Monday, January 3, 2022

Avishai Cohen - Naked Truth (February 25, 2022 ECM)

There is a searching, yearning quality to Naked Truth, and a raw beauty and vulnerability in Avishai Cohen’s trumpet sound on his most improvisational ECM recording to date.  Very much music-of-the moment, found and shaped in the course of a remarkable recording session in the South of France, Naked Truth takes the form of an extemporaneous suite. For most of its length the Israeli trumpeter painstakingly leads the way, closely shadowed by his long-time comrades – pianist Yonathan Avishai, bassist Barak Mori and drummer Ziv Ravitz - who share an intuitive understanding, hyper alert to the music’s subtly-changing emphases.  At the album’s conclusion, Cohen recites “Departure”, a poem by Zelda Schneurson Mishkovsky, whose themes of renunciation, acceptance and letting go seem optimally-attuned to the mood of the music. Naked Truth was recorded at Studios La Buissonne in Pernes-les-Fontaines, in September 2021, and produced by Manfred Eicher.   

1. Naked Truth Part 1
2. Naked Truth Part 2
3. Naked Truth Part 3
4. Naked Truth Part 4
5. Naked Truth Part 5
6. Naked Truth Part 6
7. Naked Truth Part 7
8. Naked Truth Part 8
9. Naked Truth: Departure

Avishai Cohen: trumpet
Yonathan Avishai: piano
Barak Mori: double bass
Ziv Ravitz: drums

Will be released on February 25, 2022 on CD and digitally
Vinyl edition to be available in June

Koma Saxo with Sofia Jernberg - Koma West (March 18, 2022 We Jazz Records)

Petter Eldh's explosive ensemble Koma Saxo continues their adventures with a new album "Koma West", out on We Jazz Records, 18 March 2022. The album sees Koma Saxo expand on their previous sound with the addition of vocalist Sofia Jernberg and a strong cast of featured artists, including cellist Lucy Railton, violinist Maria Reich, pianist Kit Downes and accordionist Kiki Eldh (Petter's mom!). The hard-hitting key quintet remains, including Eldh on bass and assorted instruments, Christian Lillinger on drums, plus saxophonists Otis Sandsjö (of Y-OTIS), Jonas Kullhammar and Mikko Innanen bringing the SAXO to the KOMA operation.

At 14 tracks, "Koma West" is a full menu of monumental compositional ideas that could spawn entire albums. True to his chop & go production style, Eldh relies on continuous movement while presenting another all killer no filler program taking Koma Saxo on a sonic outing not quite like anything that had previously appeared under the band's name. That being said, there's very much the Petter Eldh touch here, one which might be hard to pinpoint and verbalise, but nevertheless a recognisable style of composing, producing and arranging.

Thematically, the album is rooted in the West Coast of Sweden, where Eldh grew up – he's from a tiny town called Lysekil. There's a thread of Swedish folk song tradition that has been part of the Koma Saxo DNA from the get-go and you can hear that here as well, especially on cuts such as "Närhet", beautifully sung by Sofia Jernberg.

Petter Eldh says:

"In a way, it's a concept album and a celebration of the Swedish West Coast. The first single is called 'Koma Kaprifol', and kaprifol is the landscape flower of Bohuslän on the West coast, where I grew up. I'm not too wild about attaching strong narratives to my music but there's no way around it this time. The oysters, a common snack around the coast, are a strong conceptual presence here. Anyway, they seem to pop up here and there quite often already thus far in the Koma Saxo narrative, even though it's not always so obvious. Koma Vocals! Koma Strings! I love the presence of Sofia Jernberg here and I love writing string arrangements, too, although I never thought I would do it for Koma, but of course, Koma should have some strings, why not?. Koma Saxo should and can become anything." 

1. Lo Ve Ko Ma
2. Croydon Koma
3. Koma Krig
4. Flamman
5. Lake Koma
6. Koma Kaprifol
7. Ostron Accordion
8. Klippan Granit
9. Koma Rail
10. Närhet
11. Koma Fred
12. Saxo Chop
13. Clos Eko
14. Koma Camu

Petter Eldh - Double Bass, Sampler, Piano, Percussion
Sofia Jernberg - Voice
Christian Lillinger - Drums
Otis Sandsjö - Tenor Saxophone, Alto Clarinet
Jonas Kullhammar - Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Slide Saxophone
Mikko Innanen - Alto Saxophone, Sopranino Saxophone
Lucy Railton - Cello
Maria Reich - Violin
Kiki Eldh (the momvillain) - Accordion
Kit Downes - Piano

Produced by Petter Eldh
Executive producer Matti Nives

All compositions by Petter Eldh except “Närhet”, written by Fritz Sjöström, arranged by Petter Eldh
Recorded at Atlantis, Stockholm, 14th of April 2021, by Niclas Lindström
Additional recordings by Petter Eldh at Koma Saxo Industries, Berlin
Some of the voice and piano additions recorded by Sofia and Kit somewhere in Europe
Kiki Eldh recorded by Petter Eldh at Mountain Man Studios, Lysekil
Mixed by Petter Eldh at Koma Saxo Industries, Berlin
Mastered by Martin Ruch at CONTROL ROOM BERLIN
Design by Matti Nives

Joona Toivanen Trio - Both Only (February 25, 2022 We Jazz Records)

Joona Toivanen Trio makes their We Jazz Records debut with their new album "Both Only", out 25 Feb 2022. A landmark work for the long standing group, the album showcases a new sound for the band, trekking deep into new ideas for an acoustic jazz piano trio. Since their formation as teenagers in mid-1990's, the trio of pianist Joona Toivanen, bassist Tapani Toivanen and drummer Olavi Louhivuori (of Superposition, Ilmiliekki Quartet and Linda Fredriksson "Juniper") has developed their remarkably coherent band sound step by step, touring the world over. Nowadays, the trio is geographically split between Gothenburg, Sweden (Joona), Copenhagen, Denmark (Tapani), and Helsinki, Finland (Olavi), but the unit has never sounded so together as one, and as adventurous as on "Both Only".

"Both Only" by Joona Toivanen Trio is a cocoon, a welcoming shelter of sound that opens up naturally for the listener to inhabit. The album is moody and introspective, even dark at times, but by the time you get to the closing track, "This and This", you'll likely notice something hopeful brewing up. This is not music dealing with nostalgia or a world lost. Instead, it's a body of work with delicate dynamics, taking a minute just to listen and to look inwards to learn something, to move forward.

The first single "Enlightened" is perhaps the most traditional piece on the album, yet it flows like a vessel beyond genre, conveying a mood, a feeling and an idea. Listen to how the piano, bass and drums discuss, how the groove moves with the instruments having their clear roles but also supporting each other and documenting a musical aging process exactly as that of a quality bottle of red wine. As a song like "Direction" proves, the melody is there all the way, yet there is nothing obvious about how it's carried by the trio. Things remain surprising, fresh and moving at all times. "Except For" keeps its intensity, while nearly erupting into a full on 4-to-the-floor banger. Nearly! The key here is how the energy sustains itself, building the intensity within the music.

"Both Only" is a powerful statement from a band ready to renew itself time and again, and one willing to do it slowly, outside of the hype. This process makes the impact enduring, nuanced and lovely.

WJLP37 Joona Toivanen Trio "Both Only" is available on CD, digi and vinyl as a black vinyl edition and as a LP+7" bundle also including WJ0716 "Except For (7" Edit)" / "Keyboard Study No. 2". 

1. Both Only
2. Enlightened
3. Acceptance
4. Direction
5. Faculties
6. Of Profession
7. In Place
8. Except For
9. This and This

Joona Toivanen, piano / Tapani Toivanen, bass / Olavi Louhivuori, drums
Produced by Joona Toivanen & Matti Nives
Recorded at Studio Epidemin by Johannes Lundberg
Mixed and mastered by Petter Eriksson at Studio Folkhemmet
Photography by Joona Toivanen
Artist photos by Juho Luukkainen
Design by Matti Nives

Mike Nock / Hamish Stuart / Julien Wilson / Jonathan Zwartz - Another Dance (February 4, 2022 Lionsharecords)

“the fraught, euphoric, challenging, rewarding business of being human really seems to have been condensed into music”
John Shand, SydneyMorningHerald

“at a time in history when division is the order of the day, four souls crafting melody together can abide by a deeper principle of love and listening.”
Tyran Grillo, ECMreviews

“profound, moving and expressive jazz of the highest level.”
Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise 

Comprising four of Australia’s most esteemed jazz musicians, this celebrated jazz ‘supergroup’ made waves in 2020 with their critically acclaimed and ARIA nominated debut ‘This World’. Two years on, they ask you to join them for ANOTHER DANCE, their second full length album, recorded in Sydney on the very brink of the 2021 extended lockdown.

A lot of water has passed under (and over) the bridge since their first recording session in 2019. The band somehow managed to tour the East Coast twice during 20/21 against all odds. The first tour in Feb 2020 let them see firsthand the devastation wrought by the Black Summer bushfires through parts of regional NSW and ACT. In Braidwood the band donated the proceeds of their show to local bushfire victims, only to have floods prevent half the town from attending. Many shows and festival appearances were cancelled at the eleventh hour (no less than five shows in Melbourne) due to lockdowns and travel restrictions. The fact that the quartet have performed thirty shows in fifteen towns over four states during this period is a testament to their tenacity and vitality and their drive to share the unifying and uplifting power of live music with others.

The best creative pursuits offer reflection on the environment and events that they spring from, so it stands to reason that the music on Another Dance embodies different elements to This World. The eight new pieces presented here bear witness to the enduring bond the musicians share, and offer a deep and rich sense of optimism, hope and shared humanity as a tonic to these most interesting of times.

1. Deception 06:04
2. LDT 07:11
3. Headlands 10:37
4. Winter 09:26
5. Little Stars 08:21
6. Johnston St 10:06
7. Wheelbarrow Rd 05:15
8. Yearning 02:27

Mike Nock - piano
Hamish Stuart - drums
Julien Wilson - tenor saxophone and effects
Jonathan Zwartz - double bass

Recorded at Studios 301, Sydney
Engineer: Owen Butcher
Assistant: Reinert Wasserman
Mixed and Mastered by Helik Hadar
Produced by This World

Cover photo: Jonathan Zwartz
Design: Luke Fraser/Ahr+

Hamish plays Gretsch drums and Lauritsen cymbals
Jonathan and Julien are D’Addario Artists
Julien is a Yamaha Artist
Mike Nock compositions published by Fourth Way Music - ASCAP

Samo Salamon - Dolphyology: Complete Eric Dolphy for Solo Guitar (January 10, 2022)

Besides Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy has probably been one of my biggest influences as well as reasons in the beginning why I wanted to play jazz and improvised music. Although Dolphy belongs to the jazz greats, in a way he is still such an underrated improviser and especially composer – having composed beautiful compositions throughout his fairly short career.

The idea of the project began by practicing at home alone during the many Covid lockdowns, rediscovering Dolphy’s music again. Furthermore, I was inspired to do this album by Miles Okazaki’s great solo guitar Monk project. We had a long talk this year via Skype and it was so great to hear how he approached Monk on solo guitar. In the same manner, I have tried to approach Dolphy, but in my own way. First I transcribed all the compositions by Dolphy and arranged them for solo guitar, trying out different techniques. In the end, I improvised on tunes – sometimes free improvisation and in other cases following the harmonic structure. I have played Dolphy's tunes throughout my musical career, improvising on them, but rarely in a solo setting; probably because of fear or respect. But now I was like, OK, let's do it: I told myself I should not be afraid to play single lines or be burdened by the great solo guitar musical heritage, which I immensely respect.

I recorded all the music at home with just one microphone in my living room which has beautiful acoustics. All the songs are first takes – therefore, sometimes there is a small glitch or noise in the background, such as my cat meowing in the background.

Hopefully you will enjoy this as much as I have during the creative and recording process!

Samo Salamon

1. Miss Movement 02:52
2. Serene 04:36
3. The Prophet 05:28
4. Miss Ann 03:00
5. Lady E 05:20
6. 17 West 02:30
7. April Fool 02:58
8. Something Sweet, Something Tender 05:00
9. Springtime 05:14
10. Hat and Beard 04:06
11. The Baron 04:12
12. Iron Man 02:32
13. South Street Exit 03:24
14. Inner Flight I 02:24
15. 245 03:54
16. Les 03:14
17. Lotsa Potsa 03:32
18. Straight Up and Down 04:44
19. Burning Spear 03:10
20. G.W. 04:02
21. Strength with Unity 03:42
22. Out to Lunch 03:06
23. Mandrake 03:34
24. Far Cry 02:14
25. In the Blues 03:02
26. Red Planet 03:50
27. Gazzelloni 02:56
28. Inner Flight II 03:02

Samo Šalamon – 6-string acoustic guitar, except mandoline on 14 (CD 1) and 12-string acoustic guitar on 6, 8, 11 (CD 1) and 5, 7 (CD 2)

All compositions by Eric Dolphy, solo guitar arrangements by Samo Salamon.

Recorded in April 2021 in Maribor.
Produced, mixed and mastered by Samo Salamon.
Cover and design by Kristijan Robič.

Dawan Muhammad - Preaching To The Choir (January 3, 2022)

1. Preachin To The Choir 04:57

Dawan Muhammad - Saxophones
Bobby Pierce - Hammond Organ
Tom Tonyan - Hammond Organ
Calvin Keys - Guitar
Billy Higgins - Drums
Harold Acey - Drums

Broede Schirmer Unit - Berlin, Germany (imaginary moments in a city) January 3, 2022

"Very exciting music, an excellent quartet"
(Bert Noglik, former curator of the Berlin Jazz Festival)

"Marvelous...very fine the whole thing..."
(fellow clarinetist Rudi Mahall)

Recorded live on one single afternoon in February 2020 shortly before the first covid lockdown at Tito Knapp's "Zentrifuge" in Berlin this is an absolutely singular album.
It captures the spontaneity and creativity of a real concert event.

There is no professional recording with harmonica as part of the ensemble in the field between Improvised Music and Contemporary Jazz that shows more musicality, exceptional sound conceptions & craftsmanship than "BERLIN, GERMANY" by the BROEDE SCHIRMER UNIT.

As Berlin still is my favorite city, we choose to find the titles for the music referring to certain places there.

1. Prominent Promenade on Planufer 11:55
2. Two im Monbijou 03:24
3. Viktoria Goes Parking 03:17
4. Sommerfrische Humboldt 15:55
5. Please Cross at Kaisersteg ! 03:49
6. West Ending 09:00

JAN RODER - bass
MAT BROEDE - harmonica, piano

Cliff Brown - Cliff Brown Sessions from '93 (January 2022)

A great collection of talent was brewing in Los Angeles back in 1993. 43rd & Degnan was the address that hosted Billy Higgins' World Stage where so many musicians co-mingled and honed their craft. Among these spartans of Jazz was formed the young hard-bop revivalist quintet Black/Note. Guitarist Cliff Brown hung out and jammed with these and other musicians and the recordings represented here are the results of his associations.

Five originally penned compositions by Brown are represented along with four other compositions by Ricky Ford (Lady A), Wes Montgomery (S.O.S.), Dexter Gordon (Bonna Rue) and Sonny Rollins (Oleo).

1. In The Meantime 06:27
2. S.O.S. 06:27
3. D - Mob 04:27
4. Eye Awaken 05:13
5. Lady A 06:33
6. Bonna Rue 05:59
7. I Grew A Mull 06:42
8. Oleo 06:06
9. B's Blues 07:17

Guitar - Cliff Brown
Drums - Willie Jones III
Acoustic Bass - Marcus Shelby
Electric Bass - James Manning
Alto Saxophone - James Mahone
Piano - Frank Strazzeri, Ark Sano, Greg Kurstin
Keyboards, Production - Art Zamora

Ellery Eskelin - From the Archives: Ellery Eskelin, Erik Deutsch, Allison Miller - Live in NYC, 2010 (January 2022)

1. Improvisation One 20:36
2. Improvisation Two 15:51
3. Improvisation Three 43:14

Ellery Eskelin - tenor saxophone
Erik Deutsch - organ
Allison Miller - drums

Brecht Forum, NYC, 2010

Recorded by Scott Friedlander

Ben Woodman Quartet - In Here Out There (January 2022)

Recorded in the summer of 2021, in a living room in Corvallis, OR

1. Prose 05:34
2. Judgement 03:39
3. Open Secret 05:43
4. Wildfire 04:42
5. Injera 05:19
6. Freefall 03:23
7. Ursulines 05:39
8. In Here Out There 02:42

Ben Woodman - trumpet
Michael Resnick - piano
David Resnick - drums
Wil Wilmington - bass

"Prose", "Open Secret", "Wildfire", "Ursulines" written by Ben Woodman
"Injera", "Judgement", "In Here Out There" written by Michael Resnick
"Freefall" written by David Resnick

Ada Bird Wolfe - An Egg (January 2022)

My first album of all original compositions, written in collaboration with my longtime musical director, Jamiesion Trotter.

1. An Egg 03:45
2. Behind the Mask 03:07
3. Ordinary Man 04:28

Ada Bird Wolfe (vocals, co-writer)
Jamieson Trotter (piano, arranger, co-writer)
Dan Lutz (bass)
Peter Buck (drums)
Scott Mayo (horns)

Innate - Growing (January 2022)

1. Springtide 03:24
2. Re Views 04:30
3. Here Again 03:24
4. Floating 01:44
5. A Beautiful Thing 02:54

All audio recorded on a Google Pixel 4a

EARadiate - amalgaSys

EARadiate's 5th full length album, we explore textures and tonalities with new horns, synths, and beings.

1. introTheme 00:37
2. stickySituation 05:13
3. dangerSideDown 04:01
4. myCircleIsAsquare 03:19
5. streetSweeper 02:55
6. excessiveHumanity 03:40
7. tangentialSpectre 07:08
8. imProg 05:57
9. wonsAndZeros 04:48
10. castingShadows 03:48
11. retroAction 07:36
12. warpeDrive 03:34

Joe Sorcic :: Drums + Percussion
Wesley Davis :: Trumpet + Synths + FX
Kris Nickeson :: Guitar + FX, Bass (Tracks 5, 8, 10)
Trevor Thill :: (Tracks 5, 8, 10)
Vince :: (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 7)
Name Withheld :: (Tracks 4, 6, 9, 11)

Recorded by Kris Nickeson at Microtone Studios, Westminster, CO
Mixed/Mastered by Kris Nickeson and Wesley Davis at Microtone Studios