Saturday, November 10, 2018

Myra Melford - 12 From 25 (FIREHOUSE 12 RECORDS November 2018)

During late March of 2015, I performed a 12 show retrospective at The Stone in NYC, which gave me the chance to revisit many of my projects of the past 25 years. I was joined by all of the original musicians who have played in my groups over the years: from the trio I had convened for the first Knitting Factory tour of Europe in 1990, through to my current quintet, Snowy Egret. 

In the summer of 2015, I released a video from each of the shows on my YouTube Channel. All the videos are presented here in high-definition with surround audio mixed just for this release, along with a previously unreleased documentary about the week of music by filmmakers Gil Corre and Sylvain Luini. Gil and Sylvain did a fantastic job of capturing the marathon week visually, as did Geoff Countryman and his crew with the audio recording. It was an amazing experience for me: to revisit all of that history – the music, the friendships, the memories of being on tour together; to share it with the many wonderful people from all over who came to The Stone to experience it; and to dream about what’s next. 

I’m so grateful to everyone who was part of making this an incredibly rich and fulfilling experience for me! I hope you enjoy the music as much as we enjoyed performing it. 

– Myra Melford 

FEATURING: Duo with Allison Miller; Spindrift with Nicole Mitchell & Tyshawn Sorey; Dialogue with Ben Goldberg; Trio with Mary Halvorson & Miya Masaoka; Be Bread with Cuong Vu, Ben Goldberg, Brandon Ross, Stomu Takeishi & Matt Wilson; Same River, Twice with Dave Douglas, Chris Speed, Erik Friedlander & Michael Sarin; Snowy Egret with Ron Miles, Liberty Ellman, Stomu Takeishi & Ted Poor; Duo with Marty Ehrlich; Myra Melford Trio with Lindsey Horner & Reggie Nicholson

1. Piano Music 08:12
2. Where Everything Is Music 04:40
3. Chorale / 9 + 5 09:18
4. Myra Melford, Miya Masaoka, Mary Halvorson - 8 + 4 05:54
5. I See A Horizon 07:24
6. Yellow Are Crowds Of Flowers II 08:57
7. Two But Live 08:45
8. Bound reBound 06:57
9. The Kitchen 07:40
10. Bound reBound 07:28
11. Be Melting Snow 08:12
12. Daedalus 10:02

Recorded March 24 - 29, 2015
Audio recorded by Geoffrey Countryman, Tyler McDiarmid, and Jonathan Anderson
Video recorded and edited by Gil Corre and Sylvain Luini
Audio mixed and mastered by Nick Lloyd
Graphic Design by Megan Craig
Produced by Myra Melford and Nick Lloyd

Myra Melford's Snowy Egret - The Other Side Of Air (FIREHOUSE 12 RECORDS November 2018)

Bay Area pianist Myra Melford – whom the New Yorker called “a stalwart of the new-jazz movement” – has spent the last three decades making brilliant original music, in equal parts challenging and engaging. She has explored an array of formats, from dynamic solo-piano recitals to deeply interactive small groups and even the swinging grandeur of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. But it’s her quintet Snowy Egret that best defines her artistry in 2018: “I really feel like it’s the vehicle that expresses where I am as a composer, performer and bandleader right now,” she says. Firehouse 12 Records will release The Other Side of Air, this ensemble’s new album, on November 12. 

Premiering live in 2012, with roots that reach back to the mid-’90s, Snowy Egret features Melford alongside four of the most compelling musicians currently working in jazz and the avant-garde: Ron Miles (cornet), Liberty Ellman (guitar), Stomu Takeishi (acoustic bass guitar) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums). The Other Side of Air follows on Snowy Egret’s self-titled Enja/Yellowbird debut, released three years ago to rave reviews.

1. Motion Stop Frame 06:53
2. City of Illusion 08:42
3. Attic 09:26
4. Chorale 04:00
5. Small Thoughts 05:38
6. The Other Side of Air I 03:13
7. The Other Side of Air II 08:41
8. Living Music 10:09
9. Dried Print on Cardboard 04:41
10. Turn & Coda 04:39

Recorded October 14 & 15, 2017 
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Nick Lloyd 
Layout & Design by Megan Craig 
Produced by Myra Melford 
Co-Produced by Stomu Takeishi & Nick Lloyd

Tyshawn Sorey - Pillars (FIREHOUSE 12 RECORDS 2018)

Renowned far and wide not only as a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist but as a composer-improviser of visionary gifts, Tyshawn Sorey presents his most ambitious recorded project to date with Pillars, a three-CD/two-LP epic that deals in ritual, drone and volatile atmosphere. Pillars is a triptych of seamless composition and improvisation, performed by a top-flight electro-acoustic octet featuring Sorey (conductor, drum set, percussion, trombone, dungchen) alongside Stephen Haynes (trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet, alto horn, small percussion), Ben Gerstein (trombone, melodica), Todd Neufeld (electric and acoustic guitars), Joe Morris (electric guitar, double-bass), Carl Testa (double-bass, electronics), Mark Helias (double-bass) and Zach Rowden (double-bass).

The multivalent sound world of Pillars is beyond category, as inspired by Tibetan ceremonial music as by the extended avant-jazz rituals of Roscoe Mitchell; the African-American experimentalism of Bill Dixon, Butch Morris and Anthony Braxton have also been a keen influence on Sorey, as have been the disparate, trans-Atlantic modernisms of Morton Feldman and Karlheinz Stockhausen. As The New Yorker recently noted, Sorey is “among the most formidable denizens of the in-between zone… An extraordinary talent who can see across the entire musical landscape.” Pillars will be released in full-length triple-CD and digital download versions, as well as in a different, re-edited edition for vinyl double-LP (titled Pillars IV).

Stephen Haynes: trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet, alto horn, small percussion
Ben Gerstein: trombone, melodica
Todd Neufeld: electric and acoustic guitar
Joe Morris: electric guitar, double bass
Carl Testa: double bass, electronics
Mark Helias: double bass
Zach Rowden: double bass
Tyshawn Sorey: conductor, drum set, dungchen, percussion, trombone

1. Pillars I 01:17:15
2. Pillars II 01:15:02
3. Pillars III 01:18:02

Recorded by Greg DiCrosta on July 30 and 31, 2017
Edited, Mixed & Mastered by Nick Lloyd
Graphic Design by Megan Craig
Produced by Tyshawn Sorey
Co-produced by Nick Lloyd

Georg Graewe / Damon Smith / Michael Vatcher - Unhesitating (BALANCE POINT ACOUSTICS November 2018)

Unhesitating indeed! Pianist Georg Graewe, double-bassist Damon Smith, and drummer Michael Vatcher met for the first time at Oktaven Audio studios in Mt. Vernon, New York and dove into this wonderful recording that reflects the best attributes of each player. In its eight or so hours in the studio, this trio not only recorded lots of fine material; it also established a trio sound very different from the previous trio with double-bassist Marcio Mattos.

Georg Graewe - Steinway D piano 
Damon Smith - double bass 
Michael Vatcher - drums 

1. Prelude (Georg Graewe) 04:18
2. Ictus (Carla Bley) 03:58
3. Semaphore #04 (Georg Graewe) 04:21
4. Pointedly Bent 05:21
5. Caught Stillness 02:06
6. Schulerblicke (Georg Graewe) 01:00
7. Nothing Ever Was, Anyway (Annette Peacock) 04:14
8. Barely Curve the Water 02:11
9. Rooms Outlast You 03:45
10. Semaphore #05 (Gerog Grawe) 04:04
11. Rough Fields 06:35
12. Volume of the Moment 08:06
13. Semaphore #06 (Georg Graewe) 03:20

Recorded in Mt. Vernon, NY at Oktaven Audio on February 1, 2018 
Mixed in Houston, TX at Coincident Sound on September 10, 2018 
Mastered in Houston, TX at Coincident Sound on September, 30, 2018

Recording Engineer: Ryan Streber 
Assistant Engineer: Nathan De Brine 
Mixing/Mastering Engineer: Ryan Edwards 
Producer/Executive Producer: Russell Summers 
Graphic Design: Russell Summers 
Musician Photography: Russell Summers 
Cover Photography: László Moholy-Nagy 
Liner Notes: Bill Shoemaker 
© 2018 Estate of László Moholy-Nagy / Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York 

Sammy Johnson Announces Winter 2018 'Sleepwalker' Tour!



Somewhere between the charisma of Frank Sinatra, the empathetic tone of Bob Marley and the smooth and sultry vocal runs of Lauryn Hill, lives the warm and kind voice of Sammy Johnson. Australian native, New Zealand-bred soulful reggae star Sammy Johnson will kick off his 2018 ‘Sleepwalker’ winter tour this November 30th! Sammy released his critically acclaimed EP “Sleepwalker” earlier this year, and the album made a big splash in it’s first week of release.

Sammy Johnson collides his Polynesian roots with his love for modern jazz and R&B artists like D’Angelo, Amy Winehouse, and Lauryn Hill, which results in a passionate musical hybrid that is undeniably soothing. He has remained busy releasing a constant influx of music since his breakthrough self-titled 2014 EP, which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Reggae Charts. He has since seen an organic growth as a result of his hard work and dedication to his craft, working as a music therapist social worker to a touring soul artist thanks in part to his first viral video. Since his debut, Sammy Johnson has since enjoyed multiple sold-out performances and large festival appearances.

Throughout the journey of his recent EP release ‘Sleepwalker,’ Sammy gives an honest piece of his life to listeners to come along for the ride. He expresses his gratitude and surreal experience of touring around the world singing music that he created. “I’m like a sleepwalker, cause I’m living in a dream.” The words are relatable to not only musicians but people of all ages, as life can feel surreal at times, during the good and the bad. As the sweet music lulls, ‘Sleepwalker’ expresses as much beauty as it’s words ring true.

Sammy Johnson has been waving the flag for the Pacific Island sound and has quickly become a leader of the scene alongside new school artists like J Boog and veterans like Katchafire. The Native-Kiwi-now-Los-Angeles-resident got his big break via Youtube after his video for "Don't Say Goodbye" became a viral sensation, racking up over 16,000,000 plays. Sammy who was working as a social worker at the time, made the decision to pursue music full-time following the newfound popularity of the song that soon become a staple of modern era Island Sound. Not too long after, a Hawaiian-based producer contacted him to work on an album and was offered a record deal with Mensch House Records, home to groups like Common Kings and Fiji.

With the recent release of ‘Sleepwalker,’ Sammy Johnson is finding his way onto the radars of many, and will be touring along the west coast for his upcoming winter tour. Supporting acts will include vibrant artists NomaD, Etana, and Swells. Sammy’s goal for this tour is to make each stop a unique and interactive experience, reacting to the given energies rather than forcing uninspiring by-the-script performances so many touring bands fall victim to. Speaking on this sentiment, Sammy stated “When fans come to my show, I want them to really feel like they’re a part of it.”

Tour Dates:

Nov 30 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Catalyst
Dec 01 - Berkeley, CA - The UC Theatre
Dec 02 - Sacramento, CA - Goldfield Trading Post
Dec 06 - Los Angeles, CA - The Belasco Theater
Dec 07 - San Diego, CA - Music Box Theater
Dec 08 - Las Vegas, NV - Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas
Dec 09 - Tempe, AZ - The Marquee

Hey! This week's charming & wonderful $5.00 release is...