sábado, 29 de noviembre de 2014

Nels Cline & Julian Lage - Room (2014)

What began as an article for JazzTimes penned by Nels Cline about his favorite Jim Hall songs has culminated into this: an encounter of two highly regarded and open-minded guitarists from two generations that followed the one from the iconic guitarist who, in a roundabout way, put them in the same room.

Yes, it’s a long story, and Cline explains it all here, but these paragraphs are devoted to the end product, Room, a document of the unexpected alchemy between Cline and his younger partner in this collaboration, Julian Lage.

Room — set for release November 25, 2014 via Mack Avenue Records — puts these two guitar greats in the purest possible setting: just the two of them, using a total of two guitars a piece, with no effects and recorded ‘live.’ Moreover, all of the material was brought in by each of these participants.

You don’t have to be a guitar freak to appreciate chiming sonorities of an unadorned guitar, and how in the right hands they can create music of mystery, drama and genuine feeling. They get their rich tone not from pedal or studio wizardry but straight from exquisite archtop guitars (Cline’s is a ’65 Gibson Barney Kessel while Lage plays a custom Linda Manzer) or acoustic ones (Cline chooses a ’62 Gibson J-200 and Lage favors his ’39 Martin 000-18). Lage is placed in the left channel and Cline on the right.

Put on your headphones for Room; this way you can hear on “Abstract 12″ how the music emanating from each channel is an independent entity onto itself but the two sides fit together perfectly. The highly synchronous “Racy” soon gets its groove on, with the thematic lines done in unison while Cline and Lage switch off comping and lead roles.

Cline and Lage liberally cross the lines separating jazz, folk, and chamber music, but the advanced bop tunes usually prove to be the most harmonically demanding ones, the ones that reveal how adept these guys are in handling the complexities of the material and still maintain their musical bond. Cline’s “Blues, Too” that originally appeared The Nels Cline Singer’s The Giant Pin and again in front of an audience for Initiate is perfect for this setting, a song motivated by Hall but imbued with Cline’s adventurous spirit. The two use Cline’s inverted blues merely as a jumping off point, traversing over Americana terrain, engaging in freestyle tête-à-tête and returning to the theme just in time to bring the adventure to a close. Cline titled “Amenette” as an amalgamation of the names of his drummer Scott Amendola and free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, and this feisty song stretches bop out to its outer limits like “Blues, Too,” but grounded with short, well-placed harmolodic figures played together.

The four acoustic numbers introduces new timbres but the same chemistry. “Whispers From Eve,” dedicated to the late bassist Eric Von Essen, has a folksy gentleness that’s contemplative and impressionistic, and breezily comes upon a gorgeous melody somewhere in the middle; they move on but stray only within a short distance from it. “Odd/End” sure enough has an odd 7/8 meter but that’s hardly what makes it click; it’s about the flow, which oscillates between moments of tension and release, keeping the flamenco-tinged energy level constant.

Nominally, Room is ‘jazz,’ but in reality, it’s just ‘music,’ the kind of music that can only be carried out by a guitar or two. Julian Lage and Nels Cline have long had it within themselves to bring out the full range of affection that’s possible from just six strings and frets and little else. The special thing about this rendezvous is how fully they brought out these aspects from each other. They’re having fun with their immense talents, and it’s hard not to share in that fun as listeners.

Abstract 12 
The Scent of Light
Whispers From Eve
Blues, Too
Odd End
Freesia/The Bond

Nels Cline, guitar
Julian Lage, guitar

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


viernes, 28 de noviembre de 2014

Gideon van Gelder - Lighthouse (2014)

Source: lifeandtimes

There’s a quiet but direct correlation between the mind and the groove. A definite understanding of that may be what aides Amsterdam pianist Gideon van Gelder in constructing the poignant rhythms of his sophomore LP, Lighthouse (out Sept. 6th). van Gelder indeed doubles as psychiatrist.

“I go back and forth,” he said of his travels between Europe and America. “There’s this other side to me. I’m also a medical doctor, I’m studying to become a psychiatrist, that’s what brought me back to Amsterdam. That’s my day gig right now, if you want to call it that. The nice thing is that ever since I’ve been back, I’ve kept in touch with people. People pass through – Jamire [Williams] did, I just did a tour with Takuya Kuroda – people come to Europe, and I’ve been fortunate enough for them to call me up to play their shows. Then I go back to New York to record with these cats and mix my album there. I feel very blessed with the whole situation.”

He’s done a damn good job moonlighting, working with Jose James, Williams, Kuroda and others over the years as an acclaimed musician. Life+Times talked with van Gelder about Lighthouse and his stellar band.

Life+Times: Talk about the title Lighthouse. Why did you choose that and what do the songs mean in relation to the title?

Gideon van Gelder: It gets down to the fact that when I write it’s also a visual thing for me. I would just get images in my mind. For this record, all the the material conjured up night time scenery for me.

A darkness but with an element of light in there though. It was the best way of capturing that feeling or that mental picture that I had while I was writing the record. It was like being on the coast somewhere and it’s dark out, but there’s stars. Kind of like that feeling. I did it specifically, too, because with titles such as Milton Nascimento’s “Pier//Cais,” “Orbit,” Toninho Horta’s “Moonstone,” it wrapped it all together for me. It made it coherent, that word “Lighthouse.” It’s kind of abstract, too. People can have different images if they want to, which is why I made it a point not to have too literal of a reference on the cover. Where this comes from is some of my favorite albums feel like they have stories behind them like Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil, Herbie Hancock’s Empyrean Isles. There are stories that can be imagined around the tunes.

L+T: Speaking of colors and things that you saw, the artwork is this bright yellow, neon color.

GvG: These guys [Machine] did the artwork for my first record and I like it because it’s quite radical. They have a way of translating my concepts into image. I think what comes through in the full artwork – even more so than just the cover – is that contrast of having dark, and then really bright light elements woven through that. We just happened to pick yellow and I liked it, and it’s something that comes close to whatever [color] light is gonna be. There’s the shadow behind me in the back, so you could imagine being in the light of the lighthouse. That tells you that there was an actual source of light on me.

L+T: You talk about Lighthouse being a tribute to your current influences, namely electronica, 70s pop, and Brazilian music. Describe the musical vibe on the record.

GvG: Basically, since my first album which was four years ago, I haven’t been listening to that much jazz music, it’s been other types of music. A lot of Brazilian stuff, going deeper into the Milton Nascimento thing. I was already a big Toninho Horta fan, but Milton, he wrote this incredible amount of beautiful music. A lot of Flying Lotus. There’s this Dutch producer Jameszoo who I’ve been doing live shows with too, he’s in that electronic jazz side of the music. 

There was a lot of Bjork going on at one point, and then I got into that duo called Knower – they’re in LA, it’s Genevieve Artadi and Louis Cole – that’s some of my favorite stuff right now. I don’t even know what to call it. They call it progressive pop music, I don’t know, there’s a ton of stuff in there. 

Playing with Takuya [Kuroda], having played with Jose [James] for years, that influenced how I hear music and encouraged me to incorporate anything I like and not limit yourself in any way. Why would you? I wanted to make it a point to take full advantage of my band even more so than in the first record. That’s why I had Becca doing all these overdubs. I  didn’t even think of that for my first record.

L+T: Expand on your band. You’ve got Jamire Williams on drums and Becca Stevens singing. Most people just feature singers, but she’s considered part of the band, and as far as I can tell, there’s no lyrics that she’s singing, but her voice is an instrument itself.

GvG: Exactly. To start with Jamire, if you want to talk about influences – I got connected with him because he came through Holland and didn’t bring a piano player on the tour, so through Corey King who’s in his band and who I went the New School with in New York, I played two shows with [Williams’ band] ERIMAJ. 

For me, that’s some of my favorite stuff and that’s where this corner of the musical world is at right now, the stuff that Jamire is doing. We played together and I had a blast playing his music and in his band. He has this great combination of the sensibility that a jazz player has and also the real solid thing coming from Houston and playing whatever kind of music. He has the amazing backbeat and groove and soulful thing, and the jazz sensibility added to that, to me that’s the perfect mix. Rick Rosato I went to school with. He’s great, he’s one of the busiest young bass players in New York right now. 

There’s Lucas Pino on saxophone. We share that love for Brazilian music which is a lot more about melody than notes and freaking out, you know. It’s about respecting the song and trying to make a beautiful song or statement. When we play the music, I want to keep it about the song instead of totally stretching out in a jazzed out way. Becca, before we played, I just really dug on her music. She was coming up in New York and I used to see her shows, and she really inspired my writing. What’s great about her – and everyone in the group – they won’t just play it, they’ll tell you what makes the most sense to them. It would be a completely different record without them. I wrote these songs with them in mind and I’m really happy with how they did their thing.

L+T: You’re from Amsterdam and live there currently. How did American music first come to you? Once you came to American, how did that experience change your musical perspective even more?

GvG: Honestly, it’s always been in my life because my dad runs a record store here [in Amsterdam] in the north of the country in my hometown. So I grew up with any American-slash-Black American music you can think of. They didn’t only run a store, they also ran this Mississippi Delta Blues label, so I grew up with R.L. Burnside and Aretha and there was a ton of jazz and blues music. This is all American music, there wasn’t a lot of European jazz. Moving to New York, it was really easy because everyone there at the New School, they all knew the same stuff, so it felt comfortable. In New York [city], specifically, there were a lot of things going on that I hadn’t been in touch with. There’s young musicians around you that really influence you. Meeting someone like Becca or Corey King. Then playing with someone like Jose James, he brought a lot of hip-hop to the table. Playing with him, he writes from that vibe. It’s not that we ever tried to blend hip-hop with jazz, but it’s in his ear, so that vibe is in his music. That changed the way I listen to stuff a lot. It changed how I listen to a beat, a groove, where I like things to sit, the fact that I love stuff to have a backbeat to it. After coming to New York, it was reaffirmed that it feels best if you completely let go of any references and allow yourself to just be free and do what you want.

Gideon Van Gelder: piano, Wurlitzer
Becca Stevens: vocals
Lucas Pino: saxophone, clarinet
Rick Rosato: bass
Jamire Williams: drums

1. Victory Joy Dance
2. As Night
3. Visions
4. Moonstone
5. Interlude
6. Pier // Cais
7. Giant
8. Orbit
9. As Night - Reprise

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Danny Green Trio - After the Calm (2014)

Source: Danny Green

Pianist and composer Danny Green has garnered a reputation in the jazz community as an emerging artist whose music sounds simultaneously seasoned and fresh. Showcasing a brilliant blend of jazz, Brazilian, Latin, and classical elements, Green’s music engages listeners with evocative melodies and infectious rhythms. According to JazzReview.com, “Danny Green is what evolution in jazz is all about, expressing the traits of those that came before him, with a style and panache that is all his own…an individual who expresses what is inside of him.”

A Southern California native, Green began studying classical piano at the age of five. His passion for music was apparent early on — his parents had to pull him away from the piano at his first recital. As they tugged him by his right hand, he continued playing with his left hand. At the age of twelve, Green grew disenchanted with reading music and quit lessons. He taught himself to play by ear and spent the next two years only playing Nirvana. Toward the end of high school, he fell in love with Afro Cuban music, which led to his discovery of Brazilian music and eventually jazz.

Green resumed his formal training at UC San Diego, where he studied jazz piano with Grammy-winning producer Kamau Kenyatta and classical piano with John Mark Harris and Luciane Cardassi. He performed the first jazz honors recital at UCSD and received the Jimmy Cheatham Jazz Award. Green continued his education by pursuing a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies at San Diego State University, where he studied jazz piano with Rick Helzer. He was awarded several scholarships and named “Outstanding Graduate.” In 2013, Green was honored as an “Alumni to Watch” from SDSU’s School of Music and Dance.

Hailed as “one of the important up-and-comers on the scene today” by All About Jazz, Green is one of the most prolific and talented jazz pianists in the San Diego area. Maintaining a busy performance schedule as leader of the Danny Green Trio, Green has performed at notable venues, series, and festivals including KSDS Jazz 88.3’s Jazz Live, the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, CSU Summer Arts Monterey, Anthology, The Loft @ UCSD, the Oceanside Museum of Art, Steamer’s Jazz Club, the San Diego Museum of Art’s Summer Residency Project, the Integrity Jazz festival in North Dakota, TEDxUCSD, and the KSDS Jazz 88.3 Ocean Beach Jazz Festival.

Green revealed his unique talents on his 2009 debut recording With You In Mind. The album received extensive airplay around the globe, rose to #18 on the Jazz Week Charts, and won “Best Jazz Album” at the 2009 San Diego Music Awards. In 2012, Green teamed up with Tapestry Records to release A Thousand Ways Home, featuring Justin Grinnell on bass, Julien Cantelm on drums, and Tripp Sprague on sax, as well as a talented cast of guest artists inducing guitarists Chico Pinheiro, Peter Sprague, and Dusty Brough, Brazilian vocalist Claudia Villela, and mandolinist Eva Scow. A Thousand Ways Home received numerous rave reviews nationwide, rose to #17 on the Jazz Week Charts, was voted into KSDS Jazz 88.3’s “Top Ten Jazz Releases of 2012,” and was nominated “Best Jazz Album” at the 2013 San Diego Music Awards.

After The CalmThe Danny Green Trio, comprised of Green, Grinnell, and Cantelm, is currently in production on a new album entitled After The Calm. Featuring ten of Green’s latest compositions, the album is slated for release on OA2 Records in November 2014.

Green is also highly devoted to music education. In addition to teaching private lessons, he is a faculty member of the annual Jazz 88.3 Summer Jazz Workshop, directs the jazz combo at Coronado School of the Arts, and presents a jazz appreciation workshop at elementary schools as part of the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library’s outreach program. Green has also taught piano courses at Grossmont Community College and San Diego City College, and has been an artist in residence at Canyon Crest Academy and at CSU Summer Arts Monterey.


Displaying a chemistry that borders on ESP, virtuoso pianist Danny Green and his Southern California-based trio, with Justin Grinnell on bass and Julien Cantelm on drums, breathes life into Green’s intricate compositions. Ranging from hard grooving burners to lush and soulful ballads, Green’s ten new works offer a sense of familiarity coupled with unexpected turns. According to Chuck Vecoli of Jazz Review, “Danny Green is what evolution in jazz is all about, expressing the traits of those that came before him with a style and panache that is all his own, an individual who expresses what is inside him.”

01. End of the Block
02. Thirty Springrolls Please
03. In A Dreamy State
04. Two Ways About It
05. Another One For You
06. Choro Pra Corrente
07. March of the Ghouls
08. After The Calm
09. Song For Hailey
10. I Got Kite

Danny Green, piano
Justin Grinnell, bass
Julien Cantelm, drums

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Johnny Griffith - Dance With The Lady (2014)

Source: Bop-N-Jazz
Label: Gb Records
Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Canada swings and Johnny Griffith is leading the charge, Dance With The Lady is stellar!

So tenor man Johnny Griffith fronts a stunning 4tet and oh yeah, he bangs out some alto too. Trumpet phenom Jeremy Pelt provides the perfect counterpoint and helps guide this ensemble to the land of rhythm and groove. All original tunes, unheard of for the most part. Griffith has that compositional x-factor and is obviously as artistically gifted as he is technically proficient.

There is a front line charm that harkens back to the days of Impulse on tunes such as "The Mile Walk" and "Cinders" while the band looks ahead with adventurous tunes such as "The Zissou Predicament" and "Syrah." With an amazing rhythm section rounded out with pianist Adrean Farrugia along with Jon Maharaj on bass and swing master Ethan Ardelli on drums there is little doubt that should this ensemble turn into a true working band that the sky is indeed the limit.

Post bop with bite. Swing with an attitude but most of all- SWING!  - Brent Black -

1. The Zissou Predicament
2. Princess Aura Goes to Phrygia            
3. Syrah       
4. The Kuleshascope       
5. Bass Interlude       
6. The Mile Walk       
7. Dance With the Lady       
8. Cinders       
9. That Night (Under the Bench)..so Long Ago    
Johnny Griffith - saxophone
Jeremy Pelt - trumpet
Jon Maharaj - bass
Adrean Farrugia - piano
Ethan Ardelli - drums

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


jueves, 27 de noviembre de 2014

James Davis' Beveled - Beveled (2014)

Gab's Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Chicago trumpeter James Davis did well in choosing the name “Beveled” for his new sextet: the compositions are carefully etched, with subtle angles and incisions, and the unique instrumentation surrounds them with layered depth. It’s the equivalent of carved wood frames in warm colors. (Their debut album, also named Beveled, doesn’t drop till  next week, but Davis will have copies on hand at the CD-release show this Friday at Constellation.) In this band, Davis forgoes the trumpet for its mellow cousin, the flugelhorn – then adds another flugel and two bass clarinets, for an ensemble sound that’s burnished and bosky: shaded copper with an ebony edge. This instrumentation is unique, to my knowledge, in recorded instrumental music, but it suits Davis’s own approach to improvising, which he has displayed in various bands since he arrived in Chicago a decade or so ago. (Those bands include the electrified quintet Zing!; groups led by Matt Ulery and Grazyna Auguscik; several big bands; and a couple of other small groups under his own leadership.)
Davis’s style stands in sharp contrast to the current “Chicago trumpet sound, as exemplified by such artists as Orbert Davis (no relation), Pharez Whitted, and young Marquis Hill, who recently won the annual Thelonious Monk Competition. Instead of heated lines and swaggering sound, Davis’s solos remain slightly guarded, almost reticent, with plenty of space in his melodies and a timbre steeped in earth tones – much the way his namesake, Miles Davis (again, no relation), offered an alternative to the hard-bop muscle of the 1950s. The strength of his style lies in its reserve.  Read more...

1. Inward Gaze - part 1 05:14
2. Inward Gaze - part 2 07:38
3. Flight Path 07:15
4. Beveled 04:09
5. Flou 07:18
6. Chimes 03:01
7. Impending Doom 06:58
8. Lope 06:24
9. Afterglow 11:10

James Davis - flugelhorn (featured trk 2, 5, 8)
Chad McCullough - flugelhorn (featured trk 3, 7)
Michael Salter - bass clarinet (featured trk 2, 3, 8)
Anna Najoom - bass clarinet
Daniel Thatcher - double bass (featured trk 1, 5)
Juan Pastor - drums (featured trk 3)

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


Omelette - On This Day (2014)

Omelette is an ensemble that features such seasoned performers as Jordan Murray (trombone), Stephen Magnusson (guitar), Mark Shepherd (bass), Ronny Ferella (drums) that it really doesn’t get much better than this.

With much shared musical history the Quartet enjoy the opportunity to shape their unique repertoire into a seamless musical journey keeping themselves open to play with no expectation.

The music of Omelette pivots between written and improvised music-making.  The ensemble feel the written serves to suggest a direction, feeling or colour, the improvised to see this idea and sound to the next one and so on. Although influenced by all the music listened to there is a nod to the folk music traditions of East and West Africa, Persia and Cuba, Miles Davis, Tony Allen and Ornette Coleman.

Omelette hear this as their folk music, made in the moment.  On This Day is a wonderfully lush sound recording performed by exceptional players. Really, don’t miss it.

01. One For Four 04:39
02. Esteban 04:25
03. There You Have It 05:55
04. Astral 08:39
05. Trench Coat 04:25
06. Paris Texas Coburg 06:49
07. Jimmy Can Jump 08:05
08. Temporal Slave 06:39
09. You What? 07:06
10. Wave Rider 10:46
11. Love You Long Time 10:50
12. Not Strict 07:20
13. Who's To Know 06:59
14. Knock Yourself Out 10:06
15. Dance of the Woebegone 08:45
16. Pulse 08:34

Jordan Murray (trombone)
Stephen Magnusson (guitar)
Mark Shepherd (bass)
Ronny Ferella (drums)

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


miércoles, 26 de noviembre de 2014

Robert Burke - Do True (2014)

The idea of recording my own CD in New York was conceived in early 2013, but has been an aspiration since my early formative years of playing music. Over the last 30 years of my professional playing life, I had enjoyed developing artistic relationships with fantastic local musicians resulting in many CD recordings and performances nationally and Internationally, but I felt it was now time to collaborate with international artists that would further develop my creative scope outside ‘my village’, and a deeper understanding of music in a global sense of music-making.

The recording came to fruition with the help of Dave Schroeder (director of Jazz at NYU), who organised the recording studio engineer (Paul Wickliffe) and introduced me to brilliant New York jazz pianist Kenny Werner. Kenny and I discussed the rhythm section needed for the recording and suggested musicians that he had a strong rapport with: Johannes Weidenmueller and Richie Barshay - an empathy that is evident in this recording. The repertoire selected is a combination of Kenny Werner’s and my compositions and a beautiful tune composed by Paul Grabowsky.

1. Do True 07:02
2. Valse 07:06
3. Shivaya 06:18
4. The Prize 07:47
5. Angel 07:11
6. Georgia James 06:50
7. Keeper of Dreams 07:01
8. Pratology 06:34
9. Gerakan 08:14

Robert Burke - Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax, Bass Clarinet
Kenny Werner - Piano
Johannes Weidenmueller - Bass
Richie Barshay - Drums

Recorded 3rd October 2013 at the James L. Dolan Recording Studio, 6th Floor, 35 West 4th St, New York, USA (NYU)
Engineered: Paul Wickliffe (USA)
Recording of Bass Clarinet and Soprano - engineer: Prasheen Naran (Aust)
Mixed and Mastered by Phillip Rex at Paper Mache Studio - Australia

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Robert Burke from Monash Arts on Vimeo.

Enrico Rava - The Monash Sessions (2014)

The Monash University jazz faculty, led by Rob Burke, has invited a series of jazz luminaries to attend the University as Artist In Residence. Previous guests have included George Lewis, George Garzone and Hermeto Pascoal. Normally the guest travels to Melbourne, joins staff and students and their labours are recorded by Jazzhead for release. In this instance the musicians reversed that rule by travelling to the Monash’s Italian campus in Prato to join the great trumpeter, Enrico Rava. The results are well worth the effort, it is very evident that Rava still plays at the top of his game, despite his 75 years; his fluid, warm tone is all over this disc. Rava’s contribution extends to his composing all of the tunes.

The potential problem with a concept such as this can be the disparity between the master and the students leading to a disjointed sound where the elder struggles against struggling students. That is not the case here, the addition of the above listed staff on some tracks and the quality of students to a great extent avoids that issue. Indeed the basic rhythm is provided solely by students, but on listening, you wouldn’t know it. The albums highlight is the ballad “Lulu”, Rava’s gorgeous tone bookends evocative solos from Grabowsky and Magnusson. The success of the Monash series is a credit to the faculty and the obvious empathy that developed in a short time between the students and the elder statesman.


Enrico Rava: trumpet
Josh Kelly: alto sax
Paul Cornelius: tenor sax
Paul Grabowsky: piano
Josh Manusama: double bass
Rob Mercer: drums

Enrico Rava: trumpet
Josh Kelly: alto sax
Mirko Guerrini: tenor sax
Paul Grabowsky: piano
Hiroki Hoshino: double bass
Zeke Ruckman: drums

03. LULU
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Robert Burke: tenor sax
Stephen Magnusson: guitar
Paul Grabowsky: piano 
Hiroki Hoshino:  double bass
Zeke Ruckman: drums

Enrico Rava: trumpet
Robert Burke: tenor sax
Stephen Byth: tenor sax
Stephen Magnusson: guitar
Dan Mougerman: piano
Hiroki Hoshino: double bass
Zeke Ruckman: drums
Rob Mercer: drums

Enrico Rava: trumpet
Paul Cornelius: tenor sax
Joel Trigg: piano
Hiroki Hoshino: double bass
Rohan Moore: drums

Enrico Rava: trumpet
Josh Kelly: alto sax
Stephen Byth: tenor sax
Paul Grabowsky: piano
Josh Manusama: double bass
Zeke Ruckman: drums

Enrico Rava: trumpet
Paul Cornelius: tenor sax
Paul Grabowsky: piano
Josh Manusama: double bass
Rob Mercer: drums

Enrico Rava: trumpet
Mirko Guerrini: tenor sax
Joel Trigg: piano
Hiroki Hoshino: double bass
Rohan Moore: drums

09. RAIN
Enrico Rava: trumpet
Robert Burke: tenor sax
Jonathan Skourletos: guitar
Josh Manusama: bass
Rohan Moore: drums

Enrico Rava: trumpet
Stephen Byth: tenor sax
Jonathan Skourletos: guitar
Hiroki Hoshino: double bass
Rob Mercer: drums

Enrico Rava: trumpet 
Mirko Guerrini: tenor sax
Paul Grabowsky: piano

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Enrico Rava Album Launch from Monash Music on Vimeo.

Matthew Sheens - Untranslatable (2014)

With his impressive debut Every Eight Seconds (Self Produced, 2012) garnering universally positive reviews, Australian-born, New York-based pianist Matthew Sheens returns with an even meatier, juicier follow-up. Every Eight Seconds introduced an original composer, one whose melodic and rhythmic ideas championed narrative over virtuosity. There’s perhaps more of Sheens the Downbeat poll-winning pianist this time out but significantly Untranslatable ups the ante compositionally, with the Yanni Burton String Quartet leaving an indelible stamp on a third of the tracks.

This isn’t jazz with strings either, for Sheens’ sophisticated string arrangements for two violins, viola, cello and double bass add a visceral edge–in addition to lush buoyancy–to these engaging contemporary compositions.

The riffing strings that announce the title track, alternate between urgent motif and warm, sustained lines. Drummer Kenneth Salters and bassist Linda Oh inject rhythmic elasticity, laying the path for Sheens dancing, right-handed solo. Teasingly brief, this episodic miniature – bold and lyrical – hints at more engaging narratives to come. Strings and piano trio also combine to graceful effect on the melodically striking ‘Adriana’s Song’, with Salter’s poppish beat conveying mainstream accessibility.

As on his debut release Sheens employs vocalist Sara Serpa, who brings her wordless, horn-like lines to a handful of tunes. On the atmospheric vocal/piano duet ‘L’Arlesienne (The Girl from Arles)’ Serpa’s crystalline melodies soar and gently glide like a Kenny Wheeler score. On ‘Wabi Sabi’ singer Michael Mayo joins Serpa in flowing unison, with guitarist Mike Moreno and Sheens intermittently boosting the chorus. It’s a delightful, cinematic tune that marries the romanticism of Burt Bacharach and the dynamism of Pat Metheny.

The hugely influential Boston guitarist’s DNA also colors ‘Dépaysement’; Serpa, Moreno and Sheens weave cheery overlapping lines over Rogerio Boccato’s shuffling percussion before the guitarist carves out an elegant solo, with Sheens immediately following suit. In the end, however, it’s Serpa’s wonderfully lilting melody that sticks in the memory. In tandem with Sheens, the Portuguese singer also seduces on ‘Alfonsina y el Mar’ – Ariel Ramírez/Félix Luna’s heart-rending ode to Argentinian poet Alfonsina Stori, who committed suicide in 1938.

Two brief piano/Rhodes interludes serve as palette cleansers, but in just one and two minutes respectively Sheens weaves a little minimalist magic, with damped piano strings and judicious use of effects evoking the artistry of German prepared piano maestro Hauschka. Strings underpin the joyously dramatic ‘Madrugada’, a vaguely Latin-tinged, percussion-driven orchestration that features an extended rally between Sheens and Oh, plus another finely crafted intervention from Moreno.

Sheen’s ‘Translate from My Heart’ and the classic ‘Old Devil Moon’ both feature the stylish Mayo. The pianist’s inventive arrangement on the original provides a bold frame for Mayo that contrasts with the spare, piano-cum-vocal setting of the Burton Lane/E.Y. Hamburg jazz standard.

Sheens has really hit his stride on Untranslatable, a consistently satisfying effort that purveys melody and adventure at the same time. The signposts indicate that Sheens could push off from here in any number of directions, towards contemporary classical music or experimental solo piano; jazz, in the second decade of the twenty first century, seems increasingly able to accommodate it all. Whichever path or paths Sheens chooses to go down it’ll be a journey well worth following.

Tracks on the album

01. Untranslatable
02. Adriana's Song
03. L'Arlesienne (The Girl From Arles)
04. Wabi Sabi
05. Translate From My Heart
06. Interlude #1: Untranslatable
07. Depaysement
08. Alfonsina Y El Mar (Ariel Ramirez)
09. Interlude #2: Adriana's Song
10. Madrugada
11. Old Devil Moon (Burton Lane/ Lyrics E.Y Harburg)

All compositions: Matthew Sheens, except where indicated

In the band

Matthew Sheens; piano/ rhodes 
Sara Serpa; vocals 
Michael Mayo; vocals 
Mike Moreno; guitar 
Linda Oh; double bass 
Kenneth Salters; drums 
Rogerio Boccato; percussion

Yanni Burton String Quintet

Stefani Collins; violin 1
Francesca Dardani; violin 2
Yumi Oshima; viola
Hiro Matsuo; cello

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Dylan Howe - Subterranean (New Designs on Bowie's Berlin) 2014

Dylan Howe is one of the UK's most versatile drummers—a long-standing member of The Blockheads, part of Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey's band on the chart-topping Going Back Home (Chess Records, 2014) and (alongside keyboard player Ross Stanley) part of his father, Steve Howe's, guitar trio. He's also responsible, with Will Butterworth, for a critically-acclaimed duo recording of Igor Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring (Stravinsky—The Rite Of Spring, Motorik Records 2010).

On Subterranean: New Designs On Bowie's Berlin Howe delves into David Bowie's early back catalog. It's not the "everybody on the dance floor" Bowie of "Jean Genie" or the quirky folkster of "Space Oddity." Howe concentrates instead on the instrumentals of Bowie's Berlin period, a crucial part of his 1977 RCA albums Low and Heroes. The results are quite superb.

What do the Howe re-imaginings have to offer that Bowie's originals don't? A greater warmth, a more positive feel, less sense of menace. Although electronics play a large part in Howe's versions, acoustic instruments are crucial to the feel of the music on Subterranean: New Designs On Bowie's Berlin. The tunes are also often appreciably longer than Bowie's recorded versions, giving Howe and his fellow musicians the chance to explore the music's structures and textures and allowing greater opportunities for the musicians to solo.

The results are recognisable to Bowie fans, but striking in their freshness and openness. "All Saints" opens with Mark Hodgson's deep, resonant, double bass, accompanied solely by Howe's drums. After a minute or so the main theme emerges on synth then the band shifts between this theme and a post-bop groove led first by the saxophones then by Stanley's attacking piano then the saxophones once more—it's a heady mix of electronica and classic jazz that Bowie never attempted. "Some Are" has a spooky edge. "Warszawa," featuring Adrian Utley on guitar, is lovely: its flowing grace countered by an urgent, driving saxophone solo from Brandon Allen.

"Neuköln—Night" and "Neuköln—Day" are atmospheric trio pieces on which Howe (on drums and synth) and Stanley (on piano) are joined by bassist Nick Pini. Howe Senior replaces Pini for the third trio outing, "Moss Garden," playing the koto. This is a softer-toned version of the tune, Howe's performance on koto emphasising its ethereal beauty.

In recent years songs by rock and folk composers such as Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen have become a standard part of the jazz repertoire. As yet, Bowie hasn't had the same impact on jazz. Howe's imaginatively interpreted "new designs" show that Bowie's body of work has plenty to offer the more adventurous jazz musician. So, as Keith Jarrett's 2-CD improvisation on "The Laughing Gnome" has failed to see the light of day, Subterranean: New Designs On Bowie's Berlin will stand as the album that brings jazz and Bowie together—and does so in splendid style.

Dylan Howe: drums
Brandon Allen: tenor sax
Julian Siegel: tenor sax
Ross Stanley: piano, synthesizers
Mark Hodgson: double bass
Nick Pini: double bass (5, 8)
Adrian Utley: guitar (7)
Steve Howe: koto (9)

3. ALL SAINTS 11:04
4. SOME ARE 06:29
5. NEUKÖLN - NIGHT 04:59
6. ART DECADE 04:41
7. WARSZAWA 11:07
8. NEUKÖLN - DAY 05:28
9. MOSS GARDEN 06:23


martes, 25 de noviembre de 2014

Donatello D'Attoma - Watchdog (2014)


1. Eyes Around the World
2. Fascinating Berlin
3. If You Can Think and Not Make Thoughts Your Aim
4. Kick Off
5. Looking Away from Here
6. Music My Dear
7. Organik Brain
8. Watchdog


Tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, 8
Donatello D’Attoma: piano, fender rhodes
Francesco Angiuli: double bass
Domenico Caliri: guitar
Vladimir Kostandinovic: drums

Tracks 4, 5, 7
Donatello D’Attoma: piano, fender rhodes
Luca Alemanno: bass
Alex Milella: guitar
Lello Patruno: drums

Recording Data

Recording & Mix: March 2014 at International Sound Studio, Conversano (BA)
Producer: Donatello D’Attoma
Executive Producer: Marco Valente
Sound Engineer: Riccardo Tisbo
Artwork: Enzo Rosato
Photos: millaphotographer


Fabrizio Bosso & Julian Oliver Mazzariello - Tandem (2014)

Source: velvetmusic

Fabrizio Bosso e Julian Oliver Mazzariello: un “Tandem” con Fiorella Mannoia e Fabio Concato

Esce il prossimo 4 novembre Tandem, nuovo album di Fabrizio Bosso realizzato con il pianista Julian Oliver Mazzariello e che si avvale anche della partecipazione straordinaria di Fiorella Mannoia e Fabio Concato. Bosso e Mazzariello, per la presentazione ufficiale del disco, saranno il 23 novembre al Blu Note di Milano e poi torneranno in concerto a Orvieto per l’Umbria Jazz Winter, in programma dal 28 al 31 dicembre.

Tandem si può già prenotare su iTunes, ottenendo in anteprima il brano Wide Green Eyes di Bosso. La versione digitale, inoltre, contiene la bonus track Estate. “Ci sono due modi – è scritto in un comunciato – di fare le cose insieme: perseguire due strade parallele che portano alla stessa meta, oppure pedalare all’unisono. Quest’ultima è la scelta che hanno fatto Fabrizio Bosso e Julian Oliver Mazzariello e l’album ‘Tandem’ è l’approdo naturale di un rapporto artistico già rodato, di un’unione iniziata sul palco ma che trascende le regole delle classiche collaborazioni“.

Per quanto riguarda i due ospiti eccellenti, Fabio Concato propone la sua celebre Gigi “dove la tromba di Bosso e il piano di Mazzariello si fanno più lievi, come ad accompagnare, con discrezione, un testo importante che racconta un padre attraverso parole in cui ognuno può ritrovare la propria espressione del rapporto con un genitore“; la Mannoia, invece, per la prima volta interpreta il classico di Trovajoli-Garinei-Giovannini Roma nun fa la stupida stasera: “una voce elegante al servizio di uno dei celebri brani della tradizione romanesca“.

Bosso e Mazzariello interpretano grandi canzoni e temi della musica internazionale, senza distinzione di genere: da Oh Lady Be Good di George Gershwin a Luiza di Antonio Carlos Jobim, dall’omaggio al grande Michel Legrand in una versione di Windmills of your Mind al tema di Taxi Driver di Bernard Herrmann, brani che confermano nuovamente, dopo l’interpretazione di Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, l’omaggio a Nino Rota e la sonorizzazione de Il Sorpasso, la fascinazione di Fabrizio per il mondo del cinema. Spazio anche ai brani originali con Wide Green Eyes e Dizzy’s Blues di Fabrizio Bosso e Goodness Gracous di Julian Oliver Mazzariello.

Fabrizio Bosso, trumpet & flughelhorn
Julian Oliver Mazzariello, piano

Fiorella Mannoia, vocals on "Roma Nun Fa' La Stupida Stasera"
Fabio Concato, vocals on "Gigi"

01 You Don't Know What Love Is 04:46 Fabrizio Bosso, Julian Oliver Mazzariello
02 Gigi 08:23 Fabrizio Bosso, Julian Oliver Mazzariello, Fabio Concato
03 Have You Met Miss Jones? 03:54 Fabrizio Bosso, Julian Oliver Mazzariello
04 Wide Green Eyes 04:40 Fabrizio Bosso, Julian Oliver Mazzariello
05 Dizzy's Blues 03:53 Fabrizio Bosso, Julian Oliver Mazzariello
06 Luiza 04:01 Fabrizio Bosso, Julian Oliver Mazzariello
07 Goodness Gracious 04:26 Fabrizio Bosso, Julian Oliver Mazzariello
08 Roma Nun Fa' La Stupida Stasera 04:11 Fabrizio Bosso, Julian Oliver Mazzariello, Fiorella Mannoia
09 Windmills Of Your Mind 03:49 Fabrizio Bosso, Julian Oliver Mazzariello
10 Oh Lady Be Good 01:28 Fabrizio Bosso, Julian Oliver Mazzariello
11 Taxi Driver 04:44 Fabrizio Bosso, Julian Oliver Mazzariello


Vic Juris & John Etheridge - Bohemia (1988)

This has to be highly recommended. The liner notes describes the album as 'a pure jazz guitar album for string purists',and I couldn't describe it any better, except to add that the appel will exted well beyond the guitar world. JURIS and ETHERIDGE are supberbly compatible, and their four acoustic duets are a particular delight. Just hear their thoughtful version of You've Changed " Etheridge on classical nylon string guitar and Juris on Ovation steel string" or their bossa-nova interpretation of Con Alma and you'll be hooked. The four quartet tracks demonstrate that VITOUS is a world-class bass player "listen to his arco work on Sim", though I must say that the quartet tracks, particularly "L", don't hold my interest to the same extent as the duos, if all of the album was up to the standard of the duets it would have to be considered for the end of year top 10. jazzjournal J.R. Brown 3/1989

Vic Juris on the left channel, John Etheridge on the right channel. Miroslav Vitous acoustic bass and Marcello Pellitteri drums on " There is no greater love", "L", "Georgeiana" and "Sim". Miroslav Vitous appears courtesy of ECM. Marcello Pellitteri plays Sabian Cymbals.

Vic Juris, guitar
John Etheridge, guitar
Miroslav Vitous, bass
Marcello Pellitteri, drums

1. There Is No Greater Love
2. You've Changed
3. Con Alma
4. L
5. Georgeiana
6. Chips
7. A Keen Bat
8. Sim