Paul Giallorenzo

Piano   Electronics   Improvisation    Composition   Multimedia   


Elastic Arts
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A Neon Jazz Interview with Chicago-based Improviser, Composer & Producer Paul Giallorenzo on the Legacy of Chicago Music Icon Mars Williams

Welcome to a new edition of the Neon Jazz interview series with Chicago-based Improviser, Composer & Producer Paul Giallorenzo … Originally from Long Island, NY, Paul is now a staple of the Chicago music world with a diverse range of contexts in improvised, avant-jazz, experimental, and electro/acoustic music, performing regularly locally and throughout North America and Europe. We talked to him about the recent passing Chicago sax titan Mars Williams. He recounted a host of memories and the legacy he leaves behind. Dig this interview and retrospective. 

Neon Jazz is a radio program airing since 2011. Hosted by Joe Dimino and Engineered by John Christopher in Kansas City, Missouri giving listeners a journey into one of America's finest inventions. For all things Neon Jazz, visit

Paul Giallorenzo Trio to release "Play" on Delmark Records Oct. 10th, expanding avant jazz in extraordinary directions.

"Repeated listens have opened up my ears; Giallorenzo’s key inspirations go back five decades, but the way he evokes Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols, and particularly early Cecil Taylor doesn’t sound the last bit dated." - Chicago Reader

His brand new trio album, "Play," out October 10th on Delmark Records, illustrates his evolution as an artist and devotion to jazz forms. Giallorenzo is joined by Joshua Abrams on double bass and Mikel Patrick Avery on drums.

The Trio will celebrate the release of "Play" at Elastic Arts on October 12th.

From liner notes by Neil Tesser:

As kids, most of us often heard our parents tell us, whether out of concern for us getting enough fresh air - or simply to get us out of their hair - to “play outside.” Pianist Paul Giallorenzo still does it.

Giallorenzo plays beyond the theme-and-variations format, happy to skip beyond the well-worn phrases of silky piano trios, ready to take the game in an oblique direction at every turn. Plenty of musicians have explored such areas: the jazz avant-garde evolved thanks to the legendary artists who “played outside.” Most of those musicians were adept at playing “inside” as well; it’s said that Ornette Coleman, for example, could sound exactly like Charlie Parker when he chose.

And today’s post-freedom musicians sometimes surprise ardent avant-garde fans with their mastery of music that they have supposedly jettisoned from their repertoire. But not so many artists can adeptly merge these approaches into one theory of mind, and such “inside-outside” musicians—the category that certainly includes Giallorenzo’s trio—are a separate gang. They infuse the tradition into their edgier romps, and vice-versa; more to the point, they inhabit both territories at the same time. So while the music in "Play" can grab the ear of musical adventurers, it also won’t frighten those just dipping their toes into this particular stream. These players find a middle ground—not by compromising the new or the old, but by elevating the virtues of each.

It’s not so easy to make music this demanding and yet so deceptively fluid. ... These performances arise from a combination of focus and intensity, dedication and rigor. But they sure don’t sound like “work.” Whether outside or in, the message remains the same: Play

Originally from Long Island, NY, Paul Giallorenzo is a Chicago-based improviser, composer, producer, and sound designer using piano, synthesizer, keyboards, and electronics in a diverse range of contexts with a wide array of Chicago and international musicians in improvised, avant-jazz, experimental, and electro/acoustic music, performing regularly locally and throughout North America and Europe.

Giallorenzo’s work has been praised for its “inside-out” nature – his ability to push the boundaries of “conventional” jazz toward more freedom but also, on the other side, to bring a measure of structure to more avant-garde material. Writing in the online journal P_oint Of Departure, John Litweiler said, “His solos and aggressive duets are gems of after-Bop, after-Bley melody,” while AllAboutJazz.com_ lauded music that “smudges the lines between the tradition and the avant-garde.”

Delmark Records is proud to release this new album by Paul Giallorenzo as its 70th anniversary year jazz feature.

Other Delmark releases by Paul include: Paul Giallorenzo Trio - Flow, Paul Giallorenzo's GitGo - Force Majeure
Other albums of interest: Josh Abrams - Cipher (Delmark 546)

Paul is the Artistic Director of the multi-arts organization Homeroom and a co-founder and programmer of the music venue/art gallery Elastic Arts, producing hundreds of creative music concerts and art events in Chicago since 2001.

Thursday October 12th at Elastic Arts, 8:30pm
3429 W Diversey Ave 2nd Fl, Chicago, IL 60647

Promo Requests: Heather West, Western Publicity, 773/301-5767,

Aug 25th, 2023 WGN’s Midday Fix:
Live music from the Paul Giallorenzo Trio

Interview in “Fifteen Questions”