Sunday, June 10, 2012

1 Sem 2012 - Part Twenty-One

Antonio Adolfo
Chora Baião

By Bill Milkowski at Jazztimes
Brazilian pianist-composer Antonio Adolfo puts a refined, jazz-infused spin on a collection of lively choros and baiaos by the highly respected but under-recognized Brazilian composers Chico Buarque and Guinga. Joined on the frontline by the fantastic guitarist Leo Amuedo and ably supported by the simmering rhythm section of bassist Jorge Helder, drummer Rafael Barata and percussionist Marcos Suzano, Adolfo reveals the influence of Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock in the context of this rich Brazilian fare. Amuedo exhibits a Toninho Horta/Pat Metheny influence on such tunes as Guinga’s “No Na Garganta” and his exhilarating choro “Di Menor,” as well as Adolfo’s title track and his swinging “Chicote.” Adolfo’s daughter Carol Saboya sings Portuguese lyrics on the tender “Voce, Voce,” then delivers ethereal wordless vocals on Buarque’s “A Ostra De O Vento.” The leader also turns in a moving solo piano performance on his melancholy “Chorosa Blues.”

Chano Domínguez
Flamenco Sketches

By Leonardo Barroso
This is by far one the worst jazz albums I ever heard. Chano is a good pianist, with good cd's through out his career.
But his reading of one the most haunting tunes, "Flamenco Sketches", was a murder ! The entire disc is a assassination of what this work could have been.
From the start, the song was a little fast, but okay, well played, then, suddenly, I was not expecting, a "singer" Blas Cordoba (this is not a singer), starts yelling and clapping ! Oh my God !!!!!!
And the rest of the CD goes through that nightmare, until its end.
It's a pity, a great Trio, a fantastic set list, put into waste. 
I wish the best of luck and better judgment next release !    

by Thom Jurek
Spanish pianist Chano Dominguez has made a jazz career in exploring its connections with the flamenco of his native Cadiz. On previous offerings, Dominguez has carved out a place where the various dance rhythms and sung cadences of flamenco find equal voice with jazz lyricism, exploration, and harmonic adventure. Flamenco Sketches began as a commission from the Barcelona Jazz Festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. The album is a re-visioned reading of the compositions on the iconic Davis album -- in different order -- as well as two other Davis compositions, "Nardis" (which he never recorded) and "Serpent's Tooth," from the trumpeter's Prestige years. Dominguez is accompanied by bassist Mário Rossy and percussionist Israel Suarez, with palmas (handclaps) from Blas Cordoba (who is also the vocalist here) and Tomás Moreno. Recorded live at the Jazz Standard (you can hear glasses tinkling in quieter moments); this recording is filled with the untranslatable flamenco word "duende" (something akin to "intense feeling"). Dominguez even arranged these tunes with dance steps included since they are an integral part of flamenco's rhythmic pulse -- among them are various tangos, bulerias, seguiriyas, and soleas; all are inextricably entwined with post-bop jazz. The 16-plus-minute title track with its elegant solo intro and languid melody commences just before the band gradually applies itself -- with gorgeous rhythm section work amid more pronounced Dominguez arpeggios -- vocalist Cordoba suddenly joins the ensemble with wails and moans in his raw, grainy baritone, extending the tune into flamenco's full musical sphere, but Dominguez never forgets that this is Davis' music he's playing. His solos quote from Bill Evans, Afro-Cuban jazz master Bebo Valdés, and others. The knotty, contrapuntal bop pianistic twists and turns through "Freddie Freeloader" are breathtaking, especially as the palmas, cajon (box drum), and bass find a way to move into one another and create several interwoven grooves simultaneously. "All Blues" remains the most "inside" tune here, but it too pushes jazz boundaries and literally steps inside the wild, creative world of flamenco (via a dance solo). Ultimately, Flamenco Sketches is a triumph, a fully realized portrait of Davis' music that showcases Dominguez as a brilliant pianist and arranger at the top of his game.

Roy Haynes

by Alex Henderson
Roy Haynes celebrated his 86th birthday on March 13, 2011. Had the veteran drummer retired from music 30 or 40 years earlier, he still would have gone down in history as someone with a long list of accomplishments. But thankfully, Haynes continued to perform well into his eighties. Recorded in early 2011 (when Haynes was still 85), Roy-Alty is a solid hard bop/post-bop outing that boasts well-known guests like Chick Corea (who is heard on acoustic piano) and trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Corea is featured on two selections: the dusky "All the Bars Are Open" and Thelonious Monk's "Off Minor," while Hargrove is heard on six of the ten tracks (including the insistent "Passion Dance," the standard "These Foolish Things," the Afro-Cuban favorite "Tin Tin Deo," and Miles Davis' "Milestones"). It should be noted that the "Milestones" that Haynes performs on Roy-Alty is the bop standard that Davis played with Charlie "Bird" Parker in 1947, not the modal standard he unveiled in 1958, and playing something with a Bird connection is quite appropriate, given that Haynes was a member of his quintet from 1949-1952 (when the drummer was in his twenties). Most of the songs on Roy-Alty find Haynes employing a group that he bills as the Fountain of Youth (alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, pianist Martin Bejerano, and bassist David Wong), and while the personnel can vary from track to track on this 66-minute CD, the constant is Haynes' skillful drumming. After all these years, Haynes hasn't lost his touch as either a drummer or a group leader, and his skills in both of those areas is evident on Roy-Alty, which falls shorts of essential but is nonetheless a pleasing addition to his catalog. 

Tania Maria featuring Eddie Gomez

By C. Michael Bailey
 Sei calda come i baci che ho perduto
 Sei piena di un amore che è passato
 Che il cuore mio vorrebbe cancellare."

Brazilian pianist/singer Tania Maria is the product of warm and humid climes. Born in Sao Luis in the northwestern part of the country, she emerged into the musical intersection where the bossa of Brazil rubs up against the salsa of the Caribbean. All influences are in evidence on Maria's opening performance of the Martino/Brighetti standard, "Estate." Musically active since the 1970s, Maria's career can be easily sampled with any simple YouTube search. What the intrepid researcher will discover is a force of nature, untethered by any conventional musical wisdom. Maria is that talent whistling past lesser talents.
On Tempo, Maria is joined in duo with bassist Eddie Gomez, with whom she has collaborated in the past. Gomez's role is one expanded beyond mere timekeeper. He is melodically melded with Maria, in both voice and piano. Gomez's empathy with Maria is something greater than that shared between pianist Bill Evans and bassist Scott LaFaro, peppering Maria's art with piquant runs and glissandi. On Antonio Carlos Jobim's "A Chuva Caiu," Gomez's grace and sophistication perfectly complements Maria's cosmopolitanism and broad musical world view.
In Maria's hands, the music is not jazz first, Brazil second; it is very much the opposite. Jazz is the vehicle when she chooses it. Or the blues. Her original, "Yeah Man," is nominally a minor-key instrumental blues that is the least Brazilian recording on the disc, but Maria still manages to season it with the warmth of home. Another original instrumental, "Senso Unico," finds Maria and Gomez squarely in their Latin element, waxing balladic and pensive. Maria's playing is a mirror of her singing, dry sunshine and coconut oil, the smell of the Southern Gulf.
"Dear Dee Vee," another original instrumental, is very much in the samba mode. Maria plays with a effortless momentum betraying her long a successful career. Much like Madonna on the world pop stage, Maria is uncompromising, creatively mercurial, and steadfastly faithful to her vision. This is rare musicianship.
Track Listing: 
Estate; Sentado a Beira Do Caminho; A Chuva Caiu; Yeah Man; Senso Unico; Dear Dee Vee; Bronzes E Cristais; Tempo.
Personnel: Tania Maria: piano, vocals; Eddie Gomez: bass.

Carmen Lundy

By James Nadal
Contemporary jazz vocalists, caught in the current trend to accelerate their careers, are often indistinguishable from the pack, the essence of their music lost in haste. With her release of Changes , veteran singer Carmen Lundy proves that this premise does not apply to her, rising to that proverbial summit to enjoy the rarefied air of the chosen few.
Graced and gifted with a smooth, effortless voice, Lundy has been highly heralded since her landmark 2005 record, Live at the Madrid (Afrasia). Though she has done other records since, she is back with a supple encore of original compositions and novel directions. She states that she approached these songs with the guitar in mind and, accordingly, brought in premier guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves for his expertise in dealing with subtle, nuanced rhythms. Though he lays back on much of the recording, on "Sleeping Alone" he begins with his soft guitar sketching a distant samba. Lundy delivers the swaying tempo as only she can. They combine for another guitar/vocal duet on "Where Love Surrounds Us," where the acoustic arrangement is sublime.
There is a definite retro feel to this production, which hails back to a period of authentic recording methods when musicians took their time in composing, arranging and rehearsing. Pianist Anthony Wonsey plays a vintage Fender Rhodes on "So Beautiful" and "Too Late For Love," which features trumpet man Nolan Shaheed playing off of the vocals. The band is fully in tune under Lundy's spell and the result is stupendous.
Lundy attests that she is taking chances and making changes in her approach to songwriting and performing, and there is an underlying percussive element drifting throughout the selections. With a caressing style that blends intention with improvisation, Changes is that personal record she had within her. She has let it out for the world to hear.
Track Listing: 
The Night Is Young; So Beautiful; Love Thy Neighbor; A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square; Sleeping Alone; Too Late For Love; Dance The Dance; To Be Loved By You; Where Love Surrounds Us.
Carmen Lundy: vocals, harp, string and horn arrangements; Anthony Wonsey: piano, Fender Rhodes; Kenny Davis: bass, electric bass; Jamison Ross: drums, percussion; Oscar Castro-Neves: guitar; Nolan Shaheed: trumpet, flugelhorn; George Bohannon: trombone.

No comments: