Sunday, July 13, 2008

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.

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