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ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucian Ban & Alex Simu: Free Fall

Read "Free Fall" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Inspired by legendary clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre's small group recordings, Romanians Lucian Ban (piano) and Alex Simu (clarinet) recorded these luminous duets at The French Cultural Institute in Bucharest, as they personalize the aura of Giuffre's comingling of chamber and modern jazz with sojourns into experimentalism. It's a gorgeous endeavor, executed with tender harmonic content, reflective passages and heartwarming melodies. From an all-inclusive perspective, the musicians ingrain bluesy phrasings, buoyant mid-tempo jaunts and impassioned choruses, shaded with playful interludes ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucian Ban and Alex Simu: Free Fall

Read "Free Fall" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes

Romanian musicians Lucian Ban and Alex Simu may not have met in their native country but, after a serendipitous meeting in Amsterdam, the two endeavored to play a series of shows there. The product of that tour, titled Free Fall, is an unexpectedly nuanced album. Though a compelling release by its own merits, Free Fall is a live recording inspired by and dedicated to trailblazing jazz clarinetist Jimmy Guiffre. It took place on February 7th at the French ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban at Barbès

Read "Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban at Barbès" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban Barbès Brooklyn, NY August 5, 2017 To hear the music of violist Mat Maneri and pianist Lucian Ban is to hear your own heartbeat: both require intimacy without distraction. In Brooklyn's Barbès, such mechanisms of the body become audible. The venue is a home for them, and its thickly curtained performance space allows the duo's balance of form and freedom to nourish itself. Maneri and Ban have toured ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucian Ban / Mat Maneri: Transylvanian Concert

Read "Transylvanian Concert" reviewed by John Kelman

It's been six years since Mat Maneri last appeared on ECM, collaborating with singer Robin Williamson on the British traditionalist's exploratory The Iron Stone (2007); even longer since the violist shared a marquee for the German label, on 2004's Angles of Repose, with his now-deceased father, microtonal reed player Joe Maneri, and bassist Barre Phillips; even longer, still, since he last released an album as a full leader, with his solo recital Trinity (2001). All of which makes Maneri's return ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucian Ban / John Hebert: Enesco Re-Imagined

Read "Enesco Re-Imagined" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

The life and music of the prodigiously talented Romanian violinist, composer and conductor, George Enesco has been well-preserved and generously honored--not simply by the cognoscenti, but by the appreciative audiences of Romania's George Enesco Festival, that was set up to propagate the music of the composer beyond its preservation in the museum that bears his name in Bucharest. This ingenious album of some of his best-loved work, by another extremely talented Romanian-born pianist and composer, Lucian Ban, is hardly surprising, ...

INTERVIEWS

Lucian Ban: Transylvania's Rhapsody in Blue

Read "Lucian Ban:  Transylvania's Rhapsody in Blue" reviewed by Jason West

One of the most creative new musicians on the New York City scene, Lucian Ban is a Transylvanian pianist and composer whose collaborations with fellow NYC jazzers continue to produce a burgeoning collection of original music. Recordings with Bob Stewart, Alex Harding, and Jorge Sylvester highlight Lucian's prodigious recent output, a body of work that includes five releases in the last five years.Raised in the tiny farming village of Teaca, situated in the center of Transylvania, Ban grew ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucian Ban & Alex Harding: Tuba Project

Read "Tuba Project" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Several years have elapsed since Lucian Ban and Alex Harding's last CIMP collaboration, but their artistic rapport has only deepened in the interim. Their latest project carries a signifier that stresses the novelty of the instrumentation. The duo dispenses with string bass completely. In its stead, Bob Stewarts' bulbous, bell-shaped horn sits as co-resident of the bottom end, right alongside Harding's heavyweight sax. Stewart slides naturally into the brass bass role standard to early-20th Century street bands, but also steps ...


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