About the Artist: This is Grajew’s latest release entitled Manga. Researching his bio he has an accomplished musical career thus far. With a distinctive talent for composing and improvising, pianist and composer Daniel Grajew combines styles like baiÃ£o, samba, choro, and other Brazilian genres with jazz, tango and classical music. With a bachelor’s degree in classical piano at University of SÃ£o Paulo (USP), he has worked with known artists such as Carlos Malta, JJ Jackson, Luiz Brasil, Marcelo Monteiro, Blubell, Vania Bastos, Luisa Maita, Tulipa Ruiz, Tom ZÃ©, Lucas Santanna, Siba, among others.
Review: Manga is one release that certainly doesn’t disappoint. This is artist that brings to the table effective songwriting via an impassioned and masterful piano playing style. This meshed with an elite Jazz-Fusion sound make for a very effective combination no doubt. Grajew and his trio (who hails from Brazil) has an amazing Jazz sound but even manages to venture into like baiÃ£o, samba, choroand, tango. Despite this he elects to take the high road and methodically never crosses the line into cheezy Smooth Jazz territory. All songs are wonderfully simple but masterful in their overall arrangements. Music reminded me of a cross between George Winston, Burl Ives, Vince Guaraldi, Herbie Hancocka and Duke Ellington. One would be wise not to underestimate how incredible an instrument like the Piano can be. In the hands of an experience and capable performer the experience can be exhilarating. Manga is quite entertaining overall with an amazing feel. In this aspect Grajew is a master musician. In my mind he is a musical triple threat. He is a world class songwriter; he has an amazing feel when he plays and has the X-Factor. What is X-Factor? It is the passion within and it’s something artists have to be born with. It’s not taught in any textbook but can be felt when listening to the music. Grajew has strong X-Factor. His playing is straight from the heart and offers a very strong and confident soul searching perspective and artistic spirit. All song do exactly what they are meant to do via well-crafted movements and top tiered musicianship. The overall production value is superb with a crystal clear sound quality and solid low end frequency. Although it is listed as a trio there are 7 players in total on the record with special appearances of Carlos Malta (saxophone), Luiz Brasil (guitar), Luis Passos (guitar), Willie Daniel (guitar) and Jorge Neto (trombone),
My favorite tracks are as follows: Manga, Requeijao, Choro Vermeilho, Entre Rios
Conclusion: Daniel Grajew have proven himself yet again with this latest release. He is clearly an accomplished player and composer from Brazil and he goes beyond proving anything. I must admit “Manga” sucked me in like a powerful drug and refused to let go long after the CD was over. This usually indicates something special about the artist or band in question. Thus deserving praise, recognition and musical fame at the international level beyond South America.
Rating: 10/10 Stars
Purchase Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/manga/id631641263
Ruth Osborne Edited by Mindy McCall
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