Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ian Faquini + Paula Santoro - Metal na Madeira (2016) RIDGEWAY RECORDS

Ian Faquini + Paula Santoro

Metal na Madeira (Metal on Wood)

Now Available via Ridgeway Records Rising Stars

Once you've heard the luminous voice of Paula Santoro and the enthralling guitar virtuosity of Ian Faquini, their sound will become permanently etched into your heart. Metal na Madeira (Metal on Wood), their new collaborative album, takes inspiration from Xylography, a traditional art form from Northeastern Brazil in which the artist develops an image by engraving wood with a metal object. Likewise, Faquini and Santoro create their intoxicating music from the way in which the metallic harmonics of her voice affect and enrich the woody tones of his guitar.

The image that ultimately emerges from Metal na Madeira is more than a portrait of two artists creating together. It also conjures the timeless landscape of the Brazilian Northeast, from which both artists originally hail. Into that space, Faquini and Santoro invite an all-star cast of collaborators, including Brazilian saxophone great Spok, leader of Recife's Spok Frevo Orquestra; Bay Area multi-reedist Harvey Wainapel; trombonist Jeff Cressman; keyboardist and accordion player Vitor Gonçalves; bassist Scott Thompson; drummer/percussionist Rafael Barata; and pandeiro player Sergio Krakowski.

The album consists of nine original compositions by Faquini and presents a fresh take on traditional Northeastern rhythms such as Maracatu, Frevo, Baião, Xote, and Toada. Faquini's music keeps one foot firmly planted in the past while stepping briskly towards the future with modern harmonic and melodic structures. The songs' lyrics describe the exuberance and poverty of that region of Brazil -the joy, colors and natural beauty, but also sadness, drought and longing of a people who are accustomed to living with extremes. Their stories are movingly and compellingly expressed through Santoro's gift for storytelling and painting with words.

Ian Faquini was born in Brasília and has lived in Berkeley, California since he the age of eight. He graduated from the California Jazz Conservatory and was immediately invited to join the faculty, teaching guitar and Brazilian music. Influences include Guinga and Marcus Tardelli, with whom Ian studied for six years. 

Paula Santoro was born in Minas Gerais, where she began her career as part of the local vocal group Nós & Voz and toured the country as lead singer of the progressive rock band Sagrado Coração da Terra. Her enticing blend of jazz and Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) has since become well known through her recordings and frequent TV appearances. 

She won the Troféu Faísca Award, the Visa Award and was nominated for the Rival Petrobrás Music Award, all as best vocalist.  Santoro has performed with a range of luminaries including Edu Lobo, Yamandú Costa, Mário Adnet, Monica Salmaso, Renato Braz and the Muiza Adnet releasing the álbum Mario Adnet - a look on Villa-Lobos nominated for Best Classical Album in the Latin Grammy Awards.

She has earned wide critical acclaim in Brazil and Europe, and released numerous albums including Mar do meu Mundo on the Borandá label with special guests including UAKTI, and Paula Santoro, released by Biscoito Fino label, featuring special guests Chico Buarque, Toninho Horta and Jaques Morelenbaum.

Paula and Ian were introduced in 2007 by the influential Brazilian composer Guinga in Rio when Paula was collaborating with Guinga on a recording and tour. Ian had met Guinga at the age of 16, an encounter that changed his life and music. Hearing and falling in love with Guinga's music led Ian to devote himself to exploring his own Brazilian roots through music. Paula and Ian came together musically in 2014 when both were part of the faculty at California Brazil Camp, a performing arts camp focused on Brazilian music and dance. Their mutual admiration sparked a desire to work together, resulting in Metal na Madeira, recorded at the famous Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA in September of 2015.


"I'm glad every time I hear my songs interpreted with freedom and, above all, a lot of talent. Bravo!" – Edu Lobo about Paula and Daniel’s recording of his compositions
“Paula Santoro is one of those perfect singers: beautiful voice, perfect tuning and good taste in repertoire." – Antonio Carlos Miguel, 'O Globo' newspaper

Already critically and popularly acclaimed in her native Brazil, where her enticing blend of jazz and Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) has become well known through her recordings and frequent TV appearances, Paula Santoro is poised to bring her luminous voice and infectious sounds to listeners around the world.

Paula was born in Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte) and began to sing with the encouragement of her grandfather, a physician as well as an amateur violinist. She began her career as part of the local vocal group Nós & Voz, through which she was discovered by violinist Marcus Viana, leader of the renowned Brazilian progressive rock band Sagrado Coração da Terra. She soon became the band’s lead singer, recording several albums and touring extensively throughout the country.

In 1998, soon after releasing her debut solo álbum, Santo, Paula moved to Rio de Janeiro and was invited to take part in the Brahma Brasil Festival in France, one of the highlights of the events surrounding the 1998 World Cup, where she shared the stage with the legendary Gilberto Gil. Two years later she was one of the vocalists chosen for the pioneering project Novo Canto (New Singers), which gave incentives to young and talented artists in Brazil. She performed with Elza Soares and Chico César, among others, at Canecão, one of Rio’s best-known music halls, having hosted everyone from Pixinguinha and Antonio Carlos Jobim to Ray Charles and Black Sabbath.

