Sunday, February 09, 2014

1 Sem 2014 - Part Four

André Togni Trio
Lugar de Sal

By vemviverbrasilia
Baterista, compositor e produtor musical, André Togni possui formação jazzística e pesquisa há muito tempo a cultura popular brasileira. Ganhou o Prêmio Tim 2005 como produtor musical, baterista e percussionista do Grupo Casa de Farinha, e participou de diversos festivais no Brasil, Estados Unidos e Europa.
Gravado ao vivo no estúdio Beco da Coruja, o CD "Lugar de Sal" apresenta ao público oito músicas, cinco composições próprias e três interpretações executadas com a formação de trio liderados por André Togni.
A produção de "Lugar de Sal" concretizou um antigo desejo do baterista: gravar um disco de jazz acompanhado por músicos com quem tem grande entrosamento musical, evidenciando as possibilidades das composições, a elasticidade dos arranjos e a liberdade criativa dos improvisos.
Nas oito músicas prevalecem a criação coletiva, a precisão instrumental e uma dinâmica quase telepática entre os músicos. Lugar de Sal tem influências do jazz contemporâneo e ritmos brasileiros, com uma abordagem focada no improviso em, que a voz principal passa de um instrumento para outro como um diálogo.
"O som é impactante e profundo, com muita energia", diz André.
André Togni - drums; Oswaldo Amorim - bass; Serge Frasunkiewicz - piano Yamaha

Kenny Wheeler
Six For Six

By John Kelman
When artists move into their eighties, every new album is a gift. It's difficult enough for any octogenarian musician to maintain his/her game, but especially horn players, for whom embouchure and breath are so essential to tone and reach. Six for Six is, however, a curious gift from expat Canadian trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, who's made Britain his home since the mid-'50s. Recorded in 2008, it's his first sextet recording since 2003's Dream Sequence—and even that album only featured one piece for all six players. What that really means, then, is that Six for Six is Wheeler's first real sextet date since 1980'sAround 6, and his very first with a lineup consisting, in addition to his inimitable horn work, of two saxophones, piano, bass and drums.
It's a curious program: a full six of its eight tracks were heard just last year on Wheeler's superb big band outing, The Long Waiting (Cam Jazz, 2012), but they couldn't be more different, demonstrating just how malleable Wheeler's charts can be. Recorded in 2011, The Long Waiting, "Seven, Eight, Nine" was a relatively concise, mid-tempo swinger that featured just one solo (Wheeler); here, it's broken into two parts spread across the record. The album-opening "Part 1" opens with a powerful a cappella intro from drummer Martin France that sets the tone for an album that's Wheeler's most flat-out incendiary since Double, Double You (ECM, 1984). Unlike The Long Waiting's mixed meter reading of 7/8, 6/8 and 4/4, "Part 1" here sticks with a constant 4/4, but at a much brighter clip—and with plenty more solo space for Wheeler, tenor saxophonist Bobby Wellins and soprano saxophonist Stan Sulzmann.
Excising the original's second theme for further extrapolation, "Seven, Eight, Nine (Part 2)," is taken at a slightly slower pace than "Part 1" (but still considerably brighter than the big band version) and, while significantly shorter, still leaves room for impressive solos from Sulzmann (this time on tenor), Taylor and Wheeler, with Laurence a firm but pliant anchor and France, once again, playing with fire and unfettered freedom throughout this bright 6/8 take.
Wellins is the only new face here, with Sulzmann, pianist John Taylor and bassist Chris Laurenceall longtime Wheeler collaborators; and, although France only made his first recorded appearance with Wheeler on The Long Waiting, he's been gigging with the trumpeter for some time, and has been a member of Taylor's trio since the pianist's superb Angel of the Presence (Cam Jazz, 2006). Still, with Wellins an alumnus of British luminaries like Stan Tracey andTubby Hayes, it's unlikely that this is the first time he and Wheeler have broken musical bread together. On the flip side to more powerful tracks like "Upwards," which more closely mirrors the energy of The Long Waiting's version, albeit with a significantly altered arrangement, Six for Six's fresh look at "The Long Waiting," with its spare duo intro from Wheeler and Taylor, is taken at a slower pace, while the more amiable pulse of the big band's "Four, Five Six" is deserted here for a shorter version that still manages to squeeze in another piano/trumpet intro, a fiery rubato exchange between Sulzmann and Wellins and, finally—and at a faster clip—space for concise but high octane solos from Wellins, Taylor, Wheeler and France.
It's not just because, with the exception of The Long Waiting, Six for Six is Wheeler's first Cam Jazz recording to feature a drummer—though France certainly lights one heckuva fire underneath his band mates, while still proving capable of a gentler disposition on more subdued fare like "Ballad N. 130" and the brighter, but lighter-textured "The Imminent Immigrant," making its first appearance since Wheeler's quartet date All the More (Soul Note, 1997). In a career now approaching its sixth decade, Wheeler's writing has not lost any of the unmistakable lyricism that's been a defining touchstone since early recordings like the classic Gnu High (ECM, 1976), but even as he's passed the 83 mark this year, Wheeler's lost neither his tone nor his remarkable reach—his closing, stratospheric note at the end of "Four, Five, Six" being something to which many trumpeters half his age still aspire.
Not since Double, Double You has Wheeler released an album as exhilarating as Six for Six. With a sextet capable of delivering both the firepower and the poetry, hopefully this won't be another of the one-shot deals that have defined the rest of Wheeler's nevertheless impressive discography.
Track Listing: 
Seven, Eight, Nine (Part 1); Canter N. 6; The Long Waiting; Four, Five, Six; Ballad N. 130; Seven, Eight, Nine (Part 2); The Imminent Immigrant; Upwards.
Kenny Wheeler: trumpet, flugelhorn; Stan Sulzmann: tenor and soprano saxophone; Bobby Wellins: tenor saxophone; John Taylor: piano; Chris Laurence: bass; Martin France: drums.

Maria Baptist
Music For Jazz Orchestra

By Jack Bowers
Like it or not, a new wave of young composer / arrangers has surfaced, scrupulously guiding big bands into heretofore uncharted waters, now and then smooth, at other times choppy, but always intriguing and inspired. Maria Schneider,George Gruntz, Jim McNeely and Carla Bley were among the pacesetters, followed in short order by such (relative) newcomers as Satoko Fujii, Darcy James Argue, Jamie Begian, Keith Karns,Stan Sulzmann, Cecilia Coleman, Magnus Lindgren, Colin Byrne,John Daversa, Pete McGuinness, Gail Thompson, Mace Francis and many others, each one lending his or her singular voice to the lexicon of big-band jazz. Now comes another strong contender, German-born Maria Baptist, whose musical voice is arguably the clearest since Grammy-winning Schneider burst on the scene some two decades ago.
Baptist's most recent plunge into the big-band sea, appropriately titled Music for Jazz Orchestra,comprises eleven of her forward-leaning compositions and arrangements. Much like Schneider, Baptist sketches word pictures—tone poems, if you will—often bending but never overlooking the basic elements of jazz including melody, harmony and rhythm, all of which can be found in abundance in her provocative charts. The first ten were recorded at a studio in March 2011, the last, "Minotaurus," seven months later at Jazz Fest Berlin. Although Baptist limits her duties to writing and conducting in the studio, her persuasive piano introduces the tasteful "Minotaurus," whose other able soloists are trombonist Lukas Jochner and tenor saxophonist Nils Wrasse. The leader puts her best foot forward with the straight-on opener, "AVUS" (solos by drummer Julian Fau, alto Kati Brien), and follows up with the seductive "Blue Pictures" (Christian Mehler, flugel; Clemens Oerding, guitar; Julian Kulpmann, drums), which builds to a powerful climax, and the sinewy "Ibiza Conversations" (Lukas Brenner, piano; Johannes Roosen-Runge, trumpet).
"On Top of the Mountain" is picturesque and passionate, as are "The Blossom," "Lingering" (with its faint echoes of Rob McConnell) and "Goodbye," whereas "Avenue Walk" (Adrian Hanack, tenor), "Rush Hour" and "36th Street Midtown" find Baptist in a sunnier and more congenial frame of mind, coaxing sharp and brassy ensemble phrases from her finely-tuned orchestra. Baritone Christoph Beck offers an especially engaging solo on "Midtown," which benefits as well from Johannes von Ballestrem's nimble piano. End to end, this is one of the more gratifying contemporary big-band sessions to emerge in quite some time. One puzzle, however, is why this is a two-disc set, as the total running time is a tick or two over 80 minutes, and all eleven numbers might have been squeezed (albeit tightly) onto a single disc. Perhaps that was tried and it didn't work. Be that as it may, everything else on this splendid album works almost perfectly.
Track Listing: 
AVUS; Blue Pictures; Ibiza Conversations; On Top of the Mountain; The Blossom; Avenue Walk; Rush Hour; Lingering; 36th Street Midtown; Goodbye; Minotaurus (live).
Maria Baptist: leader, composer, arranger, piano (11); Matthias Schwengler: trumpet, flugelhorn (2-7, 9-11); Mathis Petermann: trumpet, flugelhorn (3-6, 8, 11); Johannes Roosen-Runge: trumpet, flugelhorn (1-3, 6, 8-11); Christian Mehler: trumpet, flugelhorn 1, 2, 7-10); Fabian Bogelsack: trumpet, flugelhorn (1-7, 10); Steffen Mathes: trumpet, flugelhorn (1-3, 5-7, 9, 11); Kati Brien: alto, soprano sax (1, 3-5, 7, 11); Markus Harm: alto, soprano sax (2, 6, 9, 10); Julian Bossert: alto sax (2, 6, 9, 10); Florian Walter: alto sax (1 3-5, 7, 11); Adrian Hanack: tenor sax (1, 2, 6, 7-9, 11); Nils Wrasse: tenor sax, flute (1, 3-7, 9, 11); Markus Potschke: tenor sax, clarinet (2-4, 5, 8, 10); Christoph Beck: baritone sax, bass clarinet (6-9, 11); Paul Muhle: baritone sax, bass clarinet (1-5, 10); Friederike Motzkau: flute (2-5, 8, 10 ,11); Charlotte Ortmann: flute (2-6, 8, 10, 11); Rebecca Trescher: clarinet, bass clarinet (2-4, 8, 10, 11); Janning Trumann: trombone (3-6, 9); Timothy Hepburn: trombone (1, 2, 7, 8, 10); Lukas Jochner: trombone (1,2, 7, 8, 10, 11); Raphael Klemm: trombone (3-6, 9); Kerstin Maler: trombone (1, 2, 7, 8, 10); Lisa Stick: trombone (3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11); Juliane Gralle: trombone (all tracks); Clemens Oerding: guitar (1-10); Charis Karantzas: guitar (11); Johannes von Ballestrem: piano (4-7, 9, 10); Lukas Brenner: piano (3-6); Stefan Nagler: piano (2, 8); Reza Askari-Motlagh: bass (1, 6-9, 11); Kenn Hartwig: bass (2-5, 10); Julian Fau: drums (1, 3-6, 8); Julian Kulpmann: drums (2, 7, 9, 11).

