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
many listens, and it's easily recommended.
Budd Koppman -All About Jazz.com
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
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
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. “Muiñeira 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
Every composition is enjoyable and memorable, and Persistencia should be
Visit Victor Prieto on the web.