Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fantastic Swimmers Concertography - Prync Łatuk (October 11, 2018)

The Belarusian free-jazz project Fantastic swimmers (Fantastyčnyja Płyŭcy) exists since the mid 00's. The main driving force behind it is Viktar Siamaška, who started and maintains the project, band, studio sessions and performances.

1. Part I (v.1) 04:23
2. Part II (v.1) 04:54
3. Part III (v.1) 03:41
4. Part IV (v.1) 03:21
5. Part V (v.1) 02:51
6. Intermedia 00:28
7. Part I (v.2) 04:24
8. Part II (v.2) 01:36
9. Part III (v.2) 05:30
10. Part IV (v.2) 03:09
11. Part V (v.2) 10:08

“Prync Łatuk”. Version 1 (tr. #1-5):

Eryk Arłoŭ-Šymkus – double bass (1-5), voice (3)
Frydrych Samotny – tenor saxophone (1-5), voice (3)
Viktar Siamaška – clarinet (1-3, 5), voice (3), bagpipe (4)
Vasil Pankrataŭ – Korg monotron (4, 5)

The Memorial Museum-Studio of Zair Azgur, Miensk, Biełaruś, 24-04-2015

“Intermedia” (tr. #6):

Jan & Marcin Siamaška – piano
Viktar Siamaška – French horn

The School of Arts, Biarezań, Miensk region, Biełaruś, 09-12-2015

“Prync Łatuk”. Version 2 (tr. #7-11): 

Jahor Ciukin – flute (7-9, 11), recorder (10)
Frydrych Samotny – tenor saxophone (7-11)
Viktar Siamaška – clarinet (7, 9, 11), bass recorder (8), bagpipe (10)
Vasil Pankrataŭ – Korg monotron (10, 11), high-hat (11)
Dzianis Kudraŭcaŭ – guitar (11)

The Gallery 12, Miensk, Biełaruś, 18-04-2015

Photo for cover was taken from the album 'Power and Glory: Five Centuries of Taste and Collecting in the Royal Houses of Europe', Reed International Books Limited, 1991

Bill McBirnie with Bernie Senensky - The Silent Wish (October 2018)

Bill McBirnie is a jazz and Latin flute specialist who has been personally solicited by Sir James Galway to serve as his resident Jazz Flute Specialist at Sir James' official website. Bill also enjoys the unusual distinction of having been declared a winner in all three of the National Flute Association’s Jazz Flute (1) Soloist, (2) Masterclass and (3) Big Band Competitions in the US.

Here are a few responses to the duo work of Bill McBirnie and Bernie Senensky: 

SIR JAMES GALWAY—"I want to tell you how much I enjoyed your latest, and greatest, CD. I’ve listened to it several times and it’s a really terrific record. You are my favourite jazz flutist…This album is a real knock-out!…" 

DOWNBEAT—“Toronto’s deep pool of local talent was on display at dozens of events…Opening for Eliane Elias, flutist Bill McBirnie proved a passionate and eloquent improviser with sure-footed support from pianist Bernie Senensky. Their set included...a show-stopping finale penned by Senensky...inspired by Hermeto Pascoal and Charlie Parker.” (Allen Morrison) 

JAZZTIMES—"Best Opening Act [at the TD Jazz Festival] – Eliane Elias delivered a solid, opening-weekend show at the Old Mill Inn, focusing squarely on selections from her recent Chet Baker tribute, I Thought About You. But it was the dynamic opening duo of pianist and composer, Bernie Senensky, and flutist, Bill McBirnie, that...truly set the expansive dining room aflame and, ironically, provided far more satisfying dips into the Brazilian songbook.” (Christopher Loudon) 

Bernie Senensky – piano

Produced – by Bill McBirnie 
Co-produced – by Pacy Shulman 
Engineering, mixing & mastering – by Pacy Shulman of Hilo Studio
Picture of Bill's hands – by Bill Beard (courtesy of Jazz.FM91)
Picture of rain-drenched branches – Image 306339 (courtesy of Wall Haven)
Layout, design & manufacturing – by Staci Patten of Accurate Audio & Design

Recorded June 4th and 5th, 2018 at Hilo Studio, Toronto, Ontario

Bill is a Designated Haynes Artist and, on this recording, he plays a vintage silver Wm. S. Haynes flute (equipped with Jim Schmidt's gold flute pads, a David Welans headjoint and a Robert Bigio titanium crown and stopper). On track 10, Bill plays a vintage Armstrong alto flute.

1. Reflection - (Latin/swing) 03:41
2. Black Orpheus / Morning Of The Carnival - (slow bossa nova) 05:35
3. Saber Cair / Knowing How To Fall - (Maculelê) 03:29
4. Cabana Boy - (relaxed bossa nova) 06:42
5. My Heart Belongs To Daddy - (up swing) 04:06
6. First Song (For Ruth) - (ballad) 04:28
7. Recado Bossa Nova - (up bossa nova) 05:26
8. Dança da Solidão - (relaxed samba) 03:47
9. No Moon At All - (medium swing) 04:18
10. Away From Home - (rhapsody) 05:05
11. Blue Bossa - medium bossa nova 04:47
12. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? - (ballad) 05:47

William Parker: Flower In a Stained​-​Glass Window & The Blinking of The Ear (AUM Fidelity November 9, 2018)

This special edition release is comprised of two =brand new= full-length albums, distinct in personnel & approach, yet complementary in ethos. William Parker is / has been on a profound and voluminous creative flow. Both of these albums were made in Summer 2018; they follow up and extend on his June 2018 release, the exemplary triple-album set "Voices Fall From the Sky." 

"Flower in a Stained-Glass Window" fully features vocalist Leena Conquest, a tremendous interpreter of Parker’s work in song. She can be heard to deep affect in his Raining On The Moon and Curtis Mayfield projects. This is her first work together with Parker since 2012, and it is a potent return to this creative orbit. She sings and speaks atop of and within a fresh ensemble featuring Parker’s bass together with long-time compatriots trombonist Steve Swell & saxophonist Dave Sewelson, South African drummer Kesivan Naidoo (in his first work with Parker), Parker’s son Isaiah on piano, as well as younger saxophonic talents Abraham Mennen and Nick Lyons. This work is dedicated to the inspiration of Martin Luther King, and the lyrical content pulls no punches delivering the truth as Parker sees it. The message is: social and political justice and equality for all human beings. 

"Flower.." was slated for release on its own, and then William Parker had a summer residency at The Stone / New School in New York in which "The Blinking of The Ear" was presented in wholly extended form by an ensemble featuring Daniel Carter (witness the recently released "Seraphic Light"), Steve Swell, Eri Yamamoto on piano, William Parker and young Leonid Galaganov on drums, with mezzo soprano AnnMarie Sandy. This composition first appeared on the Voices Fall From The Sky set in a voice/piano/drums reading. Here, as Parker writes in the liner notes: “The dream was to combine written music with improvised music; slowly and seamlessly folding them together as one. This sextet live version wholly realized that dream; it was an extraordinary event in music called universal tonality.” After hearing the recording, it was forthwith decided to include this and make it a true double-album event! 

CDs packaged in a very limited edition deluxe 8-panel digipak, with liner notes by William Parker. 

CD 1
1. Fallen Flower
2. Gone
3. Emmett Till
4. Broken Earth
5. I Had a Dream Last Night
6. Flag
7. Give Me Back My Drum
8. Living Hope
9. Children
10. What Is That About?
11. Music Song
12. Samba

CD 2
13. Meditation on Freedom
14. Without Love Everything Will Fail
15. Dark Remembrance
16. Heavenly Home Meditation on Peace (Part One)
17. Heavenly Home Meditation on Peace (Part Two)

[CENTERING 1018/1019]

"Flower In a Stained-Glass Window" [1–12]
Leena Conquest: vocals
William Parker: bass, drum set (on 12)
Steve Swell: trombone
Abraham Mennen: tenor sax
Isaiah Parker: piano
Kesivan Naidoo: drums
Dave Sewelson: alto sax (on 3, 7, 9)
Nick Lyons: alto sax (on 3, 7, 9)

"The Blinking of The Ear" [13–17]
Daniel Carter: trumpet, tenor, alto & soprano sax
Steve Swell: trombone
Eri Yamamoto: piano
William Parker: bass
Leonid Galaganov: drums
AnnMarie Sandy: mezzo soprano

David S. Ware Trio - The Balance (Vision Festival XV +) November 9, 2018

"The Balance" is the fourth edition in the DSW-ARC Series; it presents an outstanding and incendiary David S. Ware concert, in trio with William Parker and Warren Smith. A tenor sax / bass / drums excursion displaying full vitality from the first note, this suite of spontaneous form was created at NYC’s Vision Festival in 2010. Ware had been a perennial at this vital annual gathering since its beginning; this was his first time back since the revered Quartet bid farewell there in 2006 [hear "Renunciation"], and it was an exhilarating return. 

This DSW Trio convened only three times over their 10 month existence: the Dec. 2009 studio session for "Onecept", =this= June concert, and the Oct. 2010 album release celebration at the Blue Note in NYC [documented on "Live In New York, 2010"]. 

Also included here are four out-takes from the "Onecept" session – all of which had been completed & considered for inclusion at that time. The three releases together present the =total work= which this group created. 

Each of their three communions has its own flavor: Onecept deals exquisitely with s p a c e and features David on three different horns (tenor, stritch, saxello), with Warren Smith on tympanis/percussion in addition to drum set. The night at the Blue Note features the most extensive documentation of Ware on alto sax in existence (a straight version; the stritch), with the Mid & Far-Eastern tones he brought forth on the instrument blossoming beautifully over the course of two sets in an intimate setting. =This= festival stage concert is premier 21st Century free jazz rendered with the virtuosity and lucidity that only Ware (with his esteemed peers) could provide. An utterly complete treat. 

CD is packaged in a very limited edition deluxe 6-panel digipak, with liner notes by Ware’s long-time producer, photographs from the concert, and the vivid witness painting on the cover, which was made during this performance. 

David S. Ware: tenor saxophone, saxello (on 5, 6)
William Parker: bass
Warren Smith: drums, tympanis/percussion (on 5, 6, 7)

All compositions by David S. Ware,
with William Parker & Warren Smith;
© Gandharvasphere/Daswa (ASCAP)

Vision Festival XV performance recorded by Stefan Heger
at Abrons Art Center, NYC on June 27, 2010

Tracks 4–7 recorded by Michael Marciano
at Systems Two Studios, Brooklyn on December 2, 2009

Mixed with & mastered by Michael Marciano at Systems Two

Produced by Steven Joerg

Cover art: Painting by Jeff Schlanger, musicWitness®
made during this VF XV performance.

1. Vision Suite 2010 - part 1
2. Vision Suite 2010 - part 2
3. Vision Suite 2010 - part 3
4. Kama
5. Virtue
6. Bodhisattva
7. Gnavah

Johan Berke Upstairs Five - Meteorological Interlude: Johan Berke Upstairs Five plays Weather Report (2018)

This album is a major departure from my usual output of mostly original music with this group, documented on ten releases since 2004 on the GasonJAZZ label (, and in one case, on the Phono Suecia label (SCOPE - Music by Fredrik Nordström and Johan Berke - for tentet, 2009) . Here we are tackling the immortal music of Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter and Jaco Pastorius, in arrangements for sextet by myself (tracks 1, 3, 4, 7, 10&11)and Fredrik Nordström (tracks 2, 6 & 8). 

It does feel quite natural to play this music, since we all have a long relation to these compositions, and stylistically it doesn't deviate to far from what we normaly play with the group, since we have written the arrangments specifically for the group members in the line-up, who are used to play my, not allways so easy, compositions. Suffice to say, we all have had a grand time playing these classics by three giants in the field of small group jazz composition. 

I've also included two short compositions for solo acoustic guitar, as I usually do on all my recordings. These are the "Meteorological Interludes" that is refered to in the title. I dedicate these two pieces to Ralph Towner, who made a guest appearence on the intro of "The Moors" from Weather Reports album "I Sing The Body Electric" (1972)

The drawing, by artist Nina Grönroos, on the cover, is a tip of the hat to the cover of "Sweetnighter", a 1973 release by Weather Report. 

Trumpet - Niklas Barnö
Soprano and Baritone Saxophones, Clarinet and Bass Clarinet - Alberto Pinton
Tenor and Baritone Saxophones - Fredrik Nordström
Electric and Acoustic Guitars - Johan Berke
Double Bass - Robert Erlandsson
Drums - Fredrik Rundqvist

Recorded at BAS, Bandhagen by Johan Berke, June 1&2 2018

Mixed & Mastered by Johan Berke September 2018

1. Cannonball 09:33
2. Three Views Of A Secret 06:01
3. Birdland 08:48
4. Havona 08:12
5. Meteorological Interlude no 2 01:21
6. Harlequin 06:56
7. Elegant People 08:08
8. Badia 07:47
9. Meteorological Interlude no 1 01:22
10. Three Clowns 05:42
11. Palladium 10:36