martes, 29 de diciembre de 2015

Ken Silverman Trio - Parallel Man (2015)

A modern guitar trio led by New York City guitarist Ken Silverman comes out of the gate burning with rhythmic intensity on the title track "Parallel Man." Silverman develops a motif of parallel guitar lines while a powerful rhythm sections support his development. He enters into a glistening glissando section bringing to mind sounds of sitar that build a drive so hard that his tone reminds one of a Charles Mingus solo, ready to explode. There is no doubt an appreciation for the avant-garde here as Silverman experiments with dissonant harmonies and rhythmically interesting phrasing. Immediately following this track is one that caught my eye initially, opening with a bowed bass line "Renoir" is a marriage of modern jazz sounds with hallmarks to an appreciation for country music reminiscent of the old west, a cowboy stranded in Manhattan. 

The album has no lack of diversity as the next two tracks "Odyssey in Blue" and "Elbow Grease" feature an appreciation for blues and funk music respectively. Silverman's tone here is reminiscent of players like Danny Gatton, but with phrasing that recalls players such as Kenny Burrell. On "Elbow Grease" you can hear him begin to dig into the instrument deeper causing popping sounds reminiscent of slap bass guitar. Immediately following this exploration he goes back into the world of country on the track "Little Ditty." Silverman is taking his entire musical vocabulary to the maximum here. Where most jazz musicians have been known to stray or even flat around run from country music, he has no issue embracing it as another musical tradition to better shape and develops his sound. It is light and refreshing from the norms of modern jazz that seem to almost demand nothing but harmonic complexity and bebop lines that reach only fellow music students. 

The final track on the album "Outer Revulsion" opens with a line that feels more angular than it does parallel. The entire melodic statement has development of a proper motif while still incorporating a very interesting treatment of dissonance that cannot be ignored, and almost screams "Look at me!" Mr. Silverman is engaging in artistic development and appears to be responding musically to the modern world in a manner that is fresh and unique to his own experience—not just as a musician, or even as a listener, but as a human being and a member of this strange and confusing world that we all coexist in. Parallel Man touches on sounds of the human condition and leaves one with the strange emptiness of "now what?" It is a record that leaves one willing to leave their studio apartment and venture out into the unknown looking for new experiences.

Parallel Man
Odyssey in Blue
Elbow Grease
Little Ditty
Visions Fugitives, #1
Outer Revulsion

Ken Silverman: guitar
Sam McPherson:bass
Andy O'Neil: drums


Erik Friedlander - Chimera 1995 (2015)

Chimera is the 1995 debut album by cellist Erik Friedlander which was released on the Japanese Avant label.

1. Alluvium
2. Turbine #1
3. Mercy Street
4. Single Whip
5. Blind Tiger
6. Little Niles
7. Chimera
8. Fekunk

Artwork [Cover] – Eric Fischl
Bass – Drew Gress
Bass Clarinet – Andrew D'Angelo
Cello – Erik Friedlander
Clarinet – Chris Speed
Composed By – Erik Friedlander (tracks: 1 to 5, 7 to 8), Randy Weston (tracks: 6)
Design – Ikue Mori
Edited By – Arconomics
Executive Producer – John Zorn
Executive Producer [Associate] – Kazunori Sugiyama
Mastered By – Allan Tucker
Mixed By, Recorded By – Jon Rosenberg

Recorded April 17-18, 1995 and mixed April 27, 1995 at Tedesco Studios, New Jersey. Mastered at Foothill Digital, New York City, New York.


Erik Friedlander - Illuminations (2015)


ILLUMINATIONS, cellist Erik Friedlander’s latest solo release was originally commissioned by the Jewish Museum in New York City which hosted an exhibit of ancient books from Oxford University’s Bodleian Collection.  The exhibit  brought together ancient illuminated texts in Arabic, Latin and Hebrew. 

“I found myself in this darkened room surrounded by these gorgeous books and manuscripts that seemed to be talking to me. They were telling me a story of patience and craft, ritual and dedication that was inspiring.”

Friedlander has worked on the Bach suites throughout his life as a cellist and he used the suite form as a launching point for ILLUMINATIONS. Friedlander begins the suite with the meditative Invocation.  The Prelude (subtitled Scriptorium) that follows is a furious moto perpetuo with an improvisatory pizzicato interlude. “I was inspired by Bach’s Preludes which are technically challenging and musically formidable. Scriptorium is a serious place where work gets done.  Scribes sometimes spent their entire lives working in this room.” Instead of the French dances most often used in the Bach suites (Allemande, Courante, Bouree, and Gigue) Friedlander chose instead to compose using vocal forms, Chants and Madrigals as well as dances of his own choosing: Cham is a hypnotic, trance-like piece named for the mystical Tibetan dance; the Tarantella is a ⅞ dance of madness named for the infamous serpent who tempts Eve; a Fantasia is a free, improvisational meditation and Kaddish is a mourner’s prayer.  The suite finishes with Pavan, a dedication to Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th century mystic and composer.

ILLUMINATIONS weaves inspirations from ancient book making with ritual dance movements and Renaissance vocal forms.  The listener may sometimes feel they are hearing a lute or a gamba.

Says Friedlander, “I’m always trying to tell a story with my playing and in ILLUMINATIONS it’s all about a world that’s lit by candles and has the smell of leather and parchment. ”Prelude - Scriptorium
Erik Friedlander

Cellist Erik Friedlander is a composer, an improviser, and a veteran of NYC's Downtown scene. Friedlander started studying music at an early age, beginning at 5 with guitar, and then at 8, cello lessons. Erik spent his twenties honing his skills as a player and an improviser and quickly became a sought after studio musician, performing on 100s of cds. New work continues with The Mountain Goats and John Zorn. Friedlander's recent projects are diverse: Nighthawks, a cd that was conceived during the blackout in lower Manhattan caused by Hurricane Sandy.  Claws & Wings, the elegiac work dedicated to Erik’s late wife, featuring laptop percussionist Ikue Mori and pianist Sylvie Courvoisier; and a limited edition LP with photographer Mitch Epstein entitled American Power.

Produced by Erik Friedlander
Recorded April 14, 2014 at Let Em In Studios in Brooklyn
Recorded by Scott Solter
Mixed by Erik Friedlander
Mastered by Silas Brown at Legacy Mastering
Design by Vanessa No Heart
Release date: April 21, 2015

Invocation - Seshat
Prelude - Scriptorium
Madrigal - Siddur
Chant - Illuminations
Cham - Hypnotique
Tarantella - The Serpent
Fantasia - Zodiac
Chant - Kaddish
Madrigal - The Virgin & The Unicorn
Pavan - Hildegard


Abe Rábade Trío & Real Filharmonía de Galicia - Tránsitos (2015)

Abe Rábade, uno de nuestros mejores pianistas, sigue explorando nuevas vías de expresión en este mundo del jazz y músicas adyacentes. El gallego, ni corto, ni perezoso, se ha embarcado en esta nueva aventura llamada ‘Tránsitos’ junto a la orquesta Real Filarmonía de Galicia dirigida en esta ocasión por Paul Daniel.

Rábade ha trabajado junto a su trio habitual, a saber, Pablo Martín Caminero al contrabajo y Bruno Pedroso a la bateria, con lo que una total confianza impera en este trabajo y eso repercute en el resultado.

El repertorio, temas ya trabajados con anterioridad por Abe y su gente. Desde ‘Zigurat’, hecha en formato de trio, con el que se abre la actuación grabada en directo en el Auditorio Municipal de Orense el 1 de Mayo del 2015, hasta la final ‘La Martiniana’ de Andrés Henestrosa nos encontramos con la ‘suite’ ‘Tránsitos’ única parte orquestada y por tanto hecha con la inestimable ayuda de la Real Filarmonía de Galicia. Además nos encontramos una bonita versión de ‘El Día Que Tu Me Quieras’ de Carlos Gardel y como regalo, solo en el dvd, tenemos un ‘Like Sonny’ de Coltrane arreglado por Rábade que apareció en el disco ‘VerSons’ del 2013 y que merece la pena.

Hablemos de la suite ‘Tránsitos’ que es la espina dorsal de este trabajo. Son cuatro temas de los que Abe ya había grabando por lo menos tres con anterioridad.

El primero subtitulado ‘Source’ estaba en ‘Opens Door’ disco del 2008 hecho en septeto, el segundo ‘Deep Cycle’ aparecio en ‘Zigurat’ del 2010 y el tercero subtitulado ‘Jamal´s Mode’ estaba en ‘A Modo’ disco del año 2012, en los dos últimos ya esta el trio actual. Aquí aparecen arreglados al modo ‘Arbourzeniano’ que patentara Jarrett en su momento.

Abe Rábade comenta en el libreto que acompaña al doble cd-dvd ‘Tránsitos’: “Para que dos mundos se puedan fundir en un abrazo es preciso que abran sus fronteras y renuncien a sus certezas”.

Desde luego como punto de partida parece interesante pero creo que ‘Tránsitos’, al final, busca respetar tanto las esencias de la musica de Abe Rábade que lo consigue a costa de perder parte de los fundamentos iniciales. No acaba de cumplir totalmente su palabra.

Yo creo que en este disco las fronteras entre el trio de jazz y la musica orquestada no se acaban de romper, el abrazo y la fusión no están hechas del todo, el respeto se impone y creo que los fieles seguidores del pianista gallego nos quedamos un poco decepcionados porque parece que no acaba de enfrentarse al difícil reto con el suficiente valor que sabemos, por experiencia, atesora. Echo de menos unos arreglos más atrevidos y en todo el repertorio, no solo en los cuatro tránsitos. Vamos, que nos quejamos de vicio.

Nos estamos, para nada, ante un mal disco. El estilo, calidad y virtuosismo de Rábade y su gente sigue intacto y presente a lo largo de la grabación, pero creo que tambien flota en el ambiente que se pudo llegar mas lejos y que, por alguna razón, no se hizo.

El dvd es un perfecto complemento a la grabación discográfica y muestra con absoluta certeza lo que ocurrió aquella gran noche de mayo del 2015 en el escenario ourensano.

‘Tránsitos’, a pesar de todo, estará en mi lista de los mejor del jazz nacional del 2015.

Abe Rábade (piano)
Pablo Martín Caminero (contrabajo)
Bruno Pedroso (batería)

Orquesta Real Filharmonia de Galicia dirigida Por Paul Daniel

1. Zigurat
2. Tránsito 1: Source
3. Tránsito 2: Deep Cycle
4. Tránsito 3: Jamal's Mood
5. Tránsito 4: Void
6. El Día Que Me Quieras
7. La Martiniana