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LM22-22.The Drummer Loves Ballads, John Armato.

for the LOVE of Music with Sara Troy and her guest John Armato, on air May 31st.

The Drummer Loves Ballads is the debut album of John Armato. Featuring extraordinary music, musicians and moods, it was produced and engineered by some of the industry’s top talent. The album was designed to be a new soundtrack for lazy Sunday afternoons, romantic evenings, and melancholy midnights, but you’ll swear it’s a long-lost jazz favorite.

Featuring more than 25 musicians, including the legends Houston Person and Warren Vaché, The Drummer Loves Ballads is a story more than 40 years in the making. From intimate quartet settings to sweeping orchestral arrangements, it is as rewarding to listen to closely as it is relaxing to listen to casually.

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From Christmas toy drums to first lessons, from his first professional gig to a tour of Russia, drums have been John Armato’s constant companion. He has played clubs and concerts from New York City to Napa Valley and was a member of the trio behind Lisa Henry, a winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute Vocal Jazz Competition. 

While the beat and burst of high-energy drums captured his attention early on, it was the swish and sizzle of ballads that captured his heart. It was always about the beauty, not just the bang. (As a kid, after seeing Buddy Rich repeatedly on the “Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” Armato asked his parents for an album by the drum legend for his birthday, but “one with a whole band playing, not just a bunch of drum solos.”) 

Forty years ago, Armato played one of his first jam sessions. That’s where the story of The Drummer Loves Ballads — and the album itself — begins. 

A Kansas City native, New York City ex-pat, and now a Sacramento resident, Armato appears on the CDs “Claudette,” by Sacramento vocalist Claudette Stone and “Comfort” by Texas praise singer Lisa Bloecher. The Drummer Loves Ballads is his first release as leader.

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