Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The New Richie Beirach Trio - Gaia (JAZZ SICK RECORDS 2017)

Richie about the album

I am very excited about my new trio, because it is different of anything I ever played or recorded in my long discography of over 40 years of recording. The combination of new instruments like the synthesizer, keyboard and vocoder of Regina and the lack of a bass player and the special talents of Chris`s drumming including special percussion instruments with new tuned cymbals makes it so unique.

This trio including my acoustic piano creates a whole world of new sounds and very interesting tonal and percussive combinations of sound. Also we have new compositions specifically written for this group, but also including my very well know songs like Elm, Zal and Leaving to create a new program of jazz standards original compositions and free atmospheric musical worlds.

This is the first time I have formed a group with such a different colorful instrumentation in three generations – which gives new colors, very dynamic burning pieces and beautiful intimate ballades combined with special arrangements.

Regina was born in Moscow but has been living and working in Germany for ten years. She is a super talented player, improviser and composer. Since the true heart of any good jazz group is the drummer I got my friend Christian Scheuber on drums and special percussion – he is a great dynamic contemporary musician and a sensitive percussionist in the style of Jack de Johnette.

01. Riddles
02. The Last Rhapsody
03. Chris`s House
04. November Sketch Nr. 1-14 November
05. Gaia
06. Rectilinear
07. Transparent Minor
08. November Sketch Nr. 2 - Kolybelanya
09. The Snow Leopard
10. ZAL
11. Faces
12. Footprints
13. November Sketch Nr. 3 - Tuman

Peter Bernstein (with Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, Gregory Hutchinson) – Signs Live! (SMOKE SESSIONS RECORDS 2017)

Guitar-Virtuoso Peter Bernstein Reunites
Classic Quartet from Sophomore Release
for Live Recording, Signs LIVE!

Quartet Features Brad Mehldau,
Christian McBride, and Gregory Hutchinson

“Still studying, inventing and respecting after all these years…“
— The New York Times

A record release party two decades in the making, Signs LIVE! reunites the four master musicians who came together 20 years earlier to record the acclaimed Signs of Life, the second album by guitar-great Peter Bernstein. Recorded live at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the album captures the long-awaited live debut of Bernstein’s once-in-a-lifetime quartet featuring pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson.

Bernstein’s second release for Smoke Sessions Records, Signs LIVE! (available July 28) allows audiences around the world to share the experience of the lucky few who were in the room for this summit meeting with four of modern jazz’s most revered artists. The two-disc set documents both sets of the quartet’s third and final night, with each soloist given the space to work out – an opportunity which each of these musicians seizes brilliantly.

When they originally came together to record Signs of Life for Criss Cross in December 1994, only the most psychic of jazz fans could realize the impact that the members of Bernstein’s quartet would end up having on the shape of the music over the next two decades. Mehldau had only recently formed his soon-to-be landmark trio, and had apprenticed alongside Bernstein in legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb’s band. McBride had garnered notice along with Mehldau in Joshua Redman’s quartet and had only a few months prior released his leader debut for Verve. Hutchinson was just beginning to make waves as a member of Roy Hargrove’s band.

Bernstein thought these rising stars would make the perfect band for the follow-up to his Criss Cross debut, Somethin’s Burnin’. “We were all young dudes,” he recalls. “I wanted to do more original tunes and thought these guys would play them well even though it wasn’t a working band. It was just an easy afternoon in the studio, but since then I’ve met a lot of younger players who were excited about this album, hearing those guys at the beginning of their illustrious careers.”

The fame that each member of that unbelievable band achieved speaks for itself. Bernstein, of course, went on to be one of the most prominent guitarists in jazz, in demand among his peers as well as an older generation of masters. Over the next twenty years he worked extensively with such legends as Sonny Rollins, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimmy Cobb, Lee Konitz and Lou Donaldson as well as a generation of stars that includes his Signs of Life band-mates, Joshua Redman, Diana Krall, Nicholas Payton, Larry Goldings and Bill Stewart.

The four hours the quartet spent in the studio that day would end up being the only time they would ever play together – until this reunion 20 years (give or take 18 days) later. The one-off session grew in status over the intervening years, however, becoming something of a cult classic that compelled Bernstein to start thinking about reuniting the quartet to investigate the music in front of a live crowd for the first time.

“It felt great to finally play in front of an audience,” Bernstein says.”I brought in some new tunes and we didn’t end up having a full rehearsal, but given the level of musicianship of those guys it was no problem to not only play the music but to get inside it and open it up, which is what I was hoping for.”

The selection of mostly original material on Signs LIVE! bridges past and present, including songs that were originally recorded for Signs of Life and have since become perennials in Bernstein’s repertoire (“Blues for Bulgaria,” “Jive Coffee”). The set list also features several pieces later recorded for Bernstein’s Smoke Sessions debut, Let Loose (“Let Loose,” “Resplendor,” “Cupcake”) along with other highlights from throughout the guitarist’s discography and a pair of Thelonious Monk classics.

“We wanted it to sound as much like being at the live gig as possible,” Bernstein says. “It was a really fun night.”

That’s a typical understatement for the guitarist, who insists he’s never gone back to listen to the album being celebrated on this occasion. (“They used to play it at Small’s during the break sometimes,” he shrugs, “so I heard it in passing.”) It’s not the album itself he was eager to revisit, Bernstein insists; it’s the camaraderie and chemistry represented by this band, and the unfortunate lack of opportunity to explore the music further.

“I have the memory of that afternoon in the studio, and I’m happy to have that,” he says. “That was a lifetime ago, so it felt really good that all those guys had kept right in the groove that they had started in back in the mid ’90s. They were all that much more experienced, that much deeper, that much stronger, that much more themselves. 20 years is some real passage of time.”

Given the thriving careers that all four men enjoy, it may be another 20 years before they’re able to share the stage again – if ever. Fortunately we now have more than a single afternoon’s collaboration to show for their scintillating congregation. With more than two hours of music, thrilling interactions, inspired improvisations and exquisite sensitivity, Signs LIVE! is an essential document of a band that has long since achieved – and far transcended – the overwhelming promise of their rousing first meeting.

“Signs LIVE!” was produced by Paul Stache and Damon Smith
and recorded live in New York at Jazz at Lincoln Center at 96KHz/24bit
and mixed to 1/2″ analog tape using a Studer mastering deck
Available in audiophile HD format

1. Blues for Bulgaria
2. Hidden Pockets
3. Dragonfly
4. Jive Coffee
5. Pannonica
6. Useless Metaphor
7. Let Loose
8. All Too Real
9. Resplendor
10. Crepuscule with Nellie / We See
11. Cupcake

Erik Hove Chamber Ensemble - Polygon (2017)

This album builds on the sounds and concepts of our previous album, Saturated Colour. The goal in writing was to expand upon ideas already in play, in addition to adding a layer of electronics to many of the tracks in order to fuse the timbres and broaden the sonic palette of the ensemble.

1. Tessellation 4:54
2. Fractured 6:07
3. Polygon 5:58
4. Morse Code 4:44
5. Metal Clouds 4:22
6. Inversions 5:52
7. Tetrahedron 5:25
8. Drift (re:synthesis II) 6:51
9. Octagon 2:33

Anna Webber flute, alto flute
Krisjana Thorsteinson oboe
Krista Martynes clarinet, bass clarinet
Andy King trumpet
Kate Bevan-Baker violin
Jean René viola
Jane Chan cello
Rémi-Jean Leblanc bass
Evan Tighe drums

Helge Lien Trio - Guzuguzu (OZELLA MUSIC 2017)

If music is a language, then maybe, vice versa, words can be used to imitate specific sounds? This fascinating phenomenon of onomatopoeia is the point of departure for the Helge Lien Trio's ninth album 'Guzuguzu'.

Each track is based on a different onomatopoetic Japanese term and the rich field of associations it opens up: What does a smile sound like? "Nikoniko". Spinning around in circles? "Kurukuru"! Even the album title - Guzuguzu - falls into the same category, describing what it sounds like to "move slowly". Intriguingly, as Lien was writing the pieces, he discovered hidden connections between them, which added up to a new vocabulary of sound. It has turned the trio's latest effort into their most ambitious and thrilling work to date.

If music is a language, then maybe, vice versa, words can be used to imitate specific sounds? This fascinating phenomenon of onomatopoeia is the point of departure for the Helge Lien Trio's ninth album 'Guzuguzu'.

Each track is based on a different onomatopoetic Japanese term and the rich field of associations it opens up: What does a smile sound like? "Nikoniko". Spinning around in circles? "Kurukuru"! Even the album title - Guzuguzu - falls into the same category, describing what it sounds like to "move slowly". Intriguingly, as Lien was writing the pieces, he discovered hidden connections between them, which added up to a new vocabulary of sound. It has turned the trio's latest effort into their most ambitious and thrilling work to date.

"We spend close to an entire year preparing the recording of Guzuguzu. When we met in Rainbow studio, the album was more or less complete, not to say "garari", explains Lien. "This allowed for us to record the album in one single take. Listening to how it came out, it strikes me how close it resembles a live experience."

Available as a CD and a limited edition 180g audiophile vinyl with pure analogue sound and high end vinyl mastering.

1. Gorogoro (thundering) 04:35
2. Guzuguzu (moving Slowly) 04:40
3. Nikoniko (smiling) 03:55
4. Garari (completely) 08:11
5. Jasmine 04:53
6. Chokichoki (cutting) 06:27
7. Kurukuru (spinning Around) 03:13
8. Shitoshito (raining Quietly) 06:08

Music composed Helge Lien
Recorded by Jan Erik Kongshaug at Rainbow Studio, Oslo, September 2-4 2016
Mixed and mastered by Jan Erik Kongshaug
Cover photo by CF Wesenberg
Produced by Helge Lien and Dagobert Böhm

Jonah Parzen-Johnson - I Try to Remember Where I Come From (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)

I think it’s worthwhile for those of us who devote our lives to making stuff, to be sure we ask ourselves why we’re spending our time this way. Each of us is a collection of gravitations. In my first saxophone lesson with Mwata Bowden, my baritone saxophone hero, and one of Chicago’s creative leaders, he told me, “we call it Creative Music, because…”.

All I heard was “we”. Community. An important reminder that Creative Music was about more than a style, or a skill. It is part of a movement that exists in concert with American history, and a tradition of explosive creativity in response to deep hardship.

That “we” is important to me. Something to respect, and place above other things.Community is a funny thing to think about when standing on a stage by myself getting ready to play a solo saxophone set. Experimental music can feel very isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. I think a lot about sound as I build each piece of music using extended saxophone techniques, and carefully assembled analog synthesizer components that breath and pulse with my wiry saxophone melodies.

I find joy in the craft, but beyond that, I aim to make something that if placed in the right context, can tell a story that each person in the room can connect with. Something simple, and honest enough, that although it might be painful, it can resonate with anyone.I’ve lived in Brooklyn NY since 2006, but I was very lucky to grow up on the Southside of Chicago, surrounded by incredible musicians that I met at Jazz clubs, studied with, and saw around my neighborhood.

They defined my musical world, were receptive to my curiosity, and deeply supportive as I honed my musical voice. The title of this album, I Try To Remember Where I Come From, is a direct expression of my gratitude, but, on a deeper level, it is a reminder that I have taken inspiration from a tradition that isn’t rooted in my own experience. It is a pattern repeated regularly in American music history. Something that I think about a lot.In many ways, Black American music is a response to an environment of exclusion, oppression, and institutional silencing that I, a white American man, have not, and will never experience.

Despite this fact, throughout my teenage years, Black musicians in Chicago shared their traditions, their gatherings, their bandstands, their living rooms, and their musical incites with me in a generous, and enduring way. I find it deeply humbling that a community that formed, in part, to protect its members from an environment where everything could be taken from them, is also one of the most generous sources of creativity and inspiration in American art. I think this generosity deserves music that is loyal to the truth behind the tradition.

I wrote these songs because I care about the people who own that tradition, and who forged it as a tool of inclusion. I seek to honor their battle for institutional recognition, and racial equality, with every show I play, and everything that I make. Their fight continues today, and deserves all of our attention.

1. Cabin Pressure  4:38  
2. These Shoulders, Those Shoulders  4:59  
3. Guns Make Us Murderers  4:56  
4. Too Many Dreams  5:18  
5. What Do I Do with Sorry  6:07  
6. I Have Questions  4:45  
7. I Try to Remember Where I Come From  4:48 

Available on Amazon and iTunes

Quantum Trio - DUALITY (Particles & Waves) 2017

DUALITY is a concept in which the music goes through the worlds of Particles and Waves. 

PARTICLES - the world that is tangible. The acoustic sound of the instruments - grand piano, saxophone and drums. Energetic, polyrhythmic tunes are mixed with calm yet intense ballads. The rhythm becomes the keynote of the whole album, joining both parts together. 

WAVES - the alternative reality. The world, where matter and energy interweave with each other. Tunes that escape from unequivocal definition, inspired by punk, ambient, electronic music or post-rock achievements.

Quantum Trio is an unconventional jazz trio established in Rotterdam in 2012 by Michal Jan Ciesielski, Kamil Zawislak and Luis Mora Matus. Their music ranges from dynamic compositions through lyrical ballads to rock energy anthems. The first album „Gravity” introduced the band to the European audience and was awarded „Debut Album of 2015” by Polish Jazz. Listen to the new album DUALITY!

1. Particles 09:12
2. Eigenstates 06:09
3. Entropy 06:46
4. Branes 08:27
5. Wave Function Collapse 06:18
6. Singularity 07:25
7. Annihilation 05:24
8. Here, There, Everywhere 04:03
9. Entanglement 05:22
10. Gravitons 06:51
11. Nebula 04:07
12. Muons 03:53
13. Light Years 05:27
14. Gluons 04:16
15. Photons 06:00

Juliana Martina - vocals (guest)


Sep 28
Gdansk, Poland

Oct 04
Rotterdam, Netherlands

Nov 16
Vilnius, Lithuania

Nov 18
Białystok, Poland