Monday, November 19, 2018

Flavio Zanuttini Opacipapa - Born Baby Born (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2018)

A trumpet (by Flavio Zanuttini himself, the mastermind behind “Born Baby Born”), an alto sax (Piero Bittolo Bon) and a drumset (Marco D’Orlando). Nothing more: no bass to deepen the rhythm and no harmonic instrument, be it a piano or a guitar. Just “meat and potatoes”, as Eugene Chadbourne states on his liner notes, dismissing in this meal the possible contributions of a fried egg, some buttered peas or a salad. And yet, you can hear a bass doing rhythmic and harmonic work, and this because the trumpet, the sax and the drums incorporate the bass parts, in a phantom-like way. The drummer do it naturally with the tom-toms and the bass drum, but you wouldn’t expect that from the horns. Or do you, considering that they’re played by superlative instrumentalists? A few years back, Zanuttini dared to play the music of Don Cherry, and he managed to get very close to the original trumpeter, while keeping his own musical personality. The Italian musician has a long curriculum as an orchestra player, in that context knowing that he’s an individual contributor of something bigger, but that’s what explains his will to go beyond the conventional roles when he’s a soloist in a small group. Curiously enough, the «bassless, pianoless, tuttoless» (Zanuttini’s words) trio Opacipapa puts themselves in the middle of two traditions, the free improvised one and the carefully organized of the great historical big bands. The music either swings, like if we’re still living in the Fifties, or go to the post-free jazz stratosphere. Frequently, it swings when visiting the other side of the cosmos.

Flavio Zanuttini  trumpet, compositions
Piero Bittolo Bon  alto sax
Marco D’Orlando  drums

All compositions by Flavio Zanuttini

Recorded by Fulvio Zafret in Trieste (Italy) at “Casa della Musica” during the concert organized by “Circolo del Jazz Thelonious” the 24th of January 2018 | Mixed and mastered by Alberto Armellini at ALARM Studio, Udine (Italy)
Produced by Flavio Zanuttini | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos

Hamar Trio - Yesterday Is Here (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2018)

Here is an example of a specially well succeeded co-operation between a notorious representative of the Norwegian scene (Klaus Ellerhusen Holm) and two of the Portuguese one (Hernâni Faustino and Nuno Morão), combining the recordings of live presentations in a couple of spaces dedicated to creative music in Portugal, Salão Brazil (Coimbra) and SMUP (Parede). If you’re a Clean Feed fan you already listened other titles documented in both venues, by the likes of Steve Lehman, Ken Vandermark’s and Adam Lane’s Four Corners, Fredrik Nordstrom Quintet, Daniel Levin Quartet, Zanussi 5, Angles, Harris Heisenstadt’s Canada Day and others. “Yesterday is Here” has the same relevance, and it equals what you know of Holm from the bands Honest John, Ballrogg and Abaft the Beam, of Faustino from Red Trio and of Morão from The Selva: music committed to «celebrate the moment», to paraphrase Derek Bailey, only answering to the appeal of spontaneity and intuition, in a very natural and even organic way. The framing is in jazz and experimentation, meaning that everything else that may happen disregard labels and any sort of categorization. A party for your ears, in short.

Klaus Ellerhusen Holm  clarinet alto saxophone
Hernâni Faustino  double bass
Nuno Morão  drums percussion

1. Yellow Plum 14:54
2. Sjøorm 08:52
3. Sour apple 13:32
4. Yesterday is here 06:26

All music by Klaus Ellerhusen Holm, Hernâni Faustino and Nuno Morão

Recorded November 2016 at Salão Brazil, Coimbra by José Martins and at SMUP, Parede by John Klima | Mixed and mastered by Nuno Morão at ScratchBuilt
Produced by Hamar Trio | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos | Cover photo by Magdalene Norman | Band photo by João Duarte

Frantz Loriot | Christian Wolfarth - The Call (LP) CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2018

Welcome to the timbral world of violist Frantz Loriot and percussionist Christian Wolfarth. «An epiphany of sound», writes Jason Kahn in the inside cover, comparing the music pressed on the two sides of this LP with the myriads of noises he heard in a night of tempest when walking through it: «Cans and bottles skittering down the street; a street sign rattling violently; vague droning sounds appearing and vanishing suddenly as the wind seeped through cracks and crevices between buildings.» It’s his interpretation of what happens during the eight tracks – other pairs of ears can sense it differently, and that’s the best characteristic of the duo’s musical approach. Each individual perception changes it, as if it’s a living organism and you’re part of its existence. The harmonics and the blips and blops seem of electro-acoustic, even acousmatic, conception, but the only electronic devices used were the microphones and the recording machine. Everything is improvised and the configuration of these spontaneous pieces would seem derived from the reductionist school if there was less sounds in the flux of events and if those sounds were mere dots or brushstrokes emanating from silence. They aren’t, but you’re not going to listen to any thunder neither. This is a busy timbral world, indeed, but in a pleasant way. Afterall, Loriot is also a practitioner of soundmassages and for Wolfarth there’s no better measure than detail.

Frantz Loriot  viola
Christian Wolfarth  percussion

The Call

Side A
#1 - Into the Primitive - 11'22"
#2 - The Dominant Primordial Beast - 09'02"

Side B
#3 - Refinement of the Thought - 06'35"
#4 - The Sounding of the Call - 02'44"
#5 - Closely Related - 07'19"
#6 - Slight Dizziness - 03'45"

All music by Frantz Loriot & Christian Wolfarth

Recorded, mixed & mastered in Zurich (Switzerland) in August 2016 by Philipp Schaufelberger
Produced by Loriot & Wolfarth | Executive production Travassos for Trem Azul | Graphic design by Travassos

Antonio Raia - Asylum (CLEAN FEED RECORDS November 2018)

A chuckle or a grimace of memento, a shiver of rage or the same, but due to a steamy game and, most of all, a urge. Let the whole world in, and turn it out into an exploration, a clash of fire with this crooked, wooden, coppery, galvanized sort of dragon.You cannot help but tailoring a path, especially if necessary to ultimately represent yourself, so you can either choose a so called neutral recording studio, in order to dry up and focus every shift, or seize live connections with people, a not-so-aware public capable of supporting the crystallization of that once-in-a-lifetime show.To build Asylum up I’ve gone for the 3rd option: me (and my instrument) and Renato Fiorito along with his 10 mics, aiming to portray 1000 m of mere space.In the very core of Naples, the whole Filangeri Asylum former dining hall played with us, in a harmony of wood and tuff, an everlasting patient background for the shifting valzer of thousands, a living, breathing, sizzling organism, bouncing notes and fragments of past and future lives, but also ticking together with leaving, stopping or passing by folks’ steps.Looking forward to welcome and share freedom with a world in need of it, now more than ever.

1. Torna a Surriento
2. Refugees
3. The lights inside scream
4. There is the wind among the rocks
5. Dicentencello Vuje
6. The sound of voices migled with scraps
7. Fire on heart
8. Follow the trail
9. Misty
10. The children in the yard
11. To Giulia
12. Lullaby


Liudas Mockūnas - HYDRO 2 (NO BUSINESS RECORDS November 2018)

Liudas Mockūnas – soprano, water prepared soprano and water prepared keyless overtone saxophones

Hydro 2 46:09

Music by Liudas Mockūnas (KODA)
Recorded at IMPRODIMENSIJA - concert series dedicated to improvised music, MAMAstudios, Vilnius October  2017 by Arūnas Zujus
Mixed and mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Cover photo by Rita Stankevičiūtė
Design by Neringa Žukauskaitė
Produced by Liudas Mockūnas

Wadada Leo Smith & Sabu Toyozumi - Burning Meditation (NO BUSINESS RECORDS November 2018)

Wadada Leo Smith - trumpet, koto, bamboo-flute, voice and percussion
Sabu Toyozumi - drums

1. Creative Music-1- Red Mountain Garden, Wild Irises and Glacier Lines 15:53
2. Burning Meditation – Uprising 14:30
3. Voices - Agano River Flow 10:32
4. Don Cherry, A Silver Flute Song 7:51
5. There are Human Rights Blues 8:27
6. Stars, Lightening Bugs and Chrysanthemum Flowers 5:28

All music composed by Wadada Leo Smith and Sabu Toyozumi, except otherwise noted
Recorded live on the 22nd March 1994 at C.S Akarenga in Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi, Japan by Takeo Suetomi
Concert produced by Takeo Suetomi
Mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Front cover photo by Akihiro Matsumoto
Photos inside the booklet by Takeo Suetomi
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Produced by Danas Mikailionis and Takeo Suetomi (Chap Chap Records)

Roy Anthony Hargrove Memorial Celebration :: Tuesday, Jan 8, 2019 at 7pm :: Cathedral of St. John The Divine, NYC

Roy Anthony Hargrove

(October 16,1969 – November 2, 2018)

Memorial Celebration at

1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7pm

Chad Lefkowitz-Brown's Standard Sessions - CD Release Concerts November 23 & 24 at Birdland, NYC

CD Release Concerts November 23 & 24 at Birdland, NYC
Impromptu jam sessions are a crucial proving ground for young jazz musicians during their formative years - and for artists who thrive on spontaneity, they're also a heck of a lot of fun. While his increasingly busy calendar proves that saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown learned all the right lessons from those informal early gatherings, it also means that opportunities to enjoy such creative camaraderie have become fewer and farther between. So for his new digital-only release, Standard Sessions - now available via Sound Frame Records, available at - Lefkowitz-Brown decided to make those opportunities happen. He invited some of his favorite musicians to gather together, blow on some familiar standards, and see what happens - just like in the old days.

Of course, for Lefkowitz-Brown the "old days" aren't really that old. The saxophonist arrived in NYC just eight years ago, and was fortunate to settle on the bottom floor of a house in Harlem where the basement lent itself to musical gatherings. "There was a drum set and an upright piano, so every day I would bring people over to have sessions," he recalls. "I look back fondly on those days as some of my favorite musical experiences, and they came out of just playing tunes in the basement."

Over the ensuing years, however, Lefkowitz-Brown found himself increasingly in demand: touring the world with pop superstar Taylor Swift, playing with jazz greats from Dave Brubeck to Clarence Penn, and performing as a member of Arturo O'Farrill's Grammy winning Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. The friends he'd been jamming with were on their own career trajectories as well, meaning that none of them could spare much time for basement jam sessions.

"I started to miss it," Lefkowitz-Brown says, so he came up with the idea for the series of spur-of-the-moment recordings that became Standard Sessions. One thing that had changed since those no-pressure early days was Lefkowitz-Brown's diehard social media following. Using a few tricks that he'd learned from the media-savvy T-Swift and other observations of the pop music world, he has cultivated a worldwide fanbase numbering more than 70,000 followers across platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. For these jam sessions, those fans would become the virtual audience; each session was recorded and aired via YouTube, with 12 highlights now collected for this album, available via iTunes, Spotify, and other digital outlets (all 18 can be found at Lefkowitz-Brown's website).

Every session represented a unique first-time gathering, joining Lefkowitz-Brown with a rhythm section that had never played together before. The invitees represent a wide swath of the thriving Manhattan scene, cutting across generations, styles, and experience levels: pianists Manuel Valera, Carmen Staaf, Victor Gould, David Meder, Steven Feifke, Takeshi Ohbayashi, Adam Birnbaum, and Josh Richman; bassists Yasushi Nakamura, Jonathan Michel, Eric Wheeler, Tamir Shmerling, Ben Tiberio, Raviv Markovitz, and Ricky Rodriguez; and drummers Kush Abadey, Allan Mednard, Charles Goold, Michael Piolet, Bryan Carter, Chris Smith, Jeremy Dutton, and Darrian Douglas.

"There were people at the sessions that I'd known for 10 to 15 years," Lefkowitz-Brown says, "and then there were people that I'd known for 10 to 15 months. It was cool to see someone that I had known practically since childhood and someone I had only met recently playing together on the same session."

Two tunes, "On Green Dolphin Street" and "When Will the Blues Leave," feature Feifke, a pianist that Lefkowitz started collaborating with when both were teenagers, together with Piolet, a drummer he had met recently but never shared the bandstand with before that day. Then there were meetings between veterans like Cuban-born Valera, who has been in the city for nearly two decades, and newcomers like Tiberio, who had been on the scene for less than a year when they recorded their fiery take on "Alone Together."

To ensure the in-the-moment invention that he was seeking to replicate, Lefkowitz-Brown left the choice of tunes up to the assembled bands, decided on the day, just before they were recorded for posterity. Each piece was allowed a maximum of two takes, with most accomplished in one - or with the first one chosen for its raw vitality.

"Those first takes usually felt the best," Lefkowitz-Brown explains. "It's definitely harder to make things spontaneous when you have in your mind that this is actually going to be permanent, but I told everyone, 'If we don't like it, I'll trash it.' I think because of that everybody was able to go in there pretty relaxed and just feel like it was a jam back at my place in Harlem, which was my goal. I wanted to recreate what happened when people got together to just play tunes in a basement and have lunch together."

Information about Standard Sessions, here