Sunday, November 24, 2013

Abdullah Ibrahim - South Africa

Abdullah Ibrahim's spiritual and very melodic South African folk music is always worth hearing and his individuality remains quite impressive. This set, recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, features the pianist (who also plays a bit of soprano and adds his emotional voice to the proceedings) with his longtime altoist Carlos Ward, bassist Essiet Okun Essiet, drummer Don Mumford and vocalist Johnny Classens. The music, dealing with themes related to South African life, is quite personal, unique and surprisingly accessible. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

The first half of this astounding live cd grabs you by the scruff and shakes you up. It makes you play air-drums and dance and then - take a breath - calm down, settle into some beautiful unaccompanied piano, the kind this master does so well. Rolling, emotional suspense and release followed by play offs with the reed player before re-settling into the groove and re-building for the energetic play out. Oh, so good. This is joyous music, played live and captured on tape for us lucky people. I had the pleasure, many years ago, of seeing and hearing Dollar Brand, as he was still known then, play at The Basement here in Sydney and that night is indelibly etched into my brain - sumptuous, innovative, beautiful music and this cd holds that same feeling. This is music to be immersed in, not analysed; to rejoice with rather than merely appreciate. Brilliant stuff. - by Noel A. Hodda,

Artist: Abdullah Ibrahim (Aka Dollar Brand)
Album: South Africa (Live in Montreux)
Year: 1986
Label: Enja
Runtime: 52:11

1.  Thaba Bosigo (Mountain of the night) 4:21
2.  Siya Hamba Namhlanje (We are leaving today) 3:28
3.  Iza-Ne Zembe Gawuale (Bring the Axe) 4:10
4.  Black and brown Cherries 7:59
5.  Our loving family 6:13
6.  African Dawn - For Monk 7:59
7.  Zimbabwe 4:22
8.  Elsie's River 6:03
9.  Pancakes 0:45
10.  Capetown Carnival 4:03
11.  Thaba Bosigo 2:42
All compositions by Abdullah Ibrahim

Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) (Piano, Soprano Saxophone and Vocals)
Johnny Classens (Vocals)
Carlos Ward (Flute and Alto Saxophone)
Essiet Okun Essiet (Double Bass)
Don Mumford (Drums)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Flavio Boltro - Forty Degrees

Flavio Boltro is born on 5 may 1961. His father, trumpeters and fan of jazz, send him since he was very young the love of music.
He starts playing trumpet at 9 years old and then enters the Turin school of Classical Music “G.Verdi”. During 7 years, he studied classical trumpet, especially with Carlo Arfinengo, trumpet player of Turin’s Symphonic Orchestra.
The Italien years
From 1982 to 1985, he plays regularly with Turin’s Symphonic Orchestra and the RAI Symphonic Orchestra (Italian TV network). He begins these first jazz gigs with Steve Grossman, Cedar Walton, Billy Higgins and David Williams in several clubs and major festivals.
From 1984 to 1986, he participates in the “Linguomania Quintet” of Maurizio Giammarco, with Roberto Gato on drums, Furio Di Castri on bass, Maurizio Giammarco on sax and Umberto Fiorentino on guitar (Reverberi CD). In 1986, the Italian newspaper “ Musica Jazz” gave him the award of “Best musician“ of the year. From this time he played with legendary musicians as Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Jordan, Jimmy Cobb, Bob Berg, Dave Liebman, Don Cherry , Billy Hart ,Richie Berach …… In 1987 an another jazz band is decisive in his musical career: the original trio with Manu Roche on drums and Furio Di Castri on bass which is converted in quartet with the venue of Joe Lovano ( Imagine CD). In 1992, he released his first CD as a leader: “Flabula”.
The French years
In 1994, Flavio Boltro an his friend Stefano Di Battista (saxophonist) enters the “Orchestre Nationnal de Jazz” conduct by Laurent Cugny. In three years, the ONJ released three CDs: In Tempo, Reminsing , Mercy,Mercy ( Polygram ) and played in several European cities. From 1996 to 2000, Michel Pettruciani engaged Flavio and Stefano in his sextet, which will tour all around the world (Both Worlds CD). In 1997, Flavio participated at the very noticed quintet” Di Battista/Boltro” with Eric Legnini on piano, Benjamin Henocq on drums and Rosario Bonaccorso on bass (Volare CD in Label Bleu awarded “ Best CD of the year”) In 2000, he enters the quintet of Michel Portal up 2005. He played also with Laurent de Wilde. He released two CDs as a leader with Blue Note (EMI): Road Runner in 1999 and 4O degrés in 2003. In 2003, he participated at the very original TRIO AIR with Giovanni Mirabassi on piano and Glen Ferris on trombone. The album Air get the award of “ Best album of the year 2003 “ from the French Jazz Academia. In 2009, this trio becomes a duo: Boltro/Mirabassi. - from

