sábado, 25 de octubre de 2014


Fantástico menú nos sirve RONALDO ALBENZIO, productor, director y presentador de JAZZ by JAZZ. Magistral introducción al fagot, Jazz maridado con Música Clásica, vocalistas e instrumentistas de diferentes perfiles. Muy buena edición musical, digna de una atenta escucha.



de la mano de


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


Kenny Shanker - Action City (2014)

It’s fairly uncommon for a mainstream jazz record to contain nothing but originals, especially since playing standards seem nearly as important to jazz as being able to swing. Perhaps it’s because so few jazz musicians are strong enough composers to fill an entire album of their songs. That may or may not be the case, but it’s definitely not the case for saxophonist Kenny Shanker.

Shanker’s been playing the sax since he was ten years old, but he has a flair for writing tunes, too, confirmed by his ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award in 2003. So, it’s no surprise that the dozen tunes for his second album Action City (October 21, 2014 by Posi-Tone Records) are all his, and they’re all good.

With a solid base rhythm section of Brian Fishler (drums), Mike Eckroth (piano) and Yoshi Waki (bass), Shanker mixes things up with guest instrumentation from the guitar of Daisuke Abe, and also his own instrumentation: he plays both tenor and alto saxes with equal proficiency, depending on the tune. Shanker’s style sometimes evokes Joe Henderson, sometimes Kenny Garrett, sometimes Cannonball Adderley, but all with his own, refined twists to their styles. Eckroth gets plenty of solo time, too, proving himself to be a rather tasteful pianist (“Times Square” is one of several spotlights).

The Abe spots are well utilized; he harmonizes with Shanker’s alto on the Brazilian groove of “summer Siesta” and again on “Action City,” where the guitarists goes low and Shanker goes high. Shanker puts his tenor sax up against the guitar on “Marble Hill,” where the high-low roles are reversed.

Ultimately, it’s Shanker’s songs that make Action City a gratifying listen from start to finish; he avoids the sameness syndrome by varying the styles from smooth swings (“Times Square”, “Action City”), to breezy Brazilian flourishes (“Marble Hill, “Summer Siesta”), to searing bebop (“The Tortoise And The Hare”) to tender ballads (“Riverbank At Dawn”) to even pop shuffles (“Punch”, “Snow Paws”). Most of these songs contain interesting chord changes, usually at the bridge, a tipoff that Shanker is not your ordinary composer.

Choice songwriting and choice means of bringing them to life make Action City another strong offering from the talented Kenny Shanker.

Kenny Shanker, alto saxophone
Mike Eckroth, piano
Daisuke Abe, guitar
Yoshi Waki, bass
Brian Fishler, drums
Peyman Samghabadi, trombone (1)
Matt Blostein, glockenspiel (5)
Daniel "Conga" Valdez, percussion (2, 3, 9, 11)
Maximo Vasquez, percussion (3, 12)

01. Times Square
02. Another Morning
03. Summer Siesta
04. Action City
05. Punch
06. Prelude
07. Shadow Dance
08. Midnight
09. Marble Hill
10. The Tortoise and the Hare
11. Riverbank at Dawn
12. Snow Paws

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Walter Smith III - Still Casual (2014)

Source: Allaboutjazz

There are countless musicians who perform but few that can make their instruments breathe as melodically as saxophonist Walter Smith III. In the opening track "Foretold You" from his release Still Casual, it's as if his horn is an extension of his thoughts and will—notes burning, graceful and flowing like a stream of ideas. Yet with these obvious abilities Smith is a diligent craftsman whose arduous schedule includes education, tours, and performances within a rotation of rising jazz leaders that includes trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and Eric Harland's Voyager ensemble.

Since his debut Casually Introducing (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2006), Smith continues to refine his voice balancing the roots of tradition and the pulse of today. Still Casual, his fourth release, is an effervescent work of original music. There's the powerful blast of "Something New" as Smith and Akinmusire lay down solo fireworks while bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Kendrick Scott create the rhythmic tension. A cradle of spaciousness envelops "Apollo" with its reiterating emotive theme and undulant chords from pianist Taylor Eigsti and guitarist Matt Stevens. The band's chemistry is flawless.

Smith's writing is also evolving. "Fing Fast" churns through a swinging tempo yet ends with Eigsti's harmonious piano and keyboard hook. The circuitous "About 360" is as intense as swing can get, a grueling workout driven by the rhythm section and elevated by the soloists. As in his previous releases Smith demonstrates a proclivity for intricate ballads in the compelling "Greene" dedicated to saxophonist Jimmy Greene who lost his daughter in the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. Smith's tenor is deep, full of sentiment and resonance.

There are numerous answers to the question of what jazz sounds like today with countless self-expressions being played out across the world. But a microcosmic view can be heard in the music and excellent young musicians in Smith's Still Casual.   - Mark F. Turner -

Foretold You
Something New
Fing Fast
About 360
Goodnight Now

Walter Smith III: tenor saxophone
Taylor Eigsti: piano, Fender Rhodes
Matt Stevens: guitar
Harish Raghavan: bass
Kendrick Scott: drums
Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet (3, 7, 9) 

"The most important thing I look for in a musician,
 is whether he knows how to listen."
  - Duke Ellington - 


Paolo Di Sabatino, Janek Gwizdala, Peter Erskine - Trace Elements (2014)

Source: musicraiser

In biochimica e nella nutrizione un oligoelemento (Trace Element) è un elemento chimico  necessario in quantità minime per l’appropriata crescita e sviluppo fisiologico di un organismo. In sintesi è un micronutriente.

Ho scelto questo nome perché da sempre per me la musica è necessaria alla nutrizione del nostro spirito. Suonare o ascoltare fa lo stesso, ma la musica deve essere parte integrante della nostra vita.

Chi ama la musica è una persona ricca dentro, recettiva, emozionale ed emozionabile.

Per Trace Elements ho coinvolto due musicisti di primaria grandezza, americani, da decenni sulla cresta di quell’onda musicale che coinvolge gli amanti del pop, del jazz e del jazz-rock: Peter Erskine non ha bisogno di presentazioni, basta ricordare che ha fatto parte dei Weather Report, degli Steps Head e del leggendario gruppo di Joni Mitchell e Gary Willis è co-leader dei Tribal Tech, una band che ha fatto la storia di questo genere.

Quando sono venuto a conoscenza di Musicraiser ho sentito subito una grande affinità verso questa iniziativa. Sono profondamente convinto da sempre che noi musicisti non avremmo molta ragion d’essere senza chi ci ascolta e ci segue. La soddisfazione personale che si trae dal suonare deve andare di pari passo con la soddisfazione di chi ci ascolta. Se non riusciamo a coinvolgere l’ascoltatore, a investirlo con le nostre sensazioni, abbiamo fallito. Lo scambio emozionale è fondamentale, necessario.

Musicraiser rappresenta il non plus ultra di questa mia idea della musica: il coinvolgimento del fruitore che inizia alla fonte! Renderlo partecipe di tutti i passaggi grandi e faticosi che si celano dietro ad un brano musicale, nella produzione di un CD e di tutto quello che necessità (sala di registrazione, cachet dei musicisti, diritti SIAE, grafica, marketing, promozione…); renderlo insomma consapevole  di un qualcosa che fino ad oggi era nascosto nei meandri delle case discografiche.

L’obiettivo primario è la condivisione totale della progettazione e creazione del cd dei Trace Elements. Chi vorrà potrà persino assistere (in numero limitato per ovvi motivi) alla seduta di registrazione dell’album, nella mia città, Teramo. Oppure avere un ringraziamento sul booklet del cd.

Voglio poi precisare che la cifra indicata come obiettivo minimo  rappresenta solo un terzo (circa) di quella realmente necessaria per la realizzazione del progetto Trace Elements. Ma ritengo che sarebbe comunque una grande soddisfazione riuscire a beneficiare del vostro supporto.

Con queste poche parole spero di essere riuscito a trasmettervi il mio enorme entusiasmo per questa iniziativa e vi saluto con la speranza di poterci conoscere in occasione di un mio concerto…

PS un mp3 di un brano inedito sarà inviato in regalo ai miei raiser!

In biochemistry and in human nutrition the term trace element refers to a mineral that is needed in very minute quantities for the proper growth, development, and physiology of the organism. In other words it is a micronutrient.

I have chosen this name for the band because I have always considered music as fundamental to nurture the spirit. Indeed, I think that music should be regarded as essential in everyone’s life, regardless of the fact that we can actually play an instrument or not.

A person who loves music is sensitive, receptive and can easily become emotionally affected by a melody.

For Trace Elements I have chosen to work with two American musicians of primary importance, who have become very popular over the last few decades, especially among people who appreciate pop music, as well as among jazz and jazz-rock lovers (Peter Erskine does not need any introduction, just remember that he was a member of Weather Report, Steps Head and the legendary group of Joni Mitchell, Gary Willis is co-leader of the Tribal Tech, a band that has had a major influence on the history of this genre).

When I first heard about Musicreiser I immediately felt a natural affinity for this project. I have always believed that the reason why we exist as musicians is that there are people who enjoy listening to our music and who therefore support and follow us. We can get personal satisfaction from playing only when we recognize that listeners value our performances. If we do not succeed in making our public become involved with our music, it means we have not accomplished our task completely. In other terms, the emotional exchange between musician and the listeners is crucial.

Musicreiser represents the highest expression of my ideas regarding to music, having the listener involved in all the steps that lead to the creation of a track and to the development of a CD. This includes different aspects – such as the recording studios, the musicians’ pay, as well as royalties (SIAE), graphics, marketing, promotion, etc. – that have to be taken into consideration by producers and that so far have remained confined within their offices.

It is my primary intention to involve the public in all the stages which will occur in the production of the Trace Elements’ CDs. For this reason, a small number of listeners will be allowed to our studios in Teramo during the recording of the tracks and special thanks will be included in the CD booklet for those who have participated.

I wish to point out that the figure mentioned as the minimum target for the program represents only about one third of what is necessary to carry out the Trace Elements project. However, I think that your contribution would be extremely beneficial to the fulfillment of our goal.

With these few words I hope I have been able to convey all my enthusiasm for this initiative and I look forward to having the opportunity to meet you at one of my concerts.

PS an mp3 of an unreleased song will be sent as a gift to my raiser!

Paolo Di Sabatino, piano
Janek Gwizdala, bass
Peter Erskine, drums

Kelly Joyce, vocals (12)

1. Driving Blues (Di Sabatino)
Brano scritto per “omaggiare”le migliaia di chilometri che si fanno nel lavoro del musicista. In apertura dell’album era giusto collocare un brano composto sulla struttura del Blues, in onore della tradizione del jazz. Groove ammaliante di Peter Erskine e assolo trascinante di Di Sabatino.

2. Peter (Di Sabatino)
Composizione che Paolo ha dedicato a Peter Erskine, che prima di essere un suo compagno di viaggio in questa avventura musicale, è stato (e lo è tutt’ora) per il pianista abruzzese un punto di riferimento.

3. Ciclito
Il “Ciclito” è una sorta di triciclo di Luigi Di Sabatino, che lo ha così battezzato, coniando un romantico neologismo. Il brano, dedicato a Luigi appunto, si apre con una bellissima intro di Gwizdala, con l’utilizzo di una loop machine, per poi svilupparsi in sonorità brasiliane molto suggestive.

4. Evening Dance (Di Sabatino)
Pezzo dalle sonorità funk, scritto da Paolo pensando ad una danza sensuale, al tramonto, con un bicchiere di vino rosso da sorseggiare. Il suono elegante e avvolgente del piano Rhodes ne avvalora l’immagine.

5. Nature Boy (Eden Ahbez)
E’ uno dei due standard inseriti nel cd. Brano portato al successo dal leggendario Nat “King” Cole e suonato nei decenni da tutti i più importanti jazzisti e cantanti “pop”, da Miles Davis a Celine Dion, passando per David Bowie ed Ella Fitzgerald.

6. Trace Elements (Di Sabatino)
Il brano che dà il titolo all’album è una melodia cantabile che si inserisce in una ritmica danzante di estrazione latino/americana. Secondo brano in cui Di Sabatino suona il piano Rhodes.

7. Nell’aria (Di Sabatino)
Brano rarefatto, una melodia che avvolge. I musicisti che suonano con grande feeling facendo pervenire tutto il sentimento che permea questa composizione lirica e sentita.

8. Time for Fun (Di Sabatino)
Il tempo per divertirsi è fondamentale nella vita di ognuno di noi

9. Five O’clock In The Morning (Di Sabatino)
Paolo spesso si alza tra le 5 e le 6 del mattino. In una di queste mattine è nato questo valzer. Improvvisazione ispiratissima del pianoforte, che valorizza un’altra accattivante e cantabile melodia di Di Sabatino.

10. They Can’t Take That Away from Me (George Gershwin)
Questa bellissima composizione di George Gershwin è il secondo standard del CD. Omaggio del pianista ad uno dei compositori che più lo hanno affascinato in assoluto. L’arrangiamento è bellissimo, con un andamento pop ballad che risalta il relax dell’accompagnamento di Erskine.

11. Janek (Di Sabatino)
Composizione dedicata al bassista inglese, infatti il tema principale è suonato dal suo basso. Terzo brano con il piano Fender Rhodes, soli ispirati e groove coinvolgente che richiama sonorità afro.

Bonus track Ce que j’aime de toi (Di Sabatino/Joyce)
Brano bonus track, scritto a quattro mani con Kelly Joyce, unica canzone dell’album. Al basso Pierpaolo Ranieri e alla batteria/percussioni Glauco Di Sabatino.

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Vic Juris - Walking On Water (2014)

Massively prolific for the self-effacing Danish label, Vic Juris’ own tune ‘Mama Luke’ and a fiendishly involved take on Jerome Kern’s ‘All the Things You Are’ bookend the New Jersey-born guitarist’s latest, Juris known for his work with Richie Cole firstly in the 1970s and Larry Coryell in the 80s on this latest studio set of 10 tunes, this one recorded in January 2013. Trumpeter Tim Hagans, bassist Jay Anderson, and drummer Anthony Pinciotti join the guitarist. Elegantly delivered with an edge to it on Ornette’s ‘Law Years’ and Sam Rivers’ ‘Cyclic Episode’ these and Juris' own tunes are sliced through with consummate ease. He may not have a gimmick but why Juris isn’t much better known someone say.

Vic Juris, guitar
Tim Hagans, trumpet
Jay Anderson, bass
Anthony Pinciotti, drums

01. Mama Luke (Vic Juris)
02. Law Years (Ornette Coleman)
03. Walking On Water (Vic Juris)
04. Have I Told You Lately (Vic Juris)
05. Newtown (Vic Juris)
06. Funny Bone (Vic Juris)
07. Nostalgia (Fats Navarro)
08. After The Storm (Vic Juris)
09. Cyclic Episode (Sam Rivers)
10. All The Things You Are (Jerome Kern)

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Chico Freeman And The Fritz Pauer Trio – The Essence Of Silence (2010)



Disc 01:

1. Enchance 7:40
2. Helen’s Song 5:39
3. The Trespasser 9:10 EUR 0,84
4. Essence of Silence 5:25
5. Shen Shun Song 7:07
6. Will I See You In the Morning 5:24
7. Minor Relations 5:39

Disc 02:

1. Salsa Con Punta 6:40
2. Epikur Intro 1:24
3. Epikur Main 5:38
4. To Hear a Teardrop In the Rain 5:43
5. Dark Blue 6:59
6. Drum Chant 8:20
7. Angel Eyes 11:30

Time 92.02

Chico Freeman Tenor and Soprano Saxes
Fritz Pauer - Piano
Johannes Strasser - Bass
Joris Dudli - Drums =

I was asked to play at the Vienna Jazz Festival as a special guest
with whom I was told were some of the best musicians that Austria
has produced. It was the Fritz Pauer Trio. I did not know Fritz
Pauer or his trio at that time so I asked my agent Ilse Weinmann,
who had arranged the engagement, who exactly Fritz Pauer was.
She told me he was one of the best pianist/musicians she knew and
she knew him from his work with the great saxophonist Johnny
Griffin (a Chicago native just like me), who was also a client
of hers. Needless to say I was pleased and excited to meet Fritz
but not as much as when it actually happened on the first day of
rehearsal at Jazzland Jazz Club in Vienna. Not only was Fritz an
incredible musician, he was also one of the nicest and warmest
people I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet. We became instant
friends. In addition his trio, which consisted of Johannes (Hans)
Strasser (bass) and Joris Dudli (drums), were also incredibly talented
musicians and wonderful human beings as well. We bonded
instantly and thus began our journey to the recording of this CD.
The chemistry was instantaneous and undeniable. We recorded
for the radio the first night and I knew I wanted to work more with
these guys and to document our future journeys together. This is the
first of what I hope will be many more of those documentations.
Chico Freeman (saxophone)

A sound not born yet. The imagination of sound can be expressed
in the right place, at the right time. The gods are asking to let it be
heard from your own imagination mixed with sounds for you and
your brothers and sisters. Our ancestors thankfully remembered, with
each note played on celestial instruments.
That music which we call jazz should be named this way because it
comes from deep within the heart of different nations. The spirits
wanted it like this: The essence of silence.
Sometime ago our trio the Fritz Pauer Trio and our guest for the
Vienna Jazz Festival, Chico Freeman, met at Jazzland in Vienna. Axel
Melhardt, the club owner, invited us to play for one week. After successful
performances, we were invited back the following season, and
successive seasons thereafter. During that time Austrian radio ORF
came to the club and recorded a whole night’s performance.
Our chemistry was just right. We would go through our repertoire,
rehearse and create exciting, fresh and new music every night. We
were very fortunate to be able to play with Chico, who brought along
all his experience of rhythm, blues and free jazz, along with some of
the greatest composers and piano players of today:
McCoy Tyner, George Cables, Don Pullen and many others.
It just so happened that we also got to play and record original
compositions written by George Cables himself, as well as those by
Chico. We didn’t just play the music; we dug deep inside the soul of

the music for which Chico brought the original lead sheets.
After listening to the radio recordings, we decided to go
on tour with a partly new repertoire and added another
week of recording at a studio in Vienna. Being on the
road together added another element to the band:
comradeship. Many thanks to our drummer,
Joris Dudli, who contributed immensely by
being such an excellent percussionist/
drummer and driving the band with
great energy and sensitivity.
Knowing of the upcoming project,
I concentrated on the band’s tunes
with a brand new Fazioli grand
piano in my new music room:
the first floor of our new
Fritz Pauer (piano)

Having had the privilege of playing
bass with the Fritz Pauer Trio and
performing their music over a long
period of time has offered me very
exciting and inspiring experiences.
Among these is having had the opportunity
of accompanying some
of the most creative and renowned
jazz artists worldwide with the Trio,
during their guest performances in
Before we got together at Jazzland,
I knew Chico and his music from
the recording Spirit Sensitive,
dating back to the 70s. I used to listen to it
a lot back then because
I wanted to check out bass player Cecil McBee too, who was
also on the record.
When we performed with Chico for the first time at Jazzland,
I was immediately fascinated by his highly energetic and
expressive harmony. It felt really unique and personal to me
and a lot stronger than what I thought I knew from his recordings.
The music we played sounded very inventive, fresh
and, at the same time, non clich? - it seemed to be flowing
very naturally. Right away, the trio with guest soloist turned
into a real quartet.
Now, some years later, I can say that playing bass with this
powerful and musically adventurous group of dedicated jazz
improvisers and dealing with the colourful variety of musical
textures, is just absolutely inspiring and thrilling. I’m very
glad and I feel privileged again to have recorded all those
unique tunes of Chico, Fritz and George Cables.
Johannes Strasser (bass)

A word about the compositions
Enchance (7:41)– The song is in 8/8 with the approach of a 6/8
feel. It begins with an intro of piano followed by piano, sax and
bass, then a bass vamp interlude; sax enters on the main theme.
The song goes through some time changes and interesting harmonic
variations. The solos are on two different formats. The sax solos
on the form of the melody “A B (bridge) A”, the piano solos on a
different form with a different harmonic structure but returns to the
A section signaling the end of the piano solo; the sax enters at the
bridge and plays the melody thru to the last A section, repeating the
theme of the intro at the end with full rhythm section.
– Chico Freeman
Helen’s Song (5:50) – Helen’s Song is one of my favorite George
Cables compositions, this added to the fact that I am privileged to
call Helen herself a friend of mine, makes the opportunity to record
it even more special. I’ve played it with George on many occasions
as well as in many of my own projects. This version finds Fritz
playing it with great sensitivity, passion and beauty. This is one of
my favorite renditions of what I believe is a classic, just like it’s
namesake.– Chico Freeman
The Trespasser (9:10) – we see many in our lives, some are
welcome, and some are not. You decide. – Chico Freeman
The Essence of Silence (5:38)– I believe that when we are alone
and in complete silence is when music makes its most direct and
purest journey to our being. In silence we hear music, hence, the
essence of silence.– Chico Freeman.
Shen Shun Song (7:08) – a song with the title borrowed from the
Chinese martial art tai chi chuan. Shen meaning spirit and mental
liveliness; Shun meaning to go along with, to follow and free-flowing
and relaxed a song with three main attributes for a successful
performance. With this tune I would like to honour McCoy Tyner
and the pioneers of Modal Jazz – Fritz Pauer
Will I See You in the Morning? (5:24) – This question has been
asked in so many different ways but it still remains the same
in the sentiment:
Will I see you in the morning?
I might leave without much warning
Try and understand the reason if I go
I know you believe
what you want me to know
You can’t stand to see me crying
just because i know you’re lying
when you tell me everything will be OK
How come I can see
with my eyes closed tight
that we are over?
Don’t say a word
unless you mean
everything you say
What do u think I’m gonna do?
are you afraid that I’ll see through
everything I meant to you?
So if I don’t see you in the morning
and I leave without much warning
you will understand the reason
and you’ll know
. . . but you must believe
that I did not want to go.
chico freeman/jan pulsford feb 2007

Minor Relations (5:39) – a tune simply consisting of different
colours (chords) around the tonal centre of c-minor. The piano intro
represents my admiration for traditional jazz piano styles, mainly
the stride piano of James Pete Johnson. – Fritz Pauer

Salsa con Punta (06:40) – written in two parts; the first part with a
Latin flavour, the second part goes into a straight 4/4 groove (Chico
added a cowbell for the overdub.) – Fritz Pauer

Epikur Intro (1:25) & Main (05:38)– compositional contribution
Epikur, named after the ancient Greek philosopher (Epicurus in
English) with its Phrygian mode, consists of two parts:
In part one I introduce the main theme con arco quasi rubato with
some collective sound fields beneath; in part two the full tune in a
medium up-tempo with solos by Chico, Fritz and myself is heard.
The chord changes run by fairly quickly and that’s why the tune, with
it’s inherent restlessness, was originally called Busy Morning. One
day I woke up with the melody in my head and had to write it down
immediately. – Johannes Strasser

To Hear a Teardrop in the Rain (5:43) – this song was written for
a very special person who left us some time ago. She will
always be remembered. – Chico Freeman

Dark Blue (6:59)– a blues, first heard on my
cd Tales of Ellington, it was written in honor
of Duke Ellington. – Chico Freeman
Drum Chant (8:20) – another modal tune
especially written for the artistry of our outstanding
percussionist, Joris Dudli.
– Fritz Pauer

Angel Eyes (11:30) – this arrangement involves
an ostinato bass line while the original
changes and melody are played over this line.
This opens up two worlds at the same time, a kind
of ballad and groove in simultaneous motion.


Louis Smith Quartet - I Waited for You (1996)


Louis Smith: Trumpet
Vincent Herring: Alto and Tenor Sax
Richard Wyands: Piano
Dennis Irwin: Bass
Kenny Washington: Drums

1. Dig
2. Solar
3. I Waited For You
4. Walkin'
5. Half Nelson
6. Vierd Blues
7. Milestones
8. Bye Bye Blackbird

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


viernes, 24 de octubre de 2014

Louis Smith & Jodie Christian - The Very Thought of You (1995)

During the “Silvering” session, trumpeter Louis Smith cut one track just with pianist Jodie Christian playing a quiet ballad. This track was not included in the release but the idea of making a duo album stayed with him. Thus, this reflective and melodious recording materialized.

“ This is music to refresh the mind, body and spirit at the close of a fraught day. It’s pure ear balm, in fact. Beautiful jazz, too, of course .” (Mark Gardner)

Louis Smith, trumpet
Jodie Christian, piano

1. My ideal (Whiting/Chase)
2. Don't take your love away from me (Nemo)
3. Mihoko's tune (Louis Smith)
4. I will wait for you (Michel Legrand)
5. But not for me (George Gershwin)
6. A cottage for sale (Robbins/Conley)
7. The very thought of you (Ray Noble)
8. A child is born (Thad Jones)
9. I should care (Jimmy Van Heusen)

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Mack Avenue Superband - Live! From The Detroit Jazz Festival - 2013 (2014)

Source & Label: Mack Avenue

Mack Avenue SuperBand’s Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival – 2013 documents a concert at the Motor City’s capacious Hart Plaza by an ensemble of leaders culled from Mack Avenue Records’ extraordinary artist roster. It’s the second configuration of the group, which debuted at the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival, mixing veteran stars with mid-career leaders and up-and-comers. The resulting album, Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival – 2012, received critical kudos for the fiery chemistry and soloistic derring-do contained therein.
For the follow-up, Al Pryor, Mack Avenue’s Executive Vice President for A&R, assembled a slightly pared-down unit. Back for round two are vibraphonist Gary Burton, trumpeter Sean Jones, guitarist Evan Perri, and the rhythm section of pianist Aaron Diehl, bassist (and music director) Rodney Whitaker and drummer Carl Allen. Joining the mix are veteran soul/jazz saxophone giant Kirk Whalum and the sensational vibraphonist-marimbist, Warren Wolf. The results are no less scintillating—a program as cohesive and precise as a studio recording, but infused with energetic vibrations emanating from the several thousand hip, enthusiastic fans who attended the free concert.
Whitaker attributes the bandstand discipline and simpatico in part to his determination to follow collective, inclusive principles in organizing the program. “I solicited everyone’s input,” he says. “With artists at this level, you don’t need to dictate every moment. Sometimes it’s more important to listen and facilitate, and not always try to be the boss. When you have a conversation with everyone about what music we’re playing and the direction we want to go, everybody buys in, and they make it sound like a band. We put together a set list two months before the concert took place.”
Whitaker discerns several common denominators that promoted camaraderie. One is the role of gospel music in the musical development of Whalum, Jones, Wolf, Diehl, Allen and himself during formative years. “Everyone—not just those who grew up in church—tries to tell a story in the way they play, in the way they try to touch an audience and say something to them,” he says. “They put together their solos to get across a message that music is not just about notes, but has some greater meaning, whatever you may translate that to mean.”  Read more...

1  Soul Sister     Mack 9:12
2  Of Mars and Venus 6:39
3  Speak to My Heart 8:52
4  Blue Nude 9:02    
5  Chick's Tune 6:49
6  Señor Mouse 7:34    
7  Relativity 9:37    
8  Troublant Bolero 6:12
9  I Want Jesus to Walk with Me 6:46
10 Two Bass Hit 5:09    
11 Band Introductions 0:29     

Rodney Whitaker, bass & direction
Kirk Whalum, saxophone
Warren Wolf, vibraphone/marimba
Sean Jones, trumpet
Evan Perri, guitar
Aaron Diehl, piano
Carl Evans, drums
Gary Burton, vibraphone

"The most important thing I look for in a musician,
 is whether he knows how to listen."
  - Duke Ellington - 


Michael Eaton - Individuation (2014)

Source: Cdbaby

Saxophonist and composer Michael Eaton launches his debut album as a leader, Individuation (Destiny Records), in the company of his hero and mentor Dave Liebman. Joined by his working rhythm section, the Missouri native and Brooklyn resident delivers a set exhibiting his artistic and personal development, bridging the worlds of lyrical themes, intricately rhythmic minimalistic vamps, bracing freebop, Cageian prepared piano, and multi-layered open terrains.

The title refers to a core tenet of Jungian psychology, whereby the unconscious elements of the individual are brought into conscious life. “Individuation refers not only to my growth as a person,” remarks Eaton, “but also what it means to be an artist.” Jazz musicians are endeavored to immerse themselves in the tradition of their craft while still developing their own unique voice—a duality Eaton addresses throughout the album.

Growing up in the rich heritage of Kansas City jazz followed by a formative period in the fertile jazz and creative music scenes in Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana, Eaton moved New York in 2008 to begin his next phase as an artist. After working with Liebman in a 2012 summer workshop, Eaton knew that recording with the master musician was a logical next step. "This recording was about the opportunity to record with a model of mine and to experience something like the apprenticeship system, which our generation isn't able to live."

“I first heard Dave Liebman when I was 16," Eaton recounts, "playing on a blues track. I was blown away. It opened my mind to possibilities I wasn’t aware existed before, particularly rhythmically. I consider him one of the most advanced conceptualists in jazz, with one foot in the traditional harmonic world and one foot in the avant-garde.” Fast-forward to the present, and their encounter is a bit like trial by fire in the crucible of heated post-Coltrane catharsis. On "Alter Ego," "Prickly," and "Lifecycle," Eaton responds to the language of a master with his own story, forging a more personal artistry in the process. In “Alter Ego,” as Liebman’s tenor saxophone makes its entrance, Eaton is momentarily face to face with his 16 year old self where his aspirations become a reality and the sound of the two saxophones briefly intertwine before Liebman takes the lead. The interplay is quickly renewed and expanded on “Prickly,” where Eaton’s tenor and Liebman’s soprano freely exchange ideas over a swing tempo with no harmonic constraints.  Read more...

1. Interior Designs 05:42
2. Guru 07:23
3. Me, But Not Myself 10:26
4. Alter Ego 07:26
5. Prickly 04:31
6. Centrifuge 04:54
7. You're My Mystery 03:28
8. Individuation: Part 1 03:22
9. Individuation: Part 2 03:04
10.Individuation: Part 3 04:51
11.Individuation: Part 4 04:38
12.Individuation: Part 5 08:48
13.Lifecycle 06:20

Michael Eaton, tenor and soprano saxophones
Jon Crowley, trumpet (1, 3, 6)
David Liebman, tenor and soprano saxophones (4, 5, 13)
Brad Whiteley, piano and prepared piano (1-4, 7-13)
Daniel Ori, bass (3, 4, 6, 8-12)
Scott Colberg, bass (1, 2, 5, 13)
Shareef Taher, drums (1-6, 8-13)

"The most important thing I look for in a musician,
 is whether he knows how to listen."
  - Duke Ellington - 


Louis Smith Quintet - Silvering (1994)

Even after the re-entry to the recording scene with his first SteepleChase recording SCCD 31096 “Just Friends” in 1978 ending his two decades’ silence since his Blue Note recording days, trumpeter Louis Smith has been hard to catch on the band stand. He chose to leave Horace Silver’s group in 1958 in favour of full time teaching job.

However, this situation is now changed for good. Louis retiring from his job as a music teacher, resumed his career as musician with this new recording which took place in Chicago October 1993. With the Windy City’s legendary tenorman Von Freeman in the backing group, Louis the hard bopper tells his story in his warm, beautiful tone with unflagging intensity and impeccable technique.

1. I'll Remember April (DePaul/Raye)
2. Au Privave (Charlie Parker)
3. Roadies (Louis Smith)
4. What Is This Thing Called Love? (DePaul/Raye)
5. Body and Soul (Johnny Green)
6. Silvering (Louis Smith)
7. Stella by Starlight (Victor Young)
8. Blues for Alice (Charlie Parker)

Louis Smith, trumpet & flugelhorn
Von Freeman, tenor sax
Jodie Christian, piano
Eddie de Haas, bass
Wilbur Campbell, drums

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Louis Smith Quintet - Just Friends (1991)

Louis Smith’s first session in 18 years turned out to be a “ rewarding hard-bop outing of outstanding freshness ” ( Melody Maker )

Louis Smith, trumpet & flugelhorn
George Coleman, tenor sax
Harold Mabern, piano
Jamil Nasser, bass
Ray Mosca, drums

01. Blues for Jimmy
02. Lulu
03. Vaughn's Bounce
04. Quiet Nights
05. I Remember Clifford
06. Oleo
07. Minor Bit

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Louis Smith Sextet - Strike Up The Band (1991)

Here's a wonderful, straight-ahead hard bop date from the early 90s, featuring the solid front line of trumpeter Louis Smith, tenor man Junior Cook, and alto saxist Vincent Herring. Smith is excellent on his solos during up-tempo outings (STRIKE UP THE BAND, IT'S ALL RIGHT), his tight, somewhat confined tone shooting out dizzying runs. Junior Cook is in excellent form as well, his approach reminiscent of his earlier days as an upstart hard bop master player. Vincent Herring also shows he can play in the classic bop tradition. The rhythm section is very solid. Modern jazz fans, especially of the hard bop school, will find much to admire in this CD.

Louis Smith: trumpet
Vincent Herring: alto sax
Junior Cook: tenor sax
Kevin Hays: piano
Steve LaSpina: bass
Leroy Williams: drums

1. I Hear a Rhapsody
2. It's All Right
3. Don't Misunderstand
4. Edwaa
5. Stablemates
6. Lover
7. Night and Day
8. Strike Up the Band

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Thomas Hass - Trio's & Beyond Lotus Energy (2014)

The packaging starts you thinking. There's a painting showing what looks like ectoplasm, or perhaps a space alien, playing two musical instruments at the same time, like Roland Kirk used to do. Then the cunning addition of an apostrophe in the Trios of the title, to render it meaningless, or perhaps abstract. 

Inside there's a selfie shot from low down of a bearded Thomas Hass looking God-like and grim, alongside text explaining his music: "Trio's & Beyond is a musical concept where I can experience the 'spontaneous combustion' in various musical settings and explore the trio format in various forms." 

It gets worse. "On this album I have tried letting a special mood that always has lived inside me unfold through nine different compositions. You could call it ballads or melancholic but I see it more like an inner canvas behind the different musical paintings."

Lotus Energy may give the game away. The lotus has great religious significance in the Orient. So, is Hass a Zen Buddhist trying to propel the listener into a new state of awareness, perhaps even satori itself? 

It's more than possible. Though the actual music is really quite accessible; no problem at all for anyone with prior experience of John Coltrane, the Dane's principal influence. Like Coltrane, he plays both tenor and soprano sax. 

He also credits himself, along with Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, as having composed "Gimbo." Other numbers include "Bibo No Aozora, The Beauty Of A Blue Sky," by Japanese composer and acid house pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto. 

All the rest are meandering originals, except for the closer. This is—believe it or not—Harold Arlen's "Come Rain Or Come Shine." It comes as quite a shock to hear a recognizable tune. But that's obviously part of guru Hass's fiendish plan. 

Pretentious, moi? 

Or to put it another way, "He's from Copenhagen."

Thomas Hass: tenor and soprano saxophones
Nikolaj Hess: piano
Lennart Ginman: bass
Frands Rifbjerg: drums

1. Angel Park
2. Gimbo
3. Short Free
4. Anti - Freeze
5. Lotus Energy
6. Bibo No Aozora
7. False Waltz
8. Clark's Heavenly Blues
9. Come Rain or Come Shine

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins