Sunday, February 12, 2017

Al Jarreau 1940 - 2017

By Britni Danielle, February 12, 2017
Just days after announcing that he was retiring from touring after being hospitalized for exhaustion, legendary jazz singer Al Jarreau passed away Sunday morning in Los Angeles.
The singer’s manager, Joe Gordon, released a statement–which was shared with EBONY by reporter Darlene Hill–about the singer’s death.
Dear friends, family and colleagues,
Al Jarreau passed away this morning, at about 5:30am LA time. He was in the hospital, kept comfortable by Ryan, Susan, and a few of his family and friends.
Ryan and Susan will hold a small, private service at home, for immediate family only. No public service is planned yet, but I will inform you if that changes.
Ryan asks that no flowers or gifts are send to their home or office. Instead, if you are motivated to do so, please make a contribution to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music, a wonderful organization which supports music opportunities, teachers, and scholarships for students in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin. A donation page is here. Even if you do not plan to contribute, please list that page and give yourself a few minutes to watch a beautiful tribute video that Wisconsin Public Television produced to honor Al when he received his lifetime achievement award in October.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Jarreau’s unique singing style helped to make him one of jazz’s greatest vocalists. During college, where he received a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, Jarreau performed with a local group called The Indigos before moving to San Francisco. There he hooked up with fellow jazz great George Duke to form a trio.
Inspired to pursue music full time, Jarreau moved south to Los Angeles, where he caught the eye of Warner Bros. talent scouts, who signed the singer to a recording contract. In Los Angeles, Jarreau’s career would take off after the release of his critically acclaimed debut album We Got By. In 1977, Jarreau would win his first of seven Grammy Awards for his live album, Look to the Rainbow.
Dubbed “the voice of versatility” by the Chicago Tribune, Jarreau released 16 studio albums, a host of live albums, and several compilations. The consummate performer, Jarreau constantly toured the world, dazzling audiences with his magical voice.
Jarreau passed away at a Los Angeles hospital early Sunday morning. The singer leaves behind his wife, Susan, and his son, Ryan. He was 76.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

1 Sem 2017 - Part One

Bill Evans
Some Other Time: The Lost Sessions From The Black Forest

By Mark Richardson Executive Editor
Some Other Time is a newly unearthed Bill Evans studio album, initially recorded in 1968 in Germany but not released until this month. It still sounds fresh and alive almost 50 years later.
Casual jazz fans know Bill Evans through his association with Miles Davis. Kind of Blue, the one jazz album you own if you only own one, features Evans on piano on four of the five tracks, and his brief liner notes sketch out the group's approach to improvisation in poetic and accessible terms. When you learn a bit more about Kind of Blue, you learn that Davis actually envisioned the record with Evans in mind. And though for years Davis was listed as the album's sole composer, Evans wrote "Blue in Green" (he eventually received credit.)
Another Kind of Blue piece, "Flamenco Sketches," was partly based on Evans' arrangement of "Some Other Time," the Leonard Bernstein standard. (Evans had earlier used the slow opening vamp as a building block to his breathtaking solo piano composition "Peace Piece"). So though he may not be an especially famous jazz musician, Bill Evans played an integral role in shaping the most famous jazz recording of all time, and the arc of his discography is a rewarding one for those branching off from classic Miles. "Some Other Time" continued to be a touchstone piece for Evans for the rest of his life, appearing regularly on his albums (notably on his duet record with Tony Bennett). And now it's become the title track to a newly unearthed studio album, one recorded in 1968 in Germany but not released until this month.
Jazz in general overflows with archival material. It's a live medium, and recordings of shows have been common since the early part of the last century. Studio LPs could typically be cut in a couple of days, which generally meant a wealth of unused songs and outtakes. But it's somewhat rare to have a true unreleased album—a collection of songs recorded together at a session with the thought of a specific release that never saw the light of day.
Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest is one of these. It was recorded when Evans was on tour in Europe with a trio that included Eddie Gomez on bass and, on drums, a young Jack DeJohnette, who would go on to much greater fame with Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, and as a leader himself. It was cut between stops on a European tour by German producer Joachim-Ernst Berendt, with the idea that the rights and a release plan would be figured out later. This particular group had only been documented on record just once, on At the Montreux Jazz Festival, recorded five days prior to this date. So the existence of an unheard studio album by the trio is a significant addition to the Evans story.
The piano/bass/drums trio setting is where Evans did his most important and lasting work. He thrived on both the limitations and the possibilities of the set-up, and returned to it constantly over the course of his quarter-century recording career. He generally favored truly collaborative improvising in the setup; the bassist in his trio was expected to contribute melodically and harmonically, in addition to rhythmically, and he could often be heard soloing alongside the pianist. Eddie Gomez, heard on this album, was a steady partner of Evans' for a decade, and the level of empathy between the two players is something to behold. On "What Kind of Fool Am I?," Gomez's dancing lines darts between Evans' bass notes, almost serving as a third hand on the piano. On the immortal title track, Gomez seems like half a conversation, accenting and commenting on Evans' melodic flourishes. For his part, DeJohnette offers tasteful and low-key accompaniment, heavy on the brushwork and soft textures on cymbals—he was more of a role-player at this point in his career. But the three together feel like a true unit.
The tracklist on Some Other Time is heavy on standards, with a few Evans original sprinkled in. To love the American songbook is to be in love with harmony, and Evans never stopped discovering new possibilities in old and frequently played songs. He had a way of phrasing chord progressions for maximum impact, and he used space as virtually another instrument. Evans recorded "My Funny Valentine" many times in a number of different arrangements, often uptempo, but here he drags it out into an achingly poignant ballad that picks up speed as it goes. In his autobiography, Miles Davis famously described Evans' tone as sounding like "like crystal notes or sparkling water cascading down from some clear waterfall," and the tumble of notes on the faster sections of "My Funny Valentine" evince that crystalline loveliness. In addition to the material planned for the original LP, there's a second LP of outtakes and alternate versions that feels very much on par with the first disc.
Evans' art has endured in part because he has a brilliant combination of formal sophistication and accessibility; critics and his fellow musicians heard the genius in his approach to chords, his lightness of touch, and his open-eared support of others in his band, while listeners could put on his records and simply bask in their beauty, how Evans' continual foregrounding of emotion made the sad songs extra wrenching and the happy ones extra buoyant. He was sometimes criticized for an approach that could sound like "cocktail piano," meaning that it wasn't terribly heavy on dynamics and tended to be lower key and generally pretty, but this turned out to be another strength. If you wanted jazz in the background while engaging in another activity, Evans was your man, and if you wanted to listen closely and hear a standard like "Some Other Time" pushed to the limits of expression by his ear for space, he was there for that too.
Evans was one of those jazz artists who changed relatively little over the course of their career. His style developed and his sound had subtle shifts in emphasis over time, but his general approach to music was remarkably consistent, and he remained apart from most of the fashionable trends that wound through the jazz of his era. His first studio date as a leader, in 1956, was just a year after Charlie Parker's death, with bebop very much still au courant; his last, in 1979, the year before his death, was the year Chuck Mangione was nominated for a Grammy for the discofied light jazz funk of "Feels So Good." In both of those years, Evans recorded small-group acoustic jazz albums featuring his standard trio, playing a mix of standards and a few originals. About midway between those two bookends came this set, recorded in a small studio in Germany and left on the shelf, and it still sounds fresh and alive almost 50 years later.

Tommy Smith & The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Modern Jacobite

By John Fordham
Tommy Smith, the great Scottish saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator, studied classical orchestration in the 1990s, and has played in plenty of challenging jazz/classical settings. But Modern Jacobite is his most ambitious journey yet, centred on an intricately woven three-movement symphonic work inspired by the Jacobite uprisings; it is bookended by a rapturous tenor-sax improvisation on Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, and by Chick Corea’s famous Children’s Songs interleaved with Smith’s own Bairn’s Songs as personal variations on the same theme. The Jacobite pieces embrace violent, cinematic soundscapes for slewing brass and thundering percussion; deep cello themes that segue into pulsating tenor-sax ruminations; Scottish folk dances that become pipe-toned tenor jigs. There are seamless sprints into swing and fast-changing scene-shifts in which Smith’s sophisticated awareness of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s full potential testify to his long-honed musical class and attention to detail. Jazz/classical crossovers can be full of pitfalls, but this one is a triumph.

Edward Simon
Latin American Songbook

Latin American Songbook

By Peter Hum
However you want to frame it, pianist Edward Simon’s latest disc, Latin American Songbook, is excellent.
The album, which was released Friday, has all the virtues of Latin jazz going for it, and in heaping quantities. With his interpretations of popular songs by great Cuban and South American composers, Simon dials up broad, direct emotions and stirring, rhythmic adventure. That’s as you might expect. For Simon, a native of Venezuela who now lives in the San Francisco area, re-imagining a beloved bolero, tango or bossa nova is intensely personal.
The CD is also a superior jazz piano outing, with Simon, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Adam Cruz demonstrating a remarkable rapport as they course through the disc’s program and profoundly explore their material. Of course, Simon’s jazz credentials are impeccable, including his sideman work with such leaders as Bobby Watson, Paquito D’Rivera and Terence Blanchard, not to mention his work with peers such as David Binney, John Patitucci, Brian Blade and Luciana Souza.
Ultimately, it’s best not to pigeonhole Simon’s latest recording as this kind or that kind of record — as some jazz critics’ polls might have you do — and simply enjoy its rush of passionate and deeply articulate music.
With its seven tracks over 55 minutes, Latin American Songbook creates a compelling sonic world. A charged version of Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango, kicks off the disc, and the famed Argentinian bandoneon player’s classic, dramatic piece loses nothing in translation for piano trio. Simon delights with glowing chords and urgent, racing, melodic improvising and the support from Martin and Cruz, sounding especially supercharged, is unrelenting and utterly in sync.
A perfect down-shift follows with the elegant ballad Alfonsina y el mar, by the Argentinian composer Ariel Ramírez.
Gracias a la vida, by the Chilean composer Violeta Parra, is a meditative, bittersweet exercise in slow, open, rubato playing that brings Martin’s bass into the spotlight for its theme after Simon’s austere introduction.
There’s room on Simon’s disc for one Brazilian piece, namely Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Chega de saudade. The twist here is that Simon redeploys the piece as a bright, driving swinger, complete with piano and drums trading eight-bar sections, and his move works like a charm.
Closing the disc is the tender Cuban bolero En la orilla del mundo. A version some years ago by Charlie Haden, which featured pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, set the bar for jazz interpretations of this piece, but Simon’s take is just as moving and beautiful.
It’s certainly a bonus that Simon’s artistry has made me discover his inspirations. But you don’t need to be acquainted with the originals or their lyrics to be fully won over by Simon’s music. It has more than enough power and grace in its own right.

Claudio Filippini

By Daniele Vogrig
A seguito dei lavori realizzati con il trio scandinavo, al fianco di Palle Danielsson e Olavi Louhivuori (Facing North del 2013 e Breathing in Unison del 2014), e l'ultimo album registrato, in ordine di tempo, con Luca Bulgarelli e Marcello Di Leonardo per il suo trio italiano (Squaring the Circle del 2015), Claudio Filippini matura la sua ultima fatica discografica all'insegna di una precisa svolta artistica, musicale e umana.
Overflying è il primo disco in piano solo realizzato dal musicista pescarese, il quale si è prestato al pianoforte per un dialogo intimo e personale. Come suggerisce il titolo, si parla di un sorvolo al di sopra della materia musicale cara al suo creatore ed esecutore, il quale opera con costante lucidità e intelligenza lungo processi di composizione e scomposizione, tra pezzi classici, brani inediti e ben dosate improvvisazioni, trascendendo decisamente i tradizionali confini jazzistici, gli usuali spazi offerti dagli standards, così come i suoi precedenti lavori.
Dodici pezzi, dodici esperienze, dodici scelte sviluppate con "ardua semplicità," vale a dire all'insegna di un connubio ispirazione-esecuzione-registrazione che si rivela in un moto d'animo istantaneo, innato. Brani come tracce sbiadite di una mappa, che conducono l'ascoltatore verso approdi sicuri, cioè verso le salienti sfaccettature dell'indole musicale di Filippini.
Forza ed energia permeano l'album, a partire dal vigoroso incipit, "Voilà," o nella nervosa "Haze," dove, sulla scia di cellule ritmico-tematiche, tese e minimali, si aprono squarci di tenue improvvisazione, rivelando un animo in perfetto equilibrio tra inquietudine e distensione. Non mancano i momenti più morbidi, densi di languido pathos, come "El Noi De La Mare" e "Mentre dormi," la prima una nenia natalizia catalana rivisitata tematicamente, la seconda una delicata ballad, un dissonante canto della buonanotte che proietta una luce soffusa sul lato più intimista e, forse, sugli affetti del compositore.
Di particolare interesse appaiono le rivisitazioni classiche, a partire dalla Sonata "K 135" di Domenico Scarlatti, un excursus lungo gli ultimi confini del Barocco musicale europeo, della quale ci vengono offerte una pressoché fedele esecuzione della partitura scarlattiana e, parallelamente, una nervosa improvvisazione che decresce lungo un pacato finale dalla profonda cantabilità. De "Le Tombeau de Couperin -Forlane" di Maurice Ravel viene eseguito il terzo movimento, la vivace "Forlane," mentre della "Sonata N. 14—Opera 27 N. 2 -2nd Mov." di Ludwig van Beethoven, la sonata del "Chiaro di luna," viene proposto il secondo movimento, l'Allegretto. Una scelta inusuale, forse controcorrente, ma in linea con gli equilibri interni dell'album, stavolta vivacizzati da un ¾ che ben si sposa con la tensione generale che governa buona parte di questo lavoro.
"Tales of the Old Grandmother" di Sergej Prokof'ev è un passaggio breve e intenso: Filippini ne esegue il secondo movimento, l'Andantino, per una rivisitazione lirico-melodica resa personale da una serie di coloriture quasi impercettibili, che tuttavia distinguono e personalizzano il dialogo che il pianista instaura con il passato. Sergej Prokof'ev Nel complesso, Overflying è una raccolta di minuti racconti musicali, i quali tracciano soltanto alcuni tra i lineamenti di Claudio Filippini, per un continuo divenire musicale ancora tutto da scrivere e da leggere, nel tempo.
Citando François Mauriac: «"Dimmi quello che leggi e ti dirò chi sei" è vero; ma ti conoscerei meglio se mi dicessi quello che rileggi».
Filippini sembra averlo preso alla lettera.
Track Listing: 
Voilà; El Noi De La Mare; Haze; Tales of the Old Grandmother - 2nd Mov.; Phantom Zone; K 135; Impro K 135; Le Tombeau De Couperin - Forlane; Mentre dormi; Sonata N. 14 - Opera 27 N. 2 - 2nd Mov.; Impro Mozart/Beethoven; Via andante.
Claudio Filippini: piano.

Friday, December 30, 2016


By Mr. Márcio Távora

Com relativo atraso, estava viajando, eis o que melhor ouví em 2016:
- CD's:
01) STEVE KUHN (2015) – AT THIS TIME...
06) HERB ALPERT (1969) - WARM
- DVD's:

Um feliz 2017 para todos os Jazzistas.
Márcio Távora

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;

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!
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.
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)...
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.
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'"
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.
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?
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...
Pianista novo e muito articulado. Pesado mesmo. Mais um da inesgotável safra italiana. Aqui, em trabalho solo muito bom.
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!

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.
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!!!

By Dr. Carlos Couto 


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
Paquito D’Rivera & Arturo Sandoval – Reunion

By Dr. Leandro Lage Rocha, M.D.

1. STEVE KUHN - At this time
2. GUSTAVO BAIÃO - Canções de Gilson Peranzzetta
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

1. FRAGA-PASQUINI-SIMAN - George and Duke
4. CLAUDIO FILIPPINI TRIO - Squaring the Circle
5. RAQUEL SARACENI - O tempo me guardou você

Thursday, December 29, 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

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.
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

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.
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.
Denny Zeitlin: piano.

Fabio Giachino Trio 

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."