Vince Tampio
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Vince Tampio

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF | AFTRA

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF | AFTRA
Band Jazz Psychedelic

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Music

The best kept secret in music

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"Vince Tampio: Sound Plan"

Just about every musician has those moments when they get stuck in overly familiar territory or unsure where to turn next. When in doubt, it helps to consider: WWMDD (What Would Miles Davis Do)? If following the Chief's example (understandably) isn't a universal rule in real life, it's still a mostly good one in the musical world.

For trumpeter Vince Tampio, that means changing musical gears the way someone else might put on different pants. When not playing around Philadelphia in several ensembles that deal in funk, Irish folk or '60s soul, he's busy teaching, serving as studio sideman or working on the odd TV score. How does one unwind in the downtime between all those gigs, you wonder? Apparently, it's often by breaking out some synth gear and dabbling in electronics.

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Light beat-programs underpin a good chunk of Sound Plan with some trippy textures, though Tampio's playing doesn't abandon any tasteful restraint or human warmth in the process. He doesn't touch his horn at all until the first song is nearly over—first it features a jittery, gliding romp made for a quirky dance floor. The following "Slimery" goes from soft, jazzy R&B to lush psychedelic crescendo; with the experimental "L.T." in the late stretch it's a matter of chill patient drone mashed up with groovy bass and Indian percussion.

The rhythm rests somewhere between the trance of EDM/IDM and the more organic feel of live music. These programmed grooves never stay in the same loop for too long a time, and even when they're static for a stretch, Tampio always makes sure there's something else going on. The rhythm is spiced up with a range of live elements from cowbell to light percussion. His horn croons and wahs with touches of funk or blues, bridging the futuristic digital age with a snazzy sense of classic cool. Sound Plan is the sound of worlds colliding in adventurous ways, often fun and always fascinating. - All About Jazz


"VINCE TAMPIO: SOUND PLAN"

This time I would like to introduce an album from Vince Tampio, a professional trumpeter, arranger, composer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Philadelphia, PA.

He released his album “Sound Plan” on November 7, 2017, which is an instrumental jazz album that combines acoustic and electronic elements from Psychodelic Rock and Electronic Dance Music. Something new to me, and so I had to ask Vince to give me some background about this album, which he was generous to share with me and which I will also share with you.

Vince started to work on this album in 2013, but it took him almost 4 years to finish his work because he produced three other albums in this time and Sound Plan had just to wait until it became ripe.

He wrote, performed, engineered, and produced all the trumpet, synthesizer, acoustic guitar, and bass parts. Drum programming came from and Ben Diamond played much of the live percussion.

Inspiration for the album came from different sources like Pink Floyd, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Isaac Hayes and Stevie Wonder.

The album begins with the song “Sonic Ember”, a combination of two songs that share parts of a chord sequence. The first part “Sonic” is played almost exclusively on electronic instruments and after 5:30 mins the second part “Ember” starts where we hear Vince playing the trumpet the first time, a soft melody with long notes accompanied by a guitar only.

The dichotomy of electronic and acoustic instruments is set aside in the next song “Slimery”, where the trumpet plays melody and improvises over a combination of electronic background, bass, an acoustic guitar and programmed drums. The tune stays in it’s mode during the trumpet solo and culminates after 6:20 mins when the synthesizer takes over. Vince explained to me that this composition is the only one which he played live with his band Quatrane.

The third song on the album is called “Afternoon” and starts with an acoustic guitar playing a simple rhythm. This song has the most metric modulations. The percussion plays an important role here and has a solo part before the trumpet takes over. The tune was written on a summer day on the beach and has this feeling of easiness.

The next song “The Phantom Sweet Potato” is my personal favorite, very groovy with focus on the acoustic instruments guitar, percussion and trumpet. It was written specifically for this album and I hope it becomes also a tune that is played live.

The fifth song “LT” changes back to the electronic dominated sound, the guitar and percussion however play an important role.

The album closes with the title song “Sound Plan” where all the elements we have seen before (acoustic guitar, percussion, trumpet and the electronic instruments) are combined one more time into the typical blend of this album. The song reaches a peak after 2 mins with the finish of the trumpet solo. An extremely long fade out ends the album.

So how should you listen to this record? Take your time and listen to the complete songs or even better to the complete album. Don’t jump quickly from one song to the next one. It’s really worth to do it this way. I hope that you can enjoy it with the additional information given. I have to admit that I felt a little bit overwhelmed with this kind of music, but Vince was so generous and patient and explained the album very well to me, which helped me to discover this facet of contemporary jazz music. - Michael's Jazz Blog


"Vince Tampio: Live At PafA"

The long-standing practice of incorporating non-Western instruments within a jazz setting is further evolved on up-and-coming trumpeter and composer Vince Tampio's self-produced album Live at PafA. More specifically, the Philadelphia/New York-based musician culled various percussion instruments from Eastern Europe alongside an Indian tanpura for a performance of five original compositions recorded live at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Besides enhancing the pervading atmosphere of alluring exoticism, the nontraditional instrumentation maintains a spacious environment that proves ideal for a set brimming with imaginative, drawn-out improvisation.

