Friday, May 7, 2021

Claudio Scolari Project: Cosmology (2021 Principal Records)

The Claudio Scolari Project releases its fifth album "Cosmology": the soundtrack of an imaginary journey into space, where acoustic and electronic sounds blend together in an endless dialogue.

With his 5th album Cosmology, the Claudio Scolari Project officially becomes a quartet since bassist Michele Cavalca joined the band composed of Claudio Scolari/Simone Scolari/Daniele Cavalca. Instinctive rhythms, jazz chords, melodies that interact with the synthesizers, all in an atmosphere of pure experimentation, transporting the project into a musical dimension that blends jazz and avant-garde music.The structural part of the songs is managed by Claudio & Daniele who, coming from two slightly different artistic realities, create a unique fusion during the recording sessions. And then Simone and Michele who complete the work with their rhythmic-melodic parts, making the music even richer and more colorful.

1. Dark Matter 06:45
2. Magnitude 07:45
3. Hyper Galaxy 05:24
4. Aurora 04:22
5. Zenith 04:17
6. Spectrum 06:17
7. Cosmology 02:39
8. Blue Shift 08:06
9. Aphelion 06:11
10. Lunation 04:46
11. Black Hole 06:22
12. Collision 06:27
13. Nebula 05:24

Format: CD & Digital
CLAUDIO SCOLARI: Drum set 1, Synth Programming
DANIELE CAVALCA: Drum Set 2, Live Synths, Rhodes, Piano
SIMONE SCOLARI: Trumpet
MICHELE CAVALCA: Electric Bass

All music composed by Scolari / Cavalca

Produced by Claudio Scolari, Daniele Cavalca
Published by: Principal Records

Recorded December 2020 at Vox Recording Studio,
Ghiardello RE, Italy.
Engineer: Andrea Fontanesi

Mastered January, 2021 by Andrea Fontanesi

Thursday, May 6, 2021

May 6: NEC Jazz Orchestra Celebrates Music of Ken Schaphorst in Concert Broadcast

NEC Jazz Orchestra Celebrates the Music of Ken Schaphorst

in Concert Broadcast on Thursday, May 6
The NEC Jazz Orchestra celebrates the music of Jazz Studies Chair Ken Schaphorst in their final concert of the season. The program includes Schaphorst’s compositions “Charlie Parker’s Tuxedo,” “Omega Man,” “Sleepwalkers,” “Blues Almighty,” and “Mbira,” as well as his arrangements of Mingus’s “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” Oliver Nelson’s “Stolen Moments,” Tadd Dameron’s “If You Could See Me Now,” and Chick Corea’s “Crystal Silence.”  Recorded in April at NEC’s iconic Jordan Hall, the concert will be broadcast on Thursday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. EST.  To watch the performances, log on to https://necmusic.edu/events/nec-jazz-orchestra-music-ken-schaphorst
 
Ken Schaphorst is an internationally acclaimed composer, performer, and educator. As Chair of the Jazz Studies Department at NEC, he teaches courses in jazz composition, arranging, theory and analysis as well as directing the NEC Jazz Orchestra. Before moving to Boston in 2001, he served for ten years as Director of Jazz Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Schaphorst is also a founding member of the Jazz Composers Alliance, a Boston-based non-profit corporation promoting new music in the jazz idiom since 1985. Schaphorst studied at Swarthmore College, NEC, and Boston University, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts in 1990. His composition teachers have included Thomas Oboe Lee, Gerald Levinson, William Thomas McKinley and Bernard Rands. Schaphorst was awarded Composition Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988 and 1991, the Wisconsin Arts Board in 1997, Meet the Composer Grants in 1987 and 1997, and was a Music Composition Finalist in the Massachusetts Fellowship Program in 1986. He won the Achievement Award for Jazz Education from DownBeat magazine in 2007. Schaphorst has released seven recordings as a leader: Ken Schaphorst Big Band: Making Lunch (1989), Ken Schaphorst Big Band: After Blue (1991), Ken Schaphorst Ensemble: When the Moon Jumps (1994), Ken Schaphorst: Over the Rainbow (1997), Ken Schaphorst Big Band: Purple (1999), Ken Schaphorst: Indigenous Technology (2002) and Ken Schaphorst Big Band: How to Say Goodbye (2015).
 
NEC’s Jazz Studies Department was the brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became president of the Conservatory in 1967. He soon hired saxophonist Carl Atkins as the first department chair, as well as other greats including NEA Jazz Master George Russell, pianist Jaki Byard and Ran Blake. The foundation of its teaching and success begins with the mentor relationship developed in lessons between students and the prominent faculty artists. In addition to its two jazz orchestras, faculty-coached small ensembles reflect NEC’s inclusive approach to music making, with ensembles focused on free jazz, early jazz, gospel music, Brazilian music, and songwriting, as well as more traditional approaches to jazz performance.
 
Students are encouraged to find their own musical voices while making connections and collaborating with a vibrant community of creative musicians, and ultimately to transform the world through the power of music. The program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers and has an alumni list that reads like a who's who of jazz, while the faculty has included six MacArthur "genius" grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters.

Cécile McLorin Salvant delivers intimate home performance to raise funds for public health in Haiti

Grammy Award-Winning Artist Cécile McLorin Salvant 
& Sullivan Fortner
Deliver an Intimate Home Performance
to Raise Funds for GHESKIO in Haiti

Grammy Award-winning artist Cécile McLorin Salvant has partnered with the Haitian Global Health Alliance to release an intimate fundraising performance, At Home, recorded in her Brooklyn loft. The video will be available for viewing from May 10 – 31, with all proceeds benefiting GHESKIO, a world-renowned public health organization serving patients in Haiti.

“Ms. Salvant has been a generous musical champion for Haitian causes, including GHESKIO,” said Scott Morgan, Executive Director of the Haitian Global Health Alliance. “Her vocal talent and genre-spanning repertoire are unmatched in the jazz world today.” 

Tickets to view this exclusive performance, which includes Salvant with pianist Sullivan Fortner, are available through May 31, 2021 at gheskio.org for a name-your-price donation. 100% of proceeds will support GHESKIO.
A composer, singer and cross-disciplinary visual artist, Salvant has received Grammy© Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her three latest albums. In 2020, she received a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship and a Doris Duke Artist Award. More about Cécile McLorin Salvant, her music, art and photos can be found at cecilemclorinsalvant.com

About GHESKIO
GHESKIO, which operates a network of clinics in Port-au-Prince and throughout Haiti, is an international leader in clinical care and research for HIV, tuberculosis and other infectious and chronic diseases. Since the earliest days of the HIV epidemic, GHESKIO has been at the forefront of the HIV response, implementing testing and prevention strategies and treatment protocols that have influenced guidelines worldwide. GHESKIO has been a leader in Haiti’s decrease in HIV prevalence from 6.2% in 1993 to the current level of less than 2.0%. GHESKIO is also the Caribbean’s largest provider of tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment. GHESKIO is world-renowned for its research, with more than 35 years of continuous support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for clinical trials and decades of support from PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) for treatment and care of people living with HIV in Haiti. GHESKIO is a member of the prestigious AIDS Clinical Trials Group, and GHESKIO researchers have published over 250 peer-reviewed publications.

About the Haitian Global Health Alliance
The Haitian Global Health Alliance is a U.S.-based 501(c)3 organization that provides fundraising and communication support for GHESKIO.

Contact Scott Morgan
scott@hgha.org
973-865-0128

Tony Malaby - Turnpike Diaries Vol​.​3 Big Mammals (2021)

Two of my favorite sound designers, William Parker and Billy Mintz, came and propelled me into beautiful landscapes bringing out the soaring screech of raptors, the sea mammal and dancing bear in me.

1. The Dancing Bear (for Tatiana) and Birds of Pray
2. Big Mammals

Tony Malaby - Tenor and Soprano saxophones
William Parker - Bass and Tuba
Billy Mintz - Drums

Recorded by Randy Thaler
Mastered by Eivind Opsvik
Cover art by Tim Berne
Thank you Kevin Reilly

Tony Malaby - Turnpike Diaries Volume 2 (2021)

There’s a type of Kung Fu one needs to drive in New Jersey. Hidden signs, many types of drivers with constantly changing velocities that are ahead, behind, and alongside one at all times. It’s very similar to this first track that I am calling Jersey Merge Redux (I have used this title before). I hope you can feel the Kung Fu as I did - unbelievable flow and intelligence from Michael and Mark. Enjoy. T

1. Jersey Merge Redux 48:47
2. Bonus Track - Elbow Up ! 34:59

Tony Malaby - Tenor and Soprano Saxophones
Michael Formanek - Bass
Mark Ferber - Drums

Recorded and Mixed by Randy Thaler
Mastered by Eivind Opsvik
Cover by Tim Berne
Recorded on November 10, 2020

Tony Malaby - Turnpike Diaries Volume 1 (2021)

I started playing sessions on July 6, 2020 with Billy Mintz and John Hebert under a turnpike bridge not far from my home. We would play 3 to 4 times a week, slowly more friends began to come to play with me in addition to the trio with Mintz and Hebert. I want to share some of these field recordings with you and want to begin with this session that took place on October 19. My walk to the spot with both horns on my back was so full of joy and anticipation because I was going to throw sound with some of my favorite improvisors and mentors - my “ Jefes”.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did . I can’t begin to thank Randy Thaler and Kevin Reilly for their commitment to documenting these sessions - it still keeps me looking forward and positive during these trying times . Thank you for listening. Tony Malaby

1. Los Jefes 39:32
2. Slap Happy 27:31

Tony Malaby - Tenor and Soprano saxophones
Tim Berne - Alto Saxophone
Mark Helias - Acoustic Bass
Michael Formanek - Acoustic Bass
Ches Smith - Drums

Recorded by Randy Thaler
Cover art - Tim Berne
Mastered by Eivind Opsvik
Recorded on October 19 2020

Tony Malaby - Cellar Notes (2021)

I never had the opportunity to document this quartet, so I am happy that I can now share these live sets from Cornelia St. Cafe. At the time of these recordings, I was leading the groups Tamarindo, Apparitions, and Paloma Recio, as well as many sideman projects, several of which featured Ralph Alessi and John Hébert . The three of us were yearning for an outlet to stretch out in a casual, relaxed setting with no predetermined solo order, solo length or complicated road maps. When I was offered a weekend at Cornelia Street, I jumped at the chance and called Billy Drummond.

I put together four books of tunes that were laying around the pad, mostly by peers such as Chris Lightcap, Angelica Sanchez, Dave Scott, Michael Attias, Eivind Opsvik, and Billy Mintz. We filled out the book with Ralph and John’s tunes, along with some Ornette, Frisell, Motian, and Sidney Bechet. At the time I called it “The Reading Band.” Drew Gress often subbed for Hébert . This group never played to an empty room. Please follow us here at Bandcamp and enjoy Cellar Notes.

1. Ralph and the Red Head (Dave Scott), Blind Pig (John Hébert), Flight (Billy Mintz) 29:31
2. Mirror Me (Angelica Sanchez), Humpty Dumpty (Ornette Coleman), Endless(Paul Motian) 21:17
3. Cajun Christmas (John Hébert) 10:59

Tony Malaby - Tenor Saxophone
Ralph Alessi - Trumpet
John Hébert - Bass
Billy Drummond - Drums

Recorded by Scott Friedlander
Mastered by Eivind Opsvik
Cover Art by Tim Berne
Recorded Live at Cornelia St. Cafe on March 13, 2009

Nacho Loring - Noneto (May 17, 2021)

Trumpetter and composer based in South of Spain, releasing his new album "Noneto". New compositions with a new group of nine musicians from the Andalusian jazz scene

Este disco que estás a punto de comprar se grabó en octubre de 2019 en EMMAT, Alhaurín de la Torre (Málaga). Tras una proposición de Leyla Esteso de componer música para un noneto y estrenar la música en el Festival de Jazz de Torremolinos del mismo año, el trompetista y compositor malagueño Nacho Loring pensó en los amigos con los que quería contar para dicha formación y escribió para ellos. En este EP aparecen algunos de esos temas y dos composiciones de miembros de la banda (Pablo Guzmán y Marcos Merino) que también sonaron en el ya citado festival. Deseo que lo disfruten tanto como nosotros. escribiendo y tocando esta música.

1. Vanidad
2. Aquellos ojos verdes
3. Jarana
4. Pra machucar meu coraçao
5. Calle Elvira

Nacho Loring (Trumpet and flugelhorn)
Moisés Fernández (Trombone)
Pablo Valero (Flute)
Dani Torres (Tenor sax)
Juanpe Berrocal (Alto sax and flute)
Pablo Guzmán (Guitar)
Marcos Merino (Piano)
Alejandro Tamayo (Doublebass)
Sergio Díaz (Drums)

Alejandro Lévar (Mixing, master, sound engineering)
Javier Gómez (Sound engineering)
Nita Loring (Artwork)
Luis Castillo (Poem "Calle Elvira")

Peter Brötzmann / Peter Friis Nielsen / Peeter Uuskyla - Flying Feathers (May 6, 2021)

1. The Ravens Cry At Dawn 14:37
2. Flying Feathers 10:13
3. Willie´s Chilly 12:02
4. Chilly Willy 15:23
5. Muiko 10:59

Recorded September 7, 2001 at Bohus Sound Recording, Kungälv, Sweden. All music originally released by FMR records UK, 2002.

Tenor sax, alto sax (2) and tarogato (4): Peter Brötzmann
Electric bass: Peter Friis Nielsen
Drums and recording session producer: Peeter Uuskyla
Recording engineér: Dragan Tanascovic
Photo (not original cover): Gudrun Edel-Rösnes

Birgit Ulher / Damon Smith / Chris Cogburn - The Eternity Cult (May 2021 Balance Point Acoustics)

1. Is the Longest Disease of Mankind 35:05

Birgit Ulher - trumpet, radio, speaker, objects
Damon Smith - double bass
Chris Cogburn - percussion, electronics

Recorded Feb 17th, 2018 in Denton, TX
Mastered by Weasel Walter

qitus - Twee (May 2021)

1. Live On Peaks 05:55
2. In Waltzed Mood 05:15
3. Twee 07:00
4. The Wise 07:37

Mindaugas Apulskis - Tenor Sax (1, 2 and 4)
Alper Elmaci - Fender Rhodes (1 and 3), Piano (2 and 4)
Sophia Guenst - Vocals / Lyrics (3)
Dimitris Koulentianos - Double Bass
Joshua van der Beek - Guitar
Marc Laguna - Drums / Composition / Artwork

Recorded by Giorgos Kravvaritis on February 29th 2020 in Amsterdam
Assistant engineers: Pantelis Pilavios & Ayla Versluis

Mixed and mastered by Giorgos Kravvaritis

Tom O'Halloran Trio - Axiom (May 6, 2021)

Tom O’Halloran leads his own original jazz piano trio outfit and conducts orchestras from time to time, and composes experimental jazz music.

1. Gears 10:27
2. Elegy 10:41
3. The Grounding 08:01
4. Hectic 12:19
5. Shimmer 11:42
6. Conception 06:48
7. Cascade 07:03
8. One Page Indigestion Blues 06:44

Pete Jeavons (double bass)
Daniel Susnjar (drums)

Compositions and arrangements by Tom O’Halloran.

Conception originally composed by George Shearing, 1950.

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Lee Buddle from Soundmine, Perth, Western Australia, late 2020.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Skúli Sverrisson & Bill Frisell's Strata – May 21 on Newvelle Records

I’ve never been at a session like the one that we had in June of 2017 with Skúli Sverrisson and Bill Frisell. Sometimes you can really sense a connection between two musicians, some fitting together or a frisson of common experience and spontaneous invention. But this was of another order—a quiet and profound communion. With Skúli and Bill there’s a shared internal language—a sense of inevitable logic—hypnotizing and surreal.

The studio is a charged environment—a kinetic energy of ideas about to be born, loaded with expectation and possibility. Emotions tend to come to the surface in both good and bad ways. Bill and Skúli hit a deep vein in the first hour and never needed to come up for air. They would track a song of Skúli’s while seated across from each other, barely speaking. Then we would listen back in the control room. After the song was over, no one would say a word for a moment, as if a spell had been cast. Then Bill might look over at Skúli and say, “What do you think if I tried to overlay something on this one?” While Bill tracked a second guitar, Skúli would sit with his head cradled in his hands. When Bill would return to the control room, Skúli would lift his head, wearing a beatific smile.

This spell was only stirred once. On the second day of tracking, the film maker Jim Jarmusch came by for lunch. Jim is a longtime fan of Bill’s music. His arrival was a brace of movement and charm. He’d tell a couple of stories, and then we’d sit in silence while Bill and Skúli tracked something. “Brothers from another mother, these two,” I caught Jim muttering under his breath.
Skúli Sverrisson: “Bill’s been a thread throughout my creative life. I wrote songs for this session, but Bill has been such an inspiration to me that, even on songs I wrote before I met him, he was already there.”

Bill Frisell: “Skúli was one of those guys that I kept hearing about but hadn’t heard his music. Before I heard what he did, I was already wondering, ‘What’s with this guy?’ He had such a huge range, playing with some of my favorite musicians and in styles all over the map. The first time I heard him, the beauty of it touched me right away... I don’t listen to much music. I mostly listen to someone like Duke Ellington—real classics. But I got two of his albums and I kept putting them on. I wouldn’t have known that he was influenced by me. He was tapped in to something I dream of. When we did the recording, it took it to 100%, it felt like something that was in my imagination, but even deeper and further.”

SS: “There seemed to be a clear path to the center of the music. The session with Bill was so easy—no complications anywhere. And then having Jim Jarmusch there! He was almost like a ‘ghost producer.’ He’s another one of my heroes, such a great and surreal experience. I was only in New York for three days to record the album, and the whole thing came together so easily and to have Jim there... I really came back home and thought, ‘Did that really happen—was that a dream?’”

BF: “This was really special for me, I’d wanted to play with Skúli for a long time and this was an ideal situation. Sometimes you play music with someone in another context, in someone’s band or at a session, and you think, ‘I’d like to do a project with that person’; but this was the first time we played together. It felt so immediate, like ‘This is it, right now.’”

SS: “I knew Marc Urselli from decades ago when he reviewed a rather obscure record of mine, “Seremonie.” Later we did many tours together with Laurie Anderson, when Marc was the front-of-the-house engineer. We became friends and I felt very connected to him.”

Marc Urselli (recording engineer): “Bill and Skúli are two of my favorite musicians of all time and having them together in the studio was most enjoyable. They are both so modest and so soft-spoken that (barely!) hearing their comments and compliments to each other, one incredible take after another, was both delightful and hard to believe. Being there when the two played almost felt imposing, in a way. It was like a sacred experience only a few lucky ones were allowed to be a part of.”

BF: “Playing alone is so difficult because you get nothing back. But as soon as just one other person plays, there’s a direct response , like an electrical current that returns. It starts to go. You play something and right away it comes back, like a two-stroke engine. Everything you need is there... There’s an elegance to it. I almost feel like I didn’t even play on this record. Compositionally, what Skúli brought is so amazing. There wasn’t anything for me to do, everything was there already. So natural for me to fall into, so effortless. What Skúli chose to play and what he wrote—he built this structure that didn’t have anything blocking me but it was holding me up the whole time. It feels like we’ve known each other longer than we have. And it feels like the start of something.”

– Elan Mehler

Strata

Side A:
1. Sweet Earth (2:26)
2. Instants (5:15)
3. Vanishing Point (2:57)
4. Ancient Affection (3:57)
5. Came to Light (3:56)

Side B:
1. Cave of Swimmers (2:59)
2. Amedeo (4:06)
3. Afternoon Variant (5:13)
4. Segment (3:06)
5. Her Room (3:50)

Skúli Sverrisson - Electric & Acoustic Bass Guitar
Bill Frisell - Electric & Acoustic Guitar

Jazz at Home Watch the JLCO, Paquito D'Rivera, and Lakecia Benjamin Live; Plus, The LA Scene and FREE Access to Jazz Congress

2020-21
 

Witness the World Premiere: Freedom, Justice, and Hope

Featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Social Justice Advocate Bryan Stevenson
Premieres May 21 at 7:30pm ET
On-demand through May 26
Virtual ticket: $20  

In collaboration with Bryan Stevenson—a globally acclaimed activist, public interest lawyer, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative—the JLCO with Wynton Marsalis will perform compelling and deeply personal new music by emerging composers Josh Evans (trumpet) and Endea Owens (bass; Jon Batiste’s Stay Human). Join us for this inspiring night of music.

Leadership support provided by Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, GRoW @ Annenberg  

In these trying times, we plan to continue entertaining, enriching, and expanding the global community for jazz through online education and our social platforms. Please consider supporting Jazz at Lincoln Center at whatever level you can. 

Live from Dizzy's Club is Back!

Join us from the comfort of your own home as we bring stunning New York views and the live jazz club experience to your living room. See the upcoming shows listed below and get your virtual ticket today.

Thursday, May 6 - 7:30pm ET
Paquito D'Rivera & Alex Brown (Buy Tickets)

Thursday, May 13 - 7:30pm ET
Lakecia Benjamin (Buy Tickets)

Thursday, May 27  - 7:30pm ET
Sullivan Fortner (Buy Tickets)
Register for Jazz Congress 2021

Registration is open for Jazz Congress, which will take place virtually on May 17-20, 2021. Presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center and JazzTimes, the conference for artists, media, and industry leaders in the global jazz community is free this year!

For a sample of what went down at last year's Jazz Congress, check out  "We Insist: Speaking Truth to Power,” the newest episode of the Jazz Congress Podcast, available now on all platforms.

Swing U Spring Term Now in Session!
 
Swing University - Spring Virtual Term
Now–June 30
$10-$12 for individual classes
All-Access package available

Swing University offers engaging virtual classes for jazz fans, enthusiasts, and students of all backgrounds and levels. This term, learn more about jazz legends like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, and more!

Our fun and informal classes are taught by industry experts like Seton Hawkins, Todd Stoll, and Justin Poindexter as well as members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra including Victor Goines, Vincent Gardner, and more. Explore jazz history, discuss new and classic tunes, and discover listening methods that will improve your concert experiences.

ALL-ACCESS PACKAGE RATE: $200 (to purchase, please email swingu@jazz.org or call 212-958-9877

SINGLE CLASSES:  
$10 - pricing available through the Saturday prior to class
$12 - starting Sunday prior to class

Watch: “It Come ‘Round ‘Gin”

In the spirit of #JusticeAndHope, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet with Wynton Marsalis gives a lively performance of “It Come ‘Round ‘Gin” from The Democracy! Suite. Listen to the full album out now on Blue Engine Records.

Listen to the Sounds of Los Angeles With Our Playlist

From Lionel Hampton to Gerry Mulligan to Kamasi Washington, the City of Angels has been a West Coast hotspot for jazz innovation. Explore the evolution of LA jazz through our kaleidoscopic playlist.


Watch JALC Live and Create Your Own House of Swing

Check out this week's digital offerings (all times ET) and view our full schedule here.

Wednesday, May 5

7pm - Swing University: Jazz 101 (Register)

Thursday, May 6

12pm - A Closer Listen with Seton Hawkins and Yunie Mojica (Zoom and Facebook Live)

7pm - Swing University: Boss Guitar: The Music of Wes Montgomery (Register)

7:30pm - Live from Dizzy's Club: Paquito D'Rivera & Alex Brown (Buy Tickets)

Friday, May 7

7pm - Swing University: Pops is Tops: Celebrating Louis Armstrong (Register)

Saturday, May 8

3pm - Swing University: 88 Keys: Iconic Jazz Pianists (Register)

Sunday, May 9

2pm - Swing University: Change of the Century: Ornette Coleman's Genius (Register)

Tuesday, May 11

12pm - A Closer Listen with Seton Hawkins and Yunie Mojica (Zoom and Facebook Live)

7pm - Swing University: The Life of John Coltrane (Register)

Rino Arbore - Temporary Life? (May 4, 2021 Dodicilune / Ird)

After having explored the world of rituals and grief in his album “The Roots of Unity”, Rino Arbore - in this record titled “temporary life?” - deals with several thorny ethical issues: the ability to resist evil, indifference or empathy with other people’s suffering and the value of life. As starting point there are three mug shots of Czeslawa Koka, a Polish girl interned in Auschwitz who died in 1943 at 14 years old, after only three months of detention. She was probably killed by a phenol injection. Wilhelm Brasse, the photographer of the camp, portrayed her posing in three different ways, as Nazi used to “identify” their prisoners: a frontal photo and two profile photos. His shots depict a terrified little girl, with her head shaved and a wound on her lip: the same Brasse then reported that the girl, who couldn’t grasp a single word of German and that felt like she was thrown with her mother in an incomprehensible horror, in the picture had just been beaten by a Kapo with a stick.

In the photos she stays motionless in shock and with fear. The album “temporary life?” is dedicated to Czeslawa Koka and to Brasse. In fact the titles of the tracks are conceived to suggest a sort of narration of their life stories. The powerful and tense music is entrusted to a classical jazz quintet, that is classical on paper alone: you are not going to listen to unison themes and long solos accompanied by rhythmic music. The music texture is more complex and free, as it follows a chamber-music cosmetic that continuously divides the group in smaller units, until the rhythm is entrusted to single musicians. More compact tracks in the name of free-bop, like “Czeslawa cries”, “The train at dawn” or “Dance of pigs”, alternate with more sophisticated tracks like “Temporary life?” or the final “Corpi inutili” (Useless bodies). The tune is suggestive and alienating in “L’amore in fondo” (Love at the bottom), a typical shady ballad whose secret is known by Arbore.

All the involved musicians play in a marvellous way: Rubini with his zigzagging paths, Distante with is lyric pathos, Vendola with his warm presence and D’Ambrosio with his always dramatically meaningful contribution, to end with Arbore’s guitar, that directs the rhythm and colour of music. All this contributes to mark a work whose beauty and stunning depth will stay with us for a long time. Fabrizio Versienti
1 - Temporary life?
2 - Czeslawa cries
3 - Nie rozùmiem ci
4 - The train at dawn
5 - Dance of pigs
6 - Fabrika
7 - L'amore in fondo
8 - Block
9 - Wilhelm Brasse
10 - Corpi inutili  

All compositions by Gennaro Arbore

Rino Arbore - guitar
Giorgio Distante - trumpet
Mike Rubini - alto sax
Giorgio Vendola - double bass
Pippo D’Ambrosio - drums

Produced by Maurizio Bizzochetti, Gabriele Rampino, Dodicilune, Italy
Label manager Maurizio Bizzochetti (www.dodicilune.it)
Recorded 15, 16 February 2018 at Studio Sorriso, Bari, Italy
Mixed and mastered 18 April 2018 at Studio Sorriso, Bari, Italy
Sound engineer Tommy Cavalieri
Photos by Lorenzo Zitoli, Alessandro Pensini, Giovanna Sodano, Marina Damato

Stephan Micus | "Winter's End" | Available June 11 via ECM

Multi-Instrumentalist Stephan Micus
Utilizes Two Never Before Used Instruments,
Amongst Eleven Instruments from Ten Countries,
for his 24th Solo Album, Winter's End

The Japanese poem accompanying Winter’s End, Stephan Micus’ 24th solo album for ECM, seems like a metaphor for his music. He chuckles at the suggestion, as he thinks of the hours and hours working with dozens of different instruments, which he builds up layer upon layer in his studio. “For a musician or an artist, it’s very important to keep your childlike nature,” he says. “Of course, it’s more fun to walk in deep snow than on an asphalt road. This is something I try to keep in mind in daily life.”

The range of instruments on this album is one of the most extensive in Stephan Micus’ catalogue with eleven instruments from ten countries: Mozambique, Gambia, Central Africa, Egypt, Japan, Bali, Xinjiang, Tibet, Peru and the USA. Most important, there are two instruments that he’s never used before. One is recently acquired from Mozambique; the other has been sitting on a shelf awaiting its turn for 40 years. 

It’s the chikulo that opens Winter’s End and defines its character, appearing on seven of its twelve tracks. Amongst the musical glories of Mozambique are the large timbila bands of the Chopi people. The timbila is a xylophone with wooden keys and gourd resonators hanging beneath. A timbila orchestra has several instruments of different sizes. Because he prefers to walk in the snow, Micus has just selected the bass instrument with only four notes, which gives a buzzing rhythmic support to the ensemble. 
“I had heard about the timbila orchestras and seen some instruments. As it was a place I had never visited, I wanted to go. The higher instruments demand virtuoso playing and in this life, I would never be able to master that. But I’m also attracted to low instruments and when they showed me the chikulo its possibilities seemed very open.” In fact, the chikulo is rarely used these days in timbila bands as it’s so large and difficult to transport. Micus never saw one actually being used in an orchestra, but only demonstrated in a museum. He commissioned his own from timbila player and maker Eduardo Durão. 

It is the woody tone and buzzing sound of the chikulo that opens the album, but most of the time Micus uses it without the buzzing membranes to create a cleaner sound. Alongside three chikulo on “Autumn Hymn", the opening track is a Japanese nohkan flute, traditionally used in Noh theatre. While the chikulo has an earthy sound, the nohkan seems heavenly and there is a natural earth and sky harmony.

The other instrument Micus is using for the first time is the tongue drum. He made it himself 40 years ago, sawing tongue-shaped pieces in the top of a wooden box following examples in Central Africa. “Back then, I played it several times in concerts and sang a single vocal line, but I was never quite satisfied with it. However, from the moment I combined it with the chikulo and added more voices, the two tongue drum pieces finally felt complete. I often have instruments for a long time before I manage to incorporate them in a composition - and if after 40 years one of them finds its moment it’s a very nice thing.” With the voices (singing an invented language) accompanied by percussive sounds from the tongue drum and chikulo, “The Longing of the Migrant Birds” and “Sun Dance” have something of the savannah about them.
“For me the beautiful thing about music is that it’s beyond words and beyond any message in words,” says Micus, but having created the album with its other textures of bowed and plucked strings, thumb piano, flutes and cymbals he created a kind of narrative out of the titles. 

“I got this idea about migrant birds. A journey from Europe to Africa when winter is coming. In the third track I feel a kind of longing to travel and with the 4th track, “Baobab Dance” we have arrived in Africa.” Where we are at the end is ambiguous. As so often in Micus’ music, Winter’s End has a symmetrical structure, and the title “Winter Hymn” perhaps suggests a return. But winter is present in Africa too. 

One of the remarkable things about Micus is the way he uses the sounds of the world as an inspiration and brings them together in unique and pioneering combinations. “To bring instruments together for the first time is fascinating. It’s like going to places where nobody has been. Surprisingly you can take these instruments from all over the world and they sound in harmony. It’s a beautiful message when sadly we humans haven’t got to that point.”

Grammy-Nominated Brazilian Guitarist Ricardo Silveira Releases SOLO

ACCLAIMED BRAZILIAN GUITARIST RICARDO SILVEIRA RELEASES SOLO


Renowned Brazilian guitarist RICARDO SILVEIRA is releasing his first solo album, aptly titled SOLO (April 16, 2021, Moondo Music LLC). Silveira is a prolific recording and performing artist in both Brazil and the United States. He has worked with a Who’s Who of legendary Brazilian artists, and he has recorded over a dozen albums as a leader or co-leader. He has also appeared on numerous CDs as a sideman for other artists, including Elis Regina, Milton Nascimento, Wayne Shorter, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins, Joao Bosco, Gregg Karukas, Marcos Ariel, Diana Ross, Vanessa Williams, and others.

Silveira grew up in Rio de Janeiro, surrounded by the lush rhythms of Brazilian music. Attracted to the top rock and blues acts of the day, like the Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Cream, and BB King, he began playing guitar at the age of 11. He also started exploring jazz artists like Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Joe Pass, George Benson, and Wes Montgomery.

Silveira started developing his chops by jamming with friends and playing at various school shows and festivals. He decided to become a professional musician and began studying classical guitar and music theory to pursue his music studies in college. Although Brazilian universities at that time offered courses in music, they didn’t offer courses specifically designed for guitar, so Silveira signed up for a summer course at Berklee College of Music in Boston. That summer course changed his life as he got a scholarship to continue studying at Berklee. He also began shuttling regularly back and forth between Brazil and the U.S.

While in Boston, he met guitarist Bill Frisell, who recommended him for a salsa band called Latin Stars. It was the beginning of Silveira’s career as a professional musician. When he wasn’t in school or playing gigs, Silveira also started travelling back and forth to New York City to play music and hang out with friends. Another Brazilian guitarist, Claudio Roditi, soon told renowned flutist Herbie Mann about Silveira.

Mann was one of the pioneers of fusing jazz and World music. At the time, he was looking for a Brazilian guitarist who could play Brazilian rhythms as well as straight-ahead jazz, blues, and other styles. He hired Silveira on the spot. Silveira quit Berklee, moved to New York, and spent two years performing and recording with Mann. While living in New York, he also began working as a studio musician with some of the top jazz musicians around, like Steve Gadd, Richard Tee, Marcus Miller, Michael Brecker, Jason Miles, and Nana Vasconcelos. He has shared the stage with Sergio Mendes, Dave Grusin, Oscar Castro Neves, Dori Caymmi, Diana Ross, Justo Almario, Toots Thielemans , Baby Face, Pat Metheny, Ernie Watts, and Abe Laboriel, among many others. He toured Europe and made eight trips to Japan with Sadao Watanabe and Don Grusin.

Silveira recorded his first album as a leader in 1984 for the Polygram label. The album, Bom De Tocar (Good to Touch), became a huge radio hit and established his reputation as a top recording artist in his own right. He moved to Los Angeles not long after the album was released. He explains, “I travelled to Southern California several times to perform, and after living in Boston and New York for several years, I just wanted a change. And coming from Brazil, I really wanted to move to a warmer climate.”
Silveira became a regular on the California jazz scene and went on to record albums for several labels, most notably four CDs for Verve Forecast between 1988 and 1992, and an album for Kokopeli, Herbie Mann’s label, in 1995. He also released six albums for the Adventure Music label, the New York-based label which became a home for many Brazilian, African, and New Age musicians. His first release for Adventure, Noite Clara, received a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Album in 2004.

Silveira played on Randy Brecker’s Randy in Brazil, which won a Grammy in 2009 for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Also in 2009, Silveira was the music director for singer-songwriter Joao Bosco’s I'm Not Going to Heaven, But No Longer Live on the Ground, which was nominated for the Brazilian Music Award and a Latin Grammy Award in 2010.

Like almost all musicians, Silveira’s normally busy touring schedule became wide open because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Quarantined at home, he decided it was a good opportunity to finally record a solo album. At first, he considered just putting out his music on YouTube, but he changed his mind after talking with Colombian-American guitarist, Juan Carlos Quintero, who recently revived his label, Moondo Music LLC. Silveira’s album was a perfect fit for the high-quality, artistically rendered jazz and World Music that Quintero envisions for his label.

SOLO is an atmospheric, romantic album that pairs well with a glass of wine on a balmy night. JazzTimes Magazine has said, “Silveira chooses each note carefully, and his compositions are wonderfully detailed yet understated.” Silveira included six of his original tunes, all of which he recorded on previous albums but re-imagined here for solo guitar, as well as songs by great Brazilian composers Marcos Valle & Paulo Sergio Valle, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Johnny Alf, as well as a gorgeous rendition of Rodgers & Hart’s “My Romance.”

Silveira’s music is graceful, and his style is straight-ahead, contemporary, and audience friendly. Although Latin jazz and Brazilian flavors are sprinkled throughout this album, the music is reflective and airy while still maintaining its groove-based roots.

1. Rio Texas
2. Preciso Aprender A Ser So
3. That Day in Tahiti
4. Tango Carioca
5. Luiza
6. Francesca
7. My Romance
8. Zingaro/Retrato em Branco e Preto
9. Noite Clara
10. Eu e Brisa
11. Amazon Secrets

SOLO will be available on Spotify, Amazon, iTunes and all digital platforms

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Qobuz Commissions Christian McBride for "The Q Sessions" | AVAILABLE NOW

Qobuz Commissions Seven-time GRAMMY® Award-winning
Jazz Artist Christian McBride for “The Q Sessions”
Hi-Res Exclusive
(International Jazz Day)
 
End-to-end creation proves the power of
Hi-Res to put listeners “in the studio”

Click Here to Listen to "Brouhaha" at
WBGO at 24-bit / 192kHz quality
Seven-time GRAMMY® Award-winning jazz artist Christian McBride and Qobuz, the Hi-Res streaming and download service, have teamed up to release The Q Sessions EP tomorrow, April 30, just in time for International Jazz Day.
 
McBride visited NYC’s Power Station earlier this year to record three start-to-finish Hi-Res songs commissioned by Qobuz. The project was created with top-notch equipment at 24-bit/ 192kHz quality, and the final product streams and downloads with the exact same sound, tones and touches in which it was first recorded.
 
With no digital compression or downgrading involved, The Q Sessions is the first in a new series of Qobuz exclusives designed to transport listeners directly to the studio and show the difference Hi-Res recording, production, and listening can make.
 
The EP features three McBride performances, played in a quartet with saxophonist Marcus Strickland, drummer Eric Harland, and guitarist Mike Stern. Comprised of one blues improv, one standard and one new original commissioned by Qobuz ("Brouhaha," a song inspired by the then-recent passing of Chick Corea), The Q Sessions was custom-designed for the jazz fans who turn to Qobuz for the best quality sound. This EP joins Qobuz’ already established catalog of exclusive content – expert penned “panorama” interactive essays, artist-created playlists, liner notes and lyric booklets – to add to the platform’s reputation for the best listening experience in the field.
Read more about The Q Sessions and the McBride/Qobuz partnership HERE at WBGO, where you can take an exclusive Hi-Res listen to the new "funk-fusion workout" “Brouhaha” right now, "in the same 24-bit / 192kHz quality with which it was captured in the studio."
 
“What a pleasure it was to put together a special group featuring one of my favorite guitarists of all time, Mike Stern. It was a great day in the studio with Mike, Marcus and Eric – not only jamming a couple of tunes, but to also record a new original of mine, 'Brouhaha,'" said McBride. "I’m thrilled we captured these performances in Hi-Res audio and can deliver them to the listener without compromise, and I look forward to more with Qobuz.”

Dan Mackta, US Managing Director of Qobuz, said, “Seeing the guys create this incredible music right before my eyes in the historic Power Station Studio A was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Knowing that everyone can have that same studio quality experience by listening on Qobuz makes it even better."