Sunday, November 22, 2009

WORLDJAZZ TOP 10 - 2009

Ola turma !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Segue minha lista de 2009, praticamente com 90% de certeza. os outros 10% fica para algo que aparcer ate o fim do ano:

JAZZ-RECORD OF 2009:
Franco D'Andrea Trio - New World A-Comin' : The Duke Ellington Suites (1931-1974)
Chapter 2 - Philology W315.2


THE BEST OF THE REST:
- Roberta Gambarini/Andrea Donati - Under Italian Skies - KOB10033
- Laika - Misery:A Tribute to Billie Holliday - BJFB2
- Tierney Sutton - Desire - Telarc83685
- The Christian Jacob Trio - Live In Japan - WilderJazz0801
- John Stetch - TV Trio - Brux14112
- The Anthony Wilson Trio - Jack Of Hearts - GRV1046-2
- Enrico Pieranunzi/Marc Johnson/JoeyBaron - Dream Dance - CAM 5031
- Luigi Ferrara Quartet - Another Day - Philology W.728.2
- Introducing Giulio Stracciati Trio - Free Three - Philology W.328.2

ARTISTE DU JAZZ 2009
Christian Jacob and Joey DeFrancesco

__________________________________________________


Oi Jazzófilos,

Segue resultado final elaborado por Claudio Botelho.
Participantes: Augusto César, Carlos Couto, Claudio Botelho, Leandro Rocha, Leonardo Barroso, Marcílio Adjafre e Márcio Távora:

O mais votado, com 2,909 pontos

ROBERTA GAMBARINI "SO IN LOVE"

Os segundos mais votados, com 2,454 pontos, cada. Aqui, são quatro os títulos, a saber:

ANGELA HAGENBACH " THE WAY THEY MAKE ME FEEL "
- MILTON NASCIMENTO E BELMONDO
- JOÃO BOSCO " NÃO VOU PRO CÉU, MAS JÁ NÃO VIVO NO CHÃO"
- MANHATTAN TRINITY " THE HENRY MANCINI SONGBOOK
 "

A turma dos 2 (dois) pontos é a seguinte:

INTRODUCING GIULIO STRACCIATI TRIO "FREE THREE"
- ROBERTA GAMBARINI "UNDER ITALIAN SKIES"
- STEFANO BOLLANI "STONE IN THE WATER "

O pessoal que faturou 1,909 pontos segue abaixo:

- TERJE GEWELT "OSLO"- FLORIAN ROSS "BLIND AND SHADES"
- DWARD SIMON "POESIA"- GWILYM SIMCOCK "BLUES VIGNETTE"

Agora, temos a gang dos 1,454 pontos, que é a seguinte:

- JOHN DI MARTINO’S "ROMANTIC JAZZ TRIO MOLIENDO CAFÉ"
- RICCARDO ARRIGHINI & STRINGS "E LUCEVAN LE STELLE "
- PAULA FAOUR "A MÚSICA DE MARCOS VALLE & BURT BACHARACH"

Monday, September 07, 2009

Eddie Higgins 1932 - 2009


Eddie Higgins Dies at 77





By Lee Mergner
The versatile pianist Eddie Higgins died Aug. 31 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He was 77 years old. The cause of death was cancer. Higgins was born and raised in Cambridge, Mass., and started playing piano when he was just 4 years old. After attending Andover Prep where his father taught, Higgins left for Chicago to attend Northwestern University. He proceeded to spend his formative years as a professional musician in that city, working with a veritable who’s who of mainstream jazz.
For one span of more than 10 years, Higgins and his trio served as the house band at the London House in Chicago, frequently playing on bills with the greats of jazz, such as Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and many others. During his time in Chicago he also recorded as a sideman on various recordings led by jazz players of nearly every style, including Cannonball Adderley, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Al Grey and Jack Teagarden. A quintessential sideman, Higgins recorded sporadically in the ’60s as a leader for small labels like Vee-Jay, Replica and Atlantic. Moving back to the New England area in 1970, Higgins settled in Cape Cod and gigged as a solo pianist and bandleader. He later formed a partnership, both personal and professional, with the singer Meredith D’Ambrosio, whom he married in 1988. Over the years, the two recorded both together and separately for Sunnyside, as well as Venus, generally releasing about one CD per year since 1990, including Christmas CDs in 2004, 2005 and 2008. In a review for JazzTimes in 1997, Doug Ramsey called Higgins’ third album for Sunnyside, Portrait in Black and White, “one of the most impressive piano trio albums in recent memory.” And, he added, “Higgins is less a stylist than a brilliant generalist who ranges through the history of the music, selecting, winnowing and refining. He has long since melded his touch, voicings, relaxation, inventiveness and natural swing into an approach that draws from all eras of jazz piano without being tied to any of them. Rather than blandness, his eclecticism brings to his improvisations focus, definition and purpose.” D’Ambrosio and Higgins became staples of the mainstream jazz parties, as well as the jazz cruises. In fact, the couple wintered in the Ft. Lauderdale area, not far from the embarkation point of many of the cruises. In 2006, The Jazz Cruise inducted Higgins into their Hall of Fame. A very literate man, Higgins sometimes wrote his own liner notes in a wry, self-effacing style.
Higgins’ ashes will be spread by his home in Cape Cod, Mass.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

George Russell 1923 - 2009


Caros Amigos,
Faleceu ontem, o primeiro musico a entender a grandeza do jazz e do Bill Evans: George Russell.




Posted Tue Jul 28, 2009, 9:04 PM ET
George Russell died today, at the age of 86, after a long bout with Alzheimer’s, and if you’ve never heard of him, all the deeper pity.
Russell was one of the great unsung heroes of modern jazz. In this summer when many are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, it is worth noting that there would have been no such album—the art of jazz might have languished in post-Parker malaise for a few years longer—had there been no George Russell.
Born in Cincinnati, a prodigy on piano and drums, he moved to New York in the late 1940s, wrote “Cubano Be, Cubano Bop” (the pioneering work of Afro-Cuban jazz) for Dizzy Gillespie, and joined a coterie of composers—most notably Gil Evans, John Lewis, and Gerry Mulligan—pushing the music in more inventive directions.
Soon after, Russell contracted pneumonia and spent over a year at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Bronx, where a nurse showed him a piano in a library that almost nobody used. Friends brought him musical theory books, and every day he fiddled with new combinations of chords and scales. Finally, he hit upon a whole new way of playing jazz—improvising not on chord changes, as Gillespie and Charlie Parker had done in the bebop revolution of a decade earlier, but on scales, specifically church modes that hadn’t been explored by anyone in over a century.
The distinction might sound academic, but it was profound. When a bebop musician improvises, the chord changes serve as a compass; they point the directions to the next bar or the next phrase. The chords follow a particular pattern; you knew what the next chord would be. Playing blues, you also knew that this sequence of chord changes would be finished in 12 bars, and then you’d either end your solo or start over again. The best musicians took flighty excursions on these solos, but the chord structure determined or limited which notes they could play and for how long.
With Russell’s theory, the compass was thrown out the window, or its needle was sent spinning in multiple directions. You could play the notes of the chord, or any note along its scale, and you could play on that scale for as long as you wanted. As Russell put it in his book, The Lydian Chromatic concept of Tonal Organization for Improvisation, “The concept provides the possibilities. It is for the musicians to sing his own song, really, without having to meet the deadline of a particular chord.”
Miles Davis was a friend of Russell’s and one of the first to grasp his theory’s implications. “When you go this way,” Davis explained in a 1958 interview with Nat Hentoff, “you can go on forever. You don’t have to worry about changes, and you can do more with time. It becomes a challenge to see how melodically inventive you are… I think a movement in jazz is beginning, away from the conventional string of chords and a return to emphasis on melodic rather than harmonic variations. There will be fewer chords but infinite possibilities as to what to do with them.”
Kind of Blue, recorded in 1959, would be the perfect expression of this concept—and the exemplar for a new generation of jazz musicians seeking freer ways of playing music (sometimes for the better, sometimes not).
Russell led some great albums of his own: Jazz Workshop with Bill Evans (whom he introduced to Miles Davis—another prerequisite to the wondrous novelty of Kind of Blue), Ezz-thetic with Eric Dolphy, and New York, New York with Evans, Bob Brookmeyer, Max Roach, and John Coltrane. All are very much worth checking out.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2 Sem. 2009 - Part One

The Christian Jacob Trio
Live In Japan - WilderJazz 0801




Um grande pianista e arranjador, acompanha a cantora Thierney Sutton (da qual sou um admirador) desde seu inicio, há mais de dez anos. Aqui está o Trio sem a cantora. So confirma o grande musico que ele eh. Uma pena que grave tão pouco. Muito bom Cd.

by JazzTimes
The Christian Jacob Trio with bassist Trey Henry and drummer Ray Brinker, is probably best known as Tierney Sutton’s back-up band. But they have also been a stand-alone ensemble for 12 years and sound like it. They interweave their three voices with a confidence and clarity that only come with time.
This album was recorded at the TUC jazz club in Tokyo. Christian Jacob makes the inspired choice to include four melodies that “every Japanese person would recognize.” They are depictions of the four seasons that have been taught in Japanese elementary schools for generations. “Hana” is a little like “Up Up And Away” and is airy and bright with the affirmation of spring. Jacob’s trio makes “Akatonbo” sound like a classic jazz ballad about autumn.
Jacob is an accomplished pianist, but his single greatest strength may be his capacity for creating fresh, ambitious, architecturally meticulous trio arrangements. That skill accounts for his seamless transformation of old Japanese children’s songs into jazz. It also explains why his versions of done-to-death standards like “Too Close for Comfort” and “All or Nothing At All” and “It Never Entered My Mind” all sound like their composers wrote them yesterday and gave them to Jacob to rework them.


Denny Zeitlin Trio
In Concert - Sunnyside SSC-1206




Um belissimo CD, do grande Denny Zeitlin. Grava pouco em função de ser psiquiatra e grande sommelier.

by Michael G. Nastos
Denny Zeitlin is the greatest unsung modern pianist jazz has ever produced. His daily occupation as a psychotherapist keeps him close to home in Northern California, but he occasionally steps out with a concert performance or very worthwhile recording. On this CD, done at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles or the Outpost in Albuquerque, you get the best of both with professional musicians like bassist Buster Williams and drummer Matt Wilson. Usually heard solo or in duets, we should be happy Zeitlin's trio hits on all cylinders of passion, literacy, brilliant inventive musicianship, and teamwork to offer a set of music that should please anyone who enjoys original jazz keyboard works without compromise. What is telling in the construct of Zeitlin's melodies, reharmonizations, and solos is that he is always interesting without being flashy or bound to clichés. He has his own voice on his instrument, an admirable quality very few can claim. To "facilitate airplay," Zeitlin splits "Mr P.C." in two shorter parts, the first portion a furiously fast paced blow out with harmonic add ons and a solo break motivated by stride implications, the second an easier swing with bass and drum solos. He also apportions the near-20-minute medley of the standard "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" in improvised and open, completed phrases with his pensive original "10,000 Eyes" with no real paraphrasing or reduced value between the two. When Zeitlin plays a ballad such as "The We of Us," the melody is again advanced instead of sublimated, while the standard "All of You" is revised and reharmonized many times over. Zeitlin's greatest artistic achievement, his Zen-like musings, come full circle during the complex "Prime Times" where endless ideas tumble like streams of consciousness. The David Friesen composition "Signs & Wonders" starts with Zeitlin's atypically zinged strings and arpeggios leading to a free discourse without Wilson, then to swing in two-fisted chordal punctuations and rumblings. The expert backing of Williams and Wilson allows the pianist great freedom to play any way he wants, and the result is an incredibly diverse program within the tried and true piano-bass-drums format. That Denny Zeitlin gets better and better with the passage of time is not surprising. That he is as great as any in contemporary jazz — and that includes Keith Jarrett or Chick Corea — should be a well kept secret no longer. You'd be well advised to pick up this extraordinary live date, and his other live trio CD for the Venus label, as well as his reissued recordings for Columbia records from the Mosaic series.


Joey DeFrancesco
Estate - Zucca Records 2008




O Cd Estate, Joey vem tocando alem do organ, trumpet, fulgelhorn, & vocal. O disco eh gravado na Italia, e eh muito bom, com o bonus de um novo pianista Massimo farao ( sera irmao do Antonio ?? ).


Joey D ! - HighNote HCD-7190



O segundo CD JOEY D ! , um trio e como um sempre um belissimo disco, e apresenta seu novo organ da Diversi.

By Jack Bowers
Joey DeFrancesco, who has graduated from heir-apparent to undisputed king among contemporary jazz organists, is in his element here, presiding over a trio comprised of himself, undervalued tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon and reliable drummer Byron Landham. Rest assured DeFrancesco's nimble fingers are as virtuosic as ever, and there's no need to fret about the slender rhythm section, as DeFrancesco happily provides his own.
DeFrancesco is perfectly at ease and in control even though recording for the first time on a new Diversi DV-Duo Plus drawbar organ with "modified sound engine and modeling technology." It comes alive, as one would expect, in DeFrancesco's proficient hands, and he is squarely on his game regardless of mood or tempo. The same can be said of Weldon, an unapologetic bopper whose hard-edged tenor complements superbly the leader's more even-tempered moments. Landham, DeFrancesco's longtime companion and helpmate, is ideally cast in the role of rhythmic navigator.
DeFrancesco's choice of music is exemplary, from Miles Davis meteoric curtain-raiser, "Dig," to the heated finale, Gene Ammons impulsive "Blues Up and Down" (which underlines the Dexter Gordon ascendancy in Weldon's arsenal). The trio even manages to make "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" seem fresh and engaging. Completing the prismatic program are J.J. Johnson's plaintive "Lament" and the tasteful standards "If Ever I Should Lose You," "Besame Mucho," "Come Dance with Me" and "Nancy (with the Laughing Face)," the last two associated with Sinatra.
This is high-quality straight-ahead contemporary jazz, a worthy successor to splendid organ trios led in years past. DeFrancesco is the monarch now, and if Joey D! is any signpost, he harbors no desire to abdicate.


Luigi Ferrara Quartet
Another Day - Philology W 728.2




O sucessor do grande Toots. A Italia eh o pais que mais produz Jazz no mundo e da mais alta qualidade. O grupo eh forte e inspirado, tem um belissimo pianista: Ramberto Ciammarughi. O belo CD.
Luigi Ferrara, musicista marchigiano residente è, da oltre un decennio, uno dei Pianisti- Armonicisti più apprezzati del panorama jazz nazionale. Alcuni anni dopo la realizzazione del suo primo CD "The Life Always' e la registrazione, a Londra, del CD "Simply Me" insieme alla cantante inglese Helen Abbey, l'artista pubblica, proprio in questi giorni, il suo ultimo lavoro discografico."Another Day" – è questo il nome del CD prodotto dalla Philology Records – è stato realizzato insieme ai musicisti Ramberto Ciammarughi (piano), Gabriele Pesaresi (contrabbasso) e Massimo Manzi (batteria). Corriere Adriatico (Italia)

Track List :
1 - Rio
2 - Another Day
3 - In Love In Vain
4 - Blues Hot
5 - Simple Life
6 - Blue To You
7 - Presenza E Apparenza
8 - Mamma
9 - Moment
10 - Libero
11 - Bill Evans


Introducing Giulio Stracciati Trio
Free Three - Philology W 328.2




Uma grande surpresa, não sabia que a Italia fazia guitarista. O trio todo eh desconhecido, mas o CD eh muito bom.

By Marco Losavio per Jazzitalia
Se si suona con coinvolgimento, se la musica spicca il suo volo densa dell'intimità di chi l'ha prodotta, quando giunge all'ascoltatore non può non farsi notare. E' come osservare con i propri occhi una storia, ce ne sono tante, tutte uguali, ma se se ne riconosce l'autenticità allora si rimane, a propria volta, coinvolti. E' ciò che capita ascoltando lo scontato disco di Giulio Stracciati. Già, scontato come potrebbe essere un qualsiasi lavoro che si presenta con un trio chitarra, contrabbasso e batteria e con una sfilza di standard suonati ovunque e da chiunque. L'ascolto quindi deve necessariamente mettere da parte la pretesa di percepire novità, idee geniali che facciano gridare al miracolo, sarebbe controproducente e non sortirebbe effetti positivi. Se invece ci si pone dinanzi a questo album con rilassatezza e con il "semplice" proposito di voler ascoltare un buon jazz ben suonato allora si potrà ascoltare una musica fluida, articolata secondo gli stilemi classici rispettati ed assimilati in modo molto adeguato, con un ottimo controllo dinamico e dei suoni, con una padronanza di linguaggio ragguardevole e, perchè no, con delle invenzioni estemporanee che lasciano anche spazio a sprazzi di novità piacevoli come l'arrangiamento di My Funny Valentine, l'interplay di Memories of Istanbul, i momenti con la chitarra classica di Ouverture e Folk I.
Il chitarrismo di Stracciati fa riecheggiare fraseggi della scuola di Mick Goodrick, Joe Diorio, basati innanzitutto sulla elevata pulizia delle note, l'uso delle dita, i rapidi spostamenti tonali che rendono meno scontate le soluzioni adottate, lo sfruttamento delle triadi, l'andamento obliquo delle frasi. Poi c'è il senso del respiro, il suono della chitarra che, come una voce, rispetta un'esigenza fisica, quella di prendere fiato, principio di cui il grande maestro è Jim Hall e che Stracciati ha assimilato riportandolo in modo naturale nel suo modo di suonare senza perdere in virtuosismo, anzi, riuscendo a prendere velocità in modo molto più consistente ma senza affanno, quindi con timing notevole. La capacità di attendere che il suono abbia finito il suo corso, la mancanza di fretta, possibili grazie a molta tecnica nel tocco, alla solida consapevolezza delle dinamiche disponibili. Ma tutto questo vuol dir poco o nulla se poi non lo si condisce con quell'ingrediente citato all'inizio: l'intimità, la propria anima musicale che rende il tutto comunque unico, forte di un'identità che anche se può tardare dal punto di vista prettamente stilistico (impresa oggi titanica!) sicuramente non manca dal punto di vista della musicalità, del gusto e dell'impronta impressa al suono globale.
Il merito quindi di "Free Three" è nell'essere riuscito a trasmettere, ad arrivare, a non restare lì, nel lettore, a suonare senza che l'ascoltatore se ne accorgesse. Al contrario cattura l'attenzione, impone la ricerca del silenzio per potersi far ascoltare meglio. Altro merito è quello di aver offerto a chi scrive (e speriamo davvero a tanti altri) l'opportunità di conoscere la raffinatezza di un batterista come Piero Borri, eccellente, fondamentale nel permettere che Stracciati abbia potuto esprimersi nel modo descritto e la possenza e precisione dell'ungherese Janos Egri al contrabbasso. Due musicisti che hanno contribuito in modo determinante al raggiungimento del suono globale, risultato a cui ogni trio ha il dovere di ambire.
Good for you, Giulio!


Enrico Rava
New York Days - ECM2064




Ultimamente tenho a certeza de estar ouvindo o melhor trumpetista do Jazz, e quando se junta com o Stefano Bollani, não tem para nobody. Eh um CD no estilo Rava, a medida que se vai ouvindo, vai crescendo no prazer do Jazz. Obrigatorio.

By John Kelman
In assessing Enrico Rava's lengthy career, while it is clear that he is still reaching for the unattainable, in recent years the Italian trumpeter's context has been considerably more centrist. Easy Living (ECM, 2004) and The Words and the Days(ECM, 2007) were undeniably mainstream, albeit with an unmistakable European and, at times, Mediterranean bent. New York Days teams Rava and pianist Stefano Bollani—last heard in duet on the marvelous The Third Man (ECM, 2008)—together with perennially underrated tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, increasingly ubiquitous bassist Larry Grenadier and drum icon Paul Motian for a set of nine originals and two free improvisations that, like The Third Man combine innate lyricism and swing with some of Rava's freest playing in years.
Whether suggested by Rava or ECM owner/producer Manfred Eicher, it's an inspired grouping. Motian collaborated with Rava and Bollani on TATI (ECM, 2005), though that was a more compositionally democratic affair. Here, with the exception of the two improvs, it's all Rava, and the trumpeter's writing brings the set a greater stylistic focus. The material does have breadth, however, ranging from the dark-hued, European impressionism of "Interiors" to "Thank You, Come Again," which leans more to the west side of the Atlantic in its harmonic approach and gentle swing.
Elsewhere, however, there are unexpected detours. "Outsider" begins with Grenadier's frenetic bass line, setting the stage for Bollani's oblique harmonies and Motian's trademark implicitness. Rava retains his own unmistakable melodicism while reaching for abstract heights as Grenadier, Bollani and Motian regularly break down and regroup, with Rava leaving space for Turner to demonstrate the kind of immediacy that's made him a highly respected figure amongst musicians—if not a hugely popular figure amongst the jazz listening populace. Wayne Shorter-like in his cerebralism and ability to make a single note mean everything, he darts in and out, punctuating and delivering lean, lithe lines that set up a brief but unrelenting duet between Bollani and Motian where the excitement is ratcheted up, with Grenadier only reentering in time for a brief recapitulation of the piece's high velocity theme.
How well these artists work together— intersecting in the past but never together as a quintet (e.g. TATI, Turner with Grenadier in Fly; Grenadier with Motian's Trio 2000+One)—is, perhaps, best heard on the two improvisations. Despite the freedom of "Outsider," "Improvisation I" is a classic case of pulling form from the ether, as the quintet gradually coalesces, over the course of four spare minutes, to create a clear compositional kernel. "Improvisation II" is starker still, but half-way through Bollani begins to bring form, leading to a remarkable series of cascading lines where the quintet magically connects.
Throughout, Turner's interactions with Rava at an equally deep level are further evidence of his remarkable talent. As the entire quintet finds new ways to coincidentally respect and reject tradition, New York Days emerges early in 2009 as one of Rava's richest and most rewarding showings since he returned to the label in 2003.
Track Listing:
Lulu; Improvisation I; Outsider; Certi Angoli Segreti; Interiors; Thank You, Come Again; Count Dracula; Luna Urbana; Improvisation II; Lady Orlando; Blancasnow.
Personnel: 
Enrico Rava: trumpet; Mark Turner: tenor saxophone; Stefano Bollani: piano; Larry Grenadier: double-bass; Paul Motian: drums.


Peter Nordahl Trio
The Look Of Love - ADCD 26




Ouvi Peter Nordahl pela primeira vez acompanhando a cantora Lisa Ekdahl. Ela aquela tipica voz nordica "fina" mas o trio muito bom. Este eh o primeiro CD que ouço dele. Bons arranjos, bem tocado e em consequencia uma bela surpresa.


Julia Hülsmann Trio
The End of a Summer - ECM2079




A alemã Julia Hulsmann tem um estilo "ECM", mas com boas composições. Este eh o prmeiro CD trio dela que escuto, me lembrou o segundo CD do Tord Gustavson. Belo inicio. Tem um outro CD dela com o cantor Roger Cicero.

By John Kelman
Why do some artists achieve popularity in their own country and fail to make an impression elsewhere, while others cross that boundary with apparent ease? It's easy to argue that there's an "X" factor involved, a singular and identifiable something that allows an Esbjorn Svensson to attain international stature while pianist Julia Hulsmann, with a trio nearly as old as the late Svensson's heralded e.s.t., hasn't managed to break out of her native Germany.
Differentiation is key; equally, exposure is a factor. e.s.t. landed a strong break with its two-album Columbia deal in North America, spending some serious road time in Europe, Canada, and the United States. While three of Hulsmann's first four discs are on the not insignificant German ACT label, they didn't receive the same kind of international push. The End of A Summer, the pianist's first pure trio disc since the indie Trio (BIT, 2003), benefits not only from its wider reach, but from the brand loyalty ECM has built over the past four decades. That The End Of A Summer is deserving of that loyalty only makes Hulsmann and her twelve year-old trio all the more overdue a discovery.
Hulsmann has, in the past, demonstrated a pop sensibility not unlike Svensson's, enlisting singers to interpret pop music by Randy Newman, Nick Drake, and Sting, as well as the oblique poetry of e.e. cummings and the fatalistic Emily Dickinson, supported by Hulsmann's own music. Here, stripped down to its essentials—bassist Marc Muelbauer and drummer Heinrich Kobberling—Hulsmann's trio continues to largely work in song-like miniature, with the disc's ten tracks rarely cracking the five minute mark. Lyricism and introspection define the set, although the trio isn't averse to bursts of energy on Hulsmann's spry "Quint" and more dramatic yet still sparsely populated "Geld," where Muelbauer's pedal point allows the pianist to wax modal, even as the occasional injection of changes lends it more definitive form.
The chemistry is deep and the approach democratic. Muellbauer's robust bass is a melodic partner to Hulsmann's gentle but confident touch on Kobberling's "Where In The World" where the trio subtly stretches and contracts time, underscoring its unshakable forward motion with an understated tension and release. On Hulsmann's more pensive title track and Muellbauer's deceptively idiosyncratic and implicitly swinging "Last One Out," the trio combines generous use of space with thoughtful melodies—at times, near-singable but elsewhere more curious and opaque. Hulsmann demonstrates elegant simplicity and respectful reverence on a tender rework of the Seal hit "Kiss From A Rose" and her own "Senza," adding blue shades to her lengthy solo on the loosely swinging "Not The End Of The World."
Avoiding blatant virtuosity, The End Of A Summer engages, instead, on a deeper, more subconscious level. Profoundly beautiful and possessing a telepathic interaction that can only come from years playing together, this may not be the Julia Hulsmann Trio's debut, but it will be a first encounter for many, and a fine one it is.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Kenny Rankin 10 Feb 1940 - 07 Jun 2009

Faleceu em 07 de junho de 2009, um grande musico, cantor, que cativou-me pela sensibilidade em que sempre mostrou-se em seus CD's ou DVD's. Kenny Rankin foi quem me mostrou o talento de nossa Rosinha(Rosa Passos). Segue uma de suas ultimas entrevistas.




Kenny Rankin: From the Heart Kenny Rankin June 9, 2009

By R.J.DeLuke
Kenny Rankin died of lung cancer on June 7th, 2009.
This interview was conducted in July 2002.
He sings with a fluid ease, whether it's a standard like "The Very Thought of You," the Beatles "Blackbird," a Latin-flavored "Berimbau," or his own "In the Name of Love." His soft voice caresses the most delicate phrases and gallops at fast tempos. But always, there is the twist of a phrase, taking a line somewhere unexpected, but inspired; a harmony tossed in that gives the song a lift, a tug here or there, a new way of showing you what the lyric is about. He's an interpreter whose brushes are dipped in passion and feeling and beauty.
He's Kenny Rankin, a treasure for over three decades. If he isn't often mentioned in the discussion of classic singers, it's not because he lacks the talent. Maybe it's because he's hard to categorize. He has a fondness for the great standards and can play a jazz room, but he has played folk and rock gigs as well. When it comes down to it, categories don't matter. Rankin quotes the oft-repeated Duke Ellintonism that there's only two types of music: good and bad.
"I'm just a singer. And I can sing anything that touches my heart," says Rankin in his mellow tenor tone. "And I think anybody can. If it touches you, it moves you. You're human. You're real. It stirs a passion. You become compassionate for whatever the song is being written about, sung about; spoken about... I can sing 'Blackbird,' I can sing 'Round Midnight.' I can sing 'Billie's Blues.' I can sing 'My Baby Just Cares For Me.' And I can sing that, and friggin' mean it. Because I've been there. Done that. I've got the T-shirt. You know what I mean?"
Listen to his albums over the years and you know he's right. Kenny Rankin, if nothing else, is passionate about his art. He's about to unveil the latest—very worthy—documentation of his musical journey. A Song For You will be released on the Verve label in August, produced by Tommy LiPuma and Al Schmitt. It's his first collaboration with those giants of the recording industry and he's excited about it. He should be.
The tunes on A Song for You are those that have been around, even a couple he's recorded before. But don't expect "Round Midnight" to sound like the version on Because of You, nor "I've Just Seen a Face" to sound like the rendition on the live disc from New York City's Bottom Line. The disc is fresh, heartfelt, and full of expression. It's Rankinesque, damn it.
Rankin jumped into a music career at a young age, signing with Decca as a teenager after a brief encounter with an agent who recognized his talent right away. He admits singing has always come natural to him. And he's pretty much always done things his own way. A conversation with Rankin is a free-flowing dialog about music and art, zest for both music and life and compassion. His eloquent dialogue is laced with humility and humor. And it's genuine. Like his art. Rankin is a person with everything in perspective. That shows up in his work.
"I've said this before, but I think it's worth repeating, because I think it explains it," he says in his casual, unassuming manner. "When I was born and was a kid, I was blessed with this gift of music. Because it came so easily, I thought what I did was who I was. Most of my career I thought that. Not consciously, but I thought that. Because being appreciated and acknowledged is a very intoxicating thing. It's very heady. Over the years I've come to understand that what I do is not who I am. Although I love my job, I'm not my work.
"The gift that's been given to me, of ability, I bring that to the work. So it's about the work. Which takes all the pressure off, and it comes back to me inside as an expression, as passion. As compassion for whoever's being spoken about. Then when I bring it on the stage in a concert setting, it's about—not me—it's about the audience, who've invited me into their evening. And given me the opportunity to share what I've discovered.
"So it's a joyful noise. It's a union of two energies; of my own and the audience; which gives rise to this wonderful experience that we all share. That I'm delivering it is kind of secondary, although I'm very honored to be able to do that, and grateful to be able to do that. And I'm having the time of my life. I'm having more fun. This is one of the easiest recordings I've ever made and had the pleasure of being involved in... Since what I do is not who I am, I'm out of the way, so there's really no obstacles in that sense. What's coming up is just a natural flow of ability. That's pretty much it."
Sounds easy. Isn't. But Rankin has a wealth of natural ability that has helped him put across the music his fans have loved for decades. Whether A Song For You brings in droves of new fans isn't the point. Creating the art is the means to a creative end. In the ear of the behearer, as it were.
"I listened to Sinatra and Mathis and Torme. I don't really listen to them, but I've heard them. It's more like the song," he says. "What is done with the song. I never took it apart. I never diagnosed it. I never did a biopsy on anyone or anything in music. What happens is, I have an experience. I have this feeling. I can relate to this, that or the other thing. Let me express my view of it. That's sort of what I do. I'm sort of an organic kind of guy."
Rankin grew up in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood, which he said was a mix of various Latin cultures. Growing up wasn't easy there, and he found acceptance in music. Specifically, he says, the ice broke in the fourth grade when his teacher, Isabel Pringle, had him sing "Oh Holy Night," for a school Christmas play. After singing it, "she came over and patted me on the head and said, 'Kenneth, that was lovely.' And she sent me on the path of music that I find myself on today. Word for word, that's what happened."
"And I never did homework again," he chuckled. "I became consumed with singing and music. Because I found something, or something found me, where I could get that pat on the head. Everybody wants to be loved. This was my vehicle to that end."
The rest was easy—almost too easy, Rankin acknowledges.
"What happened was, I was 16, and I kept hocking my mother about taking singing lessons. What happened was we went downtown one day to 57th Street, and I auditioned for this guy named Al Seigel for $10. He said, 'OK, I'll teach you.' The next week, he took me over to see a guy named Bobby Brenner at MCA, the agency. By the next week he was at Decca Records and signed me on the spot.
"They gave me a stack of songs and told me to pick four. They didn't tell me what to do. They made one suggestion, 'Itsy Bitsy, Teenie, Weenie, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.' I said, I don't know about that. I don't like the beach. I don't like seaweed on my feet. Even at that age, I didn't know if I can get behind singing about clothes. So we didn't pick that one. That was the beginning of my recording career."
"What did I know?" he says, bemused by the whole situation. "I was just so happy. Of course after that, I'm walking down the street with my mom, looking at the Cadillacs, saying we're going to get one of those. Big dreams, you know. Expectations. They wind up to be resentments under construction," he chortles at the memory.
Rankin never did study the works of great improvisational singers. Instead, he followed his own inner voice. But in 1960, he met his main musical influence in the person of Laura Nyro, singer-songwriter highly regarded among musicians in New York City who came up in that era. Her career blossomed to national prominence.
"As I look back, she profoundly changed my musical life, and affected my musical life to this day, and always will," he says fondly. "She was probably the one musician that impacted my creativity more than anyone or anything else. She was deep; she was dark; she was light; she was the spectrum of passion. When we met in Greenwich Village, we immediately fell in love with each other, in that linear way. We were so friend-mates. I drew from her so much of how to sing."
"I never studied her. I'm a lazy guy, I don't study. I never did," he laughs. "I'm kind of lazy in that way, but I absorb. And it became part of my soul. And we came from the same place, which is why we were such kindred spirits. We came from that same groove of music and we heard the same things."
Rankin won't say how old he is. "I'm too old to die young. Leave it at that," he says with a warm laugh. "I've gotten older, but I haven't grown up yet." Good enough. He's in a great place, enjoying his art. He's wise enough now to know they aren't one and the same. We should all be so lucky.
"I get the opportunity to live my life and what a really interesting thing, when you get out of the way and just observe your place in it and be glad you're still standing. My big attitude today? I'm glad I survived myself. That's it."
"I'm still viable and still making music. Making people happy. I get these e-mails sometimes at my website that really just fill me with joy and love that I've made a change in people's lives or the songs that I've selected have affected people in such a way that they tell me. There's no better reward, better prize."
Rankin spoke about his new music and his writing with All About Jazz.
All About Jazz (AAJ): I've followed you since the late 70s. The new one seems to have a laid back, a little softer tone, to me. Is that the concept, or is it just where you are now? Is it the song selection?
Kenny Rankin (KR): I've never approached any recording with a concept. I think that, for me, the softness you refer to might be a result of an evolving process as an interpreter. There will be work that I do in the future that might have some more energy. But each song, piece by piece, dictates, pretty much, what's going to happen, relating to what's being said. And it's all about the lyric. I have been accused of straying from the melody. When I'm singing I'm not really thinking, I'm feeling.
I think a mellowing comes with time as well. But for the most part, it's the feeling that the songs give to me. For example, "Spanish Harlem," which is not necessarily a jazz tune. That song speaks to me because that's my neighborhood. That's where I grew up in Washington Heights. And of course you venture into other neighborhoods in this wonderful island called New York City. The roots for that song were deep. The rest, like "A Song For You," you have someone in mind that you want to speak to.
For me as a singer and an interpreter, I get to say things with these songs, and most songs, to someone a lot easier than I would to try and speak to them the words I feel. Songs are just a great way of... [pensive pause]... putting feelings out there.
“I've always messed with the melodies. I've always heard something other than what was written... I like to say that what I do is: I sing the story, and I tell the song.”
On stage or on a recording, I get to speak to whoever might be in my mind, in my heart, in my life, in my day, these words that were written by some wonderful composers. Although when I sing it, I don't really have a personal experience in particular, I might have a life experience in general about the song. Like "Where Do You Start," for instance, by Allan and Marilyn Bergman. I have moved in and out of relationships and they've begun and ended for one reason or another and collected things along the way. Boy, that really speaks to it—the sadness and the heartache of these individuals who now must separate their lives. And to some extent, their belongings, which are a reflection of memories, as well as their feelings. I love doing that.
AAJ: You mentioned you don't do concept albums, which is great. Some people do, which is probably the business people directing them in that way. That being said, what do you do when you approach a project? Do you just have some songs that you're feeling at the moment that you'd like to get out?
KR: I can tell you how we did this one. First of all, it's the first time in my career that I've worked with such extraordinarily gifted producers. Tommy LiPuma along with Al Schmitt. In my opinion, these guys are the Scorceses of music. Tommy is a producer- producer and Al is an engineer producer. For someone like myself, it doesn't really get any better than that.
I sat down and we just started going through songs, looking at a lot of songs and listening to things, and titles, and what jumps out at me. They asked me to do the basic arrangements. Tommy and Al said, "Take the guitar and after you pick out your songs, do with them what you want." So I'd pick out songs. The litmus test was—I'd be playing a tune and I'm into the zone of it, and suddenly some of the hairs on my arm would stand up and I'd get a chill. Sometimes Al and Tommy would experience the same thing, and say, "Man, this is good!"
AAJ: One song, in particular, "Round Midnight," had maybe the most different take that I've heard of that song.
KR: Well, the lyric is so morose...[exaggerates] "...it really gets badddd, round midnight." God! I'm goin' out a window [chuckle]. I'm glad I didn't write that, but I know how that feels. I just thought I'd put a little thang to it. A hint of optimism behind this dark image of solitude and isolation and pain and all the feelings of regret and remorse that come with having lost something you think you want, but maybe it's just as well as that it didn't go your way.
I'm just coming stream of consciousness here. I've never really given that much thought. I just thought I'd do something different because the song has been done as it has been done ever since it was written. A really slow, dirge kind of thing. But the message still gets across. It's pretty sad, but there's a subliminal light at the end of the tunnel.
I never really consciously thought about it, I just did it. I grew up in a very urban, Afro- Cuban neighborhood in Washington Heights. Dominican and Cuban and Puerto Rican. My first instrument was conga in the neighborhood. I grew up with Machito, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, Bobby Montez, all these cats. It's in my roots. The when I discovered Brazilian music, I said "Whoa...I'm there."
"Spanish Harlem" has also got a little thing. When I think of that song, there's only one rose that I think of when I sing that song. And her name is Yvonne. She went to school with my sister. And I've known Yvonne since she was 8 years old. When we were kids, we got married and had three kids of our own. We were kids raising kids. She's Venezuelan and Puerto Rican. The children are beautiful—they're people now. But that's who the rose of Spanish Harlem is to me. So when I sing that song, and put all these different colors in, different arrangement, different approach, different voicings—that's the bottom line, in those days.
AAJ: When I first started listening to you, I'd been listening to Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan and all the greats over the years. I wasn't listening to you as a jazz singer, but I would constantly go, "Wow! There's a really interesting twist on a melody, or harmony," the way you phrase, that I've never heard before. Do you consider yourself a jazz-influenced singer? Duke Ellington didn't like to categorize people and I'm not trying to do that, but what do you feel? Did you listen to people who would rework melodies and harmonies? Because it seems to come so natural to you.
KR: That's the answer. It just comes so natural. I don't think, I feel. I've listened to everybody, not studying them, just turning them on. What I really love to listen to all the time is classical music. I'm not knowledgeable about the classical artists or the composers, all these people, but the sweetness and the passion of strings moving.
Then basically, it's a life experience. I don't know how to define what I do. I've gone into record stores and seen my records in three different places. Pop rock. Folk rock. Jazz. I've always messed with the melodies. I've always heard something other than what was written. I'm not academically trained in music. I don't read music. I've never taken any voice lessons, which was a problem in the beginning because I thought that "Gee whiz. Aren't I wonderful. I'm what I do." That was early on in my teen years into my young adult years. And I didn't know. And I didn't know that I didn't know. Until one day there was this moment of clarity, you might call it, and the sky opened up, and the pressure was off. I was no longer the center of the universe [chuckle], which was wonderful. Because the pressure was off and I began to have the time of my life. So I like to say that what I do is: I sing the story, and I tell the song.
AAJ: I know you play guitar and you play piano. These are things you just picked up on your own?
KR: Right. I started guitar when I was about 24. I was in Las Vegas singing in a group and Don Costa was at the Landmark Hotel at the time writing charts for Sinatra or Mathis at the time, and I was making coffee for Don, who I love. He went on to be a big, big influence in my musical life. I always wanted to do something with him, and we finally did in 1976 [ After the Roses ]. I was hanging there and some fella had come up from Brazil with a recording of Joao Gilberto. Don played classical guitar, and they played this recording of Joao and I said "whoa." I bought a 50-dollar guitar, I quit the band and I went home. My son had been born. We were pregnant with another baby. I just bought a lot of songbooks with photos of the hands in position and taught myself to play the guitar.
I remember I was up at Bell Sound studios, diddling with the guitar and [jazz guitar whiz] Bucky Pizzarelli came over and said, "Here, this is an A Major Seventh, and this is a C Major." And showed me the changes. He gave me a couple of those clues. God bless Bucky. He's still kicking. And his wonderful son, John...And I just took off, learning, isolating. Mathematics was my best subject. So I saw these equations, like this chord is to that chord as that chord is to this chord. Along the way once in a while, there would be someone who would show me a chord that would be up the neck a little bit. I'd take that, and that would sprout. There were little seeds people would give me, and they would just flourish.
Then, on top of that, I had my voice, which I could sail over. And so many times, I would find a song, key against the music, see the chords, and I would find a chord in the neighborhood of the real chord. That's good enough. Then I'd hear something and the melody would just shift enough to suit the chord that I found that was in the neighborhood of the original chord that should have and could have been played.
I've since gone to sticking more to the melody. This is something that Tommy and Al really asked me to focus on. Establish the melody, stay with the melody. OK, fine. But I always slid a little different kind of a chord underneath the real melody. Which gave it a little different hum, or something.
And I've had the time of my life. I've never had it so good, in my work. Doing this work. And bouncing these things off Tommy LiPuma and Al Schmitt—it just doesn't get any better than that, for me.
They've asked me already to start picking songs for the next one and get into them and hone them and learn them. It's a labor of love. It's a good thing.
AAJ: As a writer, do you do it regularly? Just when something hits you?
KR: When I first started playing guitar, I wrote a song called "Haven't We Met," and the lyrics were written by Ruth Bachelar. It was a jazz waltz and I wrote it quickly. I was in a place of discovering chords and I had all these chords and I whipped through them. It just came along and the lyrics were someone else's job.
Moving along, I've written a bunch of tunes. Some of them have stood the test of time. The ones that have were written in about 5 or 10 or 15 minutes. They just showed up. I report what's going on. The songs usually come from one of two places—extreme joy, or some real pain. Anything in the middle, it's work, and I'm not good at that.
I'm not good at—boy meets girl, girl meets boy, boy breaks girl's heart, girl takes revenge, paints boy's car aquamarine. I don't know how to do that. What I do is I just come from my heart and I just speak the truth.
AAJ: So people don't come up to you and say, "OK we'd like an original tune here"
KR: I don't know how to do that. Or I say, "I have a bunch. Try these. If any of these will work for you, good."
AAJ: When you're picking songs, I notice back to the beginning, a lot of the repertoire is what's know as the Great American Songbook, or jazz standards. Some jazz musicians say that the reason that those songs are still played today is because they have the interesting chord structure, changes. There's a lot more to improvise with on Cole Porter or the Gershwins than there is Bruce Springsteen. Do you find that attraction to those standards?
KR: Absolutely. I mean" She was Too Good to Me," a very simple song by Rogers and Hart. [speaks the lyric:] "She was too good to me/How can I get along now. So close she stood to me/Everything seems all wrong now. She would have brought me the sun/Making me smile, that was her fun."
Wow. That's powerful. The hairs on my arms are standing up right now, I swear to God. I get chills and I get a lump in my throat when I think of that.
I'm all for "Born in the USA," and I love Bruce. [Springsteen]. As a matter of fact, some years ago some friends of mine were producing a concert in Colorado at Red Rocks for Bruce Springsteen. And they said they wanted someone to come out, a little classy thing, do about a half hour in front of Bruce Springsteen. I said fine. The money's good. It will be a nice time. Red Rocks, Colorado. Great.
So I get out there, and I'm doing like "Blackbird," and [laughter] half the audience, like they do at those big concerts, was looking for their seats. The other half had found their seats, and they're all in unison going, "Bruuuce, Bruuuuuce!" It was wonderful. [laughter] What a wonderful day that was. Truly. What an experience.
AAJ: Do you look at the future of the music world optimistically? Some jazz musicians are not optimistic. You don't rely on that. You can play a jazz room, but you can be outside it too.
KR: The technology has so changed things for the good and for the band. Expanded things. Broadened things. On the one hand you have digital sampling stuff that gave rise to urban music and the technology that's been utilized in that regard in rap music, in hip-hop. Which is very cool. Ellington said there's two kinds of music, good and bad. Where's the line between? Then it comes down to individual taste. I keep and open mind and an open heart and I listen to whatever comes in. I don't seek it out. I don't try and critique it. I don't try and break it down. What does it do to me?
Technology has given people a lot of opportunities. It's also taken away a lot of opportunities for people that might not go in that direction. In the music business in general, there are radio stations that have been playing the same kind of music for years. I know there's a lot of music being made—and good stuff. Because I hear it in the clubs. But it hasn't been on the airwaves, because it comes down to commercial time and what's the advertisement. And I stop right there. I don't go into that. I love to hear beautiful music. I love to hear rockin' music. I used to clean the house to ZZ Top, Eddie VanHalen. I love that stuff. These guys are good. They got something going on. Dr. John.
Where's the music business going? I've never known the answer to that one. And I kind of like not knowing. It becomes more of an adventure. I've never tried to accommodate or placate or patronize an audience by playing what I "think" they want to hear. I've been so lucky and so blessed to enjoy the work that I've chosen to do and have an audience appreciate that effort. I'm very lucky to be able to say that and experience that.
And I don't take it lightly. The invitation that I get on a daily basis from an audience who've invited me into their evening, I don't take that lightly. That's big stuff. Is it humble? No, it's real, man. It's real stuff.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Brad Mehldau Live at The Village

Ola turma do Jazz,

Estou na fase de avaliações dos novos CD's, tão logo acabe de ouvi-los, irei posta-los.
No momento este otimo artigo sobre o Brad Mehldau, ao vivo.



Brad Mehldau at the Village Vanguard Brad Mehldau - Published: May 15, 2009
By Eric Benson
Discuss Brad Mehldau Trio Village Vanguard New York, NY May 5 & 9, 2009
No major jazz artist of the last 25 years has been more closely associated with a single venue than pianist Brad Mehldau with the Village Vanguard. Of the 11 trio albums he's released since signing with Warner Bros in 1994, four have been recorded live at jazz's most hallowed club. Pianist Bill Evans—who had a similarly synergistic relationship with the Vanguard (Mehldau once wrote that the comparison to Evans "has been a thorn in my side.")—used to play there six weeks a year; Mehldau restricts himself to just one. Last week, the Brad Mehldau Trio made its annual visit back home.

Mehldau's long-term penchant for recording at the Vanguard means that we have an easy-to-compare chronicle of his evolution as a musician. In 1997, when Mehldau recorded Live at the Village Vanguard (his first Vanguard album), he was a superhero improviser fond of showing off the brilliance of his new-found powers. His introduction to "Young and Foolish" is so wrenchingly lyrical that it could have been a complete, emotionally exhausting song on its own. His explosive, virtuoso solo on "Monk's Dream" sounds like the work of two ambidextrous pianists, with Mehldau creating so much tension that, when the solo ends, the audience cheers and roars like it's just seen Superman save the day. Pianist Ethan Iverson summed it up well for the writer Nate Chinen: "hearing those guys play, say, 'The Way You Look Tonight' in '97—that was really a thrilling moment for jazz."
Mehldau's follow-up at the Vanguard, Back at the Vanguard, recorded in 1999, showcases the same kind of bountiful outpouring. In the solo introduction to "All The Things You Are," he slowly builds the melody from a series of jagged, short phrases—a sorcerer conjuring a new creature into being. After each improvised chorus, on standards like "Solar" and "I'll Be Seeing You," you think he must be nearing fatigue, but he keeps going, the tension keeps building, and by the time he reaches a resolution, both audience and performer are dripping with figurative (if not literal) sweat.
Mehldau's first two Vanguard albums are such impressive displays of artistic sophistication and pianist prowess that it's hard to imagine how he could have upped the ante on them. Whether or not Mehldau himself could have imagined it, we'll never know; instead of striving for ever bigger, faster, and stronger improvisations, he opted to focus increasingly on dynamics, compositional structure, and group interplay. Mehldau's maturation as an artist has meant that I've often left his performances slightly disappointed. Why, I've wondered, isn't he delivering the goods like he did on the first two Vanguard albums? Why does he pull up short on his improvisations before we can see Superman flex all of his muscles?
The writer David Foster Wallace once wrote that he worried that his work had been driven by a "basically vapid urge to be avant-garde and post structural and linguistically calisthenic." I've never spoken to Mehldau, but I wouldn't be surprised if he had similar (if somewhat less self-critical) feelings when looking back on his salad days. It's not as if Mehldau has suddenly become a minimalist, but there's been a shift in his focus to subtler, less flashy aspects of the music.
“The arc of Mehldau's performances are more narrative now, even if that narrative rarely climaxes in the big finish that was once his signature.”
Despite having seen Mehldau play on about a dozen occasions since 2001, I've spent orders of magnitude more time listening to his records. Actually witnessing the man in the flesh can be jarring. His playing sounds athletic—notes flying this way and that; hands crossing, uncrossing; choruses passing like rounds for an inexhaustible prize fighter—but it looks practically sedentary. His head hangs slightly, his hands move slowly, and his rapid-fire fingers lift just enough to clear the keyboard. In other words, Mehldau has impeccable technique, expending effort only on what directly affects the production of sound. His shoulders are the only part of his body that communicates the tense build-up of his playing. They're often raised at the outset, they get increasingly tight in the fury of improvisation, and loosen in the cathartic finale.
Even more jarring than Mehldau's economy of motion is how quiet his playing sounds compared to what we hear on the early records. This, I suspect, has as much to do with sound engineering as with any pianistic evolution, but it's hard to ignore the fact that live the the trio's balance is much more egalitarian. Instead of the great soloist zooming up and away from his band mates as the Warner Bros. recordings would have you believe, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard (who replaced Jorge Rossy in 2005) are integral to the pianist's propulsion.
The first three songs on Tuesday—the unrecorded Mehldau originals "Dream Sketch," "Twiggie," and "B Blues"—showcased the trio's rapport with Ballard palming the floor tom, Grenadier plucking a high staccato on the bass, and Mehldau making quick stabs instead of baroque flurries. When Mehldau finally took a long solo, on "B Blues," Grenadier fell into a walk and Ballard started to swing, but they remained strong and flexible partners, not docile accompanists. On "Samba e Amor," Mehldau dominated but never rose above the group, the music a slow burn that flickered with intensity but never quite burst into flame. The final number, Kurt Weill and Ira Gerswhin's "My Ship," began as a tender ballad before switching gears and ending in a collective rattle.

On Saturday night, Mehldau went farther and deeper into the music. With the late night crowd bringing a palpable excitement that was absent from the Tuesday performance, the Mehldau trio played an 80 minute set—very long for the Vanguard—punctuated by a sprawling version of "I Fall In Love Too Easily" that broke for an unaccompanied Mehldau interlude. Mehldau's solo piano approach has undergone a more radical transformation than his trio playing. He's replaced the long lines of Elegaic Cycles with an excessive, almost droning, use of repetition, creating hypnotic textures and a sometimes grating sameness. Why, I've asked myself (especially after listening to the disappointing Live in Tokyo), does such a loquacious pianist resort to what can sound like a musical stammer? Luckily on "I Fall In Love Too Easily," Mehldau's repetitions didn't have long enough to annoy, unfolding instead like a rubato daydream amid the more hard driving work of the trio's waking life.
I doubt I'll ever like anything Mehldau does quite as much as his early Vanguard albums, both because their artistry is so powerful and because they occupy a crucial place in my own jazz life. Hearing Mehldau's solo introduction to "All The Things You Are" convinced me that today's jazz could be every bit as thrilling as the Monk and Miles in which I was immersed at the time. Kind of Blue made me fall in love with jazz; Mehldau's Back at the Vanguard sent me on a quest to the basements of downtown Manhattan, searching for the living music.
As much as I'd love to hear more of the showstopping solo introductions of Mehldau's early years, they would feel indulgent now—the work of a musician with something to prove. The arc of Mehldau's performances have become more narrative, even if that narrative rarely climaxes in the big finish that was once his signature. Instead of intoxicating tension and resolution, Mehldau honors the structure of each composition more faithfully and when he breaks from a song's form, as in his performance of "I Fall In Love Too Easily," he's more likely to add textural elements like the dreamy solo break. Now approaching 40, Mehldau is no longer content to be just a great improviser, more than ever before he seems to be thinking with a master composer's complexity and patience.
Photo Credits Courtesy of International Music Network
Discuss

Friday, February 20, 2009

1 Sem 2009 - Part One

Roger Kellaway
Live at the Jazz Standard




by Andrew Velez
Pianist Roger Kellaway can swing hard and has played with everyone from Sonny Rollins to Joni Mitchell. His knowledge of music is encyclopedic and his pianism is instantly recognizable for its airy, sparkling quality, flowing from a singular skill he has to incorporate stride, swing, boogie and more into something totally modern. Long an in-demand sideman, Kellaway has too rarely recorded fronting his own group. Which brings us to the happy occasion of this live 2006 Jazz Standard set with his "East Coast group" (he also maintains a "West Coast group").
The opener here is Duke Ellington's "Cottontail," on which Kellaway exhibits finger-twisting runs in company with Stefon Harris guesting on vibes. It's a breathtaking turn that leads into yet more Ellington joy with "C Jam Blues" on which Russell Malone's guitar propels even more non-stop swinging.
If further evidence was needed of Kellaway's diversity, the Russian classical cellist Borislav Strulev joins the festivities for the leader's "All My Life." The chamber-style duet is as deep and passionate as it is resonant. Kellaway's approach to Dave Brubeck's hit, Paul Desmond's "Take Five" begins lightly and gently skipping; he seamlessly shifts from soft to emphatic chords and, with Jay Leonhart's bass and Malone's guitar, builds to a bedazzling crescendo of fresh possibilities. This is followed by a sweet meditation on "The Nearness of You" joined by Malone and Harris.
Pushing musical explorations even further, the second disc opens with "Tumbling Tumbleweeds." "Tumbling Tumbleweeds"? Who knew? It's just further proof of Kellaway's ability to unearth fresh rhythms and find unlikely places in which to swing. Turning to the more familiar jazz terrain of Redman-Gilbert's "Cherry," Kellaway recalls the hard swinging sound of the early Nat "King" Cole Trio. On the closer, Monk's "52nd Street Theme," all hands cut loose to go way past the speed limit. When they called this a "live set" they weren't kidding.


Renato Sellani
A Sergio Endrigo (Nelle mie notti) - philology W 360.2




Tracks:
1. Nelle Mie Notti
2. Ci Vuole Un Fiore
3. Adesso Si
4. Canzone Per Te
5. Teresa
6. Nelle Mie Notti (Take 2)
7. Via Broletto
8. Lontano Dagli Occhi
9. Io Che Amo Solo Te
10. Vecchia Balera
11. Samba Para Endrigo
12. Io Che Amo Solo Te (Take 2)


Kenny Barron
The Traveler - SSC 3079




by Ken Dryden
These 2007 sessions by Kenny Barron are a bit unusual, as he works with several different groups, playing mostly originals. His trio with bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and drummer Francisco Mela are present on eight of the CD's ten tracks, including one trio feature, the light-hearted "The First Year," penned by Alex Nguyen. The masterful soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson is added on three numbers, including the intricate post-bop vehicle "The Traveler," the driving "Speed Trap," and the lovely impressionistic ballad "Illusion." African guitarist Lionel Loueke is Barron's sole partner for the avant-gardish "Duet," while also adding flavor to Barron's engaging "Calypso." There are several vocal features. "Phantoms" begins with a distinctively African flavor, with Loueke adding an uncredited vocal and simulating an African thumb piano on his guitar; then Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition winner Gretchen Parlato takes over, adding her haunting vocals. Veteran drummer Grady Tate has occasionally sung during his career and he adds warmth to Barron's ballad "Um Beijo." Ann Hampton Callaway is more of a cabaret singer, though she proves effective in Barron's dreamy ballad "Clouds." The pianist has Eubie Blake's "Memories of You" all to himself, sounding as if he is playing for his own enjoyment at home in a humorous arrangement that would have likely pleased its composer.


Harvey S with Kenny Barron
Now Was The Time - SCD 2092




by Ken Dryden
Harvie S and Kenny Barron were two of many jazz musicians who worked together in duo settings when Manhattan jazz clubs were unable to get cabaret licenses (which allowed them to book larger groups) back in the 1980s. This winter 1986 studio session, which was halted prematurely due to the pending arrival of a blizzard, lay forgotten for over two decades among many tapes in the bassist's collection until he ran across it and had it issued by Savant in the summer of 2008. The session took place without rehearsal, while the musicians are improvising from the start of each tune, rather than state the melody first. Harvie plays the lead in the whispering take of "Body and Soul," with Barron's soft, lush playing providing the perfect backdrop, while the bassist is also up front in the lighthearted take of "Isn't It Romantic?" Barron shines in the shimmering interpretation of Wayne Shorter's "Miyako." The bassist's "Take Your Time" is a hip, bluesy post-bop vehicle in a breezy setting. The final selection is an mesmerizing unaccompanied bass solo of "Chelsea Bridge," in which Harvie manages to explore at length without running out of ideas. Perhaps he should look closer at his tape collection to see what additional hidden gems need to be issued in the future.


Irio de Paula convida Gianni Basso
O Amor em Paz - Philology W341.2




Track Listings:
1. Meditaçao
2. Desfinado
3. O Grande Amor
4. O Amor Em Paz
5. Insensatez
6. Samba de uma Nota
7. Triste
8. Chega de Saudade
9. Garota de Ipanema
10. Corcovado
11. So Danço Samba


Bill Cunliffe
The Blues and The Abstract Truth Take 2 - HCD2003




by Ken Dryden
Bill Cunliffe was invited to do an updated arrangement of Oliver Nelson's landmark album Blues and the Abstract Truth, a tough challenge, given Nelson's superb charts and the numerous all-stars he had on the 1961 session (pianist Bill Evans, alto saxophonist/flautist Eric Dolphy, and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard in the front line). But the pianist tweaked each of the pieces just a bit, altered some of the instrumentation (a trombone replaces baritone sax, while soprano sax is added on some tracks), while also making subtle rhythmic changes at times. "Stolen Moments" has long since become a jazz standard and it is tough to measure up to Nelson's second version (he scored an earlier one for a big band led by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis), since Dolphy (on flute), Evans and Nelson laid down such superb solos. But Andy Martin's vocal-like trombone is a highlight, even if Cunliffe doesn't try to compete with Evans' work. Trumpeter Terell Stafford and Andy Martin burn in the playful "Hoe Down," while tenor saxophonist Bob Sheppard wails in "Yearnin'." The closing two songs are originals by Cunliffe that are in the spirit of Nelson (who died at age 43 of a heart attack in 1975). Tribute albums are always difficult, as they aren't intended to replace the recordings they honor, but Bill Cunliffe has easily achieved his goal on this rewarding CD.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Resultado Final Jazz 2008

Segue abaixo resultado das listas de "melhor do jazz 2008", montage feita pelo maior ouvinte de Jazz, Claudio Botelho:

Dessa forma, feitas as contas, cheguei no seguinte:
1- Antonio Faraò – Woman´s Perfume: 4 votos.

2- Michel Wolff – Jazz, Jazz, Jazz; Ricardo Arrighini –Garota de Ipanema; Robert Lakatos – Never Let Me Go; Stefano Bollani – Carioca; Roma trio – Ciao, Ciao Bambina; Trio Sud – Young and Fine; Alboran Trio – Near Gale e Fausto Ferraiolo Trio – Changing Walking: 3 votos.

3- Martin Bejerano – Evolution/Revolution; Jessica Williams – Songs for a New Century; Patricia Barber – The Cole Porter Mix; Ricardo Arrighini – Luciana; Karel Boehle – Last Tango in Paris; Marcin Wasilewski Trio – January e Francesco Cafiso - Portrait in Black and White: 2 votos.

4- Chris Wabish – Jade Vision; Paula Schocron –Urbes; Ernesto Jodos – Ernesto Jodos Trio; Alan Broadbent – Moment’s Notice; Taylor Eigsti – Let it Come to You; Robert Jan Vermueulen – En Blanc et Noir; John Beasley – Letter to Herbie; Roma Trio – Love is a Many Splendored Thing; Vladimir Shafranov – Portrait in Music; Paul Bollenback – Invocation; Maria Pio de Vito – Jazz Italiano 2007; Dena Derose – Live at jazz Standards Vol. 1; Andy Bey – Ain´t Necessarily So; Alboran Trio – Meltemi; Ed Lincoln – Doucemant Novamente; R. Menescal – Os Bossa Nova; Leandro Braga – A Música de Dona Ivone de lara; Alda Montellanico & Enrico Pierannunzi – Danza de Uma Ninfa; Judy Wexler – Easy on the Heart; Riccardo Arrighini – Black on White; Oliver Antunes – Alice in Wonderland; Ted Nash – The Mancini Project; Dan Nimmer – Yours in My Heart Alone; Jane Duboc – Canção de Espera; Dena Derose – Live at jazz Standards vol. 2; Jon Mayer – So Many Stars; Franco D’Andrea – Creole Rhapsody; Brad Mehldau – Live; Ares Tavolazzi - Godot and Altre Storie di Teatro; Anat Cohen – Notes from the Village; Ada Montellanico – Il Sole di un Attimo; Grant Stewart – Young at Heart; Tönu Naisso – You Stepped out of a Dream; The Romantic Jazz Trio – Magical Mystery – Tribute to Monk; Riccardo Fioravanti Trio – The Bill Evans Project; John Taylor- Whirlpool; Norma Winstone – Distances; Peter Delano – For Dewey; Kenny Wheeler – Other People; Armen Donelian – Oasis e Joel Weiskopf – Devoted to You: 1 voto.