Alejandro Cimadoro Quintet
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Worthy of Notice
2. ALEJANDRO CIMADORO QUINTET – The Princess and the Moonlight

"The Princess and the Moonlight – Alejandro Cimadoro Quintet (CimaJazz). Boston’s Berklee College, a finishing school for aspiring jazz and classical musicians, has attracted hundreds of Latin American students in recent years, among them Argentine bassist Cimadoro. His talents as a composer and arranger are fully realized on this refreshing mixture of free-form pieces, bebop and restful balladry. Uruguayan pianist Nando Michelin and Mexico City-born drummer Antonio Sanchez complement the [George Garzone] saxophone and [Joel Yennior] trombone front line and the leader‘s luxuriant bass work." – Mark Holston
- JAZZIZ Magazine – January 2005



Domingo 30 de Enero 2005, Año V Nro. 1730

An acoustic jazz CD of optimal level
by Thomas Werner

Alejandro Cimadoro is not an unknown name in these latitudes, because it has been an outstanding figure in the explosion of the Argentine jazz-rock in the early 80s, next to Pepi Taveira, Juan Cross of Urquiza, Eduardo Casalla and others. In 1989, when he was 28 years old, he went to study at Berklee College of Music, in Boston, and once graduated in 1994.

Ten years after Alejandro Cimadoro in leading his own jazz quintet. The result, excellent, is the CD “The Princess and the Moonlight” (Golden Top Records label, recorded in February of 2004 in Massachusetts) that contains twelve original compositions of its responsibility and totalizes 69 minutes of generous duration. In the CD you can listen to other four originating musicians of that Bostonian school: the trombonist Joel Yennior, the Mexican drummer Antonio Sanchez, the good well-known Uruguayan pianist Nando Michelin and the veteran tenor and soprano sax-man George Garzone.

The first track titled "Happy Hour” introduces us in truth to the aural happiness that hopes to us in the remaining hour. From the first measure, the quintet runs by the avenues of contemporary neo-bop, with the classic harmonies generated by horns, total of jazzistic sense and the power of the rhythm section that swings very hard is remarkable. The Cimadoro’s compositions adjust like gloves to the execution of their colleagues: they are melodically attractive, logically structured, of a flowed and coherent harmonic design. Throughout the disc five members improvise very comfortably on every track, demonstrating ideas of clear conception that feels and flows with all naturalness.

The drums of Sanchez are a manifest of precision and authority. In the title track “Is This Love?” (a composition that remembers the duets of Gerry Mulligan and Bob Brookmeyer in the years of the "West Coast Jazz") he has opportunity of soloing, but its fundamental his support and impulse that transmits to its colleagues. The piano of Michelin confirms its meticulous and joyful expression in tracks like "Autumn in New England" and "Waltz for Y.D.", and provides suitable “comping” in all the tracks. Garzone flies with its Saxes, prodigal in ideas and evoking to masters like Joe Henderson or the Joe Lovano of the early 90s. Who is a revelation is phenomenal trombonist Joel Yennior, of luxurious sound, marked vibrato, and irresistible and overflowing mighty swing. Finally, it would be enough to listen to the leader’s solos in "Reflection", "Never mind" or "One for Mr. McBee" (this last one dedicated to the formidable Cecil Mc Bee) to verify the extremely melodic capability and the powerful pizzicato of Cimadoro, but it is in "Sleepless Warrior" where its double bass arrives skillful and unaccompanied to the maximum level being brilliant during three minutes.

Anyone interested in buying this recommendable CD can go by electronic mail to Info@CimaJazz.com.

Thomas Werner
Diario La Republica (Uruguay)
Seccion Cultura – January 29, 2004

- Diario La Republica, Cultura, Pagina 29


Alejandro Cimadoro, bass
George Garzone, soprano and tenor saxophones
Nando Michelin, piano
Joel Yennior, trombone
Antonio Sanchez, drums
Golden Top Records
www.cimajazz.com

The Princess and the Moonlight is the 2004 release from bassist, composer, bandleader Alejandro Cimadoro and his talented quintet. There is a lot of great playing on this recording, but the real star is Cimadoro's writing - particularly interesting harmonically and tightly arranged - an impressive roster of twelve enjoyable original compositions.
The first four tracks are all high energy performances. "Happy Hour", the terrific opening salvo has that "familiar quality," that thing that enables a listener hearing an original composition for the first time to feel right at home with it from the beginning. Great solo work by saxophonist George Garzone: lots of energy, and a rhythm section to match it. Pianist Nando Michelin's comping is excellent, as is his too brief solo. Another very good Cimadoro composition, "Snow Fall", will hook you right away. The band grooves hard on this mixed meter tune (the A-sections are 6/4 + 5/4 - or 11/4, if you prefer - and the bridge is all 5/4).
After the first four cuts, Cimadoro shifts gears and gives us a solo bass piece. "Sleepless Warrior" is all bass - a nice treat. A neat tune with a funky bent and some good improv, all in all a very good, but too-brief showcase for Cimadoro's playing and a nice contrast to (or, as we tongue-in-cheek bassists might say, temporary respite from) the quintet sound.
There are some out-of-the-ordinary an-arrangements here, and this certainly makes for a more interesting recording. For example, on "Waltz For Y.D.", the piano plays the head with horn accompaniment (instead of the other way around). So why are the drums always last to solo anyway? On Cimadoro's "Is This Love?", based on the standard "What Is This Thing Called Love?", the drummer takes the first solo - cool. Also, Cimadoro has written some interesting counterpoint for the trombone and sax, especially in "Upside Down" and "The Shadow". The bowed bass/trombone/soprano sax combination on the head of "The Shadow" yields a nice texture on this ballad. Excellent drum work by Antonio Sanchez helps seal the deal. The Princess and the Moonlight is definitely worth a listen.


- Review by Chris Kosky
- International Society of Bassists


Happy Hour / Snow Fall / Autumn in New England / Reflection / Sleepless Warrior / Waltz for Y.D. / Upside Down / 11 in the Evening / Never Mind / The Shadow / Is This Love? / One for Mr. McBee. 68:41.
Cimadoro, b; George Garzone, ts, ss; Joel Yennior, tbn;
Nando Michelin, p; Antonio Sanchez, d. 2/22&23/04,
Weston, MA

The Princess and the Moonlight showcases the darker palette of bassist and composer Alejandro Cimadoro. With this session we wind our way back to the Boston scene. Cimadoro pushes toward the outer fringes of what would be considered mainstream Jazz. Still, for all the occasional forays into the free, this remains an in-the-pocket small band session. Cimadoro has recruited his cohorts well. His pairing of saxophonist George Garzone and trombonist Joel Yennior is inspired. Yennior plays smooth trombone. He articulates each note with a round sound, letting his lip do the work for certain runs. Garzone is a grittier player, muscular, given to understatement that masks his ability to explode.
Even as he rises to a squeal he maintains an element of restraint. “The Shadow” shows just how big a sound the composer gets out of the tenor saxophone-trombone front line as he has Garzone stating the long tones of the melody with the trombone punctuating it by darting underneath. On “Upside Down” he has the trombone do double
duty, both providing a fat rising bass line under the melody and then moving up to comment between the phrases of the song. Cimadoro endows his tunes with fascinating structures that keep the music interesting for both players and listeners. “Sleepless Warrior,” a showcase for his solo bass ,offers an intimate look at his compositional process has he works through the up-tempo tune. “Autumn in New England” is a six-minute impressionistic piece that opens with a nostalgic tone. Yet after a knotty solo from Michelin on piano, a long tangled spot from Garzone, and finally a gliding ride from Yennior that slides into the theme restatement, the song seems fully invested in the here and now, informed by those memories evoked in the opening. And that’s true of the best of the mainstream: vigorous, life-affirming sounds tied but not shackled by the tradition.

David Dupont
Cadence Magazine
- Cadence Magazine


A few months ago 43-year-old Alejandro Cimadoro released his first album as a leader, but he is none but a newcomer. During the early ‘80s he collaborated with many of Argentina’s jazz-rock musicians. Then he decided to study at the Boston Berklee from where he graduated 10 years ago. Since then he has participated in a plenty of recordings. His quintet features the sax master George Garzone and three more Berklee mates: trombonist Joel Yennior (who has also been a member of Either/Orchestra and Gypsy Schaeffer), pianist Nando Michelin from Uruguay and Antonio Sanchez, who has been the drummer in Pat Metheny Group for several years. There’s no need to be said that the least we could expect from a group like this would be a high-standard result. But Cimadoro intents much higher, because he is a skilled composer and he feels comfortably with his group members, a sense we can experience through this album. The sophisticated sound of Boston and the rhythms and the phraseology of modern bop create the suitable environment for the bassist’s meticulous melodies, while he discreetly hints at tango and at his latin-american roots. Yennior’s trombone stands equally by Garzone’s tenor, both of them driven by Michelin’s rich harmonies and Sanchez’s full of energy rhythms and consisting a marvelous improvisational couple that excels on tracks such as “Snow Fall”, “Never Mind” and “Reflection”. Cimadoro’s playing has the depth, the power, the speed and the sense of economy every acoustic bass lover dreams of. His monologue in “Sleepless Warrior” and his homage to the great Cecil McBee are enough for us to check this out.

Vangelis Aragiannis
Greece
- Apopsy Magazine, Greece


By E.J. Iannelli

Boston's Berklee College of Music has no lack of accomplished graduates. Every year a sizeable stack of new albums spanning all genres of music reaffirms the school's enviable reputation and the collective talent of its alumni.

Alejandro Cimadoro's The Princess and the Moonlight, the bassist's first album as bandleader, composer and arranger, maintains the high standard associated with his alma mater without veering too far from the familiar trad jazz and bop vocabularies. He and his quintet occasionally spice up the proceedings with a dash of sabor latino—this is in keeping with Cimadoro's own long career as a proponent of Argentine tango and jazz—but there is no significant quality about this disc that would incline a record store clerk to file it under any Latin or world music category.

”Reflection” is one of the group's most inspired and enjoyable efforts. Saxophonist George Garzone and trombonist Joel Yennor are responsible first for leading in individually with yawns, moans and sighs and then establishing the dramatic build with unified staccato bursts and short melodic phrases; they separate again and solo. Segueing between the two solos, Garzone shrieks and squeals as if he's about to swoon. Cimadoro, who has been striding alongside, steps in and wends his way back to the head with his own swift but murmured solo.

”Happy Hour” is straight-ahead material with a bit of punch, most of it emanating from Garzone's tenor sax solo. Pat Metheny band member and fellow Berklee alum Antonio Sanchez propels this opening track with his light, skittish timekeeping. His drum work (or brushwork, as the case may be) is equally deft on “Autumn in New England” and “Waltz for Y.D.” In fact, much of the appeal of The Princess and the Moonlight can be traced to Sanchez's presence.

Cimadoro plays all-out on the expressive solo chart “Sleepless Warrior” and again on the closer “One for Mr. McBee.” His style is far from ornate, though he does enjoy successions of scat-like runs, digging deep and ricocheting as he climbs. Whether of his own volition or at Cimadoro's request, Garzone seems to be the perpetual odd man out in this quintet. His instrument often elbows its way to the forefront; he also delivers the bulk of the dissonant rusty hinge lines (he relishes the brief collapse into chaos on “Never Mind”) and jagged free-form solos. Such a dominant personality certainly injects additional character into these songs, but it can also cross the line into the excessive. These infrequent moments notwithstanding, The Princess and the Moonlight is cohesive and substantial and deserving of a listen.
- AllAboutJazz.com


Alejandro Cimadoro Quintet - "The Princess and the Moonlight"
Alejandro Cimadoro music career spans for over 25 years, particularly in the Latin American jazz and also jazz-rock scene, he was member of many bands and played in the whole world. “The Princess and the Moonlight” is his first album as bandleader, composer and arranger. Alejandro Cimadoro Quintet – featuring George Garzone (ts, ss), Joel Yennior (tb), Nando Michelin (p) and Antonio Sanchez (dr) take us to the native Argentinean roots of Latin, as well as jazz-rock, and jazz music; sensitive tango elements also come into its arrangements. The album is extremely energetic and delightful due to the excellent musicians and the marvelously composed pieces of the bandleader. Overall this is a great, jazzily crossover CD, which one can recommend without reservation!

Peggy Thiele – JazzDimensions.com
erschienen: 23.2.2005 © jazzdimensions 2005
- JazzDimensions.com


Discography

The Princess and the Moonlight -- Alejandro Cimadoro Quintet (CimaJazz).
Jazziz Magazine: Best Releases of 2004 by Mark Holston

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Alejandro Cimadoro was born in Capital Federal, Bs. As. Argentina on March 3rd, 1961. His fruitful musical career spans for over 25 years. He was part of the renaissance of Argentine Jazz Rock, which took place in the early 80s and projected many of that country’s bands to the international scene. Alejandro was at the center stage of that process, sharing the stage with rock, pop, tango and jazz legends—such as Nito Mestre, Gabriel Ogando, María Rosa Yorio, Armando Alonso, Pepi Taveira, Eduardo Casalla, Juan Cruz de Urquiza, Pollo Raffo, Ernesto Jodos and Carlos Lastra. Alejandro’s vast experience includes live TV and radio performances, as well as touring extensively Latin America. He has also been a sought-after studio musician, which led him to participate in multitude of recordings. That wealth of experience borne fruit early this year, with the release of his first album as a bandleader, composer and arranger: "The Princess and the Moonlight". Alejandro’s style is unique, intense and emotive, combining elements of jazz and tango and expanding the boundaries of both genres. His ensemble features George Garzone (tenor and soprano saxophones), Joel Yennior (trombone), Nando Michelin (piano) and Antonio Sanchez (drums).