domingo, 14 de septiembre de 2014

Ken Berman - Sound Poetry (2014)

Source: Ken Berman

Berman's acclaimed trio, featuring Kai Eckhardt and Akira Tana, reach new heights of kinetic interplay and lyricism as they explore the realms of possibility in improvisation. A follow-up to the trio's highly praised Looking Forward ("One of the ten best and most important albums of 2010" – Jazz Times), Sound Poetry was born out of Berman's friendship with the late poet Eythan Klamka (1967 - 2011), and builds on Klamka's notion that “any good musician is a sound poet." Containing tributes to Billy Strayhorn, Bob Dylan, Bill Frisell, Langston Hughes and Bill Evans among others, Berman creates a poetic soundscape full of "delicate sensuality and brilliance" (Le Monde).

Ken Berman – piano
Akira Tana – drums
Kai Eckhardt – bass

01. Lush Life 9:13
02. Old Dylan 7:31
03. Bill Frisell 7:39
04. Here and Gone 2:33
05. The Poet 6:29
06. Old Style Tune 8:24
07. Diane 4:01
08. Spaghetti Eastern 5:13
09. Sound Poem 3:52
10. Someone to Watch Over Me 8:47


Michael Brecker - Michael Brecker (1987)

01 Sea Glass 5:49
02 Syzygy 9:44
03 Choices 8:06
04 Nothing Personal 5:29
05 The Cost Of Living 7:49
06 Original Rays 9:04
07 My One And Only Love 8:16

Michael Brecker - tenor saxophone, EWI
Kenny Kirkland - keyboards
Pat Metheny - guitars
Charlie Haden - bass
Jack DeJohnette - drums

Label: MCA/Impulse! [MCAD-5980] CD 1987
Genre: Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Post-Bop

Although he had been a major tenor saxophonist in the studios for nearly 20 years and was quite popular for his work with the Brecker Brothers, this MCA/Impulse set was Michael Brecker's first as a leader. Playing in a quintet with guitarist Pat Metheny, keyboardist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Jack DeJohnette, Brecker performs three of his originals, two by producer Don Grolnick, and Mike Stern's "Choices." The music in general is straight-ahead but far from predictable; the tricky material really challenges the musicians and Michael Brecker is in consistently brilliant form, constantly stretching himself.


FREEWAY QUINTET - this is no ordinary jazz (2014)

Source: Polish-Jazz

This is the debut album by young Polish Jazz ensemble Freeway Quintet, co-founded by saxophonist Piotr Szwec and guitarist Marcin Kuzdowicz. The lineup is completed by a second saxophonist Krzysztof Kowalczyk, bassist Pawel Urowski and drummer Wojciech Bulinski. Female vocalist Paulina Golebiowska and percussionist Konrad Roginski appear as guest musicians on several tracks. The album presents nine original compositions, seven of which were composed by Kuzdowicz and one each by Szwec and Urowski.
The music presented by the group has certainly some unusual elements, such as a double saxophone front line, rocky, often distorted guitar and melodic lines based on ethnic motifs, which altogether are closer to Jazz-Rock Fusion or Progressive Rock than to Jazz. Therefore the statement used as the album's title is correct to some degree; but let's not exaggerate, this music, although very nice and interesting, is definitely not revolutionary or radically different from music we all heard before.
But statements aside, this is quite an excellent album in every respect. The original music is the strongest artistic statement herein, with beautifully developed melodies and rich instrumental arrangements. There is a lot of the typical Polish melancholy, which is predominant even on the more up-tempo pieces. Overall the music is simply superb from start to finish. It is also very well performed by all the musicians involved, although personally I'd prefer to hear more improvisation and soloing. But the ensemble spirit, which is very strong on this album, is also gratifying.
It is certainly interesting to see where the group will take their "no ordinary Jazz" into the future. There is so much potential and possibilities here, that anything is possible. Polish Jazz / Fusion and even Prog connoisseurs should definitely keep an eye on these talented young musicians.
As far as debuts go, this is definitely one of the most impressive I've come across this year, perhaps because it is original enough to distinguish itself from many other debuts that mostly follow up well beaten tracks. Well done!  - Adam Baruch -

1. Sky journey 06:50
2. Aurora 05:44
3. Ada the cat 06:25
4. Lament 04:56
5. Ballad from the past 08:16
6. Vagabunda 03:36
7. No name 07:09
8. Gruby sznyt (Fat case) 06:52
9. Melancholy nr 1 05:25


Piotr Szwec - alto & soprano saxophones
Krzysztof Kowalczyk - tenor & baritone saxophone, bass clarinet
Marcin Kuzdowicz - guitar
Pawel Urowski - double bass
Wojtek Bulinski - drums

Paulina Golebiowska - vocals
Konrad Roginski - ethnic instruments, percussion

"The most important thing I look for in a musician,
 is whether he knows how to listen."
  - Duke Ellington -