Frank Herzberg Trio | Handmade

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Handmade

by Frank Herzberg Trio

Handmade – hands on keys, hands holding bows and pulling strings, hands using sticks to strike skins and cymbals. This is music made by hand, with intention, devotion, and sweat. Three great musicians having fun playing! Enjoy!
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. Don't talk crazy
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2. A Xepa
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3. Mil Saudades
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4. Lorca
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5. Too Much (for Charlie Banacos)
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6. The Drums (Suite for Jazz Trio)
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7. The Bass (Suite for Jazz Trio)
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8. The Piano (Suite for Jazz Trio)
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9. The Trio (Suite for Jazz Trio)
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Handmade
Coming to Brazil 14 years ago was a kind of adventure that I expected to last only a couple of years. But private plans and destiny very often do not agree with each other. Now I'm married to my beautiful wife Marta, have three great kids: Stefan, Luisa and Clara, and I have met many marvelous people here. I am lucky to play with many of the very best Brazilian musicians and I’ve been learning a great variety of new musical styles and ways to play. Zé Eduardo Nazario and Alexandre Zamith became my partners almost 10 years ago and we continue to find opportunities to maintain our musical and personal friendship. I'm very pleased we managed to document some of the artistic material we've created during these years. Here are some comments about the music . . .

1) Don't Talk Crazy - I wrote this for a friend who is obsessed with the end of the world. The melody is in 5/4 and it stays in this meter on the B section where drums and bass do a metrical displacement.

2) A Xepa - Zé Eduardo Nazario wrote this song in 1976 when he was in Hermeto Pascoal’s band. He composed the melody on a bamboo flute used in the Northeast of Brazil. The song uses a typical rhythm from the Northeast area, Baião – but Zé put his personal stamp on the tune by arranging it for jazz instruments. A Xepa, translated from Brazilian Portuguese, means "our daily bread."

3) Mil Saudades - is dedicated to my mum and my friend Jens Thurow who left us too early.

4) Lorca - Alexandre Zamith wrote this tune as homage to the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. The melody unfolds over a series of odd-meter combinations, mostly 6/8 and 7/8. In the improvisational section, the grouping of 6/8 and 7/8 totals a measure of 13/8.

5) Too Much, Charlie – The title of this song comes from an expression used often by Charlie Banacos during our lessons. Charlie was a legendary teacher in the Boston area and I had the privilege of studying with him for almost 5 years. He passed too soon, and I miss him a lot.

6 - 9) Suite For Jazz Trio "Twelve Bars Down The Road I Met You” – is dedicated to my wife Marta. We met at Berklee College of Music and played a lot of blues together. The entire suite is comprised of 4 movements. All of the movements are based in some way on the blues, although sometimes the connection is loose and/or very re-harmonized.

6) The Drums The first movement features the drum set by starting off with a solo and concludes with a bass melody and counterpoint based on a 12-tone row. My idea was 12 tones = 12 bars = blues.

7) The Bass – This movement is a feature for the upright bass in medium tempo with lots of double-stops. Although this is the most typical blues composition in the suite, the melody is actually 13 measures long.

8) The Piano – This movement is a very re-harmonized bluesy ballad in 3/4 meter. I particularly enjoy the impressionistic intro that Alexandre created. The last four chords of the form extend for free playing.

9) The Trio – This movement concludes the suite and is an up-tempo minor blues that features all 3 musicians. It ends on a G7sus chord, a dominant chord, which leaves everything open…

Frank Herzberg São Paulo, Brazil 1st of September, 2011

It is my great pleasure to write a few words about the recording at hand. It is a product of the long-time artistic collaboration of three unique and special musicians. Each brings a lifetime of devotion and musical growth to their joint effort.
Alexandre Zamith holds a Doctorate in Classical Performance and loves to combine elements of jazz and contemporary classical performance. He inserts impressionistic flavors into his music, quoting Brazilian composers like Villa Lobos and Guerra Peixe (in A Xepa for instance), and is fusing his musical interests into a unique personal style.
Zé Eduardo Nazario has played with a veritable “who’s who” of great Brazilian musicians, has accompanied international stars touring in his country, and has travelled widely. He has acquired an encyclopedic knowledge of Brazilian rhythms and music styles, and delved deeply into Jazz, African, and Indian musical cultures. Both sensitive and powerful, Zé Eduardo has a wonderful, creative musical imagination.
Frank Herzberg is a native Berliner and an adopted Brazilian. He is old-world conservatory trained, has absorbed contemporary improvisation techniques at Berklee College of Music and with other legendary teachers in Boston, and is now knee-deep in the vast and fascinating Brazilian musical universe. Frank is organized, flexible, and loyal.
These are the musicians who have created the recording Handmade. An honest name, I think, Handmade – hands on keys, hands holding bows and pulling strings, hands using sticks to strike skins and cymbals.
This is music made by hand, with intention, devotion, and sweat. The ingredients acquired through life-long study, then added, subtracted, mixed, blended, refined, and aged like fine wine in special barrels until the right moment. Now is the time to taste the wine. Enjoy!

