Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Parker Abbott Trio - Elevation (2016)

Sonically, Elevation builds on the textural complexity of the Parker Abbott Trio’s last album, the Wayfinders. The compositions on Elevation unremittingly shift and overlap between acoustic grand piano, organs, synthesizers, various electric pianos, and melodica. The result is a tremendously rich aural atmosphere, progressively structured and performed. The combination of studio-oriented sonic detailing and intelligent, jazz-oriented writing and improvising on Elevation bring to mind the work of such contemporary stylists as Marco Benevento, Bill Frisell, and Brad Mehldau on his Largo album.

Released August 18, 2016

1. Everyday Grey 04:57
2. Octopus 03:45
3. Nothing Left to Eat 03:25
4. Night Song 05:35
5. Disclosure 04:53
6. Elevation 05:45
7. Apartment 03:44
8. Nidra 04:28
9. Zinnia 04:15
10. Gregory 04:18
11. Maybe 04:45

Produced by Teri Parker and Simeon Abbott 
Recorded November 15, 2015 by Jeremy Darby at the Canterbury Music Company, Toronto 
Additional recording January 17, 2016 by Andrew McCready at Keen Music, Toronto 
Mixed by David Hermiston 


Teri Parker - piano
Simeon Abbott - Nord, Micro Korg
Mark Segger - Drums

The Parker Abbott Trio is a keyboard-centric group of Toronto-based musicians exploring the intersections between two pianists and a drummer—and using a huge sonic palette to do so. The group began as a writing and improvising collaboration between the two pianists, Teri Parker (Idioteque, Teri Parker Quartet) and Simeon Abbott (Danielle Duval, DO!). While both are celebrated pianists in Toronto jazz circles, their collaboration freely incorporated a host of other textures, using organ, electric keyboards, and even a ring-modulated harpsichord. This sense of eclecticism and experimentation informed their first album, Gallery, which they self-released in 2011. It also revealed their multitude of influences, suggesting everything from jazz (nicely situated somewhere along the Monk-Peterson axis), classical (shades of Bartok and Debussy), and more avant-leaning touchstones such as Cecil Taylor and John Cage. Spontaneous Combustion Magazine called Gallery “a wonderfully unique and refreshing addition to the music scene.” The album's charm is in its mixture of engaging, inventive compositions and selected material and spirited improvisational departures from these forms.

In late 2011, the duo expanded to a trio with drummer Mark Segger (known in Toronto for his work with the Kyle Brenders Quartet, See Through Quintet, and The Thing Is). Segger had played with Abbott in various ad hoc improvising scenarios, and his top-notch work in other Toronto combos made him an ideal choice for the drum chair. Over the course of the next year, the group found their footing as a three-piece, and by early 2013, they had secured a residency at the Banff Centre. It was there that they conceived the bulk of the material that would constitute their next album, The Wayfinders. 

The group's first offering as a trio, The Wayfinders was a gigantic step forward. Parker and Abbott's compositional prowess lies at the heart of the group sound, but, with the added propulsion and new textural dynamic inserted by Segger, the album was a much more multi-faceted affair. With drumming that shifts between shuffle-pop grooves and loose-limbed swing behind the expressive keyboard sounds, the album explored the potential provided by a new auditory landscape. 

The Parker Abbott Trio began carving a sonic niche with The Wayfinders, and this sound continues to grow with their newest release, Elevation. Building on the textural complexity of their first album, the compositions in Elevation gleefully shift between acoustic grand piano, organs, synthesizers, various electric pianos, and melodica. The result is a tremendously rich aural atmosphere, progressively structured and performed while still rooted in the jazz and classical inspirations that have fuelled the trio from the beginning. The combination of studio-oriented sonic detailing and intelligent, jazz-oriented writing and improvising on Elevation bring to mind the work of such contemporary stylists as Marco Benevento, Bill Frisell, and Brad Mehldau on his Largo album. 

With Elevation, the Parker Abbott Trio has produced a record that demands attention from not only their core audience of forward-thinking jazz listeners, but from anyone remotely interested in hearing thoroughly original and well-executed new music.

Festen - Festen (2016) CLEAN FEED RECORDS

The rich Scandinavian scene keeps revealing all its multiplicity and inventiveness. Now it happens with the first opus by the quartet Festen, assembled by Isak Hedtjarn, Lisa Ullén, Elsa Bergman and Erik Carlsson. The last track of the album is titled “it never gets better than this”, and it’s right: to go beyond what you’ll find here would be difficult, but considering the quality and the capacity for novelty happening in the North of Europe we never know. What surprises most about this cauldron of creativity is the number of new names constantly appearing, and you find some of the best in this recording. The most internationally recognizable is the one of pianist Lisa Ullén, and she acts in this context like a fish in the ocean. And what a vast ocean, with a central current marked by a renewed perspective of what we call free jazz, fed by reminiscences coming from every sort of contemporary, new and experimental music. Acoustic, raw and spontaneous, Festen’s art is hyperactive, bright and very affirmative, simultaneously heavy and fragile, visceral and subtle, capable either of a big impact or taking you to a microscopic world of intricate details. A wonder once again, but with different arguments.

Isak Hedtjärn  clarinet | Lisa Ullén  piano | Elsa Bergman  double bass | Erik Carlsson  drums

All music composed by Lisa Ullén , Isak Hedtjärn, Elsa Bergman, Erik Carlsson /STIM

Recorded June 5th 2015 at Atlantis Studio ,Stockholm Sweden by Janne Hansson | Mixed by Janne Hansson | Mastered by Mats Äleklint
Produced by Festen | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Cover art: Anna Lena Jaktlund | Design by Travassos

1. In the Kitchen 19:19
2. 2015 Forever 10:24
3. ”det blir aldrig bättre än så här” 8:08
4. "It Never Gets Better Than This" 5:06

Trio Curupira - Vinte (2016)

Lançando o seu quinto CD, o trio comemora 20 anos de existência nessa apresentação. Além de temas desse novo CD, o Curupira também apresentará músicas de seus outros trabalhos que marcaram sua trajetória.

André Marques - piano, flauta e escaleta
Cleber Almeida - bateria, escaleta e percussão
Fábio Gouvea - baixo, guitarra e flauta

1. Alinhavo (feat. Ricardo Zohyo) 6:34
2. Maracatu de Abertura (feat. Gabriel Grossi) 6:06
3. E o André Me Perguntou (feat. Hamilton de Holanda) 9:26
4. Poros (feat. Jane Duboc) 5:57
5. Mantiqueiros (feat. Itiberê Zwarg) 5:42
6. Atado (feat. Raul De Souza) 6:31
7. Dona Gertrudes (feat. Hermeto Pascoal) 9:48
8. Guaipeca (feat. Natan Marques) 6:21
9. Dorin (feat. Jota P) 9:19
10. Quinjengue (feat. Arismar do Espírito Santo) 7:00


Kajetan Borowski Trio - Totem (2016)

This is the debut album by Polish pianist / composer Kajetan Borowski, recorded in a classic piano trio setting with bassist Jakub Dworak and drummer Grzegorz Maslowski; all three are representatives of the upcoming new generation of Polish Jazz musicians. The album presents eleven original compositions, all by Borowski, and one standard. 

The music is firmly positioned within modern melodic mainstream, with elegantly weaved tunes and spirited execution. Borowski displays the typical Polish sensitivities in his ballads, with tendency towards melancholy and lyricism, but on the up tempo numbers, he uses a much more energetic approach, with polyrhythmic Latin predisposition, somewhat similar to Chick Corea´s Latin / Spanish period. Sometimes I wonder if the only music young Polish pianists listen to is Frederic Chopin and Chick Corea. 

Technically all three players are beyond reproach; Borowski uses powerful chords and delicate glissandos with the same skill and sensitivity, Dworak plays clear and supportive bass lines, including occasional beautiful solo parts and Maslowski drives the music steadily forward, without being overly intrusive, with just occasional overzealousness on the cymbals. Their performance as a trio is very good, with obvious affinity and respect towards each other. 

This is a kind of album, which does not attempt to step beyond presenting a solid piece of mainstream Jazz of the best caliber and as such does not include any surprises or explorations beyond the obvious. But within the entire scope of the Jazz idiom such albums are also needed and appreciated, and when they offer music of such quality, as this one, all is well. 

Overall this is an excellent debut effort, definitely worthy of praise and encouragement, and obviously promising great things in the future. Therefore it is highly recommended to all Polish Jazz followers and particularly to piano trio lovers. The album was recorded at the RecPublica Studios and offers a superb sound quality.

1. Portal 2:19
2. Roadrunner 4:42
3. Bomba 4:50
4. Cylinder 9:23
5. Panda 4:07
6. Blue Bossa 6:15
7. Roots 6:30
8. Song for Boogie 7:53
9. Hipp 6:56
10. Totem 7:09
11. Plus 6:48
12. Hey 5:05

Kajetan Borowski - piano / compositions
Kuba Dworak - double bass
Grzegorz Masłowski - drums


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Bad Plus - It's Hard (2016)

The Bad Plus have cemented their place as an original music ensemble. Except for their interpretation of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring — their last four albums focused almost exclusively on original compositions. It’s Hard, however, will mark The Bad Plus’ return to an aspect of their roots, the very thing that first made The Bad Plus famous: the deconstruction of songs from the Pop/Rock and R&B worlds.

The Bad Plus' new album, It's Hard, is all covers. There's no particular overarching aesthetic to the selection. It encompasses alternative rock from the '00s (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On The Radio); hits of the '80s (Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Peter Gabriel, Crowded House); a piece from free-jazz hero Ornette Coleman and one from a spiritual descendant of saxophone-blowing and melody-shaping, Bill McHenry; and some other unlikely idiosyncrasies (Barry Manilow). Neither is there a formula for approaching these songs. Some seem like acts of reinvention, disassembly and re-engineering (Kraftwerk sans motorik beat); others amplify the existing energy the best a mischievous acoustic piano trio can (Johnny Cash as a shuffle after too many drinks).

These covers, like those of 2003 or any since, are not "ironic" or "novelty." Somewhat naive, maybe; impishly tweaked, likely. But they're not high art looking down upon low art, or lifting it into its realm. If anything, Anderson, King and Iverson are pop agnostics who offer some fundamental respect toward each song, its creator and its potential. Their project always seemed to be foremost about applying an original dialect to any song, whether generated internally or absorbed, processed and rearranged. In that light, It's Hard feels like an intensive self-examination: a long-running band testing its powers of interpretation with whatever comes to mind. And it tends to be amusing.

1. Maps (Karen Lee Orzolek, Brian Chase, Nick Zinner)
2. Games Without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel)
3. Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper, Rob Hyman)
4. I Walk The Line (Johnny Cash)
5. Alfombra Magica (Bill McHenry)
6. The Beautiful Ones (Prince)
7. Don't Dream It's Over (Neil Finn)
8. Staring At The Sun (Tunde Adebimpe, David Sitek)
9. Mandy (Richard Kerr, Scott English)
10. The Robots (Ralf Hutter, Florian Schneider, Karl Bartos)
11. Broken Shadows (Ornette Coleman)

Produced by The Bad Plus
Recorded by Pete Rende at Brooklyn Recording,
Brooklyn, NY, April 12th-14th, 2016


August 2016
30 Kiev / Ukraine -- Atlas Club

September 2016
03 Chicago, IL -- Millenium Park*
17 Monterey, CA -- Monterey Jazz Festival**

October 2016
01 Leipzig, DEU -- 40. Leipziger Jazztage/Schauspielhaus
03 Schiltigheim, FRA -- Le Cheval Blanc
04 Nantes, FRA -- Salle Paul Fort
05 Gent, BEL -- De Bijloke
06 Lugano, CHE -- Radio RSI - Studio 2
07 Brussels, BEL -- Flagey - Studio 4
10 Berlin, DEU -- A-Trane
11 Saint Jean de Vedas, FRA -- Le Chai du Terral
12 Singen, DEU -- Kulturzentrum Gems
14 Leibnitz, AUT -- LeibnitzKULT
17 Amsterdam, NLD -- Bimhuis

Bojan Z & Nils Wogram - Housewarming (2016) nWog Records

Monday, August 29, 2016

Jeremy Lirola - Uptown Desire (Bonus Track Version) 2016 LA BUISSONNE LABEL


La musique créée est entièrement originale, elle forme un matériau nécessaire à la fission des rencontres, musicales et humaines, qui demeure au cœur du projet. L’univers est tantôt épuré et lyrique, tantôt complexe dans l'écriture et ses développements. L'improvisation essentielle à cette musique, l'est aussi pour la santé des quatre musiciens. Libre de toute étiquette stylistique l’univers du quartet suit sa logique propre, garante de son indépendance et de celle de ses interprètes. Une énergie et une force musicale qui s'équilibre entre de profondes mélodies évoquant parfois Paul Motian et Bill Evans et des pulses plus sauvages issues de l'univers urbain New Yorkais de Steve Coleman.


1. Insufficient words 06:22
2. Moutal 06:13
3. Après quelque part 03:21
4. Art the last belief 10:06
5. Cette belle chose sans nom 07:25
6. Mektoub 03:22
7. Au pays des mutants 08:01
8. The 3rd person 06:06
9. Bello by bus 04:05
10. Bello by plane 04:55

Enregistrement, mixage et mastering, Studios La Buissonne, Pernes les Fontaines, France.
Enregistré et mixé par Gérard de Haro et Nicolas Baillard le 7,8 et 9 juillet 2014.
Mastering par Nicolas Baillard.
Piano Steinway Grand concert accordé et préparé par Alain Massonneau.
Photos de livret : Laure Werckmann.
Photo de couverture : Nathalie Rocher.
Artwork : Philippe Ghielmetti.
Produit par Gérard de Haro et RJAL pour La Buissonne et Jeremy lirola.

CONTACT PRESSE : Damien Besançon (I See Colors) - - 

Jeremy Lirola - 33 (0) 6 82 59 23 03 - 

Laure WoelfiI - 33 (0) 6 25 44 02 03 - -

Nate Wooley - Argonautica (2016)

Argonautica is a sonic analog to the epic poem of the same name. Built in three parts, or chapters, the music makes oblique reference to dodecaphony, ambient tape music, and the driving minimalist rock of Terry Riley. It was conceived and written as a tribute to Wooley’s mentor Ron Miles, who plays the lyrical cornet role to the leader’s more caustic trumpet voice. The rhythm section is equally balanced with Grammy award winning new music pianist Cory Smythe in tandem with Belgian Fender-Rhodes legend Jozef Dumoulin and the brash upstart free jazz drumming of Devin Gray interlocking with the fiery precision of Rudy Royston. The group is compositionally set in different duos and trios, working together and separately throughout the fifty-plus minutes of music to slowly build to a shattering climax that raises the question of what jazz-rock can be in the twenty-first century.

Argonautica 42:53

Nate Wooley: Trumpet 
Ron Miles: Cornet 
Cory Smythe: Piano 
Jozef Dumoulin: Fender Rhodes and Electronics 
Devin Gray: Drums 
Rudy Royston: Drums 

Music by Nate Wooley - FourWordsSeaMusic (BMI) 

Recorded December 9, 2014 
at Firehouse 12, New Haven, CT 
by Chris Reba 
Mixed and Mastered by Nick Lloyd 
Graphic Design by Megan Craig 
Produced by Nate Wooley 
Co-produced by Nick Lloyd

Kodian Trio - Live at Paradox (2016) RAW TONK RECORDS


KODIAN TRIO played the fantastic Incubate festival last May and this full-length unedited concert is now available through Raw Tonk Records, available here & in concert on October 15th at Muziekcentrum Kinky Star (Ghent, Belgium)

1. Live at Paradox

Released August 29, 2016 

Kodian Trio 

Andrew Lisle - drums 
Dirk Serries - guitar 
Colin Webster - alto saxophone 

Recorded live at Paradox, Tilburg. 14th May 2016 
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Dirk Serries 

Thanks to Incubate Festival 

Raw Tonk Records 2016