Monday, July 16, 2012

Warsaw Summer Jazz Days day 3 - Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet; Miguel Zenon Quartet

I admit I don't really follow Blue Note releases these days, I don't even follow that closely any kind of jazz press, which is the reason I've never heard of Ambrose till I saw his name on the festival program list. Yet it was one of those concerts where after few notes it's crystal clear you're meeting someone special. So it was when Matana Roberts the day before started to play, so it was when Berne /Malaby /Halvorson /Parkins /Smith hit the firt sharp chord later the same evening. And so it was once Ambrose begin his first accapella, cutting through the air, sharp and searching (the piece would also feature a thunderous piano solo, brilliant deconstuction of the initiali harmony, with hands flying all over the keyboard, reinventing the main chord in the middle octaves, storming clusters on the external ends). Ambrose's quintet music is jazz played with youthfull passion, energy, guts and bravado. Among the highlights there's a tornado drums solo (Justin Brown almost destroys the drums set, he was also a composer of couple of the tunes), and each solo statement on the trumpet, Ambrose can cut through complex harmonies but he literally broke my heart with the tone warm and soft like a cushion in two astonishingly lyrical duos with the piano (during the latter one the rain broke off, unreal moment). I might not start to follow Blue Note releases but I will definitely follow Ambrose and so should do anyone remotely interested in jazz music.

Ambrose Akinmusire - trumpet
Walter Smith III - tenor sax
Fabian Almazan - piano
Harish Ragavan - double bass
Justin Brown - drums

Miguel Zenon with his quartet presented a program consiting of peurtorican songs from the early XX century, filtered through jazz language. Filtered bit too strictly. Beautifull melodies lived fully on those rare moments the latin roots were more than just  hint traceable in the melody. Heated songs played with light and bright soulfull tone on the saxophone at the best moments reminded me of the black and white ballrom scense, with the kind of dances where elegance meets passion, dangerously sedutive. For the most part though it was too much elegance, too smooth and sweet for my taste, though definitely likeable. Would be even more so, a great fit if one was lying under the palm tree, on the beach, sipping a refreshing martini.

Miguel Zenon - alto sax
Luis Perdomo - piano
Hans Glawischnig - bass
Henry Cole - drums

Warsaw Summer Jazz Days day 3
SOHO Factory. Warsaw. 14.07.2012

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