UMass Jazz Faculty Member Thomas Giampietro Releases New CD on Ear Up Records

Thomas Giampietro
Thomas Giampietro

UMass Amherst jazz lecturer Thomas Giampietro has released his newest CD, entitled “A Thru-Composed Life,” on Ear Up Records. This is Giampietro’s second recording as bandleader following 2013’s "A Faith Rewarded.” In addition to Giampietro on drums, the new CD also includes Jonathan Kreisberg (guitar), Gary Versace (organ) and special guest trumpeter Ingrid Jensen.

The new release consists entirely of new instrumental compositions by Giampietro, all of which are all autobiographical in nature. The eight tracks are organized sequentially to reveal the composer’s reflections on a particular period in his life from his vantage point in the present moment. “The album as a whole represents a broad picture timeline of my life as I see it now,” commented Giampietro in the CD’s liner notes. In reflecting on the revelations achieved in the course of creating this “musical autobiography,” Giampietro sounded a cautionary note: “The magnitude of our successes, failures, joys, sorrows, challenges and triumphs invariably change as we gain perspective - sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.”

Ear Up Records is the brainchild of Grammy-winning saxophonist Jeff Coffin, known to many as a member of the Dave Matthews Band. He described Giampietro’s new CD as “a stellar, standout recording with some of the finest improvisors on today’s scene. ‘A Thru-Composed Life’ sounds to me like a warm blanket on a cold day.” Giampietro was an original member of Coffin's eclectic jazz group the Mu-tet, and performed on the group’s critically acclaimed CDs, Go Round, and Commonality.

Giampietro’s compositions have also been performed by faculty and student ensembles at University of Northern Iowa, Eastern Illinois University Middle Tennessee State University and Eastern Kentucky University.