Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fred Hughes Trio, The - MATRIX (SHORE THING RECORDS 2017)


“Something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form.” With that, Matrix seemed like the logical title for the Fred Hughes Trio’s 8th release and 3rd recording for ShoreThing Records. 

Richard Galliano -Les années Milan d’Edith Piaf à Astor Piazzolla (MILAN RECORDS 2017)

Le meilleur du catalogue Milan de Richard Galliano, réunis sur un magnifique double album. “Comme toutes les belles histoires, cela a commencé par une rencontre, une rencontre qui a bouleversé ma vie, au début des années 80, la rencontre avec Astor Piazzolla. Une de ces rencontres sources avec un artiste qui fut, non un mentor comme il serait un peu facile de le dire, mais une voix, une voie et un exemple. Certaines de ses paroles résonnent encore en moi, profondément.

En 1986, il m’a désigné comme premier bandonéon dans le quintet qui accompagnait Le Songe d’une nuit d’été, mis en scène par Jorge Lavelli à la Comédie-Française. J’étais le seul français dans cet ensemble de musiciens argentins. Impressionnant ! Inoubliable ! Et comme un prolongement naturel et heureux de ces beaux moments, Astor m’a présenté Emmanuel Chamboredon, le PDG des disques Milan, qui produisait le disque du spectacle. Ce fut le début d’une longue collaboration et d’une grande amitié…”

CD 1
01. Ouverture - Ensemble Pari's Tango
02. Milonga - Ensemble Pari's Tango
03. Ouverture - Richard Galliano, Frederic Guerrouet, Maria Lago, Francoise Espinoza
04. Tango final - Richard Galliano, Frederic Guerrouet, Maria Lago, Francoise Espinoza
05. Ballet Tango
06. Sunny's game
07. Adios nonino
08. Pedro y Pedro
09. Chiquilin de bachin
10. Tangaria
11. Chat pitre
12. Barbara
13. Indifference
14. Libertango
15. Oblivion
16. Opale concerto : Part III

CD 2
01. Tango pour Claude [Live]
02. Fou Rire [Live]
03. Sertao [Live]
04. Escualo [Live]
05. Love Day
06. Aurore
07. Michelangelo 70
08. Ten Years Ago
09. Take Eleven
10. Nego Forro - Chico Cesar, Richard Galliano
11. Baiao / Asa Branca - Dominguinhos, Richard Galliano
12. Sem Ganza Nao É Coco - Chico Cesar, Richard Galliano
13. Douce joie - Richard Galliano / Sylvain Luc
14. L'accordeoniste - Richard Galliano / Sylvain Luc
15. La foule - Richard Galliano / Sylvain Luc
16. L'hymne a l'amour - Richard Galliano / Sylvain Luc
17. Swing valse - Richard Galliano / Sylvain Luc

Brian Dickinson Quintet, The - The Rhythm Method (ADDO RECORDS 2017)

Worldwide Release Date: January 20th, 2017

The ten tracks are all original compositions by the leader including, “Orion”, a tribute to the great Wayne Shorter and “The Rhythm Method Suite”, a series of compositions inspired by the music of Lennie Tristano.

Veteran jazz pianist Brian Dickinson has been a mainstay on the Toronto jazz scene for over thirty years. As well as leading his own trio, quartet, quintet and (most lately!) big band projects, he can be heard in bands led by Pat LaBarbera and Kirk MacDonald. He has also worked and recorded with Kenny Wheeler, Jerry Bergonzi, Lee Konitz and Tom Harrell among many others.

Open Season
Bon Voyage
The Rhythm Method Suite: Lennie's Loonies
Trane Trip
Stepping Out
It's Hugh Or Nolan
Raking Leaves

Kelly Jefferson: tenor sax
Luiz Deniz; alto sax
Neil Swainson: bass
Ted Warren: drums

Jason Hainsworth - Third Ward Stories (ORIGIN RECORDS 2016)

Third Ward Stories is a bit of a musical biography for this Houston-bred, thoroughly grounded member of the rich Texas Tenor tradition, his paean to the neighborhood he grew up in and the musical memories embedded in the soil of that 'hood. With stops in New Orleans and New York, and later in Tallahassee and Florida State University where he earned his Masters degree, Hainsworth gathers here some longtime friends from that journey for his second recording as a leader. Along with co-producer, NY trombonist Michael Dease, pianist Glenn Zaleski, drummer Johnathan Blake, Josh Evans on trumpet and Adam Olszewski on bass, Hainsworth explores Wayne Shorter's "Prince of Darkness" and Hoagy Carmichael's classic ballad, "The Nearness of You," along with six original compositions.

1. Groiditude 5:09 
2. I Plead Da Fif 6:59 
3. Jana 4:57 
4. Prince of Darkness 5:54 
5. It's Right There 6:29 
6. The Nearness of You 7:58 
7. Third Ward Stories 6:18 
8. Barack's Blues 6:59 
9. Conversations 9:08

Michael Dease - Trombone 
Josh Evans - Trumpet 
Glenn Zaleski - Piano 
Adam Olszewski - Bass 
Johnathan Blake - Drums

Produced by Michael Dease & Jason Hainsworth 
Recorded by David Stoller at The Samurai Hotel Recording Studio (Astoria, NY) 
July 15th, 2015 
Mixed by Fernando Ulibarri at The Hideaway Studios (Miami, FL) 
Mastered by Jim Alfredson at Alfredson Audio (Lansing,MI) 
Photographs by Edison Penafiel 
Cover design & layout by John Bishop

David Williford – Possible Futures (EAR UP RECORDS 2016)

Possible Futures is a collection of music I’ve written over the course of a few years – along with three interludes written and produced by Daniel Sauls. The music has a broad scope – alluding to various musical influences, and ranging from free-improvisation to concerted arrangements. I had a blast working on this project and collaborating with the other musicians that made it possible. They are all friends that I respect and admire – each bringing a wide pallet of influences that make the music sound unique. I count myself lucky to have their contributions.

David Williford – tenor saxophone and bass clarinet
Joel Gage – guitar
Ian Miller – piano and keyboards
Calvin Knowles – bass
Ross McReynolds – drums 
Daniel Sauls – writing and production on tracks 2, 5, and 8
Don Aliquo – alto saxophone on track 4
Jovan Quallo – flute on track 7 
James Westfall – vibraphone on track 9

Why Can’t They See It? (6’50”)
A simple theme followed by a free collective-improvisation from the quintet – this piece is a reflection on disagreement and truth. Joel Gage calls it my “folk tune”.

Interlude 1 (1’17”)
The interludes on the record were written and produced by Daniel Sauls using sounds from the recording session. This first interlude uses samples from “Please Remember”. His writing process is different from anyone I know, and it really yielded something beautiful.

Read The News Today (1’49”)
I told the band to “play what the internet might sound like”. This track is an excerpt from a tumultuous, free improvisation with post-production from Ian Miller.

Misinformation Age (10′ 22″)
Everyone in the band has love for rock and metal music, and this track brings that to life. This through-composed piece is inspired by the difficulties of finding truth in the age of the internet. It features a teacher and mentor of mine – Don Aliquo – on alto saxophone. It is a challenge to play, but luckily Don said this take “has some hair on it!”

Interlude 2 (1′ 02″)
The second track from Daniel Sauls using sounds from “Why Can’t They See It?”

Understanding (7′ 30″)
The majority of conflict and anxiety in life comes from misunderstandings. This is one of the more simple, subdued tracks on the record – with an outro that reaches a powerful climax. It also features some beautiful, thoughtful solos from Ian and Joel.

Please Remember (14′ 04″)
Many of my mentors taught me to look for inspiration in traditional music from other cultures. I wrote this tune while studying African folk music. Featuring Jovan Quallo on flute, “Please Remember” is a gentle, vulnerable tune tagged with an excerpt from a free improvisation. The solos from Calvin Knowles and Jovan are some of my favorite moments on the record.

Interlude 3 (0′ 49″)
This frantic 49 seconds is the last track from Daniel – using samples from “Misinformation Age”.

Masalu (17′ 06″)
Originally, this was a piece I wrote and recorded for chamber orchestra and soon after adapted for quintet. I wanted to write something that could illustrate the enormous inequalities in history and existing today. I’ve always loved music that is programmatic (from Berlioz to Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun”). While writing this, I tried to outline humanity’s struggle for equality and peace. Through developing a few motives and characters, the piece attempts to bring some ideas to life: the inalienable “oneness” we all share, the fear and avarice that birthed inequality, the despair of oppression, and the possibility of peace.

Last Page (8′ 08″)
The closing track begins with solo piano from Ian leading to a simple theme and collective improvisation from the group. The coda is a lyrical melody over a hypnotic groove that fades to nothing. This piece has to do with a difficult situation and some wisdom from my mother.

Tiger Trio - Unleashed (ROGUEART 2016)

An interesting grouping, with semi-frequent collaborators Joëlle Léandre and Nicole Mitchell teaming up with Myra Melford for a live performance of freely-improvised music. Although each of these players is known for their compositional and improvisational prowess, Melford has done comparatively less work in a purely free vein, so I approached this record with a good deal of inquisitive interest. How would Melford’s lyrical approach to the piano, typically working within well-defined compositional parameters, fare in this unstructured context? Quite well, actually. All three musicians establish a sympathetic rapport that results in a beautiful, graceful musical vision.

The group’s name (and the title of the record for that matter) is a bit misleading. Most of the music here isn’t “tiger”-like at all, and it certainly isn’t out-of-control aggressiveness. On the contrary, as freely-improvised music goes, this is remarkably disciplined and focused, with an emphasis on careful collaboration and mutuality that gives each track a unified feel and strong tonal center. I couldn’t determine if the names of the tracks were assigned after the recording, but they’re all nature-themed: “Bright Sunshine,” “Threatening Clouds,” “Summer Rain,” and so forth. Even here, the titles of the tracks don’t always seem obviously connected to the music itself: “Heavy Hail” moves loosely around a deliberate, even meditative bass figure by Léandre and gentle, yearning phrases from Mitchell, and “Dazzling Snow,” the record’s closer, is one of the record’s more rambunctious and ominous tracks, with Melford’s percussive left hand in punchy dialogue with Mitchell and Léandre. 

But no matter. The music is frequently transfixing and stunning in the intricate interplay involved in its creation. Mitchell’s technique on the flute is impressive as always, as she alternately offers multiple tones, rapid runs, and an occasional touch of mysticism (evident on “Heavy Hail” in particular). Melford’s approach typically involves dense clusters of notes, particularly in conversation with Léandre, who is as stylistically diverse and virtuosic as always.

Whether in dynamically rich, propulsive arco passages or simply plucking a few well-chosen individual notes, Léandre serves as a vital lyrical force, often referencing and elaborating upon the tonal palettes utilized by Melford and Mitchell. On the second track, “Freezing Rain,” Léandre matches Melford’s agile locutions superbly, the two musicians in perfect rapport, each with the utmost confidence in their own statements but with the care in listening needed to develop their ideas in true conversation.

And hearing the three together on “Dust Storm,” with Mitchell’s swirling flurries dancing around the more percussive contributions of Melford and Léandre, we are given a stirring reminder of just how much music can be created through purely spontaneous improvisation.

01. Lightening
02. Freezing Rain
03. Dust Storm
04. Bright Sunshine
05. Heavy Hail
06. Threatening Clouds
07. Thick Fog
08. Summer Rain
09. Hurricane
10. Drizzling Snow

Myra Melford piano
Joëlle Léandre double bass
Nicole Mitchell flute, alto flute, piccolo