Saturday, April 27, 2013

2013 Desert Island "Top Ten" JAZZ CD's

By Leonardo Barroso
Every year, I try to select from my CD collection, 10 records that I would take to a desert island.
I don't care when it was made or how many musicians are in it.
What really matters is the joy and eargasm, I get every time the cd spins in my player.
I made some changes from the last Top 10 post ( 2012 ):
Search all your records, and choose the ones you have goosebumps or lifts your the back of your hair !

Send it through my e-mail:

1) Bill Evans
    You Must Believe In Spring

By Chris M. Slawecki
After more than a decade as one of the pianist’s most sympathetic bassists, this was Eddie Gomez’s last recording with Evans, a trio set with drummer Eliot Zigmund recorded in 1977 and released after Evans’ death in 1980.
Evans never stopped searching for new ideas. He might be faulted for repeatedly looking for them in the same tunes, but this program is quite varied, including Johnny Mandel’s “Suicide is Painless” (the theme from M.A.S.H. ); Michel Legrand’s title track; Gary McFarland’s waltz “Gary’s Theme,” complementing Evans’ own “B Minor Waltz (For Ellaine),” composed for Evans’ wife; and “We Will Meet Again (For Harry),” Evans’ tribute to his brother.
In Evans’ hands, melodies and time signatures are often more whispered, more shadowed, than stated, as in the opening “B Minor Waltz (For Ellaine)” and the somber, reflective title track, which blossoms, after Gomez’ mid-song solo, like dogwoods on a mid-May morning. Evans boasted such a unique, unmistakable touch—emotional and beautiful and even soft, but never sweet. (Gomez is pretty amazing himself on “M.A.S.H.,” laying down the foundation rock solid yet pushing the music forward, too.)
Among this reissue’s bonus tracks, “Without a Song” is about as ebullient as you’ll ever hear this pianist, and “Freddie Freeloader,” the one track on Miles Davis’ landmark album Kind of Blue where Evans did not play, presents the rare sound of Evans on electric piano.
As a rule, Evans could pick up the program from an elementary school chorus festival and play it inventively and beautifully. This set is no exception.
Track listing:
B Minor Waltz (For Ellaine); You Must Believe in Spring; Gary's Theme; We Will Meet Again (For Harry); The Peacocks; Theme from M*A*S*H; Without A Song; Freddie Freeloader; All of You
Bill Evans, acoustic and electric piano; Eddie Gomez, bass; Eliot Zigmund, drums.

2) The Dave Brubeck Quartet
    Time Out: 50th Anniversary - 2 CD's and DVD

By (Earth, USA)
Though jazz was the popular music of the US for many decades, there are few post-40s jazz albums - modern jazz albums - that go down easily with non-jazz listeners. There have been pop-jazz crossovers that caught the public's ear and even climbed the charts, but true jazz albums that can keep a pop listener's attention are few and far between. The Dave Brubek Quartet's 1959 release contains two tunes, the opening "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and the iconic "Take Five," that surprised even the group's own label with their popular acclaim. The album peaked at #2 on the pop chart, and "Take Five" was a hit single in both the US and UK. Much like Vince Guaraldi's compositions for A Charlie Brown Christmas, listeners took to the melodies and performances without drawing genre lines around them.
The quartet's approach wove Brubek's blocky piano chords, Paul Desmond's warm alto saxophone, and the gentle swing of bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello into a most inviting sound. One can't compliment the rhythm section enough, as it's their steady work that keeps one's toe tapping through Brubek and Desmond's melodic explorations, and its their rhythm that guides listeners through this album's unusual time signatures. Morello's introduction to "Take Five," followed by Brubek's vamping, have you tapping your foot in 5/4 time even before Desmond insinuates his sax with the theme. It has the rise and fall of a waltz, but when you count it out, the measures go to five instead of three. Amazingly, it feels completely organic. Morello's spare, mid-tune solo provides a brilliant example of drumming dynamics.
The album opens with the 9/8 time of "Blue Rondo a la Turk," with a 2/2/2/3 pattern that's hard to count even with the numbers in front of you. The music swings in a frantic way that suggests rush hour in New York City until it transitions to a relaxed 4/4 (with 9/8 inserts) for the piano and sax solos. The fluidity with which the band shifts between the two time signatures would be even more breathtaking if it didn't flow so naturally. Other tunes are played in waltz (3/4) and double waltz time, but you won't notice until you count them out loud. Eugene Wright's bass provides the steady pulse around which Brubek and Desmond swing, and the contrast between Brubek's percussive piano and Desmond's smooth sax gives the quartet its signature balance.
1959 was a banner year for jazz, seeing the releases of Giant Steps, the soundtrack to Anatomy of a Murder, Mingus Ah Um, Kind of Blue and many other milestones. But Time Out was the only album to break wide of jazz audiences, to seed itself in the broader public's consciousness. And it did so on its own terms, rather than by pandering to the pop sounds of the mainstream. It foreshadowed the lightness and optimism that would mark the transition between the Eisenhower and Kennedy eras, and its tone obviously caught the mood of the times. Ted Maceo's production paints an excellent stereo soundstage, which adds to the recording's excitement.
Columbia Legacy's 2-CD/1-DVD reissue augments the album's seven tracks with a CD of live performances from the '61, '63 and '64 Newport festivals that include the album's hits and six additional titles. The basic roles of the players remain from their live-to-tape studio albums, but the concert performances are driven by fresh group interplay and more audacious soloing, and stoked by the audiences' enthusiastic responses. "Pennies From Heaven" winds up with a forceful piano solo, and the original "Koto Song" provides a good example of Brubek's interest in world sounds. "Take Five" is played at a hurried tempo that diminishes the song's swing, but stretched to seven minutes it provides more space for soloing, including a longer spot for drummer Joe Morrello's crackling snare and punchy tom-toms. All eight live tracks are recorded in stereo.
The bonus DVD offers a 2003 interview with Brubek, intercut with historical television and concert footage, and a few then-contemporary sequences of Brubek at his trusty Baldwin. Brubek discusses the album tracks and the dynamics of the band, and shows immense pride in both. An additional bonus provides a 4-angle piano lesson from Brubek as he plays through "Kathy's Waltz." The 3-disc package is presented in a quad-fold digipack with a 28-page booklet that includes detailed liner notes by Ted Gioia and fine archival photos. If you don't have a digital copy of the album, this is the one to get; if you already have a much loved copy, this is well worth the upgrade.

3) The Alan Broadbent Trio
    Personal Standards

By Stephen Cook
Since gaining fame as a member of Charlie Haden's excellent Quartet West, Alan Broadbent has seen his own catalog rise in stature. A welcome development, since a wider audience should check out the many fine recordings this unique pianist/composer/arranger has made. And in spite of the admission that his highly lyrical bent and soft touch come out of the work of Bill Evans, Red Garland, and Nat "King" Cole, among others, Broadbent is able to produce fresh solo conceptions and plenty of original material of his own. In fact, as the title implies, Personal Standards consists almost entirely of self-penned cuts, save for one by bassist Putter Smith. (This seamless piano trio is rounded out by drummer Joe LaBarbera.) Along with material also heard on variousQuartet West recordings like "The Long Goodbye" and "Song of Home," the disc features a nice mix of ballads ("Ballad Impromptu"), mid- to up-tempo swingers ("Consolation"), as well as some blues ("Uncertain Terms"). And even though Broadbent favors slow and melancholy numbers, he can still vigorously turn on the technique, especially on the faster numbers here. In addition to his solo piano outing for the Maybeck Recital Hall series, Personal Standards offers a great introduction to Broadbent's work.

4) Ellis Marsalis Trio

By Scott Yanow
Pianist Ellis Marsalis is in excellent form for this trio outing with bassist Bob Hurst and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts. The performances fall generally into the medium-tempo range, with Ellis scattering some witty song quotes throughout the lightly swinging renditions. The high points include one of the more delightful versions ever of Johnny Mandel's "Emily," some close interplay during "Little Niles" and a tongue-in-cheek version of "Limehouse Blues" that includes slapped bass, parade rhythms and Marsalis trying in vain to sound Dixielandish. One programming error should be noted: there is no such song as "Just Squeeze Me" and, rather than the one performed being Fats Waller's "Squeeze Me," it is actually Duke Ellington's "Squeeze Me, But Please Don't Tease Me."

5) Marc Johnson & Eliane Elias
     Swept Away

By John Kelman
It's a relatively rare occasion when Marc Johnson releases an album under his own name, but based on the bassist's track record—from Bass Desires (ECM, 1985) through to Shades of Jade (ECM, 2005)—it's always one to celebrate. As Johnson fast approaches 60, it seems like only yesterday that he emerged as the bassist in Bill Evans' final trio in the late 1970s, before the piano legend's passing in 1980. But if time has passed, one thing that has remained constant is Johnson's ability (not unlike Evans) to balance power and elegance, yin and yang. Shades of Jade was, for some, the sleeper hit of 2005 and so it's great to find Johnson bringing back the core trio and saxophonist Joe Lovano (who also appeared on select tracks), though this time around he acknowledges the greater significance of pianist (and wife) Eliane Elias by putting her name up on the marquee, beside his own.
Elias assumes an even greater role this time around, with five compositional credits to Johnson's three, alongside two additional tracks co-composed by the couple and one traditional tune. Equally significant is a greater emphasis on Johnson and Elias, with just five tracks fleshed out to a quartet with Lovano, making Swept Away an inevitable successor to Shades while, at the same time, delivering something different. Like Shades, Swept Away takes its time to kick into higher gear, but when it does, the trio delivers on an energy only intimated on the previous recording's brighter numbers. Elias' opening title track is a lyrical ballad for the core trio, with Lovano joining for the subsequent "It's Time," a smoky, late night tune that capitalizes on the saxophonist's ability to get deep inside the pianist's soft yet supple changes, with Johnson and drummer Joey Baron providing similarly pliant but delicate support.
Things change, however, with Elias' modal "One Thousand and One Nights," another trio track that ramps up the tempo and the dynamic, with Johnson's deep, visceral tone and Baron's more vibrant pulse creating an unshakable foundation for Elias, whose extended solo hints at Middle Eastern tonalities while being equally suggestive of a Midwestern vibe that feels closer to Johnson's Nebraska roots than it does the pianist's Brazilian upbringing.
Johnson's first composition of the date, the indigo-tinged "When the Sun Comes Up," brings Lovano back, mirroring its title as the bassist slowly moves from dark-hued whole tones to more fervent swing with a stronger, quarter-note pulse. As the quartet picks up steam, Baron manages to combine responsive foil—first to Lovano and then to Elias—with a magical ability to suggest rather than actually play time, aligning with the more anchor-like Johnson.
The co-written tunes range from the gradually building, ultimately effervescent "Sirens of Titan" (another Lovano feature) to the penultimate tone poem, "Inside Her Shoe Box," featuring Johnson's evocative arco. Swept Away closes with Johnson delivering an a cappella version of "Shenandoah" that brings the album full circle. It's a masterful close to a recording that, with its references to both tradition and more spacious, open landscapes, should position Swept Away, like its predecessor, as this year's sleeper hit.
Track Listing:
Swept Away; It's Time; One Thousand and One Nights; When the Sun Comes Up; B is for Butterfly; Midnight Blue; Moments; Sirens of Titan; Foujita; Inside Her Old Music Box; Shenandoah.
Eliane Elias: piano; Marc Johnson: double bass; Joey Baron: drum; Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone.

6) Laurence Hobgood & Charlie Haden
    When The Heart Dances

By Michael G. Nastos
NAIM label stablemates Laurence Hobgood and bassist Charlie Haden countermand the current frenetic state of events in modern-day rat race soundbyte society with this beautiful recording of duets, solo piano tracks, and three offerings with Kurt Elling. Soothing the savage society, this music is sure to appeal to those who need a leaner, trimmed back, more serene dose of reality to balance what has become a world torn by strife, uncertainty, and fear. This is not to say this is music lacking substance or intrigue -- far from it. Both pianist Hobgood and bassist Haden, clearly virtuosos, think on their feet together and separately, creating cohesive vistas of beauty, spirituality, emotional depth, or in a general sense, togetherness. They've chosen well-known standards adapted to their sensitive natures, in the case of "Que Sera Sera" an acceptant reverent and quiet adaptation of the oh well/whatever theme. Hoagy Carmichael's "New Orleans" starts in a clever, modernized two step folded into a blues frame, "Why Did I Choose You?" is both romantic and quizzical, and the incredible pretty and dark melody of Don Grolnick's "The Cost of Living," immortalized by Michael Brecker, is as stunningly emotional a tango inferred piece as has ever been written. Haden's "Chickoree" is bouncier in midtempo pace, still low key, with Hobgood's stride flavorings, while the pianist composed the title selection in a cascading waltz to light terpsichore that Haden follows along with beautifully. The tracks with the ever coy and wistful Elling include Haden's famous reflective ballad "First Song," including the poignant lyric about a "song that lightened up the world, when love was new." "Stairway to the Stars" showcases the vocalists spontaneous quality in elongating phrases and dynamics, while the Duke Ellington penned, drifting away waltz "Daydream" has Elling in a very deep, very midnight blue mood. Hobgood's solo works are as captivating as anything else, especially "Leatherwood" with its spirited and folksy stance, or the sheltering "Sanctuary," half church, half wedding song. An excellent recording from start to finish, played with extraordinary intimacy, heart and soul, this wondrous music is specifically built for those times in life when relaxation is a prerequisite to get one on to the next better day.

7) Niño Josele

By Steve Futterman
More than 25 years after his death, pianist Bill Evans maintains the power to draw musicians helplessly into his lyrical universe. Flamenco guitarist Nino Josele, his career already in full swing, came late to Evans, but when he did, the obsession hit hard. Paz is the Spaniard’s heartfelt and immensely winning tribute to the influential instrumentalist and composer. Concentrating on standards and signature tunes that Evans personalized rather than on the pianist’s original songs—only “Waltz for Debby,” “Turn Out the Stars” and the sketchy “Peace Piece” are represented from among Evans’ beauties—Josele enlists American players sympathetic to Evans’ reflective sensibilities, including saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeters Tom Harrell and Jerry Gonzalez, vocalist Freddy Cole and Marc Johnson, the last bassist to work with Evans. A pianist is conspicuously missing.
The unencumbered emotional directness that Josele regularly conveys, as well as his reluctance to showboat with flashy technique, rubs off on his guests. Spare and moving performances by Cole on “I Do It for Your Love,” Gonzalez on “Never Let Me Go,” Harrell on “My Foolish Heart” and Lovano on “The Peacocks” reflect well on Josele’s ability to cast a defining mood of delicacy over the project. Three introspective solo guitar pieces and a flamenco take on “Turn Out the Stars” ground the recording with Iberian flavoring. While Evans’ significant influence shows little sign of diminishing in the country of his birth, albums like Paz give heartening proof that his soft-spoken genius still speaks loudly to players worldwide.

8) Steve Kuhn
    Oceans In The Sky

By Dr.Judith Schlesinger
Recorded in 1989 for Owl Records and finally reissued, Oceans in the Sky is a timeless gem from impressionistic veteran pianist Steve Kuhn. Although he was John Coltrane's original pianist and worked with Stan Getz and Art Farmer, Kuhn's detour into electric piano, commercial music and accompaniment (most notably for Sheila Jordan) has to some extent diluted his pedigree. It's good to be reminded of his gifts, which include lyricism and taste and composition; his title track is powerful and harmonically intriguing, and "Ulla" is lovely.
Kuhn's tastefulness is also evident in his choice of, and approach to, material. Frank Lacey's thoughtful and pretty "Theme for Ernie" is rarely covered; the Jobim he picks is "Angela," one of the less hackneyed in the pantheon; and he gives a new pulse to "The Island." Being a third-stream fan, I especially enjoyed how he wove Debussy's "La Plus Que Lente" into a samba version of Ellington's "Passion Flower" with no seams showing; he also pairs "His Is the Only Music That Makes Me Dance" with Satie's "Gymnopedie," while straining all the Streisand schmaltz out of Jule Syne's beautiful Broadway showstopper.
Kuhn swings hard on Dorham's "Lotus Blossom" and subtly on Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way." Drummer Aldo Romano contributes the pretty "Do" as well as sensitive and unobtrusive percussion. It's good that Miroslav Vitous is a strong bassist, since Kuhn tends to lean towards the treble side of things. Oceans in the Sky is an understated and graceful outing – delicious.
Track listing:
The Island, Lotus Blossom, La Plus Que Lente [Debussy]/Passion Flower, Do, Oceans in the Sky Theme for Ernie, Angela, In Your Own Sweet Way, Ulla, The Music That Makes Me Dance
Steve Kuhn (piano), Miroslav Vitous (bass), Aldo Romano (drums)

9) Charles Lloyd
    The Water Is Wide

By David R. Adler
Like 1999's Voice in the Night, The Water Is Wide features Charles Lloyd in the company of one of his dearest friends, drummer Billy Higgins, who would pass away less than a year after the album's release. Guitarist John Abercrombie also remains on board, but Lloyd extends the group's generational span by recruiting two younger players: pianist Brad Mehldau and bassist Larry Grenadier. The album begins with a straightforward, elegant reading of Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia." Lloyd goes on to lead his ensemble through two lesser-known Ellington pieces, "Black Butterfly" and "Heaven"; Strayhorn's "Lotus Blossom"; two original ballads, "Figure In Blue" and "Lady Day"; and Cecil McBee's "Song of Her," a track from Lloyd's 1968 classic, Forest Flower. It's a glorious amalgam of sound: the leader's unique, glissando-laden phraseology, Mehldau's harmonic nuances, unerring rhythmic backbone from Grenadier and the majestic Higgins — and only occasionally, pointed and eloquent guitarism from Abercrombie. The session ascends to an even higher level with the inclusion of two spirituals, "The Water Is Wide" and "There Is a Balm in Gilead." The latter features just Lloyd and Higgins, starkly setting the melody against a hypnotic drum chant. In addition, Lloyd's closing "Prayer," written for Higgins during a life-threatening episode back in 1996, features just the composer, Abercrombie, and guest bassist Darek Oles. (Oddly, Oles' credit is relegated to the fine print.) These tracks, most of all, resonate with personal meaning and profundity.

10) Nancy King & Fred Hersch
      Live At Jazz Standard

By Ken Dryden
It's no wonder that Fred Hersch had the confidence to tape his initial meeting with Nancy King. King is one of the best jazz vocalists of her generation, though she is unjustly not as widely recognized as a number of major-label artists who don't begin to compare with her. King and Hersch put together a wide-ranging program at the Jazz Standard, frequently extending their interpretations well beyond the expectations for a vocal/piano duo. Hersch, who has long since proved his abilities as a solo accompanist for singers (especially Janis Siegel), is never less than brilliant throughout the evening, though the singer is equally impressive, an adventurous spirit who is unafraid of taking chances. King's expressive voice is full of humor in the swinging take of "Ain't Misbehavin'," while she scats up a storm in Antonio Carlos Jobim's neglected gem "If You Never Come to Me." She's equally inspired as she revives once popular standards that have fallen out of favor like "There's a Small Hotel" and "Everything Happens to Me." But the finale clearly steals the show as King devours "Four" whole, throwing caution to the wind as she playfully adds her own twists to Jon Hendricks' vocalese setting of Miles Davis' famous tune. This beautifully recorded set is a tribute to the musicianship of both artists, as well as the foresight of Fred Hersch to request that the soundboard operator record it without notifying Nancy King in advance.

By Rick Cornell "RC"
When I heard that Nancy King and Fred Hersch had recorded an album live, at the Jazz Standard in NYC, of piano-voice duets, I rushed out to get my copy. I expected something fantastic. But that can be a problem due to the fact that disappointment can come crashing down more easily when you have such expectations.
I am not disappointed in the least.
This CD confirms two major truths: First, with the passing of Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter, Nancy King is the finest living scat singer in the world. Like Ms. Carter, Ms. King sounds like an instrument truly searching for the "less obvious" note that nevertheless fits in the chord. Ms. King is also a great story teller. She didn't make me forget Shirley Horn or Mark Murphy, but at times she certainly reminded me of them here.
Second, Fred Hersch truly is one of the finest piano accompanists in the world. What amazes me about him is that he sounds quite different in accompanying Nancy King than he does in accompanying Janis Siegel, and in turn those recordings sound different than how he accompanies Renee Fleming. He basically knows what works for each singer.
Here, consistently throughout he lets Ms. King take the lead in the first chorus, then gradually gets more adventurous as she scats away. Then, when he solos, he plays even more "outside" than he does ordinarily with most singers--because that's how Ms. King sings. By the time he's done, we the audience have been in for quite a ride.
In the contest of most underrated jazz singer in the world (if there is one), Nancy King now is in the lead. Hopefully, someone soon will overtake her--but that will take some doing. Meanwhile, major kudos to Maxjazz: In the last few years, they have put out superlative vocal jazz recordings with Rene Marie, Dena DeRose, Erin Bode, and now this one. More, please.

- Aonde estão as listas/ Where are your TOP 10 Desert Island ?
- PS - Alterações serão permitidas ! You can change anytime !

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