Thursday, June 14, 2018

Jamie Shew - Eyes Wide Open (2018)


On JAMIE SHEW’s bio, she quotes Ella Fitzgerald, who said, “Forgive me if I don’t have the words. Maybe I can sing it and you’ll understand.” For vocalist, arranger, composer and pianist Shew, she found that mere words could not express her feelings after losing her husband, Roger Shew, to cancer, and the only way she could really tell her story was through music. Her second CD, EYES WIDE OPEN, uses song to follow the arc of her life from the early days of her relationship with Roger through his illness and beyond. 

Jamie has played piano for as long as she can remember. Her mother claims she began playing by ear at four years old. Though Shew doubts that she was quite that young, the piano has always been an important part of her life. She began studying jazz piano in high school and eventually got a scholarship to Washington State University where she continued studying jazz piano and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education.  

Jamie had begun singing in high school. She was the accompanist for the school choir when, during her senior year, the choir director gave her the opportunity to sing a solo number. That turned out to be a pivotal moment for her, and when she went to college, she began to shift her focus to singing. College is also where she met Roger, who was studying bass. Shew credits Roger with helping her with much of her early jazz education. They got married right after graduation and went off together to continue their studies at Western Michigan University, where Jamie earned a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance/Jazz Studies. She also studied privately with one of her favorite jazz vocalists, Sunny Wilkinson. The couple moved to Los Angeles 15 years ago and soon established themselves on the local jazz scene. 

Jamie’s extensive musical training informs her singing. Her timbre is warm and inviting, while her timing, phrasing, and ability to interact so well with the band reflects her years of study. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she’s playing with some of the finest musicians in Southern California. Guitarist LARRY KOONSE, pianist and Hammond B3 player JOE BAGG, bass player DAREK OLES, and drummer JASON HARNELL are leaders in their own right and some of the most sought-after sidemen anywhere, with each appearing on dozens of CDs. Besides being stellar musicians who have worked together extensively, they’re also old friends of Jamie and Roger.

Jamie released A Place for Me in 2012, but with a child to raise and dealing with Roger’s illness, she put the brakes on her performance career for a while. But after Roger’s passing, she turned back to music. “After Roger died, I felt an overwhelming need to practice,” Jamie relates. “Singing became almost a compulsion, a physical drive. I needed to get back to work and make a new CD. I chose songs I was fairly familiar with and had considered recording in the past, but now they took on new meanings for me. I chose and arranged each song with much deliberation. Each became a metaphor for my continuing journey. I’m not a dark person and neither was Roger. Although there are some pensive moments, I didn’t want the CD to be weighed down with a dark vibe.” 

Jamie arranged all of the tunes on this CD. She also composed two songs, including the opening song “Get Out of My Head,” a swinger about getting back into dating after 20 years and what that really means. “Easy to Love” is the Cole Porter tune, which is how Jamie thought of Roger when they first started getting serious.

Roger introduced Jamie to Slam Stewart, one of the composers of “Flat Foot Floogie.” Jamie has an irreverent sense of humor and wanted to include this humorous ditty about a prostitute with venereal disease. It also reminds her of Roger’s light-hearted approach to life. 

Roger wrote the lyrics to Pat Metheny’s “Question and Answer” for Jamie and retitled it “The Answers Are You.” He changed the original vibe of the tune by turning it into a tender song about what it meant to find love. 

The next few songs, “Detour Ahead,” “Thou Swell,” “Mountain Greenery,” and “Easy Living” represent the happiness and love they experienced together before Roger was diagnosed. Roger proposed to Jamie while on a camping trip in the mountains, and so the lyrics to “Mountain Greenery” are very special and apt for Jamie. The CD takes a more somber turn with “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” when the cause of Roger’s illness was finally diagnosed.  For Jamie, “First Song for Ruth” marks Roger’s death, who was a big fan of Charlie Haden. Joe Bagg’s organ gives the song a reverent feeling. 

Jamie sings “O Cantador” in the original Portuguese. She chose it because it represents her need to sing after Roger’s passing, while the touching lyrics to “Reflections,” composed by Thelonious Monk with lyrics by Jon Hendricks, could have been written about Jamie. 

Jamie composed “Eyes Wide Open,” the title tune. The song is about moving on with life and contains the lyrics “As the clock slowly goes back in time, the hands move forward in a new direction / And the heart is being conditioned to move on with new intention.” The song concludes both the album and Jamie’s journey to date. 

EYES WIDE OPEN is a project imbued with love and loss but eschews mere sentimentality. Jamie doesn’t just perform moving interpretations of these songs -- she opens her heart and exposes the genuine, raw feelings that have propelled her to make this CD. Her innate musicality is showcased in her phrasing and tone, but it’s how she reveals the depth of the human condition that sets this project apart.

Larry Koonse guitar
Joe Bagg piano & Hammond B3
Darek Oles bass
Jason Harnell drums

All arrangements by Jamie Shew

Ne manquez pas la dernière fin de semaine des Francos !

Patrice Michaud
et les Majestiques
  Capté par
14 juin • 21 h

Dead Obies
15 juin • 21 h

Rapkeb Allstarz
Koriass, FouKi, Alaclair Ensemble, Rymz, Lary Kidd, Dead Obies, Taktika, Joe Rocca, Brown,

Yann Perreau 
Tombés du ciel, un salut au grand Jacques Higelin
invités Hubert Lenoir,
Catherine Major,
Anna Frances Meyer 
(Les Deuxluxes)

Grand événement Bell
La musique de STONE : Hommage à Plamondon
avec Ariane Moffatt, Betty Bonifassi, BEYRIES, Catherine Major, Gabrielle Shonk, Klô Pelgag,
La Bronze, Marie-Pierre Arthur, Martha Wainwright, Safia Nolin
et Valérie Carpentier

Rymz | Lary Kidd
Ce soir !
14 juin • 19 h
Club Soda

Ce soir ! 
Première partie :
Les Hôtesses d'Hilaire 
14 juin • 21 h

L'événement 50e d'André Mathieu
Alain Lefèvre et ses invités:  
Diane Dufresne, Marc Labrèche, Florence K et Catherine Major avec l’Orchestre de la Francophonie dirigé par
Jean-Philippe Tremblay
Ce soir ! 
14 juin • 20 h
Maison symphonique

Brel Symphonique
avec Bïa, Luc De Larochelière, Pierre Flynn, Marc Hervieux, Andrea Lindsay, Catherine Major, Danielle Oddera, Paul Piché, Bruno Pelletier et Diane Tell
Chef d'orchestre et orchestrateur:  Simon Leclerc
16 juin • 20 h
Maison symphonique

Pierre Lapointe
La science du coeur
Première partie : Voyou
16 juin • 20 h
Théâtre Maisonneuve,
Place des Arts

Art Pepper - Live in USA (2018) 2 Discs

Disc 1. Was recorded in California at Foothill College in 1975 and released in Europe and Japan shortly after Art's death in 1982. 

In '75, Art was just beginning to do some jazz gigs. He'd been working hard playing bar mitzvahs and weddings, often with Tommy Gummina, heard here on Chordovox, his own invention. You may think it's an accordion, but you'd be wrong. During the 50s and 60s Tommy won many jazz awards including the ones Downbeat hands out. He recorded extensively with Buddy DeFranco, and Art loved Tommy's inventive ideas and chord voicings. Loved playing with him. Also, on this set, Fred Atwood on bass, and Jimmie Smith on drums. 

Disc 2. Also released in Europe and Japan in '83. it was recorded in 1977 at Pete Douglas's Beach House in Half Moon Bay California (aka Bach Dynamite and Dancing). By 1977 Art was beginning to tour and, later in the year, would play his legendary sets at the Village Vanguard in New York, following that up with his first tour of Japan. This is a particularly beautiful set and Art's tune, Lost Life, is the standout. In my opinion, it's perfect, and he never played it any better than he does here, partly because Smith Dobson is playing piano. Jim Nichols is on bass, Brad Bilhorn on drums. This is the same band accompanying Art on volume 8 from Widow's Taste—a lovely release.

Robert Burke / Tony Malaby / Mark Helias - Head Under Water (June 14, 2018)

HEAD UNDER WATER takes the listener on an immersive journey. Tony Malaby, Robert Burke and Mark Helias bring to each track their own identity, experiences, expertise and egos. 

The musical decisions made by the ensemble in the moment of recording are central to the improvised interaction and the outcome.

Tony Malaby searches for ‘the big idea’, Robert Burke and Mark Helias choose whether to match ideas or develop, introduce something new, play or not to play, to take a conciliatory or an oppositional position… to question.

The resulting aural narrative demands that the audience let the music surround and flow over them—to actively listen to the interplay in each track, and engage with the intuitive emotions evoked.

Recorded in Brooklyn, New York and mixed in Italy, HEAD UNDER WATER is a daring, instinctive and organic performance by three renowned jazz musicians.

1. Immersion 09:13
2. Commitment 03:07
3. Plight 05:23
4. Bond 08:30
5. Engrossment 00:19
6. Involvement 02:29
7. Captivation 04:57
8. Engagement 06:20
9. Fascination 00:47
10. Intentness 05:03
11. Enthrallment 09:12
12. Attention 00:46
13. Saturation 06:42
14. Lost 04:01
15. Absorption 03:43

Robert Burke — Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
Tony Malaby — Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
Mark Helias — Acoustic Bass

17th July 2017
Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Engineer—Michael Brorby

Mixed and Mastered
December 2017—Andrea Benassai
Sonoria Recording Plant, Prato Italy
Editing—Pietro Falaschi
Producer—Robert Burke

Slowly Rolling Camera - Juniper (EDITION RECORDS July 6, 2018)

Juniper is the emphatic and uplifting third album from Cardiff based Slowly Rolling Camera and their strongest and most impactful statement yet. Masterminded by Edition label boss Dave Stapleton, producer Deri Roberts and drummer Elliot Bennett, Juniper fuses expansive jazz grooves with rich cinematic soundscapes marking the beginning of a new era for the group, anchoring new instrumental roots whilst bringing together a dynamic instrumental team of ex-Cinematic Orchestra guitarist Stuart McCallum, bassist Aidan Thorne and Belgian saxophonist Nicolas Kummert. With Juniper the band have returned to the original vision of their instrumental roots and the result is vibrant, bold and excitingly fresh. 

The new music sustains their lush aural trajectory, evoking comparisons with the Cinematic Orchestra, blending strong melodies, big grooves and surprising turns of phrase, instilled with an expansive emotional gravitas. Colliding worlds of jazz, trip-hop and cinematic soundscapes, this music is a rich culmination of 15 years of friendship and making music together.

1. Juniper 07:45
2. Helsinki
3. A Thousand Lights
4. Hyperloop
5. Crossings
6. Nature's Ratio
7. The Outlier
8. Eight Days

All music by Dave Stapleton
Produced by Slowly Rolling Camera

Dave Stapleton keyboards
Deri Roberts electronics
Elliot Bennett drums
Stuart McCallum guitar
Neil Yates trumpet
Nicolas Kummert saxophones
Mark Lockheart saxophones
Aidan Thorne double bass

Additional Musicians:
Tom Barford tenor & soprano saxophone
James Copus trumpet
Sam Glaser alto saxophone

Recorded by Slowly Rolling Camera
Mixed by Deri Roberts and Andy Allan

Stuart McCallum - Solitude (EDITION RECORDS July 15, 2018)

A guitarist of considerable facility and creativity, Stuart McCallum rose to prominence playing with the Cinematic Orchestra on Ma Fleur and Live at the Albert Hall, but it is with his own music that confirms his reputation as one of the most vital, creative and soulful guitarists of his generation. His new EP, Solitude, explores the subtleties and emotive nuances of the acoustic guitar in a breathtakingly beautiful way.

1. Alnmouth
2. Saltburn
3. Craster
4. Newton
5. Farne

'Master guitarist McCallum's music is heaven sent. Beautifully crafted, warm blooded, folk and jazz inspired magical stuff....'  WRITTEN IN MUSIC