Daily Archives: July 20, 2010

All About Jazz Italy review by Enrico Bettinello

Tom Rainey Trio – Pool School (CF 185)
Valutazione: 3.5 stelle
Chiunque abbia avuto il piacere di vedere/ascoltare Tom Rainey [dal vivo o su disco, più probabilmente nei gruppi di Tim Berne] non avrà avuto difficoltà a riconoscere nel musicista californiano uno dei batteristi più originali e versatili della sua generazione – che pure di talenti dietro i tamburi ne annovera molti.
Per il primo disco a proprio nome, confermando una qualità caratteriale di naturale undestatement, Rainey sceglie di formare un trio paritetico con due delle musiciste più stimolanti in circolazione, la chitarrista Mary Halvorson e la sassofonista tedesca [ma di base a New York] Ingrid Laubrock. Spazio all’improvvisazione dunque – o alla composizione istantanea, dipende da che parte la si guarda – e spazio a una musica spigolosa e non troppo conciliante, che si snoda tra ostinazioni allucinate e raffinatissimi giochi timbrici.

Mary Halvorson si conferma musicista peculiare e inafferrabile: sulla lezione di Derek Bailey immette spruzzi caustici di femminilità postmoderna e asciuttezze urbane, di quelle che sono pronte a lacerarsi su un chiodo arrugginito. La Laubrock per parte sua – l’avevamo già incontrata in trio su disco Intakt [Sleepthief, anche quella volta con Rainey alla batteria – si rivela improvvisatrice sulfurea cui non sono estranei i confini lessicali del blues e della sperimentazione più ardita, ma anche mantiene sempre una densa immediatezza espressiva.

Lontano dalla necessità di una pulsazione, per quanto frastagliata e obliqua come può essere nelle band di Berne, Rainey dà fondo a tutta la sua fantasia timbrica, suadente e inquietante a seconda dell’inclinazione. Ne esce così un disco che difficilmente attribuiremmo alla sola sensibilità del batterista: Rainey dimostra di essere artista aperto e che da questa apertura, dalle frastagliate sovrapposizioni con quella dei musicisti con cui incrocia le idee, sgorgano traiettorie e forme sempre nuove.

Alcuni brani fanno della frammentazione una vera e propria arte, da apprezzare solo nel momento in cui si sceglie coscientemente di frammentare anche l’ascolto. Ma ci sono cose come “More Mesa” che si srotolano deliziosamente tra le mani dell’ascoltatore, solcandone le linee con dolci abrasioni della memoria. Avventuroso.


Tomajazz review by Pachi Tapiz

Red Trio: Red Trio (CF 168 )
Red Trio se estrena discográficamente con el CD homónimo. En la tradición post-evansiana de los tríos de piano en los que los tres instrumentistas están al mismo nivel, la música se trabaja y desarrolla a nivel colectivo. 

El batería Gabriel Ferrandini y el contrabajista Hernani Faustino ya dejaron hace unos meses una magnífica muestra de su capacidad para improvisar en grupo en el Nobuyasu Furuya Trio (Bendowa, Clean Feed. CF159CD  / Nobuyasu Furuya Trio + Quintet: Stunde Null. Chitei Records. B45F). Rodrigo Pinheiro se destapa como un magnífico pianista, aunque en este caso el potencial del trío es superior a la suma de sus partes.

Ottawa Citizen review by Peter Hum

Rudresh Mahanthappa and Steve Lehman – Dual Identity (CF 172)
The live recording by a quintet co-led by alto saxophonists Mahanthappa and Lehman seems at least somewhat conceptually indebted to Coleman, although I’m sure there are other points of departure and lots of original thinking too.

To be completely honest, I’m not familiar enough with Mahanthappa and Lehman to be sure of who’s playing what. Their sounds are close — both tart and full to my ears — but I believe Mahanthappa’s sound to be more ripe, and Lehman’s sound to be more taut. Also, based on their composing and melodic language, their esthetics are similar. Mahanthappa and Lehman are definitely united in making tense, challenging, hard-edged music that has no time for music as usual or half-heartedness.

The disc’s music is very dense, with a predilection for what I think of as abstract, complex funk, marked by stuttering rhythms, tightly knit melodies with almost incantatory refrains, and far from obvious forms (Montreal alto saxophonist Remi Bolduc, no slouch when it comes to hearing what’s going on in music, recently wrote as his Facebook status: ” Dual Identity with Lehman and Mahanthappa… Post-Modern Pharaohs… Pretty hard form to figure out….”)

Songs such as the disc’s opener The General, the more concise Foster Brothers, the epic Extensions Of Extensions Of (kicked off by some of Damion Reid’s hard-hitting drumming) and Circus  focus on gyrating, boldly assertive hornwork over a raging, super-syncopated backdrop. As I hear it, guitarist, bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Reid do an excellent job of making this very complex and concrete music groove, while Liberty Ellman is gluing the music together with planes of harmony and perfectly placed chords.

With SMS, much rumbling and some steely playing by Ellman set up the fast, invigorating groove. The mystery deepens when the tune’s rumbling theme returns. Resonance Ballad is short and rumbling, a chromatic update on the kinds of modal incantations that John Coltrane created. Katchu, a composition by guitarist Liberty Ellman, is an intriguing ballad and a relative point of repose on the disc. Although the song is pretty, it still accommodates the hard-edged playing by Mahanthappa and Lehman, right down to their closing, dual-horn cadenza that segues into the driving tune Circus.

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

Keefe Jackson and Quartet Notch Off A Winner

Keefe Jackson Quartet – Seeing you See (CF 176)
Chicago. I’ve written about some of the very lively music coming out of there on numerous occasions. Today, another CD by some of the brightest in the firmament. Keefe Jackson, with his tenor, his bass clarinet and his jazz compositions, leads a quartet on the new Seeing You See (Clean Feed 176). It’s a superb combination of musical vehicles and lustrous blowing.

Keefe has his own sound and approach. He is not given to the continuous unleashing of extra-timbral resonances (nothing wrong with that, though), but concentrates more on creating interesting lines. He is in terrific form on this album. Then there’s Jeb Bishop, a trombonist that perfectly aligns stylistically with Jackson. He too is after the expressively outgoing linear improvisation. And he happens to be one of the most formidable trombone talents to come along in quite some time. The rhythm section finds the virtually ideal embodiment in Jason Roebke on bass and Noritaka Tanaka on drums. They can swing strongly or take a more diffuse freetime approach, or something in between the two (which may be hardest to pull off) depending on the character of the piece at hand. And they do it with seeming ease, which belies the hard work and dedicated realization of talent that it takes to get to their level.

I find just about everything that this loose confederation of Chicago cats put across to be important music. This one takes the legacy of Ornette’s classic pianoless quartets and builds a new, sparklingly clean-edged edifice on top of it. Highly recommended.