Jason Seizer - Cinema Paradiso


Jason Seizer - Cinema Paradiso

Pirouet Records

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- Jason Seizer - Cinema Paradiso

Saxophonist, composer, and PIROUET artistic director Jason Seizer has a reputation as something of a maverick, someone who says what he thinks, and forges his own path through the musical wilderness. Seizer’s tone is instantly recognizable; it breaths out a palatable warmth, yet it is a warmth with an edge, a sense that it may not always be sunny out there in La-La Land. His ideas, unencumbered by pretense, are often understated, to the point; there are also moments of intimate complexity in his playing. At 50, he stands at the creative forefront of the music, with the maturity and vision to move in whatever direction he chooses. On Cinema Paradiso, his newest album for Pirouet, Seizer has pianist Pablo Held, bassist Matthias Pichler, and drummer Fabian Arends with him, three young players who possess the musical knowledge, skills and daring to grab hold of the past and push the music into the vanguard of the present. Held has proved to be one of the most innovative and exciting piano players to break onto the international scene in the past few years.

Movie music is a ubiquitous part of modern life. Many of the 20th and 21st century’s greatest jazz and classical musicians have directed the emotional flow of cinema classics, yet within the visual extravaganza of a darkened theater, the impact and power of the music itself often goes unnoticed. But without a good music score, most movies wouldn’t make it. Perhaps musicians are more aware of the music that makes the movie. After all, their situation on a lighted stage performing before a shadowy public has a similar aura of ritual enchantment. Jason says that, “I’ve had it in my head for a long time to do a record using movie themes. There are certain movies like the Deer Hunter and Cinema Paradiso that are in my private collection, that I love, and I love the music from these films – they are great vehicles for improvisation.” Spending time with Held over the last few years, the idea finally began to make sense. “Pablo’s a total cineaste. We talked a lot about movies when we got together – what we’d seen, what we liked, and we’d also talk about the sound tracks. We had a week in the Unterfahrt with the band last summer, and I thought that would be a good time to work on film music. We all brought tunes in, and we hung out together and watched the movies. We’d do the gig, then go home, and watch more movies, and when we liked something, we’d talk about playing it. It was very much a group decision as to what we’d play. For instance, we watched The Machinist, we all dug the piece that we decided to do, so we just transcribed it, and played it the next night. Basically, we worked the same way on the album.”
There is a continuity to this CD, as if the disparate parts are the movements of a symphonic whole. The original cinematic music that was used for the album has a symphonic quality, and if it is possible for a quartet to project an orchestral aura, then it is this one. Like the best movies there is something timeless about Cinema Paradiso, a suspension of the everyday humdrum and a flight into a world that intimates the deeper reality that dreams are made of. Now turn off the lights, grab a seat and enjoy the music! 


1. Carlotta’s Portrait · from »Vertigo« 1958
2. Cinema Paradiso · from »Cinema Paradiso« 1988
3. Steve’s Care · from »The Machinist« 2004
4. On The Waterfront · from »On the Waterfront« 1954
5. Cavatina · from »The Deer Hunter« 1978
6. Jungle Beat · from Walt Disney’s »The Jungle Book«
7. Children’s Games · from »The Curious Case of Benjamin Button« 2008
8. Alien Main Theme · from »Alien« 1979
9. Spartacus Love Theme · from »Spartacus« 1960