Wednesday, April 11, 2018

CD / LP / DL ☥ Strut ☥ IDRIS ACKAMOOR & THE PYRAMIDS ☥ An Angel Fell ☥11th MAY 2018 (STRUT RECORDS)

An Angel Fell

CD / 2 LP / DL

11th May 2018


“All I wanted was a chance
To live my life... live my life...
Like anyone”

“The new album is complete fire – right in the moment.” 
Gilles Peterson

Strut presents the brand new album from cosmic jazz travellers The Pyramids, led by saxophonist Idris Ackamoor, ’An Angel Fell’. “I wanted to use folklore, fantasy and drama as a warning bell,” explains Ackamoor. 

“The songs explore global themes that are important to me and to us all: the rise of catastrophic climate change and our lack of concern for our planet, loss of innocence and separation... but positive themes too, the healing power of music, collective action and the simple beauty of nature.” 

Produced by Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics, the album was recorded during an intense week at Quatermass studios in London and is one of the deepest, richest works yet from a band reaching their highest creative peak since the early ’70s. Some of the many highlights include the poignant title track depicting a fallen angel in purgatory, outrage and grief on the powerful, hard hitting ‘Soliloquy For Michael Brown’ and the lilting, beautiful album closer, ‘Sunset’. 

The Pyramids originally came together in 1972 at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio where teachers included renowned pianist, Cecil Taylor. 

After forming in Paris and embarking on a “cultural odyssey” across Africa, the group recorded three independent albums, ‘Lalibela’ (1973), ‘King Of Kings’ (1974) and ‘Birth / Speed / Merging’ (1976) and became renowned for their striking live shows, mixing percussive, spiritual and space-age jazz with performance theatre and dance. After migrating to San Francisco, they disbanded in 1977. 35 years later, the band reunited in 2012 following growing demand for their music from vinyl collectors. 

German label Disko B released the freeform album ‘Otherwordly’ and in 2016, they released their first album for Strut, the acclaimed ‘We Be All Africans’. 

‘An Angel Fell’ is released on Strut on 11 th May 2018 and features full handpainted artwork by Lewis Heriz. 


Sun Ra Arkestra, Gato Barbieri, Cecil Taylor, Fela Kuti, Heliocentrics, CTI, Gilles Peterson, Last Poets, Gil Scott Heron, Roland Kirk, Weldon Irvine, Nubya Garcia, John Coltrane, King Tubby.

1. Tinoge
2. An Angel Fell
3. Land Of Ra
4. Papyrus
5. Soliloquy For Michael Brown
6. Message To My People 07:48
7. Warrior Dance
8. Sunset

Releases May 11, 2018

Sandra Poindexter: Violins, Lead Vocals
David Molina: Guitar, Effect pedals, Vocals
Skyler Stover: Double Bass, Vocals
Bradie Speller: Congas, Handsonic, Vocals
Johann Polzer: Drums

Album cover - top right
Artwork by Lewis Heriz

TIGUE - Strange Paradise (NEW AMSTERDAM RECORDS April 27, 2018)

Strange Paradise is the sophomore album from Brooklyn-based composer-performer trio Tigue, following the group's widely celebrated debut album Peaks (2015). 

Tigue is a group of three percussionists with a fluid musical identity. Praised for their energetic and focused performances, the members of Tigue (Matt Evans, Amy Garapic and Carson Moody) have played together since they were practically children — continuously making their own blend of instrumental minimalism while simultaneously performing in collaborative projects. Strange Paradise sees them building worlds as a unit, pushing each other to transcend the limits and expectations of their percussion instrumentation in the construction of long-form, radiant hypnotic soundscapes the group describes as “rendered in ecstatic complexity.” 

The music on Strange Paradise flows directly from the hands and minds of the members, the result of a deep human connection that can only come from playing music together nearly a decade. The group wrote the music with a sense of immediacy — everyone together in a room, with vibraphones, drums, synthesizers, gongs and garbage — with every sound maintaining an intimate connection to its creator. The members’ distinct musical voices interlock seamlessly, and the pieces radiate with warmth. 

As a result, Strange Paradise is a luminous, abstract, non-narrative world that funnels inspiration from patterns, objects, and relationships. Built on an intricate patchwork of tones where instrumental lines and textures shift in and out of alignment to produce a vibrating landscape, Strange Paradise is designed for a mode of “extended listening” — asking listeners to explore slow gradations of change between rhythm and texture. The album creates a sound environment that envelopes the listener but continually defies expectation — shapeshifting at each point it seems understood. Though the music floats from the serene to the uncanny, Strange Paradise is perhaps most notable for providing a distinct sensation of interconnectedness. 

1. Triangle
2. Contrails
3. Quilts

Matt Evans
Amy Garapic
Carson Moody

Invisible Anatomy - Dissections (NEW AMSTERDAM RECORDS 2018)

Incorporating elements from classical, jazz, experimental rock, performance art and theater, Invisible Anatomy creates performances that combine an omnivorous stylistic palate, virtuosic physicality, and dramatic visual presentation. Dissections is an album of works that premiered at National Sawdust in 2016, featuring six works created by the group's members from a collaboratively generated text and numerous workshops. 

Dissections explores intimacy and the potentially damaging experience of being vulnerable with others, but also the beautiful and unexpected results that can happen when that risk is taken. The close-knit group has experienced this first-hand, collectively and individually working through health issues, conflict, distance and more, and baring themselves to each other during the process. The pieces on Dissections reflect the deconstruction and reconstruction inherent in peeling away human surfaces. 

Each piece on Dissections fixates on one element of a musical phrase or text, repeating — or dissecting — it until it becomes unrecognizable. Vocalist Fay Wang's piece "Facial Polygraph XVIA" is a poetic study of facial expressions, dissecting tics, "tells," and subtle changes of emotions. Guitarist Brendon Randall- Myers's songs "Permission" and "Othering" focus explicitly on the discomfort and dangers of opening up to someone — navigating difference and similarity, and the disconnect between who we imagine people to be and who they actually are. Musically, the pieces attempt to capture a feeling of beautiful discomfort in being pulled apart, splitting rock-derived phrases across multiple instruments playing at different tempos. 

Cellist Ian Gottlieb’s two-movement piece, "Threading Light", symbolizes the piano as flesh and the cello, guitar and vibraphone as the knife, teasing strands of notes out of decadent chords. Pianist Paul Kerekes's piece "Pressing Issues" explores the constant shuffling of small musical gestures into a kaleidoscopic listening experience. 

Pianist Dan Schlosberg’s piece "A Demonstration" is inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s relentless examinations of human cadavers in search of the human soul, exploring every facet of man he could think of along the way. Fittingly, the pieces features players coaxing sounds from the strings of a grand piano through inflictions from screwdrivers and knives, in a sense exploring a familiar body in new ways. 

1. Facial Polygraph XVIA 10:21
2. Permission 04:15
3. Threading Light (i) 04:48
4. Pressing Issues 05:19
5. Threading Light (ii) 03:29
6. Othering 06:32
7. A Demonstration I - the cause 02:58
8. A Demonstration II - where the soul is 04:52
Invisible Anatomy is:
Ian Gottlieb, cello
Paul Kerekes, piano/keyboards
Brendon Randall-Myers, guitars
Daniel Schlosberg, piano/keyboards
Benjamin Wallace, percussion
Fay Wang, vocals

Jay Leonhart / Tomoko Ohno - Don’t You Wishm (2018)

Bassist/vocalist Jay Leonhart has teamed up with pianist Tomoko Ohno for a new album entitled Don’t You Wish. Leonhart, who bassists may know from his songs like “It’s Impossible to Sing and Play The Bass” and “Bass Aboard a Plane“, offers up his humorous tales of the musician’s life.

“I am a jazz bassist with interests that roam far and wide. The words and music on this CD reflect my state of mind about the world and all kinds of other stuff,” he writes in the album notes. “Things that happened or that I imagined happened. Actually, most of my songs are autobiographical.”

Often the songs include situations to which too many of us can relate. Take the title track’s opening lyrics: “Don’t you wish you’d taken up the flute?/ People ask me every day/ They really can’t conceive it, they really don’t believe it/ that anyone would choose the bass to play.” Aside from playful topics, Leonhart’s playing is spot on with a warm yet defined tone and creative lines. Though his song implies it’s impossible, the bassist makes it seem easy to sing while tastefully accompanying himself.

01. Playboy Club
02. Dont You Wish
03. Curtains
04. I Got The Blues
05. Tulips
06. Schadenfreude
07. Change My Occupation
08. Life In The Middle Ages
09. Missin Rb Blues
10. They’re Coming To Get Me 

Tomoko Ohno : piano

Thomas Kolarczyk Ensemble - Halbtraüme (CHALLENGE RECORDS 2018)

It also could have been the guitar. At any rate, it was the first instrument to which the Berlin-based bassist Thomas Kolarczyk dedicated himself. But then he discovered his love for the contrabass, studied at Jazz Institut Berlin (Universität der Künste / Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler) and found masters in teachers such as Marc Muellbauer and Greg Cohen who introduced him to the world of deep tones, composition and complex sound design. Curious in many directions from experimental rock to urban jazz and all the way to ethnic and folk music influences, it was not difficult for Kolarczyk to find connection to different groups of musicians. Over the years, he has already won a few prizes from "Jugend jazzt" (Young people play jazz) to the "Jungen München Jazzpreis” (Young Munich Jazz Award), at times under his own name and at times as a member of other bands such as the quintet of saxophonist Marc Doffey. His path also repeatedly takes him to Poland, for instance in the shimmering cultural metropolis of Krakow where he works with several improvisation and dance ensembles. In addition, he works with Turkish co-musicians in the Ensemble Roye MA and with the singers Sakina and Hani.

These different sound and style spheres influence his own projects. A song like "Hava" has its roots in the Oriental sound space, although significantly sublimated, and "Mifida" is like a greeting from the Balkans rhythmically and in its melodic line in places. On the whole, Kolarczyk’s quintet leaves plenty of room for the combination of sprawling improvisations and motifs that do not deny their origin from folk music. This playing mixture is also continued through richly expressive playing of his partners all the way to free realms, where the transparency of the sound can also be maintained because the band dispenses with a harmony instrument. In addition to Kolarczyk, the band includes Berlin clarinetist Viktor Wolf, Berlin-based alto saxophonist Otto Hirte and tenor saxophonist Slawek Pezda from Krakow. The Polish power-drummer Kuba Gudz keeps the sound structure free for expressiveness in places with immense power. 

And that is also at the center of the quintet’s debut CD "Halbträume” (Half-dreams). Because the Thomas Kolarczyk Ensemble, which also gives itself the subtitle "Musical initiative for the internationalization of the Occident”, among other things, plays with many spheres of influence, which have developed in jazz over the past decades into unique forms of expression. The power and wildness of the “free jazz” era and the creative finesse of modern jazz cultivated in all its details meet the melodic strands of the Balkans and the Orient, which in turn have developed long since into a metropolitan hybrid as a sound language. When the whole is played with the approach of the Thomas Kolarczyk Ensemble, which joins the individual mosaic pieces equally to a whole, then this is music that actually seems a bit more international than that of the Occident. 

01. Berlin Is Full Of Lonely People
02. Hava
03. Intro
04. Berlin Is Full Of Happy People
05. Mifida
06. Açis
07. Serane
08. Ciemnogród
09. Odense

New CD Fred Farell "Distant Song" Fred Farell Sings the Music of Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach + Upcoming Live Appearance

Higher Power

Fred Farell brings the good word on Distant Song

What The Press Is Saying About
Fred Farell
"Distant Song"
Fred Farell Sings the Music of Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach

" Fred Farell's new CD is rewarding...adding to the Jazz Vocal Repertoire.
His singing is warm, quietly expressive, and really gets into the messages of the songs.
...Fans will find much to enjoy on this rewarding set." 
Scott Yanow, Jazz Journalist/Historian

"The mood of the Program is dark blue, solemn, and well matched to Fred's Baritone, and the accompanying Instrumentation...with Farell writing all the Lyrics."
D. Oscar Groomes: O's NOTES - O's Place Preview

"...FARELL is the real deal in terms of Sincerity, his voice speaks authority as does the tender Truth expressed in his Lyrics...and musical arrangements...A performance that regularly stops your tracks..."
Stephen Graham/MARLBANK

"I give Fred, and his fellow master (musicians) an energy quotient rating of 4.99 for this CD.
...One of the strongest Jazz Vocal performances I've listened to yet in 2018."
Rotcod Zzaj (Dick Metcalf Associates/"Contemporary Fusion Reviews)

"Listening to Farell is like stepping back in Time, to mid-20th Century America, when Jazz and Romance were popular. His Sounscapes are like Odes to Love...Farell's "Distant Song" provides enough soothing sounds for listeners to ponder the Human condition...

He is joined by Dave Liebman on soprano & tenor Saxophones, and by Richie Beirach on acoustic Piano."  Dodie Miller-Gould, Lemon Wire

Fred Farell "Distant Song"
(Whaling City Sound WCS 103)
Street Date: January 26, 2018 
Fred Farell sings the music of Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach 

Fred Farell Voice
Dave Liebman Soprano & Tenor Saxophones, Wooden Recorder

Richie Beirach-Acoustic Piano

As a featured soloist and ensemble singer, Fred Farell has made a name for himself as a preeminent pro jazz voice. Across five decades and at venues as esteemed and diverse as Avery Fisher Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Museum of Modern Art, Farell has demonstrated inspired interpretive abilities to go with his heartfelt lyricism and sweet pipes. Distant Song, his debut for Whaling City Sound, a home for much quality jazz, is a profound experience, thanks partly due to his composers and loyal accompanists saxophonist Dave Liebman and piano/keys player Richie Beirach, both of whom have collaborated on the original music for this record.

Farell’s own wordsmithing is sublime, requiring deftness, patience and passion on the microphone. His compositions unfold gently, religiously. Infused with sacred messaging, Distant Song is an emotional project -part, jazz, part spiritual, part loving experiment- produced with happiness and love by a veteran talent clearly confident and at peace with himself and his abilities.

1. Broken Wing 5:55
2. Lonnie’s Song 4:53
3. Forgotten Fantasies (Instrumental) 6:16
4. Leaving 7:33
5.Tomorrow’s Expectations 6:58
6. Sunday Song 4:24
7. Mitsuku 7:56
8. Zal (Instrumental) 5:19
9. Places 4:22
10. Distant Song 5:34

Tracks 1,4,6,7
Richie Beirach,
Beirach Music, BMI

Fred Farell (lyrics),
FarellSongs Publishing, BMI

Tracks 2,5,9,10
Dave Liebman,
Liebstone Music, BMI

Fred Farell (lyrics),
FarellSongs Publishing, BMI

Track 3
Dave Liebman,
Liebstone Music, BMI

Track 8
Richie Beirach,
Beirach Music, BMI


Fred Farrell began singing professionally during his military service in the USA,
and Europe in 1967. His musical training includes: Jazz Vocal improvisation with
Pianist-composer and educator Richard Beirach; Private voice studies with
Cynthia Hoffman, Richard Dorr, and Larry Chelsi; and Music courses taken at
The City College of New York; at which time he enrolled in Jazz studies taught
by Jazz songstress and educator Sheila Jordan.

His first appearances as a solo artist and group leader in New York, were at
Loft galleries, and Jazz clubs during the 1970's and early 1980's; including
return engagements at Sweet Basil, and Greene Street; during which time he
was an artist-member of Cobi Narita's Universal Jazz Coalition.

As a featured soloist, as well as an ensemble singer, Mr. Farell has performed
at Avery Fisher Hall, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kitchen, WBAI Radio,
The Musuem of Modern Art, and Symphony Space, with such Jazz Masters
and artists as the late saxaphonist Dexter Gordon; Pianists: Barry Harris,
the late Albert Dailey, and Kenny Barron; Bassists: the late Herman Wright,
Rufus Reid and Ratso Harris; Female Vocal Artist-educator Jay Clayton (The
Voice Group); and Natural Sound Composer-pianist Kirk Nurock.

In the creative expression of Jazz used to present the Gospel message, the
singer has been a featured soloist with the Don Hanson Ensemble, led by the
Saxaphonist-composer; has appeared on the Queens Public Cable TV Network;
and is currently co-leader of the Gospel Jazz group "JazzLite". In this group
setting, Mr. Farell ministers with his gospel lyrics for original compositions,
and Jazz standards, and features Pianists Jeff Kruh, and Joel Weiskopf in
varying instrumental formats, depending upon the venues entered.

Thomas Bramerie Trio (feat. Jacky Terrasson, Eric Legnini & Stephane Belmondo) - Side Stories (JAZZ ELEVEN May 25, 2018)

Thomas Bramerie 
Album Side Stories
feat Jacky Terrasson, Eric Legnini, Stéphane Belmondo

Après 30 ans de carrière en tant que « sideman », Thomas Bramerie, l’un des contrebassistes les plus demandés de la scène jazz, décide de prendre la parole en tant que leader. Il le fait en musique... et avec des mots. Chacune des compositions originales de cet album s’accompagne d’un texte où il nous présente sa vision du jazz... et de la société en général. Dans ce premier album personnel (Label Jazz Eleven), il s’entoure de deux des plus remarquables jeunes musiciens de la toute nouvelle génération du jazz hexagonal, le pianiste Carl-Henri Morisset et Elie Martin-Charrière à la batterie. Ceci dans la grande tradition du jazz de transmission par les aînés. Thomas Bramerie s’adjoint aussi la précieuse collaboration de quelques illustres compagnons de route, Éric Legnini, Stéphane Belmondo et Jacky Terrasson.

Thomas Bramerie signe ce premier album entouré de deux jeunes talents de la scène jazz Carl-Henri Morisset et Elie-Martin Charrière, invitant également des guests de prestige : Jacky Terrasson, Eric Legnini & Stephane Belmondo. Cet album est accompagné d'un livre regroupant les textes de Thomas Bramerie révélant sa véritable qualité d'auteur. 

Né le 18 Septembre 1965 à Bergerac, Thomas grandit à Toulon. Il étudie la guitare avec Tony Petrucciani et poursuit son apprentissage avec Jean-Paul Florens.

Il passe ensuite à la basse électrique lorsqu’il intègre le groupe des frères Belmondo, puis change pour la contrebasse en 1988. Il participe à des tournée avec  Peter King, Ted Nash, Bobby Porcelli et joue en concert avec Chet Baker (1987), Toots Thielemans (1988), Johnny Griffin et Steve Grossman  (1990).

En 1992, il rencontre Olivier Hutman, Sangoma Everett ainsi que George Brown, et forme la section rythmique du Club "La Villa St-Germain" à Paris et invite de nombreux solistes comme Clifford Jordan, Franck Wess, Philip Catherine, Tom Harrell, Billy Hart, Joe Lovano, Ernie Watts, James Moody ainsi que Benny Golson.

Entre 1993 et 1996, il devient membre régulier de plusieurs formations: Michelle Hendriks, Laurent de Wilde, les frères Belmondo, Christian Escoude, André Ceccarelli avec qui il tourne et enregistre, tout en restant le contrebassiste de premier choix pour de nombreux solistes internationaux de passage en France ou en Europe: Brad Meldhau, Tommy Flanagan, Jimmy Scott, Clark Terry, John Scoffield, Teddy Edwards pour son disque « Live at La Villa ».

Thomas s'installe à New-York en 1997. Il enregistre l'album "Live at Yoshi's" de la chanteuse Dee Dee Bridgewater, nominé aux Grammy Awards 2001 et part en tournée dans le monde entier avec ce projet. Il fait alors partie des «sidemen» incontournables de la scène jazz new-yorkaise.

Il ouvre son répertoire à d’autres projets latin jazz avec David Sanchez, Ed Simon, musique du Moyen-Orient avec Simon Shaheen, Bassam Saba, rock avec Charlie Watts ou encore de la musique classique avec le flûtiste Emmanuel Pahud.

A partir de 2006, Thomas revient en France et enregistre le disque de Pierrick Pedron « Deep in a dream » avec Mulgrew  Miller & Lewis Nash, et intègre également les groupes de Julien Loureau (Quartet Saigon), celui d’André Ceccarelli, Baptiste Trotignon, David Elmalek, ainsi que celui de la chanteuse Elizabeth Kontomanou  dont il enregistre l’album “Back to my groove” en 2007.

A partir de 2008, il enregistre le nouvel album des frères Belmondo avec Milton Nascimento et devient membre régulier du trio de Bojan Z ainsi que d’autres groupes prestigieux tels que : Richard Galliano, Didier Lockwood, Michel Legrand, Eric Lelann, Sylvain Luc, Aldo Romano... Il fait partie de plusieurs projets nominés ou gagnants des Victoires de la musique : Eric Legnini qui reçoit les Victoire de la musique 2011 avec “The Vox”,  Pierrick Pedron pour «Kubic’s Monk» en 2013, «Love for Chet» de Stephane Belmondo avec Jesse Van Ruller en 2016.

Après plus d’une centaine d’albums en tant que sideman, il sortira le 25 Mai prochain son premier album «Side Stories».