joe policastro trio

RECORDINGS


Joe Policastro Trio

Screen Sounds (2017 JeruJazz Records)

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Yojimbo (Main Title)

Twin Peaks Theme

The Godfather (Main Title and Love Theme)

1. Yojimbo (Main Title)
2. Everybody's Talkin' - Midnight Cowboy
3. Nadia's Theme (Theme from "The Young and the Restless")
4. Cool Hand Luke (Main Title)
5. Summer Kisses, Winter Tears
6. Twin Peaks Theme
7. Angela (Theme from "Taxi")
8. Hallelujah
9. The Godfather (Main Title and Love Theme)
10. Blade Runner (Love Theme)
11. Having An Average Weekend (Theme from "Kids In The Hall")

Joe Policastro, bass, Dave Miller, guitar, Mikel Avery, drums

The third album by the Joe Policastro Trio features the singular approach of the Chicago-based jazz trio on a unique assemblage of music from movies and TV. Both a musical tapestry and personal soundtrack, the trio has re-purposed these selections blending each member's unique voice into a unified sound while shedding new light on these musical touchstones.

Joe Policastro Trio

Pops! (2016 JeruJazz Records)

1. Wives and Lovers
2. Harvest Moon
3. Creepin'
4. Wave of Mutilation
5. More Than a Woman
6. Condition of the Heart
7. Diamonds and Pearls
8. Me and Mrs. Jones
9. Us and Them
10. Take It with Me
11. Drive

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(Includes Shipping)

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Wives And Lovers

Harvest Moon

Diamonds and Pearls

Joe Policastro, bass, Dave Miller, guitar, Mikel Avery, drums

with special guests: Andy Brown, guitar, Andy Pratt, guitar

The sophomore release of the Joe Policastro Trio celebrates Pops For Champagne, the venue that gave birth to the group, and highlights the "pop" music that has a become signature part of their sound.

Featuring music by Prince, Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder, The Pixies, and others

Joe Policastro Trio

West Side Story Suite (2013 JeruJazz Records)

1. Prologue
2. Something's Coming
3. Maria
4. Jet Song
5. America
6. One Hand, One Heart
7. Cool
8. Tonight
9. Gee, Officer Krupke
10. I Feel Pretty
11. Somewhere

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(Includes Shipping)

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Maria

Jet Song

America

Joe Policastro, bass, Dan Effland, guitar, Adam Sorensen, drums

The debut release of the Joe Policastro Trio is a fresh, original take on the Bernstein classic. An arranged suite for guitar trio, the album highlights the interplay of the ensemble while still leaving plenty of space for improvisation.

VIDEOS


Joe Policastro Trio

Screen Sounds EPK

Yojimbo (main title)

Music Video

Joe Policastro Trio

"Having an Average Weekend (Theme from The Kids in the Hall)"

America

CD release party for "POPS!"

Harvest Moon

CD release party for "POPS!"

Creepin'

CD release party for "POPS!"

1999

CD release party for "POPS!"

About The Trio


Joe Policastro

Bass

www.joepolicastro.com

Dave Miller

Guitar

www.davemillerguitar.com

Mikel Avery

Drums

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Joe Policastro Trio

The Joe Policastro Trio is a Chicago-based jazz trio led by bassist Joe Policastro featuring guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery. While firmly rooted in jazz, the band's open-minded, inclusive nature also brings rock, soul, funk, Brazilian, and free jazz to the surface while keeping the aesthetic of an acoustic jazz trio intact. Their third album, Screen Sounds (JeruJazz Records, August 11, 2017), is an assemblage of movie/TV music re-imagined by the trio. Both a musical tapestry and personal soundtrack, the trio has re-purposed these selections blending each member's unique voice into a unified sound while shedding new light on these musical touchstones. Other releases by the band include 2013's West Side Story Suite For Jazz Trio, and 2016's POPS!, also on JeruJazz Records.

Bands are a rarity in jazz these days, especially ones who hone their craft as consistently as this one does. Their last album, POPS! (2016), was a collection of the trio’s re-workings of “pop” tunes, and a nod to Pops For Champagne, the famed Chicago nightclub where the trio continues its long-running, three-nights-a-week residency. Beyond Chicago, the band has been extensively playing together on the road having completed several tours even performing for President Barack Obama in October of 2016.

As sidemen, Joe Policastro (Jeff Hamilton, Pat and Debby Boone, Phil Woods, Diane Schuur), Dave Miller (Clarice Assad, Patricia Barber, Algernon), and Mikel Avery (Joshua Abrams, Theaster Gates, Rob Mazurek) have shared the stage with a wide array of musicians but dedicate collectively to this trio. Whether highlighting the original music of its member, re-contextualizing modern music, or performing jazz classics of the likes of Thelonious Monk, Chico Hamilton, or Charles Lloyd, the trio readily displays its singular approach, sound, texture, and simultaneity.

Press

Known for its eclectic taste and approach, the Joe Policastro Trio "makes the case that such musical hybridity is worth celebrating." "Policastro…is a melody-minded bassist who prioritizes group cohesion over individual displays of virtuosity."
  - Brian Zimmerman, Downbeat

The Joe Policastro Trio is a band that can turn "pop tart into Jazz art" (Travis Rogers, Jazz Owl) and one that "should have wide appeal among both jazz fans and listeners of other genres."
  - Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine

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Shows


Regular Performances

Every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, 9 PM - midnight
Pops For Champagne, Chicago, IL
No cover, no minimum

"Screen Sounds" Tour

7/29 Noce (Des Moines, IA)
7/30 Green Lady Lounge (Kansas City)
7/31 Icehouse (Minneapolis, MN)
8/1 The Root Note (La Crosse, WI)
8/2 Mid West Music Store (Winona, MN)
8/3 The Lakely (Eau Claire, WI)
8/11 The Outta Space (Berwyn, IL)
8/12 Halsted Market Days (Chicago, IL)
8/16 Brothers Drake Meadery (Columbus, OH)
8/17 Nighttown (Cleveland, OH)
8/18 Bromwell's Harth Lounge (Cincinnati, OH)
8/19 Spinoza's (Dayton, OH)
8/20 Chicago Festa Italiana (Chicago, IL)
8/25 Winter's Jazz Club (Chicago, IL)
8/26 Spot Tavern (Lafayette, IN)
9/1 Chicago Jazz Festival (Chicago, IL)
9/8 Jazz Cafe @ Music Hall (Detroit, MI)
10/6 Studio5 (Evanston, IL)
10/20 Arts + Literature Laboratory (Madison, WI)
11/25 Cliff Bell's (Detroit, MI)
11/26 Phog Lounge (Windsor, ON, Canada)
11/27 Bop Shop Records (Rochester, NY)
11/28 The Rex (Toronto, ON, Canada)
11/29 Greater Buffalo Jazz Society (Buffalo, NY)
11/30 The Bop Stop (Cleveland, OH)
12/1 Shakespeare's Pub (Kalamzoo, MI)
12/2 Kerrytown Concert House (Ann Arbor, MI)

Press


Press Kit

High Resolution Photos
(click images to download)

Download Biography (PDF) →

Policastro…is a melody-minded bassist who prioritizes group cohesion over individual displays of virtuosity. His solo on The Pixies' "Wave Of Mutilation" best exemplifies his improvisational style, which bears the mark of solid, unadorned craftsmanship. Brian Zimmerman, Downbeat, July 2016

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Before there was the Great American Songbook, there were simply great American songs. The tunes we now identify as jazz standards—so many of them composed by just a handful of scribes working from cramped offices on Tin Pan Alley—weren't written with that lofty songbook in mind, but were instead created as popular songs, fodder for Broadway productions and Hollywood films from the 1920s and '30s. Popular song continues to enrich the jazz canon, and on his latest disc, Pops, Chicago bassist Joe Policastro makes the case that such musical hybridity is worth celebrating. In doing so, Policastro and his trio with guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery join a growing assembly of artists who embrace pop experimentalism, including keyboardist Robert Glasper, whose 2015 album Covered (Blue Note) featured songs by Kendrick Lamar and John Legend, and vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, whose latest release, For One To Love (Mack Avenue), featured a dapper interpretation of Burt Bacharach's "Wives And Lovers." The Bacharach staple also makes an appearance on Policastro's album, opening the program of 11 tunes with all the spunk and steamy intimacy of a mid-century cocktail party. (This is fitting, as the song is the album's sole composition from the 1960s.) But it's the subsequent decade—with its overtones of disco and funk—that contributes the bulk of the material to this disc. The trio spins Stevie Wonder's "Creepin'," (1974) into a sweet and breezy jazz bossa, and later injects The Bee Gees' "More Than A Woman" (1977) with a shot of crisp, bracing energy, courtesy of guest guitarist Andy Brown's sweeping lines. Elsewhere, the group unwinds Billy Paul's "Me And Mrs. Jones" into a silken ballad and recasts Pink Floyd's "Us And Them" as a spacey jazz-rock investigation. Policastro, co-leader of the Gerry Mulligan tribute bands Jeru and the Mulligan Mosaic Big Band/Nonet, is a melody-minded bassist who prioritizes group cohesion over individual displays of virtuosity. His solo on The Pixies' "Wave Of Mutilation" best exemplifies his improvisational style, which bears the mark of solid, unadorned craftsmanship. The song, repainted with dark, nuanced colors, joins Prince's "Condition Of The Heart" (part of a touching two-track homage to the late guitar maestro) and The Cars' "Drive" as the album's representatives from the 1980s. More recent fare includes a calm, understated cover of Tom Waits' "Take It With Me" (1999) and a version of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" (1991) reconfigured as—what else—a Western swing tune.

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This is … one of those pop goes jazz sets that opens the ears nicely. Everyone on board is right on point letting the world know once again that Chicago jazz is alive and well. Chris Spector, Midwest Record, June 11, 2016

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Pops!, by the Joe Policastro Trio, is not only a new CD, but also represents a possible new movement in jazz… Joe and his group … play everything with conviction and sincerity as they try to bring out new qualities in this collection of well-known pop and rock songs. John Sanders, Jazz Music Archives, June 15, 2016

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…engaging inventive music Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives, June 18, 2016

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Policastro’s bass seems to be the glue that holds this trio solidly in place. Dee Dee McNeil, Musical Memoirs, June 25, 2016

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Wonderfully cool renditions of compositions by Burt Bacharach, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Tom Waits and Pink Floyd… A very steady work of musicianship. The Jazz Page by D. Glenn Daniels, July 1, 2016

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'POPS!' is the Joe Policastro Trio’s way of reminding us that not all Jazz comes from Jazz originals…There is emotional attachment to the originals and the trio makes them sing with a new voice and new meaning. The Jazz Owl by Travis Rogers, Jr., July 1, 2016

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Policastro and his crew make a strong argument for all of these songs as jazz vehicles, and they have a ton of fun in the process. You will, too. Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist, July 4, 2016

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Pops is an album that demonstrates the depth of well chosen modern pop tunes that lend themselves well to jazz improvisation, in an acoustic straight ahead setting... Joe Policastro’s trio is well honed from their long time live show, and since they thrive on pop tunes, it’s a bright indication of the road ahead. CJ Shearn, Jazz Views, July 6, 2016

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This suave and enjoyable album should have wide appeal among both jazz fans and listeners of other genres. Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine, July 8, 2016

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Relaxed playing by skilled instrumentalists who blend with seemingly effortless ease. Bruce Crowther, Jazz Mostly, July 10, 2016

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[Policastro] provides a powerful, steady, foundation for the group. His arco work is beautifully ‘in tune’ when he gets the opportunity to state melodies or improvise solos - that’s not an easy thing to achieve! Dave Brownlow, Bebop Spoken Here, July 13, 2016

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…pure joy to listen to... [they] always come up with interesting and rejuvenating twists and turns. Matthias Kirsch, Gina Loves Jazz, August 8, 2016

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There are some truly outstanding gems in these heartfelt covers that go above and beyond the usual worship. Carol Banks Weber, AXS, August 17, 2016

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Additional Reading

All About Jazz by Mark Sullivan, July 25, 2016

Jazzweekly by George Harris, September 20, 2016

CJ Shearn's Best of 2016 at Jazz Views, December 9, 2016

Michael Doherty’s Music Log, December 12, 2016

Contact/Booking


For all bookings and additional information, please contact Joe by phone or joepolicastrobass@yahoo.com.

Phone: 773.503.2339

Mailing List

Use the following form to join the mailing list:

Publicity

Two For The Show Media
Chris DiGirolamo
(631) 298-7823
chris@twofortheshowmedia.com

Radio

Jazzdog Promotions
Shaunna Machosky (east coast)
(412) 600-5329
jazzdog@me.com

Cindy Budd (west coast)
(818) 299-1202
marvdog124@aol.com

Social Media