From Down There

Pablo Ablanedo

From Down There

Fresh Sound New Talent

Personnel:
Pablo Ablanedo (p), Jenny Scheinmann (v), Avishai Cohen (tp), Anat Cohen (ts, ss, cl), Jerome Sabbagh (ts, ss), Juancho Herrera (e-g), Fernando Huergo (ac&e- b), Franco Pinna (d & bombo leguero), Julio Santillan (ac-g)

Reference: FSNT-109

Bar code: 84 27328 42109 6

Fresh Sound New Talent presents the debut release from the Pablo Ablanedo Octet "From Down There". This ensemble from the New York-Boston area is an internationally eclectic group of performers comprised of an unusual grouping of instruments: a combination including violin, clarinet and traditional Argentinian percussion.

Pablo's original music explores extended jazz forms through South American rhythms and styles where most prevalent are the sounds of tango, zamba and chacarera which originate from his home country, Argentina."


Tracklisting:

1. From Down There(P.Ablanedo)
2. Para Dejar (P.Ablanedo)
3. El Acecho (P.Ablanedo)
4. Dreaming (P.Ablanedo)
5. La Viajera (P.Ablanedo)
6. Claroscuro (P.Ablanedo)
7. U.M.M.G. (B.Strayhorn)
8. Chacarera De La Esperanza (P.Ablanedo)
9. Dreaming (a cappella)(P.Ablanedo)

Recorded In New York City, August 2000

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Comments/Reviews:

"Argentine composer Pablo Ablanedo makes a disrmingly gentle but firm debut notable for his ascetic, introspective writing than his low-profile piano.

Ablanedo emphasizes structure over solo. A recomposed chacarera shifts not only its tradition rhythms but its patterns, too: piano and bass play three-bar ostinati, horns play four and five-bar phrases, and the piano right hand noodles freely. He asks his octets to concheive solos as extensions of the pieces, and they do. Anat Cohen makes her soprano cry in plaintive nostalgia for the open pampas on "Dreaming," then blends with tenor and violin. The effect is ethereal, floating without key signature and displaced lines. The pure melismatic lines are reminiscent of Aaron Copeland gone far South and East.

This band plays the through-composed and chamber-like pieces understatedly rahter than in-your-face, slowly unfolding a mature, inclusive world vision. Ablanedo filters the opening bars of Billy Strayhorn's "U.M.M.G." through a dark lens, rendering it as complex and intelligent a puzzle as a Jose Luis Borges essay. The mock-sinister "El Acecho" gets its jazzy flavor from swirls of fluffing trumpet. An elegant sadness pervades pieces like "Para Dejar" which blends Argentine zamba with Brazilian samba, and "La Viajera" traverses desert and mountain, phrases and space. Frequent play with bar lengths barely ruffles the smooth surfaces of "From Down There," a jittery shuffle, and "Claroscuro," a tango with six-bar phrases, pairing piano with Juancho Herrera's subtle guitar. Here, also, soprano paired ith violin can sound eerily like bandoneon. Ablanedo and his thoughtful, disciplined crew seem to relish not hyperkinetic slugs of Red Bull, but satisfying sips of deep purple Malbec."
- By Fred Bouchard, Down Beat Magazine, July 2002

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"The newest works by this Argentinian pianist and composer are as mature and sophisticate as any of the best modern Latin jazz."
- By Bob Young, Boston Herald (USA).

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"Ablanedo has a talent for combining multi-line horn parts and shifting harmonies with the relaxed intensity of classic Latin rhythms....
- Boston Phoenix (USA).

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"The Pablo Ablanedo Octet is hot. However, to describe the octet in simple terms is to do the group a disservice, because their performances on From Down There are exiting, complex, intricate and fun...Ablanedo's Instrumentation is a large part of what makes his octet so unique, and the violin and clarinet duet in 'Para Dejar' provides a sterling example of the composer's sense of innovation."
- By Katie DeBonville, Northeaster Performer (USA).

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"This recording should help extend the group's reach to a broader audience, which they certainly deserve...Composing for the Octet gives him access to a wider range of vices than most jazz composers utilize today, and he uses them to brilliant effect both individually and in a variety of innovative combinations...From Down There introduces both one of our most inventive young jazz composers and one of the most innovative contemporary ensembles. It's music you need to know."
- By Shaun Dale, Jazzreview.com (USA)

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"Music is a universal language, although modern jazz tends to enjoy its fair share of transformations and modifications. This notion is outwardly recognizable on this release by Argentine pianist/composer Pablo Ablanedo. While calling Boston, MA home these days, the artist divides his time between education, composition, and performing. With this release, Ablanedo integrates some of the sounds and musical structures originating from within the Spanish heritage, whereby the composer melds serenading themes with chromatic horn charts and jazzy arrangements. However, the leader and his musical associates display some restraint amid a series of pieces that often presage a finite storyline, thanks in part to Ablanedo's penchant for detail and ability to flirt with various stylistic components.

