jueves, 26 de mayo de 2016

Rubén Carlés - Water Lily (2016) FRESH SOUND NEW TALENT


Bassist Rubén Carlés was born in Madrid, in 1989. It is in this city where he started falling in love with music. Coming from a very musical family, Ruben was strongly influenced by his his father, a well accomplished musician and arranger and at the age of thirteen Ruben started to study the classics by listening intently to jazz bassists like Ray Brown, Charles Mingus or Paul Chambers. At eighteen he started to tour all over the Iberian peninsula participating on some of the most prestigious music festivals and competitions as a member of the band Mr Chacho.

It will be a year later when Ruben wins a full tuition scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In Boston Ruben had the opportunity of studying with masters such as John Patitucci, Hal Crook or Terry Line Carrington. After greaduating with a major in Performance he wins the conexus Scholarship to study a Master at Berklee Valencia where he currently lives. Ruben recently recorded his original work on his first music album as a leader called "Water lily". It features master artist such as Roman Filiu, Borja Barrueta or Albert Sanz, this recording will be released in 2016.

Ruben has toured and performed with bands such: The Jason Palmer band, Perico Sambeat Quintet, Albert Sanz trio, Roman Filiu Quartet, Javier Vercher Quartet/Trio, Phil Grenadier band, Iago Fernández Quartet, Xan Campos trio, Rotem Sivan trio, Jorge Vistel trio or the Luis Guerra trio among others.

01. El abuelo
02. La marcha del niño
03. Skylark
04. Urbino
05. Paquita's Train Ride
06. Igbó
07. La casa del Mago
08. Water Lily

All songs composed & arranged by Rubén Carlés, except #3 written by Hoagy Carmichael & Johnny Mercer

Rubén Carlés (bass)
Maikel Vistel, Javier Vercher (tenor sax)
Román Filiú (alto sax)
Albert Sanz (piano)
Borja Barrueta (drums, steel guitar)
Iago Fernández (drums)
Ganavya Doraiswamy (vocals)

Recorded at PKO Studios, Boadilla del Monte, Madrid, on November 25, 2015 except #6,7,8 recorded at Scoring State Berklee Studios, in Valencia, June 27, 2015
Voice recorded by Paco Cabanillas at Loose Recording Studios, Madrid, January 6, 2016

Engineered, mixed & mastered by Caco Refojo
Photography: Alejandro Sánchez
Album art by Alicia Martín

Produced by Rubén Carlés

Exceutive producer: Jordi Pujol


Victor Gould - Clockwork (2016) FRESH SOUND NEW TALENT


"It’s understandable that a jazz pianist might feel inclined, even obliged, to debut as a leader with a trio album. But Clockwork, the maiden voyage of Victor Gould, includes sextet arrangements, two pieces augmented with strings, and several percussion turns from Pedrito Martinez. There are piano trio showcases as well, but they are part of the mosaic, not the full picture. “I didn’t want to be locked in with instrumentation,” says Gould. “I’ve come to believe that the best orchestration is when you change instrumentation very often. So you could think of that in the scheme of one piece or a whole record.”

The title Clockwork amplifies this point, suggesting that varied instrumentation can in fact yield great coherence. “Clockwork is many different elements working together,” notes Gould. “It’s the very definition of clockwork — the gears of a clock all working together to create something very intricate.” At the heart of it all is an extraordinary synergy between Gould, bassist Ben Williams and drummer E. J. Strickland. It’s consistent throughout the record but most starkly evident on the trio cuts.

Having made his mark in recent years as a sideman with Wallace Roney, Ralph Peterson, Donald Harrison, Louis Hayes, Vincent Herring, Eric Alexander and more, Gould has learned a thing or two about musical clockwork. A native of Los Angeles, he attended Berklee as an undergrad and then earned the high honor of a slot at Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz from 2009-2011. Studying alongside him at both these institutions was Godwin Louis, the alto saxophonist heard on this album, who happens to be one of Gould’s dearest friends.

Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, who’s been hiring Gould in his own superb band of late, is a characteristically stirring soloist as well as a focused and dynamic ensemble presence on the sextet pieces. Myron Walden, playing soprano and tenor saxophones, took on an added role as co-producer: “Myron and I decided which would be the best song choices from my catalogue,” Gould recalls. “After that, he helped run the recording session and took charge of time management, so it lifted a lot of the stress from me.”

