Monday, October 9, 2017

Anat Cohen Tentet - Happy Song (ANZIC RECORDS 2017)

The excellent new album by the Anat Cohen Tentet is the result of a diverse, remarkably talented cast of players, composers and arrangers. Cohen—winner of the Clarinet category in the 2017 DownBeat Critics Poll—wrote or co-wrote three of the tracks here, and the musical director for the project was Oded Lev-Ari, who arranged much of the program, including a tear-jerking rendition of Gordon Jenkins’ “Goodbye.” The centerpiece of the album is “Anat’s Doina,” a three-movement piece in which two of Cohen’s compositions bookend Lev-Ari’s arrangement of the traditional klezmer tune “Der Gasn Nigun.” Elsewhere, Cohen explores Brazilian rhythms (one of her areas of expertise) with a lively reading of Egberto Gismonti’s “Loro,” arranged for the tentet by Lev-Ari. Cohen’s clarinet work is consistently compelling throughout the program, whether she’s exploring fusion on a version of Lev-Ari’s “Trills And Thrills” (featuring a fierce electric guitar solo by Sheryl Bailey) or unleashing the toe-tapper “Oh Baby” (a swing tune that Benny Goodman recorded for Columbia in 1946). On Cohen’s arrangement of Neba Solo’s “Kenedougou Foly,” the clarinetist and her horn players engage in a wondrous dialogue, with the accompanists delivering a consistent, killer riff, and the leader responding with potent commentary. The lineup for the album includes Bailey (guitar), Rubin Kodheli (cello), Nadje Noordhuis (trumpet, flugelhorn), Nick Finzer (trombone), Owen Broder (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet), James Shipp (vibraphone, percussion), Vitor Gonçalves (piano, accordion), Tal Mashiach (bass) and Anthony Pinciotti (drums). Cohen’s Happy Song, her most ambitious album yet, gloriously accomplishes her goal of uniting people through music. She’ll take the tentet on the road for concerts in Chicago (Oct. 7), Decorah, Iowa (Nov. 4), Northridge, California (Nov. 30), San Francisco (Dec. 3) and Olympia, Washington (Dec. 4).

1. Happy Song 03:57
2. Valsa Para Alice 04:42
3. Oh Baby 08:36
4. Anat's Doina 12:16
5. Loro 06:51
6. Trills And Thrills 06:52
7. Goodbye 04:30
8. Kenedougou Foly 05:40

Oded Lev-Ari - Musical Director
Rubin Kodheli - Cello
Nadje Noordhuis - Trumpet & Flügelhorn
Nick Finzer - Trombone
Owen Broder - Baritone Sax & Bass Clarinet
James Shipp - Vibraphone & Percussion
Vitor Gonçalves - Piano & Accordion
Sheryl Bailey - Guitar
Tal Mashiach - Bass
Anthony Pinciotti - Drums

Recorded by Brian Montgomery at Avatar Studios, NYC, August 2016
Mixed by Brian Montgomery, NYC, January 2017
Mastered by Mark Wilder January 2017
Cover Artwork by Milton Glaser
Additional Design by Steve Skladany
Band Photo by Aline Muller

Guilhem Flouzat Trio - A Thing Called Joe (SUNNYSIDE RECORDS 2017)

It all began with a postcard. Drummer/composer Guilhem Flouzat was busy planning his next album of carefully crafted songs along the lines of his previous Sunnyside release, Portraits, when he received a letter from his longtime friend and collaborator, Laurent Coq: “Why don’t you record your trio with Sullivan? Just an informal session of standards and easy pieces? I’d love to listen to that.” This meant a complete gear shift. Instead of showcasing original compositions, Flouzat would bare himself in arrangements and preparation, picking songs that he loves and playing them with the two musicians he trusts the most. But how to create a standards album that one would really want to listen to among all the already existing totems of the genre? 

Producing A Thing Called Joe was an exercise in abandon for Flouzat. On the day before the recording, the drummer spent a leisurely afternoon picking tunes and comparing different versions, making a home cooked dinner and engaging in casual conversation with his bandmates. The next day Flouzat, pianist Sullivan Fortner and bassist Desmond White met at The Bunker Studios and took turns calling tunes from a list, making arrangement suggestions on the spur of the moment and rarely recording more than two takes. When the day was done, eighteen tunes were recorded. Then came the work of distilling the material and discovering the right sequence for listeners, so they could do what listeners used to do with old LPs: listen to them over and over again. 

A budding songwriter, Flouzat has always drawn a lot of his inspiration from the wit and understated sophistication of composers and lyricists like Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Oscar Hammerstein and the Gershwin Brothers. His interest in the American Songbook led him to learn the lyrics of lesser known standards and to call them out at jam sessions, delving into their many interpretations and incorporating them into his drum routine. 

Having been classmates at Manhattan School of Music, the three musicians often meet Uptown in New York City to play whatever Tin Pan Alley earworms that have attached themselves during the week and exchange listening recommendations. A native of New Orleans, Fortner is already considered one of the most important pianists of his generation, having received the American Jazz Pianists Association Award in 2015. Originally from Australia, White has become a fixture on the New York scene and a subtle composer. He was also featured on Flouzat’s Portraits, the song “Knight” being dedicated to him. White and Fortner’s backgrounds could not be more different, but they share the intensity, taste and no frills approach of old souls. Fortner has jazz history at the tips of his fingers and engraved in his soul and White has the relentless mind of a truly singular composer. 

The album begins with Hal Hopper and Tom Adair’s ballad “There’s No You,” featuring scintillating arpeggios from Fortner which conjure an entire orchestra. Monk’s strange and obsessive “Oska T” is launched by Flouzat’s elegant groove and is sliced and looped into three minutes of perfection. Juan Tizol’s “Perdido” is a lesson in relaxed buildup with a nod to Sarah Vaughan’s classic take with the Count Basie Orchestra. The Young and Leigh classic “When I Fall In Love” becomes a hauntingly slow rumba on which Fortner and White make delicate statements, leaving the mystery intact. 

Sullivan is visited by the ghost of Erroll Garner on Ahlert and Turk’s “Walking My Baby Back Home,” which was made famous by Nat King Cole and is here accentuated by the restrained swagger of Flouzat’s variation of the theme during his solo. On Joe Zawinul’s “Midnight Mood,” the trio is at its most sympathetic and daring, flowing as one with a distinctive feel hovering between time and rubato. White picked Jaki Byard’s blues “Mrs. Parker of KC,” a perfect vehicle for incredibly swinging drum and piano solos. The album concludes as it began, on a piece with no solos, honoring Harold Arlen’s jewel from Cabin In the Sky, “Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe,” taken from the Ella Fitzgerald songbook. 

The trio of Flouzat, Sullivan and White blissfully vamps out on the final tune as if it could go forever, thus creating a perfect conclusion to A Thing Called Joe, a joyful tribute to selfless interplay and heartfelt melodies.

1. There's No You 03:59
2. Oska T 03:08
3. Perdido 05:28
4. When I Fall In Love 07:19
5. Walking My Baby Back Home 04:43
6. Midnight Mood 07:18
7. Mrs. Parker of KC 03:50
8. Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe 04:04

Sullivan Fortner - piano
Desmond White - bass

Ezra Collective - Juan Pablo: The Philosopher (2017)

Juan Pablo: The Philosopher shows respect and influence from the greats before them, but with the undoubtable and undeniable Ezra Collective grit. This is a cosmic journey that crosses spheres of influence, eras and tempos - it's the perfect build from the solid Chapter 7 foundations.

1. Juan Pablo 05:02
2. The Philosopher 05:16
3. Dylan's Dilemma 01:05
4. People In Trouble 05:49
5. James Speaks To The Galaxy 00:25
6. Space Is The Place 05:35

Mixed by Floating Points and Matt Mysko, and recorded at Abbey Road, “Space Is The Place” is the first track to be released from Ezra Collective's second, highly anticipated second EP “Juan Pablo: The Philosopher” due this Autumn.

Ezra Collective is:
TJ Koleoso - Bass
Femi Koleoso - Drums
Joe Armon-Jones - Piano
Dylan Jones - Trumpet
James Mollison - Tenor Saxophone

Featured Artists:
Nubya Garcia - Tenor Saxophone
Theon Cross - Tuba

Edu Lobo / Romero Lubambo / Mauro Senise - Dos Navegantes (BISCOITO FINO 2017)

Edu Lobo, Mauro Senise e Romero Lubambo são navegantes calejados. Fizeram a ponte entre dois séculos, viveram o Brasil desde o movimento estudantil e a ditadura militar até o ano aziago de 2016. Aportando em 2017, os três reúnem seus talentos para nos presentear com o melhor do que os anos de navegação podem agregar à qualidade artística. Do encontro entre os mares profundos da herança brasileira e as águas agitadas do jazz, o álbum "Dos Navegantes" surge como um raro registro desses três marinheiros da nossa cultura. A voz de Edu, o dedilhado de Romero e o sopro de Mauro transformam-se em puro deleite sonoro, seguindo viagem e soprando os ventos para o continente da música.

Autoria: Edu Lobo / Gianfrancesco Guarnieri 
Editora: Lobo Music / Direto

Autoria: Edu Lobo / Cacaso 
Editora: Lobo Music / Ed. Arlequim

Autoria: Edu Lobo / Chico Buarque 
Editora: Lobo Music / Marola Edições

Autoria: Edu Lobo / Chico Buarque 
Editora: Lobo Music / Marola Edições

Autoria: Edu Lobo / Chico Buarque 
Editora: Lobo Music / Marola Edições

Autoria: Edu Lobo / Cacaso 
Editora: Lobo Music / Copyrights

Autoria: Edu Lobo / Ronaldo Bastos 
Editora: Irmãos Vitale / Três Pontas

Autoria: Edu Lobo / Paulo César Pinheiro 
Editora: Lobo Music / Cordilheiras (Sony/Atv)

Autoria: Edu Lobo / Capinan 
Editora: Lobo Music / Corisco (Arlequim)

Autoria: Edu Lobo / Chico Buarque 
Editora: Lobo Music / Marola Edições

Autoria: Edu Lobo 
Editora: Lobo Music

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Alaíde Costa - Rasguei a Minha Fantasia (2017)

A grande dama da canção Alaíde Costa interpreta músicas com temas de carnaval debruçando-se sobre um repertório que vai de Chico Buarque a Braguinha, de Almirante a Noel Rosa, de Lamartine a Humberto Teixeira, de Nássara e Sinval Silva a Monsueto, sempre com a classe que marcou toda sua carreira.

“Despudoradamente românticas, porem camufladas em confetes e serpentinas, velhas músicas carnavalescas rimavam amor e dor com a maior desfaçatez. Uma releitura sofisticada desse tempo é o que faz Alaíde Costa.”
Hermínio Bello de Carvalho (Produtor musical do disco)

1) Sonho de uma carnaval (Chico Buarque) / Mal-me-quer (Newton teixeira / Cristovão de Alencar) / Dama das camélias (Alcir Pires Vermelho / João de Barro)
2) Rosa Maria (Anibal Silva / Eden Silva)
3) Falam de mim (Noel Rosa de Oliveira / Eden Silva / Anibal Silva)
4) Deus me perdoe ( Lauro Maia / Humberto Teixeira)
5) Aí,hein ?! (Lmartine Babo / Paulo Valença) / Se a Lua contasse (Custódio Mesquita)
6) Não me diga adeus (Paquito / Soberano / João Correia da Silva)
7) Meu consolo é você (Nássara / Roberto Martins)
8) Ta-hi “Pra você gostar de mim” (Joubert de Carvalho)
9) Mora na filosofia (Monsueto / Arnaldo Passos)
10) Batente (Almirante)
11) Rasguei a minha fantasia (Lamartine Babo) / Confete (David Nasser / Jota Júnior)
12) Adeus, batucada (Synval Silva) / Sonho de um carnaval (Chico Buarque)