The band pursues vivid imagery on the piece "Dreaming," featuring trumpeter Avishai Cohen and electric guitarist Juancho Herrera's softly stated exchanges atop a dirge like pulse that alludes to subliminally joyous overtones. The musicians' regal pronouncements, endearing melodies and multi-layered tonalities transmit a sense of well-being, evidenced on "La Viajera" and throughout. Therefore, this outing effectively presents the listener with a program consisting of the artist's shrewdly concocted compositions that touch upon a myriad of divergent frameworks. Essentially, Ablanedo possesses all of the goods necessary to become a major force in modern jazz. Recommended."
- By Glenn Astarita

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"In describing the music of this CD, one could cite two words: suspenseful calm. The Pablo Ablanedo Octet doesn't rely on plain musical effects - the listener is spellbound by an original synthesis of Modern Jazz and Latin music. Throughout the complexly orchestrated arrangements, horns and violin fuse into continually new colors of sound.The recording starts out brisk with its title-track "From Down There",featuring interlocking melodic lines among saxophone (Anat Cohen) and trumpet (Avishai Cohen) - yet soon after the agitated mood calms down during "Para Dejar." Oscillating between two chords the piano enters first - later a trumpet solo, accompanied by guitar, emerges from the superimposed tender (but not at all feeble) violin-melody.Likewise, the following pieces tend to be rather subtle and unimposing: involved in their irregular rhythmicity as
in "El Acecho," or just plain beautiful and contemplative like "La Viajeira."

The only composition not penned by Pablo Ablanedo himself - Billy Strayhorn's "U.M.M.G" - receives equal prominence amongst the other tunes. Following a probing electric-bass introduction, small motivic themes are condesed by piano, violin and horns - excellent! The CD closes on a lyrical note with a solo-appearance by vocalist Katie Viqueira in a reprise of the fourth piece, "Dreaming."

What a pity that at this point the band is limiting their appearances to the Boston/New York region. Great that one can, until that will change, at least listen to this CD.
- Frank Bongers - Jazz Dimensions reviewer

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"Born In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pablo Ablanedo is a fine pianist and composer that has come a long way since he discovered his passion for music while still a teenager in high school.

A graduate from The Berklee College of Music (major in Jazz Composition, 1996), Ablanedo studied with legendary teacher Herb Pomeroy. A recipient of the "John Dankworth Award in Jazz Composition", Pablo performs regularly with his octet in New York and Boston, where he lives. He also dedicates part of his life to the commendable labour of teaching.

Ablanedo was deeply influenced by the music of the masters Astor Piazolla, Egberto Gismonti, Bill Evans and Igor Stravinsky. And it shows. "From Down There" -which takes folklore into the classical world, and vice versa- is the work of an accomplished composer who presents his ideas like a movie that follows an intricate storyline, full of evocative images and scenery. The mixture with modern musical elements -call it jazz- is done in a very imaginative way, displaying extraordinary sensibility that invites to relaxation and thinking -no contradiction between these two apparently juxtaposed human activities. Using an old literary figure, Ablanedo's music is "Food for Thought".

Pablo Ablanedo performs his own compositions (except Billy Strayhorn's U.M.M.G.) in this recording. He's joined by an equally talented, diverse and multicultural ensemble (see below). Most of its members -as Ablanedo- belong to a new generation of dedicated musicians coming out of the Berklee College of Music during the last decade."
- Latin Jazz Network

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"Le pianiste argentin Pablo Ablandedo propose ici un album axé beaucoup plus sur ses talents de compositeur et darrangeur que de soliste. Une des choses qui frappe immédiatement, cest linterprétation du rythme. Bien que ce soit swinguant, bien que ce soit jazz, cest une manière de swinguer bien différente du swing américain : du swing argentin ? Dailleurs, Phil Grenadier, trompettiste ayant joué avec ce groupe (voir chronique Sweet Transients), ma confié que « cette musique est bien difficile à jouer pour un gringo comme moi ! () Si jarrête de compter, je narrive plus à retrouver le premier temps. » Cette spécificité culturelle est un attrait majeur de cet album et provient probablement du fait quAblanedo intègre des musiques folkloriques argentines (autres que le tango).

Un autre attrait est tout simplement la qualité des morceaux, des arrangements et des solistes. Claroscuro par exemple présente des arrangements particulièrement réussis : un vamp espagnol hypnotique joué par la section rythmique est progressivement repris et développé par dautres instruments, qui ajoutent également des contrepoints et participent à une accélération qui amène un changement de métrique, le tout au service dune mélodie assez forte. Para Dejar est marqué par une improvisation collective très délicate et élaborée où les voix dominent brièvement ou sexpriment collectivement, sans céder à la facilité du volume ou de lego.

Les solistes principaux que sont Jérome Sabbagh, Anat Cohen et Avishai Cohen (à ne pas confondre avec le bassiste du même nom) ont le grand mérite de rester ciblés et de véritablement développer la thématique dAblanedo, même lors des improvisations collectives.

Tout ces éléments font que cet album réussit véritablement à faire dAblanedo une voix très intéressante, sophistiquée et ouverte."

- Mwanji Ezana, www.citizenjazz.com

Price:

$12.04  (tax incl.)

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