Tiny Reviews, featuring: Guillermo Klein Carrera, JD Allen The Matador and the Bull, and Christophe Marguet Pulsion.
Guillermo Klein – Carrera
In Jazz circles, the question is broached occasionally, of which current batch of musicians will be recognized in 30 years as one of the current generation’s greats. Pianist Guillermo Klein is often provided as a response, and for good reason. His modern take on Latin jazz music, which is forward-thinking without turning its back on Jazz’s past, is some of the most compelling music of the last ten years. Returning for another go-around with his Los Guachos ensemble, Klein’s current album Carrera is one more notch in an already impressive career.
Your album personnel: Guillermo Klein (piano, Rhodes, vocals), Richard Nant (trumpet, percussion), Ben Monder (guitar), Miguel Zenón (alto sax, flute, vocals), Sandro Tomasi (trombone), Taylor Haskins (trumpet), Chris Cheek (tenor, baritone sax), Jeff Ballard (drums), Fernando Huergo (electric bass), Bill McHenry (tenor sax), and Diego Urcola (trumpet, trombone).
This recording is most comparable to his 2008 release Filtros. It has a nice mix of instrumental and vocal pieces. The ignition of most tunes begins with a slow burn. Evocative songs that are always are of the dividing line between powerful expressiveness and unfortunate melodrama. Expert weaving of soloists into the fabric of the large ensemble effort. And, in that way very specific to his Filtros release, a sense of the epic… that the songs on the album represent some greater story, that they possess a greater meaning than simply the collection of beautiful notes. This is an effect of any great creative endeavor, and it’s getting to where it’s safe to expect it from future Klein recordings.
A seriously talented line-up under the personnel section. Pretty much all of those names have made separate appearances on Bird is the Worm, and they’re all worth following on to other recordings as you search for new music.
Released on the Sunnyside Records label.
Jazz from the Buenos Aires, Argentina scene.
JD Allen – The Matador and the Bull
Solid trio date for saxophonist JD Allen. Fiery, but concentrated. Album tracks don’t combust, but emit plenty of heat via concentrated force of playing style. This a true team effort, not just sax with rhythm section. What’s more, it’s not just one person speaking at a time; it’s often three simultaneous lines of conversation that all stick to the same subject… an approach that really lets the trio do more with less.
Your album personnel: JD Allen (tenor sax), Gregg August (bass), and Rudy Royston (drums).
Allen’s notes flex some muscle, a sufficient show of the strength behind them. Royston throws punches in bunches, which creates a nice dichotomy with Allen’s seemingly unhurried pace. August adds his voice to the mix without sounding starved for attention, providing alternating senses of bouncing off the walls and pacing determinedly about the room. Good stuff.
Released on the Savant Records label. Jazz from NYC.
Christophe Marguet – Pulsion
Enjoyable release from drummer Christophe Marguet. Often keeps a quick pace, whether it’s through the chipper rhythm section or the twisting patterns of various woodwinds, but then occasionally breaks into a peacefully swaying track of so much pretty sunlight. Inclusion of baritone sax really adds to the album’s character, with smart use of clarinet and percussion helping to propel it. Two feet in the modern jazz sound, with a touch of the Scandinavian sound as color. A wandering step to most compositions, though some flirt with a straight-ahead nature. Really, just an intriguing album that I find myself returning to with some regularity. An under-the-radar album that deserves plenty of notice.
Your album personnel: Christophe Marguet (drums, percussion), Sebastien Texier (alto sax, clarinet), Jean-Charles Richard (baritone sax, soprano sax), Bruno Angelini (piano), and Maurao Gargano (bass).
Released on the Abalone Productions label.
Jazz from the Asnières, Ile-De-France, France scene.