Trio Putanesca

Phillip Greenlief, saxophone; Adam Levy, guitar; Dan Seamans, bass


When I was living in Los Angeles in the late 1980’s, I had a steady Thursday night trio gig at Gorky’s with guitarist Ken Rosser and a host of bassists, mainly Roberto Miranda, Jesse Murphy, Jeff Hobbs, Ken Filiano, or Dave Carpenter. I was also in a horn/bass/drums trio at the time, and appreciated having a drum-less trio to work in. Ken has a tremendous knowledge of harmony, and I learned a lot from him in that setting – I’ll always value that experience. I’ve been able to work in a few trios with the same configuration over the years, and I’m also grateful for countless gigs offered to me by LA guitarist Tom Osuna and SF guitarist Bruno Pelletier.

When I arrived in the SF Bay Area, I was anxious to get another trio formation going with some folks that would help me further explore the potential of playing in this particular setting. I had been playing with Adam Levy, who introduced me to Dan Seamans, and we started playing sometime in 1994 – around the same time The Lost Trio was formed with Dan and Tom Hassett. One night after playing duo with Adam at Daniel’s in Albany, we had a delicious plate of Pasta Putanesca and realized we had found a name for the group – Trio Putanesca

Our first CD, Who Ordered the Fish, was recorded in Dan’s basement by Jeff Cressman, and we released it and sparked Evander Music all in one fell swoop. The disc has been out of print for a long time now and friends have always told us that it was one of those rare records they bought by a friend that they actually listened to a LOT – we’re most grateful for that!

Our second CD, Live at Yoshi’s, was recorded at the old location before Yoshi’s moved to Jack London Square. Yoshi’s was good to that band, we played a few times at both locations, and the band always felt it was the perfect place to realize the kind of quiet intensity we were going for.

Phillip Greenlief
March, 2005
Oakland, CA


We keep talking about trying to get together when Adam isn’t on the road with Norah Jones, but our schedules are crazy. One of these days we’re going to make it happen though so check in on the Evander Music Calendar at