Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2 Sem. 2010 - Part Twelve

Ted Rosenthal Trio

Cover (Impromptu:Ted Rosenthal Trio)

by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
As legend has it, the term "third stream" was invented by Gunther Schuller in 1957, to prevent jazz and classical fans from resenting incursions onto their turf by the other side. This new musical entity would be neither classical nor jazz, and not just a simple merging of the two: it would be more than jazz with strings, or classical pieces played by jazz artists. The challenge was to take compositions that are centuries old and infuse them with a jazz sensibility, without losing the essence of the original.
To pull this off successfully, the artist needs great technique as well as imagination. Only the best can swim in this river without getting water up their nose: these include pianist Fred Hersch, whose two CDs of French and Russian composers became instant classics in the 1980s; and bassist/trombonist Chris Brubeck and pianist Bill Mays, who have both written and recorded their own third-stream material. Ted Rosenthal has waded in here before, with his superb 2005 release The 3Bs (Playscape), a solo outing devoted to Bill Evans, Bud Powell, and Beethoven.
For Impromptu, Rosenthal assembles a crack trio for an all-classical program of Brahms, Mozart, Chopin, Puccini, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Bach, and Schumann. Bassist
Noriko Ueda and drummer Quincy Davis are the perfect compadres for Rosenthal's fluid elegance, subtle humor, and flat-out swing. From the opening track, his blazing technique predicts an unusually masterful excursion; as the CD unfolds, each piece reveals its own singular charms and surprises. Among the unexpected delights, Rosenthal adds wit to Schubert and funk to Brahms, and restores the pensive beauty of the often-abused "Traumerei."
It's impossible to pick highlights out of an exceptional collection like this one, which will appeal to those on both banks of the stream; besides, it could dampen the joy of discovery to telegraph Rosenthal's brilliant transformations ahead of time.

Track Listing: 
Ballade in G Minor [Brahms]; Nocturne in F Minor [Chopin]; Impromptu in G Flat [Schubert]; June [Tchaikovsky]; Traumerei [Schumann]; Presto [Bach]; O Mio Babbino Caro [Puccini]; Intermezzo in B Flat Minor [Brahams]; Fantasy in D Minor [Mozart]; Theme from Symphony No. 5 [Tchaikovsky].
Ted Rosenthal: piano; Noriko Ueda: bass; Quincy Davis: drums.

Yoshio Suzuki
My Dear Pianists

by EastWind Import
World-famous bassist Yoshio Suzuki celebrated his 40 years in the music business by fulfilling one of his dreams: Recording a duet album with six of his best friends and stellar Japanese pianists!His partners on this album are truly first-rate, and their activities and reputations are not confined within the Japanese border. Toshiko Akiyoshi (Akiyoshi-Tabackin Big Band), Kei Akagi (Miles Davis, Stanley Turrentine), Makoto Ozone (Gary Burton), Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, Soichi Noriki and Isao Sasaki recorded two tunes each with Suzuki. The tunes are mostly originals by Suzuki, who is known as a gentle melody-maker. Akiyoshi brought two of her own compositions and Sasaki contributed an original as well. The sole standard included is "Some Other Time."Suzuki's lyrical, romantic and gentle nature sets the dominant tone of this beautiful album, but each pianist -- all superb musicians -- brings his/her own voice and inspiration to the proceedings. This is indeed a very special CD, and the simple beauty and humanity of the music will appeal to many jazz fans around the world. The sound quality of this CD -- recorded in Tokyo, mastered by Jay Messina in New York and mastered by Koji Suzuki of Sony Music Studios back in in Tokyo, taking advantage of the best of both countries -- is also superb. Recommended!Produced by Kiyoshi Itoh and Yoshio Suzuki. Recorded March - June, 2009 at Studio Friends Music, Tokyo.

Manhattan Jazz Orchestra
Sing Sing Sing 2010 - Tribute To Benny Goodman

by Swing Journal Gold Disc!
Manhattan Jazz Orchestra was created by pianist/arranger David Matthews and an accomplished Japanese producer Shigeyuki Kawashima (both GRAMMY winners) in 1989. It is one of the premier and most prolific big bands in the US, having released 14 CDs over the last 20 years. Their 15th release, Sing Sing Sing 2010 - Tribute To Benny Goodman is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great clarinetist and band leader, and without a doubt their best album yet! The daring, creative and intricate arrangements of Matthews are awe-inspiring, and the execution of his score by the top-notch New York musicians is impeccable and vibrant.From the impressive "Sing Sing Sing (2010 Version)" that builds in intensity from a deliberately moderate tempo to a rare big band arrangement of the lovely "Memories Of You," Matthews' arrangements are brilliant throughout: They are technically sophisticated, fearlessly creative and intricate, employing multi-layered harmonies and the unique voicing of the band (only four woodwind players who switch instruments all the time with a French horn and tuba) to full effect. Star players such as Lew Soloff, Chris Hunter and Andy Snitzer add fire to the proceedings with their inspired solos. The quality of the recorded sound is especially good on this CD. The soundstage is so big that one gets an impression of being faced with a huge "wall of sound." And excellent separation of sections and individual instruments lets the listener fully appreciate the intricate arrangements. Enthusiastically recommended to fans of big band music and audiophiles! Produced by Shigeyuki Kawashima. Recorded at Sear Sound Studio, New York, on December 13 & 14, 2009.

Michela Lombardi & Renato Sellani Trio
Still In My Heart - Thinking of Chet Vol.2

Michel Lombardi (Vocals)
Renato Sellani (Piano)
Massimo Moriconi (Bass)
Stefano Bagnoli (Drums)
Matteo Brancaleoni (Vocals)
Recorded Mar. 1, 2008

1 I Wish I Knew (Warren, Gordon)
2 There's A Small Hotel (Rodgers, Hart)
3 I Should Care (Cahn, Stordah, Weston)
4 I'm Through With Love (Malneck, Livingston, Kahn)
5 But Not For Me (Gershwin, Gershwin)
6 Embraceable You (Gershwin, Gershwin)
7 That Old Feeling (Fain, Brown)
8 Polkadots And Moonbeams (Van Heusen, Burke)
9 Time After Time (Cahn, Styne)
10 If You Could See Me Now (Dameron, Sigman)
11 I Wish I Knew - Duo Version - (Warren, Gordon)
12 I Should Care - Alt.Take - (Cahn, Stordah, Weston)
13 Embraceable You - Alt.Take - (Gershwin, Gershwin

Bill Charlap with Peter Bernstein & Peter Washington
I'm Old Fashioned

by EastWind Import
Nobody would argue that Bill Charlap is one of the most preeminent jazz pianists of his generation. His encyclopedic knowledge of the American Songbook is second to none, and his beautiful touch, amazing skills and imagination make it a pleasure to listen to him at all times.As some of you already know, Charlap has recorded a number of great albums for Venus Records of Japan with his great New York Trio (with Jay Leonhart and Bill Stewart). For this, latest release, he decided to take a slightly different direction with a drum-less trio with guitarist Peter Bernstein and bassist Peter Washington.Having a guitarist instead of a drummer softenes the texture of the trio sound and make it more intimate. It also makes the sound of the bass come forward so one can appreciate, in this case, the virtuosity of Washington. Charlap's tone is pristine and his solos are sigh-inducingly beautiful. The group's style may seem "old fashioned" on surface, but their interpretations of standards are modern, sophisticated and urban. This CD is a must-have item for fans of Bill Charlap! Enthusiastically recommended! Produced by Tetsuo Hara & Todd Barkan. Recorded at The Avatar Studio in New York on December 17 & 18, 2009. Engineered by Katherine Miller. Mixed and Mastered by Tetsuo Hara / Venus Hyper Magnum Sound Direct Mix. Swing Journal Gold Disc.

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