Discos: Jazz / MPB
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|Estilo||Jazz / MPB|
|Año de Edición Original||2021|
Gregg Karukas (piano solo, arreglos)
Edición en formato Digipack.
Después de cuatro años de silencio después de la muerte de su esposa, el prestigioso tecladista, arreglista y productor estadounidense de 'cool jazz' Gregg Karukas (Baltimore, Maryland, 1956) -ganador del Grammy en 2013 como arreglista y productor en la categoría de Mejor Álbum de New Age- lanza su primer disco en formato de piano solo, en el que ofrece sobrias y emotivas versiones de temas de Milton Nascimento, de otros compositores del Clube da Esquina y de su amigo Dori Caymmi (quien, así como Ricardo Silveira, ha participado en varios de sus álbumes anteriores), en las que consigue resaltar toda la belleza melódica y la enorme espiritualidad que contienen. Y completa el repertorio con siete composiciones propias inspiadas en ellos. Realmente hermoso.
"Serenata, Gregg's first ever solo piano project, offers romantic impressions of classic songs from iconic Brazilian artists Milton Nascimento and Dori Caymmi as well as new and re-imagined Karukas originals. Coming out of a 4 year hiatus, following the loss of his wife Yvonne from brain cancer, Gregg found the challenges of both the Covid isolation and developing his solo piano voice to be the perfect catalyst for reclaiming beauty, hope and, most importantly, new original music.
A prolific, genre-crossing veteran of Smooth Jazz, Brazilian, New Age and R&B/Pop, Gregg looks back on his years touring with Brazilian artists Sergio Mendes, Dori Caymmi and Ricardo Silveira in the 1990's as some of his favorite musical experiences. As producer, pianist, composer and arranger, Gregg won the Best New Age Grammy in 2013 (Echoes of Love), and has also worked with pianist David Lanz, arranging and producing two successful crossover CDs. As a founding member of the Los Angeles smooth jazz community, Gregg toured and contributed to many seminal projects (The Rippingtons, Dave Koz, Peter White, Boney James).
After a recent move, Gregg discovered a dusty box of live cassette recordings of shows in the 1990's with Dori and Ricardo Silveira and was curious to check out one particular tape marked "Dori - Le Cafe" with a star!...... Gregg says, "Those Dori shows at that tiny Los Angeles music room were legendary, with everyone from Michel LeGrand, Dave Grusin, Quincy Jones to Wayne Shorter in the audience. I played multiple keys, but Dori usually introduced me as: "My orchestra....". I had to buy a used cassette deck to play it, and it was one of our magical nights. I sat down at the piano and recalled many of his lush, melodic songs as best as I could and got very emotional, especially since I had also recently found the video of our wedding in 1992, where Dori sang “O Cantador” during the ceremony. That evening pulled me out of my comfort zone and set me on a surprising new adventure that I hope will bring some peace and joy to all who are suffering during this challenging time." "Most people think of Brazillian music as highly rhythmic, based on samba, or carnival," Gregg says, "but there are so many other great qualities that encompass a world of influences; Portuguese folk ballads, American jazz, mountain rhythms, lots of acoustic guitars...Milton's soaring vocals are so distinctive. I love the more emotional, romantic melodies, and while I don't understand any of the Portuguese lyrics, these songs are very special to me".
Listening constantly on the way to his gigs, Gregg found the lush melodies and harmonies of Milton and friends to be a 'sacred' respite; the perfect antidote to the involved, dynamic jazz fusion he was writing and playing. "I deliberately did not try to analyze or learn the songs at the piano, up until very recently that is......and so I was able to approach the music on “Serenata” with a fresh, unfiltered perspective. A few of the originals are late night, through-composed improvisations." Kathy Parsons (mainlypiano.com)
“Pianist Gregg Karukas’ melodic solo keyboard is pure, unadulterated, magic! He reaches down inside his own heart to touch yours with passion and intensity.” Dick Metcalf (Contemporary Fusion Reviews)
“I loved Gregg’s work with Dori Caymmi and the new album really celebrated Dori, Milton, and Brazilian music. Gregg has a lovely touch and harmonic sense. It’s quite simply a gorgeous celebration of Brazilian music, filled with harmonic and melodic beauty.” Tom Schnabel (KCRW Rhythm Planet)
“A thoughtful, reflective and ultimately joyful work. After so many years of in-the-pocket Smooth jazz hit-making, it’s wonderful to experience Karukas’ truest heart on display. To quote one of those earlier titles, that’s truly the sound of emotion coming through loud and clear.” Jonathan Widran (JW Vibe)