As a former jazz pianist turned classical composer, Millikan unites these two worlds in the title cut, Ballad Nocturne, featuring renowned Italian pianist Emanuele Arciuli: a marriage of jazz ballad and classical nocturne. One hears shades of Chopin and Debussy as well as Miles’ Kind of Blue. ... Sparkling clustered string harmonics and bowed crotales hover over a lonely left-hand melody in the piano’s bass like twinkling stars. Weaving and mutating, constantly shifting and changing, Ballad Nocturne grows from a nucleus into profoundly expressive and intimate music.
Its evident from hearing the jazz big band works of composer, arranger, conductor and trombonist Henry Wolking’s debut album on Big Round Records, IN SEA, that he effectively mixes complexity with simplicity in his jazz harmonies and colorful orchestrations that make for an exciting and memorable listening experience. The inspired solo work of band members and guest artists add to the sincere and fresh cosmopolitan character of the recording.
Jazz Loves Disney was recorded between Paris, London and Los Angeles by a dream cast. It is incredibly coherent, as if all participants had agreed to pay a rightful tribute to the most beautiful and symbolic tunes of Walt Disneys magic world, as if nothing was too good for the stars when they revisited the classics and the sweet childhood memories connected to them. This is the ultimate proof of the impact Disney has had on generations of jazz musicians, including the ones taking part in Jazz Loves Disney.
Chucho Valdes, Cuba's most famous jazz musician, has rebalanced the repertoire of his Afro-Cuban Messengers on Border-Free, mixing its American-jazz agenda (the group's name deliberately references both Valdes' roots and the late Art Blakey's classic soul-bop Jazz Messengers group) with more extended Latin-American input, and some Native American and Andalusian connections, too. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, guesting on three tracks, is warmly romantic on tenor on the loping Tabu, agile and fluent on the Cuban dance-shuffle Bebo, and mercurial on a soprano-sax break full of north African microtonalisms on the hurtling, horn-hooting finale, Abdel.
Launched ten years ago by the saxo player Pierre Bertrand and the trumpeteer Nicolas Folmer, the Paris Jazz Big Band is extremely famous on the French Jazz scene with many awards like the Victoires du Jazz and Django d’Or. It has been mostly recognized for its creative repertoire and the orchestra has performed with prestigious singers like Diana Krall; Johnny Griffin, Richard Galliano or Michel Legrand. The aim of this new repertoire « Source(s) » was to follow the tracks of culture an d music from Africa, South Mediterranea and Latin America.