fledged jazz lounge singing at its contemporary best. The songs are standards from throughout the timeline of jazz, but with an extra ounce of emphasis on some of the writers: Cole Porter, Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure. There are clear echoes in Gates' techni ...

Jazz Scene (Jazz Society of Oregon)
Thespirit of the joyous, scat singing, bebop giant Eddie Jefferson is clearly present in the work of Giacomo Gates. This, his third album, easily measures up to the first two, and maybe even surpasses them. Part of the reason is the presence of a very swinging group backing the singer. The basic trio of Harold Danko, piano; Ray Drummond, bass and G ... (Don Williamson )
Giacomo Gates left a life of construction work in Alaska, and the art form of vocalese is all the healthier because of it. Possessing one of the more interesting resumes among jazz people, Gates was always interested in music, but he found adventure and a change of climate in Alaska. Even there, he continued to sing as an avocation. Eventually, Sar ...

All About Jazz (Jim Santella)
His rich baritone voice, accurate musical ear and comfortable seamless phrasing make Giacomo Gates a singer with appeal, and his personal interpretation of lyrics gives his audience a convincing lesson. But there's a special twist to this performance. Gates has been bitten by the hipster bug. His passion for the vocalese of King Pleasure, Eddie Jef ...

Los Angeles Daily News (Glenn Whipp)
Let's face it: Scat singing is an art best left to Ella Fitzgerald and very few others. But if a guy who spent 12 years in Alaska working as a bouncer and manning bulldozers wants to try, who are we to argue? Actually, Gates is one of the most extraordinary singers working in jazz today, the owner of a joyful baritone who has synthesized a host of ...

Jazz Times (Christopher Loudon)
Another extraordinary vocal stylist we never hear enough from is Giacomo Gates. He's often and accurately credited as a contemporary Eddie Jefferson, but with his full bodied baritone and blazing inventiveness, he sounds like the love child of Billy Eckstine and Kurt Elling. As bracing an innovator as he is an interpreter, Gates transforms his th ...

All About Jazz/New York (Elliott Simon)
A product of vocally imitating complex bop solos, vocalese grew into a respectable singular art form under its most famous practitioners, King Pleasure and Eddie Jefferson. On the swinging Centerpiece, Giacomo Gates uses these two giants as touchstones and makes the genre his own. In addition to his deep, rich tonal quality, Gates' impressive v ...

In Tune International (Dan Singer)
Fifteen songs never had it so good. Unpredictable and inventive are but two descriptions of this pure jazz singer. He will actually have you sitting on the edge of your seats as you hear the varied examples of his uncanny vocal range. He reminds me of Mark Murphy and the late Eddie Jefferson. Far from ordinary, Mr. Gates' knack of embellishing the ...

New Jersey Jazz (Joe Lang)
Jazz vocalist and terminal hipster Giacomo Gates just keeps getting better and better with each recording. "Centerpiece" (Origin 82428) finds Gates backed by Harold Danko on piano, Ray Drummond on bass, Greg Bandy on drums, Vincent Herring on alto sax and Vic Juris on guitar. Gates has many assets, among them a rich and flexible voice, a natural se ...

Hartford Courant (Owen McNally)
Giacomo Gates, jazz troubadour, worldly wise and grand master of scat and Vocalese, is one of the jazz world's finest living exemplars of true grit. At best, the male jazz vocalist is an endangered species, particularly now when the terrific female singers dominate the slim marketplace for jazz. As shown by the dozen bright tracks on this dis ...

Stamford Advocate (Ray Hogan)
Given the strength of his husky voice, it seems appropriate that Gates spent more than a dozen years working on the Alaska Pipeline. It was a local arts festival and a chance encounter with Sarah Vaughn that encouraged him to pursue a music career in the late 1980's. "In this kind of music, it's about intention, honesty and what comes through in ...

L.A. Jazz Scene (Scott Yanow)
Giacomo Gates is one of the top male jazz singers around today. His scat singing, use of vocalese and bebop attitude plant him as a successor to Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure and Dave Lambert. Centerpiece is his finest recording to date. Joined by pianist Harold Danko, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Greg Bandy with guest appearances from alto ...

Espresso Jazz (Richard Mayer)
With the release of this third CD, Giacomo Gates has made it obvious that he has a focused and consistent concept of who he is and what he does. There is no other male vocalist on the scene today whose commitment to the genre of vocalese is so steadfast, both in honoring its past and in helping to defining its future. I have had the privilege of ta ...

Kansas City Jazz (Tom Ineck)
Giacomo Gates didn't decide to make a career of music until 1990, at age 40, and his debut recording appeared five years later. Since then he has established himself as a member in good standing of the ever-so-exclusive club of male jazz singers. With "Centerpiece," Gates takes another leap forward, with a wide ranging repertoire demonstrating h ...

Portfolio Weekly (Jim Newsom)
Origin Records is a Seattle-based boutique label founded by drummer John Bishop. Though Bishop's stated intent was to spotlight jazz artists of the Pacific Northwest, it's Connecticut-based vocalist Giacomo Gates that caught my ear with his recent Origin CD, Centerpiece. Gates is a soulful singer whose range is reminiscent of Kevin Mahogany and Joh ...

A Hard Working Jazzman ON and off the bandstand, Giacomo Gates fits the profile of the suave, cool jazz singer with ease. He favors stylish dark clothes for his tall, broad-shouldered frame, exudes a mixture of confidence and charm typical of a professional entertainer and casually drops hepcat slang into conversation, saying ''I'm gone,'' for i ...

All About Jazz/New York (Elliott Simon)
Whether lending his smooth baritone to a ballad or practicing the art of vocalese, Giacomo Gates brings a sense of honesty to a song. So much so, that when he says straightfaced that the trombonist hasn't shown and then proceeds to fill the void with the best mouth trombone you ever want to hear, you believe him. Gates' on and offstage persona refl ...

Berman Music Review (Tom Ineck)
Giacomo Gates didn't decide to make a career of music until 1990, at age 40, and his debut recording appeared five years later. Since then he has established himself as a member in excellent standing of the ever-so-exclusive club of male jazz singers. With "Centerpiece," Gates takes another leap forward, with a wide-ranging repertoire demonstrating ...





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