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STONE ALLIANCE
Santiago, Chile - 1 Nov 76
Steve Grossman, Gene Perla, Don Alias
      "Enya" by Steve Grossman
"Taurus People" by Farouq Dawud
"Samba de Negro" by Don Alias

STONE ALLIANCE
Santiago, Chile - 16 Nov 76
Steve Grossman, Gene Perla, Don Alias
"Arfonk" by Steve Grossman
"Conga Solo" by Don Alias
"Creepin'" by Stevie Wonder
"37 Willoughby Place" by Steve Grossman

STONE ALLIANCE
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 14 Sep 78
Marcio Montarroyos, Sergio Dias
Mark Gray, Gene Perla, Don Alias
"Arfonk" by Steve Grossman
"Rua da Boa Hora" by Marcio Montarroyos
"Menina Ilza" by Hermeto Pascoal
"On The Foot Peg" by Marcio Montarroyos

STONE ALLIANCE
Zurich, Switzerland - 3 Oct 80
Bob Mintzer, Kenny Kirkland
Gene Perla, Don Alias
"Miss T" by Gene Perla

"Thank you for providing the great music of Stone Alliance for all of us - both by creating it and by distributing it over the 'Net. I know there are many of us who enjoy Stone Alliance."
- K.F., San Francisco

"I gotta tell you, the recordings you did with Jan Hammer and Grossman and Stone Alliance where so mind blowing for me growing up. For a while it was you guys morning, noon and night... also the record with Hammer and Elvin.. shit that was a MF... THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GREAT MUSIC!
- Bob Franceschini

"Steve, Gene Perla and " Lungs"..some badazz stuff."
- Tim Price

"The electric bass you played with Stone Alliance was sick. Way ahead of its time. Thanks for all you do!"
- Les Buxton

 

PMR-013 "Stone Alliance" © 1976

Steve Grossman
Tenor Saxophone
Gene Perla
Electric Bass and Piano
Don Alias
Drums, Congas, Bongos and Bell

Vaya Mulatto (Don Alias) 5:40
King Tut (Steve Grossman) 6:40
Duet (Steve Grossman and Don Alias) 5:30
Sweetie-Pie (Don Alias) 4:23
Creepin' (Stevie Wonder) 5:10
Samba de Negro (Don Alias) 4:52

All compositions Perla Music (ASCAP)
Except "Creepin'" Jobette Music Co/Black Bull Music, Inc (ASCAP)
Recorded at Red Gate Studio, Kent, New York, June 1975 and June 1976
Engineered by Jan Hammer and Gene Perla
Assisted by Bob Schachner and Roy Yates
Design, Installation and Maintenance by Andy Topeka
Design and Photos by Anne M Schnider
Produced by Gene Perla

Copyright 1976 P. M. Records, Inc.

AS OF 3 OCT 2017, 16:00 EDT
(2) licensed Belgian Tidal Waves sealed
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RECORDED IN NEW YORK

This is an album of great virtuosity which I believe would be enjoyed even by the most vociferous detractor from so-called "new" directions in music. The attributes of these men need no elaboration here. This is adventurous, exciting, innovative and accessible, all at the same time.
Dionizy Fiatkowski, Music Radio Programm

For me this record is really kind of a "bible!"
Nikolaos Afenftulidis

 

 

PMR-014 "Marcio Montarroyos" © 1977

Steve Grossman
Soprano and Tenor Saxophones and Acoustic Piano
Gene Perla
Bass and Keyboards
Don Alias
Drums, Congas, Guitar, Voice and Percussion
Marcio Montarroyos
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Mellophone, Piano, Moog,
Voice and Percussion
Hermeto Pascoal
Piano and Flute
Erasto de Holanda Vasconcelos
Percussion, Surdo, Voice and Bell
David Sion
Percussion
Dom Bira
Congas and Bell

Hey Bicho, Vamos Nessa (Steve Grossman) 4:40
    Marcio--Trumpet
    Steve--Soprano and Tenor Saxes and Acoustic Piano
    Gene--Bass, Electric Piano and String Synthesizer
    Don--Congas and Drums
    Dom--Congas and Bell
Risa (Don Alias) 5:20
    Marcio--Trumpet
    Steve--Soprano Sax
    Gene--Bass and Kyeboards
    Don--Drums, Congas and Guitar
    Erasto and David--Percussion
Rua Da Boa Hora (Marcio Montarroyos) 4:44
    Marcio--Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Mellophone, Piano, Voice and Percussion
    Gene--Bass
    Don--Drums
    Erasto--Surdo
    David--Percussion
Libra Rising (Steve Grossman) 3:17
    Marcio--Trumpet
    Steve--Tenor Sax and Piano
    Gene--Bass
    Don--Drums and Congas
Menina Ilza (Hermeto Pascoal) 6:36*
    Hermeto--Piano and Flute
    Marcio--Flugelhorn, Trumpet and Percussion
    Steve--Tenor and Soprano Saxes
    Gene--Bass
    Don--Drums and Percussion
The Greeting (Don Alias and Erasto Vasconcelos) 4:07
    Part I Don and Erasto--Voices
    Part II All instruments by Don
    Part III All instruments by Erasto
    Part IV Don--Voice, Congas, Cabasa and Bell|
                Erasto--Voice, Surdo and Bell
On The Foot Peg (Marcio Montarroyos) 5:48
    Marcio--Mellophone, Flugelhorn, Trumpet, Piano and Moog
    Steve--Tenor Sax
    Gene--Bass, Piano and Moog
    Don--Drums
A Child Is Born (Thad Jones) 4:32
    Marcio--Mellophone and Trumpet
    Steve--Soprano Sax
    Gene--Bass and Piano
    Don--Drums

All compositions Perla Music (ASCAP)
Except "A Child Is Born" D'Accord Music Inc (ASCAP)
Recorded at Studio Level, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February, 1977
By Victor Da silva, and Renato Viola
Red Gate Studio, Kent, New York, August, 1977
Design, Installaton, and Maintenance by Andy Topeka
Re-mixed at Red Gate by Gene, Don, and Marcio
*Bearsville by Tom Mark
Photo of Marcio by Cristina Montarroyos
Cover Design by Anne Maria Schnider
Produced by Gene Perla

Copyright 1977 P. M. Records, Inc.


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RECORDED IN BRAZIL

In getting a handle on the music of Stone Alliance, the term fusion seems apropos in its sense of referring to a merging of diverse elements into a unified whole... The music impresses in a number of ways. Most essential, it is played with conviction. There is a palpable interpersonal commitment, respect and trust in both ensembles and improvisations.

The well-balanced repertory includes evocative shifts in tempo (from an edgy upbeat "Libra Rising" to the rubato balladry of "A Child Is Born"), mood (embracing a tough "Hey Bicho" and romantic "Menin Ilza"), and texture (from a spartan "Greeting" to a richly embroidered "Rua Da Boa Hora").

The playing is precise and passionate. Grossman growls and screams ("On The Foot Peg"); Montarroyos, reminding of Miles, parries and thrusts ("Risa"); Pascoal, fluting and humming at once, buzzes and stings.
Chuck Berg, down beat

 

PMR-015 "Con Amigos" © 1977

Steve Grossman
Tenor Saxophone
Gene Perla
Bass, Keyboards and Guitar
Don Alias
Drums, Congas, Guitar and Percussion
Santiago Giacobbe
Piano
José Maria Loriente
Congas, Bongos and Percussion
Daniel Binelli
Bandoneon
Roberto Valencia
Percussion

I'll Tell You Tomorrow (Santiago Giacobbe) 7:11
    Steve--Tenor Sax
    Daniel--Bandoneon
    Santiago--Piano
    Gene--Bass
    Don--Drums and Percussion
    Jose Maria--Congas
    Roberto--Percussion
Mujeres Sud Americanas (Don Alias) 4:03**
    Gene--Bass, Keyboards and Guitar
    Don--Percussion and Guitar
Miss T. (Gene Perla) 4:07*
    Steve--Tenor Sax
    Gene--Bass and Piano
    Don--Drums
Graciela (Steve Grossman) 6:12
    Steve--Tenor Sax
    Santiago--Piano
    Gene--Bass
    Don--Drums and Percussion
    Jose Maria--Congas, Bongos and Percussikon
    Roberto--Shekere
Amigos (Don Alias and José Maria Loriente) 5:04
    Part I Don--Drums and Bell
              Jose Maria--Congas
              Roberto--Percussion
    Part II Don--Drums and Tom-toms
               Jose Maria--Congas
               Roberto--Agogo and Brazilian Whistle
    Part III Don--Congas and Palitos
                Jose Maria--Quinto and Bell
Taking A Good Long Look (Gene Perla) 6:43
    Steve--Tenor Sax
    Santiago--Piano
    Gene--Bass, Moog and String Synthesizer
    Don--Drums and Percussion
    Jose Maria--Congas and Percussion
    Roberto--Percussion

All compositions Perla Music (ASCAP)
Recorded at Studio Netto, Buenos Aires, Argentina, April, 1977 by Jorge da Silva
*Red Gate Studio, Kent, New York, June 1976, **July 1977 by Gene Perla
Re-mixed at Red Gate by Gene Perla and Don Alias
Design, Installation and Maintenance by Andy Topeka
Cover Art and Jacket Design by Anne Maria Schnider
Produced by Nano Herrera and Gene Perla

Copyright 1977 P. M. Records, Inc.

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RECORDED IN ARGENTINA

They were, or rather are, the first representatives of the latest musical evolution that has mastered the world. We were, and still are, a dominated, wondrous audience quite fascinated by a different way of life through music. It seems that what Stone Alliance was saying -- about telling a story each time one plays -- is true. We listen to the story woven by the music of Stone Alliance and we identify with it; in the long run we become enriched. And who else but AMIGOS would enrich us? Thank you, Stone Alliance!
Club de Arte


While most of the jazz world is heading toward either commercialism or the avant-garde, it's a pleasure to find a group such as Stone Alliance filling in this ever widening gap.
CBF


This album was recorded after the American trio had stayed a year in Buenos Aires, playing with and absorbing the talents of the Argentinian musicians who accompany here. The result is a dazzling blend of styles, and Stone Alliance's best effort to date. There is some fierce playing, notably from saxophonist Steve Grossman, but the overall feeling is Latin American melancholy and rhythm.

Percussionist Don Alias seems most adept at this synthesis; his African jungle percussion is delightful when positioned against the throb of congas, whistles and other South American instruments.
T.E.


What seven musicians can do with the aid of double and triple tracking, overdubbing, mixing and editing is not only astounding -- but an absolute delight.

Highly recommended to the intelligent jazz-lover.
Mark Allen, Record Review


This gem of a recording, done in Buenos Aires, features the trio known as Stone Alliance -- Steve Grossman, tenor sax, Gene Perla, bass, keyboards and guitar, and Don Alias, percussion and guitar -- augmented by local musicians. The music, as expected, is highly rhythmic, but also unexpectedly eletronic in spots. The traditional -- abandon on the bright "I'll Tell You Tomorrow" -- is contrasted with synthesizer overdub on the languid bolero, "Mujeres Sud Americanas." "Amigos," a surprise favorite, is a brief three-part exposition of what Latin percussion should sound like.
Jazz Album Picks, Cash Box


"...one of my all-time favorites...truly awe-inspiring...why can't they make albums like this anymore...."
A.S., London


 

PMR-020 "Heads Up" © 1980

Don Alias
Drums, Congas, Percussion, Voice
Gene Perla
Bass, Acoustic Piano, Voice
With
Kenny Kirkland
Keyboards
Bob Mintzer
Tenor Saxophone

And
Jan Hammer
Keyboards
Michael Brecker
Tenor Saxophone
Alex Acuna
Drums
Robert Piltch
Guitar
David Liebman
Soprano Saxophone
Randy Brecker
Fluglehorn
Alan Rubin
Cornet
Jim Pugh
Trombone
Bob Smith
Trombone

Georgia O' (Don Alias) 6:00
    Michael--Tenor Sax
    Jan--Keyboards
    Gene--Bass
    Alex--Drums
    Don--Congas
    Arranged by Don

Don - A couple of years back, I took a trip through the Southwest (New Mexico, Nevada, Texas) with a friend of mine, who, at the time, was into painting and also quite an admirer of the famous American painter, Georgia O'Keefe. My knowledge of this renowned artist was practically zero, but in the course of the trip, in which the destination ultimately found us in O'Keefe's back yard, I got caught up in the grandeur of the West; the open skies, the aridness of the desert, the romanticism of the galloping horse, etc... I gave the title to O'Keefe since she was the basis for the inspiration.

Pedra Da Lua (Toninho Horta) 5:45
    Bob M--Tenor Sax
    Kenny--Keyboard
    Gene-Bass
    Don--Percussion
    Arranged by Gene, Don, and Kenny

Gene - I first heard this song on a record by Paulo Maura, the Brazilian saxophonist, while Stone Alliance was on their first South American tour in 1976. The way the melody and harmony seemed to float along with such simple power really impresssed me. A bit later, I was fortunate to meet the composer who surprised me with a personal leadsheet. We've been playing the tune ever since.

Aunt Remus (Gene Perla) 3:30
    Jan--Keyboards
    Robert--Guitar
    Gene-Bass
    Don-Percussion
    Alan-Cornet
    Randy--Fluglehorn
    Jim--Trombone
    Bob S--Trombone
    Arranged by Gene

Gene - This song was sort of a tort to Don's "Uncle Jemima." They both could be considered as new dances in need of steps. In fact, we have names for the new to be dances: the "Zambuli" for Don's and the "Zambolo" for mine. Anybody interested?

Tribute To Afreeka (Don Alias) 4:47
    Jan--Keyboards
    Gene-Bass
    Don-Percussion
    Arranged by Don

Don - This track was recorded sometime ago. The two interesting things about it are that we've always thought the feel of Afro-Cuban percussion could be felt in all kinds of music. Specifically, there is nothing to prevent a diehard swinger from incorporating his "jazz" feel right on top of all that syncopation. Secondly, since I got a chance to play all the perucssion, and after having gained a little knowledge of Bata drumming (Afro-Cuban religious drumming), plus later listening to what was played in 1974, I was a bit astonished and grateful that it was inherent in my playing even back then. Special thanks to Jan Hammer and Gene Perla who have also touched upon this important knowledge of Afro-Cuban music.

Uncle Jemima (Don Alias) 4:30
    Bob M--Tenor Sax
    Kenny--Keyboards
    Gene--Bass
    Don--Drums
    Arranged by Gene, Don, and Kenny

Don - The bottom line on this tune is that our band basically likes to groove out.

Kimmy And Donnie (Don Alias) 3:48
    David--Soprano Sax
    Kenny--Keyboards
    Gene--Bass, Acoustic Piano and Voice
    Don--Guitar, Percussion and Voice
    Arranged by Gene, Don, and Kenny

Don - This song was written for two of the lovliest children any father could possibly be blessed witih having. Thanks to Dave for his dynamite solo contribution.


Trampoline (Gene Perla) 4:14
    Bob M--Bass Clarinet
    Kenny--Keyboards
    Robert--Guitar
    Gene--Bass
    Don--Percussion
    Arranged by Gene

Gene - Normally, I only write for a specific occasion, but once in awhile, when it's been a long time since I've written a new song, I find that I have to do something. Hence, Trampoline.

Para Los Papinos (Para Qie Megas) (Orlando Lopez) 6:13
    Bob M--Flute
    Kenny--Keyboards
    Gene--Bass
    Don--Congas

Don - In Cuba, there is a group of drummers, consisting of brothers called Los Papinos, that I think every conga drummer associated with Afro-Cuban music is, or should be aware of. I heard this tune, by them, in which they did most of the drum work by simulating the sounds with their voices. We took it off the record and simply did it our way.

All compositions Perla Music (ASCAP)
Except "Pedra da Lua," and "Para Los Papinos" (Publisher Unknown)
Michael and Randy Brecker Courtesy of Arista Records
Alex Acuna Courtesy of Elektra/Asylum Records
Recorded and re-mixed by Gene Perla at Red gate Studio, kent, new York in 1979 and 1980
Additional recording by Lois Oki at Captain Audio, Toronto and David Stone at Right Track Recording, New York City
"Tribute to Afreeka" recorded at Secret Sound Studio, New York City in 1974
Don Alias and Alex Acuna use Slingerland percussion exclusively
Thank you to my brother Fred Alias for his help and cooperation
Cover Design by Anne Maria Schnider
Produced by Gene Perla

Copyright 1980 P. M. Records, Inc.

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RECORDED IN NEW YORK

More jazz to dazzle the ears! If you're not familiar with this group, take a listen and join their already solid following in not only the U.S., but also South America. These 4 guys, Don Alias, Gene Perla, Bob Mintzer and Kenny Kirkland don't only possess all this musical wealth just to squander though! They love to perform, and spread their music. And they often will hold clinics which are not only listening but also learning experiences... DOWNBEAT has received them quite well, and one glance at each member's discography puts them right up in the "heavy" league!
Richman Bros. Records, Inc.


Most adventuresome release from the Alliance to date. Everything is well thought out and conceived at a high level of artistic achievement. Jazz programmers will find this of special interest, and jazz buyers will find this something worth having.
Midwest Record Recap


With their musically diverse fourth album, Stone Alliance proves that they deserve the respect and praise of the jazz and contemporary music community.

Highly recommended addition to any playlist!
Eric Gribin, The Jazz Line


Stone Alliance: Heads Up (PM) is an exciting set featuring some top contemporary jazzmen. Led by bassist Gene Perla and drummer Don Alias, the group fuses jazz, Latin, and funk idioms into a cohesive music which is both rhythmically and melodically appealing. The mostly original compositions give Kenny Kirkland, Bob Mintzer, Robert Piltch, Jan Hammer, and a number of other players room to stretch out, and there's some inspired soloing throughout. Stone Alliance represents "fusion" at its best, and the group is deserving of much wider exposure. Alias' "Uncle Jemima" and Orlando Lopez' "Para Los Papinos" are knockouts.
"Gem" Lieberson


What makes this group stand out among others is the natural feeling they have for playing with and among a complicated melange of rhythms.
Bob Rosenblum


Stone Alliance has succeeded in creating a complex sound easy to listen to.
M.P., Erie Times


A really tasty fusion set, with the keyboards covered by Kenny Kirkland and Jan Hammer. No commercial compromises, just honest music, with lots of synthesizer leads and background keyboards.
Jim Aikin, Contemporary Keyboard


"Just love 'Heads Up.' I will give it maximum exposure."
Ian Drever, CFUV, University of Victoria


 

PMR-026 "Live in Amsterdam" © 2004


Steve Grossman
Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
Gene Perla
Electric Bass
Don Alias
Drums and Congas

Samba de Negro (Don Alias) 5:25
   incorrectly listed on CD as Vaya Mulatto
Risa (Don Alias) 5:36
   incorrectly listed on CD as Menina Ilza
Miss T. (Gene Perla) 6:08
Zulu Stomp (Don Alias) 11:03
New York Bossa (Steve Grossman) 5:11
37 Willoughby Place (Steve Grossman) 2:02
Arfonk (Steve Grossman, Gene Perla, Don Alias) 9:20
Aunt Remus (Gene Perla) 5:08
Taurus People (Farouq Dawud) 5:43
King Tut (Steve Grossman) 2:31

All compositions Perla Music (ASCAP)
Recorded Live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1977
Edited and Re-mixed at The System MSP, Whitehouse Station, NJ by Gene Perla
Produced by Gene Perla

Copyright 2004 P. M. Records, Inc.

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RECORDED LIVE IN AMSTERDAM (1977)

"An hour ago I put on 'Stone Alliance Live in Amsterdam.' Sounds amazing!"
Randy Brecker, NYC


"Grossman's playing is nothing short of anamalistic; this is some of the most intense music I've ever heard. This band represents a different branch of fusion that most people aren't aware of; its steeped in jazz, funk, rock, and latin influences, a truly remarkable record and should be a part of every jazz listeners collection."
Steve Wirts, NYC


 

PMR-027 "Live in Bremen" © 2005


Steve Grossman
Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
Gene Perla
Electric Bass
Don Alias
Drums and Congas

Samba de Negro(Don Alias) 8:56
Taurus People (Farouq Dawud) 4:45
King Tut (Steve Grossman) 8:38
Sweetie-Pie (Don Alias) 5:18
Conga Solo (Don Alias) 8:59
Creepin' (Stevie Wonder) 5:41

All compositions Perla Music (ASCAP)
Except "Creepin'" Jobette Music Co/Black Bull Music, Inc (ASCAP)
Recorded Live in Bremen, West Germany in 1977
Edited and Re-mixed at The System MSP, Whitehouse Station, NJ by Gene Perla
Produced by Gene Perla

Copyright 2005 P. M. Records, Inc.

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RECORDED LIVE IN BREMEN (1977)

"I love the Stone Alliance records, and the live ones you've released are incredible."
J.L., Memphis

 

 

PMR-028 "Live in Buenos Aires " © 2006


Steve Grossman
Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
Gene Perla
Electric Bass
Don Alias
Drums and Congas

New York Bossa (Steve Grossman) 5:52
In It (Don Alias) 5:38
Miss T. (Gene Perla) 4:19
Zulu Stomp (Don Alias) 10:10
Tauras People (Farouq Dawud) 4:38
King Tut (Steve Grossman) 7:49
Vaya Mulatto (Don Alias) 12:03
Conga Solo (Don Alias) 10:59

All compositions Perla Music (ASCAP)
Recorded Live in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1977
Edited and Re-mixed at The System MSP, Whitehouse Station, NJ by Gene Perla
Produced by Gene Perla

Copyright 2006 P. M. Records, Inc.

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RECORDED LIVE IN BUENOS AIRES (1977)

 

PMR-031"Live in Berlin" © 2010

Bob Mintzer
Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Bass Clarinet, Flute, Percussion
Kenny Kirkland
Piano, Keyboards, Percussion
Gene Perla
Electric Bass, Percussion
Don Alias
Drums, Congas
Special Guest Jan Hammer
Keyboard

Introduction (Don Alias) 1:03
Arfonk (Steve Grossman) 9:51
Risa (Don Alias) 8:16
Miss T (Gene Perla) 6:56
Conga Solo (Don Alias) 7:47
Kimmy And Donnie (Don Alias) 9:31
Para Los Papinos (Orlando Lopez) 7:57
Georgia O' (Don Alias) 8:52
Advantage
(Jan Hammer) 5:07

All compositions Perla Music (ASCAP)
Except "Para Los Papinos," (Publisher Unknown), and "Advantage" Country and Eastern Music (ASCAP)
Recorded 2 Nov 80 at the Berlin Jazz Festival, Berlin, Germany
Edited and Re-mixed 2010 at The System MSP, Easton, PA by Gene Perla and Nicholas de la Motte
Cover Graphics by Gene Perla
Produced by Gene Perla

Copyright 2010 P M Records

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RECORDED LIVE IN BERLIN (1980)

What a great fuckin' band! OOOWEEEEEE !!!!!
Marty Sheller


That sounds like a fun one. Nice going, Gene.
Zan Stewart


Great music!! Thanks for sharing...
Rita García Nieto


Congrats on the new CD! Thanks for the music.
Laurance Donohue-Greene


 

PMR-038 "Galvanic Ignition" © 2017

Mitch Stein
Guitars
Gene Perla
Electric Bass
Don Alias
Drums, Congas, Percussion

1. Like A Moose (Mitch Stein) 1:03
2. Para Los Papinos (Orlando Lopez) 7:57
3. Kimmy And Donnie (Don Alias) 9:31
4. A of M (Gene Perla) 9:51
5. Uncle Jemima (Don Alias) 8:52

All compositions Perla Music (ASCAP)
Except "Like A Moose" ()
and "Para Los Papinos" (Publisher Unknown)
Recorded 1998 at Sound Designers Studio, NYC
Edited and Re-mixed 2010 by Stone Alliance
Mastered 2017 by Nicholas de la Motte
at The System MSP, Easton, PA
Graphics by Gene Perla
Produced by Stone Alliance

Copyright 2017 P M Records

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Like A Moose
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Para Los Papinos
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Kimmy And Donnie
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A Of M
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Uncle Jemima
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RECORDED IN (1980)

 



 

TRIBUTE TO DON ALIAS

Montreal International Jazz Festival: Jean-Pierre Zanella at L’Astral, July 3, 2011

Irwin Block’s review of Jean-Pierre Zanella performing at L’Astral, Sunday, July 3:

It was a humble saxophonist/composer Jean Pierre Zanella who was anointed one of Canada’s great jazz musicians Sunday when he accepted the coveted Oscar Peterson Award from the Montreal International Jazz Festival. “It was time,” jazzfest president Alain Simard said as the crowd at L’Astral gave Zanella, 53, a standing ovation, and he promptly thanked his family, the public, and musicians he’s played with for some 30 years. He then invited six of them on stage to pay tribute to Don Alias, the Harlem, N.Y.-born drummer/percussionist who died in March 2006 at age 66 after living and playing here for two years in the early 1980s.

Good natured, always smiling and hugely talented, Alias made a lot of friends wherever he went and spread the “gospel” of Afro-Cuban percussion, passing on the techniques and rhythmic patterns to countless musicians here. It was in that spirit that Zanella, playing soprano and alto sax, flute and piccolo, and led the band through tunes associated with Alias, much of the music propelled by the dancing polyrhythms of drummer Paul Brochu and conga player Alain Labrosse.

Gene Perla, Alias friend’s and bandmate from Stone Alliance, seemed to summon Alias’s spirit with sprightly electric bass work. They met in 1964 worked together in a Latin Group, then for Nina Simone and drummer Elvin Jones, before Alias joined Miles Davis on his Bitches Brew jazz-rock sessions. More guests kept coming to play Sunday, including bassists Michel Donato and Alain Caron, and Jean St. Jacques extracting magical chord progressions from his electronic vibraphone.

For many, the highlight came when percussionist René Lazaro began chanting Yoruba-Cuban songs associated with the Santería religion, which combines the beliefs of black slaves with Roman Catholic and aboriginal traditions and still is practiced in Cuba. For the encore, the musicians played "It Could Happen to You," all casual and hip, much like Alias, and Zanella.

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