Executed and stylized within the heart of Tango, Pablo Ablanedo's octet features distinguished jazz trumpeter Phil Grenadier and other prominent Boston-based musicians. The Argentinean composer/pianist incisive arrangements, charted with layered horns and contrapuntal theme-building exercises are contoured by breezy choruses, buoyant jazz improv and the inherent festivities often resident within the Latin jazz element. Ablanedo's compositions contain a broad dynamic scope in concert with the percussionist's driving cadences and multi-hued shadings; rays of sunshine intersect these alluring works.
Ablanedo's colorful compositions present variances and shifts in momentum via capacious balladry; on "Antiphona," Grenadier adds a regal perspective atop drummer Franco Pinna's rolling toms patterns and cymbal hits that pace the tempo. Ablanedo sprinkles his notes like raindrops, outlining a pastoral backdrop.
One of the more popular The Beatles cover tunes in jazz, "Norwegian Wood" is given a sleek, yet understated makeover, with calming horns stating the primary theme. But the jazz element appears in full force due to Fernando Brandao's soft flute passages, aligned with Fernando Huergo's deep bass lines and the frothy percussion grooves. As tenor saxophonist Kelly Roberge raises the pitch, leading to the refrain of the memorable hook.
Grenadier launches a high-flying attack on the album closing "Las Buenas Nuevas," accentuated with textural sonic attributes and nimble percussion patterns. Ablanedo frames the developments with dainty block chords that conjure notions of a calm seascape, reinforcing that the bulk of the program tenders lucid imagery and prismatic hues. He combines the best of several musical domains, compromising technical excellence and shifty arrangements, dappled with harmonically inviting choruses.
Track Listing: Mirando al Cielo; Silence; Departido; Antiphona; ReContraDoble; Como Te Quiero; Norwegian Wood; Almita (vocal); Almita; La Vaga; Las Buenas Nuevas.
Personnel: Fernando Brandao: flute, alto flute, bass flute; Phil Grenadier: trumpet; Daniel Ian Smith: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone and laughs; Kelly Roberge: tenor saxophone and clarinet; Eric Hofbauer: guitar; Pablo Ablanedo: piano and composition; Fernando Huergo: bass; Franco Pinna: drums; Bertram Lehmann: percussion; Greg Hopkins: trumpet (1,2,4,5, 7); Katie Viqueira: voice (8).
I love jazz because...it's in my blood! My late father, Billy Ainsworth, was a musical prodigy who dropped out of school at 17 after he stunned the seasoned musicians of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with an in-off-the-street audition
I love jazz because...it's in my blood! My late father, Billy Ainsworth, was a musical prodigy who dropped out of school at 17 after he stunned the seasoned musicians of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with an in-off-the-street audition. He was on the band bus the next day as Dorsey's alto sax and clarinet player, and never looked back. He played with great bandleaders such as Freddie Martin, Tex Beneke and Ray McKinley, some before he was out of his teens (they had to lie about his age to get him into nightclubs). Many older musicians have told me he was the greatest alto sax player they ever worked with. He was equally great on clarinet and was clarinetist and harmony singer for cocktail jazz pioneers, the Ernie Felice Quartet.
He eventually left the road and settled down, and that's when I came in. By that time, he was, by day, vocal group session leader/player/arranger for classic jingles and commercial music produced in Dallas. At night, he played in society bands, jazz combos and elegant showrooms. Tuesdays were slow in the showrooms, so band members' families got in free, and my mom took me to see him backing such legends as Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Steve and Eydie, and a very old Ella Fitzgerald. Between that, hearing his record collection, growing up around the legendary musicians and singers who were like aunts and uncles to me, and just listening to him practice around the house, filling the neighborhood with incredible jazz sax riffs, I couldn't help becoming that weird kid who was listening to Peggy Lee, Ella and Manhattan Transfer when my classmates were listening to rock, country and soul.
Even though he died before I ever sang professionally, he remains my inspiration and all my CDs are dedicated to him. I like to think that he'd like my music, since it's built on the foundation he handed down to me.