Tag Archives: New Release

Claudio Scolari Project: Upside Down

The Claudio Scolari Project has released a new album in October 2019 and this band continues its journey in free and improvised music. The evolution of the band is obvious and the focus of the album is on live performance. Everything on the album was live improvised and recorded.

To have this full and balanced sound the band added a bass player and the line-up is now:

  • Claudio Scolari: Drum set 1, Synth Programming
  • Daniele Cavalca: Drum Set 2, Live Synths, Rhodes, Piano
  • Simone Scolari: Trumpet
  • Michele Cavalca: Electric Bass

The advantage of this line-up is evident and answers one of the question which many people might have asked: Is it possible to play the music live on stage? This is now clearly the case and the following video shows the band playing the song “Wired”:

The album starts with “Smoke in C Minor”, a song that features  Daniele Cavalca on piano. It has some typical elements of this band, the pulse comes from the drums (with some surprising breathing pauses) and the acoustic piano is spiced up by electronic sounds.

We hear the full band with bass and trumpet in “Underground Soul”. This song begins soft but steady with the piano introducing the main riff, the piano and trumpet hold a dialog which is joined by the bass. At around 5:00 min the steady pulse is opened by the drums and all musicians improvise freely. Daniele Cavalca returns to the main riff to end the song. Very impressive.

“Upside Road” is a dialog between drums and a funky Rhodes piano with some additional synthesizer elements.

In “And I’ll Make You Smile” the complete band returns. The main riff for this song is again kind of funky and either the rhythmic or the melodic pattern of this riff is kept throughout the song.

The title song “Upside Down” comes next. The drums groove in a classical swing style and after a lengthy introduction the piano introduces the main theme which is complemented with trumpet fills. Claudio Scolari keeps his steady pace and the other musicians have the space and freedom to improvise together.

“Twister” is drum duo piece which I was also hoping to hear once. Very sophisticated  playing by Claudio Scolari and Daniele Cavalca show the many sounds of two extended drum sets.

“Syrah Hangover” impresses with its beautiful harmonic structure. The melody comes from the trumpet this time and synthesizer sounds dominate the background. I like the synthetic sounds by Daniele Cavalca very much, in a way they sound not too digital, even a little bit old-fashioned.

“Wired” comes next and this song is definitely my favorite on the album. Some nice stereo effects in the introduction, a beautiful spacious motif from Simone Scolari on trumpet, a grooving bass and really pushing drums create an incredible intensity in this song. Very powerful.

“Bismantova Castle” is as an open dialog between Michele Cavalca on bass and Simone Scolari on trumpet. The trumpet sound has a lot of echo and is very spacious while the bass is rather direct without effects which gives this song its nice contrast.

The album ends with another drum duet called “Fast And Last” which is fast and furious and sounds to me like a spontaneous session which was recorded, a little bit like an unplugged encore but nevertheless sounding great.

The Claudio Scolari Project has reached another level of freedom with this album, it has found it’s own sound and style and it is now in a position to perform this music live. So I hope some festival organizers become aware of this incredible band and invite them. I would really love to see this band playing live.

And finally a playlist of this album on Spotify:

New Releases Fall 2019

Much more great music has been released in the last few months. Here is a list of some albums which I can really recommend.


The DIVA Jazz Orchestra – DIVA + the Boys

https://divajazz.com/

“DIVA + THE BOYS” is a live recording of The Diva Jazz Orchestra – an ensemble of 15 incredibly talented musicians – who happen to be women – with some of today’s most exciting soloists. The band performed on the MCG Jazz stage in Pittsburgh with Ken Peplowski, Jay Ashby, Claudio Roditi, and MCG Jazz Executive Producer Marty Ashby. Excellent arrangements, a heavy swinging big band and some outstanding clarinet playing are the characteristics of this album.

Diva & The Boys


John Dalton’s Spheres of Influence – Indigo Skyline

https://johndaltonspheresofinfluence.com/home

Drummer John Dalton presents his trio “Spheres of Influence” featuring Sean Farias on bass and Jim Robitaille on guitar. The album contains original material only and shows a nice and well-balanced trio with enough space and freedom for each musician to express themselves.

indigo-skyline-jd-album-cover-1


DLG 3 – Grease Trap

https://www.facebook.com/dlgthree/

DLG is a B3 organ trio based out of NYC with John Lynch on guitar, Mike DeConzo on drums and “Organ Monk” Greg Lewis and William Gorman on the Hammond B3 organ. Their album “Grease Trap” was released in the beginning of November and contains funky instrumental interpretations of classic soul & RNB tunes and originals as well. Great choice of songs, very entertaining and very well played.

Grease Trap


Roger Kellaway – The Many Open Minds Of Roger Kellaway

http://rogerkellaway.com/

Recorded live at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, “The Many Open Minds Of Roger Kellaway” teams the pianist with guitarist Bruce Forman (a superb bebop player and a Sonntag guitar player http://www.sonntag-guitars.com/english/Artists/Bruce-Forman.html) and bassist Dan Lutz. They perform seven familiar jazz standards but their performance is anything but conventional and predictable. Outstanding playing by all three musicians and perfect understanding between each other make great fun and entertainment when listening.

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Finally a complete playlist with all songs from the four albums: