Jazz (September 2018)

hfnalbum.pngStefano Bollani
Que Bom
Alobar AL1001

Here the brilliant Italian pianist launches his own label and takes another opportunity to highlight his enduring love of Brazilian music, mainly offering his own sprightly and engaging tunes but with some superstar guests who bring their own. We hear legendary singer/guitarists Caetano Veloso and Joao Bosco, and there's a typically zippy contribution from bandolim virtuoso Hamilton de Holanda, who appeared with Bollani on their 2013 duo album O Que Sera. And as with Carioca (2008), Bollani enjoys wonderful support from the Brazilian rhythm team of Jorge Helder, bass, Jurim Moreira, drums and Armando Marçal, joined this time by a second percussionist, Thiago da Serrinha. An uplifting and delightful album. SH


Timo Lassy
Lassy Moves
Membran 234482 (also 2 LPs: 234483)

Ten years and six albums ago, saxophonist Timo Lassy's band grew out of the Helsinki-based Five Corners Quintet, which had caught the wave of dance-floor jazz. By adding Greek-born keyboardist George Kontrafouris and percussionist Abdissa Assefa to the Five Corners rhythm team of Antti Lötjönen and Teppo Mäkynen, Lassy created his own finely-honed quintet. But here you also get the Ricky-Tick Big Band brass led by another Five Corners alumnus, trumpeter Jukka Eskola. Guest vocalist Joyce Elaine Yuille takes us 'Harlem's Way' and rapper Paleface offers social comment in 'Trouble', yet this smooth, superbly-crafted set is easy on the ear from end to end. SH


Renee Rosnes
Beloved Of The Sky
Smoke Sessions Records SSR-1801 (also 2LPs: SSR-18011)

For this title and cover the pianist chose Emily Carr's 1935 painting, 'Scorned For Timber, Beloved Of The Sky', where a single tree stands in the devastation of clear cutting. Vibes master Steve Nelson and bassist Peter Washington both appeared on Rosnes' 2016 album Written In The Rocks, but this time her quintet is completed by saxophonist Chris Potter and drummer Lenny White. The title track is a powerful statement, while on a more personal level, she dedicates 'Rosie', the tune that Bobby Hutcherson wrote for his wife, to the memory of those two friends. But the band can also let rip, as with the well-named closer, 'Let The Wild Rumpus Start'. SH


Andreas Varady
The Quest
Resonance Records RCD-1026

The Romani guitarist was only 12 when he recorded Questions on Irish drummer David Lyttle's Lyte label in 2010. Appearances at Ronnie Scott's and Montreux led to management by Quincy Jones and a self-titled Verve album, involving a host of name musicians and featuring Gregory Porter and Roy Hargrove. But with The Quest we're really hearing Varady's own band and music. Joining father Bandi on bass and young brother Adrian on drums are Slovak saxophonist Radovan Tariška and US pianist Benito Gonzalez. And while they both get plenty of solo space in a set of boisterous originals, Varady is as breathtakingly super-Benson-ish as ever. SH