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JT Video Premiere: “It Don’t Mean a Thing” by Pasquale Grasso

Pasquale Grasso
Pasquale Grasso (photo: Deneka Peniston)

JazzTimes is honored to premiere the video for “It Don’t Mean a Thing” by Pasquale Grasso. The Italian guitarist’s virtuosic take on a Duke Ellington classic will lead off his upcoming album Pasquale Plays Duke, to be released by Sony Music Masterworks on September 17.

Although Grasso has so far been best known as a solo player, thanks to a string of outstanding EPs released over the past two years, Pasquale Plays Duke introduces his working trio of bassist Ari Roland and drummer Keith Balla, heard here. Two other album tracks, “Solitude” and “Mood Indigo,” feature guest vocalists: Samara Joy and Sheila Jordan, respectively.

In a recent JazzTimes profile of Grasso, Ted Panken described a sensation that he experienced frequently while listening to the guitarist’s EPs: “the sensation that Grasso’s nimble fingers had prestidigitatiously transformed his guitar strings into 88 piano keys, all the better to apply his comprehensive, creative refraction of the language of Art Tatum and Bud Powell: the long arpeggiated runs, the harmonic extensions, the disjunctive comping, the complex rhythmic shapes, the impeccable pocket, the poetic sensibility.”

The full track listing of Grasso’s upcoming album is as follows:

  • It Don’t Mean a Thing
  • Blue Rose
  • Prelude to a Kiss
  • Solitude (feat. Samara Joy)
  • Cotton Tail
  • Warm Valley
  • Mood Indigo (feat. Sheila Jordan)
  • In a Sentimental Mood
  • Wig Wise
  • All Too Soon
  • Day Dream
  • In a Mellow Tone
  • Reflections in D

Go here to preorder Pasquale Plays Duke.