jueves, 22 de enero de 2015

Brussels Jazz Orchestra (Enrico Pieranunzi / Bert Joris) - The Music of Enrico Pieranunzi (2015)

On Wednesday 21 January, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra will release a new CD: The Music of Enrico Pieranunzi. With Bert Joris on trumpet and Enrico Pieranunzi himself on the piano. The Italian pianist and composer Enrico Pieranunzi makes music that appeals to the imagination: filmic, compelling and with the kind of frivolity you might expect from an Italian. Brussels Jazz Orchestra asked arranger Bert Joris to arrange a few selected pieces from Pieranunzi’s rich repertoire. Joris, who knows how to employ the full potential of the orchestra like no one else, succeeded in adapting these light, airy compositions for the larger forces of the BJO. With soloists Pieranunzi himself on piano and Bert Joris on trumpet, Brussels Jazz Orchestra will create an intimate and layered sound. A top-level European jazz project!

Brussels Jazz Orchestra Big Band
Frank Vaganée, alto sax
Enrico Pieranunzi, piano
Bert Joris, trumpet

1. Persona
2. Within the House of Night
3. Fellini's Waltz
4. Newsbreak
5. With My Heart in a Song
6. Coralie
7. Distance from Departure
8. It Speaks for Itself

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Eric Warren - Expression and Reflection (2015)

As you might think, there are rare recordings possibly better experienced sans lights—and ExpressionandReflection certainly might be one of them. That's definitely not to say that hearing this excellent offering loses anything in broad daylight. Far from it; while it's not a concept outing as its title might imply, ExpressionandReflection dishes up a contemplative quality that might waft into one's senses even better when lights are low.

With ExpressionandReflectionSt. Louis-based bassist and composer, Eric Warren leads a superb quartet across ten neatly-performed and highly-textured selections of which seven emanate from his talented pen. The performers here, while not necessarily household names, individually and collectively distinguish themselves as worthy of world-class distinction.

With pulse-pounding bass beats and droning undercurrents, "Scott's Tune" kicks off the date with Warren's bass and Kehner's funky keyboard joining in before Joel Vanderheyden's boss tenor wails away swinging on the bluesy head. Nino Rota's "Michael's Theme" from The Godfather (Paramount Pictures, 1973)gets a darker treatment with Vanderheyden's solemn tenor working his horn's dynamic spectrum to the melancholic max. "Anthem" lets Kehner introduce the theme in a classical style—a la Lalo Schifrin -over a Latin-feel rhythmic bed.

Warren's originals are thought-provoking, inventive and never saccharine. They provide a superb platform for extended soloing. And, each soloist here, including Warren, plays with significant flair, enthusiasm and elegant restraint. The creative cohesiveness between Warren's crew is outstanding ("Waltz"). "Mr. Jarrett" is a quirky boogaloo snippet which shades the old Blood, Sweat and Tears' hit "Spinning Wheel." Well-performed, it's not as intriguing as the rest of the selections. "The Girl" is a dreamy, wistful tune with pianist Kehner making initial and solo statements.

Warren's bass and Doggett's tasteful rhythms support here beautifully. "Love Thy Neighbor" speeds things up with a Middle Eastern flair. Vanderheyden, Kehner and Warren slink through the melody with Doggett percussing his way under neatly. "Bittersweet" is a gorgeous rendition of Don Sebesky's ballad gem where both Vanderheyden and Kehner shine expressively. The traditional classic, "Poor Wayfaring Stranger," here complete with synth strings, ends this terrific musical journey.

Eric Warren: basses
Joel Vanderheyden: tenor saxophone
Ken Kehner: piano
Charlie Doggett: drums

01. Scott's Tune
02. Michael's Theme
03. Anthem
04. Waltz
05. Mr. Jarrett
06. The Girl
07. Love Thy Neighbor
08. Bobo
09. Bitterswee
10. Poor Wayfaring Stranger

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins