Archive for February, 2013

Dan Tepfer & Ben Wendel Release “Small Constructions” on Sunnyside Records

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Keyboardist Dan Tepfer and multi-reed player Ben Wendel are lauded jazz artists who have made an album that goes beyond jazz, a set of songs without words that explores and celebrates multiplicity. Small Constructions – to be released by Sunnyside Records on March 12, 2013 – is a multi-tracked, multi-layered production featuring Tepfer and Wendel playing multiple instruments in multiple styles, extending from kaleidoscopic versions of Monk tunes to pieces based on Handel and Messiaen motifs, from a standard given an intimate, artful makeover to originals that underscore the duo’s melodic flair. Tepfer, a pianist who has ranged from solo improvisation to duets with sax icon Lee Konitz to variations on Bach, has been called a player of exceptional poise” by The New York Times, while Downbeat extolled his “ability to disappear into the music as he’s making it.” Wendel, a founding member of the Grammy-nominated jazz-rock band Kneebody, has also recorded rich, wide-ranging solo albums, with theLos Angeles Times praising him as “a composer with a restless ear.”

In his liner notes to the album, Tepfer writes: “We recorded Small Constructions over the course of a few days in the Yamaha artist space in Manhattan, with some of our favorite instruments close at hand: a beautiful piano, a Fender-Rhodes, three kinds of saxes, a bassoon and a melodica

Wendel explains the duo’s bond: “Dan and I have interesting similarities in our upbringings. We both grew up with opera-singing mothers, and we each started out studying classical music before we got into playing jazz. We have a shared aesthetic sensibility from this, extending from our choice of tunes to the way we improvise together, finishing each other’s sentences. I guess you could say that we’re kindred musical spirits.” (more…)

Guillermo E Brown, Keith Witty and Christophe Panzani are THIEFS; Debut Recording Combines Electronic Grooves, Provocative Vocals, and Acoustic Jazz Out Febraury 26 (Melanine Harmonique Recordings)

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Grammarians be damned; the members of Thiefs know that language is an ever-evolving thing. Not just because the spelling of their name would make their English teachers twitch – that’s just an inside joke born of a Nas lyric. Their music, on the other hand, is a far more radical rethinking of the jazz vocabulary, a hybrid patois fluent in the jargon of electronica, hip-hop, and the limitless possibilities of modern jazz.


On their self-titled debut, Thiefs – drummer/vocalist Guillermo E Brown, bassist Keith Witty, and saxophonist Christophe Panzani – retriangulate the jazz trio with a post-modern ethos, alive to the myriad sounds and options available to the contemporary artist. Dense with layers of sound and spontaneous invention, their music is nonetheless inviting and thrilling to listeners better versed in more forward-looking forms of modern pop music. If jazz hadn’t been invented until the day after tomorrow, it would sound a lot like Thiefs. (more…)

Dave Douglas & Greenleaf Music Announce The Follow-Up To The Critically Acclaimed 2012 Release, ‘Be Still’, TIME TRAVEL

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Additionally: Dave Douglas Quintet Begins 50-U.S. State Tour 
To Coincide With Douglas’ 50th Birthday Year, And Greenleaf Rolls Out First Single & Video
Dave Douglas iPhone & iPad Apps

Following on the heels of the critically acclaimed Be Still, trumpeter/composer/bandleader/label founder and musical community builder Dave Douglas and his label Greenleaf Music proudly announces an all-instrumental follow-up to the album Stereophile called “one of the best-sounding new recordings [we]’ve heard by anybody in quite a while.” Likewise, The New York Times called the album “gorgeous and contemplative,” while the Los Angeles Times deigned it, “a lush collection of hymnals and elegies reworked into widescreen jazz.” (more…)

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