Artist: Flavio Boltro
Album: Forty Degrees
Year: 2002
Label: Blue Note (2003)
Runtime: 62:12

1.  Doctor K (Eric Legnini) 5:34
2.  Idea (Flavio Boltro) 4:45
3.  You're my Everything (Harry Warren) 8:44
4.  Take Away (Flavio Boltro) 5:52
5.  First Smile (Flavio Boltro) 4:10
6.  Jazz A Doc (Flavio Boltro) 8:11
7.  If I Were A Bell (Frank Loesser) 4:49
8.  Sabine (Flavio Boltro) 4:53
9.  Les Amis (Flavio Boltro) 7:59
10.  Magic Boltro (Eric Legnini) 7:09

Flavio Boltro (Trumpet)
Eric Legnini (Piano)
Remi Vignolo (Double Bass)
Franck Agulhon (Drums

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Willie Bobo - Bobo's Beat

Willie Bobo pulled an impressive lineup for his debut as a leader, due in part to a profile gained from his work with Cal Tjader and Herbie Mann. Leading the brass section in this midsized group is trumpeter Clark Terry, who lends the necessary grit and fire, while Joe Farrell's burring tenor gives the record dynamic range. Though Bobo's percussion kit is displayed on the front, it's occasionally difficult to appreciate his playing on the record; he sounds bored and in the background during a trio of Brazilian crossover numbers (this was the year of Jazz Samba, after all), leaving organist Frank Anderson to flare his way playfully through his own "Bossa Nova in Blue." Bobo does finally allow himself some solo space at the end of "Capers," after several minutes of brilliant interplay between brass and reeds. The highlight comes with the group's interpretation of Freddie Hubbard's "Crisis," a slow-burning hard bop number with Bobo's timbales shuffle framing more excellent sectioning, with Farrell's tenor and an unnamed trombone positioned in counterpoint to Terry's trumpet. With none of the Latin fire solo features or pop crossover material often found on "Stereo Spectacular" LPs of the day, Bobo's Beat is a jazz fan's delight: great work from all the principles, and a steady sense of inter-relational talents sounding off in close harmony with each other. - by John Bush, AMG

Artist: Willie Bobo
Album: Bobo's Beat
Year: 1962 (Roulette)
Label: EMI (2003)
Runtime: 39:25

1.  Bon Sueno (Frank Colon) 2:30
2.  Naked City Theme (Billy May) 2:17
3.  Felicidade (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes) 3:28
4.  Bossa Nova In Blue (Frank Anderson) 2:44
5.  Boroquinho (Christopher Boscole/Menescal) 4:30
6.  Crisis (Freddie Hubbard) 5:15
7.  Mi Fas Y Recordar (Bill Salter) 3:56
8.  Capers (Tom McIntosh)  3:47
9.  Let Your Hair Down Blues (Frank Anderson) 5:13
10.  Trinidad (Teacho Wiltshire) 2:59
11.  Timbale Groove (Teacho Wiltshire) 2:46

Willie Bobo (Timbale, Percussion)
Clark Terry (Trumpet)
Joe Farrell (Tenor Saxophone)
Frank Anderson (Piano, Organ)
Others unknown


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