Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Brad Myers & Michael Sharfe Upcoming CD Release Shows for "Sanguinaria" (JAZZ PROMO SERVICES)

Upcoming CD Release Shows

Wed. March 1st
Blu Jazz + - Akron, OH 7-10pm $10
Brad Myers Trio w/Michael Sharfe (b) & Shane Willis (d)

Thurs. March 2nd
Bop Stop - Cleveland, OH 8-11pm $10
Brad Myers & Michael Sharfe Duo

Sat. March 4th
Washington Platform - Cincinnati, OH 9-12 $10
Brad Myers Quartet w/ Dan Karlsburg (p), Mike Sharfe (b) & Shane Willis (d)

Fri. March 17th
Spinoza's - Dayton, OH 7-10pm
Brad Myers Trio w/Michael Sharfe (b) & Shane Willis (d)

Wed. April 19th
Brothers Drake - Columbus, OH 8-11pm
Brad Myers Trio w/Michael Sharfe (b) & Shane Willis (d)

Fri. May 19th
Weasel Boy Brewing Co. - Zanesville, OH 8-11pm
Brad Myers Trio w/Michael Sharfe (b) & Shane Willis (d)

Brad Myers & Michael Sharfe Sanguinaria (Hopefulsongs)
Street Date: March 3, 2017
(Colloquy Records 13214)

The elements of interplay and synergy are fundamental to the essence of the finest jazz expression. With Sanguinaria (Hopefulsongs) the brilliant tandem of guitarist Brad Myers and bassist Michael Sharfe embrace these elements to perfection. What began as a musical conversation a few years ago when they began playing together in their hometown Cincinnati has flowered into full bloom with this stunning collaboration.  And the blossoming metaphor is fully appropriate.

In addition to our shared roots, for both of us, music was – has always been – in our blood. The bloodroot plant, whose delicate white flowers bloom in spring, is a metaphor for our collaboration.

That the plant sometimes produces a rare double flower seemed symbolic of our duo format. When the plant’s root is pierced or broken, it bleeds a reddish sap, which also accounts for its Latin name Sanguinaria.

Even more to the point, sanguine means hopeful and optimistic, and aria means an expressive melody or song – which brings us to the core of this beautifully expressive and compelling album. Twelve captivating songs – six by iconic jazz composers; four by Myers; and two provided by respected colleagues –receive enchanting interpretations, focused on beauty, joy and a powerful sense of hopeful inspiration. The mutual feelings of loving expressiveness and emotional warmth embodied by Brad and Mike through this music are palpable and uplifting – further enhanced by the remarkable virtuosity that is fully at their command.

I think of the collaboration between Mike and me as a conversation and a dance. The essence of it, for me, is very yin and yang, but instead of one of us being yin to the other’s yang, each of us possesses both yin and yang.

While there are four additional musicians participating in various places on the album – drummer/percussionists Dan Dorff Jr., Tom Buckley and Marc Wolfley on two or three pieces each, and Dan Karlsberg playing melodica on one – this is truly a pas de deux of aural motion with Myers on acoustic and electric guitars as well as guitar bongos; and Sharfe on double bass, fretless electric bass and percussion.  That Brad has some experience as an electric bassist and Mike studied classical guitar adds another layer of understanding and sharing to the music. The way they stimulate and feed off each other is breathtaking, making it impossible to really tell what is arranged and what is essentially telepathic.

Categories are pointless – ballads that aren’t just ballads; blues that aren’t simply blues; drivers that aren’t always drivers; and swing that isn’t only swing – as pieces shift and morph and transform from moment to moment without contrivance or disruption of the journey undertaken. Each song must be taken entirely on its own terms without any preconception.  Outside of one splendid solo bass excursion and the consummate, ultra-sensitive supporting contributions of the guests, the listener should also dismiss standard notions of soloing and accompanying between Brad and Mike as they shift in and out of those modes as the moment and the story being told demands.

Imagine a sumptuous Japanese meal, with a dozen dishes, each perfectly prepared to be all that it can be, but also crafted to complement and enhance each of the other dishes to both stand alone and in harmony – and that pretty well captures the heart and soul of this album. It makes one wish that there was some new form of technology that would allow you to shift back and forth between elements of each song the way one would sample different delights from each dish at will during the meal.

The repertoire was selected with that same sense of harmony, imaginatively arranged by the two men either individually or together. The six pieces by the eminent jazz composers are conceived in an inspired original fashion while fully maintaining the integrity of the composers’ intent – Gerry Mulligan’s Line for Lyons in a walking groove; Steve Swallow’s Falling Grace alternating between unison and call-and-response; Jim Hall’s Waltz New as a vivid homage to his own many duo endeavors; Mike’s inspired double bass solo on Keith Jarrett’s Country; a Latin-ish 6/8 treatment of Vince Guaraldi’s Great Pumpkin Waltz; and a spirited jaunt in straightforward fashion on Dave Brubeck’s In Your Own Sweet Way that closes out the album.

Two songs that were offered to Mike by their composers after performing together are Steve Cardenas’ New Moon, a beautiful balled that begins like a gentle rain and brews into a bit of a storm; and A Feeling Inspired by Maria, a deeply beauteous paean by Paul Bollenback that is recorded here for the very first time.

Myers’ four compositions include the title tune that opens the album in rubato before taking a decidedly Brazilian turn with touches of Bach and Stevie Wonder in tow; the light and playful bounce on In from Somewhere that re-imagines Out of Nowhere; the deliciously suspended and rapid fire line of Norm’s Ridge inspired by Myers’ major influence, Pat Metheny; and the grooving Bentley’s Blues reprised from Myers’ acclaimed previous album, the outstanding Prime Numbers.

At a time in our world where hope is a most precious and needed substance, the extraordinary Sanguinaria (Hopefulsongs) is a marvelous way to obtain some.

NEW CD From Brad Myers & Michael Sharfe
PRE-ORDER it on iTUNES or Amazon TODAY

1) Sanguinaria (Hopefulsong) (B.Myers) 2:46
2) In From Somewhere (B. Myers) 5:36
3) Line for Lyons (G. Mulligan) 4:49
4) Waltz New (J. Hall) 5:22
5) New Moon (S. Cardenas) 4:44
6) Norm’s Ridge (B. Myers) 4:26
7) Country (K. Jarrett) 2:44
8) Falling Grace (S. Swallow) 5:28
9) A Feeling Inspired by Maria (P. Bollenback) 8:17
10) Bentley’s Blues (B. Myers) 5:05
11) Great Pumpkin Waltz (V. Guaraldi) 5:00
12) In Your Own Sweet Way (D. Brubeck) 5:24
Brad Myers - Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Bongos (1)
Michael Sharfe - Double Bass, Fretless Electric Bass (6), Perc. (1, 9, and 11)

Dan Dorff, Jr. - Drums and Cymbals (2, 6, and 8)
Tom Buckley - Drums and Cymbals (5, 9, and 12)
Marc Wolfley - Percussion (9 and 11)
Dan Karlsburg - Melodica (1)

For more information, visit

National Press Campaign
Jim Eigo
Jazz Promo Services
Ph: 845-986-1677

Thomas Johansson / Oyvind Storesund / Paal Nilssen-Love - Revolution Before Lunch (CATALYTIC SOUND 2017)

This ad-hoc Norwegian trio was formed by trumpeter Thomas Johansson in 2015 as a part of his Master's Degree at The Norwegian Academy of Music. It features the original rhythm section of Gjerstad Trio, Nilssen-Love and double bass player Øyvind Storesund. Johansson plays in Nilssen-Love Large Unit and in other modern jazz outfits as Cortex, All Included, and Friends & Neighbors.

This trio was recorded at the Nasjonal Jazzscene Victoria club in Oslo on February 2015, and the recording is the debut one of Johansson newly-founded Tammtz label. Johansson is a charismatic musician with a strong sound of his own, assured, round and full, flowing with arresting ideas. The rhythm section of Nilssen-Love and Storesund keeps him on his toes, forcing him to adjust his ideas into the urgent, propulsive rhythm section that keeps shifting its rhythmic dynamics. Nilssen-Love and Storesund sound as a telepathic, inseparable unit, but wisely leaving enough space for Johanssen to deliver his commanding solos.

The first two pieces, the propulsive “Close As Hail” and the more moderate “Pouch Of Skin”, sound as an introduction to the 26-minutes tour-de-force of “Incomprehensible Beats”. After Johansson adapted himself to the immediate, shifting dynamics of Nilssen-Love and Storesund, these two experienced improvisers push Johansson even further, opening and varying the rhythmic envelope constantly, coloring his extended breathing techniques and some of his most lyrical playing with great imagination and detail. Johansson meets this challenge with remarkable success, claiming his status as a leader to reckon with in the rich legacy of fiery, free jazz meets free improvised trio format.

Close As Hail
Pouch Of Skin
Incomprehensible Beats

Thomas Johansson: trumpet, flugelhorn
Øyvind Storesund: double bass
Paal Nilssen-Love: drums

NEC's Jazz Lab – Summer Program

New England Conservatory’s Jazz Lab

One-Week Intensive Jazz Program for Students Ages 14 – 18 

Sunday, June 25 – Friday, June 30, 2017

Faculty Includes The Bad Plus: Ethan Iverson, Alex Brown, Jason Palmer, Ken Schaphorst, David Zoffer, Rick McLaughlin and Artistic Director, Tim Lienhard

 Students ages 14–18 are invited to spend a week in Boston with some of the best musicians in the country at New England Conservatory’s Jazz Lab. The program is a one-week intensive for students from throughout the United States and abroad. Instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome, as are small ensembles.  No pre-audition is required.  Jazz Lab takes place Sunday, June 25 – Friday, June 30, 2017. Both day and overnight students are welcome. 

During Jazz Lab students surround themselves with like-minded musicians and take their jazz training to the next level.  Unlike many other summer jazz programs, NEC's Jazz Lab offers both an intimate setting for learning combined with the rich urban landscape of Boston.  Students work with NEC’s premier jazz faculty and participate in a curriculum full of improvisation, small group training, jam sessions, entrepreneurial workshops and college audition prep. This year’s program will be headlined by a day-long residency with The Bad Plus.

Jazz Lab faculty include NEC Jazz Studies Department Chair Ken Schaphorst, pianist David Zoffer, bassist Rick McLaughlin and trombonist/Jazz Lab Artistic Director Tim Lienhard. This year’s renowned guest artists, The Bad Plus, Alex Brown, and Jason Palmer will not only have an impact on participants through their innovative teaching, but with their spectacular performances throughout the week.

In addition to daily theory/improvisation classes, small ensemble coaching, and one on one instruction, Jazz Lab will feature seminars in entrepreneurship and training for careers in music. NEC jazz alumni talk about what it takes to promote music, produce concerts, build a private teaching studio and find success as a 21st century jazz musician. Faculty will also instruct students on applying to conservatories, schools of music and universities; what to look for in potential colleges and techniques for a successful audition.

Tuition is $945, which includes all classes, nightly faculty concerts, jam sessions, one private lesson with faculty, t-shirt, lunch and dinner daily (dietary needs are accommodated).  Overnight students pay an additional $545 for five nights’ housing, including daily breakfast. For more information about or to register for this dynamic program, visit  Questions?  Contact:

NEC’s Jazz Studies Department was the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory. The brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became President of the Conservatory in 1967, the Jazz Studies faculty has included six MacArthur "genius" grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters, and alumni that reads like a who’s who of jazz. The program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers. As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: “NEC’s jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni.”

David Sills - Session at the Drawing Room (2017)

A warm mix of American Song Book Standards, Jazz Classics and originals all performed uniquely in a straight ahead jazz style. David Sills continues to present the finest quality jazz with this new release. It's real jazz with improvisation based on the original idea that an improvised solo should be a natural and new development of ideas as a solo evolves. Session At The Drawing Room is swinging in the jazz tradition, yet moving the music forward. Each artist presents his unique solo voice, and combine to blend as a wonderful group sound.

01. On a Misty Night 7:01
02. Lighthouse 13 6:06
03. There's No You 7:50
04. Stoned Eyes 5:19
05. On the Sunny Side of the Street 5:21
06. Johnny Come Lately 5:53
07. Foolin' Myself 6:50
08. Background Music 4:10
09. On Green Dolphin Street 6:07
10. Afternoon in Paris 6:44
11. A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing 6:36

Benoît Lugué - Cycles (2017)

CYCLES est un groupe de musique, né en 2015, à Paris. Je suis musicien, bassiste, compositeur, issu d’une culture majoritairement jazz. Dans l’élaboration de ce nouveau projet, j’ai voulu travailler sur l’invention d’une musique de transe. A travers ce groupe, je développe un son électrique qui s'inspire autant du jazz contemporain, que du rock, des musiques du monde, de la pop, des musiques électroniques... Je réalise là une synthèse de beaucoup d'influences qui me traversent depuis que je suis musicien.

Quelques années à animer des projets divers, à faire des centaines de concerts comme bassiste, à développer quelques belles aventures collectives m'ont amené intuitivement à CYCLES… Moi je prononce « Saïquels » à l'anglaise, mais à la française ça va bien aussi !

CYCLES, ce sont d’abord des musiciens fantastiques qui donnent une couleur unique à ce projet : Martin Wangermée (batterie), Matthis Pascaud (guitare), Denis Guivarc'h (sax alto), Olivier Laisney (trompette), Johan Blanc (trombone) ; et puis un ingénieur du son qui nous accompagne sur les concerts : Axel Pfirrmann - sans qui le groupe n'aurait assurément pas existé de la même façon ; enfin, c’est une équipe de concepteurs d’images : Adrien Berthet (photo), Quentin Mesnard (vidéo)et Goulwen "Leyto" Mahé, (artiste peintre issu de la scène graf bretonne).

Le groupe s'est produit sur scène au studio Sextan (Malakoff), au Sunset (Paris), aux Disquaires (Paris), au Coueslé Jazz Club (Allaire, 56), en première partie d'Erik Truffaz au festival Jazz Dans le Bocage (Allier), à La Défense Jazz Festival.

01. Funny Toy 04:36
02. The Blue Nine 03:39
03. Sugar Kane (feat Magic Malik) 03:51
04. El Tigre 04:13
05. A Circle Song 03:27
06. Intercycle #1 01:56
07. Le Cri des Loups (feat Sara Llorca) 05:04
08. Adrien 01:06
09. The Elephant's Walk 04:29
10. Indécisions (feat Magic Malik) 05:10
11. Closer 03:54

Matthis Pascaud : guitare, lap steel
Martin Wangermée : batterie
Denis Guivarc’h : saxophone
Johan Blanc : trombone & microKorg
Olivier Laisney : trompette

Magic Malik : flûte, voix
Sara Llorca : voix

Amit Baumgarten Quartet - Times Of Change (2017)

Original jazz music from Israel. A special blend between the warm traditional jazz sound with compositions highly influenced by rock , African music and middle-eastern music. 

This is an eclectic album, that goes a long way from the post-bop tune "Rain Coffee" , to the prog-rockish "Urban Adventure" and even a surprising homage to the Seattle grunge bands with the tune "90's".

All blended together in a unique and elegant way that creates a special sound and atmosphere.

01. Rain Coffee 05:38
02. Landscape 05:20
03. Zebra 06:52
04. 90's 06:40
05. Boogaloo 06:53
06. Interlude 01:13
07. Times Of Change 06:14
08. Urban Adventure 07:56
09. Dreaming About 07:19
10.Bishulim 05:32

Avri Borochov - Contabass
Tom Oren - Piano
Alon Benjamini - Drums

Gorilla Mask - Iron Lung (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

After the broad success of “Bite My Blues”, Canadian saxophonist Peter Van Huffel’s Berlin band Gorilla Mask is back with more music; not to cover the foot imprints of his previous work but going beyond a good number of steps. You can’t say anymore that this project consists of a mix of jazz with punk and metal – the kind of sonic assault heard on “Iron Lung” has an identity of its own, inclusively because it’s not only a projection of raw energy. There’s purpose, method and order in a unique way, even if the alto sax makes us think of an Arthur Blythe high on methamphetamines. Roland Fidezius’ and Rudi Fischerlehner’s repetitive patterns give focus to the overall chaos of dissonance, atonality, free flowing multiphonics and electric noise, turning this post-everything proposal into a wonder of sound sculpting and form made from debris: a divergent, deviant, subversive, perverse masterpiece which exposes the human face behind the gorilla mask.

01. Hammerhead
02. Before I Die
03. Thumpl
04. Crooked
05. Blood stain
06. Steam Roller
07. Lullaby for a Dead Man
08. Iron Lung
09. Chained (bonus track)

Peter Van Huffel  alto saxophone
Roland Fidezius  electric bass, effects
Rudi Fischerlehner  drums

All compositions by Peter Van Huffel (GEMA)

Recorded February 11th and 12th, 2016 by Christian Heck at Golden Retriever Studios, Berlin Germany | Mixed by Christian Heck at Tonart Studios, Kerpen-Horrem Germany | Mastered by James Plotkin at Plotkinworks, USA
Produced by Peter Van Huffel | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos