miércoles, 26 de noviembre de 2014

Robert Burke - Do True (2014)



































The idea of recording my own CD in New York was conceived in early 2013, but has been an aspiration since my early formative years of playing music. Over the last 30 years of my professional playing life, I had enjoyed developing artistic relationships with fantastic local musicians resulting in many CD recordings and performances nationally and Internationally, but I felt it was now time to collaborate with international artists that would further develop my creative scope outside ‘my village’, and a deeper understanding of music in a global sense of music-making.

The recording came to fruition with the help of Dave Schroeder (director of Jazz at NYU), who organised the recording studio engineer (Paul Wickliffe) and introduced me to brilliant New York jazz pianist Kenny Werner. Kenny and I discussed the rhythm section needed for the recording and suggested musicians that he had a strong rapport with: Johannes Weidenmueller and Richie Barshay - an empathy that is evident in this recording. The repertoire selected is a combination of Kenny Werner’s and my compositions and a beautiful tune composed by Paul Grabowsky.

1. Do True 07:02
2. Valse 07:06
3. Shivaya 06:18
4. The Prize 07:47
5. Angel 07:11
6. Georgia James 06:50
7. Keeper of Dreams 07:01
8. Pratology 06:34
9. Gerakan 08:14

Robert Burke - Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax, Bass Clarinet
Kenny Werner - Piano
Johannes Weidenmueller - Bass
Richie Barshay - Drums

Recorded 3rd October 2013 at the James L. Dolan Recording Studio, 6th Floor, 35 West 4th St, New York, USA (NYU)
Engineered: Paul Wickliffe (USA)
Recording of Bass Clarinet and Soprano - engineer: Prasheen Naran (Aust)
Mixed and Mastered by Phillip Rex at Paper Mache Studio - Australia


"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Domi

Robert Burke from Monash Arts on Vimeo.

Enrico Rava - The Monash Sessions (2014)


The Monash University jazz faculty, led by Rob Burke, has invited a series of jazz luminaries to attend the University as Artist In Residence. Previous guests have included George Lewis, George Garzone and Hermeto Pascoal. Normally the guest travels to Melbourne, joins staff and students and their labours are recorded by Jazzhead for release. In this instance the musicians reversed that rule by travelling to the Monash’s Italian campus in Prato to join the great trumpeter, Enrico Rava. The results are well worth the effort, it is very evident that Rava still plays at the top of his game, despite his 75 years; his fluid, warm tone is all over this disc. Rava’s contribution extends to his composing all of the tunes.

The potential problem with a concept such as this can be the disparity between the master and the students leading to a disjointed sound where the elder struggles against struggling students. That is not the case here, the addition of the above listed staff on some tracks and the quality of students to a great extent avoids that issue. Indeed the basic rhythm is provided solely by students, but on listening, you wouldn’t know it. The albums highlight is the ballad “Lulu”, Rava’s gorgeous tone bookends evocative solos from Grabowsky and Magnusson. The success of the Monash series is a credit to the faculty and the obvious empathy that developed in a short time between the students and the elder statesman.


THE PLAYERS

01. FEARLESS FIVE
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Josh Kelly: alto sax
Paul Cornelius: tenor sax
Paul Grabowsky: piano
Josh Manusama: double bass
Rob Mercer: drums

02. THEME FOR JESSICA
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Josh Kelly: alto sax
Mirko Guerrini: tenor sax
Paul Grabowsky: piano
Hiroki Hoshino: double bass
Zeke Ruckman: drums

03. LULU
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Robert Burke: tenor sax
Stephen Magnusson: guitar
Paul Grabowsky: piano 
Hiroki Hoshino:  double bass
Zeke Ruckman: drums

04. INCOGNITO
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Robert Burke: tenor sax
Stephen Byth: tenor sax
Stephen Magnusson: guitar
Dan Mougerman: piano
Hiroki Hoshino: double bass
Zeke Ruckman: drums
Rob Mercer: drums

05. SECRETS
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Paul Cornelius: tenor sax
Joel Trigg: piano
Hiroki Hoshino: double bass
Rohan Moore: drums

06. AUTOBIOGRAFIA
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Josh Kelly: alto sax
Stephen Byth: tenor sax
Paul Grabowsky: piano
Josh Manusama: double bass
Zeke Ruckman: drums

07. INTERIORS
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Paul Cornelius: tenor sax
Paul Grabowsky: piano
Josh Manusama: double bass
Rob Mercer: drums

08. CERTI ANGOLI SEGRETI
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Mirko Guerrini: tenor sax
Joel Trigg: piano
Hiroki Hoshino: double bass
Rohan Moore: drums

09. RAIN
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Robert Burke: tenor sax
Jonathan Skourletos: guitar
Josh Manusama: bass
Rohan Moore: drums

10. SPIDER BLUES
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Stephen Byth: tenor sax
Jonathan Skourletos: guitar
Hiroki Hoshino: double bass
Rob Mercer: drums

11. BLANCASNOW
Enrico Rava: trumpet 
Mirko Guerrini: tenor sax
Paul Grabowsky: piano

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Domi


Enrico Rava Album Launch from Monash Music on Vimeo.

Matthew Sheens - Untranslatable (2014)



With his impressive debut Every Eight Seconds (Self Produced, 2012) garnering universally positive reviews, Australian-born, New York-based pianist Matthew Sheens returns with an even meatier, juicier follow-up. Every Eight Seconds introduced an original composer, one whose melodic and rhythmic ideas championed narrative over virtuosity. There’s perhaps more of Sheens the Downbeat poll-winning pianist this time out but significantly Untranslatable ups the ante compositionally, with the Yanni Burton String Quartet leaving an indelible stamp on a third of the tracks.

This isn’t jazz with strings either, for Sheens’ sophisticated string arrangements for two violins, viola, cello and double bass add a visceral edge–in addition to lush buoyancy–to these engaging contemporary compositions.

The riffing strings that announce the title track, alternate between urgent motif and warm, sustained lines. Drummer Kenneth Salters and bassist Linda Oh inject rhythmic elasticity, laying the path for Sheens dancing, right-handed solo. Teasingly brief, this episodic miniature – bold and lyrical – hints at more engaging narratives to come. Strings and piano trio also combine to graceful effect on the melodically striking ‘Adriana’s Song’, with Salter’s poppish beat conveying mainstream accessibility.

As on his debut release Sheens employs vocalist Sara Serpa, who brings her wordless, horn-like lines to a handful of tunes. On the atmospheric vocal/piano duet ‘L’Arlesienne (The Girl from Arles)’ Serpa’s crystalline melodies soar and gently glide like a Kenny Wheeler score. On ‘Wabi Sabi’ singer Michael Mayo joins Serpa in flowing unison, with guitarist Mike Moreno and Sheens intermittently boosting the chorus. It’s a delightful, cinematic tune that marries the romanticism of Burt Bacharach and the dynamism of Pat Metheny.

The hugely influential Boston guitarist’s DNA also colors ‘Dépaysement’; Serpa, Moreno and Sheens weave cheery overlapping lines over Rogerio Boccato’s shuffling percussion before the guitarist carves out an elegant solo, with Sheens immediately following suit. In the end, however, it’s Serpa’s wonderfully lilting melody that sticks in the memory. In tandem with Sheens, the Portuguese singer also seduces on ‘Alfonsina y el Mar’ – Ariel Ramírez/Félix Luna’s heart-rending ode to Argentinian poet Alfonsina Stori, who committed suicide in 1938.

Two brief piano/Rhodes interludes serve as palette cleansers, but in just one and two minutes respectively Sheens weaves a little minimalist magic, with damped piano strings and judicious use of effects evoking the artistry of German prepared piano maestro Hauschka. Strings underpin the joyously dramatic ‘Madrugada’, a vaguely Latin-tinged, percussion-driven orchestration that features an extended rally between Sheens and Oh, plus another finely crafted intervention from Moreno.

Sheen’s ‘Translate from My Heart’ and the classic ‘Old Devil Moon’ both feature the stylish Mayo. The pianist’s inventive arrangement on the original provides a bold frame for Mayo that contrasts with the spare, piano-cum-vocal setting of the Burton Lane/E.Y. Hamburg jazz standard.

Sheens has really hit his stride on Untranslatable, a consistently satisfying effort that purveys melody and adventure at the same time. The signposts indicate that Sheens could push off from here in any number of directions, towards contemporary classical music or experimental solo piano; jazz, in the second decade of the twenty first century, seems increasingly able to accommodate it all. Whichever path or paths Sheens chooses to go down it’ll be a journey well worth following.

