Duo of Veteran Guitarist Nels Cline (Wilco, The Nels Cline Singers) & Youthful Virtuoso Julian Lage (Mark O’Connor, Jim Hall) Release Duo Album ROOM onNovember 25 via Mack Avenue Records

Posted on September 9th, 2014 by admin



Nels Cline is a major force as a guitarist and improviser, ever since he debuted on record in 1978 and as a leader in 1988. Named by Rolling Stone as one of 20 “new guitar gods” and one of the top 100 guitarists of all time, Cline has gained his widest fame as a member of acclaimed rock band Wilco since 2004. He’s known for a certain cranked-up experimental mayhem, the kind sometimes heard from his extraordinary trio The Nels Cline Singers, which released the well-received MACROSCOPE on Mack Avenue earlier in 2014. But throughout his career, Cline has undertaken projects, sometimes acoustic or semi-acoustic duos, highlighting an intimate and reflective approach that’s just as central to his artistry.

With ROOM, Cline returns to Mack Avenue, creating a world of melodic beauty but also hard sonic edges and technical brilliance in the company of Julian Lage. At just 26, Lage has taken the world of jazz guitar by storm. The New York Times hails the “disarming spirit of generosity” in Lage’s music and notes the young guitarist’s “roots tangled up in jazz, folk, classical and country music.” In addition to his work with Mark O’Connor, the late Jim HallAnthony Wilson and a great many others, Lage leads his own groundbreaking groups as documented on the albums Gladwell and Sounding Point (the latter earning Lage a Grammy® nomination).

In a 2013 Q&A with JazzTimes, Lage described the Cline-Lage duo sound as “200 percent power,” and that’s exactly what comes through on ROOM: an inspired collection of originals and collaborative pieces that run the full range from intricately composed and complex to free and spontaneous. Cline builds on the strength of his previous duo work with the likes of Vinny GoliaZeena ParkinsElliott Sharp,Thurston MooreCarla BozulichMarc Ribot and not least of all the late West Coast bassist Eric Von Essen, to which the gorgeous dual-acoustic showcase “Whispers From Eve” is dedicated. Lage, for his part, has worked in duo settings with David Grisman, Martin Taylor, John Abercrombie, Taylor Eigsti and others.

The setup on ROOM is simple. Lage is on the left channel, Cline on the right, and they play just four guitars total: Cline a 1965 Gibson Barney Kessel archtop and a 1962 Gibson J-200 acoustic; Lage his tried-and-true Linda Manzer archtop and a 1939 Martin 000-18 acoustic. The sound is pristine, alive with personality and contrast, improvisational daring and jaw-dropping precision. “These are all ‘live’ performances,” Cline adds—there are no overdubs.

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Drummer-Composer Vinnie Sperrazza PresentsApocryphal – an Art-House Jazz Masterpiece That Blends Atmosphere and Edge – Out Today via Loyal Label

Posted on September 9th, 2014 by admin

Sperrazza’s kindred-spirit New York quartet on Apocryphalfeatures Loren Stillman (alto saxophone), Brandon Seabrook (electric guitar) and Eivind Opsvik (double-bass)

Record Release Shows on Sunday September 14that Barbès, Brooklyn and Thursday, September 18th at Cornelia St. Cafe 

Vinnie Sperrazza – a drummer of both swing and color, one whose “tones travel on and on,” according to The New York Times – releases Apocryphal, his fourth album as a leader or co-leader, on Sept. 9, 2014, via Loyal Label. Apocryphal, a masterpiece of art-house jazz that blends cinematic atmosphere and rock edge, features a kindred-spirit quartet of Brooklyn-based musicians, with the drummer-composer joined by tartly lyrical alto saxophonist Loren Stillman, very electric guitarist Brandon Seabrookand deeply musical double-bassist Eivind Opsvik, all notable figures on the 21st-century New York creative music scene. The Brooklyn studio sessions were recorded by top indie-rock engineer Bryce Goggin (who has been behind the board for artists from Pavement to Antony & the Johnsons) and produced by Geoff Kraly, a member of rock duo Paris Monster as well as a longtime friend and musical collaborator of Sperrazza. Opsvik, who runs the Loyal Label, mixed the album. The music of Apocryphal has such far-flung touchstones as Tony Williams and Paul Motian, Frank Zappa and Spalding Gray, not to mention plainchant and post-rock, jazz chops and studio manipulation, buried secrets and revealed truth.

The word “apocryphal” hints at a sense of mystery, given the term’s popular derivation from the Apocrypha, non-canonical books of the Bible considered possibly “untrue.” Sperrazza was drawn to the concept as a metaphor for the hidden web of allusions behind an album of pure, abstract music. About the title, Sperrazza says: “That word has a nexus of meanings regarding secrets hidden away. The story of those books of the Bible fascinated me, even though my Catholicism is strictly of the lapsed, ironic variety. There are elements of this record that are unstated or secret in a sense, with a couple of songs subject to studio art. In the title track, for instance, a drum performance from one take was inserted into the band performance of another take. This album pushes against my default classic jazz aesthetic of going for one great take and that being the track. Then there’s Brandon Seabrook’s atmospheric guitar playing, which is very non-jazz and takes the music to a weirder, more amorphous place where you don’t know quite where you are – and that’s very exciting to me.”

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Myra Melford News & Upcoming Tour Dates: February 2015 Release of Snowy Egret on ENJA/Yellowbird; To Tour & Record Duo Album With Ben Goldberg; November 2014 Curator of the New Frequencies Fest: Jazz@YBCA, February 4 -7, 2015, San Francisco; Melford Retrospective at the Stone March 2015

Posted on August 27th, 2014 by admin


(photo by Michael Wilson)

Riding the wave of success and critical acclaim from 2013, pianist MyraMelford has continued to flourish in 2014. Last year, Melford was a recipient of both the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and the Guggenheim Fellowshipas well as a two year residency with the prestigious San Francisco cultural center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

In the coming months, Melford will showcase current projects such as her newest ensemble Snowy Egret which features cornetist Ron Miles,guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Stomu Takeishi, and drummerTyshawn Sorey. Snowy Egret has recorded an album which will be released on ENJA/Yellowbird with an expected release date in early 2015. OnAugust 29th, Melford and Snowy Egret will play in Chicago as part of theChicago Jazz Festival at 7:10 PM in Millennium Park. 

Myra was recently awarded an Australian Art Music Award for “Excellence In Jazz” for a recent album of piano duets, Everything Here is Possible, in which Melford played alongside the inventive Australian pianist Alister Spence. Everything Here is Possible documented the first meeting of the two pianists, and it was recorded in the midst of a tour that Melford was on with her band Trio M, with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Matt Wilson.

Additionally, Melford’s duo with Bay-Area clarinetist Ben Goldberg, “Dialogue”, will tour on the East Coast and in South America this Fall, through a grant from United States Artists International. They will record an album with an expected, mid-2015 release date.

 (Watch a video of Melford’s Snowy Egret performing in Paris, June 2013)

On June 1, 2015, Melford will play a rare concert with two of Chicago’s most reputed improvisers, cellist Tomeka Reid and drummer Mike Reed, at the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNow Series. This concert is one of four concerts which feature jazz artists collaborating with musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This engagement will feature Melford as both performer and composer.

Upcoming Tour Dates & Events:

Aug 29Snowy Egret - Chicago Jazz Fest -
7:10pm in Millennium Park
Sept 19Duo with Taylor Ho Bynum at
 Center for New Music, SF
Sept 21Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom Angel City Jazz Festival
Oct 9 & 10Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom at 
The Outpost, Albuquerque, NM
Oct 11 & 12Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom at Dazzle, Denver, CO
Oct 17Russ Johnson’s Still Out To Lunch CD release tour: 
Edgefest, Ann Arbor, MI
Oct 18Constellation, Chicago
Oct 19University of Wisconsin, Parkside, WI
Nov 8Dialogue Ben Goldberg/Myra Melford Duo at
Maybeck Recital Hall, Berkeley, CA 3pm
Nov 14Dialogue at Firehouse 12, New Haven, CT
Nov 16: Dialogue at The Sanctuary for Independent Media, Troy, NY
Nov 19 - 30Dialogue Tour in South America, with festivals in Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Cordoba
Dec 15:
 Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom Roulette, Brooklyn
Dec 18Duo with Satoko Fujii – Brussels, Belgium - Studio Room at Bozar
Myra’s  curated festival at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Feb 4: Gala Event with Scott Amendola Ensemble (Duende, Oakland, CA)
Feb 5Henry Threadgill’s Tribute to Butch Morris: Ensemble Double Up with Jason Moran and David Virelles
Feb 6Satoko Fujii Duo: Nowake, Rudy Royston’s 303, Matana Roberts Coin Coin (with Myra Melford)
Feb 7: Jenny Scheinman solo, Lisa Mezzacappa Bait & Switch Film Noir Project with Willie Winant, Anjelique Kidjo performing songs from Eve,  Nicole Mitchell, Joelle Leandre and Myra Melford Trio, Ben Goldberg’s Orphic Machine (with Myra Melford)
MARCH 2015
March 24Tuesday: Duo with Allison Miller and Spindrift for Leroy Jenkins with Nicole Mitchell and Tyshawn Sorey
March 25Duo with Ben Goldberg and MZM with Miya Masaoka and Zeena Parkins
March 26Crush Quartet with Cuong Vu, Stomu Takeishi and Kenny Wollesen followed by Be Bread Sextet with Brandon Ross, Ben Goldberg, Cuong Vu, Stomu Takeishi and Matt Wilson
March 27Same River, Twice, with Dave Douglas, Chris Speed, Erik Friedlander and Michael Sarin (both sets)
March 28Snowy Egret with Ron Miles, Liberty Ellman, Stomu Takeishi and Ted Poor (both sets)
March 29Duo with Marty Ehrlich and original trio with Lindsey Horner and Reggie Nicholson
APRIL 2015
Dialogue European Tour (April 10 - 26)
JUNE 2015
June 1Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNow with Myra Melford (compositions), Tomeka Reid cello and Mike Reed drums/percussion

Swallow/Talmor/Nussbaum Garner Critical Acclaim For Second Release, Singular Curves (Auand Records); The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The New Yorker, The New York City Jazz Record & ArtsFuse All Rave About The Record

Posted on August 27th, 2014 by admin



In a recent, extensive review of Singular Curves (Auand)–the new record from the trio of bassist Steve Swallow, saxophonist Ohad Talmor and drummer Adam Nussbaum–New York Times jazz critic Nate Chinen lauded the three for their “easy chemistry…that gives ‘Singular Curves’ its claim to singularity”. Chinen not only spoke of the record’s merits on its own terms, but also situated the group amidst the history of the saxophone-bass-drums trios dating back to Sonny Rollins’Live at The Village Vanguard records from the late 1950s. Chinen notes that, “Within those parameters, even a tweak can feel like a push against established precedent”, and cites Mr. Swallow’s idiosyncratic electric-bass stylings as a main force behind the groups unique sound and approach. Chinen strikingly concludes his review by stating that, “trios usually call up triangular metaphors, so the suggestion of curvature in this album’s title feels like a subtle subversion”.

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Guitarist David Ullmann’s Octet Album, Corduroy, Out Today; To Play Brooklyn Release Show For New Album at Barbès Thursday, August 28th

Posted on August 26th, 2014 by admin


(photo by Vincent Soyez)

“There’s a jaunty vibe to the music on the guitarist’s new Corduroy, and it’s fetching… Hats off to Ullmann the arranger/composer, who was inspired by TV show themes of his youth on this one. Melody is up front here, buoying all the action, of which there’s plenty.” -Jim Macnie, The Village Voice
“This guitarist weaves an intoxicating tale” - Downbeat 

“For his new album, “Corduroy,” the guitarist David Ullmann sought inspiration in an unlikely place: the theme songs from the television shows of his youth, in the 1970s. But rather than covering those themes, he set out to recreate their mood in original compositions,” - The New York Times

“Guitarist David Ullmann presents his luminous compositions at a release party for new album Corduroy, which features smooth, songful pieces inspired by ’70s-TV themes. Count on the heavy supporting cast, including clarinetist Chris Speed, vibraphonist Chris Dingman and trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, to bring these plush works to vivid life.” - Time Out New York

Guitarist David Ullmann’s octet recording, Corduroy, has its official release date today and to celebrate, Ullmann is bringing his star-studded ensemble to play their Brooklyn release show, on Thursday, August 28th at the Park Slope bar,Barbès. Ullmann’s concept for Corduroy stemmed out of nostalgia from the moods, feelings and sentiments conjured from the television themes of the 1970s. Indeed, the album’s title is a nod to a fabric which is particularly emblematic of that decade and is evocative of the atmosphere Ullmann’s band creates throughout the album.

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Legendary Alto Saxophonist & Doris Duke Performing Artist, Oliver Lake To Play Iridium With His Big BandSeptember 13, 2014 Lake Set To Curate A Retrospective Week At The Stone October 21-26th, 2014

Posted on August 25th, 2014 by admin
“Lake takes a hint from both Duke Ellington and Oliver Nelson and creates vast colorings with the horns, which in turn he utilizes in compositions that draw on his avant-garde style.” - JazzTimes 
“Lake made a new commitment to running these large ensembles in 1998, and this disc illustrates how he has become an original voice for this format.” - Downbeat
In the Spring of 2013, legendary alto saxophonist Oliver Lake configured a big band to record his original large-ensemble compositions, which resulted in The Wheel, a record lauded for its originality and compositional vitality. Lake has re-configured this ensemble for a special one night performance, September 13, 2014, at The Iridium in Midtown Manhattan at 8 & 10 PM.
The Oliver Lake Big Band:
(All sets at 8 and 10 PM)
Oliver Lake - alto saxophone
Terry Greene –  trombone
Alfred Patterson –  trombone  
Aaron Johnson – trombone
Robert Stringer – trombone   
Darius Jones – alto sax   
Marty Ehrlich – alto sax    
James Stewart – tenor sax  
Mike Lee – tenor sax  
Alex Blake – baritone sax
Josh Evans – trumpet   
Greg Glassman – trumpet 
Nabate Isles – trumpet   
Nathan Eklund – trumpet
Yoichi Uzeki – piano
Robert Sabin – bass   
Chris Beck – drums
The Iridium is located at 1650 Broadway (at 51st St.)
New York, NY 10019

Genre Defying Group Kneebody Annouces Forthcoming US Tour Dates, Sept. 2014

Posted on August 25th, 2014 by admin


“[Kneebody] creates everything-is-welcome here music that values the structure of pop, the thrum of rock and the feel-goodness of funk as much as the improvisation of jazz. The band’s fourth album, The Line, cements its disdain for boundary setting.” — Jazz Times

“One of the smarter bands blenderizing postbop, indie rock, hip-hop and classical music — and yes, there are more than a few — Kneebody puts it all on the table with The Line.” — The New York Times

In support of their most recent record The Linetheir Concord Records debutthe iconoclastic group Kneebody will embark upon a tour of the East and West coasts. The Line, the band’s fourth album, was met with ample critical acclaim and serves as an apt representation of both Kneebody’s energetic and riveting performances and the unique compositional universe that they have carved out in their 15+ years of performing together.

Kneebody will be announcing more European dates for a forthcoming November tour, soon.


Sept. 25 - World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA
Sept. 26 - Le Poisson Rouge - New York, NY
Sept. 27 - Beantown Jazz Festival - Boston, MA
Sept. 28 - BPC (Opening for Snarky Puppy) – Boston, MA

Bassist Matt Pavolka’s Horns Band Garners Praise From New York Times, Village Voice, Time Out New York, Wondering Sound; Announces New York Concert Dates

Posted on August 14th, 2014 by admin


(photo by Ken Micallef)

In a recent New York Times review, jazz critic Nate Chinen lauded bassist Matt Pavolka’s new record The Horns Band (Fresh Sound New Talent Records), which features cornetist Kirk Knuffke, trombonist Jacob Garchik, saxophonist Loren Stillman, and drummer Mark Ferber. Chinen notes that the album is “engrossing” and remarked that Pavolka’s compositions “accomplish a lot with earthy beauty and shifting momentum”. Time Out New York dubbed The Horns Band a “postbop mini orchestra” and Jim Macnie of The Village Voice said that “the snaky themes that are cannily bent by his “Horns Band” (‘bone, cornet, alto sax) should be a balm to anyone to finds the all-too-common frictions of modern jazz a tad obvious”. Wondering Sound quipped that Pavolka’s band posseses “appealing fluidity and lightness to the heavy sounds and the driving tempos”.

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Acclaimed Canadian Singer Elizabeth Shepherd Releases Fifth Album, The Signal, Serving to Further Illustrate Her Growth As A Singer and Conceptualist The Signal To Be Released on September 30th, 2014 via Linus Entertainment

Posted on August 8th, 2014 by admin

“A hugely original musical mind at work” -Toronto Star

“Soulful coolness” -USA Today


Stream The Signal


Over 4 acclaimed albums, Elizabeth Shepherd has created a body of work praised around the world for its originality. Versed in equal parts Stevie Wonder, Salvation Army brass bands and classical sonatas, it is no surprise that this globetrotting talent has developed such a distinct voice. Along with artists like Esperanza Spalding, Becca Stevens, and Jose James she is part of a wave of jazz musicians — raised on as much hip-hop as bebop– bringing the art form to a new generation of music fans.

Shepherd arrived on the international scene in 2006 when her debut album Start To Move was voted one of the top albums of the year by the listeners of the influentialGilles Peterson Show on BBC Radio. Since then, the Montreal-based songwriter has continued to carve out her own artful, soulful and hip brand of music. Shepherd’s latest release, The Signal, is her most mature, bold and compelling vision yet. With one track flowing seamlessly into the next, The Signal is a cohesive sonic journey that gradually unveils a very personal feminist manifesto.

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Drummer Dylan Ryan, Who Has Feet Firmly Planted in Indie Rock & Creative Jazz, Returns With Second Dylan Ryan/Sand LP, Circa, To Be Released September 30, 2014 via Cuneiform Records Throughout Circa, Ryan, Guitarist Timothy Young and Bassist Devin Hoff Build Upon Their Debut, An Already Inventive Take on The Guitar Power Trio, Borrowing From Elements of Rush, Fugazi, Fred Frith’s Massacre & James ‘Blood’ Ulmer

Posted on August 5th, 2014 by admin



“Dylan Ryan is a drummer adept at combining his jazz skills with adventurous rock, resulting in music that maintains the cerebral and visceral qualities of both.”—JazzTimes

“With a [wide] palate of sonic texture, Ryan, Young and bassist Devin Hoff offer something in between John Zorn’s raucous free-jazz and the romantic stylings of Black Sabbath.” – L.A. Weekly

Two years after the release of their acclaimed debut Sky Bleached, Dylan Ryan/Sand will release Circa on Cuneiform Records on September 30th, a purposeful continuation of the aesthetic that the group had fostered on its first record. Sand, which features guitarist Timothy Young (David Sylvian, Reggie Watts, Wayne Horvitz) and Devin Hoff (Nels Cline Singers, Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto), has a wholly unique styling, which ranges from the fearlessly improvisational to the tender; the abrasive to the understated.

Indeed, this range of influences and openness to various sonic possibilities is what initially drew Ryan to his bandmates. “I saw Tim Young play somewhat by chance in an old bar The Doors used to play in and I was so impressed that I wanted to be in a band with him immediately. He was doing a great combination of Meat Puppets meets The Dead and completely killing it. Then he sat in with our friends from Portland, The Blue Cranes, and did the most amazing ballad. I just hoped something would work out down the line with him so when I had the idea for the band I called him first.” Hoff and Ryan had long held a mutual admiration for one another’s work, and after many conversations hoping to play, they finally did, and Sand was born.

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