Bill Cantrall : Live At The Kitano

CD [Cover Art for Bill Cantrall / Live At The Kitano] Your Price: $22.89
Availability: In Stock
Sell date: 8/2012
Label: CD Baby
Mfg's Catalog#: 5637929
CDC Part#: 1819661
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 Notes & Reviews
An axiom, in the parlance of mathematics, is a self-evident truth that requires no further demonstration. The jazz world, in contrast, has it's own self-evident truths-about the importance of swing, creativity, spontaneity and other core virtues-and these are amply demonstrated by Bill Cantrall's band Axiom. Consider this compact disk as part of the proof-since proof, as you may recall, always rests on axioms. This impressive live date, recorded at The Kitano in New York, follows on the heels of Cantrall's top notch debut album Axiom from 2007. Here the trombonist reassembles most of the group from the studio project and elicits from them memorable performances of six Cantrall originals and a Cole Porter standard. 'On the very first tune, I could feel that things were jelling,' Cantrall recalls the evening, 'it felt right and the solos were happening. I knew that night that I wanted to release it.' Cantrall, active on the New York scene since the late 1990s, brings a rich array of experiences to his work. His earliest exposure to jazz came via a high school bandleader who gave him a copy of J.J. Johnson's Proof Positive. ('It's still one of my favorite albums,' Cantrall notes.) He went on to immerse himself in the music of Curtis Fuller, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter and other classic exponents of hard bop and modern jazz sounds. After high school, Cantrall studied music and engineering at Northwestern, and earned valuable experience in Chicago's active club scene, where he served as a mainstay in salsa bands and expanded his improvisational skills on jazz gigs. During this same period, Cantrall was making great strides as a composer. While still an undergraduate, a stint at Stanford's summer jazz program proved inspiring. Here Jimmy Heath took the trombonist aside and shared his own approaches to harmonization. Some of the music Cantrall wrote during this period found it's way into the composition 'Shaniece,' featured on this recording. Cantrall stayed in Chicago for three years after receiving his degree, but in 1998 the trombonist made the move to New York, where both family ties and the energy of the music scene beckoned. Here he pursued a master's in music at Queens College, where he studied under Sir Roland Hanna, Michael Mossman and Steve Davis. Cantrall also established himself on the New York live music scene, both in Latin and jazz venues. In recent years, Cantrall has emerged as a skilled bandleader, honing his own distinctive vision of jazz, one steeped in the music's traditions but also alive to the exigencies of the here and now. As the present disk makes clear, his music is forthright and swinging, built on smartly conceived compositions that bring out first rate playing from the trombonist and his associates. The opening track 'BBM' displays the salient virtues of Cantrall's craft. The crisp horn lines join in a taut melody over a hard-grooving rhythm section, the ensemble summoning up memories of those celebrated Art Blakey, Horace Silver and Cannonball Adderley bands that set the gold standard for this kind of high-octane combo sound. Cantrall shows his skill in building a solo, gradually raising the energy level over the course of his five choruses, and eventually drawing an array of devices-rhythmic displacements, thematic development, hints of polytonality-as he moves toward a dramatic conclusion. The song's title, Cantrall explains, came about by happenstance; before he had decided on what to call it, the chart was identified merely by the key signature B flat major, whose symbols 'Bb M' were turned into a default title. 'After You,' a little known Cole Porter gem, was introduced by Fred Astaire in the 1932 show The Gay Divorce, where it was over-shadowed by the runaway hit 'Night and Day' from the same production. Cantrall reconfigures the work in a nuanced arrangement, mixing a modern jazz sensibility with hints of bossa nova. Here he offers up solo space to pianist Rick Germanson, bassist Gerald Cannon and saxophonist Stacy Dillard (on soprano)-each returnees from Cantrall's 2007 Axiom project-before

B.B.M. (Live)
After You (Live)
Sharphead (Live)
Shaniece (Live)
Like I Said (Live)
Axiom (Live)
Maker's (Live)