Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Aaron Bazzell - Aesthetic (April 22, 2022)

Aaron Bazzell is a musician, composer and educator based out of Brooklyn, NY. Believing that the role of music is to convey both the beauty and struggle of the human experience, Aesthetic is his first body of work in pursuit of that goal. Spanning a variety of genres stemming from the African diaspora, the recording serves as a window into his story through music. 

1. Tomorrow Today
2. Asked and Answered
3. Unrequited
4. First Period Prep
5. Purpose
6. Eventually (feat. Rachel Robinson)
7. Maktub
8. Up and Away
9. Increase and Persist

Aaron Bazzell - Alto Saxophone
Rachel Robinson (6)
Keith Brown - Piano
Brandon Donald - Drums
Jonathan Michel - Bass

Recorded by Nolan Thies and Peter Karl
Mixed and Mastered by Dave Darlington

Masayuki Takayanagi - Station '70: Call in Question / Live Independence (April 18, 2022 Black Editions)

In August 1969, Masayuki Takayanagi formed his first New Direction group and embarked on an unparalleled musical journey that over the final 22 years of his life would define him as an uncompromising artist who would forge a visionary new musical language. Comprised of himself on acoustic and electric guitar and joined by Motoharu Yoshizawa on bass and Yoshisaburo 'Sabu' Toyozumi on drums, Takayanagi's group created a new unconstrained form of music; It expanded on the most radical, fiery elements of American and European Free Jazz, while refracting them through an avant garde prism. Harmonic and melodic development were rejected in favor of feedback and complete spontaneity. With New Direction, Takayanagi had achieved a "decisive break" from the past and created his own revolutionary music - a ferocious, often violent sound that paradoxically took both musical movement and stillness to their extremes.

Takayanagi's New Direction soon recorded one of the landmark albums of free jazz and the avant garde, Independence: Tread on Sure Ground (1970). It was Takayanagi's first album as a group leader and nothing short of groundbreaking. However, it would be 25 years before a wider audience would finally able to hear Takayanagi's vision with the group in its most explosive and unmitigated realization; Japan's P.S.F. records released two CD's, Call in Question (1994) and Live Independence (1995) which featured unearthed, previously unheard 1970 recordings made by the group at the legendary Shibuya Tokyo venue, Station '70. The recordings were revelatory; They presented nascent, jarring versions of Takayanagi's "Gradually Projection" and "Mass Projection" modalities in uncut, unvarnished long form. Joined on some tracks by renowned saxophonist Mototeru Takagi, the performances are intensely physical and visceral - each player creating a vivid self contained sound that at the same time merges with the overall group imperative to create something entirely new and beautiful.  Yoshizawa, Toyozumi as well as Takagi would, in their own right, go on to join Takayanagi as iconic players in the world of Japanese free jazz and avant garde. It is these performances, in a crucial moment of societal and cultural upheaval, that would help lay the groundwork for the rich world of free improvisation, free jazz and, to a large degree, underground music in Japan for decades to come.
Later Takayanagi would write "It is improvisation alone that transcends genre and academicism to become music as raw, independent existence, the most unique living organism within a yet-to-be unknown". It is in these recordings that that "yet-to-be unknown" can begin to be heard.

Black Editions is proud to present the entirety of the recordings presented on both P.S.F. albums as well as a previously unreleased side-long Mass Projection in a deluxe, remastered 3LP box set. The set features the stark photography of the late Yuji Itsumi and presents the original liner notes by key Japanese music critics and historians Yoshiyuki Kitazato and Toshihiko Shimizu newly translated into English as well as in the original Japanese. 

1. Extraction
2. Excavation
3. Mass Projection, March 1970
4. Intermittent
5. Herdsman's Pipe of Spain
6. Mass Projection, February 1970 (previously unreleased)

Masayuki Takayanagi - Guitar
Motoharu Yoshizawa - Bass
Sabu Toyozumi - Drums
Mototeru Takagi - Saxophone (D2)

Recorded at Station ’70, Tokyo
A1-E1 recorded by Jin Ishitani, March 11 and 12, 1970
F1 recorded February 19, 1970

Mastering by JJ Golden, Golden Mastering 2020

All photos by Yūji Itsumi except back cover photo of Masayuki Takayanagi, 1968, photographer unknown.
Graphic design by Rob Carmichael, SEEN, with typographic assistance from Takuya Kitamura

Notes by Yoshiyuki Kitazato and Toshihiko Shimizu
Timeline by Yasunori Saito
English Translation by Yuko Zama and Alan Cummings

Black Edition supervised and produced by Peter Kolovos
Released under license from Jinya Disc, Japan

A1-E1 originally released on CD by P.S.F. Japan as"Call in Question"
(PSFD-41, 1994) and "Live Independence" (PSFD-57, 1995)

Masayuki Takayanagi - ECLIPSE (April 18, 2022 Black Editions)

Masayuki Takayanagi was one of the truly iconoclastic musicians to emerge from Japan, or anywhere else, in the 20th Century. Though he won acclaim in the 1950’s and 60’s as a master of the electric guitar and jazz improvisation, Takayanagi was a restless spirit, deeply engaged with the era's new movements in contemporary art, music, literature and philosophy. His work, beginning in the late 1960’s placed him on the leading edge of these developments; he began expanding on the most radical elements of American and European free jazz, infusing them with the raw feedback and dissonance of electronic and avant-garde music. With his various “New Direction” groups, Takayanagi broke free of traditional structures and developed a new theory of music that embraced an aggressive and unrelenting style of playing that has remained almost completely unparalleled in its ferocity.

Of all the albums to be released during Takayanagi's lifetime, 1975’s Eclipse was perhaps the most enigmatic and sought after. Released in an edition of only 100, it almost immediately disappeared and became a Holy Grail for Japanese connoisseurs of adventurous music, and rightly so. It’s first side contained a two part realization of Takayanagi’s “Gradually Projection” modality – a searching interplay between instruments- slowly emerging from a sparse open field and building with the tension of a looming thunder storm. The second side contains an epic performance of a “Mass Projection”, a high energy, densely layered barrage of sound that in its 25 minutes, never once slackens in intensity. It would be another 31 years before this key album in Takayangi’s oeuvre would finally have a (slightly) wider audience through a CD release by Japan's P.S.F. Records.

Black Editions is proud to present a deluxe vinyl edition of this masterwork, revealingly remastered from the original tapes by Elysian Masters. The album is packaged in a heavy double tip-on gatefold jacket that pays tribute to the original handmade packaging and features a previously unseen studio photograph of Takayanagi by Tatsuo Minami. 

1. First Session 1 (Gradually Projection)
2. First Session 2 (Gradually Projection)
3. Second Session (Mass Projection)

Masayuki Takayanagi: Electric Guitar
Kenji Mori: Alto Saxophone, Flute, Recorder
Nobuyoshi Ino: Electric Bass
Hiroshi Yamazaki: Drums, Percussion

Recorded in Tokyo, March 14, 1975
Engineer: Mikio Aoki
Cover Photographs and Design by Kazuharu Fujitani
Gatefold Photograph by Tatsuo Minami

Insert Notes by Yasunori Saito

Produced by Satoru Obara, Yoshiaki Kamei, Nihon Gendai Jazz Ongaku Kenkyukai

Originally released in an edition of 100 by ISKRA Records, Japan in 1975.

Black Edition remastered from the original master tapes by Dave Cooley, Elysian Masters and produced by Peter Kolovos.

Adrienne West - Live in Bremen (April 15, 2022 Dot Time Records)

A native New Yorker, Adrienne is an internationally respected vocalist of many different genres. She has performed at jazz festivals and clubs all throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. Her performance formations range from duo(s) to big band. Adrienne also directs Masterclass Workshops designed for voice and performance.

Past and present, she performs with prominent musicians including: Billy Cobham, Sebastian Altekamp, Enzo Zirilli, Peter Washington, Dado Moroni and more.

Adrienne’s new live recording project, Live in Bremen, (marking her second album release on Dot Time Records) is due out April 15, 2022, and features Sebastian Altekamp on piano, Uli Wentzlaff-Eggebert on acoustic bass and Yonga Sun on Drums and Percussion.

1. Can You Dig It
2. They Call It Jazz
3. Make Someone Happy
4. Pearls
5. Close Your Eyes
6. The View
7. I Love Being Here With You
8. Both Sides Now

Adrienne West - Vocals
Sebastian Altekamp - Piano
Uli Wentzlaff-Eggebert - Bass
Yonga Sun - Drums, Percussion

Johanan Bickhardt - Producer
Pasqual El Sauaf - Mixing Engineer, Sound Engineer
Gregor Hennig - Mixing Engineer, Sound Engineer

Keiji Haino - My lord Music​.​.​. (March 14, 2022 Black Editions)

Full title: My lord Music, I most humbly beg your indulgence in the hope that you will do me the honour of permitting this seed called Keiji Haino to be planted within you.

For over 25 years, Keiji Haino has used the hurdy gurdy to channel dark dimensions—creating music that bridges the centuries between distant medieval eras and a future awash in densely layered sounds that grind and float in an otherworldly atmosphere. “My lord Music…” is a suite of nine pieces that reveals the startlingly distinctive and wide range of Haino’s approach to the instrument. The music is at once dissonant and hypnotic, rich with unfurling drones that dynamically ebb and flow—Haino’s musical sensibility and physicality, always present and unmistakable.

“My lord Music…” is the first release in Haino’s newly relaunched Purple Trap imprint, produced in collaboration with Black Editions and personally supervised by the artist himself. Purple Trap will present the full breadth of Keiji Haino’s works through both archival recordings and newly recorded pieces, all made available in small one-time physical editions as well as on digital platforms.

1. A1
2. A2
3. A3
4. B1
5. B2
6. C1
7. C2
8. D1
9. D2

Keiji Haino — Hurdy Gurdy

Recorded April 7, 2019 at Zebulon, Los Angeles, California
Recorded and mixed by Toshi Kasai
Mastering by Elysian Masters
Photographs by Kazuyuki Funaki
Design by Takuya Kitamura
Translation by Alan Cummings
Performance produced by Black Editions and Blum & Poe Gallery as part of Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980's and 1990's curated by Mika Yoshitake

Albert Cirera & Kamarilla - Aquella Cosa (March 2022 UnderPool)

Albert Cirera is one of the most prominent saxophonists of his generation; essential for understanding the current jazz scene and one of the greatest exponents of improvisation in the last decade in Catalonia.

He has managed to develop a solid trajectory both at home and abroad which has enabled him to perform in different international scenes.

On Aquella Cosa, Cirera puts together a collection of his originals and gives them new life with this septet. The complicity they share enables them to construct a language comprising melodies, grooves, and improvisation, along with experimentation with sound, texture and form.

Albert Cirera is a mature musician; capable of expressing himself comfortably in any of the musical registers he has tackled; demonstrating that music is not so much a question of style as it is of experience.

Albert Cirera and Kamarilla make music in its purest form. Aquella Cosa will make you laugh, dance ,breathe, and live!

1. Riff i Rafe 08:08
2. Musica Celestial 06:00
3. On Parra L'Eternitat? 04:37
4. Aquella Cosa 05:44
5. Bressolar 07:15
6. Rosso & Cia 11:26
7. Requiem a Ferlandina 05:30
8. Traigo la Cena (Bonus Track CD) 06:14
9. L'Agonia a Lapa - Live at Hot Blues (Bonus Track CD) 11:45

Albert Cirera - Tenor and Soprano Sax
Marcel.lí Bayer - Alto Sax, Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
Iván González - Trumpet
Pol Padrós - Trumpet
Vicent Pérez - Trombone
Martin Leiton - Electric Bass
Ramon Prats - Drums

All music composed by Albert Cirera.
Track 3 based on a Bach Coral BWV 510.
Recorded 25 & 26 June 2021 UnderPool Studio.
Analog Mix and Master by Sergi Felipe
Artwork Pepon Meneses.
Produced and Published UnderPool

Nicola Conte & Gianluca Petrella - Inner Light Joe Claussell Sacred Rhythms Versions (March 2022 Schema Records - Rearward)

INNER LIGHT - Joe Claussell Sacred Rhythms Versions (2022)

Nicola Conte & Gianluca Petrella’s 2021 brilliant collaborative jazz dance album “People Need People” channelled a vision of togetherness and used the universal language of music to elevate our spirit during these trying times. This vision can’t be more relevant today and the album’s legacy is kept alive with the same spirit of collaboration that distinguished the project. “Inner Light” - featuring Raashan Ahmad on vocals - is the frst song from the album chosen for a series of reinterpretations of the project that will be released throughout 2022. 

Joaquin Joe Claussell needs no introduction, the Body & Soul founder and Sacred Rhythm label honcho is a true legend and purveyor of spirituality – a cosmic messenger that brings us two versions of “Inner Light”; his work here is not to be solely intended as a remix but, as the title suggests, delivers two new proper versions of the original song.This EP is the frst in a trilogy of 12” releases that will also feature further reinterpretations of tracks taken from the “People Need People” album, by none less than Anthony Nicholson, DJ Spinna and Tall Black Guy!

1. Inner Light Joe Claussell Sacred Rhythm (Cosmic Arts Version) feat Raashan Ahmad 09:46
2. Inner Light Joe Claussell Sacred Rhythm (Cosmic Arts Dub Version) feat Raashan Ahmad 10:12

“Inner Light” written by Nicola Conte, Gianluca Petrella and Raashan Ahmad
Remixed, produced and mixed by Joaquin Joe Claussell for
Sacred Rhythm Music & Cosmic Arts. Bolla Music ASCAP
Recorded and mixed at Sky High Studios New York City
Remix engineer – Fran Cathcart

Electric piano and synth – Bennet Paster
Electric guitar – Fran Cathcart
Baritone sax – Du Du Ka
Afro Latin drums & percussion, bass, drum programming and vocal chants – Joaquin Joe Claussell
Vocals – Raashan Ahmad