Lucian Ban & Alex Simu “FREE FALL” album release concert


Datum en Tijd
zondag 01 december
19:30 - 22:00


Romania celebrates on Dec 1st 101 years of Union – Please join us in celebrating pianist Lucian Ban and clarinetist Alex Simu release of their album “FREE FALL”.

An evening organised together with Romanian Jazz International, ROMPRO Fundația Români Pentru Români Olanda, FORChildren and Carmen Sylva Foundation: Romanian Cultural Centre Rotterdam

Lucian Ban & Alex Simu “FRE FALL” Released by Sunnyside Records New York in 2019.

Though born in Cluj, Lucian Ban currently is living in New York and Alex Simu originating from Bucharest, is nowadays living Amsterdam. Their collaboration brought to the world a music album dedicated to the American Jazz Titan Jimmy Giuffre. “Free Fall” released by the New York label Sunnyside Records, will be released now in Amsterdam with the occasion of this concert. The album was awarded with 5 stars by the Hi-Fi music expert magazine from Germany “Stereo”

More press reviews:
“A brief glimpse of compositional genius . . . their Free Fall extends beyond the late Jimmy Giuffre’s shadow, drawing forth two of modern jazz’s unique personalities”

“Their lines swirling around one another with rare beauty and determination . . . A gift from the gods, thanks to Lucian Ban and Alex Simu”

Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG NYC

More a decade since his passing, woodwind master Jimmy Giuffre has remained an inspiration to improvising musicians of many stripes. Giuffre’s long career spanned nearly six decades, over wide stylistic varieties, from the swinging big band of Woody Herman and the chamber jazz experiments of the West Coast of the 1950s to the avant-garde flights of his own classic trio with pianist Paul Bley and bassist Steve Swallow. Albums like Fusion, Thesis and Free Fall have remained the standard bearers for introspective, small group improvisation and have thus inspired two generations of improvisers, including Ban, who has utilized similar sentiments in his own playing since arriving to the United States nearly twenty years ago. Ban’s own musical style owes much to his interest in classical chamber music and its flirtations with jazz and improvised music, most notably on his and John Hébert’s collaboration, Enesco Re-Imagined (Sunnyside, 2010) and on the 2016 DOWNBEAT Best Album of The Year Songs From Afar (Sunnyside, 2016) and his work was noted for “its pursue of a modern chamber jazz ideal” (New York Times) or called “Unorthodox, but mesmerisingly beautiful” (The Guardian).

The FREE FALL recording shows the duo at their best, having internalized the universe of Giuffre’s music and the ethos of the JG3 radical – and ahead of its time – approach to improvisation and composition within a small chamber jazz group. FREE FALL begins with Ban’s lilting “Quiet Storm,” which takes its name from a term of endearment from composer and jazz legend George Russell bestowed upon Giuffre at the time of his death. “Free Fall” is a free improvisation showcasing the dynamic interplay between the clarinetist and pianist. Carla Bley’s nearly impressionistic “Jesus Maria” follows, its subtle weaving lines and modest melody echoing folkloric pieces Ban and Simu grew up playing. “Mysteries” is another free improvisation, which begins hazily atmospheric, churning just enough to disrupt the ghosts before quietly evaporating away again. Simu showcases his customised bass clarinet, which offers an expanded lower range, on a solo performance of his own “Near,” which was written to highlight the influence of Giuffre and Eric Dolphy on the approach to jazz bass clarinet playing. Simu composed “The Pilgrim” and is reinterpreted here with a slow New Orleans second line like dirge. Giuffre’s plainchant “Cry, Want” is a clear evocation of the blues led by Simu’s crying clarinet. The recording concludes with Giuffre’s “Used To Be,” a piece that wasn’t originally issued (first issued in 2016) but shows an overwhelming charm as performed by the duo. Coming together under the sway and inspiration of jazz great Jimmy Giuffre, Lucian Ban and Alex Simu found a freedom of expression that captures ear and imagination on their new recording, Free Fall.