Tag Archives: Contemporary Jazz

Sunday Sleep In ~ “Sweet Thing” ~ Tomasz Stańko Quartet.

TOMASZ STAŃKO

 

Tomasz Stańko has been playing since the early 60’s in his native land of Poland. He has produced numerous albums since the 70’s as leader and finally got world recognition in the 80’s when he started working with American jazz musicians. Yet this exceptional trumpeter really didn’t get his due in his own country until the late 90’s.

His septet album went gold in 1997 and this quartet’s 2002, 2004 & 2006 albums also went gold in Poland and finally started to chart in the U.S. in 2004. In 2009 his quintet album went Platinum in Poland charting at #16 in the U.S.

Outside of those who know and follow jazz this artist’s name still sadly isn’t a stand out and it should be. Stańko’s style of free form, almost at times avant-garde and spot on improvised playing deserves to be in the rankings with jazz’s more well-known earlier notable 50’s and 60’s artists that we relished in.

This man and the musicians who have made up his bands are not playing covers, they are playing Stańko’s compositions. So please check out his website and dive into this jazz artist’s history and discover all the music that has come out of him and his bands with the latest release, because this is just a mere taste.

 

Tomasz Stańko Quartet

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Across The Crystal Sea” ~ Danilo Pérez.

Danilo Pérez_

 

This Panamanian born pianist has to be one of the finest composers of contemporary modern jazz. Prior to joining Wayne Shorter in 2000 for four albums his repertoire has been one of excellence to whom he has played among.

Starting with getting to join and play with his Idol, Dizzy Gillespie. So to go on with already one Grammy under his belt along with numerous other awards only befitting to get to work with another stellar composer like Claus Ogerman (also a Grammy award winner).

This man orchestrated music for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Bill Evans from the 60’s and an even longer list of artists, God can it get any better.

This whole album (entitled with the song’s name) released in 2008 is pure bliss as you can hear from this one particular piece. Ogerman tapped into some classical composers to write his compositions and charts based on some of their melodies.

Across The Crystal Sea does exactly that, takes you on a wondrous journey that is exciting because you go places you’ve never been to or have experienced before.

The music just guides you as the trip gets better and better the farther it goes on, you never want it to end.

Magical…

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Pour une Femme” ~ Paolo Fresu Quintet.

Paolo Fresu_young

 

This beautiful ballad written by Italian native Paolo Fresu appears on two of his albums, “Qvarto” released in 1988 and “Night on the City” in 1995.

He has been playing for 30 years, based in Sardinia where he was born, Bologna & Paris he has over 300 recordings as well having written music for films, documentaries and theater.

This international artist has played throughout the world along with and amongst the biggest names of American music as well. If you didn’t know of him it’s about time you did. I lost count of the albums he has produced as leader and a part of since the early 80’s straight through this last year with many more works in progress.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Evocación” ~ Arturo Sandoval.

An absolutely stunning piece written by Papa Molina, beautifully arranged and conducted by his son Jose Antonio Molina and played with precision by the Miami Latin Pops Orchestra and Sandoval.

Seems everything Arturo touches turns to platinum and beyond. The very reason hundreds of his own compositions has gained him so many tv & movie scores. Nominated 19 times for the Grammy awards taking home 10 of them, 1 Emmy, multiple Billboard awards and a 2013 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom award.

From the mid 70’s to the present his discography is endless, a true Cuban masterpiece not only being a highlight of the finest Latin Jazz but the finest of music period.

Evocación takes you into a ecstasy of seduction.

 

Arturo Sandoval

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Sundays” ~ Enrico Pieranunzi Trio

Enrico Pieranunzi

 

Born in Rome, Italy this pianist, composer and arranger has accompanied and played among the best in Jazz.

Chet Baker, Charlie Haden, Frank Rosolino, Billy Higgins, Art Farmer just to name a few.

He has written scores for movies, is a professor and an author. The album “Ballads” from which this song is from is the 6th album in-which he collaborated with bassist Mark Johnson and drummer Joey Baron in 2006. The first with them in 1984 and since has released two more.

Starting in the 70s in Europe he quickly set both the classical & jazz scene there on fire before hooking up with American musicians.

In all Enrico Pieranunzi has written more than 300 compositions and recorded more than 70 albums/CDs. From solo’s, duets to quintets. Chet Baker’s “Night Wind”, Phil Wood’s “Hindsight” just a few from a notable list that became international standards.

A lyrical approach so fine it has made him a very much recognizable figure of contemporary jazz.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Silently” ~ Tim Lapthorn Trio

Tim Lapthorn

So nice to see somebody carrying on the tradition of a Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck & Vince Guaraldi.

Transport his third album released in 2012 makes you feel as if it’s the 60s again. Every song shines with harmonies and explosive improvisations you’d expect from the greats of jazz. Swings & Roundabouts is another off this album/CD that shows his talent beyond his years.

This British born pianist excels in everything he’s done thus far.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Our Game” ~ Till Brönner

Not hard to hear where this German born trumpeter, fluglehornist, singer and player gets his style from.

With the tone, his low key intimate vocals it spells Chet Baker all over the place.

Born in 1971 and raised in Rome by early teens he got a taste of bebop via Bird. But who would become his hero would be Chet. Two years after this release in 98′ he would record Chattin With Chet as a dedication to him.

Not as mesmerizing as Baker for nobody could take that spot, but for Till’s generation he reigns as Germany’s best jazz artist and I can’t argue with that recognition.

 

Till Brönner

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Asta” ~ Możdżer Danielsson Fresco.

Możdżer, Danielsson, Fresco

What a completely hypnotic piece.

Europe’s elite got together and produced some of the most beautiful compositions for this 2005 album entitled “The Time”.

In reality the music will end up being Timeless.

All three musicians Polish pianist Leszek Możdżer, Israeli percussionist Zohar Fresco & Danielsson are very accomplished players on their own.

Swedish bassist Lars Danielsson wrote this particular song. He has been recording since 1980, besides his 8 solo albums he has accompanied so many artists the discography is countless. Also a record producer.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Ambiance” ~ Marian McPartland

This great lady of jazz who just left us on Aug. 30th at the age of 95. Host of Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR from 1978 until 2011. She played everything from Classical to Jazz, Cool jazz, Bebop, Mainstream jazz, Swing, Post bop and Standards.

Marian was undeniably virtuosic hitting those ivory keys with such elegance, her credits musically a mile long whether playing her own compositions or others.

Her “A Delicate Balance” theme of a show she hosted for 14 years on WBAI prior to NPR was so befitting for how she performed, who she interviewed and played with or what she put on a turntable. Whether known or the obscure she never left the very best of music untouched.

Marian shared and gave us a taste of it all.

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