Friday, July 13, 2018

Carol Liebowitz / Bill Payne - Spiderwebmandala (LINE ART RECORDS 2018)

Clarinetist Bill Payne and pianist Carol Liebowitz have been playing together since 2010. Their first release from 2015, Payne Lindal Liebowitz, a trio with violinist Eva Lindal, has been widely praised for its originality, and mix of lyricism and intensity. Bill Payne is “a clarinet player of immense talent and clear distinction” (Cadence). The CD is defined by “high caliber musicianship and intelligent, electrifying artistry” . . . Liebowitz displays a “vibrant and sonorous pianism” with “chords that brim with ardent energy and hypnotic beauty” while Payne “coaxes eloquent and wistful poetry out of his clarinet” (All About Jazz). The disc was voted one of the Top Ten Jazz CDs by Art Lange (Point of Departure) in the 2015 NPR Jazz Critics Poll.

Pianist and singer Carol Liebowitz brings a uniquely expressive and personal sound to the jazz and free improvisation scene. After focusing on classical repertoire at the High School of Performing Arts and NYU, her musical direction turned to improvisation and she began studying with Connie Crothers. Other influential teachers have included Sal Mosca, Jay Clayton and Sheila Jordan. She has performed in Europe and throughout the New York City metropolitan area in venues such as Roulette, The Stone, Cornelia Street Cafe, ibeam, The Firehouse Space, Arts for Art, Spectrum, Galapagos and Birdland. In addition to frequent solo concert appearances, Carol has worked in various groups with musicians including Daro Behroozi, Tom Blancarte, Adam Caine, Daniel Carter, Bill Chattin, Claire de Brunner, Maryanne de Prophetis, Andrew Drury, Ken Filiano, Birgitta Flick, Guillermo Gregorio, Ratzo Harris, Ron Horton, Louise D.E. Jensen, Will Jhun, KenYa Kawaguchi, Adam Lane, Eva Lindal, Nick Lyons, Adam Melville, Don Messina, Ryan Messina, Bill Payne, John Pietaro, Lorenzo Sanguedolce, John Wagner, Michael Wimberly,  Andrea Wolper, dancer Michiru Inoue and poet Mark Weber. Carol has two releases on the New Artists label: “Waves of Blue Intensities,” a duo with tenor saxophonist Bob Field, and “Time on My Hands,” a voice and guitar duo with Andy Fite. Recent recordings are on Line Art Records—First Set, a duo with alto saxophonist Nick Lyons, and Poetry from the Future, with the quartet TO BE CONTINUED (Claire de Brunner, Daniel Carter, and Kevin Norton). A duo CD with tenor saxophonist Birgitta Flick, Malita-Malika, will be released in 2018.

Bill Payne was raised in Harvey, Illinois and began playing clarinet at age 10, later studying with Don Kramer and Lewis Wyatt. He has experienced a unique life on the road with theatre companies, Broadway shows, big bands, and traveling circuses. Bill’s improvisations have received spectacular reviews noting his originality, range, beauty of sound and deep expression. He cites meeting Connie Crothers as a major turning point in his musical life, leading to their outstanding performances and recordings. Other artists he has worked with include Eva Lindal, Carol Liebowitz, poet Mark Weber, Richard Tabnik, Roger Mancuso, Kevin Norton, Bud Tristano, Cheryl Richards, Michael Vlatkovich, William Roper, Chris Garcia, and Harry Scorzo. Bill has performed at venues including The Stone, iBeam, Connie Crothers’ Loft Concert Series in Brooklyn, Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, NM, and the Center For The Arts in Eagle Rock, CA.

“Payne’s clarinet moves like a leaf buffeted by the wind…”
Ed Hazell, Point of Departure

Carol Liebowitz, piano
Bill Payne, clarinet

special guest  
Mark Weber, poetry

1. Deep Sky  5:07
2. Spiderweb Mandala Flower Explosion Poem: Drishti*  4:40
3. Desert Dance  3:57
4. Secrets  4:44
5. Tempest  2:40
6. Mixtures of Aroma in the Smoke*  4:24
7. Notes on a Dream  7:04
8. Hidden Canyon  5:39
9. Vanishing Point  4:44

*tracks 2 and 6 with Mark Weber

All tracks by Carol Liebowitz and Bill Payne, except tracks 2 and 6 by Carol Liebowitz, Bill Payne and Mark Weber
Concert produced by Tom Guralnick, Janet Simon & Mark Weber
Recorded live at Outpost Performance Space, May 5 & 6, 2016, Albuquerque, NM
Recorded by Kirk Brown; Soundboard by Andres Martinez
Mixed by Mark Weber & Kirk Brown at Oasis Sound, Edgewood, NM
CD Mastering: Jim Clouse, Park West Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Cover/CD art: JB Bryan, “T’ao Ch’ien Looking South” oil on canvas (details)
Liner Notes: Marc Medwin
Design: Carol Liebowitz

Mark Weber

Mixtures of aroma in the smoke
incense corruscating & swirls


It is as the doctrines suggest
much like the spirit
free and ever re-inventing itself

. . . over the bridge
into the forest of trees

The old roads out of the East

Gossamer wings

Solemn vow to look out for each other

The old roads out of the past. . . .

swirling and cloudy

When those at sea did not return
When a tree is cut down
When sorrow enter’d into the world

Someday I’ll bury this pencil in the garden
and ride a galloping horse into the sun

Mark Weber, November 2012

Tony Kofi And The Organisation - Point Blank (THE LAST MUSIC COMPANY August 31, 2018)

The origins of The Organisation go back over a decade and grew from Simon Fernsby's memorable Manhattan Project sessions, which were a staple of jazz in south London throughout the 2000s. Drummer Pete Cater was an early recruit having been a jazz tutor on Fernsby's music college course. The band went through several incarnations but came into its own with the addition of organist Pete Whittaker and honed its no-nonsense, hard-hitting style as a house rhythm section for multiple venues and festivals.

The quartet on these recordings first emerged in 2010 when Tony Kofi, fresh from recording with Ornette Coleman in New York, serendipitously joined them as a last-minute dep. His playing of both alto and baritone on the date created an instant affinity between the four of them. The Organisation's combination of the bluesy, soul-jazz side of the Hammond canon, and their knowledge of the more modern post-bop side of the repertoire (as typified by Woody Shaw's "Moontrane"), worked perfectly with Tony's approach. To the credit of them all, they have played a long game, developing their craft and style on the UK jazz circuit ensuring that the quartet regularly features in their schedule

Recorded by Paul Riley, the sounds you will hear on POINT BLANK are those of a band who have put the hours in and held an ace in their collective hand until the moment to enshrine it was just right in one magical session at Specific Sound in 2017.

1. Minor League
2. Bossallegro
3. Theme From Mr Lucky
4. Search For Peace
5. L S Blues
6. Cisco
7. Full House
8. Moontrane
9. Summer In Central Park
10. Ready And Able

Pete Whittaker (Organ)
Pete Cater (Drums)
Simon Fernsby (Guitar)

Musaeum Clausum - Musaeum Clausum (2018 UMLAUT RECORDS)

Musæum Clausum is a French-German trio that features Louis Laurain on cornet (Die Hochstapler, Umlaut Big band, ONCEIM), Hannes Lingens on drums (Obliq, Konzert Minimal) and Sebastien Beliah on bass.(Un Poco Loco, Ensemble Hodos, Umlaut Big Band). The music of Musæum Clausum is a constant flow with small variations of speed and intensity without beginning or end. In this music each player is drawing freely and independently a path in the development of his ideas and then reveal the elements of a general frame that moves slowly and patiently to reach sometimes a high level a complexity.

This album was recorded in two days in September 2016 in Halle, in a former East German Ballroom. The music is recorded, mixed and mastered by Christoph Schlimbach.

1. A La Ventura part 1 & 2 (22:42)
2. Rareties in Pictures: A Large Submarine Landscape / A Night Piece (20:05)
3. Remarquable Books (11:12)

Louis Laurain, cornet
Sebastien Beliah, double bass
Hannes Lingens, drums

Poogie Bell Band - Exhibition Continues (JAZZLINE September 28, 2018)

Longtemps “maître de cérémonie” pour Marcus Miller, autant que solide sideman auprès de Stanley Clarke, David Sanborn, Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Angelique Kidjo et Al Jarreau, le batteur Poogie Bell montre une nouvelle facette de son art dans Exhibition Continues. Une éclectique démonstration qui prouve, si besoin est, que le natif de Pittsburgh sait faire le grand écart.

Dans ce 6ème sortie comme leader, Poogie Bell et son ensemble le Poogie Bell Band, diversifient sa palette sonore, introduisant dans son album des cordes, des vocalises soul, des chansons tout en nuances, des influences gospel, jazz, afro-cubaines et fusion. “Je voulais juste produire un disque dans lequel je n’aurais pas à jouer un rythme funk tout le temps mais jongler avec des horizons différents.”

Bobby Broom & The Organi-Sation - Soul Fingers (September 28, 2018 JAZZLINE)

Born in Harlem and raised on the Upper West Side of NYC, Bobby Broom took up guitar at age 12 and five years later in 1977, made his first appearance with Sonny Rollins and Donald Byrd at Carnegie Hall. He went on to tour regularly and record with Rollins from 1981 to ‘86 and again, more recently, from 2005 to ‘10. During his early years, Bobby also performed and recorded with trumpeters Tom Browne and Hugh Masekela; pianists Weldon Irvine and Dave Grusin, and Charlie Parker pianists Al Haig and Walter Bishop, Jr.

By 1981 Broom had recorded his debut as a leader, Clean Sweep, for GRP Records. The deal came as a result of Broom’s declining the offer from Art Blakey to become the first and only guitarist in his famed group, The Jazz Messengers. Broom chose to work with friends who were actively recording and touring in the GRP Records circle, which afforded him his first opportunity to record as a leader and subsequently, to introduce him to a new fan base.

Later in the decade, Bobby relocated to Chicago while continuing to work with Rollins, Stanley Turrentine, Charles Earland, Miles Davis, Kenny Garrett and Dr. John, among others over the next 20 years. In 1986 Bobby was recruited by jazz guitar icon and elder Kenny Burrell to be a member of Burrell’s “Jazz Guitar Band.” That three guitar front-line group (including guitarist Rodney Jones) recorded two records live at the Village Vanguard for Blue Note Records. At that time Burrell said, “Bobby is the most innovative guitarist I’ve heard in a long time.”

Throughout his career, Bobby has also been a dedicated jazz educator. He holds a Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy from Northwestern University. His first teaching experience was under the auspices of Jackie McLean at the University of Hartford’s, Hartt School of Music during the semesters of 1982 and ’83. Prior to his current position at North Park University, Broom was a jazz faculty member at DePaul University for six years and Chicago’s American Conservatory of Music for six years. He conducts clinics, master classes and lectures nationwide and abroad, is a teaching artist with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and for eighteen years has been a Ravinia Jazz Mentor to Chicago Public High School students. He has also written editorial and instructional pieces for national magazines, DownBeat and JazzTimes.

Heralded as “one of the most musical guitarists of our times,” by author and jazz critic Ted Gioia, Bobby has spent the new millennium focusing on his musical output as a leader. He has recorded with both his Bobby Broom Trio and the disbanded, Deep Blue Organ Trio for the Premonition, Delmark and Origin labels. His Plays for Monk was released in spring 2009, The Way I Play in April 2008, and Deep Blue’s Wonderfu1! in 2011 and Folk Music in 2007. Bobby was recognized as one of the top guitarists in Down Beat magazine’s annual Critics Poll for 3 years, from 2012–2014. His Deep Blue CD, Wonderfu1!, reached number one on both US national jazz radio charts. His latest BBT release, My Shining Hour (Origin, 2014), received a New York Times review and placed at number three on the US national jazz radio chart. Throughout his career, Broom has continued to garner praise and encouragement from his peers and elders. Sonny Rollins has said, “Bobby is the reason I like the guitar.” Fellow guitarists also laud Broom, including those that he admires such as John Scofield, George Benson and Pat Metheny, who cited Broom’s 2007 Song and Dance recording as “one of the best (jazz) guitar trio records ever!”

Broom’s latest recording is with his new organ group, the Bobby Broom Organi-Sation, which was the opening act for Steely Dan’s fifty-city, North American tour in 2014. The new recording, Soul Fingers, is arguably Bobby’s most ambitious to date. Produced by the legendary drummer/producer Steve Jordan, Bobby once again revisits the music of his youth, this time employing a wide range of instrumental palates, in addition to palpable group interplay and his own, always soulful and singularly personal sound and style.

1. Come Together
2. Ode to Billie Joe
3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
4. Summer Breeze
5. Eyes of Faith
6. Get Ready
7. I Can't Help It
8. The Guitar Man

Maria Schneider named an NEA Jazz Master

© Kyra Kverno

Each year, the National Endowment for the Arts bestows the nation’s highest honor in jazz—the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships—on individuals who have made significant contributions to the art form. Today, the NEA is announcing the four newest recipients of this lifetime honor—Bob Dorough, Abdullah Ibrahim, Maria Schneider, and Stanley Crouch, who is the recipient of the 2019 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy (bestowed upon an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz). Sadly, Bob Dorough passed away shortly after being notified of his Jazz Masters honor. The 2019 recipients will be celebrated at a free tribute concert, which will take place on Monday, April 15, 2019 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and streamed online.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to celebrate jazz, an art form born in the United States that has since been embraced worldwide,” said NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “These four new NEA Jazz Masters have been key players in jazz throughout their lives and careers, ensuring that the music will continue to grow and reach new audiences.”

The 2019 NEA Jazz Masters are:

Stanley Crouch —Jazz Historian, Author, Critic, Co-founder Jazz at Lincoln Center (2019 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy)

Crouch is the author of eight critically acclaimed books and of hundreds of uncollected articles, essays, album liner notes, and reviews on jazz that has influenced the music and championed it for the general public. He also co-founded and served as artistic consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Bob Dorough —Vocalist, Composer, Arranger, Pianist

Dorough’s career spanned more than 70 years in jazz as a singer, pianist, composer, and arranger. His distinctive vocals, clever lyrics, and strong melodies were well-known in the jazz world even before his compositions and vocals for the animation series Schoolhouse Rock!.

Abdullah Ibrahim — Pianist, Composer

Ibrahim combines the rhythmic influences of South Africa with the improvisation of jazz to create his spiritually enriching music, whether performing solo, with a trio, a full band, or an orchestra. This blend of the traditional and the modern is reflected in his distinctive style, harmonies, and musical vocabulary.

Maria Schneider —Composer, Arranger, Bandleader

Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative,” “majestic,” “heart-stoppingly gorgeous,” and “beyond categorization.” Primarily known for her highly original and provocative big band compositions written over the past three decades, she is unique in having written classical works as well, even stepping into rock through a collaboration with David Bowie.

2019 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert
The 2019 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert—produced in collaboration with the Kennedy Center, whose artistic director for jazz is Jason Moran—will take place on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall and also will be streamed live. The concert will feature performances in honor of the 2019 NEA Jazz Masters and will be free and open to the public. More information on how to reserve tickets will be available in Spring 2019; email to be added to the list to receive information when tickets become available.

About the NEA Jazz Masters
Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded 153 fellowships to great figures in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Dianne Reeves, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, and George Wein. The full list of NEA Jazz Masters and materials about them—including videos, podcasts, NEA Jazz Moments audio clips, and more—are available at

Recipients are nominated by the public, including the jazz community. Nominations are judged by a panel of experts, including previously-named NEA Jazz Masters. The panel’s recommendations are reviewed by the National Council on the Arts, which sends its recommendations to the NEA chairman, who makes the final decision. The NEA encourages nominations of a broad range of men and women who have been significant to the field of jazz, through vocals, instrumental performance, creative leadership, and education. NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships are up to $25,000 and can be received once in a lifetime. The NEA is currently accepting nominations for the 2020 class of NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships. The deadline is October 31, 2018. Visit the NEA's website for more information and to submit a nomination.

The NEA also supports the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, an effort to document the lives and careers of NEA Jazz Masters. In addition to transcriptions of the comprehensive interviews, the website also includes audio clips with interview excerpts. This project has transcribed the oral histories of nearly 100 NEA Jazz Masters.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more about NEA.

About Kennedy Center Jazz
Kennedy Center Jazz, under the leadership of Artistic Director Jason Moran, presents legendary artists who have helped shape the art form, artists who are emerging on the jazz scene, and innovative multidisciplinary projects throughout the year. The KC Jazz Club, launched in 2002 and dubbed “the future of the jazz nightclub” by JazzTimes, hosts many of these artists in an intimate setting; while the Crossroads Club, launched in 2012, is a nightclub dance venue. Annual Kennedy Center jazz events include the professional development residency program for young artists, Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead; NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas, the Kennedy Center holiday tradition shared by millions around the country via broadcast on NPR; and the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, created in 1996 by the late Dr. Billy Taylor (Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz, 1994–2010). The Center co-produces the annual NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concerts, celebrating iconic figures in the music.