Catch up on the latest reviews of Dino Govoni’s “Hiding In Plain Sight” from Jazz Square, Making A Scene, and Presto Music

Catch up on the latest reviews of Dino Govoni’s “Hiding In Plain Sight” from Jazz Square, Making A Scene, and Presto Music

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Tenor saxophonist Dino Govoni is best known as a longtime professor at the famous Berklee College in Boston and an excellent session musician. So on our site until now, his name has appeared as a participant in the recordings of other performers. But he also has his own leadership records. He does not often release his own albums, mainly on Whaling City Sound. And his last album, the third on this label, appeared here after a long break.

Hiding in Plain Sight was recorded in Brooklyn in January 2020 as a quintet. For this project, Dino put together an excellent team. The second brass voice in the quintet was the trumpet player Alex Sipiagin, one of the most successful representatives of the Russian jazz diaspora in the States, the place at the piano was taken by Dino’s main assistant on the project, Henry Hey, Michael Pope played the bass, and one of the most popular modern ones sat at the drums. jazz drummers Jeff “Tain” Watts.

Together they performed a program of nine songs. Dino’s greatest interest was aroused by the music of the jazz veteran Paul Nagel, who worked with Robben Ford, Bobby McFerrin, Boz Skaggs: the album included as many as four of his compositions. Hey brought two plays to the project, one each by Pope and Govoni himself. Stylistically, the music of Hiding in Plain Sight is a typical neo-pop mainstream with a stable structure of pieces, developed solo performers and a relatively regular rhythm. For those who love this direction, Hiding in Plain Sight is just perfect, given the high class of performers. For me personally, the favorite of the album was Nagel’s play Falling Ahead with its somewhat mysterious atmosphere and catchy melody. But this is already a matter of tastes.

As for Dino Govoni himself, Hiding in Plain Sight gave me an interesting observation. Today in American jazz there is a whole cohort of the most talented tenor saxophonists of Italian-American origin. And next to the giant Joe Lovano, next to Jerry Bergonzi and George Garzone (by the way, Dino’s teachers), Dino Govoni also occupies a worthy place in it.

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Dave Zinno Unisphere “breathes with energy” on new release “Fetish”–available now!

Dave Zinno Unisphere “breathes with energy” on new release “Fetish”–available now!

Readers have seen this name more than once in the reviews of his releases on the site. Two years ago, we also published a review of the previous album of the Dave Zinno’s Unisphere ensemble called “Stories Told” (2019). And after 2019, as you know, came the year marked by the sign of the COVID-19 pandemic …. … It seems to me that it is just right to introduce a special concept: “post-covid jazz”. Thousands of musicians locked in their homes during a lockdown, deprived of the opportunity to perform in front of an audience, have only one option left: to compose music and hope that the clouds will someday dispel. Some people still managed to give network concerts, but the bulk of them worked at home, for the future. And in 2021, a lot of albums appeared based on these materials, albums in the music of which one can almost physically feel the performers’ joy from the possibility of new meetings, while at least in the studio. “Fetish” is one of them. When Zinno and the musicians of his band gathered in the studio in November 2020, each of them brought the material he had accumulated. It has accumulated in as many as 16 songs. As a result, a 12-track program was selected for recording the album. All the musicians who played on “Stories Told” participated in the recording of the album, plus they were joined by Zinno’s old partner, Argentine keyboardist Leo Genovese, famous for his performances with Esperanza Spaulding, and also, as a guest, another, in addition to Raphael Barata, a Brazilian trombonist Rafael Rocha. 

The album contains compositions and arrangements by Ray, Tucker, Genovese, Bloom and, of course, Dave Zinno himself – “Fetish”, “So Close So Far”, and “Nile”. The music of the ensemble, which is still mostly hard-bop in style, breathes with energy, joy of musicians’ communication with each other and, of course, mastery that has not disappeared anywhere. The album was recorded in two sessions, six hours each. As Dave himself says, “This project is the culmination of a year without live music. This record contains all the energy and emotions that have accumulated and have not found a way out for such a long time. Hopefully people will feel what we felt while making this album.” Zinno doesn’t have to worry – you can really hear it in the music of “Fetish”.

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Gerry Gibbs is “fantastic” on upcoming release “Songs From My Father” available August 6!

Gerry Gibbs is “fantastic” on upcoming release “Songs From My Father” available August 6!

The history of this project is very dramatic. The album, conceived as a tribute from his son – the father, the famous drummer and band leader of “The Thrasher” Gerry Gibbs – the 96-year-old legendary Terry Gibbs, who played with Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Art Blackie, Dizzy Gillespie etc., who composed more than 300 compositions, who recorded 65 solo albums and was the # 1 vibraphone player from 1950 to 1955 according to DownBeat and Metronome polls, turned into a double tribute with a very sad connotation. However, let’s go in order …

The double album Songs From My Father amazes with its monumentality. Gerry has selected 18 compositions from different years from the vast creative heritage of his father. Known for his signature Thrasher Dream Trio chamber ensembles, Jerry decided to entrust the performance of this music to several Thrasher Dream Trios, composed of the outstanding jazz musicians of our time. There are four of them in the album. Chick Corea and Ron Carter play in one with him, Kenny Barron and Buster Williams in the other, Patrice Rushen and Larry Goldings in the third (the only trio where a Hammond organ sounds instead of bass) and in the fourth – Jeff Keezer and Christian McBride. How do you like the team? In my opinion, just fantastic!

But what does it mean to implement such a project, and even in a covid year ?! Gerry Gibbs traveled half of America in ten months, coordinating the work schedules of the project participants in order to make these recordings. Terry’s old friend Chick Corea was especially inspired by the idea of ​​this tribute. He wrote the composition “Tango For Terry” specially for the album, which became the final track of the album, and also made arrangements for two more compositions. Gerry and Chick called up almost every week, discussed the progress of the project, and just talked “for life.” And then came the unexpected and black news of Chick Corea’s death. And it so happened that four pieces recorded for this album with his participation turned out to be the last lifetime recordings of this amazing musician …

Shocked by this tragedy, the project participants said goodbye to Corea with dignity. Gerry and his father jointly renamed Terry’s 1961 composition “Hey Jim” to “Hey Chick”, and it was jointly performed for the project by all eight of its members (each with a pair of choruses). In addition, Gerry also edited his father’s vibraphone solo from that old recording from the early 60s into this recording. This piece took a special place in the album, remarkable in all respects. If you love jazz, you just have to hear this unique work – and say goodbye to Chick Corea …

 

Review by

Leonid Auskern

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Rale Micic’s “Only Love Will Stay” is “very beautiful” and “warm” in first review from Jazz Square–available May 7!

Rale Micic’s “Only Love Will Stay” is “very beautiful” and “warm” in first review from Jazz Square–available May 7!

Rale Micic - Only Love Will Stay

Jazz guitarist and composer Rale Micic has followed a path characteristic of many European jazzmen who settled in the United States. A native of Belgrade, Micic (born 1975), having already acquired a good jazz reputation in his native Serbia, went to Boston in 1995 to study at the famous Berklee College. Among his teachers there were such famous personalities as George Garzone and Bob Brookmeyer. In 2000, Micic moved to New York and over the years has become a prominent figure in the jazz scene of the Big Apple. Rale released his first album, Bridges, three years later, offering listeners a mixture of jazz with Balkan music. And already during the recording of the second album ,Serbia, Micic was helped by such a prominent master as the trumpet player Tom Harell. Micic played in his ensemble, worked with Greg Hutchinson, Don Friedman, Eric Alexander.

Today we present his new work Only Love Will Stay, Micic’s second album for Whaling City Sound. To create it, Rale chose the chamber format of a jazz trio, and without a bassist. His guitar voice is assisted only by the Hammond organ, with the famous Jared Gold and drums (Johnathan Blake and Geoff Klapp) sitting at the keys. The album was made up of recordings of two sessions, in the fall of 2019 and in the summer of 2020, hence the line-up and two drummers, each of whom worked in one of the sessions.

Of the eight compositions that made up the album’s program, five are the author’s music by Rale Micic. Covers here are his interpretations of Even Steven by John Abercrombie (symptomatic: many compare Micic’s playing style with Abercrombie, and, as he himself says, John’s organ groups served as a model for this project), Irwin Berlin’s classic “How Deep Is The Ocean” and “Lipe Cvatu (Linden Trees Are In Bloom)” by fellow countryman, Serbian composer Goran Bregovic. This, however, does not limit the connection with the homeland in this project. Micic’s opening and title track “Only Love Will Stay” also contains echoes of Balkan music. It seems to me that it was no coincidence that this piece gave the name to the entire album. Very beautiful, warm, a little sad melody, soulful sound of a guitar, delicate organ reprise – for me it became a personal favorite of the album. A brief and aphoristic assessment of the entire project was given by Micic’s partner Jared Gold: “In playing the guitar, Rale has a unique voice. He combines a very melodic approach with a keen knowledge of harmonies. His original compositions reflect his life experience and tell the listener about his roots …” It’s hard to disagree.

Leonid AUSKERN
4/25/21

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