Spectrum 9

Meeting the Band

I remember showing up at the first rehearsal feeling as apprehsnive as I have ever been in any professional interview. I figured I could do the job, but wasn't sure anybody else thought I could. The guys in the band put me at ease prtty quickly. Really, they were pretty much just a bunch of clowns!
But, they were all serious about the music. Several of the guys were Berklee musicians. The others were all career players with an intense desire to get someplace. As I said before there were only eight members. I t occurred to me they should have called the band Spectrum 8. But it really didn't quite have the same ring to it.
Paul Barratta (35) was the leader. Paul played the trumpet. He had great power and range on his horn, but I don't remember him playing improvised solos. Paul's vision was that the band would be headed to Las Vegas. He would kind of go into dream mode talking about it, "Charlie, when we get to Vegas..." Paul asserted this vision on the band.

Charlie Taormina played 2nd trumpet. He was an affable guy who looked up to Paul. The two of them played well together.

Bobby Donzella (20), played the alto saxophone. A Berklee student from Syracuse, NY, he had also spent a year at the Eastman School of Music. He waw a great sight reader and was also a fine soloist. I remember him being a pretty quiet guy, but it was hard for anyone to get a word in with as many musicians as there were all trying to talk.
Randy Shoup (21) was the front man. Also, a Berklee musicians (studying trombone), he was a lead singer with a powerful voice, a huge range, and a riveting delivery. Randy also looked up to Paul and his vision. He also played trombone well and was a good soloist. He was never really part of the horn section, since he was the front man, but he would sometimes sit in with the band on the trombone.
Chuck Giambusso (32) was the guitarist. Chuck was pretty much 2nd in charge, but shared most of Paul's aspirations. He was a decent jazz solist, but his rock interpretation in solos was not what I was used to. Chuck held the band together longer when trouble brewed because of Paul against other knucklehead musicians (translate that => me).
Tommy Piccione (29) played the bass. A big guy, Tommy was just a real nice guy. He was a solid bass player who put down a firm foundation for the band.
Mark Smith (22) was a versatile drummer with plenty of chops. Since we had met at Berklee, I felt closest to him. He would sync kicks in the music with the horns and would lay it down when the music was supposed to be danceable. He also had a good voice with a great falsetto and took on some band set lead vocals.
Mike Workman (21)??? Yeah, I was to round this group out to 8 musicians playing my Hammond B-3 and Fender Rhodes. I also helped with a few lead vocals. I had never been in a band that did all charts and impressed myself that I handled the charts well. I was even thinking of bringing in some of my charts.

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