Label: Ágata Tecnologia Digital Ltda - none • Format: CD Album • Country: Brazil • Genre: Jazz • Style: Bossa Nova
Less conventional than Wayne Wallace but not as out there as Dafnis Prieto, O' Farrill Antonio Valdetaro & Grupo - Leticia been creating great recordings like last year's Grammy-winning "Song for Chico" see our review herewhile navigating the line between the two extremes in this post-Andrew Hill world. Risa Negraor "Black Laughter" is a record fans of Afro-Cuban sounds will want to have in their collection.
With a strong cast, including usual fixture trumpeter Jim Seeley, saxophonist David Bixter, bassist Boris Kozlov, drummer Vince Cherico and percussionist Roland Guerrero, as well as several guests including, but not limited to, tenor saxophonist Ivan Renta, tabla player Badal Roy, violinist Heather Bixler, O'Farrill's wife pianist Alison Deane and two of Arturo's sons Adam on trumpet and Zachary on drums O'Farrill completely turns your standard Latin jazz onto its side - producing addictive compositions while exploding conventions.
The wonderfully-titled and quite lovely "The Darkness is my Closet Friend" slows the pace a bit, while "No Way Off" takes things into an Iyer-esque direction with tasty results. Son Adam brings the intense "Crazy Chicken," proving the third generation O'Farrill musicians will be there to continue bringing great music to the public.
The two-part Tabla Rasa compositions were commissioned by the Philadelphia Music Project, feature Heather Bixler and flautist Cecilia Tenconi and are intended to represent an African connection between traditional and Latin jazz. Part One is a nearly classical piece meant to romantically evoke s Cuba.
Part Two - the wickedly-titled "Tintal Tintal Deo" tintal being a pattern played on the Indian tabla brings Badal Roy into the mix to state O'Farrill's case that Jazz is indeed world music.
Seeley's swinging "Ceviche" and O'Farrill's loving tribute to his wife "Alisonia" bring this finerecording to a highly satisfying conclusion. Yet another excellent release from an artist working at the top of his game. Is there a place in this harried modern world for music that seems to exist in an aura of dancing lightness?
I sure as heck hope so. Strong songwriting, with music composed by keyboardist Paul Scherer, runs throughout the nine tunes here three additional Polish language versions round out the twelve Antonio Valdetaro & Grupo - Leticia. The melange of pop, Brazilian, and ' 70s-influenced funk jazz is delightful ear candy, centered by Scherer's tasteful synthesizers and pianos, and driven by the solid bass work of Scotty Manzo and the underrated Paul Townsend on drums. Saxophonist Scott Angst adds well-conceived solos, while Shawn Maxwell's brilliant flute takes "Thinking About You" into another realm.
Songs like the title track, "Live Each Moment," "Love Around," "The Truth" and "Still Alive" and "Wonderland" will restore your joy with a combination of shimmering vocals, smooth sounds and subtle and seductive grooves. Moody 4A the first release form a two-day session - Moody 4B is yet to come shows the talented, yet somewhat overlooked saxophonist still playing great and sounding fabulous on tenor. Everything is so Antonio Valdetaro & Grupo - Leticia and low key that a kind of magic happens.
Almost like the Antonio Valdetaro & Grupo - Leticia rock producer Rick Rubin did in getting Johnny Cash back to his roots on the American Recordings series, this recording takes Moody back into the world of straight-ahead standards, with results so warm and joyful as to be taken to heart by the listener.
Not a lot of breaking new ground here - "Stella" is cleverly taken as a bossa, but it is Moody's integrity, savory note choices and round tone that could teach a whole younger generation the right way to respectfully play music, not mangle it. Komeda went on to compose the soundtrack for Rosemary's Babybut he also was one of Poland's most famous modern composers before he died at age 37 in a tragic accident - the result it is said of wresting with the writer Marek Hlasko in Komeda's work has influenced many musicians, including trumpeter Tomasz Stanko and saxophonist Michael Urbaniak both of I Love You - Various - Runaway Bride (Music From The Motion Picture) who played with Komedaas well as pianist Andrzej Winnicki and saxophonist Krzystof Medya who lead the Komeda Project, whose "Requim" is their sophomore release.
The rhythm section members also were recruited precisely because they had no prior knowledge of Komeda's work and would bring an element of surprise.
Some of Komeda's most beloved work is represented here, including "Night-time, Daytime Requiem," written by the composer upon hearing of John Coltrane's death. Divided into three parts, the piece opens with a Medyna and Johnson flourish to be repeated at various time throughoutmoves into elegiac lines, then into contemplative piano into intensive band interaction that ranks among the best I've heard this year. The full moody atmospherics of a composer who is considered by many to be the father of Euro Jazz are given their due, but there is bristling energy burbling underneath and the band suddenly kicks into a heavy groove with Medyna's skittering lightning-strike sax lines.
Colley pulls off a truly memorable bass solo against Winnicki perhaps the unsung hero 's elegant, stately, modernistic classical piano during Part Two. Part Three features Johnson and Medyna and a swinging hard bop sound propelled hard by drummer Waits.
Other compositions taken on here include the lightly swinging "Ballad for Bernt" from Polanski's Knife in the Waterthe sadly militaristic "Dirge for Antonio Valdetaro & Grupo - Leticia "Prayer and Question," "Litania" and "Astigmatic," while pianist Winnicki adds Antonio Valdetaro & Grupo - Leticia original Komeda-inspired compositions of his own.
Filled with mystery, dark shades, as well as light, and played in respectful, yet original manner, Requiem is a great introduction to the works Krzysztof Antonio Valdetaro & Grupo - Leticia and his talented acolytes. Where do these great, relatively unknown players come from.
And a pleasure it Bon Voyage - Various - Les Plus Belles Chansons Françaises Les Années 50 to make the musical acquaintance. Backed by the stellar cast of Adam Rogers on guitar, Antonio Sanchez on drums and John Patitucci on bass, Bowen shows himself to be not only be both a bold and creative player with monster chops, but also a fine composer as well.
Each of the six songs is dedicated to a personal mentor and it is clear these men mean a great deal to the saxman, as evidenced by the care and precision taken with the playing and arrangements. I would venture to say that Bowen, Eldröda Rosor (Tulipunaruusut) - Arja Saijonmaa - Guldkorn Donny McCaslin and Chris Potter, has studied his Coltrane especially on the Giant-Steps-ish "Qaiyum"Brecker and Rollins, but has fashioned a flavor of his own that is distinct - melodic and seemingly always in control.
Standout may be the crackling "Mr. Don't be a stranger. A truly great player - hope to hear more from him. Perhaps it is to be expected from a musician who has lived in Spain, France and Portugal and studied with Barney Kessell and Kurt Rosenwinkel.
Valdetaro's guitar playing straddles the line between his Brazilian heritage and jazz heritage, creating a bright fusion of styles that recalls his mentors as well as Pat Metheny in his warm tonal coloring. They are augmented by guest musicians, including Rubinho Antunes, who adds fiery trumpet on "Moca Bonita" and flugelhorn on "Deixa Estar. Much of the music is up-tempo and vibrant, but the title No Se La Differncia - Arecio Manjarrez G.* - La Naturaleza Canta written for Valdertaro's wife is a beautiful slow dance for lovers everywhere.
A nice way to warm up on a cold night. Daniel Smith- "Blue Bassoon" Summit Admit it, the bassoon is hardly the first instrument you think of when it comes to jazz, is it. In fact, it may be one of the last, perhaps bringing up the rear after such instruments as accordions and maybe even kazoos. Daniel Smith has been called "the greatest bassoon player of his generation" by the New York Daily Newsand lauded as the most recorded bassoonist alive today - a player who records in both classical and jazz genres.
This song list also includes blues numbers from B. Perhaps more of a novelty for anyone other than a former or current bassoonist, I admit that once one gets used to the initially rather jarring impact of the bassoon, which flirts with the outer edges of accustomed tonality, the instrument does take on a bit of off-kilter charm, and one can certainly admire Smith's ability to coax jazz out of this ugly duckling of an instrument.
