On the topic of the day: four new jazz albums
Jazzman – in principle, people are not indifferent to everything in life (and what will happen after it). Otherwise, they are not jazzmen. Which, however, does not prevent them from combining wisdom with the drive, and thoughtfulness with entertainment. We present four new albums by cool artists, in which this balance is present to one degree or another.
Tommy Emmanuel & John Knowles “Heart Songs” Here, at first glance, everything is simple. Duo album of two masters of acoustic guitar – Tommy Emmanuel and John Knowles. Then you can not say anything, in principle – who does not know the old man Emmanuel, whose approach to the acoustic guitar can be called magical and innovative? On his wooden acoustics, he manufactures this … Six strings, ten fingers, and it sounds like a percussion orchestra. John Knowles is also a wonderful master whom Chet Atkins himself noted. They dazzled an instrumental album of a dozen of their favorite songs (plus two author’s). From Hank Wilms’ country classic “Cold, Cold Heart” to Billy Joel’s grand ballad “Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)”. These simple and soulful songs of smash-hits here are interestingly prepared and reassembled, plus some whimsical contrapuntics added. Of course, from the point of view of high art, the version of, say, How Deep is Your Love, the Bee Gees hit, is something nice between the loft and an elevator, but still the guitars here so skillfully “pronounce” the melody, that you really can hear the words. Are masters having fun? Well, great! “The American tenor saxophonist, a lively classic, Jo Lovano, recorded quite a lot on the ECM label, but somehow the language doesn’t turn him to be called an“ Isiema ”artist. Not in essence, not in spirit. He is more “bluetooth”, probably. Simply put, his music is hotter and less confused than the usual meditative quasi-avant-garde label of Manfred Aicher. Well, be that as it may, the indomitable Aicher on ECM Lovano is not a stranger, he played the necessary “trick” in various tough compositions, including with Paul Motyan, Steve Kyun and John Abercrombie. “Trio Tapestry”, recorded with pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Carmen Castaldi, is a completely “Isiema” product: everything is cold, thoughtful and rustling in a rarefied atmosphere. Sometimes it’s all so conditional that it’s really some sort of nudity. The play “Piano / Drum Episode” is really just bits of piano phrases (yes, Crispell has the awesome carcass!) And the chopping / rustling of the plates / brushes / snare drum. And only the final “Smiling Dog” pleases with a clear phrase, (really like a dog barking, and the saxophone sometimes squeals with mimetic) with a groove and pressure.
It looks like the most interesting discoveries are happening in the past. Time seemed to be reversed! Another great find is the unreleased studio sessions of Eric Dolphy. With a lot of different musicians – from trumpeter Woody Shaw and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson to less well-known. Moreover, even the future luminaries of smut-jazz Bob James lit up, but the bonus track with him was simply added – the recording was made not on July 1 and 3, 1963, like the whole session, but a year later. In general, the scale is clear. What are we talking about: two undervalued albums, “Conversations” and “Iron Man”, in addition to them – unpublished outteys. That is, in fact, this is a triple studio album from Eric Dolphy’s pre-gold period (although, considering how early Dolphy died, and what effect he had on smart jazz, all of his records are gold). Exactly the next year after these sessions, recorded and released “Out to Lunch” – a classic Dolphy, his “trick”. And here he is somewhere between avant-garde and bop so far. ”We will complete the review again with a modern, actively working musician. And his, Antonio Sanchez (Pat Mati’s group, soundtrack to the film “Birdman” and others), speaking on the topic of the day. Somehow everyone was accustomed to the fact that jazz is a respectable art – music played either in cozy clubs-restaurants or on academic stages. In general, pure art. So it, in general, is. Usually. But historically, jazz is a problematic genre, because it was created by people with problems. That is – blacks. Well, you understand. In short, the outstanding drummer Antonio Sanchez, a native of Mexico City, could not stand it and recorded an album about immigrants and the wall with Mexico. So it turns out that Donald Trump, a man of show business, even influenced jazz. Because the album, in spite of the gloomy nervous theme, is very good and even positive. Sanchez’s cunning broken patterns — he knows how to make a normal drum set sing, sound like an orchestra, dance and God knows what else to do. And his group is beautiful. Including an ultrasound singer named Tana Alex. Modern author jazz at its best. Is this can only grow on problem soil?