martes, 21 de noviembre de 2017

David Virelles - Gnosis (ECM 2017)

In this vivid and exciting project, the Santiago-raised and New York-based pianist-composer David Virelles looks towards one melting pot from the vantage point of another. A far-reaching work with deep cultural roots, Gnosis speaks of transculturation and traditions, and of the complex tapestry of Cuba’s music – the sacred, the secular, and the ritualistic – but the work’s shapes and forms could only have been created by a gifted contemporary player thoroughly versed in the art of the improvisers. Strings, woodwinds and percussion all have their roles to play in Gnosis, viewed by Virelles as “several families functioning within one unit: this dynamic symbolizes multicultural interaction.” Virelles’ responsive piano and the vocals and percussion of Román Díaz, a profound figure in the transmission of Afro-Cuban musical history, are at the centre of the action. Gnosis was recorded at New York’s Avatar Studios in May 2016 and produced by Manfred Eicher.

1 Del Tabaco y el Azucar  04:01
2 Fititi Nongo  02:24
3 Lengua I  03:27
4 Erume Kondo  02:03
5 Benkomo  05:25
6 Tierra  06:16
7 De Ida y Vuelta I  03:42
8 Lengua II  01:35
9 De Ida y Vuelta I  01:35
10 Nuna  02:32
11 Epilogo  02:40
12 Dos  01:55
13 Caracola  04:04
14 Visiones Sonoras  01:28
15 De Portal  01:19
16 De Tres  02:35
17 De Cuando Era Chiquite  00:41
18 De Coral  02:50

David Virelles   Piano, Marímbula, Background Vocals
Román Díaz   Lead Vocals and Percussion (Bonkó Enchemiyá, Ekón, Nkomos, Erikundi, Itones, Nkaniká, Marímbula, Claves, Mayohuacán, Pilón, Carapacho de Jicotea, Coconut Shells)
Allison Loggins-Hull   Piccolo, Flute
Rane Moore   Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Adam Cruz   Percussion (Steel Pan, Claves)
Alex Lipowski   Percussion (Orchestral Bass Drum, Temple Blocks, Bongos, Gong)
Matthew Gold   Percussion (Marimba, Glockenspiel)
Mauricio Herrera   Percussion (Ekón, Nkomos, Erikundi, Claves), Background Vocals
Thomas Morgan   Double Bass
Yunior Lopez   Viola
Christine Chen   Violoncello
Samuel DeCaprio   Violoncello
Melvis Santa   Background Vocals

Michael Zilber - Originals For The Originals (ORIGIN RECORDS 2017)

The Bay Area saxophonist / composer's 11th recording as leader or co-leader is a labor of love that reflects both his keen sense of the history of the music and his infinite capacity to SWING. Citing the profound influence of seven sax masters - Michael Brecker, Sonny Rollins, Dave Liebman, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, John Coltrane and Paul Desmond - Zilber, along with New York greats Dave Kikoski on piano, bassist James Genus, and drummer Clarence Penn, has fashioned a potent homage that is infused with all-knowing nods to his heroes. " music of the highest order performed with passion, wit and verve." JAZZTIMES.

Breckerfast Club
Leaves (for Michael Brecker)
Partly Sonny
Autumn Lieb
Weather Wayne
Pastel Blues (for Wayne Shorter)
Hen House; Late Night Trane (in the distance)
Lieb Dich
Coltraning Daze
St. Paul (Desmond)

David Kikowski: piano
James Genus: bass
Clarence Penn: drums
Matt Clark: piano (7)
Peter Barshay: bass (7
Akira Tana: drums (7)

PJ Perry Quartet - Alto Gusto (CELLAR LIVE 2017)

This is an album for the bebop fans. Not the blisteringly fast, artsy-fartsy bebop, though – I’m thinking about the lovey Parker ballads and all the times Miles forgot he was done with bebop after the 50s. Actually, the last track on here is a Parker tune. And the PJ Perry Quartet is extremely good at what they do: important in a style that can be undone undone by its own complexity. The rhythm section is one of the tightest I’ve heard, and Perry himself knows when to turn it up or down with his own sax playing, his riffs feeling like anything from sweet cooing to what I imagine a heart flutter sounds like. Maybe this is what it sounds like to be in love… or maybe I’m just feeling romantic from listening to this.

Ease It
Close Your Eyes
After the Morning
We’ll Be Together Again
Two Bass Hit

Fred Hersch wins major French awards

Jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch
wins major French awards

Prix in Honorem Jazz and Coup de cœur jazz from l'Académie Charles Cros 2017

Prize in honor of jazz for Hersch’s entire career on the occasion of the release of his recording Open Book (Palmetto Records) and his autobiography Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life in and Out of Jazz (Crown/Archetype Press)

Coup de cœur jazz for Open Book

Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has won the Prix in Honorem Jazz as well as the Coup de cœur jazz from l'Académie Charles Cros 2017 (prize in honor of jazz from l'Académie Charles Cros).  The prize honors the totality of Hersch’s career on the occasion of the release of his solo disc, Open Book (Palmetto Records, September 8, 2017), and of his autobiography, Good Things Happen Slowy: A Life in and Out of Jazz (Crown/Archetype, September 12, 2017). 

Hersch has also won the Coup de cœur jazz for his recording Open Book.

“I am so honored to be recognized by l'Académie Charles Cros,” says Hersch. “The Académie has been a generous and long-time supporter of my work and I am humbled and grateful for these major honors.”

Hersch will appear in concert in Paris at Sunside in Paris at 9 pm, November 21 and 22, 2017.  For a full touring schedule go to

As French journalist Xavier Prévost writes in the press release issued by l'Académie Charles Cros:

“Each time one hears Fred Hersch (especially solo), one is struck by the type of magic which imposes itself from the opening measures: by the strong counterpoint in the left hand, while the right hand lays out, comments on, and extends the melodic field (the song). The clarity of the lines which progress in complete independence, and yet with absolute coherence, reminds me each time of Glenn Gould, who in a challenging, defiant way mixed dizziness and legibility. And also Lennie Tristano, another example of the direct connection between one’s fingers and the musical thought. And however, there’s nothing abstract: sensuality and lyricism come from the same voice. This musical miracle takes place whatever the material: an original composition, dreamy as much as sinuous; a jazz classic from the 50’s (Whisper Not); a bossa nova that has often been reworked (Zingaro, alias Retrato Em Barnco E Preto, also known as Portrait in Black and White), played the way one plays a prelude and fugue of Bach, but while forgetting the division between them; even a totally free improvisation (Through the Forest), recorded in concert, where the vertigo becomes unfathomable. And it’s all pleasant, including Eronel by Thelonious Monk (the pianist loves to go in that direction, notably at the end of a performance). To conclude, Fred Hersch offers us a piano version of a song by Billy Joel, And So It Goes, as if to remind us of his attachment to song. Everything is played with a devotion to jazz, and with the great freedom of interpretation and even of metamorphosis that that music offers.

One can retrace the life of this rare musician by reading (in English at the moment) the autobiography that he has just published: Good Things Happen Slowly, A Life in and Out of Jazz (Crown Archetype). There one discovers the singular journey of an artist who, in his personal life as well as in his musical life, employs all his energy to become himself. Music in general, and jazz in particular, are invoked in these pages with force and lucidity, notably through the portraits, and descriptions of meeting with major artists: Jaki Byard, the encyclopedic professor of jazz piano at New England Conservatory in Boston; McCoy Tyner, who after a concert made himself accessible to the admiration of a young musician. What follows, chapter to chapter, hides nothing of a life which had its moments of suffering and grave illness. And yet Fred Hersch is here, and well, more alive than ever, even more accomplished in his art!

The Prix in Honorem permits us to celebrate a complete artist who has issued under his name dozens of discs, who has also tackled chamber music, and who has been the pianistic accompaniment to the great jazz voices (Norma Winstone, Jeri Brown, Jay Clayton, Janis Siegel) but also the great opera voices (Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw).”

About Fred Hersch

A select member of jazz’s piano pantheon, Fred Hersch is a pervasively influential creative force who has shaped the music’s course over more than three decades as an improviser, composer, educator, bandleader, collaborator and recording artist. A ten-time Grammy Award nominee, he continues to earn jazz’s most prestigious awards, including recent distinctions as a 2016 Doris Duke Artist and 2016 Jazz Pianist of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association. 

Hersch has long defined jazz’s creative edge in a wide variety of settings, from his breathtaking solo recitals and exploratory duos to his extraordinary trios and innovative chamber settings. With some three dozen albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, he consistently wins an international array of awards and lavish critical praise for his albums. The 2015 Palmetto album Fred Hersch SOLO, his tenth solo disc won the French Grand Prix de Disque de L’Académie de Jazz. His 2016 release, Sunday Night at the Vanguard (Palmetto), is a definitive statement by his long-running trio with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson; it earned Hersch two Grammy nominations. His newest solo CD is Open Book.

Hersch has earned similar distinction with his writing, garnering a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition. He’s collaborated with an astonishing range of artists throughout the worlds of jazz (Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden, Art Farmer, Stan Getz, Bill Frisell); classical (Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Christopher O'Riley); and Broadway (Audra McDonald). Long admired for his sympathetic work with singers, Hersch has joined with such notable jazz vocalists as Nancy King, Janis Siegel, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Norma Winstone and Kurt Elling.

The feature documentary The Ballad of Fred Hersch premiered at the prestigious Full Frame Film Festival in March 2016 to a sold-out house and rave reviews and is now streaming on Vimeo. His memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly, was published 2017 by Crown Books/Random House.

About The Académie Charles-Cros

The Académie Charles-Cros, (Charles Cros Academy) is an organization located in Chézy-sur-Marne, France, that acts as an intermediary between government cultural policy makers and professionals in music and the recording industry.

The Academy is composed of fifty members specializing in music criticism, sound recording, and culture. It was founded in 1947 by Roger Vincent with Armand Panigel, José Bruyr, Antoine Goléa, Franck Ténot, and Pierre Brive – critics and recording specialists - and led by musicologist Marc Pincherle. It was named in honor of Charles Cros (1842–1888), inventor and poet (friend of Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine) who was one of the pioneers of sound recording.

The Academy continues to stay abreast of advances in technology, from the development of 78 RPM gramophone records to CDs, DVDs, playable torrents and all other readable, transportable music formats available today.

Every year since 1948, the Academy has given out its grand prize, the Grand Prix du Disque, to recognize outstanding achievements in recorded music and musical scholarship. Prizes are awarded in the field of popular song, classical music, jazz, and other categories of recorded music, as well as for outstanding books of musicology. Categories vary from year to year, and multiple awards are often made in one category in the same year.

Almost Black Friday! (CHALLENGE RECORDS)

Coming friday it is Black Friday and we celebrate that with exclusively on that day, a 30% discount on our website! This is the perfect opportunity to order your holiday presents next friday with this special discount.

The most wonderful albums for a great price and ideal as a present for the coming December month. 

This discount is valid until Saturday, November 24th 12PM (UTC)

* The discount is available on selected labels (Challenge Classics, Challenge Records, Challenge Jazz, Buzz, CuGate Classics, Double Moon Records, Retrieval, Between the Lines, Globe, Fondamenta, Phaedra, EPR-Classic, Signum, TCB, Piano 21, Lawo Classics, Berthold Records, V-Flow, Daybreak, Andrey Klemm Productions, Timeless Jazz Legacy, A Records, JJ-Tracks, PineHill, Van Dyck Records, Supertracks Records, Drukplaten, Fineline, SunnyMoon Records and Antoine Marchand).

lunes, 20 de noviembre de 2017

DUB SYNDICATE unveil previously unreleased track 'Boggled Minds'

Ahead of their extensive early catalogue reissue,
available November 10th via ON U SOUND.

Ahead of the reissue of their classic albums, the legendary Dub Syndicate dig deep into their vaults, unveiling a previously unreleased track ‘Boggled Minds’ (Lifted from the forthcoming ‘Displaced Masters’ LP, which features nine stripped-back takes of early On-U dub magic.).

Dub Syndicate was initially one of the many studio-based projects masterminded by Adrian Sherwood in the early days of his maverick independent label, built around deep and heavy reggae rhythms, and marshalling the talents of a revolving cast of Jamaican and British musicians. It evolved over time to become the main musical vehicle of Lincoln Valentine Scott aka Style Scott (former drummer with the Roots Radics and Creation Rebel), usually involving Style laying down backing tracks in Kingston, and then Adrian applying his mixing board magic when the tapes arrived in London.

The first four Dub Syndicate studio albums are being re-pressed on vinyl in high quality new editions with printed inners, download cards and bonus tracks where available. This includes the rare second album, One Way System, originally a cassette-only edition on the seminal ROIR label from NYC, and reissued now as a double gatefold version with new artwork, re-cut at 45rpm for maximum frequency impact. Also included in this batch is the collaborative North Of The River Thames set with ace melodica player Doctor Pablo. Once again everything is anthologised on CD in the 5-disc Ambience In Dub 1982 - 1985 boxset, complete with 24 page booklet.

In addition to many much-loved studio albums such as Stoned Immaculate, Dub Syndicate also became a barnstorming live act and a staple of the festival circuit. Tragically, on 9 October 2014 Style Scott was senselessly murdered in his home in Jamaica. An irreplaceable and unique musical talent is gone, but his music will live on forever.

The reissue campaign encompasses the following Dub Syndicate releases:

‘The Pounding System’ LP
‘One Way System’ 2LP
‘North Of The River Thames’ LP (with Doctor Pablo)
‘Tunes From The Missing Channel’ LP
‘Displaced Masters’ LP (Unreleased versions from the vaults)
‘Ambience In Dub 1982 – 1985’ 5CD + 24-page book

On-U Sound Records is an English record label best known for releasing its own unique flavour of dub music since the 1981. The label is owned by producer Adrian Sherwood and home to acts such as Tackhead, Dub Syndicate, African Head Charge, The London Underground, Little Annie, Creation Rebel, Mark Stewart, Gary Clail, New Age Steppers and Singers & Players. Producer Adrian Sherwood generates the On-U signature sound.

ESKORZO presenta La Tumba

· Hoy se estrena “La tumba”, segundo adelanto del próximo álbum de Eskorzo, Alerta Caníbal.

· El tema cuenta con la colaboración de Amparanoia.

· El disco, octavo en la carrera de Eskorzo, verá la luz el 1 de diciembre.

· Las primeras diez fechas de la gira de presentación se anunciarán el próximo lunes.

Tras el regreso de su exitosa gira por Colombia, los granadinos se centran por completo en la promoción de su inminente octavo álbum, Alerta Caníbal. Hoy vuelven a la carga y nos presentan el segundo adelanto, "La tumba", donde cuentan con la colaboración de Amparanoia, reina madre del mestizaje patrio.

En "La tumba" se vislumbra un claro acercamiento hacia la música latinoamericana y, de paso, hacia la iconografía fúnebre de México. A la canción le sienta como un guante la voz de Amparanoia, que se animó a colaborar con el grupo en las sesiones de grabación, en plena Vega de Granada. Del mismo modo, Amparanoia participa en el videoclip, una filmación espectacular dirigida por Miguel Ángel Caro.

Las imágenes están concebidas como homenaje a los desaparecidos en cualquier conflicto bélico. Se trata de una crítica a la sinrazón de cualquier guerra. Según el autor del vídeo, “es una metáfora de lo que le ocurriría a estas víctimas en un plano astral sin definición, en un limbo, donde los protagonistas se abrazan a la utopía de la paz”. Así que "La tumba", con juguetones fraseos de guitarra eléctrica, los metales festeros y el canto jaranero de Tony Moreno, muestra toda la esencia de Eskorzo: un bailecito a pesar de las penas de los que se quedan muertos en vida.

Eskorzo son pioneros de la música mestiza en España. Comenzaron su andadura en 1995. Tras el éxito cosechado con su anterior entrega, Camino de fuego (2014), el septeto atraviesa ahora su plenitud. Alerta Caníbal supondrá una apuesta decidida por los ritmos y sonoridades de Latinoamérica. Un emocionante viaje musical en el que cumbia y rock conviven con bullerengue, afro-rumba, balkan, punk, o incluso vallenato, siempre con los matices únicos y la calidad que han definido las producciones de Eskorzo.

Crítica y seguidores coinciden en que Eskorzo viven un momento de plenitud y madurez. Los andaluces han dado varios pasos más allá en su exploración musical a lo largo de esta década. Varios cientos de conciertos en el viejo continente avalan su conquista del público europeo. Casi nadie se había atrevido, por ejemplo, a experimentar con las claves del afrobeat del tótem nigeriano Fela Kuti (Eskorzo Afrobeat Experience, 2013). En 2014 encandilaron a todos con el single de "Suave", aplaudido éxito en el que Eskorzo se unían con Coque Malla y el acordeón de Celso Piña, titán de la cumbia mexicana.

