Saturday, April 27, 2019

Bill Evans - Evans In England

By Marc Myers at JazzWax
The year 1969 was a busy one for pianist Bill Evans. In January and March, Evans with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell recorded What's New with flutist Jeremy Steig. In February, the trio was recorded furtively at New York's Village Vanguard (The Secret Sessions). Then they moved on to Holland in March (Live In Hilversum 1969) and Italy in July (Autumn Leaves). Back in New York in early November, Evans began recording From Left to Right, his moody Fender Rhodes-acoustic piano album backed by an orchestra. Later that month, the trio recorded live in Copenhagen (Jazzhouse) and Amsterdam (Quiet Now).
Finally, on December 1, the Bill Evans Trio opened at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London, a run that would last until December 27. At various points during the month, the gig was beautifully recorded. The music captured Bill at his gentle and poetic best, a throwback to his playing of several years earlier. The recording has just been released on Evans in England (Resonance). Like the Wes Montgomery set that I reviewed yesterday, this two-CD set with a 36- page booklet of liner notes and interviews was produced by Zev Feldman.
According to Zev's introductory essay, the tapes were in the possession of a friend of Leon Terjanian, a resident of Strasbourg, France, who is among the world's many “trench coat" tape collectors. These fans own rare and previously unreleased recordings of major artists and trade them among each other. Zev traveled to Strasbourg twice to meet with Terjanian and to hear the tapes, research them and negotiate for their release. Terjanian would befriend Evans and film him in Lyon in 1978, using footage in his film, Turn Out the Stars, which was screened just once at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 1981.
As Zev was preparing Evans in England, he reached out to me for the album's main liner notes. To ensure that Evans was actually at Ronnie Scott's in December 1969, I called the club in London to verify the dates. They weren't sure, since their records were incomplete. So I went off to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at Lincoln Center, one of the finest arts research facilities in the city.
After an hour on the microfilm projector scrolling through the 1969 Melody Maker, the British music tabloid that published from 1926 to 2000, I found ads for the Bill Evans Trio at Ronnie Scott's throughout December.
For the notes, I also interviewed Marty Morell, my favorite Bill Evans drummer. I love Marty's delicate but determined touch and how he plays in and around Evans. After listening to the tapes, Marty said, he was certain the music was recorded in December 1969. During that visit to London, Marty recalled, he agreed to endorse Paiste cymbals, a Swiss company. Midway through the Ronnie Scott's run, he said, he switched out his Zildjian cymbal for a Paiste “Free Ride"—a cymbal without a bell.The model let him ride the cymbal without overshadowing Evans's playing, something that Evans's mother had groused about months earlier in Washington, D.C.
The final mind-blower that emerged from my research for these notes was the origin of Elsa. Composed by Earl Zindars, the song was an Evans favorite and appears on numerous Evans albums over the years. The list includes Explorations, Trio '65, Paris 1965, Momentum, Live in Paris 1972, Re: Person I Knew, among others.
Despite going through the liner notes of these albums and thumbing through books, no one ever bothered to look into why Earl Zindars named the song Elsa. Who was this woman? I called Anne Zindars, the late composer's wife. Here's what she told me: “After Earl wrote the song, I asked him, 'So, who's Elsa?' Turns out the song was named for the lioness, Elsa, in the 1960 book, Born Free, which became a movie in '66. Earl loved the book when it came out."
I think you'll find that Evans in England is the finest live recording by this trio and easily in the top five by Evans in general. For me, it's bested only by Sunday at the Vangaurd/Waltz for Debbie recorded in 1961 and Bill Evans at Town Hall in 1966. As you'll hear, the music in London is alive and spry without Evans's keyboard agitation or complaint. All 18 tracks feature Evans at ease; Gomez conversational, not nagging; and Morell on sticks and brushes egging Evans along. We're lucky that such artistic grace surfaced and that Resonance producers Zev Feldman and George Klabin had the wisdom and determination to put the music out.
Bill Evans died in September 1980.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Jacques Loussier ( 1934 - 2019 )

By Archyworldys
French composer and pianist Jacques Loussier, a great composer of jazz and classical music, died Tuesday night at the age of 84, his wife Elizabeth announced. Unclassifiable artist famous especially for his jazz adaptations of Johann Sebastian Bach, when he led the trio Play Bach, founded in 1959 with bassist Pierre Michelot (who died in 2005) and drummer Christian Garros (who died in 1988), he led an international career with 3,000 concerts and more than 7 million albums sold.
But this artist on the sidelines of the traditional jazz circuits has also distinguished himself as a member of music hall orchestras, and composer of more than a hundred pieces for film and television, including the famous credits of the cult series Thierry La Fronde.
"Jacques Loussier had the idea of ​​genius at the time to adapt Bach to jazz, and he was successful around the world. Johann Sebastian Bach's music swings a lot and maybe it's our first jazzman ", told AFP Pascal Anquetil, a journalist at Jazz Magazine.
In addition to the work of Johann Sebastian Bach, he had also adapted other great masters of classical music such as Vivaldi, Ravel, Satie, Debussy and Schumann. His last record, My personal favorites, was released in 2014 at Telarc, on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Jacques Loussier, born in October 1934 in Angers, had also created a recording studio in Miraval, in the south of France, where worked Pink Floyd and The Cure.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Ed Bickert ( 1932 - 2019 )

By FYIStaff
Renowned Canadian jazz guitarist Edward (Isaac) Bickert died Thursday, Feb. 28. He was 86.
During the early 1950s, he worked as a radio engineer in Toronto. Following that, he became a go-to studio musician, recording as a sideman for Ron Collier, Moe Koffman, Phil Nimmons, Rob McConnell and many others.
He was in a duo with Don Thompson and a trio with Thompson and Terry Clarke. He also worked with American musicians when they performed in Toronto, including Paul Desmond, and Frank Rosolino. After playing in Japan with Milt Jackson, he recorded with Oscar Peterson, then Buddy Tate. He went on tour during the 1980s with McConnell, Koffman, and Peter Appleyard. He signed with Concord and recorded with Ernestine Anderson, Benny Carter, Rosemary Clooney, Lorne Lofsky, Dave McKenna, Ken Peplowski, and Neil Swainson. Lofsky was a member of his quartet in the 1980s and '90s.
He made his first studio recording on Moe Koffman’s unlikely hit single “Swinging Shepherd Blues”, and then became a regular member of the Moe Koffman Quintet that performed regularly at celebrated Toronto jazz haunt, George’s Spaghetti House, booked by Koffman as an agent.
Bickert was also a charter member and featured soloist with Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass, and played with Phil Nimmons' bands for decades. In 1974, established American saxophonist Paul Desmond sought out Bickert to record, resulting in a series of albums that put him on the international map. Bickert never capitalized on his newfound fame as he was a reluctant traveller and felt a keen kinship with a coterie of notables in the city where he lived.
With McConnell he recorded 20 albums, plus more than 20 as a sideman with artists as varied as Shirley Eikhard, Humphrey Lyttelton, Benny Carter and Hagood Hardy. Other artists he recorded multiple albums with included Rosemary Clooney and Paul Desmond.
He was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1966 and, in 1980, earned his first and only Juno Award, with Don Thompson, for a collaborative live album entitled Sackville 4005.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

André Previn ( 1929 - 2019 )

By Sandra Gonzalez and Chloe Melas/CNN
Famed composer André Previn, who won four Academy Awards for his work on films like "Porgy & Bess" and "My Fair Lady," has died. He was 89.
His management company, IMG Artists, confirmed the news.
Previn's manager, Linda Petrikova told CNN that he died Thursday morning in his Manhattan home after a short illness.
During his seven decade career, Previn earned four Oscars, 10 Grammy Awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
He was also named honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.
Previn was born in Berlin in 1929. His family immigrated to the United States, and he was raised in Los Angeles. In 1967, he became the music director for the Houston Symphony Orchestra and in 1968 took on the role of principal conducted for the London Symphony Orchestra.
He worked as the composer on "The Fortune Cookie" in 1966 and composed music for films like "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in 1967 as well as 1970's "The Music Lovers."
Previn was married five times. His third wife was actress Mia Farrow, to whom he was married from 1970-1979.
Previn and Farrow had six children together.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

1 Sem 2019 - Part Three

Allen Toussaint
American Tunes

By John Fordham
Like the great New Orleans singer-songwriter Allen Toussaint’s 2009 album "The Bright Mississippi" (a tribute to classics by jazz giants from Bechet to Monk), this set, completed just before its creator’s death last November, is a gently personal slice of Americana. You can hear it in the steady ragtime bounce of Fats Waller’s Viper’s Drag, Professor Longhair’s Hey Little Girl, Bill Evans’ Waltz for Debby (played as a conga-coaxed Latin shuffle) and the Paul Simon anthem behind the album title, with its segues of American history and personal struggle, sung with an awed resolve by Toussaint himself. It’s mostly instrumental (Toussaint’s keyboard style has a trilling, Jelly Roll Morton-like daintiness and debonair swagger), though guests including saxophonist Charles Lloyd and guitarist Bill Frisell add contemporary ambiguities to Billy Strayhorn’s Lotus Blossom and Ellington’s Come Sunday. Toussaint’s intimacy with classic R&B, soul and funk inflects all his jazz playing, even if American Tunes is for the most part a low-key (and perhaps faintly wistful) look back at a wonderful musical life.

Tony Bennett & Diana Krall
Love Is Here To Stay

By Bobby Reed
Part of the reason that Tony Bennett, 92, has remained artistically vital over the decades is his willingness to work with unexpected vocal partners, as evidenced by A Wonderful World (his 2002 collaboration with K.D. Lang), Cheek To Cheek (his 2014 release with Lady Gaga) and his series of Duetsalbums (which included contributions from Paul McCartney, Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse and Marc Anthony). On Bennett’s new album—devoted to the compositions of George and Ira Gershwin—his vocal partner is of the more expected variety, given her long history of interpreting the Great American Songbook: Diana Krall. Bennett and Krall have, in fact, recorded duets before, on his albums Playin’ With My Friends: Bennett Sings The Blues (2001) and Duets: An American Classic (2006). But Love Is Here To Staymarks their first album-length collaboration. One unusual twist here is that Krall doesn’t play piano on the session, instead focusing on vocal duets with the master, while the instrumentation is provided by pianist Bill Charlap’s impeccable trio. The result is a gem that showcases not only the longevity of the material, but of Bennett himself, who found fame after serving in the Army during World War II.
Bennett and Krall offer 10 delightful duets—including “I Got Rhythm,” “Do It Again” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It”—and each vocalist delivers one solo rendition; his is “Who Cares?” and hers is “But Not For Me.” Just as salt and pepper can work together in a recipe, Bennett’s authoritative vocals and Krall’s more delicate delivery complement each other, and several tunes conclude with a delicious bit of unison singing. On the album opener, “’S Wonderful,” there’s a brief segment in which Krall very quietly scats beneath Bennett’s lead vocal. That moment, along with Bennett’s chuckle at the end of “I’ve Got A Crush On You,” illustrates the singers’ chemistry and camaraderie. On “Somebody Loves Me,” there’s a slight reversal of typical roles, as Krall is more exuberant and Bennett is more subdued. These vocalists’ performances are a master class in the art of listening, reacting and then listening even more closely before responding. A swinging version of “My One And Only” features Charlap’s fluid pianism, drummer Kenny Washington’s compelling brushwork and a sturdy bass line from Peter Washington. It also features the type of clever lyrics that made Ira Gershwin such an important partner to George: “I tell you, I’m not asking any miracle/It can be done, it can be done/ I know a clergyman who will grow lyrical/ And make us one, and make us one.”
Hardcore Gershwin fans might want to seek out the Target Exclusive version of this album, which contains two additional solo tracks: Bennett’s reading of “Oh, Lady Be Good!” and Krall’s rendition of “How Long Has This Been Going On?”

Joe Locke & Geoffrey Keezer Group
Live In Seattle

By John Kelman

Vibraphonist Joe Locke and keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer have been working together for some time as the New Sound Quartet, which has released two discs in Japan. But while that group—clearly the precursor to this quartet—focused out of necessity on a primarily standards-based repertoire, Live in Seattle provides a far better and more accurate representation of its potential. Featuring three songs each by Locke and Keezer, it's also further evidence that Locke—along with Stefon Harris and Steve Nelson—is one of the most creative, open-minded and forward-thinking vibraphonists on the scene today.
The same can be said for the rest of the group, in particular Keezer, whose recent Wildcrafted: Live at the Dakota(MaxJazz, 2005) was a powerful document of his growing skills as improviser, composer and bandleader. His innate understanding of technology makes for a totally organic integration. And his writing—like Locke's—often places demands on both the players and listeners, but avoids complex constructs that exist merely for their own sake.
Bassist Mike Pope—heard recently on Bill Bruford's Earthworks Underground Orchestra (Summerfold, 2006)—provides an unshakable anchor. He's flexible enough to provide gentle support on Locke's evocative ballad "Miramar," and play more assertively on Keezer's funk/reggae-informed "Tulipa."
When speaking about the recent Montreal Jazz Festival's Suono Italia series, the increasingly ubiquitous Terreon Gully referred to it as "polite," and there's certainly nothing polite about his role here. During Keezer's solo on "Van Gogh by Numbers," the drummer proves himself more than just capable of responding to his surroundings, instead suggesting ideas rhythmically that elicit melodic responses. But as dominant as Gully is, he doesn't dominate. This is a quartet of collaboration, not of self-promotion.
Compare this version of "Van Gogh By Numbers" with the one on Van Gogh by Numbers (Wire Walker, 2006), Locke's mallet duo disc with marimba player Christos Rafalides. The title track was a detailed chamber piece—powerful in its own way, but also more delicate and ethereal. On Live in Seattle, with Pope and Gully, it becomes a fervent piece that approaches the energy of fusion, but without the excess.
There may be clearly delineated and impressive soloing throughout the hour-long set—Keezer and Locke deliver frenzied yet focused solos during the hard-swinging middle section of Locke's up-tempo closer "The King (For T.M.)"—but what's most striking is how the quartet seems to breathe as a single entity.
On the one cover—James Taylor's anti-war song "Native Son," where Gully's military-style drumming sets up the mood perfectly—the quartet manages to retain its emotional ambiguity and moral simplicity while turning the piece into a vehicle for one of Locke's most lyrical solos of the set.
Arranging to record a concert always creates the hope for one of those special performances where everything gels perfectly. Live in Seattle captures the Locke/Keezer Group on one such occasion, finally realizing the fully contemporary potential of this ongoing collaboration.
Track Listing:
Van Gogh By Numbers; Honu; Fractured; Native Son; Miramar; Tulipa; The King (For T.M.).
Joe Locke: vibes; Geoffrey Keezer: piano, keyboards; Mike Pope: acoustic and electric bass; Terreon Gully: drums.

Seth MacFarlane
Music Is Better Than Words

By Stephen Thomas Erlewine
A vanity project that evades any rational explanation, as its flights of fancy are so far removed from its creator’s home turf, Music Is Better Than Words is a traditional big-band album from Seth MacFarlane, the self-satisfied wise-ass behind Family Guy. Demonstrating precisely the same amount of imagination that led him to creating no less than three permutations of Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, MacFarlane plays it straight throughout Music Is Better Than Words, hiring American Dad composer Joel McNeely to create approximations of Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, and Billy May's arrangements for Frank Sinatra's deathless, mid-century records for Capitol. These classic concept albums are clearly the blueprint for Music Is Better Than Words, which was, after all, recorded at Capitol Records' legendary studio with MacFarlane singing into the very same microphone Sinatra used all those years ago, and there is a bit of a concept to this 2011 LP, too, with the cartoonist selecting songs never recorded by any member of the Rat Pack -- along with a couple recent tunes like “She’s Wonderful Too,” which McNeely originally wrote for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles -- for his tribute to that ring-a-ding-ding swing. MacFarlane and McNeely don’t attempt to ape the pizzazz of Frank’s Reprise years, nor do they spend much time with May’s snazzy snap, they stick with Riddle and Jenkins, keeping things sentimental and lush even when the words crackle with wit. Then again, MacFarlane is so concerned about inhabiting Sinatra’s silken suits he doesn’t really care about the meaning of the songs; all that matters is sounding like Ol' Blue Eyes, which MacFarlane does about as well as any number of hotel lounge singers this world over. Sure, it’s a surprise that he can carry a tune, but it’s no surprise that MacFarlane, who came to fame and fortune by telling obvious jokes so slowly a dog could understand, considers his competence as proof of his excellence, his smugness bearing no swagger, his self-satisfaction undercutting his otherwise perfectly pleasant surroundings.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

1 Sem 2019 - Part Two

Arturo Puertas
Viva Jujuy

By El Intruso
El contrabajista y compositor argentino Arturo Puertas pertenece a esa raza de músicos casi en extinción que prioriza su arte por encima de todo lo aleatorio. Nacido en 1961 y a pesar de su bajo perfil, ha sabido construir un camino sólido, fructífero y abundante que lo ha llevado a compartir proyectos con una infinita cantidad de músicos locales de los que mencionaremos apenas a unos cuantos: Diego Urcola, Luis Salinas, Adrián Iaies, Gusavo Bergalli, Ernesto Jodos, Daniel Binelli, Ricardo Cavalli, Juan Cruz de Urquiza, Jorge Navarro, Baby López Furst, Walter Malosetti, Fats Fernández, Pocho Lapouble, Luis Nacht, Horacio Larumbe, Oscar Feldman, Osvaldo Fattoruso, Carlos Franzetti, Alberto Favero, Hernán Jacinto, Cirilo Fernández, Gillespi, Andrés Boiarsky, Pepi Taveira, Fernando Martínez, Ricardo Lew, Guillermo Romero, Oscar Giunta y en extenso etcétera.
Pero también músicos extranjeros han requerido de sus servicios, a saber: Clark Terry, Dave Liebman, Dave Samuels, Conrad Herwig, Walt Weiskopf, Gail Wynters, Ted Piltzecker, Jeff Siegel, Michael Tracy, Jacob Karlzon, Peter Asplund, Fredrik Lundin y Krister Jonsson, entre otros.
En 2008 decidió iniciar su carrera solista; así fue que al año siguiente debutó discográficamente como líder con Siete puertas, acompañado por Fernando Martínez en batería, Pablo Raposo en piano y Gabriel Santecchia en saxo tenor. En 2013 llegó el sucesor: Afropuertas, en esta ocasión con los aportes de Beto Merino y Ezequiel “Chino” Piazza (batería), Carlos Michelini (saxos), Cirilo Fernández (piano) y Marcelo Mayor (batería).
Y Arturo Puertas acaba de editar su tercer opus; pero esta vez el álbum, que lleva por título Viva Jujuy, fue registrado en Estados Unidos. Y la compañía, de excepción: Adam Cruz en batería (Danilo Pérez, Chris Potter, Charlie Hunter, Chick Corea, David Sánchez), Aaron Goldberg en piano (Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Guillermo Klein), Miguel Zenón en saxo alto (Charlie Haden, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Seve Coleman, Mingus Big Band) y John Ellis en saxo tenor (John Patitucci, Charlie Hunter, Sting, Darcy James Argue). El disco contiene ocho composiciones del líder (El hombre fuerte, Para Charlie H., Es diferente, No soy lo que crees, K.J. el pianista, Juegos en el viento, Sos mi bastón y Una música en el cordal) una de Rafael Rossa (Viva Jujuy) y dos versiones (una en trío y otra en cuarteo) de Tour de Force, de Dizzy Gillespie.
Como se desprende de los títulos, hay en Viva Jujuy homenajes a Charlie Haden y a Keith Jarrett (otra versión de K.J. el pianista aparece en el álbum debut de Puertas); también hay energía en El hombre fuerte y No soy lo que crees, blues en Una mosca en el cordal, aires folclóricos en Sos mi bastón y Viva Jujuy, vals con aires de bossa nova en Es diferente (también incluida en Siete puertas), interesantes relecturas de Tour de Force y todo con un excelso nivel de interpretación convirtiendo a Viva Jujuy en un destacado y fiel reflejo de las bondades de Arturo Puertas que supo conformar un grupo de notables que se han puesto a disposición del líder y que contribuyen a, dentro de la diversidad estilística, conformar un álbum compacto y homogéneo.

