Belgium-based Spanish jazz guitarist Albert Vila delivers his fourth album as leader with The Unquiet Sky, offering a tad more music than a standard album with a presentation of fourteen original compositions of modern-styled jazz that's quite appealing. There's little question whose recording this is as the leader's electric guitar voice becomes the center-piece of the disc from the opening tune.
Gaël Horellou is a French jazz saxophonist and composer. Saxophonist with a classical and jazz background, his career started in 1992. Album "Time After Time" was released in 2013 and it belongs to Jazz genres.
French saxophonist Horellou also goes under the name Dual Snake, and seems equally at home working in a variety of musical genres as he does with jazz. Brooklyn is a pretty mainstream quartet outing, full of enjoyable compositions that Horellou has penned himself, and seven originals plus Tadd Damerons If You Could See Me Now makes up a solid set for the 70 minutes duration.
The work of the Catalan pianist Sergi Sirvent, despite the organizational complexity that entails such a wide formation, is a real delight from beginning to end. Inferències and the group that develops it, is an octet conformed by a cast of musicians coming from diverse musical areas of the Barcelona scene. A project to publicize the compositional concerns in large format of one of the most interesting musicians and creators that currently exist in the national jazz scene.
Pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and Minneapolis-based drummer David King are the Bad Plus, and they bill themselves as "the loudest piano trio ever." Upon hearing them play, one is not inclined to quibble. In any case, they're certainly the only jazz group to cover ABBA's "Knowing Me, Knowing You," Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and Rodgers & Hart's "Blue Moon" on the same disc. Iverson and Anderson each contribute two previously unrecorded originals. King, for his part, penned the persistently grooving "1972 Bronze Medalist."
Life before 'The Bad Plus', when he had hair, playing 'standards' but not as you know them! Iverson´s first recordings for Fresh Sound are showcases for his working trio with Reid Anderson and Jorge Rossy. The originals are theatrical and the standards are treated with love and disrespect, Iverson´s trio´s performances are of concert hall proportions (Howard Mandel, Downbeat). Deconstruction Zone (Standards) was chosen as one of the best recordings of 1998 by Peter Watrous in the New York Times.
A product of Fresh Sound’s programme for finding and promoting new jazz talent, this CD has the Johnson trio playing abstract lines written by the bassist and improvised on by his two colleagues. Knuffke fashions fascinating melodic cornet statements as the bassist swirls all round him with roving pizzicato bass lines, double stops and exotic arco work.
This session sprang from cross-border encounters between its principals. Dutch pianist Van Asselt invited Cuban trumpeter Vistel to perform with him in Holland, and Vistel reciprocated by organising a get-together in Madrid. A self-confessed melodist, Van Asselt is given to pensive moods, which contrast with Vistel’s eagerness to be on the go. This difference is exploited by the pianist in his opening composition. The Cuban defers to his partner’s prevailing sensibility in Para Elis, though the keyboard vocabulary is being extended to match the trumpet’s panache. By the fourth track a band is being put together with the arrival of Vistel’s saxophonist brother, Maikel, who also features on a further two numbers.
I wondered for a brief moment whether the title referenced the Trinity, but suspect that this music comes from a different place. There’s a dark, almost Hebraic quality to the bassist’s writing and the trio, far from being invisible, is strongly foregrounded at all times. This is a challenging format, though Johnson’s bowed figures and strong, throbbing solos make up for the lack of a harmony instrument. The Pretzel is a nicely salty, twisted line that gets the three voices working together. The title track is a mournful-sounding horn chorale over singing bass harmonics. Moving Vehicle is light, mobile bop and sparks a great solo from Ravitz.
There was a review series I began back in Bird is the Worm‘s infancy stage titled Know Your Sideman. It was to highlight artists who have participated on a series of solid recordings without ever really putting one out with their own name in large print as session leader. It was a nice idea, but for a variety of reasons, that review series never quite took off. That said, there’s no doubt that bassist Nicolas Moreaux would have merited a column for his work. His 2013 release Fall Somewhere is just outstanding. It’s not his first album.