Sunday, March 20, 2016

Mateusz Pulawski Lunar Quartet - Changes of Seasons (2016)

In the for him unknown, the western city, Amsterdam, cycling along the canals with the moon vividly shining over him, Mateusz Pulawski has decided to embrace Amsterdam as his new home. In 2012 he had moved here for his passion- music. Some get touched by the people, some by the cleanliness of the city. Mateusz Pulawski not, he’s got carried away by the moon.

The moonlight that reflected in the canals of Amsterdam has inspired him to write the music about the healing of a broken heart.

Like a common thread there runs the moon through his music. Therefore the composer and guitarist Mateusz Pulawski founded the Lunar Quartet and with this group he released his debut album ‘Half Moon Heart’ in December 2014. Mateusz presented his album a.o. in the Netherlands, Poland and Belgium.

Mateusz Pulawski Lunar Quartet ‘Half Moon Heart’ (2014)
Leah Kline ‘This Precious Life’ (2015)
Deborah J. Carter ‘Diggin’ The Duke!’ (2015)
Esther van Hees ‘…’ (to be released in 2015)

Finalist of the ‘Jazz Nad Odra 2012” competition in Wroclaw in Poland
Finalist of the ‘Jazz Nad Odra 2013” competition in Wroclaw in Polen
Semi-Finalist of the ‘Keep an Eye International Jazz Award 2014’ competition in Amsterdam
Incentive Prize in the ‘Keep an Eye International Jazz Award 2015’ competition in Amsterdam
Third Prize in the ‘Dortse Sena Jazzprijs 2015′ in Dordrecht

The most important venues in the Netherlands where Pulawski performed:
Bimhuis (Amsterdam), North Sea Jazz Club (Amsterdam), Lantaarn Venster (Rotterdam), Bird (Rotterdam), Paradox (Tilburg), Gitaarsalon (Enkhuizen), Brinkhuis (Laren), Cultuurschip Thor (Zwolle), Goois Jazz Festival (Bussum), Meerjazz Festival (Hoofddorp), Grachtenfestival (Amsterdam), Jazzdag (Rotterdam), Big Rivers Festival (Dordrecht), Jazz in de Gracht Festival (Den Haag)

Passion and irresistible experience. The music, settled in the acoustic jazz genre, is a pure flow of emotions reinforced by skillful play of the fellow musicians over a deeply grounded structure. Based on respect to the tradition, the mutual vision on music soars towards the freedom of expression and interpretation. That togetherness breaks all the existing limits and connects improvising musicians with listeners, enriching both sides.

Pulawski received musical training in Poland. At the beginning of 2012 he has got accepted to Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where he currently studies jazz guitar. Mateusz is well known for his accompaniment skills therefore he gets asked to play with many singers. That’s how his fixed duo with a Belgian singer Esther Van Hees came into existence. Together they took part in the semi-finals of the Keep an Eye International Jazz Award 2015 and in 2016 their first duo album will be released.

Mateusz Pulawski, guitar
Gideon Tazelaar, tenor sax
Hendrik Mueller, bass
Stefan Franssen, drums

Special Guests

Evgenii Bondarev, trumpet
Esther van Hees, vocals, lyrics

1. The Secret of Herons
2. New Life Born in the Heart of the Heart
3. What Is Hard to Find (feat. Esther van Hees)
4. Juju
5. Noc nad Swidnica (feat. Esther van Hees & Evgenii Bondarev)
6. Change of Seasons
7. The Thought of Me Is There
8. Still into Bop
9. All Alone



Cory Henry - The Revival (Live) 2016

The truly joyful noise of Cory Henry’s B-3 needs almost no accompaniment on this live solo album of gospel, jazz, and R&B classics, which were recorded and filmed with an audience at the Greater Temple of Praise in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

As a member of Snarky Puppy and an in-demand sideman, Henry plays any number keyboards, but the B-3 was his first instrument, and these performances display his great love of the mighty organ. By turns soulful, church-y, playful, restrained, and virtuosic, Henry takes full possession of well-loved songs, beginning with gospel tunes including “He Has Made Me Glad” and “Precious Lord,” and then he is joined by vocalist Jeffrey White on “Old Rugged Cross.” In this context, Henry's version of "If You're Happy and You Know It" takes on a gospel quality, as well, though he adds the irreverent line, "If you're happy and you know it, touch your neighbor."

Secular songs range from Coltrane's "Giant Steps" to The Beatles' "Yesterday" to Stevie Wonder's "All in Love Is Fair," but we can't stress enough how much Henry makes these songs his own. The very nature of the instrumentation—with mostly just B-3 and a little percussion on each song—takes each tune to a different place from the start, but Henry's arrangements masterfully bend the air and the percussive and harmonic qualities of the instrument in beautiful and eye-opening ways. 

And if you want to see how far back Henry's love of the Hammond goes, check him out as age four, at the beginning of a very enjoyable documentary about his career: Gotcha Now.


One of the finest Hammond B-3 organ players of his generation, Cory Henry was a child prodigy, playing both piano and organ by the time he was two years old, making his debut at the legendary Apollo Theater when he was only six. He has worked in the studio and toured with countless artists, including Yolanda Adams, Stanley Brown, Israel Houghton, P. Diddy, Kirk Franklin, Kenny Garrett (the 19-year-old Henry became a fixture in Garrett's touring band for three years), Donnie McClurkin, Boyz II Men, Michael McDonald, Bruce Springsteen, the Roots, and many others. He has also worked as a bandleader and producer as well as an in-demand sideman. Falling closer to the Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson side of the Hammond organ jazz genre than Jimmy Smith, with maybe a little Billy Preston tossed in, Henry at his best combines the best of both gospel and jazz in his playing. His albums as a bandleader include the 2010 holiday set Christmas with You, 2011's Leave You Alone, and 2012's Gotcha Now Doc. Since 2012, Henry has been a member of the acclaimed experimental jazz and funk ensemble Snarky Puppy, with whom he won a 2014 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance and a 2015 Grammy for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. In 2016, Henry released the gospel0infused solo effort The Revival. ~ Steve Leggett

Cory Henry, Hammond B-3 organ
Jeffrey White, vocals (04)

01. Lord's Prayer (Live)
02. He Has Made Me Glad (I Will Enter His Gates) [Live]
03. Precious Lord (Live)
04. Old Rugged Cross (feat. Jeffrey White)
05. NaaNaaNaa (Live)
06. That Is Why I’m Happy (Live)
07. If You’re Happy (And You Know It) [Live]
08. Giant Steps (Live)
09. All In Love Is Fair (Live)
10. Yesterday (Live)
11. I Want To Be Ready (Live)



Omer Avital - Abutbul Music (Bonus Track Version) 2016

Born in Israel to a Moroccan father and a Yemenite mother, now living in the U.S., the bassist, composer, bandleader, Omer Avital, is a major force in the New York music scene for over twenty years. Avital's genre-defying ensembles are pushing the boundaries of jazz expression with swing and spiritual sustenance in equal measure.

On this new album, recorded in Paris, Avital delivers a strong statement, with a powerful sound, joyful rhythms and oriental melodies that draw on gospel and soul. Avital is continually evolving contemporary jazz, rightly being called one of the most unique musicians of his generation.

01. Muhammad's Market
02. Three Four
03. Afrik
04. New Yemenite Song
05. Bed-Stuy
06. Bass Hijaz (intro to Ramat Gan)
07. Ramat Gan
08. Ayalat Hen
09. Eser (Middle Eastern Funk)

10. Zohar Smiles (Bonus Track)
11. Dr. Yon (Bonus Track)
12. Me and You Tonight (Bonus Track)

Omer Avital - double bass
Yonathan Avishai - piano
Asaf Yuria - tenor & soprano saxophones
Alexander Levin - tenor saxophone
Ofri Nehemya - drums

Produced by Omer Avital
Executive Producer - Pini Shavit