Pure Play

Liner Notes

Pure PlayThe A Team Band is back at it with six new original tracks, exploring different musical territories like glam, Latino and jam band. This EP collection is called PURE PLAY.

The core band remains: “Slammin’” Peter Parcek (guitar and slide), Marc Hickox (bass), Don Anderson (trumpet and flugelhorn), Jeff Garmel (saxes), Scott Shreve (Drums, timbales and conga), “Super Duper” Bob Cooper (keys), and John Monterisi (guitars and backup vocals). As always, Ducky Carlisle brings his talents as Engineer, plays tambo and provides spiritual guidance.

This time we let the music pick its singers, and we have four incredible voices on these six tunes, as noted in the track list below. They are: Aaron Shadwell, an awesome indie musician and first tenor voice who sings lead on Don’t Know Mind; our new friend Eddie Scheer of Boston’s own Love Dogs, who is killin’ the new Latin-rock tune, Chelsea Rosa; from our band Hipsocket, r&b veteran David Fuller sings and plays drum kit on Shoulda Been Love; and our vocal mainstay, Brian Templeton, who also appears with the band live, singing and blowing harp. Brian does the honors on the remaining three tunes --- Wild, Irresistible Love, Soul Makeover, and Bayou Town.

We call this EP PURE PLAY because that’s what it feels like when this seasoned team of players gets together for fun and music. As always, ALL PROCEEDS FROM SALES OF THESE TUNES GO TO BAND CAUSES: Friends of Boston’s Homeless, and Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Fund. See http://www.a-team-band.com/charities.html.


Pure Play Track List

  1. Chelsea Rosa (featuring Eddie Scheer)
  2. Shoulda Been Love (featuring David Fuller)
  3. Bayou Town (featuring Brian Templeton)
  4. Wild Irresistible Love (featuring Brian Templeton)
  5. Soul Makeover (featuring Brian Templeton)
  6. Don’t Know Mind (featuring Aaron Shadwell)


Left: Genius at Work; right: Jeff on tenor sax


A Bit More About the Music

All songs are originals, written and copyright John Monterisi, 2011 and 2013. The separate piano intro to Wild Irresistible Love was contributed by Bob Cooper. John also produced and arranged these tunes, except for some horn arrangements assisted by Don Anderson, and the outro vocal arrangement on Shoulda Been Love, which was David Fuller’s idea.

Chelsea Rosa sounds like an old school Latin rock tune, influenced equally by Carlos Santana and Louis Prima. You might say it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. Eddie Scheer does amazing work delivering the vocals, complete with pleading in Spanish during the outro. Peter’s guitar work is incendiary, almost too hot to believe. This tune provides John’s favorite lyric to date:

That cool chiquita called Chelsea Rosa
She told me she once dated Sammy Sosa

Shoulda Been Love is The A Team’s third r&b ballad, and recalls the 60s and Stax. The smooth vocal arrangement features David’s soulful voice. Bob’s churning piano arpeggios and Jeff’s stirring tenor sax solo are lovely additions. Bayou Town reminds me of the Allmans and the Nevilles; Ducky says he hears Grateful Dead also. It’s a song about getting away from it all in a big way. Brian’s voice sounds rich and resonate. Peter, Bob and Scott get some shine time. Wild, Irresistible Love is a love song for Cheryl. I really like the space and restraint in playing, the great guitar and piano fills, and the unusual structure of the song. Soul Makeover is straight-ahead funk, a little Prince, a little Tower Of Power. Ducky schooled us in not over-playing.  Here Brian is clearly in his wheelhouse. One of my own favorite A Team tunes to date is the rockin’ Don’t Know Mind — a tune about meditation, of all things. Some glam, a teaspoon of Beatles, Aaron Shadwell and John singing harmony on the verses, and Peter’s great Clapton-style solo to take us home. Yes!



Left: Marc, John and Bob recording basics; right: Brian relaxing after playback