OK, not very original, but I couldn’t resist the play with words … and in a sense it is true anyway that you can fly spiritually when listening to these 3 guys … FLY is a trio consisting of Mark Turner on saxophones, Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums and they have recorded three albums since their debut in 2004. The repertoire of the show at Madrids Bogui Club yesterday was mainly repertoire from these recordings – opening the first set with Ballard’s Lady B (written for his mother) from Sky & Country. These three guys can play ! – not only are very tight as a group, their interplay and communication almost perfect, but they are as well outstanding soloist in their own rights – knowing when to let go and have one of the others the spotlight and knowing when to step forward and take it itself … stunning! Next on was Mark Turners Brothersister from another ECM album, Year of the Snake. After that they played another Ballard composition Perla Morena and Super Sister by Turner, both as well from Sky & Country. The last tune opened with an unaccompanied tenor sax solo of the highest order – melodic and inventive and touching.
The second set had 4 songs as well and Turner started it off with a change to the soprano sax for a beautiful song Called Come with me Miss B, which was followed by a Larry Grenadier composition for Oscar Pettiford. Larry was throughout playing incredible and some of his soli had the audience in the packed club screaming – a powerful, but emotional and sensitive performance. Lone (Ballard) from the 204 album Fly led into the final piece of the evening that had the house go crazy – a deserved standing ovation and a beautiful encore rounded up a night to remember. Come FLY with me …..
I have mentioned the young singer Paula Grand already a few times in my blog – for a good reason: she is a very talented singer and songwriter and is starting to create waves in Spain and abroad – not only by being in the final of the Montreux vocal competition, but as well by performing there with Bugge Wesseltoft and by doing her own concerts and releasing her first album on the small LITTLE RED CORVETTE label. And Viatge Interstel:lar is worth checking out and so are her shows in support of the release of this debut album. On May 19th she performed at Bogui Jazz in Madrid, supported by her trio with the excellent pianist Kquimi Saigi, Joan Pasqual on electric bass and Arnau Figueres on drums. She nevertheless started the show solo and with the help of some loops with Nat King Cole’s Calypso Women, simply stunning and showing her amazing vocal skills. Then the band joined her and they went on a global tour of music – from her own composition to America, Brazil, Columbia and Australia and musically from Nat King Cole to Hiatus Kaiyote, whose two songs Swamp Thing and Nakamarra she made completely her won – and that is what makes her concerts so special: no matter what source she uses, it is always something personal she can add to the existing song and her own compositions are on the same level as the covers or standards she picks … just check out Darling on the album and you know what I mean. Any chance to check her out one should take.
Just read on Al Schmitt’s facebook page that the amazing composer and arranger Claus Ogerman has passed away recently – Ogerman was surely one the best arrangers of his generation – his work with Michael Brecker (Cityscape and Claus Ogerman featuring Michael Brecker) or with Diana Krall, as well as his own albums, especially Two Concertos or Across the Crystal Sea with Danilo Perez, are testimony for that. Just check out the box set released in 2002 about him, The Man Behind The Music and you will understand how much his talents will be missed. R.I.P.