Archive for September, 2014

New Releases Out Today: Canadian Vocalist Elizabeth Shepherd’s The Signal, Trombonist Ryan Keberle’s Into The Zone, Drummer Dylan Ryan/Sand’s Circa, Accordion Virtuoso Richard Galliano’s Sentimentale

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

New Releases Out Today:

Canadian Vocalist Elizabeth Shepherd‘s The Signal,

Trombonist Ryan Keberle‘s Into The Zone,

Drummer Dylan Ryan/Sand‘s Circa,

Accordion Virtuoso Richard Galliano‘s Sentimentale

Elizabeth Shepherd – The Signal (Linus Entertainment) – Canadian singer going after a Gretchen Parlato/Becca Stevens/Jose James type aesthetic along with guitarist Lionel Loueke guesting on several tracks. She is tackling issues in her writing from racial profiling (Trayvon Martin) to forced marriages to issues surrounding motherhood.

VIDEO: Elizabeth Shepherd’s “This” featuring Lionel Loueke

“The Signal is bold, personal and completely lucid audio art from Elizabeth Shepherd. It wouldn’t be overstating it at all to assert that this is the most important vocal jazz record that will be released all year.” – S. Victor Aaron, SomethingElse Reviews

“This profoundly feminist sociopolitical offering actively engages aesthetics of neo-soul, funk, and hip-hop (musics that have been referred to indirectly on her records since 2008), while remaining firmly rooted in her trademark meld of off-center jazz and pop. [It] is an excellent return for Shepherd; it’s hip, bracing, sophisticated, and accessible. It will resonate deeply with fans of Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, and José James.  – Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

“Following in the footsteps of José James and countrywoman Kellylee Evans…Elizabeth Shepherd moves steadily toward a more funkified sound, mixing jazz with a whole lotta sounds (and occasional hip-hop shadings) on her latest release…”
– Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes (October issue on newsstands now)


New Clark Terry Documentary, KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON, Featuring Up-and-Coming Pianist Justin Kauflin & Produced by Quincy Jones, Receives Rave Reviews

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

New Clark Terry Documentary, KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON, Featuring Up-and-Coming Pianist Justin Kauflin & Produced by Quincy Jones, Receives Rave Reviews

Film Already Out in Los Angeles;
To Open in NYC October 3rd With An Additional 25 Markets To Follow in Coming Weeks


Shot over the course of five years by first time filmmaker Al Hicks, KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON depicts the remarkable story of 93-year-old jazz legend Clark Terry. A living monument to the Golden Era of Jazz, Terry – a mentor to Miles Davis – is among the few performers ever to have played in both Count Basie’s and Duke Ellington’s bands. In the 1960’s, he broke the color barrier as the first African-American staff musician at NBC – on “The Tonight Show”.

Today, after a life spent working with and teaching the most totemic figures in jazz history, Terry continues to attract and cultivate budding talents. KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON highlights his friendship with the preternaturally gifted Justin Kauflin, a blind, 23-year-old piano prodigy who suffers from debilitating stage fright. Not long after Kauflin is invited to compete in an elite Jazz competition, Terry’s health takes a turn for the worse. As the clock ticks, we see two friends confront the toughest challenges of their lives.

Kauflin’s work on the film’s score with composer Dave Grusin sets the tone for a story that spans decades, lifetimes and the entire history of modern Jazz, complete with firsthand anecdotes from Jones and Herbie Hancock. KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON is a film crafted with great affection by Hicks –  another former student of Terry’s – a grace note for his teacher, infused with soulfulness and serendipity.

Paula DuPre’ Pesmen (behind the Academy Award winning THE COVE and the Oscar nominated CHASING ICE) produced the film with seven time Academy Award nominee Quincy Jones who also counts Terry as his mentor. Jones came on board as producer after walking into the film as one of its subjects, discovering Justin’s talent purely by chance during a visit at Clark’s home.


New Releases Out Today: Anna Webber’s “Simple” & Matt Ulery’s “In The Ivory”

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

NYC-Based Saxophonist & Composer
Anna Webber Releases Simple (Skirl Records),
Music Written in Solitude,
On Bowen Island in Her Native British Columbia,
Featuring Pianist Matt Mitchell &
Her Mentor, Drummer John Hollenbeck

Chicago Bassist & Composer Matt Ulery
Releases His Second 
Chamber-Jazz Opus,
In The Ivory (Greenleaf Music),
With The Help of His Core Trio Plus 
3-time GRAMMY-Winning New Music Ensemble, eighth blackbird, 
Violinist Zach Brock, Vocalist Grazyna Auguscik 

During the summer of 2013, saxophonist, composer, and flautist Anna Webber left her adopted home of Brooklyn, NY and retreated to Bowen Island, a remote spot off the coast of British Columbia. On Bowen Island, Webber’s view changed from a constant stream of people and endless concrete, to the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. In complete solitude, her days were punctuated by the rhythm of the tide, the daily ferry schedules and passing boats. The isolation of Bowen Island allowed Webber to find a cohesive thread in her compositions that had eluded her in New York City. Given the space to breathe, themes emerged naturally in the writing, and her album Simple was born. Webber found perfect partners to execute the complexities of her compositions: pianist Matt Mitchell (Tim Berne’s Snakeoil) and drummer John Hollenbeck (The Claudia Quintet).



OUT NOW: Previously Unreleased John Coltrane Live Recording, Offering: Live at Temple University

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Double Album Receives New Critical Acclaim This Week in
USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Rolling Stone,
LA Times, All Music Guide, Lexington Herald Leader, Philadelphia Daily News & Many More News Outlets 
Temple University Release Event an Utter Success


Offering: Live At Temple University documents a legendary concert by JohnColtrane at Temple University’s Mitten Hall in on November 11, 1966, nine months before his untimely death. It captures Coltrane in exemplary form, navigating a language he had developed during the last phase of his musical path with passion and clear logic. The concert features three members of his working quintet at the time: his wife, AliceColtrane, on piano; Pharoah Sanders on saxophones and flute; and Rashied Ali on drums plus local bassist Sonny Johnson on bass (subbing for Jimmy Garrison) and an assortment of Philadelphia musicians, who sat in on the concert – Steve Knoblauch and Arnold Joyner on alto saxophones and Umar AliAlgie DeWitt and Robert Kenyatta on percussion.

Direct transfers of the original master reels from a location recording by Temple’s then student-run WRTI-FM, remastered at 96kHz/24 bit, were tracked down in the archives of former WRTI chief engineer Michael Biel by Coltrane scholar Yasuhiro Fujioka, who connected Mr. Biel with Universal Music Group with the tapes in 2010. Those tapes are what is presented on this release – the first of its kind in almost a decade.


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

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014



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.


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

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

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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