Sunday, February 22, 2015

Clark Terry 1920 - 2015

By David La Rosa at
After a long bout with diabetes, Jazz legend Clark Terry has died at the age of 94.
The highly influential musician and educator’s wife Gwen confirmed his passing with a message on his official Facebook page, which read: “Our beloved Clark Terry has joined the big band in heaven where he’ll be singing and playing with the angels. He left us peacefully, surrounded by his family, students and friends.”
Terry was first diagnosed with diabetes almost 40-years ago, and despite suffering physical challenges that would be insurmountable for less dedicated performers, including the amputation of both his legs, he kept the music alive and well and continued to perform well into his 90th year on this earth. And even when he couldn’t play he continued to dedicate much of his time to providing education and encouragement to the countless musicians, both young and old, that were inspired by the path he led in life.
Born on December 14, 1920 in St. Louis, MO, Terry had a rough upbringing after his mother died while he was young and his abusive father kicked him out of the family’s home at just 12 years of age. Music served as Terry’s only sanctuary from a very young age, and after standing out in his high school band a local musician encouraged him to take music more seriously; which sparked the start of a whirlwind career that would see Terry appear as a pivotal figure in the ongoing development of jazz as a genre.
After working with various travelling bands, and the U.S. Navy Band during World War II, Terry’s career took off when he performed with Count Basie’s big band between 1948 – 1951. Immediately after leaving Basie’s band, he enjoyed an 8-year stint as a central figure in Duke Ellington’s orchestra before becoming the first black musician on The Tonight Show’s house band in 1962.
During this period Terry became a fixture on the jazz scene. In addition to recording more than 80 albums as a bandleader he also worked with an incredible list of fellow jazz legends that includes Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, Louis Armstrong, Charles Mingus, Stanley Turrentine, Yusef Lateef, Quincy Jones, and countless others.
In a career spanning seven decades, he is listed as a performer or producer on over 900 different recordings.
His impact on music today is incalculable, and according to his recently published autobiography Terry has received more than 250 accolades for his contributions to music. In addition to receiving a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 and being named an NEA Jazz Master in 1991, he was also the recipient of sixteen honorary doctorates at universities across the globe.
And despite all of his musical achievements, education always remained his greatest passion. In addition to mentoring jazz icons like Miles Davis, he also taught at many universities over the years and organized countless camps and classes for aspiring musicians to learn more about jazz. On his website, Terry wrote: “Teaching jazz allows me to play a part in making dreams come true for aspiring musicians.”
Terry’s recent mentorship of 23-year-old blind pianist Justin Kauflin was the subject of an award-winning 2014 documentary titled Keep On Keepin’ On.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

1 Sem 2015 - Part Four

Joona Toivanen Trio

By CamJazz
The bond between Scandinavian jazz and CAM JAZZ is becoming increasingly closer and stronger. The new work of Joona Toivanen Trio is an additional outcome of their common vision, which has given rise to a sizable number of remarkable projects and records. The Finnish pianist, still accompanied by Tapani Toivanen on double bass and Olavi Louhivuori on drums, composed an album that strikes a balance between the modern and the traditional, and between quiet, distinctively Nordic jazz moods and openness to new sounds and new expressive forms. This all is made even more intriguing by the outstanding empathy among the three musicians, who are able to cleverly back one another and, through refined mutual listening, reach a remarkable degree of interplay and responsiveness. Thus, each of them plays a leading role, in turn, and bears the responsibility for steering his band-mates towards new directions, new vibes, new melodic insight. The “liaison” between the Finnish trio and CAM JAZZ began in 2010, when the album At My Side was released. Of course, many things have happened from that time to this “November” release (including Joona Toivanen’s solo experiments and Olavi Louhivuori’s fruitful association with Claudio Filippini and Palle Danielsson), which this trio benefited from, as one realizes when listening to this new album. Eleven tunes, the authorship of which is equally shared between the bandleader and Louhivuori, also saving space for the title track by the double bass player. From the opening track “Moon Illusion” to the closing track “Open, Closed”, there is a quiet feeling in the air: time drawn out, a soft touch and sober, balanced arrangements. A journey in search of a clear, pure, crystalline sound. An elegant, refined tone. A thoughtful album, that never stops looking for new inspirations, between skillful song-making and moments of intriguing improvisation.
Olavi Louhivuori ( Drums ); Joona Toivanen ( Piano ); Tapani Toivanen ( Bass )
Recorded in Gothenburg on 21-23 February 2014 at Svenska Grammofonstudion
Recording engineer Oskar Lindberg
Mixed in Helsinki on 27, 28 February 2014 at Studio Kekkonen 
Mixing engineer Mikko Raita

Nenê Trio

O Nenê Trio surgiu em 2001, do encontro do baterista Nenê com o contrabaixista Alberto Luccas. Depois de uma sessão de improvisos na casa de um dos músicos, os dois resolveram que seria um bom momento para desenvolver boa música instrumental, com grande variedade de estilos rítmicos, neste que atualmente é “o momento mais feliz” da carreira de Nenê, como ele mesmo diz. Alberto reafirma o sentimento, dizendo: “é um trabalho sem palavras, eu adoro. Realmente é um lugar que a gente pode se expressar ao máximo, no limite como músico”.
Para completar, desde 2008 eles contam com a participação do pianista Írio Jr., que comenta sua participação no trio: “para mim tem sido liberdade de expressão total, a gente faz o que quiser, sai criando o que dá na cabeça”.
Com tamanha liberdade criativa, o trio lançou o CD Inverno pelo Selo Sesc, segundo da formação atual. O projeto é continuidade do trabalho que vem sendo realizado, e da tetralogia que começou com Outono, lançado anteriormente.
Por conta da variedade de referências musicais mundiais com as quais cada um deles já teve contato, o trio usa da mistura de ritmos, mas nunca de maneira óbvia: “você não vai ouvir um maracatu claramente como é tocado em um grupo regional. Mas ele está dentro da música, lá no meio ele aparece também” explica o baterista.
Para que se mantenham prontos e com repertório para gravar a qualquer momento, o trio se encontra regularmente para ensaios a cada 15 dias. O compromisso em proporcionar boa música para o público é claro nas composições, na seriedade dos ensaios, e pode ser conferido no CD, todo captado de maneira analógica. Na captação digital, os músicos podem substituir partes das músicas que não deram tão certo, ou contar com ajustes técnicos de pequenos erros. No caso da captação do CD Inverno, a gravação foi feita como em um show, sem recortar as músicas ou ajustar nada.

Jaques Morelenbaum & CelloSam3aTrio
Saudade do Futuro, Futuro de Saudade

By Carlos Calado
Muitos trios instrumentais brilharam na história da bossa nova e do samba-jazz, mas nenhum com a singular formação do CelloSambaTrio. Criado em 2004 pelo violoncelista e arranjador Jaques Morelenbaum, esse grupo, que destaca também o violão de Lula Galvão e a percussão de Rafael Barata, parece já ter nascido clássico.
No esperado álbum de estreia do trio, "Saudade do Futuro, Futuro da Saudade" (lançamento Mirante),
o violoncelista carioca e seus parceiros fazem uma viagem sentimental pelo passado do samba: do gingado choro de Jacob do Bandolim, “Receita de Samba”, ao sestroso “Eu Vim da Bahia” (de Gilberto Gil), em versão calcada na gravação de João Gilberto, cujo “álbum branco” (lançado em 1973) inspirou a criação do próprio CelloSambaTrio.
Faixas autorais, como a lírica “Maracatuesday” (de Morelenbaum) ou o samba “Abaporu” (do violonista Lula Galvão), indicam que esse trio tem um futuro promissor à sua frente.

Eric Reed

By C.Michael Bailey
Eric Reed has fully established himself in the forefront of jazz pianists. Additionally, he has proven to be a gifted composer whose vision is as acute as it is compassionate. Reed's Smoke Sessions recital was performed on September 6 and 7, 2013. He led a saxophone-fronted (Seamus Blake) quartet secured by bassist Ben Williams and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. Reed composed eight of the ten selections performed, covering Clifford Jordan's "Powerful Paul Robeson" and Christian McBride's "The Shade of the Cedar Tree."
Reed's playing has matured into a deeply wrought hew, orchestral and expansive. His playing is of a unique vintage with notes of McCoy Tyner and Gene Harris. But Reed's voice is bigger than any influence. His playing is tactile, like that played behind Blake on "Ornate," where he incorporates Latin shades with bold Cecil Taylor-like statements and accents. "Bopward" is a circuitous and air theme for Blake to blow soprano in an Eastern vein. The tour de force is the title cut with its introductory vamp on "Lean on Me." Reed summons all of the church at his disposal, in the spirit of Gene Harris, the master of such. Reed turns it all upside down at the hinge between the introduction and song. Simply put, he rocks and so does his band.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

1 Sem 2015 - Part Three

Janis Siegel
Nightsongs: A Late Night Interlude

By C. Michael Bailey
Vocalist Janis Siegel is the mezzo-soprano/alto quarter of the Manhattan Transfer as well as half of the female contingency of the same with soprano Cheryl Bentyne. Like Bentyne, Siegel has managed a very successful solo career, releasing ten recordings since 1981. Nightsongs: A Late Night Interlude follows 2006's A Thousand Beautiful Things (Telarc, 2006) and 2004's Sketches of Broadway (Telarc). Siegel is a wholesale master of jazz vocals subgenre: ballads, scats, bop, she competently does them all. Nightsongs endeavors a theme of breezy Caribbean evenings, comfortably humid and crepuscular.
Sonically, this is an exceptional hearing. The engineer is impeccable, and the production is top notch without being overdone. There is a comfortable balance between the shiny and organic in this music. "Love Saves," "Slow," and "Marie" smell like salt and spray in the islands. "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing" is given a measure of funk among other piquant Latin delights, John di Martino modulates time and space over Christian McBride's muscular electric bass. Siegel shares a duet with Peter Eldridge on Jobim's "If You Never Come To Me" that is as provocative as it is simply elegant. Siegel continues to inhabit an upper echelon of jazz vocalist few can aspire to. Siegel wins with this fine band and material.
Track Listing: 
Love Saves (Salva Pantallas); Slow; Love and Paris Rain; If You Never Come to Me (Inutil Paisgem); Marie; You're Mine, You; Sweet September Rain; A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing; Midnight Sun; Lover; Say You'll Go; Clair De Lune. 
Janis Siegel: vocals; John Di Martino: piano, arrangements; Rob Mounsey: keyboards; Christian McBride: bass; Martin Wind: bass; Paul Meyers: guitar; Steve Khan: guitar, guiro; Dominick Farinacci: flugelhorn, trumpet; Joel Frahm: tenor and soprano saxophones; Alain Mallet: Melodica; Luisito Quintero: Percussion; Joel Rosenblatt: Drums; Peter Eldridge: Vocals; Roger Treece: vocals.

Stefano Bollani
Joy In The Spite Of Everything

By John Fordham
When the Italian virtuoso Stefano Bollani plays piano, the word play applies in its widest senses, and the title of this fine transatlantic session (Americans Bill Frisell and Mark Turner augment Bollani’s Danish rhythm section) could hardly be a better description of his methods. While it would be difficult for the whole album to live up to the delicious opening calypso, Easy Healing, (in which Turner’s sax floats over Frisell’s softly skewed chords, and the melody is formed by a lovely piano-guitar unison), this is a warmly expressive encounter between a close-knit trio and two guests they’d never previously met, and the frequently genre-hopping Bollani freely revels in his straight-ahead jazz. The beboppish No Pope No Party is like a Monk tune played by a cool–school band. In the impressionistic 12-minute Vale, Bollani is in Bill Evans mood and Turner is at his most probing, while, in the piano-guitar duet Teddy, Frisell shows his skill with harmonics and his early schooling as a quiet jazz swinger. Bollani’s vivacious soloing provides many of the highlights, never more so than in the quicksilver title track.
Track Listing: 
Easy Healing; No Pope No Party; Alobar e Kudra; Las Hortensias; Vale; Teddy; Ismene; Tales from the Time Loop; Joy in Spite of Everything.
Mark Turner: tenor saxophone; Bill Frisell: guitar; Stefano Bollani: piano; Jesper Bodilsen: double bass; Morten Lund: drums.

Tierney Sutton
Paris Session

By Thom Jurek
One need listen no further than "You Must Believe in Spring," the opening track of Tierney Sutton's Paris Sessions, to grasp that something quite special is taking place between the musicians. This collection of standards and originals recorded in duos and trios between the singer, guitarist Serge Merlaud, and bassist Kevin Axt is a bare-bones journey into the depths of musical intimacy. Recorded over two days at Val d'Orge Studio, these 12 tunes are the product of minimal rehearsal on the day before recording. The arrangements, such as they are, are simple, transparent; the considerable depth comes from the well of the song allowing itself to be expressed so nakedly. The aforementioned cut is a duet, with Merlaud's nylon-string acoustic guitar introducing it. When Sutton enters, the emotional frame is already in place; she fills it with commitment and hope derived from earned wisdom, not wishful thinking. It's a striking contrast to the dusky wordless vocals she provides to the guitarist's own tunes, including "Asma," where Axt's bass bridges the center as singer and guitarist engage in an ethereal and sensual dialogue. Of the other standards here, "Beija-Flor" by Nelson Cavaquinho and Noel Silva is introduced by a long wordless duet with the guitar before Axt enters on an acoustic bass guitar and coaxes surprising harmonic nuances from the familiar bossa nova. The other bossa here, Bruno Martino's "Estate," is perhaps more conventional in articulation, but Sutton sinks so deeply into the grain of the lyric that she owns its emotional expression. Merlaud uses an electric guitar on "Body and Soul," reflecting the multi-harmonic influence of Jim Hall. Sutton draws out the words slowly, purposefully, each syllable infused with a generosity absent of artifice or affect. She's sung this song many times before, but not like this. The resonance in "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" is dialogic. Merlaud's electric guitar doesn't merely comp and fill, but is the other equal voice in a difficult conversation. Axt enters with gorgeous chord voicings providing an equanimity that illustrates the emotional dimension shared between the conversants. Sutton's delivery is even, but far from detached. It affirms the beloved even as a glimpse of romantic pain is betrayed by the ends of her lines. Two of these cuts, "Don't Go to Strangers" and "Answer Me, My Love," will be familiar; they were recorded for and appeared on After Blue, but they fit this context just as well. Paris Sessions is a gem, so elegant, sparse, and intimate in its directness that it is as arresting as it is lovely.
Track Listing: 
You Must Believe In Spring; llm; Don't Go To Strangers; Beija-Flor; You're Nearer; Estate; All Too Soon; Asma; Body And Soul; Izzat; Don't Worry 'Bout Me; Answer Me, My Love.
Tierney Sutton: vocals; Serge Merlaud: acoustic guitar, electric guitar; Kevin Axt: acoustic bass guitar.

David Feldman

By Galeria Musical
O piano é um instrumento fascinante tanto para quem o toca quanto para quem o ouve sendo bem tocado. E é mais que justa a homenagem ao instrumento e ao seu som feito por David Feldman ao batizar o seu álbum singelamente de “piano”. David resolveu chamar o disco de “piano” com “p” minúsculo por querer transpassar ao ouvinte o clima intimista, sereno e suave que o piano pode oferecer.
O músico estreou em CD no ano de 2009 com o elogiado “Som do Beco das Garrafas”, e agora retorna com um álbum onde sessenta por cento das canções são autorais e inéditas, o que reafirma o momento de dedicação ao instrumento e de criatividade deste músico que acumula importantes feitos, como o de ter ficado entre os 10 maiores pianistas do mundo na competição de piano-solo do Festival de Jazz Montreaux, evento curado por ninguém menos que Quincy Jones.
Dessa forma, David vai dando vida a canções como “Conversa de Botequim” (Noel Rosa, Vadico), que ganha leveza sem perder a sua ginga original, e a inédita “Chobim” (David Fieldman), que funde Chopin e Tom Jobim com melancolia e lirismo.
No currículo de David também está o fato de já ter trabalhado com diversos ressonantes nomes de nossa MPB, como Maria Rita, Leny Andrade, Leila Pinheiro, Wilson Simoninha, dentre tantos outros.
“Piano” é um disco sofisticado e certeiro quando o assunto é o elegante som do piano, e momentos como “Sabiá” (Tom Jobim, Chico Buarque), que encerra o disco, e a dobradinha feita com ele mesmo em “Esqueceram de Mim no Aeroporto”, por si só já valem o disco.