Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Chris Joris - Songs for Mbizo (November 15, 2021 Jazz'Halo)

1. The white side of black
2. Rivers
3. Lullaby for Ephriam
4. Panontigri
5. Song for Mbizo - part one
6. Blowin' your bow to the berimbob
7. Shaya Sebothane
8. Berimbau
9. Dance of the mulatos
10. Monody on a moonlit night
11. Song for Mbizo - part two
12. November 30th

All compositions by Chris Joris except where indicated
Horn arrangements (5/9/12) by Frank Vaganée

The 1976 tapes
Chris Joris: piano, percussion
Johnny Dyani: double bass
David Lee Schloss, Michel Mast: tenor sax
Julian Sebothane Bahula: African drums
Cheikh Tidiane Fall: congas, percussion
Frans Pelgrims: drums
recorded at HIFI HOME STUDIO, Brugge (Belgium), July 1976 by Ron Cottam

The 1991 tapes
Chris Joris: piano, percussion, berimbau, udu clay drums, flute
John Ruocco: tenor sax, alto clarinet
Steve Houben: flute, alto flute
Frank Vaganée: alt sax
Bob Stewart: tuba
Kristoph Erbstösser: piano
Frans Van Der Hoeven: double bass
Dré Pallemaerts: drums
David Linx: vocals on (11)
recorded at IMPULS STUDIO, Herent (Belgium), March 19 & 20, 1991 by Allan Ward

Gilbert Isbin with Cameron Brown - Spring Cleaning (November 15, 2021 Jazz'Halo)

Self-taught guitarist/composer Gilbert Isbin was born in Knokke on May 29, 1953. He’s probably one of the best kept secrets in Belgian jazz.

After playing lute and baroque music for quite a while, his love for European improvised music and jazz prevailed. Especially Paul Bley’s minimalistic approach, the introspective playing of Bill Evans and the compositions by Cuban master Leo Brouwer influenced him a lot. Thru’ the years he built up his very personal style that is marked by strong melodies and subtle, inventive playing.

‘Spring Cleaning’, Gilbert’s first album for the Jazz’halo label, illustrates what a fine composer and guitar player he is. Working with such great musicians as Cameron Brown, Chris Joris, John Ruocco and Steve Houben finally gave him the opportunity to record his compositions in the best possible way.

Jos Demol

1. Spring cleaning
2. Fresh breath
3. Troubled
4. Free flight to A'dam
5. Wawacou
6. Warm your heart
7. Why was that?
8. Wintertime
9. Here, my dear
10. Lift your feet
11. Buzz

Gilbert Isbin: classical and electric guitars
Cameron Brown: double bass
John Ruocco: tenor sax, alto clarinet and clarinet
Steve Houben: flute
Chris Joris: miscellaneous percussion and berimbau
Mark Van Overmeire: drums on (7)

Recorded at STUDIO FIELDS, Braine-l’Alleud (Belgium), May 19 & 20 and June 22, 1992 by Didier de Roos

Isbin / Gauthier / Walton - Venice Suite (November 15, 2021 Jazz'Halo)

We recorded in November 2005 at the Cryptogramophone studios in LA, with master recording engineer Rich Breen. The whole project was completed in two afternoons. There are two suites of improvisation on this album; the Venice Suite for the trio (tracks 4-9) on which Scott plays the piano in the most wonderful way and the Brugge Suite for violin and guitar duo (tracks 10-16). There was electricity in the air.

“It's a joint production taken on by Southern California-based Cryptogramophone and the Belgian, Jazz'Halo record label by a trio that irrefutably rises to the occasion. Violinist and Crypto label chief Jeff Gauthier established a rapport with Belgian guitarist Gilbert Isbin via some California concerts and an interest in each other's artistry. Subsequently, fellow West Coast musician bassist/pianist Scott Walton was deemed the right man for the job with rounding it this wonderfully enticing and genre-hopping studio date. In effect, there's quite a bit going on under the proverbial hood.

Gauthier combines the flair of a concert violinist with dense improvisational acumen to complement the musicians' weaving of hypnotically melodic lines with richly textured themes. They often interrogate each other's voicings while occasionally mixing it up within avant-garde like frontiers. On the piece titled “Shine,” the violinist executes a sweet melody atop Isbin and Walton's bouncy undercurrents. Yet, the trio also inject moments of dissonance into the grand scenario where plots develop and ultimately morph into a regeneration of musical notions. Then on “Why Was That,” Isbin lays down a haunting ostinato as Walton subsequently stretches out with ascending lines. For the finale, the trio covers fabled song sleuth Nick Drake's “River Man.”. Finesse. EJAZZNEWS by Glenn Astarita 

1. Gift to the fall
2. Invitation
3. Knomish
4. Venice suite; Ah Chez
5. Venice suite; Reflection at Maribou's
6. Venice suite; Venice in bloom
7. When all is said and done
8. Shine
9. Open mind
10. Brugge suite; Begijnhof sonnet
11. Brugge suite; In the evening
12. Brugge suite; The swan's delight
13. Why was that
14. Invocation
15. Cute movements
16. River man

Gilbert Isbin, acoustic guitar
Jeff Gauthier, violin
Scott Walton, acoustic bass/piano

Stephen Godsall - We could fix everything (November 15, 2021 Jazz'Halo)

At the start of 2021 I had an idea to make the best of "lockdown" by beginning remote recordings with some of my favourite musicians - including some I had yet to meet. Mike Hall was enthusiastic about the idea and brought Steve Waterman on board; this was the core of my "dream band". We tried out several singers and for the 4 songs on this album Sara Harris turned out to have the perfect voice. Thanks to all the brilliant musicians who joined me on this venture!

After my very eclectic "Atlantic skies" album in 2020 I decided to concentrate on jazz idioms this time and build in space for improvisation and syncopation. The tunes explore both musical and personal ideas which are described in the notes for each track.

1. Postcard
2. We could fix everything
3. Mr Thomas
4. Expresso bongo
5. It will get brighter
6. Five rivers met on a wooded plain
7. Don't look down
8. Eryri
9. Poetic off-licence
10. The last hillwalker
11. The new me

Sara Harris, vocals
Steve Waterman, trumpet, flugelhorn
Sarah Bolter, flute
Mike Hall, tenor and soprano saxes, bass clarinet, wind synth
Diane Annear, piccolo
Joe Limburn, double bass
Sarah Abbott, baritone sax
Ian Ellis, tenor sax on track 10
Andrew Godsall, drums
Stephen Godsall, guitars, bass guitar, ukulele, organ, percussion

Cover photo by Ria Sopala

All tracks composed by Stephen Godsall

Andrea Rinciari Trio - To Bud. (September 15, 2021)

1. So Sorry Please 05:30
2. Oblivion 05:34
3. Audrey 04:52
4. Sure Thing 03:02
5. Halluncinations 03:46

Andrea Rinciari - Guitar
Lorenzo Morabito - Bass
Adam Merrell - Drums

Mixing/Mastering - Alessandro La Barbera

Dervis Can Vural - Carmen Silentii (September 2021)

In this album you will hear textures of classical impressionism combined with tonal early modernism, with a slight inflection of bebop Jazz. Think of a meeting of Debussy, Shostakovich and Chick Corea. During mixing and production I modeled after pop singers such as Agnes Obel, Aurora and Tori Amos. I brewed and stirred and concocted and tasted the sound until I got it to be oh so sweet.

As before, the music is built around a simple poem, where (like most of my work in physics and biology) I focus on notions of time and transience. In the poem I project myself forward in time near the heat death of the universe and look back at the history of life with bittersweet nostalgia.

In accordance with the theme of transience, no music was ever written down for this album. I improvised everything on the piano, edited it, and sent it to the vocalists with instructions. My four superhuman vocalists, Syauqi Destanika (Indonesia), Faye (South Africa), Ena Marley (Spain) and Julia Camayd (United States) brought the songs alive with their mastery of voice, artful interpretation and unique character. 

I’ve been listening to this on repeat for the last month, with the excuse that “well, I’m fine tuning the mix”. But really, I keep listening to it because it’s so delicious. I hope you’ll also enjoy it as much. So ladies and gentlemen, without further ado:

Carmen Silentii.
Found myself awake, singing
A song from the end of time
Without a soul or a voice, a chant
The finale of a story without a plot
Look, just a broken daydream
A humorous requiem
For myself
And everything alive
That once was

1. Found myself awake, singing 02:46
2. A song from the end of time 02:39
3. Without a soul or a voice 05:01
4. A silent chant 03:04
5. The finale of a story without a plot 03:22
6. Look, just a broken daydream 07:30
7. A humorous requiem 05:18
8. For myself 02:35
9. And everything alive 03:11
10. That once was 06:28

Music, Lyrics, Piano, Back vocals: Dervis Can Vural
Female Vocals: Syauqi Destanika, Faye, Ena Marley, Julia Camayd
Sculpture on Album Cover: Martin Lagares

Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito - Underground Vol​.​3 (September 2021)

1. Low 03:37
2. Kinkyu Jitai Sengen 03:04
3. Street Ramp 06:14

Sam Rivers Quartet - UNDULATION (Archive series. Volume 5) September 2021 NoBusiness Records

Unraveling Mysteries: Sam Rivers in the Early ’80s

It was the early ’80s; guitars were shaping the jazz to come with unprecedented brashness, with Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time, Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society, and James Blood Ulmer’s Music Revelation Ensemble leading the charge. It is a narrative that excludes Sam Rivers’ 1981 quartet with Jerry Byrd and the 1982 edition with Kevin Eubanks—units rounded out by electric bassist Rael-Wesley Grant and drummer Steve Ellington.

There is a simple answer why this is the case—Rivers’ quartets flew under the radar of the New York jazz elite. They played everywhere but New York: the Midwest, Western Canada, the West Coast, and throughout Europe. Rivers’ sole quartet gig in NYC during this period was the 10 p.m. set at the Public Theatre the weekend before Christmas in 1981, when many jazz fans were reveling elsewhere, and few if any concerts that didn’t include the “Hallelujah” chorus were reviewed in the dailies or the weeklies. Byrd had left and Eubanks had yet to come on board—Marvin Horne was enlisted as a place-holder. Hardly the scenario for an impactful New York debut.

Additionally, only the quartet with Byrd was represented on LP. To compound matters, Crosscurrent was issued by Parisian impresario Gérard Terronès’ Blue Marge label, which, without the U.S. distribution enjoyed by Black Saint, Soul Note, and other European labels, barely seeped into the Stateside collectors’ market. Crosscurrent was released in late 1982, presumably after Rivers disbanded the quartet with Eubanks, and shifted his focus to Winds of Manhattan. The album documents the quartet’s April 4, ’81 Jazz Unité concert, which was promptly praised by Paris’ Jazz Magazine and Jazz Hot. But the disc was not reviewed by Jazz Hot until May 1983 (Jazz Magazine passed). At the outset of his Jazz Hot coverage of the Jazz Unité recording, Pierre-Jean Gaucher confessed unfamiliarity with the avant-garde. Beyond giving high marks to the rhythm section, and namechecking Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters, there are few specifics in his positive, if perfunctory record review. Fair to say Crosscurrent failed to generate any consequential buzz.

1. Tenor saxophone section I 1 1:17
2. Tenor saxophone solo 4:26
3. Tenor saxophone section II 5:37
4. Drum solo 7:14
5. Piano solo 5:52
6. Piano section I 4:21
7. Piano section II 6:19
8. Guitar solo 5:25
9. Flute section I 4:53
10. Flute solo 4:08
11. Flute section II 2:07
12. Bass solo 5:21
13. Flute section III 4:55

Sam Rivers: tenor saxophone, flute, piano
Jerry Byrd: guitar
Rael-Wesley Grant: electric bass guitar
Steve Ellington: drums

All compositions by Sam Rivers
Recorded May 17, 1981, Florence, Italy
Re-mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios

Photos (cover and pages 2, 7, 9): Courtesy of Monique Rivers Williams
Cover and Booklet Design: Jeff DiPerna
Liner Notes: Bill Shoemaker
Produced by Danas Mikailionis and Ed Hazell
Co-producer: Valerij Anosov