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Get Happy - Joe Kennedy, Royce Campbell, Paul Langosch

Persistencia ~Victor Prieto

at the end of the day

"Voted one of the best albums of 2005" -All About Jazz-NY
f the best albums of 2005" -All About Jazz-NY
 "Drummer, composer Alison Miller followed with a strong set 
 featuring her new quartet Agrazing Maze, including bassist Carlo
 DeRosa,  pianist Enrique Haneine, and the celebrated trumpeter Ingrid
 Jensen, who  kicked off her shoes halfway into the first number. The
 group�s five tunes  segued into one another, layering swirling solos
 with fragmented bits of  Latin flavor, abstract funk, an ethereal
 Kenny Wheeler-esque ballad for  flugelhorn, and a kick-out-the-jams
 trumpet-drum duet on Heneine�s �Gerber  Blender.�
 Larry Appelbaum-JazzTimes magazine
 At The End Of The Day is a very fine effort by a core trio of piano,
 bass, and drums, augmented by trumpet on some tracks.  What is
 immediately clear is that the trio is very tight and has developed a
 high degree of communication.  Technically, pianist Enrique Haneine
 and drummer Allison Miller are first-rate, to say the least.  I would
 include Carlo DeRosa also, but he is recorded a bit back in the mix
 and hence his contributions are not as obvious (but such is a
 bassist�s lot in life, I suppose).
 The tracks are all originals, except Wayne Shorter�s �Nefertiti,� and
 the connections between original and �cover� are far from obvious. 
 Stylistically, the group presents many faces, from the driving swing
 of �5 am Stroll� to very free playing in �Gerber Blender.�
 A lot of the tunes involve constantly changing meters, which, unless
 you are a drummer, can be easy to miss.
 The only reason I can say this is that I asked for and got a lot of
 detail about the tracks from DeRosa.
 Much of the music has an unsettled quality whereby you can feel a
 pulse which is not really there, and where phrases are of odd lengths
 that make sense in an unusual way, a feeling of flux and change that
 makes for good listening.
 This is not to say that this is �intellectual� jazz, but there is a
 lot of complexity going on underneath that is hidden, but still
 present to add in a specific way to the mood of a particular track.
 The thinking isn�t supposed to show, and only a group that has worked
 together closely can create this level of Art as artifice that is
 nonetheless emotionally accessible.
 Hearing Agrazing Maze in a club would be an exciting experience, even
 if the group was doing a tour promoting At The End Of The Day, because
 there would be a good chance that not much would be played anything
 close to what is laid down here.  The charts have been internalized
 and the group members have the real freedom to explore themselves
 within the framework they have erected.  Their music, although fitting
 into today�s esthetic, sounds entirely unique, and as such, is an
 achievement.  This is album continues to reward the sensitive listener
 even after
 many listens, and it's easily recommended.    
  Budd Koppman -All About  
 Agrazing Maze     | Foxhaven Records  
         By Elliott Simon
     At the End of the Day is a refreshing modern jazz statement with
 strong original compositions from its nucleus of bassist Carlo DeRosa,
 pianist Enrique Haneine, and drummer Allison Miller. Contrasting
 grooves are united by the musicians� sparkling percussive twists and
 The title piece is a Haneine composition that, with its relaxing
 piano-led tempo, would be a most welcome respite for one�s cerebral
 regrouping after a long day. A second wind, however, is provided by
 DeRosa�s invigorating bass solo, which serves to rejuvenate the psyche
 in preparation for the physical demands of Miller�s briskly moving �5
 AM Stroll.� In addition, Haneine contributes the sprightly percussive
 �Gerber Blender� and the delightfully open �We Apologize for the
 Inconvenience.� The former titillates with varying thematic content
 and textures courtesy of DeRosa�s arco work and Miller�s percussive
 toys, while the latter features Shane Endsley's sharp overdubbed
 trumpet lines.
 DeRosa also supplies three originals which highlight
 his newly developed rhythmic affiliation with Miller
 and allow Endsley to reveal both his versatility and
 keen sense of time. �HB� begins in unhurried fashion
 with leisurely trumpet lines before Haneine
 significantly picks up the pace. Endsley eventually
 returns, but DeRosa quickly shepherds the piece in a
 different direction. The trio reconvenes with
 to retrace its way home.
 �Forotto� is a joint venture in changing meter that is
 beautifully colored by both piano and trumpet; it sets
 the stage for the pensively free �A Phrase.� With a
 melodic Latin twist on Sonny Rollins� �Pent-Up House�
 and a freeformish restatement of Wayne Shorter�s
 �Nefertiti,� At the End of the Day, with its stylistic
 breadth and solid rhythmic core, is musically apropos
 any time, any day.

Victor Prieto | Foxhaven Records
By Mark F. Turner

There is a strange beauty in the accordion, a most unusual musical instrument. From polka to tango, the accordion has a sound that is instantly recognizable.
It has surfaced more in popular music and jazz-influenced recordings, like Richard Galliano�s Ruby, My Dear (Dreyfus, 2005). Victor Prieto now makes a most compelling case for the accordion as a primary jazz instrument on Persistencia.

Born in Spain and now living in New York, Prieto, who has extensive academic studies on the accordion, is the creator of a new technique called �chord approach on both hands,� which enables the accordion to comp and solo in jazz terms with rich harmonies. The proof is in the music: on the first composition, �Frevo,�
Prieto uses his masterful technique to manipulate the accordion�s rich timbre while he simultaneously gives birth to lightning-fast solos along with accompanying chords like a stride pianist.

Yet this is not just a showcase of just Prieto�s brilliance, but also a view of an extremely taut trio with two other fine musicians�bassist Carlo DeRosa and drummer Allison Miller. Every composition reveals the trio�s detailed articulation, covering modes of jazz, classiscal, tango, Brazilian and Celtic music. This assortment of influences contains a consistent theme of contemporary thinking and energy, as on the baroque �Mundos Celtas,� where the trio riches a feverish climax. Check out Prieto�s infectious comping as DeRosa delivers a wonderful solo.

Whether swinging vigorously, as on John Coltrane's classic �26-2,� or dancing on �Libertango,� the trio does it all with flair. �Mui�eira da Carmen� is a personal favorite, with its romantic and lush theme showing the trio and their respective instruments in total harmony. Allison Miller's performance again shows that she is one of the top trapsetters around.
Every composition is enjoyable and memorable, and Persistencia should be heard.

Visit Victor Prieto on the web.