Friday, February 2, 2018

TY - A Work of Heart (jazz re:freshed 2018)

On March 2nd 2018, the real mayor of Brixton, AKA acclaimed and respected rapper/producer Ty returns with 5th longplayer ‘A Work Of Heart’. Produced predominantly and written by Ty, this hip hop classic is a proper artist album that elevates the genre in an ambitiously artistic manner, akin to Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West.

The crisp and bouncy audiophile production is suffused with evocative, flavour-filled samples, live instrumentation and a heady, groovy atmosphere, whilst clever but accessible, vivid and entertaining lyrics are delivered with a grown-man hip hop finesse and honest, bullshit-free directness.  

With wit, subtlety and humour Ty tackles subject matter ranging from Brixton, depression, poverty, racism, family, hip hop and the creative process, to philosophical musings on life and even imagined film soundtracks.

Despite being Ty’s masterwork, he also finds plenty of space to accommodate others, with a cast of guests including Durrty Goodz (now known as OG Rootz), Tall Black Guy, Wayne Francis from United Vibrations and the legendary Umar Bin Hassan from The Last Poets.

As the title suggests, Ty poured all of his heart into making this record, and it’s clearly audible; the hypnotic double-time roller ‘Eyes Open’ invites listeners to keep their senses sharp, acting as a subliminal invitation on how best to appreciate the rest of this record that reveals further sonic, musical, lyrical and thematic layers with repeated listens. 

With a liquid, spiritual soul beat, the deeply lyrical ‘Somehow Somewhere Someway’ is simultaneously a tribute to crowd-fuelled hip hop energy, a mantra to restoring faith in yourself and a prime example of Ty’s total synergy between music and rapping.

With a nod to Roy Ayers ‘Brixton Baby’ masterfully captures the bittersweet essence of one of London’s most currently prominent areas, in a celebration of coming from somewhere and the opposite to a hip hop postcode war.

The melancholy bass clarinet of ‘Marathon’ sets the tone for Ty’s glimpse of anxiety, depression and general struggle poetically being documented but not bemoaned, with a message of pushing on - both from a personal perspective and universally.

Maternal tribute ‘You Gave Me’ offers this album’s equivalent of Ty’s perennial anthem ‘Music 2 Fly 2’, and paints a picture of family sacrifice over a long period of time.

‘As The Smoke Clears’ features beats by Tall Black Guy, who Ty came into contact with via the popular Facebook group he started for producers called The Beat Inn. The concept and challenge they came up with together was to pick 2 films and create music for certain scenes. Verse 1 is about a scene from Paul Haggis’ ‘Crash’ and verse 2 is about the rape scene from Tyler Perry’s ‘For Coloured Girls’.

Ty values hip hop as a high art form. He set out to create an album where every beat, sound and idea were thought-out, then thematically and coherently fused to create what he considers a perfect whole.

“I wanted to move away from the hip hop album approach where a bunch of disparate beats by different producers and different rappers with stock rhymes are strung together” he explains.

“With every guest, every sample, lyric and instrument I thought about whether they suit the themes and mood of the song, then decided what to include accordingly.

As the songwriter and producer, I created whilst thinking what the album is actually telling you. This is my life work, it’s how I feel, and it’s a catharsis.

I want to upgrade the view of hip hop; rappers need to view their artform as important, which is why I have lyrics like ‘every rhyme written should be in a museum’. This music should be treated with importance and a lasting high value”, he concludes.

Ty has released 4 critically acclaimed albums; ‘Awkward’, ‘Upwards’ (Mercury nominated) and ‘Closer’ on Ninja Tune’s Big Dada imprint,  plus ‘Special Kind Of Fool’ on BBE.

He has collaborated with De La Soul, Tony Allen, Roots Manuva, Bahamadia, and Speech from Arrested Development.

He has two radio shows; the educational ‘Reaching Out’ on Soho Radio, which features intelligent discussion on academia with a hip hop connection and ‘Awkward Audio’, which is an outlet for new hip hop.

Recently Ty participated in workshops alongside the hotly-tipped MC Mist, in support of young emerging artists in Birmingham, which were organised by Levi's Music Project and filmed by Boiler Room.

The Jazz re:freshed record label has been doing big things since its official inception in 2016, and this is its biggest thing to date. From their popular weekly live residency in West London, to the annual JAZZ RE:FEST festival on the Southbank, Jazz re:freshed are building on the organisation’s mission to provide services and support independent, UK jazz and jazz influenced artists. Co-founder Adam Rockers says, "It is an honour for us to have TY on our label because for years we have respected him and his forward thinking approach to hip-hop and the musicality he brings to the genre." 

1. ‘WorKINGTro’
2. ‘Eyes Open’
3. ‘Somehow Somewhere Someway’
4. ‘Brixton Baby’
5. ‘Work Of Heart’
6. ‘Marathon’
7. ‘No Place To Run’
8. ‘You Gave Me’
9. ‘Harpers Revenge’
10. ‘Folks Say People Say’
11. ‘World Of Flaws’
12. ‘Raindrops’
13. ‘The Raspberry’
14. ‘As The Smoke Clears

Augusto Pirodda - Kosmima (EL NEGOCITO RECORDS 2018)

Augusto Pirodda plays solo, to the rhythm of his piano, and makes this intensely poetic and fascinating journey. He constantly searches for new ideas, avoids stereotypes and stylistic barriers. Like a tightrope walker, he moves effortlessly between jazz and free improvisation. 

Augusto Pirodda is known from his trio with Gary Peacock and Paul Motion and his quartet with Ben Sluijs, Marek Patrman and Manolo Cabras.

1. Kosmima 1:41
2. Jompro 2:54
3. Bootprints 2:36
4. Alter Ego 2:55
5. Bollad 3:04
6. Bass Thing 1:11
7. By Thirds 5:53
8. Dark Prelude 4:10
9. Momentino In Tre 1:51
10. Crystal Waltz 2:47
11. Prelude #2 1:31
12. Long Time No Sea 5:16
13. Thrilling 1:38
14. Between 3:17

Augusto Pirodda piano

Walt Weiskopf: Walt Weiskopf European Quartet (2018)

For more than a decade Walt Weiskopf has been part of the legendary band Steely Dan. Weiskopf took over the seat after Chris Potter, and has thru that position made some name for himself.

Weiskopf has realeased more than 10 albums in his own name, featuring jazz icons such as Brad Mehldau, Bill Stewart and John Patitucci.

Weiskopf has chosen to work with a European trio that are considered state of the art.

Winther, Lang, Mogensen are all three well estimed jazzmusicians, and known as the Best swingin' trio around Europe. They have individually toured and recorded with jazz greats such as Kevin Hays, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Berg, Brecker Brothers, Lew Soloff, Tim Hagans, David Liebman.

1 Kma (feat. Carl Winther, Daniel Franck, Anders Mogensen) 5:30
2 Gates of Madrid (feat. Carl Winther, Daniel Franck, Anders Mogensen) 8:53
3 Wizard (feat. Carl Winther, Daniel Franck, Anders Mogensen) 7:21
4 See the Pyramid (feat. Carl Winther, Daniel Franck, Anders Mogensen) 6:40
5 Darth (feat. Carl Winther, Daniel Franck, Anders Mogensen) 9:04
6 Soul Eyes (feat. Carl Winther, Daniel Franck, Anders Mogensen) 8:18
7 Bolivia (feat. Carl Winther, Daniel Franck, Anders Mogensen) 6:51

Walt Weiskopf - sax
Carl Winther - piano
Andreas Lang - Bass
Anders Mogensen - drums

Gianni Vancini - Get Your Groove On (ALFA MUSIC 2018)

AlfaMusic announces the release of the album Get Your Groove On, scheduled for the beginning of 2018. Gianni Vancini’s record (he has been several times in the American charts of Billboard, etc), has been entirely recorded in Los Angeles, and boasts all internationally renowned musicians and special guests.

