Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Eric Séva - Body and Blues (LES Z'ARTS DE GARONNE 2017)

"Des rencontres et des collaborations, on le sait, naissent les idées et les envies. Croiser le chemin de Sebastian Danchin m’a ainsi soufflé l’ambition de travailler ensemble à un programme imaginé autour du blues, une musique en forme de patrimoine humain dont il explore les arcanes depuis plusieurs décennies.

La force du blues tient à son pouvoir de narration individuel. Cette affirmation m’a frappé comme une évidence puisqu’il est question pour moi, dans cette exploration du blues, de retrouver ma propre histoire. Une histoire marquée à jamais par ces notes bleues qui m’ont soufflé l’envie, le besoin, de devenir musicien.

Savante ou autodidacte, cette langue universelle qu’est le blues possède le pouvoir de toucher, d’interroger, d’interpeller, de partager, de communiquer. C’est à ce pouvoir que j’entends faire appel dans ce projet, à travers la double voix du chanteur Harrison Kennedy et de ma propre palette de saxophones." Éric Séva

"Le parcours d’Éric Séva, de l’univers des bals populaires à celui des scènes les plus prestigieuses, s’inscrit dans une logique comparable à celle du jazz.

Ma connaissance intime du blues, de son fardeau émotionnel et de sa fonction cathartique, me suggère d’inciter Éric à y puiser l’essence même de sa propre sensibilité, de sa propre histoire. Le blues, traduction verbale d’une lutte de tous les instants contre l’adversité, trouvera avec Éric une voix inattendue grâce à l’oralité des saxophones, sublimée par l’usage inattendu de la pédale wahwah.

Entouré d’un panel impressionnant de musiciens dont le passé confirme la familiarité avec les racines du jazz, Éric Séva a composé pour ce projet plusieurs thèmes magnifiques à la gloire de la note bleue, auxquels s’adjoindra le bluesman Harrison Kennedy (Prix Charles Cros 2015)." Sebastian DANCHIN Producteur, auteur, chercheur, musicien

01. Monsieur Slide
02. Miniscropique Blues
03. No Monopoly on Hurt
04. Body and Blues
05. A Gogo
06. Trains clandestins
07. If You Go
08. Blues diaphane
09. Bivouac
10. Jolie Marie-Angélique
11. Red Hat
12. Le village d'Aoyha

Eric Séva: saxophones baryton, soprano, sopranino, compositions (sauf n°3 et 10)
Christophe Cravéo: piano, Fender Rhodes, B3
Harrison Kennedy: chant
Michael Robinson: chant
Manu Galvin: guitares
Régis Gizavo: accordéon
Christophe Wallemme: basse, contrebasse
Stéphane Huchard: batterie

EPK Body and Blues - Eric Séva from ERIC SEVA on Vimeo.

Playlist for Tom Ossana – The Thin Edge November 1, 2017 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m.

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

Kim Simmonds - Jazzin’ on the Blues (2017)

"Jazzin' On The Blues" is guitarist Kim Simmonds' fifth solo album release. Known as the founder and continuing leader of the legendary blues/ rock band Savoy Brown and with a star on the Rock Walk of Fame, Simmonds is recognized globally as one of the world's finest guitar players. He is also known as one of the very first musicians from the UK to re-invent the blues in the mid-sixties (post-The Rolling Stones) with music that continues to be an influence today. Simmonds' solo efforts have all been acoustic in nature with material ranging between country blues songs and Americana roots music. On "Jazzin' On The Blues", however, Simmonds shows off his acoustic playing with a beautiful mix of jazz, blues and a new age style....twelve instrumentals played with the assurance and mastery of a virtuoso guitar player. Never has the audience heard Kim in this context and "Jazzin' On The Blues" promises to be a release that will open the eyes of many people, in a different way, to the guitarist's magical playing and writing.

YU Ying Hsu (feat. Alex Sipiagin / Donny McCaslin / Boris Kozlov / Donald Edward) - Happenes, Happening 現在 (2017)

New York City, such as Birdland, Sweet Rhythm, and with renowned musicians like legendary jazz drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, Alex Sipiagin, Michael Philip Mossman, Antonio Hart, Giuseppe Bassi, Gegè Telesforo, and the complete violinist Benjamin Schmid. For this album she is joined with Alex Sipiagin, Donny McCaslin, Donald Edwards and Boris Kozlov.

Her debut album “Untitled” won two Golden Indie Music Awards, which is Taiwan’s version of the Grammy, for “Best Jazz Album” and “Best Jazz Single” in 2011. Two years later, her second album "sentimotional", which featured trumpet virtuoso Alex Sipiagin on three songs, again garnered two Golden Indie Music Awards for "Best Musician" and "Best Jazz Single”. YuYing has a Master of Music degree from Purchase College, State University of New York, and studied with piano masters such as Gerard D'Angelo, Hal Galper, Arturo O'Farrill, Charles Blenzig, and Sam Yahel. Her thesis focused on jazz piano legend Keith Jarrett and his style of improvision in piano trio and solo in the late 1960s and 1970s. Since YuYing relocated back to Taiwan in 2010, she has performed in major music festivals such as Shanghai Jazz Festival, Taichung Jazz Festival, and Summer Jazz Party held by the National Theater Concert Hall. She has also held her own concerts, workshops, and performed at various jazz venues around Taiwan.

An avid listener of jazz music, YuYing seeks to fuse improvisation with her own life experience. She takes inspirations, thoughts of her travels, her love of artists such as Francis Bacon and Yayoi Kusama, and turns them into musical notes that bounce off the pages, as heard in her original, award-winning pieces “Twisted One” and “Anything Can Happen on a Sunny Afternoon.” Through her music, YuYing hopes to share her emotions, passions, and love of life with jazz aficionados around the world, one performance at a time.

01. Ouverture (pour un film)
02. Catching THE Monk
03. Nellie, My Dear
04. You, in the Past
05. One for Jokulsarlon
06. Amsterdam Red Light District
07. Three People on a Trip
08. Landscape Painting
09. Last Minute
10. Red Velvet

Alex Sipiagin/trumpet, flugelhorn
Donny McCaslin/tenor saxophone
Boris Kozlov/bass
Donald Edwards/drums

François Bourassa Quartet - Number 9 (EFFENDI RECORDS 2017)

Award-winning, critically-acclaimed pianist/composer Francois Bourassa’s new album – Number 9, his ninth album of all original music, dropping on October 27, 2017 on Effendi Records (distributed worldwide by Naxos), features his Quartet of longtime collaborators, saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist André Leroux, bassist Guy Boisvert and drummer Greg Ritchie. This elite squad of musicians, and their singular telepathy and esprit de corps, was first revealed to the world on their album, Indefinite Time (2002). Since that time Bourassa has built significantly on the power, agility and emotional range that garnered him a JUNO award in 2001 (for his recording, Live). With the release of Number 9 The Francois Bourassa Quartet stake a claim as one of the most compelling groups active on the global jazz/improvised music scene today.

In the album’s liner notes, esteemed journalist Howard Mandel describes Number 9 as offering, “sensuous imagination supported by sterling technique.” Indeed, the compositions crafted by the Montreal-born Bourassa, empower the members of his Quartet to express themselves to the fullest extent on this collective journey. Together they explore pure lyricism, open sonic landscapes, swing, free improvisation, and more – all played with empathy, and big ears! The members of this ensemble are so dialed in to one another’s instincts and mannerisms that they offer the listener a plethora of moods, settings and styles that are all indispensable elements of the glorious entity that is Number 9.

More on the music on Number 9 with Francois Bourassa (excerpted in part from the album’s liner notes by Howard Mandel): Given the album's title, we of a certain age must wonder if it's a nod to another four-man band that celebrated variety while maintaining its singular identity. Does Number 9 refer to the haunting musique concrete collage on the Beatles' White Album?

"I love 'Revolution 9" by John Lennon," acknowledges Bourassa, who is of that age (b. 1959). "It was influenced by Stockhausen's electronic music." Then are the other names of the opening track, "Carla and Karlheinz" referring to Bley and Stockhausen? "I love Carla Bley's music of the early '60s like 'Ictus' and 'Barrage,' played by Paul Bley," he says. "I also love 'Mantra for two pianos and electronics' by Karlheinz, among many of his early pieces." 

So yes, the first track's jaunty yet oblique line (try humming it!), as improbable yet inevitable as Eric Dolphy's angular melodies, or Ornette Coleman's, achieves its affect purposefully, linking two 20th-21st Century innovators, never mind the gulfs between their worlds or "styles." They may even conflict – the parts of "Carla and Karlheinz" fit together unpredictably yet organically.  Bourassa's deft, initially dry touch may imply that of Paul Bley (another Montreal native), but he claims many other piano modernists, bluesmen and prog rockers, too, as inspirations, and clearly is steeped in Western European classicism. Consequently, the composer-pianist's position is not bound or limited, and this Quartet achieves something beyond genre: Collaborate as only its four members can. No justification necessary for such an approach – we listen, accept, enjoy and are deepened.

The pleasures provided by this group make it easy. Applying himself to Bourassa's themes and concepts, Leroux wields his tenor saxophone masterfully; he's especially sensitive to attack and dynamics, floating the theme of "5 and Less" (in 5/4, explains Bourassa, " with bars of 3 and 2") gently, but builds to blasting on the darkly epic "Frozen" (which Bourassa says was titled by "a six-year-old little girl who was playing with my son when she heard me run through it; maybe for her it had something to do with the Disney animated movie, but if so I don't know").

On "C & K," Leroux's flute has the urgency of a jungle bird, and he uses the clarinet on "11 Beignes" (in 11/4 time) as an instrument of deliberation. He isn't troubled by the odd time signatures, nor need you be, because Boisvert phrases firmly and gracefully on his bass, and in flowing concert with drummer Ritchie, who never lets on there's anything to count, merely rhythms to discern and enhance. He's a talented, restrained colorist, barely touching his cymbals on the languid "Past Ich" ("an old melody which I've never used before," Bourassa mentions), offsetting the subdued piano vamp and Leroux on soprano sax.

"Lostage" is a word Bourassa invented, as he says, "half-English, half-French, meaning loss of control," a state the quartet depicts but doesn't venture – the lines connecting the four are too strong. "18 Rue De L'Hotel de Ville" is the address of the Studio du Quebec in Paris where Bourassa resided for six months in 2015. In this perhaps most ruminative episode of Number 9, we are privy the strongest, most personal emotions – the music evokes doubts, regrets, disappointments, fears, sadness, and also puts them to rest. After that, "11 Beignes" is like a cat-and-mouse hide-and-seek game set in a maze. Bass clarinet and piano tag each other, slip off, and return, while bass and drums keep them from straying far off track.

Ultimately, the songs on Number 9 speak for themselves. The quartet covers a lot of ground from a complex of perspectives, new details unveiled with each turn of the ear. Hear Bourassa, Leroux, Boisvert and Ritchie commune. Return, repeat, replay, dig in . . . a world of remarkable music awaits you.

International Press for previous albums & concerts

“A pianist and composer of high stature in his native Montreal, Mr. Bourassa favors avantgardism
of a liquid and often lyrical sort.” Nate Chinen, New York Times

“There’s a seriousness about this outstanding quartet’s music that comes, in part, from
how damn hard they’ve worked to achieve such a high level of artistry. … This features
killer, passionate playing from everybody.” Glen Hall, Exclaim Magazine, Canada

“Une architecture musicale avec de beaux developpements, d’etonnants changements de
rhythmes … un pianist-compositeur complètement habité par sa musqiue …suprend de bout
en bout et sur tous les points.” Lionel Eskenazi, JazzMan, France

“…soliste de haut niveau, section rythmique impeccable, pianiste capable de transcender
l'héritage jazzistique par la force de ses idées, de son jeu et de sa sensibilité.“ Alain Brunet,
La Presse, Canada

“They sound great as a unit, phrase firmly and make each note count while following the
rigorous terrain that Bourassa has constructed.” Mike Hobart, Financial Times, UK

“Bourassa has worked with his band mates for years and it showed.” Russell Corbett,
Bebop Spoken Here, UK

“… (une) disque qui invite, plage après plage, à guetter les prochaines apparitions
européennes de cette excellente formation.“ Vincent Cotro, Jazz Magazine, France

“A highly impressive performance of powerful yet fluidly lyrical musical
straddling post-bop, free improvisation and contemporary classical music.”
Matthew Wright, London Jazz News

“Bourassa’s compositions are hard to pin down... the effect is neither cold nor clinical, but
rather warm and inviting…” Adam Kinner, The Gazette, Montreal

1 Carla und Karlheinz
2 5 And Less
3 Frozen
4 Past ich
5 Lostage
6 18 Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville
7 11 Beignes

André Leroux sax, fl, clarinet
Guy Boisvert double bass
Greg Ritchie drums