Sunday, June 24, 2018

Dennis Charles Triangle - Queen Mary (SILKHEART RECORDS 2018)


"Named in honor of a revolutionary Black woman from St. Croix, Charles along with his brother Huss Charles on conga, a sturdy and outstanding Wilber Morris on hass, and a stalwartly strong hut woefully under-recorded Booker T. on tenor sax offer up a program which manages to emphasize solos without at the same time de-emphasizing the compositions. The balance is extraordinary and the music invigorating, especially because its rhythmic appeal is so strong that one quickly drops any prejudices that one has about the lack of swing in avant-garde jazz." 
Kalamu ya Salaam, Wavelength, October 1991

In 1878 three women canefield workers led a march across the Caribbean island of St Croix. Armed only with machettes, kerosene and matches, they burned down estates and the sugarcane crop in a revolt against the invidious wages and conditions that kept the people of the Danish-ruled Virgin Islands in a state of de facto slavery, thirty years after emanicipation. Many whites were killed before the rebellion led by Queen Mary, Bottom Bell and Agnes was quelled, but the gendarmerie needed massive reinforcements to do so.

Caught up in the mob was Dennis Charles' grandfather. "Are you on our side of Ironside?" went the battlecry - 'Iron-side' was Denmark – and the wrong response spelt death. It was an uncertain situation for a 12 year-old, and when the rum-drinking rebels sent him for limes, he took the opportunity to disappear.

Dennis Charles had this story from his father on a recent trip to St Croix, his first visit to his birthplace in 28 years. But the music, the song that grew up around the Queen Mary story was something he had carried with him since childhood. Like the other pieces here, he first heard it over fifty years ago. "In all the years that went by, I would rearrange these tunes in my head. I started hearing them as jazz."

Dennis Charles, disciple of Buhaina (Art Blakey) and Cecil (Taylor), percussionist veteran of the New Music's earliest wave, has never turned his back on his Caribbean childhood. Even working with pianist Taylor in the 1950s, he was doubling up in calypso bands and playing West Indian cocktail ships. For years he has talked of the music he heard while living in St Croix: the Christmas and New Year Masquerade (Carnival), the bamboula drum dances, the Wild Indians with painted faces, ("incredible dancers"), the story of David and Goliath played out in the streets. There were the Mother Hubbards, too, a hundred-strong contingent of women dressed entirely in white, who would take over the streets of Frederiksted, the capital, with their unique style of singing and dancing.

Charles had carried the idea of recording some of the music for a long time as well. A New Yorker since the age of 11, he first returned to St Croix in 1960 with his younger brother Frank, ('Huss'), also a percussionist. They caught the end of an era when the quadrille was still danced, accompanying their father to a ballroom called Come-along Castle where an elderly audience danced to the sounds of earlier times. With a metal flute to carry the melody and a squash scraped rhythmically in time, Charles père laid down the chords on his banjo. Another man maintained a cymbal-like beat on a triangle or 'steel', (so-called because generally made by a blacksmith), the bass being provided by an instrument unique to the region. Its exponent, a man Charles describes as a 'genius', was Joseph 'Paddy' Moore who blew, juglike, on an exhaust-pipe.

When a group of elderly women were persuaded on to the dance floor, Charles witnessed the life-renewing power of the music. "Really, it brought back their childhood. They would pull their dresses up when they'd play these quadrilles, and they were screaming and having a hall. Their age went out the window!" 

He remembers turning to his brother. "I said: now wouldn't this be a bitch if you had a rhythm like this – no jazz drumming – and a saxophone like Sonny Rollins soloing?" It was the first time he had considered the possibility of translating the music into a modern setting.

Back in New York, he sought out Rollins, enthused. The latter's pianoless Freedom Suite had not long been released, and the rhythmic possibilities of a similar group suggested themselves. He knocked on Rollins' door and introduced himself, and before long, the Charles brothers were coaching Rollins in the rhythms of their childhood. But the record-date that ensued was fraught with A&R interference and the specificity of the rhythms disappeared.

Over the years, Charles taught other musicians his tunes, Don Cherry, Dewey Redman and tenorist Jim Pepper among them. David Murray recorded his Maypole Dance, a hangover from the period when the islands were under British rule. (This song was called West Indian Folk Song on the recording in question in point of fact, DIW-809, a compact disc featuring Murray in 1983 as a member of Wilber Morris' Wilber Force.) However, it was not until the present date that an opportunity arose to fully explore Charles' material.

Growing up 'like nature boy' in St Croix, swimming and fishing to catch his own breakfast each day, Charles heard his first music from his father who also told stories by candlelight. Bass Space, done here as a light, airy dance with Wilber Morris playing a prominent role, is typical of one of these tales.

The original, which has Danish lyrics, (both his parents spoke the language), tells of the Devil appearing in human form with a flute. "In the meadow in the afternoon, the young kids would be watching the goats and sheep, the Devil sitting under a tree with a big burlap bag behind him. He'd play this tune for the young shepherds and call the kids closer. They'd come closer and closer. And he'd snatch 'em, put them in his burlap bag."

In addition to banjo and conga drum, the elder Charles played ukelele, tuning the string to four sung notes; 'I-Don't-Drink-Rum'. When Dennis acquired his first drumset, he remembered this method. Noted for his impeccably tuned instruments, he explained how he tuned his tom-toms in order to play 'Bom-bombom-bash!' in imitation of his father's procedure. Hearing these four notes as a major chord, he is able to play 'here comes the bride' on tom-toms and snare, (squeezing the floor tom with his left hand for the flattened third note). As a 'frustrated trombone player', (he studied the instrument for seven years), the drums must be in tune. "I hear the drums as notes, so I have all these notes to play with. I take time to tune them because if they're not right I can't play what I want to play." 

Raised in a Catholic convent run by Belgian nuns where the Mother Superior played piano, Charles was exposed to European music at an early age. He was something of a child-star, too, enlisted into St Croix' foremost band, the Rhythmakers, as a 7 year-old bongo player when caught sitting-in at rehearsal. In no time at all he had his own band uniform and was playing with them throughout the island until a fatal road accident altered his father's laissez faire attitude. "No more bongo, wongo fo yuh ass!" he told him, a saying which was to follow him all his life. To his amazement, he was greeted with those words on visiting the island almost 50 years on.

In 1945 he went to New York to join his mother who had left St Croix when he was three. The rough urban environment came as a shock. Harlemites were hostile to youths they perceived as 'countryfied' and Dennis and Huss were forced to take desperate measures for self-protection. But the city had its compensations: Charlie Parker at the Apollo and an older brother who took Dennis dancing at afternoon sessions featuring Fats Navarro, Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson. School was a block from Minton's Playhouse, and it was there, on the marquee, that he first saw the names of Thelonious Monk and Art Blakey.

But it was Roy Haynes who awakened the dormant drummer. "I was a drum freak, listening to everyone, but Roy, on Bud Powell's Wail! was playing something different. He had the slickest shit I ever heard. He gave me an inkling of playing double-time licks with the left hand. Horn players do it, but most drummers play on the beat. Roy Haynes, though, he doubled up. He gave me the germ of that idea." 

When he heard Blakey in 1954 he was captured for ever. He started to play 'Art,' he says simply, 'took my spirit.' 

The divergent trajectories of the Charles brothers' careers that intersect in this music, reflect the diversity and similarities of the Diasporean experience. While Dennis pursued bebop and 'hipness', Huss, two years his junior, stayed with the homeboys. From the late 1940s he played with calypso bands; one was led by Claude Brewster, an alto saxophonist from St Croix, another by a famous calypsonian, Macbeth the Great, father of percussionist Ralph McDonald.

A cousin, Raymond Charles, also played congas with Brewster, and it was from them that Dennis began relearning the music he'd forgotten to play. "Huss taught me how to play calypso, and I taught him how to play swing." Not to be overlooked, a frequent guest at these woodshedding sessions in a 'raggedy basement' on 118th Street was Cecil Taylor, with whom Dennis had just started to play. For a while, Taylor, Blakey and Charles roomed together downtown on Second Avenue.

Today, there is a highway in St Croix named after Queen Mary. The drummer's tribute to the legendary insurrectionist (who, incidentally, despite having killed several whites was pardoned by Denmark after a short exile and allowed to return), is in the tradition of acknowledging revolutionary leaders. As a question-and-answer piece, it is the one where he regrets having no additional horns. 'They ask her:

Queen Mary, girl, where you gonna burn? 
Queen Mary; girl, where you gonna burn? 
and she answers: 
Don't you ask me nothing at all, 
I want the match and oil. 
'Tis Basin jailhouse, a-dey the money dere.'

For the rest of the material, Stand Back comes from the repertoire of an entertainer named Holiday who "dressed real outlandish with long chains and all kind of raggedy clothes. A real creative dresser." 

Accompanied by two guitarists and another man blowing on an exhaust-pipe, he would crack jokes and tell stories before beginning to play. One of his characters was Johnny Cake-Boat who made a giant boat from pancake flour. Out on the ocean, the fish started eating the boat. Stand Back, sung slowly to guitar accompaniment, is more ribald:

Stand back, girl, stand back, girl, 
Give me the thing from behind. 
Some pay a dollar, some pay a dime, 
Some don't pay a single cent 
But they want the thing from behind.

It is played here as an up-tempo romp in keeping with the erotic sentiments of the original.

Charles was involved in an argument when Sweet Melanie jumped into his head. Originally a much faster number with elements of English folksong in the melody, he began to wonder how it would sound slowed-down.

Initially he had thought the calypso-style Rise Up, which exists elsewhere in the Caribbean as Mattie Grew, was concerned with rebellion. Researching further, however, he uncovered the words of an unfaithful husband, trying to persuade a lover to leave before his wife returns.

To create these inspired versions of the St Croix material, Charles recruited familiar New York figures. On bass is longtime associate Wilber Morris who has worked with him alongside Frank Lowe and Billy Bang and leads his own group, Wilber Force. Taking over the flute's traditional role is the Seattle saxophonist Booker T. Williams whose sonorities and passion call to mind the sanctified sound of Albert Ayler or Vernard Johnson. Huss Charles contributes to all but one track, but as Dennis, who has enough matenal for another album, puts it, "He didn't show all the rhythms he knows." The same could be said of the leader, still doing it after all these years.

1. Triangle 00:27
2. Sweet Melanie 15:55
3. Stand Back 05:39
4. Queen Mary 09:49
5. Bass Space 04:25
6. Rise Up 09:50
7. Afro-Amer.Ind 28:40

Booker T. tenor saxophone
Wilber Morris bass
Dennis Charles drums
Huss Charles congas

Daniel Carter, William Parker, Roy S. Campbell Jr., Rashid Bakr - Other Dimensions in Music (SILKHEART RECORDS 2018)


"Other Dimensions In Music's free flowing ritualistic music, while having its own marked flavor shares specific characteristics with Ornette Coleman's acoustic model and the early works of the John Stevens/Johnny Dyani/Frode Gjetstad collective, Detail. From the former comes lyricism that vacillates between dancing and poignant, and nods to the familiar rhythm patterns most often associated with jazz. From the latter there's an open breathing quality and a tension created through the juxtaposition of seemingly divergent rhythmic implications from the bassist and drummer. Other Dimensions In Music brilliantly shadows delineations between solos, duets, trios, group interplay, a cappella statements and shifts in direction. The music happens, which is not imply any haphazardness, but rather its opposite as a myriad of possibilities are brought forth through the skills, perceptiveness and sensitivity of the players. Intensity – easily spotted in Campbell's pinched notes on the opener and Carter's squeals on the closer – is blended by restraint. Easing out from this stance are Bakr's abstemious yet replete a cappella statements. Riffs or patterns are, for the most part introduced and dropped so quickly that they thankfully provide no easy anchors or signposts in this opulent expression." 
Milo fine, Cadence, November 1991

We represent the sum total of the musical masters who played music before us and presently. We reflect the assimilation of their influences and our own experiences which have evolved to reach the present level of presentation and performance, which manifests in the music we create. The music is a spiritual communion which has transpired through us individually and collectively inspiring a togetherness which is definitely unique. The music we compose develops from this process of assimilation. 

Our talents and abilities have governed us to be able to play any style of music regardless of label and categories, at a moment's notice, at any given time or space in the universe. There are no barriers in time, space, and evolution. There is only eternal Freedom and "Other Dimensions in Music!"

Roy S. Campbell Jr.

Since the very beginning of my understanding of a musical concept, the unwritten, the spontaneous, seemed the most human approach to expression. Over the years, my associates and I have been sharpening and defining these skills. It probably is the most neglected conceptual approach. There remains much to accomplish within spontaneous music. This style is so dependent on so many factors; the people in the audience, how the musicians feel that day, how well the musicians are listening to each other, etcetra. It is a science of consciousness. 

Rashid Bakr 
8/19/89

Music has been a constant savior in my life. It has manifest itself through sound, silence, colors, shapes, thoughts, words, and symbols. Revealing itself most as it works through human beings who have made a commitment to life; Kenneth Patchen, Robert Hayden, Julius Lester, Lorraine Hansberry, June Jordan, Dave Budbill, Bruce Baille, Stan Brakhage, Maya Deren, Jonas Mekas, Ted Joans, Lois Eby, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor, Milford Graves, Ornette Coleman, Steve McCall, Joseph Jarman, Gunter Hampel, Jeanne Lee, Marilyn Sontag, Emily Collins, Christopher Collins, Thomas Merton, Duke Ellington, T. Monk, Charlie Parker, Eric DoIphy, Billie Holiday, Jackson Pollock, Langston Hughes, and on and on. All inspirations, all have added to the art of living. Music needn't be labeled, coded or dissected.

Jazz, classical, rock, swing, avant-garde, free, bebop etc. What do these terms mean to a starving child or a sunrise dancing over a mountain? The music we have been involved in over the last 20 years has been constantly misunderstood by critics. It has been misread and maligned by beboppers and the traditionalists who see only one color as valid. 

It is the role of the artist (musician playing music in America) to dance, sing, shout and whisper about all that is wonderful, beautiful and majestic. To mirror and project the present and the future. To tell us the stories inside little childrens' hearts in the language of stone, wood and soil. The language of happiness, sadness and joy. It is the role of the artist to incite political, social and spiritual revolution. To awaken us from our sleep and never let us forget our obligations as human beings, to light the fire of human compassion.

When this inner flame is burning, man is uplifted to another state. His vision and senses are doubled and quadrupled. He sees, hears and feels things he never did before; the heat of the earth, the cry of living beings. This fire is stoked by conviction and communication with others.The idea is to live strongly within this vision, without compromises, even after being met by a cold, grey world that could be careless about vision. A world that makes insensitivity and murder of idealism a standard. It is the role of the artist to become a human being, to see the art of living as the only art.

The music on this album is defined by the strictest rules of beauty, each sound is ordered and cured with the energy of ancient spirits. The same spirits that guided J. Coltrane, Louis Armstrong and Bud Powell. The tradition is the tradition of life created, each second. Forever new, forever old, forever ageless. No sound is invalid. Only sounds that bring about darkness are invalid. Sounds that enlighten are infinite. We can put no limit to joy, or on our capacity to love. 

William Parker

dedication thRu(e) (th'Ru(e)) veil(ed) laughter 
veil nightmère world Night Mer 
Ocean Night(s) the cross is nigh all nigh 
veil after veil all penetrable 
impenetrable Ocean Cross the sea 
is nigh is nigh and never near all 
waves here all waves hear wave wave 
fan breathe entwined armies the 
brief special yarn eternal threat 
of light this present rescued from 
its past self I'm armed disarmed 
alarmed the other me other announces 
his her its eternal return arrival 
in on media tide from somewhere else 
beyond yet more here than any thing 
oh simple vex under-over-appreciated 
illusory real weight and see/sea now 
the future bringing us through 
it all the veils so many pages cages 
stages ages rages with little no(ne) 
alot or some wages our sails are 
billowy full with spirit wind(s) 

Daniel Carter

1. Tradition's Transitional Omissions Suite 23:00
2. Ascent (My Shadow Is a Cloud) 16:07
3. Sihu Chant for Sly Stone 15:28
4. Spirits Rise/Fall 15:54

Daniel Carter alto sax, tenor sax, flute, trumpet
Roy Campbell trumpet, fluegelhorn, recorder
William Parker bass
Rashid Bakr drums

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Alex Lefaivre Quartet - YUL (Friday August 3, 2018)


New release from Montreal: Alex Lefaivre Quartet - YUL

AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE AUGUST 3rd 2018


Drawing his inspiration from Montreal’s distinct urban energy, bass player Alex Lefaivre presents a series of modern jazz compositions written for some of his home town’s most original musicians, notably Erik Hove on alto saxophone, Nicolas Ferron on guitar as well as Mark Nelson on drums. The lyrical, song-like melodies develop over interesting forms that leave a lot of room for the group to interact and showcase their conversational improvisations.  

Taking its name from Montreal's airport code, YUL takes the listener on a cinematic trip through the city, where dreamy, hazy summer vibes are intertwined with a gritty, metropolitan edge. A highlight of this set is a surprising cover of John Carpenter's theme to his cult-classic 1978 horror movie, Halloween.  

Alex Lefaivre is a founding member of Montreal's Parc X Trio, one of Canada’s premier jazz groups. Parc X Trio have released 7 recordings, the latest of which, Dream, is released through Challenge Records International. They have toured across Canada, Mexico, the USA and Europe. Alex is also a founding member of Multiple Chord Music (MCM), an independent jazz  label that currently holds 19 artists on its roster and has released over 30 recordings.  

For more information including sound clips and photos please visit alexlefaivre.com



Puisant son inspiration dans l’énergie urbaine distincte de Montréal, le bassiste Alex Lefaivre présente une série de compositions jazz mettant en vedette certains des musiciens les plus originaux de sa ville natale, notamment Erik Hove au saxophone alto, Nicolas Ferron à la guitare et Mark Nelson à la batterie. Les thèmes mélodiques et chantants se développent sur des formes atypiques qui laissent énormément de place pour l’interaction musicale du groupe durant leurs improvisations. 

Tirant son nom du code de l'aéroport de Montréal, YUL nous amène sur un voyage cinématographique à travers la ville où l'atmosphère rêveuse des chaudes  nuits d'été se mélange à l'attitude explosive de la métropole. Parmi les huit pièces de l'album se trouve une reprise surprenante du theme de Halloween (1978), le film d'horreur culte de John Carpenter.  

Alex Lefaivre est membre fondateur du Parc X trio, un des groupes de jazz Québécois les plus reconnus de leur génération. À ce jour, Parc X Trio a lancé 7 albums, dont le dernier, Dream, est distribué par le label néerlandais Challenge Records International. Ils ont tourné au Canada, au Mexique, aux États- Unis et en Europe. Ils ont également remporté plusieurs prix et distinctions dont le Grand Prix de Jazz TD au Festival International de Jazz de Montréal en 2010 et l’album Jazz de l’année 2017 au GAMIQ.  

Alex Lefaivre est également membre fondateur de la maison de disques jazz Multiple Chord Music (MCM), qui compte plus de 30 sorties avec une vingtaine d’artistes dont Benjamin Deschamps, Rachel Therrien, François Jalbert & Jérôme Beaulieu, Frédéric Alarie et Rémi-Jean LeBlanc.  

Pour plus d'information, incluant des extraits sonores et des photos, s'il vous plaît consulter alexlefaivre.com


1 - The Righteous (7:00)
2 - Halloween (7:48)
3 - Estelle (6:23)
4 - The Juggernaut (7:47)
5 - Nostalgia (6:28)
6 - Skyline (6:53)
7 - Cascade (7:09)
8 - YUL (8:23)

Erik Hove: Alto Saxophone
Nicolas Ferron: Guitar
Mark Nelson: Drums


Aaron Shragge & Ben Monder - This World Of Dew (Human Resource Records July 20, 2018)


This World of Dew is Aaron Shragge’s third release with Ben Monder

The duo project, an exploratory, meditative collaboration, has been praised as  “…lyrical and heartwarming…” (Jazz Times) and “thoroughly modern with a definitive sound...” (The Birmingham Times). 

The album features guitarist Ben Monder’s otherworldly harmonic virtuosity in expansive sonic textures that highlight Shragge’s subtle and distinctive lyrical voice on the shakuhachi and dragon mouth trumpet (a custom microtonal instrument).   

The fourteen new compositions by Shragge are inspired by the writings of both ancient and modern poets: Kobayashi Issa, Matsuo Bashō, Li Po, Nishiyama Sōin and Charles Bukowski.


Tracks 2-7 make up “This World of Dew Suite” which follows the emotional arc of poet Kobahashi Issa’s grief as he mourned the loss of his young daughter. What ties all these compositions together is how they explore themes of loneliness, perseverance and impermanence. 

This World of Dew will be released worldwide on Friday, July 20th 2018 on Human Resource Records (NYC. )  

There will be a CD release celebration on July 20th at the Jazz Gallery in New York City and on July 21st at La Vitrola in Montreal, Canada. 

Track Listing
1. Companion  5:34
This World of Dew Suite
2. By Rain and Mud  0:49
3. A Tiny Boat  7:01
4. This World of Dew  1:43
5. There is Always One You Follow  4:19
6. Stink Worm  2:40
7. Pretending Wisdom  2:27
8. Roll The Dice  4:14
9. Nothing In The Cry  3:24
10. It’s Ours  3:01
11. Old Dust 5:24
12. Settling  1:44
13. Blue Bird  5:52
14. Sun Coming Down  3:50

Ben Monder - Guitar

Alain Mallet - Mutt Slang (ETrain Records 2018)


ACCLAIMED ADVENTUROUS COMPOSER/PIANIST ALAIN MALLET RELEASES GENRE-BENDING, CROSS-CULTURAL “MUTT SLANG”  TWO CD-SET AVAILABLE IN STEREO AND SURROUND SOUND ON ETRAIN RECORDS

“Mutt Slang came from the idea that so much of our music is the product of a unique mix of seemingly unconnected influences, when, in reality, they emanate from that untethered spiritual expanse that we all tap into” --Alain Mallet 

ALAIN MALLET has enjoyed a very successful career as a pianist and composer. He’s been a sideman for such high-profile acts as Madeleine Peyroux, Phil Woods, and Paul Simon, and his compositions have been recorded by jazz greats like Gary Burton, Dave Samuels, and Paquito D’Rivera, among many others. But until now, he’s never recorded his own CD as a leader. MUTT SLANG is a genre-bending, eclectic project suffused with the diverse cultural influences that have shaped Mallet’s musically adventurous spirit. 

Mallet was born in Andernos, a small French village not too far from Bordeaux. He was born with a birth defect that left him paralyzed on his left side for the first year of his life. Fortunately, the paralysis wasn’t permanent, but it did take a great deal of effort for him to gain complete mobility in his left arm. His father was an amateur pianist who loved jazz, and his parents started him on music lessons as a form of physical therapy. Despite the difficulty of playing the piano, he persevered, hoping someday to emulate his heroes Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner. By the time he was 16 years old, his disability was far behind him, and he had become a serious musician, playing in a band. He left France in 1983 to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and remained in the country to pursue a career in music. 

The music on MUTT SLANG reflects Mallet’s deep philosophical views on art and culture. “MUTT SLANG came from the idea that so much of our music is the product of a unique mix of seemingly unconnected influences, when, in reality, they emanate from that untethered spiritual expanse that we all tap into,” says Mallet. “It’s like an alternate consciousness which seems to supersede all other moral, racial, religious and political prejudices, as well as geographical boundaries. To be a musician means to unravel the mystery of a language spoken by only a handful, but seemingly understood by everyone. There is something incredibly powerful about that idea because it challenges the very concept of cultural purity, which is a myth. At the core of MUTT SLANG there’s a desire to rise above individual agendas to let the common consciousness prevail. It’s a multi-cultural transcendence of sorts.” 

Mallet says music on this project was influenced by Miles Davis’ 1958 sessions, Jacques Brel, the Globe Unity Orchestra, Peter Gabriel, Elis Regina, Keith Jarrett’s American quartet, Stevie Wonder, Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto, and Salif Keita, to name just a few. Indeed, from the opening tune “Till I Dance (In Your Arms Again),” which is written in 5/4 but still manages to have a tango feel, to “Road Signs,” an Israeli pop hit from the 70s and sung here in the original Hebrew, to “Salif,” a largely improvised tune that honors Salif Keita, an afro-pop singer-songwriter from Mali, Mallet takes the listener on a musical excursion that crosses geographical and cultural borders, revealing imaginative and unexpected landscapes of sound. 

The rhythm section on MUTT SLANG comprises some of the top players on the scene today, including veteran percussionist JAMEY HADDAD (Dave Liebman, Simon Shaheen, Paul Simon), bassist PETER SLAVOV (Joe Lovano), and drummer ABRAHAM ROUNDS (Meshell Ndegeocello, Seal). 


After touring with various artists for many years, Mallet had enough of being on the road and decided to return to teaching. As a professor in the ensemble and piano departments at Berklee, his alma mater, he interacts daily with the rising stars of jazz and decided to add their talents to this project. LAYTH SIDIQ, a violinist originally from Jordan, is featured on “Adama,” a song written by TALI RUBINSTEIN, who sings on this number and plays recorder on other tunes. She also wrote the tune “Alone.” SONG YI JEON, a singer and composer who hails from South Korea, wrote and sings on “Spring.” Also of note are VERONICA MORSCHER, an Austrian native who sings in Hebrew on “Alone,” SAMUEL BATISTA on alto sax, DANIEL ROTEM on tenor sax, JACOB MATHEUS on acoustic and electric guitars, LEANDRO PELLEGRINO who also plays electric guitar, NÊGAH, who is an incredible hand percussionist born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, and GONZALO GRAU, a multi-instrumentalist from Caracas, Venezuela. 

MUTT SLANG is a two-CD set. The first CD is a standard, high quality, stereo recording. The second CD was engineered with additional audio channels for surround sound by ELLIOT SCHEINER, the music producer, mixer and engineer who has received 25 Grammy Award nominations, 8 of which he won, as well as several Emmy Awards, among other awards. According to Mallet, “Elliot had the idea to make a surround sound version of the music, and if someone of Elliot Scheiner’s stature has a suggestion, it probably behooves you to go along with it.” 

It has taken over 25 years as a busy musician for Mallet to finally decide it was time to put out his own CD and formulate a vision that would truly capture his own, unique voice and outlook. MUTT SLANG is a project that seemingly embraces the whole world, yet it’s articulated with a decidedly American jazz accent by a masterful pianist joined by a coterie of veteran and up-and-coming jazz luminaries.

1. Till I Dance (In Your Arms Again) (10:44)
2. Blessed Be The Empty Soul (8:47)
3. Road Signs (6:20)
4. Alone (1:52)
5. The Long Walk Home (Salif Prelude) (2:08)
6. Salif (8:16)
7. Adama (5:58)
8. Spring (8:53)
9. Elis (5:09)
10. BAtukAdA (1:12)
11. This Is When I Think About You (8:11)

PETER SLAVOV acoustic bass, solo (bonus track)
JAMEY HADDAD percussion, kanjira solo (3)
LAYTH SIDIQ violin, solo (7)
TALI RUBINSTEIN recorders, solo (2), lead vocal (7), vox (3)
SONG YI JEON lead vocals, voice solo (8)
VERONICA MORSCHER trans-oceanic lead vocal (3)
SAMUEL BATISTA alto sax, solo (1)
DANIEL ROTEM  tenor sax, solos (6)(11)
ABRAHAM ROUNDS drum set
JACOB MATHEUS  acoustic guitar (1), electric guitar (2,3,7,8,10)
LEANDRO PELLEGRINO electric  guitar (1,6,9) solos (1,6)
NÊGAH pandeiro (1) congas (5)
GONZALO GRAU  xekere (6)

Don't miss Nucleus "Live In Bremen" for just $7.00!

Eskorzo da la bienvenida al verano con "Zona Caliente"


Le guste o no a la gente esto es Zona Caliente...

Le ha costado llegar, pero el verano ya está aquí, oficiosa y oficialmente. Y con las alertas por altas temperaturas vuelven a la carga los Eskorzo, con la quinta entrega de "Alerta Caníbal" bajo el brazo, "Zona Caliente".

¡Dentro vídeo!


Rodado en Taganga y Bogotá (Colombia), Sierra Nevada (Granada) y Mónsul (Cabo de Gata), el video, al igual que sus predecesores "Los Besos Que Me Dabas" y "Cumbia Caníbal", ha sido realizado por Mariquilla Cuevas. Hace apenas unas semanas "Cumbia Caníbal" le valía el primer premio en el V Concurso Nacional de Videoclips Granajoven, donde competía frente a más de mil piezas presentadas.


Tras terminar la gira de salas de la "Alerta Caníbal Tour", donde el cartel de "Sold Out" ha sido una tónica constante, los granadinos se embarcan ahora en la gira de festivales, que les llevará por algunas de las principales citas estivales de la península, y también a Bélgica y Holanda, donde les esperan los espectaculares Polé Polé y Zwarte Cross.

30/06/18 Higuera de la Sierra (Huelva) - Senderos de Música
07/07/18 Torre del Mar (Málaga) - Weekend Beach Festival
09/07/18 Teruel - Peña El Ajo
11/07/18 Pamplona - Herri Sanferminak
13/07/18 Villafranca del Bierzo (León) - Fiestizaje
14/07/18 Gante (Bélgica) - Polé Polé Festival
15/07/18 Lievelde (Holanda) - Zwarte Cross Festival
27/07/18 Escañuela (Jaén) - Festival Víncula Rock
28/07/18 Tavernes de la Valldigna (Valencia) - Iboga Summer Festival
11/08/18 Rota (Cádiz) - Brota Música
16/08/18 Villena (Alicante) - Rabolagartija
07/09/18 Boimorto (A Coruña) - Festival de la Luz
08/09/18 Granada - Zaidín Rock
29/09/18 Beniaján (Murcia) - Cordillera Sur Murcia Fest
04/10/18 Sevilla - Caravan Sur
05/10/18 Córdoba - Sala M100
06/10/18 Madrid - TBC
27/10/18 La Laguna (Tenerife) - Aguere Cultural

La postal

Cada canción de "Alerta Caníbal" va acompañada de una ilustración exclusiva de Luis Toledo (Prisamata Studio), todas ellas incluidas en una exclusiva edición lenticular del disco. Aquí tienes la Zona Caliente.

De Rooleros: Info Junio

Presentamos Reflex!

Nuestro tercer disco de estudio

en

Emergente de Almagro

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Sábado 30 de junio 21 hs puntual
Francisco Acuña de Figueroa 1030

Anticipadas disponibles!
Precio promocional $100, 
no dejen de pedirnos la suya via mail o face


Misma noche
Con todo el funk
estrenarán nuevo material
la gente de ...

Fiestón se va a armar!



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Reflex
para todes!


Friday, June 22, 2018

Out Today! Satoko Fujii debuts new trio This Is It! with "1538"


Satoko Fujii Turns 60!

Pianist-Composer Satoko Fujii Debuts a New Trio, This Is It!, on Her Latest CD 1538

Band features trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and percussionist Takashi Itani

“Fujii’s sound world is a kaleidoscope, and those familiar with her work have come to expect the unexpected. If any artist can be said to meet expectations by upsetting them, she’s one.” 

― Mike Chamberlain, Coda


Pianist-composer Satoko Fujii is always searching for new colleagues to help her in her quest “to make music that no one has heard before.” She found what she was looking for on 1538 featuring her latest trio with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and drummer Takashi Itani. She calls the band This Is It!, and it’s little wonder why. After a long search, she’s found one of her most free-spirited ensembles, capable of playing her compositions with a natural élan as well as soloing with emotional intensity. The album will be released June 22, 2018 via Libra Records.

This Is It! evolved slowly over several years from Fujii’s New Trio with bassist Todd Nicholson and drummer Itani. After their 2013 debut CD, Spring Storm, Tamura joined them in concert to form Quartet Tobira, which recorded Yamiyo ni Karasu in 2014. With the departure of Nicholson, the remaining band members played as Tobira – 1 (Tobira Minus One), but as they continued to play, a distinctive trio identity emerged and Fujii rechristened them with an original name. “I always like to have smaller units that can play my compositions,” Fujii says. “I have led small groups like Satoko Fujii Quartet, Satoko Fujii Trio, ma-do, and others since the beginning of my career. Right now, this trio is the one I really like to work with, so I just named it This Is It!.”

Fujii wrote some material especially for the group, but most of the compositions come from what she calls her diary. “When I sit at the piano, I always compose for 15 minutes before I begin to practice. After doing this for more than 10 years, I have 12 books of written compositions. The short pieces in these books can help me to make long pieces. I often turn to my diary books when I start to compose something.”

As Tamura attests in his CD liner notes, these pieces are often fiendishly difficult to learn but they always have structure and flow that sound unforced and that open up new possibilities for improvisers. The trio fully inhabits Fujii’s pieces, taking different approaches to each one. The trust and confidence among them create deeply layered performances that blend melody, sound, and rhythm in endlessly inventive ways. For instance, they each twist and bend the melody of “Prime Number” as they solo, creating variations that build a unified performance. They take the high-intensity title track (1538 is the melting point of iron in degrees Celsius) in multiple directions as they improvise. Tamura shrieks and brays with tormented abstractions while Fujii alternates between high energy thundering and a melancholy lyricism, and Itani’s unmoored rhythms ebb and flow. 

Some of the most otherworldly sounds to issue from a Satoko Fujii band are heard on this album (and that’s saying something). It’s often hard to tell who is making what sound. The opening of “Yozora” (which means “night sky” in Japanese) and the dreamy abstractions of “Riding on the Clouds” are bravura examples of the trio’s ability to manipulate pure sound and tone color into emotionally satisfying music. A highlight of “Swoop,” a feature for Itani, is the drummer’s virtuoso command of timbre and his sure sense of construction. 


“I just let the band play in their own way,” Fujii says. “I just love to hear how Natsuki and Takashi play my pieces. In music, I like to feel 120 percent free and I think we can do whatever we like. This is the advantage of the music!”

Fujii’s unprecedented birthday bash continues July 20 with Mizu (Long Song) featuring Fujii and bassist Joe Fonda in a follow-up to their acclaimed 2016 duo album. A concert recording by Quartet Mahobin, with Fujji, Tamura, saxophonist Lotte Anker, and Ikue Mori on laptop will follow in August and Fujii’s duet with Australian keyboardist Alister Spence in September. Later in the year, a new recording by Orchestra Tokyo and the debut of a new piano trio with bassist Ksawery Wójciński and drummer Ramon Lopez will arrive. More surprises and delights will be in store as a year of unforgettable musical riches concludes. 

Drummer Takashi Itani plays everything from jazz (Max Roach was an early inspiration) to folk music, to rock. He’s been a sideman with a truly bewildering range of musicians, including singer-songwriter Yoshio Hayakawa; new wave rock guitarist Masahide Sakuma; singer-actor Hiroshi Mikami; Michiro Endo, front man of the influential punk band The Stalin; West coast jazz saxophonist Ted Brown; and best-selling Japanese American pop star Hikaru Utada. In addition he has performed with some of Japan’s most prominent poets, including Mizuki Misumi, Shuntaro Tanikawa, Gozo Yoshimasu, and the late Takaaki Yoshimoto. 

Japanese trumpeter and composer Natsuki Tamura is internationally recognized for his unique musical vocabulary blending extended techniques with jazz lyricism. This unpredictable virtuoso “has some of the stark, melancholy lyricism of Miles, the bristling rage of late ’60s Freddie Hubbard and a dollop of the extended techniques of Wadada Leo Smith and Lester Bowie,” observes Mark Keresman of JazzReview.com. Throughout his career, Tamura has led bands with radically different approaches. On one hand, there are avant rock jazz fusion bands like his quartet. In contrast, Tamura has focused on the intersection of folk music and sound abstraction with Gato Libre since 2003. The band’s poetic, quietly surreal performances have been praised for their “surprisingly soft and lyrical beauty that at times borders on flat-out impressionism,” by Rick Anderson in CD Hotlist. In addition, Tamura and pianist (and wife) Satoko Fujii have maintained an ongoing duo since 1997. Tamura also collaborates on many of Fujii’s projects, from quartets and trios to big bands. As an unaccompanied soloist, he’s released three CDs, including Dragon Nat (2014).


He and Fujii are also members of Kaze, a collaborative quartet with French musicians, trumpeter Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins. “As unconventional as he may be,” notes Marc Chenard in Coda magazine, “Natsuki Tamura is unquestionably one of the most adventurous trumpet players on the scene today.” 

Critics and fans alike hail pianist and composer Satoko Fujii as one of the most original voices in jazz today. She’s “a virtuoso piano improviser, an original composer and a bandleader who gets the best collaborators to deliver," says John Fordham in The Guardian. In concert and on more than 80 albums as a leader or co-leader, she synthesizes jazz, contemporary classical, avant-rock, and Japanese folk music into an innovative music instantly recognizable as hers alone. Over the years, Fujii has led some of the most consistently creative ensembles in modern improvised music, including her trio with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Jim Black, the Min-Yoh Ensemble, and an electrifying avant-rock quartet featuring drummer Tatsuya Yoshida of The Ruins. Her ongoing duet project with husband Natsuki Tamura released their sixth recording, Kisaragi, in 2017. “The duo's commitment to producing new sounds based on fresh ideas is second only to their musicianship,” says Karl Ackermann in All About Jazz. Aspiration, a CD by an ad hoc band featuring Wadada Leo Smith, Tamura, and Ikue Mori, was released in 2017 to wide acclaim. “Four musicians who regularly aspire for greater heights with each venture reach the summit together on Aspiration,” writes S. Victor Aaron in Something Else. She records infrequently as an unaccompanied soloist, but Solo (Libra), the first of her 12 birthday-year albums, led Dan McClenaghan to enthuse in All About Jazz, that the album “more so than her other solo affairs—or any of her numerous ensembles for that matter—deals in beauty, delicacy of touch, graceful melodicism.” As the leader of no less than five orchestras in the U.S., Germany, and Japan, Fujii has also established herself as one of the world’s leading composers for large jazz ensembles, leading Cadence magazine to call her, “the Ellington of free jazz.” 

Pat Van Dyke - Hello, Summer (June 22, 2018)


Hello, Summer is out 6/22 on Cotter Records / Stereo Vision Recordings

Pat Van Dyke is a drummer, composer, producer, and band leader.  Equally comfortable behind the drum kit, as he is penning compositions at the Fender Rhodes, PVD balances the rhythmic intensity of true-school hip hop with the rich harmony & refreshing subtlety of jazz.  Drawing from a diverse palette of sounds, Pat’s music features live instrumentation alongside analog synthesizers, lush horns, and vintage keyboards, straddling the boundaries of electronic music, jazz, and golden era hip-hop.  

Pat's music has been praised by tastemakers and DJs around the globe such as Gilles Peterson, Bobbito Garcia, & DJ Spinna, as well as being featured on such TV networks as FOX, NBC, MTV, VH1, & Comedy Central, and providing the soundtrack to viral videos from the likes of VICE Magazine & Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”.   

Along with a rotating cast of NYC's finest musicians, PVD has brought his unique LIVE blend of soul-jazz & organic hip-hop to packed houses at The Blue Note, S.O.B's, NJPAC, The Knitting Factory, Southpaw, as well as other venues; large & small, throughout NYC & beyond.   Recent releases include two full length LPs; ‘Technicolor HI-FI’ (Cotter Records), ‘Right On Time’ (Jakarta Records - Germany), a limited edition vinyl 7" with (mc) John Robinson entitled "Miles & Trane": a hip hop tribute to the two jazz legends, as well as a 7” Vinyl Release with the legendary DJ Spinna.



1. Lotus 04:49
2. Chaos & Confusion 05:20
3. Return of the Bossa Break 03:43
4. Clockwork 03:32
5. Like They Used To Say 04:45
6. Go-Go 02:30
7. Hello, Summer 04:38
8. Blues For Benny 04:44
9. Stone Road 03:54
10. Gutterball 03:40
11. All I Need (Outro) 02:47


SIDE A 

1) Lotus - Zac Colwell - Tenor Solo, Jesse Fischer - Rhodes Solo
2) Chaos and Confusion - Matt Chertkoff - Guitar Solo
3) Return of The Bossa Break - David Stolarz - Wurlitzer Solo
4) Clockwork - Zac Colwell - Tenor Solo
5) Like They Used To Say - Jesse Fischer - Rhodes Solo, Zac Colwell - Flute Solo

SIDE B 

6) Go-Go - David Stolarz - Organ Solo
7) Hello, Summer - Zac Colwell - Flute Solo
8) Blues For Benny - Eric “Benny” Bloom - Trumpet Solo
9) Stone Road - David Stolarz - Wurlitzer Solo
10) Gutterball
11) All I Need (Outro) - Zac Colwell - Tenor Solo

Written, Performed, Recorded, Mixed, and Produced by Pat Van Dyke (BMI 550131251)
Published by PVD Music (BMI 1811436)
All Instruments played by Pat Van Dyke, except where noted.

Additional Performances from

Zac Colwell, Tenor Saxophone and Flute - Tracks 1,2,4,6,7,9,10
Richard Polatchek - Trumpet - Tracks 1,3,6,8,10
Joey Johnson - Tenor Saxophone - Tracks 2,4,5,7,8
Peter Lin - Trombone - Tracks 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,10,11
Sam Hoytt - Trumpet - Tracks 2,4,7,9
Nick Grinder - Trombone - Tracks 2,4,7
Ryan Anselmi - Tenor Saxophone - Tracks 3,8
David Levy - Trumpet - Tracks 5,8,11
David Stolarz - Organ - Tracks 6,8,11

Mastered by K-Def
Artwork and Layout by Andres Jimenez
Cover Photo by Steven Bley

"Like They Used to Say" is the second single from Pat Van Dyke's forthcoming album "Hello, Summer". Warm, jazz vibes that are perfect to soundtrack your summer.

"Like They Used to Say" - the last track written and recorded for "Hello, Summer" is an original tune influenced by the sounds of "Young-Holt Unlimited" and features Van Dyke on piano, bass, guitar, drums, percussion, and synths. Jesse Fischer lends his talents to the song providing a beautiful Fender Rhodes solo while Zac Colwell plays flute. The horn parts were written by Pat and played by Dave Levy (Trumpet), Joey Johnson (Sax) and Peter Lin (Trombone).


Album pre-order

Roz Harding - Supermood (June 22, 2018)


Welcome to the Supermood. This is the first studio recording of these compositions and improvisations. It’s a great thrill to be sharing them. Many of these tracks are the one and only take, capturing three musicians on three days and retaining the live element that is vital to this music. You will also hear some studio surprises entwined within this live approach. Multiple microphones were set up to follow movement, I hope you feel like you are with us. I enjoy writing set lists - it shapes the music for the individual gig and supports the way I feel like delivering the music that day. The opportunity to release as digital download, CD and vinyl has allowed me to present these compositions as two different sets. The vinyl has the music organised into Breathe In and Breathe Out and the CD/digital download as a non-stop narrative of life inside the Supermood.

Roz

SUPERMOOD are a band playing modern music rooted in jazz. Compositions by Roz Harding, band sound by everyone. Since emerging in 2013 SUPERMOOD have defined a captivating live sound ("Adventurous and moving" - Deirdre Cartwright). Their music descibed as "fresh and imaginative" (Martin King - Smiths Academy Informer) is fuelled by improvisation, dramatic rhythms, movement and breath, raw textures and introspective melodies. Influences for Roz's music include Kate Bush, Bob Dylan, Frederick Alexander and his technique, Art Pepper, Jeff Buckley, Prince, Nick Drake, Manic Street Preachers and Jackie McLean. Wherever possible SUPERMOOD gigs are delivered under cover of the SUPERMOOD handmade light show, a visual experience drawn from 1960s liquid light show techniques. 

"What really impresses is the way the group works together as a single entity with a common musical purpose, a focus on the material itself. Roz's tunes, such as Fifty-two fifty, If you could, Sun wish and Yesterday I was on time, have many angular rhythmic and harmonic moments but remain accessible to listeners. The transition from composed to improvised sections was often seamless and the whole thing sounded very fresh and imaginative, free from the bebop clichés and Trane-isms which - liberating though they are - can actually straightjacket many a fine player. The Vortex jazz crowd loved it and their appearance here was an unqualified success. Their future looks exciting." - Martin King - Smiths Academy Informer

"Roz Harding can appear a reluctant leader compared to other saxophonists fronting their bands, but with this project she has a forum for her metier. What happens is that rather than make extended solo statements - with underlying support - she offers conversational fragments for the others to respond to; in turn her solo is shaped by the resulting fabric of sounds. Few saxophonists comes to mind as such truly dialectical improvisers (perhaps Sam Rivers and Ingrid Laubrock). This approach makes for a group resonance, a shifting dynamic equilibrium; one's eyes dart between the members trying to work out when she is leading and when she is following (perhaps a new riddle arises out of this! question: when is a soloist not a soloist, answer: Roz Harding). The spectacles of evolving scenes are both exciting and moving as prodigious techniques and craft skills are made to serve artistic creativity. Her combination of the aural and the visual makes for great entertainment besides great art; Roz is a textbook case that supports Dalacroze's idea. His eurhythmics, the art of interpreting music through bodily movements, stresses the aesthetic sense of musical structures. We get (warmly) to see her expressing her real-time musical-experiences as feelings, rather than get to abstract and intuit her demonstrating (coldly) her musical-knowledge." - Excerpt from Gary Bayley's 'Architecture and A Sense Of The City'. 

1. Breath Intro 01:38
2. If You Could 07:46
3. Waiting For Pea 08:15
4. Tangled Part 1 00:33
5. Tangled Part 2 12:12
6. Mega Bear 11:54
7. You Breathed In A Storm 07:20
8. For The Moon 04:10
9. Breath Outro 00:32
10. Yesterday I Was On Time 07:50
11. Fifty-Two Fifty 05:16

Mike Outram - guitar, voice
Jim Bashford - drums, voice