More than just another song

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Jazz trio CMD- Casey Filiaci, Mark Terranova and Dave Cohen- released a new album this month.

Rochester jazz trio CMD’s moniker is multilayered. Not only does it contain each of the trio’s first names, it also stands for the group’s unique voice and motto: “Common. Music. Different.”

“All we knew for sure is that we wouldn’t be playing jazz standards,” recalls Casey Filiaci, about the musicians’ developing their own sound. “We’ve all ‘been there, done that.’”

Between Filiaci, who plays piano, bassist Mark Terranova, and drummer Dave Cohen, the group has years of experience creating music for soundtracks, live theater, commercials, metal, progressive rock, country, Americana, R&B, soul, and, of course, jazz.

However, instead of the “same old jazz tunes,” their projects are creative rearrangements of favorite classic rock, R&B, and pop songs. Their sophomore album, “just another song…”, was released this month, a sequel to their debut: “just a song…”

The newest album features 14 tracks from artists such as Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Donovan, the Beatles, and even musicals like “Oliver.”

“CMD’s intention is not to confuse or impress,” Filiaci says. “It is only to offer another look. To tell each story in a different but credible way.”

This reinterpretation style began when the three musicians improvised on Filiaci’s rearrangements in what they call “a spontaneous musical melding that just felt right.”

“We knew we had to start recording this stuff pretty early on,” says Terranova. “There’s just something very special about what happens when we play together.”

Adds Cohen: “Maybe it’s partly due to a level of maturity and respect that comes from so much combined playing experience; we’re able to really listen to and support each other. It’s such a pleasure for us and audiences seem to enjoy it just as much.”

In the resulting music, a listener can hear the trio’s give and take. There is a certain playfulness at work as they pass off solos to one another. But at the same time, there’s a comforting quality of detecting the strains of a familiar tune at the base of it all.

While the album is available for streaming already, a CD release event with live performances at the Backroom Lounge at the Record Archive is set for next month.

“We wish for the listener to feel as well as to hear; the only requirement is to listen,” says Filiaci. “And there will be no quiz at the end!” 

Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer and data journalist. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

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