Saturday, September 30, 2017

Colin Steele Quartet - Diving for Pearls (Jazz Interpretations of the Pearlfishers Songbook) MARINA RECORDS 2017

"This is effusive, vital, lovely jazz” - JAZZ UK

"Beautiful life-affirming music” - HMV CHOICE

“Colin Steele can unfurl the Chet Baker arabesques” - THE TIMES

Marina Records proudly presents one of its most unusual and best releases yet: The music of The Pearlfishers, one of Marina’s most beloved acts, gets the royal jazz treatment in exciting new arrangements by the Colin Steele Quartet. Continuing a great jazz tradition - like Miles Davis with “Porgy & Bess” (’58) and Chet Baker with “Plays Lerner & Loewe” (’59) - the entire album is dedicated to the work of one composer - David Scott of The Pearlfishers. Colin Steele from Edinburgh, one of UK’s leading jazz trumpeters, adds his very own sound and interpretations to Scott’s songs and transports them into a brand new musical territory.

Steele has a long association with The Pearlfishers since he appeared as a studio musician on many of their albums. Steele: “I’d played on many sessions with The Pearlfishers before, and have a similiar taste in music with David Scott, with our shared love of Burt Bacharach, Beatles and Beach Boys. I was impressed by the depth of the beautiful melodies and could immediately hear my own voice playing these melodies - specifically using the ‘Miles Davis sound’ of the Harmon mute.”

The results are simply gorgeous. The album kickstarts with the joyous blast of “The Bluebells” - a song that originally appeared on the Pearlfishers album “Up With The Larks”. Colin Steele makes it swing and rise just beautifully. His warm, melodic playing and tone is also a perfect match for the wonderful “Everything Works Out”, one of Scott’s most enduring songs. “The Vampires Of Camelon” rides on a great piano riff reminiscent of Vince Guaraldi - brilliantly played by Dave Milligan, Steele’s long-time collaborator, who also arranged the album. Quite fabulously so.

"Ice Race" - from the Pearlfishers' seasonal album "A Sunflower At Christmas" - gets propelled to new heights by the powerhouse drumming of Alyn Cosker. It just grabs you and won't let go. "Gone In The Winter" is a superb showcase for the exceptional deep-toned, warm double-bass playing of Calum Gourlay. Just stunning.

The piano intro of "The Umbrellas of Shibuya" quite fittingly recalls the stripped-down beauty of Ryuichi Sakamoto. And then Steele breezes in with the fantastic melody and his imaginative playing. The album comes to a perfect close with the blissful coda "Swan Dreams" (originally from "Sky Meadows"). Simply sublime.

"Diving For Pearls" was recorded in just one day - like many of the great jazz albums - at Scotland's famous Castlesound studios (The Blue Nile, Orange Juice, R.E.M.). Masterfully engineered by Stuart Hamilton. You really get the "in-the-room-with-the-artist" feel. Dive, baby, dive!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Yuri Honing's new album Goldbrun out now! (CHALLENGE RECORDS 2017)

Saxophonist Yuri Honing comes after the successful album Desire, again with a jazz album that breathes peace, serenity, tension and mysticism. The inspiration comes from Honing’s love for classical music, history and art. 

The central theme and motive for this album is Europe and heroism. In those times when people do not always realize the value of Europe and of 70 years of peace, Honing tells a binding story. During his research into the history of Europe, he chose Germany as a symbol of Europe. Because of their many good writers, philosophers, composers and painters. And because of its resilience and the leadership role they now take in Europe. He attributes to more proudness of among Europeans of the cultural DNA of our their continent.

Honing was especially inspired by the beauty of Richard Wagner’s music (1813-1883) and his disciple Richard Strauss (1864-1949). Both were determined in their music, even though they did not match the taste of time. In track 4, Goldbrun IV, these two inspirations are processed.

Goldbrun, title of the album, is a non-existent term. For Honing, it stands for the way of composing this album. The (harmonic) themes are interwoven in a larger whole, which characterizes that each second interval of the main theme is a small second. This way of non linear composing he looked down from John Coltrane. He plays Lush Life (1961) ‘Like Someone in Love’ without piano. As a result, you can continuously oversee the whole piece. Honing: “I compose from a core and work from there to the edges, as are harmonic structures that start in the middle and spreads out. It’s a spherical thing, Goldbrun.”

Through all the influences and cooperation around this project it has become a Gesamtkunstwerk. In a second phase, September 22, 2018, the exhibition Goldbrun, a collaboration of artist Mariecke van der Linden and Yuri Honing, opens in the Museum of Funding in Zwolle with a special space for this occasion, with installations, music and oil painting.

© 2017 - NewArts International / Challenge Records Int.

Marius Neset (with Lionel Loueke, Ivo Neame, Petter Eldh, Anton Eger & Jim Hart)– Circle of Chimes (ACT MUSIC 2017)

News // Edition Records


Dinosaur had great fun at the Mercury Prize Award Show in early Sept. Watch their performance of Living, Breathing here broadcast on BBC 4.
Guitarist Rob Luft received an extraordinary 4.5 star review for Riser from Downbeat Magazine. Read it here.
Malija have just released their second album 'Instinct' - listen to a track on the Apple Music Jazz A-list here.
Following 12 shows over 6 nights at Ronnie Scott's, Django Bates takes 'Saluting Sgt. Pepper' to Sweden, Norway and Denmark this Autumn.
Following Aki Rissanen's acclaimed album 'Amorandon' in Feb 2016, he releases his follow up, 'Another North' on 10th Nov. Available on CD, 180gr LP & digital. Listen to a track here.
The original, danceable, sophisticated, alive and subversive Danish Electronic, Jazz and Dance Music band HESS IS MORE has signed to Edition with the 7th album 80 Years, due for release on 1st Dec.
Danish band, Girls in Airports, have started racking up great reviews for their Live album. Check out what the critics are saying here.


GARY HUSBAND - A Meeting of Spirits

Reinterpretations of the music
of John McLaughlin.

29th Sept | PRE-ORDER


Sounds of a deeply meditative and lyric nature

6th Oct | PRE-ORDER



MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE: The first shows announced!


Cool never sounded so hot:
Award-winning jazz singer/composer Kathy Sanborn takes a deep dive into the full spectrum of love with her brand-new release Recollecting You On her eighth album the multi-talented vocalist focuses her creative vision on relationships with lovers, family and friends.

“Recollecting You”  (Pacific Coast Jazz PJ36134) Street Date: August 4, 2017
Vocals: Kathy Sanborn, Keyboards and bass: Keerthy Narayan, Piano: Aman Almeida, Drums: Abhinav Khanna, Trumpet: Wayne Ricci, Guitar on Another Sultry Night, Falling:, Vito Gregoli Guitar on Kissed (Shoobop Shoobop):, CiroHurtado Violin on Guiding Light: Rocio Marron
UPC Code: 829166361349

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Free Radicals Celebrate New CD “Outside the Comfort Zone" Houston 9/23 Austin 9/30

Free Radicals
Celebrate The Release of Their New CD 
“Outside the Comfort Zone"

Austin CD Release Show
Saturday, September 30th
11:00pm – 12:00am
Sahara Lounge
1413 Webberville Rd
Austin, TX 78721
(512) 927-0700

Artist: Free Radicals
Title: Outside The Comfort Zone
Catalog Number: RWE017
Artist Website:
Release Date: SEPT 15, 2017
UPC Code: 654483001728

Musicians & Songwriters:

Pete Sullivan: bari sax
Jason Jackson: alto sax
Aaron Varnell: tenor sax
Tom VandenBoom: trombone
Matt Serice: trumpet & keys
Nick Cooper: drums & perc.
Al Bear: guitar
Jacob Breier: bass
Nick Gonzalez: sousaphone

About The Music

1. The Legals Have a Lunch
Free Rads originally recorded this track to be included on their all-breakbeat CD "Freedom of Movement.” Havikoro, the b-boy collective executive producing the 2015 CD felt the tune sounded too goofy for breakdancing. However, goofy was exactly what Free Rads was going for, so they kept the tune in the vault. Featured are solos and arrangements by Jason Jackson on alto sax, Tom VandenBoom on trombone, and Aaron Varnell on tenor sax. Long time collaborators jump in on the jam -- Harry Sheppard on vibes, Al Pagliuso on percussion, Pelayo Parlade on piano, Theo Bijarro on bass, and  Nelson Mills III on trumpet. Nelson played trumpet on the Tighten Up, a Houston funk tune that was the number one hit in the nation the week drummer / producer Nick Cooper was born.

