Tuesday, November 22, 2011

PAUL MOTIAN 1931 - 2011

The cause was complications of myelodisplastic syndrome, a bone-marrow disorder, said his friend, Carole d’Inverno Frisell.Paul Motian, a drummer, bandleader, and composer of grace and abstraction, and one of the most influential jazz musicians of the last 50 years, died early Tuesday morning at Mount Sinai Hospital in NewYork. He was 80 and lived in Manhattan.
Mr. Motian was a living connection to some of the groups of the past that informed what jazz sounds like today: he had been in Bill Evans’s great trio in the late 1950s and early 1960s, playing on the albums “Waltz for Debby” and “Sunday at the Village Vanguard,” and in Keith Jarrett’s American quartet during the 1970s. But it was in the second half of his life that Mr. Motian found himself as a composer and a bandleader, and his own work took off.
He worked steadily, and for the last six years or so almost entirely in Manhattan, with the support of the record producers Stefan Winter and Manfred Eicher, who streamed out his albums, and Lorraine Gordon of the Village Vanguard, who eventually booked his groups for up to four or five weeks per year.
Then there were the many musicians he played with regularly, including the saxophonist Joe Lovano and the guitarist Bill Frisell, with whom he kept a working trio; the pianist Masabumi Kikuchi and the saxophonists Greg Osby and Chris Potter, with whom he played in trios and quartets; the members of the Electric Bebop Band, with multiple electric guitars, which in 2006 became the Paul Motian Band; and dozens of other musicians, from young unknowns to old masters.
For almost all of his bands, his repertory was a combination of terse and mysterious originals he composed at the piano, American songbook standards, and music from the bebop tradition: Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus.

Selected Discography:

Windmills Of Your Mind (Winter & Winter 2011)
Lost In a Dream (ECM 2010)
On Broadway Vol 5 (Winter & Winter 2009)
Live At The Village Vanguard I, II, III (Winter & Winter 2006)
Time and Time Again (ECM 2006)
Paul Motian Band, Garden of Eden (ECM Records, 2006)
Frank Kimbrough, Play (Palmetto, 2006)
Enrico Rava, Tati (ECM Records, 2005)
Bobo Stenson Trio, Goodbye (ECM Records, 2005)
Paul Motian Trio, I Have the Room Above Her (ECM Records, 2005)
Tony Malaby, Adobe (Sunnyside, 2004)
Marilyn Crispell Trio, Storyteller (ECM Records, 2004)
Paul Motian, Rarum: Selected Recordings XVI (ECM Records, 2004)
Enrico Pieranunzi, FelliniJazz (CamJazz, 2003)
Paul Motian and the Electric Bebop Band, Holiday for Strings (Winter & Winter, 2002)
Marilyn Crispell/Gary Peacock/Paul Motian, Amaryllis (ECM Records, 2001)
Paul Motian and the Electric Bebop Band, Europe (Winter & Winter, 2001)
Russell Lossing, Dreamer (Double-Time Records, 2000)
Paul Bley/Gary Peacock/Paul Motian, Not Two, Not One (ECM Records, 1999)
Paul Motian, Trio 2000 + One (Winter & Winter, 1999)
Marilyn Crispell/Gary Peacock/Paul Motian, Nothing Ever Was, Anyway: Music of Annette Peacock (ECM Records, 1997)
Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Paul Motian, At the Deer Head Inn (ECM Records, 1994)
Paul Motian, On Broadway, Vol. 3 (JMT, 1992)
Paul Motian, In Tokio (JMT, 1992)
Paul Motian, On Broadway, Vol. 1 (JMT, 1989)
Paul Motian, Monk in Motian (JMT, 1988)
Paul Bley Quartet, Paul Bley Quartet (ECM Records, 1988)
Paul Bley, Fragments (ECM Records, 1986)
Bill Frisell, Rambler (ECM Records, 1985)
Paul Motian Trio, It Should Have Happened a Long Time Ago (ECM Records, 1985)
Charlie Haden, The Ballad of the Fallen (ECM Records, 1983)
Paul Motian Band, Psalm (ECM Records, 1982)
Paul Motian Trio, Le Voyage (ECM Records, 1979)
Paul Motian Trio, Dance (ECM Records, 1978)
Keith Jarrett, Eyes of the Heart (ECM Records, 1979)
Keith Jarrett, The Survivors' Suite (ECM Records, 1977)
Paul Motian, Tribute (ECM Records, 1975)
Keith Jarrett, Death and the Flower (ABC Impulse, 1975)
Paul Motian, Conception Vessel (ECM Records, 1973)
Keith Jarrett, Expectations (Columbia, 1972)
Carla Bley, Escalator Over the Hill (JCOA Records, 1971)
Charlie Haden, Liberation Music Orchestra (Impulse, 1969)
Keith Jarrett, Life Between the Exit Signs (Vortex, 1968)
Mose Allison, Wild Man on the Loose (Atlantic, 1966)
Bill Evans, Trio 64 (Verve, 1964)
Martial Solal, Martial Solal at Newport '63 (RCA Victor, 1963)
Bill Evans Trio, Moonbeams (Riverside, 1962)
Bill Evans Trio, Waltz for Debby (Riverside, 1961)
Bill Evans Trio, Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside, 1961)
Bill Evans Trio, Explorations (Riverside, 1961)
Bill Evans Trio, Portrait in Jazz (Riverside, 1960)
Bill Evans, New Jazz Conceptions (Riverside, 1959)
Eddie Costa Quintet, Eddie Costa Quintet (Mode Records, 1957)
George Russell, Ezz-thetic (RCA, 1957)

