Monday, December 4, 2017

Stefano Travaglini - Ellipse (NOTAMI JAZZ 2017)

By KARL ACKERMANN / allaboutjazz

Italy's Stefano Travaglini -primarily a composer and pianist- is wildly diverse as an instrumentalist and composer. He has performed on oboe and bass guitar, studied with Estonian composer Arvo Part and American jazz and classical composer Vince Mendoza. Touring throughout four continents, Travaglini has demonstrated impressive proficiency in both jazz and classical genres though he is equally at home where categorizations aren't easily applied.

A case in point is his debut album The Hungarian Songbook (Terre Sommerse, 2013); a collection of Eastern European and Gipsy folksongs arranged for voice and improvised piano.

Ellipse is a solo piano collection, recorded spontaneously, without edits or modifications. It can be classified as free improvisation but—as on the opening "The Importance of Fishing"—abstraction and lyricism coexist nicely. The 1928 song "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II was originally composed as a dance piece, but in most of its many jazz forms, has been greatly modified. Travaglini's interpretation is unique in its mix of staccato notes and nonlinear improvisation. "Monk's Mood" is also covered as the first part of a medley with Travaglini's own "Presences." The pianist treats Thelonius Monk with due respect even while occasionally infusing the ballad rendition with a more aggressive attitude. "Looking Back" and the closing piece, "Good Bye, for Now" are beautifully expressive and more structured.

Travaglini improvises as if having previously immersed his mind in a written version of the same piece. On Ellipse, the spontaneous creations, the melodies and passages, all hang together as if part of a well-planned narrative. Since he quotes the zen-like philosophy of Lee Konitz with "That's my way of preparation—to not be prepared" we can assume that the structures we hear are being developed in real time. Ellipse is a terrific solo piano recording; adventurous, but never over the top, and often quite beautiful.

Nacho González - Illegal Grooves (2017)

“Illegal Grooves” is the debut album of Nacho González Nappa (1985). This music is full of landscapes and energy and features some of the deepest influences for Nacho, including John Patitucci, Ruben Rada, Terence Blanchard, Hugo Fattoruso and George Garzone among others.

Nacho is an Uruguayan musician, composer and social entrepreneur. After almost a decade dedicated to poverty reduction in Latin America, working at and, he decided to pursuit his live long passion of music, and got a scholarship at Berklee College Music to study Jazz Composition. 

“Illegal Grooves” is the reflection of a long journey devoted to music, the appreciation of diverse Latin American treasures like candombe, tango, samba, and the mix from all these styles with the jazz language. It´s also a gift that symbolizes what immigrants bring when they leave their country. This illegality is actually what makes a system richer, brighter, and stronger. This illegality is what makes us different, and at the same time is what makes us recognize each other. 

All songs were written, arranged and produced by Nacho González, except from “Como dos extraños”. 

Nacho won the prestigious Wayne Shorter Award for Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music, and the Jazz Education Award for Young Composers, and has been recognized as one of the emerging stars of modern Jazz composition.

Artists featured: 

Illegal Grooves (feat. Josh Shpak / Aníbal Cruz / Joaquina Mertz)
Speeding Turtle (feat. Ruben Rada / George Garzone / Nando Michelin)
Beating Oranges (feat. John Patitucci / Hugo Fattoruso / George Garzone)
BO, Mr. Bob (studio) (feat. George Garzone / Nando Michelin)
Nueva Música (feat. George Garzone/ Nando Michelin/ Takafumi Nikaido)
Candombe Juno (feat. Yesseh Furaha-Ali / Nando Michelin / Takafumi Nikaido)
Como dos extraños (feat. Jorge Trasante)
BO, Mr. Bob (live) (feat. Terence Blanchard / George Garzone)

Artists who participated in the album:

Illegal Grooves: Flute, Anggie Obin; Soprano, Alto, Bb Clarinet, Juan Ruiz; Trumpet, Josh Shpak and Yuta Yamaguchi; Bone, Suzuko Hori; Bari, Bass Cl, Luis García; Vox: Joaquina Mertz; Guitar, Nacho González; Piano, Aníbal Cruz; DJ, Joaco Pérez; Bass, Lucy Clifford; Percussion, Takafumi Nikaido; Drums, Juan Chiavassa; Recording Enegineer, Mark Wessel; Mix, Aurelio Estebanez; Master, Alex Psaroudakis

Speeding Turtle: Voice: Ruben Rada; Flute: Anggie Obin; Soprano: George Garzone
Alto: Juan Ruiz; Tenor: Alex Madeline; Baritone: Grace-Mary Burega; Trumpets: Neal Rosenthal, Mao Sone; Trombones: Yoshie Nakayama, Rob Krahn; Guitar: Nacho González; Piano: Nando Michelin; Maschine: Isaac Matus-Rodríguez; Bass: Flavio Lira; Percussion: Takafumi Nikaido; Drums: Orlando Retana; Recording Engineer: Mark Wessel
Assistant Engineers: Alex Csak, Shuwen Guo, Paula Park, Erick Jaimes, Nadav Shapira, Tim Schwerdt, Dragi Ivanov; Guitar Overdubs Engineer: Ken Jin; Voice Recording: Gustavo Montemurro (Estudio Las Manzanas); Editing: Garry Purohit; Mix: Aurelio Estebanez, Casa Limón Madrid, Spain; Master: Alex Psaroudakis, Sterlin Sound Studios NY, USA.

Beating Oranges: Flute: Margot Mayette; Soprano: George Garzone; Alto/Clarinet: Juan Ruiz; Bari/Bs.Clarinet: Luis García; Trumpet: Josh Shpak, Neal Rosenthal; Bone: Yoshie Nakayama; Violin: Tania Mesa; Cello: Naseem Alatrash; Guitar & Composition: Nacho González; Cavaco: Flavio Lira; Piano: Nando Michelin; Synth: Hugo Fattoruso; Vibes: Julián Velasco; Bass: John Patitucci; Perc: Negah Santos, Taka Nikaido; Drums: Juan Chiavassa; Engineer: Ross Hogarth; Overdubs: David Cardona, Juan Álvarez, Ken Jin; Mix: Alberto Menezes; Master: Alex Psaroudakis (Sterling Sound New York)

BO, Mr. Bob (session): Flute: Anggie Obin; Trumpet: Paul Sánchez; Alto Sax: Alex Ramírez; Tenor Sax: George Garzone & Andrew Denicola; Trombone: Michael Wang & Max Acree; Bari Sax: Luis García; Piano: Nando Michelin; Guitar: Nacho González; Bass: Flavio Lira; Percussion: Takafumi Nikaido, Julio Santos, & Gilbert Mansour; Candombe Drums: Darío Terán, Jhonny Neves, Diego Paredes; Drums: Juan Chiavassa; Recorded by Mark Wessel; Mixing Engineer: Aurelio Estebanez; Mastered at Sterling Sound: Alex Psaroudakis

Nueva Música: Gustavo D´Amico (soprano); Neal Rosenthal (tpt); Gaia Petrelli (alto); George Garzone (tenor); Michael Wang (bone); Luis García (bari); Nando Michelin (piano)
Nacho González (gt, composition, arr); Óscar Stagnaro (bass); Takafumi Nikaido (perc); Juan Chiavassa (dr); Mark Wessel (Recording Engineer); Pablo San Martín (Mix); Alex Psaroudakis (Master); Special thanks to SangRok Park, Alberto Menezes and Nico Farias

Candombe Juno: Trumpet: Neal Rosenthal; Tenor Sax: Yesseh Furaha-ali; Trombone: Max Acree Piano: Nando Michelín; Bass: Tomás Latorre; Percussion: Takafumi Nikaido
Drums: Juan Chiavassa; Recording Engineer: Marco Echeverría; Mixing Engineer: Pablo San Martín; Mastering Engineer: Alex Psaroudakis

Como dos extraños: Perc: Jorge Trasante; Guitar Nacho González; Engineer: Eddie Corbo

BO, Mr. Bob (live): Flute: Anggie Obin; Trumpet: Terence Blanchard & Paul Sánchez; Alto Sax: Alex Ramírez; Tenor Sax: George Garzone & Yesseh Furaha-Ali; Trombone: Bob Pilkington & Max Acree; Bari Sax: Luis García; Piano: Nando Michelin; Bass: Flavio Lira
Percussion: Takafumi Nikaido, Julio Santos, & Gilbert Mansour; Drums: Juan Chiavassa; Mixing Engineer: Pablo San Martín; Mastered by: Alex Psaroudakis Sterling Sound

Møster | Parker | Abrams | Herndon - Ran Do (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

“Ran Do” comes after the 2014 tour made by the band Møster in the United States, which included a double bill with the American group lead by Ingebrigt Aker Flaten, The Young Mothers. The quartet with Jeff Parker, John Herndon and Joshua Abrams is the direct consequence of Kjetil Møster’s encounter with the Chicago music community, and the approach started on the occasion – the first two are members of Tortoise, the other is the mentor of Natural Information Society. The music inside is somehow extensive of the one proposed by Møster, a pollination of progressive and psychedelic rock elements (with members of the Norwegian bands Motorpsycho, Elephant9, BigBang and Monolithic) with a strong Coltranean influence, but now entering more decisively into post-rock domains and acquiring a more “Americanized” sound. The CD follows a William S. Burroughs notion – «When you cut into the present the future leaks out» – and yes, from those old materials coming from the Sixties and the Seventies something new arises.

Of course, you’ll still find in Møster’s saxophone playing the Scandinavian trademarks pioneered by Jan Garbarek, and also all his commitment to European free improvised music, but very alive is his other interest for the alternative and indie developments of rock and roll, the same that made him to join the bands Datarock and King Midas. Parker and Herndon swim in their natural element, equating abstract textures and groove, and Abrams – here switching his guimbri for the usual double bass – has ample space to conjure his love for the kind of repetitive motifs imagined by Terry Riley and Can. In one word: unmissable.

1 Orko 9:19
2 Dig Me Out 7:31
3 Island Life 2:54
4 Anicca 15:19
5 Pajama Jazz 7:31

Ada Rave Trio - The Sea, The Storm and the Full Moon (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

The Argentinian contribution to the universality of jazz is measured by everything Leandro “Gato” Barbieri gave to the music, and the gauge was put very high by the late saxophonist. Every sax player who emerged, after him, from the Buenos Aires scene had that extra challenge, and that’s the case of Ada Rave, who choose Europe – she’s based in Amsterdam – instead of the United States (Barbieri’s case), to start a succesful international career. Along with partnerships with musicians like Ab Baars, Onno Govaert, Kaja Draksler, Felicity Provan and Michael Vatcher, who by now are familiar names to the label Clean Feed followers, she formed this trio with the eminent improvisers Wilbert De Joode and Nicola Hein. Together, they create a very impressionistic reading of the poem “The Sea, the Storm and the Full Moon”, written by Rave, with the music developing on the edge of a thunderous storm, until it suddenly dissolves and a full moon is discovered up in the sky, «immense in my dream  / so real in me», as the words describe it. Generally interested in finding new paths among the possible combinations of written composition and spontaneous improvisation, here Ada Rave gives full space to her fascination for the free improvised group interactions, benefiting from the very special skills of her experimented partners. What comes from that approach is very different from everything given to us by “Gato” Barbieri, but her origins couldn’t be more honoured.

1 Inner Chaos 5:11
2 Primitive Dance 7:00
3 Breathing The Ocean's Air 5:18
4 The Journey Of The Little Being 6:33
5 An Instant All The Moments 5:01
6 Comes From A Dream 4:04
7 The Sea, The Storm And The Full Moon 7:12

Reverso: Ryan Keberle / Frank Woeste / Vincent Courtois / Jeff Ballard - Suite Ravel (PHONOART PRODUCTIONS 2017)

Reverso - Suite Ravel brings together trombonist and composer, Ryan Keberle, and pianist and composer, Frank Woeste, for an album bridging jazz and chamber music realized by an outstanding quartet featuring French cellist, Vincent Courtois, and drummer Jeff Ballard. 

Not many composers have inspired jazz musicians as often or as intensely as Maurice Ravel. Ironically, Ravel was one of the first 20th century classical composers to acknowledge Jazz as a valuable inspiration. During his US tour in 1928 Ravel said: 

« Vous, les Américains, prenez le jazz trop à la légère. Vous semblez y voir une musique de peu de valeur, vulgaire, éphémère. Alors qu'à mes yeux, c'est lui qui donnera naissance à la musique nationale des États-Unis. »
— Maurice Ravel, Avril 1928

“You Americans take jazz too lightly. You seem to see it as a music of little value, vulgar and ephemeral. In my point of view, it is jazz that will give rise to the national music of the United States.”
— Maurice Ravel, April  1928

Keberle and Woeste show us that jazz and “classical” music have become even more intertwined in today’s music world, since they began to intersect amongst Ravel and his contemporaries such as Satie, Stravinsky and Milhaud over 100 years earlier, mutually inspiring the other’s practitioners.

Keberle and Woeste draw particular inspiration from Ravel’s “Le tombeau de Couperin”, a suite for solo piano by Maurice Ravel, composed between 1914 and 1917, in six movements based on those of a traditional Baroque suite. 

Reverso – Suite Ravel 

Peu de compositeurs ont inspiré les musiciens de jazz autant que Maurice Ravel.
Ravel fut de son côté un des premiers compositeurs du 20e siècle à considérer le jazz comme une source d’inspiration pour lui. 

Pendant sa tournée en 1928, il disait :

« Vous, les Américains, prenez le jazz trop à la légère. Vous semblez y voir une musique de peu de valeur, vulgaire, éphémère. Alors qu’à mes yeux, c’est lui qui donnera naissance à la musique nationale des États-Unis. »
— Maurice Ravel, Avril 1928

Frank Woeste et Ryan Keberle nous montrent avec quelle force le monde de la musique classique et celle du jazz se sont rapprochés aujourd’hui, les premiers rapprochements, souvent très critiqués, datant du début du 20 ème siècle, avec, entre autres, Satie et Stravinsky. 

Keberle et Woeste se sont inspirés plus particulièrement de la suite de Ravel intitulée Le tombeau de Couperin, une suite en six mouvement basée sur les principes d’écriture d’une suite baroque et composée par Ravel entre 1914 et 1917.  Elle fut écrite d’abord pour le piano, puis arrangée plus tard par Ravel lui même pour orchestre symphonique.

Le groupe transatlantique Reverso est un nouveau groupe avec une instrumentation très originale : Trombone , Violoncelle , Piano et Batterie.  

Il réunit des musiciens internationaux qu’on ne présente plus :

Dans Reverso – Suite Ravel, les musiciens jouent avec les éléments caractéristiques des mouvements traditionnels de la Suite Baroque (Prélude, Fugue, Forlane, Rigaudon, Menuet et Toccata) en proposant une sorte de miroir jazz, un reflet improvisé, de la composition originale de Maurice Ravel, et ce en renversant les rôles : Ravel, compositeur du 20e siècle qui s’est inspiré du jazz, inspire ici à son tour les musiciens de jazz du 21e siècle.

Marco Sanguinetti - 9 (EXILES RECORDS 2017)

“9” es el sexto disco de Marco Sanguinetti, editado por Exiles Records en CD (septiembre) y VINILO (octubre). Presenta 10 nuevos temas compuestos por el pianista, interpretados por su quinteto (piano, cello, bandeja, contrabajo y batería). En una clara continuidad con el álbum “8” (2013), la música de “9” no es tango, ni rock, ni jazz, ni folclore, pero toma elementos de estos géneros para dar forma a un estilo propio que se consolida como referencia contemporánea a la ciudad de Buenos Aires.

“9” ha sido grabado en el Estudio Dr. F (Marzo, 2017) y mezclado en el Estudio NN. Su producción, grabación y mezcla estuvo a cargo de Mariano “Manza” Esain. Fue masterizado en Andrés Mayo Mastering & Audio Post. La dirección de arte y diseño de esquemas fueron desarrollados por Laura Varsky y Christian Montenegro. Editado por Exiles Records ( en cd y vinilo. Todos los temas fueron compuestos por Marco Sanguinetti. Los arreglos estuvieron a cargo del grupo: Sanguinetti, Migma, García, Carmona, Merlo y Butelman.

Murga triste
Escena final
La distancia

Migma: bandeja de vinilos
Violeta García: cello
Jerónimo Carmona: contrabajo
Fermín Merlo: batería

Pablo Butelman: guitarra

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