Sunday, January 31, 2016

John Coltrane - A Love Supreme The Complete Masters (2015)




Cuenta el pianista McCoy Tyner que cuando el 9 de diciembre de 1964, alguien bajó la intensidad de las luces del estudio Englewood Cliffs, de New Jersey, supuso que la intención era la de recrear un clima de ‘night club’ o algo así, espacios en los que el cuarteto liderado de John Coltrane, que completaban Jimmy Garrison y Elvin Jones, exploraba nuevos caminos para su música.

En ese clima, el genial saxofonista dio a luz a A Love Supreme (Impulse!), una de sus obras esenciales en la que, según él mismo consignaba en el texto incluido en la presentación original, consagraba su música al Creador, a quien responsabilizaba por su “despertar espiritual”, tras sus experiencias de adicciones al alcohol y las drogas.

En el marco de una especie de suite de cuatro movimientos, Coltrane desarrolló una apertura, Acknowledgement, basada en el riff inicial definido por el contrabajo de Garrison tras el sonido de un gong, sobre la cual construyó líneas melódicas con su instrumento y una suerte de mantra que repite el título del álbum una y otra vez.

Seguida por Resolution y Pursuance, dos piezas que transitan patrones rítmicos y formales habituales para la época, aunque proponiendo cierta expansión hacia incipientes destellos del free jazz, la obra cerraba con Psalm, una epifanía en la que el saxofonista tradujo al lenguaje de su saxo tenor un poema que había escrito a Dios. 

Sin embargo, su carácter místico no impidió que A Love Supreme se transformara en uno de los discos más populares de la historia del jazz y, con su más de medio millón de copias vendidas, en uno de sus mayores éxitos comerciales.

Con tales antecedentes a su favor, la nueva edición del álbum permite ir más allá de lo hasta ahora conocido, y entrar en su proceso de realización. En ese sentido, la inclusión de versiones alternativas del mismo día de grabación, y del día siguiente, muestra tanto la evolución como la solidez de la idea que inspiraba a Coltrane.

Aún cuando, en su búsqueda, el 10 de diciembre sumó a su cuarteto el contrabajista Art Davis y al saxo tenor Archie Shepp, con quien en Acknowledgement sostuvo diálogos y contrapuntos cuya publicación no hace sino enriquecer aún más la obra original. 

  • Fuente - Eduardo Slusarczuk

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Mats Gustafsson & Nu Ensemble - Hidros 6 Knockin' (2015)



El saxofonista, compositor e improvisador sueco Mats Gustafsson además de ser un ícono del free jazz escandinavo es, sin lugar a dudas, una de las figuras esenciales de la música creativa de nuestro tiempo.

En su dilatado e infatigable trayecto musical colaboró con Sonic Youth, Jim O’Rourke, Barry Guy, Merzbow, Ken Vandermark,  Peter Brötzmann, Derek Bailey, Peter Evans, Otomo Yoshihide,  Paul Lytton, Evan Parker, Agustí Fernández, Misha Mengelberg y Peter Evans y ha liderado algunas de las bandas más destacadas de este milenio, tales como The Thing (con Ingebrigt Håker Flaten y Paal Nilssen-Love), Fire! (junto a Johan Berthling y Andreas Werliin), el multiestelar ensamble extendido Fire! Orchestra y la agrupación Swedish Azz (con Per Ake-Holmlander, Kjell Nordeson, dieb13 y Eric Carlsson), entre otros.

A esa fascinante producción discográfica se sumará en los próximos días el álbum Hidros 6 – Knockin’, trabajo en el que se presenta bajo la denominación Mats Gustafsson & NU Ensemble.

Este emprendimiento –en origen constituido en 1996 y reformado en 2013- incluye una rutilante alineación integrada por Mats Gustafsson en saxos slide, tenor, barítono y bajo, electrónicos y piano, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten y Jon Rune Strøm en bajos, Per Åke Holmlander en tuba, dieb13 en bandejas, Kjell Nordeson en vibráfono, batería y glockenspiel, Agustí Fernández en piano y órgano,  Joe McPhee en trompeta de bolsillo, saxo tenor y órgano, Peter Evans en trompetas, Stine Janvind Motland en voces, Christer Bothén en clarinete bajo y guimbri y Paal Nilssen-Love en batería.

Los cuatro temas contenidos en el álbum –cuya autoría corresponde a Mats Gustafsson- están dedicados a la música y las letras del legendario cantante, compositor y pianista afroamericano de rock’n’roll Little Richards.

Hidros 6 – Knockin’ será publicado hacia finales de este mes y contará con dos ediciones, una en CD simple y otra en formato de box set que incluye dos discos en vinilo, cinco CD, un cuadernillo con información y un DVD.




El lanzamiento de este nuevo material, en sus dos ediciones, corre por cuenta del sello discográfico polaco NotTwo Records.

Fuente : El Intruso

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Agusti Fernandez & Ad Libitum Ensemble - River, Tiger, Fire [2015]




Agustí Fernández, el jazz poético

El músico ha grabado y editado 'River, Tiger, Fire' con motivo de su 60 cumpleaños
Música inovidable del año 2015


Agustí Fernández es el improvisador español más relevante de su generación, un músico poliédrico que, década a década, ha forjado una carrera impecable a medio camino entre el jazz, la música contemporánea y la improvisación libre. Su talento ha sido requerido y compartido por gigantes del jazz de vanguardia como Evan Parker, Mats Gustafsson, Marilyn Crispell, Peter Kowald, William Parker o Ken Vandermark, y sus propios proyectos, constantes, variados e inagotables, constituyen un corpus creativo como no se ha visto en nuestro jazz.


"El jazz no tiene género"
"Me considero un superviviente de la música"
"Sin orden ni concierto"
"Mantengo la consigna de alejarme del aburrimiento y del Estado"


Fernández ha cumplido 60 años en 2015, evento que sirvió como motivo para la grabación y edición de este River, Tiger, Fire, cuando fue invitado a protagonizar una residencia de cuatro noches en el festival Ad Libitum de Varsovia, seleccionando tres proyectos suyos y dirigiendo un grupo de improvisadores polacos cuidadosamente seleccionados para la ocasión. El resultado discográfico es un exuberante disco cuádruple que sirve como catálogo estelar del arte de Fernández, tanto desde la retrospectiva como desde la novedad.

River, Tiger, Fire es una criatura tetracéfala que contiene algunas de las facetas más estimulantes –y diferentes­– de su protagonista, empezando por la desnudez y la apasionada delicadeza de El laberinto de la memoria, un acercamiento en piano solo a la música tradicional de nuestro país, tan personal como sugerente. Por otro lado, el trío Aurora, completado por el virtuoso contrabajista británico Barry Guy y el fascinante percusionista valenciano (afincado en París) Ramón López, es uno de los proyectos más duraderos de Fernández, y podríamos considerarlo la revisitación del trío de jazz más sofisticada que ha dado nuestro país en las últimas décadas. Su música mece al oyente y lo hace transitar entre la melodía, la emoción, la rotunda espontaneidad de la interactuación de los músicos y un suave tinte mediterráneo que le da un carácter muy especial al grupo.


En el otro extremo, un estreno: el del trío Thunder, encuentro de Fernández con los norteamericanos Frances-Marie Uitti (chelo) y Joel Ryan (electrónica) en busca de explorar las fronteras de la improvisación electroacústica, con los tres músicos tejiendo paisajes sonoros a partir de todas las posibilidades de cada instrumento y de los tratamientos electrónicos en directo de Ryan. Un portento de música creativa.

YAHVÉ M. DE LA CAVADA


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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bob Wijnen - NYC Unforeseen (2015)



NYC Unforeseen is Bob Wijnen's first project as a band leader, and what a band it is! Next to Wijnen, who lays down a really tasteful yet adventurous way of playing the piano, NYC Unforeseen features the always fantastic sounding Peter Bernstein on guitar, the "voice of reason" Dezron Douglas on bass, and the ever swinging Billy Drummond, who participated on so many great jazz records, on drums.

Wijnen was a sideman in many bands for a long time, and still is. Yet he always felt the urge to chase dreams and to show that realizing them can make you a happier and more complete person. One dream was to go to New York, the city where the jazz scene is all about what Wijnen is striving for in music: groove, swing, energy, an open mind and the spirit of the tradition of America's true original art form. With this wonderful band it all comes out.
You can order the cd in the retail store when you scroll down the page and through iTunes, Amazon and Google Music. Reviews will follow shortly!

"Bob Wijnen is a fine pianist, who has assembled a terrific band of some of New York’s top jazz players for his debut recording. NYC Unforeseen is a great CD, fresh music from a mature pianist/composer who has honed his own swinging, lyrical voice as a player and composer. Not to be missed!" - David Berkman, pianist

Bob Wijnen, piano
Peter Bernstein, guitar
Dezron Douglas, bass
Billy Drummond, drums

1. NYC Unforeseen
2. Treehouse
3. The Look of Love
4. Baby Steps
5. Sublime Indifference
6. E For Eye Opener
7. Bring it Together
8. If It's Magic
9. The Jellyfish Blues (says Dez)


Domi

Gerard Presencer - Groove Travels (2016)

Label: Edition Records


Trumpeter Gerard Presencer has a way of always giving sophisticated jazz writing a really hip, rhythmic push. His music always travels and it always grooves, so the title of this album is spot on.
It’s a pity we don’t get new releases from his pen and his trumpet/flugelhorn more often – 14 years is a long time between albums by anyone’s standards – but, hey, let’s not be moaning, let’s just celebrate this fine new release.
After many years teaching at the Royal Academy in London, Gerard is now and sharing his skills in Europe and living in Copenhagen where he is a trumpeter in the Danish Radio Big Band. Groove Travels gives us five Presencer tunes plus McCartney’s Eleanor Rigby, Shorter’s Footprints and I Can’t Stop Loving You – no, not the Ray Charles song, the Leo Sayer one!
That last named, the album’s closer, gets a terrific arrangement with the horns playing echoing patterns behind gently cascading saxophones, Presencer’s trumpet dancing over the whole thing. Ms Rigby becomes more of an Eleanora with a cruising Cuban rhythm helping the song to bowl along, while Footprints is given the kind of catchy groove, chord revoicings and section writing that gives the warhorse a new lease of life. It trots along shaking its mane with pride. Lovely solos from Hans Ulrik on tenor and Steen Hansen on trombone. And from Gerard, natch.
But what about the originals?
The opener, Another Weirdo, lopes along nicely as a fine introduction to Presencer’s rich, multi-layering of the horns with his flugelhorn the solo voice. Blues For Des ups the funkiness and there are some particularly gleaming trumpet section punches, around a stylishly powerful tenor solo from Karl-Martin Almqvist and Presencer on trumpet, with some effective accents from guest Cuban percussionist Eliel Lazo.
Ballad or Tango For The Misunderstood has a gorgeous, woozy sway about it, sinuous lines and a seductively stepping rhythm section sequeing seamlessly between tango and samba-swing. Solos are handed like a baton from Rhodes-player Henrik Gunde, to Presencer and on to Pelle Friddell on soprano. Devil’s Larder is the rock track, with Gunde on organ, guitarist Per Gade suitably forceful and the bari lines cutting through at just the right moments; it’s also a prime example of a big band piece where there is no need for individual solos.
Istanbul Coffee Cup has a touch of the exotic in the form of a snaking soprano line and a jumpy rhythm, but again the abiding enjoyment comes from the big, lush, rounded sound that Presencer’s arrangements give the band.
A lovely album that is both detailed enough to deliver new surprises over the months and years while also being easy on the ear. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait too many years and months for its successor.


1. Another Weirdo 05:40
2. Blues for Des 09:09
3. Ballad or Tango of the Misunderstood 07:10
4. The Devil's Larder 05:13
5. Eleanor Rigby 06:00
6. Istanbul Coffee Cup 05:53
7. Footprints 06:53
8. Can't Stop Loving You 06:41 

 
Gerard Presencer - trumpet
Per Gade- guitar
Kaspar Vadsholt- bass
Søren Frost- drums
Henrik Gunde- synths

SAXOPHONES
Nicolai Schultz
Pelle Fridell
Hans Ulrik Jensen
Karl-Martin Almqvist
Anders Gaardmand

TROMBONE
Vincent Nilsson
Steen Hansen
André Jensen
Anders Larson
Ola Nordquist

TRUMPETS
Adam Rapa
Christer Gustafsson
Thomas Kjærgaard
Jens Chr. Gotholdt
Michael Mølhede


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Frank Woeste (feat. Ben Monder & Justin Brown) - Pocket Rhapsody (2016)



Il y a dans ce nouvel album du pianiste allemand la marque d'une grande diversité. Celui qui vit en France et que l'on sait élevé au biberon de la musique dite « classique » et des orgues des grands compositeurs allemands, celui que l'on jurerait élevé à l'école du rigorisme protestant et qui affiche en apparence des airs de gendre idéal s'est plongé avec délice depuis plusieurs années dans un jazz de bad boys parfois bien déjanté notamment aux côtés de Mederic Collignon (Jus de bosc).

Cet album, c'est justement le reflet d'une personnalité musicale aussi riche qu'ambivalente. Entre jazz électrique, musique de chambre et ambiant jazz, Franck Woeste navigue entre l'acoustique et le fender. Il se fait ici moins soliste que formidable arrangeur, directeur artistique et compositeur. A quand Franck Woeste pour Big band !

Des compagnons de route et stars du label passent la porte du studio et viennent en ami prêter main forte. Ibrahim Maaalouf emporte avec lui quelques beaux moments paroxystiques comme sur un "Moving Light" incandescent alors que la chanteuse Youn Sun Nah laisse planer un univers plus mystérieux et mélancolique sur "Star gazer ".

Mais si l'album est superbement arrangé on a parfois l'impression de perdre le pianiste qui dirige plus qu’il ne joue. On en est un peu frustrés. N'empêche, chacune de ses interventions est absolument précieuse et lumineuse. Où fusionnent un certain clacissime et un sens du groove terrible (Terlingua) mais toujours intelliogemment et sans esbrouffe.

Parfois il se fait très americain (on pense à Bill Frisell) sur Pocket Rhapsody avec un Ben Monder étonnant de grâce. Franck Woeste a aussi l'intelligence d'ajouter parfois quelques cordes et de venir au clavier accompagner en surimpression. Franchement classieux ! Et puis c’est tout autre chose lorsque, après une intro apaisée se déclenchent des foudres noires sur un Nouakchott sombre porte par les déchirures d’Ibrahim Maalouf et les bombardements guerriers de guitare presque hendrixiennes de Ben Monder conçu comme une vrai suite.

Aux côtés de Franck Woeste, une impressionnante rythmique avec un Justin Brown qui, depuis que nous l’avions entendu aux côtés d’Ambrose Akinmusire s’avère comme l’un des véritables petits génie de la batterie. Débordant, cet album dit beaucoup. Tout simplement luxuriant! Jean-Marc Gelin


Franck Woeste (piano, Fender Rhodes, org, bass synth)
Ben Monder (guitar)
Justin Brown (drums)

Guests:
Ibrahim Maalouf (trumpet, 02 & 08)
Youn Sun Nah (vocals, 03)
Sarah Nemtanu (violin)
Gregoire Korniluk (cello)

01. Terlingua
02. Moving Light
03. The Star Gazer
04. Buzz Addict
05. Interlude
06. Pocket Rhapsody
07. Intro Nouakchott
08. Nouakchott
09. Mirage
10. Melancholia


JAVI

Friday, January 29, 2016

Fred Nardin & Jon Boutellier 4tet - Watt's (2016)


A qui voudra se lancer dans la carrière du jazz, on pourra conseiller de jeter un coup d'oeil à ce Watt's équilibré, gréé de ce qu'il faut de maîtrise autant que de folie, de morceaux de jouissances béates les plus grands publics aux clins d'oeil presque hardcore destinés à un auditoire plus fanatique et restreint. Qui voudra se lancer dans cette carrière pourrait s'inspirer des deux leaders, échappées d'une promo du CNSM qui ne manque pas de talent, et pollinise toujours plus le jazz français, à travers notamment l'Amazing Keystone Big Band où l'on retrouve en sus de Boutellier et Nardin ainsi que David Enhco et Bastien Ballaz, ici invités.

Watt's va surtout piocher, comme tant d'autres albums mais bien mieux que beaucoup, dans l'âge d'or des années 50 et 60, notamment le hard-bop : le pianiste Fred Nardin s'inspire de Tommy Flanagan pour composer « Round Twenty Blues », de Winton Kelly pour un solo enflammé et virtuose qui ne dénote pas avec votre discothèque du meilleur de Blue Note. D'ailleurs, à être juste et circonspect, le pianiste ne cesse d'impressionner, en soliste ou avec la section, par une discrétion générale et élégante officiant comme rampe de lancement vers des fulgurances parfois moins feutrées, toujours justes (« Highlander's Walk », si l'on veut).

L'ensemble du quartet fonctionne cela dit avec une homogénéité de talents et de bonne entente palpable, soulignée par chaque solo de l'un ou de l'autre. La section rythmique offre une ossature à l'exquise fermeté pour l'ensemble de ce Watt's, mâtinée du groove de la basse de Patrick Maradan – parfois aidée par les arpèges et autres block chords de Nardin – ainsi que du swing de Romain Sarron à la batterie.

N.B. : qu'on soit bien clair, Jon Boutellier, c'est très bien aussi, je ne savais simplement pas trop où le caler dans cette chronique.

