What Fans Are Saying About Jerome Mazza
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"Black butterfly" is a compulsory record for every hard rock class lover, it would be almost useless to dwell too much on a work that sees protagonists Steve Walsh (former Kansas), authentic legend, and Tommy Denander, one of the best songwriters and guitarists of the last years.In short, the union of two artists can only lead to something positive and, in fact, this "Black Butterfly" is really a good record, played tremendously well and composed with the class that distinguishes the two musicians. Can we talk about masterpiece then? No because, despite everything, this disc is missing a little something. There are some great songs like "The piper", which presents a great chorus, but also a remarkable instrumental session with a beautiful solo guitar by Tommy. We could talk about the stratospheric ballatona that answers the name of "Now until forever", one of the best lenses of the year (voice of Mazza). And there are other really good pieces, like the masterful melodic hard rock of "Hell or high water" and "Grace and nature", or the notable "Mercy on me", which sees the voice of Jerome Mazza, gifted singer who is given the microphone for three songs. At the same time, some less crackling moments are present here and there and this is why the album does not take flight towards absolute excellence.In any case, this is a record to have; if you love music written with class, "Black Butterfly" is one of those works not to be missed!
If very recently we said that a record and an artist in particular could only be assessed in their true magnitude live, now we are going to say almost the opposite. Black Butterfly , by Steve Walsh (Kansas, Streets, Solo) is an album to listen in intimacy and put it again and again to enjoy its nuances, its quality and its variety.
Steve is accompanied, in this his fourth solo work, the guitar, keyboards and composition, nothing more and nothing less, than the great Tommy Denander (Talisman, Fergie Frederiksen, House of Lords and an endless list), the angelic Jerome Mazza (Pinnacle Point, Angelica) to the voices, the no less brilliant Steve Overland (FM) to the choirs; Brian Anthony on bass and in charge of arrangements and Peter Yttergren (Bobby Kimball, Legends of Rock), on drums and percussion. Production is by Tommy Denander and Khalil Turk. Without forgetting the fantastic artwork by Eric Philippe. Many data, necessary in this case to explain the quality of the final product. By the way, the own Steve admits to have been without much desire to record until Khalil arrived, with an unfinished subject of Denander (to which Walsh did not know),
With all these premises it is clear that, once again, we are not talking about a suitable work for lovers of fast food music. This is rather food for thought , something that deserves to be seriously considered; thing that there are people who lately do not want, but it is thus. Does that mean that it is a boring album aimed exclusively at rock intellectuals? Absolutely. It is a varied work that comes to you first with Born in Fire, a great direct cut in which Steve tries to interpret, with his lyrics based on dreams, the powerful composition of Denander. You can make deep lyrics without boring anyone, of course, and this cut is a joy. The Piper with the very personal voice and keyboards of Walsh as a base, changes the record without detracting and showing the powers of the team beyond the chorus. Grace and Nature is a deep theme, in which keyboard and choirs inspire reflection, while the quality in abundance shows again in the variation that gives way to the solo. Dear Kolinda has a personal touch. We do not know if it is addressed to the Croatian president or another person, but the music embraces the message with mastery and seriousness.
Hell or High Water , with its electronic sounds of beginning and Steve Walsh to the voice, is one of the most representative and different subjects of the album, by the way in which the stanza, well accompanied by the guitar and the voice in off, that reminds me of a subject that I will not mention, because I did not like it and this one does flow into the chorus. Tanglewood Tree does not go around the bush, although it does explore other musical forests, deep like the previous ones and in which sadness and joy are well accompanied by voices and instruments. Not Until Forever r presents an excellent Mazza that marks a composition that recalls some of the best of his recent work with Pinnacle Point. A voice like that shines even unintentionally. Composition and instruments know it and they stay there, behind, helping without disturbing. It is, without doubt, one of the topics that will most impact whoever is made with this great album. We go to Poland with Warsaw , its keyboards with effects and its omnipresent chorus. There Denander's guitar waits for us to undo the cold. Nothing but Nothinghas an oriental touch of those who like and are appearing lately in many bands. Approach the millions of potential listeners? Inspiration? Or, simply, leave a record of the present, for an uncertain future. It is different within a very varied disc. The uncertain future is also clear in Winds of War. And it is that, like it or not, is what there is and, after a certain age, we can not continue talking only about the usual. It is another of the great themes of Black Butterfly , for voices, composition and interpretation.
Billy Carbone Is Dead returns to the strength of the beginning of the album to say goodbye with a somewhat more guitarist and with the rhythmic base more present, but with the sounds and eclecticism that characterize Black Butterfly. One of the best in my opinion . Before Mercy on Me returns to the crystal clear voice of Jerome Mazza and the Overland choirs. Let us have mercy on him and his sins ask! I am not very confessional and I am not a priest, but from here I assure you that and much more. Maybe a little piece of heaven, for this great theme and this great work, that will also take us all a little while to paradise. The fact of staying there or not is your thing, because, as you know, many rockers prefer hell.
Toño Martínez Mendizábal
Jerome Mazza is a stellar singer, it's obvious he has taken his natural gifts and honed and crafted them...passion and emotion ebb from them. Few singers today could rank in the midst of the "Classics" of the golden era of rock (1970s - 1980s), but Jerome Mazza could, and does!
A lot of folks thought Steve Walsh was through with the music business. Thankfully he was convinced to record another album by Khalil Turk, president of Escape Music. Good work Khalil! The collection begins with an absolutely scorching track called Born In Fire with dueling lead vocals from Steve Walsh and Pinnacle Point vocalist Jerome Mazza.
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TO GET THIS ALBUM ON THE 2ND NOV IS A DELIGHT IN ITSELF, BUT THEN AS A 57 YEAR OLD GRANDAD WHO HAS BRAIN DAMAGE AND IS NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN FRILLS (AND THIS ALBUM HAS NONE) - IT IS PURE GENIUS. MELODIC BEYOND WORDS AND HITS YOU STRAIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES. I CAN REMEMBER FIRST HEARING ALBUMS SUCH AS LEFTOVERTURE AND POWER BY KANSAS, RAISED ON RADIO BY JOURNEY, FLEXIBLE BY STEVE VAI. TEMPLE OF THE DOG SELF TITLED FAHRENHEIT BY TOTO AND STRANGER IN THIS TOWN BY RICHIE SAMBORA AND I KNEW THESE WERE SPECIAL ALBUMS BUT THIS NEW STEVE WALSH ALBUM OUTSHINES ALL OF THEM. THEN, MORE BY LUCK THAN JUDGEMENT, I HEARD ABOUT PINNACLE POINT WINDS OF CHANGE AND THE AMAAAAAZING VOCALIST JEROME MAZZA AND EVERYTHING CHANGED FOR THE BETTER. .BLACK BUTTERFLY BY STEVE WALSH FEATURING JEROME ON FOUR SONGS IS WITHOUT QUESTION A SUPREME WORK OF ART. A TIMELESS TAPESTRY OF UNCHARTED SEAS. A GAME-CHANGER AND A TOTAL DELIGHT FOR THE MUSIC LISTENER. I THOUGHT I KNEW EVERYTHING ABOUT MELODIC ROCK, MUSIC, IN FACT. GUESS WHAT? I KNEW NOTHING. WITH THE MORE THAN ABLE ASSISTANCE OF THE GENIUS THAT IS STEVE OVERLAND, BRIAN ANTHONY, AND TOMMY DENANDER, PETER YTTERGREN, THE VISION OF KHALIL TURK, THE SPRINKLING OF THE LEGENDARY STEVE WALSH AND THE SUBLIME VOCALS OF JEROME MAZZA, THIS IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE BEST ALBUM I HAVE EVER EVER EVER HEARD. EVERY SINGLE SONG ON THS ALBUM STANDS UP ON ITS OWN AS A POTENTIAL FOR MELODIC ROCK SONG OF THE YEAR. AND I DO FEEL THAT THE BACKBONE OF THIS REGENERATION OF INTEREST HAILS FROM THE DELIVERY OF PINNACLE POINT AND THE DISCOVERY OF JEROME MAZZA. GET THIS ALBUM. OPEN THE WINDOW. LET THE BLACK BUTTERFLY FLY IN AND PLAY IT LOUD! GENIUS.MUCH LOVE AND THANKSTONY FARLEYSOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND.XXXX
WOW WOW WOW! BLACK BUTTERFLY - STEVE WALSH AND JEROME MAZZA - ASTONISHING, TIMELESS, EVOCATIVE, UNIQUE. THIS IS WITHOUT DOUBT, WITH MY HAND ON MY HEART, THE GREATEST ALBUM I HAVE EVER HEARD AND AS MUCH AS I AM A MASSIVE STEVE WALSH FAN, THESE VOCALS FROM JEROME MAZZA ON TRACKS SUCH AS THE SOARING, SPELLBINDING AND EVOCATIVE "MERCY ON ME" BREATH NEW LIFE INTO THE MUSIC LISTENER. THIS ALBUM IS SO POWERFUL I ALMOST FEEL LIKE IVE BEEN REBORN. THIS WILL WIN AWARDS OR I'LL EAT MY HAT! OUTSTANDING, ALMOST BEYOND WORDS, QUITE EXTRAORDINARY ON EVERY LEVEL, AND TO HAVE THE CAPACITY TO LIFT THE HUMAN SPIRIT TO SUCH A LEVEL IS A GIFT ONLY BESTOWED ON A FEW. SUFFICE TO SAY I HAVE MY COPY AND I CAN'T STOP PLAYING IT AMAAAAAAAAAAZING.TONY FARLEYSOUTHAMPTON ENGLAND
TO ALL PINNACLE POINT, KANSAS AND STEVE WALSH FANS: YOU MUST GET THIS ALBUM..... BLACK BUTTERFLY, WHAT A MASTERPIECE, MAGNUM OPUS, CHEF-DOEUVRE, CALL IT WHAT YOU LIKE BUT WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS THE MOST OUTSTANDING PIECE OF WORK EVER PRODUCED BY ANYONE. STEVE WALSH WITH JEROME MAZZA, ASSISTED BY VERY CAPABLE OTHERS, HAVE ASCENDED TO THE HEIGHTS OF MELODIC ROCK MUSIC PERFECTION. I CAN'T SINGLE OUT ONE PARTICULAR TRACK BECAUSE EVERY SONG ON THIS NEW ALBUM IS PROFOUND BEYOND REASON. "WINDS OF WAR", "NOW UNTIL FOREVER", "MERCY ON ME", "BORN IN FIRE" AND "NOTHING BUT NOTHING" BIND THIS NEW MUSIC TOGETHER IN A FASHION NEVER HEARD BEFORE IN A WAY THAT IS UNIQUE AND BREATHTAKING. I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE HEARD A COLLECTION OF SONGS SO INSPIRING, MELODIC AND DEEP- SHIVERS DOWN THE BACK OF MY NECK AND GOOSEBUMPS... REALLY MEANS THAT ALL THE BOXES HAVE BEEN TICKED HERE AND I, AS BOTH A STEVE WALSH, JEROME MAZZA AND PINNACLE POINT FAN, AM SO VERY HAPPY AND ASTONISHED AT THE GRAVITY OF THIS NEW OFFERING- WOW WOW WOW.T.F.SOUTHAMPTONENGLAND.
Jerome is the next big thing when it comes to vocals. Few vocalists sing with this kind of clarity and strength. He can sing the lush power ballad or the down and dirty rocker. He is versatile enough to be what he needs to be for any song.
"Incredible vocals and powerful musical arrangements"
And like the rain that is expected but falls unexpectedly, so we get this new work of former Kansas super vocalist Steve Walsh, who for the occasion has been surrounded by a wide cast of renowned artists (Denander, Overland, Mazza, etc.), some of whom were brought together thanks to the great Mike Slamer, a friend of Steve, who introduced many of the people who have worked with him or who has known him in his ample career in this business.
Without waiting more than time is gold we give to the play and begins "Born in fire" with that total classic American air where the voice of Steve takes the control although it does the small "trap" to include the choirs to the great Jerome Mazza (artisan of one of the best albums of this year with his band Pinnacle Point and that as an advance I will say that it will be replicating the voice in the second disc of Angelica) to form a duet of scandal that maintains that essence aged but modernized with the guitar of who, if not, Mr. Denander who after a semiparón is again in various projects with better or worse level but always with quality.
And we return to the style that Denander has created and that causes him admirers and detractors alike and is that "The piper" could have been included in many of his projects because he lives perfectly in them with the only exception that the subject is lengthened due to a only scandal mixed with a profusion of huge keyboard and choir and a sublime guitar work, everything a hymn to good taste and I love from the beginning and does not give rise to boredom since it is a cluster of good essences but this time trapped in a very large bottle that allows us to enjoy them for a long time.
"Grace and nature" is a precious half-time where arrangements take the subject back in their arms and rock it from side to side but gently, reflecting a grimace of satisfaction on our face and allowing us to close our eyes and transport us to that alternative universe that says it exists where everything is fantastic and there is no problem. Maybe the refrain "dry" a little the theme that nothing like raft in a calm sea but I am left with the feeling that does not fit well when lowering a little the cadence in regards to the speed that takes the subject in the rest of his minutaje.
And there comes a theme that has literally captivated me, "Dear Kolinda" and it is that it seems a ballad in its beginning but little by little it is intoned and it increases its strength and energy to corroborate it with a stratospheric coral chorus where it seems that the angels have come down from heaven and instead of trumpets they have opened their mouths and given free rein to their voice. Perfect blend and a whole class of vocal talent and modulation. Again an example of how to do a topic and work it well.
"Winds of war" is a ballad in which we are astonished once again at the vocal wonder that is marked by Steve, Overland and Mazza. Another issue of the house Denander and that is perhaps the biggest draw as it seems that is taken from the leftovers of Radioactive without going further because it would fit perfectly on any of his albums, that here has given free rein to his class and quality making the solos are longer and allow us to enjoy them in all their depth. Only for people who appreciate the beauty made song.
But not all the mountain is full of grass there is always a piece where the effects of a wild boar that has gone out looking for food and has put that place upside down, digging and breaking the harmony of the place. It is a similarity with what I think of my "Tanglewood tree" and is that it is a subject that plays more with progressive rock and is somewhat disengaged here in some stages but is great for those who like the various albums because it breaks the monotony and makes us enjoy more and better.
The romantic moment comes here expressed by "Now until forever" that with an air to its old group makes us shudder of taste and reach the final climax with the pleasure that gives us the "work" well done. It is a clear example of how the voice is fundamental in this style of music because it rewards over the instrumental (which has its important part, of course) and is the gasoline that allows combustion to occur and the engine roars with all its claw. Precious as an elaborate as any fantastic Svarowski crystal.
Another subject that puts the hooves of the whole in the progressive and gives another turn to the nut of "rarity". Perhaps this "Warsaw" is the subject that I least like and devalue a little what I had heard so far. Little more to add to a subject that does not contribute anything to me and you almost want to spend it in the player waiting for something of more category.
"Nothing but nothing" lags in some pieces although it is a very pleasant time to take to the mouth but it is like a satiety of short duration that is quickly absorbed by our digestive system and ejected into the intestine. We will ultimately not be able to endure in our memory for more turns that we can give.
And we return to land where we move like fish in the water and it is that "Hell or high water" reminds me a lot of those movie soundtracks eighties with which we grew and we do not mind seeing a thousand times because they have been part of our lives . Again profusion of keyboards throughout the subject with a narrator before arriving the refrain that brings some grace to the subject and makes it a little different. I liked it more and more after the previous ones that have left me a bit cold despite the temperature that reigns in the street.
"Mercy on me" is another theme with a vocal record and scaling of authentic luxury. This should be taught in those programs that are on television channels of doubtful intent and that try to engage people with boys who have a world to reach the level of stars such as Mazza or Overland that transport us to places we did not even know about their existence. Here I also highlight another only brutal Denander that reminds me again of that first album of his that I heard and that made me follow it until today. Often, I'm not one of those who gets to the first one, but listening to the quality that comes from the second one is unparalleled.
And we close with "Billy Carbone is dead". A theme in which the entertainment above all else and in which they give free rein to the imagination as when a group of friends get together and begin to talk about their things, enjoying and laughing while the minutes go by without the need to be pending from them.
In short, a fantastic album that is a whole vocal class in every stanza that there is and that alone deserves to hear it in its entirety. Maybe it's a bit of a bit repetitive on the part of Denander and they get saturated very soon but it does not detract from a great job. It has themes and themes, you understand me, but if we obsess a little we can get a lot of juice to almost all of them so I invite you to find out.
Editor: Manuel García
The Real Music Observer – UPDATE
The Real Music Observer
Another awesome review from one of our Spanish Fans!
Check out this site that is a “rate your music site”. This subscriber has ranked Pinnacle Point #16 out of 62 new albums released this year.