miércoles, 25 de noviembre de 2015

Bugge Wesseltoft - Bugge & Friends (2015)

Back in the late 1990s Bugge Wesseltoft was best known as a leading light in the jazz house scene that sought to integrate jazz into the electronic music of the day. His primary outlet at the time was his New Conception of Jazz project that culminated in the wonderful 2001 collection Moving and which represented a high water mark for the scene, alongside other classics like St. Germain's Boulevard from 1995. Wesseltoft has, of course, since shown us a wide and broad musical palette pursuing an idiosyncratic musical path encompassing the likes of classic collaborations with Sidsel Endresen such as Out Here. In There or the stark deep mid-winter beauty of the solo piano record It's Snowing On My Piano. Nonetheless, few would have predicted a return to jazz house and fewer still that it would be such a resounding success. 

While Wesseltoft does not need to prove his talent to anyone, the success of the project is in part due to the collaborators that he has assembled, originally for a 2011 gig at the Oslo Jazz Festival. These are no ordinary friends who just happened to stop by, they are fine musicians in their own right who crucially have a pedigree in this genre of music that lifts this above the commonplace into being one of the albums of the summer. Erik Truffaz, for example, has a distinguished discography that includes a well-regarded run of releases on Blue Note in the early part of the 21st Century such as the mighty Bending New Corners and The Walk of the Giant Turtle. Truffaz and Wesseltoft go way back of course—the Frenchman having guested on tour with New Conception of Jazz around the turn of the century. Similarly Beady Belle was originally encouraged to record for Jazzland records by Wesseltoft and has gone on to make a number of great records including personal favourites Home from 2001 and its follow up CEWBEAGAPPIC. Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell was, of course, a leading DJ of the period running and recording for the seminal New York house label Spiritual Life Music. What these fine artists have in common is the importance of soul to their work— each of them prioritises the feel of their work rather than, for example, the intellectual and technical concepts that might underlie it. 

All of this makes for a perfect summer record—one to luxuriate in rather than analyse, to feel rather than think about. The sleeve riffs on this summery theme looking like a thermal imaging mirror of the Beach Boys 'Summer Days (and Nights)' cover—the main difference being that the shot, unsurprisingly, appears to conclude that the seas around Norway are much colder than in sunny Californ-i- a. First tracks to grab the attention are Belle and Torun Eriksen's two excellent vocal cuts—the breezy "Do It" is perfectly judged channelling Ingrid Mansfield Allman, singer on the Freeez classic "Southern Freeez," in a classy demonstration of how to concentrate on what the song needs rather than suffocating it with technique. If the lyrics are not going to win a Pulitzer, they do represent a positive sentiment of inclusion and friendship that is very much in keeping with the relaxed feel of the record. The second vocal track "Make It" is a moodier leftfield garage dub structured like a gospel tune but with what sounds like an improvised jazz vocal over the top. It's great in a "Like a Prayer" down the jazz club way. 

If the two vocal tracks provide an accessible and enjoyable route into the album, updating soulful jazz funk for the house generation, there is plenty for the more open minded fusion fan too. Truffaz is a revelation here—returning to that 'Bitches Brew' via Eddie Henderson and Herbie Hancock's 'Mwandishi' Band sound that he used to such great effect on Bending the Corners and its ilk. Opening track "Play It" is fantastic, the sense of space between Truffaz's spiralling trumpet lines and the heavy bass line is incredibly effective. Restraint and control by the musicians is essential for this to work—Wesseltoft's stepping around the bass line in his excellent solo here being a case in point. 

On "Faz It" Truffaz holds back his trumpet line just enough to allow space for the fabulous rhythm line to interact with Wesseltoft's Rhodes. Wesseltoft also excels on the slow builder "Breed It" that starts with solo piano and effects, building into something reminiscent of a Shazz piece from the F-Communications era, before culminating in a lovely descending trumpet solo from Truffaz that mirrors Marius Reksjo's wonderful bass line. In truth there are many such fine moments and each track has qualities to be appreciated. The juddering climax to "Saisir" and the sublime effects layered onto "Clauss It"'s funky bass line being but two. Each member of the collective contributes to the intricate soundscapes and dynamic energy of the project, building a good vibe around the whole endeavour. 

Looks like summer's here and this wonderful record is the perfect accompaniment to the warm days and nights to come. Recommended.

Play It
Do It
Faz It
Breed It
Make It
Clauss It

Bugge Wesseltoft: grandpiano, fender rhodes, prophet5, memorymoog, programming
Erik Truffaz: trumpet, effects
Ilan Ersahin: tenor saxophone
Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell: rhythms, miscellaneous percussion & toys, effects, programming
Erik Holm: congas, shakers, logdrum, tambourine, bolumbata
Marius Reksjo: acoustic & electric bass
Andreas Bye: drums
Torun Eriksen: vocal
Beady Belle: vocal


martes, 24 de noviembre de 2015

Pedro Cortejosa - 12 Días (2015)

Mi proyecto se títula “12 DÍAS”. Es una idea original que tuve sobre escribir un tema cada día. Cada día en un tono hasta completar los 12. Se trataba de un experimento, como otros en los que me embarco, sin pretensiones de convertirse en disco, simplemente un reto musical en el que la idea era hacer todos los días un tema, estuviese con prisa, tranquilo, lúcido o con fiebre (como de hecho llegó a suceder), y no interrumpir el flujo creativo durante ese tiempo. Cada mañana exploraba un poco en que tonalidad parecía resonar mi estado de ánimo sin repetir las anteriores y escribía una idea, a veces una melodía muy sofisticada, a veces una serie de acordes, a veces un texto con una línea de bajo, cualquier cosa con entidad de canción. Había días en que los sueños de mi noche anterior me daban ideas locas para una elaborada melodía y hubo otros en los que una simple nota se convirtió en la esencia de ese tema. En cualquier caso, con estas estructuras que iba escribiendo siempre había pretextos muy sencillos para improvisar y hacer una música muy creativa si lograba reunir en un estudio a buenos músicos que quisieran tocarla. Pero ya digo que no era esa mi idea. Aunque fue lo que ocurrió.

