Monday, July 3, 2017

P.U.L.S.E. - Kobaltblau (UNIT RECORDS 2017)

The Album Kobaltblau created by german saxophonplayer and composer Werner Hüsgen was recorded in 2016 with excellent musicians from Amsterdam, Brussels and Cologne. The compositions flirt with the traditions of greater Jazz-Ensembles but reveal themselves again and again in surprising turns. Elaborated arrangements produce a rich timbre, using a variety of possibilities enabled through a band with a four piece hornsection and additional percussion. Lyrical parts and powerful rock passages complete each other to a sophisticated piece of art, grounded and experimental at the same time. Contemporary Jazz with roots in World Music, Soul, R&B and Latin Music.

1. Kobaltblau 7:12
2. Le Maghreb 7:08
3. Bebop Beyond 6:52
4. Volkslied 7:26
5. Unterwegs 8:38
6. Andalusian Dream 6:17
7. That Same Old Feeling 8:23
8. Watch the World 4:45
9. Sailing Home 6:01

Werner Hüsgen - as,ss,fl,comp
Carlo Nardozza - tpt,flh
Peter Hermesdorf - ts,ss
Thorsten Heitzmann - tbn
Gero Körner - p,keyb (on tracks 1/2/3/4/5/7)
Sebastian Scobel (on tracks 6/8/9)
Wolf Martini - guit
Werner Lauscher tracks 1/2/3/4/5/7
Uwe Böttcher tracks 6/8/9
Gerd Breuer - drums
Lukas Meile - perc
Soleil Niklasson – vocals (on track 6)

All compositions by Werner Hüsgen except Watch The World by Wolf Martini
Lyrics Andalusian Dream by Soleil Niklasson
Recorded january 15/16 2016 at Hansahaus-Studios, Bonn (D) by Klaus Genuit
Production assistance by Simon Busch
Mixed february/march 2016 by Klaus Genuit & Werner Hüsgen
Mastered february 23 2017 by Darcy Proper at Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum (NL)

Special thanks:
I would like to thank all the musicians involved for their deep and honest musicianship as well as their inspiring dedication.

Thank you Klaus Genuit for the incredible sound and Darcy Proper fort he brilliant last polish.

Thank you Unit-Records for inviting me into your family.

Thank you Simon for your strong support on the energetic studio days and my family for their constant encouragement.

Kyoto Jazz Sextet - Unity (UNIVERSAL MUSIC 2017)

1. Peaceful Wind
2. Song for Unity featuring Tomoki Sanders
3. Mission
4. Ancient Future
5. We Are One featuring Navasha Daya
6. Love Light featuring Navasha Daya
7. Children of Peace
8. Rising
9. Extra Freedom

類家心平(tp), 栗原 健(ts), 平戸祐介(p), 
小泉P克人(b), 天倉正敬(ds), 沖野修也(vision)

タブ・ゾンビ(tp) on 2, 3, トモキ・サンダース(ts) on 2, 3
ナヴァーシャ・デイヤ(vo) on 5, 6
Produced by 沖野修也(Kyoto Jazz Massive)
Co-produced by 池田憲一(ROOT SOUL)

Kyoto Jazz Massive 公式サイト
ユニバーサルミュージック KYOTO JAZZ SEXTET

沖野修也 ブログ

Kyoto Jazz Massive Twitter
Kyoto Jazz Massive Facebook


Ryo Kawasaki Group - Nature's Revenge (feat. Dave Liebman) Remastered 2017

01. Nature's Revenge 06:20
02. Body and Soul 04:21
03. Choro 02:43
04. The Straw That Broke the Lion's Back 06:31
05. Thunderfunk 06:32
06. Preludio No.2 02:58
07. Snowstorm 11:33

Bass, Percussion – Alex Blake (2)
Drums, Percussion – Buddy Williams
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Ryo Kawasaki
Engineer – Gibbs Platen
Producer – Joachim-Ernst Berendt
Saxophone [Tenor And Alto] – Dave Liebman

Zem Audu - Spirits (ORIGIN RECORDS 2017)

"Zem Audu showed off a terse, purposeful sensibility, a smokily nuanced tone and compositional fluency, ranging from Monty Alexander-style Jamdown jazz, to colorful postbop, funk and more." NEW YORK MUSIC DAILY

Born in Nigeria, raised in London, and now living in Brooklyn, saxophonist Zem Audu possesses a deep well of influences to draw from for his debut recording. Inviting you to feel the atmosphere of the city streets, the blazing sunshine of the Caribbean, and the soulfulness of Nigerian culture, the visceral impact of his experiences with a wide-range of musical greatness - Jason Moran, Mike Stern, Hugh Masekela, and his international tours with the legendary Skatalites - is wildly evident on SPIRITS. Recorded at Avatar Studios in New York with guitarist Mike Stern, pianist Benito Gonzales, Ben Williams on bass and John Davis on drums, Audu's eleven original compositions crackle with ingenuity, spirit, and GROOVE as they celebrate the life experiences that inspired them.

