Sunday, January 11, 2015

1 Sem 2015 - Part Two

RdT
Antídoto




By Souza Lima
Trio reforça sua atuação baseada no equilíbrio entre a improvisação e a composição.
Guto Brambilla (baixo), Fernando Baggio (bateria) e Walter Nery (guitarra). Essa é a formação do RdT, grupo criado há seis anos que lança em agosto o segundo cd, intitulado Antídoto. Neste cd, o trio evolui em suas composições trazendo músicas dos três integrantes, tornando um trabalho mais heterogêneo. Inicialmente o grupo era conhecido como Rapazes do Trio, nome também do primeiro cd lançado em (ano 2008),bastante elogiado pela crítica especializada não só do Brasil, mas também de outros países, como o site europeu Jazz Rytmit, que considerou um dos melhores cds do ano. Para o grupo, "a mudança do nome marca uma transição para uma nova fase de maior cumplicidade e amadurecimento do trabalho".
Os músicos, também professores do Conservatório Souza Lima, definem o som que executam como música instrumental contemporânea, voltada para o equilíbrio entre a improvisação e a composição. A influência vem dos grandes nomes do jazz europeu e norte-americano, além dos compositores brasileiros, seguindo portanto, a tendência do jazz atual com elementos da música brasileira.
Os temas presentes no cd Antídoto trazem uma linguagem atual da música e do cotidiano vivido numa grande cidade. Um trabalho com uma sonoridade e estilo bem particulares, que acompanha a música que acontece agora nos outros grandes centros, como Nova Iorque, Boston, Los Angeles, Paris, Londres. Ou seja, uma música contemporânea, moderna, que preza por experimentações, sofisticações, improvisos, mas acima de tudo, pela estética da composição como elemento chave.


Marcin Wasilewski Trio w/ Joakim Milder
Spark Of Life



By John Kelman
What do you do when you've released three albums as a trio (more, if you include albums released in Poland, prior to coming to the label) for a producer who traditionally seems to like shaking things up after that magic number? For Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski and his longstanding trio—first coming together in their teens, they've been together more than two decades, and first recorded for ECM with trumpeter Tomasz Stanko for a triptych of evolutionary albums that began with 2002's Soul of Things and concluded with the far maturer Lontano (2006)—there have been two moves in 2014: first, show up as Norwegian guitarist Jacob Young's band (along with saxophonist Trygve Seim ) on Forever Young, and now, follow that appearance with another set under the trio's own name, but with guest saxophonist Joakim Milder in tow. Spark of Life is another stellar collection from a trio predicated on the value of longevity and leveraging the opportunities this now late-thirty-something trio has been afforded to build a language all its own.
The Swedish-born Milder is no stranger to either the Polish scene or to ECM, though it's been 17 years since he last made an appearance on the label on one of Tomasz Stańko's most lauded sessions since the trumpeter's fruitful return to the label in 1994, 1997's Litania: Music of Krzystof Komeda. Here, in a smaller, more intimate context, the saxophonist helps make Spark of Life an album that, while rich with the profound lyricism that has imbued Wasilewksi's trio since it first emerged in Poland as the Simple Acoustic Trio, with its own tribute to the great film and jazz composer, Komeda (GOWI, 1995), simmers at a higher temperature...even, at times, approaching (if not exactly reaching) a full boil.
Not that Spark of Life doesn't possess the same elegance, the same rarefied, song-like melodism of previous albums including 2008's January and 2011's Faithful, nor does it fail to capitalize on the innate strength of the trio, which performs six out of Spark of Life's eleven tracks on its own. Wasilewski's "Austin," is as soft and lyrical as the trio has ever been, an inviting opener that creates a strong sense of continuity with what's come before. And if "Austin" seems redolent of the American music town for which it might be named, despite it actually being a dedication to fellow pianist Austin Peralta, Wasilewski's "Sudovian Dance"—which follows and introduces Milder to the mix—turns to a more appropriately Baltic sense of folkloric melody, even as bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz
and drummer Michal Miskiewicz begin to turn the heat up during the saxophonist's solo, hinting at more muscular interaction to come.
Still, Wasilewski's title track—presenting in two variations, first with Milder, but closing the album with a trio-only take—demonstrates that Milder does more than simply light a fire. A rubato tone poem where Miskiewicz's textural support is particularly noteworthy, Milder engages in a piece where interpretation and tone are everything. The saxophonist demonstrates similar developmental patience on his own irregularly metered "Still," while on a by now de rigueuer look at a Komeda piece, in this case, "Sleep Safe and Warm," the saxophonist demonstrates his attention to detail on a track that simmers with a slow-burning pedal point before breaking the tension into its familiar changes, with Kurkiewicz and Miskiewicz treading a very fine swinging line between the implicit and the explicit.
While Wasilewski contributes five of the album's compositions, the trio makes clear that its musical touchstones range far and wide on a series of covers that range from a luxurious look at "Do Rycerzy, do Szlachty, do Mieszcan," from the Polish rock group Hey, that features Milder at his sparest and most refined, to a trio reading of Jazz Police's "Message in a Bottle. Heavily deconstructed and reconstructed, Kurkiewicz delivers his most potent solo of the set, while Wasilewksi demonstrates just how many rounded surfaces he can find in the relatively square corners of such a simple construct—having, in the past, found similar freedom in the music of Björk and Prince. And while he's long been a personal reference for Wasilewski, Spark of Life is the first time the pianist has taken the leap to actually perform a song by Herbie Hancock. In this case, the bright and bubbly "Actual Proof"—performed often by Hancock but first heard on the Headhunters' Thrust (Columbia, 1974)—and here turned into a more liberated and open-ended version that comes as close to incendiary heat as this trio gets, also providing Miskiewicz a rare moment in the spotlight.
ECM has, in its 45-year history, created a number of particular emphases amongst its massive breadth of musical offerings, and one of them has been to take that most conventional of jazz ensembles, the piano trio, and push it into different directions that respect the tradition of American greats like Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock and, looking further back, Lennie Tristano, while encouraging it to incorporate music of other genres and cultures as, at the same time, it strives to assert a clear sense of modernity. Of the young piano trios it has encouraged over the years, the Marcin Wasilewski Trio may well be its longest-standing, and for good reason. Clearly, Wasilewski, Kurkiewicz and Miskiewicz are capable of working in other contexts—Wasilewski and Kurkiewicz, for example, working together on drummer Manu Katche's first two ECM dates, 2006's Neighbourhood and the 2007 followup, Playground—but it's equally clear that it's in the context of this trio that these three young Poles find the most freedom to explore as they please.
With the addition of Milder on roughly half of this 74-minute program, the Marcin Wasilewski Trio has managed to retain its core strengths while adding something new to avoid any pitfalls of predictability. If the at once sublet yet intense Spark of Life is any evidence (along with Forever Young), it's a sure thing that this simpatico trio still has plenty up its collective sleeve to ensure no risk of that ever happening.
Track Listing: 
Austin; Sudovian Dance; Spark of Life; Do Rycerzy, do Szlachty, do Mieszcan; Message in a Bottle; Sleep Safe and Warm; Three Reflections; Still; Actual Proof; Largo (from Sonata #2 for piano); Spark of Life (var.).
Personnel:
Joakim Milder: saxophone (2-4, 6, 8); Marcin Wasilewski: piano; Slawomir Kurkiewicz: double bass; Michal Miskiewicz: drums.


Itiberê Orquestra Família 
Contrastes 



By Editio Princeps
A Itiberê Orquestra Família comemora seus 10 anos de existência com o lançamento de seu terceiro CD, intitulado "Contrastes". Integralmente composto por músicas inéditas, de autoria do baixista/multi-instrumentista Itiberê Zwarg (com exceção da faixa "Feitinha para Nós", escrita por Hermeto Pascoal exclusivamente para a Orquestra), este é o trabalho mais maduro da Orquestra Família, apresentando seu já tradicional repertório eclético, interpretado por formações camerísticas de duos, trios e quartetos, além da orquestra completa, seguindo sempre a escola Hermeto Pascoal de liberdade total de criação, arranjos complexos e rompimento de fronteiras estéticas e estilísticas.
Tracks:
1. Interiores 9'43; 2. Clássico Romântico Moderno 5'33; 3. Depois da Arrebentação 5'12
4. Batera 3'46; 5. Atualidades 7'34; 6. Flora Lis 2'35; 7. É Pra Você, Arismar 5'40
8. Na Calada da Noite 4'37; 9. Feitinha pra Nós 8'08; 10. Já Fui 4'27
11. Do Chão à Cumeeira 13'37.
Todas as faixas de autoria de Itiberê Zwarg, exceto por "Feitinha pra Nós", de Hermeto Pascoal.
Personnel:
Itiberê Zwarg: Piano, melodica, voz, baixo elétrico, Direção Musical, composição, arranjos e regência; Carol Panesi: Violino, piano, voz; Beto Lemos: Viola caipira, rabeca, zabumba, violão; 
Mariana Zwarg: Flauta, piccolo, voz, percussão; Karina Neves: Flautas, percussão: 
Letícia Malvares: Flautas; Ana Carolina D'Ávila: Flautas, cavaquinho, guitarra, voz;
Ajurinã Zwarg: Bateria, percussão, sax soprano; Ranier Oliveira: Piano e acordeon.
Extra:
Produção Executiva: Felipe Ábido e Mariana Maia; Produção Musical: Itiberê Zwarg; Gravado, mixado e masterizado em março e abril de 2009 no Tenda da Raposa - Rio de Janeiro - RJ; Gravação: Daniel Vasques e Carlos Fuchs; Mixagem: Daniel Vasques, Carlos Fuchs e Itiberê Zwarg; Masterização: Carlos Fuchs.


Zéli Silva
Una



By JazzB
O baixista, arranjador e compositor Zéli Silva é conhecido na cena instrumental brasileira pelo virtuosismo e sofisticação nas composições e arranjos.
Tem vasta experiência no jazz e na música brasileira. Sua música tem como referências, além do jazz, o samba, o choro e o cancioneiro brasileiro. O músico faz desses elementos uma música criativa e comunicativa, rica em melodias, ritmos e harmonias.
Zéli fez parte do grupo Terra Brasil, com o qual foi indicado ao Grammy Latino pelo CD “Atlântico”. Atuou ainda ao lado de Zé Menezes, Rosa Passos, Badi Assad, Virgínia Rosa, Nuno Mindelis, Oswaldinho do Acordeon, MPB-4, entre muitos outros.
Os arranjos e o talento dos músicos improvisadores são destaque em sua música, registrada em 4 CD’s: “Voando Baixo” (2002), “Em Movimento” (2006), “Duo” (2010), com o saxofonista Vitor Alcântara, e “UNA – Zéli Silva Convida”, que apresenta hoje.
“UNA” tem o conceito de união de gerações de instrumentistas e está representado pelas participações especiais de João Donato, Arismar do Espírito Santo, Lulinha Alencar, Léa Freire, Chico Pinheiro, Cléber Almeida, Renato Consorte, Gil Reyes, Da Do e Tatiana Parra.
Vitor Alcântara (sax), Fernando Corrêa (guitarra), Moisés Alves (piano), Zéli Silva (baixos acústico e elétrico), Gabriel Guilherme (bateria).


Albert Heath/ Ethan Iverson/ Ben Street
Tootie's Tempo




By Manuel Grosso Galvan 
The great Albert Tootsie Heath on drums, Ben Street on bass and Ethan Iverson on piano had made one of more lovely album of the year. Have a very special type of sound, is not simple retro is pure vintage. Tootie is part of the history of jazz, and this record confirm the reasons. A collection of songs from "The Charleston" to the incredible Motian's "It should have happened a long time ago", from a great version of "How Insensitive" to"Violets for your Furs", and not forget a incredible solo "Tooties Tempo" five magic minutes of pure drumming feeling. Is the soundtrack of another times, thanks to Iverson to get it. I's so nice, so beautiful that you can't believe it. Only one suggestion; the next time please put the booklet inside, print not digital
PS. If you like this very special album, please hear "Live at Smalls" from 2009 with the same musician

Saturday, January 10, 2015

1 Sem 2015 - Part One

Annie Lennox
Nostalgia



By Matt Collar
Annie Lennox's 2014 covers collection, Nostalgia, finds the former Eurythmics vocalist soulfully interpreting various pop, jazz, and R&B standards. In many ways, Nostalgia works as a companion piece to her similarly inventive 2010 album, the holiday-themed Christmas Cornucopia. As with that album, Lennox eschews predictability by picking an unexpected set of songs and producing them with detailed care. While Nostalgia certainly fits nicely next to any number of other standards albums by veteran pop stars, it does nothing to diminish Lennox's distinctive style. On the contrary, working with producer Mike Stevens, Lennox has crafted an album that brings to mind the sophisticated, contemporary sound of her original studio releases while allowing her to revel in the grand popular song tradition. Moving between evocative piano accompaniment, orchestral numbers, moody synthesizer arrangements, and even some rollicking small-group swing, Lennox takes a theatrical -- yet always personal -- approach to each song, finding endlessly interesting juxtapositions and stylistic combinations to explore. She references Miles Davis' plaintive take on the Porgy and Bess classic "Summertime," tenderly evinces a combination of Billie Holiday and Sade on "Strange Fruit," and draws on both Aretha Franklin and Screamin' Jay Hawkins for "I Put a Spell on You." Elsewhere, tracks like "I Cover the Waterfront" and "Mood Indigo" bring to mind similar recordings from Carole King and Bryan Ferry. Ultimately, even without Nostalgia's impeccable production, in the end it's Lennox's burnished, resonant vocals that steal the focus here, and just like the songs she's picked, their beauty will likely stand the test of time.


Jason Moran
All Rise : A Joyful Elegy For Fats Waller



By Steve Leggett
Yeah, All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller is a tribute to the great stride pianist, but in Jason Moran's hands, it's not what one would expect. This album isn't full of stride piano, but it is full of Fats Waller's larger persona as a performer. Waller mixed jokes and comic routines, and did whatever he could to connect with his audience in his act, and if his piano playing was the hinge, it sat on a door that opened straight to the dancefloor. This album had its beginnings when Moran was commissioned by the N.Y.C. performing arts venue Harlem Stage Gatehouse to create a tribute to Waller as part of its Harlem Jazz Shrines series. Moran came up with a unique combination of piano, vocal jazz, and dance that used Waller's signature songs as springboards. Collaborating with singer Meshell Ndegeocello, wearing a large papier-mâché mask of Waller's head created for him by Haitian artist Didier Civil, and adding interpretive dancers, Moran called his conceptual tribute The Fats Waller Dance Party, and All Rise is the studio-recorded rendition of the project. It's a stunning mix of piano jazz with moody, winsome late-night vocals, and it has plenty of get-up-and-go when it's time for it. If it doesn't sound much like Waller, one could imagine Waller would love it, and his signature songs are well represented, including "Ain't Misbehavin'," which Ndegeocello sings with a wistfully sultry edge, "The Joint Is Jumpin'," which is just that, a joyous and yet graceful romp, and a ethereal take on "Ain't Nobody's Business," which in Moran and Ndegeocello's hands becomes a dark, moody, and elegantly defiant statement in modal jazz. This set manages to be reverent to Waller's original recordings, but since facsimile was never the goal, it also manages to create a completely new veneer for them, and the end result is a marvelous tribute that still retains its own shape and coherency.
Track Listing: 
Put Your Hands on It; Ain't Misbehavin'; Yacht Club Swing; Lulu's Back in Town; Two Sleepy People; The Joint Is Jumpin'; Honeysuckle Rose; Ain't Nobody's Business; Fats Elegy; Handful of Keys; Jitterbug Waltz; Sheik of Araby / I Found a New Baby.
Personnel: 
Lisa Harris: vocals; Charles Haynes: drums, vocals; Stephen Lehman: saxophone; Tarus Mateen: bass; Jason Moran: Rhodes, piano, Wurlitzer; Charles Haynes: drums, vocals; Meshell Ndegeocello: vocals; Josh Roseman: trombone; Leron Thomas: trumpet, vocals; Nasheet Waits: drums


Kenny Barron & Dave Holland
The Art Of Coversation



By Shaun Brady at JazzTimes
There are conversations meant solely for the ears of those involved, full of jocular camaraderie and inside references. And then there are those designed to be overheard, where the dialogue is meant to engage and enlighten anyone who is listening in as well as the speakers themselves. With a musical relationship dating back nearly three decades, pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Dave Holland could certainly engage in the former, but The Art of Conversation is a vivid example of the latter. These 10 tracks all showcase the profound mastery of two artists who share an easy rapport and elegantly restrained expressiveness.
The warmth of their collaboration beams through on Holland’s opening, “The Oracle,” where Barron spins buoyant melodic variations around his partner’s buoyant bassline; and on their brisk tandem spin on Charlie Parker’s “Segment,” which contains the disc’s most engaging back-and-forth. But the album features a wide range of moods: the wistful lyricism of Barron’s “Rain,” on which Holland leads with the heartfelt melody; the simmering groove of Holland’s “Dr. Do Right”; and the presciently elegiac “Waltz for K.W.,” a dedication to Kenny Wheeler recorded six months before the trumpet great’s death. Monk, as always, is a touchstone, with a breezy take on “In Walked Bud” and the sharp-angled, Monk-meets-Ellington stroll of Barron’s “The Only One.” Holland’s achingly beautiful “In Your Arms” is an indelible highlight, with both articulating simultaneous melodies with breathless delicacy.


Dave Holland
Prism



By Dan Bilawsky 
Bassist Dave Holland first became a leader-on-record with Conference Of The Birds (ECM, 1973), a now-classic outré quartet session. That initial leader date portrayed Holland as a restless seeker, willing and eager to explore the inner workings of group dynamics and the outer reaches of convention, and he's done little to alter that perception of himself in the intervening years. Holland has, with band after band and album after album, continually broadened his outlook, creating a vast and enviable body of work along the way. Now, he celebrates four decades of leadership by introducing another potent foursome to the world.
On Prism, Holland reunites with three musical spark plugs from his past: guitarist Kevin Eubanks, who appeared on the bassist's Extensions (ECM, 1989), drummer Eric Harland, who worked side-by-side with Holland in The Monterey Quartet and then joined him for Pass It On (Dare2 Records, 2008), and pianist/Fender Rhodes man Craig Taborn, who's shared the stage with the bassist on a number of occasions over the past few years. As individuals, these gentlemen rank high on many a critic and fan's list of players; together, they form the most exciting and awe-inspiring quartet to debut on record this year.
The music this band delivers on Prism is like a vortex, sucking in everything within earshot. Interlocking patterns, excoriating lines, killer grooves and blazing solos are par for the course. Democracy prevails in all aspects, as each band member contributes music, muscle and more along the way. "The True Meaning Of Determination" is the perfect example of this one-for-all and all-for-one philosophy. Holland draws focus with his bass introduction, melodic delivery is a joint venture between two band mates, Eubanks' guitar singes everything in sight, Taborn takes the spotlight and has a blast chopping up the time with Harland, and everybody comes together to drive it home. It's nine-plus minutes of pure, heart-pounding bliss, and it doesn't even stand above the other tracks; nearly every performance here has a similar endorphin-producing effect. The band does operate in other areas, from the bluesy and soulful ("The Empty Chair (For Clare)") to the contemplative and free floating ("Breathe"), but they retain a group identity no matter where the music takes them. They sound best when they burn, but they still sound like the same unit when they simmer or stay put.
Prism isn't simply a great album by a great band; it's as good as jazz records come. Four months may separate this album's release and the close of 2013, but this one may have already sealed it up for "Album Of The Year" honors.
Track Listing: 
The Watcher; The Empty Chair (For Clare); Spirals; Choir; The Color Of Iris; A New Day; The True Meaning Of Determination; Evolution; Breathe.
Personnel: 
Dave Holland: bass; Craig Taborn: piano, Fender Rhodes; Kevin Eubanks: guitar; Eric Harland: drums.


Pedro Araujo
Raiz



By Jota Carlos – produtor e crítico musical 
Em pouco mais de dez anos de carreira, grande parte dedicada à música instrumental, com dois discos autorais e o reconhecimento de músicos consagrados, Pedro Araujo vem conquistando seu espaço entre os grandes nomes da guitarra brasileira.
No seu segundo disco, RAIZ, Pedro interpreta composições inéditas e faz releituras de músicas do cancioneiro popular da sua terra natal, São Luís do Maranhão. Sendo também arranjador, Pedro usa de variadas formações instrumentais para colorir os arranjos dando às canções atmosferas diversas, destacando-se “Cheiro do Jasmim”, um arranjo orquestral, e “Tsunami”, arranjada pra big band.
Do disco, inteiramente instrumental, participam músicos como Rui Alvim, Cassius Theperson, Dudu Viana, Danilo Sinna, Eduardo Neves, Carol Panesi, e muitos outros...
“Suas composições têm algo de refinamento, linhas melódicas bem definidas e apreciação pelo detalhe nos arranjos. Raiz, o presente álbum, é recheado de motivos sonoros, um passeio pelo universo de ritmos e canções que apontam para o caminho de maturidade do artista.”

Friday, December 26, 2014

Buddy DeFranco 1923 - 2014



By Howard Reich at CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Buddy DeFranco, one of the most virtuosic and musically accomplished clarinetists in the history of jazz, died Wednesday night in Panama City, Fla., said his wife of 44 years, Joyce DeFranco. He was 91.
DeFranco, more than anyone, brought the clarinet into the rarefied realm of bebop. As Charlie Parker did with alto saxophone, Dizzy Gillespie with trumpet and J.J. Johnson with trombone, DeFranco proved that his instrument could finesse the extraordinary technical hurdles of bebop music of the 1940s.
DeFranco also had copious performance and recording experience, working with Gene Krupa, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Billie Holiday and practically everyone else of his era. He won the country's most prestigious jazz honor, the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship, in 2006.
DeFranco last performed publicly at age 89, said his wife. A public celebration of his life will take place next year, she added.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

WORLDJAZZ TOP 10 - 2014

WORLDJAZZ TOP 10 - 2014

Best Jazz 2014 by WORLDJAZZ

Jazz Record of 2014
- Ellis Marsalis & Makoto Ozone - Pure Pleasure For The Piano

Top 10 Jazz Records of 2014
- Alexi Tuomarila Trio - Seven Hills
- Enrico Pieranunzi - Stories
- Claudio Fillipini Trio - Breathing In Unison
- Martin Wind & Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana - Turn Out The Stars
- Jacob Young - Forever Young
- Peter Bernstein/ Larry Goldings/ Bill Stewart - Live At Smalls
- Stan Getz & Kenny Barron - People Time - The Complete Recordings
- Fred Hersch Trio - Floating
- Ahmad Jamal featuring Yusef Lateef - Live At The Olympia


Artiste du Jazz 2014
Peter Bernstein & Ellis Marsalis

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friends TOP 10 JAZZ CD's - 2014

By Márcio Távora 
CAROS AMIGOS AUDIÓFILOS 2015
AUGUSTO, CARLOS, CLÁUDIO, LÉO, LEONARDO, MARCÍLIO, PAULO E RENATO.
Estes são os melhores CDs DVDs BLU-RAYs que tive o prazer de ouvir e assistir em 2014.

CDS:
- ADRIAN CUNNINGHAM – THE MUSIC OF NEAL HEFTI (2014)
- AHMAD JAMAL (2 CDS + 1 DVD) – LIVE AT THE OLYMPIA (2012)
- BEEGIE ADAIR - THE GOOD LIFE (THE MUSIC OF TONY BENNETT) (2014)
- ETHAN IVERSON – TOOTIE’S TEMPO (2013)
- ESQUIVEL - LATIN-ESQUE (1961)
- HENRY MANCINI - ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH (1974-1975)
- JEFF HAMILTON – TIME PASSES ON (2011)
- JEFF HAMILTON - SYMBIOSES (2009)
- LAURA THEODORE – WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED JAZZ? (1995)
- MICHEL LEGRAND - THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIDNIGHT (1977)
- RANDY WALDMAN - TIMING IS EVERYTHING (2003)
- ROBERTA GAMBARINI - THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE (2013)
- VARIOUS - JAZZ ON FILM … CRIME JAZZ (8 CDS) {ELMER BERNSTEIN / HENRY MANCINI / JOHN WILLIAMS / MORRIS STOLOFF / NELSON RIDDLE / PETE RUGOLO / SKIP MARTIN / STANLEY WILSON / WARREN BARKER}
DVDS & BLU-RAY:
- AHMAD JAMAL - LIVE AT THE OLYMPIA (2012) (DVD)
- TOOTS THIELEMANS - LIVE AT LECHAPITEAU OPÈRA DE LIÈGE (2012) (BLU-RAY)


By Prof. Dr. Carlos Couto
Caros !
Em 2014 reouvi. 

