Wednesday, July 4, 2018

George Winstone - Outer Spaces (2018)

Outer Spaces is the debut EP by alto saxophonist, composer and bandleader George Winstone

With Charlie Stacey (piano), Jamie Murray (drums) and Mikele Montolli (bass) Outer Spaces is firmly a modern jazz record. But it draws its inspiration and influence from many musical traditions, from Western and Indian classical musics to traditional African music. 

For George, music is about expressing only what is natural to yourself. ‘I want my compositions to reflect exactly who I am, and what I want to hear, but also allow for everyone in the band to make the music truly their own.’.

This is music from heart, spirit and mind. George takes unexpected routes to get to the point, but first and foremost the honesty of this music is the first thing he hopes the listener gets.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to you. Just beautiful playing my friend! Congratulations and keep the music fires burning bright!
- Chick Corea

1. Faith 10:11
2. Peace for Chloe 10:40
3. One for Kenny 12:24

Piano - Charlie Stacey
Double Bass - Mikele Montolli
Drums - Jamie Murray

George Winstone , 23 years old, is one of Britain's up and coming Jazz saxophonists and composers.

"go back to the cave you came from" - Brandon Allen

​Gifted with a brilliant technique and warm centered tone, his saxophone playing has been likened to the softness of Paul Desmond with the emotional and harmonic intensity of late Coltrane.

Deeply passionate about playing all varieties of music, George loves playing in all musical contexts. 

​Born in North London, George's musical education started at the age of 6 playing the violin. Displaying aptitude yet with the discomfort holding a violin brought, lessons were rapidly stopped. At the age of 9 piano lessons started and finally at the age of 12 George started study the saxophone inspired by hearing the Pink Floyd track 'Us and Them'.    

​Under the tuition of Nick Wilkinson, George showed great ability on the saxophone.  At the age of 16 George was accepted on to the Junior department at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance playing classical piano. After this he went and studied saxophone in the Junior Jazz department at the Royal Academy of Music with Gareth Lockrane. George further studied on the jazz undergraduate course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. .

​George has a deep interest in classical Chinese medicine and healing traditions from around the world. Alongside a love for classical music, traditional music from African cultures, he is fascinated by ancient musics and the parallels that exist between metaphysical philosophy and musical traditions.  

​With his current project and compositions George is looking to create a sound which incorporates all his influences but allows for the identity of the music to be made by the musicians themselves.

Having just released an EP with his current band, featuring Charlie Stacey (keys), Mikele Montolli (bass) and Jamie Murray (drums). George is looking to set his sights on recording his debut album within the year.

Gaby Moreno & Van Dyke Parks - The Immigrants (NONESUCH RECORDS 2018)

"The immigrants are here to stay, to help build America
The immigrants ain't going nowhere, they're here for America
Fighting for a better life, fighting through the grunge
America remember Ellis Island, we all came here to take the plunge
I hope you understand it."

Guatemalan-born singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno and American musician, songwriter, arranger, and producer Van Dyke Parks mark the United States' Independence Day holiday with the release of their heartfelt interpretation of David Rudder's "The Immigrants" on July 3, 2018. Rudder, a renowned Trinidadian Calypso artist, wrote the song twenty years ago in response to the horrifying attack by New York police officers on the Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. The song speaks, as much today as in 1998, to the harsh treatment of immigrants while also celebrating their contributions to America, and their admiration of the ideals upon which the nation was founded.

"The Immigrants" may be purchased from the Nonesuch Store, iTunes, and Amazon, and streamed at YouTube, Apple Music, and Spotify. Proceeds will be donated to the Central American Resource Center of California (CARECEN), a community-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower Central Americans and all immigrants by defending human and civil rights, working for social and economic justice, and promoting cultural diversity.

"I am a Guatemalan immigrant. This country welcomed me eighteen years ago. It breaks my heart to see the events taking place at the border right now. We all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and to be received into this country with more love and empathy," Moreno says "The song 'The Immigrants' was written by a wonderful artist from Trinidad named David Rudder and was brought to my attention by the brilliant Van Dyke Parks, who has arranged this piece with such passion and grace. It's a powerful message of courage, love and faith that resonates to this day and should be spread wide across the entire nation and beyond. We all share the same dreams and we came here to fulfill them and to prosper, together."

Parks adds: "When I was offered a concert at Denmark's Roskilde fest in 2010, I saw that immigration would become a central issue in the USA, and felt this anthemic tune could entertain as well as inform—and change hearts—and I asked Gaby to join me. 'The Immigrants' has a political punch, while also being joyful and underscoring how our culture is refreshed by immigrants like Gaby, and how those who arrive here can really redefine, and help build America. As Phil Ochs observed 'In such ugly times, the only true protest is beauty.'"

Moreno and Parks originally recorded "The Immigrants" for inclusion on a collaborative album to be released this fall. They opted to put this song out early in order to voice their support for those caught in the current immigration crises.

Leland Sklar, bass
Jim Keltner, drums
Grant Geissman, guitars
Matt Cook, marimba
Amy Schulman, harp
Yvetter Holzworth, violin
Linnea Powell, viola
Aniela Perry, cello
Doug Legacy, steel drum
Lizzie Upton, French horn
Mark Pender, trumpet
Phil Feather, woodwinds
David Stone, upright bass

Andreas Scotty Böttcher - Electric Symphony (in several movements) 2018

"Electrtic Symphony" is meant as a work in several directly connected movements with no breaks in between. Some older MP3 players don't play this album like this but make always a little break of maybe half a second before every track marker. If this is your experience with your MP3-player or Windows Media Player just click my name at the left side on top (below the album title) and then choose the other version of this album that is called "Electric Symphony (as one track)". 

This audio preview makes these breaks too, but it has no influence to what your device does…

1. Rise 06:04
2. Hope 04:04
3. Why ? 04:46
4. Ohio Message One 01:58
5. Poem 03:43
6. Ohio Message Two 01:59
7. Love 01:49
8. Club 06:13
9. Faith 04:58
10. Ohio Message Reprise 03:19

Friedbert Wissmann: MO8 Synthesizer, Drumcomputer
Lisa Bella Donna: Drums

Andreas Scotty Böttcher, Friedbert Wissmann (MO8 Synthesizer, Drumcomputer), Lisa Bella Donna (Drums / including drum mix)

Andreas Scotty Böttcher with MAGIX Samplitude

Aguste Rodin (1840 - 1917) "Grande main de pianiste"

COVER DESIGN: blattwerk | dd , MHFischer

James Sherlock / Ben Hanlon - Ben Hanlon & James Sherlock Duo (2018)

James and Ben's debut duo recording is a collection of 10 compositions combining both players' jazz and classical influences. Interpretations of works by Massenet, Chopin and Schubert alongside jazz composers such as Jimmy Rowles and Sonny Rollins and songwriters Sting and Jack Lawrence. Recorded in 2017 at Pughouse studios and engineered, mixed and mastered by Niko Schauble.

‘Sherlock is a wonderful guitarist, and a craftsman of songs possessing beauty and depth… Definitely a name to watch out for.’
Ian Patterson, All About Jazz

1. Interplay 04:22
2. Nocturne in F Minor, Op 55, No 1 05:06
3. Meditation from Thäis 08:07
4. Parker 51 04:30
5. Ständchen 04:41
6. The Peacocks 09:31
7. Valse Hot 02:10
8. God Child 03:50
9. Wrapped Around Your Finger 06:05
10. If I Didn't Care 05:40

Scott Hamilton - Moon Mist (BLAU RECORDS 2018)

On Dec. 7, 2015, tenor-saxophonist Scott Hamilton, pianist Dena DeRose, bassist Ignasi Gonzalez and drummer Jo Krause gathered together in a theatre in Benicassim, Spain. By the end of the concert, they had recorded enough material to fill up two CDs: La Rosita and The Shadow Of Your Smile. The success of that project led to the quartet coming back together more recently to record the lyrical music of this new release.

Scott Hamilton has been a jazz giant ever since he arrived on the jazz scene in the mid-1970s. Dena DeRose says of the tenor, “What I like most about Scott’s playing is his big beautiful full sound, his laid back style, and the way he shapes his solos with such a feeling of ease and direction. He also chooses great tunes.” Although it is sometimes overlooked, Scott made a major contribution to jazz early in his career that has affected the course of straight ahead jazz ever since.

Born Sept. 12, 1954 in Providence, Rhode Island, Scott Hamilton heard jazz from his father’s record collection starting at an early age. After brief periods of trying out the drums, piano and mouth organ, he had some clarinet lessons when he was eight. However Scott did not seriously begin playing music until he picked up the tenor at the age of 16. While he gained some experience playing with local r&b bands, the great saxophonists of the swing era and beyond were his main inspirations. Early on, aspects of Zoot Sims and Ben Webster could be heard in his playing along with Illinois Jacquet, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges and the other masters of the 1930s and ‘40s. But from the time of his first recording, Scott Hamilton already had his own sound and musical identity within the tradition of straight-ahead and swinging jazz.

It cannot be stressed how unusual it was in the mid-1970s for a young world-class tenor-saxophonist to emerge who played vintage standards in a warm, melodic and swinging fashion. At the time, saxophonists of Scott’s generation who wanted to play jazz generally caught on with a fusion or r&b band, performed soul jazz with an organist, or were involved in avant-garde music. The Dixieland, swing, and bop scenes were largely populated by gradually aging veterans of the eras and local amateur groups. A 22-year old playing such songs as “I Would Do Anything For You,” “Stuffy,” and “Look For The Silver Lining” was unheard of.

Scott moved to New York in 1976, had assistance from Roy Eldridge (one of his champions), and was off and running. He was quickly discovered, worked with Anita O’Day and Hank Jones, started an association with Benny Goodman, and began to record. In 1977 alone he was on albums led by John Bunch, Rosemary Clooney, Dave McKenna, Bob Wilber, Red Norvo, Ross Tompkins, Butch Miles, and Warren Vache (who he often teamed up with during the period) plus a six-tenor jam that included Flip Phillips, and two songs with Benny Goodman. Scott also led a pair of albums of his own including the first of many for the Concord label, an association that lasted for decades.

It was quite a year both for Scott and for small-group swing in general. The young tenor’s recordings became very influential and opened the gate for such newcomers in the next few years as trombonist Dan Barrett, guitarist Howard Alden and clarinetist/tenor-saxophonist Ken Peplowski. Scott’s prominence on the scene was a major break from the idea that young jazz musicians had to play the most cutting-edge and avant-garde explorations in a relentless push forward in order to be considered relevant. It led to the logical idea that creative musicians should always be free to explore whatever area of the music moved or touched them. The goal was to find one’s own voice and to add to the music’s legacy in whatever way seemed best.

From the time he arrived in New York until now, Scott Hamilton has consistently performed and recorded in his own voice, playing the music that he loves best with warmth, swing, taste and inventive ideas. “I just try to play with the musicians in the band,” he explains. “I try to play as naturally as I can and listen to the others. If we are reacting to one another, every performance will always be a little different.”

Scott’s musical life has always been very busy with a nonstop schedule of clubs, concerts, festivals, cruises, and jazz parties, not to mention recordings. Along the way Scott Hamilton has recorded with such greats as fellow saxophonists Woody Herman, Al Cohn, Marshall Royal, Buddy Tate, Harold Ashby, Norris Turney, Zoot Sims, Benny Carter, Gerry Mulligan, Alan Barnes, Ken Peplowski and Harry Allen, trumpeters Bill Berry, Warren Vache, and Dusko Goykovich, flugelhornist Clark Terry, cornetists Ruby Braff and Joe Wilder, guitarists Duke Robillard, Herb Ellis, Bucky Pizzarelli, Cal Collins, Ed Bickert, Howard Alden, Charlie Byrd, Gray Sargent and Chris Flory, pianists Nat Pierce, Derek Smith, Jimmy Rowles, George Wein, Gene Harris, Gerald Wiggins, Tommy Flanagan, Eddie Higgins, and Romano Sportiello, bassists Ray Brown, Monty Budwig, Milt Hinton, Richard Davis and Slam Stewart, drummers Jake Hanna, Connie Kay, Frank Capp and Jeff Hamilton, vibraphonist Cal Tjader, and violinist Joe Venuti, not to mention Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett, Maxine Sullivan, Ernestine Anderson, Susannah McCorkle and Jimmy Witherspoon. “I am happy with a lot of my own recordings. I like the stuff I did with Ruby Braff, the ones with Dave McKenna, the one with Mike LeDonne on organ, and I am very proud of the string album with Alan Broadbent.”

After periods living in New York and London, Scott Hamilton has settled in Italy while remaining a world traveler. “I had lived in big cities all my adult life. Life in a small town in Italy is less expensive and much more relaxing. I’m learning to slow down a little although I need to play a few nights a week just to keep in shape. Europe has many nice little gigs where I can play for 100 people with a fine rhythm section.”

Having performed with the best, Scott has kept his standards high. “With sidemen, I am not so concerned with style. I look for players with rhythmic ability who pay attention to the other musicians. I love Dena DeRoses’s playing. She is a very distinctive and swinging band pianist who is also a bandleader herself. She knows what makes a performance hold together.” Scott and Dena first met in California nearly a decade ago and have worked many times in Europe, taking turns being the leader.

Doubly talented as a pianist and a singer (although she is heard exclusively on the latter during this instrumental set), Dena DeRose has had an impressive career of her own. She started playing piano when she was three, studying classical music. Dena had periods playing classical organ and percussion but, after performing Count Basie’s music with her junior high school band, she switched to jazz. Dena worked constantly as a pianist both in school bands and at casuals. She was heading towards a major career when she was struck with carpal tunnel syndrome, aggravated by arthritis. Dena had to undergo two serious surgeries and could not play piano for over two years. Luckily during that depressing time, at a club a friend dared her to sit in and sing a song. Dena took the dare, and both she and the audience were surprised at what they heard. Unknown to her, she had a beautiful singing voice, one that might not otherwise have been heard. She became a full-time singer and was back to performing music again. And after she gained the use of her hands, Dena was a singer-pianist, equally skilled in both areas.

Dena DeRose moved to New York City in 1991. Her debut album from 1996, Introducing Dena DeRose, made her known beyond the city. Since then she has led nine other albums, utilizing such players as altoist Steve Wilson, trombonist Steve Davis, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Martin Wind, and drummer Matt Wilson. In addition to her leadership abilities, Dena is a valuable sideperson who has worked with such notables as Clark Terry, trombonists Steve Turre and Wycliffe Gordon, altoist Phil Woods, tenor-saxophonists David “Fathead” Newman, Benny Golson, Ken Peplowski, and Houston Person, pianists Marian McPartland and Benny Green, guitarist John Scofield, bassist Ray Brown, drummers Jimmy Cobb and Jeff Hamilton, and singers Jay Clayton, Judy Niemack, and Mark Murphy.

In 2006, Dena DeRose became the Vocal Professor and Head of Jazz Vocals at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria. “I’m in my 12th year of teaching and what I like most about it is the fact that I continue to learn from my students every day. They bring in questions, show me a new song I didn’t know, and bring their smart ideas to every lesson. One great thing about Graz is that the university wants its professors to be ‘out on the scene.’ It has allowed me to continue my performance career.” Since moving to Austria, Dena has recorded a duet album with trumpeter Marvin Stamm, been documented at New York’s Jazz Standard leading a trio with Martin Wind and Matt Wilson, recorded an unaccompanied set as a solo singer-pianist, led a tribute to Shirley Horn, and met up often with Scott Hamilton.

Bassist Ignasi Gonzalez, who is from Catalan, always provides a big tone, a solid beat and concise solos to each group in which he appears. Among many others, he has worked with tenors Toni Sola and Grant Stewart, pianists Kirk Lightsey, Jeb Patton and Champian Fulton, and trumpeter Joe Magnarelli. Ignasi is part of Scott Hamilton’s 2010 album Live In Barcelona for the Blau label.  Drummer Jo Krause, who is from Detmold, Germany, played a wide variety of music while growing up, everything from Dixieland to rock. He has worked regularly in Europe since the mid-1980s. Krause, who has lived in Spain since 1993, has accompanied a wide assortment of American and European jazz artists including Tom Harrell, Georgie Fame, Johnny Griffin, Woody Shaw, the Great Guitars, George Cables, and Blossom Dearie.

“I’ve known Ignasi for about 15 years,” says Scott Hamilton. “We’ve worked all over Spain and recorded many times. I first worked with Jo 25 years ago in Holland. We started playing together more regularly in Spain in recent years. With Dena, the three of them have formed a very good combination, working with me, Houston Person and several others. I really enjoy this group.” Dena adds, “I love playing with this rhythm section. We’ve played together for five or six years. Jo Krause and Ignasi Gonzalez are a team as they play together with hundreds of artists every year that come from all around Europe and the U.S. They really play in the moment, reacting and creating.”

The music on this CD came together quickly and spontaneously. Scott Hamilton remembers, “We put the album together in our heads because we did not have a lot of studio time. However we had very little trouble getting what we wanted in the end. I never like to plan things too much. I find that it’s better to make decisions when you start recording because there is no way to know what things will sound like until you actually hear them. We were asked to make a ballad album this time. I tried to make it a little different than the others.” Dena DeRose adds, “We were approached about recording another CD after “The Shadow Of Your Smile” from our last album got so many hits on Spotify. The idea was to create a recording of slow swing and ballads. We planned nothing until we were actually recording in the studio.”

The set begins with “I’ll Close My Eyes,” a romantic song from 1945 that is generally performed as a vocal. However, like any great standard, it is flexible enough to be interpreted in a countless number of ways. Scott Hamilton and his quartet take it at a medium-tempo pace. After he adds his warm tone to the melody, Scott expertly builds up his solo while always leaving space for dramatic effect. While playing few double-time runs, he hints at Sonny Stitt a bit during his last solo chorus. Dena picks up where the tenor leaves off and creates a personal solo which is followed by a melodic half-chorus by Ignasi. The leader sounds quite joyful during the final section.

One of Mercer Ellington’s finest compositions, 1941’s “Moon Mist” is one of his most haunting songs. Other than two tradeoffs with Dena, Scott is in the spotlight throughout. He caresses the melody and stays relaxed and mellow throughout his beautiful version.

Although it is doubtful that more than a handful of people remember the 1935 movie “Rose Of The Rancho,” its Ralph Rainger-Leo Robin song “If I Should Lose You” has been recorded many times through the years. Ironically “If I Should Lose You” was as obscure as the movie for a decade before it began to be adopted by the jazz world in the mid-1940s, first by June Christy and then in 1949 by Charlie Parker on one of his strings sessions. Each of the musicians, including Jo Krause who takes a brief drum break, has an opportunity to swing on this one.  

1954’s “Young And Foolish” was introduced to the jazz world in 1958 by George Shearing and especially Bill Evans.  It is taken quite slow by the quartet with Scott letting every note breathe during his melody statement. Dena’s half-chorus is also memorable. While giving the song some subtle variations, the musicians obviously agree that the melody could not possibly be improved upon.

Benny Carter’s “Only Trust Your Heart” was immortalized by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz who first performed it in 1964 although recordings by Dave McKenna, Houston Person, Toots Thielemans, Diana Krall and Roberta Gambarini come close to that magical level. Taken medium-tempo with the feel of a bossa-nova, this new performance is climaxed by a happy tradeoff between Scott and Dena. Even during its hottest moments, one can always hear the melody in this exuberant version.

In contrast, “Why Did I Choose You” is given a slow and quietly emotional interpretation. Originally written for Barbra Streisand in 1965, the following year Blossom Dearie, pianist Steve Kuhn and trombonist J.J. Johnson were among the first in jazz to record it. The heartbreaking ballad is played with great sympathy by the quartet.

Of all of Henry Mancini’s songs, “The Days Of Wine And Roses” has received the most recordings by jazz artists due to its catchy melody and attractive chord changes. Both Scott and Dena sound inspired during their solos, giving one the impression that they could have easily played twice as long without the flow of creative ideas slowing down. Mancini would have appreciated this tasteful yet driving version.

Easily the most recent composition on the set is Scott Hamilton’s “Castellon After Dark,” a medium-slow lowdown blues. Scott’s opening three-chorus solo would make Lester Young proud; every note fits perfectly. After Dena makes a rewarding statement of her own, Scott takes it out, keeping the performance short but sweet,

Although George Gershwin’s “Embraceable You” was written in 1928 and was included in 1930’s Girl Crazy, it did not start to catch on in jazz for several years. After Bobby Hackett recorded a lyrical chorus with Eddie Condon in 1938 (years later Miles Davis talked about how impressed he was by Hackett’s solo), it was added to the repertoire of many jazz artists. Billie Holiday’s 1944 recording clinched the deal and the song has been a jazz standard ever since. Charlie Parker played the ballad at a medium-up pace with a new melody (“Quasimodo”). Scott Hamilton’s new version retains the melody but is taken at a faster tempo than usual. All four of the musicians have opportunities to be in the spotlight during this pleasing closer.  

“I enjoyed every tune,” says Dena DeRose, “but have a special place in my heart for ‘If I Should Lose You’ and I particularly enjoyed the swinging ‘Days Of Wine And Roses.’ Each time we play together and record, there is a more cohesive sound to the band.” “I like the way that all of the tracks hang together,” concludes Scott Hamilton. “I’m quite happy with the performances.”

Listeners will feel the same way for this CD is the latest rewarding accomplishment in the careers of Scott Hamilton and Dena DeRose.

Scott Yanow, jazz journalist

I'll Close My Eyes (5:48)
Moon Mist (4:39)
If I Should Lose You (6:35)
Young And Foolish (5:30)
Only Trust Your Heart (6:16)
Why Did I Choose You (5:12)
Days Of Wine And Roses (5:57)
Castellon After Dark (5:24)
Embraceable You (6:29)

Scott Hamilton Meets the Piano Players (2018)

1. On The Street Where You Live  (Frederick Loewe-Alan Jay Lerner)
2. Casbah  (Tadd Dameron)
3. O Grande Amor  (Antonio Carlos Jobim - Vinicius De Moraes)
4. Searchin‘ (Duke Ellington)
5. Georgia On My Mind  (Hoagy Carmichaal - Stuart Gorell)
6. Deep Night  (Charles E. Henderson - Rudy Vallee)
7. Nica‘s Dream  (Horace Silver)
8. Lotus Blossom  (Billy Strayhorn)
9. Thou Swell  (Richard Rodgers - Lorenz Hart)
10. Luitpold Parker  (Joe Kienemann)

Scott Hamilton tenor sax
Thilo Wagner piano (1,9)***
Claus Raible piano (2,6)*
Tizian Jost piano (3,7)*
Bernhard Pichl piano (4,8)**
Joe Kienemann piano (5,10)*
Rudi Engel bass
Michael Keul drums

recorded oct 24th*, 25th** and 27th*** 2016 at Realistic Sound Studio, München
recorded and mixed by Florian H. Oestreicher
mastered by Christoph Stickel for
cover photo by Jan Scheffner, booklet photo by Michael Keul
artwork by Thorsten Scheffner, produced by Michael Keul
organic music 9774

Prince in Jazz (A Jazz Tribute to Prince) WAGRAM MUSIC 2018

A compilation from some true Jazz icons performing covers of the adored songs of the legendary Prince

1 When Doves Cry (feat. Cassandra Wilson) 5:37
Bob Belden Project

2 Little Red Corvette 3:33
Heath Brandon

3 Kiss 5:16
Clotilde Rullaud

4 Strollin' (feat. Lars Danielsson & Jacob Karlzon) 3:35
Viktoria Tolstoy

5 Crazy You 3:57

6 Around the World in a Day 3:54
Ray Lema & Laurent de Wilde

7 Soft and Wet 3:01

8 I Feel for You 5:42
Angela Galuppo

9 Cream 5:34
David Helbock

10 Nothing Compares 2 U 2:38
Heinz Sauer & Michael Wollny

11 The Question of U (feat. Holly Cole) 3:39
Bob Belden Project

12 1999 7:51
Bob Belden's Manhattan Rhythm Club

Rolf Kühn - Yellow + Blue (MPS 2018)

Quiescence and awakening. Tradition and innovation. Body and soul. Rolf Kühn finds such opposing forces attractive. With his new album "Yellow + Blue", the 88-year-old clarinetist once again improvises and swings his way through uncharted musical territory. 

"Europe's greatest clarinetist and free spirit" (Jazzthetik) plays ballads and legendary love songs on his new MPS album. In so doing, he delivers new meaning and a fresh sound to the pieces.

A sentimental look back is simply not his thing. Together with his new quartet of pianist Frank Chastenier, bassist Lisa Wulff, and percussionist Tupac Mantilla, Kühn contrasts his sensitive side with his unbridled desire to experiment.

Charles Pillow Large Ensemble - Electric Miles (SUMMIT RECORDS 2018)

NYC seasoned BIG band led, conducted and arranged by Charles Pillow celebrate the early electric period of Miles Davis!

''Electric Miles'' celebrates the music of the early electric period of Miles Davis with big band arrangements of classics from Bitches Brew, On the Corner, Jack Johnson and In a Silent Way.

Trumpeters Tim Hagans and Clay Jenkins are featured as the Miles voice with Dave Liebman appearing on Black Satin and Yesternow. Also featuring trombonist Michael Davis, Pillow on alto sax/alto flute; the band is powered by the rhythm section of drummer Jared Schonig and bassist Chuck Bergeron.

The band is full of NYC seasoned pros and peppered with up and coming musicians. conducted and arranged by Charles Pillow.

Charles Pillow comes from Baton Rouge, LA. After college at Loyola University, he pursued his Masters Degree in Jazz Studies at the prestigious Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, NY. Since moving to NYC in 1987, he has appeared on over 100 recordings of jazz, pop luminaries such as Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey, Jay Z,Luther Vandross, Paul Simon, Michael Brecker, Bruce Springsteen, John Scofield, Tom Harrell, Dave Liebman, David Sanborn, to name a few. In addition to an active performing and recording schedule, he is an Assistant Professor of Jazz Saxophone at the Eastman School of Music.

Over his long and varied career, Miles Davis recorded several seminal jazz orchestra albums in collaboration with the great arranger Gil Evans. Those disciplined affairs (''Sketches of Spain'' and others) were in stark contrast to Miles's wild, improvised, ''electric'' period that produced records like ''Bitches Brew.'' Charles Pillow Large Ensemble's ''Electric Miles'' brilliantly fuses these two aspects of Miles's oeuvre with gorgeous big band arrangements of tunes from ''Bitches Brew,'' ''Jack Johnson,'' and ''In a Silent Way.''

Featured soloists Tim Hagans and Clay Jenkins ably take on Miles's role on trumpet while Pillow takes flight on alto sax and alto flute. Dave Liebman, who participated in the original sessions a half-century ago, contributes soaring soprano sax solos on ''Yesternow'' and ''Black Satin.'' All of the soloists, including Michael Davis (trombone) and Luke Norris (tenor sax), are outstanding, but the stars here are Pillow's arrangements, with beautiful voicings on more subtle tunes like ''Sanctuary'' and a powerful punch on compositions like ''Pharaoh's Dance.''

Ron Netsky -- Rochester City Newspaper

1 Pharaoh's Dance 9:03
2 Bitches Brew 7:59
3 Black Satin 8:02
4 In a Silent Way 6:43
5 Directions 7:35
6 Sanctuary 5:13
7 Yesternow 9:26
8 Spanish Key 7:14

Charles Pillow, arranger, alto sax, soprano sax. flute, alto flute
Colin Gordon, alto sax, soprano sax, flute
Luke Norris, tenor sax, clarinet
CJ Ziarniak, tenor sax
Karl Stabnau, bass clarinet
Michael Davis, trombone
Abe Nouri, trombone
Jack Courtright, trombone
Gabe Ramos, bass trombone
Tony Kadleck lead trumpet
Charlie Carr, trumpet
Clay Jenkins, trumpet
Tim Hagans, trumpet

Julian Garvue, electric piano / Chuck Bergeron, electric bass/ Mike Forfia, acoustic bass on “Sanctuary”, “In a Silent Way”/ Jared Schonig, drums

Special Guest:
David Liebman, soprano sax

Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra - Flyin’ Through Florida (SUMMIT RECORDS July 6, 2018)

One of the few touring big bands on the road, the Kenton Legacy Orchestra with their first (of 21 tours) through Florida, playing in nine cities, capturing the best of it on record! There are eight new pieces and four that come from the “old days”…the band ALWAYS strives to keep with Kenton’s thoughts about not doing too much “nostalgia”… with a main goal to produce new music in the Kenton style!

The oldies include “Artistry Jumps,” with the original arrangement; two arrangements that Dave Barduhn did back in the 1970s, “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” and “Through the Eyes of Love;” and finally what they now call “El Manisero, La Ultima Vez.” Wait until you hear what the rhythm section does with this piece – completely different than any recordings before.

The new music is very exciting. As usual the writers have come up with a bunch of winners! Joel Kaye has given us a new arrangement of the Johnny Richards original that was recorded by Frank Sinatra “Young at Heart,” an original called “Psyche,” and an Al Cohn tune for the Saxophone section, “Shazam.” Scott Whitfield has arranged the Puccini aria “O Mio Babbino Caro” as a solo for Mike Vax, and Jennifer Leitham’s original “The Trashman Commeth,” as well as a great double bill so to speak, of “How High the Moon and Ornithology,” for he and Ginger to sing. There is a wonderful arrangement of “After You’ve Gone” by Dennis Noday’s good friend Lee Harris. Finally.” And last but certainly not least is Charlie Ferguson’s stirring arrangement of “Someday,” a pop tune done for sure in the Kenton Style.

1. Aritsry Jumps
2. Someday
3. After You'Ve Gone...Finally
4. In The Wee Small Hours
5. Psyche
6. O Mio Babbino
7. How High The Moon / Ornithology
8. Young At Heart
9. The Trashman Cometh
10. Through The Eyes Of Love
11. Shazam
12. El Manisero, La Ultima Vez

SAXOPHONES: Kim Richmond, Phil Hilger, Rick Condit, Joel Kaye, Tami Davidsson, Bill Prince
TROMBONES: Scott Whitfield, Dale Devoe, Dave Keim, Kenny Shroyer, Rich Bullock
TRUMPETS: Mike Vax, Dennis Noday, John Harner, Jim Oatts, Greg McLean
PIANO: Charlie Ferguson
BASS: Jennifer Leithan
DRUMS: C.E. Askew
VOCALS: Scott Whitfield,Ginger Berglund

MIKE VAX, a Kenton Alum, has devoted much of his professional life keeping the legacy of big band music, most notably that of Stan Kenton, alive and vibrant. In addition to Kenton’s musical legacy, Vax has carried on the Kenton dedication to education, an area where Kenton was one of the early leaders. One result of Vax’s efforts is the existence of THE STAN KENTON LEGACY ORCHESTRA, a big band that Vax has fronted through a few name changes for 25 years.

Playlist for Tom Ossana – The Thin Edge – July 4, 2018 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m. ~ Use this link to access the show online.