Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Girshevich Trio - Algorithmic Society (2016) TAPESTRY / CAPRI RECORDS

Featuring 12-year-old drummer Aleks Girshevich with legendary bassist Eddie Gomez and veteran pianist Vlad Girshevich

“Pianist/composer Vlad Girshevich is a thrilling and adventurous talent.” – Bass Players United

“Folks on the Colorado music scene have been talking for years about the tremendously talented drummer Aleks Girshevich, who was born in 2001.” – All About Jazz

Algorithmic Society, the debut recording from the Gershevich Trio, brings together three generations of musicians: 12-year-old drum prodigy Aleks Girshevich, his father veteran pianist Vlad Girshevich and legendary bassist Eddie Gomez.  Their mutual respect shines through on this album of originals written by the father and son team with Aleks creating the grooves and Vlad penning the melodies.
Aleks was greatly inspired by the Grammy winning Cuban percussionist Horacio “el Negro” Hernandez. The tunes incorporate influences of great composers from the history of music while also integrating more modern ideas. 

The music is augmented by a string section on several tracks and on Healing the Chaos, Rony Barrak plays Darbouka, Rig and Dal adding a Middle Eastern flair. 

A classically trained pianist from Uzbekistan, Vlad Girshevich began his training at the age of 4 years old. He became interested in jazz as a teenager and never looked back. He moved to Colorado in the early 90’s and has performed with a wide range of jazz greats: Bob Berg, Stanley Jordan, Ernie Watts and, while at the Thelonious Monk Institute at Jazz Aspen/Snowmass, he performed with Jerry Gonzales, Arturo Sandoval, and the legendary drummer Horacio “el Negro” Hernandez.  He has performed at numerous jazz festivals including the Rostov Jazz Festival, Santa Fe Jazz Festival, Vail Jazz Festival, and the Windham Chamber Festival among others. His son Aleks joined his trio when he was only 10 years old. 

Aleks Girshevich released his first trio CD at age 11 entitled Tomorrow which received “a first rate 5 star release” from Critical Jazz and 4 ½ stars from All About Jazz. He was named one of the Best Student Musicians of 2015 in DownBeat Student Music Awards in the category of “Jazz Soloist – Drums.”

Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks Darrell Katz and OddSong (2016)


Jailhouse Doc with Holes in Her Socks available September 30, 2016 on JCA Records 

Featuring the poetry of the late Paula Tatarunis set to Katz’s music and performed by OddSong with vocalist Rebecca Shrimpton; saxophonists Phil Scarff, Melanie Howell Brooks, Jim Hobbs and Rick Stone; marimba player Vessela Stoyanova; violinist Helen Sherrah-Davies; JCA Winds, and the JCA Orchestra with special guest Oliver Lake

 “Katz has synthesized a wide range of influences including modern classical, folk/blues traditions, and the entire jazz legacy into a mature and personal compositional style.” ⎯ Boston Phoenix

CD Release Concert Sunday, October 2 at the Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA

With Jailhouse Doc with Holes in Her Socks, jazz composer Darrell Katz introduces his latest ensemble, OddSong, an unusual and perfectly balanced group featuring four saxophones, violin, vibraphone/marimba, and voice. Listeners familiar with Katz’s work with the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra (JCA Orchestra) will recognize many of the compositions. But Katz, who has consistently striven to push himself as a composer, has reimagined them for the more intimate setting of OddSong. Katz, a strikingly original compositional voice for more than 30 years, once again finds new orchestral colors, new moments of beauty, and new ways to inspire the improvisers in his band to great heights. 

Many of the album’s new arrangements, as well as five new compositions, are settings of the poetry of the late poet Paula Tatarunis, whose words have inspired some of Katz’s best work, and her spirit permeates the album. She provided the name of the ensemble in a poem in which she addressed Katz, her husband, as “Oddsong.” And she was very much on the mind of everyone in the studio as the album was recorded while she was in critical condition in the hospital. “This album was not originally conceived as an homage to Paula; I just wanted to present the new group,” Katz says. “But it became an unintended tribute to her when she tragically died four months later. She will always be part of my life, and in my heart forever.”

From the beginning of the project, Katz was primarily interested in exploring the sonic potential of his new ensemble. “One of the challenges of a group like this is to find a way to keep the momentum going without drums and bass,” Katz says. “Since I’ve composed for and recorded with the JCA Sax Quartet (I’m Me and You’re Not, 1998), I already had some ideas. The additional instruments gave me more voices, colors, and textures to work with. And I knew they would blend really well.”

Indeed, Katz consistently finds new ways to drive the music. There’s Melanie Howell Brooks’s thundering baritone sax line that both anchors and drives the title track. The steady pulse of Vessela Stoyanova’s marimba provides a smoothly rolling base for the lurching, zig-zag saxophones on “Tell Time,” pitting regular and irregular rhythms against each other. And on “Red Blue” Katz’s riffs and supporting motifs generate swinging forward motion.

Without drums, Katz is also free to explore subtle timbres and dynamics and he often breaks the ensemble down into smaller subgroupings to keep the sound varied. The result is a shifting sonic tapestry on “Lemmings” as duo and trio combinations of instruments take turns accompanying Shrimpton. On “Squirrel” and “Gone Now,” instrumental commentary combining classical, jazz, and blues inflections can be dark and dense or bright and airy, comical or serious. 

Katz excels at composing music that mirrors the tone of the words and in wedding poetic cadences to musical ones. The near indivisibility of words and music on “Like a Wind,” from the novel, Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson, and Tatarunis’s darkly humorous “Lemmings” are good examples. Once again, as she has on many previous JCA Orchestra albums, vocalist Rebecca Shrimpton brings the words to glorious life with her crystalline voice and sensitive attention to each poem’s meaning. 

Katz is also a composer dedicated to unleashing improvisers to do their thing. “Nothing pleases me more then to let creative musicians loose on a pathway that I’ve been able to open for them,” he says. Highlights include a scorching solo by Jim Hobbs and a beautiful alto duet between Phil Scarff and Rick Stone on “Jailhouse Doc with Holes in her Socks,” Scarff’s elegant soprano solo on Sherrah-Davies’s arrangement of Astor Piazzolla’s “LLAP Libertango,” and a rollicking solo by special guest Oliver Lake on a live performance of “The Red Blues/Red Blue” with the JCA Orchestra. Violinist Helen Sherrah-Davies projects great sadness and dignity during her solo on “Libertango.” There are several passages of collective improvisation throughout the album, most notably the completely improvised “Prayer,” which opens the disc. 

The Boston Phoenix called musician-composer-bandleader-educator Darrell Katz "one of Boston's most ambitious and provocative jazz composers." The paper could just as easily have said one of the entire jazz world’s most ambitious and provocative composers. His work with the JCA Orchestra, as documented on 10 previous CDs, shows a composer of uncommon range and broad vision, able to weave influences from every musical sphere into his own unique voice. His 2015 release, Why Do You Ride?, includes “Wheelworks,” a setting of quotations that Albert Einstein may or may not have said. In a 4-star DownBeat review, Ken Micallef called it, “rich, swinging and often surprising … Why Do You Ride? balances modern music with timeless intellectual pursuits (and humor).” Jazz de Gama described it as “pure and mad … Borges-like and sublime … a breathtaking eight-part invention that delights as much as it mystifies and dazzles at the same time.”

As director of the Jazz Composers Alliance (JCA), an organization he helped found in 1985, Katz has been a strong proponent of artist self-empowerment, providing a vehicle for forward-thinking composers to hear their works realized by some of Boston’s best musician-improvisers. The artist-run Julius Hemphill Composition Awards (1991-2001), which in its final year received 240 compositions from 28 countries, provided a means of international community building and a way for peers to acknowledge the work of their fellow composers. He has received a Massachusetts Artist Fellowship in composition, three Massachusetts Artist Fellowship finalist awards, a Jazz Fellowship Grant from the NEA, and grants from Meet the Composer, The Aaron Copland Fund, The New England Foundation For The Arts, the Artists Foundation, the National Association of Jazz Educators and three Readers Digest/ Margaret Jory copying grants, as well as a Faculty Fellowship from Berklee College of Music, where he currently teaches. 

Jailhouse Doc with Holes in Her Socks is another milestone in the three-decade journey of growth and discovery in the music of composer Darrell Katz. 

Jailhouse Doc with Holes in Her Socks available September 30, 2016 on JCA Records

Kaylé Brecher - This is Life (2016) KARI-ON PRODUCTIONS


New music from Slowly Rolling Camera & Dinosaur (2016) EDITION RECORDS


'Together, As One'

LAURA JURD trumpet & synth
ELLIOT GALVIN fender rhodes & hammond organ
CONOR CHAPLIN electric bass

OUT 16th SEPT 2016

The first 50 copies will be signed and numbered



'All Things'

Epic in both scale and sound, Slowly Rolling Camera’s new disc All Things, builds on their highly acclaimed self-titled album & EP ‘Into the Shadow’.

OUT 4th NOV 2016

The first 50 copies will be signed and numbered


Little Johnny Rivero "Music In Me" CD Release Party @ SOB's Thursday, September 29th

Little Johnny Rivero
"Music In Me"
CD Release Party
Thursday, September 29th
@ SOB's
204 Varick St
New York, NY 10014

New CD

"Music in Me marks a GIANT STEP for percussionist, composer, leader Little Johnny Rivero."
Tomas Peña – Editor and Chief, 


With one foot rooted in his native Puerto Rico and the other firmly planted New York City's "El Barrio," it is only fitting that Little Johnny Rivero's second effort as a leader titled, “Music in Me,” delivers its Latin Jazz groove with underpinnings of traditional Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms.

From the relentless, driving bata voicing in Alambique, to the haunting background chants that color, Africa My Land, to the staccato horn runs peppered throughout the title track, "Music in Me" delivers a unified theme of Latin Jazz, improvisation, and color.

"Ever since I was a young boy, I listened to a wide range of music," says Rivero, "including Tito Puente, Machito, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Tony Bennett, all of which my father had in his record collection. Also, there were always rumba jams. Inside of me is a Latin Jazz Rumba."

Music in Me features trumpeter Brian Lynch, alto saxophonist Louis Fouché, pianist Zaccai Curtis and bass player Luques Curtis. Special guests include trombonist Conrad Herwig, trumpeter Jonathan Powell, violinist Alfredo de la Fé, percussionists AnthonyCarrillo and Luisito Quintero, vocalists Manny Mieles and Edwin Ramos and Giovanni Almonte (spoken word).

The repertoire runs the gamut …

Mr. LP is dedicated to Martin Cohen, the founder of Latin Percussion and an inspiration.

Rivero first performed the tune, Let's Do It Again with pianist Zaccai Curtis and bassist Luques Curtis. When he commented on how much he liked the song, Zaccai replied, "Let's Do It Again!"

Little Giants is a Latin Jazz Mambo inspired by the words of arranger, Andy Guzman, who said to Rivero, "You're not little Johnny, you're a GIANT."

Palmieri, Much Respect is, a smooth cha-cha dedicated to Maestro, mentor Eddie Palmieri. "It makes me think of being on a smooth ride with Palmieri," says Rivero.

Africa My Land emphasizes the debt Afro-Caribbean music owes to the motherland. Giovanni Almonte contributes poetry and song.

"Once you hear Bombazúl, which features the original barrill de bombas, you'll feel like you're looking at the simple beauty of clear, blue sky," says Rivero. Louis Fouché adds just the right amount of color to the tune.

Afro Rykan Thoughts brings on the funk!

Alambique, is a nod to the beach in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico where rumberos hung out and jammed during the 1980s. The tune features Luisito Quintero and Alfredo de la Fe.

To date, Rivero has performed on nearly 100 recordings with La Sonora Ponceña, Eddie Palmieri, Bebo Valdés, Charlie Palmieri, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Paquito D' Rivera, Brian Lynch and Conrad Herwig among others.

Also, he has collaborated with such world-renowned percussionists such as Changuito, Giovanni Hidalgo, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, Angel "Cachete" Maldonado and legendary jazz drummers Joe Chambers and Ralph Peterson Jr.

Music in Me is sure to please listeners and dancers alike. Join Little Johnny Rivero as he pays homage to his roots, his musical guides and the rumba within.


Ph: 845-986-1677 /

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Ben Wendel - What We Bring (2016) MOTÉMA RECORDS

“A naturally inquisitive musician whose credentials branch out beyond jazz. He’s a member of Kneebody, a postmillennial groove band with a sizable following, as well as an accomplished solo artist and producer. His next album, ‘What We Bring,’ due out on Motéma in September, will feature a lithe postbop quartet, with Gerald Clayton on piano, Joe Sanders on bass and Henry Cole on drums.” - Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“Those who wish to be called creative musicians should actually create music, and hardly no one has done that better recently than Ben Wendel . . .” - Gary Fukushima, LAWeekly

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saxophonist/composer/bandleader/educator/catalyst Ben Wendel’s What We Bring, available September 9, 2016 on Motema Music (his 15th album as a leader or co-leader and his debut for Motema), is panegyrical, acknowledging the great legacy and lexicon that he has played and composed his way into. While composing the music for this album, it occurred to Wendel that the evolution of a musical genre, or artist, is a continuum that looks backwards and forwards at the same time. Wendel elaborated, “What We Bring refers to the experience, inspiration and shared wisdom that musicians collect and absorb throughout their lives, and how that is expressed through their art. All of the pieces on this album are dedicated to masters from the past, peers from the present and musicians of the future. In my opinion, nothing springs from a vacuum – all that we make is connected, influenced, and most importantly, indebted to what has been created before us and around us in the present day. This album expresses my continued acknowledgement and appreciation to all of those who have helped me along the path, both directly and indirectly.” Wendel added,

 “I get the most joy when I find ways to express my love for the bravery of the people who came before me, for the people who are doing this music now, and for the people who will do this music in the future” (from the feature on Wendel by Ted Panken, DownBeat Magazine, June 2016).

What impresses most about Wendel is that he has gleaned from past masters, and his peers, far more than technique and chops to become an artist who embodies the importance of finding your own voice, and the pluck to follow your inner compass. This is fully revealed and represented on What We Bring, which opens majestically and powerfully with “Amian”, a subconscious, compositional reaction to listening to Coltrane’s “Naima” hundreds of times in his formative years. Like “Naima”, “Amian” possesses a melody that floats over a constant bass note, with shifting chord qualities, offering myriad moods and colors.

“Fall” and “Spring” are two pieces repurposed from Wendel’s acclaimed Seasons project of 2015, featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, and in The New York Times (, “They were originally written as duo pieces for the exceptional pianists Taylor Eigsti and Aaron Parks. I felt they would be great vehicles for the quartet and decided to arrange them for this album”, commented Wendel.

“Doubt” is one of two covers on the album (the other being the standard “Solar”, given a highly-entertaining, brainy, odd-meter face lift by Wendel & co.), by the indie-rock band Wye Oak. “I fell in love with their music years ago and this track is hauntingly beautiful in its mood and simplicity. What We Bring also refers to what we listen to, and at this point, most jazz musicians listen to a wide spectrum of music outside of our field. I wanted to showcase something that had moved me along the way”, said Wendel.

“Song Song” is dedicated to the great Ahmad Jamal, and was inspired by his famous composition, “Poinciana”. “I was on tour with nothing to do one evening and watching countless performances of ‘Poinciana’ on YouTube. There’s something incredibly meditative about the piece that I’ve always loved – the rhythm section’s commitment to playing one beautiful groove throughout the song – not doing anything more, and most importantly, not needing to. I recall waking up the following morning with the bass line for ‘Song Song’ looping in my head”, explained Wendel.

“Soli” rocks and swings and, like the rest of the album, displays the band’s ability to conduct complex maneuvers in complete harmony with one another (the term “big ears” comes to mind). A track like this will surely send fledgling musicians scurrying to the shed, and prompt listeners to quickly hit “repeat.” “Soli” is a pre-written passage played in unison by multiple instruments. You can hear this technique used in everything from classical music to big band music and Wendel has always loved the sound of it. “In fact, I’ve always had at least one piece on each album that highlights this approach. Though I don’t know how long this streak will continue, I can say this was perhaps the most challenging one I’ve written to date”, said Wendel.

One of the most emotive and gorgeous songs on What We Bring is “Austin”, “dedicated to the incredibly talented pianist Austin Peralta, who left this world much too soon. I played with Austin on ‘Endless Planets’, his final album. I was deeply saddened by Austin’s passing and also incredibly moved at his funeral by the outpouring of love from friends, family and musical peers. Many of his personal letters and writing were read at the ceremony. I was struck by the depth of his inner life – something he didn’t show the outer world very much. I didn’t get to see this side of him until it was too late. This was something I was thinking about as I wrote the piece,” stated Wendel.

On What We Bring, Wendel’s camaraderie with his fellow musicians, Gerald Clayton (piano), Joe Sanders (bass) and Henry Cole (drums) greatly informed his artistic choices and inspired him. He has stated (in a recent feature by Bob Weinberg, Jazziz Magazine, Spring 2016) that, “it’s hard to know where the music starts and the friendship ends”, and that, “all of these layers of understanding and all the coded information that’s embedded in how you play together, it’s so intermingled.”

More on Ben Wendel: GRAMMY-nominated saxophonist Ben Wendel was born in Vancouver, Canada and raised in Los Angeles. Currently living in Brooklyn, NY, he has enjoyed a varied career as a performer, composer and producer. Highlights include multiple domestic and international tours with artists such as Ignacio Berroa, Tigran Hamasyan, Antonio Sanchez, Gerald Clayton, Eric Harland, Taylor Eigsti, Snoop Dogg and the artist formerly known as Prince. Ben is a founding member of the GRAMMY-nominated group Kneebody, currently signed with Concord Records and Brainfeeder Music.

As a composer, he has received an ASCAP Jazz Composer Award, the 2008 and 2011 Chamber Music America “New Works Grant” and most recently was awarded the Victor Lynch-Staunton award by the Canada Council For The Arts. He also co-wrote the score for John Krasinski’s adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.”

Ben’s recent work includes producing and playing in jazz and many other genres, including the GRAMMY-nominated album “Life Forum” for pianist Gerald Clayton on Concord Records, the new Kneedelus album (Kneebody + Daedelus), released on Brainfeeder and given a rave 8.0 review from Pitchfork, appearing on Julia Holter’s new film score, and collaborating with her on a new non-jazz album he is co-creating with Daedelus (the album will feature artists such as Terrace Martin, Knower and Mark Guiliana), producing an album for Folk/Americana artist Darryl Holter (a BMI Woody Guthrie Fellowship Recipient), playing on Jimmy Chamberlin’s (drummer from Smashing Pumpkins) new instrumental album, and producing live concerts at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, CA from 2008-2015, with the help of Quincy Jones and his production team. He also recently worked with conductor Kent Nagano in producing a series of concerts for the Festspiel Plus in Munich, Germany.

Ben is a former Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies at USC and a current Adjunct at the New School in NYC.  Educational outreach has been a constant in his career with over 250 masterclasses at various colleges, universities, high schools, and previous work with the LA Philharmonic Artist Program.

Ben has recorded for Sunnyside Records, Concord Records and Brainfeeder, with two solo albums under his belt, Simple Song (2009) and Frame (2012), a duo project with French-American pianist Dan Tepfer entitled Small Constructions (2013) and multiple Kneebody albums. His music video project, The Seasons, inspired by Tchaikovsky’s works of the same name, was released throughout 2015 and included guests such as Joshua Redman, Jeff Ballard, Mark Turner, Julian Lage and more. Ben’s third solo album What We Bring is planned for release in the Fall of 2016 on Motema Music.

1. Amian
2. Fall
3. Spring
4. Doubt
5. Song Song
6. Soli
7. Austin
8. Solar

Ben Wendel, sax
Gérald Clayton, piano
Joe Sanders, double bass
Henry Cole, drums


North America
09.14 – New York @ Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola:
09.15 Cambridge, MA @ Regattabar:
09.16 – New Haven, CT @ Firehouse 12:
09.17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Chris Jazz Café:
09.19 – Ann Arbor, MI @ University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
09.20 – Rochester, MI @ Oakland University:
09.21 – Chicago, IL @ Constellation:
09.22 – Denver, CO @ Dazzle:
09.23 – 25 – San Francisco, CA @ SFJazz Center:
09.26 – Monmouth, OR @ Western Oregon University:
09.27 – Seattle, WA @ Poncho Hall:
09.28 – Portland, OR @ The Old Church:
09.29 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Kuumbwa:
09.30 – 10.01 – Los Angeles, CA @ Blue Whale:
10.02 – Phoenix, AZ @ MIM:

10.08 – Macon, FR @ Le Crescent Jazz Club:
10.10 – Villeurbanne, FR @ Theatre Astree:
10.12 - 13 – Paris, FR @ Duc Des Lombards:
10.14 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bimhuis:
10.15 - Rotterdam, NL @ Lantaren Venster:
10.16 – Bussy Saint Martin, FR @ L’espace Des Arts Vivants

The Cookers - The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart (2016) SMOKE SESSIONS RECORDS

Hard bop supreme is served up by the Cookers, a truly all­-star ensemble that includes veterans who helped develop and shape the sound. In order to understand the scope of these musicians’ experience and magnitude it’s imperative to call out their names: bassist Cecil McBee (trumpeter Miles Davis, saxophonists Pharoah Sanders and Wayne Shorter), trumpeter Eddie Henderson (lessons from Louis Armstrong, pianist Herbie Hancock), drummer Billy Hart (Davis, Hancock), tenor saxophonist Billy Harper (pianist Randy Weston, drummers Art Blakey, Elvin Jones and Max Roach) and pianist George Cables (saxophonist Sonny Rollins and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard). Trumpeter David Weiss, the youngest member, came up with the idea of putting these hefty musicians together with little notion that nine years later they would remain a unit. With the release of The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart, which, like 2014’s Time and Time Again, includes the band’s newest member, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, the Cookers have put out five outstanding albums.

The name of the album—also the disc’s first cut—tells a lot about the music. Penned by Harper, it rhythmically opens ever so slowly and peacefully. Later it explodes with the wild excitement of Harper’s tenor.

It’s Harper’s pen at work again on the lovely ballad “If One Could Only See.” Cables’ gentle piano sets the soft mood with the purity of Henderson’s trumpet leading, as if singing, the tune. All of the original material is written by members of the Cookers, enabling each composer to bring that side of his musical personality to the project.

Diversity defines the spirit of The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart as it runs free while referencing musical touchstones from the past. The Cookers continue as master chiefs of the bandstand.

Beyond Forever