sábado, 22 de julio de 2017

Marie Kruttli Trio - Running After the Sun (QFTF RECORDS 2017)

It's the sun that shapes our daily reality. It's passion that drives my music. The will to see and hear, to shape stories that vanish as night comes and that bring new meaning and hope with a new dawn. Let's face darkness but Run After the Sun!

Istanbul dort (07:55)
Balancing on a Wall (07:27)
Running After The Sun (04:02)
Windy (08:08)
Kambly Swing (04:40)
Contemplative Birds (05:44)
Pocahontas (06:06)
Sailing Day (05:28)

All Songs written by Marie Kruttli 

Recorded at P4 Studio by Marco Birkner (February 2016) in Berlin. Mixed by Marco Birkner (Mai 2016). Mastered by Manuel Egger at Suburban Sound in Winterthur (September 2016)

Artwork: Florine Baeriswyl

Sam Braysher - Golden Earrings (with Michael Kanan) FRESH SOUND NEW TALENT RECORDS 2017

Born in 1989, alto saxophonist Sam Braysher studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating in 2011 with a First Class Honours degree before becoming the jazz department’s Guildhall Artist Fellow for two years.

Based in East London, he now maintains a busy freelance career playing saxophone and clarinet across a wide variety of music, including early jazz and swing, straight-ahead and more contemporary styles of jazz. Since graduating he has performed with musicians including Jorge Rossy, Barry Green, Pete Hurt, John Warren Nonet, Mark Nightingale, Steve Fishwick, Gareth Lockrane, and Will Arnold-Forster (with whose quartet he won GSMD’s Chartered Surveyors’ Jazz Prize), and bands such as the London Jazz Orchestra, the London City Big Band and Alex Mendham & His Orchestra (an authentic 1920s/‘30s dance band which holds a residency at the Savoy Hotel). He has played at venues including Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza Express Jazz Club, the Vortex, the 606 Club, the Barbican Hall, Kings Place and Royal Festival Hall.

When leading his own trio or quartet (an early edition of which won the 2010 UK Jazz Radio Young Performers’ Award) he takes a particular interest in exploring lesser-known material from the American Songbook and jazz canon.

In April 2016 he travelled to New York to record his debut album as a leader, a duo with the American pianist Michael Kanan. Released in 2017 on Fresh Sound New Talent, it features pieces by Jerome Kern, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Victor Young, Duke Ellington and Tadd Dameron, as well as one original composition.

01. Dancing in the Dark (Schwartz-Dietz) 4:21
02. Cardboard (Charlie Parker) 3:06
03. Irving Berlin Waltz Medley (Irving Berlin) 7:17
-What’ll I Do
04. BSP (Sam Braysher) 4:36
05. All Too Soon (Ellington-Sigman) 6:11
06. In Love In Vain (Kern-Robin) 5:42
07. The Scene Is Clean (Tadd Dameron) 5:13
08. Beautiful Moons Ago (Cole-Moore) 5:47
09. Golden Earrings (Evans-Livingston-Young) 5:38
10. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans (Layton-Creamer) 1:57

Michael Kanan (piano)

Recorded at The Drawing Room, Brooklyn, New York, March 31 & April 1 2016

Sound engineer: Neal Miner
Mixed and mastered by Walter Fischbacher
Design & cover art: Mariano Gil
Photos: John Rogers

Produced by Sam Braysher
Executive producer: Jordi Pujol

viernes, 21 de julio de 2017

Champian Fulton & Scott Hamilton - The Things We Did Last Summer (BLAU RECORDS 2017)

Scott Hamiton joins forces on stage with pianist/ vocalist Champian Fulton on an energetic, warm and empathic gig recorded live at Benicassim, Spain. This is the first time these two musicians record together and both styles prove to be a perfect match. Hamilton’s warm and big tone and Fulton’s expressive voice and chops at the piano make the music uplift any jazz fan's day. They are the kind of performers who engage their listeners and draw them into a swinging world with their interpretations. With the outstanding back up of Ignasi Gonzalez on bass and Esteve Pi on drums. Highly recommended!

01. When Your Lover Has Gone
02. Black velver
03. I Cried For You
04. The Things We Did Last Summer
05. Too Marveulous For Words
06. My Future Just Passed
07. Runnin' Wild
08. The very Thought Of You

CHAMPIAN FULTON,  piano & voice
IGNASI GONZALEZ,  double bass
ESTEVE PI,  drums

Dwight Trible - Inspirations (KUDOS RECORDS 2017)

Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and producer Matthew Halsall has carved out a unique niche for himself as both a band-leader and producer delving deeply into the worlds of spiritual jazz and string-laden soul. His latest project finds him playing with and producing the legendary LA jazz singer Dwight Trible, who first came to international renown with his 2005 Ninja Tune release Love Is the Answer. Trible, whose deeply soulful voice has seen him compared to Leon Thomas and Andy Bey, has worked with the likes of Pharoah Sanders, Horace Tapscott and Kamasi Washiongton (he sings lead vocals on the Epic) and brings a deep-rooted soulfulness to everything that he sings. Halsall and Trible first met at the Joy of Jazz Festival in South Africa back in 2015, when a chance encounter backstage led to Trible sitting in with The Gondwana Orchestra for an impromptu reading of the classic Pharoah Sanders and Leon Thomas anthem 'The Creator Has A Master Plan', and a lasting friendship and respect for each others music was born.

The relationship started to bear fruit in July 16, Trible was performing at the North Sea Jazz Festival and Halsall invited him to guest with him at a memorable show at the, newly re-opened, Jazz Café in London. A recording session at 80 Hertz studios in Manchester followed, providing two tracks that feature here: The timeless standard I Love Paris, and the traditional spiritual Deep River, featuring Halsall regulars pianist Taz Modi, bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Luke Flowers. Inspired by what he heard Halsall offered to produce a Dwight Trible album for his Gondwana Records imprint. Together they selected some of their favourite songs and in November last year they went into Fish Factory Studios, London with new recruit Jon Scott taking the drum chair. They recorded an impassioned reading of Donny Hathaway and Leroy Hutson's classic Tryin' Times (a song as sadly relevant today as it was in 1970), a vibrant, soulful version of the Nina Simone smash Feeling Good and a beautiful take on the timeless Bacharach classic What The World Needs Now Is Love featuring harpist Rachael Gladwin. They also laid down two spiritual jazz masterpieces, a powerful re-working of Dorothy Ashby's Heaven and Hell (from the legendary The Rubiyat of Dorothy Ashby album) and a heartfelt version of Coltrane's beautiful ballad Dear Lord, with lyrics by Trible. Lyrics that have an extra poignancy after they received praise from none other than Alice Coltrane, who heard Trible perform his version of the song shortly before her passing. Rounding out the recording is a spine-tingling reading of the old folk song Black Is The Colour Of My True Love's Hair. Simply entitled, Inspirations, the album carries a clear message and the settings are classic Halsall, drawing on the vintage sounds and recording techniques of jazz's golden era but with a modern touch and he brings the very best out of Trible, leaving plenty of space for his deep soulfulness to flourish.

1. What the World Needs Now Is Love (feat. Matthew Halsall) 05:47
2. Tryin' Times (feat. Matthew Halsall) 05:30
3. I Love Paris (feat. Matthew Halsall) 06:00
4. Feeling Good 04:58
5. Dear Lord (feat. Matthew Halsall) 07:23
6. Heaven & Hell 05:16
7. Black Is the Colour of My True Love's Hair (feat. Matthew Halsall) 06:42
8. Deep River (feat. Matthew Halsall) 06:16

Matthew Halsall trumpet 
Taz Modi piano 
Gavin Barras bass 
Jon Scott drums 
Rachael Gladwin harp (track 1) 
Luke Flowers drums (track 3) 

Produced by Matthew Halsall. 

Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 & 7 recorded by Ben Lamdin at Fish Factory Studios & tracks 3 & 8 recorded by George Atkins at 80 Hertz Studios in July & November 2016. 

Mixed by George Atkins at 80 Hertz. 

Mastered by Peter Beckmann at TechnologyWorks. 

Artwork & design by Daniel Halsall.

Stanton Moore - With You in Mind (2017)

The Songs of Allen Toussaint

Released: 21st July 2017
Cool Green Recordings / Mascot Label Group

Featuring: Jolynda Kiki Chapman, Cyril Neville, Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison, Trombone Shorty, Maceo Parker, Nicholas Payton and Wendell Pierce.

“In the beginning was the beat. And the beat was strong . . .”   
Allen Toussaint

Besides his solo projects, studio and TV work, and teaching,  Stanton Moore  the drummer of Galactic, the funky New Orleans conglomeration now in its third decade of touring, and he still finds time to record and travel as a trio with David “Tork” Torkanowsky (keys) and James Singleton (bass).Besides his solo projects, studio and TV work, and teaching, he’s    Like Moore, Tork and Singleton are in high demand, so it takes some lead time to clear everybody’s schedule. The trio had a new record ready, they thought. But then, “a couple of days before we were supposed to start recording,” says Moore, “Allen Toussaint passed.”

Toussaint’s sudden death on November 10, 2015 (in Madrid, far from home, of a heart attack, after playing a concert) shocked the city. The polymath New Orleans producer, songwriter, arranger, bandleader, pianist, singer, and all-around figure of elegance had been a vital, active presence in New Orleans since the 1950s.

The three musicians immediately shelved their planned album and went into creative hyperdrive. “We already had studio time booked, we couldn’t wait,” Moore recalls. “It’s not like we wrote out all these arrangements ahead of time. We were flying by the seat of our pants.”

As they began working up pieces of Toussaint’s vast repertoire, it quickly became a vocal album with guest singers. “As Tork likes to say,” Moore comments, “being a musician in New Orleans is like having the greatest musical toolbox at your disposal.” Supplementing their trio with some of New Orleans’s living legends – their friends — they re-imagined Toussaint’s songs, conceptualizing and building out an album on the fly.

The idea of guest on particular tracks was the obvious musical path to travel after Torkanowsky invited the first guest vocalist, Jolynda Kiki Chapman, best known in New Orleans for singing with her mother, Topsy Chapman.  The collaboration with a variety of artists created an album that captures teh spirit of New Orleans and the magic of Toussaint’s work.

With You in Mind: The Songs of Allen Toussaint is built on the livest grooves the trio could deliver. It was a bittersweet project for all concerned, celebrating the memory of someone whose living presence was so important. “I didn’t get to work with Allen as often as I’d have liked to,” Moore says, “but I did get to.” Their friendship went back twenty years. “Through the years we crossed paths a few times. The first time he played with us was also the first time we played the Saenger Theater,” referring to the 2,600-seat New Orleans landmark.

“Allen Toussaint wrote the soundtrack to New Orleans,” says Moore. He came out of an environment that no longer exists.

The level of talent and ability and artistry that he embodied – we won’t see this again.”

Here Comes The Girls (feat. Cyril Neville & Trombone Shorty)
Life (feat. Cyril Neville, Nicholas Payton & Skerik)
Java (feat. Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison & Trombone Shorty)
All These Things (feat. Jolyanda Kiki Chapman)
Night People (feat. Maceo Parker)
The Beat (feat. Cyril Neville)
Riverboat (feat. Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison)
Everything I Do Gone Be Funky (feat. Maceo Parker)
With You In Mind
Southern Nights (feat. Nicholas Payton & Wendell Pierce)

Akmee - Neptun (NAKAMA RECORDS 2017)

Neptune. A planet invisible to the naked eye, it was originally discovered through mathematical deduction after scientists noticed unexpected changes in the course of Uranus. It was named after the Roman god of the sea. In addition to being ruler of the liquid element, he was said to have tremendous power over our subconsciousness and emotions, which we ourselves still today have little understanding of. The title represents the unknown, ranging from the depths of the human mind and the oceans out to the vastness and mysteries of space.

The music itself is a rubbery mass of composed and improvised ideas stirred and distilled into a concrete pellet with a unique flavor: It is dark like the deep sea, astral as the sky and uncategorizable as our very own subconscious – and it grooves in a minimalistic, awkwardly satisfactory Akmee-kind of way. The album is partly inspired by Jens Bjørneboe’s novel Haiene (The Sharks) and the music of John Coltrane's later period.

1. Summoning
2. Dance of the Maniae
3. Wavelengths
4. Tides in Space

Erik Kimestad Pedersen - trumpet
Kjetil Jerve - piano
Erlend Albertsen - double bass
Andreas Wildhagen - drums

Freddie Gavita - Transient (FROGGY RECORDS 2017)

British trumpet star Freddie Gavita is now a respectable married man in his thirties, and since this is his debut album, you might think the ‘transient’ quality of the title was about how the man himself feels as he enters his early maturity. In fact, as he explains in his LondonJazz News podcast interview (link below) it’s more to do with the way jazz dips into the moment, and tunes played one way on Monday might sound very different on Tuesday. 

His career to date could hardly look more auspicious: he’s a member of and writer for Ronnie Scott's late-show fixture Fletch’s Brew, as well as a member of the Scott’s house band (currently led by James Pearson) and the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra. This well-overdue album features his own quartet, which has been together for ten years – more than enough time to record an album and get it released. Gavita raised the cash (£5,429) from crowdfunding website Kickstarter – an increasingly popular method of getting music into the wider world. It’s just a shame no individual pledged £1,000, for which you could have got the whole band to come round and play a bespoke gig in your house. 

Gavita is known as an exponent of the groove in jazz and an open, fluid Freddie Hubbard tone, both of these qualities exemplified by the album’s sandwich-oriented opener Strimming the Ham, a pleasantly lumbering waltz whose rhythmic figure is laid down by Tom Cawley on piano. Turneround, the tune that follows, is another groover, this one dedicated to Gavita’s trumpeter friend, the late Richard Turner. There’s warmth and variety here too, as on the ballad Beloved, originally written for trombonist Callum Au, or the coolly swinging Pull Your Socks. 

Playing with this band Gavita describes as comfortable yet risky – like ‘being wrapped up in a nice warm sleeping bag and then being chucked off a cliff’. This inherent danger does not extend to the listener, thankfully. Instead we can indulge ourselves in some fine, relaxed playing and extended playing times: most tracks are around the six-minute mark, and one or two considerably longer. 

Gavita doesn’t find it necessary to grandstand, either by brandishing his chops or by sidelining his fellow band-members, all of whom have ample space to solo: Lion-O, for example, is a showcase for James Maddren, beginning with his tinkling cymbal work, and pausing throughout for a number of mini drum solos. And on Iverson Oddity, Calum Gourlay is given a chance to stretch out on bass.

Strimming The Ham
The Vow
Iverson Oddity
Pull Your Socks
The Buffalo Trace

Tom Cawley: piano
Calum Gourlay: bass
James Maddren: drums

jueves, 20 de julio de 2017

Samuel Eagles' Spirit - Ask, Seek, Knock (feat. Duncan Eagles, Sam Leak, Ralph Wyld & Dave Hamblett) WHIRLWIND RECORDINGS 2017

Increasingly incandescent across the London jazz, funk and world music scenes, alto saxophonist and composer Samuel Eagles announces his debut Whirlwind release Ask Seek Knock with his band, SPIRIT (saxophonist Duncan Eagles, pianist Sam Leak, vibraphonist Ralph Wyld, double bassist Max Luthert and drummer Dave Hamblett), breathing life into eight, expansive, original compositions. Eagles’ solo debut of 2014, Next Beginning, plus subsequent appearances on studio recordings with other artists, provided the swift impetus to a professional career which had its roots set at the Royal Academy of Music and then nurtured at Trinity College of Music. The saxophonist was mentored and educated by musical luminaries Mornington Lockett and Jean Toussaint, so it’s entirely appropriate that Toussaint augments the personnel here by guesting on two numbers with customary flair. 

Creative efflorescence can be triggered by significant, often emotional life events – an oblique, unexpected source which mines one’s innermost feelings and channels them via another route with unclouded clarity. Samuel Eagles’ inspiration for this body of work arose from a period of what he describes as his own “spiritual enlightenment” following a turbulent few months (not unfamiliar throughout compositional history). As he explains: “I’d had some tough things to go through, which had the effect of pushing me deeper – both devotionally and artistically. I eventually came through it all with a sense of purpose and positivity which revealed the musical direction for this album”. 

Pairing alto and tenor saxes upfront, as well as overlaying the differing timbres of piano and vibes, affirms the richness of Eagles’ writing. His ear for textural combinations and strong, melodious riffs can be heard in the steadfast buoyancy of ‘Eternity Within My Soul’, which teems with improvisational character, and in the searching serenity of ‘Changed, Changing Still’, enhanced by Ralph Wyld’s sustained vibes and the lucid double bass expression of Max Luthert. Beauty, light and courage are symbolized in resolute ‘Dreams and Visions of The Son’, including a lush, prismatic tenor spotlight from Jean Toussaint (“It’s amazing to have Jean playing on the album, as he’s been so supportive in developing my own identity”), and ‘Hear His Voice’ sparks lively, modal conversation between Toussaint and Samuel Eagles, bolstered by the robust rhythms of Luthert and Dave Hamblett.

The two Eagles brothers share the sax lead to blithe, soulful ‘The Twelve’, featuring typically eloquent high piano invention from Sam Leak, while wispy though assertive ‘SPIRIT’ opens the door for Samuel’s imaginative alto extemporizations. Pastoral ‘Hope In The Hills’ was prompted by a true story of benevolence involving a tour bus breakdown in Italy, where an uphill country-lane push led to campsite owners who provided log cabin accommodation, food and van repairs (“We were stranded for four days in the most perfect place possible”). And the funky sax-duo groove of title track ‘Ask, Seek, Knock’, with effective bubbling piano figure, asserts a belief in seeking faith and wisdom; the concept of one door shutting and other doors of opportunity opening. 

Recalling the album’s formation, Samuel Eagles says: “Creating it has been a fantastic move forward. For me, when music connects, it builds a great feeling of intensity in my inner self. My hope is that listeners will sense something of a transcendental experience with this album”.

1. Eternity Within My Soul 05:57
2. Changed, Changing Still 06:58
3. Hear His Voice 10:03
4. Hope In The Hills 06:47
5. The Twelve 06:53
6. Dream and Visions of The Son 09:20
7. SPIRIT 06:58
8. Ask, Seek, Knock 08:48

Samuel Eagles - alto saxophone
Duncan Eagles - tenor saxophone
Jean Toussaint - tenor saxophone (3, 6,)
Sam Leak - piano
Ralph Wyld - vibraphone
Max Luthert - double bass
Dave Hamblett - drums

Recorded Live at Real World Studio's, UK (July 2016)
Mixed and Mastered by Tyler McDairmid
New York (September 2016)
Produced by Samuel Eagles
Executive Producer - Michael Janisch
Original artwork and album design - Alban Low

MiND GAMeS - Ephemera Obscura (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

Here is a quartet committed to contrast conventional and unconventional approaches to composition and improvisation. Complex time signatures and intricate notated materials coexist with spontaneous sonic explorations, both timbral and chromatic. The textures and figures are harmonically rich, full of details and with simultaneous organic effects – crude, primal, atmospheric, and dramatic.

Angelika Niescier, Denman Maroney, James Ilgenfritz and Andrew Drury combine the best of two worlds: the cerebral and the sensitive, always changing roles. For instance: the piano and the drumset are played in the familiar way but also with unique approaches: Maroney with the help of objects placed on the interior strings (this way justifying the name “hyperpiano”) and Drury using his breath and found objects to produce pitch and sustained tones that aren’t really percussive at all.

Usually, it’s impossible to distinguish the origins of the produced sounds. Ilgenfritz’s double bass bridges the shifting colors of the rhythm / harmonic section of the band with the melodic/noise content of Niescier’s sax, sometimes positioning itself on one side, using a percussive attack, or choosing the other to reinforce the lines with some arco work. These permanent changes between the recognizable and the unexpected open the music to any eventuality and make the audition of “Ephemera Obscura” an adventure. Mind games indeed, but making the hair of your arms react before your brain acknowledges what’s happening.

1. Harkinsish 6:38
2. Selonica 6:13
3. Strip Mind 6:05
4. Heterosemica 9:29
5. Ephemera Obscura 6:58
6. Imprint 2 17:07
7. Ballard Compound 7:24
8. Core Text 6:59

Angelika Niescier  alto saxophone
Denman Maroney  hyperpiano
James Ilgenfritz  contrabass
Andrew Drury  percussion

Available on Amazon

Kokotob - Flying Heart (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

If in a recent past it was a rarity, nowadays more and more classical musicians find in improvisation – and inclusively in the jazz language – an extra medium of musical creativity. That’s the case of the vibraphonist and marimba player Taiko Saito, complementing that dual frame with aspects coming from the Japanese tradition. An interpreter of the music of contemporary composer Sofia Gubaidulina who also played with marimba virtuoso Keiko Abe, David Friedman and free improv with Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Saito co-founded a duo with the German avant-jazz pianist Niko Meinhold, responding with the album “Koko” (2006) to the emblematic “Crystal Silence” (1973), by the ground-breaking vibraphone-piano duet of Gary Burton and Chick Corea.

They found in that ECM record a path to explore and the result was an enlargement of the previously oppened perspectives. Other incursions combining the two instruments happened meanwhile, and it was time for Saito and Meinhold to search other possibilities: the duo Koko became the trio Kokotob, adding Tobias Schirmer and his soprano and bass clarinets to the interactions. The context continues to be the one of chamber jazz and the approach is still experimental, but now a breathing quality, of Schirmer’s responsability, is added to the vibrational character of the already known delicate and meditative – but abruptly contrasted with cutting-edge situations – musical world inhabited by Saito and Meinhold. A welcomed new episode of a work-in-progress that certainly will give us more surprises.

01. Waldboden 3:59
02. Wellen 7:17
03. Origami im Görlitzer Park 4:11
04. Komodo no Kodomo 6:46
05. Etude in eb 6:15
06. Feldmännchen 5:28
07. Viertel 5:08
08. Bikkuri 2:14
09. Korokoro 5:05
10. Snow Moon Flower 3:54

Taiko Saito   marimba, vibraphone
Niko Meinhold   piano
Tobias Schirmer   clarinet, bassclarinet

Available on Amazon

Platform - Flux Reflux (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

Flux Reflux is the second recorded outing of this improvising quartet, and the first one for Clean Feed. While Platform’s first album Anthropocene, was recorded right after the French clarinetist Xavier Charles joined three young musicians from Oslo to form a quartet, Flux Reflux is the result of several years of live experience.

The album consists of 6 acoustic, improvised pieces, and contains no compositions in the traditional sense of the word. Yet all tracks have a clear direction, with few, well balanced musical elements packed into each piece. Parallell to Darwin’s discovery of how life can develop without intelligent design, this music organizes itself without a composer. Every piece composes itself through the individual decisions of the musicians. And in the same way, Platforms style has developed clear esthetics through the years, without intentional steering from above.

This focus on collective listening is already apparent from the dreamy opening track ‘début’, and is intensified on the second track ‘Flux’, where percussive sounds on prepared piano and drums are placed along repetitive cycles of breathing sounds on cello and clarinet, creating dense polyrhythmic layers. From there, the album is all about incantative repetition and mutation of musical ideas, where each addition of elements is significant.

The exuberant track ’Reflux’, contrasts with the sacral sound sculptures on ‘Interlude’, where time seems to stand still. On these meditative sheets of sound everything is slow, minimal and tightly united, in a kind of cinematic music approaching the static condition of photography. The effect is mesmerizing and strangely beautiful, in such a way that you become a listening statue.

All of this acoustic details are beautifully captured by the unconventional methods of recording engineer Morten Qvenild, then mixed by Johnny Skalleberg and mastered by Christian Obermayer into a dense yet transparent sound image.

1. Début 3:09
2. Flux 12:30
3. Reflux 6:32
4. Interlude 4:30
5. Ce que le vent d'ouest n'a pas vu 11:24
6. Fin 1:30

Xavier Charles  clarinet
Katrine Schiøtt  cello
Jan Martin Gismervik  drums
Jonas Cambien  piano, casio SK1

Available on Amazon and iTunes

miércoles, 19 de julio de 2017

Roots Magic - Last Kind Words (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

There’s a good side in the present day global dimension and that’s called “cultural syncretism”. Roots Magic is an Italian band who’s gradually building up a repertoire between Deep Blues and Creative Jazz, and this is their second effort. As in their previous release, the track list consists of personal renditions of Delta Blues classics (mostly Charlie Patton) played with an overtly exploratory attitude derived from the Free Jazz tradition, as well as a number of pieces composed by some chosen Jazz artists such as Roscoe Mitchell, Julius Hemphill, Henry Threadgill, Hamiet Bluiett, including a couple of unearthed gems, “November Cotton Flower” by the great late Marion Brown and “Last Kind Words”, a moving pre-war song by the obscure and legendary Geshie Wiley.

This is some kind of familiar and bizarre sound creation, rooted in the essence of African-American music in its most Folkish character. Perhaps, only Non-American musicians could get the right distance to imagine something like this. Some sort of synthesized Black-influenced music based on sharp horn charts and a variety of Backbeats from Funk to Dub mutations. A whole sound world coming from the utmost respect for the originals, mixed up with good humor and subversive attitude. Needless to add that Black Music is at the very origin of every urban musical expression of today and this band shows us how and why…

01. Down the Dirt Road Blues 4:23
02. Last Kind Words 6:29
03. Tom Rushen Blues 5:10
04. Oh Hush 3:05
05. Old 4:47
06. November Cotton Flower 7:40
07. Dogon A.D. 5:48
08. Hatti Wall 3:05
09. Miss Boweavil 3:47
10. Pee Wee Blues 6:35
11. Poor Me (Again) 7:01
12. Bermuda Blues (Quasi Dub) 4:40

Alberto Popolla  clarinet & bass clarinet
Errico De Fabritiis  alto & baritone sax
Gianfranco Tedeschi  double bass
Fabrizio Spera  drums

Luca Venitucci  organ on tracks 1, 4, 9 piano on 6
Luca Tilli  cello on tracks 3, 7
Antonio Castiello  dub effects on 12

Tracks 4 & 9 inspired by C. Patton’s Oh Death and Mississippi Boweavil Blues

Recorded by Daniele Zazza – Abbey Rocchi Studio, Roma, December 2016 | Mixed and mastered by Antonio Castiello with assistance by Aldo De Sanctis – Jambona Lab, Cascina, January, February 2017
Produced by Roots Magic | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos | Photos by Peter Gannushkin / DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET

Available on Amazon

Max Johnson - In the West (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

Max Johnson may be the only musician to have worked with legendary improvisers Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Muhal Richard Abrams & William Parker, bluegrass royalty Sam Bush & David Grisman, in addition to rock pioneers Adrian Belew, Vernon Reid & the Butthole Surfers.  That eclecticism is at work on his new album, “In the West”, featuring piano trio, augmented by pedal steel guitar.  The album features Kris Davis on Piano, Susan Alcorn on pedal steel guitar, and Mike Pride on drums, in addition to Johnson’s bass playing and composing.  Kris Davis is one of the most breathtakingly original voices on the piano in the modern era, and her multiple projects as a leader, in addition to working with luminaries Eric Revis, Tony Malaby & Bill Frisell, display her masterful control of sound.

Susan Alcorn is one of the premiere innovators on pedal steel guitar, taking it’s roots in country and western, imbuing it with the lush harmonic beauty of Messiaen & Varese, and adding a frenetic wild free jazz energy, leading her to lend her amazing musical gifts to people like Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek & Ellery Eskelin.  Mike Pride has led an broad musical life, doing everything from improvising with masters Joe Morris, Nate Wooley, and Peter Evans, to playing hardcore punk with the legendary band Millions of Dead Cops, but it is his unique vision and mastery of the drums that have made him one of the most powerful and moving drummers you’ll ever hear.  The combination of these four individuals is what makes “In the West” a compelling testament.  Drawing on a wide world of sounds, this quartet shifts through audio landscapes, twisting through the open and remarkable compositions of Johnson, finding themselves finally at a patient and powerful medley from Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack to “Once Upon a Time in the West”.  The journey the listener embarks on is lush and beautiful, wild and thorny, strange and uncharted, but always a treat to the ear, and moving to the soul.

1. Ten Hands
2. Greenwood
3. Great Big Fat Person
4. Once Upon a Time in the West

Susan Alcorn  pedal steel guitar
Kris Davis  piano
Max Johnson  double bass
Mike Pride  drums

All tracks composed by Max Johnson, Max Johnson Music ASCAP, except “Once Upon a Time in the West”, composed by Ennio Morricone, arranged by Max Johnson

Recorded April 27, 2014 at Acoustic Recording by Michael Brorby | Mixed by Eivind Opsvik at Greenwood Underground | Mastered by Jim Clouse at Park West Studios
Produced by Max Johnson | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Artwork by Victoria Salvador | Graphic design by Travassos

Big Bold Back Bone - In Search of the Emerging Species (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

Depuration. This may be the best term to describe the type of approach conducted by the Swiss musicians Marco Von Orelli and Sheldon Suter and by their Portuguese partners, Luis Lopes and Travassos in the new opus of the project Big Bold Back Bone. If this one was previously characterized by the folding of multiple directions, from a chamber improvisation with a vague jazz flavor to rock distillations, or at least distillations of the electric parasites of that music genre, now what we find is the fruit of a decisive focus on the materials, of a depuration, in consequence, and that because there was a process of formal and stylistic resolution. We recognize the premises of a certain EAI (electro-acoustic improvisation) heiress of the pioneering band AMM and taken in the direction of the reductionist, near-silence tendency, meaning that the melodic phrasing and the rhythmic plane (already broken and not linear) are substituted by a minucious textural and timbric work.

