Sunday, August 11, 2013

2 Sem 2013 - Part Six

Billy Hart
All Our Seasons

By Thom Jurek
In 2003, this group was called the Ethan Iverson/Mark Turner Quartet. Master drummer Billy Hart asked if he could borrow the band's name as his own for a show in his hometown of Montclair, New Jersey. The other members -- who also include bassist Ben Street -- voted to name it for him permanently. They recorded their well-received Quartet for High Note in 2005, and have played together live whenever schedules permit. All Our Reasons was recorded in June of 2011 in New York; it marks Hart's debut as a leader for ECM. His "Song for Balkis" opens the album with a brief but animated drum solo primarily on tom-toms, before he is joined by Iverson and Street; finally Turner enters in what develops as a shimmering, elliptical yet melodic exploration that feels more like a group improvisation. Iverson's "Ohnedaruth" begins with an extended piano solo before the band enters at the halfway point and deftly executes the pianist's extrapolation of themes inherent to John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." (The tune is titled after the late saxophonist's adopted spiritual name.) Hart's gorgeous cymbal work and propulsive bluesy swing drive "Tolli's Dance," with compelling work from Turner. Speaking of Turner, his "Nigeria" is a canny investigation of a Sonny Rollins number with the title reversed. It's a fine example of 21st century post-bop harmonic interplay with all the swing and fingerpopping intact. Set closer "Imke's March," by Hart, begins and ends with a whistled melody that he used to call his daughter in from the playground. Iverson makes the most of the melody, using his signature sense of diatonic lyricism and developing the theme in increments with Turner stating each new development. Street holds it taut as Hart uses cymbals and snare to "dance" around the trio, while keeping the thematic "march" sense throughout. All Our Reasons is wonderfully executed, and full of excellent tunes, nice improvisational turns, numerous surprises (many of them subtle), and a warm, lively sense of engagement throughout.

Hector Martignon
Second Chance

By Michael G. Nastos
The incredible pianist Hector Martignon has released many top-level recordings since his days as a sideman with Ray Barretto, but Second Chance signifies a look back while searching for his future direction. Many of these compositions are revisits of previous albums with different personnel, emphasizing the horns of saxophonist Xavier Perez and trumpeter John Walsh, giving them more of a jazz rather than Latin jazz feel. While his Colombian and South American roots are very much present in the music, not to mention his personal virtuosity, Martignon seems ready to make a move toward composed, modern neo-bop as evidenced on at least half of this effort. It's the hopped-up version of "Alone Together" at the end of the CD -- with acknowledged influence of the late keyboardist Don Grolnick -- that gives rise to this contention. His acoustic keyboard is a bit under the radar in the mix except when he solos, but tracks like Joao Bosco's bubbling and rumbling modal samba "Bala Con Bala" (also featuring vibraphonist Tim Collins) and the heavier "Andrea" from 6/8 in 4/4 time, are closer to his identity as standouts. A soulful, romantic approach is heard, as well as a simmering danzon, slow seductive guajira, or funky commercial side. Fellow Colombian-born hand percussionist Samuel Torres (check out his efforts as a leader) is a big part of the band, while Edmar Castaneda (harp) and Vinny Valentino (guitar) make cameo appearances. This is a recording to savor, definitely listen to more than once, and keep in your collection, especially if you have the original versions of these finely crafted pieces of gold, so you can hear how they have evolved and acquired a new sheen.

Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette

By John Kelman 
It's been four years since a recorded peep has been heard from pianist Keith Jarrett's Standards Trio, despite continuing to perform a few select dates each year. But even its last few ECM releases—2009's Yesterdays, 2007's My Foolish Heart and 2004's The Out-of-Towners—were all culled from a clearly fruitful 2001, making it well over a decade since a new recorded note has been heard from Jarrett's longest-lasting group. Fine albums all, the dearth of anything since that time has nevertheless begged the question, even amongst some of his most ardent fans, as to whether this undeniably fine trio had anything new to say.
From Jarrett's a cappella opening to Somewhere's wonderfully coalescing take of trumpeterMiles Davis' "Solar," all doubts are laid to rest as the pianist delivers a performance to rival his classic introduction to "My Funny Valentine" on Still Live (ECM, 1988), one of the Standards Trio's strongest records. It's a terrific start to an album that, recorded in Switzerland during the summer of 2009, celebrates 30 years since Jarrett, bassist Gary Peacock and drummerJack DeJohnette first entered New York's Power Station studio for the fruitful sessions that yielded three recordings collected on Setting Standards: New York Sessions (ECM, 2008):Standards, Vol. 1 (1983), Changes (1984) and Standards, Vol. 2 (1985).
It's been a long time since the trio has stepped into a studio, and the easiest explanation is that this really is a group best heard live—a point driven home by this 65-minute, six-song set. In addition to Davis, the trio works its way through a list of equally classic songwriters. A particularly lovely take of Frank Perkins and Mitchell Parish's "Stars Fell on Alabama," finds Peacock, combining pure taste and tone, remaining at the top of his game. A quirky rendition of Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" is largely constructed around this trio's remarkable ability to suggest swing without actually playing it—the entire structure ready to collapse at any moment like a house of cards—but never actually doing so—even as DeJohnette takes his only real solo of the set, while Jimmy van Heusen and Johnny Mercer's balladic "I Thought About You" closes the set on an irrepressibly romantic note predicated on the trio's egalitarian nature.
But it's Leonard Bernstein's two classics from the 1957 musical West Side Story that formSomewhere's centerpiece. A profoundly beautiful take on "Somewhere" leads to Jarrett's lengthy coda, "Everywhere," building this nearly 20-minute workout to a powerful climax, ultimately winding down to a gospel-tinged conclusion, while "Tonight" is taken at an unexpectedly bright clip. Peacock and DeJohnette swing more directly this time, with Jarrett's effortless motivic invention keeping secure his position in the upper echelon of improvising pianists.
Despite the 12-year gap since its last recorded work, Somewhere leaves no doubt that the special spark Jarrett, Peacock and DeJohnette first demonstrated on the bassist's Tales of Another (ECM, 1977) remains intact. If anything, Somewhere creates hope that another four years won't have to pass before this inimitable trio is heard from again.
Track Listing: 
Deep Space/Solar; Stars Fell on Alabama; Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; Somewhere/Everywhere; Tonight; I Thought About You.
Keith Jarrett: piano; Gary Peacock: double bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums.

Giuseppe Mirabella

By Jazz & More
Naumachia is street corner of the city: the neighborhood where you can get lost and then you find yourself. Now place of the soul ... Giuseppe Mirabella, musician already known for some prestigious collaboration ( Dado Moroni with the Oscar Peterson's tribute project , Barbara Casini, Francesco Cafiso, Stanley Jordan, Flavio Boltro, just to name a few ...) it is reported as an extraordinary guitarist and composer from stretch refined, elegant and characterized by the strong melodic sense. Naumachia sounds as a disc intimate, highly introspective, night, full of emotion. naumachia describes a human journey and a very personal artistic style where stylistic boundaries disappear. You can hear echoes of tradition, Latin atmosphere, passages of free and visionary music. Mirabella is supported by one of the most successful rhythmic section in Europe: Riccardo Fioravanti and Stefano Bagnoli and by whimsical and imaginative pianist/trumpeter Dino Rubino, multi-faceted artist and exceptional talent. A record of excellent caliber showing one of the best guitarists composers working today in Italy.
Mirabella Giuseppe - guitar
Rubino Dino - Piano and trumpet
Fioravanti Riccardo - doublebass
Bagnoli Stefano - drums

Alessio Menconi
Sketches Of Miles

By Abeat
Two of the best representatives of the Italian modern jazz together whit the inexhaustible "myth" Aldo Romano put on a disk in which tradition and modernity are merged in a superlative way. The sound is one peculiarity of this record , the result of personal style of the trio, masterfully conducted by Alessuo Menconi, perfect "center of gravity" of the ensemble. Alessio Menconi is widely recognized as talent of the instrument. Perhaps one of the few guitarists to have developed an Italian style freed from the usual models. Menconi has been inserted into the elite world of guitarists with Robben Ford, Steve Lukather, Hiram Bullock, Larry Corryell on an american production devoted to Jimi Hendrix.
Alberto Gurrisi boasts a number of exciting collaborations and today is among the leading organist of the contemporary Italian jazz scene. Alessandro Minetto is on eof the Italian rising talent on drum. Class, elegance, sophistication, modernity and lightness at the same time constitute the excellence of this record.
Alberto Gurrisi : organ
Alessio Menconi : Guitar
Alessandro Minetto : Drums

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