Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

NICOLE MITCHELL AND HAKI MADHUBUTI RELEASE FIRST ALBUM OF THEIR COLLABORATION LIBERATION NARRATIVES out Sept 29th, 2017 on Third World Press –

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

In 2014, Mitchell was commissioned by the Jazz Institute of Chicago to write music inspired by the poetry of Haki Madhbuti. Liberation Narratives, the latest release by composer, flautist and conceptualist Nicole Mitchell, will be released by the notable African-American publisher, Third World Press. The founder and director of Third World Press is named Haiki R. Madhubuti. The album features Madhubuti reading his own poetry spanning his entire career from the 1960s to the present. Known formerly as Don L. Lee, he was a protege of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American poet to receive the Pulitzer Prize.

Mitchell and Madhubuti have a deep connection which spans a number of years, starting when Mitchell first moved to Chicago, and sought employment at Madhubuti’s Third World Press. She explains: “When moved to Chicago in 1990, I looked up Third World Press in the phone book and went down to this little storefront off of 75th and Cottage Grove. Here it was — a bookstore, a publishing company and a school all squeezed up in the same building.  The vibe was exciting and I immediately asked to meet the owner, Haki Madhubuti.  I told him I wanted to work there because I believed in what he was doing — he was making a real difference in the community.  He looked at me — I was totally unprofessional and had no degree and no real skills, but he said “OK.”  First I started typing manuscripts and eventually I did the graphic design and book layouts.  I stayed TWP for thirteen years, at the center of one of Chicago’s cultural institutions, and with great mentorship from Haki. This time was core to my development.”
In 2014, Mitchell was commissioned by the Jazz Institute of Chicago to write music inspired by her relationship with Madhubuti which would ultimately form the basis of this album. “Liberation Narratives” was first performed by Mitchell and her Black Earth Ensemble, alongside Madhubuti at La Follette Park in Chicago in April 2014 to

(more…)

Slavic Soul Party! Celebrates Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s Masterpiece, The Far East Suite, with Their Newest Album on Ropeadope Records, Out September 16th

Monday, July 18th, 2016

DUKE-RGB-1600highres

The past 50 years have seen a lot of borders come down: the Iron Curtain, the European Union, the Cuban embargo, apartheid in the USA and South Africa all come to mind.  But lately we’ve heard talk of reinforcing borders and building walls, watched as refugees from the Middle East pile up on newly reinforced European borders.  Many of these borders – between Macedonia and Serbia, Turkey and Europe, “the east” and “the west”, host culture and “other” – are the very same borders that Slavic Soul Party! has crossed for years.  They’re also many of the same borders crossed by the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1963, when the US State Department sent the band on a “jazz diplomacy” mission to the Middle East, South Asia, and the Balkans.  50 years ago Ellington recorded his brilliant collaboration with Billy Strayhorn, the Far East Suite in New York City masterfully integrating the sounds they heard into the Ellington band, itself one of the defining sounds of jazz.

Slavic Soul Party! celebrates 50 years of the Far East Suite with a new record that re-imagines the iconic suite as an Eastern European brass band discovering an exotic American sound, reversing the “exotic tinge” and reveling in this subtle, funky, and brilliant music.  The essence of Ellington and Strayhorn’s collaboration is apparent from the first notes – the pulsing, harmonically rich chords of Tourist Point of View – but there’s something clearly different here. The slight of hand that SSP! has achieved with deft arrangements and strong Balkan playing is wonderfully disorienting.  This is music that has taken several trips across the Atlantic, in both directions.  It’s obviously a brass band that has fallen in love with the sound of jazz, but where is this music from? (more…)

Alto Saxophonist Jim Snidero Celebrates His 20th Recording as a Leader with MD66, Inspired by Miles Davis’ Second Great Quintet, Scheduled for Release on August 26, 2016 on Savant Records

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

MD 66 Cover production final

Over the course of a career lasting more than 35 years, Jim Snidero has established his reputation as a leader both on the bandstand and as an influential author of jazz education books. A pioneer in music education technology, with his venture The Jazz Conception Company (TJCC), the release of MD66 only affirms the alto saxophonist’s role as an important and evolving jazz artist.

MD66 is scheduled for release on August 26 on Savant Records, marking Snidero’s 20th album as a leader and sixth release for Savant. The album celebrates 50 years since the heyday of the second great Miles Davis Quintet (with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams). Snidero remarks on how Davis was a critical beacon for being a great leader. He had a gift for hiring musicians who best fit his evolving vision, often inspiring them to create innovative music.”

Consisting primarily of Snidero’s original compositions, along with a piece by pianist Andy Laverne and Davis’ immortal “Blue in Green,” the music on MD66 came about as a result of Snidero’s careful attention to the musical interplay between the members of Davis’ second great quintet. “That band is at the very top of the ladder of any kind of music that I’ve ever listened to,” says Snidero.  Assembling his own stellar band consisting of trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, pianist Andy Laverne, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Rudy Royston, Snidero sought to explore his own music while conveying the same sense of intimacy demonstrated by Davis’ second quintet.
(more…)

After Years of Steady Collaboration, Sara Gazarek and Josh Nelson Debut as Vocal-Piano Duo with Dream in the Blue, Out August 5, 2016

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

SG_DIB_Cover_Flat

Since 2002, vocalist Sara Gazarek and pianist Josh Nelson have nurtured an uncommonly strong musical bond. It’s no mere happenstance that Nelson played as a band member on all four of Gazarek’s albums, and she, in turn, sang on two of Nelson’s own recording projects. But over the past 18 months, this Los Angeles-based pair has taken their collaboration to a new level, touring extensively as a duo and developing a diverse repertoire that showcases their combined artistic maturation. Gazarek and Nelson recorded their new album Dream in the Blue (funded exclusively through the crowd-sourcing website pledgemusic.com) as a tribute to their extraordinary partnership.  

“I remember feeling so incredibly comfortable with Josh that I held on tight and never looked back,” says Gazarek, recalling their very first gig in LA. “We’ve spent the last decade and more writing together, arranging, recording, making silly videos; essentially growing up together, personally and musically.” Nelson, in addition to citing his close rapport with Gazarek, sees Dream in the Blue as “a nice snapshot of our musical tastes in general — decidedly welcoming and accessible for a wide variety of audiences.”

(more…)

Bobby Avey Announces New Record, ‘Inhuman Wilderness’

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

 

For a young musician, Bobby Avey has quickly establishing himself as an emerging voice in the creative music scene. The Guardian describes him as, “a player and musical thinker with an intriguing future,” who The New Yorker asserts “[Avey is] a young pianist of invention and refinement.” In 2011, he won the Thelonious Monk Competition for Composition, following the release of his first album,  A New Face, which the New York Times called “A promising debut.”

Inhuman Wilderness, the fifth recording from the esteemed pianist, promises to be a major artistic statement. The release is a multi-hued tapestry that eloquently portrays the tragedy of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man and to nature. Releasing June 24th, 2016, the album will be Innervoice Jazz’s second release after pianist Marc Copland’s Zenith.

Once again, Avey’s has enlisted longtime bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Jordan Perlson to support the underlying framework of his unusual concepts.  The trio have almost a decade of playing under their belts. Indeed AllAboutJazz.com proclaimed the three, “a strong, intuitive trio.” The fourth voice joining the quartet for Inhuman Wilderness is alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher.  Avey met O’Gallagher in 2014 when the two played a gig together in NYC, and it was in that moment Avey knew he had found the final component to complete a new quartet. Avey says “John was simply the best fit for the repertoire.  He internalized the music quickly and brought it to life.” (more…)

Jeff Lederer Takes A Left Turn with Brooklyn Blowhards – Drawing A Parallel Between Sea Shanties and The Music of Albert Ayler

Monday, March 21st, 2016

“One should play the guitar like a man drowning at sea….”  – Captain Beefheart

The sea can be a terrifying place. “I love sea shanties because they embody the spirit of men holding on in the face of a vast and unknowable ocean which combines beauty and fear in equal measure,” says saxophonist and clarinetist Jeff Lederer.

“I love the tension of individual and group that is so present in the very form of these songs through the call and response structure.  I love the way this music is connected to the acts of physical labor on a ship – it’s feeling of resistance-the pushing and pulling of the beat; actually, more pulling of the beat than pushing – you don’t push with a rope.”

Years ago in conversation with longtime musical collaborator Matt Wilson (who appears here on various concert percussion), Wilson shared his impressions of first hearing the great Albert Ayler recording Love Cry. “He told me how it sounded very folk-like to him, almost like sea shanties.”

Years later, cornetist Kirk Knuffke (also present on this recording) played Lederer a recording of the traditional vocal group The Foc’sile Singers which contained much of the repertoire we hear on this recording.  “The idea of connecting sea shanties with the music of Albert Ayler seemed to me to be not only completely natural, but inevitable.  It is sadly relevant to mention that Albert Ayler met his own tragic death at sea,” notes Lederer.

A Los Angeles native, Lederer was initially turned on to the jazz icon when his Oberlin college professor Wendell Logan hipped him to Love Cry. “It spoke to me right away. It has a folk music quality to it, a directness.  People don’t always identify the lyricism in play with Albert because they’re so taken aback by the sound and the extended technique. But it’s right there. I’m drawn to tenor players who work that gritty aspect. Like George Adams on Mingus at Carnegie Hall.”

Lots of modern improvisers try to balance the joy of boundless expressionism with the buoyancy of swing, but few do it with Lederer’s sense of ease.  On Brooklyn Blowhards the relatively tame sea shanties are punctuated by the leader’s roars and rumbles, which lovingly conjure the heady atmosphere of late-‘60s jazz.

The shrieks here have a soulful purpose, fluttery murmurs have an attractive warmth. When he rockets a solo from 0 to 100, there’s always a story being told between the lines. “When I would do that at the Showman’s Club, they definitely understood that the squeaking and honking wasn’t coming from an artsy intention, but an emotional one.  I like that my ecstatic thing differentiates me from other cats, but I like it most when it fits in, when it comes from what’s around me.”

Chemistry is key and Brooklyn Blowhards has a noticeable family feel to it. Wilson, Knuffke and Lederer often work together in Wilson’s quarter. Drummer Allison Miller, here playing concert percussion and bass drum has Knuffke in her band BOOM TIC BOOM and trombonist Brian Drye is a ubiquitous presence on the Brooklyn creative music scene, often playing with everyone here in different contexts. Miller and Lederer are bandmates in Honey Ear Trio. Art Bailey was the perfect man for the job here adding his reedy accordion to the pentatonic sound of the shanties. Petr Cancura is Lederer’s favorite tenor sax player and loves the folky aspect of his sound. He feels they are kindred spirits.

The artwork associated with this project comes from visual artist Matt Kish, whose book Moby Dick: A Picture for Every Page, Lederer discovered in a whaling museum in Nantucket.  “The art seemed to me to embody everything that I was feeling about the sea; the creatures that live in it, and the men whose lives centered on killing them.” The artwork is as elemental and spiritual as Herman Melville’s words that inspired it. “The images reflected everything I heard in this music as well – violence, a Quaker spirituality, and a striving for order in the midst of turmoil.  These are all qualities that I hear in the music of Albert Ayler as well.”

A key member of The Matt Wilson Quartet & Christmas Tree-O, the 51-year-old saxophonist is one of New York’s most versatile horn players. He has accompanied tap dancers at Harlem’s famed Showman’s Club, grooved the five boroughs as part of Jimmy Bosch’s salsa outfit, and played frequently with larger-than-life Afro-Cuban drummer and bandleader Bobby Sanabria. Regardless of setting, the impassioned peal of his sax is always on display.

Dave Douglas is back with another High Risk collaboration!

