Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Joëlle Léandre - At Souillac en Jazz (November 30, 2021 Ayler Records)

This solo by Joëlle Léandre concentrates an energy coming out of the depths of the earth, right from the first strokes of the bow. The huge sound, instantly gripping the body, is overwhelming far beyond the music, an experience so strong that tears flow when it comes to the sung parts. From the depths of the ages, evocative of a Native American medicine woman, an Inuit shaman, voodoo priestess or even blues woman, extracting with bare hands her strings rooted in clay, transcending the sound of her double bass, she awakens a thousand-year-old buried 'collective unconscious' with her voice of trance, inviting ancestral spirits to a form of resistance to fight all the injustices of the world, piercing with sound and love the hearts of both aficionados dreaming of impossible musical utopias and of novices stunned by her visceral “duende”.
(from Christian Pouget's liner notes)

1. Calès I
2. Calès II
3. Calès III
4. Calès IV
5. Calès V
6. Calès VI
7. Calès VII
8. Calès VIII 

Joëlle Léandre - double bass, voice

Recorded live by Christian Pouget on July 18th, 2021 in the Saint-Jacques church of Calès, Lot, France. Tracks #7 & 8 were recorded during a private after-set, once the audience had left.
Mixed and mastered by Maïkôl Seminatore.
All comprovisations by Joëlle Léandre.
Cover artwork by Bénédicte Gallois & Stéphane Berland.

Laurence Cook / Jacques Coursil / Warren Gale / Perry Robinson / Steve Tintweiss - Ave B Free Jam (November 30, 2021 Inky Dot Media)

source master recording 7.5ips ¼ track stereo reel from Tintweiss Archives catalog ST_0203
The title lays it out: Five musicians looped and shimmered in an unplanned environment of a NYC Lower East Side apartment session. No audience but themselves; no leader, no tunes, no objective but the engine of their own ideas fusing immediacy, pace and momentum. Perfectly balanced in the alloy are listening and flowing with the sounds. Here’s the raw edge of now, tempered by the etiquette of cooperative improvisation.

​Troubadour Robinson was the veteran in this company, a recording artist twice over; all the others were close to the dawn of their careers.

Both trumpeters were poised “lead” players who had just made their mark in the avant-garde: Warren Gale, who had just recorded with drummer Jim Zitro, was destined for Stan Kenton’s Orchestra and a Bebop future; Parisian Coursil, who worked stateside with Sunny Murray and Bill Dixon, spent decades in academia before returning to music in his last years.

Twenty-year-old Tintweiss had already recorded with Patty Waters, Burton Greene and Frank Wright (alongside Coursil) for the ESP-Disk free jazz label. Laurence Cook still surges on as he did for years with Bill Dixon, Paul Bley, Bobby Naughton, the Purple Why and others.

Collective extended improvisation recorded May 12. 1967 in New York City. Source master recording 7.5ips ¼ track stereo reel.

Track listing:
21 tracks of collective extended improvisation
Total time: 1:18:42

Laurence Cook - drums
Jacques Coursil - trumpet
Warren Gale - trumpet
Perry Robinson - bass clarinet
Steve Tintweiss - bass

Tranfers and mastering by Joe Lizzi at van AlstSound-East, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Design by Susan Archie at World of anArchie
Cover paitning by Ellie Ali used with permission of the artist

FISH WOOL (feat. Susana Santos Silva / Yedo Gibbons / Vasco Trilla - Live In Cerkno (November 30, 2021 Fundacja Słuchaj)

1. Rainbow Trout 20:14
2. Huchen 12:25
3. Grayling 06:45
4. Northern Pike 13:10

Susana Santos Silva - trumpet
Yedo Gibson – tenor sax & soprano sax
Vasco Trilla – drums

Recorded by Marko Turel at the 24th Jazz Cerkno, 18th May 2018.
Mixed and mastered by El Pricto

All music by Susana Santos Silva, Yedo Gibson & Vasco Trilla

Graphic design: Anna Płotko
Executive Producer: Maciej Karłowski

Irek Wojtczak Band (Kapela Irka Wojtczaka) - Rom Tom Dada (November 30, 2021 Fundacja Słuchaj)

Sonic Liberation Front - Moon Rust Red Streets (November 30, 2021 High Two)

Moon Rust Red Streets is a product of a time when rust was discovered on the lunar surface, while at home on planet earth blood ran in the streets, people rose in response to systemized violence and racism, and a global pandemic hobbled everyone, took away many, and changed ways musicians create.