Gerald Clayton
Life Forum

On his third recording as a leader, Gerald Clayton expands his musical statement, exploring wider sonic textures.
On “Two-Shade” and “Bond: The Paris Session,” he and his trio mates, bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Justin Brown, established their place as one of the top emerging trios. They displayed deep musical rapport and facility with everything from swinging standards to the heady mix of time signatures, which are all the rage these days.
“Life Forum” contains 12 originals by Clayton. He’s atop the heap of young jazz pianists making a firm mark on the scene, along with Aaron Diehl, Jonathan Batiste and Christian Sands. The songs in “Life Forum” reflect, he says in the CD notes, “events in my life, especially love and life transitions.”
Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet) and Logan Richardson (alto sax) provide the date an element of surprise. Tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens squeezes the depths of his experience through his horn (sounding a tad like Joe Lovano).
Vocally, Gretchen Parlato emits an ethereal beauty; Sachal Vasandani, a gentle touch of evening.
The takeaway from this suite-like recording is not about individual virtuosity. Rather, it’s like concentric circles with Clayton and his trio in the center, the horns expanding outward, and the voices adding another oval.
On the title cut, the voice is of Carl Hancock Rux, with a poetic-philosophical spoken word opening. Such musings give way to “Future Reflection,” which includes a reach for vision, full of hope, yet comes back to the present. The groove of “Sir Third” is like a basketball team, moving forward together, each person playing a role, intersecting, accelerating, breaking and jumping as necessary.
Gerald Clayton's suite-like 'Life Forum' contains 12 original compositions.
“Deep Dry Ocean” features Parlato and Clayton sharing a melody line over a steady bass vamp. It’s given velvet support by the drummer’s brushes on the snare and tom-tom. The in-between-ness of emotions in relationship is captured in “Dusk Baby,” sounding like a modern pop ballad with the harmonic sophistication of years past.
“Mao Nas Massa” features a samba rhythm, refracted through the joy and pleasure of Clayton’s play with a drumbeat. The interlude “Prelude” leads to “Some Always,” where Ambrose’s abstractions rub against a plush bed of syncopated groove.
“Like Water” places a bowed bass line mirrored by the vocalists, followed by an alto sax journey. Vocals take the lead on “When an Angel Sheds a Feather,” and transitions to a swinging conclusion by tenor sax, bass and piano, but no drums.

John di Martino & Warrem Vaché

By CDbaby
IMPROMPTU is a collection of standard tunes with inspired performances from master cornet player Warren Vache and the elegant and melodically inventive pianist, John diMartino. A duo made in "musical heaven" this CD is breathtaking!

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