Friday, April 8, 2022

Harvey Valdes - Novare: J​.​S. Bach Lute Works on Electric Guitar (April 8, 2022 Destiny Records)

1. Lute Suite in C Minor, BWV 997: I. Prelude (Arr. A-Flat Minor)
2. Lute Suite in C Minor, BWV 997: II. Fugue (Arr. A-Flat Minor)
3. Lute Suite in C Minor, BWV 997: III Sarabande (Arr. A-Flat Minor)
4. Lute Suite in C Minor, BWV 997: IV Gigue (Arr. A-Flat Minor)
5. Lute Suite in C Minor, BWV 997: V Double (Arr. A-Flat Minor)
6. Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-Flat Major, BWV 998: I. Prelude (Arr. D-Flat Major)
7. Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-Flat Major, BWV 998: II. Fugue (Arr. D-Flat Major)
8. Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-Flat Major, BWV 998: III. Allegro (Arr. D-Flat Major)
9. Prelude in C Minor, BWV 999 (Arr. D-Flat Minor)
10. Fugue in G Minor, BWV 1000 (Arr. A-Flat Minor)

Harvey Valdes: Electric guitar
Compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach

Produced by Harvey Valdes. Recorded by Harvey Valdes February 28th to March 9th, 2021 in Brooklyn NY. Mixed by Todd Carder with Harvey Valdes at The Bunker Studio. Mastered by Alex DeTurk. Cover photo by Harvey Valdes, design by Cameron Mizell. CD design by Ben Walker. Photo of Harvey by Shervin Lainez. Release Coordination by Cameron Mizell.

Sun Ra Arkestra & Salah Ragab - Sun Ra Arkestra Meets Salah Ragab In Egypt (April 8, 2022 Strut)

Strut present the final instalment in their series of reissues of Sun Ra’s historic recordings in Egypt with The Sun Ra Arkestra meets Salah Ragab in Egypt plus the Cairo Jazz Band, originally released on Greek label Praxis in 1983.

Salah Ragab first encountered the Arkestra at a concert at the house of Goethe Institut ex-pat Hartmut Geerken during the Arkestra’s first visit to Cairo and Heliopolis in December 1971 and, although Ra and Ragab did not meet in person on that occasion, they did meet and bond together when Ra returned to Egypt in 1983, resulting in these recordings. The Arkestra had been touring Europe in March 1983 and made their way to Cairo, playing a number of concerts during April at the Il Capo / Il Buco venue before recording the two superb studio versions of Ragab compositions, ‘Egypt Strut’ and ‘Dawn’, at El Nahar Studios in Heliopolis in May, featuring Salah Ragab on congas.

Kostas Yiannoulopoulos, organiser of the Praxis festival in Greece, released the recordings as the A-side of this album, with three tracks by Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Orchestra on Side B. ‘Ramadan’ and ‘Oriental Mood’ were first heard on the Cairo Jazz Orchestra album Egypt Strut released in 1973 while ‘A Farewell Theme’, received its very first release on this record, written following the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970; the piece was played at the much-loved President’s funeral.

This first ever official reissue of the album features previously unseen photos and memorabilia alongside brand new liner notes by Hartmut Geerken and Paul Griffiths. The album is released in its original artwork and is fully remastered by Technology Works. 

1. Egypt Strut
2. Dawn
3. Ramadan
4. Oriental Mood
5. A Farewell Theme

Michael Scott Dawson - Music For Listening (April 8, 2022 We Are Busy Bodies)

Music For Listening, the sophomore album by Michael Scott Dawson, arrives April 8 via We Are Busy Bodies

The album is comprised of twelve ambient works for guitar. It follows his 2020 debut Nowhere, Middle Of which was built around generative synths. Not wanting to repeat himself, Dawson entirely abandoned the synthesizer, his primary instrument, on Music For Listening. The resulting guitar pieces lean heavily on tape loops and manipulations, and are accompanied by field recordings and spare piano elements. This music rests at the intersection of composition, improvisation, and chance, with patient and simple melodies emerging and recurring across the album like mantras.

Dawson’s inspiration grew from a phone call to his 95-year-old grandmother. As they talked, she shared observations about the birds outside her window, just as she’d done since he was a child. Upon hanging up the phone, he felt compelled to dig out recordings he’d made some summers before, while visiting family. These fragments were initially intended to be part of an album of prairie birdsong: he’d trekked through pastures and farmland on the outskirts of his childhood hometown to capture the audio. Field recordings in the truest sense.

Dawson abandoned this project because the raw audio was densely populated with the hiss and crackle of mosquitoes and insects swarming the microphones: but listening back, after that phone call and after many years, he was struck by the similarities between these recordings and the music he would come to compose. While the audio played, he found himself compelled to pick up a guitar and tinker along. Dawson’s commitment to the follow-up album he’d been deep into creating evaporated in that moment, and he switched course to begin crafting Music For Listening. 

1. No Rave
2. Campestral
3. Witness Marks
4. Summerfallow
5. Places I've Loved, People I've Been
6. This Young Century
7. Two Solitudes
8. Everything In Modulation
9. Praise and Other
10. Mineral Rights
11. North Dakota Stars
12. The Sentimentalist

Music For Listening was mastered by Taylor Deupree at 12K Mastering.

Matt Gold - Midnight Choir (April 8, 2022 Ruination Record Co.)

1. Coming Up Shy 03:18
2. Remains
3. Wave Over Me
4. Midnight Choir
5. 190 Proof
6. Sing Us Till Dawn
7. One Half is True
8. Hazel, Friend of Mine
9. On Our Way Out

Matt Gold - voice, acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass, synth bass, wurlitzer electric piano, harmonium, mellotron, synthesizer, drum machine, percussion

JT Bates - drums (1, 3, 4)
Anabel Hirano - voice (6)
Bryan Doherty - electric bass (1)

Recorded by Matt Gold at Catfish Recording (Chicago, IL)
Mixed by Steve Shirk at Shirk Studios (Chicago, IL)
Mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters (Los Angeles, CA)
Drums on tracks 1, 3, 4 recorded by JT Bates at Salon Studio (St. Paul, MN)
Artwork and layout by Marine Tempels Black

All music and words by Matt Gold (ASCAP)
except "Hazel, Friend of Mine" - music by Matt Gold, words by Bryan Doherty (ASCAP)

Curt Sydnor - Heaven is Begun (April 8, 2022 passerine records)

“Heaven is Begun” is an unconventional foray into the borderlands that separate gospel & secular songcraft. The lyrics speak to themes of doubt, death, and unknowability. The musical arrangements feature the masterful vocalist Laura Ann Singh backed by an avant-jazz rhythm section, operating fearlessly within Sydnor’s own traditional-experimental song structures. Proudly grandiose in its attempts to meld the mundane with the weird, “Heaven Is Begun” slips musical, lyrical, and metaphorical subversion into familiar source material.

1. Battle Hymn of the Republic
2. Not Even Past
3. Nature Strives for Beauty
4. Old Rugged Cross
5. Heavenwards
6. Beyond the Sunset
7. Adagietto
8. Covered in Clover

Curt Sydnor - keys, vocals
Laura Ann Singh - vocals
Scott Clark - drums
Adam Hopkins - bass
Ryan Seaton - orchestrations
Aaron Dugan- guitar on "Nature Strives for Beauty"
Alan Good Parker- lap steel on "Heavenwards"
Gary Kalar - guitar on "Covered in Clover"

Recorded and mixed by Lance Koehler
Mastered by Sarah Register
Album layout and design by Darryl Norsen

All songs by Curt Sydnor except:
"Battle Hymn of the Republic" (Howe/anon)
"Old Rugged Cross" (Bennard)
"Beyond The Sunset" (Brock/Rowswell)
"Adagietto" (Mahler)

Michelle Willis - Just One Voice (April 8, 2022 GROUNDUP MUSIC)



Singer, songwriter and keyboard player Michelle Willis’ is to release her second album, Just One Voice on April 8 2022 via GroundUP Music. In celebration of the upcoming release the,  first single “Green Grey” has been shared on YouTube HERE. The album, produced with Fab Dupont (Andre 3000, Gregory Porter) features guest performances by David Crosby, Michael McDonald, Grégoire Maret, Becca Stevens and Taylor Ashton. 

Just One Voice was written during the intensity of non-stop travel, penned from the cramped seats of buses, planes and countless green rooms. One night, out on the open road, Willis played the title track for Crosby, her mentor and bandmate, who urged, “No one else sounds like this. This is you. You have to make this record.” Shortly thereafter she was able to secure a prestigious grant from the Canada Council for the Arts which set the recording process in motion.
“This song is meant to be playful, fun and flirtatious, in the (sort of?) innocent first moments of attraction,” Willis says of ‘Green Grey.’ “I spent a few years following the trope of being a young, fun escape to other people’s sadness. That got old, and thankfully so did I. I originally heard this as a combo of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘Something To Talk About’ but with the energy of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Cecilia.’”

Of the rest of the tracklisting on Just One Voice, Willis notes, “I originally thought these songs were going to be about ‘being strong alone’ and all this ‘ra ra I can do it by myself’-ness, but in the end, looking at the lyrics I realized they were about the process of getting there, how there’s all sorts of ugly feelings to sort through once we're on our own that I needed to look at. I do feel stronger and wider for acknowledging them now, but hoo boy, can they be uncomfortable to look at.”

New Single: Green Grey

Michelle Willis is a Canadian singer-songwriter and keyboard player based in Brooklyn. A Toronto native, she moved to New York in 2016 with few prospects save for a monthly residency at Rockwood Music Hall. Within months she was touring in two bands led by David Crosby (David Crosby & Sky Trails and David Crosby & Lighthouse), another by pop/jazz composer Becca Stevens, and opening for jazz/funk collective Snarky Puppy across the globe. Willis has cemented her place as an in-demand keyboard player and singer, touring and recording with a diverse array of artists such as the aforementioned Crosby and Stevens as well as the Zac Brown Band, Iggy Pop, Laura Mvula and Michael McDonald. Just Once Voice follows her debut record, 2016’s See Us Through.

Just One Voice

1. 10ths 03:47
2. Liberty 04:42
3. Just One Voice 04:37
4. Green Grey 03:00
5. Trigger (feat. Taylor Ashton) 04:02
6. Janet 03:24
7. How Come (feat. Michael McDonald) 04:28
8. Think Well 03:33
9. 'Til the Weight Lifts (feat. Grégoire Maret) 04:13
10. On & On 04:23
11. Black Night (feat. Becca Stevens) 05:09

New York, come celebrate! One week before the worldwide digital release, Michelle and her band perform JUST ONE VOICE live at Joe's Pub with special guests TBA. A very special night indeed. Buy Tickets Here. Band listed below. It's HAPPENING!

Michelle Willis: keys, vox

Louis Cato: drums/percussion/vocal
David Cutler: bass
Christian Almiron: keys
Julia Easterlin: bg vox

Alan Braufman announces 1975 live album (April 8, 2022 Valley of Search)


Live in New York City, February 8, 1975

Today, Alan Braufman announces a new live album due on April 8, 2022. Live in New York City, February 8, 1975 is the recently unearthed recording of Braufman with his five-piece band, Cooper-Moore (piano, ashimba, recitation), William Parker (bass), John Clark (French horn), Jim Schapperow (drums) and Ralph Williams (percussion), in an early 1975 live radio session. Coupled with the album's announcement, Braufman shares the live version of his song "Chant" from Live in New York City album.

The 94-minute performance is spread over 5 album sides on 3 LPs and 2 CDs. Newly mastered with new liner notes by the host Susan Mannheimer. Live in New York City, February 8, 1975 will be available on vinyl, CD and to stream on April 8th via Valley of Search.

Live in New York City, February 8, 1975 was recorded soon after the recording of Braufman's debut album Valley of Search for the India Navigation Label and marks the first meeting for William Parker and Cooper-Moore, whose musical partnership has flourished ever since. Live in New York City arrives after 2020's reissue of The Fire Still Burns, the second album released under Alan's own name following 1975's Valley of Search.

Alan Braufman is an instrumental figure in New York City downtown culture. Born in Brooklyn, after studying at Berklee College of Music he moved to a vacant building at 501 Canal Street in Manhattan alongside several other musicians. Monthly rent at the time was $140 for a floor, and the space was transformed into a practice space and venue. This gritty, improvised set up in downtown Manhattan would blaze a trail for generations of creatives and set a do-it-yourself tradition for young jazz acts in the city that is followed to this day. During this period Alan recorded Valley of Search at 501 Canal Street, and released it with the label India Navigation. The album is a perfect snapshot of the energy and creativity of its era, and would come to achieve cult status. It was highly sought after by vinyl collectors, and in 2018 Alan reissued Valley of Search.
Live in New York City, February 8, 1975 vinyl

Alan Braufman
Live in New York City, February 8, 1975
Valley of Search

About Alan Braufman:
What we know of Downtown New York comes from the countercultural and creative flowering that emerged in lower Manhattan in the 1960s, attributable to cheap live-work spaces called lofts. These were often abandoned and disused small manufacturing spaces and they became a nexus for artistic practice and life. From a jazz perspective, lofts were alternatives to the club scene, and they gained notoriety in the 1970s. Places like Studio We, Studio Rivbea, The Ladies' Fort, Ali's Alley, and Environ became central in the development of the new music. But even the underground had an underground, and the happenings at 501 Canal Street on the West Side were a point of activity in which a small but dedicated number of people took part. In 1973 a cadre of free improvising musicians relocated from Boston to lower Manhattan: pianist Gene Ashton (now known as Cooper-Moore), bassist Chris Amberger, and saxophonists David S. Ware and Alan Braufman.

All had studied at Berklee College of Music, though they stood apart from most collegiate musicians. Ashton secured the building at 501 and the rent for the each of the four usable floors was $140 a month. The first floor became a performance space, while Ware and Braufman took the front and back of the second floor, respectively. Ashton was on the third floor with his young family, and Amberger was on the fourth. Later, drummer Tom Bruno and his partner, vocalist Ellen Christi would take Amberger's spot. Along with bassist David Saphra and drummer Ralph Williams, the Braufman-Ashton unit became the house band, rehearsing regularly and performing in the storefront.

Braufman was born in 1951 in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, moving to Boston to attend Berklee in 1968. In his own words, he "started playing clarinet at eight; my mom was deeply into the music, so she would play Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Coltrane. It grabbed me - there was something exciting about it that I didn't hear in other music, so no matter what I was going to be a musician. When I was thirteen I got my first saxophone. I had a teacher who could teach me how to play but not how to improvise (which is what I wanted to do) so I had to figure it out. I didn't know changes, but I could pick out the patterns that were happening in free music and I could figure out what to do. I would teach myself patterns and scales, figure out some harmonics - I was self-taught until I got to Berklee."

Braufman's sound - "Alan had a huge sound on alto and voice that was his, and that was rare in a town where you had lots of young players coming up" (Cooper-Moore) - was immediately appealing and rooted in such forebears as Jackie McLean. In Boston, he made other connections, including drummer David Lee Jr.'s wife-to-be who ran the coat check at the Jazz Workshop. The saxophonist parlayed that into working lights at the venue and, more importantly, a friendship with Lee that resulted in the percussionist's place on this album. Braufman also sat in at the Jazz Workshop, which is how he met future mentor and collaborator Cecil McBee, whose partner Lucia, an artist, was also living in Boston - in this case, on the bandstand when the bassist was coming through town with Pharoah Sanders. Braufman later played on McBee's debut Strata-East LP Mutima, recorded in New York in May of 1974 and a precursor to the bassist's role in Valley of Search.
As Cooper-Moore tells it, "when we moved to 501 Canal Street... that's when I got to really play with Alan. When we started putting on concerts, we used the same musicians but [depending on the day it] would be either his band or my band. It was around that time Cecil Taylor did a concert at Carnegie Hall with his orchestra, and Gary Giddins, who was writing for the Voice, wrote very badly about David S. Ware. Tom Bruno was living at Canal Street then, along with Ellen Christi. Philip Polumbo, a bass player and painter, was living on the top floor, and they were all working at the Village Voice. Tom said, you know, 'we gonna get back at this guy Gary Giddins,' so they mimeographed these posters, little sheets about how Gary was an idiot and he couldn't hear, he really didn't know the music and he should come down to Canal Street sometime and hear what's going on there. So one week when it was Alan's band, Giddins showed up and reviewed us, and we got good press. He thought that the space was loud but the headline read 'Taking Chances at 501 Canal' and then people started coming." The article, in the June 13, 1974 issue of the Voice, discusses the music as it relates to figures like Taylor and Don Cherry, and notes the programs' "kaleidoscopic densities" and that Ashton and Braufman's linkage is what pushes the music forward.

