martes, 28 de abril de 2015

Casey Golden Trio - Outliers (2015)

It took Casey Golden five years to follow-up his debut album, “Clarity”. He used the time well as on the strength of this album, he has become a composer of note, presenting on this sophomore release eight very distinctive and melodically strong tunes. The quality screams out in tracks such as “Paralysed” and “Home” with almost classical flourishes appearing throughout. On this fine album Golden is supported ably by Ben Williams and Ed Rodrigues. Rodrigues really stands out as a drummer to be closely watched. Here, he eschews the standard trio rhythmic fare; rather at times he seems to be all over the kit and playfully dances with the beat and in so doing provides a fresh range of colours to the trio format. A prime example can be found in “Paralysed”. On the basis of this release there is no doubt that this trio has a golden future and this will probably be confirmed when the trio release a live album in June. In an age where the merest suggestion of a melody or rhythm can be the vehicle for improvisation, Golden stands out as a musician who places the composition first and improvisation second. On the evidence of this album, that’s no bad thing. The only criticism is that at less than 40 minutes one is begging for more at album’s end.

Michael Prescott, Jazz Presenter 5MBS, Australia

Casey Golden - piano / compositions 
Bill Williams - bass 
Ed Rodrigues - drums / percussion 

1. Flatpack Empire 02:58
2. Outliers 03:59
3. Paralysed 07:09
4. Home 07:06
5. Us or Them? 05:29
6. Uncovered 00:55
7. Recluse 05:19
8. One of Two Places 06:34

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Jason Seizer - Cinema Paradiso (2015)

Saxophonist, composer, and PIROUET artistic director Jason Seizer has a reputation as something of a maverick, someone who says what he thinks, and forges his own path through the musical wilderness. Seizer’s tone is instantly recognizable; it breaths out a palatable warmth, yet it is a warmth with an edge, a sense that it may not always be sunny out there in La-La Land. His ideas, unencumbered by pretense, are often understated, to the point; there are also moments of intimate complexity in his playing. At 50, he stands at the creative forefront of the music, with the maturity and vision to move in whatever direction he chooses. On Cinema Paradiso, his newest album for Pirouet, Seizer has pianist Pablo Held, bassist Matthias Pichler, and drummer Fabian Arends with him, three young players who possess the musical knowledge, skills and daring to grab hold of the past and push the music into the vanguard of the present. Held has proved to be one of the most innovative and exciting piano players to break onto the international scene in the past few years.

Movie music is a ubiquitous part of modern life. Many of the 20th and 21st century’s greatest jazz and classical musicians have directed the emotional flow of cinema classics, yet within the visual extravaganza of a darkened theater, the impact and power of the music itself often goes unnoticed. But without a good music score, most movies wouldn’t make it. Perhaps musicians are more aware of the music that makes the movie. After all, their situation on a lighted stage performing before a shadowy public has a similar aura of ritual enchantment. Jason says that, “I’ve had it in my head for a long time to do a record using movie themes. There are certain movies like the Deer Hunter and Cinema Paradiso that are in my private collection, that I love, and I love the music from these films – they are great vehicles for improvisation.” Spending time with Held over the last few years, the idea finally began to make sense. “Pablo’s a total cineaste. We talked a lot about movies when we got together – what we’d seen, what we liked, and we’d also talk about the sound tracks. We had a week in the Unterfahrt with the band last summer, and I thought that would be a good time to work on film music. We all brought tunes in, and we hung out together and watched the movies. We’d do the gig, then go home, and watch more movies, and when we liked something, we’d talk about playing it. It was very much a group decision as to what we’d play. For instance, we watched The Machinist, we all dug the piece that we decided to do, so we just transcribed it, and played it the next night. Basically, we worked the same way on the album.” 

There is a continuity to this CD, as if the disparate parts are the movements of a symphonic whole. The original cinematic music that was used for the album has a symphonic quality, and if it is possible for a quartet to project an orchestral aura, then it is this one. Like the best movies there is something timeless about Cinema Paradiso, a suspension of the everyday humdrum and a flight into a world that intimates the deeper reality that dreams are made of. Now turn off the lights, grab a seat and enjoy the music!

1. Carlotta’s Portrait · from »Vertigo« 1958
2. Cinema Paradiso · from »Cinema Paradiso« 1988
3. Steve’s Care · from »The Machinist« 2004
4. On The Waterfront · from »On the Waterfront« 1954
5. Cavatina · from »The Deer Hunter« 1978
6. Jungle Beat · from Walt Disney’s »The Jungle Book«
7. Children’s Games · from »The Curious Case of Benjamin Button« 2008
8. Alien Main Theme · from »Alien« 1979
9. Spartacus Love Theme · from »Spartacus« 1960

Jason Seizer, tenor saxophone
Pablo Held, piano
Matthias Pichler, bass
Fabian Arends, drums

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


The Jiggs Whigham International Trio - Not So Standars (Live at Nighttown) 2015

A jazz trio performing songs like "Autumn Leaves" and "Days Of Wine And Roses" isn't exactly out of the ordinary, but this trio performing those songs is something else. Live At Nighttown: 'Not So Standards' finds Jiggs Whigham, an American trombone giant who expatriated to Germany long ago, back at home in Cleveland, Ohio, putting on a standards-heavy show. But don't let the playlist fool you. These aren't paint-by-numbers takes on old favorites. The Jiggs Whigham International Trio—Whigham, German pianist Florian Weber, and Rumanian bassist Decebal Badila—demonstrates that the structure and syntax of these classics aren't set in stone.

Whigham and company work their way through five familiar numbers and one original here, stretching the fabric of each song in the process. "Days Of Wine And Roses" serves as the first example of how this trio can expand on well-known source material. Whigham's round and centered sound and lyrical qualities shine through; Weber provides gap-filling lines, colorful chords, splayed statements, and broken lines; and Badila works with a sense of whimsy and swing. While each successive number finds the trio moving in different directions, Whigham's melodic gifts, Weber's idiosyncratic musical personality, and Badila's rhythmically engaging qualities prove to be important ingredients in all of them.

As the program continues, so do the classics. "Autumn Leaves" shines a light on Weber's versatility as he sets the mood with a fixed pattern and some angular thoughts, delivers hammered chords behind Whigham, runs along during his solo stand, and provides light, upper register plinks behind Badila. Next is "Steve (Dedicated To Steve Gray)," the only original on the program. It's a number that gives pause to admire the relationship between pianist and trombonist, with Weber's angular, avant-Baroque exploits introducing this staid, ballad-esque beauty. Then there's "Someday My Prince Will Come," opening with uncertainty as pedal point eighth notes, abstract thoughts, and slow glissandos come forth. Eventually, the trio settles into a standard waltz feel, flirts with a more down-home feel in four, and fades away with the same sense of mystery that ushered in the song.

The set comes to an end with two more classics—a version of "Bags' Groove" that's a straight-up blues trip and a take on "St. Thomas" that emphasizes the joys of calypso. The former proves to be the most conventional performance on the album, but the latter finds this group doing what it does best: straddling the fence that separates convention from ingenuity. Jiggs Whigham mostly travels to familiar places during this hour-long set, but he succeeds in circumventing banality with his choice of route(s)—the roads less traveled, not the standard(s) super highways.

1. Days Of Wine And Roses
2. Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves)
3. Steve (Dedicated to Steve Gray)
4. Someday My Prince Will Come
5. Bags' Groove
6. St. Thomas

Jiggs Whigham: trombone
Florian Weber: piano
Decebal Badila: bass

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Steve Turre - Spiritman (2015)

Steve Turre, a jazz master on trombone and on his innovative sea shells, celebrates the release of his new CD on Smoke Sessions Records, “Spiritman.” While his last few recordings have featured strong thematic concepts, he consciously made “Spiritman” a feature for his trombone playing. Widely known for his long tenure with the Saturday Night Live Band, Turre has worked alongside a list of music legends that includes Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Ray Charles, and Art Blakey. On everything from swinging classic bop lines on trombone or conjuring Rahsaan on shells over a deep groove, Steve Turre is a true jazz original. Rolling Stone says, “The jazz world needs more Steve Turres. A powerful technician with a soulful tone and quick wit, Turre is perhaps the leading trombonist of this generation.”

01. Bu
02. Lover Man
03. Funky Thing
04. Trayvon's Blues
05. It's Too Late Now
06. A Song In My Heart
07. 'S Wonderful
08. Peace
09. Nangadef
10. Spiritman - All Blues

Steve Turre – trombone & shells
Bruce Williams – soprano & alto sax
Xavier Davis – piano
Gerald Cannon – bass
Willie Jones III - drums
Chembo Corniel - congas

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins