Don Messina DON MESSINA met Lennie Tristano in 1973. Since then he has been a devoted student and fan of Lennie’s music, as well as the beautiful music of Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Billie Holiday, Sal Mosca, Bud Powell, Fats Navarro, Warne Marsh, Lee Konitz, Oscar Pettiford, Jimmy Blanton, Charlie Christian, and Kenny Clarke. He spent fourteen years studying jazz with tenor saxophonist Fred Amend. Most of the musicians that Don plays with today he met while studying with Fred. Amend, who at that time was a student of Mosca's, helped Don understand the concept of an improvised bass line when either soloing or accompanying; plus he shared his own affinity for the great players of jazz. During those years of studying Don was introduced to the music of Sal Mosca. Listening to Sal, and eventually sessioning and performing with him, changed every aspect of Don's appreciation for music. Sal's music and teaching, as well as his carefully measured words gave Don an even deeper understanding of what an improvised melodic line could and should be; the importance and necessity of steady time and swing; and how to use the colorful palette of harmony to develop and become your own player.

Don has been part of many rhythm sections with Bill Chattin (drums). Don and Bill have been playing together since the mid-1980s and spent over 20 years as part of the Bluth Messina Chattin Trio. This trio recorded three CDs for Zinnia Records. Their recordings were awarded four-stars by Chris Albertson in Stereo Review; selected as “one of the best Jazz CDs of 1999” by Bob Blumenthal of the Boston Globe; received the 2000 IAJE Blue Chip Award for Outstanding Jazz Recording by Herb Wong; and given 4-1/2 stars by the All-Music Guide.

Don and Bill have two CDs with pianist Sal Mosca, as a trio and as a quartet with Jimmy Halperin; two CDs each with the Kazzrie Jaxen, Rick Moore, Jon Easton, Ron Naldi, and single CDs with Ted Brown Quartet and  Jimmy Halperin Trio. In 2017 Don released an album for solo bass on Cadence Jazz Records, titled Dedicated To.


Don Messina (Ed Berger, IJS, Rutgers Univ.

Besides being part of the Kazzrie Jaxen Trio/Quartet, Don sessions and performs with Jimmy Halperin, Jon Easton, Peter Prisco, Ted Brown, Rick Moore, Chris Aiello, Will Jhun, Nick Lyons, Charley Krachy, and others. Don has performed with Phil Woods, Stanley Turrentine, Joris Roelsof, Vassar Clemens, Mike Scap, Josh Breakstone, and the Lew London.

In partnership with the Sal Mosca family, Don produced three CD collections of Sal Mosca: a quartet session from  on Blue Jack Jazz; a double CD of solo piano on Sunnyside Records from 1992; and a five-CD set from concerts in 1981 on Cadence Jazz Records. Messina is the executor of the Sal Mosca's Archives at the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers, Univ., Newark, NJ.

Don considers both Sal Mosca and Lennie Tristano as jazz mentors. He has a deep love for the bass playing of Oscar Pettiford, Jimmy Blanton, Vinnie Burke, Scott LaFaro, Sonny Dallas, Red Mitchell, Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen, Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Lou Stelluti, and Dave Holland.


-Dedicated To (Don Messina, Solo Double Bass) Cadence Jazz Records (2017

-Live at Trumpets (Ted Brown Quartet w/Jon Easton and Bill Chattin) - Cadence (2017)

-Quaternity (Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet) - New Artists Records (2014)

-Callicoon Sessions (Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet) - Cadence Jazz (2012

-Live At Orfeo  (Bluth Messina Chattin Trio) - Zinnia Records (1991

-5 Concerts and a Landscape (Bluth Messina Chattin Trio) - Zinnia Records (1994

-Formations  (Bluth Messina Chattin Trio) - Zinnia Records (1998

-Cycle Logical (Jimmy Halperin Trio) - Cadence Records (2001)

-High and Outside (Jimmy Halperin and Don Messina with Bill Chattin) - Cadence Records (2019 released of a 2002 concert

-Jon Easton with Don Messina and Bill Chattin - Cadence Records (2004

-Music From 7 Years Ago  (Jon Easton Trio) - (Downloads only)  (CDBaby, Amazon, and iTunes) (2007

-Thing Ah Majig (Sal Mosca Trio) - Zinnia Records (2005)

-You Go To My Head (Sal Mosca Quartet) - Blue Jack Jazz (2008 

-Blvd. St. Germaine (Rick Moore) - Independently produced (2004

-Rich Moore Quartet (w/Chris Aiello, Don Messina, and Bill Chattin) - (iTunes) Independently produced (2005) 

-Ron Naldi - 4 CDs - Independently produced w/ Fred Amend, Bill Chattin, Don Josephs)

-The Bluegrass Session (Vassar Clements) - Flying Fish Records (1976

-The Nashville Jam  (Vassar Clements) - Flying Fish Records (1976

-Jersey Tomatoes  (D.W. Griffiths) - BMA Records (1981) 

-Workingman's Banjo (D.W. Griffiths) - BMA Records (1978)


As Producer:

Sal Mosca - Too Marvelous for Words (5 CDs) 1981 Cadence Jazz Records (2015

Sal Mosca - Talk of the Town (2 CDs) 1992 (Sunny Side Records) (2015)



The Kazzrie Jaxen Trio (w/Don Messina and Bill Chattin)

- Live Performance from Connie Crothers' Loft Series from October 2011)

-Kazzrie Jaxen, Chris Aiello, and Don Messina (JAM)-Recorded Jam Sessions

-Peter Prisco & Don Messina Duets 








Quaternity-New Artists Records


Mann & Krachy - Conversations
New Artists Records


Don Messina, Dedicated To,
Cadence Jazz Records

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