Monday, January 11, 2016

Jukkis Uotila - The Herbie Hancock Legacy (2015)

Label: Ksjazz
Source: Jukkis Uotila

On April the 12th, 2014 I went into the studio in Helsinki with one of my mentors, the great multiple percussionist Billy Hart. We recorded a program of Herbie Hancock's music that is now finally out on CD! I've known Jabali since 1977 when I met him in Finland and our paths have crossed many times over the years, in NYC and at many festivals. I had never played piano with him until 2012 when we did a concert in Helsinki and the event was such a success, that I was really anxious to get another chance to record our collaboration. Thus we now celebrate Herbie's 75th birthday with the release of "The Herbie Hancock Legacy". Billy and myself were joined by two excellent Finnish musicians, Jussi Kannaste on tenor sax and Jori Huhtala on bass, who both contributed strongly.

1. The Sorcerer
2. Tell Me a Bedtime Story
3. Speak Like a Child
4. Toys
5. Maiden Voyage
6. Dolphin Dance
7. I Have a Dream
8. Little One
9. The Eye of the Hurricane
Jukkis Uotila, piano
Jussi Kannaste, sax
Sampo Tiittanen, bass
Billy Hart, drums
Timo Hirvonen, bass



Cleverhorse - 50: Fifty (2016)

Source & Label: Jazzhead

Since the release of their 2007 debut album, "Goodnight, Mr. Monster", cleverhorse have been quietly experimenting with compositional forms and improvisational methods. Their second album "50:fifty" represents a culmination of their shared vision, featuring a juxtaposition of heavily structured arrangements with free spirited extemporization, informed in equal measure by contemporary jazz and Norwegian folk, the sonic space of the soundtracks of the films of Wim Wenders, the density of Shanghai city, and the sparse and playful writings of Richard Brautigan.
In recent years, the idea of "folk" music, or "community" music has become an increasingly important element in Melville's creative development. This idea of community relies on two definitions. The first is one in which a small social unit shares common values, interests, preferences, beliefs and other characteristics that affect the individual identity of the participants in their pursuit of a collective goal. The second reflects the writings of Duncan Foster, in which community is defined as "an action rather than as a group of people, whereby the...artist acts in community with others". The community arts project, in this context, becomes the development of relationships and is the artist's "specific point of communion with others in collaboration".
Outside of cleverhorse, the band members perform vastly different styles of music from one another. Whilst this is not unique to this band, it has positively informed the development of a shared musical lexicon, an understanding of each other's personalities and playing, and a mutual trust on and off the bandstand. The music of cleverhorse is a reflection of their shared community, made as it is of multiple musicians, personalities and individuals, and a shared history.

1. Bug Monster 06:16
2. Reich I 01:27
3. Reich II 04:44
4. Bitter Cold 05:25
5. Lego So High Only Dogs Can Hear It 01:52
6. Fletcher & The Whirlybirds 05:28
7. Punch 01:38
8. Remark 03:47
9. I Owe You One 05:03
10.Hurts 01:39
11.June Tune 06:20
12.Stankey 01:20
13.Something About A Dog 05:44

Gideon Brazil - tenor saxophone, flute
Luke Hodgson - bass, guitar on "Punch"
Dan Macdonald - drums, percussion
Monty Mackenzie - alto saxophone
Robbie Melville - guitar, banjo



David Bowie dies at the age of 69

David Bowie dies at the age of 69

David Bowie has died, 18 months after being diagnosed with cancer.

The 69-year-old singer’s death was confirmed in a Facebook post from his official page:

David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”

Writing on Twitter, Bowie’s son, the film director Duncan Jones, also confirmed the news.

Bowie, born David Robert Jones, released 25 albums in his career as well as acting in several films.

Bowie was known for his experimentation across diverse musical genres and his alter egos such as Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke.

He had kept a low profile in recent years after reportedly suffering a heart attack in the 2000s, and his last live performance was at a 2006 charity show in New York.

Bowie had been married to model Iman since 1992, with whom he had a daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones.

More to follow …

Sri Hanuraga - To The Universe (2015)

Source & Label: Moonjune Records

Indonesian jazz pianist Sri Hanuraga (Aga) strikes again with a new album, “To The Universe”. On this album he is using European musicians: Mattia Magatelli (double bass/electric bass), Kristijan Krajncan (drums) and Rodrigo Parejo Mateos (flute). This album contains original songs and some folk songs which are brilliantly re-arranged into challenging jazz compositions. The album is recorded in Amsterdam, mixed and mastered by Paul Rutschka,
Sri Hanuraga is am emerging Indonesian talent and versatile both on acoustic piano and electric keyboards, in jazz, ethno-jazz, fusion and progressive rock formats.
Sri Hanuraga has performed with several of his projects all around Indonesia, South-East Asia and in Europe (Holland, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, France, Monaco).
At the age of seventeen, Aga began to study Jazz piano with Indra Lesmana, the leading Jazz pianist in Indonesia. During that period he won the first prize at the JGTC Competition, and performed at some major Jazz festivals in Indonesia including the International Java Jazz Festival 2005. By nineteen, he moved to Amsterdam to study Jazz piano at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. In April 2006, Aga won the soloist prize at the East of Eastern Jazz Festival in Nijmegen and January 2009 again he won the second prize in the YPF Jazz Piano Competition (judge : Jacky Terrason, John Taylor, Antonio Farao, Enrico Pieranunzi and Bobo Stenson)
2011, Aga was awarded with the “The Indonesian Young Talent Award” by the Java Jazz Festival. Soon after that, he won The European Keep an Eye Jazz Award 2011 for the category “Best Band” with the Daniel Master Quartet and June 2011 Aga graduated summa cum laude (10 with distinction) from the master program in Jazz piano performance at The Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
His main jazz piano influences are Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau, McCoy Tyner and the Indonesian piano icons Dwiki Dharmawan, Riza Arshad and Indra Lesmana.




Alessandro Fongaro - Neither More Nor Less (2016)

The Amsterdam-based Keep an Eye Foundation, is a Dutch government sponsored program for developing artists across many creative disciplines. Their jazz program culminates in an annual award competition for new talent and in 2014, bassist Alessandro Fongaro was awarded sponsorship that has now resulted in the quintet release of Neither More Nor Less.

A native of Valdagno, Italy, now living in the Netherlands (following a student exchange program in which he participated), Fongaro has been pursuing jazz since the age of sixteen. With a strong business sense to go with his musical aptitude, Fongaro attended the Rotterdam-based international university, Codarts, an institution that stresses a more rounded business management approach for musicians and other artists. Fongaro, though an expatriate at the moment, has not turned his back on Italy and hopes to return and work with that country's own fine jazz musicians.

It was at Codarts that Fongaro assembled an international band of very talented musicians that allowed him to share the musical decision making process, often in the old-world setting of the dinner table. It adds a kind of charm to music that is often progressive but with mainstream grounding and a strong sense of melodicism. Joining him are Dutch saxophonist Donald Simoen, Italian guitarist Federico Castelli, Belgium native Thomas Maasz on piano and Hungarian drummer Attila Gyarfas. All in their twenties, the group benefits from Fongaro's original compositions which play to the strengths of the individuals while observing the best practices in group dynamics.

"Five Months" takes its time building, eventually providing a high-energy improvisational setting for Maasz before returning to the main theme. Castelli's fluid guitar takes center stage on the title track and "KG" is a charismatic ballad that showcases Simoen and Maasz at their most lyrical. It's not until "The Traveller"—which may well be a Fongaro autobiographical composition—that we hear an extended demonstration of the leader's own superb skills on the double base followed by another exhilarating solo from Maasz. Gyarfas' subltle—and not so subtle—manipulations keeps these pieces coherent while constantly in motion. The outlier on Neither More Nor Less is the closing piece, a harder edged "Blues Not," that gives all the players a chance to cut loose.

Neither More Nor Less is a fine debut from some very talented artists that are just barely out of the gate in their musical careers. There are no wasted spaces on this album and it engages from the outset, wisely taking time to breath when the pace requires a bit of a sensory cool-down. While Fongaro is a talent to watch, all the players here deserve equal attention.

Five Months
Neither More Nor Less
The Traveller
Prelude to a Loss
Blues Not

Donald Simoen (Alto Sax)
Federico Castelli (Guitar)
Thomas Maasz (Piano)

Alessandro Fongaro (Double bass and Compositions)
Attila Gyarfas (Drums)

Recorded at "Fattoria Musica", Osnabrück, Germany
April 28 & 29, 2015


Enrique Haneine - Instants of Time (2016)



Artist: Enrique Haneine
CD Title: Instants of Time
Label: Elegant Walk Records
Add Date: January 11, 2016
Street Date: January 8, 2016


Elegant Walk Records is proud to present Instants of Time the latest offering from Enrique Haneine. Reflective of the lineage of his life, an influence of Jazz, Lebanese and Latin flavors is expressed through 13 original compositions where Enrique’s touch and approach on the drums create a unique tone that is joined and embellished by a group of incredible musicians with free spirited energy.

We can hear how Haneine’s intense and complex structure of the compositions, which serve as a point of departure for free improvisation, is the defining character of the work and how the delicate balance can be felt with the total freedom of expression of the improvisers. The compositions are the main characters, an important framework that the band goes to work with and how this relates to people, places and another time.

Instants of Time is about experiencing music as a direct expression and reflection of the heritage and lineage of the living syncretism grounded on the natural musical influences and traditions of Middle Eastern, Latin and Jazz languages. Through his journey, Enrique has been brewing in his heart free improvisations founded on these traditions, linking the dots from the Cedars of Lebanon, through the open veins of Latin America, to the melting-pot of New York City.

Through the elements of improvisation, spontaneity and supreme expression of freedom found in free jazz, Haneine’s work aims to wrap these cultures with the texture of music with no barriers, transcending both space and time. This is achieved fully with his original compositions. A personal touch on the compositions is felt because the music comes from the heart, years of study and exploration of a Lebanese descent, born and raised in Mexico City and established in New York City as a jazz world musician, brings forth the proposed elements of unification and evolution.

The title Instants of Time relates to the different levels and dimensions of the illusion of time, how breath equals time, the use of rhythms and odd meters, the afro-Cuban clave and time signatures like 17/4, 21/4, 29/8, and beyond, which may seem unusual but are so familiar to the universe, the different stages of life, other generations and its transcendence. The coincidences and synchronicities, like those moments that make you feel so connected through those invisible strings of inner journeys that unite humans and that only become visible in the instant when they occur.

What makes this offering so uniquely special is the use of varied rhythms, the space, the timing, the unusual meters but so familiar to the universe, the coincidence and synchronicity, those moments, the story. The present moment, which is now past and future defining. Precious vulnerability, the angular cohesiveness, the lineage, the effortless energy, the sounds, the symphony of silence, the never ending journey with no beginning. The current time transcending with elegant successiveness...... Enjoy!

Jazz World Musician, Composer, Pianist, Drummer, Improviser, Educator. Currently living in New York City and born in Mexico City from Lebanese descent.

Haneine was raised in Mexico, immersed in Latin groove, and heavily underpinned with classical and jazz studies, is why his music extends from the soul with influences from his heritage. It is a powerful sound, the lineage traces its way into the ancient world, a history of music that he carries of his life story.

He is known for his versatile performances and leadership in the music scene, Haneine has grown as both a soloist, band leader, and member of numerous bands, his superb mastery of multiple styles has afforded him the pleasure and honor of performing and collaborating alongside numerous great musicians, which has influenced and informed his unique personal style, that blends innovative technique with uninhibited, yet intelligent improvisation.

Haneine’s incredible energy, dedication and love for life and music can be felt by the way he expresses the influence of the different cultures and his vast education, his academic achievements include holding four degrees, including the life experiences he has been exposed to by giving back and continuing the constant search which is exhibited by the sound achieved in his music.

Immediately recognized for his ability and presence, Haneine has won international jazz competitions and received multiple music awards, his reputation as a brilliant artist and talented arranger are well deserved, his repertoire has evolved and matured into the realm of free jazz, standards and Latin jazz forays. Ranging from his past role as music director for Ricky Martin and for numerous productions, performing and collaborating with some of the greatest jazz musicians, a winner of the Jane Jarvis Jazz Competition, voted All About Jazz New York’s Best of 2005 Albums of the Year, Grammy Nominated for his performance on Best Latin Jazz Album 2013 are just a few of the accomplishments Haneine enjoys.

Though his experiences are vast Haneine has had a desire and pull to explore upon free improvisations, founded in Jazz, Latin, and Lebanese traditions, linking the dots from the Cedars of Lebanon, through the open veins of the beloved Latin America, to the melting-pot of New York City.

His most recent recording entitled INSTANTS OF TIME will be released at the beginning of January of 2016 and will include 13 original compositions that take you through a journey with free improvisations founded on the Jazz, Latin and middle eastern flavors, innovating with extended rhythmic groupings, odd meters, fascinating intervallic melodies and contemporary harmonies serving as a point of departure and creating a setting where free-jazz is welcomed and nurtured.

Track, Time (All Tracks by Enrique Haneine)
01. Bordeaux 7:08
02. Angularity Within 5:09
03. If You Know What I Mean 5:50
04. Houston 4:17
05. Esperanza 4:21
06. Slippery When Dry 4:09
07. Inside the Journey 6:32
08. Color and Space 6:10
09. By Choice 7:01
10.The East Side of Lloyd 5:25
11.The Tear and Smile of an Angel 6:09
12.Let the Cedar Tell the Story 6:24
13.Who’s Willing 6:03

Player and instrument:
Lori Cotler - Voice (1,5 & 7)
Lex Samu - Trumpet
Catherine Sikora - Tenor and Soprano Saxophones
Michael Rorby - Trombone
Carlo de Rosa - Acoustic Bass
Enrique Haneine - Drums, Cymbals, Udu Drum & Tambourine