lunes, 30 de noviembre de 2015

Christian Sands, Thomas Fonnesbæk & Alex Riel - Take One (Live at Montmartre) 2015 (2 CD)

To begin a CD with an unaccompanied intro to a ballad indicates some confidence from the main soloist on this excellent double CD with the young talented American pianist Christian Sands in the company of the two Danes bass player Thomas Fonnesbæk who is said to be the next NHØP and a Montmartre legend the drummer Alex Riel. The music is recorded live in Jazzhus Montmartre, Copenhagen in October 2014. The three musicians had never met before, but already on the first evening they found their common beat and developed it through the next two concerts, which naturally led to the best takes being collected for this double CD.

Christian Sands, piano
Thomas Fonnesbæk, bass
Alex Riel, drums


Stella By Starlight
Lonesome Lover
So What
In A Sentimental Mood


Body And Soul
Sand Dune
Someday My Prince Will Come


domingo, 29 de noviembre de 2015

Hamiet Bluiett's Live At The Village Vanguard: Ballads & Blues (1997)

Baritone sax legend Hamiet Bluiett's, Live At The Village Vanguard: Ballads & Blues showcases the bottom-member of the World Saxophone Quartet with an adventurous group featuring guitarist Ted Dunbar. Bluiett's playing is soulful and contemplative on each on of the eight tunes from this live Village Vanguard set. 

This set features two jazz standards, a number of Bluiett originals, a tune apiece by Dunbar and bassist Clint Houston, and one by baritone saxophonist Patience Higgins. Bluiett does not content himself with traditional ballad treatments, instead constructing solos which explore the outer harmonic reaches of the tunes and utilize the full range of his instrument. Dunbar, one of a very small handful on guitarists whose comping rivals the best pianists, follows Bluiett's every move.

Dunbar also comes forward for some remarkable solo work, spotlighting his warm, broad tone, highly melodic phrases, and unusually sophisticated harmonic conception. Houston and Monk alumnus Ben Riley's tight rhythm section work propels the soloists and moves the date along in a swinging fashion.


Michael Moore Trio - Bering (1997)

Michael Moore's trio with pianist Fred Hersch and Mark Helias is one of the union's in modern jazz.Moore restricts himself to playing clarinet on this date, and, with no drummer present, the restrained palette relies on the magic of intervallic invention, the subtle and towering structures of harmonic architecture, and the dynamic considerations that the trio setting affords. 

Over 15 tracks, seven of them Moore's and the rest a vast array of true gems from the jazz and international folk pantheon, this trio manages to create a kind of jazz that transcends the genre and simply becomes music. Whether it is the wonderfully impressionistic lyricism of "Frontier," with it's rearrangement of three harmonic figures between clarinet and piano, or the driving modalism of Wayne Shorter's "Albatross" or the strutting harmonies in Jimmy Rowles' "The Peacocks," this trio manages to add, shape, contour, and improvise on exactly what makes this kind of trio interaction unique. Helias' bass playing here is singular; he melts into the backdrop while guiding with purpose the tempo and dynamic of every tune in the program. 

He is never absent, never without "wood," yet he moves elliptically through tracks, such as Tom Jobim's "Inutil Paisagem," with a simmering rhythm and contrapuntal staccato that brings Hersch up and into the body of the tune as Moore slips around and under its melodic line. On Moore's "Odin," it is Hersch who inverts the line and turns it back on itself, causingMoore in his solo to reconsider how the lyric is structured and then deconstruct it once more in order to restate it with a silvery glissando. Quite simply, this is a breathtaking if quiet recording, full of surprises and musical innovation at nearly every turn offering a new definition to the phrase "art of the trio."


viernes, 27 de noviembre de 2015

Joey Defrancesco - Trip Mode (2015)

Source: Coastal Jazz
Label: HighNote

"On Trip Mode, three-time Grammy nominee Joey DeFrancesco takes you on a musical journey, continuing his mastery of jazz organ as well as showcasing his musical versatility on piano, trumpet and vocals.  Along for the journey are his touring comrades, Dan Wilson on guitar and drummer Jason Brown. Bassist Mike Boone is enlisted on a few piano tracks." - Jazz Times
Three-time Grammy nominee, master of the jazz organ, trumpeter and vocalist Joey DeFrancesco swings hard and straight ahead. A prodigious talent at an early age, he joined the Miles Davis band when he was seventeen. At eighteen, he began touring with his own quartet. At twenty-two, John Mclaughlin called him along with drummer Dennis Chambers to form the group “Free Spirits.” Subsequently, Joey worked with greats such as George Benson, James Moody and Ray Charles. He’s won the Downbeat Critics Poll ten times and the Readers Poll every year since 2005. His current trio with Dan Wilson guitar and Jason Brown drums promises to rock the house.



Robby Ameen - Days in the Night (2015)

Label: Two & Four Records
Source: Cdbaby

Grammy award-winning drummer Robby Ameen's latest release, "Days in the Night" features his all-star working band laying down some high-energy, cutting-edge Afro-Cuban, funk and post-bop jazz. Also participating as an invited guest is Robby's longtime employer Ruben Blades, taking us on a journey of guaguanco, salsa and timba jazz. The band's lengthy and wide history of playing together allows them to move and react through a variety of genres while still retaining the focus and understanding of a group sound. Most of the repertoire consists of Robby's original compositions and arrangements, incorporating the many styles and influences he has absorbed as a sideman for such diverse artists as Ruben Blades, Jack Bruce, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Valentin, Paul Simon and Eddie Palmieri, while also leading his own bands over the last
decade and more.The album also includes several duets between Robby and Troy Roberts exploring the freedom in the pairing of sax and drums while playing over interesting form-based arrangements. "Days in the Night" is a record that lives up to the realization that progressive jazz can go into so many different directions as long as the integrity of its roots are still respected, that categories are less relevant than ever before, and that one can be free to use all of one's listening and playing experiences to go beyond preconceived labels...

1. The Pursuit    
2. Crowded Hour
3. Begin the Beguine / Se Acabó la Ilusión    
4. Up Jumped Spring    
5. Miles to Go    
6. Oleo    
7. The Corners
8. Funkguanco    
9. Bernie's Tune

Robby Ameen- Drums
Lincoln Goines- Bass
Troy Roberts- Saxophone
Manuel Valera- Piano
Bob Franceschini- Saxophone
Yunior Terry- Bass
Mauricio Herrera- Congas
Conrad Herwig- Trombone



Rich Brown - Abeng (2015)

Source: Cdbaby

Canadian bassist Rich Brown releases his third album entitled Abeng. The album explores contemporary and progressive concepts in rhythm, harmony, melody, and improvisation. That said, the music on this album is primarily dedicated to the deepest groove. Drawing upon influences ranging from Weather Report, to Roy Ayers, to Steve Coleman and beyond. Abeng featuring some of the greatest musicians on the Canadian Jazz scene today. Joining bassist/composer Rich Brown are; Luis Deniz, Kelly Jefferson, Robi Botos, Chris Donnelly, Larnell Lewis, Chendy Leon, and Kevin Turcotte all adding their stellar talent to the music of Rich Brown's Abeng.

1. Mahishmatish
2. Window Seat
3. Chant of the Exiled (Abeng)
4. Promessa
5. This Lotus Ascension
6. The Etymology of Ouch
7. Parity of Esteem (An Illustration of Imbalance)
8. Achilles & the Tortoise

Rich Brown - Bass
Luis Deniz - Alto Saxophone
Kevin Turcotte - Trumpet
Stan Fomin - Piano & Keys
Larnell Lewis - Drums,Percussion



Benjamin Herman & Robin Nolan Trio - Swing de Paris (2015)

Source & Label: Dox Records

Benjamin Herman was always a Robin Nolan fan. Now twenty years on they are playing together. Here he presents six tracks recorded with the Nolan trio in 1940s Hot Club de France style.
Inspired by Django Reinhardt, Robin Nolan is an institution in the Gypsy Jazz scene. In the Netherlands he has worked with Janne Schra, Wouter Hamel, Kim Hoorweg and many more. Nolan was a close friend of George Harrison, has often played with Bill Wyman and keeps the innovative tradition of the Gypsy Jazz genre alive.
The rhythm section is Robin’s brother Kevin Nolan op guitar and Arnoud van den Berg on bass.
Benjamin: “This music is fantastic. I’ve been fascinated by it since I can remember. It’s also quite difficult; I had to relearn how to improvise. It requires a different kind of timing and rhythmic approach. Everything is much more on the beat, which is certainly not the case in the kind of jazz I usually play. A real learning experience for me. Wouter sang on his track in the same area we were playing, which gives the recording an authentic character and whetted our appetite for more. I can’t wait to get on stage and play live with these guys!”

1. Swing de Paris 03:06
2. August Moon 04:07
3. Swing 48 03:24
4. Legendary (ft. Wouter Hamel) 03:14
5. Count Robbo 03:23
6.Petite Fleur 04:02

Benjamin Herman: Saxophone
Robin Nolan: Guitar
Kevin Nolan: Guitar
Arnoud van den Berg: Bass 


Pablo Held Trio - Recondita Armonia (2015)

Label: Pirouet

There has long been a healthy cross-fertilisation between jazz and classical music. Classical composers such as Stravinsky and Shostakovich incorporated jazz structures and rhythms into their compositions, whilst jazz musicians have been influenced by many classical composers. Some musicians like Wynton Marsalis and Keith Jarrett have managed to straddle both worlds.

The Pablo Held Trio have created a record which itself sits on the border of these two traditions. They have taken eight pieces by classical composers and created a beautiful, understated jazz record. At times the tunes have been treated as if they are jazz standards, as a kicking off point for improvisation; at others, the trio have stuck closer to the originals, albeit with a novel instrumentation.

It is gentle, subtle music. The trio - Pablo Held on piano, Robert Landfermann on bass, and Jonas Burgwinkel on drums - have created an impressionistic sound. Their trust in each other - they have now been a working band for almost a decade -  and their material allow them a lot of space.

Despite the range of pieces, from composers as diverse as Puccini, Scriabin, Bartok and Hindemith, the music the trio makes feels unified. Puccini's Recondita Armonia - "hidden harmony" - closes this gorgeous record. It doesn't feel hidden, since the trio play with an openness that sounds almost bare, full of honesty and integrity. With its classical roots, they have produced excellent jazz, with no barriers between the two. I think this is one of the records of the year.  (Patrick Hadfield)

Prélude No. 3
Feuillet D'Album Op. 58
Mountain Horn Song
Agnus Dei
Interludium No. 5
Recondita Armonia

Pablo Held piano
Robert Landfermann bass
Jonas Burgwinkel drums



John Taylor - 2081 (2015)

Label: CamJazz
Source: The Guardian

After an LP of duets, this is the second posthumous release from the great British pianist John Taylor, and one of his finest. Taylor has long displayed an empathy for singers – from Cleo Laine to his ex-wife Norma Winstone – and this quartet features the burnished baritone of his son Alex, who sounds like a calmer, more soulful Sting. Joining this family affair is drummer Leo from the Invisible (John’s other son with Winstone) while, instead of a bassist, they use Oren Marshall on tuba – someone who can switch between warm, sustained colliery-band pedal notes, nimble New Orleans-style basslines and eccentric solos. Alex Taylor’s lyrics are inspired by a dystopian sci-fi novel by Kurt Vonnegut, and the deliciously bleak mood recalls John Taylor’s work with David Sylvian. This distills many of the features associated with Taylor’s music – tricksy time signatures, surprisingly funky modal jazz solos, elegant lead lines – to create a highly English form of soul music.

1. Doozy 1
2. 2081
3. Empress
4. Dmg    
5. Deer On the Moon
6. Doozy 2

John Taylor (Piano)
Oren Marshall (Tuba)
Alex Taylor (Vocal)
Leo Taylor (Drums)



Robert Glasper - The Robert Glasper Trio - Covered (Live at Capitol Studios) 2015

Following the breakthrough commercial and critical success of his two GRAMMY-winning R&B-oriented Black Radio albums, Robert Glasper returns to his acoustic jazz roots with Covered (The Robert Glasper Trio recorded live at Capitol Studios). The album reunites Glasper with bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid, reforming the trio that created his first two Blue Notes releases, Canvas (2005) and In My Element (2007).

Covered, which was recorded before an intimate gathering of invited guests in Capitol Records’ historic Studio A, was designed to bring Glasper’s newfound Black Radio fan base along as he returned to the jazz fold. The set list features songs by hip-hop and R&B stars like Kendrick Lamar, Musiq Soulchild, John Legend, and Bilal alongside the jazz standard “Stella By Starlight.” Displaying his trademark eclecticism, Glasper also includes tunes by Radiohead and Joni Mitchell, along with a stirring collaboration with legendary singer/activist Harry Belafonte. The Glasper originals on the album include a re-working of “I Don’t Even Care” which was a bonus track on Black Radio 2 featuring Macy Gray and Jean Grae.

“I missed the piano,” Glasper says simply, explaining his return to the acoustic piano trio. For the past five years, he’s focused almost exclusively on keyboards while recording and touring with his Experiment band. Those efforts earned him unprecedented success, with both volumes of Black Radio winning GRAMMY Awards in R&B categories and topping Billboard’s Jazz and R&B/Hip-Hop charts, placing him in the company of pop music superstars like Drake, Rihanna, and Justin Timberlake. So when it came time to embrace the piano trio once again, he decided to mix flavors old and new, reconvening with Archer and Reid for the first time since 2007 while continuing to explore his hip-hop and R&B influences.

“I didn’t want to go back to trio and just play a bunch of standards or original jazz compositions, because then I would lose the big fan base I just built from mainstream R&B,” Glasper explains. “So I decided on a happy medium, returning to the piano trio but doing cover songs, which is something that I’ve never done before. It’s something that can feed the appetites of both my R&B/hip-hop audience and my jazz audience at the same time.”

While his heightened profile following Black Radio could have afforded Glasper his choice of collaborators for his follow-up project, the pianist was determined to work again with his original trio. “I always want to have an original sound,” he explains. “I’ve never been a big fan of all-star albums. They’re kind of like having five LeBron James’ on a team - you don't win like that. The guys in my acoustic trio are my favorite musicians on their instruments. And musically it felt great.”

One notable exception to Glasper’s “all-star band” rule was Our Point of View, the supergroup assembled to celebrate Blue Note’s 75th anniversary in the Fall of 2014. The band featured trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott along with Glasper, and the experience helped to whet the pianist’s appetite for a return to acoustic jazz. “Now, that’s an all-star band where everybody has a great game all around. The great thing about that band is that they’re all the most considerate and selfless musicians, which makes for the best music because people leave room and space for things to happen. They’re all grade ‘A’ musicians and we have a great chemistry together. And it was great to get back to playing acoustic piano.”

The decision to record Covered live was simply another case of unexplored territory, another challenge Glasper wanted to face. “I never like to do the same album twice,” he says. “When I put an album out, I want it to be a different experience from the last one.”

For the setting, he chose Capitol Records’ prestigious Studio A in Hollywood, California, a room that has hosted landmark recording sessions by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Nancy Wilson to The Beach Boys to The Beastie Boys. It’s also the home of Nat King Cole’s New York Steinway “B” piano and was the setting for Cannonball Adderley’s Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! live album, a key inspiration for Glasper’s decision. “There’s magic in that room,” Glasper says. “You can go on and on and on about the amazing people who recorded there, and the sound in that room is famous.”

The choice of recording in a studio rather than a nightclub leads not only to improved sound quality but also to a looser, more intimate feeling, as the trio is performing for a select group of friends and fans. That vibe, as well as Glasper’s trademark sense of humor, is evident in the playful Glasper original “In Case You Forgot,” which showcases the trio’s abilities while also allowing for a few unexpected musical quotations along the lines of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”; and in Glasper’s off-the-cuff spoken introductions.

On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum are the album’s two closing tracks, which directly confront social and political realities in modern America. “Got Over” sets to music an autobiographical monologue by Harry Belafonte, who Glasper met while working with the singer/activist’s Sankofa organization, which rallies artists and performers to use their platforms to speak out on issues of social justice. “I told him just to talk about his life and what he did to overcome things,” Glasper says, “and it was mind-blowing. A lot of people look at themselves in the mirror and feel like if they come from nothing they’ll just be nothing. A lot of our problems as African-Americans come from that lack of self-love and thinking you’re not going to be able to overcome your situation.”

Another artist that contradicts that narrative is Kendrick Lamar, who rose out of Compton, California to find success in hip-hop. Glasper is featured on several songs on Lamar’s latest album, To Pimp a Butterfly, and closes Covered with a moving rendition of Lamar’s “I’m Dying of Thirst.” Glasper’s version features his six-year-old son Riley and his friends reciting the names of African-American victims of police shootings, including Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. “I thought I had to do something with my art to reflect what’s going on,” Glasper says. “I look at things totally differently now that I’m a father. These kids could grow up to be those same people who get shot by the police. The world is dying of thirst, dying for change, for people to have love in their hearts. And until the world gets that thirst quenched, this isn’t going to stop.”

In addition to recording Covered, Glasper has been busy with a wide variety of musical pursuits. He recently finished composing and recording the score for Miles Ahead, actor/director Don Cheadle’s upcoming film about Miles Davis. For a separate project, Glasper was also given unique access to Davis’ Columbia Records vaults, from which he’s assembling a remix album crafting new music from the legendary trumpeter’s recordings, rehearsals and outtakes, and he has produced a new tribute album to Nina Simone in conjunction with an upcoming documentary about the singer. He’s also been named an official Steinway artist, joining a select group of world-class pianists who have chosen to perform exclusively on the family of Steinway-designed pianos.

Robert Glasper, piano
Vicente Archer, bass
Damion Reid, drums

I Don't Even Care
In Case You Forgot
So Beautiful
The Worst
Good Morning
Stella By Starlight
Got Over
I'm Dying of Thirst


Brad Mehldau - 10 Years Solo Live (2015) 4 CD's

It is surprising that Brad Mehldau and Keith Jarrett do not draw even more comparisons. Both cross genres with ease, provide consistently high quality content and are unquestionably the finest piano virtuosos in modern music. With the release of Mehldau's 10 Years Solo Live, he solidifies his position as the heir apparent to Jarrett's place atop the solo jazz piano pedistal.

The five hours of live music in this anthology are the result of Mehldau's review and segmentation of some forty European concerts dating back to 2004 performances at the Menton Music Festival in France and London's Wigmore Hall in London through a 2014 concert at Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium. The eight record vinyl or four CD box sets contain thirty-two tracks and only in one case is there two versions of a tune, Radiohead's "Knives Out." Given Mehldau's penchant for repeatedly (but with great variety) performing selective numbers from that band, Nirvana, Nick Drake and Lennon/McCartney, it's a generously diverse collection.

Mehldau himself contributes a relatively modest six compositions in the midst the previously mentioned pop favorites and songs from Jeff Buckley, Kurt Cobain and Roger Waters. Jazz classics from Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and two Johannes Brahms compositions are among the other pieces. About half of these performances are great immersions, extending well beyond the ten-minute mark.

As he long has done, Mehldau mines some unusual sources for unexpected improvisational gems. Paul McCartney's "Junk" with its bluesy New Orleans treatment and the sixteen-plus minute reverential treatment of the Brian Wilson/Tony Asher classic "God Only Knows" are cases in point. A medley of The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony" (which samples The Rolling Stones' "The Last Time") and The Kinks (Ray Davies) "Waterloo Sunset" is another exceptional performance.

Mehldau's brief renditions of Brahms' "Intermezzo in B-flat major, Op. 76: No.4" and "Intermezzo in E minor, Op. 119" are no less inventive than the jazz and pop improvisations. In fact, Mehldau notes that he intentionally seizes on the fragment of a theme and manipulates it until the piece effectively becomes his own musical development. It is in his uncanny ability to refurbish tried and true compositions that Mehldau dispels any preconceived notions through his slip-sliding melodic translations, often elaborate and always lyrical, even in the stretches.

Mehldau's ambitious amalgamation of modernism, classical influences and rock tempos is a calling card he has been perfecting for years and—despite the non-chronological sequencing— it comes together very nicely on 10 Years Solo Live. The four CD discs are categorized as "Dark/Light," The Concert," Intermezzo/Ruckblick" and "E Minor/E Major" though the segmentation's purpose is less clear than the labels may indicate. Mehldau's treatments are always so acutely individual that they seem fresh even with repeated listening and even over ten years, and that makes this collection well worth owning.

Brad Mehldau: piano

CD 1


01. Dream Brother
02. Blackbird
03. Jigsaw Falling into Place
04. Meditation I – Lord Watch Over Me
05. And I Love Her
06. My Favorite Things
07. This Here

CD 2


01. Smells Like Teen Spirit
02. Waltz for J. B.
03. Get Happy
04. I’m Old Fashioned
05. Teardrop
06. Meditation II – Love Meditation
07. Holland
08. Knives Out

CD 3

01. Lost Chords
02. Countdown
03. On the Street Where You Live
04. Think of One
05. Medley - Zingaro-Paris
06. John Boy
07. Intermezzo in B-flat major, Op. 76: No. 4
08. Junk
09. Los Angeles II
10. Monk’s Mood
11. Knives Out

CD 4


01. La Mémoire et la Mer
02. Hey You
03. Bittersweet Symphony/Waterloo Sunset
04. Intermezzo in E minor, Op. 119: No. 2
05. Interstate Love Song
06. God Only Knows


1-01 Dark / Light: Dream Brother (Jeff Buckley)
1-02 Dark / Light: Blackbird (John Lennon / Paul McCartney)
2-01 Dark / Light: Jigsaw Falling into Place (Thom Yorke / Jonny Greenwood / Colin Greenwood / Phil Selway / Ed O'Brien)
2-02 Dark / Light: Meditate I – Lord Watch Over Me (Brad Mehldau)
3-01 Dark / Light: And I Love Her (John Lennon / Paul McCartney)
4-01 Dark / Light: My Favorite Things (Richard Rodgers / Oscar Hammerstein II)
4-02 Dark/Light: This Here (Bobby Timmons)
5-01 The Concert: Smells Like Teen Spirit (Kurt Cobain)
5-02 The Concert: Waltz for J. B. (Brad Mehldau)
6-01The Concert: Get Happy (Harold Arlen / Ted Koehler)
6-02 The Concert: I'm Old Fashioned (Jerome Kern / Johnny Mercer)
7-01 The Concert: Teardrop (Grantley Marshall / Andrew Lee Isaac Vowles / Robert Del Naja / Elizabeth Fraser )
7-02 The Concert: Meditation II – Love Meditation (Brad Mehldau)
8-01 The Concert: Holland (Brad Mehldau)
8-02 The Concert: Knives Out (Thom Yorke / Jonny Greenwood / Colin Greenwood / Phil Selway / Ed O'Brien)
9-01 Intermezzo / Rückblick: Lost Chords (Brad Mehldau)
9-02 Intermezzo / Rückblick: Countdown (John Coltrane)
10-01 Intermezzo / Rückblick: On the Street Where You Live (Frederick Loewe / Alan Jay Lerner)
10-02 Intermezzo / Rückblick: Think of One (Thelonious Monk)
11-01 Intermezzo / Rückblick: Zingaro/Paris (Antônio Carlos Jobim / Brad Mehldau)
11-02 Intermezzo / Rückblick: John Boy (Brad Mehldau)
11-03 Intermezzo / Rückblick: Intermezzo in B-flat major, Op. 76: No. 4 (Johannes Brahms)
11-04 Intermezzo / Rückblick: Junk (Paul McCartney)
12-01 Intermezzo / Rückblick: Los Angeles II (Brad Mehldau)
12-02 Intermezzo / Rückblick: Monk's Mood (Thelonious Monk)
12-03 Intermezzo / Rückblick: Knives Out (Thom Yorke / Jonny Greenwood / Colin Greenwood / Phil Selway / Ed O'Brien)
13-01 E Minor / E Major: La Mémoire et la Mer (Leo Ferre)
13-02 E Minor / E Major: Hey You (Roger Waters)
14-01 E Minor / E Major: Bittersweet Symphony / Waterloo Sunset (Richard Ashcroft / Keith Richards / Mick Jagger / Ray Davies)
14-02 E Minor / E Major: Intermezzo in E minor, Op. 119: No. 2 (Johannes Brahms)
15-01 E Minor / E Major: Interstate Love Song (Eric Kretz / Robert DeLeo / Scott Weiland / Dean DeLeo)
16-01 E Minor / E Major: God Only Knows (Brian Wilson / Tony Asher)


All tracks/concerts recorded live by Vincent Rousseau except:

Side 10, track 2: Courtesy of Radio France. Engineer: Franck Malabry. Executive Producer: Xavier Prévost, radio producer at France Musique/Radio France.

Side 11, track 4; side 12: Courtesy of the BBC program Jazz on 3, a Somethin’ Else Production for BBC Radio 3. Producer: Russell Finch. Engineer: Paul Nickson.


Side 1, track 1: November 5, 2013 at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, Hungary
Side 1, track 2: September 18, 2011 at Auditorio Palau de Congressos, Sala Cambra, Girona, Spain
Side 2, track 1; side 7, track 2: September 17, 2011 at Oper Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
Side 2, track 2; side 15: March 10, 2014 at Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium
Side 3, track 1; side 8, track 1: November 8, 2013 at Théâtre de Vevey, Vevey, Switzerland
Side 4; side 5, track 1: March 16, 2010 at Conservatoire de Musique, Luxembourg
Side 5, track 2: July 15, 2010 at Castello degli Ezzelini, Bassano del Grappa, Italy
Side 6, track 1: October 30, 2010 at Shiftung Mozarteum Großer Saal, Salzburg, Austria
Side 6, track 2: March 17, 2010 at Muzeikgebouw Eindhoven, Frits Philipshal, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Side 7, track 1; side 16: June 9, 2011 at Wiener Konzerthaus, Mozartsaal, Vienna, Austria
Side 8, track 2; side 11, track 2: March 29, 2011 at Auditorium Parco della Musica, Sala Sinopoli, Rome, Italy
Side 9; side 10, track 1; side 11, track 1: July 10, 2005 at Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark
Side 10, track 2: August 5, 2004 at the Menton Music Festival, Basilique Saint-Michel-Archange, Menton, France
Side 11, track 3: June 7, 2011 at Stadttheatre, Wels, Austria
Side 11, track 4; side 12: November 17, 2004 at Wigmore Hall, London, England
Side 13, track 1: September 10, 2011 at Cité de la Musique, Salle Pleyel, Paris, France
Side 13, track 2: September 18, 2011 at Auditorio Palau de Congressos, Sala de Cambra, Girona, Spain
Side 14, track 1: March 29, 2011 at Auditorium Parco della Musica, Sala Sinopoli, Rome, Italy
Side 14, track 2: March 25, 2011 at Sociedad Filarmonica de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
Mixed by Vincent Mahey and Vincent Rousseau at Studio Sextan, Malakoff, France
Assisted by Mehdi Chefai, Laurent Guiguonet, Clement Labre
Editing and album compiling by Vincent Mahey at Studio Sextan
Mastered by Raphaël Jonin at J RAPH i.n.g., Bois-Colombes, France
Assisted by Maël Vallin

Design by John Gall Design

Photography by Michael Wilson


Garzone / Bergonzi / Moses / Andersson - Splitting Up In Boston (2015)

Back in 2013, renowned saxophonists George Garzone and Jerry Bergonzi recorded an album together that came out in 2014 on the Danish label Stunt. The name of the album was Quintonic and it sounded just as one might expect; wonderful music with fiery blowing, swinging tunes, tight grooves and razor-sharp twists and turns and lyric moments of beauty. They recorded it with two Danish musicians, pianist Carl Winther and drummer Anders Mogensen, and the Finnish bassist Johnny Åman. 

Now comes Splitting Up In Boston, another album with Garzone and Bergonzi, and even though it is released after Quintonic, it actually precedes the recording with one year. The album was recorded in December 2012 in Boston. Danish bassist Richard Andersson arranged a marathon session with the two saxophonists and percussion wizard Rakalam Bob Moses and now, after three years, the result is finally here and it does not sound like the album one could expect, and yet it has the unmistakable watermark of the two tenor titans. 

The absence of a piano allows for much more space in the music and even though Moses is able to conjure an entire rain forest of strange percussive sounds, he does not dominate the session, but adds a wealth of textures. Andersson himself changes between simple dirges, merely plucking the strings to let them resonate in the air, and complex bass patterns. "Don't get too close" is played as a bass solo and it is a study in the use of space and organic development of motifs. 

The music is original and knotty, but still accessible, and the melodic riff that emerges on "I see us more as friends" is filled with joy and vitality. There is not the complete catharsis that Garzone provides with The Fringe or the intellectual hard-bop that Bergonzi is so capable of, but instead there is something else. Together with Andersson and Moses, Garzone and Bergonzi slow down and squeeze new sounds out from their instruments. For instance, they find haunting overtones on "If you'll weep I'll cry" where they also play some genuinely swinging lines. The album is simply an encyclopedia of saxophone sounds.

The final track is called "Let's delay our goodbye" and a sequel with more music from the same session is actually planned. Time will tell if it will take another three years to complete the next album, but there is no doubt that Splitting Up In Boston was worth the wait.

George Garzone: saxophone
Jerry Bergonzi: saxophone
Ra-Kalam Bob Moses: drums and percussion
Richard Andersson: bass

01. May I come in?
02. I won't be long
03. Dot
04. If you scratch my back I'll scratch yours
05. Don't get too close
06. I see us more as friends
07. If you weep I'll cry
08. No one said it would be easy
09. Let's delay our goodbye


jueves, 26 de noviembre de 2015

Kneebody & Daedelus - Kneedelus (2015)

Label: Ninja Tune
Source: Pitchfork

Under his Flying Lotus codename, Steven Ellison continues to push his distinctive strain of abstract hip-hop into the direction paved by his Great Aunt Alice and Great Uncle John. You could hear the family history coursing through the interstellar spaces he explored with his cousin Ravi on 2010's Cosmogramma and that Herbie Hancock jam on last year's You're Dead!. But Ellison's advancement of creative jazz has been more crucial as curator of the Brainfeeder label, which he founded in 2008 as an outlet for himself and his buddies down at Low End Theory in Los Angeles.

Kamasi Washington's The Epic hinted at FlyLo's A&R prowess, and Kneedelus puts an exclamation point on the imprint's new direction. The relationship between exploratory, Grammy-nominated funk-jazz outfit Kneebody and pioneering Cali beat scientist Daedelus (born Alfred Darlington) goes back almost a decade, evidenced by remixes on Bandcamp and a stage collaboration at the Jazz à Vienne Festival in 2009. Kneebody saxophonist Ben Wendel and Darlington are high school friends, while Darlington and Flying Lotus go back to 1983, Ellison's debut, and Darlington's indelible remix of the title track.

What all of this six-degrees business adds up to is this supernova of a record, rounded out by Adam Benjamin on keyboard, Shane Endsley on treated trumpet, bassist Kaveh Rastegar, and drummer Nate Wood. As a collaborative unit, the friendship between the parties undoubtedly lends itself to the fluidity of these 10 original compositions. In some cases, as on tracks like the rugged "The Hole" and the hypnotic "Move", you can't really even tell where Kneebody ends and Daedelus begins. Darlington's deft rhythmic impulses come to the fore on "Drum Battle", but in other moments, the invincible horn section of Kneebody runs the show. On "Loops", Endsley's trumpet is cat-like and cool, as the group takes the scrambled-signal breakbeat Daedelus delivers to the snapping point around the horn's calm center like a hurricane eye. On "Platforming", meanwhile, Wendel's fantastic Art Pepper-esque tenor work is transformed into a wild, distorted-violin sound. Elsewhere, its Benjamin who is leading the charge on the seven-minute Mwandishi-flavored space-out "Thought Not", and the haunting processed upright piano he plays on "Not Love".

Yet its when Kneebody and Daedelus fuse that Kneedelus achieves its potential. And perhaps no other track really embodies that idea more than "Home", the album's deep modal center that simmers together Tubby dub, TNT-era Tortoise, and Lalo Schifrin. It's no matter of happenstance the cover of Kneedelus is a shameless emulation of the design format of another game-changing jazz record label, ECM. This album exists in a very similar atmosphere to some of Manfred Eicher's bolder production moves throughout the last 40-odd years (dig that Jack DeJohnette box set for proof). And above all, it's a vision offering one last reminder before the year is out that Brainfeeder is very serious about its place in the jazz world.

01. Loops 06:20
02. The Hole 03:57
03. Drum Battle 05:24
04. They are We 04:37
05. Platforming 04:47
06. Home 05:42
07. Move 03:33
08. Thought Not 07:01
09. Rounds 04:10
10. Not Love 05:59

Daedelus - electronics
Adam Benjamin - keyboard
Shane Endsley - treated trumpet
Kaveh Rastegar - bass
Nate Wood - drums



Organic Three Plus - Clustered Injuries (2015)

Eclecticism in music is often frowned upon. Sometimes rightly so, since it may lead to an indeterminate hotchpotch, without any sense of direction. Not so in the case of Organic Three Plus. The name of the band is appropriate, since every musical direction they take into their stride, they manage to mould into an organic whole.
The group started as a trio, with guitarist Milan Kracht, drummer Kim Weemhoff and bassist Frans Tunderman, but has recently been extended with vibraphonist Murk Jiskoot. His appearance inspired Milan Kracht to write a completely new repertoire. Therefore he was influenced by some of his musical heroes Frank Zappa, Igor Stravinsky, Steve Coleman en Bill Frisell. The new material is a musical rollercoaster where composition and improvisation are woven into a multicoloured rug.
Murk Jiskoot is an enchanter on mallets, alternating dense melodic strands with tasteful, bluesy brushstrokes. Milan Kracht thinks like a horn player, and leaves breathing spaces in his lines, making them transparent, allowing the listener to hear his musical stories unfold. Frans Tunderman plays the double bass like a full-fledged melodic instrument, adding ideas and taste rather than merely accompanying. Kim Weemhoff, too, is so much more than a timekeeper. He colours the melodies with the full palette his drum kit offers him.

1. Intuitive Rendezvous of My Lost Memories
2. Disrupted Continuity
3. Torqued Metamorphosis
4. In Between Bouncing
5. Extracts of Higher Echoes
6. Joint Fragments of Disintegrated Assembly
7. Superficial Brushstroke of God
8. Cosmic Eye of Love

Milan Kracht, guitar
Kim Weemhoff, drums
Frans Tunderman, bass
Murk Jiskoot, vibraphone



Aaron Hanson Project - Count These (2015)

Source: Cdbaby

Something new, but not unheard of. This music is not restricted in any way, but truly free.
"Count These" is an adventurous album that in musical terms tries to comprehend the entirety of self analyzation. Each song is meant to stick in your head and strike memories, good or bad. It is about time an album of pure true artistry has been released. 

1. Count This
2. Herbie Withers
3. Overcoming
4. There's Your Cue...
5. Behind a Mile of Wall
6. The Divinity of Heart and Truth
7. Ascertained Faults
8. Don't Fear Us
9. F*** You All... Mostly




Corrie Dick - Impossible Things (2015)

Source: Irish Time
Label: Chaos Collective

Drummer Corrie Dick’s conception of music is a generous and wide-ranging one, embracing the raucous and the sublime, the complex and the disarmingly simple, with the same sense of mischief and discovery.
As well as jazz, the rising Glasgow-born percussionist’s training has included studies in Morocco and Ghana, and he has also delved into Celtic music.
It all comes together on this impressive debut album. For his nine-piece “pocket” big band, Dick has assembled a cast of similarly rising talents on London’s contemporary scene – including vocalist Alice Zawadzki, trumpeter Laura Jurd, and saxophonist Joe Wright – and they deliver on the promise of the leader’s original compositions.
By turns folksy, rootsy, bluesy and indy, Impossible Things announces the arrival of a new and compelling voice in contemporary European jazz.

1. Soar 06:32
2. King William Walk 07:43
3. Six Impossible Things 06:16
4. Annamarrakech 05:57
5. Farewell Modhachaidh 03:37
6. Lock Your Heart Up 07:28
7. What Has Become Of Albert? 06:22
8. Don't Cry 09:36
Corrie Dick - drums
Matt Robinson - piano
Joe Webb - wurlitzer
Laura Jurd - trumpet
George Crowley - reeds
Joe Wright - reeds
Felix Higginbottom - percussions
Conor Chaplin - bass
Alice Zawadzki - violin & vocals