Thursday, October 28, 2021

NORI - NORI (record / ​​vinyl) December 3, 2021

Nori To Release Their Self-Titled Album 

on December 3rd

The First Vinyl Release from the Band!

Nori, the genre-bending Neo Jazz band has curated a collection of their favorite songs on their upcoming album. The self-titled release, NORI, showcases their diverse sound and pointed lyrics on the 10-song deep record due out December 3rd. The new album will be available on vinyl with two new singles to be released to streaming platforms along with the songs from previous albums. Pre-order here:

Nori is an Austin, TX based quintet and has been hailed “a five-person gift from Austin, TX” by Festival Peak. The band is comprised of talented professional musicians including Akina Adderley on vocals; Erik Telford on trumpet and alto horn; Nick Litterski on Fender Rhodes, piano, and prepared piano; Aaron Allen on acoustic bass; and Andy Beaudoin on drums and percussion. Together their music is aesthetically and deeply rooted in both American jazz and folk music traditions. The ensemble playfully weaves together a myriad of global influences with current and topical social commentary giving rise to a seamless synthesis of sound that is Nori.

The new album transcends time with a collection of songs written from 2015 – 2021, but yet addresses important topical themes of identity, activism, racial tensions and racism, and love. The band curated the collection from their catalog along with some new material. Included are six songs from their first two albums World Anew and Bruise Blood and also “Tumbao,” a single released in 2017, along with the newly released single “I See You” out this past December. They also masterfully composed a new rendition of Nina Simone’s “Four Women.” The aptly self-titled new release is steeped in observations and personal plight and gracefully highlights the balance of story-telling traditions with wide-open improvisations that echo the transcendent tones of Nina Simone, Bill Frisell, John Coltrane, and Joni Mitchell.
The album opens with a stunning and somber song “The Garden.” The lyrics were written by Akina and are a powerful metaphor for the life cycle of a black child. The song follows as he grows in the womb and transitions into the loving and nurturing arms of his mother – only to have life tragically cut short at the hands of a racist brute. The pointed new arrangement features special guests, the wonderful string trio, Leigh Wallenhaupt on violin, Leah Nelson on viola, and Rylie Harrod-Corral on cello. Another powerful standout is a cover of Nina Simone’s song “Four Women.” Nori says, “Nina Simone has been our guiding inspiration since the conception of the band. She’s an eclectic musician. She’s a master storyteller, and she’s a fierce activist. These are all things Nori aspires to be. We have been incorporating this song in our live set for a number of years and wanted to record it as a way to provide an exclamation mark at the end of the album!” This song is a dedication to Nina Simone.

All the songs on the album were recorded by John Michael Landon at their home base studio, Estuary Recording in Austin. Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Studio (New York, NY) mixed most of the songs with additional mixing by Erik Telford (“The Garden,” “I See You,” and “Four Women”). The new album was mastered for vinyl by Erik Telford.

NORI will be released exclusively and for the first time on vinyl! Reflecting back on the new project, the band comments, “This is our first vinyl release. We wanted to create a document of our young history and make it available for physical release. In many ways, we consider ourselves “old souls,” so vinyl is the perfect format for the occasion.” It is due out on December 3rd.

1. The Garden (With Strings)
2. Wildfire
3. Undertow
4. Waiting to Fall
5. Tumbao
6. The Walk
7. Lullaby
8. Arirang
9. I See You
10. Four Women

The full album is available in its entirety exclusively on vinyl via the merch link.

Akina Adderley - vocals
Erik Telford - trumpet, alto horn
Nick Litterski - Fender Rhodes, piano, prepared piano
Aaron Allen - acoustic bass
Andy Beaudoin - drums, percussion

Leigh Wallenhaupt - violin
Leah Nelson - viola
Rylie Harrod-Corral - cello
Andrew Noble - viola (Tumbao)
Sara Nelson - cello (Tumbao)

Recorded by John Michael Landon at Estuary Recording
Mixed by Dave Darlington and Erik Telford
Mastered by Erik Telford
Artwork by Dayva Beaudoin & Byoung Sun Lee
Legal Services provided by David Beaudoin
Lyrics by Akina Adderley (A1-5, B1-2, B4)
Music by Andy Beaudoin (A2, A4-5, B2, B4)
Music by Erik Telford (A1, A3, B1)
String Arrangements by Erik Telford
Arirang arranged by Andy Beaudoin
Four Women by Nina Simone
Produced by Andy Beaudoin and Nori

Matt Lavelle - Bass Clarinet Square Pluto (October 28, 2021)

Every human being has their own personal relationship with the dark.

In childhood we are faced with decisions as we learn just what good and bad are. We may be told what is right or wrong, but the real answer to those questions happens inside us. As we get older we may start to see just what kind of human beings we are.

Along the way we will encounter darkness in some way. For me darkness is most associated with death. In astrology, death equals transformation, and is represented by the planet Pluto.

Astrology comes and goes in my life. When I feel my life get especially intense, I turn to it to try and understand the spiritual mechanics. In the last month or so I have been dropped off on Pluto with no map back to Earth. I discovered that I'm traveling through a transit called Sun square Pluto. I have never faced a more severe trial of transformation where the past must die so that my new life may begin anew.

Throughout my life I have had extreme dreams, nightmares, and visions on a regular basis. In the last month or so, the volume was turned up to 12, higher than I have ever experienced. I woke up one night feeling that my soul had been stabbed. It is during these moments that I turn to my beloved 70's beat down and taped up Bass Clarinet. My horn is what you might say working class, just like me.

The Bass Clarinet has power and depth that still remains unexplored. It's true power is it's incredible dynamic range. You can shout like a flamenco singer, but you can also whisper in the dark. The Bass Clarinet is where I can engage my relationship with that darkness. By playing it solo, I can walk through my own haunted landscape, using the sound as my guide

Listen then, as I try to survive myself as I play through my subconscious, and integrate with my own shadow


1. Sun square Pluto 04:15
2. Moon square Pluto 05:31
3. The 8th House 05:32
4. Mars square Neptune 04:16
5. Saturn square Uranus (for Eric Dolphy) 04:19
6. Mars opposite Neptune (for Bennie Maupin) 03:51
7. Jupiter in Scorpio Retrograde (for David Murray) 06:56
8. Pluto Retrograde 06:55
9. Liner notes narration aka bonus track 02:56

*I went to a sweat lodge once and asked the medicine man if I could stay after everyone left and play my bass clarinet in extreme darkness. He said as long as I remember that I would be playing on sacred ground.

**I believe Eric Dolphy is the king of the BC. David Murray and Bennie Maupin are princes. I may be the local magistrate in Philly, but I'm very committed to my office :

Headphones and a quiet environment recommended. Under a full moon on a clear night ideal (: 

Matt Lavelle: Bass Clarinet

Recorded at Chew Studio, Philadelphia 10/27/21