Thursday, September 21, 2017

Uri Gurvich - Kinship (JAZZ FAMILY RECORDS 2017)


Et voici le second album intitulé Kinship ce mois-ci ! (après celui de Laurent Coq). Le saxophoniste israélien Uri Gurvich s’est installé à New York après être assé par le Berklee College of Music de Boston (avec Joe Lovano comme prof.). Pour son troisième album, il distille un jazz « grand teint » (inusable à défaut d’être créatif et original). Pas de surprises donc dans ce disque dont la musique est bien confinée dans de solides grilles harmoniques.

01. Song for Kate
02. Dance of the Nanigos
03. El Chubut
04. Twelve Tribes
05. Im Tirzi
06. Go Down Moses (trad.)
07. Kinship
08. Blue Nomad
09. Hermetos
10. Ha’im Ha’im Intro
11. Ha’im Ha’im (S. Argov)

Leo Genovese – piano
Peter Slavov – bass
Francisco Mela – drums
Special guest on ‘El Chubut’ Bernardo Palombo – voice and lyrics

Bob Reynolds - Hindsight (2017)

Bob Reynolds is an impressive tenor-saxophonist with an original tone who has gained fame for his work with Snarky Puppy and John Mayer. Hindsight is his seventh CD as a leader and his first studio album leading a classic jazz quartet. 

Reynolds was born in Morristown, New Jersey and spent much of his childhood growing up in Jacksonville, Florida. While he was originally interested in film music and becoming a director, once he started playing the alto sax in junior high school (three years later switching to tenor), he became devoted to becoming a musician. Reynolds gained experience playing with much older musicians in the Beaches Preservation Swing Band, worked locally, and earned a degree from Berklee where he had influential lessons from Hal Crook and George Garzone. After moving to New York he performed in a wide variety of styles with many groups including five years with singer-songwriter Jonah Smith and six on which he toured the world with John Mayer. Bob Reynolds, who moved to Los Angeles in 2008, has in recent years been playing, touring and recording with Snarky Puppy; he is featured on We Like It Here. 

“My agenda for the CD,” says the saxophonist, “was to use a traditional tenor-piano-acoustic bass-drums quartet and create some unexpected colors and sounds. I sought to create the illusion that this is a larger band than it actually is, as if there were (sometimes) a vocalist and a soloist.” The music on Hindsight was recorded a few years ago. “We recorded too much material,” he admits, “and these performances were put aside until I recently rediscovered them and immediately knew they had to be released.” 

Bob Reynolds met pianist Aaron Goldberg when he was attending Berklee. After moving to New York, Joshua Redman re-introduced them at a rehearsal. “Aaron was always very encouraging to me, liked my songs, and was an early mentor of mine. He is one of my favorite piano players, so swinging and such fun to play with. Through him I met bassist Reuben Rogers. Both of those guys have so much joy in their playing in addition to their incredible command of their instruments. They make everyone else play better. At the time of this recording, I was playing with drummer Obed Calvaire in two different bands; he fit in perfectly with Aaron and Reuben. I gravitate towards players who are really steeped in the tradition of blues, swing and bebop and yet are not stuck there, also equally loving funk, soul and r&b. These three musicians are very flexible and have deep vocabularies, but always serve the music.” 

Throughout the seven Bob Reynolds originals that comprise Hindsight, the music is difficult to classify as anything but modern open-minded jazz. “Ready Set” sets the stage for the rest of the CD. It is a relaxed piece that has a soulful groove, a lot of space, and is notable for the interaction of the four players with Reynolds and Goldberg often trading off ideas. In contrast, “Step Aside” is a powerhouse tune that has a fiery tenor solo and an infectious piano section over the heated rhythm section. The music is both creative and funky. 

“When It’s Over” features another side of Bob Reynolds. “At the time I wrote this, I was touring with John Mayer. I love playing with singers and I enjoy getting to be the soloist inside a pop song. On this ballad, I function as both the vocalist singing the melody and then the soloist.” The somber piece builds up gradually and has Reynolds sometimes recalling the always-soulful Stanley Turrentine in his solo. 

The introspective “Swedish Blues,” which was written at 3:30 in the morning in a cold hotel room in Chicago, evokes long dark nights and picturesque dreams. The leader displays a haunting tone that perfectly fits the mood of this piece. 

“Fight Or Flight,” was originally composed for a dance company featuring piano and oboe. “But after we played it a bit as a band, it became a mini-epic.” The dramatic music, which could work well as a television theme song, is quite cinematic and features Bob Reynolds’ tenor playing at its most passionate. 

“Silver Lining” is a melancholy ballad which the quartet interprets with quiet but emotional intensity and admirable self-restraint. Reynolds and his musicians caress every note during this mournful piece which also expresses a bit of hope during its closing section. 

Hindsight concludes with the energetic “Late In The Game,” a high-energy performance that has the feel of a rock song but is played with the sophistication of the top jazz artists. It makes for an exciting closer to the memorable set. 

Throughout this program, Bob Reynolds succeeds at integrating jazz and improvisation with the pop and rock grooves that have long attracted him, blending together aspects of r&b, soul and rock in his classic jazz quartet. Hindsight is a recording that rewards repeated listenings and ranks as one of his strongest and most rewarding recordings to date. 

—Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian and author of 11 books including The Great Jazz Guitarists, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76. 

1. Ready, Set 03:34
2. Step Aside 07:10
3. When It's Over 07:55
4. Swedish Blues 05:23
5. Fight or Flight 04:17
6. Silver Lining 07:05
7. Late In The Game 05:14

Bob Reynolds - tenor saxophone
Aaron Goldberg - piano
Reuben Rogers - bass
Obed Calvaire - drums

All songs by Bob Reynolds (Mufala Music, ASCAP)
Produced by Bob Reynolds

Recorded by Michael Brorby at Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, NY, January 2008
Mixed by Juan Pablo Alcaro
Mastered by Scott Kinsey
Art & design by Jonas Bostrøm

Florian Hoefner – Coldwater Stories (2017)

Born and raised in Germany, trained in New York City and now based in Canada, jazz pianist and composer, Florian Hoefner, draws from a myriad of influences that cumulate in his unique brand of modern jazz. Praised as a “composer-bandleader of insightful resolve” by the New York Times and a “harmonically daring pianist […] reaching toward new sonic territory” by Downbeat, Florian Hoefner has made his mark as an inventive creator and performer of exciting contemporary Jazz. 

With the Florian Hoefner Group, he has released 3 albums on Origin Records that have received rave reviews around the globe. “Luminosity,” his latest release, has been described as a “starkly picturesque album [...] that makes profound statements from quiet moments” by Downbeat and as a “total experience” by the New York Jazz Record. Featuring tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, this record has been his most ambitious project so far. With the quartet, he maintains a busy touring schedule that has included over 100 performances in Europe and North America to date. After their performance at the Montréal Jazz Festival 2015, Hoefner was awarded the Stingray Rising Star Award. 

As a member of the Germany-based collective, Subtone, he has released 4 critically acclaimed albums on labels including ENJA Records and performed on 4 continents including festivals such as Jazz Baltica (Germany), ACACIA Jazz Festival (Ethiopia), Jazz in Situ (Ecuador) and Tremplin Jazz d’Avignon (France) where the group was awarded the jury and audience awards. Florian’s work as a sideman has led to numerous additional CD releases including a collaboration with guitarist, Kurt Rosenwinkel on Fresh Sounds Records. He has shared the stage with the likes of Joe Lovano, Seamus Blake, Rich Perry, John Riley, and New York Philharmonic clarinetist, Mark Nuccio. 

A two-time winner of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, Hoefner’s compositions and arrangements can be heard on many commercial albums by artists including Till Brönner, Jasmin Tabatabai and Peter Fessler. His big band compositions have been performed by the New York Jazz Orchestra, the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra, the German Youth Jazz Orchestra and the DanJam Orchestra. 

Florian initially began his musical studies in Bavaria, where he played the trumpet and accordion, in addition to piano. After obtaining his first degree in jazz piano from the University of Arts in Berlin, he was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to complete a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City where he studied with Jason Moran, Dave Liebman, and Garry Dial. 

Since July 2014 Florian is a resident of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, where he continues to embark on new musical adventures.

1. The Great Auk 05:18
2. Migration [live] 06:35
3. The Send [live] 07:33
4. The Way of Water [live] 05:51
5. Never Lost [live] 04:44
6. Iceberg 1 02:56
7. Green Gardens 04:23
8. Sunrise Bay 07:42
9. Iceberg 2 05:24
10. With the North Atlantic 03:45

Released September 15, 2017 

Produced by Christine Carter and Florian Hoefner 
Recorded by Frank Jacobsen at Sendesaal Bremen, Germany, May 7th and 8th 2016 
Mixed & mastered by Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Studios, NYC 
Edited by Stephen Lilly 
Cover design and layout by John Bishop

Carol Albert New CD “Fly Away Butterfly” + Upcoming Live Appearances

4 Weeks On The Billboard Smooth Jazz Charts

Upcoming Shows and Performances for Carol Albert

September 22,23 Chateau Elan Winery and Resort
September 29,30 Chateau Elan Winery and Resort
October 6,7 Chateau Elan Winery and Resort
October 14 Suwanee Jazz Fest
October 27,28 Chateau Elan Winery and Resort
November 3,4 Chateau Elan Winery and Resort
November 9,10 Chateau Elan Winery and Resort
November 18 Private Event at Home Brian McCann
(Houston Astros, former NY Yankee Catcher)
December  9,10 Private Corporate event Washington DC
Corporate Events
December  2017 Velvet Note Christmas Show date TBA
February 2018 Velvet Note Show TBA

Label: Independent/CAHARA Music Publishing
Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
UPC Code: 191-061-873-204

Track listing
1. Fly Away Butter y 4:09
2. Awakening 4:09
3. On My Way 4:23
4. Across The Sky 4:20
5. One Way 4:28
6. Mas Que Nada 3:59
7. Chasing Waterfalls 4:23
8. Never Thought It Would Be This Way 5:24
9. Transition 4:09
10. Fly Away Butter y (Reprise) 4:09
All Tracks composed Carol Albert except Mas Que Nada Jorge Ben, One Way, Levy/Hughes

Every so often, an artist comes along that makes you reimagine the possibilities of music. With Fly Away Butterfly, Carol Albert delivers a seminal and sizzling contribution to the artistic sphere, blending lively melodies with thoughtful and refined arrangements. Every song presents not just different sounds but soundscapes in which Carol invites us to inhabit and explore. 

But this album is also one of healing, as Carol lost her husband in 2014, and she turned back to composing music after some years off from her Recording Career. After her “Christmas Mystique” production, she started on this work, tackling the personal issues she has faced – and this time, head on. Throughout the opus, we hear, quite beautifully, about Carol’s stages of recovery and healing. And by so doing, she has given us something for each one of us to hold onto.

The title track “Fly Away Butterfly” evokes an ambient groove enlivened by joyful, even mirthful flutes, the soundtrack to a butterfly flying away, from this place to that. Indeed, the track is symbolic, as Carol’s voice is intimate and distant, the delicate balance of love and loss that we all must face during life. “Awakening” flows and builds with an ostinato groove, lilting flutes, and well-placed piano touches. The song is wrought with anticipation and playful exchanges that resolve to the tonic chord, a brilliant display of compositional prowess and acumen. In fact, an encounter with a Blue Morph butterfly in Costa Rica prompted her to write the tune. Perhaps unwittingly, Carol’s has given us a track for our times, to be “awakened” to the tension-and-release, call-and-response of life. That after the very worst times comes recovery and healing. And Carol’s album, listened from start to finish, can be part of a veritable music healing, enriching your soul with creative and artistic ferment. 
“On My Way” is even more explicit, an anthem for our times. It’s a song of new beginnings. Her lyrics “On My Way/To a better day/I’ll spread my wings and fly away…” connote not just escapism but realism. In truth, sometimes you need an army of one to get the job done. You have to take things into your own hands. At least with Carol’s horn-drenched tune, you’ll have a musical accompaniment as you face towards the future. “Across the Sky” begins with a Coltrane-like incandescent solo with dreamy, even distant vocals. With her vocal performance, Carol has her audience hanging on every note with anticipation. “One Way” is a song about love and combines some of her favorite elements such as acoustic piano, nylon string guitar, and a hint of Latin percussion.  The original version of “One Way” appears on Al Jarreau’s 1988 hit album Heart’s Horizon. “I have always loved the song and thought creating and performing a new arrangement of it would be the perfect celebration of his artistry and life”

In “Mas Que Nada,” the Latin rhythms pulse with fervor and give a stylistic panache to this track, as if you were listening at a dark-lit club with fire-red dancing. What’s more, Carol’s voice displays a richness and versatility of the highest order, with beautiful incantations and vocalizations. As an admirer of Latin music, Carol had me taken with this song. In a word, stunning.  

“Waterfalls are all about that instant change in forward momentum, and can be powerful metaphors,” said Carol when describing the track “Chasing Waterfalls.” Her rolling piano propels the momentum of the song back-and-forth, ultimately advancing it without compunction so that we’re immersed, maybe even drenched in a sonic landscape of groove in the province of jam! “Never Thought It Would Be This Way” is a personal introspection into life when things turn out differently than expected.  And ain’t that the truth. The lyrics however aren’t bitter but bittersweet, informed by a life of love and loss. “Transition” brings us back into the ambient world with watercolor harmonies and kaleidoscopic timbres cascading throughout the number. It’s about moving into new realms. And with the last track “Fly Away Reprise,” Carol sends the message that there must be a final letting go. 

In this album, we hear it all, and we are better for it. Carol Albert has given us a musical testimonial borne out of the crucible of loss. We hear both resilience and grace in her music. By giving so much of herself in this music, we not only hear her, but she creates a space for us to join her on the road ahead.

--Kabir Sehgal
 New York Times bestselling author
Multi-Grammy Award winning producer

272 State Route 94 South #1,
Warwick, NY 10990-3363
“Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

Sternlumen - Nørrebro Nights (TOTTA LEELA MUSIC / GATEWAY MUSIC September 22, 2017)

Format: CD, Digital
Label: Totta Leela Music
Genre: Contemporary Piano/ Jazz

Sternlumen is Thomas Kudela and a piano. The album is a naked, unfiltered and present tribute to the neighborhood Nørrebro that Thomas loves to live in. A cultural melting pot of contrasts from beautiful and smiling summer days to cold and lonesome winter nights.

In 2016 Sternlumen released his highly praised self-titled debut album. Sternlumen has been compared to artists like Nils Frahm. His music also conjures thoughts of Lubomyr Melnyk, Keith Jarrett, Max Richter, and Carsten Dahl.

Nørrebro Nights is inspired by both jazz, classical, and minimalism. It is mixed and mastered by Boe Larsen and produced by Kudela. To ensure an optimal sound and ambience the album has been recorded on a Steinway D Grand grand piano in the jazz studio MillFactory on in the rough quarter of Copenhagen NV.

Kudela who originally comes from the Ruhr district in Germany has always been drawn to Scandinavia. After having lived in several quarters of Copenhagen he moved to the area of Nørrebro some years ago which would later inspire a body of work including the album.

Thomas comments: “The compositions express each their own ambience: melancholy, loneliness, madness, new found love, friendship and the special feeling at dawn when you bicycle over Dronning Louise’s Bridge.”

First single
The first single from the album, Red Wine Melancholia, was released June 19th. It is available to stream and download via Spotify or iTunes.

Release show
In the run up to the release, Sternlumen will play a range of concerts with a preview of the upcoming album. On September 23rd he will play in Koncertkirken (the Concert Church) on Blågårds Plads. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase the album on CD at the concert. Sternlumen has specifically chosen Koncertkirken for his release since it symbolises what Nørrebro Nights is about: A unique concert hall in an authentic and multicultural quarter where opposites meet and art is born.

Nørrebro Nights will be released on CD and digitally via Gateway and can be ordered here: