Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Eple Trio - 5 (SHIPWREKORDS 2017)

The Norwegian trio Eple Trio will release their fifth album on September 1st 2017, and after thirteen years of existence, the trio is still one of the most genre-defying and original groups on the Scandinavian jazz scene.

With Andreas Ulvo on the piano, Sigurd Hole on bass and Jonas Sjøvaag on drums, the band is otherwise well connected and frequently plays, individually or collectively, with many other remarkable Norwegian musicians such as Karl Seglem, Jon Eberson, Tord Gustavsen, Mathias Eick and many more.

Eple Trio have expanded and challenged the perception of modern Scandinavian jazz for many years, and through their four prior releases they have consistently brought on a new take on the genre, either based on unusual impulses and compositional methods, or by experimenting with form and improvisational structures, all while keeping tension between melody and a rhythmic undertow. 

On this latest record, classical music and its mode of presentation have been given special attention. Hear it on the track ‘Curious Child’, a composition by Sjøvaag, inspired by Schumann’s ‘Kinderszenen’ and also a direct link to Sjøvaags past as a classical pianist, where the phrases are timed according to length and narrative quality rather than more traditional approach of periods and standard form, thus resulting in a piece where the musicians are working both with and against each other, and where dynamics are played with utmost precision. For the opposite, listen to ‘Close your eyes’ by Ulvo. A piece where Sjøvaag & Hole creates a staccato rhythmic bedrock upon which Ulvo can show off his unique improvisational skills and the group builds the arrangement to a structure reminiscent of Arvo Pärt played by Jarrett / Garbarek / Danielsson / Christensen. 

Artwork and coverdesign by Sjøvaag, recording and mix by Roar Nilsen and Eple Trio. Mastering by Sjøvaag / Fridtjof Lindeman.

Released September 1, 2017 

1. Alea 08:01
2. Close your eyes 04:55
3. Curious Child 07:13
4. Dust and sparks 07:17
5. Fields of home 07:37
6. Azzahra 06:36
7. Lighthouse 07:15
8. Turnpike 04:53
9. Andvare 04:24

Andreas Ulvo - track 1, 2, 4, 5 & 7 
Jonas Sjøvaag - track 3, 8 & 9, and album artwork, cover design, tape master 
Sigurd Hole - track 6 

Arranged by Eple Trio. Recording by Roar Nilsen. Mix by Roar Nilsen & Eple Trio. Master by Fridtjof Lindeman & Jonas Sjøvaag.

Shardik - Shardik (TZADIK 2017)

Shardik is an exciting new extreme jazz/post-rock group made up of Matt Buckley on drums and percussion, Matt Hollenberg on guitar and Nick Shellenberger on bass and synthesizers.

Hollenberg also plays in the powerful jazz fusion group Simulacrum and like that group, this trio melds avant-garde jazz, speed metal and haunting ambiance into a brash and potent combination. Hollenberg is the primary composer of these intricate songs and leads this power trio in a very successful manner.

"It Is What It Isn't" opens the album with some scalding electric guitar and rumbling bass over chopping and rolling drums. They stretch out and develop a complex rhythm that suits the volume and dynamics of the performance. Choppy riffs and figures abound before opening an eye wall into a calmer and more spacious flavor of music. Subtle synth and guitar glide into sight before the group recovers to a driving conclusion.

They absolutely blow the doors off of "Inner Dimensions" sounding like a post-modern Mahavishnu Orchestra, with the torrid collective improvisation leading to the introduction of choppy, sharp riffs that cut deeply, interspersed with moments of uneasy calm. "Faustian Bargain" works sharp angles into the music, with the start-stop nature of the music giving things an edge, while the pacing and rhythm appears to unfold gradually.

"Past Lives" develops a cool almost surf music theme, before blasting that out of the water with heavy slabs of guitar and pummelling drums, while there is a lighter feel to "The Great Attractor" which skips gingerly around the theme before they open up with some nice elastic bass and nearly swinging drums.

"No Arrival" kicks things back into gear with turbocharged guitar and drums that interweave pockets of near silence which are used to frame the 'fire in the hole' blasting sections. The trio puts things over the top on "Vorga T:1339" with scalding guitar, playing fast interchanging sub-themes, like something you would hear on the Naked City album, cutting and juking like an unstoppable force.

They use abrupt and jagged rhythms with a brutal attack, and deep imagination. The concluding "La Douleur Exquise" opens with an unexpected jazzy, cinematic feel, with spacey synth added for color, and the group forming a tight narrative. They switch gears suddenly and return to the loud and primal energetic setting which is their bread and butter while riding the dynamic nature of the track to its conclusion.

While much of this album is contains blasts of raw power, there is subtlety to be found in passages throughout the record. The group is far from a one trick pony and makes a very impressive statement throughout the album.

Nate Wooley - Battle Pieces 2 (CATALYTIC SOUND 2017)

“Battle Pieces 2” is just a several days ago released avant-garde jazz album which was released by “Catalytic Sound Records”. Album was recorded by a group of masterfull  avant-garde jazz improvisers – Nate Wooley (trumpet), Sylvie Courvoisier (piano), Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone) and Matt Moran (vibraphone). These four musicians have original and essential playing and improvising style. They had been improvising with othr famous contemporary avant-garde jazz masters and released plenty of albums. Their music has essential, expressive and contrastic sound. Fast and expressive solos usually are the bursts of energy there are mixed various playing techniques and expressions. The musicians improvising is dynamic and constantly changing – sometimes it’s sharp, aggresive and provocative, sometimes – very peaceful, quiet and soft. Through the years of their musical career the musicians had created original and interesting playing style and their own sound. As a quartet they also had been improvising many times already and their improvisations usually gently combine together in one composition.

Album compositions have dynamic and interesting sound. All of them are based on avant-garde jazz elements – collective improvisations, unpredictable and dynamoic rhythmic, free form ans structure and very colorful musical pattern – these elements are just a part of compositions. Improvisations mood is always changing – from soft and calm it can suddenly turn out to live, energetic, evocative and expressive improvisations.

Wide range of sounds, timbres and moods create innovative sound of the compositions. These compositions have very low rhythmical and melodic basement. It’s based on various sound experiments, combinations of different playing techniques which expand the comfort zone of the instrument. All these musical techniques, unusual sounds, separate timbres, short melodic elements are essentially combined together in one musical pattern. The musical pattern is also based on soft harmony, dialogues between saxophone and trumpet are one of the most effective and interesting episodes of the compositions.

This album music have extraordinary sound and a calm, soft, quiet and subtle mood of mostly compositions.

01. Battle Pieces 4
02. Battle Pieces 5
03. Battle Pieces 6
04. Battle Pieces 7

Marcelo Dos Reis / Eve Risser - Timeless (JACC RECORDS 2017)

The first meeting of French pianist Eve Risser and Portuguese guitarist Marcelo dos Reis is a journey with and within strings, many and strange kind of strings (borrowing the title of Sun Ra's seminal album). Both Risser and Reis employ unconventional strategies that extend the sonic palette of the piano keys and its metal strings and the acoustic guitar's nylon strings, preparing their instruments by attaching various objects to their strings.

Risser and dos Reis already established themselves as improvisers who like to experiment with sounds, textures and formats. Risser who also plays the harpsichord, blurred the distinctions between new music, composition and improvisation with her White Desert Orchestra and explored song formats with the free-improvising The New Songs quartet. Dos Reis has collaborated with like-minded experimental improvisers such as Elliot Sharp, Toshimaru Nakamura and Andrea Neumann, plays in a duo with harpist Angélica V. Salvi and in the free jazz meets free-improvisation groups Fail Better!, Chamber 4, and Pedra Contida.

Timeless was recorded at Jazz ao Centro Festival, Coimbra, Portugal in October 2016. The seven pieces are titled after different artifacts, devices and seasons that measure time, but these free-associative improvisations actually consciously do not surrender easily to any sense of time. Risser and dos Reis flow with the sounds and explore their infinite spectrum. Both focus on shaping and sculpting their resonance and friction qualities until you are lost in sonic turbulence and can not tell any more who does what. Risser and dos Reis at times sound as incorporating ideas from the minimalist compositions of Morton Feldman, blended with Japanese ritual koto traditions as on the enigmatic-exotic “Hourglass” and “Balance Spring”. Other pieces stress the resourcefulness of both as highly imaginative improvisers. “Water Clock” shifts instantly from a leisured, mysterious soundscape to an urgent and intense free-improvisation and “Timewheel” offers an even denser and tougher version of such free-improvisation. “Chronometer” is the only piece that suggests a melodic-playful vein and the dense commotion of “Pendulum” even hides a lyrical theme.

Timeless offers a rare kind of beauty. Review by Eyal Hareuveni, freejazzblog.org

1. Sundial  9:33
2. Hourglass  8:48
3. Water Clock 10:19
4. Timewheel  5:25
5. Chronometer  5:31
6. Pendulum  6:36
7. Balance Spring  8:22

Playlist for Tom Ossana – The Thin Edge – October 4, 2017 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m.

http://www.kzmu.org/listen.m3u ~ Use this link to access the show online.

Gary Meek - Originals (feat. Randy Brecker, Brian Bromberg, Terri Lyne Carrington & Mitchel Forman) 2017

Saxophonist Gary Meek is set to perform at Los Angeles‘ Catalina Jazz Club on Thursday, October 5 at 8:30PM in support of his new album, Originals (available September 29). Meek will be joined by trumpeter Walt Fowler, guitarist Bruce Forman, pianist Mitchell Forman, bassist Brian Bromberg and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington for the engagement. 

With six recordings as a leader since 1991 as well as being a widely sought after sideman, Gary Meek has carved out a unique position for himself as a virtuosic saxophonist. Meek has contributed to over 150 recordings and has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Dave Weckl, Airto Moreira, Jeff Lorber and Green Day. His newest release, Originals, reclaims his passion for creating his own works and writing personal journeys through music. His first as a leader since 2002, this album demonstrates not only his mastery of the saxophone, but a beauty and joyfulness of expression that is apparent in both his playing and in his compositions.

For this recording, Meek has assembled an extraordinary cast. GRAMMY® Award-winning drummer, composer, and bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington, bassist and producer Brian Bromberg, and pianist Mitchel Forman as the nucleus of the group. Originals also features trumpet/flugelhorn player and quadruple GRAMMY® Award-winner Randy Brecker, guitarist and jazz educator Bruce Forman and two additional world class musicians–Airto Moreira and Michael Lent add their talents.

Even though this is Meek’s first project in 15 years, he clearly has not lost the art of storytelling and his ability to conjure intense feelings through his compositions. Originals not only showcases his ability as a dominant front man but also his ability to let this brilliant group of musicians experiment and push the limits of these compositions.

Trevor Lawrence Jr. - Relationships (ROPEADOPE RECORDS 2017)

"I set out to make a record that shows my musical diversity and how I hear things. Basically the Album is an introduction to me as an artist. As a session musician for most of my career, I have always been interested in different musical styles and what makes them unique and authentic. I am influenced and inspired by life, my family or sometimes just driving in the car which is where the idea for the opening song “Car Vibe” came from. I feel like its time for me to begin a dialogue with people through music and start that worldwide conversation . 

I cut the majority of this album at my studio “3 Pillars Studios” in Southern California. A lot of the recording process has been affected by technology. File sharing and remote collaboration is making its way into the creative process more and more on many levels. I did overdubs at other studios like Can-Am, the famous “Death Row” studio featured in the movie Straight Outta Compton, although its definitely not that place obviously anymore. I wanted to make sure the parts were authentic so All Horns and Strings are 100% Real and played by real people. I played the drums and just about all of the Percussion and some keys on the album as well. Producing and putting all the pieces together is also a fun part of my creative process. I love having the vision for a song and hearing it come to life." ~ Trevor

His mother performed with the Supremes. His father is a well known Saxophonist and writer. Both were original members of Stevie Wonder’s Wonderland band. Yes, that Stevie Wonder band. His grandfather, Ira Tucker Sr. is credited as a forefather of Gospel music as a member of the Dixie Hummingbirds. His Aunt Sundray Tucker sang with Stevie Wonder and Patti LaBelle.

In his first year of High School Trevor was called for a recording session to play drums on the original theme song on the Pilot episode of a show called Martin and right then he decided that his life would be in recording. Fast forward to 2017 and you’ll find some 73 recording credits in his discography including Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Snoop, Quincy, Alicia Keys, LeAnn Rimes,  Kendrick Lamar, Stevie Wonder, Eminem, and Dr. Dre. Trevor Lawrence Jr. is on call for some of the biggest names, and still hits the road as a player with Herbie Hancock, LeAnn Rimes, and more. Trevor is the hard hitting drummer with Terrace Martin’s new group, The Pollyseeds, whose recent debut single topped 900K plays on soundcloud in its first few days.

These are prolific times for music creation and production, both in and out of the mainstream music world. Trevor Lawrence Jr, like so many of the artists that find their way to Ropeadope, has gone deep into his experience and his family of talented friends to create Relationships, his first solo record. Clearly bringing together the variety of people he has worked with, Relationships is a wide ranging record, seamlessly connected by a seasoned producer. Featured players include Terrace Martin, Kenneth Crouch, Nicholas Payton, Maurice Brown, LeAnn Rimes, Kamasi Washington, and Nico Segal (Donnie Trumpet). This is the world according to Trevor Lawrence Jr, and it shines with diversity and depth.

1. Car Vibe 01:55
2. B Side 04:04
3. Cornerstone 06:37
4. The Guts 05:18
5. 11 and 8 01:46
6. Bring The Party 05:33
7. Car Vibe (Reprise) 00:48
8. Auckland 04:26
9. Tiptoe 03:32
10. Relationships 04:44
11. Alicia's Song 04:27
12. IG Interlude 01:08
13. Huh 07:20
14. Lovestoned 03:27

Executive Producers: Trevor Lawrence Jr. and Louis Marks 
Mastering Engineer: Michelle Mancini 
Styled By: Boss Academy 
Album Artwork: Rippy Austin/ 
Photography: Rippy Austin 
Legal: Scott Mason Esq. 

Special Thanks: 
Alicia Lawrence, Bud Lawrence, Anjala Lawrence, Lynda Laurence, Keecia Henderson, Trevor Lawrence Sr. Ann Lawrence, Treanna Lawrence, Tabitha Lawrence, Mike Elizondo, AndreYoung, LeAnn Rimes, Darrell Brown, Nicholas Payton, Wow Jones, JimiJames, Greg Hagan, Joe Cleveland, Brandon Owens, Jeff “Gitty” Gitleman, Joel Whitley, Anthony Crawford, Donna Missal, Johnny Britt, Sharrif Simmons, Nikarra Warren, Kamasi Washington, Kenneth Crouch, Nico Segal, Maurice Brown, Chelsea Baratz, Teodross Avery, Rich Niles, Neka Brown, Jeremy Underwood, Taber Gable, Dale Black, Mark Cargill, Darrell Crooks, Preston Harris, Andre Brissett, Allokoi Peete, Emile Martinez, JoAnn Tominaga, Derek”DJ Donvt” Owings, Kev Hicks, EveAnna Manley, Samantha J, Rippy Austin, Boss Academy, Aaron Forbes, Tim Anderson, Rick Carson,Chase, Craig Brockman, Scott Donnell, Steve Vega, Don Lombardi, John Good, Scott Liken, Chris Hart, Adam Murphy, Erica McDaniel, Ben Thompkins, Tony Elder-Baraz, Donald Johnson, Nigel Williams, Rick Krim, JP Floyd, Brandon Jones, Cynthia Kaselis, Melissa Nunez “aka DJ Flii", Scott Mason, Ira Tucker Sr., Louise Tucker, Ira Tucker Jr., Kevin James, Daryn Tucker, Dominique Tucker, Michael Tucker, Sundray “Aunt Songe” Tucker, Sid Lasaine, Sandra-Evers Manley, “Big Jon” Platt, Peter Hernandez, Eric Hernandez, Phil Meeze, Brody Brown, Beau “Desert Rat” Bailard, John Deron Johnson, Kim Johnson, C C.M.E V.O.P, Tonantzin Esparza, Tlacael Esparza, Tenoch Esparza, Doc Bull, DK’s Barber, Shop, Garrison Brown, Phillip Stewart, Seth Cummings, Larry Chatman, Damon ”Bing” Chatman, Focus, Paul, Phil, Pablo, Vic, Mark, Klauss, Ashley Palmer, Ty Cannon, and the rest of my Aftermath Family. Mark Batson, Deirdra O’Hara, Everyone at ROPEADOPE RECORDS!!! 

My Gear Family: DW Drums, Istanbul Agop Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, Vic Firth Drumsticks, LP Percussion ,Big Fat Snare Drum, Universal Audio, Manley Audio, Blue Microphones , Sunhouse Sensory Percussion, BAE, MVP Loops, VIP Loops, Ross Garfield, Zak St. John, Drum Doctors, The Professional Drum Shop 

A Very Special Thanks to Terrace Martin and Louis Marks for believing in my vision! 

Thanks to all my MWPHGLCA PHamily: TW#49, LA#26, BF Talbot #12, Symphony#43, Muharram#95, Donald R. Ware, Bernard C. Roberts, Ed Boynton, Johnnie Smith, Billy G. Harrington