Disk of 2024
Will Vinson-Trio Grande - album" Urban Myth" - Jazzy hour, 23rd of January 2024
Jazz history doesn't mention Mary Lou Williams often enough in relation to her contribution to the state of jazz in the mid-20th century. She played virtuoso piano, orchestrated for Benny Goodman, and maintained a close friendship with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Here we add "Zodiac Suite", a landmark in the fusion of jazz and classical music, an ingenious chart depicting the 12 zodiacs associating where appropriate the names of illustrious comrades. As pseudo-scientific as astrology is, such musical illustration has charm and appeals to audiences and musicians alike. In 2023, New York pianist Aaron Diehl formed a remarkable ensemble called The Knights to celebrate this beautiful work written by Mary Lou Williams who attempted to release the piece in 1945 after parts of her recording were stolen. Now, thanks to Aaron Diehl's meticulous approach, the work is popular again. "Zodiac Suite" is luminously delightful and deserves a full-length recording on the level of the great American stage. The areal passion with which it was arranged, the perfect mix of orchestral motifs and jazz figures of speech, and the level at which it was produced, these are the ingredients of an artistic triumph.
The Rio Grande is big and famous, it starts in Colorado, crosses South America and flows into the Gulf of Mexico. The Trio Grande takes on its grandeur, it is calm and deep, crossing continents, mapping landscapes and bringing life to the desert. A lot has changed since their 2020 debut. First, drummer Nate Wood, a multi-instrumentalist himself, joins the inexhaustible creative tandem formed in New York by guitarist Gilad Hekselman and saxophonist Will Vinson. The essence has remained: the irresistible pairing of saxophone, guitar and drums, represented by three of the finest musicians attentive to developing a strong identity that offers new modes of composition and improvisation. What else can you bring new? How much more can you develop? Some good results can be heard on the album "Urban Myth", diverse, direct, serious as modern jazz and sincere as a folk song, with surprises at every tune. Trio Grande has always been about making a rich vocabulary accessible. The musicians' level of musicianship can intimidate you, but the friendly way they express themselves brings us closer to novelty. Nate Wood's super-powerful ability to deliver drums and bass at the same time further frees Hekselman from the worry of low notes. So the guitar moves freely, in a minute communication with the saxophone. Like the river, Trio Grande gathers cultural tributaries and unifies them into a solid current that can cross long distances, linking separate places to a common destination. The more it flows, the stronger it becomes.