frankbernardi22

franco bernardi
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7 reviews/ratings
MILES DAVIS - Circle in the Round Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Kind of Blue Cool Jazz | review permalink
CHARLES MINGUS - Jazz Portraits (aka Wonderland aka Jazz Portraits. Mingus In Wonderland) Hard Bop | review permalink
ORNETTE COLEMAN - Something Else!!!!: The Music of Ornette Coleman Hard Bop | review permalink
ORNETTE COLEMAN - The Shape of Jazz to Come (aka Le Jazz De Demain) Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Tutu Pop Jazz/Crossover | review permalink

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Post Bop 3 5.00
2 Hard Bop 2 5.00
3 Pop Jazz/Crossover 1 4.00
4 Cool Jazz 1 5.00

Latest Albums Reviews

MILES DAVIS Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles

Album · 1966 · Post Bop
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Miles smiles and he's not pretending a part. He's really happy for his new family of musicians, so happy that he himself really can't believe this miracle of combo exists on earth and he's the creator of such a beauty. He needed his Golden Quintet, the highest expression of all times (neo) classic jazz, something living its (smiling) summer but with all the dangerous nostalgia of a perfectly mature fruit. So much that perfection that it was like a bridge to the unknown. Pure angst, at the end. Two were the alternatives to follow: the taste of decadence or a cut with the past. This gifted combo, touched by the hand of history, is sqeezed by Miles like a lemon; after, throught the naked "In a silent way", Miles and friends (those with him in that moment, because that was his - and their - own cruel and marvellous fate) will find themselves on the rich but deserted shores of "Bitches Brew", the occasion for many in the world to listen to Davis for the first time. But connoisseurs all around knew very well this perfect microgroove where everybody was smiling, according to Anthony Tuttle liner notes: "The entire quintet plays as if there were a shared smile between them, each man lending his efforts to the whole while the whole reflects the solid contribution of each man". A perfect definition good for every album of Miles magic quintet, starting from "ESP", first studio brick in a solid house. A castle. The building of dreams. "Seven steps..." is still tradition with some changes added but not a convinced piece of the new direction. Miles was waiting for Wayne, the Coltrane he always wanted. And from that lp to "ESP" we have only live albums. We have to wait until 1965, year of "ESP", to taste new flavours: but soon, 1966, everybody smiles with the leader. "Miles smiles" and we believe his smiling to be true. He's even surprised that his meditations or even impulses can find easy incarnation in music. He's really the genius he thinks to be. Everything's so smooth, in those years, that seems incredible, to him, to us, the amount of work, sometimes obscure, difficult work, waiting for Miles just around the corner. Smiling Miles soon will be a very far souvenir if compared to the ground zero of "In a silent way" or the path to hell of "Bitches brew": both streets with no return.

ORNETTE COLEMAN The Shape of Jazz to Come (aka Le Jazz De Demain)

Album · 1959 · Post Bop
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Since the first grooves, "The shape of jazz to come" (1959) shows all the alloy of a masterpiece. A son, this one by Ornette and Donald, lovely brooded by two creations that came before: "Something else!!!!" and "Tomorrow is the question". Should both vinyls be listened to - and loved - linked together, as the two moments have common roots, and that's more than a story or a concept: it's the developement of a large extended view. As Bob Palmer of "Rolling Stones" will write on the back of Ornette's "Science Fiction" at the beginning of the Seventies, the first thing in Ornette's appearing "is that it grabs you inside before you 'undestand' it intellectually. Ornette doesn't wait for introduction". At the same time all that should be unattainable and dumb without Coleman and friend's "years of discipline and determination". Here we are more on a Davis' side than on a Coltrane's, and we certainly don't speak of abnegation and sacrifice (taken for granted) , but of clearness of purposes. Being, the aim, in Ornette and Miles, the return to the core of music, to the African root: well different the shape of path, but very similar under the "weight", the proportions, the rigour of the output (in the meantime Trane "lays out" meditating on the meaning of it all). The '59 masterpiece (in this case "The Shape...", not "Kind of Blue"!) finds brilliantly and easily the prints let in "Tomorrow...": first tune, "Lonely woman", has that bitter taste found in "Lorraine", with its funeral march atmosphere (that will be unbeatable in "Beauty is a rare thing" from "This is our music"); and from "Focus on Sanity" (also in "The Avant Garde" with Coltrane and Cherry) to the ending "Chronology", Coleman's "speech" gives demonstration of itself without any need of utter explanation. At the same time, the severe placement of mics for capturing the sound of the combo, finds a sort of acoustic resolution of the project. Each horn a channel, the rest for sublime machine Haden and Higgins, immune from the fear of empty spaces. Here the silence is coinceived like a 5th sideman, or more. And silence has been one of great Miles' best friends too...















ORNETTE COLEMAN Something Else!!!!: The Music of Ornette Coleman

Album · 1958 · Hard Bop
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"What a new avant garde musician we have on the jazz scene. His name is Ornette Coleman". So they said (better: somebody said) many years ago, when the young man - come from Texas - began to give his records titles like "Something Else!!!", the shakespearian "Tomorrow is the question" and "The Shape of jazz to come" (for somebody was Nesuhi Ertegun, Atlantic executive, to christen the third of the records as "The Shape..."). Words, the latter, that contained the promise of a revealed future. Or the future itself. But in in 1958, year of the first record, the couple Coleman - Cherry seemed to remind - in a grotesque way - the famous duo Bird an Diz. "Bird and Diz" is Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, together in a studio on June, 6th, 1950. With them, Monk on piano. No need of other words. Eight years after, paladin and revolutionaries' defender Cherry, played his little trumpet for Ornette, the last promise, the more interesting surprise of those years. Trumpet, little, and not a toy: yes, smaller than the usual horn, but a perfect old dented instrument, B flat tuned. And what about Ornette's sax, a plastic alto, maybe? Ornette, a life of music and sacrifices, had all the reason to be angry and hungry: but in "Something Else!!!" discontent seems intellectulized and more ironical (in relation to Bird and Diz - and Diz never liked Ornette's music, even if, in some moments, he seemed more raged than Coleman), while joy (the relation is the same), tends here, in 1958, to a somehow out of tune and stilyzed dance; everything is thinner and bathed in a clear light, so poor of shadows. And things are on the same path in the sophomore lp, "Tomorrow is the question" (in the meantime piano disappears and funeral tones move across the grooves) . And today what do we have of all that jazz? A shining piece of precious vinyl, shining even in re - prints and digital discs. Five stars. And "Something Else!!!!" is only the beginning of a book, one of the richest books in all jazz history.

CHARLES MINGUS Jazz Portraits (aka Wonderland aka Jazz Portraits. Mingus In Wonderland)

Live album · 1959 · Hard Bop
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A "classical" jazz record. Even if I should know nothing of that thing called jazz music, I'm sure the right world for all that should be "classical'. Where the adjective don't mean lifeless or frozen or totally and blindly rooted in the past. There is nothing dead in Mingus' "Wonderland" - and that is only one of the names of the record. At the same time covers are different. Very similar the first two, but the third, with a portrait of the Boss with a strange, little bit devilish face? A way to sell more copies? It's with the first graphic solution - we are in 1959 (the famous "Pithecanthropus" was released 3 years before) - that things in the grooves are better explained: Mingus, the pipe, the bass and oil on canvas. We are in an art gallery (Nonagon, NYC): there the record was captured (A. Douglas producer) and the dimension is perfect for 5 players living in the name of love and music, or so it seems. Ervin, Handy, Wyands, Mingus, Richmond. The last one, on drums, has something mildly extravagant and audacious, a mix of Williams and Jones; tenor Ervin and alto Handy seem naturally munificent, while Wyands on piano is a discreet and good friend. In front of the combo, cool and collected comments and handclaps egde the session, while Mingus, placed on right - centre gives musical orders to his men. Go and buy if you hate strange surprises, go the same if you are an intelligent son of nostalgia, and if you want to listen to the spectacular technicolored play of "No private income blues": bass'n'drums melted together to form a perfect wall of sound. Soul, technique, pleasure: it's all timeless, it's surely classic at its peak while sure footed innovation lies in the bends.

MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue

Album · 1959 · Cool Jazz
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What was "Kind of Blue" at the time of its very first appearance in records shops? What is the same massified object (d'art, of course) today, with its reduced cd cover (but vinyl copies penetrate the market, giving the illusion of living in the past. No bonus file included there, but who cares - unless you aim to menace the stability of your compact disc tower, having the two versions)? ... so, the past. Or do you prefer to read the consumed golden years with the lens of today? "Kind of Blue" is a Columbia production, the Moloch company able to put a chain around Dark Magus ankle for 30 years. Before there was Prestige, the label of junkies (rules: to pay less, to pay soon after, to pay cash - and we know why...). But it was time for youth craziness to end and so Miles wrote his immediate (repeat: immediate) future in a couple of seances: we had the "present continuous tense" tetralogy (...ing, ...ing, ...ing, ...ing). Prestige seemed satisfied and Miles and his here and there collected combo were free for the new attic. From october 1955 to september 1958, the quintet, with Trane always on tenor, cut a number of tunes feeding famous studio lps, alive albums and collections (like "Circle in the round" and "The Columbia Years"). But mean "crime" is planned for March 2 and April 22, 1959. The scene: NYC, Columbia 30th Street Studio. Producer Irving Townsend, engineer Fred Plaut. That's all. In those two days, recording machines, feeling that Miles and friends were giving birth to a brand new Golden Boy, and deeply scared for that, decided not to obey causing a little "sharpness" in the masters, then corrected by time and man.

Since its birth "Kind of Blue" was something different. After those studio sessions Coltrane will be at Columbia 30th street only for two takes of "My Prince", leaving once for all the boys and keeping on searching the true core of life (but fragmented "Giant Steps" he did after "Kind of Blue" could not satisfy him). "Kind of Blue" was the winner. Miles Davis was the winner. The week end listener who plays "Kind of Blue", ingnore "Giant Steps" - and maybe "Milestones" too... . It's "Kind of Blue" turntables' favourite thing (and in cars?) and it's Miles' triumph. Sub - commander Evans (the 2nd Evans in Miles' life), whose contribution in the whole plot is still under investigation today, writes on back cover that tunes in this long player are like Japanese paints: no interrupted stroke or everything will be destroyed. As a result, no complex composition, but maybe something more difficult: the absence for musicians of a safe net, an endless challenge. Was he writing Miles' agenda for the next decades?

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