domingo, 14 de mayo de 2017

Pete Malinverni Trio - Heaven, with Ben Allison & Akira Tana (feat. Karrin Allyson, Steve Wilson & Jon Faddis) June 16, 2017 SARANAC RECORDS

Pianist / Composer Pete Malinverni asks, "Heaven - is this it, right here?"

Heaven, an inspired trio set, due out June 16 on Saranac Records,
features bassist Ben Allison and drummer Akira Tana
with special guests Jon Faddis, Karrin Allyson and Steve Wilson

"Pete Malinverni is one wild catŠhis playing can be dark, gritty and oddly rapturousŠhe digs into the piano and emerges with exotic treasureŠ" - Karl Stark, Philadelphia Inquirer

 "One listen and you'll know why Pete Malinverni is one of New York's great pianists"
- Michael Ryan, The Boston Herald

"Malinverni - audacious and exquisite." - Jim Macnie, Village Voice

****Four stars. "Dashing but without ego, Malinverni tells tales short on embellishment and long on resonance." - Fred Bouchard, DownBeat Magazine

 "Pete Malinverni is a pianist with a forthright and elegant style." - Nate Chinen, NY Times

Pete celebrates the new release with CD release concerts:

May 19 - Firehouse 12 - New Haven, CT
June 17 - Pound Ridge NY Public Library
June 21 - Rosemary and Vine - Rye, NY
June 28 - Mezzrow - NYC
July 1 - Maureen's Jazz Cellar - Nyack, NY
July 20 - Monhonk Mountain House - New Palz, NY

With Heaven Pete Malinverni adds to the long list of varied and moving projects he's given us over time, including in the trio, quartet, quintet, solo piano, big band and choir formats. Always searching in spirit but engaging in nature, Pete's music asks the larger questions in a way that is both challenging and approachable.

Heaven is no different, except that it was born of a remarkable set of circumstances. First, Pete's wife, singer Jody Sandhaus, died in 2012, causing him to look to many places, including deep inside, to find a way forward in life. He had to - he loves life and he has a son. Through that search, Pete found a new appreciation for the quotidian things one encounters on a daily basis and that speak of something larger - something, call it what you will, that is worth notice and appreciation.

Then, just over a year ago, Pete himself had a health scare - unfounded, but yielding that existential fear some of us know all too well. During a fraught week, Pete resolved that, should he have time for just one more recording, it would deal with spiritual things. With the eventual 100% clean bill of health came relief - but also a new determination that the difficult week had served the purpose of giving his art a new focus.

Heaven is the result of that clarity. Featuring Pete in trio with Ben Allison and Akira Tana, the album features songs that speak in varied ways of spirituality, from Curtis Mayfield's People, Get Ready to Hungarian Jewish martyr Hannah Senesh's Eili, Eili, to the American Spiritual, A City Called Heaven to the title track, Duke Ellington's Heaven.

Also featured on the date for one selection each are Karrin Allyson (Jody Sandhaus' favorite singer, by the way), saxophonist Steve Wilson and trumpeter Jon Faddis, each guest offering a unique and stirring meditation in his/her own unique voice.

The question of Heaven is an old one. Does it exist - and, if so, how can it be better than this? Well, Pete Malinverni has learned for sure what he always suspected: if the beauty of every moment - every personal encounter, every lick from a dog, every breeze - is tasted as it should be, then isn't Heaven right here, right now?

Indeed, in his liner notes, Malinverni says, "We all want to look up - we hope, maybe we even trust, that somewhere there is unalloyed truth and beauty. Much art memorializes tristesse, encouraging us to abide, to await Relief, Rest or Joy. Other art suggests that Joy can be experienced right now, if only we choose it. For lack of a better term, let's call that thing for which we wait, or which we savor presently, Heaven.

"This recording is meant to reconcile those two perspectives, presenting music of various traditions with one thing in common - the notion that even this vale of tears is tinged with the essence of the transcendent, of the beautiful and the true".

The album opens with a jaunty reading of the title track, Malinverni taking a hint from the first two chords of the harmony, modulating up every chorus. Following immediately behind is Psalm 23, Pete's dynamic new commissioned choral composition, offered here in the trio format. The American folk song, Down in the River to Pray is next, played in a "5" meter, calling to mind the scene at the shore early one Sunday.

Next, the ever-soulful Karrin Allyson joins Pete at the water with Shenandoah, followed by the trio's rendering of Eili, Eili, by the young Jewish martyr Hannah Senesh, who parachuted with the RAF into her native Hungary to help lead Jews out of their then-dangerous home. Instead, she was caught, tortured and killed by the Nazis and this poem, an appreciation of the simple and profound beauty of nature, is her legacy.

Then, the swinging version of the soul hit, People, Get Ready precedes a beautifully intimate Come Sunday by Jon Faddis and the trio, followed by a Ben Allison feature on A City Called Heaven. Steve Wilson burns down the house on Wade in the Water and the recital closes with Ashokan Farewell, a new song of loss and what's left behind, featured prominently in Ken Burns' Civil War series.

All in all, Heaven is a worthy addition to Pete Malinverni's oeuvre, and not to be missed.

Quinsin Nachoff - Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio (ft. Mark Helias & Dan Weiss) WHIRLWIND RECORDINGS May 19, 2017

Saxophonist/Composer Quinsin Nachoff Discovers New Approaches to Melding Exploratory Jazz and Classical Music with his Ethereal Trio

The adventurous trio's self-titled debut, out May 19 from Whirlwind Recordings, features bassist Mark Helias and drummer Dan Weiss

"There's a push and pull between the visceral and cerebral, between jazz and modern classical... intensity and modernity, a brashness and in-your-face confidence of delivery." - Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

"Rather than lazily hewing to tradition, saxophonist/composer Quinsin Nachoff and his fellow provocateurs push against boundaries and expectations using every tool in their kit. The results are as stimulating as they are sagacious." - Michael Roberts, Jazziz

Saxophonist/composer Quinsin Nachoff has become renowned for his unique and ingenious mergers of modern jazz and contemporary classic music. His music daringly ventures to the farthest edges of both idioms while dancing elegantly along the often uneasy borderline between them. While it shares the same roots, Nachoff's new Ethereal Trio takes a somewhat different approach - as the name implies, there's something looser, more elusive and free-ranging, about this trio as opposed to the more rigorous hybridization of some of Nachoff's other ensembles (Flux, the Horizons Ensemble, Magic Numbers).

In part, that's due to the musicians involved. The Ethereal Trio - whose self-titled debut will be released May 19, 2017 via Whirlwind Recordings - teams Nachoff with two of modern music's most forward-thinking artists: bassist Mark Helias and drummer Dan Weiss. Both are inveterate explorers well-versed in absorbing a variety of complex musical vocabularies and expressing them in personal and compelling fashion. But the singularly, well, ethereal feeling of this music can also be credited to Nachoff's astute compositions, which blend methodically composed material with free improvisation in a way that leaves enticing, inspirational space for all three to roam.

"As a contrast to some of my other recent projects," Nachoff says, "this ensemble allows me to explore as a saxophonist, visiting different pillars and languages within the jazz tradition but striving for a personal sound and narrative."

The Ethereal Trio was birthed directly from the composer's interest in merging jazz and classical influences. Nachoff was commissioned by the Penderecki String Quartet to compose "Stars and Constellations: Scorpio," a piece for string quartet and saxophone trio, which prompted the New York-based, Canadian-born saxophonist to further the idea of establishing a chordless trio as a distinct project away from his larger ensemble successes. A stand-alone concert with seasoned Helias and Weiss created the conceptual spark, and following the writing of new material early in 2016, a series of concerts in New York, Toronto and Montreal neatly led to this recording.

"I enjoy writing this way as it gives me two distinct voices that I can really work with," Nachoff says. "As a bassist, Mark Helias is such an experienced musician - I can compose harmonically or contrapuntally and he always expands it to such an extent that we're never missing harmony; if we play in more of an open setting, it leaves us more freedom. Dan Weiss is a master of dealing with anything rhythmically -so he can be very free within even something very structured. All three of us love to investigate different colors and extended techniques, so many different directions are possible. Once we've understood what the direction is for each composition, that's when the magic starts to happen."

Each piece on the album has its own plot and internal logic, yet the trio's predominant vibe is searching and otherworldly - hence the "ethereal" tag, which should not be understood as implying something delicate or dreamlike. This is fiery, passionate, relentlessly venturesome music that boldly seeks new discoveries in the far reaches of Nachoff's structures. The titles seem to juggle left and right brain notions in provocative ways, suggesting a mixture of art and science that finds equal stimulation in both the speculative and the cerebral.

"Clairvoyant Jest" opens the album with Nachoff's saxophone dancing across rhythmically twisted swing, characterized by double-stopped, open-stringed bass and harmonics which highlight the harmonic motion. "Gravitas" follows, focusing on freer response and reflection as its questioning saxophone motifs are interpreted by arco bass. Suggesting a change in our imaginative picture of the world, "Imagination Reconstruction" pairs sax and Helias' bass harmonics magnificently, and the ten-minute progression of "Portrait in Sepia Tones" ramps up into a superbly percussive maelstrom. "Push-Pull Topology" possesses an underlying walking bass thread, stretching and pulling different rhythms - fives over fours over threes - while the bristling landscapes of "Subliminal Circularity" summon the leader's equally raw and rippling saxophonic tones.

Quinsin Nachoff relishes the freedom and the opportunities this trio offers: "I'm regularly involved in projects which include a lot of composing, arranging and organizational effort to make them happen. This Ethereal Trio album became much more about simply playing the saxophone, which was extremely fun and rewarding - and these musicians are such a pleasure to play with. That's the world I like to live in."