Sunday, April 22, 2018

Dona Ivone Lara's last recording

Dona Ivone Lara recorded her last two recordings in collaboration with the American singer Alexandra Jackson, on the album “Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy” which pays homage to the great Brazilian music’s legacy and perpetuates Dona Ivone Lara’s biggest compositions in the songs “Sonho Meu” and “Força da Imaginação”.

The singers (Dona Ivone and Alexandra) are accompanied by the most prominent names of the Brazilian and American music such as Pretinho da Serrinha, Arthur Maia, Ricardo Silveira, Max Viana, Marcelo Camargo Mariano, Chris Walker, Darryl Tookes, and Curtis King. The songs were mixed in Los Angeles by GRAMMY Award winning engineer Ed Cherney. An EP was released in 2017; the full length drops May 25, 2018.

Robert Hebert, President of Legacy and Alchemy issues this statement: “We are saddened by the loss of Dona Ivone Lara. She was a light onto the world and, a great treasure of Brazilian music. We have been motivated for 3 years to tell her great story to the world. We have felt a great responsibility to do that. We will not let her down.”

Alexandra Jackson issues this statement: “I am incredibly saddened to hear of the loss of our Queen of Samba, Dona Ivone Lara. She was a legend, an inspiration, a pioneer, and a fighter. Even fighting to reach her 97th birthday, just a few days ago. I am humbled and honored that she gave her voice to Legacy & Alchemy, singing with me; and I will forever remember her dearly. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to her loved ones, and everyone who was touched by her spirit, just as I was.”

Dona Ivone Lara

The vocals of Dona Ivone Lara were recorded in Rio de Janeiro in December 2015. “Sonho Meu” is a classic Dona Ivone Lara song that Max Viana suggested. Max Viana and Robert Hebert produced the song in Rio de Janeiro. Backing Vocals by Alexandra Jackson, Chris Walker, Darryl Tookes and Curtis King were recorded in New Jersey in January 2016. Alexandra’s Lead Vocals were recorded in Rio de Janeiro in February 2016. 

“Força da Imaginação” is a Dona Ivone Lara-Caetano Veloso song that Robert Hebert and Max Viana also produced and arranged for the álbum. Dona Ivone’s appearance of course signal the “LEGACY” of this music. Also, it is noteworthy that the appearance of Pretinho da Serrinha (considered part of the next generation of Samba) presents the “ALCHEMY” of our musical vision.

Ella Fitzgerald Exclusive Record Store Day Vinyl! (VERVE RECORDS)

Happy Record Store Day!

In honor of Record Store Day, we’re bringing you the debut vinyl release of the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald singing and swinging in front of an animated, adoring crowd at Zardi’s Jazzland on Hollywood Boulevard in 1956. Available in extremely limited quantities at your local record store!

Fischermanns Orchestra - Tiefenrausch (UNIT RECORDS 2018)

Since 2007 the Fischermanns Orchestra has been running through the streets, spicing up stages and festivals all over Europe. The incredible, unstoppable Fischermanns Orchestra is always on the move, musically free and footloose. The Fischermanns Orchestra draws upon many different cultural influences and inspiration to form its own distinctive sound, which is in constant flux, changing as the musical evolution takes its course. A conscious risk is taken to sail through deep waters without compromise.

1 Nitrogen Narcosis 03:12
2 Koon 06:28
3 Tauchgang 05:59
4 Fnorc 03:01
5 Gualalepo 04:53
6 Tromsö 06:23
7 Blau Sein 07:12
8 The Beauty of the Beast 04:14
9 Der Oger 05:20
10 Float 02:38
11 Squeezy Fish 06:19

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Space Tigers Berlin - Real Sofa Techno Jazz Surfers (UNIT RECORDS 2018)

Space Tigers keep their spirit ahead with their own brand. Call it Jazz, Techno, Punk or Funk – for them it doesn’t matter. Be aware – it’s not just a band, it’s a movement, it’s an invasion.

Space Tigers usually have a trumpet, alto saxophone, guitar and drums lineup, but their regular trumpeter was replaced at late notice by a second altoist, thereby creating a grouping that recalled the Spy vs. Spy combination of Tim Berne and John Zorn, or the twinned altoists of the English band Led Bib. Space Tigers locked into a metallic cross-hatching of rock-funk patterns, maintaining this hard intensity throughout their set, either with jointly entwining altos or with solo horn stretches, attaining a pinnacle of piercing precision.“
- Martin Longley, Downbeat

1 Stalker 6:43
2 Mein Mühl 5:40
3 Connan Love Story 5:41
4 Nöldner Jodler 6:18
5 Lust Bahnhof 2:50
6 Sexy Nancy 5:44
7 Raga for Krav Maga 3:48
8 Agent Greg 3:18
9 Space Tigers 1:59

Pit&Co - L'émigré (UNIT RECORDS 2018)

A jazz fed by Latin sounds, contemporary music, groove and improvisation. A “fusion jazz”, luminous or abrasive, sophisticated or spontaneous, able to express the excitement of travels and new encounters.

Pit and Company: it is a quintet freely expressing the thrill of the great escape and of the adventures in the big wide world.

At the helm of this inspired endeavour is the very best of the French-speaking part of Switzerland’s jazz and Latin jazz: Peter Balazs (double bass) and Stéphanie Küffer (piano), joined by Mathieu Schneider (flute) and Raphael Nick (drums, percussion) as well as the special guest Gerry López (saxophone).

Gathered together in a gang loving jazz in all its shapes and forms, from barred grooves to unbridled fusions, these five virtuosos present, in spring 2018, “L’ Emigré”: the first studio album signed Pit and Company. An invitation to embark on an odyssey without borders spanning enchanting, lyrical and unique climates.

L'émigré [Clean] 5:15
2 Como 4:26
3 Urban Scenes 6:32
4 La Rana Perdida 5:27
5 N.Y. Diary 8:54
6 En Attendant 6:12
7 Richies's Moods 3:29
8 Blen Beach 2:44

Gert Anklam: Raum - Space (UNIT RECORDS 2018)

Gert Anklam live in Monument to the Battle of the Nations, Leipzig – 9.7.2017 featuring Pina Rücker

20 years ago, in June 1997, in the domed hall of the Monument to the Battle of Nations in Leipzig, I made a live concert recording that became my first solo CD, „konzert für b”. This recording opened many doors for me all over the world: my many performances on baritone sax included playing at the UN Assembly in New York, in the Forbidden City in Beijing, in South Africa and together with the Freedom Bell in Berlin! The CD was used on documentary film soundtracks, in radio plays, and to accompany dance and theatre performances. And so, my association with the monument was sustained over the years, and I wanted to play there again. Of all the many venues I have had the privilege of playing in, each with its own unique sound, none has moved or inspired me as much as the acoustic of the domed hall in the Monument to the Battle of Nations.

The defining playing technique of my solo concerts is circular breathing. The normal cycle of inhaling and exhaling creates a pulse that affects our individual sense of time. When this discontinuous air flow is then replaced by simultaneous inhaling and exhaling, both listener and player lose track of time. The long low tones of the crystal singing bowls have a similar effect on one s sense of time. It was a great pleasure to welcome Leipzig sound artist Pina Rücker to perform with me at this concert in July 2017.

The video of this concert comes from my friend and documentary filmmaker Salar Ghazi, who is gratefully thanked for his work and the beautiful film. He brings the extraordinary atmosphere of the concert back to life again in a very special way.

1 Fühlung 3:26
2 Weite 9:14
3 Dehnung 6:00
4 Spiralen 6:10
5 Licht im Licht 9:29
6 Bewegung 5:42
7 Verbindung 6:31
8 Zeitlos 1:17
9 Nachklang 8:05

Pina Ruecker, crystal singing bowls (tracks 2, 5, 7, 9)

Hey! This week's 'far' out $5.00 album is...

Balázs Balogh Quintet - Borderline Inspirations (UNIT RECORDS 2018)

The band was established by Hungarian drummer Balázs Balogh in 2014 in Graz, Austria. It has been an international quintet from the beginning, having had members from Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro and Brazil since then.

They play mostly Balázs’ compositions and arrangements. The music is based on the hard-bop tradition of jazz, but involves everything that has influenced the composer at a time, such as jazz-rock, free jazz, the folk music of Eastern-Europe, and the Balkans, odd-meters and polyrhythms, etc…

The goal was to create a band with a characteristic sound – using a very ordinary instrumentation, and Balázs found great partners in the recent members of the quintet to achieve this: Tobias Pustelnik (AT) on tenor saxophone, Lajos Tóth (HU) on piano, Márton Fenyvesi (HU) on guitar, and Gustavo Boni
(BR) on bass.

They’ve had appearances in several countries of Central-Europe, including Opus Jazz Club (Budapest), Round Midnight (Trieste), ZWE (Vienna), and a radio appearance in Studio Glas Podzemlja (Maribor). They participated and won second prize at Zilina International Jazz Contest in Slovakia (2015), and won the Best Band Prize at Sibiu Jazz Festival, Romania (2016).

Their first album entitled „Borderline Inspirations” will be released at Unit Records, and contains only original compositions of the band leader. Two compositions of the CD were also arranged and performed by the RTV Big Band Slovejina.

1 Intro
2 Evening Song 5:19
3 Remonkable 6:53
4 Daybreak 7:41
5 Passing Fancy 6:37
6 Metamorphosis 7:38
7 Things That Should Have Been Said 4:52

Márton Fenyyesi, guitar
Tobias Pustelnik, tenor saxophone
Lajos Tóth, piano
Gustavo Boni, bass
Ivan Krizic, bass
Marcelo Valezi, tenor saxophone, flute
Andrea Sulvoá. flute
Pippo Corvino, guitar

Michael Moss Accidental Orchestra HELIX CD Release Show Friday, May 18th 7-10 PM Westbeth Community Room

CD Release Party for
Michael Moss / Accidental Orchestra:  
Friday, May 18, 2018
7-10 PM
Westbeth Community Room
(between West St. and Washington St.)
New York, NY 10014

$10 donation

New CD

Multi-instrumentalist/composer Michael Moss, a veteran of New York’s free jazz scene, has assembled a brand-new 22-piece band, the Accidental Orchestra, for Helix, the premiere recording of a pair of his latest extended compositions. Helix kicks off with “The Old One,” which gets its title from Einstein’s name for God. Moss describes this five-piece suite as “an initiation into sacred ground.” He views it as part of a musical tradition stretching from the earliest ritual over the dead to Bach’s Mass in B Minor, through Native American rites of passage into the spirit world, the Jewish mourner’s Kaddish, and Buddhist funeral rituals. 

Moss wrote "See Sharp or Be Flat/C# or Bb" while recovering from a fracture suffered in tripping over a curb. The composer brings a quirky sense of humor to the situation, right down to deciding to name his ensemble the Accidental Orchestra in memory of the incident. Moss aimed to let the band swing on this contrapuntal theme and variations mixing jazz, rhythm and blues, and the joy of dance. “Throughout I refer to 'Norwegian Wood'(The Beatles), 'I Feel Good' (James Brown), and 'Bags Groove' (the Modern Jazz Quartet), but do not resort to familiar big band tropes,” Moss explains.

“This is a type of string orchestra, but with lots of jazz musicians pushing the boundaries.” The Chicago-born, Madison, Wisconsin-educated Michael Moss has been an active member of the New York jazz scene for 50 years, earning recognition for his skill and imagination as a multi-reed player, and for the freshness and intensity of his writing. The self-described “farthest-out cat” was a mainstay of Manhattan’s famed loft jazz scene, playing with Sam Rivers, Dave Liebman, Paul Bley, Annette Peacock, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Richie Beirach and scores of others.

He’s equally at home from a duo setting to an orchestra of 50-plus players. His musical studies have taken him across the globe and through the centuries, absorbing the music of Thailand, the Middle East, Ireland, Europe, East Africa, and elsewhere, with Renaissance orchestras, folk melodies, chants, blues, Latin and other styles catching his ear.

With Helix, “I am extending an American musical heritage, stretching from Charles Ives, Scott Joplin, Fats Waller, and Louis Armstrong into the future,” Moss says. Listeners can’t help but be captivated by what they hear, as they accompany Moss and the Accidental Orchestra on this life-long journey.

1. I INCEPTION 09:32

Jason Kao Hwang, Rosi Hertlein, Fung Chern Hwei (violins)
Stephanie Griffin (viola)
Lenny Mims, Carol Buck (cellos)
Steve Swell (trombone) 
Vincent Chancey (French horn)
Waldron Mahdi Ricks (trumpet)
Richard Keene (oboe)
Elliott Levin (flute, tenor saxophone)
Ras Moshe Burnett (soprano and tenor saxophones)
Michael Lytle (bass clarinet)
Michael Moss (Bb clarinet)
Steve Cohn (piano)
Billy Stein (guitar)
Rick Iannacone (ambient guitar)
Larry Roland (string bass)
Warren Smith (percussion, vibraphones)
Badal Roy (tabla)
Chuck Fertal (drums)
Michael Wimberly (djembe, African bells and percussion)

Recorded: October 10, 2016 at Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY
Recording Engineer, Mixing, Mastering: Jon Rosenberg
Conductor, Music Copyist: John Shea
Graphic Design: Santry Studios and Oshiin Studio

Dave Sewelson Interviews
Michael Moss 
on Little Water Radio: Music for a Free World

Media Contact
Jazz Promo Services
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Friday, April 20, 2018

Luboš Soukup Quartet - Země (ANIMAL MUSIC 2018)

Luboš Soukup Quartet’s  latest release, Země,  features guitar and vocals from Lionel Loueke

Luboš Soukup Quartet has released their third studio album, titled Země (The Earth). The jazz album features guest appearances from guitarist Lionel Loueke, who brings a slightly African touch. As with the band’s earlier releases, all music and arrangements are composed exclusively by the Czech saxophonist Luboš Soukup, and it is the first of the quartet’s offerings to feature vocal arrangements.

Compared to their previous release, Through the Mirror, which was recorded with an ensemble of 14 musicians, Země is more intimate and personal. The quartet’s  essence stays the same, but new musical interactions are presented. The instruments featured on the recording (saxophone, guitar, piano, double bass, and drums) are reminiscent of the quartet’s debut album Beyond the Borders, which featured a guest appearance from guitarist David Dorůžka. However, Soukup introduces a new instrument to this project, which has not previously been typical of his music, the voice. 

The saxophonist again joins forces with Danish drummer Morten Hæsum, one of the quartet’s founding members, and German pianist Christian Pabst, who featured on the quartet’s previous album. They are joined by Danish bassist Morten Haxholm, who has been with the band since 2016, and New York-based, Benin-raised guitarist, Lionel Loueke, who accompanies the band for six tracks, including providing vocals for some of them. Luboš Soukup, recipient of the Danish Music Talent Award 2017, first met  Lionel Loueke at a Summer jazz workshop for professional musicians in Vallekilde, Denmark, three years ago. At the beginning of 2017, Soukup invited Loueke to join his quartet for a European tour, during which the five musicians performed at Jazz Festival Brno, the Czech Republic, and in Copenhagen, Denmark, amongst others, and finished the tour in Danish studio, The Village Recordings, where they recorded the music for Země. 

Music that celebrates the Earth 

The CD begins with title track Země (The Earth), which was inspired by Loueke’s music. “I wrote this composition with Lionel in mind,” says Soukup,  “we live in interesting times and our planet faces many issues. My wish is that people strive to be more environmentally-friendly and sustainable, and that we are in closer contact with nature. I think future lifestyles will have to be simpler, which is a rather difficult task in today’s world with all the incredible possibilities we have.” This optimistic song is followed by rather darker ballad, Dark Shark.The track description from the CD insert reads: “A dark shark is floating around your head, waiting for your good thoughts to eat.” Continuing with the marine imagery, following track The Red Sea — inspired by the picture of Moses stretching out his hand over the sea and God parting the waters — is one of the most rhythmically complex pieces on the album.

Soukup borrows the word ‘Shikara’ from the Salman Rushdie classic, Midnight’s children, as the title for a short poem about small colorful boats on Indian lakes, and the dialogue between piano and clarinet is the leitmotif of calm and dreamlike composition, White Horse. The dreamy mood continues in the second part of Smoke, which is also one of the most technically sophisticated compositions. Soukup found inspiration for this tune in the eponymous movie directed by Paul Auster and Wayne Wang. An interesting music development can be also heard in C. The piece opens with the collective improvisation of piano, guitar, and soprano saxophone, and features a main theme of Latin-American vibes, finally graduating in an exposed guitar solo The only tune that bears any hallmarks of the classical jazz of the1960s is Falling star, which captures the impression of a falling star freezing on the horizon. The final track on the album is a positive arrangement of the Czech folk song Na Bílé Hoře (On the White Mountain) which, thanks to Lionel Loueke’s contribution, has a distinctly African feel.


Luboš Soukup Quartet first formed in 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. During this time, the band has changed its lineup several times. The remaining original members of the project are Czech saxophonist and clarinettist Luboš Soukup, who is also the founder, band leader, and exclusive composer of all the band’s music, and Danish drummer Morten Hæsum, who is renowned for his innovative, highly interactive way of playing. In the current line-up, the band also features German pianist Christian Pabst, who brings a fresh, lyrical style to Soukup’s compositions, and Danish bassist Morten Haxholm, who ensures that the music’s foundation is mature and solid.

Soukup studied at three European music schools, The Jazz Conservatory in Prague, Czechia, The Music Academy in Katowice, Poland, and The Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2011, he became the first scholar of the benefit project Chocomusic, which was founded by the O2 Foundation alongside Strings of Autumn, one of the biggest Czech music festivals, and which contributes to foreign studies. During his studies abroad, Soukup fell in love with Scandinavian musical tradition and settled in Denmark.

In addition to the Luboš Soukup Quartet, he also leads the internationally successful quartet Points, and its expanded versions — Points Septet and PointsRataj Quintet (a jazz quartet with live electronics). He is a member of the energetic Scandinavian band MAdHAs, the Czech-Polish quintet Inner Spaces, and the Czech big band, Concept Art Orchestra etc. In recent years, he has been very  involved with composing music for his own bands, as well as other people’s  projects, and he teaches Saxophone and Ensemble at the Music and Dance  Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (HAMU) in Prague.

The Benin-raised jazz guitarist Lionel Loueke makes a guest appearance on Země. Thanks to his originality, outstanding rhythm and well-honed technical skill, he has become one of the most sought after jazz musicians in the world today. He has previously featured in the work of Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Dave Holland, Chris Potter and many more.

1. Země (The Earth) 6:12
2. Dark Shark 6:05
3. The Red Sea 4:12
4. Shikara 6:51
5. White Horse 4:01
6. C 7:03
7. Falling Star 6:05
8. Smoke 7:06
9. Na Bílé hoře (On the White Mountain) 4:53

All compositions by Luboš Soukup, except track 9 (Czech folk song arranged by Luboš Soukup).

Christian Pabst – piano
Morten Haxholm – acoustic bass
Morten Hæsum – drums


Lionel Loueke – guitar and vocal