‘The Legals Have a Lunch’ is an alternate title for this new CD, with its cover art showing a family of descendants of European immigrants in a diner, eating a feast and looking at their phones, oblivious to the apartheid system right outside.

2. Doomsday Clock
  ‘Doomsday Clock’ is a ska tune by drummer Nick Cooper featuring solos by Tom VandenBoom on trombone, Matt Serice on trumpet, Aaron Varnell on tenor, and Al Bear on guitar. Guest musicians Lynn Bechtold on violin, and Harry on the vibes all join in.

Since 1947, the Doomsday Clock has been updated by the members of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to represent the likelihood of a human-caused global catastrophe. 'Make America Great Again' has been a pathological escapist cultural response to a world with looming climate, military, pollution, and ecosystem collapses. Free Radicals plays ‘Doomsday Clock’ as a rejection of anti-scientific political posturing and as a tribute to the scientists who do their best to bring attention to things that really matter.

3. Chicha Revolución
Bass player Jacob Breier wrote this tune recalling 1970s Peruvian Chicha music. It starts off with a guitar solo by Al Bear and features solos by Pete Sullivan on baritone sax, Aaron Varnell on tenor, and a bridge featuring Matt Serice and Henry Darragh on keys, and Pelayo Parlade on piano.

4. Carry Me To My Grave
Trumpeter Doug Falk wrote this tune during a month when the band was playing a lot of funerals. Doug moved to New Orleans soon after writing the song, handing off the baton to trombonist Tom VandenBoom. The recording was done in a living room, and features solos by Aaron, Al B., Harry, Matt, Jason, Harry, and Tom.

Over the 21 years of Free Radicals music, ten of their musical collaborators have died (Ramesh Mishra, Greg Harbar, Zin, Little Joe Washington, Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde, Carl Adams, Jeff Wells, Niyi, Stefan Schultz, and Joseph Jackson). With a huge extended family of musicians in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and up to Harry Sheppard at 89 years old, the Free Rads know the next funeral they play might be for one of their own.

5. Screaming
Free Radicals often tracks solos and arrangements over loops made from recordings of live improvs. Most of the material on Free Rads' 3rd CD, "Aerial Bombardment," was recorded in this manner. 'Screaming' is a hybrid mix of recordings from Sound Arts Recording Studio and two shows at at Avant Garden, the late night Houston hang-out that’s been around as long as Free Radicals (21 years). It features solos by Aaron and Al B., and percussion by Charlie Perez.

There has been a lot to scream about in the last year. ‘Screaming’ is an expression of the band’s frustration.

6. Dadaab
Though this song by bassist Jacob Breier references music from the Horn of Africa, when Subhendu Chakraborty came up with a great tabla part for it, producer Nick Cooper gladly recorded it (the band has never sought purity). It also features Muhammad Jafari on doumbec, solos by Tom, Jason, Aaron, Pete, and Nick C. on drum set, clavinet, and talking drums. Dadaab is the world's largest refugee camp, and Free Radicals has benefited musically, personally, and professionally from Houston's large and vibrant refugee population. Free Radicals musicians have no patience for anti refugee rhetoric, and are proud to have refugees in their group, as well as among their students, friends, coworkers, and spouses.

7. Freedom of Consumption
This breakbeat came out of an improv studio session with help from Henry Darragh on piano, Robert Chadwick on flutes, Al P. on congas, and Subhendu on tablas.

8. Angola 3
Nick Gonzalez, the Free Rads’ sousaphone player wrote this one. It’s been played at protests, weddings, funerals, and every other type of gathering the band performs. It features all the horns jamming, with Harry on vibes, and Matt on organ.

The Angola 3 (Robert King, Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace) were long-time political prisoners in Louisiana's Angola Prison. A long modal piece, ‘Angola 3’ is a tribute to these former prisoners and anyone who has sat in a cell for years deprived of human contact and music.

9. Manifest Dust Bunny
Pete Sullivan, the baritone sax player, wrote this piece and it immediately clicked with a recently expanded 5 person horn section. With quick alternating punk, ska, and funk parts and no solos, it is intended as an overture of music the Free Rads musicians have listened to since high school.

Unfortunately, Manifest Destiny is a worldview that is still around, clogging up Turtle Island from Immokalee to Arizona to Cleveland to Standing Rock. Free Radicals looks forward to seeing it vacuumed up once and for all.

10. Water Beats Rock
Alto sax player Jason Jackson wrote this slow jam in tribute to 70s Bruce Lee movies. The title is a reference to Rock, Paper, Scissors, cinematic boat scenes, and the taoist principle of becoming like water. It features solos by Jason, Tom, Pete, Aaron, and Al B. and alternating bass lines by Jacob and sousaphone by Nick Gonzalez.

11. Solidaridad de la Sierra
Pete Sullivan wrote this one, featuring Robert Chadwick on flutes, Al P. on triangle, and solos by Matt, Tom, Pete, and Jason. Free Rads dedicates this song to mountains and indigenous people who live on them, and intends it as a protest against the mining companies that put entire mountain ecosystems into a grinder for one-time mineral profits.

12. Audacity of Drones
This song features loops from live recordings of a show in which all three sax players brought out baritones, and something terrifying came out.

Like most US presidents, Barack Obama has a legacy of killing innocent civilians and opening up wars on new fronts should land him in front of a war crimes tribunal. The Free Radicals hopes to honor his innocent victims and to invoke the sounds of death machines whose existence taxpayers finance, and have come to accept as normal.

13. Beyond Vietnam
Jason Jackson wrote this tribute to Southeastern Asian psychedelic music from the 70s. It features solos by Jason and Al B. MLK's ‘Beyond Vietnam’ remains among the most important anti-war speeches in history. Free Radicals musicians find themselves in a weird United States that has failed to learn anything from the crucial message MLK died to deliver.

14. Space Witch
Jacob Breier wrote this reggae tune and invited friend Will Van Horn on the pedal steel. Often, Free Radicals tries to give its songs political titles or associate them with political causes, but this song is simply about a space witch.

15. Scrapple from the DAPL
 Pete Sullivan wrote this one, and it features solos by Harry and Pete. Free Rads Street Band has been honored to stand with the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline (and every other pipeline).

16. New Sanctuary Movement
Jason Jackson's song is a tribute to immigrants and those who protect them, and a middle finger to anyone who tries to demonize the immigrants who have improved our society in so many ways. It features Nick on percussion, and solos by Aaron, Jason, Tom, Pete, and Al.

17. Cabinet For Sale
 Al Bear's quick changing blues-meets-samba tune mocks the oligarchs running our nation after absurd promises to ‘drain the swamp.’ It features Al B. and the horns trading off melodies and Brazilian percussion by Charlie.

18. Stump Stomp
Aaron Varnell wrote this tune after a protest across the street from a Donald Trump fundraiser in Houston’s River Oaks. Donald Trump protests have brought out Muslims, gays, #blacklivesmatter activists, DACA recipients, minimum wage workers, and environmentalists to speak with one common voice. That's one thing for which Free Radicals thanks Trump.

19. Cheeto News Coma
 Where can we hide from the 24-hour media cycle and it's endless portrayals of our hideous president? This breakbeat features Subhendu and the sax players.

20. Survival of the Oblivious
Harry Sheppard's multiple mallet instrument tracks weave in and out of this instrumental reggae tune. It also features Pete, Aaron, Tom, Subhendu, and alternating bass lines by Jacob and sousaphone lines by Nick G..

21. Ambush ICE
Pete Sullivan's frantic tune features Harry, Robert, and Nick G. It’s an attempt to tap into the state of those living in fear of an imminent ICE ambush and chase scene, with a short interlude in a muzak elevator.

22. A Call For All Demons
After many years of playing this 1956 tune by Sun Ra and collaborating with former Sun Ra vibraphonist Damon Choice, Free Rads decided to put them together for this recording done entirely in the musicians’ homes. Damon and Harry play on this tune like little kids, which can make everyone forget that between the two, there are well over 100 years of vibraphone experience. The song features Robert on flutes, Matt on organ, and drummer Nick C. plays a funk breakdown on Brazilian instruments, including a repique he got from Damon.

23. American Food Chain
This was a piece from years ago, featuring Paul Winstanley on bass, that the Free Rads felt would close out the instrumental CD well. Free Radicals usually features vocalists, poets, and rappers, but for this album, the band went all instrumental, intending to make up for this by releasing a lyric-filled CD next.

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