Friday, April 30, 2021
Saxophonist Berta Moreno Presents Tumaini,
Her Genre-Defying New Album with The Afro-Jazz Soul Project
Due out April 30, 2021 via Tiger Turn
Tiger Turn is delighted to announce the release of Tumaini, a new album by Madrid-born, New York-based saxophonist and composer Berta Moreno. To be released on all digital platforms on April 30, 2021, Tumaini is an uplifting and joyous musical journey that takes listeners on a vibrant tour of Kenya. Informed by the bandleader’s life changing experience volunteering in the Kawangware region several years ago, this heart-led new release seamlessly intertwines elements of soul, jazz and traditional African styles.
Joining Moreno is a multicultural outfit she calls the Afro-Jazz Soul Project made up of a versatile rhythm section featuring bassist Maksim Perepelica from Latvia and Raphaël Pannier from France. This rock-solid duo hits the many rhythmic guideposts of the pieces with ease and precision while the enigmatic Argentinian percussionist Franco Pinna provides an expansive sonority to the project. The pianist and keyboardist Manuel Valera from Cuba proves to be an inspired choice as he infuses the material with lush harmony and creative improvisations. Vocalist Alana Sinkëy from Guinea-Bissau shines as the emotive core of the group, delivering beautiful renditions of the lyrical material while displaying a rich variety of surprising timbres.
Tumaini, which is Moreno’s sophomore album, takes inspiration from a life-changing experience Moreno had in Kenya several years back when she visited and worked with the children of the Kawangware neighborhood - one of the most economically challenged locales in the country - through the Little Ray of Hope School. The eight original compositions on Tumaini (“Hope” in Swahili”), are directly inspired by this resilient community and particularly the children, whose positive outlook and joyous attitude deeply moved Moreno. The resulting work is a powerful and profound narrative that takes listeners on a journey through Africa’s Savannah landscapes and sunsets to the heart of Kawangware. Much of the music maintains an uplifting tone, deriving its momentum from the use of rhythmic ideas that can be found in the music of East Africa and juxtaposing it over contemporary jazz concepts of harmony and melody.
In the liner notes, author and producer Kabir Sehgal notes: "Berta Moreno has created a musical gem, inspired by real-life experiences. She spent life-changing weeks in Kenya, where she learned about new traditions, cultures, and perspectives. It's there when she decided to create an album that fused her artistic vocabulary with that from this part of Africa. These 8 original compositions are beautifully conceived, lushly rendered, and exquisitely performed. Brava, Maestra!"
Tunes like “Karibu”, and “Mandhari” (I and II) maintain a modern aesthetic full of modular rhythmic structures that evolve through the compositions and often surprise with the astute ways in which they develop. The band also showcases its aptitude at generating rhythmic momentum on “Afrika” with an infectious groove that wouldn’t be out of place in a Fela Kuti album, while the bright “Dance” maintains an effervescent Latin jazz style.
The introspective “Hope” is the centerpiece of the album expressing the deep personal changes the composer went through during and after her trip. Bringing attention to the stark contrast of the busy modern life in New York City, where it can be challenging to establish a true and honest human connection, with Kawangware where Moreno found a renewed sense of hope in people and human values. To reflect those dramatic changes, the composition starts with a sparse and mournful tone that slowly develops into lighter and more open harmonies, to outline this journey and transformation.
Throughout the album Moreno plays a dynamic role, often switching between improvising over the forms, doubling written parts, playing harmony parts to other instrumentalists, and playing backgrounds, showcasing her ability to think of the saxophone in a broader function than just a soloist. Compositionally, the many themes and moods of the album compliment each other while providing enough variety for the listener to find themselves in constant discovery.
Berta Moreno is a seasoned bandleader who has brought her bands to some of the most notable festivals and stages across Europe and the United States, such as the North Sea Jazz Festival. A regular in New York City, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown Moreno was a ubiquitous presence at many of the New York City clubs. Her first album Little Steps was received with critical acclaim by American and European press. It was featured in Downbeat Magazine, won a Global Music Awards Gold Medal for Best Jazz Album of 2018, as received a nomination for Best Jazz Album by The 16th Independent Music Awards (US), and The MIN Music Awards (Spain).
Tumaini is a worthy follow up and a true labor of love by this dedicated artist. A beautiful tribute to a region and its people. Berta Moreno has drawn profound meaning from her unique experience and poured it all into this highly personal work, representing a new highlight of her already bright career.
1. Karibu 05:24
2. Afrika 04:07
3. The Beauty of the Slum 04:52
4. Dance 04:55
5. Mandhari I 03:41
6. Mandhari II 04:09
7. Hope Intro 01:36
8. Hope 06:31
9. Christine 05:19
10. Kutembea 06:05
Berta Moreno- Tenor Sax
Alana Sinkëy- Voice
Manuel Valera- Piano/keyboards
Maksim Perepelica- Bass
Raphaël Pannier- Drums
Franco Pinna- Percusiion/ Arpa Legüera
Maria Alejandra Jimenez, Sinuhé Padilla-Isunza- Choir voices in "Afrika"
“Christian Pabst’s music, full of lyricism, elegant ornamentation, craftsmanship, but also with a strong and clear concept, is a work that impacts all of our senses. The powerful, illustrative music, stimulates the imagination. With every sound, the listener envisions the most beautiful and warmest images – a bright and happy place knowing no sadness or fear – our private Balbec.”
Babsikem Uchem (Poland)
“Pure rhythmic groove”
“Pabst wrote seven pieces that take the listener at their guts.“
Jazzflits (the Netherlands)
“Seven tracks full of sound aesthetics, lyrical moods and exciting improvisations. This cinematic soundworld has only little to do with the handed down rules of the piano trio and the parameters of classic jazz.”
“A trio that transports imaginary pictures and paints them in perfection (…) on an album where the breath of the musicians is tangible.”
Schall Musikmagazin (Germany)
“Seven fantastic pieces”
Magazin Köllefornia (Germany)
Italy-based German pianist and composer Christian Pabst loves to travel to imaginary places.
This time, he goes to Balbec - the famous city that you won’t find on any map and the literary
inspiration for the new exhilarating abum.
Together with German bassist and Jazz Echo - Winner André Nendza as well as Dutch drummer
Erik Kooger, Pabst explores new musical horizons. Framed by the hopeful spirit of the energetic
opening and closing songs, a poetic story emerges that evokes a wide range of fulfilling emotions.
On two pieces you can also hear the warm sounds of Rhodes and electric bass.
With Balbec, Christian Pabst confirms his artistic identity by exhibiting an impressive command of
the piano, a melodic sensibility and rhythmical fireworks that make you want to travel with him to
one of those secret imaginary places right away.
1 Revelation 04:13
2 Snake 06:49
3 Balbec 05:45
4 Snow 06:58
5 Storm 05:10
6 Golden 05:39
7 Flight 06:52
Christian Pabst (DE) (piano & rhodes)
André Nendza (DE) (double bass & electric bass)
Erik Kooger (NL) (drums)
Recorded & mixed by Christian Heck
at Loft, Cologne
August 13th, 2020
Mastered by Nate Wood
Once upon a time, three musicians, who came of age together during the last century's thriving free jazz scene in Memphis, joined forces in far off Little Rock. And they were gifted, and it was good. Alto saxophonist Chad Fowler and pianist Christopher Parker were experimenters going back to the 1990s, hovering in the orbit of the famed University of Memphis jazz department, two Arkansas jammers sharing a house in the Bluff City. They did one-off sessions with the likes of Frank Lowe or George Cartwright, or in combos with local luminaries. Ultimately Fowler introduced Parker to a Memphis singer named Kelley Hurt. The years rolled on.
Cut ahead a quarter century, and the three were living in Arkansas again, with Parker and Hurt now married, and all of them still committed to finding something fresh in jazz. When the couple was commissioned to write music in honor of the Little Rock Nine, the students who marched into Central High School in defiance of local segregationists in 1957, they recruited Fowler and another comrade from their Memphis years, trumpeter Marc Franklin, now an arranger and side man extraordinaire for the likes of Grammy-nominee Don Bryant. Parker and Hurt's creation would become the No Tears Suite, premiered in 2017 with much acclaim on the grounds of Central High itself; and it was for that project that the beat stepped in. And the beat came in the form of Brian Blade.
Adding the magic of rhythm to the mix, the group coalesced into something great, something resembling Dopolarians. Blade left his native Shreveport at 18 to learn from the many jazz masters of New Orleans, then applied that experience to found the Fellowship Band. Along the way, he drummed for even more legends, from Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock to Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. Beyond his drumming, he distinguished himself as a composer and songwriter in his own right.
While Blade's participation in No Tears Suite galvanized the group, and led to a stellar album of the same name, they weren't yet the Dopolarians. That group identity came about when other players were added to the combo, as Blade went on to his many other commitments.
The experience of bringing Parker and Hurt's composition to life left the core trio hungry for more creation. Working with Blade led them to set their sights high, and by the spring of 2018 they'd recruited two stellar players, well versed in the intricacies of free jazz. Bassist William Parker, who first came to prominence in his native New York with Cecil Taylor, was a perfect addition to set their course for free horizons, having developed a deeply philosophical approach to music over the course of two books, even as he pursued his playing beyond conventional jazz bass, developing a refined bowing technique and impressive skills on the West African kora.
And with drummer Alvin Fielder, Jr., the newly formed group found a kind of shaman, a mentor to help set the tone for all that would follow. Having left his native Meridian, Mississippi to study phamacology, he nurtured his drumming with a passion, finally ending up in Chicago, where he played with Sun Ra, ca. 1960. From there, he became a charter member of the paradigm-shifting Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). This pillar of experimental jazz thus brought a wealth of experience to the group from Little Rock, and, as they prepared for their first recording session in New Orleans, adding the fabled saxophonist Kidd Jordan to the mix, they became Dopolarians.
Their debut album, aptly titled Garden Party, was redolent of all the intimacy, beauty and wildness of a soiree in a Crescent City courtyard. And yet, to the players' great sorrow, it served as Fielder's swan song. He passed away in January, 2019, but his fellow Dopolarians, inspired by his memory, lived on.
Which brings us to The Bond, the group's latest offering to the gods of free expression and lyrical beauty, once again under the Mahakala Music imprint. With Fielder, their most inspiring force, having moved on, it was only fitting that they return to the beat that unlocked their potential in the first place: Brian Blade. And in this free context, Blade reveals his creative depths as never before, applying his acuity in the fleeting moments of creation, composer indeed.
Also returning to the Dopolarians' fold is trumpeter Marc Franklin, filling Jordan's slot with brassier tones. In November of 2020, on the very day that the world breathed a collective sigh of relief over the defeat of a racist presidential incumbent, the group convened once again in Marigny Recording Studio, the very site of their initial sessions with Fielder. And what transpired was truly phenomenal, an achievement of musical telepathy and empathy equal to any in the free jazz tradition. In three extended pieces, “The Bond,” “The Emergence,” and “The Release,” the collective hive-mind of Brian Blade, Chad Fowler, Marc Franklin, Kelley Hurt, Christopher Parker, and William Parker conjures up a dream, an ineffable narrative, springing from the unconscious, and flying free in directions both gripping and glorious.
1. The Bond 21:15
2. The Emergence 30:22
3. The Release 09:42
William Parker - bass
Brian Blade - drums
Kelley Hurt - vocals
Chad Fowler - alto sax
Christopher Parker - piano
Marc Franklin - trumpet
Rick Nelson / Marigny Studio - recording & mixing
Adam Keil - mastering
The Ornette Coleman–Albert Ayler mash-up of “Lonely Woman” and “Saints” is deliriously fun, capturing both the chaos and beauty of the originals in the same breath. That alone is worth the price of admission on the new release from the quartet of pianist-keyboardist Rocío Giménez López, guitarist Luciana Bass, contrabassist Fermín Suarez, and drummer Rosina Scampino. However, the album enters must-buy territory when the quartet follows it with a drop-dead gorgeous rendition of Paul Motian’s “Abacus,” and channel the late drummer’s immaculate talent for expressing a melody that provides the promise of sweet dreams. Add to the mix three additional, compelling renditions of Ornette Coleman pieces, and you get one of the best things to hit the shelves in 2021.
1. Humpty Dumpty 04:32
2. Lonely woman/Saints 11:53
3. Abacus 06:03
4. Stopwatch 11:33
5. Broken Shadows 04:37
Luciana Bass – guitarra
Rocío Giménez López - piano y sintetizador
Fermín Suarez – contrabajo
Rosina Scampino – batería
Grabado el 9 de enero de 2019 en el estudio de Alexander Panizza, Rosario, Argentina
Grabación, mezcla y master: Lucas Bass
Tema 1,2,4 y 5 compuestos por Ornette Coleman
Tema 2 (Saint) compuesto por Albert Ayler
Tema 3 por Paul Motian
Binker Golding, John Edwards & Steve Noble return to Byrd Out for an album of unparalleled instant creativity: 'Moon Day'. The album plays with the post truth zeitgeist, using the first major moon conspiracy of 1835 as a launch pad, throwing a sly wink at Buzz Aldrin as the trio impart on their own musical odyssey. The sheer variety of pace, tone and texture across the record is breathtaking, from Golding’s soft, almost weightless opening on ‘One Giant Step’ through to the skittish re-entry of ‘Reflection’ as the musicians ricochet off one another, the album bursts with ideas and energy, yet remains coherent and singular in its purpose.
Recorded during a gap between the various lockdowns of 2020, you can sense the release from the musicians as they combine after enforced isolation with a telepathic sense of where to push each other: Noble interjecting both chaos and order from the drums; Edwards the rocket fuel propelling the unit on; and Golding soaring and cutting through on sax. You will not find a better showcase of these musicians’ phenomenal abilities. This is free jazz at its most compelling and most engaging. ‘Moon Day’ is undoubtedly a future jazz classic.
1. One Giant Step, Parts i-iv 23:52
2. Reflection 05:15
3. Lunar Wind 15:42
4. For S.K. 20:21
5. One Giant Step, Part iii (Laika's Short Orbit Edit) 05:44
6. For S.K. (Stage H Edit) 02:24
Binker Golding - Tenor & soprano saxophones
John Edwards - Double Bass
Steve Noble - Drums
“Austerity Measures” features a vibraphone soloist flanked by two identical quartets of trumpet, trombone, cello/bass, and electric guitar. Each quartet is bound to a specific pitch-class set representing their distinct point of view. A violent debate ensues as both groups become increasingly polarized, stubborn, and insistent in their starkly contrasting points of view.
The vibraphone soloist acts as somewhat of a moderator in the debate, provoking a passionate discourse in search of some common ground. However, no such compromise is reached, as our moderator is plagued by his own inner debate and the discourse dissolves into chaos. “Austerity Measures” combines two existing ensembles versed in a variety of written and improvised musical traditions, The Westerlies and Andy Clausen’s SHUTTER Project.
1. Austerity Measures 14:29
Brian Shank - Vibraphone
Gregg Belisle-Chi - Guitar (A&B)
Mitch Lyon - Cello
Dan Chmielinski - Double Bass
Riley Mulherkar - Trumpet
Chloe Rowlands - Trumpet
Willem de Koch - Trombone
Recorded at various studios and homes between 2017-2020
Mixed & Mastered by Andy Clausen, March 2021
Cover Art by Addis Goldman
Natural Information Society with Evan Parker - descension (Out of Our Constrictions) April 2021 eremite records
Breath & pulse, an unforgettable strategy for transferring energy between musicians feels more directly related to endurance than typical designations of music. The possibility of a never-ending breath allows for the weaving of complex explorations of tonal possibility between harmonium, guimbri, drum, & horn that leads to non-conventional strategies of harmony & unity.
The rhythmic engine further develops the pulse, shifting the sounds from recognizable forms to other worlds of sound development & masterful play. Natural Information Society balances knowledge of historical musics with the possibility of new futures, combing many exploratory cultural idioms that help us remember the heart & low sound and hum through meditative, spiritual new music.
Music has the potential to embed us in a state of unlimited possibility that leads to another kind of emotional & spiritual territory. It is this meditative possibility that leads to trans-potentials. The music constantly allows us to shift if we stay with it long enough. Descension (Out of Our Constrictions), a 75-minute composition spanning four stations on a double-sided LP, allows us to experience that build-up. In July of 2019, I had an opportunity to play with Natural Information Society in Berlin at Arkaoda & experience the build-up first-hand. I remember feeling very happy to be away from the political complexities of the United States but still close to the culture that made me.
I came to hear the ensemble as a listener & believer in the music and Joshua asked me to sit in with the group. Given the times, I chose to riff on, “My Country Tis of Thee.” Descension began & for the first 45 minutes, it unfolded. People danced & cheered & really listened. The groove was set & the intentional house/trance/drone was so evocative & in many ways, a polyphony of Chicago sounds. Abrams nodded & I joined. The ongoing rhythmic intent made it easy for me to choose a phrase & stay with it. I remember chanting over & over, sweet land of liberty, sweet land of liberty.
Then, from every mountainside…. from every mountainside…..toward the end of the 40 minutes of so, I was exhausted from wailing… from breathing & shouting, let freedom ring. By the time it was over, I was on the floor & the energy made a shift from a state of trance-like intention to, what felt like a rock concert. We were all the way in. I opened my eyes & the band was still holding it down, with more intensity, but still in the zone, locked. It was like freedom was being nestled between pulse & breath & I was exhausted from wanting it & wanting to participate, in a freedom song or a free state.
Breathing in the wake of George Floyd’s death then takes on a new dysfunction – a new tonal idiom. To be choked or to be unbalanced, for a note to be held back or a sound to be silenced, no longer feel like jazz devices, but rather, a reaction to the complexities that occur on our streets & in our cities. There are shouts, but they are not wailings, there are utterances, yet they are not full speech. It is this truth that links Descension (Out of Our Constrictions) as a sign of the times.
Natural Information Society forces us to imagine the myriad of voices that have fallen on our streets and hear cries & shrieks in the music as a way to understand the immeasurable & often unmediated circumstance of violence that is our new truth. & yet, within the unsettling horror of this day, there is a mantric pull that refuses to cease. An impulse toward redemption. -- Theaster Gates
1. descension (Out of Our Constrictions) I 17:31
2. descension (Out of Our Constrictions) II 19:35
3. descension (Out of Our Constrictions) III 17:26
4. descension (Out of Our Constrictions) IV 20:11
Joshua Abrams: guimbri
Lisa Alvarado: harmonium & effects
Mikel Patrick Avery: drums
Evan Parker: soprano saxophone
Jason Stein: bass clarinet
recorded: London, Cafe OTO, 2019-07-09
producers: Abrams & Michael Ehlers
engineer: James Dunn
Sometime in the early 2000s I went to see the band Town and Country and remember wishing that their tunes went on longer. They were clearly referencing Minimal music, but without its durational aspect. Since that band’s demise, Josh Abrams has made a series of hypnotic albums with his own group, Natural Information Society, in a different, more jazz-based direction than Town and Country. Magnetoception’s double album format allowed for an marked expansion of material; loosening some of the time restrictions let the music’s repetitions really take hold, and now with Mandatory Reality, another double album, he has made what can only be called an epic.
The pieces are structured within a properly Minimalist framework, and the track lengths are extended even more dramatically to do so. Twenty or even forty minute running times are not so unusual for exploratory jazz, where solo space tends to be left open-ended, but there are few solos on Mandatory Reality. NIS is an all-acoustic ensemble here, which reinforces the chamber music vibe; eliminating electric guitars and drum kits this time removes the hints of rock, fusion or African pop music found in prior NIS lineups.
The haunting “Memory’s Prism” starts off with guimbri and autoharp playing a simple repeated scalar figure, in the tradition of many of Don Cherry’s melodies (such guimbri patterns are the foundation of much of NIS’ music). A few sustained notes are chosen to hover above it in succession, recalling Minimalist classics like Philip Glass’ Music With Changing Parts and Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together; as denser harmonies are added, the figure shifts but the tonal center stays ambiguous. When “Finite” starts, one can’t help but notice how similar its basic melody is to “Memory’s Prism”—it turns out that “Memory’s Prism” grew out of “Finite.” “Finite”’s tempo is slightly faster, but it introduces instruments more gradually. Following the guimbri, the horns disperse the melody, each taking a single note separately, spatialized in the stereo image. At one point they start to stretch the pitches out, sax and piano adding filigrees (the sax quoting a Coltrane solo, from “Spiritual”).
The guimbri phrase goes through different permutations, with notes being subtly subtracted as the piece goes on; twenty minutes in, the changes become more noticeable as the guimbri figure is now half as long as it was when it started. Over the next twenty minutes the guimbri part is further broken down until it’s a single note, with the instruments playing in unison on every beat. This makes for a natural lead-in to “Shadow Conductor,” a shorter piece of fast, jabbing eighth notes, much like Julius Eastman’s four-piano works from the late 70s and somewhat similar to the beginning of “Ophlucus” from NIS’s Simultonality LP.
The feeling, though, is more hushed than frantic. There’s a tension in the close intervals, and again some sustained tones are overlaid, as on “Memory’s Prism.” Everyone joins in on wooden flutes for “Agree,” either letting long notes twist microtonally or contributing rapidly chattering high pitches. Its ghostly ambience can also found in John Stevens/Spontaneous Music Orchestra’s ’ “Sustained Piece” or Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning, where massed voices carry drone tones in artless concordance.
While Minimalism has roots in modal jazz, among other things, there has been very little crossover --Stevens’ free music/drone pieces c. 1970 (as heard on For You To Share) were an early experiment, Terry Riley’s 1975 concert and radio sessions with Don Cherry in Köln & Marion Brown’s appearance on Harold Budd’s Pavilion of Dreams being rare meetings of the two worlds. Both the Shandar and India Navigation labels released albums by free jazz and Minimalist composers in the 70s, though without connecting the dots. Mandatory Reality is a bold statement that dives headlong into the possibilities of this largely unknown lineage, a fully realized reckoning of jazz and Minimal methodologies. -- Alan Licht
1. In Memory's Prism 23:39
2. Finite 39:50
3. Shadow Conductor 12:03
4. Agree 06:07
Abrams: guimbri, flute
Lisa Alvarado: gongs, harmonium, flute
Mikel Patrick Avery: gongs, tam-tam, flute
Ben Boye: electric autoharp, piano, flute
Hamid Drake: tabla, tar, flute
Ben Lamar Gay: cornet, flute
Nick Mazzarella: alto saxophone, flute
Jason Stein: bass clarinet, flute
recorded: Chicago, Electrical Audio, 2017
producers: Abrams & Michael Ehlers
engineer: Greg Norman
"Traversée de steppes ondulantes, d'espaces scintillants,
de contrées râpeuses aux minéraux convoités.
Créatures mythiques ou loufoques, humains plus qu'humains, plus fous que la folie.
Et, parmi les herbes mutantes de la poésie splendide d'Antoine Volodine,
rampe et se meurt Vassilissa Marachvili, une femme juste comme vous et nous.
C'est la fin du voyage.
Il a été beau, long, mais toujours trop court.
Il a eu ses tours, ses détours, ses errances et ses bifurcations.
Parfois âpre, parfois enivrant, enivré.
Il y a juste un peu plus d'un an,
le voyage de notre ami de toujours, Piero Pépin, a brutalement pris fin.
Ceci est le dernier disque qu'il aura enregistré.
Nous te saluons, Piero.
1. L’Œil du Crabe 05:32
2. Introduction à La Mémé Oudgoul 01:34
3. La Mémé Oudgoul 07:02
4. Le Tigre du Klondike 03:32
5. Harpies 07:49
6. Vassilissa Marachvili 08:29
7. Myriam Oumarik 05:35
8. Hannko Vogoulian 05:55
9. Le Monoveau 04:57
10. Merci Aligato 06:54
Mathias Imbert : contrebasse
Marc Démereau : sax alto, baryton, scie musicale, synthé, voix
Piero Pépin : trompette, bugle, synthé, voix
Fabien Duscombs : Batterie
Production : Freddy Morezon
Peinture : Marc Démereau
Graphisme : Rémi Pépin
Enregistré et mixe par Simon Baconnier au studio de la Lune Rouge en août 2019 et en décembre 2020.
The duo of Enzo Carniel and Filippo Vignato "Silent Room" is a conversation between piano and trombone. Their music is born from the common will to create a space of freedom, a sound space filled with melodies and silences. "Silent Room" is that musical place that can be filled with sound, or left blank. It is in this desire for sound space as a "place" for listening and meditation that the two musicians created the repertoire for the album Aria.
The album is made of simple melodies on which the two improvisers will furrow and let their voices express themselves. 'Aria' can refer to the opening of J-S Bach's Golderg variations, to sung opera arias, but above all to any expressive melody that develops the imagination. 'Aria' is also the air in Italian: the air that comes from the breath, the air that fills the room, the air that vibrates and is transformed into sound. The repertoire is therefore this collection of Arias composed by Enzo Carniel and Filippo Vignato.
With this album, they are promoting their heritage as jazzmen: that of improvisation and conversation, that of freedom and virtuosity. But the duo also explores the contemporary colors of electronic music: from the ambient of Brian Eno, to the Japanese minimalism of Ryuchi Sakamoto or Ryoji Ikeda. This is reflected in the album by the use of the prepared piano, the Fender Rhodes or synthesizers that come to color the sound space of the acoustic piano and trombone.
In the composition In 'All Nilautpaula', Enzo Carniel evokes the water lily (in Sanskrit) coming to purify the water that surrounds him. An almost vegetal composition, close to nature as the duo likes to get closer to it. In 'Babele', Filippo Vignato invokes the great question of language: thanks to Arias, and therefore melodies, language becomes universal through music, and only the sensory experience counts. The eponymous composition opens and closes the album, with an acoustic and an electronic version: the duo walks in the "Silent Room", from acoustic to electronic, a path that reveals all the richness of their work on sound.
To bring this repertoire to life, Enzo Carniel and Filippo Vignato immersed themselves in the Villa Cicaletto in Tuscany, which became their Silent Room for two days: a concert hall in a house classified as a historical monument and with exceptional and inspiring acoustics. These acoustics allowed them to magnify the 8 compositions of the album, the 8 arias to constitute this first album of the duo Silent Room: Aria.
Enzo Carniel and Filippo Vignato meet in 2013 during the Master's program at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris (CNSMDP). The connection is rapidly established as they share the same tastes and desires. They also attend the generative improvisation class in which they push their experiments. The duo was born in 2014, around a tribute to the German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, then they replace this repertoire with their own compositions.
They also play together in various projects: Enzo Carniel Sextet for the festival Jazz à la Villette in 2014, Filippo Vignato Quartet, etc...
The duo has played since its conception in France and Italy (Théâtre Liberté, Grand Théâtre de Brescia, Cité Internationale des Arts...) many times over the last 5 years to develop this repertoire, make it mature, and lead to this first album.
1. Aria 05:14
2. Carla 06:07
3. Babele 06:00
4. Stretched Mirrors 05:18
5. Earth Echo 04:26
6. Arbre d'Arain 07:00
7. In All Nilauptala 06:16
8. Ariæ 05:36
All songs written, composed and interpreted by Enzo Carniel and Fillipo Vignato.
Recorded at Cicaleto Recording Studio, Arezzo. Toscane, Italie, by Francesco Ponticelli.
Mixed by Francesco Ponticelli.
Mastered by Blanka
Produced and licensed by Enzo Carniel and Fillipo Vignato.
Publisher : Éditions MENACE
Recorded in the early 1970s, this collection of instrumentals is a crystal clear glimpse into a forgotten period of Portland’s music history. Fostered by the Albina Art Center, a hangout spot for creatively-inclined Black youth, The Gangsters were led by trumpeter Thara Memory who produced the sessions heard on this release. After gigging around the city for a few years, the group—who were almost all in their late teens—laid down some tracks at Ripcord Studios, but they disbanded soon thereafter and the tapes sat in a closet, unheard for over 40 years.
Rescued from obscurity, the tracks on this album have all the punch and hip-swinging joy of fellow jazz/funk artists like The Crusaders, Weather Report, and Pleasure. But with Thara Memory leading the charge, the music has a rich complexity, best exemplified by the nine-minute “Suite for Funk Band,” which runs through a series of movements that touch on Latin grooves and post-bop before culminating in an almost-psychedelic breakdown capped off by a devastating guitar solo.
For many members of The Gangsters, their careers would continue to flourish. The late Thara Memory became a renowned educator and won a Grammy for his work with Esperanza Spalding on her 2013 album Radio Music Society. Jimmy and Johnny Sanders toured in B.B. King’s band throughout his final decade of performance. Bassist Lester McFarland would go on to play with jazz icons The Crusaders, The Jeff Lorber Fusion, and Tom Grant. But what this record captures is lightning in a bottle, a period when these young men crossed paths and created a burst of energy and light.
1. Le Funk 04:45
2. Just A Thing 02:03
3. Lester's Theme 03:08
4. Suite For Funk Band 09:19
All music arranged and produced by Thara Memory.
Recorded at Ripcord Studios somewhere between 1970-1972.
The Gangsters featured on this recording are:
Michael Cooper - Alto Saxophone
Rob Manning - Electric Guitar
Lester McFarland - Electric Bass Guitar
Thara Memory - Trumpet
Jimmy Sanders - Rhodes Piano & Organ
Johnny Sanders - Organ & Rhodes Piano
Melvin Vann - Tenor Saxophone
Calvin Walker - Drums
Ronnie Young - Percussion
Executive production by Bobby Smith
for World Arts Foundation.
Audio transfer by Dave Fulton.
Mastered by Gus Elg.
Record pressing by Cascade Record Pressing.
Oral history by The Gangsters.
Oral history edited by Calvin Walker and Bobby Smith.
Interviews recorded by Chase Spross and Bobby Smith.
Interview location support by Marmoset and XRAY FM.
Interview programming support by American Music Program.
Art direction by Eric Isaacson and Bobby Smith.
Cover and booklet design by Brian Mumford.
Center label design by Austin Tretwold.
This recording consists of songs from both our first and second album. It was recorded by the Swedish national radio, on the last night of our year-long run as the once-a-month house band, in the cellar of a local watering whole. The concert was broadcast, in its entirety, during the summer of 2020. We allowed ourselves to cherry-pick some tunes for the album, but most of the concert is on there.
The energy is high and the vibe is unprestigious. The music takes off in all kinds of directions but is at the same time somewhat unified. It’s definitely more “free-jazzy” then the earlier studio albums, but that feels totally right!
Fun fact (or rather a boring fact) is that this was our last real live show before everything shut down. We really didn’t imagine that when the last bar of the night came to an end. We’ve now pushed our booked concerts in front of us for the past year. We really hope that we’ll be able to perform later this fall.
1. Valsen - Live 09:18
2. Sober Dignity - Live 12:28
3. D Dur - Live 08:10
4. Trucking - Live 06:18
5. Host To Two Parts - Live 08:43
6. Mahattiss - Live 08:19
7. First Best - Live 07:41
William Soovik - Drums/Composition
Malin Wättring - Tenor Sax
Signe Dahlgreen - Tenor Sax
Donovan von Martens - Double Bass
Joel Fabiansson - Electric Guitar
Recorded by: Bengt Pettersson and Monica Palmeborn, for the Swedish National Radio, at Studio HPKSM, Gothenburg. December 7th, 2019.
Mix and Master by: Gustav Davidsson at Studio Glasfågeln.