Pelt plays flugelhorn on “Chaancé,” one of the two pieces to feature strings. Written and named after Gould’s wife, this lovely ballad finds the leader in a tensile give-and-take with the strings during his eloquent solo, blending with and responding to them but soaring with renewed intensity when they fall silent. By contrast, there’s an “apocalyptic” energy, to use Gould’s word, coursing through “Apostle John,” from the foreboding rubato of the prelude to the modal groove and intricate counterpoint of the piece itself. Anne Drummond adds just the right flavor on flute, almost sounding like a soprano voice.

The string arrangements followed from Gould’s prior experience scoring for symphony orchestra (his original piece “Side Angle,” which doesn’t appear here). The sextet arrangements, for their part, were a result of his tenure at the Monk Institute, where he played with a six-piece dream band of fellow students. Along with the swinging, Latin-tinged title track we hear “Three Souls,” a tribute not only to the great Hank Jones but also to two people close to Gould who died around the same time (the fleeting reference to Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing” seems to imply a fourth soul). Another sextet piece, “Room 416,” is named for the Berklee dorm room that Gould shared with bassist and friend Peter Spear, who died tragically in 2014. “Peter was really good friends with Godwin as well, so I thought it was important for Godwin to take that lead melody in the A section and show some love.”

“The Return,” a quartet number that features Louis again in radiant form, is Gould’s dedication to trumpeter Gregory Diaz, who struggled with embouchure problems at Berklee and was unable to play for a period of time. “Greg and I went to high school together as well and he was one of the best trumpet players I knew. I wrote this tune to encourage him — ‘The Return of Greg Diaz’ is its full name.”

“Sir Carter,” led off by an eccentric intro for horns and drums, is what one suspects: an homage to the great Ron Carter, who visited the Monk Institute for a week and had a profound impact on Gould and his fellow students. “Nefertiti” is of course a legendary Wayne Shorter piece that Carter himself played with the Miles Davis Quintet. Gould’s brisk 5/4 rendition gives it a straight-eighth-note patina and some added twists and turns, without ever sacrificing the tune’s hypnotic legato flavor. Here again the trio chemistry is substantial. Gould solos forcefully before yielding to the virtuosic Williams.

Martinez adds his inimitable congas on “Blue Dales,” which Gould originally composed as an etude to practice independence but later turned into a song. Right away the congas add propulsion and color to the bright, staccato rhythms of the theme, so dazzlingly articulated by Williams and Strickland. The piece is a 16-bar minor blues with dramatic and clever harmonic movement, an ideal framework for improvising: Williams leads off, followed by Gould and finally Strickland over a tumultuous four-bar vamp.

In the end it’s the combination of elements in Gould’s music — the hard-bop drive and harmonic adventure, the chamber-music refinement, the Latin tinge that Jelly Roll Morton theorized all those years ago — that makes Clockwork succeed on the level that it does. It couldn’t be clearer: Gould was ready, after years spent on numerous big-league bandstands, to take the reins and bring all his experience to bear, pursuing a sound deep in technical proficiency and flair but also expressive nuance and immersion in the jazz tradition. May those gears keep turning."

David R. Adler, New York, March 2016

01. Clockwork 7:39
02. Room 7:09
03. Chaancé 5:22
04. Blue Dales 5:21
05. The Return 7:55
06. Apostle John (Prelude) 3:07
07. Apostle John 9:03
08. Sir Carter (Intro) 0:45
09. Sir Carter 4:52
10. Nefertiti 5:38
11. Three Souls 8:06

All songs composed & arranged by Victor Gould, except #5 written by Wayne Shorter

Victor Gould (piano)
Jeremy Pelt (trumpet on #1,2,3,6,7,8 & 11)
Godwin Louis (alto sax on #1,2,3,5,6,7,8 & 11)
Myron Walden (tenor sax on #1,2,3,6,7,8 & 11)
Anne Drummond (flute on #3 & 7)
Ben Williams (bass, except on #6 & 8)
E.J. Strickland (drums, except on #6)
Pedrito Martínez (percussion on (#1,4 & 7)
Yoojin Park (violin, on #3,6 & 7)
Heejin Chang (viola, on #3,6 & 7)
Veronica Parrales (cello, on #3,6 & 7)

Recorded at Systems Two Studios, Brooklyn, New York, December 14, 2015 and January 19, 2016

Sound engineer: Max Ross
Mixing & mastering: Dave Darlington
Photography: Anne Yatskevich
Painting: Martel Chapman

Co-producers: Victor Gould & Myron Walden

Executive producer: Jordi Pujol


Nakama - Grand Line (2016) NAKAMA RECORDS


A four-piece band led by Norwegian bass player Christian Meaas Svendsen. Nakama is Japanese and can be translated as «comrade», or simply a community of people where no one is above the other. The group was founded as a quartet in 2015 but will expand its line-up over time, and each member of the band is also a member of the musician’s collective/label «Nakama Records». The music draws influences from European jazz, early American contemporary music, Japanese traditional music and the harmonies of the romantic classical era. Furthermore the music intimately explores the relation between content and non-content, and the possibilities of working with composed forms on a fixed musical material. Nakama is what it is, and Nakama is:

Adrian Løseth Waade - violin

Ayumi Tanaka - piano

Andreas Wildhagen - drums

Christian Meaas Svendsen - bass

Nakama's goal with their second release has not been to restate what has already been defined or accepted, but to challenge recognizable patterns and contribute to the expansion and evolution of our musical consciousness and the multitude of possibilities in which musical events can order themselves. The music on Grand Line is made up of two separate components: musical compositions and form compositions, and as opposed to a form which is completely set or on the other hand totally free, Grand Line investigates form as something malleable. Challenging stuff!

Grand Line will be released on CD, LP, digital download and streaming

01. Doremingo + Taiko__Grand Line 28:34
02. The Sun__Uzumaki 05:49
03. Nanika__Decks 08:16
04. Tsunagari__Split&Curve 06:40
05. Kusama__Events 05:21
06. Suffering + Daily Choices Fail Compilation 02:41
07. Daily Choices__Metro 14:15

Released May 23, 2016 

Adrian Løseth Waade - violin 
Ayumi Tanaka - piano 
Andreas Wildhagen - drums 
Christian Meaas Svendsen - bass, comp. 

Recorded by Jan Erik Kongshaug, Rainbow Studio, Oslo 22.04.2016 
Mixed and mastered by Christian Obermayer, Oslo, 22.-23.04.2016 
Cover art by Christian Meaas Svendsen 
Cover design & photos by Mikkel Cappelen Smith


Marcin Olak, Patryk Zakrocki, MIkołaj Wielecki - Spontaneus Chamber Music Vol​.​1 (2016) SLUCHAJ FUNDACJA


Patryk and I first met during the 9th edition of the Ad Libitum Festival. We performed Boguslaw Shaeffer's Media there, but more importantly we formed a part of the Ad Libitum Ensemble, an improvising orchestra, under the direction of the festival's resident conductor, Augusti Fernandez. From the very first notes we knew our cooperation would not end with the festival. Sometimes musicians who haven't known each other before are able to communicate as if they had played together for a hundred years - it is an extraordinary, inspiring experience. Sounds combine into motifs, blend into phrases and textures almost on their own, and the music just flows. 
We are talking here about improvised, intuitive music. This means that nothing has been previously planned or composed. Every sound is a unique phenomenon which may appear only here and now. 
In the studio we were joined by the brilliant percussionist, Mikolaj Miki Wielecki. It was the first time we had all played together. 
The album is a literal record of our session. The pieces come in the exact same order we played them in. Nothing has been edited, nor recorded later. We wanted to respect what happened in that moment. 
Let it flow.  Marcin Olak

Released January 11, 2016

01. Between Landscapes 03:29
02. Scarlatti's Diagonal Smiles 04:41
03. Daily Slalom 02:58
04. Winter Symmetry 04:44
05. Fire Daughters' Ritual 03:54
06. Into the Dreamtime 11:10
07. Carbon Tears 10:31
08. Blackbird Poetry 06:17

Marcin Olak, classical, acoustic & electric guitars
Patryk Zakrocki, violin, viola, tuning forks, chromatic mbira
MIkołaj Wielecki, percussions


miércoles, 25 de mayo de 2016

Rez Abbasi & Junction - Behind the Vibration (2016) CUNEIFORM RECORDS



Cover art and high res images available below for download “In his hands, the globe’s music feels relentlessly new and progressive.” - LA Times

"absorbing...engaging...and he’s judicious with his impressively fluent technique." - New York Times

Born in Pakistan’s teeming commercial metropolis Karachi and raised in Southern California, Abbasi is anything but a usual jazz player himself. He’s spent his creative life navigating the crossroads of disparate musical realms. 

While best known for his work as an improviser, and composer, Abbasi also performs internationally with Kiran Ahluwalia, and serves as musical director, arranger and producer in their evolving artistic collaboration. Their creatively charged relationship has resulted in several Juno Award-winning albums hailed as world music masterpieces (such as 2008’s Wanderlust and 2011’s collaboration with Tuareg rockers Tinariwen, Aam Zameen/Common Ground). Over the years he’s performed with a dazzling pantheon of giants such as Ruth Brown, Peter Erskine, Kenny Werner, Barre Phillips, Tim Berne, Michael Formanek, Gary Thomas, Dave Douglas, Mike Clark, Ronu Majumdar, Kadri Gopalnath, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Greg Osby, Howard Levy and many others. 

A junction is the point at which several things converge. For the visionary and award-winning jazz guitarist Rez Abbasi, his new band Junction weaves together musical currents he’s spent his career navigating. Abbasi has been at the center of some of the most enthralling and culturally expansive music of the past two decades, and his Cuneiform debut Behind the Vibration introduces a bracing new body of music, a sinewy 21st century approach to jazz-rock inspired by his far-flung influences. 

In myriad inspired collaborations, from the South Asian jazz synthesis of alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coaltion to the Punjab-meets-Tuareg vocal flights of Kiran Ahluwalia, Abbasi has manifested an uncommon gift for creating new sounds in settings deeply inflected by traditional forms. In his own projects, the Pakistani-American musician has displayed similarly fierce creativity, like his gorgeous unplugged reimagining of jazz-rock classics with the Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet’s (RAAQ) critically hailed 2015 album Intents and Purposes (Enja), and his all-star quintet (and sometimes sextet) Invocation with Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller, drummer Dan Weiss, (and latest addition cellist Elizabeth Means). 

“Everything I do musically is stimulated by call and response,” Abbasi says. “I did the Acoustic Quartet project of covers from the ‘70s jazz-rock period and that impacted me to want to do an electric project of all originals. The new album reflects a continuum of what I’ve been doing all along – finding fresh orchestrations to present my music through. In some ways this project connects me more directly back to my first love, the energy that comes out of rock music. I wrote new tunes for this band and it was time for all these musical worlds to collide.” 

Junction, the electric project that Abbasi formed to bring his original tunes to life, features Mark Shim on tenor saxophone and the electronic MIDI Wind Controller, Ben Stivers on keyboards, B-3 organ and Rhodes, and drummer Kenny Grohowski. The band is a supremely maleable ensemble that has forged a poised and texturally accute group approach. While exploring a vivid palette of electronic sounds and aggressive grooves, Junction maintains the dynamics, precise calibration, and interactive imperative of an inspired jazz ‘acoustic’ combo. 

Sonically surprising, the album opens with “Holy Butter,” a piece inspired by a collaboration with classical South Indian dancers. In the first of many sonic feints, what sounds like a deeply funky bass solo is actually Shim getting down with his MIDI Wind Controller. Indeed, not having a defined bass player is a significant element of Junction, opening up the band’s sound as Stivers and Shim alternate low end responsibilities. 

Inspired by the Arab Spring, “Groundswell” is a slowly ascending tune that, while originally written for another ensemble, comes home in Junction, with Stivers on B-3—“the first electric keyboard instrument,” Abbasi notes—and a searing Abbasi solo followed by Shim’s oragami-angular tenor. If that piece evokes the mounting of external pressure, “Uncommon Sense” suggests a wending internal spiritual journey with a hypnautically sinuous opening guitar line. As Abbasi puts it, “The title refers to a ‘sense’ that’s beyond our five and one that’s more difficult to connect to due to the clutter in our minds.” Before long, the becalmed lyricism gives way to a frantic search powered by Grohowski’s exceptionally deft trap work. 

A sparsely decorated noir scene that emerges and departs without pausing for a solo, “And I You” is a brief, cinematic mood piece that arrives mid-album like a shimmering urban oasis. “Self-Brewing” is one of the album’s most fusion-y pieces, with a steeplechase theme introduced by Abbasi and Shim on Midi Wind Controller. The album closes with “Matter Falls,” a mid-tempo anthem that hints at South Asian cadences. Both grand and invitingly intimate, it’s a crunching tune that points to further explorations. Clearly, Junction is just one stop on a spectacularly rich and incident-filled sojourn. 

More than a meeting place, Junction is a communion of four distinct voices. Born in Jamaica and raised in Richmond, Virginia, saxophonist Mark Shim has been a stand out on the New York scene since the mid-1990s. He first gained attention via bari legend 
Hamiett Bluiett, who featured him on his classic 1995 album Young Warrior, Old Warior (Mapleshade). He went on to work with heavy weights like Elvin Jones, Betty Carter, David Murray, Greg Osby, and the Mingus Big Band. More recently, he’s played a key role in the adventurous bands led by altoist Steve Lehman and pianist Vijay Iyer. 

“Mark is a ridiculous tenor saxophone player, but he’s also really into production, working with drum machines and producing people’s records,” Abbasi says. “He’s tapped into the Zeitgeist, the vibe that’s going on now and I’m open to all of it.” 

Raised in Las Vegas in a highly musical family, trained in classical and jazz, Ben Stivers got his start on the Miami studio scene collaborating extensively with the Bee Gees. A highly versatile player, he’s been sought out by the likes of Ricky Martin, Chris Botti, Matchbox Twenty, and Jose Feliciano. Since moving to New York, he’s also worked extensively in jazz settings. 

Drummer Kenny Grohowski is engaged in a similarly expansive array of projects. Raised in Miami, he’s a member of several internationally acclaimed ensembles, including bassist Lonnie Plaxico’s band, the heavy metal band Secret Chiefs 3 and Haitian singer Emeline Michel’s Acoustic Quintet. He’s collaborated with artists ranging from Vernon Reid, John Zorn and Bobby Sanabria to Bill T. Jones, Cassandra Wilson, Giovanni Hidalgo, and Daniel Bernard Roumain (a.k.a. DBR). 

“You don’t have many musicians as eclectic as these in the past,” Abbasi says. “For example, Kenny has all this modern heavy metal language and then he can turn around and earnestly play like Paul Motian or Tony Williams. Ben has been musical director and keyboardist for some huge pop acts but has also performed my complex Hindustani-influenced jazz music. The versatility is pretty unusual and tangible and that’s what this project is about, capturing and containing that vastness of energy in a ‘jazz’ experience.” 

Born in Pakistan’s teeming commercial metropolis Karachi and raised in Southern California, Abbasi is anything but a usual jazz player himself. He’s spent his creative life navigating the crossroads of disparate musical realms. Growing up in Torrance, he first gravitated to the guitar under the sway of rock bands like Rush, Van Halen and Led Zeppelin. Straight ahead jazz had caught his ear by the time he started Palos Verdes High School and he thrived in the school’s respected band program (future tenor sax star Mark Turner was a classmate). He had his first guitar epiphany when a friend took him to see Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald. 

“I was 16 and at that age, technique and virtuosity are elements that bring you in,” Abbasi says. “The idea that an older gentleman could play circles around Eddie Van Halen was really striking. I realized I had a lot of work ahead of me. That same year, I saw Allan Holdsworth, the polar opposite of Pass, and that was another ear and eye opener that lead me into a different direction.” I do still love Pass and Holdsworth, but they didn’t end up becoming big influences, rather, in combination they revealed two very opposing sides of jazz.”

He wasn’t drawn to Hindustani music until he happened to attend a private party down the street from his house where tabla maestro Zakir Hussain was performing with santoor master Shivkumar Sharma “and it blew me away,” he recalls. “I felt that same elation when I saw Pass and Holdsworth. Sitting five feet away from these gentlemen, I was amazed by the striking sounds coming out of their instruments. I thought, I’ve got to get more involved with this side of my life, my roots.” 

After attending the University of Southern California, Abbasi made the move to New York City in the late 1980s to study jazz and classical music at Manhattan School of Music (while immersing himself in North Indian classical music on a pilgrimage to India under the tutelage of tabla giant Ustad Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain’s father). He made his recording debut as a leader in 1995 with Third Ear. Recognized as a strikingly original voice, Abbasi released a series of landmark sessions in the succeeding two decades focusing on his original compositions, including 2005’s Indo-jazz Snake Charmer with Indian-born vocalist/songwriter and now wife, Kiran Ahluwalia, and 2009’s Things To Come (Sunnyside) with Ahluwalia, Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Johannes Weidenmueller and Dan Weiss (an album hailed by DownBeat as one of the decade’s top CDs). 

