Monday, October 17, 2016

Mara Rosenbloom Trio - Prairie Burn ( 2016) FRESH SOUND NEW TALENT RECORDS

"There’s a programmatic reason, surely, on pianist Mara Rosenbloom’s latest disc, in placing two solo works at the end of a lengthy trio churn with bassist Sean Conly and drummer Chad Taylor. Perhaps she felt it gave space for reflection and respite after the whorl of group interaction subsided. But they also give one a clearer idea of how Rosenbloom the pianist operates—the syrupy objects that pervade “I Rolled and I Tumbled”, a paean to John Lee Hooker, emerge hesitantly at first, imbued with process and physicality and what appears relatively simple in form becomes a rolling, resonant exposition. Rosenbloom’s soft creep nudges time while right-hand triangulations splinter, crash and reconnoiter in suspended consistency. The chestnut “There Will Never Be Another You” follows, ballad moving into barreling, bluesy rejoinders, closing with a glassy lap at the tune’s contours.

Rosenbloom has been a part of the City’s improvised music scene since relocating here from her native Wisconsin in 2004 and has been inspired by the work and ethos of pianist, multi-instrumentalist and inventor Cooper-Moore. Her latest offering, and second on Fresh Sound-New Talent, mostly consists of a five-part trio suite, including an overture, and fleshes out every nook not covered by the aforementioned soli. It’s interesting to switch from diving into an unaccompanied piano piece to hearing how she interacts with a band—Conly’s muscular, splayed fiddle and Taylor’s heaving, stone-skipping delicacy congeal, support and bend space as Rosenbloom continually explores the paths of her material, evincing churchy insistence and malleable harmonies. She climbs around motifs, occupying the piano as both soloist and group member, an approach somewhere between participant and observer, at times clearly wrapped within ensemble unity and at others moving in direct parallel. “Turbulence” has a curious minimalist appeal at its center, earthy rejoinders and blistered calls telescoping upward from a gallop that looks toward Turkish folk songs.

Prairie Burn is an apt title for this Midwest-cum-Borough scorcher and hopefully will help place Rosenbloom’s music centrally on the map."

Clifford Allen (October, 2016)
The New York City Jazz Record

01. Brush Fire (An Improvised Overture) 5:00
The Prairie Burn Set:
02. Part 1: Red-Winged Blackbirds 8:12
03. Part 2: Turbulence 10:44
04. Part 3: Work! 9:12
05. Part 4: Songs from the Ground 9:46
06. I Rolled and I Tumbled (Solo Piano Tribute to John Lee Hooker) 5:43
07. There Will Never Be Another You (Solo Piano) 5:34

Mara Rosenbloom (piano)

Sean Conly (bass)

Chad Taylor (drums)

Gene Segal - Matter (2015) SteepleChase Productions ApS

New York-based guitarist/composer Gene Segal was born in Russia and immigrated to USA as a young child with his musician family. His upbringing in European music tradition combined with American contemporary music including jazz enabled Gene Segal to create his unique universe of multi-layered music.

“…the energy on this CD is different/better in major ways….if raw energy in jazz is your forte – GET THIS one!..I give Gene & all his players a definite MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED…” (Improvijazzation #146 on SCCD 33114 “Mental Images”)

3 MOOD 7:45
4 VORTEX 7:50
8 MORPH 5:23
9 SUN KING 7:23

JON IRABAGON tenor saxophone
SAM SADIGURSKY clarinet, bass clarinet

Raffaele Genovese Trio - Musaico (2016) ALFA MUSIC

Musaico è il disco della maturità.

È un lavoro autobiografico che riflette a pieno la personalità di un musicista colto e sicuro delle proprie capacità. In questo progetto Raffaele Genovese ricompone il suo sapere e lo mette assieme attraverso un mosaico di suoni raffigurato secondo una sequenza che assomma con precisione melodia e timbro. Quei suoni, poi, appartengono al suo retroterra di musicista in linea con le evoluzioni moderne del piano jazz e allo stesso tempo al richiamo genetico della sua terra, dove le sonorità ogivali arabe rientrano nelle sue composizioni e sono parte integrante di una spiccata sensibilità che gli appartiene di natura. Genovese riesce, in perfetto equilibrio, a bilanciare le pulsioni melodiche, solari e fisiche del suo essere isolano, con un jazz di natura occidentale e afroamericana, dove l’essenzialità dell’assunto, la rarefazione del suono e il dosaggio ritmico sono le peculiarità strutturali. 

È in quell’equilibrio che si sviluppa la personalità jazzistica di Genovese, nel suo essere leader e gregario, nel creare e sviluppare il tema, come nell’accompagnare e assecondare le frasi secche e “nordiche” del sax di Ben van Gelder. È accanto al contrabbasso di Carmelo Venuto e alla batteria di Emanuele Primavera che ridisegna la poetica dei suoi racconti, che hanno nomi legati al presente e al passato di una cultura interiore che si materializza in composizioni di puro istinto narrativo. Flavio Caprera

Musaico is a recording that belongs to a musician’s maturity.

It is an autobiographical work that fully reflects the personality of a cultured musician who is absolutely sure of his abilities. In this project Raffaele Genovese reassembles his knowledge by means of a mosaic of sounds that are set forth in a sequence that combines melody and timbre with great precision. Those sounds belong to his background as a musician who is fully in line with the modern trends of the jazz piano, but they are also a deeper genetic reminder of his homeland, where the sinuous ogival shapes of Arab sonorities have entered into his compositions. These exotic sounds are an integral part of the exceptional innate sensibility that is such a profound aspect of his character. Genovese thus succeeds in creating a perfect equilibrium, balancing the melodic, solar and physical urges of his essence as an island-dweller, with jazz of a western and Afro-American stamp, in which an essential and rarefied sound with measured rhythms are the structural peculiarities.

The distinctive jazz personality of Raffaele Genovese has developed within this equilibrium, in his being a leader as well as a wingman, in the creation and development of musical themes, and in the way he accompanies and supports the clean-cut Nordic phrases of Ben van Gelder’s Sax. Accompanied by the double-bass of Carmelo Venuto and the drums of Emanuele Primavera he redesigns the poetry of his compositions, the titles of which are related to the present and past of an inner culture that is manifested in these stories that are built up from a pure narrative instinct. Flavio Caprera

01. Slow down
02. Gentle piece
03. Albert Camus
04. Bright insight
05. Intro (to Settembre)
06. Settembre
07. Ibn Hamdis
08. For this time
09. Via D'Amelio
10. Pentapolis

All compositions by Raffaele Genovese except 2 by Kenny Wheeler

Publishing: AlfaMusic Studio (Siae)

Raffaele Genovese piano and keyboards
Carmelo Venuto double bass
Emanuele Primavera drums

Special guest Ben van Gelder alto sax

A Conrad Trio - Screaming While Playing (2016) ORENDA RECORDS

SCREAMING WHILE PLAYING, the bold debut album by vibrant Los Angeles saxophonist and composer, Andrew Conrad, is an immediately honest glimpse into the mind of an uncompromising artist who does not segregate art and life. Raw and visceral, this record presents a deeply intertwined musical dialogue rarely encountered in an age that favors technology and sheen over unfiltered expression.

A Conrad Trio was formed in 2014, although Conrad, bassist Emilio Terranova and drummer Michael Lockwood have been playing together in various configurations for close to a decade. Each has an extensive musical background and while the trio setting and veneer of Conrad’s compositions may recall certain Jazz idioms, the most striking aspect of Screaming While Playing (SWP) is its personalized, intimate and often gritty realization, eschewing tradition and reframing this iconic instrumentation.

“Often times we as listeners get the feeling that our musicians need to make the sound they are making. We are left with a sense that there might be some disastrous or at least unfortunate consequence if that release were not allowed to occur in that moment. Herein lies the power of organized sound. When this sense of urgency lands on you it’s difficult to ignore. Not only does it give you a window into the artist’s character and intentions, it shows you something about your own.”Matt Mayhall, author of SWP liner notes.

Concept often follows inception in the pecking order of composing. While Conrad acknowledges the personal events and people who inspired each of SWP’s nine originals, he also encourages listeners to adopt their own unique personal relationship to the music free of that influence:

“This recording was an exercise in composing, editing, and documenting music and improvisation in a way that I heard in my head.  It is inspired by countless improvisers and musicians too many to name here.  The goal I had was only to complete the project without judgment, for I believe this music is really about whatever you hear it to be about.  That is the beauty of art, its meaning comes from the consumer; whether you are looking at it, listening to it, feeling it, eating it, or absorbing it in any other way, its meaning and its worth is ultimately up to you.”Andrew Conrad

The music featured here is carefully considered sonically, though not especially concerned with common artificial constructs typically employed when making modern albums. SWP was recorded live in a Studio City bedroom. Trio performances are juxtaposed by three compelling solo improvisations, which provide the album with an intriguing, chaptered structure. But the true heart of this project is the documented relationship of three friends, colleagues, and compatriots making unadorned music that is both ephemeral and everlasting. The result is a rich, inclusive listening experience with layers of depth and significance revealed play after play. Orenda Records is proud to present A Conrad Trio’s Screaming While Playing, an album that represents the kind of adventurous spirit, thoughtful conception, and intimate humanity that lies at the foundation of everything we love about music.

1. Harvest Your Blend 04:21
2. Amsterdam 04:46
3. 1604 02:54
4. Hour Time 03:52
5. Graham For Martha 04:55
6. Someday you will die and Somehow Something's Gonna steal your Carbon 05:13
7. Barbara 05:43
8. String 9 03:22
9. All Unblocked Up 05:49

An excerpt from the liner notes by Matt Mayhall: 

Andrew Conrad - Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet, Voice 
Emilio Terranova - Double Bass, Voice 
Mike Lockwood - Drums, Voice

Recorded by Greg Hartunian at Studio City, CA on March 17, 2015. 
Mixed and Mastered by Daniel Rosenboom, Orenda Sound, Los Angeles 
Album Artwork and Design by Eron Rauch 

All music composed by Mr. Andrew Gabriel Conrad (ASCAP) 
© Andrew Conrad Music (ASCAP) 
All rights Reserved. 

©(P) Orenda Records, 2016