All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

11

Steve Cardenas: Charlie & Paul

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
The third season of the subscription-based vinyl label Newvelle launches with a quartet led by guitarist Steve Cardenas. A Kansas City native, he cut his teeth in that city before moving to New York in the mid-1990s. Cardenas has appeared on more than fifty albums playing with Ben Allison, Jon Cowherd, Chris Cheek, Eliane Elias, Chris Potter, Donny McCaslin and many other top names, and he has four previous recordings as a leader. Cardenas was a long time member of Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band and his Octet, appearing on four of Motian's releases. He was a later member of the Charlie Haden/Carla Bley led Liberation Music Orchestra (LMO), playing on Not in Our Name (Verve, 2005) and Time/Life (Song for the Whales and Other Beings) (Impulse!, 2016). On Charlie & Paul Cardenas pays tribute to Haden and Motian.

The quartet features other players with Haden/Motian histories. Alto saxophonist Loren Stillman appeared on Motian's On Broadway Volume 5 (Winter & Winter, 2009) as well as LMO's Time/Life. The very busy bassist Thomas Morgan played on The Windmills of Your Mind (Winter & Winter, 2011), also with Motian. Drummer Matt Wilson played on Time/Life as well.

While the Haden-Motian connections are the common denominator for this group, the subjects took decidedly different approaches to their own music. Haden often favored deeply melodic tunes while Motian was known for his edgier readings of bebop standards and his own avant-garde compositions. Motian's first instrument was guitar and he worked with many of the best, making for a natural affinity with Cardenas. Given the wealth of Motian penned songs available, it is surprising that Cardenas selected three previously unrecorded compositions of the five Motian pieces. But in listening to the poetic "Prairie Avenue Cowboy" and the abstract "Riff Raff" the appeal of Motion's diversity becomes obvious. The most familiar of the Haden tunes are "La Pasionaria," which Haden recorded with three different groups, and "For Turiya," which appeared on five of his albums.

The Newvelle label has unquestionably been bent toward lyrically-driven and sophisticated releases, and while Charlie & Paul fits that mold more often than not, there are treatments that go farther into free improvisation and complex narratives. At times the alto and guitar intertwine, giving pieces a serpentine feel, and Wilson vigilantly navigates the multifaceted storylines, maintaining consistency. Morgan does an admirable job, especially on Haden's tunes where the expectations are high. Charlie & Paul is an attentive and well executed tribute from Cardenas and his associates. The third season LP artwork—always a Newvelle bonus—is by from Maciej Markowicz, a Polish-born artist.

Track Listing: (Side A) Kalypso; Tangram; Asia; La Pasionaria; In the Moment. (Side B) Prairie Avenue Cowboy; Riff Raff; Pocket Full of Cherry; For Turiya.

Personnel: Steve Cardenas: guitar; Loren Stillman: alto saxophone; Thomas Morgan: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.

Title: Charlie & Paul | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Newvelle Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Charlie & Paul

Charlie & Paul

Newvelle Records
2018

buy
Melody in a Dream

Melody in a Dream

Sunnyside Records
2014

buy
West of Middle

West of Middle

Sunnyside Records
2010

buy
Steve Cardenas: West of Middle

Steve Cardenas: West...

Sunnyside Records
2010

buy
 

Panoramic

Fresh Sound New Talent
2006

buy
Panoramic

Panoramic

Blue Moon
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "The Cheap Ensemble" CD/LP/Track Review The Cheap Ensemble
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two
by Chris May
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "On Stage" CD/LP/Track Review On Stage
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 29, 2018
Read "Say It" CD/LP/Track Review Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Turbamulta" CD/LP/Track Review Turbamulta
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2018
Read "Země" CD/LP/Track Review Země
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: March 12, 2018