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Carmela Rappazzo takes us on a musical journey to Joseph City

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Joseph City, Carmela Rappazzo's fourth CD is a series of her most expansive collaborations to date. Familiar Jazz standards with Rappazzo's unique arrangements

The New Mexico landscape where Carmela Rappazzo now resides has proven to be highly inspirational for her. The fertile earth serves as a metaphor for Rappazzo's compositions and fresh sounding ideas. On 'Joseph City,' Rappazzo once again enlisted a core of A list musicians that play versatile and from the heart. Led by the highly creative guitarist Pete Snell, along with bassist Armando Compean and drummer Lee Spath, together with Rappazzo, they bring her ideas to life. The title song, a collaboration with Rappazzo's husband Mark Carroll was written on the stretch of highway between Santa Fe New Mexico and Los Angeles, and references the places, sights and towns that one drives through on that trip. Interestingly, the town of Joseph City is quite a contrast to the landscape, as it's home to the Cholla Lake power plant, which is currently underway with a $430 million upgrade. Juxtapose this image with the stretch of road where life size dinosaur figures pop out of nowhere, so that you almost crash the car. Rappazzo represents this dichotomy, with trumpeter John Fumo's haunting muted sound.

Rappazzo returns to some of her favorite standards on Joseph City. One of her most often requested songs during live performances is Bye Bye Blackbird. It has always been one of Rappazzo's favorite tunes, and the band nailed it live on the first take. Let's Fall In Love , and All The Things You Are made the CD because Rappazzo loves Charlie Parker, and she is always reminded of Bird, with both tunes. So it was the suggestion of drummer Armando Compean to do "All The Things" as a ballad, and the result has been life changing for Rappazzo as the slow the tempo, opens up a whole new meaning to the tune for her. It Might As Well Be Spring was done in 6/8 time. Don't try this at home, but Rappazzo remembers the experience as "not easy, but a hell of a lot of fun." Rappazzo recalled that Old Black Magic was a tune she had no intention of recording. While in a junk store in LA, she came upon the Billy Daniels version on 78. Well that was that, and that round vinyl is now, one of the only records Rappazzo still owns. She usually performs the song often with just drums and percussion, and it usually brings the house down. Scott Breadman (The Rippington's ) created some phenomenal percussion parts on this track.

Michael Triandafils contributed Lit Up From Behind which features the beautiful Cello of Chase Morrison (Joni Mitchell, Ron Carter). This was recorded at Larry Mitchel's studio in Cerillos New Mexico, where the amazing views are only matched by the gorgeous sound Larry gets in the room. The lyric for Rappazzo's composition: Miss You So happened as a 'pull over to the side of the road i have to get this down' moment. She had always wanted to work with the renowned Bandoneon player: Coco Trivisonno, and this was the perfect time, and the two really connected. Rappazzo recalls Coco's son Fernando telling her that he weeps when he hears his father play, and Trivisonno playing on this track is a testament to that. Ask Coral is about one of Rappazzo's neighbors. Coral is the neighbor, and is the source of much info in their little valley hideaway in New Mexico. "Coral is like the cactus and the cotton woods" says Rappazzo, and on the tune, Producer Pete Snell brought in Steve Marsh (Lyle Lovett) who really delivers that big horn sound that they were looking for. Pandora is, you know, the chick with the box of sorrows, or more simply, about obsession. I guess you have to have been in one or two to get it and luckily for Rappazzo all the musicians who played on it got it. Again the amazing Chase Morrison added her sweet cello, and the dark feeling needed on this track.