“Evocación” – Works of FALLA, PIAZZOLLA, ALBENIZ, D. SCARLATTI & BUENCAMINO [TrackList follows] – Charisse Baldoria, piano – Blue Griffin BGR351 [12/1/14] (Distr. by Albany) ****:

“Elevation – The Upper Air” – Bernie Worrell, piano – M.O.D. Technologies (Pure Sounds) MOD 0012 [12/9/14] ****:

Charisse Baldoria is a native of the Philippines who has performed in many interdisciplinary collaborations and unusual programs in five continents and won awards. She currently teaches piano at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. This is a most interesting program she has assembled which includes both the indigenous and the colonial, with music from Spain, Argentina and her home country.

The overall title of Evocación comes from a poem by Lorca, the CD opens with the exciting Fantasia Beatica by Falla, and continues with two of the best-known works of Piazzolla, in arrangements for solo piano by Kyoko Yamamoto. Four sections from Albéniz’ Iberia follow, plus two of the delightful Scarlatti sonatas, and the album closes with two works by Francisco Buencamino of the Philippines. The idea of the CD is to summon passion, memory and imagination, and Baldoria’s performances well explore her Spanish and Latin sides.


Manuel de Falla (1876-1946):
1 Fantasía Baetica (13:51)
Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), arr. Kyoko Yamamoto:
2 Libertango (4:11)
3 Oblivion (5:00)
Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909) from Iberia:
4 Evocación (6:20)
5 Almería (9:41)
6 El Albaicín (8:02)
7 Málaga (5:23)
Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757):
8 Sonata in F Minor, K. 239 (3:08)
9 Sonata in F Minor, K. 519 (3:21)
Francisco Buencamino (1883-1952):
10 Mayón Fantasía de Concierto (5:09)
11 Harana (Serenade) (4:48)


Legendary funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell was very young when he wrote his first concerto, but on this CD he plays what some would call “inside” music – very internalized, laid back and minimalized. While there are covers of Zawinul’s “In a Silent Way,” Coltrane’s “Alabama,” and Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti,” among others, things never really pick up seriously, almost more classical in nature than jazz or pop. Three of the 11 tracks are Worrell originals. He’s a fine pianist, here getting back to his roots, but some might find the laid back ballad treament rather bland. The piano sonics are excellent, by the way. There are lots of other more uptempo CDs from Worrell out there.


In A Silent Way
I’d Rather Be With You
Good Bye Pork Pie Hat
Light On Water
Ooh Child
Samba Pa Ti
Realm of Sight
I Wanna Go Outside In The Rain
Redemption Song

—John Sunier