Monday, September 25, 2017

Philippe Saisse Trio - On The Level! (2017)

It was back in 2007, with his tight cover of the Steely Dan hit ‘Do It Again’, that the multi talented Philippe Saisse had the surprise radio hit of the year. It was taken from the album ‘The Body And Soul Sessions’, a collection that was replete with shimmering examples of familiar, yet delightfully re-imagined, favourites. Two years later he followed up with the immaculate ‘At Worlds Edge’ and since then, aided somewhat by relocation from New York to LA, he has become a ‘go to’ producer and performer with work for artists such as Peter White, Paul Brown and Rick Braun.

His latest collection is titled ‘And So But Then’ with the latest single being ‘On The Level’, a wonderful example of contemporary jazz piano that features percussionist Gumbi Ortiz and guitarist Marc Antoine.

01. On The Level 
02. And So But Then (feat. Marc Antoine) 
03. She Takes My Breath Away 
04. Lucky Luke 
05. Custe O Que Custar 
06. Star of My Life (feat. Kelli Sae) 
07. Blue Rondo
08. Sunny (feat. Larry Braggs)
09. Waiting For Valentine 
10. Marienbad (feat. Marc Antoine) 
11. Sunny (Instrumental)

Chessex / Noble / Edwards – 12.12.16 (2017)

Composer, saxophonist and sound artist Antoine Chessex is usually known for playing through distorting stacks of guitar amplifiers to create monolithic walls of noise and texture, but on 12.12.16 he teamed up with free music giants John Edwards and Steve Noble to play an all acoustic trio – an attempt to deconstruct the ‘classic’ formula of the tenor sax, bass and drums. Right off the bat Chessex’s extended technique reaches combustable energy levels, and Edwards and Noble push pace and space to a taut intensity. Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Sunday 12th December, 2016. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski.

Antoine Chessex is a composer, saxophonist and sound artist whose works assume a wide diversity of forms, crossing the boundaries between noise, modern composition, improvisation and electronic music. His live performances are characterized by textural density and microtonal tensions often resulting in sound masses exploring the physical dimensions of spaces. Chessex presents his works worldwide and has collaborated extensively with Zbigniew Karkowski, Valerio Tricoli, Apartment House and Jérôme Noetinger among others. He is a founding member of the noise band Monno.
Steve Noble is London’s leading drummer, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser whose super-precise, ultra-propulsive and hyper-detailed playing has galvanized encounters with Derek Bailey, Matthew Shipp, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Stephen O’Malley, Joe McPhee, Alex Ward, Rhodri Davies and many, many more.

In the early eighties, Noble played with the Nigerian master drummer Elkan Ogunde, Rip Rig and Panic, Brion Gysin and the Bow Gamelan Ensemble, before going on to work with the pianist Alex Maguire and with Derek Bailey (including Company Weeks 1987, 89 and 90). He was featured in the Bailey’s excellent TV series on Improvisation for Channel 4 based on his book ‘Improvisation; its nature and practise’. He has toured and performed throughout Europe, Africa and America and currently leads the groups N.E.W (with John Edwards and Alex Ward) and DECOY (with John Edwards and Alexander Hawkins).

John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.

Nathan Hubbard / Vinny Golia - Hunter's Moon (CASTOR & POLLUX MUSIC LABEL 2017)

1. What Are You Looking For? Oh, Two Doors Down . . . 01:10:18

Vinny Golia - Alto Flute, Alto, Sopranino & G Mezzo Soprano Saxophones, Tubax (Contrabass Saxophone), Eb, Bb Clarinets & Basset Horn 
Nathan Hubbard - Percussion, Field Recordings/Samples/Sound Design

Recorded under the Hunter's Moon Saturday October 15th 2016 
Bread and Salt San Diego CA 
Nathan Hubbard - recording and mix engineer 
Field recordings recorded CA/AZ/Baja MX 2011-2016 Nathan Hubbard - engineer 
Rafter Roberts - mastering

Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference (2017)

Kamasi Washington will release a new EP in September. It’s called Harmony Of Difference, and it follows 2015’s monumental full-length The Epic. The new EP premiered as part of the Whitney Museum Of American Art’s biennial alongside a film by A.G. Rojas and the work of Washington’s sister Amani. A press release describes Harmony Of Difference as a “six part suite that explores the philosophical possibilities of the musical technique known as ‘counterpoint,’ which Washington defines as ‘the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies.'” Washington also shared his motivations behind the project: “My hope is that witnessing the beautiful harmony created by merging different musical melodies will help people realize the beauty in our own differences.”

01 “Desire”
02 “Humility”
03 “Knowledge”
04 “Perspective”
05 “Integrity”
06 “Truth”

Kamasi Washington tour dates:

11/07 Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
11/08 Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
11/09 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
11/10 Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
11/11 Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom
11/14 Urbana, IL @ Canopy Club
11/15 Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
11/16 Toronto, ON @ Danforth
11/17 Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
11/18 Northhampton, MA @ Calvin Theatre
11/20 Boston, MA @ Royale
11/22 New York, NY @ Terminal 5
11/24 Washington, D.C. @ MGM National Harbor
11/25 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
11/27 Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre
11/28 Cincinnati, OH @ Taft Theatre
11/30 Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater
12/01 Richmond, VA @ The National
12/02 Raleigh, NC @ Duke Energy Center
12/03 Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
12/05 Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
12/06 Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
12/08 Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
12/09 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
12/10 Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall
12/11 Memphis, TN @ New Daisy Theatre

Dee Dee Bridgewater - Memphis ...Yes, I'm Ready (2017)

Every picture tells a story; every journey begins differently. The story of Dee Dee Bridgewater's stunning new album, Memphis...Yes, I'm Ready, begins in that city, where she was born at Collins Chapel Hospital, located not far from where the album was recorded at Producer Willie Mitchell's historic Royal Studios. Dee Dee's father, a trumpet player affectionately known as "Matt the Platter Cat" was a DJ at WDIA, the top Memphis radio station, and even when the family moved to neighboring Flint, Michigan, the young Dee Dee continued to listen to the great sounds of the Memphis music scene by tuning-in late night from across state lines. And oh what a music scene it was!

"Even as a young girl the music moved me, inspired me, made me dance with joy and cry with emotion. My life journey may have started in Mali, West Africa, as a descendent of the Peul tribe and the Fulani of Nigeria (explored on her 2007 recording, "Red Earth" recorded in Mali) but it certainly was nurtured by my childhood in the South and all of the amazing music that I was being exposed to."

To Memphis and her roots, the 2017 NEA Jazz Master, three-time Grammy and Tony award winner, NPR host and UN Ambassador for the Food And Agriculture Organization knew that she would have to come back home to do it right. The album was co-produced by Memphis native and Grammy-winning musician Kirk Whalum, and Willie Mitchell's grandson - Grammy-winning Engineer Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell. It was recorded at Royal Studios in Fall 2016 after multiple visits by Bridgewater to Memphis over a period of several years, during which time she absorbed as much of the music, culture, heart and soul of the city as she could possibly consume.

"Working in Memphis at Royal Studios is like magic," says Bridgewater. "There's so much history that has been recorded in those walls. I just felt I could take this journey in that city with Kirk and Boo. They are my two kingpins and the two helped me realize this project and bring it to fruition."

Dee Dee was determined to recapture the same magic and history of the Blues, R&B and Soul classics in the recordings that were originally made in or associated with Memphis. "I wanted people to be able to recall the original versions, but I also wanted them to have a more modern feeling while respecting those originals. I'm doing B.B. King's 'Thrill Is Gone,' Bobby Blue Bland's 'Going Down Slow', Otis Redding's 'Try A Little Tenderness,' Al Green's 'Can't Get Next To You,' Ann Peebles' 'I Can't Stand The Rain' and The Staple Singers' 'Why? (Am I Treated So Bad)' - it just doesn't get any better than this in terms of material. The opportunity to make them my own was an opportunity and a challenge I felt honored to take on."

In reality, Bridgewater even prayed her project was on the right path. She said her prayers were answered when, out of the blue, Memphis' own Stax Records singing legend Carla Thomas dropped by Royal Studios just after Dee Dee had finished mixing Thomas' hit, "B.A.B.Y."

"Being able to play 'B.A.B.Y.' for Carla and listening to her share stories about my father playing with her father, Rufus Thomas, and talking about life in Memphis in general was the final affirmation that I needed for the projectthe icing on the cake."

The result of this recording is an album that sounds like Memphis and feels like Memphis but also, sounds and feels as only a Dee Dee Bridgewater album can, imbibed with her own fierce passion, originality and incredibly dynamic take on the tracks.

"I want to honor Memphis, which we call Soulsville, because it has brought joy to so many people around the world," says Bridgewater. "It has always been a part of me. The more I come back, the more at home I feel. I will eventually move back here. Much of my heart and soul are here."

The release of Memphis...Yes, I'm Ready will be accompanied by tour dates worldwide - visit for information. Watch Dee Dee talk about the making of the project here: Grammy, Tony Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater returns home to Memphis to record new album.

Yes, I'm Ready
Giving Up
I Can't Get Next To You
Going Down Slow
Why? (Am I Treated So Bad)
Thrill Is Gone
The Sweeter He Is
Can't Stand The Rain
Don't Be Cruel
Hound Dog
Try A Little Tenderness
(Take My Hand) Precious Lord

Buy or Stream the new album MemphisYes, I'm Ready here: