Saturday, May 21, 2016

1 Sem 2016 - Part Six

Mario Nappi Trio

By Jesper Bodilsen
“It is a good album and I like the variety of the songs My favorite songs are Introducing, Waltz for a Poet and Notte di San Lorenzo. It is a nice trio you have - take care of them Great playing from all 3 of you.”
1. Preludio; 2. Introducing; 3. Waltz for a Poet; 4. Blues for X; 5. Notte di San Lorenzo;
6. Apple (Corrado Cirillo); 7. To Monk; 8. A Christmas Song for; 9. Pezzettino
Mario Nappi (piano); Corrado Cirillo(double bass); Luca Mignano (drums)

Stefano Battaglia Trio
In The Morning: The Music Of Alec Wilder

By Karl Ackermann
Over the past five years Stefano Battaglia could have easily taken bassist Salvatore Maiore and drummer Roberto Dani into the ubiquitous realm of classically trained piano trios, where improvisation, chamber and dark lyricism meet but rarely ignite. But along with his classical training and an established ear for free jazz, hard bop and mainstream, Battaglia has grown and capitalized on those collective skills. The Milan, Italy native has increasingly chosen an open mind and ear, an affinity for spontaneity, and an approach that has been additive over the years. His original ECM trio of bassist Giovanni Maier and percussionist Michele Rabbia Raccolto (2005) explored similar territories ten years ago, but the synergy of styles has grown more fluid and natural over time.
With the same excellent trio that produced The River of Anyder and Songways (ECM, 2011 and 2012), the combo returns with an enormously successful outing on In The Morning. The overarching theme is remote; a consideration of the work of the late American composer Alec Wilder who composed for jazz flavored pop, opera, film and was recorded by notables from Frank Sinatra to saxophonist Dave Liebman and Keith Jarrett. Though celebrated within the music community, and sufficiently recorded through his own projects and covers, Wilder, known in his time to be a somewhat domineering and disagreeable character, was not overtly recognized by the public music market.
Record live in Torino, Italy in April 2014 In The Morning reflects the eccentric combination of styles in which Wilder composed. The long title track (almost twelve minutes) opens with the type of lyrical Bill Evans style that Battaglia has been understandably fond of over the years. Maiore interjects a brief solo, Dani washes over the cymbals and Battaglia then picking up a more abstract variation of the main theme that effectively incorporates Wilder's pop experimentalism. Followed by another extended composition—"River Run"—the trio goes further out in pushing rhythmic and energetic performance, adding more color and texture.
Compositions like "Moon and Sand" and "When I Am Dead My Dearest" are given more poignant treatments with Maiore's deep, resonating bass anchoring the pieces and Dani moving them along with a more musical than pulsating approach. The lengthiest piece on the album, "The Lake Isle Of Innisfree" begins as a minimalist exercise and takes its time building up to more grounded and harmonic textures. The closer, "Chick Lorimer" is the most abstract song in the collection though it re-grounds and goes out in an uplifting manner.
The members of this trio have a strong understanding of each other and a seemingly transcendent connection that allows them to stray individually without losing context. Battaglia's traditional roots, both classical and jazz, are shared with his experimental nature and the results are always refined. In The Morning is the best of his trio recordings and a real pleasure to listen to.
Track Listing: 
In The Morning; River Run; Moon And Sand; When I Am Dead My Dearest; The Lake Isle Of Innisfree; Where Do You Go?; Chick Lorimer.
Stefano Battaglia: piano; Salvatore Maiore: bass; Roberto Dani: drums.

Thomas Enhco

By Julien Le Gros
Il n’a que vingt-six ans et a enregistré avec des légendes comme Peter Erskine, Jack De Johnette et John Pattitucci. L’univers du premier disque piano solo de Thomas Enhco sorti chez Verve mêle allègrement le jazz et la musique classique.
Les fées se sont penchées sur le berceau du pianiste-violoniste Thomas Enhco, révélation des Victoires du jazz en 2013. Son beau-pèreDidier Lockwood l’a fait débuter sur la scène de Jazz à Juan avec Martial Solal en 1998 et fait faire ses gammes avec des jazzmen avertis comme André Cecarelli Bireli Lagrène ouNiels-Henning Orsted Pedersen au sein du Centre des musiques Didier Lockwood. Sa mèreCaroline Casadesus, avec laquelle il a collaboré, est une grande soprano, fille du chef d’orchestre Jean-Claude Casadesus. 
Son frèreDavid Enhco est un trompettiste chevronné, invité sur l’album de Thomas Someday my prince will come, produit par le japonais Itoh Yasohachi en 2009. Mais comme dit Brassens: « sans technique un don n’est rien qu’une sale manie». Loin de s’endormir sur ses lauriersThomas Enhco a su fructifier son héritage musical avec un perfectionnisme qu’on sent à chaque note sur Feathers. C’est le premier album de piano solo du jeune virtuose, exercice réputé casse-gueule mais dont il se tire haut la main. Le précédent Fireflies– sorti chez Label Bleu en 2012 était en trio avec Chris Jennings à la contrebasse et Nicolas Charlier à la batterie.
Au fil de thèmes empreints de romantisme comme Watching you sleep, Letting you go ou Je voulais te dire on sent la double formation classique et jazz du musicien. Thomas Enhcorevendique l’influence de grands compositeurs classiques qu’il a interprété sous la férule de la concertiste Gisèle Magnan comme Schumann, Chopin Fauré, Dutilleux ou Prokofiev. Il fait aussi montre d’un certain humour. Un des meilleurs titres de l’album s’intitule Mischievous, littéralement espiègle, un autre au tempo effréné Looking for the moose: A la recherche de l’élan, est peut-être inspiré par une aventure canadienne du jeune homme. Long morceau comme une épopée sonore Sand creek song se réfère au massacre d’indiens par des soldats américains en 1864 dans le Colorado. Car le pianiste a sillonné le globe, accompagnant Jane Birkin en Amérique latine en 2008, s’installant à New York, la Mecque du jazz , tournant en Chine, Russie, Israël, Turquie, Liban, Syrie, Philippines, Nouvelle-Calédonie…
He’s fine thank you
Feathers porte bien son nom. Léger, aérien, le disque est idéal pour se poser dans son canapé un dimanche après-midi ensoleillé printanier en écoutant I’m fine Thank You, sans doute le plus joli thème de l’album. Pour la suite Thomas Enhco est déjà sur la brèche. Il doit sortir cette année un autre album avec la percussionniste bulgare Vassilena Serafimova sur le prestigieux label de musique classique Deutsche Gramophon…

Adam Birnbaum/ Doug Weiss/ Al Foster
Three Of A Mind

By Karl Ackermann 

Pianist/composer Adam Birnbaum has performed in the company of diverse leaders such as traditionalist trumpeterWynton Marsalis, the edgier saxophonist Greg Osby and the eclectic composer/conductorDarcy James Argue's Secret Society and his Secret Society. On one hand Birnbaum is a change agent having utilized three different rhythm sections in as many outings as a trio leader. He also demonstrates a strong conviction for retaining a musical style rooted in fundamentals. On Three of a Mind he is joined by veteran drummer Al Foster—whose résumé includes Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk—and Foster's regular bassist Douglas Weiss both of whom he has also performed with.
A Julliard graduate, Birnbaum's frequent appearances on the downtown New York club scene have grown to a presence at a number of prestigious international festivals. He has composed commissioned works and arranged a unique hybrid of classical and ethnic Japanese folk music for performance. Birnbaum's variety of musical experiences have provided him with a rich melodic vocabulary and a firm sense of timing. The familiar trio configuration on Three of a Mind does their best work when they work together, taking advantage of their individual and collective experiences together.
The high level of synergy is revealed from the start with the buoyant "Binary." A bit funky and repetitive, Foster and Weiss add a fullness that carries over to the moderate tempo "Dream Waltz." The latter features an appealing solo from Weiss. Foster subtly guides alternating tempos moving seamlessly from shuffle patterns to layered rhythms and adding dimension to simple compositions. A number of pieces such as "Thirty-Three," "Rockport Moon" and "Stutterstep" are unmistakably rooted in mainstream jazz but Birnbaum uses grass roots rudiments to drive his controlled style of improvisation.
Birnbaum expertly utilizes his experience and understanding of music to challenge himself with a multitude of methods and styles. His non-westernized encounters allow him to rethink conventional structures without discarding them. In the company of Foster and Weiss the players use each other as sounding boards that fuel an openness to individual development. The trio doesn't marginalize improvisation though it is often camouflaged by their ability to play with flawless coherence.
Track Listing: 
Binary; Dream Waltz; Thirty-Three; Brandyn; Rockport Moon; Stutterstep; Kizuna; Dream Song, #1 (Huffy Henry); Ooh, What You Do to Me.
Adam Birnbaum: piano; Al Foster: drums; Douglass Weiss: Bass.