Valley of Search is a document of the music at 501 Canal, but it's also a document of relationships - people who lived or worked together and were humanly close. Braufman met Bob Cummins, the founder of India Navigation Company, at a party at McBee's apartment in Harlem. The label had just been conceived, and Braufman would be its second artist. McBee, Lee, and Williams were obvious foils for their place in the saxophonist's work and life, the latter providing a bevy of instruments that he would later apply to work with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. In late 1974, Cummins set up microphones in the building's storefront, documenting two short sets by the band with no alternate takes or additional cuts.

Invoking with a dulcimer and bowed bass drone undergirded by flits of percussion, Ashton chants the Bahá'í prayer "God sufficeth all things above all things, and nothing in the heavens or in the earth but God sufficeth, verily he is in himself the knower, the sustainer, the omnipotent. God sufficeth all things above all things..." granting the music's higher search a stirring, declaratory shout amid mountain strings. Soon, liquid alto keen, harried screams, and rhapsodic piano chunks edge a dense fracas toward the sharp, sinewy groove and foamy crests of the following movement. One would imagine that the music on this recording reflects the overall feel at 501; the compositions are among those that were in their book at the time, fleshed out with a powerful array of percussion, whistles, and cries, McBee's bass steadily thrumming and in counterpoint to burred, throaty alto and briskly twined piano.

When Bruno and Christi moved from the fourth floor down to the first, that was the end of performances as they had been at 501 Canal; Ashton relocated to his home state of Virginia soon after, before returning to New York in 1985 as Cooper-Moore. Braufman would go on to work with drummer William Hooker and his own more commercially-leaning groups (as Alan Michael) before relocating to Salt Lake City, where he resides today. Valley of Search has enjoyed a cult status among followers of this music, and it captures a unique and very alive historical slice of New York's creative improvised underground.

1. Announcements
2. Rainbow Warriors
3. Ark of Salvation
4. Little Nabil's March
5. Destiny
6. Ashimba
7. Chant
8. Thankfulness
9. Love Is For Real
10. Forshadow
11. Announcements 2
12. Emancipation (Cooper-Moore)
13. Tree Of Life
14. Bright Evenings
15. The Muse
16. A Tear And A Smile
17. O Nosso Amour
18. Sunrise

Alan Braufman - Alto saxophone, Flute
Cooper-Moore - Piano, ashimba, recitation
William Parker - Bass
John Clark - French horn
Jim Schapperoew - Drums
Ralph Williams - Percussion

Susan Mannheimer - Host

Recorded live at WBAI Studio C, New York February 8, 1975

Mastered by Joe Lambert

Art by Mike Zimmerman

Lionel Pillay (feat. Basil Mannenberg Coetzee) - Shrimp Boats (April 8, 2022 We Are Busy Bodies)

Assembling unreleased recordings from 1979 and 1980, Shrimp Boats is a South African jazz archival compilation from 1987 built around its epic side-long title track featuring saxophonist Basil "Mannenberg" Coetzee. The recording was made during pianist Lionel Pillay's November 1979 session with Coetzee for the As-Shams/The Sun album Plum and Cherry. Side Two is composed of material recorded in September 1980 from the session for Lionel Pillay's Deeper in Black album. The 1951 pop standard "Shrimp Boats" was first given its unlikely jazz arrangement by Abdullah Ibrahim (recording as Dollar Brand) in 1971.

Pillay and Coetzee take this seed of an arrangement to its furthest reaches with their mesmerising performance. Although the title track casts a big shadow, Pillay's "Slow Blues for Orial" is a welcome original composition on the flip side that stands proudly next to a rare 1970s cover of Winston "Mankunku" Ngozi's "Yakhal 'Inkomo" (Pillay was the pianist on Mankunku's original 1968 recording) featuring saxophonists Barney Rachabane and Duke Makasi. The set closes with a nod to the contemporaneous jazz fusion scene with a take on Weather Report's "Birdland" from 1977.

