Friday, March 16, 2018

Deva Mahal releases new single "Fire" / Enter pre-save contest + win merch, vinyl & more! (MOTEMA MUSIC 2018)

Enter the 'Run Deep' pre-save contest and show tix, vinyl, merch + more!

Handwritten lyrics
Signed 'Run Deep' vinyl
Deva Mahal hoodie + t-shirt 
Signed CD
Signed poster
Skype Q&A
2 tickets to NYC album release show at NUBLU 151 (March 27)

All entrants will get an exclusive preview 
of three unreleased tracks from the album!

** Contest ends when album is released on March 23

NEW SINGLE "FIRE" now available

@ NUBLU 151, NYC

On Tour

March 17th @ Miles Davis House Showcase at SXSW
March 21 @ Banlieues Bleues Festival, Paris, FR
March 27 @ NUBLU 151 (Album Release Event), NYC 
April 21 @ Exit 0 Jazz Festival, Cape May, NJ
May 16 @ Rich Mix, London UK
May 17 @ Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Norwich, UK
June 24 @ Saratoga Jazz Festival, Saratoga Springs, NY
Aug 1 @ Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA


"Fabulous..." - Elton John

"Fantastic..." - RuPaul 

"Thunderous modern soul." - Okayplayer

Rempis / Piet / Daisy - Throw Tomatoes (ASTRAL SPIRITS March 30, 2018)

1. To Play Is The Thing
2. The Thousand Natural Shocks

Dave Rempis -- Saxophones
Matt Piet -- Piano
Tim Daisy -- Drums

Track 1 improvised live on May 8, 2017 at Elastic Arts, Chicago, IL
Track 2 improvised live on July 2, 2017 at The Hungry Brain, Chicago, IL

Track 1 recorded by Dave Zuchowski
Track 2 recorded by Bill Harris

Mixed & Mastered by Dave Zuchowski

Eave - Eave (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

A mix of New York and Canadian players, "Eave" is the quartet of Anna Webber and Erik Hove on saxophones, Vicky Mettler on guitar and Evan Tighe on drums, a collective abstract improvising band that uses its instruments as much for effect as for conventional playing, with commanding skill in all approaches as they surprise, bemuse and mesmerize the listener.

Evan Tighe (drums). Unique and interesting playing, outstanding and innovative improvising - all these elements are heard in all four musicians musical language. Their compositions have effective and specific sound - musicians for the most of the time are improvising together. Many different playing techniques, contrasting and unique styles and manners are marvelously combined together. Free and fascinating musical experiments are mostly dedicated for sound experiments, special effects, interesting and unusual combinations of timbres, instruments, chords and other musical language elements. The improvisations by these four musicians have effective, specific, original and vibrant sound.

The compositions of this album have soft and dynamic sound. The collective improvisations are full of different playing manners, original and unpredictable stylistic waves, sudden turns of moods, contrasting characters and episodes. The main aim of these improvisations is to create and extract unusual and extraordinary sound. Musicians try to expand the technical abilities of the instruments, using innovative and experimental ways of playing and create rich and expressive musical language. The compositions have solid and vibrant melodic section and dynamic rhythmic. Along with these two elements, colorful, illustrative and effective background is also very important part of musical pattern.

Saxophones and flutes melodies are based on musical experiments - Anna Weber and Eric Hove are individual and original improvisers. Both of them have their own playing style and are using specific methods of playing. Soft, light and colorful flutes solos are effectively illustrated with unusual timbres, glissando, virtuosic passages, trills, arpeggios and many other traditiona; playing techniques. Along with these elements, both musicians masterfully connect hhuge amount of experimental ways of playing and extended playing techniques.

Soft, gentle and joyful flutes are connected with other instruments. Saxophones solos are expressive and dynamic. Loud, fast, full of trills, tremolos, wild fast and furious passages, vibrant and intense blow-outs, expressive and spontaneous solos are softly and organically connected together with abstract, subtle, silent and lyric episodes. With gentle, light and expressive flutes, spontaneous and effective saxophones solos, rich, bright and modern musical language is created. The huge amount of different playing techniques, original and innovative playing manners, inventive decisions, unusual timbres and strange noises create solid, memorable and interesting sound. Viccy Metler guitar melodies are full of different and original playing techniques - musician masterfully uses and connects together traditional and experimental playing techniques, switch between different moods, characters and ways of playing. His improvisations are free, spontaneous, based on contrasting musical patterns and forms - abstract and concrete musical patterns are gently connected together.

The improvisations have expressive and dynamic melodies, innovative improvising manner, interesting harmony, solid bass line and are effectively illustrated by strange noises and special effects. Evan Tighe drums improvisations are contained by especially huge variety of different rhythms and sounds of percussion instruments - improviser masterfully combines together static and dynamic, slow and very fast, memorable or abstract rhythms. Loud drum rolls, trills, tremolos, arepeggios and many different playing techniques create effective, dynamic and solid sound and independent rhythmical section. All improvisations have effective, bright and innovative sound.

1. Meriwether 04:25
2. Liver-Eating 05:54
3. Gold Fever 04:19
4. Axe or Chisel 07:46
5. Denver Bob 04:33
6. The Night of the Burning River 03:02
7. A Well-Worn Path 03:57
8. Owyhee 04:05
9. Yakima 06:01
10. Memorandum 04:07

Anna Webber - saxophone
Erik Hove - saxophone
Vicky Mettler - guitar
Evan Tighe - drums

Muyassar Kurdi & Nicholas Jozwiak - Intersections & Variations (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

Interdisciplinary vocalist Muyassar Kurdi and Chicago-born, NY-based cellist Nicholas Jozwiak use the ambient sounds of their recording spaces in Brooklyn to add a presence to their introspective dialogs that take an almost devout approach to their calmly measured performances, making an intimate and evocative album of unorthodox improvisation.

"I was in Europe a bit before I decided to move to Brooklyn last spring, which is where I first met Nicholas Jozwiak. I started collaborating with many new people upon my arrival, and we improvised in my bedroom in the hottest and coldest of weather or at my rehearsal space in Ridgewood right under the M train. I would just set my ZOOM recorder in the center of the room, and press 'record' after an inspirational conversation, some wine, a joint, coffee, or tea..just feel it out and journey through new zones together.

Nicholas and I had our first session on a suffocating summer day in my bedroom in Clinton Hill...unbearable weather, but we felt moved by the spirit and recorded a few hours of cello, voice, and gong. It was the beginning of opening up, building trust, and just being able to lock into something, create form in space, surrender to playfulness, joy, and openness.

We recorded another longer session over-night from 11pm to 4am at a church in Greenpoint called Park Church Coop..that was the time it was available to us after the performances that night had ended, and we weren't completely alone, as a friend happened to be sleeping in the balcony with her dog.

We were really excited to utilize the space, the acoustics, piano, and the organ. I envisioned improvising and performing around the space so that it sounded spatially cinematic and textural as a live recording; I was focusing on connecting with the environment and each other.

We were on the floor with the hymn books at one point opening and closing them, sliding around on hands and knees flipping through the pages or I would run in place while Nicholas played the cello, and then I started to sing and play organ. At one point I was singing in the balcony while descending the stairs; Nicholas was on the other side of the church dragging his cello. We embodied movement, theatre, sculpture, architecture, and silence..taking in sounds from the environment...the dog barked at one point when Nicholas played the piano, and we laughed a bit because we didn't expect the 'interruption' piercing the dark night's silence.

We built and expanded on these modes and sounds for several months leading up to the manifestation of Intersections and Variations this past November. I embodied movement in this album and Nicholas embraced silence- a sort of poetic mosaic. We both had a lot to give in the midst of feeling a sense of hopelessness; I believe that our trusting and listening to each other was very important to us. I am often thinking about what improvisation is: existing in a moment of trust with others with no judgment..just the freedom to exist and explore in time and space. For that, I am especially grateful to have gone on this boundless journey with Nicholas, and I look forward to opening up to more and more possibilities in the future."

1. Companions 15:44
2. Dew 03:39
3. What Does It Take 08:04
4. Chemicals 04:47
5. Alone 04:36
6. Clear Voiced 01:27

Cello, Voice -- Nicholas Jozwiak
Voice, Gong -- Muyassar Kurdi
Text -- Muyassar Kurdi, Sappho

Tony Irving & Massimo Magee - The Fog (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

London scene free players since the 90s, drummer Tony Irving and alto saxophonist Massimo Magee, both of the improvisation duo Ascension, meet in the studio to record seven distinctive and quirky dialogs of strong technical skill, Irving often thundering over Magee's strangling runs and melodic diversions and asides; powerful and unpredictable.

1. Blinking, wheezing & choking 05:51
2. The London particular 10:00
3. A sooty spectre 10:59
4. With a haggard and unblest air 06:34
5. Pea super 08:18
6. Anthropocene shuffle 11:05

Massimo Magee, Alto Saxophone
Tony Irving, Drums

William Hooker Trio - Remembering (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

“Remembering” was released on February 16, 2018 by “Astral Spirits” label. Energetic and live album was recorded by four famous jazz masters – William Hooker (drums), Ava Mendoza (guitar) and Damon Smith (double bass). These three original and unique jazz masters had been improvising together many times. Their improvisations are based on masterful and organic synthesis between various playing manners, unique sounds and outstanding solos. Each musician is improvising differently and has unique playing manner and sound. Free musical experiments, spontaneous solos, powerful, deep and vibrant bursts of energy – all these elements are the essential part of their improvisations. When these three jazz masters are improvising together, together they create interesting, unusual and innovative sound. They pay high attention to the extraordinary sound, try out experimental ways of playing and search for new timbres and noises. The improvising is based on original playing manner which is formed from various jaz and other music styles. The synthesis between avant-garde jazz, free improvisation, experimental music and some intonations of rock styles – all the elements of these music styles are masterfully combined together.

This album compositions have especially active and original sound. Energetic and expressive collective improvisations, free and spontaneous solos, deep and vibrant bass line and many other elements are heard in these improvisations. These three musicians are improvising expressively and creatively – their improvisations are full of unexpected stylistic turns and waves, original twists and innovative musical decisions. Guitar melodies by Ava Mendoza are evocative, deep and passionate. Improviser try out many different playing techniques and connects them with huge range of musical expressions.

Powerful and vibrant riffs, glamorous melodies, wild fast, active and rapid solos, virtuosic passages, various experimental ways of playing and traditional guitar playing techniques – all these elements are masterfully combined together in Ava Mendoza’s improvisations. Expressive and loud solos, rapid and vivid melodies, joyful and playful episodes, dramatic culminations or turbulent bursts of energy are gently connected together with soft, subtle and silent episodes. Huge range of different playing techniques, moods, characters and expressions create bright and striking musical language and solid melodic line. Double bass improvisations by Damon Smith are full of different playing manners, various moods and playing techniques – his playing is effective, emotional and dynamic. From subtle and repetitive rhythms, silent and peaceful episodes to the expressive, passionate and rapid melodies – all these elements change each other very rapidly and suddenly. Musician masterfully switches between turbulent and expressive melodies, free and turbulent improvisations, spontaneous solos and silent and subtle episodes.

His improvisations gently fit together with guitar melodies and create a solid and deep bass line. Drums improvisations by William Hooker are especially energetic and active – loud, powerful, turbulent and expressive drum rolls, solos and collective improvisations are the main elements of his improvisations. Huge amount of different rhythms, musical language elements, expressions, sounds and timbres are expressed and connected together in one place. William Hooker improvises inventively and with passion – all his improvisations are especially active, rapid, expressive and vivid. All the improvisations of this album have innovative and original sound, bright musical language and are based on masterful and original improvising.

1. Inevitable Units 6:46
2. Never In Doubt 5:21
3. Identical Natures 3:41
4. The Magistrate 4:51
5. Grand - I Will 7:02
6. Barriers To Good 5:15
7. Figure on a Cinema (drink) 2:35 

William Hooker drums
Ava Mendoza guitar
Damon Smith double bass

Recorded March 13th, 2017 at NYU
Recorded & Mixed by Aggie Tai
Mastered by Weasel Walter

I Hold the Lion's Paw: The Brunswick Green Bootlegs - Vol. 1 (2018)

The Brunswick Green Bootlegs - Vol. 1 is the second live release from the Australian psychedelic jazz collective I Hold the Lion's Paw. The album features three full-length improvised sets recorded in 2017 during IHTLP's continuing residency at the iconic Melbourne bar, The Brunswick Green. 

Each set features a different lineup of internationally acclaimed musicians who have assembled to dissect, abstract and (re)bind composed material into single-take long-form improvisations and electro-acoustic remixes. Expect to hear anything from harmonious free-floating melodies, electro-acoustic noise, slowly shifting tectonic plates of sound, grungy grooves, afro-beat and free jazz. 