Sunday, November 13, 2011


by Leonardo Barroso

      Sexta-feira, 11 de novembro de 2011, Teatro Nacional de Brasília/ Sala Martins Pena, tivemos o prazer de ver e ouvir o pianista Baptiste Trotignon, um dos integrantes do novo Jazz francês (como Jean-Milchel Pilc, Franck Avitabile ). Baptiste veio ao Brasil tanto para apresentar-se tanto em uma formação Trio como Solo. Seu repertorio foi formado por suas composições originais e os standards "Ne Me Quitte Pas" e "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes". O concerto começou com sua Suite, onde pode mostrar aos que não o conheciam, seu total controle, virtuose e swing. Nas interpretações dos dois standards ele pode se soltar e colocou no piano Yamaha todo lirismo que este musico possui.
      Ir a este concerto, foi como estar em "filme noir", o teatro amplamente carpetado (acho que o mesmo desde 1980)  e com isso, tornando-se um grande armázem de fungos e bactérias. Esta foi uma situação que muito me incomodou, mas com a presença de Baptiste e um piano livre de amplificação, pude deixar tudo de lado, e me deixar envolver no prazer de ouvir um grande musico de jazz. Merci Mr.Trotignon.


Rainbow Studios-Oslo,Norway

by Claudio Botelho 
One thing I miss about vinyl records: they couldn’t last more than some forty-five minutes or so. The 80 min. recording capacity of CD has been hard pressing musicians into “filling it up”all the time and surely this has been detrimental to the quality of their art.
Rarely do I listen to all the songs of a CD in one take: the quality is often at stake and boredom always prevails at some instance: seventy or eighty minutes of inspiration is a bit too much… For them, if you gather what I mean…
To make it double is jeopardize still further. I never buy a double CD, even if my excuse is the flimsiness of their jewel cases or the awkwardness of their cardboard enclosures. I always find a reason not to do…
Music is not grain, salt or sugar, which are quantity valued; music is art and five minutes of subliminal inspiration certainly is much more treasured than eighty minutes of a lesser effort. So, the artist would better invest in quality as opposed to quantity, but, it seems to me, they’ve been much obliged to write lots of songs each time they decide to make a new work.
I count not the number of unlistened last-songs CD’s I possess. This is aggravated to some extent If one takes into account that (it seems to me), other than an inaugural carefully chosen songs (mostly in faster tempi), the remaining are arranged at random. So, I would not be lying if I said I have some very secret treasured canned songs at home. You know, I’m included in the bunch of their non listeners…
The tried and tested method of distributing the songs in CD’s is to alternate slow and fast tempo ones; there’s no mistake and it’s no use trying differently, as this is in accordance to human nature which, you may know, will never change.  Otherwise, boredom arrives and, in a short time, the listener finds himself indulging in other things…
So, please, musicians, producers and sound engineers: don’t overstuff the product of yours. You’d better reshape the good into turning it better; the better into turning it excellent and the excellent into turning it exceptional. Those of us – mere humble consumers – will thank you forever!

2 Sem 2011 - Part Fifteen

Monty Alexander
Harlem-Kingston Express LIVE!

Cover (Harlem-Kingston Express:Monty Alexander)

by Rick Anderson
Some may be surprised to know that reggae music actually has deep roots in jazz. Ska, reggae's stylistic precursor, came into being as a fusion of Jamaican mento, calypso, and American R&B, but some of its earliest and best players were Kingston jazz musicians, and early ska tunes were very often characterized by swinging rhythms and walking basslines. Ska eventually slowed down and its rhythms shifted, resulting first in the short-lived "rocksteady" style before it slowed further and became reggae, which dominated the island's music scene for a decade and a half before eventually being supplanted by the more raucous dancehall style. Pianist Monty Alexander has been bringing jazz back to reggae music (and vice versa) for decades; Harlem-Kingston Express finds him in a live setting, continuing to explore the connections between traditional reggae and straight-ahead jazz while also forging new ones. An example of the latter approach is his strange but intriguing take on the dub reggae classic "King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown." The original tune was a dub remix of Jacob Miller's "Baby I Love You So," mixed by the legendary producer King Tubby and embellished by Augustus Pablo's melodica; it is considered by many to be the finest example of 1970s dub ever recorded. Alexander starts out playing the tune more or less straight, taking the melodica part himself -- then suddenly, the ensemble erupts into a frantic Afro-Cuban middle section before modulating and coming back to the original theme. Elsewhere, he delivers a brisk but unexceptional take on "Sweet Georgia Brown," a partly successful reggae adaptation of the jazz standard "Freddie Freeloader," and a surprisingly perfect arrangement of Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry." Alexander continues to be a highly effective ambassador between two once-fraternal musical styles that have sadly lost touch with each other since childhood. Here's hoping he plans to do a Jackie Mittoo tribute album at some point. 

Terrell Stafford
This Side Of Strayhorn

Cover (This Side of Strayhorn:Terell Stafford)

by Matt Collar
Trumpeter Terell Stafford's 2011 effort This Side of Strayhorn features the hornman performing a series of classic and lesser-known compositions from Duke Ellington's longtime collaborator Billy Strayhorn. Born out of his week-long participation the "Celebrating Billy Strayhorn" fest in Dayton, OH, the album is an urbane and well-crafted affair that finds Stafford wringing much joy improvisationally and otherwise out of these superb compositions. Joining Stafford here are such similarly adept players as saxophonist Tim Warfield, pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Dana Hall. To these ends, tracks like "Smada" showcase Stafford's longstanding love of trumpeter Lee Morgan's bluesy and propulsive style, while "Little Brown Book" is a warm, cup-muted number. Elsewhere, the burnished slow-burn blues "Multicolored Blue" and the laid-back and sultry midtempo ballad "Lana Turner" are easily some of the best small group interpretations of Strayhorn you could ever find.

The New Gary Burton Quartet
Common Ground

Cover (Common Ground:Gary Burton Quartet)

by Ken Dryden
Once Gary Burton retired from his duties at Berklee, he began to scale back his touring with a full-time quartet. In 2010, he assembled a new band with the phenomenal young guitarist Julian Lage (who first sat in with the vibraphonist at the age of 12), veteran bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Antonio Sanchez, all of whom have recorded as bandleaders themselves. Six of the CD's ten tracks were contributed by the quartet's members, starting with Colley's intricate "Never the Same Way," which incorporates a Latin flavor in its tricky 7/4 meter. Sanchez contributed the infectious cooker "Common Ground" (featuring great solos all around and capturing the spirit of Burton's earlier quartets), and "Did You Get It?" a lively blues with a playful call-and-response between Lage and Burton in its introduction. The leader frequently dismisses his efforts as a composer, but his bittersweet, melancholy ballad "Was It So Long Ago?" is further proof that he needs to spend more time writing; his infectious tango is a lyrical work. Lage is just as promising a songwriter as he is a guitarist. His challenging "Etude" evolved from a study piece he uses with his students; the intricate, rapid-fire introduction segues into a Spanish-flavored midsection that showcases his formidable chops. Burton also revisits songs from his past. Lage introduces "My Funny Valentine" with a well-disguised improvisation that doesn't state its well-known theme until the full band joins him near the halfway mark, then both Burton and Colley take solos, backed by Sanchez's soft but effective percussion. Burton also revisits Keith Jarrett's "In a Quiet Place," blending reflective moments with a bluesy air at times. Common Ground stands alongside the many landmark albums in Gary Burton's vast discography.

Matt Nelson Trio

Cover (Nostalgiamaniac:Matt Nelson Trio)

By Alex Mariany
According to The Oxford English Dictionary, nostalgia is defined as "a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past," and a maniac is "an obsessive enthusiast." Chicago pianist Matt Nelson embodies both qualities on Nostalgiamaniac. The sentimentality of his ballad playing and the keen musical citation of past generations of jazz musicians clearly display the conversation he's having with his own past, and his dedication to music.
Without losing momentum in his constant foray into modernity, Nelson manages to remain firmly rooted in the rich tradition of jazz piano playing, at times sounding like a 1960s-era Herbie Hancock and at other times sounding like a current-day Brad Mehldau. He also accomplishes this by finding a stable blend of more contemporary sounding, ECM-like tunes ("Lady Luna," "Revisited") and straight-up, hard-swingin' tracks ("Compliments," "Dave's Blues"). Nelson maintains the balance by revealing his personal side through "Matthew My Boy," a song that his father wrote for him many years ago, and the maniac side with the opening track, "Infatuation."
At a superficial glance, Nostalgiamaniac can seem to get bogged down by Nelson playing nearly every moment of this lengthy album. Further review, however, reveals a continual reinvention of his playing, in order to remain compelling from start to its finish. While his accompaniment can, at times, be distracting, such as behind Graham Czach's bass solo on "Lady Luna," it's always extremely sympathetic to the soloist's cause.
With the trio's obvious command over its more delicate playing, it's easy, at times, to overlook the unbelievable technique on the more rhythmically agitated tunes like "Infatuation" or "The Epitome." Czach and drummer Matt Nischan seem to have no problem keeping the beat elastic and playful even at brisk tempos. Not only do they weave a supportive fabric for Nelson to rest on for his own improvisations, each of them also adds their own imaginative solo work, Nischan especially so on "Dave's Blues."
With this debut, Nelson and his trio have carved out a nice spot for themselves in the Chicago jazz scene. By remaining true to the tradition of jazz, they have managed to find fertile ground for their growth and expansion into what looks like a promising future.
Track Listing:
Infatuation; Closing the Door; Quiet Love (and Sunshine); The Epitome; Lady Luna; Longing For...; Revisited; Compliments; Matthew My Boy; Dave's Blues; Alternate Antioch; The Art of Suppression.
Matt Nelson: piano; Graham Czach: bass; Matt Nischan: drums.

2 Sem 2011 - Part Fourteen

Michel Camilo
Mano a Mano

Cover (Mano a Mano:Michel Camilo)

by Ken Dryden
Michel Camilo has excelled in every project he has conceived, ranging from solo piano, small groups, big band, and working with a symphony orchestra. For this session, he returns to a trio setting with the infectious Puerto Rican percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo and bassist Charles Flores. Opening the disc is "Yes," the pianist's reworking of the familiar "Indiana" chord changes, recast as a lively Latin jazz original. The brilliant improvised introduction is a sensational duo performance by the leader and the conga player, setting up their terrific flights as the theme is revealed, with Flores providing an inventive undercurrent. Camilo's recasting of Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder" keeps its funky edge with Hidalgo's capable percussion providing a hip flavor. John Coltrane's "Naima" is often played so seriously that no one seems to think of taking this lovely ballad in another direction. Camilo initially stays the course, though bursts free as he works into his inventive improvisation, while Hidalgo and Flores are anything but sedate with their formidable accompaniment. Camilo's interpretation of "Alfonsina y el Mar" is a moving performance of the Argentine ballad, with his shimmering piano conveying its emotion as Hidalgo and Flores provide a subtle background. There are several additional Camilo pieces of note, especially the lush ballads "You and Me" and "About You," the latter an elegant solo piano performance that wraps this delightful CD. 

Bill Anschell

Cover (Figments:Bill Anschell)

by Adam Greenberg
One of the more prolific exponents of the Northwest jazz sound, pianist Bill Anschell has figured in any number of excellent recordings, both as a bandleader and as an accompanist. In Figments, he takes a turn at solo piano, running through songs from pop, jazz, and the American songbook and reworking them into wandering (he describes it as stream of consciousness) arrangements that sometimes provide jazz underpinnings for classic pop, and sometimes explode the pieces into their atomic elements, looking for interesting tidbits in the debris. "Alice's Restaurant" weaves between ragtime, nightclub jazz, and deeper introspective chunks. Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" is actually performed on prepared piano (a piano with objects placed in/on the strings to change their sounds), and heads toward a sort of acoustic electronica. The thing that sets Figments apart from the now-standard jazz performances of pop classics is the ease with which Anschell wanders away from tunes, finding interesting motives in them and expanding on them freely, eventually to return to the main melodies. As he wanders around the songs, Anschell shows off a striking facility with different styles of play -- he can touch on stride piano (fittingly) in "Honeysuckle Rose," he can twinkle through arpeggios in "Desperado," and he can move to the ethereal in "Ask My Why." The music is rarely bouncing on Figments, but it remains catchy despite itself. The real key here is Anschell's ability to avoid adapting the songs into a simple piano jazz format and to come up with something both remarkably new and still recognizable. An excellent set. 

Iro Haarla Quintet

Cover (Vespers:Iro Haarla)

by Something Else!
With nearly 1,800 posts under our belt, we at SER have covered a whole lot of different styles, players and instruments, but based on a cursory search, I haven't found a single piece where a harpist is the featured musician. We now have that covered: meet Iro Haarla.
Actually, one of Finland's finest is a pianist too, as well as a composer and arranger. Her most recent album, Vespers, is a showcase to all of these aptitudes, which doesn't make it so much a harp album as it does a “Iro Haarla" album. Haarla first gained the big props as a key member in percussionist Edward Vesala's bands, working as arranger and orchestrator. Her close relationship eith Vesala culiminated in their marriage, and she dedicated her career working with him until his death in 1999.
Vespers, her second for the ECM label, carries over the same quintet used for the first ECM,Northbound (2006). Mathias Eick, whose own fresh new ECM record was given a look over just yesterday is on trumpet, as well as Trygve Seim, his saxophone partner in crime onManu Katché's phenomenal Playground (2007). Former Vesala Sound & Fury band mate Ulf Krokfors mans the acoustic bass and ECM hall of famer Jon Christensen is on drums. Indeed, this is a group of Scandinavian all-stars.
These nine songs of hers are all rubatos, in the “free ballad" form that Vesala and Christensen helped to instigate with Jan Garbarek decades ago. Avant paced but lyrically flowing, Haarla has become a master of this style, and her harp is a great accessory to this style; she could have easily played it on more than the three of four tracks that she did. Krokfors' pivotal role at bass taking charge of the flow of the song with Christensen, makes Haarla's piano, which is mostly in the background, nearly superfluous. Eick and Seim carry over that great rapport from the Katché project, pouring out aching notes that assures the Norwegian jazz legacy is in good shape for the next generation.
The capacious Nordic jazz sound is in good shape for years to come, too, thanks to torch bearers like Iro Haarla. Vespers was released last April 12.

Cedar Walton
The Boucer

Cover (The Bouncer:Cedar Walton)

by Matt Collar
Continuing in his tradition of stellar Highnote label albums, pianist Cedar Walton's 2011 release, The Bouncer, features the journeyman hard bopper leading a fine quintet of like-minded individuals. Once again featuring the talents of saxophonist Vincent Herring, who appeared on Walton's 2009 effort, Voices Deep Within, The Bouncer also showcases trombonist Steve Turre, as well as longtime associate bassist David Williams, drummer Willie Jones III, and percussionist Ray Mantilla. This is urbane, no-nonsense, straight-ahead acoustic jazz, the kind that Walton has based his career on since the '60s. To these ends, listeners get the jaunty, midtempo opener, as well as the lilting pretty waltz "Halo" and the Jones-inspired "Willie's Groove," which finds both Jones and Williams showing their improvisational stuff. Elsewhere, Walton and company tackle J.J. Johnson's "Lament"; rework Walton's "Underground Memoirs" from 1996's The Composer into a stylish, roiling Latin-tinged number; and keep the Latin vibe going on Trinidad native Williams' grooving "Got to Get to the Island."

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


by Leonardo Barroso
 Ontem, 01 de novembro de 2011, as 20:00h no Teatro Eva Hertz na Livraria Cultura/Shopping Iguatemi, fui ouvir mais um grande jazzman italiano, promovido pela Umbria Jazz/CAIXA. O musico em questão é o pianista Ramberto Ciammarughi. Ao chegar no palco apresentou-se e mostrou qual seria a ideia para o concerto: foi um show baseado em temas de filmes/cinema, musicas que ele amava e se indentificava, indicou que seria uma noite de Tributos aos grandes compositores da sétima arte.
Sentou-se ao piano de cauda K. Kawai (Japão) e pediu para que as palmas fossem reservadas para o fim do espetáculo.
 A única vez que ouvi Ramberto antes deste show foi no CD "Another Day" com um quarteto liderado pelo gaitista Luigi Ferrara, acompanhado do pianista, o baixista Gabriele Pesaresi e o grande baterista Massimo Manzi. Uma das coisa que mais me tinha agradado era o piano, conforme minha anotação neste blog http://worldjazz.blogspot.com/2009/07/novidades-do-jazz-em-julho2009.html.
Foi realmente uma belíssima noite. Lamentei que muitos amigos não puderam estar lá, pois o repertório teve musicas que eu ( e vários amigos, principalmente Marcio Távora ) consideramos como maravilhosas, Ramberto tocou o mais puro Jazz em temas como: Smile, When You Wish Upon a Star, Maria e em nos tributos a: Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota, Leonard Bernstein, John Williams, Walt Disney e aos pianistas dos antigos filmes não-falados. Ramberto grazie per il piacere di una notte di ricordi bellissimi e il suo Jazz.

Pedro Martins Trio at UmbriaJazz/Brasilia

by Leonardo Barroso
Abrindo o concerto UmbriaJazz/CAIXA, tocou o guitarrista Pedro Martins com seu Trio, formado por Felipe Viegas - Teclados e Renato Galvão - Bateria.
Foi um show que se mostrou alem das minhas expectativas, o Trio se manteve bem coeso com composições bem tocadas, inclusive tive a clara certeza de ver um grupo ( lembrou-me Pat Metheney & Lyle Mays ) com grande potencial ! Parabens Pedro !
Qualquer contato com o artista atráves: www.myspace.com/pedrinhomartins