Jazz CD Reviews

Weber Iago, solo piano – Piano Masters Series Vol. 3 – Adventure Music
Gordon Lee – This Path – OA2 Records

Two fine jazz piano CDs of interest.

Published on December 22, 2012

Weber Iago, solo piano – Piano Masters Series Vol. 3 – Adventure Music</br>  Gordon Lee – This Path – OA2 Records

Weber Iago, solo piano – Piano Masters Series Vol. 3 – [TrackList follows] Adventure Music AM1071 2 ****:

Gordon Lee – This Path [TrackList follows] – OA2 Records 22076 ****:

(Gordon Lee, piano; Dave Captein & Kevin Deitz alternating on doublebass; Carlton Jackson & Ron Steen alternating on drums; Miguel Bernal, cajon on tr. 4)

Solo piano jazz is always a challenge for performers, and the Brazilian keyboardist Weber Iago makes his Fazioli solo piano sing on these nine tracks—all his own compositions. The notes say that nos. 1, 2, 4 & 9 are all spontaneous compositions created at the moment of recording. Iago reports that he is pleased to show what this magnificent instrument can do in a solo role. He says the Fazioli has been part of his life since 2006 and finds it aids his spontaneous improvisations. To my ears this is a distilled version of the unique sounds of Brazilian jazz, played by a superb pianist. The recording, too, lacks nothing (except being stuck in the 44.1/16bit format), having been originally made in DSD format using a pair of Sennheiser MKH 80-0 mics.

TrackList: True Colors, Stairway to Us, It Dawned on Me, Mirrors, Merci Mon Frere, Happiness is a Choice, From I to Z, Praise, Carmela


Longtime Portland resident Gordon Lee is a veteran pianist-arranger-composer and educator, who gives us a delightful piano trio session on this CD. My favorite track of the dozen here is immediately Jobim’s “Portrait in Black & White,” and is to my mind a jazz classic. Jim Pepper’s native-American slant is realized in his “Lakota Song,” and the native-American theme continues with “Sitting Bull’s Revenge” and a reharmonization of the familiar “Cherokee.”  Miguel Bernal joins in on cajon for the flamenco-saturated “ Andalucia.” Lee Morgan’s “Cornbread” also really swings. In general, the world music influences are stronger on this album than some of Lee’s previous efforts.

TrackList:  Pao Ma Shan, Dragonfly, Minor Discrepancy, Andalucia, Portrait in Black & White, This Path, Lakota Song, Sitting Bull’s Revenge, Niney-Nine Niney-Nine, Cornbread, Cadenza, Field on the Hill

—John Henry




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