Brian Lynch Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra
Bolero Nights For Billie Holliday
Brian Lynch (flugelhorn,trumpet)Phil Woods (alto sax)Ivan Renta (alto sax)Alan Hoffman (tenor sax)Marshall Gilkes (trombone)Ron Blake (baritone sax)Zaccai Curtis (piano)Boris Kozlov (bass)Marvin Diz (drums,percussion) Little Johnny Rivero (congas,percussion)
Trumpeter Brian Lynch has had an illustrious career, beginning with the Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and continuing as a member of the current Phil Woods Quintet. In between, he has led many projects and recorded many albums as a leader, and established himself as one of the top jazz trumpeters in the US. One of his assets is his deep understanding of and familiarity with Latin jazz, inspired by Brazilian trumpeter Claudio Roditi and developed through his collaborations wit Brazillian, Puerto Rican and Cuban musicians.
The Brian Lynch Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra is a culmination of these developments. The relatively small, nine-piece band features five horn players and two percussionists, and can sound as big and expansive or as tight and small as the situation demands. As we can see from this collection of medium- to slow-tempo boleros, this band represents an examplary combination of authentic Latin rhythms and vigorous jazz improvisations.
As an added bonus, Lynch's long-time boss and legendary alto player Phil Woods contributes brilliant solos on "Celia," "I'm A Fool To Want You" and "You've Changed." The typically big, powerful sound of this Venus release is further enhanced by their decision to adopt the latest CD formulation called HQCD (see below). Recommended for audiophiles and fans of Afro Cuban jazz!
Produced by Tetsuo Hara and Todd Barkan. Recorded at The Clinton Studio "A" in New York on November 8-10, 2008. Engineered by Katherine Miller. Mixed and mastered by Venus Hyper Magnum Sound Direct Mix: Tetsuo Hara. HQCD (High Quality CD) is a new CD formulation developed by EMI Music Japan. The higher quality polycarbonate material developed for LCD panels and specially formulated amalgam -- instead of regular alumunum -- in its reflective layer improve the sound quality by reducing reading errors in playback. It is compatible with all regular CD players.
The Book Of Love
by Scott Yanow
On The Book of Love, Cheryl Bentyne of the Manhattan Transfer tells the story of a love affair through music. The relationship starts with discovery and infatuation, hits its high point with "You Go to My Head" and then declines and results in a breakup with "Goodbye." While her singing is excellent, the program never really catches fire, and it lacks the delirious excitement of love at its most intense. The interpretations are a bit too cool and laid-back, and these versions of such warhorses as "Blue Moon" (which has guest John Pizzarelli making it a vocal duet), "Let's Do It," "You Go to My Head" and "Cry Me a River" will not make anyone forget the more definitive recordings. The overall results are pleasant but fall far short of the ecstasy and thrills one would expect from a heated affair.
A Time Of New Recordings
by Ken Dryden
With countless jazz CDs of original material by young, up-and-coming artists, jazz journalists and broadcasters can feel overwhelmed trying to uncover the gems among them. But composer/arranger Chie Imaizumi's ability to attract commissioned works and top players to perform her music gives her an edge, as she has been endorsed by veteran musicians. Randy Brecker is featured on flugelhorn in her turbulent "Information Overload," powered by its infectious vamp and spirited ensembles. The emotional ballad "Fear of the Unknown" showcases John Clayton's majestic, singing arco bass along with his precise pizzicato playing. "Sharing the Freedom" is a moving work commissioned by the U.S. Air Force Academy's Falconaires to be played at the 2008 Monterey Jazz Festival. Beginning with a gorgeous hymn-like introduction, it evolves into a peppy soulful setting with great solos by Clayton and alto saxophonist Steve Wilson. The humorous finale is "Fun and Stupid Song," blending Latin rhythms with unpredictable shifts and strong solos, with Scott Robinson being showcased on both sopranino and tenor sax. The future looks very bright for the talented Chie Imaizumi.
In Your Eyes
by Wilbert Sostre at JazzTimes
Robin Aleman (vocals), David Epstein (piano), Bob Sabin (bass), Brian Adler (drums), Nathan Childers (sax)
Robin Aleman new album In your eyes starts with a bang with the cool version of Irving Berlin Steppin out with my baby. Most of the song is just drums and Robin voice with impressive piano and drums solos by David Epstein and Brian Adler.
In almost all the tracks Robin is accompanied by a trio of just piano, bass and drums. This format allows the listener to appreciate Robin beautiful tone and unique phrasing. Listen to the wonderful version of All or nothing at all or the bass and voice arrangement of the The way you look tonight.
Robin voice and feeling truly shines in the slow ballads like Something in your smile, When I look in your eyes and Some other time. But she is a versatile singer, showing her latin heritage in the salsa rhythms of I have eyes with a nice montuno on piano, singing perfectly in Portuguese in the Blue bossa/ Triste medley, or the kind of Irish phrasing on It never was you and Corea Crystal Silence.
Robin cleverly does a medley of two songs, I fall in love too easily and The next time it happens with similar lyrics about being careful when falling in love. In your eyes also includes the waltz like rhythms of Lover and a funk version of Ellington Do nothing till you hear from me.
Tracks: Steppin out with my baby, Something in your smile, The way you look tonight, I fall in love too easily/The next time it happens, All or nothing at all, I have eyes, Lover, Crystal Silence, It never was you, Come on strong, Blue bossa/Triste, When I look in your eyes, Do nothing till you hear from me, Some other time
Artist's Website: http://www.robinaleman.com/
Julia Hülsmann Trio
by Jon Wertheim
Manfred Eicher's Munich-based ECM Records specializes in spacious, absorbing records that reveal their inner workings, labyrinth-like, over the course of many listens. Some releases reveal themselves from the first note; with others, it can take years. Pianist Julia Hülsmann's sixth record—and second for ECM—Imprint, manages both.
Hülsmann's trio isn't new—it has had more than a decade to establish its stylistic identity. But when the ensemble moved to ECM, releasing its label debut, The End of a Summer, in 2008, something snapped into place that shows no sign of departing.
Imprint's opener, "Rond Point," gives away enough of the record's intent to command immediate attention, and hides enough to sustain it. Bassist Marc Muellbauer is the star of the track, deploying his singing, Gary Peacock-esque tone at just the right moments. Hülsmann and drummer Heinrich Köbberling combine Robert Glasper with Paul Motian underneath and over it all, blanketing the tune in a lushly bleak sound-world.
From this first track, moods come and go, ranging from the suspense of the tense "After The End Of It" and the tenderness of "A Light Left On," to the restrained force of "Lulu." But no track is wildly different from the preceding one, a quality that could be seen either as a drawback or a recommendation. Like many ECM recordings, Imprint is best understood as a suite of sorts, a collection of variations—not on a theme, however, but on a mood.
That mood is best described by one of Hülsmann's own titles: "Storm In A Teacup." A constantly shifting groundwork of brushes swirls beneath Hülsmann's dark chords and melody line, voiced partly in unison with Muellbauer, and partly separate from him. Teacups are not violent objects, and their usual contents, while often hot, are not exactly the stuff of muscular hard bop or caustic Albert Ayler-isms. But, despite the outward tameness, storms do occur, casting shadows and filtering rays of sunlight, making waves and blowing sands.
The storm that Hülsmann's trio creates, within the teacup of Imprint, is a perfect Storm, indeed. This is a polished trio that takes risks, a safe trio that loves danger, a predictable trio that's full of surprises. It is both superficial and deep, and always rewarding. There's one surprise that Hülsmann can't pull off, because from the first note, it's obvious how good Imprint is going to be. But it may take years to know why.