IHTLP’s leader and composer Reuben Lewis says “I have always wanted to develop a band that could traverse any of the sound worlds I inhabit, and to go one further, bring these worlds together in a way that enables a constantly evolving dialogue through improvisation. I Hold the Lion's Paw is the conduit for this concept and 'Vol. 1' captures us at our most raw, fearless and groovy moments in our musical home, The Brunswick Green." 

I hold the Lion’s Paw 
Whenever I dance. 

I know the ecstasy of the falcon’s wings 
When they make love against the sky, 

And the sun and moon 
Sometimes argue over 
Who will tuck me in at night. 

If you think I am having more fun 
Than anyone on this planet 
You are absolutely correct.

- Hafez

1. #8 35:54
2. #9 40:26
3. #11 46:28

Jordan Murray - trombone
Scott McConnachie - saxophones
Geoff Hughes - guitar
Ronny Ferella - drums
Dave Brown - electric bass
Tom Lee - acoustic bass

Recorded by Reuben Lewis
Mastered by Myles Mumford
Artwork by Daniel Kim

A Melbourne based trumpeter, composer & improviser. Reuben's practice is both a singular & eclectic new voice in Australian music.

Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - Cloudface Remixes (SIX DEGREES March 16, 2018)

Once again we have dug deep into the amazing debut album from Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society (producers & analog synth fanatics Garry Hughes & Harvey Jones) and handed over their track “Cloudface” to a handpicked group of artist/producers. 

This time around, Space guitar hero Steve Hillage (Gong, System 7) and musical partner Miquette Giraudy’s Mirror System incarnation, add celestial, glissando guitar and bubbling synth layers to take the track into new Cosmic terrain. 

On a more serene note, Ambient, Pedal Steel guitar master, Chuck Johnson mines the deeper aspects of the track, while Bombay Dub Orchestra steers the song into a blunted, almost “Trip Hop” direction & DDAS themselves contribute a blissful, slow motion reinterpretation that is almost meditative. 

This is the last remix EP that will be drawn from the duo’s first album, as the follow-up, full length, second album Wow & Flutter will be coming from Six Degrees later in 2018.

1. Cloudface (Mirror System Remix)
2. Cloudface (Chuck Johnson Remix)
3. Cloudface (Bombay Dub Orchestra Remix)
4. Cloudface (Slow Motion Remix)
5. Cloudface

Garry Hughes and Harvey Jones are two pioneering electronic music composers. Garry has worked with artists as diverse as Bjork, Sly & Robbie, Killing Joke, The Art Of Noise and the Orchestral Pink Floyd project; he is also the co-founder of the popular Six Degrees act, Bombay Dub Orchestra. Harvey has collaborated with Julian Cope, Carla Bley & Chris Botti among many others.

The Jack Novotny Trio presents Trio Theophany (2018)

Trio Theophany was recorded on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 836 Hoover Place in Cleveland, OH. All eight compositions are original writings of Jack Novotny. The Trio is composed of bassist Jordan McBride, drummer Ronzo Smith and tenor/soprano saxophonist Jack Novotny. The Trio setting provides each artist with unbridled liberty to interpret sounds, feelings, shapes, etc... Trio Theophany was the culmination of 45 years of friendship, worship, and brotherhood between Ronzo Smith and Jack Novotny.

1. The Time Is Near 5:04
2. Ronzo And Magoo 4:12
3. Voice In The Wilderness 5:10
4. Go Where The Spirit Leads You 3:15
5. Generation Z 7:16
6. Currents 3:21
7. Split The Difference 3:07
8. Open Spaces 9:43

Jack Novotny tenor and soprano saxophone
Jordan McBride bass
Ronzo Smith drums

Bruce Barth & Jerry Bergonzi - Sunday (BLAU RECORDS 2018)

SUNDAY, un trabajo de Bruce Barth junto a Jerry Bergonzi, recoge un concierto en directo del gran pianista. En línea con los últimos álbumes editados, es un directo de calidad y con un sonido perfectamente trabajado.

Desde el día 2 de marzo, lo podéis disfrutar en plataformas digitales habituales como Spotify, iTunes, o Google Play, además del formato físico que estará disponible en muy pocos días en superficies como Fnac, El Corte Inglés y Amazon. También podéis conseguirlo directamente aquí en nuestra tienda online o en la C/San Luis 17, bajo de Castellón.

“Ha sido un privilegio ser testigo de estos conciertos, pero volver a escucharlos nuevamente en disco me aporta el valor añadido de recordar y revivir la experiencia y, por ende, certificar que mi memoria no andaba tan despistada. […]

No voy a aburrir al/la lector/a con los datos biográficos archiconocidos de Jerry Bergonzi, primus inter pares de los jazzmen míticos y más concretamente de los saxofonistas actuales. Y no por ello voy a restarle el gran valor que atesora como intérprete, compositor, arreglista y docente. Me sigue gustando tanto o más que la primera vez que le escuché en los discos al lado de Dave Brubeck y casi con la misma emoción que la primera vez que le escuché en directo y que pude hablar con él ¡un miembro numerario del Olimpo compartiendo mesa con un humilde junta-letras!

Pero me gustaría centrarme en su alumno, amigo y compañero, Bruce Barth. Su curriculum es impresionante, pero su música aún más. Compone, arregla, dirige, enseña y actúa. Aparte de Bergonzi ha colaborado con figuras de primera fila como Stanley Turrentine, Tony Bennett, Vincent Herring, Dave Douglas, Terence Blanchard…y un largo etcétera que sería ocioso citar. Su mejor aval: su música, escuchen y disfruten.

Pero en un cuarteto, si las cuentas no me fallan, son cuatro. Dos magníficos colaboradores completan la aritmética, Mark Hodgson en el contrabajo y Stephen Keogh en la batería, ambos también con excelentes currícula que refrendan con sus interpretaciones.”

Esteban García, 2017. (Liner notes Sunday)

1. Blue Cube 7:30
2. Sunday 11:25
3. Double Billed 8:28
4. Afternoon in Lleida 13:10
5. Refuge 6:41
6. Laura 7:41

Bruce Barth piano
Jerry Bergonzi saxophone
Mark Hodgson bass
Stephen Keogh drums

Monika Herzig releases "SHEROES" on Whaling City Sound coinciding with Women's History Month

"The jazz supergroup of the year is right here – SHEROES!”
Howard Mandel Author, Jazz Journalist

The timing couldn’t be better for the release of this remarkable recording. SHEROES, created and led by pianist/composer Monika Herzig, features an international cast of virtuoso players - all women, all first-call talents - including Jennifer Vincent (bass, USA), Rosa Avila (drums, Mexico), Mayra Casales (percussion, Cuba/USA) Leni Stern (guitar, Germany/USA), Jamie Baum (flutes, USA), Reut Regev (trombone, Israel/USA), and Ingrid Jensen (trumpet, Canada/USA) rounding out the lineup extending the group’s serious pedigree on its second Whaling City Sound release.

Ably supported by this great band, pianist Herzig is its catalyst. As a Doctor of Music Education at Indiana University, she serves as a Senior Lecturer in Arts Management. Named the 2015 Jazz Journalist Association Jazz Hero for the city of Bloomington, she has also authored two critically praised books, Dr. David Baker – A Legacy in Music, foreward by Quincy Jones (IU Press 2011) and Experiencing Chick Corea – A Listener’s Companion (Rowman & Littlefield 2017).

As an ensemble of empowerment, SHEROES is a musical force, operating with deftness, invention, enthusiasm and ambition. Herzig does much of the writing and arranging, but Regev, Baum, Vincent, and Stern all contribute compositions alongside covers, including “House of the Rising Sun” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” prompting Valerie Simpson, its composer, to write “I honestly really really liked it,” and jazz phenom Terri Lyne Carrington to write “a brilliant project…soulful and thoughtful, it captures the spirit of this group because there’s no stopping great artists from making great music as demonstrated by this stellar recording.”

Says Herzig of her colleagues, “these are all incredibly accomplished musicians, often sacrificing other opportunities, family time and resources to perform in this group. They are my idols in terms of tenacity and accomplishment and should be more widely heard and appreciated." In a sense, SHEROES also heralds an era of greater and deeper consideration for women in jazz. Says Jazz Journalist Association President, Howard Mandel in his liner notes, “That’s exactly what Monika and company does: Present a model of empowerment with results that are good for everyone.  Wherever you are on the gender continuum, you’ll like it. SHEROES make music!

Jazz critic Bob Blumenthal agrees: “Female musicians are now prominent practitioners on all instruments. They win competitions and polls, lead bands large and small, and set new trends in improvised music. Herzig herself is a visionary artist and educator, a true jazz warrior with an already fascinating career.”

Each song is engaging, the playing accomplished and inspiring - JAZZIZ


New York, NY •  Wed Apr 4 The New School in the Jazz Performance Space, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, 5th Floor. Panel discussion with SHEROES from 4:30 - 5:30. Concert 6:00 - 7:00. Free event but seating is limited, first come first served.

Newark, NJ  •  Thu Apr 5 Roundtable Presentation on Experiencing Chick Corea: A Listener's Companion Rutgers University 7-9pm

Baltimore, MD  •  Fri Apr 6 SHEROES CD release An Die Musik live 409 North Charles Street Second Floor 6pm

Cleveland, OH  •  Sun Apr 8 SHEROES CD release Nighttown 7pm

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Tsion Cafe with the Henry Ray Trio Feat. Bob Arthurs Sat., March 17th 7:30pm + New CD

Bob Arthurs New CD
Trumpeter Bob Arthurs infuses Eastern European melodies with the spirit of jazz on his innovative new CD, Jazz It Up! Ukrainian Songs for Three Dads

Jazz roots meet Ukrainian folk traditions on an exciting new
release from trumpet master Bob Arthurs

On Jazz It Up! Ukrainian Songs for Three Dads (Blue Griffin), jazz trumpeter Bob Arthurs and guitarist Steve LaMattina deliver an engaging and excitingly original offering that successfully—and charmingly—melds two genres: jazz and music from Ukraine’s folkloric tradition.

The album is the brainchild of producer Irena Portenko, a long-time fan of trumpeter Bob Arthurs’ playing, composing, and uniquely personal approach to jazz. Irena, an accomplished and acclaimed classical pianist and educator, suggested that Arthurs should record some popular Ukrainian tunes in a jazz style. To get the project rolling, Portenko provided the trumpeter with a list of tunes from the country’s folk tradition along with other works by Ukrainian composers. Bob put his head together with a frequent collaborator, guitarist Steve LaMattina, and the twosome developed the 11 brilliant arrangements displayed here. Not only do their visionary arrangements respect the tunes’ ethnic origins, they also reflect the players’ straight-ahead jazz sensibilities.

Jazz It Up! Ukrainian Songs for Three Dads gets its name from Irena Portenko’s desire to dedicate the album to three of her favorite dads: her father, her uncle, and her daughter Anastasia’s father, as well as to Ukraine, where Portenko was born.

Album highlights include:

“Blackthorn in Blossom”: The duo displays a delicate touch on this tender traditional tune with a slightly melancholy air.

“Kyiv Waltz”: The lilting trumpet melody soars over a cool, sauntering guitar line.

“Walking Around the Garden”: The arrangement and Bob’s Ukrainian vocal have a longing quality that evokes jazz classics such as “I’m a Fool to Want You.”

“Blues for Ukraine”: A Bob Arthurs original with a great bluesy feel, and heartfelt lyrics offering support and sympathy for the country’s historic travails.

Trumpeter Bob Arthurs has been a regular on the New York and international jazz scene for a half century. He’s gigged at major jazz clubs in the Big Apple with greats including Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Warren Vache, Etta Jones, Carmen Leggio (with whom he co-led a big band) and a host of others. Bob has a particular affinity with guitarists, as evidenced by his collaborations with six-string masters such as Tal Farlow, Larry Coryell, Bucky Pizzarelli, Chuck Wayne, and Steve LaMattina, who appears on Jazz It Up! Ukrainian Songs for Three Dads, as well as previous Bob Arthurs recordings. Jazz It Up! Ukrainian Songs for Three Dads is Bob’s fourth release as a leader.

Bob recalls being entranced by the trumpet as a child, and began lessons at age 8; the young trumpeter played his first gig by the time he entered his teens. Bob later studied with Sal Mosca, whom he credits with teaching him the basics of improvising and for inspiring him to pursue his musical goals. The legendary pianist must have been pleased by his student’s progress, as the two went on to make music together for decades. Besides building a reputation as a jazz trumpet player, vocalist, band leader and recording artist, Bob Arthurs is well-regarded as an educator. For more than 30 years, he was on the faculty of the Westchester Conservatory of Music (now known as the Music Conservatory of Westchester), in White Plains, New York. He also was head of the school’s jazz department, as well as dean of students and faculty.

Bob and guitarist Steve LaMattina have been playing together for well over a decade. Steve was also on faculty at the Music Conservatory of Westchester and now has a large private teaching practice. He’s an in-demand sideman in the New York metropolitan area, and has recorded with Ted Brown, Dennis Irwin, Carmen Leggio and others.

Fans of jazz and creative music will be engaged by the innovative and intriguing music on Jazz It Up! Ukrainian Songs for Three Dads, and will no doubt look forward to hearing what Bob Arthurs lends his trumpet and voice to next time around.

Media Alert
Jim Eigo
Jazz Promo Services
272 State Route 94 South #1
Warwick, NY 10990-3363
Ph: 845-986-1677 
Cell / text: 917-755-8960
Skype: jazzpromo
"Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

Mike Jones & Penn Jillette - The Show Before the Show (CAPRI RECORDS March 16, 2018)

Piano master Mike Jones joins forces with bassist/magician 
Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller for striking new album 
The Show Before the Show available March 16, 2018 on Capri Records

Musical director for the Penn & Teller show joins his boss in a magical jazz duet

“The most remarkable pure technique of any piano player working in jazz today.” – Neil Tesser, Author of The Playboy Guide to Jazz

“Yup, this is Jonesy, our piano player. He’s a monster.” – Penn Jillette

Sometimes jazz can itself seem like magic, its best practitioners spontaneously spinning breathtaking improvised music out of thin air. Mike Jones, one of our most accomplished mainstream jazz pianists, is certainly a wizard of sorts–a technical marvel whose melodic and rhythmic gifts astonish on a regular basis. On The Show Before the Show this beguiling artist is joined by a bassist who, in another capacity, also knows how to dazzle with regularity: Penn Jillette, the internationally acclaimed magician who, for over four decades, has been best known as the verbal half of the renowned magic duo Penn & Teller. The Show Before the Show reveals that Jones retains his status as a spectacularly gifted player, and that Jillette has fashioned himself into an excellent musician who inspires his partner with unerring support. 

That the super pianist and Jillette work so well together is certainly little surprise. Jones has been the musical director for Penn & Teller’s Las Vegas show since early 2002, playing both before the show begins and, when called upon, during the act. As the new millennium began, Jillette, who played the electric bass as a pastime, began to seriously study the acoustic instrument. Joining Jones on stage during the early set (“the show before the show”), Jillette and the pianist would romp through well-loved standards, providing the audience with a taste of first-rate jazz. Nearly twenty years later, the duo still sound like they’re having the time of their lives. 

As Jillette has said, “When you ask Jonesy what kind of music we play, he says, “Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown.” When you ask me, I say, “Oscar Peterson and…a bass player.” I wear a hat and a coat, and even though I’m very recognizable, you just don’t expect the pre-show bass player to be someone important. I’m not lit, and people don’t notice me…I make all the money doing the Penn and Teller show, but the 45 minutes before the show is just wonderful for me. It’s very humbling to play with Jonesy. He’s never wrong.”

Standards make up the bulk of The Show Before the Show, including such imperishable tunes as “Broadway,” “Have You Met Miss Jones,” and “There is No Greater Love” as well as the Bossa Nova classics “Corcovado” and “Manha de Carnival.” (There’s also room for Jones’s own joyful “Box Viewing Blues.”)

Throughout, Jones displays his matchless virtuosity, his prodigious technical gifts and sweeping knowledge of the jazz tradition allowing him to mingle swing, pre-swing and stride idioms effortlessly and with utmost taste. Although he works seamlessly with his duet partner, Jones is also given a chance to demonstrate his one-man-band abilities on the closing track, “Exactly Like You.” A tour de force of dashing pianistics, the performance becomes a showcase for Jones’s two-handed wizardry. For his part, Jillette, the perfect support player, grounds the music with rhythmically sure and harmonically apt playing, even getting off some snappy solos in the bargain.

“I can’t imagine anyone would see my position in jazz and not think it’s the most enviable possible,” Jillette has stated. “I get to play professionally, not need the money and play with the best person in the world. Beat that!”

Graduating from the Berklee College of Music in 1986, Mike Jones remained in the Boston area working with such eminent local players as Herb Pomeroy and Gray Sargent. After significant East Coast performances, appearances at the Floating Jazz Festival on the S.S. Norway and the Queen Elizabeth ll, and a series of acclaimed recordings that established him as a world-class pianist steeped in the pre-bop jazz tradition, Jones relocated to Las Vegas where he caught the eye of Penn Jillette, who in 2002, brought Jones onboard for the nightly Penn and Teller show.  He has released two highly acclaimed albums on Capri Records: 2012’s Plays Well With Others, and 2016’s Roaring. He is a Kawai Pianos artist.