Songs We Like (2019)

Gordon Jenkins, Steve Lacy, Bill Evans, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Moreno Castagna, Axel Stordahl, Paul Weston, Sammy Cahn, Cole Porter, HENRY MANCINI, Dick Robertson, Nelson Cogane, Sammy Mysels

Pietro Tonolo, Giancarlo Bianchetti

Songs We Like features the Jazz Duo of Pietro Tonolo (Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax, Flute, Flutax) and Giancarlo Bianchetti (Guitar).

The musical program from the Tonolo & Biancheti Duo is very original. It includes Slow Hot Wind by Henry Mancini, Show Type Tune by Bill Evans, Get Out Of Town by Cole Porter, I Should Care by  Axel Stordahl, Paul Weston and Sammy Cahn, Comrade Conrad by Bill Evans, Chovendo Na Roseira by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Your Story by Bill Evans, Utah by Steve Lacy, and Goodbye by Gordon Jenkins.

The sounds of the instruments: tenor and soprano saxophone, flute, flutax, and guitar - go perfectly with the acoustics of the recording venue and are fully enhanced by the natural sound.

This album is part of the recording project that Giulio Cesare Ricci has been producing for several years at the ancient cellar of the Palazzo di Scoto di Semifonte in Certaldo Alto (FI). The recording was created with the legendary Neumann Valve (Tube) microphones, DSD stereo recording on the Merging Technologies Pyramix Recorder using dCS A/D and D/A converters.

No editing was done on this album. All the tracks on this record are heard as they were performed.

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Bill Evans

Evans was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and attended Southeastern Louisiana University. After a period in the Army, he returned to New York in 1955 and began working and recording with Tony Scott and George Russell. His subtly swinging, lucidly constructed solos with these leaders quickly attracted attention, and provided Evans with an opportunity to begin recording under his own name; but he was modest regarding his gifts, and for a time was reluctant to push himself into the limelight. All this changed after he spent several months during 1958 in Miles Davis's band, where he played alongside John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley as well as the trumpeter and became a central figure in Davis's shift to modal improvisation.

The period with Davis allowed Evans to organize his own trio, which featured bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian by the end of 1959. These three players developed a new and more interactive approach to trio playing, one in which all instruments carried melodic responsibilities and functioned as equal voices. LaFaro's tragic death in a July 1961 highway accident ended the existence of this seminal unit; but not before it had recorded four albums, two in the studio and two at a Village Vanguard performance shortly before the bassist's death, that influenced several generations of pianists, bassists, and drummers.

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Songs We Like (2019)

Gordon Jenkins, Steve Lacy, Bill Evans, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Moreno Castagna, Axel Stordahl, Paul Weston, Sammy Cahn, Cole Porter, HENRY MANCINI, Dick Robertson, Nelson Cogane, Sammy Mysels