Tracks on the album

01. Untranslatable
02. Adriana's Song
03. L'Arlesienne (The Girl From Arles)
04. Wabi Sabi
05. Translate From My Heart
06. Interlude #1: Untranslatable
07. Depaysement
08. Alfonsina Y El Mar (Ariel Ramirez)
09. Interlude #2: Adriana's Song
10. Madrugada
11. Old Devil Moon (Burton Lane/ Lyrics E.Y Harburg)

All compositions: Matthew Sheens, except where indicated

In the band

Matthew Sheens; piano/ rhodes 
Sara Serpa; vocals 
Michael Mayo; vocals 
Mike Moreno; guitar 
Linda Oh; double bass 
Kenneth Salters; drums 
Rogerio Boccato; percussion

Yanni Burton String Quintet

Stefani Collins; violin 1
Francesca Dardani; violin 2
Yumi Oshima; viola
Hiro Matsuo; cello

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Domi

Dylan Howe - Subterranean (New Designs on Bowie's Berlin) 2014



Dylan Howe is one of the UK's most versatile drummers—a long-standing member of The Blockheads, part of Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey's band on the chart-topping Going Back Home (Chess Records, 2014) and (alongside keyboard player Ross Stanley) part of his father, Steve Howe's, guitar trio. He's also responsible, with Will Butterworth, for a critically-acclaimed duo recording of Igor Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring (Stravinsky—The Rite Of Spring, Motorik Records 2010).

On Subterranean: New Designs On Bowie's Berlin Howe delves into David Bowie's early back catalog. It's not the "everybody on the dance floor" Bowie of "Jean Genie" or the quirky folkster of "Space Oddity." Howe concentrates instead on the instrumentals of Bowie's Berlin period, a crucial part of his 1977 RCA albums Low and Heroes. The results are quite superb.

What do the Howe re-imaginings have to offer that Bowie's originals don't? A greater warmth, a more positive feel, less sense of menace. Although electronics play a large part in Howe's versions, acoustic instruments are crucial to the feel of the music on Subterranean: New Designs On Bowie's Berlin. The tunes are also often appreciably longer than Bowie's recorded versions, giving Howe and his fellow musicians the chance to explore the music's structures and textures and allowing greater opportunities for the musicians to solo.

The results are recognisable to Bowie fans, but striking in their freshness and openness. "All Saints" opens with Mark Hodgson's deep, resonant, double bass, accompanied solely by Howe's drums. After a minute or so the main theme emerges on synth then the band shifts between this theme and a post-bop groove led first by the saxophones then by Stanley's attacking piano then the saxophones once more—it's a heady mix of electronica and classic jazz that Bowie never attempted. "Some Are" has a spooky edge. "Warszawa," featuring Adrian Utley on guitar, is lovely: its flowing grace countered by an urgent, driving saxophone solo from Brandon Allen.

"Neuköln—Night" and "Neuköln—Day" are atmospheric trio pieces on which Howe (on drums and synth) and Stanley (on piano) are joined by bassist Nick Pini. Howe Senior replaces Pini for the third trio outing, "Moss Garden," playing the koto. This is a softer-toned version of the tune, Howe's performance on koto emphasising its ethereal beauty.

In recent years songs by rock and folk composers such as Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen have become a standard part of the jazz repertoire. As yet, Bowie hasn't had the same impact on jazz. Howe's imaginatively interpreted "new designs" show that Bowie's body of work has plenty to offer the more adventurous jazz musician. So, as Keith Jarrett's 2-CD improvisation on "The Laughing Gnome" has failed to see the light of day, Subterranean: New Designs On Bowie's Berlin will stand as the album that brings jazz and Bowie together—and does so in splendid style.

Dylan Howe: drums
Brandon Allen: tenor sax
Julian Siegel: tenor sax
Ross Stanley: piano, synthesizers
Mark Hodgson: double bass
Nick Pini: double bass (5, 8)
Adrian Utley: guitar (7)
Steve Howe: koto (9)

1. SUBTERRANEANS 08:23
2. WEEPING WALL 07:04
3. ALL SAINTS 11:04
4. SOME ARE 06:29
5. NEUKÖLN - NIGHT 04:59
6. ART DECADE 04:41
7. WARSZAWA 11:07
8. NEUKÖLN - DAY 05:28
9. MOSS GARDEN 06:23


JAVI