Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Matt Wilson Earns Two 2018 Jazz Journalist Association Awards

© John Abbott

Iconic jazz drummer and composer Matt Wilson 
Earns 2018 Jazz Journalist Association Awards in two categories

Musician of the Year 

Record of the Year for Honey and Salt: Music Inspired by the Poetry of Carl Sandburg (Palmetto Records)

The buoyant and indefatigable drummer and composer Matt Wilson has won two 2018 awards from the Jazz Journalists Association: Musician of the Year and Record of the Year for his August 2017 Palmetto release Honey and Salt: Music Inspired by the Poetry of Carl Sandburg. 

“Wow, I am very honored to be recognized by the Jazz Journalists Association whose passionate commitment to the art form helps strengthen our great commUnity," says Wilson. "I extend my deepest gratitude to each and every one of them, and especially to the members of my bands. They are my dear friends that support my crazy ideas with love and enthusiasm. It is a delight to share sound with them and to be lifted by their artistry.”

These are the 22nd annual honors for excellence in music and music journalism conferred by the JJA, an international professional organization of writers, photographers, broadcasters, videographers and new media content providers. Recipients of awards in 39 categories were chosen by JJA voting members. Most musicians will receive their engraved statuettes in front of their audiences at U.S. performances during the summer. Awards for media-related work will be presented at the 2018 Jazz Awards party, a fundraiser for the non-profit JJA, open to the public, at the New School in NYC on June 12, 2018.  

Some fifty years after Carl Sandburg’s passing, drummer/composer Matt Wilson’s Honey and Salt pays tribute to the “poet of the people,” who won three Pulitzer Prizes, wrote the definitive biography of Abraham Lincoln, advocated for civil rights and traveled the country collecting traditional folk songs. The album, released in August 2017 on Palmetto Records, earned wide critical acclaim as an “irresistible record,” (DownBeat). 

To recite Sandburg’s poems, Wilson enlisted a stellar list of jazz greats whose spoken voices are as expressive and eloquent as their better-known instrumental voices, including Christian McBride, John Scofield, Bill Frisell, Carla Bley, Joe Lovano and Rufus Reid, along with actor/comedian/ musician Jack Black – an honorary member of the jazz family through his marriage to Charlie Haden’s daughter Tanya. Wilson sets these recitations in an eclectic variety of settings for the ensemble that he’s formed expressly to pay homage to Sandburg: guitarist/vocalist Dawn Thomson, cornetist Ron Miles, multi-reedist Jeff Lederer, and bassist Martin Wind, along with Wilson’s jubilant and spirited drumming.

© John Abbott

Sandburg’s influence has emerged sporadically throughout Wilson’s career. His leader debut, As Wave Follows Wave, was named for a Sandburg poem that is reprised here; his 2003 album Humidity included a setting of Sandburg’s “Wall Shadows;” and An Attitude for Gratitude, the 2012 release by Wilson’s Arts and Crafts quartet, features the Sandburg-inspired “Bubbles.” The Honey and Salt project began life in 2002 with the help of a Chamber Music America New Works Grant and has since toured the world while Wilson has continued to delve into Sandburg’s volumes for new additions to the band’s repertoire.

Few musicians embody the spontaneous energy of jazz quite like Matt Wilson. The New York-based drummer combines buoyant zeal, idiosyncratic style, infectious humor, joyous swing, and an indomitable spirit of surprise, making him one of the most in demand players and educators on the modern jazz scene. He leads an array of distinctive ensembles - the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts & Crafts, Christmas Tree-O, Topsy Turvy and Big Happy Family. Wilson’s 13th recording as a leader for Palmetto, Honey and Salt (Music Inspired by the Poetry of Carl Sandburg) earned wide critical praise. His impressive discography numbers more than 400 CDs, including releases by his co-led trios Sifter and Trio M and sideman recordings with such greats as Dewey Redman, Paul Bley, Charlie Haden, and Lee Konitz. He’s topped the “Rising Star Drummer” category in DownBeat’s Critics’ Poll for five consecutive years and has twice been voted Drummer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. As an educator, he’s led workshops and master classes around the world and is on the faculty at the New School, SUNY Purchase, San Francisco Conservatory and the Prins Claus Conservatorium in Holland.

Fred Hersch Earns Two 2018 Jazz Journalist Association Awards

© Thomas J. Krebs

Iconic jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch 
Earns 2018 Jazz Journalist Association Awards in two categories

Pianist of the Year

Jazz Book of the Year for his Memoir
Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life in and Out of Jazz

Hersch’s luminous new trio recording Live in Europe out May 11 via Palmetto

Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has won two 2018 awards from the Jazz Journalists Association: Pianist of the Year and Jazz Book of the Year for his memoir Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life in and Out of Jazz (Crown/Archetype, September 2017).

“I am thrilled to be recognized by these jazz journalists whose support of my work has meant so much to me over the years,” says Hersch. “I am humbled and grateful for these awards.”

These are the 22nd annual honors for excellence in music and music journalism conferred by the JJA, an international professional organization of writers, photographers, broadcasters, videographers and new media content providers. Recipients of awards in 39 categories were chosen by JJA voting members. Most musicians will receive their engraved statuettes in front of their audiences at U.S. performances during the summer. Awards for media-related work will be presented at the 2018 Jazz Awards party, a fundraiser for the non-profit JJA, open to the public, at the New School in NYC on June 12, 2018.  

Hersch’s new recording, Live in Europe (to be released May 11, 2018 via Palmetto Records), captures his trio – with longtime associates, bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson – in peak form and crowns what was a momentous year for the pianist.

© Ralf Dombrowski

2017 highlights included the publication of Hersch’s acclaimed autobiography Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz (named one of the Five Best Memoirs of 2017 by both The Washington Post and The New York Times) and two Grammy Award nominations for his revealing solo album Open Book on Palmetto Records: Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo (Benny Golson’s “Whisper Not”). In addition, Hersch was awarded the 2017 Prix in Honorem Jazz for the entirety of his career from l'Académie Charles Cros in France. Hersch also opened the Jazz At Lincoln Center 2017 Season with his "Leaves of Grass," a full-evening setting of Walt Whitman's words for vocalists Kurt Elling, Kate McGarry and an instrumental octet.

Add to that such recent accolades as the 2016 Doris Duke Artist award as well as the release of the feature documentary The Ballad of Fred Hersch, which premiered at the prestigious Full Frame Film Festival in March 2016 to rave reviews and now streaming on Vimeo–and you have that most auspicious of times when an artist is being rightfully acknowledged for attaining new pinnacles of ability and inventiveness.

Amos Hoffman & Noam Lemish - Pardes (2018)

Internationally renowned jazz guitarist and oud virtuoso Amos Hoffman and world-class pianist/ composer Noam Lemish have teamed up to release Pardes, an enchanting album offering an inspired blend of jazz, north african and latin rhythms as well as melodies that come from various Jewish communities across the Middle-East and Eastern Europe.

For years, Hoffman and Lemish have been collecting Jewish melodies from different parts of the world including Kurdish, Yemenite, Moroccan, Russian, Central Asian, and Israeli songs. In Pardes they team up with a stellar Toronto-based rhythm section featuring Justin Gray on bass and Derek Gray on drums & percussion to present vibrant reimaginings of these beloved melodies. 

Hoffman and Lemish, both of whom have roots in Israel but have spent much of their adult life in North America, began collaborating in January 2016. Lemish is deeply rooted in jazz and classical music and Hoffman is equally well-versed in jazz, Arab classical music, and North African vernaculars. Together they create a refreshing and compelling sound, filled with vibrant sonorities, unique instrument combinations and compelling arrangements. 

Pardes will be released internationally on Friday, June 1st and will be celebrated with a tour of Ontario, Quebec and New York State.

1. Adon Haslichot  4:44
2. At Telchi Basade  4:08
3. Dror Yikra  5:27
4. Eshal Elohay  2:46
5. Dalale Dalale  4:06
6. Äji Tü Yormä Äji  5:53
7. Harbi Meir  5:45
8. Argaman  2:50
9. Tchol Hamitpachat  4:14
10. Ets Harimon  4:31

Amos Hoffman - Guitar & Oud
Noam Lemish - Piano
Justin Gray - Bass
Derek Gray - Drums & Percussion


Pedram Khavarzamini - Tombak
Jacob Gorzhaltsan - Clarinet

Este Sábado 12 de Maio Voltam os Concertos Porta-Jazz

Os concertos Porta-Jazz estão de volta aos Sábados ao final da tarde!!!

Depois de um longo intervalo, a associação Porta-Jazz, em parceria com a agenda cultural da Junta da União de Freguesias do Centro Histórico do Porto, retoma a programação de concertos ao final das tardes de Sábado. Yey!

É já a partir deste Sábado, 12 de maio na Rua João das Regras, 365 - à Praça da República.
Como sempre, às 19:00.

Estamos à vossa espera. Até já!

Retomamos em força com os


Sábado, 12 maio
Rua João da Regras, 365 
à Praça da República


Paulo Gomes – piano 
Miguel Moreira – guitarra
Miguel Ângelo – contrabaixo
Acácio Salero – bateria

O novo disco de Paulo Gomes estende firmemente as suas asas numa arcada de estéticas opostas. De um lado surge meio corpo de uma picassiana pomba da paz, com traços essenciais e limpos. Acariciam momentos cristalinos onde o quarteto usa o espaço com amplitude serena. A delicadeza chega a ser um quinto membro da banda, para a interação.

Do outro lado temos meio avião de combate, pronto a um ataque devastador. Este caos programado, ruidoso e violento em geral, deixa por vezes tensos silêncios; os silêncios com a memória da destruição.

Guerra e Paz consegue fazer voar até às alturas emocionais mais elevadas um sugestivo híbrido de polos contrários.

Abe Rábade, fevereiro 2017

Sábados Porta-Jazz - Rua João da Regras, 365 - Porto (à Praça da República)
5€ / 3€ Membros*

* (doação sugerida); Membros: 
quotas válidas por 1 ano: Membro amigo 40 eur; Membro músico/estudante 25 eur.

ABC - Begin Again (ALFA MUSIC 2018)

When I first listened to this music I was impressed by the synergy and technical ability of these three great young and skilled musicians.
All compositions are masterfully arranged and every detail is perfectly cared from the execution of the song to the language used. I found interesting when even the catchy tracks become well-structured and skillfully managed.
My heartfelt wish for ABC is to keep experimenting new great ideas to create memorable cool music.
Fabrizio Bosso

11 BRANI E MONDI SONORI VARIEGATI – “Siamo partiti da un'idea più acustica dei brani, ma quasi subito ci siamo sentiti "limitati". Per questo abbiamo assecondato la nostra esigenza "elettronica" inserendo le tastiere, così da creare mondi sonori ancora più variegati che potessero rispecchiare nel modo più fedele possibile  le atmosfere che avevamo immaginato per i nostri brani. L'album, realizzato completamente in autonomia,  dalle registrazioni al mastering, ci ha permesso di seguire in prima persona e senza alcun limite ogni fase del progetto, plasmandolo secondo le nostre idee ed esigenze. Begin Again racconta tutto di noi, c'è la nostra verità artistica, per questo non abbiamo avuto paura di metterci a nudo”

1) Pita’s
2) Taking the trail
3) A silent drop
4) The first time
5) Begin Again
6) 2015
7) Juntos
8) Fragile Life
9) Alma Latina
10) Sospiri
11) A dorso d’asino

All composed by Sebastian Marino, Luca Fareri, Jacopo Ferrazza
Publishing: AlfaMusic Studio (Siae)

Sebastian Marino piano and keyboards, voice on track 11
Jacopo Ferrazza electric bass,  voice on tracks 2 and 11
Luca Fareri drums, voice on track 11

Produced by ABC for AlfaMusic Label&Publishing
Production coordinators Fabrizio Salvatore and Alessandro Guardia
Management Valentina Di Biasio

Liner notes Fabrizio Bosso
Photos Simone Angileri
Graphic project Mirko Leonardi

Recording and Mix
ABC at Ciano Studio
Mastering Luca Fareri at Ciano Studio
More Albums From AlfaMusic

Drive! - Drive! (AUAND RECORDS 2018)

Solid connections, caustic sounds

and meticulous post-production

on the road to Drive!

Auand Records releases the debut album of Drive!

with Giovanni Guidi, Joe Rehmer, Federico Scettri,

and Niccolò Tramontana’s signature on sounds

Electric and sharp, Drive! (out in June under Auand Records) proudly reveals dirty, rough, and almost dismembered sounds. Most of all, this recording witnesses the lively exchange started several years ago among three musicians: Giovanni Guidi (Fender Rhodes, keyboards), Joe Rehmer (double bass, electric bass) and Federico Scettri (drums), joined by Niccolò Tramontana’s touch on sounds. 

«This band’s main feature is a complete role equality – Guidi, now actively involved in a new adventure with Auand after his successful ECM albums, says –. No instrument prevails. If I listen to the music we’ve recorded, I can clearly hear the product of everyone’s inclinations.» «This project was born a couple years ago – Federico Scettri adds – We had met each other in several other bands, and this has allowed us to find a good chemistry. We have played very much and very often, which is quite unusual nowadays. Our approach has immediately been spontaneous – we barely talked, but we were always pleased by the final result. Plus, Tramontana’s work is very interesting.»

The inner engine of Drive!, Niccolò Tramontana has been assisting the whole process since the beginning, playing various roles, and helping to give the recording its final shape: «He was with us both in the studio and in post-production – Scettri tells – He managed to edit and mix very different sections, thus creating a steady balance between acoustic and electric, as well as synth sounds and electronics.»

Far from being just the picture of a trio, Drive! is something more complex and unusual, with a rich pre and post-production, as shown by ‘Serpentine Method’, a track that invites the listener to step in a labyrinth of percussion, keyboard lines, synth sounds and voices reflected in a mirror.

01 High Voltage
02 Pyramid
03 Upright Spiral
04 Don't be a Square
05 The Fire Swamp
06 Scorpions
07 Serpentine Method
08 Moonraker
09 Nocturne
10 Blue Dream
11 Wheelhouse

Giovanni Guidi fender rhodes, keyboards
Joe Rehmer double bass, electric bass
Federico Scettri drums

Produced by Drive!
Executive Producer: Marco Valente
Recorded at Marchiselli, Foligno (PG) – Italy
Engineer: Niccolò Tramontana
Cover Photo: Michele Palazzo

Les Pompiers - Grande échelle monte jusqu'au ciel (2018)

Les hommes qui composent LES POMPIERS ont été sélectionnés pour leurs connaissances théoriques du métier, mais aussi pour leur sens de l'initiative, leur combativité, leur dévouement et leur rigueur. Toutes ces qualités sont nécessaires aux bon fonctionnement de LES POMPIERS, et tout particulièrement la volonté collective de sauver des gens.

1. Madame Manon et les oiseaux 08:04
2. Il faut dire également 01:08
3. Appuie su'l deux-tons 08:25
4. La chanson de la caserne 03:41
5. Giga pompier 06:21
6. Le sport et le feu 01:04
7. Objectif dune 09:34
8. Hymne 01:17
9. La fanfare 00:34
10. Le retraité 05:55

Sergent Sidecar - Batterie 
Lieutenant Bravo - Trombone 
Sergent Talu - Gros saxo, orgue 
Capitaine Courage - Petit saxo, synthé, machines 
Canadair - Contrebasse 

Prise de son - Matthieu Metzger 
Mixage - Brice Kartmann 
Mastering - ODN Mastering 
Artwork - Guillain le Vilain

Ronny Graupe / Laura Schuler / Alfred Vogel - Kwestia (BOOMSLANG RECORDS May 18, 2018)

KWESTIA is a band which invites you the listener to witness it´s progress. Due to different domestic places (an austrian alpine village named Bezau, the swiss city of Bern and Germany´s Berlin - let´s call it the golden triangle of Bs ...) the band meets in bigger intervals to record and tour and let you be part of how things are moving on ... therefore we choose bandcamp as a plattform where new tracks will be added as soon as they are available. 

Ronny Graupe´s work as a guitar player and writer is well recorded and demonstrates the fresh attitude of improvisers of the European Jazz Scene. His collaboration with bands like Hyper Active Kid (now Gropper / Graupe / Lillinger), Yellow Bird or Grand Seniors like Rolf Kühn a.m.o. proof him as a highly skilled virtuoso as well as a great composer of modern music.

Laura Schuler a former student of Graupe from the Bern Jazz School is a sensitive and highly creative string player and matches here with a wonderful light- and brightness between the dense and complex rhythms. Besides active solowork and bigger newmusic ensembles Schuler made herself a name also due to her collaboration with Graupe in a Band named Aberratio Ictus. She covers both worlds - the classic and jazz - with ease.

On drums the initiator of this project Alfred Vogel shows again his ability to drive crazy and hard as well as to fit in with sensitive brush work when the music longs for.

The compositions (for now mainly by Graupe) show an incredible matured songwriting and advanced structure. Despite of it´s complexity this music and by the way bassless trio sounds surprisingly poetic, dreamy and lightfeathered. Multiple timelayers and pulses delivered by all of the three are topped with deep sense of melody and harmony. If there is a category that might fit the concept it would be creative improvised music. And then there is a track like Latarnik with a quite poppy head.

But be aware it would change and progress ... to where?

In the modern music market artists might have more questions than ever. One question is, where their music can go to and how it will be received in a fastforward moving time ... therefor the given name is the polish word KWESTIA - which stands for the word QUESTION.

In their own words: "We don´t know where this project will lead us to. All we know is that it is wonderful music and that we played our hearts out on the recording session. We want to share it now with an interested audience and listener and hope to go out and play live ...!"

1. Ronny Graupe, Laura Schuler, Alfred Vogel - Drei 03:32
2. Ronny Graupe, Laura Schuler, Alfred Vogel - Zwei 06:47
3. Latarnik 09:15
4. Offday 02:23
5. Zwischen 06:11

Ronny Graupe (guitar)
Laura Schuler (violine)
Alfred Vogel (drums)

Playlist for Tom Ossana – The Thin Edge – May 9, 2017 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m. ~ Use this link to access the show online.

Joachim Mencel Quintet - Artisena (FOR TUNE 2018)

The journey to realizing this album lasted several years. Its first stage was the writing of a cycle of jazz compositions which were inspired by Polish traditional dances, including the dances of national minorities. I got this idea from a compositional concept applied by Fryderyk Chopin, with the difference that my compositions were jazz themes, as opposed to classical pieces. Like Chopin, I titled these compositions with names of folk dances, and thus my Polonaises, Oberek, etc. came to be. In the initial version, I arranged these pieces for a nonet which included five wind instruments. Although I was happy with the effects of my work, I still wanted – other than a jazz sound – to achieve a traditional music sound as well, in order to create a fusion of ethnic music and jazz in this element. And so the choice came about… I decided to fulfill an old dream of mine and learn to play the cranked lyre (also known as the hurdy-gurdy).

I spent several years on this task, and reached a point where I could play most of the pieces I had written earlier on the lyre. This was also the basis for a reworking of the entire cycle, in which I no longer combined the sounds of the piano and lyre with wind instruments, but with violin and guitar. On the album, the violin is played by Weronika Plutecka who, on the other hand, doesn’t usually deal with jazz, but with ethnic music. On guitar we’re accompanied by a superb jazz musician – Szymon Mika. This performance apparatus is supported by a steadfast rhythm section: Paweł Wszołek (bass) and Szymon Madej (drums). I’m happy that, with this crew, I was able to create and record an ethno-jazz album, in a very broad understanding and on numerous levels of that stylistic term. Ethno-jazz is in the spheres of composition, its sound and in the music’s performance. Let the music play!

Joachim Mencel

1. Polonez A-moll 09:44
2. Oberek G-dur 08:50
3. Kujawiak F-moll 07:13
4. Krakowiak F-dur 07:03
5. Mazurek D-moll 04:56
6. Kołomyjka Bb-moll 07:27
7. Czardasz C-moll 08:05
8. Polonez D-dur 06:59

Joachim Mencel – piano, hurdy-gurdy
Weronika Plutecka – violin
Szymon Mika – guitar
Paweł Wszołek – double bass
Szymon Madej – drums

All compositions by Joachim Mence