viernes, 21 de noviembre de 2014

Bob Gingery - Traveler (2014)

Source: Bob Gingery
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆  

Since his arrival to New York in 1999 Bob Gingery has been performing with some of the city's top musicians including Eliot Zigmund, Joe Beck, Buddy Williams, Alan Harris, Ron Afif, Brad Shepik and Lou Volpe. He has played at the Blue Note, Birdland, the Hartford International Jazz Festival, Joe's Pub and the Knitting Factory. Maintaining a busy schedule as both a sideman and band leader, he is at home with many styles of music and has performed and recorded with jazz, rock, pop, r'n'b and latin artists, musicals and symphony orchestras.

Bob is also active as an educator. He is a faculty memeber at Concordia Conservatory in Bronxville, NY. Working with the nonprofit organization Music Crossing Borders, he helps to teach students about the music of cultures from around the world. He has also been a clinician for the Westchester Community College's Jazz Master Class since 2001.

Originally from the San Francisco bay area, he began playing the saxophone at age 10 but the sounds of James Jamerson, Rocco Prestia, and Jaco Pastorius inspired him to pick up the bass guitar. He was soon gigging with local rock bands and playing in his high school's jazz band. At age 18 he began studying the upright bass. He holds undergraduate degrees in music from Berklee College of Music and California State University, Chico and a Masters Degree in music from the City College of New York where he studied with Ron Carter, John Patitucci, and Geri Allen.

01. Second Nature
02. Wheeling
03. Boot Hill
04. Traveler
05. Inland Empire
06. Three Legged Dog
07. Past Lives
08. Cadence

Bob Gingery (b)
Jon Irabagon (ts)
Mike Baggetta (g)
Mark Ferber (d)

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


Alex Mendham and His Orchestra - Whistling In The Dark (2013)

Can a recreation of an original replicate it? The short, quick answer is NO!, especially for popular and improvised music. However, the longer, more thoughtful, answer is YES!, especially this music from the twenties and thirties as performed by leader Alex Mendham and his Orchestra. Whistling In The Dark is that rare creation where everyone involved has taken extraordinary measures, from recording techniques used, to the use of original arrangements to bring to the listener something approaching the feeling of being in a dance hall in 1929 (or so).

Yes, there are issues: the performers and the music in some sense cannot be separated from the time. Jazz, hot or not, was in extraordinary ferment in the years of 1920 through 1940. One can hear it change almost month to month, as players were experimenting, listening to each other and gaining experience in improvising, while at the same time entertaining the paying audience. The usual lens through which this music is discovered is CD reissues of 78 rpm, three-minute-per-side recordings, and, to tell the truth, part of the charm is to hear the music through the pops and crackle and the primitive acoustical (and early electrical) recording techniques. There was no post-processing—either the performance was accepted or rejected (and to possibly try again). What you hear is what happened then and there, with any chances taken exposed for everyone to hear.

It is in this feeling that Mendham and his Orchestra (NOT a band!) shine. The use of but two microphones in a live space allow each note to come alive with a thrust and forward momentum that carries their energy directly to the soul. Every player obviously loves this music and has gotten inside of it, to the extent that anyone who didn't live through the period can.

The pace of the show is wonderful, using mostly lesser-known tunes, each of which has its own charms, as do the interspersed announcements. Two achingly beautiful tunes, "Home," and "Lullaby of the Leaves" are standouts and ought to become better known. There are light-hearted tunes like "'Tain't No Sin (To Dance Around in Your Bones" as well as hot tunes like the driving opener, "Choo Choo," and "Bugle Call Rag." The arrangements give room for improvising here and there, all of which is quite admirable.

Get out from in front of your TV, put on your tuxedo, get into your ballroom gown, place Whistling In The Dark in your player, and fox trot around the floor, smiling all the while.

Alex Mendham (leader, vocals, alto saxophone)
Angus Moncrieff (trumpet)
Geoff Bartholomew (trumpet)
Chris Lowe (trombone)
Nick Charles (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, clarinet)
Simon Marsh (tenor saxophone, clarinet)
Orpheus Papafilippou (violin)
Matt Redman (banjo, guitar)
Tevor Wensley (piano)
Marc Easener (tuba, string bass)
Nicholas D. Ball (percussion)
Mark Phillimore (Announcer)

01. Choo Choo
02. Let's Fly Away
03. Home
04. Red Lips, Kiss My Blues Away
05. Treat Me Like A Baby
06. 'Tain't No Sin (To Dance Around In Your Bones)
07. Bend Down, Sister
08. Lullaby Of The Leaves
09. Roll On, Mississippi, Roll On
10. Keep Your Undershirt On
11. South American Joe
12. Our Big Love Scene
13. Going Hollywood
14. Little Girl
15. I'll Never Have To Dream Again
16. I Heard
17. Weep No More My Baby
18. Love Thy Neighbor
19. Bugle Call Rag
20. Whistling In The Dark


Majamisty TriO - Love (2014)

"Maja" refers to pianist and composer Maja Alvanović, "misty" is a nod to Erroll Garner, one of her influences. Love is the second album from the trio, based in Novi Sad, Serbia. The trio—Alvanović, bassist Ervin Malina and drummer Istvan Cik—are superb players. Alvanović is melodic, crafting single note runs that are gentle, percussive, romantic in turn. Cik is a positive, economical, drummer and the imaginative Malina is particularly strong on arco bass. The combination of their playing and the pianist's compositions has produced another dazzling album.

Four tracks feature guests, leaving six tunes performed by the Trio on its own. Of the trio outings, "Bloomin'" is irresistibly cheery, Cik's drums jumping and skipping beneath Alvanović's sparkling piano lines (Alvanović closes with a few bars of "Blue Moon"'s familiar theme). The flowing melody of "Careless Moment," co-written by Alvanović and Vesna Grčić) mixes melancholy with a sense of forward movement. "Coolah Trance" (written by Alvanović and guest vocalist Aleksandra Drobac) switches between upbeat positivity and high drama—the switchover announced by the arrival of Malina's arco bass and the disappearance of Cik's percussive click and clack. Malina's soft-toned and fluid pizzicato bass is at the core of "Suddenly Japan," a slow burner of a tune that threatens to break out at any time, yet retains its ultimately unresolved tension throughout.

Drobac guested on Mistyland and returns for four songs on Love. Her most distinctive appearance is on "Little Cosy Keysy House." Her weird, wordless, vocal lends an other-wordly vibe to Alvanović's bright, endearing, melody. On a bright, sunny day this eccentric song sounds cheerful and happy—on a wet and stormy night the strangeness might seem much darker.

Three songs find the trio augmented by additional instrumentalists. On "Rain Dots" percussionist Uroš Šecerov joins the band in support of Drobac's sprightly (and spritely) vocal—a friendlier and more comforting other worldliness than the one she creates on "Little Cosy Keysy House." On "Mustard Fields" Gisle Torvik's guitar and Bunford Gabor's alto saxophone add depth and tonal variation to the front line while Uroš Šecerov adds understated percussion to the rhythm section. Alvanović and Drobac contribute wordless vocals, matching Alvanović's piano melody. The result is, like "Careless Moment," melancholy: but this theme seems to resolve to a more hopeful ending. For the album's title track Drobac is joined by Alvanović, Cik and Malina on vocals and by Damir Bacikin, whose eloquent muted trumpet has immediate impact, setting the mood for this intense and sensitive tune.

Mistyland (Self Produced, 2012) was a five star debut. Love is the sound of a composer who's becoming ever more ambitious and a band that's growing in confidence. It's a five-star second album, with some of the loveliest melodies of the year.

Maja Alvanović: piano, vocal (5,10)
Ervin Malina: double bass, vocal (10)
Istvan Cik: drums, cajon, vocal (10)

Aleksandra Drobac: vocal (3, 5, 8, 10)
Gisle Torvik: guitar (5)
Damir Bacikin: trumpet (10)
Bunford Gabor: saxophone (5)
Uroš Šecerov: percussion (3, 5)

01. Thin Moon
02. Suddenly Japan
03. Rain Dots
04. Chat With Gagarin
05. Mustard Fields
06. Coolah Trance
07. Careless Moment
08. Little Cosy Keysy House
09. Bloomin'
10. Love


Majamisty TriO feat. Aleksandra Drobac Cik: "The Queen of Fruit" from Majamisty on Vimeo.