Tag Archives: Vince Tampio

Vince Tampio: The Nook

tampio-the-nook-1 Six months ago I presented an electronic album from trumpeter Vince Tampio. He comes back today with a straight-ahead jazz album called “The Nook”. It is already Vince’s fifth solo album, this time however completely recorded live in the studio and with acoustic instruments only. The line-up of this album is

  • Vince Tampio: trumpet, flugelhorn
  • John Swana: valve trombone
  • Brian Blaker: tenor saxophone
  • John B. Hedges: piano
  • Ben Basile: double bass
  • Charlie Heim: drums and percussion

Vince explained to me that Ben Basile is a close friend of him since they met at the State University of New York (SUNY) and they performed together in many different bands. Brian Blaker is also a musician Vince met during his studies (this time at the University of Arts (UArts) in Philadelphia). John B. Hedges was his composition teacher at SUNY and John Swana was his trumpet instructor at UArts. Finally, Charlie Heim is the drummer of “Johnny Showcase”, a psychedelic funk band from Philadelphia where Vince helped out before. So quite an interesting combination of musicians, who inspired and accompanied Vince in his musical career.

The album features six songs in total, five compositions by Vince Tampio plus one Jazz standard. It is available since September 18 and the release party took place on October 3 at Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia. Here are some pictures from that show:

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The album starts with “Dangerous Cucumber” a moll-blues oriented song played in medium tempo. The first solo goes to Vince, he keeps it soft and relaxed. The second solo is for Brian Blaker on tenor saxophone, more dynamics there. Finally, Charlie Heim plays a great drum solo over two choruses. What Vince wanted to achieve with this album is to catch the spirit of the first Miles Davis quintet from the late fifties, and the first song shows that this band is able to do that, the stay cool and relaxed but also maintain the tension.

The title song “The Nook” comes next. It refers to a corner with spandrel glass at the “Tattooed Mom” bar in Philadelphia and I guess the cover picture has been taken there. This song is one of my favorites on the album, a steady pulse by the bass lays the ground for the improvisation. Great groove by the rhythm section and two excellent solos by sax and trumpet.

“Fresco” is a soft song in 3/4 time that features Vince. This composition has a nice old-fashioned mood that comes mainly from the piano sound.

“Two Dollar Breakfast Special” refers to a menu item at the Main Street Bistro in New Paltz, NY (Actually, it’s $ 1.95, I checked the breakfast menu card). This song features John Swana on trombone. The melody is played by the piano, accompanied by the 3-piece horn section. This song comes what I would call 50′s funky style, riff-oriented and with a straight groove.

“Split Orange Graffiti” is loosely a reharmonization of “Blue In Green” with a different melody. Vince explained: “Each soloist improvises over their own chosen chord progression.”  An extensive ballad that keeps its grip through Charlie Heim on drums. Very cool and mystic.

“Dear Old Stockholm” is the only Jazz standard on the album. The song has a nicely re-arranged head. We hear solos from John B. Hedges on piano and Vince Tampio on flugelhorn.

The album is a nice reminiscence to the late 50′s. It has been recorded live in one room without headphones or separation. Thanks to Brendan McGeehan from the Elm Street Studios the sound on the album is clear and distinct, but really natural at the same time. The selection of tunes and the interpretation fit together and reawaken the spirit of that period. It also shows the capability of the musicians to catch that certain spirit and breathe it into their own material.

If you want to know more about Vince please check out his website: https://www.vincetampio.com

And finally a playlist on Spotify:


Vince Tampio: Sound Plan


This time I would like to introduce an album from Vince Tampio, a professional trumpeter, arranger, composer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Philadelphia, PA.

He released his album “Sound Plan” on November 7, 2017, which is an instrumental jazz album that combines acoustic and electronic elements from Psychodelic Rock and Electronic Dance Music. Something new to me, and so I had to ask Vince to give me some background about this album, which he was generous to share with me and which I will also share with you.

Vince started to work on this album in 2013, but it took him almost 4 years to finish his work because he produced three other albums in this time and Sound Plan had just to wait until it became ripe.

He wrote, performed, engineered, and produced all the trumpet, synthesizer, acoustic guitar, and bass parts. Drum programming came from <radioaddict> and Ben Diamond played much of the live percussion.

Inspiration for the album came from different sources like Pink Floyd, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Isaac Hayes and Stevie Wonder.

The album begins with the song “Sonic Ember”, a combination of two songs that share parts of a chord sequence. The first part “Sonic” is played almost exclusively on electronic instruments and after 5:30 mins the second part “Ember” starts where we hear Vince playing the trumpet the first time, a soft melody with long notes accompanied by a guitar only.

The dichotomy of electronic and acoustic instruments is set aside in the next song “Slimery”, where the trumpet plays melody and improvises over a combination of electronic background, bass, an acoustic guitar and programmed drums. The tune stays in it’s mode during the trumpet solo and culminates after 6:20 mins when the synthesizer takes over.  Vince explained to me that this composition is the only one which he played live with his band Quatrane.

The third song on the album is called “Afternoon” and starts with an acoustic guitar playing a simple rhythm. This song has the most metric modulations. The percussion plays an important role here  and has a solo part before the trumpet takes over. The tune was written on a summer day on the beach and has this feeling of easiness.

The next song “The Phantom Sweet Potato” is my personal favorite, very groovy with focus on the acoustic instruments guitar, percussion and trumpet. It was written specifically for this album and I hope it becomes also a tune that is played live.

The fifth song “LT” changes back to the electronic dominated sound, the guitar and percussion however play an important role.

The album closes with the title song “Sound Plan” where all the elements we have seen before (acoustic guitar, percussion, trumpet and the electronic instruments) are combined one more time into the typical blend of this album. The song reaches a peak after 2 mins with the finish of the trumpet  solo. An extremely long fade out ends the album.

So how should you listen to this record? Take your time and listen to the complete songs or even better to the complete album. Don’t jump quickly from one song to the next one. It’s really worth to do it this way. I hope that you can enjoy it with the additional information given. I have to admit that I felt a little bit overwhelmed with this kind of music, but Vince was so generous and patient and explained the album very well to me, which helped me to discover this facet of contemporary jazz music.

You can listen to the album on Spotify:

If you want to know more about Vince please check out his website: