Sunday, July 31, 2011

2 Sem 2011 - Part Two

Enrico Zanisi Trio
Quasi Troppo Serio

In Quasi Troppo Serio, il primo lavoro discografico di Enrico Zanisi, gli ingredienti per la ricerca di un immediato consenso ci sono tutti: talento, padronanza della tecnica, idee musicali di grande afflato melodico, trattamento brillante del pianoforte, tocchi di delicatezza luminosa - come in Corale, Il Volo, Il Caso Pone che portano la firma dello stesso Zanisi - studio e approfondimento del repertorio jazz (e non solo) raffinato attraverso un filtro del tutto particolare. Indole positiva e trasparente e un curriculum tale da alimentare ben pochi dubbi, a diciannove anni Enrico Zanisi sta in scena da grande artista. E’ interessante poi che un pianista e compositore così giovane sappia dare volto nuovo a brani come Just in Time (Berlin/Styne), Easter Eggster (Burk), Alfie (Bacharach), dialogando alla pari con musicisti formidabili e di consumata esperienza come Ettore Fioravanti (batteria) e Pietro Ciancaglini (contrabbasso), proponendo insieme ai due “veterani” del jazz quasi un tema di conversazione di grande equilibrio tra improvvisazione e contrappunto - ne è un esempio l’articolatissima Isidore firmata da Ettore Fioravanti - tra rarefazioni ed esuberanza ritmica, e allo stesso tempo con abbinamenti fantasiosi ed eleganti. Zanisi alla fantasia e all’eleganza affianca anche leggerezza, sa offrire una musica ad alto potenziale emotivo che si racconta amabilmente da sola, grazie anche alla ripresa naturale e ben definita in tutta la gamma realizzata nello studio di registrazione di Nuccia. Gli strumenti rimangono pianoforte, contrabbasso e batteria, suonati con grande veemenza, eppure la scrittura è decisamente corposa quasi orchestrale, e ognuno degli undici brani ha una forte ragione d’esistere, un quid che subito ne rivela un perché, salvo poi aggiungerne altri ancora, stratificati più sotto o poco più in là. Traccia dopo traccia si ha la sensazione che, oltre a confezionare un prodotto che riesce a scavare nell’intimo e a spiazzare per eclettismo, tensione e volontà di comunicare, tutti si siano divertiti, da una parte e dall’altra del mixer. Il giovanissimo Zanisi, dopo il successo ottenuto all’ European Jazz Expo 2009 di Cagliari e il concerto (sold-out) di presentazione del nuovo album tenutosi alla Casa del Jazz di Roma, sembra avere tutte le carte in regola per indirizzare il proprio mestiere verso approdi decisamente interessanti.

Anthony Wilson
Campo Belo

by Phil Freeman
The 2011 CD by guitarist Anthony Wilson is a gentle, thoughtful collection of tunes for guitar, piano (and sometimes accordion), bass, and drums, plus the occasional dash of clarinet. It's sunny, pleasant music that could easily have been released on ECM. Wilson's ultra-clean playing style falls into the Jim Hall/Joe Morris range, which makes it simultaneously quite pretty and kind of forgettable once the track in question is finished playing itself out. A little more of a Grant Green-style bite might have made this record more than a nice soundtrack to a late spring brunch. That's the problem with so much Brazilian music, though, it's so light and fluffy, it just drifts away while you're listening to it. Jazz listeners who aren't looking for a record that will sink its claws into their heart and never let go, or leave them breathless in the face of its virtuosity, but who, instead, just want to hear some nice, pretty songs for an hour or so could do a whole lot worse than this very well played, carefully arranged, and impeccably produced set of tunes.

Andrea Pozza Trio
Blue Daniel

Andrea Pozza Trio Blue Daniel Audio CD

Andrea Pozza Trio opens its new work with the grace of Sem Palavras's crystal scales. Without words, the only thing speaking all throughout the record is pure music, springing from Andrea Pozza's piano, accompanied by Aldo Zunino's double bass and Shane Forbes's drums. After Drop This Thing, the trio is involved for the second time in a Dejavu Records production. With this label they experiment an effective and original mixture of modern jazz with a more traditional one, particularly convincing in this album. After all, Pozza is one of the most acclaimed young Italian pianists, according which tradition is an important reference point, and it's not a case that the last track, The Duke, is undoubtedly a homage to Ellington, to his melodies and to his dim lights. Furthermore it is not to be forgotten his background and his countless collaborations with some of the most important jazz artists: as soon as he finished his classical studies, Pozza devoted himself to jazz and from that moment on he played with some heavyweights like Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, Scott Hamilton and Massimo Urbani; for four years he was part of Enrico Rava's quintet, played in Steve Grossman's quartet and for over twenty years he was abreast with Gianni Basso, one of the figures that contributed to write the history of Italian jazz. A rich, intense and eclectic experience merges into the personal composition of this young pianist from Genoa, in a balanced coexistence of new and classic. Differently from the previous record, he prefers soft lighting atmospheres and delicate colors that definitely connote this storyboard, rather that nu-jazz rhythms. Listening to the eight tracks of Blue Daniel, one has the impression to follow a path: the tracks slip one after the other in a compact and fluid way, starting from the involving incipit of Sem Palavras, and floating on the elegant atmospheres of Naima, to the freshest and most playful ones of Children Games, from the intimate mood of Blue Daniel to a more variegated one, supported by a faster rhythm of Three Slices of Bread, leading to the impassive calm and the tranquil notes of The Duke, that wittingly close a tale softly played by the main character, accompanied by the lightness of the co-stars and capable of deeply soliciting the sensitivity of the listeners.

Patrick Williams Big Band


By Bill DeMain

Big-band jazz may have peaked in popularity in the 1930s, but Patrick Williams is out to prove it can still be vital. He did it once before with his Grammy-winning 1974 album Threshold, and this return to the bandstand is equally satisfying.

Williams, best known as a composer-arranger for TV and film (Columbo, Mary Tyler Moore) brings the right mix of retro and innovation to his latest project. Recorded live at Capitol Studio A with the great Al Schmitt engineering, it features an all-star cast of vets such as Hubert Laws, Tom Scott, Dean Parks, Gene Cipriano and Peter Erskine. But from the opening title track’s 2001: A Space Odyssey-goes-Cuban groove, and angular soloing from Bob Sheppard and Chuck Findley, it’s obvious that this isn’t your granddaddy’s big band. Williams has upped the ante by adding French horns and percussionists to his 21-piece band, and rather than rely on a safe repertoire of standards, he features self-penned material that has more in common with Steely Dan than with Glenn Miller.
With his flair for scoring, the best pieces unfold like little movies, with stirring mood shifts. The labyrinthine melody on “Heat” evokes a murder mystery before coasting into a top-down cruise that is pure private shamus. “Song for a Pretty Girl” is a sun-dappled reverie full of soft woodwinds and September kisses, and the brassy kaleidoscope of “The Sun Will Shine Today” evokes synchronized Chicago-style dance routines, all sizzle and cascading limbs.
Williams—with the financial patronage of movie producer Sidney Kimmel—has turned back the clock, but in a way that sounds both nostalgic and new.

Ann Malcolm
The Crystal Paperweight

Cover (Crystal Paperweight:Ann Malcolm)

by abeat
Ann Malcolm è straordinaria singer americana da alcuni anni residente in Svizzera con alle spalle pubblicazioni di grande pregio internazionale ( per esempio al fianco di Kenny Barron, Ray Drummond, Keith Copeland, Brian Lemon, Szakcsi, Robi Lakatos, Vince Benedetti, Junior Mance, Reggie Johnson ed altri ancora ).
“ The Crystal Paperweight ” rappresenta per Ann Malcolm una delle più esaltanti realizzazioni di sempre ed ha caratteristiche davvero speciali: innanzitutto vede Tom Harrell coinvolto non solo in qualità di trombettista ( dalle doti uniche al mondo) ma anche di arrangiatore dell’intero disco e compositore. Ann Malcolm ha realizzato alcuni testi che per la prima volta affiancano alcune notissime composizioni dello stesso Harrell: ciò costituisce un notevole valore aggiunto se si considera che nella storia compositiva di Tom Harrell è cosa raramente concessa.
Il disco offre una varietà stilistica e di sound notevole rimanendo sempre elegantissimo e curato. Le spiccati doti di sensibilità ed espressione della Malcolm nonchè la maestria degli arrangiamenti hanno permesso di oscillare da esecuzioni mainstream a jazz ballad sino ad ammiccare al pop ed al soul di "Remember The Time "( M. Jackson).
Ann Malcolm è l'incarnazione della cantante jazz femminile odierna , sofisticata e potente allo stesso tempo, con eccellente e plastico timbro . Ann Malcolm è nato in Iowa, Stati Uniti .

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