Friday, April 2, 2021

Michaël Attias / Simon Nabatov - Brooklyn Mischiefs (April 2, 2021)

The miracle of a happy first encounter unfolds with something like the sudden ease of dreams, you can fly, what seemed impossible and insoluble is now radiant with self-evidence, the music makes itself, will anything again ever seem difficult? One night in Brooklyn a few years ago, an architecture of glimpses grew out from somewhere in the middle of time.There were rooms and towers and spaces and bridges, tangles and tangos, the dance of distance and convergence, and through it all the dawning discovery of a shared sense of  balance, drama, form, resonance and sympathy. And then was forgotten...

So happy that Max Johnson instigated this encounter, that Simon was willing, that Randy Thaler documented the event, and that the document was unearthed from Simon's Vaults in the midst of a pandemic that has obliterated the possibility of such mischiefs and miracles, for musicians in Brooklyn at least, and at least for a while longer. Michaël Attias

1. Glimpses & Tangles 12:20
2. Gowanus By Night 05:25
3. Languid/The Spinning Song 16:13
4. Glances 08:29
5. Poetic Bug Bite 10:41

Michaël Attias - alto saxophone
Simon Nabatov - piano

recorded live at IBeam, Brooklyn on July 6 2014
recorded & mixed by Randy Thaler
mastered by Stefan Deistler
cover design by Erich Teneta

all music by Michaël Attias (Ravished Limbs Music/SESAC )
and Simon Nabatov (GEMA)
except The Spinning Song by Herbie Nichols

George Otsuka Quintet - Loving You George (2021 WEWANTSOUNDS)

For almost 50 years, the Nemu Jazz Inn had been known for one gig in particular: In 1975, the superstar trio of drummer Norman Connors, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, and saxophonist Gary Bartz recorded a live album there. Since then, the record, Dance of Magic, has become a cult classic amongst jazz record collectors.

Also on the gig was drummer George Otsuka, whose name didn’t ring out in the States like the aforementioned players, but he was already a noted figure in the Japanese jazz scene. Otsuka started playing professionally in the late 1950s as part of saxophonist Sadao Watanabe’s Cozy Quartet; by the mid-‘60s, he formed his own trio with bassist Masaoki Terakawa and pianist Hideo Ichikawa and released a handful of noted LPs through labels like RCA and Columbia. Otsuka’s Nemu set—captured here on Loving You George—is one of his most ambitious. The music  the George Otsuka Quintet performed that night was technically jazz, yet the arrangements suggest equal allegiance to rock, funk, and soul.

To that end, “Something Everywhere” and “Miles Mode,” positioned at the album’s middle, are the highlights here. The former centers a surging drum groove, rolling bass, and thunderous horns; the latter an upbeat swing that breaks into an extended drum solo mid-arrangement. When played in one take, the tracks jolt the otherwise tranquil proceedings. By the time “Loving You” comes around, the band settles into a relaxed cover of the Minnie Riperton classic. This time, Otsuka backs up pianist Fumio Karashima’s elegant electric keys, which substitute for Riperton’s famous five-octave vocal range. The Otsuka version is sweet in its own way, a rightful comedown after the intensity of the album’s previous cuts. Loving You George is a triumphant release capturing the quintet at a creative high, its spirited jazz fusion still just as powerful today.

1. Little Island 12:12
2. Something Everywhere 10:42
3. Miles Mode 09:20
4. Loving You 06:58

Newvelle Presents: The New Orleans Collection

Newvelle Records is proud to present The New Orleans Collection, Newvelle’s set of four new recordings from the greatest generation of New Orleans artists. Recorded in the spring of 2020, each album is now available exclusively on vinyl—recorded and pressed with the uncompromising quality that Newvelle fans have come to expect from the label.

The legacy and breadth of New Orleans music is beautifully represented in this limited edition collection of four single sleeved records. Newvelle New Orleans includes albums led by the soul queen herself Irma Thomas, the inimitable Delta blues guitarist Little Freddie King, the wildly expressive funk and R&B pianist Jon Cleary, and the joyful jazz pianist, and musical mentor to many, the late Ellis Marsalis.

The New Orleans Collection is a physical testament to the vibrancy of New Orleans music—preserving the legacy of New Orleans for generations of listeners, present and future.

Newvelle Records is proud to present The New Orleans Collection, Newvelle’s set of four new recordings from the greatest generation of New Orleans artists. Recorded in the spring of 2020, each album is now available exclusively on vinyl—recorded and pressed with the uncompromising quality that Newvelle fans have come to expect from the label.

The legacy and breadth of New Orleans music is beautifully represented in this limited edition collection of four single sleeved records. Newvelle New Orleans includes albums led by the soul queen herself Irma Thomas, the inimitable Delta blues guitarist Little Freddie King, the wildly expressive funk and R&B pianist Jon Cleary, and the joyful jazz pianist, and musical mentor to many, the late Ellis Marsalis.

The New Orleans Collection is a physical testament to the vibrancy of New Orleans music—preserving the legacy of New Orleans for generations of listeners, present and future.

The New Orleans Collection
New Orleans Collection LPs
Irma Thomas
Love is the Foundation
Little Freddie King
Going Upstairs
Jon Cleary
So Swell
Ellis Marsalis with Jason Marsalis
For All We Know

Now Available: Single-Album Release of Jon Cleary's "So Swell (2021 Newvelle Records)

NEW: Individual Album Release

Jon Cleary's 
So Swell

Get exclusive access to this limited single release from The New Orleans Collection

"Cleary shows his total assimilation of the New Orleans tradition, rolling out the pianistic barrel on the Stephen Foster Rosetta Stone of 'Swanee River Boogie,' following with his own R&B shuffle 'Two Wrongs,' then charging on into Stevie Wonder’s 'I Call It Pretty Music,' everything played the way he learned it listening to James Booker at the Maple Leaf." – John Swenson, OffBeat Magazine

"Music isn't a choice for me. It's a bodily function." – Jon Cleary

Funk, jazz, R&B—these genres are so deeply rooted in New Orleans that it’s no wonder the young British pianist Jon Cleary was compelled to move to the city to play. In the early 80’s, he was painting the bar at the famous Maple Leaf Bar, where he listened to James Booker play live every week while soaking in the sounds of New Orleans piano greats such as Huey “Piano” Smith, Mac Rebennack, Fats Domino, and Professor Longhair. Now, four decades later, New Orleans has fully embraced Cleary as one of its own. Coming full circle for this recording, Cleary is backed by James Booker’s rhythm section—from his last studio album Classified—James Singleton on upright bass and Johnny Vidacovich on drums. They are joined on several tracks by James Rivers, a legendary New Orleans saxophone player who played on many New Orleans funk and R&B classics from Big Chief to Carnival Time.
Legendary New Orleans saxophonist James Rivers with Jon Cleary.  Photo by Daymon Gardner

Side A
Swanee River Boogie
Two Wrongs
I Call It Pretty music
Just Because
So Swell When You’re Well
Second Line on Monday

Side B
We're No Exception
I Get The Blues When it Rains
Lottie Mo
Pony Boy
Tuburculucas and the Sinus Blues
Since I Don't Have You

Jon Cleary: Vocals, Piano, B3 Organ, Percussion
James Singleton: Upright Bass
Johnny Vidacovich: Drums
James Rivers: Saxophone

Produced by Ben Chace

Photography by Daymon Gardner
Graphic Design by Sudio Mococo

Recorded by Misha Kachkachishvili at Esplanade Studios New Orleans March 10-12 2020
Mixed by Marc Urselli at East Side Sound, New York City
Mastered by Alex DeTurk, The Bunker New York City
180 Gram clear vinyl
Pressed at QRP in Salinas Kansas
Old style Tip-on Full Color Gatefold Jacket
Made at famed Stoughton Printing in Los Angeles

(limited availability)

Introducing François Bourassa - L'Impact du Silence (Friday, April 9th on Effendi Records/NAXOS Distribution)

Bourassa’s talent was initially recognized by the Festival international de jazz de Montréal in 1985. Performing and recording with his quartet since the mid‑1990s, Bourassa has been a staple of Montreal’s artistic landscape and has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

In addition to his work with his quartet, Bourassa’s artistic projects include the award‑winning albums Autour de Bill Evans and En Trois Couleurs, as well musical works composed for vibraphone, marimba, and symphony orchestra for Marie‑Josée Simard. He has also guested with Rémi Bolduc, Yannick Rieu, Tim Brady, and Montreal’s Orchestre National de Jazz.

'His solo piano music is right on the line between composed and improvised; certain things must happen, yet there’s also room to experiment. Is Maurice Ravel dreaming of Paul Bley — or is it the other way around?'  Ethan Iverson
The pith of music is in the silences. People tend to overlook the importance of silence but, when used wisely, it can be moving and poetic. Silence has a powerful impact on listeners.

Oscillating between raucous and introspective, François Bourassa's latest collection of piano pieces is a musical adventure that combines jazz, improvisation, lyricism, and abstraction with integrity and emotion as the central themes.

L’impact du Silence will be released worldwide on Friday, April 9th on Effendi Records/NAXOS Distribution

1. Small Head 5:50
2. Blues Masqué 3:20
3. Triadique 4:05
4. Interlude Y 1:34
5. Gaspard 6:10
6. Interlude X 2:45
7. Remous Part 1 3:25
8. Interlude Z 0:32
9. Andante 5:18
10. Arch 65 3:54
11. La Buissonne 3:43
12. KVQ 5:48
13. Musique pour Film 8:46
14. Epilogue 1:21

François Bourassa - Solo Piano

Newvelle Live! Streaming Concert Series in April!

A New Concert Every Week in April
Starting this Friday April 2nd, 8 PM

With live performances all but eliminated due to the pandemic, Newvelle Live gives you a novel way to support artists and institutions who are continuing the legacy of improvised music for a new generation. Anyone can join. All we ask is that you consider making a contribution to support the musicians performing every Friday in April. Contributions will be divided equally among the 12 artists performing throughout the series.

Newvelle, thanks to the generous support of musician and entrepreneur Alex Rigopulos, covers the entire overhead for producing and recording this series. So all of the money that is donated for this streaming series goes straight to the musicians.

This series is designed as a radical experiment: one that explores the relationship between musician and fan, and an attempt to strengthen our communities and support musicians at this critical time.
April 2nd 8:00 PM: Jon Cowherd, Steve Cardenas and Simón Willson
April 9th 8:00 PM: John Patitucci, Yotam Silberstein and Rogerio Boccato
April 16th 8:00 PM: Tim Berne and Gregg Belisle-Chi
April 23rd 8:00 PM:  Rufus Reid and Sullivan Fortner
April 30th 8:00 PM: Carmen Staaf and Allison Miller

All times Eastern Standard Time

Noah Preminger and Kim Cass - Thunda (April 2, 2021)

When lighting strikes, thunder follows. Such was the electrifying energy when longtime friends and colleagues Noah Preminger and Kim Cass collaborated during the second half of 2020, one of the most trying and unusual years on record. The result is THUNDA, featuring ten entirely original tracks by award-winning saxophonist Preminger and acclaimed bassist Cass. 

Preminger and Cass met during their college days in 2004 but didn't start working together until Cass moved to New York City after a brief stint on the West Coast. Through their mutual focus on pushing the boundaries of instrumental virtuosity toward innovative uses of rhythm and harmony, the two forged a strong connection, working together on countless performances and collaborations, including more than half a dozen of Preminger's albums. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic led to cancellations of their planned live tours, Preminger and Cass turned to technology as a safe outlet for creating and recording new music. THUNDA, Preminger's sixteenth and Cass' second release as band leaders, takes the artists' compositions and improvisations into new territory. "This is the first recording I've made remotely and entirely at home," says Preminger. "It also marks the first recording where I play and layer multiple instruments, all entirely improvised. Kim is one of the most imaginative bassists and musical voices in jazz and this project truly got both of us to reach outside the box."

Cass was equally excited to work with Preminger on a duo album: "I have always admired the way in which Noah navigates harmony, especially on open-ended material," says Cass. "THUNDA unleashes the best of both our playing with countless maelstroms of exposed lines that defy form, yet are strongly rooted in time and pitch. This music was incredibly exciting to create. It's a blast to listen back to each one of these individual storms."

The album's opener, "Slaughter," is a vivid declaration of the duo's instrumental prowess and their ability to elevate it to serve the music. Cass's bass runs wild and free while Preminger's thrilling horn sails above, bolstered by his peerless tone and unparalleled, technical lines. "Me You Sad" follows with an entirely different mood, the edgy pensiveness of Preminger's clarinet underlined by Cass's alternately sing-song and weaving bass lines. "Chron" begins with Cass's fun, technical brilliance and answered by Preminger's crystalline horn, evolving into a spirited dialogue infused with snippets of unison. Preminger's swing-tinged fanfare announces "Tradr Hoez" before Cass's probing bass joins in, ultimately culminating with the two in sonic union. In "Slow Ridah," Preminger's sensitive multi-tracking creates the effect of a woodwind choir, full of wistful sweetness. On "Iris," another slow piece, Cass's technical use of harmonics contrasts with Preminger's haunting, contemplative clarinet melody. "Drone," "Ricky," "Roobz," and "Huck It" round out this collection of extraordinary new music by two of the most forward-thinking improvising instrumentalists in jazz.

Of Brooklyn-based saxophonist Noah Preminger, The New York Times says, "Mr. Preminger designs a different kind of sound for each note, an individual destiny and story." Born in 1986, Preminger grew up in Canton, Connecticut. His debut album, Dry Bridge Road, was released just after his 21st birthday and named Debut of the Year in the Village Voice Critics Poll. Preminger's second and third albums as a leader came in 2011 and 2013 while signed to the Palmetto Records label. He has performed with the likes of Jason Moran, Dave Holland, John Patitucci, Fred Hersch, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Rob Garcia, Joe Lovano, Victor Lewis, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Cecil McBee, George Cables, and Roscoe Mitchell. Preminger, just 34, won the category of Rising Star Tenor Saxophonist in DownBeat Magazine's 2017 Critics Poll, and has released sixteen critically acclaimed albums as a bandleader. 

Kim Cass, originally from Bar Harbor, Maine, spent his early life producing solo recordings of upright bass in electronic composed settings, and always striving to develop a unique voice as an improvisational conceptualizer and technical virtuoso. After receiving his degree from New England Conservatory in Boston, Cass relocated to San Francisco and then New York City. He has worked with Rudresh Mahanthappa, Jason Moran, Matt Mitchell, John Zorn, Mat Maneri, Noah Preminger, Tyshawn Sorey, and David Binney, among others. In 2015, Cass released his acclaimed, self-titled debut recording for solo bass and electronics. He's currently focused on composing for instruments in new ways that stretch rhythmic, technical and harmonic boundaries, and will release a new album of original music in 2021 featuring pianist Matt Mitchell. Cass utilizes a unique style of detailed handwritten notation, which has become an important part of his creative exploration. Cass is part of the faculty at The New School in NYC.

1. Slaughter
2. Me You Sad
3. Chron
4. Iris
5. Tradr Hoez
6. Drone
7. Slow Ridah
8. Ricky
9. Roobz
10. Huck It

Noah Preminger - saxophone/clarinet/flute
Kim Cass - bass

Co-Produced/Engineered by Noah Preminger and Kim Cass
Mixing/Mastering by Matt Marantz
Recorded July 11th - December 20th, 2020
All compositions composed by Preminger (BMI) and Cass (BMI) 2020

April 4 Kickoff for Giant Step Arts & KEYED UP!: Series of Jazz Concerts in Central Park

Artist-focused non-profit Giant Step Arts partners with Jazz Generation's KEYED UP! for new edition of acclaimed concert series Walk With The Wind

Free performances beginning April 4 in Central Park honor legacy of congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis

Featuring Wayne Escoffery/Jeremy Pelt Quartet, William Parker Trio, James Brandon Lewis Freed Style Free Trio, Melissa Aldana Trio, Chris Potter Trio, Antonio Sanchez Trio, Marquis Hill Quartet, Michael Thomas Quartet, Nasheet Waits, Mark Turner, Marika Hughes, and Immanuel Wilkins

"Sitting socially distanced on The Mall and listening to live jazz feels like an optimistic moment...Jimmy Katz and Giant Step Arts are plugging a gap with Walk With The Wind." - Dan Bergsagel, London Jazz News

Giant Step Arts in partnership with Jazz Generation’s KEYED UP! continues the acclaimed performance series Walk With The Wind honoring civil rights activist and congressman John Lewis. The concerts – curated by Jimmy Katz and Nasheet Waits – will take place at pop up locations in New York City’s Central Park.

Shows run from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and feature at least two bands. They will be rescheduled in case of inclement weather.


• Sunday, April 4 – Note new location at The South End of the Mall
11 a.m. – Alto saxophonist Sarah Hanahan, trumpeter Giveton Gelin, bassist Phil Norris, and drummer Robert Lotreck   
1 p.m. – The Wayne Escoffery/Jeremy Pelt Quartet with Dezron Douglas and Johnathan Blake  

• Saturday, April 10
11 a.m. – Alto saxophonist Sarah Hanahan, bassist Phil Norris, and drummer Robert Lotreck 
1 p.m. – William Parker Trio with Cooper Moore and Hamid Drake 

• Sunday, April 11 
11 a.m. – Alto saxophonist Sarah Hanahan, bassist Phil Norris, and drummer Robert Lotreck 
1 p.m. – Melissa Aldana Trio with Pablo Menares and Kush Abadey  

• Saturday, April 17Chris Potter Trio with Joe Martin and Nasheet Waits

• Sunday, April 18Antonio Sanchez Trio with Donny McCaslin and Matt Brewer

• Saturday, April 24Marquis Hill Quartet

• Sunday, April 25Michael Thomas Quartet with Michael Rodriguez, Edward Perez and Johnathan Blake

• Saturday, May 1James Brandon Lewis, Freed Style Free Trio with Rashaan Carter and Chad Taylor; Aaron Burnett Quartet with Peter Evans, Nick Jozwiak, and Tyshawn Sorey

• Saturday, May 8Marika Hughes: The New String Quartet with Hughes, Charlie Burnham, Marvin Sewell, and Rashaan Carter

Other upcoming dates will include bands led by Nasheet Waits, Mark Turner, and Immanuel Wilkins.

“The pandemic has been disastrous for musicians, many of whom normally earn a living through live performances and tours,” says Katz. “We wanted to find a way to continue supporting musicians, bring them together with audiences safely, and enable them to have a payday! Walk with the Wind, honoring the legacy of the great American John Lewis, is one way we are accomplishing this, and the response has been tremendous.”  

The well-received series, which began August 28, 2020 with Wayne Escoffery’s trio, has also featured The Marquis Hill Quartet, the Michael Thomas Trio, Marcus Strickland Trio, the Eric McPherson Trio, the Leap Day Trio and the Joel Ross Quartet. 

Founded by renowned photographers Jimmy and Dena Katz in January 2018, Giant Step Arts is an innovative, artist-focused non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning and showcasing the work of innovative modern jazz artists. Giant Step Arts offers musicians the artistic and financial resources to create bold, adventurous new music free of commercial pressure. Giant Step Arts provides promotional material and publicity services, presents premiere performances and compensates artists, records performances for independent release, provides artists with CDs and digital downloads to sell directly, conveys complete ownership of masters to artists, and provides PR support for the recordings. “Giant Step Arts does not sell any music,” Katz says. “Our goals are to help musicians make bold artistic statements and to advance their careers.”

Jazz Generation was founded in 1999 to emphasize the importance of live jazz as an art form and the performing arts as a cultural asset. The Jazz Discovery Program (JDP) and The Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra (JSYO), and since 2014 KEYED UP!, an anti-poverty program, has offered services that support professional jazz artists in their performing careers, revitalize local businesses, and develop a new generation of audiences and performers. KEYED UP! Has quickly become a favorite NYC entity for musicians, audiences, and venues. Operating simultaneously in over 25 partner venues spanning from Jersey City to Boston, KeyedUP! Is proud to keep hundreds of musicians working and thousands of jazz listeners happy at no extra cost to partner venues.