Saturday, February 18, 2017

Les Fanflures Brass Band - Dans ta face !

Aki Rissanen, Robin Verheyen & Markku Ounaskari - Aleatoric (ECLIPSE MUSIC 2017)

”If you have the luxury of being able to spend 50 minutes in a darkened room giving your full attention on headphones to this CD, you'll be treated to as much incident and pathos as can be found in any novel, play or film." - Eric Ford, London Jazz News

”The trio's blend of chamber jazz lyricism and improvisatory rigour is an effective mix that fully engages the listener.” **** (4/5) - Ian Mann, thejazzmann

1. Insomnia 6:23
2. Deep Sea Diving 5:21
3. To Be Determined 4:30
4. Riverly / Reflections (On Scriabin Prelude Op. 13 No. 1) 5:37
5. Estival Solstice 6:23
6. Celestial Spheres 1:52
7. Bird Vision 6:38
8. Hibernal Solstice 4:40

Aki Rissanen, piano and prepared piano
Robin Verheyen, soprano and tenor saxophone
Markku Ounaskari, drums and percussion

Ben Markley Big Band (feat. Terrell Stafford) - Clockwise The Music of Cedar Walton (CHALLENGE RECORDS 2017)

Terell Stafford has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, he combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford’s exceptionally expressive and well defined musical talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.

Terell is one of the busiest people in the business. He leads his own quintet and works regularly with the: Clayton Brothers, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Bobby Watson and Horizon, Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, Arts & Crafts,Tim Warfield Group, Dana Hall Group, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Trumpet Summit featuring Jon Faddis and Sean Jones, and Jimmy Heath Big Band. He is the Director of Jazz Studies, Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University and is the Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia. 

I first worked Terell three years ago working in Josh Quinlan's band. We played a series of gigs in Wyoming and Colorado. The next year we did some more gigs and also did a live recording. Things have continued from there. The day after we played our first gig together, I drove him from Laramie to Denver. It was during that car ride that I asked him about all the world class pianists he had played with. McCoy, Mulgrew, Cedar etc. It was a conversation I will never forget. He was so willing to talk about his experiences with each of them. Although we had only played once together, I knew I needed play and hang with him as much as I could. Mentorship is not the same as it used to be in jazz. Terell is someone who still does it (with me and many others).

When I started to assemble the personnel together for this project, I wanted to feature a guest artist who had ties to Cedar. Terell has worked with Cedar Walton in different groups including the Trumpet Summit Band. When I called Terell to do this recording I asked him if he would like to to solo on a few tracks. He asked about the dates and told me he was good for the whole thing AND he would play in the section too! For me, that set the vibe of the whole session. Terell was just one of the guys when we did the rehearsal, gig, and session. A genuinely good human being and world class musician.

Terell solos on Cedar's Blues, Hindsight, Black, and Holy Land on Clockwise: The Music of Cedar Walton and they are all out of sight! It was an honor and joy to have him part of this project.

This project was two years in the making there are so many people who helped it succeed. Thank you: Abby Markley Wyoming Arts Council, Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, Wil Swindler, Terell Stafford, Colin Bricker, Theresa Bogard, Trish Schumacher, Michael Peterson, Martha Sammaciccia, Adam MacBlane, St. Louis Music, P. Mauriat, John Bishop, and the band!

01 Cedar's Blues  05:53
02 Clockwise  07:32
03 Fiesta Espanol  07:36
04 Hindsight  09:28
05 I'll Let You Know  06:41
06 I'm Not So Sure  07:31
07 Holy Land  10:30
08 Bolivia  06:07
09 Martha's Prize  05:55
10 Black  08:56

Saxophones: Wil Swindler/Scott Turpen/Peter Sommer/Serafin Sanchez/Sam Williams
Trombones: Scott Crump/Paul McKee/Adam Bartczak/Gary Mayne
Trumpets: Peter Olstad/Greg Gisbert/John Lake/Terell Stafford
Rhythm: Ben Markley (piano), Steve Kovalcheck (guitar), Ken Walker (bass), Chris Smith (drums)

Andreas Tschopp - Bubaran (2017)

Inspired by the soundscapes of Indonesian Gamelan orchestras, Andreas Tschopp assembled a group of top class improvisers and sound esthetes. He frees them from the bond of the well-tempered tuning system and sends them off to explore the majestic beauty of metallic shimmer and hypnotic ostinatos. 

Bubaran is a Jazz Quintet in spirit. But yet the instrumentation - three brass players, one guitarist, one drummer - shows, that Jazz in this case doesn't mean the sound of the Great American Songbook, but rather the mindset, the exploratory spirit of this music. 

Bubaran is a Jazz Quintet. Bubaran is also a pocket chamber orchestra. A telescope into the sound worlds of Indonesian temples. A singer of archaic arias, an exuberant fair on the village square.

From the CD liner notes by Matthew Welch:

Bubaran’s music, however global in its outlook, is also intensely personal as the balance of musical traditions serves the vision of trombonist Andreas Tschopp, the band’s leader and composer. Tschopp’s chosen instrumentation and orchestration continue to evoke the textures of Indonesian music throughout the album.

For example, the addition of a second trombone, played by Bernhard Bamert, calls upon the frequent use of instrumental pairs in Balinese music. The trumpet, played by Matthias Spillmann, focuses the brass timbre up through the high register and is reminiscent of the higher pitched bronze percussion instruments which speak above lower pitched instruments of the same type in a gamelan ensemble.

Guitarist Ronny Graupe makes use of remarkable added effects, which serve a variety of musical roles, from harmonic support through jazz chords, to evoking the textural and melodic density of Javanese zithers, to adding creative percussive noise.

Meanwhile, the versatile drumming of Julian Sartorius completes a perfect ensemble, one that can wear many hats.

1. Scent 08:33
2. Sotto Voce 07:54
3. Bambus
4. In Kur
5. Friction Addiction
6. Bubaran

Andreas Tschopp - trombone
Matthias Spillmann - trumpet, flugelhorn
Bernhard Bamert - trombone
Ronny Graupe - 7-string guitar
Julian Sartorius - drums, percussion

All music by Andreas Tschopp 

"Bambus" based on Sekar Gendot played by the Gamelan Udegang of Teges Kawan (Bali), "In Kur" based on a Macapat Pangkur sung by Nyi Cendaniraras 

Recorded by Nicolas Baillard at Studios La Buissonne, France 
Mixed by Matthias Wenger 
Mastered by Christoph Utzinger 
Artwork by Renate Salzmann & Philippe Gertsch 
Linernotes by Matthew Welch

Bill Charlap & The European Jazz Piano Trio - Artfully Vol. 2 (BLAU RECORDS 2017)

Bill Charlap’s touch on the keyboard is light, almost stealthy, even when playing full chords, but always firm, clear and beautifully articulated. With the spirited support of Mark Hodgson bass and Stephen Keogh drums, it shows a trio which is, arguably, one of the best at casting spells. It has an ease and elegance that are rarely found in jazz.

This new album is the second instalment of a collection of recordings made at London’s Pizza Espress in 2011. As Scott Hamilton writes in the liner notes of the first volume “this is the type of trio which one dreams in finding out, great soloists with a huge sense of swing” 

There is a magic peculiar to piano trios; an atmosphere so wrapped that even up tempo pieces feels like ballads. Bill Evans could create that hush, or Keith Jarrett and a very few others and this includes, as well, Bill Charlap.


01. A Ballad & Five Brothers
02. Sophie
03. Vivi's Waltz
04. Our Love Rolls On
05. The Peacocks

Andrea Motis - Emotional Dance (IMPULSE! 2017)

Tras editar seis discos aclamados por la crítica junto al bajista Joan Chamorro, la trompetista, cantante y compositora afincada en Barcelona, Andrea Motis hace su debut en solitario bajo el sello Impulse! Records con el álbum Emotional Dance. La impresionante avenencia que la artista ha venido cultivando con Chamorro en los últimos siete años permanece intacta en  Emotional Dance. Entre las destacadas interpretaciones que contiene el trabajo discográfico están, además de la del mencionado bajista, la del pianista Ignasi Terraza, el batería Esteve Pi y el guitarrista Josep Traver como núcleo duro de la formación. Al igual que con Chamorro, Motis ha grabado y girado de forma constante con estos músicos. Chamorro coproduce Emotional Dance con Brian Bacchus y Jay Newland. Y  gracias a la sabia sugerencia de Bacchus y del director artístico de Universal Records, Jean-Philippe Allard, Motis completa la formación con la colaboración de un ramillete de músicos norteamericanos – el vibrafonista Warren Wolf, el acordeonista Gil Goldstein, el saxo barítono Scott Robinson y el percusionista Café Da Silva. El famoso saxo tenor norteamericano Joel Frahm, que ha colaborado anteriormente con Motis y Chamorro, también participa en tres temas. “Invitamos a [Joel] a tocar con nosotros en  Barcelona en 2016. Su actuación fue tan memorable que supimos que queríamos contar con él en el álbum” , comenta una entusiasmada Motis.

Aunque Motis solo tenga  21, su madurez musical supera con creces la expectativa de sus años. Esto se debe a que comenzó a tocar la trompeta a los siete años y tres años después comenzó a estudiar jazz en la Escuela Municipal de Música de Santa Andreu con Chamorro, quien  reclutó a Andrea poco después para que formase parte de su banda, aun siendo ella una adolescente. Mientras seguía estudiando en el colegio fue miembro de la Sant Andreu Jazz Band durante nueve años en los que grabó ocho discos y tocó en directo con nombres de la talla del trombonista Wycliffe Gordon, el saxofonista Jesse Davis, el clarinetista Bobby Gordon y el  saxofonista Dick Oatts, entre otros. Además de la trompeta Motis toca el saxo alto. Pero se estrenó como cantante con la banda de Chamorro. “La trompeta siempre ha sido mi instrumento principal”, dice Motis cuando se le pregunta si prefiere su faceta de instrumentista o la de vocalista. “Tocar la trompeta es como meditar para mi, es una parte muy importante de mi vida. Pero no quiero tener que elegir solo una de mis vertientes artísticas, porque adoro tocar todas” .

En Emotional Dance, la interpretación vocal de Motis se convierte en el protagonista escénico. Andrea  posee un encantador y versátil alto, con un sutil vibrato y un fraseo sucinto que le ha valido parangones con referencias estilísticas como Billie Holiday y Norah Jones. Su destreza vocal se revela de forma inmediata en e el clásico de Charles Daniels y Richard Whiting que abre el álbum, “He’s Funny That Way”. Quizás no sea una coincidencia que este tema clásico del jazz  se suela asociar desde hace mucho tiempo a Lady Day; Motis y su ensemble hacen ciertamente justicia a la composición, resaltándola con un contratiempo de la época del swing por antonomasia, que va pavimentando el camino para introducir el absorbente solo de Robinson. Motis le sigue con un delicioso solo de trompeta que acentúa su tono ácido y su certero sentido del swing melódico.

Motis ve Emotional Dance como una ampliación y una evolución respecto a su trabajo con Chamorro. Como en sus anteriores proyectos el nuevo álbum contiene su proporción equilibrada de clásicos del jazz. Además de “He’s Funny That Way”, Motis realiza otras cautivadoras versiones: del tema de Franck Loesser “Never Will I Marry”, de la canción de Cole Porter “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To”, del número de  Eddie Jefferson “Baby Girl”, de la canción de Johnny Mercer “I Remember You” , del corte de Horace Silver “Señor Blues” y finalmente del tema de Antonio Carlos Jobim y Vinicius De Moraes “Chega de Saudade”.

Emotional Dance desvela el crecimiento de Motis como artista con la inclusión de las composiciones “La Gavina” de Federico Sires Puig, “Louisiana O Els Camps De Cotó” de Els Amics de les Arts y “Matilda” de Perico Sambeat. En los tres temas Motis canta en Catalán por primera vez en una grabación. La última canción incluso incluye el acompañamiento y el solo del ondulante saxo soprano de Sambeat.

Motis también muestra por primera vez sus dotes de compositora. Firma tres temas del total de 13 que componen Emotional Dance. La primera canción compuesta para el álbum fue “If You Give More Than You Can”, una enternecedora balada con una letra sincera que aborda el sentimiento de verse atosigado por la muchas responsabilidades. En “I Didn’t Tell Them Why”  Motis muestra su parte más vivaracha, mientras canta acerca de mantener un romance incipiente en secreto, mientras que la gallardía hard-bop de su pieza instrumental “Save the Orangutan” es representativa de su poderío y capacidad de improvisación a la trompeta cuando comparte con Frahm el peso del liderazgo.

En lo que respecta a la brillante canción que da título al álbum, Terraza la compuso hace bastantes años como una pieza instrumental. Motis ni siquiera conocía la habilidad de Terraza para la composición hasta que no escuchó la canción en la radio. “Pensamos que el título de la canción era muy representativo de nuestras emociones mientras grabábamos este primer álbum para Impulse! Records”, dice Motis. “El título implica todos los cambios positivos y la nueva dirección que hemos tomado con mi música, además de reconocer que las cosas se van moviendo en la dirección correcta”.

En la grabación, Motis ha contado con los músicos con los que trabaja habitualmente –el pianista Ignasi Terraza, el batería Esteve Pi, el guitarrista Josep Traver y Joan Chamorro más el vibrafonista Warren Wolf, el acordeonista Gil Goldstein, el saxo barítono Scott Robinson y el percusionista Café Da Silva. El saxo tenor estadounidense Joel Frahm participa en tres temas.

Barcelona trumpeter/singer Andrea Motis has sounded and looked like a mainstream jazz star since her teens. She is now 21, and her major-label debut features a Spanish band led by her teacher and bassist/saxist Joan Chamorro, plus American guests including saxophonist Joel Frahm and accordionist Gil Goldstein.

A raft of standard songs include You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To, He’s Funny That Way and a spirited Never Will I Marry, which Motis handles with an impulsive abandon on both vocals and trumpet, in contrast to the pristine cool of much of the set. She catches a punchily hard-boppish 60s Blue Note trumpet feel on Horace Silver’s Señor Blues and her own instrumental Save The Orangutan, and a mature vocal expressiveness on Brazilian mood-pieces.

She does occasionally sound like an artist still blinking in an unexpected spotlight, and her material and methods are very traditional. But this is an engaging session, and full of pithy soloing from the participants.

01. He's Funny That Way 4:50
02. I Didn't Tell Them Why 2:29
03. Matilda 6:51
04. Chega De Saudade 5:48
05. If You Give Them More Than You Can 4:05
06. Never Will I Marry 3:19
07. Emotional Dance 4:33
08. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To 4:20
09. La Gavina 4:45
10. Baby Girl 4:22
11. Save the Orangutan 4:00
12. I Remember You 4:31
13. Señor Blues 3:49
14. Louisiana o Els Camps De Coto 4:38

Gunter Ishii Quintet - Osaka (2017)

Dieses international besetzte Jazz-Quintett mit Gunter Ishii als Frontman bietet Jazz vom Feinsten. Der groovende, rollende E-Bass geht ans Innerste, die Lines lassen einen kaum ruhig sitzen. Zusammen mit seinen hervorragenden Musikern, die aus aller Herren Länder stammen, gibt es an diesem Abend „World-Jazz“ im eigentlichen Wortsinn.

Der deutsch-japanische Bassist Gunter Ishii lebt zur Zeit in Osaka (Japan) und hat neben seiner vielfältigen Tätigkeit als gefragter Bassist in diversen Formationen sein eigenes Quintett gegründet, das gerade die erste CD veröffentlicht hat. Neben Kompositionen von Wayne Shorter und Kenny Wheeler finden sich auf dem Tonträger seine Eigenkompositionen und Songs aus der Feder seines Trompeters Andrew McAnsh, der bereits mit Mike Stern, Chris Potter, Dave Holland und Jack DeJohnette gespielt hat.

Der kreative und stilistisch vielfältige Bassist Gunter Ishii wurde seit früher Kindheit von Musikern wie Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny etc. beeinflusst und hat sich im Lauf seiner musikalischen Karriere, die ihn mit u.a. Gilad Atzmon, Wolfgang Lackerschmid und David Ornette Cherry zusammenbrachte, seine ganz persönliche Stimme als Bassist erarbeitet.

1. Infant Eyes 2:18
2. Mystic River 8:50
3. E.S.P. 5:40
4. Illustrations 6:27
5. Everybody's Song but My Own 7:13
6. Love Story 4:25
7. Seven Seconds 9:06

Gunter Ishii (b)
Dominik Fugiel (sx)
Omar Kabir (tr)
Konstantin Kostov (p)
Nevyan Lenkov (dr)

Kite - I Take the Money and You Run for Your Life (UNIT RECORDS 2017)

KITE is a young jazz formation from Dresden. Their sound spectrum ranges from raw and sensitive to the collective and idiosyncratic, while maintaining a warm and intellectual touch. This is modern unconventional jazz; new arrangements and original compositions incorporating exciting rhythms and extraordinary sounds. Founded by Dora Osterloh in 2012, the band has performed in many cities throughout Germany to exceedingly positive reactions. The five musicians interact with each other collectively, navigating subtle nuances, ensuring they are always on the same page, fighting side by side, walking hand in hand. Varying from rock, the spherical and intense to symphonic sounds, with or without lyrics – their passion for music is evident.

01 Königsheide (Waltz)
02 Des Nachts
03 Cnk
04 Kleine Geste
05 Aareböötle
06 I Take the Money and You Run for Your Life
07 Lights
08 Einheitsbrei
09 I Get Along Without You Very Well
10 Miniatur
11 Trockenmaurern
12 Weserstraße