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 Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Apocalypse" CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Terre II" CD/LP/Track Review Terre II
by Tyran Grillo
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Beginning of A Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Beginning of A Memory
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Days Are Not Days" CD/LP/Track Review Days Are Not Days
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Bridges From The East" CD/LP/Track Review Bridges From The East
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!