miércoles, 15 de octubre de 2014

Peter Zak - The Disciple (2014)

Label: Steeplechase
Source: Ms News Now

For his tenth CD in as many years, all for the Danish SteepleChase label, pianist Peter Zak continues his brilliant series of jazz trio explorations, this time in the company of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Willie Jones III. The new disc, "The Disciple," will be released October 21.
The fact that the piano is the lead instrument in terms of playing the melody appeals to me, Zak says of the trio format. Theres that, and the hookup between the ride cymbal and the bass doesnt get any better than that. The reason I play jazz is basically for that feel.
Washington, whos on board for his fourth consecutive Zak session, is one of the best musicians Ive ever played with, says the pianist. He really knows how to break up the time and to really find the groove when it needs to be found. He hears everything thats happening immediately.
Zaks association with Jones dates to 1998 when both were sidemen on trumpeter Ryan Kisors The Usual Suspects CD. Hes got a lot of energy but hes not bombastic, Zak says of the much-in-demand drummer. I just like his sensibility about swinging.
Zak is a stylistic disciple of some of the greatest jazz pianists of the bop and post-bop eras. He salutes six of them on "The Disciple" with personalized interpretations of compositions by Chick Corea (The Loop), Elmo Hope (Barfly), Horace Silver (Nutville), Herbie Hancock (Requiem), Hampton Hawes (Jackie), and Thelonious Monk (Criss Cross), along with three originals and one by the Russian classical composer and pianist Alexander Scriabin.
He hadnt initially planned a CD of tunes made up entirely of tunes by piano players. It just turned out that way, as did the fact the set opens and closes with waltzes: Coreas The Loop and his own The Disciple. His decisions must have been subconscious, as he has long shown himself to be master of programming music who often selects great yet little-known songs for his recordings and live performances. I want to do things that are off the beaten track, something that hasnt been done a lot, he explains. Read more...

1. The Loop
2. Montserrat
3. Barfly
4. Nutville
5. Prelude Op. 35 #2
6. Requiem    
7. Jackie    
8. Criss Cross    
9. Nightfall In Kandy
10.The Disciple
Peter Zak - piano
Peter Washington - bass
Willie Jones III - drums

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


Cholet-Känzig-Papaux Trio - Exchange (2014)

Source: Criticalijazz
Label: Neuklang

Exchange is a deceptively subtle collective that with dynamic melodies but with a lyrical intimacy transcending the improvisational genre.
The Cholet Kanzig Trio's Exchange embraces the collective notion of highly emotive melodic exploration while maintaining a smoldering intimacy of passion. These are lyrical conversations where the musical co-conspirators where overtly pretentious displays of technique and instead replaced with the zen like less is more approach and with stellar results.
Pianist Cholet brings a more refined approach while bassist Kanzig is meticulous in his lyrical flow. Drummer Papaux is the rhythmic glue that allows this trio to find their own harmonic identity free of the self imposed limitations that similar trios are mired in. Organic and oddly ethereal yet blending an orchestrated approach to free improvisation, The Cholet Kanzig Trio find that rare lyrical happy place between the cerebral and the visceral. Magnificent! - Brent Black -
"The most important thing I look for in a musician,
 is whether he knows how to listen."
  - Duke Ellington - 


Matt Pavolka - The Horns Band (2014)

Source & Label: Fresh Sound New Talent

"Is this good music for reading? It’s a fair question, since all the compositions on bassist and occasional trombonist Matt Pavolka’s new album are named in tribute to books by Cormac McCarthy, José Saramago and Thomas Pynchon, among others. So, would The Horns Band provide pleasing accompaniment, or a distraction? Probably the latter, but that’s a good thing.

The Horns Band is aptly named—the frontline is composed of Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Loren Stillman (alto saxophone) and Jacob Garchik (trombone), backed by Pavolka and drummer Mark Ferber. These are highly regarded players on the New York scene, capable of bringing new ideas to virtually any situation and here they overcome what could initially seem to be a strong limitation. The three horns blend together into a swirling fog; unaccompanied solos are extremely rare. Almost every time one man takes the spotlight, the other two are swaying back and forth behind him.

On the ballad “Lullaby”, the rich tones of cornet and trombone harmonize effortlessly behind the saxophone, like old-time singers backing a romantic crooner. On the klezmer-ish mood piece “That Night the Blind Man Dreamt That He Was Blind”, by contrast, the threesome wind around each other like dancers. And when the tempo gets more frantic, as on the opening “Acid Metacognition”, everyone jumps and bounces, at times launching into joyous polyphony. Behind all this harmony, Pavolka and Ferber are working just as hardas their frontline compatriots. A tight, telepathic rhythm team, they lock into hard-swinging grooves that keep the horns from drifting too far afield and make sure they give everything they’ve got.

This is a surprising album in many ways—a display of collective effort that nevertheless still permits individual expression to shine through; a set of thoughtfully written compositions that gives the illusion of being a blowing session; a tribute to great literature that’s almost perversely ill-suited to serve as background music."  - Phil Freeman -

01. Acid Metacognition 7:09
02. The Evening Redness in the West 11:11
03. Lullaby 5:15
04. That Night the Blind Man Dreamt That He Want Blind 7:42
05. The Evolution of Artificial Light 4:52
06. Guermo 8:18
07. Vheissu 5:18
08. Recollected Forward 6:55
09. Anti-Green Plate Gives Mr. More Power 6:28

Matt Pavolka, bass, trombone
Kirk Knuffke, cornet
Loren Stillman, alto sax
Jacob Garchik, trombone
Mark Ferber, drums 

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


Rafal Sarnecki - Cat's Dream (2014)

Source & Label: Brooklyn Jazz Underground

"Like Rosenwinkel, Sarnecki ventures far beyond the bebop and post-bop idioms of the past and into a freer - though still chordal - musical language. Sarnecki's original compositions merge the high-flown lyricism of Polish culture with an idiosyncratic, thoroughly disarming way of building long and winding musical phrases. He's clearly at the start of forming an improvisational syntax for himself, but it already shows originality and daring . . ." Howard Reich, The Chicago Tribune
Cat's Dream is the third album from guitarist/composer Rafal Sarnecki, born and raised in Warsaw, Poland, and now based in Brooklyn, NY. The album was recorded in Brooklyn by Michael Perez-Cisneros (known for recording such albums as Kurt Rosenwinkel's Heartcore and Gilad Hekselman's This Just In). The mix was done by Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Recording (Darlington is known for mixing such famous albums as If On a Winter Night... by Sting, Alegria by Wayne Shorter, for which Darlington received a Grammy Award, and Gershwin's World by Herbie Hancock).

Cat's Dream features eight new compositions from Sarnecki, arranged for a sextet comprised of some of the best and brightest young musicians on the NYC Scene, Lucas Pino (tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Rick Rosato (bass), Colin Stranahan (drums) and Bogna Kicinska (voice). Cat's Dream also marks Sarnecki's first album recorded with American musicians, and the first time he composed for voice. Sarnecki elaborated; "I wrote the music specifically for these musicians, and during the composition process I imagined every musician in the group performing the music and tried to hear how the parts would sound. We have all known each other for many years so I was able to feature their unique abilities and strengths within this music. I definitely felt very privileged to be able to record with such incredible musicians."

Each composition on Cat's Dream represents a different period in Sarnecki's life, and also a different stage of his development as a composer. On the album you can find extended forms ("For Anastazja" or "Plane Crashes and Conspiracy Theories"), typical short form jazz songs ("Ordovician Extinction", "Piazza Verdi"), as well as the first song with lyrics the composer has ever written (the title track, albeit in Spanish, "Sueño de Gatos"). Sarnecki's music is a result of being influenced by both traditional Polish songs, and American music he was exposed to on radio and in American films. Sarnecki explains further, "many American musicians consider my compositions very European in style, while in Poland and in the rest of Europe, my music is often described as very American. I like my music to have an American rhythmic character, and feel that introducing European melodic elements doesn't necessarily have to make the music groove less."

Sarnecki's music is fascinating in that many musicians perceive his compositions as being complex and challenging to perform (perhaps due to Sarnecki having a degree in Physics). However, the composer actually strives to make his music as user-friendly as possible, only using odd-meters if he is absolutely certain that it is necessary, for example. "Nevertheless the music on Cat's Dream is challenging to perform even for myself. I am really amazed by the ability of my bandmates to improvise with incredible freedom and expression over the complex metric structures of these songs," said Sarnecki.

1. Three Old Men from the Land of Aran 8:43
2. Piazza Verdi 6:39
3. Sueño De Gatos 7:09
4. Czarna Porzeczka 7:43
5. Name Day Song 6:28
6. Plane Crashes and Conspiracy Theories 10:22
7. Ordovician Extinction 7:20
8. For Anastazja 10:44

Rafal Sarnecki - guitar
Lucas Pino - tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, flute
Bogna Kicinska - voice
Glenn Zaleski - piano
Rick Rosato - bass
Colin Stranahan - drums

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