In many ways 2009 was a banner year, as Abbasi received a prestigious Chamber Music America commission to compose new works for the same ensemble, Invocation. He also formed the Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet, or RAAQ, with vibraphonist Bill Ware, drummer Eric McPherson and bassist Stephan Crump, to explore both originals and cover tunes. He introduced a new trio with bassist John Hebért and drummer Satoshi Takeishi on 2013’s Continuous Beat (Enja), a group that like RAAQ interprets originals and ingenious modern jazz compositions. 

While best known for his work as an improviser, and composer, Abbasi also performs internationally with Kiran Ahluwalia, and serves as musical director, arranger and producer in their evolving artistic collaboration. Their creatively charged relationship has resulted in several Juno Award-winning albums hailed as world music masterpieces (such as 2008’s Wanderlust and 2011’s collaboration with Tuareg rockers Tinariwen, Aam Zameen/Common Ground). Over the years he’s performed with a dazzling pantheon of giants such as Ruth Brown, Peter Erskine, Kenny Werner, Barre Phillips, Tim Berne, Michael Formanek, Gary Thomas, Dave Douglas, Mike Clark, Ronu Majumdar, Kadri Gopalnath, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Greg Osby, Howard Levy and many others. 

With this newest album, Behind the Vibration, realized via his new electric Junction, Abbasi takes another bold step, embracing his rock ‘n’ roll roots with a bear hug that encompasses post-bop, South Asian traditions, and state of the art sonics. “More than anything that I’ve ever recorded, this album is the convergence of everything I’m interested in,” he says. “The musicians I’ve chosen are versatile enough to pull it off. It’s not only all of the influences that have come up to this point, it’s also the process of merging it with the technology of today. This is music that could’ve only happened now.”

01. Holy Butter 09:00
02. Groundswell 08:14
03. Inner Context 08:33
04. Uncommon Sense 08:55
05. And I You 03:12
06. Self-Brewing 06:20
07. New Rituals 09:06
08. Matter Falls 04:39

Released May 20, 2016 

Rez Abbasi & Junction: 
Rez Abbasi – guitar & composition 
Mark Shim – tenor saxophone & midi wind-controller 
Ben Stivers – keyboards, B3 organ, Rhodes 
Kenny Grohowski – drums 

All compositions by Rez Abbasi – Feroza Music, BMI. 

Recorded at Systems Two, Brooklyn by Michael Marciano, August 21–22, 2015. 
Mixed at Systems Two by Michael Marciano, Rez Abbasi & Max Ross. 
Mastered at Turtletone Studio by Michael Fossenkemper. 

Cover photo by Rez Abbasi. 
Band photos by Kiran Ahluwalia. 
Package design by Bill Ellsworth. 

Thank You: Kiran Ahluwalia; my parents; my in-laws; Robert Abbasi; Rudresh Mahanthappa; Tom Chang; Brice Rosenbloom; George Wein; Vikas & Jaishri Kapoor; Ted Makler; James & Mike at Red Hook Jazz Fest; Chris Tarry; Jaimeo Brown; Michael Marciano; Nancy Marciano; Max Ross; Steve and everyone at Cuneiform; Michael Fossenkemper; and, of course, Mark, Ben and Kenny for the music! 

Rez Abbasi uses D’Angelico guitars, D’Addario strings, DVmark & Evans amps, and Reunion Blues bags. 
Kenny Grohowski uses Bosphorus Cymbals.


New Standard Jazz Orchestra - Waltz About Nothing (2016)

Genre: Modern Big Band
GAB's Rating: ★★★★★

“... NSJO sets new standards of excellence in contemporary big band music.” Ed Enright, DownBeat

Since its inception in 2013, the New Standard Jazz Orchestra has emerged as a serious musical force in Chicago, one with a voice all its own. Co-led by saxophonist Ken Partyka and trombonist Andy Baker, the band is filled with some of Chicago's finest musicians, composers and arrangers, several who provide the majority of the band's repertoire. Through their monthly residency at the famed Jazz Showcase, NSJO's arrangers mine the ensemble for subtle textures and colors, starting out simply and building in complexity, drawing on musical devices that range beyond the typical as they establish rich backdrops for solos by world-class improvisers such as John Wojciecowski, Marquis Hill, Mark Colby and Tom Garling.

 01. Metamorphosis 6:39
02. Spring and Fall 7:13
03. Waltz About Nothing 5:48
04. This One's For Sturm 7:33
05. Star Crossed Lovers 7:25
06. Samba for Someone 4:48
07. Lexicon 5:22
08. Bu's Groove 4:16
09. Close to You 5:48
10. Sedentary Motion 9:07
11. Milestones 7:30

Ken Partyka - alto & soprano sax, flute
Chris Madsen - alto sax, flute
Mark Colby - tenor sax, clarinet
John Wojciechowski - tenor sax, clarinet
Mark Hiebert - baritone sax, bass clarinet
Steve Leinheiser - additional woodwinds
Andy Baker - Trombone
Tom Garling - Trombone
Tim Coffman - Trombone
John Blane - Bass Trombone
Roger Ingram - Lead Trumpet
Chuck Parrish - Trumpet (split lead)
B.J. Cord - Trumpet
Marquis Hill - Trumpet
Dan Murphy - piano
Tim Fox - bass
Todd Howell - drums





Nich Mueller - Culture in Flames (2016)

Label: Self Released
Source: Anthem Review
Genre: Modern Jazz Creative
GAB's Rating: ★★★★☆

Originally hailing from Kalamazoo, Nich Mueller has been developing original music and a strong following in the Michigan area since his Downbeat Award winning debut album ‘All in A Day’ surfaced in 2011.
Nich received a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University, and during his formal education he studied under or interacted with great jazz musicians and esteemed educators including Billy Hart, Fred Hersch, Ed Simon, Darmon Meader, and Peter Eldridge, as well as the highly esteemed faculty at WMU.
Throughout his career, he has been privileged enough to have performed alongside greats such as Donny McCaslin, Bob Mintzer, Kurt Elling, Roger Treece, Matt Hughes, Keith Hall, and Phil Palombi; as well to have performed in venues and festivals such as Carnegie Hall, the Allen Room in Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, and Jazz Educators Network. Nich Mueller currently resides in New York City.
‘Culture in Flames’ is Nich’s upcoming album set to be released on May 14th this year. It is the personalised musical statement of Nich and his band on the various thrills and issues we face living in the 21st century. Themes include digital age confusion, the experience of living in corporate controlled America, travel and self-discovery, the evolution of religion and spirituality, and personal trifles resulting from an increasingly distracting culture. 
1. I.D.I.C.
2. Top of a Tree
3. Somnambularmy
4. If Only
5. Continuity for the Clarification Crisis
6. Nature Boy
7. The Ultimatum
8. Beauty, Shakes Itself
9. Universe to View
10. Something to Take with You

Nich Mueller - Piano
Dominic Carioti - Sax
Brittney Harris - Cello
Adrian Moring - Bass
Marco Frey - Drums

Wójciński Szmańda Quartet - Delusions (2016) SLUCHAJ FUNDACJA


Thus, an entirely new chapter opened in our artistic careers, and it is no exaggeration to say that inviting Krzysztof Szmańda to collabotrate with us turned out to be its key element. Complete with his talent, we became a new band, which from now on we want to call Wójciński/Szmańda Q-tet. 
When we first entered the recording studio, our intention was simple and modest. We wanted to have a keepsake from our first musical tête-à-tête, whatever it was going to be like. It never even crossed our minds that this recording would soon become our debut album. 

Should we, therefore, abandon ourselves to chance, trust our fate or the -unrelenting and often impossible to see straight away- higher consequence of events? Sometimes when people meet to play together for the first time, something more is created than an even very sophisticated arrangement of sounds. Sometimes he magic of discovering music together again emerges from behind the notes, and a simple meeting becomes something impossible to describe because it only happens once. We believe that we had just such a moment, and would like to share it with you.

Released April 14, 2016

01. Flood 10:24
02. Saga of Dr Paranoid 07:26
03. Fatal Desire 13:13
04. Morning Craving 06:39
05. Face your Fate 10:47
06. No Context 06:27
07. Voice of Nature 09:25
08. Final Destination 05:47

Szymon Wójciński - piano 
Krzysztof Szmańda - drums 
Maurycy Wójciński - trumpet 
Ksawery Wójciński - bass 

Recorded In "Quality" Studio, December 2014 in Warszawie ul. Konwiktorska 7 
Recorded by Maurycy Wójciński 
Mix and Master - Maurycy Wójciński