lunes, 9 de marzo de 2015

Sebastián Chames - Reconstrucción (2013)

Tanto buscar fuera cuando a veces la calidad está en casa. Madrileño de adopción, el pianista argentino Sebastián Chames cruzó el charco hace unos meses para grabar un discazo de hard-bopcon algunos de los mejores músicos de la escena neoyorquina. Utilizando la formación clásica de quinteto con trompeta y saxo (en este caso alto), Chames cede las melodías de sus originales a Jeremy Pelt y Justin Robinson (habitual de las bandas de Roy Hargrove), escudándose en la poderosa sección rítmica compuesta por el batería Willie Jones III y el contrabajista Dwayne Burno, recientemente fallecido. Las composiciones son compactas y fieles al estilo, y tanto la escritura como la sonoridad de la banda recuerda a la de los quintetos de Terence Blanchard. La cantante Earth Godessa y el tenorista Eric Wyatt aparecen como invitados en un disco cuyo líder se recluye en un voluntario segundo plano para dar cancha al plantel estadounidense. Sabio planteamiento, buenos resultados.

© Adolphus van Tenzing, 2014

Sebastián Chames, piano
Jeremy Pelt, trompeta
Justin Robinson, saxo alto
Dwayne Burno, contrabajo
Willie Jones III, batería

Earth Godessa, voz (11)
Eric Wyatt, saxo tenor (10,11)

01. Reconstrucción
02. Primero vino un vecino y luego la policía
03. Alone
04. 6 Taboos
05. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
06. Bluesy Tune For The King
07. El Pacifista
08. Esperando a Simón
09. Inma
10. Remember
11. You Complete Me
12. D&B Aislados

Chantale Gagné - The Left Side of the Moon (2015)

Montreal native pianist Chantal Gagné's third release as a leader, Left Side of the Moon brims with a fantastical mysticism. A translucent aura surrounds the ten Gagné compositions, and one cover, that comprise the album while an intense, organic passion permeates their core.

The darkly hued title track for instance is an incandescent ballad with an intriguingly tense ambience. Gagné's classically influenced cascading phrases and saxophonist Steve Wilson's ardently undulating lines embellish the main theme before drummer Lewis Nash's dramatic rumbling solo. Wilson's own acerbic and emotive improvisation ushers in the closing head.

Nash and bassist Peter Washington have been collaborating with Gagné since the beginning of her career. As they appear on all of Gagné's prior recordings the trio has developed a sublime camaraderie with one another. This is showcased best on the haunting "Mystère" with its percolating rhythms and intricately woven harmonies. Both Asian and Western motifs pepper the jazzy spontaneity of the ensemble interplay. Washington deftly distills the essence of the piece with his supremely lyrical turn in the spotlight.

Eastern elements also turn up on the contemplative and intimate "Echoes." Gagné's cool and languid pianism creates a stimulating contrast with Wilson's simmering extemporization. This type of complementary musicianship leads to many a provocative and thrilling moments on this consistently engaging album. One such example occurs on the traditional children's song "A La Claire Fontaine." Gagné states the melody with an unadorned beauty that evolves in an eloquent nocturne with the entry of the band. The thrilling complexity of her performance exquisitely balances the elementary simplicity of the original. Wilson takes center stage with a mellifluous deconstruction of the tune delightfully returning it to its natural quietude.

The unaccompanied, cleverly effervescent "Roach Rag" closes this compelling and refreshingly inventive record. With it Gagné reveals herself as an accomplished composer, a superlative pianist and an adroit bandleader. Most importantly she is an artist with her own, unique voice that is deeply rooted in a robust musical convention but is simultaneously ingeniously singular.

Chantale Gagné: piano
Steve Wilson: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, flute
Peter Washington: bass
Lewis Nash: drums

01. Mystere
02. After You
03. The Left Side Of The Moon
04. Moon Gazing
05. In Time
06. Your Blues Is My Blues
07. A La Claire Fontaine
08. Just A Dream
09. Up Again
10. Echoes
11. Roach Rag