Les invités – copains, amis, ce qu'on voudra – font des interventions nombreuses mais sachant ne pas se montrer trop invasives ; y compris les deux standards où chante, divine, Cécile McLorin Salvant. Au contraire, ces featuring révèlent plus encore l'art consommé de ce quartet, dans la réalisation aussi bien que dans l'écriture et l'arrangement, ici ciselés avec un perfectionnisme presque inquiétant : « The Gentleman is a dope », avec Bastien Ballaz, David Enhco et Cécile McLorin Salvant, un tube ; plus encore le « Chinoiserie » osé d'Ellington.

En cent mot comme en un, Watt's déchire, dans un jazz presque historique, qui lasse souvent à passer le cap du disque. Rien de tout ça ici, ce quartet diablement fin et libéré parvenant à trouver le fil rouge d'une musicalité généreuse, touche-à-tout, parfois inconvenante, le plus souvent bienvenue. Pierre Tenne

01. Watt's
02. Round Twenty Blues
03. The Gentleman Is a Dope
04. Hope
05. Highlander's Walk
06. East of the Sun
07. Not so Cold
08. Yatchan
09. Stevie the Great
10. Chinoiserie

Fred Nardin - piano
Jon Boutellier - tenor sax
Patrick Maradan - bass
Romain Sarron - drums
Cécile McLorin Salvant - vocals (3, 6)
David Enhco - trumpet (3, 6, 10)
Bastien Ballaz - trombone (3, 6, 10)


Domi

Renee Rosnes - Written in the Rocks (2016)


Label: Smoke Sessions


Why don’t we hear about jazz pianist and composer Renee Rosnes more? She’s just as good, if not better, than most of her male counterparts. Her February 5, 2016 album,Written In The Rocks, on Smoke Sessions Records puts her up there as one of the most in-flux, fluid, fantastic artists around.

Everything on this new record seems to rush at you, in a hurry, with some urgency, but rounded out with a fleshy magic. Her quartet is scheduled to debut Written In The Rocks at a CD release celebration February 5-7 of next year in three sets at New York City’s Smoke Jazz & Supper Club.

This is no ordinary release, built on the whims and aspirations of a jazz artist in flux. The Canadian expat found inspiration in nature, building seven of the nine compositions to “The Galapagos Suite.”

Nature has always played a major role in Rosnes’ life growing up in beautiful British Columbia. “The infinite blue-green hues of coastal British Columbia are in my blood,” she explained in a recent DL Media press release. “My family's home sat at the bottom of a street that opened up into a deep ravine, and a half-hour's drive from there, the city lights were dim enough to offer an astonishing view of the night sky. Salty air, the smell of seaweed, the relentless pounding of waves, and the agreeable aroma of cedar — all of these provide me with spiritual nourishment and inspiration. To compose music about our planet's evolution was a stimulating concept and one brimming with possibilities.”

With Rosnes on this natural journey are her bandmates: Steve Wilson (sax, flute), Steve Nelson (vibes), Peter Washington (bass), and Bill Stewart (drums). “All of us have personal and musical relationships that have been growing for decades,” Rosnes continued. “As a band, we've developed a focused sound with a wide and nuanced palette of colors and rhythms. We play off of each other.”

Her bandmates play no small role on her album. That’s Nelson’s vibes all over the place on “Lucy From Afar,” touching on the intriguing discovery of humankind’s ancestor amongst the ruins of civilization. In the opening, “The KT Boundary,” her entire band joins in, notably drummer Stewart with Wilson on flute and soprano sax. Together, they posit the possibilities of new life from the end of the dinosaurs in a kind of mass, avant-garde hysteria that never quite takes leave of its senses.

On the title track, Nelson’s vibes gently make way for Rosnes, as she displays the kind of tranquil feminine touch missing in a lot of the slam, bang macho posturing found amongst the Millennial boys’ club nowadays. Yet, there’s the still life of a Bill Evans, a man who knew how to tap into his softer side for a melodic drowning, the fervor of the dying’s last wish. She contemplates the wonder, the history, the secrets beneath those age-old rocks, gently tapping at the grains of arctic sands, every note a forestry, a surging series of waves.

Outside “The Galapagos Suite,” Renee Rosnes and her band find common ground in the solid, straight-ahead jazz contemplation, “From Here To A Star,” and the hopefully nostalgic “Goodbye Mumbai.”



1. The KT Boundary
2. Galapagos    
3. So Simple a Beginning
4. Lucy from Afar    
5. Written in the Rocks
6. Deep in the Blue (Tiktaalik)
7. Cambrian Explosion    
8. From Here to a Star    
9. Goodbye Mumbai

Renee Rosnes - piano
Steve Wilson - saxophone & flute
Steve Nelson - vibraphone
Peter Washington - double bass
Bill Stewart - drums


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Freddie Hendrix - Jersey Cat (2016)


Source & Label: Sunnyside


Many know New York City as the Mecca of jazz. Very few recall the illustrious players hailing from just across the Hudson in New Jersey. Many of the greatest jazz names hailed from the Garden State, including Wayne Shorter, Count Basie, James Moody and trumpeter Woody Shaw. It is to correct this oversight that the fantastic trumpeter Freddie Hendrix presents his new recording Jersey Cat, a wide ranging collection that represents the unique swagger and groove of the Jersey jazz musician.

Growing up in Teaneck, Hendrix was originally attracted to music by the way of doo-wop and R&B, most notably that of local legends, the Isley Brothers. His initial foray into playing was on the guitar, a struggle that led him to trumpet and junior high band. It was under the tutelage of teachers like Dave Brown, Dave Rogers, Robert Hankle and his church organist Dr. Maredia Warren that Hendrix’s love of jazz blossomed. A failed audition for a Teaneck area big band led to a renewed commitment to his studies, which finally led to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Performance and, ultimately, to performing for two United States Presidents.

Out of school, Hendrix hit the ground running, playing with pop groups and jazz luminaries, including Christian McBride, Alicia Keys, Jimmy Heath and Wynton Marsalis. It was his work with the Count Basie Orchestra and Teaneck resident Rufus Reid that led to his first forays outside of the States, influencing much of his writing for Jersey Cat. But it was his relationships in his home state that really made the recording possible.

The members of the ensemble that Hendrix assembled were friends and regulars at drummer Cecil Brooks III’s beloved, but now closed, Cecil’s Jazz Club, in West Orange. Brooks not only plays on Jersey Cat , but also produced the recording. The rest of the cast includes all former or current New Jersey residents, including saxophonists Bruce Williams and Abraham Burton and pianist Brandon McCune, along with Manhattan resident trombonist David Gibson and the lone Brooklynite, bassist Corcoran Holt. The ensemble is talented and flexible, as Hendrix provides compositions for amalgamations of all sizes, including a octet that allowed him to use his arranging and part writing skills in an Art Blakey Jazz Messenger vein.

For the album, Hendrix wanted to provide a mix of original compositions and standard pieces that represented the strongest material in his book. He also wanted to make sure to represent the spirit of New Jersey, a more relaxed vibe that can jump off at any moment. The way he did this was to incorporate influences outside of jazz, namely R&B and hip-hop, into his music, creating music that grooves but also swings and is simultaneously current and retro.

The recording begins with Tex Allen’s snappy “St. Peter’s Walk,” which Hendrix first heard on Louis Hayes’s The Real Thing with his hero Woody Shaw, whose playing Hendrix lives up to. The trumpeter’s tone is exquisite on the subdued quartet take on the classic “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” while his travel inspired “The Journey Man” is a powerful Latin based blues with great group interplay. The title track is another original that features a laid-back tone and soulful melody, but with moments of flair. Hendrix’s “On The Rise” takes inspiration from Darren Barrett’s “First One Up,” but holds up on its own as an exciting medium fast post bop gem.

The romantic “Madeira Nights” is an early piece inspired by Hendrix’s initial trip to Portugal. The trumpeter pays tribute to another hero as he performs Freddie Hubbard’s “Hubtones” in a unique arrangement with a distinctive hip-hop influenced bounce. Hendrix’s take on the standard “Invitation” is inspired by the sound of the Ahmad Jamal trio’s Live at the Pershing session, but expanded to octet. The melody of “Whims of a Waltz” appeared fully formed in Hendrix’s mind on a moment’s notice when a blast of wind hit his face, while Horace Silver’s “Peace” has occupied a place in the trumpeter’s favorite ballad pieces for as long as he can remember.

On Jersey Cat, Freddie Hendrix provides a powerful program of original tunes and choice covers that cement his playing as not only some of the best in New Jersey, but also in the jazz world as a whole.


1. St. Peter's Walk 05:06
2. You Don't Know What Love Is
3. The Journey Man
4. Jersey Cat 06:24
5. On The Rise
6. Madeira Nights
7. Hubtones
8. Invitation
9. Whims Of A Waltz
10.Peace 05:50
11.JC Reprise
   

Freddie Hendrix - trumpet & flugelhorn
Bruce Williams - alto saxophone & flute
Abraham Burton - tenor saxophone
David Gibson - trombone
Brandon McCune - piano
Corcoran Holt - bass
Cecil Brooks III - drums


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Trio Da Paz - 30 (2016)


Source & Label: Zoho


Only very special collaborations last 30 years, and rarely do they become more exciting and together over the decades. Trio da Paz, however, is one such long-lasting and still lightning band. The team of drummer Eduardo "Duduka" Da Fonseca, guitarist Romero Lubambo and bassist Nilson Matta, all Brasilian jazzmen of New York City, is just as dashing today as when the three first met in 1985.

So 30, their seventh album and ZOHO debut release, wastes no time glancing back. Rather, Trio da Paz celebrates the past as a way to get to what's now and what's next. This is not to imply that the band or 30 denies history. As friends, Duduka, Romero and Nilson are utterly secure in their enduring triangle, and as musicians they tap well-established elements of bedrock Brasilian samba and bossa nova -- the music of Jobim, Gilberto and Bonfá -- as well as bebop and its developments, Wes Montgomery, third stream and even free improvisation for ingredients of their signature sound. Romero's urban gypsy melodies and percussive chording, Nilson's firm yet flexible baselines and Duduka's rhythms -- which, whether surging or simmering, are always energized -- flow fast and inseparably over the course of 30.

Sampa 67 is characteristic: A brisk tune that welcomes the listener to enjoy the musicians' empathic interplay. The composition is slangily named for São Paulo, where Nilson, its composer, was born, and his rubato statement is at the track's center. Hear how Romero and Duduka, in stimulating exchanges, ramp the tempo back up to where it started.

In a similar mood and moving quickly, For Donato is Romero's tribute to bandleader and pianist Joao Donato, a Brazilian master who absorbed Caribbean accents during his stints with Mongo Santamaria, Cal Tjader and Tito Puente, among others, when he lived in the United States during the late '50s and '60s. The tune uses an afoxé rhythm that comes from Bahia, and is closely related to an Afro-Cuban groove.

The pace slows somewhat – Duduka using brushes instead of sticks - for Romero's bossa nova Outono ("Autumn"). Says the guitarist-composer: "With its changing of colors and cooler days after the summer, autumn is really a season for romantic music." And this is really music for romance. Alana is Duduka's piece for his older daughter, now an adult. Her father says Alana's personality is reflected in the song, which changes meter from 15/8 to 6/8 to a doubletimed 4/4 for the bass solo to Duduka's own episode in 15/8. So may we assume Alana is a sparkling and strong woman whose many dimensions fit together gracefully? Complementary yet contrasting, Luisa is for Romero's daughter, currently 17. The guitarist calls her "a beautiful person inside and out, who I love very much!" Although written in ¾, "Luisa" is not phrased as a jazz waltz but instead sways in a way that Duduka identifies as a waltz with a Brasilian lilt.
Brasilian guitar virtuoso Baden Powell (1937 – 2000), obviously a hero to Romero, Nilson and Duduka as an early exemplar of the pan-stylistic approach Trio da Samba favors, wrote Samba Triste which at a breakneck tempo doesn't seem triste at all. Nilson's Águas Brasileiras refers to the Atlantic ocean, which has exerted implacable influence on the Trio's native land. A ballad, the song moves in soft waves; the trio's improvisation opens up the theme's depths and crosscurrents. Nilson recorded this previously, on his 2010 ZOHO album Copacabana.

Sweeping the Chimney, which Duduka calls "fast, really fast," was inspired by workers attending to Romero's house in New Jersey. "Luisa was three years old when I wrote that," the guitarist mentions, "and she helped me decide some of the notes." Duduka contributed Flying Over Rio, the melody of which came to him in an airplane taking off over Guanabara Bay, giving him a view of the mountains around Rio and Sugar Loaf, their peak. "Wow, it was gorgeous," he remembers – also remembering to credit Paulo Jobim (Tom Jobim's son) with suggesting to him one perfect note that launched the bridge "in a completely different direction."

To conclude, Nilson's LVM/Direto Ao Assunto (the initials of his wife and sons/"to the point") goes in a flash from subtle reflection to searing line. Both of these songs have been recorded before by Duduka and Nilson with pianist Helio Alves: "Flying over Rio" in 2008 on The Brazilian Trio's ZOHO release "Forests", and "LVM/Direto ao Assunto" on that group's album "Constelacao". Nilson introduced the song on the late pianist Don Pullen's album Kele Mou Bana, released in 1991.

That was just one year before Trio da Paz's own recording debut, Brasil from the Inside. Annotating that album, I wrote, "If North Americans hadn't invented jazz, surely Brasilians such as guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Nilson Matta and percussionist Duduka Da Fonseca would have." In fact, the members of Trio da Paz have invented jazz that's personally and musically unique. Their music is cool and hot, rooted in Brasilian heritage but cosmopolitan, timely and timeless.

"After 30 years together, we still bring the same energy, emotion and happiness whether we're stepping onstage or into a recording session," says Nilson. "That's the secret to Trio da Paz, what captivates our fans and why we keep making new ones all over the world." Romero agrees: "To play as Trio da Paz is a unique experience because the music always transcends notes, chords, tempos and anything written on sheet music. Naturally, because we've been playing together for 30 years, we know each other so well that we don't need to explain anything. These are qualities that are impossible to teach or articulate in words. They come from the hearts, souls and feelings that we have as individuals and as a group." Duduka adds simply, "When we play, we're very organic and spontaneous. Even to songs we perform often, we like to take a fresh approach. Sometimes one of us does something a little different, and we all realize it's better, so we stick with that. It's like a democracy. We all have ideas and try to do our best." The best of Trio da Paz is very fine. And though journalists used to use "-30-" to indicate the end of a story, 30 whets the appetite for more from a band in its prime.   Howard Mandel 


1 - SAMPA 67 5:16
2 - FOR DONATO 5:46
3 - OUTONO 4:18
4 - ALANA 5:02
5 - LUISA 3:33
6 - SAMBA TRISTE 4:06
7 - ÁGUAS BRASILEIRAS 4:47
8 - SWEEPING THE CHIMNEY 4:06
9 - FLYING OVER RIO 3:31
10- LVM/DIRETO AO ASSUNTO 5:24


Romero Lubambo - Acoustic & Electric Guitars
Nilson Matta - Acoustic Bass
Duduka Da Fonseca - Drums 


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Aly Keïta, Jan Galega Brönnimann, Lucas Niggli - Kalo-Yele (2016)


Aly Keïta is one of the grand masters of the balafon, the West African xylophone. The Ivorian musician fits the balafon in interaction with artists such as Joe Zawinul, Omar Sosa and Jan Garbarek. Together with the Swiss clarinetist Jan Galega Brönnimann and Swiss drummer Lucas Niggli Keïta mixes the traditional African repertoire with Western jazz, Improvisation and African rhythms. This "Brotherhood of vibes and grooves" takes the audience on an adventurous ride. The first element that underlies “Kalo-Yele” (“moonlight” in Bambara) is a human and affective dimension, whose origin lies many miles from Switzerland and several decades before the three musicians entered the studio. Niggli and Jan Galega Brönnimann were actually born in Cameroon and they have been friends since they were… one year old! So, they spent their youth to the sounds and rhythms of West African music. Thierry Quénum writes in the liner notes: "If you ever wanted to try and classify the repertoire and interaction of these three musicians, I’d just have to wish you good luck! For each of them can handle the melody as well as the rhythm, or sail close to the jazz coasts as easily as near the banks of so called “world music”.


Aly Keïta: Balafon, Kalimba 
Jan Galega Brönnimann: Bass Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone 
Lucas Niggli: Drums, Percussion

1. Kalo-Yele
2. Nyanga
3. Bean Bag
4. Mamabamako
5. Makuku
6. Langa
7. Abidjan Serenade
8. Dreams of Mikael
9. Bafut
10. Adjamé Street

Released January 15, 2016



JAVI

Myra Melford + Ben Goldberg - Dialogue (2016)



Pianist Myra Melford and clarinetist Ben Goldberg have an association that goes back a ways, and they’ve worked together in various groups and various projects, most recently for Goldberg’s recent grand opus, The Orphic Machine. Since 2008, they’ve also partnered as a duo and that’s finally led to a set of recordings with only the two performing.

Dialogue is a true meeting of the minds between musicians who value a lovely strain and places just as much value to go anywhere with it. Over thirteen radio-friendly length performances (if not exactly radio friendly commercial-wise, anyway) Melford and Goldberg each contribute originals that emphasize their remarkable telepathy. The unencumbered tête–à–tête between piano and clarinet calls to mind the one Art Pepper did with George Cables at the end of Pepper’s life but Dialogue is freer and looser. Nonetheless, it’s got the same personal feeling.

It’s so intimate, you can clearly hear Goldberg pressing the keys of his clarinet. From the start with the first song “An Unexpected Visitor,” we hear them sync telepathically, sometimes moving together and other times interacting sympathetically with other. And when the melody takes a turn — which can happen at any time — they turn with it intuitively and gracefully.

There are echoes of the jazz tradition such as the swing found in “9 + 5” and the show tune sensibilities of “Anymore”. However, these songs, eight from Melford and five from Goldberg, are for the most part not explicitly jazz; they seem conceived to facilitate open and probing conversations. Occasionally flowing in and out of dissonance with Melford even breaking out some Cecil Taylor a few times, but the two always perform with purpose, emotion and unity.

Dialogue went on sale January 15, 2016 through BAG Production Records. Look for upcoming live shows by Myra and Ben.


Ben Goldberg — clarinet
Myra Melford — piano, harmonium

01. An Unexpected Visitor
02. Your Life Here
03. The Kitchen
04. Miniature
05. City of Illusion
06. Moonless Night
07. 1 Through 8
08. Be Melting Snow
09. Passing Phase
10. Montevideo
11. 9 + 5
12. Chorale
13. Anymore


JAVI

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ben Goldberg - Orphic Machine (2015)



Orphic Machine is an ambitious project from clarinetist/composer/bandleader Ben Goldberg, which is arguably a way you could describe any Goldberg project, but he reaches both further out and further back to find his chief motivation this time. Instead of taking his primary cues from a music beacon like Steve Lacy, Thelonious Monk, or even Bob Dylan and Sebastian Bach, Goldberg found inspiration from an old college professor back at Brandeis University in the late ’70’s.

Back then, poet Allen Grossman taught a course on “The Representation of Experience” which introduced Goldberg to the idea of thinking about things unconventionally. Those ideas planted seeds in the young Goldberg that never left him, but also became more poignant during a recent period of deeper reflection. That’s when he decided to revisit Grossman from both his personal recollections and Grossman’s book of maxims The Sighted Singer: Two Works on Poetry for Readers and Writers — a sort of poetry about the role of poetry in mankind — to craft a set of music around these powerful precepts.

Since this is an album built around philosophical poetry and Goldberg is an instrumentalist, it presented a special challenge to Grossman’s former student; though one he’s not unaccustomed to facing. It’s the way he met the challenge that makes Orphic Machine (on sale from BAG Production Records/Royal Potato Family) succeed as a musical tribute to the ideas he encountered over thirty-five years ago. First, he needed Grossman’s verses to be recited in such a way that the words and the melodies blend into a seamless single being. Enter violinist Carla Kihlstedt, whose breathy, lithe delivery brings to life the words, singing them as if it were another instrument.

For this endeavor, in fact, there are an assemblage of exceptional musicians but knowing Goldberg’s career, he clearly picked them because his deep familiarity with them and trust in them, another key ingredient that makes this abstract idea convert into concrete results. Joining Goldberg’s clarinet and Kihlstedt’s violin and vocals are Ron Miles (trumpet), Rob Sudduth (tenor sax), Myra Melford (piano), Nels Cline (electric guitars), Kenny Wollesen (vibes), Greg Cohen (bass) and Ches Smith (drums). Goldberg knows exactly how to deploy all this talent at his disposal, where everyone gets solos but it never feels like they are the variety; it’s all part of the overall fabric of the music. Often more prominent is how, in using jazz and classical music arrangement techniques, they work together to form the complex character of each of Goldberg’s compositions, each of which slices across musical boundaries in forming mini-suites on every track.


Take, for instance, “Immortality,” beginning with Cohen’s ruminative bass figures, segueing into a soft march to match Kihlstedt’s floating recitals, and a chamber sequence sandwiched a rock shuffle that thanks to Cline’s rhythm guitar sounds not too unlike the Rolling Stone’s “Beast of Burden.” Gradually, a dominant note emerges, seemingly from Wollesen’s vibes and gets increasingly insistent as one by one everybody joins in playing it to bring the song to a rousing conclusion.

For most albums, that would be the apogee, but several other tracks are just as aspiring. “Reading” is launched by just a handful of sung poetry, followed by Cohen’s own interpretation of the phrases on bass, and some crafty layering of clarinet, sax, trumpet and violin and vibraphone followed by a swinging solo turn by Melford. The other players return with the meticulously weaved score, a perfect balance of jazz and avant chamber music. Cline’s menacing guitar lurks just behind the front line, embedding yet another element into an eclectic mixture. “Care,” at least as it begins, is a pretty folk strain which suits Kihlstedt’s voice rather well. A syncopated motif led by Smith’s pliant rhythms makes up a key part of an arrangement perfectly fit the elegant, sophisticated melody that unfolds. That would be plenty good enough for this performance but Cline breaks out with some stinging blues phraseology just as Kihlstedt completes her final stanza.

The whole package of these ten tunes culminates into the title song. After a delicate piano intro by Melford, Kihlstedt’s airy voice suddenly appears out of nowhere, repeating the line “The Orphic Machine is the poem: a severed head with face turned away that sings,” which may appear weird in print but the ingenuity lies in Goldberg fashioning music around these and other Grossman aphorisms in such a way that they don’t sound weird at all…and even makes perfect sense sometimes put in this context. The song proceeds in a quiet, almost chamber music manner until Cline’s signature Nordic rage takes over more than nine minutes in, leading a circular figure that recalls (but does not mimic) the extended coda of the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” It puts a raucous exclamation point on the album, a release that seemed to be building up and lurking for the entire project. And yet, totally unexpected.

Allen Grossman, by the way, passed away just last year. Orphic Machine is a testament to the immortality of forward-thinking ideas that keep the soul of its originator alive after the body has passed. It’s also testament that a part of Grossman remains alive in Goldberg, who has sublimely assimilated so many disparate influences, and is able to distill them into a product he projects through his own, kaleidoscopic lens.


Ben Goldberg: clarinet
Carla Kihlstedt: vocals, violin
Ron Miles: trumpet
Rob Sudduth: tenor sax
Myra Melford: piano
Nels Cline: guitar
Kenny Wollesen: vibes
Greg Cohen: double bass
Ches Smith: drums

01. Reading
02. Line of Less Than Ten
03. Bongoloid Lens
04. Immortality
05. The Inferential Poem
06. How to Do Things with Tears
07. Care
08. The Present
09. What Was That
10. The Orphic Machine


JAVI

Bokani Dyer - World Music (2015)


Label: Dyertribe Music
Source: Cdbaby 



Brand new release by Bokani Dyer entitled "World Music" will be available from 1st July with the unofficial album launch at the opening of the National Arts Festival Jazz Program 2015. "World Music" is Bokani's 3rd recording under his own name. Some of the compositions have been developed over a period of 4 years, others are recently composed.
The sound of the album is an expression of embracing all musical heritage and claiming the ambiguous term "World Music" to describe it. From Bach to Soul, to Ellington to Mbira music, no influence in Bokani Dyer's make-up is left unexplored. It is a colorful musical exploration of instrumental music which is as historically aware as it is currently conscious - a celebration of all music with no borders. 


Waiting, Falling;
Vuvuzela;
Reflection;
Outro;
Transit;
The Artist;
Interlude-See My People Through;
Recess;
Keynote;
Master Of Ceremony;
African Piano-Water;
Motho Wa Modimo
 


Bokani Dyer: piano;
Shane Cooper: double bass, electric bass;
Marlon Witbooi: drums;
Keenan Ahrends: guitar;
Buddy Wells: tenor saxophone;
Robin Fassie-Kock: trumpet, flugelhor;
Justin Bellairs: alto saxophone;
Sakhile Moleshe: vocals (4);
Lee-Anne Fortuin: vocals (1);
John Hassan: percussion, vocals (2)  


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Infinite Spirit Quartet - Revisiting Music of the Mwandishi Band (2016)


“Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi band was one of the most innovative and important jazz
creations of the late-'60s early-'70s. But the outspoken proponents of Neo-Trad
conservatism from the '80s on denigrated the reputation of all bands that used electricity
and electronics. So the legacy of Mwandishi like other key period outfits was for a time
eclipsed. With the new millennium all that has come to be reconsidered. Bob Gluck's
You'll Know When You Get There, the excellent recent book on the band, its history and
its importance has done much to restore for good and all Mwandishi's reputation as one
of the high achievements of the period.

Since Bob is a seminal pianist and electronician in his own right, it is fitting that he
express his appreciation in directly musical terms. He has done just that on the album
Infinite Spirit (FMR Records CD398-0915). For the project Bob unites with two key 
Mwandishi members, drummer Jabali Billy Hart and trumpet master Mganga Eddie
Henderson, rounding off the ensemble with the very adept acoustic bassist Christopher
Dean Sullivan.


Wisely the band does not try to duplicate the original arrangements and stylistic
parameters of classic Mwandishi. Even if that were possible what would be the point?
Instead the four adapt some of Mwandishi's best compositions and some original
material, and take the music wherever it will go, relying upon a present-day mode of
being that is free yet centered on the idea of playing off of the thematic impetus of the
numbers. And all that is in the spirit of what Mwandishi did back then anyway, only this
present-day outing features fruitfully extended improvisations in the moment of now as
the artists feel it. We get new interpretations of Hancock's "Sleeping Giant" and "You'll
Know When You Get There," plus Maupin's "Quasar" paired with Gluck's "Sideways,"
Maupin's "Water Torture," and a Sullivan composition, "Spirit Unleashed."
Bob prepared some electronic sound universes that enter into the music effectively and
appropriately at times, which of course recognizes an important element of the original
Mwandishi in the hands of Patrick Gleason. Here we get Bob Gluck's own intriguing
parallels and it adds much to the musical ambiance throughout.

The beauty and originality of this musical offering rests especially upon the lyrically
ruminating creative improvisations. Bob Gluck has his own approach to the music which
echoes Hancock's own harmonic-melodic brilliance but then gives it a spin that is all
Gluck. His piano playing is a high point throughout. Eddie Henderson sounds as
accomplished as ever here, too. He is still the master these many years later and sparks
the group with some of his best work. Christopher Dean Sullivan makes a strong case
for his essential presence in the ensemble with, yes, some ostinatos but also with an
openly free interactive melodic sense that goes perfectly well with the wide-ranging
ideas expressed by his bandmates. Billy Hart, as most everyone knows, remains one of
the outstanding drummers in the music today. His time is a thing of beauty and he uses
cymbals and drums to create real MUSIC as always. He sounds here as ever inventive
and subtle in his special driving ways.


What we have most happily on Infinite Spirit is not a typical tribute album, but a genuine
refashioning of the Mwandishi legacy according to the open-ended vision of the four in
the ever-expanding now of original personal expression and the improvisatory arts as it
has evolved since the time of the classic band. And it is most rewarding to hear this
foursome come up with a music that is an exemplary contemporary outing yet
nonetheless pays homage to another very impactful era without remaining held fast to its
dictates.

This is a quartet that holds its own as an entity very much itself--and gives us one of the
finest new jazz performances of last year. Thank you all for your continued excellence!
Readers, do not miss Infinite Spirit.” Gregory Applegate Edwards



Bob Gluck (piano, electronics)
Billy Hart (dums)
Eddie Henderson (trumpet)
Christpher Dean Sullivan (bass)

01. Sleeping Giant (feat. Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson & Christopher Dean Sullian) 13:44
02. You'll Know When You Get There (feat. Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson & Christopher Dean Sullian) 17:24
03. Sideways / Quasar (feat. Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson & Christopher Dean Sullian) 10:49
04. Spirit Unleashed (feat. Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson & Christopher Dean Sullian) 10:43
05. Water Torture (feat. Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson & Christopher Dean Sullian) 10:41


Domi