domingo, 19 de abril de 2015


Sobran las palabras, solo JAZZ





jueves, 16 de abril de 2015

Roberto Gatto Quartet - Sixth Sense (2015)

Sixth Sense is the first CD of this new, amazing pianoless group. The quartet assembled by Roberto Gatto is one of the most peculiar and interesting on the scene. The melody is performed by two brass players, the trumpet of the young and acclaimed Avishai Cohen (Rising Star 2012 according to the Downbeat Critics Pool and already appreciated worldwide) and the tenor sax and clarinet of Francesco Bearzatti, a great representative of Italian music in the world (named best European musician in 2011 by the Académie du Jazz). To support the drummer leader and accompany him in the rhythm section, Doug Weiss, one the most representative double bass players from the New York scene. Four personalities who have put their cultural background in the service of music with great participation and energy, but above all with originality.

Appreciated on the national jazz scene since the mid-70s, Roberto Gatto - born in 1958, with a career that has known no setbacks for about forty years - has never run out of thirst for research and experimentation. His extraordinary skill led the drummer to write part of the history of Italian jazz. Removed the clothes of prestigious sideman alongside national players (Enrico Rava, Enrico Pieranunzi) and international artists (Johnny Griffin, John Abercrombie, Chet Baker, Steve Lacy, Pat Metheny, Bob Berg, Curtis Fuller, George Coleman, Joe Zawinul etc.), Roberto Gatto has undertaken with greater force the activity of leader, giving life to his groups and original projects, always surprising his audience. In this regard we can mention the acclaimed PerfecTrio completed by Alfonso Santimone on piano and electronics and Pierpaolo Ranieri on electric bass, the recent New York Quartet, consequence of his frequent stays in the Big Apple, featuring the young Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana, Nir Felder on guitar and Joe Lepore on double bass, and the latest Play Zappa with the pop group Quintorigo, dedicated to one of his best-loved artists Frank Zappa.

01. One for Avi (5:06)
02. Sixth Sense (7:25)
03. Hat on the Bobcat (4:43)
04. Togo (5:41)
05. Bonanza (7:50)
06. Dee's Dilemma (4:54)
07. Unknown Shape (5:05)
08. Black and Tan Fantasy (7:01)
09. Remember Rockefeller at Attica (5:36)
10. Peace (7:49)

Roberto Gatto - drums
Avishai Cohen - trumpet
Francesco Bearzatti - tenor sax and clarinet
Doug Weiss double - bass

Akira Tana - Otonowa (2015)

Label: Cannatuna Records
Source: Cdbaby
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 

The genesis of this group, Otonowa (Sound Circle) comes from the title a recording of the same name translated into English that was released a number of years ago in Japan on King Records and in the US on Evidence Music. The group, then, was called the “Asian American Jazz Trio.”

Two years ago this ensemble was reformed with the name “Otonowa,” having been a asked to perform for a benefit concert by Lake Hanyu of the Elsewhere Gallery in Fairfax, Ca. for the victims of the Earthquake/Tsunami in Northern Japan. Subsequently this group performed at the first anniversary last year and after performing again this year for the 2nd time, will travel to Japan in late March to perform in Northern Japan in aiding the relief efforts there that continue to this day.

The concept behind this group is very much in the tradition of Jazz, truly an American art form. This group is comprised of Japanese (now US citizens) who live in the US and also Japanese Americans who were born in the US. Thus, this group is made up of Japanese and Japanese Americans musicians raised in this country, learning the jazz vocabulary in the US and retooling and reinventing songs from their native land in the jazz idiom. The group has completed a CD dedicated to and in commemoration of the tragic events in Northern Japan. All of the material on the recording are jazz interpretations of traditional Japanese folk melodies that date back as long as a century ago. The incorporation of these Japanese folk elements is part of the long tradition of American jazz artists interpreting songs of American popular and folk songs ie, Miles Davis recording, “Bye Bye Blackbird,” to John Coltrane interpreting the well know song from the Sound of Music, “My Favorite Things.” In Otonowa’s interpretations, traditional Japanese instruments are also employed, like the Shakuhachi, the traditional Japanese flute and the fan drum, an instrument that is popular in festivals throughout Japan, along with the piano, acoustic bass, and drum set. The educational component of this presentation expands the concept of American Jazz. It exemplifies the cultural diversity of a country like the US and also reaches internationally utilizing songs and melodies from foreign shores, in this case Japan. These methods are not new or revolutionary. What makes this group unique is that the members have learned their craft here in the US and seek to interpret songs of their Japanese ancestry in a uniquely American way.

The songs on this recording are songs that date back to over a century ago, "Furusato," and also well know pop melodies such as "Ue O Muite Arukou," more commercially known outside of Japan as "Sukiyaki," whose original release dates back to the 1960's. Other songs include traditional titles, "Sakura Sakura," and "Akatombo," well known outside of Japan but songs that are very much ingrained in the Japanese culture like, "Karatachi No Hana," "Momiji," "Yoimachigusa," and Gion Kouta." "Nada Sou Sou" is a pop song from the 1990's. "Koi No Vacance" is a pop song popularized by the singing group "Peanuts" in the 1960's. Spanning decades and even centuries, all of these songs have one thing in common---beautiful melodies.  

1. Yashi No Mi 03:43
2. Nada Sou Sou 04:23
3. Otonoha 1 01:32
4. Karatachi No Hana 03:02
5. Akatombo 04:35
6. Koi No Vacance 07:04
7. Otonoha 3 01:40
8. Yoimachigusa 05:25
9. Ue O Muite Arukou 06:34
10.Momiji 04:11
11.Sakura Sakura 05:20
12.Otonoha 2 02:30
13.Kojo No Tsuki 05:20
14.Gion Kouta 03:39
15.Furusato 07:17

Art HIRAHARA, piano
Masaru KOGA, saxophones, flute, shakuhachi, percussion
Noriyuki OKADA, bass
Akira TANA, drums

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

miércoles, 15 de abril de 2015

Akira Sakata & Giovanni di Domenico - Iruman (2014)

Surprisingly, Iruman is saxophonist Akira Sakata's first piano duo recording in his forty-plus year career. The question this disc raises is not why did it take him so long to record in this format, but could another duo performance eclipse this one?

Sakata has been flag bearer of the Japanese free jazz movement since the 1970s. Recording first with pianist Yosuke Yamashita, then he was 'discovered' by bassist Bill Laswell and he went on to record with Material, Last Exit, Mooko, Peter Kowald. He has been featured with DJ Krush and become a favorite of guitarist Jim O'Rourke and drummer Chris Corsano. Their recordings And That's The Story Of Jazz... (Family Vineyard, 2011) and Live At Hungry Brain (Family Vineyard, 2011) with Devin Gray are minor masterpieces.

The studio recording between Sakata and Italian pianist Giovanni Di Domenico self taught until age 24, yields ten improvised passages that mix concepts of Eastern and Western music and free jazz as if the pair were presenting musical koans. Iruman opens with fragile and subtle piano and the ringing of bells as wind chimes. "Yellow Sand Blowing" mixes the skittering jerky alto of Sakata dancing over the raindrops of piano notes.

Giovanni Di Domenico has the inclination to play notes that rely either on their immediacy or linger as memories of sound or, perhaps emotion. He plays with an outsider artist's take on classical music. The pair mix some thunderous piano against chanting on "Yamadera Ni Kikoyuru Koe/Voice from a Temple in the Deep Mountain" and dancing notes against the vocalization with "Papiruma." The music is in constant reinvention. The chamber jazz of "Tanbo Ni Mizu Ga Hairu/Water Coming Into Rice Field in the Spring" is juxtaposed against "Moe II/Bud II" an aggressive back-and-forth scuffle of notes that ultimately finds compromise in the pair's cooperation.

01. Seijaku No Ichimai/A Piece of Silence
02. Kousa No Odori/Yellow Sand Blowing from China
03. Suiren No Saku Huruike/Lotus Blossom in an Old Pond
04. Yamadera Ni Kikoyuru Koe/Voice from a Temple in the Deep Mountain
05. Moe I’/ud I
06. Tanbo Ni Mizu Ga Hairu/Water Coming Into Rice Field in the Spring
07. Sukiyazukuri No Tatazumai/The Peaceful Atmosphere of a Wood Sukiya- style Temple
08. Hachi To Ohisama/The Bee and the Sunshine
09. Papiruma
10. Moe II/Bud II

Akira Sakata: alto sax, clarinet, voice, bells and shakers
Giovanni Di Domenico: piano

Larry Coryell - Heavy Feel (2015)

Larry Coryell returns for his third release on Wide Hive Records in an awesome fashion with one of his greatest albums. "Heavy Feel," which, like many great jazz records, was recorded in one day and the tracks are imbued with the improvisational genius for which Mr. Coryell is known. Aptly titled 'Heavy Feel', the band's sound and daunting guitar play Larry brings are undeniable.

martes, 14 de abril de 2015

Owen Howard - Drum Lore Vol.2: More Lore (2014)

Label: Brooklyn Jazz Underground
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 

Much of the attention-grabbing jazz music that is coming out in 2014 is of the boundary-pushing variety, with electronic textures and maybe some rock influence for good measure. There’s nothing at all wrong with that – I’m certainly all for a Rhodes piano and solid boom-bap drums. But don’t think for a moment that “traditional” jazz with an acoustic setup is dead and has nothing left to say. Look no further than drummer Owen Howard’s Drum Lore Vol. 2.
Howard is the drummer, bandleader, and main composer on this album, rounding out the set with tunes from Victor Lewis (“Hey, It’s Me You’re Talkin’ To”), Joe Chambers (“Ungano”), Paul Motian (“Mumbo Jumbo”), Philly Joe Jones (“Got to Take Another Chance”), and Tony Williams (“Pee Wee”). The album is called Drum Lore for a reason – Howard put together this project and the first volume that preceded this one as a way to showcase drummer-composed tunes (where the first Drum Lore volume skewed heavily toward other drummers’ tunes, roughly half of the tunes here are Howard originals). His impressive quintet here includes John O’Gallagher on sax, Adam Kolker on sax and bass clarinet, Frank Carlberg on piano, and Johannes Weidenmueller on bass. Certainly there are plenty of drummer-led groups out there , but although the concept on this record is the drummer as composer and bandleader, it’s the music that makes this such a rewarding listen, regardless of who wrote the tunes. - Ben Gray -

Hey, It's Me You're Talkin' To
Like Buttah
Mumbo Jumbo
Got to Take Another Chance
Pee Wee
Haiku (solo piano)

John O'Gallagher: sax alto
Adam Kolker: tenor sax, soprano sax, bass clarinet
Frank Carlberg: piano
Johannes Weidenmueller: bass
Owen Howard: drums  

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

lunes, 13 de abril de 2015

Juan Pablo Balcazar - Reversible (2015)

Label: Fresh Sound New Talent
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Juan Pablo Balcázar (1979. Villavicencio, Colombia) reside en Barcelona desde 1998 ciudad donde ha estudiado con los máximos exponentes del jazz tanto a nivel estatal como mundial. Su labor como bajista eléctrico, contrabajista y compositor lo ha llevado a tocar en los festivales de jazz más importantes de la península con distintos proyectos e infinidad de músicos. Ha cursado el Grado Superior de Música Moderna y Jazz en el Conservatorio Superior de Música del Liceu de Barcelona completando así los estudios de Especialista en Música Moderna que realizó en el Taller de Musics durante los primeros 5 años de estadía en la ciudad condal. En la UB (Universidad de Barcelona) ha cursado el Master oficial “Música como Arte Interdisciplinar” en 2011. Ha compartido escenario con músicos como Lucia Pulido, Guillermo Klein, Guillermo McGill, Miguel Zenón, Javier Ibarra (Kase.O), Miguel Villar, Jorge Sepúlveda, Marco Mezquida, Wycliff Gordon, Terence Stadford, Ruper Ordorika, Carlos Falanga, Greg Duncan, Juan David Castaño, Nicolas y Juan Andrés Ospina, Sofia Ribeiro, Dani Comas, Marta Gomez, David Xirgu, Jordi Matas, Juan Berbin, Dani Dominguez, Alejandro Mingot, Hasier Oleaga, Joe Smith, Bill McHenry, Marta Sánchez y un largo etc. Actualmente trabaja indistintamente en proyectos de Jazz tanto como de Pop o Hip Hop de primer nivel nacional.

Ha actuado en shows y festivales de España, Francia, Alemania, Estonia, Austria, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Portugal y un largo etcétera con sus propios proyectos y como músico acompañante. Con la discográfica española Fresh Sound Records ha grabado 8 discos a su nombre y otros tantos como sideman. En Colombia ha editado también varios discos a su nombre con los sellos MTM o Festinba Lente. La secretaría de cultura de Bogotá le ha convidado, en dos ocasiones, a formar parte, como invitado internacional, del festival Jazz al Parque Bogotá. El instituto de la juventud de España seleccionó y becó sus proyectos, hasta en 5 ocasiones, para participar en los circuitos nacionales INJUVE. Obtuvo el 1er premio en el primer Concurso de Jazz de Copons 2001. Su disco “Viaje/Voyage” es seleccionado como unos de los mejores discos del año por la revista ENDEROCK en 2009. 2º premio en el Concurso Jazzargia 2008 con el grupo Robadors23 Quartet entre otras muchas distinciones.

01. Arenera [Trio] 7:09
02. Radar [Trio] 7:00
03. Acurruca [Trio] 6:40
04. Silencio 9:19
05. Acurruca [Quartet] 5:49
06. Radar [Quartet] 6:04
07. Arenera [Quartet] 8:05

Juan Pablo Balcazar (b)
Marco Mezquida (p)
Carlos Falanga (d)
Guest: Miguel 'Pintxo' Villar (ts)

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

domingo, 12 de abril de 2015







Mike Osborne - Dawn (2015)

Alto saxophonist Mike Osborne's career was relatively short—barely 20 years between his first gigs with the pioneering Mike Westbrook Band and his retirement from the music scene because of mental health problems in 1982. His discography is lengthy, but albums as leader are rare. Dawn draws together recordings from three relatively early sessions in Osborne's career—early, but testament to the maturity of his playing and writing. It's exciting stuff.

Osborne recorded the first six tunes in London, during two gigs in August and December of 1970, with Harry Miller on bass and Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums—the recordings predate both of the trio's albums. The venue isn't identified, but occasional polite applause suggests a small club or theatre. The remaining four tracks—featuring Osborne and Miller with tenor saxophonist John Surman and drummer Alan Jackson—come from a June 9th 1966 studio session at London's Regent Sound, Osborne's first known recording session and Surman's second.

These dates are worthy of note. By 1966 pop had eclipsed jazz as the sound of young Britain. By 1970 the rise of progressive rock meant that many forward-thinking jazz players were gaining popularity through collaborations with outfits such as King Crimson—Miller and Keith Tippett appear on Islands (Island, 1970)—and the Canterbury Scene bands.

Osborne himself collaborated with folk guitarist and songwriter Mike Cooper, alongside his career in the top flight of UK jazz. His work with Stan Tracey, Westbrook and others—notably Chris McGregor's Brotherhood Of Breath and, with Surman and Alan Skidmore, the saxophone trio S.O.S—is testament to his place at the head of the UK scene.

Dawn offers further proof of Osborne's talent. His own compositions, such as "Scotch Pearl" and the surprisingly catchy "TBD," are bursting with life, tunes that celebrate the joy of making music with Osborne's alto weaving complex, snaking but melodic lines. "Dawn" and "1st" demonstrate his more reflective approach to composition and playing, akin to the spiritual jazz of John Coltrane or Pharoah Sanders (whose "Seven By Seven" gets a bouncy, joyous, treatment from the 1966 quartet).

Across much of this music Miller plays what could be termed a walking bass line. However, the term diminishes his power and his pace. The lines jog, at least, and in full flow on Herbie Hancock's "Jack Rabbit" he's playing at a gallop but never missing a beat. Moholo Moholo and Jackson match that combination of strength and musicality. Surman's approach is calmer than the others,' his warm, full, tone proving to be an ideal partner for the tighter and more frenetic Osborne sound.

Dawn is an important historical document. That alone justifies its release. Of course, historical documents don't always entertain—that's not their primary function. Thankfully, Dawn is historically important and entertaining. Osborne and his colleagues are on terrific form, bursting with ideas and barely controllable energy, a reminder that late-60s UK jazz may have operated in the commercial shadows but it basked in the creative sunlight.

Mike Osborne: alto saxophone
Harry Miller: bass
Louis Moholo: drums (1-6)
John Surman: tenor saxophone (7-10)
Alan Jackson: drums (7-10)

01. Scotch Pearl
02. Dawn
03. Jack Rabbit
04. TBC
05. 1st
06. TBD
07. Seven By Seven
08. And Now The Queen
09. An Idea
10. Aggression

sábado, 11 de abril de 2015

Romain Collin - Press Enter (2015)

“Romain Collin is a visionary composer, an extraordinary jazz pianist and a very bright young rising star in the jazz world” (Jon Weber, National Public Radio, US). Originally born in France and now based in New York City, Collin came to the US to attend Berklee College of Music on a scholarship, where he majored in Music Synthesis and studied performance with the likes of Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano. In 2007, Romain graduated from the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz where he held a Full Scholarship. During this time, Collin had the opportunity to tour internationally with Hancock and Shorter and studied with the likes of Larry Goldings, Ron Carter, Charlie Haden and Wynton Marsalis. While furthering his career as a leader, Collin continues to explore various musical genres as a sideman, performing and/or recording alongside artists such as Mike Stern, John McLaughlin, Christian McBride and Lauryn Hill.

01. 99 02:03
02. Clockwork 04:41
03. Raw, Scorched and Untethered 06:00
04. Holocene 04:47
05. The Kids 04:26
06. Webs 06:03
07. San Luis Obispo 03:27
08. Event Horizon 03:40
09. The Line (Dividing Good and Evil Cuts Through the Heart of Every Human Being) 05:23
10. Round About Midnight 05:48

Romain Collin, piano, sound design
Luques Curtis, double bass
Kendrick Scott, drums

Mino Cinelu, percussion (9)
Megan Rose, vocals (1, 8)
Jean-Michel Pilc, whistles (5)
Grey McMurray, guitar (4)
Laura Metcalf, cello (1, 3, 6, 8)

viernes, 10 de abril de 2015

Adam Harris Quintet - Live At The Jazz Station (2015)

Source: Allaboutjazz
Label: Self Released
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Adam Harris is an Oregon-based jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer and teacher. At 28 years old, he is already establishing a reputation for himself as a powerful voice in the Pacific Northwest music scene.
In 2004, he moved from Oregon to Seattle, WA where he began studying at Cornish College of the Arts. While at Cornish, Adam had the privilege of working with many of the area's most well known jazz musicians, which included Julian Priester, Jovino Santos Neto, Jay Thomas, Jim Knapp and Denney Goodhew.
After graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Music from Cornish, Adam attended the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA, where he earned his Master's of Music degree in December, 2011. While in Boston, he had the fortune of working with critically acclaimed musicians such as Dave Holland, Donny McCaslin, Miguel Zenon, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Billy Hart and Cecil Mcbee.
Adam currently resides in Eugene, Oregon, where he performs and teaches regularly. He recently recorded his first album as a leader, “The Adam Harris Quintet - Live at the Jazz Station”, which is expected to be released in March of 2015.

1. Hub Cap
2. Blues for My Brother
3. Lonely Wanderer
4. Gonzi Scheme
5. Around the Circuit
6. Good Old Days

Adam Harris - saxophone
George Colligan - piano
Jason Palmer - trumpet
Jon Lakey - bass
Tony Glausi - drums

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

Cassandra Wilson - Coming Forth by Day (2015)

An otherworldly musical homage to legendary jazz vocalist Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan on April 7, 1915) on the 100th anniversary of the singer's birth, Coming Forth By Day is Cassandra Wilson's moody, soulful new album showcase for contemporary yet timeless interpretations of standards associated with Lady Day. Coming Forth By Day was produced by Nick Launay, known as Nick Cave's producer for the last decade among many other adventurous credits.

Cassandra Wilson has drawn inspiration from Billie Holiday for her entire life and chose the title as a way to honor the iconic singer: "Coming Forth By Day" is an English translation of the title of the ancient Egyptian "Book of the Dead." The book, formally known as the "The Egyptian Book Of The Dead," is in actuality a Kemetic collection of scriptures more accurately titled, The Book Of Coming Forth By Day, prescriptions intended to assist both the living and deceased in their journey through life and the afterlife.

The album features 11 re-interpretations of standards associated with Lady Day plus an original penned by Cassandra Wilson the dream-like new "Last Song (For Lester)," imagined as a heartbreaking final message from Billie to her musical love, Lester Young. (Upon getting the news that Young had passed away, Billie flew straight from overseas to his funeral but was denied the opportunity to sing by Young's family and was distraught.)

Wilson recorded Coming Forth By Day in Los Angeles at Seedy Underbelly studios with an A-list musical team including producer Launay (Nick Cave, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, Arcade Fire), guitarists T Bone Burnett and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, string arranger Van Dyke Parks and rhythm section The Bad Seeds (drummer Thomas Wydler and bassist Martyn P. Casey).

"A dream of mine is happening," said Cassandra Wilson, "I've been in love with Billie Holiday's voice since the moment I heard it, and she has inspired me throughout my career."

01. Don't Explain
02. Billie's Blues
03. Crazy He Calls Me
04. You Go to My Head
05. All of Me
06. The Way You Look Tonight
07. Good Morning Heartache
08. What a Little Moonlight Can Do
09. These Foolish Things
10. Strange Fruit
11. I'll Be Seeing You
12. Last Song (For Lester)

Cassandra Wilson, voice

Doug Webb - Tripl3 Play (2015)

Label: Posi-tone
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 

As tempting as it is to simply consign a blowing session label to Triple Play, a three tenor saxophone plus rhythm date led by Doug Webb, there's ample evidence that something more disciplined and structured is afoot. For one thing, eight of the disc's eleven tracks are under six minutes—in other words, there's not a lot of room for indulgence, excess, or one-upmanship of any kind. The material, including striking originals by the leader, Walt Weiskopf, and Joel Frahm, as well as assorted standards such as "Avalon," "Giant Steps," and "I Concentrate On You," is often tendered by the horns like a reed section of a big band, carefully blended and precisely executed. Randy Aldcroft, who doesn't appear on the record, is credited with the arrangements of three selections.

Organist Brian Charette serves as the session's ballast, holding things in place with smart, pulsating work on the bass pedals, beautifully shaded and nuanced comping, as well as tweaking soloists with the occasional brash chord. Rudy Royston's drums and cymbals constitute the session's wild card. He offers a busy, sometimes manic commentary, moving in and out of the pocket at will, punching holes in the music with his bass and snare drums, playing stretches of comparatively straight time, as well as tapping out jumbles of strokes.

Webb, Weiskopf, and Frahm are middle-aged veterans of the struggles and triumphs of jazz performance, far too accomplished and certain of their abilities to participate in some sort of spurious tenor battle; thankfully, the record's end result is a wealth of inspired, highly focused improvisations. The three tenors—each in his own manner—play with a ruthless efficiency, making complete, rousing statements, usually in just a handful of choruses, on selections mostly taken at middling to up tempos.

Webb possesses an exemplary ability to navigate various tempos and find fresh perspectives on material that would induce a litany of clichés in a lesser player. Undaunted by the dizzying pace of "Avalon," his ideas cohere without a trace of athleticism or strain. A three-chorus turn on Lou Donaldson's soul-jazz tune "Alligator Boogaloo" includes relaxed, neatly sculpted phrases as well as the requisite blues and R & B effusions. Throughout "I Concentrate On You," amidst Charette's and Royston's firm support, he swings in a way that evinces a momentum of its own. During the first chorus of his composition "Jones," Webb makes an art of stopping short, that is cutting off ideas before an easily anticipated conclusion, and then offering something else, without any hint of disengagement or loss of continuity.

It's easy to become preoccupied with Weiskopf's tone, a dense, vibrating, all-encompassing, blues-fused concoction, at the expense of taking notice of the ways in which he organizes ideas in the service of sustaining momentum. On his composition "Three's A Crowd" and Webb's "Triple Play," he displays a flair for brief, dramatic entrances—such as slamming home one note and extending it, or making a handful of notes sound like a buzz saw, immediately following with an impassioned, metallic cry—and then rapidly getting down to the business of building a cogent, emotionally compelling improvisation. The second chorus on "The Way Things Are," another one of his compositions, includes some of Weiskopf's most stunning work on the record. His lines are taut, tightly connected, and for the most part etched into the hum and rumble of Charette's bass line. When he pauses, or briefly spins out a flurry of notes that fly against the beat before snapping back to attention, the effect is like an edifice being ripped apart and immediately—miraculously—put back into place.

Each of Frahm's solos is something of an adventure, as he manipulates his tone, juggles contrasting rhythms, intentionally rushes or drags time, changes temperament from cool to hot, and flashes a number of ideas in relatively short periods. His "Jones" improvisation gradually comes into focus. Frahm lays back for much of the first chorus, playing a little behind the beat and leaving some room between selected phrases. The last eight bars signal a change as his tone assumes a ragged edge. The second chorus begins with the insistent pecking of a number of staccato notes, which he rapidly wrestles into a nifty phrase. Eventually his sound thickens and he integrates squeaks, burr tones, and screams. During "Your Place Or Mine" Frahm evokes jazz of the swing era for about a half chorus in terms of vocabulary and rhythmic nuisances before metamorphosing to the present day. Throughout "Triple Play" he creates tension by playing slightly ahead of the beat, and sprinkles at least three song quotes into the solo's second chorus.

Not unlike Swing Shift, Webb's memorable 2012 release on Posi-Tone, Triple Play contains the present centered vibe of the last set of a club date, when the musicians are open to all possibilities, expressing themselves without inhibitions and, for an hour or so, the sounds are strong enough to keep the outside world at bay.  - David A. Orthmann -

01. Jones 4:47
02. Three's a Crowd 5:11
03. Giant Steps 4:01
04. The Way Things Are 4:58
05. Avalon 4:43 
06. Jazz Car 6:31
07. Your Place or Mine 4:59
08. I Concentrate on You 5:50
09. Pail Blues 7:31
10. Alligator Boogaloo 4:24
11. Triple Play 6:45

Doug Webb - tenor sax
Walt Weiskopf - tenor sax
Joel Frahm - tenor sax
Brian Charette - organ
Rudy Royston - drums

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

Enrico Bracco - Quiet Man (2015)

Label: Auand 
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Un’immagine nitida con la melodia in primo piano
 Sullo sfondo, il jazz newyorkese delle ultime generazioni. In primo piano, la melodia. La fotografia di “Quiet Man”, il nuovo lavoro del chitarrista Enrico Bracco appena uscito per Auand Records, è chiara e nitida. Eppure, come tutte le immagini d’autore, basta guardare un po’ più da vicino per ritrovare dettagli, colori e storie che, in questo caso, emergono ascolto dopo ascolto.
Influenzato dai lavori di Kurt Rosenwinkel, Brian Blade, Mike Moreno e soprattutto Logan Richardson, Bracco ha messo a punto uno stile compositivo che rende i suoi brani elegantemente stratificati: melodie orecchiabili e linee morbide (come in “L’esegeta” e “La Regola”) svelano percorsi impervi e spigolosi e si posano su arrangiamenti curati, tutti caratterizzati da un forte equilibrio che dà al disco una matrice molto personale, anche nei brani dalle atmosfere un po’ più scure (“Childhood Lost”). Il leader ha firmato le dieci composizioni originali (più una bonus track disponibile solo in digitale) che compongono il disco, ma l’omogeneità del suono è il frutto di un lavoro comune che coinvolge tutta la band che lo accompagna: Daniele Tittarelli (sax alto, flauto), Pietro Lussu (piano), Luca Fattorini (contrabbasso) e Enrico Morello (batteria).
Il percorso iniziato con il precedente “Unresolved”, con un nuovo approccio alla composizione, è ora ancora più definito. È lo stesso Bracco a descriverlo nelle note di copertina: “Facendo un parallelo con l’arte figurativa, penso ai disegni dell’artista austriaco Egon Schiele: un tratto che ha in sé la spigolosità e la morbidezza, i chiari e gli scuri; una linea che annulla la bidimensionalità, suggerendo piani e volumi”.
01 Play or rest
02 Lionel
03 Quiet man
04 Childhood lost
05 L'esegeta
06 La Regola
07 The bad guys band
08 Alis 3
09 Resonance
10 La Via DI Adamo
11 Brack's Tone

Daniele Tittarelli alto sax, flute
Enrico Bracco guitars
Pietro Lussu piano
Luca Fattorini double bass
Enrico Morello drums

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

jueves, 9 de abril de 2015

Emilio Solla y La Inestable De Brooklyn - Second Half (2014)

Label: Brooklyn Jazz Underground
Source: Allaboutjazz
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Argentine-born pianist Emilio Solla has moved around the globe a bit to find perfection in his art: studies in the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires, then to New York for more immersion at the Aaron Copland School of Music, and a move to Barcelona, Spain, where he recorded the marvelous Suite Piazzollana (Fresh sound New Talent, 2001) with a mostly Spanish ten piece ensemble. Ten years after his move to Spain, Solla pulled up roots once more, to move back to New York. More CD releases followed, but none—since all the way back to Suite Piazzollana—have been so ambitious and successful as his Second Half, with his top notch nonet, La Inestable de Brooklyn.

The tango and South American rhythms reign, with definite American influences—his group sound is downright Ellingtonian on the opening of the disc's second offering, "Chakafrik," whereas "Para La Paz" sounds as if it could be floating out of a club in Buenos Aires, a bit after midnight—Meg Okuras violin dancing with Victor Prieto's sighing accordion, giving way to a robust tenor sax solo from John Ellis. Alex Norris' trumpet signs in, the violin makes a statement in the background, Solla's piano plays soft, pretty notes. And as it was on Suite Piazzola, Solla's arranging skills prove here themselves of the highest order, on the same shelf as those of Maria Schneider's, on slightly smaller scale. Speaking of "Suite Piazzolla," Solla revisits Part 1 of that title tune to the previous disc here, sounding livelier, a bit more freewheeling, with a section featuring a gorgeous smolder when Solla, bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Eric Doob take center stage for a dark toned piano trio interlude.

"Estancia," with the different instruments floating in and out of the mix, sounds like South America's take on New Orleans, and "American Patrol," the only tune not written by Solla/ It was composed by F. White Meacham and got treated to Solla's "South Americanization," making it feel like a soundtrack to the streets of New York, around the dawn of the twentieth century, with an Argentinian tinge.

A masterful record by an absolutely first rate composer/arranger.  - Dan McClenaghan -

Llegara, Llegara, Llegara
Para La Paz
Suite Piazzollana
American Patrol
Rhythm Changed

 John Ellis: tenor saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Tim Armacost: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto flute
Alex Norris: trumpet, flugelhorn
Ryan Keberle: trombone
Meg Okura: violin
Victor Prieto: accordion
Emilio Solla: piano
Jorge Roeder: bass
Eric Doob: drums
Pablo Aslan: bass (7)
JP Jofre: bandoneon (3)
Marcelo Woloski: bombo leguero (2, 6) 

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth - Epicenter (2015)

Chris Lightcap is a bassist who has a very accurate sense of the pulse, whether that’s manifested in the puckish post-bop of Matt Wilson or the heavily distorted textures of Joe Morris’ and Jamie Saft’s Plymouth. But when Lightcap assembled his own supergroup and put out Deluxe back in ’11, the jazz press discovered his legitimacy as a bandleader and he’s been rightly put in higher regard these days.

Oh, and what a band this Bigmouth is: Craig Taborn (keyboards), Gerald Cleaver (drums) and the dual tenor treat of Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek are all legit as leaders themselves, and their usual modern-to-avant jazz playgrounds are right in Chris Lightcap’s area of expertise, too.

The long-awaited follow up to Deluxe is set to release on March 4, 2015 from Clean Feed Records. Epicenter brings back the Bigmouth crew intact, with both Lightcap and Taborn dabbling with the organ this time. But not on the title track, it’s all acoustic and based on the stream above, shows no diminishing in this group’s zest for adventure “Epicenter” begins with the melody, harmony, rhythm, and tempo coming together as one, i.e., Ornette Coleman’s ‘harmolodic’ music theory put in practice, and Chris Lightcap follows that hopping head with a rangy solo before Taborn inches his way in with right-handed ruminations that get more and more in the pocket. Following a brief remark by Malaby and Cheek, each of the saxophone masters take their own, urgent solos, with ample comp support from Lightcap, Taborn and Cleaver. A return to the saxophone remark — not the Ornette intro — wraps up this out-bop safari.