La banda está integrada por Tony Moreno (voz), José Uribe (batería), Manuel Collados (guitarra y coros), José Gustavo Cabrerizo (bajo), Jimi García (trompeta y coros), Prudencio Valdivieso (trombón y coros) y Zeque Olmo (percusión).

Llega la 10º edición de MESTIZAO FESTIVAL a Granada, los días 24 y 25 de Noviembre



Precio en Taquilla: 30€ Abono 2 Días - 20€ Entrada por día
venta en y Discos Bora Bora (Granada)

Llega la X edición del festival invernal más importante de las músicas del mundo y sonidos mestizos en Andalucía.

Los próximos viernes 23 y sábado 24 de noviembre Mestizao Festival vuelve a Granada en su X edición.

La cita granadina con las músicas del mundo más bailables se consolida y pasa de una sola jornada a un fin de semana completo.

Balkan Beat Box y los legendarios The Skatalites encabezarán las dos noches de conciertos en la sala El Tren.

Cumplir diez ediciones es algo de lo que pocos festivales pueden presumir en estos tiempos de burbuja y volatilidad festivalera, pero Mestizao no sólo ha llegado a este hito, sino que lo hace en su mejor estado de forma, y con su programación más extensa y ambiciosa hasta la fecha.

La noche del viernes 23 estará liderada por los israeloneoyorquinos Balkan Beat Box, en plena gira de presentación de su exitoso “Shoot it Out”. Los acompañarán La Sra. Tomasa, Ajsan Balkan, Oh My Rita!, Caballito Sound Sistema, Dj Andyloop, y Ion Din Anina.

El sábado 24 tomarán el relevo los 30 discos y 53 años sobre las tablas de los incombustibles The Skatalites, junto a Che Sudaka, Jammin’ Dose, Juno & Darrell, Sr. Lobezno, Barbass Sound, y Radio Babylonia Djs. 

Las entradas para cada una de las jornadas se pueden adquirir todavía a 16€, y el abono de dos días por sólo 26€ en y físicamente en Discos Bora-Bora (Granada)

Comienza la cuenta atrás! Música multicultural con raíz y festividad, Granada es Mestizao!

domingo, 19 de noviembre de 2017

J.S. Bach Dance Suites by Fred Thomas (ODRADEK RECORDS 2017)


In a moment of lucidity, I wondered: when you’re dealing with the most miraculous body of human creation in all the arts, when are you ever ready? Life is short. Bach himself was not prone to procrastination. He produced a quantity and quality of music some consider literally unbelievable. Fred Thomas

London-based multi-instrumentalist Fred Thomas presents J.S. Bach’s exceptional keyboard music in new and exciting guises on this innovative disc. Performing on the piano, Fred Thomas’s insightful interpretations of Bach’s music are enhanced by an approach pioneered by Glenn Gould: the use of the recording process itself as an independent, creative art form. Using ten microphones in different combinations, placed near or far from the sound source depending on each movement’s character, Fred Thomas has sought to give each piece on this disc the space to inhabit its own, unique soundworld. This process remains relatively under-explored in classical music recording, but has been used on this CD as a meaningful interpretative tool.

A highly versatile musician, Fred Thomas has chosen for this CD a selection of Bach pieces about which he feels passionately. Highlights include the epic opening Sinfonia from BWV 826, dignified Sarabande from BWV 817, and imposing Gigue (BWV 812); the warmth and playfulness of the Allemande (BWV 816) and broad humour of the Aria (BWV 828); the radiant Courante (BWV 817); and the deep serenity of the Prelude, BWV 806. Fred Thomas explores the individual character of each piece with great sensitivity, creating a nuanced and intimate recital sure to persuade the listener into hearing Bach in new ways.

Fred Thomas brings to this disc his wealth of musical experience in different genres. Projects include The Beguilers, a quartet that interprets Thomas’s song settings of poetry in English; a duo with his violinist father, Peter Thomas; a sextet with Martin Speake that explores polyphony in jazz improvisation; and a tribute to Richard Wagner with jazz pianist Liam Noble.


With the Ravishing Second Album Eternal Life | Jeff Buckley Songs and Sounds  the San Francisco Bay Area’s Negative Press Project Takes a Revelatory Instrumental  Journey into the Heart of the Singer’s Music 

Recording Release Tour October 27 – December 3, 2017 

Stops in San Francisco, Oakland, LA, Albany, Sacramento, Redding, Pasadena, CA; Seattle, WA;  Portland, Bend and Eugene, OR 

Upcoming performance dates for 'Eternal Life' Recording Release Tour 2017:

Fri, Nov 17 - Doc's Lab, 124 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA
Negative Press Project (Official Album Release) with Special Guests + Moorea Dickason featuring members of MoeTar + Mia Pixley (Singer/Cello/Loops). Doors 7 PM, Show 8 PM (

Sun, Nov 18 - Avonova, 417 Avon St, Oakland, CA
Negative Press Project Album Release Wine/Food/Music Experience - RSVP required to  (

Sun, Dec 3 - Chez Hanny, 1300 Silver Ave, San Francisco, CA
Negative Press Project  4 PM (

LA & NYC 2018.

Jeff Buckley released one album during his all-too-brief life, but 1994’s Grace catapulted the beautiful young artist into the pop cultural firmament, where he remains an incandescently glittering presence two decades after drowning in the Wolf River. Dozens of singers have covered his songs in the ensuing years, but there’s never been a tribute like Negative Press Project’s Eternal Life | Jeff Buckley Songs and Sounds, which was produced by bass master Jeff Denson and is slated for release on his non-profit label Ridgeway Records on November 17, 2017.

Co-led by bassist Andrew Lion and pianist/keyboardist Ruthie Dineen, the expansive electro-acoustic ensemble brings a supple textural palette to Buckley’s material, transforming his emotionally wrought, show-stopping vocal vehicles into strikingly beautiful instrumental settings. Erasing distinctions between jazz and chamber music, rock and instrumental pop, NPP expands Buckley’s legacy by tapping into his beatific lyricism. 

With a background in rock and pop, Lion came up with the idea of a Jeff Buckley project while “looking for music underserved in the modern jazz canon,” he says. “I’ve heard Brad Mehldau play some Buckley but not too many other instrumental versions. I think it’s such exalted material with a certain generation that it felt off limits.” 

When he approached Dineen, a player versed in classical music and Latin jazz, about arranging some Buckley songs for a concert he found an eager co-conspirator and fellow Buckley aficionado. NPP was already a talent-laden working ensemble with its original cohorts, tenor saxophonist Tony Peebles (of the Grammy Award Winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra), trumpeter Rafa Postel (Katchafire), and alto saxophonist Chris Sullivan; but this was further affirmed after a series of concerts with the addition of saxophonist Lyle Link, drummer Isaac Schwartz, and the brilliant young guitarist Luis Salcedo (who introduced his gorgeous collaboration with Colombian vocalist Susana Pineda on the 2016 eponymous Ridgeway album Opaluna). 

One reason the Buckley material succeeds so vividly is that Lion and Dineen have attracted a similarly stellar community of musicians to augment the ensemble, bringing their vision to life in the studio, with performances from the highly musical drummer Mike Mitchell, veteran altoist James Mahone, and trumpeter Max Miller-Loran.

Eternal Life opens with Lion’s original requiem for Buckley, “Wolf River,” a haunting theme that evokes the beauty of Buckley’s sound and the inconceivable tragedy of his death at the age of 30. Chris Sullivan’s solo alto sax delivers the aching prelude for “Mojo Pin,” a languorous dreamscape that seems to waft in the summer breeze. “Grace,” one of several pieces that Buckley co-wrote with guitar explorer Gary Lucas, is one of the album’s most intricate arrangements, a gossamer matrix of guitars, effects and intertwined saxophones. While staying close to the original song, Lion’s arrangement also gives the players a degree of freedom to improvise around the edges. “Many of the players didn’t have a direct connection to the source material and they could bring their own voices to the project,” Lion says.

“We had some opportunities to make choices about where to open it up,” Dineen adds. “With all the voices, we could arrange as densely or as open as we wanted. Sometimes decided to play a shell game with the instrumentation and pared it down to a quintet.” 

Dineen’s simmering arrangement of “So Real” is one of the sinewy quintet tracks, a piece that takes considerable liberties with the song by unleashing Salcedo’s expressive guitar while remaining entirely recognizable. Lion’s three-horn interpretation of the harmonium prelude to “Lover, You Should've Come Over” provides a moment of reflection before his passionate, gospel-infused take on the song. The album closes with Dineen’s rapturous arrangement of “Anthem (For Jeff Buckley),” a piece that feels like it could have come from the pen of Abdullah Ibrahim, if he’d been an indie rocker.

Negative Press Project is the latest singular ensemble to emerge from the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. The band released an impressive debut album see evil eyes | civilize in 2015 focusing on original compositions by Dineen and Lion. He first hit on the idea of assembling the music collective while preparing for a hike up Yosemite's iconic Half Dome, but "it didn't really come together until I connected with Ruthie at the CJC," Lion says, "and because of her we've been able to establish a purpose and mission." He also credits Jeff Denson, the bassist, CJC professor and founder of Ridgeway Records, as the driving force behind their latest recording, Eternal Life, as he approached the band about producing the album after they performed several Buckley arrangements at the CJC.

With encouragement from their closest associates in the group, Lion and Dineen "started writing a lot," she says. "The format meant we were working with great musicians, creating arrangements based on our experience in the Bay Area. That's my favorite thing in the world, pulling people together who are serious to create group identity and group story. There are many voices, but we all come together to tell one story. We're both really driven to create new art."

Born and raised in the Northern California town of Fairfield, Ruthie Dineen was drawn to music as a child, studying and playing jazz and classical music throughout adolescence. Music remained a central force in her life throughout her undergraduate years at UC Berkeley studying history and music, and graduate studies in social work at Cal State East Bay. Over the past decade she's focused on music performance and community arts, and since the fall of 2011 she's served as deputy director of programs at East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, Calif.  At the same time, she immersed herself again in jazz, earning a performance degree in jazz studies from the California Jazz Conservatory (where she received the Jamey Aebersold Scholarship).

A prolific composer, Dineen is also a founding member of RDL+, a collective quartet that hosts the monthly Bay Area Bridges concert series at Oakland's Studio Grand (where Dineen collaborates with different performing artists each month creating new multi-discipline works encompassing theater, music, dance, poetry, and visual art). When not working with NPP or RDL+, Dineen can be found collaborating with a wide range of jazz, Latin, and classical musicians, including vocalist Amie Cota, members of the Amaranth String Quartet, Bululú, and the salsa groups N'Rumba, Candela, and Somos el Son.

Fellow CJC alumnus Andrew Lion was born in Oakland and raised on a rich musical diet from his parent's record collection, absorbing the sounds of Motown, Led Zeppelin, Duke Ellington, the Beatles, David Bowie, and Pat Metheny Group. He started his musical journey on piano, then tried out the guitar before settling on electric bass as a young adult. A mainstay on the Bay Area music scene, he's toured with the rock band Spoke and the Dave Tweedie-directed pop combo OONA featuring vocalist Oona Garthwaite. He's also worked widely with San Francisco singer/songwriter Jeff Campbell, with whom he performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

In the midst of his rock and pop career (which continues today), Lion decided in 2006 to expand his instrumental arsenal to include double bass under the guidance of veteran bass expert Glenn Richman. With encouragement from pianist Susan Muscarella, the founder of the California Jazz Conservatory, Lion plunged into jazz studies and graduated from the CJC. Steeped in the expansive history of jazz and creative music, he continues to look for new ways to build on the music scene, such as his long-form interview series and podcast On the Scene SF/O. Presented by Ridgeway Radio (part of Denson's 501c3 Ridgeway Arts organization), the series features discussions with established artists such as jazz saxophonist Dayna Stephens, drummer Michael Shrieve (Santana), trumpeter Cuong Vu (Pat Metheny), and many others. More information can be found at, and on Apple iTunes.

Lion has found an ideal creative partner in Dineen, and a subject ripe for musical exploration in Jeff Buckley. In many ways, Eternal Life is an arrestingly vivid snap shot of a tableau that continues to evolve. As the ensemble continues to distill and expand the arrangements "we have to reevaluate notions of how we perform and play every note, even how we set up in a performance," Dineen says. "We're still learning how  our different voices can build together. Performance is really exciting right now."

With Eternal Life as the starting point, music fans of every stripe can experience Jeff Buckley's music with new ears. It's a sonic sojourn unlike anything else in jazz and beyond.

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