Friday, December 10, 2021

Fri, Dec 10: Newvelle Records albums by Frank Kimbrough, Aruán Ortiz, and Steve Cardenas available digitally and streaming

Three classic Newvelle Vinyl Only releases now available digitally and streaming

Friday December 10th, Newvelle Records is proud to release three previously "vinyl only" records.  Frank Kimbrough's masterpiece "Meantime" is the first record Newvelle Released and remains an inspiration for the type of music we want to produce.  Aruan Ortiz's "Cuban Nocturne" from our Second Season is a deeply personal love letter to the music that shaped this world class musician.  Steve Cardenas' "Charlie and Paul" is a tribute to two great friends, mentors and band mates of Steve Cardenas, Charlie Haden and Paul Motion, featuring a stellar quartet of musicians who were close to both icons.

Aruan Ortiz's "Cuban Nocturne"

Clockwise from top: 1) Aruan Ortiz, Steve Cardenas, Engineers Marc Urselli and Lou Holzman, Thomas Morgan, Matt Wilson,Steve Cardenas and Loren Stillman, Frank Kimbrough.
Hailed as a "testament to Aruán Ortiz's musicianship, and a historical tribute to Cuban classical music" by Audiophile Audition, "Cuban Nocturne's" nine tracks are each a reflection on the music that saturated the artist's childhood while growing up in Cuba. Featuring interpretations and improvisations on compositions from giants of Cuban classical music like Romeu and Lecuona, Aruán's work is clean, romantic, and crystalline. The title track exemplifies the pianist's skill at balancing and synthesizing the elements of his musical identity. Ortiz has been an active figure in the progressive jazz and avant-garde scene in the US for two decades and is considered "one of the most creative and original composers in the world" (The Art Music Lounge). 

Frank Kimbrough's passing in December 2020 sent shockwaves through the New York jazz community – bandmates, students, friends, and collaborators alike. Available digitally for the very first time, Meantime is a testament to the artist's style: lyrical, melodic, focused on tone, and completely direct. He's joined here by Andrew Zimmerman on tenor saxophone, Chris Van Voorst Van Beest on bass, R.J. Miller on drums, and Riley Mulherkar on trumpet. Originally recorded in 2015 on vinyl for Newvelle Records, the album is the acclaimed label's very first pressing. Featuring "sound [that] is beautifully crisp" according to The New York Times, Meantime includes a mix of original compositions and interpretations across nine tracks. "Alabama Song," the classic Kurt Weil composition, kicks off the record, presenting Zimmerman's masterfully pure presentation of the melody, carried by Kimbrough in a gripping solo.

Steve Cardenas' 2017 tribute to the music of the great Charlie Haden and Paul Motian is now available digitally for the very first time. Charlie & Paul, originally recorded on vinyl for Newvelle Records, presents a beautiful focus on Haden and Motian's original compositions that seems to shimmer off the music. Hailed for its incredible acoustics by Audiophile Audition, the album features Cardenas on guitar, Loren Stillman on alto saxophone, Thomas Morgan on bass, and Matt Willson on drums. All of these musicians were featured in Haden and Motian's bands, perhaps explaining the clarity in their tone and approach toward these songs. "There in a Dream" is an unreleased track from the original record written by Charlie Haden.

Ken Vandermark - Momentum 5: Stammer (triptych) December 10, 2021 Catalytic-Sound

Taking Pre-Orders Now! Composer and reedist Ken Vandermark premiers an ambitious new large ensemble project featuring musicians drawn from across a wide swath of the current improvised and experimental music scenes. Called, "Momentum 5: Stammer (triptych)," it is the fifth installment in his ongoing Momentum series, and the first specifically organized to utilize visual materials. The composition is inspired in part by Alvin Lucier's piece, "I Am Sitting in a Room," and Tony Conrad's, "Film Feedback."

In addition to Vandermark, the ensemble features contributions from some of the most exciting musicians and artists working today: Kim Alpert (visuals), Tim Barnes (percussion), Katinka Kleijn (cello), Damon Locks (samples/electronics), Nick Macri (basses), Lou Mallozzi (recordings/electronics), claire rousay (percussion), and Mars Williams (saxophones/little instruments). "Stammer (triptych)" will be officially released in a limited edition by Audiographic Records on December 10th.
1. Track 1
2. Track 2
3. Track 3
4. Track 4
5. Track 5

Composition by Ken Vandermark (Twenty First Mobile Music/ASCAP-Cien Fuegos)

Music performed and improvised by:
Kim Alpert – visuals
Tim Barnes – percussion (left channel)
Katinka Kleijn – cello
Damon Locks – samples/electonics (right channel)
Nick Macri – basses
Lou Mallozzi – recordings/electronics (left channel)
Claire Rousay – percussion (right channel)
Ken Vandermark – reeds (right channel)
Mars Williams – saxophones/little instruments (left channel)

Recorded by Dave Zuchowski at Elastic Arts, Chicago on November 14th, 2019.
Mixed by Dave Zuchowski at One Room Studio.
Mastered by Dave Zuchowski at One Room Studio.

Design by Fede Peñalva
Photographs by Ricardo Adame

Thanks to the musicians; to Dave Rempis and the staff at Elastic Arts; to Fede Peñalva his assistance at Audiographic Records; to Dave Zuchowski for engineering work above and beyond; to Mark Rigley for keeping time; to Sam Clapp for the proofreading skills, to Nate Wooley’s driving, discussion, and DJ skills; and to the listeners.

Frank Lozano / François Bourassa / Michel Donato / Pierre Tanguay - re : Bill Evans (December 10, 2021)

1. You must believe in Spring 05:54
2. Up with the Lark 04:14
3. Nardis 06:22
4. Washington Twist 04:12
5. Elsa 07:35
6. Peri's Scope 03:09
7. Turn out the Stars 06:49
8. Twelve Tone Tune 02:31
9. Show-type Tune 04:35

Frank Lozano, tenor sax
François Bourassa, piano
Michel Donato, contrebasse
Pierre Tanguay, batterie

Enregistré par Robert Langlois au Studio 270, Montréal
Matricé par Bernard Slobodian
Graphiste et producteur délégué Damian Nisenson
Une production de Malasartes

Saxophonist/composer Josh Sinton releases b. his debut solo baritone sax album. December 10, 2021 via Form is Possibility Recordings (FiP)

In the world of creative music, solo saxophone records are fairly common. But it is their commonplace nature that gave Sinton pause for such a long time. "The world has more than enough solo saxophone albums. Of all kinds. It took me a long time to discover what I could offer, what I could put in the public square that wasn't there already." In his search for new, viable expressions, Sinton has created a remarkable document: b.

b., out December 10, 2021 via FiP, is remarkable for its soulfulness as well as its intellectual rigor. From the barked gestures of "b.1.i" that open the record to the lyrical crooning of "b.1.iv," it is clear that Sinton does not shy from emotional exposition. At the same time, the crystalline structures of "b.2.iv" and the constructivist architecture of "b.1.ii" speak to the long hours spent closely studying not only music, but also painting, science and literature. "When I was nineteen, I made a very conscious decision to commit myself to a life in music. Even back then I knew this was going to obligate me to try to manifest every part of my life in a musical format. Given that some of my life was very intellectual and some of it very emotional, some of it very angry and some of it very laconic, my music was going to cover a lot of ground. Of course, being nineteen I didn't realize just how long it was going to take me to acquire the technical facility and listening experience this kind of proposition demanded."

On first listening, b. gives the impression of being a known quantity: a series of free-form improvisations executed on the seemingly unsubtle baritone saxophone. That impression quickly dissipates the longer one listens. Although everything is played with enormous intensity, one can't help but notice the unhurried quality of Sinton's playing, the inevitability of each successive gesture and phrase. As well, the broad range of timbres, dynamics and musical subjects is something rarely heard in a solo recital. But the most surprising element of Sinton's solo saxophone music is what he doesn't play, the silence he strategically and frequently employs. "The baritone saxophone has always struck me as the most self-sufficient of all the saxophones. It has the kind of timbral palette that is so complete that I often don't need to hear anything next to it. And while that's wonderful, it means I've also had to wrestle with the fact that it often takes my ear a little longer to register the baritone's activity. If there's too much happening around it, if I'm playing too loudly too constantly, it makes it very hard for me to make sense of what I've heard. I've found that by making a sound and then making a silence, I have time and space to let my brain process the music."
Silence as a fundamental structural unit in Sinton's music shows up throughout the course of b. Most tellingly in "b.2.iii." While the specific technique he's using is an old one (found not only in the music Pharoah Sanders and Dewey Redman, but also Big Jay McNeeley and Ben Webster), he deploys it in a radically different way. Alternating between slabs of sound and dramatically silent moments, Sinton builds to an emotional crescendo that's as much about his love about the blues as it is his commitment to the implications of his opening gestures. "Charles Olson is a favorite poet of mine and he wrote a hugely influential essay called Projective Verse in 1950. He discusses writing poetry as an act of venturing into an 'open field' and the form of a poem being an extension of its content. This immediately struck me as a very practical approach to both improvising and making music generally. It helped me hear the commonalities of artists like Cecil Taylor, John Butcher, Keith Jarrett and Julius Hemphill." 

And it is perhaps this aspect of b. that is its most unique feature: a commitment to musical form. Whether that form is the interplay of distinct musical objects in "b.2.ii" or the extended meditation on blues-based phrases in the epic "b.1.iii," Josh Sinton's improvisations are indeed "composed" as he indicates in the album credits. b. represents another sonic manifestation of Sinton's philosophy that the difference between improvisation and composition is one of methods used rather than in sounds heard.

The release of b. will be celebrated with a series of solo concerts in the NYC area in early December. Dates and venues will be announced shortly.
Sinton also plans three releases for 2022

June 3, 2022 – Reedist Josh Sinton (Ideal Bread, Nate Wooley quintet) and longtime friends Jed Wilson (pianist with Dominique Eade and Heather Masse) and Tony Falco (drummer with Tsiziji Munoz) reunited musically in the wake of Covid-19’s impact on the world. Affirming the invaluable ties of friendship and human closeness, they spent an afternoon playing free, lyrical and inspired music that will provide a much-needed balm for everyone.

August 12, 2022 Josh Sinton performs Steve Lacy’s Book H of Practitioners – Baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton has been engaging with Steve Lacy’s first of three books of saxophone etudes for the past twenty years. After patient listening and investigation, he has recorded a deeply personal and exacting rendition of the six etudes Lacy wrote to challenge and inspire creative musicians and listeners of the twenty-first century.

October 28, 2022Josh Sinton’s Predicate 4 freedoms – Musically responding to the sudden growth of historic consciousness in the United States brought Sinton to new musical terrain that he had only hinted at in his past work. 4 freedoms articulates a musical vision of the world where all people help all people to be free of fear, free to be themselves, free to love and free from advertising. Predicate features Sinton with trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, cellist Christopher Hoffman and drummer Tom Rainey.

Album : b.

Track titles:

1. b.1.i - 4:02
2. b.1.ii - 3:00
3. b.1.iii - 9:31
4. b.1.iv - 4:47
5. b.2.i - 7:01
6. b.2.ii - 3:33
7. b.2.iii - 4:16
8. b.2.iv - 4:09
9. b.2.v - 5:36

Josh Sinton – baritone saxophone

all composed improvisations by Josh Sinton copyright
2021 sinzheimer music BMI

recorded June 22nd, 2021 at Oktaven Studio
mixing by Ryan Streber
mastering by Luis Bacque
cover art by TJ Huff @Huffart
FiP Recordings

Jeff Parker - Forfolks (December 10, 2021 International Anthem)

Album liner notes by Matthew Lux:

Years ago when Jeff and I were in a band together, I always insisted that our records could not have any liner notes. I was enthralled with the idea that imparting any information beyond the music itself was heresy. As if whatever the sound didn't convey needed to be left to the listener. Somehow, I was able to hold this opinion while simultaneously voraciously consuming every record jacket, CD cover, cassette J card and whatever else I could get my hands on regarding any music that interested me. Many years and finally the making of my own album forced me to confront my cognitive dissonance and recognize context can help the audience find their place in the art that they enjoy. That context is especially necessary when the artist is as under-appreciated yet influential as Jeff Parker.

When I met Jeff, he was the first adult (24 years old to my 18) whose musical taste was as broad as mine and my friends. He liked Eric Dolphy, De La Soul, ‘70s Miles, and Donny Hathaway. We first played together in the living room of my parents’ apartment. We agreed to each bring a friend to round out a group. He brought the amazing and criminally under-represented Sara P. Smith on trombone, and I brought my high school band mate Chad Taylor on drums. Chad and I were certainly outclassed that day, but nevertheless we all became fast friends. A few weeks later, at our regular jam session at the Bop Shop, I told my girlfriend (now wife) to pay attention to Jeff. "He's going to be important," I said.

The Chicago that Parker had moved to was ripe with young musicians eager to push at the boundaries. There weren't many venues catering to these new attempts at mixing things up, but slowly a number of great bands coalesced out of a group of like-minded friends, mixing everyone's backgrounds whether punk, disco, jazz or whatever. I clearly remember going to see New Horizons Ensemble at the Hothouse with Jeff, then a few weeks later going to the Empty Bottle to see Tortoise. Within months he'd be in both those bands. He was instrumental in forging a link between players with different styles that helped define the sound of creative music in ‘90s Chicago.

It's a particular thing to hear Jeff play solo. He is an unusually selfless improviser, often times laying out and highlighting the contributions of his band mates. He's never been one to play three notes where none would suffice. On this recording however he is by himself, joined only by his own ideas, looped or frozen, to flesh out the music he's creating in his mind. Hearing him craft entire sound worlds on these eight selections gives us an opportunity to really see how Parker orders sound.
He has been ordering sound with an amazingly diverse array of artists and collaborators for the past three decades. While it's common for a professional musician to be versed in many styles, that normally means a succession of genre tropes deployed to ensure the listener knows exactly where they are and what's supposed to be happening. A guitarist, for example, might play a Nile Rogers type rhythm on Disco or Funk, a favorite B.B. King lick on a blues or a Wes Montgomery phrase over a standard. Parker rarely does anything this overt. While perfectly capable (Once, in the studio, at the behest of a musician we were working with, I heard him take a solo that could have been an outtake from a Steely Dan album), he eschews genre playing and chooses a painterly approach to coloring the music, maintaining a deeply personal voice without weighing down the music with obvious stylistic maneuverings. His unique approach fits so well into so many contexts precisely because SOUND is his main focus and concern. One can clearly hear the breadth of Black Music in Parker’s playing. He is part of a continuum of musicians extending back to antiquity.

The structures here challenge our preconceptions of background and foreground. ALL the layers are primary. We are presented with fully integrated sonic developments rather than accompaniment, melody, or "soloing". Often times a solo album is an excuse for an artist to display their virtuosity. The idea being, possibly, that unencumbered by other musicians, the soloist is free to ride off on flights of fancy. But a career spent in the practice of subtlety is thankfully apparent in every song here. On Forfolks, a standard of the Great American Songbook fits comfortably next to multi-layered improvisations, a Thelonious Monk tune, and several compositions of Parker’s own, dating back twenty-five years.

Monk, I find to be an apt comparison. Both men were deeply involved in some of the most progressive musical movements of their respective generations, neither gaining much renown at the time, but both kept on doing things in their own quietly iconoclastic ways until the world caught up with them some twenty years later. I was fortunate enough to recognize the first time I heard Jeff Parker thirty years ago that I was witnessing something very special. 

1. Off Om
2. Four Folks
3. My Ideal
4. Suffolk
5. Flour Of Fur
6. Ugly Beauty
7. Excess Success
8. La Jetée

Jeff Parker - electric guitar

Engineered by Graeme Gibson at Sholo Studio in Altadena, California on June 28th & 29th, 2021.

Mixed by Graeme Gibson in Cypress Park, Los Angeles, California on July 15th & 16th, 2021.

Sequenced by Scott McNiece.
Mastered by David Allen.

Photography by Lee Anne Schmitt.
Liner Notes by Matthew Lux.
Design by Jeremiah Chiu.

Produced by Scott McNiece.

Dawn Derow - My Ship: Songs from 1941 (December 10, 2021 ZOHO Music)


In her acclaimed cabaret show, My Ship: Songs
from 1941, and on her debut ZOHO CD release,
Award-winning vocalist Dawn Derow delivers a
perfect storm of entertainment. In this wonderfully
crafted work, her voice is crystalline and confident,
while her vocal control and phrasing evoke the
emotional climate of America as it entered WWII.

World War II is so far behind us that almost every living link to it is gone. But in her acclaimed cabaret show, My Ship: Songs from 1941, and in this album of its music, Dawn Derow—a smart, sexy, expressive and vocally polished woman of today—evokes that year as vividly as if it were happening now. You’ll be plunged into a time of massive upheaval and all its colliding emotions—the wistfulness, the loss, the giddy escapism that music could bring.

Directed by the acclaimed cabaret singer Jeff Harnar, My Ship, which premiered in 2017, earned MAC Awards (from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) for both her and Harnar. The show is, in part, a tribute to the performers who kept hopes high until victory was ours. Dawn recalls the sassy swing of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, the Andrews Sisters’ hosanna to a trumpet god who did double duty in the military. She conjures up the torchy yearning of Billie Holiday, whose Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) spoke for a country full of women left alone. Dinah Shore, the G.I.’s favorite singing sweetheart, comes to mind as Dawn sings one of Shore’s early trademarks, Skylark, with lullaby tenderness. In Dawn’s hands, Chattanooga Choo Choo is a come-hither invitation to loosen your tie and stay awhile.

Why Don’t We Do This More Often? was a hit for the grinning, professorial bandleader Kay Kyser and his two wholesome songbirds, Ginny Simms and Harry Babbitt. Dawn’s version is as cozy as a goodnight kiss. Teamed with Aaron Heick on clarinet, she makes a jam session out of Let’s Get Away from It All, a double-sided hit for Tommy Dorsey and his legendary flock of singers: Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, and Jo’s fellow Pied Pipers.
From Walt Disney’s Dumbo comes Baby Mine, a lullaby. Dawn and her pianist/music director, Ian Herman, go it alone. Then she unleashes the wrath of a woman spurned in Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen’s Blues in the Night, which was all over the 1941 charts in five hit versions.

In 1960, Etta James took a dreamy Glenn Miller hit, At Last, and added R&B licks that singers have been borrowing ever since. Dawn’s arrangement nods to both eras. She turns Duke Ellington’s Just Squeeze Me (But Please Don’t Tease Me) into two a.m. pillow talk. “To me,” she says, “that’s the 1941 broad who is having an affair with a married man. As the song changes to I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good), in my mind he puts his wedding ring back on and goes home to his wife.”

From across the pond comes (There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover, a song with which Britain’s Vera Lynn (and, in the States, Kate Smith) consoled the war-torn masses. In White Christmas, Dawn sings about the longing for home that made Bing Crosby’s recording so precious to the men at war.

Turning her attention to Broadway, Dawn finds the wacky wit in The Saga of Jenny from Lady in the Dark, the Kurt Weill-Ira Gershwin Broadway musical about a career woman’s misadventures in the land of psychoanalysis. From the same show comes this album’s title song My Ship, a daydream about a love that no treasure on earth can equal. Dawn connects with its bittersweet ache.

Ian Herman leads a formidable rhythm section: bassist Tom Hubbard and drummer Daniel Glass. Horn players Benny Benack III, Dan Levine, Aaron Heick, guitarist Sean Harkness, and a string quintet round out the ensemble. With their help, Dawn gives these classic songs new meaning.

- James Gavin

(Davis, Ramirez, Sherman)
(Dennis, Adair, Lane, Freed)
3. SKYLARK 4:18
(Carmichael, Mercer)
(Raye, Prince, Brown, Stept, Tobias, Killion, McMichael, Owens)
(Wrubel, Newman)
(Warren, Gordon)
(Ellington, Gaines, Webster)
(Arlen, Mercer)
9. BABY MINE (from Dumbo) 2:49
(Churchill, Washington)
10. THE SAGA OF JENNY (From Lady In The Dark) 3:50
(Weill, Ira Gershwin)
11. MY SHIP (From Lady In The Dark) 3:51
(Weill, Ira Gershwin)
12. AT LAST 2:57
(Gordon, Warren)
(Kent, Burton)

Dawn Derow- vocals
Ian Herman - piano, music director
Tom Hubbard - bass
Daniel Glass - drums, percussion
Robin Zeh, Joyce Hammann, Paul “Dale” Woodiel - violins
Katarzyna Bryla - viola
Deborah Assael - cello
Sean Harkness - guitar
Benny Benack III - trumpet & cornet
Aaron Heick - saxophone, flute & clarinet
Dan Levine - trombone

Arrangements by: Ian Herman & Barry Levitt.
Orchestrations by: Tom Kochan (tracks: 1-4, 6, 10 & 12)  & Blake Allen (tracks: 5, 11, 14).

Produced by Paul Rolnick

Recorded by: David Stoller at Samurai Hotel Studios, Astoria, NY on February 20 and September 29, 2020.
Produced and mixed, with additional vocal engineering, by: Paul Rolnick at Zevely Recording, New York, NY.
Strings & Horns recorded by: Zach Grappone at Dubway Studios on March 25th and April 1st, 2021.

Mastered by: Alan Silverman at Arf! Digital, New York, NY.
Executive Producers: John Williams, Derow Enterprises Inc., Joachim “Jochen” Becker.

MC4 - Music In Unusual Spaces (December 10, 2021)

Music In Unusual Spaces” documents the strange feeling of coming out of lockdown, of spaces opening up, gigs back on (and then off), the joy of getting out, being allowed out, a record of the city waking up…

Matt Clark’s previous releases have evoked a sense of space, of moving through a city, written and recorded with a feeling of wanting to escape during lockdown.

With this new quartet, the urban theme is continued with an exploration of music recorded in unconventional spaces; field recordings, jams recorded using unconventional methods; free improvisation, developing themes without rehearsing to retain an air of immediacy, spontaneity.

Matt and James were recorded live at The Bees Mouth in Hove on 17th September 2021. The performance took place in the bar by the front windows, which were left open a little and a mic placed in the gap. This way, both the music and the ambient sounds of the street during the performance were recorded.

Ozzy was recorded on Trafalgar Street, Brighton, in the tunnel under the station concourse. The mic was placed close to the bass, but with a wide pan to capture passersby and moving traffic.

Charlotte was recorded by the canal at Camden Lock, London. The acoustics were fantastic - reflecting off the water and the apartment block opposite, creating a natural delay. The mic was wide panned, but held facing the building opposite, to maximise the capture of reflected sounds from nearby.
Matt Clark

1. Holmes' Return
2. Inhibition Vanishes
3. End Of The Beginning

Matt Clark - guitar
Charlotte Keeffe - trumpet
Ozzy Moysey - double bass
James Edmunds - drums

All compositions/arrangements by Matt Clark 2021

Engineered, mixed and mastered by Nick Endacott-Gibb at Wizard Audio, Hove

Shay Hazan - Reclusive Rituals (December 10, 2021 Batov Records)

The multi-talented Shay Hazan fuses rubbery North African Gnawa grooves, with haunting jazz horns and hip hop inflected beats on ‘Reclusive Rituals’. His first project for international groove artisans, Batov Records.

Tel-Aviv based musician Shay Hazan is a composer, producer, bassist & bandleader. His versatile bass is frequently heard on national radio, providing the hits of tomorrow with a foundation in the groove. Hazan’s presence has been felt on major international stages having toured with popular hip hop ensemble, Lucille Crew, and Batov fans will have heard his bass lines propelling the grooves of Sandman Project’s breakthrough EP, ‘Royal Family’. Moreover, Hazan’s straight jazz project, the Shay Hazan Quintet has been heavily playlisted across Spotify editorial playlists and recently released a fast-selling 7” on Jazzman Records.

Having commenced producing the album during the first Covid lockdown, this process of creating the album was a marked departure from previous projects. Whereas he would normally call and gather his band together to record his new compositions live, Hazan would come up with a groove first before sending the recording parts to a drummer in Berlin or a saxophonist in Tel Aviv to add a complementary rhythm or melody, and then finally editing the results himself. As Hazan puts it, “So technically I had the role of the composer and the producer as well as the Guimbri player.”

“I made this album In order to satisfy the inner urge for simple grooves and the search for a different and new sound that draws inspiration from ancient places with great tradition but still corresponds with the world and the period in which I live and the way I express myself.”

Having already mastered the double and electric bass, Hazan learned how to play the three-stringed Guimbri: a camel-skin-covered bass plucked lute used by the Gnawa people of North Africa, as heard on their hypnotic music. Hazan repurposes the unique qualities of the instrument with a jazz approach, no doubt inspired somewhat by his introduction to the instrument: “The truth is that my first acquaintance with the Gimbri was by bassist William Parker, who is not a traditional Gnawan player, but an American musician, identified with jazz and improvised music. that I have been following for years. Once I saw him play with this thing in a show and my mind exploded, I started researching where it came from and listening to music from Morocco and North Africa”.
The title, ‘Reclusive Rituals’, is inspired by a Jean-Michel Basquiat interview from 1985 where he discusses his reclusiveness and the public demand for gossip on well-known figures. In particular, how advantageous it can be to stay out of the limelight, as the crowd’s very nature is to eventually turn on their idols. Hazan interpreted this to imply that personal behavioral patterns are significantly affected by the fear of negative responses, often leading them to non-action: “Basquiat's words have been resonating in my head for a long time. I see around me a lot of people who for fear of receiving negative criticism, do not initiate or create anything.

And in a certain place, I'm a little scared to be in this place myself and feel the need to keep searching and creating all the time without being influenced by criticism, for better or worse.”

The guimbri’s natural inclination to groove is instantly felt on the Gnawa-meets-Afrobeat first single, “Afrobeatz”, which is destined to play a large role in DJs record bags as dancefloors reopen. But the laidback, beat-driven foundation opener “Deloop” and “Pink Collar” reveal Hazan’s affinity for hip hop and RnB, in particular the UK label Village Life, whose cutting edge blend of underground jazz and hip hop was a lockdown favourite.

‘Reclusive Rituals’ is an exciting new chapter in Shay Hazan’s career. His most personal, hands-on album to date, fusing his love of jazz, hip hop, and Gnawan music. As open-minded purveyors of the finest grooves, Batov Records is its perfect home. 

1. Deloop
2. Pink Collar
3. 123 Birds
4. Basquiat
5. Guimbri Retreat
6. Bob Dealer
7. Afrobeatz
8. Remove the Talk

Shay Hazan - Guimbri, bass, guitar

Tal Avraham - Trumpet (on tracks #2 #3 #4 #6)
Eyal Netzer - Saxophone (on track #7)
Doron Segal - Noise, programming, editing and keyboards (on tracks #4 #8)
Milton Michaeli - Keyboards (on track #6)
Nir Tom Sabag - Drums and percussions (on tracks #4 #6 #7 #8)

Mix and Mastered by Asaf Shay, Halal Studio.
Album art by Omer Porat.

Recorded at all participants' home studios (2020)

Nadav Berkovits - Waking the Heart (December 10, 2021 Ubuntu Music)

In his Debut Album 'Waking the Heart’, Nadav is exposing a variety of influences from Straight Ahead Jazz to North African Rhythms, and Afro Cuban music, influenced by his musical journey to Cuba. The album features some of the best Israeli Jazz musicians including Itamar Borochov on Trumpet, Yuval Drabkin on Tenor Sax, Omri Bar Giora on Guitar, Oz Yehiely on Bass, Shai Yuval on Drums and Nadav Berkovits on Piano.

Nadav on the album: "For me ‘Waking the Heart’ was a spiritual journey started back in 2018 when I traveled to Cuba where I was exposed to a new world of culture and music. This experience led me to an inner search and compose my own music. Some of the tunes were written in Havana and some of them in India, Sinai (Egypt), and Jerusalem. In 2020 when covid-19 started and everything stopped I had the opportunity to get in the studio with some of my best friends and best musicians around.

I really hope it will inspire you.

Yours Truly, Nadav"

1. The Dream
2. Ras (feat. Itamar Borochov)
3. España
4. Song for Avi
5. Eurydice
6. Ensof
7. Lament

Nadav Berkovits - Piano
Itamar Borochov - Trumpet (Tracks 1,2)
Yuval Drabkin - Tenor Saxophone (Tracks 1,5,7)
Omri Bar Giora - Guitar (Tracks 1, 4)
Oz Yehiely - Bass
Shai Yuval - Drums

All compositions by Nadav Berkovits

Recorded at Yellow Submarine
Sound Engineer - Shalom Benizri
Mix - Yaron Mohar
Master - Helik Hadar

Track 4 'Song for Avi' is dedicated to two of my biggest teachers in life- Avi Feiler and Avi Adrian

Album cover art - Nadav Berkovits
Graphic Design - Noy Elitzur, Talia Hamburg

Produced by Nadav Berkovits
Executive Producer: Martin Hummel
Ubuntu Music

Eduardo Elia / The art of not falling - Improvisations on Schoenberg's Op19 piano pieces (December 10, 2021 577 Records)

Eduardo Elia’s new project, a vivid solo piano project, pays homage to Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg, inspired by and grounded in Schoenberg’s proclamation that, “The expression 'atonal music' is most unfortunate, it is on a par with calling flying 'the art of not falling.” In 1911, Schoenberg composed his now-renowned "6 Little Piano Pieces Op19," a project that challenged the parameters established until then. He was searching for a spontaneous sound that would emulate a free association of ideas, especially as they were produced by improvisation, "an expression of the feeling as if it were really the feeling." A century later, Eduardo Elia used these six short pieces as an initial point to improvise, by rereading the written material and, once presented, improvising on it. 

To close the recording, in ‘The Art of Not Falling,’ a freely improvised take pays homage to the music developed by Schoenberg during that era. The resulting project is an elegant and simple series of compositions that simultaneously draws on the music of the Austrian composer, but reveals the personal voice of the contemporary Argentinian pianist.

1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV
5. V
6. VI
7. The art of not falling

Eduardo Elia: Piano

Recording, mixing and mastering by Pablo Granja
Recorded on February 20, 2021, at Paseo del Buen Pastor, Córdoba, Argentina
Piano provided and supervised by Miguel Puch (Pianos Puch)

Beverly Glenn-Copeland - Keyboard Fantasies Reimagined (December 10, 2021)

Keyboard Fantasies Reimagined is a collection of songs from the now legendary album, Keyboard Fantasies, re-worked and re-imagined by a collection of creative kindred spirits. Shared so far from this collection is “Ever New (Kelsey Lu’s Transportation)” and Sunset Village (Blood Orange Remix) with more to come. The album is available for pre-order now.

1. Track 1
2. Track 2
3. Track 3
4. Track 4
5. Blood Orange - Sunset Village (Blood Orange Remix)
6. Kelsey Lu - Ever New (Kelsey Lu's Transportation)
7. Track 7
8. Track 8

Danilo Brito / João Luiz - Esquina de São Paulo (December 10, 2021 ZOHO Music)

When stars come together, an album like this is born. João Luiz and Danilo Brito are both master musicians in their own rights, playing music at the highest level. A virtuoso of the popular music of his native Brazil, guitarist Luiz began playing professionally during his childhood and was later trained in classical guitar by his mentor, Henrique Pinto. He has collaborated with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Paquito D’Rivera, Sérgio Assad, Leo Brouwer, Egberto Gismonti, Bridget Kibbey, and Clarice Assad. He’s also an integral member of the New York creative community, as the director of chamber music at CUNY Hunter College.

Danilo Brito is a genius on the mandolin and an authority in Choro. He is also a celebrated composer and arranger. Choro has the same cultural parents as jazz and blues. European forms melded with African ideas to produce a family of fresh, new forms throughout the New World - marked by virtuosity, syncopation, counterpoints, and improvisation with an intense expression of feelings, from cheerful to melancholy.

João and Brito first met in 2004 at the Visa Music Award. Though it was a quick encounter, Brito’s was able to “see the brilliance of João’s playing.” Brito continued, “I realized that he had a sound of a classical guitarist but was full of Brazilian swing of popular music.” Years later, in 2017, they performed together at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. “The energy was so good that we went on a tour the next year,” said Brito.

You can hear their energy and magnetism on Esquina de Sao Paulo (“Sao Paulo Street Corner”.) You can also hear their friendship. The repertoire came from options Brito showed João that came from that first performance in NY, when he was a featured guest, and the duo's tour the following year. Brito had made some home recordings and sent them to João. Of course, João was duly impressed and rendered them afresh with his arrangements.

Gargalhada was composed by Pixinguinha in 1917 for flute. It is a Schottische, a European dance genre, but it has strong Brazilian characteristics and feelings. This is clearly an advanced piece, with its progressive sections moving from delicate to dynamic. Brito and João move through the number with precision and heart.

The title track Esquina de São Paulo appears for the first time on this album. It plays as a tango initially but turns into a waltz in parts B and C. The title refers to the old serenades made by inspired musicians such as Francisco Mignoni, a great Brazilian pianist composer who characterized his romantic waltzes as “valsas de esquina” that we could thus translate as “street corner waltzes.” The interplay between Luiz and Brito is on full display in this number, as they seamlessly move between sections with dexterity and grace.

Feia is a waltz by Jacob do Bandolim originally recorded by the author in 1948, which later received a new recording with grand orchestra. “Feia” means “ugly” in feminine, as “waltz” [valsa] in Portuguese is a feminine word.

Salsito no Choro is a groove-oriented selection that has its first recording on this very album. The duo performed with Paquito D’Rivero in New York. The piece moves between a choro in the A section which alludes to the salsa, allusion to Cuba, where D’Rivera was born. The title “Salsito” is a mashup of Salsa and Paquito.
The duo’s upbeat Benzinho is a choro by Jacob do Bandolim that he first recorded in 1955 and then again in 1961. This rendition is exquisitely arranged by João, and the performance evokes a romantic, hopeful vibe.

Despertar da Montanha is a composition by Eduardo Souto that some identify as Brazilian Tango and others as Fado-Choro. It’s a kind of Tango that’s very different from Argentinian Tango. This is an elegant, more pensive piece where we can experience the strings become heartstrings, evoking feelings of warmth and nostalgia.

Primas e Bordões is a Choro by Jacob do Bandolim that has been rarely recorded. There was a clip from a TV show in 1965 There was a clip from a TV show in 1965 with the song. That is the version that everybody knows. It’s radiant, and Brito wanted to highlight it. Parts A and B are Brito's mandolin solo and João comes in for part C.

Perigoso is by Orlando Silveira, the Brazilian accordionist, conductor and composer. Choro music can be technically difficult. Composers create “challenges” for the musicians, which demand a lot from them. Certain pieces are “dangerous” to play. So, maybe this is an explanation for the name “Perigoso.” It has a winding melody that is difficult to play.

Chovia by Brito is a waltz, melancholic, composed in a moment of inspiration, of introspection, on the balcony of an apartment while it was raining on a gray afternoon in São Paulo. The melody flowed easy and within five minutes the song was ready, almost the same duration of this piece. It was originally recorded in 2008 on the album Sem Restrições

Not only is this an album of incredible merit, it’s also a testament to friendship borne through music. That these two remarkable musicians have come together to render such a masterpiece is a shining example of collaboration, camaraderie, and creativity. It has been an honor to help produce this project with them.

Kabir Sehgal, producer, is a Multi Grammy & Latin Grammy Award winner.

1. Gargalhada (Pixinguinha) 5:39
2. Esquina de Sao Paulo (Danilo Brito) 5:12
3. Feia (Jacob do Bandolim) 4:33
4. Salsito no Choro (Danilo Brito) 6:04
5. Benzinho (Jacob do Bandolim) 3:30
6. Primas e Bordoes (Jacob do Bandolim) 3:08
7. Despertar da Montanha (Eduardo Souto) 4:53
8. Perigoso (Orlando Silveira) 3:45
9. Chovia (Danilo Brito) 5:19

Danilo Brito - mandolin
João Luiz - guitar

Produced by: Danilo Brito, João Luiz, Kabir Sehgal. All Arrangements by: João Luiz. Recorded & edited by: Dave Cook. Recording location: Greenville Church, Scarsdale, NY. Recording date: April, 23, 2018.

Mixed & mastered by: Dave Cook at Area 52 Studios. Photography by: Maria Silvia, Andrea Johnson. Art direction and Package Design by: Al Gold. Executive Producers: Joachim "Jochen" Becker and Maria Silvia.

João Luiz plays on a Sérgio Abreu guitar, 2017 and uses Augustine Regal Blue strings.