Sunday, January 22, 2012

1 Sem 2012 - Part Five

Atsuko Hashimoto
...Until The Sun Comes Up

Cover (Until the Sun Comes Up:Atsuko Hashimoto)

by Rick Anderson
Jazz organists often have a tendency to gravitate toward the funkier side of things, and have done so since the glory days of Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff. Organist Atsuko Hashimoto, on the other hand, seems to have focused more tightly on developing her sense of swing, and it pays off mightily on this, her first album for the venerable Capri label. The program is a mix of originals and truly well-worn standards, and what may be most impressive about the album is her ability to bring freshness and energy to some of these chestnuts through sheer energy and the elephantine power of her swing; listen, for example, to her renditions of both "Cherry" and "Yours Is My Heart Alone." Not only are her solos amazing for their joyful inventiveness, but the rhythmic power she generates along with her sidemen Graham Dechter (guitar) and Jeff Hamilton (drums) is like a force of nature. Elsewhere she takes brisk, no-nonsense midtempo renditions of "So in Love" and "Moon River" and turns them into something brand new. The group's arrangement of "It's a Wonderful World" is the album's sole disappointment, a predictably sappy rendition that is just barely redeemed by yet another brilliantly constructed organ solo. The album ends on a very high note, with the joyfully gospel-flavored "Hallelujah I Love Her So." This is a brilliant and thrilling album.

Maria Pia De Vito
Nel Respiro

Cover (Nel Respiro:Maria Pia de Vito)

1. Raffish (Towner) - 5:44
2. Nel respiro (De Vito) - 3:10
3. Some Echoes (Swallow/Creeley) - 4:47
4. Sounding Solitude (De Vito/Taylor) - 7:55
5. Lengue (De Rosa/Kongo) - 5:24
6. Yearning (De Vito/Jormin) - 5:53
7. Now and Zen (De Vito/Héral) - 8:38
8. Pure and Simple (Taylor) - 10:09
9. Miguilim (Marcotulli) - 4:31
10. Int' 'o rispiro (De Vito/Towner) - 5:07

Maria Pia De Vito - voce, phrase sampler
John Taylor - piano
Ralph Towner - chitarra acustica; chitarra a 12 corde; chitarra-synth
Steve Swallow - basso elettrico
Patrice Héral - batteria; percussioni; phrase sampler

By AllAboutJazz Italy
Already appreciated well beyond national borders - her name appears in the category "Beyond Artist" of the prestigious American magazine's 2001 Critics Pool Down Beat, along with those of famous personalities such as Caetano Veloso, Joni Mitchell, Cesaria Evora, Carlos Santana - Maria Pia De Vito is again the protagonist of an album for the British label Provocateur, released in 2000 after "To" with two fellow adventurers like the great English pianist John Taylor and the American guitarist Ralph Towner, one of the founders of Oregon.
The same Taylor and Towner are present, along with Steve Swallow, electric bass virtuoso, and the fancy French drummer Patrice Heral, even in the last effort of the Neapolitan singer, from the suggestive title of "breathing in", an album of great intensity that represents a decisive step forward in the evolution of art among the most versatile female voice that today one can hear.Just the 10 tracks of "In the breath" offer the opportunity to fully capture the many nuances that Maria Pia De Vito can draw from that extraordinary instrument that nature has given her.
Emblematic of this are that the song's title track, Now and Zen, authentic pieces of skill - as is Pure and Simple - during which the voice of De Vito is multiplied through the intelligent use of technology . But it is all over the arc of the album that the singer has in place all of their sensitivity and vivacity of expression, even in the role of author. Be framed in this regard is the sweet melody of Int '' or Rispiro, signed with Towner and sung by De Vito in unmistakable language of his city.
Jazz, Neapolitan songs, oriental influences and more live in harmony in the universe sound of a singer who always escapes to classifications of convenience. From this extensive experience alongside musicians as diverse as Joe Zawinul, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Miroslav Vitous, Enrico Rava, Paolo Fresu, Gianluigi Trovesi, and of course the partners of "breathing in" and the pianist Rita Marcotulli, with the Maria Pia De Vito who has forged a fruitful partnership testified, among other things, from the album "Nauplia" and "Triboh" (the last in a trio with the addition of percussionist Arto Tunçboyaciyan of Armenian origin).
Maria Pia De Vito is in the catalog of recordings with other Provocateur: "Heaven and Nowhere" and "Dreaming Man With Blue Suede Shoes," the saxophonist Colin Towns and "Life Styles" Mask of the Quintet.

Quincy Jones
Q:Soul Bossa Nostra

Cover (Q: Soul Bossa Nostra:Quincy Jones)

by Thom Jurek
Other than a handful of one-offs, producer, composer, and arranger Quincy Jones has been busy outside of the music world, acting as a film producer and a cultural ambassador. Q: Soul Bossa Nostra is his first proper "new" album in 15 years, though it revisits tracks he either composed, recorded, or produced previously with a host of the current era's most popular artists from the R&B, pop, and hip-hop worlds. Given his rep, the star power here is not surprising, but re-recording classic songs with new singers -- or in some cases adding vocals to a track that never had them at all -- is risky. Soul Boss Nostra feels like a tribute exercise -- assembled more for radio play and to attract the holiday and single-track download markets -- than a creative one. One need only go to the remake of Shuggie Otis' classic "Strawberry Letter 23," which Jones produced for the Brothers Johnson in 1977. The vocal and production by Akon employ shimmering, slippery hip-hop rhythms, Auto-Tune, and layers of programmed keyboards and backing vocals, without the tune's signature bassline! It's thin and hollow. The oft-sampled hit "Soul Bossa Nova" appears here as a collaboration between Naturally 7 and Ludacris (who has sampled it himself). Jones' new arrangement is streamlined; it lacks the dynamic punch and humor of the hit. Q composed "Ironside" for the '70s television series; he uses the original orchestral and vocal tracks with a rap by Talib Kweli on top. It's better, but still feels disconnected. Why Jones re-arranged and re-corded "Tomorrow" with John Legend is a mystery; this version is void of the warmth of Tevin Campbell's from 1990. Campbell is here on a remake of Al B. Sure/Barry White track "Secret Garden" that keeps White's original vocal, and adds Campbell's with Robin Thicke, LL Cool J, Usher, and Tyrese. It is utter lacking in finesse or emotion. "Get the Funk Out of My Face," with Snoop Dogg, at least retains the Brothers Johnson feel; his rap almost works. "P.Y.T." is remade here by T-Pain and Thicke with so much Auto-Tune, it sounds like a cartoon soundtrack. Amy Winehouse's remake of "It's My Party" (which Jones produced for Lesley Gore in 1962), is tepid. Bebe Winans' reading of "Everything Must Change" is easily the set's classiest, most soulful track; it stands out beautifully from the dross. Given Jones' legendary stature and reputation for taste, this set feels unnecessary at best, and downright cynical at worst.

Nancy LaMott
What's Good About Goodbye ?

Cover (What's Good About Goodbye?:Nancy LaMott)

By Jason Ankeny
The music of the late pop vocalist Nancy LaMott ( 1951 - 1995 ) is recalled in this posthumously-compiled collection of studio recordings, demos and unreleased songs. Included are "Too Late Now," "The Promise," "Another Mr. Right," "Your Love," "We Live on Borrowed Time" and the title cut.

Katie Bull
Freak Miracle

Cover (Freak Miracle:Katie Bull)

By Florance Wetzel
Katie Bull is a highly original talent, a vocalist steeped in tradition who fearlessly rocks the boundaries of the known. Freak Miracle is a wonderfully expressive and free-flowing CD, a fresh and unpredictable mix that highlights Bull's gift for approaching music and songwriting from her own unique angle.
Eleven of the fourteen tracks on Freak Miracle are Bull originals, and no two songs are alike, whether it's an homage to mentor Sheila Jordan on "Back to Square One," a tribute to her mother on "Anniversary," or extraterrestrial vocalizations on "Road Trip." It always helps to have a great band, and Bull's group—which she utilizes in different combinations, from spare to full-on—are able to follow her in all directions. Special mention goes to bassist Joe Fonda, who is excellent wherever one finds him, and Landon Knoblock, who creates tasteful voicings on electric piano.
Another notable aspect of Bull's music is the way she dives headfirst into emotion, unafraid of the heart's awkward sides. Many of the songs on Freak Miracle concern lost and retreating love, as well as the poignancy of longing: "Oh the night can slice your / Heart out like a steel knife / It can drain your love at / the wrists." But the magic of music is the way it transforms sadness into something beautiful, and as Bull says in her lovely song "Blue Light": "Here's what we are gonna / Have to do: / Spin some light out of / Something blue."
Bull also has a great time turning the Great American Songbook on its head, infusing traditional forms with her distinctive vision. "I Thought About You" is a beautiful example of free exploration weaving with the straight-ahead, and Bull's take on the bossa nova classic "How Insensitive" includes heavy breathing and marvelously weaving phrasing. "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" is simply fabulous, with Bull juxtaposing George and Ira Gershwin's lighthearted lyrics with her own darker words, which speak plainly of love gone wrong.
What's refreshing about Bull is her fluidity and continual ability to think outside conventional structures. Her songs are also highly personal, and in that wonderful inversion of art, the more personal Bull is, the more universal her music. Freak Miracle is a treat for the ears, something to perk up the heart and the soul.
Track Listing:
Back to Square One; Labyrinth; I Thought About You; Road Trip; Alight; You Were There; One Moment; How Insensitive; Blue Light; Anniversary; Let's Call the Whole Thing Off; Removed; An Opportunity; The Gifts.
Katie Bull: vocals; Landon Knoblock: piano, Fender Rhodes, accordion; Jeff Lederer: saxophones, clarinet; Joe Fonda: bass; Frank Kimbrough: piano; Harvey Sorgen: drums; Ayelet Rose Gottlieb: vocals (6).

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