The Gailloreto Quintet
Gig Seeker Pro

The Gailloreto Quintet


Band Jazz Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Jazz Times - by Bill Milkowski"

John McLean is one of a plethora of accomplished post-Steern/Scofield plectorists who have one educated foot planted firmly in the jazz/bebop tradition while revealing their rockier roots by occasionally stomping with the other excited foot on a distortion box or wah-wah pedal. Opening his debut recording with a contemporary Hammond B-3 quintet sound, McLean swings forcefully while highlighting his blazing single-note chops on "Fat Chance." The Breckerish tenor saxophonist Jim Gailloreto is particularly strong on this vibrant tune and also on the surging "October," a B-3 romp that is fueled by Adam Nussbaum's powerful pulse on drums and McLean's own blistering forward momentum on the fretboard. The guitarist kicks out a bit of nasty distortion on "Cowboy" and luxuriates in a gospel-blues bag on "My Brother Richard," though his writing on originals like the soothing bossa "Sag Harbor," the ethereal Wayne Shorter-influenced "Desperate Measures" and the lyrical closing title track is far more affecting. - CD Reviews John McLean, Easy Go (Premonition)

"Down Beat - Ira Gitler"

I began going to Pescara Jazz Festival in 1983, when my family and I traveled there from Rome with Lionel Hampton and his band on his bus. Hamp, over and above our protests, insisted on carrying our luggage on board. In the '80s and through the '90s there were many other visits to Pescara but none since '98.

The first sentence of my review of the '98 lest in Down Beat was, "This is a real jazz festival." Three years later Pescara, despite one night devoted to Bob Dylan, is still a jazz festival. It began at me beginning of the week ofJuly 16 with the festival's tradition of an early-arriving group playing free concerts in the little towns of the famed Apennine Mountains foothills. The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, peopled by sidemen from Bill Russo's big band of the same name--trumpeter Scott Hall; tenor saxophonist James Gailloreto; guitarist Frank Dawson; bassist Larry Kohut; and drummer Frank Parker--provided the early music. On a night in the town of Bussi the Ensemble featured tunes by I Herbie Hancock, Sam Rivers, Benny Golson and Horace Silver, an original, "Shakin' Loose," from Gailloreto and a tenor sax-guitar duet on "Sophisticated Lady." During the nights of the festival proper, July 19-23 at the Teatro-Monumento "Gabriele D'Annunzio," a large, open air amphitheater, the Chicagoans led midnight jam sessions after the main events. - Festival hopping from Italy to France - caught - Pescara Jazz Festival

"Chicago Tribune - by Howard Reich"

Mc Lean a stellar solo act Chicago guitarist's CD, weekend performance seal his headliner status. The band, meanwhile, proved at least as strong as its leader. Something about this ensemble brought out the most aggressive side of saxophonist Jim Gailloretto, who yielded a harder, tougher and more rhythmically relentless music than in any other setting. Bassist Larry Kohut, too, let his sound swell out, whether producing fat walking bass lines or bowing his instrument as if it were a cello. - CD Reviews John McLean, Easy Go (Premonition)

"Cd Review - by Joe Taylor"

While Witkowski's piano style shows some influences (I hear Bill Evans and Blue Note-era Chick Corea), she's not a slavish imitator.  She's absorbed her influences and built on them.  Her energetic, assured solos feel effortless and well developed regardless of the setting. Her rhythmically and harmonically varied compositions give her and reed player Jim Gailloreto, the other featured soloist on the disc, plenty of room to stretch out.

One of disc's best tunes, "Cooked Macaroni," has a slightly Monk-like feel. Witkowski, along with Tom Hipskind on drums and Rob Amster on bass, intros the song with a few skipping, angular lines and is joined after a few bars by Gailloreto on soprano sax.  Gailloreto plays a restatement of the main theme before branching off on a thoughtful solo that examines its odd beauty. Witkowski weaves together melodic variations on the opening with some nice blues turns and chord flourishes in a solo that pays homage to Monk without copying him. She and Gialloreto trade solos before the close, tossing exciting musical ideas back and forth. - Diana Witkowski, Having to Ask (Tilapia Records)

"Friday Evening Jazz - by Al Warner"

The Insider is Jim Gailloreto's debut release on the Wide Sound label (Italy). A worthwhile wait, the seven covers are redone in a way that creates new charts worth hearing. Mr. Gailloreto is new to me, I don't recall having seen his name as a sideman. However, I wouldn't be surprised if he had done work on other people's releases, because the Chicago based saxophonist is too good to ignore. Along with Steve Million (see Steve's latest release 'Poetic Necessities') and the other players, Jim has a way with the arrangements that should help establish his style in the world of jazz.
Track one is a good solid bop piece (think Woody Herman). Cut two starts off as an up-tempo piece with a short time change announcing the break and then brings the tune back to the original tempo. Number three from the Ellington classic 'Black, Brown and Beige Suite' has much good work by keyboardist Steve Million. Four is a cover of the seldom done Lennie Tristano tune, very bop, very well done. Track five brings us back to Ellington songbook with Mood Indigo and has some very tasty dialogue between Gailloreto, Kohut and McLean. Number six was written by Steve Million with some well done piano work. Beethoven's 'Andante' is my least favorite on the CD, even though I believe if Beethoven were alive during the first half of the 20th century he would be an innovator in jazz, the European classical styling of his time can be difficult to adapt into a jazz format. (I've found it's tough to make Ludvig sving.) Cut eight is the title track, a nice little bop tune. Nine has John McLean beginning the break, a nice backbeat, it's a toe tapper. Ending with Sam Rivers 'Beatrice' in a slow tempo, providing ample room for guitar, piano and sax to solo.

All in all a nice piece of work, I've added it to my collection. - CD Review Jim Gailloreto, The Insider (Wide Sound)

"Cadence Magazine - by Jerome Wilson"

Jim Gailloreto, the Chicago-based saxophonist on (2), in no slouch on the tenor himself, but he takes his music in a different direction, blending it with soul and funk rhythms. He happily avoids the "smooth Jazz" trap, keeping his improvisations hard and straight even when his band is mellowing out the likes of "Four Brothers" and "Lennie's Pennies", a path that makes for interesting listening.

The intriguing backgrounds Gailloreto uses makes his music something out of the ordinary.
• - The Review of Jazz & Blues: Creative Improvised Music

"Jazz Improv Magazine - by Marco Pignataro"

Jim Gailloreto’s debut album, The Insider deserves your attention. This very persuasive project from the locally esteemed Chicagoan saxophone player may at first sound a bit too polished and chic for its own good. There is an apparent symmetry and neatness insinuating out of Jim’s jazz conception, which may overshadow at a first sight the deep substance of his musical offering. Get focused and listen carefully because this talented, distinguished gentleman has really something to say and it is worth listening to.

Gailloreto’s experience in the jazz and classical Windy City’s scene ranges from the Bill Russo’s Chicago Jazz Ensemble to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with in between stints with the Woody Herman Orchestra and names

such as Patricia Barbers, Kurt Elling and the Chicago String Orchestra. Jim is obviously a very versatile instrumentalist and his playing suggests confidence, cleverness and an underlying overall eruditeness. Both his tenor sound and his postmodern improvisation’s approach may vaguely remind you of players like Mintzer or Bob Berg but with a much more contained, minimalist energy. Additionally, Jim’s conception reveals a clear fondness towards introspective moods, and a certain unassuming yet rather sophisticated elegance. All of the above could be already enough to make him shine above the average standards, whereas his composition, arranging and re-harmonization ingenuity definitively set him apart within the list of new talents deserving wider recognition.

The Insider has a sum of Gailloreto’s sophisticated musical conception and offers some real gems of musical thinking. Among them, stand out tunes like Jimmy Giuffre ‘s classic “Four Brothers”, revisited in modernity and retrieved from its passé cool era. Yet, Jim’s rendition preserves the tune’s original spirit but redefines its coolness feel with a contemporary, urban drive. This revisionist approach permeates the album and Jim’s re-harmonization endeavors. Next to kin, Tristano’s “Lennie’s Pennies” – as well as the other album selections – is treated with a similar stylistic objective and, what in a first stance may have been misconstrued for an unemotional neatness, emerges boldly as an intentional and evocative neo-cool aesthetic conception. Consistently, Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” immerges the listener into a floating space of dreamlike suggestion. Guitarist John McLean’s buoyant comping and drummer Eric Montzka’s feathery rhythmic raindrops withdraw the time into an airy, space-less pulse as Gailloreto’s melodic evocations intertwine gently with bassist Larry Kouth’s quasi contrapuntal lines. In my opinion, this tune alone is worth the acquisition of the album.

These progressive, introspective atmospheres permeate the beautiful Sam Rivers’ composition “Beatrice”, Ellington’s “Come Sundays” and the pianist Steve Million’s “Mercurial”, but stumble ever so slightly in the somewhat irreverent, yet poignant interpretation of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony “Andante”, which temporarily pushes Gailloreto’s playing dangerously borderline to a smooth jazz feel. It is also worth mentioning the recurring delicate balance and haunting quality of McLean’s guitar floating chords interjections with Million’s unobtrusive Hammond B3 organ. In addition, Gailloreto’s own compositions, “The Insider”, and “Shaking Loose” set free his funkier temperament, which inflection latently appears throughout the album.

To this writer’s view, “The Insider” seems to carry the germinal foundation of Gailloreto’s innovative potential. Dwelling further in his audacity and taking a bit more distance from his inspiring jazz heroes, this artist might likely stumble upon some new conceptions of musical relevance. Let’s all hope so while cherishing this remarkable debut album. - CD Review Jim Gailloreto, The Insider (Wide Sound)

"Sounds of Timeless Jazz Review - by Paula Edelstein"

What happens when five of Chicago’s top players get together and play? They make jazz that’s about as good as it gets, and you can hear it on THE INSIDER. Tenor saxophonist Jim Gailloreto, John McLean on guitarist, pianist/organist Steve Million, Larry Kohut on acoustic bass and drummer Eric Montzka break through with a seasonal mix of jazz standards, originals and even “Andante” by Ludwig Van Beethoven! This is no cookie cutter recording that just whets the appetite. It’s gratifying, great for sharing and highly enjoyable because of its adventurous and edgy improvisa - CD Review Jim Gailloreto, The Insider (Wide Sound)

"The Jazz Institute - by Marshal Vente"

As the title suggests Gailloreto is well known inside Chicago music circles as a go-to guy when you need a great tenor saxophonist. This recording will undoubtedly expand his reputation well beyond Chicago and is a document of his high level of artistry.

Gailloreto’s sound and content are original, a mix of saxophone innovators that have preceded us all mixed into the musical funnel and poured out into a generous serving of modern jazz. Most appealing is that Gailloreto successfully mixes high content without screaming and grandstanding, his music is both engaging and easy to hear.

This recording also features great arranging. "Four Brothers" is re-harmonized, set to a new bass ostinato and groove while Gailloreto double-times the familiar theme. Similarly Duke’s "Come Sunday" alternates between a waltz and 4/4, with updated highly stylized chord changes. The program also includes three interesting originals, two from Gailloreto and one from pianist Steve Million, and a unique presentation of "Andante" by Beethoven.

The supporting players are all equally original and engaging: guitarist John McLean, pianist Steve Million also shows his Hammond B3 chops, bassist Larry Kohut and drummer Eric Montzka. All combine their musical voices to make this one of the finest recordings.

It is also interesting to note that this flawless recording was co-produced by Gailloreto with fellow tenor saxophonist Jim Massoth, who along with Steve Johnston, who was also the recording engineer.

Gailloreto may be the insider to the musical community but now his music can be enjoyed by all on the outside–check him out!-MV - CD Review Jim Gailloreto, The Insider

"Jazzitalia - by Marco Losavio"

Album di debutto come leader, The Insider si presenta subito come un progetto di indubbia qualità. Un sound squisitamente contemporaneo con una ritmica energica, un quintetto di ottimi musicisti, from Chicago. Il pianista Steve Million (Randy Brecker, Michael Moore, Ron Vincent, Chris Potter) supporta continuamente tutti i brani con un pianismo ricco di elementi ritmici molto interessanti. Il fraseggio è continuamente strutturato ponendo l'accento sulle figurazioni ritmiche che possano incastrarsi al meglio con il drumming di Eric Montzka (Patricia Barber). Million utilizza anche l'organo con cui esegue un brillante solo proprio nel brano di apertura Four Brothers. Dedicato al breve periodo di permanenza di Gailloreto (Kurt Elling, Patricia Barber) nella Woody Herman Orchestra, Four Brothers è qui arrangiato in modo molto originale, eseguito con un leggero shuffle diventa, come dice Gailloreto stesso, "ipnotico". Stessa originalità si può trovare in I Want To Be Happy con un bel lavoro sui piatti di Eric Montzka (autore anche di stacchi molto belli tra i soli e la ripresa del tema) e un ottimo sostegno di Larry Kohut al contrabbasso che forniscono al piano di Million la possibilità di rincorrere le evoluzioni di Gailloreto alla ricerca di un'intesa trovata negli angoli più nascosti e spigolosi dell'armonia.

Come Sunday e Moon Indigo di Ellington sono eseguiti con grande classe. Il tema al tenore raddoppiato dalla chitarra scorre vellutato fino all'ingresso del piano di Million che fa emergere la tradizione che è in lui eseguendo un solo con voicing molto cari a Duke. Su Moon Indigo l'organo, rafforzato dalla chitarra, rende il brano fumoso, scuro, così come dovrebbe essere senza però rinunciare ad una pronuncia e un'impronta personale. Molto "intrigante" il duo chitarra - contrabbasso con un sound a-la-Frisell per la chitarra e un pieno suono con archetto per il contrabbasso.

Eccellente anche Lennie's Pennie, di Tristano. Basato su Pennies from Heaven, il brano inizia con il tema scandito all'unisono da sax e piano sul quale la batteria di Montzka esegue delle colorazioni ritmiche facendosi guidare dalla melodia. Per l'intero brano la scansione ritmica è eseguita essenzialmente da contrabbasso e solista lasciando sempre il batterista libero di colorare e ancora una volta si nota il valido controllo di Montzka sui piatti.

Il chitarrista John McLean si ripropone con un tocco Friselliano su un interessante arrangiamento niente di meno che dell'Andante della V Sinfonia di Beethoven, ottimo spunto per un'affascinante ballad, struggente al punto giusto. Il tempo è poi raddoppiato durante i soli su cui subentra anche il supporto dell'organo. Bisogna riconoscere un pregevole controllo del volume e della dinamica da parte del chitarrista. Stesso schema per il brano Beatrice di Sam Rivers (eseguito anche dal nostro Piero Odorici nonchè da Joe Henderson, giusto per citare altri colleghi di Gailloreto).

Solo tre le composizioni originali di questo CD, una di Million e due di Gailloreto. Mercurial è un blues minore su cui è interessante il solo di McLean con una lieve saturazione a-la-Scofield. Di maggiore impatto le due composizioni di Gailloreto: The Insider e Shakin Loose (un blues ritmato). Il modo in cui è suonato il tema all'unisono con la chitarra, fa ricordare alcune cose fatte dal duo Stern-Berg. Sono comunque brani di quella fusion acustica che per certi versi rimane forse una delle più interessanti evoluzioni sia nella melodia che nella ritmica, soprattutto se eseguita in modo così "rigoroso", con un gran senso del timing e un fraseggio che taglia in modo obliquo gli accordi. Bello il solo blues di Million su Shakin Loose.

Come detto all'inizio, è un CD di elevata qualità, molto piacevole da ascoltare. Gailloreto si pone in evidenza come leader con una voce al tenore sempre grandiosamente controllata nella dinamica, mostrando una padronanza degli spazi e dei tempi. Ogni frase si compone di attenti elementi di pronuncia che rendono l'esecuzione rilevante. Molto merito lo hanno anche contrabbasso e batteria che supportano molto bene il leader così come Million mostra di ben conoscere le atmosfere più congeniali al sassofonista.

- CD Review Jim Gailloreto, The Insider (Wide Sound)


The Gailloreto Quintet - The Insider (Wide Sound)

Split Decision, Shadow Puppets - (Naim Records)

Neal Alger -  Here and Now, There and Before

Kelly Brand - a Dream In a Stone

Ryan Cohan - Real World & Here & Now

Ensemble9- Children of the Night (Hallway)

Kurt Elling - Man in the Air (Blue Note)

Kathryn Hughes - The Seasons

The Ken & Jim Show - Assembly Required, Game Show Soldiers, Memory Fluid

Jean Laughlin - What Am I Looking For?

Lisa Lauren - My Own Twist, What Comes Around

Tom Mc Carthy - Spark And Luminance

John Mc Lean - Easy Go (Premonition Records)

George Mc Rae - Lime Jello

Steve Rashid - Fidgety Feet

Evan Rea - Big Roy & Full Service

Bill Russo - Kenton ala Russo (Hallway Records)

Peter Saltzman - Kabbala Blues

Fred Simon- Open Book (Columbia)

Lesley Spencer - Authentic Flavors

Deanna Witkowski - Having To Ask


Feeling a bit camera shy


The veteran saxophonist Jim Gailloreto may be an unknown quantity to most listeners outside Chicago (where he grew up and has worked for virtually his entire adult life). But rest assured: hometown music-lovers know what they’ve got in Gailloreto, who has worked venues ranging from his weekly experimental session in an Evanston pub to the 2002 Chicago Jazz Festival, where his "tenor battle" with New Yorker Seamus Blake (winner of the Thelonious Monk Institute Competition) brought the crowd to its feet. Gailloreto’s steadily evolving concept and handsomely polished sound have earned him praise from audiences and testimonials from his peers.

I’ll add my own. From the first time I heard him onstage, more than 20 years ago, I’ve admired his remarkable ability to play to an audience without playing down to them. Avoiding pretense and bravado, Jim Gailloreto lets you hear him think. Instead of trying to bowl you over with tricks or carefully honed pet phrases, he invites you along on each solo: he shows you where he’s been and where he’s going, so that even complex improvisational gambits unfold clearly and naturally. Like the master storytellers of any idiom, from theater to painting, Gailloreto understands that communicative clarity is not the enemy of artistic integrity.

And so, on this first album under his own name, songs and solos leap out with a life of their own. Gailloreto has been playing the opening tune, the bop classic "Four Brothers," since high school, and its inclusion here nods at his brief stint with the Woody Herman Orchestra in the 1980s. But the tune has never sounded like this: its reworked melody line, doubled by Steve Million on organ, features dark harmonies and floats on a Chicago shuffle-beat, the better to enhance the "hypnotic quality of the melody" (as Gailloreto describes it). This "hypnotic" concept extends to the freewheeling solos, which swirl against a harmonic backdrop devoid of the chord progressions that originally defined the tune. Instantly recognizable, utterly transformed, "Four Brothers" becomes a viable anthem for a new generation.

Re-harmonization also plays a role in Gailloreto’s version of the Ellington classic "Mood Indigo." The new chords, as serene as Ellington’s, include a hint of portent; then they relax into the original harmonies (in the penultimate duet between guitarist John McLean and bassist Larry Kohut). For contrast, try "Lennie’s Pennies," the little-known Lennie Tristano tune based on "Pennies From Heaven," where the melody itself provides the accompaniment for Eric Montzka’s drumming. ("I felt the melody was so strong, in the sax and piano," Gailloreto says, "that the rhythm section could actually blow over it.")

In each case, techniques that might be merely clever, in others’ hands, offer refreshing, personalized insights – a quality that also informs Gailloreto’s own tunes, as well as the unexpected adaptation from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony ("Andante"). They add up to a debut well worth the wait, from a guy whose name bears repeating. And for the record, you spell it with two "l"s, one "t": Gailloreto.

Get it right; he did.


Neil Tesser is a Deems Taylor Award-winning jazz journalist and host of the daily radio program "Miles Ahead" in Chicago