Sandro Dominelli

A Fusion of Influences
By Catherine Kruczko

Meet Sandro Dominelli… Alberta grown, prolific drummer, diverse musician and simply… a really Kool Kat. This inspired artist shares with me the “behind the scenes” of “THE ALVO SESSIONS”.

Sandro Dominelli has a very compelling personality; he is intelligent, creative and grounded. I was intrigued to delve into the world of jazz with one of Canada’s own.

Drums have always been the instrument of choice for Sandro. At the age of 10, his older brother’s drum kit was the coveted source. The instant his brother was out of sight – Sandro’s banging began.

A couple of early musical influences for this paradiddling master were Gino Vannelli and Rush. What drummer at some point hasn’t attempted to duplicate YYZ….what Canadian for that matter? Sandro’s focus on jazz began when his older brother played a record for him by Pat Metheny, “That turned my head and I got bit by jazz.”

“THE ALVO SESSIONS” is the 4th CD of Sandro Dominelli. Each and every CD has it’s own identity. “The Alvo Sessions is more indicative of where I am today” says Dominelli “It’s a record that I have been yearning to do because I have always been a fan of the guitar”.

How did you arrive at the musicians that compile “THE ALVO SESSIONS”?

“First, I had a musician in mind the bass player “Chris Tarry is an old friend. And I had to suss out what guitar player may be suited for this. I gathered my latest influences over the last few years and I asked myself, what have I been doing – what am I digging basically?”

“I had great experiences in 2005 & 2006 touring in Cuba, that was very influential in my well being, as well as my playing. I had experienced some playing with a Middle Eastern artist out of Alberta in the latter part of the 2000s and working with other jazz artists locally and abroad – so I figure out that finally I wanted to fuse those three types of music into what I wanted to record. I started to brainstorm the music, put ideas onto paper, the music started to come about. “

“I was on tour in March of 09 with a guitar trio and we were always behind Rez Abbasi, so he peaked my curiosity. I started to research him and listen to his music and WOW this guy sounds fantastic! So that is how I decided to go with Rez – it was kind of destined in a sense”.

How did you compose THE ALVO SESSIONS?

“I literally got on my computer and put some ideas down on the keyboard – the grooves themselves were always in my head. I will record a groove then will fool around with a keyboard ever so diligently, because I am a really bad keyboard player. I also have a bass line in my head that I will try to put onto the computer and then I kind of have the idea scratched out. For this particular record a friend of mine who kind of gets me – I have used one of his songs before on a previous record – he (Marc Beaudin) is really good at arranging and I really trust him. So I got together with him and to make this idea flourish into a composition. Conceptually this is a new thing for me. “

“THE ALVO SESSIONS” were recorded at LoFish STUDIO – NEW YORK, NEW YORK. Why New York for this Alberta based musician?

“It made sense to record in New York as Rez and Chris are living in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I made a conscious effort to take some time in New York before recording. I wanted to take in the sights and the sounds and the food and then recorded later in my trip so that I could get a little of New York in me.”

Did you produce THE ALVO SESSIONS?

“The tunes were already written and charted. I had my ideas but I always definitely let the guys (Chris & Rez) throw in their ideas. They are well rounded musicians and composers and leaders in their own right. We all brought our ideas to the table and some made it and some didn’t. At the end of the day, I mixed the CD at Danlyn Studio in Sherwood Park, AB and I had to make some executive decisions on things, so ultimately yes. That does not mean that there were not other influences – there are always influences from other people that you take in and decide whether they are going to work or not.”

You have had your CD launch and THE ALVO SESSIONS are already receiving huge acclaim.

“Absolutely, we have had 6 or 7 reviews already from the States, the UK, and one soon from Cashbox Canada.”

Stay Tuned to “CASHBOX CANADA” for a review of “THE ALVO SESSIONS”.