Firmly rooted in the jazz fusion tradition, Tampio employs an electric bass to anchor his pieces with repetitive, infectious riffs that develop a hypnotic effect when melded with the pulsating reverberations of the darbuka (goblet drum) and tanpura on tracks such as "Brainless." For the unaware, the Indian tanpura is what sustains that rolling sonic landscape that underpins the music; its strings are plucked in a steady loop resulting in a harmonic drone (think Alice Coltrane's Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse!, 1971)). In this case, the lack of rhythmic variation within a composition should not be seen as monotonous, but rather a vehicle for Tampio and saxophonist Brian Blaker to promote uninhibited improvisation.

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Tampio and Blaker brilliantly embellish the unchanging rhythm on "Distracted By Mannequins," swiftly exchanging and juxtaposing serpentine phrases before coordinating the restoration of a strutting melody initially retained through the bass line. By contrast, "Thicksters" unfolds with unhurried ecstasy featuring angular playing by Blaker as well as Tampio on muted trumpet for a pensive solo. The distinct timbres of the ancient frame drum are on full display during "Gloom," dynamically backing captivating interplay that unveils a diverse range of influences covering fusion-era Miles Davis to the Art Ensemble Of Chicago and beyond. Concluding the set, Tampio and crew jovially convey their idiosyncratic depiction of "world music" for a final time on the funk-drenched "Sphere."

Altogether, this album is a contemporary instance of fusion done right. Tampio procured a cast of instruments that, when amalgamated, seamlessly coexist to fabricate magic...magic derived from unfettered intuition rather than premeditation, that is. Live at PafA skillfully straddles the border dividing orthodoxy and unconventionality and, more importantly, validates that old, time-honored axiom declaring jazz as a universal language. - All About Jazz


"It's A Sound Plan"

If you have adventurous ears coupled with a penchant for electronic jazz you could do worse than investigate the latest album from Philadelphia trumpeter, arranger, and composer VINCE TAMPIO.

His six track 'Sound Plan' set fuses Jazz with Psychedelic Rock and Electronic Dance Music and Tampico leads the motley with his intriguing trumpet lines. He also plays all synthesizer, acoustic guitar, electric bass parts while Ben Diamond provides percussion and programmed drums. Multi-tasker, Vince, also composed, engineered, and produced all six tracks.

Most intriguing of the cuts is the 9 minute long 'Slimery', which really does sound like the implication in that title.

Tampio says that his music "juxtaposes acoustic tones with synthesized breadth to achieve an atmosphere inside which the listener can imagine themselves". - Soul and Jazz and Funk


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

“Basically he’s the go-to cross-genre horn-blowing utility man of the Philly scene” (John Vettese). Vince Tampio is a professional trumpeter, arranger, composer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Philadelphia, PA. Although firmly rooted in jazz, he is comfortable with a wide variety of genres including rock, soul, funk, folk, classical, and electronic.

Vince’s original music has been described as “a contemporary instance of fusion done right,” and whose “nontraditional instrumentation maintains a spacious environment that proves ideal for a set brimming with imaginative, drawn-out improvisation” (Matthew Aquiline All About Jazz). His next album, The Nook, is a full length straight-ahead jazz album featuring John Swana. The music harks back to Miles Davis' first great quintet. The Nook was preceded by Sound Plan (2017), Live at PafA (2017), Syzygy (2014), and Syzygy: Remix (2014). Vince is currently self producing three more solo albums. One unreleased composition was recently featured in The Philadelphia Real Book Volume 1.

Vince has appeared as a side man on 30+ albums. He is the trumpeter and arranger with the York Street Hustle, the John Byrne Band, the Cat’s Pajamas, and You Do You. Vince founded the Philly Phatness horn section, which has recorded with regional, national, and international artists, and on film soundtracks. "His horn croons and wahs with touches of funk or blues, bridging the futuristic digital age with a snazzy sense of classic cool" (Geno Thackara All About Jazz). Vince also writes and arranges for the Uptown String Band, a member of the Philadelphia Mummers String Band Association.

Vince earned the Masters of Music degree in Jazz Performance from the University of the Arts; and earned the Bachelor of Science in Music degree concentrating in Jazz Studies and Theory & Composition from the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz. He studied trumpet under John Swana, Rebecca Coupe Franks, and John Maguda, and studied composition under Don Glanden, Evan Solot, John B Hedges, and Vinnie Martucci.

Fast becoming a sought after trumpeter and arranger, Vince continually pursues work performing, arranging, composing, teaching and recording original music.

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