lunes, 4 de agosto de 2014

Micht Haupers - Invisible Cities: Original Jazz & Chambers (2014)

Source: blogcritics

Mitch Haupers—guitarist, composer, and faculty member of the prestigious Berklee College of Music—makes an impressive recording debut with Invisible Cities, a collection of original compositions highlighting his mellow, lyrical, and creative aesthetic. As he explains in Bill Milkowski’s liner notes: “When it comes down to speaking my own mind creatively, I tend to go with the more relaxed, calm, reflective approach.” “In the world of guitar,” Haupers prefaces this description, “as in all things, there’s the yin and the yang. I think my . . . whole approach to playing is more yin.” A more accurate characterization of Hauper’s music is unlikely. Except, perhaps to say that this reflective approach has produced one gorgeous set of music.

He is joined on the album by a base ensemble featuring Alan Pasqua on piano, Darek Oles on bass, Peter Erskine on drums, and Bob Mintzer on winds. These are musicians who play together as P.O.E.M., as well as a gaggle of guest performers on individual tracks.

Haupers opens with the cleverly titled “Veronica’s Lake.” While younger listeners may not recognize the name, for the grizzled among us, the blonde actress with her signature hairdo is a sadly happy memory. That it also has a personal happy association for the composer adds a secondary subjective level reflected in the tune’s gently swinging vibe. As clever titles go, “Waltz for Bill,” which immediately gets jazz fans thinking Bill Evans and “Waltz for Debby,” is another swinging winner for the quintet.

The central work on the album is the four-part chamber piece, “Four Minor Love Songs Suite.” “Take Comfort (In Rose’s Garden),” the first movement, memorializes Haupers’ grandmother, and opens with the composer on the solo piano before he is joined by members of the Boston Pops orchestra and Berklee faculty. The second movement is called “The Farmer and the Monarch.” Haupers, back on guitar, explains that the piece was inspired by Britain’s “mad” King George III, he of the American Revolution, who had a passionate interest in agriculture. Its idyllic themes are more likely to suggest the bucolic element than the revolutionary. Movement three, the lovely “(In Came) Love, So Silent,” features a vocal passage from soprano Brooke de Rosa. The Suite concludes with a powerful “Beacon Street” filled with horns and a sound with big band overtones.

Of the other tracks on the disc, “Isla Mujeres” is an ethereal ballad with Mintzer on the tenor sax, and “Leoa” an exercise in drama. The album’s title song plays with Brazilian rhythms with Mintzer overdubbing a variety of woodwinds. The set closes with “P.S. Vita (Reprise),” a short, lyrical guitar duet with Haupers on electric guitar and Mike Miller playing the Brazilian guitar. It makes for a fitting coda for an excellent album.

Mitch Haupers, guitar, compositions
Bob Mintzer, saxes
Alan Pasqua, piano
Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz, bass
Peter Erskine, drums

Special Guests
Isabelle Oliver, harp
Brook Derosa, voice
Mike Miller, brazilian guitar
Russell Ferrante, piano
Jimmy Haslip, electric bass

01. Veronica's Lake
02. Downtime
03. Isla Mujeres
04. Invisible Cities
05. Leoa

Four Minor Love Songs Suite

06. Part I: Take Comfort (In Rose's Garden)
07. Part II: The Farmer and The Monarch
08. Part III: (In Came) Love, So Silent
09. Part IV: Beacon Street

10. Waltz for Bill
11. P.S. Vita (Reprise)

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Kirk Knuffke & Jesse Stacken - Five (2014)

Source: the guardian

It's difficult to imagine two jazz composers more unalike than Bill Evans and Carla Bley, one soft and delicate, the other all hard outlines and sharp angles. But these two musicians manage to get inside half a dozen pieces by each with equal ingenuity. With just cornet (Knuffke) and piano (Stacken), this is by no means easy listening, and best appreciated in shortish bursts, but they're superb players and wonderfully clever improvisers. They produce some really bravura stuff on the more spiky Bley material. Interestingly, it took a Danish label to sign and record them in New York.

Music by Carla Bley and Bill Evans

01. Closer
02. Syndrome
03. Very Early
04. Batterie
05. Your Story
06. Epilogue (Take 1)
07. King Korn
08. Sugar Plum
09. Around Again
10. Donkey
11. Epilogue (Take 2)
12. Five

Kirk Knuffke - cornet
Jesse Stacken - piano


Kris Davis Trio - Waiting for You to Grow (2014)

Kris Davis – a pianist-composer who offers “uncommon creative adventure,” says JazzTimes – releases her second trio record, Waiting For You To Grow, on Cleanfeed records (a sequel to her first trio recording, Good Citizen, on Fresh Sound). Long favored by her peers, jazz fans and critics, 2013 was an especially fruitful year for Davis, finding her quintet record, Capricorn Climber, her solo recording, Massive Threads and her appearance on Eric Revis’s trio record with Andrew Cyrille on the top records of 2013 in the New York Times, Jazz Times, Time Out and the New York City Jazz Record. Davis earned high praise from no less than star pianist and MacArthur “Genius” Grant honoree Jason Moran, who included her first solo record in his Best of 2012 piece in Art Forum, writing: “A freethinking, gifted pianist on the scene, Davis lives in each note that she plays. Her range is impeccable; she tackles prepared piano, minimalism and jazz standards, all under one umbrella. I consider her an honorary descendant of Cecil Taylor and a welcome addition to the fold.” The music for this trio project was commissioned by the Jazz Gallery and Jerome Foundation and was recorded after the trio completed a European Tour in May of 2013. 

As the title suggests, Waiting for you to Grow is a deeply personal recording for Davis, composed and recorded when Davis was pregnant with her first child. A time of excitement, uncertainty, and joy, these emotions can be felt as much as heard as the listener makes his way through Waiting For You To Grow. Her band mates, seasoned drummer Tom Rainey and John Hebert, were along side the seven month pregnant Davis as they toured Europe, developing and shaping the music before returning to New York to record. The result is a highly interactive and energetic effort from this long-standing trio. 

Featuring some of Davis’s most beautiful piano playing and composing to date, Waiting For You To Grow ranges from the ethereal and hypnotic title track, to the tension-filled and cavernous first track, Whirly Swirly. Twice Escaped, a composition recorded previously on her quartet CD The Slightest Shift, displays Davis’s melodic sensibilities, while Hiccups explores a more traditional approach to the piano trio format. 

Davis has become a vital presence on the New York jazz scene, with The New York Times featuring her in a recent article titled “New Pilots at the Keyboard.” In addition to her commission from the Jazz Gallery in 2013, she received a grant from the Shifting Foundation to compose and record a large-ensemble project. Davis has performed with such top figures as Paul Motian, Eric Revis, Andrew Cyrille, Tim Berne, Bill Frisell, John Hollenbeck, Kermit Driscoll, Michael Formanek, Ralph Alessi and Mary Halvorson. Davis started playing piano at age 6, studying classical music through the Royal Conservatory in Canada and formulating her desire for a life in music by playing in the school jazz band at age 12. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Piano from the University of Toronto. The pianist received a Canada Council grant to relocate to New York and study composition with Jim McNeely, then another to study extended piano techniques with Benoit Delbecq in Paris. She holds a master’s in Classical Composition from the City College of New York, and she teaches at the School for Improvised Music. 

About her art, JazzTimes has declared: “Davis draws you in so effortlessly that the brilliance of what she’s doing doesn’t hit you until the piece has slipped past you.”

Kris Davis - piano
John Hebert - bass
Tom Rainey - drums

1. Whirly Swirly
2. Twice Escaped
3. Berio
4. Hiccups
5. Propaganda and Chiclets
6. Waiting for You to Grow

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Eric Reed - Groovewise (2014)

Label: Smoke Sessions
Available: September 9, 2014

Powerful Paul Robeson
Until The Last Cat Has Swung
Manhattan Melodies
The Gentle Giant
The Shade of the Cedar Tree
Una Mujer Elegante
Groovewise (Intro)

Eric Reed, p
Seamus Blake, ts
Ben Williams, b
Gregory Hutchinson, d

"Eric Reed is a man of great passion and great intellect which is why Groovewise works so well. Improvisational music recorded in a live setting is often feast or famine. Reed didn't want to settle so he apparently tapped into the talents of artists that are willing to not only follow his lead but  work as a true collective where each has the chance to stretch out and make their own statement, Groovewise doesn't street till 9/9/2014 but in the day of the pre-order and digital download the old fashioned street date has lost true meaning". 


Third World Love - New Blues (2007)

1 h 1 min 15 sec
Label: Anzic Records 
Released: Dec 21 2007 

01. Joy of Life Intro
02. Joy of Life
03. Homeland
04. Little Echo
05. La Camerona
06. Gigi et Amelie
07. Nature’s Dance
08. Hamina
09. Beauty of Death
10. New Blues (Aint No Thing)
11. So

Avishai Cohen – Trumpet 
Yonatan Avishai – Piano 
Omer Avital – Bass 
Daniel Freedman – Drums 

Produced by Third World Love 
Recorded and mixed by Joe Ferla