Scheduled for release on the 4th of November, Mons records is proud to announce the debut album from the young Luxembourger Daniel Migliosi. Featuring largely original compositions rooted in the Hard Bop tradition, this album highlights a group of young musicians that show a great sense of musical maturity that defies their young age.
The album was recorded in May of this year and, at the time, Daniel was not legally able to enter a licensed jazz club. Somewhat a prodigy, Daniel stems from a musical family and while in High School, studied trumpet concurrently at the conservatory in Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg. Later on Daniel transferred to Cologne to further his studies and it’s here that the seeds for this album took root. Daniel explained “My teacher Prof. Andy Haderer said to me about a year ago: “Man, when are you going to give me a CD of yours?” That got me thinking and I set myself the goal of recording my first album before my 18th birthday. I already had most of the pieces or just had to rework them for a sextet. I didn’t hesitate long and called the trusted studio called the “Loft”, where many of my colleagues had already recorded. When the date of the recording was set and it was getting closer and closer, I couldn’t wait for it!”
Joining Daniel on the album are set of musicians he met while studying in Cologne. “The musicians on the album are all very good friends.” explained Daniel. He went on to say “I met most of them during my studies in Cologne. In 2020 we were still able to do a lot together despite Corona. We jammed, hung out a lot and got to know each other really well. I was always very happy that, despite my age, I was accepted and I felt very comfortable with them. I probably owe this to my friend Mathieu, the drummer in the band, who had started in Colgone one year before I did. I met him in Luxembourg and he is definitely one of my best friends.”
Speaking of the music Daniel said “I didn’t just want to attract jazz listeners, but also people who may not be very familiar with the music. There are places where there is a lot going on, but also where it is kept calm and simple. Also, despite the obvious jazz tradition you hear in the tracks, there are also some hidden pop elements that may make it easier for younger listeners to enjoy the music.”
After a short introduction, the album opens with “Unstable And Vindictive”. Contra to the tracks title, this track taken almost at the speed of light, is anything but unstable. Migliosi’s solo on this piece is a tour de force as is that of Sean Payne on Alto. Keeping up the pace, the set continues with “Ebertplatzblues”, an up-tempo hard bop swinger. This track features great solo contributions by pianist Benedikt Göb and Migliosi who both show a deep understanding of the style that usually one can only achieve after years of being on the scene. There’s inbuilt tension in this piece and this is consistent with inspiration for the tack that refers to the Ebertplatz in Cologne. Daniel explains “It’s just around the corner from where I live. It’s a bit of a hard patch, especially in the evenings you feel a little uncomfortable. In this song I’m trying to describe the discomfort I felt when I walked across Ebertplatz in the middle of the night and just wanted to get away quickly. Many people who live in such a place would probably know this feeling.”
“Simpler Times” is a song written by Sean Payne and reflects on a time when when the world appeared less tumultuous. The theme to this ballad is taken together by Migliosi on trumpet and Payne on Alto and invokes a feeling of nostalgia. Bassist Jan Blikslager provides a stunning bass solo the explores the full range of the instrument before handing the reins off to Migliosi for an equally impressive contribution.
While the album is largely a vehicle for Migliosi’s own compositions, the set does include two standards “On a Clear Day” and “The Way You Look Tonight”. The first of these “The Way You Look Tonight”, follows. This song very close to Daniel’s heart. He explains “The Way You Look Tonight” is one of my favourite standards and it’s also the first song I ever learned to play by heart. I absolutely love the lyrics and the natural sounding melody. Every recording of this song makes me feel happy when I hear it. what makes me even more happy is hearing the incredible solo played by Sean on the Record. This guy is amazing.” This track is taken at a lighting pace and indeed Payne’s stop-chorus is truly amazing and highlights this young players superb command of the instrument.
Daniel is one of the recipients of the “WDR Young Composers Fellowship“, a program run by the WDR Big Band to mentor young and up and coming composers. The following track “Stranger” was originally written and recorded by the WDR Big Band. On this album Daniel re-arranged the piece for sextet and stylisticaly is one of the more modern tracks on the album. Inspired by the sound of the “Young Lions” on the New York scene of the 1990’s, this track grooves from the start to finish.
The album continues with “Dolly”, a track Daniel dedicates to the family dog. “I knew Dolly my entire life and she had to be euthanised at the age on 19, She was older than I was and on this tune I wanted to pay my respects.” The track is one of those classic “Late Night” jazz ballads that could be a sound track to a French Noir Film.
The title track of the album follows a short introduction. “Left on Scene” is a play on the term “Left on Seen”, something all members of Generation Alpha will know. The track is written as a fast samba and features strong solo’s from Adrian Gallet and Sean Payne on Tenor and Alto Sax respectively. Of note is the “special” arranged for the three horns that precedes the return to the theme.
Closing out the album is the second standard included in the set, “On a Clear Day”. This is the longest track on the album and features solo’s from all of the band members. The track has been substantially re-harmonized and explores a number of keys before culminating with a collective improvisation. The final track of an album should always give the listener something to take away and think about and the only conclusion you can come to once this track reaches it’s abrupt end is that the future of the jazz in is good hands.
Left on Scene will be available as CD and all streaming platforms via Mons Records on the 4th of November.