Comprei pouco e ouvi muito Shirley Horn, Steve Kuhn, Eric Reed, Jobim, Adnet, em especial à fabulosa ANITA O’DAY.
Elegi os melhores que remeto com muito prazer nestes últimos momentos de 2014:

1.Cayme Centenário - produção de Dory Caymmi e Mario Adnet
2. O Couro Tá Comendo - João Donato (80 anos)
3. O Mundo de Pixinguinha - Hamilton de Holanda e convidados
4.O Piano de Antonio Adolfo - o próprio
5. An Homage To Shirley Horn - Dena De Rose
6. Suoni Madulati - Alda Montelanico (CD de 2002)
7. O Que Será - S.Bolanni & H. Holanda
8. 80 Yrs - Toots Thielemans
9. Ahmad Jamal - Live in Paris
10. ANITA O’DAY - Swing Rogers and Hart with Billy May Orchestra.

FELIZ ANO-NOVO ! MUITO JAZZ E MUITA BOSSA.


By Dr. Leandro L. Rocha
OS MELHORES DE 2014


01.PAOLO DI SABATINO QUARTET- Distant Look
02.DENA DeROSE- We Won´t Forget You: An Homage To Shirley Horn
03.PAOLO RUSSO AND NUEVOTRIOPORTEÑO- Evocándote
04.ANDRÉ VASCONCELOS- + BRASILEIRO
05.MARK MURPHY AND METROPOLE ORCHESTRA- THE DREAM
06.MARCIN WASILEWSKI TRIO- Spark of Life
07.GILBERTOS SAMBA- Gilberto Gil
08.PAOLO DI SABATINO- Trace Elements
09.CAIXA CUBO TRIO- Misturada
10.MÔNICA SALMASO- Corpo de Baile: A Música de Guinga e Paulo Cesar Pinheiro
11.ANTONIO ADOLFO- Rio,Choro,Jazz...
12,ESCALANDRUM- Piazzolla Plays Piazzolla
13.DORIVAL CAYMMI CENTENÁRIO- Vários
14.PAQUITO D,RIVERA AND TRIO CORRENTE- Song for Maura
15.SAMBA JAZZ 40- No Olho Da Rua
16.BELLORA-GAROFALO CUARTETO- Plays Mulligan
17.DI STÉFFANO- Outros Mares
18.CHANO DOMÍNGUEZ- Iman
19.PEDRO AZNAR- Aznar Canta Brasil
20.PAOLO RUSSO QUINTET- Fellini goes Jazz: Plays The Music Of Nino Rota


By Dr. Marcílio Adjafre
Melhores CDs de 2014 



 1) Antonio Flinta Jazz Trio - Tree and Figure 
 2) Emmet Cohen - Infinity 
 3) Phronesis - Life to Everything 
 4) P J Trio - New Steps 
 5) Thierry Maillard Trio - Beyond The Ocean 
 6) Luca Mannutza Sound Six - My Music 
 7) Fred Hersch Trio - Floating 
 8) Michele di Toro - Play 
 9) Alfio Origlio - Ricordo 
 10) Enrico Pieranunzi - Stories


By Augusto César
LISTA DAS MELHORES AUDIÇÕES DE JAZZ DE 2014


- John Taylor : In Two Minds (piano solo - CamJazz - 2014)
- John Taylor : You Never Knew (J. Taylor com Palle Danielsson e Peter Erskine) - ECM - 1993
- Kenny Wheeler - Six for Six (K. Wheeler com John Taylor, Chris Laurence, Martin France, Stan Sulzmann & Bobby Wellins) - CamJazz 2013
- Kenny Wheeler - One of Many (K. Wheeler com John Taylor & Steve Swallow) CamJazz - 2011
- Keith Jarrett & Charlie Haden - The Last Dance (ECM - 2014)
- Thomas Clausen, Chuck Israels & Kresten Osgood - For Bill (Music Mecca - 2012)
- Roberto Caon, Marco Carlesso & Stefano Battaglia - Three Open Rooms (Caligola - 2013)
- Helge Lien Trio - To the little radio (Diw Records - 2006)
- Nico Cattachio T(h)ree - The Second Apple ( fo(u)r - 2012)
- PJ Trio - New Steps (Alfa Music - 2009)
- Paolo Di Sabatino Quartet - Distant Look (Via Veneto Jazz - 2013)
- Enrico Pieranunzi, Scott Colley & Antonio Sánchez - Stories (CamJazz - 2014)
- Maria Baptist - Music for Jazz Orchestra ( CD Duplo - 2013)
- Renato Sellani - Piano Solo (Halidon - 2011)
- Walter Norris & George Mraz - Drifting (esse disco foi originalmente gravado em 1974, lançado em 1978 e relançado remasterizado em 24 bits em 2007. Garanto que vale a audição)
- Alfio Origlio - Ricordo (com Rémy Vignolo e André Ceccarelli) - Cristal Records - 2002
- Antonio Flinta Jazz Trio - Tree and Figure (com Roberto Bucci e Claudio Gioannini) Splasc(h) Records - 2003


By Claudio Botelho
MINHAS ESCOLHAS DE 2014


Abaixo, minha seleção para este ano. Como sempre, o único critério foi o da vontade da reaudição, significando dizer que, desde o primeiro momento, os escolhidos ficaram registrados no meu HD. Certamente, esqueci alguma coisa e, assim, cometi injustiça comigo mesmo. Outras vezes, subavaliei alguma coisa, superavaliei outras, vai por aí... Digamos, no entanto, que são escolhas dignas de serem apreciadas.

Em seguida, listei outros que, sob o título de “Recomendados”, até que poderiam estar na própria lista principal. Não digo todos, mas um ou outro certamente. Ei-los, então:

1- AHMAD JAMAL feat. YUSEF LATEEF – LIVE AT THE OLYMPIA, JUNE 27, 2012 – Sigo sendo suspeitíssimo em recomendá-lo, mas nada posso fazer, pois, diferentemente da grande maioria dos CDs que me chegam às mãos, consigo ouvi-lo repetidamente. Este, por exemplo, já ouvi umas quatro vezes, no mínimo. Existem algumas características sempre presentes em qualquer trabalho do Jamal, que são: elevado apuro técnico e artístico, que se traduzem em obras de extremo realismo; grandes alternâncias de “moods”; excepcional utilização dos espaços entre as notas e grandiosidade pianística. Gosto de me ver engolfado pelas notas daquele instrumento. Esse trabalho, mantendo-se bem alinhado com essas qualidades, é, talvez, o mais bem gravado que ouvi neste ano. Gravação de transcendente tridimensionalidade! O octogenário pianista ainda consegue fazer um raid como esse ao vivo, interpretando músicas com bastante complexidade, sem jamais se perder. É realmente admirável e, notem, o trabalho é ao vivo e, até onde consegui ver, gravado de uma levada só. Aqui, não faço concessões à idade do Jamal. Não se trata de alguém fazendo algo admirável para sua idade, mas algo ADMIRÁVEL feito por alguém! Ponto! O meu preferido do ano!

2- ANDRE VASCONCELOS - + BRASILEIRO. Obra 100% brasileira e 100% jazz. Belas composições, ótimos arranjos e excelentes interpretações. Tudo embalado por uma gravação bastante honesta. Um dos melhores trabalhos brasileiros da espécie que ouvi nos últimos tempos. E tem soprador!

3- JANIS MANN & KENNY WERNER – CELESTIAL ANOMALY . Não conhecia essa cantora, mas tem uma voz forte e muita personalidade (embora não se possa classificá-la como jazzista). A par disso, um repertório de standards muito bem escolhido, uma gravação muito boa, acrescida do originalíssimo suporte de Kenny Werner que talvez seja o ponto alto do trabalho.

