Archive for June, 2015

OUT TODAY: First 6 Titles of Elemental Music Presents “The Xanadu Master Edition Series” Celebrating the Legendary Record Producer, Photographer & Designer Don Schlitten

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

The 6 Titles Out Today: 
Barry Harris – Plays Tadd Dameron
 Jimmy Heath – Picture of Heath
Al Cohn / Jimmy Rowles – Heavy Love
Sam Most – From the Attic of My Mind
Xanadu All-Stars – Xanadu in Africa
/Night Flight to Dakar

Albert Heath – Kwanza (The First) aka Oops!

Major Historical Preservation Effort To
Save & Restore The Xanadu Catalog



Ghost Train Orchestra & Ben Goldberg Reviewed in Germany’s “Jazz Podium”

Monday, June 29th, 2015


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Trombonist/Composer Jacob Garchik Releases “Ye Olde” Featuring Supergroup of Mary Halvorson, Brandon Seabrook, Jonathan Goldberger and Vinnie Sperrazza

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Trombonist/Composer/Arranger JACOB GARCHIK Releases Fourth Album,
Ye Olde Featuring Veritable Supergroup of Brooklyn Avant Guitarists, Mary Halvorson, Brandon Seabrook, and Jonathan Goldberger, Plus Drummer Vinnie Sperrazza

Ye Olde Explores Prog Rock Influences, Faux-Medieval Architecture And Surrealistic Notions of A Brooklyn That Never Was

(Photo by Peter Gannushkin)


From trombonist and composer Jacob Garchik comes a fantastical and sublime work of the imagination. Ye Olde is a superband of three of Brooklyn’s baddest guitar heroes, let loose in a funhouse, playing ping pong with our ears: guitaristsMary Halvorson, Brandon Seabrook and Jonathan Goldberger are joined by drummer Vinnie Sperrazza and Garchik on trombone.


Pianist/Composer Vijay Iyer Voted Jazz Artist of the Year; Vijay Iyer Trio Voted Group of the Year in 2015 DownBeat Critics Poll

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Pianist/Composer Vijay Iyer Voted
Jazz Artist of the Year,
Vijay Iyer Trio Voted Jazz Group of The Year
In 63rd Annual DownBeat Critics Poll

(Click to Read The Lengthy Article on Iyer from Aug Issue of DownBeat)

To cap off a year replete with numerous awards and recognitions of his music, pianist/composer Vijay Iyer has just been announced as Jazz Artist of the Yearin the DownBeat Critic’s Poll, the second time that Iyer has been granted this distinction. In light of their highly-lauded release Break Stuff (ECM) which received a 5-Star review in DownBeat, the Vijay Iyer Trio was also voted as theJazz Group of the Year. Iyer additionally composed the music for director Prashant Bhargava’s acclaimed film Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, released last year on DVD & Blue-ray–a true testament to the breadth of his musical mind.

In the most current DownBeat issue, which announces Iyer’s two Critics Poll victories, writer Phillip Lutz said of Iyer: “Few pianists can claim Iyer’s drive and intellect” and desciribed Break Stuff as a “breakthrough”. Lutz goes on to praise the “humanity” that is pervasive in Iyer’s music, yet which often gets overshadowed by his validation as an intellectual.


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.” He was named DownBeatMagazine‘s 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. In 2014 he began a permanent appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University.

The New York Times observes, “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” Iyer has released twenty albums covering remarkably diverse terrain, most recently for the ECM label. The latest include Break Stuff (2015), with a coveted five-star rating in DownBeat Magazine, featuring the VijayIyer Trio, hailed byPopMatters as “the best band in jazz”; Mutations (2014), featuring Iyer’s music for piano, string quartet and electronics, which “extends and deepens his range… showing a delicate, shimmering, translucent side of his playing” (Chicago Tribune).

Iyer’s trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass) made its name with two tremendously acclaimed and influential albums, Accelerando (2012) andHistoricity (2009). 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 byNPR, the Los Angeles Times, PopMatters, and Iyer received an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the 2012 DownBeat International CriticsPoll (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 2012 and 2013 Pianist of the Year Awards and the 2010 Musician of the Year Award from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2013 ECHO Award (the “German Grammy”) for best international pianist.

Iyer’s many collaborators include creative music pioneers Steve Coleman, Wadada Leo Smith, Roscoe Mitchell, Butch Morris, George Lewis, Amina Claudine Myers, William Parker, Graham Haynes, Miya Masaoka, Pamela Z, John Zorn; next-generation artists Rudresh Mahanthappa, Rez Abbasi, Craig Taborn, Ambrose Akinmusire, Liberty Ellman, Steve Lehman, Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey; Dead Prez, DJ Spooky, Himanshu Suri of Das Racist, High Priest of Antipop Consortium, DJ Val Jeanty, Karsh Kale, Suphala, Imani Uzuri, 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.

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. Iyer recently finished a multi-year residency with San Francisco Performances, cultivating new audiences and working with schools and community organizations. He is a Steinway artist and uses Ableton Live software.


OUT TODAY: Drummer/Composer John Hollenbeck Adapts Popular Songs For Large Ensemble on SONGS WE LIKE A LOT, Out June 30 on Sunnyside Records

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

OUT TODAY: JOHN HOLLENBECK Releases New Big Band Album,

SONGS WE LIKE A LOT (Sunnyside Records)

Featuring Theo Bleckmann, Kate McGarry, Uri Caine & The Frankfurt Radio Bigband

Including Songs Made Famous by Cyndi Lauper, Daft Punk, The Carpenters, The Fifth Dimension & More

Exclusive Stream of Tracks From Songs We Like A Lot





OUT TODAY: DAVE DOUGLAS “HIGH RISK” (Greenleaf) A Bold New Collaboration with Electronic Artist SHIGETO

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

OUT TODAY: HIGH RISK Musical Polymath
Exploration of Electronic Music  Featuring Beat-Maker SHIGETO, 
And Electric Bassist JONATHAN MARON

Release of High Risk To Be Accompanied by an iTunes Sale on Greenleaf Music Records in Celebration of the Critically-Acclaimed Label’s 10th Anniversary



OUT TODAY: Vibraphonist/Composer Chris Dingman’s “The Subliminal & The Sublime” (Inner Arts)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

OUT TODAY: Acclaimed Vibraphonist and Composer Chris Dingman
The Subliminal and The Sublime (Inner Arts)
Inspired By Both Microscopic and Massive Forces in Nature

Dingman‘s Highly Anticipated 2nd Record Showcases The Vibist Alongside Notable Peers:
Saxophonist Loren Stillman, Guitarist Ryan Ferreira, Pianist Fabian Almazan, Bassist Linda Oh, and Drummer Justin Brown


(Click To Read Down Beat Review by Frank Alkyer)

(Click to Read Glowing Review by Thomas Conrad)

(Click To Read Article By Ben Gray)

Learn this from the waters:
in mountains and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently

Gautama Buddha

The glory of nature has been a primary source of inspiration for artistic expression dating back to cave paintings and up to the most modern technology-based art forms of our day. But the key challenge is to capture both its enormous grandeur and the microscopic forces behind it with equal focus and clarity. Remarkable composer/vibraphonist Chris Dingman accomplishes this beautifully with his brilliant five-part suite The Subliminal and the Sublime, newly released via the not-for-profit Inner Arts Initiative.

The Subliminal and the Sublime is based on the concept that, under the surface of our apparent reality, there are subliminal layers of patterns, detail and depth. When we look at these layers more closely, we have the opportunity to discover sublime truths about our world and ourselves.”

Commissioned by Chamber Music America, this major work was developed over an 18-month period, with its New York premiere in the Fall of 2013. It was inspired by Chris’ travels in the wilderness of the American West – including Nevada’s deserts, California’s Pinnacles National Park and a redwood forest – fertile environment for the intensive inner reflection and self-knowledge essential to create a work of this magnitude. Experiencing the power of nature in its massive splendor and its exquisitely minute detail, and relating it to his own life experience and emotional sensibilities, Chris applied all of this to the composition.

“I wanted to capture the feeling of both the close-range and the massive in the music – to get a larger yet more detailed view of everything….. It’s all juxtaposed and arranged together, so there are multiple layers happening at once.”

Another indispensable ingredient demanded by music like this is the virtuosity of the musicians, who must be able to instill the spontaneity and synergy necessary to keep this mostly through-composed piece vital and visceral, while also adding the improvisational creativity that is essential to its organic flow. Loren Stillman on alto saxophone, Fabian Almazan on piano guitarist Ryan Ferreira and the bass/drums tandem of Linda Oh and Justin Brown add their consummate artistry to Chris’ vibes to flawlessly deliver that special substance.

An assortment of other instruments and effects are utilized – Tibetan singing bowls, tympani, voices, bowed vibes, occasional overdubs – but nothing contrived or in any way undermining the purely natural essence of the music. The technology is used as another instrument for creativity, enhancing and underscoring the composition in asubliminal, but highly effective manner.

(Stream Tracks From The Subliminal and The Sublime)

While the music is divided into five distinct movements, each conceived with its own distinct purpose, The Subliminal and the Sublime is first and foremost a unified whole. Each movement is comprised of a number of mini-movements all traveling on the same trajectory to the same destination – mapped by the extraordinary stimuli thatDingman experienced in nature. A swath of fireflies illuminating the midnight forest, an aerial view of vast water erosion and mountain patterns, the crumbling deformation of ancient volcanoes over millions of years, naturally expanding ripples in water, the surreal perception of time standing still – are all interwoven with the deeper emotional themes of the work.

This is the first album released by Inner Arts Initiative, a non-profit corporation dedicated to expanding the role of music and art in society to enable people to gain a greater understanding of themselves and the world through art.

The Subliminal and the Sublime was created with support from Chamber Music America’s Commissioning and Ensemble Development program, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Foundation.

Early Praise for The Subliminal & The Sublime:

Sublime is exactly that—perfectly paced, beautifully performed.” – Frank Alkyer, Down Beat

“a work of large ambition and impressive realization”- Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes

“The sprawling 62-minute work is compelling from beginning to end.”- Ben Gray, NextBop

OUT TODAY: Zubatto Syndicate’s Second Album, A Big Band for the Post-Jazz Era Featuring the Songs of Metallica & Beyoncé Along with Syndicate Originals

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Stream Tracks From Zubatto Syndicate 2 on Bancamp

“Fearless Seattle guitarist-composer Andrew Boscardin’s…quirky 12-piece Zubatto Syndicate features some of the hippest jazz musicians in Seattle.” – Seattle Times

“A Futuristic Seattle Big-Band put together by Seattle’s Andrew Boscardin”
WNYC New Sounds


There is no truth to the rumor that Andrew Boscardin, leader of the Zubatto Syndicate, forced his band members, while recording their new album, to subsist entirely on a steady diet of classic sci-fi movies, Metallica albums, and cold pizza, all under the watchful eye and protective custody of the Beygency™. But it’s understandable why you’d think so. Zubatto Syndicate 2, the second self-titled record from this large ensemble under the direction of composer and guitarist Boscardin, has alchemized a wide variety of influences in the creation of their latest audio monster.


Screaming out of Seattle aboard an aluminum UFO, the Zubatto Syndicate combines rock and roll guitar, big band harmonies, the analog and the digital, all in the support of a holistic music vision that pays no heed to genre boundaries of any kind. Boscardin & Co. have produced a stunningly varied album that resists classification.


(Stream Tracks from Zubatto Syndicate 2)


The covers on the album provide ample evidence of the range of musical source material that informs the Zubatto worldview: Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” and a medley of Beyoncé hits from her most recent album. Though not everyone in the band was instantly familiar with the Metallica hit — looking at you, woodwinds — the band commits fully to this reimagined romp, extending the harmonic possibilities inherent in the original. Meanwhile, “The Zeyoncé Suite” stitches together “Pretty Hurts,” “Flawless,” and “XO” into a stunningly beautiful sonic tapestry, the album’s emotional core.


The back-to-the-future aesthetic of music extends once again to the brilliant artwork Boscardin commissioned from sci-fi artist Franco Brambilla. Like the music itself, the visuals — best enjoyed in the full glory of the double vinyl LP’s gatefold sleeve — combine the new and the old, setting familiar, almost nostalgic robotic figures amid sweetly futuristic landscapes. The imagery dovetails beautifully with the tune “Gort’s Big Day,” which imagines the experience of the gigantic space invader from The Day the Earth Stood Still from his perspective — sure, he’s a seven-foot-tall, death-ray spewing mechanical monster, but what’s going through his mind? This tune may be the closest we’ll come.



Fully Altered Summer 2015 Release Schedule

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Zubatto Syndicate 2 Booklet

Zubatto Syndicate – Zubatto 2 // June 9th

Various Seattle Personnel

Chris Dingman cover art

Chris Dingman – The Subliminal and the Sublime // June 16th

Loren Stillman – alto saxophone; Fabian Almazan – piano; Ryan Ferreira – guitar; Linda Oh – bass; Justin Brown – drums; Chris Dingman – vibraphone

Dave Douglas - High Risk cover art

Dave Douglas – High Risk // June 23rd

Dave Douglas – trumpet; Shigeto – electronic musician; Mark Guiliana – drums; Jonathan Maron – bass

John Hollenbeck - Songs We Like A Lot cover art

John Hollenbeck – Songs We Like A Lot // June 23rd

The Frankfurt Radio Big Band

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