Posts Tagged ‘Paolo Fresu’

Ralph Towner - Paolo Fresu - 2009 - Chiaroscuro

Since moving to Italy over a decade ago, guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner’s output as a leader has been woefully infrequent, with only two discs released this decade—2001’s Anthem and 2006’s Time Line, both on the label that’s been his home for over 35 years, ECM. It’s not that he hasn’t been busy; he continues to work and record regularly with Oregon, the group that he co-founded nearly 40 years ago, heard most recently on the Grammy Award-nominated 1000 Kilometers (Cam Jazz, 2007), and on From a Dream (Material, 2009), in a stellar guitar trio with Wolfgang Muthspiel and Slava Grigoryan.

If his solo albums are too few and far between, even scarcer are Towner-led albums in collaboration with others—his last one over a decade ago, the sublime A Closer View (ECM, 1998), in duet with bassist Gary Peacock. All of which makes Chiaroscuro a cause for celebration. It’s always a good time for a new Towner record; but here, in duet with rising Italian trumpet star Paolo Fresu, Towner delivers a welcome set of largely original material—some new, some revisited—one standard and a couple of brief but compositionally focused in-the-moment creations.

As has been the case for the last 15 years, Towner focuses strictly on guitar, but this time adds baritone guitar to his arsenal of classical and 12-string acoustic guitars. The lower register instrument is featured on “Sacred Ground,” a majestic solo piece that, with a brief reprise in duet with Fresu, bookends three tunes demonstrative of Towner’s range. He’s covered Miles Davis/Bill Evans’ classic “Blue in Green” before, with vibraphonist Gary Burton on Slide Show (ECM, 1986); here it’s an even freer interpretation, as Towner (on classical guitar) liberally stretches and compresses time while Fresu’s muted trumpet is as spare as the late trumpet icon’s, but with a lithe playfulness that’s all his own.

Doubled Up” is a new Towner composition, his baritone guitar creating an even richer landscape. His distinctive voicings—and a unique ability to be both implicit and direct with time, accompaniment, and counterpoint—support and interact deeply with Fresu’s muted horn. The guitarist’s ability to alternate between upper and lower registers, with passing chords suggestive of greater movement, creates an orchestral breadth that’s deceptive and remarkable for an instrument with only six strings.

Zephyr,” first recorded with Oregon on Ecotopia (ECM, 1987), demonstrates how Towner can deconstruct music written as a solo vehicle into a multi-part arrangement, this time delegating the lyrical melody to Fresu, who sounds not unlike another trumpeter with whom the guitarist has collaborated, Kenny Wheeler on Old Friends, New Friends (ECM, 1979).

Towner’s distinctively pianistic 12-string guitar is rarely used these days, making the dark improvisations that close the disc, “Two Miniatures” and “Postlude,” all the more welcome. Towner may collaborate rarely, but his choices in partners have always been beyond astute, and with the intimate Chiaroscuro he introduces a new partner who, hopefully, will remain an active one on future recordings.

allaboutjazz.com

Paolo Fresu

Paolo Fresu (born February 10, 1961) is a trumpet and flugelhorn jazz player, as well as an arranger of music, and music composer. Fresu was born in Berchidda, Sardinia. He picked up the trumpet at the age of 11, and played in the band Bernardo de Muro in his home town Berchidda .  Fresu graduated from the Conservatory of Cagliari in 1984, in trumpet studies under Enzo Morandini, and attended the University of Musical and performing arts in Bologna

Fresu currently teaches at the Siena Jazz National Seminars, as well as jazz university courses in Terni, and is the director of Nuoro Jazz Seminars in Nuoro, Italy.

http://www.paolofresu.it/

Ralph Towner

Ralph Towner (b. Chehalis, Washington, March 1, 1940) is an American multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and bandleader. He plays the twelve-string guitar, classical guitar, piano, synthesizer, percussion and trumpet.

http://www.ralphtowner.com/

Musicians:

  • Ralph Towner: classical, 12-string and baritone guitars;
  • Paolo Fresu: trumpet, flugelhorn.

Track List:

  1. Wistful Thinking (04:20)
  2. Punta Giara (06:21)
  3. Chiaroscuro (06:31)
  4. Sacred Place (04:13)
  5. Blue In Green (05:45)
  6. Doubled Up (04:56)
  7. Zephyr (07:29)
  8. Sacred Place (reprise) (01:59)
  9. Two Miniatures (02:39)
  10. Postlude (02:31)

Duration : 46:43 | Bitarte : 320 kBit/s | Year : 2009 | Size : 116 mb

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Nguyen Le duos with Paolo Fresu, Dhafer Youssef - 2006 - Homescape

Where does jazz stop and world music start? The boundaries are getting more blurred by the minute. We’re all postmodernists now, and many musicians under fifty reflect a range of influences beyond those traditionally associated with their own core style. Some, like French-Vietnamese guitarist Nguyen Le, are so polyglot as to be practically beyond category.

Le started out down the cultural miscenegation road with his first band, the multi-ethnic Ultramarine, whose 1989 album, De, was named World Music Album of the Year by the radical French newspaper Liberation. He’s continued to mix it up ever since—prominent genre-benders he’s worked with include Miroslav Vitous, Trilok Gurtu, David Liebman, Paul McCandless, Peter Erskine and Mino Cinelu. In the late 1990s Le became increasingly interested in Maghrebi music, working with Algerian singers Safy Boutella and Cheb Mami, and in 1998 he brought Maghrebi and Vietnamese musicians together on the album Maghrebi & Friends.

None of this, however, can prepare you for the galaxy of sound sources on Homescape, a series of alternating duets with Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu and Tunisian oud player Dhafer Youssef. Some of these sources are developed and explored, others are referred to only in passing, and they include—but aren’t limited to—post-Hendrix rock, Milesian harmon-mute free improv, Maghrebi trance music, Ellingtonia, ambient, a Papua New Guinea vocal choir (sampled and replayed backwards), Delta blues, Vietnamese folk tunes, flamenco, Iranian modes, a Sardinian choir, Australian aboriginal ritual music, French chanson, Gregorian chant, and Indonesian gamelan/gong music.

Guitars, trumpet/flugelhorn and oud aside, the music is generated by loops, samples and overdubs, and the entire heavily post-produced album was recorded and mixed in Le’s Paris apartment – since 2003, his friends and neighbours Fresu and Youssef have been dropping by to home-record. The duets with Fresu are typically in free-improv mode (the exception being Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn’s lovely “Chelsea Bridge”), while the Youssef duets tend to be song or structure-based.

In the main sunny and joyful, though not without some darker and more abrasive moments, the fifteen tracks—average length three minutes, a handful six or seven—resemble a series of round-the-world postcards sent by Le, who mixed and post-produced everything solo, to his collaborators. As a soundtrack to an evening communing with the big bamboo, the exotic and the very exotic drifting in and out of the mix, it’s rich, colourful and beguiling.

allaboutjazz.com

Nguyen Le duos with Paolo Fresu, Dhafer Youssef - 2006 - Homescape

Paolo Fresu (born February 10, 1961) is a trumpet and flugelhorn jazz player, as well as an arranger of music, and music composer. Fresu was born in Berchidda, Sardinia. He picked up the trumpet at the age of 11, and played in the band Bernardo de Muro in his home town Berchidda.[1] Fresu graduated from the Conservatory of Cagliari in 1984, in trumpet studies under Enzo Morandini, and attended the University of Musical and performing arts in Bologna.
http://www.paolofresu.it/

Nguyên Lê (b. Paris, France, 14 January 1959) is a French jazz musician and composer of Vietnamese ancestry. His main instrument is guitar, and he also plays electric bass guitar and guitar synthesizer.
He has released numerous albums, both as a leader and as a sideman. His 1996 album Tales from Viêt-Nam blends jazz and traditional Vietnamese music. Nguyên Lê has performed with Randy Brecker, Vince Mendoza, Eric Vloeimans, Carla Bley, Michel Portal, and Dhafer Youssef.
http://www.nguyen-le.com/

Dhafer Youssef (born 1967 in Teboulba, Tunisia) is a composer, vocalist, and oud player. He has been living and working in various European countries since 1990. During this time he had the opportunity to perform his music on stages in Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and other countries as well as his native Tunisia (where he started singing in the Islamic tradition  at age 5 ).
http://www.dhaferyoussef.com/

Nguyen Le – electric, acoustic, fretless, synthesizer, e-bow, Vietnamese guitars, computer programming & electronics.
Paolo Fresu – trumpet, fluegelhorn & electronics.
Dhafer Youssef – oud, vocals & electronics.

Track List:
1 –  Stranieri
(Paolo Fresu / Nguyên Lê) (06:00)
2 –  Byzance (Dhafer Youssef / Nguyên Lê) (04:25)
3 –  Muqqam (Dhafer Youssef) (02:44)
4 –  Mali Iwa (Nguyên Lê) (06:27)
5 –  Zafaran (Dhafer Youssef / Nguyen Le) (06:02)
6 –  Domus de Janas (Paolo Fresu / Nguyên Lê) (02:18)
7 – Kithara (Dhafer Youssef) (02:18)
8 –  Chelsea Bridge (Billy Strayhorn) (03:00)
9 –  Safina (Dhafer Youssef / Nguyên Lê) (03:27)
10 –  Des Pres (Paolo Fresu / Nguyên Lê) (02:19)
11 –  Thang Long (Nguyên Lê) (05:33)
12 –  Neon (Paolo Fresu / Nguyên Lê) (03:12)
13 –  Mangustao (Dominique Borker) (07:26)
14 –  Lacrima Christi (Paolo Fresu / Nguyên Lê) (03:14)
15 –  Beyti (Dhafer Youssef / Nguyên Lê) (02:53)

Duration : 61:19 | Bitarte : 320 kBit/s | Year : 2006 | Size : 144 mb

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