Monday, January 29, 2018

News from the Nonesuch Journal

Jonny Greenwood's Phantom Thread Score Earns Oscar Nomination

Congrats to Jonny Greenwood, whose score for Paul Thomas Anderson's film Phantom Thread is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. The film is also up for Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actor, Daniel Day-Lewis; Best Supporting Actress, Lesley Manville; and Best Costume Design, Mark Bridges. 

Read more ...

Robert Plant and his band the Sensational Space Shifters released a video of their performance of "Season's Song," from his album Carry Fire, at the O2 Apollo in Manchester, England, in November. 

Chris Thile will hold Carnegie Hall's Debs Composer's Chair for the 2018-19 season. His residency includes Live From Here Songs of the Week, intimate recitals of a new piece, a multi-artist evening of folk music, and a double bill of Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers.

Paul Thomas Anderson was on NPR's Fresh Air to discuss Phantom Thread. Jonny Greenwood's score "is so good," says host Terry Gross. "There's something so operatic about the movie because there's underscoring throughout almost the entire film." 

Rostam offers a new take on his song "Bike Dream," from his album Half-Light, and Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" in a new Spotify Singles set.

Chris Thile is on How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black. They discuss his life in music, from Nickel Creek to Punch Brothers to hosting Live From Here. "For me, music has always been this source of delight," Thile says; "it's a never-ending well of magic, ingenuity."

Sam Amidon performed songs from his albums The Following Mountain and Lily-O, joined by Chris Vatalaro, for Yellow Couch Sessions. "I've been a fan of Sam's music for quite a while now," says host Steven Foxbury, "and those two put on one hell of a show."



After Bach

American Utopia



For Gyumri


Phantom Thread

Thanks for Listening


The Following Mountain


Satoko Fujii: Solo – first CD of 12 in 2018

Satoko Fujii turns 60!

Pianist/composer launches birthday CD marathon with a stunning solo album

Fujii begins her yearlong plan to release one CD a month with an introspective masterpiece 
recorded live in concert

“Unpredictable, wildly creative, and uncompromising… Fujii is an absolutely essential listen for anyone interested in the future of jazz.” ― Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

“One of the most original pianists in free jazz.” ― Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe

“She could be the most important creative musician of our time.” ― Michael Nastos, allmusic

The stars aligned when pianist-composer Satoko Fujii sat down at the piano in Yumemikan Hall in the Japanese city of Yawatahama for the afternoon piano recital captured on her latest CD, Satoko Fujii: Solo (January 26, 2018, Libra Records). The piano, a superb instrument, expertly tuned by a technician who knew it well, sounded rich with a crystalline tone. The hall’s superior acoustics captured the nuances of her every note. Fujii had arrived the day before the concert and was well rested and relaxed. And when she began to play, she simply let the music flow in one of most deeply felt and inspired performances of hers ever captured on disc. The first of twelve recordings she plans to release in 2018 in celebration of her 60th birthday, the CD deserves a place in the canon of great solo piano albums, alongside those by Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, and Bill Evans.

“For a piano player, it’s hard to make bad music when you have a good piano in a good acoustic space,” Fujii says modestly. “I was lucky to play this piano. I just enjoyed playing it and didn't try to make it sound good because it already sounded great. The good acoustics helped me take my time and not push my playing hard all the time. The beautiful echo in the room was there and I included it in my performance.” 

This magical confluence of artist, instrument, and setting results in one of Fujii’s most ravishingly beautiful solo performances on record. Her approach is slow and deliberate as she engages in an intense interior meditation of sound and melody in a subtle, surprising, and boundlessly imaginative performance. On “Inori,”—a composition she’s recorded in solo, duo, and big band settings—improvised melodies reveal themselves slowly, with notes allowed to linger and fade. Sometimes sharp dissonant phrases gesture threateningly at the silence, but tensions melt away into pensive, graceful lines. She reaches back into the American jazz tradition to play Jimmy Guiffre’s “Moonlight,” something she hasn’t done since 1999’s Kitsune-bi (Tzadik).

Throughout the concert, Fujii not only displays her virtuoso command of the keyboard, but she also uses the strings inside of the piano, and sometimes the body of the piano itself, to create a unique sound world. “Ninepin,” last heard on her 2004 album Live in Japan (Polystar/NatSat), evokes the sounds of Indian classical music and Javanese gamelan in an ethereal, otherworldly tone painting.

The completely improvised “Geradeaus” is a luminous abstraction of metallic drones, muted strings, and raps on the piano that resolves unexpectedly into rolling gospel. “Gen Himmel,” which she has recorded on two previous solo albums as well as in a big band arrangement, establishes call and response between piano wires and the keyboard.

For Fujii the blend of keyboard and extended techniques comes naturally. “I don't want to limit myself or exclude anything when I make music,” she says. “I think music allows me total freedom to do anything. When it feels right, I just reach inside piano and play the strings. For me it is not a special thing. I want it all to be part of my music—playing the keyboard, the strings … or whatever.”

Up next in Fujii’s unprecedented birthday bash is the fiercely energetic Atody Man (Circum Libra), the sixth release featuring KAZE, the collaborative group with trumpeters Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins. March will see the releases of Ninety-Nine Years (Libra), the latest from Orchestra Berlin. A new one from Orchestra Tokyo is also planned. 

In addition, the dozen new releases will include the recording debuts of a new piano-bass-drums trio and This Is It!, a trio featuring Fujii with Natsuki Tamura on trumpet and Takashi Itani on percussion. Also slated is Intelsat, a duet with Australian pianist Alister Spence and May (Long Song Records), which showcases a one-time trio with Italian soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo and American bassist Joe Fonda, with whom Fujii released a critically acclaimed duo album in 2016. 

Other surprises and delights will be in store over the course of the year, in what is sure to be an unforgettable outpouring of musical riches.

Critics and fans alike hail pianist and composer Satoko Fujii as one of the most original voices in jazz today. She’s “a virtuoso piano improviser, an original composer and a bandleader who gets the best collaborators to deliver," says John Fordham in The Guardian. In concert and on more than 80 albums as a leader or co-leader, she synthesizes jazz, contemporary classical, avant-rock and Japanese folk music into an innovative music instantly recognizable as hers alone. Over the years, Fujii has led some of the most consistently creative ensembles in modern improvised music, including the ma-do quartet, the Min-Yoh Ensemble, and an electrifying avant-rock quartet featuring drummer Tatsuya Yoshida of The Ruins. 

Her ongoing duet project with husband Natsuki Tamura released their sixth recording, Kisaragi, this year. “The duo's commitment to producing new sounds based on fresh ideas is second only to their musicianship,” says Karl Ackermann in All About Jazz. Aspiration, a CD by an ad hoc band featuring Wadada Leo Smith, Tamura, and Ikue Mori, was released this year to wide acclaim. “Four musicians who regularly aspire for greater heights with each venture reach the summit together on Aspiration,” writes S. Victor Aaron in Something Else.

She records infrequently as an unaccompanied soloist, but her latest solo album, Invisible Hand, led Dan McClenaghan in All About Jazz to praise her “stream of ideas, eschewing repetition and cliché in the crafting of her solo work, her loveliest and most accessible music.

” Fujii has also established herself as one of the world’s leading composers for large jazz ensembles, leading Cadence magazine to call her, “the Ellington of free jazz.”

Koum Tara - chaâbi, jazz and strings (ODRADEK RECORDS 2018)

Koum Tara is a meeting of four musical worlds centered around a common project, created and directed by pianist-composer Karim Maurice: traditional chaâbi music, classical string quartet, contemporary music, and jazz. The raw material was extracted from the traditional repertoire of Algerian singer Sid Ahmed Belksier.

These themes were worked, distorted, reharmonized and restructured to create a hybrid, cross-cultural style. As part of the writing process, these musicians brought their own identity and their specific know-how to each piece. This has been a cultural meeting of minds, resulting in a unique musical texture. Chaâbi’s traditional poetry and love songs are blended with the tradition of the Western string quartet, jazz improvisation and electronic music, creating a fusion of styles and genres within each piece.

At a time when humanity, respect for cultures, and tolerance are seen as much-needed values for building a better world, this performance offers a musical universe in which each person brings his or her identity, cultural heritage and originality to sing universal love.

Karim Maurice is a French pianist-composer-arranger. His Karim Maurice Project was named “Revelation 2008” at the Jazz Festival of Ramatuelle. In 2013 he won the SACEM Autoproduction Award, and was named Best Composer at the international “Made in New York Jazz Competition” in 2015.

Gaël Rassaert is the laureate of several chamber music competitions and enjoys an international career as a chamber musician. He is a regular guest of the Lyon National Orchestra, the Radio-France Orchestra and the Lyon National Opera. He is part of Portugal’s Darcos Ensemble, directed by composer Nuno Côrte-Real (heard on Odradek Records album ‘Mirror of the Soul’, ODRCD336). Today he devotes a large part of his activity to the artistic direction of the conductor-free La Camerata string ensemble, which he founded in March 2004. La Camerata has established itself as an important player in the musical landscape. Comprising 20 musicians from Lyon, La Camerata embraces repertoire ranging from Schoenberg, Bartók, Britten, and Shostakovich, to traditional music (Algeria, Argentina, Chile), jazz, and contemporary music.

Pittsburgh Jazz Film | We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told

MCG Jazz is pleased to present: 

We Knew What We Had:  The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told documentary film features the talents of international Jazz Masters George Benson, Ahmad Jamal, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Eckstine, Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Billy Strayhorn and Mary Lou Williams – all Pittsburghers – and explores the social conditions and historical events that conspired to make Pittsburgh one of the leading contributors to the legacy of Jazz music in the world. The one-hour film is packed with compelling interviews, historical photographs and over 20 live performance clips of the Jazz Masters.

The film is being distributed by American Public Television and can be seen on PBS stations throughout the United States beginning February 1st.  Please check your local listings for show times.  If you don’t see a local air date please contact your local PBS affiliate to request the film.

If your market carries the film will air on February 6th and 7th with multiple showtimes.

Information courtesy of
Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services
272 Ste Route 94 S #1  Warwick, NY 10990
T: 845-986-1677

Brad Mehldau's "After Bach" Due March 9 on NONESUCH RECORDS

Brad Mehldau's After Bach is due March 9, 2018, on Nonesuch Records. The album comprises the pianist/composer's recordings of four preludes and one fugue from J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, each followed by an After Bach piece written by Mehldau and inspired by its WTC mate. The album begins with Mehldau's own "Before Bach: Benediction" and ends with his "Prayer for Healing.

As Mehldau's label mate Timo Andres says in his After Bach liner note, "As a professional organist, much of Bach's work took the form of improvisation, and during his lifetime it was the virtuosity and complexity of these improvisations for which he was most admired … Some three centuries after the fact, Brad Mehldau takes up this tradition and applies it to a frustratingly unknowable aspect of Bach's art."

Andres continues, "There have always been elements of Mehldau's style that recall Bach, especially his densely-woven voicing but he's not striving to imitate or play dress-up. Rather, After Bach surveys their shared ground as keyboardists, improvisers, and composers, making implicit parallels explicit."

After Bach originated in a work Mehldau first performed in 2015—commissioned by Carnegie Hall, The Royal Conservatory of Music, The National Concert Hall, and Wigmore Hall—called Three Pieces After Bach.

Brad Mehldau's Nonesuch debut was the 2004 solo disc Live in Tokyo and includes six records with his trio: House on Hill, Day Is Done, Brad Mehldau Trio Live, Ode, Where Do You Start, and Blues and Ballads. His collaborative records on the label include Love Sublime, Highway Rider, Metheny Mehldau, Metheny Mehldau Quartet, Modern Music, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, Nearness with Joshua Redman, and last year's Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau. Mehldau's additional solo albums on Nonesuch include Live in Marciac and the eight-LP/four-CD 10 Years Solo Live, which the New York Times says "contains some of the most impressive pianism he has captured on record."


Brad Mehldau Solo

Jan 30 Bâtiment des Forces, Geneva, SWITZERLAND
Feb 15 Teatro Ristori, Verona, ITALY
Feb 16 Officine Grandi Riparazioni, Turin, ITALY
Feb 17 Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, ITALY
Feb 18 Besední Dum, Brno, CZECH REPUBLIC
Feb 21 Flagey (Sold Out), Elsene, BELGIUM
Feb 22 Salle Moebius, Montrouge, FRANCE
Mar 2 Schloss Elmau, Elmau, GERMANY
Mar 28 Opéra National de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, FRANCE
Mar 30 MC2, Grenoble, FRANCE
Apr 2 Philharmonie de Paris, Paris, FRANCE
Apr 4 Le POC, Alfortville, FRANCE

Brad Mehldau Trio

Apr 11 Manship Theatre, Baton Rouge, LA
Apr 12 Paramount Theatre, Austin, TX
Apr 13 Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, Houston, TX
Apr 14 Edith O'Donnell Arts and Technology Building, Richardson, TX
Apr 15 Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO
Apr 17 Wassermann Festival Concert Series, Logan, UT
Apr 19–21 Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA
Apr 22 Swyer Theatre, Albany, NY
Apr 24 The Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton, MA

May 7 Konzerthaus Berlin, Berlin, GERMANY
May 8 National Concert Hall, Dublin, IRELAND
May 9–11 Bimhuis, Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
May 12 Sinopoli Hall, Rome, ITALY
May 13 Hybernia Theatre, Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
May 15 Grande Salle Arsenal, Metz, FRANCE
May 16 Théâtre de Privas, Privas Cedex, FRANCE
May 17 Theatre de Sablons, Neuilly, FRANCE
May 18 Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, AUSTRIA
May 19 Onassis Cultural Centre Athens, GREECE
Jul 27 Auditorio Kursaal De San Sebastian, San Sebastian, SPAIN