Displaying items by tag: Other - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://www.jazzreview.com Tue, 23 May 2017 11:46:08 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Robert Glasper Experiment.... Jazz Astronomers http://www.jazzreview.com/concert-reviews/robert-glasper-experiment-jazz-astronomers.html http://www.jazzreview.com/concert-reviews/robert-glasper-experiment-jazz-astronomers.html Robert Glasper Experiment.... Jazz Astronomers
Most recently astronomers have discovered a new planet dubbed "55 Cancri e", the rocky world is twice the size of earth but has eight times its mass, thus classifying it as a "super earth."  Whenever a new planet is discovered, astronomers and the media alike start a buzz of excitement to announce the discovery.  Well, on September 26th at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, there was a discovery in the music world of the magnitude of "55 Cancri e", it was the Robert Glasper Experiment.  The 34-year old Blue Note recording artist, Robert Glasper has been on the jazz…

Most recently astronomers have discovered a new planet dubbed "55 Cancri e", the rocky world is twice the size of earth but has eight times its mass, thus classifying it as a "super earth."  Whenever a new planet is discovered, astronomers and the media alike start a buzz of excitement to announce the discovery.  Well, on September 26th at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, there was a discovery in the music world of the magnitude of "55 Cancri e", it was the Robert Glasper Experiment.  The 34-year old Blue Note recording artist, Robert Glasper has been on the jazz scene for many years and has been putting out hit after hit since his debut of "Mood" in 2003.  On his 2012 release "Black Radio," Glasper takes his music to new heights of genre originality with tastes of hip/hop, fusion, electronica, R&B while all still centering around his unique personal jazz style.  Glasper refuses to be pigeon holed into a single genre and in the process, takes the listener on a musical journey of epic proportion. 

"Black Radio" features an assortment of headlining guest vocalists and rappers such as Shafiq Husayn, Erykah Badu, Lalah Hathaway, Lupe Fiasco, Bilal, Ledisi, King, Musiq Soulchild, Chrisette Michele, Meshell Ndegeocello, Stokley, and Yasiin Bey (Mos Def.)  How Glasper came up with this diverse cast and fit them on a single fluid album is all evidence to his brilliance as a musical artist. Glasper also surrounds himself with masterful sidemen that drive the deep groove with Casey Benjamin out front on vocoder and sax, Derrick Hodge on bass, and Mark Colenburg on drums. One would think that not being able to feature his guest vocalists in all of his live shows would take away from the performance.  This show proved quite the contrary.  Casey Benjamin steps in to fill the vocal role on the vocoder and adds so much originality to the performance that I wish they would do a version of the album without the original vocalists and just feature Benjamin. The hottest song was a track not found on the album.  The group did a version of Radiohead's "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box" that was so def, that I'm sure Radiohead is quite proud.

I will be very honest that my first listen to "Black Radio" through me for a loop because I was personally a huge fan of Glasper's four previous jazz releases.  However, I trusted that this show would be great regardless of my first impression of the album. After witnessing what I would categorize as a mind-blowing live musical experience, I haven't stop listening to the album the past two weeks. "Black Radio" will be looked at in years to come as a truly revolutionary work of art that defines musical exploration.  The Robert Glasper Experience are truly jazz astronomers, thus classifying this a "super album."  Bravo Robert. Bravo!

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Morrice Blackwell) Concert Reviews Sat, 13 Oct 2012 22:13:50 -0500
Keith Jarrett Solo Live at Zellerbach http://www.jazzreview.com/concert-reviews/keith-jarrett-solo-live-at-zellerbach.html http://www.jazzreview.com/concert-reviews/keith-jarrett-solo-live-at-zellerbach.html Keith Jarrett Solo Live at Zellerbach
Legendary Jazz Pianist Keith Jarrett performs live at Zellerbach Hall at the University of California Berkeley

When the announcer at Zellerbach proclaims that the evening's concert is being recorded, so "please try to refrain from laughter," the audience explodes with mirth.

For we are at a solo performance by the legendary Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett, who is well known for his pricklyness onstage, especially when he is confronted with flash cameras. Introduced to the piano at age three, Jarrett swiftly emerged as a virtuoso, first playing with veteran jazz drummer Art Blakey in 1975, then coming to increasing acclaim and then fame following a lengthy gig with Miles Davis, where he compromised by playing electric piano.

He made a landmark career decision when he teamed up with the German art-jazz label ECM. The year 1972 saw the release of The Koln Concert. Initially pooh poohed by some critics, it went on to sell some four million copies.

Another astute move was to team up with bassist Gary Peacock and legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette to release a series of albums and CDs which put them on the charts and launched them on a series of tours. And Jarrett has also recorded a fleet of classical CDs, which has brought him to the attention of another type of audience.

To date, Jarrett has released more than 75 albums and CDs. He did have to slow down the pace for some years while afflicted with chronic fatigue syndrome between 1996 and 1998, but he has come back with a roar since then.

Never known for his modesty, this evening, in addition to coming out for innumerable stage bows,  he seems comparatively chatty. Unfortunately, except for one occasion when he comes over to the mike, his comments, which largely appear to relate to humorous asides about his aversion to photography, are inaudible unless you are sitting in the first few rows.

Jarrett brings a theatricality to his piano playing, partially stomping as though he were a necromancer, conjuring out sounds from the 88 keys. From time to time he exhales, as though he is a conjurer or riding a huge worm on the planet Dune. Hunkering over the keys meditatively, he taps out crescendos of notes. Shaking his head with acute attention, he also periodically enunciates groans.

Although some of the improvised compositions are longer, many are around four or five minutes; he bows after each, in the tradition of the true diva appearing before his acolytes.

For number after number, he builds a sonic wall of sound  —  steaming volcanoes, twisting staircases, thundering clouds, all rising above a multicolored and multihued plain.

At last, he is done. Tumultuous applause brings the encore, a version of "Summertime," and, then considering what to play, comes up with another short improvisation before leaving us with the reassurance that he loves us.

Another memorable evening; we can't wait to hear that CD and, happily and fortuitously, nobody coughed — which should expedite things for the recording engineer.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Harry S. Pariser) Concert Reviews Sat, 21 Apr 2012 06:04:21 -0500
Brian Auger In Conversation http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-artist-interviews/brian-auger-in-conversation.html http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-artist-interviews/brian-auger-in-conversation.html Brian Auger In Conversation
 Although Brian Auger has more than fifty years of music production experience, he is still on a journey.  If evidence of this was required one need look no further than the two current projects with which he is involved (Brian Auger's Oblivion Express and Brian Auger Trinity featuring Savannah Grace) or of course to his current album, the excellent 'Language of the Heart'.

  Although Brian Auger has more than fifty years of music production experience, he is still on a journey.  If evidence of this was required one need look no further than the two current projects with which he is involved (Brian Auger's Oblivion Express and Brian Auger Trinity featuring Savannah Grace) or of course to his current album, the excellent 'Language of the Heart'. 

Listening to Auger throughout the interview, there is a distinct feeling that he is enjoying performing as much today as he has, with some of music's most accomplished musicians, over the past fifty years.  The journey is not yet complete but, like the logo of the Express suggests, Auger is not content with simply sliding into his place in history.  Rather, he is pulling into the station, wheels screeching and steam hissing, with a fine performance that will leave jazz aficionados breathless. 

'Language of the Heart' nods and reflects a bit of that background, but also shoots forward with new sights in mind.  Said Auger, "There was enough quiet and beauty around me when I walked the beach recently and it triggered a lot of music which I always thought was the language of the heart.  I was listening to the language of my heart during those walks and the album is another page in my musical diary." 

If 'Language of the Heart' is indeed another page in Auger's musical diary, there are literally tens of thousands more for music lovers to enjoy.  Over his career, Auger has been a part of recordings and musical performances too numerous to mention yet, not surprisingly, has a story for each and every one of them.  One such recollection illustrates Auger's place in music history. 

"Chas Chandler of the Animals came to me one day" Auger told me.  "Most of the major artists at the time knew one another and he tells me that his manager wants a guitarist named Jimi Hendrix to play in my band.  I told him that I already had a guitarist but that I would be performing late night at the Cromwellian.  We agreed to meet in-between one of my sets.  Well, that night Clapton, Spencer Davis, Steve Winwood, Beck, and Alvin Lee were all there.  That was the kind of normal crowd that used to assemble at these late night gigs.  After the first set, I'm introduced to Hendrix and I asked him what he wanted to play.  He lays out these sequences of chords and I told him to lay down a tempo and we'll go at it.  He started to play and my jaw fell, I mean all of us fell to the floor, it was just so incredible.  It was nothing we'd ever heard at the time.  I heard that Clapton went home afterwards and was going to more or less give up playing." 

Auger had one last shot of recording with Hendrix, just six months before his death.  "I was recording and Hendrix was in the studio and he came in and we talked and he asked me to record an album with him.  I said I had other contracts and couldn't do it.  Then he takes out a piece of foil and snorts some heroin.  He was pretty far gone by then.  His skin was grey and I told him that stuff was no good for him.  He said, you know Brian, I need more people around me like you." 

One of Auger's fondest memories came during a performance at the legendary Fillmore East in New York City(commonly referred to as the 'Churchof Rock and Roll') in 1969.  Auger recalls with a touch of nostalgia in his voice, "It was every English musician's dream to come to America and play.  I couldn't believe I was playing in New York.  That night we got two encores.  Two encores were normally something that was reserved for my good friend Jimi Hendrix.  I still have this picture in my mind, standing on stage, looking out on the audience, who were on their feet looking for another encore.  I thought to myself "my God is this really happening?  Pinch me, I must be dreaming." 

There is a sense that Auger wants to tell more, share the literally thousands of stories from his musical journal.  He's rifling through pages of his mental diary, telling one story after another in beautiful, rich detail that could fill the pages of a biography worthy of any read.  It is hard to believe that the first instrument he ever learned to play, the piano, could lead him through such an incredible career.  Yet, as 'Language of the Heart' comes back into focus, it is clear that Auger, who grew up playing jazz piano and was afforded the accolade of Melody Maker's best jazz piano player, has, of sorts, come back home. 

"The music in my heart is always there.  Sometimes I get to write it down and sometimes it is just ideas that I need to turn into music" Auger explained. 

It might be the influences from early in his music career (he rushed out to purchase Jimmy Smith's 'Back of the Chicken Shack' when he heard his local record store playing it in 1963) that has allowed him to search inside himself for the recording of 'Language of the Heart'. 

"I put down some solo work for Tea" Auger said.  "They were producing a world music album titled 'Dreams' with artists from Africa.  It started a working relationship with Phil Bunch and Franck Balloffet that led to them asking me if I would be interested in doing an album with them.  They produced about fourteen backtracks and sent them to me.  About half of them triggered immediate pictures for me." 

For Brian Auger 'Language of the Heart' is not a career culmination.  Neither is it a compilation of past success but rather the next chapter of a continuum that started more than fifty years ago and has a beat all its own.

 

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Peter Daddone) Jazz Artist Interviews Thu, 29 Mar 2012 00:28:57 -0500
Cuban Rhapsody by Jane Bunnett and Hilario Duran http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/cuban-rhapsody-by-jane-bunnett-and-hilario-duran.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/cuban-rhapsody-by-jane-bunnett-and-hilario-duran.html Cuban Rhapsody by Jane Bunnett and Hilario Duran
Wow! This is a really great CD with which to set a mood. You might want to put it on as as background music for an intimate meal, when you are giving or receiving a massage, or when you've had a hard day and are soaking in a steaming tub.

Wow! This is a really great CD with which to set a mood. You might want to put it on as as background music for an intimate meal, when you are giving or receiving a massage, or when you've had a hard day and are soaking in a steaming tub.

ALMA Records, a label from Toronto, has nicely packaged this ten-track set, which includes a four-part Contradanza, featuring a duet with Jane Bunnett (flute and soprano sax) and Hilario Duran (piano). Compositions by such masters of the craft as Miguel Matamoros, Ernesto Lecuona and Manuel Saumell are included.

Burnett and Duran have been performing together for years. Duran is noted for her work with This collection of vibrant, lovely Cuban classics shine despite (or in spite of) their age and are lovingly and re-interpreted here. A nice addition to any collection!

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Harry S. Pariser) Latin Jazz / Latin Funk - CD Reviews Sat, 24 Mar 2012 19:40:32 -0500
Juliette Gray Trio - Lush Life With a Twist http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-spotlights/juliette-gray-trio-lush-life-with-a-twist.html http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-spotlights/juliette-gray-trio-lush-life-with-a-twist.html Juliette Gray Trio - Lush Life With a Twist
Lush Life with a Twist and Lush Life Straight Up - is a unique spoken word and musical homage to Billy Strayhorn's original composition performed by Juliette Gray - Voice- Bill Cunliffe - Piano and Gary Gray Saxophone. Julitte is a British-American voice actor located in Los Angeles. Juliette’s VO work includes commercials, narration, animation & video games in a variety of accents & dialects plus spoken word renditions to poignant jazz songs from America’s true art form - The Great American Songbook.

About a year ago Juliette decided to collaborate with top LA musicians to bring about a spoken word version of Lush Life – a masterpiece in the jazz repertoire. At that time this was intended to be a bonus track for Gary Gray’s upcoming CD with Centaur Records – SHADES OF GRAY.

Since then, this project has evolved into more than the sum of its parts and by the early response it is clear that the images evoked by the lyrics of songs from the Great American Songbook which combine poetry, story telling and haunting melodies are ideal candidates for the expressiveness of the spoken word.  The group's next song BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED is in the works.
This is the first in a series of spoken word+music to some of the masterpieces of the Great American Songbook - illustrating how spoken word to these magnificent and poetic lyrics accompanied by the original music adds a listening dimension not possible by singing. As a bonus track Lush Life Straight Up offers a reprise of the music with the solos of these wonderful musicians.

Julliette is a British-American voice actor located in Los Angeles. Juliette’s VO work includes commercials, narration, animation & video games in a variety of accents & dialects plus spoken word renditions to poignant jazz songs from America’s true art form - The Great American Songbook.

Juliette is the founder of Voice Over Ventures, was born in N.W. London and lives in Los Angeles. Juliette’s performs in a variety of British and American accents plus a variety of European accents and dialects for commercials, narration, animation, video games and more, including spoken word renditions to the jazz music from the Great American songbook with her trio of pianist Bill Cunliffe and clarinetist/saxophonist Gary Gray.

Juliette has previously worked in theatre, the travel industry, Wall Street, and the health and wellness industry and is therefore able to first hand interpretation to a variety of voice over genres.

Juliette has studied with, amongst others, and in no particular order, Pat Fraley, Brian Cummings, Bill Holmes, Bob Bergen, Barbara Harris, Marc Cashman, Eliza Schneider, Huck Ligget, Mary Lynn Wissner, MJ Lallo, Richard Horvitz, Zack Hanks, Charlie Adler, Doug Honorof, and is an active member of the Voice Actors Network. Juliette has her own home studio using a Sterling Audio large diaphram condenser mic, Tascam US 144 audio interface, Cubase SX 1 software.

Juliette is a voting member of BAFTA (British Society of Film and Television Arts,) and the British American Business Council.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Morrice Blackwell) Jazz Spotlights Fri, 23 Mar 2012 12:32:47 -0500
Luca Luciano http://www.jazzreview.com/artist-biographies/luca-luciano.html http://www.jazzreview.com/artist-biographies/luca-luciano.html Luca Luciano
"Luca Luciano is a noted Italian clarinettist and composer who now makes his home in London, having developed an enviable reputation as an instrumental virtuoso around the UK and overseas via recordings and concert hall appearances" (Musician Magazine)

Born in Naples (Italy) on 12 August 1975, Luca Luciano is a clarinetist, a composer and an educator currently based in the United Kingdom. He has held the position of clarinet professor at the Leeds College of Music in the UK, he is a specialist of both classical and jazz music and his research focuses on extended techniques for the contemporary repertoire and new compositions for solo clarinet.

A keen promoter of new music, he has been described by "Musician Magazine" as "a noted Italian clarinetist and composer who now makes his home in London, having developed an enviable reputation as an instrumental virtuoso around the UK and overseas via recordings and concert hall appearances" . "Luciano has established himself as the friendly face of contemporary clarinet" according to the Clarinet & Saxophone Magazine and his work has been appreciated by the International Clarinet Association and the BBC Radio ("Such a virtuoso musical performance and such joyful uplifting music I just couldn't resist it"). Luciano graduated from the Conservatory of Music of Salerno (Italy) in 1999 and has been awarded the Fellow status of the Higher Education Academy in the UK in 2010.

He began his career at the age of twelve performing at the Sala Curci in Naples and has since held several recitals, master-classes, lecture-recitals and workshops in the UK, Europe and South America including the South Bank Centre in London, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and SESC Instrumental Paulista in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In recent years he has been focusing primarily on his own music with premieres held at St Martin in the Fields in London for their "New Music Series" and the Cathedral of Bristol. His compositions have been cited in books about the clarinet repertoire and have also received appreciation within the academic scene of the UK, and Brazil.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Partenope Productions) Artist Biographies Fri, 02 Mar 2012 22:53:15 -0600
“The new voice of the Clarinet” Luca Luciano takes the clarinet to spectacular higher ground! http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/the-new-voice-of-the-clarinet-luca-luciano-takes-the-clarinet-to-spectacular-higher-ground.html http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/the-new-voice-of-the-clarinet-luca-luciano-takes-the-clarinet-to-spectacular-higher-ground.html “The new voice of the Clarinet” Luca Luciano takes the clarinet to spectacular higher ground!
 Internationally recognised for his groundbreaking contributions to contemporary clarinet music, extremely appreciated by the International Clarinet association, "Luciano has established himself as the friendly face of contemporary clarinet" according to the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain. His latest album "Partenope" is receiving praises in three continents (BBC Radio, Jazzradio.com, CRN Australia nationwide, in Brazil and South America, RTE national broadcaster of Ireland and radios around Europe) including a number of interviews for the press and on radio. 

 Internationally recognised for his groundbreaking contributions to contemporary clarinet music, extremely appreciated by the International Clarinet association, "Luciano has established himself as the friendly face of contemporary clarinet" according to the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain. His latest album "Partenope" is receiving praises in three continents (BBC Radio, Jazzradio.com, CRN Australia nationwide, in Brazil and South America, RTE national broadcaster of Ireland and radios around Europe) including a number of interviews for the press and on radio. These are some comments on his music:

 

-" Jazz Impromptu shows off Luciano's jazz skills at their best" (The Clarinet Journal)

- "The whole CD is fascinating to listen to" (Clarinet & Saxophone Magazine)

- "They have made genuine impressions on the London improvisational scene and this album shows their technical assurance, creative ability and natural versatility" (Jazz Journal International)

- "Italian virtuoso Luca Luciano, now resident in London, takes the clarinet to spectacular higher ground" (Jazz UK)

- "...a thrilling exploration of the relationship between composed and improvised music..." (All About Jazz)

 

The album includes music part of an academic research on extended techniques for the contemporary repertoire and new music for solo clarinet and you can find up-to-date information (audio, dates, downloads, video, etc) on Luca's official site www.lucaluciano.com. The album is distributed via CD Baby and it also available on Amazon (CDs and downloads), iTunes, Napster, CD Universe and a special offer is now available on Luca's official site.

 

You can now meet Luca on Face Book on www.facebook.com/lucalucianoclarinet.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Partenope Productions) Press Releases Sat, 03 Mar 2012 10:33:45 -0600
The Sun by Steve Lacy http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/free-jazz-avante-garde-cd-reviews/the-sun-by-steve-lacy.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/free-jazz-avante-garde-cd-reviews/the-sun-by-steve-lacy.html The Sun by Steve Lacy
In the liners, producer Martin Davidson provides anecdotes, interview quotes and other relevant information surrounding the premise for these vintage tracks, recorded under the leadership of the late soprano saxophone great Steve Lacy.  Spanning previously unreleased and reissued material from 1967 through 1973, Lacy performs with iconoclastic modern jazz artists such as trumpeter Enrico Rava, vibist Karl Berger and others.   And in most instances, the audio processing is quite good as the album offers a comprehensive sampling of Lacy's avant-garde proclivities cast in various ensembles, including eminent synthesizer improviser Richard Teitelbaum who credits Lacy with being his..."first and maybe main…

In the liners, producer Martin Davidson provides anecdotes, interview quotes and other relevant information surrounding the premise for these vintage tracks, recorded under the leadership of the late soprano saxophone great Steve Lacy.  Spanning previously unreleased and reissued material from 1967 through 1973, Lacy performs with iconoclastic modern jazz artists such as trumpeter Enrico Rava, vibist Karl Berger and others.   And in most instances, the audio processing is quite good as the album offers a comprehensive sampling of Lacy's avant-garde proclivities cast in various ensembles, including eminent synthesizer improviser Richard Teitelbaum who credits Lacy with being his..."first and maybe main improv teacher."  Otherwise, Teitelbaum partnered with Anthony Braxton and other progressive-minded luminaries to extend electronics formats into the freer aspects of jazz and improvisation.

"The Sun" (Hamburg, 1968) gets going with Irene Aebi's poetically lyrical chants atop Lacy and Rava's swarming choruses that forecast a broad musical vista.  This is followed by "The Gap," where drummer Aldo Romano's staggered march progressions and metronomic timestamps for the soloist's terse dialogues amid the hornists' gradually climactic surges into the upper registers. Here, the band conjures imagery of desperation via cries for help, reinforced by Romano's barrelhouse polyrhythmic flurries.  Yet, they lower the pitch back down to a nimble set of improvisational exchanges.

One of the more interesting pieces is "The Way (take 5?)," recorded in 1968 somewhere in Rome.   With this duet, Teitelbaum's streaming analog synth work counters Lacy's organic component and translates into a cleverly enacted dialogue, summoning man and machine preparing for battle.  These attributes continue on "The Way (take 6)," but the artists mimic each other in the lower-registers, treated by sinuously devised abstracts, equating to alien-like communications and touched by Lacy's projection of pathos.

"The Wane" features alto saxophonist Steve Potts, who became a longtime running mate with Lacy, leading to albums for Swiss-based HatHut Records and other European record labels. On this piece, bassist extraordinaire Kent Carter lays out a prominent bass line to help steer the frontline into a subdued gait, built on drummer Oliver Johnson's frothy pulse; thus, leading to an open platform of ideas and reconstructions.  Moreover, Aiebi's cello lines keenly arc the soloists' improv segments, abetted by Potts' spiraling notes engineered with coarse overtones.

The Sun melds the lighter side of improvisation with the chaotic historical course of the era, namely the Vietnam War and the radical social changes witnessed during the timeframe.  It also offer a wondrous account of Lacy's avant-garde persuasions, to complement a wealth of exciting propositions put forth throughout.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Glenn Astarita) Free Jazz / Avante Garde - CD Reviews Fri, 02 Mar 2012 04:45:29 -0600
See The Sky by Beppe Di Benedetto 5tet http://www.jazzreview.com/free-jazz-mp3-downloads/see-the-sky-by-beppe-di-benedetto-5tet.html http://www.jazzreview.com/free-jazz-mp3-downloads/see-the-sky-by-beppe-di-benedetto-5tet.html A thrilling song from a thrilling album. It's albums like this that have me addicting to scouring the new releases listings every week. Outstanding, and highly recommended. - All about jazz -

One day dad went back home, a strange black suitcase in his hand; and stood up in front of the 12 years old son. Inside the suit case, there was a shiny instrument, smelling new. Such was the curiosity that the boy decided to snatch the secret language of music: it was so moving, it made me so happy. "See the sky" is the fruit of a beautiful journey, a veritable résumé of my experiences, meetings and emotions through years and years spent playing music and living my life. It's a generous cd,  resultance of both enthusiasm and joy in making music; and it's, from time to time, intense, soft, minimal, furious, romantic. The five musicians of the quintet share respect and friendship, and show along the tracks the beauty of many years playing together. Beppe Di Benedetto

