Sunday, February 28, 2021

Quarte - Ringin' Bells (February 2021 JazZMUD Recs)

Modern mainstream / Hard bop oriented quartet led by the great David Liebman. Please enjoy this burning recording session.

1. Dreszda 06:36
2. Neptune 09:22
3. Magoo 07:01
4. Amaxonia 09:07
5. My Own Blues 06:03
6. Ringin' Bells 12:53
7. Bye Bye Blackbird (live) 19:31

Dave Liebman - saxophones, indian flute
Alessandro Galati - piano
Ares Tavolazzi - bass
Alessandro Fabbri - drums

Makoto Kawashima - 2021​.​2​.​27 (February 28, 2021)

Homo sacer – sacred human. Kawashima's sax is ripe with the spirit of Japanese free jazz, dwelling as it does between the violent and the beautiful. Kaoru Abe, Masayoshi Urabe, Takayuki Hashimoto, Harutaka Mochizuki… all of these altoists live in an area of personal expression rare in the world, one that feels like the body itself is being whittled away at.

1. 2021.2.27 21:27

Makoto Kawashima SOLO

Butch Miles - Straight on Till Morning (February 2021 nagel heyer records)


 Butch Miles, the longtime drummer of the Count Basie Orchestra, leads a hard bop-oriented session on the Nagel Heyer CD Straight on Till Morning. Although Miles is most associated with modern swing, this set is a bit more up-to-date while swinging hard. Trumpeter Bob Ojeda arranged eight of the 11 selections and contributed six originals. Doug Lawrence takes some fine tenor solos, trombonist Bill Porter displays some inventive ideas, pianist Kenny Drew, Jr. plays some powerful improvisations, and Lynn Seaton's bowed bass solos are a highlight. Alex Saudargas guests on classical guitar during "Dreamsville" while Frank Wess is on one song. With Miles pushing everyone, this is a frequently exciting set full of subtle surprises, including a humorous boppish reworking of "When You Wish Upon a Star.“ AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow


1. Hangover Blues 03:45
2. Another Drum Thing 04:56
3. Frank's Blues 04:22
4. Cute 03:51
5. Dreamsville 07:18
6. When You Wish Upon a Star 06:45
7. A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing 08:14
8. Quick Fix 03:20
9. After Hours 05:51
10. Outside Inn 05:57
11. I'm Leavin' 04:09

Butch Miles - drums
Bob Ojeda - trumpet
Bill Porter - trombone
Doug Lawrence - tenor sax
Kenny Drew Jr. - piano
Lynn Seaton - bass

plus
Frank Wess - tenor sax, flute
Alex Saudargas - guitar

Recorded on January 3 and 4, 2003 at Pedernales Studio, Texas.

Marco Grispo - Parques (February 2021)

"Two and a half years have passed since I arrived to New York from Argentina. Through this time, I have had the opportunity of meeting and playing with many heroes of mine, and also found inspiration in great people I met along the way. A lot happened very fast and like everyone, thanks to the quarantine I got the chance to stay still for a moment, reflect, and to write and work on this music.

It was also during quarantine that my bond with Arturo and Fernando got to a new level, both personally and musically. It is a great pleasure and a blessing to make music with people so close to me, and that share a same feeling.

Similarly, a week before we even learnt about lockdown, I moved together with my partner Siewli to our current apartment in Brooklyn. Her warmth and support are not only a key to the realization of this album, but a huge part of the compositions and sounds in it.

Also, I want to express my deep gratitude to Guillermo Klein. All of the compositions were based on concepts he shared with me in a series of virtual encounters we had through the lockdown. I treasure all the advices he gave me and I know they will be part of my process forever.

Finally, I give thanks to my family; specially to my parents for their love, my brother for his advice, and my grandma for her prayers.

I hope you enjoy this music, it is my way to share this love I mentioned. There is a lot more to come."

-Marco

1. Diabelita 03:49

2. Intro to Fort Greene 01:09

3. Fort Greene 06:06

4. Atardecer con Siewli 03:46

5. Para que no te vayas Nunca 03:33

6. Parques 04:58

7. Go Out and Get It 04:45


Marco Grispo | Guitar

Arturo Valdez | Upright Bass

Fernando Ferrarone | Trumpet


All compositions by Marco Grispo.

Recorded on December 15th, 2020 at Luis Bacqué's Studio in New Jersey by Luis Bacque. Mixed and Master by Luis Bacqué.

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Nacho Moze Sexteto - Costanera (February 2021)

1. Pin Pun Boogaloo (ft. Juan Klappenbach) 07:11
2. Capsaicina 07:32
3. Dormir la siesta 07:56
4. Terrazas 08:14
5. Costanera 07:20
6. Gospel para Chiche (ft. Juan Klappenbach) 12:46
7. Yulele 06:10

Todos los temas compuestos y arreglados por Ignacio Mozetic, excepto 4 compuesto por Ignacio Mozetic y arreglado por Gonzalo Pérez, y 7 compuesto por Eduardo Mateo y arreglado por Gonzalo Pérez.

Reimon Lesbegueris Pinillos en trompeta
Gonzalo Pérez en trombón
Augusto Noël en saxo tenor
Alejandro Rosero en piano
Leonardo Valle Figueroa en contrabajo
Ignacio Mozetic en batería

Músico invitado: Juan Klappenbach en saxo alto en 1 y 6

Grabado el siete de diciembre en Estudio Insignio
Mezclado y masterizado por Sebastial Morell
Arte de tapa por Laura Desmery y Julián Rodríguez Fernández

Kevin Kastning // Mark Wingfield: Rubicon I (March, 9 2021 Greydisc Records)

Mark Wingfield
Kevin Kastning

Rubicon I, the long-awaited new album from Kevin Kastning (US) and Mark Wingfield (UK).  Rubicon I is the first in a two-album series.  Worldwide release date 9 March 2021.

Both players have been internationally acclaimed for their unique musical vision and innovative approaches to their instruments. This album invokes new landscapes of imagination and deep introspection using a palette of newly invented acoustic guitar-family instruments and individualistic electric guitar sounds to evoke a stunning beauty. InnerViews magazine said of their previous album, “One of the finest albums of this or any other year.” WFMU radio in New York City named their four previous albums as one of their Favorite Albums of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. AcousticMusic.com named their 2014 release "In Stories" as one of the top 10 albums of 2014. Rubicon I is their ninth album together, and part 1 of a 2-part album project.

Mark Wingfield is an internationally recognized electric guitar virtuoso and innovator.

Kevin Kastning invented the 36-string Double Contraguitar and the 17-string Hybrid Extended classical guitar, both of which he plays on this new recording; along with piano.

1. Event Horizon
2. Comoving Distance
3. Dynamic Horizon
4. The Lensing
5. Loop Quantum
6. Particle Horizon
7. BONUS TRACK: Rubicon I - Artist's Commentary 55:32

Kevin Kastning: 36-string Double Contraguitar, 17-string Hybrid Extended Classical guitar, Piano
Mark Wingfield: Electric guitar, live electronics (software processing)

Rubicon I was recorded at Studio Tramwauld in Massachusetts 16-17 August 2018, the day after Kevin and Mark performed live in New York City for WNYC radio.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Joachim Kühn - Touch the Light (February 2021 ACT Music)

“Maybe when I’m ninety...?” When Siggi Loch first floated the idea that Joachim Kühn might like to make an album of ballads, the pianist’s response was typically jocular, even defi-ant. That initial resistance didn’t last long, however. Kühn, now in his mid-seventies, soon started to settle down at the fine Steinway in his home – he keeps it impeccably tuned – to switch on his DAT recorder, and set to work. “The advantage of being here at home in Ibiza is that I can simply make a re-cording when I want to. When the feeling comes, I just re-cord,” Kühn reflects.

Over a period of about fifteen months he sent a total of some forty individual tracks to Siggi Loch. He would often take pieces, re-think them, and end up sending off sever-al different versions to Berlin. So what emerges on this new solo piano album “Touch the Light” is a distillation from those individual takes, all made on the same piano and in the same space. It flows extremely well as a coherent and delightful programme.

There are pieces here which re-visit important phases in a fascinating and varied career. “A Remark You Made” by Joe Zawinul has a special and deep personal resonance for Kühn. It takes him straight back to a pivotal moment: Zawinul was a juror at the 1966 Gulda competition in Vienna, the event which facilitated the 22-year-old pianist's escape from East Germany. Gato Barbieri’s theme from “Last Tango In Paris” recalls not just the fact that Barbieri enlisted Kühn in 1972 to play on the soundtrack, but it is also a tune he would play countless times later, in his trio with Daniel Humair and Jean-Francois Jenny-Clark. And the Allegretto from Beethoven’s 7th Symphony not only brings to the fore a composer whose music has always made the deepest of impressions on Kühn, but also the fact that his physical resemblance to Beethoven often resul-ted in fellow musicians – notably Gordon Beck, with whom he worked on the Piano Conclave project in the 1970’s – giving him the nickname Beethoven.

The variety of Kühn’s pianism in this collection is quite remarkable. The listener is first welcomed into the inviting, comforting and regular pulse of Mal Waldron’s “Warm Canto”. And yet later, by complete contrast, Kühn’s own composition “Sintra” gives a masterclass in freedom, delay, and the alche-mical art of keeping the listener waiting on tenterhooks. Prince’s “Velvet Rain” is achingly soulful, whereas Kühn found the encouragement to re-visit Bill Evans’ “Peace Piece” from the dignity and restraint of classical pianist Igor Levit’s version of it.

Joachim Kühn can show us ineffable lightness of touch in the Allegretto from Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. But he can also be forceful, as he gives full and sonorous arm-weight to Barbieri’s “Last Tango” theme. There are also homages to the melodic gifts of some reeds players: “Warm Canto” recalls the way Eric Dolphy on clarinet hovers over the melody on the album “The Quest”, and the spaciousness of Milton Nascimento’s composition “Ponta de Areia” clearly keeps in mind the airy, touchingly lyrical voice of the great Wayne Shorter.

Above all, however, it is in the simplicity and the sheer delight in melody of his own compositions that Kühn both touches the heart and gives us the greatest surprises on this album. “Sintra” is a tune written down in a peaceful mo-ment outside a cafe in the one-time sanctuary of the Portugue-se kings. And the title track “Touch the Light” captures the beauty of the sunset over the sea that Kühn often contemplates from his terrace. Kühn’s remark about that tune is also true of the album as a whole: “There’s a lot of love here. And joy.”

01 Warm Canto (Mal Waldron) 2:54
02 Allegretto, Symphony No. 7 (Ludwig van Beethoven) 3:55
03 A Remark You Made (Joe Zawinul) 3:39
04 Sintra (Joachim Kühn) 3:17
05 Ponta de Areia (Milton Nascimento) 2:29
06 Redemption Song (Bob Marley) 3:49
07 Touch the Light (Joachim Kühn) 3:38
08 Fever (John Davenport & Eddie Cooley) 3:13
09 Blue Velvet (Bernie Wayne & Lee Morris) 2:56
10 Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael) 4:40
11 Purple Rain (Prince) 4:39
12 Last Tango in Paris (Gato Barbieri) 4:45
13 Peace Piece (Bill Evans) 3:15

Music arranged and produced by Joachim Kühn
Curated by Siggi Loch

Joachim Kühn piano

Recorded by Gerard Guse at Salinas Studio, Ibiza, Spain
August 2019, May 2020 & October 2020
Mixed and mastered by Klaus Scheuermann

Florian Willeitner - First Strings on Mars (February 2021 ACT Music)

“I don’t think I have ever known a musician with quite the level of openness to people, to emotions, to musical languages, and the capacity to make them his own as Florian Willeitner. He is a stun-ningly good violinist, and I discover something new every time I hear him.” Paul Zauner, Founder & Artistic Director, INNtöne Festival

In the past the violin in jazz could sometimes seem a bit exo-tic, even outlandish, but all that has changed. Classical music and jazz are no longer mutually exclusive worlds; these days they en-rich each other, and it is the norm for string instruments to take centre stage. The ACT label has played its part in this transforma-tion, with artists such as the Bartolomey/Bittmann duo, the ra-dio.string.quartet.vienna and the incomparable Adam Baldych among the pioneers who created the paradigm shift, and who continue to take their music in new directions.

And yet, as violinist/composer Florian Willeitner from Passau in Southern Germany sees it, there is still further to go: “The full potential of the violin, with its unique versatility and its kaleidoscopic possibilities of timbre and texture, is rarely to be heard in conventional jazz settings.”

And from this he has derived his credo as both composer and instrumentalist: “It is my firm belief that in order to write music which uses the violin’s great spectrum of possibilities, it is crucial not just to have an awareness of the classical tradition, but also of the many other cultures which feature string instruments prominently and in which unique approaches and techniques have been developed. To blend these different ingredients into a trans-cultural style which is respectful to each of these distinct traditions is what inspires me.”

Willeitner, who was the star student of top violinist Benjamin Schmid, has been travelling the world and studying a wide variety of different musical cultures since the age of 19. During his classical studies, completed in 2017, he experimented with new ways of writing for orchestra, notably in his Violin Concerto No. 1, which had its first performance in the Vienna Musikverein. With his “New Piano Trio” he has spent several years refining this cross-genre composition and performance. In 2018 he founded “Pool of Invention”, an international artists' collective. With this collective he has focused his efforts on highly efficient transcultural art. The collective is a creative partner of leading festivals such as Mozart Week in Salzburg, directed by Rolando Villazón.

With his first album on ACT, we witness a first culminati-on of these endeavours: a trio project with Florian Willeitner and two similarly inclined musicians who are also opening up new paths for stringed instruments:

They are, on the one hand, violinist Igmar Jenner, who founded the string orchestra “String Syndicate” during his classi-cal training at Graz, and whose enthusiasms venture into genres such as tango and Irish folk. Igmar has been a member of the radio.string.quartet for 10 years. His duo with Slovenian accordio-nist Borut Mori won the 2010 Austrian World Music Award.

The third member of the trio is legendary double bassist Georg Breinschmid, who gave up his permanent position with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra because other things were more important to him: musical freedom and what he calls “a carefree approach to music.” Since then he has opened up to genres from blues to ‘Wienerlied’, and is a pioneer in combining jazz-inspired composition and performance with that particular kind of ironic humour which the Viennese call ‘Schmäh’.

Here we have the perfect line-up for “a feast of musical freedom and curiosity," as Willeitner calls "First Strings on Mars.” And if that sounds like hyperbole, it isn’t. There has never been a string trio with a range of sounds and techniques like this, nor players who can respond so effortlessly to one another's ide-as. It begins with Willeitner's “Novemberlicht”, simultaneously poetic and powerful. Then we hear Sting's “Fragile”, in a version that breaks all the boundaries of string-playing, Breinschmid's exquisitely tender “Reminiscence”, Willeitner's mysterious “Dark Romance or The Short Life of Mister Gimli Hope”, his folky pop song “The Green Wind”, Breinschmid's virtuoso reinterpretation of alpine folk music with “The Swindler” and “Hochkar” - and finally a yodel into which the sounds of "Ho Chi Minh” have been smugg-led.

Willeitner's hard-grooving tune “Brazil Imported” has it all: the trio show the range of techniques, tempi and thematic variety that is possible with their combination of bass, violin, mandolin and soul-fiddle (an instrument custom-made by Weilleitner's friend, luthier Valentin Kaiser). And again when they dig hard into “Searching” by Georg Breinschmid, they bring us back what this album is all about: “Our goal as a band,” says Willeitner, “is to be traditional in the best way. To learn from the past while writing for the future. To push the limits of our instruments. And to be the First Strings On Mars.” They're already well on their way.

01 Novemberlicht (Florian Willeitner) 6:40
02 Fragile (Gordon M. Sumner) 6:44
03 Reminiscence (Georg Breinschmid) 5:03
04 Brazil Imported (Florian Willeitner) 6:45
05 Dark Romance or the Short Life
of Mister Gimli Hope (Florian Willeitner) 6:02
06 The Green Wind (Florian Willeitner) 4:49
07 The Swindler (Georg Breinschmid) 4:45
08 Searching (Georg Breinschmid) 10:12
09 Hochkar (Georg Breinschmid) 7:26
10 Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (Stephen Foster) 4:02

Recorded by Franz Schaden at Wavegarden Studios, Mitterretzbach/
Austria, July 2019. “Fragile” recorded at POI Studios,
Passau/Germany, October 2018. “The Swindler” recorded
live by Peter Tomic at Enter Enea Festival, Poznan/ Poland, May 2018

Florian Willeitner violin, soulfiddle, mandolin & vocals
Georg Breinschmid bass & vocals
Igmar Jenner violin & vocals

Produced by Florian Willeitner, Georg Breinschmid & IgmarJenner

Larry Coryell & Philip Catherine - Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic XI: The Last Call (February 2021 ACT Music)

The wheel has come full circle with the album “Last Call”, featuring the duo of Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine. This live recording from the Philharmonie in Berlin captures the culmination of an evening under the banner “Art of Duo” in Siggi Loch’s “Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic” series.

After four decades, it marks the two guitarists’ return to the scene of one of their very first major triumphs. In 1976 they appeared as part of the band 11th House at the Berliner Jazztage at the same venue, but it was the moment when just the two of them stepped forward and performed as a duo which the “Die Zeit”’s critic hailed as possibly the high point of the whole festival. It was a decisive step in what would become a highly successful collaboration.

Coryell and Catherine subsequently made two superb studio albums: “Twin House” (Atlantic, 1977), recorded in London, and the very fittingly named “Splendid” (Elektra, 78), recorded in Hamburg. Both of these LPs have definitely stood the test of time. Both also had the same producer, who credi-ted on the sleeve as “Siegfried E. Loch”. As he wrote to both the musicians in November 2016 on the 40th anniversary of the recording of “Twin House”: “I am pleased that we are going to be celebrating this music in the concert on 24 January 2017 in Berlin." On “Last Call” Coryell and Catherine play four num-bers, followed by first-time appearances of duos consisting of Philip Catherine and pianist Jan Lundgren and then of Larry Coryell with bassist Lars Danielsson, plus a valedictory jam on “Green Dolphin Street” with all four of these musicians plus trumpeter Paolo Fresu.

Coryell and Catherine, two “brilliant, mutually attuned musicians” as the liner note for “Twin House” describes them, were born less than six months apart during the Second World War. Texas-born Coryell and London-born Catherine have different musical heritages, but their affinity and above all their complementarity shone through every time they played together. When playing as part of larger units, there would always be at least 20 minutes when the pair would perform as a duo.

They toured extensively in both Europe and the Americas in the late 1970s. For example their work together brought them into a project with Charles Mingus near the end of the bassist’s life, and they also made a quartet album with Stéphane Grappelli and Niels-Henning Orsted-Pedersen. One particular highlight was their appearance at the inaugural Sao Paulo Jazz Festival in September 1978, when their performance was seen by a TV audience of 17 million. Catherine still laughs when he remem-bers the reason why he and Coryell became instant celebrities and could – briefly but literally! – stop traffic in Brazil: the duo had their TV slot immediately before the screening of the Muhammad Ali-Larry Spinks fight in Las Vegas.

The evening of 24 January 2017 found both guitarists on ebullient form, as can be heard right from the opening track. With Larry Coryell on acoustic guitar and Philip Catheri-ne on electric, they launch themselves once more in to the arpeggiated work-outs of “Miss Julie” – the opening track of “Twin House” – with a verve and energy which belies their years. There is a divine moment at the end of “Manha de Carnaval” when Coryell is picking out a series of perfectly placed hushed harmonics over the most delicate accompani-ment from Catherine. And later, in “Bag’s Groove”, Coryell’s duo with Lars Danielsson, the quotes from other tunes fly joy-ously from his fingers: everything from Denzil Best’s “Move” from the “Birth of the Cool” to the opening bassoon solo from Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”.

And yet the palpable exuberance of this concert is now tinged with sadness: this was to be Larry Coryell’s very last appearance in a concert hall. Four weeks later, Coryell died in his sleep at the age of 73 after a two-night trio residency at the Iridium in New York. So what remains is the memory, and above all this last example of something very special indeed: what Siggi Loch once described as the “creative compatibility, the enthusiasm and mutual understanding” of two very great guitarists, Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine.

01 Ms. Julie (Larry Coryell) 7:14
Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine
02 Homecomings (Philip Catherine) 6:58
Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine
03 Manhã de Carnaval (Luiz Bonfá & Antônio Maria) 7:07
Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine
04 Jemin-Eye’n (Larry Coryell) 5:28
Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine
05 Embraceable You (George Gershwin) 4:54
Philip Catherine and Jan Lundgren
06 Ba gs’ Groove (Milt Jackson) 6:43
Larry Coryell and Lars Danielsson
07 Green Dolphin Street (Oscar Peterson) 9:31
Jam: Larry Coryell, Philip Catherine, Lars Danielsson, Jan
Lundgren and Paolo Fresu

Recorded live in concert by Klaus Scheuermann
at the Philharmonie Berlin (KMS), January 24, 2017
Mixed and mastered by Klaus Scheuermann

Larry Coryell guitar
Philip Catherine guitar
Jan Lundgren piano
Lars Danielsson bass
Paolo Fresu trumpet

In memory of Larry Coryell (Apri l 2, 1943 - February 19, 2017) his last concert

Diego Pinera - Odd Wisdom (2021 ACT Music)

Diego Pinera is a unique figure who is genuinely taking music in new directions by juxtaposing the po-lyrhythmic freedom of jazz with other metric systems. As he says, “I studied music in the places where it came from.” He started playing drums as a four-year old in Montevideo. His student years were spent in Havana, Boston (Berklee) and Leipzig.

Based in Berlin since 2003, he has continued to wi-den his musical horizons, immersing himself in the ‘odd’ meters of the title through extensive work with Berlin-based musicians from Greece and Bulgaria.

‘Wisdom’ here refers not just to Pinera’s accretion of wide knowledge and consummate skill, but also to mystery and alchemy: the track “Conversations With My-self” is a hushed, concentrated masterpiece. His ear for fresh colours and timbres is astonishing.

His ACT debut “Despertando” was described as a “treat for the ear,” and “Odd Wisdom” is a kaleidoscope of sonic inventiveness. “Mi Cosmos”, for example, has the rasping sound of a snare over the drum-head. “Robotic Night” features a drum synth pad, played live in the studio.

“Odd Wisdom” is a significant and personal album. “It brings together all of the sounds and rhythms that I have been working on for the past decade.” Pinera gathered a dream team from the New York top flight together for just one day at the Trading 8s studio in New Jersey: Donny McCaslin, Ben Monder and Scott Colley have already made their mark in countless other contexts, and they are on spellbinding form here.

And yet “Odd Wisdom” also has a wonderful ‘lightness’ about it (it is one of Pinera’s favourite words). In these truly capable hands, complex music has a magical fluidity, freedom and flow. Pinera has acquired his wisdom by being watchful. As his evocative lyric for “Space” ex-presses it: “Al mirar arriba, más allá, en el sol.” (I under-stood by looking up, beyond, into the sun.)

