Charlap and the Washingtons will be in residence this Friday and Saturday night (1/29-30) at The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme, CT. They'll play several sets of music, new and old, and they;ll do so melodically yet with a rhythmic fire. Would not be surprised if the shows are sold out so call 860-434-0886 or go to thesidedoorjazz.com to get your name on the list.
The following Friday (Feb. 5), guitarist Lionel Loueke brings his Trio to Old Lyme and you won't ant to miss that show!
|photo by Krysta Brayer|
All of the 8 tracks (all Hoefner originals) clock in over 5 minutes; still, the composer and the band do not just play the theme and rush into long solos. Listen for the interplay, as this is a band that has logged serious "stage time", and you can hear how supportive they are. Sure they can "blow" - all 4 have a great time on "The Bottom Line" - but everything is played with a purpose with the sense of a group sound.
"Luminosity" will hold your interest with its expansive melodies, its fine rhythm section, and intelligent solos. The Florian Hoefner Group is a "working band" and it shows in the care they and creativity they give to this music. For more information, go to www.florian-hoefner.com.
Give a listen to the title track:
For his new album, "Hidden Voices" (Intakt Records), he joins forces with bassist Eric Revis (Branford Marsalis Quartet, Tarbaby) and drummer Gerald Cleaver (Craig Taborn, Joe Morris, Roscoe Mitchell) to fashion a most fascinating sound. The 10-song program includes 6 originals, one collective improvisation, a medley 2 Ornette Coleman works ("Open & Close/The Sphinx"), "Skippy" by Thelonious Monk and a Cuban standard "Uno, Dos, y Tres, Que Paso Más Chévere" done as a piano solo. That final song (also the last track on the disk, composed by Rafael Ortiz (no relation), is described by leader as a tune “everybody in Cuba knows from festivities and carnivals." The younger Ortiz gives the song an abstract feel, hinting at the rhythm and the pianist caressing the melody.
|Photo by Michael Weintrob|
Elsewhere. Ortiz and company create an open-ended program, from the disjointed yet funky opener "Fractal Sketches" to the inventive re-imagining of "Skippy." On the latter track, Revis propels the music from the bottom while Cleaver and Ortiz spin fascinating webs from the spiky melody. The pianist pushes the melody up and down (at times, sounding somewhat like Matthew Shipp) while the piece rumbles forward. "Caribbean Vortex/Hidden Voices" features the insistent claves of Arturo Stable and Enildo Rasúa, the rhythms supporting the rapid-fire snare work of Cleaver and clanging left hand of the pianist. As the piece moves forward, the piano solo grows in intensity but the rhythms stay steady and solid. The hypnotic single-note piano leads one into "Analytical Symmetry", a piece that opens slowly like a flower then explodes for just a moment before moving inward for a bass - piano dialogue. The 2-part "Arabesques of a Geometrical Rose" opens with a piano solo. Subtitled "Spring", the melody, in places, reminds this writer of Monk in its uncommon beauty. Part 2, "Summer", brings back the rhythm section for a blues-drenched reinterpretation of the initial melody. Revis's thick bass tones and Cleaver's active drumming propel the pianist into a series of short single-note runs interspersed with "dark" chords.
Repetition is important to many of these pieces - the piano lines often dictate the rhythms that Gerald Cleaver expands upon while the often-furious bass lines of Eric Revis work in counterpoint to active hands of Aruán Ortiz. "Hidden Voices" may refer to the Cuban artists, poets, playwrights, and musicians who have had to maintain personal and artistic silence for most of the Castro dictatorship. This powerful music now belongs to the world. For more information, go to www.aruan-ortiz.com.
Here's the Trio in concert 6 months before the recording date: