Friday, July 14, 2017

Simon Millerd's Lessons and Fairy Tales, Featuring the Pablo Held Trio, to be Released on Songlines on August 4

Debut Album from  Montreal-Based Trumpeter Features the Pablo Held Trio

Young Montreal trumpeter-composer Simon Millerd has been playing serious jazz trumpet since his teens, but Lessons and Fairytales, which will be released by Songlines on August 4, is his first recording under his own name.

Millerd first performed with Germany’s acclaimed Pablo Held Trio in 2011.That performance greatly inspired the direction of Millerd’s own music going forward, but it was not until 2016 that they had the opportunity to play together again. The results are full of feeling and an authenticity that comes straight from the heart. Lessons and Fairy Tales is is the first documentation of their collaborative, evocative music-making, 

“The trio has been a major inspiration for my own musical direction," says Simon. They are so free, adventurous, interactive, united…I have applied some of their concepts to my own bands, for example they don’t play with a set list but instead have all their music memorized and can jump from any point in any piece to any other point at the drop of a hat. It keeps the music fresh, keeps you on your toes!”

When he learned that the trio was booked for a concert at the German Consulate in New York in the fall of 2016, Simon arranged for them to come to Montreal, where they joined him in the studio for his recording debut. Also featured on some tracks are the mostly wordless vocals of Montreal folk-jazz singer Emma Frank.

Lessons and Fairytales is a very personal record, both in its content and its production. Almost every track includes one or more guest artists who are longtime friends and co-leaders with Simon of the Montreal band Nomad. And like Simon they are all graduates of the jazz program at McGill University and former students of Chris McCann, who Simon credits with reorienting his playing and his life. Simon notes that “Chris was my first teacher to talk at length about the importance of developing as a person, not just as a musician. Music became about the expression of emotion, the illustration of the complexity of how we feel. His lessons were life lessons, philosophy, inquiries into truth. He had a lot of practical advice too, how to practice very efficiently and ‘go deep’ by playing very slowly, how to avoid injury etc. My closest friends were almost all private students of his as well. There was a group of us that really took his stuff to heart. Some of us lived together and formed different bands – Nomad, Isis Giraldo’s Poetry Project, Chronicle Infinitas, Brilliant Ally and others.”

The sad, lovely “Quiet Now,” the first single off the album, was inspired by Simon and vocalist Emma Frank’s relationship and breakup after three years together. Simon muses: “I was just thinking about the double meaning of the title, how it’s quiet after all the fighting of a breakup (it’s quiet now), but it’s also an encouragement to relax or meditate (be quiet now).”

One way or another, all the pieces on the record reference a quest that began for Simon in his early 20s: “I stopped playing for three years after high school because I became very depressed and lost interest in everything. That experience led me to spirituality and the search for a meaning to all the suffering in the world. My music inevitably has become an expression of that, instead of this quest to be the best, impress people.”

“Coltrane and Wayne Shorter are definitely among my biggest influences [others include Icelandic bassist and electronic musician Skuli Sverrisson and Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen]. It’s to Wayne and Trane that I go for relief. Their music is so powerful that it literally can take away my physical pain. It is interesting that they accomplish this in very different ways. Coltrane is very direct in his song titles and is almost always pointing towards the spiritual realm. With Wayne the song titles refer more to adventure, myths and so forth, only rarely alluding to his Buddhist roots.”

“Innocence is a big theme throughout this music, yes…We can look at another’s harmful actions and remember that they just don’t know that they’re doing something wrong and are under the influence of powerful delusions and illusions. A Course in Miracles refers to it more often as our sinlessness. We are forgiven when we realize that there is nothing to forgive. These kinds of ideas are expanded on emotionally, subconsciously informing the music.

The lessons seem to part the clouds for inspiration to come through, and the fairytales are more like little sparks igniting a collective movie that the band is creating together. Free improv is incorporated into these songs as a contrast. It’s a relief from the organized structure, and a chance for everyone to build something collectively. It takes a lot of trust and a lot of imagination and I think it brings out a lot of character and unity in the band, especially in the fairytales such as ‘Gnome Home’ and ‘Jonas and the Dragon’.”

Homenajes a Violeta en Argentina Centenario

Amigos/as: hermosas noticias para el centenario del nacimiento de Violeta. Desde que estoy en Argentina, cada año he hecho un espectáculo, un recuerdo, un homenaje a Violeta parra, porque así me surgía, porque mi canto partió desde su raíz. En su centenario empezamos los festejos. Carla Giannini

El Domingo 16 a las 20.30 en La Paila:
En nuestra querida casa La PAILA "Corre que ya te agarra Violeta Parra" Obra poético- teatral y musical con  décimas cartas, sus preciosas obras para guitarra, y un montón de canciones. Con Mauricio Gutiérrez  excelente guitarrista chileno, recién llegadito  con su  guitarra y su voz.

Después del concierto, todos los que quieran cantar a Violeta podrán hacerlo, solos o acompañados con nuestro cuatro y guitarra.

Por fin se está concretando este sueño maravilloso, un disco que es belleza pura; Se llamará "Después de vivir un siglo en Argentina" que desde hace mas de un año estamos grabando , con muchísimo esfuerzo.

Ahora necesitamos para lograr llegar al final de la ayuda de ustedes, nuestros amigos y de todos los que amen a Violeta, Lo lograremos si nos ayudan ingresando a IDEA.ME, un simple registro y la colaboración que puedan.

El disco se las voces de varias de las cantoras más representativas de Argentina: Mónica Abraham, Lorena Astudillo, Chiqui Ledesma, Norma Peralta, Paula Ferré, Dorita Chávez, Teresa Parodi y Carla Giannini (de Chile). Guitarras a cargo de: Pedro Furió, Leandro Cacioni y Osvaldo Burucuá quien ademas ejecutará las anticuecas y el actor Patricio Contreras recitará el poema Elegía para Cantar de Pablo Neruda, completando así una síntesis de la obra musical y poética de la creadora chilena. Serán invitados además de Chile Los Cantores que reflexionan, y la guitarra de Mauricio Gutiérrez.

La manera de colaborar es: ingresan

Jane Ira Bloom Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson + 2017 DownBeat Critics Poll Soprano Saxophonist Of The Year

New Release
Jane Ira Bloom
Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson 

Jane Ira Bloom (soprano saxophone)
Dawn Clement (piano)
Mark Helias (bass)
Bobby Previte (drums)

+ 2017 DownBeat Critics Poll
Soprano Saxophonist Of The Year

(2 CD Set Outline OTL 143)
Street Date: September 8, 2017

American original Jane Ira Bloom does it again. This time the 21st-century soprano saxophonist reimagines the poetry of 19th-century visionary Emily Dickinson in two different settings. Her new 2 Cd pack showcases her jazz quartet’s interpretation of Dickinson’s poetry and includes a second version for jazz quartet and spoken word featuring readings by popular stage & film actor Deborah Rush. After the success of her 2016 trio album release Early Americans, Bloom shifts gears with Wild Lines / Improvising Emily Dickinson (OTL143) showcasing her acclaimed quartet in dialogue with poetry in her seventeenth album and first foray into music and text. Her sound is like no other on the straight horn and she lets it fly with long-time band mates Dawn Clement (piano), Mark Helias (bass) & Bobby Previte (drums).

Adding the Emily Dickinson narrative to the ensemble on disc 2 is acclaimed actor Deborah Rush. Bloom composed Wild Lines when she was awarded a 2015 CMA/ Doris Duke New Jazz Works commission. She was inspired to musically reimagine Dickinson when she learned that the poet was a pianist and improviser herself, reconfirming what she’d always felt in the jazz-like quality of Dickinson’s phrasing. “I didn’t always understand her but I always felt Emily’s use of words mirrored the way a jazz musician uses notes.” Wild Lines’ premiere at the poet’s home in Amherst, MA was followed by performances at the Kennedy Center and the NYPL for the Performing Arts. The ensemble then headed into Avatar Studios to record in stereo and surround-sound with renowned audio engineer Jim Anderson. The album features fourteen Bloom originals inspired by fragments of Dickinson poetry and prose mined from both her collected works and envelope poems “The Gorgeous Nothings.” The album closes with a solo rendition of an American classic, Rodgers & Hart’s ”It’s Easy to Remember.” Artist Gina Werfel contributes a stunning motion painting for the CD’s cover image. Wild Lines / Improvising Emily Dickinson illuminates why jazz critic Brian Priestly called Jane Ira Bloom “the poet of the soprano saxophone.”

 “music of great individuality and originality that could belong to no one else”
– Nick Lea, Jazzviews

Upcoming Live Appearance

Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson
w/Dawn Clement, Dean Johnson,
Bobby Previte, & Deborah Rush
Fri, Aug 11 @ 8:00 pm
Buckley Recital Hall
Amherst College
53 College St
Amherst, MA
(413) 542-2034
tickets $18

National Press Campaign
Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services
Ph: 845-986-1677 /
"Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

Dave Stryker New Release Strykin' Ahead CD + Upcoming Live Appearances

Dave Stryker
New Release Strykin' Ahead 
Upcoming Live Appearances

Dave Stryker Strykin' Ahead
(Strikezone 8815)
Street Date: September 1, 2017
Dave Stryker –guitar
Steve Nelson –vibes
Jared Gold – organ
McClenty Hunter – drums

Dace Stryker is a 2017 DownBeat Critics Poll Finalist

Advance Praise For Strykin' Ahead

If you have chops like Dave’s; his musical sensibilities; his uncanny ability to put together interesting instrumentations; his skill at selecting just the right band mates to make Jazz with; wouldn’t you want to work all the time, too?
It becomes like anything you’re good at; you want to do it as often as possible but occasionally vary the context to keep it from getting stale.
– Steven Cerra Jazz Profiles

A real burner of a set, it feels like an artifact from the past, unreleased from Bluenote/Verve, but it’s modern, contemporary touches are well evident showing how a cat that’s been hitting all the right notes for all these years can’t make a false step now. - CHRIS SPECTOR, Midwest Record Editor and Publisher 

I give Dave and his talented crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this one… and keep in mind that you heard it here first… this one is BOUND for the awards.
- Dick Metcalf Improvijazzation Nation

A mainstream record of undignified beauty. - Vittorio Lo Conte Musiczoom

Artist: Dave Stryker
Title: Strykin’ Ahead
Label: Strikezone Records 8815
Artists Website:
Release Date: September 1, 2017
UPC Code: 88829560583 

Track listing, track times:
1 SHADOWBOXING Dave Stryker (D. Strike Music BMI) 5:59
2 FOOTPRINTS Wayne Shorter (Miyako Music BMI) 6:39
3 NEW YOU Dave Stryker (D.Strike Music BMI) 5:50
4 PASSION FLOWER Billy Strayhorn (Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc ASCAP)
5:33 5 STRYKIN’ AHEAD Dave Stryker (D. Strike Music BMI) 6:12
6 BLUES DOWN DEEP Dave Stryker (D. Strike Music BMI) 7:15
7 JOY SPRING Clifford Brown (Second Floor Music BMI) 8:12
8 WHO CAN I TURN TO Newley/ Bricusse (Musical Comedy Prod Inc BMI) 7:32
9 DONNA LEE Charlie Parker (Atlantic Music Corp BMI) 6:27

STEVE NELSON vibraphone

The notion of moving forward by triangulating a space between creative and pragmatic imperatives is a consistent thread throughout Dave Stryker’s four decades in the jazz business, not least on Strykin’ Ahead, his 28th CD as a leader. Stryker augments his working trio of Jared Gold on organ and McClenty Hunter on drums with vibraphone player Steve Nelson, all on-board for a second go-round after their stellar contri- butions to last year’s Eight-Track II. Like the leader, Nelson is a preternaturally flexible and in-the-moment improviser with deep roots in the tradition who knows how to push the envelope without damaging the contents. Stryker internalized those imperatives on a 1984-1986 run with Brother Jack McDuff, and he received further invaluable training in the art of musical communication during a decade on the road with Stanley Turrentine, to whom he paid homage on the 2015 release Don’t Mess With Mister T.

In contrast to his Eight Track II conception of putting his spin on pop hits of his formative years, Stryker returns to his long-standing practice of presenting originals and reharmonized standards from the jazz and show music songbooks. "Shadowboxing" is a burning 14-bar minor blues; his well-considered chordal variations on Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" proceed to a simmering 5/4 figure. Next is "New You" (a stimulating Stryker contrafact of the oft-played "There Will Never Be Another You"). He personalizes Billy Strayhorn's "Passion Flower," set to Hunter's insinuating bossa-funk groove. The title track “Strykin’ Ahead” has a Cadillac-racing-down-the-freeway-feel; he imbues the lovely melody of "Who Can I Turn To" with the full measure of his plush, inviting tone.

That Stryker knows his Albert King is evident on the slow-drag “Blues Down Deep,” which evokes wee-hours third sets in the inner city grills and lounges of Stryker’s apprentice years. He knows his bebop, too. On Clifford Brown’s “Joy Spring,” the solo flights over Stryker’s “modernized” progressions transpire over Hunter’s drum-bass beats and crisp, medium-up four-on-the cymbal; on the chopbusting “Donna Lee,” all members springboard off a churchy vamp and Hunter’s funk-infused swing.

“I’ve always wanted to write vehicles that are fun and interesting to blow over,” Stryker says. “Trying to come up with a beautiful melody that lasts is very fulfilling. Writing is a big part of my voice in this music.” Stryker is too modest to say that his voice is also a big part of jazz, to which he’s devoted a career marked by consistent application of the values that he espouses. But that’s all right—I’ll say it for him. (edited liner notes from Ted Panken)

Produced by Dave Stryker
Executive Producer - Rick Simpson

Engineered and Mixed by Chris Sulit at Trading 8’s Studio, Paramus NJ on June 28, 2016

Upcoming Live Appearances

Sat July 29 – 8:00pm and 10:00pm

Dave Stryker Quartet

• Dave Stryker – guitar
• Jared Gold – organ
• Sylvia Cuenca-drums
• Special Guest
6 Depot Square | Montclair, NJ

Sun Aug 6 – Aug 12

Dave Stryker Clinician at Samba Meets Jazz Workshop

College of the Atlantic / Bar Harbor Maine

Fri Aug 25 – 8:00pm

Dave Stryker Quintet w/ Eric Alexander and Steve Nelson

• Dave Stryker – guitar
• Eric Alexander – tenor sax
• Steve Nelson – vibraphone
• Jared Gold – organ
• Byron Landham – drums
Lewiston NY

Sat Aug 26 – 8:30pm – 10:30pm

Dave Stryker Quartet w/ Eric Alexander

• Dave Stryker – guitar
• Eric Alexander – tenor sax
• Jared Gold – organ
• Byron Landham – drums
12383 Cedar Rd, Cleveland, OH (216) 795-0550

Sept 3rd- The Falcon
Sept 9 -Trumpets
Sept 16- Jazz on Second Ave, Niewood CO
Sept 23- Sidedoor 
Sept 28- New Brunswick Hyatt
Oct 6- Jazz Kitchen, Indianapolis IN
Oct 20- Palace Theatre, Waterbury CT

National Press Campaign
Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services
Ph: 845-986-1677 /
"Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”