All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

1,032

Stephane Spira & Giovanni Mirabassi: Spirabassi

Guy Zinger By

Sign in to view read count
Lyrically singing with his soprano sax, telling his story in an album dedicated to his departed father, Stephane Spira and his accomplice, pianist Giovanni Mirabassi, embark on a dreamy and introspective road trip, soaked with melancholy. Spira's father was a colorful character and antiquarian with a mad passion for music, and Spirabassi is imprinted with that character. Spira himself became a full-time jazz man not too many years ago, leaving a successful career in engineering. Mirabassi, playing since the age of three, is a self-taught pianist whose first significant jazz experience was accompanying Chet Baker at the age of 17, when the trumpeter passed through Perugia for a concert. He studied by listening to artists including Bud Powell, Bill Evans, Kenny Barron, Bach, Brahms, Charles Mingus and, in particular, Enrico Pieranunzi, who remains one of his strongest influences.

The journey begins with "21 Place Des Vosges," Spira's father antique shop address, with the duo demonstrating its lyrical capabilities. Spira sings with his soprano sax, dialoging with Mirabassi, who answers with colorful and romantic interludes. This is a perfect choice for the first track; a comprehensive and delightful representation of the entire set.

Following with "Twilight Song," rendered as a medium tempo ballad and connecting beautifully to the previous track, it's Kenny Barron meets Spirabassi, the saxophone akin to a bird taking flight above the city, and the piano bringing it back to solid ground and setting the pace of life.

Other noteworthy tracks include "Alfonsina Y El Mar," written in remembrance of Alfonsina Storni , one of the most important Latin-American poets of the modernist period. Her death inspired Ariel Ramirez and Félix Luna to compose the Latin Jazz standard, "Alfonsina and the Sea," which has been performed by Mercedes Sosa, Nana Mouskouri and many others. The duo's rendition is right at home on this album.

John Coltrane's "Dear Lord" is the only track where Spira uses his alto sax—his primary instrument is soprano—beginning with a long and expressive solo that pays tribute to his jazz heroes. Both players maintain the romantic and melodic feel of the album.

Spirabassi ends appropriately with Edú Lobo's "Pra Dizer Adeus" ("Time to Say Goodbye"), reaching closure with his father's demise. This standard has been recorded by many a great name in jazz. A perfect ending to a CD that's more like a book—a page-turner, in fact, where everything connects and flows, coming full circle to acceptance at the end.

Track Listing: 21 Place Des Vosges; Twilight Song; Spirabassi; Alfonsina Y El Mar; N.Y. Time; Dear Lord; Samba Phil; Sabiha; Mata Hari; Pra Dizer Adeus.

Personnel: Stephane Spira: soprano and tenor saxophone; Giovanni Mirabassi: piano.

Title: Spirabassi | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Bee Jazz

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Kinship CD/LP/Track Review
Kinship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Ask For Chaos CD/LP/Track Review
Ask For Chaos
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Homage to a Dreamer CD/LP/Track Review
Homage to a Dreamer
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Live At Cafe Amores CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Cafe Amores
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Passion Reverence Transcendence CD/LP/Track Review
Passion Reverence Transcendence
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 17, 2018
Read Inner Voice CD/LP/Track Review
Inner Voice
by Don Phipps
Published: August 17, 2018
Read "Celebrating William Parker at 65" CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Trip" CD/LP/Track Review Trip
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Roadmaps" CD/LP/Track Review Roadmaps
by Paul Naser
Published: March 14, 2018
Read "Absolutely Live II" CD/LP/Track Review Absolutely Live II
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 4, 2018
Read "Movement Of Lives" CD/LP/Track Review Movement Of Lives
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 3, 2018
Read "Dirt...And More Dirt" CD/LP/Track Review Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018