Saturday, April 10, 2021

Eden Giat Quartet - Crossing the Red Sea (April 29, 2021)

Eden Giat (1999) is an Israeli pianist, composer, improviser active mainly in the Israeli jazz scene. 

In the last several years Eden’s reputation has been growing after playing with some of the finest Israeli artists as Avishai Cohen (Bass), Omer Avital, “Yemen Blues” (Ravid Kahlani), and more. Likewise, he plays his original compositions with his quartet group, which introduces a new generation of Israeli jazz. Eden’s debut album is set to be out on 29th April 2021.

"A promising new talent in the contemporary jazz scene" Gundula Madeleine Tegtmeyer — The Jerusalem Report

1. Nash Didan
2. Crossing the Red Sea
3. Tnudat Hayam
4. Ha'Sultan
5. Rustle of the Earth
6. Butterflies of a New Path
7. Two Waves

Eden Giat - Piano
Yuval Drabkin - Tenor and Soprano Saxes
David Michaeli - Bass
Nitzan Birnbaum - Drums, Percussion
The Entire Band - Vocals on "Nash Didan

All tracks composed by Eden Giat

Produced by Eden Giat
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Marko Gurkan at Kicha Studios.
Assistant Engineer - Or Zigelbaum
Designed by Udi Kaslasi

Yuma Uesaka / Cat Toren / Colin Hinton - Ocelot (2021 577 Records)

Ocelot – the new Brooklyn-based trio featuring Cat Toren, Yuma Uesaka, and Colin Hinton – presents its irresistibly vivid debut album, via 577 Records.

At a contemplative time for the world, the new Brooklyn-based trio Ocelot makes its debut on record with an album that emphasizes melody and atmosphere, whether the music is meditative or more volatile. This group features award-winning pianist Cat Toren, saxophonist/clarinetist Yuma Uesaka and drummer/percussionist Colin Hinton.

Ocelot represents the culmination of a year’s worth of composing, rehearsing, touring and local gigging for the band – including an October 2019 residency in New Haven, Connecticut, and a tour of the East Coast and Canada that deepened the trio’s chemistry and its approach to the material recorded later that month. Remarkably, Toren was pregnant with her daughter during the entire process, a challenge made easier by the keenly supportive relationships in the band. “We’re three friends who trust each other, converse easily and have tremendous respect for one another,” Toren explains. “Our relationships are the foundation for our interactive discourse, which can vary – we’ve performed concerts that were musically very patient, and we’ve played gigs at bars that were real bangers.”
1. Daimon II 02:50
2. Factum 10:38
3. Iterations I 04:44
4. Post 05:43
5. Anemone 06:31
6. Contemptuality 10:16
7. Sequestration 08:08
8. Crocus 07:14

Yuma Uesaka: tenor saxophone, clarinets (Bb, Bass, Contralto)
Cat Toren: piano, nord
Colin Hinton: drums, percussion, gongs, glockenspiel, vibraphone

Recorded October 20, 2019 at The Bunker Studio (Brooklyn, NY) by Nolan Thies, assisted by Carlos Mora
Edited by Edward Gavitt
Mixed by Eivind Opsvik (Greenwood Underground)
Mastered by Brent Lambert (Kitchen Mastering)

BedMakers - Tribute to an Imaginary Folk Band (Live in Berlin) April 2021 Jazzdor

This acoustic quartet breaks into the meanders of Anglo-saxon folk music. It explores, scrapes and digs into this musical matter in order to extract its musical essence and to look at it through the eyes of unlabelled improvisators. The melodies are caught into the air. We could have hummed them without thinking. We think we know them bet we’re unable to find their origins. Those melodies which are taken out of their context, finally finds themselves stacked on each other, declaimed or just suggested. Sometimes they’re buried under a rain of raw matter, sometimes they’re sowed by a minimalist blow.

Bedmakers gathers four musicians which have each singular and polymorph universes. The anglophile saxophonist / clarinetist Robin Fincker (Whahay, Vincent Courtois’ Mediums,Surnatural Orchestra) and his partner in the Whahay trio, the drummer Fabien Duscombs are joined by 8 chords in the persons of the violinist Mathieu Werchowski and his electroacoustic drifts and the Irish doublebassist Dave Kane.

1. Part I
2. Part II
3. Part III
4. Part IV

Robin Fincker, tenor sax, clarinet
Mathieu Werchowski, violin
Dave Kane, doublebass
Fabien Duscombs, drums

Grégory Ott - Parabole, Als das Kind Kind War (2021 Jazzdor)

Cet album est une évocation, une interprétation musicale personnelle du film de Wim Wenders Der Himmel über Berlin (Les Ailes du Désir). Le piano solo est un exercice convoité mais redouté. Il offre des perspectives de liberté totale mais impose pourtant une grande exigence. Il faut pouvoir s'affranchir de ses propres automatismes et définir un univers, comme l'a suggéré Philippe Ochem à Grégory Ott : explorer un ailleurs et travailler sur des formes suffisamment ouvertes pouvant inciter au lâcher prise tout en restant dans un cadre.

C'est à travers leurs échanges que naît l'idée de travailler à partir du film de Wim Wenders. Amoureux du 7ème art, les films ont toujours été pour Grégory Ott une porte ouverte sur les émotions. Tout comme la musique, ils racontent des histoires. Dans ce film, à la fois poétique et allégorique, l'improvisation joue un grand rôle : Wim Wenders a tourné au jour le jour sans connaître lui-même la fin de sa fable.

Le réalisateur s’est abandonné à l'inconnu, à la spontanéité, tout comme l'improvisation dans le jazz laisse opérer le champ des possibles. Les thématiques universelles des Ailes du désir telles que l'enfance, l'amour, la vie ou la mort sont placées sous le signe de la foi en l'humanité et invitent à l'émerveillement et à un imaginaire qui résonnent pour le pianiste.

Cette approche de travail inédite est une source d'inspiration forte qui lui a permis de composer ce voyage musical.

"Dès le début du projet nous sommes partis ensemble, car il s’agissait de compagnonner sur ce projet, sur la piste du lâcher-prise, de l’inconnu. Il s’agissait d’éviter la zone de confort propre à chaque artiste, de se permettre si possible de remettre les compteurs à zéro et de chercher de nouvelles pistes à défricher. Nous avons partagé des musiques, parlé films, poésie, à la recherche d’un angle singulier à approcher qui pourrait ouvrir de nouvelles perspectives.

Assez rapidement s’est imposé le film de Wim Wenders Les Ailes du Désir (Der Himmel über Berlin) et la poésie de Peter Handke, celle dont l’esprit habite le film de bout en bout : Als das Kind Kind war. Et c’était parti ! Le studio était réservé en Octobre et Grégory a presque tout enregistré d’une traite. La force de l’évocation est au rendez-vous et la puissance poétique du film plane avec intensité sur ces pistes creusées au fur et à mesure." Philippe Ochem

1. Continuum part 1 01:17
2. Perpetual Blues 03:35 video
3. Rumeurs 03:39
4. Kind 01:19
5. Continuum part 2 01:20
6. God has disappeared 04:09
7. Landwehrkanal 04:13
8. Par-delà 01:37
9. Berlin Choral 04:04
10. Continuum part 3 00:54
11. Angel Eyes 03:24
12. Lost Circus 01:15
13. Les pensées de Marion 02:22
14. Crépusculaire 02:45
15. Marion et Damiel 01:57
16. Leben (Continuum part 4) 03:33

Ashley Wey - Hummingbird (July 7, 2021)

With three critically acclaimed albums to her credit, this will be Ashley Wey’s first album of primarily original music. Hummingbird is a genre bending album melding Jazz, Pop, Drum ‘n’ Bass, and Hip Hop. Wey seamlessly blends her roots in acoustic music and the jazz tradition with electronic influences, pop writing, and a modern edge.

This album brings together material written over a 15 year period including songs that have been waiting for the right combination of performers to bring them to life.

The album and title track’s namesake came from a backstage conversation with Lisa Fisher (Rolling Stones, 20 Feet From Stardom) when the Ashley Wey Trio opened for her in Victoria in 2018.
Ashley wrote a song inspired by the great Lisa Fischer for this show, and it was titled by Lisa Fischer herself! The title track Hummingbird was Ashley’s reflection of Lisa Fischer’s essence in her eyes.

Wey now continues to see Hummingbirds everyday from her studio window and pulls inspiration from this incredible strong little beautiful bird.

While Ashley continues to earn respect in the jazz world, her unique genre-bending sound is what sets her apart as she masterfully mixes jazz and pop, bringing virtuosity and unpredictability to songs that are concise and catchy. True expression.

Stay tuned for more from Ashley Wey coming soon.

2. Hummingbird
3. One More Day
4. Sunrise
5. Sterioso
6. Just Squeeze Me
7. Initially and Finally
8. Destiny
9. A Gift 08:20
10. A Definite Maybe

Ashley Wey - Piano, Rhodes, Synthesizers, Organ, Vocals, Producer, Album cover design
Louis Rudner - Upright Bass, Electric Bass, Co-Producer
Nicholas Bracewell - Drums and Cymbals

Joby Baker - Mixing and Mastering Engineer
Recorded September 2020
Mixed October 2020
Mastered November 2020

RISSI / MAZZOLA / GEISSER - Anaximandros (April 2021)

The architecture of the music by RISSI-MAZZOLA-GEISSER reminds us how intellect, bravery, and raw expression are often cohorts in the cream of creative improvised music.
Greg Buium, Coda Magazine

My long-time cooperation with Guerino Mazzola started in the Summer of the year 1978; in these past years of realy wonderful team playing we formed besides other projects in the eighties the quintet/sextet FLOW UNIT, in the nineties the quartet ARTofTIME and other groups such as the Q4 ORCHESTRA until to the trio RISSI-MAZZOLA-GEISSER with the drummer Heinz Geisser who was playing with us since mid 1994 to the year 2006.
Mathias Rissi

1. Herakleitos 25:56
2. Anaximandros 10:44
3. Thales 22:26

Mathias Rissi - tenor-, alto saxophones
Guerino Mazzola - grand piano
Heinz Geisser - percussion

Compositions by RISSI-MAZZOLA-GEISSER

Richard X Bennett - RXB3 (May 28, 2021 Ubuntu Music) / Release concert Sunday May 16, 3pm

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

Release concert Sunday May 16, 3pm
Live from St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University. Presented by Sacred Music at Columbia, from the Earl Hall Center for Religious Life at Columbia University.

While we cannot have in-person audiences at this time, we are delighted to present this streaming concert, with socially-distanced musicians.

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

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

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

Noa and Gil Dor present online the world premier of their new jazz album, "Afterallogy", live (Saturday, May 1 2021)

After 30 years of performances and recordings, Noa and guitarist Gil Dor release their first, and long awaited, true jazz album: Afterallogy

Catch the World Premiere livestream from the legendary Blue Note club on May 1

The duo’s first concert was in a jazz festival in Tel Aviv, Feb 8th, 1990, where they performed standard tunes with unorthodox arrangements, and some of Noa’s original compositions. That first night was an enormous success that set the stage for the incredible journey to come.

Their first international album was produced by Pat Metheny, one of the most highly respected jazz musicians in the world, but did not include standard tunes, rather focusing on Noa’s songwriting.

Over the years, Noa and Gil explored many different regions of music, wrote and performed hundreds of songs,  worked with ensembles ranging from acoustic trio to bass and drum quartet to symphony orchestra, explored and fused different styles, sounds and languages, always reaching for that unexplainable, unpredictable moment of magic every musician lives for.  It has always been impossible to categorize them.
Afterallogy (April 30, Naïve/Believe) is another step in their fascinating journey, where they have put the musical language they have developed and their past experience at the service of these great, classic jazz tunes, and added a few originals as well. The release of Afterallogy will be celebrated with a livestream concert via the legendary jazz club The Blue Note’s Terminal 4 in Tel Aviv on May 1.

The name, beyond paying homage to the greats that inspired them (Charlie Parkers “Ornithology”), is a statement about life and music, exacerbated by the Covid 10 crisis:

After all is said and done, after 30 years, after a pandemic which shattered, jolted and stripped the world bare, after thousands of kilometers travelled and many more thousands of notes played and sung, what remains?
A deep love and respect for great music and the greatness in music, a deep love for the humanity that is brought to life by it and elevated and illuminated in whoever experiences it.

A deep appreciation for the gift of friendship…for a unique partnership, for the power and resonance that brought and kept them together all these years.

And that curiosity and passion, that meticulous quest to unveil the deepest mysteries of music that drives them always onwards.

Afterallogy is the first part of a Noa and Gil’s jazz project. The are currently working on part 2, which will include their band and be more improvisational and experimental.

1. My funny Valantine
2. This masquerade
3. Anything goes
4. Oh, Lord
5. But beatiful
6. Something’s coming
7. Calling home
8. Darn that dream
9. Lush life
10. Eyes of rain
11. Waltz for Neta
12. Everytime we say goodbye

Mosaic Records - 7-CD Boxed Set: 'The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946 - 66' (April 10 Mosaic Records)

Mosaic Records Announces the Release of The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946 - 66, Detailing the Jazz Luminary’s Stellar Output in His Latter Years

Mosaic Records is proud to announce the April 10, 2021 release of The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946 – 66, a 7-CD boxed set that will take listeners into the studio with Armstrong in a way never previously imaginable. Mosaic Records has long been lauded for the release of stunning, hi-fidelity limited edition collections, providing historical recordings of superb musicians to passionate jazz lovers around the globe. Here, all 29 of Armstrong’s 1946-1947 RCA recordings are being presented in superb fidelity, transferred from the original metal parts. These RCA recordings are paired along with 3 classic albums and singles from the Columbia label, creating the most intimate portrait of Armstrong, the All Stars, and producer George Avakian at work in the studios. This limited edition boxed set will be available only at www.mosaicrecords.com.

This collection is a follow-up to Mosaic Records’ 2014 release The Columbia and RCA Victor Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong and The All Stars 1947-1958. This 2021 7-CD compilation directs our attention to the latter half of the jazz legend’s recording career. The recordings that make up this release challenge the oft-repeated notion that Armstrong’s most creative and distinctive output came from his earlier years. These recorded works featuring celebrated historic releases such as Louis Armstrong Plays W.C Handy, Satch Plays Fats and The Real Ambassadors all come from the artist’s latter years recording on both Columbia and RCA Victor. While critics and many in the jazz community looked at the older Armstrong as someone whose best years were behind him, Armstrong rebutted ““[They] don’t realize that I’m playing better now than I’ve ever played in my life,” and was even quoted as saying “How many modern trumpet players could play my solos?” he asked Gilbert Millstein in 1960. “You’d have to carry ‘em out on stretchers.”

The story of Armstrong’s entanglement with RCA Victor which brought us the 29 recordings displayed on this release begins with Armstrong still toting a big band across the country on an endless series of one-nighters. A new contract with RCA Victor began with the recording of Armstrong’s first release with Duke Ellington as part of an “Esquire All-American 1946 Award Winners” date overseen by Leonard Feather. Following this date, Armstrong delivered four sensational sides with a small group featuring Bobby Hackett and Jack Teagarden in June 1947, eventually leading to the formation of his popular small group, the All Stars.
This collection chronicles the collaboration of Louis Armstrong and longtime friend, and producer George Avakian. After several years of recording popular hits for Decca Records, elevating Armstrong’s popularity but hurting his reputation with some in the jazz world, Avakian relished the opportunity to record Armstrong in a more jazz-centric setting but couldn’t get through Decca’s ironclad contract. In 1954, this finally changed, and the result was the Avakian-produced Louis Armstrong Plays W.C Handy. This release, long regarded as the finest long-playing album of Armstrong’s entire career, featured Armstrong’s All Stars in top form. Avakian was known for his copious post-production work, splicing the best portions of each take in order to present the optimal listening experience.

The result was a critical and commercial smash. “They’re perfect—they’re my tops,” Armstrong said of the album. This was followed by another masterpiece – Satch Plays Fats which featured emotional readings of “Blue Turning Grey Over You” and “Black and Blue” and romps on Waller favorites such as “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “Honeysuckle Rose” and then ended his tenure with Armstrong after recording Louis’ monster hit “Mack the Knife”.

While assembling this set, the producers were greeted by dozens of surprises on the original session tapes. Because Avakian relied so much on editing and splicing, his albums contained very few complete, unedited takes. This set will make up for that, with over three hours of bonus material, including unissued takes, rehearsals and even studio discussions, creating the most intimate portrait of Armstrong, the All Stars, and Avakian at work in the studios. And as a tribute to Avakian, Mosaic Records is also including newly remastered transfers of the original albums in their original sequence, giving listeners the rare opportunity to hear the beloved master takes side-by-side with their unedited counterparts.
Mosaic Records is thrilled to include over 75 minutes of material not originally found on The Real Ambassadors, the 1961 groundbreaking collaboration between Louis Armstrong; Dave Brubeck; Lambert, Hendricks and Ross; and Carmen McRae. The collection features previously unissued alternate takes of each of Armstrong’s features, including multiple takes of both “Summer Song” and “They Say I Look Like God”, two of the highpoints of not just the album, but Armstrong’s entire career. With a lifetime of wisdom at his disposal and mortality now staring him in the eyes, Armstrong brought a gravitas to his work on The Real Ambassadors, a release which both Brubeck and Armstrong remained especially proud of until the end of their respective lives.

Like all Mosaic Records releases, The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946 – 66 will be a limited edition set. Including the centerpiece Columbia recordings, the 1946-1947 RCA sides, the profound The Real Ambassadors, as well as obscure rarities such as Trummy Young’s studio feature on “Tain’t What You Do”, and two sides from the obscure 1956 television production The Lord Don’t Play Favorites, this is an essential purchase for anyone interested in Satchmo the Great. In addition, the scope of this endeavor from Mosaic extends far past the collection of the included recordings. The collection includes a 30,000 word essay from Armstrong biographer Ricky Riccardi, and, with the permission from The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, over 40 photos from the collections of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, the great majority of which have never been published.

Celebrated for the exhaustiveness in their dedication to quality completeness of their definitive collections and superior value since 1983, Mosaic Records has offered exceptional packages chronicling the works of quintessential artists to discerning jazz lovers across the globe. 2021’s The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946 – 66 is guaranteed to be one of the company’s most popular releases to date. Don’t miss out on this definitive document of why Pops will always remain tops.

Derived From Liner Notes by Ricky Riccardi.