Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

4

Vana Gierig: Making Memories

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Vana Gierig: Making Memories German-born, New York-based pianist Vana Gierig was making memorable music long before Making Memories came into existence. This Berklee and New England Conservatory-trained ivory tickler has been turning heads with his own work, and through sideman stints with everybody from über-hip cabaret singer Ute Lemper to violinist Regina Carter, for quite some time, but no single project has been able to properly display the true depth and breadth of his artistry; that is, no single project until this one.

Making Memories is an expansive nine song program that highlights Gierig's compositional skills and pianistic acumen. Stating that the album contains a wide range of music is a bit of an understatement; it's more accurate to say each song contains a wide range of musical ideas. The album-opening "Declaration" embodies this ideal better than any other piece, moving from graceful- and-spellbinding solo piano to firm-time, fanciful territory to hand clap-backed high jinks to carousel rides to swing; and that's only a partial, reductionist description of this eleven-plus minute performance. Almost every number that follows also contains myriad ideas.

The title track, the first of many numbers to feature Paquito D'Rivera on clarinet, is music put through a global blender, with Brazilian and Middle Eastern strains presenting as the dominant flavors. D'Rivera's next appearance, on the alluring "Morning Cadence," is equally worldly, moving from an elegant chamber-esque setting to more exotic lands. A Spanish tinge enlivens this number and several other pieces on the album, but it's never too pungent or over-pronounced. As the program continues, variety remains the spice of life. "The Spell" is friendly as can be, with a lightly flowing rhythmic current moving beneath Gierig's piano and wordless vocals. Things heat up on "The Spiraling Spell," as D'Rivera and Gierig play for, with, and against one another, and the music takes a turn toward the reflective with the strings- enhanced "Rome."

This album's greatest strengths are long gaze compositions and holistic performances which serve as reflections of the leader's musical background. Gierig's experience(s) and unquenchable thirst for musical knowledge shine through at every turn.


Track Listing: Declaration; Making Memories; Texting While Driving; Morning Cadence; The Spell; The Spiraling Spell; Rome; Looking Back; Conversations.

Personnel: Vana Gierig: piano, vocal (5), hand claps (1, 4, 5), percussion (2, 5); Paquito D'Rivera: clarinet (2, 4, 5-7); Sean Conly: bass (2, 4, 5-7), hand claps (4, 5); Matthew Parrish: bass (1, 3, 8, 9); Marcello Pellitteri: drums (1-3, 5-9), hand claps (1, 4, 5), guira (4) ; Gene Jackson: drums (4); Vinicius Barros: percussion (1, 2, 4-6, 9), hand claps (1, 4, 5); Jane Hunt: violin (2, 4, 7); Wolfram Koessel: cello (2, 4, 7).

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Enja Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Umbrella Weather CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Born In An Urban Ruin CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs) CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Magia" CD/LP/Track Review Magia
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Afternoon In Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Afternoon In Paris
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Magic Light" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Light
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "Spin Cycle" CD/LP/Track Review Spin Cycle
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Rhythmic Movement" CD/LP/Track Review Rhythmic Movement
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Ena / One" CD/LP/Track Review Ena / One
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!