Saturday, April 15, 2017



The new XYQuartet disk is the result of SPATIAL travelling. LANDED at present, it longs for regaining ORBIT. 

In April 12th 1961 the astronaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man to put his foot in space. In April 12th 2017 “ORBITE” is released: the third XY work is a concept album, made up of the stories, partly epic, partly dramatic, even tragic and controversial, of men and women that had ever crossed the infinity.

Musically too, the exploration of unusual spaces goes on: the group moves between jazz and research, putting together all these different musical codes in a very homogenous form – from jazz to contemporary music, from prog to post minimalism and from pop to the latest NY influences.

o1 Titov (N.Fazzini)
o2 Gagarin (A.Fedrigo)
o3 Malcolm Carpenter (N.Fazzini)
o4 Buzz (A.Fedrigo)
o5 Valentina Tereshkova (S.Tasca)
o6 John Glenn (N.Fazzini)
o7 Rakesh (A.Fedrigo)
o8 Vladimir Komarov (S.Tasca)


Celebrate "Easter" this Weekend w/ David Borden's Mother Mallard, the MiniMoog, & CUNEIFORM RECORDS


Cuneiform Records Invites You to Celebrate this Easter Weekend with a Free Stream of
Recorded by Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company - the World's First All-Synthesizer Ensemble - and Released by Cuneiform on the album:

Composed for Moog Synthesizer by 
Composer/ Keyboardist/ Electronic Music Pioneer
David Borden,
Became the Centerpiece of the World's First Live Concerts Featuring Portable Synthesizers & MiniMoog

On Saturday, March 28th 1970 - the eve of Easter Sunday - David Borden composed "Easter," his first tonal pulse-piece composed for the Moog synthesizer. Working throughout the night at Bob Moog's Trumansburg studio during Easter weekend, he completed his multi-layered piece at 4am that Easter morning, March 29th.

Two weeks later, on April 10 and 11, 1970, Borden and fellow Mother Mallard member Steve Drews performed "Easter" at Cornell University, for a contemporary dance concert in the Straight Theater at Willard Straight Hall. Borden used a Minimoog A; this was the world's first performance using a Minimoog A in a live concert. Moreover, Mother Mallard's April 1970 concerts at Cornell marked the first-time that ANY portable synthesizer was ever used for a live concert.

That summer, on June 30, 1970, Mother Mallard again used Moog's prototype Minimoog A to perform "Easter" in New York City's Trinity Church. This June 1970 concert marked the debut of the MiniMoog in New York City. (Concert program below, courtesy of Tom Rhea, author of Minimoog Owner's Manual.) Mother Mallard would perform Easter again the following year, on Easter Sunday 1971, at Cornell University's Sage Chapel.

Capable of performed with a limited number of musicians on analog equipment, "Easter" proved to be an ideal piece for showcasing the Minimoog's capabilities in live performances. On Bob Moog's request, Borden wrote out his original instructions by hand so that Moog could play "Easter" live at a Planetarium concert. At a series of subsequent concerts at Strasenburgh Planetarium, Moog, Tom Lamb and Tom Rhea performed "Easter" along with some other works.

Rhea recalls that: "Bob and Tom and I played live for several performances over several nights, and the Planetarium staff concocted a "space travel" narration complete with the mighty Zeiss rising from the center of the room, and multiple slide projectors blazing away . . . we were behind the near-spherical "shell" that comprises the screen for the images, and occasionally they would turn lights on "backstage" so we could be seen playing (through the screen) . . . it was all live as I recall. I don't think we had any tape going . . As I recall, we got through every performance without any major hitch." 

The photos below (Courtesy Tom Rhea) depict Moog and Rhea, and Moog, Lamb and Rhea, performing "Easter" at the Planetarium concerts.

"Easter", born in the Spring of 1970, heralds the Dawn of the Age of Electronic Music, both technically and symbolically. This David Borden work marks the debut of compositions created for, and works performed on the legendary MiniMoog.

Cuneiform is providing this stream of "Easter" to celebrate this Easter holiday. It is recorded by the world's first all-synthesizer ensemble: Mother Mallard’s Portable Masterpiece Co., founded by David Borden and Steve Drews. We encourage you to purchase this and other recordings by David Borden and Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company released on Cuneiform Records. They are available for sale in various formats via, Bandcamp, at various online retailers, including

- text by Joyce (Nalewajk) Feigenbaum

When Robert Moog, inventor of the voltage controlled electronic synthesizer, introduced David Borden to his newest creation, the groundbreaking experimentation and creative performances that followed would echo throughout music history for decades to come.

Formed in 1969 in Ithaca, Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Co. was one of the few to begin experimentation with such equipment, earning them a place in history within an exclusive group of pioneers such as Terry Riley, Philip Glass, and Tangerine Dream. Critically acclaimed as a group whose work was ahead of their time, the ensemble would set groundwork for the experimental classical minimalists and live synth-ensembles of the future. Over the years, the group expanded its instrumentation to include acoustic and other electric instrumentation alongside the Moogs. After Apple released its iconic personal desktop computers in the 1980s, Mother Mallard adopted that new digital technology as eagerly into its live performances as it had adopted analogue MiniMoogs. Today, Mother Mallard performs using Apple laptops to produce their distinct sound, but still pays tribute to their roots by featuring a Moog Voyager, Dr. Moog's last synthesizer design.

David Borden is one of the foremost exponents of live electronic and minimalist music. He has been active on the new music and contemporary classical scenes for two decades. He first came to attention as the driving force behind Mother Mallard, the world's first all synthesizer ensemble. He would later go on to write for multiple vocal ensembles as well as film scores for several movies. With degrees from both the Eastman School of Music and Harvard University, David Borden would combine his extensive music knowledge with the then cutting-edge technology of the MiniMoog synthesizer to create a new sound, and an unforgettable album.

1970-1973 collects the first album by Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Co. and previously unreleased recordings. MMPMC were also one of the very first [possibly the first] performing synthesizer ensembles, working closely with Robert Moog, whose first factory was nearby. This material pre-dates or is contemporary with the first contributions to the genre and had been forgotten until now.


Cuneiform Records has released six albums by David Borden and Mother Mallard, including: two archival albums (1970-73, and Like a Duck to Water) that include the earliest recordings by Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company; three discs containing the complete Continuing Story of Counterpoint, Borden's masterwork of minimalism (which critics have praised as "the Goldberg Variations of minimalism"); and a volume of Borden's more atmospheric compositions, called Places, Times and People. 

For more information on Borden's releases on Cuneiform, please see:

Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Co.
Like A Duck To Water

Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Co.

David Borden
Places, Times & People

David Borden
The Continuing Story Of Counterpoint
Parts 1-4 + 8 (Complete)

David Borden
The Continuing Story Of Counterpoint
Parts 5-8

David Borden
The Continuing Story Of Counterpoint
Parts 9-12

Martin & Klein Present "The Upstate Project!" (SUNNYSIDE RECORDS)

Sunnyside Records is proud to present a new
collaboration between two celebrated songwriters!

Rebecca Martin & Guillermo Klein present The Upstate Project!

Sometimes it is just a matter of timing and proximity that makes attractive collaborations possible. For years, singer/songwriter Rebecca Martin knew that she wanted to work with pianist/vocalist/composer Guillermo Klein. Klein’s recent relocation to upstate New York, where Martin had made her home, made the opportunity of making music together possible. The beautiful results of their work can be heard on their new recording, The Upstate Project.

Martin is well known for her elegant songwriting and performance, commingling jazz and folk music. Aside from her solo work, she has regularly collaborated with a coterie of celebrated musicians, including Kurt Rosenwinkel, Paul Motian and Tillery, the celebrated vocal trio featuring Becca Stevens and Gretchen Parlato. Always community minded, Martin has become an advocate of sorts for collaboration in her musical and social endeavors, most notably in her adopted home of Kingston, New York.

For his part, Klein has become a celebrated songwriter and composer, utilizing elements of jazz, modern classical, rock and Argentinean folkloric music. He had spent more than a decade living outside of the United States, both in Spain and Argentina, before returning and settling in Beacon, New York, a short distance from Martin.

The two musicians knew and appreciated each other and their art since the early 1990s when they were both involved in the influential scene centered around Smalls Jazz Club in Greenwich Village in New York City. The vibrant Smalls  scene helped establish some of the music’s most influential artists and their ensembles, including those of Brad Mehldau, Rosenwinkel and Klein’s own Los Guachos.

After years of making music together, the denizens of  this enclave seemingly scattered around the globe. Martin was excited to hear of Klein’s return, especially since he was only a short distance away and with a burgeoning family. Martin was happy to hear Klein’s enthusiasm to collaborate when she reached out to him.

Their ensuing collaboration was never rigidly structured, allowing both musicians to experiment and try new things. Martin was able to adopt Klein’s more dark and masculine esthetic, quite an enjoyable and liberating experience for her. Together they developed a wide-ranging repertoire, including pieces from peers made into some amazing, bilingual art songs. As she wrote the lyrics, Martin didn’t understand the Spanish lyrics provided by Klein but was surprised to find out that they had similar meanings even if the story was different, adding another dimension to the songs they developed.

Martin and Klein fleshed out The Upstate Project as a star-studded quartet with Martin’s husband, bassist Larry Grenadier, and the fantastic drummer, Jeff Ballard. The group then went to Brooklyn Recording, where The Upstate Project was recorded with the guidance of engineer Pete Rende. It was then expertly mixed by James Farber and mastered by Mark Wilder.

Purchase Here:

Jowee Omicil - Let's BasH! (2017)

Multi instrumentalist-composer-educator-producer Jowee (pron. “Joey”) Omicil brings a novel and distinctly Afro-Haitian perspective to his music.

He’s part of a growing cadre of Caribbean-descended artists bringing new flavors to the creative music spectrum. Jowee possesses a distinctive, soulful and spiritual sound on saxophones and flutes that extends to his clarinet and harmonica ventures.

Born in Montreal to Haitian parents, Jowee was once summoned to honor his heritage at a Haitian Flag Day observation at the Obama White House, further strengthening his resolve that his music has a higher purpose. His father Joseph Sr., a minister and college professor, who raised Jowee alone after the premature passing of his mother, deeply infused that spiritual pursuit. Dad envisioned an orchestra in the church and encouraged Jowee to take up a wind instrument. Thus persuaded, young Jowee selected an old alto saxophone from his first teacher’s collection. Steadily and surely he fell in love with the instrument and was hooked by age 15.

Always an avid listener, Omicil quickly came under the spell of a diverse core of saxophonists, including Steve Coleman, David Sanborn and particularly Kenny Garrett. Perseverance and further immersion led to a scholarship to prestigious Berklee College of Music, and eventually to Jowee being selected for advanced studies at the Thelonious Monk Institute’s summer colony, and a feature on BET’s jazz channel.

Besides his diverse bandstand and studio pursuits, Jowee is a dedicated educator, conveying his philosophy of never stop questing to his students. “All of the great cats were searching… you’ve got to dedicate yourself,” he asserts. “I encourage them to take their craft seriously and make a contribution that is singularly their own.”

Another facet of Jowee’s rangy career came when he proudly produced the final recording of the great Haitian accordionist-bandleader and philanthropist Pepe Bayard, whose eventual passage to ancestry was delayed a bit by the joy he found working with Jowee on his music. “Immersing himself in music helped him live a whole lot longer… that’s the power of music.”

Not satisfied with crafting mere blowing vehicles for aimless improvising, Jowee invests deeper meanings in the original compositions he records. The multi-cultural dimension of his Roots & Grooves record, engaging musicians and sonic landscapes from four continents, personifies this. Jowee infuses his music with the freedom of jazz, the spirituality of gospel, and an aural universe of soul-shaking grooves.

Jowee’s sense of sincerity and his innate curiosity are borne out by his compositions, including the kinetic “CubhaTiando,” a Cuba/Haiti collaboration with the brilliant Afro-Cuban drummer Francisco Mela. The self-explanatory “4 My People” is dedicated to flood & earthquake victims in Haiti. The “victory chant” “Wole” is written for his daughter Marissah Jann, while the celebratory “Micky’s Groove” was inspired by Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, “a real pioneer, El Presidente of Compas Music,” explains Jowee. His “Ayibobo” exemplifies Jowee’s adroit versatility as he takes on the challenge of playing all the instruments, as well as engaging turntablist Val Jeanty. And that’s just a sampling of the depth & breadth of Jowee Omicil’s compositional skills.

A list of Jowee’s collaborators and musicians he’s played opposite mirrors his broad approach to music-making – to name a few: Kenny Garrett, Roy Hargrove, Richard Bona, Wyclef Jean, Branford Marsalis, Marcus Miller, Pharoah Sanders, Marlon Saunders, Mike Stern, Jeff “Tain” Watts… Jowee seeks collaboration for creative sustenance as well as bringing his unique skills to diverse settings.

Let's Just Bash! (5:16)
Twa Groove (5:07)
Ballad for Roy Hargrove (7:07)
Chaplin Bash! (4:11)
Morais Spirit (4:02)
One Note for Miles (11:38)
Pipillita (3:44)
Sur le Pont D'avignon (3:24)
ASL Paré (4:11)
Love & Honesty (7:29)
Something Clear (5:13)
Mellow on the Saxo (7:25)
Letter 4 Brad * (6:08)
La Bohème * (5:41)

Olli Hirvonen - New Helsinki (EDITION RECORDS 2017)

Olli Hirvonen is a dynamic and virtuosic Finnish-born, New York based guitarist. Winner of the Socar Montreux Jazz Electric Guitar competition in 2016 (the jury was presided over by John McLaughlin), Olli releases his second album, New Helsinki on Edition Records. New Helsinki is an album that promises to ignite the attention of the international media and fans worldwide with its deft infectious melodies, irresistibly bold grooves and intense inventive soloing. A musician with a larger vision and a commanding spirit, Olli Hirvonen, is a supremely gifted guitarist and composer. With New Helsinki Hirvonen has thrown down his calling card and demonstrated the promise that will inevitably thrust his career and profile in an upward trajectory towards international acclaim.

Born in Finland, in 1989, Olli Hirvonen moved to New York in 2011 to study at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. As Olli explains:

I wanted to live in NYC  since I started to practice jazz seriously. I knew that this was a place where the “tradition” of it is still breathing and evolving, instead of it being just a piece of history…Moving to NYC felt very natural. It’s definitely a very difficult city to live in (ask any musician and they’ll tell you that!)…but people here are willing to make sacrifices, and reject a comfortable life for the pursuit of something else: improvement of their expression, and knowledge of the music. This struggle connects all the musicians here, and makes the community here unique…

On comparing the Helsinki scene with New York, Olli explains: I think the special thing about working as a musician in NYC is that I can play so many more gigs …there’s a no better way to “pay your dues” like playing jazz four hours a night four times a week for some years, which I have definitely done. ..”

New Helsinki presents seven original compositions by Hirvonen. The intense and vibrant opener  ‘Arps’, clearly sets the scene for what’s to come.  Musically, he’s woven influences from all areas he’s been exposed to. ‘Before getting serious about jazz, I was totally into rock and metal, My Finnish background is definitely an important part of my music, but as jazz is definitely black American music, I would never want to avoid the core elements that make it what it is, it’s language, rhythm, and improvisation’.

New Helsinki is a bold and ambitious album with a clear statement of  intent. One thing is for sure, a new and important artist has arrived on the international scene and one to watch from both sides of the Atlantic.

1 Arps 4.08
2 Gravity 10.29
3 Invisible 11.47
4 Fundamental 6.12
5 N.E.B 4.09
6 Absolute 11.55
7 Lavola 6.50

Walter Smith III tenor saxophone
Adam O’Farrill trumpet
Luke Marantz piano & rhodes
Marty Kenney bass
Nathan Ellman-Bell drums 

All music by Olli Hirvonen

Benjamin Deschamps Quintet - Demi-Nuit (MCM Records 2017)

In 2014, Benjamin Deschamps released his first record What do we know with his quartet with montreal's label Oddsound. Record on which Frank Lozano joined the group on the piece Cauchemar Cyclique.

With everything going well for them, the quartet wins the Rimouski's Festi Jazz Grand Award in 2013 and are in the competition for Montreal's International Jazz Festival TD Grand Award in 2014. Same year they completed a tour of 10 shows in Québec's region of Gaspésie and Bas-St-Laurent.

Their second record Demi-Nuit, will be released in April 2017 with the label MCM Records.

1. Crépuscule 1:42
2. Demi-nuit 5:20
3. Monélia 5:57
4. Prophétie, pt. 1 5:53
5. Prophétie, pt. 2 7:05
6. Prophétie, pt. 3 8:16
7. L'oubli 5:15
8. Slow Cooking 6:44
9. Si et seulement si 5:53

Benjamin Deschamps - saxophone / composition
Jean-Nicolas Trottier - trombone
Charles Trudel - piano
Sébastien Pellerin - double bass
Al Bourgeois - drums

Christian Sands - Reach (MACK AVENUE RECORDS 2017)

With his debut Mack Avenue Records recording, REACH, singularly talented pianist and five-time Grammy® Award nominee Christian Sands is stretching into exciting progressive territory as he breaks new ground traversing from the straight-ahead zone into fresh-sounding music influenced by a range of styles, from Afro-Cuban rhythms to hip-hop beats to dirty blues with an edge. That's impressive for a youngster who is just 27. "The collection here is about reaching new ideas and reaching new music," he says. "I'm reaching from past recordings to bring in the future, which is really all about finding myself. It's a chance to express my experience."

REACH becomes one more milestone in Sands' auspicious career that stretches back to his New Haven, Connecticut upbringing. Beginning music classes and composing his first piece at age five, he quickly became a professional by ten. Sands was well-prepared to attend such prestigious schools as the Neighborhood Music School and the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven (he later received bachelor's and master's degrees from the Manhattan School of Music).

1) Armando's Song  
2) Song Of The Rainbow People  
3) Pointing West  
4) Freefall  
5) Oyeme!
6) Bud's Tune  
7) Reaching For The Sun  
8) Use Me  
9) Gangstalude 
10) Somewhere Out There

Marcus Strickland - saxophone, bass clarinet
Gilad Hekelsman - guitar
Marcus Baylor - drums
Christian McBride - bass
Yasushi Nakamura - bass

Kite Trio - Slightly Higher in Canada (2017)

With “Slightly Higher in Canada” Kite Trio takes another step away from familiar jazz touchstones and embraces its defiantly weird, idiosyncratic, and authentic creative voice.

Produced by Dave King (of The Bad Plus), it sees the band pursuing its unusual approach with the kind of relentless energy you’d expect from a jazz trio recording an album under the hilarious, watchful eye of a creative giant like Dave.

Recorded entirely live with no edits or overdubs, they take on emotionally and rhythmically complex music with a gutsy, intuitive approach which is unmistakably “Kite”. The result is an unpredictable, messy, and rewarding album that goes places you could only expect from a band that’s been unrelentingly pursuing its group sound for almost ten years.

It’s eleven original compositions and one cover (“Milkman” by experimental rock band “Deerhoof”), chart a lot of territory. From challenging, intricately composed counterpoint to minimal, gestural improvisations, the music is alternately surreal, sentimental, subversive, ambitious, ambiguous… sometimes downright alien, but never alienating.

Kite clearly relishes occupying this unusual territory and “Slightly Higher in Canada” captures their delight and enthusiasm perfectly, all with a raw, unpredictable aesthetic for which producer Dave King no doubt bears some responsibility.

1. Slightly Higher in Canada 05:13
2. That Good Old Feeling 04:23
3. Milkman (Deerhoof) 06:01
4. Pidgin 07:01