Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ryan Meagher - Mist. Moss. Home (2016) PJCE RECORDS

Prestigious jazz guitarist and composer, Ryan Meagher, is releasing his fifth album, Mist. Moss. Home. Featuring a lineup of top Portland musicians, the group explores Meagher’s personal discovery of the Northwest and what it means to now call it home. The new album is full of all original works. The tour stops for the release of this record include Portland, Eugene, Reno, San Jose, and New York City. Check below for a full, detailed listing of the CD release events.

“On a dreary winter morning in the City of Roses, I rediscovered my sense of home,” said guitarist and composer Ryan Meagher. “I was cruising on my bike pretty early and then it just hit me… Mist. Moss. Home. This is my city! It took me a long time to really feel like Portland was my home, but it finally came. This album marks a major milestone in my life.”

Meagher moved his family to Portland after living in New York City for nearly a decade and releasing two albums on the Fresh Sound New Talent record label, known for launching the careers of some of modern jazz’s most recognizable names, like Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ambrose Akinmusire, Bad Plus, and Robert Glasper. While playing on the jazz scene there, he also had the opportunity to study with modern jazz guitar stalwarts like Rosenwinkel, Ben Monder, Steve Cardenas, and Peter Bernstein.

Exploring the Pacific Northwest and looking for new challenges, Meagher quickly gained notoriety in Portland’s local creative music scene. Recognized for not only his unique lyrical voice on the guitar and his expertise as an advanced modern composer, but also for his ability to bring great musicians together and cultivate the right environment to discover new territory in his music.

The band, comprised of top Portland musicians with a modern, New York aesthetic, include Tim Wilcox (saxophone), Chris Higgins (bass) and Charlie Doggett (drums). Each a monster in their own right, they all share Meagher’s vision for improvisation and exploration.

“When I first moved out here, Tim was one of the first musicians I heard play and was like, ‘Oh! There’s my tenor player,” noted Meagher on building the right group to bring his vision to life. “In addition, Chris is one of my favorite soloists in town and Charlie is, not-so-secretly, my favorite drummer. In many ways, this band also represents a new sense of place too.”

The record premieres eight original compositions and many of the tunes are written with specific people or places in mind. From loose and tonal, to harmonically dense, angular and hard-driving, they all share an enchanting melodic sense. Downbeat Magazine noted that, “there’s a strong element of folksong in Meagher’s compositions, expressed by his singing melodies and commitment to the gravity and beauty of a balanced lyrical arc.”

1. The Hipster's Folly
2. First Place
3. Banter
4. Children In the Park
5. Skip
6. Vasona
7. Platitudes (For Wayne Shorter and Alex Hoffman)
8. The Legend Continues...

Ryan Meagher - guitar, Wurlitzer electric piano on track 3, voice on track 8
Tim Willcox - sax, beer bottle on track 8
Chris Higgins - bass
Charlie Doggett - drums
Ben Turner - Wurlitzer electric piano on track 8

CD 1 Dave Liebman Group - Expansions Live 2016 WHALING CITY SOUND

Dave Liebman’s group “EXPANSIONS” has been together for several years, definitely enough time to find a direction as a result of five musical personalities working together, touring and recording. 

This live recording captures a band “on the run.” There is no taking back a note or chord when playing live. Perfect it is not, but full of spirit and risk taking it is. The excitement is palpable from the first notes of the fast paced “JJ” penned by Lieb. Especially interesting are versions of songs that appeared on the last two Whaling City Sound recordings “Samsara” and “The Puzzle.”

The differing material and sound of the band between the acoustic and electric discs along with fresh and spontaneous renditions of classic jazz repertoire songs “All Blues” “India” and “Footprints” give the listener a wide palette to delve into... Read more

Acoustic Disk 1

1. Introduction of the Band Members
2. JJ
3. Continues to Ignore
4. All Blues
5. Vendetta
6. Good Bait
7. Selim
8. India

CD 2 Dave Liebman Group - Expansions Live 2016 WHALING CITY SOUND

Electric Disk 2

1. Surreality
2. The Moors
3. Footprints
4. Ugly Beauty
5. Liberian Hummingbird
6. Love Me Tender
7. Danse de la Fureur

Dave Liebman - saproano sax, c flute
Matt Vashlishan - alto sax, clarinet, c flute
Bobby Avey - piano, keyboard
Tony Marino- acoustic, electric bass
Alex Ritz- drums,frame drum

ELEW - And To The Republic (2016) SUNNYSIDE RECORDS


Releases September 9, 2016

Sometimes it takes an outsider to show the current pecking order what is amiss. There are revelations to be heard by those who distance themselves from their native tongue to find a place for themselves. A return can then be revelatory to both the outsider and the republic, as it stands…. 

Pianist Eric Lewis grew disheartened by the jazz music industry in the late ‘90s after a promising start in the ensembles of Wynton Marsalis and Elvin Jones. Subsequently, Lewis won the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition only to find that he wasn’t connecting to the material any longer. Lewis withdrew from the jazz world and reemerged with a new moniker and style, namely ELEW and rockjazz, a piano specific blend of contemporary pop and rock music in an aggressive acoustic improvisatory setting amplified by the artist’s endurance and intensity. 

ELEW has found himself in a new world where the crossover potential of his creation opened doors for him in fields beyond jazz and beyond music. He has collaborated with world-renowned popular artists like Lil Wayne and found a partnership with the Complexions Contemporary Ballet as Composer in Residence. ELEW has also begun a foray into screenwriting and directing. 

After years of distancing himself from the jazz world, ELEW has decided to make a return in a remarkable triumvirate featuring bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts. His new recording, And To The Republic, features the forceful pianist’s fantastic prowess expressed in the genre that he first caught the attention of the listening public with, mainstream jazz. The recording is a sincere olive branch to jazz purists and the jazz community that he had spurned earlier. 

The choice to return wasn’t one of necessity. ELEW has been successful throughout his career, which continues to branch into many streams. His intention in releasing this new recording is to reengage with the world that inspired him initially, to play with masters of the craft and to pay homage to his heroes, especially his former employer, drum legend Elvin Jones. 

Who better to fill the role on drums that the great Jeff “Tain” Watts? He is a true disciple of Elvin Jones and has the power, drive and knowledge within the full scope of jazz, having been part of the Young Lion generation led by Wynton and Branford Marsalis. The fantastic Veal has just as distinguished a résumé, being another Marsalis alumni and Elvin Jones protégé. 

The recording begins with the laidback yet playful “Medicine Man,” a tribute to a physician friend, which is followed by the energetic and spontaneous “Ornette,” a tribute to the legendary Ornette Coleman, who had passed on the day of recording. “Lil Luba,” named for Lewis’s nickname for his girlfriend (Luba is her mother’s name), is a gutbucket blues, featuring percussionist Ricky “Dirty Red” Gordon. The surging “Tones for Elvin Jones,” written while on tour with the song’s namesake, is an evocative tribute to the master drummer and a showcase for Watts, a drummer who proudly carries Jones’s torch. 

The incredible reinterpretation of Swedish electronic duo The Knife’s “Heartbeats” is a tremendous example of ELEW’s mastery of the keyboard and modern influence. The propulsive “Quirkwork” utilizes the rhythm changes to Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” and highlights the trio’s dynamically charged relationship. Named for a short chance encounter, “Jamaica Girl” is a beautiful ballad with a hint of dance hall beat. The startling “And To The Republic” finds the great actor Harry Lennix reciting Mark Antony’s speech from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar over a tense improvised background. 

Thelonious Monk was obviously the inspiration for “Monk,” a compelling composition utilizing some of the unanticipated stylings of the master pianist. A radical take on the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “My Favorite Things” was played to emulate the Coltrane “sheets of sound” playing style. The recording closes with ELEW revisiting his “Philly Groove,” a laid back yet declamatory piece full of swagger. 

Presenting a program of music that highlights all of his strengths, ELEW has returned to the world of modern jazz on his new And To The Republic. Reunited with the incredible rhythm section of Veal and Watts, ELEW’s trio is equal parts bombast and control, frenzy and smooth, proving that though he might have left for other musical spheres, ELEW’s still a heavy hitter in his first language, where he has found his own way.

1. Medicine Man 04:58
2. Ornette
3. Lil Luba
4. Tones For Elvin Jones
5. Heartbeats (The Knife)
6. Quirkwork
7. Jamaica Girl
8. And To The Republic: Act 3, Scene 2 Of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
9. Monk 05:21
10. My Favorite Things
11. The Philly Groove

ELEW - piano 
Reginald Veal - bass 
Jeff "Tain" Watts - drums

Bruce Williams - Private Thoughts (2016) PASSIN' THRU RECORDS

Williams' fourth recording as a leader is his first featuring solely original music. The Bard College and Juilliard Jazz professor has graced the horn sections of The World Saxophone Quartet, as well as groups led by Stanley Cowell and the like. On Private Thoughts, Bruce Williams asserts himself as a stirring composer and triumphantly underscores the emotion, and acceptance of life's fragility. Bruce Williams: alto & soprano saxophone, Josh Evans: trumpet, Frederick Hendrix: trumpet & flugelhorn, Brad Williams: guitar, Brandon McCune: piano, Alan Palmer: piano, Chris Berger: bass, Vincent Ector & Chris Beck: drums.

“…playing the bebop standard Anthropology as a disarmingly slow ballad gave the young alto saxophonist Bruce Williams time to show what a good blues player he can be.”

Ben Ratliff/New York Times

“Bruce Williams is a promising young altoist whose playing is marked by both precision and passion.”

Stuart Broomer/Cadence Magazine

“He is a soulful musician but not over-obsessed with super technique. I enjoy his playing and I like his writing. His future looks very promising.”

Stanley Cowell/jazz pianist/educator

“As a saxophonist, Williams is a brilliant consolodationist, comprising Charlie Parker’s bouyant tone, Hank Crawford’s edge, and Jackie McLean’s dexterity… he previews the sound of jazz in the 21st century.”

Eugene Holley Jr./Downbeat/JazzTimes magazine

“After seeing the Cecil Brooks’ band live, I was compelled to purchase Brotherhood, the debut recording of the saxophonist Bruce Williams. Both live and on the recording, Williams’ solos are on the edge, electric, and exciting. Bruce’s performances occupy a rare place, some where between total control and absolute freedom.”

Mark Griffith/Modern Drummer magazine

“…with a set consisting of a potpourri of standards, originals, blues and grooves, his style shows a “tradition in transition” approach. Williams has good chops and he shows quite a bit of promise.”

Jack Aldrich/Victory Music Review

Josh Evans (tp)
Frederick Hendrix (tp/flh)
Brad Williams (g)
Brandon McCune (p)
Alan Palmer (p)
Chris Berger (b)
Vincent Ector (ds)
Chris Beck (ds)

01. Mata Leon
02. Private Thoughts
03. Premonitions
04. Forever Asking Why
05. Old Forester
06. Last Visit in the Mirror
07. The Void
08. The Price We Pay For Peace
09. I Still Carry On
10. View Through A Street
11. Past Tense

Carlos Franzetti - Argentum (2016) SUNNYSIDE RECORDS

The musical world of composer/pianist Carlos Franzetti is vast but his love and appreciation of the music of his birthplace, Argentina, has led him to become one of the foremost experts and exponents of tangos, chacareras, zambas and other Argentinean folkloric forms. His new recording, Argentum, showcases his adept handling of the various types of music from a diverse cast of Argentinean composers, including a few compositions of his own, all in intimate combo settings. 

The Buenos Aires born Franzetti was steeped in the musical traditions of his country from an early age. He moved to the United States to further his music studies and begin an incredible career as a performing pianist, composer, arranger and conductor for a wide-ranging group of artists, including Ruben Blades and Ray Barretto. Franzetti’s work has focused on the music of Argentina for inspiration and has resulted in his becoming one of the foremost interpreters of the music, and, ultimately, in his becoming a leading figure in the expansion of these traditional forms. 

For Argentum, Franzetti has arranged a number of pieces written by well known composers, such as Astor Piazzolla, as well as works by lesser known composers, all for small ensembles led by his own exemplary piano playing. 

The recording sessions were split between studios in Paramus, New Jersey and Buenos Aires. The United States based musicians include his wife, pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti, bassist David Finck and saxophonist Lawrence Feldman. His Buenos Aires trio includes guitarist Ricardo Lew and bassist Juan Pablo Navarro. 

The recording begins with Juan Carlos Cobian’s well-known “La casita de mis viejos,” a world-weary tune arranged for two pianos and bass. Folk music revivalist Eduardo Lagos’ chacarera “La Oncena” is done in a stripped down duo arrangement with Finck’s dancing bass. Franzetti’s own harmonically lush “Argentum” is a study in counterpoint between Feldman’s soprano and Franzetti’s melodica. 

The Argentinean trio executes the beloved Enrique Delfino “Milonguita” with aplomb, while their take on Piazzolla’s “Bandoneón Guitarra y Bajo” is rhapsodic and expertly played. 

Franzetti’s lilting “Romance en Sepia” features his sympathetic quartet. Franzetti’s solo take on Quintana/Ambors/Rosales “Zamba para no morir” is equally exquisite. The Buenos Aires trio returns for a whimsical take on Pedro Laurenz’s “Como dos Extraños” and “Milonga del Adíos,” a slowly developing and hauntingly beautiful original by the pianist. The program concludes wonderfully with a solo piano rendition of José Dames “Tú.” 

Carlos Franzetti is a leading voice in the development and preservation of the national music forms of Argentina. His new recording, Argentum, provides a wonderful example of the breadth of his tastes and talents. It also is a fantastic example of the different styles of music that have emerged from Franzetti’s beloved home.

Released June 24, 2016  

Allison Brewster Franzetti - electric piano, percussion 
David Finck - double bass 
Juan Pablo Navarro - double bass 
Ricardo Lew - guitar 
Lawrence Feldman - soprano saxophone 

01 La casita de mis viejos 3:17
02 La Oncena 4:09
03 Argentum 3:21
04 Milonguita 4:34
05 Bandoneón, guitarra y bajo 5:21
06 Romance en sepia 5:44 
07 Zamba para no morir 3:04
08 Como dos extraños 3:17
09 Milonga del adiós 6:02 
10 Tú 3:36 
11 Diablito 3:32 
12 Nada 3:27

Pol Omedes - Mallorca (2016) FRESH SOUND NEW TALENT RECORDS

Mallorca may be the most appropriate word to describe this album. Aside from the natural beauty that this island full of magic places holds, it is also the place where—spiritually speaking—the project Pol Omedes with Strings coalesced.

It also represents the trip I took there with my partner in August 2015; there’s a before and an after to it, to me personally, and because of that to my music as well. It was an inspiring trip that helped me regain my strength and walk onward full of renewed hope.

Mallorca is the honest result of these past few years in my life. It’s a reflection of who I am now, but above all, it’s an album made with love, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

01. Fancy Living 5:28
02. Could Be Pol 4:19
03. Mallorca 5:47
04. #1 ...Omedisme il·lustrat 1:49
05. El toro 4:23
06. Mama 1:42
07. I Wish I Knew 4:03
08. #2 ...Mt's Atmosphere 1:21
09. Reina Sofía 4:56
10. Monk's Mood 2:50
11. Papa 5:23

Pol Omedes (trumpet)
Lluc Casares (tenor sax)
Mátyás Gayer (piano)
Mátyás Hofecker (bass)
Joan Terol (drums)
Kristina Trezune (voice)
Jan Omedes, Pablo Kirschner (violins)
Laura Bosch (viola)
Guillem Vellvé (cello)

Cosmos Quartet (#6 & 10)
Bernat Prat (violin, cello)
Helena Satué (violin)
Alejandro Garrido (viola)

Recorded at Estudis Ground, Girona, October 6 & 7, 2015
Tracks #6 & #10 recorded at Rosazul, Barcelona, March 31, 2016

Sound engineers: Jaume Figueres (Girona), Sixto Cámara (Barcelona)
Sound edited by Albert Fariñas
Mixed and mastered by Aniol Bestit
Photography: Francesc Marty, A. Sambeat

Artistic production by Lluc Casares and Pol Omedes

Produced by Pol Omedes
Executive producer: Jordi Pujol

Iago Fernández - Brisa (2016) FRESH SOUND NEW TALENT RECORDS

Iago Fernández is a drummer and composer from Galicia (Spain). He have played in a lot of places around the world with knowed musicians as: Avishai Cohen (trumpet), Omer Avital, Perico Sambeat, Marcus Strickland, Lage Lund, Masa Kamaguchi, Javier Colina, Albert Sanz, Chris Kase, Jorge Rossy, Guillermo Klein, Andrzej Olejniczak, Logan Richardson, Bob Sands, Cecilia Coleman, John O'Gallagher or David Virelles. 

He recorded more than twenty albums as sideman and three albums as a leader: Agromando (2011), Acougo (2015) and Brisa (2016).

01. África 3:37
02. Kayak 5:23
03. Brisa 6:57
04. Brétema 5:53
05. When I Fall In Love / Conception 6:07
06. Iri 5:33
07. Flut Blues 3:15
08. Everything I Love 5:04
09. When I Fall In Love (Alternate take) 2:42

Iago Fernández (drums)

Enrique Oliver (tenor sax)

Wilfried Wilde (guitar)

Reinier Elizarde "El Negrón" (bass)

Zé Pedro Coelho (soprano sax on #1 & 4, bass clarinet on #4)
Xan Campos (Fender Rhodes on #1 & 2)
Inês Sousa (vocals on #3)