Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kristian Borring QuarTET - Live at the Vortex (2017)

Kristian Borring Quartet Live at The Vortex will be available to buy from iTunes and Bandcamp from 1st September and then across all other music stores from 15th September. 

Recorded at the infamous London club Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston and features pianist Rick Simpson, double bassist Dave Whitford and drummer Jon Scott.

Released September 15, 2017 

1. Imperfect Circumstances 06:03
2. Fable 07:20
3. A Lullaby 05:33
4. London Magic 08:53
5. Skylark 08:52
6. April Fools 08:24

Rick Simpson - PIANO (except 5)
Dave Whitford - BASS
Jon Scott - DRUMS

Recorded live at Vortex Jazz Club, London, November 2016
All Compositions by Kristian Borring, except "Skylark" by Hoagy Carmichael
Recording Engineered by Alex Bonney
Mixed and Mastered by Alex Bonney
Artwork Photography by Monika S. Jakubowska
Artwork Design by Kristian Borring

Shannon Barnett Quartet - Hype (DOUBLE MOON RECORDS 2017)

Since moving to Germany, Shannon Barnett has become very active in the local scene. Her quartet, featuring Stefan Karl Schmid (tenor saxophone), David Helm (bass) and Fabian Arends (drums) was nominated as a seim-finalist in the 2017 Neuer Deutscher Jazzpreis. They have performed widely in Germany, including at the Acht Brücken and Winterjazz Festivals, the Peng Festival and IG Jazz in Mannheim. In 2016, they toured Australia, performing at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Sydney Women's Jazz Festival. This is the quartet's debut album!

The influences of harmolodic improvisers such as Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry are evident in this composition. The three melodic sections share similar beginnings, but drift off into other territories, allowing the soloist to explore different environments, finally finishing with a solemn Latin-music-inspired resolution.

People Donʼt Listen to Music Anymore:
As with many of the melodies from her compositions, this tune is rhythmically based on the title. It was inspired by the overwhelming amount of publicity and marketing one can find on the internet about various musical projects and how sometimes because of this, the essence of the music can be diluted. After a haunting ballad-like section, the piece morphs through a free improvisation and then takes a turn towards a melancholy chorale, before surprising the listener with what could best be described as a good old-fashioned hoe down, featuring Barnettʼs blazing trombone on the top.

Red-Bellied Stickleback: 
Composed during Barnettʼs short stay in Banff, Canada, this piece is inspired by a desire to break away from the traditional roles in the quartet. The trombone begins with a guitar- like riff, that underpins the polyphonic texture that follows. The Red-Bellied Stickleback itself is a type of fish with interesting behavioural features.

Speaking in Tongues:
Again based on a short rhythmic pattern, the middle section of this piece was composed first, borrowing from an episode of the animated television series ʻFamily Guyʼ, in which the main character pretends to be able to speak Italian. After the complex introduction, the soloists are allowed some freedom in a swinging, sometimes bluesy open section, a window into Barnettʼs previous experiences playing swing and early jazz.

Composed in honour of the Australian pianist Paul Grabowksky, PG3 is a soulful 6/8 ballad, that displays Schmid and Barnettʼs compelling interactions and conversations, as well as their stunning ability to deliver unison passages as if they were only one instrument.

Ok Compupid: 
Inspired by the Australian musician Thai Matus, Ok Compupid weaves and jumps through various time signatures, before landing on a rapid, pulsating groove that showcases Schmidʼs technical prowess and ability to develop an interesting story from only a simple starting point.

Chasing the Second:
Again displaying Barnettʼs love for various styles outside of the jazz realm, this piece features a reggae section (originally inspired by the music of the Art Ensemble of Chicago), over which her lazy trombone hangs, almost jokingly commenting over the subtle yet hypnotising support from Helm and Arends.

Between the solo sections we are treated to fast-paced intricate unison sections, deftly delivered by the entire quartet.

The Spirit is Willing, but the Flesh is Weak:
This composition begins with a lilting unison melody from Schmid and Barnett, accompanied gently by Arendʼs delicate cymbals and Helmʼs warm bass sound. The bassist leads the quartet out of the melodic section and into an expansive, tranquil bass solo, before combining with Arends to construct a burning fast swing foundation, which Schmid and Barnett contrast with a transcendent pentatonic unison.

The piece is reiminiscent of and inspired by the late works of John Coltrane and other jazz musicians who sought a spiritual connection through their music.

Rosemary Clooney – I Feel a Song Coming On: Lost Radio Recordings (2017)

I Feel A Song Coming On: Lost Radio Recordings features 24 radio performances from the late, great Rosemary Clooney, culled from several radio shows in the 1950s including The Bing Crosby Show for General Electric, The Ford Road Show and The Rosemary Clooney Show.  Her classic performances of standards primarily comprise this release, including Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,”  and “I Get A Kick Out of You,” the Gershwins’ “But Not For Me” and “Nice Work if You Can Get It,”  and Berlin’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” among others.  The material on this new CD has been taken from tape sources (not transcription discs) as newly remastered by Mike Milchner, and the booklet features rare photographs and liner notes by Tom Pickles.

Playlist for Tom Ossana – The Thin Edge – September 20, 2017 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m. ~ Use this link to access the show online.

Tony Allen - The Source (BLUE NOTE 2017)

Drum legend Tony Allen has seen a childhood dream come true. He even says that when he made The Source (his debut album for Blue Note Records), it was the best recording in his whole life. Coming from Allen, that’s not a casual statement: he is 76 years old and his career goes back 50 years, not to mention recordings by the hundred. The saxophonist Yann Jankielewicz, who has been playing alongside him for nearly a decade, observes: “Tony has never played drums as well as this. He's never had as much freedom, never had as much power as he does today.”

The Source is the Nigerian-born Paris-based drummer's first full-length album for Blue Note, following the tantalizing 4-track EP release A Tribute to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Blue Note is one of the most prestigious names in jazz and a label that has opened its sphere of creativity considerably wider since its renaissance in the 1980s. The Source manages to represent the label's classic era at the same time as it symbolizes Blue Note's innovative present. The jazz here navigates its way back to the source in Africa, creating a sound that is totally captivating.

The best albums always tell a story. This one takes us back to the source of Allen's art as a musician, in other words, to Nigeria in the latter half of the 20th century. Tony Oladipo Allen, who was born in Lagos in 1940, never played a traditional instrument: right from the beginning, his interest was for a distant relative of the ancestral percussion family, namely, the drum kit. He taught himself, serving his apprenticeship while working as a technician for Nigerian national radio, all the time listening to records by American masters such as Art Blakey, Max Roach and Kenny Clarke, the eminent drummers of the bebop and hard bop eras.

His life changed totally in 1964 when he made the acquaintance of Fela Kuti, whom he would accompany for the next 15 years, first with Fela's Koola Lobitos, an emblematic highlife band that was a model for all modern African music groups, and then when Fela led Africa 70, for which he developed a new music language: Afrobeat, which combined Yoruba rhythms and funk instruments with themes of revolution. Alongside Fela, Tony recorded some 20 albums and put his rhythm-signature to each of them. From then on, Afrobeat would propel a career that saw him pursue his own projects while collaborating with everyone from Oumou Sangare to Damon Albarn (in The Good, The Bad & The Queen).

In early 2017, Tony began preparing The Source, the next step in the musical and spiritual voyage that he has undertaken from Africa to America and beyond. To share writing tasks and take care of the arrangements, he called on Jankielewicz, with whom he has worked since 2009 and the album Secret Agent. They began by getting together to listen to and exchange their favorite records: Lester Bowie, Charles Mingus, Art Blakey, Gil Evans… albums that served as a compass to guide them on their way, as if they were navigators of old scrutinizing a constellation.

“Tony belongs to those musician-architects who know how to build on a drum pattern with rare precision,” says Jankielewicz. “He can hear every instrument before it makes a sound.” This particular architect's worksite was the Midilive studio (Vogue's former recording facility), whose walls in the suburbs of Paris contain equipment that is purely analog. It’s a rare studio, and it’s worth underlining that the recording went onto tape and, from the sound-take to the mixing and cutting, not a single digital byte was consumed in the process. That goes some way towards explaining the exceptional texture of the sound you hear in the album.

Surrounding Tony are some of the best musicians on a Paris scene that is difficult to call “jazz” due to its highly changeable nature: Jankielewicz alongside saxophonists Rémi Sciuto and Jean-Jacques Elangue, trumpeter Nicolas Giraud, trombonist Daniel Zimmermann, bassist Mathias Allamane, pianist Jean-Philippe Dary, and keyboardist Vincent Taurelle, who produced the album with Bertrand Fresel… a French cast to begin with, but with the addition of guitarist Indy Dibongue from Cameroon who, like Tony, contributes an indispensable African pigment to this palette. 11 excellent players in total would finally deliver The Source, along with one notable guest: Damon Albarn, who adds an ethereal piano part to “Cool Cats.”

The album sparkles in the variety of its timbres and the diversity of its colors. Each of the 11 instrumental tracks—all new originals co-written by Allen and Jankielewicz—bring forward a particular instrument: Giraud's trumpet on “Bad Roads”; the bass of Allamane on “Crusin’”; Dary's piano inside “On Fire,” and Sciuto's bari sax on “Woro Dance.” With “Cool Cats,” it's the turn of Elangue and his tenor, while Zimmerman's trombone is featured on “Wolf Eats Wolf.” And throughout, Tony’s indelible signature, a unique way of hitting skins or a cymbal, its main characteristics a caressing, almost ethereal energy, and a formidable efficiency.

The music on The Source creates its own milieu. It shines like the African sun on “Push & Pull,” becomes contemplative with “Tony’s Blues,” then hypnotic in “Life Is Beautiful,” then dresses in the urban colors of dusk on “Ewajo.” Where is the jazz, where is the Afrobeat, in this insistent swirl of the music? Nobody knows. But nor should we ask the ocean's calm or restless waters to differentiate between currents from the river Niger and those from the Mississippi.

01 Moody Boy 6:33
02 Bad Roads 5:48
03 Cruising 6:05
04 On Fire 6:17
05 Woro Dance 6:40
06 Tony's Blues 5:01
07 Wolf Eats Wolf 5:41
08 Cool Cats 4:28
09 Push and Pull 5:58
10 Ewajo 5:36
11 Life Is Beautiful 6:32

Steve Smith and Vital Information NYC Edition - Heart of the City (BFM JAZZ 2017)

Steve Smith's band, whose lineage goes back more than 30 years, has released it's burning new album, "Heart of the City." It features 12 tunes performed by six amazing musicians: Baron Browne (bass and vocals), Mark Soskin (piano and Rhodes), Vinny Valentino (guitar), Andy Fusco (alto sax), and George Brooks (tenor and alto saxes).

1. Mr. P.C.
2. Rhythm-A-Ning
3. Eight+Five
4. Bugalulu
5. Heart of the City
6. City Outskirts East
7. I Love You
8. I'm an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)
10. Open Dialogue
11. Charukeshi Express
12. Cherokee (Indian Love Song)

Victor Wooten, Dennis Chambers & Bob Franceschini – TRYPNOTYX (2017)

TRYPNOTYX, the new album from Grammy Award winner Victor Wooten is now available for pre-order only at! Album will be available everywhere on September 8, 2017. Digital pre-order coming soon all digital services.

Produced by Wooten, TRYPNOTYX features legendary drummer Dennis Chambers (Bootsy Collins, Santana), veteran saxophonist Bob Franceschini (Mike Stern, Paul Simon), and also features singer Varijashree Venugopal and comedian/voicetrumentalist Michael Winslow (Police Academy).

01 – Take Off
02 – Dc10
03 – Liz & Opie
04 – Cruising Altitude
05 – Funky D
06 – The 13th Floor
07 – A Little Rice and Beans
08 – A Soul Full of Ballad
09 – Caught in the Act
10 – One Hand
11 – Trypnotyx
12 – Final Approach
13 – Cupid
14 – Landing