Though his musical open-mindedness is unsinkable, Sabatella is adamant about not going overboard into the avant-garde. "One thing I never want to be is monochromatic," he says. "I really treasure and really value having variety in my playing--from piece to piece and within a piece." Sabatella has been assisted in this regard by his collaborators, who include some of the area's finest jazz men and women. Ragin, of course, is a noted sideman for the likes of Anthony Braxton and David Murray who has several of his own albums awaiting release. But Greeley drummer Van Schoick and CU-Boulder students Sommer and Pickenpaugh are worthy of praise as well.
As for Sabatella, he's modest to a fault. In the midst of another essay that's accessible on his Web site, he claims, "I am just an ordinary jazz musician, playing the music I love, and I refuse to recognize boundaries on my sources of inspiration based solely on some closed linear perception of the jazz tradition." Nevertheless, this definition of Sabatella's "outside shore" doesn't tell the whole story. His playing is neither stagnant nor out of control--but it's also far from ordinary.