Monday, November 29, 2021

Ilmiliekki Quartet - Ilmiliekki Quartet (February 11, 2022 We Jazz Records)

Ilmiliekki Quartet from Helsinki return with their new self-titled album on We Jazz Records on 11 February 2022. The group, including Verneri Pohjola (trumpet), Tuomo Prättälä (piano), Antti Lötjönen (bass) and Olavi Louhivuori (drums) is a mainstay in the Finnish scene and the band has been steadily developing their sound for nearly two decades now. It could be said that the group's musicians, each also a solo artist of note these days, has grown with and through performing together with this regularly working quartet. Ilmiliekki Quartet's music has a song-like melodic quality, which pairs naturally with their often freeform search for new musical landscapes.

As testament of Ilmiliekki Quartet being a Band with a capital B, the songs on the new album come from each of the four members. As before, the band also takes a borrowed tune in for a loving rendition, this time tackling "Aila" by the Finnish dream pop group Karina. All in all, there's a deep, moody element to the music, yet at the same time, their sound flows with remarkable ease and lightness of touch. This brings out a wide range of color in their music, which is easy to fall in love with.

1. Three Queens
2. Sgr A*
3. Aila
4. Follow the Damn Breadcrumbs
5. Night Song
6. Kaleidoscopesque

Verneri Pohjola, trumpet
Tuomo Prättälä, piano
Antti Lötjönen, bass
Olavi Louhivuori, drums

"Three Queens" composed by A. Lötjönen, "Sgr A*" & "Kaleidoscopesque" composed by T. Prättälä, "Follow the Damn Breadcrumbs" composed by V. Pohjola, "Night Song" composed by O. Louhivuori, "Aila" composed by H. Tikkanen, K. Mäkiranta [Karina]

Arranged by Ilmiliekki Quartet
Recorded at Kallio-kuninkala, Järvenpää, Finland on 25.–27. Jan 2021
Recorded by Markus Bonsdorff
Mixed & mastered by Tommi Vainikainen
Design by Matti Nives

Rachel Beetz - Unofficial (January 21, 2022 Orenda Records)

Composer, sound artist, and flutist Rachel Beetz presents Unofficial, her first full-length album of improvisations exploring the electro-acoustic flute with texture, and noise.

“The sound of the acoustic flute was never satisfying enough for me. I would always push to the extremes of acceptability in both contemporary and bel canto playing. My performances are intensified by living on the edge - overblown louds and softs that you could barely hear. I was always wanting more out of my instrument and have had trouble ‘playing nice.’ This album is me exploring my instrumental voice by transforming it into synthesizers and layering those with noise and effects.”

Beetz’s flute playing has been described as “evoking the roar of prehistoric animals” by the San Diego Union Tribune and “soulfully elegant” by the Washington Post.

To create Unofficial, Rachel improvised with custom synthesizers made from samples of her acoustic flute playing (Tracks 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8) and also on the acoustic flute with effects pedals (Tracks 2 and 3). All of the tracks capture in-the-moment creations with some production in post. Other than the desire to transform the flute into the entire range of musical frequencies, there were no rules or systems employed in creating these tracks. Performed in the privacy of her home studio, these improvisations are an attempt at revealing the inner subconscious.

“Improvisation is also a challenging area for me. My desires for long, sustained lines and polyphony are difficult to explore on the flute. Even with a mastery of the instrument, the sounds I want to make require me to sustain the limits of my physicality. This often brings an undesired element of physical virtuosity into the work. No longer limited by my physical body with the flute synthesizers, I was able to be more in the moment. Listening back, I was surprised to hear such intense emotion. Hearing my true feelings reflected back at me, I was more able to process the world around me.”

As a composer and sound artist, Beetz’s works recreate physical atmospheres based on her deep listening adventures in the wild, exploring hidden worlds of nature and machines. Combining experimental field recordings and electronically modified flutes, her works examine community, environmentalism, and women’s work through sound, video, textiles, and lighting. Her projects have been featured in concert halls and galleries in Australia, Iceland, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. As a flutist, she is dedicated to performing works by living composers, as well as pushing the boundaries of the instruments traditional roles and techniques.

“There has always been some cognitive dissonance for me in my identity as a musician who plays the flute, a somewhat gentle instrument. I’ve trained for decades to be able to play with that beautiful, resonant singing tone and can do it, but it is a challenge for me. I’ve come to enjoy adding some dirt and grit into my sound and have been exploring that in contemporary music for years. The first time I truly heard myself in my sound was in the creation of my tracks on Script – Rescript. Those were a reaction to drawings made by artist Nichole Speciale. I made them with strict rules, measuring every line and defining every color. Unofficial takes the opposite approach, leaving the door completely open to a moment in time. I am surprised that the outcome feels even more like my sound. It is very freeing as an artist to hear something you’ve been trying to make for decades come true and invigorating to find it through a completely different working approach.”

“This release needed a special place where it felt safe to be open and vulnerable. I am proud to have Unofficial on Orenda Records, a label that accepts and encourages sound makers of all kinds. To me, Unofficial is science fiction, representing a utopia where we are self-aware enough to know when to express our feelings and when to protect them. It is where we are free to be officially unofficial.” 

1. Behind
2. Undertow
3. Pressures
4. Hold
5. Vessels
6. Climb
7. Leaving
8. Dreams

Recorded and Produced by Rachel Beetz
Cover Art by STIGMA FOG SAINT
Design by Dan Rosenboom
© 2021 Rachel Beetz (ASCAP)

Lars Larsson / Anders Berg / Fredrik Lindholm - Underground (November 2021 Simlas produksjoner)

1. Underground 1 06:51
2. Underground 2 05:16
3. Underground 3 07:50
4. Underground 4 03:27
5. Underground 5 07:49

Lars Larsson - baritone saxophone
Anders Berg - bass
Fredrik Lindholm - drums

Recorded June 2020

Mixed and Mastered by Lars Larsson at Hönshuset Studios

Luca Filastro - Don't Blame Me (November 2021)

1. My Monday Date 04:08
2. Fine And Dandy 03:53
3. Gone With The Wind 04:28
4. Never Ending Blues 05:37
5. Morning Air 03:02
6. Don't Blame Me 04:42
7. Finger Buster 02:37
8. Rosetta 06:09
9. Stars Fell On Alabama 03:43
10. Who's Sorry Now? 04:39
11. Polka Dots And Moonbeams 04:57
12. Riverside C Blues 03:55
13. After You've Gone 04:43
14. Makin' Whoopee 03:24
15. Hallelujah 04:34
16. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes 06:12

Luca Filastro, piano

Atsushi Kumagai - 8​.​5 (November 29, 2021)

1. I'm Satisfied 03:36
2. Confirmation 03:21
3. Born To Be Blue 05:04
4. Be There 07:14
5. Passing By 03:40
6. Conception 04:51
7. Pretending To Care 05:46
8. Mountain Greenery 03:26

Atsushi Kumagai (Vo)
Ben Paterson (Pf/Orn)
Nori Naraoka (Bs)
Darrian Douglas (Dr)
Calvin Johnson (Sop/Tnr Sx)

Recorded at Big Orange Sheep in Brooklyn, NY
Engineered by Christopher Benham

Produce/Co-Arrange/Mix/Master
at Nori Naraoka Recording Studio in Brooklyn, NY
by Nori Naraoka

Photo by Pazut Wutigornsombatkul/Makito Umekita
Designed by Tomo Tany

Sim Card Hølder - Sim Card Hølder (Blueberry Records)

SIM CARD HØLDER is not a band. It is the hybrid child of Ian Bruner, Drone Operatør and Gajek. Its procreation date is hard to pin down, but it started 2020 with an Insta chat and one of Ian's piano improvisations recorded in his Colorado living room. From there the album grew in separated covid lockdown wombs at three different locations in Germany. Ian's shadowy instrumentation of light piano and heavily layered and long believed to be dead soundscapes were digested, replanted and grown-over by Drone Operatør's and Gajek's uncompromising and individual sense for song structures and sounds. When finally all body parts were assembled in early 2021 the baby was already fluent in different languages.

Sim Card Hølder grows slowly while meandering through dense and open fields. It switches from calm and dreamy moods to wild fractured outbursts without fragmenting into the arbitrary. A raw spiritual power keeps every part connected and in perfect motion. Each song is a portal into multiple universes that suck you in on thick piano carpets, sharp saxophone spikes and buzzing quadcopter wings, warming insect intestines, blasting raw drums and slow healing winds, screeching synth rhymes, dissonant orchestral tales and floating blue melodies. It’s a demanding ride but thoroughly deeply relaxing. The perfect soundtrack to rewind your mind.

1. dronepilot (composed by Drone Operatør & Ian Bruner) 05:46
2. Contrailsnake (composed by Drone Operatør & Ian Bruner) 05:24
3. Dronegød (composed by Drone Operatør & Ian Bruner) 03:02
4. Icaruscomplex_ (composed by Gajek & Ian Bruner) 03:35
5. TVdream (composed by Drone Operatør & Ian Bruner) 10:09
6. fallingasleepwiththedrones (composed by Drone Operatør & Ian Bruner) 04:20
7. ASEGMENTØFSKY (composed by Gajek & Ian Bruner) 05:31
8. Sleepparalysis (composed by Drone Operatør & Ian Bruner) 05:05
9. Boneless (composed by Gajek, Drone Operatør & Ian Bruner) 02:39
10. virtualcopulation (composed by Drone Operatør & Ian Bruner) 05:48
11. Alone_ (rendered altitude) [composed by Drone Operatør & Ian Bruner] 05:31

Music by SIM CARD HØLDER

Artwork by Mario Miron

Mastered by Kevin McPhee (East End Mastering)

Releasing on Blueberry Records, 2021.

Quinn, Schulz and Shakur - Four Standards (November 2021)

1. My Shining Hour 05:43
2. Zero 05:50
3. It Never Entered My Mind 05:49
4. Lonnie's Lament 06:33

Norm Quinn - trumpet, flugelhorn
Guenter Schulz - guitar
D. Shakur - bass

Giuseppe Malinconico - Up for play! (November 2021)

Giuseppe is a modern pianist from Italy.

When he composes he sets no limits and lets himself be contaminated by all his plays ranging from 80s rock, progressive metal and electronic music. The glue between these musical genres is jazz and moments of improvisation are never lacking.

“Up for Play!” is his first album of original music, a first attempt to represent his musical identity.

1. Prelude - Get In! 01:04
2. Am I a Bitch? 04:21
3. Interlude - All I Can Do 00:47
4. Polychrome 06:38
5. The Tramp 07:19
6. Interlude - What's the Problem? 01:19
7. Fortitude 05:57
8. Interlude - Get to the Bottom 00:50
9. Moody Games 06:40

Giuseppe Malinconico - Piano
Andrea Elisei - Drums
Matteo Magnatera - Bass
Elena Sbalchiero - Vocals
Claudio Malinconico - Accordion

Various Artists - Pyramid Pieces 2 (November 2021 Roundtable)

Following the critical acclaim of the 2020 compilation Pyramid Pieces, The Roundtable return with a second offering of modernist jazz from Australia. Another vital document further examining the nation’s jazz scene during the late 1960s and 70s. A fertile period that witnessed the birth of an independent movement and the development of a distinct Australian jazz sound. While continuing to focus on the modal forms explored in Volume 1, this second edition shifts direction slightly, this time also surveying other post-bop modes representative of the scene including soul jazz, avant-garde ballet music and Eric Dolphy-inspired free jazz.

