lunes, 11 de mayo de 2015

Jacky Terrasson - Take This (2015)

Pianist/composer Jacky Terrasson makes his Impulse! label debut with Take This, a sparkling new disc that captures the quintessence of his multifaceted musical makeup, which often draws upon modern post-bop, pop, hip-hop, European classical, and African and Afro-Caribbean rhythms and melodies.

Being the product of a French father and an American mother, 48-year-old Terrasson has made a distinguished, two-decade plus career at threading musical links between various cultures and nationalities. On Take This, he retains American bassist Burniss Travis (Ambrose Akinmusire, Robert Glasper, Q-Tip, Mos Def, Marc Cary), who played on the previous disc, Gouache (Universal Jazz France, 2012) while recruiting new members – Cuban-born drummer Lukmil Perez (Tito Puente, Giovanni Mirabassi), Malian percussionist Adama Diarra (Dee Dee Bridgewater, Salif Keita, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Toumani Diabaté) and vocalist and Afro-French human beatbox virtuoso Sly Johnson (ex Saian Supa Crew, Camille, Eric Truffaz) – to form a hip cosmopolitan combo that represents jazz’s expansive global mindedness while still affirming its African-American roots.

Take This boasts four magnificent originals starting off with the opening, “Kiff,” which features Terrasson pairing his jovial piano and keyboard melodies with Johnson’s lissome, wordless vocals, which recall the supple magic of Al Jarreau. Terrasson deftly infusing Afro-Cuban melodicism on the delightful “Dance,” which also provides the perfect vehicle for Diarra’s splendid percussion work alongside Johnson’s shadowy beatbox ingenuity. “November” bounces to vivacious yet sensitive Caribbean beat propelled by Perez and Travis as Terrasson unravels labyrinthine passages marked by cogent melodicism and spry rhythms. Terrasson reveals his balladry mastery on the sensual “Letting Go,” whose sparse melody and hypnotic feel recall Miles Davis’ bolero “Flamenco Sketches.”

The disc also contains nine surprising covers that range from inventive takes on a handful of jazz standards – Bud Powell’s “Un Poco Loco,” Miles Davis and Bill Evans’ “Blue In Green” and Paul Desmond’s “Take Five”— a riveting piano-vocal duo rendition of the Beatles’ “Come Together,” an ebullient reading of Henri Salvador’s 1950 French-Caribbean hit, “Maladie D’Amour” and a jazz/hip-hop makeover of Gotye’s 2011 international pop hit, “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

Throughout the disc, Terrasson enlivens the music with sleek improvisations, rhythmic fluidity and an impeccable touch – all of which have become hallmarks to his singular sound. He also ignites a rapport with his band mates that favors memorable and importantly meaningful musical dialogue over callow pyrotechnics, making Take This another welcoming musical adventure in Terrasson’s oeuvre.

01. Kiff (3:35)
02. Un Poco Loco (4:12)
03. Take Five (Take 1) (5:12)
04. Come Together (3:23)
05. Dance (3:18)
06. Blue In Green (2:59)
07. November (6:23)
08. Take Five (Take 2) (4:13)
09. Maladie d'amour (3:15)
10. Somebody That I Used To Know (3:34)
11. Letting Go (4:40)



M-Base: Introducing M-Base - Brooklyn in the 1980s (2015)

It is a kind of stage anniversary behind the scenes: 30 years ago Stefan Winter founds the JMT (Jazz Music Today) label and records the debut production of the young saxophonist Steve Coleman. The starting point is the new Afro-American conception M-Base. The protagonists of this movement are Cassandra Wilson (vocals), Geri Allen (piano), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Greg Osby and Gary Thomas (saxophones).

The following special edition appears on the occasion of the 30 years celebration with ten albums that producer Stefan Winter has selected and compiled himself. Each single jubilee album is reworked by Adrian von Ripka, who is responsible for WINTER&WINTER's sound design since the beginning. 
The album »Introducing M-Base« introduces early works by important artists associated with the movement M-Base. Two titles of this compilation – »Irate Blues« und »On This« – come from the debut recording »Motherland Pulse« by Steve Coleman. This album was established in 1985, exactly 30 years ago.
In the 1980s Stefan Winter volunteers for a record company to learn autodidactically the profession as music producer. At the time a demo tape of the young Steve Coleman arrives, that nobody is interested in. During his first stay in New York City (1984) Stefan Winter jumps to the opportunity and offers Steve Coleman a record deal. This is the hour of birth of the debut recording with the core musicians of the later named M-Base Collective and at the same time of the label JMT (Jazz Music Today). Right after the first record Winter starts also working with Greg Osby, Cassandra Wilson, Robin Eubanks, Gary Thomas, Geri Allen and many others.

It is historical certainty that all these works were recorded mainly in the 80s, but as a listener one can hardly believe it. The works offer a new, inspiring approach to making music which seems still innovative today. Listen to M-Base does not mean to worship tradition, but to see the experience of these artists as a sound basis for the future. The music of the group, which comes together in 1985 around Steve Coleman under the name M-Base in the back then reckless Brooklyn Heights, opens an exciting chapter in jazz. Bebop is history, the 1968 generation established, they favour New Age jazz and renounce free jazz, shallow jazz rock fusion evaporates in the radio channels of New York, but a creative cell is born in the houses of the young musicians in Brooklyn, without rules, open for new rhythms, improvisation and structures. The fascinating and thrilling early works of saxophonists Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, Gary Thomas, singer Cassandra Wilson, trombonist Robin Eubanks, pianist Geri Allen, bassist Lonnie Plaxico, drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith and other protagonists are to be discovered on this album.

In the 80s promising new jazz developments seem to be stagnating. When Stefan Winter starts developing an alternative plan to found his own label JMT, in order to record the contemporary movements of jazz, young traditionalists like Wynton Marsalis on the one side set the tone, and on the other side musicians like Keith Jarrett lead the free jazz into the world of beautifully-flowing melodiousness. JMT isn't ment to be a copy of already known movement patterns, but should present musicians, who find their own way irrespective of the mainstreams. Stefan Winter seeks to meet the challenge to live up to the name Jazz Music Today. He searches for the new topical streams of jazz in the middle of the 80s. The saxophonist Steve Coleman and members of his group Five Elements develop off the main stages a distinctive message.

For the development of the young Afro-American music scene around M-Base the greater awareness of the cultural African identity but also influences of the times of bebop play an important role. The center of M-Base is based mainly in Brooklyn and forms a musical contrast to the experimental jazz music of the New York downtown scene, in which for example also Tim Berne is involved. The musicians, who are part of M-Base, are all looking for their radical individuality. They never even once made the attempt to imitate idols.

Listening to the short cuts of the early recordings of Steve Coleman, Cassandra Wilson, Geri Allen, Robin Eubanks, Greg Osby and Gary Thomas it becomes clear that a wide variety of musical expressions exist. New music with tricky rhythms, highly concentrated masterly play, complex group performances and alternative interpretations of jazz elements arises. Each musician keeps an own identity and does not sacrifices him- or herself for the idea of a movement. In spite of this is remarkable that M-Base does have its own sound. The joint spirit connects all these artists of a highly, heterogeneous nature, who will develop differently in the future. »Introducing M-Base« is an exciting sound journey into the early works of musicians from the M-Base circle. This album inspires to continue examining other records from this era. After World War II the modern jazz starts as a new movement and replaces the traditional jazz. Dance music almost disappears and jazz made purely for listening takes over. The modern jazz is developing from bebop to Afro Cuban jazz, from hard bob, to soul, cool and west coast jazz, from modal to free jazz. The M-Base movement, which starts 30 years ago in the middle of the 80s, opens a new, autonomous chapter, maybe one of the last in modern jazz.

01. If You Only Know How (Cassandra Wilson)
02. Irate Blues (Jean-Paul Bourelly)
03. Blue In Green (Miles Davis)
04. Chelsea Bridge (Billy Strayhorn)
05. Drifter (Jean-Paul Bourelly)
06. For John Malachi (Geri Allen)
07. I’m Going Home (Kevin Bruce Harris)
08. Lies (Cassandra Wilson)
09. Mindgames (Greg Osby)
10. Micro-Move (Steve Coleman)
11. On This (Steve Coleman)
12. Cüd Ba-Rith (Steve Coleman)
13. The Night Before (Robin Eubanks)
14. I Am Waiting (Cassandra Wilson)
15. Electromagnolia (Olu Dara, Cassandra Wilson)

Leader Artists
Geri Allen [piano]
Jean-Paul Bourelly [guitar]
Steve Coleman [alto saxophone]
Robin Eubanks [trombone]
Greg Osby [saxophones]
Gary Thomas [saxophones, flute]
Cassandra Wilson [vocals]

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Mario Pavone - Blue Dialect (2015)

It’s always a joy to have a new recording from someone like Mario Pavone, for five decades a central figure of the most defying and uncompromised jazz played in the United States. He was there, in many of the key moments of this music , either with Paul Bley, Bill Dixon, Thomas Chapin, Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Marty Ehrlich, Steven Bernstein, Joshua Redman and many others. Now, we find him in the most conventional of trios, the piano-double bass-drums one, doing again what he does best – unconventional, exploratory music with post-bop as a reference. With the bass player are two like-minded improvisers, pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Tyshawn Sorey, both carrying «five thousand terabytes of information» in them, as Dave Douglas put it once about the first. “Blue Dialect” is a never-ending flow of ideas and arguments, but always going to a focused destination and always aware of the point of departure. Each piece is telling a story and these stories have all it takes to enchant us and keep us wanting to get inside them. So, do it. Let yourself go.

Mario Pavone: double bass
Matt Mitchell: piano
Tyshawn Sorey: drums

1. Suitcase in Savannah
2. Xapo
3. Reflections
4. Two One
5. Zines
6. Silver Print
7. Language
8. Trio Dialect
9. Blue

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins