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Dean Mucetti Releases "Isolate//Integrate"

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    Posted: 27 Mar 2023 at 9:48am
 

DRUMMER AND MUSIC EDUCATOR DEAN MUCETTI RELEASES

ISOLATE//INTEGRATE

WITH HIS BAND RHYTHM REAL

Out March 30, 2023 on Orenda Records

 

DEAN MUCETTI - Dean Mucetti & Rhythm Real : Isolate // Integrate cover

 

Like most young musicians setting out to learn their craft, drummer DEAN MUCETTI had plans to earn a living playing music. Little did he know he would become a full-time music educator and a mentor to many young people who may not have had access to a music education otherwise. Mucetti is now releasing his debut album, ISOLATE//INTEGRATE, with his band called RHYTHM REAL, which has featured some of his students who have grown up to become top-notch musicians. ISOLATE//INTEGRATE comprises six songs constructed collectively by the band with Mucetti at the helm.

 

Mucetti was born and raised in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. His mother came from Cuba and his father was born in Italy but raised in Argentina. Although his parents came from countries with rich musical heritages, it was his older sister who instilled in him the love of music. He looked up to her and got into music because she was into music, especially the British rock band Duran Duran. The band’s popularity in the 1980s was abetted by the then new music video station MTV. Mucetti watched Duran Duran videos with his sister and was particularly fascinated by the drummer.

 

Mucetti was an athletic kid and playing the drums appealed to his physicality. His mother, however, was not interested in hearing her young son play drums in the house and refused his request for lessons. But that did not diminish his interest in the drums, and a few years later he began learning to play when a neighbor, who had a garage band, gave Mucetti a pair of drumsticks. Mucetti still did not have drums to practice on, but he did have an old barber’s chair that he used as a snare drum while air drumming the high hat to rock music. By the time he was in high school, his passion for drumming was apparent to his parents, and his mother eventually relented. Mucetti finally got a real drum set to practice on.

 

In high school, Mucetti started to seriously develop his chops by jamming with guitarist Errol Cooney, who went on to work with Stevie Wonder for several years and is now in Janet Jackson’s band. Dean also became obsessed with drumming, watching instructional videos of the day while being a devoted reader of Modern Drummer magazine. He was into funk music, especially James Brown, Bootsy Collins, and Maceo Parker, but everything changed when he heard the album Rich versus Roach. Dean was blown away both by Max Roach’s and Buddy Rich’s playing and became a devotee. He also began listening to more and more jazz.

 

Mucetti went on to attend The California Institute of the Arts and became involved in a program called the Community Arts Partnership, where students taught drumming and music in community centers in underserved communities. In 2008, Mucetti learned of an opening for a music teacher at a middle school and took the job. Although he was unsure about his future as an educator, his commitment to community service runs deep, and he has been there ever since.

 

Mucetti, who teaches drums and piano, has mentored many young musicians and has followed several throughout their high school years and beyond. He formed Rhythm Real in 2015 as a workshop ensemble for some of his former middle school music students to gain playing experience after graduating. Mucetti invited more experienced musicians, including friends from his days at Cal Arts, to work with the group. His students got so proficient by engaging with musicians from diverse socioeconomic, cultural, and generational backgrounds that they were soon good enough to perform at some of L.A.’s best jazz venues, such as the Baked Potato, the Blue Whale, the World Stage, and Catalina Jazz Club.

 

The band on ISOLATE//INTEGRATE is Mucetti (drums), MIGUEL ORTIZ (bass), DORE WALLACE (guitar), JON APARICIO (guitar), ALEX WILLIAMS (piano), and BRIAN HARGROVE (keyboards). The music on ISOLATE//INTEGRATE combines the funky, groove music of James Brown, Clyde Stubblefield, and Bootsy Collins with the spontaneous music tradition of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane. The music was composed over a couple years by the rhythm section of Mucetti, Ortiz, Aparicio, and Wallace.

 

When Covid shut down live performances, Mucetti and the band decided to focus on creating an album. Building on their years of performing rhythms, melodies, and harmonic structures, Rhythm Real tried looking at their work from different angles. They started playing the parts backwards, sideways, upside down, or inside out, all with the goal of seeing where it would take them musically. Some of the material they previously developed in live performance would be isolated and eventually integrated into whole new pieces of music.

 

The original Rhythm Real band was an octet consisting of horns as the frontline, but Mucetti thought it was safer, because of Covid, to pare back the original configuration and eliminate the horns while recording in the post-vaccinated pandemic.

 

The title of the album, ISOLATE//INTEGRATE, reflects the trajectory of the pandemic, from the isolation of the lockdown to the methods they used to construct the music. The rhythmic structures of the six compositions on the album were developed over time and were set down as through composed orchestrations with Williams on piano and Hargove on keys improvising over the complex polyrhythms.

 

Inspiration for the tunes came from various sources. “Steps West” was inspired by Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.” “Bell Bud” was inspired by two works, “If I Were a Bell” and Miles Davis’ “Budo.” “Mother Alone” is a ballad reflecting on Mucetti’s mother who was living alone and struggling with the onset of Alzheimer's. The song title “Licking Myself,” which employs looping rhythmic and harmonic structures, refers to the band licking their wounds after the isolation and challenges brought on by the Covid lockdown. “Loose Satin” is very loosely based on “Satin Doll.” “Got Lush,” inspired by “Lush Life,” is built on multiple rhythmic cycles.

 

Dean Mucetti’s love of drumming and his commitment to teaching and mentoring have helped turn young, aspiring musicians into genuine artists, as reflected on this release. ISOLATE//INTEGRATE is a funky jazz outing with fascinating complex polyrhythms and a unique instrument configuration.

 

# # #

 

ISOLATE//INTEGRATE is set for release on March 30, 2023 on Orenda Records and will be available everywhere.

 

Online:

Facebook.com/deanmucettiandrhythmreal

IG: @deanmucettiandrhythmreal

Orendarecords.com

 



Edited by snobb - 27 Mar 2023 at 9:49am
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