4- JOHN TAYLOR - IN TWO MINDS. Passa rápido esse CD! São cerca de 50 minutos de um solo magistral! Gravação excelente, como agora aprenderam fazer os italianos. Este pianista é mais um dos que vão passando sem alarde, bem low profile, exceto pelo refinamento de sua música.

5- ELLIS MARSALIS & MAKOTO OZONE – PURE PLEASURE FOR THE PIANO. O nome diz tudo: uma brincadeira a dois, com muito interplay. Segundo informa o encarte que acompanha o CD, eles não se conheciam pessoalmente até essa gravação. No entanto, fizeram um duo de piano que consegue agradar até quem, como eu, não gosta lá muito dessa formação. Pianismo forte e muito seguro. Dos dois.

6- CHRISTINE JENSEN JAZZ ORCHESTRA – HABITAT. Canadensezinha danada essa! Conseguiu fazer um trabalho de grande sofisticação que, embora conduzido sempre em ritmo lento (à la Maria Schneider), consegue segurar o ouvinte! Trata-se de um CD longo e com faixas bem extensas, o que, em mãos menos inspiradas, seria um meio caminho para o desastre. Aqui não!

7- TIM LAPTHORN TRIO – NATURAL LANGUAGE. Trabalho antigo que só agora conheci. TL entrou na minha vida por acaso: Marcílio, certamente por ter comprado em duplicata, deu o segundo exemplar para o Leonardo. Eu fui o portador. Em casa, antes de passá-lo para ele, dei-lhe uma corujada. Daí para frente, fiquei fã do cara e passei a comprar tudo que podia dele. Agora, recebi este que, me parece, é seu primeiro trabalho. O segredo do cara: simples, prático e objetivo. Sem grandes firulações, ele entrega! Bem redondinho!

8- FRED HERSCH – FLOATING. Fred Hersch é Fred Hersch. Eu tinha dito ao Augusto que não iria incluí-lo em minha lista. De uns tempos para cá, ele vinha me dando certo fastio. Aí, fui vendo ele sendo incluído em diversas listas dos melhores do ano (inclusive na primeira delas, que me foi passada pelo Augusto, daí motivando minha observação). Bem, reouvi-o umas duas vezes e descobri o busílis da questão: nas faixas mais rápidas, a meu juízo, ele é um pouco chato e, muitas vezes, sacaneia com o baterista. No entanto, nas faixas mais lentas, ele continua sendo um dos grandes masters do piano. Daí, sua inclusão nesta lista. Mas não fica no topo...

9- DAVE LIEBMAN BIG BAND – A TRIBUTE TO WAYNE SHORTER. Esse trabalho vale pelo repertório extraordinário do Shorter e pela sofisticação dos arranjos, embora o resultado seja um tanto desfibrado.

10- CLAUDIO FILIPPINI TRIO – BREATHING IN UNISON. O FIlippini sempre está na minha lista, dado seu trabalho sempre muito arejado e explícito. Não sei se o título do CD veio a propósito da coesão do grupo, mas, se não foi, fica sendo, pois os três se entendem muito bem, se complementando admiravelmente. Destaque para o trabalho vigoroso do baixista.

RECOMENDADOS:
1- DANILO PEREZ – PANAMA 500. Meio doido, mas bastante visceral.
2- ANTONIO FARAÓ AMERICAN QUARTET – EVAN. Faraó é outro dos meus heróis que, ao que parece, prefere cultivar o estilo low profile.
3- ALFIO ORIGLIO INVITE ANDRÉ CACCARELI / REMY VIGNOLO – RICORDO
4- GORDON GOODWIN’S BIG PHAT BAND – LIFE IN THE BUBBLE. GG é um grande arranjador cujo único defeito é ser sempre um tanto apressadinho. No entanto, vou esperar um pouco. Com o tempo ele desacelera. Procurem ouvir “On Green Dolphin Street” e entenderão o que digo.
5- CHRISTOPH STIEFEL & INNER LANGUAGE TRIO – BIG SHIP. Jazz tipicamente europeu (eu diria germânico, mesmo), mas tem substância.
6- ELLIS MARSALIS TRIO – ON THE SECOND OCCASION. Gravado em 2001, sendo apenas lançado neste ano. Poderia estar na lista titular. Recomendo.
7- GWILYN SIMCOCK – PERCEPTION. A primeira gravação dele. É um pouco atrapalhado por um soprador. Mas isso, como sabem, é uma opinião muito particular minha...
8- DAVE FRANK – PORTRAIT OF NEW YORK. Piano solo fácil de se ouvir.
9- CÉCILE McLORIN SALVANT – WOMAN CHILD. Um início promissor. Essa cantora tem estofo. Vamos ver o que virá depois...
10- STEFANO BOLLANI – LES FLEURS BLUES. Disco antigo que eu não conhecia. Da fase de maior ferocidade do Bollani.
11- ALBERT HEATH – TOOTIE’S TEMPO. A melhor coisa do Ethan Iverson que já ouvi. Seu pianismo rombudo não conseguiu atrapalhar o conjunto.
12- CYRUS CHESTNUT – MIDNIGHT MELODIES. Uma volta quase que 100% aos velhos tempos.
13- DON GRONOCK – NIGHTTOWN. Disco antigo, de 1992. No baixo, o grande Dave Holland, o homem que dá o tom sem que muitos percebam. Uma aula de Jazz. E mais: tem soprador!
14- P J TRIO – NEW STEPS. Trio italiano muito acertado. Também não é novo.
15- PETER BERNSTEIN / LARRY GOLDINGS / BILL STEWART – LIVE AT SMALLS. A combinação órgão/piano/guitarra nunca poderá ser muito melhor do que a deste CD.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

2 Sem 2014 - Part Fourteen

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
Life In The Bubble



By Giovanni C. Washington-Wright 
"Life In The Bubble": Gordon's masterpiece?
Yes. The new Big Phat Band album,"Life In The Bubble", is Gordon's masterpiece. This album is different than the last two releases in several ways. Firstly, its compositions are a little more dark and subtle than previous albums. It seems as though Gordon was purposely taking things in a different direction. It's so nice to see a composer as accomplished as Gordon push himself and try new things. Also, I think that part of the new approach to business is the fact that the band was recorded at EastWest (my new favorite room in LA) instead of Capitol. This completely changes the sound of the BPB - adding a new dimension of warmth. To my ears, it's almost a Brian Wilson approach - like the studio is the 19th member of the band. Next, this album is a lot more soloist intensive. The band is filled to the brim with world-class jazz soloists, and they really have a chance to stretch out and blow on this record - which is a thing of beauty. Now, let me get more specific.
"Life In The Bubble", the opener, is a very sly, almost malevolent funk. Gordon employs electronic noise in the chart which something, save "Get In Line", that I've never really heard in a BPB tune. A great, SUPER hip tenor solo by Brian Scanlon on this one.
"Why We Can't Have Nice Things" is a standard BPB flag-waver. BURNIN' solos by Kevin Garren on alto and Andy Martin on trombone. The development /outro section section of the tune is one that you won't want to miss. Some really incredible ensemble playing (with Bernie Dresel playing on the side of drums). One of the finest up-tempo GG tunes I've heard in a while.
"Synolicks" is a feature for guitar wunderkind Andrew Synowiec - he plays his butt off. This tune features one of the most incredible rhythm / ensemble solis that I've ever heard in a big band chart. A great, bluesy chart.
"Years Of Therapy" is the chart that, in my opinion, steals the show. It's the kind of performance that will make Wayne Bergeron even more of a living legend than he already is. This chart features two things I've never heard before: #1.) Gordon writing in a baroque style and #2.) Wayne Bergeron playing piccolo trumpet (and B-flat trumpet). The tune is a LONG blow for Wayne (clocking in at almost 8 1/2 minutes) during which Wayne switches from piccolo to B-flat, blows a lengthy jazz solo, plays lead in a shout section, and finishes in Baroque style on B-flat. All and all, the tune sounds like something Hank Mancini would have written as theme for a BBC comedy (which is a GOOD thing). This chart is worth the price of the CD alone. Wayne's performance and the piece are both Grammy-worthy.
"The Passage" is a rare BPB ballad. It's built to showcase Eric Marienthal's beautiful alto playing. Eric takes a wonderful solo on the tune, with some pretty direct allusions to Bird and Cannonball. The chart itself is almost noir-sounding, a la Bernard Hermann or John Barry - with drop-dead gorgeous changes. Wayne Bergeron on the shout section of the chart is one for the ages.
"Garajo Gato" ("Garage Cat") is a REALLY nice Latin chart named after Gordon's recently-deceased cat, Jasmine. It features great playing from everyone (including a smokin' development section). It features Joey DeLeon on vocals and percussion, Francisco Torres on trombone, and Gordon on tenor.
When I first heard "Does This Chart Make Look Phat?", I didn't know whether to think "Gordon Nestico" or "Gordon Hefti". I decided that this is a pretty wonderful tribute to Sammy Nestico. Straight -up retro, with cigarettes, martinis, and all. It features a pretty smokin' plunger solo by trumpeter Willie Murillo (who obviously has been checkin' out Snooky Young) and smooth, Frank Wess-ish turn by Jeff Driskill on tenor.
"Get Smart" was originally written for the film on which Gordon worked (with Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway). I'm a pretty staunch Irving Szathmary fan, so I was pretty tough on this one going in. I was pleasantly surprised. There are some very interesting melodic and harmonic twists in the chart that drew me completely offsides. A nice solo by Eric Marienthal and incredible lead trumpet playing by Wayne Bergeron round it out.
"Green Dolphin Street". This chart was originally released on November 13, 2013 as a single. This arrangement is based a piano solo by the legendary Oscar Peterson. This incredible arrangement also earned Gordon his 3rd Grammy. It features Gordon on piano and the great Bob Summers on trumpet.
"Party Rockers" is the closing track on album. Judith Hill (from "The Voice" and the LA studios) is guest singing on the track and the tune's composer - with the arrangement by Gordon. This track is amazing. Judith is a vocal freak and a force to be reckoned with - and the band is in excellent form.
I don't think that the Phat Band has had a release this strong, top to bottom, since 2003's "XXL". To my knowledge, Gordon himself has won 3 Grammys (2 for the BPB and 1 for his work on "The Incredibles") and had 7 arranging nominations for the BPB . Although the band has received 2 "Best Large Jazz Ensemble" nominations (one for "XXL", one for "Act Your Age"), they've never won. I think they're about due - and this album is THE one. Outstanding effort, 
Gordon and fellows! Outstanding effort, Gordon and fellows!


Tim Lapthorn Trio
Natural Language



By Jack Kenny, Jazz Views
“ a smart, lively and entertaining set….this optimistic and accomplished session has the feel of both work in progress and a strong well-turned result. Originals such as ‘ Loose Connection’ are interleaved with the odd jazz standard and a collector’s choice of jazz themes, such as Steve Swallow’s ‘ Falling Grace’ and Bill Frisell’s ‘Strange Meeting’. It’s busy and precocious, and as a trio they get a singing quality into their collective sound” BBC Music Magazine, Dec 2004

Hanging influences round a young pianist’s neck is a little like garlanding them with an albatross. It is also lazy thinking. So throw out the shorthand comparisons with Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett and listen. It is hard enough trying to say something new in the trio format that so many great musicians have developed over the years without having to work in shadows of genius.
I watched a young pianist recently who tried to pack so many notes into a bar that the music became indigestible. That does not happen here. It really is brave to eschew the obvious virtuoso effects. The overall impression of this album is thoughtfulness, meditation and reflective improvisation. Tim Lapthorn can also write good themes: listen to the great melody “Loopy”.
On the faster pieces the tempo is such that the lines can be distinguished clearly. Bass player Tom Herbert plays a very conventional accompaniment. In harmony with Lapthorn’s music the bass playing is restrained. Both Herbert and drummer Patrick Levett shine on the reserved reading of Bill Frisell’s "Strange Meeting", because they show their artistry rather than their techniques.
“I Hear a Rhapsody”, “Bemsha Swing”,“My Wild Irish Rose” enable the listener to hear how the improvisation is shaped around the melody. The introduction to “Bemsha Swing” is one of the high lights of the record, completely unlike anything that Bill Evans or Jarrett would do. “My Wild Irish Rose” is a gentle piano solo keeping just clear of sentimentality.
Should you buy the CD? Yes! This is piano trio jazz at its best, played with love and respect.
A final plea: don’t use fade outs. It sounds as though some one has become bored and is unable to appreciate the architecture of the improvisation.


Ahmad Jamal featuring Yusef Lateef
Live At The Olympia - June 27, 2012

Lateef-Jamal-Cover-fnl

By Raul Da Gama
    Most musicians get tired and slow down with age, but Ahmad Jamal shows no sign of either. His playing is vigorous; still spry and minimal and best of all his intellect is agile and he is witty, full of ideas and his music is continuously breathtaking. Mr. Jamal has been praised as one of the greatest musical innovators over his exceptionally long career lasting over five decades. Ahmad Jamal entered the world of jazz in the wake of bebop greats Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie who had established a music where speed and virtuosic improvisation were their norm. Mr. Jamal, however, took steps in the direction of a new movement, later coined by the phrase “cool jazz” – in an effort to move jazz in the direction of popular music. He emphasized space and time in his musical compositions and interpretations, something that was diametrically opposed to the blinding speed of bebop. His music drew a group of musicians and helped pave the way for Miles Davis—who came to exemplify the cool style—as well as Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner. In truth Mr. Jamal was second only to Thelonious Monk in innovation and creativity and in his use of time and space in music. 
    This enormous set is practically the next best thing to a small boxed set as it contains a generous helping of music both on CD and on DVD. The music on CD was all recorded on June 27, 2012—one day—that speaks volumes for the youthful energy of the pianist, now over eighty years old. The videos of the songs were recorded at the same time and later edited into this seamlessly beautiful film. If the musicians all draw attention to themselves for their soaring virtuosity the central character remains Ahmad Jamal, who draws not only the musicians but the appreciative audience to himself. Upon reflection it is possible to describe this package as one of the finest of Mr. Jamal’s music made in the decades since he has been performing, hence the belief that the pianist has turned, like a rare vintage, more exquisite with age. It contains over 10 of his recordings; the most popular works of the pianist, each of which is well represented in his catalogue of decades. It is in every one that Ahmad Jamal offers either a benchmark or a version to stand with the very best. To wit, his performances of “The Gypsy” and “Laura” compare with some of Thelonious Monk’s performances of his classic pieces, in the majestic unfolding of themes and the credible dispatch of vaunted arpeggios of the notoriously difficult right hand. 
    His elementally beautiful version of the chart made famous by Sammy Davis Jr. is among the most exquisite on this repertoire—a miracle of poetry, heady bravura and structural command. And then there is the special guest, the 91-year-old Yusef Lateef who takes the stage and if music could get any more grippingly exciting, then that would be in this CD 2 of this set. The presence of Mr. Lateef makes this a near-mythical set. The winds player brings his saxophones, flutes and grisly voice to several charts and his version of “Brother Hold Your Light” is affecting and melancholic. The rippling textures that Mr. Lateef and his array of instruments brings to the music on which he is featured, is utterly exquisite and showcases his greatness on what turns out to be a short feature, but which raises the ante of the concert considerably. Mr. Lateef is extraordinary on “Exatogi” and his other extraordinary composition, “Masara,” both of which draw the percussionist Manolo Badrena into centre stage again. There is no centrepiece of the performance but if one were to be considered for the overall package then that would be the DVD. This is exquisitely photographed and edited, with several cameras and the visuals are stunning. It also brings to life the performances of players not normally noticed when someone as stellar as Ahmad Jamal is performing and that means his bassist, Reginald Veal, drummer Herlin Riley and the celebrated percussionist Manolo Badrena, who are all absolutely brilliant throughout and serve the master well. 
Track List: 
CD1: Autumn Rain; Blue Moon; The Gypsy; Invitation; I Remember Italy; Laura; Morning Mist; This is the Life; 
CD2: Exatogi; Masara; Trouble in Mind; Brother Hold Your Light; Blue Moon; Poinciana; 
DVD: Autumn Rain; Blue Moon; The Gypsy; Invitation; I Remember Italy; Laura; Morning Mist; This is the Life; Exatogi; Masara; Trouble in Mind; Brother Hold Your Light; Blue Moon; Poinciana. Personnel: 
Ahmad Jamal: piano; Reginald Veal: double bass; Herlin Riley: drums; Manolo Badrena: percussion; Yusef Lateef: saxophones, flutes, vocals.


Tord Gustavsen Quartet
Extended Circle



By Brian Whistler VINE VOICE 
I should start out by saying I'm a real fan of Gustavsen. I love his touch, his keen melodic sense and his spare aesthetic, all of which are represented here. So why only three stars? I have all of Gustavsen's albums and I still think Changing Places is the best, because for one, I prefer the trio setting for this artist and two, the writing on that album was much stronger than anything he has followed it up with. When I first heard Changing Places I was immediately struck by how the tunes had that quality of already being strangely familiar; so inevitable were the harmonies and melodies, they seemed to come right out of the pure ground from which all music springs. I felt that the following two trio albums, Being There and The Ground had similar purity and inspiration. That trio was gold- It seemed as if Gustavsen was mining a particular vein wherein classical, jazz , gospel and Latin elements found common ground- it appeared he had found the motherlode.
Forgetting for a moment the ill conceived Restored, Returned, it seemed that with The Well, Gustavsen had come back to form. Adding the sax player, who reminds me of a sort of Jan Garbarek light, made the obvious debt Gustavsen owes to Jarrett all the more obvious. Not that there's anything wrong with being influenced by one of the greatest European jazz quartets of all time, but with this second quartet album, I feel that absolutely nothing new is happening that we didn't hear on The Well. Part of it is in the writing; we've more or less heard all these changes and tunes before and as far as instantly recognizable tunes go, in contrast with Changing Places gossamer miniatures, there's nary a melodic shell worth picking up and examining closely in your hand. Indeed , many of the pieces are really not so much compositions as sketches without much substance. Thus, listening to this gorgeous sounding album was a curiously flat experience for me.
Not to say it isn't pleasant listening experience. After all, it's Tord Gustavsen. And it's an ECM disc. I'm just beginning to feel I'm hearing his limitations as a composer. I like the sound of this music very much and will listen to it again. I just feel it's lacking a bit in musical nutrition and more importantly, inspiration. And I feel Gustavsen can do a lot better than this. That being said, I am still looking forward to seeing this group next week in SF. But to tell the truth, I have lowered my expectations.
Note:just gave this album a second listen with undivided attention and I have to say that when I came to the last little gospel ballad (that would've fit in perfectly on any of the first three trio albums,) I am underwhelmed. For those who are just coming to know Gustavsen's work, I strongly recommend you start with the first three trio albums. For fans, I still give a somewhat tepid thumbs up.
Track Listing: 
Right There; Eg Veit I Himmerik El Borg; Entrance; The Gift; Staying There; Silent Spaces; Entrance, var.; Devotion; The Embrace; Bass Transition; Glow; The Prodigal Song.
Personnel: 
Tore Brunborg: tenor saxophone; Tord Gustavsen: piano; Mats Eilertsen:double bass; 
Jarle Vespestad: drums.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

2 Sem 2014 - Part Thirteen

Fred Hersch Trio
Floating



By Dan Bilawsky
Live albums and studio albums can by miles or millimeters apart in terms of presentation, conception, quality, layout and reception; it all depends on the circumstances and intentions when a record is made. Pianist Fred Hersch's Floating, for example, nearly erases that potential divide.
While it's against his very nature, Hersch could've haphazardly thrown together a random list of tunes and gone into the studio cold, using an ad hoc group to flesh out this album. In the end, he did the exact opposite. Hersch took his rightfully acclaimed working band—the Fred Hersch Trio—into the studio right after a run at New York's Village Vanguard, the recording sight of his two previous records. Then, he put together a playlist that mimics the nature of one of the trio's live sets, starting with a standard, moving on to originals, throwing in a dose of classic balladry, and ending with a taste of Monk. The end result is a studio album that sits well next to the pianist's live dates.
The aforementioned album-opening standard is "You & The Night & The Music." Here, this warhorse is transformed by the ceaselessly choppy-and-rolling, Latin-inflected 12/8 feel that the trio adopts. Restlessness and respect are the two qualities that shine through as Hersch and company stay faithful to the music in certain ways, yet remain consistently on the move. The title track comes next, occupying a completely different space; it lives up to its name as it drifts and glides along.
Hersch's penchant for penning tributes is well-known at this point, so it should come as no surprise that this album contains more than its fair share of such pieces. Hersch pays respects to his mother and grandmother with a brief episode of beauty ("West Virginia Rose"), tips his cap to this group's bassist—John Hebert—with a swampy-and-groovy show ("Home Fries"), and delivers an airy and loosely flowing tribute to gone-too-soon pianist Shimrit Shoshan("Far Away"). Other works in this category include a dynamic-yet-sensitive nod to bassist Esperanza Spalding("Arcata"), a gentle piece written in honor of Finnish artist Maaria Wirkkala, and a swirling, almost-swinging piece for pianist Kevin Hays("Autumn Haze"); Hersch and Hebert fall into line on that last one, but drummer Eric McPherson cunningly circumvents the feel for the majority of the tune.
The end of the journey—a gorgeously enthralling take on "If Ever I Would Leave You" and a hip run through Monk's "Let's Cool One—further illustrates Hersch's genius and the rapport that exists between these three simpatico travelers.
Track Listing: 
You & The Night & The Music; Floating; West Virginia Rose (For Florette & Roslyn; Home Fries (For John Hebert); Far Away (For Shimrit); Arcata (For Esperanza); A Speech to the Sea (For Maaria); Autumn Haze (For Kevin Hays); If Ever I Would Leave You; Let's Cool One.
Personnel: 
Fred Hersch: piano; John Hebert: bass; Eric McPherson: drums.


Christoph Stiefel & Inner Language Trio
Big Ship



By Bruce Lindsay
Big Ship is the latest album to grace the extensive discography of Swiss pianist Christoph Stiefel and the fourth release from his Inner Language Trio. Stiefel is an underrated pianist. He lacks, so far, the public profile of other European players such as Joachim Kuhn or Michael Wollny but that's no reflection on his talent—as Big Ship clearly shows.
For some time Steifel has been working with the concept of isorhythms—a musical strategy that dates back to mediaeval composers. On albums such as Live! (Basho Records, 2012) Stiefel has signposted this concept by sub-titling his compositions as "Isorhythm #19," "Isorhythm #28" and so on. Tellingly, there's no such numerical classification on Big Ship—isorhythms still influences some of his writing (notably the immediately engaging groove of "Attitudes") but it's no longer as critical a force.
This lineup of the Inner Language Trio features bassist Arne Huber alongside Kevin Chesham, who made two appearances on Live!, on drums. Hopefully this combination will stay together, for Huber and Chesham form a tight and responsive rhythm section.
Stiefel's writing continues to produce tunes full of surprising rhythmical twists and turns—such as "Big Ship" and "The Dance"—but some of Big Ship's finest moments arise in the quieter, less frenetic, compositions. The delicate "First Blossom" is a brief piano solo that's characterised by the calm spaciousness of an Erik Satie composition. "South" is another slow tune, combining a flowing melody and pleasing harmonies. The lovely "Solar Glider" features Stiefel's percussive left-hand patterns, as well as some of Huber and Chesham's most atmospheric playing. "Elegy" is the most striking of these tunes, its flowing beauty the result of a fine ensemble performance.
Out on the oceans, a big ship can seem ungainly and slow to respond. No such problem for this Big Ship. Throughout the 11 tunes the Inner Language Trio demonstrates a masterly command of rhythm and dynamics—shifting direction and pace with the agility of a speedboat one moment, then gliding sedately with the grace of an ocean liner the next.
Track Listing: 
Thalatta; Attitudes; Elegy; Pyramid; New May; Big Ship; First Blossom; The Dance; South; Angel Falls; Solar Glider.
Personnel: 
Christoph Stiefel: piano; Arne Huber: bass; Kevin Chesham: drums.


