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Vocalist Paul Marinaro Explores Love, Life ...

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    Posted: 17 Oct 2022 at 12:27pm




Releases October 28, 2022  

PAUL MARINARO - Not Quite Yet cover


Over the past decade, PAUL MARINARO has been one of the most in-demand and critically acclaimed jazz vocalists in his adopted hometown of Chicago. He performs regularly at world famous venues like Joe and Wayne Segal’s Jazz Showcase, The Green Mill, Andy’s Jazz Club and Winter’s Jazz Club, where he is currently in residence. Marinaro has performed from coast to coast, including critically acclaimed appearances at the iconic Birdland Jazz Club in NYC. He has earned the praise of everyone from the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich, who called his voice “one of the most beautiful instruments in the business today,” and critic Scott Yanow, who wrote in LA Jazz Scene, “Paul has taken his place among the top five male jazz singers active today.” Likewise, Grammy-winning writer Neil Tesser says, “He swings hard…a giant baritone that manages to be both virile and gorgeous.” Nearly a decade after his acclaimed debut album, Without A Song, a passionate tribute to his father, Marinaro is releasing his years-in-the-making latest album, the provocatively titled NOT QUITE YET. 


The Buffalo native is an intimate, honest, and deeply compelling storyteller. This multi-faceted collection is an invitation into the singer’s often playfully swinging and graceful exploration of timeless themes - life, love, the search for meaning and the longing for connection – as seen through the lens of the collective anxiety we all have felt these past few years. 


The title NOT QUITE YET comes from “No Plan,” the haunting, hypnotic (and relatively obscure) David Bowie tune from his posthumously released EP, also called No Plan. The singer especially relates to the lyric, “All the things that are my life/My moods, my beliefs, my desires, Me alone/Nothing to regret/This is no place, but here I am/This is not quite yet.” It’s not simply a thoughtful response to the pandemic, a period during which Marinaro engaged fans with home “concerts” on Facebook and YouTube, but also a reflection on the various stops and starts that the singer experienced both personally and professionally. A traumatic health scare in 2017, brought on by septic shock related to his years of struggling with diverticulitis, was one such major setback. After being sidelined due to multiple surgeries in 2018, he was back in action in 2019, playing multiple gigs throughout the United States and Canada, various festivals, and highly acclaimed performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen, and Konserthuset Stockholm. Then came the pandemic, ushering in a personal and professional limbo like never before.


Helping Marinaro bring his grand narrative to life on NOT QUITE YET are three longtime members of his band, guitarist MIKE ALLEMANA (10 years), pianist TOM VAITSAS (15 years) and bassist JOHN TATE. The core ensemble is completed with drummer GEORGE FLUDAS, who has played with greats like Lou Donaldson, Kenny Burrell, Betty Carter, Diana Krall and Roy Hargrove. Three tracks feature the horn section of MARQUES CARROLL (trumpet), RAPHAEL CRAWFORD (trombone), CHRIS MADSEN (tenor sax) and GREG WARD (alto sax). In addition, clarinetist RAJIV HALIM plays on “That’s All” and flutist JIM GAILLORETO (the album’s co-producer) appears on “Searching.” Seven tracks feature the all-female KAIA STRING QUARTETVICTORIA MOREIRA, violin; NAOMI CULP, viola; AMANDA GRIMM, viola; and HOPE DECELLE, cello. Two respected vocalists, ALYSSA ALLGOOD and SARAH MARIE YOUNG, provide backup on “5:15 The Angels Have Gone” and “No Plan.”


The album opens with a briskly swinging, 6/8 arrangement of the Mel Tormé standard “Born to be Blue,” a song Marinaro feels, despite its quick energy, “represents the darker aspects of the project’s theme.” The singer shares his charming, sensual, and longing side on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s dreamy bossa-nova gem “Someone to Light Up My Life” (about the quest for new love after a breakup) and continues the thread of hope on “Make Me Rainbows,” from the 1967 Dick Van Dyke film “Fitzwilly,” composed by John Williams with lyrics by Alan and the late Marilyn Bergman and performed here in an infectious slow groove. By inhabiting Bowie’s haunting, torchy and classically tinged “5:15 The Angels Have Gone,” Marinaro artfully represents the feeling of rootlessness, isolation, and dissonance that we’ve all endured during challenging sociopolitical times. For the singer, the subtle ballad “Remind Me,” one of the lesser-known tunes in the Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields canon, reflects someone who longs to take a chance but is hesitant.


His bluesy, swinging, big band swagger on “No One Ever Tells You,” co-written by Hub Atwood (the father of his friend, singer Eden Atwood) for Frank Sinatra, taps into a bit of the anger one feels when love goes awry. Keeping the brassy energy flowing, Marinaro explores the feeling of being lured into the illusion of romance on “Invitation.” The starry-eyed optimism remains on Ivan Lins’ whimsical fantasy “The Island,” and reaches a fever pitch about the many sweet possibilities of love on what is perhaps the collection’s most exuberant number “On A Wonderful Day Like Today.” Along those lines, the singer considers “That’s All,” presented here with sweeping orchestration, an expression of an honest, romantic promise. NOT QUITE YET wraps with the samba-tinged “Searching,” an adaptation of “E Luxo So” featuring original lyrics by Marinaro; the obscure, magnificently poetic Stephen Sondheim piece “I Remember”; and the fitting closer, Bowie’s aforementioned “No Plan.” 


“Different versions of this album have been in the works for quite a few years, with starts and stops for a plethora of reasons, not the least of which being the global pandemic,” Marinaro says. “When my guitarist and arranger Mike Allemana and I sat down with these songs, some of which had become integral parts of my live repertoire, our initial feeling was, ‘How do you sing about life and love when the world is upside down?’


“As it was always intended to be, this album is an honest and personal collection of songs which address themes and reflect moods that are characteristic of me at this stage. Though these eternal themes are common, our interpretations were colored and shaped by the circumstances in which we most recently found ourselves. Recalling the past - wondering what’s next - stuck in limbo. This is NOT QUITE YET.” 


# # #


NOT QUITE YET is set for release October 28, 2022 and will be available everywhere.






@paulmarinaro (Twitter/IG)



Edited by snobb - 17 Oct 2022 at 12:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tupan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 2022 at 8:15pm
His debut is pretty good!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct 2022 at 7:19am
His recent cover of David Bowie's The Angels Have Left is good too.
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