Jan 20 2017
This Is Jazz Today: Trio Repelente, Low Kick Collective, Vera-Menares-Lecaros, Josef Leimberg, The Flash!
Trio Repelente – Ao Vivo Pra Ninguém (Self-Produced)
Even while moving at a high rate of speed, Trio Repelente finds a way to create a hypnotic atmosphere. This vibraphone-bass-drums trio doesn’t develop a melody so much as take a single melodic idea as far as the horizon stretches, but never forget its origins. It’s why solos mesh seamlessly into their framework no matter how volatile they may grow, and it’s why there isn’t so much space between the pretty moments and the dissonant ones. All three musicians gets their voices heard and in any number of ways, so it’s just as easy to call this a drummer’s album as it is a bassist’s recording or a vibraphone session… they are all in the spotlight, individually and in unison. Worth noting that the drummer, Mauricio Takara, is a member of the São Paulo Underground, which has earned plenty of kind words on this site. And this trio, too, is music from São Paulo, Brazil.
Your album personnel: Mauricio Takara (drums), Rodrigo Hara (bass) and Victor Vieira-Branco (vibraphone).
Low Kick Collective – II (Self-Produced)
The raw enthusiasm from the Low Kick Collective is pretty damn infectious. Sax, drums and an electro bayan all combine for this duo into a sonic form of gasoline. A melodic riff is all they need to launch themselves into space. Sometimes they hang their hat on layers of repetition and other times the music is at the mercy of sheer randomness. They slow things down for one track, and while it’s plenty enjoyable and all, the music is at its best when the trio lights a match under it. And all of it is seriously fun. Music from St. Petersburg, Russia.
Your album personnel: Anton Ryazanov (tenor sax, electro bayan, guitar) and Ekaterina Shapovalova (drums).
The Flash! – Siła (Hevhetia)
There’s some punk rock attitude to the modern jazz stylings of The Flash! The trio hits the gas pedal and takes off, yet each track exudes a thick lyricism that is as catchy as the pace is thrilling. And fun, very fun. The kind of music that can knock you over and draw a smile in the same breath. The trio slows things down on “Smutny Sławek,” and the music gets a little flat, loses that bright electric energy that powered them along on the up-tempo pieces. In another strange turn, “Kurt Cobain at Disco” utilizes the melody of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to launch into a groove. It’s odd, but in an amusing way, and definitely rises to the level of fun the trio builds from the very first note of this very fun album. Music from Krakow, Poland.
Your album personnel: Sławek Pezda (tenor sax), Kuba Dworak (bass) and Max Olszewski (drums).
Vera, Menares, Lecaros – La Rueda del Tiempo (Discos Pendiente)
Nifty guitar trio session where the feel is nicely laid-back, even when the temperature spikes for a time. Guitarist Nicolás Vera, bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Félix Lecaros switch between originals and covers (Monk, Johnson) on this intimate session, and the sense is always an even mix of the old and the new. The slower pieces have a dreamy, intoxicating presence that’s pretty appealing, but it’s when the trio lights a fire under a song that the album shines strongest. Just one of those nice straight-ahead sessions that are a staple of every well-fed music library. Music from Santiago, Chile.
Your album personnel: Nicolás Vera (guitar), Pablo Menares (double bass) and Félix Lecaros (drums).
Josef Leimberg – Astral Projections (World Galaxy)
Nicely updated version of 1970’s jazz-funk fusion. More electro- than acoustic, more easy-going groove than melodic intensity. If you were looking for a next-step album from your 1970s Lonnie Liston Smith jazz-funk recordings, this would make a pretty decent option. The stronger tracks are the ones where the rhythm section does something more than march in place, but even those don’t do anything to prevent this album from being the kind of music for kicking back on a weekend afternoon. The cover of Miles Davis’s “Lonely Fire” is when I got sold on the album. The guest vocal on “Echoes of One” clinched it. Music from L.A.
Your album personnel: No personnel listed