Don Latarski has released a new CD of original music called D’Trio. It features Jason Palmer on drums and long time collaborator Mark Schneider on bass. This trio has been together for 20 years and it shows on this new disc. The eight songs are all instrumental and draw on the wide ranging stylings of the band members and eclectic influences that Latarski incorporates in his music. Jazz harmonies abound, but melody and groove are the glue on these tracks which includes funk, ballad, bossa, and a touch of country. The recording took place at Crescent Studio in Eugene, Oregon in August 2015. This is the first recording of the Trio which captures the live interplay between the players and the give and take is evident throughout the songs.
Acoustica Funkus merges the style of funk with bluegrass. The whole thing is wrapped up in Latarski's Motown sensibility and penchant for the groove. This is a record the likes of which your ears have not heard.
John Stowell and Don Latarski
TUO brings together the talents of Portland jazz guitarist John Stowell and fingerstyle blues and jazzman Don Latarski. In this outing, they use various acoustic guitars to reinterpret some of the classic jazz standards as well as a couple of originals. The collaboration of these two guitarists has produced an album of deep interplay and conversation.
Born and raised in the shadow of Motown in the small town of Romeo, Michigan, Latarski moved to Oregon in 1973. He quickly established himself in the rock and blues scene and soon realized that he knew nothing about playing jazz. Out of frustration at not being able to sit in with the local jazzbo’s, he immersed himself in the slippery language of jazz. Too poor to take lessons, he taught himself by listening to the local NPR college jazz station and by hanging out with other players with a better grip on the vocabulary.
In time, what emerged was a style that had one foot in blues and the other in jazz.
Latarski’s exposure to fingerstyle guitar began in ernest in 1979 when he enrolled in the Univ. of Oregon School of Music and started studying classical guitar. Until that time, he’d usually played with a pick. In 1998, he gave up using a pick entirely and began working exclusively as a fingerstylist.
His grasp of many genres of music has enabled him to perform and record in many different settings, from folk, rock, pop, blues and jazz. He’s also a prolific composer having written numerous songs for radio and television advertising, computer games, musicals, video and film usage and for his various ensembles. Most recently, his groups recorded version of “I’m a Woman” was chosen for inclusion in the SONY pictures movie “Little Black Book.”
Rue D’Acoustic is a trio formed from some of the core members of a group started in 1985 called Rue de Blues. This original group was made up of five musicians, Devin Sanders on organ, Marilyn Keller on vocals, Mark Schneider on bass, Jason Palmer on drums and Don Latarski on guitar. From time to time this group would expand to include a three-piece horn section. At other times it would shrink depending on the nature (and budget) of the gig. This is the norm for most groups that work in a variety of musical genres. You adapt to the realities of the market place.
Beginning in 1993, a stripped down version of Rue de Blues consisting of Latarski, Schneider and Palmer held court at the Oregon Electric Station in Eugene, OR each weekend. The core group would occasionally expand to include Keller on vocals. It was during the period from 1993 to 2006 that the trio known as Rue D’Acoustic coalesced. And as any seasoned musician will tell you, the best way to hone your skills is to perform as often as possible. Pure practice can never fully prepare you for the kinds of feelings, circumstances and unusual events that occur at a live performance. A mistake made during a solitary practice session just doesn’t have the same impact that it does when performing. A performance makes you focus your efforts in a very personal and immediate sense. You can’t stop and replay a missed chord, inverted rhythm, or blotched position shift. Whatever happens, you’ve got to carry on. The live experience teaches you how to make creative mistakes and shape them into a style.
When I first recorded Fab 4 on 6 I wasn't thinking about a volume two. I really thought I'd be doing something else for my next solo acoustic CD. However, the response to the first CD has been so overwhelming and positive that it seemed crazy to not do a follow up disc. (Its not like there weren't any more good Beatles tunes left.)
This new CD deviates a bit from the first one. I'm still playing the same guitar but with a different attitude. I wanted to take a few chances this time around and let my imagination play with the songs. Every since I first took up the guitar I've always approached music from a personal perspective. From the start I heard things differently and wasn't afraid to express these differences through embellishment and improvisation. I was forever changing the notes in the songs I was assigned to play. While this made for more expressive (and in my view "better" music) it was a source of frustration to my teachers I'm sure.
Don Latarski and Chris Stevens
with Marilyn Keller
A strong current of rhythmic interest combined with a playful and adventurous sense of harmony form the cornerstone of his style. This is not a style born out of the Travis fingerstyle approach. Latarski's many years experience in the realm of jazz and blues is at the core of his approach. You are just as likely to hear a simple triad as an obtuse jazz chord in one of his arrangements. This record is also quite important in the career of Marilyn Keller, the vocalist on this project. This was her first CD project and you can hear her intensity and soulfulness on all the tracks. Marilyn has since gone on to become one of the busiest vocalists in Portland, OR and works in a variety of different musical contexts from gospel, soul, R&B, dixieland to jazz.
A veritable guitar orchestra with a bit of singing by my son. Thanks to modern technology I was able to realize a dream of mine: to create an ensemble of acoustic guitarists that would all play in tune and do what I wanted. Well, I got it! These are traditional holiday songs arranged in a non traditional way. And yes, that is me singing on Angels We Have Heard on High. Email me for quantity discounts on this one and any other title you might want.
|Angels We Have Heard on High||Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella|
|As With Gladness, Men of Old||I Wonder as I Wander|
|Good King Wenceslas||Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring|
|O Come, O Come Emmanuel||Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming|
|The First Noel||Chanukah, Oh Chanukah|
|Rock of Ages (Maoz Tzur) Silent Night||Silent Night|
|We Three Kings of Orient Are||Rock of Ages|
I started arranging Beatles music for guitar many years ago. I can’t remember exactly when nor can I remember the first song I arranged. Beginning in January of 2003 I began exploring more of the music written by Lennon and McCartney, perhaps because my son is now discovering just how timeless and infectious the music is. It seems each generation goes through a process of discovery with the music of the Beatles. So here is a collection of my favorite Beatles songs. They’re all played on an acoustic guitar that has been tuned down quite a bit from a normal guitar. This is a solo guitar project; stark, raw and unfiltered.
|And I Love Her||Magical Mystery Tour|
|Fool on the Hill||Mother Nature's Son|
|I Will||Norwegian Wood|
|Let it Be||Nowhere Man|
Don Latarski & Rue de Blues
Eden Hall Sessions was recorded at Eden Hall on the central Oregon coast over a two night period in November 2000. The recording captures the intensity, virtuosity and diversity of Don Latarski and Rue de Blues and marks the bands debut live recording. There are ten songs on this CD, seven instrumentals and three vocal songs featuring Marilyn Keller. Rounding out the group is longtime band mate Mark Schneider on bass, Jason Palmer on drums, Matt Shevitz on saxophones and Devin Sanders on Hammond B-3. All songs are original and reflect Latarski's quest to draw on the past while evolving blues music into the new millennium.
|Enigma Blues Standard||Never Trouble, Trouble|
|Almost Home||T-Bone Shuffle|
|Unfinished Business||Potter's Fix|
|Rainy Day Blues||Non-Pareil Blues|
|Zha, Zha Gabong||Do You Know the Blues?|
Don Latarski & Rue de Blues
Thirteen original blues and R&B cuts from one of the most gifted guitarists and writers on the Blues scene today. On this outing, Latarski has gone for the big band sound by including the Rue'd Horns in this lineup of stellar musicians. The band is further augmented with the addition of The Disciples of Song - a gospel group from Portland, Oregon and Alligator Recording artist Charlie Baty, of Little Charlie & the Nighthawks fame, also makes a guest appearance on three cuts.
|The Lucky Fin||Country Rumble|
|One More Time||Sharp's Corner|
|Rockit Sauce||Born Ready|
|I Know the Perfect Crime||How Many More Times|
|The Shoreline Blues||Roll Me Easy|
|Out On A Limb||They Don't Know ...|
|The Scrimshaw Queen|
Don Latarski & Rue de Blues
The blues often bring out a very different, “more is more” approach - more volume, more notes, more speed - and that's all well and good. But Don Latarski's Deep Play works at subtler levels with music that often hints rather than hollers, sometimes seduces rather than screams.
|Don't It Make Me Blue||Man In Blue|
|Congo Square||Broken Dreams|
|El Don Blues||Four On Six|
|I'm A Woman||Every Day I Have The Blues|
|Comin' Home Baby|
Natural Instincts is the most recent all-acoustic release from Don Latarski. It contains 14 original compositions and features the sound of cello, bass and clarinet. The music is pure Americana and is an homage to Latarski's midwestern roots. Strong melodies, accessible harmony and gentle rhythms characterize this outstanding collection of songs. This CD is filled with songs that will leave you with a lasting sense of peace.
|Frozen Moments #1||Old Friends|
|Just In Time||Looking Back|
|You're the Reason Why||Song From Home|
|Tea Creek Waltz For Us||As the River Goes|
|Kasson's Dream||When We Made Your Name|
|A Spring to Hear||Frozen Moments #2|
This acoustic release is a seasonal CD entitled NorthWest Of December. It contains 11 songs performed on acoustic guitar. Five of these are arrangements of traditional Christmas songs; five are original songs and one is a classical piece by J.S. Bach. This CD marks the first all-acoustic outing for Latarski and will surely not be the last. This is the kind of CD that'll make you feel good about yourself and the world. You'll enjoy this one for many years to come.
|Northwest Of December||Ice Party|
|God Rest You Merry Gentlemen||Bring A Torch Jeannette Isabella|
|On The Wing||We Three Kings of Orient Are|
|Silent Night||Snow on the Sound|
|Good King Wenceslas||Ode to A New Angel|
The Essential Funk Grooves CD contains 33 extremely funky vamps in the style of some of the most famous funk grooves ever heard. These tracks are played by two extremely professional musicians on bass and drums. You get a workout in all of the different keys and feels. Each groove lasts for a little over 2 minutes, so you get plenty of time to develop your scratching, muting, octaves, chord fragments, horn stabs and lead lines.
Examples : Track 4 • Track 12
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