Maybe Next Year
  • Esaie Cid
    Esaie Cid

Esaie Cid

Maybe Next Year

Swing Alley

Personnel:
Esaie Cid (as), Gilles Réa (g), Samuel Hubert (b), Mourad Benhammou (d)

Reference: SA 030

Bar code: 8427328450300

From his musical debut on raw New Orleans, Johnny Dodds —style clarinette, to the alto saxophone, influenced by Benny Carter, Johnny Hodges and Charlie Parker, until his more recent Cool Jazz approach, Esaie Cid has explored a variety of jazz horizons in the past years. This record is the result of his musical journey.

The record title Maybe Next Year reflects at first the strong influence of Art Pepper in Esaie’s palette. Allusions are also made to the greatest West Coast alto players such as Buddy Collette, Sonny Criss, Paul Desmond, Herb Geller, Joe Maini, Charlie Mariano, Frank Morgan, Lennie Niehaus, Bud Shank, and last but not least Benny Carter. Let us point out that his tribute does not sound as mere imitation of these masters’  repertoires, sounds and phrases. Here, Esaie presents his own piece of work, musical reflections and marks, on which the listener will hear a dedication to these jazz masters among others.

This approach is clearly reflected in this recording’s repertoire. Maybe Next Year, from West Coast arranger Duane Tatro, is the only Art Pepper cover here. Then, two of Esaie Cid’s own compositions perfectly fit in between: Double Spoon, all bop style, is played in doublebass and alto sax unison, and Farewell, a 16-bar enigmatic theme that unveils its mystery once doubled in 32 bars during the improvisation part. There, one can hear the chords of the 1925 standard Bye Bye Blues. How Long Has This Been Going On and Sweethearts on Parade are two American jazz standards, the latter rendered famous by Louis Armstrong. Way Out West is the eponymous tune of Sonny Rollins’s album recorded in 1958 in Los Angeles. Jessica’s Day was composed by Quincy Jones for Dizzy Gillespie’s big band, when he was part of the orchestra in 1956. Esaie ingeniously manages to transpose it for his quartet. Pea Eyes is a blues composed and recorded by Clark Terry in Paris in 1959. Music Forever is a composition by pianist Freddie Redd in 1959 for the play and film «The Connection». Nothing Ever Changes My Love For You is a song interpreted by Nat King Cole in his crooner period. This repertoire reveals the eclectic dimension of the leader.

As a painter chooses his colours, selecting musicians as a band leader can be tricky. Esaie opted for three mindful, subtle, discreet and present musicians. Each of them are brilliant soloists, and form a tight and spacious rhythm section, at times reaching near perfection in their acute response to their leader. One can only hold in high esteem these artists who prefer musicality to mere outward appearance and who unfortunately suffer media disinterest.

To spice up their solos, jazzmen like to quote from other tunes and fellow musicians. You may recognize The Gypsy in Esaie’s solo on Nothing Ever Changes, Laura in Pea Eyes, or in a more subtle way, The Man with The Horn on Jessica’s Day. Gilles Rea also gives a wink to Them There Eyes in Farewell.

In all simplicity and integrity, these four artists give us here a homogeneous, mature, natural, airy, sparkling recording that freshens up our senses. I hope you will enjoy this record as much as I do.

—Philippe Baudoin

Album details

Personnel:
Esaie Cid (alto sax), Gilles Réa (guitar), Samuel Hubert (bass), Mourad Benhammou (drums).
Recorded at Studio Boléro, June 9, 2016

Sound engineer: Christophe Davot
Mixing and mastering: Gilles Rea
Photos: Claude Vittiglio, Didier Portal & Marina Chasse
English translation: Thomas Renwick

Produced by Esaie Cid
Executive producer: Jordi Pujol
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.

Press reviews


"In the cover photo of this CD, Esaie Cid bears a striking resemblance to Paul Desmond. He happens to play the same instrument and uses a configuration much favoured by Desmond, who frequently employed guitar rather than piano in his backing trio. At times, Cid does indeed sound like PD, although his style also reveals an affinity for Art Pepper and Bud Shank. He is a most able saxophonist, favouring a kid glove rather than a horny hand approach.

His choice of material is unhackneyed and quite adventurous. He makes his own case for Music Forever, Freddie Redd's feverish theme from The Connection, following his own trail, rather then Jackie McLean's hard-edged appraisal. Way Out West is given a satisfying reading, and Cid finds delight in Clark Terry's Pea Eye and cleverly adapts Quincy Jones's Jessica's Day to an intimate setting. The leader's own compositions stand up well. His assessment of How Long Has This Been Going On? is simply delicious. Guitarist Rea proves to be an ideal and sensitive partner, with the rhythm section in complete accord with both the main soloists.

Unfortunately the notes, which provide good insights into the music, offer no biographical information about Cid and his background. But there is more than enough evidence here of his first-rate musicianship and tasteful stylistic amalgam. A subtle set that begs close attention to catch all the nuances.

Mark Gardner (June, 2017)
Jazz Journal Magazine
____________________________________________________________________________________________________

"
La manière et la sonorité d’Esaie Cid sont à rapprocher de celles de Paul Desmond, avec parfois plus de couleur blues et swing («Way Out West»), parmi une riche galerie d’influences, car Esaie Cid a ses lettres jazziques, et elles ne s’arrêtent pas à la Côte Ouest, première influence. On pense aussi bien à Jimmy Giuffre par la trace de la clarinette dans le débit qu’à Art Pepper, son inspiration de cœur, par l’esprit sinueux du récit, la poésie et parfois la sonorité. On peut ajouter à cette galerie Lee Konitz, les ancêtres Benny Carter, Willie Smith, avec moins de chair car l’esthétique de la Côte Ouest est moins expressive, plus intimiste, que celle de la Côte Est, et, à l’évidence, Esaie Cid penche vers l’Ouest…

Quoi qu’il en soit, Esaie Cid est de ces talents originaux qui naissent aujourd’hui parce qu’ils ne craignent pas de réactiver les racines musicales du jazz, aussi bien celles du blues que du swing que du grand répertoire et de cette grande fécondation qui des années 1920 à aujourd’hui apporta à la musique une myriade de talents, des milliers de manières différentes et pourtant jazz, notamment sur le saxophone alto où excelle Esaie Cid. Cette histoire musicale est en effet si dense, si intense, si rapide et en même temps si diverse et encore mystérieuse qu’elle offre à la descendance contemporaine une infinité de pistes pour que chacun puisse développer, en respectant les mânes, un discours original. Pour qui veut, bien entendu, enrichir une terre déjà si extraordinairement fertile.

Esaie Cid, le Barcelonais (1973, cf. Jazz Hot n°674), est de ceux-là. Modeste, savant, élégant et délicat, à la ville comme à la scène, il est le modèle parfait de ces musiciens de jazz qui, pour n’être pas nés dans la patrie du jazz, n’en apportent pas moins leur pierre, toujours précieuse, à l’édifice et à la permanence de cet art.
Esaie Cid est ici bien entouré de l’excellent Gilles Rea (g), un autre artisan de «la beauté du son» et de la mélodie, mais aussi un pédagogue de haut niveau, de Samuel Hubert (b), qui s’affirme depuis sa rencontre avec Cédric Chauveau, et de Mourad Benhammou (dm), qu’on ne présente plus (Jazz Hot n°621) tant il est déjà devenu un pilier de l’histoire du jazz qui s’écrit aujourd’hui en France.


Esaie Cid, c’est la poésie sur son instrument, la recherche d’une beauté délicate, un brodeur de mélodies, un développeur d’atmosphères, sans ostentation et avec le sens des nuances. Le répertoire, détaillé dans le texte de livret, est un bon mélange de standards du jazz (Sonny Rollins, Freddie Redd, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones), de standards du songbook (Gershwin, Newman-Lombardo, Segal-Fisher) avec deux originaux et un thème de Duane Tatro, «Maybe Next Year», pour l’épilogue, un compositeur emblématique de la West Coast, qui œuvra aussi pour le cinéma, et qui confirme la tonalité générale d’un excellent enregistrement qui s’écoute avec autant de plaisir qu’il suscite de curiosité."

Yves Sportis (Été 2017)
© Jazz Hot n°680

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