martes, 8 de diciembre de 2015

Pete McCann - Range (2015)

Source: Allaboutjazz

This is the fifth album as leader by NYC-based guitarist Pete McCann and demonstrates just what heights the jazz guitar is capable of reaching when placed in the hands of an expert who understands the meaning of balance and finesse. Opening with the breezy "Kenny," a paen to the late Kenny Wheeler (with whom Pete McCann had performed), the guitarist lays down flurries of rapid-fire notes, with notable solo appearances here by Henry Hey on piano and John O'Gallagher on alto saxophone. The guitar on "Seventh Jar" has more electric bite, with McCann's solo straddling the typical rapid note progression and vibrant tone of two of his great heroes John McLaughlin and Allan Holdsworth, but he achieves this without sounding derivative.

The fast-paced "Realm" again has the guitarist laying down a fleet-footed solo, adorned by the lightning runs which sound facile, but most emphatically are not. "To The Mountains" steps into dream-like Bill Frisell territory with limpid echo-infused melody lines on guitar and a sonorous double bass solo from Matt Clohesy. "Mustard," somewhat at odds with the majority of the other tracks involves Zappa-esque bluesy rock chords with some fiery organ driven by Henry Hey and a muscular guitar solo, which in this context leans towards a Jeff Beck approach.

"Dyad Changes" is an angular fast-paced number with solos from Pete McCann (here on Rhodes), John O'Gallagher, Mark Ferber and naturally, McCann himself. Opening with acoustic guitar and piano, "Numinous" describes cautious, quiet, melodically serpentine sonic explorations, less typical but no less intriguing than the other pieces on the album.

"Bridge Scandal" returns to the jazz rock paradigm carved out by heroes Holdsworth and McLaughlin, replete with a fluid alto solo and some convincing overdriven fusion guitar work. "Rumble" is a less frenetic but foot-tappingly brisk Bebop-esque outing with Latin overtones. The gentle closing tune, "Mine Is Yours" is more reflective and sees both Matt Clohesy and Pete McCann turn in elegant solos on double bass and acoustic guitar respectively.

McCann's versatility proves that he is capable of both composing and playing in a range of styles, from languid sensitivity to raw full-on power. The album, for which McCann also took on production duties and whose title seems singularly appropriate, is an object lesson in chiaroscuro invention, naturally inviting frequent replays. Roger Farbey

1  Kenny
2  Seventh Jar
3  Realm
4  To the Mountains
5  Mustard
6  Dyad Changes
7  Numinous
8  Bridge Scandal
9  Rumble
10  Mine Is Yours

Pete McCann : electric guitar, acoustic guitar
John O’Gallagher: alto saxophone
Henry Hey: piano, Rhodes, organ
Matt Clohesy: double bass, electric bass
Mark Ferber: drums



Enrico Pieranunzi - Proximity (2015)

Source & Label: Cam Jazz 

A new, great album by Enrico Pieranunzi. With Matt Penman on double bass. Ralph Alessi on trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn, and Donny McCaslin on tenor and soprano sax. Four superb musicians from different generations, each with a different sensitivity to music, who are having fun looking for a common rhythm, paradoxically with no reassuring support from drums, but trying to back one another up, taking all the jazz they have experienced and striving to conceive their own concept.  As in every fine record by the Roman pianist, this CD rests on study, dedication and a respect for jazz, elements that firmly connect Pieranunzi to the traditions of the music he loves and allow him to create and compose new themes. Small steps forward in the wake of great classics. A never-ending search for advancement and new nuances in his songs. Opting to build a fresh musical framework with an unproven quartet is doubtlessly the most concrete evidence of this research and projection into the future.  All of the pieces on this CD were composed by the band leader. “(In)Canto” a soft, exquisite opening track, entrusts its theme to the piano and Alessi’s trumpet. “Line For Lee” displays the amazing talent of Matt Penman, whose excellent rhythmic structures are especially crucial in a drums-free recording. “Sundays” opens up with the sax of Donny McCaslin, a sophisticated sax player acting as a perfect counterpart to Pieranunzi in “Proximity”. In the title track, a convoluted interaction of the horns sets the scene, then leaves an opening for the piano and double bass, with Penman performing a fine solo. This record ends with a lively “Five Plus Five”, Alessi and McCaslin being definitely in top form.

(In) Canto
Line for Lee
Within the House of Night
Five Plus Five

Enrico Pieranunzi (Piano)
Ralph Alessi (Trumpet)
Donny McCaslin (Tenor Sax)
Matt Penman (Bass)



Richard Sears Trio - Skyline (2015)

Source & label: Fresh Sound New Talent

“Great jazz performances take a listener to a realm that’s both intimately familiar and bracingly new. This exceptional young trio led by Los Gatos-raised pianist Richard Sears dwells in that sweet spot between tradition and discovery.

Focusing on Sears’ beautifully wrought original compositions, Skyline is a response to the lush beauty and grandeur of the Santa Cruz Mountains, where it was recorded. The album opens with the dawning benediction of ‘Early Light,’ which flows into ‘Golden Hour,’ a spacious evocation of the end-of-day transition that bathes redwoods in sumptuous warm light.

Friends since their teenage years, Sears, bassist Martin Nevin and drummer Evan Hughes came together as a trio in New York City in 2012. They find more unbridled joy than sorrow in Ornette Coleman’s classic blues ‘Tears Inside,’ while uncovering a melancholic streak running through the standard ‘Easy Living.’ Beyond the idyllic studio setting, Sears draws deep inspiration from the company he’s been keeping. He recently recorded his six-part suite for drum legend Tootie Heath commissioned by the Los Angeles Jazz Society (‘Sturm’ is the fourth movement from that astonishing work). And one week before this session he filled in for Ethan Iverson in the quartet of drum maestro Billy Hart.

While Sears achieves a holistic, programmatic feel by closing the album with a more assertive version of ‘Early Light,’ the story Skyline tells is really about jazz itself and the way that sensitive musicians can respond to each other and their immediate surroundings. While many of his contemporaries are casting a wide net for influences, Sears and his bandmates are savvy post-bop explorers dedicated to expanding the jazz idiom from within.”  Andrew Gilbert, San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury

01. Early Light 4:51
02. Golden Hour 4:50
03. En Passant 3:48
04. Sturm 5:49
05. Tears Inside 6:02
06. Easy Living 3:19
07. Early Light- Reprise 3:44

Richard Sears (p)
Martin Nevin (b)
Evan Hughes (d)



Bastet - Earplugs And Ambien (Live @ Broken Horn Studios) 2015

Source: Cdbaby
Label: Justin Rock

Led by guitarist Justin Rock, Bastet takes the art of improvisation and the art of the trio to fresh new levels. Rock's unique compositional voice is brought to life by his trio (Giulio Cetto - bass, Mike Quigg - drums). The group's chemistry on stage is contagious at their shows, and their music creates the kind of thought provoking and exploratory ambiance that makes it seem as if time is being bent or stretched, like an elastic galaxy. You'll hear bursts of bright colors that explode onto the wall and drip down like melted wax, complimented by a sparse industrial grit. Fresh off their 2015 debut release "Eye Of Ra" and a west coast/Canadian tour, with plans for a second studio release in early 2016, Bastet is potent and brimming with passion. Check out for tour dates, band info, music, and more!!

For this project, "Earplugs And Ambien (Live At Broken Horn Studios)", you'll hear Bastet (Justin Rock - guitar, Mike Quigg- drums, Giulio Cetto - bass) in an intimate live audience setting at Broken Horn Studios in San Francisco, CA ( 

1. There Is No Secret 09:20
2. Wallflower 03:04
3. Tina Tioga 07:01
4. You've Got A Hardcore Face 05:24
5. When It Rains 03:53
6. Earplugs And Ambien 04:10
7. Freedom Is A State Of Mind 05:36

Justin Rock - guitar
Mike Quigg - drums
Giulio Cetto - bass



César Cardoso - Bottom Shelf (2015)

Source: Allaboutjazz
Label: Self Produced

"Além" starts unceremoniously, almost mid-tune, tenor sax and guitar evoking a sultry Stan Getz mood. The labyrinthine structure of the title track adds to its appeal and benefits from strong playing with a feisty guitar solo. César Cardoso's soprano on "Ónica" evinces a delicate interplay between the sax and the guitar. It might be a bit too much to suggest that the essential pairing of this saxophonist and guitarist is as effective as that heard on John McLaughlin's classic album Extrapolation (with saxophonist John Surman), but undoubtedly, the two musicians on this recording hugely complement each other. There's a good bass solo too from Demian Cabaud.

"After" exemplifies the characteristic sound of this quartet which is anchored by the guitar's predominantly muted tone. The dulcet interaction between guitar and sax here also has a distinct resonance of that other earlier pairing of guitar and woodwind, Jim Hall and Jimmy Giuffre. "Lennie & Mark" is a bright piece propelled by subtly robust drumming and on the ballad "O Brilho do Sol," guitarist Bruno Santos demonstrates the effectiveness of sporadically graduated volume control as a method of tonal variation.

"Leibrus" is a tranquil number with the emphasis on subtle guitar comping overlaid by sinuous soprano sax, with a backbone of some very solid drumming. "Quando A Chuva Cai" is a stately ballad, again with a quiet disposition, but affords an opportunity to showcase another resonating bass solo.

"Restless V" is a welcome breezy boppy number where Bruno Santos takes an atypically fuzz-distorted solo, a surprising sea change from his approach on the preceding tunes, perfectly counterbalancing César Cardoso's mellifluous tenor saxophone.

If anything, Bottom Shelf is a master class in restrained understatement and it should be noted that André Sousa Machado's drumming never seeks to dominate the proceedings, yet keeps perfect subtle time in the background. The album does require several plays in order to appreciate at just what level these musicians are playing, but gradually the performances begin to crystallise into an extremely appealing set. Roger Farbey

Bottom Shelf 
Lennie & Mark
O Brilho do Sol
Quando A Chuva Cai
Restless V

César Cardoso – saxofone tenor & soprano
Bruno Santos – guitarra
Demian Cabaud – contrabaixo
André Sousa Machado – bateria