João Donato Trio
By Dr.Leandro Rocha,aquele que alçará voos mais altos no jornalismo on line
Trata-se de um dos raros e preciosos lançamentos realizados pela gravadora Dubas Música dentro do seu objetivo de só editar música de alto nível. O catálogo dessa gravadora é minúsculo mas de grande qualidade e o CD em questão não foge à regra. O trio é formado por mestres como João Donato(piano e autor de todas as músicas),Luiz Alves(baixo acústico) e Robertinho Silva(bateria) além de contar com as participações, em algumas faixas, de Sidinho(percussão),Ricardo Pontes(flautas),Paulinho Soares(cavaquinho),Zeca Pagodinho(voz) como também de cordas(violinos,viola e violoncelo). Embora o repertório seja bastante conhecido,os temas de Donato recebem um tratamento jazzístico e dançante,em muitos momentos,o que torna o disco bastante cativante,de fácil audição. É um disco prá cima !. Vale mencionar algumas faixas onde o piano balançado e inventivo de Donato mais se destaca: "Surpresa"(belíssima parceria com Caetano Veloso),"Sambolero"(com Carmen Costa onde dá vontade de sair dançando),"A rã"(parceria com Caetano Veloso),"Jodel" ou "Café com pão"( com Lysias Enio,irmão de Donato) e "Sambou,sambou"(parceria com João Mello onde se destacam o gostoso cavaquinho de Paulinho Soares além do vocal de Zeca Pagodinho duelando com Donato).Com todos esses ingredientes não foi à toa que esse trabalho ganhou, durante o 11º Grammy Latino, prêmio na categoria de Melhor Álbum de Jazz Latino.
Perrine Mansuy Trio
By EastWind Import
French pianist, lawyer and composer Perrine Mansuy debut with her trio in 1997 after graduating from the Marseille Jazz Conservatory at the top of her class. A modern and poetic jazz pianist with a prestine touch, she has a wide range of techniques--she even plays Sarangi, a bowed, short-necked lute of the Indian subcontinent.This is Ms. Mansuy's second CD released by Atelier Sawano of Japan, following her 2004 debut La Nuit. Recorded in 2006 with her regular trio with bassist Eric Surmenian and drummer Joe Quitzke, this album showcases her attractive original compositions as well as her interpretations of well-known songs. The materials are taken from a wide range of musical genres. She pays tribute to talented female musicians she admires by performing their compositions: Ricky Lee Jones's "On Saturday Afternoon in 1963", Carla Brey's "Major", Joni Mitchel's "Both Sides Now."The interactions among the three musicians are telepathic and delicate. They utilize the spaces between notes and sounds just as much as notes themselves. In some tunes they are not afraid to show their ultramodern sensibilities and a touch of avant-garde. The sound quality of the recording is very good, and adds value to this creative program. Recorded April 9-11, 2006.
Keisuke Ohta & Bill Mays
Blue Rondo à La Turk
By EastWind Import
Collaborations between American jazz pianist Bill Mays and Japanese independent label Five Stars Records have been very fruitful and produced several wonderful CDs. Mays met violinist Keisuke Ohta at the recording of guitarist Kazuhiko Tsumura's album Ole (FSY-509). They "clicked" musically and that led to the recording of this duo CD. Primarily known for his work in ethnic and avant-garde music, Ohta deeply loves and respects Stephane Grapelli and what he calls orthodox jazz violin. His beautiful, rich tone and passionate style, underlined by an amazing array of techniques, serve his interpretation and expression of music. Mays again proves his great skills as sensitve accompanist and imaginative soloist. The eclectic program consists of an original each by Ohta and Mays, compositions by George Shearing, Dave Brubeck, Sonny Rollins, Duke Ellington, Django Reinharrdt, Dizzy Gilliepie and Astor PIazzolla, plus a free improvisation piece. Their chemistry and joy of making music together spontaneously are palpable, making this one of the best piano-violin duo albums I've heard to date. Strongly recommended! Recorded at Wang Guang RecLabs, Tokyo, on December 17, 2009.
Bill Mays Trio
By EastWind Import
Bill Mays, one of my favorite jazz pianists working today, has been the main star of Five Stars Records. Mays has been on at least five CDs from the small independent label based in Yokohama, Japan, both as leader and sideman/collaborator. Mays, veteran drummer Joe La Barbera and Swedish bassist Mattias Svensson had previously recorded a trio album for Five Stars, Head Up High, with Svensson as the leader. This time, the same partners in crime reunited under Mays' leadership and recorded a fabulous album. The label's producer Yoshie Mitsukoshi proudly tole me that this is the best CD she's produced yet, and I heartily agree! With firm roots in the traditional, straight-ahead jazz, Mays has impeccable technique, great taste and a streak of adventurous mind that makes his solos unpredictable and exciting. Svensson and La Barbera are perfect both as accompanist and soloist. This is a very satisfying and enjoyable trio album by a formidable pianist in his prime! Recommended! Recorded at Wang Guang RecLabs in Tokyo on December 21, 2009.
Steve Kuhn Trio
I Will Wait For You - The Music Of Michel Legrand
By EastWind Import
One of the veteran American pianists who release new recordings from Venus Records regularly, Steve Kuhn has been admired and loved by jazz fans both in the US and Japan. His latest release is a winning trio recording of the music of Michel Legrand. The lyrical, romantic and memorable melodies written by the French composer--many of which have become part of the standard jazz repertoire--are brilliantly interpreted and performed by a superb trio that includes George Mraz on bass and Billy Drummond on drums. Kuhn and co. add a muscular, driving sense of swing to the faster tunes while digging deep emotionally on beautiful ballads. A wonderful piano trio CD! Produced by Tetsuo Hara and Todd Barkan. Recorded at The Avatar Studio in New York on February 24 & 25, 2010. Engineered by Katherine Miller. Mixed and mastered by Tetsuo Hara.