Perpetual Optimism

  • Code: MAC1136
  • Manufacturer: Mack Avenue Records
  • Price: 69.99 zł
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Straightahead / Mainstream Jazz
premiera polska:
kontynent: Ameryka Północna
kraj: USA
opakowanie: digipackowe etui
Herlin Riley, nowoorleański drummer, członek the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, z którym otrzymał Pulitzer Prize za album "Blood on the Fields" (Columbia, 1997), sygnowany nazwiskiem Wyntona Marsalisa.

Uczył się także gry na trąbce, ale po szkole wrócił do perkusji. Przez cztery lata występował z zespołem Ahmada Jamala, a w 1988 r. dołączył do zespołu Wyntona Marsalisa. Niebawem trafia do podstawowego składu Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, występował z Harrym Connickiem Jr., Dr. Johnem, George`em Bensonem i Cecile McLorin Salvant.

Po udanym albumie "New Direction" (Mack Avenue Records 2016), nagranym z gościnnym udziałem Marka Whitfielda i Pedrito Martineza ten ceniony w roli sidemana drummer przedstawia "Perpetual Optimism". Perkusiście towarzyszy stabilny międzynarodowy skład, znany z poprzedniego albumu, czyli Bruce Harris (trąbka), Haitańczyk Godwin Louis (saksofon), Emmet Cohen (fortepian) i Jamajczyk Russell Hall (kontrabas). Patrząc na line-up można zaryzykować twierdzenie, że Riley niczym współczesny Art Blakey, zaprasza młodych, ale doświadczonych już muzyków, aby ponad pokoleniami budować nowy język jazzu z uwzględnieniem pozytywnej roli tradycji, której nowoorleańscy muzycy w typie rodziny Marsalisów chcą być kustoszami.

Na "Perpetual Optimism" znajdziemy pięć premierowych kompozycji lidera, oraz wyjątkowe interpretacje słynnych tematów, jak "You Don't Know What Love Is" Dona Raye i Gene'a De Paula, czy "Stella By Starlight" Victora Younga i Neda Washingtona.
Dzięki energetycznej, wręcz błyskotliwej grze lidera jesteśmy świadkami erupcji wulkanu rytmów. Trębacz Bruce Harris i saksofonista Godwin Louis idealnie sprawdzają się w konwencji melodyjnych tematów, kunsztownie oprawianych zajmującymi solówkami, ale także w partiach chorusowych i fantastycznych dialogach. Kapitalny pianista Emmet Cohen scala brzmienie zespołu i jest sprawcą wielu wyjątkowych fortepianowych szarż. Basista Russell Hall, o charakterystycznym już groovie, zapewnia nie tylko wspaniałe wsparcie dla Rileya, tworząc z nim wyśmienitą sekcję rytmiczną, ale też zapewnia brzmieniu składu wyjątkową głębię.
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Editor's info:
The longtime anchor of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra preaches his silver-lined gospel on 10 tracks whose joyous spirit and contagious swing are sure to convert any listener to the bright side. Riley s philosophy of Perpetual Optimism doesn t mean turning a blind eye to the more distressing aspects of life. The drummer understands that as well as anyone; beyond the standard challenges faced in daily life and the tumultuous times in which we live, he was forced to deal with the loss of both of his parents over the two years since New Direction was released. This album was made against the backdrop of serving as caregiver and then saying farewell to two of the most important people in his life. His source of strength comes from his faith in God, his wife of four decades, and family of five children and 10 grandchildren; then there s his lifelong home in New Orleans, where he remained in order to raise that family with the values and love of the music/culture that he grew up with. His roots in the church are also vital.

“I want to live in a world where my glass is always half full!” That’s the inspiring maxim of New Orleans master drummer Herlin Riley. On his second Mack Avenue Records release, Perpetual Optimism, the longtime anchor of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra preaches his silver-lined gospel on 10 tracks whose joyous spirit and contagious swing are sure to convert any listener to the bright side.
In the end, Riley hopes that the music of Perpetual Optimism helps spread the upbeat manifesto that he’s chosen to live by. “I always look forward, no matter what happens in life. If you’re grieving or faced with an emotional challenge, keep in mind: If you’re still breathing, there’s a chance that you can overcome and thrive. Commit yourself to PERPETUAL OPTIMISM!”

All About Jazz:
Herlin Riley, a drummer from New Orleans, is a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis. Indeed, he played a large part in developing the drum parts for the Pulitzer Prize-winning album by Marsalis, Blood on the Fields (Columbia, 1997).

On his own album, Riley leads a mainstream quintet playing five of his own numbers, Gene de Paul's lovely ballad "You Don't What Love Is," Victor Young's "Stella By Starlight," Ellis Marsalis' "Twelve's It" and Willie Dixon's knockabout "Wang Dang Doodle," on which he takes a joyous and highly competent vocal.

It's a wonderfully relaxed mixture, a reminder of what mainstream jazz is all about, or should be—having fun yet being creative. There's some great music here, notably Godwin Louis' alto on "Touched," the stand-out track, which also features fine bass by Russell Hall. Then there's Bruce Harris' trumpet on the choppy "Rush Hour." Throughout, Emmet Cohen's piano and the leader's drums hold everything together.

The Latin-tinged title track is a light-as-air foot-tapper, with Godwin Louis doing a fine job on saxophone before Cohen takes over. Add some words and it could be a show tune. Riley's drumming propels the number along but without ever drowning out the others.

"Wings and Roots" features more fine saxophone and some excellent ensemble passages. Louis gets down to it on "Wang Dang Doodle," where Riley's vocal is suitably low down and funky. He returns for an encore on "Twelve's It," in which he pays a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the song's author.

If more albums like this were being made today, the world wouldn't be in the terrible state it's in. People would be far too happy to want to do the dirty on one another.

Jazziz Magazine:
Like Art Blakey before him, drummer Herlin Riley is a natural leader with a sixth sense for identifying tomorrow’s jazz talent. His outstanding 2016 debut on Mack Avenue Records, New Direction, brought together a dream team of young stars who have all gone on to have thriving careers: the pianist Emmet Cohen, the bassist Russell Hall, the saxophonist Godwin Louis, and the trumpeter Bruce Harris. Now, Riley has reconvened that ace ensemble for an inspiring new album that doubles down on his sunny outlook on jazz’s future.

Perpetual Optimism, his sophomore outing for Mack Avenue, will be released April 12. JAZZIZ is proud to bring you this exclusive announcement.

The album, a collection of uplifting gospel melodies, punchy hard-bop grooves and Great American Songbook standards, marks the fourth leader release for Riley, a longtime sideman to Ahmad Jamal and a former member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Listen below to the track “Twelve’s It,” an homage to the iconic pianist Ellis Marsalis, who served as an early mentor to Riley while the young drummer was growing up in New Orleans. With a rhythm bed that shifts between second-line and swing, the tune captures in vivid sonic detail the soul and sophistication of Riley’s hometown.

In compiling influences for Perpetual Optimism, Riley turned to various sources — all of them close to his heart. In addition to Marsalis, the album also celebrates legendary Crescent City pianist and folklorist Allen Toussaint, whose enduring spirit enlivens Riley’s take on “Wang Dang Doodle.” The drummer also gives musical thanks to his family and his faith in God, most prominently in the gospel-tinged opener, “Rush Hour,” and the bittersweet “Wings and Roots,” which deals with themes of parenting and love across generations.

Tin Pan Alley is recognized through the inclusion of “Stella By Starlight” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” while a handful of originals — some featuring Riley in the singing role — touch on themes of romance and enduring faith.

For Riley, Perpetual Optimism is more than just a title on an album cover. It’s an abiding credo. In the two years following the release of New Direction, the drummer was confronted with one of life’s harshest realities — the loss of both of his parents. But in family, in music and in God, he managed to find hope.

“We’re constantly faced with obstacles and challenges in life that can be depressing or diminishing to our intrinsic motivation,” said Riley in a press release. “If we hold on to optimism, we can find the strength to overcome and move on to the next phase of our lives.”

If Riley has an overarching hope for Perpetual Optimism, it’s that his music helps spread the upbeat manifesto that he’s chosen to live by. “I always look forward, no matter what happens in life,” he said. “If you’re grieving or faced with an emotional challenge, keep in mind: If you’re still breathing, there’s a chance that you can do better. Commit yourself to perpetual optimism!”

New Orleans-based drummer Herlin Riley may be best known for his 10-year stint with Wynton Marsalis, during which he often held down a traditional groove with immaculate timing and a raw, sometimes rowdy pulse. A master then and now, Riley has only gotten better, if that’s possible.

“Snap Crackle” may be Roy Haynes’ nickname, but Riley steals some of Haynes’ thunder on Perpetual Optimism, playing with immense fire, wit, and snap crackle-worthy dynamics. Despite his NOLA background, the compositions and performances on here can’t be pigeonholed: this is simply wonderful music, jazz of the highest order. Featuring an equally striking group of Emmet Cohen on piano, Russell Hall on bass, Godwin Louis on alto saxophone, and Bruce Harris on trumpet, Riley’s band rages on 12 tracks of high-flying improvisation.

Perpetual Optimism begins with fiery energy. Opener “Rush Hour” bounces kinetically over a second-line pulse with the accent on the backside eighth-note of each bar—Riley driving the pocket, the band handclapping the offbeats. “Be There When I Get There” raises the tempo and the pulse with Riley’s driving, four-to-the-bar rim clicks and the frontline’s blazing ensemble figures. “You Don’t Know What Love Is” provides a relaxing break, and the title track reignites the fire. Following his previous recordings Watch What You’re Doing, Cream of the Crescent, and New Direction, Riley’s Perpetual Optimism is infectious, engaging, and irresistible.
by Ken Micallef

Herlin Riley: drums and vocals
Emmett Cohen: piano
Russell Hall: bass
Godwin Louis: alto saxophone
Bruce Harris: trumpet

1. Rush Hour
2. Be There When I Get There
3. Borders Without Lines
4. You Don’t Know What Love Is
5. Perpetual Optimism
6. Touched
7. Wings and Roots
8. Wang Dang Doodle
9. Stella By Starlight
10. Twelve’s It

wydano: 2019-04-15
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