Monday, October 13, 2008

Danilo Perez & Claus Ogerman - Across the Crystal Sea

It's often said that there aren't that many really impressive new recordings being made today in jazz, at least compared to the "golden era" of the music. I generally agree with that statement. It's likely something to do with the quantity over quality issue - the number of new jazz recordings has exploded over the past 20 years, but in most cases, the music isn't all that memorable. 

A big exception to all of that is Beyond the Crystal Sea - a new record by pianist Danilo Perez which finds him working with arranger and conductor Claus Ogerman. This is simply a beautiful record, and I saw without hesitation the best that I have heard in 2009. Perez and Ogerman are perhaps an unlikely pair at first thought, but it works wonderfully. In fact, I think it's a more satisfying project than the similar record Claus did with Bill Evans  back in the 60's, which like Crystal Sea, also deals with jazz adaptations of classical themes. Al Schmitt recorded it, so you also know it's a sonic gem too. I'd be shocked if this one doesn't walk away with numerous awards at the end of the year. It deserves them.