Friday, December 30, 2016

MY FRIENDS PICK - TOP 10 JAZZ CD's - 2016

By Dr. Marcílio Adjadre, M.D.

Melhores CD 2016:
- Passaggio al Bosco - Andrea Garibaldi Trio
- Paquito D'Rivera Plays the Music of Armando Manzanero - Paquito e Manzanero
- Breathe Out - Emil Brandqvist Trio
- Book of Intuition - Kenny Barron Trio
- Little Magic - Michele Polga
- Influencias - Tomás Fraga
- Countdown - Joey Alexander
- At This time... - Steve Kuhn
- TrioKàla - Rita Marcotulli
- Afro Blue - Harold Mabern


By Mr. Claudio Botelho

Caríssimos amigos Jazzistas,
Eis, em primeiríssima mão, minha lista provisória dos melhores deste ano. Como sempre gosto de lembrar-lhes, o critério único é o da emoção, o do gostar de ouvir repetidamente, o de me encantar e me tirar da realidade da vida.
No correr dos próximos dias e até a primeira semana de 2.017, posso fazer correções, até mesmo por influência das listas que virão, pois, dentre tanta coisa que ouvi, fica difícil ter uma certeza muito firme de que as escolhas não embutiram alguma injustiça comigo mesmo, ou seja: pode ter faltado alguém que, por direito delegado por mérito próprio, deveria estar junto aos demais.
Eis a dita cuja, então;

01- STEVE KUHN - AT THIS TIME.
Indiscutível a vantagem deste sobre o segundo colocado (não sei qual é). Trabalho de impressionante unicidade e garra! Seguramente, minha avaliação sobre esse CD está acima da que os demais amigos farão, eis que, fã incondicional de uma percussão brilhante, vi, nesse esforço, uma performance vogorosíssima de Joey Barron, um dos bateristas que mais gosto. Como todo trabalho de SK, este reúne um impressionante "impressionismo", coisa que, também, muito me agrada, pois aprecio grandes contrastes e realismo. Nesse departamento, esse CD exagera! Nota mil!
02- THE IMPOSSIBLE GENTLEMAN - LET'S GET DELUXE.
Á primeira vista, este CD parece roqueiro demais e, para os menos atentos, pode até ser descartado antes mesmo de chegar a seu final. No entanto, ouvindo-o com mais vagar, vão surgindo detalhes de grande sofisticação. Aqui, tem-se, também, um grupo de notável coesão. Desse modo, para que possa ser devidamente aquilatado, precisa ser ouvido por pelo menos três vezes e nunca com os sentidos voltados para outra coisa qualquer.
03- KENNY BARRON - THE BOOK OF INTUITION.
Barron retornando aos seu melhores dias. Deixou a preguiça de lado, escolheu um ótimo repertório, onde pontificam excelentes composições próprias, além de algumas de Monk, um dos meus compositores favoritos, e de outros medalhões da composição. Não acho que os que o acompanham estejam em seu mesmo nível, embora o conjunto exiba um bom entrosamento. A lamentar PROFUNDAMENTE a má qualidade da gravação do piano (ou a qualidade ruim do dito cujo). Observo que os demais estão bem gravados. Assim, esse trabalho foi bem e mal capturado ao mesmo tempo. O engenheiro de gravação resolveu sacanear justamente com o líder. É uma pena, pois essas coisas me desagradam bastante, ao ponto de me influenciar na avaliação geral do trabalho (infelizmente)...
04- JACOB CHRISTOFFERSEN TRIO - FACING THE SUN.
Pianista meio relegado a segundo plano, mas muitíssimo articulado e dinâmico. CD que se ouve rapidim, de uma levada só. Do tipo "levanta defunto". Gravação ótima, bem harmonizada com a eletrizante performance.
05- JOHN BEASLEY - MONKESTRA VOL. 1.
Sou suspeitíssimo em avaliar qualquer coisa associada a Monk. No entanto, vi, nesse trabalho, uma apresentação de muita originalidade, com arranjos que aproveitam bem a multiplicidade de instrumentos de uma orquestra, com uma levada em vários planos muitas vezes e, muito importante, sem cair na tentação de produzir aquele tipo de estridência que costuma afastar os "clientes". Aqui e ali, faz mais barulho do que precisaria, mais no geral, nota-se que JB não intencionou se esconder atrás disso. Aqui, no plano dos arranjos, tem-se uma espécie de "Os Cariocas, as opposed to 'MPB4'"
06- MARIO NAPPI TRIO - INTRODUCING.
Gente nova, com ideias novas. Trabalho complexo que, certamente, demandou muito esforço. O tipo de obra que, a meu ver, estabelece um nível de qualidade que eles mesmos terão dificuldades de igualar no futuro. Nos resta, então, aproveitar...Em tempo: trata-se de um trio.
07- JOEY ALEXANDER - COUNTDOWN.
Esse CD me deu muito trabalho! Ouvi-o pelo menos SETE VEZES, de ponta a ponta, procurando o mesmo nível de emoção que encontrei no anterior. Não fui capaz de achar, tenho que admitir. Isso é impressionante, pois um ano a mais na sua faixa etária, acrescido à sua agenda bastante movimentada deste ano, seguramente lhe trouxeram mais bagagem, mas, pelo visto, lhe tiraram a espontaneidade.Percebi algumas hesitações no conjunto do trabalho. O CD é bom, senão não estaria aqui, mas, no meu sentir, sem dúvidas, o anterior é mais harmônico, mais inspirado e possuidor de um repertório de mais qualidade. Ou seja: é tudo que não poderia ser na comparação com o atual. No entanto, fazer o que?
08- ANDRÉ CECCARELLI/JEAN-MICHEL PILC/THOMAS BRAMERIE - 20 -TWENTY.
JMP tem uma característica, desenvolvida de alguns anos para cá, que torna suas interpretações meio quebradiças, serrilhadas. Deve ser fã de Franco D'andrea, que é um expoente nesse departamento. Muitas vezes, esse estilo tira um pouco a atenção da performance, até porque fica um tanto difícil seguir suas ideias. Eu gostava mais dele no início de sua carreira. No entanto, aqui, sem que ele tenha mudado seu estilo, ficou mais fácil segui-lo, até mesmo porque se dedicou a interpretar conhecidos standards. Nesse aspecto, o repertório é filé. De quebra, emoldurando tudo, o pequeno-grande Ceccarelli e sua poderosa bateria. Aí, me vendo fácil...
09- FABIO GIACHINO - BALANCING DREAMS.
Pianista novo e muito articulado. Pesado mesmo. Mais um da inesgotável safra italiana. Aqui, em trabalho solo muito bom.
10- AARON DIEHL - SPACE TIME CONTINUUM.
Comprei com um pé atrás, pois fui induzido por informações da imprensa americana. Um cara com um nome desses, pensei, não pode tocar mal... Devo dizer, no entanto, que o outro trabalho que tenho dele é fraquíssimo. Insípido, inodoro e incolor. Mas, com um nome desses, certamente ocorreu algum acidente ali. Muito bem. Nesse novo trabalho, seu trio foi acrescido de alguns grandes sopradores, entre eles o octogenário Benny Golson. Tinha tudo para ser pior que o anterior (pelo menos para mim, que sempre acho que estes são estridentes e dominadores, deixando o piano em segundo plano - o que é um crime!). Mas não é que eu quebrei a cara? O CD é daqueles que você ouve de uma tacada só, exibindo algumas faixas de trio, outras de quarteto e outras de quinteto. Os arranjos são muito precisos e os sopradores não ficam donos do pedaço. Muito bem arranjado. E digo mais: a maioria das músicas são dele! muito boa pedida!

OUTRAS ESCOLHAS
11- BILL CHARLAP TRIO - NOTES FROM NEW YORK.
Voltou aos tempos do início de sua carreira, quando apresentava maior dexteridade. O CD, como o do KB, o traz de volta à terra, após longas explorações desencontradas e, em certos casos, caça-níqueis, me parece. É um disco agradável de se ouvir, sem grandes arroubos no geral. Muita finesse, sendo bastante aconselhável para quem não quer suar na audição. No entanto, longe, muito longe mesmo de ser o melhor do ano, como deseja a DB.
10- EDWARD SIMON - LATIN AMERICAN SONGBOOK.
Muito interessante. Recomendado indistintamente para todos. Só não entendi bem o que "Chega de Saudades" está fazendo aqui, pois o trabalho tem um tom mais tendente ao tango do que ao samba. Outras músicas do Tom poderiam ter sido escolhidas sem toldar o mood do trabalho. Mas, este é apenas um pequeno senão. Outro pecadilho: o piano é um Fazioli. Não me convence como alternativa ao Steinway... Gosto bastante do Adam Cruz (baterista).
É isso aí.
Feliz ano novo!!!
Claudio.


By Dr. Carlos Couto 

OS MELHORES DE 2016 CD’s:

1. Gustavo Baião - Canções de Gilson Peranzeta
2. Trio da Paz - 30 anos
3. Cecile McLorin Sauvant - For One to Love
4. Bradford Marsalis Quartet & Kurt Eling - Upward Spiral
5. Steve Kuhn - At This Time
6. Sonia Rubinsky – Villa Lobos - Piano Music - Ciclo Brasileiro / Suite Floral Chôros nº 1, 2 and 5
7. Ricardo Silveira - Jeri
8. Eliane Elias – Made In Brasil
9. Steve Smith & Vital Information – NYC Edition
10.
Paquito D’Rivera & Arturo Sandoval – Reunion


By Dr. Leandro Lage Rocha, M.D.


MELHORES DE 2016:
1. STEVE KUHN - At this time
2. GUSTAVO BAIÃO - Canções de Gilson Peranzzetta
3. RICARDO SILVEIRA - Jeri
4. FELIPE RIVEROS TRIO - Bootlegs
5. GABRIEL GROSSI E FÉLIX JÚNIOR - A Música de Hermeto e Guinga
6. BILL CHARLAP TRIO - Notes from New York
7. ZÉ MANOEL - Canção e Silêncio
8. ANAT COHEN & MARCELLO GONÇALVES - Outra Coisa-The Music of Moacir Santos
9. BIANCA GISMONTI TRIO - Primeiro céu
10. FRANCISCO LO VUOLO - Segment

11. CECILE McLORIN SAUVANT - For One To Love
DESTAQUES:
1. FRAGA-PASQUINI-SIMAN - George and Duke
2. LIVIA E ARTHUR NESTROVSKY - Pós você e eu
3. GUINGA, ZÉ RENATO, JARDS MACALÉ E MOACYR LUZ - Dobrando a Carioca
4. CLAUDIO FILIPPINI TRIO - Squaring the Circle
5. RAQUEL SARACENI - O tempo me guardou você

Thursday, December 29, 2016

WORLDJAZZ TOP 10 - 2016

WORLDJAZZ TOP 10 - 2016

Best Jazz 2016 by WORLDJAZZ

Jazz Record of 2016
- Joey Alexander - Countdown

Top 10(9) Jazz Records of 2016
- Ricardo Silveira: Jeri - Quarteto Ao Vivo
- Gregory Porter: Take Me To The Alley
- Kenny Barron Trio: Book Of Intuition
- Bill Charlap Trio: Notes From New York
- The Fred Hersch Trio: Sunday Night At The Vanguard
- Steve Kuhn Trio: At This Time
- Stanley Cowell: Reminiscent
- Bianca Gismonti Trio: Primeiro Céu
- Stefano Battaglia Trio: In The Morning

Artiste du Jazz 2016
Joey Alexander

Sunday, December 18, 2016

2 Sem 2016 - Part Nine

Branford Marsalis Quartet/Special Guest Kurt Elling
Upward Spiral




By Christopher Loudon at JazzTimes
How did one of the best and most important jazz bands around—saxophonist Branford Marsalis, pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner—come to unite with one of the best and most important jazz vocalists? The idea ignited when Marsalis and Kurt Elling met during the 2014 Monk competition. Two years on, immediately prior to a New Orleans recording session, Elling and the quartet shared a weekend engagement at Snug Harbor, finding their collective groove and testing various songs. That Elling becomes fully one with the group—this is truly a quintet album—is evident from the opening moments of “There’s a Boat Dat’s Leavin’ Soon for New York,” its feverish pace finally slowing as he adlibs 90 seconds of wolfish patter oozing with carnal desire.
The span of Upward Spiral’s richly diverse playlist proves as compelling as its sterling musicianship. Standards—a “Blue Gardenia” as fragile as that flower’s petals, a punchy, playful “Doxy,” a gorgeously simmered “Só Tinha de Ser Com Você,” a bruised “Blue Velvet” that, per Elling’s intent, feels haunted—commingle with Sting’s “Practical Arrangement,” Chris Whitley’s “From One Island to Another” and the twilit Fred Hersch heartbreaker “West Virginia Rose.” Additionally, Marsalis brings poet Calvin Forbes’ “Momma Said” to cacophonously angular life, and Elling teams with Marsalis to craft the sage, aching “Cassandra Song,” then with Calderazzo for the closing “The Return (Upward Spiral).” If so brilliantly cohesive an album can have an apex it’s “I’m a Fool to Want You”—Elling alone with Marsalis as they plumb its inky depths, rivaling the emotional wallop of Sinatra’s nadir-defining version.


Aaron Diehl
Space Time Continuum




By Allen Morrison at JazzTimes
On pianist-composer Aaron Diehl’s fourth album as a leader, his choices of both material and sidemen illuminate his recording’s title: The 29-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, creates an environment in which historic and contemporary styles of jazz, as well as the Western classical tradition, are welcome and integrated. While the album is not especially piano-centric, fans of Diehl’s exquisite touch, precise articulation and meticulous arrangements will be richly rewarded.
The six originals on Space Time Continuum reveal the influence of jazz forebears like Ellington, Bud Powell and John Lewis, an early role model to whom Diehl has been compared. Like Lewis, he draws on classical tradition; one is as likely to hear an echo of Rachmaninoff as of Ellington. As a pianist he’s equally eclectic, reminiscent of Ahmad Jamal, Monk—and, occasionally, classical virtuosi.
The stellar sidemen include Diehl trio-mates David Wong on bass and Quincy Davis on drums, occasionally augmented by two legendary players, Benny Golson on tenor saxophone and Joe Temperley on baritone. The brilliant, breathy-toned tenorman Stephen Riley performs on two tracks, as does the exciting young trumpeter Bruce Harris.
Despite the emphasis on originals, one of the album’s high points is the opener, “Uranus,” a spit-and-polish arrangement of the underperformed hard-bop standard by Walter Davis Jr. (recorded by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in 1976); it sparkles in a crisp arrangement, with turn-on-a-dime phrasing. The noir-ish “Organic Consequence” features an eloquent, world-weary Golson solo. “Kat’s Dance,” written by pianist Adam Birnbaum, is a duo with Riley that begins like a jazz version of a Chopin nocturne, and it becomes a lilting setting for Riley to lean into the harmony in a quietly spectacular tenor solo. The frenetic “Broadway Boogie Woogie,” commissioned by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, is an interpretation of the famously busy Mondrian painting.
Overall, a remarkably assured performance.


Stacey Kent
Tenderly




By Christopher Loudon at JazzTimes

Though Stacey Kent was born in the States and has been based in England for almost her entire career, she’s developed deep musical passions for France and Brazil, often singing in perfect French and flawless Portuguese. (It’s worth noting here that Kent received France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2009.) Tenderly, Kent’s 11th studio album, harkens back to her salad days before all the multilingual finery, focusing almost exclusively on American standards. Still, she can’t help adding some exquisite Latin flair, having legendary Brazilian guitarist Roberto Menescal as her principal accompanist and including Menescal’s lilting “Agarradinhos” among the dozen tracks.
While Kent’s sessions have always tended to be gentle and pensive, Tenderly’s soft elegance is particularly understated. On “Agarradinhos” and the closing “If I Had You,” Menescal provides sole support. Bassist Jeremy Brown joins him for the balance of the album, with tenor saxophonist Jim Tomlinson (Kent’s husband and longtime producer) tiptoeing in on six tracks. Throughout, Kent’s voice remains one of the most appealing in jazz—so pliant, so enticingly smoke-tinged, so warmly expressive. As the name suggests, tenderness prevails: “The Very Thought of You,” “Embraceable You,” “That’s All,” “There Will Never Be Another You,” “If I’m Lucky” and the title cut are crafted of gossamer and silk. Even “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” emerges more ruminative than forlorn. If there’s a standout, it’s “No Moon at All,” with Kent’s reading, alternatively noirish and kittenish, cunningly trimmed by Tomlinson as he switches to alto flute.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

2 Sem 2016 - Part Eight

Doctor 3



By Thomas Conrad
Many jazz musicians now draw on popular culture for repertoire, but no one does it with the melodic grace of Danilo Rea. Sometimes he barely decorates a song, as in "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow." He hesitates over it, thoughtfully arrays it, and renders its question, its plea, its vulnerability, as universal to the human condition. "Hallelujah," Leonard Cohen's masterpiece, has received many fine interpretations. They now sound like the works of children—the adult version is Rea's. A hush falls over "Hallelujah." He marks out the song almost painfully, one necessary note at a time, as if finding it deep in himself.
Personnel:
Danilo Rea, piano; Enzo Pietropaoli, bass; Fabrizio Sferra, drums
Jando MPR 59 CD (CD). 2014. Fondazione Musica per Roma, prods.; Massimo Aluzzi, eng. DDD? TT: 54:25


Ricardo Silveira
Jeri - Quarteto Ao Vivo



By Arthur Dapieve
Deve-se tocar - artigo de 09/09/2016
CDs instrumentais como os de Ricardo Silveira, Victor Biglione e Heraldo do Monte são essenciais

"..No momento, CDs de outros três guitarristas habitam a bandeja do aparelho de som. O que está lá há mais tempo é “Jeri”, do quarteto de Ricardo Silveira. “Mercosul”, de Victor Biglione, e o novo “Heraldo do Monte” chegaram há pouco. Apesar de serem CDs “de guitarristas” também são muito distintos entre si, assim como são de “O corpo de dentro”, de Rebetez, no qual, como escreveu Silvio Essinger em crítica recente, a guitarra “é apenas uma voz eventual entre outras (...) numa conversa de alto nível”.
Ricardo Silveira se vale da linguagem jazzística. Sua fluência faz até parecer que tocar é fácil. Já Victor Biglione tem uma pegada mais roqueira. No novo CD, com inspiração em gêneros latino-americanos. E Heraldo do Monte temporariamente deixa de lado a guitarra elétrica para tocar violão caipira, um dos seus primeiros instrumentos.
“Jeri” foi gravado ao vivo na 6ª edição do Festival Choro Jazz, realizado na vila de Jericoacoara, Ceará, em 2014, mas só agora foi lançado, de forma independente. O carioca Silveira, de 59 anos, encerrava a turnê comemorativa de três décadas de carreira. Com ele, David Feldman (teclados), Guto Wirtti (contrabaixo) e Di Stéffano (bateria).
A conjugação entre a informalidade do local e o estilo enganosamente despojado de Silveira foi capturada em “Jeri”. Desce fácil. Além do único disco da Banda Zil e das inúmeras participações em trabalhos alheios, Silveira gravou nove álbuns, iniciados pelo apropriadamente batizado “Bom de tocar” (1984). Esses álbuns criaram um sólido repertório, como “Tango carioca” e “Pepê”, presentes no novo CD, que tem jeitinho de antologia. Se alguém aí nunca ouviu Silveira, “Jeri” é bom lugar para começar."


Di Stéffano
Recomeço




By Aquiles Rique Reis, vocalista do MPB4
Em fevereiro de 2015 comentei o então segundo CD do baterista Di Stéffano e agora, mais de um ano depois, tenho nas mãos o seu terceiro álbum: Recomeço (independente). Tomo a liberdade de citar livremente alguns trechos daquela resenha.
“Prezados leitores e leitoras, hoje vou lhes falar de um CD instrumental – o trabalho do baterista, compositor e produtor musical Di Stéffano Wolff Bazilio. Ajustando acordes, abusando de elogiáveis dinâmicas, a bateria permite uma melhor liga entre o som de suas peças e o som dos outros instrumentos. A bateria de Di Stéffano age como se fosse um instrumento de harmonia, suas baquetas “tocam” os melhores acordes e assim melhor patenteiam as músicas. Harmoniosos, seus arranjos misturam os timbres e lhes dão equilíbrio.”
Que prazerosa surpresa, meu Deus! A bateria de Di Stéffano está ainda mais harmonizadora, expandindo substancialmente o dom de entremear instrumentos, liberando-os para solos e improvisos. Consciente de seu talento, dividindo compassos com a mestria de um hábil improvisador, sua bateria sabe que, se tocar é preciso, harmonizar é fundamental.
Di Stéffano é um baterista nato. Daqueles que, imagino, pegava panelas na cozinha de casa para tirar seus sons; daqueles para quem não existe ruído impertinente, mas sim música vinda do corpo ou de qualquer objeto, com textura, peso ou tamanho díspares.
Recomeço traz novamente à cena o Di Stéffano compositor e arranjador. São onze temas de sua autoria e três em parcerias diversas. Para gravá-los, contou com o talento do músico, pianista e engenheiro de som David Feldman que, além de mixar e masterizar todo o disco, tocou piano na maior parte das músicas.
Num belo trabalho gráfico de Cleiton Martorano, capa, contracapa e encarte embalam o álbum para presente natalino.
Ouço as músicas ganharem vida pelo toque dos instrumentistas que as interpretam: “Nicolas” (Di Stéffano) abre a tampa. Composta em homenagem ao filho, o tema tem presença marcante da bateria de Di Stéffano, da guitarra (Daniel Santiago) e do sax soprano do moçambicano Ivan Mazuze. Os três se desdobram para fazer do tema um divertimento tão solar quanto a criança que brinca sob a brisa do oceano.
“Velhos Amigos” (Di Stéffano e Eduardo Taufic) fecha a tampa. Tendo o baixo acústico a costurar o tema, enquanto a bateria de Di Stéffano une a todos, o flugel (Jessé Sadoc) leva a introdução até entregá-la ao piano (Eduardo Taufic), que chega para tocar um belo intermezzo. O baixo firma o chão, enquanto a bateria trisca o prato, seguindo o seu destino de a todos harmonizar.
Após muito ouvi-lo, concluída a audição de Recomeço, me vem à cabeça lhes dizer algo mais, paciente leitora, estimado leitor: um CD como este tem de estar em qualquer cedeteca que se preze… dito isso, ouso pedir para que se permita surpreender com a sonoridade instrumental que lá está – ela é coisa para se ter sempre por perto, para a ela recorrer em momentos de serena maturidade.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

2 Sem 2016 - Part Seven

John Beasley
Monk'estra, Vol.1 




By Dave Gelly
Since the 1950s, composer-arrangers have made orchestral versions of Thelonious Monk’s music. I have so far heard none that have been quite so bold as John Beasley in recasting what he calls the “architecture” of these dauntingly angular piano pieces for a jazz orchestra. He lifts Monk’s melodies away from their native idiom of bebop and replants them in the musically cosmopolitan 21st century. Monk’s insistent, almost manic worrying at single phrases is replaced by sudden surprises and changes of direction. The variety of orchestral textures seems endless too. There’s a lot to take in, and a lot of conventional ideas to set aside, but through it all Monk’s themes emerge as strong as ever.


The Fred Hersch Trio
Sunday Night At The Vanguard



By Dan McClenaghan 
Reach up to the CD shelf and pull a handful of Fred HerschCDS down. You'll find that the pianist has a good thing going with the Village Vanguard. Alive At The Vanguard (Palmetto Records, 2012) a stellar two CD set, and terrific solo set, Alone At the Vanguard (Palmetto Records, 2011), are Hersch's most recent recordings from the legendary venue; and now he and his trio offer up Sunday Night At the Vanguard.
Hersch says this is his best trio album. Almost every artist says that about their latest—that this one's the best. But he might be right. The vote here would have gone to a studio recording, Whirl (Palmetto Records, 2010), a marvelous in-the-zone effort with this same trio—John Hebert on bass, Eric McPherson playing drums—until Sunday Night At The Vanguard rolled around.
The trio opens with Richard Rodgers' "A Cockeyed Optimist," which is not exactly a familiar tune, in spite of its authorship. But as an opener it works to perfection, with a silvery, raindrop intro that finds a quirky groove that paints an upbeat atmosphere, with a bright melody that sounds like a second cousin to "It Might As Well Be Spring."
"Serpentine," a Hersch original, is a wandering slither of a tune, unpredictable and spooky, lovely in its fluid, abstract way; "The Optimum Thing" sparkles; and "Blackwing Palomino," maybe the only jazz tune ever written for a pencil, has the feel of a new jazz standard.
Hersch's output has been consistently excellent, but sometimes—as on this special Sunday Night—the stars align. The trio, from the opening notes of "The Cockeyed Optimist," is locked into and to a telepathic interplay zone—playful and eloquent, elegant and assured.
The Lennon and McCartney gem, "For No One," has the forlorn desperation of the song's lyrical content. The Beatles' version—a masterpiece in its own right—didn't take things to this dark of a place.
Kenny Wheeler's "Everybody's Song But My Own" rolls in a restless, jittery mode. "The Peacocks," from the pen of Jimmy Rowles, is pensive, lonely. Hersch explores an almost unmatchable majesty of the tune, with a bit of dissonance, before he jumps into Thelonious Monk, with "We See," an irrepressible jewel, followed—as an encore to the show—the Fred Hersch-penned "Valentine," one of the more inward tunes in Hersch's songbook, counterpointing a mostly gregarious, effervescent set by one of the jazz world's top piano trios at the top of their game.
Track Listing: 
A Cockeyed Optimist:Serpentine; The Optimum Thing; Calligram; Blackwing Palomino; For No One; Everybody's Song But My Own; The Peacocks; We See; Solo Encore: Valentine.
Personnel: 
Fred Hersch: piano; John Hebert: bass; Eric McPherson: drums.


Denny Zeitlin
Solo Piano: Early Wayne



By Budd Kopman 
Early Wayne has many things going for it: it is a well recorded, live concert; pianist Denny Zeitlin, who has been recording for over fifty years, is masterful to the point of completely taking over the listening space, and, last but not least, the material used as the base for his improvisation is a set of ten Wayne Shorter tunes, mostly from the mid-60s.
The list of tunes, and the albums from which they come is below; the albums by Miles Davis were made by his second (great) quintet which included Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams:
1) "Speak No Evil" (Speak No Evil, Blue Note, 1966)
2) "Nefertiti" (Miles Davis, Nefertiti, Columbia, 1967)
3) "JuJu" (JuJu, Blue Note, 1965)
4) "Teru" (Adams Apple, Blue Note, 1967)
5) "Toy Tune" (Etcetera, Blue Note, 1965)
6) "Infant Eyes" (Speak No Evil, Blue Note, 1966)
7) "Paraphernalia" (Miles In The Sky, Miles Davis, Columbia, 1968)
8) "Ana Maria" (Native Dancer, Columbia, 1974)
9) "E.S.P." (Miles Davis, E.S.P., Columbia, 1965)
10) "Miyako" (Schizophrenia, Blue Note, 1967)
For many jazz fans, the Davis/Shorter nexus practically defines the music called "post-bop" and belongs to the "golden era" which began with "be-bop," then "hard-bop" and finally "post-bop."
In any case, most of the tunes have title recognition, if not melodic recognition, by which it is meant that most could not "hum" the tune, but could name it when it is played on the album. Shorter tunes are like that because of the way the melodies are constructed and how the lush harmonies and rhythm interact with it. The music is immediately recognizable in its entirety as "Shorter," but the details are for the most part ingeniously hidden under "the sound."
The Piedmont Piano Company offers an annual performance in their own space to an audience that appreciates the music. Zeitlin took the opportunity to do a "Shorter set" and obviously learned this music and these tunes inside and out. His improvisations, most six minutes or longer, are more like excursions or ruminations, and end up washing over the listener in their vastness.
Yes, a melodic fragment can be recognized (say, that of "Infant Eyes") here and there, but not recognizing the "ur text" in no way diminishes the depth, richness and sheer improvisatory invention of Zeitlin's playing. Each piece has it own mixture of that which has the sound of preparation with that of on-the-spot creation; this makes the album an exciting experience.
Anyone who is unfamiliar with sixties Shorter should definitely look into the Blue Note and Columbia catalogs of this period and deeply imbibe in Shorter and Davis.
The sheer pianistic virtuosity and high musicianship of Zeitlin makes Early Wayne a delightful gem and many times a mesmerizing experience.
Track Listing: 
Speak No Evil; Nefertiti; Ju Ju; Teru; Toy Tune; Infant Eyes; Paraphernalia; Ana Maria; E.S.P.; Miyako.
Personnel: 
Denny Zeitlin: piano.


Fabio Giachino Trio 
Blazar



By Traccedijazz
E' uscito il nuovo album, "Blazar", del pluripremiato trio torinese guidato dal pianista Fabio Giachino e formato con il contrabbassista Davide Liberti e il batterista Ruben Bellavia. Prodotto e edito da Abeat Records, è stato presentato in anteprima a Bruxelles per rappresentare la città di Torino in occasione dell’EXPO-TO e dell’Expo 2015 di Milano.
E' uscito "Blazar", il nuovo e terzo album del Fabio Giachino trio, una grande formazione che sta facendo sempre più parlare di sé e che si è affermata nel panorama italiano raccogliendo importanti riconoscimenti. Guidato dal pianista Fabio Giachino, insieme al contrabbassista Davide Liberti e al batterista Ruben Bellavia, il trio con "Blazar" firma il suo terzo lavoro, prodotto ed edito da Abeat Records, che segue i precedenti “Jumble up” (2014) e “Introducing Myself” (feat. Rosario Giuliani, 2012).
In collaborazione con il Torino Jazz Festival, l'album è stato presentato in anteprima a Bruxelles presso l’Istituto Italiano di Cultura per rappresentare la città di Torino in occasione dell’EXPO-TO e dell’Expo 2015 di Milano.
Il titolo dell'album richiama la passione di Giachino per l'astronomia: tecnicamente, il termine blazar siginifica "blazing quasi-stellar object", indicando un fenomeno energetico molto potente che ben rappresenta il carisma dirompente del trio e della sua musica, che sarà portata in tour nel 2015 toccando diverse città italiane.
Dei nove brani presenti nel disco, otto composizioni originali di Giachino e un arrangiamento reggae di "In the wee small of the morning" di D. Mann e B. Hilliard.
Fabio Giachino: "Credo in questo terzo album si sia delineata maggiormente la via che abbiamo intrapreso in questi anni, la coesistenza di differenti influenze stilistiche legate dall’amore comune per lo swing e il beat più incalzante ma, con una maggior ariosità all’interno delle composizioni ed un’attenzione maggiore alla melodia e alla forma. "Blazar" è proprio questo, in scienze viene definito come una sorgente altamente energetica e supercompatta, uno dei più violenti fenomeni dell’universo, ed è così che amo vedere il mio gruppo e la nostra musica: energica, violenta, ma anche dolce e delicata...e che magari faccia anche ballare, come il jazz faceva agli inizi del '900!"
Nato ad Alba e trasferitosi successivamente a Torino, Fabio Giachino è un talento inarrestabile. Seppur giovanissimo ha collaborato con grandi artisti come Dave Liebman, Furio Di Castri, Fabrizio Bosso, Rosario Giuliani, Emanuele Cisi, Maurizio Giammarco, Dino Piana, Aldo Zunino, Dusco Goycovitch, Javier Girotto, Miroslav Vitous esibendosi anche in Francia, Svizzera, Inghilterra, Repubblica Ceca, Polonia, Turchia, Romania, Canada, U.S.A.
Negli anni è stato insignito di importanti riconoscimenti a livello nazionale e internazionale: il "Premio Internazionale Massimo Urbani 2011", il "Premio Nazionale Chicco Bettinardi 2011" e il Red Award "Revelation of the year 2011" JazzUp channel; inoltre, nel 2011, 2012 e 2013 è stato votato tra i primi 10 pianisti italiani secondo il referendum "JAZZIT Awards" indetto dalla redazione della rivista JAZZIT.
Con il Fabio Giachino Trio ha ottenuto il Premio Speciale come "BEST BAND" al "Bucharest International Competition 2014", il premio "Fara Music Jazz Live 2012" (sia come miglior solista che come miglior gruppo), il premio "Barga Jazz Contest 2012" ed il "Premio Carrarese Padova Porsche Festival 2011".
Il trombettista Fabrizio Bosso, nelle note di copertina: "Ho conosciuto Fabio qualche anno fa suonando come ospite del quartetto Jazz Accident e, fin da subito, ho capito che stava nascendo un grande talento. Credo che i progressi che ha fatto in questi ultimi anni siano veramente notevoli, lo dimostra questo riuscitissimo lavoro "Blazar", un disco che strizza l'occhio al jazz newyorkese, ma senza tralasciare la vena melodico-mediterranea che contraddistingue i jazzisti italiani in tutto il mondo. In quanto alla tecnica questo musicista non ha nulla da invidiare ai migliori pianisti della scena jazz internazionale, coadiuvato da una ritmica sempre pronta ad assecondare i suoi input musicali."

Sunday, November 06, 2016

2 Sem 2016 - Part Six

Joey Alexander
Countdown



By Doug Collette
Like most such facile categorizing, 'child prodigy' usually ends up being a dead end rather than a means to explore the subject at hand. In the case of Joey Alexander, it's a disservice precisely because it's so restrictive: if he proves anything on his second album, it is that he will not be confined.
Quite the contrary, the thirteen year-old pianist and composer challenges himself on multiple fronts on Countdown. He not only chooses to play with other musicians, including bassist Larry Grenadier (Pat Metheny, Brad Mehldau) and saxophonist Chris Potter (Dave Douglas, Dave Holland), thereby allowing himself to assimilate technique, but he also takes the risk of involving both of them on an extended foray into Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage;" their detailed exploration of both the melody and rhythm reveals why it's so durable a composition and why the threesome are so simpatico.
The choice of the famous tune also represents the courage Alexander displays in his selection of cover material juxtaposed with his own evocative originals like "Soul Dreamer." John Coltrane's "Countdown" is a somewhat lesser known piece of the late great hornman's (his "My Favorite Things" served as the title of this artist's debut), while, in contrast, "Criss Cross" is one of pianist/composer Thelonious Monk's most famous tunes. Alexander and company approach both numbers with relish and no small amount of abandon.
In fact, the musicians leave self-consciousness so far behind, for a deep engagement in those numbers and their own playing, the combined resonance is as tangible as the audio presence producer Jason Olaine preserves equally vivid in detail and panorama. Ever-present drummer Ulysses Owen Jr.'s fleet but firm rhythms accentuate the various trios rumble and roar, especially when they get going on the album's opener, "City Lights," and the interaction on Wynton Marsalis'" "For Wee Folks" is lighting-fast and nimble to boot.
But the speed there isn't just for its own sake or for the players to show off how well they play, It's indicative not only of the depth of inspiration this precocious pianist/composer displays, but also how infectious is his enthusiasm. Joey's command of the keys lends as much airy atmosphere to his own "Sunday Waltz" as the deeper tones he injects into Billy Strayhorn's "Chelsea Bridge." Based on the cumulative effective of the nine tracks on the Countdown compact disc (there is an extra one, Eddie Harris' "Freedom Jazz Dance," available via I-Tunes), the range of feeling is a direct reflection of Alexander's learned and innate knowledge of his roots.
Not surprisingly, though, the moments he makes the deepest impression(s) are those within Charlie Chaplin's "Smile." Here the young man evinces an emotional depth far beyond his years and therein lies the source of his nascent genius.
Track Listing: 
City Lights; Sunday Waltz; Countdown; Smile; Maiden Voyage; Criss Cross; Chelsea Bridge; For Wee Folks; Soul Dreamer.
Personnel: 
Joey Alexander: piano; Larry Grenadier: bass (3-6, 8, 9); Dan Chmielinski: bass (1,2,7); Ulysses Owens, Jr.: drums; Chris Potter: soprano saxophone (5).


Jackie Ryan
Doozy



By Larry Taylor
This two-CD set is vocalist Jackie Ryan's third recording and it's definitely a keeper. On the heels of her 2007 success, You And The Night And The Music (Open Art Productions), which landed on the charts, also appears destined for success.
With her clear, rich voice, Ryan undoubtedly has one of jazz's great vocal instruments—no low-note warble or reedy high notes for her and with a 3-1/2 octave range, she handles each song with aplomb. In addition, she has a sure sense of phrasing and an unerring accuracy for getting to the heart of a song. To say she always swings is an under-statement.
Based in the San Francisco Bay area, Ryan has played around the world—London, Japan, Amsterdam and made a memorable 2006 appearance in New York at the Lincoln Center. Along the way, she has been backed by some of the best, including Clark Terry, Toots Thielemans, Barry Harris, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco and Red Holloway.
Her accompaniment here is led by peerless pianist Cyrus Chestnut, and includes a superb front line of tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and the great Brazilian guitarist, Romero Lubambo.
Ryan includes a collection of pop tunes, Latin American songs and under- appreciated jazz compositions. Everything stands out on about the CD, making it difficult to choose highlights, but here are a few: On the opening title track, her original vocalese interpretation brings to mind the great Annie Ross, with tasty solos delivered by Pelt, Alexander, and Chestnut. Ryan's ability to tell a story and the flexibility of her voice is displayed in "Do Something," as she ranges up and down the scales and in and out of the melody. Also, Chestnut's expertise as an accompanist is reaffirmed in his embellishments. Another favorite, "Speak Low"—executed with a samba beat—is a vivid example of how Ryan builds dramatic intensity.
Lubambo's guitar magic is conjured particularly well in Jobim's "Caminhos Cruzados." His infectious bossa nova rhythm frames Ryan's sensual rendering. Later, their duo on Augustin Lara's classic "Solamente Una Vez" is blissfully beautiful.
Leonard Bernstein's "Some Other Time" finishes off the set, featuring just Ryan and Chestnut. Someone once said that "less is better." That maxim is proven with the stark beauty of this piece.
Track Listing: 
CD1: Doozy; You'll See;Caminhos Cruzados; Do Something; Speak Low; I Must Have That Man; Dat Dere; Beautiful Moons Ago; My How The Time Goes By 
CD2: Opportunity Please Knock; I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do; Brigas Nunca Mais/A Felicidade; Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most; Solamente Una Vez; Summer Serenade; Get Ride Of Monday; Midnight Sun; Tell Me More And More And Then Some; Some Other Time.
Personnel: 
Jackie Ryan: vocals; Eric Alexander: saxophone; Jeremy Pelt: trumpet, flugelhorn; Cyrus Chestnut: piano; Romero Lubambo: guitar; Ray Drummond: bass; Dezron Douglas: bass; Carl Allen: drums; Neal Smith: drums.


Kenny Wheeler & John Taylor
On The Way To Two



By Mac Randall
The belated release of these 2005 duo recordings was originally intended to honor trumpeter/flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler on the first anniversary of his death. To that end, pianist Taylor penned a touching tribute to his longtime partner in the British chamber-jazz group Azimuth that’s reproduced on the album’s back cover. Not long after writing those words, however, Taylor himself died, making On the Way to Two a memorial to both players. Billy Strayhorn’s “A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing,” sensitively rendered, is the sole non-original here; Wheeler’s wistful compositions dominate, interspersed with three short sketches in which Taylor roots around inside the piano and Wheeler plays spooky lines on muted trumpet.
Decades of collaboration made Taylor and Wheeler highly attuned to each other, and their shared sense of telepathy is audible throughout this disc. The way they make the solo section of “Quiso” pitch and yaw like a tempest-tossed schooner is especially striking. Still, Wheeler seems overmatched at times. Taylor’s particle-accelerator approach to improvisation, smashing melodic fragments together and seeing what patterns they make, is brilliant but far more outgoing than Wheeler’s, which tends toward the circumspect. Also, Wheeler’s signature sudden leaps into the stratosphere are more wayward than usual, often only winding up in the troposphere, and yet he continues to attempt them so regularly that it takes on the air of an unhealthy fixation.
All the same, it’s wonderful to hear Wheeler’s cool, melancholy horn again. “Canter #2” and “Fortune’s Child” even offer us the chance to hear it twice, in a manner of speaking, as tasteful use of overdubbing gives both pieces an unexpected emotional climax. Think of the double-tracked conclusion to A Love Supreme, only in a more sedate style.


Jacob Christoffersen Trio
Facing The Sun



By Annika Westman 

Denmark has a great jazz tradition. Just like Paris, Copenhagen has been a haven for jazz musicians in exile (from the US, South Africa, etc.) for decades. Jazz has had a strong position in the city since the '40s, and many great players have been produced in this fertile climate, the best known being Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. Well, here is another one that deserves international success: pianist Jacob Christoffersen.
The impression that strikes immediately and persists through the whole CD is that this music sounds very fresh and very familiar at the same time. Christoffersen has a clean style, seemingly free of influences from piano icons that he obviously has listened to, like Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans. Sometimes the compositions bring back the flavour from a record like Jarrett's Belonging, or maybe My Song. But the playing style here is really fresh, very distinct and clear, nicely showcased by these beautiful tunes. This record, marked by strong playing and excellent compositions from the first note, is full of musical joy, expressed by the players and absorbed by the listener. Melodies just keep pouring out of Christoffersen, with a nice flow and at the same time a driving attack, a quick punch a couple of notches stronger than we normally hear in this type of jazz.
In addition to his work as a teacher at the well renowned Rhythmic Conservatory of Copenhagen and as a sideman in various Danish jazz groups, Christoffersen also plays with a few rock bands—and maybe that has helped him preserve his straightforward attack and musical approach. These features, combined with a wonderful lyricism and excellent songwriting, makes Facing The Sun a nice musical surprise.
The playing is very dynamic, from not just the piano but the whole band, including great drum solos from Jonas Johansen (whom I recently caught live with Ulf Wakenius, and his drum solos were just as nice on stage as they are on this recording). And Jesper Bodilsen plays his powerful, yet smooth and sensitive bass. That's why he is one of Denmark's busiest bassists, currently engaged with Ed Thigpen, Stefano Bollani, Kasper Villaume, and others.
This is straightforward and very melodic jazz, with a playful and joyful delivery. Simply beautiful, without ever getting too sweet. Rather than calling it mainstream, I would say that this music is right in the heart of jazz.
Track Listing:
Facing The Sun; Everything I Love; Fenster And McManus; Remembering; On The Horizon; Sing Song; Apology; Homecoming; All Of You; Transformation Game.
Personnel:
Jacob Christoffersen: piano; Jesper Bodilsen: bass; Jonas Johansen: drums.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Bob Cranshaw 1932 - 2016



By Matt Schudel/TheWashigntonPost
Bob Cranshaw, a versatile jazz bassist best known for his association with saxophonist Sonny Rollins, whom he accompanied on virtually every concert and album since 1962, died Nov. 2 at his home in Manhattan. He was 83.
The cause was cancer, said his wife, Bobbi Cranshaw.
Mr. Cranshaw never had an album as a leader, but he was on dozens of well-known jazz recordings, including trumpeter Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder” in 1964. He toured for several years with singer Ella Fitzgerald and appeared on more recordings on the famous Blue Note jazz label in the 1960s than any other bass player.
With his early classical training and an ability to play in any style, Mr. Cranshaw proved to be so adaptable and dependable that he may have been the only musician who performed, at various times, with Bing Crosby, Paul Simon, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, Rod Stewart, Peggy Lee, the “Saturday Night Live” orchestra and the studio band of “Sesame Street.”
“I didn’t ask to be a star,” he said in a 2014 interview with jazz pianist Ethan Iverson on the Do the Math website. “I wanted to be a sideman. I wanted to be a super-sideman.”
Mr. Cranshaw first performed with Rollins in 1959 at the Playboy Jazz Festival in Chicago. It was a demanding job because, at the time, Rollins had a bare-bones lineup, backed by just bass and drums.
“I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it,’ ” Mr. Cranshaw recalled years later, in an interview with a publication of the New York musicians’ union. “And then I thought about it and said, ‘Oh man, am I stepping into something I’m not ready for?’ No pianist, you know.”
Rollins was a challenging musician to accompany, sometimes changing tempos or keys without warning. But Mr. Cranshaw followed him at every turn, and the performance was a success.
After Rollins took a two-year hiatus from music, he asked Mr. Cranshaw to join his band, and he appeared on the classic 1962 album “The Bridge,” marking Rollins’s return to the jazz scene after two years of solitary practice on New York’s Williamsburg Bridge.
For the next 50 years, Mr. Cranshaw was the rhythmic and harmonic anchor for the powerful saxophonist, considered by many the most influential jazz musician of his time. He appeared on nearly 25 albums led by Rollins, including the Grammy Award-winning “This Is What I Do” (2000) and “Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert” (2005).
In addition, Mr. Cranshaw spent more than 25 years with “Sesame Street,” recording the TV show’s theme song by Joe Raposo and other tunes associated with the long-running children’s program, including “(It’s Not Easy) Bein’ Green” and “Sing.”
From 1975 to 1980, Mr. Cranshaw was the bass player with the original studio band of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” working alongside keyboardist Paul Shaffer, who later became the director of the band on “The Late Show With David Letterman.” Mr. Cranshaw was a member of the studio band of “The David Frost Show” from 1969 to 1972, working with pianist Billy Taylor, and in the early 1980s, he was the musical director for one of Dick Cavett’s talk shows.
In the early 1970s, Mr. Cranshaw was among the first jazz bassists to adopt the electric bass guitar as his primary instrument. He continued to perform occasionally on the upright bass throughout his life, but back injuries sustained in a car accident initially forced him to switch to the smaller, amplified electric bass.
At first, he faced resistance from jazz purists, who maintained that the electric bass — a backbone of rock music — didn’t fit into the jazz aesthetic. But Mr. Cranshaw brought a rare subtlety to the electric instrument, applying the same touch, musical phrasing and jazz sensibility that he brought to the upright bass.
“A bass is a bass. That’s my attitude,” he said in the interview with Iverson. “I know that the jazz guys don’t dig the electric, so I gotta make it sound and I gotta make it feel like I’m playing the string bass.”
Melbourne Robert Cranshaw was born Dec. 10, 1932, in Chicago. He grew up in a solidly middle-class community in Evanston, Ill., where his father was a choir director.
“I came up in a really lovely neighborhood,” Mr. Cranshaw said in 2014. “As I tell guys, I can play the blues, but I can’t cry the blues because I didn’t come from that kind of thing.”
As a child, Mr. Cranshaw said he often visited church basements in Evanston because he could feel the bass notes of the organ and choirs through the foundation of the building. He gradually realized the bass was his musical calling.
He played in the school orchestra and learned to read music by the time he graduated. He received a bachelor’s degree from Chicago’s Roosevelt University, then served in the Army before beginning his music career in Chicago.
When he moved to New York around 1960, one of the first people he encountered was the eminent bass player Milt Hinton, whom he had long idolized. Hinton took an immediate interest in Mr. Cranshaw’s career, recommended him for recording dates and other jobs.
Among the noteworthy recordings he appeared on were “Idle Moments” (1963) by guitarist Grant Green, “Inner Urge” (1964) with saxophonist Joe Henderson, and “Movin’ Wes” (1964) with guitarist Wes Montgomery. Mr. Cranshaw created the catchy bass line that underscored Morgan’s soul-jazz hit “The Sidewinder” from 1964.
In addition to his studio work, Mr. Cranshaw performed in Broadway pit orchestras and for visiting singers, including Crosby, Lee, Collins and Frank Sinatra. He appeared on several tracks on Simon’s 1973 album “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon.”
His first two marriages ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Bobbi Curtis Cranshaw of Manhattan; three children from his first marriage; two stepchildren he adopted; and several grandchildren.
Mr. Cranshaw was a central figure in the New York musicians’ union and said he worked so steadily for so long because he managed to avoid drugs and other temptations of the jazz life.
“I did a lot of Blue Note dates because I was on time,” he said. “If you said, ‘Be there at a certain time,’ I was there. It was a business for me at that point. There were great bass players that came through; sometimes they were there and sometimes, you know . . .”