7/10: Jazz Quad Reviews John Stein and Dave Zinno’s “Wood and Strings”

7/10: Jazz Quad Reviews John Stein and Dave Zinno’s “Wood and Strings”

For many years I’ve been listening to American guitarist John Stein (all his CDs go to Whaling City Sound and invariably get into our “CD-Reviews”) and he never ceases to amaze with every new work. This time it’s a duet album, where John’s bass player Dave Cinneau became a partner.

The story of this project was told in liner notes to the album by Stein himself (besides his notes, there is also a great text from John Thomas, not the first time commenting on the work of Stein). In 2016, Stein signed a contract for a month’s performances at one of the restaurants in New Bedford, Massachusetts (in this city the Whaling City Sound label is based). An old friend of John, the chief of the label named Neil Weis, recommended him as a partner to Dave Cinneau. All the “merged” so successfully, the musicians so approached each other that the idea was born to record a joint album. Some of it was recorded live, in the same restaurant, in the morning, before its official opening, and then, in a couple of weeks, the musicians moved to Stein’s home studio, where they finished the work with the help of the classy sound engineer Antonio Oliart Ros. So the album Wood and Strings was born.

“Wood and strings” – that’s what John and Dave called him, meaning his instruments, guitar and double bass. I would call it “Strings and Fingers” rather: it was the touch of the sensitive, all understanding and all able fingers of the musicians that created the magic miracle of wonderful music. The album contained 14 songs: Stein’s plays, standards and one song for Song for Now. The album can be savored as a delicious dish, if this “kitchen”, that is, mainstream jazz, you like. Stein has long and fairly been considered one of the elite guitarists of this trend. In the person of Zinno, he found a worthy partner. Up and at ‘Em, Switch-a-roo (Stein’s plays), Beatrice from Sam Rivers – above all praise. Of course, there was a place in the program and Brazilian jazz, to which Stein has very warm feelings: Modinha from de Moraes and Jobim album just decorated. Seventy minutes of clever, subtle, inventive music is Wood and Strings, at your service!

Dave Zinno

Dave Zinno

Dave Zinno Unisphere

“Stories Told”

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Photos: March 2016 color Color B&W

Press Release

Sales Sheet

Liner Notes

Publicity: Ken Franckling’s Jazz Notes,

Stories Told: JazzWeek #20

River of January: Wicked Local Cambridge, The Enterprise The Funk and Soul Revue, Fall River Herald News, Cape News, Jazz Jam session at the MAC

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Picking up where the enrapturing “River of January” left off, Dave Zinno Unisphere’s follow-up, “Stories Told,” further explores the wild and beautiful jungle of jazz, more specifically, the Brazilian/Latin tributary: electric, funky, passionate, and rhythmic. Zinno (John Medeski, Hal Crook, Adam Nussbaum) here is partnered with Unisphere co-founder Mike Tucker (Arturo Sandoval), Eric “Benny” Bloom (Lettuce), Tim Ray (Tim Ray Trio, Paul Winter Consort) and drummer/percussionist Rafael Barata (Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson, Dianne Reeves). The ensemble is supreme and ambitious, benefiting from having a recording under their collective belt and refinement of the Unisphere mission. The performance is a passionate ode to the band’s multicultural vision.

The recording kicks off with “Neurótico,” by J.T. Meirelles, a samba jazz gem that sets the tone perfectly. Elsewhere, there’s a sweet rendition of Lennon-McCartney’s “Michelle,” arranged by pianist Ray; “Tá,” a rhythmically dynamic fusion of neo-Latin styles; and the powerful “Requiem,” composed by Mike Tucker in his father’s memory, which was heartrending for all of the players. “Stories Told” is, as it should be, a melting pot of pure jazz excitement, performed with verve and executed with inspiration. If you liked “River of January,” a recording with broad appeal and accessibility even considering Unisphere’s gorgeous intricacies, you’ll surely appreciate hearing these Stories.

April 2019

Most Increased #8 and #5 in Most Added!!

Released, “Stories Told” is already one of the most added and biggest gainers on the JazzWeek chart!

“River of January”

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Photos: March 2016 color Color B&W

Press Release

Sales Sheet

Liner Notes

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CDs: Distribution: NAXOS of America

 

Dave Zinno’s Unisphere Show at Narrows 1/31/18

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1.31 CD RELEASE Narrows Center for the Arts
16 Anawan Street, Fall River, MA 02721

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For interviews contact: ginny@mixedmediapromo.com
Unisphere CD Release
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 8p
Narrows Center for the Arts
16 Anawan Street
Fall River, MA 02721 – 508-324-1926
Dave Zinno, bass
Mike Tucker, sax
Tim Ray, piano (formerly with Lyle Lovett and occasionally with Tony Bennett, replaces Leo Genovese for this show)
Rafael Barata, drums
Eric “Benny” Bloom, trumpet
$22 advance, $25 day of show
Click link for tickets

Sharing the Love
Dave Zinno Unisphere
brings a jazz celebration to
in late January,
with the release of their new recording,
River of January

If there’s one jazz band you’d consider taking a chance to see live, make it UnisphereDave Zinno’s tremendous and joyous jazz experience. While the band’s recent recording, River of January—of which this night serves as an official release party—is an immense and beautiful record, there’s no doubt that this music is made for the stage.

The band Zinno has assembled is spectacular and all are citizens/musicians of the world. Unisphere includes the talents of sax man Mike Tucker (Arturo Sandoval), drummer Rafael Barata (Milton Nascimento, Marc Johnson), Leo Genovese (Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spaulding), and Crescent City trumpeter Benny Bloom. Tucker, a co-leader on the date, is frighteningly good and a perfect companion to Zinno. Drummer Rafael Barata is on the Rio jazz scene’s first call list, thanks to astonishing technique and great ideas. Argentine pianist and composer Leo Genovese first worked with Zinno in the band of trombone legend Hal Crook. He’s toured with Spaulding, been a member of Joe Lovano’s band, and played memorably with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Eric “Benny” Bloom, he of quick wit and showmanship, is himself on the verge of stardom. His New England jazz upbringing plays well now in his New Orleans home.

Digging a bit deeper, the recording takes the vibe of traditional jazz and reverses the paradigm, so the songs, while familiar, evolve and explore. There are many highlights here, and while it wouldn’t be a waste of space, it would be easier to say that these tunes all include rushes of adrenaline, sweetness of melody and serious elements of style. River of January is a work of forward thinking tradition and one that has much substance within it to discover. It’ll be fascinating to see how this material translates, what colors it takes on, how Zinno and the band play it and play with it.

Fans of creative license and jazz invention can dig deep into this record, of course. But best would be to see Unisphere live at the Narrows and pick up their CD on New Bedford’s iconic Whaling City Sound label. It’ll be an excellent way to witness some adventurous jazz up close and personal, and it’s certain to leave you with the great aftertaste of pure jazz joy.

For campaign updates click Dave Zinno Unisphere
 —

Dave Zinno Unisphere River of January WCS101 Sentimental yet devoid of bathos, forward-surging yet never at the expense of thought or taste, River of January flows in two directions, simultaneously. Some laws, including those of hydrodynamics, are written to be broken. Unisphere, the cooperative (in so many ways than one) jazz band led by bassist/ composer/ arranger/pedagogue Dave Zinno, infuses the vanguard of modern jazz with what I hear as a romanticism all too uncommon in artistic expression corrupted by the materialist zeitgeist. “Evolution” and “change” are not synonymous, and these guys know it.

Whaling City Sound Reviews in Cadence July Issue

Whaling City Sound Reviews in Cadence July Issue

A quick note about TERRY GIBBS’, 92 YEARS YOUNG: JAMMIN’AT THE GIBBS HOUSE [Whaling City Sound wsc 092]. Gibbs was brought out of retirement to make this recording [4/16] in his living room with a quartet [Gerry Gibbs-drm, John Campbell-p, Mike Gurrola-drm] playing 15 mostly originals [77:53]. Gibbs has slowed down from the frenetic pace with which he often played. The result is more gravitas and a lovely warm and laid back session on which all excel. Special mention of Campbell’s work and its many surprises. Very hip.

CLICK HERE for more information

Also from Whaling Sound comes WOOD AND STRINGS [WCS 093], a relaxed duet with JOHN STEIN [gtr] and  DAVE ZINNO [b]. As with the Gibbs album, comes a full program of music [14 tracks standards & originals-71:37], a relaxed ambience, nicely packaged with meaningful liners. Professional and  un-perfunctory.

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