Music written for a film does not always stand up on its own. This is one of the exceptions, an enticing body of work that accompanied the short of the same name; a film about movement that was comprised almost entirely of black and white photographs.
Ratliff composed or co-composed all the tunes. He uses classical music, North African rhythms, what is termed as "jungle music" and given credence to on the programmed grooves of "Mies," and that Spanish air which serves to underline the theme of the movie. His arrangements add to the lure.
Take "Barcelona," for instance. There are three versions here and each brings in a different impression. The band version sways in on a lazily undulating Latin rhythm. Subtle shifts in tempo are pegged and etched on the hard side by the baritone sax of Michaël Attias. Ratliff smears thick, greasy lines on the trombone, the final resplendence given by Sam Bardfeld on the violin, his lines swimming in sensuously. The pared down duo version breathes warmly through the rich texture of Charlie Giordano's accordion and John Hebert's bass, which punctuates with adroit shifts of pulse and timbre. The "dreaming" version scatters structure, fractured motifs fly across with just a nod or three to melody. A tune can take the direction the imagination wills it to do so. And these players go full throttle on "Sintuba," the heady beat of North Africa driving the music and the musicians, the charge coming from the dumbek of Seido Salifoski and some cutting edge cornet from Ratliff. But it is the band coming together and essaying a strong passion and feel that lends the presence.
The record spells excitement in different ways.
Track Listing: Barcelona (band version); BCN; Glass; Barcelona (duo); Horsey; Mies; Barcelona (dreaming); Estaci
I love jazz because it expresses things so deep that I can't transform in words.
I met John Pizzarelli.
The best show I ever attended was MASP in São Paulo Brazil.
The first jazz record I bought was a Baby Dodds CD.
My heroes on drums: Papa Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, Gene Krupa, Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Ray Bauduc, Vernell Fournier,
Shelly Manne, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Morello, Daniel Humair, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Carr, Buddy Rich, Sam Woodyard, Cozy Cole,
Sonny Greer, Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Tony Sbarbaro, Vic Berton, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Rubens Barsotti.
My heroes in jazz: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson,
Barney Kessel, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Jelly Roll Morton.