Posts Tagged ‘piano’

Dave Douglas & Uri Caine Release “Present Joys” July 16th on Greenleaf Music

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Longtime Collaborators Dave Douglas and Uri Caine,
Record First Duo Album, Present Joys,
A Special Collection of Songs, Hymns & Improvisations
Inspired by The Sacred Harp & The Shape Note Tradition


The tradition of shape-note singing has been passed down for centuries in tunebooks like The Sacred Harp and Ye Olde New England Psalm-Tunes, allowing groups of untrained and unrehearsed singers to participate in gorgeous four-part harmonies. A uniquely American art form that’s deceptively simple, emotionally moving, and profoundly communal; it’s no wonder these songs were so attractive as the source for a duo project by longtime friends and collaborators Dave Douglas and Uri Caine(more…)

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),
March 11,2014

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.


Tigran Tours U.S. in Support of “The Poet EP”; LP “Shadow Theater” Coming Early 2014 in U.S.

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Band for U.S. Tour Includes Chris Tordini (bass) and Arthur Hnatek (drums)
with Special Guests Areni Agbabian (voice) and Charles Altura (guitar) in NYC, LA, Boston

Ever since the very beginning, Tigran Hamsayan seems possessed by the idea of making the spectrum of his music as broad as possible. He was only 19 when he found himself catapulted to the forefront of the music scene after winning the prestigious Thelonious Monk Competition (in 2006, its president was Herbie Hancock). Knighted by the world’s jazzosphere, the young Armenian was quick to avoid being “catalogued”: after trekking around with the unavoidable rhythm section formed by the Moutin brothers, in 2009 Tigran set up a group, a real one, alongside some of the New York scene’s young Turks from the influential band Kneebody, like saxophonist Ben Wendel or drummer Nate Wood. Christened Aratta Rebirth, his new quintet showed its debt as much to traditional Armenian music as to the labyrinthine metal of Meshuggah or the jazz fusion of Chick Corea. Three years later, the kid shed that skin and went through another transformation with the album A Fable, stripping himself down to the essentials in duets with his own piano. The menu was just as spare: splinters of minimalist pop, melodies from his native country, and some inhabited re-readings of standards like Someday My Prince Will Come. Plus something new: Tigran supplied vocals for a few tracks. The opus gained plaudits from around the globe, and in France he received the laurels of a “Victoire de la Musique” Award. (more…)

Pianist Myra Melford Celebrates the Release of “Life Carries Me This Way” with a Solo Concert at Greenwich House Music School, October 27

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Melford_Murray1“Melford is an explosive player, a virtuoso who shocks and soothes, and who can make the piano stand up and do things it doesn’t seem to have been designed for.” — San Francisco Chronicle

The Sound It Out series presents pianist Myra Melford in a solo concert at 8:00pm Sunday, October 27, 2013, at Greenwich House Music School in New York City’s West Village. The event will celebrate the release of Life Carries Me This Way, Melford’s new album on Firehouse 12 Records – her first for solo piano. The New York Times has described Melford as “a fearless pianist,” while Jazzwise magazine praised “the great depth” in her composing and her ability to “sustain an emotionally charged mood that recalls Coltrane or Dolphy without resorting to cliché.” Tickets for Myra Melford are $15 ($12 for students), available at the door; go to for venue information.

Melford – a 2013 Guggenheim fellow – recorded Life Carries Me This Way as a tribute to a close friend, the late visual artist Don Reich, whose rich, colorful paintings inspired each of the album’s compositions. About the process, Melford says: “Don took a wide range of approaches to painting, from very abstract to almost cartoonish. Seeing his paintings made me want to play the piano, and his very wide range from abstracts to landscapes to still life allowed me to cover a range of my own playing from dense, polytonal, high-energy work to very simple, beautiful melodies. I felt like there was room for all of that in the scope of his artwork.”


Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd Collaborate Again on Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

VeteransDreamsProject5Out September 10, 2013 on Pi Recordings

CLICK HERE To Listen to Selections from “Holding It Down” on SoundCloud

Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project is the latest astonishing album to emerge from the longtime collaboration of Grammy-nominated pianist / composer Vijay Iyer and poet / performer / librettist / emcee Mike Ladd. Three years in the making, the new work focuses on veterans of color from the last decade’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Holding It Down is a thought-provoking, sometimes frightening, and ultimately exhilarating combination of music, poetry and song, created from the actual dreams of young veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The new album continues in the groundbreaking, politically searing, stylistically omnivorous fashion of their previous works (the award-winning In What Language? (Pi 2004), based on interviews with people of color in airports, and the acclaimed Still Life with Commentator (2007), an oratorio about 24-hour news culture).


Kristin Slipp & Dov Manski Release Gig at Cornelia St. September 16th

Monday, August 12th, 2013

1347DigipakKristin Slipp & Dov Manski
Celebrate Their New Sunnyside Records 
Release A Thousand Julys
September 16th at Cornelia St. Cafe 
Two Sets Starting at 8:30

Unique and Singularly Bold Interpretations of The Standard Repertoire

Listening to Kristin Slipp and Dov Manski perform this set of well-known songs, I often feel like I am hearing the words and melodies for the first time.  They approach these classcs with love, knowledge, fearless intimacy, and spontaneity, but also with an ear toward finding the strange in the familiar.
-From Liner Notes by Allan Chase

Young musicians attempting to break into the world of jazz are generally confronted with numerous obstacles, including the public’s expectations regarding the music’s legacy and originality. Discerning listeners are rarely graced by performers who appropriate well-known music of the past, transforming it into something entirely contemporary.

Two musicians who have made it a goal to impart their love of classic jazz repertoire and the pursuit of en vogue sounds and image are vocalist Kristin Slipp and pianist Dov Manski. The duo’s new recording, A Thousand Julys, presents their unique take on compositions made famous in the golden age of vocal jazz recordings with an approach unlike that which has been heard previously.


Brooklyn Trio DAWN OF MIDI’s Critically Acclaimed “DYSNOMIA” Out Now via Thirsty Ear Recordings

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Dawn of Midi 8Press Quotes to Date

“Something totally unprecedented.” – Pitchfork

“Sounds like something completely different.” – NPR

” Cannot urge you more strongly: go see Dawn of Midi.”
 The New Yorker

“An unplugged translation of contemporary electronica.”
– Time Out New York

“Seriously never seen anything like these guys.”
– Jad Abumrad, Radiolab

“It sounds like nothing else right now.” – The Guardian

“…dedicated to perpetual forward motion, a rigorously composed blend of minimalism and trance music.” – The Los Angeles Times

Following 2010’s improvised debut First and their free, aptly-titled EP LiveDysnomia is in many ways the first record that truly reflects the trio’s critically acclaimed live show, resulting in their most mesmerizing work yet. Mixed by Rusty Santos (Animal CollectiveOwen PallettDJ Rashad), Dysnomia stands as a test of endurance and trust that involves bassist Aakaash Israni, pianist Amino Belyamani and percussionist Qasim Naqvi performing their compositions note-for-note without ever appearing the least bit predictable. If anything, Dawn of Midi’s sets are as red-blooded and rhythmic as a seamlessly mixed DJ set, casting spells on crowds in the same way the group’s favorite experimental and electronic acts have for decades.


Pianist, Composer, Musical Visionary MYRA MELFORD Melford Release First Solo Piano Recording Life Carries Me This Way Avialable on Vinyl and Compact Disc On Firehouse 12 Records October 22, 2013

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

018_cover-e1375113936461Pianist, composer and Guggenheim fellow Myra Melford realizes two long-cherished dreams on her beautiful new release, Life Carries Me This Way (Firehouse 12). The album is both Melford’s first solo piano recording and a tribute to her friend, the late California visual artist Don Reich. Each of the eleven tracks was directly inspired by one of Reich’s rich, colorful canvases, brought to vivid sonic life by Melford’s deeply spiritual and personal compositions.

In the artist’s work, Melford found a range of artistic expression equal to the diversity and vibrancy of her own broad palette of invention. “Don takes a wide range of approaches to painting, from very abstract to almost cartoonish,” she explains. “Seeing his paintings made me want to play the piano, and his very wide range from abstracts to landscapes to still lifes allowed me to cover a range of my own playing from dense, polytonal, high-energy work to very simple, beautiful melodies. I felt like there was room for all of that in the scope of his artwork.”

Reich, who passed away in 2010 after suggesting a number of artworks for Melford’s interpretation, was a longtime friend of the pianist’s family. It was that closeness that led Melford to choose his work as the basis for her long-awaited solo debut. “There’s something so immediate and personal about any kind of solo,” Melford says. “But particularly for me to play solo piano, I’m completely exposed, I’m not covered up by the orchestration or by other people playing. So that seemed to be the best way for me to communicate personally how I feel about Don’s artwork. There’s no one else to interpret it but me.”


Landon Knoblock’s CACAW Featuring Oscar Noriega & Jeff Davis Releases “Stellar Power” On Skirl Records September 17th

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

CACAW Stellar Power FRONTWhen musicologists of the future look back to find the missing link between the avant-jazz and synth rock of the early 21st century and the hybrid sounds that have yet to reach our contemporary ears, the debut CD by the futurist jazz trioCACAW could easily mark a key moment in that evolution. With music inspired by the love between robots, the swallowing of one star by another, and elements in a state of change, Stellar Power is an album driven by transition, whether in the music or in the cosmos.

Formed in 2010 by keyboardist Landon Knoblock, CACAW itself evolved from an acoustic improvising trio into a vehicle for Knoblock’s forward-looking compositions and experimentation with electric sounds. Saxophonist Oscar Noriega and drummer Jeff Davis were both members of a larger ensemble formed by Knoblock to perform the music of Andrew Hill. When only the three of them were able to make a rehearsal one day, Knoblock immediately recognized the intense chemistry they shared and determined to explore it further.

“Every sound Oscar makes has got a vibe,” Knoblock says. “It’s got an attitude, a spirit. He has such a unique personal sound. And Jeff was one of the first guys I played with when I moved to New York, so in addition to being a powerhouse of a drummer, he’s someone who I trust immensely.”

That combination of intuitive interaction and sonic range led to the development of CACAW’s sound – and, as the onomatopoeic name implies, sound is the operative word. “CACAW is a sound,” Knoblock explains, “it’s not a real word. It doesn’t have a meaning other than representing a sound, so it represents the music we’re making – when the actual act of creation is happening, it’s just about making sounds. Not keys, not modes, not harmonies, not intervals – just sounds.”


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