Ellis Marsalis Trio
On The Second Occasion



By JimsJazzNotes
This is the latest release on the resurrected ELM label. Produced by drummer Jason Marsalis, this is a sequel to the 2013 ELM release, On The First Occasion. That disc contained music recorded in 1998. This sequel disc consists of music recorded in 2003. In a recent reply to my review of the first album, producer Jason Marsalis explained how that music had been released once before on CD but only in the local New Orleans market. As far as I know the music on this second recording has never been released before. Like the previous recording, it’s a collection of standards, but as Jason explains in the liner notes it’s meant to contrast with the first release in terms of tempo; consisting primarily of medium to fast tempo tunes. Thanks Jason for bringing this new release to my attention! I promptly purchased it. How’s that for easy sales? :) Once again the musical execution is absolutely exquisite! This recording is a perfect example of the difference between a working band and one time studio sessions. No one time gathering of musicians could ever produce this level of refinement, this consistency of aura, or this degree of clarity.
Ellis is a joy to listen to because his playing is so full and well rounded. He easily goes back and forth between a chord based two handed sound that is full and encompassing, and one handed fiery solos. Bassist Bill Huntington consistently reads and contributes to the particular mood being created by the leader; adding foundational structure, rhythmic intensity, or gut bucket swing, as called for. He also takes a handful of lovely solos, such as on the last cut. Drummer Jason Marsalis assumes a rather large role in this musical outing, consistently taking really powerful solos which often serve to significantly alter the mood or direction of a given tune midway through. His playing seems to really accentuate the difference in sound from one drum to another and at times it almost sounds melodic!
This CD is full of little undocumented surprises. On first listen I noticed at least three small fragments of tunes that are discretely inserted here and there sort of like easter eggs. The final one requires a measure of patience just to find it. :) On another note, unfortunately, this CD is so new that when I went to transfer it to my computer so I could put it on my portable player Gracenotes didn’t even recognize it. I’ve had that happen with a couple other CDs from another label recently as well. Perhaps if I wait a bit longer the data will show up. Anyway, thanks to Ellis Marsalis and his trio for another fabulous recording, and thanks to Jason for putting it all together and sharing it with the rest of us!


Jim Black Trio
Actuality




By Winter & Winter
Drummer Jim Black, born in 1967 in Seattle, Washington, and residing in New York, forms his first classical piano trio with the almost one generation younger pianist Elias Stemeseder (born in 1990 in Salzburg) and bassist Thomas Morgan (born in 1981 in Hayward, California). Jim Black – who also leads the group AlasNoAxis, plays a major role in Human Feel, creates an exciting new interpretation of Mahler, Mozart and Gershwin with the Uri Caine Ensemble, and belongs to John Zorn's Masada – discovered Elias Stemeseder a couple of years ago during summer classes. From this first meeting a close collaboration develops itself. With Thomas Morgan, performing at that time with Paul Motian, Black finds an ideal partner for the bass. The foundations for this trio are laid in 2010 and already in 2011 appears the debut album »Somatic« on Winter&Winter. Downbeat writes in June 2012: "Black has assembled a remarkably intuitive group here that brings an effective mixture of accessibility and elusiveness to his compositions, a combination that keeps the listener engaged, guessing and surprised."
In January 2014 the Jim Black Trio records its second album »Actuality« live-to-analog-two-track at Sear Sound Studio in New York. All compositions are penned by Jim Black. The album opens with silent, melancholic tones. Jim Black emphasises especially the fine nuances. The concentrated and sensitive interaction of the three musicians, who are excellently connected, is convincing in every phase. The concept of the album resembles a song cycle without words. Jim Black lets his music breathe, gives time and space, opens subtle tones with rich sounds and allows a wide and dynamic spectrum.
A few weeks before the studio production, the trio went on a tour in Europe and gave several live concerts in New York before the first studio day. Jim Black, Elias Stemeseder and Thomas Morgan build an extraordinary unity. It is not surprising that Paul Motian's music has influenced the young Jim Black. In the same way as Paul Motian has shaped the Bill Evans Trio, Jim Black as well does not take the role of a time keeper, but instead plays with his very own, distinctive melodies on his drums and cymbals and remains alway very closely interrelated with piano and bass. Black unfolds a soulful and melodious playing, and Elias Stemeseder and Thomas Morgan make room for these delicate yet powerful sounds. This trio has a particular feeling for overtones and refined nuances. The album ends with the piece "Should Be Painless". From the first to the last resonating tone the Jim Black Trio performs at the highest level.
Jim Black impresses with his musical creativity and endless curiosity, he is one of the most demanded drummers of the jazz world. In 1991 Jim Black moves to Brooklyn, where he has been living until now. In the year 2000 he released his widely acclaimed debut CD »AlasNoAxis« (called by The Wire "a masterpiece of future jazz"). »Actuality« is his ninth leader album on Winter&Winter.
Thomas Morgan starts at seven with the cello, which he will continue until the age of 14 when his attention turned to the double bass. In May 2003 he receives his bachelor of music at the Manhattan School of Music. Thomas Morgan has collaborated with important artists such as Paul Motian, John Abercrombie, David Binney, Joey Baron and Steve Coleman.
Elias Stemeseder decides from the early age of nine to concentrate on the piano as his main instrument. After dedicating himself exclusively to classical music for four years, he develops a deep interest for jazz and launches his first band. At only 15 he is accepted at the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz for the study of jazz piano. His trio receives the prestigious Joe Zawinul Award in 2008.


Dave Liebman Big Band
A Tribute To Wayne Shorter



By Jack Bowers
In a career spanning almost half a century, soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman has appeared on more than five hundred recordings including seventy as leader of various groups. His latest, A Tribute to Wayne Shorter by the Dave Liebman Big Band, may well be the best one yet. Why? Because every single component, from choice of material to arrangements, performance to production, is no less than superlative. In other words, there is simply nothing on this brilliantly conceived and splendidly consummated album that warrants censure of any kind.
In saluting one of the twentieth century's most resourceful and respected jazz musicians, Liebman has chosen (wisely) to focus exclusively on Shorter's more temperate and melodic treasure trove from the mid-1960s, a time during which he wrote such classic themes as "Infant Eyes," "Nefertiti," "Black Nile" and others. A second decision, perhaps even wiser than the first, was to assign arranging duties to Mats Holmquist, a Swedish master who leads his own ensemble and has literally written the book (well, a book) on big-band arranging, "Great Band ABZ." Holmquist's charts are, in a word, sublime, renovating Shorter's compositions, originally designed for quartets or quintets, to make them seem as though they'd been written explicitly for full-size bands.
A third decision, to open the album with a ballad ("Infant Eyes"), could have been less rewarding save for the excellence of the band, Holmquist's wonderful arrangement, and bewitching solos by Liebman and pianist Jim Ridl. Liebman solos on every track, and the thought that arises after listening is "why isn't this guy winning polls?" That's no spur-of-the-moment impression; on soprano sax, Liebman is as sharp and perceptive as anyone you'd care to name. Pay heed, for example, to his dazzling sorties on the fast-paced "Black Nile" and "Yes or No." Improvisation doesn't get much better than that. Speaking of which, there are splendid solos along the way by guitarist Vic Juris("Speak No Evil"), trombonist Tim Sessions and drummer Marko Marcinko("Yes or No"), trombonist Jason Jackson("Nefertiti"), alto / music director Gunnar Mossblad ("El Gaucho"), flugel Scott Reeves and bassist Tony Marino ("Iris") and tenor Dave Riekenberg("Black Nile").
In his liner notes, Liebman affirms "what a pleasure [it is] to play this timeless music with my big band." The pleasure is ours, Dave. Five stars for Dave Liebman, the band, Mats Holmquist and especially Wayne Shorter whose singular talents made this superlative recording possible.
Track Listing: 
Infant Eyes; Speak No Evil; Yes or No; Nefertiti; El Gaucho; Iris; Black Nile.
Personnel: 
Dave Liebman: leader, soprano sax, wooden flute soloist; Mats Holmquist: arranger; Gunnar Mossblad: music director, alto, soprano sax, flute; Bob Millikan: trumpet, flugelhorn; Brian Pareschi: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dave Ballou: trumpet, flugelhorn; Danny Cahn: trumpet, flugelhorn; Patrick Dorian: trumpet, flugelhorn; Tom Christensen: alto sax, flute; Dave Riekenberg: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; Tim Ries: tenor sax, clarinet; Chris Karlic: baritone sax, clarinet; Tim Sessions: trombone; Scott Reeves: trombone, alto flugelhorn; Jason Jackson: trombone; Jeff Nelson: bass trombone; Jim Ridl: piano; Vic Juris: guitar; Tony Marino: bass; Marko Marcinko: drums.