Saturday, March 31, 2018

1 Sem 2018 - Part Nine

Plays Ravel

By Dan McClenaghan 
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), the classical French composer/arranger, was an early embracer of jazz. He included elements of the then new music into some of his own later compositions. Jazz has—since the 1940s, initially under the guise of what became called the Third Stream, pioneered in part by Gunther Schuller—often married classical stylings with the quintessentially American music that got its start down in New Orleans.
The Swiss trio VEIN has gone full immersion with the classical side, taking Maurice Ravel's music and treating it with a flexible reverence, applying their modern VEIN-ian stamp on the French composer's now near-century old music, with Vein Plays Ravel.
The group VEIN is a piano trio—twin brother Michael and Florian Arbenz—piano and drum, respectively—and bassist Thomas Lahns. The trio, in these particular hands, proves itself an exceptionally adept vehicle for interpretation of the classical canon. The three part "Le Tombeau de Couperin" brims with a majestic grandeur with Part 1, "Prelude;" the music shifts into a solemn, introspective mode on "Forlane," and closes on a fervid, jittery, percussive note on "Tocatta," all laid down with adept interplay and forward-leaning spirit. "Blues" has a melancholy hue, with some gorgeous and sporadic (rather than rhythmic) castanet-like percussion.
With Ravel's perhaps most famous composition, "Bolero," VEIN bolsters the ensemble with a quintet of reed and brass instruments, and creates the set's highlight. Andy Sheppard's saxophone takes the initial lead on this sixteen minute-plus jewel. Opening with a spare approach—the trio displaying a perfect cohesion—measured brass and reed solos follow, then multi-horn interplay as subtle (initially; it evolves into the gutsy and anthemic) and as inspired, arrangement-wise, as you'll hear, from Ellington through Gil Evans to VEIN and Company.
The music of Maurice Ravel proves itself a prime inspiration for the group VEIN and its guests.
Track Listing: 
Prelude; Forlane; Toccata; Blues; Bolero; Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte; Movement De Minuet; 5 O'Clock Foxtrott
Michael Arbenz: Piano; Thomas Lähns: Bass; Florian Arbenz: Drums;

Stefano Bollani Trio

By Peter Bacon
It’s a much bigger cast than just the trio. In addition to Italian pianist Stefano Bollaniand his pair of Danes, Jesper Bodilsen on bass and Morten Lund on drums, we hear Frenchman Vincent Peirani on accordion and accordina as well as 14 members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, all playing music arranged by Norwegian Geir Lysne.
This is the 17th in the Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic series of concerts which attempts “to put the ‘Sound of Europe’ on the big stage. This time Italy is the star, not just because of Bollani's charismatic presence at the centre of everything, but because the music delves deep into the riches of Italy’s past, from Claudio Monteverdi through Giacomo Puccini, Gioachino Rossini and Ruggero Leoncavallo to Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone and Paulo Conte/Michele Virano.
The trumpets and other horns of Berliner Philharmoniker herald the start of the concert, playing the Toccata from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, leading dramatically to powerful opening chords from the trio in the Sinfonia from the same opera with explosive solos from the Berlin Phil’s violist Martin Stegner, Bollani and Peirani, the 14-piece mini-orchestra giving them a good run for their money throughout.
The switch to a solo piano interpretation of Rota’s theme from Federico Fellini’s film Amarcord is a gorgeous contrast. Were any two musicians more perfectly suited than Rota and Bollani?
The party-like encore is more Rota, this time the marching theme from Fellini’s Fortunella, the orchestra giving its all in a jam-packed, rambunctious two minutes.
Before then we’ve heard Morricone’s Chi Mai given a Monty Alexander-style reggae treatment with lush orchestral support, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly with delicate expressiveness from Peirani, and a third Morricone piece adding tension and drama so that it can be blissfully undone in Conte/Virano’s cantering Azzurro. Bollani is as suited to Conte’s world as he is to Fellini’s, and there is a fine bass solo from Bodilsen.
The double whammy of Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro and Leoncavallo’s Mattinatagets the piano trio swing treatment leading to shimmering strings, the full orchestra and Peirani adding urgent interjections over the top before the horns and Bollani leads into a beautifully voiced, and beautifully measured, denouement and back to the start.
Rossini’s Largo al Factotum, from The Barber of Seville is the concert climax with everyone having a ball and Bollani offering a teasing cadenza.
This kind of big, celebrity concert with a grand sense of occasion and some kind of contrived overarching theme can, in subsequent recording, leave one responding: “Hmm, maybe you had to be there”. But when it works, one’s response changes to: “Damn! I wish I’d been there!” This album is definitely worthy of the latter response.

Tigran Hamasyan
An Ancient Observer

By Jeff Tamarkin
An Ancient Observer is two different kinds of solo album in one. Most of its tracks adhere to the traditional definition of one musician playing one instrument; Tigran Hamasyan’s is the piano, and he plays it extraordinarily well. The other tracks invite the listener to question the definition of “solo.” Although Hamasyan is still the only performer, he incorporates expansive, immersive colorings via choral-like ambient vocals, pronounced beats and layered orchestral foundations. The lattermost are at times so enveloping, with Hamasyan utilizing both piano and synths, you’ll swear the keyboardist brought a full band into the studio.
Then there are those tracks that flit between the two worlds, among them the opener, “Markos and Markos.” As it progresses, from pastoral piano meditation toward a darker, more bass-heavy space, the weight and drama snowball in intensity; then, a full stop and Hamasyan comes full circle. But he’s already given notice that he intends to move outside of the lines. Other standard piano solos, “Fides Tua” and “Nairian Odyssey” among them, find more in common with Hamasyan’s earlier solo outing, 2010’s A Fable, than with 2015’s Mockroot, the Armenian musician’s last full-band Nonesuch release, or his two recent projects for ECM.
Surprisingly, the more expansive pieces on An Ancient Observer don’t connect so directly to those recent, more contemporary releases either; they signify another course altogether. The hypnotically swirling “Egyptian Poet” and the solemn “New Baroque 2” suggest the composer is reaching into some deeper global folk-music well for his melodies, while “The Cave of Rebirth” and the title track—both of them simultaneously foreboding and bucolic—settle into a world marked only by its self-defined borders.

Gilson Peranzzetta
Como Vinho 70 Anos

By Mauro Ferreira
Nascido em 21 de abril de 1946 no bairro carioca de Braz de Pina, o pianista Gilson Peranzzetta subiu ao palco da Sala Cecília Meirelles, na cidade natal do Rio de Janeiro (RJ), seis dias antes de festejar 70 anos de vida. Na ocasião, em 15 de abril deste ano de 2016, o arranjador e produtor musical fez um show comemorativo das sete décadas de vida (sendo cinco dedicadas à música) com as participações de convidados como João Senise, Leny Andrade, Mauro Senise, Quarteto Radamés Gnattali e Valéria Lobão. Gravado ao vivo, o show gerou o primoroso álbum Como vinho – 70 anos, produzido pelo próprio Peranzzetta e lançado neste mês de dezembro de 2016 pela gravadora Fina Flor.
Como os vinhos das melhores safras, Peranzzetta se confirma no disco um dos maiores pianistas e arranjadores do mundo – dom superlativo já ressaltado pelo maestro norte-americano Quincy Jones, como conta o texto (não assinado) reproduzido no encarte da edição física em CD de Como vinho – enquanto celebra as origens cariocas ao tocar ao piano, com precisão, Braz de Pina, meu amor, entre outros temas autorais como Paisagem brasileira (música-título do álbum lançado por Peranzzetta em 1986, do qual vem também Como vinho, composição que batiza o atual disco), Cantos da vida (música-título de álbum de 1988) e Dois na rede (outro tema deste disco autoral de 1988).
Parceiro de Peranzzetta em série de discos gravados em dupla, o saxofonista e flautista Mauro Senise entra em cena quando o anfitrião toca o Prelúdio das Bachianas brasileiras nº 4 (Heitor Villa-Lobos, 1941). Cinco números depois, Mauro se encontra com o filho, o cantor João Senise, em Sorriso de luz (Gilson Peranzzetta e Nelson Wellington, 1997), canção que Peranzzetta gravou originalmente com a voz emblemática do cantor Djavan.
Ainda dentro do universo das canções, Leny Andrade faz As rosas não falam (Cartola, 1976) desabrochar com toda a beleza lírica do tema. Outra cantora, Valéria Lobão, entra em cena para interpretar Vivência (Gilson Peranzzetta, Dori Caymmi e Paulo César Pinheiro, 2011), música lançada pela própria cantora há cinco anos no álbum Chamada (2011). O número é um dos cinco feitos com a adesão do Quarteto Radamés Gnattali neste disco que reitera o requinte da obra de Gilson Peranzzetta como compositor, pianista, arranjador e produtor.

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