Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Gary Husband - A Meeting of Spirits: Interpretations of The Music of John McLaughlin (June 16, 2021 MoonJune Records)

“Gary Husband the pianist has long been overshadowed by Gary Husband the drummer.  I can personally testify to it.  However, here we have a recording which will probably achieve the reverse of what I just wrote.

In addition, he has chosen to base this recording primarily on my compositions.  I am honoured.  This is a recording that is full of surprises, and the fact that I have difficulty recognising one or two of my own compositions is only one of them!

But Gary is no ordinary musician, full of invention and surprises, modulations and inversions of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic content abound.  This is Gary Husband in full bloom.  Wonderful!”
John McLaughlin

"GORGEOUS, supreme inventiveness, absolute creativity, unique and deeply moving piano music!! Truly inspiring!!"
Chick Corea

“After hearing his The Things I See, I was immediately struck with his novel, almost orchestral approach to layering multiple piano takes over one another to create his dense tapestry of sound.  Gary plays with a lot of heart and clearly doesn’t rely on licks and preconceived bags of tricks in his solos. When he improvises he’s creating in the moment.  A few days ago I received this new CD. I was very impressed again with his wonderful dense layering approach and super interesting new harmonisations and contrapuntal detail.  Being a drummer, his timing is rock solid, and throughout, his improvisations are fresh and interesting. I respect his “no compromise” approach to his music.”
Stu Goldberg (Keyboardist with Mahavishnu Orchestra and John McLaughlin’s One Truth Band)

Tracks 1-2, 5-6 and 15-16 are joined. To ensure you experience the consecutive playback uninterrupted in correct form it is highly advisable you opt for the download of this album and check you have “gapless playback” enabled on your player.

The second in a series of two “interpretational” endeavours (based on music of two respective artists), exploring ways my imagination and their imagination can meet. This one - “the younger brother”, as it were, of The Things See * Interpretations Of The Music Of Allan Holdsworth - very much the very same kind of method, arrangement approach and mission. So these two recordings have a very strong affinity with each other.

Here I’m presenting a reimagining material of my hero, colossal early inspiration (and boss in the 4th Dimension since 2005!) you’ll find material here stemming from many varying periods of John McLaughlin - from Mahavishnu Orchestra eras, original Shakti, Heart Of Things band, the 1970s “Electric Guitarist” album ... even earlier recordings such as John’s debut “Extrapolation” and the wilder project a short time later with John Surman “Where Fortune Smiles”.

Similarly again with “The Things I See” you’ll note composition credits correspond when shared compositional input is involved. Noticeably in these cases the composition’s name is a variation on the original.

I hope very much you’ll enjoy the reimagining and the creative journey.

Gary Husband- 16/06/21
1/ Spirits Opening (John McLaughlin))
2/ A Meeting Of Spirits (Gary Husband)
3/ Vision Is A Naked Sword (John McLaughlin)
4/ You Know, You Know/ Are You The One?/ Miles Beyond (John McLaughlin)
5/ Maya Prologue (Gary Husband)
6/ The Dance Of Maya (John McLaughlin)
7/ It’s Funny (John McLaughlin)
8/ Lotus Feet Reflections (Gary Husband)
9/ Celestial Terrestrial Commuters (John McLaughlin)
10/ Jazz Jungle (Excerpt) (John McLaughlin)
11/ Joyful (Gary Husband)
12/ Song For My Mother (John McLaughlin)


13/ Alap (Gary Husband)
14/ Lotus Feet (Reprise) (John McLaughlin)
15/ Earth Bound Hearts (John McLaughlin)
16/ Development And Closing (Gary Husband) 

All arrangements and performance by Gary Husband - Piano, in-piano percussion, voice and bells

Produced by Gary Husband

Recording engineer: Toby Wood, NuCool Studio, London, November 9th & 10th 2005

Mixed and mastered by Toby Wood and Gary Husband at North Seven Studios, London, April 13th & 14th 2017

Optimisation and Remastering: Markus Reuter, June 2021

Dedicated to John McLaughlin

Susana Santos Silva & Torbjörn Zetterberg - Tomorrow (June 2021 Carimbo)

Almost Tomorrow was an intense and beautiful experiment in the snowy mountains in the middle of Sweden. The silence, mystery and harshness of that breathtaking place took form in the songs that gave birth to Susana Santos Silva and Torbjörn Zetterberg’s first album, that came out on Clean Feed in 2013. Tomorrow finally arrived, eight years later, and it sounds suspended in time, as if it is still almost tomorrow. A perpetual cycle of movement and stillness… the music starts, then stops. it starts again and stops one more time, it comes and goes, like it is trying to catch its own thoughts, repeating this life rhythm in a cradling flow. The sounds hang in the air waiting for the music to happen, with no rush, no pressure, no hurry to get anywhere. It just stands there as a reminder that life is too precious not to be noticed, and lived wholeheartedly. It’s an intimate dance of sounds, hopes and desires that fills the church, where stillness melts into motion, like if the windless moment suddenly is transformed into a myriad of floating weightless breezes, that spin and whirl until everything magically stops again… and time and space disappear. A quiet ecstasy takes place and the air gets overflowed with joy.

Tall tree
With wind in branches
Rattled leaves
Whisperers into distance
Trunk bending slightly
Not cracking
Branches moan as they move.
Dark wood, earthbound, groping upper atmosphere
Whisps of air, tea-kettle harmonics
A gasp, a hiss
Steam pipe formants
Secret spot where arbor ends and atmosphere begins.

Is this a description? By me or the tree? A bilateral translation?
The wind sketching its tree? A tree conjugating the breeze?
A writer observing? Merciless act of co-transformation? Movement of matter into spirit?

Anyway, the tree is one thing, the trumpet another. Or…?

All energies
Nothing solid
Every particle in motion
A give and take
Of sequence and space
And thought and emptiness
Of sadness and pleasure
Of certainty and doubt
Patience and harmon-mute
Another give and take
Of now and then
And then again
And when will then
And then and then
Or Zen and Zen
Response’s call
Call’s response
And recall’s yen.

From far apart
The duet
A re-meeting After
Years of knowing
Not years but lifetimes
All sentient improvisors
Breathe into these ears
Bow my branches
Sing into my navel
Sprout shouts
And fly the fuck out of here.

– John Corbett, Chicago, May 2021

1. Arriving 03:24
2. Stiltje 02:28
3. Tomorrow 05:06
4. Observing The One 03:47
5. Ema 05:05
6. La Loge 05:24
7. Dreamers 04:06
8. Contemplating The One 03:58
9. A Cry For Light 07:09
10. The Next Hours 05:58

Susana Santos Silva: trumpet
Torbjörn Zetterberg: double bass

Music by Susana Santos Silva & Torbjörn Zetterberg

Recorded April 2nd in Petruskyrkan, Stockholm by Torbjörn Zetterberg
Mixed and mastered by Torbjörn Zetterberg
Produced by Susana Santos Silva e Torbjörn Zetterberg
SSS photo by Aloísio Brito
Graphic Design and Packaging by Maria Monica

Dennis Egberths - Dennis Egberths Första (June 2021)

1. Palo Santo 05:21
2. Syrinx 05:23
3. Magenta 07:20
4. Sjösabrinken 06:19
5. Leijona 03:00
6. Lophorina 04:32
7. 180908 04:09

Katt Hernandez - violin
Isak Hedtjärn - clarinet
Johan Graden - piano & synthesizers
Vilhelm Bromander - double bass
Dennis Egberth – drums

All compositions by Dennis Egberth.

Mixed by Anders af Klintberg.
Mastered by Taylor Deupree.
Produced by Dennis Egberth and Anders af Klintberg.
Design and cover photo by Dennis Egberth.
Graphic manipulation by Jordana Loeb.
Recorded 16 February 2020 in Örnsbergs Musikstudio by Alexander Pierre and Anders af Klintberg.

Jack DeSalvo Live At Scholes Street (June 21, 2021 Unseen Rain Records)

This live performance was part of a night of trios at Brooklyn's Scholes Street Studio/performance space that was curated by Matt Lavelle. Tom Cabrera and Dmitry Ishenko are among my favorite musician to play anything with, but an opportunity to perform my own compositions with them is particularly gratifying. As a trio we have two previous albums on Unseen Rain - Minerals and Volume III of the Connoisseurs of Chaos series though some of the tracks on this live record where originally recorded on earlier albums of mine. – Jack DeSalvo

It takes a trio of formidable players like DeSalvo, Ishenko and Cabrera to bring to life music like this, with its multi-hued harmonic atmosphere and these musicians' clairvoyant interplay.

1. Minerals 08:46
2. Instance 07:12
3. Sudden Moves 08:39
4. Nuvyu 07:08
5. KHB 08:45
6. She Has With 05:2

JACK DeSALVO - guitar
DMITRY ISHENKO - double-bass

All music by Jack DeSalvo

Recorded by René Allain at Scholes Street Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Mixed and mastered by Larry Hutter, Orlando, FL
Design by Qua’s Eye Graphix
Produced by Jack DeSalvo and Tom Cabrera

Chris Forbes - Blood River Shaman (June 2021 Unseen Rain Records)

The roots of this particular trio run deep but Hill Mike and I never actually played all together until we were part of a quintet that Steve Swell assembled in the late 2000s. From the very firstwe felt a very strong connection. To me, playing with Hill is grounding. His sound and presenceis like a sequoia, deeply rooted and yet rising to the heavens. TA is oceanic, like the north shore of Oahu in the winter. His sound washes over you in waves. For me as a pianist, I feel like I float over the foundation that the two of them give me and it makes for a pretty titanic set each time we play.

In fact the intensity of this set is pretty indicative of my music at the time, which I callmy “wild bear” period. The music on this set was finally honed by several successive performances at I-Beam Brooklyn. It was part of an evening of the Kettle Collective, a group I was a member of at the time. We had been performing most of the tunes since out first gig in 2011 and they were reaching a really high state. Blood River Shaman was written specifically with this group in mind. It is an example of one of my “sketch” tunes, in which two contrasting gesture are notated but not in any final form. 

The succeeding twenty minutes explores the tension between the aggressive first gesture and the more lyrical second gesture. Though there are elements of traditional solos, the piece exemplifies our trio concept, which is of a three way conversation throughout rather than solo and accompaniment.

In the performance Open the Gates, Papa flowed directly from Blood River. This was a new “tune” for the night. It was based on the “all interval” set from Eliot Carter’s Piano Concerto butmarried to a Haitian Rara rhythm. The performance stays at a slow burn until the rev up at the end which explodes into silence.
Out of that silence comes a monumental Hill Greene bass solo which sets up A-Wa-Re, a tune I had originally written for a band with Matt Lavelle and Wil Connell and which also appears on the first Zone album. Based on a synthetic scale derived from the two chords of the solos, the tune has a Japanese feel to it and was named after the ink painting term A-wa-re, which means the sense of loneliness you find in an autumn landscape.

The Morning of the World is our standard encore and the roots of this sketch go back to the 1990s. I had reread Messiaen’s Technique of My Musical Language and while experimenting with his concept of added resonance I discovered that I could make my piano sound like it was a Javanese gamelan, especially if I played melodies in one of the traditional Indonesian scales. This tune uses a modified version of the pelog scale which is exposed in a gentle manner and then continues to double up in rhythm.

There is a long middle section that takes the piece out and builds up tension until the main pelog passage returns again and the piece winds down to a gentle conclusion. This whole recording represents this trio at the height of its powers and I couldn’t be prouder of it. It rounds out the portrait of me as an artist that Unseen Rain has presented - lyrical soloist, lover of standards, and avant-garist. I was grateful to Scott Friedlander for capturing that night and to Larry Hutter for mastering it so well. I am especially grateful to Jack De Salvo for putting the record out. Most of all Im grateful to Hill and Mike for their friendship and impeccable musicianship. More to come! – Chris Forbes

Blood River Shaman features leader Chris Forbes' prodigious pianisms and compositions. His trio includes legendary double-bassist Hilliard Greene and spectacular drummer Michael TA Thompson. Though regarded as a singular improviser and a pianist with an approach that is so original as to be paradigmatic and capable of improvising an entire solo album (Mountain Ocean Mirror Sky, UR9911), leading a trio playing themed standards (Film Noir, UR9897) he is also a formidable composer. All of these gifts are evident on Blood River Shaman. His bandmates are exemplary in this remarkable live recording at Brooklyn's iBeam. 

1. Intro 00:32
2. Blood River Shaman part 1 07:02
3. Blood River Shaman part 2 13:31
4. Open The Gates Papa 08:15
5. A -Wa-Re 10:51
6. The Morning Of The World 11:51


Band photo and recorded by Scott Friedlander at IBeam, Brooklyn
Mixed and mastered by Larry Hutter, Orlando, FL
Design and cover photo by Qua's Eye Graphix

Rocco John Iacovone and Tom Cabrera - Out of The Maelstrom (2021 Unseen Rain Records)

Maelstrom: a large whirlpool or confused, turbulent, agitated state of mind, emotions, and affairs. This is what we all experienced with the onset of the Covid-19 Virus. Everything changed. Too dangerous to get together and play, this duo recording with Tom Cabrera came out of an urgent need to find new ways to create.

After discussions by phone, here’s what we did. I would compose a motif, develop it, record it then send to Tom. Tom would listen until he really “got” it. Then he added his part. In Monday Meditations, I recorded one track, then accompanied myself and sent both tracks to Tom. We reversed the process with Segments1 and 2. Tom recorded first and sent me the tracks.

We also left space for each other to play. We did so with all the pieces but is most evident in the only standard, “Softly”, on the album. Both Tom and I very much enjoyed the process and found it to be very rewarding. All the music grew from the consciousness and way of life at that point in time.

Hope you enjoy – Rocco John Iacovone

1. Begone Covid 03:35
2. Dreams 05:00
3. Monday Meditation 05:36
4. Segment Part 1 02:14
5. Segment Part 2 02:41
6. Softly As A Morning Sunrise 05:29
7. Tango 06:52
8. Wee One 04:13
9. What Is 04:18

ROCCO JOHN IACOVONE - alto, tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet
TOM CABRERA - drums, percussion

Recorded at Woodshedd Studio, Westbury, NY and Sage Studios, New York, NY
Mixed and mastered by Larry Hutter, Orlando, FL
Cover painting by Tom Cabrera
Design by Qua’s Eye Graphix
A Woodshedd Production

Lucia Ianniello - Maintenant (June 2021)

The idea to record, in addition to my original compositions, three songs from the repertoire of the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (P.A.P.A.), comes from a long time ago, when I came across the music, work and vision of Horace Tapscott (1934-1999). Trombonist, pianist, composer, arranger and leader of the P.A.P.A., since 1961 Tapscott dedicated his life to the empowerment of the African-American community of Los Angeles, its artistic projects and human relationships. In doing this, he set up one of the first black artistic associations made up of musicians, painters, poets, dancers, etc. "Our music is contributive rather than competitive" he used to say. Thanks to the work of Steven L. Isoardi - author of a fundamental bibliography on Tapscott and the musical life in the golden era of Central Avenue - I was able to study and to love him.

I also believe the development of human identity comes first. I am engaged in creating a special dialogue with the musicians I work with, making relationship quality a priority. So the next step came naturally to me. Over the past years, Diana, Giuseppe, Paolo and I have shared together much more than music. And last summer I invited them to record…an urgent desire to express, dictated by the need to tell a new story, a narrative inspired by the strong motivations we shared. So we have been playing, experimenting, recording in a spirit of contribution rather than a competitive one. And I hope that the wide improvised soundscapes are evidence of this.

We were happy. We had time to live this experience and make it unforgettable.

On February 6, 2015, Giuseppe was snatched away from life as he lived it fully, until the last breath. As a tribute to him, I wanted to record "Sicily", an unreleased song chosen among the beautiful music written by Giuseppe. Lucia Ianniello (June 2015).

1. Maintenant (Lucia Ianniello)
2. Ballad for Samuel (Horace Tapscott)
3. Our Summer (Lucia Ianniello)
4. Desert Fairy Princess (Jesse Sharps)
5. Other (Lucia Ianniello)
6. Peyote Song No. III (Jesse Sharps)
7. Sicily (Giuseppe La Spina)
8. Préliminaires Amoureux (Lucia Ianniello)

All tracks are arranged by Lucia Ianniello

Lucia Ianniello Bb and C trumpets, flugelhorn, effects and objects
Diana Torti voice (except on tracks 2 and 3)
Giuseppe La Spina guitars (except on tracks 2,3 and 7)
Paolo Tombolesi keyboards, acoustic bass and percussions

Recorded at LUPA Studio, Rome (Italy) from July 2014 to March 2015
Recording, mixing and mastering by Cecafumo
Cover photo by Stefano Giorgi