Tuesday, July 10, 2018

US Drummer Jeff Ballard Signs to Edition (EDITION RECORDS)

Jeff Ballard, the virtuoso drummer who has made his name playing with the likes of Ray Charles, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau has signed to Edition Records with his new album, Fairgrounds, due for release in January 2019.

Jeff Ballard makes music that feels like the 21st century – open, fluid and ever-developing - a sound informed by jazz but truly coming to life where musical worlds collide: acoustic and electric, swinging and ambient, analog and digital, accessible and experimental.

With Lionel Loueke on guitar and vocals, Kevin Hays on keyboards and vocals and Reid Anderson on electronics, the album also features saxophonists Mark Turner and Chris Cheek, Pete Rende on keyboards, who also recorded and mixed the album, with mastering by Nate Smith. This is a potent combination of musicians who revere the past while realising that art is always made in the present tense; they grew up versed in deep traditions but are keen to blur boundaries between genres. Jazz, rock, electronica and West African music all figure in the shape-shifting, cross-cultural sound of this dream band.

A new home for Jeff on an independent and European label presents new opportunities for him. As Jeff explains; ‘I feel extremely lucky to have come into contact with Dave and Edition Records. It is sort of a dream come true in that I feel with them I have the means, the modern means, to reach a larger public with complete artistic freedom and support. This is one of the benefits of having a forward thinking independent label which is dedicated to the artist like Edition is. It is obvious to me that their focus is on quality and longevity. And to be honest the passion I sense from them is contagious. I’m excited not just about this new record release and reaching out and connecting to more people thru a variety of new (for me) ways but I am just as excited - if not more so - about what’s coming next. Thanks Edition!’

This release marks a significant signing for Edition Records, as label boss Dave Stapleton explains; To be able to work with Jeff on his album is both humbling and hugely exciting. Not only is he regarded as one of the greatest drummers in Jazz, and he's worked with some of the most celebrated players in this music, but he’s both a musician and a man of deep integrity and trust with endless enthusiasm and passion. Edition is a label growing in a very changeable industry; Jeff’s natural tendency to trust, and his desire to work together on building audiences, perfectly fits with our own vision of working with our artists in a very open and collaborative way. We’re incredibly excited to start work on this great music. I’ve no doubt it’s going to be a lot of fun’.

Fairgrounds will be released on 25th January 2019

Jazzanova - The Pool (SONAR KOLLECTIVE 2018)

Jazzanova are proud to announce their next full length, The Pool, is due for release via their own Sonar Kollektiv on June 29th 2018. It is their most mature and musical album yet and welcomes a host of talented collaborators including Jamie Cullum, Ben Westbeech, Pete Josef, Rachel Sermanni, Olivier St Louis, Paul Randolph and many more.  

They might not have put out an album in the last decade, but by no means have Jazzanova been out of the picture. Instead members Alex Barck, Claas Brieler, Axel Reinemer, Jürgen von Knoblauch and Stefan Leisering have been focussing on a diverse range of projects, as well as becoming parents. From running their JRS studio to A&Ring a wealth of new talent for their Jazzanova label via for producing others and, of course, continuing to play their unique live shows around the world, they are as immersed in music as ever.  

Although none of the band are trained musicians, the new album is their most mature, musical and accomplished yet. It features a wealth of guests who bring their own distinctive flavours, but still retains a real sense of Jazzanova’s own musical identity—something that combines neo-soul, jazz, indie and pop songwriting with their unique knack for sampling and serious skills on everything from synth to piano, vibes to trombone, flugelhorn to guitar. The Pool evolved from various loose jam sessions and playful hours in the studio. It means there is no restrictive overall theme, but the album very much flows from one track to the next, mixing up synthesised sounds, samples and real instrumentation to paint a colourful overall picture that is utterly captivating.

This most sophisticated Jazzanova album starts with the broody moods and jumbled drums of ‘Now (L.O.V.E. and You & I - Part 2)’ feat. Oddisee, before the sombre chords and forlorn vocals of Rachel Sermanni on ‘Rain Makes The River’ carry you away. The heaviness subsides with Pete Josef’s upbeat soulful stylings on ‘Follow Your Feet’ then the sunny hip hop of ‘No 9’ feat. KPTN, who delivers great verses over crisp live drums. ‘Sincere’ feat Noah Slee is a bristling mix of synth textures, bumping beats and swinging percussion and ‘Slow Rise’ then sinks down into insular moods thanks to the pained and intimate vocals of David Lemaitre. 

The heavy hearted piano of ‘Let’s Live Well’ is truly tender before Jamie Cullum’s rousing vocals transport you to a more positive place, and ‘Everything I Wanted’ feat Charlotte OC is a dynamic blizzard of drums, trombones and percussion that has crystal clear vocals cutting through it all to bring real emotion. Olivier St Louis delivers gorgeous modern soul on the propulsive ‘Heatwave’ and frequent collaborator Paul Randolph brings vulnerable vocals to the shimmering chord vamps of ‘It’s Beautiful.’ The breezy seaside bliss of ‘I’m Still Here’ feat Edward Vanzet and wonderfully catchy, carefree pop of ‘Summer Keeps On Passing Me By’ feat Ben Westbeech close the album out and complete a beautiful journey that effortless takes you through a range of moods and grooves. Each vibrant track makes a big impact and stays with you long after it’s finished playing.  

The Pool is an album that proves Jazzanova are still very much making and breaking their own set of rules, and it marks the start of a major new chapter in their long and storied career.

1. Now (L.O.V.E. and You & I - Part 2) feat. Oddisee 02:17
2. Rain Makes The River feat. Rachel Sermanni 04:49
3. Follow Your Feet feat. Pete Josef 03:32
4. No. 9 feat. KPTN 03:11
5. Sincere feat Noah Slee 03:44
6. Slow Rise feat. David Lemaitre 04:24
7. Let's Live Well feat. Jamie Cullum 04:56
8. Everything I Wanted feat. Charlotte OC 04:55
9. Heatwave feat. Olivier St. Louis 06:26
10. It's Beautiful feat. Paul Randolph 05:23
11. I'm Still Here feat. Edward Vanzet 05:03
12. Summer Keeps On Passing Me By feat. Ben Westbeech 02:59

Jazzanova are Alex Barck, Claas Brieler, Jürgen von Knoblauch, Stefan Leisering & 
Axel Reinemer.

Mastered by Calyx Mastering, Berlin.
Artwork by Jonathan Calugi.
Product management by Oliver Glage.

(P) & (C) 2018 Sonar Kollektiv. SK350CD/illicity. LC01200. GEMA. Made in the EU. All rights reserved.

BECK in concert and more... /

opening act: Oh Wonder

July 10, 2018 | 8 p.m.
Place Bell

for these concerts

Ziggy Marley

September 19, 2018 | 8 p.m.

Max Richter

October 9, 2018| 8 p.m.
Théâtre Maisonneuve

Mike Love

October 10, 2018| 8 p.m.
Le Belmont

Harry Manx

October 13, 2018| 8 p.m.

Marianne Trudel et
Karen Young
Portraits : chansons de
Joni Mitchell

October 26, 2018| 8 p.m.

and the Queens

November 6, 2018| 8 p.m.
Place Bell

Roberto Tarenzi / James Cammack / Jorge Rossy - Love and Other Simples Matters (2018)

Roberto Tarenzi presents his new album, Love And Other Simple Matters. To record this expansive work Tarenzi, among the most proficient pianists on the contemporary jazz scene, assembled an amazing international rhythm section made up of James Cammack, legendary bassist for the Ahmad Jamal Trio, and the iconic Jorge Rossy, Brad Mehldau Trio's original drummer and multi-instrumentalist. With his extemporization and innovative stylistic exploration, Roberto Tarenzi exalts listeners in this top-quality and utterly compelling album. The album's title, which at first glance may appear ironic, cheerfully suggests that a lighthearted mindset can transform the burden of complex "matters". The trio provides a musical demonstration of this through complex harmonic and rhythmic elaborations that are deftly and alchemically rendered eloquent and fluid in a language which is pulsating and expressive. After listening to the album preview, David Liebman commented: "Roberto is one of the most talented pianists I have met over the past years, among the world's outstanding musicians with whom I greatly enjoy playing and spending time together. In this album he performs with two brilliant professionals and the depth of his great musical personality fully emerges."

1 Ab I.D.K. 7:56
2 Autumn Leaves 5:30
3 Five 4:52
4 Golden Face 3:45
5 Inutil Paesagem 5:20
6 Blues X 2:01
7 Love and... 4:29
8 Back to Ghana 5:14
9 Liquid Velvet 6:10
10 Other Simple Matters 7:20
11 Vincent 5:26

Roberto Tarenzi - piano
James Cammack - doublebass
Jorge Rossy - drums

Simon Pianta - Gradations (2018)

GRADATIONS is the debut album by Melbourne saxophonist SIMON PIANTA. The album is an exploration into the melodic possibilities of the alto saxophone and various guitar pedals. It is a contribution to the genre of solo saxophone albums, recognising and paying tribute to those before it. Listened to in sequence, the pieces draw you into a journey of discovery about layering, modulation, phrasing and the beauty of the instrument. 

The album is co-produced by two-time Emmy Award winner Guus Hoevenaars and was recorded in Melbourne. 

1. Gradations 04:38
2. Assonance 01:11
3. Prairie 03:11
4. Forgotten Land 00:39
5. Market Moves 02:29
6. Stay Well Within 04:02
7. Bobby and Jean 04:29
8. Lament for Jean 02:17
9. Pinky Pops 03:30

Instrumentation: Solo Alto Saxophone (Aizen "Fuga" serial A000288, Jody mouthpieces, Vandoren reeds), various pedals

Produced by Simon Pianta / Guus Hoevenaars 
Recorded April and May 2018 at Newmarket in sunny Melbourne 
Engineer: Guus Hoevenaars (all, except Stay Well Within engineered by Callum Barter, Forgotten Land artist own) 
Mastering by Don Bartley at Benchmark Mastering 
All compositions by Simon Pianta 
Recorded on Wurundjeri land 
CD Cover design by Christine Rethus

Alberto Dipace - Eyes and Madness (Dedicated to Esbjorn Svensson) JASM RECORDS 2018

"Come in un evoluzione le cose accadono in maniera apparentemente e concettualmente spontanea per confluire in un disegno integro e ricco di senso, così anche per la composizione proposta l’improvvisazione totale permea l’esecuzione e definisce un pezzo originale e trasversale. Il trio ha creato e trovato, fin da subito, un suo suono unico che semplicemente racconta il suo divenire. “Tutto nasce dall’esigenza di formare un trio che, partendo da un omaggio alla musica di Esbjorn Svensson in “From Gagarin’s Point of View”, lavorasse in una direzione nuova e di ricerca muovendosi, in totale interplay, oltre la visione standard e lineare di tempo, armonia e melodia”, specifica Alberto Dipace.

1 Melancony of Distance 02:44
2 Moving Dimensions, Pt. 1 07:54
3 Moving Dimensions, Pt. 2 02:43
4 Nina's Dream 11:14
5 Natural Inertia 04:27
6 Eyes and Madness 06:54
7 From Gagarin's Point of View 06:38
8 Breaking Point 04:39
9 Elegy 05:09
10 Footprints 07:09
11 Where Is the End? 05:48

Alberto Dipace - Piano
Danilo Gallo - Double Bass
Ferdinando Faraò - Drums

Recorded, mixed and mastered at INDIEHUB by Stefano Giungato © JASM 2018

Video produced by JASM

Aaron Shragge & Ben Monder - This World Of Dew (Human Resource Records July 20, 2018)

This World of Dew is Aaron Shragge’s third release with Ben Monder

The duo project, an exploratory, meditative collaboration, has been praised as  “…lyrical and heartwarming…” (Jazz Times) and “thoroughly modern with a definitive sound...” (The Birmingham Times). 

The album features guitarist Ben Monder’s otherworldly harmonic virtuosity in expansive sonic textures that highlight Shragge’s subtle and distinctive lyrical voice on the shakuhachi and dragon mouth trumpet (a custom microtonal instrument).   

The fourteen new compositions by Shragge are inspired by the writings of both ancient and modern poets: Kobayashi Issa, Matsuo Bashō, Li Po, Nishiyama Sōin and Charles Bukowski.

Tracks 2-7 make up “This World of Dew Suite” which follows the emotional arc of poet Kobahashi Issa’s grief as he mourned the loss of his young daughter. What ties all these compositions together is how they explore themes of loneliness, perseverance and impermanence. 

This World of Dew will be released worldwide on Friday, July 20th 2018 on Human Resource Records (NYC. )  

There will be a CD release celebration on July 20th at the Jazz Gallery in New York City and on July 21st at La Vitrola in Montreal, Canada. 

