There seems to be this wonderful trend of late, where a newer generation of bass players are following the example of Charles Mingus and presenting themselves as serious composers and bandleaders.
In the last year on this space I've profiled the latest releases of such luminaries as Drew Gress, Ben Allison, Bill Moring and Michael Bates. Each of these bottom-end providers excel at applying their bass playing skills toward making their songs and their bandmates sound better.
Leonardo E.M. Cioglia is another such bass player who falls within that category.
Born in Brasília, Brazil in 1971, Cioglia studied music from an early age and picked up the acoustic bass around the age of sixteen. Just two years later, he won a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated four years later with a degree in Professional Music. He later picked up a Masters Degree in Visual and Media Arts from Emerson College.
In the intervening time, he started a production company dedicated to contemporary Brazilian music, formed the Brazilian jazz-funk group Zabumbatuq, and worked for a music media concern. All the while, he continued performing and recording with an exhaustive list of notables in the New York jazz scene, including Jimmy Cobb, Vic Juris and George Schuller. Cioglia also formed another contemporary Brazilian group, Quizamba, with whom he performs frequently.
All this activity might help explain why Cioglia hadn't recorded an album strictly under his own name until now, but it has been well worth the wait. His effective debut Contos, available today through Cioglia's Quizamba Music imprint, was obviously undertaken with much care. That's because the results bear out the culmination of intelligently written compositions tested and refined in clubs before committing them to tape in the studio.
One of the great things about jazz records is that they can be enjoyed in so many ways: as blowing sessions, groovers, or as meticulously orchestrated works of art. Contos is one of those jazz records that strikes the right balance between all three, with an overriding emphasis on the intricate melodic structures.