Saturday, April 8, 2017

Matt Holman - The Tenth Muse (NEW FOCUS RECORDINGS 2017)

Trumpeter and composer Matt Holman releases a recording of his large scale composition The Tenth Muse, written for his ensemble (trumpet, vibraphone, piano, woodwinds) of the same name. Holman seemlessly weaves together improvisational and through-composed elements in the work, looking to the romantic poems of Greek poet Sappho in translations by Anne Carson as a source of inspiration and direct material. 

In the ancient love poetry of the Greek lyrist Sappho, trumpet player/composer Matt Holman has found a trove of writings whose emotions and sentiments feel as timely and passionate today as they did when they were written, more than 2,500 years ago. On his new album, The Tenth Muse, Holman bridges the ancient with the modern through 16 ethereal compositions inspired by Sappho’s writings (as translated by Anne Carson).

Holman’s pieces take the fragmentary nature of Sappho’s poetry as it has come down to us as a guide for balancing structure and improvisation, clarity and mystery. Holman’s stark but enticing music is brought to life by a gifted quartet well versed in exploring heady concepts with impassioned vigor and airy sensitivity: Holman, saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist Sam Sadigursky, vibraphonist Chris Dingman, and pianist Bobby Avey. Holman initially discovered Sappho’s poetry through his wife, who introduced him to the Greek poetess during the early days of their courtship, the intoxicating period when every aspect of taste and personality is a new discovery. The words that survived from antiquity seemed to reflect his own feelings across a gulf-spanning millennia, while the significant portions that had been lost over time added a sense of entrancing uncertainty.

“I was astounded at the beauty of these fragments,” he recalls. “What exists today is so minimal that the spaces between the words prompt the brain to fill in words and phrases, almost like erasure poetry. Looking at Sappho’s work and finding these beautiful poems, I almost ache on some of them wanting to know what those words were that we’ll never know. For me that was really powerful.”It also resonated with Holman’s instincts as a composer/improviser, whose own muse subsists on the relationship between the written and the spaces left open for spontaneous invention.

To further distance the compositions from his own instincts, Holman devised different systems of cryptograms for each piece – pitches and rhythms associated with specific letters or words (the best known example being J.S. Bach’s coding of his own name into compositions using notes associated with its four letters). “You have a certain language and certain licks that are characteristically you, which is a good thing, but when you’re trying to create something new you want to start fresh, ”Holman explains. “I wanted to have another element outside of my own tendencies. You have to search really hard to find it, almost like it’s the composer’s secret, but I think it adds more depth.

”The music for The Tenth Muse (the title comes from Plato’s adulatory name for the poetess) was written during a residency at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming in August 2013. He spent the month working in a refurbished schoolhouse dating from the early 20th century on a scenic 30,000-acre ranch offering outdoor activities and teeming with wildlife. “I had an incredible piano and nature right outside my door,” Holman describes. “Deer would walk by all the time. There was time and there was a vastness to being in Wyoming that allowed a real focus of purpose and connection to nature, a quality that is present in Sappho’s work. All of these poems come from an individual voice, so I strove to capture in the music this sense of solitude. I wanted the music to sound intimate, as if it came from a single individual even if there are moments where it’s multidimensional.”The Tenth Muse premiered at Dave Douglas’ FONT (Festival of New Trumpet Music) in September 2013. The music is remarkable for its intimacy and fluidity, sliding effortlessly between the composed and the improvised with grace and elegance, though not without a full-blooded urgency.

The unusual instrumentation provides an expansive palette, which Holman seizes on in a variety of ways. His trumpet and Sadigursky’s woodwinds are supple and soaring, tethered by the resonant power of Avey’s piano and softened by the gauzy luminescence of Dingman’s vibes. “I sought to evoke the full range of themes in these fragments,” Holman says. “Some are passionate and devotional, related to love, and others reflect on the awe-inspiring aspects of nature or the power of dreams. Over the course of two millenia, the human condition has remained fundamentally the same. We are still beholden to our desires, still marvel at a vast sky, still suffer over love both in its anticipation and in its loss.

In this day and age, we are inundated with images and reminders of what divides us from each other. Sappho’s poetry draws for us the connection between the ancient and the modern, reminding us that even something as simple as a fragment can speak to the depths of our shared humanity.

01. fragment 104b 6:49
02. fragment 147 7:20
03. fragment 24a,c,d 5:11
04. fragment 120 2:01
05. fragment 36 5:16
06. fragment 29a 3:43
07. fragment 67a 1:50
08. fragment 168b 2:10
09. fragment 4 7:57
10. fragment 34 1:36
11. fragment 38 6:11
12. fragment 32 3:14
13. fragment 18 1:04
14. fragment 26 3:31
15. fragment 63 3:41
16. fragment 88a,b 5:04

Chris Dingman: vibraphone
Bobby Avey: piano
Sam Sadigursky: soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto flute, flute

Sonny Troupe Quartet Add 2 - Reflets Denses (2017)

We discovered Sonny Troupé with Voyages et Rêves, a very promising first album. More than just a visiting card, it was a boarding card for a world bridging the borders between the diverse styles that characterise the personality of this Guadaloupian drummer. Gwo ka – the music with which the son of saxophonist Georges Troupé learnt all the essentials (and the drum of the same name that goes with it) – remains his reference point. Then there’s jazz – the other music he was brought up on, listening to drum masters like Max Roach and Art Blakey – and all the musicians he met and mixed with, from Kenny Garrett to Lisa Simone. But there’s also all the music he came across when he arrived in Paris in the early 2000’s – funk and rhythm’n’blues, metal and West African, not forgetting the music of the overseas diaspora. All these influences make themselves heard in the first album, a wild trip scattered with samples and quotations, with an underlying examination of the creole identity. But there’s more to come with this new album, whose name says it all: Reflets Denses (Dense Reflections).

“A reflection so dense that it becomes another reality, with resemblances due to the real and differences due to the fact that it’s a different entity.”

That’s the idea that Sonny Troupé decided to develop following Luminescence, the duo with Grégory Privat that came out in 2015. Resemblance and difference is the duality inherent in Sonny Troupés personality. He is not one simple thing or another, but rather the sum of his complexities. You need to be able to listen between the lines if you want to understand the whole of his message. An apparently classical theme can take on electronic contour, a post-modern sound can become the subject of a jazz treatment. Every time, the primary materials become the object of a reinterpretation, creating diffractions of the same.

Anthony Jambon Group - Precious Time (KLARTHE RECORDS 2017)

Anthony Jambon Group is composed of 5 young musicians, close-knit and virtuosic. Leading the group of friends is Anthony Jambon, whose influences are eclectic. His first album has a kind of simple, accessible beauty and the vibes are in turn energetic and powerful, tender and relaxed.

Entitled "Precious Time", it sounds like a parenthesis, a suspended moment. The music gives space to both precise writing and improvisation, transcendental melodies and rhythmic complexity. Each of the 8 long tracks tells its own story and the listener is invited to travel through time and space, led by the band's heightened sensitivity and communicative emotion.

1. 5 POINT 1 

Inor Sotolongo - Percussion (2,3,7,8)
Bastien Picot - Voice (1,2,3,5,7,8)
Marie Jouis - Violin (2,4,5,6)
Guillaume Latil - Cello (2,4,5,6)

Mark Whitfield - Grace (2017)

It's been 27 years since I officially introduced myself to the music world with my 1st Warner Bros. recording, "The Marksman"! After years of performing as a solo artist as well as a featured guest with artists like Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Shirley Horn, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Cedar Walton, Sting, Stephen Tyler, D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige and the Dave Matthews Band, it is my absolute pleasure, honor and privilege to share the stage and the recording studio with my sons Mark Jr. on drums and Davis on piano and keyboards. Our bassist, Yasushi Nakamura, is a former student of mine from my Juilliard jazz improvisation lectures and we have enjoyed performing all over the world for the past few years. As an added bonus, my cousin, singer, songwriter performer extraordinaire Sy Smith(Sting, Chris Botti, Whitney Houston, Brandi, Jamie Foxx, Usher & Ricky Minor) co-wrote and sang the title track "Grace".

Mark Jr, Davis and I are all graduates of the Berklee College of Music and in addition to performing we give workshops and masterclasses focusing on musical and personal development and are always excited to share the benefits of our experiences.

Afro Samurai
Blue D.A.
Double Trouble
Space Between Us
The Socrates Curse
Pulse, Pt. 2

Davis Whitfield: piano, keyboards
Yasushi Nakamura: bas
Mark Whitfield, Jr.: drums
Sy Smith: vocals (on “Grace”)

Shahin Novrasli - Emanation (2017)

Le pianiste et compositeur Shahin Novrasli est une icône du jazz azerbaïdjanais, déjà invité dans les plus prestigieux festivals internationaux. À tout juste quarante ans, il puise autant dans la culture du Caucase que dans la musique classique européenne et les rythmes du jazz pour forger avec élégance son univers musical très accompli. Le maître Ahmad Jamal, qui le parraine et l’a présenté au célèbre festival Jazz in Marciac l’été dernier, ne s’y est pas trompé?.

Paris attendait ce pianiste époustouflant, le voici qui nous présente son nouvel album sorti en avril 2017, « Emanation ». De l’exotisme aux harmonies puissantes, du folk traditionnel « Mugham » au jazz américain, vivez une soirée unique d’une grande puissance aux croisées de l’Orient et de l’Occident, en compagnie de partenaires hors pair dont James Kammack, le contrebassiste d’Ahmad Jamal, et André Ceccarelli à la batterie.

1. Emanation 4:24
2. Song of Ashug 4:48
3. Saga (feat. Didier Lockwood) 8:39
4. Jungle 5:30
5. Misri Blues 3:58
6. Ancient Parallel (feat. Didier Lockwood) 8:52
7. Tittle Tattle 5:20
8. Yellow Nightingale 7:04
9. Land 9:59

James Cammack : contrebasse
André Ceccarelli : batterie
Erekle Koiva : percussion
et avec la participation de Didier Lockwood : violon

Antonio Adolfo - Hybrido: From Rio to Wayne Shorter (2017)

The mixing of races and different cultures is irreversible in today's world. In music, this trend has been happening for a long time and has resulted in a very healthy hybridism of different musical genres.

The improvising musician can experience this richness intensely, because while he creates there is no time to produce this or that label. On the contrary, he can accommodate different sounds and cultures immediately, even without realizing it.

It is a very difficult task to describe what is happening in an interaction between musicians without experiencing it — as is the case with the musicians on this CD.

The music of the great Wayne Shorter is predominant in this recording. It has especially inspired me through his melodies and harmonies, which have continued to influence musicians of several generations and continents.

On the other hand, music from different cultures has also influenced him, whether in his compositions or magisterial interpretations as a saxophonist, during the last several decades.
The repertoire presented here is mostly from the '60s and — as incredible as it may seem — is of an unusual relevance, giving us the chance to travel musically, infinitely.

I was also 'hooked" as a composer and arranger, and encouraged to create something that would fit into this healthy mix.

Finally, the musicians and I gave the musical mixture our viralata (mongrel) and mestizo touch, to translate it into what is presented on this new CD, HYBRIDO – from Rio to Wayne Shorter.

Antonio Adolfo

1. Deluge 5:50
2. Footprints 6:08
3. Beauty and the Beast 6:49
4. Prince of Darkness 6:03
5. Black Nile 4:52
6. Speak No Evil 7:39
7. E.S.P. 6:28
8. Ana Maria 6:40
9. Afosamba 4:20

Piano and Arrangements: ANTONIO ADOLFO, electric piano on #1
Electric Guitar: LULA GALVAO
Drums and Percussion: RAFAEL BARATA
Tenor and Soprano Saxes: Flute on #3: MARCELO MARTINS
Vocals on #2: ZE RENATO
Acoustic Guitar on #3: CLAUDIO SPIEWAK

Michel Limma - Vento e Fogo (2017)

O pianista e arranjador de São Paulo Michel Limma tem mais de 20 anos de carreira como instrumentista e acumula trabalhos com grandes artistas da música brasileira como Maria Rita, Wilson Simoninha, Max de Castro, Jorge Vercílio, Baby do Brasil entre outros.

O virtuoso músico teve sua formação musical construída no Conservatório Dramático e Musical de Tatuí e Universidade Livre de Música de São Paulo, suas principais referências são J.S Bach, Egberto Gismonti, Hermeto Paschoal, Brad Mehldau, Herbie Hancock e Chick Corea.

Em 2008 o seu trabalho como arranjador rendeu a premiação “Latin Grammy”  em parceria com a cantora gospel Soraya Moraes, seu trabalho autoral fez parte da coletânea “Comite Jazz Club” Vol.1, que reúne grandes nomes da nova música brasileira e foi lançada no prestigiado seminário JazzAhead em Bremen, Alemanha e distribuída internacionalmente.

Como compositor, o artista gravou seu primeiro trabalho intitulado "Vento e Fogo” em formato "Jazz Trio" formado por Michel Limma (Piano), Rubem Farias (Baixo) e Ramon Montagner (Bateria), o tema “Vento e Fogo” faz menção a duas forças encontradas na natureza e mistura elementos da música brasileira com o jazz contemporâneo além de fortes influências da música africana e caribenha onde viveu no ano de 2009.

O projeto contou com as participações especiais de Sidmar Vieira (trumpet) e Filó Machado (voz) o álbum foi Lançado em Janeiro de 2017 no Brasil e será Lançado e distribuído na Ásia, América do Norte e Europa pelo selo Comité Jazz Club.

1. Sertões (by Michel Limma) 5:17
2. Deu Jazz! (by Michel Limma) 4:34
3. Samba de Crente (by Michel Limma feat. Filó Machado) 5:27
4. Cup Noodles (by Michel Limma) 2:28
5. Vento e Fogo (by Michel Limma feat. Sidmar VIeira) 8:00
6. Madrugada (by Michel Limma) 7:33
7. Waltz For Julie (by Michel Limma) 5:58
8. Sambacatú (by Michel Limma) 8:07
9. Improvisation #01 (by Michel Limma) 3:27