Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1 Sem 2012 - Part Ten

Serge Forté Trio
Jazz´in Chopin

Cover (Jazz'in Chopin:Serge Forte)

By Chuck Bolger
Serge Forte ought to be famous. He possesses the keyboard artistry and musical touch of a Kenny Barron, a Keith Jarrett, even (dare I say) an Oscar Peterson. On this CD his interpretations of Chopin are masterful, AND jazzy, which should appeal to lovers of both musical forms. And, his Trio is tight! The Suite Revolutionnaire ventures almost into Free Jazz, but one must admire the creative forces at work here. If you are a Jazz fan with any sense of musical adventure (and shouldn\'t every Jazz fan be thus?), Jazz\'in Chopin is a must for your collection. 
By Serge Forté
The Jazz' in Chopin project started in 1999 during a dinner organized by our friends Danielle and Henry, in connection with the Chopin year (150th death anniversary) with Polish official representatives. It was a charming evening (beautiful recipes by Henry !) but as a jazz pianist, I didn’t see very well which contribution I could bring to such event ...
However, at one time, we talked about jazz in Poland (which is very active) and some jazzmen who didn’t hesitate to transform Chopin’s works into jazz and in particular a trio who played only Chopin ! I have suddenly had a vision : a mixture of images, precise and at the same time fuzzy and during a few minutes I should not have paid much attention to the discussion in progress... It was like an idea, that I had always had but hidden deep in me, suddenly tried to appear. I always adored Chopin ! He even is my preferred composer !
I already played in concert an arrangement on his “prelude n° 4” … I recorded “study n°1” by Scriabin (arranged it also) who was a great Chopin’s fan ! (at the point to fall asleep with Master’s works under his pillow when he was small)... How I hadn't thought earlier of continuing this step? At this moment, when I took again my spirits, Pascale, who had taken in my place the course of the discussion, precisely proposed to our hosts to listen to my version of the study n°1. Just after, my Polish interlocutors highly encouraged me to work on Chopin !
A few months later I made my first "Jazz' in Chopin" concert at the Polish Institute of Paris. After 3 years of hard work the result is this Cd : "Jazz' in Chopin". I hope that you will be able to realize, as I could do it during my various harmonic analyses, at which point Chopin was not only a great composer but also a master improviser. What makes him one of the first Jazz pianists !...
1 ÉTude N. 6 6:02
2 Prélude N. 7/Berceuse 7:48
3 Ballade N. 1 11:08
4 Andante Spianato 10:04
5 Mazurka N. 4 7:53
6 Suite Révolutionnaire, Pt. 1 3:39
7 Suite Révolutionnaire, Pt. 2 2:23
8 Suite Révolutionnaire, Pt. 3 4:53
9 Suite Révolutionnaire, Pt. 4 2:43
10 Suite Révolutionnaire, Pt. 5 3:27
11 Prélude N. 4 9:10

Carol Kidd

Cover (Dreamsville:Carol Kidd)

By Michael Quinn/BBC 
Carol Kidd's first album in eight years also marks the 25th anniversary of her relationship with the Glasgow-based Linn Records. And what a partnership it has been – Kidd a faultless vocalist of impeccable stylistic credentials, and Linn a beacon of artist and audiophile quality for independent British labels.
A tellingly bittersweet and plangent affair, Dreamsville is a long overdue return to the fray after the death of her partner in 2003 and subsequent trauma-induced loss of voice. Although now into her 60s, Kidd's voice remains full of character and colour, an emotionally alert and expressive instrument she puts to perfectly-phrased, beautifully-pitched use with a crafted, lightly-worn elegance that continues to astound as it delights.
Two songs are new and self-penned (with guitarist Nigel Clark): There Goes My Heart is a soft, lilting leave-taking, and Do You Believe a hymning lullaby to love and second chances. A heartfelt cover of Harold Arlen’s Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe is offered as a tribute to the late Humphrey Lyttelton and benefits from Paul Harrison's softly measured piano accompaniment.
Indeed the four-piece band assembled here – Mario Caribe on double bass and Alyn Cosker on drums ably partnering Clark and Harrison – prove to be a crack outfit who seize a fabulous opportunity in Cole Porter's adrenalin-fuelled It's Alright With Me to show off their virtuosic wares. Illustrating a more sensitive side, Stars Fell on Alabama glints and sparkles with a hushed loveliness that makes much of Kidd's eloquent ability to hold and extend a note.
Familiar standards How Deep is the Ocean?, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Can’t We Be Friends? are set down with consummate and engaging ease while Kidd’s signature song, When I Dream, newly arranged by Nigel Clarke and producer Graeme Duffin, brings things to a glowing, finely delivered conclusion.
1 It Never Entered My Mind
2 A Nightingale Sang in BerkeleySquare
3 How Deep Is the Ocean
4 How Long Has This Been GoingOn
5 Can't We Be Friends?
6 Dreamsville
7 There Goes My Heart
8 Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe
9 It's Alright with Me
10 Stars Fell on Alabama
11 Do You Believe?
12 When I Dream

Adrian Iaies Trio
A Child's Smile

Cover (A Child's Smile:Adrian Iaies Trio)

by Michael G. Nastos
In the overflow of jazz-oriented piano-bass-drums trios on the market, Adrián Iaies may not be so much a breath of fresh air as a musician whose utter consistency outweighs most post-Bill Evans players. This is the kind of recording that you can listen to from start to finish without expecting grand variations, save one surprise where an accordion is added. Light, swinging, and melodic, Iaies provides the kind of pleasant yet substantive jazz Evans was famous for, yet there's a personal stamp placed on this original music, accented with childlike innocence. A bouncy quality is added to a cover of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are," and you hear unison interplay between Iaies and bassist Ezequiel Dutil on "Red Kelly & Winton Garland at Loprete's House" (the names of Red Garland and Wynton Kelly purposefully switched in the title). Otherwise, the music is calming, swings lightly, and flows like a gentle stream. This effort from Iaies and his group provides full depth when listened to more than once.

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Paul Motian
Further Explorations

Cover (Further Explorations:Chick Corea)

by Rick Anderson
Although there really hasn't been another pianist quite like Bill Evans since his untimely death in 1980, Chick Corea was probably the one best suited to make this fine and heartfelt tribute album. Corea does several things especially well here: first, he wisely chose two of Evans' most celebrated sidemen (bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Paul Motian) to join him for the trio date. Second, he does an excellent job of invoking Evans' musical spirit without giving in to the temptation to slavishly imitate his distinctive playing style. And third, he mixes up the program nicely, including the bop classic "Hot House," Thelonious Monk's "Little Rootie Tootie," and original compositions by each member of the trio, alongside such necessary Evans and Evans-associated standards as "Gloria's Step" and "Alice in Wonderland." The combination of a sprawling two-disc configuration and the live setting (the album was recorded over the course of a two-week stint at the Blue Note in New York) means that there's plenty of room for everyone to stretch out, which doesn't always yield dividends: no matter how impressionistic it got, Evans' playing never seemed aimless, but Corea's sometimes does on tracks like "Rhapsody" and the Motian composition "Mode VI." Still, Corea's aimlessness is always highly listenable, and at its best (which is most of the time), the trio is both tight and thrillingly free; their take on "Hot House," in particular, demonstrates an admirable ability to balance boppish rigor with creative expansiveness. This is a beautiful and loving tribute to one of jazz music's great tragic genuises.

Helge Lien Trio

Cover (Natsukashii:Helge Lien Trio)

by Adam Greenberg
Pianist Helge Lien both exemplifies and breaks free from stereotypes of Scandinavian jazz on Natsukashii. While Scandinavian jazz has a tendency for darker scales and more experimental instrumentation, Lien opts for a straightforward piano trio and plenty of Western melodic elements. At the same time, he delves into more contemplative territory, akin to much of the Scandinavian piano scene -- when he wanders through the scales solo (as in much of "Bon Tempi") or with the rhythm section acting primarily as extra force (as in "E"), he takes time to explore ideas, circle in on motives, and add more emotion to his playing. At other times, Lien is happy to tinker with new musical ideas -- some mimicry of a shamisen in the way he approaches the keys in the title track, a dark milonga-like evolution in "Sceadu." The album is constantly searching within itself, and produces interesting, evocative results.

No comments: