Thursday, July 07, 2016

Don Friedman 1935 - 2016

By Nate Chinen/ NY Times
Don Friedman, a versatile pianist who moved easily between the modern-jazz mainstream and the more volatile jazz avant-garde, died on June 30 at his home in the Bronx. He was 81.
The cause was pancreatic cancer, his wife, Marilyn, said.
Mr. Friedman had a crisp, fluid technique and an adventurous approach to harmony, which made him a desirable sideman over a career that lasted more than 60 years. He worked for decades with the trumpeter Clark Terry, a popular emblem of swinging ebullience, and also commingled with pioneers of free jazz like the alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman.
During the 1960s, when modern jazz was undergoing a seismic upheaval largely instigated by Coleman, Mr. Friedman darted back and forth across the supposed fault line. He played on albums by the trumpeter Booker Little, notably “Out Front,” a landmark of progressive postbop featuring Max Roach on drums and Eric Dolphy on alto saxophone, flute and bass clarinet. He also toured with the uncompromising reed player and composer Jimmy Giuffre.
But he also freelanced with jazz traditionalists like the cornetist Bobby Hackett and toured with a popular Latin-jazz group led by the flutist Herbie Mann. In 1964 he appeared on “Discovery!,” the debut album by the tenor saxophonist and flutist Charles Lloyd.
In an email, Mr. Lloyd praised Mr. Friedman as “a great sage of beauty and grace” with “a modern, lyrical style.”
Mr. Friedman was a prolific solo artist, if relatively unheralded, except in Japan, where he had a substantial and loyal following. Several of his early albums received five-star reviews (the magazine’s highest honor) from DownBeat, which also anointed him a New Star in its annual critics’ poll. But the later name for that honor, Talent Deserving Wider Recognition, would be much more apt in describing Mr. Friedman’s career as a leader.
Donald Ernest Friedman was born on May 4, 1935, in San Francisco. His parents, both immigrants — his father, Edward, from Lithuania, and his mother, the former Alma Loew, from Germany — encouraged his interest in classical piano, which he began studying at age 4. When he was 15, his family moved to Los Angeles, where he discovered jazz and quickly began playing it, initially with a style derived from the bebop paragon Bud Powell.
Some of Mr. Friedman’s earliest work came with West Coast jazz stalwarts like the trumpeter Shorty Rogers and the saxophonist Buddy Collette. He first played in New York in 1956, with the clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, and he made it his home two years later. His debut album, released in 1961 on the Riverside label, was “A Day in the City,” featuring a suite inspired by his brief studies in composition at Los Angeles City College.
Mr. Friedman formed a close musical alliance with the Hungarian jazz guitarist Attila Zoller, featuring him on a pair of critically hailed albums influenced by free improvisation, “Dreams and Explorations” (1964) and “Metamorphosis” (1966).
In addition to his wife, Mr. Friedman is survived by a daughter, Lynn Friedman; a stepson, Rory Friedman; and three grandchildren. Three previous marriages ended in divorce.
In recent years Mr. Friedman worked mainly as a leader, in a crisply swinging style. Among his notable albums are “Piano Works VI: From A to Z,” a solo tribute to Mr. Zoller (2006), and “Waltz for Marilyn,” featuring the guitarist Peter Bernstein (2007). “Nite Lites,” his final trio album, was released last year.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

1 Sem 2016 - Part Seven

Michael Wollny

By John Fordham/The Guardian

The imaginative and fluently skilful German pianist Michael Wollny covered music by Alban Berg, Edgard Varése and the Flaming Lips on his last album, but the 14 tracks here are mostly his own work or that of his superb trio with Christian Weber (bass) and Eric Schaefer (drums) – save for the odd excursion into the Twin Peaks soundtrack or the music of medieval master Guillaume de Machaut, and a piece by Wollny’s former teacher Chris Beier, whose piano-playing was undermined by a neurological condition. Nachtfahrten – “night journeys” – is a more shaded, melodically sparing venture than its predecessor Weltentraum, with Beier’s enforced retreat into essences and understatement a key inspiration, but its layering and fine details are just as fascinating. Schaefer’s Motette No 1 springs ingenious improv from a rocking vamp, Beier’s White Moon is a beautiful melody enhanced by a steady, Mehldau-like manner. Schaefer’s Ellen has the kind of pop-ballad feel that Esbjörn Svensson might have given it and Au Clair de la Lune wanders wistfully amid pinging cymbal sounds and sparse drum rolls. They are one of the world’s great jazz-driven piano trios, and Nachtfahrten takes nothing away from this assessment.