John Stein Boston, USA 1st of September, 2011

Special thanks to god for putting me into “trouble”, my wife Marta, my kids Stefan, Luisa and Clara for being always supportive and a source of inspiration, my musicians Zé and Alexandre for finding time to work together, Andrex for his outstanding artwork and friendship and Silvo Gustin for his suggestions and his support.


Produced, mixed and mastered by Frank Herzberg.

Recorded on November 26 and 27 by Frank Herzberg, São Paulo Brazil.

Fotos and CD design by Andrex Photo.



Meu prezado Frank:

Foi com grande emoção e alegria que ouvi o seu novo e refinadíssimo CD Handmade. Gostei muito das composições: os temas super bem construídos, demonstrando sensibilidade e profunda compreensão rítmica, melódica e harmônica.

Congratulações a você e à sua turma: Alexandre Zamith no piano, Zé Eduardo Nazario na bateria, e você, Frank, magistralmente no contrabaixo. Parabéns pela execução de todos os temas, aqui apresentados com muita maturidade e muito talento.

Tenho certeza de que as pessoas que irão desfrutar da audição deste seu novo CD também vão "curtir" todo este "swing", todo esse "groove" nos concertos "live", que com certeza irão acontecer.
Quero estar presente para ouvi-los e, com sua licença, VOU continuar ouvindo um pouco mais deste seu LINDO SOM!

Osmar Barutti


Reviews


to write a review

Gitarre/Bass Februar Ausgabe 2012

Frank Herzberg Trio HANDMADE
Der deutsche Kontrabassist hat in Berlin Klassik und in Boston Jazz studiert; er lebt und arbeitet seit 14 Jahren in Brasilien. Gemeinsam mit Pianist Alexandre Zamith (auch ein toller Fender-Rhodes-Player) und Drummer Zé Eduardo Nazário hat er sein neues Album eingespielt, in nur zwei Tagen. Und dass es sich hierbei um echte Live-Musik handelt, um ein hervorragendes Beispiel für swingende, pulsierende Jazz-Interaktion, macht diese Veröffentlichung besonders erfreulich. Denn ganz im Gegensatz zu manchen selbstverliebten Piano-Trios oder Cocktail-infizierten Berufs-Latinisten, steht hier ein weiteres, ganz wesentliches Jazz-Element im Vordergrund: ENERGIE! Diese Formation rockt den Jazz, und Frank Herzbergs knochiger Kontrabasston, übrigens hervorragend aufgenommen, zieht, treibt und führt den Zuhörer förmlich durch die Musik. Originell gestaltet wurde die zweite Album-Hälfte mit den Solo-Tracks "the drums", "the bass" und "the piano", um dann mit "the trio" das Finale zu bestreiten. Geschmackvoll und gekonnt! It

Fabricio Viera

Folha de São Paulo, 2 de Fevereiro 2012
Instrumental
Frank Herzberg
QuantoR$ 37, em media
Avaliação ***

Radicado no Brasil desde os anos 90, o baixista alemão Frank Herzberg demonstra já ter absorvido o melhor do instrumental nacional. Este novo trabalho de seu trio, que conta com Zé Eduardo Nazario (bateria) e Alexandre Zamith (piano), registra bem isso, com momentos de muito swing, sem perder o refinamento. "Don't Talk Crazy" e "Lorca" resumem muito bem a estética do baixista.

Lynda Weingartz

AIRPLAY DIRECT & POWDERFINGER PROMOTIONS ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNER OF THE
"There were a lot of great entries for the Jazz promotion contest, but Frank Herzberg's was a clear standout. We loved the original rhythmic melodies and the entire ensemble was outstanding." David Avery, President/Powderfinger Promotions.

“We are so happy with the response to our joint contest with Powderfinger Promotions on the WIN A JAZZ RADIO PROMOTION. The quality of the music and artists that entered the contest was exceptional. We had entries from several countries and with the winner from Brazil. AirPlay Direct is the global platform for radio and artists and this contest adds to that confirmation. Frank Herzberg Trio is an amazing group with a terrific new record that we believe all of our jazz station members will download and play it. I want to thank all of the artists who entered and this is only the first of many jazz contests to come. Michael Harnett, President/AirPlay Direct.

Arnaldo Desouteiro

best new jazz release 2011
Brazils most important jazz critic Arnaldo Desouteiro released his yearly BEST OF JAZZ list (since 1979).
Frank Herzbergs new album "handmade" received the 1º place (in a list of 15 releases) as best jazz album 2011.
Drummer Zé Eduardo Nazário was elected best drummer 2011, pianist Alexandre Zamith 3º best electric pianist and Frank Herzberg 3º best acoustic bassist, as well as 3º best instrumental group.
Here is Arnaldos BEST JAZZ 2011:
http://jazzstation-oblogdearnaldodesouteiros.blogspot.com/2011/12/dec.html

Wildy Haskell

Handmade - Frank Herzberg Trio
German born, Brazil-based instrumentalist, composer and bandleader Frank Herzberg has built a career on dynamic change, flexibility, and being one of the best in the world on his instrument: the double bass. Working professionally since 1987, Herzberg has shown a distinct talent for classical, jazz and Broadway style musicals. Herzberg shines as part of an ensemble, and doubly so when he is out in front. After years of working in the background, Herzberg began his Frank Herzberg Trio in 2004. Their latest effort, Handmade, shows a distinctive style and ear for themes, while allowing the three members freedom to explore their own individual musical ideas in a shared, communal setting.
Handmade gets started with “Don’t Talk Crazy”, a wonderfully unkempt number with dark and vaguely disturbing undertones. The song opens with Herzberg’s double bass making the rounds in a bound prologue, like a villain’s theme from an old silent movie. The percussion and piano slowly overlay as a dual musical non-sequitur before the trio launch into a peppy yet dark modern jazz number with a mischievous spirit. “A Xepa” is a frenetic effort with great energy that gets caught up in a repetitive loop and never quite breaks free of its own form. The piano work here is catchy and driven, reinforces the spiral. “Mil Saudades” opens with a ostinato bass that gives way to a lyric bowed melody line accompanied by tasteful and reserved piano and percussion. There’s a sense of quiet beauty here; the song feels almost like something Vince Guaraldi might have written on a maudlin day.
“Lorca” teems with energy, cavorting in its own internal dance. Herzberg varies tempo and pacing throughout, building a sense of drama, but the songs own inherent energy can never be denied for long. “Too Much, Charlie” is built around a jaunty lick on the double-bass, but it’s the piano work that really shines here. The song itself builds from classic jazz structure and slowly morphs into modern jazz de-construction, eventually petering out in exhausted disarray, only to begin again and start over. “The Drums” is a classic, Buddy Rich-style drum solo. The word pyrotechnics, while not entirely applicable to the jazz ensemble, doesn’t seem entirely out of place here. The rest of the trio joins in before it’s over, but this is a messy transition that perhaps detracts from the pure percussion magic that the song starts out with.
“The Bass” features Herzberg getting his own groove on, and proving once and for all that the double-bass is so much more than just one-half of the rhythm section. The rest of the trio joins in to fill out the arrangement, filling in the spaces between Herzberg’s runs. It’s the snappiest number on the disc; you’ll have a hard time sitting still. “The Piano” opens with another seemingly Vince Guaraldi-inspired rumination, although with a slightly more progressive bent at times. The result is the perfect balm for a rainy Sunday afternoon: melancholy but full of life. Handmade closes with the peppy “The Trio”, going for a pure nightclub feel that’s a perfect close for the tour that the Frank Herzberg Trio has just taken you on.
Handmade is a breath of fresh air. Frank Herzberg and company pay homage to classic jazz while allowing their occasional progressive desires some reign to play. The result is a high energy jazz exploration occasionally tempered by a delicious melancholy. This is not supper club jazz by any stretch. Handmade can play in the background, but will quickly become the center of attention. Even on the rare occasion where The Frank Herzberg Trio gets a bit bogged down, they do so in interesting fashion, with enough talent and panache to pull through relatively unscathed. Handmade is an impressive effort, and very quietly, one of the better new jazz offering of 2011.

Review by: Wildy Haskell
Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Dan MacIntosh

Frank Herzberg Trio "Handmade"
Artist: Frank Herzberg Trio
Album: Handmade
Review By: Dan MacIntosh

Frank Herzberg is a Brazilian-based jazz bassist and Handmade is his adventurous, straight ahead jazz album. His trio also includes piano/Rhodes player Alexandre Zamith and drummer Zé Eduardo Nazario. Anyone that enjoys serious jazz, and seriously pleasurable jazz, will find plenty to like about this new CD.

One notices right off the bat what an unselfish leader Herzberg truly is. The opening track, “Don’t Talk Crazy,” which Herzberg says is inspired by a friend obsessed with the end of the world, prominently features Zamith’s Rhodes word. The very next cut, “A Xepa,” a sprightly, upbeat tune spotlights Zamith again -- this time on piano.

If all that altruism weren’t enough, the album includes three very simply titled tracks toward the project’s end. One goes by “The Drummer,” the next is called “The Bass,” and the last one is named “The Piano.” Can you guess which instrument each track features? (Asked rhetorically). Every composition is blues based, with each track highlighting a singular instrument from the trio. This three-part work is dedicated to Herzberg’s wife, Marta, as they played a lot of blues together after meeting at Berklee College of Music. Although this is not blues, played strictly in, say, the Muddy Waters manner, it is nonetheless a three-pronged examination of the form. It once again reveals how much Herzberg trusts his fellow musicians, and just how integral the each man is to his music.

Herzberg’s pianist, Zamith, wrote one of the most beautifully exotic works on the album, “Lorca,” which was inspired by Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. The song has an upbeat Latin feel to it. Ironically, Herzberg may well be the standout player on this particular track. (Apparently, there is karma involved in the Herzberg’s artistic generosity). It’s also obvious that the pianist created this one, as is quite percussive. At one point, Herzberg can be heard madly bowing at his instrument, which gives the track its most exotic flair of all.

If you’re looking for great blues, perhaps the kind similar to what Herzberg created with his wife Marta back in his Berklee College of Music days, look no further than “Too Much, Charlie.” Granted, it probably has just as much swing in it as blues. However, the song also clearly has blues written all over it. Zamith’s Rhodes once again shines like a lighthouse during this funky track. The tune is dedicated to Charlie Banacos, a music teacher Herzberg is proud to say he studied with in Boston. And if this excellent composition is any indication, Banacos must be a truly wonderful individual.

This album ends with “The Trio,” an upbeat, swinging tune. It’s the sort of song that sends audiences home smiling after a club gig. Once again, pianist Zamith leads the way with some lightning fast left handed playing. Herzberg’s solo is much more understated, yet no less effective. It’s a bright and happy melody, with a rhythm that truly allows the group to let loose and have fun.

After listening to Handmade, one is left with the overwhelming impression that the Frank Herzberg Trio is one well oiled music machine. Herzberg really knows how to strike a balance between smart compositional skills and inspired playing. There is also so much musical variety running throughout this CD. It’s the sort of album you would give to a friend that believes all jazz sounds the same. This is by no means stuffy and egg-headed, as some modern jazz can seem to be. Instead, it’s a delightful collection of original compositions, performed by three players that sometimes seem to be three parts of the same person. Jazz just doesn’t get any better than this.

Review By: Dan MacIntosh
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)

ARNALDO DESOUTEIRO

...the best jazz album of the year, "Handmade"...
Rating:
***** (musical performance & sonic quality)

Produced & Engineered by Frank Herzberg
Recorded on November 26 & 27, 2010
Total Time 57:17

Arguably the best jazz album of the year, "Handmade" was conceived, engineered & self-produced by the great São Paulo-based German bassist Frank Herzberg. Everything is impressive: the original material, the arrangements, the bright sound quality, the pristine mastering. And, specially, the soulful performances by this cohesive trio of giants: Herzberg on acoustic bass, Alexandre Zamith on acoustic piano & Rhodes, and Zé Eduardo Nazário on drums.

"Handmade" transcends any categorization. It's better and more creative than anything currently marketed as "contemporary jazz" in the USA and Europe. It's better and more creative than anything labeled as "instrumental Brazilian music" (argh!) or "Brazilian jazz." It defies limits, because this is music created by blessed souls, not simple musicians. They deliver a spiritual message through music, and they talk an universal language. There's a bit of Brazil, there's a lot of jazz, but above all there's originality everywhere. It's really a massive and challenging set, completely unpredictable, combining density and intensity in the highest possible level.

The expressiviness of Herzberg's use of the arco bass in the opening track, "Don't Talk Crazy," is just the first strong feeling the listener shall be prepared to experience. In the same tune, Nazário's extraordinary solo displays his stature as one of the world's top jazz drummers, in the same level of Roy Haynes, Jack DeJohnette and Chris Dave. The leader is a virtuoso, but he never shows off, remembering me of Richard Davis and Buster Williams. The keyboardist is a young master, Brazil's equivalent to Robert Glasper.

"A Xepa," composed by Nazário back in 1976, when he was a member of Hermeto Pascoal's band, reflects a time when Brazilian music was evolving so much that I believed it could conquer the world through Hermeto, Airto, Egberto Gismonti, Sivuca & Co. It's rhythmically a "baião," with its melody played by Zamith on Rhodes, and Nazário's performance evokes memories of one of his idols, our late friend Dom Um Romão.

"Mil Saudades," a haunting ballad, follows, with the leader using both arco and pizzicato. The interaction between Herzberg and Zamith is amazing, specially during a written section before the bass and piano improvisations. A very subtle samba-jazz comes to the surface, completing the trip. Zamith's "Lorca" seems more quiet in the beginning, but the mood changes as Herzberg's stunning arco work takes the tune to another dimension.

Zamith returns to the Rhodes on the funky-flavoured "Too Much, Charlie." The crystalline sound of Nazário's cymbals and hi-hat is schocking, combined with a killer bass-drum pulsation. And he starts the next track, appropriately titled "The Drums," in a trance. That's the first of four movements of a suite for jazz trio. Then comes "The Bass," on which the leader displays his tremendous dexterity (amplified by a fat & warm bass sound), followed by "The Piano," a lyrical voyage with Nazário's brushwork in an intimate dialogue with Zamith's long lines a la Chick Corea. The eagles land on "The Trio," defined by Herzberg as an "up-tempo minor blues." That's what comes closer to "mainstream jazz" in the album, once again allowing Nazário the chance to showcase his versatilty and complete command of the drumset. But words are not enough to describe the cathartic experience this CD provides. Try for yourself.

See Arnaldos blog:
http://jazzstation-oblogdearnaldodesouteiros.blogspot.com/2011/12/instrumental-cd-of-month-franz-herzberg.html

DAN BILAWSKY

Review at all about jazz
The letter "B" has played a major role in Frank Herzberg's life. The Berlin-born bassist, who spent time honing his craft at Berklee, relocated to Brazil in 1997 and has been busy performing and recording music there ever since. While Herzberg's career choices probably have nothing to do with adding alliterative qualities to his biography, they have everything to do with his efforts to broaden and sharpen his mind and music.
Herzberg and his trio work in a variety of settings here and with great sensitivity and creativity make Handmade into a jazz album born in Brazil, rather than a "Brazilian jazz" album. Though they aren't afraid to bounce along with baião ("A Xepa"), overt Brazilian influences are kept to a minimum though rhythm almost always rules the roost. "Don't Talk Crazy" begins with some sturm und drang arco work and is built around a groove in five, with some devilish displacement thrown into the mix. Zé Eduardo Nazário's buoyant drumming underscores the follow-up, "A Xepa," while the trio tightens and loosens the rhythmic reins over the course of "Mil Saudades." Odd meters abound again on "Lorca," which has a pronounced Spanish-tinge to it and Herzberg's bass sets things in motion on "Too Much Charlie," which moves from funk to swing and beyond, and features some stellar Rhodes work from Alexandre Zamith.
The last four tracks on the album make up "Twelve Bars Down The Road I Met You," a suite that deals with the blues in a variety of permutations. Of the three feature numbers, where each member of the band is given a solo spot, "The Drums" is the least fully formed with Nazário delivering an aggressive, unaccompanied drum solo and heavy beats beneath a 12-tone row-based section of blues music. "The Bass" is a short song built around Herzberg's solo lines, but "The Piano" leaves the strongest impression. This ballad in three gives pause to admire Zamith's ability to wed the blues with romantic and impressionistic ideals, while Herzberg and Nazario provide sensitive support below. The final movement—dubbed "The Trio"—ends things on a swinging note, as all three men predictably come together as a single, united musical entity.
While Herzberg's earlier work as a violin maker may have something to do with this album's title, it is more than likely that it also has something to do with how he carefully crafts and molds his musical thought patterns and ideas into one-of-a-kind compositions. Handmade wares are almost always more unique and of better quality, and this is no exception.

Track Listing: Don't Talk Crazy; A Xepa; Mil Saudades; Lorca; Too Much, Charlie; The Drums; The Bass; The Piano; The Trio.
Personnel: Alexandre Zamith: piano, rhodes; Frank Herzberg: acoustic bass; Zé Eduardo Nazário: drums.

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=41295

Guitar Int'l

Solid
Growing up in Berlin, and Conservatory trained, bassist Frank Herzberg moved to Brazil 14 years ago. After living in the South American nation for four years, the bassist began a musical partnership with drummer Zé Eduardo Nazário and pianist Alexandre Zamith, one that continues to this day and can be heard on the trio's latest recording, Handmade. The album, a collection of eight tracks, is a mix of modern jazz, Brazilian grooves and American funk. No matter where the trio takes the music, one thing remains the same, the high level of creativity, musicianship and interaction that these three musicians bring to the table.

The members of the FH trio are all very accomplished individuals, but what makes this recording successful is their interaction as a group. Even when they are soloing, they make it a conversation rather than one person stepping forward into the spotlight while the rest accompany their lines or rhythms. This approach can be heard on tracks such as "Mil Saudades," where the group grows the track from a solo bass part, to an interactive rubato section with the trio, before finally coming together on the main groove in the melody section. This kind of interaction and communication can only come from spending years together in the rehearsal room, on band stands and in the recording studio, and it is a testament to the dedication these three musicians have to their ensemble, and not just to their individual performances.

While there are moments on the album that move into the modern jazz and Brazilian jazz realm, one of the highlights is the track "A Xepa." Written by Nazário in 1976, when he was a member of Brazilian legend Hermeto Pascoal's ensemble, the song features a traditional Baiáo groove that the band lays down with energy and conviction. Playing off of the light-hearted beat that underlies the track, the melody and improvised sections come together in a seamless fashion, growing out of and into each other in an organic fashion that goes beyond the standard head-solo-head formula. Not only is this a fun rhythm to groove along to, but the composition and arrangement come together to showcase the individual talents of the member of the trio without taking away from the overall fell of the ensemble.

Overall, Handmade is a strong release by this talented trio of Brazilian, and transplanted Brazilian musicians. The grooves are energetic, the improvisations conversational and melodic and the melodic focus is never lost in the shuffle, all ingredients of a solid jazz trio record." - Guitar International

Matt Warnock

By Matt Warnock, Published: February 27, 2012
By Matt Warnock, Published: February 27, 2012

Growing up in Berlin, and Conservatory trained, bassist Frank Herzberg moved to Brazil 14 years ago. After living in the South American nation for four years, the bassist began a musical partnership with drummer Zé Eduardo Nazário and pianist Alexandre Zamith, one that continues to this day and can be heard on the trio’s latest recording, Handmade. The album, a collection of eight tracks, is a mix of modern jazz, Brazilian grooves and American funk. No matter where the trio takes the music, one thing remains the same, the high level of creativity, musicianship and interaction that these three musicians bring to the table.

The members of the FH trio are all very accomplished individuals, but what makes this recording successful is their interaction as a group. Even when they are soloing, they make it a conversation rather than one person stepping forward into the spotlight while the rest accompany their lines or rhythms. This approach can be heard on tracks such as “Mil Saudades,” where the group grows the track from a solo bass part, to an interactive rubato section with the trio, before finally coming together on the main groove in the melody section. This kind of interaction and communication can only come from spending years together in the rehearsal room, on band stands and in the recording studio, and it is a testament to the dedication these three musicians have to their ensemble, and not just to their individual performances.

While there are moments on the album that move into the modern jazz and Brazilian jazz realm, one of the highlights is the track “A Xepa.” Written by Nazário in 1976, when he was a member of Brazilian legend Hermeto Pascoal’s ensemble, the song features a traditional Baiáo groove that the band lays down with energy and conviction. Playing off of the light-hearted beat that underlies the track, the melody and improvised sections come together in a seamless fashion, growing out of and into each other in an organic fashion that goes beyond the standard head-solo-head formula. Not only is this a fun rhythm to groove along to, but the composition and arrangement come together to showcase the individual talents of the member of the trio without taking away from the overall fell of the ensemble.

Overall, Handmade is a strong release by this talented trio of Brazilian, and transplanted Brazilian musicians. The grooves are energetic, the improvisations conversational and melodic and the melodic focus is never lost in the shuffle, all ingredients of a solid jazz trio record.