Jazz
1:11 pm
Sat March 15, 2008

An Interview with Craig Pilo

Los Angeles drummer releases astounding debut effort "Just Play".

Omaha, Nebraska – A surprising debut recording from an up and coming drummer reached my desk in late 2007. Craig Pilo has released a new disc entitled Just Play, featuring his considerable talents on drums with an outstanding band of fellow musicians.

If you ask the drummer what inspired him to release a disc that largely recalls the early electric jazz recordings of the late 60s and 70s, Pilo will immediately respond that the source of his inspiration is comprised of some of the leading figures on the Jazz scene at that cataclysmic time. Joe Zawinul. Herbie Hancock.

Just Play features what Pilo refers to as "Fender Rhodes style raw playing" on very stimulating presentations of Red Clay and Teen Town as well as captivating originals such as Early Cynical Mystery that have gained acclaim for the Los Angeles based drummer.

The son of a drummer, the Connecticut born Craig Pilo graduated from the University of North Texas College of Music in 1995 with a Bachelors Degree in Music, which he cites the "Gold Star" of his educational process. Further studies with Dave Weckl reinforced his drum skills. In 1997 Pilo did the fall tour with famed trumpeter Maynard Ferguson to promote his One More Trip To Birdland CD. Pilo is also a much in demand drummer on the LA scene, working with local artists as well as TV and Film sessions.

Craig Pilo began playing regularly with Pat Boone in the Spring of 2002. He did several tours over the next few years and recorded for a few of Boone's CD's. In November of 2005, Craig joined "Rock N Roll Hall-of-Fame" singer Frankie Valli for his touring band. Craig continues touring with Frankie and will be with the band for an appearance later this June in Omaha.

Recently I caught up with Craig Pilo over the phone and talked with him about his debut CD as well as his successful career. You can hear the interview by clicking on the link at the top of this article. Recording Engineer: Mike Hansen.