Monday, May 31, 2021

Patrick Noland / John Tate / Charles Rumback - When I Look To Sky (May 2021 Ears & Eyes Records)

1. Once In Our Lives 10:42
2. Sense of Being 06:45
3. All The Things You Do (Mother) 10:09
4. Pat at Play 03:18
5. Duke 09:04
6. Blues 07:28
7. When I Look to Sky 04:58
8. Time Heals All 09:36
9. Peace 06:35
10. Ash Wednesday 05:24
11. Dancing On The Inside 08:03

Patrick Noland - piano & guitar
John Tate - acoustic bass
Charles Rumback - drums

All compositions by Patrick Noland (Windvale Music BMI) except ‘Pat at Play’ by John Tate (EADG440 ASCAP) and ‘Ash Wednesday’, ‘Dancing on the Inside’ by Charles Rumback (In the New Year ASCAP). ‘Blues’ arranged by John Tate

João Madeira / Mário Rua / Luís Vicente - Trio (May 2021)

"A majestic free jazz/free improvisation session recorded at a home studio in December 2020. The Trio plays four wonderful tracks, starting with "amor supremo", clearly having association s to John Coltrane's "Love Supreme". "até un fim" is a 10 and a half minute long peaceful ballad, while "grão" is a seven minutes long exploration of abstract free improvisation. But, the highlight is the closing "desassossego", lasting nearly 17 minutes, and including the most beautiful echoed solos of Luís. Last minute contribution to Book.v1, but a truly great one!!!\\ " Maciej Lewenstein

1. amor supremo 08:08
2. até um fim 10:32
3. grão 07:04
4. desassossego 16:38

João Madeira - double bass
Mário Rua - drums
Luís Vicente - trumpet

Dennis Mitcheltree - Union (May 2021)

Recorded while on tour in 1999, with the quartet at the height of it's power in the 1990s, Union features evolving compositions that are still fresh and relevant today.

1. The Rebbe 07:31
2. Snowbound 07:14
3. Union at 723 07:59
4. Waiting for Oyarsa 09:48
5. Flatbush Blues 04:36
6. Mosinee Mayhem 04:09
7. Sans Souci 07:20
8. Set Me As... 04:21
9. Union 00:36

Dennis Mitcheltree - tenor saxophone, composer
Johannes Wallmann - piano
Jesse Crawford - bass
Bill McClellan - drums

Dennis Mitcheltree - Transformation (May 2021)

Sophomore release by jazz saxophonist and composer Dennis Mitcheltree. Recorded in Mosinee WI in 1996 while on tour - the band is tight!

1. Absentikate 06:09
2. Saddam's Caravan 05:22
3. Suppressions 06:43
4. Gumbo 04:37
5. Perspective 07:47
6. Transformation 05:55
7. Modus Operandi 06:17

Dennis Mitcheltree - tenor saxophone, composer
Johannes Wallmann - piano
Jesse Crawford - bass
Bill McClellan - drums

Miguel de Armas Quartet - Continuous (May 2021 on Three Pines Records)

Internationally renowned Cuban pianist Miguel de Armas moved to Canada in 2011, bringing with him a rich and sophisticated musical heritage gleaned over many years of study, performance and composition. As a co-founder of N.G. La Banda — one of Cuba’s most legendary timba bands — de Armas packed concert halls around the world.

Under the leadership of de Armas - and featuring Marc Decho on bass, Michel Medrano on drums and Diomer González on congas - The Miguel de Armas Quartet was created in 2013. Since then, they have rocked the National Capital Region with their astounding musicianship and thrilling fusion of Jazz and Afro Cuban music.

With Continuous, de Armas reveals his heart and soul. It is an eclectic, inventive, and truly global album that demonstrates de Armas’ versatility not only as a player, but as a composer as well. These boundary defying songs defy categorization, with the rich melodic and rhythmic feel of songo, the fusion of Afro Cuban music with pop, Latin jazz, calypso, and classical influences.

Continuous represents the continuation of de Armas’ musical journey that began almost a decade ago when he moved to Canada. This album is a compelling collection of songs about love, immigration, long winters, and how to stay happy throughout. De Armas is a story-teller, and his medium is his music.

1. Continuous 6:10
2. Couscous 5:14
3. Angelique 4:29
4. Welcome Back from Varadero 6:31
5. Muñuñi 4:54
6. Eva Luna 3:01
7. Song for Bebo 5:32
8. It Meant Something Else 5:03
9. Gone Too Soon 5:35

All songs by Miguel de Armas, except 7 by Marc Decho

Miguel de Armas - Piano, Keyboards, Compositions
Marc Decho - Bass
Michel Medrano Brindis - Drums
Diomer González - Congas

Yasmina Proveyer - Voice (1); Roberto Riverón - Bass (1, 3);
Elmer Ferrer - Guitar (3); Petr Cancura - Tenor Saxophone (5);
Elizabeth Rodriguez - Violin (6); Gabriela Ruiz - Cello (6);
René Lavoie - Flute (7); Tyler Harris - Alto Sax (8);
José Alberto Alvarez Batista - Güiro (1);
Yaima Caballero - Güiro (7)

With Special Guests:
Samuel Formell (Los Van Van) - Drums, Timbales (1);
Joel Cuesta (Los Van Van) - Congas (1); Eliel Lazo - Congas (4)

L’abîme - L’abîme (2021 Multiple Chord Music)

L’abîme (The Abysm) is the first album by an exciting new Québec based quintet of the same name. Conceived over the past two years, this brilliant debut will be released in April of 2021 on the Montreal based label Multiple Chord Music, in both physical (vinyl + cd) and digital form. The album unveils a dreamlike universe, a cinematic adventure suspended in time, like a dive through the abysm.

The group displays a bold, unique sound rooted in modern jazz with strong rock and contemporary classical influences (the music of Olivier Messiaen being a particularly important touchstone.) Pianist Jonathan Turgeon’s compelling compositions are bolstered by strong arrangements devised by the whole group. This project is a particularly compelling showcase for the group’s woodwind players, who explore a wide range of textures and timbres. Faithful to its jazz heritage, L’abîme expres ses i t sel f through deep, engaging improvisations by Hugo Blouin (upright bass), Jean-Philippe Godbout (drums), Alex Dodier (saxophones, flute) and Gabriel Genest (tenor saxophone, clarinets).
1. Requiem 4:32
2. Perdu dans les bois 5:58
3. L’abîme 8:12
4. Le Culte I 4:14
5. Le Culte II 5:10
6. Le Culte III 4:49
7. L’étang au crépuscule 6:17

Hugo Blouin - Upright Bass
Alex Dodier - Flute, Saxophones (1-3, 5-6)
Gabriel Genest - Tenor Saxophone (3, 6), Clarinets
Jean-Philippe Godbout - Drums
Jonathan Turgeon - Piano, Compositions

Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra (feat. Philippe Côté and David Braid) - Twisting Ways (May 2021)

In 2019, two jazz composers from French and English Canada joined forces with the support of the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra to compose a 25-minute, multi-movement art song called Twisting Ways. A UK-Canadian collaboration, the piece combines the poetry of Dr. Lee Tsang (Liverpool) with music by Montreal-based composer, Philippe Côté (“Amazing” – NYC Jazz Record) and three-time-Juno Award winning Toronto pianist/composer, David Braid (“Uncategorizable” – Paris Transatlantic). The music is masterfully performed by the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, directed by Richard Gillis, and featuring acclaimed vocalist, Sarah Slean (“Compelling”– Time Magazine).

The album also features vibraphonist Stephan Bauer (NYC) on a variation from Côté’s, La fleur et la roche from his acclaimed album Lungta with David Binney (“a grand sweeping accomplishment” – Ottawa Citizen) and Braid’s Lydian Sky from The David Braid Sextet Live, Vol 2 ( “astonishing” – All About Jazz). Lydian Sky features new words by Tsang, plus performances by multiple Juno winning saxophonist Mike Murley and vocalist Karly Epp (a finalist in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition).

The album’s central piece Twisting Ways begins with The Hand, sung from the perspective of a central character that takes the form of a nightingale, which is guided in turn by a mysterious force called The Hand. The second half revolves around the companion piece Hope Shadow, sung from the perspective of the mysterious force itself. Together, these texts explore imagery related to the human spirit and its transgressions. Slean’s performance infuses the music's narrative with brilliant colour and emotion, redefining what a vocal jazz album can be.

Twisting Ways (D. Braid & P. Côté, L. Tsang)
1. I. The Hand 9:51
2. II. Dialogue 2:55
3. III. Opening Glimmers 2:43
4. IV. Hope Shadow 11:58
5. Lydian Sky (D. Braid, L. Tsang) 8:14
6. Fleur Variation 3 (P. Côté) 7:16

Sarah Slean (1-4) Karly Epp (5, 6)

Neil Watson - Alto & Soprano Sax, Sean Irvine - Alto Sax (1-4)
Shannon Kristjanson - Alto Sax (5, 6), Jon Stevens - Tenor Sax (1-4)
Paul Balcain - Tenor Sax (5, 6), Mike Murley - Tenor Sax (5)
Lauren Teterenko - Tenor Sax, Ken Gold - Bari Sax

Jeff Johnson - Lead Trumpet (1-4)
Shane Hicks - Trumpet & Flugelhorn (Lead: 5, 6)
Richard Boughton - Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Richard Gillis - Trumpet & Flugelhorn, Conductor
Andrew Littleford - Trumpet & Flugelhorn (5, 6)

Joel Green - Lead Trombone, Jeff Presslaff - Trombone (1-4)
Keith Dyrda - Trombone (5, 6), Francois Godere - Trombone
D’Arcy McLean - Bass Trombone

Rhythm Section
David Braid - Piano
Stefan Bauer - Vibraphone
Karl Kohut - Bass
Eric Platz - Drums

Saskatchewan All Star Big Band - Saskatchewan Suite (2021 Chronograph Records)

This is the most novel, ambitious, progressive, and challenging of projects in the history of the Regina Jazz Society and indeed, ever in all of Saskatchewan. No one has ever attempted to tell the 150+ year history of Saskatchewan in music and in the vernacular of jazz, with one of Canada’s most talented and brilliant composers, Fred Stride producing a commissioned work to tell this story that speaks to and includes all of us.  This is a brand new novel musical work of art celebrating Saskatchewan as part of Canada for the past 150 years, and telling our Saskatchewan Story musically, for the very first time ever.

The Saskatchewan All Star Big Band is the most significant superstar ensemble ever assembled in Saskatchewan  and it’s not humanly possible to imagine all these great players ever again sharing the same stage in our lifetimes. These are the kids that have grown up here, got their musical start here and then been exported to every corner of the globe and they’re players who have come here to live, teach, and perform because Saskatchewan affords them that grand opportunity.

The Saskatchewan Story:  It’s our story, and stories of everyone living here and all those that have gone before us. It’s 150+ years of stories that include everything from the thundering herds of the buffalo, heard by our first Indigenous Peoples. It tells the story of all the various settlers and immigrants coming to Saskatchewan.  It includes the clash of cultures initially, but even more importantly the inclusiveness of the society we live in here today. 

You will hear that we’re farmers, business people, potash workers, railroaders, hockey players, story tellers, writers, artists, and soldiers marching off to war.  We’re all the Saskatchewan Story and that’s what the Saskatchewan Suite is all about and telling us for the very first time.

Line Up:

Fred Stride – Musical Director

Dean McNeill – Lead Trumpet
Al Muirhead – Trumpet
Andy King – Trumpet
Brent Ghiglione – Trumpet
Dave Mossing – Trumpet

PJ Perry – Lead Alto Saxophone
Donny Kennedy – Alto Saxophone
Kelly Jefferson – Tenor Saxophone
Steve Kaldestad – Tenor Saxophone
Trent Reschny – Bari Saxophone

Shawn Grocott – Lead Trombone
Ross Ulmer – Trombone
Tom Richards – Trombone
Dave Dick – Bass Trombone

Jon Ballantyne – Piano
Jack Semple – Guitar
Miles Foxx Hill – Bass
Ted Warren – Drums
Dylan Weist – Vibraphone/Percussion

Ed Minevich – Violin

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Billy Bang - Lucky Man (May 2021 BBE Music)

In association with IF Music, BBE Music presents ‘Lucky Man’: music from the eponymous documentary film, charting jazz violinist and Vietnam veteran Billy Bang’s brave return to the country, 40 years after the War.

The film ‘Lucky Man’ by Jean-Marie Boulet & Markus Hansen follows Billy Bang as he returns to the battlefields of his past, this time with a violin in-hand instead of a rifle. The documentary follows Billy as he travels the length and breadth of Vietnam to collaborate with local musicians, discover the culture he never got to experience the first time around, and to try to find some closure for the haunting trauma that still lingers within.

The trip took place in 2008, three years before Billy Bang’s passing and these never-before released field recordings, lovingly polished at The Carvery studio in London, capture the musician’s many poignant musical encounters along the way. The journey took him from Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, through to the highlands and the Banhar and Jorai gongs of the Montagnards, north across the 17th parallel, climaxing with ‘Mystery of the Mekong’, his collaboration with the Hanoi Symphony Orchestra.

The album ‘Lucky Man’ is composed of recordings captured throughout Billy Bang’s travels in Vietnam, interspersed with his candid thoughts about music, art, war, and his return to the country. Trần Mạnh Tuấn, the saxophonist featured on ‘Jungle Lullaby’ is well known in Saigon, where he owns a club called Sax n’Art, in which the live collaboration was recorded. In the more rural Kon Tum province, The Banhar Gong Group of Kuntum perform one of their traditional pieces, over which Billy’s off-the-cuff improvisation simply soars. The Phu Dong Family Band (a collective comprising an incredible 25 members of leader Duc Dau’s family) appears on ‘New Saigon Phunk’ and ‘Song for Don Cherry’, recorded in their native Ho Chi Minh City. Duc Dau is also a collector of ancient traditional instruments, and he plays a primitive stone Lithophone called a Dan Da with Billy in an energetic and exciting live jam that feels more like a duel at points.

“Bang was a genuine original, whose radicalism of method was always balanced by a powerful lyrical sense, a driving inner beat and the earthiness of the blues.” – The Guardian

Born in 1947, Billy Bang was only 18 years old when he was drafted and shipped out to Vietnam. He served only one tour of duty, but his traumatic experiences there would haunt him for the rest of his life. Small in stature, Bang became a ‘tunnel rat’, searching for North Vietnamese soldiers in booby-trapped tunnels with only a flashlight and a .45 pistol. On his return to the USA, Billy felt lost, haunted and stateless. He fell into revolutionary politics, alcohol and drugs, and on a trip to a pawnshop to purchase guns, chose to pick up up a $25 violin instead.

Having played violin, drums and flute before the War, Billy Bang found music to be a perfect medium through which to channel his emotions and trauma, initially under the mentorship of early free-jazz exponent Leroy Jenkins. Bang soon became a fixture in New York’s fertile ‘loft jazz’ scene, and went on to perform with the Sun Ra Arkestra in the 1980s.

A prolific composer, recording artist and sideman, Billy Bang started to address his Vietnam memories more directly with his music on 2001’s critically acclaimed album ‘Vietnam, The Aftermath’, which also featured fellow veteran Ted Daniel. The 2005 follow-up ‘Vietnam: Reflections’ featured four American Vietnam war veterans and two Vietnamese musicians. This project, ‘Lucky Man’, completes Billy Bang’s trilogy of Vietnam-themed works with a courageous solo voyage into the unknown; embarking on a new creative challenge while confronting a past he could never quite get over.

Live Virtual Film Screening and Q&A with filmmaker Markus Hansen, Kahil El Zabar and IF Music’s Jean-Claude.

Join us on Wednesday April 28th at 6pm (BST) for a virtual screening of ‘Lucky Man’, the 2010 film, followed by an interactive Q&A session. Be one of the first 150 customers to pre-order the album here on our website, via Bandcamp or at before April 26th to join the event for free. Details on how to join the event will be emailed to customers on Tuesday April 27th. 

1. Lucky Man: Introduction 04:10
2. Billy playing with the Banhar Gong Group of Kuntum (traditional and improvised) 06:16
3. Lucky Man: Flashback Tunnel Reflections 01:26
4. Mystery of the Mekong 06:59
5. Lucky Man: The Sun Rising - Introduction to Song for Don Cherry 01:03
6. Song for Don Cherry 13:26
7. Lucky Man: Flashback Memories 01:45
8. New Saigon Phunk (Extended Version) 11:35
9. Lucky Man: Traditional Vietnamese Catru Music 00:59
10. Lucky Man: Billy Reflecting on Memories and Feelings 00:51
11. Jungle Lullaby (Live at the Sax n'Art Club) 12:26
12. Lucky Man: Quynh Anh Pham's Memories About Her Father 01:07
13. Dan Da 09:45
14. Lucky Man: Billy Speaking About Music and Art 00:47
15. Lucky Man: Flashlight and a 45 Tunnel Memories 01:53
16. Lucky Man Title Music: Vietnam 1967 Battle Composition 01:06
17. Lucky Man: Teach Me Banhar 01:09
18. Traditional Quan Ho 05:47
19. Lucky Man: Billy Reflecting on America, Music and Being Left Alone 01:05
20. Moments for the KIAMIA (Solo in a Hotel Interior Courtyard) 02:30
21. Lucky Man: Quynh Anh Pham Lullaby 00:44
22. New Saigon Phunk 05:51

BBE - Modern Love (May 2021 BBE Music)

BBE Music is thrilled to announce the release of Modern Love, a diverse compendium of specially commissioned cover versions of rarities and classics in tribute to David Bowie.

Featuring an array of artists such as Jeff Parker, We Are KING, Meshell Ndegeocello, Helado Negro, Khruangbin, Matthew Tavares, Nia and more, Modern Love seeks to champion Bowie’s lesser-known connection to soul, R&B, jazz, funk, and gospel. The prominent jazz influences throughout Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, were a key inspiration for curating this collection of reimagined Bowie songs with these artists. The resulting album is an eclectic tribute featuring a group of artists who not only fit together creatively, but who, like Bowie, straddle different worlds musically, with soul and jazz at their core.

Modern Love offers a fresh look at Bowie’s trailblazing career, aiming to highlight the often overlooked relationship between his back catalogue and musical genres traditionally pioneered by artists of color. The project was curated by music executive and DJ Drew McFadden, alongside BBE Music founder Peter Adarkwah. “I felt that the connection between Bowie and R&B, jazz, funk, gospel and all things soulful, had never really been explored before — at least not so much in covers, which tend to lean more towards rock and pop,” says McFadden. “Certainly, there’s been plenty of Bowie covers over the years, but none that have really tapped into what seems to have been a big part of his core musical
style and direction.”

Modern Love is an interactive sonic map. Here, seventeen artists make their way into the varied regions of his sundry catalog and circle back with seventeen unique re-imaginings of both his cornerstone and lesser-known tracks. Some, in atmosphere, feel like a sly alternate take from original sessions (Khruangbin’s ethereal, funk infused version of “Right” from Young Americans); others nod at the source, then wink before diving into the deep waters of another musical stratosphere (Sessa’s sexy Tropicalia-drenched “Panic in Detroit” from Aladdin Sane). Still others take tunes down to the studs and then re-arrange the moody interiors: Meshell Ndegeocello’s pensive “Fantastic Voyage” from Lodger and Tavares’ clever take on “Heroes” which is restructured into a kinetic hardbop-esque backdrop, fronted by ice-cool, held-back vocals. The bullseye these artists aim for is Bowie’s fearlessness. “Fame was an incredible bluff that worked,” he once reflected. “Very flattering. I’ll do anything until I fail. And when I succeed I quit too.”

Modern Love packs us off on a journey that balances on risk’s sharp blade. Track-to-track, it explores what happens when a musician throws out notions of should and safe and stretches beyond the known. These artists use Bowie both as a guide and a prism: A way of being and seeing. Their offerings, widely divergent, explore the inheritance from an artist who freed himself from labels, genres and, consequently, pigeonholes. While he was at it, he decimated fixed notions about territory (or terra) itself; boundaries hemmed-in his creative process, but his essence remained free to roam. He may have vanished in earthly form, yet, as he also promised in the lyrics of “Modern Love,” But I never wave bye-bye . . .” This compilation assures us that his spirit swirls around us. His force is alive to all of us and, here, it is summoned with an incantation that celebrates possibility. 

1. Life On Mars – Miguel Atwood-Ferguson 04:22
2. Sound and Vision – Helado Negro 03:21
3. Lady Grinning Soul – Kit Sebastian 03:48
4. Soul Love – Jeff Parker, The New Breed 04:43
5. Panic in Detroit – Sessa 03:44
6. The Man Who Sold the World – The Hics 03:28
7. Right – Khruangbin 05:08
8. Silly Boy Blue – Nia Andrews 02:37
9. Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family – Foxtrott 03:11
10. Move On – L’Rain 04:00
11. Modern Love – Jonah Mutono 03:19
12. Where Are We Now – Bullion 03:31
13. Tnght – Eddie Chacon, John Carroll Kirby 03:35
14. Golden Years – Léa Sen 02:56
15. Fantastic Voyage – Meshell Ndegeocello 03:58
16. Space Oddity – We Are KING 04:45
17. Heroes – Matthew Tavares 08:41

Friday, May 28, 2021

Out Friday New Release: Magro - Trippin (feat. TwizzMatic & Kurt Rosenwinkel and more)

MAGRO - Trippin

"(...) a power player with a fine sense (...)" - DLF National Public Radio Germany

"(...) breathtaking solos of speed and power(...)" - Südkurrier

"(...) If it sounds like Washington D.C. but comes from Berlin, Magro is probably behind it. (...)" - Detektor FM
With his debut album "Trippin", Berlin-based drummer and producer MAGRO shows his artistic and creative perspective on today's world. The sound of the album is characterized by abstract Hip Hop beats that mix fluidly with analog Jazz elements.

After working with numerous artists over the years as a drummer and producer (including Kenny Wesley, J Lamotta and Stimulus), he now releases his first album under his own name.

On the album, Magro features some of his favorite musicians and singers - including Jazz legend Kurt Rosenwinkel, rising Alternative RnB singer Leona Berlin and US rapper TwizzMatic.

Magro about his music: "I want to bridge the gap between catchy produced music and the deep-rooted elements of Jazz.“

In doing so, he is influenced by the creative complexity of the international Berlin music scene, in which he has been active for years.

Tours and international festival appearances (including Tremplin Jazz Avignon, Jazz Al Popolo Rome, Women in Music Festival Zambia) have already taken him around the world. Moreover, he co-produced the debut album of Leona Berlin, released in 2018 by Warner Music.
1. Trippin (feat. TwizzMatic, Kurt Rosenwinkel)
"Trippin" is the first single and also the title track of the album. The song features US-rapper TwizzMatic and Jazz legend Kurt Rosenwinkel.

TwizzMatic raps critically about the ambiguity and naive immaturity of today's society. Kurt Rosenwinkel then plays an apocalyptic guitar solo and makes the song fade out in a wide wave. I love it when an arc of tension is stretched out over an entire song.

2. Song 4 Def
"Song 4 Def" is inspired by the song "Quiet Dog" by Mos Def. When I first heard the song I couldn't get the beat out of my head and had to write my own song in that same feel right away. It starts with a Hip Hop lo-fi beat that develops into an epic explosion in the second half of the song.

3. Black On Black (feat. XHO)
During the months of the Black Lives Matter protests, I was working with "XHO" as a drummer. I asked her if she wanted to be on my album and sent her the instrumental. Without further ado, we recorded her part in her clothing store. The theme was so present at the time that it obviously couldn't be about anything else.

4. Conscious 1
Conscious 1 is the first of three instrumental interludes. To me the soundscapes express something mystical that is hard to put into words.

5. Running (feat. Leona Berlin)
"Running" is the second single and features Alternative Soul singer Leona Berlin. With Leona I have probably worked more than with anyone else. So it was clear that she would be on the album.

The song is about our restlessness as humans. We always want to improve and change things instead of just accepting the moment and the situation to be at peace.

6. Conscious 2

7. Crisis (feat. Sean Haefeli, Martin Lüdicke)
I wrote this song during the first lockdown. At that time I was busy finishing the album. I sent the track to Martin Lüdicke and Sean Haefeli and asked them if they could record something independently. I found it exciting to get the results back without having given any directions beforehand.

8. Conscious 3

9. Magic Flow
"Magic Flow" is a musical flow that develops into different parts. The track starts with a driving drum beat, intensifying and opening up more and more until it finally breaks open, leading to a heavy Hip Hop beat. The long wave and the slowly creeping new sounds are meant to pull the listener into the track's own world.

10. Silence (feat. Ronja)
"Silence" is a tribute to silence, which is often forgotten in the hustle of our everyday lives. The song is the third single and features Berlin-based singer/songwriter Ronja. The unobtrusive and powerful development of the song has a special character. I like the very slow tempo, the minimalistic development and Ronja's calm performance.

Jaubi - Nafs at Peace (May 28, 2021 Astigmatic Records)

Spiritual Journey from Pakistan

JAUBI continues the Nafs journey, which commenced with the well received single “Satanic
Nafs” (featuring the remix by legendary LA producers The Gaslamp Killer & Mophono) released
in March 2021. Now JAUBI draws on the elements of North Indian classical music, Hip-Hop and
modal/spiritual jazz in their debut LP entitled “Nafs At Peace”.
Nafs ( نَفْس ) is an Arabic word meaning “self”/“soul”. There are three levels of Nafs described in the Qur’an; (I) the soul inclined to evil, (II) the self-reproaching soul and (III) the tranquil soul.

This journey officially began back in April 2019 when London’s multi- instrumentalist and 22a Record label boss Ed “Tenderlonious” Cawthorne and Polish pianist/composer Marek “Latarnik” Pędziwiatr of EABS/Błoto, visited the group to record in Lahore, Pakistan.

Together they channelled their personal struggles at that time into the two recording sessions allowing the musicians to find a spiritual path to transcendence through this musical purge. The Vox Humana Oslo chamber choir provides beautiful choral harmony on the opening track.

Nothing whatsoever was written down during the recording sessions - no sheet music and no song titles, which allowed the six musicians to forget about their worldly issues. In many ways, the journey represents an expression of gratitude and an acknowledgement that the musician's inspiration comes from a higher power.

The album cover portrays the mother of JAUBI’s bandleader, tearfully praying to God to get her son through that dark period of his life. The album title ‘Nafs At Peace’ refers to the last purification step the self has been through. At this level, the Self no longer struggles because one has complete love of God, by becoming at peace and tranquil with God’s will. We hope all can achieve the stage of “Nafs At Peace” … Inshallah.

JAUBI’s album ‘Nafs at Peace’ is due to be released by Astigmatic Records on 28th of May, 2021. The album will be available on vinyl, CD and all streaming platforms.
1. Seek Refuge 02:18
2. Insia 05:15
3. Raga Gurji Todi 06:13
4. Straight Path 07:27
5. Mosty 07:40
6. Zari 05:51
7. Nafs at Peace 07:54

All songs composed by Ali Riaz Baqar except for 'Mosty' composed by Marek Pędziwiatr

Ali Riaz Baqar - Guitar
Zohaib Hassan Khan - Sarangi
Qammar 'Vicky' Abbas - Drums
Kashif Ali Dhani - Tabla, Vocals
Tenderlonious - Flute, Soprano Saxophone
Latarnik - Fender Rhodes Mark II, Grand Piano, Yamaha PSR-550,
Korg MS-20, Moog Voyager, Hohner Clavinet Pianet Duo
The Vox Humana Chamber Choir - Vocals on 'Seek Refuge'

Recorded at Riot Studios in Lahore, Pakistan in April 2019 (A2, A3, A4, B1, B2) and Newtone Studios in Oslo, Norway in August 2019 (A1, B3)

Session Engineers: André Viervoll (Newtone Studios) annd Farhad Humayun (Riot Studios)

Mix: Rhys Downing
Mastering: Paweł Bartnik
Executive Producer: Łukasz Wojciechowski
A&R: Łukasz Wojciechowski, Sebastian Jóźwiak & Oliver Reeves
Photography: Ali Riaz Baqar, Uzma Rao, Sebastian Jóźwiak
Graphic design: Animisiewasz
Calligraphy: İlkay Kanar

Richard X Bennett - RXB3 (May 28, 2021 Ubuntu Music)

Fresh out of New York City, Ubuntu Music is proud to release RXB3, the  new album from innovative pianist Richard X Bennett, bringing to the  world his unique brand of ‘Bounce Jazz’ and ‘Theme & Destruction’. 

Ubuntu Music is delighted to announce the signing of the Brooklyn-based pianist Richard X  Bennett for the worldwide release of his next album ‘RXB3’, on 28th May 2021. The  inspirations for Richard X Bennett’s lively work evolve from a wide range of unlikely  sources, from contemporary visual art to ancient metaphysics influenced by years  performing in India, where he recorded a series of critically acclaimed raga-jazz albums for  Times Music, India’s largest record label. At points on RXB3, Richard X Bennett might adopt  the triplet pattern of rhythm made popular by leading contemporary rap group Migos, or  channel the vibe of pre-LP era Duke Ellington, but ultimately he follows his own muse. His  pieces are short takes on the classical ‘theme and variation’, given an edge by deconstructing  said themes in a whirlwind of improv, transforming this long-standing technique into ‘theme  and destruction’!  

Richard X Bennett recorded RXB3 during the lockdown period with long-term collaborator  Adam Armstrong on bass and new drummer Julian Edmond on drums, who originally comes  from a gospel background. The synergy between the trio is more than apparent on the  album. On RXB3, Richard reimagines the trio as a vehicle for his tuneful songs and weighty,  poly-rhythmic, groove-centric piano explorations. He explains: “Each song begins as a bespoke  piano pattern. The melodies evolve from these patterns, resulting in a multitude of ideas that exist  together. I create modern music with a melodic and funky fabric and then tear it apart. My  expectation is that you can listen, dance or vibe to this music at your leisure and pleasure. Listen  closer and you will hear jazz, contemporary classical and Indian raga elements threaded throughout.  The rhythm section has that bounce I like. I met drummer Julian Edmond during the middle of the  pandemic and immediately knew that he could raise the music to a new level. He plays a stripped  down drum set so there’s more air. Adam Armstrong (bass) has that big jazz sound that roots us in  the tradition.” 
The songs are all by Bennett with the exception of Tum Hi Ho , which is a Bollywood  standard written by Mithoon for the movie, Aashiqui 2. Richard elaborates: “In 2019, I played  Tum Hi Ho as a lighter encore for my raga concerts in India. Ballads should be all about the feel. If  you’re noticing my technique, then I’ve done something wrong.” Richard X Bennett has adopted a  multimedia approach to his art, by creating a series of music video’s (partly inspired by  Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’!) that conjure up a range of moods from the comic to the abstract  that perfectly compliment his musical endeavours.  

Richard X Bennett has released music on Ropeadope, Times Music and now Ubuntu, fast  growing in both repertoire and reputation as one of the hottest jazz labels of recent times. Martin Hummel, Director of Ubuntu Music, gives his perspective on the Label’s latest  signing: “Richard’s is, undisputedly, a unique and eclectic breed of the modern piano trio. His  compositions are an intoxicating mixture of inviting, seductive melodies which are underpinned by a  take-no-prisoners collision of funk-meets-raga-meets-jazz. It’s an addictive musical cocktail for the  head, the heart and the feet. We’re only too happy to have Richard join the Ubuntu Music Family.”

sneaky jesus - For Joseph Riddle (May 28, 2021 Shapes of Rhythm)

Early feedback:
"Always excited to hear new jazz from Poland. The bar has been set incredibly high over recent years by the like of EABS, Wojtek Mazolewski, Piotr Damasiewicz, Bloto and now Sneaky Jesus who have maintained that level. “For Joseph Riddle” stays true to the traditions of polish jazz (You can feel the spirit of Polish greats such as Wroblewski, Komeda and Stanko) whilst combining some of that fresh energy associated with the current UK sound. Nice tight arrangements, with deep melancholic lines, backed up by fierce determined solos - stellar release for Shapes Of Rhythm!" – Oli Reeves, 22a Music

“The freshest new jazz to make it to my ears from Poland. Just the right amount of skronk and funk to make repeat listens a must.” Oli Brunetti, Olindo/Colectivo Futuro/Soho Radio

“One of my favourite forward-thinking bands on the Polish map” Łukasz Wojciechowski, Astigmatic Records

Shapes of Rhythm is thrilled to present a brand new signing with a 50-minute debut LP from young, exciting Jazz quartet sneaky jesus, based in Poland. For Joseph Riddle merges concepts of contemporary Polish Jazz and breakbeat oriented styles of UK and US Jazz with ideas derived from punk and funk.

Matylda Gerber on Tenor and Baritone Sax and Maciej Forreiter on Guitar flow seamlessly between melancholic lines and free jazz expression. Beniamin Łasiewicki on Bass with Filip Baczyński on Drums anchor the improvisations and take unexpected dynamic turns. The quartet was joined in the studio by wonderful musicians and friends Michał Szczepaniec on Percussion, Wiktor Maternik on Trumpet and Mariano De Ona Martinez, who supports the harmony on Electric Piano and Synths and helped with the final arrangements.
The sound spectrum is vast. The opener Bugs relies heavily on steady breakbeat rhythms and hard bop-ish horn lines and features a Spanish-sounding Trumpet solo from guest Wiktor Maternik. Józek Zagadka is spacious, melancholic and minor despite frenetic and mutating drumming from Baczyński and Forreiter’s vamping distorted guitar textures. Battledance is confrontational and features Gerber’s primal Baritone rallying cries, whilst Łasiewicki’s bassline works nimbly around the elements. You can just picture the stand-off.

Minneapolis - Police Game highlights the group’s musical standpoint on widespread police brutality and is For Joseph Riddle’s standout. At around 25 minutes long, it’s so long it had to be split across the LP vinyl edition. A story in three parts and featuring by Baczyński’s frenetic drum solo, the composition started as a reaction to protests happening in USA after the murder of George Floyd, but in time gained new meaning to became a reflection of women’s marches still happening in Poland.

With today’s young Jazz landscape dominated by spiritual, soul and fusion, sneaky jesus don’t take the obvious turn or jump on the bandwagon. They bring the skronk and go for themselves. For Joseph Riddle is raw, discordant in parts and the group aren’t afraid to hit a wrong note every once in a while. A brave LP for such a young group. Michał Szczepaniec who guests on the LP and is one half of electronic group Gaijin Blues remarks ‘sneaky jesus are the next EABS.’ 

1. Bugs 07:02
2. Józek Zagadka 08:21
3. Battledance 03:34
4. Minneapolis – Police Game 27:03

Portico Quartet - Terrain (May 28, 2021 Gondwana Records)

Portico Quartet announce Terrain, a three-part suite drawing on American minimalism and ambient music alongside their own rich heritage as they explore new musical vistas

When Duncan Bellamy and Jack Wyllie – the driving force behind Portico Quartet got together in their East London studio in May 2020 and started work on the music that would become their new album, the world, or most of it, was in the midst of the first lockdown. The unique impact of the events of 2020 became the backdrop to their time composing and recording; causing them to take stock, re-think, and plot a new musical path.

Indian novelist Arundhati Roy expressed the sense of grief and rupture from the pandemic as "a portal, a gateway between one world and the next", and as they created the music that would become Terrain they were drawn towards longer, slowly unfolding pieces, which are perhaps the most artistically free and also the most beautiful they have ever made.

These are compositions more in the lineage of Line and Shed Song (Isla/2009), Rubidium (Portico Quartet/2012) and Immediately Visible (Memory Streams/2019). Wyllie expands: "We've always had this side of the band in some form. The core of it is having a repeated pattern, around which other parts move in and out, and start to form a narrative. We used to do longer improvisations not dissimilar to this around the time of our second record Isla.
On Terrain we've really dug into it and explored that form. I suppose there are obvious influences such as American minimalism, but I was particularly inspired by the work of Japanese composer Midori Takada. Her approach, particularly on 'Through the Looking Glass', where she moves through different worlds incorporating elements of minimalism with non-Western instruments and melodies were at the front of my mind when writing this music".

Terrain I, II & III are all subtly different, but a short rhythmic motif that repeats is the starting point in all three movements. There is a sense of a shared journey to all these pieces, they move through different worlds, with a sense of horizontal movement that lends the music real momentum. Terrain I was the first piece they worked on and it started with a hang drum pattern, improvised by Bellamy, who added cymbals and synthesiser. From there on it grew, Wyllie adding saxophone, another synthesiser section, strings. For Bellamy "It felt more like filmmaking than music making, a bricolage of conflicting, shifting signs, subtle tension and multiple narratives.

Andrei Tarkovsky's 'Mirror' and British artist John Akomfrah's incredible 'Handsworth Songs' were pivotal points of reference for me." Wyllie expands the point. "There is a sense of conversation between us both, in that someone presents a musical idea, the other person responds to it with something else, which would then be responded to again... until it feels finished. These responses are often consonant with each other but there is also a dissonance to some of this work. The music slowly evolves through these shared conversations."

It is this sense of dialogue, both between the composers, and between tranquillity and a subtly unsettling melancholy, that makes Terrain such a powerful statement. One that speaks to both our interior and exterior worlds, to our own personal landscape, to our Terrain. 



Composed, performed and produced by Duncan Bellamy and Jack Wyllie. Strings composed and arranged by Jack Wyllie. Recorded at PQHQ, London and Fish Factory, London in 2020 by Greg Freeman. Mixed by Greg Freeman, Duncan Bellamy and Jack Wyllie in Berlin, 2020. Mastering and vinyl cut by John Davis at Metropolis, London. Design and photography by Veil Projects.

Strings by FRANCESCA TER-BERG Cello (I, II)  SIMMY SINGH Violin (I)  PETE BENNIE Double Bass (I)

Lukas Akintaya - Hues (May 28, 2021 Skirl Records)

Hues is a project reflecting on the experience of moving to a new place. Arriving in New York, going through the process of re-orientating, absorbing and recalibrating, searching for a connecting line between the dots. It illuminates the journey of growing deeper roots and taking in new perspectives; a stream of thoughts at a given moment in time.

1. From Far
2. Terrace Place
3. Unicorn on Carroll Street
4. Interlude
5. Certain Uncertainties
6. Todah
7. Todah II
8. Patience, Growth

Jeremy Viner – tenor saxophone
Keisuke Matsuno – electric guitar
Simon Jermyn – electric bass
Elias Stemeseder – synthesizer, electronics (1,2,3,5,8)
Billy Drewes – soprano saxophone (2,8)
Lukas Akintaya – drums, percussions, keys & compositions

All compositions by Lukas Akintaya
Recorded by Joseph Branciforte at Dolan Studio, NYC in May 2019
Edited and mixed by Joseph Branciforte at Greyfade Studio, Brooklyn
Additional synthesizer recording by Bertram Burkert, Berlin
Digital & vinyl mastering by Philip Gosselin at LeLab Studios, Montréal, Canada
Photos, artwork & design by Odelia Toder
LC by Gartenmusik
Produced by Lukas Akintaya

Devin Drobka Trio - Resorts (May 28, 2021 Shifting Paradigm Records)

1. Rims 04:58
2. Box Invention No. 2
3. Box Invention No. 3
4. Teeter
5. Bounce
6. Box Invention No. 1
7. Soon
8. 1000

Matt Blair - Piano
Aaron Darrell - Acoustic Bass
Devin Drobka - Drums

Recorded November 13th 2019 at Wire and Vice
Release May 27th 2021 on Shifting Paradigm Records

Daniel Holter - Engineer and Mixing
Ian Olvera - Assistant Engineer
Justin Perkins - Mastering at Mystery Room Mastering

Shamek Farrah & Folks - La Dee La La (May 28, 2021 Jazz Room Records)

Another top notch Funky Spiritual Jazz release from Paul Murphy's Jazz Room Records. Featuring Strata-East stalwart Shamek Farrah on Saxes and an all star cast including Trumpet Legend Malachi Thompson.

The music is a Funky Spiritual Afro-Latin Soul mix with the Miriam Makeba influenced Cape Township Party title track and the Jazz Soul grooves of "Waiting For Marvin" both highlights..

Get down to the Worldwide Sound with the Latin Jazz grooves of "The White Lady" featuring Sonelius Smith on Piano and "Along Came Ron Rahsaan" with Vivian Chandler singing a wordless Spiritual Jazz Headspace Lullaby.

Totally obscure and his recordings fetching exhorbitant prices (a re-issue Japanese CD is 3 figures) Shamek Farrah ranks with the great unrecorded. Two releases on Strata East in the '70s, a couple for RA, a release in '95. The reissue of this 1978 recording for RA by Jazz Room Records reintroduces a roomful of rarely heard musicians, along with a young Malachi Thompson soon to become an Internationally renowned Jazz Heavyweight.

1. La Dee La La Song
2. Waiting For Marvin
3. The White Lady
4. Along Came Ron Rahsaan