No conventional uses of acoustic instruments, the trumpet and the drumkit, remain in “In Search of the Emerging Species”, and if the music follows some of the formulas chosen for the guitar and the electronic devices in experimental domains, they’re both at the service of a collective, with the produced sounds mixing with all the others and, in that way, almost disappearing. It’s just one, and very long, the piece here played (“Immerge”), with an extremely slow development, suspensive even, sometimes with a cliff opening in the flow of events, not to solve what is behind, not to give it conclusion, but allowing the choice of another heading in the forest of little and exotic sounds being build. A beautiful record to listen to microscopically, dropping all the tasks of everyday life.

Immerge 43:02

Marco von Orelli  trumpet, slide trumpet
Sheldon Suter  prepared drums
Luis Lopes   electric guitar and objects
Travassos   electronics

All composition by BBBB (SUISA)

Recorded by Joaquim Monte at Studio Namouche, Lisbon 30. November 2015 | Mastered by Hannes Kumke
Produced by BBBB | Executive production by Travassos for Trem Azul | Design and artwork by Travassos

Available on Amazon

Nate Wooley - Knknighgh (Minimal Poetry for Aram Saroyan) CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017

We can say without exaggeration that the new project by Nate Wooley introduces in the so-called “free jazz” format a system that few times – if ever – we encountered with such a relevance for the musical results since the harmolodic process proposed by Ornette Coleman. And the always surprising trumpeter is very much aware of the ground breaking possibilities of this band with the upcoming New York musicians Chris Pitsiokos, Brandon Lopez and Dré Hocevar, and of the music recorded in “Knknighgh” (to be pronounced as “knife”), when presenting it as «a radical new take on the classic free jazz quartet tradition». So it is: you imediatly recognize the approach as free jazz, and yet, free jazz never sounded like this before.

The band uses short composed materials written by Wooley and those fragmented materials are looped and pushed to the limit, triggered by any of the players in whatever order chosen in the moment. At first, the procedure seems to adapt some of the repetitive strategies of minimal music, and yet again, it doesn’t sound like minimalism, and neither it is a crossover between free jazz and minimal music. Wooley’s new system gets its references outside of music, and namely in the poetry of Aram Saroyan, «the master of the one word poem», as punk singer and writer Richard Hell calls him. Of course, both Hell and Wooley are particularly interested in the musical qualities of Saroyan’s poetry, its rhythmic fluency, its alliterations, its repetition of syllabs and inherent sounds. From it, Nate Wooley created a new kind of free jazz in which less is more and the resume of a particular melodic phrase isn’t necessarily the reintroduction of a chorus line. Prepare yourself to be marveled…

1. Knknighgh 3 16:19
2. Knknighgh 4 12:36
3. Knknighgh 6 11:06
4. Knknighgh 7 6:36
5. Knknighgh 8 10:15

Chris Pitsiokos  alto saxophone
Brandon Lopez  bass
Dré Hočevar  drums

Available on Amazon and iTunes

Guy Mintus Trio - A Home In Between (PLEDGEMUSIC 2017)

The Guy Mintus trio led by Israeli award winning pianist and composer Guy Mintus featuring bassist Tamir Shmerling and Drummer Philippe Lemm. After three years of exploring their musical connection, playing many hours in rehearsal rooms, dark NYC bars and various concert halls around the US and Canada, the trio has finally entered to studio to make its first recorded statement. 

“A Home In Between” comprises of three originals, four re-imagined covers, a fully improvised piece created by the trio and a solo piano bonus track. 

The materials are varied and reveal the wide range of musical languages from which the trio derives inspiration. With their flexible and highly interactive approach the trio creates a deep synthesis from Israeli, Turkish and Greek folk to film music, from straight ahead jazz to completely freely improvised parts. 

The Album was recorded at Skillman Music Studios in Brooklyn, New York by Greg Gibaldi & Weixiong Wang on the 20th of June, 2016

Mix & mastering took place at London’s Oatmilk Studios by Roy Nadel.

Our Journey Together
Background Music
Zeybekiko for the Brave
In the Moment
Desert Song
Çoban Sirto
My Ideal