Friday, May 25, 2018

Alex Cassanyes Big Band Project - The Garden of Eden (TEMPS RECORD 2018)

The Garden of Eden is the first work of the ALEX CASSANYES BIG BAND PROJECT, a traditional Big Band band, but with contemporary flair. The album wants to record all the work done during the last year, starting from Alex Cassanyes’ compositions between 2013 and 2016. The music starts from the life experiences, emotions, and from a strong influence of arts, trying to capture different aesthetic realities. The Big Band’s ensemble is at the same time a perfect vehicle for any sound environment, from a landscape with calm fragrance to a bombardment of visceral emotions. 

The disc is made of 4 original compositions led by the suite The Garden of Eden, influenced by Hemingway’s literature. Each movement is based on a particular note (A, F and G) where each note appears as the main axis in the melodies, harmonies and textures. The longed-for garden is based on the metaphor of that paradisiacal place where the composer discovers himself doing what he loves most in life: writing music.

The other compositions are: A dimanche après-midi à l'île de la Grande Jatte, based on the homonymous painting by the painter Georges Seurat; Vaekst, where the musical cell acquires a malformation and Drugstore, a small fantasy of freedom against chronic fatigue, so prevalent in today's society.

1. Un dimanche après-midi à l'île de la Grande Jatte 07:03
2. The Garden of Eden I - Suite 13:21
3. The Garden of Eden II - Suite 09:53
4. The Garden of Eden III - Suite 11:26
5. Vaekst 08:57
6. Drugstore 06:45

Album recorded at Auditori Municipal de Vilafranca del Penedès (Barcelona) by Marc Palet and Dani Mayor.
Edited & Mixed by Marc Palet
Photos & Design by Pep López

Dos Santos - Logos (INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM RECORDING June 15, 2018)

Dos Santos is a quintet just 5 years working in Chicago but already established as one of the city’s most potent, impactful performers. A band known to be at home in a broad spectrum of venues and contexts – as proficient at nailing epic progressive arrangements for summer street festivals in the Latinx culture hub of Pilsen as they are at extended improvisational, experimental cumbia sets on the jazz-centric cabaret stage of the California Clipper, or the Chinook Lounge of The Hideout – Dos Santos’s elasticity & consistency in live performance has earned them an enthusiastic & highly diverse audience in the too-often segregated Chicago music scene. In recorded output, the sound established by their first EPs & singles garnered them wider attention for their ability to rekindle & re-present vintage sounds. But anyone with more than a distant perspective on their musicianship & aesthetics would know not to over-simplify Dos Santos as purely a psychedelic/cumbia revivalist outfit. Dos Santos have been steadily tipping forward into something more future-minded & universal this whole time, something that transcends the nationalism many of us are desperately trying to depart from, but don’t have the vocabulary to fully escape. "Logos," their International Anthem debut, is a bold & vulnerable push into this transcendence, the band’s effort to proactively poeticize the future in sound. 

“Chicago-born,” “progressive,” “boundary defying,” & “unique sounds” are all sentiments from our label’s mission statement. And though, on the surface, Dos Santos may seem like a departure in the narrative flow of our catalogue & community, this band & this album truly epitomize what we strive to cultivate & present. Over several Summer 2017 sessions at IARC HQ Co-Prosperity Sphere, the Wayward Machine Co storefront & the basement of Dos Santos drummer Daniel Villarreal-Carrillo’s home (all on the same 3200 block of Morgan Street in the Southside Chicago neighborhood of Bridgeport), the band settled into comfortable confines with The Daves (engineers Vettraino & Allen), making space to improvise, incubate & innovate. What’s heard on the ultimate product of this homegrown process (Logos) is Dos Santos laying their voices bare, at once aware of cultural context, informed by aesthetic precursors, and yet fully irreverent to expectations or how any of this might be “appropriately” employed. Whether through the balladic melodrama of “caminante,” the noir-cumbia refrains of “purísima,” the afro-psych gallup of the title track “logos” (which features the Antibalas horn section), the Tortoise on TNT-resounding guitar phrases of “coda,” or the Tame Impala-like Juno synths of “manos ajenas (touch you every day),” each composition offers a bridge into a sonic landscape that speaks to histories of migration and arts of living that have been central to everything from house music to blues, Latinx punk to salsa in the City of Chicago. Logos presents an idealized new progressive American music, as rooted in Chicago as it is communicable with the world.

1. acábame
2. córdva
3. return y regreso
4. logos
5. caminante
6. purísima
7. manos ajenas (touch you every day)
8. how far are we from here?
9. coda
10. sole party
11. (you are) my revolution

Alex Chavez - vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion
Jaime Garza - electric bass
Nathan Karagianis - guitar, vocals
Peter "Maestro" Vale - congas, percussion
Daniel Villarreal Carrillo - drums, percussion

w/ cameos by
Ben LaMar Gay - cornet (on "return y regreso" and "caminante")
Roger Reeves - spoken word (on "sole party")
and the ANTIBALAS horn section
Martín Perna - baritone saxophone
Morgan Price - tenor saxophone
Jordan McLean - trumpet
Eric Biondo - trumpet
arranged by Nick Mazzarella (on "logos" and "(you are) my revolution")

Recorded & Mixed by Dave Vettraino & David Allen.
Edited by Alex Chavez & Dave Vettraino.
Mastered by Shelly Steffens.
Artwork & Design by Craig Hansen.
Executive Production by Scott McNiece.

Peter Brotzmann & Fred Lonberg-Holm - Ouroboros (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

1. The Circle 06:04
2. The Figure Eight 13:42
3. The Spiral 16:09
4. The Fusion of Opposites 04:46

Peter Brötzmann - Reeds
Fred Lonberg-Holm - Strings & Electronics

Recorded by Stefan Deistler at Loft Köln on January 18, 2011

All music by Broetzmann/FMP publishing/Gema - Lonberg-Holm/BMI

John McCowen - 4 Chairs in Three Dimensions (ASTRAL SPIRITS June 7, 2018)

Following hot on the heels of clarinetist John McCowen's absolutely stellar album "Solo Contra" (International Anthem) we are proud to present another release of solo work "4 Chairs in 3 Dimensions." McCowen has spent a lot of time in various scenes, from playing in bands such as Tweak Bird and Wei Zhongle to studying and playing clarinet with Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Frith & Ned Rothenberg among others. The 4 pieces on this album deal with various extended drone-like aspects of playing the clarinet, here entirely acoustic, in shorter song-like versions. Or as McCowen himself states, "embracing long-form drones, difference tones, and beating harmonics as a means to extrude the dimensionality within - treating the clarinet as an acoustic synthesizer".

1. White Trash
2. Fu-e
3. Birds of Jamaica
4. 4 Chairs in 3 Dimensions

John McCowen - Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet

Recorded/Mixed January 2017 by Adam Hirsch @ Tiny Telephone Studios, SF

Mastered by David Allen
Music Composed by John McCowen
All Tracks Performed Live

Mockūnas / Mazurkiewicz / Berre - Live in Warsaw (ASTRAL SPIRITS June 7, 2018)

Happy to present the first release from this trio of European stalwarts: saxophonist Liudas Mockunas (who's amazing playing has been documented quite well over the last few years on No Busniess Records), bassist Jacek Mazurkiewicz (3Fonia, Warsaw Improvisers Orchestra, Modular String Trio) and drummer Hakon Berre (duo with Aram Shelton, Susana Santos Silva and more). This is top notch unadulterated free jazz, the trio plays as though they have been working together for years...there is a level of communication and interplay demonstrated throughout. Nothing too flashy, but an incredibly singular sound.

1. Elven
2. Upé
3. Rzeka

Liudas Mockūnas - Clarinet, Soprano & Tenor Sax 
Jacek Mazurkiewicz - Contrabass, Electronics 
Håkon Berre - Drums

Andrew Barker & Daniel Carter - Polyhedron (ASTRAL SPIRITS June 7, 2018)

We are incredibly excited to present the first duo album from Andrew Barker (Barker Trio, Gold Sparkle Trio, Acid Birds, Little Huey Creative Orchestra) and Daniel Carter (too many groups to mention) since 2001's "Common Soldier" (Qbico). "Polyhedron" finds Barker & Carter stretching the classic sax & drums duo into all kinds of wild territories and featuring each of their multi-instrumental talents throughout. Each piece is dedicated to colleagues that they have both worked with in the past & present (Roy Campbell, Sabir Mateen, William Parker & Charles Water). Both Daniel Carter & Andrew Barker have spent countless years honing their craft, together and individually...two true masters getting intensely deep within this tape. Play loud!

1. Polyhedron (for Roy Campbell)
2. Astral Linguist (for Sabir Mateen)
3. Veiled Cadence (for William Parker)
4. Peace Dividend (for Charles Waters)

Andrew Barker - Drums & Percussion 
Daniel Carter - Alto, Tenor & Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet, Trumpet, Flute.

Matthew Lux's Communication Arts Quartet - Contra​/​Fact (ASTRAL SPIRITS June 22, 2018)

When Matt Lux asked me to write something for his record, we met in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. He parked right where the sorely-missed Lithuanian restaurant Healthy Food used to be. When he was just starting to play, older musicians would take him around town to discover all the special spots. He calls one of his tunes “Paw Paw” after a native fruit which has never gained widespread popularity because it doesn’t travel and must be eaten within days of being picked. Lux passes on knowledge as it was passed on to him. 

What do you call this music? I ask and he just shrugs. This isn’t because he doesn’t know what he’s doing or lacks the language to explain himself. Opposites attract him. There are horns, drums, and bass and non-bass guitars on this record but it isn’t jazz. There are electronic blips, wheezes, and barely audible echoes filling the imaginary rooms these numbers conjure. There’s even a human voice or two now and then. 

“Space-folk”, he offers, half-joking, I think. This from a guy who’s come to couch his opinions with the caveat that they come from someone who hates Sonny Rollins but loves Culture Club. He tells me that some of the titles of these tunes refer to Biggie Smalls, Colin Kaepernick, and Lester Young, among others. But I won’t tell you which is which because no one wants their work explained away by influences and inspirations. Besides, where one starts is rarely where one finishes, so identifying jumping-off points won’t necessarily help you appreciate where it will end up. I didn’t know any back-stories the first couple dozen times I listened to this record either. Songs must fly on their own wings to survive and his fly their own way whatever he calls them and wherever they came from. 

The places they go are sometimes loud, other times quiet, but they always move around in a ruminative sort of way. When they meander, they meander with purpose. Lux named his band the Communication Arts Quartet after a building devoted to that discipline at Walt Disney Elementary, where he went to school as a child. I have to believe the old imagineer himself would be transported were he to hear the music made by this graduate of his namesake institution of learning. 

While Lux’s compositions don’t bludgeon you upside the head with their messages, they aren’t willfully obtuse or obscurantist in the way some contemporary instrumental music can be either. Communication’s in the name for good reason. Lux isn’t about making listeners suffer. He wants to make something his mother would enjoy listening to rather than to impress some self-appointed musicologist. He and his bandmates have done the heavy lifting. Drop the needle and let them take you places. 

Dmitry Samarov

1. Camisa Sete 03:20
2. Ninna Nanna 06:00
3. Mercury Lights 04:27
4. Singlet 00:50
5. Paw Paw 04:54 video
6. Israels' 08:14
7. C.G.L.W 09:48
8. Gris/Bleu 01:58

Mikel Patrick Avery - drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, mellotron 
Ben Lamar Gay - cornet, electronics, melodica, percussion 
Jayve Montgomery - tenor sax, carinumpet, flute, samples, percussion 
Matthew Lux - bass, synth, electric guitar, chirimia, percussion 

Recording and Mixing by GREG NORMAN 
Mixed at MINBAL 
Edit for LP by LEROY BACH 
Mastered for Vinyl by ALAN JONES at LAMINAL AUDIO

The Contemporary Jazz Quintet - Location (BBE MUSIC 2018)

Following on from the welcome revival of Lyman Woodard’s classic ‘Saturday Night Special‘ and drummer, Bert Myrick’s ‘Live ’n Well’ – which features the epic ‘Scorpio’s Child’ – BBE Records continue to dig deeper into the vaults of Detroit’s Strata label with The Contemparary Jazz Quintet album ‘Location’. 

Working in conjunction with 180 Proof’s Amir Abdullah BBE are poised to unearth a steady flow of hard to find or previously unheard gems from the short-lived but consistently innovative community based initiative that was Strata. Next up on CD is the Contemporary Jazz Quintet (CJQ) who were recently described by Jazzwise magazine as “one of the best kept secrets in jazz”. That declaration arrived via a review of their one-and-only recording for Blue Note Records – ‘Introducing Kenny Cox and The Contemporary Jazz Quintet’ – an album that was recorded in 1968. 

Four years elapsed before the CJQ released another album. ‘Location’ dropped on Cox’s own Strata imprint. Led by Kenny Cox on piano and electric piano, the quintet also features Charles Moore on flugelhorn, trumpet and percussion – an enormously influential figure on the Detroit scene – along with guitarist and Motown side-man Ron English. This five-track offering shows the ensemble to have side-stepped the shadow of 60’s Miles Davis for a more muscular and explosive art form. From the aptly entitled opening salvo of ‘Bang’ to the expansive thirteen minute ‘Inner Beckoning’, ‘Location’ delivers that sense of restless reflection and stubborn resistance which characterized the dawn of the Seventies in the Motor City.

1. Bang! 07:13
2. Tao 11:16
3. Noh Word 01:59
4. Nzugo Saba (Struggle) 08:05
5. Inner Beckoning 13:18

Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow - Music In My Mind (ORIGIN RECORDS 2018)

Accompanied by his New Tomorrow band plus special guests, saxophonist Shawn Maxwell presents captivating original tunes on his latest release, Music In My Mind

Chicago-based reed maven Shawn Maxwell
takes listeners on a jazz journey with his brand-new CD, Music In My Mind

On Music In My Mind, saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist Shawn Maxwell presents an exciting mix of 10 new compositions, ranging from straight-ahead jazz to the free and far out to funk and fusion, all rendered with skill, taste, warmth and originality. This is the eighth album of originals for Maxwell, and once again he displays the talent, creativity and imagination that have built an enthusiastic international audience for this Illinois native son. 

Joined by his band New Tomorrow on this latest CD, Music In My Mind,Maxwell presents an excellent sampler of his far-reaching capabilities as a bandleader, and highlights the stellar contributions of his musical cohorts. The saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist is joined by New Tomorrow stalwarts Victor Garcia on trumpet and flugelhorn, Matt Nelson on piano and keyboards, Junius Paul on acoustic and electric bass, and Phil Beale on drums.

The core New Tomorrow band is supplemented on this fresh offering by special guests, including vocalist Dee Alexander, trumpeters Chad McCullough and Corey Wilkes, electric bassists Patrick Mulcahy and Tim Seisser, vibraphonist Stephen Lynerd, and drummer/percussionist Kalyan Pathak. 

The Joliet, Illinois-born Shawn Maxwell was exposed to a wide variety of music from his youngest years; he recalls that hearing Pete Fountain made him want to play the clarinet. It was love at first note—as soon as Shawn picked up an instrument, he knew he wanted to pursue a life in music. As he discovered more about jazz in high school, he realized he’d found his musical home.

Maxwell has been a mainstay of the Chicago jazz scene since his high school days. Critic Neil Tesser has described his tone in glowing terms: "His alto timbre sits in a lineage exemplified by past giants like Jackie McLean and Eric Dolphy, and by such latter-day players as Arthur Blythe and Steve Slagle." 

But Maxwell can’t be pigeonholed as solely a Chicago musician. The saxophonist has steadily developed a broad following far beyond his Midwest roots, starting with the release of his first album in 2004. He maintains a busy national and international touring schedule, and has gigged and recorded with a quartet and a 10-tet, Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance, as well as with New Tomorrow.

Maxwell has been lauded for his composing skills from the get-go, and he acknowledges finding inspiration in a diverse lineup that includes Guns N’ Roses, Duke Ellington, Art Pepper and Cannonball Adderley. Writing music always seemed like a natural creative outlet to the saxophonist, who notes, “As jazz musicians, we’re composers every time we take a solo.”

Music In My Mindhighlights include:

“He Gone”: Introspective and mellow, grounded by the spare, intense drumwork and ethereal flute. “Our Princess is in Another Castle” is frisky and engaging, with a hypnotic beat. It’s a treat to hear how singer Dee Alexander shines in this setting.

The title track, “Music In My Mind,” bursts with fun and creativity, hinting at classically inspired themes. Check out the leader’s exciting saxophone work, as well as Victor Garcia’s shimmering flugelhorn solo.

With its brilliant writing, sax styling and energy, there’s something about “Glamasue” that evokes but never imitates Arthur Blythe on the cusp of the 1980s. There’s an engaging development of tension and tempo, driven by the depth of Tim Seisser’s electric bass.

With Music In My MindShawn Maxwell proves once again that he is in the front line among today’s most versatile and creative jazz talents. Expect to be surprised and delighted by his music for years to come.

1 Our Princess is in Another Castle 5:15 
2 Music In My Mind 6:38 
3 Untitled Tune #1 1:45 
4 Maxwell's House 4:01 
5 Herding Happiness 4:28 
6 He Gone 4:34 
7 King Bill 4:00 
8 Another Monday 6:59 
9 Glamasue 6:31 
10 Snow Snow 4:34

Dee Alexander - Voice (1,2,4) 
Victor Garcia - Trumpet/flugelhorn (2,8) 
Chad Mccullough - Trumpet/flugelhorn (1,3,4,5,9) 
Corey Wilkes - Trumpet (6,10) 
Matt Nelson - Piano/rhodes 
Patrick Mulcahy - Electric Bass (6,10) 
Junius Paul - Electric & Acoustic Bass (1,2,4,5,7,8) 
Tim Seisser - Electric Bass (3,9) 
Phil Beale - Drums 
Stephen Lynerd - Vibraphone (5) 
Kalyan Pathak - Percussion (7)

Produced by Shawn Maxwell & Nick Eipers 
Recorded, mixed & mastered by Nick Eipers 
Recorded at Shirk Studios, December 12-14, 2017 
Assistant Engineer: Suzie Calarco 
Mixed & Mastered at Crann Darach, Chicago, IL 
Cover images by Franco Lovisolo & John Bishop 
Cover design & layout by John Bishop

Upcoming Events
May-June 2018

May 25 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Glendale Jazz Festival, 424 Sappington Rd 
St Louis, MO 63122 United States + Google Map
Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow performs at the Glendale Jazz Festival

May 26 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Westsylvania Jazz & Blues Festival, N 7th St 
Indiana, PA 15702 United States + Google Map
Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow performs at Westsylvania Jazz & Blues Festival

May 31 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Constellation, 3111 n. Western 
Chicago, IL 60618 United States + Google Map
Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow celebrates the release of their new album on the Origin label.

June 2018

June 7 @ 8:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Black Dolphin, 1813 Grand Blvd 
Kansas City, MO 64108 United States + Google Map
Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow celebrates the release of their new album at Black Dolphin in Kansas City

June 8 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Cafe Paradiso, 101 N Main st 
Fairfield, IA United States + Google Map
Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow performs celebrating the release of their new album.

June 9 @ 8:00 pm
The Washington, 306 Washington Street 
Burlington, IA 52601 United States + Google Map
Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow celebrates the release of their new album at The Washington

June 15 @ 9:30 pm - June 16 @ 1:00 am
Andy’s Jazz Club, 11 E Hubbard St 
Chicago, IL 60654 United States + Google Map
Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow celebrates the release of their new album at Andy's Jazz Club

June 16 @ 9:30 pm - June 17 @ 1:00 am
Andy’s Jazz Club, 11 E Hubbard St 
Chicago, IL 60654 United States + Google Map
Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow celebrates the release of their new album at Andy's Jazz Club

June 20 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
An Die Music, 409 N Charles St 
Baltimore, MD 21201 United States + Google Map
Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow celebrates the release of their new album at An Die Music

June 21 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
New York City, NY United States + Google Map
Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow performs celebrating the release of their new album

Media Contact
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.”

Wortart Ensemble - Home Sweet Home (Lieder vom Kommen, Gehen und Ble) UNIT RECORDS 2018

The Wortart Ensemble successfully found its place between the spheres of language and music. Since 2008, the vocal group has set poems of famous and lesser-known authors to music.

Wortart received several national and international awards for their work, wich also includes a collaboration with Nora Gomringer, winner of the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize, one of the most prestigious awards for literature in the German language.

Wortart's new album "Home Sweet Home - Songs about arriving, leaving and lingering" comprises texts of poets of various origins and generations.

Their arrangements tell stories about the longing for safety, the complexity of the term "home", about changing and leaving ones home as well as the loss of ones home country, and about starting off in an unknown country.

All members of the vocal quartet (Lena Sundermeyer - soprano, Hannah Ginsburg - soprano, Erik Leuthäuser - tenor, Lars Ziegler - baritone) contributed compositions to the album and introduced their musical provenance.

Hence, the created songs are very intimate, at times light or powerful and at the same time refined and touching.

1. Intro
2. Umarmung der Meridiane
3. Das Seil
4. Neue Ufer
5. Das plötzliche Land
6. Ich fahr dahin
7. Wundersam
8. Nur eine Rose als Stütze
9. Sprachfelder
10. A chorus
11. Für P.A.
12. Mantra 12. Mantra
13. Gedanken über die Dauer des Exils
14. Wenn wir bleiben könnten
15. Zuhause

Lena Sundermeyer - vocals (soprano)
Hannah Ginsburg - vocals (soprano)
Erik Leuthäuser - vocals (tenor)
Lars Ziegler - vocals (baritone)

Lougarou and the Resurgence of Life - Dub Scores Vol. 1 (UNIT RECORDS 2018)

Six saxophones, drums, percussion and voice that sometimes goes crazy, sometimes flows rap. A great combination of sophisticated jazz harmonics with the feeling of reggae and the craziness and the power of dub,

It is acoustic music but it has been produced with a Dub aesthetic and like Dub Techno etc, it should be heard at a high volume.

It is new, it has never been heard before but it is deeply rooted in the jazz tradition.

1 P-Mad 8:06
2 1st Recreation 0:34
3 Letter to an Unknown Master 6:44
4 Dirty Little Lick and the Joker Line 5:43
5 2nd Recreation 0:42
6 Idflorap A 1:31
7 Idflorap B 6:07
8 Winds from the South 6:44
9 3rd Recreation 0:24
10 4th Recreation 0:14
11 Interlude 2:11
12 Thanks for the Ride 5:14
13 5th Recreation 0:15
14 Wuoah! 7:26
15 Idflorap C 4:28

David Wolf: saxophone, percussion, vocals
Lucas Glausen: drums, percussion

Jonas Sjøvaag & Juhani Silvola - Music for Cities (Shipwreckords 2018)

"An impressive debut" - Eyal Hareuveni

Sjøvaag and Silvola are responsible for a number of productions and bands, both as musicians, producers and technicians. Amongst other things, they stand behind critically acclaimed constellations such as Eple Trio (Sjøvaag) and Summers Silvola duo.

In this collaboration they collect common references and present Music for Cities; a dark album with pulses from popular music, rock and modern European improv. With rare melodic flair, solid rhythmic structures and superbly improvised interaction as key elements through 5 songs, this album is a soundtrack for 2018 that is worth noting.

1. Soft Milieu (10:26)
2. Underground (08:57)
3. Epicentric (05:22)
4. La Peste (08:16)
5. Quiet and Deadly

Jonas Sjøvaag - drums
Juhani Silvola - guitars