Resonance Records owner George Klabin has been a huge fan of the Brazilian's music since he first heard his musician in the 1970s. In 2016, he introduced clarinetist/saxophonist Eddie Daniels to Gismonti's music and the seeds for "Heart of Brazil" were planted. Daniels made several suggestions, including hiring Ted Nash to write arrangements as well as the idea of pairing a string quartet with a "jazz" quartet. The producer picked the material, all but one piece ("Tango Nova", composed by Daniels) from Gismonti's Brazilian albums and employed the Harlem Quartet - violinists Ilmar Gavilán and Melissa White, violist Jamey Amador, and cellist Felix Umansky - putting them in the studio with Daniels, pianist Josh Nelson, bassist Kevin Axt, and drummer Marco Zottarelli. Besides Nash's five arrangements), long-time Resonance Records arranger Kuno Schmid arranged five pieces while pianist Nelson added two and Mike Patterson (who had arranged pieces on Daniels's duet albums with pianist Roger Kellaway).
|Photo: Detroit Jazz Festival
The ballads chosen for the album each have their charms and surprises. "Trem Noturno" ("Night Train") opens as slow moody melody for tenor sax and piano before bursting into a fiery mid-section (including a splendid piano intro and give-and-take between strings and tenor), and then into a slower clarinet solo and the rapid-fire close. "Auto-Retrato" ("Self-Portrait") includes a lovely string quartet intro before Daniels (clarinet) and Nelson play the melody. The entire ensemble then enters and the piece moves forward gently. More of a classical feel is heard on "Adagio", the strings bathing the clarinet in showers of sweet counterpoint - take note of bassist Axt's fine accompaniment and Zottareilli's lovely brush work.
For more information, go to eddiedanielsclarinet.net.
Here's the official release promo video from Resonance Records:
|Photo: Eastman Guitars
One can hear the influences of Chick Corea and progressive rock on pieces such as "PPCB" with its rapid-fire opening an d chordal progressions. Royston kicks hard during the solo section, pushing Bond and Sadigursky to really dig in. The album opener "Renewed Perspective" starts quietly but builds in intensity as Chaumont's long solo unwinds. The ballads engage the listener with fine melody lines ands intelligent solos. The rich tenor tones of Sadigursky dominate the first 2/3rds of "This One is For You", moving his way through the melody with emotion and grace. The leader takes a short but sweet solo over the shimmering cymbals. "For Each One of Them" starts ever-so-slowly with guitar, bass, and drums moving gracefully through the melody (note the excellent bass work). Then the tenor enters leading the piece forward until the guitarist changes the direction with his rhythmical chord strumming. Bond, Chaumont, and Sadigursky exchange short solo lines as Royston creates a storm below. The drummer gets his own spotlight, heating up the proceedings as he is wont to do.
|Drawing: Jaynie McCloskey
To find out more, go to www.jeanchaumont.com.
The vast majority of the proceeds from the sale of the album go to finance the excavation of wells in Sakata region of Malawi, a landlocked republic in Southeast Africa. Particularly hard-struck by drought and the AIDS virus, the country is aided by the NGO, Villages in Partnership - to find out more, go to villagesinpartnership.org.
Take a listen: