Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Will Bernard - Ancient Grains (June 25, 2021 Posi-Tone Records)

Will Bernard offers up a hearty meal of tastes and styles from his own harvest of ”Ancient Grains” on this 2021 album. With a modern jazz sensibility and elegantly lyrical compositional focus, the crux of this brilliantly evocative musical program remains focused upon the fingers and strings of the expressive guitarist himself. Meanwhile the masterful contributions of B-3 organist extraordinaire Sam Yahel and the explosive metrics of drummer Donald Edwards provide several melodic highlights in addition to the rhythmic support  necessary to keep the session deeply in the pocket.

Some of our fans may already be familiar with his earlier work, but we think now is definitely the time for a new generation to discover the bold guitar mastery of Will Bernard! To this end, we strongly believe a steady diet of “Ancient Grains,” with its balanced menu of straight ahead performances from the funky and soulful to the edgy and original, will surely leave jazz enthusiasts everywhere feeling better inside and excited for another serving!

1. Dry Land Tourist
2. Ancient Grains
3. Five Finger Discount
4. Pleasure Seekers
5. Stone Valley
6. Trilobite
7. Boo Boo's Birthday
8. Mazurka Tree
9. Temescal
10. Right As Rain
11. Wake Up Call

Will Bernard - guitar
Sam Yahel - organ
Donald Edwards - drums

Marc Free - producer
Nick O’Toole - engineer
recorded September 21, 2019 at Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, NY
mixed & mastered at Woodland Studio, Lake Oswego, OR
photography by Sibila Savage
cover art by Joaquin Spengemann
package design by Jamie Brunson

Christopher Lee Newman - Robin's Egg Blue (June 23, 2021)

This is a 3 track record. The title track is a semi-composed free improvisation that was intended to be a Yak Strangler release. Rylan had approached me with the concept after coming across a robin's egg that had fallen from a tree and onto his brick patio. He showed me a picture, which I don't have, and we talked about how beautiful the blue color and how the imagery made me us feel. It was gorgeous, but also saddening. "Blue" is used to describe a particular melancholic feeling associated with music. This is present in blues, jazz, and other African Diasporic music. Robin's egg blue to us was meant to be representation this difficult-to-describe emotion through the lens of life in the southern Appalachian region of East Tennessee.

From this conversation, I went home and opened the window of my then townhouse to listen to the urban-Appalachian sounds that heard. I heard nature: cicadas, dogs, and birds. However, I also heard tires on pavement, distant car horns and the hum of streetlights. As I contemplated urban-Appalachia, I think of beautiful nature scenes, but also dilapidated buildings and potholes. I think of groundbreaking laboratories and ivory towers, but also a devastating opioid epidemic and an ever-growing homeless population. 

I think of loving families, acceptance, and joy, but I also see loneliness, sorrow, and suffering. It's been a year since Rylan succumbed to his depression. He never got around to writing his drum parts to "robin's egg blue," I've thought about this concept for a while, and as I approach the anniversary of his passing, I was inspired to improvise two other pieces with the same emotions in mind. I hope you find these songs intriguing, beautiful, or at the very least, weird. 

1. robins egg blue 05:54
2. k0pRh3@d 04:40
3. rediscovery 06:15

Dusan Jevtovic / Vasil Hadzimanov DUO (June 2021)

The inspired pairing of guitarist Dusan Jevtovic and pianist Vasil Hadzimanov. Think ECM record label vibe filtered through Radiohead played at an intimate after-hours jazz venue and you’ll catch the vibe.

Vasil’s beautiful arpeggiated piano serves as delicate counterpoint to Dusan’s raw textured playing.

As with the very best instrumental music, there is a lot of careful listening, creative comping, and building off the other players’ energy, resulting in a music that is at once confident, inspired and original.

1. Searching For New 06:01
2. Olas de Anhelo 06:10
3. Coming Back From Yesterday 04:36
4. El Raval 05:04
5. Space Salchicha 05:34
6. Carried By The Wind 04:16
7. Mente Pura 04:46
8. Third Second Step 04:25
9. Gipsy 05:09

Lex Korten - Foreword (June 2021)

Foreword (or Foreword: Live in Concert) is my simple self introduction to the world as a pianist. For who I am now, there is only one format that would preserve the integrity and clarity of that introductory statement - live concert recordings. No second takes, no second guessing, no fixed mistakes or sterile calculations. These songs are a tapestry of moments in my life that I wanted to revisit on behalf of my listeners. Thank you for listening - Lex

Midnight Silence - Kenny Kirkland
Punjab - Joe Henderson
Zingaro - Antonio Carlos Jobim
No. 3 - Lawrence Williams
Strange Meadow Lark - Dave Brubeck
Work - Thelonious Monk
Compulsion - Harold Land
On a Turquoise Cloud - Duke Ellington
Dance of the Infidels - Bud Powell
Diana - Wayne Shorter
Nice Pass - Brad Mehldau

Lex Korten, piano

Recorded by UNISA in January 2020 at the 14th UNISA International Piano Competition under the direction of Karendra Devroop
Piano tuned and maintained by Tshepiso Ledwaba
Mastered by Richard Price, Candlewood Digital
Produced by Lex Korten and Jerry Korten

Angel Bat Dawid - Hush Harbor Mixtape Vol. 1 Doxology (June 2021 International Anthem)

1. Corn=Rowzz 04:11
2. Negro Hamlet 01:53
3. Sunday Meeting of Colored People in Chicago 04:10
4. 'Goree, ' or Slave - Stick 02:12
5. Heathen Practices At Funerals 05:56
6. Black Family, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1862 03:10
7. Jumping the Broom 06:33
8. El Quitrin - The Joy of Livin 02:21
9. Mama Bet 03:59
10. A Young Negress, Studying The Game Of Ouri 03:31
11. Husband Of The Queen Of Walo, Wolof 03:17
12. Negroes Leaving Their Home 03:43

All instruments, vocalz, and synths performed, produced, recorded, arranged & mixed By Angel Bat Dawid.

Mastered By Najee-Zaid Searcy.