lunes, 30 de marzo de 2015









jueves, 26 de marzo de 2015

Marc Cary - Rhodes Ahead Vol. 2

Label: Motema
Source: The Guardian
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆  

Though American keyboardist Marc Cary uses a thoroughly contemporary arsenal of hip-hop beats, Fender Rhodes and Hammond tones, repeating loops and hi-tech effects, the jazz roots of his music are always plain. As his recent work  has shown, the result is a bracing blend of old and newsteered by a strong musical character, despite the laidback cool of much of the delivery. This set expands Cary’s regular keys/bass/tabla trio into a bigger world-jazz lineup including a djembe hand drummer, and assorted percussion, brass, and strings. Harold Mabern’s bebop theme Beehive takes off from a thumping low-end Rhodes hook, and develops as a skimming groove that both Cary and trumpeter Igmar Thomas adroitly skip and skid over. 7th Avenue North has a trancelike quality in its repeating lefthand vamp answered by a thin, reedy-toned embellishment; Astral Flight features quick hip-hop drumming against grunting electric-bass prods; African Market mingles a brightly playful melody with the eerily strangled sound of a vocoder, Alan Palmer’s funk anthem You Can’t Stop Us Now languidly unfolds over the remorseless smack of Terreon Gully’s backbeat. Cary’s is an unusual music of spacey, ambient sounds, pumping urban heartbeats, world-music and orthodox jazz combined, and it’s a pretty engaging one.

1. Prelude to the Hit 00:37
2. Beehive 05:24
3. 7th Avenue North 04:13
4. Essaouira Walks 06:45
5. Astral Flight 17 06:45
6. A frican Market 06:14
7. For Hermeto 02:55
8. Spices and Mystics 05:50
9. Below the Equator 06:53
10.You Can't Stop Us Now 05:36
11.The Alchemist's Notes 06:34

Marc Cary
Terreon Gully
Tarus Mateen 

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

Eliane Elias - Made in Brazil (2015)

Label: Concord Music
Source: Bop-N-Jazz
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 The music of Brazil extends far past the samba with a musical diversity as deep and rich as their citizens. Eliane Elias returned to her country of origin and recruited some of Brazil's finest musicians for a slightly more contemporary interpretation of this most influential music. While there is nothing lacking in authenticity, the sound is meticulously crafted and built around  improvisational music with an occasional classical flair. Six originals confirm her astounding compositional skill while her vocal style is beyond reproach.

This music with one foot in the past but with both eyes on the future with guests and band members including Mark Kibble from Take 6, daughter Amanda Brecker and Marcus Teixeira. Made In Brazil ignites a slow romantic burn with tunes such as "Incendiano" and "Driving Ambition" thanks to the stellar contributions from Kibble. Another incredible highlight includes Amanda Brecker's appearance on the buoyant "Some Enchanted Place."

Elias produces the release along with the help of critically acclaimed Steve Rodby and Marc Johnson. A true collaborative effort, it is the ability to nuance deceptively subtle sounds and textures that is the key to both the artistic brilliance of Elias and perhaps the best release of the year with Made In Brazil. Flawless.  Brent Black

Aquas de Marco
Some Enchanted Place
Este Seu Olhar / Promessas
Driving Ambition
A Sorte do Amor
No Tabuleiro de Baiana

Eliane Elias (piano)
Marc Johnson (bass)
Steve Rodby (bass)
Rubens de La Corte (guitare)
Rafael Barata (percussions)
Marl Kibble (vocals)
Amanda Becker (vocals)
Marcus Teixeira (vocals)

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

Errol Rackipov Group - Pictures from a train window (2015)

Label: First Orbit Sounds
Source: Allaboutjazz
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   

There's a lot going on here: all manner of different musical influences and moods. Errol Rackipov (vibes and marimba), hails originally from Bulgaria. In his sleeve note, he likens life to a train ride on which we glimpse reflections of our past, present and future out of the window.

The wistful, yet driving title song—probably Rackipov's best know composition to date—refers to this musically, a complex, Bulgarian emigré version of Jimmy Giuffre's classic "Train And The River."

Rackipov says, "The moods, feelings and emotions captured in this album started their journey a long time ago." He hopes the listener will enjoy the ride.

Rackipov studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston under—among others—Gary Burton. He is principal percussionist with the Miami Symphony Orchestra.

His group includes fellow Bulgarian ex-pats Hristo Vitchev (guitar) and Lubomir Gospodinov (reeds). All but one of the nine songs are Rackipov originals.

"Mad Djore" is reminiscent of some of the things McCoy Tyner did post-John Coltrane. Based on a percussive theme, with pianist Martin Bejerano to the fore, its moods change from busy to relaxed and back again.

"Far Away From Here, A Long Time Ago," is a meditation on childhood in Bulgaria; wistful and melancholic, featuring melodic piano.

"Jumble" has an Arabian feel. It starts with a kind of cacophonous fanfare, almost stops then gets going again with Bejerano in command until Rackipov takes over on vibes. He's followed by Gospodinov before the band bows out with another cacophonous fanfare.

There's that McCoy Tyner feel to the intro of "Dill Man." Things drift, albeit interestingly, before getting knitted together in the finale.

"Folk Dance" and "Wild River" are both great fun, mixing echoes of Bulgaria with Rackipov's take on America's wide open spaces. Bejerano gets quite low down and funky on occasion.

The journey ends with the lovely, Latin-tinged "Once A Mother Had A Child," featuring Gospodinov on clarinet, underpinned by the leader's vibes. Remember the name Dimitar Ianev. If there's any justice, he's written a song destined to become a standard.   Chris Mosey

Mad Djore
Far Away From Here, A Long Time Ago
Dill Man
Folk Dance
Wild River
Pictures From A Train Window
The Other (Wrong) Way
Once A Mother Had A Child

Errol Rackipov: vibraphone, marimba, tupan
Hristo Vitchev: guitar
Lubomir Gospodinov: reeds
Martin Bejerano: piano
Josh Allen: bass
Rodolfo Zuniga: drums

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

martes, 24 de marzo de 2015

Joey Calderazzo - Going Home (2015)

Label & Source: Sunnyside
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆  

Finding opportunities for growth and development are important aspects in the process of evolving as a creative musician. Discovering and tackling new challenges helps to keep music-making a fresh and exciting occupation for many, including pianist Joey Calderazzo, who found his latest challenge in the form of the piano trio.

Since the beginning of his illustrious career, Calderazzo has mainly played in quartets led by remarkable saxophonists, namely Michael Brecker and Branford Marsalis. As a musician and composer, the pianist had become comfortable in this format, developing an intensity in his playing and predilections in his composing that those ensemble’s sizes demanded.

Calderazzo saw the establishment of his trio as a means to strengthen his craft by working on material and musical concepts that he would not ordinarily work on. He’s approaching things with a fresh and hard-won perspective, one informed by the peace of his North Carolina home for the past decade, years spent gigging and recording around the world, an unquenchable desire to just get better, and a keen awareness of what sort of project will get him there.

In light of the progress he has made in the trio format, Calderazzo views his new recording, Going Home (Sunnyside) as a snapshot of a work in progress, an experiment that continues to progress and wield an abundance of intriguing results. The recording provided an opportunity for Calderazzo to step away from his natural inclinations and approach the music in a new exciting way. He no longer felt the need to prove anything at the piano. He describes shedding both competitiveness with his contemporaries and a proclivity to sound like his idols. He simply doesn’t want to get in his own way — and the musical results are outstanding.

While a number of musicians have been featured in his trio, Calderazzo employed two musicians this time around whose contrasting strengths pushed the ensemble into fascinating new areas. Bassist Orlando Le Fleming was the instigator, continually challenging the group with his harmonic drive. Drummer Adam Cruz was a perfect foil as his controlled intensity and beautiful tone helped to refine the group’s musicality.

The music generated by the ensemble showed the musicians’ desire to balance freedom and responsibility. To stimulate this, Calderazzo intentionally wrote pieces and arranged two standards without too much structure, which created a focus on improvisation and group interplay, features that do not ordinarily stand out in studio recordings. The originals were generally sketches, moods or vibes, which provided a starting point for the ensemble’s explorations.

The program begins with “Manifold,” a ruminative piece based on twelve-tone composing techniques, utilized most notably in the bass notes being a part of the tone row, thus creating an ambiguous harmony allowing melodic freedom for the right hand. The distinctive Branford Marsalis is featured on “I Never Knew,” a ballad Calderazzo had begun for Marsalis’ soprano but was played on tenor, making it the first time Marsalis had played tenor on one of Calderazzo’s ballads. “Why Me?” is an exploratory, re-harmonized take on the Marks and Simons classic “All of Me,” which is built on a 6/8 over 4/4 pulse allowing Calderazzo to bounce freely over the time.

Perkins and Parish’s “Stars Fell on Alabama” is performed by the trio here for the first time, with Calderazzo focusing on playing melancholy melodic lines through the harmony, rather than focusing on every change of chord. One of Calderazzo’s older pieces, “Legend,” is performed open allowing the amount of information the tune provides to spur on an intriguing, in-the-moment performance. Originally presented on his duo recording with Marsalis from 2011, the spirited “One Way” is revisited here with an offbeat, New Orleans-oriented rhythmic swagger.

Having played it regularly in the past four years, Calderazzo reinvestigates one of his favorite standards, Young and Washington’s “My Foolish Heart,” in a somber, introspective mood. Written for his former bandleader, “Mike’s Song” is a piece that Michael Brecker would have destroyed and the trio’s performance does its best to live up to the saxophone legend’s tremendous musical spirit. “Going Home” closes the recording with an incredibly heartfelt and honest piece written in memory of someone who passed away too soon.

The fact that Joey Calderazzo views his recent performances and recordings with a trio as an experiment should highlight the fact that he wants to continue to hone his craft and progress as a musician. Going Home is a tremendous document of his musical process and a milestone of his progress, synthesizing his decades of creativity into something new, sublime, and supremely centered as a composer, improviser and bandleader.

Going Home - 5:31
Manifold - 7:15
I Never Knew - 7:22
Why Me? - 4:22
Stars Fell On Alabama - 6:47
Legend - 10:08
One Way - 6:11
My Foolish Heart - 7:23
Mike\'s Song - 8:25

Joey Calderazzo - piano
Orlando Le Fleming - bass
Adam Cruz - drums
Branford Marsalis - tenor saxophone #2

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

Robben Ford - Into the sun (2015)

Label: Mascot Music
Source: Robben Ford
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆    

Guitar virtuoso Robben Ford’s forthcoming new album Into The Sun (Mascot Label Group) shines a bright light on his artful, contemporary songwriting and the stunning playing that’s made him a favorite foil of Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, George Harrison and other legends.
The five-time Grammy nominee describes the 11-song set as “one of the top recordings I’ve ever done” — a staggering observation considering his extensive discography, which embraces more than 35 albums under his own name and with his various bands. There’s also Ford’s session and sideman work, which includes hundreds of concert appearances and albums by Bonnie Raitt, Barbara Streisand, Charlie Musselwhite, KISS, Ruthie Foster, Jimmy Witherspoon and Rickie Lee Jones.
Into The Sun, which follows last year’s critically acclaimed A Day In Nashville and 2013’s Bringing It Back Home, explores the breadth of Ford’s sophisticated, visionary writing and playing, creating a new chapter in his brilliant musical history. The album features a coterie of guests: Allman Brothers guitarist and Gov’t Mule frontman Warren Haynes on “High Heels And Throwing Things,” slide guitar guru Sonny Landreth on “So Long 4 U,” Americana and blues icon Keb’ Mo’ and pedal steel wizard Robert Randolph on “Justified,” vocal sensation ZZ Ward on “Breath Of Me,” and gritty Southern rock newcomer Tyler Bryant on “Stone Cold Heaven.” Niko Bolas, whose credits include Neil Young, John Mayer and Keith Richards, engineered.
“The album is really upbeat,” Ford relates. “It has a positive vibe to it — a good time feel. There are a lot of different rhythms and colors and the way the instruments are used is really different on this. It makes me very happy to have something so diverse.”
Although Ford’s recent releases have been hailed as returns to his musical roots — which go back to his discovery of blues as a teenager in the 1960s – Into The Sun is a clear departure, using tradition as a springboard to incorporate his timeless vocabulary of jazz, pop, blues and rock into a modern framework for his poetic lyrics and the most graceful, emotionally nuanced and melodic vocal performances of his career.
“This album is obviously of these times,” Ford says. “And the rule during the recording process was to have no lid on things. I’ve worked very hard to master my craft as a musician and a songwriter, but other than relying on my strengths in those areas, I made sure there was room for new ideas and everything my collaborators brought to the music. When you’re open to different concepts and approaches, the most beautiful things can happen.”  Read more...

1. Rose Of Sharon
2. Day Of The Planets
3. Howlin’ At The Moon
4. Rainbow Cover
5. Justified (with Keb’ Mo’ & Robert Randolph)
6. Breath Of Me (with ZZ Ward)
7. High Heels And Throwing Things (with Warren Haynes)
8. Cause Of War
9. So Long 4 U (with Sonny Landreth)
10. Same Train
11. Stone Cold Heaven (with Tyler Bryant)

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

lunes, 23 de marzo de 2015







viernes, 20 de marzo de 2015

Matteo Pastorino Quartet - V (2014)

Source: Jazz Halo
Self Released
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   

Absilone, Socadisc
A l'époque du New Orleans et du swing, la clarinette était en première ligne, de Johnny Dodds ou Barney Bigard à Benny Goodman. Avec le bop, elle fut plus ou moins rangée au placard pour connaître un nouvel essor avec Eric Dolphy et la clarinette basse. Mais la plupart du temps, elle est jouée maintenant par des polyinstrumentistes qui sont également saxophonistes (Don Byron, Michel Portal, Louis Sclavis, Laurent Dehors, Gianluigi Trovesi). Rares sont les musiciens contemporains qui sont clarinettistes à part entière: Théo Jorgensmann dans la mouvance free, Gabriele Mirabassi avec un attrait pour la musique traditionnelle.
Aussi découvrir un jeune musicien qui se dédie pleinement à la clarinette, avec un tel bagage technique, tient de l'événement. Matteo Pastorino est né en Sardaigne en 1989 et a abordé la musique en autodidacte, dès l'âge de 13 ans. Il s'est rapidement tourné vers le jazz sous l'influence de son père contrebassiste et il prend ses premières vraies leçons avec Paolo Fresu, lors des Séminaires de Nuoro Jazz, l'équivalent sarde des workshops de Siena Jazz. A 19 ans, il débarque à Paris et rejoint le Conservatoire avec des professeurs saxophonistes comme Jean-Charles Richard et Pierre Bertrand (le leader du Paris Jazz Big Band). En 2009, grâce au Siena Jazz, il étudie avec Kenny Werner et obtient une bourse pour suivre des cours avec Chris Potter. Invité par différents festivals français (Tours, Orléans) et italiens (Sienne, Berchidda, le festival organisé par Paolo Fresu dans sa ville natale), il remporte plusieurs prix "Jeune Talent" et notamment le Prix Selmer du Meilleur Soliste, ce qui lui vaut d'être sponsorisé par la célèbre marque d'instruments à anche.
A côté de son quartet "français" avec lequel il vient d'enregistrer son premier disque, on peut l'entendre au sein du Fourth Stream Ensemble de Nicola Andrioli (le pianiste de Philip Catherine), Playground Four avec le jeune pianiste brugeois Hendrik Lazure et il s'est produit, en première partie du festival Jazz!Brugge, dans le projet Nestor Martin plays Mingus, aux côtés de la chanteuse Francesca Palamidessi. Mais c'est surtout avec son propre quartet qu'il s'est révélé: il vient de terminer une tournée qui l'a emmené du Club Pelzer à Liège au Sunside parisien, en passant par les Trinitaires de Metz.
A ses côtés, une jeune rythmique française de talent. Au piano, Matthieu Roffé qui a poursuivi ses études au Conservatoire de Metz, avec Mario Stantchev, puis à Paris avec Emil Spanyi (le pianiste de Christophe Monniot), grâce à qui il a enseigné à Lausanne. Il a fait partie du quartet MTX du saxophoniste Matthieu Durmarque, formé le Roffé Orchestra, un ensemble de 11 musiciens dont il signe les arrangements dans la lignée de Gil Evans et rejoint Matteo Pastorino dès 2010. A la contrebasse, Bertrand Beruard, élève de Gildas Boclé et Yves Rousseau au Conservatoire de Paris et, à la batterie, Jean-Baptiste Pinet, membre du quartet MTX comme Roffé.
Au répertoire de ce premier album, rien que des compostions originales. Cinq compositions de Matteo Pastorino et trois de Matthieu Roffé: quelques ballades lyriques comme "A mio fratello", un mid tempo ("Cobra") et, principalement, de belles et longues compositions basées sur de subits changements de rythme et de climat ("Trois coups de marteau", "Bushida", "Yggdrasil", "Ping Pong") pour se terminer, avec un clin d'oeil au Count, sur le rythme sautillant de Count in heart. Tout au long de l'album, Matteo fait preuve d'une parfaite maîtrise dans tous les registres, de la sonorité la plus suave ("A mi fratello") aux accents les plus graves ("Cobra"), et toujours avec une extrême volubilité. Sur "Eleventh Floor", la sonorité ténébreuse de la clarinette basse se marie avec l'archet de la contrebasse, en total contraste avec le déferlement du piano et de la batterie: on pourrait alors évoquer Eric Dolphy quand il jouait avec John Coltrane, Mc CoyTyner et Elvin Jones.
En parfaite connivence avec une rythmique très souvent mise en évidence, il survole toute une partie de l'histoire du jazz pour en montrer la totale contemporanéité. Une vraie découverte.
Claude Loxhay

1 A mio fratello
2 Trois coups de marteau
3 Bushido    
4 Eleventh Floor
5 Yggdrasil    
6 Ping Pong    
7 Cobra (Bass Intro)
8 Cobra    
9 Count in Heart

Matteo Pastorino – clarinet, bass clarinet, composition
Matthieu Roffè – piano, composition
Bertrand Beruard – double bass
Jean Baptiste Pinet – drums

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -

jueves, 19 de marzo de 2015

Max Frankl - Fernweh (2015)

Source: Bandcamp
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆    

"It is always gratifying to discover a new voice in jazz. Of course, for jazz fans throughout Germany, Max Frankl is hardly a new voice at all. His previous four releases -- 2005’s Frankzone, 2008’s Sturmvogel, 2011’s Francis Drake: Stories and 2012’s Home -- earned critical acclaim while establishing Frankl as a rising star in Germany (he was named “Best Guitarist“ in the 2012 ECHO JAZZ Awards and was a nominee for the 2014 German Music Composers Award). But to these Stateside ears, Fernweh is an auspicious introduction to a gifted guitarist-composer worthy of wider recognition.
Fueled by the highly interactive rhythm tandem of bassist Dominique Girod and drummer Claudio Strueby and bolstered by the complementary flights of saxophonist-clarinetist Reto Suhner, Frankl showcases his considerable fretboard facility and improvisational daring on this outstanding release. And while he may be steeped in the jazz tradition (he grew up listening to his father’s Chet Baker and Miles Davis records, had Charlie Parker posters on his bedroom wall and ended up playing with such inveterate swingers as saxophonists Lee Konitz, Benny Golson and Emil Mangelsdorff), he is not above dealing with dissonance, audacious rock and funk beats or stomping on a fuzz box now and then. In that regard, Frankl is part of the modernist six-string lineage that begins with early inspirations like John Scofield, Mike Stern and Pat Metheny and continues with the next generation of guitarists who followed in their wake, including Wolfgang Muthspiel, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Ben Monder (all three of whom Max studied with at different points in his musical development).

“During the last couple of years I worked on my sound using different effects like reverb, tape delays, EQs and some loop units,” says the 32-year-old guitarist from Weilheim in the south of Bavaria. “From a musical point of view I think it is very important to be able to improvise with all the possibilities that a guitar player has, sound-wise. I want to be able to find new territory. That`s why I constantly work on my sound and why I always strive to add new colors to it.”
Frankl paints with a rainbow of colors on Fernweh, his fifth release as a leader. Shifting from clean-toned electric to steel string acoustic, distortion-toned electric and sublime nylon string acoustic, he conjures up tones and textures that perfectly suit the varying moods of the thoughtful compositions heard on this ambitious outing.
Rather than coming out of the gate with chops ablaze on the opening track -- a natural tendency for one with so much facility -- Max instead takes a far more zen-like approach on the ruminative “Zurich” by gently arpeggiating in classically-trained fashion on his steel string acoustic for a full two-and-a-half minutes before the band enters. With Suhner’s alto clarinet setting a melancholy tone against a slow-grooving dirge, Frankl then takes his time before offering a warm, lyrical improvisation before the piece builds to a stirring crescendo.

The urgently swinging “Aufbrechen” places Max firmly in the modernist camp as his tight unisons on the frontline with Suhner’s alto sax recall the indelible hookup between Scofield and Joe Lovano, Stern and Bob Berg (or more recently Bob Franchescini) or Rosenwinkel and Mark Turner. “Scofield`s Meant to Be was one of the albums I listened to over and over again,” Max recalls. “The sound and flexibility they have in their piano-less quartet is a big influence on my playing and writing. Mike Stern is also one of my all time heroes. His Upside Downside was one of the first CDs I bought. The unison energy he establishes with Bob Berg on that album is overwhelming.” Suhner contributes a potent alto solo on this surging number which builds to a dissonant peak before Frankl kicks on the distortion pedal and unleashes with a vengeance. One can also hear the influence of Monder in the warm, slightly distorted guitar tone and odd intervallic lines in his intense solo. At around the 5:30 mark, the rhythmic pulse drops out as Max and Reto engage in a delicate contrapuntal dance. Frankl then underscores Suhner’s alto playing with some chordal swells before switching to nylon string acoustic arpeggios to conclude the suite-like piece on a soothing note.
Says the guitarist of his rare chemistry with his frontline partner, “I had heard of Reto`s playing a lot when I moved to Basel, Switzerland, to study with Wolfgang Muthspiel. Everybody was full of praise for his sound and his ideas, saying that he might be the most original voice in Switzerland. And when first played together in 2009 in the Zurich Jazz Orchestra I was immediately impressed by one beautiful long solo he played on Thad Jones’ tune ‘Groove Merchant.’ And during the set I thought to myself, ‘That`s my man for a new group!’”

The two would eventually form a band, play their first gig and forge an immediate chemistry together. “We talked a lot about the ideas we wanted to express in our music,” Max recalls. “We both liked a warm sound on our instruments and loved playing in unison. So we worked a lot on the interplay, providing a vivid harmonic environment and at the same time being able to suggest melodic ideas so that every solo is an open field for communication, in both directions.”
That quality establishes the playing field throughout Fernweh, whether it’s on Suhner’s quirky “Copy/Paste,” which has Frankl providing warm, bossa nova styled comping on nylon string acoustic beneath Reto’s soprano work, or on the saxophonist’s mysterious “‘80s,” which travels from challenging, Zappa-esque unison lines on the head to a dreamy rubato interlude that utilizes backwards guitar effects before returning to the angular, chops-busting theme.
Frankl’s compelling “Schweben” makes dramatic use of space while conveying a sense of place. As he explains, “‘Schweben’ means to hover. This tune is also influenced by the feeling of an overnight transatlantic flight, where my thoughts and dreams floated while I was listening to Aaron Parks’ ECM-debut Arborescence.” Suhner’s alto clarinet blends beautifully on this affecting number which is underscored by Strueby’s gently shuffling brushwork and anchored by Girod’s resounding bass tones.

Suhner’s “Second Thoughts” is another prime example of sax and guitar locking in on some impossibly tight unison lines on the complex head before Frankl launches into an extended distortion-laced barrage that is brimming with the sound of surprise. Girod’s freewheeling contrapuntal bass lines are particular effective here in tandem with Strueby’s conversational approach to the kit, adding to the open-ended vibe of this provocative piece.
They conclude on a triumphantly swinging note with Frankl’s “Fort Greene,” a tune written about a former place of residence in Brooklyn. As he explains, “In 2013, during the time that I took lessons with Ben Monder in New York, I spent two months apartment-sitting in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn for the writer Rafi Zabor. When he returned, I found a place to live on Lafayette and Washington Avenue. Fort Greene Park is only a few blocks away. I listened to a lot of music while walking or running through the park and also experienced the turn of the seasons there, from humid summer to beautiful fall to the coldness of winter. Lots of good memories there, so I wanted to dedicate a piece to all these feelings.”

Suhner soars on soprano sax on this exhilarating closer set in 7/4 time. A little past the midway point, the tune takes a radical shift in direction as Suhner switches to alto clarinet and Strueby lays down a serious funk beat. Frankl naturally digs into this deep groove and wails with Sco-like authority, and just a touch of Brooklyn swagger.
As for the album title itself, which translates into “wanderlust,” the accomplished guitarist-composer says, “It describes my feeling that I want to dedicate the next ten years of my life to playing, exploring and living in New York. Over the course of the last ten years I’ve studied and lived in five different European cities (Munich, Amsterdam, Basel, Lucerne, Zurich), have played lots of gigs and have gained great public acclaim for my work. But I always knew that I wanted to move to NYC, that was where my heart wanted to go. Now that I’ve spent six months there I can say that there`s so much that draws me to the Big Apple -- the unbelievable level of high musicianship, the way that rhythm sections play, the way how the tradition of jazz is honored. Also the kindness and how humble even the greatest musicians treat their audiences and fellow musicians. The groove of the city, the kindness of the New Yorkers, the living room sessions in Brooklyn. So, this title marks the starting point for all of this.”
Stay tuned to see where Max’s journey takes him from here". -- Bill Milkowski

1.Zurich 06:14
2.Aufbrechen 08:59
3.Copy/Paste 04:04
4.80's 05:53
5.Schweben 04:50
6.Second Thoughts 04:31
7.Fort Greene Park 06:42 

Max Frankl - Gitarre
Reto Suhner - Altsaxofon
Dominique Girod - Bass
Claudio Strüby - Schlagzeug

"Master your instrument, master the music 

& then forget all that & just play."

 - Charlie Parker -

miércoles, 18 de marzo de 2015

Steve Wilson & Wilsonian's Grain - Live in New York: The Vanguard Sessions (2015)

Source: Blog Critics
Label: Random Acts Records
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   

"Old Socks, new shoes".
This is how sax master Steve Wilson describes the origins of Wilsonian’s Grain, the ensemble of old friends formed back in 2008. He was interested in revisiting some of his earlier work that he felt could use some further exploration, he explains, with what he calls “a new band of old friends. It’s like putting on old socks with new shoes.” While I’m not quite sure I buy the analogy, I am quite sure I buy the music. That is if the quartet’s debut album, a live set recorded last May at New York’s legendary Village Vanguard, is any indication of what they are capable of. Forgive me but, I’m tempted to say the shoes fit, and resisting temptation was never my strong point.
Steve Wilson & Wilsonian’s Grain Live in New York: The Vanguard Sessions, set for release in March, has Wilson heading up a talented crew of inventive musicians including pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and drummer Bill Stewart in a seven-track bop attack built atop the musical foundation laid down by the giants of the past. Wilson’s “old shoes” can stand with the best. Listen to Evans’ piano on his original composition “Spot It You Got It.” Listen to Stewart’s killer solo work on Joe Chamber’s “Patterns” which closes the album. Listen to Okegwo on Wilson’s “Perry Street.” They do great solo work throughout, but when they work together, they shine.
Thelonious Monk’s “Well You Needn’t” makes for a powerful opening number and sets the tone for the rest of the set. Wilson and the Grain take no prisoners. The track opens with the bass, and then the sax takes the theme, while the drums drive the action. It is an explosive performance, with some stunning solo work from Wilson and Evans. Wilson’s original pieces, “Chrysalis” and “Spheresophically” and Migiwa Miyajima’s “If I Were a Wind of Spring” complete the hour-long set.

Well You Needn't – Thelonious Monk
Spot It You Got it - Orrin Evans
Chrysalis – Steve Wilson
Perry street – Steve Wilson
?Spheresophically – Steve Wilson
If I Were a Wind of Spring - Migiwa Miyajima
Patterns - Joe Chambers

 Steve Wilson
Orrin Evans
Ugonna Okegwo
Bill Stewart

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -


lunes, 16 de marzo de 2015

Grayson, Farrugia & Sherlock - Wolf & Hound (2015)

Source: Bandcamp
Label: Eleven Pin Music
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆    

‘Wolf & Hound’ is the new album from jazz trio; ‘Grayson, Farrugia & Sherlock’ and features new original material recorded over 2 dates with musician and engineer, Jake Mason.

