Renata Bratt, Bert Ligon, Martin Norgaard | Jazz Trio 2006

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Renata Bratt, Bert Ligon, Martin Norgaard

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz Jazz: Chamber Jazz Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Jazz Trio 2006

by Renata Bratt, Bert Ligon, Martin Norgaard

Elegant chamber jazz with romantic overtones combining the pure sounds of violin, cello and piano
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. How My Heart Sings
4:25 album only
2. Namely You
4:05 album only
3. Ouzel Falls
Renata Bratt, Bert Ligon, Martin Norgaard
7:19 album only
4. Wave
7:03 album only
5. In a Sentimental Mood
7:37 album only
6. Dinah
3:56 album only
7. Waltz for Debby
5:28 album only
8. Caravan
5:34 album only
9. The Island
Renata Bratt, Bert Ligon, Martin Norgaard
4:41 album only
10. Blue Bossa
5:50 album only
11. I Fall in Love Too Easily
4:44 album only


Album Notes
“The sound of this trio takes me to a place far beyond considerations of strings, jazz, repertoire. We are gently made aware of a great flow of music and the tragic beauty of the world.” Darol Anger

Jazz Trio 2006, composed of Renata Bratt (Santa Cruz, California) cello, Martin Norgaard (Denmark, now Austin, Texas) violin, and Bert Ligon (Lexington, South Carolina) piano, began performing together at the South Carolina Suzuki Institute in Greenville.

Renata Bratt is one of the new crop of improvising cellists and a nationally recognized clinician with two books published by Mel Bay. She was dubbed an “ace player” in Rolling Stone for her work with alternative rocker Cindy Lee Berryhill.

Violinist Martin Norgaard is the author of the groundbreaking method books Jazz Fiddle Wizard and Jazz Fiddle/Viola/Cello Wizard Jr. for Mel Bay Publications. He is currently a Doctoral Fellow in Music Education with a jazz emphasis at The University of Texas at Austin.

Pianist Bert Ligon is director of jazz studies at the University of South Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Music and his Master of Music in jazz piano performance and arranging from the University of North Texas and writes beautiful jazz arrangements for strings available through Alfred Publications.

The process for organizing this CD was much the same as the process the group uses when preparing those concerts. Tune titles are tossed about and some quick notes are made about the arrangements, road maps of solo orders, keys, ending and intros. The trio set up in a close circle, center stage in the University of South Carolina School of Music Recital Hall in January, 2006. The microphones were placed to pick up the natural ambience of the room and the acoustic quality of each instrument. Recording like this meant complete exposure on every track. Any mistake was recorded on every microphone, so the group had to really be on their toes for each track from beginning to the end. There was no way to “punch-in” to fix a note, a squeak, or a funny chord. Recording this way gives the listener the sense that they are right in the middle of the trio as they perform, communicate, improvise and take risks.

The Tracks:

How My Heart Sings: This piece is often associated with and attributed to Bill Evans, but was composed by Earl Zindars. The A section is a waltz; the B in common time; the last section a waltz. On the statement of the melody, the cello plays the waltz sections, the violin the common time. On the recapitulation, the roles are reversed. Solo order: violin, cello, piano.
Namely You: Quick, name a tune from the musical Lil’ Abner! Maybe you heard this tune on Nat King Cole’s Songs for Lovers Only. Other jazz artists including Sonny Rollins and Tom Harrell have recorded the piece. The first half of the melody is stated by solo piano. Renata enters on cello for the next phrase and then Martin enters on violin for the last. A some point in every concert, the group attempts to improvise three-part counterpoint. The first improvised chorus on Namely You is the chosen vehicle for this set. This is a challenge and requires sensitive listening. One must try to hear the direction, pitches and rhythms of the others and try to play something that complements without duplicating or stepping on the other lines The piano has the next chorus before Renata and Martin return alternating phrases as they restate the melody.
Ouzel Falls: Ouzel Falls is a waterfall in Rocky Mountain National Park named for the bird. Ouzel Falls is an original atmospheric waltz by Bert Ligon. Do the trills at the end represent the birds or the trickle of water over the falls?
Wave: One of the many great standard bossa novas composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Renata’s cello becomes guitar rhythm section to set up this challenging tune. The accompaniment responsibility shifts between the piano and the cello. Renata solos first, followed by Martin and then Bert. The piece ends with a performed “fade out” of piano and violin dialog over the grooving cello rhythm section.
In a Sentimental Mood: The trio can be reduced to three different duos. A Cello and Piano duet is featured on this beautiful ballad from the Duke Ellington book. It is played sensitive and sentimental [sentimentally], and later, swinging and soulful.
Dinah: This piece was originally performed as a duet at a Suzuki concert by Martin and Bert. Renata joined in on this version as she couldn’t pass up the chance to walk a bass line at this tempo. Martin had the idea to play this old standard swing tune fast, modulate up in half-steps during the recapitulation, and then play the bridge as a waltz. There is some exciting trading before the recapitulation.
Waltz for Debby: This is the classic Bill Evans piece played by the duet of Martin and Bert. As indicated by the title, it is a waltz, but often the improvisation section is played in common time. Bert suggests both of the rhythmic settings in the introduction. The melody is played in three, Martin improvises in four, and Bert improvises in three.
Caravan: Only the stringed instruments are featured on this exotic piece from the Duke Ellington band. Renata and Martin play exotic sounds, percussive grooves and swing throughout this piece.
The Island: A piece this lovely and haunting must have a story behind it. The story is bound to involve a beautiful woman and a broken heart. But I’m just guessing. You’ll have to get the story from the composer, Martin Norgaard. The piece starts very small with the cello and piano and builds to the end. The cello improvises then accompanies the piano. The violin improvises last, beginning with a mournful cantabile and builds expressively to the recapitulation.
Blue Bossa: A standard that gets played at every jam session world-wide. It is a short form (sixteen measures) and lends itself easily to modulation. The trio plays the well-tempered bossa in all twelve keys. After Martin improvises in the original key of C minor, the group modulates to G minor and begins to swing. Martin plays one more chorus through D minor before handing it over to Renata. Renata improvises through the keys of A, E, and B minor. Bert improvises in the keys of F#, C# and G# minor. The group trades eight measure phrases then four measure phrases through the remaining keys of Eb, Bb, and F minor returning to the original key of C minor for the ending.
I Fall in Love too Easily: Bert sets up the piece by playing the last phrase in the key of B major. After an immediate modulation to G, the cello states the theme. Another modulation to Eb major sets up improvisations by Renata and then Martin. The piece modulates once again to B major for the recapitulation. The piano improvises a counter line to the melody played by Martin.



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