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About Don't Be Scared Anymore:

The Paul Wertico Trio is:

John Moulder - guitars
Eric Hochberg - basses, guitar, trumpet
Paul Wertico - drums & percussion

This CD is the trio's first studio release and was recorded & mixed during June & July of 1999.

Track listing:

1. Clybourn Strut (5:53) (E. Hochberg) Hochberg Music (BMI)

A really catchy tune with a "Second Line" rhythm. However, since we're all from Chicago, not New Orleans, we put our own spin on it...sort of what I like to call a "Second City-Second Line" groove. If this doesn't make you move, check your pulse.

2. The Underground (4:56) (J. Moulder) Moulder Music (BMI)

A slow sixteen bar blues in 6/4 that has a dark, earthy, moody feel, but that also has a strong uplifting quality to it. John definitely understands the blues.

3. African Sunset (8:24) (J. Moulder) Moulder Music (BMI)

A tune in 5/4 that's has a great opening and closing bass & guitar riff for me to "blow over". It's also a tour de force for John, with each of his guitar solo choruses building more and more intensity.

4. The Visit (5:02) (P. Wertico) Wertico Music (BMI)

I wanted to write a bass feature for Eric that would allow to him to "stretch". It also gives him a chance to more or less do a duo with himself playing both pizzicato and arco.

5. Liftoff (5:39) (J. Moulder) Moulder Music (BMI)

A 7/4 tune with a folkish melody and a twelve bar blues form that sounds like its title. John really takes off on this one. It's also a blast for me to loosely swing in 7.

6. Long Journey's End (7:04) (P. Wertico) Wertico Music (BMI)

A driving hypnotic piece with the drums and bass playing repetitive patterns. The trance-like quality is contrasted by John's soaring, "over the top" guitar playing. To me, the overall effect is just as the title describes.

7. Taliaville (3:46) (E. Hochberg) Hochberg Music (BMI)

A tune in 6/4 that's named after my O-gauge electric train layout. At a rehearsal at my house, Eric noticed a little billboard that said "Welcome to Taliaville" (named after my daughter, Talia) and he thought that Taliaville would be a great name for this tune.

8. Justa Little Tuna (3:40) (P. Wertico) Wertico Music (BMI)

A playful little waltz that was inspired by Ornette Coleman's music. The title came from a conversation that occurred while we were ordering take-out food from the recording studio. The girl taking our order said "just a tuna", which turned into "Justa Little Tuna".

9. Testament (10:52) (E. Hochberg) Hochberg Music (BMI)

A great feature for all three of us, this tune has a be-boppish A-section, a rocked-out B-section, and a long blowing middle section that is totally free-form. It was great fun recording it and we always have a ball playing this tune live.

Credits:

Produced by Paul Wertico

Recorded & mixed by Mark Brunner at Reelsounds, Skokie, Illinois

Assistant engineer - Tom Fiegle

Mastered by Danny Leake for Urban Guerrilla Engineers at Reelsounds

Design - Al Brandtner

Photography - Black/Toby

Cover collage - Lewis Toby and Al Brandtner

Drawings - Talia Wertico

Guest vocal appearance on "Justa Little Tuna" - Talia Wertico

I can't tell you how extremely excited I am about this recording. For me, it represents a dream come true on many levels. First of all, it documents a period of time in the life of the Paul Wertico Trio. This band was born in 1994 and includes two of my closest friends, who also just happen to be two of the finest musicians I've ever known. Guitarist John Moulder and bassist Eric Hochberg are more than just instrumentalists. They're musical artists in the true sense, and their playing and composing are true extensions of who they are...soulful, probing, thinking, feeling individuals who have their own message...not just some guys with a lot of technique and not much to say. When sharing the bandstand (or the studio) with them, I love hearing what comes out of their instruments...it makes my job so much fun. That's one of the things I wanted to capture on tape - the fun that we have playing together.

Secondly, this was a rare opportunity to have all the time we needed to record and use the studio to make a musical statement that represents how, as a band leader, I hear music. Usually when jazz musicians record, it's a process of getting things recorded as quickly as the budget allows...sometimes you get some great things, sometimes not. In this case however, Mark Brunner, who owns Reelsounds Studio, also happens to be a close friend. When he opened his new studio (which was also a work in progress), he invited me to record the trio "and see what we get." What a great opportunity! For a long time I've been praying for the chance to take original material and sculpt it. Since I already knew that the band could "play", I didn't want to just go into the studio and do what amounts to a live studio recording. After all, the trio had already released a live CD, Live In Warsaw! Instead, I viewed this opportunity as a chance to "produce" a musical statement. We all had a really wonderful time doing this recording and it confirmed my belief that when music is given the right care and circumstances, special things can happen.

By the way, the title of this record, Don't Be Scared Anymore ---- which, oddly enough my daughter came up with ---- means 'damn the torpedoes, we're going to play'. It's like the trains used in the package design. We chose to include them because trains have a lot to do with music and motion, direction and control. Trains and drummers have a lot in common too: rhythm, being on time and mostly, pure energy.

I hope you enjoy it!

Paul 

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The Paul Wertico Trio
Paul Wertico Trio
                  John Moulder    Paul Wertico                 Eric Hochberg

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