Saturday, January 5, 2013

Daniel Lantz Trio Plays Bond DMRCD 2012

 There are some popular tunes that tend to make the transition to a more straight ahead jazz approach with ease and grace. The Beatles for example are hit and miss, same issues plague the Rolling Stone and the Who. When it comes to feature film and probably the longest and most popular series, James Bond gave me cause for legitimate concern especially when attempted by a more straight ahead piano trio. Some guest vocalists made their way on this remarkable album keeping in mind this is the fiftieth year on silver screen for Bond.

Sani Gamedze is featured on vocals on (1,4,6,8,10,11) and Roger Nording and his tenor saxophone round out the guests on (2,4,8,9,11) and on flute on tracks (6,10). My ultimate concern being the harmonic changes of the various bond hits would simply not lend themselves to respectable covers. Not only did the change work remarkably well but the integrity of hits such as "Moonraker", "live And Let Die", and "Nobody Does It Better" remain fully in tact and are to a certain degree reinvented.

Swedish born pianist has long been a feature film enthusiast and this particular trio started over a decade ago in 1999. Bassist Erik Ojala who just happened to be a current member of the group studied at the Berklee College of Music under the tutelage from bass giant Marc Johnson. Drummer Daniel Olsson plays with as much finesse as any player on the scene today and has been a steady member of the trio since 2001.

The Daniel Lantz Trio creates their own hybrid if traditionally "American" jazz mainstays of blues and bebop and adds a touch of Nordic romanticism with origins from Scandinavian folk music and European classical music. This most impressive trio works so well together thanks to a sharpened lyrical sense and harmonic exploratory of other countries including Swedish flk music and Indian raga. Reharms attempted here leave gorgeous melodies in tact while exploring a cross cultural fusion path to reinvent their sound and indeed the soundtrack of one of the great motion picture series of all time. An open ended take on a film series where anything goes all ways the transition to work out flawlessly.

Easily 4 out of 5 stars.

Tracks: Moonraker; The James Bond Theme; Goldfinger; Diamonds Are Forever; Live and Let Die; Tomorrow Never Dies; You Only Live Twice; A View To A Kill; On Her Majesty's Secret Service; If There Was A Nan; Nobody Does It Better; We Have All The Time In The World.

Personnel: Daniel Lantz: grand piano; Erik Ojala: double bass; Daniel Olsson: drums

Special Guests Sani Gamedze: vocals; Roger Nordling: tenor saxophone.