miércoles, 12 de noviembre de 2014

Roy Nathanson's Sotto Voce - Complicated Day (2014)

Now and then it’s nice to be reminded that jazz can be bold and imaginative and still be fun. Complicated Day comes from the complicated mind of Roy Nathanson—saxophonist, vocalist, composer, lyricist, bandleader and charter member of Manhattan’s Downtown scene. What, in essence, Nathanson has shaped is a free-jazz poetry slam, a boundless cacophony with a Jerry Lewis-meets-Ornette Coleman sensibility. Joining Nathanson are five co-conspirators—trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, bassist Tim Kiah, guitarist Jerome Harris, beatboxist Napoleon Maddox and violinist Sam Bardfeld—all of whom contribute vocal support.

There is a method to their collective madness. These are fine, fearless musicians, and much of the album tackles serious subjects, including the challenges of relationships, childrearing and, per the title track, negotiating life’s myriad hiccups. Still, it is impossible to listen to Complicated Day without being caught up in the sheer joy that underlies their craftsmanship. Amid six originals (all written or co-written by Nathanson) is the album’s centerpiece, “The Nettle Tree,” a poem written and read by Gerald Stern that explores the wonder found in everyday objects. There are also three covers: a crazily zigzagging “On a Slow Boat to China,” a sanguine “I Can See Clearly Now” (featuring Nathanson’s son Gabriel on lead vocals and trumpet) and a stealthily impassioned treatment of Isaac Hayes’ “Do Your Thing” that, says Nathanson, encapsulates the band’s philosophy to “not only tell our stories but to live them in whatever ways feel right.”

01. Simon
02. Do Your Thing
03. Complicated Day
04. No Storytelling
05. The Nettle Tree Poem
06. Slow Boat To China
07. World of Fire
08. And
09. I Can See Clearly Now
10. The Nettle Tree Song

Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Brian Lynch and Emmet Cohen - Questioned Answer (2014)

This intergenerational collaboration between Grammy© Award winning trumpeter Brian Lynch and new piano star on the modern jazz horizon Emmet Cohen combines new school excitement and exuberant swing, with their upcoming debut recording Brian Lynch & Emmet Cohen: Questioned Answer on the Hollistic MusicWorks label shaping up to be one of the must have discs for late 2014. In the quartet setting, joined by legendary drummer Billy Hart and master bassist Boris Kozlov, Lynch and Cohen present a program of their own searching and often epic original music, bridging traditional and contemporary sounds with virtuosity, passion and swinging aplomb. And as a duo, they essay and recast jazz classics and standards (both classic and contemporary) with warmth, intelligence and lack of cliche, often journeying into uncharted territory only bound by their searching imagination and desire to swing.

The musical lock between Lynch and Cohen has roots that go beyond the work they’ve put in towards crafting a distinctive sound in both quartet and duo formats. Their common ground in committing to grounded, yet contemporary and uncliched playing and composing, coupled with the mixture of Lynch’s magisterial command and Cohen’s poised beyond his years musicality, has resulted in a original and compelling new group sound tailored for today’s listener.

Brian Lynch: trumpet
Emmet Cohen: piano
Boris Kozlov: bass
Billy Hart: drums

01. Cambios
02. Dark Passenger
03. How Deep Is The Ocean
04. Buddy
05. Distant Hallow
06. I Wish I Knew
07. Petty Theft
08. Just In Time
09. Questioned Answer
10. Blues by Four

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Don Menza Septet - Morning Song 1965 (2014)

Pure genius from the glory days of the Saba/MPS scene! Don Menza was an American player who'd blown some great solos in big band records in the US, but who never got a chance to cut an album like this until he hipped on over to the MPS studios in Germany. The set's got a magically dancing feel -- with Menza on tenor, blowing in front of a tight septet that swings with a hard, tight, and rhythmic sound! Menza's tone is incredible -- like hearing a player that you know should be famous, and being amazed at the tightness, economy, and imagination he manages to pack into such a small space. Great stuff throughout -- with tracks that include "Devil's Disciples", "New Spanish Boots", "Oliver's Twist", "Morning Song", and the great modal groover "Cinderella's Waltz".

Bass – Günter Lenz
Composed By – Don Menza (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 6)
Drums – Pierre Favre
Piano – Fritz Pauer
Engineer [Recording] – Willi Schmidt
Other [Cover Design] – William Hopkins
Other [Layout] – Gigi Berendt
Photography – Josef Werkmeister
Producer – Joachim E. Berendt
Saxophone [Alto] – Richard Spencer
Saxophone [Tenor] – Don Menza
Technician [Recording Director] – Willi Fruth
Trombone – Rudi Fuesers
Trumpet – Rick Kiefer

1. Cinderella's Waltz
2. Morning Song
3. Oliver's Twist
4. When Johnny Comes Marchin' Home
5. New Spanish Boots
6. Devil's Disciples

Recorded at Trixi Tonstudio, Munich, December 22, 1965

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins