Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Chris Byars - New York City Jazz (SteepleChase Productions ApS 2018)

Chris Byars, the award winning alto saxophonist, composer, arranger, jazz historian and a 100% native New Yorker set out to "curate the state of jazz to create a sort of time capsule" for this album. What Byars successfully presents here is the genuine creative aspiration that prevails in world's most diverse and competitive artistic environment.

"Chris Byars has done a remarkable job reviving these neglected compositions of Frank Strozier while also putting his own stamp on them with his inventive arrangements." - Ken Dryden, New York City Jazz on (SCCD31824 'The Music of Frank Strozier')

1. Transfiguration
2. Quick Turnaround
3. Dawn in the City
4. Hot Dog
5. No Message
6. Chess
7. Bridge of Locks
8. The General's Song
9. B.G.'s Holiday

Chris Byars (alto saxophone, flute)
John Mosca (trombone)
Stefano Doglioni (bass clarinet)
Pasquale Grasso (guitar)
Ari Roland (bass)
Stefan Schatz (drums)

Vic Juris - Eye Contact (SteepleChase Productions ApS 2018)

Vic Juris has added another guitar trio masterpiece here on his ever-growing body of recorded works. He is joined by bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Adam Nussbaum. 

Since his SteepleChase debut album 'Night Tripper' (SCCD31353) of 1994, guitarist Vic Juris has been presenting unique musical universe of unassuming virtuosity and versatility, of which John Kelman of AllAboutJazz once pertinently described as "fresh, in-the-moment and connected to the broadest possible tradition."

"Vic Plays Victor Young is a sensitive melodically exploratory album of standards and rarely covered airs, as should be expected from a seasoned ensemble with a compatible repertoire." - Howard Mandel - DownBeat ****

1. UNITED (Wayne Shorter) 4:03
2. RUBY (Heinz Roemheld) 7:47
3. I FALL IN LOVE TOO EASILY (Jule Styne) 6:59
4. WEE SEE (Thelonious Monk) 7:21
5. SIM (Vic Juris) 5:02
6. PINOCCHIO (Wayne Shorter) 4:16
7. SWEET AND LOVELY (Gus Arnheim / Harry Tobias / Jules Lemare) 6:46
8. DOMO’S DELIGHT (Vic Juris) 3:41
9. TIME REMEMBERED (Bill Evans) 7:33
10. EYE CONTACT (Vic Juris) 7:29
11. TO LOVE AND BE LOVED (Jimmy Van Heusen) 6:29

Vic Juris (guitar)
Jay Anderson (bass)
Adam Nussbaum (drums)

Martin Blume - Frames & Terrains (NO BUSINESS RECORDS 2018)

Side A

Side B

All compositions by Martin Blume (GEMA), Achim Kaufmann (GEMA), Dieter Manderscheid (GEMA) and Tobias Delius (BUMA/STEMRA)
Recorded live on June 9th, 2016 at LOFT, Cologne, Germany
Recorded and mixed by Stefan Deistler
Mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Front cover - original artwork „10000 signatures” by Martynas Ivinskas
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Produced by Danas Mikailionis
Co-producer  - Valerij Anosov

Barre Phillips | Motoharu Yoshizawa 吉沢元治 - Oh My, Those Boys! (NO BUSINESS RECORDS 2018)

1. Oh My! 54:59
2. Those Boys! 20:19

Recorded live on the 5th April 1994 at Café Amores, Hofu, Yamaguchi, Japan by Takeo Suetomi / Concert produced by Takeo Suetomi
Compositions by Barre Phillips and Motoharu Yoshizawa
Mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Photos by Akihiro Matsumoto
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Produced by Danas Mikailionis and Takeo Suetomi (Chap Chap Records)
Release coordinator - Kenny Inaoka (Jazz Tokyo)
Co-producer - Valerij Anosov

Kang Tae Hwan - Live at Cafe Amores (NO BUSINESS RECORDS 2018)

1. Solo 1 15:43
2. Solo 2 17:13
3. Solo 3 18:49
4. Solo 4 10:13
5. Solo 5 6:30

Recorded live on the 8th October 1995 at Café Amores, Hofu, Yamaguchi, Japan by Takeo Suetomi / Concert produced by Takeo Suetomi
Compositions by Kang Tae Hwan
Mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Produced by Danas Mikailionis and Takeo Suetomi (Chap Chap Records)
Release coordinator - Kenny Inaoka (Jazz Tokyo)
Co-producer - Valerij Anosov

Gerry Hemingway | Samuel Blaser - Oostum (NO BUSINESS RECORDS 2018)

All compositions by Samuel Blaser (SUISA/GEMA) and Gerry Hemingway (GEMA/BMI)
Recorded live on the 29th August, 2015 at the Kerkje van Oostum, Groningen, The Netherlands by Bart Schulz / The Church was one of many venues of the 2015 Zomer JazzFietsTour / The festival was produced to Marcel Roelofs
Mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Cover drawing by Christine Carboneill, Perpignan, France
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Produced by Danas Mikailionis
Co-producer  - Valerij Anosov

Fred Frith & Hardy Fox - A Day Hanging Dead Between Heaven And Earth (2018)

"It began in Big Sur. Fred Frith and I, sitting naked on two small wooden blocks, legs crossed, hands resting on our knees. A small clearing on a rise above the Pacific Ocean, waves pounding a steady beat against the rocks far below. I had arrived at the Zen retreat the previous afternoon and Fred was one of the first people I ran into. I’d met him in more formal situations at Ralph Records, but we had not previously hung out socially. Fred was the current artist-in-residence at Esalen, and had been there nearly six weeks.

He’d invited me to join him in an "air bath" the next morning and so here we sat, bathing in the morning sea air. The glow of Fred's skin made me sadly aware of how much time I spent in a windowless studio. I could easily pass for an albino. Fred was not big on talking, so we sat in quiet contemplation. But soon I became aware of a humming sound and realized Fred was singing quietly to himself accompanied by the rhythm of the waves. I whispered, "What are you singing?" He apologized and whispered back that he was making up melodies. I might not have brought clothing with me, but my Walkman was a constant companion and asked if it were okay to record him. He said I could. We grew close over the next couple of days, and when I returned to San Francisco I transferred the waves, the birds, and the singing to a multi-track tape machine and made a collage.

Next time Fred came through town I played it for him and we speculated on developing the recordings for some kind of Residents/Frith project. The lyrics followed, then Fred’s compositions. Perhaps a year later in 1991, Fred arrived at the studio armed only with a brand-new Zeta MIDI violin. Surrounding himself with his scribbled notebooks, he played all the parts for all the pieces. I recorded him acoustically, as well as collecting input from each string as MIDI data. Afterwards I spent my spare time for several days assembling and reassembling what I had to work with until I had built about twenty minutes of music. I thought it quite good, but not enough material for an album. No additional work took place, and the project was largely forgotten until, many years later, I began cataloging my collection for the new company I’d started, Hacienda Bridge.

There it was. I immediately told Walter Robotka at Klanggalerie what I’d found, and he contacted Fred who was, of course, curious to hear it again after all this time. Fred was enthusiastic, and couldn’t wait to resume work on the long-lost recordings. The original words having meanwhile disappeared, he enlisted the help of his songwriting collaborator Zeina Nasr. The new voice parts were duly recorded, and delighted that his longtime recording engineer Myles Boisen had finally acquired a piano Fred recorded fragments left over in those scribbled notebooks, and the whole thing took on its final shape.

I fine-tuned some audio details a couple of days later, and the whole thing was mastered some twenty-five years after its inception. Often projects are given insufficient time to mature. This one, however, is that seed that falls into the crack in a rock and finds just enough water and nourishment to keep growing until, years later, it splits that rock in half. Hardy Fox. Dedicated to the memory.

Dedicated to the perseverance". A totally unique collaboration by two of the most exciting composers of our time. Sorry if we say so ourselves, but if you need one album in 2018, it'll be this one. A time to bring out those superlatives.

1. Prelude
2. Who will release me?
3. Entr’acte 1
4. Could have been
5. It’s all in place
6. Entr’acte 2
7. How is a Face to replace
8. We who wait
9. A little older
10. Over then (and now)
11. Should see me out
12. Every minute counts
13. Song of the Crow
14. Almost yes unless

follow me

Mark Wade Trio - Moving Day (EDITION 46 RECORDS 2018)

Although solidly within the time-honored tradition of piano-bass-drums jazz trios, Event Horizon, the Mark Wade Trio’s 2015 debut recording, was quickly heralded as something refreshingly different.

Down Beat critic John Ephland called the CD “as interesting in form as it is with pure expression, the nooks and crannies evidence that a real group-mind is at work.” “All three musicians,” Jeffrey Uhrich said of bassist-composer Wade, pianist Tim Harrison, and drummer Scott Neumann in his review for All About Jazz, “are tuned into one another, listening and asserting their individuality when the moment is right, yet maintaining an energetic unity and balance throughout the disc.” The success of Event Horizon landed Wade a spot as one of the top 10 bassists of 2016 in the Down Beat Readers’ Poll.

In the short months between the recording of Event Horizon and its February 2015 release, Wade began writing some of the seven harmonically-and-rhythmically challenging original tunes, as well as unique arrangements of two standards, that now comprise Moving Day, the trio’s follow-up CD. The warm reception by radio, press, and the public that greeted the first disc helped the three musicians secure more club and concert engagements than ever before, giving them numerous opportunities to further cultivate their already tight, seemingly telepathic interplay.

“We’ve had a chance to develop a sound and identity and an understanding of one another as an ensemble,” the leader says. “We had some of that with the first CD, but for this CD three years later it shows that we’ve really formed some strong chemistry together. By the time we got to the recording session, we had been playing some of these tunes live in front of audiences a number of times.” 

With the exception of “In the Fading Rays of Sunlight,” the gentle waltz that closes Moving Day, all of the selections utilize frequent meter changes. These shifts of meter are not immediately obvious, however, due to the way Wade, Harrison, and Neumann keep their performances flowing so perfectly.

“There’s not too many tunes that don’t have at least one or two meter changes,” Wade says. “It wasn’t my intention to do that. It was just kinda the way the music worked out.”

“Some people’s approach to modern jazz can be derivative in that they’re going to have every measure in a different time signature to try to make it sound as disjointed as they can,” he adds.

“There’s a certain time and place for that, but my personal writing style is to try for you not to notice that.”

1. Moving Day
2. Wide Open
3. The Bells
4. Another Night in Tunisia
5. Something of a Romance
6. Autumn Leaves
7. Midnight in the Cathedral
8. The Quarter
9. In the Fading Rays of Sunlight

Mark Wade - Doublebass
Tim Harrison - Piano
Scott Neumann - Drums