Palermo Sketches

Recorded in Palermo, Sicily. Spontaneous compositions.


Quartet of all original music on the unseenrainrecord label

Peace and Love, a tribute to Will Connell,  Improvisational Composer's Ensemble

Track 1- Aurora Borealis 23’11

Track 2-Evolutions 16’27
Track 3-What if the moon were made out of Jazz 22’30

All compositions by Rocco John Iacovone © Recorded and mixed by -Andrew Marcinkowski Recorded live at THE STONE, NYC
Mastered by Jim DeSalvo at Beanstudio, Wayne, NJ UPC code: 783583260800 cover painting by Denise Fusco Iacovone
Personnel: Rocco John Iacovone-Composer, alto sax, soprano sax, piano Ras Moshe Burnett-Bells, Tenor sax, flute , Sana Nagano-Violin, Michael Lytle-Bass Clarinet

Rich Rosenthal –Guitar, Phil Sirois-Bass, John Pietaro- Percussion, Dalius Naujo-Drums

Will Connell lived his music. One day, on the way home from a gig, Will turned to me and said,” Man, the world has got to hear your music. The world NEEDS to hear your music.” Then he gave me a slot in a residency he was curating at John Zorn’s place, The Stone. That’s how Will was. As we got closer to Christmas week, I emailed him about rehearsal. He didn’t respond. I called him. No response. Very unlike Will. I later received a call from Ras Moshe Burnett telling me Will was in the hospital. A routine procedure had gone wrong. Will was in a coma and passed a few days later.
The residency went on as planned. The air was heavy, but filled with love and respect. The Stone was packed with standing room only for the entire week. This performance was recorded live. Will used to sign his emails, “Peas and Lub” and so this CD, Peace and Love is dedicated with much love to the spirit of Will Connell. 

Embrace the Change, the Rocco John Quartet
WINGS 7’21: A free bop piece to free up our thoughts.
CIRCUITS 8’08: However remote or even impossible it may seem, we are all connected.
ESCAPE 8’39:Thetrapsareallsetup,wherever we turn. We need to escape the traps and think independently and creatively.
DIALUP 8’00: Thisrepresentscallingforassistance from the universe.
WHISPERS 4’32: While we all hear the loud voices telling us what to do and how to do it, we really need to quiet down and listen 
to the whispers of our inner self.
TANGO 9’52: The dance of life.
72’s 10’56: Connection to the Endless. 
WINGS (Epilogue) 7:51: The Joy of it all. 
Personnel: Rocco John Iacovone, Alto/Soprano saxes, Rich Rosenthal guitar, François Grillot Bass and Tom Cabrera, drums. 
All music by: Rocco John Iacovone
Recorded: March, 2015 and mixed at Urban Sound Studios, Riverdale, NJ by Todd Urban 
Mastered at Beanstudio, Wayne, NJ by Jim DeSalvo Cover painting by Denise Iacovone
Produced by Jack DeSalvo

“EMBRACE THE CHANGE is a thought, an idea, and a philosophy. It’s a comment on our evolution as human beings. It seems the only con- stant we experience is change and we constantly need to learn how to deal with it. To do this, we have to dig deep. These were the thoughts behind the compositions as I wrote them, and as we went into the studio.”Rocco John Iacovone’s studies with the legendary Lee Konitz and Sam Rivers as well as his early studies in composition under the direct disciples of Nadia Boulanger  gives him a wide swath of musical influences andcolor each track of EMBRACE THE CHANGE. His stellar quartet gets deep into the leader’s music, designed to elicit unmitigated passion and creativity from Rich Rosenthal, François Grillot and Tom Cabrera. 

Devotion-The Rocco John Group                                                           

1.Riffin’ for Eric   7:13 

2.Bass Talk   9:55

3.Bach to Bird   8:21

4.Cy-Cology   3:53

5.Devotion Suite l   4:28

6.Devotion Suite ll and lll   11:1 

7.Devotion Suite lV   4:36
8.Mischievous Mystic   6:43 

9.Freedom Theme l and ll   10:50
10.Freedom Theme lll   5:18 

11.Dreams   6:25                    Total running time: 79:21

personnel: Rocco John Iacovone Alto/soprano Saxes, Mike Irwin, trumpet, Aaron Keane, Bass, Dalius Naujo, Drums

All original music by Rocco John Iacovone. Cover Art by Denise Fusco Iacovone

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Andrew Marcinkowski

recorded  at Chung King Studios, NYC, September, 2008

"Devotion" has attracted instant attention by it's evolved melodic/improvisational original compositions.
 Liner notes, from the composer... This CD is a respectful nod honoring some of the Music Masters I look up to. These are role models in music that have influenced my
thinking. I have learned much about music, life and truth from many of these masters. We all benefit from their contributions. Riffin' for Eric was written for Eric Dolphy. Dolphy opened my ears and my mind to limitless possibilities. Cy-Cology comes from my experience listening to the Tristano-Konitz school of writing lines over standard changes. Bach-to-Bird: My formal training was with the Nadia Boulanger school of classically trained musicians at Hunter College in NYC. I’ve always made a connection between Bach and Bird regarding their improvisational thinking. Mischievous Mystic is a tribute to Monk. Once I heard him, things changed forever. Bass Talk was written in honor of the passing of Bassist Dennis Irwin.
The rest of the CD gets into an area influenced by the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, and the quest for truth and Light. Freedom Theme refers to the freedom to be who you are. It sprung
from my thoughts about those tumultuous times. The piece has three movements. The first is a Sax/Drum duet, the second is trio settings, and the third is the whole ensemble. Dreams refers to “crossing through the veil”; we all do it nightly. This spiritual connection is what music is all about for me. That brings us to Devotion Suite and John Coltrane’s influence on me. This piece is written in four movements. In Movement one: you become aware of your quest; Two: you think you’ve got it all together; Three: you realize how much you don’t know; Four: the joy and fulfillment of the journey.
I don’t pretend to emulate any of these giants in any way. This album is a dedication, a thanksgiving, a devotion. -Rocco John Iacovone

Don’t wait too long  The Rocco John group

1.Overture (9:58)
2.Gentilesse  (5:04)
3.Indigo Joe  (7:05)
4.Leticia (6:24)
5.Ming’s Things ( 6:55)
6.Bicycle for Two (9:28)             
7. Don’t Wait Too Long (4:20)
8.Cursory Rhyme (8:12)
9.Finale (10:47)

Rocco John Iacovone : Alto Sax , Michael Irwin:  Trumpet, Aaron Keane:  Double Bass, Dalius Naujokaitis : Drums/Percussion
Total Running Time: 68:53
This CD was recorded at Chung King Studios, NYC, NY 2006
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Andrew Marcinkowski
CD design and photography:Denise Iacovone   original music & art copyrighted 2006

The songs here represent either a character, an event, a feeling or expression; or, in the case of the title cut, a philosophy. This CD is a slice of life, something I have experienced. As far as influences on my work, I can cite Dolphy, Lee Konitz, Mingus, Sam Rivers and Ornette among others. The style is a mixture of written composition and improvisation. There is freedom in the improvisation, so that we can take the music where it feels like it wants to go. We start off on the changes and see…or, hear what happens. This recording is a snapshot of what the band was doing at this time and how we did it that day. We went into the recording studio on a sunny Saturday in June, recorded for 12 hours and this is the result.

The group likes to encourage our audience to actively follow a thought as the musicians toss it around and wring it out. This is the Rocco John Group’s second CD. Playing together as a trio since 1997,the group welcomed Trumpeter Mike Irwin to their ranks in 2006. This CD is comprised of all original tunes by Rocco John Iacovone.  The group has grown from a loose group of improvisers to a tight group of musicians who read each other’s thoughts and enhance each other’s strengths. Rocco cut his teeth in the loft scene of the 70’s playing with Sam Rivers at Studio Rivbea. He also studied Alto with the masterful Lee Konitz. Considering those two influences, it is not surprising that the group’s style blurs the line between “in” and “out” playing, combining the two for an interesting mix. Fans of The Rocco John Group are active participants in a musical journey. These musicians welcome all who would like to join them along the way.

Miles to Go- The Rocco John Trio

This is a collection of original and standard jazz
tunes. More than half of the CD is comprised of original pieces allowing the group to really stretch and experiment. The title cut "Miles to Go" has two takes, each with a very different interpretation. Listen to them back to back for a chance to hear how the group works! "Eclipse/Fables of Faubus" is an especially interesting juxtaposition of two Mingus classics. "Kumbha" is a spontaneous composition based on a loose set of parameters set up by the composer. It is based on a Hindu purification ritual. It is the most avant-garde of the eight cuts and may signal the direction in which this group will grow.

Miles To Go was inspired by Miles Davis, but I was also thinking that we as humans still have miles to go to create a peaceful, loving society.
Cursory Rhyme is something I wrote years ago after hearing Lee Konitz’ “Nursey Rhyme”. It is a tribute to Lee, my teacher and my friend whose style and individualism has been a tremendous influence on me.
Kumba was great fun. There is no set form, melody rhythm or harmony. It is a conceptual piece, whose title and inspiration comes from an Eastern spiritual ceremony. We discussed the concept, and played it. It is totally extemporaneous.
Blue Nights is a 3/4 ballad with rich harmonies. The piece provides space for a Saxophone cadenza.The other tunes are some of our favorites by the Greats, and speak for themselves. It is our tribute to these masters. We hope we’ve done the tunes justice. I closed with Miles To Go to remind us that the journey continues.

Live At The Fairview - Rare Form
1.Angel Eyes(8:19)...Matt Dennis
2.All Of Me(4:48)Simons & Marks
3.Lonnie’s Lament (8:25)……John Coltrane
4.Softly As In a Morning Sunrise (5:26)…Sigmund Romberg
5.Summertime (7:03) G. Gershwin
6.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (6:55)Charles Mingus
7.Stolen Moments (7:11)..Nelson
8.Out Of Nowhere (4:51)….Heyman and Green
9.There’s Always More (3:52)….Rocco John Iacovone
10.Autumn Leaves (5:43).. Kosma

Rocco John: Alto and Soprano Saxophones Murray Nash:  Keyboard/Bass,
Cover photo: Denise Iacovone
Design: Barbour Designs, NYC
CD Duplication: Cannechia Productions, New York City
Engineering: Merlin Productions, Talkeetna, Alaska 2001
Murray is playing a Roland A-90 keyboard. Rocco is playing a Yamaha Soprano Sax and a Selmer Mark VI Alto Sax.

This is the debut album of the Jazz Duo RARE FORM, Rocco’s Alaska based group. A mix of standards and originals, the work presented here is a joyful celebration of a magic time at the historic Fairview Inn in Talkeetna, Alaska. The music was recorded live over the course of the summer of 2000. Hearing the audience chatter and applause lures the listener into a sense of being a participant in the fun and friendship expressed in the music, and shared by the musicians and audience alike. As you listen, you can hear these guys having fun! So…pour your favorite libation, close your eyes and join them for a night of good music, good times, and good friends.

Please Seat Yourself - Rare Form

1.All the Things You Are...5:07 Jerome Kern
2. Gentle Rain...5:48 Luis Bonfa                
3. Lullaby of Birdland...3:58 George Shearing
4. Afro Blue....4:10 Mongo Santamaria          
5. All Blues...5:43 Miles Davis               
6. Indigo Joe...5:09 Rocco John Iacovone
7. X-Hall Walk...3:47 Murray Nash
8. Blue Nights...5:18 Rocco John Iacovone
9. The Girl from Ipanema...7:33 Jobim
10. Au Privave...4:05 Charlie Parker
11. Bicycle for 2...12:28 Rocco John Iacovone

Rocco John: Alto and Soprano Saxophones Murray Nash:  Keyboard/bass,
Cover photo:Denise Iacovone, Design: Barbour Designs, New York City
Engineering: Merlin Productions, Talkeetna, Alaska 2002
Total running time: 63:06

Murray Nash of Rare Form writes: Welcome to Rare Form's second CD. The early evening gig on Friday and Sunday at the Fairview Inn has been an enjoyable venue for our continued jazz explorations. As always in any sort of artistic activity, Talkeetna locals have been extremely supportive of our efforts. The early evening vibe with sunlight filtering through the windows, under the gaze of the old-timers framed on the walls makes a nice setting for an enjoyable musical experience.
This CD has more originals than the first one. The engineering is better and some of the tunes go a little farther "out". Check out Rocco's blowing on Afro Blue. His tune Indigo Joe has become a crowd favorite. Murray’s tune X-Hall walk was picked as the Jazz Category Winner in the 2001 Alaska Public Radio Network Song of the Year contest. A favorite on this CD is Rocco's lovely ballad Blue Nights. The freedom a musician has in "out" playing is a joy as new ideas and relationships occur spontaneously. Hopefully some of that joy will be communicated to the listener. Look for it in Rocco’s Bicycle for 2.

Conversation In 3 -Rare Form

1.Softly as in a morning Sunrise (Hammerstein) 5:28
2. Summertime (g. Gershwin/arr. Murray Nash) 5:07
3. Footprints (Wayne Shorter) 6:56
4 Lullaby of the leaves (B. Petkere) 7:21
5.Ladybird (T. Dameron) 6:09
6. Afro-Blue (Mongo Santamaria) 11:46
7.Angel Eyes (Matt Dennis) 6:23
8. Green Dolphin street (B. Kaper)7:15
9. Stolen Moments (Oliver Nelson) 10:49

Rocco John: Alto and Soprano Saxophones
Murray Nash:  Keyboard/Bass,
Gary Frommer Drums/ Percussion
Cover Art: Denise Iacovone
Design: Barbour Designs, New York City
Engineering: Merlin Productions, Talkeetna, Alaska 2004
Recorded live at the Fairview Inn, Talkeetna Alaska
Closing remarks 1:03  Total running time 68:41

This is a collaborative effort between Rocco John Iacovone, Murray Nash and the late veteran bebop drummer Gary Frommer. Gary played with many Jazz legends, and has recorded extensively with Art Pepper. We invite you to step into the Fairview in Talkeetna Alaska and listen in on their musical “conversation” recorded live August 2002. The combination of personalities and musical style makes this CD an exciting mix.

Lose Yer Blues- Rare Form

1.​​Lose yer blues (Nash) 3:30
2.Smoke and Mirrors (Nash) 3:52
3.Leticia (Iacovone) 4:01
4.Ming's Things  (iacovone) 5:19

5.Rollin with Scotty (Nash) 4:25

6.Bleeker Street (Nash) 3:58
7.You Are (iacovone) 4:54

8.Cycology (Iacovone)4:43
9.Don’t wait Too Long (Iacovone) 4:15
10.Petite Fleur (Bechet) 4:57

11.Miles To Go (Iacovone) 6:31
12.Mischievous Mystic (Iacovone) 3:39
13.Down Under (Gillespie) 4:09
14.Lose yer Blues take 2 (Nash) 3:26

Rocco John: Alto and Soprano Saxophones
Murray Nash:  Keyboard/Bass

Cover Art: Denise Iacovone
Engineering: Merlin Productions, Talkeetna, Alaska 

Mastered: Andrew Marcinkowski

This CD celebrates the tenth anniversary of RARE FORM, Talkeetna Alaska’s Jazz duo. It’s especially exciting because the playlist, except for two tunes, are all originals. This talented musical team brings us to another level with this music. The cuts here are thoughtful and musical, and both  musicians have put it all on the table in their writing and playing.
Each cut has it’s own voice and intrigue. Murray’s “Smoke and Mirrors” elicits feelings of wistfulness in it’s interesting changes and melody.  Listen to Rocco’s solo on his tune Mischevious Mystic, and  the haunting melody in “Don’t Wait too long”. The inclusion of Petite Fleur, Sidney Bechet’soulful tune (a masterful performance) and Dizzy’s tune “Down Under” are the result of their popularity with the Rare Form fans at the Fairview Inn every summer. We hope you enjoy this CD, it is a joyful celebration of ten years of musical collaboration.


Rocco John

Composer, musician,
​ teaching-artist