Monday, July 30, 2018

Tomasz Stanko ( 1942 - 2018 )

By The Guardian
Cecil Taylor and Don Cherry collaborator had continued to perform until a recent lung cancer diagnosis.
Polish jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stańko has died aged 76, following a lung cancer diagnosis earlier this year.
Tomasz Tłuczkiewicz, deputy head of Poland’s Jazz Association, confirmed that Stańko died early on Sunday at a Warsaw hospital.
Stańko was one of European jazz’s most celebrated figures, often recording for iconic avant-garde record label ECM and performing with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, among others. Holland paid tribute on Twitter, calling him “a unique musician with deep feelings and a gentle soul”.
Stańko was born in Rzeszów in 1942. His first live encounter with jazz came at a 1958 Dave Brubeck concert – though he became more strongly influenced by the exploratory free jazz of Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis from the mid-60s onwards. He formed numerous bands throughout his lifetime, the most recent of which was the Tomasz Stańko New York Quartet.
Reviewing their 2017 album December Avenue, Guardian jazz critic John Fordham wrote: “Nobody holds a single, long-blown trumpet note like the Polish pioneer Tomasz Stańko – a wearily exhaled, soberly ironic, yet oddly awestruck sound that is unique in jazz.”

Saturday, July 21, 2018

2 Sem 2018 - Part Two

Wagner Tiso & Marcio Malard
Outras Canções de Cinema

By Biscoito Fino
O novo trabalho do maestro Wagner Tiso contempla obras consagradas do cinema, como temas para ‘O Guarani’, ‘Os Desafinados’, ‘O Toque do Oboé’, entre outros mais. Para isso, convidou o violoncelista Marcio Malard para acompanhá-lo nas interpretações com mestres como Victor Biglione e Kiko Prazeres. A direção artística também fica por conta de Wagner, que explora seu potencial brasileiro de compor, renovando-se com a justeza de seus arranjos.

Dominic Miller
Silent Light

By Geno Thackara
Dominic Miller is a guitarist you've undoubtedly heard somewhere or other, whether you've knowingly heard of him or not. A life circling the globe (from Argentina to England and currently France) has let him absorb folk, Baroque and Latin American sensibilities, among other things, which leads to collaborations with similarly eclectic names. His widest exposure has been with numerous tours alongside Sting, who's happy to offer some poetic words of praise in the liners here alongside Paul Simon. Miller's ECM label debut offers a pleasant spin through some colorful tones of the places his travels have taken him.
The album starts off building a slow circular pattern, hinting at something middle-Eastern with a sinuous minor key and light hand percussion chiming along in the background. The soft earthy touches set a leisurely pace at which the rest of the recording sparsely unwinds—the plucking of nylon strings brings out Spanish or classical shadings throughout, and the mostly-solo format makes sure the music always has space to echo and breathe. The mysterious vibe manages to stay subtly alluring for the most part, even if a couple spots drift toward what you might call easy-listening territory (mainly with a peaceful new-agey take on Mr. Sumner's staple "Fields of Gold").
Close friend Miles Bould plays his background role using the aural equivalent of pale watercolors: a little pattering of shaker in "Water," for instance, or light cymbal splashes through the coasting groove of "En Passant." They both step it up with the skittering "Chaos Theory," which overdubs the pair playing with jaunty staggered timings and still effortlessly keeping in step. It makes the disc's liveliest moment while disrupting the contemplative vibe not at all.
Silent Light is a recording as peaceful and evocative as its title suggests: exotic motifs convey moods from several continents, chord structures can be left ambiguous or implied rather than stated, and extra sounds are sprinkled around with a light touch only where they're judged to add something. Dominic Miller's quiet travelogue is one that finds its most successful moments in giving hints as much as in showing or telling.
Track Listing: 
What You Didn't Say; Urban Waltz; Water; Baden; En Passant; Angel; Chaos Theory; Fields of Gold; Tisane; Valium; Le Pont.
Dominic Miller: guitar, electric bass; Miles Bould: percussion, drums.

André Previn
Alone: Ballads For Solo Piano

By AllMusic
Don't hate him because he's popular...or because of his sundry talents. Andre Previn may be best known as a conductor of symphony orchestras and as a film soundtrack composer, but he's a well-established jazz pianist as well. Previn's style is melodious and easygoing (influenced by piano masters Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson), but he can swing up a storm when he wants to. On ALONE, however, the mood is decidedly relaxed and touched with nostalgia as Previn embraces a set of emotionally charged standards. Songs like "Angel Eyes" and "I Can't Get Started" are timelessly poetic, while the sly "Andre's Blues" displays Previn's lighthearted side.

Ivan Lins & Gilson Peranzzetta

By Mauro Ferreira
É justo e natural que o álbum lançado hoje, 26 de janeiro de 2018, por Ivan Lins com Gilson Peranzzetta seja intitulado Cumplicidade. Afinal, a partir da segunda metade da década de 1970, a trajetória do cantor, compositor e músico carioca se tornou muitas vezes indissociável do toque do piano e dos arranjos desse compositor, músico e arranjador (também) carioca.
A afinidade musical foi tamanha que Ivan e Peranzzetta viraram parceiros em composições como Setembro, lançada pelo cantor em 1980 no álbum Novo tempo e reapresentada pelo arranjador em 1985 no álbum solo Portal dos magos, editado um ano após o disco coletivo Juntos(1984), assinado pelo cantor com Peranzzetta e com Vitor Martins, o parceiro mais frequente e mais importante de Ivan. Em Juntos, Ivan recriou sucessos do cancioneiro composto com Vitor Martins em duetos com cantores como Djavan, Elba Ramalho, Simone e Tim Maia (1942 – 1998).
Em Cumplicidade, álbum produzido por Eliana Peranzzetta e editado pela gravadora Fina Flor, Ivan e Gilson se juntam novamente, sem solistas convidados, para reviver músicas do cancioneiro autoral de Ivan. O disco é o registro de show apresentado pelo duo em várias cidades do Brasil ao longo de 2017.
Assim como no LP Juntos, as parcerias de Ivan com Vitor Martins são o mote do repertório do álbum Cumplicidade, mas Peranzzetta é coautor de Temporal (1978) e da globalizada Love dance (1981), música originalmente intitulada Lembrança e revivida em Cumplicidade com a letra em inglês de Paul Williams que se fez ouvir nos Estados Unidos a partir de 1988.
Setembro, claro, integra o repertório deste disco em que Ivan rebobina com Peranzzetta músicas emblemáticas como Abre alas (Ivan Lins e Vitor Martins, 1974), Começar de novo (Ivan Lins e Vitor Martins, 1979) e Madalena (1970), samba-soul da parceria inicial de Ivan com Ronaldo Monteiro de Souza.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bill Watrous ( 1939 - 2018 )

By Giovanni Russonello at NYTimes
Bill Watrous, whose crisp and graceful playing made him one of the world’s most respected trombonists, died on July 2 at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 79.
His sister, Sheila Watrous Wright, confirmed the death but did not specify the cause.
Mr. Watrous was heard often on studio recordings by artists like Quincy Jones, Prince and Frank Sinatra. But over a nearly 50-year career as a bandleader, he also released more than a dozen albums under his own name, spotlighting his eloquent playing in a range of contexts.
For a time in the 1970s he led a jazz-rock big band, Manhattan Wildlife Refuge, which released two albums on Columbia Records.
Mr. Watrous’s professional career began in the 1960s, when he played in ensembles led by the trumpeter Billy Butterfield and the trombonist Kai Winding and contributed to albums by the likes of Woody Herman, Wes Montgomery, Milton Nascimento and Chick Corea.
Reviewing a performance by the Bill Berry-Willis Conover Jazz Band in 1971, John S. Wilson of The New York Times wrote that Mr. Watrous’s “slippery trombone virtuosity brought down the house.”
After relocating to Los Angeles in 1977, Mr. Watrous became an in-demand session player, heard on dozens of albums and television scores, including Mr. Jones’s acclaimed soundtrack to the popular mini-series “Roots.”
He later taught at the University of Southern California for two decades, retiring in 2015.
In addition to Ms. Wright, Mr. Watrous is survived by his wife, Maryann; their son, Jason; two daughters, Melody Watrous Ide and Cheryl Schoolcraft, from a previous marriage, which ended in divorce; and a brother, Paul.
William Russell Watrous was born on June 8, 1939, in Middletown, Conn., and raised in Niantic, Conn. His father, Ralph, a trombonist who had played in vaudeville and regional bands, became his first role model. His mother, Edna (Little) Watrous, was a nurse and the head of the local nursing association.
The younger Mr. Watrous played with traditional jazz groups around Connecticut before joining the Navy at 18. He was assigned to a Navy Band unit in San Diego, then eventually reassigned to Brooklyn. While there, he apprenticed himself to Herbie Nichols, the iconoclastic bebop pianist and composer.
He stayed in New York after being discharged, and in 1965 he joined the “Merv Griffin Show” band. A few years later he became a member of the “Dick Cavett Show” ensemble. He did a short stint with the rock group Ten Wheel Drive before the influential producer John Hammond signed Manhattan Wildlife Refuge to Columbia.
That band released two albums of swirling, up-tempo fusion — a rough hybrid of early Return to Forever, Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi and Chicago. It was not a major commercial success, but it cemented Mr. Watrous’s reputation as a composer and bandleader as well as a virtuoso instrumentalist.
Few knew about his talents at another kind of swing: As a teenager, Mr. Watrous had been briefly scouted by the New York Yankees, and in the early 1980s, when he was in his mid-40s, he even contemplated joining a minor-league baseball team.
On a visit to Texas, Mr. Watrous casually took batting practice with the Double-A Midland Cubs. After he hit more than two dozen balls over the fence, the team’s manager offered him a spot in the lineup as the designated hitter.
“They were serious, but it would have been $540 a month, riding the bus and playing in the middle of nowhere,” he later recalled in an interview with The Los Angeles Times. “But for a while there I felt like Robert Redford in ‘The Natural.’ I still feel the pangs.”
The music world would have missed him: For most of his career, in addition to his work at U.S.C., Mr. Watrous gave frequent master classes across the country. He also wrote an instruction book, “Trombonisms,” with Alan Raph. A jazz festival at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Tex., where he frequently performed and taught, was named after him.
Correction: July 12, 2018
An earlier version of this obituary misstated the surname of the co-author of Mr. Watrous’s book “Trombonisms.” He is Alan Raph, not Ralph.
Correction: July 13, 2018
An earlier version of this obituary misstated the date of Mr. Watrous’s death. He died on July 2, not July 3.
Alain Delaquérière contributed research.
A version of this article appears in print on July 12, 2018, on Page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: Bill Watrous, 79, a Graceful Trombonist, Bandleader and Prized Studio Player. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Sunday, July 08, 2018

2 Sem 2018 - Part One

Brad Mehldau
After Bach

By Colin Fleming
To play the music of Johann Sebastian Bach well, a knack for sonic alchemy is required. One must be able to make swirling waves of chordal density—the original sheets of sound—feel both propulsive and calm, a deep grounding that’s simultaneously an invitation to travel the world.
On this disc, Brad Mehldau gives himself further challenges: to transpose works meant for harpsichord to the piano, whose blockier notes contrast with the former’s radiant numinosity, and to respond to those works with pieces of his own. Mehldau’s light touch, which feels like the quiet revival of a sleeping musical power, is evident on Prelude No. 3 in C# Major, from Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier. Bach was not a pastoralist, but Mehldau imbues something of the empyrean. We can also detect little hints of boogie-woogie-type chording; Bach, after all, loved a good rolling bass figure as the anchor for airier harmonics.
Fugue No. 16 in G Minor, from Book II of the WTC, is tantamount to a duet for one instrument, with that two-in-one approach splintering off in various dialogic patterings—like when you’re sitting in Starbucks and the hum of humanity seems to turn into a confluence of melody before reverting to a series of separate conversations. Mehldau is an excellent “talker” as a pianist, and that serves him well. He’s also skilled in “covering” Bach’s compositional hallmarks through his singular gift for writing. “Before Bach: Benediction” is the crystalline morning that opens the record, the sensation that a new world is about to unfold; the closing “Prayer for Healing” melds Bach and Mehldau with the conic sound-shapes of something like Trane’s “Alabama.” Bach was speaking to you, and so is Mehldau, twining melodic lines around each other as if one of them even belonged to you. That twining, of course, was Bach’s central purpose as a composer, and it’s what his jazzy descendant underscores in his pianistic way.

Addison Frei Trio
No Defense

By Scott Yanow
Ever since Addison Frei (“Fry”) began playing piano professionally at age ten in local restaurants around Lawrence, Kansas, he has garnered accolades far beyond his years. The New York-based pianist has won first prize in several competitions including the 2017 Parmigiani Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Competition, the 2016 UNISA International Jazz Piano Competition in Pretoria, South Africa, the 2015 American Jazz Pianist Competition in Melbourne, Florida, and the 2012 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition. He has released two albums on Armored Records, Intentions (2014) and Transit (2016), featuring frequent collaborator and Manhattan Transfer co-founder Janis Siegel. His latest recording on TCB Records-The Montreux Jazz Label will feature a new trio comprised of bassist Tamir Shmerling and drummer Mario Gonzi.
Frei also co-leads AMP Trio, contributing compositions to Three (2017), m(y)our world (2015), which rose to #24 on the Jazz Week charts, and Flow (2013). AMP Trio recently completed a Japanese tour and alongside vocalist Tahira Clayton, was selected as the winner of the DC Jazz Prix, earning a DC Jazz Festival performance in 2018. With his 2016 single and music video “Postcard”, Frei again teamed up with Clayton, this time expanding into a broader production palette. Following in this sonic path, he explored political themes in a digital EP, Future Speak (2017).
Frei currently holds the piano chair in the Juilliard Artist Diploma Ensemble, regularly performing and touring with the conservatory’s flagship jazz ensemble. In New York he has held residencies at the Kitano and the Cell Theatre. Frei performed a concert series at the 2017 Lucerne Piano Festival. He was also a featured soloist with Drew Zaremba’s Unity Orchestra in Dallas. Frei headlined the 2015 Wichita Jazz Festival and brought his group to the Dallas Museum of Art. He has toured alongside vibraphonist Christian Tamburr, Felix Peikli and Joe Doubleday’s “Showtime Band”, and the Charles Turner Quartet. His acclaimed compositions have earned him invitations to Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead and Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. Frei is a two-time recipient of the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award sponsored by ASCAP. He served as musical director of B-Side Productions’ Adding Machine and The Wild Party.
A 2014 summa cum laude graduate of the prestigious University of North Texas Jazz Studies program, Frei traveled with the One O’Clock Lab Band to headline the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, California and can be heard on Lab 2013. While at UNT he had the opportunity to perform with prominent jazz artists including Christian McBride, Mike Stern, and Peter Erskine. Frei also gave a duo piano recital alongside his mentor, Stefan Karlsson, featuring the music of Richie Beirach. In 2013 the faculty honored Frei with the Outstanding Undergraduate Jazz Studies Student Award.
In addition to performing and recording, Frei is an established clinician and educator, delivering invited lectures/performances the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the University of Kansas, the University of Central Florida, Wichita State University, Kansas State University, Baker University, the Verdi Conservatory of Torino, TUTS University and Pretoria University as well as numerous primary and secondary schools. Frei was a featured artist at the 2014 Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference in Dallas. He is presently a member of the Orlando-based Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra, in their inaugural season under the direction of Rodney Whitaker. Addison Frei is a Yamaha Artist.
“Throughout this set, Addison Frei’s playing and compositions are so sophisticated and mature that one would never guess that this was his first recording. Seven of the first eight songs are his originals. Those are not merely quick melodies and chord changes that serve as the foundation for long solos. Instead, the songs often travel through several moods and the development is both unpredictable and logical. The emphasis is on thoughtful playing, close group interplay, concise and meaningful statements, and a lyrical ballad feel even during the more heated sections.”

Michael Wollny Trio
Wartburg Live

By Jon Turney 
Two nourishing helpings of Michael Wollny’s impressively wide-ranging piano trio here. The original notion was to combine material from the studio session, in Oslo last September, with extracts from a live show in Wartburg castle a week later.
Reviewing the recordings, Siggi Loch, whose ACT label’s silver jubilee was marked at Wartburg, threw out that plan. There would be two CDs, co-released, to showcase the current work of the label’s biggest star.
Good decision. The two fit together beautifully, the opening tune in Oslo reappearing as the encore in Wartburg. The treatments are delightfully different. In the studio, the trio – Wollny, Christian Weber on bass and Eric Schaefer on drums – were joined on three tracks by the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, who improvise together under guidance from curator Geir Lysne. Their contributions add dramatic range, though the bulk of the album is trio alone. In Wartburg, the trio were joined by Emile Parisien, and his urgent soprano saxophone brings an appealingly astringent note to the conversation in the latter part of the concert.
The studio set sounds more considered, although there’s plenty of rollicking invention. The live performance, the trio sweeping through the first seven tunes without any breaks, is a characteristically wild ride, ranging from stately, classically-inflected melodies to bluesy vamps over strict tempo rhythm figures to the headlong accelerandos Wollny favours when it’s time for some (cheap?) thrills. Parisien is superb - no quick guest spot, this; he instantly turns a high achieving trio into a fully-integrated quartet.
The studio set features more pieces by other composers (Hindemith, Faure, Debussy), and more big helpings of a piano style that moves freely between Jarrett and Hancock-like passages and brilliant flourishes that are all Wollny’s own.
It’s a brace of CDs that fascinates for the differences as the same, intimately involved players strive to make the moment in two different contexts. I could offer a bunch of reasons to favour one over the other – but yours won’t be the same. If the budget permits, you should definitely hear both.

Edu Dori & Marcos

By Biscoito Fino
Após mais de 55 anos de amizade, Edu Lobo, Dori Caymmi e Marcos Valle se reúnem no álbum Edu,
Dori e Marcos, concebido e lançado pela gravadora Biscoito Fino em CD e nas plataformas digitais. O projeto, acalentado há muito tempo pelos cantores e compositores, foi sacramentado em 2016 durante um show de Marcos com a cantora Stacey Kent que contou com as participações de Edu e Dori.
No Projeto, cada um interpreta duas músicas compostas pelos outros dois para que cada um
produzisse suas próprias faixas, mostrando sua personalidade nas canções alheias.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Henry Butler ( 1948 - 2018 )

By Anastasia Tsioulcas
Henry Butler, a pianist, singer and cornerstone of the New Orleans sound, died of cancer Monday morning in the Bronx, New York. His death was confirmed by his agent, Maurice Montoya. Butler was 69 years old.
Born Sept. 21, 1948 in New Orleans, La., Butler was a prime force in the city's piano tradition — gifted with an exuberant touch and a keen, razor-sharp musicality.
Blind since birth, Butler grew up in the city's Calliope Projects, and taught himself piano by ear. He went on to study classical music at the Louisiana State School for the Blind, where he memorized scores written in Braille and at Southern University, he majored in voice and minored in piano. He also studied with such exemplars of New Orleans piano as Professor Longhair and James Booker.
Musically, Butler was the heir to his birth city's vital piano tradition, and he passed that tradition along. He taught across the United States and developed a summer camp for visually impaired teenage musicians. That program was depicted in a documentary film that aired on PBS stations in 2010.
Away from the piano, Butler was an enthusiastic photographer — shooting images of scenes described by friends — and pursued that passion for more than three decades, exhibiting his work around the world.
Butler's piano and music collection, along with much of his other possessions, were ruined during Hurricane Katrina. He left his beloved city, and eventually resettled in Brooklyn. But home, in his heart and under his fingers, was always New Orleans.
Butler was diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer last year. All through his illness, however, he kept playing: This May and June, he performed in Beijing, Melbourne and New York, with tour dates scheduled in France and Vienna for later this month.
"His approach was, 'I'm going to keep playing until this thing overtakes me,'" his agent, Maurice Montoya, tells NPR. "He was committed to the band, and to the music, and advocating for the art form. That's who Henry is."