Italy has always a special flavor for me. I have often visited this
wonderful country with its own character, language, cuisine and
landscape. A smooth jazz group from Italy? That does certainly find my interest.
Westbound are the Italians Cristian Rocco (guitars) and Enrico Catena
(drums). During their music career theyve always been influenced by
artists such as Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton and David Benoit. Their
collaboration began in 2001.
Westbound's debut project is "Miles
Away" (2006). Appearing
as guest musicians on the record are Charlie Cinelli on bass,
Giancarlo Zucchi and Beppe Donadio on piano and keyboards, among the
Westbound has a great addiction to smooth jazz. So the first
title Smooth is program and
confession at once. A melodic decent guitar sound is floating along
one's ears. The melody is appealing and unobtrusive.
Ivan Cristian Rocco plays his
acoustic guitar with a professional attitude. The uptempo tune is
elegant like a "Tequilla Sunrise" and has its hooking
NY To LA is Westbound's further approach to American
culture and music. A precisely played melody line with a well-contoured
guitar layered on a running bass and backed by Enrico Catena's
knocking drums serves that headbopping effect.
Peter's Farm is a slow snuggling song, earth bounded and
warmhearted. Beppe Donadio's piano excursion delivers the jazzy flavor.
is a song originally created by Bruno Martino and B. Brighetti (1961).
The song is about the summer and a lost love. The song became famous
by an interpretation of Joćo Gilberto and is since that time a
standard for many jazz musicians worldwide.
Cristian Rocco's cover version is gentle reflection like a summer breeze.
Back Bay has the
same rhythm like Tears For Fear's "Everybody Wants To Rule The
World". I understand it as a unspoken homage. While theyve
always been influenced during their music career by artists such as
Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, David Benoit, there is some influence of
Pop music too.
Spring Break is
building bridges to country music. Cristian Rocco has a special
affinity to Italian and American folk rock. You understand this
impression by Cristian's choice of guitar style.
The group reveals a rockish attitude on
The Wrong Place. Organ
sound, distortion guitar and a pulsing beat are main ingredients of this
The uptempo Corona Del Mar
is the right music for sailing along the summer heated sea. Cultivate
your style with this song.
The title tune Miles
Away is unusual despite the
fact that Cristian Rocco is playing the melody
with a distortion guitar. Most of today's guitarists of the smooth
jazz genre prefer a more smooth guitar sound which is more radio-like.
Final tune is a reprise of Smooth which underlines
the smooth character of this album. Bravissimo to Cristian and Enrico
for this professional start into the American smooth jazz market.