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Paul Wertico

Paul Wertico

“I like music that is just a little rawer, that’s in your face,” says drummer Paul Wertico, best known for his role in the Pat Metheny Group-not the first group that comes to mind when we’re talking gritty. But Wertico has long explored the grimier side of sound through his solo projects, like Spontaneous Composition and Earwax Control.

Wertico’s latest, Don’t Be Scared Anymore (Premonition), is a down-and-dirty trio romp through nine moody rock- and blues-flavored improvisations. In fact, a track like the rhythmically chugging and guitar-buzz layered “Long Journey’s End” is more suggestive of German psychedelic bands like Can or Einstürzende Neubauten than any jazz-guitar trio. “It’s my dream record,” admits Wertico. “I was allowed the opportunity to use a new studio owned by a friend who invited me to come in and record some things. There was no label at the time. There was no outside pressure.”

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