Dyad Plays Puccini Announces New Shows, Including CD Release Party, 10/3
Dyad Plays Puccini
Dyad Plays Puccini has upcoming shows through October, including shows in New York and New Jersey. Dyad Plays Puccini features Lou Caimano on saxophone, and Eric Olsen on piano.
It is often said that no musical instrument more perfectly replicates the human voice than the saxophone. On that note, when operatic soprano Pamela Olsen confided to her husband, pianist Eric Olsen that alto saxophonist Lou Caimano's playing reminded her of an opera singer, a beautiful concept was born. And a new adventure began for Dyad, Lou and Eric's remarkable duo: Dyad Plays Puccini.
While the idea of re-imagining Puccini in the form of contemporary jazz arrangements might initially seem unlikely, the question quickly arises "Why isn't Puccini as rich a source for jazz as Billy Strayhorn?" After all, Puccini's arias are some of the most beautiful and familiar songs in musical history, and certainly as ideal a territory for exploration as standards like Stray's Lush Life, Monk's 'Round Midnight or Matt Dennis' Angel Eyes. As with those gorgeous melodies, Puccini's music has been known to induce heart-wrenching emotions and streaming tears simply by the sequence of tones, without any consideration of the narrative content of the operas in which they're contained. On this CD, Caimano's beautiful tone and Olsen's rich, lush lyricism evoke those same responses and a full array of other emotions from introspective melancholy to uplifting jubilation.
There is not a wisp of contrivance, or even a sense of ironic juxtaposition or playful parody in the delightful arrangements that these two remarkable artists have created for the ten classic pieces. The original compositions are treated with total respect and the re-imaginations, while sometimes arresting, are always fully appropriate for the original intention of the composer. Puccini could be as soulful as Otis Redding, as vividly lyrical as Ellington and as unabashedly beautiful as Tadd Dameron. All of those colors and textures are contained here, but the fullest emphasis is upon beauty.