Wednesday, November 16, 2016

R.I.P.: Guilherme Franco (1946-2016)

(born 25 November 1946 in Sao Paulo, Brazil as Antonio Guilherme de Souza Franco;
died on November 12, 2016 in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil)

Besides the recent passings of Leonard Cohen, Leon Russel and Mose Allison, I'm very sad to know that Brazilian drummer and percussion giant Guilherme Franco has died in São Paulo, and was buried yesterday in Mogi das Cruzes, SP.

The first time I heard him was on albums by Keith Jarrett. Then I saw him live in a fabulous perrformance with McCoy Tyner at the Rio/Montreux Jazz Festival @ Maracanãzinho in August 1980, in Rio.

He lived for over 3 decades in NY, where he also was a member of groups led by Azar Lawrence (with whom he recorded the superb "Summer Solstice" album), Lonnie Liston Smith, Don Pullen, Paul Winter, Carlos Franzetti, Lee Konitz, Archie Shepp, Larry Goldings, Gato Barbieri, Arthur Blythe, Gato Barbieri, Woody Shaw, Carlos Garnett, Idris Muhammad, Buster Williams, Elvin Jones, Gaudencio Thiago de Mello's Amazon big band, Harris Simon and many others, having recorded with all of them.

Franco also was the founder of the Pé de Boi band, a "branch" of the Pé de Boi Samba School; on their first album, Walter Wanderley did his final recording, and Lisa Ono appeared as guest vocalist.

My condolences to his son Amê Franco and all his family. RIP.

Monday, November 7, 2016

R.I.P.: Bob Cranshaw (1932-2016)

(born Melbourne Robert Cranshaw on December 10, 1932, Evanston, Illinois, USA;
died November 2, 2016, Manhattan, New York, USA)

Bob Cranshaw (pictured by Tom Marcello) was the bassist on over 500 albums that WE love: Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder and Gigolo, Soony Rollins' The Bridge, Wes Montgomery's Movin' Wes and Bumpin', Quincy Jones' Smackwater Jack, Freddie Hubbard's Blue Spirits, Duke Pearson's How Insensitive, plus several sessions with Stanley Turrentine, Milt Jackson, Nat Adderley, Dexter Gordon, Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter, Grant Green and many more for Blue Note, RCA, Savoy, Prestige, Atlantic and Impulse!

Bob was also the bass player on Antonio Carlos Jobim's Terra Brasilis (Warner) and Hank Crawford's Wildflower (CTI/Kudu), reissued on CD this past month in Japan. He has also played with Sonny Rollins for over 50 years. Rest In Power!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Big Band CD of the Month - "Billy Hart & The WDR Big Band: "The Broader Picture"

Big Band CD of the Month
Billy Hart & The WDR Big Band: "The Broader Picture" (Enja) 2016

Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)

CD Release Date: November 11, 2016
Produced by Christian Cluxen
Executive Producer: Lucas Schmid
Production Coordinator: Annette Hauber
Artwork: Franziska Erdle, Gold Unlimited
Production Coordinator: Annette Hauber

Recorded April 27-30, 2015 @ WDR Cologne Studios
Recording Engineer: Reinhold Nickel
Recording Assistant & Editing: Thomas Kupilas
Mixed July 30-31, 2015 and January 26, 2016 @ WDR Cologne Studios
Mastered by Dirk Franken

Arranged & Conducted by Christophe Schweizer
Featuring: Billy Hart (drums), Frank Chastenier (piano), John Goldsby (bass), Paul Shigihara (guitar), Johan Horlen (alto sax, soprano sax, alto flute, clarinet), Karolina Strassmayer (alto sax, flute, piccolo, clarinet), Paul Heller (tenor sax, bass clarinet), Olivier Peters (tenor sax, clarinet, soprano sax), Jens Neufang (baritone sax, bass clarinet, contra-alto clarinet), Wim Both, Rob Bruynen, Andy Haderer, Ruud Breuls & John Marshall (trumpet, flugelhorn), Ludwig Nuss Andy Hunter & Raphael Klemm (trombone), Matthis Cederberg (bass trombone, tuba)

A masterpiece! This recording is the first and only large ensemble representation of a selection of compositions by legendary Jazz drummer Billy Hart, who turned 75 the year of the recording. Eight pieces ranging from Billy's first ever composition to recent works were arranged by Christophe Schweizer, who conducted the WDR Big Band, with “Jabali” himself at the drums.