Friday, May 7, 2021

NEW RELEASE: Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Big Band Debut SOUL CONVERSATIONS due out May 7, 2021 via Outside in Music

Consummate Drummer and Composer Ulysses Owens Jr. Announces the Release of His Eagerly-Awaited Big Band Debut, Soul Conversations, Out May 7th, 2021 on Outside in Music

Outside in Music is thrilled to announce the May 7th, 2021 release of Soul Conversations, the fiery tour-de-force from jazz luminary Ulysses Owens Jr. Soul Conversations marks the renowned drummer’s recording debut with his exciting new 19-piece outfit, the UOJ Big Band, as well as the artist’s first release on Outside in Music. With his unimpeachable drum mastery Owens Jr. is heralded for augmenting the ensembles of such eminent figures as Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis and Kurt Elling. Owens Jr. has also proven his excellence at steering and magnifying his own ensembles, including his New Century Jazz Quintet. With Soul Conversations, he demonstrates a fresh and ebullient approach in large ensemble jazz. Alongside Owens Jr., Soul Conversations features trumpeters Walter Cano, Benny Benack III, Summer Camargo and Giveton Gelin; trombonists Eric Miller, Gina Benalcazar, Wyatt Forhan, Chris Glassman, Seth Weaver and Michael Dease who also serves as the album’s associate producer; alto players Alexa Tarantino and Erena Terakubo, tenor players Diego Rivera and Daniel Dickinson; and baritone player Andy Gatauskas as well as pianist Takeshi Ohbayashi, bassist Yasushi Nakamura, vocalist Charles Turner III and special guest vibraphonist Stefon Harris.

Recorded live at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center in early December 2019, Soul Conversations captures a jubilant performance from the big band, documenting the electricity of a large ensemble that expertly balances excitement with subtlety, and polish with unbridled innovation. The story of the band’s inception began two years prior on the very same stage when Owens Jr. assembled the group to fill out his renowned New Century Jazz Quintet for one night of a week-long run at Dizzy’s. This outfit, at the time billed as the ‘New Century Jazz Big Band’, received tremendous praise, reportedly even giving Wynton Marsalis and The Lincoln Center Orchestra’s performance in the Rose Hall a “worthy run for their money”. Owens Jr. recalls “Everybody kept asking if [the big band] was coming back for the rest of the week.” 

Upon the band’s return two years later, audiences were greeted with a working ensemble with a burgeoning repertoire of exciting material and the beginnings of a new musical institution modeled after the iconic bands of yesteryear most notably Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. “The band became a cradle for not only young musicians but for young arrangers who wanted to get their work played,” says Owens Jr. The UOJ Big Band is as multigenerational – the members’ ages range from early 20s to their early 40’s – as its multi-gender and multi-ethnic, and the group’s repertoire contains compositions by a multitude of the group’s members.

Soul Conversations opens appropriately with some snappy rim shots before Owens Jr. ignites “Two Bass Hit” with a pithy arrangement that was inspired by both Roy Hargrove’s Big Band rendition from the late-2000’s and Miles Davis’ up-tempo reading of the piece from his 1961 date at San Francisco’s Black Hawk nightclub. The UOJ Big Band then showcases one of its splendid originals – the pneumatic groover, “London Towne,” written by Benack. It originally appeared on the New Century Jazz Quintet’s Time Is Now album. For this version, Steven Feifke provided the simmering arrangement as the composer delivers a satiny, conversational solo followed by a shimmering vibraphone improvisation by Stefon Harris.
The band leader composed three pieces featured on this release, “Beardom X”, “Red Chair” and the title track “Soul Conversations”, penned by Owens Jr. and Ohbayashi. “Beardom X”, is a masterclass in dynamics, with quiet episodic moments and majestic highs. The piece was penned by the leader in tribute to two of his artistic and political guiding lights, visual artist Romare Bearden and civil rights activist Malcolm X. Rivera provided the expansive arrangement heard on this release. The decidedly modern sounding “Soul Conversations” has soul-jazz leanings and a laid-back arrangement provided by trumpeter Jonokuchi. The composition imbues a certain cinematic splendor and features Gelin and Tarantino as soloists.

Aside from innovative original material, the album features impressive arrangements of classic compositions including John Coltrane’s titanic piece “Giant Steps”, Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”, and Neil Hefti and Bobby Troup’s “Girl Talk”. Rivera’s arrangement heightens the devilish suspense as it allows the saxophone section to ricochet timeless melodies with the trombone and trumpet sections. As the composition builds steam, it becomes a delightful showcase first for Rivera and Dickinson to volley brilliantly inventive solos and then for Gelin to wax a flaring aside. “Girl Talk”, arranged by Nakamura, allows Gelin to unfurl a sensual melodic improvisation, while the other horn sections quietly accompany, sometimes with the soothing harmonies one would expect from a doo-wop group. Owens Jr.’s dramatic rhythmic bombs were inspired by drummer Sonny Payne, who played on Count Basie’s immortal 1966 version.

This formidable introduction of the UOJ Big Band documents the exuberant, soulful sound of the outfit as well as the genuine love and enthusiasm emanating from the leader of the group. Owens Jr. remarks, “I finally feel like I have a record that is emanating a sound that I can confidently create forever.”

Derived From Liner Notes By John Murph

NEW RELEASE: Glenn Close & Ted Nash Present TRANSFORMATION – New Album out May 7, 2021 via Tiger Turn

Iconic Emmy & Tony Award Winning Actress Glenn Close and Grammy Winner Ted Nash Present Collaborative Album Transformation: Personal Stories of Change, Acceptance, and Evolution

Due out on May 7, 2021 via Tiger Turn   

Featuring special guests Wayne Brady, Amy Irving,

Matthew Stevenson, Eli Nash and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Tiger Turn is proud to announce the release of Transformation: Personal Stories of Change, Acceptance, and Evolution, a landmark recording of reedist Ted Nash and actress Glenn Close’s star-studded, multidisciplinary masterwork. Featuring Wayne Brady, Amy Irving, Matthew Stevenson, Eli Nash,  and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) with Wynton Marsalis. This groundbreaking new release will be available as a CD and digitally on all platforms on May 7, 2021. 

Nash and Close know a thing or two about transforming the stuff of life into art. Close, immortalized by all-consuming, Oscar-nominated roles in Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons, is just as much a cultural touchstone for children of the ’90s for playing the delightfully sinister Cruella de Vil of 101 Dalmatians. Nash, long a JLCO woodwinder, has been no less brilliant as a total immersionist, earning a reputation as a prolific composer for taking compelling subject matter and transforming it into arresting musical narratives. His last two JLCO-commissioned suites for big band—Portrait in Seven Shades (2010) and Presidential Suite (2016)—met with sterling results. Among the luminaries lending their voices to that latter, Grammy-winning project was Glenn Close.

With Transformation, Close has returned for another collaboration with Nash, this time taking on a co-leading role, curating the literary source material for accompanying spoken word performances and voicing some of it herself. The chosen pieces explore the many facets of transformation in the tangible and intangible sense. “Transformation is the highest expression of change. Transformation dictates a dramatic alteration of form or character — sometimes both. The highest compliment one can give a piece of music, or writing, is that it has been transformative for the one who experiences it,” comments Nash. 
About Transformation: 

From the start, Close’s literary selections prove to be compatible partners for Nash’s compositions. Actor and comedian Wayne Brady introduces “Creation, Part I” by reciting the opening lines to English poet Ted Hughes’ Tales from Ovid. Brady’s voice is so authoritative, it’s as though he’s relating Genesis as a first-hand account. Close, no less divinely commanding herself, joins Brady in alternating verses, while the orchestra colors the readings with expressionism steered by pianist Dan Nimmer and bassist Carlos Henriquez and punctuated by short bursts from Sherman Irby on alto saxophone and Wynton Marsalis on trumpet. 

“Creation, Part II” moves beyond meditations on man’s creation to his evolutionary journey, the beginnings of which are interpreted here as endearingly unsteady. Musically, this dynamic is communicated with clarity and levity, as drummer Obed Calvaire’s brushes serve as a foil for Paul Nedzela’s bass clarinet and Henriquez’s bass, which play the tune’s playfully mischievous opening theme in unison. The entrance of Chris Chrenshaw’s trombone announces a transformation is underway—from gawky and lovable to industrious and self-assured. By the time Nedzela enters with a baritone saxophone solo, man knows it’s the man. When, to close, there’s a restatement of the opening theme, the notes are the same but the music projects a more aggressive attitude; Calvaire’s ditched the brushes for sticks. 

The next two tracks, “Dear Dad/Letter” and “Dear Dad/Response” make for an emotionally affecting sequence. First, Nash’s son Eli, backed by the orchestra, reads the letter he wrote several years ago, when he first came out to his father as a transgender man. “I am not changing me,” Eli says, “just my physiology, just how people see me.” Nash’s response, with an opening vamp reminiscent of Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage,” is rife with pride and unconditional love. But words do not adequately capture Nash’s depth of feeling; that’s the music’s job. 

Languid and hypnotic piano from Nimmer introduces Nash’s interpretation of poet Conrad Aiken’s Preludes for Memnon. Close’s voice is flanked by Nimmer’s piano and Irby’s alto flute as she reads an excerpt about the timeless and inevitable cycle of destruction and generation of natural life. Irby and trumpeter Ryan Kisor lead woodwind and trumpet sections that recreate the imagery of the reader’s mind’s eye, while quartet work from Nimmer, Enriquez, Calvaire and Kisor leads the tune beyond the text’s blast radius. 

Next is “One Among Many,” a composition that accompanies the story of formerly imprisoned political radical Judith Clarke. Calvaire’s locomotive-sounding brushes and the on-the-move quality of Henriquez’s bass ostinato, followed by low woodwinds and Nimmer’s balletic piano, conjure the aural symphony of the subway system and frame Clarke’s words of gratitude—spoken by actress Amy Irving— for the mundane freedoms taken for granted until they’re taken away. Still, her crime and its fallout continue to haunt her; she yearns to be fully transformed. The orchestration contemplates being physically free yet still seeking psychological and emotional liberty, with solos from Nimmer and Elliot Mason on trombone before a drum solo from Colvaire links the composition’s cocktail of emotions together.

 On “Rising out of Hatred,” disc two’s opener, a noirish orchestration punctuated by piercing, plaintive calls from Tatum Greenblatt’s muted trumpet serves as score to the story of two college kids—one an observant Jew, the other the heir to a prominent white nationalist family— able to forge an unlikely friendship borne from their shared humanity. 

Brady returns as author and spoken-word performer on “A Piece by the Angriest Black Man in America (or, How I Learned to Forgive Myself for Being a Black Man in America).” Accompaniment is limited primarily to Henriquez and Calvaire who cultivate a coffeehouse poetry-slam vibe. Though carefully timed horn bursts, feathery dustings of flute riffs, and an abridged Brady rendition of an old Chaka Kahn tune find their way in here, as Brady reveals the tenuous relationship with his mother Tessa, and recounts her calling him an “ugly Black [expletive].” 

Ultimately forgiving his mother, Brady concludes by talking about how fatherhood has led him to prioritize forgiveness—of himself as well as others—for the sake of becoming a better role model. It’s on that note that we transition to “Forgiveness,” Nash’s fully instrumental interpretation of the concept. Marsalis, Nimmer, and Nedzela are featured generously here, on what is perhaps Transformation’s most symphonic piece, characterized by distinct movements, as forgiveness is not something one arrives at instantly but, instead, incrementally, in stages. 

Transformation closes with “Wisdom of the Humanities” and “Reaching the Tropopause.” On the former, Irving returns to read words written by biologist E.O. Wilson that offer a stern warning to humans. Wilson marvels at mankind’s but condemns “greed and ignorance” for threatening the environment, calling for a “new transformation in the human status” if we are to save our planet. The latter, borrowed from Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, sees both Brady and Close fittingly returning to lend their voices to the program’s culmination. Meanwhile, Nash’s musical response brings the words to life. Propelled by the rhythm section, Marsalis and Goines soar above the rest, first with individual solos on trumpet and tenor sax, respectively, then trading licks with each other before a dramatic ending.

It’s the type of ending that provides energy as well as the emotional and intellectual heft. It also motivates in a very immediate sense, making for a timely mixture of qualities to aid in the transformations we all seek this year. 

NEW RELEASE: Renowned Violinist Alí Bello To Release ‘Inheritance’ Leading the Sweet Wire Band, New Album Due Out May 7 via Tiger Turn

Renowned Violinist Alí Bello Presents Inheritance, His New Album Leading the Sweet Wire Band

Featuring special guests Regina Carter, Jaleel Shaw, Jeff Lederer & Jorge Glem

Due out May 7, 2021 via Tiger Turn

Tiger Turn proudly presents Inheritance, the sophomore release by Venezuelan-born, New York-based violinist and composer Alí Bello. Due out on May 7, 2021, this rich new recording showcases Bello’s unique amalgam of modern jazz and musical traditions from Venezuela and the Caribbean. An entirely original set of nine compositions, Inheritance documents the dazzling compositional output of the acclaimed leader and showcases the spirited rapport of his renowned Sweet Wire Band. Featured special guests include Regina Carter, Jaleel Shaw, Jeff Lederer and Jorge Glem

A veteran of the New York music scene for over two decades, Alí Bello has become known as a musician of incredible versatility. A fixture in the emblematic bands of Johnny Pacheco and Paquito D’Rivera, Bello is also a highly sought-after sideman for artists such as Orquesta Broadway, La Típica 73, Raul Jaurena and Pedro Cortés. He can also be found on occasional stints with mainstream superstars such as Beyoncé, The Roots and Jay-Z. His Sweet Wire Band, made up of pianist Gabriel Chakarji, bassist Gabriel Vivas, drummer Ismael Baiz and percussionist Manuel Márquez have become New York City mainstays, known for their unique fusion of contemporary jazz and Afro-Venezuelan/Caribbean musical styles. Their debut release Connection Caracas – New York (Zoho Music), was released in 2013 to worldwide critical acclaim, having placed on several year-end best-of lists. Inheritance is the long-awaited follow up, and uncovers new shades of maturity and growth. Alí shares: “Inheritance is a recapitulation. A way to move forward through the lessons learned. It’s the result of conveying all the parts that make my music and create new original ideas rooted in the culture, traditions, and experiences that make me and my music as a whole”.
On Inheritance, Bello captures the essence of the music from his native Venezuela and filters it through the lens of an artist that has been deeply exposed to a broad diversity of musical styles in the United States. In his liner notes, producer Kabir Sehgal says “Inheritance is a result of  long time growth and an evolution of different styles and genres that constitute Alí’s personal musical heritage from his homeland and his career experiences.” Indeed, Bello has a profound understanding of Venezuelan musical traditions, and has equally acquired invaluable experience in some of the most iconic Salsa and Latin jazz ensembles of all time. This recording integrates those two sides of Bello’s musical artistry as well as his aptitude for production.

The music featured on Inheritance draws heavily on Venezuelan traditions, and Bello’s core group of sidemen are all versatile Venezuelan expats who are well versed in all these styles. Afro-Venezuelan rhythms from the North Coast serve as the foundation for tunes like “Kaleidoscopic Sunset” and “For all Saints”, displaying drummer Baíz’s adaptations of these rhythms in harmonious unity with percussionist Márquez who plays an array of traditional Venezuelan drums such as the Fulía, the Paila and the Cumaco, among others.

Compositions “Caracas” and “Jojo” present some of the more urban folk styles of Onda Nueva and Merengue Caraqueño respectively – styles of great rhythmic complexity that originated in the capital city of Caracas. Bassist Vivas lends the project a robust electric tone and deft precision while Chakarji plays mainly electric piano, skillfully accompanying the soloists with deft sonic choices.
Regina Carter lends her unmistakable sound to “Song To Marina”, a lush bolero track in which both violinists blend in concert, harkening back to the splendid singer duets known in the genre. In “Bello’s Blues” the close intervals of violin and soprano saxophone in the melody recall the idiosyncratic themes of Thelonious Monk. Jaleel Shaw plays a harmonically ingenious solo while the rhythm section burns on a brisk San Millan rhythm here, while Jeff Lederer shines on “Jojo”. On the Venezuelan joropo “Cepa”, Bello enlists the talents of Jorge Glem on the Venezuelan cuatro – a central instrument of this music.

The orchestration and arrangements featured throughout Inheritance reveal a new perspective on the rich folkloric musical traditions Bello draws from. The violin is an uncommon instrument in this music, yet Bello’s creativity and command places it right at home. The final three notes of the bright closer “Ousia” represent an apex of the jubilant journey of Inheritance. Indeed, Alí Bello’s latest effort is a joyous listen from beginning to end, though the naturally cheerful makeup of the music never sacrifices depth or content –  and in that balance lies Alí Bello’s great artistry.

1. Kaleidoscopic Sunset (6:41)
2. Heartbeat (7:12) (feat. Jaleel Shaw)
3. Caracas (6:07)
4. Song To Marina (5:51) (feat. Regina Carter)
5. Bello’s Blues (6:55) (feat. Jaleel Shaw)
6. Jojo (5:09) (feat. Jeff Lederer)
7. For All Saints (5:07)
8. Cepa (4:06) (feat. Jorge Glem)
9. Ousia (4:11)

All music composed and arranged by Alí Bello (AGBA Music Publishing)

The Sweet Wire Band
Alí Bello - acoustic, electric, and baritone violins
Gabriel Chakarji - keyboards
Gabriel Vivas - bass guitar
Ismael Baiz - drum set
Manuel Márquez - fulía, cumaco, clarín, paila, bumbac, congas, bongos, güira, bell, and maracas

Featured Artist
Regina Carter - violin (track 4)
Jaleel Shaw - soprano & alto sax (tracks 2 and 5)
Jeff Lederer - clarinet (track 6)
Jorge Glem - Venezuelan cuatro (tracks 6 and 8)

Guest Artist
Javier Olivencia - soprano & tenor sax (tracks 1, 7 and 9)
Jeremy Smith - maracas (tracks 3 and 8)
Manuel Rangel - maracas (track 6)
Eddie Venegas - trombone (track 7)
Bambam Rodríguez - bass guitar (track 8)

Produced by Alí Bello & Kabir Sehgal

Recorded by Ismael Baiz & Alí Bello

AVAILABLE NOW: Lunar Octet | "Convergence" | Summit Records

A decades-long institution in Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, and also the nearby Metro Detroit area, the Lunar Octet is back with a potent collection of originals inspired by such wide-ranging influences as mambo, samba, funk, Afrobeat and jazz on Convergence. The title itself suggests a confluence of rhythms and styles, and that is precisely what this band of multi-directional musicians has been doing since meeting 36 years ago in Ann Arbor and subsequently recording their 1994 debut, Highway Fun for Schoolkids Records. Reuniting in the studio 25 years later, the members of the Lunar Octet documented their collective growth while remaining committed to their original mission on Convergence, scheduled for a May 7th release on Summit Records.

From the percolating salsa groove of the infectious opener, “Norm’s Nambo,” to the swinging big band flavored chart, “Toote Suite,” the Brazilian music influenced “Mambossa,” the rhythmically charged “Subway Tension”, and the entrancing Afrobeat numbers “Dancin’ in the Doghouse” and “Heart of Congatar,” the Lunar Octet presents a compelling world view of sound. Add the churning “Samba Diabolico,” the buoyantly swinging “Crusin'” (think Neal Hefti arrangements for the mid ’50s Count Basie band), the alluring tango “Until I Find Words” (an clarinet feature) and the rollicking, Brazilian flavored batucada “Samba Over Easy” (reminiscent of Airto Moreira’s “Tombo in 7/4”), and you’ve got a veritable United Nations of sound that you can also dance to.

“The Lunar Octet is like a diamond,” said percussionist and co-founding member Aron Kaufman, called “the soul of the band” by his colleagues. “We’re all different facets of the diamond expressing the singularity of our musical mission. And it’s not about our technique, in terms of us being monster chops players who want to show off how amazing we are. Really, it’s the sum of the parts that brings hope and joy and love to people who come to see us. I believe with all my heart and soul that as artists, if we can lift people’s spirits by showing a love and celebration of the different world musical cultures that we bring to life in our particular special way, we’re bringing some light to the darkness.”

Regarding the group’s long hiatus and recent return with Convergence, Krosnick said, “The early ’90s was the peak time for the band, when we were on national radio broadcasts and playing at major festivals. But then band members moved away. I took a job teaching at Ohio State, Steve Hiltner moved to North Carolina, others moved elsewhere. So we lost momentum. But we rediscovered ourselves five years ago and said, “Hey, this music’s cool, let’s keep doing this.” That reunion came in 2014 with a performance at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor. And regular performances have followed ever since. “It’s been fun to come back with live shows,” said Krosnick. “And now with the release of Convergence, we’re feeling like we can create some buzz about the band and do some touring.”
Krosnick explained that the band’s initial Afrobeat influence came in large part from original bassist Dan Ladizinsky, who names King Sunny Ade as a primary influence. As Jon recalls, “It was literally a garage band in the beginning. Guys were getting together and just trying to groove. The more intricate compositions only kicked in years later when Steve Hiltner joined the band. He brought in some of the more highly orchestrated stuff that’s full of complexities and twists and surprises and unexpected bridges. But it was quite the opposite in the beginning. The original version of the band had no piano player and two bass players and a guitar player, so there was a deep African groove thing happening, like a jam band.”

“I sort of ruined it for the faction of the group that really loved straight-ahead grooves and simple melodic stuff,” said Hiltner. “I started bringing in pieces that were more than just stock 32 bar tunes that could be in the Real Book. I bring a classical element to the band in the motivic development in my compositions, which you can hear on ‘Samba Diabolico,’ for instance.” Of the seemingly disparate musical elements coming together on Convergence, Hiltner, a trained botanist added: “Nature is just miraculous in the way it breaks everything down into constituent parts and then builds something new. I think of the creative process like that. It’s like composting: bringing lots of different elements together so something new comes out of the blend.”

After such a long hiatus from recording, Kaufman is thrilled about the release of the Lunar Octet’s Convergence. “It shows the longevity of our friendships and music all intertwined,” he said. “And music really is an expression of our connections to each other. What we’re doing reflects years and years of building trust and relationships.” He added, “I’m always open to new possibilities. That’s what’s great about the Lunar Octet. Over and over again, one of us has come up with an idea that has musical integrity and a quality that is inspiring and that we are excited about. That’s what makes our music so interesting and varied. And we always support each other to bring those kinds of tunes out. Openness of sharing is an important part of the band. All of the many different musical qualities that we all bring to the table help form a nice balance.”

Norm's Mambo (comp: Aron Kaufman)
Toote Sweet (comp: Stephen Hiltner)
Oye (comp: Aron Kaufman)
Subway Tension (comp: Aron Kaufman)
Mambossa (comp: Stephen Hiltner)
Flugel Tune (comp: Stephen Hiltner)
Dancin' in the Doghouse (comp: Aron Kaufman)
Elephants (comp: Paul Vornhagen)
Samba Diabolico (comp: Stephen Hiltner)
Crusin' (comp: Stephen Hiltner)
Heart of Congatar (comp: Aron Kaufman)
Until I Find the Words (comp: Stephen Hiltner)
Olduvai Gorge (comp: David A. Mason)
Samba Over Easy (comp: Stephen Hiltner)

Lunar Octet is back with a potent collection of originals inspired by mambo, samba, funk, Afrobeat and jazz! RED HOT!!

Brandon Cooper — trumpet, flugelhorn, vocal (track 14)
Stephen Hiltner – alto saxophone, Bb clarinet (track 12)
Paul Vornhagen — tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto clarinet (track 4)
Sam Clark – guitar
Keaton Royer – piano
Jeff Dalton — acoustic bass, electric bass, vocal (track 14)
Jon Krosnick — drums
Aron Kaufman — congas, bongos, vocal (tracks 3, 14)
Olman Piedra — timbales, Latin percussion

Eric Vloeimans / The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra / Jurjen Hempel - Evensong (May 7, 2021 Challenge Records)

This album is a unique collaboration between Eric Vloeimans and a full scale classical orchestra. Together with the orchestra and conductor Jurjen Hempel, Vloeimans strikes a bridge between many different styles, from classical to jazz, from western to eastern.

The principle work on this album is in fact Vloeimans’ very own trumpet concerto, Evensong in four movements which he wrote in collaboration with composer and arranger Martin Fondse. The piece Lex was written as the film score to the film Auditie/Audition (2011) an animation film about Lex van Weeren (1920-1996), a Jewish trumpet player and orchestra conductor who survived Auschwitz because he became the camp orchestra conductor and trumpet player in the camp orchestra. Waterfront was written for an open air concert at the Kralingse Plas lake and was in fact inspired by the music Leonard Bernstein wrote for the Oscar award winning film On the Waterfront. 

It has all the elements we expect from a film score: a long opening shot, introduction of the main character, suspense and high-energy action scene, to wind up with the finale: the title song. About the piece Requiem, Vloeimans states: I had no firm plans to write a classical requiem. Nothing serious had happened in my life that would call for an elegy. But magic went its own way, and things happened as they did: the composition ultimately wrote itself and became this Requiem.

1. Evensong Movement 1 11:17
2. Evensong Movement 2 03:48
3. Evensong Movement 3 07:47
4. Evensong Movement 4 02:08
5. Lex 04:59
6. Waterfront Introduction 03:50
7. Waterfront Movement 1 04:09
8. Waterfront Movement 2 03:44
9. Waterfront Movement 3 02:20
10. Waterfront Final 04:01
11. Requiem 06:01
12. Your Majesty 07:14

Marieke Koopman - Chapter One (May 7, 2021 Challenge Records)

‘If music be the food of love, play on!’ – Shakespeare

Marieke Koopman was destined for music. Growing up in a musical household, Marieke was always surrounded by musicians, music, and creativity. “Even as a kid I was always singing, wherever I was!” As a daughter of two well-known musicians, it was no surprise she chose a creative and musical life as well.

“Music in not only the note you sing. You need to really tell a story.” So, after years of studying with teachers as Max van Egmond, Astrid Seriese, Floor van Zutphen, Sanna van Vliet and Deborah Carter, she wanted to go even deeper into her performance. She decided to go to acting school. Studying acting with teachers as Nelleke Zitman, Erik v/t Wout, Truus te Selle, brought her a strong understanding of words, subtext and meaning, but also of how to incorporate words, melody, and performance into one strong appearance. Marieke was finally ready to follow her heart’s desire into music. From that point on she started performing Jazz.

After graduating she focused her work on two main area’s: performing as a jazz-singer and writing and playing children’s theatre. During this time, she really started focusing on swing jazz and performing with Big bands. She started frequenting venue’s like: Nick Vollebregt, Singer theatre, the Doelen Jazz-café. Next to that she wanted to show children the wonders of classical music. Together with Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir, Marieke wrote and performed (from 2012 until now) in many places all over Europe. Frequenting concert-halls as Vredenburg, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Doelen Rotterdam, as well as famous halls in Barcelona, Milan, Lubeck, and many more cities, even in Zermatt, Suisse.

Yet she continued studying singing, falling more and more in love with early jazz (Swing-era) every step of the way. ‘The deepness of the lyrics combined with the most wonderful music hits me every time! People really felt something then…’ Her love for stories, emotions but also beautiful melodies were and are the driving energy behind Marieke’s interpretations and improvisations.

In the fall of 2019 Marieke embarked on an exciting new project. After performing for many years, she wanted to take a big new step into the music. She decided it was time to record her own cd. After finding a label and producer Marieke was energized to finally fulfill her dream. In choosing her repertoire, she was again reminded of why she decided to go into music: her love of stories, rhythm, and emotion in every style of music. She wanted to combine her roots in classical music with her own style and love of Jazz. She was reminded of a story from her grandfather being a very enthusiastic jazz drummer in the Swing-era. She finally understood her roots and especially in jazz from the early 30’s until the late 40’s. The theme of her debut cd was born.

Now she could finally work on her own sound. She chose jazz-standards (some known, others not so known) which had strong lyrics or were little gems melody wise and mixed them with her own style. Never being afraid of opinions or stepping out of the box, Marieke loves to transform songs and has found a way of communicating her emotions through playful rhythmic and melodic interpretations, improvisations, as well as her use of lyrical timing.

1. Just One of Those Things 02:43
2. The More I See You 04:05
3. Looking For a Boy 03:15
4. Someone to Watch Over Me 03:17
5. Let's Face the Music and Dance 02:43
6. Everything I've Got Belongs to You 02:34
7. Stardust 04:26
8. I Get a Kick Out of You 04:40
9. But Not for Me 04:01
10. Get Out of Town 03:36
11. Taking a Chance on Love 02:55
12. Things Are Looking Up 02:55
13. It Had To Be You 03:53
14. With A Song In My Heart 04:57

New album from Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas Sound Prints - Other Worlds (May 7, 2021 Greenleaf Music)

Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas
Other Worlds

The third full length album by Sound Prints, co-led by Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas, includes ten new compositions by the co-leaders and features Lawrence Fields, Linda May Han Oh and Joey Baron

Saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas debuted their extraordinary Sound Prints quintet on Blue Note Records in 2013, the year of Wayne Shorter’s 80th birthday, and from the outset the group had a joyful but somewhat imposing mandate: to lift up Shorter’s legacy through the writing and performance of new music conceived in his risk-taking, fearlessly inventive spirit. Supported by a powerful multi-generational lineup of pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Joey Baron, the group debuted with Sound Prints: Live at Monterey Jazz Festival, which included world-premiere performances of two brand-new Shorter pieces.

Scandal, the group’s 2018 follow-up on Greenleaf Music, featured the same personnel on a new book of Lovano and Douglas originals as well as fresh arrangements of “JuJu” and “Fee Fi Fo Fum,” two Blue Note-era Shorter classics. With Other Worlds, recorded just days after a triumphant weeklong run at the Village Vanguard in January 2020, the Sound Prints quintet achieves another first, a full album of original compositions. But while no Shorter tunes appear, Shorter’s far-sighted philosophic vision of modern jazz animates these great players in every measure. “Wayne inspires us to think about our place in the universe,” Douglas maintains. “You can’t divorce that from the music.”

Almost every track on Other Worlds is a first take, thanks in no small part to the bandstand chemistry that Sound Prints achieved in set after set at the Vanguard. “Everybody brought their own self but also their Sound Prints self,” Douglas says. “We played a different set list every night, every set, because the order you play things in has a big influence on how they develop. So each night, different tunes would bump up against different tunes. We really figured out the dynamics of the whole thing, and by the time we got to the studio, we knew.”

“The way Dave and I set up together,” adds Lovano, “the way we’d play the themes and improvise together and trade, we were right there next to each other, so we were feeling what each other was playing. Dave and Joey and I have a deep history playing together: I go back to the ’70s with Joey, and the ’80s with Dave.”
Douglas adds: “Joey was on all my sextet records, and then of course he and I were in John Zorn’s Masada for many years together.” Oh, who came onto Douglas’ radar as a student at Banff, has logged many hours in Douglas ’ quintet (not to mention Pat Metheny, Kenny Barron, Fabian Almazan and Vijay Iyer, among many others). Lovano encountered Fields as a student at Berklee; he’s since done high-profile work with Nicholas Payton, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Jeff “Tain” Watts and more.

“The whole concept of the band is dialogue and interaction,” Douglas notes. “And when you play that way, nobody can retreat into the role of their instrument. Everybody’s playing everything, all the time. Some pieces don’t have any chords, others have a lot of chords, and so you look for the piano to provide a balance so it’s not all one thing or the other. Both the free context and the chordal context have the same level of dialogue and conversation. Something new with this book is that we’re writing specifically for that chemistry, whereas in the beginning we were sort of imagining it, letting it unfold.”

Lovano’s “Space Exploration,” “Shooting Stars” and “The Flight” together make up the “Other Worlds Suite,” which appears noncontiguously (much like it might have at the Vanguard). “Those three pieces came together as a sequence of events,” Lovano explains, “and everyone captured the essence of that idea. The quintet is on a voyage together, and so the title ‘Space Exploration’ is about the music too, it’s about this certain way of playing together, not just writing a theme and playing on it, but a flow of ideas.”

It was “Sky Miles,” the first of Lovano’s pieces, that set the album’s space theme in motion, and Douglas was easily able to connect that to his recent interest in the study of antiquity. “I was doing a lot of reading about the period 2500-3000 years ago,” he says, “thinking about Pythagoras and the growth of science. Antiquity can be directly connected to the continuing movement of humanity through countless discoveries, and the cultural growth as we all discover each other around the globe and figure out how to work together and live together.”

In a brief liner note to the band’s 2013 debut, there appears a verse from Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson that begins, “… come, my friends, / ’tis not too late to seek a newer world.” These lines ring all too true today, as music and the arts begin what is sure to be a long recovery process. “The music is moving forward whether we choose to jump on the train or not,” Douglas avers. “We’re incredibly lucky that we recorded Other Worlds when we did — we had talked about doing it later. But one thing led to another and there was no reason to wait. We went right on into it and I’m so glad we did.”

1. Space Exploration (Lovano)
2. Shooting Stars (Lovano)
3. Life On Earth (Douglas)
4. Manitou (Douglas)
5. Antiquity to Outer Space (Douglas)
6. The Flight (Lovano)
7. The Transcendentalists (Douglas)
8. Sky Miles (Lovano)
9. Pythagoras (Douglas)
10. Midnight March (Lovano)

Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone
Dave Douglas, trumpet
Lawrence Fields, piano
Linda May Han Oh, bass
Joey Baron, drums

Produced by Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas
Executive Producer: Dave Douglas
Recorded by Tyler McDiarmid and Geoff Countryman at Bunker Studios, Brooklyn, NY on January 31, 2020.
Assisted by Todd Carder
Mixed and Mastered by Tyler McDiarmid
Musician photos by Geoff Countryman
Artwork by Dave Chisholm
Layout by Lukas Frei
Pre-order on Bandcamp, Amazon, and iTunes

Stream the first single ‘Pythagoras’ on Spotify, Apple Music and TIDAL

Rale Micic - Only Love Will Stay (May 7, 2021 Whaling City Sound)

A World of Talent
Rale Micic's heartwarming fusion of heritage, taste, and jazz guitar sophistication shines on
Only Love Will Stay

It goes without saying, though we’ll say it once, right from the top here, that Rale Micic is a unique voice in jazz guitar. He combines an absurdly melodic approach and an intricate insight into harmonies, with a sort of deep personal story from his native Serbia. His life experience and heritage exert a soft and loving influence on his artistic approach: the rhythm, tone, and feel of the music of his life. This approach, in the works for a while now, culminates on his new recording, Only Love Will Stay.

Micic has played with such artists as Tom Harrell, Don Friedman, Peter Bernstein, Eric Alexander, and Greg Hutchinson, but it’s the striking originality with which he plays his own music that really distinguishes him from other jazz guitar talents. The session, with Jared Gold on keys and Geoff Clapp and Johnathan Blake on drums, is both relaxed and substantial, joyful and chill, starring the filigreed sounds of Micic’s Sadowsky archtop and the tasty choices of empathic accompanists. “I first played with Johnathan Blake when we were in Tom Harrell’s group,” says Micic. “We have been playing together for over 10 years and he was also on my previous album, Night Music. Geoff is another great drummer and we have toured and played quite a bit in the last four, five years. It’s great how both of them brought something special to the music. This is the first time I worked with Jared Gold, but it felt so nice and easy. I think the musical chemistry is pretty apparent.”
Only Love Will Stay features Micic and the band creating layers of original sounds, featuring a backbone in acoustic jazz ala John Abercrombie, the intricate textures of his internal conversations, and continuing through the loving melodic rhythms of his native Serbia. “Early on,” he says, “I loved listening to the very different way that John Abercrombie was using organ with his groups and keeping it very open and cool sounding. So, I guess this record is a nod to John. He was a big influence on me. I was fortunate to play and record with him before he passed away. That’s one of the reasons I included his song ‘Even Steven’ on the album.”

Elsewhere, tunes like the dark and dramatic title track which opens the record, right through to the lush, atmospheric closer “Lipe Cvatu,” in 7/8, are enrapturing without going too far astray, too deep into the margins. They are intoxicating without over-exerting. Micic’s Only Love Will Stay is a joyful experience and a stunning excursion into the mind of a truly original artist.

Maya Dunietz - Free The Dolphin (May 7, 2021 Raw Tapes)

This is a unique kind of jazz. Glimpses of folk lullabies, African scales and rhythms, moments that border with free jazz, and homage to the old school traditions of stride & blues - as fluffy as an Erroll Garner composition and as intense as Ahmad Jamal only to be delightfully interrupted with out-of-scale psychotic outbursts. Maya blends her infinite influences into a holistic, post-modernistic, never-dull experience.

Maya: "I am incredibly grateful for the magical and pure sound that Rejoicer and Doctor achieved in this recording, Its one of the best trio sounds I ever heard and really stands out in its quality. Every instrument sounds beautifully clear as if it was playing alone and in the same time fuses perfectly with the other two, blending into a strong yet gentle colour. "

Maya Dunietz is a prodigy pianist, an avant-garde sound artist, an award winning composer, a dubious character and mom of four. Maya’s career has been abundant abundant - from playing with ‘Habiluim', 'Midnight Peacocks’, 'Boom Pam’ and countless projects worldwide through presenting her sound installations at Pompidou; France, to her work with Emahoy Tsegue Mariam Guebrou. We can definitely say she’s been busy.
1. Opus 1
2. Shtyner
3. Lover Man
4. Artichoke
5. Oddeta feat. Avishai Cohen
6. Wine of Love feat. David Lemoine

Maya Dunietz - Piano
Amir Bresler - Drums
Barak Mori - Double Bass

Avishai Cohen - Trumpet
David Lemoine - Vocals

Produced by Rejoicer
Recorded by Adir 'The Doctor' Dadia at Arpad Studios
Mixed by Rejoicer
Master by Asaf Shay

GoGo Penguin share new track taken from forthcoming ‘GGP/RMX’ remix album

Manchester instrumental trio GoGo Penguin are set to release a new remix album on the 7th May titled ‘GGP/RMX’, via the legendary Blue Note Records on vinyl, CD, download and stream

‘GGP/RMX’ is a concept that the group have fostered for years; it comes to brilliant fruition as a vivid reimagination of their fifth album, and self-defining masterwork, the eponymous ‘GoGo Penguin’, released last year. Each track from the album is reimagined as well as a mesmerising new version of the previously rare gem ‘Petit_a’ (which was initially a Japan-only release, before it emerged on GGP’s digital EP ‘Live From Studio 2’). ‘GGP/RMX’ repeatedly propels us towards the dancefloor, but it never just ends there; the music pulses and flows, transporting us into brand new realms. The group have personally enlisted an array of the world’s sharpest artist-producers and remixers including Squarepusher, Clark, James Holden, Nathan Fake, 808 State, Portico Quartet, Cornelius and more and conceived this work at Blue Note Lab, extending the 21st-century legacy of the legendary jazz label.

Today, GoGo Penguin are pleased to share a James Holden remix of new single 'Totem', taken from the forthcoming album. Nick Blacka: “James Holden creates a beautiful, reflective soundscape for this track. We love it when another artist takes your music and hears something in it and a way of interpreting it that you wouldn’t necessarily have heard yourself. Totem is a great example of this because it’s pretty far from the original track’s intensity but the spirit of the original remains intact.” James Holden: "I loved the piano chords that make the core of this song and knew instantly that I wanted to try to make them into a giant monolith – austerely restating their circular melody while my synth dances around them." 
A GoGo Penguin remix album feels like a natural progression, but in this group’s true spirit, it never sounds like a predictable move. Since their emergence a decade ago, the Manchester-based trio (pianist Chris Illingworth, drummer Rob Turner and bassist Nick Blacka) have been internationally hailed as electrifying live performers, innovative soundtrack composers, and as a collective who channel electronic and club culture atmospheres as much as minimalist influences or jazz legacy.
This is an album that extends the scope of GGP’s celebrated catalogue, which includes their Mercury Prize-nominated ‘v2.0’ (2014), ‘Man Made Object’ (2016), ‘A Humdrum Star’ (2018), 2019 EP ‘Ocean In A Drop (Music For Film)’, and 2020’s inspirational ‘GoGo Penguin’. ‘GGP/RMX’ pays testimony to the transformative art of the remix; it also reflects GGP’s original musicianship and global scope, as well as firm bonds of friendship and respect, and glorious faith in creative adventures. The new visions on ‘RMX’ feel intuitive, even symbiotic.
US producer Machinedrum reconstructs the instrumental elements of ‘Atomised’ into a lithe, irrepressible body music banger, which forms the first single release from ‘GGP/RMX’. French producer Rone creates a beautifully reflective new version of ‘F Maj Pixie’, before the same track is embraced and distinctly reshaped by Brit electronic/bassist maverick Squarepusher (with whose live band Shobaleader One GGP have shared festival stages), merging acoustic and tech elements to thrilling effect.
Excitingly expansive new takes also come from contemporary Brit talents Nathan Fake (on ‘Open’), James Holden (whose majestic remix of ‘Totem’ has a cinematic quality), and Clark (lending a brooding, edgy energy to ‘Petit_a’).  The febrile creative force of GGP’s native Manchester also remains in full effect, through mixes from original club pioneer Graham Massey (808 State) on the deliciously exhilarating ‘Signal In The Noise’, and new generation talent Shunya, who lends elegant enigmatic moods on ‘To The Nth’.
Tokyo music hero Cornelius opens the collection with his joyously invigorating take on ‘Kora’, and he pays homage to GGP’s Manchester heritage as well as his own rapport with the British city (which bore a formative influence on his own early Shibuya-kei work). Also from Japan, the innovative musician and sound designer Yosi Horikawa (acclaimed for his experimental field recordings as well as his electronic productions) presents a richly evocative mix of ‘Embers’. Finally, wide-screen minimalists Portico Quartet create an insistently evocative end-note with their poignant reconstruction of ‘Don’t Go’.

‘Kora’ - Cornelius Remix
‘Atomised’ - Machinedrum Remix
‘Embers’ - Yosi Horikawa Remix
‘F Maj Pixie’ - Rone Remix
‘F Maj Pixie - Squarepusher Remix
‘Open - Nathan Fake Remix
‘Signal in The Noise’- 808 State Remix
‘Totem’ - James Holden Remix
‘To The Nth’ - Shunya Remix
‘Petit A’ - Clark Remix
‘Dont Go’ - Portico Quartet Remix

Noah Haidu - Slowly: Song for Keith Jarrett (May 7, 2021 Sunnyside Records)

Rising star pianist/composer Noah Haidu joins with a legendary rhythm
section for a major trio statement in SLOWLY: Song for Keith Jarrett
May 7, 2021 via Sunnyside Records
Featuring Haidu with Buster Williams and Billy Hart

“Haidu’s ability to express deep feelings is striking.” – Tony Hall, Jazzwise (UK)

 “Infinite Distances pulses with soul…a sumptuous record that swings and grooves with far out moments.” 
– Dan Ouellette, DownBeat Magazine

Album Release Stream via An Die Musik – May 8 on Keith Jarrett’s 76th Birthday

SLOWLY: Song for Keith Jarrett was recorded at the end of 2020, a watershed year for pianist Noah Haidu. As critical accolades streamed in for his innovative multi-media release DOCTONE, Haidu was on the verge of realizing another ambitious project: recording a trio album with one of the greatest bass and drum combinations in jazz: Billy Hart and Buster Williams, whose own remarkable collaboration began half a century ago. The project will be released via Sunnyside Records on May 7, 2021, one day before Jarrett’s 76th birthday. 

The decision to focus the album’s material around the great Keith Jarrett crystallized when news broke of Keith Jarrett’s retirement due to a pair of debilitating strokes. “When I heard about Keith,” says Haidu. “I was profoundly moved, and I started to envision the recording with Billy and Buster as a kind of musical response to these events and Keith’s body of work.” 

Jarrett’s music carries great personal meaning for Haidu. “My father and I had a tradition of going to hear Jarrett together for several years running,” says Noah. “My dad (who was largely responsible for introducing me to jazz) passed away a week before Keith’s final concert.  Attending that concert was one of the ways I was able to mark his passing and start a new chapter in my own life. My 17-year marriage came to an end and I refocused my energies on performing and recording with my own group.  Dad and I had been planning to attend that show together but his illness came on quite suddenly and a few weeks before the end he handed me the tickets and said, “you’d better find someone else to go with.” No one knew at the time of the concert that it would be Keith’s final performance.”  

The music on SLOWLY flowed organically with Hart, Haidu, and Williams all contributing compositions, but the project was not without its challenges. A planned west coast tour/record date in August 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic. The recording was eventually rescheduled for late November, with Covid’s second surge threatening to interfere again. “We decided not to put off the session a second time,” says Haidu. “It was not just another record date for any of us. We booked a large studio (Sear Sound), put on our masks and played our hearts out. I think you can hear the joy in this time when we are all so isolated. I felt honored that they were willing to come into the city and do this record at a time when just walking out of the house feels like a risk to one’s health.” The trio approached the thematic aspect of the music by maintaining a respectful distance, and a commitment to playing the music their own way rather than recreating performances of the past. “Everyone in the band has such a clearly defined voice,” says Haidu. “There was never a possibility of taking an imitative approach.”
The Jarrett waltz “Rainbow” (which some have credited to his former wife Margot Jarrett) segues into Haidu’s jubilantly rocking “Song for Keith Jarrett,” a nod to Jarrett’s legendary Standards Trio. Haidu elaborates on the repertoire choices in the liner notes: “We decided to include Buster and Billy’s wonderful compositions which highlight the type of interaction and open-ended expression that I feel is the heart of the Jarrett/DeJohnette/ Peacock trio.” Williams brought the dreamy “Air Dancing,” and Hart contributed the lush lyricism of “Duchess” and “Lorca.” The trio also chose a few standards: “Georgia,” “But Beautiful,” and “What a Difference a Day Makes” spontaneously in the studio, building on the songbook canon that helped make Jarrett, DeJohnette, and Peacock into one of the archetypal units in jazz history. Haidu, Williams, and Hart approached the standards with a Jarrett signature: a focus on the original melodies. The improvisations spring from those melodies and the stories behind the lyrics, eschewing the trend to “rethink” repertoire which has become commonplace in recent years. Haidu elaborates: “The idea was to get at the essence of, rather than reinvent these songs. I think that’s something I have absolutely absorbed from Keith Jarrett.” The titular SLOWLY was penned by Haidu and is dedicated to Jarrett’s solo piano style which Noah calls a “genre unto itself.” 

Of his relationship to Jarrett’s music Haidu says: “I’ve never thought of myself as a pianist who ‘plays like Keith’. However, his work has increasingly influenced my trio approach in the last few years. I’m getting back to playing ballads, standards and increasingly finding my own voice on standard repertoire. That evolution has been inspired by Jarrett who plays standards with complete authenticity, never sounding like anyone else on this music.”

Almost everything on the album is an unedited first take. According to Haidu, “These songs have a certain simplicity. There’s not a lot of pyrotechnics, everything depends on the band interaction, you can’t hide behind a complicated form or wild rhythms. You have to make a statement, and everyone has to breathe together in the music. The one song we did a second time was ‘Air Dancing.’ We had paused after the first take when executive producer and president of Sunnyside Records Francois Zalacain arrived at the session. Before we went back to record Buster said to me, ‘You’re doing a beautiful job, but this time just go for anything you hear, don’t worry about downbeats and playing every chord, Billy and I got that covered. ‘When Buster Williams says to ‘go for, it I got your back’ that really resonates.”

2020 was a year of highlights for rising star pianist Noah Haidu: his acclaimed Sunnyside Records debut DOCTONE was the first to address the remarkable legacy of pianist Kenny Kirkland, and arguably the first album exploring the work of any jazz artist to be released in tandem with a film and a book. Haidu and the project were the subject of a nationally broadcast news story on NPR and critic Nate Chinen singled out the recording as an important new release on All Songs Considered. DOCTONE was the follow-up to Haidu’s 6-part suite INFINITE DISTANCES which was included in DownBeat’s 2017 Best Albums of the Year issue receiving a rare 4 ½ out of 5 stars. 

At age 19 Haidu studied at Rutgers University with the great pianist Kenny Barron, but was soon skipping classes to sit in at jazz clubs in Barron’s hometown of Philadelphia. After his second year, Haidu left college and moved to Brooklyn to devote all his time to practicing and gigging with artists such as Walter Perkins, Duane Eubanks, Essiet Essiet, Melvin Sparks, Jeanie Bryson, and Norman Connors. After the debut of his first album Slipstream, All About Jazz said of Noah, “The cat can play his butt off.” In 2011, Haidu was called a “rising star” in JazzTimes and “an important new talent” in Jazzwise magazine. His subsequent albums and sideman work have seen him collaborating with Ambrose Akinmusire, Mike Stern, Jeremy Pelt, Sharel Cassity, and Vincent Herring. After a 2015 MOCA concert his music was dubbed “vibrant and adventurous” in the Miami Herald. Giovanni Russonello described him as “an artist of focus and vision.” In 2017, DownBeat Magazine featured Haidu in an article entitled “Subversive Soul” and singled him out as an “innovative composer.” 
Buster Williams and Billy Hart first worked together in 1969 at a concert with vocalist Betty Carter in Chicago. Both played on classic albums by Miles Davis, but it wasn’t until they joined Herbie Hancock’s innovative sextet Mwandishi that they were able to tour and record together for four year years. As members of Mwandishi both took Swahili nicknames: Hart was called ‘Jabali’ meaning “strong like a rock,” and Williams was known in the band as ‘Mchezaji’ or “player.” Widely celebrated for their innovations in acoustic and electric music Williams and Hart have both been in frequent collaboration with legends such as McCoy Tyner, Stan Getz, and Kenny Barron. In recent years they have been lauded as major composers and bandleaders, both headlining regularly at top venues such as The Village Vanguard and the Montreux Jazz Festival.  Billy Hart turned 80 years old within a few days of this recording.

1. Air Dancing
2. Duchess
3. What a Difference a Day Makes
4. Rainbow / Keith Jarrett
5. Georgia
6. Slowly
7. Lorca
8. But Beautiful

Noah Haidu - piano
Buster Williams - bass
Billy Hart - drums