John Taylor

By CamJazz
“A family project” is how Alex Taylor, singer-songwriter as well as John’s son, labels the English pianist’s latest album. And that is exactly what it is, considering that John, who wrote the music, and Alex, who wrote and sang the lyrics, are joined by Leo Taylor on drums. Oren Marshall on tuba, whose surname is not Taylor but who is most assuredly very close to the Taylor family, completes the quartet. Together they recorded the album entitled “2081” drawing inspiration from Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron”, published in 1961. John Taylor was commissioned to write the music to this album by BBC Radio 3 for the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Originally written for octet, it was then readapted for the “2081” quartet. Alex explains: “Vonnegut’s story depicts a dystopian future in which everyone is equal. Nobody is allowed to be smarter, better looking or more physically able than anyone else. Those individuals who are gifted with intellect, talent and so on are made to bear ‘handicaps’”. At times, John Taylor’s musical realm is reassuring and consistent with his own standards, while, at other times, it conveys the mysterious, unsettling future depicted by Vonnegut, by pursuing a hybrid sound, mingling jazz, pop and the soundtrack mood. This pursuit definitely benefits from the sonic scenarios opened by Marshall’s tuba, as well as the Leo’s drumming style (already launched on a brilliant career on the indie-rock scene with his band The Invisible), who very often introduces modern, offbeat hypnotic rhythms here. Alex further explains: “I wanted to be able to tell a love story within the world Vonnegut created, from a standpoint external to the novella but very much in that theme”.
John Taylor ( Piano ); Oren Marshall ( Tuba ); Alex Taylor ( Vocal ); Leo Taylor ( Drums )

Nak Trio
The Other Side Of If

By Challenge
"Jazz made in Poland" has been considered a seal of quality since the 1960s. Well-known musicians as Zbigniew Namysłowski, Tomasz Stańko, Michał Urbaniak, Krzysztof Komeda, Zbigniew Seifert, Adam Makowicz, Jan Wróblewski, Urszula Dudziak, Leszek Zadlo and Vitold Rek shaped an unmistakable style that lifts the substance of American swing with the yearning of the Eastern European bloc countries for freedom and adventure to a high quality, exciting common denominator. Admittedly, the explosive, sparkling atmosphere of Polish catacomb and underground jazz belongs to past at the latest since the political upheavals in Europe at the end of the 1980s. Today, it is above all pianists who set the tone of the cultural image of the country. Marcin Wasilewski and Leszek Możdżer are getting worldwide recognition with their diverse projects as creators of a new musical language. It is quite possible that three young Polish musicians will be mentioned in one breath with them in the future: Dominik Wania (piano), Jacek
Kochan (drums) and Michał Kapczuk (bass) have joined forces under the cryptic slogan "NAK Trio" to create a community of interest exceptional in every way.
You can consider these names as quite representative of the unconventional approach of the combo, which runs like a thread through all their actions: not straight ahead, but always a bit out-of-the-box. NAK does not stand for the initial letter of the last name of the protagonists as in other formations, but instead for the final letter: KochaN– WaniA – KapczuK. It continues consistently in this direction with the title of their debut album "The Other Side Of If". Although all of this is probably a bit abstract, indefinable, perhaps somewhat philosophical, drummer, composer and producer Jacek Kochan apologizes smiling. "If you think about the exact meaning of the word 'if', then a few questions first arise in your mind in any language. 'What if?' 'What would happen if?' Perhaps 'Would it be better or worse if?' Since the answer always remains unresolved and consequently the symbolism of the little word 'if', there is a certain fascination, something mysterious, with respect to everything." In exactly the same way, Jacek Kochan, Dominik Wania and Michał Kapczuk want to enchant their fans. Far from the classic A-A-B-A jazz pattern, the seven original compositions are based more on two masters of classical modernism the 20th century, the Hungarian Béla Bartók (1881-1945) and his Polish compatriot Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994). "We consider it important that all four instruments are in the forefront," Kochan explained. Excuse me, in a trio? "Simple," laughs the primus inter pares (the first among equals) of NAK trio. "Bass, drums, and the left and the
right hand of the piano player. The reason is that Dominik has developed a technique with his left hand that is very unique and differs clearly from that of other jazz pianists. The melodies and harmonies have more of a chromatic structure. I hope that this does not frighten off jazz aficionados too much, because it actually still is jazz. Our jazz. However, fans of classical music might also like it!"

Philippe Duchemin Trio
Three Pieces

Piano : Philippe Duchemin; Acoustic bass : Patricia Lebeugle; Drums : Jean Pierre Souchu

1- Take bach (4'44")
2- Honey (6'23")
3- fond brun (7'15")
4- Bernie's Tune (5'51")
5- Fumet (5'34")
6- Quand je monte chez toi (7'05")
7- What is this thing called love (5'55")
8- Lucy in the sky with diamond (6'01")
9- Tea for two (5'18")

Saturday, May 21, 2016

1 Sem 2016 - Part Six

Mario Nappi Trio

By Jesper Bodilsen
“It is a good album and I like the variety of the songs My favorite songs are Introducing, Waltz for a Poet and Notte di San Lorenzo. It is a nice trio you have - take care of them Great playing from all 3 of you.”
1. Preludio; 2. Introducing; 3. Waltz for a Poet; 4. Blues for X; 5. Notte di San Lorenzo;
6. Apple (Corrado Cirillo); 7. To Monk; 8. A Christmas Song for; 9. Pezzettino
Mario Nappi (piano); Corrado Cirillo(double bass); Luca Mignano (drums)

Stefano Battaglia Trio
In The Morning: The Music Of Alec Wilder

By Karl Ackermann
Over the past five years Stefano Battaglia could have easily taken bassist Salvatore Maiore and drummer Roberto Dani into the ubiquitous realm of classically trained piano trios, where improvisation, chamber and dark lyricism meet but rarely ignite. But along with his classical training and an established ear for free jazz, hard bop and mainstream, Battaglia has grown and capitalized on those collective skills. The Milan, Italy native has increasingly chosen an open mind and ear, an affinity for spontaneity, and an approach that has been additive over the years. His original ECM trio of bassist Giovanni Maier and percussionist Michele Rabbia Raccolto (2005) explored similar territories ten years ago, but the synergy of styles has grown more fluid and natural over time.
With the same excellent trio that produced The River of Anyder and Songways (ECM, 2011 and 2012), the combo returns with an enormously successful outing on In The Morning. The overarching theme is remote; a consideration of the work of the late American composer Alec Wilder who composed for jazz flavored pop, opera, film and was recorded by notables from Frank Sinatra to saxophonist Dave Liebman and Keith Jarrett. Though celebrated within the music community, and sufficiently recorded through his own projects and covers, Wilder, known in his time to be a somewhat domineering and disagreeable character, was not overtly recognized by the public music market.
Record live in Torino, Italy in April 2014 In The Morning reflects the eccentric combination of styles in which Wilder composed. The long title track (almost twelve minutes) opens with the type of lyrical Bill Evans style that Battaglia has been understandably fond of over the years. Maiore interjects a brief solo, Dani washes over the cymbals and Battaglia then picking up a more abstract variation of the main theme that effectively incorporates Wilder's pop experimentalism. Followed by another extended composition—"River Run"—the trio goes further out in pushing rhythmic and energetic performance, adding more color and texture.
Compositions like "Moon and Sand" and "When I Am Dead My Dearest" are given more poignant treatments with Maiore's deep, resonating bass anchoring the pieces and Dani moving them along with a more musical than pulsating approach. The lengthiest piece on the album, "The Lake Isle Of Innisfree" begins as a minimalist exercise and takes its time building up to more grounded and harmonic textures. The closer, "Chick Lorimer" is the most abstract song in the collection though it re-grounds and goes out in an uplifting manner.
The members of this trio have a strong understanding of each other and a seemingly transcendent connection that allows them to stray individually without losing context. Battaglia's traditional roots, both classical and jazz, are shared with his experimental nature and the results are always refined. In The Morning is the best of his trio recordings and a real pleasure to listen to.
Track Listing: 
In The Morning; River Run; Moon And Sand; When I Am Dead My Dearest; The Lake Isle Of Innisfree; Where Do You Go?; Chick Lorimer.
Stefano Battaglia: piano; Salvatore Maiore: bass; Roberto Dani: drums.

Thomas Enhco

By Julien Le Gros
Il n’a que vingt-six ans et a enregistré avec des légendes comme Peter Erskine, Jack De Johnette et John Pattitucci. L’univers du premier disque piano solo de Thomas Enhco sorti chez Verve mêle allègrement le jazz et la musique classique.
Les fées se sont penchées sur le berceau du pianiste-violoniste Thomas Enhco, révélation des Victoires du jazz en 2013. Son beau-pèreDidier Lockwood l’a fait débuter sur la scène de Jazz à Juan avec Martial Solal en 1998 et fait faire ses gammes avec des jazzmen avertis comme André Cecarelli Bireli Lagrène ouNiels-Henning Orsted Pedersen au sein du Centre des musiques Didier Lockwood. Sa mèreCaroline Casadesus, avec laquelle il a collaboré, est une grande soprano, fille du chef d’orchestre Jean-Claude Casadesus. 
Son frèreDavid Enhco est un trompettiste chevronné, invité sur l’album de Thomas Someday my prince will come, produit par le japonais Itoh Yasohachi en 2009. Mais comme dit Brassens: « sans technique un don n’est rien qu’une sale manie». Loin de s’endormir sur ses lauriersThomas Enhco a su fructifier son héritage musical avec un perfectionnisme qu’on sent à chaque note sur Feathers. C’est le premier album de piano solo du jeune virtuose, exercice réputé casse-gueule mais dont il se tire haut la main. Le précédent Fireflies– sorti chez Label Bleu en 2012 était en trio avec Chris Jennings à la contrebasse et Nicolas Charlier à la batterie.
Au fil de thèmes empreints de romantisme comme Watching you sleep, Letting you go ou Je voulais te dire on sent la double formation classique et jazz du musicien. Thomas Enhcorevendique l’influence de grands compositeurs classiques qu’il a interprété sous la férule de la concertiste Gisèle Magnan comme Schumann, Chopin Fauré, Dutilleux ou Prokofiev. Il fait aussi montre d’un certain humour. Un des meilleurs titres de l’album s’intitule Mischievous, littéralement espiègle, un autre au tempo effréné Looking for the moose: A la recherche de l’élan, est peut-être inspiré par une aventure canadienne du jeune homme. Long morceau comme une épopée sonore Sand creek song se réfère au massacre d’indiens par des soldats américains en 1864 dans le Colorado. Car le pianiste a sillonné le globe, accompagnant Jane Birkin en Amérique latine en 2008, s’installant à New York, la Mecque du jazz , tournant en Chine, Russie, Israël, Turquie, Liban, Syrie, Philippines, Nouvelle-Calédonie…
He’s fine thank you
Feathers porte bien son nom. Léger, aérien, le disque est idéal pour se poser dans son canapé un dimanche après-midi ensoleillé printanier en écoutant I’m fine Thank You, sans doute le plus joli thème de l’album. Pour la suite Thomas Enhco est déjà sur la brèche. Il doit sortir cette année un autre album avec la percussionniste bulgare Vassilena Serafimova sur le prestigieux label de musique classique Deutsche Gramophon…

Adam Birnbaum/ Doug Weiss/ Al Foster
Three Of A Mind

By Karl Ackermann 

Pianist/composer Adam Birnbaum has performed in the company of diverse leaders such as traditionalist trumpeterWynton Marsalis, the edgier saxophonist Greg Osby and the eclectic composer/conductorDarcy James Argue's Secret Society and his Secret Society. On one hand Birnbaum is a change agent having utilized three different rhythm sections in as many outings as a trio leader. He also demonstrates a strong conviction for retaining a musical style rooted in fundamentals. On Three of a Mind he is joined by veteran drummer Al Foster—whose résumé includes Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk—and Foster's regular bassist Douglas Weiss both of whom he has also performed with.
A Julliard graduate, Birnbaum's frequent appearances on the downtown New York club scene have grown to a presence at a number of prestigious international festivals. He has composed commissioned works and arranged a unique hybrid of classical and ethnic Japanese folk music for performance. Birnbaum's variety of musical experiences have provided him with a rich melodic vocabulary and a firm sense of timing. The familiar trio configuration on Three of a Mind does their best work when they work together, taking advantage of their individual and collective experiences together.
The high level of synergy is revealed from the start with the buoyant "Binary." A bit funky and repetitive, Foster and Weiss add a fullness that carries over to the moderate tempo "Dream Waltz." The latter features an appealing solo from Weiss. Foster subtly guides alternating tempos moving seamlessly from shuffle patterns to layered rhythms and adding dimension to simple compositions. A number of pieces such as "Thirty-Three," "Rockport Moon" and "Stutterstep" are unmistakably rooted in mainstream jazz but Birnbaum uses grass roots rudiments to drive his controlled style of improvisation.
Birnbaum expertly utilizes his experience and understanding of music to challenge himself with a multitude of methods and styles. His non-westernized encounters allow him to rethink conventional structures without discarding them. In the company of Foster and Weiss the players use each other as sounding boards that fuel an openness to individual development. The trio doesn't marginalize improvisation though it is often camouflaged by their ability to play with flawless coherence.
Track Listing: 
Binary; Dream Waltz; Thirty-Three; Brandyn; Rockport Moon; Stutterstep; Kizuna; Dream Song, #1 (Huffy Henry); Ooh, What You Do to Me.
Adam Birnbaum: piano; Al Foster: drums; Douglass Weiss: Bass.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bill Henderson 1926 - 2016

By Mike Barnes
Bill Henderson, a well-respected jazz vocalist and actor, died Sunday of natural causes in Los Angeles, according to Lynne Robin Green, president of LWBH Music Publishers. He was 90.
A native of Chicago, Henderson sang with the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, the Charlie Haden Quintet and many others. His 1963 album, Bill Henderson With the Oscar Peterson Trio, is considered a classic in the jazz vernacular.
Henderson was a fixture on the Playboy circuit in the 1970s and appeared often at many festivals, including Playboy Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl, Monterey Jazz and the Litchfield Jazz Festival in Connecticut. Later, he performed at The Kennedy Center and in New York at the Hotel Algonquin’s Oak Room and at Lincoln Center.
“Henderson’s phrasing is virtually his own copyright,” music journalist Leonard Feather once said. “He tends to space certain words as if the syllables were separated by commas, even semicolons, yet everything winds up as a perfectly constructed sentence.”
At the suggestion of his friend Bill Cosby, Henderson pursued an acting career and in 1967 relocated to Hollywood.
He appeared in such films as The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension(1984), Clue (1985) — as the cop who is killed by a lead pipe in the library — City Slickers (1991),White Men Can't Jump (1992), Maverick (1994), Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) and Smiling Fish & Goat on Fire (1999) and on television in ER, Hill Street Blues, Happy Days, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons,Good Times, MacGyver, Benson, NYPD Blue and My Name Is Earl.
Henderson made his show business debut as a singer and dancer at age 4. A stint in the Army led to him working with crooner Vic Damone, and in 1956, Henderson made his way to New York.
A year later, Horace Silver hired him to record a vocal version of the popular instrumental song “Senor Blues” for Blue Note Records. It was a jukebox hit and remains one of the biggest-selling singles in the label’s history.
Between 1958-61, Henderson recorded for the Vee-Jay label and recorded his first album, Bill Henderson Sings. Most recently, he released a self-produced live album, Beautiful Memory, co-produced by Green.
Survivors include his daughter Mariko, granddaughter Mya, son-in-law Marc, nephew Finis and niece Henreene.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Gato Barbieri 1932 - 2016

By Peter Keepnews and Christopher Mele

Gato Barbieri, a saxophonist whose highly emotional playing helped expand the audience for Latin jazz, and whose music for the film “Last Tango in Paris” won a Grammy Award, died on Saturday in New York. He was 83.
His death was confirmed by Jordy Freed, the vice president for marketing and communications at the Blue Note Entertainment Group, parent company of the Blue Note nightclub in Greenwich Village, where Mr. Barbieri often performed. Mr. Barbieri’s wife, Laura, told The Associated Press that the cause was pneumonia.
Mr. Barbieri recorded dozens of albums in a career that began in the late 1940s in his native Argentina, and continued recording and performing into the 21st century.
Although he was heavily influenced by John Coltrane and other saxophonists, his big, lush sound was distinctly his own and instantly recognizable.
Reviewing a performance by Mr. Barbieri in 1983, Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote that he “makes some of the most raucous sounds ever to emerge from a tenor saxophone,” adding: “His horn screams, grunts, honks, bleats, groans. Even in ballads, he works up to a hefty, throbbing tone that sounds like it could burst at any moment.”
Early in his career Mr. Barbieri was a prominent member of the jazz avant-garde, making records with the trumpeter Don Cherry, the pianist and composer Carla Bley and others that challenged the music’s harmonic and rhythmic conventions. He later developed a more melodic approach that acknowledged his Latin American heritage, and that won him a large and loyal worldwide audience.
His first taste of international fame came when he was asked to write and perform the music for “Last Tango in Paris,” the director Bernardo Bertolucci’s sexually explicit 1972 film starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider. Mr. Barbieri’s theme won a Grammy Award for best instrumental composition.
“It was like a marriage between the film and the music,” Mr. Barbieri said of his soundtrack in a 1997 interview with The Associated Press. “Bernardo told me, ‘I don’t want the music to be too much Hollywood or too much European, which is more intellectual. I want a median.’”
He went on to write several more film scores.
Leandro Barbieri was born on Nov. 28, 1932, in Rosario, Argentina, and moved to Buenos Aires in 1947. He earned the nickname Gato (Spanish for cat) in the 1950s because of the way he scampered from one Buenos Aires nightclub to another with his saxophone to make it to his next gig.
Drawn to music at an early age, he studied clarinet as a child and played alto saxophone with the Argentine pianist and composer Lalo Schifrin before switching to tenor.
“Music was a mystery to Gato, and each time he played was a new experience for him, and he wanted it to be that way for his audience,” Laura Barbieri told The Associated Press.
The success of his “Last Tango” soundtrack led to a contract with Impulse Records, the label for which John Coltrane had made some of his most celebrated recordings. His four Impulse albums, titled “Chapter One” through “Chapter Four,” blended jazz with various strains of Latin American folk music and, in the words of the jazz writer Ashley Kahn, “served as a virtual South American tour.” Later albums, for A&M and other labels, maintained the Latin elements of his music while exploring a more commercial, pop-oriented approach.
Despite health problems, Mr. Barbieri, still sporting his trademark black fedora, had been appearing monthly at the Blue Note, where he first performed in 1985. His last public performance was there on Nov. 23, Mr. Freed said.
“He was a worldly free spirit, a really sweet man,” Mr. Freed said. “He really was a pioneer.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Barbieri’s survivors include their son, Christian, and a sister, Raquel Barbieri. His first wife, Michelle, died in 1995.
Last year Mr. Barbieri received a lifetime achievement Grammy Award from the Latin Recording Academy. The citation credited him with covering “virtually the entire jazz landscape” in his long career and with creating “a rebellious but highly accessible musical style, combining contemporary jazz with Latin American genres and incorporating elements of instrumental pop.”
Looking back on his recording career in 2006, Mr. Barbieri expressed pride in his embrace of different styles.
“In those days,” he said, referring to the 1970s, “the jazz people they don’t consider me a jazz musician. If I am Latin, they don’t consider me Latin. So I am here in the middle.”
“It’s a good thing,” he added. “You know why? Because they say, ‘What do you play?’ I say, ‘I play my music — Gato Barbieri.’”

Saturday, April 02, 2016

1 Sem 2016 - Part Five

George Cables
In Good Company

By Michael J. West/JazzTimes
George Cables’ title refers first to the pianist-composers he covers—John Hicks, Kenny Barron, Ellington and Strayhorn—and second to his trio with bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer Victor Lewis. The album’s a cheery swinger, an exemplar of mainstream piano jazz. In short, the kind of record Cables always makes. But it’s his accompanists, and Victor Lewis in particular, that earn the titular salute.
Essiet records semi-regularly with Cables, and evinces an ability to disappear inside the pianist’s rich left-hand chords and the architecture and tenderness of his touch, as on Hicks’ “After the Morning” and Ellington’s “Love You Madly.” But Lewis has been with Cables for 15 years, and the album’s second track, Cables’ “Mr. Anonymouse,” plainly shows why. A bass ostinato bears down as Cables barrels over it with speedy single-note lines; underneath, Lewis lays out a cymbal-and-kick locomotion that’s preternaturally steady. If the pianist is a runaway train, the drummer lays down tracks for it in real time.
Lewis’ fingerprints are everywhere on In Good Company. His frequent accents shape Cables’ “EVC” almost singlehandedly, and the upshot of rendering Strayhorn’s poignant “Lotus Blossom” midtempo is to establish the ride cymbal as a playful foundation for Cables’ improvisation. (It also gives Essiet a chance to shoot the breeze.) Lewis gets his own snappy solos on “It Don’t Mean a Thing” and Kenny Barron’s “Voyage,” and space for his brushwork on “Lush Life” and “Day Dream.”
The pianist shouldn’t get short shrift; his lithe but thoughtful fingerings uplift every corner of In Good Company, and provide occasional surprises like the Monk-esque glissandi on “Lotus Blossom” and subtle syncopation breakdowns on “Naima’s Love Song.” Lewis simply shows himself to be Cables’ equal—surely the best of company.

Stanley Cowell
Reminiscent: Plus A Xmas Suite

By Parsifal
'Reminiscent' includes a featured program of Christmas melodies ("A Xmas Suite") as well as Stanley Cowell originals and compositions by Brahms, Thad Jones and Richie Powell. His trio includes the acclaimed bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Billy Drummond.
Since his retirement in 2013 from the professorship at the prestigious Rutgers University, where he led its jazz department, pianist/composer Stanley Cowell has been increasingly active on the scene both in concerts and recordings.
In a glittering career Cowell has recorded for labels such as Strata-East - the cult jazz label he started with Charles Tolliver, ECM, Galaxy, and as a sideman on Blue Note, Atlantic, Muse, Impulse! and many others. He has recorded with an array of jazz stars, including Bobby Hutcherson, Stan Getz, Johnny Griffin, Art Pepper, Max Roach, Charles Tolliver and Clifford Jordan.
Track Listing:
1. Intermezzo - 4:11 2. Re-Confirmed - 6:05 3. A Child Is Born - 7:55 4. A Xmas Suite - 10:03 5. Peace - 6:44 6. Midnight Diversion - 9:06 7. Hear With Me - 3:34 8. Time - 6:48 9. Reminiscent - 5:11 10. Sweet Song - 5:22
Stanley Cowell (piano, thumb piano) , Jay Anderson (bass) , Billy Drummond (drums)

Mirko Signorile
In Full Life

By Jazzos
Gia' da piccolo manifesta una passione per la musica ed in particolare per il pianoforte.
All'eta' di 6 anni prende le prime lezioni di strumento e solfeggio entrando dopo qualche anno nell'Accademia musicale diretta dal m° Battista Bia.
Il luogo e' molto stimolante perche' gli permette di conoscere gli altri strumenti a tastiera come l'organo Hammond, i sintetizzatori; strumenti che per molto tempo...
Fabio Accardi ( Drums ); Fabrizio Bosso ( Trumpet ); Gaetano Partipilo ( Percussion )
Gianluca Petrella ( Trombone ); Giorgio Vendola ( Double Bass ); Mirko Signorile ( Piano )
Stefano Jacoviello ( Electronics )

André Ceccarelli/ Jean-Michel Pilc/ Thomas Bramerie
20 - Twenty

By Catfish
To become a co-star for 20 years, Andre Ceccarelli (1945~), Jean-Michel Pilc (1960~), Thomas Bramerie (1965~), Recorded by the powerful All-Star trio of. Piano nice sharp hard touch crisp in the clearing is, sing the middle. Undulating vigorously emotion in dynamic and bluesy, explosive power and mobility to the rich drums and bass of attacking a touch also showed an antagonistic the first time in the thrilling , some crunchy, and taste of even enough fighting bravely content. Such as rhythm form and tempo, while also a variety of creative is one after another note to arrange plane, extremely high realistic improvisation degree in total, a rich sharp "serious, lyrical-action" type of high-tension bravely continued, while Watariai a guerrilla invasion of Ceccarelli and Bramerie, of Pilc to carry through the valiant resolute down as being in high spirits - complete combustion in the seat of the protagonist, the narrative of a certain deep in the furious playing, indescribably. It stands out. → by the hard touch of Me percussive, while exhibiting the underlying strength of the large-action offensive of irregularities some aggressive with an emphasis on swordfight ish mechanics properties, to truly expertness, or was more meditative, introspective or was aesthetic (or chic such of lyricism-oriented approach of bluesy Dattari ditty wind), thoroughly there like the depth of rich poetic that sitting of the waist is also in the rarity, while traffic to the extremes in an instant, only discussions and exhilarating Millionaires entertainment tone of storytelling to show finish in the road (good support of Ceccarelli and Bramerie also shining) is, indeed wonderful masterpiece.
1. All Blues; 2. Cry Baby Cry; 3. On Green Dolphin Street; 4. Twenty; 5. Opus #3
6. Ne Me Quitte Pas; 7. Old Devil Moon; 8. Returning; 9. Things Are
10. Straight No Chaser; 11. L'Auvergnat; 12. Solar
Jean-Michel Pilc(p); Thomas Bramerie(b); Andre Ceccarelli(ds)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Frank Sinatra, Jr. 1944 - 2016

By Althea Legaspi

Frank Sinatra Jr., the son of legendary singer Frank Sinatra and an artist himself, has died. He was 72.
The Sinatra family said in a statement that he died of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona, FL, and that they mourn the untimely passing of their son, brother, family, and uncle.
Though his father may have discouraged his son from going into the music business due to its challenges, Sinatra Jr. followed in the footsteps of his famous father as well as worked by his side. Gifted with a voice similar to his father's, Sinatra Jr. began performing at clubs as a teen. When he was 19, he was kidnapped and held for ransom, though he was released a few days later and the kidnappers were caught and convicted. He later became his dad's music director and at the age of 44 began serving as his father's conductor. His debut album, 1965's Young Love for Sale, was understandably influenced by his father and was also released on Reprise, which was also his father's longtime label home.
In an interview with Express in the UK last year, Sinatra Jr. opened up about his early aspirations. He originally wanted to be a pianist and composer, but singing became a necessity. "It was the only way I could get a job," he said. "I was hired as a novelty by the Tom Dorsey band and it was total exploitation but it gave me a job."
Sinatra Jr. was also candid about the state of his career, which had relied heavily in recent years on performing tributes of his father's work. Last year was the 100th anniversary of his dad's birth. "I haven't had a hit record or starred in a hit movie and since that's how the entertainment business measures success, I don't consider myself successful," he said.
Despite living in his father's shadow for much of his career and covering other songs from his father's era, he did write the original composition "Spice" on his most recent album, 2006's That Face!, which was his first album of new material in a decade. It was recorded live and released on Rhino. Last year, Sinatra Jr. sang The Star-Spangled Banner at Yankee Stadium and also delivered the National Anthem at Dodgers Stadium in September.
He was scheduled to perform at The Peabody Daytona Beach on Wednesday, which was billed as "Frank Sinatra Jr.: 'Sinatra Sings Sinatra' The Centennial Celebration," according to Ticketmaster.