Joe Chindamo: Smokingun / Duende: The Romantic Project

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count

Graeme Lyall/Joe Chindamo
New Market Music

Joe Chindamo
Duende: The Romantic Project

Though in the States pianist Joe Chindamo is basically an unknown, Down Under he is showered with accolades and awards. With a career dating back to the ‘70s, Chindamo has amassed impressive associations: Billy Cobham, Larry Coryell, Ernie Watts, Ray Brown and Breckers Michael and Randy, as well as Aussie trumpeter James Morrison and saxophonists Paul Williamson and Don Burrows.

Add to that list countryman Graeme Lyall, a veteran alto and soprano saxophonist. Associated since the ‘80s, their Smokingun reveals a deep mutual and musical respect — Dvorák's "Going Home" and Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" are both introspective duos for quick proof. Lyall's sweet tone on alto is unmistakably reminiscent of Paul Desmond's lyrical charm combined with comfortable stylistic nods to Lee Konitz' also cool but more experimental proclivities; Desmond is also relevant for his association with Dave Brubeck, a stylistic model for this quartet. On Desmond's timeless "Take Five", however, Chindamo wisely not only rearranges the tune but alters the instrumentation — one of the more unique versions with the leader on accordion, his original instrument before switching to piano as a teenager. Phil Rex (bass) and David Beck (drums) create a continuously morphing bed of tempo changes on "Take Five" as well as on the two Mingus-associated numbers: "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" (featuring an impressive extended solo bass intro) and Joni Mitchell's "God Must Be A Boogie Man" (spurring tension and release by alternating the sweet-turned-funky melody with sections of near atonality).

For Duende: The Romantic Project, Chindamo chooses a different avenue of expression, again with a quartet but this time of strings: guitar (Doug DeVries), violin (Nigel Maclean) and bass (Sam Anning). Recorded live, but initially unintended for release, at the acoustically exquisite BMW The Edge Theater at this year's Melbourne Jazz Festival, the 11 tunes (six composed by Chindamo) mix an undeniable jazz undertone with more cinematic selections (Chindamo's music has appeared in over 60 films). Touches of Chick Corea and Bill Evans sprout up, as well as a liberal use of other influences; Bach, folk music from the pianist's Italian ancestors and even Irish music don't compromise the sedate introspection of this concept album.

Tracks and Personnel


Tracks: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue 9:44); The Magnificent Seven; Look for the Silver Lining; Where is Love; Goodbye Porkpie Hat; Going Home (from New World Symphony; God Must Be A Boogie Man; Goldfinger; Take Five; The Entertainer.

Personnel: Joe Chindamo: piano, accordion; Graeme Lyall: alto and soprano sax; Phil Rex: bass; Dave Beck: drums.

Duende: The Romantic Project

Tracks: Another Story; Moments and Eternities; The Bermuda Tango; E Lucevan le Stelle; Something Will Come To Light; Elegy for Rita/Astoria; Besame Mucho; Saying Goodbye; Una Furtiva Lagrima; Tarantism; Corcovado.

Personnel: Joe Chindamo: piano; Doug DeVries: guitar; Nigel Maclean: violin; Sam Anning: bass.


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Two Sides of John Wetton Multiple Reviews Two Sides of John Wetton
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 20, 2017
Read The Pianist as Director: Ryuichi Sakamoto and August Rosenbaum Multiple Reviews The Pianist as Director: Ryuichi Sakamoto and August...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 13, 2017
Read A Sense of Place Multiple Reviews A Sense of Place
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2017
Read David Murray Octets on Black Saint Multiple Reviews David Murray Octets on Black Saint
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 11, 2017
Read New and Notable Releases Multiple Reviews New and Notable Releases
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 4, 2017
Read Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out" Multiple Reviews Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD" Multiple Reviews Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD
by Doug Collette
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space" Multiple Reviews Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants" Multiple Reviews The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants
by Nigel Campbell
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "Cassette Plus Download Labels" Multiple Reviews Cassette Plus Download Labels
by John Eyles
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Lee Morgan On Music Matters" Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.