Friday, April 13, 2018

Last chance: JD McPherson and Max Raabe & Palast Orcherster (Festival International de Jazz de Montréal)

JD McPherson


Ana Popović
April 22 • L’Astral

Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin
May 4 • L'Astral

May 16 • Centre Phi

The Brooks
May 29 • L'Astral

Max Richter
October 9 • Théâtre Maisonneuve,
Place des Arts

Max Raabe & Palast Orchester
April 16 • Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts

Johnny Griffith Quintet - The Lion, Camel & Child (GBRECORDS 2018)

Johnny’s second quintet album is coming soon.

Featuring the same great musician’s as Johnny’s 2015 release Dance With The Lady. Jeremy Pelt – Trumpet, Adrean Farrugia – Piano, Jon Maharaj – Bass, Ethan Ardelli – Drums and Johnny on Tenor Saxophone.

The album is once again all of Johnny’s own original compositions with firm roots in the Hard Bop of the 60’s but with a modern twist.

1 The Lion
2 The Camel
3 Cadenza
4 The Child
5 Narcomedusae
6 Strawberry Qwik
7 Amarone
8 For A Derailed Painter
9 Deliciously Ambiguous
10 The Corridor
11 Last Say

Jeremy Pelt • Trumpet
Adrean Farrugia • Piano
Jon Maharaj • Bass
Ethan Ardelli • Drums

Eskorzo estrenan el videoclip de "Los Besos Que Me Dabas": Día Internacional Del Beso

Los besos que me dabas
¡Ay! Qué ricos que estaban

Coincidiendo con el Día Internacional del Beso, que cada 13 de abril recuerda el más largo de la historia (58 horas), los granadinos presentan el cuarto videoclip de su último trabajo, “Alerta Caníbal”.

Este bullerengue à la Eskorzo fue rodado durante su pasada gira por Colombia, en los parajes de la costa caribeña donde nació el género, precursor de la cumbia.

¡Dentro vídeo!

En palabras de Mariquilla Cuevas, que tras "Cumbia Caníbal" repite como directora:

"El beso, en su significado actual general, representa una expresión emocional que refleja sentimientos de amor o afecto hacia personas.

Con este videoclip queremos contagiar a este mundo, lleno de apariencias y frialdad, los distintos sentimientos que, como seres humanos, tenemos y a veces olvidamos… los besos manifiestan sentimientos positivos, como la felicidad, la gratitud, la cortesía o la empatía. Nos acercan a las personas y nos hacen más humanos. 

En este vídeo los componentes de la banda se han desnudado ante estos sentimientos, bailando en las calles y con las gentes de  Colombia, para romper fronteras y unir el mundo. Ya que los besos y la música son un lenguaje universal, el cual utilizamos para sembrar amor y alegría.”

Y entre vídeo y vídeo, Eskorzo siguen devorando ciudades en la "Alerta Caníbal Tour". A punto de terminar la primera tanda de salas, en las que el cartel de "Sold Out" ha sido una tónica constante, ya han anunciado un buen número de festivales, y cada semana suman nuevas fechas.

La postal

Cada canción de "Alerta Caníbal" va acompañada de una ilustración exclusiva de Luis Toledo (Prisamata Studio), todas ellas incluidas en una exclusiva edición lenticular del disco. Aquí tienes los besos (que me dabas).

Kizzy Crawford & Gwilym Simcock with Sinfonia Cymru - Birdsong / Can Yr Adar (BASHO RECORDS April 13, 2018)

Acclaimed pianist Gwilym Simcock follows a sustained period of touring with legendary guitarist Pat Metheny with a brand new collaborative project. Combining Simcock's formidable skills in composition, arrangement and improvisation with the lyrics and melodies of Welsh/Bajan singer-songwriter Kizzy Crawford and an ensemble drawn from leading Welsh chamber orchestra Sinfonia Cymru, Birdsong tells a story through music inspired by Carngafallt. Carngafallt is part of the Welsh rainforest territory and home to a complex ecosystem. These new compositions take the form of bilingual songs and fuse jazz, classical, contemporary and traditional Welsh music.

1. Introduction - Birdsong
2. Another Source / Tarddle Arall
3. Where We Came From / Ble Y Daethom
4. Wildlife / Bywyd Gwyllt
5. Rhododendron
6. Angelic Soul / Enaid Angylaidd
7. Back To The Trees / Nôl I'r Coed
8. Into The Dark Mystical Beauty / Mewn I'r Harddwch Tywyll Cyfriniol
9. Owl Song / Can Y Gwdih 175

Gwilym Simcock piano
Kizzy Crawford vocals and guitar

Sinfonia Cymru:
Simmy Singh Violin 1
Lucy McKay Violin 2
Francesca Gilbert Viola
Abel Selaocoe Cello
Sarah Bennett Flute
Carys Evans Horn

Music and lyrics by Kizzy Crawford and Gwilym Simcock, arranged by Gwilym Simcock

Birdsong - Cân yr Adar from Sinfonia Cymru on Vimeo.

John Horler - Free and Easy (TRIO RECORDS April 13, 2018)

John had a classical training, studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Many of his compositions are influenced quite strongly by twentieth century classical composers. He has been known for many years as one of the UK’s finest jazz pianists working closely with Pete King, Tony Coe and, of course, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth. He has accompanied many of the big names in American jazz including Bob Brookmeyer, Clark Terry, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Art Farmer, Pepper Adams, Bud Shank and Shorty Rodgers.

I think Dave Gelly described John’s playing best writing “Horler has a delightful habit of lulling you into a sense of false security with sweet, simple phrases and warm chords, before suddenly heading off into the harmonic undergrowth. Little scraps of melody, which at first seem quite random, gradually come together into a fascinating pattern.”

Stuart Broomer said “Horler has a personal lyricism, formed from a subtle economy and a fine sense of sonority.” Doug Campell talked about his free playing, saying “Horler has a beautiful touch and is an imaginative melodic swinging improviser with technique to spare.”

Having lived with John for several decades it is his free playing that I have come to love listening to most. Of course I’ve also enjoyed listening to the groups he’s played with over the years. I still remember hearing him play with Chet Baker at The Canteen in 1983 and the great man telling me what a fine pianist my husband was. Still, what I most enjoy is his solo piano playing. That’s why I decided to move to the role of patron and commissioned this recording. It will mean that others can enjoy the “fascinating patterns” and the “personal lyricism” referred to by the critics.

I requested some of the tunes I’ve come to love over the years; Bernstein’s “Some Other Time”, “ After Supper”, the famous Count Basie tune, and of course John’s own composition “Piece for Poppy” written for me. I generously allowed him to choose the others, as long as most of them were free pieces!

I am delighted with the outcome of this project and I must say that Andrew Cleyndert’s recording of the piano is superb and has contributed in no small measure to what I consider to be a really excellent CD. I hope that others will listen to it with equal pleasure.

1. Free Piece One 01:57
2. Piece For Poppy 05:08
3. Free Piece Two 01:39
4. My Ship 04:49
5. Free Piece Three 01:02
6. Beija Flor 05:24
7. Some Other Time 04:25
8. After Supper 04:27
9. Free Piece Four 01:06
10. What's New 03:46
11. Improvisations On Bach;s Prelude In Eb Minor 03:13
12. Free Piece Five 01:51
13. What Kind Of Fool Am I? 04:33

Deanne Matley - Because I Loved (May 11, 2018)

Canadian jazz vocalist Deanne Matley’s fifth album, Because I Loved, is a tour-de-force, taking the listener on an emotional journey from despair to quiet contentment, with stops at red-hot passion and the excitement of new love along the way. Deanne recruited some of Montréal’s premier jazz talent for the project, including drummer Jim Doxas (who also produced the album), pianist Paul Shrofel, bassist Adrian Vedady, and guest vocalist Ranee Lee. Because I Loved features four original compositions of Deanne’s to round out a song list that includes saxophone legend Stanley Turpentine’s “Sugar”, the haunting “Forget Me” (written for the great Shirley Horn), and remarkable covers of songs by Journey (“Open Arms”) and Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors (“The Wine We Drink”).

Deanne Matley’s voice and passion for jazz have taken her from her Alberta home to New York, France, Mongolia, and back. She sings standards, originals, and an impressive variety of covers with combos large and small, including Calgary’s Prime Time Big Band. Her previous four albums have garnered her Top 10 radio play across Canada and fans around the world. She divides her time between Calgary and Montréal, and is excited to celebrate Because I Loved with performances in both cities.

1. The Moon Is Made Of Gold (Richard Jones) 4:25
2. Sugar (Stanley Turrentine/Ted Daryll) 3:46
3. The After Thought (Vince Jones) 3:59
4. Catching Up To Do (Andréa Petrity/Deanne Matley) 4:35
5. Not My Only One (Deanne Matley) 3:06
6. Open Arms (Steve Perry/Jonathan Cain) 3:23
7. My Favourite Distraction (Deanne Matley) 3:23
8. So Long You Fool (Paul Shrofel/Sharada Banman) 2:48
9. Pieces (Deanne Matley) 3:24
10. Forget Me (Valerie Parks Brown) 3:41
11. Necessary Evil  (feat. Ranee Lee) (Redd Evans) 3:08
12. The Wine We Drink (Drew Holcomb) 3:32

Deanne Matley – Vocals
Renee Lee – Guest Vocals
Paul Shrivel – Piano & Keyboards
Adrian Vedady – Bass
Jim Doxas – Drums
Steve Raegele – Guitar
Kiko – Percussion
Al McLean – Saxophone
Andy King – Trumpet
Jean-Nicolas Trottier – Trombone
Kate Bevan-Baker – Violin
Kate Maloney – Violin
Jennifer Thiessen – Viola
Thomas Beard – Cello



Join dynamic Calgary jazz vocalist Deanne Matley at Knox United Church as she celebrates the launch of her fifth and most personal album, Because I Loved, May 5. Deanne will be joined by renowned Montréal players Paul Shrofel (piano), Adrian Vedady (bass), and Jim Doxas (drums), along with some of her favourite local musicians and surprise special guests.

7:30PM to 9:30PM – Tickets are $21.50 – Reserved Seating



6:00PM – Tickets are $8

Ilios Steryannis - Bethany Project (2018)

The fact that Ilios Steryannis is a drummer may account for his being drawn not only to complex rhythmic pulses and time signatures. However being able to execute his intricate rhythmic patterns that he has written into the music of the Bethany Project album suggests that Mr. Steryannis leans more towards the “painterly” side of his business – the business of drumming, that is. His sticks may as well be artists-brushes, for instance, and the skin of his battery of drums his canvas. And while he is relatively non-intrusive, it’s clear that he is positioned in this ensemble as a percussion colourist who directs proceedings not by dictating time signatures, but rather drawing attention to the soundscapes that he has created in this enterprising presentation.

If this is an introduction to Mr. Steryannis’ work, then clearly he is a musician with wide open ears and one who is agape at the immensity of the sonic universe before him. His response has been to take every rhythmic impulse top heart. His music, as a result, is whip smart, unpredictable and open to crazy ideas that are all integrated into the well-formed and rather mature album. Yet his style remains deceptive, his limpid, euphonious sound artfully leavens his logical but nonetheless oblique and unpredictable melodic thinking – even when he is writing things with harmonic changes that have been used before. “Keep The Change” is a song the harmonic architecture of which is mirrored on John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”, but it has also been reshaped to mirror the drummer’s own mind combined with the imaginative use of his wrists and forearms to coax a different tone out of his instrument.

Being based in Toronto and right in the middle of a thriving music scene with a slew of virtuoso and worldly-wise musicians to draw from Mr. Steryannis has made the best use of this by working with the best musicians available. Perhaps the master-stroke, however, was to co-opt the prodigious Eric St. Laurent to produce and shape the sound of this music. As a result Mr. Steryannis and Eric St. Laurent have schemed to produce an album that takes Jazz to heart while grinding its precepts into producing a fine mix of world music that is full of the earthy rumblings of East Africa, the high and mighty parabolic ululations of Mediterranean music, blended seamlessly with influences as far removed as India is from the Southern-most reaches of the US – all with the majestic wheezing of the accordion and the throaty bellow of the baritone saxophone together with the keening wail of the alto saxophone, the elemental twang of the guitar, uplifted with the heaving rumble of bass, percussion and drums.

But more than being a showcase for how flexible a writer he is, Mr. Steryannis’ music is a complex meditation on the interaction between visceral humanity and musical reality, described in eleven wonderful songs with ample breathing space for the voice of each musician to shine, and meld in with the rest of members of this wonderful and truly global ensemble. Toronto Music Report

1 The Group of 7
2 Keep the Change
3 College Street Knowledge
4 Mombasa Lisa
5 Florina
6 The Ornado
7 ScoJoe
8 Alek’s 11
9 Mangambe
10 To Infinity
11 Soledad

Sundar Viswanathan: alto saxophone (1 – 3, 5 – 7, 9, 10) and soprano saxophone (4, 8, 11)
Kenny Kirkwood: baritone saxophone (1, 5)
Eric St-Laurent: guitar (6, 11)
Scott Neary: guitar (2 – 5, 7 – 9)
Joel Visentin: Hammond B3 organ (2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 11), synthesizer (6)
Connor Walsh: contrabass (1, 2, 4, 7, 10) and electric bass (3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11)
Adam Hay: congas (1, 4, 5, 9, 11)
Larry Graves: percussion (4, 5, 9, 11) and timbales (1)
Ilios Steryannis: drums (1 – 3, 5 – 11) and djembe (4)

Adrean Farrugia & Joel Frahm - Blued Dharma (April 27, 2018)

The relationship between pianist Adrean Farrugia and saxophonist Joel Frahm was fostered during their nine-year association with drummer and bandleader Ernesto Cervini which matured over numerous studio and stage performances. Both musicians have reported been in awe of each other’s abilities and have always sought an opportune moment to come together as a duo. Fortunately for them and those who have listened to the music they have made in the past, that opportune time has come and the album Blued Dharma is that meeting of minds.

Listeners will instantly perceive that very little sunlight separates the pianist and the saxophonist. On the contrary, the rays that illuminate their artistry light a flame that is vivid and – as they have rightfully determined – the music that results from it exists in the bluest part of that proverbial flame. The second word of the album’s title Blued Dharma may be harder to translate into the English language, but its Buddhist connotations of that which results in cosmic order, or indeed the collective meaning arising from an Eastern spiritual realm, is discernable all through the eight works of music contained in the disc – from the two exquisite and radically different versions of Ray Noble’s “Cherokee” to the original work from the pen of Adrean Farrugia.

Blued Dharma is that meeting of minds.

Listeners will instantly perceive that very little sunlight separates the pianist and the saxophonist. On the contrary, the rays that illuminate their artistry light a flame that is vivid and – as they have rightfully determined – the music that results from it exists in the bluest part of that proverbial flame. The second word of the album’s title Blued Dharma may be harder to translate into the English language, but its Buddhist connotations of that which results in cosmic order, or indeed the collective meaning arising from an Eastern spiritual realm, is discernable all through the eight works of music contained in the disc – from the two exquisite and radically different versions of Ray Noble’s “Cherokee” to the original work from the pen of Adrean Farrugia.

Music in various shades of indigo suggest profundity and contemplative musicianship and each musician digs deep not only into his psyche, but also into his respective instrument, surfacing with what certainly gives new meaning to the words “melody” and “rhythm”, and – most significantly – “harmony”. The style of presentation is immediately alluring as the music appears in what one must reluctantly acknowledge as a “conventional” format. But how refreshing, timely and reassuring to find two musicians exploring endless possibilities of improvisation out of the fettered form of the “song”, completely undone thanks to each other’s transcendental ingenuity and deep empathy with each other.

Listening to the way in which Mr. Frahm seductively bends the notes in “Cherokee” (especially in the second version, i.e., track 2), or how Mr. Farrugia sculpts the long, sustained invention of “Half Moon” – to focus on just two of the eight beautifully crafted songs on this disc – it’s eminently clear that there’s not a semiquaver that hasn’t been fastidiously considered. Still the fact that none of this music is rehearsed or pre-planned accounts for why one is particularly awe-struck as the record unfolds from one song to the next. So whether evocative of crepuscular nights or cool rainy days, each track takes us into a special place with two trusting and inspired musical friends. Toronto Music Report

1 Blued Dharma
2 Cherokee II
3 For Murray Gold
4 Gospell
5 Nobody Else But Me
6 Cool Beans
7 Cherokee I
8 Half Moon (for Sophia)

Adrean Farrugia: piano
Joel Frahm: tenor saxophone (2, 3 – 7) and soprano saxophone (1, 8)

CD Release Concerts:
April 27th @ Gallery 345, Toronto ON
April 29th @ The Jazz Room, Waterloo ON