Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Ayn Inserto's Down a Rabbit Hole with Sean Jones, John Fedchock, George Garzone and Inserto's Jazz Orchestra (SUMMIT RECORDS September 21, 2108)

Boston's creatively charged Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra rematerializes
with its first new album in a decade
Down a Rabbit Hole, featuring guest stars Sean Jones, George Garzone and John Fedchock, to be released September 21 via Summit Records
“'...recording with her jazz orchestra is grand and sophisticated to a degree as to immediately elevate her status alongside acknowledged influences, and well known, experienced chart makers like Maria Schneider, Bob Belden, and Mark Masters...Inserto directs and conducts her charges...Inserto is impressive as a writer of modern jazz...' ”
— Michael G. Nastos, AllMusic.com/MUSE

“'There's an energetic creative force on the horizon named Ayn Inserto, and based on this debut album, she's Maria Schneider on steroids ...'”
— Harvey Siders,Jazz Times/ Clairvoyance

“'Ayn Inserto is in the forefront of a new generation of jazz composers who are accomplished, ambitious and truly personal.' ”
— Fred Hersch

“'A New Star on the Horizon - The big band tradition is alive and well... ”
— John Greenspan,KSFR 90.7 FM Santa Fe

The trick about falling down rabbit holes is knowing how to get back out. The insistently inventive composer, arranger, bandleader and educator Ayn Inserto has built a brilliant career around her gift for designing fantastical but slyly logical musical landscapes and crafting sonic adventures marked by sinuously surprising melodies, Technicolor harmonies, and arrestingly vivid voicings. Due for release on Summit Records on September 21, 2018, the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra's first new album in a decade, Down a Rabbit Hole, reintroduces her sly and imaginative musical world, a realm populated by some of jazz's most expressive improvisers.

In many ways Inserto conceived Rabbit Hole to showcase her three special guests - trumpet star Sean Jones, tenor sax great George Garzone, and trombonist John Fedchock - along with her exceptional cast of players many of whom have been with her since she launched the group in 2001. "I saw the album as an opportunity to feature these three amazing musicians, people I consider good friends and musical influences," says Inserto. "They're three artists who don't necessarily play together so it was really fun to bring them together."

A protégé of legendary trombonist/arranger/composer Bob Brookmeyer, Inserto has ascended to jazz's top ranks over the past two decades, earning numerous awards and commissions. Her last release, 2015's Home Away From Home (Neuklang Records), documented her collaboration with Italy's acclaimed Colours Jazz Orchestra. With Rabbit Hole, she's landed back on home turf. From the first track "Three and Me," her bespoke sensibility provides her guest triumvirate with passages tailored to their musical personalities.  

She arranged "BJ's Tune" as a vehicle for Jones' gorgeous trumpet, a sound as rich and glorious as any on the scene. His poised solo is a case study in melodic development as the band gently churns underneath his ascending lines. Inserto doesn't really write programmatic music, but the briskly swinging "Mister and Dudley" does capture the frisky energy and quotidian pleasures of spending time with the tune's sources of inspiration. Inspired by Fedchock and bass trombonist Jennifer Wharton's two namesake dogs, the piece evokes the pooches with affable affection. 

Inserto recorded the title track, which was commissioned by the Amherst Jazz Ensemble, on her last album with Colours Jazz Orchestra, but that sojourn underground was a relatively calm excursion. Unleashing Garzone on the tempestuous chart results in a whirlwind adventure with his Mad Hatter saxophone inciting the band's tea party rumpus. The album's centerpiece is Inserto's two-part suite pairing of "Ze Teach" with "And Me," a commission by Madison Technical College. The first piece is inspired by Brookmeyer (who signed off on notes to Inserto as "Ze Teach") while the second movement is a powerhouse statement driven by her sensational rhythm section with guitarist Eric Hofbauer, pianist Jason Yeager, bassist Sean Farias, and drummer Austin McMahon (whose supple touch and architectural sense of form always elevates her music).

There are any number of ways to run and maintain a jazz orchestra. Duke Ellington's ornery crew was famous for its long-running feuds and disputations, a bumptious environment that clearly didn't impede his unprecedented creative output. Inserto has taken the opposite tack, fostering a familial vibe that encompasses her special guests. She met Jones during his tenure as chair of the Berklee College of Music's brass department. "We started collaborating early on," she says. "I've gotten to know him really well and was so excited he was into recording."

Garzone, who has mentored several generations of improvisers and is the subject of a new documentary Let Be What Is, has appeared on every album by Inserto's orchestra. Though not an official member, he has played an essential role in shaping the group's sound. Fedchock has intersected with Inserto in various ways over the years, from hiring her as a copyist way back when to marrying her longtime friend, the orchestra's able bass trombonist Jennifer Wharton.

Inserto worked assiduously to foster an environment in which exceptional musicians like trumpeter Dan Rosenthal, saxophonist Allan Chase, and reed expert/flutist Rick Stone can thrive. "I always cook for my band," she says. "Any time we have a gig I make sure they have food. I consider lot of the players close friends. My husband Jeff Claassen plays lead trumpet. There's a trombone and bass trombone duet in 'Mr. and Dudley,' featuring Jen and John. Randy Pingrey (trombone) and Kathy Olson (bari sax) are another married couple. There's not a single person in the band who I couldn't call on or hang out with."

Born in Singapore, Inserto was 14 when her family relocated to California. Within a year had settled in the San Francisco Bay Area's East Bay, where Inserto was well prepared to take advantage of the region's extensive jazz educational resources. She had started taking piano lessons as a child and jumped into music at her Catholic church where she became "very active in the church choir. They had this one band that had a little more modern sound," Inserto recalls. "I was playing the organ, and there was lot of improvising that would go on before the service started. A lot of our music only had lead sheets, and I'd make up stuff to go with them."

Introduced to jazz via the Manhattan Transfer, she learned to read chords from a book of Disney tunes and soon started substituting her own chord choices to make the songs sound more interesting. By the time she entered Clayton Valley High School in the East Bay city of Concord, Inserto was obsessed with music, playing piano in various school ensembles including the jazz band. She discovered Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner and other piano giants while continuing to study classical piano. She was also an avid member of the award-winning Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, playing mallet percussion. A weeklong Berklee camp in Los Angeles expanded her jazz vocabulary exponentially, she says. "Around that time," she says,  "I also got hired to write for the Blue Devils corps, writing all these mallet percussion ensemble pieces."

She attended Los Medanos College's respected jazz program for several years and then transferred to Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay), where she thrived under the tutelage of trombonist/arranger Dave Eshelman, a revered educator and bandleader who has mentored several generations of exceptional Bay Area jazz musicians (he provides Rabbit Hole's spot-on liner notes in verse). Encouraged to apply to New England Conservatory by saxophonist and NEC professor Allan Chase, Inserto was drawn to the school by Brookmeyer. "I studied two full years with him," says Inserto, now a long-time associate professor of jazz composition at Berklee College of Music. "I was writing from a piano player's point of view, and he got me into more melodic writing, developing these long lines. After NEC he really took me on as a mentor."

While Brookmeyer's influence is laced throughout Inserto's music she has honed an independent musical identity writing and arranging for her orchestra as well numerous other ensembles that come calling with commissions. Her orchestra's 2006 debut album Clairvoyance earned rave reviews hailing her vivid writing and seemingly boundless well of ideas. The project featured Brookmeyer, Garzone, and many of the key players who are still part of the 17-piece ensemble. Her second album, 2009's Muse, cemented her reputation as a composer and arranger of exceptional acuity.   

The various connections manifesting in Down a Rabbit Hole are captured in the album's cover art by Kendall Eddy (a former bassist for the band). Inserto commissioned him to create the artwork, which features various layers of symbolism - like Boston's skyline in the background - readily discernible to a sharp-eyed observer. "There's the brook running through the field, which stands for Brookmeyer," Inserto says. "There are the three giants who drank the potion, like Alice, and became the big artists. I'm running around amidst all the madness."

Crazy like a fox, Inserto has created her own musical Wonderland with her orchestra, a sensational aural universe easily accessible with a little step down a rabbit hole.


Ayn Inserto, conductor/composer/arranger

John Fedchock, trombone
George Garzone, tenor sax
Sean Jones, trumpet
Allan Chase, soprano/alto sax
Rick Stone, alto sax/flute/clarinet
Kelly Roberge, tenor sax/clarinet
Mark Zaleski, tenor sax/clarinet
Kathy Olson, bari sax/bass clarinet

Trumpets: Jeff Claassen, Bijon Watson, Dan Rosenthal, Matthew Small
Trombones: Randy Pingrey, Chris Gagne, Garo Saraydarian; Bass Trombone: Jennifer Wharton
Eric Hofbauer, guitar
Jason Yeager, piano
Sean Farias, bass
Austin McMahon, drums
Mike Tomasiak, tenor sax on track 5
Jerry Sabatini, trumpet, on track 5
Jamie Kember, bass trombone, on track 5


"After some three or more hours of Tonus music on a succession of days I believe this is an ensemble with much potential." Vital Weekly 
- The Netherlands

A New Wave Of Jazz profiles itself more than ever as a label that not only materializes curator Dirk Serries immense passion for the wilful in music, whether free impro or minimal music, but also tries to tie/bridge those specific genres.  The label towards the future will expand its catalogue with a series of excellent albums by prominant and exciting artists.

This Fall however the label focuses on the realization of the first three TONUS albums.  TONUS as an ensemble grew out of Dirk Serries' jazzcase residency in 2017 for which he brought together a sextet to work around a slow piano motif by Martina Verhoeven. The literal translation of Tonus is muscle strength, but in this context defines a musical system that places equal importance on the space between notes. Both definitions apply here as the music is an exercise in discipline and anticipation while controlling the clarity, sustain and effect of each single note played.

The birth of the TONUS happened when Serries realised that he needed a vehicle to explore and perform these exercises, as well as a general classification for his ongoing study in minimalism and free improvisation.

These albums are officially out on October 13th 2018 !

disc one : I (performed and recorded at Jazzcase, Neerpelt Belgium November 16th 2017) personnel : colin webster (alto sax), nils vermeulen (double bass), martina verhoeven (piano), dirk serries (acoustic guitar), george hadow (drums), jan daelman (flute)

disc two : IV (performed and recorded at Hundred Years Gallery, London UK January 14th 2018) personnel : otto willberg (double bass), colin webster (alto sax), tom ward (bass clarinet), benedict taylor (viola), dirk serries (acoustic guitar), cath roberts (baritone sax)

performed and recorded at the Sunny Side Inc. studio, Anderlecht Belgium December 9th 2017. Personnel : Dirk Serries (acoustic guitars), Benedict Taylor (viola), Martina Verhoeven (piano)

performed and recorded at Sunny Side Inc. studio, Anderlecht Belgium March 10th 2018. Personnel : Dirk Serries (acoustic guitar), Martina Verhoeven (piano)


Celebrating Dirk Serries' 50th birthday in par with the release of three TONUS albums,  the TONUS ensemble (in varying line-ups) will play five special events.  

Friday, October 12th 2018 - Pletterij, Haarlem (Netherlands)

ensemble : Dirk Serries (accordion, acoustic guitar), Benedict Taylor (viola), Martina Verhoeven (piano), Colin Webster (alto sax)

Saturday, October 13th 2018 - De Singer, Rijkevorsel (Belgium) 

ensemble : Patrick De Groote (trumpet), Dirk Serries (accordion, acoustic guitar), Benedict Taylor (viola), Martina Verhoeven (piano), Nils Vermeulen (double bass), Colin Webster (alto sax)

Sunday, October 14th 2018 - AB salon, Brussels (Belgium)

ensemble : Dirk Serries (accordion, acoustic guitar), Benedict Taylor (viola), Martina Verhoeven (piano), Nils Vermeulen (double bass), Colin Webster (alto sax)

Friday, October 19th 2018 - Oratoriënhof, Leuven (Belgium)

ensemble : Dirk Serries (accordion/melodica, acoustic guitar), Martina Verhoeven (piano)

Saturday, October 27th 2018 - Cafe OTO, London (UK)

ensemble : Graham Dunning (snare drum, objects), Kristoffer Lo (flugabone), Cath Roberts (baritone sax), Dirk Serries (accordion, acoustic guitar), Benedict Taylor (viola), Martina Verhoeven (piano), Tom Ward (bass clarinet), Colin Webster (alto sax), Otto Willberg (double bass) 

Judith Lorick feat. Eric Reed Trio CD Release Show: @ Smoke Thursday, October 18th Showtimes: 7pm, 9pm & 10:30pm

Judith Lorick
The Eric Reed Trio  

“The Second Time Around”
CD Release Show
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Smoke Jazz & Supper Club
2751 Broadway, NY
7pm, 9pm & 10:30pm
Tickets: $15

Judith Lorick (v)
Eric Reed (p)
Dave Baron (b)
McClenty Hunter (d)

“Gifted with an extraordinary voice, Judith Lorick combines charm, elegance and refinement”
“Les Nuits du Jazz” Cannes (France)

JUDITH LORICK is a vocalist we should have heard from long before now. In an era of exaggeration and pyrotechnics, Judith’s voice is a soothing reminder of what it means to have quality of tone and sophistication, all captured on her latest project, The Second Time Around, an array of popular pieces, warmly and refreshingly treated by Judith and her collaborator, multi-faceted pianist Eric Reed. Supplementing accompaniment is a diverse collection of talent including Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, McClenty Hunter on drums, Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass, and a recent arrival to the music scene, tenor saxophonist Chris Lewis. 

The Second Time Around celebrates several life events for Judith, most notably the reunion with her long lost love, Artie. To tell the story, Reed encouraged her to select songs that were intrinsic to it; not surprisingly, the most appropriate and moving songs turned out to be ballads. “Eric was in tune to the fact that singing ballads is something that I’m passionate about, and that this passion would resonate with others,” Judith recalls. This heartwarming and poignant tale is rendered through the lyrics of tireless classics like “I’ll Be Seeing You”, the title track “The Second Time Around” and rarer gems like “Why Did I Choose You”and “I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life”. Judith explains her ease with the repertoire, stating, “Interpreting ballads comes naturally to me because they resonate in my soul, and that’s where I sing from, where I live. As long as I can feel it, as long as I can react spontaneously in my interpretation and phrasing, I can relate honestly to people.”More than anything, pure and unfettered honesty pours out of this project.

Judith’s passion is not just limited to ballads, but to music in general. “My mother ‘gave me voice’. She constantly had music on in our home, so by the time I was a teenager, and began to sing jazz, I already knew three hundred songs!”she exclaims. This carefully selected program of songs is rooted in Judith’s natural proclivity towards education:“When I perform, I tend to do songs that people might not know because I feel part of my job is to make people aware of great songs that are rarely interpreted.” In the midst of music, family, and a very successful business career, Judith has found and lost love, finding it againfour decades later; she has lived every lyric sung.

A native of Philadelphia (as is her collaborator Reed), Judith has traversed the globe not only as performer, but as resident, having spent extensive time in southern California, and almost thirty years in the south of France, where she first met Eric at an after-hours jam session in 1995, where “The magic was immediate,”she remembers. “When you breathe together like that, from the first note, well, it was a musical experience one never forgets.”  When Judith returned to the U.S. in 2014, they reconnected after one of Eric’s performancesand not long after, their collaboration ensued – the secondtime around.

“Judith and I were diligent about every aspect of this project, which was a treat for me,”says Reed. “Her trust was paramount in doing this.”Their due diligence paid off in the assemblage of a masterful and sympathetic quintet, an unusual choice for a vocal recording. Judith explains, “I love what Jeremy Pelt and Chris Lewis add to the overall sound. Sometimes, we were just going for sounds and colors versus full-on solos. Eric and I were interested in scoring a storyline versus simply recording songs.”Illuminating further about her collaborator and co-producer, “Eric is amazing – talented, creative, meticulous, and sensitive. He’s not merely an accompanist here, it’s as if we’re singing together.”

Although the songs are familiar, the story of The Second Time Around, is a unique and moving saga about which Judith summarizes,“I’m glad I came home. It was time.”

(JLJ International LLC JLJ2014) 
Street Date: September 28, 2018

Vocals: Judith Lorick
Piano: Eric Reed
Trumpet: Jeremy Pelt
Drums: McClenty Hunter
Bass: Kiyoshi Kitagawa
Tenor Saxophone: Chris Lewis

Media Contact
Jim Eigo
Jazz Promo Services
E Mail: jim@jazzpromoservices.com
"Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

The 5th Annual New York HOT JAZZ FESTIVAL presented by THE MCKITTRICK HOTEL & HOT JAZZ PRODUCTIONS :: Sunday, September 30, 2018 2pm-2am!




“One of the most enjoyable hangs of the year!”


2018 marks the 5 Year Anniversary for what has become a New York institution, The New York Hot Jazz Festival.  Music Impresario and Hot Jazz Productions founder, Michael Katsobashvili and The McKittrick Hotel, 530 West 27th Street, NYC (home of Sleep No More), announce the return of the festival to its yearly headquarters on Sunday, September 30th,  across three stages within The McKittrick.

The hot jazz and swing party of the year returns to Chelsea’s McKittrick Hotel once again featuring three stages with continuous live music for 12 hours from sixteen ensembles and a myriad of special guests and performance artists. Celebrating traditional (pre-bop) jazz, with rising stars and legendary performers alike, the festival will showcase the best talent of the hot jazz and swing worlds in New York and beyond with music spanning the entire scope of early jazz – from its New Orleans beginnings through the Jazz Age and into the Swing Era.


(subject to change)

• Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks
• The Hot Sardines
• Mwenso and The Shakes
• Evan Christopher
• Julien Labro & Olli Soikkeli Quartet
• Sasha Masakowski
• Tatiana Eva-Marie & the Avalon Jazz Band
• Olivier Franc & Jean Baptiste Franc
• Cynthia Sayer Trio
• Blind Boy Paxton
• Nicole Rochelle
• DeWitt Fleming Jr.
• Eddy Davis
• Queen Esther
• Sugartone Brass Band
• Charlie Halloran Band
• New Eureka Jass Band 
• The Moonlighters
• Evan Arntzen’s Animule Dance
• Tuba Machine
• Midnight Speakeasy All-Star Band


• Lilian Lorraine & her Lovely Ladies
• Antique Phonograph DJ MAC

Additional artists will be announced shortly.

The top headliner of the 5th anniversary festival is the biggest name in the world of hot jazz: Grammy-winning Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks (subjects of last year’s documentary film There’s A Future In The Past). The acclaimed big-band leader and multi-instrumentalist, Vince Giordano, will be the first recipient of the New York Hot Jazz Festival's new lifetime achievement award in recognition of his immeasurable contributions to traditional jazz.

Mr. Giordano will be presenting two separate programs at the Fest: Hot Potpourri and From Harlem To Montmartre: a Jazz Age Voyage. The second program will celebrate the centennial of James Reese Europe’s 369th infantry regiment, the “Harlem Hellfighters” band, who brought their form of ragtime and jazz to France for the first time when they arrived on the battlefields of Europe in WWI. The program will also celebrate the subsequent influence of the Hellfighters' distinguished veterans, who channelled the Harlem Renaissance to the Lower Montmartre district of Paris in the 1920s.

The Nighthawks will be joined by several special guests, including tap dance whiz DeWitt Fleming Jr., with an homage to the legendary Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, who appeared in Lower Montmartre in the '20s and later starred in a James Reese Europe biopic. The luminescent French vocalist/dancer Nicolle Rochelle will join the Nighthawks in an tribute to the most famous celebrity to come out of Lower Montmartre: Josephine Baker. More artists joining Mr Giordano are to be announced shortly.

Another notable homage in the Fest will be the New York premiere of a new Fats Waller revue, created by tap dance star Michela Marino Lerman with the explosive Michael Mwenso & The Shakes. This production has already enjoyed a successful run in London’s West End and will be presented here to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the passing of this legendary piano player and songwriter.

The French theme of this year's edition of the Festival will be extended by a number of French artists. French-born Elizabeth Bougerol will co-lead the exhilarating Hot Sardines, one of the founding ensembles of the Festival and one of the most prominent acts of the current hot jazz and swing revival.

French accordion virtuoso Julien Labro with Gypsy swing guitar wizard Olli Soikkeli will make the Fest debut with their new quartet.

Another of the Fest's founding bands, Avalon Jazz Band, led by the rising star vocalist Tatiana Eva-Marie, will present From Paris To New Orleans program with both Manouche and Eastern European Romani twist. NOLA's-own rising star, Sasha Masakowski, will join the Avalon as a special guest.

Soprano saxophonist Olivier Franc, one of the top living disciples of Sidney Bechet, will be joined by his son, the stride piano specialist Jean Baptiste Franc, for a tribute to Bechet: the native son of New Orleans, who became a major presence in the clubs of Lower Montmartre in the '20s then rose to worldwide prominence.

The greatest New Orleans clarinet player of our time, the inspiring Evan Christopher, will be appearing as part of the New York Hot Jazz Festival’s year-long celebration of  Crescent City tricentennial. 

Big Easy celebration will also include a representative of a younger generation of New Orleans hot jazz specialists — formidable trombonist Charlie Halloran, who is making his Fest debut with a band of his own."

Several New York-based bands will also salute the Big Easy, Gotham-style! Among them are John Gill’s New Eureka Jass Band and the exhilarating Sugartone Brass Band, led by tuba powerhouse Kenneth Bentley, bringing NOLA brass sound to the Fest for the first time.

Another traditional jazz sound to be heard at the Fest for the first time is the Hawaiian-style string band swing of Bliss Blood’s Moonlighters.

Vince Giordano

The ultimate string highlight of the festival will occur as three acclaimed banjo masters Cynthia Sayer, Blind Boy Paxton, and Banjo Hall Of Fame inductee Eddy Davis join forces and battle it out in hot jazz Banjo Summit. The award winning four string banjo star Cynthia Sayer and her trio and the inspired bluesman multi-instrumentalist Blind Boy Paxton will have individual set before the banjo summit.  

The Festival will feature a visual and sonic art installation dedicated to the early history of jazz recording. The installation is created by Phonograph DJ MAC (aka Michael Cumella), the host of the long-running The Antique Phonograph Music Program on WFMU and the visual/immersive/performance artist Lillian Lorraine (aka Syrie Moskowitz.) Ms. Moskowitz will also be exhibiting her Jazz Age-inspired artworks throughout the McKittrick’s Heath.

DeWitt Fleming Jr. and Tatiana Eva-Marie will serve as the 5th anniversary Festival’s co-hosts.


2pm-4pm: Hot Jazz Brunch

4pm-12am: Hot Jazz Festival Marathon

12am-2am: Midnight Speakeasy Party (included with tickets above)


“Hot Jazz Benefactor” tickets are $200, and include priority entry from 4pm, reserved seating at both main stages and acknowledgement in the festival newsletter.

Reserved Seating tickets are $135, with access to reserved seating area at the lower level stage from 4pm.

General Admission first tier tickets are $49, with 4pm entry. Succeeding advance GA tiers are $59 and $69. Advance pricing available while tickets last.

Hot Jazz Brunch that kicks off the Festival at Gallow Green at 2pm is an additional $39 (must be combined with General Admission, Reserved Seating or Benefactor tickets) and features an additional Festival band. Brunch comes complete with coffee, tea, the rooftop’s seasonal brunch buffet and live hot jazz music.

For complete festival details and lineup, visit the official site www.nyhotjazzfest.com. For the venue information, visit www.mckittrickhotel.com or call 212-904-1880.

Exit North - Book of Romance and Dust (October 1, 2018)

An uncompromising debut album that explores the collective psyches and diverse influences of its renowned members. The focus is on songcraft that seamlessly combines genres and lyrical perspectives that shift between shadows and light.

Ulf Jansson - Piano, Keyboards
Charles Storm - Synthesisers, Treatments, Guitars, Bass, Voices
Steve Jansen - Keyboards, Drums, Percussion, Sound Design, Backing Vocals
Thomas Feiner - Lead Vocals, Trumpet, Additional Piano, Additional Guitar, Harmonium

Max Wulfsson - Violin I
Hanna Eliasson - Violin II
Tuula Fleivik Nurmo - Viola
Jung Hyun Byun - Cello
Hans Adler - Double Bass

Strings conducted by Mikael Backegård

String Arrangements
LESSONS IN DOUBT Mikael Backegård
BESTED BONES & ANOTHER CHANCE Mikael Backegård & Thomas Feiner
SEVER ME Thomas Feiner, orchestrated by Max Wulfson

Additional Vocals
Fyfe Dangerfield BESTED BONES
Robbie Lloyd-Wilson BESTED BONES
Anna Bylund LOSING

Additional Contributors
Lars Danielsson - Double Bass BESTED BONES & SPIDER & LESSONS IN DOUBT
Richard Hauer - Guitar NORTH
Mattias Tell - Acoustic Guitar - SHORT OF ONE DIMENSION
Bashar Sharifah - Cello ANOTHER CHANCE
Isak Eldh - Field Recording LOSING
‘Saxophobia’ sample ANOTHER CHANCE courtesy of Saidera Records

1. Bested Bones 05:20
2. Short Of One Dimension
3. Sever Me
4. Passenger's Wake
5. North
6. Lessons In Doubt
7. Spider
8. Losing
9. Another Chance
10. trailer: Exit North - Book of Romance and Dust

Rudy Royston - Flatbed Buggy (GREENLEAF MUSIC October 26, 2018)

Introducing Rudy Royston’s new record Flatbed Buggy

We’re announcing Rudy Royston’s third album as a bandleader. Flatbed Buggy features a new chamber-like quintet performing Rudy’s original compositions inspired by his youth growing up in Texas.

The album will be available worldwide on October 26

The new album, Rudy’s third as a bandleader, features thirteen original compositions for a new chamber-like quintet that includes Gary Versace (accordion), John Ellis (bass clarinet/saxophones), Hank Roberts (cello) and Joe Martin (bass).

Rudy Royston, first-call drummer with Bill Frisell, JD Allen, Dave Douglas and a host of other jazz greats, has honed a thoroughly engaging voice as a composer and bandleader with his compelling debut 303 (2014) and the raw and bracing trio follow-up Rise of Orion (2016). To these fine releases, both on Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music imprint, Royston now adds his third, Flatbed Buggy, rich in tonal contrast and mood yet steeped in the supple, enduring swing and groove that has driven his writing and playing from the start.

Right away the instrumentation is a striking departure: Royston leads a compact, almost chamber-like quintet featuring Gary Versace (accordion), John Ellis (bass clarinet/saxophones), Hank Roberts (cello) and Joe Martin (bass). “I was going for something that was more about melodies,” Royston declares. “I wanted to illustrate a story.” And indeed, the melodies flow forth on Flatbed Buggy, with rich harmony and surpassingly subtle orchestration and interplay occurring at every step as well.

Of the album title, Royston says: “Flatbed buggies to me mean country, they mean home, they mean earth. We lived in Denver but my father lived in Texas, and I would spend time in the country there. I remember riding on this kind of flatbed buggy thing when I was a child. The whole feeling that brought me … it was comforting, it was outside, this bitter shrubbery smell, my friends are there, my family’s there. So it’s about that, but the album also has to do with time: a time in my life, the beginning of things, the process of them. The buggy moving along up a road represents the movement of time. And the titles on the album really have to do with time and motion.”

The warmth and immediacy captured by Royston and the group, the unorthodox sound of the instrumental combinations themselves, marks Flatbed Buggy as a creative breakthrough. “Ron Miles is always my major influence,” the drummer offers, “because his music is so sing-able and melodically rich. I wanted that melodic quality but also moments underneath in the harmony where it was a little scratchy, a little dusty. My neighborhood in Texas was a little dusty.”

Together with the deep and woody instrumental timbres of Flatbed Buggy, there’s the way Royston keeps them continuously in play, beyond conventional jazz-combo roles: “I wanted us all to be constantly playing. I wanted us all to orchestrate or color or have a little input regardless of who is soloing. So if you check out the little stuff Hank is doing on Gary’s solos, for instance — all these neat little themes are happening. It sounds very orchestra-like for me. Some of it is written but 90 percent is those guys just interjecting their own taste into what’s going at the time.

At points in the program are short, rhythmically propulsive interludes — “Bed Boppin’,” “Dirty Stetson,” “Hold My Mule” (an old church expression), “I Guess It’s Time to Go” — that serve as what Royston calls “leaps of time.” “They remind you that you’re moving forward,” he says. “I hope there’s no ending on anything: a lot of these pieces fade out, because even when we pass away things still seem to be going forward somehow.”

In particular, the thematically related “Boy…Man” and “Girl…Woman” bring the passage of time further into focus, each a musical story not only of growth and maturation but eternal life: “That’s why I fade out, because it’s not about endings. It’s not like, ‘She lived her life and then passed away.’ It’s kind of like nothing ends, not yet.”

While Flatbed Buggy presents far more than a succession of virtuosic solos, the passion and technical depth of the performances themselves — including standout improvisations from all involved — can’t go unremarked. John Ellis, among the great saxophonists of his generation, plays mainly bass clarinet throughout, achieving a remarkable sound and impact. Gary Versace, a top organist and pianist of our time, is equally stunning on accordion, bringing a reedy melodic sustain and full harmonic weight to the music. On the low strings, whether bowed or pizzicato, Hank Roberts and Joe Martin contribute a wealth of subtlety and energy as well, intersecting and digging in, never in the expected ways. And Royston, even though he lays back and never dominates here (he notes there’s only one drum solo on the record), still offers what amounts to a master class on the jazz drummer’s art.

There’s an endless amount to discover: the melodic development and final triumphant letting-loose of the opening “Soul Train”; the hint of New Orleans rhythm in “Flatbed Buggy”; the picture of innocence in a young child twirling, on “Twirler,” with a startlingly brilliant tempo shift into slow swing; or the fast, twisty bop theme and soprano sax showcase of “Bobble Head” (where that lone drum solo crops up).

Another major statement is “The Roadside,” inspired by memories of a drive through wide open space in Texas, with great expanses of weeds and wildflowers. “It was very beautiful to be in the midst of all that,” Royston says. “It was moving, it was in motion, these flowers on the side of a dirt road, sprawled everywhere. My dad loved to fish, so we were driving somewhere to some pond, in the back of the country somewhere. The piece takes you back to that moment and reminds you that no matter where you are now, you’re on a journey someplace.”

Rudy Royston, drums
John Ellis, bass clarinet / saxophones
Gary Versace, accordion
Hank Roberts, cello
Joe Martin, bass

Produced by Rudy Royston
Executive Producer: Dave Douglas
Engineered, edited and mixed by David Kowalski at Teaneck Sound Studios, Paramus, NJ, April 2018
Mastered by Kevin Blackler at Blackler Mastering, Brooklyn, NY, May, 2018
All songs by Rudy Royston (Rudy Royston Publishing / ASCAP)
Cover Design by Rudy Royston
Cover Buggy Photo by Isabella Oprete

1. Soul Train (9:44)
2. Bed Bobbin’ (0:35)
3. Flatbed Buggy (5:45)
4. boy…MAN (5:43)
5. Twirler (5:24)
6. Dirty Steson (0:32)
7. Hourglass (7:15)
8. Bobblehead (5:51)
9. The Roadside Flowers (6:54)
10. Hold My Mule (0:36)
11. girl…WOMAN (11:07)
12. I Guess It‘s Time To Go (1:35)
13: I Wanted To Be Home Soon (9:26) * Bonus track, Bandcamp download only

Check out the album’s title track, on Apple Music and Spotify.

Pre-order the album now on Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon and you’ll receive the lead track instantly!

And watch for tour dates to be announced soon!

Enjoy the music!