Jun 11 2017
Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album: Fred Hersch Trio – “Floating”
Sunday mornings are when the serenity is supposed to come down. Sunday morning is the cocoon from the heavy exhaustion of too much Saturday night fun. Sunday morning is when the city agrees to use its inside voice. Sunday morning is when a hush settles in over the land. It is a time for sitting still and listening to quiet music and silently praying the aspirin and coffee do something to stop your head from exploding. Drama and stress are strictly forbidden on Sunday morning.
Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album is just for you, for times just like these. If you possess the freakish compulsion to get-up-and-go when the clock strikes Sunday morning, this music is not for you. Go and listen to a Spotify EDM playlist or something. But whatever you decide, just do it quietly and far away from those of us who appreciate the true solemn nature of a Sunday morning.
A show tune, a standard and something from Thelonious Monk are peppered throughout the recording, but it’s the originals that most hit the mark on this 2014 recording from the Fred Hersch Trio. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. For the span of three decades, Hersch has added his measured, thoughtful works to the jazz lexicon, so it’s always going to be a case where the original inspirations outshine the interpretations.
Floating is music meant for peaceful moments. And even when the conversation between musicians gets a little chipper, like on “Arcata” or Monk’s “Let’s Cool One,” the effect is akin to the growing presence of sunlight upon a darkened room than an actual spike in temperature. Much of this has to do with how the pianist sees a ballad at the heart of every song. It’s why “Home Fries” and “Far Away,” though different in temperament, both swoon with the emotional weight of the love struck and the heartbroken. The deliberative method in which the trio dishes out that particular mood just enhances its resonance that much more.
You need this album today, right now.
- Artist-Title: Fred Hersch Trio – Floating
- Personnel: Fred Hersch (piano), John Hébert (bass) and Eric McPherson (drums).
- Proper Use: 1) Staring out the window and wondering whatever happened to your first true love, 2) Drowning yourself in the album cover’s serenity until you are perfectly centered.
Released in 2014 on Palmetto Records.
Listen to another album track on Soundcloud.
Music from NYC.
Feb 8 2018
Probably a good idea to check out these two releases from Angelo Mastronardi
One of the nice things about artists and labels discovering the Bandcamp site is the opportunity to revisit some of the older albums in a musician’s discography as they upload them at the same time as a recording of a more recent vintage. Case in point: Angelo Mastronardi.
The pianist released a new album in 2017 called New Things, Same Words. It’s a solid straight-ahead session, and sounds like it could source from NYC as easily as the pianist’s Gioia del Colle, Italy home turf. It’s got a free-flowing lyricism that displays plenty of activity, but keeps it tightly focused… like a wildly fluttering butterfly that doesn’t roam outside a square foot of sky. The rhythm section of double bassist Stefano Rielli and drummer Alex Semprevivo develop a conversant chatter that stays light on its feet, enhancing the buoyant melodicism from Mastronardi and saxophonist Emanuele Coluccia. The upbeat pieces kick up a little fire but nothing that could burn, and while they’re plenty enjoyable, it’s when the quartet slows down and makes a melody smoulder with heavy emotion that the album shines strongest.
Your album personnel: Angelo Mastronardi (piano, Fender Rhodes), Emanuele Coluccia (tenor and soprano saxophones), Stefano Rielli (double bass) and Alex Semprevivo (drums).
Released on Gleam Records. Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Available at: Bandcamp | Amazon | eMusic
It’s a different kind of sound on Mastronardi’s 2014 recording, Like at the Beginning. Most noticeable is how the atmosphere changes when it’s a trio setting, and Mastronardi is the primary conductor of the melodic electricity. This album is far snappier than its 2017 counterpart, and its volatile energy is directed laterally far more than cyclically. It, too, could easily be identified as something coming from NYC as Italy. This quality is somewhat surprising considering this album was released on Dodicilune Records, a label that tends to release music that takes on folk and chamber characteristics reflective of the Mediterranean scenes. With double bassist Michele Maggi and drummer Walter Forestiere rounding out the trio, sometimes they dig into a groove and sometimes they drift into a ballad, but for the most part, this is music that sticks to a sunny tone and chipper disposition
Your album personnel: Angelo Mastronardi (piano), Michele Maggi (double bass) and Walter Forestiere (drums, percussion).
Released on Dodicilune Records. Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Available at: Bandcamp | Amazon | eMusic
By davesumner • Jazz Recommendations - 2014 Releases, Jazz Recommendations - 2017 releases • 0 • Tags: Angelo Mastronardi, Dodicilune Records, Gleam Records, Two-Fer Review series