1, 2, 3, Etc.
by Fred Grand, Jazz Review UK
“The piano-led tri“ The piano-led trio continues to be one of the most enduring formats in jazz - witness the rise of Brad Mehldau and Esbjorn Svensson, not to mention the continued popularity of Keith Jarrett's ‘Standards' trio. Bill Evans opened out the format's possibilities at the turn of the 1960s, making music, which was at once melodic and harmonically complex, with often-sublime levels of three-way dialogue. Jason Lindner wisely decides not to stick exclusively to this already congested terrain, and the most memorable moments on his new release occur when he doubles on electric piano. Lindner is probably known at the moment only to those who have been keeping tabs on bassist Avishai Cohen's solo projects, and Cohen's regular boss Chick Corea is a clear influence.
The programme consists of predominantly Latin flavoured themes with a few neo standards, all played in a fairly relaxed, sometimes funky groove. Lindner is given flexible and muscular support from label stalwarts Valle and Ayza, and the electrifying group sound on the Rhodes piano reworking of Monk's “Brilliant Corners" is a thoroughly convincing performance, the nearest thing on the disc to a tour de force. Closer to Bob James than to Monk, this is precisely the way in which Lindner can add to the legacy. The Rhodes is employed again to good effect on Claire Fischer's under-recorded “Pensativa", avoiding any comparisons to McCoy Tyner's classic reading. Other highlights include Tyner's beautiful “Aisha” and Stevie Wonder's “Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing".
They work up a sweat on the final track, “The End Of A Love Affair", which provides a rousing finale. That Lindner sounds more convincing on electric piano possibly suggests that he is yet to develop the feel and touch required on the acoustic instrument. Nevertheless, this is a promising statement that will reward repeated listens, and hats must come off for his efforts to promote the rehabilitation of the much-maligned electric piano!”
Kiyioshi Katagawa/ Kenny Barron/ Brian Blade
Japanese bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa's first leader album from Atelier Sawano, recorded in 2003 in New York, is a smashingly attractive, straight-ahead trio date. His frequent employer and one of the greatest pianists operating today, Kenny Barron lends more than just a helping hand. Combine this powerhouse with Brian Blade, one of the most talented, sharp drummers of our time, and you get an explosive trio for whom ANYTHING is possible.
But Kitagawa and his pals decided to go really straight-ahead. No gimmicks. No tricks. Just wonderful playing. And this is clearly NOT the Kenny Barron Trio in a different name. Kitagawa's leadership is apparent in his compositions (he supplied all four originals) and the fact he sometimes plays the first melody and lead the way.
At first listen this album may appear somewhat subtle, but that is because none of the musicians is inclined to selfishly show off his techniques for his own sake. Repeated listening reveals that they are interacting at a very high level, and even without fireworks, their playing is truly amazing. This is also a very well-recorded disc, so play it loud and enjoy the sonics!
Chihiro Yamanaka Trio
by Zona de Jazz
Desde que se graduó con notas máximas en el Berklee College Music, la pianista japonesa Chihiro Yamanaka ha sido aclamada como la intérprete mas competente de su generación y la compositora con el potencial más esperanzador de entre los nuevos pianistas japoneses.
Chihiro Yamanaka empezó que estudiar piano con solo cuatro años. Después de estudiar en el Royal
Academy de Music en Inglaterra, se traslada los Estados Unidos y continua sus estudios en Berklee.
Chihiro ha colaborado con algunos músicos de jazz altamente distinguidos , desde Clark Terry, Gary Burton, George Russell, Curtis Fuller, Ed Thigpen, Nancy Wilson, George Benson o Herbie Hancock.
Su álbum de debut, “Living Without Friday”, la lanzó en Japón con gran éxito de ventas lo que propició que, su segundo trabajo, “When October Gooes” fuera publicado a nivel internacional en 2002 en formato de trío e incluyendo a dos reputados jazzeros como Larry Grenadier y Jeff Ballard. En 2003 continua componiendo y fruto de ese trabajo es el disco “Leaning Forward” en el que participan el bajista Ben Street y el baterista Ben Perowsky.
En 2004 compone “Madrigal” , disco que os proponemos. Alumbrará el excelente “When October Goes” tambien acompañada por Ballard y Grenadier. Disco que creemos la consolida definitivamente en Europa y Estados Unidos.
George Russell define a Chihiro como “una pianista dotada e imaginativa” y la Revista Life Jazz, la describe como “uno de los talentos mas prometedores para el jazz de los próximos años.”
En enero del 2005, Chihiro con el sello Universal Classics publicó dos cedés: “Outside by the Swing” con Bob Hurst y Jeff “Tain” Watts y “Lach Doch Mal” de nuevo con Larry Grenadier y Jeff Ballard . Su nuevo álbum “Abyss” se se publica en Agosto de 2007 para todo el mundo.
