Monday, November 15, 2021

Shubh Saran | "inglish"

Guitarist, Composer, and Producer
Shubh Saran Releases New Album, inglish

New Album Explores Identity and the
Difficult Process of Assimilating While
Embracing Your Own Culture

New York-based guitarist, composer, and producer Shubh Saran will independently release his second full-length album and fourth overall release titled inglish on October 29, 2021. After releasing his last EP titled Becoming in late 2019, Saran toured briefly in the United States and India, and upon returning to the U.S. was faced with what became the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. During this time, Saran quickly began writing and recording demos for what would ultimately transform into inglish. The new album explores new musical territory, as Saran incorporates predominant Indian and Middle Eastern instruments for the first time, while expanding the use of modular synthesizers in the momentous arrangements.

Throughout his life, having to assimilate into different cultures has been a common occurrence for Saran, and inglish is a reflection of that progression and evolution. “I wanted to find a metaphor for this idea of existing in the world where you’re trying to navigate a global culture while at the same navigating your own culture and home culture,” he says. Managing changes in culture and language has been a repeat experience for the Indian artist, who has spent time living around the world in places like New Delhi, Dhaka, Cairo, Geneva, Toronto, Boston, and New York City.
To provide some historical context, the term “inglish,'' a portmanteau from the late 1900s, describes Indian English, a variety of the English language spoken in India and by Indian diaspora. It’s a form of dialect that has shown similarity to British English, brought by British Colonization, but has become an amalgamation of Indian and Western culture. This duality has been the focus of Saran’s most recent research and explorations in music, and it’s something that he has experienced first hand. “Within the last several decades, Indian English has taken on a life of its own, with a lot of influence from regional languages and dialects, and a mixture of ‘Queen’s English’,” says Saran, reflecting on the connection between the album title and its anthropological history.

While language is a large part of the inspiration for inglish, the reflection on personal identity and the tension between trying to retain one’s own native tongue and customs while living in non-native territories is equally present. The unboxing of how traditions and cultures get passed down by generations, and the true origins of those artifacts, was also in the foreground of Saran’s mind when writing and recording inglish. “It was interesting to see that the origins for a lot of my own internal biases about being Indian, and Indian identity, seemed actually not to stem from Indian culture, but actually came from external sources,” says Saran. “What ends up happening, I believe, is that the narratives and the biases get internalized by the community, and then sort of get re-fed back into the community like a feedback loop.”

inglish is multi-layered album that explores concepts of identity far beyond the music. As people continue to think, move, and grow globally, the essence of native culture and identity are challenged, but still remain critically important. For Shubh Saran, inglish is a longform message that pays tribute to the difficult process of assimilating while embracing your own culture. 

For more information on Shubh Saran, please visit:

Upcoming Shubh Saran Performances:
November 15 | Rockwood Music Hall | Brooklyn, NY
November 17 | Showcase Lounge | Burlington, VT
November 18 | Funk n' Waffles | Syracuse, NY
November 19 | Mahall's Locker Room | Cleveland, OH
November 20 | Pie Shop | Washington, DC

Glimlip & Yasper and Jazzinuf Explore Deepest Connections Between Hip-Hop and Jazz as Leaders in Lo-Fi Music with New Releases

 Glimlip & Yasper and Jazzinuf Explore
Deepest Connections Between Hip-Hop and Jazz
as Leaders in Lo-Fi Music with New Releases,
Available Now via Downtown Music Services

At an early age Rotterdam born producer Glimlip. never imagined himself becoming a beatmaker. Starting off playing the drums and guitar, music was nothing more than a playful way of spending his time. A few years further down the road it would be impossible though to speak about him without thinking of his soulful/jazz influenced beats inspired by the likes of J Dilla, Flying Lotus, Madlib and Kiefer.

Growing up in Arnhem, Yasper started playing music at his 10th. He started off as a metalhead, playing all the rock/metal tunes he could get his hands on. Since he moved to Amsterdam in 2014 his love for jazz music developed more and more. This led into love for Hip-Hop, R&B and Soul as well. Learning how to produce music since 2016 led to what he is finally making now. Jazz inspired Hip-Hop beats with influences by J Dilla, Tom Misch, Wes Montgomery and Kiefer.

For more information on Glimlip, please visit:
Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Spotify (2.2 million monthly listeners)

For more information on Yasper, please visit:
Instagram | Soundcloud | Spotify (800k monthly listeners)

Manhattan based multi instrumentalist, ever since 2012 Jazzinuf blends swinging beats with harmonious soul/jazz/funk inspired arrangements. An avid lover of all arts, but has a special love for jazz hiphop/ lofi beats. At night he is an opera singer and during the day he is at the studio producing beats. Jazzinuf is the founder of Etymology Records, and has a robust fanbase with a total of 123 million Spotify streams and 1.7 million monthly listeners.

For more information on Jazzinuf, please visit:
Instagram | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Spotify (2 million monthly listeners)

Relief: A Benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America's Musicians’ Emergency Fund | Mack Avenue Music Group

AVAILABLE NOW, RELIEF: A BENEFIT FOR
THE JAZZ FOUNDATION OF AMERICA’S MUSICIANS’ EMERGENCY FUND
 
An Unprecedented, Star-Studded Collection from
America’s Top Jazz Labels in Support of Musicians
Affected by the Pandemic
 
2-LP Set, CD and Digital Album Features Herbie Hancock,
Wallace Roney, Buster Williams, Jimmy Heath, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, IRMA and LEO (Esperanza Spalding & Leo Genovese), Cécile McLorin Salvant, Charles Lloyd, Hiromi, Kenny Garrett, Jon Batiste,
and Other Jazz Greats

A consortium of major jazz labels – Concord Music Group, Mack Avenue Music Group, Nonesuch Records, Universal Music Group’s Verve Label Group and Blue Note Records, and Warner Music Group – has taken the unprecedented step of joining hands for Relief, an all-star compilation of previously unreleased music on LP, CD and digitally November 12, continuing the non-profit Jazz Foundation of America’s (JFA) ongoing efforts to aid musicians affected by the international shutdown of venues and other performance opportunities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. PURCHASE/SHARE HERE.
 
All net proceeds from the package – comprising studio and live tracks by top-flight jazz artists – will benefit the JFA’s Musicians’ Emergency Fund, established in the spring of 2020 after the pandemic ground the music industry to a sudden, catastrophic halt.
 
JFA executive director Joe Petrucelli says, “The Jazz Foundation of America deeply appreciates the artists, songwriters and label teams who contributed to this project with such compassion and generosity. As pandemic restrictions continue to lift, we recognize that musicians will face a particularly lengthy recovery. They were among the first to be hit by the effects of the crisis and will be among the last to achieve a true sense of normalcy or stability. We and our partners are here for the long haul.”
 
Relief commences with a recording that exemplifies the extreme challenges faced by musicians in the depths of the 2020 health emergency: “back to who,” a track by vocalist Esperanza Spalding and pianist Leo Genovese, recording as IRMA and LEO, was created remotely at home studios in Hillsboro, OR and Brooklyn, NY.
 
The compilation concludes with a live quintet performance captured at the JFA’s 2014 “A Great Night in Harlem” benefit show at New York’s historic Apollo Theater. It features pianist Herbie Hancock, trumpeter Wallace Roney, who died after contracting the coronavirus, bassist Buster Williams, drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath and tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, the composer of the number, who died at the age of 93 in January 2020, in a poignant version of “Gingerbread Boy.”
 
“I'm honored to be part of this meaningful project that supports the important work of the Jazz Foundation, who has always been there for musicians going through tough times. They have been an especially critical resource for the community during the pandemic, helping those in need of medical care, putting food on the table and paying their rent,” says Hancock. 
Offering a compact overview of jazz’s past, present, and future, the album also presents fresh tracks from bassist Christian McBride, vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, saxophonists Kenny Garrett, Charles Lloyd, and Joshua Redman, pianist Hiromi Uehara, and pianist-vocalist Jon Batiste.

The set is merely the latest pandemic relief effort mounted under the aegis of the JFA’s Musicians’ Emergency Fund. 2020 benefit events included the virtual concert #TheNewGig in May, an international “Gershwin Global” online performance led by Israeli pianist Guy Mintus in July, and the Charlie Parker-themed “Bird Calls” streaming fundraiser in December.
 
