Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Dewa Budjana - Naurora (June 2021 MoonJune Records)

Naurora is undoubtedly Dewa Budjana's most ambitious work yet. Progressive, fresh, engaging, technically brilliant. Budjana’s tunes consistently clasp his listeners in a drape of gorgeous melodies, showpiece guitar parts and astounding ensemble passages that have a spacious air. Naurora, has is an exhilarating mix of styles, it delivers a succession of memorable motifs. It melds East Asian music with progressive jazz fusion and some occasional elements of rock, but most of all it delivers an idiosyncratic sound that is instantaneously identifiable as Dewa Budjana’s own.

1. Naurora 11:03
2. Swarna Jingga 06:51
3. Kmalasana 07:05
4. Sabana Shanti 07:50
5. Blue Mansion 07:48

DEWA BUDJANA - guitars, soundscapes


BEN WILLIAMS - upright bass (Sabana Shanti)
CARLITOS DEL PUERTO - bass guitar & upright bass (Naurora, Kmalasana, Blue Mansion)
DAVE WECKL - drums (Swarna Jingga, Sabana Shanti)
GARY HUSBAND - piano, synth (Blue Mansion)
IMEE OOI - vocals (Naurora)
JIMMY JOHNSON - bass guitar (Swarna Jingga)
JOEY ALEXANDER - acoustic piano (Naurora, Sabana Shanti)
MATEUS ASATO - guitar intro & guitar solo (Swarna Jingga)
PAUL MCCANDLESS - soprano sax (Sabana Shanti)
SIMON PHILLIPS - drums (Naurora, Kmalasana, Blue Mansion)

Naurora was recorded remotely during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

All recordings were done by featured musicians, except:
Simon Phillips' tracks were recorded by Jason Mariani at Carbonite Sound, Ojai, CA, USA.
Paul McCandless' track was recorded by Dan Feiszli at What’s For Lunch Studio, San Fransisco, CA, USA.
Joey Alexander's tracks were recorded by Raymundus Dimas Daniswara at iCanStudioLive Jakarta, Indonesia.

All songs are composed, arranged, produced and edited by Dewa Budjana at Temple Island Studio, Jakarta.
Executive Producers: Dani Rahadian & Willawati for Mehsada.
Mixed & Mastered by Rich Breen at Dogmatic Sound, Burbank, CA, USA.

Photo Cover by Tompi. N Studio & Carly Bloom Team (Nesha Aurea Hanzdima Chritine Yuniarti)

Artwork by Aga Dilaga, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Dewa Budjana exclusively uses Kiesel guitars, D’Addario Strings, Palmer Musical Instruments.

Jopey Alexander appears courtesy of Verve Records.

International album release executive producer by Leonardo Pavkovic for MoonJune Records.

Tom Aldrich - Solo Piano 2 (June 26, 2021)

The first thing I wanted to do was just to improvise... [Princes] was so composed and there was a lot of formal processes going on, a lot of really intense intellectual thought going into it... so I just needed a relief from that, and trying to get back to direct creativity, sort of unmediated. ...There’s no edits in any of the tracks, so it’s just like, as I played, and the improvs were completely unplanned.

When I started to get into doing the playing, I started to think about, what is this form of solo piano that I’m doing? There must be some precedent for this... what’s in my subconscious that’s affecting how this is going down? So I started to think about people who influenced me, specifically who did solo piano records. ...I was sort of confronting all those influences and getting into what makes them work. ... and then just thinking about how you spontaneously make a composition... because like it or not... you’re gonna have a beginning and an end.

When you’re doing it, sometimes you think, oh, this idea is lame, why am I sticking on this? And then you listen back, and you’re like oh, I really could have gone farther with that, that was really suggesting something. So it opened my eyes a lot to being open to just letting ideas develop.”

-Tom Aldrich, "The Peter Paluska Show"(WBOR), February 25, 2017

1. Respirations 04:23
2. Three of Spades 05:24
3. Ace of Hearts 08:23
4. Ace of Clubs 03:52
5. Two of Clubs 07:48
6. Bar Island Picnic (Pea Soup) 03:19
7. Six of Spades 04:33
8. Two of Diamonds 08:00

Tom Aldrich, piano

Peter Brötzmann / Peeter Uuskyla - BORN BROKE complete + (June 2021)

1. Born Broke 21:45
2. Beautiful But Stupid 13:33
3. Ain´t Got The Money 22:29
4. Dead And Useless 38:24
5. Welcome to a Concert at Nefertiti 2nd September 2006 00:22
6. Concert at Nefertiti part one 27:05
7. 2nd part at Nefertiti 10:37
8. 3rd part at Nefertiti 11:04
9. Final part of the concert at Nefertiti September 2, 2006 16:01
10. Dead And Useless LP side A 19:09
11. Dead And Useless LP side B 18:18
12. Born Broke EP part 1 10:54
13. Born Broke EP part 2 10:55
14. Born Broke promo-demo-teaser (excerpt) 06:54

Tenor sax, clarinet, alto sax (track 6), cover art: Peter Brötzmann
Drums and album producer: Peeter Uuskyla
Engineer at Bohus Sound Recording: Dragan Tanaskovic

Recorded September 9, 2006 at Bohus Sound Recording, Sweden.
Originally released 2008 by Atavistic, USA as the 2CD-album Born Broke 2008 and the longest track "Dead and Useless" was released on 12" vinyl by Omlott, Sweden 2014.

+ The first tour ever with this Brötzmann/Uuskyla sax and drum duo was happening the week prior the studio recording date. An audience DAT-walkman recorder captured the concert at the Nefertiti jazzclub in Gothenburg on September 2, 2006. On track 5-9 you hear the first sketches of what was to become the musical statement titled Born Broke a week later.

PETER BRÖTZMANN asked me to write some notes about me walking the quite hard and dirty road of musicmaking. The liferoad of the one life you have. Been fighting all the time for playing untouchable sounds of simple music, my definition of beauty. Untouchable, therefore powerful. Simple, therefore universal, for everyone. Music that belongs to everybody. Take it or leave it, but you are not able to keep it only for yourself. That´s the strength. Sometimes the struggle is too hard and you just have enough of the terrible conditions around the playing. The lowbudget touring, the stupidity, the curators, the organizers, the ones with power to decide who plays where and what.

Geniusgrants killing natural musicmaking because of simple music being just to simple, not being complex and confusing enough. To illustrate bigheaded nonsense with living music makes you fall into a trap where pure joyful musicmaking is forbidden although sold as free jazz, freely improvised, spontaneous, creative music! This is the situation you have to deal with. Days of solidarity and bands kept together are long gone. Replaced by common egopower and loneliness among millions of lonely people in the big cities. You are also alone when making your musical statement. Alone together but still basically alone. Got to be strong to face that kind of reality. My eternal Sisyphusical circle is playing music for the strength to keep going.

Nobody tells me anymore what and whom to play with. Not even Peter Brötzmann. He anyway never has. I have always liked his way of making music with his beautiful, deep, total sounding horn. No rehearsals, instead you have to bring yourself together, prepare, get ready, concentrate, pay attention and when time comes take off. That´s the way this music is made. Dragan Tanaskovic recorded the small drumkit and the saxophone with his old tube microphones in his large studioroom. 

Quite a comfortable recording situation. No amplification, not even monitorspeakers or headphones needed for this duo. The punch and the scream, the foundation of natural musicmaking! Living in this complicated, complex and confused society it is most important to make clear and honest statements. PEETER UUSKYLA

Raffy Bushman - Beginner's Mind (2021)

London-based composer and pianist Raffy Bushman explains his new found relationship with mindfulness and meditation and how it has influenced his EP 'Beginner's Mind'.

1. Darkness ABA 04:16
2. Bitter Suite 05:46
3. Distraction 05:25
4. Abraham 04:16
5. Beginner's Mind 04:00

Ikue Mori / Brian Marsellav / Sae Hashimoto - Archipelago X (2021 Tzadik)

Laptop wizard Ikue Mori, master keyboardist Brian Marsella and classical percussion virtuoso Sae Hashimoto are Archipelago X, a dynamic new trio born during the 2020 pandemic. Recording at their home studios and exchanging tracks back and forth for months, the music is detailed, evocative and dramatically mysterious, blending electronica, classical, ambient, film soundtrack, pop and jazz into a remarkably original aggregate. Inspiring and engaging music by this fabulous trio of Downtown musical masters spanning three generations!

1. Turning Back
2. Warped Passage
3. Satellites are Spinning
4. Challenger Deep
5. Wicked
6. Lapis Lazuli
7. Pale Blue Dot
8. Through the Mist

Brian Marsella: Steinway B Piano, Fender Rhodes, Mellotron M4000d, Sequential Circuits Ob-6, Korg Bx-3, Zither, Hohner E7 Clavinet, Hohner String Ensemble, Arturia Analog Lab
Ikue Mori: Laptop Electronics
Sae Hashimoto: Vibraphone, Marimba, Ratchet, Udu, Cajon, Cymbals, Waterphone, Snare Drum, Finger Cymbals, Gongs, Straw Brush, Crotales, Bass Drum, Frame Drum, Opera Gongs, Caxixi, Pod Shaker, Pitched Gongs, Wind Gong, Balafon, Ankle Bells, Woodblock, Maracas, Concert Toms, Bamboo Chimes, Bongos, Bells, Bullet Chimes, Sleigh Bells, Glass Chimes, Tambourine, Zither, Bottle Cap Shaker

John Zorn - Chaos Magick (2021 Tzadik)

Chaos Magick is a contemporary magical practice based on the ideas of Austin Osman Spare. Remarkably inclusive, it embraces and has influenced the work of William Burroughs, Robert Anton Wilson, Aleister Crowley and many others. Inspired by these magical practices, Zorn enlists the three members of his most powerful 21st century ensemble Simulacrum with special guest Brian Marsella on electric piano into this eclectic new quartet Chaos Magick. A fast moving, improvi-sational and intensely focused ensemble that draws upon classical, jazz, funk, improvisation, metal and more. This music is even crazier than Electric Masada—a must for all fans of the outer realms!

1. The Initiate
2. Corinthians I
3. The Servitor
4. St Augustine
5. Egregore
6. Crossing the Abyss
7. Liber M
8. Imp of the Perverse
9. Corinthians II
10. Nothing is true--everything is permitted

Brian Marsella: Electric Piano
John Medeski: Organ
Kenny Grohowski: Drums, Percussion, Congas
Matt Hollenberg: Electric Guitar

John Zorn - Teresa De Avila (2021 Tzadik)

Preceded by "Nove Cantici per Francesco d’Assis"” and "Virtue (for Julian of Norwich)", "Teresa de Avila" is the third and final CD in Zorn’s trilogy inspired by towering figures of Christian mysticism. Written for the all-star acoustic guitar trio of Bill Frisell, Julian Lage and Gyan Riley whose performances are steeped in a feeling of love and mutual respect, the music is both beautifully simple and strangely complex, drawing equally on classical modernism, bluegrass, jazz, Jewish and renaissance music. Filled with compositional surprises, mysterious moods, beautiful harmonies and a stunning lyricism, Teresa de Ávila is a must-have for all fans of acoustic guitar music. This is one of the most personal and varied books of music Zorn has yet written—a lovely tribute to the enduring legacy of one of the world’s most beloved spiritual figures. Includes an extended appreciation by renown philosopher Arnold Davidson.

1. Devotion
2. El Castillo Interior
3. A Blessing of Tears
4. Danza Estatica
5. An Embarrassment of Raptures
6. Teresa
7. El Camino
8. The Sweetness of this Excessive Pain
9. Marrano
10. Levitations

Bill Frisell: Guitar
Gyan Riley: Guitar
Julian Lage: Guitar

John Zorn - Heaven and Earth Magick (2021 Tzadik)

Heaven and Earth Magick showcases Zorn’s fabulous and compelling blending of classical virtuosic instrumental writing with the improvisational world of Jazz. Completely notated works for piano and vibraphone brilliantly performed by Steve Gosling and Sae Hashimoto are set against a dynamic improvisational rhythm section of Jorge Roeder and Ches Smith. An exciting new musical world filled with an exhilarating sense of drama and a mischievous wit. Zorn’s unique mastery of instrumental writing and wild improvisational conducting skills are here in all their thorny complexity. Essential!

1. Auto-Da-Fé  7:59 
2. Acéphale  10:36 
3. Asclemandres  8:14 
4. Descent Into The Maelstrom  8:26 
5. Konx Om Pax  10:05 
6. Casting The Runes  9:07

Jorge Roeder - Bass
Ches Smith - Drums
Stephen Gosling - Piano
Sae Hashimoto - Vibraphone

All music composed, arranged and conducted by John Zorn 
Produced by John Zorn 
Associate Producer - Kazunori Sugiyama 
Recorded and mixed September to October, 2020 by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio, Mount Vernon, NY 
Mastering - Scott Hull 
John Zorn Portraits – Scott Irvine
Design - Chippy (Heung Heung Chin)

Mike LeDonne's The Groover Quartet + Big Band - It's All Your Fault (2021 HighNote Records)

Mike LeDonne belongs to an elite group of musicians — those who have mastered the piano AND the organ while creating original voices for each. However, here on It's All Your Fault, LeDonne sits down at the organ, puts his foot on the pedals and lays down some of the hippest organ licks you're likely to hear. Two groups are featured on this recording. Mike LeDonne's Groover Quartet has had the rare opportunity to play and record together for twenty years and counting. They had no difficulty integrating their sound into this all-star big band put together by Mike and his preferred arranger and conductor, Dennis Mackrel. Recorded in the famed Van Gelder Studio and actually using the original Hammond C-3 organ that Jimmy Smith et al. used for their recordings, the music within this recording is adventurous. It's a continuation of the groove that was established years ago by organists interacting with big bands and it reveals to us the Blues, the Rhythm & Blues and the Jazz that Mike heard coming up through the jazz ranks.

1. It's All Your Fault (M. LeDonne) 6:35
2. Matador (G. Green) 6:46
3. Rock With You (R. Temperton / D. Myers) 6:11
4. Still (L. Richie) 6:55
5. Party Time (L. Morgan) 5:34
6. Bags and Brown (M. LeDonne) 5:17
7. Biggest Part of Me (D. Pack) 6:20
8. Blues for Jed (M. LeDonne) 7:53

Mike LeDonne’s Big Band (Tracks: 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6):
Organ: Mike LeDonne (org)
Steve Wilson, Jim Snidero (as)
Eric Alexander, Scott Robinson (ts)
Jason Marshall (bs)
Jon Faddis, Frank Greene, Joe Magnarelli, Joshua Bruneau (tp)
Mark Patterson, Steve Davis, Dion Tucker, Doug Purviance (tb)
John Webber (b)
Peter Bernstein (g)
Joe Farnsworth (ds)

Mike LeDonne’s Groover Quartet (Tracks: 4, 7 & 8):
Mike LeDonne (org)
Eric Alexander (ts)
Peter Bernstein (g)
Joe Farnsworth (ds)

George Cables - Too Close for Comfort (2021 HighNote Records)

George Cables should be declared a National Treasure. As a pianist he is surely second-to-none on today's jazz scene. Listen only to “A Valentine for You” on Cables' current offering to hear what a jaw-dropping beauty of tone he can produce from the pile of wood and metal we call a piano, and how much critical mass is behind every sonorous voicing of his chords. As a musician he possesses endless imagination and creativity, shown by his strikingly new takes on tunes we thought we knew, particularly the title track, “Too Close for Comfort,” which retains little trace of its pop song origin. As a composer he has quietly amassed a catalog of works of extremely wide range and extraordinary quality, such as his compositions on this new release, “Circle of Love,” “This is My Song,” “Klimo” and the aforementioned “A Valentine for You.” And finally, the album’s cover photo perfectly captures George Cables the man – full of boundless energy, a love of his instrument and the music he makes on it and an impish sense of humor, evidenced by his titling the record Too Close for Comfort during a pandemic where social distancing has become the order of the day. The artist Edward Hopper said, “Great art is the outward expression of an inner life of the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.” That would explain why the world according to George Cables is such a wonderful place to be.

1. Too Close For Comfort
2. Circle of Love
3. This Is My Song
4. Klimo
5. For All We Know
6. Crazy Love
7. Roses Poses
8. I’ve Never Been In Love Before
9. Teddy
10. A Valentine For You

George Cables – piano
Essiet Essiet – bass (except tracks 6 & 10)
Victor Lewis – drums (except tracks 5 & 10)

Produced by George Cables
Associate Producer: Joanne Klein
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Katherine Miller
Recorded at Sear Sound, New York, NY on September 9, 2020