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CD REVIEW: Daniel Grajew Trio - Manga

by: Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

"intoxicating"

- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST

 

 

 

Artist: Daniel Grajew Trio

Album: Manga

Label: Agata Technologia Digital LYDA

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/danielgrajew/

Genre: Jazz

Sounds Like: Marcos Ariel, Vince Guaraldi, Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington, George Duke

Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Guenta, Requeijao, Choro Vermelno, Sete Vidas

Weakness: None

CD REVIEW:  

With a distinctive talent for composing and improvising, pianist and composer Daniel Grajew combines styles like baiãosambachoro, and other Brazilian genres with jazz, tango and classical music. With a bachelor's degree in classical piano at University of São Paulo (USP), he 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.


The CD methodically lifts off the ground with “Manga” an intoxicating intro piece that flows and ebbs its way through to musical fruition. As expected this first piece serves up an impressive Gold Standard Jazz groove against a dynamic bass/drum rhythm section and inviting chops. The CD makes a great first impression and literally grabs your attention with its smooth musical flow. As the title implies Track 2 “Guenta” shifts gears wasting not time getting off the ground with it’s silk groove with an impressive combination of Jazz and R&B playing styles against well placed trumpet and rhythm sections. Track 3 “Requeijao” downshifts a bit wit a more marketable statement that serves up off the hook syncopation. The title is a bit misleading because besides a trio (piano/drums/bass) one can also appreciate accordion, trumpet, sporadic percussive accents, and guitar accents. The CD makes a great first impression providing 3 solid musical experiences in a row. Musical textures reminiscent of classic Marcos Ariel, Vince Guaraldi, Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington and even George Duke. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice most of the pieces fill the sonic space with all the attributes of classic free form jazz. This trio is spot on and provides everything you would expect in the way of musical peak and valley with music that is extremely dynamic and entertaining. All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments showcasing Gold Standard playing, performing and songwriting. What’s even more impressive is how well all these players share the sonic space with each other yet allowing for much in the way of musical freedom. As a listener I was entertained the entire time. As for Grajew he is a world class musician, pianist, writer and performer. He is clearly a marquee Jazz talent from Brazil. From melodic “Choro Vermelho” to heartfelt “Berimbau Ao Vento” and Entre Rios” to methodical “Simples Encontro” to dynamic “Sete Vidas” to intoxicating “Tio Anibal” to exuberant “Sancho” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 11 “Aceite” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.  

 

I normally dedicated this paragraph to weaknesses found. As you can see I have nothing worthwhile to report. 

 

After spending some time with Daniel Grajew it's hard to find any solid weaknesses worth mentioning. Instead as the CD progressed I became more and impressed with the production as a whole. This trio clearly knows how to play their instruments and together they are a well-oiled jazz-machine. Make no bones about it these are world class grooves and these cats can play Jazz the way it was meant to be played. Manga is an impressive musical production from start to finish. There’s not really a weak song on this entire catalog period! The musicianship is first-rate, the songs are dynamic and passionate. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Lastly - the playing, writing abilities of Daniel Grajew and his Jazz Trio are tantalizing and amazing. Sure to keep you fully entertained well into an enchanted evening.

Cyrus Rhodes

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