Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Elliot Galvin - The Influencing Machine (EDITION RECORDS 2018)

Elliot Galvin 'The Influencing Machine'

Brilliantly executed bright ideas...the set is right in Elliot Galvin’s ballpark of brilliantly executed bright ideas and witty diversions. THE GUARDIAN (UK)

“There is so much irrepressible enthusiasm, so much craft, madness, wit, humor and sense of curiosity in the game, that you are happy to watch these young Britons. JAZZTHING MAGAZINE (DE)

“Packed to the gills with superb music.” JEZ NELSON, JAZZ FM (UK)

“Young British pianist/composer Elliot Galvin isn’t your ordinary maverick...he’s made a work of soaring ambition. Ten tracks… coalesce into an exhilarating riff on technology, the mind and our factually-challenged age… Visionary stuff.” EVENING STANDARD (UK)

“Could well prove a significant album this year…this trio has been attracting attention for some time and their new album should definitely consolidate that…the original music written by the leader puts all the jazz traditions through a very personal filter…” KEVIN LEGENDRE, BBC RADIO 3 (UK)


Snowpoet - Thought You Knew (EDITION RECORDS 2018)

Snowpoet 'Thought You Knew'

"A beautiful 10-piece collection full of warmth, depth, and contemplation. GINA LOVES JAZZ (DE)

“Snowpoet knows how to leave a beautiful, poetic impression in a good half hour. If you make a little effort, you will have a wonderful growing-on-you disc here.” WRITTEN IN MUSIC (NL)

“Thought You Knew offers a delicately haunting collection of songs that seamlessly straddle the boundaries of folk, jazz and popular music and are all infused with, as the name suggests, a subtle poetic delivery.” ALL ABOUT JAZZ (UK)

“Fantastic second album!” BBC RADIO 3, JAZZ NOW (UK)


Jozef Dumoulin & Orca Noise Unit - A Beginner's Guide to Diving and Flying (YOLK RECORDS 2018)

"Orca Noise Unit is based on an anagram of —oneironautics—, which refers to the ability to travel within a dream on a conscious basis. Those who have already kept a dream journal know what it feels like to go back and read over older parts. Some dream accounts have a lot of details, others evoke not much more than just a vibe. Some can be read like a full story, whereas others have no beginning, or no end, or neither. Sometimes we were genuinely lucid at the moment of the dream - or at least had a clear perception of things - whereas at other moments we were totally immersed in the projected reality.

But together the stories always make sense in a very particular way that is difficult to describe. When I was putting this record together I understood at some point that this was the perfect image for what I was trying to do. The feeling I got when listening to the whole of the final versions of the songs was very similar to the one I get when I’m dealing with my own dream world and my dream journal.

This was a new sensation for me. I let it be the guide for the final adjustments of the music and I’m very happy and excited to have been able to turn that atmosphere into a musical form.”

“This record is dedicated to the loving memory of my father, Jacques Dumoulin.”

1 As Above, So Below 5'15"
2 The Garden 3'42"
3 Imagined Rotation 1'40"
4 The Hand 3'18"
5 Second Room 2'27"
6 Little Lemon 4'36"
7 Mild 5'06"
8 Peering And Palpation 0'55"
9 Breathing Under Water 2'26"
10 The Bristlecone Pine 2'46"
11 The Other Side Of The Month 6'12"
12 Something About A Horse 0'26"
13 Little Flower Expanding 4'56"
14 Acknowledgements 1'38"
15 As Below, So Above 6’16"

Jozef Dumoulin - piano, percussion
Sylvaine Hélary - flutes
Antonin Tri Hoang - saxophone, clarinete, percussion
Bruno Chevillon - bass
Tom Gouband - percussions


To celebrate our 10th anniversary this year, we're very happy to announce a 4 concert series at Kings Place, London featuring Eyolf Dale, Snowpoet, Dinosaur and Enemy.

Book Tickets

New Music. New Thinking.

Jean-Christophe Cholet / Alban Darche / Mathias Rüegg & Grand Ensemble - Le Tombeau de Poulenc (YOLK RECORDS 2018)



Jean-Christophe Cholet et Alban Darche avaient depuis longtemps l’envie de s’associer pour un projet commun en grande formation. Le projet se concrétise en 2015, avec la création du programme Le Tombeau de Poulenc, regroupant des musiciens issus de leurs deux formations respectives : Diagonal/ JC Cholet et l’Orphicube/ Alban Darche.

Le contexte de ce nouveau projet est très proche de l'univers des derniers disques de Mathias Ruëgg : Third Dream, avec le Vienna Art Orchestra et Petites Visions (musique de chambre). C’est donc avec grand plaisir que celui-ci rejoint en tant que co-compositeur Alban Darche et Jean-Christophe Cholet.

L’idée est de créer une œuvre originale qui prenne son inspiration dans l'œuvre de Francis Poulenc, de lui construire son « Tombeau », à l'instar de Maurice Ravel qui créa avec son Tombeau de Couperin une œuvre intemporelle, qui ancra profondément son auteur dans une tradition française initiée par François Couperin ou Jean-Philippe Rameau.


L’instrumentation permet autant de faire sonner un orchestre de jazz que de recréer un concertino propre à développer une forme qui fera écho au travail de Poulenc : le concerto pour deux pianos et orchestre. L’idée est d’alterner la musique de chacun, grâce à un scénario construit sur le modèle d’un concerto grosso.

La fragrance, l'esprit de Poulenc sont là, mais le projet et sa forme sont libres. Il ne s'agit pas de s'inscrire dans les pas du maître, mais de s'imprégner de son œuvre pour inventer une musique inédite et actuelle, affranchie de toute codification, et forte du mélange avec toutes les autres influences qui ont nourri les plumes de Jean-Christophe, Alban et Mathias. 


Pendant la période baroque, le tombeau était composé en hommage à un grand personnage ou un collègue musicien (maître ou ami), aussi bien de son vivant qu'après sa mort, contrairement à ce que le nom de ce genre musical pourrait laisser penser. Il s'agissait généralement d'une pièce monumentale, de rythme lent et de caractère méditatif, non dénué parfois de fantaisie et d'audace harmonique ou rythmique. 

Contrairement au lamento italien, le tombeau n'était pas censé utiliser les modes expressifs du deuil et de la douleur qui sont alors vus avec scepticisme dans la tradition musicale classique française. Cependant certains éléments sont notables comme l'usage d'une note répétitive symbolisant la Mort frappant à la porte ou l'utilisation de gammes diatoniques ou chromatiques montantes ou descendantes symbolisant les tribulations de l'âme et sa transcendance.

Le genre du tombeau a quasi disparu vers la fin du XVIIe siècle avant de retrouver quelques faveurs au début du XXe siècle : Maurice Ravel avec le Tombeau de Couperin ou Manuel de Falla avec le Tombeau de Claude Debussy.

01. 1st Convergence (Cholet)
02. Le Tombeau De Poulenc 1 (Darche)
03. Dans Le Monde De Poulenc (Rüegg)
04. 2nd Convergence (Cholet)
05. Dans Les Idées De Poulenc (Rüegg)
06. Le Tombeau De Poulenc 2 (Darche)
07. Cadence (Darche)
08. Le Tombeau De Poulenc 3 (Darche
09. Dans Le Sens De Poulenc (Rüegg)
10. 3rd Convergence (Cholet)
11. Dans L’Esprit De Poulenc (Rüegg)
12. Le Tombeau De Poulenc 4 (Darche)

Enregistré à l’Estran, Guidel (56) en mars 2016

Jean-Christophe Cholet : Piano, compositions
Alban Darche : Saxophones, compositions
Mathias Rüegg : Compositions
Nathalie Darche : Piano
Marie-Violaine Cadoret : Violon
Pascal Vandenbulcke : Flûtes
Matthieu Donarier : Saxophone ténor, Clarinettes
Olivier Laisney : Trompette
Samuel Blaser : Trombone
Matthias Quilbault : Tuba
Christophe Lavergne : Batterie
Stéphane Kerecki : Contrebasse

George Cotsirilos Quartet - Mostly in Blue (OA2 RECORDS 2018)

A fixture of San Francisco's jazz scene for 40 years, guitarist George Cotsirilos presents a new album of original compositions, along with a Warren/Gordon gem, "I Wish I Knew." Taking advantage of his decades long performing relationship with pianist Keith Saunders, bassist Robb Fisher and drummer Ron Marabuto, Cotsirilos creates a warmly swinging, instantly classic recording.

1. Mostly In Blue 6:55
2. Wes Side Blues 5:53
3. I Wish I Knew 7:13
4. Ms. Luna 6:42
5. Blue Dusk 5:19
6. Crazeology 4:20
7. Lights Out 6:44
8. Down, Not Out 5:41

Keith Saunders - Piano
Robb Fisher - Bass
Ron Marabuto - Drums

The Crossing (Donald Nally, conductor) - If There Were Water (INNOVA MUSIC February 23, 2018)

A new recording of world premieres addressing a topic of our national discourse: diaspora. If There Were Water, from Philadelphia’s 2017 Grammy-winning choir, The Crossing, is a testament to the expressive range of the human voice. These two strikingly diverse, yet equally compelling unaccompanied compositions were commissioned for The Crossing’s Month of Moderns festival and premiered in June 2017. Drawing from literary and historic sources, the works are highly personal reflections that speak with clarity to contemporary concerns of displacement, while weaving together past and present.  

In Crossings Cycle, Greek composer Stratis Minakakis creates a visceral musical response to the experience of observing Syrian refugees on the Isle of Lesbos. An elegy on things irretrievably lost, Crossings Cycle draws on Ancient Greek literature, Eliot’s The Waste Land, and microtonal tuning practices to convey a deeply resonant expression of the human condition.  Sounds emerge and disappear from the shadows, often erupting as great cries or crashing waves that disintegrate again into murmurs.

un/bodying/s by composer Gregory W. Brown explores the history of the displaced populations of Quabbin, the Swift River Valley in Western Massachusetts, including the Native Americans moved by incoming Europeans, and then those Europeans relocated by the State when creating the massive reservoir that supplies Boston with water. Gregory and librettist Todd Hearon tell these stories from a variety of perspectives, including the history of the wildlife that, like the human refugees, have fled and since returned to this troubled land. The music undulates as if at times floating on water, or hidden under it, or soaring above it, reflecting up.  Suddenly a New England hymn will emerge, then be replaced with a more distant, elusive texture, as the eternal search for Atlantis continues.

The Crossing is a professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. Consistently recognized in critical reviews, the ensemble regularly collaborates with some of the nation’s most accomplished ensembles and imaginative composers. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir, most often addressing social issues. The Crossing, with Donald Nally, is the American Composers Forums’ 2017 Champion of New Music.

Mark Applebaum - Speed Dating (INNOVA MUSIC February 23, 2018)

Mark Applebaum has never been one to shy away from making connections, even odd ones. In fact, one could argue that’s what composing is all about. In his latest assemblage, Speed Dating, five smartly absurd works (three of which deal with history in some wry fashion) are presented for your kind consideration (if not downright bemusement).

The album opens with a tip of the hat to pioneering soundpoet Charles Amirkhanian, who, in 1972, famously made a rhythmic tape piece (Just) out of the words rainbow, chug, bandit and bomb (deliciously articulated by Nicholas Slonimsky). In Applebaum’s Three Unlikely Corporate Sponsorships, he uses his own voice contrapuntally, ranting ever more hilariously about the injustices of the world today. Biting socio-political commentary has rarely been more foot-tapping.

Applebaum reached into his home storage space and fired up eight classic analog synths from the 80s that had been lying there. Skeletons in the Closet uses a randomizing digital Max patch to operate on these dusty treasures, no doubt frustrating purists while delightfully mangling the past.

Speed Dating, another octet, this time for acoustic instruments (in fact the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, led by Eduardo Leandro) is based on coy pairings in strange orgiastic combinations. Unlike in Shakespeare plays, no marriages result. In addition to the odd instrumental partnerships, the players have to vocalize mating chirrups in response to custom wristwatches supplied by the composer. 

The Plate of Transition Nourishes the Chameleon Appetite comes roaring back from 1992 with Belgium-based violinist Takao Hyakutome deftly navigating the various mercurial and laconic formal options laid out by the composer. The resulting violin mauling is downright virtuosic.

Finally, in Clicktrack, a dozen percussionists (Southern Oregon University Percussion Ensemble, led by Terry Longshore) make a quiet Cageian racket, following precise rhythms in their headphones while the audience hears scratchy noises and fragments of text (actually anagrams of Shakespeare sonnets).

The humorous and provocative album is vintage Applebaum; not for the unprepared. Especially the third track, Halliburton, that comes with a Parental Advisory warning for strong language.

Yuko Fujiyama - Night Wave (INNOVA MUSIC March 23, 2018)

Born in Sapporo, Japan in 1954, Yuko Fujiyama started playing piano at the age of four. But it wasn’t until a summer morning in 1980 standing on a sidewalk in New York’s East Village that she found her calling; someone was playing a Cecil Taylor tape and she was transfixed by the piano sounds. That someone was Taylor’s drummer, Jerome Cooper, and that moment opened a door for her to the abstract beauty of music. She has been “looking for musical structures” ever since. “Recently, I’ve been trying to be free from a feeling of linear time. This album, Night Wave, is the result of my long search.”

Joining her in this quest are three esteemed fellow travelers in the art of improvisation: percussionist Susie Ibarra, violinist Jennifer Choi, and cornet/flugelhornist Graham Haynes: “It was a joy to play with these beautiful musicians. I appreciate Susie for her earthy but sensitive sound Jennifer for her beautiful melodies, and Graham for his simple and rich expressions.”

The album weaves a delicate series of colorful musical glimpses, from aggressive and ominous stories to melancholic flashes of freedom and silence. Listen at night, on a sidewalk, or wherever you might like sounds to arrest you.

Benjamin Boone and Philip Levine - The Poetry of Jazz (with performances by Tom Harrell, Branford Marsalis, Chris Potter and Greg Osby) ORIGIN RECORDS March 19, 2018)

“You hold in your hands jazz history. This is a CD that must be heard!" 
~ Pianist and Producer, Donald Brown 

“[Boone] is one of the very few that can lure Phil's poetry-magic and call it out and show it to the world… Beyond words… up there with the muses.” 
~ Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States 

“Benjamin Boone’s music is a tour de force, a mellow whirlwind of jazz and poetry.”
~ Guy Livingston, “American Highways,” ConcertZender (Netherlands Radio) 

A new precedent for pairing jazz with poetry, with performances by Tom Harrell, Branford Marsalis, Greg Osby, & Chris Potter joining Boone’s core ensemble as Levine recites 14 of his iconic poems set to original music they inspired.

1. Gin
2. Making Light of It
3. The Unknowable (homage to Sonny Rollins)
4. Yakov
5. They Feed They Lion
6. I Remember Clifford (homage to Clifford Brown)
7. The Music of Time
8. Soloing (homage to John Coltrane)
9. Arrival
10. A Dozen Dawn Songs, Plus One
11. Our Valley
12. Call it Music (homage to Charlie Parker)
13. By The Waters of the Llobregat
14. What Work Is

Philip Levine – poetry and narration
Tom Harrell – trumpet (6)
Branford Marsalis – tenor saxophone (8)
Greg Osby – alto saxophone (12)
Chris Potter –tenor saxophone (3)
Stefan Poetzsch – violin (10, 11)
Karen Marguth – vocals (1,7)
Max Hembd - trumpet (4, 5, 10)
David Aus – piano (2-6, 10-14)
Craig von Berg – piano (1, 7, 8, 10)
Spee Kosloff – bass (1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 12)
Nye Morton – bass (4, 5, 11, 14)
John Lauffenburger - bass (6,8)
Brian Hamada – drums (1-3, 6-8, 10, 12)
Gary Newmark – drums (4, 5, 11, 14)
Atticus Boone - French horn (6)
Asher Boone - trumpet (6)
Branford Marsalis appears courtesy of Marsalis Music

Produced by Donald Brown
Primary recording and engineering by Eric Sherbon, Maximus Media, Fresno, CA
Additional recording by Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY; Sutton Sound, San Luis Obispo, CA; and Squeeze Studio, Blue Anchor, NJ
Edited by Vincent Keenan and Benjamin Boone
Mixed and Mastered by Mike Marciano, Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY

Music by Benjamin Boone except Making Light of It and What Work Is by David Aus, and Arrival by Spee Kosloff