Moon Rust Red Streets was recorded remotely during COVID Summer 2020, then assembled and mixed by Grammy winning producer Aaron Levinson at his studio, Range Recording. MRRS was mastered by Carl Saff. A limited run of twelve inch vinyl LPs were pressed by Burlington Record Plant.

Moon Rust Red Streets is for people who wonder what it would be like if the sensibilities of "Birth of the Cool" Miles and those of late 80’s synth units like Meat Beat and the Orb converged; or Monk’s with trip hop maestro Tricky’s. Or, what are other ways acoustic and electronic improvisation intertwine as in the Sunny Murray tune, RIP?

The closing track, Hymn for Ashé is tool for spiritual healing and personal strength needed for societal challenges.

RIYL (recommended if you like) : Sun Ra Arkestra, Angel Bat Dawid, Tortoise, Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids, Miles, Monk, Meat Beat Manifesto, Sunny Murray, Abbilona, Thievery Corporation, Mogwai, Stereo Lab, of Montreal and a bit of Sonic Youth.

1. Moon Rust Red Streets
2. Lumbering Giant
3. RIP
4. Derecho (Storm of Change)
5. Breath Sounds
6. Hymn for Ashé

Kevobatala (Kevin Diehl): Drumkit, Bata Drums, Synths, Percussion, Sensory Percussion
Matt Engle: Acoustic & Electric Bass, Extended Bass Effects, Synths, Trombone
Veronica Jurkiewicz: Violin
Elliot Levin: Tenor Sax
Jameka Gordon: Flute
Paul Geiss: Trumpet (TR 1, 3 & 5)
Pepper_handz (Greg Diehl): Sensory Percussion Drumkit (TR 2)
Tom Lowery: Assorted Percussion (TR 4)
Kathryn Radakovich: Vocals (TR 5 & 6)

Produced by Aaron Levinson
Recorded at large during COVID Summer 2020
Mixed at Range Recording, Ardmore, PA
Mix Engineer - Eric Scattareggia
Mastering - Carl Saff, Chicago

Miquel Álvarez - La Base (November 30, 2021)

Miquel Àlvarez (El Verger, València) has been professionally dedicated to interpretation since before he came of age. Currently, he is a professional double bass player and electric bass player and has been part of bands such as: Perico Sambeat Flamenco Big band, Jim Rotondi Quintet, Vince Benedetti Quartet or Albert Sanz Trio among others. He is an arranger of his own songs.

1. Lotus Blossom (Tanguillos) 06:42
2. Little B's Poem (Bulerías) 07:36
3. La Mesha (Seguirillas) 08:20
4. The Jody Grind (Tangos) 04:53
5. I wish you love (Charles Trenet) 03:19

Perico Sambeat (saxo alto)
Will Mallard (trompeta)
Albert Sanz (piano)
Miquel Álvarez (contrabajo)
Sergio Martínez (percusión)
Juan Antonio Giménez
Toni Bizarraga (palmas y jaleos)

Adi Stoenescu Group - Waking Light (November 30, 2021)

1. Hesitation I
2. Unfinished
3. Waking Light
4. Vapors
5. Sneaky Detective
6. Underwater
7. Rubato
8. Power Rangers
9. Hesitation II

Adi Stoenescu - piano & fender rhodes
Arnau Garrofe - tenor sax
Mihail Ivanov - double bass
Borislav Petrov - drums
Marta Popovici - vocals on Underwater

All songs composed by Adi Stoenescu
Lyrics by Marta Popovici on Underwater

Recorded at SGO Music Factory,
Bucharest, Romania,
4-6 July 2021
Recording engineer Mirel Cumpănaș

Mixing by Uțu Pascu
Mastered by Nate Wood at Kerseboom Mastering

Graphics by Sorin Trăistaru

Cecil Taylor - Music From Two Continents (November 30, 2021 Fundacja Słuchaj)

In 1984 Cecil Taylor came to Poland for the second time. His first performance in Poland was in 1968 in Warsaw Philharmony where he presented a solo piano recital. After 16 years he returned to the Jazz Jamboree festival but that time with a large group of internationally acclaimed and most important improvisers on the free jazz scene. The lineup was incredible. Two great trumpeters one from Poland, Tomasz Stańko another from Italy, Enrico Rava. In the reed section, long time Cecil's collaborator, legendary altoist Jimmy Lyons with his wife bassoonist Karen, John Tchicai, Frank Wright Jr. on tenor saxophones, phenomenal trombonists Conrad Bauer, iconic vibraphone and bass clarinet player Gunter Hampel and finally a gorgeous rhythm section with Henry Martinez on drums and great William Parker.

Together they played for over one hour set of unbelievable, strong, and magnificent music in front of the hall lined to the brim. Here you have the whole Cecil Taylor concert with Music From Two Continents.

Includes unlimited streaming of Music From Two Continents via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

1. Music From Two Continents A 12:04
2. Music From Two Continents B 25:06
3. Music From Two Continents C 25:01

Full-length, legendary Cecil Taylor Orchestra concert from Jazz Jamboree 1984 feat. greatest names on American and European free jazz scene: Tomasz Stańko, Enrico Rava, Conrad Bauer - trombone, Jimmy Lyons - alto saxophone, Frank Wright Jr. - tenor saxophone, John Tchicai - tenor saxophone, Karen Lyons - bassoon, Günter Hampel - bass clarinet, vibraphone, William Parker - double bass, Henry Martinez - drums. Brilliantly recorded by Polish Radio.

1. Music From Two Continents 62.15 (on CD you received the whole set without any cuttings. On Bandcamp site for technical reasons music was divided to three parts)

Cecil Taylor – piano, leader
Tomasz Stańko - trumpet
Enrico Rava - trumpet
Conrad Bauer - trombone
Jimmy Lyons - alto saxophone
Frank Wright Jr. - tenor saxophone
John Tchicai - tenor saxophone
Karen Lyons - bassoon
Günter Hampel - bass clarinet, vibraphone
William Parker - double bass
Henry Martinez - drums

Recorded 26.10.1984 at Jazz Jamboree, Congress Hall PKiN, Warsaw, Poland by POLSKIE RADIO
Produced under the license of POLSKIE RADIO (Polish Radio) 2021

Mastered: 30.04.2021 by Grzegorz Piwkowski (Hi End Studio, Warsaw)
Photos: mirek makowski
Cover design. SEMAFOR
Executive Producer: Maciej Karłowski

Modern Recordings Congratulates Vince Mendoza on GRAMMY® Award Nominations

Modern Recordings Congratulates
Vince Mendoza on 64th Annual
GRAMMY® Award Nominations

Nominated for Best Instrumental Composition
and Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals

Nominations for Vince Mendoza's Freedom Over Everything in the 64th Annual GRAMMY® Awards:

Best Instrumental Composition
"Concerto for Orchestra: Finale"
Vince Mendoza, composer (Vince Mendoza & Czech National Symphony Orchestra Featuring Antonio Sánchez & Derrick Hodge)

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals:
"To the Edge of Longing (Edit Version)"
Vince Mendoza, arranger (Vince Mendoza, Czech National Symphony Orchestra & Julia Bullock)

Recently, Vince Mendoza arranged and conducted the orchestra for a new project with Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach, and is presently putting the finishing touches on a long-awaited recording of his compositions celebrating his long association with the Metropole Orkest, featuring some very special guest vocalists and musicians.

Six time GRAMMY® Award-winner, and 36-time nominee, Vince Mendoza is considered the foremost arranger of his generation, working with legends such as Björk, Elvis Costello, Sting, and Joni Mitchell. In a new star-studded release, Mendoza returns to his roots as a composer and conductor with a remarkable collaboration—highlighting the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, soprano Julia Bullock, guest artists Joshua Redman, Antonio Sanchez, Derrick Hodge, and The Roots' premier MC Black Thought—for his forthcoming album, Freedom Over Everything, on BMG’s Modern Recordings label imprint.

The album opens with Mendoza’s Five movement “Concerto for Orchestra” which was commissioned by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, with whom Mendoza has had a working relationship for the last several years. The collaboration aimed to create a work that would feature soloists in the orchestra but to somewhat forge a new direction in this revered form. “My approach is a departure from the traditions of an orchestra concerto. For me it was more about having an arc that tells a particular story but also incorporates rhythmic and melodic aspects of African American music and improvisation.” explains Mendoza. 

“Coinciding with the composition of the concerto was the 2016 [American] saga of the election of ‘45’ and the resulting tremendous discord in the U.S. during that time. While writing this piece, the events happening in our country invaded my artistic space. For the first time I felt I couldn’t really write music and be removed from what was going on in our environment. I started seriously considering the importance of an artist to reflect the times and how I could make my music a reflection not only of what I was witnessing but what I hoped would occur. So that’s when the arc of this concerto started to take shape.” 

Mendoza, as a skilled practitioner of the classical-jazz fusion that Gunther Schuller once called third stream, was and is ideally suited to meet this challenge. “I sought to design the structure of the concerto to be inspired by M.L. King’s remarks on the moral universe, that the arc is long, but it bends toward justice. The beginning of the concerto (the first movement is called ‘American Noise’) reflects the discord that began leading up to the 2016 election. Of course, it pales in comparison to what we dealt with in 2020 and now 2021,” says Mendoza, “but the arc of the composition goes through that process of pure noise, much needed consolation and the need for ‘hitting the streets’. The end of the concerto seeks to reflect justice and the hope for a peaceful resolution to what we were only entering in 2016. Arguably in 2021 we still haven’t quite gotten there.” 

Throughout the “Concerto for Orchestra,” drummer Antonio Sanchez provides rhythmic textures using color, placement and variation accenting the various motifs and ideas expressed in Mendoza’s score. “Antonio thinks and plays like a composer,” says Mendoza. “He was the perfect person to step into this music. He was very sympathetic to what I wanted to achieve, while never losing his voice in the process.” Joshua Redman’s saxophone performance in “Meditation” provides an important improvisational voice to the movement. Mendoza points out that the piece was not originally conceived to have improvised commentary in it. “Once we recorded it, I thought that the music asked for Joshua’s dialog with the orchestra. Joshua understood the purpose and the mood that was needed in that moment, and he played so beautifully.” 

The fifth movement of the concerto, “Justice and the Blues,” is a sly reference to two famous quotations from philosopher and public intellectual Dr. Cornel West: “Justice is what Love looks like in public,” and "The Blues responds to the catastrophic with compassion, without drinking from the cup of bitterness." “When we recorded this piece last year in July (of 2019) in particular that last movement – the middle section of that piece that has the groove and the vamp, was originally going to be an instrumental solo,” Mendoza recalls, “I thought we should really have a message there through rap instead. Listening to the recordings of Black Thought, his work seemed to reflect a certain awareness of message I wanted to bring out in this piece. When he agreed to record, Covid hit the U.S. and we were delayed. And then (the death of) George Floyd happened – and then the reaction to George Floyd happened. And so, the shift of consciousness of what we thought was going to be in Black Thought’s performance was enti ely different. Then he came up with this amazing heartfelt text,” Hodge provides a foundation of groove for the music and Black Thought’s text of Freedom Over Everything.
“In a way, my plan for a long, constructed arc was interrupted by reality. That’s sort of Jazz sensibility. You can plan your structure but then somebody comes in with their voice and completely changes your point of view. And I love that part of it – things are going to change when the human spirit gets put into it. Improvisation gives us that,” says Mendoza. He is uniquely suited to address these challenges with the ability to speak in the language of the composer and the language of the improviser. It is this denouement which allows for the transition from the end of the “Concerto for Orchestra” to “The Edge of Longing.”

When Mendoza finished writing the concerto the years of turbulence portrayed in the narrative arc of the music seemed to cry out for a piece that might serve as consolation communicating that ‘it’s going to be okay.’ “I wanted it also to be somewhat of an encouraging text that was going to bring people together and bring light into our situation,” Mendoza explains. “To The Edge Of Longing” is an extraordinary art song setting composed by Mendoza for Julia Bullock with orchestral accompaniment, based on verses from the “Book of Hours” by the late 19th, early 20th century poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke. 

Ms. Bullock described her approach to the material this way: “Vince wrote a poignant setting of an English translation of the German text by Rilke, which is what first got me excited about the project. There’s an intimacy in what is said, but the intensity of the words makes the scope far reaching, and Vince’s music follows that framework. The singers and interpreters I most respect and admire have clear intentions in the delivery of whatever music they share, and I aim for that same kind of immediacy—whether it was music written centuries ago or with my voice in mind. As long as there’s a message to be communicated and a genuine connection to that message, I find no reason to limit how to use my voice, or in which context. So, in that respect, it’s wonderful to participate in a project that is also uninhibited.”

There’s a through line music lovers can identify from Mendoza’s body of work as an arranger and from his previous long form orchestra works as a composer; especially Epiphany (1999) and Constant Renaissance (2019.) “New York Stories,” a Concertino for Trumpet and Orchestra, was commissioned by the Czech National Symphony featuring trumpeter and orchestra founder Jan Hasenöhrl.

As with the artists and the orchestra, Mendoza selected a co-producer and engineer with the capability and experience to be able to work in both the jazz and classical idioms equal to his own whom he knew from his work with the Metropole Orchestra. Jonathan Allen — formerly the chief engineer at the most famous recording studio in the world, Abbey Road — was responsible for the recording, mixing and mastering of this album. If it is true, as Aristotle once said, that “Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul,” then Vince Mendoza’s Freedom Over Everything is sure to be received as a welcome addition to the times in which we live.

Vince Mendoza | Freedom Over Everything
Modern Recordings