Pietro Tonolo, Giancarlo Bianchetti

    HR Audio.Net -

Like many American jazz fans, I learned about the Italian jazz scene initially through releases on ECM, which has the resources to distribute CDs in record stores, garner reviews from reputable publications, and promote artist appearances at American venues and festivals. In more recent years, as I've been collecting SACDs, I discovered the Italian label fonè Jazz, whose productions are also available as DSD downloads. Giulio Cesare Ricci, the producer, engineer and label chief of fonè, has a singular goal: to recreate the sound of distinctive historical acoustic spaces. The photographs included in the booklet for Songs We Like show the recording location, a low-ceilinged, stone-walled, flagstone-floored room in the Palazzo di Scoto di Semifonte, a historic building now used as a fine hotel, restaurant, and jazz room. Signor Ricci set out to capture the special qualities of the room sound with a unique recording package: restored Neumann valve microphones, his own proprietary mic preamps, and a Pyramix DSD recorder with dCS converters. The sonic results are breathtakingly vivid and detailed; you have a sense of being in the room in the immediate "now", while at the same time hearing the musicians through the classic "historical" lens of the warm Neumann microphones. Each time I play a fonè DSD recording, I experience a dual sense of present and past. Songs We Like is a showcase for the saxophonist and flutist Pietro Tonolo and guitarist Giancarlo Bianchetti. Tonolo plays tenor and soprano saxes, flute, and a hybrid instrument called a flutax, which appears to be an alto flute with an adapted head joint and saxophone mouthpiece. Bianchetti is shown with a single-cutaway Gibson semi-hollow body electric guitar. The duo present a well-conceived set of songs, including the Cole Porter standard "Get out of Town" and Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye", interspersed with a composition by saxophonist Steve Lacy ("Utah") and two pieces written by the great pianist and underappreciated composer Bill Evans, "Show-Type Tune" and "Comrade Conrad". Pietro Tonolo's tenor style falls within the mainstream of post-bebop jazz, yet he never fails to bring out unusual details and unexpected turns in his interpretations. Early studies in classical violin led him to a crossroads: he chose the path of the jazz musician. Participation in the large Gil Evans ensemble gave him an opportunity to work with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, who was influential on younger European saxophone and clarinet players. From 1999-2004, Tonolo was a member of drummer Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band. Motian was a direct connection to Bill Evans, with whom Motian played and recorded in the period 1960-1962. These lineages of modern jazz can be heard in Tonolo's thoughtful tenor solos; he plays closely-cropped phrases with unsentimental lyricism. In keeping with the intimacy of the venue and the duo instrumentation, Tonolo sustains the saxophone's dynamics at a voice-like level, and rarely takes his solos very far "out". It's a credit to an experienced musician that he brings such an inventive and creative slant to well-known compositions. The flutax is heard on the 1944 Axel Stordahl-Sammy Cahn song "I Should Care". An unusual hybrid instrument which has the breathy quality of the flute coupled with the bite of the saxophone, the flutax demands a careful attack, but rewards with a haunting vibrato. Each time I listen to this piece, I find the sound of the instrument a perfect fit with the melancholy character of the song, a favorite of pianist Bill Evans and a long list of notable jazz interpreters and singers. Video of the duo performing "I Should Care" can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaCxGc1H6Qo Guitarist Giancarlo Bianchetti assumes the sole responsibility of a rhythm section with skill and ease. He's equally comfortable comping behind the saxophone and playing unaccompanied passages. An accomplished melodic improviser, he solos with facility and finesse. Signor Ricci captures the sound of his amplifier with admirable warmth and detail. Interlocking rhythms and flute key tapping on the Antonio Carlos Jobim piece "Chovendo Na Roseira" evoke a Brazilian rhythm section with just the dual forces. Towards the end of the tune, Bianchetti uses a looping device to create a piano ostinato effect, then an octave pedal to lower his bass strings into the bass guitar register. The Steve Lacy piece, "Utah", opens in a more modernistic vein, with guitar distortion for a stronger, strident impact. The guitar and tenor sax counterpart each other, leaving space for the room between the notes. The final track, Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye", ends with sustained tones from the tenor saxophone that blur into swelled guitar chords, gradually fading away into silence. Giulio Cesare Ricci's impeccable engineering, the skill and subtlety of the saxophone and guitar performances, the inclusion of lesser-known compositions by Bill Evans and Steve Lacy, and a fresh approach to the arrangement of classic jazz standard songs, make this album a first choice for audiophile jazz listeners. Sonics: 5 out of 5 Stars Performance: 5 out of 5 Stars

Mark Werlin[read full review]

Songs We Like (2019)

Gordon Jenkins, Steve Lacy, Bill Evans, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Moreno Castagna, Axel Stordahl, Paul Weston, Sammy Cahn, Cole Porter, HENRY MANCINI, Dick Robertson, Nelson Cogane, Sammy Mysels

Pietro Tonolo, Giancarlo Bianchetti

Cables: Signoricci
Digital Converters: dCS A/D (Analog to DSD) and D/A (DSD to Analog) Converters
Mastering Engineer: Giulio Cesare Ricci
Microphone Preamps: Signoricci
Microphones: Neumann U47, U48, M49 Valve (Tube) Microphones
Notes: No editing was done on this album. All the tracks on this record are heard as they were performed.
Producer: Giulio Cesare Ricci
Recording Assistant: Paola Liberato
Recording Engineer: Giulio Cesare Ricci
Recording Location: Il Castello - Palazzo di Scoto di Semifonte Certaldo Alto (Fi), November 2016
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD 64

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Album Download duration price
SACD176: Songs We Like
01:00:46   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Yesterday?s Gardenias
Dick Robertson,Nelson Cogane,Sammy Mysels
00:05:24   Select quality & channels above
2.
Slow hot Wind
HENRY MANCINI
00:05:47   Select quality & channels above
3.
Show-type Tune
Bill Evans
00:05:01   Select quality & channels above
4.
Get Out of Town
Cole Porter
00:06:50   Select quality & channels above
5.
I Should Care
Axel Stordahl,Paul Weston,Sammy Cahn
00:07:46   Select quality & channels above
6.
Comrade Conrad
Bill Evans
00:06:01   Select quality & channels above
7.
Wet Bread
Moreno Castagna
00:03:59   Select quality & channels above
8.
Chovendo Na Roseira
Antonio Carlos Jobim
00:06:24   Select quality & channels above
9.
Your story
Bill Evans
00:04:55   Select quality & channels above
10.
Utah
Steve Lacy
00:04:20   Select quality & channels above
11.
Goodbye
Gordon Jenkins
00:04:19   Select quality & channels above

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