Adrian Iaies Trio
Vals de La 81ST & Columbus

Vals de la 81st & Columbus
Astor changes
Round midnight (Monk, Hanighen, Williams)
Algún día nunca llega
Juarez el casamentero
Sigilosamente (For Duke)
Valsecito para una rubia tremenda
What are you doing the resto f your life (Legrand, Bergman M&A)
Nefertiti (Shorter)
Mariposita (Aieta, G.Jimenez)

Adrián Iaies - piano
Michael Zisman - bandoneón
Pablo Aslán - contrabajo
Pepi Taveira - batería
Juan Cruz de Urquiza - trompeta (1,9)

Grabado en Sound Rec, Buenos Aires, enero 29 al 31 de 2008
Ingenieros de sonido: Ricardo Sanz y Carlos Melero
Mezclado en Sound Rec por Ricardo Sanz
Asistente de grabación: Facundo Colella
Técnico de piano: Roberto Rovira
Masterizado por Katsuhiko Naito en Avatar Stuidos, NYC
Fotos de Horacio Sbaraglia
Foto de 81st & Columbus: Ana Delgado
Cover art; Magdalena Casá
Diseño de arte: Javo Veraldi & Carolina Santantonín para plantabaja C.
Producciòn artística: Adrián Iaies & Fernando Gonzalez
Producido por Adrián Iaies, Fernando Gonzalez & Justo Lo prete para Sunnyside communications

Amaro Freitas

By Mark Sullivan 
Brazilian pianist/composer Amaro Freitas is from the coastal city of Recife in the northeastern state of Pernambuco. His geographic background is important, because he has been heavily influenced by the Afro-Brazilian maracatu (dating from slavery days) and the high intensity carnival rhythms of frevo and baião, as well as the jazz tradition. Most of this album is played by the Amaro Freitas Trio, his group with drummer Hugo Medeiros and double bassist Jean Elton.
Opener "Dona Eni" immediately establishes the unique rhythmic feel of the trio. Powerful, driving, with the piano treated like a huge 88-piece percussion instrument: an unquestionably Brazilian sound, but with no reference to the expected samba or bossa nova rhythms. "Paço" is built on a rhumba-like dance rhythm, albeit one a bit too jerky for dancing. The title tune "Rasif" (a colloquial spelling of Amaro's hometown) slows things down to a ballad feel. Elton's double bass plays the reflective melody, while Medeiros contributes melodic tom toms. "Mantra" achieves a meditative state through motoric repetition, frequently emphasized by the bass doubling Freitas' left hand. "Aurora" shows a more elaborate side of Freitas' compositional style. A three part suite depicting the daily motion of the sun, it goes through distinct changes in mood—from rhapsodic to a frenetic climax driven by dynamic drumming.
The trio is joined by reed player Henrique Albino for the two final selections. "Plenilunio" ("Full Moon") has a composed sound, more reminiscent of classical music than jazz. After an unaccompanied piano introduction, Albino takes the lead on flute, while also adding baritone saxophone to the ensemble. So it is a much bigger sound, forming an elegant contrast to the earlier rhythmic music. Closer "Afrocatu" features a twisted folkloric-sounding melody over a relentless odd-metered ostinato pattern. Brief baritone saxophone solos interrupt the flow like obbligatos. The band is back into power rhythm mode, and the album ends with an exciting unison.
This is Amaro Freitas' sophomore release as a leader, and he has already proven himself as a distinctive voice in jazz piano. Well established in Brazil, he is ready to step upon the world stage.
Track Listing:
Dona Eni; Trupé; Paço; Rasif; Mantra; Aurora; Vitrais; Plenilunio; Afrocatu.
Amaro Freitas: piano; Hugo Medeiros: drums, percussion; Jean Elton: double bass; Henrique Albino: baritone sax, flutes, clarinet.

Takuya Kuroda
Rising Son

By Michael J. West
Japanese trumpeter Takuya Kuroda currently works with singer José James, and Rising Son shares James’ controversial penchant for genre bending. (James also produced the album, Kuroda’s first for Blue Note and fourth overall, and performs on one track.) It’s alternately jazz, funk, hip-hop, R&B, Afrobeat and club music, but the music isn’t as muddled as that might sound; actually, it’s quite tight. But it’s not always successful, either.
The tunes follow a pattern: Drummer Nate Smith establishes a groove on which Solomon Dorsey and Kris Bowers vamp with bass and Rhodes electric piano, respectively, until Kuroda and trombonist Corey King enter with a unison melody. But there’s enough rhythmic and melodic variety to prevent monotony. The hard-edged hip-hop of “Piri Piri” follows “Afro Blues,” an intoxicating Afrobeat pastiche (no relation to the jazz standard) spiced by guest Lionel Loueke’s guitar. Meanwhile, the Latin-disco “Mala”-on which King sits out and Bowers switches to acoustic piano-leads into James’ sexy R&B vocal, “Everybody Loves the Sunshine.” There’s even internal variety: The title track juxtaposes a dark melody for processed horns and Rhodes with a party-time funk rhythm. And, of course, there are smart, virtuosic solos by (mostly) Kuroda and Bowers, who particularly shine on the mellow closer, “Call.”
The clubby aspect of the disc is its use of extended rhythmic vamps à la 12-inch dance records. Here the music fails, because there’s too much time spent on too little. “Mala” ends with over a minute of vamping. “Piri Piri” insists on including its 16-bar intro with every chorus except the improvised ones-vamps at the expense of solo space. Must jazz hobble itself to gain relevance?
Track Listing:
1. Rising Son; 2. Afro Blues; 3. Piri Piri; 4. Mala; 5. Everybody Loves the Sunshine; 6. Green and Gold; 7. Sometime, Somewhere, Somehow; 8. Call.
Takuya Kuroda - Trumpet; Corey King - Trombone (1-3, 6-8); Kris Bowers - Rhodes (all except 4),Synth (1,2,5 & 8), Piano (4); Solomon Dorsey - Bass, Synth Bass, Percussion (all), Vocals (5); Nate Smith - Drums & Percussion; Lionel Loueke - Guitar (2); Jose James - Vocals (5)

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Michel Legrand ( 1932 - 2019 )

By John Anderson at TheNewYorTimes
Michel Legrand, the invariably romantic pianist, arranger and composer of hundreds of film scores and songs that have became pop hits and love anthems, died on Saturday. He was 86.
His death was confirmed on the artist’s official Facebook page by his management team.
Over a career of more than 60 years, Mr. Legrand collaborated onstage, onscreen and in the studio with dozens of celebrated musicians of his era, from Miles Davis to Perry Como, Stéphane Grappelli to Liza Minnelli.
A three-time Academy Award winner and five-time Grammy winner — he was nominated for a total of 13 Oscars and 17 Grammys — Mr. Legrand made the love song his métier. Among his better-known compositions are “The Windmills of Your Mind” from “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968), which won the Oscar for best song; “The Summer Knows,” the theme from “Summer of ’42” (1971) (Mr. Legrand won an Oscar for the movie’s score); and the Oscar-nominated “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” from the film “The Happy Ending” (1969). All three were written with the lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

1 Sem 2019 - Part One

Carlos Franzetti

By Jeff Tamarkin
The 70-year-old Argentinean pianist and composer Carlos Franzetti delights in mixing things up. Over four-plus decades he’s recorded symphonic (most recently, 2017’s Luminosa and 2018’s Buenos Aires Noir) and solo projects; composed film music and conducted, arranged and orchestrated others’ works (Paquito D’Rivera, Steve Kuhn, Ruben Blades); slipped seamlessly between jazz, tango, and classical music; and sung standards. Nothing seems to be out of his reach.
The purest expressions of Franzetti’s talent may, however, be his small-combo efforts, and Ricordare (“to remember”) is a piano-trio gem. With David Finck handling bass duties and Eliot Zigmund drumming, Franzetti offers up four originals and a half-dozen interpretations, ranging from the Ennio Morricone title track to a trio of the most familiar melodies in the Western lexicon (“Danny Boy,” “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “Over the Rainbow”).
Franzetti displays something of a split personality on Ricordare. His ballads are warm, inviting blankets, rolling easily and seductively; his uptempo numbers breathe fire. The aforementioned title track introduces the dynamics at work. Casual and tender at first, virtually drum-free, it picks up midway into its nearly eight minutes. Finck’s move to arco mode comes as a jolt, opening up the vista most cinematically. “Danny Boy,” at key turns barely recognizable, serves as a showcase for the pianist’s precision as well as the rhythm section’s uncanny knack for anticipation and the clever turn of phrase.
Naturally, there is tango to be found, but its placement is more subtle than overt: The Franzetti composition “Allison’s Dance” is practically giddy rhythmically, but never does it wear an identity as one specific thing or another. Franzetti opts to bow out solo, with another self-penned number, “Song Without Words,” as whole and fulfilling as anything else that’s just occupied the past hour.

Tord Gustavsen Trio
The Other Side

By Mike Jurkovic 
Like a dusty, Southern gothic novel, Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen opens his return to the trio format with the moody, enigmatic "The Tunnel." All his compositions on The Other Side bare their secrets slowly and play out their methodically expressionistic hauntings with a gospel-influenced left hand seemingly rooted thousands of miles away in the muddy Louisiana delta.
Though Being There (ECM, 2007) was widely hailed yet often criticized as being cool in nature, The Other Side is a warm, whole-cloth adventure of spacious interiors, dug into and revealed with the kindred aid of stalwart drummer Jarle Vespestad and new bassist Sigurd Hole, who bears his love of dark contours and folk influences on his sleeve, creating a full, deft space through which the pianist leads his trio. Harald Johnsen, the trio's original bassist, died of an unknown illness at the age of 41 in 2011. 
Gustavsen freely mixes the ancient music of Norway with his love of Bach, the pianist arranging three chorales for the album; amongst them, the Vespestad-led "Schlafes Bruder" integrates a deep groove that Bach may never have imagined.
Gustavsen brings all he's learned in the interim years, playing with fiddlers and Iranian musicians, to his writing. "Re-Melt" is powered by the pianist's melodic insistence and Vespestad's understated groove. The atmospheric rumination of "Taste and See," "Leftover Lullaby No. 4," and the closing "Curves" are simply beautiful, lyrical statements, taken at a pace that almost belies time.
Track Listing:
The Tunnel; Kirken, den er et ganment hus; Re-Melt; Duality; Ingen vinner frem til den evige ro; Taste and See; Schlafes Bruder; Jesu, meine Freude Jesus, det eneste; The Other Side; O Traurigkeit; Leftover Lullabye No. 4; Curves.
Tord Gustavsen: piano, electonics; Sigurd Hole: bass; Jarle Vespestad: drums.

Kurt Elling
The Questions

By Dan Bilawsky 
How does one grapple with existence and its juxtaposition against the present state of affairs? That's the question that hangs heaviest over The Questions. While vocalist Kurt Elling didn't come into this production with a theme in mind, he discovered a through line in the act of wrestling with difficulties and dreams in this age of marked unreason and unrest. With these ten songs he explores that topic to the fullest, coloring the music with his signature blend of authority and understanding.
A mixture of tones—inquiring and knowing—sets this meditation on humanity and our times in motion with "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." Bob Dylan's difficult truths by way of Elling's passionate delivery immediately become the cynosure of ears and minds, though co-producer Branford Marsalis's soprano solo and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts' pelting finish certainly garner attention. What follows—an examining and affirming smile at life in pianist Stu Mindeman's musical setting of poet Franz Wright's " A Happy Thought," a gorgeous treatment of "American Tune" that recasts the Paul Simon classic as a treatise on immigration wrapped in hope's light and trapped in fear's web, and a hymn-like interpretation of Peter Gabriel's "Washing Of The Water" that's as emotive as anything in Elling's discography—greatly furthers the image of the artist playing with the powers of enlightenment and doubt.
Through the remainder of the album, Elling paints with the various shades of perception, poetry, and philosophy that he knows so well. The bluesy resonance of "A Secret In Three Views" belies the deep thinking behind his Rumi-inspired lyrics to Jaco Pastorius' "Three Views Of A Secret," "Lonely Town" utilizes lighthearted sounds to frame the topic of solitude, "Endless Lawns" uses pianist-composer Carla Bley's "Lawns" as the musical basis for an arc that includes turmoil and release, and "I Have Dreamed" speaks to a yearning for love to bloom. Then the album closes with "The Enchantress," a work nodding toward matriarchal figures—both Marsalis' and Elling's—and taking directional cues from poet Wallace Stevens' "The Idea Of Order At Key West," and a toned-down "Skylark," bringing the title of this album into lyrical consideration in a subdued light. The core band members and notable guests all make the weight of their contributions felt along the way here, but Elling manages to carry the weight of the world in his voice. He may not have the answer to all of the questions, but he certainly makes you think about them.
Track Listing: 
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall; A Happy Thought; American Tune; Washing of the Water; A Secret in Three Views; Lonely Town; Endless Lawns; I Have Dreamed; The Enchantress; Skylark.
Kurt Elling: vocals; Stu Mindeman: piano, Hammond B-3 organ; Joey Calderazzo: piano (4, 6, 9); John McLean: acoustic guitar, electric guitar; Clark Sommers: bass; Branford Marsalis: saxophones; Marquis Hill: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums.

Adrian Iaies & Rodrigo Agudelo
Como Si Te Estuviese Viendo

Como si te estuviese viendo
Game Over
Agudelo in the Mood for Love
Esa foto encandila
Colegiales when it Rains
(What it Means) Saber que siempre estas por ahí
Seis punto dos
Missing Strayhorn
RODRIGO AGUDELO guitarra eléctrica, española (en temas 3 y 8 )

Grabado el 28 de mayo en Estudios Doctor F.
Grabación, mezcla y mastering: Florencio Justo
Arte de tapa: Javo y Caro
Técnico de piano: Roberto Rovira

Friday, January 04, 2019

Friends Top 10 - 2018 By Leandro (Dr.Leo)

By Leandro Lage Rocha


1. ADRIAN IAIES TRIO - Las cosas tienen movimento


3. HAMILTON DE HOLANDA - Tributo a Jacob do Bandolim

4. FERNANDA TAKAI - O Tom da Takai

5. THE DOUG JOHNSON TRIO - Live at The Royal Garden

6. ADRIAN IAIES TRIO - La vida elige



9. ANTONIO ADOLFO - Encontros

10. KURT ELLING - The Questions


12. RENATO BRAZ - Saudade

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Friends Top 10 - 2018 By Marcilio

By Marcilio Adjafre

Segue minha lista, sem classificação ou comentários
Melhores CD 2018:

⁃ Addison Frei Trio - No Defense

⁃ Jeremy Pelt - Noir en rouge(live in Paris)

⁃ Grégory Privat Trio - Family Tree

⁃ Roberto Olzer Trio - The Moon and the Bonfires

⁃ Giovanni Mirabassi Quartet- Lucky Boys

⁃ Enrico Pieranunzi & Thomas Fonnesbæk - Blue Waltz

⁃ Piero Frassi Circles - Skydiver

⁃ Francesco Maccianti Trio - Path

⁃ Alan Zimmerman - Trio

⁃ Michele Di Toro/Yuri Goloubev - Duonomics

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Friends Top 10 - 2018 By Claudio

By Claudio Botelho

Aqui a grande surpresa do ano! Um Zé Mané, vindo lá de não-sei-onde, nos apresenta interpretações de standards americanos sem que torcêssemos o nariz! Como já falei, o interessante de suas interpretações é que, via de regra, enveredam por caminhos variados. Como se fossem mini-sub-músicas dentro de cada música. O mais normal é que sejam feitas improvisações únicas para cada performance: a cara toca o tema, improvisa seguindo uma linha única, volta para o tema e arremata. Muitos até fazem uso de jazz prêt-à-porter que pouco ou nada tem a ver com aquilo que o compositor fez. Muitos sopradores são mestres nessa arte! Vai ver, não sabem direito o que fazer... Johnson, além de ter sido muito feliz em suas variações, multiplicou-as, o que tornou seu trabalho bastante fora do comum. Pelo inesperado do que apresentou, me chamou muito a atenção. Por isso, for me, the best of the year!

Este aqui foi lançado recentemente, mas a gravação é do século passado. Pieranunzi exibe uma musculatura musical que parece não estar mais com eles nestes dias. Jazzificação do melhor nível que se presta muito bem para torná-lo um dos mais importantes pianistas da história do jazz. Ponto! Sua performance na faixa JITTERBUG WALTZ prova isso muito bem. Ainda, embora não estando, nos dias que correm, com muita paciência para dar o seu melhor (anda meio entediado...), os abundantes registros do seu passado provam com sobras sua excelência. Do ponto de vista da essencialidade do jazz, veio como um dos mais fortes do ano.

Prodígio dos prodígios! Não sei como estará esse menino quando estiver com 20 anos, por exemplo! O cara já está num nível que vai desafiá-lo! Vamos ver o que o futuro lhe reservará. Espero que, na tentativa de "evoluir", não invente moda... Por enquanto, tem sido feliz até na escolha do saxofonista. Pelo menos para mim, Redman, de há muito, tem sido um dos mais "redondos" saxofonistas do Jazz. Sei não, talvez por não ser muito afeito a sopradores, acabo por gostar de alguém que eventualmente não seria do agrado dos "hard-cores" do sax. Marcílio pode dizer algo a respeito (apesar de sua casmurrice ao divulgar sua lista). Enfim, o rapazola mais e mais vem mostrando a que veio. Como tenho dito, me impressiona sua maturidade musical (nada a ver com sua dexteridade), além de me a agradar bastante seu approach que é a antítese de sua figura mirrada.

Esse é um prestidigitador do piano (alguns furos acima do Zeitlin, a quem, não me perguntem porque, sempre comparo). Enquanto que este tem um estilão engessado, aquele flutua no espaço. Sempre. Agilíssimo em seu jazz, tem uma leveza que muito poucos conseguem atingir. De certa forma, neste departamento, talvez seja único. Me faz lembrar Pete Jolly, embora os estilos não sejam exatamente iguais. Esse trabalho é rico, variado e é longo igual pilha Duracell. O que é bom, pois coisas boas são sempre benvindas, quanto mais em grande quantidade.

Trabalho que contrasta bastante com o anterior. Aqui, muito mais sério, um tanto sisudo, mas muito inspirado. O Doctor Jazz é um grande pianista que não esconde sua formação clássica. Romano, vigoroso e marcador de presença. Sempre lembro do seu trabalho em Oceans in the Sky com Steve Kuhn. Esse CD tem uma certa impregnação nostálgica. Parece evocar algo que não existe mais, mas que provoca boas lembranças. Muito bom.

Aqui, temos um dos melhores trabalhos dos tempos recentes de Hersch. Sem dúvida, é um dos medalhões do piano! Apesar de não me identificar com certas interpretações suas de inspiração ornettecolemaniana, nas demais situações, ele exulta finesse, drama e - sim! - autoridade. Em temas mais calmos, seu estilo "quebrado", único, reforça sobremaneira a circunspecção necessária. Nesse departamento, a meu juízo, é insuperável. Esse CD prova bem isso. No ano passado, voltei muitas vezes a ouvi-lo. Seguramente, um dos mais fortes desta lista. Recomendadíssimo!
Fiquei impressionado com a segurança e o impressionismo desses meninos filandeses. A gravação soberba, muitos furos acima daquilo que se faz normalmente nos EUA, serviu de excelente palco para eles. Composições articuladas e, principalmente, jazzificação multlayered, como diriam os americanos. É aquela história: em cada song, você tem a parte 1, a parte 2 e assim vai. Um pouco Doug Johnson, se vocês me entendem. O trabalho é denso e inspirado. Vão em frente!

Esse tem andado por aí, na semiclandestinidade já por bem uns cinquenta anos! Passando despercebido... Não sei porque. Compositor e músico de primeira linha! Andou se perdendo um pouco aqui e ali. Normal. No entanto, no ano passado e neste ano se redimiu. Essa orquestra Atlântica é tudo de bom. A simbiose está perfeita e, cortês como ele só, Adolfo lhe deu amplo espaço. Afinal, quase todas as músicas são de sua lavra. Trabalho vibrante como poucos. A junção daquilo que de melhor tem uma orquestra com a malemolência brasileira, tudo acrescido com a excelência de Adolfo deu nisso aí: uma vibrante experiência musical!

Realmente, não tem defesa para a catraeragem da capa! Sei não, mas tenho uma certa convição que o sujeito perde muita venda ao se parecer mais um trio nordestino de sanfona , zabumba e triângulo do que um excelente trio da jazz como o que temos aqui. Pelo menos em Nova Iorque. Excelentíssimo CD! Sem dúvida, aqui está um dos melhores pianistas surgidos nos últimos tempos. Recomendo para quem gosta de trio de piano!

Não entendi porra nenhuma esse título, mas o CD é muito bom. Destaque para o bandoneonista que, embora não apresentando todo o drama dos melhores do ramo, manja muito de jazz, ao ponto de roubar o protagonismo de Iaies. Minha homenagem aqui aos hermanos argentinos que andam numa draga de fazer dó.

É isso, amigos. Até a próxima! Nunca é demais repetir: FELIZ 2019!