The Squid's Ear Magazine


Carlberg, Frank Trio (w/ John Hebert / Francisco Mela): Reflections 1952 (577 Records)

Reflecting on the 1952 Van Gelder studio sessions of The Thelonious Monk Trio with bassist Gary Mapp and drummers Art Blakey or Max Roach, 2021 pianist Frank Carlberg and drummer Francisco Mela revisited those recordings with bassist John Hebert in new compositions absorbing and quoting those icon works, and on two tracks, improvising conversations with the one and only Monk.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Frank Carlberg-piano

John Hebert-piano

Francisco Mela-drums, voice


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UPC: 755491245354

Label: 577 Records
Catalog ID: 5898
Squidco Product Code: 32234

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Big Orange Sheep Studios, in Brooklyn, New York, on June 9th and 10th, 2021, by Michael Perez-Cosernos.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"In 1952, Thelonious Monk, joined by bassist Gary Mapp, drummer Art Blakey and drummer Max Roach, drove to an early iteration of pioneering Sound Engineer Rudy Van Gelder's studio in New Jersey, and entered a small and tightly-managed room that Van Gelder had strict technical rules for. In those recording sessions, and again in 1954, despite Van Gelder's tight management and an out-of-tune piano with tinny fidelity, Monk produced some of the most glorious music of his entire recording career and in all of American improvised music.

These sessions, recorded with his trio, would become Monk Trio on Prestige. 70 years after the original recordings, this album, Reflections 1952, bassist John Hebert, pianist Frank Carlberg and drummer Francisco Mela revisited those iconic recordings and improvised in conversation with them. "Reflecting Reflections" features various quotes by Monk collected by fellow musicians. On "Nicknames" you hear the various monikers journalists gave to Monk, accompanied by abstractions of a Monk piece originally written for his son, "little Rootie Tootie."

As a celebration of this beautiful work, today's musicians offer their own interpretations of the same pieces while tipping the cap to the master; Reflections 1952 is a note of thanks."-577 Records


Artist Biographies

"Jazz pianist and composer Frank Carlberg: [...]

Originally a native of Helsinki, Finland, Frank Carlberg has carved himself quite a niche in the New York jazz community. As a leader, Frank's groups include the Frank Carlberg Quintet (performing settings of a wide variety of texts including poems by poets), the Tivoli Trio (a classic jazz piano trio playing an eclectic mix of Carlberg's compositions drawn from cinematic and circus inspirations) and the Frank Carlberg Big Band (performing original compositions as well as arrangements and re-compositions of standards and folk materials).

His own bands aside, the Brooklyn-based pianist has been involved in many crossover projects throughout the years. Some of his most notable collaborations have included performances and recordings with the likes of saxophonist Steve Lacy, trombonist Bob Brookmeyer and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. He has been commissioned to write music for big bands, small ensembles, symphony orchestras as well as modern dance companies. In addition to his playing and composing activities Carlberg also serves on the faculty at both New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. He is also a member of the Douglass Street Music Collective and a partner in Red Piano Records, an artist run cooperative label.

After receiving his Bachelor's degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Carlberg received a Master's degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. While at the Conservatory, he came under the influence of jazz masters such as Paul Bley, Ran Blake, Geri Allen and Jimmy Giuffre. The music and thinking of these musicians had a profound impact on Carlberg and set him on a path in search of a personal expression.

Carlberg's first recording as a leader, Blind Drive, was a trio effort consisting of mostly original compositions. It was through this recording that Carlberg's music initially caught the attention of the critics. Jon Andrews describes the CD in DownBeat as "sophisticated, approachable music played with both freedom and discipline". Carlberg's next recording, Ugly Beauty, was a duo recording with vocalist Christine Correa -- the first of many collaborations. Ugly Beauty featured a mix of folk music (Indian and Finnish) as well as free improvisations, original compositions and jazz repertoire reflecting the eclecticism and influence of Ran Blake. The next CD, The Crazy Woman, was of particular importance for Carlberg's artistic development, as he began his extended quest in setting music to poetry. The material consisted of 11 original songs composed to texts by 20th century poets such as Jack Kerouac and Anna Akhmatova. The recording featured a quintet format, which was to become the core of several future projects. On his following recording, Variations on a Summer Day, Carlberg chose to highlight one poet and one extended poem. Out of Wallace Stevens' poem, Carlberg created a song cycle consisting of 13 parts. For In the Land of Art, the music again featured settings to poetry, this time by Robert Creeley, Anselm Hollo, Kenneth Rexroth, and others.

One of Carlberg's most fruitful collaborations has been the duo project with another Finnish ex-patriate New Yorker, drummer/composer Klaus Suonsaari. In rapid succession, the friends have recorded two duo albums, Offering and Fallingwater. In his Downbeat review for Offering, Bill Milkowski described the axis of the Carlberg-Suonsaari as "two kindred spirits that demonstrate an easy chemistry together, marked by a healthy blend of humor and fearlessness."

In 2004 Carlberg was commissioned to write two pieces, "Heaven" and a re-composition of "I Got Rhythm", for a special release by Fresh Sound Records; The Sound of New York Jazz Underground - a double CD set featuring music by eight composers associated with the label. Mark Sabbatini described these pieces in All About Jazz in the following way: "Gershwin inherits a Hummer on Frank Carlberg's tour of I Got Rhythm; a dark series of abruptly shifting free segments. 'Heaven' takes a poem by Robert Creeley and gives it an 'Andrew-Lloyd-Webber-pens-acid-jazz-for-the-circus' spin".

The CD State of the Union made more pointed political statements and uses cut-up versions of The Bill of Rights as well as pre recorded looped parts. There is also a setting of an excerpt from Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony during the Lewinsky episode.

Carlberg's plans for immediate the future include more European and US touring in support of The American Dream; recording a new album for the Tivoli Trio; and more interdisciplinary collaborations."

-Frank Carlberg Website (http://www.frankcarlberg.com/bio/bio.html)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"John Hebert was born in New Orleans, LA. He attended Loyola University from '90 to '92 where he was awarded with a complete scholarship. In 1992, John moved to the New York State area, completing his formal studies at William Paterson University in New Jersey; he graduated with a B.M. in Jazz Performance in 1994. After graduating, John moved to New York City where he quickly became a highly in demand bassist, both for live performances and studio sessions."

-Marc Mommaas (http://www.mommaas.com/JohnHebert.html)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Francisco Jose Mela is a Cuban drummer and percussionist who has performed with a wide array of prominent international Latin and jazz artists including Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz, JoAnne Brackeen, Jane Bunnett, Regina Carter, Anat Cohen, Paquito D'Rivera, George Garzone, Larry Grenadier, Stefon Harris, Lionel Loueke, Joe Lovano, Jason Moran, John Patitucci, John Scofield, Esperanza Spalding, Mark Turner, McCoy Tyner, Chucho Valdés, Kenny Werner, and many others.

Born in Bayamo, Cuba, Francisco Mela studied at the Music School of Arts El Yarey as a teenager before furthering his studies at the National School of Arts for Teachers, el CENCEA. He taught at Rafael's Cabrera Conservatory of Music and played with some of the country's top Latin jazz musicians, as well as leading his group, MelaSon Latin Jazz Band, that toured throughout Mexico. In 2000, he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music and was invited to join the percussion faculty. He became the house drummer at the Wally's Café. It was here where he developed the concept for what would later be his own group.

In 2005, Mela joined the quartet of saxophonist Joe Lovano. Of particular note was the group's 2008 album on Blue Note entitled Folk Art.Later that year, Mela was approached by McCoy Tyner to join his trio.

Mela was named the Twin Cities Jazz Festival's first artistic director in 2014, Before appointment, he served as artistic director for the Xalapa Jazz Festival in Veracruz, Mexico (2010-2013).

In late 2016, Mela was part of an inaugural ensemble that joined Afro-Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés and saxophonist Joe Lovano for an international tour throughout Europe and North America. He also leads his own group, The Crash Trio."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Mela)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Spherical Nightmares 5:27

2. A Crowd Of Gigalo 4:32

3. Sweet And Sour, Pungent And Lovely 6:16

4. Getting To Trinkle 4:33

5. Bemsha Cubano 5:15

6. Some Things Foolish 3:56

7. Relfecting Reflections 5:35

8. See You Later 2:56

9. Nicknames 4:51

10. Azure Sphere 6:41

11. Just A Gigalo 4:28

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
Spoken Word
Song Based Music
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

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577 Records.


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