1. Shrimp Boats 25:07
2. Slow Blues For Orial 07:31
3. Yakhal'Inkomo 09:06
4. Birdland 05:50

Personnel on Track 1:
Lionel Pillay - Piano
Basil Coetzee - Tenor Sax
Stompie Manana - Trumpet
Charles Johnstone - Bass
Rod Clark - Drums
- Recorded 12 November 1979

Personnel on Tracks 2, 3, 4:
Lionel Pillay - Piano
Barney Rachabane - Alto Sax
Duku Makasi - Tenor Sax
Sipho Gumede - Bass
Gilbert Mathews - Drums
- Recorded 29 September 1980

Produced by Rashid Vally
Cat. No. MANDLA 001
Original Release 1987
We Are Busy Bodies Reissue 2022

Jane Ira Bloom / Mark Helias - See Our Way (April 2022)

This music was recorded in multiple sessions over several months in 2021-22. It was done at Chateau Beyond Studio in upstate NY. The mixing and mastering was completed at Radio Legs Music in NYC. The pieces were collaboratively improvised and we allowed ourselves the freedom to just be with the music and create the sound as the moment moved us. It comes on the heels of our first duo release “Some Kind of Tomorrow” in 2020. It’s hard to put into words how extraordinary it feels to collaborate with a musician who you can coax composition out of the air with. It’s exhilarating, it’s dangerous, it’s like jumping off the high board and it’s our way.

See Our Way

Multiverse 1
See Our Way 4:35
Cut to the Chase 4:13
Laser Plane 4:28
Detectives 2:59
As Close As It Gets 3:26

Multiverse 2
Perfect Memory 2:59
Hard Science 4:55
Imaginary Fences 3:48
Folks Sing 5:38
Hold the Wire 3:25

Multiverse 3
Time Shear 6:25
Quelle 2:43
Second Hand Lonely 6:27

Mark Helias Radio Legs Music /BMI
Jane Ira Bloom Outline Music/ BMI

Recorded by Mark Helias & Jane Ira Bloom
Mixed & mastered by Mark Helias
Joseph Helias – Audio Consultant
Cover Artwork “Street Lamps” by Ching Ho Cheng
© 2022 Estate of Ching Ho Cheng/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Cover Design by Christopher Drukker

Florian Arbenz / Joāo Barradas / Tineke Postma / Rafael Jerjen - Conversation Elemental #5 (April 29, 2022)

For the fifth installment of his ambition Conversations project, award-winning Swiss drummer Florian Arbenz presents the album Elemental (29th April) with Dutch saxophonist Tineke Postma, Portuguese Accordion virtuoso Joāo Barradas and Swiss-Australian Rafael Jerjen on bass .

Arbenz’s choices for Conversation #5 were selected for their unmistakably unique voices on their respective instruments. Arbenz himself says, “it doesn't happen so often that I immediately get captured by a musician by just hearing him/her on a record. And I think this is a big link for me to Tineke, Joāo and Rafael.”

An improvised exploration of the realm between jazz and classical chamber music, the ensemble’s sophisticated and open-minded sound is equally comfortable in either world. Strikingly vast in texture and feeling, the ensemble shifts rapidly between tight, syncopated grooves, flurries of virtuosic saxophone playing, passages melancholic openness, and powerfully dense accordion harmonies.

With a slew of awards and world-class collaborations under their belts, the ensemble’s collective international reputation cannot be understated.

From Postma’s appearances on two Grammy winning albums and Downbeat Magazine’s Rising Star for soprano saxophone award, Barradas winning the World Accordion Trophy (twice!), Jerjen’s National Emerging Jazz Composers Prize and Arbenz’s European Award for Culture, each member of the quartet is a powerhouse in their own right. 

1. Sin Tar-Danza
2. Small Talk
3. Reverie
4. Waking With a Start
5. Luna Volver
6. Shooting The Breeze
7. The Passage of Light
8. Prelude
9. Freedom Jazz Fugue