sábado, 5 de diciembre de 2015

Jon Hazilla and Saxabone - Form & Function CIMP Recordings (1997)

Drummer Hazilla has once again come up with a tasty concept and thematic set that prominently-but never overbearingly-features his droll, understated, no-nonsense trap settings. This time he pits kit against three saxes and trombone. 

Saxabone is all colleagues at Berklee College: altoist Jim Odgren, tenor man Greg Badolato, bari guy Tim Mayer, trombonist John Pierce. That's it: neither bass nor chordal instrument obtrude on their elemental encounters of horn and skin. 

That the Berklee instructor reveres Max Roach may clearly be heard in the brisk, clean solo gambits that open, end, and pepper their way not quite symmetrically through the date. These solos are brief performances-none except "10 Little Indians," dedicated to Roach, exceeding four minutes-not study exercises. His "Self Portrait" is a candid turn with smooth hard mallets bouncing off dry hi-hat counter-rhythms.

Hazilla's constant ear for balancing rhythm and melody make a strong case for Saxabone being a chorale for five "horns," four brass and one cowhide. He meshes with his mates on ensemble unisons and harmonies of four extended bop classics. 

Mayer gets a fine turn on Lee Morgan's whole-tone tribute to Smilin' Billy, "Our Man Higgins" with tuned skins. A free-form intro slides "Crepuscule With Nellie" into rich voicings as Pierce waxes orotund and Mayer bottoms up manfully, and Hazilla's toms and bass drum fill out the chords.

Fred Bouchard



Tino Tracanna & Paolino Dalla Porta- Nudes - (1999)

Nudes represents a collection of aural portraits brought to us by saxophonist Tino Tracanna and double bassist Paolino Dalla Porta consisting of duet performances that might be analogous to the visual arts as the musicians artfully sculpt detailed curvatures of sound. Yet, the ten compositions presented here symbolize a bit more than just an agreeable set of tone poem incantations! The musicians kick matters into high gear on works such as “Born In The Zoo” where Tracanna sustains expressive lines that quietly swing - while they also render rapid bop-ish unison themes amid frisky dialogue on the piece titled, “Crossroad”. 

With “India Gate”, the instrumentalists emit tender lyricism while attaining a fine degree of concord or harmony as they counterbalance thematic invention with shifting meter and cunning improvisation. On the composition titled “Kim”, Traccana pursues sweet melodies offset by brisk, angular phrasing while Dalla Porta shifts tempos via his sonorous and thoroughly resplendent acoustic bass lines. Throughout, the duo is most effective at bouncing ideas off one another yet remain focused and sensitive to compositional form and structure.

Overall, Tracanna and Dalla Porta should be commended for their synergistic and intuitive involvement as the music portrayed on Nudes melds swing and bop motifs with intricate patterns yet more importantly, delves into the human spirit in stirring fashion. Recommended.