Sunday, August 25, 2013

2 Sem 2013 - Part Eight


By Franco Fayenz
The professional listener, especially if seasoned, develops personal preferences with time: styles, composers, performers (and composer-performers when the music is improvised). But he must try to keep them in the shadows, as much as possible, in the silence of the critical conscience. The author of these notes is a journalist who has been writing about music, and jazz in particular, for almost half a century. Let's put aside the great music of Europe, which is not discussed here. Instead, let's stop and consider the vortical path traveled by jazz in the past fifty years, the sudden changes of tack, the revivals, the flights forward. He who was very young at the end of the 50s, after having, with some difficulty, approached the explosion of modern jazz, had to read up on the past of jazz and its origins, especially after having resolved to choose this music among the fundamental elements of his work. He had to attempt to be neither traditionalist nor modernist, but rather observe day after day what was happening to Afro-American music in the United States, Europe and Italy.
In Italy modern jazz had difficulty catching on but managed to with many sacrifices by the musicians who gave preference to these expressions (they did it, let's be honest, because unlike others they had the option). Two of them are amazing seventy-year-olds, Gianni Basso and Dino Piana, who are the characterizing protagonists of Idea6. In those days, they acknowledged the supremacy and mastery of the American virtuosos (some had already stopped). However, they soon realized that they were able to compete with them and, in any case, provide a personal touch. Without their contribution, who knows when, or even if Italian modern jazz would have taken off. Here they are, now. None of their good old shine has been lost, but actually enhanced by maturity and experience: Basso, capable of extreme sweetness, aggressive episodes and seductive phrasing; Piana, who thrills the listener with the solemn sound acquired by the jazz trombone in the 50s and 60s and still going strong.
The other four are younger (or much younger). They drew near the music coming from across the Atlantic in different contexts, but perfectly fit into the atmosphere suggested by the two illustrious soloists and actively contribute to it, offering in turn sequences of superb effectiveness. I'm especially thinking of the input given to compositions (and improvisations) which belong to previous generations, such as Metropoli by Gianni Ferrio, listening to which this aging reporter must be careful and not to give way to nostalgia, or Pittura by Enrico Intra, Train Up by Sandro Brugnolini, Autumn in Milano by Gianni Basso. The result is an excellent CD.
I fear, at this point, that I have given myself away. However mine is neither a preference for the type of music that was the background of youth; nor (but perhaps a little) for the clear and immediate sounds which, though at times complex, never pass through the suffering of the listener. It is the preference for beauty.

1) Metropoli (G.Ferrio) 4.23
2) New born (F.Piana) 8.10
3) Minor Mood (F.Piana) 5.44
4) Pittura (intra) 5.09
5) Train up (Brugnolini ) 5.04
6) Windly Coast ( R.Pistocchi) 4.20
7) Vivacità (F.Piana E. Valdambrini) 5.56
8) Marmaris (R.Pistocchi) 7.19
9) Autumn in Milano (Gianni Basso) 6.15
10) Tokyo Lullaby (R.Pistocchi) 5.25

Mario Nappi feat. Javier Girotto
Thank You

By Fabio Caprera
La musica di Thank You la senti che si avvicina di soppiatto, con discrezione, quasi che non debba arrecare disturbo. Si pone in maniera semplice, diretta, come quelle piante che crescono lentamente giorno dopo giorno, e ci si accorge di loro solo dopo che hanno coperto l'intera parete. L'arte di Mario Nappi somiglia a quel tipo di piante. Il suo pianismo, le sue composizioni, danno l'impressione di accarezzare le superfici, di sfiorarle, di evitare qualsiasi contatto fisico.
Naturalmente è solo un'impressione perché bastano pochi ascolti per rendersi conto che quelle melodie ti sono entrate nella testa e le stai elaborando. Il suo tocco delicato - impreziosito da una nostalgica vena blues e dai colori mediterranei - moderno, fatto di poche note profondamente melodiche, ti seduce al primo istante. Canzone Appassiunata, brano d'apertura del disco è anche la summa di tutto questo. È una ballad, eseguita in trio, carica di pathos e tensione narrativa. Forse, il pezzo più bello del cd. Thank You, la title track, si apre sulla scia del precedente, ma ha un profilo più arioso, orchestrale, con la voce di Martina Nappi e il soprano di Girotto che si libra con insistenti fraseggi e volute di alta scuola. È sempre il sassofonista in un soliloquio al soprano ad aprire Bon Aurio, una ballad intensa che rievoca melodie argentine cadenzate dal pianismo di Nappi, sincrono con il basso e la batteria. Il disco procede con favore di vento, le composizioni di Nappi si ritagliano spazi all'interno di un progetto che con Girotto collega due porti e due mondi di eguale sensibilità. La musica enigmatica de Il Dubbio di Medeasi stempera nella fresca composizione intitolata Flowers, una tavolozza di colori dove il sax di Girotto ha le sembianze di una farfalla che salta di qua e di là tastando fiori fatti di brillanti cromie. Forse quello È Il Senso della Vita e Nappi lo suona con "saggezza popolare" alla fisarmonica. Il mainstream di My Secret Place, un pezzo bluesy, rinforzato dalla chitarra di Luongo e dalla ritmica di Sergio Di Natale, prepara la svolta finale di Memories of Pain. Il brano chiude in dolcezza, una sorta di title track filmica, il primo trailer musicale di Mario Nappi, la prova da leader. Girotto ne screzia i colori al baritono dandogli un tono nostalgico, da ricordi sognati.

Oltremare Quartet
Uncommon Nonsense

By London Jazz News
Although first impressions of the music made by the Oltremare Quartet might bring Iain Ballamy’s wistful but deceptively robust lyricism to mind, it is also easy to identify another (acknowledged) influence on bassist/leader Andrea Di Biase’s thoughtful, gently insinuating compositional style: Kenny Wheeler.
Saxophonist Michael Chillingworth moves unfussily between the earnest, slightly plaintive approach demanded by the album’s more restrained fare and the fiery pep appropriate to its livelier moments (a particular highlight pianist Antonio Zambrini’s driving tumultuous “Chanson”, and the rhythm section (completed by ubiquitous drummer Jon Scott) is also adaptable and skilful enough to purr quietly through the contemplative moments but rattle and roll under, for instance, the scalding piano solos of more rumbustious pieces such as “Even Shorter”.
Zambrini, indeed, irresistibly draws the ear to both his boisterous, often grandiloquent up-tempo runs and his restrained musings on more temperate compositions, but overall it is the quality and variety of Di Biase’s writing and the uncontrived versatility of the quartet – sweet-sounding and punchily muscular as required – that impresses about this classy, enjoyable album.

Arnold Klos Trio
Peace Piece

By EastWind
Dutch veteran pianist Arnold Klos is considered to be firmly in the Bill Evans school of the jazz piano tradition. In his sixth release from Atelier Sawano--and his first new recording in three years, Klos shows his affinity to Evans by choosing nine songs are either composed by or strongly associated with the legendary pianist. The program also includes Clare Fischer's "Pensativa" and Klos' three originals. Of course, Klos is not intersted in imitating Evans, and he has his own unique style -- sweet lyricism and even-tempered pursuit of gentle beauty.
Recommended for fans of lyrical piano jazz!
Produced by Arnold Klos. Recorded November 14, 2011 in Belgium.
Arnold Klos (piano)
Jos Machtel (bass)
Eric Ineke (drums)
Album Tracks:
1. Autumn Leaves 2. Detour Ahead 3. Israel 4. Pensativa 5. All Blues
6. The Shadow Of Your Smile 7. The Opener 8. I.O.U.
9. Peace Piece   10. Night And Day   11. Via Solaris     12. Like A Band

13. How Deep Is The Ocean

Giovanni Mirabassi Trio & Strings
Viva V.E.R.D.I.

By JazzBreakfast  
No, this is not a collection of jazz tunes adapted from Verdi operas. The title stands for the Italian pianist living in Paris as a reminder of his homeland, using the iconic nature of the composer but also the initials for Vittorio Emanuele Re d’Italia from the secret revolutionary society of the Carbonari.
To further confuse, the trio – Mirabassi with Gianluca Renzi on double bass and Lukmil Perez Herrera on drums – is recorded live with the South Korean Bee String Orchestra in Goyang.
The title track opens the album and introduces us to a graceful trio packed with melody and fleet on its feet, intermingling with some jolly romantic string arrangements. The striking thing about it all is how naturally the trio and strings entwine, and how lithe and sensitive to the jazz swing the strings are.
With the exception of Hermeto Pascoal’s Bebe and a traditional South Korean song calledArirang, it’s made up of tunes by the pianist and the bassist, and all arranged by Renzi.
It flows effortlessly, Mirabassi adept at lifting the emotional heft and then relaxing it. And it has bags of Italian sunshine and easy Romanticism running through it. Jazz-wise it’s pretty conservative, but pretty nevertheless. And very well recorded.
Recorded live in Goyang (South Korea) on 27 November 2011 at Goyang Aram Nuri Concert Hall
Recording engineer Junghoon Choi

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