© - Steven A. Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.
The editorial staff at JazzProfiles is very fortunate to be the recipient of preview copies of lots of great, new music and we thought we’d share a few brief reviews about some of the more enjoyable ones.
These postings will be descriptive rather than critical, in another words, they do not express or involve an analysis of the merits and faults of a certain recording.
Whenever possible an example track in the form of a video or audio-only track will be included to give you a sampling of the music on the CD.
Let’s start with the Jando Music - Via Veneto Jazz March 2018 release of bassist Enzo Pietropaoli's latest album Woodstock Reloaded [VVJ 123 – 8013358201236].
Like Enzo Pietropaoli’s previous CD for Jando/Via Veneto Jazz The Princess [VVJ117] in which he reimagined a number of songs that peaked his musical interests during the formative years of his career - from John Lennon to Bob Dylan, Cole Porter to Peter Gabriel, from Neil Young to Pearl Jam, to the Beach Boys - Enzo has once again brought together songs that intrigue him, this time using some of the songs that were performed at the August 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. In each case, all are combined with Pietropaoli's original compositions.
According to the media release that accompanies the CD, “Woodstock Reloaded is an attempt to put into a contemporary musical perspective, some of the the pivotal and epic moments of the peaking of hippie culture which took place in Woodstock, NY in August 1969.
Woodstock Reloaded wasn't conceived to be a "cover" but an original re-reading, an "update" of the reverberating impact of the festival and a reminder of those emotions, animating memories and encompassing milestones that flowed from the festival over the past 50 years.
The iconic artists represented in the Pietropaoli Wire trio’s musical homage include Santana, The Who, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly And The Family Stone, and Jimi Hendrix.
Here’s a listing of the TRACKS:
1 SOUL SACRIFICE (C.Santana)
2 WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS (Lennon – McCartney)
3 SEE ME FEEL ME/LISTENING TO YOU (P.Townshend)
4 SUMMERTIME (G. Gershwin)
5 HEY JOE (B.Roberts)
6 PROUD MARY (J.Fogerty)
7 SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT (W.Willis)
8 I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER (S.Stone)
9 BACK HOME (E.Pietropaoli)
For the Jazz musicians who came of age after WWII and who lived through the period of the late 1960s, it seemed a cruel irony that the vast majority of Americans had turned away from their sophisticated approach to music in favor of the more simplistic even, if you will, amateurist music on display at Woodstock.
The simple melodies, scaled down chord progressions, and incessant, locked in drum beats were like a come-down for bebop-hard bop and/or cool jazz-modern Jazz musicians who came of age before the “Rock Revolution”
But for younger musicians who matured with Rock ‘N Roll, this was the music of their youth and the later discovery of Jazz was a step-up in musical complexity which, in some cases, meant bringing the music of their youth into a Jazz environment.
While older Jazz musicians rejected Rock, the younger musicians incorporated it into their musical development to create a continuum of sorts. As their musical skills became more sophisticated melodically, harmonically and rhythmically, they applied this experience and knowledge to the familiar themes of their youth.
The same dichotomy represented itself with acoustic “versus” electronic instruments: the older Jazz musicians were purists arguing that the electronic instruments compromised the true sound of an instrument while the younger musicians simply saw them as another form of the instrument to be explored, applied and mastered.
You can hear all of these dynamics at work in the following audio version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Proud Mary that was arranged by Enzo and features him on electric bass along with Enrico Zanisi on keyboards and drummer Alessandro Paternesi.
And you can order the recording on Forced Exposure by going here.