Jazz Improv® Magazine License Request 

Morning, the 2nd track on "Introspective" was selected for inclusion in Jazz Improv® Magazine, Jazz Improvisation Directory - Music & Ideas For Jazz Lovers. It was reproduced on their promotional companion compact disc, in Volume 2, Number 4, which featured Wes Montgomery on the cover.

Jaco Pastorius Website Mention Tom Stroud

Listed on the Jaco Pastorius Discography page under the Tributes section. "Very nice music.. "JacoPastOverUs" has some cool grooves and rhythms, but it's not cliché Jaco, like a tribute song could easily be -- so that's a good thing... The real gem, for my tastes, is "Morning", the 2nd track ... very cool writing!"

Fuse Online Magazine Don Dorkin

"Soprano and alto saxophonist Rich Lamanna's debut cd finds him in the company of Othello Molineaux, Alex Acuna, Otmaro Ruiz and Kenwood Dennard among others for a Weather Report inspired fine fusion set. Lamanna's originals are enjoyable and engaging (including "JacoPastOverUs") and he also takes on the Trane standard, "Giant Steps." A promising debut recording. 

Introspective Dave Hughes 

Saxophonist Rich Lamanna, schooled at Berklee, now practices dentistry in upstate New York, but obviously the music has never left him. This is definitively evidenced by this very impressive debut CD Introspective. It’s sort of a sad reflection on the current state of music business economics that a musician with this much to offer isn’t being more widely heard and appreciated. 

There’s tasty stuff throughout this disc. Some tunes, such as opener “You Just Left” are modern straight-ahead, while others take a more progressive fusion turn. The influence of bass phenomenon Jaco Pastorius permeates several tunes, providing the inspiration for the tribute “JacoPastOverUs,” as well as “Giant Steps.” This version of Coltrane’s challenging standard is similar to the version performed by Jaco’s Word of Mouth big band – in fact, both versions feature the steel drums of Othello Molineaux. 

The personnel roster for this date is split between other local accomplished upstate New York musicians and some well-known names. In particular, drummer Kenwood Dennard and percussionist Alex Acuna (both former Pastorius associates, by the way), infuse their tracks with infectious, hard-driving energy. Bassist Jack Kulp is impressive with his Jaco-like introduction to “Giant Steps,” his crisp acrobatic bass lines, and his skillful soloing on “Obturation”; Kulp also invented the bass line that became the basis for “JacoPastOverUs.” Lamanna, as well as the trio of keyboardists, turn in some skillful, burning solos. 

All songs except “Giant Steps” and Charlie Parker and Miles Davis’ “Moose the Mooch” were composed by Lamanna. The compositions are consistently thoughtful and advanced, complex yet still accessible. Some are infused with Latin rhythms that Lamanna absorbed during his early days playing on cruise ships and performing in Peru and Venezuela. Acuna’s percussion, as well as the occasional keyboards of Venezuelan Otmaro Ruiz, keep the grooves solid. Interesting compositions, inspired soloists, skillful and cohesive band – this CD has it all. Check it out.

Jazz Zine Review Peter La Barbera

It continues to amaze me how much jazz talent there is out there waiting to be discovered. Unfortunately, we live in a world where looks, fads and quick public appeal are what rule musical trends. The jazz world has long suffered in this country, passed over in order to please and force feed the masses. The Jazz Zine in a small way has grown into a garden of hope. We try planting the seeds of Artists Deserving Wider Recognition, hoping, in the end that they'll be heard and sought after by the hip musical public who'll listen. If I could have the "Last Word," it would be: lets hear more from this wonderful group. They are contemporary, without the heavy syrup, and should have a wide and popular appeal to a good sized audience.

CaioJazz Review Elfio Nicolosi (Caio Jazz Italy) Translation - Mike Aidala

For those who love fusion I'd like to point out the new cd of a young, excellent, New York saxophonist, Rich Lamanna, Introspective. It is a project clearly inspired by the music of Weather Report or Jaco Pastorious, to whom Lamanna dedicates JacoPastOverUs, a piece that clearly revives the sound of the great group conducted by Zawinul and Shorter. The album is constituted for the most part of original pieces by Lamanna, but it does not lack references to the greats of jazz. In particular it is worthy to note Giant Steps by John Coltrane and Moose the Mooche by Charlie Parker, both musicians have had a particular infuence on Lamanna. In particular of Coltrane the same saxophonist has said, "When I listened to Coltrane for the first time I was 12 years old, it was then that I knew that I wanted to play the saxophone. I was enchanted by his sound, even though I had no idea of what he was doing harmonically. From that day, my objective has been to grasp and learn what he was playing". 

Other pieces of note on the album are Hopetown, which revives the electricity of Miles Davis towards the end of 70's and above all You Just Left which opens the album with a beautiful solo melody on the soprano saxophone by the same Lamanna which impresses by its impeccable style and approach. One must not forget the solid support of the group, 'The Last Word', clearly of afro-Latin inspiration, in which stands out a striking rhythm section presenting some legendary musicians, namely drummer Kenwood Dennard, who among others has played with Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Tito Puente, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ahmad Jamal, etc; the Peruvian percussionist Alex Acuna (Ella Fitgerald, U2, Paul McCartney, Al Jarreau), and steel drummer Othello Molineaux (Jaco Pastorious, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Art Blakey, Carlos Santana). 

In conclusion, I believe that for fusion lovers, Introspective will deliver a pleasant surprise. It is certainly equal to the best of similar albums; those who are passionate of a more traditional jazz instead may listen to the excellent solo performances and to music which is always enjoyable.