Sunday, April 24, 2016

Snarky Puppy - Culcha Vulcha (2016)

Source & Label: GroundUp Music

Fresh off of the heels of its tenth album, Family Dinner - Volume Two, the band is returning to its roots as an instrumental ensemble with a brand new collection of nine original songs. A departure from its signature live-from-the-studio film and audio style, the band spent a week in the middle of a pecan orchard at the remote Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, Texas, just a five minute walk from the Mexican border. With no cameras, no audience, and the opportunity to overdub, they have crafted an album much darker and moodier than any before it. The typical flash and bombastic moments that Snarky Puppy is known for have been replaced by a more patient, restrained, and sonically creative approach to both composition and performance. The melodies are intricate, the counterpoint is fluid, and groove reigns supreme in mixes that are bass and percussion-heavy.  

1. Tarova
2. Semente
3. Gemini
4. Grown folks
5. Beep box
6. Gø
7. The simple life
8. Palermo
9. Big ugly

Michael League: Bass, Composer, Bandleader
Bill Laurance: Keyboards
Justin Stanton: Trumpet, Keyboards
Shaun Martin: Keyboards
Bob Lanzetti: Guitar
Mark Lettieri: Guitar
Chris McQueen: Guitar
Mike Maher: Trumpet
Jay Jennings: Trumpet
Chris Bullock: Tenor Sax, Flute, Clarinet
Bob Reynolds: Saxophone
Nate Werth: Percussion
Robert "Sput" Searight: Drums
Cory Henry: Keyboards


Yiorgos Fakanas - Acrobat (2016)

Label: Ana Music

«Το έργο αυτό είναι γεμάτο Φως, έτσι θέλω να πιστεύω, αφού άλλωστε οι λέξεις Όραμα και Ελπίδα ήταν πάντοτε αυτές που καθοδηγούσαν τη Ζωή μου» δηλώνει ο δημιουργός Γιώργος Φακανάς. Και συνεχίζει εξηγώντας τον γενικό τίτλο της παρουσιαζόμενης, νέας κυκλοφορίας του ως εξής: «η μουσική που γράφουμε εμείς, για εδώ που ζούμε, στην Ελλάδα, ήταν, είναι και θα είναι πάντοτε δυστυχώς μια διαρκής ακροβασία. Είναι η ακροβασία που συμβαίνει σε κάθε δημιουργό ο οποίος σκεπτόμενος το επόμενό του βήμα, ακροβατεί με τα συναισθήματά του, ακροβατεί με τις ιδέες του μα και με αυτό καθαυτό το τελικό αποτέλεσμα…».
Με το φετινό του διεθνές κύημα ο αστείρευτος, χειμαρρώδης Φακανάς συνεχίζει το δύσβατο μοναχικό του μονοπάτι που τον θέλει να οδηγεί της jazz fusion στη χώρα μας, έχοντας για άλλη μια φορά δίπλα του επώνυμους ήρωές μας που συμπληρώνουν, ως επίτιμοι καλεσμένοι, τη σύναξη γιγάντων της ντόπιας σκηνής όπως οι Κοντραφούρης, Πατερέλης, Lynch, Ανδρέου, Marlieri. Και είναι γλυκόπικρη εδώ η παρουσία του αείμνηστου Lew Soloff στην τρομπέτα, αφού αποτελεί το τελευταίο δισκογράφημα του… Ο Dennis Chambers για άλλη μια φορά εντυπωσιάζει ακόμη και τους πιο υποψιασμένους από εμάς, πραγματοποιώντας μια από τις πιο περιπετειώδεις συμμετοχές του ever, διεκπεραιώνοντας παρτιτούρες σαν κι αυτές του Γιώργου για τις οποίες ο Stern δηλώνει: «η μουσικές του Γιώργου ανέκαθεν ήταν για μένα μια κλωτσιά στον κώλο, μια νέα πρόκληση που με θέλει να εξωθώ τα όριά μου και μέσα από αυτό, να περνάω πανέμορφα! Και αυτό που με εντυπωσιάζει εδώ όπως πάντα άλλωστε, είναι το χάρισμα του αυτοδίδακτου Dennis που δεν ξέρει να διαβάζει παρτιτούρες, και όμως για άλλη μια φορά με αποσβολώνει παίζοντας τις κάλτσες του!»…
Οι οκτώ πρωτότυπες συνθέσεις του δημιουργού έχουν γεννηθεί την τελευταία δεκαετία και συμπληρώνονται εδώ με τη σουίτα “No Princes, No Island, No God” που αποτελείται από τέσσερα μέρη και κλείνει φαντασμαγορικά την αυλαία του Acrobat, όπως και μια ευφάνταστη διασκευή του “Chameleon” που ανήκει στον Herbie Hancock. Η παραγωγή τέλος κρίνεται έως και υποδειγματική, τοποθετώντας το εν λόγω εγχείρημα δικαιωματικά και ολοκληρωτικά στην αρένα της παγκόσμιας σκηνής του fusion.

1. Acrobat
2. Notos
3. Senza
4. The World of Fun
5. Breath
6. Chameleon
7. Avalon
8. Breath, Pt. 2
9. Oratios
10. No Princess, No Island, No God, Pt. 1
11. No Princess, No Island, No God, Pt. 2
12. No Princess, No Island, No God, Pt. 3
13. No Princess, No Island, No God, Pt. 4

Yiorgos Fakanas
Mike Stern
Dennis Chambers
Lew Soloff


Butch Lacy / Jesper Løvdal / Kresten Osgood / Mark Dresser - Being Playing (2016)


Being Playing is a musical landscape that organically unfolds as a meditative story. The form is abstract and closer to the way of a modern classical composer than of straight ahead jazz.
This recording is a personal milestone for each of the musicians and opens up a new musical chapter in their musical odyssey.

The musicians come from different musical backgrounds, but do nevertheless have a clear mutual idea of how music has it’s own strong inner life, without the appearance of the musicians ego.

Mark Dresser is a legend in American improvised music and groundbreaking on the double bass, which he has given an entirely new voice. After many years of living in New York playing with Anthony Braxton, Tim Berne, Ray Andersson and John Zorn, he is now a professor at San Diego University where he met Butch Lacy 35 years ago.

Butch played at the time with Sarah Vaughan’s trio but shortly after he moved to Denmark where he has been living since. He has transformed the Danish jazz environment in many ways with his playing, as well as his charismatic teaching at conservatories all over the country. Butch Lacy has composed for both symphony orchestra and big band, and his Very Big Band. A combination of both was an important musical experiment in Denmark.

Jesper Løvdal is too young to have been taught by Butch Lacy in Copenhagen, but he was highly fascinated by his spiritual playing from a young age and has been playing duo with him for 10 years. When Mark Dresser, Butch Lacy and Jesper Løvdal met for a concert in Copenhagen where magic occurred from the first sound, it was a necessity to go into the studio and bring the young drummer that originally brought Butch and Jesper together, Kresten Osgood. Osgood has his roots in jazz but plays with an universal artistic expression which lives very much in the present moment, and melts together with the rest of the band.

Butch Lacy: piano
Jesper Løvdal: alto flute, tenor saxophone, contrabass clarinet
Mark Dresser: bass
Kresten Osgood: drums

Wizard of Os
Lacy Dresser



Joëlle Léandre 10 - Can You Hear Me? (2016)

Source & Label: Ayler Records

This hybrid piece, where for the first time the musician has agreed to play the problematic role and function of ‘composer’, can be read both as a form of achievement and as a founding act.
Indeed, ‘composing’, as she makes it clear here, with the structure constantly generating and encouraging individual expression, is nothing else for her than a transposition to ‘another stage’ of the improviser’s gesture and a transfusion into a band’s plural entity of the complex spread of a thought both intimate and collective, made even more unique by its will to be shared. […] Because she constantly feeds all her experience as an improviser into her writing, Léandre has clearly created, with "Can You Hear Me?", a major milestone in her already illustrious career.
(from Stéphane Ollivier’s liner notes)  

1. Can You Hear Me? 04:45
2. Can You Hear Me? 05:28
3. Can You Hear Me? 04:35
4. Can You Hear Me? 06:47
5. Can You Hear Me? 05:51
6. Can You Hear Me? 06:15
7. Can You Hear Me? 06:45
8. Can You Hear Me? 03:29
9. Can You Hear Me? 04:10
10.Can You Hear Me? (complete) 48:09

Jean-Luc Cappozzo, trumpet
Alexandra Grimal, saxophones
Jean-Brice Godet, clarinets
Christiane Bopp, trombone
Guillaume Aknine, electric guitar
Théo Ceccaldi, violin
Séverine Morfin, viola
Valentin Ceccaldi, cello
Joëlle Léandre, double-bass
Florian Satche, drums, percussion