That same year, Paula’s voice reached millions of television viewers throughout the country when she became the singing voice of actress Maria Fernanda Cândido, star of the incredibly popular TV Globo soap opera Aquarela do Brasil. Paula was soon featured in every major Brazilian magazine and made the rounds of the country’s most popular TV talk shows. 

In 2002 Paula was one of three winners of the vaunted Visa Music Awards, which attracted more than 2,000 candidates from all over the country. The following year she left Brazil for her first solo tour in Europe, where she performed to enthusiastic and receptive audiences in Luxembourg, Germany and England. Her London appearance at Momo’s Kemia Bar, prompetd an invitation for her to return for a performance at the London Forum in November, as part of the Brazilian Contemporary Arts project Forever Samba, where she performed with 2003 Grammy winner, Alcione. 

While in London for her Forum concert, Paula performed live on BBC Radio and on Britain’s top televised music program, Later with Jools Holland – appearing on the same episode as Amy Winehouse, at the beginning of her own remarkable career. Paula also contributed to a tribute album to Tom Jobim that was released in the UK by Union Square Music in 2004. 

Throughout her recording career, Paula has worked with such greats of Brazilian music as Ivan Lins, Chico Buarque, Toninho Horta, Jaques Morelenbaum, Nélson Motta, Wilson das Neves, Rodolfo Stroeter and Rafael Vernet. She has graced the stage at popular festivals and events including Tudo é Jazz in Ouro Preto and Projeto Pixinguinha, and performed at important jazz clubs and cultural centers like Jazzkeller in Frankfurt, Gasteig in Munich and Guanabara in London, among others. Alongside these successes, she’s also performed as both singer and as an actress in a number Brazilian musicals, with scores by the likes of Horta and Buarque.

Recently, Paula has toured internationally with the virtuoso guitar player Daniel Marques, considered one of the most important musicians of the new Brazilian generation, and performed in Austria with guitarist/composer Alegre Correa, a veteran of Weather Report co-founder Joe Zawinul’s band, the Zawinul Syndicate.

Paula’s most recent release is “Metal na Madeira,” a collaboration with the talented young composer and acoustic guitar player Ian Faquini, which also features guest appearances by a host of amazing musicians from Brazil and the U.S.

About Paula Santoro

"I am very happy for having participated in Paula Santoro’s CD, which in my view is one of the great new Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) artists, in addition to being one of the best singers in Brazil. Her voice rings smooth when required, but can also cut through space with firmness, clarity and even poetry, depending on the music style. It was a pleasant surprise to meet a singer with a differentiated voice timbre, fine-tuned and musical and with a first class repertoire. Congratulations, Paula, I am your great fan! I wish you great success, which you so much deserve.” Toninho Horta

“From the lyric elegance of Madame Butterfly to the melodic chanting of the washerwomen, to the melancholic wailing of lamenting mourners, to the sultry huskiness of Clementina, Satchmo and Nélson Cavaquinho, all would not amount to more than cries and whispers, breeze and silence, for the voice is but an instrument. The difference, and a place also reserved for Paula Santoro, is when the voice is indeed the instrument and life is thus the argument.” Guinga

"In recent decades, Brazil has shown great singers who gave life and consolidated the 'Brazilian Songbook' around the world. To honor this tradition, and for the happiness of we all, from time to time, an special artist arises as the unique singer Paula Santoro. A performer of a highest quitate, combining vocal technique, soul and sensibility - bringing to each song, rare moments of beauty." Chico Pinheiro

“...Brazil also does a fine line in winsome, girlie singers, and this MPB double bill features the wonderful Paula Santoro. Santoro doesn’t yet have the profile of Bebel Gilberto or Cibelle, but she’d certainly impress the millions who’ve bought their albums. She specialises in beautifully arranged bossa nova classics and samba-pop ballads, switching between Spartan acoustic guitar or piano backing, jazz-edged rhythm sections or elegant string orchestrations. Oddly for a Brazilian singer, you’ll also hear touches of Portuguese fado, flamenco or even some of more stately Cuban folk forms. Proof  that the samba can continually reinvent itself for every generation.” John Lewis - "Time Out" - London, 2003

"...The new Rio sensation, Paula Santoro, skipped on stage with a rock star`s exuberance, but the intimate jazz style of her young trio and her versatile vocal style, with its Satchmo growls and luscious bossa notes, indicated a personally crafted samba-jazz..." Sue Steward - "Evening Standard" – London, 2003

“Paula Santoro from Minas Gerais is one of those perfect singers: fine voice, perfect pitch and excellent repertoire. As shown is the CD in her own name (Biscoito Fino), which among other hits, opens with a little remembered partnership of Moacir Santos and Vinícius “Se você disser que sim”, includes “Sem Fantasia” by Chico Buarque with his participation, and a pearl from Vitor Ramil “Não é Céu”. Antonio Carlos Miguel – O Globo – Rio de Janeiro, November 2005

Elliot Sharp Aggregat (feat. Barry Altschul) - Dialectrical (2016) CLEAN FEED RECORDS

Here’s the third Aggregat opus in which Elliott Sharp continues to go beyond the limits of the two previous releases of this project and again playing only saxophones and clarinets. The first Aggregat was a trio with Brad Jones and Ches Smith with Sharp’s unique guitar voice adding to his horn work. After that, Aggregat became a quintet with the addition of Nate Wooley and Terry Greene, Sharp putting his “six-strings” aside. Now, for “Dialectrical”, only Jones and Greene remain, with Taylor Ho Bynum trumpeting and the great Barry Altschul guesting at the drumset. 

The legendary member of the band Circle, with Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers, Chick Corea and Dave Holland, and also a former Paul  Bley’s partner, now 76 years old, gives a solid anchor to Sharp´s idiosyncratic visions of the jazz tradition. Yes, the free bop you’ll find in “Dialectrical” is more edgy than ever, mixing compositions, simple structural instructions and improvisations in good measure. 

A tribute to Bley is delivered on this CD, but also to a few of the giants who recently passed away, namely Ornette Coleman, David Bowie and Pierre Boulez. This means the music you’ll hear has other musics folded inside and out – the norm with someone like Elliott Sharp, one of the most visionary and flexible musicians of our time.

1. Off-Objekt
2. We Control The Horizontal
3. Ununoctium
4. BBB
5. Oh See (For Ornette Coleman)
6. Firn Away
7. Tile The Plane

Taylor Ho Bynum  trumpet
Terry L. Greene II  trombone
Brad Jones  bass
Barry Altschul  drums and percussion

Black Bombaim & Peter Brötzmann - Black Bombaim & Peter Brötzmann (2016) CLEAN FEED RECORDS

This is a meeting written in the psychedelic sky. Everything seemed to announce it Ion the paths of
the Portuguese stoner rock band Black Bombaim and of the German free jazz saxophonist Peter
Brotzmann. The trio used to combine a saxophone to their music, usually choosing Rodrigo Amado,
a first line figure of the jazz scene in Portugal, and also the late Steve Mackay, the tenor we hear
on the pioneering (in what concerns this kind of mixtures) “L.A. Blues”, by Iggy Pop &The Stooges.

Brotzmann had multiple experiences in the proximities of rock, from the group Last Exit, with Sonny Sharrock, Bill Laswell and Ronald Shannon Jackson, to Full Blast, in the company of Marino Pliakas and Michael Wertmuller, going through his partnerships with his son Caspar Brotzmann and with Fushitsusha, the band lead by Keiji Haino. 

The curious thing, in this collaboration, is that the guitarbass-drums power trio never goes out of their track to meet Brotzmann half way and their guest doesn’t try any compromise to approach them. Putting it very simply: it wasn’t necessary. 

Listening to this CD, we finally discover that there’s not much separating rock and jazz, at least when dealing with factors like jamming, exploring sound and having a cosmic understanding of creative freedom.

Final result: this is one of the discographic pearls of the year 2016.

1. Part I 13:04
2. Part II 8:37
3. Part III 11:32
4. Part IV 7:04
5. Part V 6:59

Executive-Producer [Executive Production By (Lovers&Lollypops)] – Joaquim Durães
Executive-Producer [Executive Production By (Shhpuma)] – Travassos
Mastered By – Chris Hardman
Mixed By – José Arantes
Music By [All Music By] [Uncredited] – Black Bombaim, Brötzmann*
Producer [Produced By] [Uncredited] – Black Bombaim, Peter Brötzmann
Recorded By – José Arantes, João Brandão

Steve Noble & Kristoffer Berre Alberts - Coldest Second Yesterday (2016) CLEAN FEED RECORDS

Here’s one more episode of the British / Scandinavian connection established in the domains of improvised music. And sure it’s a special one, reuniting a second generation figure of the 50 year old London scene, drummer Steve Noble, and one of the top saxophonists coming from the Trondheim’ creative jazz crib, Kristoffer Berre Alberts. 

Noble was a member of the legendary avant-pop band Rip Rig and Panic and a partner of Derek Bailey in many adventures, also playing with Tristan Honsinger, Alan Wilkinson and in the unforgettable collective Kahondo Style. Alberts is making waves in such different groups like Saka and Starlite Motel, with its strong rock pulse, and Cortex, known for its post-free jazz attitude. Together they act like an elephant in a porcelain shop, but in a good way. 

The music is dense and intense, seeming to drag everything that happens to be in their path, and yet it includes little details, inviting you in each moment to find them amongst the walls of sound. At the end of “Coldest Second Yesterday” you feel “experienced”, and that’s the best you can have from a recording.

1. Animal Settlement 6:41
2. Inclination 11:32
3. Order Left Behind 16:07

Recorded by Christian Obermayer 4th of august 2015 at Kulturhuset, Oslo
Mixed and mastered by Christian Obermayer
Produced by Noble and Alberts
Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul
Design by Travassos

Pablo Held Trio - Lineage (2016) PIROUET RECORDS