lunes, 22 de mayo de 2017

Mason Razavi - Quartet Plus, Vol. 2 (OA2 RECORDS 2017) introspective experience of deeper meaning, his latest offering is a mature rendering of masterful playing and ideas. Razavi is definitely one to watch. JAZZ TIMES

From delicately scored ballads to a raucous take on "Caravan," Bay-Area guitarist Mason Razavi's second volume of his "Quartet Plus" series inhabits the great traditional jazz forms while enhancing them with modern textures and rhythms, creating a work that should leave jazz aficionados of various stripes nodding in approval. Working with pianist Bennett Roth-Newell, bassist Dan Robbins and drummer Cody Rhodes, the "Plus" is a five-piece horn section featured on several dynamic and intricately arranged compositions. "Evocative storytelling is the hallmark of Razavi's music." All About Jazz

The interesting thing Razavi does on this second 'quartet' outing is show that you can be a classically styled guitar jazzbo without having to show that you can chase the ghost of Wes and catch him. Firmly his own cat, this solid program of mostly originals is right in the pocket of great playing making for great listening. A real winner of a set, this is the kind of stuff that fools you initially into think it's dinner music but gently elbows it's way to the fore without you noticing. Well done.

1 Riverbed 6:35
2 Blues in New Hues 6:28
3 Looking Forward, Looking Back 5:31
4 Blue and Grey Waltz 5:57
5 With The Wind At My Back 6:55
6 When The Ink Ran Dry 8:01
7 Grvünkabop 6:22
8 Portrait for Mingus 5:07
9 Through The Fog 6:04
10 Caravan 6:53

BENNETT ROTH-NEWELL - piano, keyboards
DAN ROBBINS - acoustic & electric bass

PLUS (Tracks 6-10)
JUSTIN SMITH - trumpet, flugelhorn
BEN TORRES - alto sax, clarinet
OSCAR PANGILINAN - tenor & soprano sax, clarinet
KEVIN BRYSON - trombone
ALEX MURZYN - bari sax, bass clarinet, clarinet

Mario Pavone - Vertical (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

By now, Mario Pavone doesn’t need more presentations: he’s on the top of the jazz nobility of today, after a life of partnerships with the greatest, namely Paul Bley, Bill Dixon, Thomas Chapin, Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Marty Ehrlich and others of similar status. In his own bands, Pavone chooses the best in activity: his new opus, “Vertical”, include the contributions of Tony Malaby, Oscar Noriega, Dave Ballou, Peter McEachern and Mike Sarin. With such luminaries, the music could only have a solar quality: it’s colorful, bright, warm and intense. 

The compositions extend the percussive approach to the double bass which imediatly identifies this extraordinary musician: Pavone’s integrated work with drummer Sarin is propulsive, nervous and energetic, cutting through the clouds of sound formed by the reeds and the brass instruments. The horn frontline can be formed by only four contributors, but sometimes it seems we’re in front of an entire orchestra.

This is dense and intense music, full of grain and humanity, powerful and fragile at the same time, meticulously structured and spontaneous in the same measure, with motivating theme lines and loose improvisations. It has everything you can ask for in just a jazz album.

1. Ellipse 6:16
2. Vertical 7:19
3. Suitcase In Savannah 4:26
4. Broken 2:40
5. Cube Code 5:55
6. Blue Drum 1:52
7. Start Oval 5:07
8. Horizontal 2:15
9. Two Thirds Radial 6:20
10. Axis Legacy 5:03
11. Voice Oval 4:55

Dave Ballou trumpet
Tony Malaby tenor, soprano saxophone
Oscar Noriega clarinet, bass clarinet
Peter McEachern trombone
Michael Sarin drums

All compositions by Mario Pavone (Pavo Publishing/BMI) | All arrangements by Dave Ballou

Recorded on June 16th, 2016 at Systems Two , Brooklyn NY by Mike Marciano | Mixed and mastered at Systems Two by Max Ross
Produced by Mario Pavone | Executive Producer Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos

Roscoe Mitchell - Bells for the South Side (2 CD) ECM 2017

Roscoe Mitchell contrasts and for the first time - combines the sounds and distinctive characters of his four trios in an exhilarating double album recorded at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. Multi-instrumentalist and composer Mitchell had been invited to premiere new music at the museum, in the context of the exhibition The Freedom Principle, which celebrated the directions in music and art set in motion by the AACM on Chicago's South Side.

He offers what amounts to a composer self-portrait in continually changing colors and textures, reflecting on his own history while looking toward the future. Two pieces including the title composition draw upon the full percussion instrumentarium of the Art Ensemble of Chicago a panorama of gongs, bells, rattles, sirens, hand drums and more. Along the way there are remarkable contributions by all participants, among them a lyrical bass guitar feature for Jaribu Shahid on EP 7849, a heart-dilating solo by Tani Tabbal on Cards for Drums, an extended trumpet feature for Hugh Ragin on the title track, evocative and atmospheric electronics from Craig Taborn and James Fei on Red Moon in the Sky, and plenty of Mitchell's powerhouse saxophones throughout, from the piercing sopranino down to the mighty bass sax. The performance is concluded with Odwalla, the Mitchell-composed theme song of the Art Ensemble.

CD 1
1. Spatial Aspects Of The Sound  12:14
2. Panoply  7:37
3. Prelude To A Rose  12:45
4. Dancing In The Canyon  10:24
5. EP 7849  8:14
6. Bells For The South Side  12:36

CD 2
1. Prelude To The Card Game Cards For Drums And The Final Hand  16:03
2. The Last Chord  12:27
3. Six Gongs And Two Woodblocks  7:50
4. R509A Twenty B  1:34
5. Red Moon In The Sky / Odwalla  25:49

Roscoe Mitchell sopranino, soprano, alto and bass saxophones, flute, piccolo, bass recorder, percussion
James Fei sopranino and alto saxophones, contra-alto clarinet, electronics
Hugh Ragin trumpet, piccolo trumpet
Tyshawn Sorey trombone, piano, drums, percussion
Craig Taborn piano, organ, electronics
Jaribu Shahid double bass, bass guitar, percussion
Tani Tabbal drums, percussion
Kikanju Baku drums, percussion
William Winant percussion, tubular bells, glockenspiel, vibraphone, marimba, roto toms, cymbals, bass drum, woodblocks, timpani

Mat Maneri / Evan Parker / Lucian Ban - Sounding Tears (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

Over the course of a quarter century career American violist Mat Maneri has “changed the way the jazz world listens to the violin and viola” ( and has established an international reputation as one of the most original and compelling artists of his generation. Maneri posses an immediately recognizable sound and approach which marries the distinct worlds of jazz and microtonal music in a fluid, remarkably expressive fashion which The Wire dubbed “endlessly fascinating.” Over the course of his career, Maneri has worked with 20th century icons of improvised music including his father Joe Maneri, Cecil Taylor, Tim Berne, William Parker, Craig Taborn and many others.

For Sounding Tears, his first release under his own name (not as co-leader or collaborator) in 12 years, Maneri has enlisted legendary British saxophonist Evan Parker, one of European avant-garde’s leading voices for the past four decades, alongside his long-standing collaborator, Romanian expat, pianist Lucian Ban.

The improvisations conjured by these improvisers bespeak a music of the new millennium – tender and lyrical while also angular, gritty and suspenseful. Reflecting on Sounding Tears Maneri says: “Music begins before music. As an improviser the first note I play sets in motion the whole world. As a trio, where does musical intimacy come from? Is it improvisation, is it chamber music? Is it jazz? The music on this album, the experience, empathy and the shared history that Evan and Lucian bring to Sounding Tears, is our answer to those questions.”

Maneri and Ban have been working together for close to a decade spanning a number of different projects. They met while working on Ban and bassist John Hebert’s Enesco Re-Imagined (Sunnyside, 2009). On one piece played a memorable duo, so remarkable that they didn’t hesitate to begin touring as a duo. This touring relationship ultimately resulted in their acclaimed recording, Transylvanian Concert (ECM, 2013). It was at the Bucharest release show for Transylvanian Concert that they invited Parker to be a special guest. The music was elevated to a new plane. The three played a few more times together before heading to Tedesco Studios in New Jersey in 2016 to record what would become Sounding Tears.

The music on the album showcases a side of the saxophonist’s playing not often heard on record – a more introverted, crooked way of phrasing, tenderly enveloped in Maneri and Ban’s sonic universe. Over the course of eight free improvisations and two written melodies, this trio showcases a distinct language; a language built on equality and listening with no grandstanding or hierarchical principles at play.

A notable influence on this album’s concept was the seminal 1995 ECM album Time Will Tell by Paul Bley, Evan Parker and Barre Phillips. This album meant an immeasurable amount to both Maneri and Ban. A sense of space invoked throughout and the collective phrasing were influential to both musicians. Bley was also one of the first people to give Joe Maneri and Mat Maneri the recognition they so deserved. Bley recommended them to ECM Records’ Manfred Eicher, with whom they went on to record with Barre Phillips and many others in a series of albums which are still cherished for their inventiveness.

Maneri sums up the spirit of Sounding Tears. “It’s like Lester Young mixed with something insane; rooted in the past of an alternate universe which may have never existed.” No other words can describe the dualities that this record holds within itself – the music is both cutting-edge and remarkably progressive while also being firmly rooted in tradition, song, and improvisational tactics which recall 20th century modern classical music in addition to jazz. The sound of Sounding Tears is the sound of three master musicians playing with integrity and heart, listening as much as asserting, letting silence dictate as much as sonic density. It’s a treat and a delight to hear a recontextualized Evan Parker sitting patiently, enmeshing himself in a codified universe that Maneri and Ban have been crafting for several years.

Friends Fly South - Scatterbrain (Live at the Thirsty Hippo) 2017

A collection of musicians that met in Hattiesburg, MS got together to make a beautiful but gritty album. This album is pulling from influences such as Snarky Puppy, Lettuce, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock. It's rooted in funk but has the structure of pop music today, with the elements of jazz thrown in. We hope this album makes you think but also makes you move your body mindlessly!

01. Hi-Inner-G (Live) 5:46
02. Stoner with the Boner (Live) 7:45
03. Cruise Ship (Live) 7:48
04. Avenues (Live) 6:40
05. Mercy, Phat (Live) 6:16
06. Lost in Thought (LIT) [Live] 9:28
07. Friends' Groove (Live) 4:31
08. Bar None (Live) 7:46
09. Spiritual Man (Live) 7:42
10. Scatterbrain (Live) 7:06
11. Just a Zimple Zong Remix (Live) 8:10

Ray Bradford - Bass
Garrick Pitts - Sax
Colman Grinnell - Trumpet
Jeffery Reynolds - Keys
Darius Scott - Keys
Adam McPhail - Guitar
Ben Langston - Guitar
Marlon Huddleston - Percussion
Josh Reynolds - Drums

The Blumenthal is now open!

Indian Air & Bob Mintzer - Rare Moments (ATS RECORDS 2017)

Since his first awareness of Indian music and the sitar more than 20
years ago, the Austrian musician Klaus Falschlunger has become a
master of the instrument and an active representative of the Indian-
Musicscene in Europe.The whole emotional spectrum of the
musician´s inner world comes alive in "INDIAN AIR".

He is accompanied by Clemens Rofner on doublebass, and by the
percussionist Tobias Steinberger on framedrums/ric/kanjira.Growing
up with jazz and rock music, he discovered in his extensive travels to
Asia, the Middle East and Europe, more and more the diversity of
music. Next to his love for Indian classical music, he composed and
experimented with different formations. His creativity and versatility
brought him together with many musicians and artists from India,
Korea, USA and Europe.

01 Not You , Not M e
02 New Earth *
03 Who Knows
04 In Silence
05 Rare Moments
06 Noah‘s First Breath *
07 In the City
08 City Hymn
09 Water : Fall

Klaus Falschlunger, Sitar
Clemens Rofner, Double Bass, Bass Ukulele
Tobias Steinberger, Percussion, Framedrums

Special guest
Bob Mintzer*- Soprano Saxophone

domingo, 21 de mayo de 2017

Wako & Oslo Strings - Modes for All Eternity (AMP Music & Records 2017)

«Modes for All Eternity» is a daring new conceptual album by the nordic jazz quartet Wako in collaboration with string ensemble Oslo Strings. It will take the listener on a journey through ancient times; featuring chilling suspense and drama, introducing a five-part suite and honor truly remarkable persons such as the great Greek lyrists Sappho and Emily Dickinson.

Wako & Oslo Strings consists of seven young established musicians, whom received much praise doing various projects both on the Norwegian and the International scene in 2016. They are known from bands such as Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Espen Berg Trio, Megalodon Collective, Trondheimsolistene and Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.

The music is written by composer and saxophonist Martin Myhre Olsen, and strives to incorporate everyone’s individual voices into a fulfilling and unique ensemble sound. Approaching the prospect of adding three string instruments to a quartet, and not just let them have accompanying roles but rather be active members of the group. It reflects various composers such as Messiaen and Stravinsky, but also finds inspiration in modern chamber jazz projects like Christian Wallumrøed Ensemble and Alpaca Ensemble. 

Recorded by Marc Casanovas at The Royal Danish Academy of Music in June 2016. Mixed and mastered by Karl Klaseie at Greener Mastering, Trondheim.

01. King of Kings 6:22
02. Sappho's Theme 3:47
03. Carla 4:55
04. I. Eternal 4:42
05. II. I died for beauty 1:58
06. III. Africanus 6:02
07. IV. Intervallic Nightmares 1:15
08. V. Rejoice 4:58
09. Song for All the Annettes 4:21
10. Cold days, Warm Hearts 5:16

Martin Myhre Olsen - saxophone/composer
Kjetil André Mulelid - piano
Bárður Reinert Poulsen - bass
Simon Olderskog Albertsen - drums
Kaja Constance Rogers - violin
Isa Caroline Holmesland - viola
Kaja Fjellberg Pettersen - cello

Gaby Hernandez - Spirit Reflection (MR BONGO June 9, 2017)

“The music itself envelopes its listener in a warmth reminiscent of decades past, presenting both a nostalgic soulful sound and a sensual experience” Culture Collide

“A romantic summer cocktail that should be imbibed half-nude on a beach or while scattering rose petals on a bed. The songs flow between seductive, relaxing and spiritually nurturing, with earthy rhythms and warm production that make the listener feel comforted” Buzz Bands LA

“Jaw-droppingly tasty” LA Weekly

On 9th June Mr Bongo present Spirit Reflection - the third album from Los Angeles singer and musician Gaby Hernandez.

Latin, folk, electronica and jazz blend seamlessly on this sparkling, dreamy, wonder-filled masterpiece. Blissful layers of instrumentation, vocal harmonies and folkloric percussion intertwine with west coast feel to create a unique, beautiful and multi-layered album.

Spirit Reflection features a stellar line-up of LA talent; jazz star Kamasi Washington, Stuart Howard (AKA Lapalux), Kelis and Gaslamp killer collaborator Dexter Story, plus Ninja Tune, Plug Research and Soul Jazz artist Carlos Niño, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker all accompany Gaby, with stunning results.

Even before Spirit Reflection had been finished, the demo mixes caught the ear and gained the support of Gilles Peterson, Lefto, Toshio Matsuura (U.F.O.) and J-Rocc (Beat Junkies).

Born, raised and based in Los Angeles and of Chilean descent, Gaby Hernandez has been writing and recording since 2001. She was a founding member of the ‘creative music ensemble’ Build An Ark alongside others including Carlos Niño, Dexter Story and Dwight Trible.

Gaby was the only vocalist on Teebs' debut Brainfeeder release Ardour. She made major contributions to AmmonContact's Ninja Tune releases New Birth and With Voices, plus The Life Force Trio's Plug Research album Living Room.  She was also the vocalist on Dimlite's Outernational Duet - released as part of his highly acclaimed Sonar Kollektiv longplayer This Is Embracing.

Hernandez was invited by Mia Doi Todd to sing on the Jonathan Wilson produced song Canto de Iemanja, which was included on Todd's City Zen record Cosmic Ocean Ship and the Red Hot + Rio 2 compilation, which also featured Beck, Seu Jorge, Aloe Blacc, David Byrne and Madlib.

Among her main musical comrades is the prolific multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Dexter Story, for whom Hernandez sang on the track Water Bearer from his LP Seasons, on Kindred Spirits

David and Graham from Mr Bongo met Gaby and Carlos Nino at the end of their hugely successful Arthur Verocai album launch and rare record sale at the Rappcats venue in LA. “Gaby and Carlos passed us a copy of Spirit Reflection. It immediately grabbed us and we couldn’t stop listening to it. When we got back to the UK we got in contact straight away and signed the album. We’re very proud to be releasing it”, says Graham Luckhurst.



“Whirling carnival maelstrom” UNCUT

“Clever, and enormous fun” THE GUARDIAN 

“An ingenious blend of showmanship and intelligence” THE SUNDAY TIMES

“An infectious tumult of horns and drums” i

 “More good brass form the east London funksters” EVENING STANDARD

“Swings irresistibly” FINANCIAL TIMES

“Upbeat, witty and rather beautiful” SUNDAY EXPRESS

After the stunning success of their critically-acclaimed third album Sharpener, London’s brass juggernauts Hackney Colliery Band blaze back onto the scene with their first live album, released 12th May via Veki. 

With BBC Radio 2 describing them as “one of the best live bands we have in this country”, their live shows have become legendary, selling out venues across the UK and Europe, and playing main stage festival shows (Womad, Wilderness, Love Supreme, Field Day) to huge popular and critical acclaim.

Recorded over three shows in 2016 and early 2017, the recording captures the band on peak form. Playing largely original material from Sharpener and their second album Common Decency, they also dust off some crowd favourites including their unique mash up of Prodigy covers, rousing versions of Blackstreet’s No Diggity and Nirvana’s Heart-Shaped Box, and concluding with an acoustic version of Toto’s Africa as they parade through the crowd at the end of the set.

To celebrate the release of this unique live record, Hackney Colliery Band are playing their biggest headline show to date when they hit the legendary KOKO in London on 26th May. With all of their recent London shows selling out months in advance, including the 800-capacity Village Underground, and a few surprises and tricks up their sleeve, their KOKO show will undoubtedly be a real highlight of 2017, and a chance for fans to hear the real thing in person in one of London’s most iconic venues.

Hearing the band playing live is a very different experience from listening to their three studio albums; it becomes immediately obvious that, far from locked-down studio heads, these are some serious jazz improvisers, here stretching out on extended solos, and with a restless energy for pushing the groove and form in new directions. But this consummate musicianship and skill is always worn very lightly: the band have always managed to present complex music in an extremely playful, fun way, and to a very broad demographic, which on these recordings takes in young east London hipsters and Oxfordshire retirees with equal ease. Front man Steve Pretty’s interactions with the crowd, particularly towards the end of the set, raise the energy levels still further, and those with a good ear can listen out for some heart-warming moments from the audience, like the somewhat slurry man a little bit too close to the sound desk microphone singing along to Heart-Shaped Box, or the room gradually falling silent during the mesmerising introduction to the album’s only ballad Reawake.

And it’s these quirks, these little imperfections, that make this album special. Rather than going through the recordings with a fine-tooth comb removing the trumpet cracks, sax squeaks or drum mishits which are inevitable in a 90-minute power set with seven brass musicians and two drummers, the production is minimal. This gives a rare ‘warts and all’ insight into how the band sound live. 

Steve Pretty, the band’s frontman said: “We’ve always prided ourselves on putting on a really great live show, and the exciting thing about live gigs is that anything can happen. Unfortunately, that means that if I missed a note somewhere, that will now live with me and annoy me forever, but we wanted a really honest portrayal, with no overdubs or excessive production, just capturing the energy of the room”.

With the brass band revival in full swing, Hackney Colliery Band manage to occupy their own very distinctive space. Washes of Scandinavian-influenced electronica collide with extended contemporary jazz improvisation, dancefloor-friendly beats contrast with pounding rock rhythms, and Balkanesque melodies nestle up against soul and hip hop grooves. This set owes as much to modern European jazz and American alternative rock as it does to New Orleans second lines or the traditional British brass bands to which their name pays tribute.

UK tour dates:

27/5  BURY  Met
06/6  TRURO  Hall for Cornwall
16/6  MANCHESTER  Band on the Wall
17/6  WAKEFIELD  Unity Works
22-25/6  GLASTONBURY  Pilton
28/6  FOLKESTONE  Cornerhouse
29/6  PARIS  New Morning
08/7  NORWICH  Forum
14/7  NEWTON LONGVILLE  Into the Wild Festival
15/7  BROMSGROVE Artrix
03/8  NEWQUAY  Lusty Glaze
04/8  MORECAMBE  Platform
28/8  LONDON House of Common Festival
10/9  ISLE OF WIGHT  Bestival

Julian Argüelles’ Tetra signs to Edition

12th December 2016
Julian Argüelles’ Tetra signs to Edition. Late 2018 release.

Edition are pleased to announce that British saxophonist Julian Argüelles will strengthen his relationship with Edition to include a release from his vibrant, adventurous quartet featuring Kit Downes, James Maddren and Sam Lasserson scheduled for Autumn 2018. Described as ‘supremely lyrical, with beautiful melodies’ by the Irish Times, Tetra is a dynamic outfit defined by its deftly executed tempo changes and improvisatory touches.

Julian marked his first appearance on Edition earlier this year as arranger and conductor for Phronesis and Frankfurt Radio Big Band’s acclaimed album, The Behemoth. Julian’s contribution to the record was highly praised by Downbeat Magazine: “the star of the session is arranger (and conductor) Argüelles, whose task was a daunting one...the arrangements allow Phronesis to truly be themselves while the big band artfully complements their rhythmic momentum and contributes glorious, harmonic colors”.

In Oct 2017, Julian will team up with Portuguese pianist Mário Laginha and Norwegian percussionist Helge Andreas Norbakken to release Setembro, an album bursting with melody, intertwined with subtle grooves and a collective maturity that places this world-class trio up as one of the most creative in Europe.

More About Julian Argüelles
From his beginnings in the 1980s with the legendary UK big band Loose Tubes, through his worldwide collaborations, his current quartet (Tetra), to his searching solo projects, Argüelles has always spoken with a unique voice. His recordings, compositions and award winning arrangements have earned him the highest accolades internationally and wide critical acclaim. He has become a hugely influential figure to a new generation of European jazz musicians and continues to be amongst the most in demand musicians, composers, arrangers and educators.

Mário Laginha, Julian Argüelles and Helge Andreas Norbakken will release their debut album in Autumn 2017.