the paul abella trio
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the paul abella trio

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Jam


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"review of "mainstreamism""

Mainstreamism (Serial Jazz Records)

Paul Abella - Percussion
Mitch Corso - Guitar
Bob Ferraris - Upright Bass

The "other" CD critic on this page (in case you weren't aware) is, in
addition to being one of the enlightening hosts of WDCB (90.9 FM), a
percussionist who plays around Chicago. And he's released an album
entitled "Mainstreamism."

Here the idea of "Mainstreamism" isn't limited or confined, but takes
on a wide breadth. Included is an eclectic mix of everything from the
traditional "Caravan", to Pat Metheny's "Bright Size Life", a new
standard in "Losing My Religion", and the well known Spiritual, "Amazing

The trio of Paul Abella (percussion), Mitch Corso (guitar), and Bob
Ferraris (bass) offer a certain set of beats and stylistic coupling which
isn't frequently put forth so well by bands. On this album, you'll
find a lot of Latin flavor with flare; applied to tunes which aren't
necessarily thought of as "Latin" inherently. They make this work, not by
trying to force feed the songs into what might be stereotypically
thought of as "Latin Jazz", but merely in changing the context somewhat for
a different sort of sound mix than one would usually expect. The
result is an interesting take on things that makes for a good listen.

Their group starts off with Caravan. Right away you realize how
seriously Corso rips it up and really gets grooving on his electric guitar.
He obviously has some rock influence, though coupled with jazz
knowledge and sensibilities. Yet, as they move along to the other tunes, one
recognizes another side of his style: more relaxed while still being
dead set into things. Throughout, he shows himself as a significant
highlight on this disk with every proceeding track.

Corso later even adds a vocal on "Baby Baby All The Time" (blues by
Bobby Troupe.) This track, I think, offers the best tune for overall band
sound with everyone getting together nicely and jiving well.

Abella relies primarily on bongos to express himself on the recording.
(A thoughtful addition of djembe and shakers for "Le Vie En Rose" does
help to give extra flavor both to that particular number and the disk,
overall.) His work is sometimes quite fine and always solid. However,
he does seem to overplay in places. It might have gone further for
him to sometimes lay back into more sensitive comping that would have
allowed a better balance to the band, while opening up opportunities for
greater ideas in finding his own unique musical line therein. Indeed,
the aforementioned “Le Vie En Rose� is a fairly good example of
where he manages to accomplish just such.

Still, at other times, his zestfulness really sparks things, too. On
"Lucky Southern", for instance, Abella has the right idea throughout;
which keeps things tight, interesting, and moving. He lets loose and
gets it cooking, especially, with an excellent solo. Providing a solid
thrust to this tune, he brings his own pulse to connect deeply and
rejoice within your spirit.

A nice, tasty, short solo by bassist Ferraris on "Losing My Religion"
offers insight into his deep, full sound which I would have liked to
hear more extensively beyond its usual role in accompaniment on this CD.

I must say that the entitlement "Love Blossoms At Stateville" scared me
somewhat. But it not only worked, it fit with the kind of sensibility
that one might expect. Gritty, enthralling, even paradoxically
gorgeous: full of life springing up through the rough terrain. Corso's
guitar work here takes off into flights that enrapture, and is well
complemented by the subtle bass lines thrown down below while Abella keeps a
steady beat to provide it's center of focus. Too often new compositions
(as this selection by Abella is) don't prove to be the hottest thing,
but this is an excellent effort that I find worthy!

The liner notes tell us that they often end their live sets with
"Amazing Grace", and so they have chosen to conclude this disk in the same
way. It's an enjoyable, relaxed take which makes for a fitting
conclusion to wind down at the end of this hour long listening experience.

~ Tim Gault - Chicago Jazz Magazine


"mainstreamism" released September 2007.
"A Change In Plans" released July 2013

Both can be streamed on Spotify or bought at virtually all online retailers, including Amazon, iTunes, eMusic and CD Baby.



This is where most bands will tell you all about how they came together to make music that will change the world, man. Our plan is far more simple: to make jazz fun again. We get back to the basics, playing music to make feet tap, fingers snap and necks pop. We came together in late 2006, and through marathon gigs throughout Chicagoland, developed a sound that uses jazz improvisation, latin and funk grooves and rock tunes to play jazz in a way that hasn't really been seen since the late 60's heyday of Ramsey Lewis, Mongo Santamaria and Les McCann. And just like them, we're the kind of jazz band that comes to party. And we hope you did, too.

If you really want to know who we are, here's the skinny...

Mitch: Our fantastic guitarist, vocalist and musical director of sorts.

Bob: a mean, lean, bass playing machine. Teaches at Lewis University and multiple music schools throughout the area. First call bassist in jazz, classical, blues and pop settings. Has been known to make grown men weep when he solos.

Paul: Hand percussionist specializing in the Peruvian box drum called the cajon. Music director for WDCB in Chicago. Writes reviews for Chicago Jazz Magazine. Interviews himself in the shower.