10 Seconds: Allexa Nava
1. Machito & His Orchestra - Congo Mulence (1'25" - 1'35")
From Machito & His Orchestra - Kenya (1958)
"Congo Mulence is a short, fun blues I first listened to and played with New Regency Orchestra a few months back. Before playing with them my knowledge of Afro-Cuban/Latin Jazz Big Bands was zero, so it was fun to add many of these tunes to my everyday playlists, but this is the one that stands out for me. Mainly because of the sax solo by the one and only Cannonball Adderley, if i'm not wrong. I literally had no idea he played as part of Machito’s Afro-Cuban Big Band but that was a nice surprise, and also because I added his solo to my transcription list.
This is my favourite section because of how the backings support the soloist - its a nice mixture - so please go and check it out!"
2. Chris Potter - Facing East (5'55" - 6'05")
From Chris Potter - Underground (2006)
"Facing East by Chris Potter is one of my favourite tunes from the well-known “Underground”. Although this album is mostly known because of the crazy and super difficult tune Rumples, I think Facing East is a more melodic tune that tells a story and plays with emotion.
I'm always fascinated by how this tune develops, how from a small motif it grows into this madness. The solos on this track are amazing, and one that caught me off guard is Chris’ solo on bass clarinet!
I knew he played clarinet but I was amazed by his bass clarinet playing & how 'Chris Pottery' it sounds, & the fact that right after he finishes his solo, he grabs the tenor and solos on it as well.
My fav section by far is from 5:55-6:05 because it is so him!"
3. Arturo Marquez (Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela): Danzon No. 2 (3'07" - 3'17")
From Gustavo Dudamel - Discoveries (2008)
“This one might not be a jazzy tune but it shaped my life, its one that still inspires me everyday, and one I cannot get tired of.
The first music i got into was Classical, and I think in a way it's everyone's journey. We learn the classics like Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and more, but along the way we discover and learn about more contemporary composition like this one. Danzon N2 is a whole journey that everyone should experience, each “movement” or “section” is so beautifully written out. 3:07-3:17 feels like the whole string section grabs you by the hand and makes you run through that specific section to get to the end, the calm."
4. Kurt Rosenwinkel Group - Flute (4'50" - 5'00")
From Kurt Rosenwinkel Group - The Remedy: Live at The Village Vanguard
"This next one is for me an iconic record. The Remedy by Kurt Rosenwinkel has become one of my favourite albums, mainly because its a live recording and you can get to experience & listen to the musicians' reactions, the audience reaction, and lengthy solos from everyone. Every tune on this album is so beautiful and worth everyone's time, but my favourite has to be Flute, an interesting title (that till this day I don’t know why it's called that), but the melody is so well written, the harmony is so interesting, the build-up, everything about it.
My favourite solo has to be Aarons' on Piano, one of my favourite moments would be between 4:50-5:00, The tension and release are so beautiful."
5. The Dave Holland Quintet - Looking Up (0'55" - 1'05")
From The Dave Holland Quintet - Prime Detective (1999)
"Dave Holland is an amazing bass player with beautiful writing skills, If I am honest there’s not one tune that I don’t like or that I skip from this album, but overall, even when he had his Big Band Project all the tunes were freaking amazing.
Prime Detective was my first album of his along with Archive Series Vol 1, & surprise...as I made clear with the first track, one of my favourite players is Chris Potter, so this just adds to it because he plays in both.
Looking Up is my favourite tune of Prime Detective. The melody is so catchy and it alternates between 2 time signatures which makes it really cool to listen and play. The 0'55" - 1'05" section here has to be my favourite moment, and yes its just the melody but I think its a really cool one."
6. Rosalía- La Hija De Juan Simón (2'22" - 2'32")
From Rosalía - Los Angeles (2017)
"One of my favourite tunes from Rosalía. It might be a bit random in comparison to my other selections, but I can’t deny its a beautiful tune and it deserves to be mentioned. This one is from her first album, Los Angeles. It is super different from the music she makes nowadays, but I think musicians understand that discovering your own sound is a process, so its natural for someone to grow in different directions.
The section I've chosen demonstrates her voice control, and how many emotions she is capable of making you feel. Hope you like it"
7. Miguel Zenon (0'00" - 0'10")
From Miguel Zenon - Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera (2019)
"This is a complex tune! Like from the first time you here it, you know its going to be crazy (But obviously not in a bad way.)!
Miguel Zenon is such a pro player and you can hear that over this whole tune. La Gata Montesa has amazing solos! Especially the clarity in Zenon's playing is phenomenal! You can actually hear every note he plays so clear, such good articulation. Listen to the entire album, and all his solos are freaking amazing, but this tune has a unique melody that stands out for me."
8. Brad Mehldau - The Prophet Is A Fool (3'25" - 3'35")
From Brad Mehldau - Finding Gabriel (2019)
"I don’t have much to say about this one other than "please listen to it!" Nothing I say will describe such a mind-blowing tune with a powerful message.
The arrangement is amazing, we have different wind instruments that take part in these different sections & each one with a different vibe! Brad Mehldau playing synths, an absolutely mind-blowing solo by Joel Frahm that fits so well over this! I am used to him playing traditional jazz so this was very new to me.
The Prophet is a Fool is worth everyone's time, and I think its an amazing tune to finish this post, just listen to it! Its a whole experience so I don’t want to spoil anything else but 3:25-3:25 is my favourite moment."