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...

12

Manuel Valera Trio: The Seasons

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Offering his twelfth recording as a leader, Grammy-nominated pianist Manuel Valera unveils a dynamic session of modern jazz on the vibrant The Seasons and follow up to Live at Firehouse 12 (MAVO Records, 2015). The album also happens to be the second date with his current working trio of jazz luminaries' bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer E.J. Strickland providing one of the most powerful piano trios in the jazz world today. The main theme of the session is the four-part title suite referring to the season of the year as well as a hand full of well-known standards and many other highlights ranging from classical to Bolero's in style.

Starting off with the appropriately-titled "Opening," Valera establishes himself with some hard chords on the introduction and takes off on a fast-paced tare of a purely modern-styled romp accented by Strickland's strong stick and cymbal work. The second track titled "In the Eye of the Beholder," seems to follow in the same vein but with a bit more straight-forward jazz texture though the leader is just as fluid in his performance. The Osvaldo Farres composition "Tres Palabras" (Three words), is a departure from the beginning pieces as this one, takes on a soft classical bent for one of the warmer tracks of the set.

One, of the many outstanding pieces of the recording is, the John Lennon/Paul McCartney classic "In My Life" where the pianist is at his best laying down beautiful lines on a pop standard that sounds almost new though the discernable melody gives it away. The Seasons four-part suite begins with the light "Mov I-Spring" and continues on the most ambitious track of the set with "Mov II-Summer" introduced by Glawischnig who later delivers an extended bass solo along with phrase by the leader and drummer as the trio pull for the best season here.

After the mellow "Fall" and brief "Winter" movements of the suite, the trio take on another standard and go about thoroughly transforming the Cole Porter classic "What Is the Thing Called Love" into a quick burner offering Strickland a forum to display his appreciable chops on the drums. The session closes on a more subdued note with a very nice rendition of the Leonhard Cohen song "Hallelujah" providing Valera with exquisite solo moments.

Pianist Manuel Valera and his world-class trio present an inspiring slice of modern jazz on The Seasons an excellent musical package that would be well received any time of the year. The music here affirms this artist's talents as both a performer and composer, more than justifying his various Grammy nods, well done!

Track Listing: Opening; In the Eye of the Beholder; Tres Palabras; Hopeful; In My Life; MOV I-Spring; MOV II- Summer; MOV III-Fall; MOV IV-Winter; What Is This Thing Called Love; Hallelujah.

Personnel: Manuel Valera: piano; Hans Glawischnig: acoustic bass; E.J. Strickland: drums.

Title: The Seasons | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Mavo Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Planets

The Planets

Mavo Records
2018

buy
The Seasons

The Seasons

Mavo Records
2017

buy
Urban Landscape

Urban Landscape

Destiny Records
2015

buy
Live at Firehouse 12

Live at Firehouse 12

Mavo Records
2015

buy
Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Mavo Records
2014

buy
Expectativas

Expectativas

Mavo Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Just The Way We Are" CD/LP/Track Review Just The Way We Are
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "For Lew" CD/LP/Track Review For Lew
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "End Game of the Anthropocene" CD/LP/Track Review End Game of the Anthropocene
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 8, 2018
Read "Qitara" CD/LP/Track Review Qitara
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "Solo" CD/LP/Track Review Solo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "texting and driving" CD/LP/Track Review texting and driving
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: March 6, 2018