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James Zitro - JPop.com
Artist info
James Zitro

James Zitro

James Zitro


According to ESP-DISK of New York City, "Drummer James Zitro is far from the most obscure ESP-Disk' artist, but he has not recorded prolifically (this LP, his debut, is half of the output under his name) or maintained a high profile. According to Sonny Simmons, who used him on his second ESP LP, Zitro had studied tabla in India. It was that appearance with Simmons that led to ESP's interest in a Zitro-led album that came to fruition the following year. Read more on Last.fm
According to ESP-DISK of New York City, "Drummer James Zitro is far from the most obscure ESP-Disk' artist, but he has not recorded prolifically (this LP, his debut, is half of the output under his name) or maintained a high profile. According to Sonny Simmons, who used him on his second ESP LP, Zitro had studied tabla in India. It was that appearance with Simmons that led to ESP's interest in a Zitro-led album that came to fruition the following year. Zitro is masterful throughout, whether laying down a dense polyrhythmic carpet under the other players or unleashing complex solos himself. The work of tenor saxophonist Bert Wilson is also a major attraction here; he boasts a formidable technique and unstoppable power that both come in handy on Zitros "Freeken," a 22-minute excursion in the style of Coltrane's Ascension.

There are no weak links here, actually. Trumpeter Warren Gale's strong tone and alto saxophonist Allan Fraskin's quicksilver lines more than hold their own in this intense company. Wilson's own "Happy Pretty" has a relatively melodic freebop head, but it's also a thickly textured all-in affair of exuberant energy. Pianist Michael Cohen's shorter "Sweet" closes the album on a quieter and more lyrical yet far from simplistic tone.

Zitro ranks as one of the lesser-known gems of the free jazz movement. After making this record, Zitro returned to the West Coast. He reputedly gave Micky Dolenz drum lessons to help him prepare for his role in The Monkees; sideman appearances with Charles Lloyd, Essra Mohawk, Smiley Winters, and more are better documented. Zitro cut another LP in 1978, appeared on a Bert Wilson album recorded in 1997, and remains occasionally active from his home base in Santa Clara." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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