Friday, July 23, 2021

Roy Brooks - Understanding (July 23, 2021 Cellar Live)

Understanding, a blazing 1970 concert recording featuring the Detroit-born master percussionist Roy Brooks leading a gifted quintet through its spirited paces at Baltimore’s Famous Ballroom, will be released by Cellar Music Group's archival imprint, Reel to Real Recordings on July 17 as a limited edition 3 LP set exclusively at independent record stores for Record Store Day and as on 2 CDs/digital on July 23.

Comprising more than two hours of expansive performances averaging 20 minutes in length, the potent date was recorded by Left Bank Jazz Society and stars trumpeter Woody Shaw, tenor saxophonist Carlos Garnett, pianist Harold Mabern, and bassist Cecil McBee.

All proceeds from the release — produced with the cooperation of McBee and Garnett and the estates of Brooks, Mabern, and Shaw — will go directly to the Detroit Sound Conservancy, a non-profit organization founded in 2012 and devoted to the preservation, education, conservation, and place keeping of the Motor City’s musical heritage.

Born in 1938, Roy Brooks is perhaps best known as a sideman. He spent five years with pianist Horace Silver’s storied hard bop combo, appearing on the popular Song for My Father, and also worked behind Chet Baker, Yusef Lateef, and Charles Mingus, and alongside Max Roach in the percussion ensemble M’Boom.

Beyond his formidable, gale-force attack on the traps, Brooks — who died in his hometown in 2005 — delighted audiences with flights on the musical saw (heard on the present recording) and even invented a device, the “breath-a-tone,” with which he could change the pitch of his drums as he played. Sadly, the musician’s career was thrown off track in later years by severe mental illness. But the Famous Ballroom date displays him at the height of his considerable powers.

In his comprehensive liner notes for the collection, historian Mark Stryker, author of Jazz from Detroit (University of Michigan Press, 2019), writes that Understanding “shines a long-overdue spotlight on Brooks. A product of Detroit’s mid-century jazz explosion, Brooks was a deeply swinging drummer of uncommon creativity, flexibility, fire and conceptual imagination.”

Led off by a 42-minute performance encompassing the Brooks-composed prelude and title track, Understanding roars through compositions by Shaw (“Zoltan,” first heard on organist Larry Young’s 1965 classic Unity) and Garnett (“Taurus Woman”) and a furious take on Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce” before an involved, vocal audience. Projected at a fever pitch, the music operates on the cusp between the ‘60s quintet innovations of Miles Davis (whose “The Theme” closes the gig) and the free-form explorations of John Coltrane and his acolytes.

Understanding is filled out by intimate written remembrances by a pair of Brooks’ classmates at Detroit’s Northwestern High School, journalist Herb Boyd and alto saxophonist Charles McPherson. 

1. Introduction 00:25
2. Prelude To Understanding 21:34
3. Understanding 20:10
4. Billie's Bounce 21:06
5. Zoltan 23:18
6. Taurus Woman 32:25
7. The Theme 04:31

Roy Brooks – drums
Carlos Garnett – tenor saxophone
Woody Shaw - trumpet
Harold Mabern – piano
Cecil McBee – bass

Recorded Live at The Famous Ballroom in Baltimore, MD on November 1, 1970
Produced for release by CORY WEEDS and ZEV FELDMAN
Executive Producer: RAYMON TORCHINKSY
Project Assistance: ZAK SHELBY-SZYSZKO
Sound Restoration by CHRIS GESTRIN
Original Recording Engineer: VERNON WELSH
Cover Photo by BOB CRAWFORD
Art Direction and design: JOHN SELLARDS
Album Package Editor: SHARON MCINNIS
Production Manager: CORY WEEDS
Photo Research: ZEV FELDMAN and CORY WEEDS

Extra special thanks to Carlos Garnett, Cecil McBee and Raheem Brooks.

Dedicated to the memories of Roy Brooks, Woody Shaw and Harold Mabern

Kyle Asche Organ Trio - Five Down Blues (July 2021 Cellar Live)

Beginning his professional career in Chicago in 2001, Kyle has appeared extensively throughout the city and beyond. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Melvin Rhyne, “Killer” Ray Appelton, Chris Foreman, Victor Goines, George Fludas, Ben Paterson and many others. While Asche is a versatile guitarist adept and comfortable in many different genres, the tenets of his style often find him in the company of many of Chicago’s premier jazz vocalists and Hammond organ bands. Now nearly 20 years into his tenure in Chicago, Asche continues to perform around the city on a weekly basis and can be found at many of the city’s jazz rooms regularly. As an active and caring music educator, he has held the jazz guitar faculty position at Loyola University Chicago since 2010.

Mr. Asche's highly anticipated third CD as a leader, Five Down Blues places him in the company of of working band of Pete Benson on organ and drummer George Fludas. This swinging album includes original compositions by Kyle Asche as well as tunes by Horace Silver, John Patton, Melvin Rhyne and others. The set honors the classic Hammond B-3 organ trio tradition while updating it with his own modern aesthetic.

1. Five Down Blues 07:02
2. Dorothy 06:45
3. Pretty Eyes 07:30
4. Delirium 05:28
5. Light, Life, Love 07:57
6. Never Let Me Go 05:44
7. Dirty Fingers 07:04
8. Dig Deep 06:34

Kyle Asche – Guitar
Pete Benson – Hammond Organ
George Fludas – Drums

Executive Producer: Cory Weeds
Produced by Kyle Asche
Recorded at Reliable Recorders, March 4th and 5th, 2020
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Alex Hall
Cover Photography by Zoe Rain @zoerainphoto
Design and layout by John Sellards

SFJAZZ High School All​-​Stars 2020​-​2021 (July 23, 2021)

The SFJAZZ High School All-Stars is a jazz training program. Participants are chosen by audition each year from schools throughout the greater Bay Area. The All-Stars program is comprised of two ensembles: the Big Band, led by Paul Contos, and the Combo, led by Dann Zinn. Both ensembles take part in performances, recording sessions, competitions, and festivals throughout the U.S.

1. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Big Band - Pistachio 08:50
2. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo - Jacke Due Bow 05:58
3. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo - Água Mais Quente 07:42
4. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Big Band - Imagine My Frustration 08:41
5. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo - A Branch In The Pool 08:48
6. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Big Band - Mas Que Nada 06:18
7. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo - Caravan 05:57
8. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Big Band - See The Pyramid 05:54
9. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo - Castle 07:04
10. High School All-Stars Combo - Bay Bridge At Night 09:13
11. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Big Band - Whisper Not 06:53
12. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo - Zipline 05:49
13. SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo - Sleep With The Sun, Wake With The Moon 06:57

José Lencastre Nau Quartet + Pedro Carneiro - Thoughts Are Things (July 23, 2021 Phonogram Unit)

" I´m very happy to share with all of you “Thoughts are Things “ the new release by Nau Quartet.

This time we invited master marimba player Pedro Carneiro. I first heard about Pedro maybe some 15 years ago and I kept this name in my mind as someone I admire and would like to work with. A few years later I spent a trimester in Rochester, where I would attend the performances by the Percussive Department at Eastman School of Music. These always blew my mind, much more than the jazz ones I must say! The marimbas, vibes, and other percussive instruments were playing amazing contemporary compsitions like I have never witnessd before.

The title of the album has to do with the manifestation in the direction of materializing our ideals, goals, etc. Edward Walker, the author, defends that we create our own character and personality by the thoughts we originate, or accept from others. We are, each of us, the result of what we have thought in the past; we will be the result of what we are now thinking.

Thoughts are mental Things, and tend to become material Things. The Ideal becomes Real. Our dreams come true.

I sincerely hope you enjoy it!

Last but not least, a huge thanks to Rodrigo, Hernâni, and my brother João, for their beautiful friendship and music."

José Lencastre

1. One Way to Cultivate Courage 11:17
2. Thought Atmospheres 08:14
3. Your Latent Powers 13:16
4. The Magnet of Thought 16:24

Pedro Carneiro - Marimba
José Lencastre - Tenor and Alto Sax
Hernâni Faustino - Double Bass
Rodrigo Pinheiro - Piano
João Lencastre - Drums

All music by Nau Quartet + Pedro Carneiro
Recorded by João Sousa at OCP - Orquestra de Câmara Portuguesa, Algés ( PT ) on March 7th 2021
Mixed and Mastered by Luís Delgado
Cover Illustration by João Lomelino
Artwork by João Lomelino
Band photo by Nuno Martins
Produced by José Lencastre
Executive Production by Phonogram Unit

Slowly Rolling Camera - Where the Streets Lead (July 23, 2021 Edition Records)

Where the Streets Lead is the new album from Slowly Rolling Camera, following on from their acclaimed 2018 album, Juniper. Colliding the worlds of jazz, trip-hop and cinematic soundscapes, their music blends strong melodies, big grooves and surprising turns of phrase, infused with expansive emotional gravitas. With this album, recorded throughout 2020, the music takes on a greater scale which includes an 8-piece string section and a list of world-class guests including Mark Lockheart, Jasper Høiby, Verneri Pohjola, Chris Potter and Sachal Vasandani, as well as the band’s regular guitarist Stuart McCallum.

This is an album about opportunity, about embracing unknowns and seeing what life throws at you. It’s a reflection on searching for balance, a sense of purpose and identity in everyday life. For the core group of Dave Stapleton, Deri Roberts and Elliot Bennett, it’s a unified take on the journey and the influences that have shaped them all individually and as a collective.

Where the Streets Lead is emphatic in its purpose to communicate the joy of collaboration and to communicate through an audio-sensory landscape their vision of the world. There is a boldness and simplicity in its conception balanced with the attention to detail in its production. With Juniper, their new pathway was set. Where the Streets Lead, is a natural progression and development of the bands’ exploration.
1. You Are the Truth 04:39
2. Where the Streets Lead 05:43
3. Lost Orbits 04:44
4. The Afternoon of Human Life 07:03
5. Widest Possible Aperture 05:55
6. Illuminate 04:30
7. Feels Like Fiction 06:58
8. A Force for Good 06:38

Dave Stapleton Fender Rhodes, Piano, Prophet, Moog
Elliot Bennett Drums
Deri Roberts Sound Design & Production

Mark Lockheart Soprano and Tenor Saxophone
Stuart McCallum Guitar
Jasper Høiby Double Bass
Verneri Pohjola Trumpet
Chris Potter Tenor Saxophone (The Afternoon of Human Life)
Sachal Vasandani Vocals

Jon Visanji violin
Jenni Curiel violin
James Toll violin
Victoria Stapleton violin
Linda Kidwell viola
Rob Tuson viola
Phil Daish-Handy cello
Lionel Handy cello

String arrangements by Dave Stapleton

Recorded remotely at various locations

Vocals on Illuminate recorded at Sear Studios, NYC on Sunday 17th January 2021 by Jeremy Loucas
Strings recorded by Andy Allan at Turner Sims, Southampton in August 2020

Mixed by Deri Roberts in January and February 2021
Mastered by Donal Whelan at Hafod Mastering in Feb 2021

Photography by Dave Stapleton
Artwork by Oli Bentley, Split Design

All music by Dave Stapleton except Illuminate by Dave Stapleton and Sachal Vasandani
Lyrics on Illuminate by Sachal Vasandani

All music published by E2 Music Publishing

Keith Loftis' new album 'ORIGINAL STATE' is out on July 23rd, 2021 via Long Tone Music

Jazz Saxophonist and Composer Keith Loftis Debuts New Album Original State via Long Tone Music, Due Out July 23, 2021

Long Tone Music is thrilled to announce the July 23, 2021 release of Original State the latest album by saxophonist and composer Keith Loftis. On his fourth album as a leader, the highly lyrical Loftis showcases both his virtuosic skill as a player and his adept compositional ability in the company of an ever so swinging all-star cast of New York’s finest consisting of pianist John Chin, bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Willie Jones III

“The concept of Original State was to assemble a new quartet with the ability to walk in the door and breathe life into my compositions,” states Loftis. Recorded entirely acoustic as a unit in one room, this exceptional ensemble displays striking interplay and harmonious synergy with ease. The musicians were allowed the freedom to express and shape each composition on the spot, which allowed the group to move in new directions, capturing the spontaneity and looseness of the music which was vital in creating a sense of urgency. The resulting work is at once thoughtful, deliberate, robust and energetic and acts as a musical homecoming for the saxophonist, whose last album Simply, Loftis was released a decade ago. 

One of the album highlights is “Oak Cliff”, which kicks off with an eight-bar swinging drum solo from Willie Jones III. This uplifting medium swing was written for a long-time friend of Loftis: the late great  trumpeter Roy Hargrove. The tune was named for the Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas, Texas where Loftis and Hargrove grew up together. Another standout is “Brigitte’s Smile”, which was written for Loftis’ wife. Playful and dynamic, each musician is afforded an opportunity here to shine, as they each take to the sky on their respective solos. 
Another highlight is a retooling of the Isley Brothers’ classic “For The Love Of You” arranged by drummer Greg Searvance. A favorite of Loftis that is often performed on live gigs, this fiery waltz rises to life courtesy of what Loftis describes as “the Coltrane treatment.” “I wanted to produce a recording that felt and sounded like those that I grew up listening to,” says Loftis, pointing toward Wayne Shorter’s Ju-Ju and Speak No Evil and John Coltrane’s Crescent as markers. “When you hear those records, they immediately put a smile on your face and make you feel good.”

Original State was engineered by 2x Grammy winner Bassy Bob Brockmann, who has experienced a fruitful career with countless music greats. Upon moving to New York City in 1986, Brockmann took part in a number of Blue Note recording sessions, including five albums with the Tony Williams Quintet. “Recording Original State with Keith at the Yamaha Piano Salon in NYC was to me a similar experience to Tony’s records as far as style and playing. All of the players in Keith’s Quartet are of exceptional caliber and world class players,” said Brockmann, adding, “…Original State is a beautiful recording, and like many historic jazz recordings it represents a dynamic moment in time.”

Keith Loftis is thrilled to finally unveil his long-awaited new album to the world. “The last three years has been quite a journey in both life and music. I hope that listeners can feel the passion and energy that went into creating this project. It was such a joy assembling this new quartet and I hope this music will touch, move and inspire people,” reflects Loftis.

Tumi Árnason - Hlýnun (July 23, 2021)

"At the outset everything merges. Echoes from the sound sources shroud perception.

Steadily the reflections subside as we draw closer to a vital ever-changing core."

Icelandic saxophonist and composer Tumi Árnason presents high-concept sombre opus Hlýnun (Warming), a piece that addresses our current existential threat, the climate crisis, through free jazz and experimental improvisation. Accompanying Tumi are bassist Skúli Sverrisson, drummer Magnús Trygvason Eliassen and keyboardist Magnús Jóhann Ragnarsson.

Hlýnun invites the listener into a dynamic ecosystem. Four instruments orbit each other, trade ideas and create vital soundscapes. A living multiplicity that grows and flourishes, gains balance but is threatened by an ever advancing hegemony. Songs of extinct birds are unveiled through melodies and a requiem for life itself bursts out of the organ. Man’s diagrams and machinery invade the composition, rousing intensities and endangering its unity. Members are lost in the commotion, the ecosystem regresses and becomes an apocalyptic ambiance, hiss and silence.

"At the end we dissolve into dust and phantoms
amid machinery and void."
1. I - Lungu
2. II - ‘Ō‘ō‘ā‘ā
3. III - Svart haf
4. IV - Söngur úr svartholinu
5. V - Um heimsslit, VI - Suð

Composed and written by Tumi Árnason

Tumi Árnason - Tenor Saxophone
Magnús Jóhann Ragnarsson - Piano, Rhodes, Farfisa
Skúli Sverrisson - Electric Bass
Magnús Trygvason Eliassen - Drums

Recorded and Mixed by Albert Finnbogason
Mastered by Sarah Register

Album Artwork designed by Elín Edda Þorsteinsdóttir and Íbbagoggur
Artwork Layout by Elín Edda Þorsteinsdóttir
Cover Art by Þorsteinn Cameron
Texts by Brynja Hjálmsdóttir, Tómas Ævar Ólafsson and Tumi Árnason

Ulan Bator - 2° (IMP045) July 23, 2021 Improved Sequence

1. Polaire
2. Sea-Room
3. Silence
4. D-Press T.V.
5. Episcope

Amaury Cambuzat: Voices, Guitars, Samples, Armonica and turntables
Olivier Manchion: Bass & Bows
Franck Lantignac: Drums & Percussion

2° is the second opus (originally released as a CD-Digipak-EP) by the french trio ULAN BATOR - 1996.
Recorded by Ulan Bator (March 1996)
Mixed by François Dietz at CCAM studio (Nancy-FR)
Mastered by Tom Meyer (Master & Servant)
Cover picture: Claire Alesse
Artwork: Francis Meslet
Released on label: Les Disques du Soleil et de l'Acier
Executive producers: Ulan Bator & Gérard Nguyen
All songs by Ulan Bator except "Episcope" by Amaury Cambuzat.
Released on CD (DSA-1996) and Vinyl (Killed by an Axe-2011).

NEW RELEASE: Vocalist Hilary Kole to release SOPHISTICATED LADY on July 23, 2021

Consummate Vocalist and NYC Jazz Staple Hilary Kole Announces the
Release of her Eagerly-Awaited New Album Sophisticated Lady out July 23, 2021

“Kole is about as polished as they come without losing a whit of warmth. Her vocal range and control remain astonishing.” Theater Pizzazz 

Consummate vocalist and New York City jazz staple Hilary Kole is thrilled to announce the release of Sophisticated Lady. Adorned by Kole’s soulful vocal sensibilities and a stellar band of first-rate instrumentalists, Kole’s latest release is a collection of mature, nuanced renditions of jazz classics which retain a spirit both heartfelt and adventurous. For nearly two decades, Kole has been heralded for her intimate piano and vocal performances, themed shows with her jazz ensemble, special concert hall symphony performances and critically acclaimed recordings showcasing her compositional prowess. With Sophisticated Lady, Kole lends her voice to 11 archetypal songs from the jazz idiom.

 Accompanying Kole on this auspicious release is her longtime rhythm section made up of guitarist John Hart, pianist Adam Birnbaum, bassist Paul Gill, drummer Aaron Kimmel, vibraphonist Tom Beckham and woodwinds player Chris Byars who created the thoughtful arrangements for the vast majority of the album’s tracks. Sophisticated Lady will be available worldwide on July 23, 2021, following a special release in Japan on June 25th, 2021 via Japan Victor. 

The celebrated lady of song launched her performing career as the youngest singer ever to grace the stage at NYC’s legendary Rainbow Room. For a year and a half, Kole performed 6 nights per week at the storied venue, cutting her teeth as a working musician alongside a slew of great players. Kole notes “When I was contemplating making a new record, I thought back to my days as a young singer at the Rainbow Room. Most of the standards I sang then were the songs one could always call with a pick-up band. Every musician at the time knew them. As I transitioned into more headline work and the worlds of jazz and cabaret, it became clear to me that it was important not to sing the ‘same songs’ that everybody knew. Nevertheless, the idea of going back to the basics has been calling to me lately. They are standards for a reason, after all. So, I decided to do a record of classic standards – songs I might have done at the Rainbow Room 20 years ago, or my father (acclaimed Broadway singer Robert Kole) might have done on his club dates at historic venues such as the Copa or the Maisonette Room 60 years ago.” With a refined musical sensibility, Kole returned to the very songs that marked her musical upbringing.
“Ms. Kole soars…with a voice that is at times powerful and self-assured while other moments she brings a vulnerability that touches the soul.” The Associated Press

Kole decided that she wanted to create a tapestry of sound that made this record different and unique even in its familiarity. Long a fan of Chris Byars’ playing and arranging, Kole knew that Byars would be up to the task. “When I realized I wanted a classic but unique sound,” Kole exclaimed, “I immediately thought of him – and I’m so glad I did. What Chris came up with is dark and beautiful and challenging – not your average small group charts, and just what I wanted.” 

The album begins with the title track “Sophisticated Lady”. The unhurried swing is propelled forward by the rhythmic anticipation created by Kimmel’s brushes, the flawlessly executed hits orchestrated by Byars, and Kole’s passionate refrains. A masterclass in dynamics, the melody gives way to a tasteful solo by Byars and soli section from the instrumentalists. The bright-tempoed “The Best Thing For You (Would Be Me)” is delivered here with an unrivaled zeal and exuberance. The rendition showcases Kole’s immense melodic facility while scatting as well as wonderful solo sections from the full ensemble. 

Somebody Loves Me” and “Make Me Rainbows” provide stellar examples of Byars using the full breadth of the instrumentation to compliment Kole’s soaring vocals. Hart’s guitar and Beckham’s vibes add a softness and a fullness to the soundscape, while Birnbaum’s comping provides the perfect harmonic and rhythmic underpinnings to Kole’s voice, locking impeccably with Gill’s bass and Kimmel’s drums. Kole notes “Aaron Kimmel’s sense of swing and restraint gives the record its retro feel – he is a drummer from another time.” 
Kole adds new dimensions to Ellington’s classic “In A Sentimental Mood”, and “‘Round Midnight”, melding notes of wistfulness and resolve. “Round Midnight” offers a shift of dynamic with a pared-down instrumentation. Kole’s striking delivery of this Thelonious Monk-penned standard is complimented by guitarist John Hart’s masterful harmonic support, harkening back to the classic guitar-vocal duo of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass in both interplay and timbre. The ensemble concludes the album by exploring a cleverly-orchestrated and musically-demanding rendition of Richard Rodgers’ “The Sweetest Sounds” featuring gorgeous soli performances from Byars and Beckham and soulful improvisation from Hart, Birnbaum and Kole.

Kole’s highly-anticipated Sophisticated Lady follows several critically-acclaimed releases by the renowned vocalist including 2014’s A Self Portrait which received 5 stars from The Associated Press and glowing reviews from USA Today, JazzTimes and Downbeat Jazz Magazine. 2016 saw the release of Hilary Kole: The Judy Garland Project which received high praise from Downbeat Jazz Magazine and JazzTimes as well theater publications such as Talkin’ Broadway and CabaretScenes. Sophisticated Lady goes far to cement Kole’s stature as a preeminent interpreter of song within the jazz idiom.

Emma-Jean Thackray - Yellow (July 23, 2021 Movement)

1. Mercury
2. Say Something
3. About That
4. Venus
5. Green Funk
6. Third Eye
7. May There Be Peace
8. Sun
9. Golden Green
10. Spectre
11. Rahu & Ketu
12. Yellow
13. Our People
14. Mercury (In Retrograde)

Hank Roberts Sextet - Science of Love (July 23, 2021 Sunnyside Records)

Creation can be a lonely process. The meticulous crafting of art frequently requires isolation for focus, but the process can be aided by the spark of a change of location or meeting new collaborators. Cellist/composer Hank Roberts believes that the acts of creating and sharing music help bring positivity needed to balance the world. In essence, bringing more of a particular life-sustaining energy into the world, namely, love. How better to spread love than through enthusiastic participation with friends in artistic endeavors?

Roberts’s new recording, Science of Love, finds the longtime stalwart of the creative Downtown music scene returning to New York City, after raising a family in Ithaca, NY, in an effort to rekindle the vital, creative energy that only the metropolis can provide. Roberts discovered inspiration in droves, which allowed him to create a unique program of original music unlike anything he had done in the past.

Of course, Roberts has been well known for playing alongside music greats, like Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, and Joey Baron. He has also put together singular and celebrated ensembles of his own that cover a wealth of musical ground, including folk, rock, modern classical, gospel, and world music influences.

In the summer of 2015, Roberts decided to return to New York City. A renewed sense of urgency in creation had struck him and he felt that his burgeoning work should be heard. The pieces heard on Science of Love were already begun prior to Roberts’s arrival but they really blossomed as soon as he began to fit himself back into the rhythms of the City. Immediately, he was seized by inspiration and found himself awakening at 4AM to compose, attaining a near sensual experience as he set his ideas to paper.

It didn’t take long for Roberts to begin meeting invigorating new collaborators. Trombonist Brian Drye was one of the earliest, as Drye asked Roberts to perform with his group at a local concert. Woodwind expert Mike McGinnis and pianist Jacob Sacks were musicians Roberts had been following and with whom he quickly established ties. Drummer Vinnie Sperrazza was introduced by McGinnis, and he met violinist Dana Lynn while performing with her in another group.

The assembly of what would become the Hank Roberts Sextet was entirely organic, evolving out of chance meetings, preexisting friendships between members, and a quick understanding of the leader’s goals. All of the musicians shared similar languages, interacting comfortably between jazz, improv, and classical musical idioms. The group proved to be a perfect size for the emerging music, a reasonably sized ensemble that could sound large.
As a former trombonist, Roberts has always been attracted to the instrument’s possibilities (as can be heard on his debut solo album, Black Pastels) and Drye’s impeccable playing aligned perfectly with the composer’s ideas. The combination of trombone with cello and piano allowed Roberts to experiment with low pitch clusters, unique phrasing, and intonation, all of which brought a lot of energy to the music through their natural tension.

As the music for Science of Love began to emerge, Roberts was reflecting on the energies at work in the world and in the universe, from the wind rustling leaves in a tree to the consciousness shared between all human beings. His takeaway was that love was an important power in the universe and that artists are proponents in spreading that power through their work. These thoughts manifested in Roberts’s desires to push his work farther and to step into a more active role as a conduit for expressing these feelings.

Roberts’s initial phase of composing these pieces began by constructing series of chords or small melodies and expanding them day after day into larger frameworks. His level of focus propelled him into another level of preparation. Roberts’s move to New York and assembly of his Sextet brought the project full circle, as he had a regular outfit for rehearsals and performances where the pieces really began to bloom as he continued to sculpt them with the aid of the other musicians’ specialties.

Many of the compositions are extremely complex, the harmony and voicings meticulously arranged, extending farther and farther into organic abstractions, and balanced relative to traditional forms, as well. Even with this framework, Roberts wanted to maintain the instrumentality of improvisations. He created the materials but gave the performers the opportunity to more deeply clarify and expand their meanings.

The recording begins with “Sat/Sun Pa Tu X,” an amazing expansion of the piece “Saturday/Sunday” from Little Motor People (JMT, 1993) with a controlled added abstraction. “G” is a 14-piece suite of sorts that began as small piece that kept building. The titles reflect the codes that generated the pieces and, occasionally, descriptive elements of the pieces reflected by the performers. Among the many pieces, the leading “The Sharp Peak of The Science of Love” is a fantastic example of the breadth of the suite, with fantastic solos by Sacks and Drye that fit the drive of the music. Dynamic strings and close harmony highlight “Shifting Paradigms in Pre GLC 3,” while the slow “Shuffle of GLC Magnetic Floating Stripper” provides an intriguing dynamism for weaving the ensemble with McGinnis’s soaring soprano saxophone. The delicate “205” concludes the program with tart sentimentality.

A life change allowed Hank Roberts to undertake one of the most meaningful projects in his life. The journey may have begun as a move to New York City, but it evolved into something deeper, the fostering of new friendships and a new, collection of music. Science of Love is a testament to Roberts’s craft, perseverance, and ability to propel the power of love through music. 

2. G - The Sharp Peak of The Science of Love
3. G - Human Circuits
4. G - One Floor Axis
5. G - Equatorial Conductivity
6. G - Earth Sky Realms
7. G - D23
8. G - Levity Village
9. G - Second First
10. G - Story
11. G - Shifting Paradigms In Pre GLC 3
12. G - GLC Magnetic Floating Stripper
13. G - 17
14. G - B45 L
15. G - Circular Rejuvenation
16. 205

Hank Roberts - cello
Brian Drye - trombone
Dana Lyn - violin
Mike McGinnis - clarinet, soprano saxophone
Jacob Sacks - piano
Vinnie Sperrazza - drums

Indigo - Part I (July 23, 2021 Music Company)

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of the Country where we live, create and work, and recognise that sovereignty has not been ceded. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

The first release in what will be an ongoing three-part series, Part I features nine tracks for bass guitar and tenor saxophone. Burrowing into the space between its sparse instrumentation and dulcet tones, Part I is the realisation of a minimalist and concise vision of what a symbiotic relationship between two instruments can yield.

“My aim is to create music that is sonically and musically atypical whilst still belonging to an accessible contemporary scene. Each project, album or ‘part’ will set out to explore a single ensemble or group of instruments. In the case of Part I, that ensemble is hollow body bass guitar and tenor saxophone. 

1. Indentify Me
2. Climber's Lament
3. The Australian Dream
4. Separation Anxiety
5. PPB
6. A Good Go
7. Song for Louis
8. REM
9. The Great State

All songs composed by Nick Roder

Bass Guitar by Nick Roder
Tenor Saxophone by Jon DiNapoli

Engineered by Henry Jenkins
Mastered by Max Dowling
Recorded at Echidna Studios

Jack Cooper & Jeff Tobias - Tributaries (July 23, 2021 Astral Spirits)

1. Wicken
2. Debden

Wicken and Debden are tributaries of the River Cam, North Essex and the inspiration for this music.

These systems were written by Jack Cooper.
The music was arranged, recorded and performed by Jeff Tobias and Jack Cooper.

Additional mixing and mastering by Ed Deegan at Gizzard Recording, London.

Matt Ridley - The Antidote (July 23, 2021)

Matt Ridley has performed across the UK and internationally with a wide cross section of artists, most prominently the Darius Brubeck Quartet, of which he has been a member since 2006. As band leader, he has released two critically acclaimed albums on 'Whirlwind Recordings', in a quartet featuring Jason Yarde, which toured numerous times and performed at leading jazz festivals across the UK. 

1. Thalo Blue
2. The Minotaur
3. Ebb and Flow
4. Yardeville
5. Infant Eyes
6. Suite Part 1: Gautoma
7. Suite Part 2: Stranger Things
8. Suite Part 3: Adagio for the Fallen Stars
9. Suite Part 4: Finale

Matt Ridley; double bass and composition.
Alex Hitchcock; saxophones
Ant Law; guitar
Tom Hewson; piano, fender rhodes and synthesizers
Marc Michel; drums

Recorded at Livingston Studios 29-31st October 2019
Engineered and Mixed by Sonny Johns
Mastered by Dave Darlington
Artwork and design by Darren Rumney

Sexteto Bernardo Moreira - Entre Paredes (July 23, 2021 Jacc Records)

1. António Marinheiro 07:56
2. Mudar de Vida 07:29
3. Canto de Amor 08:18
4. Verdes Anos 06:33
5. Navio Triste 04:59
6. A Morte Saiu à Rua 08:47
7. Serenata no Tejo 10:41
8. Canto do Amanhecer 04:54

João Moreira - trompete/trumpet
Tomás Marques - sax alto/alto saxophone
Mário Delgado - guitarra/guitar
Ricardo J. Dias - piano
Bernardo Moreira - contrabaixo/double bass
Joel Silva - bateria/drums

Arranjos e Direção Musical/Arrangements and Musical Direction Bernardo Moreira
Gravação, mistura e masterização/ Recording, mix and master - Luís Candeias
Fotografia/ Photography - Márcia Lessa
Design - João Bicker/FBA.

Gravado a 2, 3 e 4 de Novembro de 2020 no Convento São Francisco, Coimbra
Recorded on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of November of 2020 at the Convento São Francisco Coimbra

Snazzback - In The Place (July 23, 2021)

New wave dancefloor instrumentalists Snazzback release stunning second album on new label from Bristol’s cultural instigators, Worm Disco Club.

Bristol seven-piece Snazzback bring the sound of reopened dancefloors, of communal release, and of the joyful sound of dancing outside in the sunshine to live music. Their second album ‘In The Place’ overflows with deep grooves and loose, lolloping rhythms that tease and play, sometimes languid and carefree, other times energy spiralling upwards – and taking the listener with them, each and every time. Their music is soaked in great black American dancefloor music, whether that’s the sound we call ‘jazz’ or hip hop. They also bring other flavours – interlocking Afro-Latin rhythms, electronica and hypnotic rock, all marinated in Bristol’s long musical histories.

The album rests on the band’s hypnotic, rolling musicality and inventive bringing-together of sounds, evident in their phenomenal live performances which were honed in legendary city centre busking sessions and locally-famous venue residency. They’re mad tight and heavily dextrous, a band who are tuned into each other and into the extended family of their audiences. Tracks like ‘Reading’ suggest a smoked-out Ezra Collective or Moses Boyd, whilst ‘Triangle’ brings powerfully scuzzed-out guitar sounds into the mix.

Vocalists join them on a few tracks: Solomon OB, Soss and STANLÆY (on the digital release). Vocalist China Bowls appears four times, including opening track ‘Alice’, a sun-blessed deep jam that swoops and dives around the beautifully earth-bound rhythm section and which evokes Little Dragon gone groove-deep, and at the end, on closing track ‘B.S.T’. The track began life as a spin-off from a jam on their debut album ‘Hedge’ which captured their live performances in full glory. Over time, it absorbed gorgeous new harmonies and is a perfect end point for this colour-saturated snapshot of Snazzback’s musical universe.
‘Hedge’, which came out in 2018, received heavyweight support from Tom Ravenscroft on BBC Radio 6 Music, Jamie Cullum on BBC Radio 2, and Soweto Kinch’s show on BBC Radio 3 along with national indie support on Worldwide FM, Soho Radio and of course South West stalwarts Noods and SWU.FM speak to their broad appeal. 

‘In The Place’ was recorded in their tiny self-built studio. They wrote together, improvising sounds into a sonic scrapbook, with more production, electronics and ambient sounds than their previous live recordings. The album was fed by the band’s deep community connections in the city, but also by the music the players listen to: Portico Quartet, Hendrix, Rip Rig & Panic, Azymuth and iconic sax player Shabaka Hutchings to name just a few. There’s an openness to collaboration, experimentation with unconventional sounds, and an exploration of genres outside of an immediately obvious palette.

They have the kind of creative abundance that bands only achieve through years playing together. In Snazzback’s case that includes busking and gigs all over the South West. The band met through a myriad of low-key but powerful Bristol spaces: People’s Front Room, Leftbank and Jam Jar among other places. They’re locally famous for their distinctive, care-free and funk-punky city centre busking sessions – ‘strictly impromptu street jams’ as the band call them. Busking can be a huge amount of graft, says Rich Allen, who plays bass. “Lugging gear out, playing in the blazing sun and freezing cold, putting up with shit from people… Musically it’s incredibly freeing as you don’t owe your audience anything. They haven’t paid to be there. If it all falls apart while you’re busking, who cares! The risk-taking has definitely fed through to our live shows.”

It’s an attitude and sound that has wowed audiences at Glastonbury, Shambala and Boomtown and at their weekly residency at the influential Gallimaufry. Each week they’d learn a whole new sound or songbook – dubstep, Curtis Mayfield, Brazilian music or film soundtracks – and re-interpreted the sounds with their own flavours. Their December 2020 Bandcamp release was recorded on the Galli’s roof and is titled ‘Koch Loch’ in celebration of the venue’s main man James Koch.

Bristol has always had its own sound and now there’s a crop of young players. Snazzback are revitalising the scene, and soon they’ll be revitalising dancefloors again too, on their UK tour starting July 21st.

1. Alice ft. China Bowls
2. Drunq Choirs
3. Ponder ft. Solomon OB
4. Reading
5. Whirpools ft. STANLÆY
6. Triangle
7. Grook ft. China Bowls (Album Version)
8. The Hub
9. 3 Kings
10. YumYum ft. China Bowls (Album Version)
11. Snazzual ft. Soss
12. BST ft. China Bowls

Tracks A1, A3, A4, B3, B5 recorded and engineered by Chris Langton at Snazzlab, Bristol.
Tracks A2, B1, B2, B4 recorded and engineered by Nick Dover at Canyon Sound, Bristol.
Produced and mixed by Chris Langton.
Additional mixing by Nick Dover at Canyon Sound, Bristol.
Mastered at Optimum Mastering, Bristol.

JC Sanford - Imminent Standards Trio Vol. 1 (July 23, 2021 Shifting Paradigm Records)

Trombonist JC Sanford, a protégé of legendary composer and trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, has performed with the likes of Danilo Pérez, Matt Wilson, Donny McCaslin, and Anthony Cox and has regularly been recognized as a “Rising Star” trombonist, arranger, and big band in DownBeat Magazine’s Critic’s Polls over the past several years. His 2014 debut CD with the JC Sanford Orchestra Views from the Inside yielded international acclaim and was awarded a 2014 Aaron Copland Fund recording grant. He is conductor of the thrice-Grammy-nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and is musical director of the JazzMN Orchestra.

1. Cherokee
2. Beatrice
3. Time After Time
4. Juju
5. Where Or When
6. Nutty 07:07
7. It's You Or No One
8. Whisper Not
9. Dear John
10. Single Petal of a Rose

JC Sanford - trombone
Jeff Bailey - bass
Phil Hey - drums

Recorded at RocketSnake Records by Dylan Nau
Arden Hills, MN on Feb 20/21 and Mar 3/4, 2021
Mixed and Mastered by Mike Marciano
Cover Art by Mia Kakitani-Sanford
CD Design by Verdinho

The Myrrors - Invocaciones: Singles and Strays (2014 - 2016) July 23, 2021 Cardinal Fuzz

Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records are proud to announce - The Myrrors ‘Invocaciones : Singles and Strays (2014 - 2016)’ - a dip into the archives with these shaman from Tucson, Arizona. ‘Invocaciones’ is a compilation of tracks previously available via the mediums of splits/lathes/cassettes and digital download, now all gathered together on this release with the added bonus of an extra 3 minutes added to a now extended ‘Eyes Of Copper’ and ‘Semillas Sembrades’ no longer split over two sides of a 7”.

Over five tracks presented on ‘Invocaciones’ The Myrrors lose themselves in transcendental improvisation, from the opening track ‘Eyes Of Copper’ to ‘Invocación Por Un Verdadero Plan De Lucha Organizado Desde Abajo’ where The Myrrors are in free flowing circular raga mode. It’s a state of playing that takes take the listener into a deeply shamanistic ecstatic state that is both spellbinding and enrapturing, were you are treated to the music that rivals the free flowing communal progg freakdom of late 60’s/early 70s Germany/ Scandinavia but transported to the Arabian desert. Here a cacophony of flute and whistles, viola, tape loops, alto saxophone, bulbul tarang and guitars churn and cavort through ebbing cosmic shimmer and ecstatic pulsing ritualistic Eastern drones.

Try imagining The Velvet Underground, The Taj Mahal Travellers and Parson Sound transported to the Arabian desert. It is ecstatic and otherworldly as you open up your mind and let everything come through – The Myrrors have found the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

The Myrrors ‘Invocaciones : Singles and Strays (2014 - 2016)’ is presented in a laminated silver mirri board outer sleeve that best reflects the artwork of Claira Safi.

1. Eyes Of Copper 07:22
2. Semillas Sembrades 12:45
3. Funeral Ark 06:33
4. Danza Rota 08:15
5. Invocación Por Un Verdadero Plan De Lucha Organizado Desde Abajo 04:25

Michael Marcus / Joe McPhee / Jay Rosen / Warren Smith - Blue Reality Quartet! (July 23, 2021 Mahakala Music)

In 2018, jazz musician extraordinaire Michael Marcus got an invite to bring his duo with drummer Jay Rosen to the Austrian venue Jazzgalerie Nickelsdorf. And when he arrived, the promoter of their show sprung a novel idea on them: performing their set with fellow reedsman Joe McPhee and another drummer. “It was a great concept,” Marcus remembers. “And the chemistry was really good.” So much so that Marcus wanted to capture the sound of this unusual group—two horns and two percussionists improvising without a bass player or a piano or any other chordal instruments—on record. But with the drummer they played with in Austria unavailable to travel, Marcus, Rosen, and McPhee called on their friend and collaborator Warren Smith. And the Blue Reality Quartet was born.

The name of this project has a little history behind it and multiple layers of meaning. 20 years ago, Marcus and Rosen recorded an album called Blue Reality as part of a trio with bassist Tarus Matteen. It was another one of those magical sessions with the right mix of players and energy that Marcus always wanted to revisit. But with Mateen busy working alongside pianist Jason Moran, that reunion has been put on the back burner. At the same time, Marcus wanted to use the name of this group to acknowledge the time and circumstances in which the album was recorded. As the front cover should tell you - pictures of each player, their faces covered by a mask, the four men met up in a New York studio in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic.

So Blue Reality is a nod to a terrible time in our collective history that had an incalculable impact on the music industry and resulted in the deaths of thousands of people worldwide. To hear Marcus tell it, the chemistry that this group had was so potent that they’re all ready to get back together for another hit. “I think there’s a real mutual love within the group,” he says. “I think there’s a real potential there. It’s really special and really unique and I don’t think there’s anything quite like it out there.” We couldn’t agree more. 
1. Love Exists Everywhere
2. Chartreuse Tulips
3. Joe's Train
4. Coney Island Funk
5. Bluer Than Blue
6. East Side Dilemma
7. Warren's Theme

Michael Marcus – Woodwinds
Joe McPhee – Woodwinds
Jay Rosen – Percussion
Warren Smith – Percussion