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

Record Store Day Exclusive Vinyl Release April 16th,
Simultaneous with Digital Release By Greenleaf Music (Bandcamp only)

In Wide Digital & CD Release via iTunes/Amazon/Brick & Mortar, July 8th

With the 2015 release of High Risk, Dave Douglas, Shigeto, Mark Guiliana and Jonathan Maron proved they could produce an album where avant-jazz and electronic music met in a spacey atmospheric middle ground, delivering something new in the world of genre. Melding traditional instrumentation and modern electronic music production challenges the ideals of both the traditional term “jazz” as well as the modern term “electronic music.” Pitchfork described it as, “Simultaneously chill and surprising, it’s the sound of a group discovering a valid language, and then proceeding to push the limits of that new aesthetic.”

We now have a second installment to look forward to. All Music declared High Risk, “A hallucinatory and surprisingly organic collaboration.” The quartet, created by veteran trumpeter, composer and bandleader Dave Douglas, will be released on Douglas’ imprint, Greenleaf Music, exclusively on vinyl as a Record Store Day 2016 Exclusive.

Tracked in the same set of sessions as High Risk, Dark Territory was recorded once again by Geoff Countryman at The Bunker in Brooklyn, NY in October 2014, with mixing by Steve Wall, mastering by Mark Wilder and production by Dave Douglas.

“The biggest element in this meeting of the worlds [is] an openness and willingness to put everything at risk,” says Douglas. “I wanted to create a situation where we really were at risk, we were on a high wire, where the exigencies of being in the moment and creating with your wits – from one second to the next – was what it was about.”

Douglas continues, “Dark Territory follows up on this area of risk, going into new, as yet unexplored musical spaces. The title was suggested by the writer Fred Kaplan, whose new book Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, talks about the similarly mysterious, murky waters of underground activity. In a way, we’re playing through a similar territory without rules where the dangers and challenges of technology are much greater than normal. I love that Zach, Jon, and Mark are so willing to go that place!” (more…)

Melissa Aldana Is “Back Home” – Rising Tenor Sax Star Releases Second Trio Album & Fourth Album Overall

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Acclaimed tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana follows up her 2014 Concord release Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio with the explorative and deeply swinging Back Home, this time released on the Wommusic label. Pablo Menares, Aldana’s fellow native of Santiago, Chile, is again on bass. On drums is the in-demand Jochen Rueckert, bringing a supple and unpredictable rhythmic élan to the session. These three musicians turn on a dime and project an uncommonly full orchestral sound, rich in spiritual intensity, all in the absence of a harmony instrument.

The title Back Home might seem to evoke Chile, where Aldana left in 2007 to pursue jazz at ever higher levels in the U.S. In fact, Aldana reveals, Back Home “is not really related to Chile itself. It’s related to the first time I picked up the tenor and I heard Sonny Rollins.” The closing title track carries strong echoes of Rollins’ playful spirit, and reveals much about Aldana’s evolution from a 6-year-old alto player to “a bold new talent” (NPR), one of the most compelling and prodigious tenor saxophonists of her time. In fact she wrote “Back Home” specifically for Rollins, she recalls: “He was one of the first reasons I started playing trio, because the freedom that you have within the music, the interaction, the opportunity you have to express yourself and communicate with the other musicians.”

As a child Aldana studied with her renowned saxophonist father Marcos Aldana (son of saxophonist Enrique Aldana, whose Selmer Mark VI tenor Melissa performs with to this day). She began on alto but after hearing the landmark Sonny Rollins + 4 she switched to tenor and never looked back. Other important influences she cites range from Don Byas, Gene Ammons and Lucky Thompson to Chris Potter and Mark Turner.

In 2007 Aldana moved to Boston to enroll at Berklee, coming under the mentorship of tenor great George Garzone. Pianist Danilo Pérez and saxophonist Patricia Zarate provided Aldana with crucial support and guidance as well. In 2009 she took the plunge to New York and began apprenticing with greats such as Greg Osby and George Coleman, among others. In 2013 she became the first female instrumentalist and the first South American ever to win the Thelonious Monk Competition. She is also a recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center and a double recipient of the Altazor Award, Chile’s highly prestigious national arts prize. In 2014 after two quartet releases for Osby’s Inner Circle label (Free Fall and Second Cycle), she turned her attention to the chordless trio, a jazz aesthetic Sonny Rollins did so much to pioneer. With Back Home she deepens her trio investigations while looking back on her roots, drawing as well from the original compositions of Menares and Rueckert.  (more…)

Musette Explosion Goes on Tour Exploring French Musette Music As Cultural Melting Pot

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Will Holshouser, Matt Munisteri, and Marcus Rojas Explore the Parisian Dance Hall Musette as a Cultural Melting Pot, A Modern and Musical Look at Migration and Urban Expansion on Musette Explosion
“Musette … has a dynamic vehicle in this ensemble.” – Nate Chinen, New York Times

Will Holshouser (accordion), Matt Munisteri (guitar & banjo), Marcus Rojas (tuba) are three of New York’s most in-demand virtuoso musicians, each with a distinctive voice on his instrument, explore and expand on Parisian musette. They bring this multicultural dancehall music to new places through the highest improvisational communication, emotionally honest performances, and original compositions.

Marcus, Matt and Will keep busy backing up some of the world’s foremost artists (Regina Carter, David Byrne, Paul Simon, Henry Threadgill, Mark O’Connor, David Krakauer, Catherine Russell and others). Over the last fifteen years, they’ve indulged in a labor of love: exploring the beautiful and challenging French musette repertoire.

Paris in the early 20th century was a cosmopolitan melting pot, like New Orleans or New York. A true “musette explosion,” musical and cultural, was taking place. Paris was “in the throes of explosive growth as poor migrants flocked in. Where people of all classes rubbed shoulders, places of amusement multiplied … Cafés, clubs, brothels, and dance halls were the crucibles in which were forged new musical forms.”1 The original bagpipes (“musettes”) of the French Auvergnats were replaced by the Italians’ accordions, but gave their name to the new style of music; Roma guitarists and violinists brought in Eastern European and Spanish influences; American GIs introduced jazz, the banjo, and drums. German and Polish waltzes, polkas, and mazurkas were also in the air.

This trio, with its unique instrumentation, continues the “explosion” through its new interpretations, sonic surprises, and original compositions.

WILL HOLSHOUSER began playing accordion in the late 1980s when a friend gave him a musty old squeezebox as a surprise. He now performs all over the world as an accordionist, improviser and composer. Will has played for many years with violinist Regina Carter and appears on her last two albums. He has toured and recorded with clarinetist David Krakauer, pop visionaries Antony and the Johnsons, and improvisers Han Bennink & Michael Moore. As a freelance accordionist, he has appeared on a wide range of recordings and live concerts. He has played with Kiran Ahluwalia, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, Uri Caine, NYC Ballet, NYC Opera, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Raymond Scott Orchestrette, among many others. The Will Holshouser Trio with trumpeter Ron Horton and bassist David Phillips has released three CDs of his music on the Portuguese label Clean Feed; he has also composed music for theater, films, and dance.

Tuba player MARCUS ROJAS has played in a wide variety of musical contexts, and is internationally recognized as one of the most accomplished and unique voices on his instrument. He has worked with artists ranging from David Byrne and Paul Simon to the Metropolitan Opera, downtown luminaries such as John Zorn and Marc Ribot, reggae stars Sly & Robbie, and jazz legends Lionel Hampton and Lester Bowie. Marcus was a central figure in composer Henry Threadgill’s ensembles throughout the 1990s and collaborated with trumpeter Steven Bernstein and guitarist David Tronzo in the trio Spanish Fly. He has appeared on hundreds of recordings from the labels Black Saint, Tzadik, Sony, Shanachie, Thirsty Ear, and many more.

Growing up, guitarist/banjoist MATT MUNISTERI was the only kid on his block in Brooklyn who played bluegrass banjo; a freewheeling and virtuosic guitarist, he currently gets to work with a wide variety of artists at the top of their game across the jazz and American roots music spectrum. When not working on his own projects his primary sideman gigs for the last few years have been playing with violinist Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing; Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra; and with the singer Catherine Russell, for whom he also currently serves as Music Director. Matt’s debut CD Love Story wound up on several critics’ “Best Of” lists, and garnered the number two slot on Amazon’s Top Ten Jazz CDs of The Year (2003). His latest CD, Still Runnin’ Round in the Wilderness: the Lost Music of Willard Robison, has also met with rave reviews. Matt has been featured on France’s ARTE television, profiled in Downbeat magazine, honored with Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award, and been the subject of several broadcasts on NPR. He has also recorded with Holly Cole, Madeline Peyroux, Liz Wright, “Little” Jimmy Scott, Geoff Muldaur, Sasha Dobson, and Kat Edmondson. He is credited on over 70 CDs, including new releases by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, and guitarist Howard Alden.

The Seasons of Being

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

“The Seasons of Being” is a new project from pianist/composer Andy Milne. The 60-minute suite, composed for 10 musicians, is set around Milne’s genre-bending quintet, Dapp Theory, which occupies the cross roads between lyrical jazz piano, funkified polyrhythmic exploration, and spoken word poeticism. This project is a significant new direction for the band, representing their first large-scale collaboration with multiple improvisers. Dapp Theory is augmented with five diverse, top-notch improvisers from the New York creative music scene. Joining the band as special guests are:

Ralph Alessi – trumpet (Fred Hersch, Uri Caine)

Ben Monder – guitar (Maria Schnider, Lee Konitz)

La Tanya Hall – vocals & narration (Steely Dan, Bobby McFerrin)

Michael Attias – baritone saxophone (Anthony Braxton, Paul Motian, Oliver Lake)

Christopher Hoffman – cello (Henry Threadgill, Marc Ribot)

Milne, who has collaborated with Ravi Coltrane, Joe Lovano, Sekou Sundiata, Avery Brooks, Bruce Cockburn, and Dianne Reeves, was at the center of the M-BASE collective during the 1990s. He was a core member of saxophonist Steve Coleman’s groups and collaborated extensively with Cassandra Wilson and Greg Osby. In 2012, Milne was commissioned by The Japan Foundation and New Music USA to create Strings and Serpents, a multi-disciplinary project featuring artists from Japan, France, Canada and the US. He has composed and produced the scores for seven documentary films by acclaimed director William Shatner. In 2013, Milne composed an orchestral work for American Composer’s Orchestra JCOI New Music Readings. A seasoned educator, Milne is on the faculties at The New School, New York University, Columbia University and The Banff Centre, as well as being the assistant director for The School for Improvisational Music.

“The Seasons of Being” was inspired by Milne’s positive personal experiences with homeopathy. Since 2006, he has been exploring the principles of classical homeopathic healing. In 2011, he researched and developed a model for identifying human behavioral patterns (pathologies) through understanding how one’s subconscious preferences for music or sound are connected to their pathology. By uncovering the emotional and spiritual forces influencing our responses to sound and music, Milne’s aim was to compose music that could offer “healing” qualities for the featured improviser.

One aspect of homeopathic diagnosis is the identification of experiences that cause emotions to disrupt the healthy connection between the vital force and physical energy within a human organ. With homeopathy, it’s possible to identify the experiences that contribute to illnesses caused when a person is separated, in varying degrees, from their spirit. This damage manifests as various distinct pathologies. Milne saw the potential to draw meaningful connections between characteristics of a particular pathology (tempo, quality, texture) and fundamental elements of music (rhythm, harmony and melody.) The manner in which an individual responds to sound and music is, in fact, an excellent indicator of their pathology.

The composed material in this project serves as a musical complement, underscoring each improviser’s depiction of a specific behavioral pattern. Each movement features an improviser representing one of several human behavioral patterns. While Duke Ellington composed for individual musicians from an understanding of their musical lineage, Milne is exploring how to reflect an understanding of one’s emotional lineage. His goal is to explore the resonance with which people experience this powerful modality of healing, expressing it musically and creating music that is healing for both the listener and performer. Milne sees the potential to share his work with those working in music therapy, bringing together homeopathy and music, creating opportunities for improving general public health.

Watch more on the upcoming project!

Designed by Doctor Sandwich.