【Edward Simon Trio - Live in New York at Jazz Standard】(2013) ★★★★★

(English follows Japanese)

My Favorite Album (385)


By Takaaki Kondo, Tokyo Jazz Review




ベネズエラ出身のPianistEdward Simonさん (1969)の最新作は、いつものコンビ、John Patitucci(b)Brian Blade(ds)Trioで、NYJazz Standard Jazz Clubでのライブ録音。このTrioで約10年活動してます。このバンド、"Unisity"辺りから意識していたんですが、このアルバムは最高記録を更新しました!やっぱりJazzはライブに限るね!

もうですね、モノスゴイことになってます。まずBrian Blade(ds)がとんでもない。静かに「その時」が来るのを虎視眈々と待っていて、ココゾというところで大爆発!この人は何で自分のリーダー・アルバムでは終始静かなんでしょうかね?作曲家としての作品を発表する場と割りきっているのでせうか?

勿論Edward SimonJohn Patitucciもと~んでもない!この2人に共通するのは「クラシックのトレイニングをたっぷりと行った基礎がある」ことですね。だから楽器が上手い。音色がとんでもなく美しい。だから演奏に余裕がある。そこにBrian Bladeが落雷みたいにバッシーンと来るので(しかし非常に音楽的、効果的です)、インパクトの強いこと強いこと。








Edward Simon: piano

John Patitucci

Brian Blade: drums

(Track List)

1. Poesía (Edward Simon) (11:17)

2. Chovendo Na Roseira (Tom Jobim) (13:45)

3. Pathless Path (Edward Simon) (15:36)

4. Giant Steps (John Coltrane) (10:19)

5. Pere (Edward Simon) (8:31)

Recorded live at JAZZ STANDARDS on December 18th and 19th, 2010

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Edward Simon Trio Live in New York at Jazz Standard


Some artists maintain a busy release schedule, putting out an album a yearsometimes, in the case of musicians like guitarist Bill Frisell, even more frequentlywhile others, for a variety of reasons, are less prolific. Pianist Edward Simon has, in recent years, been issuing albums with broader distribution under his own namewhich automatically discounts 2010's independently released but undeniably fine Danny Boyabout once every three years on labels ranging from The Netherlands' Criss Cross to Italy's Cam Jazz. Live in New York at Jazz Standard is the third in a consecutive string of recordings to feature his seven year-old trio with bassist John Patitucci and ubiquitous drummer Brian Blade, but it's both his first live recording and the first to be issued on the American Sunnyside imprint. Sometimes, making your fans wait is a good thing; in this case, Simon's set, recorded at New York's Jazz Standarddrawing primarily from Unicity (Cam Jazz, 2006) and from Poesia (Cam Jazz, 2009), but also containing a surprise or twohas unequivocally been worth the wait, and continues to position the ever-inventive pianist as one of his generation's most watch-worthy. In a recent discussion with Richie Beirach, the pianist suggested that one of the characteristics of "real improvisers" is being motif-driven and, while his statement might be a controversial one that will engender plenty of discussion and debate, it certainly fits Simon's approach. Whether soloing in the somewhat more constricted (time-wise) confines of the recording studio or stretching out as he does here, Simon has always been a thoughtful player whose solos often build from evolving motifs; cerebral, even, but as evidenced on tunes like the irregularly metered, Latin-esque "Pere"the modal set-closer, drawn from a much earlier collaboration with saxophonist David Binney, Afinidad (RED, 2001)the pianist proves that music of the head need not preclude the heart, as his solo builds, carefully, considerately, inevitably, to its climactic conclusion before settling into an ostinato-based feature for Blade, a name for whom the term "incendiary" has always been a synonym. Dynamic, but peppered with thunderous crashes and audible whoops and hollers, Blade's as unfettered as it getsa player, in some ways, the antithesis of Simon in his almost entirely instinctive approachand, perhaps, the very reason they work so well together. Patitucciwhose early years were spent largely in fusion and near-smooth jazz territory with artists like pianists Chick Corea and David Benoit, and saxophonist Eric Marienthalhas completely reinvented himself over the past decade, largely through his work in saxophonist Wayne Shorter's quartet (also with Blade), heard recently on the exploratory excellence of Without a Net (Blue Note, 2013). Here, he proves himself equally imaginative, whether swinging with unrelenting fervor on Simon's set-opening title track from Poesia, or contributing soaring arco to the more abstract terrain of the pianist's "Pathless Path," from Unicity, stretched here to nearly three times its original length. Bookended by a first-time look at Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Chovendo na Roseira"beginning with an a cappella pizzicato solo from Patitucci that leads to a more pulse-driven but still ethereal reading, only settling into more recognizable reverence halfway through its nearly 14-minute durationand Simon's ambling take on saxophonist John Coltrane's change-driven rite of passage, "Giant Steps," first heard on Poesia, "Pathless Path" becomes the dramatic centerpiece to Live's hour-long set. Simon remains a busy player, in particular with his ongoing work as a member of the SFJAZZ Collective, last heard live and on record performing the music of soul legend Stevie Wonder, and in the Ninety Miles (Concord, 2011) touring band, with vibraphonist Stefon Harris, saxophonist David Sanchez and trumpeter Nicholas Payton (replacing the album's Christian Scott), which clocked considerable road time in 2012 includinga terrific stop at the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival. He may not release his own albums as often as some might like, but when a record like Live in New York at Jazz Standard comes alonga stellar date that combines head and heart, mainstream and more eclectic concerns, and appealing, broad-reaching originals with distinctive arrangements of well-known standards, all played by a trio clearly at the top of its gamethen all is forgiven and, while waiting for Simon's next release, there's a growing discography with one more fine entry to return to, time and again.

By JOHN KELMAN, Published: May 17, 2013


Studio recordings are wonderful documents of musicians and ensembles at certain milestones, yet they can be a bit unfair to both listeners and musicians who are interested in the natural development of the music. These recordings remain one of the only reliable ways to disseminate music but are generally recorded with newly learned material and time limitations. There would be little regard to evolution of the music. This meant that listeners have been limited to hearing groups live to understand the true, working relationship between the musicians and the music. Pianist/composer Edward Simon has recognized this disparity and has decided to release the first live recording in his discography, Live In New York at Jazz Standard. The recording was done with his outstanding trio featuring two astounding sidemen, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade.
By Thomas Conrad


Edward Simon has been making good records for 20 years, and has released two previous piano trio albums with John Patitucci and Brian Blade. He has recorded all the tunes here before, at least once. But he has never made an album like At Jazz Standard. It is his first live recording, and live recordings are different.

They provide jazz improvisers with the stimulating tension of creating in the moment for an actual interactive audience (as opposed to a producer and engineer in a studio), and they allow luxuries of time and space. Simon, as never before, is able to digress and stream ideas and make lyric discoveries far from where he began. He spills the piquant, questioning theme of his own Poesia, then takes 11 minutes to postulate answers. Conversely, he has time to return to ideas that resonate and repeat them into rituals. Jobims Chovendo Na Roseira is a hypnotic cycle whose recurrences build drama for 14 minutes. Simon is extraordinarily well served by Wayne Shorters rhythm section. Patituccis solos are as narratively rich as Simons. And Simon sometimes sounds shot from a slingshot by Blades explosions. Patituccis bass stays at the center of Chovendo, the 7/4 ringing reference around which Simon pivots and swirls. Simon writes haunting melodies, but on Pathless Path, the theme is withheld while Patitucci yearns on arco, then plucks a dark ostinato as Simon floats free. The melody turns out to have been there all along, and for 16 minutes it is pursued and expanded through lush transformations, and finally concentrates back into itself and circles like an obsessive ceremony. Simon is originally from Venezuela. He is less talked about than many other important jazz pianists from the Caribbean and South America, but he may be the most complete creative artist among them.