Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Liam Ryan - Woven Not Stranded (December 11, 2021)

Woven Not Stranded is the third in the M2M trilogy and a homage to my musical roots - from playing disco in Auckland clubs 6 nights a week, years of touring playing rhythm and blues and jazz and, before all of that my love of classical music and my early days playing violin in orchestras. It's eclectic; it's all here. The title, Woven Not Stranded, is a nod to my inspiring grandmother Elsie who was a weaver and poet. She practised her art in the middle of nowhere up the Awatere Valley in the South Island NZ. I often feel the same solitude working on my music in the provinces - especially in The Time of Covid. And yet we all remain connected. By the strands of whanau and aroha that bind us. Woven Not Stranded.

1. Cosmic Lounge 06:00
2. Afrodisiac 04:19
3. Waltz for Amanda 04:42
4. Get Jive! 04:38
5. Soul Refrain 05:04
6. Royal Blues 05:57
7. Soul Refrain (Mudshark Monday Mix) 06:04

Guitar: Nick Granville, Dean Hetherington, Chet O'Connell, Regan Perry.
Bass: Peter Stroud, Liam Ryan
Saxophone: Alex Nyman, Hayden Baird
Horns: Rodger Fox, Jack Harre, Mike Booth
Drums: Steve Garden, Josh Sorenson
Hammond, pianos, synth and strings: Liam Ryan
Harp: Midge Marsden, Haggis Macguiness
Vocals: Sarah Spicer, Liam Ryan
Percussion and voice Artist: Amir Yussof

Producer: Liam Ryan
Mastering: Mike Bloemendal
Photography: Harry Harrison
Artwork: Mike Dunn/Tribal Brands

Portico Quartet - Monument (November 2021 Gondwana Records)

Portico Quartet announce Monument, the electronic driven follow-up to their acclaimed ambient-minimalist suite Terrain, presenting the band at their most direct.

It's rare that a band releases two albums within six months of each other, rarer too that while both are so different, they are both as epochal in terms of the band's output as Terrain and Monument are to Portico Quartet. The irony is that Monument, a stripped-back, intentionally direct album, was the album that the band set out to write in May 2020, before the dream like long-form Terrain came into focus. Briefly they were two halves of the same record, but the band ended up developing these two distinct bodies of work concurrently. And although they were written side-by-side and recorded at the same sessions, they are records best understood as distinct from each other, each with opposing ideas and forms.

Monument is one of Portico Quartet's most accessible, direct records to date. If Terrain addressed the darker side of how Duncan Bellamy and Jack Wyllie made sense of the pandemic, then Monument resonates as an ode to better times. If not quite a dance record, it nonetheless pulses with an energy, radiance and a scalpel sharp focus. Jack Wyllie explains: "It's possibly our most direct album to date. It's melodic, structured and there's an economy to it that is very efficient. There's not much searching or wastage within the music itself, it is all finalised ideas, precisely sculpted and presented as a polished artefact."

Bellamy expands "Monument sits somewhere between our albums Portico Quartet and Art in the Age of Automation. It has perhaps a more overtly electronic edge to its sound – there are more synthesisers and electronic elements than we have used before and the music is often streamlined and rhythmic".
After the ethereal, stage-setting of Opening, the album kicks into overdrive with Impressions, a short energetic track that pairs a club influenced groove with hang drum and close, delicate saxophone. It's the balance between these elements that push and pull the track through a selection of melodic and rhythmic re-configurations, contrasting human touch with a machine-like focus. Ultraviolet is a kaleidoscopic, krautrock inspired track with a haunting introduction and an insistent pulse. The wistful Ever Present builds from a simple piano refrain; a nostalgic melody line floats over the top as drums and bass groove insistently underneath, before reaching a euphoric peak. The title track Monument builds around a looping vocal sample, drums and an enigmatic melody, the ending giving way to a gauzy, weaving synth line. The power here is in its economy and luminosity. AOE flips back and forth, like a dial that's been switched. Mining the tension between a pastoral inflected cello and saxophone melody, with an abrupt shift to jilted live drums, wailing delayed saxophone and a flickering synth line. Warm Data comes straight from the same Portico Quartet tradition as older tracks like Current History and Laker-Boo. It's a marriage of instrumental minimalism with drum machines and synths. Finally, the album closes with On The Light, a track that transmits a sense of suspense and freedom, driven by the twitching drums of Bellamy and evocative sax of Wyllie. It offers the perfect bitter-sweet and evocative ending to Portico Quartet's latest Monument.

1. Opening 02:50
2. Impressions 03:44
3. Ultraviolet 05:12
4. Ever Present 04:48
5. Gateway 01:14
6. Monument 04:40
7. A.O.E 05:35
8. Warm Data 08:16
9. Portal 01:09
10. On the Light 06:28

Mastered by John Davis at Metropolis. Artwork by Duncan Bellamy for Veils Project.

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Nigel Price Organ Trio - The Real Deal (November 2021)

Over a career spanning more than 25 years, award winning jazz guitarist Nigel Price has become widely acknowledged as one of the hardest working musicians in the business.

His blend of flowing bebop lines, deep blues sensibility and his mastery of chording continue to delight audiences and fellow musicians alike.

1. All In 11:47
2. Parker 51 07:32
3. Jeannine 05:46
4. Hit The Road 06:16
5. It's Not Alright With Me 07:54
6. If I Were A Bell 05:19
7. Mozambique 07:27
8. Fool's Gold 08:18

Nigel Price - Guitar
Pete Whittaker / Ross Stanley - Organ
Matt Home - Drums
Vasilis Xenopoulos - Tenor saxophone
Alex Garnett - Tenor saxophone on 'It's not alright with me'

Brötzmann / Gania / Drake - The "WELS" Concert (November 2021 trost records)

Recorded at Schlachthof Wels (Austria), 8th november 1996.

This album was released on Okka Disk 1997, OD12013

1. Part 1 25:46
2. Part 2 25:15
3. Part 3 19:16

Peter Brötzmann - tárogató, e-flat clarinet, alto & tenor saxophone
Maleem Mahmoud Gania - guembri, voice
Hamid Drake -frame drum, tablas, drums

Mastered by John McCortney
Artwork by Raimund Van Well

BRÖTZMANN / SCHLIPPENBACH / JOHANSSON - Up and down the Lion - revised (November 2021 trost records)

Recorded in Härnösand, Sweden, September 9, 1979

This album was released on Olof Bright 2010, OBCD 26

1. 1 18:07
2. 2 07:27
3. 3 06:31
4. 4 14:39
5. 5 10:29

Peter Brötzmann - saxophone
Alexander von Schlippenbach - piano
Sven-Åke Johansson - drums

Graphics – Karin Almlöf, Sven-Åke Johansson

Chip Wickham - Sais (Egypt) November 2021 Gondwana Records

Gondwana Records are delighted to welcome saxophonist and flautist Chip Wickham to the family. An original member of the Gondwana Orchestra, Chip played on Matthew Halsall’s debut album ‘Sending My Love’ and has regularly played with the Orchestra while also leading his own excellent band.

We’re super delighted that Chip has now signed to the label and we’ll be releasing his debut album on the label next year. In the meantime we’re really excited to share his new single ‘Sais (Egypt)’, an uplifting spiritual-jazz piece and a cover of Lonnie Liston Smith’s classic from the maestro’s iconic Cosmic Funk album.

You can also see Chip live at Yes Manchester on November 25th and London’s Ronnie Scott’s on November 27th.

1. Sais (Egypt) 07:42

Robbie Lee - Prismatist (November 2021 Relative Pitch Records)

Robbie Lee is an improviser and sound creator in New York City, performing on an eclectic range of instruments, across the fringes of creative music in many scenes. On Prismatist he plays only two things:  sopranino saxophone and tuning forks with live electronics. They are like two currents alternating through the album, a double helix of contrasting extremities. The sopranino, even higher than the soprano saxophone, twists its way through disintegrating patterns, with a folk-like tonal element coming through the noise. Interspersed between are pieces for tuning forks and live electronics, a kind of musique concrete where the acoustic tuning forks emulate warped sine waves in the open air. They are earthy and organic, with hallucinatory psychoacoustic stereo qualities. As the Prismatist of the album’s title, Robbie Lee splits sound into a spectrum color, with his highly personal musical language.

1. Duskfallen 04:42
2. The Expanded Present 04:34
3. Refractory 01:57
4. Openend 02:08
5. Truetone 01:41
6. Dot Dash 01:28
7. That's Just The Thing 01:55
8. Timecode 02:17
9. Depends on What You Mean By Go Round 04:40
10. Colorfield 02:48
11. The Invention of Blue Sky 02:42
12. Curvilinear 01:30
13. Prismatist 02:38
14. One Great Blooming Buzzing Confusion 01:48

Robbie Lee - sopranino saxophone, tuning forks with live electronics

Matt Gudgeon - Beginnings (November 2021)

Matt Gudgeon is a 23 year old guitarist from Perth, Western Australia.

Having gained experience within Perth's local Jazz music scene, Gudgeon has now released his first record, "Beginnings". This is a trio recording featuring the highly acclaimed Ben Vanderwal on drums and the fine talents of Alistair Peel who is quickly emerging as a highly sort-after double bass player in Perth.

1. S'il Vous Plaît 02:49
2. A Child is Born 04:14
3. Beginnings 05:46
4. Apple of Discord 04:55
5. Till Tomorrow 06:20
6. Ridgewood Way 06:00
7. Szigetvár 07:28

Guitar: Matt Gudgeon
Drums: Ben Vanderwal
Double Bass: Alistair Peel

Mix: Dave Darlington
Recording: Greg Nosow
Artwork: Roberto Rabadan

embryo - Auf Auf (November 2021)

The late Christian Burchard, who founded the Embryo ensemble in 1969, loved the slogan “Auf Auf,” German for “Up, Up,” or “Keep On Going.” Anyone with anything more than a passing interest in the German Krautock scene of the 1970s and 1980s knows that Burchard followed that intent all around the world, tirelessly seeking out new sounds and inspirations and creating a catalog of music unlike most anything else the world has ever heard.

Madlib has often said Embryo is his favorite rock band. Of course the hip-hop producer with the deepest musical knowledge knows Embryo is more than just a rock band.

When Marja Burchard, Christan’s daughter, who grew up with Embryo and toured with them for years, took the reins of the ensemble after Christian’s death in 2018, she started recording what would become the album Auf Auf. It was recorded over the course of two years, finishing it in the throes of the Covid pandemic in 2020. She approached Madlib and Egon – who had visited and jammed with Christian Burchard and Embryo musicians years ago in a Bavarian wine cellar – with the idea to issue Auf Auf on Madlib Invazion.

The reply was a resounding, definitive yes.

So here is Marja’s take on the Embryo ethos, continuing with her father’s intrepid style, and leading the band in her own style. Auf Auf ranges from the deep, free-form jazz of “Alphorn Prayer” to modal music from Afghanistan on “Baran” to psychedelic-tinged jazz-rock of the title track.

Joining Marja are those like Embryo veterans Bunka, on oud and guitar, and Karl Hector and the Malcouns/Whitefield Brothers/Poets of Rhythm producer and guitarist Jan Weissenfeldt and others, including important players on the global scene from Afghanistan and Morocco.

Annotation: Original music composed, arranged and performed by Embryo. Recorded by Maasl Maier and Elias Kahl in Filmwerk Helmbrechts and Kösk München, Germany. Mixed by Maasl Maier. Produced by Maasl Maier and Marja Burchard. Executive Produced by Madlib and Egon. Mastered by Jason Bitner. Art direction by Errol Richardson. 

1. Besh 05:24
2. Yu Mala 04:09
3. Auf Auf 09:08
4. Baran 04:00
5. Januar 16:43
6. Alphorn Prayer 07:41

Embryo is:
Marja Burchard – Organ, Rhodes, Synthesizer, Vibraphone, Trombone, Santur, Percussion, Drums.
Maasl Maier – Bass, Guitar, Saxophone, Synthesizer, Cümbüs.
Jan Weissenfeldt – Guitar.
Wolfi Schlick – Flute, Soprano & Tenor Saxophones.
Jakob Thun – Drums.
Sascha Lüer – Trumpet, Soprano Saxophone.
Roman Bunka – Oud on “Besh.”
Mohcine Ramdan – Ghembri, Vocals on “Yu Mala.”
Abdul Samad Habibi – Rubab on “Baran.”
Parvis Ayan – Tabla on “Baran.”
Johannes Schleiermacher – Tenor Saxophone on “Auf Auf.”
Groxi – Drums on “Alphorn Prayer.”
Münchner Alphorn Kollektiv on “Alphorn Prayer.”