Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nicola Calgari Quartet (feat. Enrico Intra) - Ricordiamoci del Futuro (2016)

Die Musik des italienisch-schweizerischen Saxophon Spielers Nicola Calgari lässt sich am besten als lyrisch, fesselnd und zugleich als nicht zu bändigen, als eine Brücke zwischen der Schöpferkraft der Siebziger und eines gewissen zeitgenössischen Manierismus beschreiben; geformt aus heterogenen Elementen, aus Funky-Rythms bis hin zu lateinamerikanischen Einflüssen, aus Liedern in denen die Melodie eine absolut zentrale Rolle spielen, Momente in denen eine Pop-Jazz Ader, oder sogar postminimalistische Dimensionen zum Vorschein kommen, “bei dem nichtsdestotrotz ein Produkt bewundernswerter stilistischer Kohäsion zustande kommt." (Maurizio Franco). Mit Unterstützung des legendären Pianisten Enrico Intra als Gast und Mitverfasser, besteht Calgaris Quartett aus einigen der angesehensten Sidemen der italienischen Musikszene. Schweizer Jazz, italienisches Herz!

01. Time tai chi
02. Il coraggio è contagioso
03. Femen, femina, femen
04. Pieni poteri alla gente
05. Intraludes 2
06. La verità non può essere fermata
07. Free, condiviso, GNU
08. New's? Lewis!
09. Rivoluzione è donna
10. Se il clima fosse una banca...

Nicola Calgari: sax
Luca Dell'Anna: piano
Carmelo Isgrò: bass
Ivan Ciccarelli: drums, percussion
Enrico Intra: piano (Track 1/5)
Alessandro Melchiorre: electronics (Track 5)

Aufnahmestudio: Registrazioni da Nino, Varese IT
All compositions by Nicola Calgari (Winter Ticino Ed.), except 1, 8 by Enrico Intra (Alfa Music Ltd.) and 5 by Enrico Intra and Alessandro Melchiorre (Winter Ticino Ed.)
Recorded at Registrationi da Nino, Varese, Italy
Mastering: Newmastering Studio, Milan, Italy
Album artwork and graphic design: Filippo Sala


John Abercrombie, Richie Beirach, George Mraz, Peter Donald - The First Quartet (2015)

This 3-CD set with recordings from 1978 to 1980, issued in ECM’s acclaimed Old & New Masters series, returns some historically-important material to the catalogue, namely the albums Arcade, Abercrombie Quartet and M. The quartet with Richie Beirach, George Mraz and Peter Donald – John Abercrombie’s first touring band as a leader – was the group in which the guitarist defined some priorities, moving away from a jazz-rock period into a more spacious, impressionistic and original music. Abercrombie and pianist Beirach had a strong musical rapport as improvisers and wrote almost all of the band’s book between them. George Mraz and Peter Donald provided imaginative support. For this edition the recordings - made in Oslo and Ludwigsburg and produced by Manfred Eicher – were remastered from original analog sources.

John Abercrombie, Guitar, Mandolin Guitar
Richie Beirach, Piano
George Mraz, Double Bass
Peter Donald, Drums

CD 1

1. ARCADE (John Abercrombie) 09:43
2. NIGHTLAKE (Richie Beirach) 05:35
3. PARAMOUR (John Abercrombie) 05:09
4. NEPTUNE (Richie Beirach) 07:34
5. ALCHEMY (Richie Beirach) 11:34

CD 2

1. BLUE WOLF (John Abercrombie) 08:33
2. DEAR RAIN (John Abercrombie) 06:54
3. STRAY (Richie Beirach) 06:36
4. MADAGASCAR (Richie Beirach) 09:05
5. RIDDLES (Richie Beirach) 08:12
6. FOOLISH DOG (John Abercrombie) 06:18

CD 3

1. BOAT SONG (John Abercrombie) 09:57
2. M (John Abercrombie) 06:19
3. WHAT ARE THE RULES (Richie Beirach) 07:33
4. FLASHBACK (Richie Beirach) 06:17
5. TO BE (John Abercrombie) 05:17
6. VEILS (Richie Beirach) 05:44
7. PEBBLES (George Mraz) 04:45


Louis Pimentel - The Interstellar Group (2016)

Label: Self Released

This is my first recording project that I have decided to take up in the Summer of 2015. I had enough original music to create an album and great musicians that were available to record it, so I asked "Why not?". A lot of these compositions were written over the course of the two years when I first decided to take up composing. I am so proud on how these tracks have turned out! There are some great moments that have been recorded and I hope that you will enjoy listening as much as we had enjoyed playing it!

Most of these songs were written with an emotional connection that I would like to associate with them. I never felt that composing in its truest sense, should be an exercise but rather a catharsis for displaying a certain emotion.

"Level One" to me sounded like a fresh start where everything is open to interpretation. The piano hook reminds me of going to a temple and cleansing myself of past stresses.

"Searching" follows the same vibe where things are spread out. Shai Golan and Zach Ramacier take beautiful solos that really give the form shape!

"Always" sounds to me like a melancholy love song. It doesn't have the corny cheesing sound of most romantic songs yet retains an emotional connection to love. I always saw it as the end of a love story where things are eventually going to end and you have to accept that fact. I don't know, maybe thats just how I interpreted it based on life experiences. I found it very hard to gives this song a title, until I remember a specific quote from one of my favorite books I read as a kid.   Read more...

1. Level One 06:58
2. Searching 05:45
3. Always (For You) 07:56
4. Stream Of Consciousness 07:40
5. Cosmic Undulation 10:06
6. Pandemonium (Bonus Track) 07:25

Louis Pimentel (Tenor Sax, Compositions)
Shai Golan (Alto)
Zach Ramacier (Trumpet)
Adam Hersh (Piano)
Andy McCauley (Bass)
Kirk Portuguez (Drums)



Ben Monder - Amorphae (2015)

Guitarist Ben Monder first recorded for ECM as a member of the Paul Motian Band on “Garden of Eden” in 2004, and Amorphae was originally conceived as a series of duets for Ben and Paul. A first exploratory duo session was recorded in 2010. After Motian’s death the following year it was decided to expand and complete the project with another highly influential and innovative drummer, Andrew Cyrille, adding also Pete Rende on synthesizer on two pieces. So here we hear Monder solo, in duo with Motian, in duo with Cyrille, and in trio with Cyrille and Rende. This range of expressive options casts light upon Monder’s musical concepts and their adaptability. A guitarist’s guitarist, Monder’s also a master of texture and unusual voicings, creating what one reviewer has called “detailed sonic landscapes of mystery and power”. All the music on Amorphae is his, apart from “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’”, the Rodgers & Hammerstein chestnut from the musical Oklahoma!, performed here by Monder and Motian.

Ben Monder, Electric Guitar, Electric Baritone Guitar
Pete Rende, Synthesizer
Andrew Cyrille, Drums
Paul Motian, Drums

1. TENDRILS 05:21
5. ZYTHUM 07:06
6. TRIFFIDS 02:55


Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah - Stretch Music (Introducing Elena Pinderhughes) 2015

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah plays three different horns on his new album, Stretch Music (Introducing Elena Pinderhughes)-- the siren, the sirenette, and the reverse flugelhorn. They're horns by his own design. They are somewhat more difficult to play than the typical trumpet. They are as attuned to his style of play-- crafted, beaten and broken and lovingly bent to make music likely only he can make. They are as crafted and designed as his band, a group that has gone through a certain degree of molding over the years as well, and has been through its own loving process of craft together to make this music. They function as tools for expression, specialized as if for a surgeon forging new roads through medicine. Only this man can wield these horns, like John Henry's hammer. It's careful craft and attention to detail and design that to this same degree is the essence of Stretch Music, another in a fine line of Christian Scott albums that always seem to arrive at just the perfect times.

Stretch Music feels nimbler than Scott aTunde Adjuah's last self-titled outing back in 2012. The construction feels the same, the song elements of Scott's model for album construction over the years are still there-- the plucky interludes from Lawrence Fields' augmented piano, Matt Stevens rocking out on the guitar in a few touches, Kris Funn holding down the bassline as usual. Yet the largess of Scott's last release is pared back here. The ever-constant artistic philosophy of doing what works is what guides what appears to be trimming the fat to make a lean, agile album that can be as intense as it is intensely enjoyable.