The hammond organ jazz trio is a rarity on the Australian musical landscape. Consisting of the classic Hammond B3 organ together with a Leslie cabinet, drums and guitar, it’s an ensemble synonymous with American jazz, gospel and rhythm & blues. Four years ago, these three world class musicians set about reviving the art of the hammond trio in Melbourne, exploring what may be possible with fresh ears and a sense of excitement. What they found was an open sound that gave equal weight to each musician, allowing a freedom not often found in larger ensembles.

With no bass player, the organist can dictate or follow harmonic conversations with flow and ease. The staccato nature of guitar tones punctuate over the organ’s mid range notes, while the drums can wash over the trio, adding rhythm and colour. The compositions shift in time and space, with harmonic and rhythmic ideas that push the envelope of traditional jazz. Some pieces follow a simple sketch while others tip their hat to standard conventions, all the while allowing the improvisations to remain fluid and tactile.

Ben Grayson is no stranger to the organ, or to the Australian musical landscape. His work with Aussie funk pioneers The Bamboos is widely recognised and in recent years has toured with US folk icon Martha Wainwright and New York local Bilal.

Daniel Farrugia is the drummers drummer and has made an impeccable mark on the Australian music scene. He covers a diverse variety of musical styles playing and recording with Missy Higgins, Luke Howard Trio, Julia Stone, Tinpan Orange and The Bamboos.

James Sherlock needs no introduction. He is widely respected amongst the echelon of Australian jazz greats, having performed and recorded with Dale Barlow, Bernie McGann, Barney McAll and Allan Browne. As well as with visiting artists; the great Jeff "Tain" Watts, Jon Riley, Cyrille Aimee and Sheila Jordan.

The album is released on the new Australian imprint for hammond music; Eleven Pin Music.  

1. Interlude 00:47
2. Wolf & Hound 05:55
3. Goldilocks 05:35
4. Chippy 05:14
5. Interlude 2 02:59
6. A Different Land 07:31
7. Inutil Paisagem 04:20
8. Interlude 3 01:42
9. Here Is The Sea 06:17
10.Fools Gold 05:17
11.Finale 01:40

Ben Grayson - Hammond
Daniel Farrugia - drumms
James Sherlock - guitar

"Master your instrument, master the music 

& then forget all that & just play."


 - Charlie Parker -

Albert "Tootie" Heath - Philadelphia Beat (2015)

Label: Sunnyside
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   

One of my favorite recordings from 2013 was the second album by the trio of veteran drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath and relative young guns Ethan Iverson and Ben Street (on piano and bass, respectively). Tootie's Tempo (Sunnyside) turned the spotlight on the percussionist, one of the last great proponents of bop playing; but he's a musician capable of so much more. The trio's first recording was a terrific but loose live session from the New York club Smalls; the second release captured the group melding into a working ensemble, essaying a wide variety of standards drawn from the entirety of jazz history, with Heath given the latitude to explicitly impart his personality in every performance. The results were accessible, effortlessly swinging, and fun—no matter how hoary the chestnut, the drummer brought something modern and hip it.
That quality continues on the trio's even stronger new album, Philadelphia Beat (out Tuesday on, again on Sunnyside). The title refers to Heath's hometown and its strong jazz tradition. The trio recorded the album in Philly, and in the middle of the visit played a local gig; Heath also met with some of his old cohorts at the city's Clef Club, the first black musician's union there. In his liner notes Iverson writes that the Clef Club hang charged the energy and vibe of the recording sessions. While the repertoire is still dominated by jazz classics, the trio branches out a bit: there's a cover of the Gloria Gaynor disco classic "I Will Survive" as well as a surprising, rather spontaneous interpretation of Bach's "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme." Of course, the apple doesn't fall far from the trio, as another selection is John Lewis's "Concorde," a fuguelike classic by the Modern Jazz Quartet which featured Albert's brother Percy on bass (the former worked with the latter a bit when he replaced drummer Connie Kay in the group's final year).
The playing of Iverson and Street is superb throughout, and once again the pianist gets to exert a wonderfully subversive feel on many of the tracks. There's modern harmony and phrasing throughout the exquisitely slow reading of the Eubie Blake staple "Memories of You," building tension and florid embellishment of melody against a fatback drumbeat on "I Will Survive" (a flashback to the early days of the pianist's work in the Bad Plus), and a supremely light touch (a la Lewis) on the Milt Jackson standard "Bag's Groove," which Heath opens with finger cymbals, ("an invitation to dance," in the words of Iverson).
Sometimes I forget about the quiet grace and eloquent swing of jazz—reasons I've loved it for so many years—so it's great when a recording like this turns up and reminds me of that basic, indelible attraction. Philadelphia Beat is one of those rare new albums where everything just feels right, and you can't help but say, "yes!" Below you can hear the trio's take on the Monk gem "Bye-Ya," whom Heath worked with in Philly. Peter Margasak

"Bag's Groove"
"Reets And I"
"I Will Survive"
"Memories Of You"
"Con Alma"
"Wachet Auf"
"Everything Must Change"
"Speak Low"
"Pentatonic Etude"

Albert "Tootie" Heath - drums
Ben Street - bass
Ethan Iverson - piano

"Master your instrument, master the music 
& then forget all that & just play."
 - Charlie Parker -


domingo, 15 de marzo de 2015





de la mano de


Todos los Domingos a las 19:00h. (hora Brasil)


sábado, 14 de marzo de 2015

Bjørn Solli - Aglow (2014)

Source : Fully Altered
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆    

Norwegian Guitarist Bjørn Solli Releases New Album, Aglow: The Lyngør Project Vol.1 (Lyngør Records). Composed on a small island in Southern Norway, Recorded with an All-Star Band in New York.
It all started in 2007 when Bjørn Solli went to visit a friend on an island in the south of Norway. The group of islands is known as Lyngør and the place had a profound effect on the Norwegian guitarist/composer.  Initially it was the sheer beauty of the place that struck him, but he was soon equally enamored with the people.  Solli quickly made many friends on the archipelago and started having annual concerts there, bringing with him musicians from New York, Shanghai and Rome to play on the pier every August.  Out of this grew the Lyngør Jazz Club and in 2012 they commisioned Solli to compose music inspired by Lyngør and to record an album. Over the next 15 months, Solli spent frequent retreats on the island and was given an opportunity to assemble a band of amazing musicians.
He had been touring and recording with several of the band members for years and was very familiar with each musician’s sound. Knowing each band member’s unique approach and strengths, allowed Solli to compose specifically for each musician.  By giving the band freedom to interpret the music as they wished everyone brought a fresh perspective to the material and made wonderful contributions to the shaping of the tunes.  This album is a perfect representation of Bjørn Solli – the musician and the composer – and is his most personal effort to date. It has great variety and offers plenty of swing, contemplative ballads, singable waltzes, South American rhythms, gritty blues and more; all held together by Solli’s acute sense of melody, evocative harmony and passion for groove.

1. Windjammer
2. Aglow In The Dark
3. To The Lighthouse
4. Calenture
5. Sweet Lingering
6. Rabalder
7. August At Last
8. Battle Of Lynger
9. A Dog Named Fanny  

Bjørn Solli – guitar
Seamus Blake – tenor & soprano saxophones
Ingrid Jensen – trumpet (3, 4, 8 & 9)
Aaron Parks – piano
Matt Clohesy – bass
Bill Stewart – drums 

"Master your instrument, master the music 

& then forget all that & just play."


 - Charlie Parker -

Sigurdur Flosason & Kjeld Lauritsen - Daybreak (2015)

Icelandic saxophone player Sigurdur Flosasan and Danish Hammond B3 player Kjeld Lauritsen are releasing their new album “Daybreak” on Storyville Records. The album features beautiful and intimate jazz ballads with a Scandinavian sound, inspired by the special musical feeling that emerges when night turns to day.
The album is a follow-up to their previous success “Nightfall” - also on Storyville Records. On both albums musicians embrace the ballad repertoire in collaboration with internationally renowned guitarist Jacob Fischer and swing drummer Kristian Leth.  The tunes are inspired by what musicians play together in the wee small hours after a late night gig, when most of the audience has gone home. As Sigurdur Flosason explains, this music has a special feeling: "The morning’s music has nothing to prove. It simply is, neither old nor new, complex nor simple. In a way it is the core and the essence of all music."

On this album the musicians has taken the idea even further, explicitly choosing songs such as “Morning Glory” and “The Night We Called it a Day” - songs that all relate to daybreak. A collection of songs where Kjeld Lauritsen recommends: "Enjoy this music with a Sunday morning cup of coffee, a late night whisky or, who knows, at Daybreak."

1. The Night We Called It a Day (feat. Jacob Fischer & Kristian Leth)
2. Blue Moon (feat. Jacob Fischer & Kristian Leth)
3. Dreamsville (feat. Jacob Fischer & Kristian Leth)
4. You Stepped Out of a Dream (feat. Jacob Fischer & Kristian Leth)
5. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning (feat. Jacob Fischer & Kristian Leth)
6. I Like the Sunrise (feat. Jacob Fischer & Kristian Leth)
7. Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise (feat. Jacob Fischer & Kristian Leth)
8. Morning Glory (feat. Jacob Fischer & Kristian Leth)
9. Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin' (feat. Jacob Fischer & Kristian Leth)

Sigurdur Flosason (alto sax)
Kjeld Lauritsen (organ Hammond B3)
Jacob Fischer (guitar)
Kristian Leth (drums)