Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Simone Prattico - Brooklyn Sessions (2016)

In the 2011, I spent a lot of time in New York city. It had been a good year for me, one tour after another had allowed me to come regularly to NYC. The city was beginning to feel like a second home.

Whenever I had the chance, I would go and listen to one of my favourite musicians,  the Brazilian drummer Portinho, who regularly performs in a club on 49th street. That's how I met Klaus Mueller as he plays piano in Portinho's trio.

Working as a session musician for years with so many different artists, I often dreamed of starting up my own project but somehow I'd always end up putting the idea to one side, I didn't feel ready to take that leap.

But over the years, the lingering sense that something was still missing acted as a constant reminder for me to keep looking, eventually something had to give and that's how the trio was born.

Hanging with Klaus one evening, he said to me, 'whenever you want, we can book a studio and record'.

By chance, that same evening, Brandi Disterheft was playing bass with Portinho too. Listening to her play that night and after exchanging a few words with her, I instinctively knee she was the right person, the third link in the trio.

Klaus is an extraordinary musician, Besides being a great pianist and arranger, he's become a great friend. Klaus brings such a positive energy and professionalism to everything he does and when I play with him, I can feel how he always searches for just the right depth and essence of each musical idea that spontaneously comes to him.

His contribution to the making of this album as well as to the arrangements were key to its creation. Music runs through him, he's a true friend.

Brandi was a wonder too, she's such a terrific musician and an exceptional double bassist, and like Klaus, she brought such great energy to our collaboration with her creativity and spark of humour. She brings a wonderful enthusiasm to everything she does and it's one of her many talents.

Thanks to her, I realized that you don't ever just finish an album with the last take, the moment you put away your cymbals and drumsticks.

That's not how it works and Brandi gave me a lot of very practical help and advised me throughout the various stages an album has to go through before it crosses the finish line. Her friendship and trust were invaluable.

The first few times we got together during our days off at Klaus' place. We didn't really rehearse, we just hung out. We'd look briefly at the compositions, chat and drink coffee.

I had this idea to record some grooves that I had in mind but it was Klaus who brought them into the world, producing and arranging the songs enriching the original rhythmic ideas and melodic compositions.

One of my jobs was to deal with time and money and rightly so! When the monent came for us to record, I booked  the studio for a few hours, enough for us to play some takes of each song.

In the end, these conditions far from limiting us turned out to be ideal. There was such a great atmosphere that the music just came to us as easily as the friendship had, in a natural and easy flow. Now that we were friends, playing music together took us to a deeper level, that's the gift it brings us. We had such a great time, we always do when we play; I hope people will get that in our music, the way we did when we played those sessions in Brooklyn.

1. Cycles (K.Mueller)
2. Double Blues (K. Mueller)
3. On Green Dolphin Street (B.Kaper / N. Washington)
4. A vida Nao e Assim (S.Prattico/A. de Paula)
5. Herbert Hutchinson (B. Disterheft)
6. Maiden Voyage (H. Hancock)
7. Piccolino (S. Prattico)
8. See Ya (S. Prattico)


Vic Juris - Vic Juris plays Victor Young (SteepleChase Productions ApS 2016)

Stella By Starlight, My Foolish Heart, Johnny Guitar, Beautiful Love – just a few of the iconic American Songbook titles by Victor Young, whose music has been an important part of the repertoire of guitarist Vic Juris for many years. Juris dedicates the whole album here to the undisputed giant of the American film music composer of the last century.

“Two outstanding qualities characterize Vic Juris’ playing. One is his embodiment of the jazz tradition, while always stretching his scope and reaching for new possibilities and concepts. The other is his almost uncanny ability to hear and communicate the totality of the music he is playing, from beginning to end, including what is going on around him in the group and his many references to the jazz legacy.”
(Victor L. Schermer – Interview AAJ)


Ivo Perelman / Karl Berger - The Hitchhiker (LEO RECORDS 2016)

This is the second CD Ivo Perelman recorded with Karl Berger. However, on the first CD ( CD LR 712 - Reverie) Karl played piano while this time he played vibraphone. This was the first time ever that Ivo played with vibraphone. Both albums are very different because of the nature of the instruments.

Playing with vibraphone opened the door for Ivo to show his kinder, gentler side. According to Ivo, Karl happened to be more 'European,' more romantic.

01. The Shadowy Path 6:36
02. The Well Of Memory 8:14
03. Twilight 4:22
04. Unspoken Feelings 4:49
05. The Hitchhiker 4:01
06. Pride And Prejudice 2:48
07. Extremely Loud While Incredibly Quiet 1:19
08. Engulfed In Flames 2:52
09. Zen And The Art Of Improvisation 1:51
10. The Sound Of Bliss 6:31
11. Well-Behaved Quarter Notes 4:38

Ivo Perelman tenor saxophone
Karl Berger vibraphone

Recorded at Parkwest Studios, Brooklyn, NY July 2015

Paul Heller - Good Times (2016)

Paul Heller has proved that he can serve up classic and modern across a number of albums. And on the album Good Times, Paul Heller displays a new aspect; Good Times grooves like hell.

The 10 original compositions really make you want to dance!

Paul Heller is a WDR Big Band saxophonist and the artistic director of his own concert series "Next Level Jazz" in Cologne. A true all-star line-up was invited into the Hansahaus Studio in Bonn for this energetic three and a half hour recording session that bubbles over with exuberant playing. He tailor-made nine compositions for the group as well as a bonus track recorded during an overdub session: 

Jazz piano professor Olaf Polziehn from Graz, Metropole Orchestra guitarist Peter Thiehuis, NDR Big Band bassist Ingmar Heller, and world-class drummer Wolfgang Haffner.

01. Felicidado
02. Wings
03. Drivin'
04. Moon Song
05. Good Times
06. Night Shift
07. Finding You
08. Remembering
09. Daybreak
10. Miniature No. 7

all compositions by Paul Heller

Paul Heller - tenor sax
Peter Tiehus - guitar
Olaf Polziehn - piano
Ingmar Heller - bass
Wolfgang Haffner - drums

Pierre de Bethmann Medium Ensemble / VOLUME 2 - EXO (2016)

Deuxième production du label ALÉA, deuxième volume du MEDIUM ENSEMBLE, dont l’aventure démarrait en 2013 au cours de ma résidence à L’apostrophe, scène nationale de Cergy-Pontoise.

Il y est d’abord question de prolonger encore mes préoccupations d’écriture, au service d’un ensemble de solistes hors pairs, tous enclins à se jouer de diverses formes à tiroir, et autres défis rythmiques, harmoniques ou mélodiques.

Il est également question de parfaire un son d’ensemble, et de goûter à la grâce des histoires qui parviennent à durer.

Il y est aussi question de préoccupations plus larges, de vents à sentir autant qu’à dompter, du bonheur de faire, de liberté enrichie par les autres, et ainsi d’une EXO-logique dont on ne parvient à se lasser, même, et peut-être surtout, en des temps tragiques.

Mais il y est surtout question de musique : 80 mn de musique précisément, chaque pièce mettant un valeur un, deux ou trois solistes, le tout conçu comme une suite en deux temps, et parfois entrecoupée de courts moments de respiration « Hors champ »

Enregistré en juin au studio Ferber (Paris)

01. Exo (Pierre de Bethmann)
02. Attention (Pierre de Bethmann)
03. Hors champ IV (Pierre de Bethmann)
04. Ton sur ton (Pierre de Bethmann)
05. Du calme (Pierre de Bethmann)
06. Hors champ II (Pierre de Bethmann)
07. Des mesures préalables (Pierre de Bethmann)
08. Des mesures (Pierre de Bethmann)
09. Hors champ I (Pierre de Bethmann)
10. Moderato (Pierre de Bethmann)
11. Panser et penser (Pierre de Bethmann)
12. Hors champ III (Pierre de Bethmann)
13. Complexe (Pierre de Bethmann)

Pierre de Bethmann rhodes, piano
Chloé Cailleton voc
Stéphane Guillaume fl
Sylvain Beuf as
David El-Malek ts
Thomas Savy b-cl
Sylvain Gontard tp, flh
Baptiste Germser cor
Denis Leloup tb
Bastien Stil tuba
Simon Tailleu b
Karl Jannuska dms