Teníamos reservado el estudio de Curro para grabar el repertorio que ibamos a tocar en el festival de jazz de Gibraltar,! Elie Massías, Juan Galiardo, Jose López, David León y yo. Pero realmente ninguno de nosotros estaba a gusto con esos temas, se trataba de estandards con pocos arreglos y no teníamos ningún interés en ir al estudio para registrar eso. Así que ahí estaba de pronto la oportunidad. El último día de los “12 Días” fue precisamente dos días antes de acabar el seminario y marcharnos al Puerto a grabar al estudio de Curro.

Los tres últimos temas los escribí allí, en Gibraltar (en el camino en coche yendo a Gibraltar, en el hotel y en una de las clases donde impartíamos el workshop).

Les propuse a estos la idea y todos estuvieron de acuerdo en grabarlo. No tendríamos tiempo para ensayar y eran muchos temas para un solo día, pero lo hicimos. El resultado para mí es muy gratificante, creo que he podido hacer uno de los discos más maduros que tengo hasta ahora, con la seguridad y confianza de estar rodeados de mis buenos amigos y sin expectativa alguna más que la de retratar esos días tan intensos de música y buena compañía, de atrapar el momento presente.


Pedro Cortejosa Saxo tenor + saxo soprano
Elie Massias Guitarra + Voz
Juan Galiardo piano + Fender Rodhes
José López Contrabajo
David León Batería


Simone Graziano - Frontal: Trentacinque (2015)

C'è un grande amore per la sua città, Firenze, in questo lavoro di Simone Graziano, pianista toscano leader del gruppo Frontal qui alla seconda prova discografica. Un amore dichiarato attraverso le belle parole di Vasco Pratolini riportate nelle note del disco ed attraverso la musica spesso ispirata ai luoghi in cui è cresciuto e dove ha sviluppato la sua passione per il jazz. E per un jazz allargato oltre i confini del mainstream o di una facile riproposizione della tradizione, vista la scelta dei compagni di gruppo (segnatamente i sax di David Binney e Dan Kinzelman)e la natura delle composizioni, votate spesso ad una improvvisazione collettiva, come dichiarano anche i sottotitoli di due delle undici composizioni.

Composizioni scritte generalmente dal pianista e dal suo sostegno ritmico (Gabriele Evangelista e Stefano Tamborrino) e fortemente ritmiche, percussive, vitali, energizzanti. Brani che emanano pulsazioni positive, talvolta stranianti ed imprevedibili, come nella irresistibile Give Me Some Options, forse il manifesto del lavoro. Dove il leader lavora soprattutto di cesello, la ritmica è tambureggiante e i due sax spaziano liberante esplorandosi a vicenda in continui cambi di ritmo. Un lavoro intrigante e coraggioso che alterna momenti impulsivi ed altri riflessivi, materia musicale viva e sporca, quello che serve per accender la mente talvolta sopita dell'ascoltatore passivo. Read more...

Simone Graziano piano, Fender Rhodes, electronics
David Binney alto sax
Dan Kinzelman tenor sax
Gabriele Evangelista double bass
Stefano Tamborrino drums

01. B_Polar
02. White Piano
03. Falk The Bow
04. Give Me Some Options
05. Window On A Better
06. Blu Piano
07. Killcoal
08. Intro K. B.
09. Kamennaja Baba
10. Before The Stars
11. Starlette


lunes, 23 de noviembre de 2015

Robert Burke - Power of the Idea (2015)

The essence of this recording is based on free jazz with compositional context informing free improvisation; hence the title ‘Power of the idea’. One musical idea supplies improvisation with a starting point and a foundation for exploration. 

Recorded October 2014 at Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, the directive to the band was to learn and perform the compositions but “…no instructions were given regarding artistic direction in the improvisations, they were inherently connected to the compositions or central ideas developed as a basis of the musical conversation” – Rob Burke. 

What can be noted is what is familiar; styles that have influenced both composition and improvisation, including: jazz, classical western music (tonal and atonal), african and pop/rock. 

Robert Burke - an improvising musician form Australia, Rob has performed and composed on over 200 CDs and has toured extensively throughout Australia, Asia, Europe, and USA over the last 30 years. He has also released 9 CDs under his own name having recorded and performed with Kenny Werner, Dave Douglas, Paul Grabowsky, Hermeto Pascoal, Vince Jones, Kate Ceberano, Joe Camilleri, George Lewis. 

Rob is the co-ordinator of Jazz studies at Monash University – Melbourne Australia and is a Jazzhead recording artist 

New-York based Mark Helias is one of the most significant bass players on the jazz/improvisation scene. His vast knowledge of music, creativity and innovation makes him such an important figure in the advancement of improvised music. Mark’s contribution on this recording is exceptional. 

Nasheet Waits is one of the most in-demand and respected drummers in New York. Nasheet has played with the ‘who’s who’ of current jazz legends including: Andrew Hill, Jason Moran, Fred Hersch, Jackie McLean, Stanley Cowell, David Murray, Eddie Gomez and so many more.

1. Mercurochrome 07:32
2. Bela 06:49
3. Abandon 08:04
4. At the Cole Face 06:38
5. Freebopcorn 05:41
6. Mood 2046 08:11
7. Tik Tok 06:35
8. The Big Show 09:04
9. Hell Awaits 07:03

Robert Burke - Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax 
Mark Helias - Bass 
Nasheet Waits - Drum Set 
Paul Williamson - Trumpet 
Jordan Murray - Trombone 
Paul Grabowsky – Piano 

Recorded 3rd October 2014 at Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, New York, USA. 
Engineered: Michael Brorby (USA) 

Mixed - Ross Cockle at Allan Eaton Recording Studio (St Kilda, Australia) 
Mastered - Ross Cockle at Sing Sing Recording Studios (Richmond, Australia) 
Produced - Robert Burke


Fabrizio Bosso - Duke (2015)

Italian post-bop trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso from Turin, Italy, is not yet a household name in the American musical landscape however, he is no novice to the jazz idiom either. A veteran trumpeter who has preferred the vibrant and more receptive jazz scene in Europe over the states, has during his burgeoning professional career, recorded seventeen albums since his 2000 debut as leader on Fast Flight (Red Records, 2000). An award-winning artist who performs regularly at the annual Umbria Jazz Festival and has recorded as a sideman and soloist with such jazz luminaries as Carla Bley, Maria Schneider, Ryan Truesdell and Wayne Marshall among others, Bosso reaches out to a new audience on this endeavor. 

On this excellent project, Bosso unveils his fourth album as leader on the Verve/Universal label with Duke, a heart-felt tribute to Duke Ellington offering new renditions of familiar classics presented by a superb European quartet supported by the six-piece Paolo Silvestri Ensemble. The new arrangements penned by pianist/composer Silvestri, provide fresh new swinging treatments to old warn-out standards that make the seven-piece repertoire of familiar songs sound almost new. The ten-minute plus "I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart," begins the tribute in stylish fashion with the maestro blowing a stern horn as the band delivers the big band atmosphere associated with the piece. 

Ellington's oft-recorded "Caravan" charges out of the gate in high gear in one of the most up tempo, lively renditions of the tune one will ever hear featuring a fast, high-pitching trumpet sounds from the leader and a rousing band where pianist Julian Oliver Mazzariello and drummer Nicola Angelucci provide splendid solo performances. Another classic presented here is the immortal "In a Sentimental Mood" rearranged and showcasing the leader on the flugelhorn laying down a soft line in the ballad of the disc. 

Now, there's not much of a tribute to the Duke if you don't include "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) delivered here in a fast and furious tempo featuring Michele Poga on tenor and Marco Guidolotti on the baritone lobbying salvos at each other as Bosso's trumpet decides to join in the fun chasing the quick tempo as each player plays with power. Silvestri's arrangement of "Black and Tan Fantasy" and "Jeep's Blue," brings the tunes together in a medley featuring some great play and a bit of the muted horn from the leader. 

Pianist Mazzariello gently introduces the Ellington classic "Solitude," the other warm-textured ballad of the album ably supported by the reeds of the Silvestri Ensemble resulting in one of the highlights of the recording. After a session of wonderful Ellington music, the music winds down and closes much like it began, in swinging style on a high-flying, hard-driving version of "Perdido" and showcasing the solid big band sound a quartet and a quintet together, can produce. A well-conceived and fascinating homage to an icon, Duke is European Trumpet Master Fabrizio Bosso's explosive coming out party to an American legend.

1. I let a Song Go Out of My Heart
2. Caravan
3. In A Sentimental Mood
4. It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
5. Medley: Black and Tan Fantasy/ Jeep's Blue
6. Solitude
7. Perdido

Fabrizio Bosso: trumpet, flugelhorn
Julian Oliver Mazzariello: piano
Luca Alemanno: double bass
Nicola Angelucci: drums

Paolo Silvestri Ensemble:

Fernando Brusco: trumpet
Claudio Corvini: trumpet
Mario Corvini: trombone
Gianni Oddi: alto saxophone
Michele Polga: tenor saxophone
Marco Guidolotti: baritone saxophone


Dino & Franco Piana Ensemble - Seasons (2015)

Dino Piana, valve trombone
Franco Piana, trumpet and flugelhorn
Fabrizio Bosso, trumpet
Max Ionata tenor sax
Ferruccio Corsi, alto sax
Lorenzo Corsi, flute
Enrico Pieranunzi, piano
Giuseppe Bassi, bass
Roberto Gatto, drums

1 Opening 1.23
2 Just a reflection 9.56
3 A light in the dark 4.53
4 Five generations 5.53
5 After the winter 4.50
6 Ostinato 6.17
7 Only now 8.00
8 Why not? 5.02
9 Cdj Blues 6.50

Total time 53.11

All compositions and arrangements by Franco Piana

Dino e Franco Piana, a circa due anni di distanza presentano un nuovo lavoro. A differenza del precedente questo è costruito su una sequenza di nove brani uniti tra loro da modulazioni e cadenze di largo respiro.

Franco Piana con questo lavoro si rivela compositore ed arrangiatore di altissimo livello, la sua scrittura per sei fiati (flicorno, tromba, trombone, saxalto, saxtenore, flauto) pianoforte, contrabbasso e batteria è costruita, in modo da ottenere quei risultati che solo un orchestratore/arrangiatore di valore riesce a realizzare.

Alla scrittura di Franco può, agevolmente, adattarsi quanto il critico accademico Winthrop Sergeant disse a proposito di Gil Evans: “grande senso della poesia sonora e puntigliosa attenzione ai colori timbrici”. Ma ciò che maggiormente sorprende è la capacità di Franco Piana nel creare “masse di suono” con solo sei strumenti a fiato, lui stesso al flicorno, la tromba Fabrizio Bosso, Dino Piana, trombone, Ferruccio Corsi e il giovanissimo figlio Lorenzo, rispettivamente saxalto e flauto e Max Ionata, sax tenore, insieme a Enrico Pieranunzi, pianoforte, Giuseppe Bassi, contrabbasso e Roberto Gatto, batteria e produttore artistico, vale a dire in questo “nonet”, alcune fra le più belle realtà del Jazz di oggi.

Nel primo dei nove brani “Opening” eseguito da tutti i fiati, vengono già enunciati gli spunti tematici dei brani che seguiranno. Nel secondo, “Just a Reflection”, dopo un tema molto articolato seguono i primi quattro assolo dovuti a Max Ionata, Fabrizio Bosso, Dino e Franco Piana. Dopo un ensemble e ad Enrico Pieranunzi segue un “collettivo tematico” prima delle parti solistiche di Roberto Gatto e Franco Piana. Dopo la ripresa del tema e una modulazione che porta ad una cadenza splendidamente eseguita al flauto da Lorenzo Corsi, viene introdotto il terzo brano “A Light in the Dark”. Già in “Just a Reflection” la parte in assolo di Fabrizio Bosso appare in tutta la sua versatilità, così quella di Pieranunzi che esplora ogni peculiarità della composizione. Il tema di “A Light in the Dark” è esposto magistralmente da Dino Piana e Ferruccio Corsi, cui segue Enrico Pieranunzi la cui personalità stilistica originale è qui in tutta evidenza. 

Dopo una modulazione, una cadenza di Dino Piana ne introduce una ulteriore di pianoforte le cui ultime note sono quelle del nuovo tema “Five Generations”, brano che si sviluppa tra la prima parte modale e l'inciso costruito su giro armonico. Le parti solistiche sono riservate a Max Ionata sempre espressivo nel suo bel fraseggio, Fabrizio Bosso e Enrico Pieranunzi. La composizione si chiude con una bella “chase” fra Giuseppe Bassi solido e swingante e Roberto Gatto sempre elegante ed efficace. Gli assolo di Ionata, Bosso e Pieranunzi in sequenza sono

straordinariamente inventivi e di grande impulso ritmico. Nel quinto brano ”After the Winter” dopo un’introduzione che riprende il tema finale del “movimento” precedente, Lorenzo e Ferruccio Corsi, flauto e saxalto, espongono, dopo la modulazione, questa splendida melodia di Franco Piana lasciata per l'intera esecuzione al lirismo di Lorenzo e Ferruccio. “After the Winter” termina con intervalli di un tono e ½ tono e annuncia il brano seguente “Ostinato” in cui si notano una sequenza di assolo splendidi: Pieranunzi, Ionata, una chase superba eseguita da Dino Piana e Lorenzo Corsi, Fabrizio Bosso, Giuseppe Bassi e infine Franco Piana che con la tromba sordinata, chiude questa sesta composizione anticipando “Only Now”. Il brano si apre con un dialogo fra i fiati ed un assai brillante Roberto Gatto, che è anche produttore artistico del cd, prosegue poi con una sequenza di assolo, Bosso e Ionata prima dell’ensemble, Dino e Franco Piana, Enrico Pieranunzi prima del collettivo che precede il tema. L’ottava composizione “Why Not” è, anche in questo caso, un tema melodicamente di grande efficacia, esposto con intensità da Franco al flicorno e da Dino, seguiti da Enrico Pieranunzi.

La modulazione finale con flauto, flicorno e trombone prevede intervalli che anticipano il 9° movimento finale, un blues veloce, “CdJ Blues” (dedicato alla Casa del Jazz di Roma). “CdJ” è impostato secondo la classica struttura jazz di sempre, ma sempre efficace, tema-assolotema, quando, come in questo caso, i solisti sono di altissima
classe e capacità.

Sono molto grato a Franco e a Dino di avermi chiesto di parlare di questo loro ultimo lavoro. Nella loro musica, come in quella di tutti gli altri che hanno partecipato alla perfetta riuscita di questo disco, è evidente quale importante livello abbiano raggiunto questi solisti e nel caso di Franco Piana anche come arrangiatore di grande talento.    “Seasons” può essere a giusto titolo, considerato tra i più alti manifesti prodotti oggi dal jazz italiano, scaturito da un incontro fra musicisti di almeno tre generazioni, dal decano Dino Piana che ha festeggiato recentemente e assai brillantemente gli 85 anni, al più giovane, il flautista Lorenzo Corsi che di anni ne ha solo diciotto.

Dimenticavo di dire, ma tutti lo sanno che Dino e Franco Piana sono padre e figlio, mentre pochi sanno invece che Ferruccio Corsi è genero e cognato rispettivamente di Dino e Franco, che Lorenzo, figlio di Ferruccio, è nipote dei leaders di questa orchestra, che, caso più unico che raro, è una vera e propria “family band” di straordinarie capacità. Adriano Mazzoletti


Fabio Giachino - Balancing Dreams (2015)

“Balancing Dreams” is a piano solo album by the young and talented pianist from Turin. After the successful albums in trio with Ruben Bellavia and Davide Liberti, he shows all his skill as a piano soloist, in a project full of outstanding musical ideas: new compositions, some standards and a collaboration with the renowned rapper ENSI , mixing jazz and hip hop. Balancing his desires and his dreams, Giachino sets his expressiveness free and leads us into an enthralling space through an uninterrupted, intimate dialogue, where his love for jazz, and music in general , reaches its highest aesthetic value. 

Class of 1986, Fabio Giachino is considered one of the most promising talents to appear on the Italian music scene in the past few years.Born in Alba, but taking Turin as his home town, he was awarded important Italian and European prizes, gaining recognitions both nationally and internationally. As a soloist he won the “Premio Internazionale Massimo Urbani 2011”, the “Premio Nazionale Chicco Bettinardi 2011”, and the “Revelation of the year 2011″JazzUp Channel Red Award. With his trio he was awarded  Special Prize as “Best Band” at the “Bucharest International Competition 2014”, the “Fara Music Jazz Live 2012” prize (as best soloist and best band), the “Barga Jazz Contest 2012” prize and the “Premio Carrarese Padova Porsche Festival 2011”. In 2013, 2012 and 2011 he was among  the best 10 Italian  pianists according to the “JazzIT Awards” referendum, organized by the magazine JAZZIT. In 2013 his trio was also among the best 10 Italian bands.

His debut album “Introducing Myself”, recorded with his trio and featuring the sax player Rosario Giuliani, was included in the 2012 “100 Greatest Jazz Album”  selection, compiled by the magazine JAZZIT. In parallel with his accademic classical studies, which led to a Music Diploma in Organ in 2006 and a second level Music Degree in 2009, he also sudied jazz, through private lessons and workshops with the following musicians: A.Faraò, D.Moroni, R.Zegna, D.Rea; F.D’Andrea, S.Battaglia,G.Trovesi, P.Tonolo, F.Di Castri (Siena Jazz 2007, where he was awarded a scholarship for 2008); B.Harris (Felt Club Roma), J.Calderazzo, K.Rosenwinkel, S.Colley, J.T.Watts, S.Bonafede (Saint Louis College Rome). In 2012 he got a Master of Jazz Music Degree  at the “G.Verdi” Conservatory of Turin, with F.Di Castri e D.Moroni. In 2011 he flew to Detroit with Emanuele Cisi on a study exchange trip between the Jazz Department of the Conservatory of Turin and the Wayne State University of Michigan, where he performed with the University’s big band and their professors. In 2012 and 2009 he took private lessons from Fred Hersh e Hal Crook. He has performed in festivals and clubs in France, Belgium, Switzerland, England, the Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Rumania, U.S.A. and in innumerable places in Italy.

01. Introduction
02. Balancing Dreams
03. Thelonious
04. Crossings
05. Awakenings
06. Stride 'n' Rhythm
07. Trane's Mood
08. Underground Blues
09. Sand Land
10. Moon Slice
11. Torino-New Orleans-New York*
12. The Star Crossed Lovers
13. Dynamic Sounds

Fabio Giachino (piano)


*ENSI (voice)


domingo, 22 de noviembre de 2015

Daniel Cano Quintet - Don't Touch The Blue (2015)

"Daniel Cano ofrece un trabajo rotundo en el que densidad de ideas y claridad en la exposición hacen posible jazz de muchos quilates.

En algún punto fértil entre los años 50 del hard bop y la sofisticación fluida de mediados de los 60 en Blue Note, entre Miles Davis y Tom Harrell habría que situar estilisticamente, y en el presente, esta música. El arrebatador inicio de tiempos rápidos de bop y cruce de solos de Sin Trom dan paso a Changes, estupenda y moderna pieza de construcción aditiva y creciente en intensidad. El fraseo alargado y en unísonos de saxo y trompeta en el inicio de Plutón,  la pegada groove de Jesús Pazos con la guitarra funky de Wilfred Wilde y el volumen fibroso del bajo de Paco Charlin en ¿Tu siempre tienes que ser el mismo? y también en Plutón, mientras los metales dibujan líneas en suspensión, el soberbio solo de trompeta en el blues que titula el disco, la versión elusiva y hermosa de Chelsea Bridge que endereza Cortejosa con su solo y continua Cano con su entrada, un Monk distraído en la contagiosa y compleja a la vez Buenordías, sonidos envolventes en y funky con especias melódicas mexicanas que sugieren, en cuarteto sin guitarra, el emparejamiento de Dave Douglas y John Zorn en Masada... el color del empaste conseguido, los tonos azulados (!que no los toquen!) contorneándose a  ritmo de funky… uno tras otro detalles de sobrado buen gusto y talento.

Jazz gozoso y sin aditivos extras, un sugestivo y sólido viaje por la memoria viva de la mejor Blue Note." JESÚS GONZALO. Read More...


Daniel Cano: Trompeta y fliscornio
Pedro Cortejosa: Saxos, tenor y soprano
Paco Charlín: Contrabajo
Wilfried Wilde: Guitarra
Jesús Pazos: Batería


Maciej Grywacz - Connected (2015)

The music is a melodic contemporary Jazz, which sounds fresh and interesting from the very first notes and manages to keep the listener in suspense till the very last notes. The guitar / saxophone dual front line works very well, as both players move elegantly between the unisono parts to individual solos and back to the melody. Grzywacz does a wonderful job playing soft but complex guitar chords behind the saxophone solos and of course plays many well constructed solos. Dinesen is obviously the most expressive musician in this quartet, playing long stretches of improvisation, without loosing the melody line even for a moment. The rhythm section plays in typical Scandinavian pattern, with the bass driving the music forward with a steady pulse and the drums playing around the beat, rather that keeping time. 

In spite of the fact that the album features three Scandinavian musicians, it does not suffer from the typical Scandinavian lethargy that puts many music fans to sleep very effectively. Most of the music is lively and up tempo, with virtuosic solos ripping the air. Even the slower numbers have a lot of energy and vigor and keep the listener in check. There is quite a lot of freedom in the way the quartet works together, giving each other space and respect. This album is one of many projects with Polish and Scandinavian musicians collaborating, like they did in the 1960s and 1970s, which is one of the many interesting aspects of the new Polish Jazz scene. 

Personally I find the work of Dinesen especially rewording on this album, which is hardly surprising considering his huge success he enjoys back hope and internationally. Also this is surely the most complex and ambitious album Grzywacz recorded to date, which of course is commendable. Seeing him developing over time is truly rewarding. This is definitely a piece of music worth checking out as it holds many truly wonderful moments.

01. Connected 7:48
02. The Third Wish 7:25
03. Konwikt 4:55
04. Dreamer’s Dream 4:45
05. Little Ikon 6:10
06. Piazza 5:43
07. Trondheim - Sopot – Copenhagen 6:06
08. Four Islands 3:35

All music by Maciej Grzywacz

Maciej Grzywacz: guitar
Jakob Dinesen: sax
Daniel Franck: bass
Hakon Mjaset Johansen: drums


Scott Flanigan - Point of Departure (2015)

In an era where it's relatively easy to self-produce an album, Northern Irish pianist Scott Flanigan has taken his time with his debut effort. Now in his early thirties, Flanigan has been a mainstay of the small but flourishing jazz scene in Belfast and beyond for over a decade, collaborating with Linley Hamilton, David Lyttle and Mark McKnight, not to mention the likes of Van Morrison and Jean Toussaint. It's been a patient apprenticeship that has paid dividends, for Flanigan's first outing as leader reflects, above all, his musical maturity. Elegant and technically assured, Flanigan's love of melody shines through on a polished set divided equally between striking original compositions and familiar jazz standards. 

Both classically and jazz trained, Flanigan's hybridity draws from Dimitri Shostakovich and, more overtly, Brad Mehldau's rhythmic and melodic bag. These dual influences are suggested on the opener "The Masterplan," with bassist Neil O'Loghlen and drummer Stephen Davis buoying Flanigan's fluid soloing. This is Flanigan's working trio and it shows in the tight yet flexible interplay. Flanigan and Davis have played every weekend for several years at Bert's Jazz Bar in Belfast—the only nightly jazz venue in Ireland—and their chemistry is keenly felt throughout. Best known as one third of improvising trio Bourne Davis Kane, Davis plays in a more relaxed and straight-ahead vein here, sympathetic to Flanigan's generally light touch, and—notably on the lively "Elevate"—to the pianist's changes of gear. 

The pianist is at his most persuasive on "Stars Fell on Alabama," the much-covered Frank Perkins/Mitchell Parish standard from 1934; O'Loghlen maintains a leisurely groove beneath Flanigan's animated yet essentially lyrical course, while Davis switches from sticks to brushes when the bassist steps up with a delightfully earthy, sonorous solo. A sensitive balladeer, Flanigan's economy illuminates the beauty of Dublin singer-songwriter Edel Meade's aching ballad "Love Lost." Similarly, brushes and spacious bass lines underpin Glen Miller's "Midnight Serenade," though it's when Flanigan deviates from the familiar melody in an unaccompanied outro that he really begins to command attention. 

This is especially true of the solo piano rendition of the Frederick Loewe/Alan Jay Lerner classic "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face"; liberated from his rhythm section, Flanigan's two-handed dynamics are employed to greater effect here than at any other time on the album. Perhaps Flanigan shows just a little too much respect towards the standards for at times the interpretations lack a little emotional tension. More satisfying in general are the original compositions, which is arguably where Flanigan's real strength lies. Tunes like the elegant yet fiery "Elevate," the boppish throwback "Blues for You" and the epic, melodically striking title track-with Davis stoking Flanigan's engine—all bristle with energy and collective conviction. More of such fare wouldn't have gone amiss. 

On balance, however, this is an impressive first outing from a young pianist of undoubted talent just beginning to establish himself as a leader in his own right. Where the next point of note will be on Flanigan's journey remains to be seen, but there's enough here to suggest that if he gets the bit between the teeth then it will be worth waiting for.

01. The Masterplan
02. Stars Fell on Alabama
03. Love Lost
04. Elevate
05. I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face
06. Point of Departure
07. Moonlight Serenade
08. Blues for Later

Scott Flanigan: piano
Neil O’Loghlen: bass
Stephen Davis: drums


sábado, 21 de noviembre de 2015

Erik Söderlind - In the Moment (2015)

An innovator rooted in tradition. Guitarist and composer Erik Söderlind represents a new generation of young musicians that defines the contemporary Swedish jazz scene. He tours regularly internationally and has played with the likes of Magnus Lindgren, Jojje Wadenius, Nils Landgren, Victoria Tolstoy and Barbara Hendricks and Frank Vignola. Musically he's an innovator rooted in tradition, and his unique style of playing and ability to improvise makes him one of the most charismatic and expressive Swedish jazz guitarists ever. His third ”In the Moment” is out in September 2015.

“I had the vision of creating a wide and big soundscape for many years. I wanted to focus on great, melancholic and cinematographic arrangements. In the first place I was thinking of using strings, but realized that we can arrange big sounds only with grand piano and acoustic guitar. Besides, I have the honor of working with these amazing musicians, who are handpicked to create this musical vision”. Erik Söderlind

01. Escaliers
02. French Connection
03. I Händerna På Livet (feat. Lisa Nil Sson)
04. Rain
05. October Song
06. The Gardener (Eric Alexander)
07. Ciel Bleu
08. Stockholm I April (feat. Svante Thuresson)
09. If You Knew
10. In The Moment

Erik Söderlind, electric and acoustic guitar
Calle Bagge, piano
Dan Berglund, bass
Chris Montgomery, drums

Guest musicians

Eric Alexander, tenor saxophone (on The Gardener)
Lisa Nilsson, vocals (on I händerna på livet)
Svante Thuresson, vocals (on Stockholm i april)
Pål Svenre, mellotron (on October Song) 
Martin Höper, bass (on Stockholm i april) 

Recorded at Atlantis Studio, December 2014
Engineered by Janne Hansson
Mixed by Pål Svenre at Unit 7
Mastered by Thomas Eberger at Stockholm Mastering


Bill Kirchner - An Evening of Indigos (2015) 2 CD

One of the most deeply soulful soprano saxophone stylists in jazz, Bill Kirchner was initially inspired by seeing John Coltrane and Duke Ellington in person when he was an 11-year-old saxophone student. He's gone on to become an influential saxophonist himself, as well as a composer, arranger, and educator of note, and his new live album "An Evening of Indigos" is a highlight of his brilliant career.

Renowned as a renaissance man of jazz—as an influential bandleader, sideman (on all of the saxophones, clarinets, and flutes), composer, arranger, record and radio producer, educator, writer, and editor—Bill Kirchner is also one of jazz’s most deeply soulful soprano saxophone stylists. He plays soprano exclusively on his forthcoming album "An Evening of Indigos," a 2-CD package featuring Kirchner in the intimate company of pianist Carlton Holmes, a veteran of the leader’s now-inactive nonet; Nashville-based bassist and vocalist Jim Ferguson; and longtime colleague Holli Ross on vocals. Jazzheads Records will release the set, Kirchner’s fourth for the New York label, on October 16.

Recorded on October 7, 2014 at a concert in the 200-capacity performance space at New York’s New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where Kirchner has taught for the past 25 years, "An Evening of Indigos" presents the quartet in a set of seven Kirchner compositions and six standards. “The mood at this remarkable concert was indeed indigo but far from monochromatic,” remarks Dan Morgenstern in the package notes. Kirchner also includes his own comments made at the New School that night in the program notes:

“Most concerts are, in a sense, variety shows. The standard idea in programming them is to come up with a multiplicity of tempos and moods, usually building to a climax. In this case, we’re aiming to explore one mood, though in different facets. And to sustain that mood, we’ll refrain from talking to the audience between songs. . . . Just let the music and emotions envelop you.”

From the album opener “Theme for Gregory,” Kirchner’s “simple jazz waltz with some nice chord changes,” through the closing Rodgers & Hart standard “He Was Too Good to Me,” the musicians explore many hues of indigo. Several of Kirchner’s collaborations with lyricist Loonis McGlohon are included, among them “Gentle Voice in the Night” and “I Almost Said Goodbye,” featuring Ross, and “Foolish Little Girl,” with Ferguson on vocals. The vocalists take turns on a medley of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Someone to Light Up My Life” and “This Happy Madness,” both with English lyrics by Kirchner’s late friend Gene Lees. Another vocal medley pairs Bacharach-David’s “Close to You” (previously recorded as an instrumental on Kirchner’s 1999 nonet album "Trance Dance") and Buddy Johnson’s blues ballad “Save Your Love for Me.”

Also performed are Kirchner’s (both words and music) “The Inaudible Language of the Heart,” sung by Ross; his solo piano feature for Holmes, “Since You Asked”; and his musical setting of a poem by William Butler Yeats, “When You Are Old,” sung by Ferguson. The bassist/vocalist and Kirchner duet on Bob Hilliard and David Mann’s “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.”

Kirchner’s concentration on the soprano, his favorite instrument, is not entirely by choice. In 1993 he suffered a major setback when he was diagnosed with a non-malignant but life-threatening tumor in his spinal cord. The tumor was removed after two major surgeries, but he was left with no feeling and only two working fingers in his right hand, a pronounced limp, and chronic pain. Forced to put aside his other reed and woodwind instruments, he gradually taught himself to play a soprano saxophone that had been redesigned and rebuilt to accommodate his disability.
“There’s an economy to it that’s by sheer necessity,” he says of his current soprano style. “It’s said that we’re all stylistically a product of our limitations. I’m as good an example of that as anybody I know.

“It was kind of serendipitous that the only instrument that I can still play is the one I liked playing the most. I had to relearn ways of playing it, but not as much as you might think. I guess I just learned to play with fewer notes. I don’t think that my conception of playing changed all that much. It’s just sparer now, that’s all.”

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1953, Bill Kirchner started playing clarinet at age 7 and took up saxophone in junior high and flute in high school. While majoring in English at Manhattan College in New York in the early ’70s, he studied music privately with saxophonist Lee Konitz and pianist Harold Danko. After college, Kirchner spent five years in Washington, DC, where he played and studied with arranger Mike Crotty and edited transcripts for the Smithsonian Institution’s NEA jazz oral-history project.

Kirchner returned to New York City in 1980 and has remained there ever since. His nonet was active from 1980 to 2001 and recorded five albums for the Sea Breeze, A-Records, and Jazzheads labels. His sideman credits include work with the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Anita O’Day, Mario Bauzá, and Tito Puente. His arrangements have been recorded by Konitz, Dizzy Gillespie, Patti Austin, and the Smithsonian Jazz Repertory Ensemble. He has annotated over 50 projects for Blue Note, Columbia/Legacy, Mosaic, and other labels and was awarded a Grammy for “Best Album Notes” for "Miles Davis and Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings" in 1996. He edited the books "A Miles Davis Reader" in 1997 and "The Oxford Companion to Jazz" in 2000. He produced and wrote four NPR "Jazz Profiles" and hosted 131 "Jazz from the Archives" radio shows for WBGO-FM. And he presently teaches jazz courses at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and New Jersey City University.

“This night is one of the highlights of my career,” says Kirchner of the New School concert. “To have one’s music so sensitively and beautifully performed by Holli, Carlton, and Jim is a composer-arranger’s dream. And the audience was with us all the way.”

Recorded Live at the New School in October 2014

Soprano Saxophone Bill Kirchner
Pianist Carlton Holmes
Bassist/Vocalist Jim Ferguson
Vocalist Holli Ross

CD 1

1. Theme for Gregory
2. The Inaudible Language of the Heart
3. Gentle Voice in the Night
4. Since You Asked
5. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
6. Close to You - Save Your Love for Me

CD 2

1. Foolish Little Girl
2. When You Are Old
3. Someone to Light up My Life - This Happy Madness
4. I Almost Said Goodbye
5. He Was Too Good to Me


viernes, 20 de noviembre de 2015

Gianluca Lusi, Andrea Rea, Reuben Rogers, Gregory Hutchinson - Never Fault Behind the Scenes (2015)

“Never Fault Behind The Scenes” is a quartet music work by Gianluca Lusi who has been involved in a completely original project carried out in cooperation with exceptional musicians. An album that ranges from modern mainstream to free jazz, with intense melodic cues, enhanced by the powerful rhythmic contribution of the two stars Reuben Rogers and Gregory Hutchinson. This album represents the consecration of the italian saxophonist and his musical style.

Gianluca Lusi, multi-sax player and composer has worked with several international artists: Danilo Rea, Maurizio Giammarco, Bill Carrothers, Massimo Moriconi, Massimo Manzi, Giovanni Amato, Riccardo Fassi, Pino Jodice, Joel Holmes, Gianluigi Goglia, Peter Epstein, Larry Panella, Russell Welch, Andy Gravish, Köbberling Heinrich, Thomas Siffling, Pietro Iodice, Luigi Masciari, Denise King, Olivier Hutman. Among some of his works: “Rune” (Splasch Records), the duo “Loose” alongside Joel Holmes (Tosky Records) and “What’s New” (Caligola Records).

Andrea Rea, pianist born in 1983, he collaborates with musicians such as Dado Moroni, Kenny Barron, George Cables, Barry Harris, Maurizio Giammarco, Alessandro Gwis, Julian Oliver Mazzariello. Takes part in many contests, winning many of them including: “Baronissi Jazz”, “Tuscia in Jazz” and even “Piacenza Jazz” and “Jazz no Tea Factory”. In 2007 he’s the winner of the prestigious international award “Massimo Urbani” PIMU 11. In 2010 he produced “White Room” and in 2014 “Arioso” (Abeat Records), currently playing in Stefano DI Battista’s quartet.

Reuben Rogers born November 15, 1974, and raised in the Virgin Islands, in his formative years, Rogers, began with the clarinet, experimented with the piano, drums and guitar, but found his true passion in the bass. Rogers’ musical education is punctuated by numerous outstanding student awards, most notably, a scholarship endowed by the Fish Middleton Jazz Society, also he earned his Bachelor of Music in 1997 from Berklee College of Music. He has enjoyed the opportunity of intense musical relationships with jazz artists of world-renown, such as Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, Marcus Roberts, Nicholas Payton, Mulgrew Miller, Jackie McLean, Charles Lloyd and Dianne Reeves. He has toured extensively all over the globe, and has recorded on over 70 CDs. Greg Hutchinson, born in Brooklyn, Jazz Magazine describes him as “the drummer of his generation” and indeed,

Gregory Hutchinson is one of the most highly respected musicians of our time. His mastery of timing and expression of rhythms is at the core of his personal style. He quickly became known as a young phenom in the jazz community sharing the stage with the likes of not only Rodney, but Betty Carter, and Ray Brown, while still in his early twenties. He collaborates with some of the great orginators of jazz music: Dianne Reeves, Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, Roy Hargrove, Charles Lloyd, Diana Krall, Harry Connick Jr, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride and Maria Schneider as well as many other’s.

1. October 10th (G.Lusi)
2. Out Of My Lips (G.Lusi)
3. I Remember Three Things (G.Lusi)
4. Bavin (G.Lusi)
5. Isn’t A New Day? (G.Lusi)
6. Another Note (G.Lusi)
7. One for Sylvie (G.Lusi)
8. Mother (G.Lusi)
9. Never Fault Behind The Scenes (G.Lusi)

Gianluca Lusi (saxes)
Andrea Rea (piano)
Reuben Rogers (double bass)
Gregory Hutchinson (drums)


Joe Gordon Last Sessions - Lookin' Good! + Awakening!! (2 Lps On 1 Cd) 2015

Born in Boston, Mass. in 1928, trumpeter Joe Gordon was one of the two local musicians—Dick Twardzik was the other—with whom Bird said he enjoyed playing.. On the East coast, he worked with such notables as Parker, Monk, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie and Herb Pomeroy, recording his first album as leader in 1954. Facing into a musically brilliant career, but with a problem-filled and heroin-plagued personal life, in 1958 he moved to Los Angeles, where he soon became a valued member of the West Coast jazz scene,working as a sideman and joining Shelly Manne for about two years. He also toured the coast with Thelonious Monk.

Despite his problems, Gordon was well-liked and respected. He had a clean, crisp attack with a bright, brassy sound and a singing quality that made his solos flow easily. His July 1961 album “Looking’ Good!” reflects these considerable virtues and, in addition, introduced the hard-toned, fervid alto sax of Jimmy Woods.

The other sides—with Woods’ group from his album “Awakening!”—were recorded in September that year. They were the last he made before his untimely death. According to his fellow musicians, “he was playing better than ever” when his tiny apartment caught fire and he received severethird-degree burns. He died at Santa Monica Hospital, on November 4, 1963, aged just 35. Read More...


01. Terra Firma Irma 7:43
02. A Song for Richard 5:02
03. Non-Viennese Waltz Blues 4:12
04. You’re the Only Girl 
in the Next World for Me 4:02
05. Co-op Blues 5:57
06. Mariana 4:10
07. Heleen 4:02
08. Diminishing 5:06
09. Anticipation 4:01
10. Love for Sale 6:36
11. A New Twist 3:37
12. Awakening 4:05
13. Circus 4:21

Compositions by Joe Gordon (#1-18), Cole Porter (#10), Jimmy Woods (#9,11,12) and Louis Alter & Sidney Keith Russell (#13)


Tracks #1-8, from the Joe Gordon album 
“Lookin’ Good!” (Contemporary S7597)

Tracks #9-13, from the Jimmy Woods album 
“Awakening!!” (Contemporary S7605)

Personnel on "Lookin' Good!"

Joe Gordon, trumpet, Jimmy Woods, alto sax; Dick Whittington, piano; Jimmy Bond, bass; Milt Turner, drums.

Recorded at Contemporary’s Studio, Los Angeles, July 11,12 & 18, 1961

Personnel on "Awakening!!"

Joe Gordon, trumpet (#9,10); Martin Banks (#10,11,12), trumpet; Jimmy Woods, alto sax; Amos Trice, piano; Jimmy Bond, bass; Milt Turner, drums.

Recorded at Contemporary’s Studio, Los Angeles, September 13, 1961

Original recordings produced by Lester Koenig
Sound engineer: Roy DuNann 
Cover photograph by Roger Marshutz

This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol

Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered

-Lookin' Good!

"Joe Gordon did not live long, only making it to 35. His second of two recordings as a leader (originally released by Contemporary) finds him on the verge of leading his own group. Gordon wrote all eight of the selections and is joined by adventurous but obscure altoist Jimmy Woods, pianist Dick Whittington, bassist Jimmy Bond, and drummer Milt Turner. Although the solos are generally more memorable than the tunes, this is an excellent effort that hints at what might have been had Joe Gordon lived."


"Altoist Jimmy Woods, whose style fell between hard bop and the avant-garde, only recorded two albums as a leader; this reissue brings back his first. The backup musicians include Joe Gordon or Martin Banks on trumpet, Amos Trice or Dick Whittington on piano, Jimmy Bond or Gary Peacock on bass, and drummer Milt Turner, but Woods is by far the most advanced musician. On six of his originals, an obscurity, and "Love for Sale," Jimmy Woods' original sound and passionate, chance-taking style make one wonder why he was never able to really make it; his music has not really dated."

Both by Scott Yanow -All Music Guide