November 29, 2012
Sal La Rocca
Bass Player | Composer
About Sal La Rocca
Sal La Rocca – Initially briefly interested in guitar rock, he discovered the jazz genre in the early 1980s. Sal traded the guitar for the bass and taught himself the jazz idiom, inspired by the model of Paul Chambers. La Rocca tirelessly built on his abilities as a musician, and it did not take long before he was noticed playing alongside Toots THIELEMANS, Philip CATHERINE, Steve GROSSMAN, Lee KONITZ, Dani KLEIN featuring Vaya Con Dios…
Sal (Salvatore) La Rocca has released three albums under his own name, such as LATINEA (Jan 2003). IT COULD BE THE END (Feb 2012), with : Lorenzo DI MAIO (guitar), Pascal MOHY (piano & Fender Rh.) and Hans van OOSTERHOUT (drums) featuring : Jacques SCHWARZ-BART (t. sax) on the IGLOO RECORDS label.
SHIFTED (Nov 2018), with : Jeroen van Herzeele (t. & s. sax), Pascal Mohy (piano & Wurlitzer) & Lieven Venken (drums) on IGLOO RECORDS & EL NEGOCITO RECORDS labels. – Igloo Records & el Negocito Records
“a singular album that sounds like a plural and that can be conjugated in the past, present and future; a contemporary jazz record that reads like a travel book. At each stop, we get a song to hum and high-level soloists to follow in their harmonic and rhythmic excursions. Let’s be clear: a record signed by a bassist-leader often resembles other releases recorded by bassist-leaders, a heavy revenge on the status of accompanist; spotlight on the bassist, all the themes are for me, the first chorus and codas…This second album by Sal La Rocca deftly avoids that trap. With the exception of “Crescent”, all the compositions are signed La Rocca but the rest is impeccably balanced and each musician comes out of the adventure with something to remember. Could this be the end?” – JPS, Maison du Jazz
New Album 2018
Sal La Rocca’s new album breathes groove and freedom. His modern jazz with captivating sounds is tinged with avant-gardism. Walloon and Flemish, Belgian and Italian, his group is defined by a multiple identity. Self-taught musician, Sal La Rocca is one of Belgium’s most popular bassists. For more than thirty years, he has been traveling around Europe alongside renowned musicians. He accompanied Toots Thielemans, Philip Catherine, Steve Grossman and Lee Konitz, among others. After two albums as a leader, he recorded in 2017 ’Shifted’, his new record that he will present at this concert.
The project explores a certain duality. First, by the presence of Flemish and Walloon musicians; then, by the apparent opposition between avant-gardism and tradition. Jeroen and Lieven open doors to unexpected sounds and colors. Sal and Pascal are more anchored in the tradition, while remaining permeable to other sounds. This alliance offers open music, with surprising tones, groove background that recall the hard-bop of the 60s. – Igoo Records/Album
By JAMES FLEMING Dec 12, 2018
The saxophone lines snake out of the speakers, rustling the airwaves like a breeze through firs or singing with all the lyricism of the finest vocalist. The double bass’s hardwood lays a strong foundation. The electricity of the Wurlitzer piano growls atop that age-old sound, like a lightning storm rolling over treetops. Sal La Rocca’s Shifted melds the gentleness of a forest with all the freedom of its animals. The sounds can roam uninhibited and wild. But they all play a part in creating the music’s natural beauty. Each creature as vital as the next. Shifted’s music springs from the well of spiritual jazz. Saxophonist Jeroen van Herzeele occupies the space between Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins—between…(…) – AAJ/Reviews
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