As such, listeners are treated to engaging versions of Charles Ives' "The Cage," "1,2,3," "Remembrance," Edvard Grieg's "Adagio from Piano Concerto in A Minor ," a Per Norgard serial composition - "Voyage Into the Golden Screen" and several others, including the title track by Arne Nordheim and pieces Antonio Valdetaro & Grupo - Leticia by members of the group and named after each of the composers whose work has been utilized.
But does the use of these composers work really fit in with modern jazz? The answer In The Bodiless Heart - Peccatum - Lost In Reverie a resounding yes, as evidenced by the Ives opener - "The Cage," where the kinetic energy of the players presents a dramatic tableau in presneting a piece that was written ahead of its time still resonates with he image of a leopard pacing its cage and the caged beast's representation of modern life.
The other works fare just as well, with Ives' "Remembrance" a haunting portrait of Ives' brand of uneasy solitude that I suspect the composer himself would have approved of. The arrangements of these works are mind-bending, multi-layered and offer Patrick Lacaze - Guerillero introduction into some interesting compositions while also engaging the senses in the present.
NYNDK have come back with yet another revolutionary recording, that takes chances, and cements their status as some of the most innovative jazz artists working today. Askenazy also adds a couple originals Complicated - Avril Lavigne - Let Go fit right in with this eclectic set.
Fine players all, they all seem quite comfortable with this unusual set list, and listeners may Antonio Valdetaro & Grupo - Leticia surprised that they are as well. Again singing in Portuguese, English and Spanish, Estrada explores a theme of "love" in various invocations through songs that at times touch the heart, and at others pull out the groove.
With her second release, Estrada presents a solid effort which should please many fans of Latin female vocal jazz. On this debut album - produced by the brilliant David Binney - the young Haffner is accompanied by an all-star lineup of keyboardist Craig Taborn, guitarist Wayne Krantz, bassist Eivind Opsvik and a pairing of drummers: Joechen Rueckert and Kenny Wollesen. Almost sounding like a follow-up to Binney's great "Out of Airplanes" recording our album of the year - see our review here - which featured some of the same musicians the somewhat more placid Frisell on guitarLife on Wednesday is filled with industrial sounds, electronics and in-your-face attitude, as on strong opener "Time Time" and the aggressive "Western Wren The Bird Call ," but the band can just as easily slip into the haunting Americana of the Frisell-like "New Mexico.
Meanwhile, the powerful two drum and bass attack rumbles underneath like an earthquake. Haffner himself shows a great deal of promise as a young man with elements of Binney and Potter sneaking through at times in his playing, and he also shows considerable maturity in his compositions as well. He also allows the Antonio Valdetaro & Grupo - Leticia space and of course, they respond beautifully. The nearly-eleven-minute-long improvised "Formigas" starts with subtle industrial grind which builds and kicks unexpectedly into a lengthy alto solo.
There are plenty of melodically rewarding moments Antonio Valdetaro & Grupo - Leticia well, including "Wednesday Night Firsts" and "Tuesday Night Danny" the pairing of Krantz and Taborn is genius and the album ending "New Year. He has been personally responsible for some of the most exciting music coming out of jazz in the recent years and deserves credit not only for his incredible playing, but for his growing reputation as a producer. The combination of electronics and acoustic instruments in modern jazz is one that still has much to offer, as clearly shown by this exciting recording, and hopefully this is one young voice who Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - Mozart* - Favourites From The Classics continue in this direction.
Samba Glænø - Christian Sievert, Jukka Tolonen, Mads Vinding, Luiz Carlos De Siquira (Chuim)* - Afte, Stop The Train - Bob Marley - Bob Marley, Cape Point - Cosmic Gate - Back 2 Back 4, Middle Of The Night - Brotherhood Of Man - The Best Of Brotherhood Of Man, Hoof Trample - All These Fingers - Pleasant Days (File, Album)