01. Neon Nights (8:28)
02. Big Qi (6:32)
03. Muso (6:12)
04. Bird (4:45)
05. Spirits (7:35)
06. Flow (6:43)
07. Dragon (4:55)
08. Bamijo (6:30)
09. Arcade (5:25)
10. Moths (8:24)
11. Nebula (6:29)

Zem Audu - Sax
Mike Stern - Guitar
Benito Gonzales - Piano
Ben Williams - Bass
John Davis - Drums

Subhi’s debut album Shaitaan Dil, (Naughty Heart) / Album Release Date is September 15, 2017!

The Accidental Album: Indian-American Singer Songwriter Subhi Follows Her Heart, Honoring South Asian Poetry and American Jazz

You cannot contain the heart. Just ask Indian-American singer-songwriter Subhi.

On a hot summer afternoon in 2016, Subhi was riding back in a rickshaw from a meeting with a Bollywood film producer in Mumbai, stuck in traffic. Outside, kids played on the street and she was overwhelmed with the feelings, the memories of her own childhood in Delhi. She started singing a melody and the lyrics just flowed with it. That’s how the song “Bachpan” (“Childhood”) happened, right there in the rickshaw.

Later that year in Chicago, she collaborated with pianist and arranger Joaquin Garcia and made a music video of the song. It resonated, especially with South Asians who savored the fun list of favorite games Subhi trips through. The response led Subhi to record an entire Pop album of original Hindi songs with influences of Jazz, one of the first.

That lesson lies at the center of Subhi’s debut album Shaitaan Dil (Naughty Heart; release: September 15, 2017), that the heart runs and leaps where it will. Inspired by Chicago jazz, by Hindi and Urdu poetry, Subhi’s playful, melodious songs chronicle the delights and downsides of romance, but with a twist. Her tales reflect the torments of separation and transcontinental migration, experiences both deeply Indian and deeply American.

Subhi fell in love with words thanks to her grandfather, who enjoyed reciting poetry to his granddaughter. “I had a little notebook and I would write down my favorite Urdu poems,” she remembers, and those words seeped into her own writing in Hindi on songs like “Aagosh” (“Embrace”). Though not from a musical family she had taken vocal lessions in Hindustani muisical lessons and started a pop band with her girlfriends in middle school, playing whatever they could get their hands on (even silverware).

Yet music never seemed like a viable career option, so after studying in the US, Subhi found herself in New York, working in finance on Wall Street. It was not a good fit. “I would research artists online, reading their Wikipedia pages over and over,” recalls Subhi. “I would write songs in my spare time. Eventually, after I got a company award for excellence, I knew I had to do something else.”

Subhi went into arts journalism, becoming a correspondent for a couple of leading Indian television channels. On one of her assignments, she crossed paths with Mira Nair (director of Oscar-winning film Salaam Bombay). The two hit it off, and Subhi began doing music-related work for Nair. “Mira Ji was staging Monsoon Wedding,  the film on Broadway and needed someone to help write a medley of Punjabi folk songs. I started doing that, and it hit me, this is what I love the most. While working with her, I learnt if you want to do something in life, you have to give it your 100%. I had to devote myself to music.”

She did so by heading to Mumbai, India’s main engine of musical commerce and home to Bollywood. That meant countless meetings with producers, long sessions with arrangers, and thankless pitches to film directors. It also meant leaving behind her family and friends and starting a dizzying few years of living in many places, and in none.

“While in Mumbai, I composed for various films and projects including the prestigious Yash Raj Films and the popular digital platform The Viral Fever. I did this for four years and never got the artistic satisfaction that I was looking for,” reflects Subhi. “All I wanted was to create music and I found myself spending most of my time networking with Bollywood’s who’s who, away from home.”

In the end, Subhi opted for a different approach and settled in Chicago with her husband. She looked for musical opportunities and ideas in the city she had decided would be home. It opened up a new world of sounds, a new circle of collaborators. “I had lots of songs written by that time,” she says. “I asked myself, ‘What if I can blend Chicago’s music culture into my songs?’”

This curiosity led her to work with Chicago native Joaquin Garcia, a jazz pianist. He and Subhi took two of her songs, rearranged them and made some simple music videos. They clicked with listeners. “Joaquin brought the jazz influences and I realized immediately they worked really well,” explains Subhi.

Influences range from more contemporary jazz vocal approaches (“Ud Jaa”/ “Fly Away”) to old-school Dixieland, on tracks like “Shaitaan Dil.” “There have been Hindi songs with jazz influences, of course, when jazz was a popular style,” she notes. “But there aren’t many jazz singers who write songs in Hindi.” 

The combination worked, however, as local audiences and journalists picked up on Subhi’s work. She found herself on radio shows, invited to festivals, building a band. “Finally, I was doing what I have always wanted to do; creating music and sharing it with the world. I was loving it. Things were happening organically. One of the session musicians during a recording at the Studio asked if I was making an album. I had six songs. I thought, maybe I should.”

The playful results mark Subhi’s arrival on a scene where few South Asian women wind up. But it all feels right, even if it’s unexpected. “The heart does what it wants. This wasn’t what I planned, but at times, you have to follow your instinct and your heart,” Subhi muses. “All through this journey, I had no idea where I was going. Logically, it made no sense. But my heart would not let go. It has its own agenda.”