Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Phillip Brandon - The Story Begins (2017)

Phillip Brandon s The Story Begins beautifully weaves a warm throwback tapestry of soul-stirring Contemporary Jazz, R&B & Pop. These ten lovingly crafted (nine-original) songs assuredly invite today s listener into a spirit-quenching and core-uplifting oasis - a music-as-healing balm of love and optimism.

Every once in a blue moon an album comes along that feels as if it fell from the sky that opened and dropped it on a thirsty blue planet as an offering of love and hope. Singer Songwriter Phillip Brandon s The Story Begins is that gift.

Springing forth following eight years of tours as Narrator with platinum selling rock band Trans Siberian Orchestra to a feature role in the life story of Gospel legend BeBe Winans, Born For This: The Musical, singer-songwriter Phillip Brandon is making good on the promise of his purposed and abundant gifts to share songs of love and optimism all his own via his powerful debut album, The Story Begins - a warm wraparound throwback of soul-stirring Contemporary Jazz, R&B and Pop.

01. The Story Begins 03:33
02. Chocolate Child 04:16
03. Come On 03:33
04. Wait For Love 04:23
05. Stay In The Moment 03:27
06. Stay In The Moment (Continuum) 01:43
07. Looking For You (In Somebody Else's 04:26
08. Mystic Bleu 04:09
09. A Funny Thing Happened (On the Way 04:03
10. Best of You 03:32
11. The Promise 04:00

Backing Vocalist: J. Marie, Otha White
Band: Eugene Gorskiy (guitar), Victor Á. Carracedo (drums), Carlitos Cuba (bass), Stan Loken (piano/keys)
Special Appearances: DrFord, M. Holla

James Blood Ulmer & The Thing - Baby Talk (TROST RECORDS 2017)

And what’s The Thing? In short – as I’m sure you all know them; it’s a tour de force jazz mulisha at its very finest, never afraid – always ready to throw bold ideas in the mix, run it over a couple of times, and spit it out. Composed by a trio musicians who’s played with everyone everywhere. Reading their individual discography is exhausting. With reedist Mats Gustafsson, (Fire! Orchestra, and releasing albums with everyone on the free jazz scene, it feels like), bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (Atomic, Fredrik Nordström Quintet, Townhouse Orchestra and many, many others) and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love (Atomic, Frode Gjerstad Trio, The Peter Brötzmann Chicago tentet just to mention a few) – The Thing is …The Thing.

But it is also a band which happens to often meet with their heroes, live and on tape. We, fans of The Thing, have been blessed with great releases such as Immediate Sound (2001, with Ken Vandermark), Collider (2016, with DKV Trio) and Metal (2012, with Barry Guy), just to mention a few. In that aspect it’s not that surprising to see James Blood Ulmer taking the stage with The Thing during the 2015 Molde International Jazz Festival.

Before listening to this album I sat for a while just staring at the cover. What was this going to be like? I was starting to feel afraid that on this album I would hear The Thing either eat Ulmer alive, especially live, with Mats Gustafsson leading the way like a rabid dog. Or that The Thing would fall flat, not knowing how to see eye to eye with the legendary Ulmer. But all these feelings are of course silly, knowing what these people are capable of, on their own – or with others. What was there to worry about?

On this album I hear nothing else than the greatest of respect to what James Blood Ulmer is, whatever that is, and also with the soul, passion and force that is The Thing, intact.

The 4 original Ulmer compositions are all treated with great care albeit twisted, turned and re-invented.

It starts off with ‘Interview’. Ulmer introduces the theme which is a dissonant run of notes which Ingebrigt Håker Flaten follows just behind, like a chase. It’s very elegant. We’re not left with who’s winning though, Flaten leaves Ulmer for another direction and changes the pace. He’s inviting the others to the party. Nilssen-Love and Gustafsson jumps straight in. The elegant chase is transformed into an intense dance. Ulmer’s not late to join The Thing in their typical way of playing while still keeping his distinct and personal tone.

Second song ‘High Yellow’ is also introduced by Ulmer, however this time there’s less patience shown before The Thing picks up the pace to start twisting the song around. Nilsson-Love can really be heard like the master he is in this song. He’s got such a big sound, yet I love how he’s a participator and a creative force throughout the album. However Ulmer’s never left alone, and is never drowned. Mats joins and immediately brings his best lyrical playing to the table. They all bring on the full intensity for a couple of minutes, making sure they’ve explored every corner of the song, before eventually they start to stumble, almost like rolling an uneven stone down a hill, towards those last notes. Ulmer closes the song and I wonder where this is going.

I couldn’t have expected what was to come. Ulmer introduces a kind of naïve tune, or something from a children’s songbook – ‘Baby Talk’ is the name of the third song. The Thing accepts the challenge and starts the adventure with changing around the tune in different directions. You can always here Ulmer right there, he never misses a note, even when Gustafsson brings on his best (worst?) nightmare. Eventually we’re brought back to the original theme and it’s over.

The last song ‘Proof’ is one scary yet fantastic piece of music.

It’s lyrical, simple, bluesy, dark, sad and absolutely brilliant. I sat like on needles waiting for Mats to join in. He does, but perhaps not like you’d think. Not together with Flaten and Nilsson-Love, not like a speeding train, and not alone like a whirling dervish in some manic mental state of mind. The Thing waits patiently while Ulmer sets the stage before Mats edgy baryton starts to sing together with Ulmer; moaning & calling. Ingebrigt’s bass is heard surrounding them like someone walking right beside them. Is he a friend or a foe? Mats pleading and calling builds up with increasing intensity while Ulmer keeps playing the theme repeatedly, with small varations.

About half-way through the song, scene changes. The tension that has been built up must be released. There’s no other solution than to ask for help. Nilsson-Love to the rescue. He’s leading the way, guiding Ulmer, Gustafsson and Flaten back to safety. We’re left with that great feeling you get after hearing something very special. If only there was more songs. 33 minutes is not enough. I’m not sure there will be that many opportunities to hear James Blood Ulmer & The Thing together again, if ever.

Having said that, I highly recommend that you pick this one up. By Gustav Lindqvist / freejazzblog.org

Boneshaker (Williams, Nilssen-Love, Kessler) - Thinking Out Loud (TROST RECORDS 2017)

Boneshaker are Mars Williams (reeds, toy instruments), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums & percussion) and Kent Kessler (bass), three prolific powerhouse musicians, carrying among them a Grammy nomination and decades of experience with the top ensembles in the world. Thinking Out Loud is their third album.

1. Brain Freeze 14:12
2. Puffy Fluffy 06:01
3. Salty Fruity 16:11
4. Wabi Sabi 05:19

Playlist for Tom Ossana – The Thin Edge – October 25, 2017 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m.

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

Kinga Glyk – Dream (2017)

Kinga Głyk is 20 years old. She’s said to be the best Polish bass player of the new generation and a rising star of the Jazz Blues music. She began her adventure with music at the age of 12 playing in a family band called Głyk P.I.K. TRIO. Despite her young age she has already given a lot of concerts not only in Poland but also in countries such as Indonesia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.

In March 2015 she released her debut album „Rejestracja”. The CD has received positive reviews from Trójka – Polskie Radio and magazines like „Jazz Forum” and „Twój Blues”.

In an annual survey called JAZZ TOP and BLUES TOP she’s been nominated in the following categories: NEW HOPE, BASS GUITAR and DISCOVERY OF THE YEAR.

In February 2016 Kinga recorded LIVE her second authorial album „Happy Birthday”.

In June 2016 a video of Kinga performing Eric Clapton’s „Tears in heaven” has been posted by BASS PLAYER UNITED on Facebook reaching the amount of 20 million views.

Until now Kinga has performed with: Tim Garland, Nitai Hershkovits, Greg Hutchinson, Jnr Robinson, Bernard Maseli, Ruth Waldron, Natalia Niemen, Apostolis Anthimos, Leszek Winder, Paweł Tomaszewski, Grzegorz Kapołka, Joachim Mencel, Arek Skolik, Mateusz Otremba (Mate.O), Marek Dykta and Piotr Wyleżoł.

In October 2017 the latest studio album „Dream” has been released. The CD has been recorded in the company of the world’s most famous musicians such as Greg Hutchinson (drums), Tim Garland (saxophone), Nitai Hershkovits (grand piano). The album has been launched by one of the world’s most renowned music publishing companies WARNER MUSIC GROUP COMPANY. Concerts promoting the newest album will take place in countries like USA, Canada, Norway, France and many others.

01 Freedom
02 Difficult Choices
03 Dream
04 Song for Dad
05 Circle
06 Walking Baby
07 Tears in Heaven
08 Teen Town
09 Silence

Gregory Hutchinson - drums
Nitai Hershkovits - keys & piano
Tim Garland - sax & bass clarinet

Ranky Tanky - Ranky Tanky (2017)

Gullah people from the Sea Islands of South Carolina are the descendants of Africans captured along Africa’s rice coast. In the so-called new world, the enslaved toiled under the hot Carolina sun along the Atlantic coast. From this bondage came Gullah, a mixture of African and English styles. 

This culture has influences across America. Scholars estimate that a third of the people of African descent in this country are the children of those shackled ancestors who came through the port of Charleston.

Today, emerging from the heart of this still fertile cultural epicenter, these four Gullah descendants and one disciple have joined together to revive a heartland of American music born in their own backyards.

“Ranky Tanky, from Charleston, S.C., sings old Gullah songs — some of them sly moral lessons — in arrangements that connect their beat to a New Orleans lilt.” – New York Times

“The biggest surprise of [GlobalFEST], Ranky Tanky proved that exotic music can be both unfamiliar enough to be surprising, and yet familiar enough to provoke swinging hips and nodding heads. When it works, it’s the best of both worlds.” – Paste Magazine

“This group isn’t bound to any one particular musical genre, and it is grounded instead by an enigmatic, unshakeable and unspoiled tradition that’s long been hidden in plain sight.” – Jazziz Magazine

1. That's Alright 03:20
2. Turtle Dove 03:59
3. Been in the Storm 04:35
4. Ranky Tanky 02:15
5. O Death 04:20
6. Knee Bone 04:20
7. You Gotta Move 03:08
8. Watch That Star 03:38
9. Sink Em Low 04:11
10. Join the Band 03:15
11. Go the Sleep 02:59
12. You Better Mind 03:36
13. Goodbye Song 02:43

Produced by Quentin E. Baxter
Mixed and Mastered by Elliot Elsey at Truphonic Recording Studios Design and Layout by Marcus Amaker
Graphics by Ty Wilkins and Brian Steely
Photo by Reese Moore

Associate Producers: Jim and Judy Chitwood, Mary and Mason Holland, David and Jennifer Karr, Sylvia Gordon Woodall, Timothy Liptak DMD

All songs traditional, arranged by Ranky Tanky

Writers: John Clayton Ross (ASCAP), Kevin Maurice Hamilton (ASCAP), Quiana Parler (BMI), Charlton Singleton (BMI), Quentin E. Baxter (ASCAP)

Publishers: YalcMusic (ASCAP), Khamp (ASCAP), QuiOnyx Music (BMI), Singletone Music (BMI), BaxMuse Publishing (ASCAP)