ANDREA BALESTRA Releases PAINTING ON SILENCE featuring Scott Henderson, Dave Hill, Julien Kasper, John Pisano, Steve Trovato and Carl VerheyenOctober 1st, 2013
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA – On September 24th, 2013, guitarist Andrea Balestra unveiled Painting on Silence, an all-instrumental solo album issued on his Spleen Records label. The new release features seven original compositions, as well as re-arranged covers of The Beatles’ “Come Together” and Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight.” Balestra is accompanied by an extraordinary rhythm section of bassist Matias Alvear Fall and drummer Dario Benzoni, as well as special guest guitarists Scott Henderson, Dave Hill, Julien Kasper, John Pisano, Steve Trovato, and Carl Verheyen. The release was celebrated with a show at the Piano Bar in Hollywood, CA on September 28th, where Andrea once again performed alongside several of the special guests who were featured on the record.
Painting on Silence was recorded at Dave Hill‘s home studio in North Hollywood over the course of four sessions. “This record was cut almost entirely live, with musicians sharing the same room at a home studio, with no click track, with minimal editing and overdubs,” comments Balestra. “I believe it was the right method to render the concept of this album, to better serve the music on it, and respect the listener the most.”
World-renowned session man and guitarist for Supertramp, Carl Verheyen, played on the funky cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together;” jazz guitar legend John Pisano (Joe Pass, Benny Goodman, Sergio Mendes, Herb Alpert) sat in on the title track; Scott Henderson (Tribal Tech, Chick Corea, Zawinul Syndicate) jammed on the hard-grooving “Bulldozer;” fusion guitarist extraordinaire Dave Hill played on “Anubis;” and country guitar god Steve Trovato played on a haunting, bluesy version of Monk’s “Round Midnight.”
Balestra’s former professor and mentor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Julien Kasper, joined his former pupil on the ballad “Dark White Skies,” which features a two-part counterpunctual melody, as well as unexpected improvisational free form sections that truly reflect the spirit of this album.
Andrea Balestra is a session guitarist in the Los Angeles area, who moved to the United States from his native Sicily to pursue his dream of being a musician. A Berklee College of Music graduate, he had the honor of being chosen to perform at his school’s annual “Rock Guitar Night Showcase” in 2007. Since relocating to Southern California, he has already shared the stage and/or recorded with many legendary musicians (Dick Dale, Melvyn “Deacon” Jones, George Lynch, Keb Mo’), played numerous premier venues in southern California, had his music featured in documentaries, and toured across the country, as well as internationally.
As on his first CD, Fine Arts Avenue, the new disc showcases Balestra’s ambitious mix of progressive rock and experimental/improvisational guitar tones, as he seamlessly combines a variety of styles with his unique voice. His writing varies from down-to-earth grooves to cinematic compositions, characterized by lyrical melodies, shifting moods, and nuanced, toneful guitar playing.
“Writing is the focus of all my work,” says Balestra about Painting on Silence. “When I compose or arrange a song, I think of the sheet music as a visual rendition of its skeleton, which is brought to life only when played by musicians who are truly listening to one another. The reason I decided to invite other players to sit in with my trio on this album, was to bring different personalities with us into the studio and give every song more character.”
Andrea Balestra Trio & Julien Kasper – Dark White Skies