jueves, 9 de abril de 2015

Emilio Solla y La Inestable De Brooklyn - Second Half (2014)


Label: Brooklyn Jazz Underground
Source: Allaboutjazz
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


Argentine-born pianist Emilio Solla has moved around the globe a bit to find perfection in his art: studies in the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires, then to New York for more immersion at the Aaron Copland School of Music, and a move to Barcelona, Spain, where he recorded the marvelous Suite Piazzollana (Fresh sound New Talent, 2001) with a mostly Spanish ten piece ensemble. Ten years after his move to Spain, Solla pulled up roots once more, to move back to New York. More CD releases followed, but none—since all the way back to Suite Piazzollana—have been so ambitious and successful as his Second Half, with his top notch nonet, La Inestable de Brooklyn.

The tango and South American rhythms reign, with definite American influences—his group sound is downright Ellingtonian on the opening of the disc's second offering, "Chakafrik," whereas "Para La Paz" sounds as if it could be floating out of a club in Buenos Aires, a bit after midnight—Meg Okuras violin dancing with Victor Prieto's sighing accordion, giving way to a robust tenor sax solo from John Ellis. Alex Norris' trumpet signs in, the violin makes a statement in the background, Solla's piano plays soft, pretty notes. And as it was on Suite Piazzola, Solla's arranging skills prove here themselves of the highest order, on the same shelf as those of Maria Schneider's, on slightly smaller scale. Speaking of "Suite Piazzolla," Solla revisits Part 1 of that title tune to the previous disc here, sounding livelier, a bit more freewheeling, with a section featuring a gorgeous smolder when Solla, bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Eric Doob take center stage for a dark toned piano trio interlude.

"Estancia," with the different instruments floating in and out of the mix, sounds like South America's take on New Orleans, and "American Patrol," the only tune not written by Solla/ It was composed by F. White Meacham and got treated to Solla's "South Americanization," making it feel like a soundtrack to the streets of New York, around the dawn of the twentieth century, with an Argentinian tinge.

A masterful record by an absolutely first rate composer/arranger.  - Dan McClenaghan -


Llegara, Llegara, Llegara
Chakafrik
Para La Paz
Suite Piazzollana
Esencia
American Patrol
Raro
Rhythm Changed


 John Ellis: tenor saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Tim Armacost: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto flute
Alex Norris: trumpet, flugelhorn
Ryan Keberle: trombone
Meg Okura: violin
Victor Prieto: accordion
Emilio Solla: piano
Jorge Roeder: bass
Eric Doob: drums
Pablo Aslan: bass (7)
JP Jofre: bandoneon (3)
Marcelo Woloski: bombo leguero (2, 6) 


"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 
 - Charlie Parker -
 



Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth - Epicenter (2015)



Chris Lightcap is a bassist who has a very accurate sense of the pulse, whether that’s manifested in the puckish post-bop of Matt Wilson or the heavily distorted textures of Joe Morris’ and Jamie Saft’s Plymouth. But when Lightcap assembled his own supergroup and put out Deluxe back in ’11, the jazz press discovered his legitimacy as a bandleader and he’s been rightly put in higher regard these days.

Oh, and what a band this Bigmouth is: Craig Taborn (keyboards), Gerald Cleaver (drums) and the dual tenor treat of Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek are all legit as leaders themselves, and their usual modern-to-avant jazz playgrounds are right in Chris Lightcap’s area of expertise, too.

The long-awaited follow up to Deluxe is set to release on March 4, 2015 from Clean Feed Records. Epicenter brings back the Bigmouth crew intact, with both Lightcap and Taborn dabbling with the organ this time. But not on the title track, it’s all acoustic and based on the stream above, shows no diminishing in this group’s zest for adventure “Epicenter” begins with the melody, harmony, rhythm, and tempo coming together as one, i.e., Ornette Coleman’s ‘harmolodic’ music theory put in practice, and Chris Lightcap follows that hopping head with a rangy solo before Taborn inches his way in with right-handed ruminations that get more and more in the pocket. Following a brief remark by Malaby and Cheek, each of the saxophone masters take their own, urgent solos, with ample comp support from Lightcap, Taborn and Cleaver. A return to the saxophone remark — not the Ornette intro — wraps up this out-bop safari.



JAVI

Gabriel Amargant Quintet - And now for something completely different (2015)


Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


Nacido en 1986 en Argentona, comienza su formación musical en la escuela de música del mismo pueblo y, posteriormente, en el Conservatorio Josep Maria Ruera de Granollers en la especialidad de clarinete clásico y saxo jazz con los profesores Carles Riera y Llibert Fortuny, respectivamente. En 2008 se gradúa en la ESMUC (Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya), donde recibe clases de Xavi Figuerola, Eladio Reinón y Gorka Benítez, con la calificación de Matrícula de Honor.
Ha recibido clases de los clarinetistas Erich Hoeprich, Josep Fuster, Joan Enric Lluna y Colin Lawson y de saxo con Stan Sulzman, Seamus Blake y Chrees Cheek. Ha asistido en clases magistrales impartidas por Perico Sambeat, Kirk Covington, Bob Sands y Stan Sulzman. En 2007 obtiene la mención especial en el concurso Intercentros Melómano de ámbito nacional celebrado en Madrid.
Ha sido miembro de las orquestas sinfónicas OEMUC (Orquestra d'Estudiants de Música de Catalunya) y JOSG (Jove Orquestra Simfònica Gèrminans) con las que ha actuado en las principales salas de concierto de Cataluña, como el Palau de la Música, el Auditori de Barcelona, el Auditori Pau Casals o el Auditori Winterthur. En el año 2006 actúa como solista con la OGC (Orquestra de Cambra de Granollers) dentro de la temporada estable del Teatre Auditori de Granollers.
También ha colaborado con las big bands Barcelona Jazz Orchestra, Big Band Terrassa, Big Acoustic Band o Big Banana Reunion, que le han permitido acompañar a artistas de la talla de Nicholas Payton, Ann Hampton Callaway, Dee Daniels o Benny Golson.
Con estas y otras formaciones ha actuado en los principales festivales de jazz del estado, como el Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona, el Festival de Jazz de Terrassa, el Festival de Jazz de Reus, el Mercat de Música Viva de Vic, el Festival de Cap Roig, el Festival de Jazz de San Javier (Murcia), el Festival de Jazz de Burgos, el Festival de jazz de Ezkaray o el Festival de Jazz Ciudad Lineal (Madrid). También ha actuado en el Festival de Jazz de Marciac (Francia), al Tanjazz (Festival de Jazz de Tánger), Suecia, Italia y Portugal.
En 2009 forma parte del Proyecto "Sueño Inmaterial" con los cantantes Pedro Ruy-Blas y Laura Simó, presentado en el Palau de la Música, el Teatro Real de Madrid y el Carnegie Hall de Nueva York.
Ese mismo año participa en la grabación de “Lord Jim Suite” de Publio Delgado, presentado en el Festival de Jazz de Barcelona y de Terrassa, y en la grabación del disco "Evocación" del Raynald Colom, presentado en el Festival Grec y en el Mercat de Música Viva de Vic, y considerado mejor disco de jazz nacional por la revista Cuadernos de Jazz.
También en 2009 presenta su primer disco como líder, First Station (Fresh Sound New Talent), en el Festival de Jazz de Barcelona, obteniendo muy buena respuesta por parte del público y de la crítica. Con su cuarteto presenta también el disco en Madrid y en el club de jazz JFC de San Petersburgo.
Finalmente, en 2009 es galardonado con el premio al "Músico del año" que otorga la Associació de Músics de Jazz i Música Moderna de Catalunya (AMJM).
A partir del año 2010 comienza a convertirse en un sideman solicitado, apareciendo en más de una veintena de grabaciones que abarcan diferentes estilos, desde el jazz tradicional hasta el pop, funk, música folclórica o bandas sonoras, y teniendo la gran suerte de colaborar con músicos de la escena nacional e internacional como Ramón Ángel Rey, Rai Ferrer, José Reinoso, Marc Ayza, Tom Warburton, Carlos Martín, David Pastor, Vicenç Solsona, Pep Cucurella, David Gómez, Juan Gómez ‘Chicuelo’, Roger Blavia, Esteve Pi, Armand Saba Leco, Cece Gianotti, Aruán Ortiz, Dena Derose, Eric McPherson, Edward Perez, Klaus Ignatzek, Gustav Lündgren, Rashaan Carter, Omer Avital, Sofia Koutsovitis, Dafnis Prieto, Pierre Boussaguet o Samuel Torres, entre otros.
En 2011, The Project, en colaboración con el Taller de Músics, le encarga un ciclo de conciertos en el marco del Festival de Jazz de Barcelona, donde presenta los últimos trabajos discográficos en los cuales ha participado.
En 2012 participa en el proyecto “La Cobla Sant Jordi convida al Niño Josele”.  También aparece en distintas grabaciones del programa de TV3 "Jazz a l'Estudi", como líder y como sideman.
Durante el verano del mismo año gira con el proyecto “Juan Perro y la Zarabanda”, actuando en algunos de los principales festivales de música del estado como el Festival Grec, el Pirineos Sur o el Festival Etnosur.

"Ya me he oido este disco cuatro veces y cuanto más lo pongo, más me gusta. Este es el Amargant que quiero escuchar... La técnica instrumental dominada sin esfuerzo... Esa musicalidad... Esa madurez que les falta a otros de su misma edad... Esas ideas siempre renovadas... Sigue así, chaval... ¡Anda! ya se acabó el disco! Vale, dale al replay..."

-
Juan Claudio Cifuentes, "Cifu"
 


01. Wise Man 5:25
02. Mah! 6:46
03. La Petite Chien 7:12
04. Seventy Steps to Vallcarca
(Stairway to Diego) 9:24
05. Esbergínies Rebossades 7:49
06. Pigeon's Dance 6:47
07. Much Laugh About Nothing 4:58


 Gabriel Amargant (ts)
Marco Mezquida (p)
Adrià Plana (g)
Miquel Serna (b)
Gonzalo Del Val (d)


"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 
 - Charlie Parker -
 



Aidan Carroll - Original Vision (2015)


Label: Truth Revolution
Source: Nextbop
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


Bassist Aidan Carroll, originally hailing from Oklahoma City, had a vision when he was 8 years old. "When I was 8 years old, I had a vision and a feeling wash over me in which I knew that I’d be playing music for the rest of my life - it wasn’t so much a choice but a reality of my life to come." Carroll went on to move to New York to study under the tutelage of John Patitucci earning himself a Master's degree in Jazz Performance from the City College of New York. Since then, he has performed and recorded with notables Aaron Goldberg, Seamus Blake, Fred Hersch and Melody Gardot, just to name a few.
Supporting Carroll on Original Vision, his debut as a leader set to release March 3rd on Truth Revolution Records and March 10th on Lyte Records, are two distinct rhythm sections. The first features New Orleans born pianist Sullivan Fortner and drummer Joe Dyson. The second rhythm section adds David Bryant on piano and Justin Brown on drums. Rounding out the band is saxophonist John Ellis who plays throughout the album. Saxophonist Ben van Gelder and vocalist Chris Turner bring their unique talents as special guests. "These are the exact musicians I wanted on this project so I consider myself very lucky to have had them all in the same place to create this album with me."
I got sucked into this album from the very beginning of the meditative "Intro: Reflections" which features bass, drums, keyboard, effects and even singing and then transitions into the dynamic "Overture", a piece highlighted by the strikingly flowing saxophone of Ellis and the solid drumming of Brown. Let’s note the particularly compelling solos by both Carroll on bass and Bryant on keyboard.
"Overture" is followed by "Shamanistic", where a joyful little piano intro by Fortner evolves into a powerfully engaging piece as Ellis joins in, supported by the potent drumming of Dyson. Once again, Ellis gives us a stellar performance on tenor but the highlight of the piece remains Fortner’s piano solo.
Then comes "For Now", a more traditional and swinging song, which nonetheless provides enough uniqueness and nuance to remain relevant to our time, followed by "Apollo Song", a calm and soothing piece which builds up into an exciting saxophone duel between van Gelder and Ellis.
The black sheep of this album is the single "Sundays" (watch the video clip at the bottom of the post), a soulful and Glasper-esque ballad featuring the sublime vocals of Chris Turner and a subtle and minimalist solo by van Gelder.
For me, the highlight of the album is the following track, "Undiscovered Simplicities". Carroll describes the song as: "One of the more simple tunes I’ve written harmony and melody wise and the title is about the fact that through so many life situations we often discover these simple answers and nuggets of wisdom. I’ve had some conflict in my life with people and relationships so this song is a sort of answer to all of that." The song begins with a short bass intro by Carroll which evolves into a driving and inciting vamp as the drums of Brown kick in. The melody is played by both Ellis and van Gelder on saxophones as Bryant on piano emits graceful and floral accompanying notes before taking the first solo, a rhythmic and block chord heavy endeavor. The second solo belongs to van Gelder who wows us with his smooth and technical playing filled with cunning intricacies.
From there on, the album features shorter tracks. "Sull’s Song" is a slow and calming ballad which highlights the beautiful lyricism and sound of Ellis on tenor. "Day Dream" is a moving dialogue between Carroll on bass and Fortner on piano. The piece begins in a very serene and contemporary manner and evolves into a more traditional jazz feel as it lightens up in mood.
Finally, "Katsimbalis" closes out the record (right before the short "Outro: Chants"). The composition comes from a program of music Carroll wrote inspired by Greek mythology and is specifically written after the main character "Katsimbalis" from "The Colossus of Maroussi" by Henry Miller. "Katsimbalis" features a truly intricate and modern head followed by short solos by Carroll, Ellis and Bryant. The song closes with a vamp by the band as Brown solos masterfully on drums.
"Original Vision is a blueprint of my creative process that brings together how I compose, improvise and envision sound. Creating the album was a transformative and cathartic experience that allowed me to present something that was truly my own. I’m proud to be able to bring this vision to life alongside some of my favorite and respected musicians," says Carroll of the album.
All in all, Original Vision is an astonishing debut by a skillful composer, a thoroughly enjoyable listen which I will put on repeat for a little while. If you’re into straight-ahead modern jazz make sure to check this one out, which I’ve shortlisted on my "Best Albums of 2015", even though it’s still early in the year. Congratulations Mr. Carroll! We’re already awaiting your next album impatiently. - S. Helary -
   





"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 
 - Charlie Parker -