Monday, October 8, 2018

1000 Kings - Raw Cause (jazz re:freshed 2018)

1000 Kings are true freethinkers, who have been pushing London art culture forward for many years - not from behind the scenes like some shadow organisation, but right up at the front leading the way. 

These Kings don't just blur the boundaries between jazz, folk, hip-hop, avant-garde and rock, they put them in a Mortar and crush them with the Pestle.. enough for everybody and maybe too much for some. 

You're never sure who's leading the ship in 1000 Kings until you realise they all are.

1. The Drop 05:55
2. Afrolude 01:37
3. Kind Of Fuji 05:11
4. Jimi 04:38
5. Interlude 01:58
6. Doom 05:41
7. Fullfillment House 05:53
8. W.Y. September 08:32




Massimiliano Coclite 4tet - Strange People (ODRADEK RECORDS 2018)

I started to write the tunes recorded on this album many years ago, while I was living in Berlin. I spent much time alone, in a little room on the east side. The ideas came easily, but I never imagined that an album would come of it many years later. This album means a lot to me: it emerged from many years of trouble, from many different causes. What’s more, this is the first of my albums on which I only play the piano and don’t sing.
Massimiliano Coclite

Italian jazz pianist Massimiliano Coclite presents Strange People, a collection of deeply personal works which have evolved over time, the album’s concept coalescing during the recording process itself.

The musicians collaborating on this release – Stefano ‘Cocco’ Cantini saxophones, Ares Tavolazzi bass, Marcello Di Leonardo drums – share a similar vision of how the music should breathe, creating a soft, spaciousness of sound, drawing the listener into a musical journey of bewitching musical narratives. This is music of mystery, of strangers meeting, of enigmatic feelings hinted at but not always expressed; of introspection and intrigue. A haunting, crepuscular soundworld of seductive, dark-hued beauty.

Jesús Rodolfo - Transfixing Metamorphosis (ODRADEK RECORDS 2108)

The magical music that accompanied the story of Beauty and the Beast was what aroused in me, aged 4, the love of music. From that moment, my life events had a soundtrack that would shift like a kaleidoscope. Nearly 30 years later, it feels like looking through the glass of that kaleidoscope again, and a new soundtrack plays in my head describing each of the three decades of my life... And so, when I least expected it, the transformation happened. These experiences coalesced and, all of a sudden, I realised I was an adult. I am nothing but the result of what has been learned during those different phases of my life, paired with the beautiful dreams, experiences and wishes that brought about the metamorphosis of these reminiscences, producing who I am today, as an individual and as a musician.
Jesus Rodolfo

Described by the New York Times Digest as “a star whose light transcends the stage”, Spanish violist Jesus Rodolfo combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist.

Jesus Rodolfo’s Odradek debut, Transfixing Metamorphosis, takes us on a journey through music for solo viola – a journey felt deeply by the artist as one which resonates with key moments in his own musical development.

We hear a transcription of J.S. Bach’s Sonata No. 3, BWV 1005 (originally for solo violin), a work of sublime power which includes the longest fugue ever written by Bach, a breathtaking tour de force.

Paul Hindemith’s Viola Sonata, Op. 11, No. 5 was written in 1919 at a time when Hindemith the performer was making his final transition from the violin to the viola. The sonata is one of a group of works started in 1918 at the tail end of World War One. Hindemith’s approach to sonority and counterpoint, articulated using a neoclassical musical language, finds parallels with J. S. Bach, leavened by a purity, even a romanticism, of spirit.

György Ligeti’s Viola Sonata (1991-1994) is considered perhaps the hardest solo viola work yet written. Over the course of its expansive six-movement structure, this work creates a sense of reminiscence, an evocation of something which has gone before, without resorting to pastiche. Ligeti explores all the capacities of the instrument and stretches the skill of the performer almost to breaking point, a challenge audibly relished by Jesus Rodolfo in this thrilling performance.

Carion Wind Quintet - Dreams of Freedom (ODRADEK RECORDS 2108)

The story of this album begins back in 2015 with a young Syrian musician playing in the streets of Istanbul just to scrape by. Denied access to Europe, Moutaz Abass sat on a small stool and casually played Beethoven’s Ode to Joy without attracting much attention from the passers by – a tune we all know too well and the meaning of which we often forget. The irony of this was startling – a war refugee, abandoned to his own devices, stringing along a melody on his oud that symbolises the humanitarian values we cherish so much: brotherhood, equality and acceptance of all.
Egīls Šēfers

The award-winning Carion Wind Quintet returns with Dreams of Freedom, featuring the world-premiere recording of Borderless by Syrian refugee Moutaz Arian, alongside Mozart, Zemlinsky, Hindemith, Stravinsky and Pärt.

The rich variety of music on this album is unified by each composer’s ‘dream of freedom’. All of these composers experienced exile of one kind or another, travelling far from home in order to pursue their vocation. Mozart left the stifling confines of Salzburg for the cultural riches of Vienna. Stravinsky, Hindemith, Zemlinsky and Pärt all left unsympathetic or even hostile regimes, and Kurdish composer Moutaz Arian escaped Syria and now lives in China; he dedicated his piece, Borderless, to Carion. Yet despite the profound, sometimes painful origins of this music, this is an album full of joie de vivre: music full of hope, intellect and even humour.

Mozart’s delightful Serenade No.11 in E flat, KV 375, was his first known foray into the Viennese tradition of wind band music, and Stravinsky’s Suite No. 2, derived from earlier piano pieces, features a March, Waltz and Polka which are all wonderfully skewed takes on convention, while Stravinsky’s unmistakeable harmony, reminiscent of Petrushka, imbues the quirky Galop.

Zemlinsky represented an important link in the evolution of music from Brahms to Mahler to the Second Viennese School; dating from 1939, his Humoresque was one of the last pieces he wrote. Hindemith’s Kleine Kammermusik features a witty march followed by a wry waltz which parodies overly sentimental music. In the fourth movement each instrument enjoys cadenza-like passages before the demanding swagger of the finale. Arvo Pärt’s Quintettino dates from 1964, before his “holy minimalism” style emerged, and so represents a fascinating example of his earlier experiments in sound.

Moutaz Arian is a Kurdish composer from northern Syria who now lives in Beijing, performing his compositions in China and Japan. Arian’s Borderless is a powerfully pertinent and hugely topical work. He says of this piece that it expresses “our desire to live more freely in a world without the borders that separate us, not only borders of land, but physical and human barriers, too.”

"EASTERN STANDARD TIME" by vocalists Mark Winkler and Cheryl Bentyne


Vocalists MARK WINKLER and CHERYL BENTYNE go together like champagne and caviar. Bentyne is a long-time mainstay of the iconic group The Manhattan Transfer. She is also a solo performer with over a dozen CDs under her own name. Winkler is a 2018 Downbeat Rising Male Vocalist and a popular lyricist. He has recorded 16 CDs, and his songs have been covered over 250 times by such artists as Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jane Monheit and Bob Dorough. Winkler and Bentyne have teamed up to record EASTERN STANDARD TIME, a sophisticated project of songs culled from known standards and several less familiar pages of the Great American Songbook, as well as a couple of originals by Winkler.

This is their second CD together. The first, WEST COAST COOL, was released in 2013 and received critical acclaim and went to #16 on the Jazzweek chart. For that project, Winkler and Bentyne chose tunes from the 1950s associated with the West Coast Cool sound. They also created a live show based on the CD, which they’ve performed in various venues across the country. For EASTERN STANDARD TIME they reprise the concept, but this time present songs of East Coast lineage.

Bentyne and Winkler have been working together since 2010. “Working with Cheryl has been one of the nicest things that has happened to me in my career,” says Winkler. “We really enjoy each other’s company and have become good friends. I think you can hear that when we sing together.” This was a truly collaborative effort with each bringing songs to the project.

Winkler is also a seasoned producer. For this outing, he co-produced with Talley Sherwood, the owner of Tritone Studios in Glendale, CA, where they recorded the CD. Winkler has produced a number of CDs for other artists at Tritone and came to trust Sherwood’s excellent taste and deep musical knowledge.

Winkler says, “The best part of being a singer in Los Angeles is having access to an abundance of great musicians.” One of the great musicians that Winkler works with is RICH EAMES, who plays piano and arranged nine of the 11 tunes on this disc. Eames is Winkler’s first-call pianist for his live performances. They often write together, and Eames also played and arranged for WEST COAST COOL.

Also joining Winkler and Bentyne are players who are at the top of their game. Emmy-nominated guitarist GRANT GEISSMAN (Three and a Half Men) is an old friend of Winkler’s and played on his first six CDs.

Besides touring with artists likes Barbra Streisand, Jack Sheldon and Chuck Mangione, drummer DAVE TULL is also a well-respected songwriter and singer. He also works regularly with Bentyne on her solo outings. Multiinstrumentalist BOB SHEPPARD has played on countless sessions with an astounding number of A-list jazz giants, including Chick Corea, Freddie Hubbard, and Michael and Randy Brecker, among many others. GABE DAVIS is a younger bass player who has quickly become one of the first-call musicians on the Los Angeles jazz scene. Guitarist PAT KELLEY has played on several of Winkler’s CDs and currently performs with David Benoit.

Percussionist KEVIN WINARD has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Frank Sinatra Jr., and Rosemary Clooney. He’s been touring the world with vocalist Steve Tyrell since 2005.

Winkler and Bentyne chose songs that you would hear if you habituated jazz clubs in New York City back in the late 50s and early 60s. Although the CD comprises mainly duets, they each perform two solo pieces as well.

Winkler gets a kick out of laundry list songs and sings the humorous “Rhode Island is Famous for You,” a Dietz & Schwartz song that Blossom Dearie often sang on club dates. He also takes a solo turn on “I Could Get Used to This (Bumpin’),” originally a Wes Montgomery instrumental for which Winkler wrote the lyrics.

Bentyne’s solos include “The Gentleman is a Dope” from “Allegro,” a fairly obscure play by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Bentyne is a wonderful actor and portrays the inner thoughts of the character through this musical soliloquy. She also performs a gently emotive version of “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most” as a duet with Kelley.

Winkler and Bentyne open the CD with Bob Dorough’s “Devil May Care.” The song has been recorded many times, but Eames updates the tune with a lively Afro-Cuban arrangement. Winkler penned the lyrics to “Like Jazz.” The arrangement is by pianist JAMIESON TROTTER, who was also the primary arranger for Winkler’s previous CD, THE COMPANY I KEEP. “The Best is Yet to Come” by Cy Coleman was made popular by Frank Sinatra and was the last song Old Blue Eyes sang in public. The words "The Best is Yet to Come" are actually etched on Sinatra's tombstone.

“Walk on the Wild Side” is an outlier on this CD. It features a new arrangement by ELI BRUEGGEMAN, who is currently the musical director for Saturday Night Live. “While most of these songs should be listened to with a scotch and soda in one hand,” says Winkler, ‘Walk on the Wild Side,’ a scandalous Lou Reed song from the 70s, should perhaps be listened to under different influences. But Cheryl and I just had to include it on the CD.”

“You Smell So Good” was written by Harry Stone & Tommy Wolf and first recorded by Jackie & Roy, who were the epitome of New York sophistication. “Things are Swingin’” was written and recorded by Peggy Lee in 1959.

Geissman’s guitar work on the song is reminiscent of a Les Paul/Mary Ford tune. Winkler and Bentyne close the CD with a medley of “The Ballad of the Sad Young Men” and “The Lies of Handsome Men.” The medley is enriched with lovely cello work by STEFANIE FIFE.

EASTERN STANDARD TIME is a cool and cultivated project by two stellar vocalists who can transform whatever they sing into a statement of great emotional depth. Individually, Winkler and Bentyne are highly compelling performers. Together, they are musical powerhouses.

PAT KELLEY guitar (7)
KEVIN WINARD percussion

1. DEVIL MAY CARE (4:18)
3. LIKE JAZZ  (3:38)
9. YOU SMELL SO GOOD  (4:03)

Mocky - Music Save Me (One More Time) 2018

For the first time at album length this is Mocky’s collection of the best of Japan-only/unreleased gems and favorites from his so far digital only mixtape-series "The Moxtapes" Vol. I-IV. The A-Side delves deep into his songwriting/lyrical side and features some of his most intense and touching songs thus far like "The Fortress" (featuring Chilly Gonzales on piano), "Problematic" (which casts Mocky's crooning in a glitched-out new light) and "Exception To The Rule", a radiant track that features breakout artists Joey Dosik on keyboards and Moses Sumney on background vocals. The B-Side showcases Mocky's off the grid soulful groove compositions like "You Can't Rush The Funk", „How It Goes“ or "Keep Feelin This (feat. Jamie Lidell), bringing back memories of their classic work together on Lidell’s “Multiply”. 

„A sun kissed celebration of music in it’s most inspired state“ (Saint Heron on „The Moxtape Vol. III“) 

„Precisely the clap-happy, sun-kissed poolside score you’ve been waiting for to usher in these warmer months“ (OK Player on „Keep Feelin This (feat. Jamie Lidell) 

„A timeless collection that is necessary in the age of trap beats“ (Huffington Post on „Living Time (The Moxtape Vol. II“)

1. Sweet Things 03:06
2. The Fortress 03:40
3. Problematic 03:32
4. Exception To The Rule 03:11
5. Little Sun 03:01
6. Howlin' At The Moon 03:21
7. Surprise You With A Smile 02:30
8. You Can't Rush The Funk 03:19
9. Keep Feelin' This (feat Jamie Lidell) 03:44
10. How It Goes 04:16
11. Put It In A Song 03:23
12. Little Bird 03:17
13. Music Save Me (One More Time) 02:53

Web Web - Dance Of The Demons (2018)

After their sensational debut LP „Oracle“ last year (2017) , the German jazz - supergroup Web Web successive with an amazing new album. „Dance Of The Demons“ is a furious dance with the demons – from positive spirit soul jazz „Land Of The Arum Flower“, while the melody reminding to Ethopian Jazz of the Sixties, to the mad, outstanding „Sandia“, or beautiful weird „Safar“ 

WEB WEB have had an intense year, they’ve played dozens of live concerts, where they proved their professionalism, closeness, power and spirituality once more. 

As a nice but ideal step, Web Web could thrill the well-known singer and Gembri-player Majid Bekkas from Rabat, Morocco, who joined the group into the studio. Tony Lakatos was working with Majid and Joachim Kühn in the last years, also Roberto Di Gioia played with Majid and Klaus Doldinger. This brilliant musician with his north-african roots enriches the rough and bluntly concept of Web Web jazz. In „Maroc Blues“, a solo performance by Majid Bekkas, you can hear the warm vibrant Gembri, an instrument like an upright.bass or lute with three strings. Majid’s marvelous voice, which, reflecting the centuries-old tradition of the Berber tribes, perfectly underpins the great improvisation and spirituality of Web Web. 

Majid Bekkas is one of the most famous musician and representative of Gnawa-Music, which has its domicile in the south of Sahara. Majid Bekkas studied at the Conservatory For Music & Dance in Rabat, while playing since 1975 classical acoustic guitar and oud. For example, he played with Archie Shepp, Louis Sclavis, Peter Brötzmann, Hamid Drake and lot of others in the world of jazz and world music. 

„Dance Of The Demons„ (as well as the debut „Oracle“) was recorded live in Munich, engineered by Jan Krause (Beanfield, Poets Of Rhythm), produced by Roberto Di Gioia and Michael Reinboth. 

The next, third Web Web album recording session are already scheduled for November 2018 with an outstanding famous guest musician, too.

1. Land Of The Arum Flower 04:18
2. Agowu 05:19
3. Sandia 04:11
4. Dance Of The Demons 03:59
5. Maroc Blues 02:40
6. Safar 06:50
7. Meh Te 06:45
8. Balini 07:43
9. Supereruption 03:26

Phillip Johnston - The Adventures of Prince Achmed (October 26, 2018)

This CD contains music that was composed as a soundtrack which is performed live with the The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) by Lotte Reiniger, a silent silhouette animation, considered by many to be the first feature length animated film, and based upon One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales often known in English as The Arabian Nights. The music, which when performed with the film comprises a continuous score of 65 minutes, is here broken into individual tracks. It is performed live by a quartet of soprano sax, trombone, and two keyboards, against a pre-recorded track of samples, loops and live drums. 

Phillip Johnston has been composing and performing original scores for silent films for 25 years. His previous silent film scores include The Unknown (Browning, 1927), The Merry Frolics of Méliès (Méliès, 1902-1909), Page of Madness (Kinugasa, 1926), Faust (Murnau, 1926), the first three of which have been previously released on CD. [Wordless!, his collaboration with graphic artist Art Spiegelman, is also a variant on this kind of work.] The film and music have been performed across Australia, including the Sydney VIVID Festival, MONA FOMA and the Woodford Folk Festival. As of this writing it has yet to be performed overseas.

Phillip Johnston: soprano saxophone
James Greening: trombone
Alister Spence: organ, keyboards
Casey Golden: organ, keyboards
Nic Cecire: drums

1. Prelude
2. The African Magician
3. Prince Achmed
4.Pari Banu Kidnapped
5. Adventures in China
6. The Witch & The Wedding
7. Take Me to Wak-Wak!
8. The Magic Lamp
9. Aladdin's Tale
10. The Witch vs The Magician
11. The Battle of The Spirits
12. Return to the Land of the Mortals

All tracks by Phillip Johnston © Jedible Music (BMI)

Recorded in Aug/Sep 2013 at Q Studios, Sydney

Record and pre-mix engineer: Richard Hundy

Final mix and mastering by Paul Bromley/Tanuki Studios

Cover design: Keith Lobue

Phillip Johnston & the Coolerators - Diggin' Bones (October 26, 2018)

Diggin’ Bones, the first CD by Phillip Johnston & the Coolerators features a unique sound which combines funky organ combo jazz with modernist jazz composition. Produced by The Necks’ Lloyd Swanton and featuring some of Australia finest jazz/multi-genre improvisers, this recording shows a new side of Johnston’s music, and recording history which began in 1983 with Take The Z Train by The Microscopic Septet. 

The band brings together two of Australia’s most internationally acclaimed touring musicians, Alister Spence (Alister Spence Trio, Clarion Fracture Zone, AAO) and Lloyd Swanton (The Necks, the catholics) with one of Sydney’s most in-demand rhythm section players, Nic Cecire. The music covers a range of styles but avant organ jazz is at the centre of it. 

Phillip Johnston

Simultaneously embracing the past and the future makes perfect sense when you consider the Johnston’s most recent previous releases include CDs by The Microscopic Septet and Fast ‘N’ Bulbous on Cuneiform Records, which have been widely and exceptionally reviewed (all receiving 4 starts in Downbeat) and resulting many Best of the Year critical listings. 

Both groovy and cerebral, the Coolerators play funky dance music for a cartoon universe.

Phillip Johnston & the Coolerators 

Phillip Johnston: soprano, alto sax 
Alister Spence: organ 
Lloyd Swanton: bass 
Nic Cecire: drums 

All tracks by Phillip Johnston © Jedible Music (BMI) 
except Track 6 by Michael Hurley © Snocko Music (BMI) 

1. Frankly
2. What Is Real?
3. Diggin’ Bones
4. Temporary Blindness
5. Later
6. The Revenant
7. Legs Yet
8. Trial By Error
9. Regrets #17
10. Ducket Got A Whole In It

Produced by Lloyd Swanton
Recorded & mixed at Rancom St Studios by Tim Whitten in Oct/Nov 2017
Assistant Engineer: Antonia Gauci
Mastered at Sound Heaven Studios by Michael Lynch
Art and cover design by Keith LoBue

Reed Miller Trio - The Call: Live In Nashville (2018)

Reed Miller is a guitarist, composer, and bandleader currently based in Harlem, NYC. Growing up in South Carolina Reed pursued jazz at every turn. Reed studied with former L.A. session guitarist Steve Watson and Greenville Jazz Collective founder Matt Dingledine. Reed has had the opportunity to perform with Bob Moses and Jigs Whigam as well as renowned jazz educators Michael Kocour and Tito Carillo. Reed graduated from Furman University with a B.M. in Music Performance in 2016.

Currently, Reed is a student of Vic Juris at SUNY Purchase College pursuing a Masters of Music in Jazz Performance. His straight-ahead jazz guitar trio the Reed Miller Trio performs often in the New York City metropolitan area.

Recorded live in Nashville, TN, this EP is a collection of original music from NYC based guitarist and composer Reed Miller.

Eric Hallenbeck - Drums
Evan Ryan - Bass

1. Florence 05:58
2. The Call 06:59
3. East Harlem Moon 06:36
4. Must Believe In Spring 05:15
5. Signals 04:20
6. Infernal 05:48

trio WoRK - trio WoRK (2018)

ABOUT trio WoRK:

Bassist Ken Wild is a founding member of the fine band Seawind. Since 1976, Ken has been an active studio musician, working in TV and film, and on many recordings, including Clare Fischer Big Band, Harvey Mason and Tierney Sutton. Live performances with Dianne Reeves, Terence Blanchard, James Moody, Herb Ellis, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Natalie Cole's touring band and Dave Weckl to name a few, as well as numerous Musical Theater productions.

One of LA’s most versatile guitarists, Tom Rizzo has played with Blood, Sweat and Tears, Maynard Ferguson, Brian Wilson and Natalie Cole among many others. He was the guitarist for the Tonight Show Band for 10 years, and played for Don Severinsen’s jazz group Xebron.  A longtime composer,  Tom has written for commercials, radio, film and TV - including for “In Living Color”, where he and Ken Wild first worked together.

An actor and theater improviser for many years (Film: 28 Days; TV: Mad Men; Improv: War Babies), Susan Krebs’ passion has always been for the music, performing as a vocalist at venues such as Vitellos, LACMA, Blue Whale -- as well as in theaters and living rooms with her jazz salon, ThemeScene, where her most recent recording project, “SPRING ~ Light Out of Darkness”, with the Susan Krebs Chamber Band was born and raised.

trio WoRK: 
Ken Wild (bass)
Tom Rizzo (guitar)
Susan Krebs (vocals)

1. DON'T GO TO STRANGERS (Kent, Mann & Evans) 04:57
2. MY FOOLISH HEART (Young/Washington) 04:16
3. MY SHIP (Weill/Gershwin) 04:36
4. I'VE NEVER BEEN IN LOVE BEFORE (Frank Loesser) 04:01
5. HOW INSENSITIVE (Jobim) 04:39
6. NEVER HAD THE BLUES AT ALL (Dorough/Landesman) 05:25
7. I'M SO LONESOME (Hank Williams) 03:54
8. ELEANOR RIGBY (Lennon/McCartney) 03:01
9. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS (dePaul/Raye) 04:07
10. YESTERDAYS (Kern/Harbach) 03:19