Sunday, April 14, 2013

1 Sem 2013 - Part Eleven

Miki Hayama Trio
Wide Angle

By EastWind
Performed by:
Miki Hayama (piano), Kiyoshi Kitagawa (bass), Victor Lewis (drums)
Release Date: 03/18/2009

"Miki Hayama is an amazing young pianist with great chops, a great harmonic concept and a great imagination!!"
-Kenny Barron

"Miki Hayama, this young lady, born in Kyoto, Japan, swings as if she's Harlem grown. Colorful and creative, her style is both aggressive and sensitive..."
-Victor Lewis

Japanese jazz pianist who lives and performs in New York City, Miki Hayama has built her career playing with great jazz masters such Frank Wess, Kenny Garrett, James Spauldings, Vincent Harring, Roy Hargrove, Ralph Peterson, Billy Hart, Victor Lewis, Nnenna Freelon and Aretha Franklin.
Wide Angle is her third, and undoubtedly the best, album as a leader. Ms. Hayama's compositions are very modern, with angular melodies and advanced harmonies but never stray too far from the fundamental lyricism of jazz. She has great chops and knows how to swing.
Aiding her on this powerful album are bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa, whose big sound and bold style have graced many recordings with Kenny Barron and Danny Grissett, among others, and veteran drummer Victor Lewis, whose inspired drumming pushes the trio exhilarating heights. The ambitious program contains no less than seven original compositions by MS. Hayama, one original by Victor Lewis, a Gershwin tune "Who Cares?" and Tommy Flanagan's "Freight Trane." Strongly recommended for fans of today's cutting-edge piano trios!
Produced by Miki Hayama. Recorded at Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY, on September 5, 2008.

Album Tracks:
1. What's Next? / 2. Flying Horses / 3. Another Angel / 4. Horizon  / 5. Who Cares?
6. Sound Of Migration / 7. Freight Trane / 8. Dismissed  / 9. Up & Down
10. A Time For Peace

Frank Kimbrough Trio
Live At Kitano

By Dan Bilawsky
Pianist Frank Kimbrough can't avoid the magnetic pull of the trio. His own discography contains fine solo, duo, quartet and quintet dates, but a good half of the releases under his name have been triangular affairs that focus on his flexible take on this time-tested format. Kimbrough keeps coming back to this scenario, not because he has nothing else to say, but because he has so much to say in this type of setting. He speaks through the keys and does so in gentle, eloquent, engaging and occasionally elusive fashion.
Photographer-cum-producer Jimmy Katz set-up his recording gear in New York's Kitano in July 2011 to capture Kimbrough in action with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Matt Wilson, and the resultant recording is predictably magical. Eight songs were culled from two evening's worth of performances and get to the core of Kimbrough's musical being. Moody, nocturnal melodicism comes to the fore on "Helix," diaphanous meanderings hold sway during drummer Paul Motian's "Arabesque," and wonderfully skittish uncertainty proves to be the order of the day during pianist Andrew Hill's "Dusk."
While Kimbrough's sense of expansiveness is often his calling card, it isn't overused. He digs into his own catalog for a fine and focused "Falling Waltz," swings his way through "Blues In The Closet," which features a snare-against-the-ride-beat solo from Wilson that's brilliant in its not-so-simple simplicity, and delivers a lovely rendition of Duke Ellington's "Single Petal Of A Rose." The oft-covered "Lover Man," which holds the penultimate position here, is an elegant and fragile offering that features some of Anderson's most inspired and introspective playing, and the album-ending "Hymn" finds the group working in a loose, bluesy gospel setting.
Kimbrough, for the most part, eschews the taut and high-strung trio dynamic that serves many so well, preferring instead to work in slackened settings and diaphanous fashion. His broad sense of time, mood and color mark him as a true original and serve him well throughout Live At Kitano.
Track Listing: 
Helix; Blues In The Closet; Arabesque; Dusk; Single Petal Of A Rose; Falling Waltz; Lover Man; Hymn.
Personnel: Frank Kimbrough: piano; Jay Anderson: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.

David Hazeltine
The New Classic Trio

By Britt Robson at JazzTimes
David Hazeltine is a consummate pro, meaning he plays with consistency, integrity and a creative faith in the wellspring of the mainstream. Fifteen years ago, the pianist put out the first of what would become three Classic Trio records featuring bassist Peter Washington and drummer Louis Hayes, with the last one, which added tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, released in 2002.The New Classic Trio arrives a decade down the road, with a different rhythm section—bassist George Mraz and drummer Joe Farnsworth—as its title implies. But the album’s virtues and sensibility are thoroughly consonant with those previous discs. As with that Classic Trio debut, there are choice compositions by Cedar Walton and Bud Powell; some Hazeltine originals including a blues and a durable hard-bop template; and reflexive, empathetic interplay that creates subtle bevels and contours on otherwise straightforward riffs and grooves.
Mraz, like John Patitucci, has a knack for sounding both bold and tender, a dynamism that helps an ensemble in frequent jeopardy of collaborating too seamlessly. His solos are strong, particularly on the standards that open and close the disc (“My Heart Stood Still,” by Rodgers and Hart, and the Mercer-Arlen perennial “Come Rain or Come Shine”). He also pushes Hazeltine as they play the melody of the Walton tune “I’ll Let You Know” in unison; later, each player issues a compelling solo, lending an air of alpha dog competition missing elsewhere. Hazeltine, who devoted an entire album to the works of Jobim with Farnsworth on drums, demonstrates his affinity for Brazilian music with the gracefully airy original “Bossa for All,” and a Brazilian-tinged take on Harry Warren’s “I Wish I Knew” featuring guest Jose Alexis Diaz on congas.
In Hazeltine’s sure and steady hands, this New Classic Trio sounds a lot like the old Classic Trio—which is the point of “classic,” right?

Nilson Matta & Roni Ben-Hur

By Jeff Tamarkin at JazzTimes
It would seem, in theory, that Mojave, a set of Brazilian music, would have been created on an un-level playing field. Bassist Nilson Matta and percussionist Café are natives of Brazil who’ve spent many years working within the genre, while Israeli-born guitarist Roni Ben-Hur and American drummer Victor Lewis have had comparatively limited experience in samba- and bossa-nova-based rhythms. But if the players had any trouble finding common ground it’s never evident here.
Perhaps because both Matta and Ben-Hur have spent the past quarter-century based in New York, international fusions come easily, and there’s an ease and naturalness to their collaboration. Just about evenly divided between covers and original compositions, the chosen tunes aren’t subjected to challenging rearrangements; the players play it cool, Ben-Hur’s tone clear and his solos crisp and sweet, the accompaniment uniformly unfussy. Three of the covers are credited to Pixinguinha, a Rio-born composer of choro music who passed away in 1973 and was known for his injection of jazz elements into Brazilian forms. The first of those, “Lamentos,” swings breezily, leaving ample open space in which Ben-Hur and Matta alternately peel out well-structured solos, take stock with an airtight, repetitive pattern, and then do it all over again. Bacharach-David’s “The Look of Love” is a song that is impossible to harm, and the quartet plays it in a straightforward fashion. And, of course, there’s a Jobim number, serving as the title track and opening the program, establishing the nature of the recording with smart, sophisticated interplay.
Of the originals, Lewis’ “P.D. on Great Jones Street” and Ben-Hur’s “Canal Street” may elude more to Manhattan than Ipanema, but they nonetheless retain the overall smoothness that characterizes this highly likable meet-up of four versatile and capable musicians.

No comments: