Artist: Alexa Tarantino
Personnel: Alexa Tarantino, Woodwinds; Christian Sands, Piano; Joe Martin, Bass; Rudy Royston, Drums; Nick Finzer, Trombone.
Description: After appearing on Lauren Sevian's Bliss, Something Blue's Maximum Enjoyment, and Lioness' Pride and Joy, Winds of Change is Alexa Tarantino's first release as a leader for Posi-Tone Records. Christian Sands, Joe Martin, Rudy Royston, and special guest Nick Finzer join Tarantino in bringing her compositions and favorites to life. Winds of Change features a diverse array of styles and highlights Tarantino's skills as a woodwind doubler through her alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, and alto flute playing.
Label: Posi-Tone Records
Ensemble: Something Blue
Personnel: Alexa Tarantino - alto sax, Nick Finzer - trombone, Sam Dillon - tenor sax, Art Hirahara - piano, Boris Kozlov - bass, Rudy Royston - drums.
Description: For this album, I chose to use the aesthetic ideas suggested by classic Victorian era English rhyme to curate all the aspects of the production process. I also specifically selected musicians who are “old” familiar faces: Art Hirahara, Boris Kozlov, and Rudy Royston. There are some “new” friends as well: Alexa Tarantino, Nick Finzer, and Sam Dillon. The carefully selected musical program features some borrowed compositions taken from earlier Posi-Tone releases, which were subsequently produced to create performances reminiscent of the mid-1960’s, the “blue” period of modern jazz. I sincerely hope everyone will experience as much “Maximum Enjoyment" listening to these musical offerings as I did producing them. - Marc Free, producer
Alexa's Role: Alto Saxophone, Composer/Arranger: “Breeze”
Label: Posi-Tone Records
Personnel: Alexa Tarantino - alto sax, Jenny Hill - tenor sax, Lauren Sevian - baritone sax, Amanda Monaco - guitar, Akiko Tsuruga - organ, Allison Miller - drums.
Description: Six talented female musicians join together to deliver an entertaining and melodically engaging debut as the new collective Lioness roars into action with "Pride & Joy." Carefully assembled by Posi-Tone producer Marc Free, this record features the front line talents of alto saxophonist Alexa Tarantino, tenor saxophonist Jenny Hill, and baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian, along with the talented rhythm section of guitarist Amanda Monaco, organist Akiko Tsuruga and drummer Allison Miller. With a dazzling combination of talents and an evocative program of musical selections by female composers, the ear catching performances on "Pride & Joy" are sure to bring bright moments to jazz fans everywhere.
Alexa's Role: Alto Saxophone, Composer/Arranger: “Hurry Up and Wait”
Label: Posi-Tone Records
Artist: Lauren Sevian
Personnel: Lauren Sevian - baritone sax, Alexa Tarantino - alto sax, Robert Rodriguez - piano, Christian McBride - bass, E. J. Strickland - drums
Description: Baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian lets her instrument do the talking when she boldly opens her heart and mind to share her “Bliss” on her first release for Posi-Tone. Assembled to provide support on the date is the wondrously solid rhythm section of virtuoso pianist Robert Rodriguez, superstar bassist Christian McBride, and powerhouse drummer E.J. Strickland. Special guest alto saxophonist Alexa Tarantino provides some additional highlights to the mix on a few tracks. With a tour de force realization of her talents as both a composer and an instrumentalist, Sevian maps out a melodious journey of harmonic discovery as she takes listeners along with her to explore an exciting program of original compositions that shine continuously with bright moments. Sevian’s musical vibrations have noticeably shifted onto another level, and this set of stunning performances should encourage jazz enthusiasts everywhere to tune more deeply to her musical message of “Bliss” with increased amazement and delight.
Alexa's Role: Alto Saxophone, Composer: “Square One” featuring Christian McBride
Label: Posi-Tone Records
Artist: The Verve Jazz Ensemble
Description: "Connect The Dots," the fifth album by the Verve Jazz Ensemble, is described by critics as "career-defining playing" that brings the VJE's classic, straight ahead bop, swingers, and Latin jazz to the next level...killer stuff!
Alexa's Role: Alto Saxophone, Flute
Label: LightGroove Media
Artist: Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Description: Multi-Grammy winner Arturo O'Farrill records an album that includes over 50 artists, 30 songs, and involved 5 recording sessions. The music features Hamilton's Mandy Gonzalez, Regina Carter, Antonio Sanchez, Villalobos Brothers, Rahim AlHaj Trio, Sahba Motallebi, Rafa Sardina, and son jarocho icons Patricio Hidalgo, Ramon Gutierrez Hernandez, Jorge Francisco Castillo, and more!
Awards: Resilience Music Alliance 2018
Alexa's Role: Alto and Soprano Saxophones, Flute
Artist: Sherrie Maricle & The DIVA Jazz Orchestra
Description: To honor DIVA’s 25 year history and legacy of the band’s founder, Stanley Kay, Sherrie has tasked herself and has asked 9 other band members to compose and arrange a new piece of music to commemorate this significant milestone. To have 10 composers in the band, writing for the band, who have played together for years, who helped forge DIVA’s style and sound, who know the band’s history, who know and respect each other musically and genuinely like each other, has given them a remarkable opportunity to create and share their first all-original DIVA plays DIVA recording; 10 original writers composing for 15 friends in 1 amazing band.
Alexa's Role: Alto and Soprano Saxophones, Composer/Arranger/Featured Soloist: “Square One”, Featured Soloist: “Seesaw."
Description: Crossing Paths is the first record from jazz saxophone and piano duo, Alexa Tarantino and Dariusz Terefenko. It was released in January 2015 on Alexa’s record label, Infinite Records. The album explores the potential of interactive improvisation using lesser-known standard tunes as well as 20th century post tonal compositions and original material. Tarantino/Terefenko has since traveled the globe performing and teaching as Artists in Residence at the Academy of Music in Krakow,The Hartt School, SUNY Oswego, the Jazz Education Network’s Fifth Annual Conference, Saint Peter’s Church in NYC, and the Hartford Public Library’s Baby Grand Jazz Series.
Alexa's Role: Co-Producer, Composer: “Crossing Paths”, “Final Breaths”, Co-Arranger, Alto Saxophonist.
Label: Infinite Records
Artist: Colossus Large Ensemble
Description: COLOSSUS, a 17-piece modern jazz orchestra, comprises some of the most promising young talent on the music scene today. Based in Rochester, NY, COLOSSUS consists of current and former students of the Eastman School of Music. Co-led by three award-winning composers, Dave Chisholm ("Radioactive," "Calligraphy") of Fairbanks, AK; Mike Conrad of Bettendorf, IA; and Levi Saelua of Sacramento, CA, COLOSSUS has been gathering a loyal following since its inception in the fall of 2012. Performing only the compositions and arrangements of Chisholm, Conrad, and Saelua, COLOSSUS delivers an original and innovative sound, as evident on their stunning debut album simply titled "COLOSSUS." The six tracks on "COLOSSUS" reveal a musical jigsaw puzzle as the musical personalities of the three composer/arrangers blend seamlessly to create a musical statement greater than the sum of its parts. From the madcap transitions on "West Point" to the downright mean jazz march in "Science Adventure"; from the incredible last chorus of "Up and Up" to the apotheosis of the simple opening idea of "Little Vikings"; from the beautiful low-end agility of "Mild, Mild Midwest" to the moving closing of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," "COLOSSUS" is an entertaining, satisfying, and rewarding listen.
Alexa's Role: Alto Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet.
Label: Released independently