Sunday, January 21, 2018

Janette Mason - Red Alert (DOT TIME RECORDS 2018)

Dot Time Records is proud to present Red Alert from London based pianist, composer, arranger and producer Janette Mason. Inspired by her passionate belief that jazz needs to constantly evolve to attract a younger, more diverse audience, Janette’s unique contemporary jazz compositions draw on her wide-ranging influences (from Dave Brubeck to David Bowie and Herbie Hancock to Goldfrapp). Janette’s powerful and rhythmic approach to the piano is subtly fused with the keyboards to create a musical journey that is as engaging as it is thought provoking and brought to life by the explosive combination of Jack Pollitt on drums and Tom Mason on bass. Nominated for a Parliamentary jazz award for her second trio album Alien Left Hand, Red Alert is a direct musical response to the political and social challenges now facing us all.

“Infectious grooving, clever composing and audacious improvisation…One of the best”
John Fordham The Guardian

1. Pent Up
2. Skating on Thin Ice
3. Evil Of All Roots
4. Bridge 2 – London
5. SiSi
6. Red Alert
7. Bridge 1 – Westminster
8. The Yearning
9. Altered Reality
10. See Seven

Jack Pollitt – drums
Tom Mason – bass

Nicole Zuraitis - Hive Mind (DOT TIME RECORDS January 26, 2018)

Award winning singer/songwriter Nicole Zuraitis’s new release on Dot Time Records
chronicles themes close to her heart, including an unflinching love of family and friends
delivered with a sincere spirit that finds release in eight intimate original compositions (and
two covers) which span genres. Nicole’s personal journey as an advocate for the mentally
health-challenged lays bare her feelings and emotions throughout Hive Mind. The album
questions the stigma surrounding mental health concerns as Nicole dedicates the music to
a close relative who suffers from schizophrenia. Nicole’s songs sound undeniably joyous,
performed in her kinetic style, but hold hidden truths. After hearing Hive Mind, you’d
expect nothing less.

1. Move On
2. Out of My Heart
3. The Inscription
4. Idle
5. Jolene
6. Sunny Side
7. Failing
8. Episodes
9. Pure Imagination
10. Shirley’s Waltz

Dan Pugach – drums, percussion
Idan Morim – guitar, effects
Alex Busby Smith – electric bass
Carmen Staaf – wurlitzer, rhodes
Rich Lamb – organ
Nandini Srikar – Carnatic voice

all songs on HIVE MIND written by Nicole Zuraitis with the exception of Jolene and Pure Imagination

Danny Fox Trio releases third album The Great Nostalgist (HOT CUP RECORDS)

Featuring pianist Danny Fox, bassist Chris van Voorst van Beest, and drummer Max Goldman

"Changing the sound and expectation of a jazz piano trio." - John Schaefer, WNYC's New Sounds

"Mr. Fox's sound - his group's sound - is complete within itself and not in a hurry; it's cool but not modish." - Ben Ratliff, The New York Times

"Its music pulses with humanity and warmth." - Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

CD Release Concert January 22 at Mezzrow, NYC

Hot Cup Records announces the January 19, 2018 release of The Great Nostalgist, the third album by the NYC- based Danny Fox Trio.  Since its critically acclaimed 2011 debut The One Constant (Songlines) and 2014 follow-up Wide Eyed (Hot Cup), the group has continued to push the boundaries of the classic piano trio format.  The Great Nostalgist, recorded to tape in the living room of a 100-year old house in the Catskills, captures the band's uniquely personal, genre-defying original music in a warm, intimate setting with no headphones, isolation booths, or overdubs. Falling somewhere between jazz and chamber music, the album's ten pieces are replete with sonic surprises: quirky rhythms, jaunty yet catchy melodies, haunting harmonies, and out-of-the-box arrangements that spotlight the capabilities of each member of the group, all while maintaining tuneful melodies.  The modern yet tradition-embracing music filters themes of nostalgia, early influences, and old haunts through the lens of the present. 

Formed in 2008, the Danny Fox Trio, featuring pianist Danny Fox, bassist Chris van Voorst van Beest, and drummer Max Goldman, is a true working band. Whether holed up in a Brooklyn basement rehearsing or touring around the country crammed into a sedan, the trio has spent countless hours developing a rapport that's immediately palpable in their music.

Though rooted in jazz, the three versatile musicians are also active in chamber music, bluegrass, electro, and New Orleans rhythm and blues, thereby giving the band a sound that is all-encompassing yet strikingly individual. Having committed these intricate and challenging compositions to memory and performed them scores of times, the influence and aesthetic of rock bands is readily appreciated.

The trio explores a wide range of novel techniques to eschew standard forms and roles.  The piano, typically both the lead melodic and harmonic voice, rarely performs these two roles simultaneously. Instead, Fox opts for textures that feature the abilities of his bandmates and explore the more extreme ranges of the piano. In addition to fulfilling the traditional role as rhythmic anchor, bassist van Voorst van Beest provides melodies, counterpoint, and coloristic arco effects adeptly. Goldman employs traditional drumbeats effectively, but often opts for a more orchestral approach, mimicking symphonic playing.

The ten pieces on The Great Nostalgist navigate through a vast array of grooves, harmonies, time signatures, tempo shifts, free improvisations, and dynamics while always remaining grounded in the thematic material, giving the music a seamlessness and cohesion that make it both challenging and highly listenable.

The album opens with the rolling piano figures, moody bass melody, and haunting cymbal howls of "Adult Joe," an homage to old friends and kiddie nicknames.  The first six bass notes plucked by van Voorst van Beest provide the theme that spins out into the various sections of the piece.  "Theme for Gloomy Bear," written for a giant pink stuffed animal with claws, alternates between wistful ballad and pulsating trancelike grooves.  In the earliest version of the piece, Goldman conceived the shaker figure using a mint tin which burst open and left stray mints lurking in Fox's living room to this day.

"Jewish Cowboy (the Real Josh Geller)" summons Fox's love for minor-key country tunes, tapping into one of his earliest influences: the bluegrass of artists such as Doc Watson that his parents would play on car trips.  The ominous bass chords of the middle section evoke a dusty mountain range before the spirited hootenanny-like group improvisation closes the song.  The first of two ice cream themed titles, "Cookie Puss Prize," named for the Carvel mascot Fox won in a fifth grade ice cream eating competition, begins with a swirling contrapuntal duet between the piano and bass before the drums sneak in with a bouncy polyrhythmic Afro-Cuban groove.  "Truant" was composed in short bursts in the practice rooms of Harvard University amidst repeatedly being kicked out by a dour front desk attendant. The piece scrambles frantically with tumbling piano/bass melodies giving way to momentary respites of calm. The lone solo piano piece of the album, "Caterpillar Serenade" could be the underscoring for a movie trailer and flashes back to an early family home movie where Fox's brother sings him a happy first birthday on a caterpillar-shaped accordion.  "Preamble" begins with two short improvised piano and bass sections, each set against an off-kilter ostinato.  A similar figure resurfaces where the drums improvise over the squirrely, record-skipping rhythm.  Named for an impossibly neon green ice cream treat from the 80s, "Fat Frog" is a nostalgic, old-timey piece with an intro that conjures a theater curtain rising up.  The hopeful opening notes are quickly hijacked into darker terrain as the melody careens along a windy, breakneck path.  "Emotional Baggage Carousel," conceived at JFK Airport Terminal 4, explores themes of sentimentality and longing alongside a Rocky-like optimism (for receiving your luggage?).  Purely by coincidence, The Great Nostalgist closes in the same manner as the group's second album Wide Eyed: with a song inspired by laundry.  "Old Wash World," an imagining of an earlier, simpler time at Fox's local laundromat New Wash World, builds a boisterous yet sinister dance party on a simple piano riff mined from a long-ignored voice memo.

The Great Nostalgist is also a reunion of pianist Fox with recording/mixing engineer Tyler Wood, who recorded the first music Fox ever wrote while the two were at Harvard University in 2002.

Pianist Danny Fox was born in New York City where he became immersed in the jazz scene from an early age. In high school, Danny was selected as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and went on to attend Harvard University during which time he became active in the Boston music scene. He formed the Danny Fox Trio in 2008 as a vehicle for his original compositions and since then the working group has performed steadily around NYC and the US, releasing the critically acclaimed albums "The One Constant" (Songlines) and "Wide Eyed" (Hot Cup).  Called a "pianist of diverse accomplishment" (NY Times), Danny has established himself as a versatile musician active in a wide variety of settings, co-founding the New Orleans rock and roll group Tubby, playing around the fertile Brooklyn roots and bluegrass scene, performing on Broadway, and collaborating with the cutting edge video artist Meghan Allynn Johnson.  He has performed with artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, Cassandra Wilson, Michael Blake, and Kermit Driscoll. 

Born in Pownal, Maine, bassist Chris van Voorst van Beest has been an in-demand presence on the New York music scene since moving to Brooklyn in 2005.  Chris received his bachelor's degree at the University of New Hampshire and a Master's degree in composition at City College of New York, where he studied with Pulitzer-Prize winning composer David Del Tredici. Known for his big sound, lyrical bass lines, and versatility in different musical settings including jazz, rock, contemporary classical, and bluegrass, Chris performs regularly around New York City with a wide variety of jazz, chamber, and new music groups.  He tours frequently to Europe, having performed extensively in the Czech Republic, Spain, Turkey and Italy.  An emerging composer, Chris is the founder of the chamber music project Hear + Now which features his original compositions for ensembles of various sizes. His most recent work Het Glazen Herenhuis, a sonnet for piano, cello and clarinet, was premiered in Brooklyn in July of 2017. Chris was a nominee for the 2016 Charles Ives Arts and Letters award.  In 2009 Chris was awarded a grant to compose the original score for the children's book "The Lamplighter," featuring narration by noted folk artist Sam Amidon.

Born in Rochester, NY, drummer Max Goldman was fortunate to study under local greats Jeff Lewis, Steve Curry and Rich Thompson. He moved to New York City in 2001, attending NYU and the New School, where he studied with Tony Moreno, Gerald Cleaver and Kenny Washington. Since graduating in 2006, Max has been active in Brooklyn's fertile creative scene. He spends much of his time touring Europe, South America, the US, and Canada with a diverse lineup of artists. In addition to the Danny Fox Trio, Max has performed and recorded with Becca Stevens, Tim Berne, The Elan Mehler Group, Old Time Musketry, Midnight Magic, Nomi Ruiz, and Eleanor Friedberger. He has been called "a seriously propulsive force" by the Chicago Reader and his drumming has been described as "beautifully melodic, even pianistic" by the New York Jazz Review.

Arnan Raz: 2nd Full Track From The Album

Another Full Track From The New Album

Hello Dear friends. I am sharing with you a 2nd full length track from my new album, "Chains Of Stories". It is a duet with the bassit Tamir Shmerling. The song is Ella by Shalom Chanoch and it is the only cover in the album. Album will be out 2/2/2018 but it is already for sale on my website(desktope version only) so check it out!



David Byrne, Fleet Foxes, Laurie Anderson, Kronos Quartet, Louis Andriessen News (NONESUCH RECORDS)

David Byrne Announces American Utopia World Tour
David Byrne has announced an extensive tour of songs from his new album, American Utopia, due March 9, plus classics from his solo career and Talking Heads. Byrne calls it "the most ambitious show I've done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense." 

Fleet Foxes Announce Additional Crack-Up Tour Dates
Fleet Foxes have announced additional dates to their 2018 Crack-Up tour, including festival sets and headline shows across the US West and South and a return to Europe in the summer.

Watch: Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet Share New Landfall Video
Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet have shared a new video featuring two tracks from their forthcoming album, Landfall. The songs,"The Water Rises" and "Our Street Is a Black River," are available to download now with pre-orders of the album.

Louis Andriessen's Theatre of the World Up for BBC Music Magazine Award
Louis Andriessen's Theatre of the World has been nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award in the Opera category. A jury of expert critics selected this year's nominees, and the public vote is now open. 



American Utopia

For Gyumri




Phantom Thread

Thanks for Listening

The Way Is Read


Tigran Hamasyan - For Gyumri (NONESUCH RECORDS February 16, 2018)

Nonesuch Records releases its third recording from pianist and composer Tigran Hamasyan, For Gyumri, on February 16, 2018. A companion to last year’s An Ancient Observer, For Gyumri includes five additional songs. Hamasyan says of the two records: "These songs are musical observations about the world we live in now, and the weight of history we carry with us." Hamasyan will tour this winter/spring; see details below. For Gyumri is available to preorder now at iTunes and the Nonesuch Store, where purchases include an instant download of the track "Rays of Light." You can watch the video for the song, directed by Elena Hamasyan, here:

Hamasyan named the album in tribute to his hometown of Gyumri, Armenia, where he was born in 1987 before relocating with his family to Los Angeles in 2003. He currently resides in Erevan, Armenia.

Hamasyan began playing piano at the age of three and started performing in festivals and competitions when he was eleven, winning the Montreux Jazz Festival’s piano competition in 2003. He released his debut album, World Passion, in 2005 at the age of seventeen. The following year, he won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.

Additional albums include New Era (2007); Red Hail (2009); A Fable (2011), for which he was awarded a Victoires de la Musique (the equivalent of a Grammy Award in France); Shadow Theater (2013); Luys i Luso (2015); and Mockroot (2015), for which he won the Echo Jazz Award for International Piano Instrumentalist of the Year. In addition to awards and critical praise, Hamasyan has built a dedicated international following, as well as praise from Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Brad Mehldau.

Laurie Anderson + Kronos Quartet - Landfall (NONESUCH RECORDS February 16, 2018)

Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet’s Landfall will be released on Nonesuch Records on February 16, 2018. The piece, which was inspired by Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, is the first collaboration between the iconic storyteller/musician and the groundbreaking string quartet, who perform together on the recording. Landfall juxtaposes lush electronics and strings with Anderson’s powerful descriptions of loss, from water-logged pianos to disappearing animal species to Dutch karaoke bars. Landfall is available to pre-order now on iTunes and in the Nonesuch Store with an instant download of the album track "We Learn to Speak Yet Another Language," which can be heard below and on Spotify. Nonesuch Store pre-orders also include an exclusive, limited-edition print autographed by Anderson.

Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson have performed Landfall at commissioning presenters Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Adelaide Festival, Barbican Centre, Montclair State University, Perth International Arts Festival, Stanford Live, and the University of Texas at Austin, among other venues. The New York Times said the piece’s presentation at Brooklyn Academy of Music “set the auditorium awash in elegiac string sounds and postmillennial gloom. Performed by the composer and the tirelessly innovative Kronos Quartet, the work, written in New York during that epic storm, often resembled the flotsam bobbing on the receding floodwaters, with poignant snippets and small treasures.” The Washington Post calls it "riveting, gorgeous."

“These are stories with tempos,” Anderson says. “I’ve always been fascinated by the complex relationship of words and music whether in song lyrics, supertitles or voice over. In Landfall, instruments initiate language through our new text software, erst. The blend of electronic and acoustic strings is the dominant sound of Landfall. Much of the music in this work is generated from the harmonies and delays of unique software designed for the solo viola and reinterpreted for the quartet. In addition, there were elements of the optigan, a keyboard that uses information stored on optical discs.”

Kronos Quartet founder, artistic director, and violinist David Harrington says, “Laurie Anderson is the master magician musician who has always inhabited those secret places where technology has personality, where ‘real time’ is questioned and where all the elements of performance meet and combine into music. Her process is to gather and continue to gather potentially useful aspects as she sculpts a shape. Her sense of play and fun and her continuous experimenting make her the ideal chemist (or is it alchemist?) in the laboratory of music.”

In addition to Landfall, Anderson also releases a new book in February, All the Things I Lost in the Flood: Essays on Pictures, Language and Code, published by Skira Rizzoli. Two years ago Anderson began looking through her archive of nearly forty years of work, which includes scores of documentation, notebooks, and sketchbooks. In the process, she rediscovered some of her work and looked at many projects with a fresh eye, leading her to write a collection of essays looking at the way language entered her visual work.

Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned—and daring—creative pioneers. Her work, which encompasses music, visual art, poetry, film, and photography, has challenged and delighted audiences around the world for more than thirty years. Anderson is best known for her multimedia presentations and musical recordings. Her tours have taken her around the world, where she has presented her work in small arts spaces and grand concert halls, and everywhere in between. She has numerous major works to her credit, along with countless collaborations with an array of artists, from Jonathan Demme and Brian Eno to Bill T. Jones and Peter Gabriel.

Anderson’s first single, “O Superman,” launched her recording career in 1981, rising to number two on the British pop charts and subsequently appearing on her landmark release Big Science. She went on to record six more albums with Warner Brothers. In 2001, Anderson released her first album with Nonesuch Records, the critically lauded Life on a String. Her subsequent releases on the label include Live in New York (2002), a reissue of Big Science (2007), and Homeland (2010). Nonesuch most recently released the soundtrack to Anderson’s acclaimed film, Heart of a Dog (2015), Uncut called, “‘Warm, witty and thought-provoking … her subject is the very stuff of life: grief, love, joy, memory, loss … like listening to a series of short radio plays or a podcast of Anderson’s anthropological musings … Anderson’s most satisfying and human work.” Additionally, Anderson’s virtual-reality film La Camera Insabbiata, with Hsin-Chien Huang, won the 2017 Venice Film Festival Award for Best VR Experience.

For more than 40 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet—David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)—has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagine the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world’s most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than 60 recordings, collaborating with an eclectic mix of composers and performers, and commissioning over 900 works and arrangements for string quartet.

They have won over 40 awards, including a Grammy Award and the prestigious Polar Music and Avery Fisher Prizes. The nonprofit Kronos Performing Arts Association manages all aspects of Kronos’ work, including the commissioning of new works, concert tours and home season performances, education programs, and a self-produced Kronos Festival. In 2015, Kronos launched Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, an education and legacy project that is commissioning—and distributing for free—the first learning library of contemporary repertoire for string quartet.

Nonesuch, the quartet’s longtime label, celebrated the ensemble’s fortieth anniversary year with two releases: the Kronos Explorer Series five-CD box set and a new album, A Thousand Thoughts; more recently, Nonesuch released the One Earth, One People, One Love: Kronos Plays Terry Riley, five-CD, four album box set that included the new release Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector: Music of Terry Riley; and Folk Songs, which features Sam Amidon, Olivia Chaney, Rhiannon Giddens, and Natalie Merchant singing traditional folk songs with arrangements by Jacob Garchik, Nico Muhly, Donnacha Dennehy, and Gabe Witcher. Folk Songs was the fiftieth record Kronos has released on the label since 1985.

1  CNN Predicts a Monster Storm  3:19
2  Wind Whistles Through the Dark City  1:59
3  The Water Rises  2:43
4  Our Street Is a Black River  1:20
5  Galaxies  1:07
6  Darkness Falls  1:56
7  Dreams  4:01
8  Dreams Translated  0:51
9  The Dark Side  1:11
10  Built You a Mountain  2:16
11  The Electricity Goes out and We Move to a Hotel  3:04
12  We Learn to Speak Yet Another Language  3:01
13  Dawn of the World  2:22
14  The Wind Lifted the Boats and Left Them on the Highway  2:40
15  It Twisted the Street Signs  1:13
16  Then It Receded  0:52
17  The Nineteen Stars of Heaven  2:44
18  Nothing Left but Their Names  9:38
19  All the Extinct Animals  2:50
20  Galaxies II  0:54
21  Never What You Think It Will Be  1:11
22  Thunder Continues in the Aftermath  1:55
23  We Blame Each Other for Losing the Way  0:42
24  Another Long Evening  1:57
25  Riding Bicycles Through the Muddy Streets  2:37
26  Helicopters Hang Over Downtown  2:16
27  We Head Out  1:50
28  Everything Is Floating  1:59
29  Gongs and Bells Sing  2:33
30  Old Motors and Helicopters  2:49

Laurie Anderson

Kronos Quartet:

David Harrington violin
John Sherba violin
Hank Dutt viola
Sunny Yang cello

Creation and Production:

Laurie Anderson music and text
Liubo Borrisov Erst programming
Bob Currie dramaturg
Jacob Garchik transcriptions 
Laurie Anderson, Kronos Quartet and Jacob Garchik arrangements 
Konrad Kaczmarek electronics and software design
Shane Koss audio rig design
Brian H Scott lighting designer
Scott Fraser audio engineer

Special thanks to Pea Hicks and Robert Becker for generously providing the optigan for Landfall.

About the Work

“These are stories with tempos. Threaded through the stories in Landfall is an account of Hurricane Sandy that blew through New York just as I was finishing the work. I’ve always been fascinated by the complex relationship of words and music whether in song lyrics, supertitles or voice over. In Landfall instruments initiate language through our new text software erst. In addition, the conflict between spoken and written text fractures the stories as well as creates an eye/ear polyphonic structure.

The blend of electronic and acoustic strings is the dominant sound of Landfall. Much of the music in this work is generated from the harmonies and delays of unique software designed for the solo viola and reinterpreted for the quartet. In addition, there were elements of the optigan, a keyboard that uses information stored on optical discs.”

–Laurie Anderson

“I have hoped that Laurie Anderson would write for Kronos since first encountering her work 30 years ago. She is the master magician musician who has always inhabited those secret places where technology has personality, where “real time” is questioned and where all the elements of performance meet and combine into music. Her process is to gather and continue to gather potentially useful aspects as she sculpts a shape. Her sense of play and fun and her continuous experimenting make her the ideal chemist [or is it alchemist?] in the laboratory of music. As Laurie discovers new essential elements, the world of thought is more encompassing and shapes of the future are becoming more apparent. What a thrill it is for Kronos to join her in Landfall as we explore what emerges together.”

—David Harrington
Kronos Quartet