Jazz and Bossa Radio

Jazz and Bossa Radio
Jazz and Bossa Radio

martes, 22 de diciembre de 2009

Joshua Breakstone Trio - No One New

Featured Artist: Joshua Breakstone Trio

Year: 2009

Record Label: Capri Records

Style: Straight-Ahead / Classic

Musicians: Joshua Breakstone (guitar), Lisle Atkinson (bass), Eliot Zigmund (drums)

Review: The members of The Joshua Breakstone Trio are three musicians with lots of experience in the Jazz scene. Bassist Lisle Atkinson has worked with Nina Simone, Betty Carter, Stanley Turrentine, Benny Carter and Kenny Burrell. Drummer Eliot Zigmund has worked with Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Benny Golson, Toots Thielmans and Jim Hall. The leader of the trio Joshua Breakstone, besides his nineteen solo recordings, has worked with Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Barron and Kenny Washington.

Joshua is a master improviser with a nice tone and inventive phrasing. Joshua first influences were Clifford Brown and Charlie Parker and one may hear a Be Bop influence on his improvisations, especially in the first piece, Over-Done. His solos on guitar sounds like those of a horn player with a sense of humor also on his improvisations. Over Done ends with a melodic bass solo followed by a wonderful exchange on guitar and drums before going back to the main theme.

In For Me the bass and drums provide a nice swinging groove to the bright tone and happy melodies of Joshua on guitar. The Unknown One is a beautiful ballad with a lovely latin, almost bossa feeling. Joshua's melodies creates a placid, relaxing mood.

Come on Baby is an up beat piece that brings a festive, swinging feeling to the CD with a superb bass solo by Atkinson.

With a brilliant use of chords harmonization and and improvisations that always reach the right notes, Blues Heretofore grows slowly in intensity with yet another excellent work on bass and drums.

No One New is another swinging track all three musicians keeping the energy all throughout the tune. The Peacoks is a beautiful blues wrote by Jimmy Rowles, brilliantly played, with expressive, heartfelt solos on guitar and a subtle, perfect support on bass and drums by Lisle Atkinson and Eliot Zigmund.

The CD ends with a nice interpretation of Joe Henderson composition The Kicker.

Tracks: Over-Done, For Me, The Unkown One, Come on Baby, Blues Heretofore, No One New, The Peacocks, The Kicker

Record Label Website: http://www.caprirecords.com

Artist's Website: http://www.joshuabreakstone.com/

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

viernes, 18 de diciembre de 2009

Brenda Hopkins Miranda - Memoirs from Granada

Featured Artist: Brenda Hopkins Miranda

CD Cover - Buy CD CD Title: Memoirs from Granada

Year: 2009

Record Label: Zona Boricua Records

Style: Folk Jazz

Musicians: Brenda Hopkins Miranda (piano, palmas), Samuel Morales (bass), Aldemar Valentin (bass), Hector Matos (drums), Efrain Martinez (drums), Enrique Chavez (percussion, palmas), Carlos Sanchez (trumpet), Jeanne d'Arc S. Casas Panouze (dancing steps)

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Review: Every once in a while one comes across a CD of such quality and beauty that restore your faith in music. Brenda Hopkins Miranda’s Memoirs from Granada is that kind of CD. A music jewel from beginning to end, in Memoirs from Granada, Brenda captivates the listener with an exquisite fusion of Jazz, music from Spain and of course, music from her country, Puerto Rico.

Brenda Hopkins is a wonderful pianist, with extraordinary technique, equally impressive playing either Jazz, Rock, or Classical music. With Memoirs from Granada, Brenda adds to that mix, the musical experiences she had while living in Granada, Spain.

Memoirs of Granada starts with a beautiful piano intro on the first track, Miranda, a composition full of melodies played with passion and intensity. Brenda brilliantly used melodic ostinatos to state a theme and create different moods. Ostinato is a repeated melodic or rhythmic pattern.

The melodies on The Return show the strong Arabic influence in the music from Spain. On her improvisations, Brenda plays masterfully with the melodies, harmonies and rhythms, accompanied once again by the excellent playing of Efrain Martinez on drums and Aldemar Valentin on bass.

Plaza Nueva starts with a fun intro, kind of dissonant. On this piece the music of Spain fuses with Jazz in a perfect musical marriage. Carlos Sanchez is amazing on trumpet with touches of be bop on his phrasing, and Brenda plays some of his best solos on piano. Hector Matos and Samuel Morales play drums and bass on this one.

Carlos Sanchez trumpet steal the show on Mi Sacromonte, with melodies reminiscent of the Cool Jazz era. Carlos powerful solos and high notes are a perfect match for the quiet intensity of Brenda’s music. Brenda always finds a way to capture the senses with magnificent compositions and energetic playing.

In a CD full of musical highlights, Flamenco Borincano is probably the brightest one. The title comes from one of the most famous songs from Puerto Rico, Lamento Borincano, wrote by Rafael Hernandez. Brenda creates a perfect fusion of the Flamenco feeling with the melodies of Lamento Borincano. Flamenco Borincano is already in my opinion, a Puerto Rico Jazz classic. Excellent solo on percussion by Enrique Chavez.

The beautiful, almost heavenly piano melodies on Vimaambi, change into a more rhythmic piece with the flamenco dancer (bailaora). There are some solo piano tracks like Wings of Illusion and Absence for Brenda to showcase his classical influences and technique. And on Chawarma there’s a funky feeling with some Rock influences.

There is an almost nostalgic feeling on the piece Huerto de Juan Rana, with melodies that seems to evoke memories from Spain. El Darro contains music that invites you to close your eyes and let music take you away.

Confeti is the most festive track on this CD, with a fusion of Puerto Rico folk music in the melodies with latin jazz rhythms.

Tracks: Miranda, El Regreso/The Return, Plaza Nueva, Mi Sacromonte, Flamenco Borincano, Vimaambi, Alas de Ilusión/Wings of Illusion, Chawarma, Huerto de Juan Rana, El Darro, Confeti, Ausencia/Absence

Artist's Website: http://www.myspace.com/brendahopkinsmiranda

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Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre