Category Archives: CD-Reviews

Review a CD / album

Danny Jazz Trio – Gymnosphère

GymnospheÃÄre

Today I would like to present you a CD of mine.

Together with my friends and fellow musicians Daniel Gaggioli on saxophone and Meinrad Thalmann on double-bass we recorded and produced our first CD “Gymnosphère”.

Seven of the songs have been written by Daniel, I am the author of one tune and three cover versions of jazz standards have been recorded for the CD.

The whole project started a year ago, when we decided to produce our own CD. We arranged a workshop in Merano and booked the studio and started to write and select songs.

The recording session took three days and all songs have been recorded live in the Splendorstudio in Bern (www.splendorstudio.ch). Big thanks to Martin Kissing for his professional work and his enthusiastic support.

In the week before the recording we went for a workshop in Merano, Italy (www.meranojazz.it) where we were able to present our work to the teachers at the workshop and had the chance to play together for a whole week. Special thanks here to Ewald Kontschieder who supported us so perfectly and to Franco D’Andrea who was our teacher during this week and played with us at the final workshop concert.

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Back to the CD. Daniel wrote a little suite called “An Apple A Day – Keeps The Doctor Away” which was split on the CD as the second and second last song. The title song “Gymnosphère” is a slow and breezy waltz. The last song “Duck Walk” is really humorously and straight swinging with Danny and me playing solos alternately.

Daniel plays alto and soprano sax, I use a chorus  on some tunes and different reverb effects have been added in the mixing process, which results in a variety of different sounds. “Change Or Quit” is really dry and “Poinciana” and “An Apple A Day” have much more volume.

I am really proud of this CD and I have added teasers of all songs at the end of this post. Enjoy listening.

We will have a CD party on March 12, 2015 at the Ono in Bern (www.onobern.ch).

You can order the CD directly from Daniel (www.danielgaggioli.ch) or from CeDe.ch (www.cede.ch).

Joey DeFrancesco’s Goodfellas

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This time I’d like to talk about an album with two of my favorite jazz musicians (I have seen both of them multiple times) from 1999: It’s Joey DeFrancesco’s “Goodfellas” with Frank Vignola on guitar and Joe Ascione on drums. A classical organ trio where these three musicians of Italo-American background play a mix a classic jazz tunes and great Italian songs. The CD starts with “Speak Softly Love”, the theme from the movie “The Godfather” and it shows what these three guys have in mind on the CD: Play great melodies and swing perfectly. I have seen Frank Vignola several times and he really likes to play all these great melodies from the American songbook, from classical European composers or from traditional European music.

Joey DeFrancesco is also a person who likes to make music, to play to entertain and to swing hard. His playing is more blues inspired and the CD also features this music in “Whack’ Em”, “Goodfellas” and “Ya See What I’m Sayin’?”.

Finally, Joe Ascione has been working with Frank Vignola many times so these tow guys knew each other very well and also had a very similar understanding in what and how to play.

The CD has been recorded on two days in 1998 and according to producer John Burke, the most of the songs “are first takes, without any rehearsal whatsoever”. Very impressing.

I don’t have Italian roots but many of the songs like “Volare”, “Fly Me to the Moon” or “O Solo Mio” are songs that I have heard many times and their melodies are familiar, but again, what these three guys make with them on this CD is still impressive and surprising.

The guitar solo on “Fly Me to the Moon” is in my opinion the best guitar solo I ever heard on this tune. It starts simple with the melody and ends up in a mandolin style tremolo. The organ and guitar solo are played very dynamically, both start rather soft and end up very hard swinging. This is really a perfect interpretation of this classic jazz tune.

The last song the CD called “Whack ‘Em (Reprise) / Tarentella” catches the spirit of this recording. Three guys who share a very common understanding what Jazz music is all about come together, have fun and produce a timeless record.

I found a video on youtube of “Fly Me to the Moon”:

And again a playlist if you want to listen to or order the CD: