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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Carrick: "I contacted Max Jones of Melody Maker and offered to be his correspondent in the States, but I should have done what Ken Colyer had done, get a job on a ship and then jump ship in the States. So I didn't make it [to New Orleans] till 1973." - (Just Jazz May 1999)

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COVID-19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, February 12, 2016

CD review: Aruán Ortiz Trio - Hidden Voices

(Review by Alan Law.)
This is a new piano trio album from the Cuban born pianist, violinist composer and arranger Aruán Ortiz .joining him on bass is Eric Revis is and Gerald Cleaver drums.
All new names to me, but a cursory look on Google revealed Ortiz has written music for jazz ensembles, orchestras, dance companies, chamber groups, and feature films. His work incorporates influences from contemporary classical music, Cuban-Haitian rhythms, and avant-garde improvisation
On the composers website there is reference to a recent project in which non musical patterns and ideas were explored as fuel for improvised music.
This may explain some of the titles of the original compositions, which frequently refer to mathematical concepts.
Fractal Sketches starts with a dissonant grooving pattern, augmented by a dramatic percussive left hand with scurrying bass and drums, Open And Close /The Sphinx an Ornette Coleman tune, imaginatively re-interpreted with a cool bass figure periodically giving way to bright classical sounding passages Carribean Vortex/Hidden Voices begins with an unfamiliar clave pattern that becomes a percussion conversation, and the rhythmic drive continues when the trio begin. There is some dissonance involved, however, the pedal point and strong rhythm holds the listener well.
Analytical Symmetry intensity in one area is offset by the other players in this brooding exploration.
Arabesques of a Geometrical Rose (Spring) a spacious meditative piano solo with some gently mind expanding harmonic contrary motion.
Arabesques of a Geometrical Rose (Summer) a compelling hypnotic bassline underscores this very different take on the subject matter.
17 Moments of Liams Moments (or 18) is a brief composition that manages to sound avant garde yet structured, and is curiously evocative.
Joyful noises is a collective textural improvisation, punctuated by occasional timed bold chords. The Monk standard Skippy follows, the theme is there but has been deconstructed and re wrought by this masterfully creative trio.
Uno Dos Tres , Que Paso , is a solo piano piece and the last tune on the album.
It has a simple memorable melody (you can hear the rhythm of the title syllables throughout) that serves as a basis for a beautifully contemplative exposition.
The listening warranted time and my best stereo set up, it’s not something I could get into in the car, but I found it extremely rewarding when I gave the attention it warranted.  
The album is well recorded with a great sounding piano in particular, and if your ear can handle a bit of dissonance there is something deeply impressive here.
The improvised passages are marked by a commitment to the total sound of the music, as well as weapons grade virtuosity, and the effect is a sense of instant composition and arrangement, which is very satisfying in itself. However, I also found myself very engaged emotionally and rather touched on several occasions.
Imaginative, cerebral and very emotionally engaging, I found this a serious, and seriously good, contemporary jazz album.
Alan.
Aruán Ortiz Trio - Hidden Voices is available on Intakt Records.

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