“Gianni Vancini has a unique and wonderful relationship with the Saxophone! He can make you feel so many memorable moments, as the music comes straight from his heart and soul. Gianni’s music is so may things, crisp, refreshing, exciting,soulful, tender and filled with great passion! “Get Your Groove On” is an album brimming with amazing music featuring artists such as Terry Wollman, Greg Manning, Selina Abright, Jeff Lorber, Kenya Hathaway, Kirk Whalum and Alex Al … all whom contribute to this totally fantastic album, making it a Top Favourite with me!!! Gianni is passionate and professionalabout his music, this is shown in his ability to create such a wonderful masterpiece for us to appreciate and enjoy!” David Snashfold – Founder of Smooth Jazz Appreciation Society (London – UK)


Ricky Lawson: Drums
Alex Al: Bass
Darryl Williams: Bass
James East: Bass
Stan Sargeant: Acoustic Bass
Darrell Crooks: Guitar
Sheldon Reynolds: Guitar
Greg Manning: Keys


Kenya Hathaway: Vox
Terry Wollman: Guitar
Jeff Lorber: Fender Rhodes
Selina Albright: Vox
Kirk Whalum: Tenor Saxophone
Renato Falaschi: Acoustic Piano
Earl Buffington: Vox

Giampiero Locatelli - Right Away (AUAND RECORDS February 23, 2018)

“Right Away” is Italian pianist’s Giampiero Locatelli debut album. Out for Auand Records on February 23rd (distributed by Goodfellas /, the recording features Gabriele Evangelista on double bass and Enrico Morelli on drums. Choosing to work with a trio proves to be the best way to fully accomplish his vision of music: it’s the ideal, logical result of Locatelli’s composition approach and music manipulation. Evangelista and Morello’s contribution is key to let the music take its final shape.

A mixed music education – never limited to a specific music field, but rather open to contemporary and improvisation – takes the band far away from the ordinary piano trios and shapes their music as innovative. The trio is conceived as the operating center in a music idea that swings between improvisation and written music.

Even with no strictly melodic background, Locatelli’s gift is a special outgoing ability, which always grants his compositions’ complex layers a touch of spontaneity. Among the 8 originals are tracks inspired by Bach (Inspire me) and Escher (Toward Backward), minimalist and jazz ballads (From the last Frame and Like a Gentle Mood), and the complete upheaval of the very idea of a piano trio, as in the title track Right Away.

The recording will be presented live on April 16th at Jazz Club La Sosta in Villa San Giovanni (RC, Italy).

Dino Plasmati & LJP Big Band (Special Guest Bobby Watson) - Matera encounters (ALFA MUSIC 2018)

There’s no time to waste!

When you listen to the first notes coming from the piano, you immediately get caught in the flow of music and emotions coming from the nine tunes chosen by Dino Plasmati for a special encounter: his LJP Big Band with the great US jazz soloist Bobby Watson.

Guitarist, conductor and ensemble’s leader, Dino Plasmati chose the repertoire with care following some precise guidelines: a lively, joyful and constantly changing music able to lift the magnificent spirit of the band; a different approach to jazz tradition seen through uncommon/unique interpreters and composers; and last but not least, a superior strength coming from a larger ensemble, the impulse given by brass and wind sections and the dynamics that only a big band can perform/offer.

These are the distinctive features that clearly and consistently show the character of the LJP Big Band.

The amused and daring character of the band is soon revealed, together with the ability to captivate the audience with an effervescent mood amplified by a repertoire always performed in a dynamic and straightforward style. What’s more, even if the ballads keep a mellow sound, they never get schmaltzy but they are enlivened by an intense verve.

And finally, the funky nuances of Admiral's horn, the sparking reinterpretation of Soul Kitchen by the Doors, the hard-bop boost given by Groovin’ Hard and the close dialogue among sections in the intro of Big Mama Case remove all doubts and state the intentions of the band.

The presence of Mr Bobby Watson counterbalances the choice of working with tunes and authors/musicians who, although sticking to tradition, belong mainly to a newer generation when compared to big historical figures. As in the case of the saxophonist, we are dealing with musicians who breached the path marked by their predecessors in order to find new expressive possibilities. And, “standing on the shoulders of Giants”, to quote Isaac Newton, they emphasized their own personal intuitions and taste, thus proving that jazz music can evolve even from its inwards.

First as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and afterwards as solo performer, Bobby Watson followed the same pattern: a predominant acoustic dimension, the coherent adherence to tradition without losing the opportunity to raise his distintive voice and suggest his own modern vision of the jazz language.

The combination of the soloist and the big band provides a fertile ground to put all that into place: dialogues and call-and-response among sections, the possibility to play with arrangements and to expand the tunes beyond the ‘usual’ sequence of theme and solos; the effect of dynamics. All these elements not only return but also multiply the expressive Energy that defines their character.

Dino Plasmati has been combining his activity as musician in smaller groups and his role as leader of the LJP Big Band for a long time now: the guitarist led his “creation” as a lab where growing and learning through constantly new challenges is the key and where different energies are channelled in order to be able to work with great International artists.

And so, there’s no time to waste...the piano has cued the music, soon the sections will rise up to play the first theme and soloists will get ready for their performances: we are already in the mood for music!

Fabio Ciminiera

Produced by Dino Plasmati & MiFaJazz Ass.
Production coordination Fabrizio Salvatore (AlfaMusic)
Bobby Watson alto sax
Nico Marziliano piano
Francesco Fossanova bass
Vito Plasmati drums

Michele Munno (as)
Claudio Chiarelli (as)
Angelo Manicone (ts)
Tommaso Capitolo (ts)
Vincenzo Appella (bs)

Franco Angiulo
Raffaele Amato
Vincenzo Pace
Nino Bisceglie (bass tbn)

Luciano Palmitessa
Marco Sinno
Nicola Di Marzio
Emanuele Lamacchia

Nico Marziliano (pf), Bobby Watson (as)

Dino Plasmati (g), Claudio Chiarelli (as), Nico Marziliano (pf), Bobby Watson (as)

Angelo Manicone (ts)

Franco Angiulo (tbn), Angelo Manicone (ts), Boby Watson (as), Dino Plasmati (g)

Bobby Watson (as)

Bobby Watson (as), Dino Plasmati (g) 7-ADMIRAL’S HORN Soloist: Bobby Watson (as)

Bobby Watson (as)

Nico Marziliano (pf), Bobby Watson (as)

Marco Sinno (tp), Claudio Chiarelli (as), Dino Plasmati (g), Bobby Watson (as)

Dumbo Station - Tirana cafè (ALFA MUSIC 2018)

Tirana Cafè è l'esordio discografico di Dumbo Station.

Questo lavoro costituisce la sintesi dei nostri primi due anni insieme, ed ha assunto molteplici aspetti prima di giungere alla sua forma attuale.

Il nostro incontro ci ha spinti verso il confronto con nuovi orizzonti musicali, ed ognuno dei brani contiene al proprio interno una traccia di questi percorsi.

Dumbo Station nasce a ottobre 2015 dall’incontro tra Paolo Zou (chitarra), Benjamin Ventura (pianoforte e tastiere) Stefano Rossi (basso elettrico) e Davide Savarese (Batteria). 

Il gruppo intraprende fin da subito un'intensa attivià concertistica, diventando la resident band della Roma Groove Session, realtà musicale che sta rapidamente prendendo piede nel panorama musicale romano, ispirandosi alle jam multistilistiche del nord Europa. Grazie a questa collaborazione il gruppo ha l’opportunità di accompagnare settimanalmente artisti della scena musicale romana e non solo (alcuni degli artisti accompagnati: Maurizio Giammarco, Dario Deidda, Greg Hutchinson, Michele Papadia, Fabio Zeppetella, Pierpaolo Principato, Stefano Sabatini, Phil Aelony, Davide Shorty, Lello Panico, Antonello Sorrentino, Marta Colombo).

Parallelamente all’attività concertistica il quartetto è impegnato fin dalla sua nascita nella produzione del proprio album d’esordio, che comprende esclusivamente brani originali. Il risultato è un lavoro estremamente eclettico, che spazia dal Jazz moderno al Jazz tradizionale, dal funk al gospel, fino ad arrivare al nu soul; il tutto mantenendo come capisaldi l’interplay e l’improvvisazione.

Il lavoro discografico, intitolato “Tirana Café”, è stato registrato nel mese di maggio (2017) con la partecipazione di Maurizio Giammarco, Vincenzo Presta, Elvio Ghigliordini e Davide Shorty, e pubblicato per l'etichetta romana AlfaMusic.

1 DUMBO STATION ft. Maurizio Giammarco 4.52
2 BIG ONE ft. Elvio Ghigliordini 6.57
3 NARVALO 6.15
4 YOUR POISON ft. Davide Shorty 4.08
6 STUTTER ft. Elvio Ghigliordini 5.27
7 GYRO 0.34
8 SMASHING SUSHI ft. Vincenzo Presta 6.04
10 DR. GATTOLONIO ft. Maurizio Giammarco 5.56

All composed by Paolo Zou
Lyrics by Davide Sciortino 

Paolo Zou guitar
Benjamin Ventura piano and keyboards
Stefano Rossi electric bass
Davide Savarese drums

CD Special guests appearance:

Elvio Ghigliordini (flute)
Maurizio Giammarco (sax)
Vincenzo Presta (sax)
Davide Shorty (voice), per gentile concessione di Macrobeats record.

Produced by Dumbo Station
Production coordinator: Fabrizio Salvatore for AlfaMusic Label&Publishing

Aurélien Dumont Ensemble Linea - STILLNESS (ODRADEK RECORDS)

Stillness is my second monographic album. It is the result of a particularly close collaboration with Ensemble Linea and its director, Jean-Philippe Wurtz.

Apart from bringing together works written for small ensembles, from the quartet to the sextet, the choice of the programme emphasises a particular aspect of my music, namely that of fixity and temporal suspension.

Aurélien Dumont

Stillness is the result of a close collaboration between composer Aurélien Dumont and Ensemble Linea, along with its director, Jean-Philippe Wurtz.

As well as bringing together works written for small ensembles, from the quartet to the sextet, the choice of programme emphasises a particular aspect of Dumont’s music: a tension between the permanent and the ephemeral.

The five pieces featured on the CD were conceived as five soundscapes comprising fragile and mysterious materials. Their structures were inspired by the Japanese concept of Tokowaka, mirroring the identical construction and deconstruction of the Shinto temples at regular intervals and for more than 1300 years. This process, as reflected in Dumont’s mesmerizing music, is a means of fusing the infinite with the transient; movement with fixed elements; consistency with difference.

Works featured on the disc include Fiocchi di silenzio, a short and intimate three-voice dialogue between silence, delicate materials, and elements taken from Gabrieli’s motet, O magnum mysterium. Berceuse et des poussières explores noisy musical combinations which find their origin in the first movement of Beethoven’s third Piano Concerto. In Sérieux Gravats, we can hear reminiscences of the prélude Ondine by Debussy, the composer who most influences Dumont’s style. 7 Vallées, in its aesthetic approach to sound design, explores minimalist sonorities which echo both our inner worlds, and our relationships with the outside world.

Founded in Strasbourg by pianist and conductor Jean-Philippe Wurtz in 1998, Ensemble Linea has much in common with the Odradek ethos: since its beginnings, the group has been committed to promoting a democratisation of contemporary music, giving priority to the encounter with the audience, and to openness towards other artistic disciplines.