Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Pat Metheny - Side-Eye NYC (V1-IV) September 2021 Modern Recordings

Unlike almost any other modern musician, Pat Metheny remains uniquely unpredictable. A new Metheny record could be almost anything as the only musician to have won twelve of his twenty Grammy awards in twelve different categories. His recent recording Road To The Sun caused a sensation in the classical music world for its intricate and emotionally satisfying chamber music compositions. At the same time, its immediate predecessor From This Place was Downbeat magazine’s Jazz Record of the Year as an expansive and timeless large-scale work.

On September 2021 Modern Recordings will release PAT METHENY SIDE-EYE – NYC, an exciting, vibrant and energized new platform for Metheny, showcased in a recording that features 30 minutes of intricate new music set alongside a few unexpected and creative re-workings of Metheny classics re-imagined.

So, what is Side-Eye?

Pat explains, “I wanted to create an ongoing platform to host a rotating cast of the newer generations of musicians who have particularly caught my interest along the way. From my earliest days in Kansas City onward, I was the beneficiary of so many older musicians hiring me, which gave me a chance to develop through the prism of their experiences and the particular demands of what their music implied.”

He continues, “I have been feeling like I wanted to have a specific setting to focus on some of the younger NYC musicians I have enjoyed recently where there seems to be some kind of kinship happening. About every ten or twelve years, there seems to be a crop of players coming along who find a certain resonance with whatever it is that my thing seems to represent to them. The last time that happened was the Josh Redman, Christian McBride, Brad Mehldau, Antonio Sanchez generation, and it seems to be happening again now.”

“Just as it was back then, I have been hearing from these newer players on the scene when they get to town who get in touch to talk about the influence that some of my records and tunes have had on them. When there is time, I always try to invite them up to my house to do some playing. Very often, it’s a natural and organic thing for me to play with them; they have literally grown up listening to the recordings and playing those compositions from their beginnings, just as I did with many of the folks that I eventually wound up playing with too.”

“My good friend, the great drummer Eric Harland called me up one day to tell me about James Francies and how he wanted to get together with me. I suggested we get a bass player and have a session. Eric said, “You don’t need a bass player with James!”. That was an incredible day, and from that, the idea of building a first edition of the concept around James and his amazing talent was formed.”

Metheny has given this band concept the name Side-Eye and hopes that it might become a rotating group of musicians who could come and go in different combinations. So far, there have been four iterations, hence the V.1-IV sub-heading on the record.
01. It Starts When It Disappears
02. Better Days Ahead
03. Timeline
04. Bright Size Life
05. Lodger
06. Sirabhorn
07. Turnaround
08. Zenith Blues

Pat Metheny - guitar
James Francies - keyboards
Marcus Gilmore - drums

Gigantonium - Nout (September 2021)

Missing chain between Nirvana and Sun Ra, the alliance between Delphine Joussein, Rafaëlle Rinaudo and Blanche Lafuente aims at pushing their instruments beyond their limits, with the enthusiasm of a mad scientist in front of his vials. Flute, harp, drums: a rare combination that this trio turns upside down. In the wake of John Zorn's experiences on the borders of jazz and noise, Nout imagines its music as a scenario with surprising twists: we believe to be the characters of Alien and we find ourselves in Indiana Jones; we start with our eyes shut on a red movie theatre seat and we end up rocking on the dancefloor.

Mathieu Durant

1. The last train 03:56
2. ça sent le brûlé 03:52
3. La mare aux canards 04:45
4. Les boulettes 06:56
5. Inondation 04:34

Delphine Joussein : flute, fx
Rafaëlle Rinaudo : electric harp
Blanche Lafuente : drums

Scheen Jazzorkester & Jon Øystein Rosland - Logical Fallacies (September 2021 Jazzland recordings Norway)

Since the founding of the Scheen Jazz Orchestra, Jon Øystein Rosland has composed and arranged for the orchestra. There have been a number of individual works and in 2016 came the commissioned work "Tamanoar", comprising 10 songs. "Tamanoar" was recorded in Rainbow Studios and released on Losen Records, and the release garnered many rave reviews from home and abroad.

Now a new commissioned work is ready: "Logical Fallacies". The work contains energetic songs that range from the very delicate to groovy and catchy melodies. The music was recorded and filmed in the Artilleriverkstedet in Horten, and the concert film premiered on NRK2 on 11th June 2021.

Scheen Jazzorkester (SJO) was started in 2010 as a professional jazz orchestra based in Skien. The band has since managed to establish itself as a strong voice on the Norwegian and European jazz scene, and is today Sørnorsk Jazzsenter's regional large ensemble. SJO has 8 critically acclaimed albums to its credit, and the predecessor to "Logical Fallacies", "As We See It…" was released last year on the renowned Clean Feed Records label. The band consists of 12 musicians with a background in both jazz and classical music, and this gives the band a distinctive and multifaceted expression that ranges from classical contemporary music through to orchestral approaches to European chamber jazz.
1. Ad Hominem 08:14
2. Appeal to Authority 04:43
3. Ad Populum 05:58
4. The Strawman 07:03
5. Circular Reasoning 05:30
6. Slippery Slope 06:28
7. Red Herring 06:41
8. Anecdotal Evidence 06:07

Jon Øystein Rosland - composition / tenor saxophone
Guttorm Guttormsen - saxophones / flute
André Kassen - saxophones
Line Bjørnør Rosland - clarinets
Thomas Johansson - trumpet
Finn Arne Dahl Hanssen - trumpet
Magne Rutle - trombone
Frøydis Aslesen - trombone
Åsgeir Grong - bass trombone
Rune Klakegg - piano
Even Helte Hermansen - guitar
Jan Olav Renvåg - bass
Audun Kleive - drums

Marc Cary - Life Lessons (September 14, 2021 The Harlem Sessions)

Making music for me has always been part of my healing process. Music has provided a place in this world for me to express myself in ways that words could not help me articulate. The journey to being the best person I can possibly be has always had this musical component. It has opened up countless opportunities for me to explore cultures and learn from many people around the world. Through music, I have made relationships that have been life changing in positive ways and have been documented by many recordings.

Life Lessons is a testament to these lessons and is a culmination of three years of developing a sound and concept with Dan and Diego through our weekly performances at The Harlem Sessions. We wanted to document our time together and the sound we had developed together by recording and releasing this collection of compositions. We recorded in January 2020, only weeks before life as we knew it changed, as we moved into a Pandemic and lockdown, making this document and it’s title even more relevant to me. The timeliness of this album and when we recorded becomes more profound, especially as we are nearing 1 year of not being able to play each week together, at the same time as taking on board how many people from our community who have departed from this earth because of the pandemic. It also really magnifies the love and joy that the 3 of us have for each other.

The songs that have come together on this album serve to describe how we feel about life, the lessons we have gained, and the types of emotions and situations we navigate through as we remain on our journey. It’s a road map of the different textures and complexities of living the life that we face.

The genesis of the album is the composition “It’s Not a Good Day to Die”, a composition which has been with me for a significant portion of my life. It is about cherishing life and respecting yourself, and it was originally conceived as a dedication to the great Amadou Diallo. Gina Breedlove and I were working together in my band and also performing together with Seckou Sundiata. On the first anniversary of 9/11 we performed this song with Seckou Sundiata at Brooklyn Academy of Music, as a celebration for the firefighters and other first responders who lost their lives on that tragic day.

There is evolution in any creative process, and different aspects of this composition have existed in different shapes and forms in my musical past. In recent years, like many, we experienced the loss of many loved ones; my friends Roy Hargrove, Ron Sutton, Wallace Roney and Joe Nix; my wife’s father and others, and this song has continued to bring comfort and hope throughout these tragic occasions.

I often give a preview of a conscious thought to come on every album. I have always found the live environment a potent place to manifest these ideas, especially with a working band. The song has become fused into various parts of my live sets and psyche, but has never fully formed into a recording until now.

This presentation of the song without the lyrics embodies the essence of what the lyric speaks about, and how they inspire the creative process. Completing it here has made me finally be able to express it in its fullest form.

This song is what led us to bring the rest of the songs in. It made sense to include other equally emotive compositions that had made a personal impact on me, and that said something about life and how we navigate through it.

And It's Supposed to be Love (a song about domestic violence) fitted perfectly in the same emotional space as “ It’s Not a Good Day to Die,” and I have always been inspired by the power of Abbey's lyrics in my interpretations.
I can also say something similar about Learning how to listen.

Outside of the musical directive that the song is suggesting, learning how to listen to the lessons in life has become a theme for me.

Around the time of my daughters birth, this song also came into the world. I was recording with Abbey at the time for her album "Wholly Earth." Since then, it is intrinsically imprinted in my soul as a mantra for navigating all the textures and components of life.

Another song that lived with me virtually my entire career is Trust. Roy Hargrove wrote this song at my house. At the time, we were working on pre-production for RH Factor. The lyric of the song is a prayer to God -Roy's personal mantra, and the first time I heard it come to life , I felt the weight and gravitas of the thoughts of a person who was not known to be verbally outspoken. Roy and I had an ability to activate each other's deepest musical emotions, which bore out in the way we could write for each other and perform each other's music.

One of the best ways I could celebrate the life of Roy Hargrove and our friendship was to take this song which I have performed for many years in my live sets, and create a recording that could even begin to express the love I feel for Roy, and the weight of the loss when he passed. I wanted to record the song as a solo piece, as it was so personal to me, but Dan and Diego were equally as motivated as I was to also commit their love and respect for Roy and everything he contributed to their lives that we also created the trio version featured here.

Trust was a staple at The Harlem Sessions, and Roy graced the session with his presence on several occasions. I will forever cherish those nights.

I wrote Dreamlike when I was 17. It was one the first compositions that I ever wrote. It came from a visceral dream in which I was performing this song in concert with a band of kindred souls. It was an incendiary performance. I woke up, and remembered the entirety of the song. This song symbolises for me how real music is, how it can be borne within a dream that is a conduit to its own manifestation. In life, this can be anything and we have to acknowledge that power.
It's Tricky is an observation of life. The song structure also reflects this - it’s a 14 bar form with 7 bar phrases, mimicking the complexities of life.

God is love is as stated, and is always the thing that cools me out- period. It is a personal state of being.

I also included compositions from the band members. Dan and I have always shared different rituals when it comes to getting acquainted with a new instrument. He brought a progression he’d use when getting to know his instruments, which instantly brought a feeling of balance, both musically for me and also representing the journey Dan and I have been together on, over the years. This balance is represented by what was borne when he brought it to the recording session that day. The track is Equilibrium.

Diego brings Incantation, a hypnotic track inspired by “The Teachings of Don Juan” by Carlos Castaneda. His use of repetition to evoke this state of being is masterful, and his composition highlights to me that quality that comes out when we play together on stage.

Phase 2 is an acknowledgment of the impact that the incredible art form of North Indian classical music has had on me, and is borne out of the raga Chundracones, a 5 note raga. For me, this concept symbolizes those turning points in life, when lessons have been received with grace to perpetuate forward movement and vision. The 5 note altered pentatonic symbolizes the limitations of life and through those limitations, how to maximize yourself. In Western music we can use all 12 notes, and sometimes never achieve that state of being.

Our lives are a perpetual state of learning, and we have to access the key to those lessons to grow and thrive. I think it's important for the human race to practise the arts - just like Abbey told me "that's what separates us from the other animals.”

How I have received my life lessons continues to live within me and my music. I'll keep sharing as I learn. 

1. And It's Supposed to Be Love
2. It's Tricky
3. It's Not a Good Day to Die
4. Equilibrium
5. Trust
6. Learning How to Listen
7. Dreamlike
8. Incantation
9. God Is Love
10. Without Walls
11. Phase 2
12. Listen Still
13. It's Not a Good Day to Die (Perspective)
14. Trust (solo)

Recorded at Eastside Sounds, NYC, January 2020.
Recorded by Lou Holtzman.
Mixed by Lou Holtzman and Marc Cary.
Mastered by Marc Cary

Produced by Marc Cary
Co-Produced by Tinku Bhattacharyya
Executive Producer - Tinku Bhattacharyya
Mastered by Marc Cary
Photography-Rebecca Meek
CD Design- Rebecca Meek

Personnel : Marc Cary, Diego Joaquin Ramirez, Dan Chmielinski

Marc Cary plays - Piano; Fender Rhodes; Dave Smith Prophet 12; Dave Smith Mopho; Octatrak; Genome Sequencer(IoS); Lemur Mapping (IOs); UAD processing

Diego Joaquin Ramirez plays Canopus Neo Vintage drums, Vic Firth sticks, Remo heads, Zildjan Cymbals. Endorsed by Canopus

Dan Chmielinski plays a 1920s Juzek Master Art Acoustic Bass; Fender American Deluxe Precision Bass, 60th Anniversary Edition; Moog Grandmother. Endorsed by Pirastro Eudoxa Strings

Tracks 1 and 6 written by Abbey Lincoln (BMI). Published by Moseka Music (BMI)
Tracks 2,3,7,9,10,11,12 written by Marc A Cary (BMI). Published by Caryout Productions (BMI)
Track 4 written by Daniel Thomas Chmielinski (BMI). Published by Chimy Publishing (BMI)
Track 5 written by Roy A Hargrove (BMI). Published by Roy Hargrove Music (BMI)
Track 8 written by Diego Joaquin Ramirez (copyright control)

Harry Mitchell / Ben Vanderwal / Harry Winton - Quiet Country (September 2021)

This album is a collection of country, rock, jazz and pop songs that I wrote and arranged for a project with two of my favourite musicians, Harry Winton and Ben Vanderwal. Their incredible musicality is on full display in this recording and I'm incredibly grateful for their time and ideas put forth for the project. The (almost) bass-less trio project is a format I was keen to explore and am looking forward releasing more music with this group.

1. Lurleen
2. Heart of gold (Neil Young)
3. Blue eyes crying in the rain (Willie Nelson)
4. In Motian
5. Abide with me (William H. Monk)
6. Tumbleweeds
7. Someone to watch over me (George Gershwin)
8. Mother Nature's Son (John Lennon/Paul Mcartney)
9. Worried Mind (Ray Charles)
10. Vents

Harry Mitchell: Piano, electric bass on track 10 & toy piano on track 4
Harry Winton: Electric guitar, nylon string guitar on tracks 6, 8 & 10, and glockenspiel on track 4
Ben Vanderwal - Drums, percussion & production

Imogen Thomson - Vibraphone on track 1
Alex Millier - Bass clarinet on track 5

Recorded on March 27 2021 at Crank Studio, engineered and sponsored by Lee Buddle