【Joe La Barbera Quintet - Silver Streams】(2012) ★★★★☆



(English follows the Japanese)


Bill Evans Trioの最後のDrummerを務めたJoe La Barberaさん。現在はL.A.を拠点に活動していて、California Institute of the Artsで教鞭をとっています。本作はLa BarberaさんのQuintetの最新レコーディングです。2007年のアルバム”Native Land”から、PianoがAlan PasquaからBill Cunliffeに替わっています。他のメンバーは:

Clay Jenkins (Tp)
Bob Sheppard (Ts, Ss)
Bill Cunliffe (P)
Tom Warrington (B)

さて内容ですが、CDをかけて音が出た瞬間に

『カッコイイ!』

いやいや、こんな現在的で、「チョイむずカッコイイ」(ちょっと難しいことやっていながらもカッコイイ!- 笑)アルバムを聴くのは久々です。さすがJoe La Barberaさん。感覚が若々しいですね。まず曲が素晴らしい。アレンジが素晴らしい。アンサンブルも素晴らしい。ソロも素晴らしい、ついでに録音も極上と、言うことなし!以上!

いやいや(笑)


まずフロントの2人、Clay Jenkins(Tp)とBob Sheppard(Ts, Ss)が最高ですね。アンサンブルもソロもバッチリ。Bill Cunliffe(P)はリリカルなものからモーダルなものまでセンス抜群です。BassのTom Warringtonも、さすがLa Barberaさんが選んだだけはあって、派手さはないがこれだけ堅実な仕事を完璧にできるBassistって現在なかなかいなんじゃないでしょうか。そして勿論Joe La Barberaさんは最高のプレイを聴かせてくれます。美しい音色、堅実かつ多彩なバッキング、見事に「歌い上げる」ソロ。もう素晴らしいの一言!


La Barberaさん作のM3、"Bradley's, 2am?"での変拍子(7/8)さえ心地よい。Monkチックでフリーな一面を見せるM4, Steve Swallowの"Bite Your Grandmother"。13分半に及ぶハードバピッシュなBill Cunliffeの"Silver Streams"。そして最後はElvin Jonesの"E.J.'s Blues"締めくくる。

痛快で、爽快で、深くて、温かくて、柔らかくて、力強くて
もう最高です!
買ってよかった!
Highly Recommended!

(Personnel)
Joe La Barbera(Ds)
Clay Jenkins(Tp)
Bob Sheppard(Ts, Ss)
Bill Cunliffe(P)
Tom Warrington(B)
Recorded March 12-13, 2010 & January 9-10, 2012, CA

1. Afluencia (Bill Cunliffe)
2. Bradley's, 2am? (Dado Maroni)
3. Monkey Tree (Joe La Barbera)
4. Bite Your Grandmother (Steve Swallow)
5. Jade Visions (Scott LaFaro)
6. Silver Streams (Bill Cunliffe)
7. Grace (Alan Pasqua)
8. E.J.'s Blues (Elvin Jones)


❑ Joe La Barbera - Website (JazzCompass)
http://www.jazzcompass.com/joe_bio.html

❑ Preview
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/silver-streams/id548152945

❑ Buy CD
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B0086FKSV2/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

❑ Video (Audio)
Joe La Barbera Quintet Behind the Scenes -- Recording Session
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWgPNVXFkb0

[Review]
If there is a stream of any kind that runs through Silver Streams by The Joe La Barbera Quintet, it is the flow of energy—intense to the point of ignition—that is tapped. No meandering "Old Man River," this team drinks from the source with gusto and unified creativity. That shouldn't be a surprise, since La Barbera and his mates—each a Los Angeles first call musician—have performed together for decades. La Barbera, one-third of a celebrated jazz family, with brothers saxophonist Patand composer/arranger/educator John, is one of the busiest, most respected and beloved drummers in the business. He's performed worldwide with singer Tony Bennett, pianist Bill Evans and others in the jazz pantheon. Here he takes the leader's role and performs with his usual meticulous time, brilliant cymbal and set work and total immersion into the creative forces around him. The eight selections, all superb originals, provide a diverse platform from which frontline performers and rhythm section deliver. The groove gamut is covered from classic hard bop ("Afluencia," "E.J.'s Blues") and straight-ahead stroll ("Bradley's, 2 AM?") to Frank Zappa-esque quirk ("Bite Your Grandmother"). Throughout the session the intensity and creative energy never let up. The interplay between these superb players, elegantly subtle at times and in-your-face intense at others, is a joy. Front-liners Bob Sheppard (saxophones) and Clay Jenkins (trumpet) deliver ideas and interpretations which flitter back and forth with little or no regard for their respective instruments' limitations. Each pushes the other's envelope relentlessly, but never in a competitive manner. Sheppard's saxophones blow from the serene ("Jade Visions") to sublime ("Grace"). His is a creative approach of sustained surprise and rhythmic invention. Jenkins, playing in a highly stylized manner, unabashedly channels Miles Davis and startles with his sound, technical gymnastics, lyric lines and utterly intelligent approach. Pianist Bill Cunliffe beautifully explores tonalities from the Impressionist to the post-Modern and bassist Tom Warrington is a rock throughout. The ensemble's moments of freer group play are a veritable highlight show. Bill Evans talked about a "Universal Mind Force," into which the finest musicians tap. Silver Streams demonstrates what is ultimately possible when five stellar players merge to simultaneously access that force and deliver its awesome power through their magnificent music.
By NICHOLAS F. MONDELLO, Published: October 17, 2012, All Aboout Jazz

Drummer Joe La Barbera on his newest record - "For the past 20 years, this quintet has given me the most rewarding musical experiences of my life. Bob, Clay, Bill, and Tom are all top notch performers as well as close friends. All this time together creates an atmosphere of relaxed interplay that results in some great music. Bob and Clay have some exceptional moments on "Bite Your Grandmother" and "Silver Streams" and the rhythm section is with them every step of the way. I look forward to every opportunity I have to play with these great artists." The CD features the exciting new suite "Silver Streams" by Grammy Award winning arranger Bill Cunliffe.

The CD discoveries of the week.Joe La Barbera's Silver Streams (Jazz Compass) shows off the drummer's delicate versatility. Proof that great drumming doesn't have to be loud, just commanding and conversational. 
– Marc Myers Jazz Wax 

The superb drummer’s latest album with his quintet is a tasty set of straight-ahead jazz. 
– Jack Garner, Democrat and Chronicle 8/14/12

Bill Evans talked about a "Universal Mind Force," into which the finest musicians tap. Silver Streams demonstrates what is ultimately possible when five stellar players merge to simultaneously access that force and deliver its awesome power through their magnificent music.
– Nicholas F. Mondello, All About Jazz Published: October 17, 2012 

Superb drummer, Joe La Barbera, brought his amazing quintet to Blue Whale to celebrate their new Silver Streams CD release on Saturday, August 11th. It was a packed house and the fans were about to have memories of a fantastic musical evening. Silver Streams is the title of the new CD and pays tribute to the great Horace Silver in the title tune of the same name composed by Bill Cunliffe. The rest of this great CD has compositions by members of the quintet and other musician composers making it one of the best new releases in this time. La Barbera’s quintet had La Barbera, (drums); Bob Sheppard, (saxes); John Daversa, (trumpet and flugelhorn); Bill Cunliffe, (piano) and Tom Warrington, (bass). 
– Glenn A. Mitchell, L.A. Jazz Scene, September, 2012 issue

Long after the east-vs-west nonsense of the 1950s and ‘60s, much of the jazz establishment still looks the other way, listens the other way, when it comes to music played and recorded on the left coast. Such close- minded listeners—they don’t include you, of course—would be well advised to make an exception for this album by a powerful and subtle drummer. It is yet another sleeper by La Barbera, who with trumpeter Clay Jenkins, bassist Tom Warrington and guitarist Larry Koonse founded the Jazz Compass label a few years ago. Jenkins, Warrington, saxophonist Bob Shepherd and pianist Bill Cunliffe join La Barbera in a collection that contains a stunning version of Scott LaFaro’s “Jade Visions.” In it, the leader displays the lacy cymbal work that has been one of the joys of his music from his days with Bill Evans. Cunliffe’s title tune, structured like a suite, opens for mutual improvisation as well as solos by all hands. Further highlights: the quintet’s takes on Steve Swallow’s quirky “Bite Your Grandmother” and Elvin Jones’s “E.J.’s Blues.”
– Doug Ramsey, ArtsJournal.com

Joe is the drummer of the La Barbera clan and leads a superb group of musicians on his latest outing: Bill Cunliffe on piano, Tom Warrington on bass, Clay Jenkins on trumpet, and Bob Sheppard on tenor and soprano saxes, all mainstays of this group for two decades. The overall sound of the quintet is mainstream modern, but there's much more going on than simple homage to the tradition. Cunliffe's opening "Afluencia" moves from invocational to post bop, while the leader's only composition, "Monkey Tree," breaks up the rhythms to great effect. Steve Swallow's "Bite Your Grandmother" moves toward more outside, while Scott LaFaro's "Jade Visions" offers ample opportunity to come back to earth for lovely ballad playing. The title track, another Cunliffe composition, seems to reference the strong hard bop of Horace Silver. Alan Pasqua's "Grace" gives Cunliffe the opportunity to shine on another ballad, while the closing "E.J.'s Blues" (by Elvin Jones) opens up for solos by all but the bassist in what sounds like something from the Blue Note heyday. This is solid and fresh music. 
- By Martin Z. Kasdan Jr., Jazzin'

[Bio]
Joe LaBarbera (born February 22, 1948) is an American jazz drummer and composer. He is best known for his recordings and live performances with the trio of pianist Bill Evans in the final years of Evans's career. Prior to joining Evans he worked in the quartet of Chuck Mangione and Joe Farrell.
Early life
He was born in Mt. Morris, New York, younger brother to saxophonist Pat LaBarbera, and trumpeter and arranger/composer John LaBarbera. He was formally educated at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
Music career
After Berklee he spent two years with the US Army band at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He began his professional career playing with Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd,followed by the Chuck Mangione Quartet.
He then moved to New York and spent two years freelancing with a number of notable musicians, including Jim Hall,Phil Woods, Art Farmer, Gary Burton, Art Pepper, John Scofield, Bob Brookmeyer and Toots Thielmans.
In 1978, Joe joined the Bill Evans trio with bassist Marc Johnson. After Evans' death in 1980, Joe joined singer Tony Bennett. LaBarbera has played with jazz pianist Bill Cunliffe who described in an interview with All About Jazz reporter Fred Jung what it was like working with him:
“Joe was able to give me a traditional rhythmic approach, which I sometimes really love and then other times, he is able to be very avant-garde rhythmically, not play rhythms, maybe play colors, lose the time, get it back, and be very innovative. In the sextet, that is really important because there are times in the band that we will actually play free for a little while. We won't have any tempo or any format. We're playing songs, but sometimes we stop playing the songs altogether and just play whatever we want. Joe has the maturity to do both of those things and know to splice them together. There are many great musicians that when they play free, they don't know how to get out of it and back to the music.” - Bill Cunliffe
Other work
LaBarbera currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where he has been teaching at the California Institute of the Arts since 1993. LaBarbera is also on the faculty of the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop in Port Townsend, Washington, has also served on the National Endowment for the Arts council in Washington, D.C., and has been a guest at many other colleges as both performer and lecturer.