Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mike Pedicin, Jr.'s New CD "Ballads - Searching for Peace."

This is the cover of one of Mike Pedicin's albums. His new album will be released on October 18.

Mike Pedicin, Jr.'s New CD "Ballads - Searching for Peace."

Local jazz enthusiast and saxophone player Mike Pedicin, Jr. will release his tenth recoding, “Searching for Peace,” on October 18.

As a child Pedicin played a toy saxophone on the stage at Bay Shores in Somers Point at the feet of his father Mike Pedicin, Sr., also a sax player whose hit song, “Shake A Hand” made No. 1 on the pop charts in 1957.

"I idolized my dad," Pedicin says. "He allowed me the freedom to learn about music, the saxophone, and life itself -- the way I needed to learn it."

While Pedicin, Sr. played the alto sax, preferred rock & roll and stayed close to home, Mike Jr. liked the tenor saxophone, played jazz and enjoyed traveling the world on tour with the best jazz bands in the country, including Maynard Ferguson, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Dave Brubeck and Pat Martino.

When Pedicin Jr. was 13 he says he had heard saxophonist Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson in person and Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley on record, and just knew he wanted to spend his life playing saxophone. By the time he was 20 Pedicin began playing with the horn section at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios, working for Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, playing on recording sessions with such artists as the Spinners and Lou Rawls.

Pedicin made his first album, Michael Pedicin Jr. (on Philadelphia International records) in 1980, which included the hit "You,” and then went on tour with “Take Five” Dave Brubeck, and then became an performing-executive in Atlantic City casinos, hiring orchestras and playing with such singers as Frank Sinatra.

More recently Pedicin has been an integral part of the Somers Point Jazz Society and playing a weekly summer gig in the loft bar at Sandi Point (formerly Mac’s).

Pedicin also formed the Brubeck Project (which released a debut CD on Jazz Hut), earned a Ph.D in psychology, and opened a practice that specializes in helping creative people. He is also an Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Jazz Studies at the Richard Stockton College.

Taking his new role as an educator out of the school and classroom, and taking jazz out of the nightclubs and bars, Pedicin has started teaching a series of history of jazz lectures at the Ocean City Free Public Library (1735 Simpson Ave., Ocean City. For more information, call 609-399-2434), every Wednesday (from 7pm) through November 9th.

So the release of his new album is just one of a number of things that Pedicin has going on.

In “Searching for Peace” Pedicin releases seven songs, some standard ballads, a couple classics and a few originals. Among the ballads are “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” and a 1962 ballad by John Coltrane. “From the time Train did Ballads, I’ve always wanted to do a ballads album, and I finally did it,” said Pedicin. “There is nothing quite inspiring and satisfying for me as playing a beautiful ballad.”

Playing along with guitarist John Valentino, pianists Dean Schneider & Barry Miles, bassist Andy Lalasis, local drummer Bob Shomo, they also do Wayne Shorter's poignant "Virgo," McCoy Tyner's "Search for Peace" and Hank Mobley's "Home at Last."

Two originals by John Valentino, "Blame It on My Heart" and "Few Moments" and Pedicin’s "Tell Me" round out the recording.

"I will never put my saxophone down until I can't play anymore," Pedicin says.

Pedicin will be picking his horn up for several CD release shows this fall, with a December 3rd date booked at Chris' Jazz Cafe, Philadelphia, and others to be announced.

(Press of Atlantic City photo of Mike Pedicin teaching a jazz history class at Stockton)

“My advice to any young musician, any young person, whatever it is you have a passion for, work hard at it, get good at it and dreams will come alive.” - Mike Pedicin, Jr.

No comments: