Thursday, September 8, 2016

George Mraz - Rally for Recovery Fund

This is George Mraz, a world class bassist with decades of exceptional musical work as both a soloist and alongside others such as Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson and many many more. 

On July 8th George endured seven hours of difficult surgery on his pancreas, and while in hospital he suffered a heart attack, and many critical complications that unfortunately extended his hospital stay.  

As his birthday on September 9th approaches, this situation is a devastating hit to him and his wife, Camilla.

The doctors expect full recovery, but it will take time.

In 2013, George Mraz formed the George Mraz Trio, with his wife Camilla on piano, alongside the talented percussionist, Anthony Pinciotti, and up until this point, enjoyed performances in festivals throughout Europe and prominent venues in New York City.  George and Camilla now place their musical performances on hold and his wife puts all energy and time into George’s full recovery.

Since many friends, colleagues, and fans have asked how they can help support George we decided to open a go fund me account for those who want to help.  

Since September 9th is George’s birthday, and we need a miracle, we thought to created the MRAZ challenge. 

The MRAZ challenge request is to donate $99 toward his recovery. The amount of $99 dollars is in honor of George’s birthday on 9/9.  And to cheer his spirit, we challenge you to submit a silly still photo of yourself pulling your mouth into a smile that we will post on Facebook. 

 The silly photo idea was inspired by a photographer who sent the photo to George to give him strength and hope for quick recovery, and as a symbol for many smiles ahead.  

Each vital donation made on this site will go directly to George and his family.  

And of course, any donation amount big or small will help, and every amount is greatly appreciated.

It is never easy to ask for help, but this is a time when any amount would mean a world of difference. With that in mind, we invite you to perform the MRAZ challenge, donate, or do both.   Any support, in any form, in any amount will move us deeply toward the road to recovery.  Please spread the word of the MRAZ challenge and share this gofundme/georgemraz link /
with as many as you can. It can go to those who love George Mraz, excellent music, Czechs, jazz, bass players, and helping others when life presents a difficult road.

Let’s give George the best gift ever, a strong, healthy recovery so he can share his music with us again soon.

Thanks in advance for your love, help, donations and silly photos and helping us may a “Mraz-acle” come true. 

With deep respect and gratitude,

Camilla Mraz 
and  George Mraz Music Management team

Information provided by Jim Eigo

Many thanks Jim

Magnus Öström - Parachute (2016)

A member of world famous Esbjörn Svensson Trio (e.s.t.), the drummer Magnus Öström is set to release his third solo album entitled Parachute on 1 April. His solo career has been a fruitful one with two solo albums released all over Europe and Japan and his debut, Thread Of Life nominated for a Swedish Grammis and also earning him an Echo Jazz Award in Germany. He has also collaborated with Pat Metheny who appeared on Thread of Life.

The new album features the same band members as the two previous albums: Andreas Hourdakis, guitars; Thobias Gabrielson, bass & keys; Daniel Karlsson, piano & keys, and arrives in full-circle back to the label Diesel Music where Magnus' career got started with e.s.t. (it's now 20 years since the hugely successful and critically acclaimed album e.s.t. Plays Monk was released). Parachute comprises eight original compositions by Magnus and also features the amazing Norwegian trumpet player Mathias Eick who guests on The Shore Of Unsure.

Although Magnus' solo career has been successful, the loss of Esbjörn Svensson has been devastating and it is music that has helped him overcome some very dark times.

"During the years after Esbjörn’s death I have struggled to find my way back to life. Sometimes life has been ok, but at other times it has been really dark. As for most of us, life has its ups and downs, but when I have been at my lowest, when you don't see any way out, the music has always been there to save me, it has been my Parachute. This record is a celebration of music itself and to the energy it carries. It has helped not only me, but also most of the people on this tormented globe that we travel on. As a temporary guest on this planet I hope I will leave it a better place than when I arrived - I hope we all will do. That's what I'm striving for.”  Magnus Öström 2016

1 Dog On The Beach
2 Junas
3 The Green Man And The French Horn
4 Walkabout Bug
5 Parachute
6 The Shore Of Unsure
7 Reedjoyce
8 All The Remaining Days

Andreas Hourdakis, electric and acoustic guitars
Thobias Gabrielson, bass, bass synthesizer, keyboards
Daniel Karlsson, grand piano, keyboard

Andrew Cyrille Quartet - The Declaration Of Musical Independence (2016) ECM

The great avant-jazz drummer andrew cyrille - whose associations have ranged from a long, vintage collaboration with cecil taylor to co-leading current all-star collective trio 3 with oliver lake and reggie workman - makes his ecm leader debut with the declaration of musical independence.

Featuring a quartet with guitar luminary bill frisell, keyboardist richard teitelbaum and bassist ben street, the album kicks off with an artfully oblique interpretation of john coltrane’s “coltrane time”, led by cyrille’s solo drum intro. the disc then features a sequence of sonically arresting originals, including street’s luminous “say...” and frisell’s deeply felt “kaddish” and “song for andrew”, with frisell’s guitar alternately cutting and billowing, the edge evoking some of his most illustrious past ecm performances. there are three atmospheric spontaneous compositions by the band - including the dynamic soundscape “dazzling (perchordally yours)” - that highlight cyrille’s individual sense of percussive drama. cyrille appeared on classic ecm and watt albums by the likes of marion brown, carla bley and the jazz composer’s orchestra, but this album puts a deserved spotlight on an icon of jazz drumming. the new york times has called cyrille an “avant-garde eminence”, praising his bone-deep knowledge of not only vintage jazz drumming but also pan-african rhythms - and noting how his “watchful, flowing pulse” has influenced so many of today’s most artful drummers.

coltrane time
dazzling (perchordally yours)
herky jerky
song for andrew no.1

Andrew Cyrille (drums, percussion)
Bill Frisell (guitar)
Ben Street (bass)
Richard Teitelbaum (piano, synth)

Sinikka Langeland - The Magical Forest (2016) ECM

The colours of The Magical Forest glow in this remarkable recording which brings together Sinikka Langeland’s Norwegian-Finnish-Swedish Starflowers quintet with the singers of the Trio Mediӕval. It’s an inspired concept: the Trio Mediӕval, with their affinity for folk music and their unique vocal blend, adapt themselves ideally to Sinikka’s sound-world, which is once archaic, timeless and contemporary. The quintet members, all bandleaders in their own right, are amongst the most characterful players in Scandinavia today, and Sinikka sets them free to improvise around her cycle of songs, built upon myths and legends of the world tree.

The Magical Forest was recorded at Oslo’s Rainbow Studio in February 2015, and produced by Manfred Eicher.

Dario Chiazzolino - Red Cloud (2016) TUKOOL RECORDS

Tukool Records has announced the album release from Italian jazz phenom guitarist Dario Chiazzolino: Red Cloud. Nominated Best Guitarist and Best Artist several times, his new album displays once again not only an astonishing talent as a guitarist but as a composer too. Dario Chiazzolino has been a tremendous figure for guitar scenery for many years. His superb technique always allows him to do whatever he wants with his guitar. Probably great musicians are born, not made. but what impresses the most about Dario is his constant evolution.

His new quartet includes bass legend Dominique Di Piazza, pianist Antonio Faraò and drummer Manhu Roche, a truly top-notch band. Dario Chiazzolino (b. 1985) is a multi-award winning Italian guitarist and composer based in New York City. One of Italy’s most in-demand jazz musicians, he performs regularly and records with many top European and American jazz musicians. 

He has played extensively both as band leader and side man with many of the top American and European jazz artists including Yellow Jackets, Billy Cobham, Bob Mintzer, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Andy Sheppard, Jason Rebello and many others.

Dario Chiazzolino (b. 1985) is a multi-award winning Italian guitarist and composer based in New York City. One of Italy’s most in-demand jazz musicians, he performs regularly and records with many top European and American jazz musicians. He has played extensively both as band leader and side man with many of the top American and European jazz artists including Yellow Jackets, Billy Cobham, Bob Mintzer, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Andy Sheppard, Jason Rebello and many others.

1. Red Cloud (feat. Antonio Faraò, Dominique Di Piazza & Manhu Roche) 5:26
2. Twelve Colors (feat. Antonio Faraò, Dominique Di Piazza & Manhu Roche) 6:37
3. Lightning (feat. Antonio Faraò, Dominique Di Piazza & Manhu Roche) 4:50
4. Storm (feat. Antonio Faraò, Dominique Di Piazza & Manhu Roche) 3:55
5. Placid Sky (feat. Antonio Faraò, Dominique Di Piazza & Manhu Roche) 4:30
6. Twilight (feat. Antonio Faraò, Dominique Di Piazza & Manhu Roche) 5:39
7. Eternity (feat. Dominique Di Piazza & Manhu Roche) 2:44
8. Sòl@r (feat. Dominique Di Piazza & Manhu Roche) 4:03
9. Starry 4:26

Antonio Faraò, Piano
Dominique Di Piazza, Double bass
Manhu Roche, Drums

Uri Caine - Calibrated Thickness (2016)

Uri Caine is best known as a genre-warping, restlessly inventive pianist and sonic thinker whose every project is as predictably unpredictable as the last. But the piano trio remains a touchstone for Caine, who returns regularly to apply his expansive imagination to that core jazz format. On his latest CD, Calibrated Thickness, Caine debuts a new trio with two longtime collaborators: drummer Clarence Penn and bassist Mark Helias.

“There’s a lot of freedom in the piano trio,” Caine says. “It’s very open and loose. We keep the structure together, but within that I like the freedom it offers.”

Though the title is a phrase that Caine stumbled across in a technical manual, Calibrated Thickness vividly captures the sense of controlled dynamics and calculated density that this trio so ably masters. The album’s 15 songs are in a sense a distillation of the musical identity that Caine, Penn and Helias have forged over the last few years as a trio (in addition to many more in different contexts). Live, Caine’s memorable compositions are landmarks that the trio happens upon in the course of lengthy improvisations, fluidly morphing from one tune to the next at a moment’s whim.

On Calibrated Thickness, the tunes are presented in a more pristine fashion, showcasing Caine’s gift for witty, agile melodies, inspiring structures and wide-ranging stylistic approaches. The short pieces (few of which top five minutes) give the trio the opportunity to spark concise, focused improvisations from the flint of the leader’s well-honed compositions. “When you’re playing and writing music you’re always calibrating how to build it or structure it or form it,” Caine explains.

The relationship between Caine and Penn dates back a couple of decades, most notably in trumpeter Dave Douglas’ quintet that also featured saxophonists Chris Potter or Donny McCaslin and bassist James Genus. The pianist came to work with Helias through their shared tenure in Don Byron’s band. Joining the trio on three tracks is the ingenious cornetist Kirk Knuffke, whose sharp, probing sound adds an extra edge to the pieces on which he appears.

Caine offers a straightforward, no-nonsense reason for assembling this particular trio, his first release in that guise since 2011’s Siren with bassist John Hébert and drummer Ben Perowsky. “I like the sound,” he says, a simple enough proposition but one that can be maddeningly elusive. “I like the way Clarence accompanies and sets things up; Mark has a really warm sound and is really flexible. There’s a lot of room to move with them.”

The 15 Caine originals contained on Calibrated Thickness run the gamut of styles, from jagged, angular modern pieces to more straight-ahead swingers that harken back to Caine’s early days playing hard bop in Philadelphia (albeit with his usual idiosyncratic twists and turns) to more lyrical, ballad-inspired playing that spotlights the warm expressiveness that sometimes gets eclipsed by his bold eclecticism.

The album kicks off with the powerful, rollicking swing of “Manahatta,” titled for the original Lenni Lenape name for the island at the epicenter of the jazz world. “Woke Up This Morning” uses a blues cliché to label a piece of pure, rattletrap abstraction that depicts the trio’s explosive spontaneous interplay. That tune contrasts sharply with the shimmering, delicate “Icicles,” highlighted by Helias’ moving lyricism, eventually consumed by the tune’s surging roar.

Knuffke makes his first appearance on the zigzagging “Submission,” while “Golem” offers a round of broad-shouldered, barrelhouse swing. “Bleeding Heart” is remarkably hushed and intimate, the album’s quietest, most delicate moment despite building with nervous intensity. “Night Wrestler” is bright and buoyant, “Climb To the Top” barbed and dissonant.” Knuffke returns to provide darting, keen-edged lines on “Hidden Glances,” while “Scatterbrain Suite” offers a slapstick soundtrack for an imaginary silent film.

Caine’s playing on “He Said She” sparkles with classical elegance and hymn-like simplicity, while “Sticks and Stones” dances with brisk soulfulness. Helias’ tense, scraping bowed bass pairs with Penn’s jittery rhythms to give “Time in Between” its frenetic urgency, while “Shadow of a Doubt” kicks off with an odd-angled dialogue between Caine and Knuffke. “Downward Spiral” brings the album to a close with a nimble, circling figures that draw an aural picture of the title.

“I wanted to include all these different styles of playing trio,” Caine says of Calibrated Thickness. Despite being a more traditional setting than many of the pianist’s projects – his eccentric, style-smashing reimaginings of classical repertoire come immediately to mind – the piano trio offers no less opportunity for Caine to show off his broad-spectrum tastes and approaches.

From his early days backing soul-jazz horn players in Philly nightclubs through his convention-defying work with Downtown New York avant-gardists and adventurous classical ensembles to his always-surprising catalogue as a leader, all facets of Caine’s diverse artistry are contained herein.

Special Guest: Kirk Knuffke

01. Manahatta 4:41
02. Woke Up This Morning 2:26
03. Icicles 2:40
04. Submission 2:21
05. Golem 6:52
06. Bleeding Heart 4:24
07. Night Wrestler 4:02
08. Climb To The Top 2:51
09. Hidden Glances 2:45
10. Scatterbrain Suite 6:22
11. He Said She 5:10
12. Sticks And Stones 4:00
13. Time In Between 3:40
14. Shadow Of A Doubt 4:09
15. Downward Spiral 4:28

Bass – Mark Helias
Design [Cover Design] – Jan Caine
Drums – Clarence Penn
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – Grant Valentine
Engineer [Audio Engineer] – Chris Allen (4)
Guest [Special Guest], Cornet – Kirk Knuffke
Music By – Uri Caine
Photography By – Bill Douthart
Piano – Uri Caine
Technician [Piano Tuning] – Ed Wedberg

Recorded March 12-13, 2015
Sear Sound Studio
New York, NY


British pianist Ivana Gavric signs to EDITION CLASSICS

We’re very excited to announce the signing of British pianist Ivana Gavric to Edition Classics.
Acclaimed British pianist Ivana Gavric has signed to Edition Classics for her fourth and major new album, ‘Chopin’. With three highly successful albums behind her, released on Champs Hill Records, her new disc explores her Slavic roots and focuses with a clarity and intensity on that mightiest of all composers for piano, Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin.

A player of elegance, virtuosity and deep musicality, Ivana’s new home with Edition Classics will allow her the opportunities to explore new repertoire that will captivate her loyal fans and new listeners alike.

Ivana adds: “I’m very happy to join Edition Classics and be part of a large family of diverse artists. To find a home that grants me freedom to explore repertoire I’m passionate about, and allows me to present it to listeners around the world, is hugely inspiring”.

Described as “playing of an altogether extraordinary calibre” by BBC Music Magazine on her debut disc ‘In the Mists’ in 2011, as well as having her third disc selected as Gramophone Editor’s Choice and noted for “an electrifying performance” by BBC Music Magazine, this new album looks set to confirm her reputation as one of the most engaging and inventive pianists of her generation.

This vital new album reinforces Ivana Gavric's reputation and with high profile concert activity, including two performances at the prestigious Wigmore Hall in 2017, Edition Classics is proud to promote a truly unique talent, in a career that goes from strength to strength.

Ivana Gavric’s ‘Chopin’ for Edition Classics will be released in March 2017.