Artist: Daniel Grajew Trio
YOU TUBE: www.youtube.com/dgrajew
The Review: So as luck would have it I stumble across the latest CD by a Brazilian Jazz Pianist who goes by the name of Daniel Grajew. Let me start by saying this debut release entitled Manga by Daniel Grajew is one of the best Jazz CD’s I’ve heard this year. It’s really a gift to the world. I really love timeless Jazz in general. Looking back at the last 20-30 years there have been some truly amazing Piano Jazz that has given us the gift of music for the ages.
What players am I referring to: Barry Harris, Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones, Bud Powell and Cedar Walton. These players were the new Jazz Pioneers that changed the course of “Piano drive Jazz forever. From the above masters to more recent artists no one can deny the impact such diverse music has had upon our musical culture. Getting back to Grajew this mammoth musical project consists of many notable players and contributors like Carlos Malta (saxophone), Luiz Brasil (guitar), Luis Passos (guitar), Willie Daniel (guitar) and Jorge Neto (trombone) to name a few. Music will remind you of all aforementioned artists.
When you hit play and listen to the first few tracks: “Manga”, “Guenta Ai” and Requeijao” one will quickly be blessed and enlightened by the musical presence of this project. All of these songs are the classic return of free form Jazz. “Manga” is a a monumental concept album or musical journey if you will with so many musical and spiritual layers it should be heralded as legendary in its status. The title of the album is no doubt an up close and personal statement and is a great title for this CD. The amazing combination of piano, guitar, rhythms, horns, trombone, and percussion showcase the highest level of jazz musicianship. The melodies and musical progression are brilliant, and the Piano playing from Grajew offers the perfect low and high end melodic reinforcements just where they need to be.
My favorite tracks are the extended play ones: “Manga”, “Choro Vermelho”, “Simples Encontro” and Sete Vidas.”
Manga is an amazing journey through the brilliant mindset and musical psyche of Daniel Grajew himself. Did I mention Dagrew who has a bachelor’s degree in classical piano at University of São Paulo (USP), has worked with known artists such as Carlos Malta, JJ Jackson, Luiz Brasil, Marcelo Monteiro, Blubell, Vania Bastos, Luisa Maita, Tulipa Ruiz, Tom Zé, Lucas Santanna, Siba, among others. “Manga” by Daniel Grajew” literally blew me away, actually it greatly exceeded all my expectations. In the end it a celebratory return of classic improv-based Jazz at its roots. The amazing arsenal of players and performers Grajew brings to the table via his intellectually stimulating vision and songwriting style will keep you highly entertained.
Bryan Effinger edited by Markus Druery
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