Mack Avenue Music Group president Denny Stilwell, who spearheaded the formation of the label consortium with longtime JFA board member and entertainment lawyer Geoffrey Menin last spring, says, “We had met via conference call for about two months before the idea of putting an album together came up. The initial impetus was to raise money for the fund. Sometime around eight weeks in, Blue Note’s president, Don Was, said, ‘Why don’t we make a record? Let’s all contribute some tracks.’ There was a nanosecond of silence, and then everybody in our core group – including John Burk at Concord, Jamie Krents at Verve – said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’
 
“We all decided that we were going to look into the vaults and agreed that we wanted to have unreleased tracks…it just came together organically. Once we got all the music together, we traded some ideas and Joe Petrucelli, John Burk and Will Wakefield laid out the final sequence of how the tracks would flow. I think it works great!”
 
Relief marks the first appearance on record of a performance from one of the JFA’s annual benefits at the Apollo. (The 2020 “A Great Night in Harlem” show, which had been set for April 14, was postponed due to the COVID outbreak.)
 
Stilwell recalls, “Joe Petrucelli was pretty excited about including a live track. The thing that makes that track heartbreaking and relevant is the inclusion of Wallace Roney, who was one of the first of our community to pass from COVID. I think that track, which also features Jimmy Heath, who also left us last year, has some extra weight and meaning for all of us.”
 
In his notes for the album, Rolling Stone senior music editor Hank Shteamer writes, “Even in a pandemic, the jazz ecosystem – not just its practitioners and facilitators but those who value the music as a lifelong sustenance – has managed to summon grace, dignity and unexpected joy. That spirit extends to Relief, a compilation which continues the relief efforts undertaken last year. This album reflects the duality at the heart of jazz: It's a music of cooperation, of intuitive teamwork, that also leaves room for a broad array of personal idiosyncrasy. Differences of generation, heritage, methodology…strengthen the music's vast collective mesh.”

Album Tracklist:
1. IRMA and LEO back to who feat. Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese 4:41
2. Christian McBride Brother Malcolm 4:47                  
3. Cécile McLorin Salvant Easy Come, Easy Go Blues 2:32
4. Kenny Garrett Joe Hen’s Waltz 8:07
5. Jon Batiste Sweet Lorraine 3:52
6. Hiromi Green Tea Farm [2020 version] 7:52
7. Joshua Redman Facts feat. Ron Miles, Scott Colley, Brian Blade 3:39
8. Charles Lloyd & Kindred Spirits Lift Every Voice and Sing [live] 8:26
9. Herbie Hancock Gingerbread Boy feat. Wallace Roney, Jimmy Heath, Buster Williams, Albert “Tootie” Heath [live] 6:54


For more information on Jazz Foundation of America, please visit:

John Patitucci and Andy James | An Evening With John Patitucci & Andy James (November 5, 2021 Le Coq Records)


VOCALIST ANDY JAMES AND
BASS MASTER JOHN PATITUCCI TEAM UP TO CRAFT
AN INTIMATE EVENING OF JAZZ STANDARDS AND
POP CLASSICS BACKED BY AN ALL-STAR ENSEMBLE

AN EVENING WITH JOHN PATITUCCI & ANDY JAMES,
DUE OUT NOVEMBER 5 ON LE COQ RECORDS,
FEATURES ARRANGEMENTS BY
BILL CUNLIFFE AND CONTRIBUTIONS BY
CHRIS POTTER, RICK MARGITZA, TERELL STAFFORD,
JOHN BEASLEY, VINNIE COLAIUTA AND MORE

On An Evening with John Patitucci & Andy James, two gifted performers join forces to conjure an intimate evening of captivating music. At a time when jazz aficionados around the world have been starved for musical experiences, the album recreates the sultry atmosphere of a candlelight nightclub as some of the most revered musicians in modern jazz perform classic standards.

Due out November 5 via Le Coq Records, An Evening with John Patitucci & Andy James features nearly 90 minutes of scintillating music featuring an incomparable ensemble. In addition to James’ mesmerizing vocals and Patitucci’s bass mastery, the album boasts arrangements by piano great Bill Cunliffe for an ensemble that includes saxophonists Chris Potter and Rick Margitza, trumpeter Terell Stafford, guitarists Chico Pinheiro and Jake Langley, keyboardists John Beasley and Jon Cowherd, percussionist Alex Acuña, drummers Vinnie Colaiuta, Marcus Gilmore and Marvin “Smitty” Smith, along with powerful horn and string sections.

“I wanted people to just sit back and enjoy a listening experience of serene pleasure,” declares James. “John and I tried to create something easy to listen to that would leave people feeling good afterwards. I recorded the album in anticipation that people wouldn’t something too complicated at this time we all find ourselves in.”

Jazz singing and Flamenco dance have been parallel passions throughout Andy James’ life. Flamenco took prominence during what she now refers to as “act one” of her artistic life. She became renowned as a world-class Flamenco dancer, enjoying a successful career dancing with husband and partner Piero Pata in Madrid.

For “act two,” James relocated to the U.S. and focused on her singing career, renewing collaborations with the great jazz musicians who had crossed her path while they traveled through Europe. She and Pata launched Le Coq Records, releasing a series of albums ranging in style from the elegance of the female jazz swing tradition to vintage R&B to the post-bop urgency of the classic Blue Note era. 

An estimable professional family has quickly found a home at the label, with Patitucci, Acuña and Cunliffe playing key roles on a number of releases and several musicians making recurring appearances from one recording to the next. On An Evening With…, Patitucci proves an ideal partner for James, bringing his revered tone and musical vision to the project and convening the ideal musicians for each piece.

“When choosing personnel for any project,” Patitucci explains, “I try to find the greatest musicians that I have longstanding relationships with, in order to have the opportunity to get more deeply into the music at hand.”

Over the course of a career lasting four decades, Patitucci has forged essential collaborations with some of the most acclaimed artists in jazz and beyond, most notably long-lasting partnerships with iconic saxophonist Wayne Shorter and the late Chick Corea. 

Speaking of James, Patitucci says, “Andy is a very generous and flexible collaborator. She has a great love for the Great American Songbook. When she sings, her phrasing is reminiscent of so many of the great singers that I grew up listening to. The style that she sings in provides the opportunity to write arrangements for larger orchestrations.”

James returns the compliment. “John is very important to my whole performance. Without John’s playing I would have been restricted in the way I could sing and approach every song in the album. John Patitucci brings a deep sound that allows me the freedom to sing with a lot of mood or feeling in my voice. He gives me a lot of space to create a meaningful performance.”

From the intoxicatingly lush opener “Autumn in New York,” with Patitucci’s robust bass matched by a fervent tenor solo by Potter, to the last-call balladry of “Angel Eyes” that closes the set, An Evening with John Patitucci & Andy James features countless classic songs along with a few surprises, including the smoldering James and Pata-penned love song “Burn for Love.”

As she did on her previous release, Tu Amor, James reaches into her Latin influences on “Besame Mucho.” In addition to a number of well-known jazz standards James stretches the American Songbook to encompass great pop and rock classics like The Beatles’ “Blackbird” and James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain.”

The choices certainly inspire passionate playing from James and Patitucci’s guests, with standouts including Rick Margitza’s soaring solo on “Fire and Rain,” Terell Stafford’s heart-wrenching take on “Moonlight in Vermont,” and the soulful playing of Potter and John Beasley on the Gerry Goffin/Carole King favorite “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.”

“The songs came naturally,” James explains. “I just wanted to sing some beautiful songs. The mood I had in mind when choosing these songs was one of love – I just wanted people to find love with each other again after the era of Covid!”

1. John Patitucci, Chris Potter, Vinnie Colaiuta - “Autumn In New York” feat. John Patitucci & Chris Potter 04:23
2. Marvin “Smitty” Smith, John Patitucci, Bill Cunliffe, John Beasley, Chris Potter - “Besame Mucho” feat. Chris Potter 07:07
3. Chris Potter, Vinnie Colaiuta, John Patitucci, Dan Higgins, Michael Dease, Alex Acuña - “I Love You And Don't You Forget It” feat. Chris Potter 03:08
4. Jon Cowherd, Chris Potter, Marcus Gilmore, Alex Acuña, John Patitucci, Chicho Pinero, Jon Cowherd, - “To Dream As One” - feat. Jon Cowherd & Chris Potter 05:07
5. Terell Stafford, Vinnie Coliauta, John Patitucci, Bill Cunliffe - “Moonlight In Vermont” feat. Terell Stafford 04:40
6. Vinnie Colaiuta, John Patitucci, Alex Acuña, Bill Cunliffe - “Day Dream” feat John Patitucci 05:09
7. John Patitucci, Marvin Smitty Smith, Alex Acuña, Bill Cunliffe, John Beasley, Charlie Bisharat - “Blackbird“ feat John Patitucci 05:46
8. Vinnie Coliauta,Terell Stafford, John Patitucci, John Beasley, Alex Acuña, Terell Stafford, - “When I'm With You” feat. Terell Stafford 03:19
9. Chris Potter, John Beasley, John Patitucci, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Alex Acuña, - “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” feat. Chris Potter & John Beasley 06:05
10. Terell Stafford, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, John Patitucci, Terell Stafford, Alex Acuña, Bill Cunliffe - “Unchain My Heart” feat. Terell Stafford 04:12
11. Rick Margitza, Vinnie Coliauta, John Patitucci, John Beasley, Alex Acuña, Jon Cowherd - “Fire & Rain” feat. Rick Margitza 06:22
12. Chris Porter, Vinnie Coliauta, John Patitucci - "Burn For Love” feat. Chris Porter 04:19
13. John Patitucci, John Beasley, Rick Margitza, Charles McNeal, Alex Acuña, Vinnie Colaiuta - “Some Other Time” feat. Rick Margitza & Charles McNeal 05:30
14. Vinnie Colaiuta, Bill Cunliffe, John Patitucci, - “Laura” feat. John Patitucci 04:26
15. “More Than You Know” feat. Chris Potter 04:00
16. John Beasley, John Patitucci, Bill Cunliffe, Jake Langley - “My Heart Belongs To Daddy” feat. John Patitucci & John Beasley 05:02
17. Vinnie Colaiuta, Alex Acuña, John Patitucci, Bill Cunliffe, Charlie Bisharat - “Angel Eyes” 04:03

Keith Jarrett | "Facing You" 50th Anniversary | ECM

Keith Jarrett’s Debut ECM Album
Facing You To Celebrate
50 Year Milestone Anniversary

On November 10, 1971 pianist Keith Jarrett entered the Arne Bendiksen studio in Oslo Norway to record his ECM debut, Facing You. This album of solo piano pieces, which now has its 50th anniversary, was produced by Manfred Eicher and engineered by Jan Erik Kongshaug.

Facing You was the auspicious start to a celebrated landmark run of recordings that created a new solo piano paradigm, with albums including: Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lausanne; The Köln Concert; Sun Bear Concerts; The Melody at Night, With You and Jarrett’s latest release, Budapest Concert.

“I was on tour with Miles Davis and had met Manfred around this time,” Jarrett recalled. “He had written me about a proposed collaboration with Chick Corea but I was set on recording solo. I thought it would be a novel idea to not prepare and was totally comfortable with my decision despite a tight afternoon schedule while strictly playing electric piano on the tour.”

Jarrett reminisced about the initial idea of recording solo. “Prior to the recording, Manfred and I went to a classical concert at the university in Heidelberg in which I performed solo. I improvised between a couple of standards and was encouraged by the positive reaction.”

“When he plays alone, Jarrett pushes his creativity to its limits. It’s almost scary to hear someone who apparently relies so totally on the spirited, flowing, almost effusive directions of his muse, yet the muse seems to never let him down. His inspirations seem to be as prolific and varied as his compositions. […] It may well be the finest album of jazz piano solos since Art Tatum left us, and it is without a doubt the most creative and satisfying solo album of the past few years.”
— Rolling Stone (1972)

"Although his most famous solo recording, The Köln Concert, and all subsequent solo recordings, are much better known to the public, for me his first solo recording, Facing You, reigns supreme. Its innovative approach to composition and musical development was shocking at the time. Jarrett radiated as much warmth, heart and beauty in his playing as he did virtuosity and intellect. Jarrett’s playing represents new and innovative levels of harmonic, rhythmic and melodic development bundled with the vastest creativity imaginable. It was a new standard of playing in its time and still is today."
— JazzTimes (2011)

Viktor Haraszti / EQUANIMITY: A Futuristic Jazz Tale (December 12, 2021 VIO music)

Viktor Haraszti is a Hungarian-born, Holland-based musician, sax player, multi- instrumentalist, producer, and sound engineer. Hitting his first notes behind the piano as a seven-year-old, he later picked up the clarinet at age 11. Seven years later, he got his first diploma at the famous Bela Bartok Conservatory in Budapest.

Influenced by a visit to Fats Domino's Budapest concert in the late '80s, the Rock & Roll set off his passion and inspired him to pick up the saxophone right after graduation. Learning the traditions of Rhythm & Blues and playing with different local bands helped him to develop his interest in jazz. Discovering Parker, Miles, and Coltrane's works while he was working at the music library made him set his direction in music. Fast forward to 2005 when he graduates cum laude at Utrecht Conservatory, the Netherlands. Traveling and working with international acts in Africa, Portugal, and Brazil, helped him to combine his roots and develop a multicultural insight into his works as a musician and composer.

In the latest years, Viktor created ViOmusic, his creative platform, and a future record label. In 2018, as a musician bandleader of ViO, he released four singles (EP) that were internationally well recognized as an innovative project. The EP was recorded live in virtual reality, ViO 360° LIVE, was a collaboration with renowned Dutch musicians, Remco van der Sluis (Jan Akkerman band) - drums, Taco Nieuwnhuizen - bass, Edgaar van Asselt (Jorge Vistel) - Key's. The project acclaimed 3rd place on the 7 Virtual Jazz Club Contest's social media round and received good international reviews.

Equanimity is a one-man project. Viktor took care of the compositions, performance, and production. The album transcends the experimental approach and conveys the repertory toward the electronic and futuristic style, with deep melodies combined with sonic elements, and progressive fusion of rhythms.

With renowned drummer Dave King (The Bad Plus) on board and the lyricist, singer/ songwriter Lisa Mari Simmons, Equanimity expresses the duality (chaos/surviving) in disordered times and unfolds a personal journey (chapter by chapter), to reach the climax and finally an enigmatic conclusion.

''Equanimity expresses my duality (chaos/surviving) in disordered times and unfolds a personal journey (chapter by chapter), to reach the climax and finally an enigmatic conclusion.'' (Viktor Haraszti)

Equanimity started as a feeling, not a song or an album concept. The year was 2019, away before the pandemic, and Viktor had a kind of vision of a man who was facing an extreme, catastrophic circumstance, without losing his mind, that feeling of being in balance caught him. He got fascinated by the question: How do we keep peace of mind when the world around us seems to be turned upside down? What kind of state of mind helps people to not give up (and go further)? Viktor thought that there was something to be discovered behind that vision, that feeling. His intuition told him: “it worth to investigate musically and visually your emotions around this view”.
Following his intuition, Viktor ended up in Belgium, precisely in Doel, a "lost" city. The feeling of a catastrophic circumstance led him to that empty city. Abandoned streets, ruins, and graffiti, a kind of apocalyptic atmosphere that translated his view into reality. That experience sounds to him like writing a book because he was exploring the location where he would place his plot. Every single detail in that city gave him the inputs to develop his research. However, the atmosphere was not captured by the words, but through the lens of the photo camera and the photoshoots done there. In this case, the photoshoot was the research. Those pictures turned into the CD cover, before even having one single song written. Then, the project starts from the end.

During his composition process, the world slowly changed. That catastrophic view in his mind became in some way real and then Equanimity was shaped through a mix of intuition and a lack of perspective about the future. He decided to turn the feeling experienced into music, having the lost city view (the end of the world) as a background. Viktor was isolated, then the project became a one-man project (without a fixed band). Meeting online was common, then the guests collaborated also online. The beauty was out of the news, then mixing poetry and jazz seemed to be appropriate.

The concept of Equanimity was built as a storytelling book, where the feeling (and view) was developed via an uncertain approach. Therefore, all kinds of unconventional instrumentations were set as a challenging puzzle. That was a way to figure out how to deal with the unexpected context and the outcome is not one (or a couple of) songs, instead, it was created a Jazz Tale, in musical terms. This is not an easy concept to develop an album, but what is Equanimity if not our daily challenge to keeping our balance in adverse situations.

Innovation is part of Viktor and the whole ViO project, and since jazz music has always been stretching boundaries, Viktor wanted to extend his performance and soundscape in the best possible way. In Equanimity, he used VST synthesizer, instrument setups in multitrack mode, layering a lot of sounds and playing them all, simultaneously. He also performed on his beloved EWI 4000s, which he thinks is a hugely underrated and often wrongly interpreted instrument. These instruments combined with traditional acoustic instruments (saxophone, clarinet, flute, bansuri) are all present in Equanimity.

Equanimity brings collaboration with some special musicians, the social distance was not a hurdle, the online solutions created space for creativity. Equanimity brought to Viktor the chance to collaborate with Dave King, as a big fan of The Bad Plus, that was a special moment in the album: “Dave is an amazing drummer and having him improvising and grooving with me was a kind of magical moment.” (Viktor Haraszti).

Besides the groove added by Dave, Lisa Marie Simmons shared her powerful voice and deep thoughts with Viktor. She brought poetry and mystery to the composition, besides a Shakespearean touch to the chapters. Last, but not least, Marshall Curtley played finger drums, completely ahead of his time, Marshall’s collaboration is avant-garde and the duet between finger drums and EWI is just unique.

The album holds no individual track titles. It is composed in a very organic way. The idea was never to write separate songs but more like one tale composition. To give a clear idea that all tracks are connected, then it was decided to use the terms from the literature.
Following the literature style, the Intro sets the tone and the mood of the recording, it is a kind of ''once upon a time'' translate into a song. The string arrangements can make a deep impression in a second, and a synthesizer pad is an emulation to create the vibe.

Chapter One presents the first performance of Lisa Marie Simmons as setting the main quote of the whole recording. ''everything comes, everything goes''. In this arrangement, the saxophone plays against the odds of sonic elements and a backing section. It is just like in the fairy tales when in disorienting times, the Hero arrives, and “he” needs to find his way out to deal with the first challenge.

Chapter Two is a continuation with more intriguing instruments: drums and clarinet are looking for connection in the peace. The track holds a duet with Dave King, renewed drummer of The Bad Plus. Viktor Haraszti on the clarinet and the TC-performer - a touch-sensitive synthesizer without keys on the iPad.

Chapter Three is a turning point in the arrangement and, new electric instruments are introduced, especially the EWI (electric wind instrument). The EWI collaborates with the finger drum pad, played by Marshall Curtly. The track has yet Lisa Marie Simmons's performance. Lisa wrote a poem that mainly addresses the current worldwide happenings, and it has a deep meaning with a Shakespearian hook.

Chapter Four holds Lisa Marie Simmons's second poem, Equanimity. Performed by her accompanied by Viktor Haraszti on the bansuri flute and the synthesizers. ''Everything comes, everything goes''. This quote is the main subject of the poem. The arrangement tries to refer to eastern philosophy and spirituality. This chapter creates the foreplay to Chapter Five.
Chapter Five is a continuation of the previous track, the saxophone and EWI play's a duet. Marshall Curtly plays on electric drums and shakers. The melody has a bit of an eastern vibe but rhythmically is very compact and more western. Both instruments have a solo moment, the EWI in the middle and the saxophone towards the end. That is the music turning point, and the band fades out to give space to the acoustic instruments.

Chapter Six is a sonic composition, and it has no form or melody. It is an improvisation with both, saxophone and keys, they play on top of the backing section of the horns. Accompanied by the TC-Performer's ambiance. It glues together Chapters Five and Seven.

Chapter Seven is where all comes. Voice and instruments. The music builds up and reaches the highest peak of the album that resolute towards the Epilogue, the classic end in the literature.

Epilogue (for Blue) is a short improvisation set, the final tone. The song is played on a loop machine and saxophone, a small composition that is practically impossible to play in the same way again. It symbolizes our uniqueness as living beings. The song, or the improvisation, came up after a tragic loss experience and the melody is a way to honor that circumstance, unfortunately, many people for different reasons faced tough moments over 2020/21. The Epilogue is special because is based on personal moments, and it gives Equanimity a real-life experience perspective.

In the end, Equanimity has an autobiographical touch and plays around finding out peace of mind in our chaotic and hard world. Like life, this album is unpredictable, mystery and difficult to classify or define in a music style. The best way to figure the CD out is through listening to it chapter by chapter.

Viktor Haraszti (ViO) - Tenor Saxophone, EWI, Clarinet, Flute, Bansuri, Key's, TC- Performer, Vocal

SPECIAL GUEST'S
Dave King - drums, on Chapter Two
Marshall Curtly - finger drums, on Chapter Three & Chapter Four, electric drums & shakers, on Chapter Five
Lisa Marie Simmons - spoken word, on Chapter One, Three & Four

All compositions written and produced by Viktor Haraszti

©Lyrics written by Lisa Marie Simmons

Recorded, Mixed & Mastered @ ViOmusic by Viktor Haraszti Cover Photo by Balazs Szucs

Cover Photo by Balazs Szucs ©

The album comes out on December 12th, 2021 (worldwide available)