Special Guests Include Richard Elliot (Tower Of Power, Yellowjackets), Stanton Moore (Galactic), Eric ‘Benny’ Bloom (Lettuce)
Comin’ Up Aces is a compelling showcase for Leo P’s exceptional blowing as well as a fulfillment of his goal to deliver high-quality musicianship in an earthy, accessible package that is very different from his work with his band Too Many Zooz. “Too Many Zooz is very aggressive and high energy,” Leo notes.” As I got older I wanted to play a little more melodically and build my solos more deliberately and not play everything I know in a solo but take my time and be more emotional. For this album I wanted a few different types of grooves: funky, bluesy, salsa…different feels.”
Produced by Leo’s good friend, Brooklyn-based producer Tom Wilson, Comin’ Up Aces makes good on Leo’s intention with seven tasty originals and compelling versions of such classics as Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Porkpie Hat,” Les McCann and Eddie Harris’ “Cold Duck Time” and Earth Wind & Fire’s “Serpentine Fire.” Galactic drummer Stanton Moore delivers the New Orleans funk on “Issa’s Blues,” hit-making saxophonist Richard Elliot, formerly of Tower of Power and The Yellowjackets, graces “Cold Duck Time,” along with trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom of jamband faves Lettuce. The title track is inspired by Maceo Parker, another inspiration.
Leo’s interest in edgy fashion is obvious and it is likewise unsurprising that his high energy performing style has evolved into a serious work-out regimen. He even posted a couple of workout videos on the Too Many Zoos channel. “Often musicians don’t care how they look,” Leo says. “But I think the visual is just as important in a performance as the music because when you go to a show you don’t say you go to hear a show you say you’re going to SEE a show. There are bands I don’t necessarily like who I love the way they look. Even Kiss for instance; they had a fantastic look that you remember. I always wanted attention. I used to be skinny but now I want more defined muscles now that I’m in my early 30’s. When I was playing in the subway I wasn’t working out because I was playing and dancing for hours. Now I’m touring so I work out every day. I like the natural high and the energy.”
It’s no surprise then that Leo wants his music to reach the widest possible audience, something many jazz musicians don’t aspire to. “I want to bring the party back to jazz. I want to make people dance. I want to wear badass suits and look cool as hell and present something special to people that they will always remember!”
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