Beppe di Benedetto 5tet, See the Sky: Solid date led by di Benedetto's trombone, rounded off with sax, piano, bass, and drums. Nice mix of up tempo and ballads. This is straight-ahead bop with a modern touch. Benedetto has a graceful touch on trombone, which sometimes can elbow other instruments out of the way, but here, he's a seamless part of the quintet. Also, the compositions just flat out rock; tunes that soar and tunes that sway. The kind of album I can listen to over and over.  /Dave Sumner/

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Inga Ursulska) Free Jazz MP3 Downloads Fri, 24 Feb 2012 04:49:45 -0600
Rising Piano Star Romain Collin Introduces Melodically Captivating Sound-Sculpted Trio Project On His Palmetto Debut "The Calling" http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/rising-piano-star-romain-collin-introduces-melodically-captivating-sound-sculpted-trio-project-on-his-palmetto-debut-the-calling.html http://www.jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/rising-piano-star-romain-collin-introduces-melodically-captivating-sound-sculpted-trio-project-on-his-palmetto-debut-the-calling.html "A visionary composer, an extraordinary jazz pianist and a very bright young rising star in the jazz world." — Jon Weber, host of NPR's PianoJazz French-born pianist Romain Collin introduces an evocatively textured, melodically luxuriant sound on his new Palmetto album The Calling, slated for release on April 24, 2012. Flowing from his singular creative path as a classically trained musician besotted with jazz giants like Errol Garner, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett and Bud Powell, his music is utterly idiosyncratic, yet fully part of a generational zeitgeist informed by indie rock and adventurous pop music. Building upon his highly responsive…

"A visionary composer, an extraordinary jazz pianist and a very bright young rising star in the jazz world." — Jon Weber, host of NPR's PianoJazz

 

French-born pianist Romain Collin introduces an evocatively textured, melodically luxuriant sound on his new Palmetto album The Calling, slated for release on April 24, 2012. Flowing from his singular creative path as a classically trained musician besotted with jazz giants like Errol Garner, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett and Bud Powell, his music is utterly idiosyncratic, yet fully part of a generational zeitgeist informed by indie rock and adventurous pop music.

 

Building upon his highly responsive trio with bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Kendrick Scott, Collin has crafted a ravishing body of music featuring subtly textured flourishes added in post-production. An eagerly awaited follow-up to his acclaimed 2008 debut, The Calling is a quantum leap for Collin, a highly personal statement that embraces the musical currents that move him most deeply.

 

"My music ultimately focuses on solid writing and composition, on group improvisation and creating a distinct mood and atmosphere that listeners can lose themselves in," says Collin, 32. "When I'm improvising, I try to improvise within a specific piece of music as a real extension of the melody so it's an integral part of the piece."

 

Walking an unorthodox path requires finding the right collaborators. Collin has hit the jackpot. At 28, Curtis is one of the most sought after young bassists in New York City, a superlative accompanist who has already recorded with masters such as Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Christian Scott, Sean Jones, Gary Burton, and Dave Valentin. Scott is best known for his six-year stint with Terence Blanchard, but he also worked widely with heavyweights like Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, Maria Schneider, Wayne Shorter, Robert Glasper, Angelique Kidjo, Lionel Loueke, and Gretchen Parlato.

 

Produced by studio maestro Matt Pierson, who has helped shape albums by jazz's most distinctive artists (including Brad Mehldau, Joshua Redman, Taylor Eigsti and Mark Turner), The Calling features 10 Collin originals and his seductive arrangements of John Mayer's "Stop This Train" and Horace Silver's classic "Nica's Dream." Rather than demonstrating the trio's versatility with an eclectic array of grooves and structures, Collin has crafted a highly cohesive program that explores similar emotional terrain from a variety of perspectives.

 

The album opens with "Storm," a tempestuous piece that briskly establishes Collin's aural agenda. Rather than serving as a launching pad for solos, the tune sweeps through a series of overcast spaces, moods enhanced by the almost subliminal laying of processed vocals, keyboards and electric guitar. Rather than clearing the air, "Storm" gives way to the album's title track, an insistent, almost incantatory minimalist theme that builds to an ambiguously pacific resolution.

 

Reflecting his engagement with pop music and singer/songwriters, Collin decided to arrange "Stop This Train" just a few days before the recording session. Encouraged to tackle the piece by Pierson, he passed it out to the trio and ended up with a lovely rendition that stands as one of the album's highlights. If "Train" finds Collin with his heart on his sleeve, the angular "Pennywise the Clown" captures the pianist as trickster. With its mercurial stop and start melody, the piece makes multiple head fakes, showcasing Scott's exquisite trap set touch and inherent sense of structure.

 

Equally revelatory is Collin's haunting arrangement of "Nica's Dream." Reharmonizing the opening section, he maintains the spirit of the original while turning it into his own unsettling tale. He closes the album with the

rueful "One Last Try," a solo piano excursion where half-hearted optimism gives way to resignation. It's another unexpected move on an album that constantly leaves listeners checking their emotional bearings. For Collin, The Calling is much more a notebook than a manifesto. "It's not about a concept, it's just the sounds that made me feel good and I want to hear," he says. "The music doesn't come from a rational process, it's mainly the result of a combination of sounds from different genres."

 

While Collin's music reflects his unique vision, it can be seen as part of a sensibility shared by players like James Farm pianist Aaron Parks, saxophonist Tim Green, and pianist Robert Glasper. He's forged particularly close ties with like-minded contemporaries such as trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, saxophonist Walter Smith III and vibraphonist Chris Dingman, who all performed together internationally while earning a Masters Degree at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute.

 

Born in Cannes and raised in the nearby southeastern town of Antibes, Collin soaked up jazz at home listening to his mother's Oscar Peterson, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald albums. But he was also widely exposed to jazz via the celebrated Jazz à Juan festival, which featured many of the music's greatest improvisers.

 

"My house was five minutes from the jazz festival, so I got to see a lot of that growing up," Collin says. "I was studying classical music. As a young kid, I was always curious about jazz and improvised music."

 

He performed with a pop and rock band in high school, but with no jazz program and few peers interested in jazz, he had no one to explore the music with in person. When the time came to start college at 17, Collin honored his parents' wishes and enrolled in an international management program in the UK. But his love of music won out. "I always felt a need to listen constantly every day, and play whenever I could," Collin says. Upon discovering new practice rooms with good pianos "I was playing six to eight hours a day, and that's what I've been doing ever since."

 

It might sound like a formula for flunking out, but class attendance was optional as long as Collin kept up with assignments and tested well (which he did with some intensive cramming). He made enough progress at the piano to earn a full scholarship to Berklee, relocating to Boston in 2001. While he studied performance with masters like Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano, Collin majored in Music Synthesis, learning about sound design and synthesizer programming.

 

"I didn't want to be a jazz or performance major, I knew I'd be shedding eight hours a day anyway. I did the same thing in business school, kind of going to classes, doing okay, but mostly doing my own thing. I was never a tech geek, just wanted to get whatever information I needed."

 

He quickly put his skills to use, co-producing the critically acclaimed album Moving by Hiromi's Sonic Bloom bassist Tony Grey (one track, "White Woods," appeared on a Weather Report tribute album).  Graduating in three years, Collin moved to New York City, but he almost immediately got the call to audition for the Monk Program. Selected by a panel including Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard and Wayne Shorter, he moved to Los Angeles for the two-year program, joining a prodigious cast of peers.

 

"Terence tried to have us compose as much as we could," Collin says. "He really stressed the importance of having a sense of focus, a theme that's always present through a piece."

 

His heralded debut album The Rise and Fall of Pipokuhn featured bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Zach Harmon, fellow Monk Institute alumni. Since moving back to New York City in 2009, he's gained recognition as a singular artist, "a visionary composer, an extraordinary jazz pianist and a very bright young rising star in the jazz world," in the words of Jon Weber, the host of NPR's PianoJazz.

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http://www.romaincollin.com

 HYPERLINK "http://www.palmetto-records.com" www.palmetto-records.com

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Ann Braithwaite) Press Releases Wed, 22 Feb 2012 11:23:41 -0600