Saturday, March 24, 2018

Lit Scenes - Jesse Passenier & The Fluid Orchestra (ODRADEK RECORDS 2018)

Lit Scenes 

Jesse Passenier & the Fluid Orchestra

A little over five years ago I started writing my first string quartet. At around the same time I was working on the first movement of Fantasy, and even though the idioms and overall styles of those two pieces were differing, I knew that I wanted to connect them in one project. This project turned out to be Lit Scenes.

 Jesse Passenier

Jesse Passenier is a Dutch composer, arranger, conductor, pianist, and percussionist whose music builds bridges between jazz and classical styles. Jesse Passenier is the winner of the Rogier van Otterloo Award 2017, acknowledging his success in this process of bringing together musical genres.

By 2010, Jesse Passenier was ‘Young Composer in Residence’ at the MECC Jazz Festival in Maastricht, and in 2011 he was one of the four laureates of the International Composition Contest of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. In the same year, he founded his own Broad Music Orchestra, predecessor of his current Fluid Orchestra.

In 2012 Jesse Passenier started writing his first string quartet at the same time as working on the first movement of his Fantasy, and even though the idioms and overall styles of the two pieces were different, he came to realise that he wanted to connect them in one project. This project evolved into the unique and radiant music featured on this disc: Lit Scenes.

Lit Scenes is a fascinating and irresistible combination of jazz, influenced by big-band composers such as Gil Evans, Bob Brookmeyer and Vince Mendoza, and classical, building on a long tradition of music for string quartet, but with particular links to the writing of György Ligeti, Béla Bartók and Maurice Ravel.

Espen Berg Trio - Bølge (ODIN RECORDS 2018)

Now the trio is back, with a striking and elegant new album that very possibly will be an even bigger breakthrough for the trio. This is a group that is positively overflowing with talent and musical enthusiasm.

The jazz trio format is tried and tested and has become one of the basic ensemble formats of modern jazz. Here is a trio that has its feet planted firmly within the tradition, but still offers something unique to the listener. The Espen Berg Trio made its mark with the group’s first album, “Mønster”, in 2015. The trio was referred to as “the biggest and most important musical discovery in the first half of 2016” by Jazz Japan, and they have toured extensively in Japan, where they have also signed a recording contract. Now the trio is back, with a striking and elegant new album that very possibly will be an even bigger breakthrough for the trio. This is a group that is positively overflowing with talent and musical enthusiasm.

Pianist and composer Espen Berg (b. 1983), from Hamar in central Norway, is currently living in Trondheim, where he earned a master’s degree in 2008 from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) renowned jazz programme. Since then he has been engaged as a professor at the university. He has toured worldwide with his trio Listen, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Marius Neset, as well as with his own projects. He has released two critically acclaimed solo piano albums, and in 2007 he was voted the best soloist at the Hoeilaart International Jazz Contest in Belgium. In 2016 he won one of Norway’s most important music awards, JazZtipendiatet, which resulted in the commissioned work “Maetrix”. This piece had its world premiere at the Molde Jazz Festival in 2017, played by the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Among the musicians Espen has worked with are Silje Nergaard, Anders Jormin, Per Jørgensen, Hildegunn Øiseth, Arve Henriksen and Mathias Eick. The music Berg composes demands a level of precision that could make a Swiss watch tremble in fear, but it seems simple and organically free-flowing when he and the trio are playing it.

The trio

Bassist Bárður Reinert Poulsen is originally from Tórshavn on the Faroe Islands. He moved to Trondheim, where he received a degree from the NTNU’s jazz programme in 2014. He is an extremely active musician, and plays with both jazz and pop projects – the Fjords, Wako, Fieldfare, Swenefon – in addition to being a member of the Faroese Symphony Orchestra.

Drummer Simon Olderskog Albertsen is from Stjørdal, and like the other members of th trio, also has a background from the jazz programme at the NTNU. He plays in a number of jazz bands, but also works with folk and pop music, and as a theatre musician. He released the album “War Wounds” together with the English singer-songwriter Mark Gregory, and has appeared on records with Wako and Operasjon Hegge. “Bølge” was recorded at the legendary Rainbow Studio by engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug, and is available as a digital recording, on CD and as a stylish 2LP.

Moon Hooch Announce New EP // West Coast Tour Kicks Off Tonight

MOON HOOCH Announce New EP 'LIGHT IT UP' Due April 6


"I'm telling you these guys are cool. You know they're cool." - IGGY POP 

 "Synthesizing the skronk and creativity of jazz into modern party music is Moon Hooch's speciality." - THE LINE OF BEST FIT

Moon Hooch have announced the release of a new EP, 'Light It Up,' due April 6. Recorded at the bucolic and tranquil Gnomehaus just outside of Burlington, VT during a rare extended break from their perpetual touring schedule, it presents three songs that the band has been perfecting in their live show over an extended period of time. Known for their raucous dance party-inducing performances, it's only fitting that Moon Hooch capture that same raw primal energy in the studio. Co-produced by Tonio Sagan (Carl Sagan's grandson), 'Light It Up' delivers an intense 10-minutes of music. The EP's first single "Acid Mountain" was premiered by Pancakes & Whiskey and is available now for posting. The track hits streaming services, including Spotify and AppleMusic, this Friday, March 23.

Moon Hooch begin a nine date headline West Coast tour tonight (March 21) in Phoenix that extends through the remainder of the month. It includes stops at Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles, Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, Wonder Ballroom in Portland and a two night tour closer at Nectar Lounge in Seattle. They'll then head to Europe in April for an extensive run that includes performances in France, Norway and the UK before heading back to North America for the summer festival season, highlighted by an appearance at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in July.   

In just a few short years, the explosive horn-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch—Mike Wilbur (horns), Wenzl McGowen (horns), and James Muschler (drums)—have taken their exhilarating collision of virtuosic jazz, experimental funk, and pulse-pounding electronic dance music from busking on the New York City subway platforms to stages around the world, touring with the likes of Beats Antique, Marco Benevento and Galactic among others, as well as earning status as festival favorites and selling out headline shows in major venues. The trio initially turned heads in the music industry with their self-titled 2013 debut, which introduced their charismatic, unconventional sound to the world, but by then they were already well-known to straphangers in New York, who would react with such joy and fervor to their impromptu subway platform sets that the NYPD had to ban them from locations that couldn't handle the crowds. Soon thereafter they recorded an NPR Tiny Desk Concert that's since been viewed over 2.5 million times. Subsequently, they've released a series of acclaimed studio recordings that have all reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Heatseekers and Jazz Charts, as well as a 2017 concert recording, Live At The Cathedral, documenting their historic performance at NYC's Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Onstage, the band now plays through a "Reverse DJ" setup, in which the live sound from  their  horns  runs through laptops to process recorded effects. In addition, they utilize Moog synthesizers, as well as an EWI (an electronic wind instrument that responds to breath in  addition to touch) and other more traditional instruments like clarinets. Wilbur added vocals to his repertoire, and Muschler, meanwhile, immersed himself in tabla studies in India in order to expand his percussion skills.

The band members all speak reverently of meditation and consciousness and the role it plays in their music, but equally close to their hearts are the environmental causes they  champion.  Moon  Hooch  tries to  live up to  their  green  ideals  while  traveling,  playing  benefit  shows, supporting  local  farmers and co-ops, participating in  river  cleanups,  and filming  informative videos  for  their  fans. The  band runs a food blog, Cooking In The  Cave, in which they highlight the healthy, sustainable, organic recipes they  utilize with their mobile kitchen setup on tour and have teamed up with We Are Neutral to officially go carbon neutral on tour. For the members of Moon Hooch, commitments to consciousness, environmentalism, veganism, philosophy and peace aren't separate from their commitment to music, but actually integral parts of it. It's all tied into that same core approach that led to their discovery on the subway platform: try, even if it's just a little bit every day, to make the world less like it is and more like you wish it could be.

Stay Connected With Moon Hooch:

Tour Dates

US West Coast
March 24 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
March 25 Reno, NV @ The Saint
March 27 Eugene, OR @ HiFi Music Hall (sup. Turkuaz)
March 29 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
March 30 Seattle, WA @ Nectar Lounge
March 31 Seattle, WA @ Nectar Lounge
w/ The Accidentals opening all dates except 3/27

Europe / UK 
3 April Lille, FR @ L’Aeronef
4 April Nantes, FR @ Stereolux
5 April Rouen, FR @ Le 106
6 April Cenon, FR @ Le Rocher de Palmer
7 April Paris, FR @ Festival Chorus des Hauts de Seine
8 April Rambouillet, FR @ L’Usine A Chapeaux
12 April Saint-Jean-de-Védas, FR @ Victoire 2
13 April Marseille, FR @ Le Molotov
14 April Cully, CH @ Cully Jazz Festival
15 April Annecy, FR @ La Brise Glace
19 April Oslo, NO @ National Jazz Venue
20 April Trondheim, NO @ Dokkhuset
21 April Bodo, NO @ Sinus
24 April Skien, NO @ Folkque
26 April Bergen, NO @ Garage
27 April Kristiansand, NO @ Vaktbua
28 April Gjoevik, NO @ Kulturhus
4 May Stavanger, NO @ Mai Jazz Festival
5 May London, UK @ Love Supreme Festival at The Roundhouse
6 May Bristol, UK @ Thekla

US / Canada
May 18 Asheville, NC @ Highland Brewery (sup. Moon Taxi)
June 7 Stephentown, NY @ Disc Jam Festival
June 15 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
June 17 Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club
June 18 Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
July 1 Montreal, QC @ Montreal International Jazz Festival

6 July Saint-Denis-de-Gastines, FR @ Au Foin de la Rue Festival
10 July Rotterdam, NL @ North Sea Round Town Festival
21 July Stuttgart, DE @ Jazz Open Festival

August 10 Croydon, NH @ Wild Woods Music and Arts Festival

Baschnagel Group - Hello Dear Zyklop (ANUK LABEL 2018)

Five strong protagonists blend tradition and modernity, electronics and acoustics.

For the realization of his concept Pius Baschnagel has been able to unite a dream team. The personal touch of each individual flows enriching into the varied compositions of the bandleader, atmospheric sounds alternate seamlessly with classical groove and improvisational heights.

Hello Dear Zyklop
Freedom 1
Blue Is The Color Of True Happiness
Freedom 2

Reto Suhner: alto sax / flute / theremin
René Mosele: trombone / electronics / minimoog
Gregor Müller: piano / Rhodes/ synth
Patrick Sommer: electro bass / upright bass

Magnus Thuelund - Angel From the South (March 25, 2018)

Magnus Thuelund is a Danish saxophone player/composer and teacher currently, living in Copenhagen Denmark. He is a Rhythmic Music Conservatory (RMC) graduate from (2003-2008).  (2005-2006) At the New School of Music in New York. And later (2010-2012) where he did the highly esteemed 2 year programme “Advanced Post Degree Diploma” in composition with composer/keyboardist Django Bates.

Magnus Thuelund has studied and played with prominent Danish and international musicians such as: Thomas Franck, Lars Møller, Ole Kock Hansen, Peter Jensen,  Nikolaj Hess, Butch Lacy and the Danish Radio Big Band.  And Marc Mommaas, Reggie Workman, George Garzone, Dave Glasser,  Mark Turner, Jamire Williams and Armen Donelian.

“Magnus Thuelund is a talented young and hard-working alto saxophonist and composer. He has a strong sound, a good ear, is an excellent reader and loves a challenge.” Marc Mommaas tenor saxophonist/composer.

Thuelund has played in Carnegie Hall and all over Europe with own bands and bigbands i.e.  as part of a European/Canadian tour with “Swinging Europe” European Youth Jazz Orchestra among others.

1. Slower 09:41
2. Argentum 07:35
3. Reach 09:40
4. Angel from the south 07:21
5. Autumn in April 05:09
6. Illuminate 07:46
7. Aurum 10:24
8. Miss Lisa 05:11

Ralph Alessi trumpet
Marc Mommaas tenor saxophone
Nikolaj Hess piano
Graig Earle bass
Nasheet Waits drums

Manitou Quartet - Demo (2018)

Manitou is a jazz band based in Quebec City. They offer their own take on modern jazz, inspired by past giants as well as modern day innovators.

1. Swagger 06:07
2. Eighty One 07:15
3. Silhouette 09:09
4. Chelsea Bridge 08:33
5. Eighty One - Prise alternative 05:26

Félix Dubé, piano
Benjamin Tremblay-Auger, saxophone
Thierry Sterckeman, double bass
Benoit Corriveau, drums

Recorded at LARC studio, in Quebec City, by Serge Samson

Stellar Blue - Lost in This Bliss (2018)

1. My Iris 03:26
2. Everybody's Talkin' 05:00
3. Lost in This Bliss 03:26
4. All My Trust 04:16
5. When it Rains 04:35
6. Time Knows 02:06

Paul Merrill - trumpet (on tracks 1 and 3)
Brad Verebay - ukulele (track 3)
Sam Godin - all songwriting, production, piano and other instruments

HSR: Hegarty / Steinbeck / Robles - Soundtrack for a Subconscious Film (2018)

Recorded on March 3, 2018. No edits, only minor EQ, leveling, and balancing. No. 5 is based on a pre-composed melodic theme. All other tracks are collective improvisation.

1. HSR: Hypothetical No. 7 04:24
2. HSR: Hypothetical No. 3 16:02
3. HSR: Hypothetical No. 1 20:16
4. HSR: Hypothetical No. 6 14:29
5. HSR: Hypothetical No. 5 07:28
6. HSR: Hypothetical No. 2 14:08
7. HSR: Hypothetical No. 4 08:47

James Hegarty, piano & modular synthesizer with Kaoss pad
Paul Steinbeck, bass and little instruments
Shane Del Robles, percussion

Planetary Omnibus - Four Dimensional Jigsaw Puzzle (2018)

This Album is dedicated to the women in our lives , who without whose Love and inspiration neither of us would have ever amounted to much. Recorded at Miss Baby's Studio in New Orleans , Louisiana.

1. HVĚZDY NAD NÁMĚSTÍM MÍRU (The Stars Over Peace Square) and if it was a dream i dont want to wake up 23:42
2. DÍVAT SE NA KRÁSU PRAHY SE SVÝM MILÁČKEM (Looking at the Beauty of Prague with my Lady) 05:20
3. LÁSKA JE VELKÁ ČARODĚJKA (Love is a great Witch) 06:04
4. The Faubourg St John Blues 04:42
5. Save My Soul 15:30
6. OHŇOSTROJ POD PRAHOU (Under The Fireworks of Prague) 05:34
7. Morning on Bayou St John 06:17
8. NOČNÍ TICHO V LONDÝNSKE ULICI (Silence of the Night on London Street) 06:50
9. Příští zastávka: Náměstí Miru (Next Stop, Peace Square) 24:14
10. VŠECHNO NEJLEPŠÍ K NAROZENINÁM V RESTAURACI JINÝ STAV (Happy Birthday at Jiny Stav, Other Condition!) 05:12
11. LÁSKA HORY PŘENÁŠÍ (Love can Move Mountains) 05:43
12. PIZZA S PŘÁTELI U EINSTEINA (Pizza at Einsteins) 06:02
13. Dobrou Noc Cesky Krumlov (Good Night Cesky Krumlov) 20:31
14. KLAVÍR NA VLAKOVÉM NÁDRAŽÍ (the Piano at the Train station) 05:25
15. Headlong 11:48
16. PIVO V ZAHRADĚ U ŘEKY VLTAVY (Beer in the Garden at the Vltava River) 05:28
17. Pečení Cukrovi na Vánoce se Svou Milou (Dancing at the Christmas Market) 04:43
18. A Beautiful Dream 20:39
19. ROZLOUČENÍ JEŠTĚ JEDNOU U VLAKU (saying goodbye once again at the train) 06:39
20. Volané číslo neexistuje (The number you are calling does Not Exist!) 08:01

Mark Fowler, Electric Guitar, 12 String Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Technician
Jim Bilgere, Piano, Keyboards, 12 String Guitar, Percussion, Glockenspiel Acoustic and Electric Bass
Courtney Gonzales, Guitars
Malcolm Smith Tabla

Special Thanks to
Jiří Janoušek for providing us with the Czech Titles for our songs

Pawan Benjamin - Tinte Baja (March 27, 2018)

Saxophonist, Flutist, and Composer Pawan Benjamin, started his musical training at a young age in Madison, Wisconsin, receiving guidance and mentorship from jazz luminaries such as bassist, Richard Davis, AACM founder Roscoe Mitchell, and many others in the Madison area. 

In 2006 he left to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where he plunged headfirst into the diverse music scene of New York City, performing and recording with musicians from around the globe, across genres from Jazz, Hip Hop, Nepali Folk, Indian Classical Music and beyond.

Pawan has collaborated with artists such as Roscoe Mitchell, Ranjit Barot, Taufiq Qureshi, Rez Abbasi, Mike Stern, Candido Camero, Bill T. Jones and many others. Performance credits stretch across the globe at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), the Rose Theater and Dizzy's Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center, the National Center of Performing Arts in Mumbai India, Goa International Jazz Festival, the Bimhuis and Blue Note in Amsterdam, and countless other venues in between.

Pawan is an active member of Brooklyn Raga Massive, a music collective which seeks to bridge the worlds of American and South Asian art of all kinds.

1. Evening
2. Jhalka Raya Buka (Night Band, Nepal)
3. Lakhey Dance
4. Sim Sime Pani Ma
5. Prayer
6. N.F.S.W.
7. Hills
8. Tunga (Bir Bahadur BK)
9. Damai March
10. Midnight
11. Jump
12. Dawn
13. A Flower is a Lovesome Thing

Martin Nevin - Bass / Percussion
Sean Mullins - Drumset / Percussion

Recording and Mix Engineer - Tomek Miernowski
Mastering Engineer - Kane Mathis