lunes, 21 de diciembre de 2015

NYSQ - Power of 10 (2015)

Tim Armacost – saxophones
David Berkman – piano
Michael Janisch – double bass
Gene Jackson – drums

Recorded at Tedesco Studios in Paramus, NJ, NOV 2014
Engineer – Tom Tedesko
Edited, mixed & mastered by Tyler McDiarmid, NYC
Produced by NYSQ
Executive Producer – Michael Janisch

01. Deep High Wide Sky
02. How Deep is the Ocean
03. All of Me
04. Doll’s Phone Cause
05. Green Doll’s Phone
06. Doll’s Phone Effect
07. Three Card Molly
08. Embraceable You
09. Lush Life
10. Lush Effect
11. Secret Fondness
12. Hidden Fondness
13. Polkadots and Moonbeams

NYSQ's latest recording, Power of 10 is their second release for Whirlwind and a tribute to their ten years of performing together. The band came together when three of New York’s busiest jazz players noticed they had one thing in common: Japan. Tim Armacost is a grammy nominated tenor saxophonist who has performed with Kenny Barron, Bob Hurst and Ray Drummond among many others, and is the group’s founder. He had lived in Tokyo several times and performed there for years. Gene Jackson, a drumming powerhouse well-known from his nine years in the Herbie Hancock trio as well as his performances with Dave Holland, the Mingus Band and Wayne Shorter, had recently married a Japanese woman and was splitting his time between New York and Tokyo. David Berkman, a fiery pianist who is both rooted in the jazz tradition and a harmonically adventurous improviser and composer, is a 30+ year NYC veteran of many bands including Tom Harrell, The Vanguard Orchestra and countless others. Berkman, also married to a Japanese woman, was traveling to Japan with increasing frequency.

Of course, it turns out they had a lot more in common than a love of Japanese culture. They had an approach to playing standards honed by their years on the NY Jazz scene, leading their own bands of original music and playing with jazz legends. Berkman, who writes much of the band’s repertoire, has a distinctive flair for re-casting well-known jazz standards in new and unexpected settings. ​On Power of 10, ​ Songs like “Deep High Wide Sky” and “Hidden Fondness” are melodies based on the chord progressions of “How Deep is the Ocean” and a reharmonized, “Secret Love”. In the band’s hands, his arrangement of the well worn standard “All of Me” becomes a daring, harmonically tense vehicle for Armacost’s mighty soprano playing and Jackson’s powerful drumming. Armacost’s arrangement of “Lush Life” brings a new perspective to this classic Strayhorn ballad and his "Green Doll’s Phone” is a playful treatment of “On Green Dolphin Street” written to showcase the brilliant technical prowess of bassist Michael Janisch who joined them for this recording. Gene Jackson, the band’s rhythmic center who drives the music forward with fire and infectious good spirits, is much in evidence throughout the session and contributes his arrangement of Elvin Jones’ “Three Card Molly.”

What began as a happy coincidence of three friends in a foreign land has grown into a mature collective that is more than the sum of its impressive parts. The band has toured extensively in Japan, the U.K., around Europe and the United States for ​t​en​ years. These days, that is an extremely rare accomplishment in the jazz world, where economic pressures work against band longevity. The close connection between the members is evident throughout this recording: an idea starts with one player and is picked up and developed by another​ ​risk taking and improvisation abound, but there’s a sense of warmth, enjoyment and shared purpose that permeates all of these performances.

This has become the hallmark of this group’s playing: an easy rapport with one another developed through ten years of playing together and interpreting jazz classics in a highly engaging and personal way. The audience response has been phenomenal, in part because they give the listener something familiar to grab on to, before throwing in the bends and quirks that NYSQ has become known for, creating modern shapes and visions of these well-known ​songs​. Or to quote John Fordham ​from The Guardian ​in his rave review ​from a recent UK tour:

“The exciting New York Standards Quartet, a group devoted to the radical reinvention of famous pop songs and Broadway show tunes…(is) a collective class act, and a delightful surprise…​ ​Playing jazz standards their way.”


Alex Garnett's Bunch of 5 - Andromeda (2015)

Andromeda is the second solo release from London-based saxophonist and composer Alex Garnett and is the debut recording of 'Bunch of Five' his new two tenor saxophone project. This quintet brings the classic dueling saxophone format into a contemporary context, giving it a fresh face without losing its gladiatorial edge. The musical ethos is strongly routed in groove and swing and combines the eclectic tastes and experiences of the ensemble members while leaving plenty of room for liberties and unexpected twists within the various song structures.

The two frontmen, Garnett and the NYC-based Tim Armacost, have a collective 50 years of combined playing experience on the international stage, frequently appearing at festivals and clubs across the map. Finally a situation has matured to allow these two men to join forces and expand upon their mutual admiration, and their individual sound, phrasing and approach to playing the saxophone compliment each other greatly while at the same time pushing each other to their improvisational limits.

'Bunch of Five' engages in original repertoire which at once is both grounded in the tradition yet aspires to push beyond the comfort bubble in its harmonic considerations and improvisations. Rounding out the group is a versatile rhythm section featuring UK pianist Liam Noble, American bassist Michael Janisch, and one of London’s in demand young drummers, James Maddren.

The compositions are all Garnett’s creations reflecting a broad sweep of influences from the last twenty years of his musical journey. Material is spawned from varied sources including the effect of hearing a life changing Benny Golson concert in the early 90s, a fascination with astronomy and the relationship of universal frequencies, Alex's love of (and skills in) comedy, to even the more recent impact of fatherhood and its spiritual demands.

The title track of the album, ‘Andromeda’, is dedicated to the mythological Greek Princess and far away galaxy of the same name. In a musical metaphor, the two saxophones weave their way towards each other finally converging in the eerie 7/4 time slash chord groove. Garnett cryptically informs the listener that this serves as a “reminder of the darker elements of her intentions towards us” and that In 3.75 billion years or so the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are set to fatally collide.

Although the concept of time is basically a human construct, you could say that emotionally this latest creative release of Garnett's has been twenty years in the making but spiritually speaking hasn't come a moment too soon.

1. So Long!
2. Charlie’s World
3. Andromeda
4. Delusions Of Grandma
5. Early Autumn
6. Her Tears
7. Holmes
8. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

Alex Garnett - tenor saxophone
Tim Armacost - tenor saxophone
Liam Noble - piano
Michael Janisch - double bass
James Maddren - drums

Recorded at Red Gables Facilities Ltd. London, 25 Nov 2013
Engineer - Dick Hammett
Mixing & Mastering - Tyler McDiarmid
Produced by Michael Janisch & Alex Garnett
Executive Producer - Michael Janisch


Ernesto Aurignac Quintet - Anunnakis (2015)

Con ilusión os presento la portada de mi segundo disco titulado “Anunnakis” !!!

Espero que dé a la luz a finales de año, saldrá por el sello FreshSoundRecords.

01. Ufos Are Here! 8:42
02. Anunnakis 12:13
03. La Órbita de Venus 10:39
04. El Giro del Cíngulo 7:27
05. Bienvenidos al Inframundo 4:56
06. Todos Somos Monguis 8:30

Totoal time: 51:00 min. approx.

All tunes composed & arranged by Ernesto Aurignac

Ernesto Aurignac (alto sax)
Jaume Llombart (guitar)
Roger Mas (piano & keyboards)
Deejay Foster (bass)
João Lopes Pereira (drums).

Recorded live at Jamboree, Barcelona, June 28, 2015

Recording engineer: Luis Torres Aguilera
Mixed and Mastered at Estudis FCM by Ferran Conangla & Ernesto Aurignac
Edition by Paco Requena

Artwork & illustrations: Arkaitz del Río

Produced by Ernesto Aurignac

Executive Producer: Jordi Pujol


Marco Mezquida Trio + Bill McHenry - Cantabile (2015)

«Siempre que puedo lo voy a ver», escribía hace unos meses Marco Mezquida en su página de Facebook sobre Bill McHenry. «Es muy inspirador y creo que tiene un sonido fuera de lo común, un lirismo y una inventiva sofisticada, siempre sincera y profunda. Es un poeta de verdad que, sin fuegos artificiales, ha desarrollado un discurso inventivo, inteligente y humorístico conectado con un conocimiento profundo de lo que toca.» Talento en erupción de la escena jazzística de Barcelona (debutó en el festival hace años durante un homenaje a Tete Montoliu), el pianista menorquín -distinguido como músico del año tres años seguidos por la Asociación de Músicos de Jazz y Música Moderna de Cataluña- y su trío invitan ahora al saxofonista estadounidense (colaborador insignia de Paul Motian y Los Guachos de Guillermo Klein) a compartir una noche vibrante alrededor del último disco del trío, Cantabile.

01. Gira 3:16
02. Jony Style 5:44
03. Armando Rampas 5:09
04. Radiohead Montsant Elevation 13:37
05. Oh Mireia 3:25
06. 1866 8:05
07. Menguante 7:30
08. Managerini 7:51
09. Cantabile 5:19

All songs composed by Marco Mezquida, except #2 by Bill McHenry.

Bill McHenry (tenor sax)
Marco Mezquida (piano)
Marko Lohikari (bass)
and Carlos Falanga (drums)

Recorded at 44.1 Studios in Girona, Spain, on April 14, 2015

Sound engineer: Carles Xirgo
Mixed by Jordi Matas
Mastering: Pieter De Wagter

Design & cover photo by Mireia Miralles

Produced by Marco Mezquida

Executive producer: Jordi Pujol