Monthly Archives: October 2013

Jazzenzo Jazz Magazine review by David Cohen

CF 275Lama + Chris Speed – Lamaçal, live at Portalegre JazzFest (CF 275)
Het Portugees-Canadese trio van Lama kwam tot stand op het Rotterdams Conservatorium en debuteerde in 2011 met het album ‘Oneiros’.  Op de opvolger ‘Lamaçal’, live opgenomen op het Portalegre JazzFest, wordt het trio versterkt met de Amerikaanse freejazzsaxofonist Chris Speed. Het geluid van de cd is ontzettend goed; dat deze plaat niet het resultaat is van maandenlang studiowerk wordt slechts door sporadisch applaus verraden.

De muziek van Lama komt voort uit de opvatting dat het creeëren van muziek heden ten dage een brug moet slaan tussen verleden en toekomst. En als zodanig een nieuwe balans moet vinden tussen enerzijds een verkennende inslag en daarnaast het gebruik van een toegankelijk idioom.

Op ‘Oneiros’ en nog sterker op ‘Lamaçal’, is de invloed van deze visie nadrukkelijk aanwezig: de band bouwt zijn nummers op een combinatie van elektrische effecten en akoestisch spel. De nadruk ligt sterk op de muzikale sfeer in het openingsnummer ‘Overture for a Wandering Fish’, een compositie van trompettiste Susana Santos Silva. De combinatie van impressionistische effecten en melancholische blazers brengt de luisteraar het beeld van een diepe, kolkende zee, rijk gevuld met zeedieren en vogels. Melodieuzer van aard zijn ‘Moby Dick’, waar een grote rol is weggelegd voor bassist en bandleider Gonçalo Almeida, en het slotnummer ‘Manta’.

De toevoeging van Chris Speed aan het trio komt bijzonder natuurlijk over. Hij is nadrukkelijk aanwezig, maar eerder ondersteunend dan solistisch, en zijn geluid mengt bijzonder goed met de trompet van Santos Silva. Minder atmosferische jazz komt op de plaat naar voren in een serie duels tussen beide blazers tijdens het titelnummer ‘Lamaçal’ en op een bijdrage van Speed, het op het werk van Ornette Coleman geïnspireerde ‘Pair of Dice’.

De muziek op ‘Lamaçal’ is intrigerend en kent bijzonder sfeervolle en ontroerende passages, maar heeft ook zijn missers en weet niet de hele tijd de aandacht vast te houden. Met de verkennende inslag waarmee de muziek tot stand is gekomen, is dat niet verwonderlijk. Dat Lama echter in staat is zijn visie waar te maken en met zijn unieke elektro-akoestische bezetting muziek te creëren waarin heden en toekomst van effecten en verleden en heden van instrumentale melodielijnen prachtig worden gecombineerd, heeft het trio met ‘Lamaçal’ nogmaals bewezen.

English translation:
Portuguese – Canadian trio Lama came to stand at the Rotterdam Conservatory and debuted in 2011 with the album ” Oneiros. The successor ‘ Lamaçal ‘, recorded live at the Jazz Fest Portalegre , the trio reinforced with the American free jazz saxophonist Chris Speed. The sound of the CD is very good, that this record is not the result of months of studio work is betrayed only by sporadic applause.

The music of Lama stems from the view that the re-shaping of music today to bridge the gap between past and future, a bridge. And as such must find between a prospective impact and also the use of an accessible idiom a new balance.

On ” Oneiros ” and even stronger ‘ Lamaçal ‘, the influence of this vision clearly present: the band builds its songs on a combination of electric and acoustic effects game. The emphasis is on the musical scene in the opening track ” Overture for a Wandering Fish ‘, a composition by trumpeter Susana Santos Silva. The combination of impressionistic effects and melancholic wind brings the listener filled with rich marine life and birds. The image of a deep, churning sea , Melodic nature of ‘ Moby Dick ‘, where a large role for bassist and bandleader Gonçalo Almeida , and the closing track ‘ Manta ‘.

The addition of Chris Speed ​​on the trio comes very natural. He has a strong presence, but supportive rather than soloist, and his sound blends particularly well with the trumpet of Santos Silva. Less atmospheric jazz comes on the plate forward in a series of duels between the two instruments during the title track ‘ Lamaçal ‘ and a contribution of Speed​​, inspired by the work of Ornette Coleman ” Pair of Dice “.

The music on ‘ Lamaçal ‘ is intriguing and has very atmospheric and moving passages, but also has its failures and do not know all the time to hold attention. The exploratory impact which the music has been established, is not that surprising. However, that Lama is able to make his vision and his unique electro-acoustic music to create occupation where present and future effects of past and present are combined and beautiful instrumental melodies with the trio ‘ Lamaçal ‘ is proven again.
http://www.jazzenzo.nl/?e=2557

Tomajazz review by Pachi Tapiz

CF 276Harris Eisenstadt September Trio: Destructive Element (CF 276)
El baterista Harris Eisenstadt publica The Destructive Element con su formación September Trio. El saxofonista Ellery Eskelin y la pianista Angelica Sanchez son sus acompañantes nuevamente. Eisenstadt, que durante los últimos años está mostrando ser un gran compositor, es el autor de los nueve temas. Estos resultan muy variados en su suavidad (“Swimming, then Rained Out”), su carácter melancólico (el precioso “Cascadia”), su oscuridad (“Ordinary Weirdness”), su crispación (“Here Are the Samurai”) o su aproximación a la clásica contemporánea (“From Schoenberg”). Ellery Eskelin, y sobre todo Angelica Sanchez son unos magníficos compañeros de viaje.
http://www.tomajazz.com/web/?p=8394

diskoryxeion review by ΦΩΝΤΑΣ ΤΡΟΥΣΑΣ/ PHONTAS TROUSSAS

CF 279MARK DRESSER σημαντικό jazz άλμπουμ
Με καριέρα που αγγίζει ή και ξεπερνά την τεσσαρακονταετία, αφού υπήρξε μέλος των Black Music Infinity του Stanley Crouch (μαζί με τους Arthur Blythe, David Murray κ.ά.) εκεί στις αρχές των 70s, ο κοντραμπασίστας Mark Dresser ήταν, είναι και παραμένει μία σημαντική μονάδα για την jazz της Δυτικής Ακτής. Πόσω μάλλον όταν στο πιο πρόσφατο άλμπουμ του, που έχει τίτλο “Nourishments” [CF 279], συνεργάζεται με σημαντικούς παίκτες όπως τον άσσο αλτίστα Rudresh Mahanthappa, αλλά και τους Michael Dessen τρομπόνι, Denman Maroney… υπερπιάνο (ένα πειραγμένο πιάνο) και Tom Rainey, Michael Sarin ντραμς.

Με μεγάλη πορεία στο κύκλωμα της αμερικανικής jazz-avant (συνεργασίες με Marilyn Crispell, Ray Anderson, John Zorn, Anthony Davis κ.ά.), ο Dresser είναι ένας συνθέτης-αυτοσχεδιαστής με κατεκτημένες επιδόσεις. Δεν είναι απλώς τα εντυπωσιακά soli του με δοξάρι (στο “Para waltz” π.χ.) ή χωρίς, είναι κυρίως η συνθετική του διαύγεια που μετατρέπει το “Nourishments” σ’ ένα πρώτης κλάσεως CD. (Επτά είναι τα κομμάτια του άλμπουμ, όλα συνθέσεις του Dresser πλην του εισαγωγικού “Not withstanding” στο οποίο έχει βάλει το χέρι του και ο Mahanthappa). Εκείνο που μένει, ακόμη και με την πρώτη ακρόαση της νέας δουλειάς του αμερικανού (από το Los Angeles) κοντραμπασίστα, είναι η δύναμη, η ευφράδεια και πάνω απ’ όλα το συναίσθημα όσων καταθέτει. Ξεκινώντας από το “Not withstanding” δεν γίνεται να αδιαφορήσεις για το παθιασμένο παίξιμο του Dresser, αλλά και για τις επιδόσεις όλης της υπόλοιπης ορχήστρας (κυρίως την σολιστική άνεση του Mahanthappa, αλλά και τα «ξεκούρδιστα»… υπερπιανιστικά χτυπήματα του Maroney). Το 14λεπτο “Canales Rose” είναι αφιερωμένο στον Paul Canales έναν σεφ του Oakland, το εστιατόριο του οποίου φαίνεται πως στηρίζει την τζαζ σκηνή της περιοχής. Το mid-tempo track έχει bluesy χροιά και… φανταστικά ηχοχρώματα από τον υπερπιάνο του Maroney· το οποίο εντυπωσιάζει και στην εισαγωγή του “Papa waltz” με την πολυρυθμία και τους μικροτόνους. Στο φερώνυμο “Nourishments” η συνθετική φλέβα του Dresser είναι πασιφανής. Οι μπασογραμμές του είναι τόσο «εύπλαστες», ώστε οι μελωδικές ασκήσεις του Mahanthappa και του Dessen να προκύπτουν εντελώς αβίαστα. Παράξενο κομμάτι το “Aperitivo”. Αν και bluesy/μινόρε, αναπτύσσεται μέσα σε μια χαλαρή, lounge ατμόσφαιρα (δυνατό το σόλο στο τρομπόνι από τον Dessen). Λίγο πριν το τέλος, και το 10λεπτο “Rasaman” έχει μία καθαρά ινδοπρεπή χροιά (προσωπικώς θα το χαρακτήριζα indo-jazz track μόνο και μόνο για την ρυθμική του ακολουθία – άπιαστο το rhythm section των Dresser/Sarin). Μπορεί να απουσιάζουν τα ινδικά σολιστικά όργανα, αλλά το άλτο με το τρομπόνι τα υπερκαλύπτουν! Έξοχο κομμάτι! Το άλμπουμ θα ολοκληρωθεί μ’ ένα ακόμη αξιοθαύμαστο track που τιτλοφορείται “Telemojo”. Το κοντραμπάσο (και με δοξάρι) με το υπερπιάνο ετοιμάζουν μία εξώκοσμη ρυθμική γραμμή, πάνω στην οποία θα «πατήσει» βασικά το πυρωμένο σόλο του Mahanthappa. Το “Nourishments” είναι ένα από τα 2-3 ωραιότερα τζαζ άλμπουμ, που άκουσα αυτή τη χρονιά.
http://diskoryxeion.blogspot.gr/2013/10/mark-dresser-jazz.html

The New York City Jazz Record review by Stuart Broomer

CF 282Joe Morris/Agustí Fernández/Nate Wooley – From the Discrete to the Particular (Relative Pitch)
Nate Wooley/Peter Evans/Jim Black/Paul Lytton – Trumpets and Drums (Live in Ljubljana) (CF 282)
Nate Wooley Sextet – (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship (CF 280)
CF 280Nate Wooley is among a group of distinguished younger trumpeters redefining the sonic possibilities of the instrument. More than that though, he combines both rare invention and rare taste across a stylistic range that stretches from free improvisation to his own version of postbop.

The trio of Wooley, guitarist Joe Morris and pianist Agustí Fernández that appears on From the Discrete to the Particular has its antecedents in Morris’ prior duos with Wooley and Fernández. It’s free improvisation of the first rank, with each of the seven pieces a developed musical dialogue defining its own timbres and shape, whether it’s the pointillist sputters of the opening “Automatos”, the flurries of discrete sounds that firstmark “As Expected” or the oblique harmonic language of “Bilocation” that flowers into an evanescent lyricism created by all three musicians. “Membrane” suggests an early John Cage prepared piano sonata extended to a collective. The longest pieces, “Hieratic” and “Chumsof Chance”, are works of transformation, whether Morris sounding like the interior of a piano on the former and a bowed cello on the latter; Fernández mounting a virtuosic keyboard assault or creating a resonant soundscape or Wooley drawing out pained multiphonics or assembling wild scratching sounds.

Trumpets and Drums (Live in Ljubljana) is a dialogue between the two fundamental sonic components of the title. If there’s a martial tradition to trumpet and drum music there’s also a mystical one, as with Joshua and the battle of Jericho, but stronger still in the Tibetan Buddhist ritual music that combines long bass trumpets with metal and skin percussion. The quartet is built on several developed affinities: Wooley has long-running duos with both fellow trumpeter Peter Evans and drummer Paul Lytton; Evans has played with Lytton as a guest with the Parker-Guy-Lytton trio and Jim Black has played drums in Evans’ quartet. The performance is divided into two long segments, entitled “Beginning” and “End” and within those parameters there are moments of near silence, whispered trumpet tones and air through horns, gentle percussive rattlings, eerie scrapes and rustlings that demand rapt attention. Quavering electronics might arise from Wooley’s amplifier or from Black’s expanded kit. Elsewhere the reare moments of incendiary power, elemental music focused on mysteries of intensity and pitch.

The Nate Wooley Sextet is a variation on the Quintet that recorded 2010’s (Put Your) Hands Together. A forum for Wooley’s compositions, (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship retains bass clarinetist/baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton, vibraphonist Matt Moran and drummer Harris Eisenstadt while bassist Eivind Opsvik either alternates with newly arrived tuba player Dan Peck or they appear together. The style suggests the Blue Note ‘free’ school and the simultaneous presence of vibraphone and bass clarinet emphasizes the Eric Dolphy influence (“Make Your Friend Feel Loved” seems to reference Dolphy’s “G.W.”). This is exploratory, varied music, alive with passion and dialogue. It’s also exuberant, whether Sinton shouting through his baritone or Peck crafting an unaccompanied introduction. While Wooley is as ‘athome’ with free improvisation as any musician, the forms here emphasize the expressiveness of his lines: on the mournful “My Story, My Story” he combines variations of pitch and inflection to achieve an emotional depth equal to that of Miles Davis or Don Cherry, rare terrain for any trumpeter.

Squid’s Ear review by Florence Wetzel

CF 281Susan Santos Silva / Torbjorn Zetterberg – Almost Tomorrow (CF 281)
Almost Tomorrow is a tremendous piece of music, a powerful burst of free playing that also incorporates classic jazz styles. Portuguese trumpeter and flugelhornist Susan Santos Silva and Swedish bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg make a formidable duo: they each have a remarkable command of their instrument, which allows them to explore a stunning range of sound. Silva and Zetterberg recorded these ten songs in the last days of 2012 in the deep dark of Swedish winter at Zetterberg’s family cabin in Härjedalen, a sparsely populated region full of misty mountain ranges. The resulting music is a forceful blend that’s impressive and shocking and absolutely enchanting.

Most of the tunes are avant-free concoctions that are a joy to behold. “Knights of Storvälen” resembles a windy landscape, showcasing the duo’s ability to craft a fully realized atmosphere. The sounds are the subtlest of the subtle, warped and familiar at the same time, creating a thoroughly enjoyable tension. Silva is really a marvel; she gets such a startling array of sounds on her instrument, from small splutterings to large swaths of tone, from creamy smooth peaks to imposing jagged ridges. Zetterberg plays with a vibrant urgency, sure and strong as he builds an architecture of intensity and dynamics. “Columbus Arrival in Härjedalen” is a long, wild piece, kind of an inverted “Taps.” Silva displays an exquisitely pure tone, but she also gets immense pleasure from shredding — nay, flaying — musical notes. Zetterberg digs deep into the strings, coaxing and cajoling them to stretch beyond the beyond. “Cow Safari” has a free-jazz jam energy, with Zetterberg’s bass providing a driving engine that Silva dances atop, leaping and alighting and plunging once more. Silva plays with a great majesty when she so desires, tapping into the regal quality of her instrument: here she offers more long, sustained notes, with lovely lines that are full of unexpected twists.

In the midst of the joyful experimentation, there are a few surprising visits from jazz history. “Almost Tomorrow” is more melodic piece: Zetterberg starts off with a pretty solo, and when Silva enters, grainy and gritty, she channels her inner Louis Armstrong and brings Satchmo right up to date. It’s a beautifully poignant tune, yearning and a touch regretful. “Action Jan-Olov” is an energetic song, full of Zetterberg’s rich plucking pounding, which creates a fantastic rhythm for Silva to bounce off. Here Silva’s muted excursions invoke Miles Davis, particularly his vastly underrated later work, where a few finely sculpted notes could speak volumes. “Nötskalsmusik #6” is a brief meditation infused with the cool Nordic melancholy of seminal musician Lars Gullin, as well as the direct-heart playing of great Swedish trumpeters like Jan Allan. It’s a gorgeous piece, with sustained notes of heartrending beauty. Honestly, is there anything Silva and Zetterberg can’t do?

There’s definitely something special going on in Almost Tomorrow. It’s one of those CDs that give the listener a feeling of discovery, a sense of being on the ground floor of something fresh and intriguing. Silva and Zetterberg have both been playing out for years, but they are still relatively young, and thus this is just the beginning of something well worth following.
http://www.squidsear.com/cgi-bin/news/newsView.cgi?newsID=1606

All About Jazz review by Glenn Astarita

CF 282Nate Wooley/Peter Evans/Jim Black/Paul Lytton – Trumpet and Drums: Live in Ljubljana (CF 282)
Given the unorthodox instrumentation, there’s a little more than meets the eyes and ears on this quartet effort recorded at a jazz festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Each musician is highly respected within the progressive and avant jazz communities. Yet the band doesn’t bridge the playing field with tireless bashing and cacophonous exchanges, which are components that may seem inherent under the assumption that the unorthodox group format may be conducive to a free-form crash and burn contest. On the contrary, they engage in a wide-open platform, tinted with subtle electronics, harrowing soundscapes, nimble contrasts, playful interludes and gushing apexes all immersed within an improvisational schema.

Trumpeters Nate Wooley and Peter Evans extract about every conceivable sound from their horns via breathy or raspy intonations and other nuances that are at times, difficult to separate from drummer Jim Black’s faint electronics treatments. Containing two extended pieces, Black and drummer Paul Lytton  use space as an added voice, but also support the hornists with smack, dab, and hustling asymmetrical grooves that sort of defies time and space.

On the first track “Beginning,” the band imparts dense mosaics, manifested by the trumpeters’ brawny extended notes, summoning a bizarre soundscape amid sublime patterns and offsetting statements. Here, the drummers provide additional color and shadings with periodic breaks between activities. Black’s concise use of electronics fuse mystical or haunting undertones into the big picture, although the quartet eventually builds up steam and rises to a zenith with lofty crescendos.

Undulating currents prevail as they toggle between first and tenth gears. But “End” offers more delectable twists and turns, where atmospherics and rich textures interconnect the artists’ variable momentum. The drummers help shape the proceedings, embedded with the band’s give and take exchanges and spooky backdrops. Moreover, the hornists intertwine some soul-drenched choruses into their expressive phrasings and drawling notes. So, if you’re in need of something out of the ordinary when considering the avant-garde jazz spectrum, this vastly inventive and cunning program may fulfill that requirement or perhaps exceed all preconceived expectations.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=45460

Dig Jazz review by Peter Bornemar

CF 269Trespass Trio + Joe McPhee Human Encore (CF 269)
Förutom att grupperna Exploding Customer, Angles och Trespass Trio alla tre utan svårighet kan räknas in under benämningen frijazz/improvisationsmusik har de saxofonisten Martin Küchen som gemensam nämnare. På ett förträffligt sätt har Küchen också sett till att utnyttja dessa arenor för en musik som utvecklats i en alltmer intressant riktning.

Detta gäller inte minst när han sammanstrålar med den formidable och ständigt oförutsägbare trumslagaren Raymond Strid och den kolossalt mångsidige basisten Per Zanussi i Trespass Trio, i mina öron den minst hårdföra och brutala av de tre konstellationerna.

Förra året kom Trespass trio med det suveräna albumet Bruder Beda (för övrigt ett av förra årets fem bästa jazzskivor enligt mig) och nu återkommer de, förstärkta av veteranen Joe McPhee på tenorsax och pocket trumpet, med en liveinspelning från Salao Brazil i den portugisiska staden Coimbra förra sommaren.

Musiken är förhållandevis lågmäld, men är ändå bärare av starka uttryck för såväl vemod och sorg som vrede och rent av glädje. Det finns också en spirituell anda (eller kanske till och med kalla det andlighet) i musiken som skickar en erinran till det rotsystem som hittar namn som Albert Ayler och Coltrane någonstans närmare stammen.

Av de åtta kompositionerna återfinns den episka Bruder Beda ist nicht mehr och den svängiga A Different Koko även på Bruder Beda, och i likhet med albumet får en komposition – här den klagande A Desert on Fire, a Forest – utgöra både inledning och avslutning.

Starkast intryck ger dock en av rakaste och vackraste kompositionerna på albumet, In our Midst, som Martin Küchen och de övriga fyller med så mycket själ att tonerna nästan gråter.
http://www.digmusic.se/Diggat.html#Trespass