Jazz and Bossa Radio

Jazz and Bossa Radio
Jazz and Bossa Radio

jueves, 27 de octubre de 2011

CD Review: Carolina Ferrer - Samba pelo avesso

CD Review: Carolina Ferrer - Samba pelo avesso

In Samba pelo avesso, Carolina Ferrer brings a collection of wonderful original sambas in all it's variations, proving she is not only one of the best female singers out of Brasil but also an accomplished composer. Carolina interpretations of samba music is refreshing but deeply rooted in the brazilian music tradition. Songs like "Eu nao tenho nada", "Otilia", "Hoje sou sertao", "Nao vem" and "Facil de levar" are ideal for get up and dance or just sit down and enjoy Carolina beautiful voice and unique phrasing. Her tone is warm and welcoming and she has the ability to convey the emotions of every word.

Living in Paris, France, Carolina is the best kept secret in brazilian music, hopefully with Samba pelo avesso, Carolina Ferrer will receive the atention she rightfully deserve.

Tracks: Eu nao tenho nada, Otilia, Tira gosto, Hoje sou sertao, Samba pelo avesso, Tanta, E outra coisa, Nao vem, Mais um verao, Facil de levar, Refem

CD Review: Aldemar Valentin - Ficciones

CD Review: Aldemar Valentin - Ficciones

To be the best you have to play with the best. Any good musician knows that and like he did in his first album Finding my Path, bassist Aldemar Valentin surrounded himself with some of the best jazz musicians from Puerto Rico. Instead of a quartet, this time the format is a quintet with Norberto Ortiz on saxophone, Julito Alvarado on trumpet, Raul Maldonado on drums, Raul Romero on guitar (Romero played on Valentin's first album) and of course Valentin on bass.

Valentin outstanding compositions and well developed themes, mostly in the jazz fusion tradition, at times echoing the music of such greats as Pat Metheny, have a perfect balance of complex, dense textures and rhythms and accesibility. And allows this group of outstanding musicians to shine with inventive, ellegant improvisations on the tracks "Ficciones", "Santurce Triste", and "Amistad". For "Cacique Rebelde", a piece with a distinct latin influence, Valentin invited two special guests, percussion extraordinaire Paoli Mejias and master saxophonist Miguel Zenon.

Tracks: Ficciones, Santurce Triste, Cacique Rebelde, Amistad, Saga

Musicians: Aldemar Valentin - bass, Raul Romero - guitar, Julito Alvarado - trumpet, Raul Maldonado - drums, Norberto Ortiz - saxophone, Paoli Mejias - percussion (3), Miguel Zenon (3)

CD Review: Aldemar Valentin - Finding my Path

CD Review: Aldemar Valentin - Finding my Path

Aldemar Valentin debut album recorded live in 2008 captures the energy of four of the best musicians in Puerto Rico, saxophonist and flutist Ricardo Pons, guitarist Raul Romero, drummer Efrain Martinez and bassist Aldemar Valentin. In all the eight original compositions by Aldemar Valentin, these musicians show their ability to speak to each other through intense lines and inventive improvisations played over the solid rhythm foundation provided by Efrain Martinez on drums.

Romero and Valentin display their flawless technical ability with well developed solos while Pons demonstrates his mastery of both the flute and saxophone. Ricardo Pons plays the flute on “Gente de Fuego”, “Don Pedro Rios”, “Azul Cielo” and the title track “Finding my Path” and add the majestic sound of the baritone saxophone on “Regalo”, “Cuna”, “La Vida en Colores” and “Fabula para el Verano”. On “Fabula para el Verano”, Pons cleverly seems to quote lines from two classics Caribbean songs, El Manicero and Lamento Borincano.

Finding My Path takes us through a journey of different levels of intensity with fusion jazz music that can be powerful or relaxing and sometimes both.

Aldemar Valentin - bass, Ricardo Pons - baritone sax, flute, Raul Romero - guitar, Efrain Martinez - drums

Gente de Fuego, Don Pedro Rios, Regalo, Cuna, La Vida en Colores, Finding My Path, Azul Cielo, Fabula para el verano

CD Review: Aline de Lima – Maritima

CD Review: Aline de Lima – Maritima

Maritima is Aline de Lima third release, and the follow up to her wonderful album Acai. On Maritima, this Brasil native, decided to produce and write most of the songs. The album was recorded in Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Maranhao, The result is a collection of exquisite and beautiful compositions that reflects the sound and tradition of her city Sao Luis de Maranhao. But Aline has been living in France for several years now, so her music has a distinct French music influence. In “Cri de Coeur”, a song composed for Edith Piaf, Aline sings in French and also plays the guitar.

Besides her soothing, beautiful voice Aline de Lima is an outstanding songwriter, “Flor de Brasilia”, “Fina Flor”, and “Infinito Blue” are just a few examples of Aline amazing ability as a songwriter to surround us with the beauty of her lyrics. Aline also wrote “Velho Novo Mundo” a beautiful samba dedicated to Paris. There are other influences on Aline’s music, like the reggae rhythms of “Upaon Acu” and “Fina Flor”, the Caribbean sounds of the marimba on “Empty Paradise” and the African rhythms of Cabo Verde on “Um Mar de Mar”. “Lua de Janeiro” and the haunting title track “Maritima” are closer to the sound of Aline de Lima first two albums.

01. Maritima by Aline de Lima Musiciens: Ugo Castro Alves (guitar), Illya Amar (marimba), Luiz Claudio (percussions), Aline de Lima (vocals), Maëva Leberre (cello)
02. Upaon Açu by Aline de Lima Musiciens: Dada Viana (percussions), Rui Mario (keyboards), Aline de Lima (guitar and vocals)
03. Flor de Brasilia by Flavia Bittencourt (3) and lyrics by Aline de Lima (3) Musiciens: Ugo Castro Alves (10 strings guitar, acoustic guitar), Alvaro Lima (bass), Netinho Albuquerque (pandeiro, xequerê and reco-reco), Dada Viana (agogô, zabumba, shakers, berimbau), Flavia Bittencourt (guest singer), Aline de Lima (vocals)
04. Fina Flor by Aline de Lima Musiciens: Rui Mario (acordeon), Alvaro Lima (bass), Isabelle Pares (flute), Illya Amar (marimba), Dada Viana (percussions), Aline de Lima (acoustic guitar and vocals)
05. Empty Paradise by Aline de Lima Musiciens: Ugo Castro Alves (guitar), Dada Viana (percussions), Alvaro Lima (bass), Illya Amar (marimba), Maëva Leberre (cello), Aline de Lima (vocals)
06. Lua de Janeiro by Mario Lucio (1) and Aline de Lima (3) Musiciens: Isabelle Pares (flute), Ugo Castro Alves (guitar), Damilton Viana (percussion), Illya Amar (vibes), Aline de Lima (vocals)
07. Cri du Coeur by Henri Crolla and lyrics by Jacques Prévert (2) Musiciens: Isabelle Pares (flute), Aline de Lima (guitar and vocals), Alvaro Lima (bass), Rui Mario (acordeon), Illya Amar (vibes)
08. Infinito Blue by Aline de Lima Musiciens: Ugo Castro Alves (guitar), Alvaro Lima (bass), Rui Mario (accordion), Netinho Albuquerque (percussions), Dada Viana (percussions), Aline de Lima (vocals)
09. Madrugada by Marcio Faraco (3) and lyrics by Aline de Lima (3) and Marcio Faraco Musiciens: Robertinho Chinês (mandolin), Aline de Lima (acoustic guitar and vocals)
10. Velho Mundo Novo - Paris by Aline de Lima Musiciens: Netinho Albuquerque (samba percussions), Dada Viana (percussions), Ugo Castro Alves (guitar), Aline de Lima (vocals)
11. Um Mar de Mar by Mario Lucio, traduction in french by Africa Nostra Musiciens: Dada Viana (african percussions), Ugo Castro Alves (10 strings guitar and acoustic guitar), Illya Amar (marimba), Aline de Lima (vocals)

CD Review: Mace Hibbard – Time Gone By

CD Review: Mace Hibbard – Time Gone By

Time Gone By, saxophonist Mace Hibbard second release is a collection of outstanding, fresh compositions accompanied by thoughtful solos throughout. And even though Hibbard is the leader of this quintet, Time Gone By is without a doubt a collective effort. And as is the case with lots of young musicians these days, Mace and his quintet dominates all languages of the jazz tradition. “For the memories we share” is clearly a smooth jazz ballad, and tracks like “Hallowed Ground”, “Always on my mind”, Remembrance of things past”, also have elements of smooth jazz.

However there are moments where the music on this album echoes that of Miles Davis first great quintet. Hibbard tone on “Indecision” has a Coltrane like quality and the track even sounds like a Miles Davis composition from those years. “Theme for Dos Lyn” also has elements of Miles quintet with Coltrane but the frantic pace, fast improvisations on sax and quick chord changes on “Slip and Slide” are reminiscent of Coltrane masterpiece Giant Steps.

The quintet cohesiveness and their creative and sharp solos over Hibbard outstanding compositions show a strong command of the jazz language by all the quintet.

Musicians: Mace Hibbard – saxophone, Melvin Jones – trumpet, Louis Heriveaux – piano, Marc Miller – bass, Justin Varnes – drums

Tracks: Rude on Purpose, December 18th, Indecision, Hallowed Ground, Always on my mind, Theme for Dos Lyn, Remembrance of things past, Slip and Slide, The Rain King, Time Gone By, La Danza Olvidada, For the memories we share

CD Review: Ernie Krivda - Blues for Pekar

CD Review: Ernie Krivda - Blues for Pekar

Tenor Saxophonist Ernie Krivda is one of the best kept secrets in Jazz. Not many people recognize his name because Krivda developed his career in Cleveland, instead of Chicago or New York, major cities often associated with jazz.

But once you hear his gorgeus tone, and astonishing fluidity of his improvisations you have to agree with Harvey Pekar when he said, "Krivda is one of the best tenor saxophonist in the world".
Krivda 2011 release, Blues for Pekar pays tribute precisely to jazz writer and critic Harvey Pekar.

A group of excellent musicians from Detroit accompanied Krivda on this venture. Pianist Claude Black, female bassist extraordinaire Marion Hayden and drummer Renell Gonsalves, son of tenorist Paul Gonsalves. Yes, the same Paul that revived Duke Ellington career in 1956 Newport Jazz Festival.

All of Krivda solos are deeply rooted in the blues and every track is a master class on how to improvise, starting with "The end of a love affair". Trumpeter Dominick Farinacci stands his ground on this one ending in a improvisation exchange with Krivda reminiscent of early New Orleans jazz.

On the jazz ballads "More than you know" and "Darn that Dream", Krivda demonstrates he is just as good as a balladeer. On these slow tempo pieces his phrasing evokes the sensibilities and sound of the first great tenorists Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. As part of his improvisations on "More than you know" Krivda cleverly quotes lines of "Softly as in the Morning Sunrise".

Another special guest is trumpet player Sean Jones, who adds elegant solos on Sonny Rollins' "Valse Hot" and on Dxter Gordon "Fried Bananas". The album ends up with two Krivda originals, the swingin Monk like "One for Willie" dedicated to saxophonist/arranger Willie Smith and the cool title track "Blues for Pekar".

CD Review: Silvano Monasterios - Unconditional

CD Review: Silvano Monasterios - Unconditional

Jazz has always been a music of fusion, so it is not surprising that in the 21st century, one hundred years since the beginnings of jazz, musicians are still exploring with new ways of fusing jazz with music styles from around the world.

On his new release Unconditional, venezuelan pianist/composer Silvano Monasterios creates an interesting fusion of jazz with rhythms from Venezuela like the Joropo in the compositions "A song for Jacques Part II" and "Sno Peas".

On "Farmacia del Angel", dedicated to his father, the music has a distinct samba influence and on "Monseiur Petit Noir" the percussion takes us to the more familiar rhythms of the caribbean.

But Monasterios is also a musician well versed in the jazz language. On "Forgotten Gods" Monasterios, along with saxophonists Troy Roberts play some of their best improvisations over a frantic swingin tempo. The title track "Unconditional" is a jazz ballad with elements of smooth jazz and the music and funk rhythms on "Black Saint" are reminiscent of groups like The Rippingtons.

Monasterios is a pianist of extraordinaire fluidity and good technique equally comfortable expressing himself over South American rhythms or Straight Ahead Jazz.

Tracks: Farmacia de Angel, Monsieur Patit Noir, A Song for Jacques Part I, A Song for Jacques Part II, Sno' Peas, Forgotten Gods, Unconditional, Black Saint

Musicians: Silvano Monasterios - piano, keyboards, Troy Roberts - Saxophones, Jon Dadurka - bass, Gabriel Vivas - bass (5,7), Rodolfo Zuñiga - drums, José Grgorio Hernandez - percussion

CD Review: Jane Bunnett & Hilario Duran - Cuban Rhapsody

Saxophonist and flutist Jane Bunnett exploration of cuban music started back in the 1990's and she is a frequent visitor to Cuba. So Bunnett is not a newcomer to the world of latin music. In fact Bunnett received the 2002 Smithsonian Institute Award for her contributions and dedication to the development of latin jazz.

On her new release Cuban Rhapsody, Bunnett recorded with her long time musical friend pianist virtuoso Hilario Duran. Their music partnership goes back to 1990 when Bunnett went to Cuba to record her album Spirits of Havana. Bunnet and her husband Larry Cramer sponsored Hilario to move to Canada where he lives since 1998.

Cuban Rhapsody is a duo album, just piano and either flute or sax. In latin jazz music rhythm is essential, so here Hilario has the responsability of providing the rhythmic and harmonic support to Bunnett melodies and improvisations.

The music selection is superb, a collection of cuban classics beautifully played by these masters of improvisation. The duo format provide a lot of space for both Duran and Bunnett to display their improvisational talents.

Bunnett expressive tone on soprano sax shines on Miguel Matamoros "Lagrimas Negras", and on Ernesto Lecuona "Maria La O" and "Danza Lucumi". Bunnett brighter tone is equally gorgeous in the classics "Son de la loma", "Longina", "Almenra" and "Sherezada".

This music is the cuban equivalent to jazz. It also have african roots and is a perfect vehicle for improvisational ventures. But caribbean music has a classical element also. This classical influence is more evident in a musical form called Contradanzas. Danzas from Cuba and Puerto Rico fuses african music with the classical tradition from Europe, both essential parts of caribbean music. One of the highlights of the album is precisely a medley of five cuban contradanzas, where Bunnet and Duran exchange sublime improvisations.

Duran applies that same classical/caribbean fusion on his original composition "New Danzon". From start to finish, Cuban Rhapsody has a perfect balance of elegance and virtuosity.

Tracks: Lagrimas Negras, Son de la loma, Longina, Quirino con su tres, Contradanzas, Maria La o, Almendra, New Danzon, Sherezada, Danza Lucumi

Musicians: Jane Bunnett - flute, soprano sax, Hilario Duran - piano