Thursday, March 25, 2021

JazzHistory: Max + Dizzy: Paris 1989 / Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC)

On March 23, 1989, Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach united for a performance at the Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris. The concert found these two icons engaging in a relaxed and at times humorous dialogue with the same ease and intuition that defined their nearly 50 years of collaboration. Wending their way through standards and originals, the duo offered up a concert released on record as Max + Dizzy: Paris 1989 that would stand as one of Gillespie's greatest late-career recordings.

Playlist: Voices of Freedom / Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC)


In advance of our Voices of Freedom concert, check out our playlist, featuring essential works from some of the most powerful female performers and songwriters of the 20th century. Don't miss the JLCO's concert webcast which will highlight the music of Betty Carter, Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, and Nina Simone on March 26-31!

Pasquale Grasso | "Solo Ballads" | Available April 9 via Sony Music Masterworks

Guitar Virtuoso Pasquale Grasso set to Release
Solo Ballads, the First Installment of a
New Three-Part Series on Sony Music Masterworks

Stream the First Track “When I Fall In Love” and
Pre-Order the Album HERE

Pasquale Grasso’s eloquent classical technique, jazz phrasing, bebop rhythms, and nimble fret musings have distinguished him as a celebrated 21st century virtuoso, culminating in his latest effort Solo Ballads. Set for April 9 as a digital only release, Grasso augments his repertoire again with five freshly-minted tracks culminating in an expanded edition of his 2020 EP Solo Ballads, Vol. 1. The 10 combined songs represent the first installment of an eventual three-part album series set for release in 2021-2022. 

“I chose songs I’ve performed for my whole life. They’re my favorite ballads, and they remind me of my childhood. I’ve got a personal story related to each one,” says Grasso. With five previously-unreleased tracks, Grasso introduces Solo Ballads with an intimate interpretation of the standard “When I Fall In Love.” His pronounced plucking places the arpeggio at the forefront before carrying the instantly recognizable melody—popularized by Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole—with nothing more than his guitar.

“I’ve always been a romantic,” he smiles. “I’m a Southern Italian, and I grew up watching my parents, who have been in love for more than forty years. I tried to add more classical guitar to the melody. The song is beautiful, and it reminds me of what it means to be in love.”
Meanwhile, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” hangs on a deft and dynamic lead punctuated by fascinating moments of improvisation as notes ring out with emotion. “When I recorded it, it was a very sad time because my girlfriend’s grandmother died, and it was her favorite song. Every time I saw her, she asked me to play it. On the album, I dedicated ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’ to her,” Grasso says.

On its heels, Grasso will celebrate the legacy of Duke Ellington with Pasquale Plays Duke. This forthcoming release has the musician reimagining five Duke Ellington classics on solo guitar, alongside several additional tracks recorded with longtime collaborators bassist Ari Roland and drummer Keith Balla. To be released in late summer, the album will feature some of Ellington’s most-cherished masterpieces including “Sophisticated Lady,” “Prelude to a Kiss,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing” and “Cotton Tail,” with guest vocalists Sheila Jordan and Samara Joy making appearances on “Mood Indigo” and “Solitude,” respectively.

Further down the line and expected to be released early in 2022, Pasquale, Roland and Balla will join forces once again, this time to put their spin on a Bebop-era tracks popularized by the likes of Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, and more.

Whether he’s by himself, as part of a band, on stage, or on a livestream, Pasquale Grasso’s goal ultimately remains the same, shining on each and every effort. “I always want people to just enjoy what I’m doing. Put the recording on and drink a glass of wine. It might be relaxing or help you concentrate. I just hope you forget about the world for a minute and enjoy yourself,” says Grasso.

Pasquale Grasso | Solo Ballads
Sony Music Masterworks | Release Date: April 9, 2021

For more information on Pasquale Grasso please visit:

For more information on Sony Music Masterworks please visit:
Long before earning the endorsement of everyone from The New Yorker to jazz guitar god Pat Metheny and recording a series of solo EPs and albums for Sony Music Masterworks, Pasquale Grasso grew up in this quaint and quiet Italian town of Ariano Irpino. At six-years-old, Pasquale developed a bond with his guitar that ignited an unbelievable journey from the Italian countryside to international renown. After attending the Conservatory of Bologna, the U.S. Embassy enlisted him as its Jazz Ambassador. 

He embedded himself in New York City’s jazz community through a standing gig with late iconic saxophonist Charles Davis. Among many standout performances, he won the 2015 Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Competition and shared the stage with Pat Martino’s organ trio. In 2018, he appeared at the NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., delivering a show-stopping homage to honor Pat Metheny who christened him “The best guitar player I’ve heard in maybe my entire life.” Signing to Sony Music Masterworks, he kicked off his solo EP/album series in 2019 with Solo Standards, Vol. 1, Solo Ballads, Vol. 1, Solo Monk, and Solo Holiday.

His momentum continued in 2020 with yet another string of solo releases Solo Bird, Solo Masterpieces, Solo Standards, and Solo Bud Powell, earning the praise of The New Yorker, who wrote, “Pasquale Grasso can play guitar like ringing a bell.” He capped off 2020 by accompanying actress and singer Laura Benanti on her self-titled solo debut, joining the Tony® Award winner during her entrancing performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. His eloquent classical technique, jazz phrasing, bebop rhythms, and nimble fret fireworks have distinguished him as a celebrated 21st century virtuoso. In 2021, he expands his repertoire once again with Solo Ballads, an expanded edition of his 2020 EP Solo Ballads, Vol. 1 and the first installment of an eventual three-part album series set for release in 2021-2022.

CODE Quartet - Genealogy (Friday, April 23rd on Justin Time Records)

CODE Quartet is a collective based out of Montreal. Formed four years ago by Christine Jensen on saxophones, Lex French on trumpet, Adrian Vedady on acoustic bass, and Jim Doxas on drums, the group came together with the equal goals of composing and improvising in a chordless-quartet setting.   

The primary motivation for the formation of the group has been to build on the freedom of expression pioneered by Ornette Coleman’s seminal group of the 1950s, with two horns interacting with acoustic bass and drums.

They prioritize the idea that each voice within the collective is given equal weight, blurring the boundaries between lead and supporting voices, between frontline instruments and the rhythm section.

The group have spent the past three years sculpting their original compositions as a team, leading them to some exciting performance opportunities. Over the past four years, they have performed residencies at jazz clubs in Montreal as well as The Wellington Jazz festival in New Zealand in June 2019. 

The group’s principal focus is to present original compositions, orchestrated exclusively for this particular ensemble, weighing heavily on their improvisatory reactions to the written material. The  result is their album Genealogy.

1. Tipsy (French) 7:41
2. Watching it All Slip Away (Vedady) 5:55
3. Genealogy (French) 4:57
4. O Sacred Head, Now Wounded (Traditional) 5:45
5. Wind Up (Jensen) 5:56
6. Requiem (Vedady) 7:16
7. Day Moon (Jensen) 8:03
8. Beach Community (French) 5:33

Christine Jensen on saxophones
Lex French on trumpet
Adrian Vedady on acoustic bass
Jim Doxas on drums

Kaisa Mäensivu - Hand Picked (March 2021 Flame Jazz Records)

’Hand Picked’ is a specially selected set of music by the upright bassist Kaisa Mäensivu. Kaisa croons soulfully on a few American jazz standards with cleverly adapted Finnish lyrics. She leads the musicians with her booming basslines, always keeping the tunes, including her original compositions, fresh and groovy. The result is a satisfying compilation of songs and styles, serving the listener with a fun but complex musical experience.

1. Season's Best 03:50
2. Mä Kelasin Sua 03:18
3. Codenames 05:26
4. Tähdet 03:29
5. Talviuni 06:24
6. The Lemur 03:37

Kaisa Mäensivu: bass + voice
Severi Pyysalo : vibraphone (1-4)
Joe Peri : drums (1-2, 4,6)
Max Zenger : saxophone (3,5)
Mikael Myrskog : piano (3,5)
Jonatan Sarikoski : drums (3,5)

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Hannu Lamminmäki

Josu Mämmi - Mirari (2021 Flame Jazz Records)

Mirari is an electroacoustic exploration of sampling, improvisation and interaction. It aims to bridge together the worlds of jazz, contemporary art music and electronic music to find fresh ground where new structures and working methods are to be found. Every track is based on a mutual improvisation between the featured artist and Josu Mämmi, and taken further via extended sampling and sound design techniques. Mirari tells a story of finding oneself again in a rapidly changing world.

1. Pinnacles 04:19
2. Heart To Hold It 04:16
3. Glocal 03:57
4. Musica Bassa Modern 04:28
5. Cybeles Keys 04:37
6. Resubmerged 02:17
7. Good Crises 04:22
8. Still Waters Run Deep 05:13
9. Thistle Root 05:21
10. Sharpnel 03:42
11. Words Were Like Magic 02:28
12. The Goal Of Odysseus 05:09

Aino Juutilainen, Josu Mämmi - Pinnacles
Aino Juutilainen: cello
Josu Mämmi: Elektron Octatrack, Ableton Live, modular synthesizer, frame drum
Composing and arranging: Aino Juutinen ja Josu Mämmi

Max Zenger, Josu Mämmi - Hearth To Hold It
Max Zenger: saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Josu Mämmi: Elektron Octatrack, Ableton Live
Composing and arranging: Josu Mämmi, Max Zenger

Ilkka Arola, Josu Mämmi - Glocal
Ilkka Arola: saz, trumpet, ud, calabash
Josu Mämmi: Elektron Octatrack, Ableton Live, synthesizer, calabash
Composing and arranging: Ilkka Arola, Josu Mämmi

Teemu Åkerblom, Josu Mämmi - Musica Bassa Modern
Teemu Åkerblom: double bass
Josu Mämmi: Elektron Octatrack, Ableton Live
Composing and arranging: Teemu Åkerblom, Josu Mämmi

Nikita Rafaelov, Josu Mämmi - Cybeles Keys
Nikita Rafaelov: synthesizers, electric piano
Josu Mämmi: Elektron Octatrack, Ableton Live
Composing and arranging: Nikita Rafaelov, Josu Mämmi

Aino Juutinen, Josu Mämmi - Resubmerged
Aino Juutinen: cello
Josu Mämmi: modular synthesizer
Composing and arranging: Aino Juutinen, Josu Mämmi

Aki Himanen, Josu Mämmi - Good Crises
Aki Himanen: trumpet ja effects
Josu Mämmi: Elektron Octatrack, Ableton Live
Composing and arranging: Aki Himanen, Josu Mämmi

Ilmari Aitoaho, Josu Mämmi - Still Waters Run Deep
Ilmari Aitoaho: prepared piano
Josu Mämmi: Elektron Octatrack, Ableton Live
Composing and arranging: Ilmari Aitoaho, Josu Mämmi

Eeva-Kaisa Kohonen, Josu Mämmi - Thistle Root
Eeva-Kaisa Kohonen: harp, Kantele, finnish bowed lyre/jouhikko, frame drum
Josu Mämmi: Elektron Octatrack, Ableton Live, frame drum
Composing and arranging: Eeva-Kaisa Kohonen, Josu Mämmi

Teemu Åkerblom, Josu Mämmi - Sharpnel
Teemu Åkerblom: double bass
Josu Mämmi: Elektron Octatrack, Ableton Live, modular synthesizer
Composing and arranging: Teemu Åkerblom, Josu Mämmi

Ilmari Aitoaho, Josu Mämmi - Words Were Like Magic
Ilmari Aitoaho: prepared piano
Josu Mämmi: Ableton Live
Composing and arranging: Ilmari Aitoaho, Josu Mämmi

Martti Vesala, Josu Mämmi - The Goal Of Odysseus
Martti Vesala: trumpet, effect pedals
Composing and arranging: Elektron Octatrack, Ableton Live

Marta Warelis / Carlos "Zíngaro" / Helena Espvall / Marcelo dos Reis - Turquoise Dream (March 2021 Jacc Records)

1. Finer Grades 06:59
2. Pale Bluish 10:23
3. Specific Gravity 07:47
4. Revealing a Line 08:59
5. Blue to Green 07:06

Marta Warelis - piano
Carlos “Zíngaro” - violin
Helena Espvall - cello and effects
Marcelo dos Reis - acoustic guitar

Marta Warelis, Carlos "Zíngaro", Helena Espvall and Marcelo dos Reis

Live at Museu National Machado de Castro
Jazz ao Centro Festival 2019
19th October 2019

JACC Records

João P. Miranda

Marcelo dos Reis

Fail Better! - The Fall (2021 Jacc Records)

1. Ground Floor 07:23
2. Rise Up 06:44
3. Falling Stars 13:58
4. Skyfall 06:54
5. Down Under 07:36

Luís Vicente - trumpet
Marco Franco - drums and flute
Marcelo dos Reis - electric guitar
José Miguel Pereira - double bass
Albert Cirera - soprano and tenor saxophone

Marcelo dos Reis, Marco Franco, Luís Vicente, José Miguel Pereira and Albert Cirera

Live at Salão Brazil
JACC - Jazz ao Centro Clube
20th October 2017

JACC Records

Marcelo dos Reis

Lucía Martínez / Agustí Fernández / Barry Guy - Bosque de niebla (2CD) March 2021 Fundacja Słuchaj

What can be the typical piano trio in the hands of three truly greatest, and wide-thinking contemporary virtuoso artists? It can be whatever you could think, it can fulfill every shape you can imagine and let the music be an incredible space where invention, heart, and intellect could work together with unbelievable artistic succes!

1. 1.1 1. Entre helechos 04:41
2. 1.2 Fantasmas de neblina perpetua 06:40
3. 1.3. Cueva de los Guácharos 07:10
4. 1.4. La viuda de la Macuira 07:54
5. 1.5. Loro orejiamarillo 04:36
6. 1.6. Arroyito de aguasanta 06:43
7. 1.7. El Lamento de los Yariguíes 06:43
8. 2.1. Bejuco del alma 05:47
9. 2.2. Musguito quitapenas 03:28
10. 2.3. Frontino y El Duende 08:29
11. 2.4. Tatamá tiene dos hermanos 04:36
12. 2.5. Zamarrito gorjiturquesa 08:13
13. 2.6. Mi orquídea tiene un hijuelo 06:29
14. 2.7. El sendero de las mariposas de alas de cristal 04:50
15. 2.8. Arboloco 07:16

Lucía Martínez - drums, percussion, cracklebox, voice
Agustí Fernández - piano
Barry Guy - bass

Recorded: July 9th, 2019 at Rosazul Estudi, Barcelona, Spain
Recording, mixing, and mastering: Ferran Conangla
Executive Producer: Maciej Karłowski
Produced by Lucía Martínez for Fundacja Słuchaj
Barry Guy plays exclusively on Thomastik Springs + logo
Music by Lucía Martínez, Agustí Fernández and Barry Guy

Guillermo Gregorio / Damon Smith / Jerome Bryerton - Room of the Present (March 2021 Fundacja Słuchaj)

This album is structured around two performances of Guillermo Gregorio’s graphic score Moholy 2, inspired by the remarkable art and ideas of László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946). More about him later. Gregorio’s fascinating score, illustrated here, deserves center stage.

In the complete score, at top, shapes float in a blank void. Bars of notated music and sections of musical staff are the only reminders of a conventional score. Look at them again and imagine that you can’t read music. Black dots scatter, one by one, across five parallel, horizontal lines. Gregorio isolates the dot and the line and reimagines them as the vocabulary for a new visual language that only exists in this universe. Dots grow into circles and shrink into specks. They rotate to form ellipses and cut off into hemispheres and circle segments. Lines wander and multiply, streak across the void at dynamic angles and assemble with martial order to create geometric shapes. One renegade line in the upper right arranges itself into a nest of intertwined triangles. Like all good graphic scores, Moholy 2 offers the performer countless variations of simple units to interpret.

But this complete score with all its richness is only part of a two-layered system. A second sheet, which Gregorio calls a “mask,” sits on top of the complete score, blocking it except for twelve open circles that focus the performer’s attention on specific passages. Moving the mask invites the potential for endless permutations. For these performances, black-and-white versions of the score were used, but the color versions illustrated here introduce a new layer of complexity.

The score’s hybrid status as art and music, its geometric abstraction, elegant simplicity, and infinite variety, continue the spirit of Moholy’s expansive art. A polymath, he introduced Russian-style constructivism to Berlin, led the Bauhaus metal workshop, worked as a set and lighting designer for experimental theaters, and founded the New Bauhaus in Chicago, now the Institute of Design, all before his death at the age of 51. Even more impressive are his writings, which open a window into one of the 20th century’s most inquisitive minds. In his first book, Painting, Photography, Film published in 1925, Moholy exhorted his reader to understand art as part of the Gesamtwerk, the wholeness of life, a vast integrated totality of action and idea. More than his paintings, Moholy’s words continue to inspire creative artists like Gregorio today.

1. Improvisation 4 04:51
2. Moholy 2 take one 06:57
3. Madi Piece nr. 1: Planimetria 08:10
4. Cards 10:10
5. Coplanar 1+2 07:35
6. Improvisation 1 06:22
7. Improvisation 2 10:17
8. Madi Piece Nr. 2 06:12
9. Moholy 2 take two 04:54
10. Otra Musica 4b 06:09
11. Improvisation 3 06:40

Guillermo Gregorio - Bb clarinet, A clarinet, alto clarinet, and alto saxophone, conduction (Moholy 2)
Damon Smith - double bass
Jerome Bryerton - percussion, selected cymbals, misc. drums

Vasco Trilla - Unmoved Mover (March 2021 Fundacja Słuchaj)

"Vasco Trilla is a masterful visionary sonic alchemist, a sound painter of subtlety and grace. His work has a great capacity for stillness and space, qualities both rare and much needed in these chaotic overstimulated times. These are healing deep breath percussive meditations channeled by Señor Trilla direct from Spirit as a blessing for mind and soul." Ra Kalam Bob Mose

1. Unmoved Mover 07:42
2. Hylomorphism 02:22
3. Ousia 05:13
4. Living Bodies 05:22
5. Nous 06:07
6. Hylozoism 01:48
7. Celestial Spheres 05:12
8. Causeless Cause 06:42

Vasco Trilla: timpani and gong

All music by Vasco Trilla
Recorded on 30/06/2020 by El Pricto at T.U.R.F, Barcelona
Mixed and Mastered by El Pricto

Tanja Feichtmair / Damon Smith / Gino Robair - The Shrilling of Frogs BPA -11 (March 2021 Balance Point Acoustics)

1. Throw Off the last veil 04:57
2. Bitterest Joys 10:51
3. Drowned in Yellow Streets 05:38
4. Carpets on the Barren Land 06:44
5. Sank into the Gold 06:34
6. Astray in Everything 01:40
7. My Thousand Greedy Wishes 05:00
8. Nothing's Dull or Rough 05:52
9. Boil Over & Blossom 08:49
10. Transfigured Ground 02:04
11. Thought is Untrue 01:48
12. A First Decision 05:26
13. Various Costumes 03:55

Tanja Fechtmair - alto saxophone & Bass clarinet
Damon Smith - double bass
Gino Robair - percussion

Recorded by Scott R. Looney 8/11/2003 at 1510 Studios Oakland, Ca
Mastered by Weasel Walter

Jaap Blonk / Bart van der Putten / Pieter Meurs / Damon Smith - Hugo Ball Six Sound Poems 2CD Set 1989 & 2013 (March 2021 Balance Point Acoustics)

The Life and Work of Hugo Ball.

This recording is a modern interpretation of sound poems written and performed by German Dadaist Hugo Ball more than a century ago. Those familiar with Ball know him as the author of these innovative works and founder of the Cabaret Voltaire, Dada’s Zurich birthplace. Despite the sound poems’ artistic legacy, they constitute only a small part of Ball’s creative output. The purpose of these liner notes, then, is to consider the complex life and work of the man behind the sound poems.

Ball was born in western Germany at the end of the nineteenth century to a large Catholic family with ties to the region’s leather industry. His parents pushed him to learn a useful trade, but Ball identified as an artist. He studied literature and philosophy at university before leaving to learn acting. Germany’s thriving experimental theater community was his creative home from 1911 to 1915.

Ball excelled as a dramaturge, championing new repertoire, promoting local actors, and writing influential essays on modern theater. World War I interrupted his collaboration with Vassily Kandinsky on what they called the New Theater, one “bursting at once in dance, color, mime, music, and word.” (Ball, “Das Münchner Künstlertheater,”1914) It would be a Gesamtkunstwerk for the twentieth century, a vision Ball later realized at the Cabaret Voltaire.

Ball’s initial response to the war was one of enthusiastic support. He volunteered for military service but failed his medical exam. Refusing to accept defeat, he traveled to the front on his own. What he saw there turned him against the war. He wrote scathing articles and forged papers to help men evade the draft. Facing arrest, he crossed into neutral Switzerland in 1915 on his own forged documents.

There, Ball’s immigration status forced him to work odd jobs, including as a vaudeville pianist. This inspired him to explore the cabaret as a site for his politically engaged New Theater. He opened the Cabaret Voltaire in February 1916, and it quickly attracted a core group of artists. Only five months later, Ball ended the experiment. The nightly performances exhausted him, and he resented others’ efforts to institutionalize Dada. After a period of recuperation, he returned briefly to organize a series of soirées but soon abandoned Dada, poetry, and theater for good.

After Dada, Ball reinvented himself as a writer. He began as a political reporter—something of a return to his antiwar days. This journalism coalesced as a book, Critique of the German Intelligentsia, in which Ball charted the development of German militarism from the Protestant Reformation to the future coming of a reactionary dictator. He also wrote two novels with Dada-esque characters and plots.

From his earliest years, Ball’s single-minded dedication to his art approached a secular monasticism. In 1920, disillusioned with his youthful values and current events, he returned to Catholicism and committed himself to the study of early Christian theology. As part of this rebirth, he expunged his diaries of sacrilegious content, erasing every trace of the younger man. Ironically, this coincided with a revival of popular interest in Ball’s Dada works.

If not for his death in 1927 at the age of forty-one, he might have reconciled his artistic, political, and theological interests; as it was, he remained an outsider for much of his career. He used his marginal status to explore innovative ideas unrestricted by normative mainstream society. In our increasingly homogeneous world, Ball’s resistance to dominant narratives offers an inspiring model for creative thinkers of the twenty-first century. Melissa Venator, Ph.D.

1. Jaap Blonk / Bart van der Putten / Pieter Meurs - Wolken (Clouds) 07:49
2. Jaap Blonk / Bart van der Putten / Pieter Meurs - Katzen Und Pfauen (Cats & Peacocks) 05:08
3. Jaap Blonk / Bart van der Putten / Pieter Meurs - Karawane (Caravan) 06:09
4. Jaap Blonk / Bart van der Putten / Pieter Meurs - GaDJI Beri Bimba 06:26
5. Jaap Blonk / Bart van der Putten / Pieter Meurs - Totenklage (Dirge) 14:13
6. Jaap Blonk / Bart van der Putten / Pieter Meurs - Seepferdchen Unf Flugfische (Seah 11:12
7. Jaap Blonk / Damon Smith - Prelude 07:33
8. Jaap Blonk / Damon Smith - Wolken (Clouds) 06:08
9. Jaap Blonk / Damon Smith - Katzen und Pfauen (Cats and Peacocks) 04:38
10. Jaap Blonk / Damon Smith - Karawane (Caravan) 05:57
11. Jaap Blonk / Damon Smith - Interlude 07:34
12. Jaap Blonk / Damon Smith - Gadji beri bimba 05:57
13. Jaap Blonk / Damon Smith - Totenklage (Dirge) 07:03
14. Jaap Blonk / Damon Smith - Seepferdchen und Flugfische (Seahorses and Flying Fish) 05:20
15. Jaap Blonk / Damon Smith - Postlude 07:56

Voice – Jaap Blonk
Alto Saxophone – Bart van der Putten
Double Bass – Pieter Meurs
Recorded By – Dick Lucas
Artwork, Photography By – Arthur Nieuwenhuijs
Recorded live at BIMHUIS (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), May 11, 1989.

Jaap Blonk - voice
Damon Smith - double bass

Hugo Ball: Sechs Laut-und Klanggedichte 1916 (Six Sound Poems, 1916)

Recorded Tuesday May 26th, 2013 at KUHF by Ryan Edwards
Mixed and Mastered by Ryan Edwards

Francesco Amenta - Midtown Walk (March 2021)

New album for the saxophonist and composer Francesco Amenta, with his New York Quartet's, with Kimon Karoutszos on double bass and Gary Kerkezou on drums. Guest of the band is the American pianist, Cyrus Chestnut, famous musician and well known for years on the American and European jazz scene.

The album was recorded and produced by Jhon Lee, legendary double bass player Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and many other jazz legends.

There are 8 tracks on the album of which 7 are original compositions and an arrangement of a Duke Ellington song,"Come Sunday", written in 1942 as part of the first movement of a suite entitled "Black, Brown and Beige". Each song on the disc, are arranged and written by the band's leder, for this recording.

"Midtown Walk, this is the title of the album, out on the label Amenta Music International (AMI), is a photograph of the New York jazz scene, seen through the eyes of the composer, with all its colors, from the roots of jazz, to the homage to Ellington, to the contamination with other styles, and rhythms such as blues, even-8, samba-like, and of course swing up. The references to rhythms and atmospheres, which belong to the tradition of the great Afro-American jazz, are explicit, as is the desire to see jazz from other points of view trying to increase the perspective of interpretation, which in New York is common practice; this is the city of energy and transformation.

"Midtown Walk" represents for the composer a transition to a more complex musical world, but also much more productive, the energy of this city, New York, is reflected in his music and his musicians and gives birth to something unique.

1. Dancing 05:35
2. Home 06:44
3. Bunch of Time 08:15
4. Number 9 05:33
5. 06/22 08:31
6. Travelers 07:32
7. Burgundy 45 05:15
8. Come Sunday 11:57

GARY KERKEZOU, duble bass