Archive for March, 2014

Scott Feiner Left Life in NYC To Chase A Dream in Rio, “A View from Below” OUT TODAY

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Out Now:
Pandeirista Scott Feiner Releases
Fourth Album and First of All-Original Music,
A View From Below

A View From Below Avaliable Now
Former Guitarist Left New York City for Rio de Janeiro
To Pursue His Dream of Mastering The Pandeiro,
A Brazilian Hand Drum

Along The Way, He Combined His Love for Modern Jazz Harmony and The Pandeiro

Four Star Rave Review In March Down Beat Magazine

Review in AllAboutJazz.com

 


Few musicians can be credited with creating their own genre but that’s precisely what Scott Feiner has done with his Pandeiro Jazz project. Upon the release of Feiner’s first album in 2006 the celebrated pianist Brad Melhdau wrote, “Scott Feiner has created a unique sonic world … full of subtlety and surprise.”

A View From Below, his fourth album, marks an exciting turning point for Feiner, as it’s the first recording solely featuring his engaging original compositions. It’s also a stylistic departure due to the unique format featuringpandeiro, guitar and keyboards – a surprising new take on the concept of a “power trio.” Feiner’s previous three albums were more acoustic in nature.

Watch EPK About A View from Below on YouTube
The Brazilian pandeiro is a hand drum that looks like a tambourine, but has a much wider range of sounds – imagine a handheld drum set.  The low bass tones you hear on the recording are coming from this small drum.

Feiner is joined by two Brazilian musicians on A View From Below: pianistRafael Vernet on vintage Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer keyboards, and guitarist Guilherme Monteiro. Vernet, who is based in Rio de Janeiro, has performed and/or recorded with artists such Brazilian greats as Hermeto Pascoal, Toninho Horta and Joyce. Monteiro, who has worked with Ron Carter, Luciana Souza, Eliane Elias, and Anat Cohen, has been based in New York City for many years, and is also a founding member of the group Forró in the Dark.

It’s easy to assume that a trio consisting of two Brazilians musicians, with a pandeiro as the sole percussion instrument, would be playing  “Brazilian Jazz,” but that’s not the case here. The variety in Feiner’s compositions on A View From Below, as well as his unique approach to the pandeiro, result in something that cannot be so easily labeled.  As the legendary Brazilian singer-composer Joyce stated after performing with him: “Scott Feiner isn’t just another gringo who plays pandeiro. He’s the inventor of a mixed language that’s completely his own.”

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Winter & Spring 2014 – Fully Altered Release Schedule

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Winter & Spring 2014 Fully Altered Release Schedule

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Edward Simon & Ensemble Venezuela
Venezuelan Suite (Sunnyside)
Out January 21, 2014

Edward Simon‘s Venezuelan Suite (Sunnyside) represents the pianist and composer’s first full-fledged foray combining his love for jazz composition, contemporary classical composition and rhythms and textures of his native Venezuela. Known for years as a journeyman pianist for the likes of Bobby Watson’s Horizon, Terence Blanchard, Herbie Mann, Arturo Sandoval, Bobby Hutcherson, Paquito D’Rivera and as a member of theSF Jazz Collective and Ninety Miles Band. Simon’s Ensemble Venezuela is a chamber music group; a mixture of Venezuelan players such as cuatro player Jorge Glem, bassist Roberto Koch, flutist Marco Granados and New York jazz musicians such as saxophonist Mark Turner and bass clarinetist John Ellis, harpist Edmar Castañeda, as well as drummer Adam Cruz.

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Steve Treseler Group feat. Ingrid Jensen
Center Song (self-released)
Out January 21, 2014

The Steve Treseler Group featuring Ingrid Jensen releases Center Song today. Steve is a Seattle-based saxophonist and educator who recently self-published a book on jazz improvisation and harmony entitled, The Living Jazz Tradition (which has been used in jazz improvisation classes at Berklee College of Music, The University of Idaho, and Central Washington University) and is a regular at Seattle’s Royal Room, where he debuted this music live at the 2013 Earshot Jazz Festival.  Steve just began a masters program at University of Washington, where he is graduate student assistant to trumpeter-composer Cuong Vu, head of Jazz Studies. Steve is currently studying with Vu, guitarist Bill Frisell and Visiting Artist Ted Poor, among others.

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Doug Wieselman
From Water (88 Records)
Out January 21, 2014

Doug Wieselman is a New York institution, though perhaps a soft-spoken and too often behind-the-scenes one. Active in the New York music scene since 1987, Wieselman has seamlessly infiltrated the singer-songwriter, rock, jazz, experimental, theater and even television music worlds forging long-term relationships with artists such as Laurie Anderson, Antony & The Johnsons, Jolie Holland, Cibo Matto, Marianne Faithfull, Hal Willner, Marc Ribot, Guy Klucevsek, Anthony Coleman and playwrights Robert Wilson and Athol Fugard, among countless others. Wieselman co-wrote all the music to Nickelodeon’s The Backyardigans (TM) with former Lounge Lizard Evan Lurie. From Water is a solo clarinet record with electronic loops showcasing the sounds Wieselman has heard or been inspired by, when listening to bodies of water. Following two NYC solo shows, he will tour the West Coast in March.

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Nils Wogram & Root 70
Riomar (NWOG)
Out January 28, 2014

There aren’t all too many bands today in jazz that have worked consistently over many years. Root 70 is, however, such a group. From album to album, one can follow how trombonist Nils Wogram, saxophonist Hayden Chisholm, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Jochen Rückert have not only founded a dynamic group identity and diligently merged into a unit over many years. One can also hear how these musicians have set new focal points in their work together, again and again, far beyond the sum of their individual parts. On Riomar, they transcend the quartet context for the first time and expand their structure by three string instruments.

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Pete Robbins
Pyramid (Hate Laugh Music)
Out January 28, 2014

With Pyramid, saxophonist Pete Robbins explores a different sort of standard – classic rock and pop tracks that were formative for him as a youth: Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine,” Nirvana’s “Lithium,” Stevie Wonder’s “Too High,” Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” by way of Jeff Buckley, even Glenn Campbell’s Jimmy Webb-penned hit “Wichita Lineman.” The Brooklyn-based Robbins turns these tunes inside out with a quartet featuring some of New York’s most abundantly talented musicians: pianist Vijay Iyer, double-bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Robbins and company not only re-invent classic songs in an utterly individual and jazz-wise way; they dig into a batch of the saxophonist’s originals, playing with the pithy, catchy spirit of the covers in mind. Pyramid is the saxophonist’s seventh album as a leader.

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Zara McFarlane
If You Knew Her 
(Brownswood Recordings)
Out Feb. 11, 2014

It’s a tough task for music critics to write about a singer that genuinely knocks their socks off.  Zara McFarlane is the London based singer, who, in 2011 released Until Tomorrow, a debut album that had many critics in a spin.  Praise came thick and fast. They spoke of a voice of sparkling clarity, a voice that was warm and powerful, and of a singer who sang with equal parts childlike innocence and womanly assertiveness.  But perhaps what critics missed amongst the hail of praise, is something altogether different – the arrival of an original songwriter and performer of true stature. For McFarlane, it’s about her point of difference.  What sets her apart isn’t her voice, distinctive as it is, but what she has to say as, and how she says it.

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Ben Flocks
Battle Mountain (self-released)
Out February 11, 2014

Melody-driven, distinctively reflective, and one of the most eclectic jazz outings of the new year, Battle Mountain stands as New York-based saxophonist Ben Flocks’ auspicious debut. In a quintet setting, Flocks traverses over a wide musical terrain with an 11-song collection of lyrical and deep-grooved originals, time-honored standards rendered in fresh arrangements, a twist on the Bob Dylan “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” pop gem, a re-imagined, romantic version of the Buena Vista Social Club tune “Murmullo,” and sublime and true-to-the-melody renderings of two tunes from the country/folk repertoire: “Shenandoah” and “Tennessee Waltz.” Firmly grounded in the jazz tradition, Flocks also infuses his music with touches of Americana, country and blues. As such, Battle Mountain—which he says is “dedicated to the wonder and mystery of California”—promises surprises around every bend.

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Vijay Iyer
Mutations (ECM)
Out March 4, 2014

Mutations is Vijay Iyer’s first album as a leader for ECM Records, and a recording that will widen perceptions of the pianist-composer’s work. Through thematic interactivity, the interweaving of acoustic and electronic sound-textures, and some decisive improvisational interventions in notated music, Vijay Iyer has created a multi-faceted suite whose very subject is change.

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Joel Harrison & Anupam Shobhakar Multiplicity
Leave The Door Open (Whirlwind)
Out March 11, 2014

Leave the Door Open is the debut album from Multiplicity, a multi-cultural, genre-defying collaboration between Guggenheim Fellow and world-renowned American guitarist Joel Harrison and North Indian-native, virtuoso classical sarodist and composer Anupam Shobhakar. The album beams with an amalgamation of styles influenced from the worlds of Indian Classical, jazz, blues and roots music, featuring a stellar cast of some of the finest contemporary creative musicians in the world: Gary Versace (piano, B-3 organ, accordion), Dan Weiss (drums and tables), Hans Glawischnig (acoustic & electric bass), as well as special guests David Binney (alto saxophone), Todd Isler (percussion), Bonnie Chakraborty and Chandrashekar Vase (vocals).

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Eric Revis
In Memory of Things Yet Seen (Clean Feed Records)
Out March 25, 2014

For bassist Eric Revis, differentiations between what is considered “mainstream” and “avant-garde” in jazz means next to nothing. With his new and astonishing CD, In Memory of Things Yet Seen, Revis puts into practice his own wider vision of jazz. The title “In Memory of Things Yet Seen” suggests from the start that the tradition and the invention of the future aren’t mutually exclusive. Joining Revis, in his third release on Clean Feed Records, are like-minded musicians who keep looking back to see more clearly what is in front of them. Namely Darius Jones, the alto sax player who understood that hip-hop, funk, soul and rock are parts of the same tree in which jazz blossoms; Bill McHenry, the saxophonist molded in Paul Motian’s projects who crossed ways with Jamie Saft, keyboardist in John Zorn’s schizophrenic world; and Chad Taylor, a fundamental part of the Chicago Underground ensembles, always trying to invent new grammars with already established ones.

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Scott Feiner and Pandeiro Jazz
A View From Below (Self-released)
Out March 25, 2014

A View From Below, Scott Feiner & Pandeiro Jazz‘s fourth album, marks an exciting turning point for Feiner, as it’s the first recording solely featuring his engaging original compositions. It’s also a stylistic departure due to the unique format featuring the Brazilian pandeiro, guitar and keyboards – a surprising new take on the concept of a “power trio.” Feiner is joined by two Brazilian musicians on A View From Below: pianist Rafael Vernet (Joyce, Hermeto Pascoal, Toniñho Horta) on vintage Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer keyboards, and former New York-based guitarist Guilherme Monteiro (Ron Carter, Anat Cohen, Eliane Elias, Forró in the Dark). Feiner’s compositions tend to have simple, memorable melodies, and strong rhythmic statements that result in a sort of “signature sound.” But for sure, certain influences can be heard, such as touches of Steely Dan, elements of Charles Mingus and Weather Report and on certain tunes the trio has been likened to Medeski, Martin & Wood and John Scofield’s Überjam.

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Rachel Eckroth
Let Go (Virgo Sun Records)
Out April 15, 2014

Sometimes it takes a change of scenery to give an artist a fresh perspective. Rachel Eckroth moved from New York back home to Phoenix, Arizona in 2008 as an experienced piano player who had played in New York for years but hadn’t sung since she was 18. She emerges five years later as a mature singer/songwriter whose new album, Let Go, is a powerful look at love and relationships. Eckroth moved back to Brooklyn in 2013 and worked on the album with pianist and composer Jesse Fischer. Fischer produced and engineered most of Let Go, and also co­wrote two of the songs, “A Million Dreams” and “More Beautiful Than That.” The album comes out April 15, 2014, on Virgo Sun Records.

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Tigran
Shadow Theater (Sunnyside)
Out April 15, 2014

Ever since the very beginning, Tigran has seemed possessed by the idea of making the spectrum of his music as broad as possible. With Shadow Theater, the pianist has continued to pursue his enterprise of massive construction. After exploring the universe of Armenia’s fables, he’s turned to another tradition for inspiration, this time more visual than oral. His personal Shadow Theater, which gives the record its name, should be seen as an invitation to pass over to the other side of the mirror, into an imaginary, dreamlike world which owes as much to Tim Burton as it does to real shadow theatre: an art that it simple in appearance, and where silhouettes come to life.   Shadow Theater brims over with dozens of the figurines which inhabit the pianist’s head, from Madlib to Sigur Rós to Steve Reich. With this record, the young Armenian is still exploring new trails, both sonic and electronic; and it also asserts his claim as a hair-raising songwriter/singer whose voice has the timbre of fragility.

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Riverside (Dave Douglas, Chet Doxas, Steve Swallow, Jim Doxas)
Riverside (Greenleaf Music)
Out April, 15 2014

The quartet, co-led by Dave Douglas, on trumpet, and Chet Doxas, on clarinet and tenor saxophone, has a rhythm section comprised of Steve Swallow on electric bass and Jim Doxas (Chet’s brother and frequent collaborator) on drums. Riverside blends a love for improvised music, bluegrass, sacred hymns and Appalachian music to create an aesthetic rooted in both Americana and jazz. The quartet aims to show their appreciation and respect for the late reedsman and composer, but rather than being just a tribute band and simply performing Jimmy Giuffre‘s repertoire, Douglas and Doxas have composed new music that highlights their inspiration. The piano-less configuration allows for harmonic freedom and gives the group the ability to emphasize the original compositions as well.

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Nels Cline Singers
Macroscope (Mack Avenue Records)
Out April 29, 2014

MACROSCOPE, the fifth album and Mack Avenue debut by Wilco lead guitarist Nels Cline‘s adventurous trio, Nels Cline Singers, provides a measure of the group’s staggering range. Captivating and continually surprising, the album finds the instrumental trio veering in one off-kilter direction only to suddenly be overwhelmed by another drastic stylistic shift, often within the space of a single tune. Serrated psychedelia becomes consumed by soulful Brasiliana, blissed-out electronica overwhelmed by garage-rock skronk. A howling Hendrix-inspired solo suddenly erupts in the middle of a slick lounge-jazz number, unleashing Cline’s inner George Benson. With the Singers, Cline has assembled a vehicle that he can steer in any and all of these deviating directions. Cline and founding Singers drummer Scott Amendola are joined by new bassist Trevor Dunn.  The trio also expands with special guests: keyboardist Yuka C. Honda (Cibo Matto, Yoko Ono), percussionists Cyro Baptista (John Zorn, Trey Anastasio) and Josh Jones (Tupac, Don Cherry), and harpist Zeena Parkins (Bjork, Fred Frith).

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Bobby Avey Quintet
Authority Melts From Me (Whirlwind Recordings)
Out May 6, 2014

Authority Melts from Me is the fascinating new album and immense artistic statement from Bobby Avey, praised by the New Yorker magazine as “A young pianist of invention and refinement.” Winner of the 2011 Thelonious Monk Competition for Composition, Avey also received the 2011 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development Grant, which enabled Avey to travel to Haiti to record a Vodou Ceremony in the small village of Soukri and subsequently create an hour-long suite grounded in rhythms found in Haitian Vodou drumming. This compelling suite of new music, entitled Authority Melts From Me, pays homage to the Haitian Revolution and features the immense talents of Miguel Zenón, Ben Monder, Thomson Kneeland, and Jordan Perlson.

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Ideal Bread
Beating The Teens (Cuneiform Records)
Out May 13, 2014

For the first time in almost four years, the erstwhile Steve Lacy repertory band, Ideal Bread, has a new book of tunes ready to be released (again on Cuneiform Records), Beating the Teens.  This book of compositions is a departure from Ideal Bread’s typical approach of faithful adaptation of the works of Lacy. It represents a series of “recompositions.” Leader and baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton specifically chose the music that lacy recorded for the French Saravah label from 1971-1977, which was reissued as the box set entitled Scratching the Seventies/Dreams. In this large and expansive take on the tradition of small-ensemble creative music, Sinton has written arrangements that take their cues from the worlds of Anthony Braxton, Wynton Marsalis, John Cage, Iggy Pop and Mos Def, among others.

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The Westerlies
Wish The Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz (Songlines)
Out May 13, 2014

The Westerlies are a New York based brass quartet comprised of four friends from Seattle, Washington. Avid explorers of cross-genre territory, the Westerlies are a collectively run ensemble dedicated to the cultivation of a new brass quartet repertoire that exists in the ever-narrowing gap between American folk music, jazz, classical, and indie rock. The Westerlies have premiered over 40 original works for brass quartet since their inception in 2012, and have collaborated with Wayne Horvitz, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Juilliard Dance, and Mason Jar Music to present chamber music as an organic and dynamic means of artistic expression in the 21st Century. Members of The Westerlies currently study at The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.

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Erik Friedlander’s Bonebridge
Nighthawks (Skipstone)
Out May 20, 2014

The title Nighthawks comes from one of Edward Hopper’s most famous paintings depicting four people in a diner late at night. A lot of what Hopper evoked: the mystery and solitude, was familiar to cellist Erik Friedlander. This is the second release for Friedlander’s Bonebridge band and he continues to be fueled by the unlikely cello/slide-guitar combination. In September of 2012 New York City, and much of the Eastern US, was hit by Hurricane Sandy. It quickly became quite serious. Downtown Manhattan was plunged into darkness and without power for several days. Friedlander had set aside the time to work on Nighthawks and he quickly got used to life without power. Following the sun, he was up early and when the sun set, he worked by candlelight. “My neighborhood was eerie and dark, and there were no streetlights, traffic signals or any stores or restaurants open. About every 10 or 15 minutes or so a police car would make an appearance, driving through the black with its emergency lights spinning, but no siren. It was in this odd environment of quiet and solitude that I wrote Nighthawks.” Nighthawks featured Doug Wamble on slide guitar, Trevor Dunn on double bass and Michael Sarin on drums.

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Andy Biskin’s IBID
Act Necessary (Strudelmedia)
Out May 20, 2014

Clarinetist-composer Andy Biskin is up to his old tricks again on Act Necessary (strudelmedia), the debut release by his new quartet, Ibid. Mashing up everything from polkas and New Orleans jazz to funk and Tin Pan Alley, Biskin shoehorns sophisticated compositional elements into epic miniature tunes. His all-star quartet, featuring cornetist Kirk Knuffke, trombonist Brian Drye, and drummer Jeff Davis, handles each musical hairpin turn with infectious enthusiasm and deep insight into the music’s many subtleties.

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Joel Harrison
Mother Stump (Cuneiform Records)
Out May 27, 2014

For a long time guitarist Joel Harrison claimed he had no roots. He grew up in Washington D.C., a place whose identity and values are always in drift, a place where there is an endless mortgage to what is real. Harrison was convinced he had to go out into the world with a shovel and plant something of his own. D.C. was more of a blue-collar town when he was growing up. On any given night there might be a redneck band from Southern Maryland, a hillbilly band from nearby West Virginia, or an infusion of urban blues and Philly soul. For Harrison, it all began and ended with Danny Gatton. “If I ever had an idol, it was he. I remember driving out to his repair shop in Southern Maryland for the first time with my friend. He had a pet raccoon crawling around on his shoulder, and the shop was part mad-scientist laboratory, part boys’ club. They would sit there in the basement drinking cans of beer and drilling holes in ’50s Telecasters all day long!” Unlike most of Harrison’s CDs, the focus here is on his playing and not his writing and arranging. It’s a mixture of Luther Vandross, Buddy Miller, George Russell, a traditional spiritual, Paul Motian, Leonard Cohen, and a couple of my pieces, a nod to those formative years, with six old guitars and two old amps. “It’s a lot of history that I’m trying to make new.” Mother Stump features Glenn Patscha on keyboards, Michael Bates on double bass, Jeremy “Bean” Clemons on drums.

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Ty Citerman
Bop Kabbalah
 (Tzadik)
Out May 27, 2014

Bop Kab­balah fea­tures Adam D Gold (drums), Ben Holmes (trum­pet), Ken Thom­son (bass clar­inet) and Ty Citerman (gui­tars). This quar­tet is Citerman’s take on Jewish-themed composition-meets–impro­vi­sa­tion. The band plays rhyth­mic, dynamic and lyri­cal music takes some of the lan­guage of klezmer, modal Hebrew nig­gu­nim (chants), jazz, and 21st cen­tury con­cert music and then twists and recon­tex­tu­al­izes it. It’s not really what you’d hear in most syn­a­gogues or Jewish wed­dings, but of course, those aren’t the only places to hear Jew­ish music! The group does how­ever draw on Citerman’s Jew­ish life and his years of expe­ri­ence playing sec­u­lar and reli­gious music. Citerman’s long-overdue debut record­ing is due in late May 2014 on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records (Rad­i­cal Jew­ish Cul­ture Series).

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Alon Nechushtan
Venture Bound (Enja)
Out June 10, 2014

The pianist/composer assembles an an international, all-star band for his sixth release as a leader. Donny McCaslin, John Ellis, Duane Eubanks, Chris Lightcap, Adam Cruz, Rogério Boccato, and Brahim Fribgane contribute to making Nechushtan’s farthest-reaching record to date. Alon brings his various interests under one roof on Venture Bound. Born in Tel Aviv with familial roots in Russia, Hungary, Transylvania and Uzbekistan, he employs the pluralism of jazz to bring together a wealth of musical heritage.

 

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Darren Barrett
Energy in Motion: The Music of the Bee Gees (dB Productions)
Out June 17, 2014

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Darren Barrett & dB Quintet
Live And Direct 2014 (dB  Productions)
Out June 17, 2014

Multiplicity: A Collaborative Band of Guitarist Joel Harrison & Sarodist Anupam Shobhakar Release Debut Entitled “Leave the Door Open” OUT NOW

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Multiplicity: A Collaborative Band of
Guitarist Joel Harrison & Sarodist Anupam Shobhakar Release Genre-Bending Debut Entitled
Leave the Door Open (Whirlwind Records),
Out
March 11,2014

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Featuring A Mixture of Harrison & Shobhakar Collaborators,
Dave Binney
(alto saxophone), Gary Versace (piano, Hammond B3 organ, accordion), Hans Glawischnig  (double bass), Dan Weiss (drums, tabla), Todd Isler (percussion), Bonnie Chakraborty and Chandrashekar Vase (vocals)

Watch YouTube Video About Multiplicity

With Leave The Door Open (Whirlwind Recordings), guitarist Joel Harrison teams up with sarod player Anupam Shobhakar and the product is a wholly idiosyncratic synthesis of Indian and American musics and more particularly, the lives and interests of these two musicians.

Harrison and Shobhakar met as a result of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship when Harrison set out to compose a piece for classical percussion, jazz quintet, and sarod. Harrison says that he and Shobhakar “spent a lot of time together figuring out how our different backgrounds could blend and cohere. ‘He taught me and I taught him. He’s an incredibly virtuosic, well-educated performer.’ I had had a lifelong interest in sarod, but working with Anupam allowed me to grow exponentially in my understanding of his tradition.”

Rather than have Shobhakar act as a “special guest” in the context of a chamber ensemble of Harrison’s regular peers, the guitarist says that Shobhakar embraced the challenge to step outside the bounds of traditional Indian music – to collaborate wholeheartedly in the spirit of a multiplicity of approaches.  (more…)

The Westerlies Release Debut Album Featuring The Music of Wayne Horvitz

Friday, March 7th, 2014

The Westerlies

Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz

Genre: chamber jazz

Riley Mulherkar, Zubin Hensler, trumpets Andy Clausen, Willem de Koch, trombones + Wayne Horvitz, keyboards and electronics

Four young Seattle brass players, all relocated to New York City to study at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music, decided to form a quartet in late 2011. Through much experimentation they discovered a colorful collective sound that drew from American folk music, indie rock, jazz, and classical music. For the next two years they performed constantly in both cities, creating and developing a large repertoire of original compositions. In early 2013 The Westerlies were approached by their Seattle-based teacher, friend, and mentor, Wayne Horvitz, to create a record of his music. They wholeheartedly agreed; all four of them were already very familiar with his body of work and had played in a number of his ensembles. After exploring his prolific output of the past thirty years, they selected a range of jazz tunes, film music, and classical chamber pieces, and chose to record them on location during their annual summer residency in the San Juan Islands of Washington.

 The collaborative process between Horvitz and The Westerlies proved to be challenging and fruitful. On the process of arranging Horvitz’s music, Willem de Koch explains that “the unorthodox instrumentation both forced and allowed us to find our own approach to the music, simply because we can’t follow many of the conventional idioms of traditional jazz.” Riley Mulherkar adds, “The process of arranging varied from tune to tune – some are deconstructed and abstracted from their original context, while others are played nearly verbatim to the sheet music. Improvisation is woven into the fabric of everything we play, so whether in an exposed solo or hidden as a texture behind a melody, we are constantly finding new ways to interpret the music in the moment.” Horvitz’s unique sensibilities shine through in every track; he’s clearly con- cerned with the sources of contemporary American music, such as blues, jazz, and old-time folk, and his music explores them with a nostalgia not immune to disruption and risk. The Westerlies’ vibrant interpretations of Horvitz’s music makes this album an evocative view of one of America’s most engaging genre-bending artists.

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New Album Out Today: Vijay Iyer’s Mutations On ECM Records

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

 

Early Praise For Mutations:

Wall Street Journal Profiles Vijay Iyer

Exclusive First Listen of “Mutations IV: Waves” at Grammy.com

Exclaim.ca Reviews Mutations

AllMusic Reviews Mutations

WVCB The Chronicle Feature Segment

Mutations is Vijay Iyer’s first album as a leader for ECM Records, and a recording that will widen perceptions of the pianist-composer’s work. At its center is “Mutations I-X”, a composition scored for string quartet, pianist, and electronics. A major piece built out of cells and fragments, it veers through many atmospheres, from moment to moment propulsive, enveloping, lyrical, luminescent, and strangely beautiful. Through thematic interactivity, the interweaving of acoustic and electronic sound-textures, and some decisive improvisational interventions in notated music, Vijay Iyer has created a multi-faceted suite whose very subject is change. Iyer gives a positive value to the concept of ‘mutation’ in this music, and variously appears in it as an interpreter of notated elements, as an improviser, and as  “a sort of laptop artist, mixing in noise and different sounds,” encouraging the transformative processes.

Mutations was  recorded at New York’s Avatar Studio in September 2013, with Manfred Eicher as producer,  and casts new light on Iyer’s creative range. In recent seasons Vijay’s personal approach to jazz and improvising has resonated with both press and the public, and multiple poll wins and awards including, most recently, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, have raised his international profile. Yet important aspects of his work have remained undocumented on disc. Over the last ten years Iyer has written music for chamber ensembles of various formations, much of which “involves different approaches to improvisation as well as notation. I’m happy to have this chance to let it be heard alongside other work I have been doing that’s more in a jazz vein, or more connected to the jazz community.”

 

Watch the Official Mutations EPK on YouTube

 

About Vijay Iyer

Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) was described by Pitchfork as “one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today,” by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.” His most recent honors include a 2013 MacArthur fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the 2012 Down Beat International Critics Poll (winning Jazz Artist of the Year, Pianist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year, and Rising Star Composer categories), a “quadruple crown” in the JazzTimes extended critics poll (winning Artist of the Year, Acoustic/Mainstream Group of the Year, Pianist of the Year, and Album of the Year), the Pianist of the Year Awards for both 2012 and 2013 from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2013 ECHO Award (the “German Grammy”) for best international pianist.

March 2014 marks the release of Mutations, Iyer’s eighteenth album and his debut for the prestigious ECM label: a recording for piano, string quartet and electronics, the first album to document his works for chamber ensembles.  His previous release, Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (2013), is his third collaboration with poet Mike Ladd, based on the dreams of veterans of color from America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was hailed as #1 Jazz Album of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and described in JazzTimes as “impassioned, haunting, [and] affecting.”

Two tremendously acclaimed and influential albums, Accelerando (2012) and Historicity (2009), both feature the Vijay Iyer Trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass), recently described by PopMatters as “the best band in jazz.” Accelerando was voted #1 Jazz Album of the Year for 2012 in three separate critics polls surveying hundreds of critics worldwide, hosted by Downbeat, Jazz Times, and Rhapsody, respectively, and also was chosen as jazz album of the year by NPR, the Los Angeles Times, PopMatters, and Amazon.com.  Historicity was a 2010 Grammy Nominee for Best Instrumental Jazz Album, and was named #1 Jazz Album of 2009 in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Metro Times, National Public Radio, PopMatters.com, the Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll, and the Downbeat International Critics Poll. The trio won the 2010 Echo Award for best international ensemble and the 2012 Downbeat Critics Poll for jazz group of the year.

Previously Iyer was voted the 2010 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, and named one of 2011’s “50 Most Influential Global Indians” by GQ India. His other honors include the Greenfield Prize, the Alpert Award in the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, the India Abroad Publisher’s Special Award for Excellence, and numerous composer commissions. Iyer’s many collaborators include Steve Coleman, Wadada Leo Smith, Roscoe Mitchell, Butch Morris, George Lewis, Amina Claudine Myers, William Parker, Graham Haynes, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Rez Abbasi, Craig Taborn, Ambrose Akinmusire, Liberty Ellman, Steve Lehman, Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey, Miya Masaoka, Pamela Z, John Zorn, Mari Kimura, Dead Prez, DJ Spooky, Himanshu Suri of Das Racist, High Priest of Antipop Consortium, Karsh Kale, Suphala, and Talvin Singh; filmmakers Haile Gerima, Prashant Bhargava, and Bill Morrison; choreographer Karole Armitage; and poets Mike Ladd, Amiri Baraka, Charles Simic, and Robert Pinsky. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano String Quartet, JACK Quartet, American Composers Orchestra, Hermès Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, and Imani Winds.

A polymath whose career has spanned the sciences, the humanities and the arts, Iyer received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the cognitive science of music from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published in Journal of Consciousness Studies, Wire, Music Perception, JazzTimes, Journal of the Society for American Music, Critical Studies in Improvisation, in the anthologies Arcana IV, Sound Unbound, Uptown Conversation, The Best Writing on Mathematics: 2010, and in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies. Iyer has taught at Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the New School, and he is the Director of The Banff Centre’s International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, an annual 3-week program in Alberta, Canada founded by Oscar Peterson. Iyer recently finished a multi-year residency with San Francisco Performances, performing and working with schools and community organizations. In 2014 he began a permanent appointment at Harvard University’s Department of Music, as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts.

Full Album Booklet & Liner Notes By Iyer

Official ECM Mutations Player Including Streaming Track, Project Description,
Studio Photos, Tour Dates & More

Upcoming Performances by Vijay Iyer

March 14, 2014: Cambridge, MA – Sanders Theatre –
Vijay Iyer Trio w/ Robert Pinsky
March 29, 2014: Munich, Germany – Haus Der Kunst –
Mutations – ECM Concert
May 09, 2014:  New York, NY – Aaron Davis Hall –
Vijay Iyer Trio
August 03, 2014: Newport, RI – Newport Jazz Festival –
Vijay Iyer Sextet

Mutations is now available on Amazon

 

Designed by Doctor Sandwich.