Saturday, January 13, 2018

Steve Hobbs - Tribute to Bobby (CHALLENGE RECORDS 19 January, 2018)

Marimba / vibes veteran Steve Hobbs releases his strongest release in his forty three year career on Challenge Records. The recording is centered mostly around cutting edge originals by Hobbs encompassing modern mainstream examples of post bop, Latin, Funk, Calypso, and more….arranged and performed with the typical creative and hard edged energy you are used to hearing on his past New York Recordings. Hobbs centered the music around marimba, dedicating the recording to his mentor and late friend Bobby Hutcherson.

This is the group’s third recording. It’s a hot all-star group consisting of Steve Hobbs / marimba and vibes, Adam Kolker / saxes, Bill O’Connell / piano, Peter Washington / bass and John Riley / drums. The groups first CD Spring Cycle, released in 2007 was nominated Jazz Recording of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association of America and made it to #3 on the Jazz Week Jazz Chart. Next in 2010 the group released the critically acclaimed Vibes Straight Up, which hit #1 on its second week of airplay on Jazz Week and remained at #1 for seven weeks!

"This album is a beautiful tribute to Bobby Hutcherson. The playing is masterful, the compositions beautiful, and show a Bobby Hutcherson influence - in essence, a heartfelt and touching tribute."  Ron Miller (pianist and composer for Stan Getz, Pat Metheny, Red Rodney, Joe Lavano, Gerry Bergonzi, Ira Sullivan, Jerry Coker, Bruce Hornsby and more).

"This is a top notch release by one of the very best vibes and marimba players around today, bar none. Great playing, great musicians, top quality sound and very attractive choice of material. Highly recommended!". Randy Johnston, guitarist for Lionel Hampton, Lou Donaldson, Jackie McLean, Etta Jones, Jack McDuff, Houston Person, Dr. Lonnie Smith and more.

“Steve Hobbs has long been one of the most talented, if underrated vibraphonists around.”  Scott Yanow, Jazz Times

“Hobbs sounds killin’!”  Mike Mainieri, award winning vibraphonist and producer

“I sure have enjoyed working several projects with Steve Hobbs; you can expect to hear lots more from him in the future.”  Kenny Barron, pianist

“Vibes Straight Up means swinging and also moving!”  John Ephland, Downbeat

1 The Craving Phenomenon  06:18
2 Into the Storm  06:23
3 Besame Mucho  06:02
4 New Creation  05:34
5 Tres Vias  05:47
6 Millie  07:36
7 Thelonious Funk  05:52
8 The Road to Happy Destiny  06:05
9 Blowing in the Wind  06:06
10 El Sueno de Horace Silver  05:15
11 In From the Storm  04:45
12 Let's Go to Abaco!  05:19
13 Where Or When  03:41

Steve Hobbs: marimba, vibraphone
Adam Kolker: tenor and soprano saxophones
Bill O’Connell: piano
Peter Washington: bass
John Riley: drums

Carol Ingbretsen, Maurice Myers, Marvin Thorne: vocals

DV Wright - Passage (2018)

The last several years have been very exciting, productive and busy for Dave. He is an active member of two active groups and is involved in several new album releases! Including a release due out in 2018 which was recorded at the famed Fantasy recording studios in Berkeley CA.

His latest “solo” release, Passage is an eclectic mix of “Jazz”, including Vocals, Modal, Latin Jazz, ECM and Modern. He thinks it’s his best effort yet!

This follows on the heals of his past release, a traditional jazz/latin release “Warmin’ Up” which you can check out and is doing great streaming on Pandora!

Other recent releases include several groups Dave is a member of including Phonograph Team Project, Morph, which received a glowing review from AllAboutJazz. “Phonograph Team Project has knocked one out right out of the park with Morph” – Tyran Grillo (All About Jazz)

Also, the Oakland California based, Orbital Quintet just released their debut album, Vol. 1 with very positive results.

Other notable releases include the now defunct “Cache”, Cache was an ongoing top recommended pick of CDBaby editors Cachet.

On the local gig front Dave has been really lucky to have been involved in recent underground jazz scene at “Berkeley Birdland Jazzista Social Club” in Berkeley California. With fellow musicians Eric Allen and Paul Lynch, drums and bass respectively, Dave was a core member of this original group and helped launched this bit of Berkeley lore. He is very thankful to have benefitted from weekly performances here for several years!

From his initial early training on classical guitar and his early pianistic attempts of trying copy Keith Jarrett (Koln Concert), “I would get inspired and sit at the piano and try to play and emulate the feeling of the “Koln” concerts”.

To his time spent living in Vermont, Boston, Chicago, New York playing everything from Hip Hop to Rock, backing singer-songwriters and being present in musical theatre orchestras, To his years spent playing and learning jazz, absorbing and appreciating the many sub genres of Jazz. Including Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, Pat Metheny, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green and Wes Montgomery. (To this day, in his appreciation of Wes Montgomery and Kevin Eubanks, Dave employs the use of his thumb and fingers exclusively, in place of a ‘pick’)

So although being a late bloomer, getting a late start in music at age 15, Dave is having more fun than ever and is finally able to combine his many varied musical influences into a cohesive end result and is very excited about what lies ahead!

1. Passage 07:14
2. Everyday Day 06:38
3. 50 Minutes 05:39
4. Let It Go 05:07
5. LM 05:28
6. Movie Haircut 04:02
7. Satet 04:54
8. Snorah 03:12

Alice Leony - Vocals
Tommaso Monopoli - Drums
Reggie Bouffard - Piano
DV Wright - Guitar, Electric Upright Bass

Everyday Day
Gabro - Piano
Raul Rodriguez – Drums, Percussion
Jacob Munk Nielsen - Tenor Sax
Daniel Swain - Electric Bass
DV Wright – Guitar

50 Minutes
Ron Adams – Upright Bass
Gabro - Piano
Tommaso Monopoli - Drums
DV Wright – Guitar

Let It Go
Ron Adams – Upright Bass
Gabro - Piano
Raul Rodriguez – Drums, Percussion
DV Wright – Guitar

Ron Adams – Upright Bass
Gabro - Piano
Roberto Rabosio - Drums
DV Wright – Guitar

Movie Haircut
Ron Adams – Upright Bass
Tommaso Monopoli - Drums
DV Wright – Guitar
Marcelo Zallio - Piano

Ron Adams – Upright Bass
Tommaso Monopoli - Drums
DV Wright – Guitar
Marcelo Zallio - Piano

Rob Glass - Electric Bass
Tommaso Monopoli - Drums
DV Wright – Guitar

Samo Salamon & Howard Levy - Peaks of Light (January 23, 2018)

The new duo project of Samo Salamon and Howard Levy presents two fantastic world-class musicians. The guitarist SAMO SALAMON (Slovenia) is one of the most talented jazz guitarists in the world, whose first CD Ornethology was selected among the 1001 best jazz albums in the history of jazz (The Penguin Jazz Guide - The History of the Music in the 1001 Best Albums). HOWARD LEVY (USA) is definitely the best and most innovative harmonica player in the history of jazz - founding member of Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, multiple Grammy Award winner and musician who plays with jazz stars such as Bobby McFerrin, Donald Fagen, Dolly Parton, Paquito D'Rivera, Paul Simon, Rabih Abou-Khalil, etc.


Samo Šalamon is »one of the most talented young guitarists and composers on today's jazz scene« (, USA). So far he has released 22 albums as a leader for recognized labels, such as Clean Feed Records, Fresh Sound New Talent, Steeplechase Records, Not Two Records and Splasch Records as well as played, recorded and toured with recognized jazz stars and musicians, including John Scofield, Howard Levy, Tim Berne, Paul McCandless, Mark Turner, Michel Godard, John Hollenbeck, Drew Gress, Nguyen Le, Tony Malaby, Mark Helias, Tom Rainey, Dave Binney, Josh Roseman, John Hebert, Donny McCaslin, Dominique Pifarely, Gerald Cleaver, Bruno Chevillon, Loren Stillman, John O'Gallagher, Julian Arguelles, Carlo DeRosa, Tyshawn Sorey, Matt Brewer, Alex Machacek, Christian Lillinger, Pascal Niggenkemper, Stefano Battaglia, Manu Codjia, Mikkel Ploug, Luciano Biondini, Jim Mullen, Rudi Mahall, Sabir Mateen, Fareed Haque, Rudy Linka, Paolino Dalla Porta, Ares Tavolazzi, Roberto Dani, Joris Teepe, Bruno Cesselli, Zlatko Kaucic, Salvatore Maiore, Kyle Gregory, Emanuele Cisi, Gianluca Petrella, Dejan Terzic, Wilbert de Joode and others. 

HOWARD LEVY - harmonica (USA) 

Multiple Grammy- Award Winner Howard Levy is an acknowledged master of the diatonic harmonica, a superb pianist, innovative composer, recording artist, bandleader, teacher, producer, and Chicago area resident. His musical travels have taken him all over the geographical world and the musical map. Equally at home in Jazz, Classical music, Rock, Folk, Latin, and World Music, he brings a fresh lyrical approach to whatever he plays. This has made him a favorite with audiences worldwide, and a recording artist sought after by the likes of Kenny Loggins, Dolly Parton, Paquito D’Rivera, Styx, Donald Fagen, and Paul Simon. As a sideman, Howard has appeared on hundreds of CDs and played on many movie soundtracks. He is perhaps best known for the four CD’s he recorded with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, a unique band that set the musical world on its ear back in the early 1990’s. He got back together with the band in 2010 and recorded the CD Rocket Science. They toured extensively in 2011-2012, and Howard won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for “Life in Eleven”, which he wrote with Bela Fleck.

1. Devil's Darling 03:02
2. Chaplin Walks 05:50
3. Barren 04:54
4. Sleepy Burja 06:02
5. Our Tune 04:16
6. Riding the Urban Range 06:16
7. Para Para 04:08
8. The Harmonica Suite - Part I 02:46
9. The Harmonica Suite - Part II 03:12
10. The Harmonica Suite - Part III 03:38
11. Freeze 03:42

Recorded in Maribor in May 2017. Recorded by Darko Kukovič - Kuki
Mixed and mastered by Samo Salamon

Howard Levy - harmonica 
Samo Salamon – electric and acoustic guitars 

All tunes by Samo Salamon, except no. 5 by Samo Salamon & Howard Levy and no. 6 by Howard Levy

Josh Sinton - krasa (2018)

A Brooklyn-based creative musician, a baritone saxophone operator, a bass clarinet manipulator. Trying to become a better listener every day.

1. krasa 1_Sound 16:14
2. krasa 2_{prelude to) 02:10
3. krasa 3_Felt 03:30
4. krasa 4_And 06:26
5. krasa 5_(now} 02:33
6. krasa 6_Not 02:38
7. krasa 7_Heard 08:44

krasa was recorded in two long takes on May 16th, 2017 at Menegroth the Thousand Caves. 

Krasa contains no overdubs and only the following was used: 
a Leblanc metal contrabass clarinet to low D 
a Clark Fobes mpc. 
Vandoren #2 & #3 reeds 

The following pieces of equipment were used for tracks 1, 4 & 7: 
2 AMT clip-on mics 
one (small) Mackie 4-channel board 
one sans amp (for bass) 
one volume pedal 
one Ampeg SVT (70s 300-watt) 
one Eden 410-XLT4 (70-watt 4x10in. 4 ohm)

released January 8, 2018 

engineered, mixed and mastered by Colin Marston 
produced by Jon Irabagon and Josh Sinton 
thanks to: 
JC, MP & NW for the love & inspiration 
JI for the love & tenacity 
LWS & ZS for the love 
special tip of the hat to daddy & Angelo P. (you know who you are) 
all improvisations by josh sinton, published by sinzheimer muzak (vmi) 2017

Bon Bon Vivant - Live at the New Orleans Jazz Museum (GALLATIN STREET RECORDS January 12, 2018)


The self-proclaimed “Indie-Gypsy Band” of New Orleans, Bon Bon Vivant, will release its newest record Bon Bon Vivant Live at the New Orleans Jazz Museum on January 12, with a release party at the New Orleans Jazz Museum.

Bon Bon Vivant is partnering with the New Orleans Jazz Museum’s record label, Gallatin Street Records, on the event. The band has partnered with the label previously on November 3 with a recorded live performance at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Selections from the band’s album Paint & Pageantry were showcased; a cover of the classic “Shout Sister Shout,” famously sung by the Boswell Sisters, a gypsy jazz twist on “St. James Infirmary Blues,” and a myriad of original work was featured.

The first single off the album is “Jazz Axeman of New Orleans,” inspired by the true story of the city’s most notorious serial killer.  “The Bones” narrates the sights and sounds of Mardi Gras, first performed by Bon Bon Bivant at the Red Beans and Rice Parade. In fact, all the tracks resemble a thoughtful storyline: in “Gone Gone Gone,” a woman saves her man from being shanghaied by murdering his abductor, and in “Saints and Sinners,” God and the Devil mull over the fact that man has abandoned them as they converse at a New Orleans bar.

Bon Bon Bivant is comprised of vocalist Abigail Cosio, who writes the band’s original tracks, Jeremy Kelley on saxophone and vocals, Ry D’Antonio on drums, Mike Robins on bass, Ryan Brown on accordion and keys and Glori Cosio on background vocals.

“We are honored to have been asked to cut the first release from Gallatin Street Records in the historic New Orleans Jazz Museum,” comments Kelly, “[in] a performance space created to document and release New Orleans music.”

A portion of the proceeds from the record release party will be donated to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. For more information, visit

1. Introduction - Gallatin Street Records (Live) 0:55
2. Gone Gone Gone (Live) 6:50
3. Burn (Live) 4:39
4. Shout Sister Shout (Live) 5:30
5. Saints and Sinners (Live) 4:47
6. Poplar Tree (Live) 4:41
7. Delilah (Live) 5:13
8. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen (Live) 4:32
9. Why Don't You Do Right (Live) 4:50
10. The Jazz Axe Man (Introduction) [Live] 0:56
11. The Jazz Axe Man (Live) 4:12
12. Dust (Live) 4:10
13. Lost Soul (Live) 4:46

Jon Mayer Trio - Live At The Athenaeum (BLUEPORT RECORDS 2018)

An amazing live recording of a New York style jazz trio made up of pianist Jon Mayer and drummer Roy McCurdy with some Polish seasoning, Darek Oles on bass.

We had a great time that night in La Jolla, Ca. with near perfect musical telepathy on display.

We did a number of standards like `All The Things You Are' plus a couple of jazz originals, one from me and one from Bill Cunliffe.

All the Things You Are
My Foolish Heart
Minority; Tenderly
The Touch of Your Lips
Shari’s Bolero
Young and Foolish
For All We Know

Darek Oles: bass
Ron McCurdy: drums

Jeff Baker - Phrases (OA2 RECORDS 2018)

Critically acclaimed vocalist JEFF BAKER returns with his 5th OA2 Records release, an alive and bristling set of originals and thoughtfully conceived pop and jazz standards. Collaborating with some of the most influential and compelling jazz musicians in the world today - Brian Blade, Steve Wilson, Marquis Hill, Clark Sommers, Geof Bradfield, and Gregory Uhlmann - Baker and his co-producer/musical director, pianist Darrell Grant, present a provocative collection of original songs and arrangements based on text by writers such as Pablo Neruda, J.D. Salinger, A.A. Milne and Salvador Plascencia. Certainly, his most ambitious and personal recording yet. "From all accounts, this charismatic crooner needs to be tracked closely. Mr. Baker has the potential to skyrocket to many accolade-coated triumphs." - JazzTrenzz

1 NERUDA 6:03 | Jeff Baker, BMI
2 AND SO IT GOES 8:56 | Billy Joel / arr. Jeff Baker
3 PEOPLE OF PAPER 5:39 | Jeff Baker
4 BALLAD OF THE SAD YOUNG MEN 7:37 | Frances Landsman & Thomas Wolf
arr. Jeff Baker, Darrell Grant, Ezra Weiss (string prelude), Justin Nielsen
5 HARBOR 8:05 | Clark Sommers & Jeff Baker
6 LOST 7:48 | Jeff Baker / arr. Jeff Baker, Darrell Grant, Thomas Barber
7 A HUNDRED LESS ONE 5:57 | Jeff Baker / arr. Jeff Baker, Darrell Grant (strings)
8 SALINGER 5:48 | Jeff Baker
9 NOT CAUSE I WANTED TO 6:57 | Bonnie Raitt / arr. Jeff Baker
10 STAY ALIVE 6:20 | Ryan Adams & Theodore Shapiro / arr. Darrell Grant
11 DON'T WORRY BOUT ME 5:57 | Rube Bloom & Ted Koehler / arr. Jeff Baker

Darrell Grant - Piano
Clark Sommers - Bass
Brian Blade - Drums
Steve Wilson - Saxophone
Marquis Hill - Trumpet
Geof Bradfield - Saxophone
Gregory Uhlmann - Guitar
Blaise Magniere - Violin
Marie Wang - Violin
Anthony Devroye - Viola
Cheng-Hou Lee - Cello

Me&Mobi - Agglo (PROLOG MUSIC March 16th, 2018)

When you think of a contemporary piano trio, techno music, Japanese anime or dystopian sci-fi, aren’t the first things that come to mind. Yet, the Swiss-German outfit known as Me&Mobi used these exact coordinates, along with a whole array of very unique personal obsessions (mostly with the under-belly of pop-culture) to forge their rich, idiosyncratic sound from. Their forthcoming sophomore full-length, titled Agglo (short for an urban agglomeration), is a meticulously curated instrumental soundtrack, one that manages to be extremely captivating, all the while violently disrupting musical conventions and overriding genre presets. This is a record that takes a traditional trio set up (keys, upright bass and drums) and quite literally modifies and supplements their signals (on output) with a rich, expansive electronic sonic palette.  

The material for Agglo was written, recorded and a produced, over a period of six months in a rehearsal space converted into a studio. The band decided to do away with the distinct parts of the production process: improvising, writing, recording and post. They worked on the music in layers – constantly revising, re-editing, remixing and over-dubbing pre-recorded material. Hence, the studio literally acted as the fourth member of the band, and contributed a very distinct musical voice to every composition. This very unorthodox approach to recording live music (especially in Jazz circles), not only opened up new arrangement possibilities for the group, but also allowed them to apply a freedom normally associated with live improvisation, to the treatment of the actual sonic substance of their songs. The result is a true fusion of acoustic and electronic sound, one, that at times, completely blurs the distinction between the two.  

The band describe their music as urban, i.e. the sound representative of a modern megapolis:  sprawling, dynamic and, at times, bleak and oppressive. This moniker also denotes the direct allusions made to genres such as Hip Hop and the various offshoots of Electronica, which infuse this material in very inventive ways. Free Jazz is, of course, also an urban genre. And, in fact, it was the group’s improvisational proficiency which laid the very foundation for this multifaceted, capacious sound. Many of the compositions, found here, feature jagged sonic artefacts and, on occasion, sound like broken technology (a prepared piano heavily treated with fx, a soviet synth); and tend to steep in a steadily building pressure that can’t find a resolution or a release. Despite its experimental leanings and a mild brand of cinematic melancholia, at its core, Agglo is a visceral, groove-driven record that speaks directly to the body. However, the most unique thing about this collection of songs is their ability to collapse musical history on itself, by dissolving musical traditions of the past in sonic iterations of potential afterfutures. Get ready for a dose of Post-Jazz, dystopian sci-fi eclectica.

1. Mount Ninja
2. Ni!
3. Totalsanierung
4. H.L.M.
5. In Rainbows We Trust
6. Know Your Explosives
7. Cheysar
8. Biosphere
9. Bejing Bolero
10. Karlsruhe 

All songs recorded at the Me&Mobi Studio, Bern 2017
All songs written and performed by Me&Mobi
Produced and mixed by Philipp Schlotter Mastered by Dan Suter
Artwork by David Nydegger
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