Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Freddie Hubbard ( 1938 - 2008 )

By G1
Trompetista tocou com John Coltrane e Ornette Coleman.Hubbard iniciou a carreira em 1958 e influenciou uma geração de jazzistas.
O trompetista norte-americano Freddie Hubbard.
Freddie Hubbard, o jazzista norte-americano ganhador do Grammy cujo estilo influenciou toda uma geração de trompetistas e que colaborou com artistas como Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane e Sonny Rollins, morreu nesta segunda-feira (29), um mês após sofrer um ataque cardíaco. Ele tinha 70 anos de idade. Segundo seu empresário, o também trompetista David Weiss, do New Jazz Composers Octet, Hubbard morreu no Sherman Oaks Hospital. Ele havia sido hospitalizado após um ataque cardíaco no dia 26 de novembro Figura importante nos círculos de jazz, Hubbard tocou em centenas de discos, numa carreira que começou em 1958, ano em que chegou em Nova York, vindo de sua cidade natal Indianápolis, onde ele estudou no Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music e com a Sinfônica de Indianápolis. Logo ele começou a andar com lendas do jazz como Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley e Coltrane. “Conheci Trane (apelido de John Coltrane) numa jam session na casa de Count Basie, no Harlem, em 1958”, contou Hubbard à revista especializada “Down Beat” em 1995. “Ele disse: ‘Por que você não chega mais e vamos tentar ensaiar um pouco’. Eu quase fiquei louco. Imagine, um garoto de 20 anos de idade tocando com John Coltrane. Ele me ajudou muito, e trabalhamos bastante juntos”.
Nos seus primeiros trabalhos, que incluem os álbuns “Open Sesame” e “Goin’ up”, lançados pelo selo Blue Note, a influência de Davis e outros no trabalho de Hubbard é obvia, disse Weiss. Bem em um par de anos ele desenvolveria um trabalho único, que influenciaria uma geração de músicos, incluindo Wynton Marsalis. “Ele influenciou todos os trompetistas que vieram depois dele”, disse Marsalis. “Certamente eu ouvi muito do seu trabalho... Todos nós o ouvíamos. Ele tem esse som alto, e um grande senso de ritmo e tempo e a grande marca do seu estilo é uma exuberância. Sua técnica é exuberante”. Hubbard tocou em mais de 300 discos, incluindo seus próprios álbuns e em bandas de apoio de outros artistas. Ele ganhou um Grammy em 1972 como melhor performance de jazz em grupo, pelo disco “First light”.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Here is the 2008 CD of the Year List

CD DO ANO 2008 - Jessica Williams " Songs for a New Century "

VOCAL 2008 - Dena DeRose " Live at Jazz Standard - Volume One & Volume Two"

- Alboran Trio " Near Gale "
- Riccardo Arrighini Trio " Garota de Ipanema(Ana Silva) "
- Trio Sud " Young and Fine "
- Jon Mayer " So Many Stars "
- Antonio Faraó " Woman's Perfume"
- Franco D'Andrea Trio "Creole Rhapsody(The Duke Ellington Suites 1931-1974 Chapter 1)"
- Brad Mehldau Trio " Live "
- Ares Tavolazzi " Godot e altre storie di teatro "

SURPRISE 2008 - Riccardo Fioravanti Trio " Bill Evans Project"

HORS CONCOURS 2008 - Eliane Elias " Something For You - Eliane Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans "

- Fred Hersch & Norma Winstone " Songs & Lullabies " from 2003

ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2008 - Chico Pinheiro ( Arranjos & Guitar ) & Andre Ceccarelli ( a giant on Drums )

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Neal Hefti 1922 - 2008

Neal Hefti, trumpetista de big bands, arranjador e compositor das trilhas do filme “Um estranho casal” e do seriado “Batman” morreu neste sábado (11) aos 85 anos, segundo seu filho Paul Hefti. Um dos feitos mais notáveis de Hefti inclui o tema característico do seriado dos anos 60 estrelando o super-herói Batman, que virou hit nas rádios e rendeu ao autor um Grammy em 1966 na categoria “Melhor tema instrumental”.
Ele também compôs trilhas para filmes como “Um estranho casal”, “Descalços no parque” e “Harlow - A Vênus prateada” - este último trazia sua clássica faixa “Girl talk”. Seu filho disse que o tema de “Batman” foi a composição mais difícil para Neal Hefti, que levou um mês para compôr o baixo e os ataques explosivos de trompete.
"Ele gastou mais partituras de papel nessa coisa do que me qualquer outra música", disse Paul Hefti à Associated Press.
Neal Hefti nasceu em 29 de outubro de 1922, em Hastings, Nebraska, e tocou trompete com bandas locais quando adolescente, para ganhar dinheiro.
Na fase adulta, ele trabalhou e fez arranjos musicais para grandes nomes da era das "big bands", incluindo Countie Basie, Woody Herman, Charlie Spivak e Harry James.
"Ele era um dos grande arranjadores e compositores do seu tempo", disse o radialista e amigo de longa data Gary Owens ao "Los Angeles Times".
Fonte: G1

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Joe Beck ( 1945 - 2008 ) & Esbjorn Svensson ( 1964 - 2008 )

Joe Beck ( 1945 - 2008 ) 

By The Sun New York
Joe Beck, a jazz guitarist who collaborated with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, and James Brown, died July 22 at a hospital in Woodbury, Conn. He was 62, and had battled lung cancer.
Beck got his start as a teenager in the 1960s playing in a jazz trio in New York. By 1968, he was working with Davis and other top jazz stars.Beck was a prolific studio and session performer, arranger, and producer, with an identifiable harmonic and rhythmic sound. He was honored five times by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences as a Most Valuable Player.
"My career happened because I happened to be in the right place at the right time in a very unique time of jazz music," Beck said in an interview last year with JazzGuitarLife.com.
After taking a three-year break from music to run a dairy farm, Beck went back to music in the 1970s, working with artists such as Gloria Gaynor and Esther Phillips, including on Phillips's hit single "What a Difference a Day Makes."
In 1975, his collaboration with the saxophonist David Sanborn, "Beck and Sanborn," became a cool fusion hit.
Beck went back to farming in 1988, but was recording and touring again by 1992. In 2002, he organized the 72nd birthday celebration for the king of Thailand, who played saxophone with Beck.

Esbjorn Svensson ( 1964 - 2008 )

By All AboutJazz
e.s.t. is a phenomenon: A jazz trio, which sees itself as a pop band that plays jazz, which broke with the tradition of leader and sidemen in favor of equality within its members, which not only plays jazz- venues but also venues usually reserved for rock bands, which uses light effects and fog-machines in their live shows, which gets a whole audience to sing-a-long with jazz-standards as eg. Thelonious Monk's “Bemsha Swing”, is a trio that goes beyond the scope of the usual classic jazz trio. Their music can be found in the pop-charts and their videos are playing on MTV Scandinavia. With their unique soundscape, combining jazz with drum 'n' bass, electronic elements, funk rhythm, and pop and rock as well as European Classical music, e.s.t. won an audience spanning from the classic jazz-fans to the youngest HipHop fans. Critics and audiences world-wide agree: e.s.t. is definitely one of the most innovative jazz bands of today.
Openness, curiosity, and a little bit of chance are all a part of Esbjörn Svensson's artistic foundation: “I play piano because we didn't have any other instrument in the house. Actually, I would have rather played drums. For instance, as a kid, I put together a set out of old odds and ends, and tried to sound like “Sweet” on “Ballroom Blitz”. But then Magnus-ström came with his drums, and I decided to stay with the piano. Magnus and I grew up together, and have played together from the beginning. When Magnus was given his first drum set, he brought it over to my house, and we started playing. We had no idea how to play, but it was a lot of fun. Since we didn't have a teacher, and no one was telling us how to play, we were able to gradually develop our music in a very unique, individualistic way.”
From the mid-eighties on, Svensson and--ström established themselves as inspiring sidemen in the Swedish and Danish jazz scenes. They formed their first trio in 1990, but it wasn't until 1993 that they got the necessary lift to get a CD off the ground. It was then that they met Dan Berglund. Both were fascinated by the structural strength and creative diversity of his playing and were able to entice Berglund into joining the trio.
In 1993 the Esbjörn Svensson Trio recorded and released their debut album, When Everyone Has Gone (Dragon): in 1995, the live recording Mr. & Mrs. Handkerchief (Prophone), which has been released in the rest of the World six years later under the title e.s.t. Live '95.
By the mid nineties the trio had made a name for themselves in Sweden and got a recording-deal with the pop-oriented label Superstudio Gul / Diesel Music. The first album for this label, released the same year, was E.S.T. Plays Monk, which quickly sold over 10.000 copies in Sweden. And the talented newcomers started to collect prizes: in 1995 and 1996 Esbjorn Svensson was awarded Swedish Jazz musician of the Year and 1998 Songwriter of the Year, and the 1997 release “Winter in Venice”--consisting mainly of original material--was awarded the Swedish Grammy.
The 1999 release of From Gagarin's Point of View was the first e.s.t. album to be released outside of Scandinavia through the German label ACT und live appearances at festivals as Jazz Baltica and Montreux marked the beginning of the international break-through of the band.
A year later the CD Good Morning Susie Soho was released and earned the trio the title “Trio of the Year” by Jazzwise, UK. e.s.t. toured on the “Rising Stars” Jazz Circuit and played all major festivals throughout Europe. The same time Sony Columbia USA released the first CDSomewhere Else Before a compilation from the European albums From Gagarin's Point of Viewand Good Morning Susie Soho in the USA.
Strange Place For Snow, e.s.t.'s 2002 release was supported by a 9-month tour through all European countries, but also the USA and Japan. Music from that album also became the soundtrack for the French movie Dans ma Peau directed by the french actress and screen writer (8 Women) Marina de Van. The album earned numerous awards for the band such as the “Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” (from the German Phonoacademy), the “German Jazz Award”, “Choc de l'annee” (Jazzman, France), the “Victoire du Jazz”--the French Grammy--as best international act and also the “Revelation of the Festival” award, a special award from Midem.
In 2003 the band released Seven Days of Falling. The album immediately after release went into the pop album charts in Germany, France and Sweden (topping at No. 15). Besides in Europe the album was also released in the USA, Japan and South Korea. The band supported K.D. Lang on her tour throughout the USA performing in stadiums and large concert halls to over 50.000 people. More than 100.000 people watched them perform live in the 12 months after the release of Seven Days of Falling. As a result of all of this e.s.t. was awarded the Hans Koller prize as “European Artist of the Year” in December 2004--voted by 23 jazz industry professionals from 23 European countries.
Their latest release so far Viaticum(January 2005) has even surpassed the success of the previous albums. It went into the top 50 pop album charts in Germany and France and topped in Sweden on position 4. The band extensively toured the world to support the album release and appeared in major concert halls and festivals in Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the USA. They were awarded a gold and a platinum German Jazz Award, the IAJE award and the Swedish Grammy and were the first European jazz band ever to grace the cover of the Downbeat jazz magazine in the USA (May 2006 issue). Not only in Europe e.s.t. have become a major concert attraction in their own right pulling large crowds all over the continents.
Their new album Tuesday Wonderland (release date: September 22nd 2006) connects directly to Viaticum. The interpretation of Viaticum was that the music is the provisions that you take with you on your journey through life. Tuesday Wonderland (is the spiritual journey itself that opens new worlds and guides you to the Wonderland of e.s.t.'s music. And the journey continues...
In 1995 and 1996 Esbjorn Svensson was selected the jazz musician of the year in Sweden. On June 14th 2008 Esbjorn Svensson, 44 years old, died during a diving accident yesterday outside of Vrmd near Stockholm. He was in a company of divers at a Swedish jetty/landing stage under supervision of a dive-leader when he was found severely injured at the bottom.

uma pena,

alguns videos do Joe Beck,
tem o DVD do Kenny Rankin, onde ele participa !

Sunday, July 13, 2008

1 Sem 2008 - Part 5

Bill Carrothers
After Hours, Volume 4

by Jim Santella
Pianist Bill Carrothers has selected songs you’ve heard time and again out on the town, when the club is getting ready to close and everyone’s left but you and the band. Dedicated to Frank Sinatra, the album contains romantic ballads that would follow heartbreak and reveal hopes of turning one’s love life around. Carrothers has a deeply emotional piano style that stresses harmony by overlapping the tones to create soundscapes. Supported by Billy Peterson, a lyrical bassist who works hand-in-glove with the pianist, and drummer Kenny Horst, a timekeeper with a feel for appropriate textures, Bill Carrothers works his way through one dreamy melody after another. Billy Strayhorn’s "Chelsea Bridge" and "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing" have all three artists pouring out their hearts, finding new and different modes of expression. The bass rumbles, the drum head squeaks, and the piano drifts on, moaning about what’s going on in one man’s heart while others elsewhere may be dancing down the street. Again on "For All We Know," the trio searches out new and different ways to provide a variety of textures. Horst introduces metallic squealing sounds from the cymbal while Peterson spells out the familiar pizzicato melody. All the while, Carrothers is coloring with overlapping tones and lingering thoughts. There are microphones in and around the trio; however, the sound isn’t the best. It does add authenticity, though; makes you feel like you’re there in the club. The material on this album was recorded after hours, between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. over several nights. In the "Wee Small Hours" of the morning a dreamy piano begins all alone, is joined by bass & drums, and then the three improvise until it’s time to go home. Sssh, be careful on the way out. You may wake up that guy over there in the corner. Recommended.Track listing: Wee Small Hours; Green Dolphin Street; Green Dolphin Street (reprise); For HeavenPersonnel: Bill Carrothers- piano; Billy Peterson- acoustic bass; Kenny Horst- drums.

Guido Manusardi Trio
No More No Less

Year Of Release: 2006
Label: Soundhills Records - SSCD-8135
Total Time: 65:52 min

1 Softy As In A Morning Sunrise
2 Like Sonny
3 You Stepeed Out Of A Dream
4 Ice Drops
5 Bios
6 Old Folks
7 Who Can I Turn To
8 Just One of Those Things
9 Here's That Rainy Day
10 Untitled 7
11 Labytinthus
Personnel: Guido Manusardi - Piano; Yuri Goloubev - Bass; Massimo Manzi - Drums

Cassandra Wilson

by Thom Jurek
Vocalist Cassandra Wilson has used her 15 years at Blue Note to explore the interpretive range of her voice, whether singing tunes by Van Morrison, Robert Johnson, Lewis Allan, Miles Davis, or Hoagy Carmichael. In many ways, Wilson has offered a new view of the standard by using classic rock and Delta blues tunes in her live and recorded repertoires. That said, Loverly is her first offering comprised almost completely of American songbook standards since Blue Skies 20 years ago. Wilson produced the recording in Jackson, MS, and surrounded herself with old friends: guitarist Marvin Sewell, bassists Reggie Veal and Lonnie Plaxico, drummer Herlin Riley, and labelmate and pianist Jason Moran. The material is beautifully chosen; it ranges from Oscar Hammerstein's "Lover Come Back to Me" and Luiz Bonfá's "A Day In The Life Of A Fool" (the English version of "Black Orpheus") to Juan Tizol's "Caravan," Irving Mills' "St. James Infirmary," and Ray Noble's "The Very Thought of You." Given Wilson's working methods, these standards are performed in iconic ways — without losing the central integrity of their sources. A prime example would be "Caravan," where the basic rhythmic pulse has been doubled with a snare, hi-hat, and taut, edgy piano. Wilson offers the melody as written, but with her own stretched-line phrasing applied to the lyric. "Lover Come Back to Me" carries within it the gentle bounce of the original, and Wilson evokes both Nina Simone and Betty Carter in her rhythmic approach to the lyric and melody. The warm double-time guitar strut of Sewell paces the track; Moran's solo walks a line between show tune formalism and vanguard improv that is fresh and exciting. The reading of "Black Orpheus" here is unusual: Wilson is very conservative in her approach to the melody, so much so that the beautiful Portuguese "saudade" element is texturally amplified and bossa is stretched to the breaking point. The band's meld of subtle Afro-Latin rhythms evokes Cuban son, and conserves the root elements in the original. The duet between Sewell's truly unique acoustic guitar style and Wilson's vocal on "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" is utterly tender. A pair of left-field cuts are here as well. First is a group improvisation called "Arere." Propelled by a hypnotic, nearly funky upright bassline, Sewell plays short choppy chords with Afro-Cuban percussion in the backdrop; Moran plays around and through the polyrhythms as Wilson sings and speaks — she improvises with the band in a number of different languages. Strangely, it doesn't feel out of place here. The other ringer is a read on Elmore James' trademark blues "Dust My Broom." It is not offered as the raucous barroom wailer it classically is. Instead, it's snaky, sultry, and steamy. Sewell's edgy, razored slide guitar, hand percussion, and Wilson's finger snaps accompany her voice on the first verses, establishing a groove before the rest of the band enters. Her phrasing is pure sassy soul that gradually takes this blues firmly into the jazz camp. Wilson has done what many other singers — many of them on Blue Note — couldn't even envision: she has taken a substantial part of the American songbook, employed a crack, risk-taking jazz group, and added new depth, texture, and meaning to these songs, without sacrificing their elegance or appeal. Loverly is the only reason to avoid imposing a moratorium on the very tired standards genre that has become the bane of jazz in recent years. It cannot be recommended highly enough.

Stefano Battaglia
Re: Pasolini

by Thom Jurek
To call Stefano Battaglia's Re: Pasolini on ECM, ambitious would be an erroneous understatement. In fact, it is an undertaking of enormous propensity. In the United States, Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) is known primarily as a filmmaker, whose works such as the Decameron, Canterbury Tales, Medea, and the notorious Salo (based on the Marquis de Sade's mammoth encyclopedic novel of perversion and violence, the 120 Days of Sodom, reset in the Italian countryside during the Second World War). He was in fact, a true renaissance man in the grand Italian tradition and was widely known as one: he was a popular poet, playwright, journalist, novelist, actor, painter, linguist and a truly controversial political activist who also challenged the Italian government, the Church and consumerist Italy openly. He was brutally murdered on an empty beach on the evening of All Saints Day (the murder has never been fully explained). Pasolini was a giant figure, a near mythic figure in Italian society and an aesthetic giant in all of Europe. So how does one represent such a figure in music? Battaglia has decided to look at Pasolini's life and work in equal measure. He celebrates and examines them so closely in his medium, so as to be as close to the inside eye of the artist — and perhaps the man — as is possible. Over two discs, he uses two different ensembles to meditate upon the legacy left by this great and tragic artist through his chosen medium: a music that combines in equal parts jazz, classical, and improvisation. Disc one features a sextet that includes trumpeter Michael Gassman who has been collaborating with Battaglia for 15 years. The other members of this first ensemble include Mirco Mariotinni on clarinet, cellist Aya Shimura, bassist Salvatore Majore, and drummer Roberto Dani. The music here is lighter; reflective, melodic even at its moodiest. The opening track "Canzone di Laura Betti," is a song inspired by Pasolini's muse, an actress who worked not only with him but also Bernardo Bertolucci, Alberto Rosselini Federico Fellini and other great Italian directors. Led so beautifully by the piano, the tune serves the deep lyricism of the truly Italian form of jazz, cinema music and the ballads sung by traditional Italian singers, and even opera arias. The cello lilts in and around the piano as it quietly digs into the lyric line and celebrates it to brushed drums and a simple bassline. This gorgeous piece reflects on the actress in a nearly spiritual manner. Other tunes here reflect poems written by Pasolini, and the place of actors he worked with, and the fifth cut, "Fevrar," is named for one of Pasolini's poems. Battaglia uses it as an implement for melodic improvisation on a rural landscape. Sparse, nearly skeletal lyric lines open mysteriously and are commented upon by Majore's bassline, a tapped bell on a cymbal, and intermittent trumpet lines that last only moments. The droning repetition of the bassline suggests the rhythmic line of a poem even as it opens out onto another musical vista, where it never strays far from the emptiness and elegance of the landscape. The entire disc reflects the aspects of his subject's character, an artist and man for whom tenderness, classicism, romanticism and nostalgia were motivating factors and states of being The second disc is another matter altogether as Battaglia teams with members of Louis Sclavis' band — Dominique Pifarély (violin), Bruno Chevillon (bass), and Vincent Courtois (cello) — along with drummer and percussionist Michele Rabbia offer a much darker, more improvisational — and at times tenser — meditation on less pleasurable aspects of Pasolini's life and the often radical nature of his work: his troubled relationship to the Roman Church and his radical politics that were truly committed to a working prole (during the student strikes and riots in Italy in 1969 he backed the police over students because the former were true working men and the students "pampered boys," the leftists backed the students) and railed against the kind of materialism that gave way to consumerism and, he claimed, ruined Italian society. This is chamber music that walks a thin and blurred line between classical music and free improvisation: not free jazz. It courts tension. It is fully engaged, with sometimes-heated dialogue between musicians, but it is also dirge-like in places, brooding and full of uneasy space. It feels like an elegy. Its pieces wind through and around an eight-piece "Lyria" of shorter works. This reflects both the scenic work of the cinema and the episodic nature of epic Italian poetry that often ends in tragedy. Here "Ostia" (named for the beach where Pasolini was killed) — the only long work on disc two and its second from last cut — is full of ambiguity, darkness and open space between the lower register chords of Battaglia's piano and the alternately mysterious strings. The set ends with a sorrowful, melodic ballad that is as moving as the final cue of a soundtrack as it plays the final credits, the last moments of an opera that ends in tragedy. It is one that denotes memory, dignity, and loss. Battaglia has achieved his ambitious aim. His devotion to the work of his subject has moved through him and inhabited him. Not as a ghost, but as a Muse who speaks through his compositions and the truly empathic communication of both these groups. As a true bonus, Battaglia annotates his liner notes, track by track, exhaustively, offering their sources and inspirations as further information. America may have known Pasolini as an art house filmmaker; via Battaglia's Re: Pasolini, he has become something more, something other, a force of the mythic universe. Battaglia's work is an epic, and yes, a masterpiece that is a force in and of itself to be reckoned with. It is the high point in an already celebrated career.

Jessica Williams
Songs For A New Century

O melhor de 2008. Suas composições são fortes e tem inspiração para um brilhante Cd de Jazz. E solo, mas nessse nivel, quem precisa de outro instrumento.

By Dan McClenaghan
If you slip into Jessica Williams' web site and ride the currents of her blog, you could get the feeling that the (proudly) sixty year-old jazz pianist is something of an eccentric. Which is a good thing—in this case, an eccentric being one who has walked away from the hype, b.s. and group think with her head held high, coming up with her own take on the world and this thing called life that we're trying to navigate with as much grace as possible. Her writings reveal a woman of exceptional grace and wide-ranging intelligence, and they also reveal a woman who just might get a wild hair idea and break out her tool kit—the screw drivers and the socket set—to take apart her piano and reassemble it in a fashion that is more to her liking. An eccentric.Williams' Songs For A New Century, a solo piano outing, reveals an evolving artist. Williams thinks it may be her best work. A re-spin of her outstanding Live at Yoshi's, Volume One (MaxJazz, 2004)—a trio affair featuring bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Victor Lewis—spotlights an artist making beautiful sounds and taking beautiful risks within a mainstream framework, a pianist with the joyousness and flair of Erroll Garner, the swinging virtuosity of Oscar Peterson, the depth of emotion of Bill Evans, the sly pizazz of Fats Waller and the soul of John Coltrane.Songs for a New Century is a step forward. The set of all Williams originals, and one Sonny Rollins tune—"A Blessing in Disguise"—opens with "Empathy," an achingly beautiful ballad full of delicate, crystalline notes in a teardrop melody—a spiritually salubrious sound if there ever was one. "Toshiko," for pianist/big band leader Toshiko Akiyoshi, glows eastward sporting a Japanese aura, with Williams making koto sounds, via the tool kit lady's mechanical tweaking (?) of the piano strings. "Dear Oscar," a nod to Oscar Peterson, swings easily on a bluesy late night roll, while "Spoken Softly" sounds like a gloriously implacable truth revealed.Amazingly, Williams recorded this life-affirming set while wrapped in the life-draining, leaden embrace of hypothyroidism, when she had energy for her art and little else.She is evolving; but multiple spins of this gorgeous music say that Williams must be very close to the absolute pinnacle of artistic growth on the enthralling Song for a New Century. With her diagnosis and subsequent management of her disease, who knows how far she can take her musical endeavors.Track listing: Empathy; Toshiko; Fantasia; Song for a Baby; Blessing in Disguise; Lament; Dear Oscar; Spoken Softly; If Only.

Alboran Trio
Near Gale

By John Kelman
Groups like e.s.t. and The Bad Plus have undeniably given the decades old piano trio format a much needed kick-in-the-ass but, as innovative as they've been and continue to be, some of their founding premises run the risk of inherent self-limitation. Still, despite e.s.t.'s ever-increasing pop sensibility and integration of electronics and sound manipulation, the extended tracks of Live in Hamburg (ACT, 2007) demonstrate that its improvisational acumen and longstanding chemistry remain intact.In some ways, however, it's the trios remaining truer to their acoustic roots who are providing definitive evidence that the format is not an anachronism relegated to endless interpretations of the Great American Songbook. Brad Mehldau Trio's recent Live (Nonesuch, 2008) combines unexpected source material like Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" with clever reinventions of classic jazz tunes and complex originals material. By contrast, Italy's Alboran Trio relies almost exclusively on compositions by its pianist, Paolo Paliaga on Near Gale, it's follow-up to Meltemi, the ensemble's 2006 ACT debut.Paliaga's writing (drummer Gigi Biocati contributes one tune, the gently optimistic closer, "Seguendo Il Filo") is unmistakably informed by a warmer and breezier Mediterranean aesthetic than e.s.t., but the group chemistry is no less evocative. Bassist Dino Contenti is every bit as imaginative e.s.t.'s Dan Berglund and just as capable with a bow, based on his intro to "Invariable Geometries." But while Berglund's extracurricular heavy metal proclivities compel him to, at times, wail on his double bass guitar-like, Contenti is overall subtler, more lyrical. Classical romanticism is a part of Paliaga's playing and writing—unmistakably evident on "Invariable Geometries"—the overall approach of the trio is rarified, even as the rhythm section picks up steam behind the pianist's gradually intensifying solo.Contenti is also a focused and theme-oriented pizzicato soloist on tracks like the initially elegant "Fuori Stagione," where he dominates for the first half of the tune before Paliaga takes over and the tune turns idiosyncratic, largely due to Biocata's texturally focused but nevertheless propulsive kit work.Mediterranean references aside, another Alboran Trio demarcator is Biocati's broad worldview. The percussionist has studied rhythms from around the world, having spent significant time in Africa, where he examined and compared its cultural rhythms with those of Europe, America and Asia. The result is a pan-cultural approach to the kit that is never directly referential but, instead, suggests an integrated cosmopolitanism, providing gentle forward motion on the impressionistic and dark-hued "Olvido," while delivering some unexpected hand-driven funk on the barely more grounded "Rrock in the Dark."Alboran Trio may not have the instantly attention-grabbing qualities of e.s.t. or TBP, but with Near Gale it proves itself a nascent group on the move. For those who think the piano trio is an outdated concept with nothing new to offer, Alboran Trio and Near Gale represent a compelling argument to the contrary.
Track listing: Selen Moi; Autumn Mist; Delle Cose Nascoste; Also Sprach Raul; Rrock In The Dark; Fuori Stagione; Invariable Geometries; Olvido; Pow Wow; Selon Moi 3/4; Seguendo Il Filo.
Personnel: Paolo Paliaga: piano; Dino Contenti: double bass; Gigi Biolcati: drums.

Ahmad Jamal
It's Magic

By Ian Patterson
That a Japanese mountaineer successfully scaled Mount Everest in May 2008, at the age of 75, is proof that age is no barrier to those with new goals to conquer. If pianist Ahmad Jamal, at 78, were a mountaineer, he too would surely be attempting to scale Everest. There are those, however, who argue that Ahmad Jamal reached a creative peak in the late '50s, but the truth is that Jamal is neither better nor worse than when he recorded the classic Ahmad Jamal at the Pershing (Argo, 1958) and But Not for Me (Argo,1958). He has simply evolved, and done so without compromising or losing his musical identity. The tremendous energy, finesse and sheer originality present in It's Magic, which has characterized much of Jamal's music this last decade in particular, is evidence that there is plenty of life in the old dog yet.The opening "Dynamo" is, however, something of a misnomer. Jamal and his musicians' energy levels are unquestionably high, but the tune is a bit stop-and-start. It's as if, like a young pianist debuting, Jamal wants to say all he can inside four minutes. There are the trademark contrasts between light and heavy touch, alternating punchy chords and short staccato bursts interspersed with longer, dazzling runs, and here and there flirtatious reference to old standards and even The Beatles. The song is not without merit, but there's almost too much going on.Thankfully, Jamal steers a steadier course on the remaining tunes. The grandiose and elegant "Swahiliand," a perennial Jamal favorite, is reappraised with drummer Idris Muhammad's cymbals marking the pianist's bold chord changes. Jamal has recorded this tune at least four times since the '70s; like Duke Ellington, for Jamal a song is not something with limitations or fixed parameters, it is an ever-evolving work. Similarly, "Arabesque," first recorded on Crystal (Atlantic, 1987) gets a brush down. An infectious bass motif from James Cammack and gently percolating percussion from ex- Weather Report percussionist Manolo Badrena lend this beautiful melody a delicate, lilting swing.There are several old show-tunes: the softly played "It's Magic," by Sammy Cahn and Julie Styne, which finds Jamal at his intimate best; Ned Washington and Dimitri Tiomkine's "Wild is the Wind," which segues into "Sing," by Joe Rapaso, where Jamal gives his most extended workout; and the Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields ballad, "The Way You Look Tonight," where Jamal is sensitively accompanied by Cammack on bass. This latter tune and the self-penned "Papillon" are reminders that few pianists can play a ballad the way Jamal does.Four old tunes revisited, three show tunes and only two completely new tunes might sound like a less then indispensible Jamal recording, but in spite of this, his playing is as sensitive, as passionate and as hypnotic as it's ever been. At 78, fifty years on from one peak, and three years on from yet another, the universally acclaimed After Fajr (Dreyfus, 2005), this most influential of pianists shows no signs of slipping off the mountain top just yet.
Track listing:
Dynamo; Swahililand; Back to the Island; It's Magic; Wild is the Wind/Sing; The Way You Look Tonight; Arabesque; Papillon; Fitnah.
Personnel: Ahmad Jamal: piano; Idris Muhammad: drums; James Cammack: bass; Manolo Badrena: percussion.

1 Sem 2008 - Part 4

Trio Sud
Young and Fine

By John Kelman
For every artist who's achieved popular acclaim there are ten more equally talented, but for whom greater recognition remains strangely elusive. Sylvain Luc's gradually growing discography demonstrates a guitarist with formidable technique and harmonic sophistication, and yet albums like Joko (Dreyfus Jazz, 2007)—a classic six-string workout if ever there was one—remain beneath the radar for many. Equally curious is the lack of visibility for his nearly decade-old Trio Sud. Many will look to Pat Metheny's undeniably excellent Day Trip and Tokyo Day Trip (Both Nonesuch, 2008) as pinnacles of guitar trio jazz in 2008, but Trio Sud's Young and Fine deserves mention in the same breath.A combination of original material by Luc, bassist Jean-Marc Jafet, and drummer Andre Ceccarelli, along with imaginative reworks of songs by Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, and Stevie Wonder, Young and Fine possesses the kind of chemistry that can only come from playing together on a regular basis. While Luc is the primary soloist here, Jafet and Ceccarelli are a simpatico rhythm team—more than a rhythm team, really, as they drive Luc every bit as much as he drives them. Together the trio teems with simmering energy on Jafet's opening "Song for My Twins," Ceccarelli moving from delicate cymbal work to more vivacious support as Luc layers electric and acoustic guitars, at times blending them so seamlessly as to sound like a single instrument. Two-handed tapping on the solo "Imperfect Tune," allows Luc to turn a single acoustic guitar into a mini-orchestra.The trio never overstays its welcome, with most of Young and Fine's 13 tracks clocking in at under five minutes. As inventive a guitarist as Luc is—whether he's creating self-accompaniment so rich it belies there often being only one guitar track or winding either vivid harmonies or serpentine lines, as he does on Jafet's appropriately titled "Sylvain Shadows"—there's never the feeling of excess or overstatement. His choice of textures is also perfect, with his harp-like acoustic driving a spare take of Gillespie's "Con Alma," in contrast to the tart, Scofield-like intro to a Latin-esque reading of Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes," where Luc's tone turns warmer once the trio enters. He combines acoustic and overdriven electric tones for Ceccarelli's fusion-esque "Avenue des Diables Bleus," which moves from spacious to frenetic over the course of its brief four minutes.Tackling a Weather Report song as a trio is an ambitious proposition, but Luc manages to distill the essence of Joe Zawinul's rich electronic orchestrations on "Young and Fine," using a variety of effects to broaden the soundscape. While Luc overdubs his guitar in various spots throughout the album, it's telling that here it's a single guitar, with Jafet's electric bass referencing but not emulating the late Jaco Pastorius, and Ceccarelli's approach fluid and swinging.With Trio Sud's Young and Fine coming a month after Philip Catherine's remarkable Guitars Two, Dreyfus Jazz has released two the most engaging and impressive guitar sets of 2008.
Track listing: Song for My Twins; Sylvain Shadows; Darn That Dream; Sweetest Somebody I Know; Message; Con Alma; Infant Eyes; Avenue des Diables Bleus; Young and Fine; Renaissance; French Brother; Imperfect Tune; Magnificent Marcel
Personnel: Sylvain Luc: guitars; Jean-Marc Jafet: bass; Andre Ceccarelli: drums.

The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album

Extra tracks O mesmo grande classico com mais 5 extras tendo diferentes arranjos e andamento, principalmente na faixa "young and foolish". Possui liner notes e "novas" fotos.

by William Ruhlmann
Having completed his relatively brief sojourn with MGM/Verve in 1973, Tony Bennett was in the midst of forming his own label, Improv Records, when he made a deal with jazz pianist Bill Evans to cut two LPs, this one for Evans' label, Fantasy Records, with another to follow on Improv. The singer and his collaborator ("accompanist" does not adequately describe Evans' contribution, and in any case he received co-billing) got together in a recording studio over four days in June 1975 with no one other than the producer, Helen Keane, and an engineer present, and quickly recorded one of the best albums of either's career. For Bennett, it was a dream project; for years (decades, actually), he had been balancing the demands of commerciality with his own inclinations toward jazz and affection for the songs of Broadway masters and of the Great American Songbook. Left to himself with a jazz partner, he naturally gravitated toward both interests. There were songs here that he had already recorded, but never in so unadorned, and yet fully realized a fashion. Evans was an excellent accompanist, using his steady left hand to keep his singer centered, but ready, whenever the vocals were finished, to go off into his characteristically lyrical playing. Bennett could seem a bit earthbound when he came back in (he still wasn't really a jazz singer), but his obvious enthusiasm for the project, coupled with his mastery of phrasing in songs he understood perfectly made him an equal in the partnership. As far as the major-label record business was concerned, the 46-year-old singer might have been over the hill and indulging himself, but in fact he was in his prime and finally able to pursue his ambitions unfettered, and that would prove itself a major boost to his career over time. For the moment, he'd made an excellent jazz-pop hybrid in which both musicians were shown off to advantage. [The album was reissued with five bonus tracks.]

Ellis Marsalis Quartet
An Open Letter To Thelonious

Uma homenagem respeitosa, demais !! Cade o bom e velho Ellis ????

by Ken Dryden
One of the most challenging demands placed on a jazz musician is interpreting another's works while utilizing the same instrumentation as the composer. Veteran pianist and jazz educator Ellis Marsalis admits that at one point in his career, he was not objective about Thelonious Monk as a composer, preferring the bop of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. But with the passage of time and the opening of his ears to the subtle nuances of compositions, he is perfectly at ease playing his music on these 2007 sessions, which include his youngest son Jason Marsalis on drums, bassist Jason Stewart, and tenor saxophonist Derek Douget(who also doubles on soprano sax). While the opener "Crepescule with Nellie" doesn't stray too far from Monk's concept, the rollicking treatment of "Jackie-Ing" opens up the piece a good bit. Douget switches to soprano for a funky, New Orleans-flavored interpretation of "Epistrophy." The driving take of "Teo," a blues that Monk recorded just a few times, brings to the forefront one of his lesser known works. Throughout the date Marsalis keeps Monk's music very much alive with his inspired interpretations of the legend's compositions.

Charles Lloyd Quartet
Rabo de Nude

by Thom Jurek
Given that Charles Lloyd has been recording for Manfred Eicher's ECM label since 1989, it seems odd that Rabo de Nube (translation: Tail of a Cloud) is his first live quartet outing for the imprint, though he's done so in other combinations. Yet, given that this recording was issued a mere four days before the great saxophonist's 70th birthday, it is also a full circle of sorts for the Lloyd Quartet. Most of Lloyd's early quartet albums were recorded live for Atlantic between 1966 and 1968, seven in total, with the live band recording its first date over 40 years ago and featuring a young Keith Jarrett as its pianist. This association became a blueprint of sorts for a lineage of his subsequent pianists who have all gone on to their own measures of excellence as leaders: Michel Petrucciani, Bobo Stenson, Brad Mehldau, and Geri Allen. Jason Moran, the pianist here, is a leader in his own right, having also played with Wayne Shorter and Lee Konitz, to name just two; more importantly, his teachers offer a clue as to how his highly individual voice was developed — Andrew Hill, Jaki Byard, and Muhal Richard Abrams. Moran joins Lloyd and longtime — and immensely gifted — drummer Eric Harland (who went to high school with Moran in Houston) and new bassist Ruben Rogers, who has previously been a member of groups led by the late Jackie McLean, Roy Hargrove, and Mulgrew Miller.Recorded in Basel during the band's European tour in 2007, the band takes a very different approach to some familiar tunes. For starters, it has to do with style: Moran is a more physical player than many of the pianists Lloyd has employed in the past; his playing is more chord-oriented and percussive, less elegant and soulful than Allen's perhaps, less ornate than Petrucciani's, and certainly less contemplative than Stenson's. The material choices are wide-ranging. There's the hard-blowing "Prometheus," on which Lloyd and Moran walk the margins a bit as Harland pushes them toward it and Rogers holds down a swinging background rhythmic tempo, elaborating on the choruses as a way of focusing rhythm and harmonic investigation. Another blower on the set is "Sweet Georgia Bright," which Lloyd has used live in the past, but was first recorded when he was a member of Cannonball Adderley's group in 1964 with pianist Joe Zawinul. Moran's funky, hard-driving solo and the interplay of the rhythm section are simply remarkable. Lloyd's immense ability to soar over the top and take a nugget like this and infuse it with new fire is an asterisk highlighting his place as one of the true masters of the horn. Lloyd's alto flute gets a beautiful workout on "Booker's Garden," written for classmate Booker Little. His lyricism is only eclipsed by his deep soul groove — which Moran takes to the bank in his own solo that lends the tune a different dynamic, one much bolder and centered in the middle of the keyboard. The playing by Rogers on the track is beautiful, using a Caribbean rhythmic pulse that allows Harland to dance around the soloists and make the backbeat slippery and fluid. The closing title track was offered in a live quintet version on Lift Every Voice, the pickup band album recorded four days after 9/11. This one is quieter, sweeter, and more lyric and gentle, and a perfect way to end a show — it is also the only non-original on the set. Fans of Lloyd's taragato playing will not be disappointed; it makes a grand appearance on the lengthy "Ramanujan." Moran's interaction and contrapuntal rhythmic exchanges with Harland are something to behold here; they push around and through one another in a call-and-response interchange that is subtle but forceful nonetheless. Rogers' way of playing between these two is like that of a telephone wire, bringing it all together. Of the seven tunes here, five are over ten minutes long. In other words, there is a lot of improvisation going on, but it is all deeply communicative and lyrical — Lloyd's trademark for the last five decades as a composer, soloist, arranger, and bandleader. Ultimately, Rabo de Nube is yet another essential Lloyd offering from ECM. His sense of adventure is greater than ever, and his embrace of the tradition is equaled by his willingness to stretch it, bend it, turn it every which way but break it — this band, with its energy and commitment to new jazz, is well-suited for that task and Moran certainly adds to the bounty considerably. Lloyd shows no signs of slowing down or simple contentment as he ages, and we are all the more fortunate for it.

Steve Turre
Rainbow People

by Thom Jurek
High Note Records has been on a roll in 2008. Larry Willis and David "Fathead" Newman have both issued near career-defining statements on the label in 2008 — and that's just naming two. To this illustrious duo add trombonist and composer Steve Turre, whose Rainbow People album — his self-produced third release for the imprint — may be the finest offering of his career as a leader. Turre surrounds himself with likeminded musicians he's played with in various ensembles through the years: drummer Ignacio Berroa, who worked with Turre in Dizzy Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra; pianist Mulgrew Miller and saxophonist Kenny Garrett, who worked with Turre in Woody Shaw's fine band; bassist Peter Washington, who played with Turre in the Jazz Messengers; and Turre's discovery in the young trumpeter Sean Jones, who was hired on the spot after the trombonist saw him play at a gig in New York. Guest percussionist Pedro Martinez is also in the house; he's worked with Turre in his Latin bands. The program contains six Turre originals, as well as a killer reading of Charlie Parker's "Segment," McCoy Tyner's "Search for Peace," and bassist Steve Kirby's "Cleopatra's Needle." The unhurried and unforced swing of this band is evident from the opening title cut. With its knotty, mantra-like Latin groove, Turre and Garrett take the head into minor-key blues and Afro-Rican soul before coming up with a stretched harmonic cadenza that announces Turre's solo. Miller plays off Berroa's double- and triple-time breaks and fills on the ride cymbal and hi-hat. All the while, Washington struts that vamp into the heart of the multi-textured mystery at the center. Garrett's solo picks up right on its tail and, as evidenced by his own last album, Beyond the Wall, he's playing the best saxophone of his career. His alto is snaky and stretched, and flawlessly digs into the minor-key changes and accents the rhythms at the end of his long, angular lines. The late-night bluesy soul of "Brother Ray" echoes not only the late singer and bandleader's own sense of evoking gospel and barroom dynamics, but also his sense of the emotional undercurrent in his music. Turre is like a singer himself on his 'bone; he gets into the meat of his notes in both verse and chorus — before breaking off into an extended jam with the band — with Ray's sense of phrasing just behind the beat. Miller's piano solo is pure ivory enunciation; his blues articulation is pure and gritty, but so technically astute that he adds colors and hues to the tune, making it shine. The smoking flamenco tinge in "Midnight in Madrid," with Jones sharing the melody, adds some real depth and dimension to the vocabulary first articulated by Gil Evans and Miles Davis — without the strings. Turre keeps it on the avenue without losing a thimble of the elegance and excitement of the flamenco's sultry allure. Jones' solo is a knockout; it's all tense and dramatic, and so blue it's black. The final swinging groover, called "Para el Comandante," weaves together strains of Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and hard bop with all three horns sharing the front line on the head. The rhythm section just seems to hover there, its members interacting with one another, with Washington being their bridge. Miller's solo is sheer graceful dancing on the keys while still punching on that vamp before Garrett jumps in blowing on the changes and extending them harmonically. Turre brings it back to the swinging center of bop with killer flurries of notes that pop on the rhythm section and bite right into Miller's comping. Miller answers by pushing the bop edge into post-bop phrasing and counterpoint in his solo; he elongates the short choppy groove and plays all around and inside it before popping back in seamlessly. Turre brings the conch shells out and sings right through them as the horns offer a solid counter-riff for him to play off of. It's quite a sendoff and simply underlines and highlights what a special, sophisticated, and seemingly effortless date this is. Turre, who has seemingly done every jazz and pop setting from Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Slide Hampton to Mariah Carey and the Saturday Night Live Band, just keeps expanding his vocabulary; his compositions here are startlingly fresh, wildly and cleverly inventive, and full of warmth and humor. His arrangements for this band are his new watermark.

1 Sem 2008 - Part 3

Riccardo Arrighini, Barbara Casini & Fabrizio Bosso

Um excelente cd, com musicas do Jobim. So tem problema em alguns agudos da cantora Barbara Cassini. Vale muito !!!

by Ken Dryden
Since the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim was discovered by jazz musicians in the early 1960s, numerous songbooks concentrating on the master's compositions have duly appeared, with a wide variation in quality. Fortunately, this initial volume in a series of Jobim songbooks by Italian pianist Riccardo Arrighini is an exceptional outing. Vocalist Barbara Casini is his music partner throughout the date, a gifted alto who is able to make the most of each piece with her emotional interpretations. They begin with a stunning, moving duet of "Luiza," then the potent Philology house rhythm section, consisting of bassist Massimo Moriconi and drummer Massimo Manzi, are added to the mix for "Caminhos Cruzados." They band does not just stick to Jobim's best known works, but delves into less familiar gems like "Se E Por Falta De Voce" as well. Fabrizio Bosso adds his effective trumpet and flugelhorn to several tracks.

Brad Mehldau Trio

By Thom Jurek
Three years passed between the release of the Brad Mehldau's Day Is Done and this live outing. What's so significant about this is simply that the former record marked the debut of drummer Jeff Ballard, who had replaced longtime kitman Jorge Rossy. Ballard is a more physical, busier, and more energetic drummer, allowing for Mehldau and bassist Larry Grenadier to up the ante in terms of dynamic and rhythmic options. "Day Is Done" offered a number of wonderfully contrasting moments where Mehldau, a big pop music fan from all eras, wove a tapestry from Burt Bacharach and John Lennon to Nick Drake and Colin Greenwood, from Paul Simon to Chris Cheek, as well as inserting a few of his own compositions. House on Hill was released the following year, but the material preceded the arrival of Ballard and was recorded as part of the sessions for 2004's Anything Goes. This trio has also recorded with Pat Metheny on two dates in 2006 and 2007. This is the first live date to feature the group on its own, and it is a very healthy helping.Comprised of two discs recorded at the Village Vanguard during a six-night stint in October of 2006, it showcases the many varied strengths of this already deeply intuitive group. Disc one staggers covers of popular tunes as disparate as Noel Gallagher's (of Oasis) "Wonderwall," Chico Buarque's classic "O Que Será," Chris Cornell's (of Soundgarden) "Black Hole Sun," and Ray Noble's gorgeous ballad "The Very Thought of You" with two of his own compositions. Disc two comes more directly out of the Mehldau songbook, wit three of his own tunes, a Jimmy Heath number, and a standard, and closes with a stunning reading of John Coltrane's "Countdown." The way the trio treats "Wonderwall," beginning with Grenadier and Ballard's funky soul-jazz bass and drum interaction before Mehldau enters the melody, cutting it with large helpings of the blues and soul, is killer. Sure, it has his trademark elegance, but it's the rearrangement of the number with its taut rhythmic groove while keeping the melody all but danceable that's the treat. The beautiful breakbeat and tom tom work by Ballard is uncluttered but it's extremely knotty and busy. The groove is at the center and he brings it home while Grenadier accents it constantly.Contrast this with the next tune, the pianist's "Ruby's Rub," that swings right out of the gate, and yet the way Mehldau changes his sense of dynamics and time with sudden starts and stops, leaving that space for Ballard and Grenadier to adorn however sparsely, is what makes this such a modern work. The Buarque song is given an extrapolated treatment here as it switches from samba to bossa to funk and even modalism while never losing its lyric sensibility, and — what may be the best thing here — note the hand over hand soloing Mehldau does in the middle of the tune and have your breath taken away. "Black Hole Sun" is completely re-harmonized and its melody is ever present but it is an entirely different tune in the hands of the trio. Finally, disc one closes with the Noble ballad, offering a hint as to just how subtle this rhythm section can be. It offers this lithe, almost ethereal bottom that is nonetheless circular and firm, allowing those big spaces between Mehldau's solo lines the room to float right through and enter the listener as gracefully and emotionally honest as any singer.Disc two kicks off with the bandleader's "Buddha Realm." It contains all of the deep rhythmic interplay that this trio does best. As the pianist articulates one of his knottier melodies with long lines that twist and turn inside themselves, Ballard double- and triple-times the band while rolling the ride cymbal enough for a solid pulse to come shimmering through. Grenadier follows both men, offering the middle ground between the flights of two brilliant soloists. It's exciting, innovative, and offers proof that piano jazz, or at least the true rubber-meets-the-road-jazz piano trio still has lots of tricks up its sleeve in the present day. This is genuinely new jazz, not just a showcase over a rhythm section. More evidence is on the Heath number "C.T.A.," where the hard bop charge roars from the starting line and becomes a multi-valent harmonic bank of ideas and extensive methodical and wire-walking creative articulations as Grenadier's tough solo indicates. The nearly 15-minute reading of Coltrane's "Count Down" makes great use of the energy of the original, but the knotty counterpoint solo Mehldau uses to open it is a throw off; a momentary feint. His opening volley of intensely pointed ranginess is worthy of Oscar Peterson. The solo is wildly inventive because the entire harmonic structure of the tune is in there, pushed to the brink by the deep register, right-hand chord voicings he employs that walk the line between stride and post-bop. When the rhythm section enters, the mood changes. It's still very quick and athletic, but it is brighter as well; colorful as well as dynamic and fast. Live is deeply satisfying on all levels including the price point. Mehldau and Nonesuch have made the purchase of the double-disc set very attractive. Those new or curious about the trio will be astonished by what's here, pure and simple. For seasoned jazz fans and those of the pianist in particular, this is nothing short of total delight.

James Carter
Present Tense

by Thom Jurek
Present Tense was born out of two very specific desires. First, saxophonist James Carter wanted a precise recorded portrait of where he was at as a musician, aesthetically and technically. Second was producer Michael Cuscuna's dead-on assertion that Carter, for all his instrumental and aesthetic virtuosity, had never been represented well on tape. Carter's inability to resist overdoing it on virtually everything he records (ten-minute solos in standards, etc.) makes that point inarguable. Cuscuna proves to be the perfect producer -- as both ally and foil -- and reins Carter in to benefit the recording as a whole. The band on Present Tense is solid: the young trumpeter and fellow Detroiter Dwight Adams, pianist D.D. Jackson, bassist James Genus, and drummer Victor Lewis round out the quintet, with percussionist Eli Fountain and guitarist Rodney Jones playing on three cuts each. The program is wide-ranging and eclectic, but it locks. It offers a portrait of Carter as an exciting traditionalist who can stretch arrangements and previous interpretations to the breaking point, without simply making them egotistical statements about him as a soloist.
Dave Burns "Rapid Shave" opens the set on a stomping, storming, Blue Note-style hard bop workout with Carter's tenor and Adams' trumpet playing the 24-bar jump blues with joyous abandon. Adams' comps push the fat harmonic center straight to the front. Genus and Lewis offer sprightly tempos and interesting rhythmic accents. Adams proves he can hang with the big fellows nicely in his own solo. Carter's "Bro. Dolphy" is one of the most compelling and emotionally satisfying tunes on the set, with Carter on bass clarinet. It opens as an angular, slightly dissonant harmonic sprint but gives way to some of the most lyric balladry Carter has ever composed; one can hear his love of Billie Holiday in the melody even as he evokes Dolphy's own love of the blues and simpler melodies. But this isn't enough by a long shot, and before long the ballad gives way to a stomping, Mingus-style workout, the very kind that showcased Dolphy's artistry as both a soloist and arranger.
Django Reinhardt's ballad, "Pour Que Ma Vie Demeure," with Carter on soprano, is lovely. It lowers the intensity and features a fine solo by Genus. Other standouts include Dodo Marmarosa's "Dodo's Bounce," with Carter on flute and Adams playing a muted trumpet. Its elegant, cool swing is balanced by Jones' semi-percussive strum that adds a weight to the rhythm section. Jones also appears on the Carter original "Bossa J.C." Fountain's congas shimmer in this samba, which contains a post-bop force inspired by Ray Barretto's tough Latin jazz sensibility and the lyricism of Tom Jobim. Carter's solo seeks the places where the tune's melody breaks out, and succeeds in finding it. Jones follows the roll of rhythms in his single-string and chord voicings as he alternates between George Benson-esque funk and Baden Powell's elegant textural statements. It works without a hitch. Whether it's in the sprinting bop pyrotechnics of Gigi Gryce's "Hymn of the Orient," or the off minor tropical blues of Jimmy Jones' "Shadowy Sands," or the balladry of the standard "Tenderly," Present Tense showcases Carter at his most disciplined and ambitious. Even his originals -- check "Sussa Nita" -- use the tradition in ways he hasn't employed before. This may be Carter's finest album because of its insistence on the balance between restraint and adventure. Carter placed himself in Cuscuna's expert hands and it has paid off handsomely.

Jon Mayer
So Many Stars

Muito bom!!! surpresa !!!

by Scott Yanow
Jon Mayer has long been a superior modern mainstream pianist based in the Los Angeles area. While he gained his initial recognition in the late 1950s when he recorded with John Coltrane and Jackie McLean, ever since his return to the scene in 1992, he has far surpassed his earlier abilities, recording quite a few rewarding CDs for Reservoir. So Many Stars is a particular standout due to the strong material and the enthusiasm that the trio puts into their interpretations. Starting with Cedar Walton's "Holy Land" and including such pieces as "Nica's Dream" and "Jeannine," the trio sounds quite inspired and closely attuned to each other. Mayer contributed two originals to the CD ("Rip Van Winkle" oughta become a standard) and takes "Never Never Land" as a thoughtful piano solo. With fine support by bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Roy McCurdy, Jon Mayer is heard throughout in prime form. Recommended.

Dena DeRose
Live At Jazz Standard Volume One &Two

Surpresa ! Surprise !! Eargasm !!! Ela canta e toca muito mais, bons arranjos, belissimo trio e eh americana !!!!! Muito bom !!!!

by Ken Dryden - Volume One
There have been a number of singing jazz pianists over the years, yet most have been stronger in one area or the other. Dena DeRose was a pianist first and took up singing only after a hand injury sidelined her from playing for a time. But she is the real deal, able to bring out the best in the music and lyrics to any given piece. Her snappy take of the standard "Speak Low" features her assertive playing, along with a bit of soft scat as she winds up the piece. DeRose wrote the lyrics to Philippe Petrucciani's haunting ballad "This Is Love," a challenging piece that also showcases bassist Martin Wind. Cole Porter's "Get out of Town" seems like a song in danger of overexposure, yet the pianist's amusing approach includes her dark extended vamp and Matt Wilson's unusual percussion line in the introduction. She proves captivating in her solo feature, the bittersweet ballad "A Table Set for Solitude." Her bluesy arrangement of "Alone Together" and delicate bossa nova treatment of "On Green Dolphin Street" also shine. Tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm is added for "I Fall in Love Too Easily," providing an emotional foil for her moving vocal. For DeRose's jaunty take of "Lover," she shows off a bit of playful stride piano before switching to the more familiar jazz waltz setting.

by Ken Dryden - Volume Two
Dena DeRose is one of a handful of jazz artists who is equally talented as both a vocalist and pianist. Live at Jazz Standard, Vol. 2 is drawn from the same 2007 shows as the first volume, with the capable rhythm section of bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson (who have worked together a good bit, especially with pianist Bill Mays). Right away she sets herself apart from many vocalists by tackling the subtle ballad "The Ruby and the Pearl," delivering a heartfelt vocal with simmering piano. She adds a bit of playful scat to her jaunty performance of Benny Carter's "When Light Are Low," while tackling Johnny Frigo's "Detour Ahead" as a breezy bossa nova. DeRose omits the piano entirely from her moving take of the bittersweet standard "I Fall in Love Too Easily," backed solely by Wind. DeRose gets a bit tickled in several places during"Laughing at Life," while her strident piano provides the perfect complement to her swinging vocal. Her sole instrumental is a lively trio setting of Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way." Highly recommended.

Taylor Eigsti
Let It Come To You

by Jonathan Widran
The title of this brilliant and multi-faceted twenty-something pianist's 2006 Concord Records debut Lucky to Be Me was a self-fulfilling prophecy. The disc's success took the former child prodigy to a higher level of success, earning him the covers of Jazziz and Keyboard Magazine, and a profile in his own BETJ TV special. A major airplay hit on jazz radio throughout the year, the disc also earned Taylor Eigsti two Grammy nominations. On his second release, he's being a little more ironic with his title, knowing that the accolades will continue but only because he is topping himself creatively and musically. Once again, he proves himself a master interpreter, ensemble player, and composer. Though three of his four originals — collectively gathered as the "Fallback Plan Suite" — are tucked at the end, they display an exciting melodic and slight pop sensibility that perfectly balances the insane flurries of chops on the rest of the collection. The suite's first track "Less Free Will" is a lyrical, slow building, funk-spiked jazz piece that finds him in perfect synch with tenor players Dayna Stephens and Ben Wendel, and flutist Evan Francis. His solo in the midst is elegant and restrained, with subtle horn enhancements. The second movement "Not Lost Yet" features a lovely, sparse arrangement, with only subtle horn and flute textures behind Eigsti's rhythmic musings. "Brick Steps" brings up the energy, with rumbling percussion, rolling piano lines, and darting, punchy horns. This trio of songs is enough to sell jazz fans on the magnificence of the album, but there's equal joy in exploring his twists and turns through a series of pieces from different jazz and pop eras — starting with his thoughtful, low-key then frenetic exuberance on Cole Porter's "I Love You" and running through a high-spirited, strutting and swinging romp on Wayne Shorter's "Deluge." Eigsti puts a clever Afro-Cuban tinge on Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington's "Caravan," and he and guitarist Julian Lage share a hypnotic and sensitive, classically tinged duet on Jobim's "Portrait in Black and White." The pianist saves his richest inventions, however, for a bravura blast through Pat Metheny's "Timeline," a dedication to Michael Brecker featuring several minutes of sizzling improvisation and hardcore jamming by Joshua Redman. Another unique, hip choice is his graceful touch on "Not Ready Yet" by the pop band the Eels. There comes a time in every former prodigy's life when he/she has to be judged by their output as an adult. Eigsti's just keeps getting more compelling and inspiring.

1 Sem 2008 - Part 2

The Christian Jacob trio
Contradictions: A Look At The Music Of Michel Petrucciani

By Jack Bowers
As readers should know by now, I have deep admiration for pianist Christian Jacob, whose praises I have sung whenever the opportunity arose. He is, simply put, one of the finest jazz pianists on the scene, and those who've not heard him play have missed a thoroughly pleasurable experience. On Contradictions, Jacob salutes another marvelous pianist, Michel Petrucciani, whose life was ended far too soon by the effects of osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare bone disease that stunted his physical growth but couldn't arrest his artistic genius.Perhaps because Petrucciani's brilliance at the keyboard was so conspicuous, his remarkable talents as a writer have been somewhat overlooked, an omission that fellow countryman Jacob has sought to redress by selecting and arranging eleven of Petrucciani's superlative compositions and lending each one his own special interpretation. There's no need to go into great detail about them; suffice to say that these songs are invariably spellbinding, and that a number of them, if heard more often, could easily become jazz standards.Jacob plays them with consummate ardor, subtlety and awareness, all the while superbly accompanied by bassist Trey Henry and drummer Ray Brinker, with whom he has worked for more than a decade and who together comprise "the Tierney Sutton Quartet minus one. The overall feeling is one of remarkable compatibility and responsiveness; these three musicians listen closely to one another and use that as a framework on which to create and enhance their beguiling themes.It seems strange to be writing about an album dedicated by Jacob to a great artist who is no longer with us, as the leader, his family and friends are even now mourning the loss of another incomparable musician, his father-in-law, trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, who died on August 23 at age 78. While that may not seem untimely, to anyone who was close to Maynard and experienced his incredible energy and enthusiasm, it was absolutely shocking.But if this album affirms anything it is that one's life should be celebrated, not mourned. There's not a trace of sorrow here, only gladness and admiration for the wondrous talent that personified Michel Petrucciani. And that is as it should be. An affectionate tribute to a phenomenal musician whose life, although shortened by infirmity, was by its very nature a cause for praise and honor.
Track listing:
Looking Up; Even Mice Dance; Dumb Breaks; Colors; Brazilian Suite; Contradictions; Rachid; 13th; Memories of Paris; Brazilian Suite No. 2; My Bebop Tune.
Personnel: Christian Jacob: piano; Trey Henry: bass; Ray Brinker: drums.

Alessandro Lanzoni Trio
On The Snow

Alessandro Lanzoni (Piano)
Ares Tavolazzi (Bass)
Walter Paoli (Drums)

Recorded at Sonoria Recording Plant-Prato on June 7 & 8, 2007

1 On The Snow (Lanzoni) 4:55
2 Black Nile (Shorter) 3:22
3 Suite:Mystic Mesemba - ...Eurela! - Penny - Funny Funky - Sol...Tanto Blues (Lanzoni) 22:35
4 Butch And Butch (Nelson) 2:47
5 Il Mulino (Lanzoni) 7:46
6 Our Delight (Dameron) 4:22
7 Walzer Paoli (Lanzoni) 8:52
8 Bye Bye Blackbird (henderson) 7:40

John Taylor

By John Kelman
For his follow-up to the remarkable Angel of the Presence (Cam Jazz, 2006), John Taylor continues to mine the strong chemistry between himself, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Martin France. It's a more balanced set this time around, with three of the pianist's own compositions alongside three by longtime musical compatriot Kenny Wheeler, one jazz standard and a surprising reinvention of a classical piece by Gustav Holst.Quietly, and without much fuss, Taylor has gradually emerged as one of the most important pianists of the past forty years. His lineage may include the romanticism and impressionism of Bill Evans, but his densely layered harmonies and disposition towards orbiting around freer terrain without actually touching firmly down on it have resulted in a voice evolved far beyond seminal influences.Danielsson may not be as active, on an international scale, as in earlier years when he was the de facto house bassist for ECM, but he remains a powerful force. His ability to be both conversational partner and unshakable anchor, and his expansion of the jazz vernacular beyond traditional boundaries, makes him the perfect foil for Taylor.France's reach is the broadest, possessing the ability to form-fit into any context. Much like Norwegian drummer Jarle Vespestad, who is as comfortable with the near-whisper economy of pianist Tord Gustavsen's trio as he is greater extremes with noise improv pioneer Supersilent, France can fit just as easily into his own electronica-tinged Spin Marvel (Babel, 2007) as he does Taylor's all-acoustic setting, with his particular attention to detail and nuance joining together all his work, regardless of context.Taylor has never been a prolific writer, and both the free-flowing title track and "The Woodcocks"—the latter featuring a delicately ethereal intro by the pianist before moving into its more complex and contrapuntal core—have been covered before. Taylor remains, however, an astute interpreter, with an ability to make extant material sound as if it were just written. He brings spare elegance to Kenny Wheeler's characteristically melancholy "Consolation," first heard on the trumpeter's Music for Large & Small Ensembles (ECM, 1990), while Danielsson and France lend a softly swinging gait to "Nicolette," from Angel Song (ECM, 1997).On "In the Bleak Midwinter," with its rich and very unclassical changes, gentle, brush-driven pulse and definitive solo from Danielsson, Taylor turns Holst's adaptation of a religious poem into a thing of secular beauty. It's a fitting closer to an album that, while steeped in lyricism, never resorts to tired cliche.Other pianists may receive more press, but there are few who can approach Taylor's selfless yet unmistakable style. Whirlpool is another stellar release and, with another recording already in the can, it's good to know there's more to come from a trio that never sacrifices substance for style, and for whom sophistication and accessibility are uniquely linked.
Track listing: Consolation; For Ada; Nicolette; The Woodcocks; I Loves You Porgy; Everybody's Song But My Own; In The Bleak Midwinter.
Personnel: John Taylor: piano; Palle Danielsson: double-bass; Martin France: drums.

Irvin Mayfield and Ellis Marsalis
Love Songs, Ballads and Standards

by Ken Dryden
New Orleans native Irvin Mayfield was devastated to learn that Hurricane Katrina had taken the life of his father in 2005. The sessions and live performances heard on this CD were also lost to the storm, but fortunately, the trumpeter had mixes preserved on his iPod, so the music was saved. Veteran jazz educator/pianist Ellis Marsalis is Mayfield's accomplished partner for this far-reaching mix of standards, jazz compositions, and modern pop, adding a rhythm section and, on some tracks, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Mayfield's sound is heartfelt throughout, while Marsalis' reserved style of playing is the perfect complement. The lush setting of "My One and Only Love" and the moody "'Round Midnight" are obvious highlights. Separate versions of the Beatles' "Yesterday," one of their best ballads, open and close the CD. But some of the pop material does not hold up as well. In spite of Mayfield's best efforts, Leon Russell's "Superstar" and Norah Jones' huge hit "Don't Know Why" quickly wear out their welcome with their repetitious themes. Surprisingly, Burt Bacharach's "A House Is Not a Home," recorded by more than a few jazz musicians, is hampered by a dull rhythm backing. But a few rough spots don't prevent Irvin Mayfield from delivering a romantic CD of his favorite ballads.

Paul Bollenback

by Scott Yanow
In a brief blurb on the CD jacket, guitarist Paul Bollenback says that the music on Invocation is a tribute to the many great musicians who have passed away prematurely. Unfortunately there are no liner notes that tell us which musicians Bollenback had in mind, though his playing of songs by James Williams and John Coltrane give at least two clues. However it's doubtful that his version of "How Deep Is the Ocean" is meant as a tribute to Irving Berlin, who lived to be 100 years old. The performances include straightforward, straight-ahead trio renditions of "How Deep Is the Ocean," "Everything Must Change," and "Emily," wordless vocalizing by Chris McNulty during some of the ensembles (most notably on "Alter Ego"), and warm playing by Randy Brecker on "After the Rain" and a few other numbers. The opening "Dancing Leaf" and "Invocation, Pt. 1" are quite complex, but much of the rest of the set is melodic, swinging and even reverent in stretches. Invocation is a consistently intriguing and worthwhile set.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba

by Michael G. Nastos
As the career of Gonzalo Rubalcaba has progressed, through the trials and tribulations of attempting to move freely from his native Cuba to the U.S. and back, there has never been any doubt as to his monstrous talent. Easily a Top Five pianist in terms of his fleet-fingered ability to stretch the parameters of jazz and Latin musics, he has chosen in recent years to play solo or in trios. Avatar changes that with a long-awaited small-ensemble date, featuring a fellow heavyweight, the saxophonist and composer Yosvany Terry, and the brilliant young drummer Marcus Gilmore. As if Rubalcaba needs any fuse to be lit — he has that self-contained — Terry and Gilmore really set sparks flying in this power-packed set of progressive original music. There are instances where New York City neo-bop is heard, with heavy funk rhythms a close second, and echoes of the witty early modern mainstream jazz that established a young Wynton Marsalis. The pianist also ricochets another angular influence, that of Lennie Tristano. The first two pieces, both penned by Terry, reinforce this notion. "Looking in Retrospective" cross-references horn charts of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers juxtaposed against the Brecker Brothers. Heavy modalities merge bright, then heavy, then churning, integrating measured solos. The tour de force "This Is It," likely a killer in concert, is an extended 5/4 funky discourse that is smart, yet deep. Rubalcaba himself is amazing, but inspires his bandmates to join him in fresh phrasings and out-of-body excursions. Though Wynton's sound is somewhat extant in the style of this music, it is also in the trumpet playing of newcomer Mike Rodriguez. But, the band is closer to mid-period Woody Shaw during "Hip Side," as brittle melody lines challenge younger modern and contemporary elements. Terry is lyrical, biting, poetic, and justified in a personalized sound that is in a steep growth curve. Rubalcaba's lone composition, dedicated to John McLaughlin, also has a bounce closely linked to associate Chick Corea, as "Infantil" has the pianist at his most playful, with Terry on soprano sax. There's a serene trio-only (no horns) version of Horace Silver's "Peace," the stairstep chamber-like "Preludio Corto No. 2," and the seaside siren song "Aspiring to Normalcy," an eerie waltz wafting in light waves of color, with a Yoruban rhythm faintly in the distance but very present. It is likely this is the CD Rubalcaba has been yearning to uncork after many years. A fully realized project, inventively played by all, it yields an extraordinarily rewarding listening experience, and is very close to his best work yet.

1 Sem 2008 - Part 1

Sam Yahel Trio
Truth and Beauty

Este eh o segundo Cd deste trio, o primeiro foi o "Yaya 3". Acho o Joshua um grande sax-player, mas o unico CD em que vejo este musico bem, e nesse trio. Belissimo trabalho de um bom trio.

by Scott Yanow
As pianist BM mentions in his lengthy and well thought-out liner notes, organist Sam Yahel, tenor saxophonist JR and drummer BB each have the ability to sound like themselves no matter what the setting or the dominant style. Yahel is one of the most original organists of his generation for even when his tone recalls JIMMY SMITS, his choice of notes does not. JR and BB also have original sounds and the three have played together on numerous occasions, often under the saxophonist's leadership. On Truth and Beauty, they perform six of Yahel's originals and three obscurities including ORNETTE COLEMAN's challenging "Check Up" and PAUL SIMON's relatively lightweight but lyrical "Night Game." JR and Yahel blend together particularly well, with the ensembles logically leading to the solos and lots of close interaction. While none of the individual originals have memorable themes, the set of complex post-bop has a definite charm that grows.

Freddy Cole with The Bill Charlap Trio
Music Maestro Please

Para aqueles que gostam da voz do Freddy Cole com companhia de um bom mas burocratico trio.

By Michael G. Nastos
Jazz singer Freddy Cole has accompanied himself on piano for decades, but here he turns that task over to the quite able Bill Charlap on a program of well-worn standards and a handful of lesser-known tunes. Cole's sweet, soulful, robust voice has held him in good stead over the years, and continues to retain that refined, aged yet timeless texture. He plays pretty piano in primarily balladic mode, while the famed Washington rhythm team (bassist Peter and drummer Kenny) is as reliable as any. Quite a few of the compositions are plucked from the '30s, like "If I Love Again," "Once in a While," and "You Leave Me Breathless." There are two midtempo numbers, including a scatted intro on "There Are Such Things," and two voice/piano duets, the downhearted blues "Why Did I Choose You?," and the equally blues-trodden medley "Don't Take Your Love from Me/I Never Had a Chance." Another obscure song, "You Could Hear a Pin Drop," evokes a mood apropos of its title, written by Bobby Cole (no relation). The finale — the old Johnny Mercer novelty "How Do You Say auf Wiedersehn?" — could be Heidi Klum's Project Runway closing theme song. There are no real sparks flying here, just palpable empathy among the supportive backup participants, evidence of a low, slow, steady blue flame that burns forever in everybody's heart, kept quite alive and well by troubadour Cole.This CD was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

San Francisco

A esposa do Brad Mehldau fez um bom Cd, mas não foi pelo maridão chapadão, e sim pelo nosso Chico Pinheiro, com quase todos arranjos e duo vocal. Eh bom o Brad tomar cuidado! ha ha ha !

by Scott Yanow
Fleurine is an important jazz singer who was originally from Holland. She attended the Amsterdam School of High Arts Music Conservatory during 1990-1994. A versatile performer, she toured Cuba with trumpeter Roy Hargrove in 1996, recorded a ballad-oriented duo album with pianist Brad Mehldau, recorded her lyrics to songs by top jazz musicians (including those of Monk,Redman, and Harrell) in 1995, and moved to the United States in 1998. One of her albums, Fire, features her turning pop-oriented material into jazz. San Francisco differs from her previous work in that it is an exploration of Brazilian music, including the songs of Chico Buarque, Chico Pinheiro, and Francis Hime plus a lone number ("Memories in Black and White") from Jobim. Some of the selections feature her English lyrics though she also sings in Portuguese. Fleurine has a soft and haunting voice that is well suited to this material. Her backup group, which never includes more than four musicians and has a duet number apiece with guitarist Freddie Bryant and pianist Brad, is quite sympathetic with Chris Potter's three appearances (each on a different instrument) adding to the date's variety. San Francisco is a program of subtle music that is quietly infectious.

Riccardo Arrighini Trio
Garota de Ipanema

Só posso dizer uma coisa.......... eargasm !!!!

by Ken Dryden
The second volume in a series of Antonio Carlos Jobim songbooks by Italian pianist Riccardo Arrighini concentrates more on some of the composer's most popular works. With bassist Amedeo Ronga and drummer Stefano Rapicavoli providing capable support, Arrighini dives head first into such frequently recorded hits, attempting to bring a fresh outlook to each of them. This is tougher than it seems, given the number of times most of his selections have been heard in a jazz setting. Ronga's bass vamp provides a change of pace introduction to "Wave," while Arrighini frees himself from the theme fairly quickly. "A Felicidade" benefits from a rather brisk setting with Rapicavoli providing aggressive percussion which rivals the leader's piano in the mix. The leader also surprises with his very deliberate approach to "Once I Loved." While it is nearly impossible to create groundbreaking charts of these popular Jobim songs, Riccardo Arrighini has made an excellent effort to keep them from being run-of-the-mill.

Franco D'Andrea Trio
Prez and Brix

Qualquer trio do Franco D'Andrea e muito bom, este não eh diferente, talvez o unico ponto fraco sejam as musicas pouco conhecidas.

by Ken Dryden
Don't be fooled by this CD's title! Even though it is a tribute to Lester Young and Bix Beiderbecke, pianist Franco D'Andrea's rather modern approach to the songs the two greats played is full of surprises. Featuring bassist Ares Tavolazzi and drummer Massimo Manzi, D'Andrea's angular setting of "Lester Smooths It Out" gets a bit far out in spots, though it never loses track of its bluesy theme. The trio's jaunty take of "East of the Sun" (a standard recorded by Young on just one occasion) can best be described as a post-bop roller coaster. Manzi introduces "At the Jazz Band Ball" in march tempo, though this classic jazz favorite gets a considerable facelift once the leader makes his entrance. In the two takes of Beiderbecke's "Davenport Blues," D'Andrea begins with a playful, dissonant introduction before reverting to some delicious stride piano and eventually swing as well. The pianist's "Pres and Bix" incorporates excerpts of pieces like Beiderbeck's "In a Mist" and Young's "Jumpin' with Symphony Sid" in a compelling solo piano collage. This recording is a delight from start to finish.

Makoto Ozone
Spring Is Here

Um bom CD do japones Makoto Ozone, mas o motivo eh de 1987 ! Velho mas bom !!!

By CDJapan
After graduating from Berklee College of Music, the first Japanese jazz pianist, signed a contract with Columbia / CBS Records in the U.S. in 1983, Makoto Ozone. Ozone is currently active in the Universal / VERVE label, and recorded four albums to Columbia / CBS in the 1980s, the late September release, and piano solo album in 13 years from the Universal "Tokyo Jazz" Cast to celebrate the decision, the latest reissue in DSD mastering! this work, a piano trio formation of the top musicians in New York and took up work noted jazz standard. Attention as one album became a huge growth as a jazz pianist chopped pretend.

Eddie Gomez Trio

Bom, mas continuo com saudades do nosso grande Eddie Gomez, talvez gravando mais, adquira sua excelente musicalidade.

By Andrew Rigmore
To listen to the doublebass sound of one of the most historical jazz-players in the world is always moving: after playing for several years in Bill Evans' trio, and also being in the Charles Mingus' last band when the bass master’s illness made himself to rely just even on a bassplayer too, Eddie Gomez is a walking piece of the jazz history indeed. His intense double bass ever echoes the perfection reached in his own previous experience, which here comes to flow into the present recording, titled Palermo: an homage to the beautiful Italian city where the releasing label, Jazz Eyes, resides. The fluent music, its intensity and his romantic touch color this album with a particular atmosphere, thanks to the presence of both the precise pianist Stefan Karlsson, who shares with Gomez a long time artistic companionship, and the drummer Nasheet Waits, who refines the rhythmic textures of this trio. With this lineup, the bassplayer releases creative lines with his instrument: this happens on "Missing You", a ballad written by himself, where he provides for a brilliant solo with his bow. But he also lets his bandmates express their own inspired improvisations, where a close interplay among the three comes out. A precious gift is the reprise of Evans' "We Will Meet Again", dedicated by the famous piano player to his dead brother, and featured on the posthumous "You Must Believe in Spring": it is Gomez's very touching tribute to that great jazz master. This is only a sample of what it's possible to find on this cd, where the passionate bassist of jazz greats likes of Chick Corea, Michael Brecker, and great himself, shows once more that his masterful touch is as elegant and vivid as ever, and it will leave surprised the lovers of old masterliness combined with modern stream hints.
Palermo, Illusion, Missing you, On Green Dolphin Street, Smilin’ Eyes, We Will Meet Again, If I Should Loose You, My Foolish Heart

Marcin Wasilewski Trio

Belissimo trabalho destes poloneses, faltou um pouco mais de punch. Vale ouvir !!

by Thom Jurek
On their sophomore effort for ECM, the Marcin Wasilewski Trio (pianist Marcin Wasilewski, bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz, and drummer Michal Miskiewicz — who are also Polish trumpet maestro Tomasz Stanko's rhythm section) reflect the true sign of their maturity as a group of seasoned jazz musicians and risk-takers. Their debut album, simply called Trio, merely reflected to American and Western European audiences the wealth of talent, vision, and discipline that Polish and Eastern Europe's audiences had known for over a decade. (The group recorded five previous albums in its native country between 1993 and 2004.) They came together in 1991 as teenagers: Wasilewski and Kurkiewicz were only 16 and had already been playing together for a year when they met up with Miskiewicz. In 1993 they began playing behind Stanko, and eventually became his recording group as well. They were first heard on his 2001 album The Soul of Things, as well as his subsequent ECM outings, Suspended Night and Lontano. But all of this is history and history only. It doesn't begin to tell of the magic and mystery found in this beautiful album. There are four Wasilewski compositions in this ten-cut set. They range from the lovely songlike opener, "The First Touch," with its romantic melody that suggests Bill Evans' late "Song for Evan" period, as well as elliptical European improvisers like Bobo Stenson. But it's that inherent sense of dimension and space that is in all the best Polish jazz that makes this is such a stellar tune. The utterly lyrical brush and cymbal work by Miskiewicz and present yet uncluttered bassline of Kurkiewicz allow the full range of Wasilewski's reach from melodic invention to gently ambiguous modal exploration to come to the fore. The group's reading of Ennio Morricone's "Cinema Paradiso" underscores the deep and inseparable relationship between Polish jazz and the cinema that has existed since the collaborations between director Roman Polanski and Stanko's first boss, pianist and composer Krzysztof Komeda. The sense of dynamic that the trio goes for on this piece is perhaps less forcefully pronounced than the composer's, but it is almost a reading of its other side, where the brooding aspects of the original give way to something fuller and more picaresque, while allowing its sense of nostalgia and memory free rein inside the narrative of the tune. This is followed by one of the set's true highlights, a killer jazz reading of Prince's "Diamonds and Pearls," led by a tough little three-note bass intro by Kurkiewicz; he proceeds to underscore every note in the melody with a fill. It's difficult to know for the first couple of minutes exactly what the trio is getting at here, but just before the extrapolation of the harmony and its inversion it becomes clear and it gains a more aurally recognizable quality. The tune is soulful and romantic, and contains all of the inherent lyricism that Prince employs in its chord structure, adding just a little of jazz's sense of adventure in the final third of the tune and wrapping it all together into something new. This is a worthy interpretation if there ever was one. Interestingly, the trio tackles some tunes by ECM standard-bearers as well. There are innovative, challenging, and very fresh-sounding versions of Gary Peacock's "Vignette," Carla Bley's "King Korn" (which retains all of its knotty humor and then adds some of its own), and Stanko's gorgeous and enduring "Balladyna"— the title cut from his own ECM debut back in the 1970s. Three longer Wasilewski compositions — "The Cat," the title track, and another crack at the relationship between Polish film and jazz in "The Young and the Cinema" — dominate the second half of the record by giving the band a chance to really stretch and fly. All of these tunes, but particularly the last one, reveal the trio members' ability to swing effortlessly together no matter how complex the music gets as it moves from post-bop to angular impressionistic jazz. The final cut is a muted improvisation that is, if anything, all too brief. This is terrific second effort by a band that, despite the fact that its members have been together for 17 years, is only really coming into its own in the present moment.

Larry Willis
The Offering

by Thom Jurek
On his third date for Highnote, pianist Larry Willis makes only one personnel change, replacing Joe Ford's alto with Eric Alexander's tenor, leaving the rhythm section of Eddie Gómez and Billy Drummond intact. As is his wont, Willis explores a program of unusual tunes, both covers and originals that offer a wonderfully idiosyncratic view of both jazz and pop music. For starters, there's the title cut by bassist Santi Debriano (who recorded it on his own Obeah album on Free Lance in 1987). The knotty Afro-Cuban pulse and melodic line are opened up toward the modal from the inside by Willis with his wonderful two-chord attack, and the pianist's solo is followed directly by a tight drum solo from Drummond. This is followed by Willis' own "TD's Tune," with a slightly angular dissonance that becomes a romantic ballad tinged with Spanish flamenco modalities before transforming itself into a killer midtempo noir-ish groover. Willis' fills and trills around Alexander's head before Gómez solos in the first minute and a half are remarkable. His "Ethiopia" is sparse and haunting, with its spacious, hovering lyric line played arco by Gómez as he paints the frame with dark and somber colors. It is immediately followed by the knotty post-bop of "The Rock," another original that showcases Alexander coming right out of the head into a taut yet loping solo. Willis' own playing behind Alexander is equal parts harmonic counterpart and rhythmic counterpoint, as he moves against the rest of the rhythm section. It's a breathtakingly complex and hard swinging tune. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the finger-popping version of "Theme from Star Trek," with Willis adding all sorts of harmonic extensions onto the familiar lines as Alexander plays it somewhat straight before they turn the thing inside out without losing any of its swing. Once more Willis proves that he is not only a truly gifted pianist of complexity and depth, but one with a startling array of tools at his disposal as an arranger and bandleader. While jazz fans may know his work well, he should be recognized as one of the consistently great soloists of our time. Among musicians, Willis is considered a true master, and it's time the general jazz populace discovered that as well. The Offering is another high-class, musically arresting date by an innovator.

Franco D' Andrea Trio
Duke Ellington Suites 1931-1974 Chapter 1 - Creole Rhapsody

Outro belo Cd de trio, com musicas pouco conhecidas, o que prova da enorme produção do Duke e sua turma.

by Ken Dryden
Franco D'Andrea put himself to the test by performing excerpts of a number of Duke Ellington's suites, works written from 1931 to 1974, without the benefit of having a large orchestra to help add color to his arrangements. He captures the exotic flavor of "Afrique" (from The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse), the elegance of "Apes and Peacocks" with his understated approach, and the dark humor within "Bourbon Street Jingling Jollies" (from The New Orleans Suite). In fact, half the fun (which is also a work played during these sessions, written for Such Sweet Thunder) is D'Andrea's choice of material from the many suites heard, usually avoiding the expected selections in favor of less familiar pieces. Bassist Ares Tavolazzi and drummer Massimo Manzi provide outstanding support throughout the disc, which should prove of great interest to serious fans of Duke Ellington's compositions.