His debut album as a leader is "No Old Rain" (Red Piano Music) and it features the Rogério Boccato Quarteto with Dan Blake (tenor and soprano saxophones), Jay Anderson (bass), and Nando Michelin (Fender Rhodes). The two-day session (June 1-2, 2016), recorded in bassist Anderson's home studio, is a 10-song program featuring music composed by Milton Nascimento, Egberto Gismonti, Toninho Horta, and Edu Lobo. The use of Fender Rhodes may remind some listeners of Chick Corea's work with the acoustic version of Return to Forever (the group that first recorded for ECM) and Herbie Hancock's work on Wayne Shorter's interpretations of Nascimento's music on "Native Dancer" (1974).
The program is also intelligently programmed. The first three tracks - Nascimento's "Cais" and "Clube da Esquina no. 2" plus Gismonti's "Tango" - flow easily into each other. The next three tracks do the same - the afore-mentioned "Bicycle Ride", Gismonto's "Bianca" and Nascimento's "Cravo e Canela" - and it gives the listener the feeling of being a spectator, watching the four musicians feed off each other and the material, making logical musical decisions as well as surprising connections. Later on the album, the Quarteto pairs Horta's "Pedro da Lua" and "Viver de Amor." On the latter track, Michelin creates a delightful solo as he rides the waves created by Boccato and Anderson, interacting with them as well as raising the intensity leading into Blake's powerful tenor solo.
For more information, go to rogerioboccato.com.
Here's a live version of the opening track (note Michelin on acoustic piano):
|Photo: BJU Records|
"Roads Diverge" is an impressive debut album. All of Noam Wiesenberg's talents are on display, illustrating an artist with great promise and a fine ear for melodies and harmonies. The quintet he writes for gives him a very large palette of sounds and the bandleader takes full advantage. Give Noam Wiesenberg and his music a close listen.
For more information, go to www.noamwiesenberg.com.
Here's the band in concert (February 2018):