Cinema Paradiso/Jason Seizer
March 22, 2015
Just when you think that you’ve heard everything there is in jazz, somebody comes up with something new in this case Seizer and his group and they play movie music but not just any movie music but soundtrack themes that you’d thought impossible. The theme from “Alien” was the first that got my attention. You remember that scary movie back in 1979 with Sigourney Weaver. It was an eerie suspense building theme that definitely got your attention as you sat in the darkened theater. Jerry Goldsmith hit a homerun with that one but I’m sure if he heard this pure jazz part melody, part improvisation he’d clap for an encore.
Born in Stuggart to a musical family he began playing the flute and recorder at the age of 4 winning classical music contests along the way. He continued his musical studies at the Hilversum Conservatory and then discovered John Coltrane at the age of 23 and has been playing ever since.
Seizer, now 50, has surrounded himself with young talent that compliment his playing. They consist of Pablo Held on piano, Matthias Pichter on bass, and Fabian Arends on drums. They know what each other wants to do and they do so like a finely tuned machine. Take for example “Spartacus” as it opens with the delicate Bill Evan’s sound from Held with quiet bass lines and just a whisper of the cymbals preparing us for the entrance of the raspy but oh so mellow Seizer who seems to be in no hurry as his scales are distinct. Pichter is given a turn to display his talents with crisp positive strokes being supported by select harmony from the bass and percussion. He turns the song over to Seizer who completes the fine Alex North composition. The opening selection Carlotta’s Portrait from “Vertigo” begins with a steady somewhat relentess rhythm from the bass with the piano next being added both a prelude to the raspy but distinct line from the tenor sax. The entire track is simple uncomplicated but the three together make for an excellent track. If it was anymore laid back I might fall asleep? “On the Waterfront” opens with the tenor sax of Seizer complimented by percussion, piano chords, and bass. The original soundtrack and the after thought suite by Bernstein feature a trumpet but the tenor sax playing with a bit of Coltrane playing takes this to an entirely new concept. A favorite film of Jason’s is “The Deer Hunter” along with the Cavatina theme from Stanley Meyers. The arrangement is a soft smooth one with the piano and sax sharing time. You’ll be hard pressed or at least I was to recognize the “Jungle Book” theme which takes you to a new higher level in jazz. Seizer allows himself to soar and explore lines ascending and descending chords adding a quicker pace. Held is also allowed to run with chords and harmony which compliment the track. One of the lovelier themes from the pen of Morricone was “Cinema Paradiso” which Held gives a classical touch with Seltzer doing a bit of improv with a little bit of squeeking to grab your attention.
Although Seizer is new to me he has several CD’s to his credit and I look forward to more from him perhaps a volume two of film music that offers some film noir material. The sound recording is superb but there is an absence of no liner notes only pictures.
1. Carlotta’s Portrait · from »Vertigo« 1958 (3:13)
2. Cinema Paradiso · from »Cinema Paradiso« 1988 (7:49)
3. Steve’s Care · from »The Machinist« 2004 (6:39)
4. On The Waterfront · from »On the Waterfront« 1954 (4:30)
5. Cavatina · from »The Deer Hunter« 1978 (5:16)
6. Jungle Beat · from Walt Disney’s »The Jungle Book« (6:19)
7. Children’s Games · from »The Curious Case of Benjamin Button« 2008 (5:42)
8. Alien Main Theme · from »Alien« 1979 (6:03)
9. Spartacus Love Theme · from »Spartacus« 1960 (6:15)
Total time 51:51