Daily Archives: January 7, 2010

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

Will Holshouser Trio + Bernardo Sassetti – Palace Ghosts and Drunken Hymns (CF 160)
There are CDs that come along that don’t fit in with one’s preconceptions. Palace Ghosts and Drunken Hymns (Clean Feed) is one such recording. It’s a meeting of accordionist Will Holshouser’s trio with Portuguese pianist Bernardo Sassetti. Joining Holshouser in the trio is Ron Horton on trumpet and David Phillips on bass.

I can’t tell you exactly what my preoccupations were before I listened. They were a bit murky and undefined. What you get is good music, rather outside the norm of various categorical forms of “jazz.” There’s a version of a piece by famed Portuguese guitarist Carlos Paredes and there are originals.

This is music of a tonally straightforward kind. There is a European folkish element and otherwise there is no easy categorization. Sassetti plays some wonderfully expressive, lyrical piano which is seconded by Holshouser’s adventurous accordion. Horton’s trumpet plays some nice obligatto parts and forms an important part of the proceedings, as does Phillips.

There are playfully free elements, such as on “East River Breeze.” All of it reflects a careful musicianship that is in part a product of the trio’s ten-year tenure, but also of Sassetti’s palpable musical sensitivity.

It’s not quite the usual musical offering. And that difference makes for refreshing chamber jazz that shows off the considerable musical-compositional capabilities of the group. Collaborations are especially successful if the members involved come to new aural territories as a result of the inspiring presence of the fellow travellers involved. I believe that happened here. This is a set that’s easy on the ears yet substantial. It should provided open-minded listeners with much pleasure.
http://gapplegatemusicreview.blogspot.com/

Alain Drouot: Top 10 and more

Top 10 of 2009
1. Michel Edelin – Kuntu – Rogue Art
2. Vijay Iyer – Historicity – ACT
3. Miroslav Vitous – Remembering Weather Report – ECM
4. Louis Moholo-Moholo/Duets with Marilyn Crispell – Sibanye (We Are One) – Intakt
5. Sophie Agnel – Capsizing Moments – Emanem
6. Darren Johnston – The Edge of the Forest (Clean Feed)
7. David Binney – Third Occasion – Mythology
8. Brian Groder – Groder & Greene – Latham Records
9. Matt Wilson Quartet – That’s Gonna Leave a Mark – Palmetto
10. Rob Mazurek – Sound Is – Delmark
Runners up
11. Alex Cline – Continuation – Cryptogramophone)
12. The Fully Celebrated – Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones – AUM Fidelity
13. Satoko Fujii & Myra Melford – Under the Water – Libra
14. Ben Goldberg/Charlie Hunter/Scott Amendola/Ron Miles – Go Home – BAG
15. Okkyung Lee/Peter Evans/Steve Beresford – Check for Monsters – Emanem
16. Agustí Fernández – Un Llamp Que No S’Acaba Mai – Psi
17. Steve Adams – Surface Tension – Clean Feed
18. Denman Maroney – Udentity – Clean Feed
19. Gypsy Shaeffer – New Album – PeaceTime
20. Josh Berman – Old Idea – Delmark
http://www.jazzhouse.org/diary/2010/01/alain-drouot-top-10-and-more/

All About Jazz review by Glenn Astarita

Nicolas Masson Parallels – Thirty Six Ghosts (CF 163)
Switzerland reared tenor sax ace and composer Nicolas Masson draws inspiration from Yoshitoshi Taiso’s (1839-1892) woodblock paintings. Hence, emotion and impressionism is projected via the power of jazz music, as Masson and his quartet render a poly-angled view that incorporates the artist’s lucid imagery and contrasting colors. With Thirty Six Ghosts, the saxophonist leads a concentrated group-focused program, steeped within structure and loosely devised implementations.

Masson and his accomplices dish out driving jazz-rock pulses with large doses of punch and snap, yet equalize their approach with ethereal passages, sparked by Colin Vallon’s airy Fender Rhodes work. However, Vallon and Masson align as a formidable improv duo amid brash movements and scorching grooves. Hence, the rhythm section—bassist Patrice Morel and drummer Lionel Friedli—plays a prominent role within the totality of the program, in concert with the front line’s interweaving ebbs and flows. Masson possesses singing qualities, often shifting the unit into sonorous motifs where he toggles between high-impact and yearning lines.

Another component that serves the band well is its sense of balance. The musicians alternate an ominous and thrusting sound with introspective dialogues that blossom into full-throttle assaults. On “Yeah Baby,” Masson’s linear phrasings and Friedli’s cymbal swashes provide counterpoint to Vallon’s understated voicings and Moret’s sublime bass notes. And they convey lots of depth by gelling the overall vibe into an ascending theme-building exercise, hued by knotty unison choruses and a take-no-prisoners mindset. Ultimately, Masson parlays a rather emotive and multicolored panorama of Taiso’s artistic designs. Imagery becomes reality through the ever-expansive capabilities of progressive-jazz, used as a multi-tiered vehicle throughout this persuasive endeavor.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=35175

MinimalisticMusic review

SAMUEL BLASER QUARTET – PIECES OF OLD SKY (CF 151)
Poslednjeg dana stare godine preporucujem nesto sto je i meni preporuceno na neki nacin kao jednom od mnogobrojnih posetioca najpoznatijeg jazz bloga “freejazz-stef” (bocna traka sajtova i blogova). U tekstu posvecenom zapazenim izdanjima za 2009. godinu, izmedju ostalog, pominje se par albuma iz domena (kako autor bloga kaze), free minimalizma, medju kojima je i “Pieces Of Old Sky”, “Samuel Blaser Quartet-a”. Od ostalih izvodjaca istakli su se sto se mene tice “Who Trio”.
Gore pomenuta preporuka bas me je pozitivno iznenadila, a vrlo lako je mogla da promakne. Radi se o prelepom, minimalisticnom, suptilnom i nenametljivom, ali ne i nezanimljivom albumu, savrsenom da na neki nacin zaokruzi ovu diskografsku godinu. Posebno bih istakao zvuk gitare koja je odlicno uklopljena u ceo ambijent i posle duzeg vremena mi prija, obzirom da nisam neki ljubitelj njenog prisustva u jazz-u, cast ovakvim izuzecima.
Ovde mi je posebno zanimljivo i to sto se moj ukus sa free-jazz blogerom gotovo nikada ne poklapa, a u ovom slucaju na njegovoj listi stoje cak dva albuma (“Who Trio – Less Is More”, “Wadada Leo Smith & Jack DeJohnette – America”), koja su mi u uzem izboru za 2009. god. (post-jazz lista), a blizu je bio i kada su u pitanju “Trespass Trio”. Ovo me je nateralo da ubuduce malo detaljnije obratim paznju na njegov blog. Vama preporucujem da nabavite ovaj vanserijski album i takodje bacite pogled na njegove recenzije i preporuke. Sigurno necete pogresiti.
http://minimalisticmusic.blogspot.com/2009/12/preporuka-za-kraj-godine-samuel-blaser.html

All About Jazz Italy “Best of 2009″ List – Month by month

January  
Steven Bernstein – Diaspora Suite (Tzadik)
Tino Tracanna – Giovanni Falzone – Paolino Dalla Porta – Vittorio Marinoni – Stylus Q (Abeat Records)
Ornette Coleman – Town Hall 1962 (ESP Disk) 
Paul Bley – Closer (ESP Disk)
Wayne Horvitz – Joe Hill: 16 Actions for Orchestra, Voice, and Soloist (New World Records)
Gianluigi Trovesi – All’Opera – Profumo di Violetta (ECM Records) 
William Parker Quartet – Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity Records)
Houdini’s Cage – Memories of a Barber (El Gallo Rojo) 

February  
Michael Bates – Clockwise (Greenleaf Music)
The Microscopic Septet – Lobster Leaps In (Cuneiform Records)
Enrico Rava – New York Days (ECM Records) 
Atomic School Days – Distil (Okka Disk)
Mostly Other People Do the Killing – This Is Our Moosic (Hot Cup Records)
Blue Notes – The Ogun Collection (Ogun) 
Bik Bent Braam – Extremen (BBB)
Mary Halvorson Trio – Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records) 

March  
Avishai Cohen – Flood (Part Two of the Big Rain Trilogy) (Anzic Records)
Darrell Katz & Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra –  The Same Thing (Cadence Jazz Records)
Fight the Big Bull – Dying Will Be Easy (Clean Feed Records) 
Mulatu Astatke & the Heliocentrics – Inspiration Information 3 (Strut/!K7)
Dinamitri Jazz Folklore + Amiri Baraka – Akendengue Suite (Rai Trade)
Jon Irabagon – Jon Irabagon’s Outright! (Innova Recordings) 
Chat Noir - Difficult to See You (EmArcy)
Zentralquartett – Au der Elbe Schwimmt ein rosa krokodil (Intakt Records)
Jim Hall – Bill Frisell – Hemispheres (ArtistShare) 
Anthony Braxton – Standards (Brussels) 2006 (Amirani Records)  

April  
Shakers N’ Bakers – Yearning for Zion (Little (i) Music)
Steve Lehman – Manifold (Clean Feed Records)
Dave Stapleton – Matthew Bourne – Dismantling the Waterfall – The Mill Session, Vol.1 (Edition Records) 
Aa.Vv. – Nigeria 70 – The Definitive Story of 1970′s Funky Lagos (Strut/!K7)
Satoko Fujii – Heat Wave (Not Two)
Morton Feldman –  The Viola in My Life (ECM Records)

May  
Soft Machine – Drop (Moonjune Records)
Michael Jefry Stevens Trio - For Andrew (Konnex Records)
Daniele Cavallanti – Tiziano Tononi – Rings of Fire (Long Song Records) 
Fred Frith and Arte Quartett – Still Urban / The Big Picture (Intakt Records)
Denman Maroney – Udentity (Clean Feed Records)
Fast ‘N’ Bulbous – Waxed Oop (Cuneiform Records) 
Henry Grimes – Solo (Ilk Music)
Ran Blake – Driftwoods (Tompkins Square Records) 

June  
Amato Jazz Trio – Time Pieces for Piano (Abeat Records)
Clusone 3 – Soft Lights and Sweet Music (Hatology)
Nicole Mitchell Indigo Trio – Anaya (Rogue Art) 
Ingrid Laubrock – Sleepthief (Intakt Records)
Alex Cline – Continuation (Cryptogramophone)
Positive Catastrophe – Garabatos Volume One (Cuneiform Records) 
Louis Sclavis – Lost on the Way (ECM Records)
Chico Hamilton – Twelve Tones of Love (Joyous Shout!)
Thomas Mapfumo – Hokoyo! / Gwindingwi Rine Shumba (Water) 
Jeremy Udden – Plainville (Fresh Sound New Talent)

July  
The Skopje Connection – Amam (Enrico Blumer Production)
Nate Wooley – Fred Lonberg-Holm – Jason Roebke – Throw Down Your Hammer and Sing (Porter Records)
Sophie Agnel – Capsizing Moments (Emanem) 
Franz Koglmann – Lo-lee-taa – Music on Nabokov (Col Legno)
Gebhard Ullmann – Don’t Touch My Music voll. 1 & 2 (Not Two)
Gabriele Cohen Jewish Experience – Golem (Alfamusic)
John Taylor - Phases (Cam Jazz)
Charlie Parker – Bird in Time 1940-1947 (ESP Disk) 

August  
Nels Cline – Coward (Cryptogramophone)
Nadia Ratsimandresy – Matteo Ramon Arevalos – Messiaen et autour de Messiaen (ReR Megacorp)
David S. Ware – Shakti (AUM Fidelity Records) 
Seamus Blake Quartet – Live In Italy (Jazz Eyes)
Sound for the Organization of Society – Poem of the Underground (Circumvention Music)
Nostalgia 77 – Feat. Keith & Julie Tippett – The Nostalgia Sessions Vol.1 (Tru Thoughts) 
Jon Hassell – Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street (ECM Records)
Giancarlo Mazzù – Luciano Troja – Seven Tales About Standards – Vol. 2 (Splasc(h) Records)
Luc Ferrari – L’oeuvre électronique (Ina GRM) 
Greg Wall’s Later Prophets – Ha’ Orot (Tzadik)  

September  
Junk Box – Cloudy Then Sunny (Libra Records)
White Rocket – White Rocket (Diatribe Recordings)
John Hebert – Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records) 
Tom Harrell – Prana Dance (HighNote Records)
Luca Aquino – Lunaria (EmArcy)
Trio 3 + Irene Schweizer – Berne Concert (Intakt Records) 
Sean Jones – The Search Within (Mack Avenue Records)
Rob Mazurek – Sound Is (Delmark Records) 

October  
Dennis Gonzalez and Faruq Z. Bey w/Northwood Improvisers Septet – Hymn for Tomasz Stanko (Qbico Records)
Matt Wilson Quartet – That’s Gonna Leave a Mark (Palmetto Records)
Jerry Granelli V16 – Vancouver ’08 (Songlines Recordings) 
Steve Lacy – Mal Waldron - Let’s Call This… Esteem (SILTA Records)
Frank London – Lorin Sklamberg – Tsuker-zis (Tzadik)
Steven Bernstein – Marcus Rojas – Kresten Osgood -  Tattoos and Mushrooms (Ilk Music) 
Marcin & Bartlomeij Brat Oles – Duo (Fenommedia)
Herculaneum – Herculaneum III (Clean Feed Records) 

November  
Laurence Hobgood - When the Heart Dances (NAIM Audio)
Vijay Iyer Trio – Historicity (ACT Music)
Satoko Fujii – Myra Melford – Under the Water (Libra Records) 
Gianluca Petrella Cosmic Band – Coming Tomorrow – Part One (Spacebone Records)
Marty Ehrlich Rites Quartet – Things Have Got to Change (Clean Feed Records)
Digital Primitives – Hum Crackle & Pop (Hopscotch) 
Chad Taylor – Circle Down (482 Music)
Fred Anderson - Staying in the Game (Engine)
Miles Davis – The Complete Columbia Album Collection (Sony-Legacy Music) 
Roberto Cecchetto – Memories (Parco della Musica Records)  

December  
Egberto Gismonti – Saudações (ECM Records)
Lee Konitz – Martial Solal – Star Eyes (Hat Hut Records)
Jon Irabagon with Mike Pride – I Don’t Hear Nothin’ But the Blues (Loyal Label) 
Lucky 7s – Pluto Junkyard (Clean Feed Records)
Wadada Leo Smith – Spiritual Dimensions (Cuneiform Records)
Lawrence Casserley – Adam Linson – Integument (Psi Records)
Franco D’Andrea Quartet – Half the Fun (El Gallo Rojo) 
Miles Davis – Sonny Rollins – The Classic Prestige Sessions – 1951-1956  (Prestige Records)
http://italy.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=4059

Peter Margasak “Best of 2009″ list on Chicago Reader

New Releases
1. Henry Threadgill: This Brings Us To, Volume 1 (Pi)
2. Vijay Iyer: Historicity (ACT)
3. Die Enttäuschung (Axel Dörner, Rudi Mahall, Jan Roder, Uli Jennessen): Die Enttäuschung (Intakt)
4. Steve Lehman: Travail, Transformation, and Flow (Pi)
5. Martial Solal: Live at the Village Vanguard (CAM Jazz)
6. Christian Lillinger: First Reason (Clean Feed)
7. Liam Noble: Brubeck (Basho)
8. J.D. Allen: Shine! (Sunnyside)
9. Jeremy Udden: Plainville (Fresh Sound New Talent)
10. Mike Reed: About Us (482 Music)

Reissues
1. Sun Ra: The Antique Blacks (Art Yard)
2. Codona (Don Cherry-Nana Vasconcelos-Collin Walcott): The Codona Trilogy (ECM)
3. Michel Portal, John Surman, Barre Phillips, Stu Martin, and Jean-Pierre Drouet: Alors!!! (Futura)

Vocal
Dee Alexander: Wild Is the Wind (Blujazz)

Debut
Christian Lillinger: First Reason (Clean Feed)

Latin
Buika & Chucho Valdes: El Último Trago (WEA International)