Temas / Tracks :
Living Time Event V (George Rusell)
Ojos De Rojo (Cedar Walton)
Salve Salgueiro (Antonio Adolfo)
Lesson 51 ( Ketchlan)
Take Five (Desmond)
Músicos / Personnel :
Chihiro Yamanaka - piano
Jeff Ballard - batería
Larry Grenadier - bajo acústico
Rodney Green - batería.
Sello / Label :
Sawano Records , 2004 .
Kevin Hays Trio
Live At Smalls
by Mike Collins
This is an unadorned, live acoustic piano trio set with some playing of spine tingling intensity. The New York club has just started a record label putting out music recorded live in the small underground (in the literal sense) club, just down the road from the Village Vanguard in Greenwich Village. They say, and the recording feels like it, that you hear it pretty much as it happened without lots of treatment of the sound. Given that, the quality is good. What about the music?
Well, it hit me strongly how distinctive a ‘jazz accent’ can be. The programme has a Charlie Parker tune (Cheryl), a standard (Sweet and Lovely) a few Hays originals and (the giveaway?) a couple of arrangements of pieces by early 20th century composers (Hindemith and Ivanovichi… ok I had to google that one). There is not a trace of parker be-bop immediately obvious in Hays’ playing: its all fluid lines, two handed counterpoint and flurries of notes bursting out as the momentum of the trio builds – as if they can hardly contain themselves – the live excitement of the moment is reflected in the whoops from the audience. There is something classical and romantic about the sound but its swinging and driving forward. Hays own Loving You is a balladic anthem like piece with hints of gospel, Sco More Blues more overtly jazzy but with those same fluid lines and sense of the trio as three pieces of a jigsaw fitting together. This could be a description of Brad Mehldau trio gig – the sound is an obvious reference point, but they just seem to be speaking with the same accent to me and its an eloquent and passionate voice that we hear. Check it out.
By Dan Bilawsky
Using the word “music” as an album title can be viewed as a bold and defining statement . . . or a simple word choice. Whether Held wanted to raise some eyebrows here or he was simply choosing an album title doesn't matter . . . but the music does! Held's original works defy easy description. He doesn't write short, snappy heads and songs that are built on predictable harmonic movement, featuring chorus after chorus of solos. His music is freely executed but somehow tethered to an accessible form, function and sound. This is music that remains focused but is, nonetheless, completely unpredictable.
”Encore,” an odd song name for an album opener, features some dark cymbal washes from drummer Jonas Burgwinkel. While bassist Robert Landfermann occasionally states the time, the trio usually dances around the beat here. “Desire” is a piano showcase; the drums and bass only arrive at the tail end of the song, giving Landfermann a chance to lock in with Held as they ride to the end. “Log Lady” features some ascending arpeggiated piano patterns. When Landfermann joins in, he shifts the feel of the piece by putting the emphasis on the final note of the arpeggio and Burgwinkel scurries around underneath it all. The title track is built on firmer rhythmic footing than the other material, and the trio really cooks here. Patience is rewarded on “Klartraum,” as the three musicians take you on a journey that ends with some aggressive and exciting rock-infused music.
While eight of these pieces are Held originals, he does tap into two of his influences--jazz giant Herbie Hancock and twentieth-century composer Olivier Messiaen. Held skips over the heavily covered Hancock material and chooses “I Have A Dream.” Hancock's version, from The Prisoner (Blue Note, 1969), is a gorgeously arranged harmonic bath of textures and colors, but Held delivers something entirely different here. Burgwinkel provides some clicking sounds as the song gets going. Held moves around a bit but chooses to wait more than two minutes to actually introduce the theme and then develop his ideas from that point.
Messiaen seems to be a topic of interest to more and more jazz musicians, judging from “O Sacrum Convivium” here and John Patitucci's intensely grooving “Messiaen's Gumbo” from Remembrance (Concord Jazz, 2009). Gentle tides move in and out on from “O Sacrum Convivium” as Landfermann slowly moves his bow across the bass. Burgwinkel uses his brushes sparingly and only provides the slightest hints of color behind his bandmates.
Held manages to put his own stamp on both of these pieces and they fit in well next to his own compositions. Music proves to be a collection of daring, yet direct, pieces that grow from their initial seeds into fully realized works
Encore; I Have A Dream; Desire; Moon 44; O Sacrum Convivium; Nearness; Log Lady; Music; Klartraum; Arista.
Personnel: Pablo Held: piano; Robert Landfermann: bass; Jonas Burgwinkel: drums.
Personnel: Pablo Held: piano; Robert Landfermann: bass; Jonas Burgwinkel: drums.