Track Listing
1. Companion  5:34
This World of Dew Suite
2. By Rain and Mud  0:49
3. A Tiny Boat  7:01
4. This World of Dew  1:43
5. There is Always One You Follow  4:19
6. Stink Worm  2:40
7. Pretending Wisdom  2:27
8. Roll The Dice  4:14
9. Nothing In The Cry  3:24
10. It’s Ours  3:01
11. Old Dust 5:24
12. Settling  1:44
13. Blue Bird  5:52
14. Sun Coming Down  3:50

Ben Monder - Guitar

Dave Koz and Friends - Summer Horns II from A to Z (CONCORD MUSIC 2018)

Five years ago, after Dave Koz and Friends released Summer Horns—the GRAMMY-nominated album that paid tribute to classic songs featuring killer horn sections—all that the musicians could think about was how much fun they’d just had. They toured behind the album during the summer of 2013, then vowed to spend the following summer doing it all over again.

"The second tour was even better than the first,” says Koz, the world-class saxophonist who piloted the release, which rocketed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. "We had a total blast and the fans really gravitated toward it.”

There was no question in Koz’s mind that a sequel was in the stars, but getting everyone’s schedules to align was never going to be easy, each participant being a headliner with bookings well into the future. It took a few years but finally, says Koz, through "divine intervention,” a window of time opened up so that everyone could be in the same place at the same time.

Summer Horns II From A To Z, scheduled for release on June 22, 2018 via Concord Records, is the result, a stunning set of 11 more timeless tunes reimagined by Koz (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes), joined by alto saxophonist Gerald Albright and tenor saxophonist Richard Elliot—both returnees from the earlier session—with new additions Rick Braun (trumpet) and Aubrey Logan (trombone and vocals). A crew of ace rhythm players collaborates with the Summer Horns lineup along with a who’s who of arrangers: Tom Scott (who’s worked with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Aretha Franklin to Steely Dan), Greg Adams (best known for Tower of Power, but also Santana and Elton John) and GRAMMY-winning arranger Gordon Goodwin. Braun, himself a legend of contemporary jazz, produced the album, with co-production by Koz.

With the creative team in place, the biggest dilemma facing Koz, Braun and the others was which songs to choose—or, rather, how to narrow down an enormous list of contenders. "My original list was in the hundreds,” Koz says. "We’d have good-natured arguments during weekly conference calls. We each pitched songs and then tried to get other people on our team.”

The final track list, 11 in all, is impeccable, to say the least. Opening Summer Horns II From A To Z is a medley of Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1976 smash "Getaway” and the KC and the Sunshine Band dance staple "That’s the Way I Like It.” Next up is "More Today Than Yesterday,” the only Top 20 hit from the Spiral Starecase, from the spring of 1969. "Most people, when they hear that song, think it was by Chicago,” says Koz. "It sounded so much like them.” The Crusaders’ "Keep That Same Old Feeling,” written by that group’s late trombonist Wayne Henderson, is next, with a horn arrangement by Adams (best known for his work with Tower of Power) and Braun.

The fourth track in the sequence gives the album its subtitle, "From A to Z.” It’s another medley, and on paper it seems an improbably marriage: Here, with a horn arrangement by Gordon Goodwin and rhythm arrangement by Goodwin and Braun, are the 1939 Billy Strayhorn standard "Take the ‘A’ Train,” made famous by Duke Ellington, seamlessly intertwining with hip-hop icon Jay-Z’s "Roc Boys (And the Winner Is).” Hence the A to Z.

How in the world did this one come about? Says Koz, "Somebody sent me ‘Roc Boys’ and said, ‘Jay-Z’s got this song that’s got a bunch of horns in it.’ I’m a fan but I don’t know that music well. I heard that track and I said, ‘That horn line is so great! We have to utilize it somewhere.’ Originally, it was going to be its own song. But also on the song list was ‘Take the "A” Train.’ Rick Braun said, said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to do something so classic and so old and yet modernize it?’ It was [Concord Records president] John Burk, the executive producer of the album, who said, ‘Maybe the two songs could work together. It would be really funny to go from A to Z.’”

This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” a Top 10 hit for Natalie Cole in 1975, is dedicated to the late vocalist, who was a friend of Koz’s. It’s sung on Summer Horns II From A To Z as a duet, by R&B star Kenny Lattimore and the young vocalist Sheléa. "We started to develop this track, which is very uptempo and really fun,” says Koz. "Tom Scott wrote a brilliant horn arrangement. And then we were thinking, maybe we should look for a male singer because anything we’d do with a female vocalist would immediately be compared to Natalie’s version. Tom came up with the idea of doing it as a duet. It’s not an easy song to sing and their vocal performance is a complete tour de force.”

"Before I Let Go,” written by Frankie Beverly of the R&B group Maze, features a lead alto sax solo by Gerald Albright, and is followed by Paul Simon’s pulsing "Late in the Evening,” from the singer-songwriter’s 1980 album One-Trick Pony. Koz remembers being in a restaurant with friends when Simon’s recording came on the house music system. He immediately emailed himself so he wouldn’t forget it when he got home. Braun didn’t even need to hear Koz’s reasoning: "It's in,” the producer told him. "I don't care what the others say.”

Playing acoustic guitar on the tune, and singing the lead vocal, is the South African great Jonathan Butler. "He went total South Africa on it,” says Koz. "Now this song has a completely new point of view. It pays homage to the original, but it takes it to a completely new place.”

Summer Horns II From A To Z only grows more intense as it plays on. If you want to make a funky record, you’ve got to have some Stevie Wonder on it, and it doesn’t get much funkier than 1971’s "If You Really Love Me.” Following that track is "Conga,” the 1985 breakthrough hit for Gloria Estefan and her then-band Miami Sound Machine. Aubrey Logan, the 30-year-old singer and trombonist on the album, provides the lead vocal. She received a special surprise while the group was recording the track.

"We got the track together and Aubrey always loved that song and looked up to Gloria as one of her mentors,” Koz says. "It’s got a great arrangement from Tom Scott and a really cool modern rhythm arrangement that Rick did. Gloria is a friend so I said to myself, ‘I have to play this for Gloria.’ I sent it off to her via email and said, ‘I just want you to know we're doing this Summer Horns record and we did your song and I hope you like it.’ I was just looking for a little musical blessing. She didn't send back an email; she sent back a track with her singing harmony to Aubrey's lead vocal! Aubrey’s jaw dropped to the floor.”

Michael Jackson’s Earth Song, with a horn arrangement by Scott and—as is the case with several tracks on the recording, a rhythm arrangement by Chris "Big Dog” Davis—features a lead tenor sax solo by Elliot and lead vocal by Ashling Cole. Summer Horns II From A To Zwraps up with a piece of vintage Americana, "Route 66,” written by Bobby Troup and recorded by everyone from Nat "King” Cole to the Rolling Stones. Logan, who Koz discovered when he saw her performing with the group Postmodern Jukebox, fronts the tune with her trombone and lead vocal. The horn and rhythm arrangement is courtesy of Goodwin, who fronts his own outfit called the Big Phat Band.

Recording Summer Horns II From A To Z, says Koz, was just as much of a treat as the first go-round in 2013. "It reminds me of my youth,” he says of this music. "I grew up playing in jazz bands. That’s how I was educated in music, playing in a saxophone section and playing in a big band, then sometimes doing small group stuff, playing with other horn players. For most horn players, even if you go on to do more solo work, part of your identity is rooted in being in a section and blending with others. How do you do this? How do you play that? All these fine nuances of music are in there somewhere.”

That passion is shared by all of the musicians who took part in the project, and audiences fortunate enough to catch a live Summer Horns show—they’ll be touring this summer—immediately feel the heat too. "With this music, the fans know every song,” says Koz. "And the musicians leave their egos at the door and show up with a commitment to the band. We know that this is not a replacement for our solo careers, that we will resume them eventually, so it’s not like we’re saying bye-bye to that. But people see all the star power on stage—where everybody could do a two-hour show on their own—the five of us with an incredible band, and it’s an event. Then we get addicted to the response from the fans! That’s why we did it again.”

1 Medley: Getaway / That’s the Way (I Like It) 4:28
2 More Today Than Yesterday 5:05
3 Keep That Same Old Feeling 4:50
4 Medley: From A to Z (Take the “A” Train / Make the Road By Walking) 5:28
5 This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) [feat. Kenny Lattimore & Sheléa] 4:10
6 Before I Let Go 4:54
7 Late in the Evening (feat. Jonathan Butler) 5:09
8 If You Really Love Me 4:43
9 Conga (feat. Aubrey Logan & Gloria Estefan) 4:44
10 Earth Song 5:58
11 Route 66 (feat. Aubrey Logan) 5:19