“The cascading, long-lined tune of Harmonia sem Chronologia, the glowing romanticism of Desencontro Certo and the glittering dance of Jegue are irresistible”
John Fordham, Guardian
(Hermeto +) La última grabación de Huw Warren es una doble “celebración” de la música de Hermeto Pascoal: junto a las versiones de algunos originales del brasileño, el pianista británico aporta otros tantos de su propia cosecha que no desmerecen en un conjunto equilibrado, sugerente y variado. No faltan en la propuesta, como no podía ser de otra manera, cambios de compás y ritmos complejos, referencias al folclore del nordeste brasileño, “choros” con melodías que se reproducen en tirabuzones en los que es difícil distinguir principio y fin… Pero también hay buenas cotas de romanticismo, algunas firmadas en solitario, algo de Bach, algo de la estética del free -aunque en dosis homeopáticas- y sentido del humor. El acordeón salpica el repertorio en algunos momentos con un efluvio diferente, popular y jovial -dos rasgos que caracterizan al homenajeado-. A subrayar el sobresaliente trabajo de Martin France, quien destaca con solvencia en un contexto incómodo pero buscado.
Quinito López Mourelle
Short Documentary made by BBC Brazil at a special house concert in north London
Live Review Nottingham 27/8/15
photo: Bob Meyrick
Summer is well and truly here, judging from the grey clouds and faint drizzle we’ve all been enjoying. What better way to enjoy the unique British version of the season than by imagining you’re somewhere else; somewhere hotter, sunnier and possessed of beaches on which people can tan, rather than catch pneumonia. How lucky that almost twenty years after he first played the Bonington Theatre, Huw Warren returned to play the sunny, hip-swinging jazz of Brazilian masters like the legendary Hermeto Pascoal, Guinga and Tom Jobim.
Accompanied by Dudley Phillips on bass guitar and Huw’s son Zoot (best jazz name ever) on drums, Warren opened with O Farol, sharp piano notes moving into epic runs up and down the keys, but keeping a rhythm that made you want to swish your hips where you sat. Fittingly for an unconventional musician like Pascoal, Warren sometimes accompanied the music by tapping on the pinblock, side and legs of the piano, the noise keeping up a constant percussive background noise to Papa Furado that made you feel you were in a busy nightclub. The finale, and that of many of the pieces played during the evening, was played at double speed. Warren explained that the idea was Pascoal’s: “Play it again, twice as fast. If you manage that, play it faster.”
photo: Bob Meyrick
The samba heart of Vataca was kept by the bass while the piano and drums flared further away from the beat, and Tom Jobin’s Luiza, gave us a melancholy guitar before the piano took over slowly, at first sadly, warming up a little to leave you wistful rather than morose.Jegue was another samba flavoured number that had you wishing you were somewhere with a dancefloor in sultrier climes.
After the break Warren gave us a more varied menu, with Phillips performing a bass solo that saw him picking at the bridge of his guitar and accompanying himself on looped notes. Warren had a couple of solo pieces as well, including a ragtime-flavoured number and one whose title translates as One Nil.Maralatu’s harsh opening notes on the piano gave way to propulsive drums, building to a fine crescendo, and the beautiful Noturna, by Guinga, was perhaps the standout piece of the night: a gorgeous, heartfelt tune of real feeling. Frevo, which built to a raucous climax, again played again at double, triple speed, ended things with a bang.
This was the first gig in Jazz Steps autumn season, and a delicious taster of the fine programme lined up for the next few months. For a couple of hours, at least, it was possible to imagine a place where the sun shines in summer and warm, sultry music will envelop you.
Huw Warren: Trio Brazil was at The Bonington Theatre on Thursday 27 August 2015.
Live Review Bristol 14/6/15
Hen and Chicken, Bristol
June 14th, 2015
A country that named Rio de Janeiro’s international airport after Antonio Carlos Jobim is one that takes its music seriously. But there’s much more to Brazilian music than Jobim, and the outstanding Welsh pianist Huw Warren has explored much of it.
Tonight’s two sets at Ian Storror’s occasional Sunday night gig in Bristol’s Southville feature big helpings of Hermeto Pascoal, multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader, and a man who is basically made of music. Warren fell in love with his pieces thirty years ago, and made an album dedicated to him in 2009. Tonight’s selections are similar in mood, that is, full of tumbling keyboard lines, driving rhythm and exhilarating double-time flourishes at the finish. We have different tunes in the main, though, which Warren, son Zoot, a first rate jazz drummer, and old cohort Dudley Philips on supple six-string electric bass have made their own – for all that they have to look closely at the sheet music on some of the knottier pieces.
An evening of Pascoal would be just fine, but there are others to explore from the same milieu – a plaintive Jobim ballad, a samba by the prolific Joyce Moreno and a dazzling sample of chorinho, which Warren describes as a kind of Brazilian ragtime and sounds exactly, and deliciously, like that, although at a tempo much faster than the stateliness that suits, say, Scott Joplin best.
As the evening goes on, we forget that we are in a comfy pub in South Bristol, with sheet music blu-tacked to an adequate (but only just) piano, and are transported somewhere altogether more tropical. Warren could feature some of his own tunes for Hermeto, which are perfectly in keeping with their inspiration, but doesn’t tonight. This is an all Brazilian programme, and full of the rhythmic bounce and harmonic subtlety that Brazilian music often blends together in gorgeous new ways. There is some jaw-dropping pianism, a beautiful solo feature for the bass, and constantly energising drums. But mainly, there is a lot of joy in bringing these tunes alive. It’s just one of many sides to Warren’s playing, more familiar to many these days in June Tabor’s Quercus, but one of the most satisfying.