Thursday, March 3, 2016

Conrad Herwig & Igor Butman - Reflections (2016)

Source & Label: Criss Cross

On Reflections, a co-led sextet recital comprising two charts from Russian tenor saxophonist-bandleader Igor Butman and six from trombonist Conrad Herwig.
For the tenth CD that Herwig has either led or co-led for Criss Cross since 1997, he recruits trumpeter (and Criss Cross veteran) Alex Sipiagin to round out the front line, and a killer rhythm section comprising pianist David Kikoski, bassist Kenny Davis and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts.
Well-known as the leader and guiding intelligence of the Moscow State Jazz Orchestra, Butman, in a rare sideman appearance with a combo of New York A-listers, brings his A-game, improvising with heat and logic that his partners match throughout.



Donald Edwards - Prelude To Real Life (2016)

Source & Label: Criss Cross

 On his second Criss Cross leader date, Prelude to Real Life, drummer Donald Edwards picks up where he left off with the next installment of an autobiographical narrative in notes and tones.

Whereas in his debut, Evolution of an Influenced Mind (Criss 1365), Edwards conveyed the story of his formative years as a musician with eleven original compositions, here he addresses themes of love, family and fatherhood with an engaging suite comprising six kinetic, diverse originals of his and one by Alex Sipiagin, two personalized standards (Thelonious Monk's Skippy; Benny Golson's Stablemates); and three textural drum interludes.

Rejoining him from the first date are pianist Orrin Evans and tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, both Criss Cross veterans, guitarist David Gilmore, while rising star Luques Curtis assuming the bass chair. Edwards' old friend Nicholas Payton plays keyboards on three tracks, and eminent New York singer Vivian Sessoms lends her voice to three selections.

Edwards unifies the proceedings with the big beat, impeccable taste, and creative spirit that have made him a New York first-caller since he moved to the Apple 15 years ago. 



Misha Tsiganov - Spring Feelings (2016)

Label: Criss Cross
Source: Proper Music

For his second Criss Cross release, 'Spring Feelings', pianist Misha Tsiganov presents a program containing five originals and four standards, each bearing Tsiganov's sui generis arranging stamp, tailored to the tonal personalities of his world-class personnel.

Returning from his successful debut, 'Artistry of the Standard' (CRISS1367CD), are trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake and drummer Donald Edwards, with bassist Hans Glawischnig joining the team.

As on the first recording, the musicians surefootedly, virtuosically navigate the blend of mixed meters, shifting tempos, changing keys and reharmonisations with which Tsiganov dresses up his beautiful melodies in order to insure, as he stated in the liner notes of 'Artistry of the Standard', "that something is happening always, so the listener doesn't fall asleep."


Zach Larmer Electric Band - Inner Circle (2016)

Label: Self Released
Source: Cdbaby

I became interested in the concept behind this record years ago, when I read a commencement address by Kurt Vonnegut. He spoke about how historically, we've lived with our extended families our whole lives in a clan-like setting. We were surrounded by people who we knew deeply, and who we could rely upon.

Moving away from our families at 18, or even younger, is a recent societal trend. Kurt recognized the necessity of creating a synthetic family, in order to fulfill our biological desire for closeness with others.

I’ve been fascinated with this concept ever since, and I’ve felt a drive to be a part of a sub community of likeminded individuals ever since I arrived here in Miami. As this has come to fruition over the past few years, it has become fully evident to me just how powerful this concept is.

What Kurt spoke of goes far beyond stemming the tide of loneliness. As people’s lives collide, we meet many, get to know some, and fall deeply intwined with a certain few, and with their support, the possibilities are endless. This project was born solely through collaboration with these people that I am so blessed and honored to call my Inner Circle. - Zach Larmer

1. On The Dock 08:49
2. Garden Of Eden
3. Same As It Ever Was
4. Inner Circle
5. I Left It Bayou
6. Friedrichshain
7. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise

Zach Larmer - Guitar
John Daversa - Trumpet, EVI
Brian Lynch - Trumpet
Aldo Salvent - Saxophone
Tal Cohen - Keyboards
Juan Pablo Diaz - Bass
Jermaine Walden - Bass
Rodolfo Zuniga - Drums
David Chiverton - Drums 



Jonathan Greenstein - Vol. 1 (EP 2016)

Label: Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Records

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Records proudly announces the January 29 release of “Vol 1”, the first of three EP’s saxophonist and composer Jonathan Greenstein plans to release over the course of this year. Inspired by the speed in which Indie and Electronic musicians can now produce new material, Greenstein has turned his focus to releasing more music, documenting his artistic journey and connecting faster to his growing audience. The three part series is an exploration of modern jazz drawn from a palette of modern sounds. Along with Greenstein, Vol 1 features guitarist Gilad Hekselman, pianist Victor Gould, bassist Or Bareket and drummer Mark Whitfield Jr.

With an emphasis on the song, Greenstein’s music offers a fresh take on lyrical melodies and dynamic uses of space against flexible frameworks that push the boundaries of the traditional jazz form. Vol 1 begins the cycle with its roots

planted firmly in the modern jazz idiom with a wink of the grooves to come in Vol 2, eventually concluding with a distinct new beat to be heard on Vol 3.

“Vol 1 is a summarization of the past few years of my life and dreaming of what’s to come in song,” says Greenstein, “…it’s a quest to become part of the listeners life.”

Greenstein’s influences range from Rock and Hip Hop to Electronic and Alternative- all of which can be heard in varying degrees on the jazz foundation he’s laid in Vol 1’s six tracks. This cross-genre exploration is evident not just throughout the EP but also throughout the songs themselves. Particularly  " in Gm, Prelude” takes the listener from atmospheric Electronica to a hard-hitting rhythmic cacophony fronted by the captivating Whitfield before settling into a pulsing groove reminiscent of J. Dilla. Equally entrancing is Greenstein’s reimagining of Bjork’s ethereal “Who Is It” where he trades her signature cathedralesque bells for intricate reworking performed by his innovative quintet.

Contributing to his identifiable style are his jaw-dropping, energetic live shows that are known the bring audiences to their feet. Vol 1’s release will be marked by a special engagement at New York City’s famed Rockwood Music Hall on January 28.

1. Opening 03:44
2. Mechanics 07:22
3. HelpDaynaStephens.ORG in Gm, Prelude 02:43
4. Yuval's Cubism 05:01
5. Some Of These Guys (Read Books For Fun) 08:11
6. Who Is It (Bjork) 04:41
Jonathan Greenstein
Gilad Hekselman
Victor Gould
Or Bareket
Mark Whitfield Jr.



Phronesis - Life to Everything (Vinyl Edition) 2015

Life to Everything is the new live album by Anglo/Scandinavian trio Phronesis, recorded over three shows ‘in the round’ at The Cockpit, London as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival in November 2013. 

Since the success of their fourth album ‘Walking Dark’ two years ago, the trio have been on a meteoric rise, gaining acclaim from fans over two tours of the USA and Canada and a tour of Australia, whilst also rising to the forefront of the European club and festival scene. With so much time spent on the road and a reputation for spell-binding roller-coaster live performances, (which led to Jazzwise once describing them as one of the most exciting bands on the planet), it was natural for the band to want to record their fifth album in front of a live audience. In Høiby’s words – ‘performing live has been the strength of this trio from the start – it sparks an extra focus, excitement and joy. As the album title suggests – it’s where everything comes to life’.

Released April 7, 2014 

Recorded by Matt Robertson on 16th & 17th November 2013 over three performances at The Cockpit, London as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. 
Mixed by August Wanngren in Copenhagen, December 2013. Mastered by Thomas Eberger in Stockholm, December 2013. 
Photographs and cover by Dave Maric Produced by Phronesis

JASPER HØIBY double bass

01. Urban Control (Anton Eger) 
02. Phraternal (Ivo Neame) 
03. Behind Bars (Jasper Høiby) 
04. Song for Lost Nomads (Ivo Neame) 
05. Wings 2 the Mind (Jasper Høiby) 
06. Nine Lives (Jasper Høiby) 
07. Deep Space Dance (Ivo Neame) 
08. Herne Hill (Anton Eger) 
09. Dr Black (Anton Eger)

Bonus tracks

10. Charm Defensive (live from Jazzhouse, Copenhagen)
11. Democrazy (live from Jazzhouse, Copenhagen)
12. Lipwash (live from Jazzhouse, Copenhagen)