At age 74 Lee Konitz remains one of the most original and engaging improvisers in jazz. On Parallels, recorded at St. Peter's Church in New York City in December of 2000, the altoist brings his pure sound, obliquely swinging articulation and cliche-free melodic imagination to a set of standards and originals by himself and his former mentor, Lennie Tristano.
Composer-pianist David Chesky has written seven new pieces that draw their inspiration from the Fantasia form. The Fantasia has evolved from its Renaissance roots and has become a vehicle for a composer's freedom of expression, utilizing rhythm, harmony, and improvisatory skill. And David Chesky brilliantly succeeds, not only in remaining faithful to the original concept of Fantasia, but also in creating a new genre of music with these works.
Pianist and composer David Chesky has assembled a group of first-rate collaborators for this unique jazz project. Bob Mintzer (bass clarinet), Giovanni Hildago (congas), Andy Gonzalez (bass) and Randy Brecker (trumpet) rank among the finest instrumental voices in jazz and Latin music. Each member of the Body Acoustic Band brings his distinct style to this polyrhythmic tour de force, making this an exciting experimental journey into the deep organic space of audiophile jazz.
Chuck Mangione laid low throughout much of the '90s, perhaps the end result of a disappointing string of albums for Columbia during the '80s. He returned to the road in 1997 and evidently it was a positive experience, since he returned to the studio the following year to cut The Feeling's Back. For all intents and purposes, The Feeling's Back is a comeback album, finding Mangione returning to the smooth, melodic style of Feels So Good, but laying off the sappy pop tendencies that dogged his '80s efforts.
Rosa Passos made her recording debut as a leader in 1979, but this 2003 Chesky CD may be her first to be released outside of South America. The Brazilian singer is paired with veteran bassist Ron Carter, who provides a solid melodic foundation for her throughout the date; the delightful Brazilian guitarist Lula Galvao; percussionist Paulo Braga, and, on a few tracks, veteran session musician Billy Drewes on tenor sax or clarinet. While the focus is clearly on the soft, effective vocals of Passos, who is extremely effective in her interpretations of bossa nova classics such as "Insensatez," "Desafinado," "Caminhos Cruzados," and "O Grande Amor," Carter's solos are also subtly swinging.