Monday, September 18, 2017

JUXTAPOSITION out on 22nd of September (NAKAMA RECORDS)

"a cruel and punishing work, which exploits the full sonic spectrum and every texture, from grainy abrasion to the razor-sharp (...) pretty f*cking intense."
– Christopher Nosnibor, Aural aggravation

Harsh noise, joyful screams and birdsong

Juxtaposition is a studio work of four Oslo based improvisers recorded in the spring of 2016. Various timbres of opposite extremes – as a result of each musicians' different approach and background – coexist without hierarchical restrictions. Having that in mind, the mixing process played a crucial role to deliver a concrete body of equalitarian sonic output. Without compromise, these moments of joy and pain, screams, feedback and bird sounds are layered on top of each other, creating a non-hierarchical, juxtaposed mesh of both organic, generated and pre-recorded sounds.

Agnes Hvizdalek - voice
Magnus Skavhaug Nergaard - electric bass, electronics, field recordings
Utku Tavil - snare drum, no-input mixer, sampler
Natali Abrahamsen Garner - voice, electronics

Benny Benack III - One of a Kind (2017)

At the age of 26, Pittsburgh-born, New York-based Jazz musician Benny Benack III has been hailed by Nate Chinen of the New York Times as “a charismatic young trumpeter who maintains an earnest sideline as a singer". As a dual-threat, he’s quickly established himself as one of the most versatile and virtuosic voices of his generation. He first made his mark internationally through competitions, highlighted by winning the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Soloist Competition (2011), and being a Finalist for the prestigious Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition (2014). After placing in a number of US vocal competitions as well (Gentleman Sing, Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival), the stage was set for his bright career.

Delivering on that early promise, he became a frequent collaborator with musicians such as Ulysses Owens Jr., Michael Dease, and Chihiro Yamanaka - recording with the latter on the iconic Blue Note Records label. Sought after as a trumpet soloist, he's played in nearly every major big band, including the Christian McBride Big Band, Mingus Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, Jimmy Heath Big Band, and Bobby Sanabria's Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. An international touring schedule includes frequent engagements in Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine and Italy.

Equally at ease in the Pop/Cabaret world, he has toured alongside Josh Groban as his trumpet soloist, played the famed Cafe Carlyle with fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi, headlined the iconic Birdland Jazz Club alongside Anne Hampton Callaway honoring Ella & Louis, and was special guest with the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops Orchestra for a Tribute to Sinatra. When not on the road, he headlines at the finest venues in New York, with engagements at 54 Below, Jazz @ Lincoln Center’s “Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola", The Blue Note, Birdland, SMOKE, Minton’s, the Jazz Standard, Small’s, and has a monthly Saturday night residency at Mezzrow in the West Village.

He was recently featured as a vocalist during Jazz @ Lincoln Center’s 2016 Concert Series in the Appel Room, as a part of “Crooners" celebrating Bing Crosby, Mel Torme & Nat King Cole. He also made his television debut, featured live on-air in the House Band for NBC's variety show "Maya & Marty in Manhattan".

On September 15th, 2017 his first solo album “One of a Kind" will be released worldwide, signaling his arrival as a major international artist for years to come.

As an educator, Benack is highly sought after around the world as a clinician and masterclass presenter, known for his engaging and enthusiastic style with students. Throughout many schools, he leads The Benny Benack Band on behalf of Jazz @ Lincoln Center’s “Jazz For Young People" outreach program. He regularly leads educational concerts at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and for the NY Pops Education Outreach Program as a Teaching Artist.

He is a two-time graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, obtaining his Master of Music degree in 2015. He is endorsed by P. Mauriat Trumpets, Torpedo Bag cases, and Carol Brass Flugelhorns.

1 One of a Kind 00:05:22 
2 Kiss Me Slowly 00:04:59
3 I Found You 00:05:51
4 You Already Know 00:05:39
5 Looking for Love 00:04:46
6 Jumpstart 00:04:40
7 When Midnight Comes 00:07:08
8 Close to You 00:03:54 
9 I Only Have Eyes for You 00:06:24
10 LondonTowne 00:05:5
11 Guh Guh Guh 00:06:05
12 Benny's From Heaven 00:05:40

Joel Frahm: Tenor Sax (4,10,11)
Yotam Silberstein: Guitar (2,7,9)
Emmet Cohen: Piano
Alex Claffy: Bass
Ulysses Owens Jr: Drums

Arturo O’Farrill & Chucho Valdés - Familia: Tribute to Bebo + Chico (2017) CD 1

Pianists Arturo O'Farrill and Chucho Valdés celebrate their rich musical family legacies on 2017's ambitious, gloriously realized Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico.

Although they grew up on separate shores, O'Farrill in New York (via Mexico) and Valdés in Cuba, they both came of age in musical households as the sons of legendary Cuban bandleaders Chico O'Farrill and Bebo Valdés. 

Along with icons like Chano Pozo, Machito, and Dizzy Gillespie, the elder O'Farrill and Valdés were giants of Afro-Cuban music. Similarly, just as their fathers helped further the dissemination and creative development of Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz, Arturo and Chucho are innovators in their own rights, with decades of experience playing both traditional Cuban music and ultra-modern jazz.

Impressively, they bring all that history to bear on Familia, a two-disc collection featuring songs composed by their fathers, as well as new compositions inspired by their lives growing up in such deeply artistic families. Joining them here are their equally talented children, including trumpeter Adam O'Farrill, drummer Zack O'Farrill, pianist Leyanis Valdés, and drummer Jessie Valdés. Also on board are the members of Arturo O'Farrill's own Grammy Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Disc one primarily features the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and finds O'Farrill and Valdés taking a more traditional, if still dazzling approach on cuts like the merengue-infused "BeboChicoChuchoTuro" and a lushly orchestrated reading of Bebo Valdés' "Ecuacion." Also compelling are the pianist's solo turns on Chico O'Farrill's "Pianitis" and O'Farrill's homage to his parents, "Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters," which features several sparkling cadenzas from pianist Leyanis Valdés.

Disc two showcases the smaller, post-bop-leaning Third Generations Ensemble, in which they explore the more progressive edges of Afro-Cuban jazz. Here, trumpeter (and third place finisher at the 2014 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition) Adam O'Farrill shines, revealing his knack for harmonically adventurous improvisation à la Woody Shaw on the kinetic and fractured "Run and Jump." Similarly, the trumpeter breathes new life into Chico O'Farrill's "Pura Emocion" framed by his father's taut, angular arrangement. Elsewhere, Zack O'Farrill contributes the expansive "Gonki Gonki" (his mother's way of describing the sound of rhythmic piano montunos) and Chucho offers the lushly virtuosic solo track "Para Chico." The sheer amount of virtuosity on display on Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico might well be overwhelming if the music itself weren't so warmly and beautifully rendered.

CD 1
1. BeboChicoChuchoTuro
2. Three Revolutions
3. Ecuación
4. Tema de Bebo
5. Pianitis
6. Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters

Arturo O’Farrill & Chucho Valdés - Familia: Tribute to Bebo + Chico (2017) CD 2

1. Run and Jump
2. Recuerdo
3. Gonki Gonki
4. Pura Emoción
5. Para Chico
6. Con Poco Coco
7. Raja Ram

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis - Handful of Keys (2017)

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and special guests take you through 100 years of jazz piano on their new album, Handful of Keys. Star pianists Joey Alexander, Dick Hyman, Myra Melford, Helen Sung, Isaiah J. Thompson, and the JLCO’s own Dan Nimmer grab hold of all 88 keys and reveal the full extent of the piano’s evolution over the 20th century. This landmark live performance will be released on 9/15/17 by Blue Engine Records.

Recorded on opening night of the 2016-17 Jazz at Lincoln Center season, Handful of Keys showcases a band in full stride, burning through electric arrangements of beloved compositions from James P. Johnson, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, and more. With guests ranging in age from 13-year-old prodigy Alexander (recently featured on 60 Minutes) to 89-year-old American treasure Hyman, Wynton Marsalis and the JLCO survey jazz piano’s past and give the stage to several prodigies who are taking the instrument in bold new directions.

Laurent Coq - Kinship (JAZZ&PEOPLE 2017)

Pour son retour attendu au format emblématique du trio, le pianiste français s’entoure d’une rythmique de haut vol et signe une série de compositions originales dédiées à tous ceux qui forment sa famille (kinship) musicale. Un hommage vivant à tous ceux qui, à Paris comme à New York, font battre le jazz au XXIe siècle, par l’un des plus singuliers pianistes actuels.

1. Light 03:43
2. Momentum 05:06
3. Honest 06:43
4. Pleasure 03:04
5. Mystery 03:42
6. Life 04:11
7. Organized 03:21
8. Sincerely 05:14
9. Flow 04:36
10. Radiation 04:51
11. Trip 04:53

Laurent Coq : Piano 
Joshua Crumbly : Basse 
Johnathan Blake : Batterie 

Enregistré au Bunker Studio à Brooklyn (NYC) le 31 octobre et le 1er novembre 2016 par Katsuhiko Naito 
Mix et mastering au Bass Hit Recording Studio (NYC) le 4 novembre par Dave Darlington.