Friday, October 19, 2018

Hary Vetro's NORTHERN RANGER (October 19, 2018)

In 2017, as Canada celebrated 150 years of confederation, 23 year old Hamilton drummer Harry Vetro took to the road. He traveled coast to coast, visiting communities in Canada's six indigenous cultural areas (Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, Plateau, Plains, and Eastern Woodlands) in an effort to connect with musicians and artists from different cultural backgrounds, and to better understand the land's long cultural history.

Northern Ranger - Vetro's debut album - tells the story of his travels. A jazz musician by training, Harry melded his own style of improvised music with folk and classical influences to create a deeply personal statement, one that speaks to the country as a whole. 

A recent graduate of the University of Toronto Jazz program, Vetro leads an active performing career, Past performances include the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival and Orillia Jazz Festival. 

Proceeds from this album will assist in starting an outreach initiative for youth with limited access to music education. The program will be titled "Northern Ranger Outreach" and Vetro will be partnering with his father, who is an educator and musician with connections in the school system. 

The release will be celebrated with a performance on Saturday, October 20th with a performance at Gallery 345 in Toronto. This will be followed by a Canadian release tour in November. 

Harry Vetro’s  NORTHERN RANGER CD Release & “LændskeIp” Art Show

Lawful Citizen - Internal Combustion (November 9, 2018)

Internal Combustion is the first full-length record from the Montreal-based band, Lawful Citizen. Fueled by a fiery vision, the music takes a deep journey through the entire spectrum of human emotion. This album is influenced by the history of the internal combustion engine, particularly in the early days of motorcycle racing and land speed record attempts. The feeling of grit, brutality and rawness, along with the entire sensory experience surrounding the extreme danger were the largest inspirations for this music.

The band features saxophonist Evan Shay with Aime Duquet on Guitar, Antoine Pelegrin on Electric Bass and Kyle Hutchins on Drums.

The Internal Combustion Suite is comprised of four distinct parts. Internal Combustion relates to automotive engines, but also to the sensation within oneself, when pushed over the limit and completely losing control. That impending feeling starts with a spark, and then expands into a growing flame with increasing pressure over time. Part I opens with an eerie calmness, and then completely boils over by the conclusion. Following an atonal melody, the group improvisation takes shape and the band’s tight dynamism is highlighted. Part II features an angular sax melody and a take-no-prisoners guitar solo, anchored by a growling bass and driving rhythms that ground things down into a dark primal reality. Part III is a composed improvisation, with specific sections for each musician to assume a role in creating a collective textural vibe that is atmospheric and otherworldly. Part IV builds into a stylistic pileup of atonal chamber music colliding with doom metal, providing a spectacular climax to a rollercoaster of a suite.

After the intense upheaval of the suite, the record concludes on a subdued note. Nothing’s Changed is based on the first improvisation of a new year on January 1st, 2018. Originally recorded in a childhood room on a misty Seattle day, the song expresses the cocooned safety of memories past, countered by the uncertainty of the future. This final track offers a release of tension and a feeling of resolution at the end of a long journey.  

Here's a little more about Lawful Citizen...

Fearlessly combining jazz, metal, electronic, and Americana, Lawful Citizen is an explosive force on the Canadian jazz scene. Formed in 2015 after meeting at McGill University, the band name reflects the discord felt by the common man, between remaining complacent and refusing to abide. The pendulum of their music swings from subtle beauty to relentless rage, driven by the musicality and sensitivity of the four musicians 

Lawful Citizen live performances have been described as a transcendent and mesmerizing experience. The band first tested their sound along with Gas Station Mentality at Bistro de Paris. Next, they billed with Bad Luck, Seattle’s acclaimed experimental duo, at La Passe in Montreal. As their reputation grew, they performed in the Nick Fraser Presents series at the Tranzac Club in Toronto. Lawful Citizen also billed with Emma Frank, Daniel Arthur Trio, and Gas Station Mentality at Casa del Popolo in Montreal on separate occasions. They played multiple times and Resonance Café in Montreal, and the Emmet Ray in Toronto. They have become known for their unique grit while melting genres and destroying boundaries.

In August 2017, Lawful Citizen released their self-titled debut EP, which was selected by DOMINIONATED for their ‘Favourite Fifty of 2017.’ The band embarked on a release tour, highlighted by opening for Chet Doxas’s Juno-nominated ‘Rich in Symbols’ album release show at ArtGang Montreal. The tour also included shows at Resonance Café and Bar Ste-Angèle in Quebec City. Selected by an industry jury, Lawful Citizen performed two shows in the Grand Prix at the Festi Jazz International de Rimouski. They also played two shows at the Toronto Undergraduate Jazz Festival. 

After developing the music over a course of a year, Internal Combustion was recorded, mixed, and mastered in Montreal. The resulting journey weaves together the somber and the rough. The band’s signature sound is on full display with searing sax, fierce guitar, guttural bass, and propulsive drums. Their raucous blend of musical brutality, heavy emotion, and forward momentum is perfect for this moment in time.

The release will be celebrated with a performance at Casa del Popolo in Montreal on Thursday, November 8th. John Hollenbeck with special guests will open the proceedings. 

For Your Grammy Consideration: John Bailey – Best Improvised Jazz Solo/Best Jazz Instrumental Album/Best Instrumental Composition


"Triplicity" –  Best Improvised Jazz Solo
In Real Time – Best Jazz Instrumental Album
"Lovely Planet" – Best Instrumental Composition

Stacy Dillard, saxophone
John Hart, guitar
Cameron Brown, bass
Victor Lewis, drums

Debut album as a leader from acclaimed 52-year-old trumpeter Bailey – an in-demand NYC sideman – earns critical acclaim

"In Real Time, John Bailey (Summit Records), reveals a trumpeter in his prime, reeling off runs and phrases with consummate technique and admirable logic."
– George Kanzler, Hot House Jazz Guide

“The bandleader’s tone on In Real Time is warm and his improvisations brim with fluid, rhythmic agility while retaining a sense of melodic cogency and harmonic invention.  Inside all of that lies a maturity that comes across through his well-paced soloing and suspenseful phrasing.  He knows how to pen delightful material, too.”
– John Murph, DownBeat

Bailey is no newcomer to jazz: In Real Time, released June 8, 2018 via Summit Records, is his first album as a leader after more than 30 years as one of the busiest sidemen in the business. 

A trumpet prodigy, Bailey's spectacular gifts began to be noticed as a high school musician in 1984 when DownBeat Magazine cited him in its annual Student Music Awards for outstanding performances in both the classical and jazz trumpet categories, noting “Shades of Wynton!” The same year, he was a finalist in the National Foundation for Advancements in the Arts (NFAA) Arts Recognition and Talent Search, along with Donny McCaslin and Bill Charlap. He also won the National Association of Jazz Educators’ Youth Talent Contest. Later, as a senior at the Eastman School of Music, he won DownBeat’s Best Instrumental Soloist award. 

“My natural inclination has always been to draw from as many different sources as possible,” he explains. As a child of the 1960s, he learned from Dizzy, Miles and Bird, and was mentored by the legendary multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan who wrote the liner notes for this album. He was also influenced by artists as diverse as Jethro Tull, The Beach Boys, classical trumpeter Maurice Andre, and the Chicago Symphony brass section. “Duke Ellington said it best,” says Bailey. “There are only two kinds of music: good music and the other kind.” 

Through seven originals and two Brazilian covers (by Milton Nascimento and Gilberto Gil), In Real Time shows unusual range. From the straight-ahead and boppish, to elegiac ballads and cerebral post-bop flights, his goal is to make the music deep and wide-ranging. In each tune, regardless of where the music takes him, Bailey's ebullient personality shines through. 

Known as one of the most eclectic trumpet players in New York City, Bailey is an in-demand musician and teaching artist on call for everything from traditional jazz, to R&B and pop, to classical. He became a member of The Buddy Rich Band while still in college, and his career has included long-running gigs with Ray Charles, master conguero and bandleader Ray Barretto, Max Weinberg and Frank Sinatra, Jr. His work with Latin Jazz innovator Arturo O'Farrill won two Grammy awards for the albums The Offense of the Drum and Cuba - The Conversation Continues. He has played on more than 70 albums and, as a jazz educator, has taught at the University of Miami and Florida International University. 

For Your Grammy Consideration: Edward Simon – Best Jazz instrumental Album/Best Improvised Solo/Best Instrumental Composition/Best Arrangement, Instrument and Vocals


Best Jazz instrumental Album – Sorrows and Triumphs
Best Improvised Solo – "Triangle"
Best Instrumental Composition – "Uninvited Thoughts"
Best Arrangement, Instrument and Vocals – "Chant"

Featuring Simon's virtuoso quartet Afinidad
Edward Simon, piano
David Binney, alto saxophone
Scott Colley, bass
Brian Blade, drummer

with special guests
Imami Winds chamber quintet
Gretchen Parlato, vocals
Adam Rogers, guitar
Rogerio Boccato, percussion
Luis Quintero, percussion

“There are multiple fluencies, along many frequencies, in the music of Edward Simon... His luxurious new album, Sorrows & Triumphs, is a sleek expression of modernist chamber-jazz writing.”
— Nate Chinen, WBGO Take Five

“Maybe it’s the careful construction of his music, or the musical bond created by years of playing with the same band, or the influence of Buddhist practice and ideas that makes Simon’s new CD so simultaneously complex, deeply satisfying and listenable. Probably it’s all those factors, along with Simon’s stunning pianism and the prowess of his longtime quartet Afinidad... Simon achieves a rare feat, creating music of extraordinary depth that’s easy to listen to. Meditative, grooving, and above all joyful, Sorrows & Triumphs soars into the jazz stratosphere.”
— Monarch Magazine

“This is majestic, lush music put together with intelligence and emotional depth. Simon writes as profoundly as Maria Schneider and fits a lot of disparate musical elements together with imagination. He also has the good fortune of working with excellent musicians—especially Gretchen Parlato, who sounds amazing here. This is one of 2018's finest musical achievements so far."
– Jerome Wilson, All About Jazz

"Sorrows & Triumphs really is quite triumphant.  It is music that frees the spirit, music that is, at times, dreamlike and at other times, rooted to the rhythms Edward Simon heard growing up in Venezuela.  The impressive melodies, the intelligent arrangements, and the delightful musicianship are all good reasons why you should dig into this sublime recording."
– Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

Pianist Edward Simon, a native of Venezuela, has made a name for himself over decades in America as a jazz improviser, composer-arranger and bandleader, with his profile heightening in recent years as he has explored the commonalities of jazz with the folkloric sounds of Latin America. JazzTimes summed up his impact this way: “Simon is less talked about than many other important jazz pianists from the Caribbean and South America, but he may be the most complete creative artist among them.” Based in the San Francisco Bay Area as a member of the all-star SFJAZZ Collective, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow and the recipient of multiple composition grants through Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works initiative.

His brand new recording Sorrows and Triumphs showcases the long-running virtuoso quartet Afinidad and the acclaimed chamber quintet Imani Winds, plus special guests including vocalist Gretchen Parlato. It brings together the distinct and often exclusive worlds of jazz and classical music, challenging chamber musicians to stretch their improvising and interpretive skills, while inviting jazz musicians into the formal structures of classical music. Their harmonious collaboration on two bodies of work commissioned by Chamber Music of America’s New Jazz Works, the suites “Sorrows and Triumphs” and “House of Numbers,” results in a holistic listening experience that brims with a lyricism both intimate and majestic.

About this music, influenced by his Buddhist practice, the pianist says: “I wanted these compositions to bring joy to the listener, to be direct and accessible, with singable melodies.” Summing up a string of glowing reviews for the album, All About Jazz said: “Edward Simon's sensitivity, eloquence, strength and intelligence stand in full view throughout this gorgeous collection.”

“In my music, I aim to balance the structural clarity of classical music with the moment-to-moment interaction of jazz,” Simon concludes. “I revel in the hybrids that come from combining ethnic rhythms, jazz harmony and improvisation. Of course, the music of Latin America – with its infectious rhythms, poetry and passion – has always been one of my greatest resources, as it offers an ocean of possibilities both rhythmically and melodically. But I’ve also been influenced by the works of minimalist composers, being attracted to the idea of taking an essential idea and exploiting it to its fullest potential. Aesthetically, I’m concerned with directness and economy. I strive to communicate, to get to the heart of the matter by making every note count, just as every word counts in a good story. I think of music as a living art, something that’s constantly evolving.”

Julian Hartwell & Jakub Cirkl Quartet: Live in Prague (October 2018)

Needless to say, the local cats could play!!! Thus herein lies a standard-heavy set (and then some) with a choice selection of classic JHP cuts, interspersed with a fair amount of infamous #Julesbanter for good measure. Despite any language barriers and the impossibility of navigating the winding streets of Prague even with a smartphone during my visit, I think it safe to say all speaking the language of Jazz here forged a common bond, even an (albeit fleeting) overseas brotherhood on the stage of U Stare Pani this special June evening. 

If you enjoy what you hear please consider a donation of $10 or more to offset the expenses of booking a self-funded tour with no manager, booking agent, or label deal....and if by some stroke of fortune you ever find yourself in Prague, do yourself a favor and look up where the aforementioned cats may be playing, cause you won't regret it!!!

Jakub Cirkl - Alto Saxophone
Julian Hartwell - Piano
Luan Goncalves - Upright Bass
Petr Nohavica - Drumset

Recorded live at U Stare Pani jazz club on June 5th, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic.

1. Monk's Dream (T. Monk) 07:20
2. Bernie's Tune (B. Miller) 09:09
3. The Night has a Thousand Eyes (Arr. J. Hartwell) 10:06
4. #Julesbanter pt. 1 01:11
5. My Shining Hour (H. Arlen) 06:47
6. Wave (A.C. Jobim) 10:39
7. Moment's Notice (J. Coltrane) 07:41
8. #Julesbanter pt. 2 01:08
9. Street Dreams 09:59
10. #Julesbanter pt. 3 00:36
11. Modal Madness 08:00
12. C.T.A. (J. Heath) 09:09

Recorded with ZOOM H2. Mixed in my home studio.

All compositions by Julian Hartwell at Julian Hartwell Music 2018 (ASCAP) unless otherwise credited.