Monday, October 18, 2021

Nick Maclean - Can You Hear Me? [double album] October 31, 2021 Browntasauras Records

This double album, a debut SOLO PIANO release from award-winning Toronto pianist Nick Maclean, takes influences from jazz piano greats like Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, and Brad Mehldau as it traverses jazz standards, spontaneous improvisations, and epic, original odysseys - all suffused with courageous risk taking and musical exploration springing from Maclean's in-the-moment inspirations and shaped by producer Brownman Ali's guidance. This release is a true collaboration between Maclean and Ali, showcasing a deep musical relationship of trust and mutual respect. Thus its completion represents Maclean's most personal and intimate recordings to date with all the intriguing challenges, opportunities and possibilities that go with it.

1. Dolphin Dance
2. All Of You
3. Someday My Prince Will Come
4. Why The Caged Bird Sings
5. Difficulties Of Discernment
6. Rational Discourse
7. It Could Happen To You
8. Circle Of Influence
9. Estratagema (feat. Brownman Ali)
10. Blackbirds
11. Spartacus Love Theme / Nardis
12. Tell Me Something I Don't Know
13. Footprints
14. Things Ain't The Way They Used To Be
15. Variations On A Porkpie Hat
16. The Truth Of It
17. Message To My Unborn Child
18. Zion

Nick Maclean -- piano
Brownman Ali -- producer, percussion, drum set
Chalet Studio -- recording studio (David Chester, owner)
Justin Meli -- tracking engineer
Josh Bowman -- mix engineer
Luisito Orbegoso -- percussion mix engineer
Justin Gray -- mastering engineer
Browntasauras Records -- record label
Neil Padaloy -- album cover art
Dave Restivo -- liner notes

Trio In Transit - Trio In Transit (October 2021 zoar records)

In 1967, in an effort launched by reading the obituary of John Coltrane, I began to immerse myself in jazz with important guideposts being the books Black Music by Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Four Lives In The BeBop Business by A.B. Spellman and As Serious As Your Life by Val Wilmer. Denis Charles was featured in Wilmer's book and appeared as an important figure in the others. My ears led the search and Denis' sound from records by Cecil Taylor, Roswell Rudd, and Steve Lacy became deeply imprinted. A few months after moving to NYC in 1979, I paid a visit to drummer Mark E Miller's building on E. 7th St, where I would soon be living. There in front, chatting with Miller was Denis himself! I was awestruck - a living legend, one of my sonic heroes. Denis, as always, was sweet and humble - he lived across the street and we soon became friends. More time passed and I began to acquire the ability to book infrequent gigs of my own and Denis and I began an informal trio with bassist Jay Oliver with performances at Cub 57 and Ali's Alley.

After Jay moved to Europe, my old friend Steve Piccolo joined the group and we were scheduled to play Soho's Performing Garage. Our "book" was a set of simple core gestures designed to be catalysts for our improvising. Denis' Caribbean heritage was revealed in his groove yet expanded in all directions from his position at the crux of the free-jazz movement during its creative peak. Drumming for Denis always told a story filled with secret smiles and nods to friends and ancestors. Steve and I had both been students of Roswell Rudd and we absorbed his joy in ancient and future cultures, his methods, his sense of orchestration, and his insistence on the narrative arc. Whether consciously or not, we applied our learnings in our playing with Denis. The operative word for this trio was indeed 'transit' as we never again played in this format. Sadly, Denis passed from this plane in 1998. Steve and I continue our collaborations on many different fronts.

The time of covid engendered a variety of novel activities. I acquired a high-quality cassette deck and began the sometimes-tedious task of digitizing recordings from my archives with the thought of possibly releasing the better ones. I was excited to come across a document of this trio's brief existence. Though the sound quality on the cassette was quite challenging, I applied whatever forensic-audio techniques I had at my disposal to upgrade this audio to at least listenable levels which may now be heard, a sonic intersection between free jazz and no-wave. 

1. Opening The Box 09:54
2. Tone Time 09:21
3. Careless 09:00
4. Flurries 09:55
5. Detrit R Us 05:09
6. Cornered 13:56
7. Lectric 06:55
8. Intercession 06:26

Elliott Sharp - soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones; fretless and electric guitars
Denis Charles - drums
Steve Piccolo - electric upright bass

All music by Elliott Sharp, Denis Charles, Steve Piccolo

Produced by Elliott Sharp
Recorded in concert at The Performing Garage, NYC, June 1981
All compositions published by zOaR Music - BMI

André Carvalho - Lost in Translation (October 2021 Outside in Music)

Humanity is creating a more and more interconnected world. In less than 50 years, we have developed new forms of communication, not only much faster and more accessible, but also with an increased capacity of conveying what we want to express and say. Apparently, the space for misunderstanding should be smaller. However, there are still moments when we are unable to express exactly what we want, lacking words that serve the purpose. These would be extremely precious for the clarity of our speech.

If it is a fact that there is, and probably always will be, a gap between meaning and interpretation, emotion and intention, it is also true that by expanding our lexicon, we automatically increase our expression capacity. However, if there is no such word in our language, it does not mean that there isn’t in another.

This is how the so-called untranslatable words entered my world and inspired me to write a new cycle of compositions titled “Lost in Translation”. These words can be the solution to things we have always thought, but never knew how to name them. Or, they can even mean something we never thought of, opening up our mind for new perspectives and cultivating the imagination.

Words are without any doubt a tool and, like any tool, they are born after a certain need. That’s why it is so curious to notice that a given culture doesn’t have a word for a certain idea / object / action even if this is present in their lives. At the same time, another culture felt the need to create their own word. It is also extremely curious and sometimes hilarious to observe that some of these untranslatable words are occasionally associated with the lifestyle, the geographical location or even the philosophy of a particular culture. A great example is Karelu, a Tulu word that means the mark left on the skin by wearing something tight.

Although we want to systematically differentiate and leave our mark in the world, the truth is that we are all made of the same material. That’s why languages have an enormous weight and are responsible, in large part, for acculturation. It is in this process that the identity of a civilization is created. For me, these unique and distinct characteristics make the world so special and Human civilization so interesting.
It’s unquestionable that music is a language and curiously an universal one. From the most remote tribes of Papua New Guinea to the cosmopolitan and avant-garde movements of large cities, music serves as a "vehicle" for communication and interaction. It’s this link between language and music, unique words and unique musical moments that “Lost in Translation” explores. If learning a new word is, by itself, already a rewarding and exciting thing, if we add music to this learning process, the experience will surely be enhanced.

Wittgenstein said that "the limits of my language mean the limits of my world". I truly believe this. This does not mean that the world is not bigger than what we know. In fact, it is bigger and deeper than what we really know and the mental projection we create of it, that is, our reality. That is why, I believe that as we learn new words, our conscience becomes more sensitive to others, we become more empathetic and our world becomes richer.

The same happens as we are in contact with unfamiliar music. That’s also why “Lost in Translation” embraces the unknown, by having a very strong improvisational and spontaneous component, making each performance very unique.

Musically, this new cycle was inspired by the influences that I have absorbed in recent years, not only because I am exposed to the New York Jazz scene, but also because I travel regularly to other countries. The relentless search for new sounds has led me to discover and explore musical areas such as improvised music, experimental music and contemporary classical music. 

1. Luftmensch 05:42
2. Kilig 05:10
3. Uitwaaien 08:40
4. Goya 04:04
5. Alcheringa 05:08
6. Kalpa 05:21
7. Karelu 08:41
8. Murr-ma 02:36
9. Mångata 04:54
10. Boketto 03:40
11. Resfeber 05:01
12. Wabi-sabi 02:12

José Soares - alto saxophone
André Matos - guitar
André Carvalho - double bass and composition

João Almeida - trumpet (4, 7, 11)

Recorded at Teatro Municipal Amélia Rey Colaço in December 2020.
Mix and master by Tiago de Sousa.
Artwork by Margarida Girão.
Out on Outside in Music.

Hunter Diamond + Charles Rumback - We Stand (October 2021 Curio Records)

The first release in the Metal and Wood series, We Stand (CUR002) features Hunter Diamond in collaboration with Charles Rumback .

The Metal and Wood project is a series of live improvisations between woodwind artist Hunter Diamond and various drummers living in the United States. Captured in different locations in Chicago and New Orleans, these recordings document Diamond’s ongoing interest in the saxophone-drums duo pairing made historic by legendary collaborations between John Coltrane & Rashied Ali, Archie Shepp & Max Roach, Dewey Redman & Ed Blackwell, Charles Lloyd & Billy Higgins, Joe McPhee & Hamid Drake, and many others.

Thank you to Bordel Chicago, QMusic, and Dave Zuchowski for supporting the creation of this recording, to Jacquelyne Collett for committing to this vision, to Marine Tempels Black for the unending support, and to Charles for the ongoing exploration.


1. The Water Is Hot 05:33
2. Quatre Petits Morceaux 07:58
3. ...And Then We Stand 12:15
4. After Shock 03:39
5. Anti-Gravity In My Boots 15:04
6. Stumble Catch 08:53
7. Tell Me More About Ike Day 06:52

Hunter Diamond // saxophone, clarinet, percussion, voice.
Charles Rumback // drums

Recorded live at Bordel Chicago on 3.11.20
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Dave Zuchowski
Original album art by Jacquelyne Collett
Layout and Design by Hunter Diamond and Marine Tempels Black

Jungle Debris - Jungle Debris (October 2021 Ma Records)

The music of Jungle Debris ranges from playful songs and drone minimalism, through dissonant lyricism, to dense free improvisations and intensely urgent expressions. Their compositions are interwoven with concepts of free improvisation. The building of form and structure is replaced by its subsequent deconstruction. They are making effort to go beyond the frames set by genre and instrument.

1. Mini 1 02:48
2. Mango 06:24
3. Last Yew 08:48
4. Mini 2 01:23
5. Děcka, ticho! 06:54
6. Velrybí klec 09:18
7. V bublině 05:08
8. Gdáck 03:55
9. 1511 08:09
10. I'vory 10:44

Martin Debřička - tenor saxophone
Luan Gonçalves - bass
Jakub Švejnar - drums

Michal Wroblewski - alto saxophone (8)
Jenda Pudlák - grand piano (6), electric piano (5)
Jan Bára - electric guitar (3)

Compositions by Martin Debřička, except for 1 and 9 by Luan Gonçalves

Recorded at Divadlo 29 in Pardubice on February 23 –28 2021 as part of
the Jazzconnexion residency project.
Sound Engineer: Mirek Škop
Mental support during the recording: Michal Wroblewski
Mix: Václav Šafka at studio Rozsochanec
Master: Marek Buranovský
Cover art: Jana Nunčič

KAU trio. - II (2021)

KAU trio. is an instrumental project based in Brussels consisting of André Breidlid (drums), Matteo Genovese (bass) & Jan Janzen (keys). Representing various European backgrounds, their coming-together is in the spirit of the city they grew up in.

Taking inspiration from jazz, they create a head-bobbing atmosphere using bassy beats and catchy melodies. By implementing acoustic instruments, the trio stays true to an organic and rich sound, granting themselves the liberty for improvisation & spontaneous happenings. Influenced by artists like BADBADNOTGOOD & Christian Scott, their music is contemporary, powerful, and audacious. 

"II" is the second EP released by KAU trio… After experimenting with beats and live instruments, this second opus marks the evolution towards a more hybrid and powerful sound defined by their willingness to create extended compositions. The trio adds a unique flavor to each track by inviting guest artists to take part in the production. The bobbing and gritting atmosphere reigning in this EP is in the continuum of their first release, keeping in touch with their identity.

The first track "Nightgrazer" represents an exploration of the doubts and fears of our inner self in a remote place where there is nowhere to hide. Darkness is where it all starts...but trying to find a way out is the mission. This feeling is strengthened by the flute melody, which is sweet and hopeful.

"Challenger" makes reference to the tragic story of the U.S.S Challenger, a failed space shuttle mission resulting in the explosion of the vehicle moments after launch. This story is the perfect example of human pride, but also how desperate we are to reach the stars. The sweet trumpet melodies guide this narrative, which is ultimately tragic.

In "Pink", our courage is shattered by the electrifying roars of the guitar that leads us to feel anger and frustration. The epic ending of the track releases a feeling of understanding: letting go of our fears is the answer.

We finally see a ray of light piercing through the darkness in "Daylight". The only track with lyrics, sang by Rebecca Driesmans and accompanied by Maxime Dereux on sax, catches us into the hope that everything will be eventually alright.

Breathe and relax, everything is good. Led by the wavy synth and bass lines, ''Napoli" is this upbeat song where all you want to do is dance. We celebrate the fond memories and the magic energy that resemble the one you can experience in this vibrant city.

We conclude our journey with 'Dot', a track inspired by the famous speech by Carl Sagan which can be heard throughout the track. This tune is about looking at the world from outer space, reflecting on how really futile all our preoccupations can be compared to the vastness of the cosmos, the perfect ending to our story.

1. Nightgrazer 04:42
2. Challenger 03:41
3. Pink 03:43
4. Interlude 01:18
5. Daylight 04:23
6. Napoli 04:20
7. Dot 04:11

André Breidlid (drums)
Matteo Genovese (bass)
Jan Janzen (keys)

"Nightgrazer": Eduardo Yaguez
"Challenger": Marthe van Droogenbroeck
"Pink": Khalta
"Interlude" & "Daylight": Rebecca Driesmans and Maxime Dereux
Recorded and mixed: Louis Potin-Paraisot (King's Field Studio)
Mastering: Pieter de Wagter (Equus Mastering)
Artworks: Beatriz Leonardo
Photos: Virgilio Martini
Management: Alexandre Grimaldi (Right Hand Production)

Mark Kavuma & The Banger Factory - Arashi No Ato (2021 Banger Factory Records)

Leading trumpeter and composer, Mark Kavuma, launches his new label, Banger Factory Records with the release of Arashi No Ato. “It was something I wrote just before the pandemic and has somewhat become the theme on gigs. Originally it was just "after the storm" but I really loved how itsounds in Japanese,” explains Kavuma. “I thought it to be a fitting title for the album with everything that has been going on over the last year and a half.”

Arashi No Ato was recorded with The Banger Factory, a band that has developed from a weekly residency in Brixton’s POW, to become one of the most engaging ensembles in the UK with a truly unique and unmistakable sound.

Mark infuses this indelible musical movement with the energy, attitude and swagger of a new generation of creators. He has a unique and distinctive trumpet sound. His lyricism, soulful tone and grace of technique spread infectious joy and mutual excitement among audiences and fellow musicians alike. His music is full of energy, vibe, blues and rhythm. Hints of gospel, soul and spiritual jazz can also be traced within his compositions. With this groovy music he may just bring jazz back to the dance floor.

"There is an emphasis on exploring original material and the album features some of the most gifted and masterful musicians on the scene today,” says Kavuma. “What is more, the band brings together and unifies the local London jazz scene. Spreading love and good vibes. 
1. Arashi No Ato (Kavuma) 06:36
2. Eulid (Kavuma) 06:43
3. Love Will Find a Way (Blake/Sissle) 05:08
4. Brother James (Kavuma) 01:58
5. Hedz (Edwards) 05:46
6. David Danced (Ellington) 05:55
7. One More River (Rev. J Cleveland ) 06:10

Mark Kavuma - trumpet

Mussinghi Brian Edwards & Ruben Fox - tenor saxophone
Artie Zaitz - guitar
David Mrakpor - vibraphone
Reuben James - piano/organ
Deschanel Gordon - piano/Rhodes
Trevor Edwards - trombone
Michael Schrimpling - double bass
William Cleasby - drums

Dylan Jones - trumpet (7)
Theon Cross - tuba (3, 7)
Misha Fox - trombone/vocals (7)
Deji Ijishakin - tenor saxophone (7)

Vocalists (7):
Shayanna Harris, Marcina Arnold, Megan Linnell
Livi Graham, Leena Chabula, Felicia Thandie Bhebhe
Django Booker-Roi Edwards, Ijishakin
and Ritchie Seivwright

Recorded at Fish Factory Studios, London
Engineered and mixed by Ben Lamdin
Mastered by Noel Summerville

Produced by Mark Kavuma

Artwork / Graphic Design by Kasia Zaitz
Liner Notes - Jake Zaitz
Photography by Joe Hart