Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Bill Evans Guitar Project - Echoes of Bill (July 20, 2021)

On July 2, 2000 John Hebert, Bruce Hall, Rez Abbasi and I got together to play some Bill Evans tunes in Bruce Hall's Brooklyn home studio. Bruce was recording into a now-obsolete digital recording platform (mini disc) at the time, there was a lot of mic bleed, small room, mini-disc....it wasn't Avatar. Despite this the end product sounds remarkably good. Bruce did some beautiful playing and some beautiful engineering here. As far as any of us can remember we just got together to record in this two guitar configuration that one time although we had all played together on many different gigs and recording projects...in a lot of ways New York was and is a small town. We were pretty much reading through some Evans tunes, coming up with quick arrangements, recording and moving on to the next tune. It's got a really nice vibe and for all you guitar players, Rez is absolutely burning.

We met at Bruce's house, read through some tunes, hung out afterward, did a lot of bullshitting and for the next 20 years didn't give the recording much thought, if any. Then...about a year ago Bruce remixed the tunes we recorded and sent us all a copy. It was an emotional experience for me to hear this so many years later and I think for the others as well. All the great memories I have of playing with these stellar musicians, all the miles between then and now, the gratitude that I felt and still feel to these musicians that I admire and respect for including me and for the commitment, heart, soul and talent they put into any and all music that they make. I think you can hear all that in this recording. We got it mastered through Gene Paul at GandJ Audio - Gene and Joel Kerr did a freaking great job on that. Huge thanks to Bruce Hall for his hosting, playing and engineering.
Bruce Saunders / July 16, 2021

1. Bill's Hit Tune 05:11
2. Children's Play Son 04:57
3. Twelve Tone Tune 03:47
4. Re: Person I Knew 06:06
5. Showtype Tune 05:07

Rez Abbasi - Guitar
Bruce Hall - Drums/Engineer
John Hébert - Bass
Bruce Saunders - Guitar

Recorded S. Portland St, Brooklyn, NY on July 2, 2000
Recorded and Mixed by Bruce Hall
Mastered by G and J Audio

Percy Jones / Alex Skolnick / Kenny Grohowski / Tim Motzer - PAKT (July 20, 2021 MoonJune Records)

PAKT is made up of fretless bass guitar icon Percy Jones, guitarists Alex Skolnick and Tim Motzer, and drummer Kenny Grohowski. They are all very experienced players. Skolnick is best known as the lead guitarist in the thrash metal band Testament; he went on to freelance work, playing jazz with his Alex Skolnick Trio, and experimenting with World Music and Progressive Rock.

Welsh bassist Jones (a New York resident) is known for his tenure in the jazz fusion group Brand X, as well as extensive studio work with Brian Eno, Kate Bush, Suzanne Vega, David Sylvian Motzer has a long background in free improvisation as well, including the bands Bandit65 (with fellow guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel) and Orion Tango, plus many other recorded collaborations for his 1k Recordings label. 

Grohowski is one of the busiest drummers in business, and his recent associations include John Zorn, Brand X, Imperial Triumphant, Kilter, Felix Pastorius & Hipster Assassins, John Medeski, Lonny Plaxico, Tony Levin, Beledo, Markus Reuter, and many others.

PAKT recalls the fearless attitude and daring approach that originally defined progressive music: where the magic of the moment always triumphed over preconception. Templates be damned ... this music blazes its own path! This is truly exquisite fare, serving as a reminder to aficionados of what initially drew them to this most creative, visionary of genres.

1. Emergence
2. Over Strange Lands
3. The Mystery
4. The Unsilence
5. Brothers Of Energy
6. Perseverance
7. The Sacred Ladder
8. Drifts & Alignments
9. Nigh Crossings
10. The Great Spirit
11. Departure Sanctuary
12. Cosmic Fire

PERCY JONES - bass guitar
TIM MOTZER - guitars, electronics

Recorded live at the ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY, August 15, 2020, during the lockdown. 

Mixed and mastered by Benjamin Schäfer and Markus Reuter. Mastered by Fabio Trentini and Markus Reuter. 

Produced by PAKT and Leonardo Pavkovic.
Executive production by Leonardo Pavkovic.

LCSM "Likwid Continual Space Motion" - Earthbound Remixes (July 2021 CoOp Presents)

CoOp Presents proceed to give you what you need! Following on from the 'Plug One' series, a whole slew of releases are scheduled for the second half of the year, as we enter the next phase of the CoOp Presents universe.

First up, the Selectors Assemble crew with a mammoth remix project reinterpreting tracks from LCSM's subliminal album 'Earthbound'.

Originally released last year on Dutch label, Super Sonic Jazz, 'Earthbound' was a highly-acclaimed project from a band headed by CoOp Presents label-boss IG Culture, featuring a heavyweight band comprised of some of London's most talented players, including members of Steam Down, Wonky Logic, Nathaniel Cross and IG's label partner, Alex Phountzi, amongst others.

LCSM (aka Likwid Continual Space Motion) is an exploration into afro-futurism, inspired by the likes of Sun Ra, but forming a sound entirely unique with a hybrid of bruk, boogie, funk and jazz. The album received rave reviews from the likes of Gilles Peterson, XLR8R and Beat Caffeine, with the vinyl quickly selling out globally, and featuring highly in numerous end of year lists, from Sound Shelter (Sydney), to Bandcamp to The Vinyl Factory, as well as a nomination for "Track of the Year" at the Worldwide Awards and named "Album of the Year" by Rush Hour!

So to this new EP released on IG Culture & Alex Phountzi's own imprint. As you'd expect, the Selectors Assemble gang deliver the goods; firing on all cylinders across this 6-track bruk opus.

Cengiz kicks off the session with his flip on 'Frequency' ahead of James Rudie's stark sub-heavy version of 'The Box'. There are two mixes of 'More Brilliant Centre', the first from Entek, the second from CoOp Presents co-founder Alex Phountzi. The hyper-tempo'ed 'World Order Is Chaos' sees IG & Alex team up again under their NameBrandSound moniker, and we close out with Xtra Brux's take on 'Let Me' (which originally featured Natalie May & Neue Grafik); keeping it soulful and jazzy but adding drums that knock, as they do throughout the EP, staying true to the cosmic-jazz source material, but re-shaping it exceptionally for the bruk dancefloors. 

1. Frequencies (Cengiz Remix) 04:56
2. The Box (James Rudie Remix) 05:20
3. More Brilliant Centre (Entek Remix) 07:46
4. More Brilliant Centre (Alex Phountzi Remix) 04:38
5. World Order Is Chaos (NameBrandSound Remix) 04:55
6. Let Me (Xtra Brux Remix) 04:49

Kika Sprangers & Pynarello - No Man's Land (July 2021 ZenneZ Records)

Kika Sprangers is on the forefront of the new jazz generation in the Netherlands. Her new release No Man’s Land was recorded live on November 22, 2020 at CloudNine in TivoliVredenburg.

“To me No Man’s Land is a special work, created in a quiet, pandemic world, with the focus theme: the position of women in the present time”, says Kika.

She explains how she has tried to capture reconciliation and vulnerability on this recording, “the most important elements in the gender discussion, if you ask me. The music is about connection and emotion. Character should be first in the ranking, gender comes later. Or perhaps it should not really matter at all?”

1. Walllflower 03:53
2. Terra 07:21
3. No Man's Land 07:03
4. A Minor Interlude 04:56
5. Jakob 09:20
6. Ravi 06:17
7. Ronja 10:26
8. All We Have Left 07:54

Kika Sprangers – saxophones and compositions
Merel Vercammen, Jeffrey Bruinsma - violin
Annerien Stuker, Hadewijch Hofland - violin
Liselot Blomaard, Judith Wijzenbeek - viola
Anne Meike Burgel, Sebastiaan van Halsema - cello
Wolfert Brederode - piano
Thomas Pol - bass
Jasper van Hulten - drums

Bebopovsky And The Orkestry Podyezdov - Minimal Dark Jazz (July 2021)

Like classic dark jazz, but more spacy and minimalistic

1. Kindred of Saint Petersburg 05:19
2. Red Planet Blues 05:42
3. Uninvited Guest 05:19
4. Moon Vampires 03:42
5. Rain Angels 05:27

David Mirarchi - Talk Honestly (July 2021)

"Talk Honestly" is the 3rd recording of my solo project "Keepsake Box."

These compositions & improvisations are about living with integrity.

I hope you'll enjoy them.

1. E.B.Y.E. 04:16
2. Talk Honestly 06:41
3. Brutalist Fast Food Joints 07:55
4. Lull 02:13
5. Dusk Lantern IV 09:31
6. Slow Walk Home (G to K) 03:33

David Mirarchi - alto & soprano saxophones, flute, bass clarinet

All compositions by David Mirarchi
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by David Mirarchi