Again featuring tracks from the esteemed independent imprints Jazznote and 44 Records, the collection also offers never before published pieces from less obvious Australian jazz groups. Compositions by internationally renowned musicians including Bob Bertles (Nucleus/Neil Ardley), Bruce Cale (The Spontaneous Music Ensemble/Prince Lasha) and Allan Zavod (Frank Zappa) alongside pillars of the local scene, Charlie Munro and Ted Vining plus the lesser-known yet formidable free jazz unit ‘Out To Lunch’. Pyramid Pieces 2 is another timely insight into the evolution of the incredible yet obscured Australian modern jazz movemen

1. Bob Bertles Moontrane - Valley Of The Tweed
2. The Bruce Cale Quintet - Kuri Monga Nuie
3. The Charlie Munro - Whirlpool
4. Allan Zavod - Circles
5. The Ted Vining Trio - Number One
6. Out To Lunch - What The Thunder Said

* A compilation of Australian modern jazz. 1969-1980

* Rare modal, soul-jazz and free jazz from artists including The Charlie Munro Trio, Bob Bertles Moontrane, The Bruce Cale Quintet and The Ted Vining Trio.

* Tip-on sleeve featuring artwork from renowned Australian modernist painter James Meldrum.

Alex Malheiros - Tempos Futuros (November 2021 Far Out Recordings)

Stargazing from the sands of the Niterói beach, Tempos Futuros is low-end-led Brazilian futurism from one of Brazil’s most prolific and influential bassmen. As one third of legendary trio Azymuth, Alex Malheiros has pioneered a unique fusion of space-funk, samba and jazz since the early seventies. His playing can be heard on the records of Jorge Ben, Milton Nascimento, Roberto Carlos, Marcos Valle, and Mark Murphy (to name a few), and he’s performed and toured with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Chick Corea.

Written and recorded in Niterói, Brazil, overlooking Guanabara and the beaches, mountains and forests of Rio de Janeiro, Tempos Futuros has deep roots in Brazilian soil. The rhythms of Malheiros’ homeland have always permeated his music. But just like the Oscar Niemeyer designed Niterói Contemporary Art Museum which stands spaceship-like over the water, Tempos Futuros - while inspired by terrestrial forms, reaches out, deep into the great unknown.

Produced by acclaimed London-based producer Daniel Maunick, who has worked with Marcos Valle, Azymuth, Terry Callier, and Ivan Conti, the funk comes full circle. Daniel’s father Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick and Alex Malheiros shared a reciprocal stream of influence throughout the 80s, between London and Rio; Azymuth and Incognito; brit-funk and samba-funk. But just as with Azymuth’s music, you can also hear the influence of stateside jazz-funk masters like Roy Ayers, Weather Report, Lonnie Liston Smith, Mtume and Pleasure.

Tempos Futuros features Alex’s daughter, a Brazilian star in her own right, vocalist Sabrina Malheiros, Brazilian percussion master Sidinho Moreira, London based saxophonist Sean Khan, Marcos Valle’s go-to drummer Massa, and Brazilian keyboard player Dudu Viana. Featuring the late Azymuth keyboard maestro Jose Roberto Bertami on Fender Rhodes, the title track “Tempos Futuros” was originally recorded as a demo in 1995. On this finished version, Alex Malheiros used Bertami’s original keyboard take, explaining the posthumous release.

Tempos Futuros will be released via Far Out Recordings on vinyl LP, CD and digitally on the 26th November 2021 

1. The Razor's Edge
2. Telegramas Para Arp
3. Retrato (feat. Sean Khan)
4. Prece (feat. Sabrina Malheiros)
5. Nikiti
6. Kuarup
7. O Temporal
8. Alto Verão (feat. Sabrina Malheiros)
9. Sereno
10. Marcinha
11. Tempos Futuros (feat. Jose Roberto Bertrami)
12. Requiem For A Storm

Alex Malheiros: Electric Bass, Fretless Bass, Acoustic Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion & Vocals
Daniel Maunick: Organ, Synths & Effects, Additional Keyboards, Drums & Percussion
Sidinho & Ian Moreira: Percussion
Sabrina Malheiros: Vocals
Sean Khan: Saxophone
Victor Bertrami: Drums
Renato Massa: Drums
Dudu Viana: Keyboards

Produced & Arranged By Daniel Maunick
Co-Produced By Alex Malheiros

Mixed By Daniel Maunick @ The Sugar Shack, Carluke, Scotland
Recorded & Engineered By:
Daniel Maunick & Heber Ribeiro @ Castelo Studio, Niteroi, Brazil
Daniel Maunick & Dudu Viana @ DV Estudio, Rio, Brazil
Daniel Maunick & Alex Malheiros @ Estudio Dos Calangos, Niteroi, Brazil

Executive Producer: Joe Davis
Recording Co-ordinator: Livia Malheiros
Artwork: Noopur Choksi

The Westerlies - Fireside Brass: A Westerlies Holiday (November 2021)

Fireside Brass is a collection of our favorite holiday music: cherished songs from our childhoods, recent musical discoveries, and old standbys from the annual holiday house concerts we’d host in the living room of our Harlem apartment in our earliest days as a band. Some of the pieces we left relatively unadorned, while others were abstracted and personalized with a unique Westerlies touch. All of the music here was captured with a meticulous attention to detail and a spirit of spontaneity and improvisation. We hope this album brings you a sense of warmth, intimacy, and joy from our fireside to yours.

1. Angels We Have Heard on High
2. Christmas Time Is Here
3. Deck the Hall
4. O Holy Night
5. Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen
6. Carol of the Bells
7. Still, Still, Still
8. Some Children See Him
9. Ma’oz Tzur
10. It’s Love, It’s Christmas
11. Oh Tannenbaum
12. A Merrier Christmas
13. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Procession
14. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: Wolcum Yole!
15. A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: There is no rose

The Westerlies:
Riley Mulherkar - Trumpet
Chloe Rowlands - Trumpet
Andy Clausen - Trombone
Willem de Koch - Trombone

All arrangements by The Westerlies
Recorded June 14-18, 2021 at Atterbury House, New York, NY
Produced, Mixed, and Mastered by Andy Clausen
Additional Engineering by Willem de Koch
Cover Design & Layout by Jack Dunnington

Karl Naegelen / Sylvain Darrifourcq / Toma Gouband - Cartographie de rythmes #1 (November 2021 Umlaut Records)

Cartographie de rythmes - Vitesses approchantes [Cartography of rhythms - Approximating speeds] is a startling duo comprised of two drummers following their own respective rhythmic paths.

Toma Gouband’s path is littered with stones, plants and traditional drum elements, all leading him into a complex and direct polyphonic world.

Sylvain Darrifourcq’s instrumental exploration is rife with machine esthetics and questions on temporality, space and rupture.

In uniting these two singular yet complementary musicians, composer Karl Naegelen brings them to collaborate on a written object of rhythmical invention that stems from extended shifts in interval and phasing.

1. Impacts
2. Vitesses approchantes
3. Déphasage circulaire
4. Minimal
5. Continuum - filtrage

Karl Naegelen: composition
Sylvain Darrifourcq: drums, percussions, objects
Toma Gouband : drums, percussions, vegetal lithophones

Recorded in July 2021 at Athénor - Centre National de Création Musicale (Saint-Nazaire)
Engineering, mix and mastering : Ananda Cherer
Design : copyright atelier informationCare / Ronan Le Régent
Produced by Athénor scène nomade - CNCM with the support of Centre National de la Musique.

Aseo Trio - Muddy Water (November 2021)

The Aseo Trio is striving for a unique musical direction. The music can hardly be put in a box but is definitely influenced by jazz, rock and flamenco. Additional Aseo brings his cultural background into his art.

1. Oblivion 06:26
2. Transformation 04:55
3. Muddy Water 05:15
4. Japanese Song 04:25
5. Starlights 06:04
6. Nargit 08:20
7. Silence 06:38

Aseo Friesacher - Piano
Dean Montanaro - E-Bass
Manu Pinzon - Drums
Andrea Leone - Tenor Saxophone (Track 6 & 7)
Beatrice Milanese - Vocals (Track 6 & 7)
Tarang Poddar - Tabla (Track 7)

Orri - Crépuscule (November 2021)

Quartet de Jazz moderne nourri par de nombreuses esthétiques, de la Folk au Rock en passant par la musique ambiante, Orri explore les textures musicales avec une curiosité sans limites.

Dans cet espace sonore qui laisse place à l’imagination, chaque composition tire le portrait d’un moment ou d’un lieu, vécu ou rêvé, et partage les émotions qui les accompagnent.

1. Zozio
2. Phares
3. Oeuf au Riz
4. Joseph's Dream
5. Crépuscule

Jérémie Lucchese : Saxophone
Paul Couvreur : Guitare
George Storey : Contrebasse
Malo Évrard : Batterie

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Saxophonist/composer Josh Sinton releases b. his debut solo baritone sax album. December 10, 2021 via Form is Possibility Recordings (FiP)

Josh Sinton’s remarkable solo baritone saxophone album, simply titled b. took two days to record but thirty years to prepare for

Sinton also plans to release three albums in 2022

In the world of creative music, solo saxophone records are fairly common. But it is their commonplace nature that gave Sinton pause for such a long time. "The world has more than enough solo saxophone albums. Of all kinds. It took me a long time to discover what I could offer, what I could put in the public square that wasn't there already." In his search for new, viable expressions, Sinton has created a remarkable document: b.

b., out December 10, 2021 via FiP, is remarkable for its soulfulness as well as its intellectual rigor. From the barked gestures of "b.1.i" that open the record to the lyrical crooning of "b.1.iv," it is clear that Sinton does not shy from emotional exposition. At the same time, the crystalline structures of "b.2.iv" and the constructivist architecture of "b.1.ii" speak to the long hours spent closely studying not only music, but also painting, science and literature. "When I was nineteen, I made a very conscious decision to commit myself to a life in music. Even back then I knew this was going to obligate me to try to manifest every part of my life in a musical format. Given that some of my life was very intellectual and some of it very emotional, some of it very angry and some of it very laconic, my music was going to cover a lot of ground. Of course, being nineteen I didn't realize just how long it was going to take me to acquire the technical facility and listening experience this kind of proposition demanded."

On first listening, b. gives the impression of being a known quantity: a series of free-form improvisations executed on the seemingly unsubtle baritone saxophone. That impression quickly dissipates the longer one listens. Although everything is played with enormous intensity, one can't help but notice the unhurried quality of Sinton's playing, the inevitability of each successive gesture and phrase. As well, the broad range of timbres, dynamics and musical subjects is something rarely heard in a solo recital. But the most surprising element of Sinton's solo saxophone music is what he doesn't play, the silence he strategically and frequently employs. "The baritone saxophone has always struck me as the most self-sufficient of all the saxophones. It has the kind of timbral palette that is so complete that I often don't need to hear anything next to it. And while that's wonderful, it means I've also had to wrestle with the fact that it often takes my ear a little longer to register the baritone's activity. If there's too much happening around it, if I'm playing too loudly too constantly, it makes it very hard for me to make sense of what I've heard. I've found that by making a sound and then making a silence, I have time and space to let my brain process the music."
 
Silence as a fundamental structural unit in Sinton's music shows up throughout the course of b. Most tellingly in "b.2.iii." While the specific technique he's using is an old one (found not only in the music Pharoah Sanders and Dewey Redman, but also Big Jay McNeeley and Ben Webster), he deploys it in a radically different way. Alternating between slabs of sound and dramatically silent moments, Sinton builds to an emotional crescendo that's as much about his love about the blues as it is his commitment to the implications of his opening gestures. "Charles Olson is a favorite poet of mine and he wrote a hugely influential essay called Projective Verse in 1950. He discusses writing poetry as an act of venturing into an 'open field' and the form of a poem being an extension of its content. This immediately struck me as a very practical approach to both improvising and making music generally. It helped me hear the commonalities of artists like Cecil Taylor, John Butcher, Keith Jarrett and Julius Hemphill." 

And it is perhaps this aspect of b. that is its most unique feature: a commitment to musical form. Whether that form is the interplay of distinct musical objects in "b.2.ii" or the extended meditation on blues-based phrases in the epic "b.1.iii," Josh Sinton's improvisations are indeed "composed" as he indicates in the album credits. b. represents another sonic manifestation of Sinton's philosophy that the difference between improvisation and composition is one of methods used rather than in sounds heard.

The release of b. will be celebrated with a series of solo concerts in the NYC area in early December. Dates and venues will be announced shortly.
Sinton also plans three releases for 2022

June 3, 2022 – Reedist Josh Sinton (Ideal Bread, Nate Wooley quintet) and longtime friends Jed Wilson (pianist with Dominique Eade and Heather Masse) and Tony Falco (drummer with Tsiziji Munoz) reunited musically in the wake of Covid-19’s impact on the world. Affirming the invaluable ties of friendship and human closeness, they spent an afternoon playing free, lyrical and inspired music that will provide a much-needed balm for everyone.

August 12, 2022 Josh Sinton performs Steve Lacy’s Book H of Practitioners – Baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton has been engaging with Steve Lacy’s first of three books of saxophone etudes for the past twenty years. After patient listening and investigation, he has recorded a deeply personal and exacting rendition of the six etudes Lacy wrote to challenge and inspire creative musicians and listeners of the twenty-first century.

October 28, 2022Josh Sinton’s Predicate 4 freedoms – Musically responding to the sudden growth of historic consciousness in the United States brought Sinton to new musical terrain that he had only hinted at in his past work. 4 freedoms articulates a musical vision of the world where all people help all people to be free of fear, free to be themselves, free to love and free from advertising. Predicate features Sinton with trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, cellist Christopher Hoffman and drummer Tom Rainey.

Album : b.

Track titles:

1. b.1.i - 4:02
2. b.1.ii - 3:00
3. b.1.iii - 9:31
4. b.1.iv - 4:47
5. b.2.i - 7:01
6. b.2.ii - 3:33
7. b.2.iii - 4:16
8. b.2.iv - 4:09
9. b.2.v - 5:36

Josh Sinton – baritone saxophone

all composed improvisations by Josh Sinton copyright
2021 sinzheimer music BMI

recorded June 22nd, 2021 at Oktaven Studio
mixing by Ryan Streber
mastering by Luis Bacque
cover art by TJ Huff @Huffart
FiP Recordings

Saxophonist Rich Halley releases "Boomslang" (December 3, 2021 Pine Eagle Records)

Saxophonist Rich Halley releases "Boomslang" (December 3, 2021 Pine Eagle Records)

New Release, available December 3, 2021 on Pine Eagle Records, features cornetist
Dan Clucas, bassist Clyde Reed and drummer Carson Halley

Boomslang is the new recording by Rich Halley, featuring a quartet with Los Angeles cornetist Dan Clucas, Canadian bassist Clyde Reed and long time drummer Carson Halley. Recorded in Portland in December 2019, Boomslang features a mix of Halley compositions and spontaneous improvisations that showcase the depth and inventiveness of the group’s playing.

Rich Halley has released 24 recordings as a leader. Boomslang follows Halley’s critically acclaimed recordings The Shape of Things and Terra Incognita (with Matthew Shipp), The Literature, The Outlier, Creating Structure and Crossing the Passes.
“Heartland American jazz of the very highest order.”
Brian Morton, Point of Departure

“Oregon-based saxophonist Rich Halley has been turning out smart, brawny music for a couple of decades.”
James Hale, DownBeat

“Uncluttered, bold and powerful.”
Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

1. Quintuplify 06:37
2. Corroboration 05:59
3. Northern Plains 06:34
4. The Drop Off 07:08
5. Situational 05:09
6. Dispholidus 11:59
7. The Lean 05:04
8. Intermittent 03:21
9. The Converse 07:24

Rich Halley - tenor saxophone
Dan Clucas - cornet
Clyde Reed - bass
Carson Halley - drums


Jacqueline Kerrod's fearless solo album '17 Days in December’ (December 3, 2021 via Orenda Records)

17 Days in December, due out December 3, 2021 via Orenda Records, features an expansive set of solo harp improvisations culled from daily explorations
 
Kerrod’s diverse credits include work with Anthony Braxton, serving as principal harpist with NY City Opera, and performances with Anohni, Rufus Wainwright and Kanye West
 
"Kerrod is a fearless improviser and experimentalist, using extended techniques in a fashion that would sound like mistakes in less sure hands."
– Mike Eisenberg, Avant Music News
 
“[The] exceptionally virtuosic and sensitive harpist Jacqueline Kerrod… drew many different tonal colors from her instrument. ” 
– Timothy Hutto, Classical Source

“I sometimes think I should have picked a different instrument,” jokes South African-born harpist Jacqueline Kerrod.
Classically trained from the age of 9, Kerrod has had a vibrant and varied career as a freelancer in New York City. She has played principal harp with top orchestras and performed with elite chamber groups, contemporary music ensembles, and pop superstars like Anohni, Rufus Wainwright and Kanye West. But although she consistently worked at a very high level, these opportunities failed to provide an outlet for her own creative voice.
 
“Although I had dabbled in improvisation and writing my own music, it took a back seat as I continued my studies in the US and began my professional career in NYC. Even so, that little voice in my head was there, reminding me of the music I was really drawn to and my desire to make it myself.”
 
Kerrod’s journey of personal sonic discovery has now yielded her debut solo album, 17 Days in December, due out December 3, 2021 via Los Angeles-based Orenda Records. The album results from a month-long series of daily improvisations on acoustic and electric harp that Kerrod undertook in the basement of her home in Princeton at the height of the Covid-19 quarantine. But its origins date back long before the pandemic, to a six-year journey in a pop duo and the inspiration of working with master composer/improviser Anthony Braxton.
 
Kerrod was initially enlisted to play with the ensemble for Braxton’s opera “Trillium J.” That led to an invitation to join the saxophone innovator on the latest iteration of his musical system, ZIM Music – the results of which can be heard on his new 11-hour recording 12 Comp (ZIM) 2017. She later joined Braxton in duo performances in Europe and the US. Their performance from Bologna was released on the Italian label I dischi di Angelica in 2020. These opportunities became a plunge into the deep end of the improvised music realm for the harpist.
 
“I found it exciting and terrifying to be inside of those performances,” Kerrod recalls. “As a classical musician the process is so much about learning things perfectly and meticulously preparing so that you lessen the odds of messing up. I rarely felt free from needing to control the outcome. Playing with Braxton was such a shift because you have to be in the moment. That feeling of being able to move through unfamiliar territory and discover new things is such an adventure. I truly rediscovered my joy for music and my instrument.”
 
Prior to crossing paths with Braxton, Kerrod was immersed in the realm of new music with the likes of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Argento Chamber Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Wet Ink, Alarm Will Sound and Metropolis Chamber Ensemble; and she championed South African composers with more than a dozen works written for her. She also branched away from the classical world as half of the pop duo Addi & Jacq (with vocalist Addi McDaniel), where she developed her skills on the electric harp using guitar pedals and a looper, and with songwriting.
“Having all of these experiences with different genres and approaches opened up a whole new world of music to me,” Kerrod says. “Through them I started my listening journey into the world of free improvised music, free jazz, country blues, you name it! I realized that there are no boxes that one needs to climb into. You can and should always be yourself.”
 
Kerrod set up a basic studio at home to continue her evolution, but the lockdown accelerated the process and led to the experiments that comprise 17 Days in December. The harpist set out each day with no fixed agenda or any intention of releasing the results formally. She simply set a timer for 40 minutes, started recording, and let her ideas flow. There is no overdubbing or looping on the album, and no preparations on the harp. She used a screwdriver-like harp tool on one track (“December 5: Screwed”) a small glass bowl on another (“December 28: Glassy Fingers”) and a viola bow (December 29: Rust On Bow) and used delay, whammy and distortion/overdrive pedals on her electric harp. Two acoustic tracks (December 7: Gentle Jangle and December 2: Fluttering Alberti) use software effects in Ableton. Otherwise, the improvisations make use of the natural sounds possible with the unaltered harp..
 
The shimmering opening track, “December 1: Trill to Begin,” draws directly from one of Braxton’s twelve Language Musics. The trill was Kerrod’s solution to Braxton’s Long Sounds language, sustaining a drone despite the harp’s natural tendency for sonic decay. The warped menace of “December 21: Chatterbox” introduces the unusual sounds of her electric harp. Each day’s improv wrings rich discoveries from a different notion, from abstract memory of jazz on “December 9: An Impression” to agitated frenzy on “December 8: Sugar Up” to repurposed classical technique on “December 2: Fluttering Alberti.”
 
“In retrospect, these seventeen improvisations feel like a personal celebration,” Kerrod concludes. “At the time I felt like the top blew off and the music came tumbling out. I felt an incredible amount of joy, truth, warmth, clarity, and reverence for all the sounds – including those I was taught not to make! I want to continue reveling in that feeling, alone and with others, in whatever forms that may take.”

1. December 1: Trill to Begin
2. December 21: Chatterbox
3. December 7: Gentle Jangle
4. December 9: An Impression
5. December 8: Sugar Up
6. December 16: Glare
7. December 17: Strummed I
8. December 28: Glassy Fingers
9. December 14: Broken: In 3
10. December 2: Fluttering Alberti
11. December 4: Can-Can
12. December 29: Rust on Bow
13. December 30: Strummed II
14. December 5: Screwed
15. December 13: Sunday
16. December 22: Blips ‘n’ Blops
17. December 20: Sweet Dreams

Jacqueline Kerrod - Acoustic and Electric Harp

Recorded & produced by Jacqueline Kerrod
Mixed & additional sound production (tracks 2, 3, 7,12, 17) by Weston Olencki
Mastered by Ryan Streber

Cover Art by Eron Rauch
Design by Dan Rosenboom
Photo by Claudia Paul

Jacqueline Kerrod – 17 Days in December
Orenda Records – Orenda 0093 – Recorded Dec. 1-30, 2020
Release date December  3, 2021

Five-piece hybrid jazz outfit BLACK FLOWER announce new single 'Magma', featuring a polyrhythmic organ structure against a boiling energetic rhythm section

On the 26th November, five-piece hybrid jazz outfit Black Flower are set to release ‘Magma’, the second single taken from the band’s forthcoming album of the same name released 28th January via Sdban Ultra. “We present this latest single as a metaphor for what is to come - moments in time when music comes to the surface taking a concrete form, shared and used to amplify the beauty of life. Being the title track of the upcoming album it reflects a boiling, churning, silent energy. It is the core, the source. It is a state between solid and liquid and represents ancient energy and new potential. The track. An arching melody from the cornet gives way to an eruptive solo on baritone sax.” EMBED

Black Flower is a band at the peak of their creative powers. Having received glowing praise for the 2019 album ‘Future Flora’ from Mojo, Songlines, BBC Radio 6 Music’s Gilles Peterson, BBC Radio 3’s Music Planet, Worldwide FM and Jazz FM among others, forthcoming album ‘Magma’ sees Black Flower embrace new synth and organ sounds from the band’s most recent recruit, Karel Cuelenaere. Piloted by Brussels-based saxophonist/flutist/composer Nathan Daems (Echoes of Zoo, Dijf Sanders), the quintet is a vibrant, hypnotic mix of Ethio jazz, afrobeat, psychedelia and oriental influences, inspired by Mulatu Astatke, Fela Kuti and varied western musical traditions.

Across ‘Magma’, Cuelenaere’s influence can be heard from the outset – his keys adding a swirling, mischievousness to album opener and title track ‘Magma’. Elsewhere, the shuffling drum patterns and flighty, flute-propelled ‘O Fogo’ are rich in texture and flow. Driving rhythms and Eastern influenced melodies serve as a rich source of pleasure that, like magma, become real and solid when finding its way to the surface. It’s the perfect metaphor for this album’s creational process. The pulsating, trance-inducing ‘Deep Dive Down’ continues the joyous process while singer-songwriter Meskerem Mees (winner of The Montreux Jazz Talent Award 2021) adds, her clear-as-spring-water vocals to the celestial ‘Morning in the Jungle’.

“Riveting playfulness and throttling sense of adventure” Mojo

“Music that will make you turn on, tune in and turn it right up” Songlines

“Bends the purist rules of world music to good effect” (The Independent)

“We’re fans of knitwear-loving Belgian five-piece Black Flower. Why wouldn’t you be?” The Artsdesk

“Brilliant” Gilles Peterson, BBC Radio 6 Music/Worldwide FM
With the much-trusted Frederik Segers on production and London-based visual virtuoso Raimund Wong (Total Refreshment Centre) on artwork duties, it all adds up to the psychedelic and exploratory identity of the band and are key elements that helped ‘Magma’ in its ascension from deep down up to the surface. A creative process solidified into vinyl, just as magma into rock.

Fellow musicians and spiritual henchmen are Jon Birdsong (dEUS, Beck, Calexico) on cornet, Simon Segers (Absynthe Minded, De Beren Gieren, MDCIII) at the drums, Filip Vandebril (Lady Linn, The Valerie Solanas) at the bass and Karel Cuelenaere (John Ghost) on keys.

Sdban Records is an independent record label, obsessed with grooves. Based in Ghent, Belgium, the label is home to such artists as De Beren Gieren, John Ghost, Glass Museum, ECHT!, Azmari Compro Oro and STUFF.

1. Magma
2. O Fogo
3. The Light
4. Half Liquid
5. Deep Dive Down
6. Morning In The Jungle (feat. Meskerem Mees)
7. The Forge
8. Blue Speck

Tubby Hayes Quartet - The Complete Hopbine '69 (December 3, 2021 Jazz In Britain)

The Ron Mathewson Tapes Vol. 7

Previously only issued in fragmented form and long out of print, these recordings catch Hayes in transition. Less than a month after they were taped just before Christmas 1969, he was to collapse on a gig, signaling the beginning of the final phase of his tragically foreshortened career.

But on this night, buoyed and stimulated by his regular working quartet of pianist Mike Pyne, bassist Ron Mathewson and drummer Spike Wells, Hayes wasn't only on form he was on FIRE! Indeed, coming so close to the end of a decade in which his star had burned brighter than those of virtually any other figure on the UK jazz scene, it marks a fitting capstone to his most creatively fecund period.

Remastered direct from the original tapes, unearthed in Ron Mathewson's archive, and issued for the very first time in pristine audio and unedited, this sumptuous double-CD release is packaged with rare photographs and gig memorabilia and an extended booklet essay by Hayes' biographer, saxophonist Simon Spillett which includes the memories of the only surviving member of the Tubby Hayes Quartet, Spike Wells.

Yet another key piece in the jigsaw of understanding this most fabled of Brit-jazz legends legacy, 'Complete Hopbine '69' contains a powerful reminder of the brimming potency of Tubby Hayes' later music, all the more so for being recorded at a juncture in which the noisy fashions of fusion were fast taking hold. - Simon Spillett 

1. For Members Only
2. Off The Wagon
3. Where Am I Going?
4. What Is This Thing Called Love
5. Mainly For The Don
6. For Heaven's Sake
7. Vierd Blues
8. Walkin'

Tubby Hayes - tenor saxophone
Mick Pyne - piano
Ron Mathewson - bass
Spike Wells - drums

The Hopbine, North Wembley, Tuesday December 23rd 1969

From the Ron Mathewson tape archive
Tape Transfer by Matt Parker
Original recording by Ted Lyon
Liner notes by Simon Spillett
Executive producer - John Thurlow

Fearless Trio - Choose Your Way (November 2021)

The 2nd album by Ludwig-Nabatov-Arends, known as Fearless Trio. Sax, piano and drums interplay and improvise like it really matters, creating tension and friction on the one hand, release and beauty on the other.

1. Unrelated 04:01
2. Wolfland 06:17
3. Northern Soul 07:04
4. Elevate Slowly 04:56
5. How You Didn't Think It Would Be 05:09
6. Unwanted Phone Call 03:55
7. One Hour Left 05:02
8. Signs 04:37

Recorded by Christian Heck at Loft, Cologne
Mixed and mastered by Lukas Fehling
Cover Art by Mathias Fleck

Kellylee Evans - Green Light (November 2021)

2018 JUNO nominee Kellylee Evans is a high-octane, chameleon-like performer whose natural charm and improvisational vocal style embody jazz, soul, pop, and hip-hop.

The singer-songwriter won a 2011 JUNO Award and has been captivating audiences along the way, opening for stars such as John Legend, George Benson and Willie Nelson.

1. Green Light 02:56
2. Holding You 03:49
3. Everything 03:58
4. Not Today 02:56
5. To Feel My Love 03:37

Vocals and backing vocals recorded by Kellylee Evans at Enliven House, Ottawa.
Piano, Rhodes, trumpet, guitar, percussion recorded by Michael Shand at Tiger Tiger Music Group, Toronto.
Drums recorded by Roberto Occhipinti at Modica Music Studio, Toronto.
Bass recorded by Mark Godfrey at Pram Records, Toronto.

Darrell Katz & Oddsong - Galeanthropology (November 2021 JCA Recordings)

Composer-arranger Darrell Katz’s New OddSong CD Features Original Songs, Pop Classics, and Jazz Standards

Unique ensemble features four saxophones, violin, marimba, and voice 

“a progressive and creative orchestrator of new music in a way that few can claim.”
— Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide 
 
“Darrell Katz is the heir to the great George Russell–composer, arranger, innovator par excellence. Just as Russell invented the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization... Darrell Katz has redesigned and integrated song form into the ‘jazz’ orchestration and attracted major soloists to his visioning of the art.”
— Steve Day, Sandy Brown Jazz 

The artistic vision of jazz composer Darrell Katz recognizes no boundaries and Galeanthropology (JCA, November 19, 2021) is a varied showcase of his genre-spanning interest in American music from Jimi Hendrix’s “Belly Button Window” to original jazz-art song settings of the poetry of Paula Tatarunis. Working with the drummerless ensemble OddSong, which gracefully blends composition and improvisation into seamless performances, the album ranges from gritty blues to sublime meditations on the vagaries of life. 

Settings of poems by Katz’s late wife, Paula Tatarunis, are among the highlights of the album. Few modern composers, in any genre, are as good as Katz at composing music for voice that reinforces the meaning of words. Sung with luminous transparency by vocalist Rebecca Shrimpton, “Guiding Narrative” is a poignant poem about the inevitability of misfortune in life. It features a melody seamlessly linked to the cadence of the words, while rhythmic phrases from the marimba and saxophones provide jazzy propulsion, and the instrumental scoring shades and deepens the meaning. Violinist Helen Sherrah Davies’ rhapsodic, melancholy solo beautifully encapsulates the poem’s rueful irony and sadness. The final line of the poem was originally scored for voice and violin, but Katz ended up scoring for a trio of voices. Written while Katz was recovering from knee replacement surgery, the poem is the source of the band’s name. “I was in the hospital, having a difficult time with my recovery from surgery,” Katz says. “And so it’s about me—I was lost in the forest of the night. Not only did it give me the name of the group, but it was a name that Paula called me.” 

A little studio manipulation helped create the moving “Women Talking.” When the group performed it live, women members of the band talked among themselves at the opening of the song. But Katz didn’t feel it had the comforting quality he wanted, so he gave lines that Tatarunis had written to female members of the band, then created a collage of voices in the studio. The music shadows the words sometimes echoing them (the droplets of marimba notes when Shrimpton sings “rain whispering”) and sometimes amplifying the beautiful melancholy of the poem. Phil Scarff interweaves a lovely soprano sax solo into the ensemble and a collective improvisation is perfectly integrated into the flow of the score. 

Vocalist Shrimpton (whose virtuosic solo rendition of Mingus’ “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love” is an album highlight) recites “Outta Horn,” the story of a discouraged poet inspired seeing John Coltrane in a club, told in what Katz describes as Tatarunis’ “detective novel/film noir” voice. The accompanying music offers a commentary on the story that balances composition and improvisation. “There are scored passages, but also section that include only directions as to what person is playing and when, when everybody stops or what approach they should take; it's mapped out,” Katz explains. “So, each performance has some kind of similarity to the others, but there are important differences.” 
The title track, a witty and loving tribute to Tatarunis written by Katz, is playfully humorous (much like Tatarunis’ poetry often is) with a tender emotional twist at the end. The title derives from a mental condition in which patients believe they are a cat. The music is playful with the words—for instance, there’s a quote of Charlie Parker’s “Ornithology” in response to the question “Wouldn’t you really rather be a bird?” Alto saxophonists Rick Stone and Lihi Haruvi, in another nod to Parker, are the soloists. 

Arrangements of “Sweet Baby James” and the Standell’s garage band anthem “Dirty Water” have their origin in Jazz Along the Charles, a 2018 outdoor concert in Boston during which jazz groups played their interpretations of Boston-related songs. Instead of the original spoken introduction to “Dirty Water,” Katz substitutes “Microtonal.” The tough guy persona of the poem’s voice fits with the song’s outlaw sensibility, but Katz’s abstract setting contrasts with the song’s famous rhythmic hook. Baritone saxophonist Melanie Howell Brooks uses that hook to propel her flowing, blues-inflected solo. Musically related, are settings of the folk song, “I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Belly Button Window,” and Katz’s bruising ballad original, “The Red Blues,” an homage to Julius Hemphill. Katz translates them into the sound world of OddSong with his own riffs and rhythmic figures, tart and often surprising harmonies, and opens them to the band’s superb soloists. 

OddSong handles the many demands of the music with graceful flair. Comprised of a saxophone quartet with violin, marimba, and voice, OddSong walks a fine line between classical chamber ensemble and big band sax section. Their passionate engagement with music, from the unclassifiable fusion of jazz and classical elements in “Guiding Narrative” and “Women Talking” to the jazzy harmonies and funky swagger of “Dirty Water” and “Belly Button Window,” indicate a band perfectly in tune with its leader’s vision. The instrumentation gives Katz plenty of opportunity to work with unusual textures and timbres and the group displays a fine-tuned balance that allows all the colors to shine through. 

Musician-composer-bandleader-educator Darrell Katz is a composer of uncommon range and broad vision, able to weave influences from every musical sphere into his own unique voice. The Boston Phoenix called him, "one of Boston's most ambitious and provocative jazz composers." As director of the Jazz Composers Alliance (JCA), an organization he helped found in 1985, Katz has documented his large ensemble work on 10 previous CDs with the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra. His JCA Orchestra album Wheelworks was named one of DownBeat’s best CDs of 2015. He debuted his smaller OddSong ensemble in 2016 with Jailhouse Doc with Holes in Her Socks. Lynn René Bayley, writing in Art Music Lounge, called it “one of the most fascinating jazz albums of 2016, possibly one of the finest albums I’ve heard regardless of genre.” Jerome Wilson, of All About Jazz says “Listening to Darrell Katz's music, it boggles the mind that he is not celebrated as one of the best jazz composers/arrangers around. He has been creating ambitious and accessible works full of humor, social conscience and creativity for decades...”