CD Liner Notes:
I met Mike Vacante in October of 2010 while performing at an engagement party for one of his neighbors. On a short break, he asked me to walk to his house so that he could hear me play on his piano. After the party, we talked at length about songs and musical influences and I handed him my card as we parted company. That is how we became friends.
Shortly thereafter I found out that Dr. Mike Vacante had paid his way through medical school by playing the bass in New York City, and had since become a very successful cardiologist. Though it had been over thirty years since he had earned his living on the bass, he had secretly hoped that someday he would be able to continue his musical career. Mike asked if he could join me one night a week at my regular gig at Johnny’s Downtown in Cleveland, so he could get his chops back together. And that is what he did.
Starting in December 2010, Dr. Mike joined me on the bass at Johnny’s every Wednesday. Soon it became Friday’s too, and them some other days as well. Mike’s chops came back and we both realized that he could really play! (I think he knew this, but it was a surprise to me.) I had never done anything but play the piano. My thirty years are all at the keys, but here was this guy that hadn’t played in ages and he walked right in and picked it up as if he had never stopped. More than that, we both realized that musically, we were definitely kindred spirits. We had listened to much of the same music, had similar experiences in our early music careers, and had the same affinity for certain songs, composers, and styles. That is how this album came to be.
Almost exactly one year after meeting Mike, we walked into Suma Recording Studios and recorded this album. Every song, just one take. I think we both knew from the initial meeting that our musical lives would be linked in the future. And it has certainly come to pass.
Did I mention that in April of 2011, Mike helped to save my father-in-law’s life when he suffered a heart attack? This collaboration has most assuredly been a blessing in my life, and I hope that you will find it to be a blessing in yours.
- – Mike Petrone
How ironic that the original song on this album is “The Reason.” For me, the “reason” to exist in life is to find meaning, love and value in all that I do. The reason my life is enriched is because of music, and I’m so grateful to have rekindled this passion. I would be remiss not to remember those whose influence shaped my musical passion. First, Nino Morreale and his extended musical family, especially his brothers Jimmy and Jack and my great band in the sky. Finally, and most importantly, my dad (The “Moose”) for sharing his great talents with me. May you listen to this music and find your “reason” to live your life to the fullest.
- – Mike Vacante