This new band is fantastic. Kris Funn remains a longstanding member of Scott's group, holding down the pocket in such a signature way he's like a butt groove in your favorite recliner, and how one can be so intimately aware of every contour in said butt groove-- its hills and valleys, the way one can lean in the recliner a certain way for added comfort when days are more trying or find the crest of the groove when excitement peaks and one finds oneself and the edge of one's seat. Funn is a rock, yet he is a rock who is by no means immune to erosion, and he finds this erosion as a constant refinement. Corey King is the sound of consistency on the trombone, making greatness happen in accents and accompaniment. He has always been brilliant as an arranger and it's that structural sense on the trombone that fits so well alongside Scott's horns. Lawrence Fields remains a constant lyrical presence on the keys-- innovative, expressive, workman-like in his supportive comping and able to soar like a bird in his soloing. Lawrence Fields never fails to impress.

The trade off on guitars between longstanding member Matthew Stevens on four songs here and New Orleans fixture Cliff Hines throughout the rest of the album speaks to its crafting. Both certainly rock, but Hines' more electronic influences and filtering of his instrument make for a more layered, cerebral sound that blurs the musical lines here. Contrasted with Stevens' more upfront guitar on songs like "West of the West" or "The Last Chieftain" indicate an album with a varied vibe that speaks not only to where this band has been before and what it is in this iteration, but also once again to the pains taken to the album's crafting. In a similar sense, the dual percussion from Corey Fonville on drums and electronic pads and Joe Dyson, Jr. on Pan-African drums and electronic pads on dueling left and right audio channels speaks to the interplay in this music and with this group. This is a pair of spectacular percussionists and they both sound great together here.

In a long line of constant realizations on my part, like Phil Connors making an interminable trip to Punxsutawney, PA, I'm reminded once again to never sleep on vibraphonist Warren Wolf. And it must be said that newcomer flutist Elena Pinderhughes is so bright and airy and technical a voice on her instrument, it makes all the fanfare of including her name in the album title all the more apt. She fits in this group quite well and adds an extra texture wholly welcome.

We're fans of Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah here at Nextbop, this much is clear. He has been a constant support for us and an incredible energy. Disclosing this fact is necessary for the sake of journalistic integrity, but also because it goes to state the kind of person Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is to make this kind of music, to pull these musicians together, to grow as an artist in such a way with an understanding of melding old legacies with new inclinations, of looking forward at what art can make in album and in app format (IT'S NOT ON ANDROID YET, THO!), of taking pains about craft to such an extent that the physical form of things thought to be common and convention just won't suffice sometimes when the task calls to make something new. The conventions of technology had to stretch. The conventions of composition had to stretch. The conventions of Scott's band had to stretch. The conventions of how he made an album had to stretch. The conventions of this music had to stretch. The conventions are still there, not contorted beyond recognition and could be appreciated still for being conventions -- the wheel is certainly not reinvented here and that's certainly still a good thing -- but this is certainly a shifting of those conventions. For an album called Stretch Music, it is certainly an apt title. This is something new from Christian Scott-- he who is stretching the genre of jazz into something more, and the rest of us continue to stretch our minds and ears to contain it.

01. Sunrise in Beijing (Feat. Elena Pinderhughes) 05:04
02. TWIN 04:15
03. Perspectives 04:22
04. West of the West 08:07
05. Liberation over Gangsterism (Feat. Elena Pinderhughes) 04:09
06. The Corner (Feat. Braxton Cook) 01:34
07. Of a New Cool 07:34
08. Runnin 7's 02:07
09. Tantric 04:24
10. The Last Chieftain (Feat. Matthew Stevens) 07:11
11. The Horizon 02:10

Released September 18, 2015 

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah - Trumpet, Sirenette and Reverse Flugelhorn

Elena Pinderhughes - Flute 
Braxton Cook - Alto, Straight Alto 
Corey King - Trombone 
Cliff Hines - Guitar 
Lawrence Fields – Piano, Fender Rhodes 
Kris Funn – Bass 
Corey Fonville ‒ Drums, SPD-SX pad (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10) 
Joe Dyson Jr. - Pan African Drums, SPD-SX (tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) 

Special Guests
Matthew Stevens - Guitar (tracks 4, 5, 7, 10) 
Warren Wolf - Vibes (tracks 3, 7)