joemarini cd

As I sit here listening to Sympathy and Criticism by drummer/vocalist Joe Marini, I find that it’s difficult at best to peg his style. There are least 4 different genres represented.

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In addition to Joe himself, this retrospective features performances by Erika Vasquez, Pete Hewlett, Doug Khorey, and the late, great jazz singer, Maureen Budway.

Throughout his career, Joe has played everything from Jazz (his specialty) to funk and rock. This wonderful collection of covers even includes a moving rendition of “Georgia” by Ray Charles. There are 2 outstanding versions of “Sara Smile”, one sung by Marini, and another featuring Joe Munroe on vocals.

“Jazz is most of my history,” says the Pittsburgh based drummer, “but there is a ton of rock and funk in my background too.”

That is no exaggeration, as Sympathy and Criticism takes us from “Anticipatory Deniability” on one track (funky, jazzy, but also a demonstration of Joe’s rock power on the drums) to the playful, piano and brass driven pure jazz number, “Nothing Personal”, on the next.

This offering spans the breadth of Joe’s long and diverse career, with the oldest track being “My Little Sister”, laid down with Doug Khorey in 1996, and 4 of the tracks being fairly recent collaborations.

The tracks were engineered by Scott Anderson and Sean McDonald, seasoned pros who know their business. The sound is accordingly crisp, clean, and full bodied.

With the modesty of a true professional for whom the music itself is everything, Joe shrugs off compliments, calling himself merely “the biggest whore drummer in Pittsburgh,” with as many as 5 projects going at once. Since he said it and I didn’t, I will simply add this; charge more.

– Jay Belfiore



Category: Soundcheck