Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tania Maria - Europe

This is a compilation of live performances recorded during the early '90s while Maria was touring Europe. The seven tunes are mostly high energy numbers. On "Funky Tambourine," "Senso Unico," "I Can Do It" and "Bom Bom Bom," Maria plays in a quartet format, with Mitch Stein on guitar; Anthony Jackson, bass; and Steve Gadd, drums. "Chuleta" and "O Bom E" has a rhythm section of bassist Kip Reed, percussionist Armando Marcal and drummer Kim Plainfield. Trumpeter Rick Savage and saxophonist Jim Clouse are also heard on these cuts. "She's Outrageous" features bassist Sergio Brandao, percussionist Sammy Figueroa and drummer Ricky Sebastian. All tunes and arrangements are by Maria. "Funky Tambourine" builds to a crescendo with Maria's staccato piano and percussive scatting, Stein's soaring guitar, and Gadd's intense drumming. "Chuleta" [pork chop] is frenzied and spontaneous. "Senso Unico" and "O Bom E" are balladic numbers. Maria's emotional style, her funky drive and drama, propel her bandmates to exceptional levels of musicianship. - JazzTimes.com

Artist: Tania Maria
Album: Europe
Year: 1997
Label: New Note
Runtime: 51:35

Tracks:
1.  Funky Tambourine 10:09
2.  Senso Unico 8:22
3.  I Can Do It 5:47
4.  Chuleta 5:03
5.  O Bom E 5:50
6.  She's Outrageous 10:03
7.  Bom Bom Bom Tchi Tchi Tchi 6:21
All compositions by Tania Maria 

Personnel:
Tania Maria (Vocals, Piano, Keyboards)
Steve Gadd (Drums) - 1-3,7
Anthony Jackson (Bass) - 1-3,7
Mitch Stein (Guitar) - 1-3,7
Kim Plainfield (Drums) - 4,5
Kip Reed (Bass) - 4,5
Armando Marcal (Percussion) - 4,5
Rick Savage (Trumpet) - 4,5
Jim Clouse (Saxophone) - 4,5
Ricky Sebastian (Drums) - 6
Sergio Brandao (Bass) - 6
Sammy Figueroa (Percussion) - 6

Monday, March 6, 2017

Anouar Brahem - Conte de l'incoyable amour

Conte de L'incroyable Amour is Tunisian composer and oud virtuoso Anouar Brahem's follow-up to his excellent ECM debut, Barzakh. Like its predecessor, this release contains original material that mixes Arabic music and jazz improvisation and features a stellar band comprised of some of Turkey's finest musicians (this time out Brahem is joined by clarinetist Barbaros Erkose, nay (reed flute) player Kudsi Ergune, and the percussionist from Barzakh, Lassad Hosni). In contrast to Barzakh's livelier mood, though, the sound here is more meditative and even stark at times, especially on solo flights by both Brahem ("Iram Retrouvee") and Erkose ("Etincelles") and by way of Erguner's ethereal improvisations ("Diversion"). The pace picks up on the sympathetically played and joyous ensemble piece "Conte de L'incroyable Amour" and on the impassioned Brahem and Erkose duet, "Nayzak." ECM's typically sparse and airy production compliments Brahem's ascetic material without making it sound too dry. A wonderful album that, upon repeated listening, reveals many transcendent moments. - by Stephen Cook, AMG

Anouar Brahem is a Tunisian who is one of the leading present exponents of the oud, a lute-like stringed instrument. Brahem's music is anything but 'exponent'-sounding, however--he makes regular excursions into the world of jazz and crossover (a project of some years back with Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek was wonderful), along with recording pieces with a more traditional sound. This cd is langorous and exotic-sounding with a good bit of a jazz feel thrown in for good measure; it is mostly quiet, introspective and wandering (even ambient), with occasional explosions of what might be termed "rhythmic urgency." It frankly takes a bit of getting used to, but if you like unpretentious, intimate music and can get into this particular blend of North African instrumentation (oud, clarinet, nai flute, and bendir and darbouka), you may well find it very attractive.- by C.H. Smith, Amazon.com

What you will hear in this album is magic solitude. Is silence. Brahem explores the mystical sounds rooted deep inside us, and only giving these his most familiar form, through his oud. This music is born for artists, for sensitive creative people. For rare moments of true happines.- by Alex Balint, Amazon.com

Artist: Anouar Brahem
Album: Conte de l'incoyable amour
Year: 1992
Label: ECM
Runtime: 59:26
Recorded: 1991. October at the Rainbow Studio (Oslo, Norway)

Tracks:
1.  Etincelles (Anouar Brahem) 3:21
2.  Le Chien sur les genoux de la devineresse (Anouar Brahem) 3:44
3.  L'oiseau de bois (Anouar Brahem) 4:48
4.  Lumiere du silence (Anouar Brahem) 5:15
5.  Conte de L'incroyable amour (Anouar Brahem) 10:51
6.  Peshrev Hidjaz Homayoun (Veli Dede) 5:03
7.  Diversion (Kudsi Erguner) 5:39
8.  Nayzak (Anouar Brahem) 5:32
9.  Battements (Anouar Brahem) 1:56
10.  En souvenir d'Iram (Anouar Brahem) 3:02
11.  Iram retrouvée (Anouar Brahem) 3:48
12.  Epilogue (Anouar Brahem) 6:21

Personnel:
Anouar Brahem (Oud)
Barbaros Erköse (Clarinet)
Kudsi Erguner (Nay)
Lassad Hosni (Bendir and Darbouka)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Rothenberg, Boone, Velez - On the Cliffs of the Heart

Celebrated musician, composer, author, and philosopher naturalist, David Rothenberg, is known for his extensive and extraordinary work researching and reacting to the relationship between humanity and nature. His performance at apexart will present examples of his work playing music live together with different creatures, from Why Birds Sing (2005) where he played with lyrerbirds, Thousand Mile Song (2008) where he joined singing humpback whales, and Bug Music (2013) where he was covered in 17-year cicadas. As a composer and jazz clarinetist, David Rothenberg has nine CDs out under his own name, including On the Cliffs of the Heart, named one of the top ten CDs by Jazziz magazine in 1995.- Apexart.org

Artist: David Rothenberg, Graeme Boone, Glen Velez
Album: On the Cliffs of the Heart
Year: 1995
Label: New Tone Records
Runtime: 57:25

Tracks: 
1.  In My Heart There Is a Discord (David Rothenberg / Graeme Boone) 4:12
2.  Man of Constant Sorrow (Traditional) 5:13
3.  Prelude to the Dance of the Dervish (Traditional) 4:28
4.  Chikadedumpewaa (David Rothenberg / Graeme Boone) 2:34
5.  Joie Plaisence (David Rothenberg / Graeme Boone) 5:40
6.  Tales of the Big Drum (David Rothenberg / Graeme Boone) 7:44
7.  I See the Great Mountains (Traditional) 4:14
8.  Aux Marches du Palais (Traditional) 7:06
9.  My Life With the Wave (David Rothenberg / Graeme Boone) 4:52
10.  Rai for Don (David Rothenberg / Graeme Boone) 5:59
11.  On the Cliffs of the Heart (David Rothenberg / Graeme Boone) 5:23

Personnel:
David Rothenberg (Clarinet)
Graeme Boone (Banjo)
Glen Velez (Frame Drums)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Modern Art Orchestra - Circular

Lifetime is a tricky thing. Sometimes you realize how quickly it passes only through a sudden flash of the mind, when one morning you wake up noticing that you are simply no longer the person you used to be. When I encountered this shocking experience a couple of years ago, I could not help seeing things from a different perspective: things like childhood or adulthood, being serious or having fun, playing or working. - BMCRecords.hu

Artist: Modern Art Orchestra
Album: Plays The Music Of Kristof Bacso - Circular
Year: 2014
Label: BMC Records
Runtime: 59:17
Recorded: at Pannonia Studio, Budapest, Hungary

Tracks:
1.  Circular 2:02
2.  Lunar Dance 12:33
3.  Too Many Questions Left 8:32
4.  Child's Place 11:44
5.  Nocturne 8:20
6.  Caffeine Express 6:35
7.  Variations On A Folksong 9:27
All compositions by Kristof Bacso 

Personnel:
Kristof Bacso (Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Flute)
Kornel Fekete Kovacs (Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Conductor)
David Ülkei (Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Clarinet)
Janos Aved (Tenor Saxophone, Flute)
Balazs Cserta (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Mihaly Bajusznacs (Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet)
Adam Graf (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Zoltan Bacsa (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Gabor Subicz (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Balazs Bukovinszki (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Gabor Bizjak (Cornet)
Zsolt Nagy (Cornet)
Attila Korb (Trombone)
Gabor Barbinek (Trombone)
Miklos Csathy (Bass Trombone)
Peter Kovacs (Tuba)
Gabor Cseke (Piano)
Marton Soos (Double Bass)
Laszlo Csizi (Drums)
Aron Komjati (Guitar) - 1,5-7
Andras Des (Percussion) - 1,5,7
Marton Fenyvesi (Guitar) - 2-4

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sonny Rollins - Newk's Time

In his early prime and well-respected, tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins cut this fine hard bop date as one of several late-'50s sessions for Blue Note. The record is part classic date, part blowing session, sporting a mix of engaging head statements and lengthy solos. Rollins takes to the spacious quartet setting, stretching out on taut versions of Miles Davis' '50s concert opener "Tune Up" and Kenny Dorham's "Asiatic Raes." Keeping the swing hard but supple are drummer Philly Joe Jones, bassist Doug Watkins, and pianist Wynton Kelly; Jones  was certainly the standout in this well-respected sampling of the best young players of the period, as he oftentimes matched the intensity and ingenuity of the star soloists he backed. Jones, in fact, puts in some career highlights on "Wonderful! Wonderful!" and "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top," just two of many wholly unique Tin Pan Alley song interpretations Rollins has done in his long career. From a career-defining period before the legendary Williamsburg Bridge layoff of two years, Rollins' Newk's Time may not make classic status in jazz roundups, but it certainly is a must for fans of this most important of classic hard bop soloists. - by Stephen Cook, AMG

Artist: Sonny Rollins
Album: Newk's Time
Year: 1957
Label: Blue Note (1990)
Runtime: 34:41

Tracks:
1.  Tune Up (Miles Davis) 5:49
2.  Asiatic Raes (Kenny Dorham) 6:01
3.  Wonderful! Wonderful! (Sherman Edwards/Ben Raleigh) 6:05
4.  The Surrey With the Fringe on Top (Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II) 6:35
5.  Blues for Philly Joe (Sonny Rollins) 6:49
6.  Namely You (Gene DePaul/Johnny Mercer) 3:19

Personnel:
Sonny Rollins (Tenor Saxophone)
Wynton Kelly (Piano)
Doug Watkins (Double Bass)
Philly Joe Jones (Drums)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sonny Rollins - A Night at the Village Vanguard

Sonny Rollins, one of jazz's great tenors, is heard here at his peak with a pair of piano-less trios (either Wilbur Ware or Donald Bailey on bass and Elvin Jones or Pete La Roca on drums) stretching out on particularly creative versions of "Old Devil Moon," "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise," "Sonnymoon for Two," and "A Night in Tunisia," among others. Not only did Rollins have a very distinctive sound but his use of time, his sly wit, and his boppish but unpredictable style were completely his own by 1957. Truly magical. [Originally released as separate albums, A Night at the Village Vanguard has also been reissued in its entirety, complete with alternate takes.] - by Scott Yanow, AMG

The recording that resulted documents two shows in the afternoon and evening of November 3, 1957. Rollins employed different bands for the two shows. The afternoon show sported Donald Bailey on bass and Pete (La Roca) Sims on drums and the only contribution to the whole by this band is the opening "Night in Tunisia." The remainder of the recording is all Wilbur Ware on Bass and Elvin Jones on Drums. the recently released rudy Van Gelder Edition is superior to all previous releases of this material. Included here is all of the pre-song banter showing a 27 year old Rollins wowing his crowd. Also, previously edited material is restored and situated in chronologic order. All of this is dryly technical, but the music is not. This is virile and daring music performed with the hubris of youth and genius. The nakedness of the Tenor Trio is justly daunting. But, to masters of this ilk, the trio format offers that additional dimension of creativity— finding what is important in melody and harmony. Charlie Parker is barely in the grave two years befor these sides were cut. "A Night in Tunisia," "Woody 'N' You," and "I Can't Get Started" sound fresh and new. Rollins's tenor was always larger than life in a most attractive way, unlike Coltrane. His tone was full and sexy and rough and exciting on this evening in November, 1957, and so was his genius. - by Michael Bailey, AllAboutJazz.com

Artist: Sonny Rollins
Album: A Night At The Village Vanguard
Year: 1957
Label: Blue Note Records (1999, RVG Renmastered)
Runtime: 131:56

Tracks:
1.  A Night in Tunisia (Dizzy Gillespie/Frank Paparelli) 8:16
2.  I've Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter) 10:03
3.  A Night in Tunisia (Evening Take) (Dizzy Gillespie/Frank Paparelli) 9:03
4.  Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (Oscar Hammerstein II/Sigmund Romberg) 6:43
5.  Four (Miles Davis) 8:26
6.  Introduction 0:20
7.  Woody 'n' You (Dizzy Gillespie) 8:29
8.  Introduction 0:36
9.  Old Devil Moon (E.Y. "Yip" Harburg/Burton Lane)  8:21
10.  What Is This Thing Called Love (Cole Porter) 14:03
11.  Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (Oscar Hammerstein II/Sigmund Romberg) 8:03
12.  Sonnymoon For Two (Sonny Rollins) 8:46
13.  I Can't Get Started (Vernon Duke/Ira Gershwin) 4:54
14.  I'll Remember April (Gene DePaul/Patricia Johnston/Don Raye) 9:20
15.  Get Happy (Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler) 9:08
16.  Striver's Row (Sonny Rollins) 5:59
17.  All The Things You Are (Oscar Hammerstein II/Jerome Kern) 6:46
18.  Get Happy (Short Version) (Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler) 4:40

Personnel:
Sonny Rollins (Tenor Saxophone)
Elvin Jones (Drums) - 2-18
Wilbur Ware (Double Bass) - 2-18
Donald Bailey (Double Bass) - 1
Pete La Roca (Drums) - 1

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Steve Coleman - Myths, Modes and Means

One of a trio of RCA CDs taken from altoist Steve Coleman's week at Paris's Hot Brass Club, three of the six performances on this set ("Finger of God," "Song of the Beginnings" and "Transits") are over 19 minutes long, and, with the exception of a rap on "The Initiate" and one during the last part of "Song of the Beginnings," this is a jazz set. On "Finger of God," Yassir Chadly's spiritual chant is followed by some intense Coleman alto over a drone by the keyboards. Other selections feature passionate free funk with plenty of Coleman alto and Ralph Alessi trumpet solos; Vijay Iyer's spooky keyboards and Miya Masaoka's koto are assets in the ensembles. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Steve Coleman and the Mystic Rhythm Society
Album: Myths, Modes And Means
Year: 1995
Label: RCA Records
Runtime: 75:40

Tracks:
1.  Mystic Dub 2:06
2.  Finger of God 24:37
3.  The Initiate 3:50
4.  Madras 3:43
5.  Song of the Beginnings 19:16
6.  Numerology 1:42
7.  Transits 20:23
All compositions by Steve Coleman

Personnel:
Steve Coleman (Alto Saxophone)
Ralph Alessi (Trumpet)
Andy Milne (Piano and Keyboards)
Reggie Washington (Bass)
Gene Lake (Drums)
Vijay Iyer (Keyboards)
Miya Masaoka (Koto)
Josh Jones (Percussion)
Ramesh Shotham (Percussion)
Yassir Chadly (Vocals and Percussion)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Roy Rogers & Shana Morrison - Everybody's Angel

Here is a surprise pairing: Roy Rogers, one of the greatest slide guitarists in the world, John Lee Hooker producer and sometime band member, and Shana Morrison, Van Morrison's daughter and new emerging songwriter talent. Together they have released an excellent album. Sassy-voiced Shana's jazzy blues delivery and Roy's country-edged vocals work warmly together - and those arrangement, Wow! The darkly laid-back opening track 'Molly O & Dog Boy' with it's steel guitar touches and acoustic percussion leads you into an album which demonstrates the incredible versatility of Rogers' guitar and confirm what many know - that Roy is a superb producer. Previous albums from Roy can flay you alive with their slide riffs. Here he is never bludgeoning, never subservient, just scarily perfect in his discretion and appropriateness. Tight musicianship: drums and percussion from Jimmy Sanchez, accordion and keyboards from Phil Aalberg, bass from Scoop McGuire, Dana Pandey's tabla and Robert Powell's pedal steel, underpin a great collection of songs and a must-have album. What can I say? It's so good I bought it twice.- by NetRhythms, Amazon.com

Artist: Roy Rogers & Shana Morrison
Album: Everybody's Angel
Year: 1999
Label: Roshan Records
Runtime: 50:48

Tracks:
1.  Molly O & Dog Boy (David Gionfriddo / Steve Gordon / Shana Morrison / Roy Rogers) 4:32
2.  Joey (Roy Rogers / Shana Morrison) 2:57
3.  You Choose (Roy Rogers / Shana Morrison) 3:58
4.  Nothing Left to Lose (Roy Rogers / Shana Morrison) 4:54
5.  Here We Go (Shana Morrison) 3:43
6.  Mate of Fate (Roy Rogers / Shana Morrison) 3:44
7.  Hello Stranger (Barbara Lewis) 4:02
8.  Therapy (Shana Morrison) 3:50
9.  Amy Sky (David Gionfriddo / Steve Gordon / Roy Rogers) 3:57
10.  Playin' the Feel (Roy Rogers / Shana Morrison) 4:48
11.  Lover's Moon (Roy Rogers) 4:51
12.  Everybody's Angel (David Gionfriddo / Steve Gordon / Shana Morrison / Roy Rogers) 5:27

Personnel:
Shana Morrison (Vocals)
Roy Rogers (Vocals, Guitar, Slide Guitar, Percussion)
Scoop McGuire (Bass Guitar)
Jimmy Sanchez (Drums, Percussion)
Phil Aaberg (Keyboards, Accordion)
Dana Pandey (Tabla)
Robert Powell (Pedal Steel Guitar)

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