Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Talibam! - Endgame of the Anthropocene (ESP - DISK' 2018)

Endgame of the Anthropocene marks Talibam!’s return to ESP-Disk', a partnership begun in 2009 with the highly acclaimed Boogie in the Breeze Blocks album. Talibam! is a 14-year working unit based in New York City that can be described in various ways -- as a classic keyboards/drums expanded-jazz duo, as Dadaist provocateurs with an innate love for the history of music, as a Fluxus-informed theater troupe, as an electronic ensemble inspired by Stockhausen, or as a rhythm section at the cross hair of agility, speed, punctuation, and intention. Since their inception in 2003, Talibam!’s ultimate goal has been to wed disparate ideologies through proficiency, controversy, inquiry, and compassion. Every Talibam! album attacks from a different angle; Endgame continues this tradition of each new release sounding completely different from everything they've done before,  as does HARD VIBE (ESP5015), which will be released on the same day.

Talibam! has made a geopsychic prediction: after it expires in 2048, the Antarctic Treaty System will be rejected. As the rest of the planet will have been rendered uninhabitable due to wars rooted in overpopulation, global warming, and the relentless exploitation of diminishing resources, human interference and the failure to ratify will lead to international war over the sovereignty and control of Antarctica’s vast resources. Endgame of the Anthropocene is Talibam!’s first cinematic album of through-composed ecogothic geosonics. It is the soundtrack to 2048’s despotic nationalism and crumbling international infrastructure, underscoring an eco-mercantilistic tragedy and the desperate plundering of the last pristine landscape on Earth. This inevitable destruction of Antarctica’s purity marks the global-environmental endgame of the Anthropocene.

Endgame of the Anthropocene is a dystopian sonic pronouncement of failed socio-environmental memes, and features Talibam!’s emergence into hyperkinetic rhythm-based instrumental/ electronic music. Syncopation via polyrhythmic electronic drum and synth pads create corporeal dance floor beats that would make a super computer perturbed. Kevin Shea is a master of cyber swing and ecowar rhythm — on this record, he keeps it android yet anthropoid, like Aphex Twin meeting a hologram Phil Collins.

Keyboardist Matt Mottel anchors wide sweeps of analog synthesis — his sonic palette oscillating between the Silver Apples, Sun Ra, and Arca via an Arduino beta bass drop. This music is hallucinatory composition — electronic muzik via an ethnographic sonic landscape influenced by Parmegiani, Don Cherry, Front 242, Hailu Mergia, Vangelis, Suicide, Islam Chipsy, Stockhausen and DJ Shadow.

01. "Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only" (Article 1) 11:56
02. Human Interference and the Failure to Ratify 4:08
03. Reign of Primordial Tenure on the Ice Shelf 3:01
04. The Telegenic Annexation of Territorial Expanse in the West 2:03
05. Obsequious Resources Duly Exploited De Novo 5:05
06. Breach of Ecology on the Seabed (Biodiversity in Shambles)1:51
07. Cost-Effective Drilling Enabled by Pioneering Technologies and Warmer Climates in the Southern Ocean 6:10

Matthew Mottel: Mini Moog, Midi Synths, Yamaha CS1x, Roland Juno 1, Roland Lucina, Arp Solus
Kevin Shea: drums, MIDI Marimba Lumina
Preston Spurlock: cover art

Talibam! - Hard Vibe (ESP - DISK' 2018)

Talibam! delights in creating music that cannot be pinned down within the safe-spaces of existing genres. With each new album, Talibam! reinvents their methodological palette in order to bolster a fresh clarity of joyous auditory surprise, something their fans have come to depend on. Talibam! focuses on compositional clarity, with reverence for their diverse interest in genre. On this new album they push the pulse of Motorik rhythm through a Psychedelic Jazz filter. This time out, they have created a sonic edifice so radical, so intricate in its density, that additional hands were required to bring it to life; thus was born the Talibam! Hard Vibe Band with Matt Nelson (Battle Trance, tUnE-yArDs) and Ron Stabinsky (Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Peter Evans Quintet, Relâche) joining Mottel (CSC Funk Band, Alien Whale, Nymph,   Platinum Vision) and Village Voice "Best Drummer in New York" Shea (Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Rhys Chatham, People featuring Mary Halvorson).

The scientists in the Talibam! laboratory describe the results thusly: The HARD VIBE composition transforms aspects of rhythm changes into a disciplined sequence of minor key modulations to create a rigorous Hard Vibe obstacle course for the soloists over a tight melodic/rhythmic grid. Inspired by Herbie Hancock's '70s cosmic music, long-form repetitive works such as Miles Davis's On the Corner, Charlie Parker's "Salt Peanuts," Tenor Sax endurance soloists, Albert Ayler's New Grass, the legendary organ brutality of Larry Young, and the NYC Avant-Garde Rock Minimalism of Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca, Hard Vibe maintains an infectious pulse with virtuosic structural jazz improvisation. The Jan Hammer/'80s soundtrack-inspired Keytar payoff (second half of side B) brings festival audiences to its feet in epic dance and ripping solo proportions. But those are inspirations more than ingredients. As we at ESP-Disk' are fond of saying, "You never heard such sounds in your life."

"Talibam! manage to cast themselves as a powerful rhythm section... It's pretty cool to hear the Manhattan abstracters create such a cool free jazz/free rock hybrid." - Byron Coley

"Co-conspirators Matthew Mottel and Kevin Shea have something in common with John Coxon and Ashley Wales of Spring Heel Jack in their application of multiple instruments, electronics and collaborators to create an eclectic musical milieu." - Derek Taylor

"This is wildly new music, fresh in its approach to the collision of melody, harmony and rhythm that makes for quite a soup for the songs to swim in." - Raul d'Gama Rose

"Amid the fun and exuberance a clever brain and a strong heart of integrity beats." - Lisa Thatcher

01. Infinite Hard Vibe Pt. 1 19:44
02. Infinite Hard Vibe Pt. 2 19:21

Matthew Mottel: Fender Rhodes, synthesizer
Matt Nelson: tenor saxophone
Kevin Shea: drums
Ron Stabinsky: Hammond B3 organ
John Olson (Wolf Eyes): cover art

Stephen Dydo & Alan Sondheim - Dragon and Phoenix (ESP - DISK' 2018)

Dragon and Phoenix refers to the names of the sound holes on the Chinese instrument known as the guqin a.k.a. qin (gu is a prefix meaning "ancient"), which figures prominently on this album of improvised acoustic duos, being heard on thirteen of the sixteen tracks, with two qins on four tracks.

Stephen Dydo, former president of the New York Qin Society, is the more traditional player here, whereas Alan Sondheim has a style heavily based on free improvisation. The two bonded over their instrument collections, sometimes trading or loaning choice items. Dydo, who has also had lengthy careers as classical guitarist and as a twelve-tone composer, once told the author that a good day of composing yielded a measure and a half; this painstaking attention to detail has stood him in good stead during his more recent study of the qin. Sondheim, who has previously had three releases on ESP-Disk' starting in the 1960s and has prolifically spread his recent musical evolution across a variety of other labels, is an impulsive musical adventurer who uses his dizzying array of instruments for what their sounds can contribute to his musical style; he is not unaware of the traditional performance techniques of his instruments, but he never lets his musical expression be limited by or to those techniques.

Except for the use of madal (a hand drum) on one track, all the music here is made with stringed instruments. The music is very often focused on contrasts of timbres and textures. However, there may be as much pure melodic content here as on any Sondheim album. Harmonies are spare but spiced with microtonality. Though it may be more subtle than much of our catalog, attentive listeners will likely find that this meeting of tradition and experimentation lives up to an old ESP-Disk' slogan: "You never heard such sounds in your life."

01. 天 (Tian/heaven 6:56
02. 地 (Di/earth) 5:17
03. 玄 (Xuan/black and) 3:15
04. 黄 (Huang/yellow) 3:52
05. 宇 (Yu/space and) 6:30
06. 宙 (Zhou/time) 5:32
07. 洪 (Hong/vast and)4:48
08. 荒 (Huang/desolate) 5:45
09. 日 (Ri/sun and) 3:26
10. 月 (Yue/moon) 5:14
11. 盈 (Ying/full and) 3:53
12. 昃 (Ze/setting sun) 3:34
13. 辰 (Chen/stars early) 6:02
14. 宿 (Xiu/interval) 4:51
15. 列 (Lie/ordered and) 5:38
16. 张 (Zhang/spread) 3:35

A note about the track titles: They are based on the first sixteen characters of the Ch'ien Tzu Wen, translated by Ellen Zweig and Alan Sondheim, correlated with other English translations in Ch'ien Tzu Wen, The Thousand Character Classic, A Chinese Primer, edited by Francie W. Paar (Ungar, 1963). The translation is slightly modified for the CD, creating an almost haiku-like poem.

Stephen Dydo: qin, viola, banjo
Alan Sondheim: qin, viola, banjo, guzheng, rababa, erhu, madal

Megumi Yonezawa / Masa Kamaguchi / Ken Kobayashi - Boundary (ESP - DISK' 2018)

All the members of this trio are Japanese. The pianist and drummer live in New York City and often collaborate; the bassist lives in Madrid but comes to N.Y.C. twice a year for a month each time. The producer heard them at Manhattan jazz bar Tomi Jazz and immediately booked a session to capture their magic before Kamaguchi left town. Yonezawa, from Hokkaido, earned multiple awards while studying performance and composition at Berklee, then joined Greg Osby's group on Jason Moran's recommendation and can be heard with him on the Blue Note album Public. Other credits include work with David Liebman, George Garzone, Sam Newsome, and many more. In 2016 the Fresh Sound New Talent label released her debut album, A Result of the Colors. But none of these credits reflect the freedom with which she plays on Boundary. Kamaguchi , also from Hokkaido, has the most recording credits (upwards of 30) in the trio, ranging from Ahmed Abdullah's Actual Proof (CIMP, 1999) to a series of tribute albums with Vinnie Sperrazza and Jacob Sacks (Fresh Sound New Talent). Inspired to play bass after hearing Jaco Pastorius albums, he studied with Gary Peacock student Yoshio Ikeda, then moved to Boston to attend Berklee, followed by a dozen years in New York City performing and recording with ESP star Sonny Simmons, David Murray, Charles Gayle, Paul Motian, Dave Douglas, Frank Kimbrough, and even Toots Thielemans. Kobayashi, who put the trio together, hails from Tokyo, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in art criticism and art history from Tama Art University. After moving to New York, he expanded his knowledge at the Drummer's Collective. He can also be heard on Jan (2014) with bassist Jochem van Dijk and Nine Stories (2016) with Takeshi Asai.

01. Boundary 4:23
02. Alchemy 6:03
03. Tremor 4:40
04. Meryon 7:18
05. I’ll Be Seeing You 6:39
06. Reef 7:31
07. Veil 8:50
08. Onement 6:08
09. Wavelength 5:15
10. Nostalgio 9:51

Megumi Yonezawa, piano
Masa Kamaguchi, bass
Ken Kobayashi, drums

All tracks by Megumi Yonezawa/Masa Kamaguchi/Ken Kobayashi (ESP-Disk' Ltd.) except "I’ll Be Seeing You" by Irvin Kahal/Sammy Fain (Fain Music Co./BMG Gold Songs).

Cover art by Kiichiro Adachi

Photos by Eva Kapanadze

Liner notes by Matthew Shipp

Produced by Steve Holtje

Recorded at Park West Studios on June 4, 2017 by Jim Clouse

Matthew Shipp - Sonic Fiction (ESP - DISK' 2018)

After a duo album and two trio albums by Shipp and Walerian, all for ESP-Disk', we get a quartet album from them that continues their strategy of working with different musicians each time out. Bisio and Dickey are long-time collaborators with Shipp, but the addition of Walerian's Zen style changes the dynamics of their interactions.

Walerian and Dickey, masters of restraint, were a match waiting to be made, and their instant rapport is one of the attractions of this album.

"[Walerian] is one of the most talented young jazz musicians on the Polish scene, if not THE most talented." – Maciej Lewenstein, Polish Jazz Recordings and Beyond

"The reed work of Mat Walerian really warms up the piano of Matthew Shipp here – as Mat provides these beautiful lines on alto, bass clarinet, flute, and soprano clarinet – which have a resonant quality that really seems to open up Shipp's music too! We've really moved back towards enjoying Shipp in recent years – and the sense of persona in records like this is a good reason why – almost a renewed soul that we haven't heard in years, unlocked in the right setting like this." Dusty Groove

"Amazing sympathetic piano-sax interaction. Often somber, sometimes blues-inflected, sometimes explosive." – rotfest.com

"Live in Okuden exemplifies the possibilities of the duo. Shipp is in great form and the album is a nice introduction to Walerian's imaginative playing." – Paul Acquaro, freejazzblog.org

"[D]espite featuring the nimble, expressive, and yes interesting and evocative fingers of pianist Matthew Shipp, Live at Okuden really gets its mood, and thus its mojo, from the bass clarinet, alto sax, soprano clarinet, and flute playing of Mat Walerian." - Paul Semel, CultureCatch.com

01. First Step 3:24
02. Blues Addition 6:23
03. The Station 5:53
04. Lines of Energy 4:02
05. Easy Flow 5:39
06. The Problem of Jazz 5:00
07. The Note 0:17
08. 3 by 4 6:25
09. Cell in the Brain 5:33
10. Sonic Fiction 11:23

Matthew Shipp, piano
Mat Walerian, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, clarinet
Michael Bisio, bass
Whit Dickey, drums

Thollem / Duroche / Stjames Trio - Live in Our Time (ESP - DISK' 2018)

Through the wood, sinew, skins, metal and fingers, one hears the years of experiential exploration, responsive nuances, and overwhelming power in the trio's joyfully intense playing. They cover a lot of territory in this recording, conjuring epochs and eras, terrains and cultures. This is improvised music composed spontaneously out of the breadth of experiences.

André Stjames is a cornerstone of the rich, thriving Pacific Northwest jazz scene and works regularly with his own ensemble, Mel Brown, The Kin Trio, Gordon Lee, Renato Caranto, and many others. Over the last three decades, Stjames has worked with Sonny Rollins, the Harold Land-Blue Mitchell Quintet, Andrew Hill trio and large bands, Bobby Hutcherson, Charlie Rouse, Pharoah Sanders, James Moody, Alan Shorter, Nancy King, and George Cables. Stjames's strong sense of lyricism, buoyancy, and surging momentum, as well as a deep respect for both tradition and innovation, have taken him to both ends of the jazz spectrum -- from torch songs and two-beat to bop and beyond. He has enjoyed freewheeling, open-ended avant-garde combustion with keepers of the flame including Judy Silvano/Cathi Walkup/Andrea Wolper, Ron Steen, Joe Pass, Kai Winding, Herb Ellis, Greta Matassa, and Houston Person as well as trailblazers such as Julius Hemphill, Marty Ehrlich, Eugene Chadbourne, Michael White, India Cooke, Kash Killion, Mal Waldron, and Sun Ra, to name a handful. www.andrestjames.com

Tim DuRoche works regularly with the collective ensemble Battle Hymns & Gardens and The Kin Trio, and has logged extensive time with an array of U.S. and European avant-garde jazz innovators, including Dominic Duval, Burton Greene, Matana Roberts, Paul Plimley, Lisle Ellis, Wally Shoup, Gust Burns, Bert Wilson, Urs Leimgruber, Jon Raskin, Perry Robinson, Jack Wright, Doug Theriault, Marco Eneidi, Didier Petit, and Frank Gratkowski, among others. Tim is the host of "The New Thing," a weekly radio jazz radio show on KMHD 89.1 FM, and is the author of the book Occasional Jazz Conjectures (Durable Goods). www.timduroche.com

Thollem has spent his life skirting and erasing the edges of boundaries musically, culturally, geographically. His work is ever-changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines including William Parker, Susie Ibarra, Nels Cline, Amy Denio, Faruq Z. Bey, Michael Wimberly, John Butcher, Gino Robair, Jon Raskin, Henry Kaiser, Scott Amendola, Daniel Carter, Federico Ughi, Pauline Oliveros, Vinny Golia, and Hafez Modirzadeh, among many, many others. "He inhabits a world uniquely his own, rhythmically, harmonically and formally" (Terry Riley). This is Thollem's fourth appearance on ESP-Disk', following The Naked Future's Gigantomachia (ESP4053), TSIGOTI's Private Property Speaks to the People of the Party (ESP4057), and Thollem McDonas & Mad King Edmund's Happening: A Movement in 12 Acts (ESP5012) www.thollem.com

01. Persisted Resistance 18:59
02. Reparation Apparition 14:26
03. Sunshine Pipeline 11:38

Thollem McDonas, piano
Tim DuRoche, drums
André Stjames, bass

Northwest Mini-Tour
March 1st the Royal Room in Seattle, WA
March 2nd House Concert in Tacoma, WA
March 4th at Leaven in Portland. OR

Matthew Shipp - Zero (ESP - DISK' 2018)

"[A]n aspect of Shipp's character that is always evident, yet seldom discussed: the emotional commitment in his compositional method is equal to the rigorous intellect he applies in the architecture of creation." – Thom Jurek, Allmusic.com, re: solo album Piano Sutras

"The jazz world does not lack for fine pianists, but those who can sustain listener interest through an extended solo set always have been in shorter supply. These days, few pack their soliloquies with more information, drama and free-ranging thought than Matthew Shipp." – Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

In the first part of his career, Matthew Shipp avoided solo recordings, saying he wasn't ready – and the first solo album he made, Symbol Systems, happened by accident when the other player on the session didn't show up. Since then, his style expanded and matured and he recorded prolifically, including a number of solo albums, but they have remained special events, distinct statements of purpose. Zero continues in this tradition; its philosophical basis can be gleaned from the lecture on the bonus CD. But, of course, it is the music itself which speaks most eloquently.

Please note that the tune titled "Zero" is not the same as a previous Shipp composition of the same title.

Only the first edition (first 880 copies) of this album will include the bonus CD containing the talk Mr. Shipp gave at The Stone.

01 Zero 5:31
02 Abyss Before Zero 3:48
03 Pole After Zero 3:19
04 Piano Panels 4:13
05 Cosmic Sea 3:43
06 Zero Skip and a Jump 2:11
07 Zero Subtract From Jazz 6:35
08 Blue Equation 5:14
09 Pattern Emerge 2:46
10 Ghost Pattern 1:39
11 After Zero 5:12

Bonus CD:
01 Zero: A Lecture on Nothingness 62:58

Matthew Shipp: piano (CD 1), voice (bonus CD)

Steve Dalachinsky: liner notes

Anat Cohen / Fred Hersch : Live In Healdsburg (ANZIC RECORDS 2018)

1. A Lark Fred Hersch (8:23)
2. Child's Song Fred Hersch (7:21)
3. The Purple Piece Anat Cohen (8:27)
4. Isfahan Billy Strayhorn (8:05)
5. Lee's Dream Fred Hersch (5:19)
6. The Peacocks Jimmy Rowles (10:25)
7. Jitterbug Waltz Fats Waller (8:19)
8. Mood Indigo (Encore) Duke Ellington (5:13)

Anat Cohen clarinet
Fred Hersch piano

This song will be on the forthcoming duo record from Fred & Anat Cohen, “Live In Healdsburg”, which comes out soon on Anzic Records. Stay tuned for more info!

March 2-3: Miguel Zenón premieres new work in Puerto Rico benefit concerts in Cambridge, MA and NYC

Miguel Zenón © Jimmy Katz

Acclaimed saxophonist/composer Miguel Zenón performs with the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble, Fred Harris, music director, and clarinetist/composer Evan Ziporyn in benefit concerts celebrating the resiliency of Puerto Rican people

• Friday, March 2, 2018 at MIT in Cambridge, MA
• Saturday, March 3 at Hunter College in NYC

Concert features world premiere of Zenón's composition En Pie De Lucha

Puerto Rican-born MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow and multi-Grammy-nominated saxophonist-composer Miguel Zenón joins conductor Fred Harris and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Festival Jazz Ensemble and clarinetist/composer Evan Ziporyn in two special benefit concerts for the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Both performances will feature the world premiere of En Pie De Lucha, Zenón’s new composition for jazz ensemble.

Zenón and the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble (FJE) were slated to tour Puerto Rico in January of this year but had to postpone due to Hurricane Maria. "We were so excited about this trip," says MTE FJE music director Fred Harris. "Along with concerts, we were planning on educational outreach events connecting MIT students with middle and high school students. We look forward to making the trip happen in 2019 but we want to contribute something now!"

All funds raised will be donated to the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund

Concerts take place:

Friday, March 2, 8 p.m. at MIT's Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.
Tickets $15-$20

Saturday, March 3, 8 p.m. at Silberman School of Social Work Auditorium, 2180 Third Avenue, New York City.
Tickets $15-$20

"Even though it isn't front page news anymore, there's still a lot of need in Puerto Rico," says Zenón. "I'm very excited about these concerts and grateful to Fred and MIT for putting them together. The benefits are meant to raise funds as well as awareness about the situation on the island."

Zenón has twice been an artist-in-residence at MIT, most recently in 2015 for the premiere of his extended composition for wind ensemble Music as Service, which was the subject of the MIT documentary film Call and Response.

Both concerts will feature the world premiere of Zenón's En Pie De Lucha, an homage to the people of his home country. "The piece was inspired by the resiliency and courage of Puerto Rican people during these very trying times. It's a tribute to those who stayed on the island in the aftermath of the destruction, who were willing to put up a fight and rebuild their country."

The program also features music from Zenón's celebrated recordings as well as other works by noted jazz artists. MIT Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music, Faculty Director for MIT's Center for Art, Science & Technology, head of the MIT Music & Theater Arts Section, and renowned clarinetist-composer Evan Ziporyn will be a featured soloist on both concerts.

The Silberman Auditorium concert is co-sponsored by MIT Music and Theater Arts and Hunter College. Other collaborators include The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College and the Association for Cultural Equity, an independent cultural research organization affiliated with Hunter College.

Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón represents a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered as one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, he has also developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz.

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zenón has released ten recordings as a leader, including the Grammy-nominated Tipico (2017) and Identities Are Changeable (2014). As a sideman he has worked with jazz luminaries such as The SFJAZZ Collective, Charlie Haden, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, David Sanchez, Danilo Perez, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, Guillermo Klein & Los Guachos, The Jeff Ballard Trio, Antonio Sanchez, David Gilmore, Paoli Mejias, Brian Lynch, Jason Lindner, Miles Okazaki, Ray Barreto, Andy Montanez, Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band, The Mingus Big Band, Bobby Hutcherson and Steve Coleman.

Zenón has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, as well as gracing the cover of DownBeat Magazine on two occasions (2010 and 2014). In addition, he topped both the Jazz Artist of the Year and Alto Saxophonist categories on the 2014 Jazz Times Critics Poll and was selected as 2015 Alto Saxophonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.

As a composer he has been commissioned by SFJAZZ, The New York State Council for the Arts, Chamber Music America, Logan Center for the Arts, The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Jazz Reach, Peak Performances, MIT, PRISM Quartet and many of his peers. Zenón has given hundreds of lectures and master classes at institutions all over the world, and is a permanent faculty member at New England Conservatory of Music. In 2011 he founded Caravana Cultural, a program which presents free-of-charge jazz concerts in rural areas of Puerto Rico. In April 2001 Zenón received a fellowship from the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Later that year he was one of 25 distinguished individuals chosen to receive the coveted MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the "Genuis Grant."

The MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble was founded in 1963 by Boston jazz icon Herb Pomeroy and led since 1999 by Dr. Frederick Harris, Jr. The FJE is comprised of outstanding MIT undergraduate and graduate students studying a wide range of disciplines. It is the 2013 recipient of the Laya and Jerome B. Wiesner Award in the Arts at MIT and is the only MIT entity that has earned this recognition three times, a testament to its consistent high quality over many decades. The FJE has released five professional recordings including its major jazz label debut release on Sunnyside in 2015, Infinite Winds. This recording earned a five-star review in DownBeat Magazine and was named as one of DownBeat's "Best Albums of 2015: Five-star Masterpieces."

The MIT FJE has a long history of performing original music by MIT students and composers from around the world. Since 2001, it has presented over 45 world premieres. Among others, Mark Harvey, Herb Pomeroy, Jamshied Sharifi, Ran Blake, John Harbison, Chick Corea, Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Don Byron, Steve Turre, Magai Souriau, Guillermo Klein, Bill McHenry, Chris Cheek, Miguel Zenón, Dominique Eade, Eviyan, Jacob Collier, Ryan Keberle, Claire Daly, and George Schuller have worked with the FJE.

Composer-clarinetist Evan Ziporyn  has composed for the Silk Road Ensemble, the American Composers Orchestra, Brooklyn Rider, So Percussion, Maya Beiser, Wu Man, Sentieri Selvaggi, and Bang on a Can All-Stars. He studied at Eastman, Yale and UC Berkeley with Joseph Schwantner, Martin Bresnick, and Gerard Grisey. He is the Inaugural Director of MIT's new Center for Art, Science and Technology, where he has taught since 1990. His work is informed by his 30-plus year involvement with the traditional gamelan. He received a Fulbright in 1987, founded Gamelan Galak Tika in 1993, and has composed a series of groundbreaking compositions for gamelan and western instruments. These include three evening-length works: ShadowBang (2001), Oedipus Rex (2004, Robert Woodruff, director), and A House in Bali (2009), which was featured at BAM Next Wave in October 2010.

Awards include a USA Artist Fellowship, the Goddard Lieberson Prize from the American Academy, Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship, the MIT Gyorgy Kepes Prize, and commissions from Carnegie Hall, Kronos Quartet, Rockefeller Multi-Arts Program, and Meet the Composer. He co-founded the Bang on a Can All-Stars in 1992, performing with the group for 20 years. He has also recorded with Paul Simon, Steve Reich Ensemble (sharing in their 1988 Grammy), and Matthew Shipp, and he currently performs with Iva Bittova and Gyan Riley in Eviyan.

The Center for a New Economy (CNE) is an independent, non-partisan think-tank. Founded in 1998, it produces rigorous public policy research and analysis and is one of the most credible and influential voices in Puerto Rico and the United States on the island's economy. Since 2014, CNE has been recognized as one of the Top Think-Tanks to Watch by the Global Think Tank Report produced by the University of Pennsylvania.

Seeking to mobilize US mainland resources to provide an emergency response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, CNE created the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund. The Fund seeks to provide relief for the people's most immediate needs--food water, clothing--while garnering resources for mid and long-term initiatives focused on ensuring a more productive and stable Puerto Rico. The Fund mobilized its first planeload of emergency supplies from the US into the island within a week of Maria's destructive path. These supplies were distributed to affected non-profits in Puerto Rico within 24-hours of their arrival on the island.

With offices in San Juan and Washington, DC, CNE will be a strong and compelling advocate in the US capital for the island's recovery and reconstruction efforts. A highly credible purveyor of rigorous and independent research and policy thinking, CNE will focus its efforts in the nation's capital on the need to mobilize a significant amount of federal resources towards a comprehensive recovery and rebuilding program for Puerto Rico.

Snowpoet release new single 'Love Again' / Snowpoet - Thought You Knew (EDITION RECORDS 9th February 2018)

Snowpoet announce
new single 'Love Again'

- Album released 1 week today -

SNOWPOET, led by Jazz FM Vocalist of the Year (2016) Lauren Kinsella and multi-instrumentalist Chris Hyson, features Josh Arcoleo on sax, Matt Robinson on keys, Nick Costley-White on guitar and Dave Hamblett on drums. The band have just announced the release of their sublime new album, Thought You Knew out on 9th February.

Love Again is available to download immediately when you pre-order the album on iTunes.

Born out of a deep musical friendship and mutual understanding, Snowpoet’s acclaimed eponymous debut released in 2016 won rave reviews and a devoted audience with its compelling sound, drawing comparisons with Bjork.

With Thought You Knew their sound evolves and takes on a new direction in terms of their musical ideas and execution. Blending sweet hook-laden vocal lines with warm and lush arrangements, the music is infectious, delicate and tasteful. The sound is clear and beautifully produced, while the lyrical content exhibits a deep and raw emotion.

6 amazing guests / 94 collective Grammys. One incredible album from Wynton Marsalis (jazz.org March 23, 2018)

Announcing United We Swing by the Wynton Marsalis Septet

Today, we are excited to announce the release of Blue Engine Records’ next album: the Wynton Marsalis Septet's United We Swing: Best of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Galas.

Each year, our fundraising galas bring Marsalis together with an illustrious group of performers. Together, they raise money for our education programs, put on some of New York's most memorable nights of music, and show how jazz and the blues bring together Americans under the same musical banner.

Now, a compilation of these incredible concerts is available for the first time. Recorded between 2003 and 2007, United We Swing: Best of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Galas features guest performances by a who's who of the 20th century’s biggest musical stars, including:


The first 500 pre-orders of United We Swing on CD or vinyl will also receive a free, limited-edition lapel pin.

All of the proceeds from United We Swing will go toward introducing thousands of children from around the world to jazz, American’s foremost homegrown art form. Pre-order United We Swing, out March 23, and join us in celebrating the red, white, and Blues.

Get a taste of United We Swing

We'll be sharing more music (and videos) from United We Swing in the weeks to come, but for now, enjoy this sneak peek of the album and a snippet of "What Have You Done" by the Wynton Marsalis Septet!