01 Clave Tune 8:39
02 Domingo 6:14
03 Conversation With Mysel f 5:09
04 Robotic Night 4:12
05 Mi Cosmos 5:03
06 Space 7:18
07 Away 4:50
08 De Madrugada 5:04
09 Easter in Pugl ia 3:18
10 Blue Monk 7:16

Diego Pinera / drums
Donny McCaslin / saxophone
Ben Monder / guitar
Scott Colley / bass

Music composed by Diego Pinera, except Blue Monk composed
by Thelonious Monk, arranged by Diego Pinera
Recorded and rough mix by Chris Sulit at Trading 8s Recording
Studio, New Jersey (NYC), February 07, 2020
Final mix and mastering by Klaus Scheuermann
Produced by Diego Pinera

Friday, February 26, 2021

Ralph Bowen - Power Play (February 2011 Posi-Tone Records)

Saxophonist Ralph Bowen brings forward a full complement of tour de force performances on his 2011 release "Power Play." Highlighted by a strong program of new compositions by Bowen, the album also features powerful showings by the stellar pianist Orrin Evans, the solid bassist Kenny Davis and the ever exciting drummer Donald Edwards, all of whom work seamlessly together to keep the session in the pocket. Most of all, Bowen shoots and scores with his effortless mastery and melodic brilliance on his saxophone, and "Power Play" is a hard hitting collection of performances that will certainly entertain jazz enthusiasts again and again with amazement and delight.

1. K.D.'s Blues 04:40
2. Drumheller Valley 06:19
3. Two-Line Pass 05:05
4. My One And Only Love 05:27
5. The Good Shepherd 06:26
6. Bella Firenze 08:22
7. Jessica 06:28
8. Walleye Jigging 05:31
9. A Solar Romance 06:31

Ralph Bowen - tenor saxophone, alto saxophone 2, soprano saxophone 7 & 9
Orrin Evans - piano
Kenny Davis - bass
Donald Edwards - drums

Marc Free - producer
Nick O’Toole - engineer
Barry Shapiro - associate producer
recorded February 4, 2009 at Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, NY
mixed & mastered at Studio 507, Los Angeles, CA

Javier Subatin - TRANCE (Ears & Eyes Records)

In the Trance series, contrasting with his latest works, Javier approaches composition through the use of small written musical ideas giving improvisation greater importance. Most of the Trance series pieces are based in three sections. Each section is based on the repetition of short looped contrasting motives. Said repetition spirit leads the musicians to a kind of trance state that has its culmination with improvisation, by which the musicians become part of the compositional process in real-time giving a prominent place to the musical interplay.

Following the common jazz standards form, the music is presented in a simple exposition-improvisation-re-exposition structure where the improvised sections are predominant. Each musician plays his solo over a different looped section that starts with the written music but where it goes is always uncertain. The lack of dependence on the rhythm section makes each member try to adapt and explore different roles within the group and the individuality of each musician allows the music to transform and evolve spontaneously.

​When listening to the Trance trio, we find completely improvised parts, complex written counterpoints, accented rhythms and textures resulting in a “fresh” project with an eclectic style that utilizes elements from Argentinian folk music, free improvisation, classical music and contemporary jazz.

About the music:
Trance#1 (single) is the first piece of the series and is the one that settled the structure and compositional aesthetics for the following ones. As was described before, the music is based on small repeated motives, starting with the saxophone vamp, the first section is constructed with the intermittent appearance of the drums and guitar chords and finally with the one-note based melody on the guitar. The following section maintains the saxophone motif but contrasts with augmented plucked chords on the guitar following a kind of Uruguayan Candombe rhythm. The third and final section of the composition works as a conclusion, making a contrast between a saxophone ostinato playing a one-note melody that is completed by a guitar arpeggio in three over four times and followed by the drums crescendo over the cymbals. Following the exposition, the guitar solo is played over the first section starting with a groovy duo with the drums and, after the saxophone appearance, the music passes smoothly to a crescendo drums’ solo over the second section. Finally, the saxophone solo starts with a free dialogue with the drums while the guitar plays the third section in loop. After the saxophone solo climax, the music goes abruptly to the re-exposition.

Trance#8 is a free improvisation based piece, following a series of chords that are played following a textural approach.

Trance#2 (single), following the model established by Trance#1, has three sections. Starting with a 6/8 groove based on the Argentinean folkloric rhythms, then it goes over a strummed chord sequence and concludes with a saxophone and drums unison melody. The first solo, led by the saxophone is presented over a guitar ostinato that is concluded by a free improvised moment that works as a transition for the re-exposition that finishes with a coda over the strummed chords which is repeated in loop following an accelerando until the end.

Solo#2 interrupts the Trance series presenting a song approach that starts with a guitar solo exposition. This is a melodic piece based in a slow Candombe rhythm. Solo#2 makes part of another series of Subatin’s compositions that is gaining shape over his discography. In his first recording, Autotelic, the first Solo# is included and in his following recording, Variaciones, the Solo#3 makes part of the tracks. The Solo# series is based on pieces that originally were created for solo guitar.

Trance#5 is a piece inspired in the Argentinean folkloric rhythm called Chacarera.

C Jam Blues by Duke Ellington is presented in the form of a 5 times measure arrangement that follows the Trance series aesthetics. The improvised solos of guitar and saxophone start without accompaniment and then the other instruments appear in order to give a conclusion to the soloist ideas. In this arrangement, it is possible to find Keith Jarrett influences reminding The Windup track from the Belonging recording.

In Trance#4, we found once again the folkloric influences of Subatin’s Argentinean roots, presented in a piece that oscillates between major and minor tonality. 
1. Trance#1 09:52
2. Trance#8 05:02
3. Trance#2 08:31
4. Solo#2 10:43
5. Trance#5 04:39
6. C Jam Blues 08:14
7. Trance#4 08:09

Javier Subatin (guitar and composition - arrangements in ‘C Jam Blues’ by Duke Ellington)
Daniel Sousa (alto saxophone)
Diogo Alexandre (drums)

All tracks composed by Javier Subatin except C Jam Blues by Duke Ellington
Recorded at Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Javier Subatin

Javier Subatin - Variaciones

Variaciones can be described as contemporary jazz where the Latin-American rhythms, classical music and improvisation converge into a singular musical context.

This project has its origins as a continuation of autotelic, Javier's first album, where the duo of guitar and piano was growing up to a quintet with the guest musicians. The jazz quintet combo allows Javier to explore in a more extensive way the possibilities of orchestration, improvisation, written music and the individuality of the musicians.


1. Solo#3 05:31
2. Prelude 03:13
3. Variaciones#1 07:11
4. Variaciones#2 08:16
5. Variaciones#3 05:57
6. Variaciones#4 08:13
7. Postlude 04:50

Javier Subatin - guitar
Pedro Moreira - tenor saxophone
João Paulo Esteves da Silva - piano
André Rosinha - double bass
Diogo Alexandre - drums

All compositions by Javier Subatin
Recorded at Timbuktu Studios
Edited, mixed and mastered by Javier Subatin
Produced by Javier Subatin with the support of Fudação GDA
Art and design by Raquel Nobre G.

Nick Mazzarella / Quin Kirchner - See or Seem: Live at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival (March 5, 2021 Out Of Your Head Records)

OOYH Untamed is the digital-only DIY side of Out Of Your Head Records. The focus of Untamed is to release high quality performances with a quicker turnaround than a traditional studio album. They may be a live performance, a home studio recording, or an unearthed gem that never had the proper release outlet. That being said the performances are always first rate, and this is music that we strongly believe should be out in the world.

In the time of COVID-19 all proceeds from Untamed album sales are given directly to the artists. We want to say a huge thank you to TJ Huff (huffart.com) for generously donating original art, time, and talents to the design of these albums.

For every sale of this album OOYH Records will donate $1 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (stjude.org), an organization chosen by Nick Mazzarella.


1. Astral Projection

2. See or Seem

3. The Peregrine

4. Vis-à-vis

5. Axiom

6. Simmons' Dream


Nick Mazzarella - alto saxophone

Quin Kirchner - drums


All compositions by Nick Mazzarella (BMI).

Recorded by Nick Mazzarella in Madison Park, Chicago on September 27, 2020.

Goldberger / Jermyn / Maneri / Cleaver - Live at Scholes (February 26, 2021 Out Of Your Head Records)

OOYH Untamed is the digital-only DIY side of Out Of Your Head Records. The focus of Untamed is to release high quality performances with a quicker turnaround than a traditional studio album. They may be a live performance, a home studio recording, or an unearthed gem that never had the proper release outlet. That being said the performances are always first rate, and this is music that we strongly believe should be out in the world.

In the time of COVID-19 all proceeds from Untamed album sales are given directly to the artists. We want to say a huge thank you to TJ Huff (huffart.com) for generously donating original art, time, and talents to the design of these albums.

For every sale of this album OOYH Records will donate $1 to The Nature Conservancy (nature.org), an organization chosen by Jonathan Goldberger and Simon Jermyn.


1. Live at Scholes

2. Live at Scholes Preview (excerpt)


Jonathan Goldberger - guitar

Mat Maneri - viola

Simon Jermyn - electric bass

Gerald Cleaver - drums


Record live to stereo 2-track at Scholes Street Studio on February 24, 2019 by Rene Pierre Allain.

Santi Debriano - Flash of the Spirit (Truth Revolution Recording Collective 2021)

The Truth Revolution Recording Collective is proud to announce the release of Flash of the Spirit, a new album from bassist, guitarist, and composer Santi Debriano.

Much like his native Panama, which straddles the continental divide and facilitates the union of Pacific and Atlantic, Santi Debriano has become comfortable occupying several worlds at once. But, like the Panama Canal, it’s taken some work—extracurricular work, in Debriano’s case. As an ethnomusicology graduate student at Wesleyan University Debriano read Robert Farris Thompson’s Flash of the Spirit. For Debriano, a Black Panamanian American who’d grown up in New York City after his family emigrated from Panama when he was four, Thompson’s book proved revelatory, asking questions like: To what extent have African traditions and customs been retained by contemporary Black cultures throughout the Americas? “That book describes my ancestral struggle to stay present in the many worlds I live in,” says Debriano, “but also to never forget where I came from.”

It’s a tight rope that Debriano walks, but on his version of Flash of the Spirit, the always intellectually curious bandleader strikes the balance of a Wallenda in his prime. And he’s got plenty of help; his rhythm section’s rounded out by drummer Tommy Campbell, whom Debriano’s known since both were college students in Boston, playing in Stan Strickland’s band, Sundance, and pianist Bill O’Connell, who, like Debriano, performs with consummate fluency regardless of whether the gig’s led by Sonny Rollins or Mongo Santamaria. A small but powerful woodwind section includes alto saxophonist Justin Robinson and flutist Andrea Brachfeld. And complimenting the core quintet are Francisco Mela, a Cuban-born, raised and educated drummer known for collaborations with saxophonist Joe Lovano and pianist Chucho Valdés, Brazilian percussionist Valtinho Anastacio, a veteran of the genre-defying, Debriano-led ensemble Circlechant, and Tim Porter, an indispensable scholar and practitioner of the contemporary jazz mandolin.

There’s a lot here. It’s easy to get distracted—and understandable, because everything that does glitter here is, indeed, gold, from a listening standpoint. Between the reimagined— and sometimes totally reinvented— takes on tunes from Kenny Barron, Kenny Dorham, and Ornette Coleman, as well Debriano’s solo bass take on a standard popularized by Billie Holiday, the temptation might be to overlook Flash of the Spirit’s original compositions; doing so would be a mistake.

1. Awesome Blues 06:32
2. Funky New Dorp 07:30
3. For Heaven's Sake 02:42
4. Beneath The Surface 06:44
5. Toujours Petits 06:57
6. Humpty Dumpty 03:37
7. Natural Causes 08:10
8. Ripty Boom 06:29
9. La Mesha 07:50
10. Voyage 05:51

Paul Towndrow - Deepening The River (February 2021)

Deepening The River

This is the culmination of a journey that began in 2018 as a specially commissioned work for the City of Glasgow. It received its premiere at The Merchants House of Glasgow, during Festival 2018 (the arts programme accompanying a major international sports event), followed by a repeat performance at the world-famous Celtic Connections festival in 2019. The project was finally completed in 2020 during the global COVID-19 pandemic, culminating in this recording.

I have often struggled with the notion of assigning any single objective meaning to a work of music. It’s hard to do, and it makes writing about it a tricky, often futile pursuit. As a listener I have found myself beholding pieces of music as beautiful, universally resonant statements, encapsulating human consciousness and shared experience, while at other times, it’s just functional stuff for dancing to, driving to, eating to – no reflection on ‘meaning’ required, just there to be consumed in the moment and enjoyed for what it is. So, accepting the disclaimer that these notes may well be such an exercise in futility, and that music will always be reliant upon, and subject to, the individual upon whose ears it lands – I will endeavour.

‘Deepening The River’ is in the first instance about Glasgow, its citizens, its diverse communities, its complex history, its collective consciousness, and its international reputation throughout history. The music is intended to invite an exploration of a multitude of themes based around Glasgow’s people, history, and culture, specifically the role in the 17th Century of The Merchants House of Glasgow in campaigning for the deepening of The Clyde to enable the passage of ships, and to facilitate trade. It should be noted that The Merchants House is now a major charitable institution and donations of more than £700,000 are awarded each year to deserving charities and individuals in Glasgow and beyond.

My idea was that “Deepening The River” could become a powerful musical analogy, bringing together themes of hope, recovery, potential, social, cultural and industrial history, movement of people, exchange of ideas, combined with a deepening of thought, tolerance and understanding. I also wanted to bring together musicians from both Glasgow and elsewhere in Europe, to represent a collaboration of diverse musical backgrounds and to explore musical influence from India, America, and Scotland. I drew upon the influence of three rivers (The Clyde, The Mississippi, and The Ganges) as an initial thematic focal point. The Sierra Leone River estuary is also historically important here. You may hear some pretty obvious symbolism in the music, particularly in the opening section as a ‘bell’ (unheard for hundreds of years) tolls, as if to herald in a new beginning. A ship slowly winds its way down a river, into open waters and out into a wider world. It’s cargo and mission are perhaps questionable, but in any case, it brings about seismic changes on a global stage.

It is true that the deepening of the River Clyde was a vital step in pushing Glasgow to the fore as an international trading power and establishing it as the ‘Second City of The Empire’, and indeed in its significant part in the Atlantic Slave Trade. This is an area of history that is familiar to most musicians, especially within the jazz tradition, which easily traces so much of its roots to the enforced movement of enslaved Africans to America. Jazz is perfect imperfection; a messily syncretic form with its roots in early spiritual music, work songs, gospel music, and the blues. It represents so much of the undeniable, inherent resilience of the human spirit. Music has always survived hardship - even the most abhorrent examples of human oppression, slavery, and social marginalisation. Music, I believe, has always been the purest, most clear expression of the web-tangle of the human condition, leaving an echo of social commentary throughout its past that can cut to the quick, often times more directly (and accurately) than the history books.

Glasgow’s historically ignominious role in Britain’s colonial past can clearly no longer be denied or swept under the carpet. And we must of course, continue to educate ourselves and insist upon proper and full recognition of events of the past, as how else can we learn, and move forward. I will be no more literal and explicit other than to point your attention to some glaring clues in the titles of some of the tunes on this album (I accept that I am just a guy with a saxophone and that others tell this story much better than I can!) You may take them as a prompt for research if you choose, and to explore those articulate contemporary voices who now speak with such clarity and poignancy on these issues.

That brings us to the next key theme of this music. What can ‘Deepening The River’ mean to us in the context of the (not insignificant) struggles now facing humanity?

Perhaps it can represent a deepening of thought, tolerance, and understanding. It can represent a shift in collective ethos – as the river opens out to the sea, we have the potential to be true world leaders, exporting our creative ideas, culture, industry, and outlook to the rest of the world. ‘Deepening The River’ means encouraging the enrichment of a society that opens its doors to people in times of need rather than victimising those who find themselves marginalised, displaced, enslaved, or misunderstood. ‘Deepening The River’ shouldn’t be for greed, but instead for love, for nurture, to eschew fear and oppression, and allow people to feel safe in their own gender, sexuality, race, or age. In recent centuries the human race has advanced with respect to global dominance, to the extent that it has relied upon the physical alteration of the fabric of its earthly environment in search of riches. But at some point, our species must begin to repay its debts, through respect for and its environment, and its co-habitants.
‘Deepening The River’ means that we look to history and learn lessons, and that we examine the world around us with the type of scrutiny that differentiates the truth from the ‘alternative truth’, but without breeding suspicion and prejudice towards our neighbours. ‘Deepening The River’ of a city educates, inspires, entertains, and sees the value in art and heritage, in preserving its great buildings, in encouraging the health and wellbeing of its children, and showing care and respect for its older citizens - no one human life more valuable than another. ‘Deepening The River’ means digging deep for hope, confidence, and positivity, even when the world around seems to be moving in the other direction. Hope in the face of adversity; that’s the message of the blues, jazz music, the message of folk music around the world, and I hope, the message we can successfully convey with this musical offering.

‘Deepening The River’ means always returning to what ought to be important to us as human beings. With this music, my aim was to make the listener feel like they were hearing and feeling something they’d heard before. A sort of implied nostalgia, or ‘induced déjà vu’, if you will.

Music in itself rarely needs to ‘educate’, rather it should remind us of what we knew all along. It’s a prompt to ‘remember’.

Music listeners often talk about hairs on the back of their neck, involuntary foot tapping, dancing, or even being moved to tears.

That’s it.

That’s music doing its job.

That’s us remembering what it is to be human.


1. Emergo 06:51
2. The Deepening 03:07
3. Wildfire 04:30
4. Loyalty To Neptune 08:38
5. Hamsadhwani 04:59
6. Bunce Island 06:10
7. Second Line For Rick 06:57
8. The Tontine Heads 05:00
9. Waltz For The Forgotten 02:55
10. Deeper Still 03:30
11. The Long Recovery 03:26


Tom Walsh – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Sean Gibbs – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Neil Yates – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Tom MacNiven – Trumpet, Flugelhorn

Phil O’Malley - Trombone
Chris Greive - Trombone
Rick Taylor - Trombone
Michael Owers – Bass Trombone, Sousaphone

Martin Kershaw – Alto & Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet
Rachael Cohen - Alto Saxophone
Konrad Wiszniewski - Tenor Saxophone
Helena Kay -Tenor Saxophone
Bill Fleming – Baritone Saxophone

Alyn Cosker – Drums, Percussion
Steve Hamilton - Piano
Euan Burton – Double Bass
Miro Herak – Vibraphone

Ross Ainslie - Border Pipes, Highland Pipes, Low Whistles, Bansuri
Adam Sutherland - Fiddle
Laura Wilkie – Fiddle
Greg Lawson – Fiddle
Sodhi – Tabla, Vocals, Harmonium

Additional Guitar by Tom Baxter

Engineered by Stuart Hamilton at Castlesound Studios on 20 Jan 2019
Mixed & Mastered by Ross Hamilton at Rocket Science
Produced by Ross Hamilton & Paul Towndrow
Session Producer – Ross Hamilton

Sketches Of Influence - The Grind (Live at Middle C Jazz) February 2021

THE GRIND is a Sketches Of Influence live album recorded at Middle C Jazz in Charlotte N.C.

This recording features some of New York’s great talents including Stacy Dillard (saxophones), Davis Whitfield (piano), Otto Gardner (bass) and bandleader Joe Barna (drums). It documents the passion, power and joy put forth by the group while on tour in March of 2020.

Looking to add an exciting new recording to your existing collection? Well look no further. The Grind is a sonic exploration rooted in the rich history of hard bop that is sure to please any devoted jazz enthusiast and casual listener alike.

Joe Barna

1. The Grind 09:39

2. Oh Feline, I'm Glad You're Mine 14:07

3. A Children's Song 13:23

4. The Return of Shah 11:40

5. Living Without You 10:20

6. Nine Maple Syrup 11:38


Sketches of Influence is the dream-child of composer and bandleader, Joe Barna. He describes his compositions as "sketches" of people and experiences that have inspired him throughout his musical journey.

Some of the jazz artists Barna has played alongside include Joel Frahm, Ralph Lalama, Gary Smulyan, Dick Oatts, Stacy Dillard, Joe Magnarelli, Lee Shaw and Jon Gordon.

Pre-order

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Chucho Valdés Academy

Cuban Pianist and Composer Chucho Valdés
Opens his Online Music Academy

Before devoting himself entirely to a career in music as a pianist and composer, Chucho Valdés studied to become a teacher. His admiration for his uncle Emilio’s vocation, who was an important educator in Cuba, led him to attend teacher training school with the goal of becoming an educator. However, Valdés chose to play piano in the orchestra led by his father, the legendary Bebo Valdés, catapulting him into an influential career spanning more than six decades.

Years after taking those teaching classes, Chucho Valdés returns to his old passion for teaching.

Beginning March 15th, Valdés inaugurates his virtual music school, the Chucho Valdés Academy. He will offer piano and improvisation courses, as well as lectures filmed at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, on Cuban Music and Afro-Cuban Jazz. 

The first course offered by the Chucho Valdés Academy are pre-recorded lectures in which Valdés, in his casual, informal style, explains the history of modern Cuban piano and the art of improvisation. This initial course contains 14 lectures between 5 and 8 minutes each. The first 100 registrants will have the opportunity to participate in a talk via Zoom with Valdés, in groups of 10.
"For years, students and fans have been asking me to give classes and talks, but with touring and recording there was never time. I think the circumstances we live in, and the stage I am at in my career and life make this a great time to share my years of experience in music. I was fortunate to have one of the great masters of Cuban music, my father Bebo, who was a great pianist, composer and orchestra conductor, and since I was a child I had a privileged place to listen and learn this music directly from its best creators.” says Valdés.

Valdés continues "It's going to be a pleasure to be able to pass on not only what I learned with teachers like my beloved Zenaida Romeu or some of the great musicians with whom I have had the good fortune to share stages and recording studios, but also the lessons that I have been learning in all these years of playing and listening. Now I hope that those who come to the Academy will enjoy and learn as much by listening to these talks as I have enjoyed and learned preparing them."

Johann Zietsman, President and Executive Director of Arsht Center, celebrates the opening by emphasizing “Chucho is undoubtedly a globally impactful, living legend who carries the torch of Afro-Cuban music and has done so throughout his career. Chucho shares the Arsht Center’s commitment to connecting communities more profoundly through the arts and arts education Zietsman said.. We feel lucky and extremely proud to continue to collaborate with him for the launch of the Chucho Valdes Academy and many projects to come,”

To register visit www.chuchovaldesacademy.com

Chucho Valdés Academy
Registration Open: February 25, 2021

For more information, please visit: