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Posts tagged “Jazz

From ECM: New Jazz Releases

New from ECM

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Steve Kuhn Trio Wisteria
ECM 2257

Steve Kuhn piano
Steve Swallow bass
Joey Baron drums

“Wisdom and wistfulness are intertwined in Wisteria, whose title track, written by Art Farmer, takes us back to the early 60s, when both Steve Kuhn and Steve Swallow sang softly of the blues in the trumpeter-flugelhornist’s band. They’ve shared a lot of history since then. Swallow played on Kuhn’s classic Trance; Kuhn played on Swallow’s Home and So There. Drummer Joey Baron has been heard with Kuhn on ECM discs including Remembering Tomorrow and the dazzling tribute disc Mostly Coltrane. This new album takes a fresh look at several pieces heard in Kuhn’s orchestral Promises Kept collection, but alongside the aching balladry there is also some driving hard bop (on A Likely Story) , a brace of Swallow tunes (Dark Glasses), Carla Bley’s gospel-tinged Permanent Wave and the Brazilian Romance by Dori Caymmi… In all, a varied programme that the trio seems to sail through effortlessly, master musicians beyond the need to prove anything, creating the agreeable illusion that this demanding music is playing itself.”

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Billy Hart All Our Reasons
ECM 2248

Mark Turner tenor saxophone
Ben Street double bass
Ethan Iverson piano
Billy Hart drums

“First ECM recording of a quartet formed in 2003. Originally billed as the Ethan Iverson-Mark Turner Quartet, it soon became the Billy Hart Quartet, and under this name has played shows to packed houses each year in New York City. The group’s first album for hard-bop label High Note in 2005 figured on many critics’ best-of-the year list. Since then, the ensemble’s music has gotten more free and spacious, a sensibility that aligns perfectly with ECM. While drummer Hart’s swinging beat and delicate cymbal tracery have previously been heard on the label behind Charles Lloyd and Bennie Maupin, and tenorist Mark Turner has appeared on acclaimed recording with the Fly Trio and Enrico Rava, All Our Reasons is a label debut for Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street. Hart, Iverson and Turner all contribute material, which includes modern blues, a Coltrane tribute and an Iverson-penned homage to Paul Bley, the wonderfully-titled Nostalgia for the Impossible.”

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Masabumi Kikuchi Trio Sunrise
ECM 2096

Masabumi Kikuchi piano
Thomas Morgan double bass
Paul Motian drums

“An ECM debut from Masabumi Kikuchi and a last session from the great Paul Motian. Motian and Kikuchi were friends for many years and Paul understood the idiosyncracies and the wayward charm of the Japanese pianist’s highly personal style perhaps better than anyone. The trio – completed by Zen bassist Thomas Morgan – makes new art out of the interactive free rubato ballad. A strangely beautiful album.”

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Andy Sheppard,Michel Benita,Sebastian Rochford Trio Libero
ECM 2252

Andy Sheppard tenor and soprano saxophones
Michel Benita double-bass
Sebastian Rochford drums

“UK saxophonist Andy Sheppard’s second ECM album introduces his freely lyrical new trio with Michel Benita and Sebastian Rochford. All three players share a sense of stylistic open-mindedness. Drummer Rochford is one of the young players changing perceptions of British jazz with bands Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland. Algiers-born French bassist Benita, who cites Charlie Haden and Scott LaFaro as influences, has played with Archie Shepp, Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz and in the ELB trio with Nguyên Lê and Peter Erskine. Repertoire here includes originals by Sheppard, Benita and Rochford, plus group improvisations and the standard I’m Always Chasing Rainbows. In all contexts, interaction is highly creative, as Benita and Rochford respond perceptively to Sheppard’s melodically and rhythmically inventive lines. Recorded July 2011 at Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano.”

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Anders Jormin Ad Lucem
ECM 2232

Mariam Wallentin voice
Erika Angell voice
Fredrik Ljungkvist clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
Anders Jormin double-bass
Jon Fält drums

“Bassist Anders Jormin steps out with one of his projects, with an ensemble formed for the Swedish Jazz Celebration 2010. Anders sets his own lyrics – written in ancient Latin – and poetry of Denmark’s Pia Tafdrup for singers Mariam Wallentin and Erika Angell. Anders: ‘Latin seems to carry an almost magic ability to embrace and express whatever humanity has needed to communicate. The sense of eternity and mystery of this ancient language joined with the instantaneous presence and creativity of true improvisers became the inspiring framework in which the distinctive compositions came alive.’ Improvisers on hand are the great Swedish free sax player Fredrik Ljungkvist and Jormin’s highly expressive partner from the Bobo Stenson Trio, drummer Jon Fält. “

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


From ECM – New Releases in March 2012

New from ECM

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Billy Hart All Our Reasons
ECM 2248

Mark Turner tenor saxophone
Ben Street double bass
Ethan Iverson piano
Billy Hart drums

“First ECM recording of a quartet formed in 2003. Originally billed as the Ethan Iverson-Mark Turner Quartet, it soon became the Billy Hart Quartet, and under this name has played shows to packed houses each year in New York City. The group’s first album for hard-bop label High Note in 2005 figured on many critics’ best-of-the year list. Since then, the ensemble’s music has gotten more free and spacious, a sensibility that aligns perfectly with ECM. While drummer Hart’s swinging beat and delicate cymbal tracery have previously been heard on the label behind Charles Lloyd and Bennie Maupin, and tenorist Mark Turner has appeared on acclaimed recording with the Fly Trio and Enrico Rava, “All Our Reasons” is a label debut for Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street. Hart, Iverson and Turner all contribute material, which includes modern blues, a Coltrane tribute and an Iverson-penned homage to Paul Bley, the wonderfully-titled Nostalgia for the Impossible.”


Masabumi Kikuchi Trio Sunrise
ECM 2096

Masabumi Kikuchi piano
Thomas Morgan double bass
Paul Motian drums

“An ECM debut from Masabumi Kikuchi and a last session from the great Paul Motian. Motian and Kikuchi were friends for many years and Paul understood the idiosyncracies and the wayward charm of the Japanese pianist’s highly personal style perhaps better than anyone. The trio – completed by Zen bassist Thomas Morgan – makes new art out of the interactive free rubato ballad. A strangely beautiful album.”

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Anders Jormin Ad Lucem

Mariam Wallentin voice
Erika Angell voice
Fredrik Ljungkvist clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
Anders Jormin double-bass
Jon Fält drums

“Bassist Anders Jormin steps out with one of his projects, with an ensemble formed for the Swedish Jazz Celebration 2010. Anders sets his own lyrics – written in ancient Latin – and poetry of Denmark’s Pia Tafdrup for singers Mariam Wallentin and Erika Angell. Anders: ‘Latin seems to carry an almost magic ability to embrace and express whatever humanity has needed to communicate. The sense of eternity and mystery of this ancient language joined with the instantaneous presence and creativity of true improvisers became the inspiring framework in which the distinctive compositions came alive.’ Improvisers on hand are the great Swedish free sax player Fredrik Ljungkvist and Jormin’s highly expressive partner from the Bobo Stenson Trio, drummer Jon Fält.”

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


From The Wall Street Journal: Rudy Van Gelder “New Jersey Jazz Revolution”

This is copyright protected, so just a few notes.

MARC MYERS
FEBRUARY 7, 2012

“On Saturday, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences will honor Mr. [Rudy] Van Gelder with a Trustees Award—a Grammy that recognizes his lifelong contribution to jazz recording. As an engineer, Mr. Van Gelder is credited with revolutionizing the sound of music in the LP era—capturing the distinct textures of each instrument and giving jazz albums a warm, natural tone.

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Mr. Van Gelder is still a stickler for details. Since 1952, the 87-year-old engineer has recorded thousands of jazz albums—first at his parents’ home in Hackensack, N.J., and then here [Englewood Cliffs, N.J.]. The lengthy list includes Miles Davis’s “Workin’,” Sonny Rollins’s “Saxophone Colossus,” Art Blakey’s “Moanin’,” John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” Wayne Shorter’s “Speak No Evil” and Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay.”

See the full article here. Or, hey!! Buy the paper.


From Blue Note Records: Norah Jones, Amos Lee, and Robert Glasper

Available this Spring
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Norah Jones Little Broken Hearts
(Blue Note/EMI) T.B.A

Norah Jones is set to release a new album this spring entitled Little Broken Hearts , a collaboration with the producer and musician Danger Mouse. The two first worked together when Danger Mouse called upon Jones to contribute vocals to his acclaimed 2011 album ROME, and their connection proved deep enough that they decided to collaborate on Jones’ fifth studio album. Little Broken Hearts, which features original songs co-written by Jones and Danger Mouse, is the fascinating next step in the artistic evolution of one of the most intriguing singers to have emerged in the past decade. Together they have married their highly personal styles to create an entirely new sound.”

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Norah Jones

Available 2/14/12
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Amos Lee As The Crow Flies

As The Crow Flies, a six- song collection of previously unreleased material from the Mission Bell sessions will be released on February 14th.”

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Amos Lee

Available 2/28/12
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Robert Glasper Black Radio

Robert Glasper Experiment has announced North American tour dates including a February 28 show at the Highline Ballroom in New York City in celebration of their highly-anticipated new album Black Radio, which will be released by Blue Note Records that same day. The Highline Ballroom show will feature special guests including Chrisette Michele, Lalah Hathaway and others. Tickets are currently on sale through the Highline Ballroom website. Glasper’s tour will also bring him to Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington DC, with more dates to be announced shortly. See below for a full list of upcoming tour dates. A behind-the-scenes look at the making of Black Radio can be viewed on Glasper’s YouTube Channel.”

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Live at the Greene Space: “Conversation and Performance with Terence Blanchard”

“The Global Salon: New Orleans, U.S.A. will be the climactic season finale where reflections from each previously imagined region offer up a magical, spiritual energy of renewal and empowerment. Host Eddie Robinson, a native of the Gulf region, will lead audience members on an explosive journey of music, culture, arts, and film as the city’s rebuilding, environmental initiatives, and recovery efforts become the foundation for the salon.

Conversation and Performance with Terence Blanchard, Golden Globe nominee/Grammy-winning film composer, musician — A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem For Katrina) (2007); Red Tails (2012) and The Terence Blanchard Quintet”

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Terrance Blanchard

Tickets: $30.00
Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Venue: The Greene Space
44 Charlton Street, New York, NY
(corner of Varick Street)


New From ECM This Month

New from ECM

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Tord Gustavsen Ensemble: The Well
(ECM 2237)

Tore Brunborg tenor saxophone
Tord Gustavsen piano
Mats Eilertsen double bass
Jarle Vespestad drums

“Two years after Restored, Returned introduced this line-up and with extensive touring behind them, on The Well the four musicians of the Gustavsen Quartet really blossom as a band in a programme of new tunes by Tord. Sax player Tore Brunborg is given an important voice here, his melodic lines combining bluesy sonority and Nordic cry. Gently but effectively propelled by the subtle pulses of drummer Jarle Vespestad and bassist Mats Eilertsen, Gustavsen’s gospel-tinged, unhurried piano playing displays a characteristic warmth and tenderness.”

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Tim Berne Snakeoil
(ECM 2234)

Tim Berne alto saxophone
Oscar Noriega B♭ and bass clarinets
Matt Mitchell piano
Ches Smith drums; percussion

“After compelling contributions to ECM discs by David Torn and Michael Formanek, here is Tim Berne’s first leader date for the label. Snakeoil introduces a fascinating ensemble, a ‘chamber-like group’in Berne’s words, albeit one that packs some power. Tim’s tough alto is heard with Oscar Noriega’s earthy clarinets, Mat Mitchell’s cryptic piano, and Ches Smith’s tone-conscious drums, tympani, gongs and congas. Berne: “I’d decided on this very transparent instrumentation to try and avoid obvious stylistic references and to focus the listener on the musical ideas being presented.” Two years of wood-shedding preceded the recording of Snakeoil at New York’s Avatar Studios early in 2011, and the band was ready to roar. The disc is issued on the eve of a tour that takes in dates on both sides of the Atlantic.”

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Andy Sheppard Trio Libero
(ECM 2252)

Andy Sheppard tenor and soprano saxophones
Michel Benita double-bass
Sebastian Rochford drums

“UK saxophonist Andy Sheppard’s second ECM album introduces his freely lyrical new trio with Michel Benita and Sebastian Rochford. All three players share a sense of stylistic open-mindedness. Drummer Rochford is one of the young players changing perceptions of British jazz with bands Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland. Algiers-born French bassist Benita, who cites Charlie Haden and Scott LaFaro as influences, has played with Archie Shepp, Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz and in the ELB trio with Nguyên Lê and Peter Erskine. Repertoire here includes originals by Sheppard, Benita and Rochford, plus group improvisations and the standard I’m Always Chasing Rainbows. In all contexts, interaction is highly creative, as Benita and Rochford respond perceptively to Sheppard’s melodically and rhythmically inventive lines. Recorded July 2011 at Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano.”

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


From Cuneiform Records in January 2012

Cuneiform Records

If Not Inertia

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Ergo If not Inertia
Cuneiform Rune 339

Brett Sroka,trombone and computer
Carl Maguire, Rhodes electric piano and analog synth,
Shawn Baltazor, drums

Ergo is a trio made up of Carl Maguire on Rhodes electric piano and analog synth, Shawn Baltazor on drums and lead by Brett Sroka on trombone and laptop. Their music is one of stark melodic beauty, enveloping electro-acoustic texture and empathic imagination. They have been playing together since 2003, combining the modern sound of electronica and beyond with jazz and ambient music. The basic building blocks of their sound are beats and electronics, trombone, the Fender Rhodes and drums. The music here generally develops slowly but it’s also very accessible while remaining something that holds active interest.

In the early 2000s, Brett Sroka began exploring beyond his Jazz background and became fascinated with electronic music, surrounding himself with synthesizers and software. As he sought to reconcile the six hundred years of technology between trombone and computer he also found musicians of similarly elastic and adventurous temperaments. As they continued to play together, an idiosyncratic dynamic began to cohere and Ergo was born. With their debut cd, the band put forth a statement of purpose and were lauded by AllAboutJazz-NY for “Best Debut CD” of 2006. Ergo’s sophomore cd, “multitude, solitude” brings the band further into it’s own. They have refined a unique style of unadorned melody and intrepid improvisation with a sensual approach to the post-modern techniques of sampling, synthesis and signal processing.

If Not Inertia is a release of quietly building and subtly stunning music; music based on loops, improvisation, small composed motifs and the interplay of the musicians. For the first time, on this release, they have worked with two guest musicians, both of them guitarists. Acclaimed new-music/new-jazz guitarist Mary Halvorson appears on nearly half of the album and acoustic guitarist Sebastian Kruger appears on the final track. The guitarists add a new texture to Ergo’s sound; a sound unique in jazz today!

In addition to the music, also included on the CD is a .mov file of a five minute, high quality promotional making of film entitled The Making of If Not Inertia, which has some interview insights from the musicians, as well as some insight from the studio sessions on how this album was created.”

ACTE V

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FORGAS BAND PHENOMENA, ACTE V
Cuneiform RUNE 332/333 CD and DVD

Dimitri Alexaline, trumpet and flugelhorn
Igor Brover, piano and keyboards
Sylvain Ducloux, guitar
Patrick Forgas, drums
Sylvain Gontard, guitar
Denis Guivar’ch, saxophone
Karolina Mlodecka,violin
Kengo Mochizuki,bass
Frederic Norel, violin
Sébastien Trognon, saxes and flute
Benjamin Violet, guitar

“For over 35 years, composer/drummer/bandleader Patrick Forgas has been making progressive jazz/rock music in his native Paris. He has led various incarnations of his Forgas Band Phenomena for nearly 15 years and four previous and excellent albums, all of which have featured shifting personnel, but the group featured on Acte V, the group’s fifth album, has been stable for five years and is the same group that performed on their last release. So, happily, the band still consists of Patrick, Sebastien Trognon on saxes and flute, Dimitri Alexaline on trumpet and flugelhorn, Benjamin Violet on guitar, Karolina Mlodecka on violin, Igor Brover on piano and keyboards, Kengo Mochizuki on bass. These musicians enliven his compositions with an energy and verve that gives his compositions the performances they deserve!

Fusing new jazz directions with the electric crackle of rock with inspired solos, the music will appeal to fans of Frank Zappa’s instrumental works, Jean-Luc Ponty, Morglbl, Return To Forever and Mats/Morgan Band. The quality of the music and performances is obvious from the first note and we’re not the only ones who have noticed, as the group has been invited to play some very high profiles concerts: in 2008 they were invited to Seoul, South Korea to perform and – more relevant to this release – in June 2010, the group were invited to perform at pentultimate edition of NEARFest, performing to a packed audience of over 1,000.

The concert was recorded and filmed and is included here as a 75 minute DVD alongside a completely new studio CD. The CD album features six new songs, ranging in length from 6:30 to 13:30, while the DVD is not only the group’s first-ever concert DVD, but it’s a wonderful summation of their work almost from the beginning, featuring a composition from their 2nd album, Extra-Lucide, two songs from their 3rd album, Soleil 12, two songs from their 4th, Axis of Madness, and two songs from Acte V!

BACK IN THE DAYS

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Michael Gibbs, BACK IN THE DAYS
Cuneiform RUNE 322

Brit-jazz composer and arranger Michael Gibbs was born in 1937 in Zimbabwe. Starting in 1959, he studied in Boston at the Berklee College of Music, the Boston Conservatory , Tanglewood and the Lenox School of Music, where he studied with a who’s who of contemporary jazz and modern composition: George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Iannis Xenakis, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss and others. In 1964 he moved to the UK, where he engaged himself in the rapidly emerging contemporary UK jazz scene. Starting in the late 60s and continuing into the mid 70s, he recorded a number of highly acclaimed and influential albums featuring many of the most prominent British-based jazz players who, like Michael, were beginning to flirt with jazz/rock. Since the mid 70s he has worked as a educator as well as a free-lance arranger, doing arrangements and orchestrations for major names such as Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Peter Gabriel among many others, while too infrequently recording his own music.

Back In The Days is an audiophile recording of this great, too infrequently heard jazz composer and arranger fronting a well-honed 18-piece big band in a program of original modern jazz plus three specially arranged classics. The band is chock-full of great soloists and ensemble players and the legendary vibes player Gary Burton is a featured soloist.

After too many years of lack of consideration strictly because they were not Americans, the profile and interest in the 60s/70s wave of British jazz talents has never been higher and Gibbs is one of the major names in the field. From beginning to end, Back In The Days is a delight for fans of Brit-jazz, contemporary jazz and modern big band music!”

HOLY ABYSS

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HARRISON / FELICIATI / VU / POWELL / WEISS, Holy Abyss
Cuneiform RUNE 334

Joel Harrison, guitarist/composer
Lorenzo Feliciati, bassist/composer
Cuong Vu, trumpet
Roy Powell, Hammond B-3 organ and piano, and
Dan Weiss, drums

Holy Abyss is a collaborative effort between guitarist/composer Joel Harrison and bassist/composer Lorenzo Feliciati. Joining them are trumpeter Cuong Vu, Roy Powell on Hammond B-3 organ and piano, and Dan Weiss on drums.

A masterful electric jazz outing from five great players, this group personifies the worldwide nature of jazz today. Joel Harrison grew up in D.C., moved to the west coast in the late 80s and moved to New York City in the mid 90s where he still resides. Lorenzo Feliciati lives in Rome, Italy but travels the world and has collaborated with Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson), Bob Mitzer and Donovan and many others. Cuong Vu was born in Vietnam, lived for a number of years in New York City and made his name as a member of the Pat Metheny Group in the 2000s. He is currently a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. Roy Powell is from England and resides in Norway, where he works in a wide range of music, including mainstream, jazz piano, avant-garde and electric, funky jazz. Dan Weiss lives in New York City where he has recorded with many of the brightest, upcoming names there.

Harrison and Weiss have played together for many years while Feliciati and Powell also are longtime allies. Vu has recorded and toured with Feliciati and Powell, so even though this is the first recording by these five musicians together, there is a lot of built in chemistry. All share a love of modern jazz that is devoid of stylistic limitations, inclusive of sounds from around the world, infused with electronics, odd meters, and deeply hued, uncommon timbres and tonal palettes.

There is a wonderful symbiosis between Harrison’s and Vu’s sounds. Both favor piercing, gorgeous tones mixed with raw, nasty electronics, and that sound, mixed with Powell’s piano and Hammond B-3, is at once jubilant and hallucinogenic, crackling with energy, and then gently subdued. Weiss delivers his signature mix of driving groove punctuated by pithy, unpredictable asides, and the ever-solid accompaniment on upright bass keeps everything grounded.

This is a marvelous program of modern, tasty, tuneful and occasionally haunting electric jazz, reminiscent of some aspects of classic electric ECM work of the 70s and 80s.”

DECLINE AND FALL

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THINKING PLAGUE, Decline and Fall
Cuneifrom RUNE 320

Sharon Bradford, vocals
Robin Chestnut, drums
Elaine Di Falco, vocals
Bob Drake, bass guitar and other strings, percussion, keyboards
Harry Fleishman, keyboards
Mark Fuller, drums
Mark Harris, saxes and clarinet
Shane Hotle, keyboards
Mike Johnson, guitar
Dave Kerman, drums and percussion
Suzanne Lewis, vocals
Matt Mitchell, piano, harmonium, synths
Eric Moon, keyboards
Deborah Perry, vocals
Kimara Sajn, keyboardist/drummer
David Shamrock, drums
Dave Willey, bass & accordion

Decline and Fall is the long awaited sixth album from a group who personifies the term beloved underground favorites. From the group’s beginnings as a duo doing basement recording experiments nearly 30 years ago until now, Thinking Plague has always had a strong vision of their unique take on progressive rock music. Despite the very long lifespan of the band and the many years between records, the basic sound of the group and instrumentation was set early and the years since have seen interesting variations on their sound, from the stripped down approach of the earliest work to the deep layering of electronic sounds and samples of their last album.

Decline and Fall strips back a lot of the studio-isms and more than ever, sounds like the work of a really powerful band. The album adds a few other new surprises, most notably the addition of wonderful vocalist Elaine Di Falco who fits right into what may be the band’s most demanding job. She sings with great poise and control the band’s hallmark melodic lines – passages that would trip up a lesser vocalist. Also new is keyboardist/drummer Kimara Sajn who plays with tremendous authority on both instruments (although just before finishing up the album, the group added drummer Robin Chestnut who appears on one track). Returning are long-term members Mark Harris on saxes and clarinets, Dave Willey on bass and Mike Johnson, the band’s guitarist, leader and composer.

A new album by Thinking Plague is always an event; working slowly and unwaveringly, the group has released a handful of brilliant, art-rock classics. Decline and Fall is the latest of them.”


From JAZZCORNER.com: “KEITH JARRETT TO RETURN TO CARNEGIE HALL FOR SOLO PIANO CONCERT”

KEITH JARRETT – SOLO PIANO

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“An Evening of Piano Improvisations
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 – 8:00 PM

CARNEGIE HALL
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

Keith Jarrett returns to New York’s Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 8:00 PM to perform one his rare solo piano concerts. The concert will feature an entire evening of solo piano improvisations.”

See the full post here.

While you are at it, check out these wonderful interviews of Keith Jarrett at WNYC.

An Hour With Keith Jarrett – Produced and hosted by Sara Fishko May 29, 2003

A Conversation with Keith Jarrett – John Schaefer, New Sounds PGM 56 April 13, 1987
Recorded at Keith’s home in New Jersey


From The Wall Street Journal: “Brothers as Keepers of Latin-Jazz Sound ” Zaccai and Luques Curtis

This is copyright protected, so just a couple of riffs.

LARRY BLUMENFELD
DECEMBER 10, 2011

“During a recent Symphony Space concert, bassist Andy Gonzalez stepped forward to conduct a few tunes. He passed his instrument to Luques Curtis, whose tone and dexterity soon reflected preternatural skills. The concert, hosted by the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, was a tribute to Mr. Gonzalez and his brother Jerry [probably best know as the core of the Fort Apache Band, who plays congas and trumpet. These siblings of Puerto Rican descent, now in their 60s, represent an empowering bridge between a grand generation of Latin-jazz masters and the younger musicians who now take innate connections between Latin and jazz idioms as mere starting points…

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Jerry and Andy Gonzales

“Mr. Curtis belongs to that latter group. So does his older brother Zaccai, a pianist who led a quartet with Mr. Gonzalez two weeks later, at Lehman College. If the Curtises aren’t yet a sibling team worthy of a tribute concert, they nevertheless command attention….”

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Zaccai , left, and his brother Luques, right, have shared a passion for Latin jazz for most of their lives.

See the full article here.


From ECM: Special Offers of DVD’s

“This year’s final special offer features selected ECM-related DVDs. All December offers will be available until the end of this month.

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Sounds and Silence – Travels With Manfred Eicher
ECM 5050DVD

DVD release of the acclaimed documentary film which won the Berner Film Prize 2009 and is nominated for the Swiss Film Prize. It follows ECM producer Manfred Eicher to sessions, concerts and festivals around the globe, the search for sounds leading from Gräfelfing to Athens, from Udine to Carthage, from Tallinn to Pernes-les-Fontaines, from Copenhagen to Salta, Argentina. Featured musicians include Arvo Pärt, Eleni Karaindrou, Dino Saluzzi, Anja Lechner, Jan Garbarek, Kim Kashkashian, Nik Bärtsch, Gianluigi Trovesi, Anouar Brahem, Marilyn Mazur and more.

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Jean-Luc Godard Anne-Marie Miéville Four Short Films
ECM 5001

De l’origine du XXIe siècle
The Old Place
Liberté et patrie
Je vous salue, Sarajevo

DVD with 120-page hardbound book.
NTSC, Region Code: 0 (world wide), Dolby Digital 5.1, Subtitles English, Deutsch, 85 min.

Background
ECM Cinema, a new DVD series, is launched with a release dedicated to the work of filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville. It brings together four short films made between 1993 and 2002. Four short films, as writer Michael Athen notes, ‘that encompass everything: art and freedom, presence and memory, violence and passion. Four symphonies composed of images, tones, quotes, and soundtracks. Four essays in which the cinema itself seems to speak to us, in friendly dialogue with painting, literature and music – as a brother to all the arts.’

The release of this DVD coincides with a major retrospective of Godard’s work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and also marks fifteen years of close collaboration between JLG and ECM Records. The label has previously released complete soundtracks of Godard’s Nouvelle Vague and Histoire(s) du Cinéma, inviting the listener to consider the filmmaker as a ‘composer’, a master of sound-collage. This uncommon perspective is one that record reviewers have enthusiastically endorsed. When the films are experienced in their entirety, it is plain enough that JLG is a master of montage at all levels and in the broadest sense: ‘The lines may be by Bergson or Blanchot, Borges or Thomas Mann, the images by Monet or de Staël, Malevich or Rothko, the music by Beethoven or Ravel, Keith Jarrett or Hans Otte – what counts is the way in which Godard appropriates them…’ (from an essay in the accompanying book).

As Godard has said, ‘Manfred Eicher began our relationship by sending me some music… And after listening I wrote to him and asked him to send me more records of his company. And I had the feeling, the way he was producing sound, that we were more or less in the same country: he with sounds, me with images. In fact some of the records brought me to a picture called ‘Nouvelle Vague’ and later other ones … and I began to imagine things due to that kind of music.’

After Nouvelle Vague there was Allemagne Neuf Zéro, Hélas pour moi, JLG/JLG – Autoportrait de décembre, For Ever Mozart, Eloge de l’amour, Notre Musique, the epic video series Histoire(s) du Cinéma, plus short films including The Old Place, De l’origine de XXIe siècle and Je vous salue, Sarajevo – all with music from ECM. In the Four Short Films collection alone there are excerpts from ECM recordings of Arvo Pärt, György Kurtág, Hans Otte, Federico Mompou, Tomasz Stanko, Dino Saluzzi, Keith Jarrett, Ketil Bjørnstad, David Darling and more. What has this music brought to his work? JLG: ‘Much, very much.’

Yet the music is but one element in Godard’s unique mix. As Manfred Eicher observed recently, ‘What makes things so different and special is the way Godard is able to juxtapose sound, light, text and music. His sense of rhythm, inhaling and exhaling, is remarkable, as is his sense of timing. His artistic work is often a point of reference for me, for instance, the sculptural quality of his films and the depth of aesthetic and artistic information they convey.’

The information spills and bleeds through these four films, independent pictures that are also interconnected, with themes and sub-themes carried from one work to the next…

The DVD is issued with a 120-page hardbound book, incorporating the complete text of Jean-Luc Godard’s and Anne-Marie Miéville’s narration (in French and English translation), an essay by Michael Althen (in German, French and English), and more than 70 stills from the film, in black and white and colour.

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Eleni Karaindrou Elegy of the Uprooting – Concert DVD
ECM New 5506

In March 2005 Eleni Karaindrou presented what she called ‘a scenic cantata’ at the Megaron in Athens, a tour through her music for film and theatre, with musical themes newly combined and contrasted. A live audio recording, Elegy of the Uprooting, was issued in 2006: ‘The two-CD set interweaves excerpts of her music from 13 different scores spanning more than two decades, although the irresistible congruence of the music is such that newcomers to Karaindrou’s oeuvre would be forgiven for thinking this is newly composed. [The music] seduces by its profound beauty, tenderness and candour.’. – International Record Review. Here is the video document of the event.

Maria Farantouri voice
Vangelis Christopoulos oboe
Socratis Sinopoulos Constantinople lyra, laouto
Maria Bildea harp
Konstantinos Raptis accordion, bayan
Sergiu Nastasa violin
Renato Ripo violoncello
Stella Gadedi flute
Nikos Guinos clarinet
Sopcratis Anthis trumpet
Spyros Kazianis bassoon
Vangelis Skouras French horn
Aris Dimitriadis mandolin
Christos Tsiamoulis ney
Panos Dimitrakopoulos kanonaki
Andreas Katsiyiannis santouri
Andreas Papas bendir, daouli
Eleni Karaindrou piano
Hellenic Radio and Television Choir
Antonis Kontogeorgiou choirmaster
Camerata Orchestra
Alexandros Myrat conductor

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Keith Jarrett Tokyo Solo
ECM 5501

Tokyo Solo begins where Radiance left off.The final four tracks of Keith Jarrett’s best-selling 2005 CD release featured music from the pianist’s 150th concert in Japan, a solo performance at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Festival Hall.

This DVD, directed by Kanama Kawachi, and licensed from Video Arts Japan, reprises the complete solo concert, and includes more than an hour of previously unreleased Jarrett improvisation. It is the first film of a Jarrett concert to be made available by ECM (two previous solo videos, from the 1980s, were distributed elsewhere).

Jarrett has been a regular visitor to Japan since 1974 when his performances with the ‘American Quartet’ (with Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian) as well as a solo concert in Tokyo established him as a major figure there instantly. In 1976, his entire Japanese tour was recorded as The Sun Bear Concerts, an enduring, powerful statement, unique in the annals of improvisation. Personal Mountains, with his ‘European Quartet’ (with Jan Garbarek, Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen) at a creative peak, was recorded live in Tokyo in 1979. In 1981, Jarrett drew an audience of 24,000 to the Budokan stadium for a solo concert. Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, he performed in Japan in a wide variety of contexts – as solo player, as leader of the [Standards] trio with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette, as interpreter of classical music and contemporary composition. Albums continued to be made there – from Jarrett’s harpsichord account of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (recorded in Nagano), to the standards of Tokyo ’96 to the intense free group playing of ‘Always Let Me Go’ in 2001.

There is no question that the focused attention of an extremely loyal Japanese public has often inspired Keith Jarrett to exceptional performances. The pianist addressed this in a programme note for the 2002 tour. ‘The Japanese public has always welcomed my music with an open mind and heart. It’s an honour to feel this respect for my work. I haven’t played 150 concerts in any geographic location as contained as Japan, yet I always feel as though I have a big, open workshop for the music here. Thank you for listening.’

As with Radiance, Jarrett’s Tokyo Solo is built up from discrete ‘episodes’ or chapters, self-contained pieces of music that add up to a larger shape The moods roved through are many. Yet Jarrett’s improvisational instincts always guide him to the creation of form, of instant composing in a real sense. Kanama Kawachi captures the remarkable process in this film from Tokyo’s striking Metropolitan Festival Hall (built in 1961 to the specifications of Kunio Mayekawa, father of modern Japanese architecture).

At the concert’s end, Jarrett plays three ‘standards’ – his arrangement of the Irish traditional tune “Danny Boy”, Jerome Kern’s “Old Man River”, and “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me”, the latter associated with two very different jazz greats, Art Tatum and Count Basie.”

The solo piano concert format established by Keith Jarrett in the 1970s has led to some of his best loved recordings, including 1975’s The Köln Concert, which has sold more than three million copies, as well as Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lausanne, Paris Concert, Vienna Concert, La Scala and more. The next ECM CD release by Keith Jarrett, as yet untitled, will feature the recording of his New York Carnegie Hall solo concert of September 2005. Release is scheduled for autumn 2006.

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Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette Live In Japan 93 / 96
ECM 5504-5

Keith Jarrett piano
Gary Peacock double-bass
Jack DeJohnette drums

Concluding a celebratory year for the Standards Trio, a second specially-priced double DVD package of Tokyo concerts. Standards III/IV brings together the films Live At Open Theater East 1993 and Concert 1996 for the first time on ECM. The 1993 set is an open air concert that tackles a large slice of jazz history from Basin Street Blues to Sonny Rollins’ Oleo, Jarrett’s own The Cure and much more. The 1996 date is the filmed footage that corresponds to the trio’s Tokyo ‘96 CD but adds extra material – including a glowing All The Things You Are and a jaunty account of Ray Bryant’s Tonk.”

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Heinz Bütler, Manfred Eicher Holozän(?)

Included in the offering, but all text is in German, so I cannot relate anything about this DVD.

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


From the New York Times: Wadada Leo Smith 70th Birthday Celebration

This is copyright protected, so only a note:

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Wadada Leo Smith

“(Thursday and next Friday) A few days ahead of his 70th birthday, the fiercely creative trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith presides over an extravagant survey of his music, featuring new music for several distinct ensembles a night…At 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, (917) 267-0363, roulette.org; $15, $10 for members and students. (Nate Chinen)”

See the full article here.


From The New York Times: “Rhythms Flow as Aging Pianist Finds New Audience” – Boyd Lee Dunlop

Three Cheers for Boyd Lee Dunlop

This is copyright protected, so just a riff.

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Boyd Lee Dunlop

Kevin Sack
December 9, 2011

“For years, the donated piano sat upright and unused in a corner of the nursing home’s [the Delaware Nursing and Rehabilitation Center] cafeteria…Then came a new resident, a musician in his 80s with a touch of forgetfulness named Boyd Lee Dunlop, and he could play a little. Actually, he could play a lot, his bony fingers dancing the mad dance of improvised jazz in a way that evoked a long life’s all…Boyd Lee Dunlop, 85, is the featured performer at a concert on Saturday night at the Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in downtown Buffalo. Admission is $10. And if you want to buy his debut CD, that will cost you another $15….”

This is a really great story. See the full article here.


From The New York Times: “Jason Moran Is Named Kennedy Center’s Jazz Adviser”

This is copyright protected, so just a couple of notes.

NATE CHINEN
November 29, 2011

“The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts said on Tuesday that the pianist and composer Jason Moran has been appointed its new artistic adviser for jazz. Mr. Moran, 36, is the second person to hold that post, which had been vacant since the death last year of Billy Taylor, the venerable pianist and educator who began advising the Kennedy Center in 1994.

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Jason Moran

The responsibilities of artistic adviser extend to the development of jazz programming at the Kennedy Center, which operates its own jazz club as well as a regular concert series.

Mr. Moran, who was named a MacArthur Fellow last year, hails from a younger generation than Taylor, and has a more progressive reputation. He has worked often with arts institutions outside the jazz realm, receiving commissions from the Dia Art Foundation and the Walker Art Center, among others, and collaborating with contemporary performance and visual artists.

See the full article here.


From Mosaic Records: Basie, Rich, More

Mosaic is a a truly important resource

Highlights for November 2011. There is much more here at the web page.

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Complete Clef, Mercury and Verve Studio Recordings of Count Basie and his Orchestra (1952-1957)
(#229- MD-CD) 8 CD Limited Edition Collection – $136

“‘An eight-disc reissue shows that the transformation Basie and his new band underwent was subtle and gradual. When the box begins, in 1951, Count (1904-84) had just reunited his band for a one-shot tour with the singer Billy Eckstine.

This group sounded much more like the rough-and-ready edition of the 1940s than the slick machine of the 1960s. That’s partly because many of the players were the same. The rhythm section of Basie, guitarist Freddie Green, and drummer Gus Johnson was intact. Several of the early band’s chief arrangers, including Buck Clayton and Buster Harding, were still contributing new works to the library.

The Count also maintained his trademark innovation of two contrasting tenor saxophone soloists, though the original team of Lester Young and Herschel Evans had been replaced with Paul “The Vice-Pres” Quinichette and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. By 1953, the latter two would be followed by Frank Wess and Frank Foster, who along with singer Joe Williams would help define the 1950s version of the Basie band. ‘ – Will Friedwald, New York Sun”

“When Count Basie reformed his big band in the 1950s, he managed to become entirely new by sticking with what had made him great from the start. And in the process, Basie achieved some of the most extraordinary success of his career.

From his beginnings in the 1930s, Basie was doing something different. His band had always been about how the arrangements forced you to listen to the improvising. Financial problems forced Basie to disband the group, but by 1952 he was ready to give it another go. With a new breed of players in the 1950s, and the period’s most accomplished arrangers doing the writing, Basie re-invented himself.

By now, top arrangers knew how to write to accentuate the most distinctive elements of the Basie sound – brevity, call and response, and lilting melodies that balanced on the precipice of syncopation. Basie loved the crowd-pleasing effect of dramatic dynamics, so his writers used it liberally, though you never felt you were being walloped just for the effect.

He employed the era’s best composers and arrangers, and they left their mark not only on the orchestra but on musical history as well. They included Ralph Burns, Wild Bill Davis, Frank Foster, Freddie Green, Thad Jones, Johnny Mandel, Frank Wess, Ernie Wilkins and the amazing Neal Hefti.

A new breed of soloists became stand-outs in what was known as “The New Testament” band. Names such as Joe Newman, Ernie Wilkins, Paul Quinichette, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Joe Wilder, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, and Sonny Payne became known during their tenure with Basie. Guest stars included Al Hibbler, Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Rich, and Oscar Peterson.

Another name that became a household word thanks to his association with Count Basie is the inimitable Joe Williams. ‘Everyday I Have the Blues,”‘ All Right, Okay, You Win,” and “Smack Dab in the Middle” weren’t just jazz sensations, they were huge hits. Instrumental hits included “Shiny Stockings” and “April in Paris”.

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Buddy Rich: Classic Argo, Emarcy and Verve Small Group Sessions
Mosaic Records (#232) $119

“With all the international fame and his musical legacy, it’s amazing that there was never a major retrospective on CD. This limited edition collection is a complete look at Rich when he was, without question, a top star. The seven-CDs features studio dates and live performances from 1953 to 1961 in quartet, quintet, sextet, septet, and octet settings – plus, an 11-piece orchestra. A few tracks only issued in Japan.

There are delightful surprises from a sea of known talents that include Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Benny Carter, Thad Jones, Ben Webster, Oscar Peterson, and more:
• A 1954 session includes inspired playing by Harry “Sweets” Edison.
• Webster’s and Peterson’s presence on a 1955 date with borrowed Basie-ites; Thad Jones, Joe Newman, Frank Wess, and Freddie Green, make for exciting listening.
• The ‘orchestra’ assembled in 1956 includes two sets of great Basie tunes with a all-star band featuring Frank Rosolino, Pete Candoli, Buddy Collete, Jimmy Rowles, and others.
• A highlight of the set is a 1957 quartet with fabulous blowing by Flip Phillips.

Buddy Rich created a sound that is unmistakable, set standards that were unshakable, and achieved a level of stardom rare in any style of music. Rarely will you find such agility and power, simultaneously.”


From Blue Note Records: Robert Glasper “Black Radio”

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Robert Glasper Experiment Black Radio
Blue Note Feb 28, 2012

Robert Glasper piano
Casey Benjamin vocoder/sax
Derrick Hodge bass
Chris Dave drums

1. Lift Off/Mic Check (featuring Shafiq Husayn)
2. Afro Blue (featuring Erykah Badu)
3. Cherish The Day (featuring Lalah Hathaway)
4. Always Shine (featuring Lupe Fiasco & Bilal)
5. Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.) (featuring Ledisi)
6. Move Love (featuring KING)
7. Ah Yeah (featuring Musiq Soulchild & Chrisette Michele)
8. Consequence Of Jealousy (featuring Meshell Ndegeocello)
9. Why Do We Try (featuring Stokley Williams)
10. Black Radio (featuring Mos Def)
11. Letter to Hermoine (featuring Bilal)
12. Smells Like Teen Spirit

Robert Glasper has long kept one foot planted firmly in jazz and the other in hip hop. The Los Angeles Times once wrote that ‘it’s a short list of jazz pianists who have the wherewithal to drop a J Dilla reference into a Thelonious Monk cover, but not many jazz pianists are Robert Glasper,’ adding that ‘he’s equally comfortable in the worlds of hip-hop and jazz,’ and praising the organic way in which he ‘builds a bridge between his two musical touchstones.’

On February, 28, 2012, Robert Glasper Experiment will release Black Radio, a future landmark album that boldly stakes out new musical territory and transcends any notion of genre, drawing from jazz, hip hop, R&B and rock, but refusing to be pinned down by any one tag. The first full-length album from the GRAMMY-nominated keyboardist’s electric Experiment band—vocoderist/saxist Casey Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Chris Dave—Black Radio also features many of Glasper’s famous friends from the spectrum of urban music, seamlessly incorporating appearances from a jaw-dropping roll call of special guests including Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Lalah Hathaway, Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), KING, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Mos Def, Musiq Soulchild, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Stokley Williams (Mint Condition). Throughout the Experiment wears its eclecticism on its sleeve, presenting new collaborative originals and surprising cover songs.

They transform the Afro-Cuban standard “Afro Blue” with Badu, Sade’s “Cherish The Day” with Hathaway, David Bowie’s “Letter to Hermione” with Bilal, and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with Benjamin’s vocoder vocal.”

Many Blue Note albums are considered among the finest in all of jazz” (Wikipedia)


WKCR’s Top Notch Web Stream for a Jazz Institution

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News to me, glad I found out, WKCR, is now streaming at 128kbits and 44Mhz. WKCR has always been one of the nation’s premier Jazz stations. But, it is not all Jazz, there is also “New Music”, alt. classical or post-classical, whatever the current appelation, and straight ahead Classical music. Check out the schedule. Take a look at the Soundscape page.

I bookmarked the .mp3 link in Winamp. There is also a RealAudio link.

And, oh yes, there is a Support button for a few bucks from the satisfed listener.


From The Checkout via NPR/music: Live Wednesday: Warren Wolf + Lage Lund In Concert

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Josh Jackson hosts The Checkout at WBGO, Jazz 88, Newark

“A vibraphonist from down the turnpike in Baltimore; a guitarist from across the pond in Norway. Both have dedicated themselves to hard-swinging jazz of the highest order, and both journey to downtown Manhattan to lead bands in the next installment of The Checkout: Live From 92Y Tribeca.

On Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. ET, The Checkout: Live series pairs the bands of Lage Lund and Warren Wolf in a double bill, in performance at 92Y Tribeca. The concert will be broadcast on air via WBGO and in an online video webcast at this page on NPR Music, with a live online chat. For more information about this series and the full concert archive, visit npr.org/checkoutlive.

See the full post here.


Cuneiform Curates The Stone Nov. 15-30, 2011

Cuneiform Records

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“When one of avant-garde music’s chief protagonists, John Zorn, asked Steven Feigenbaum, head of Cuneiform Records, to curate two weeks of live music at Zorn’s NYC venue, The Stone, avant-music fans worldwide knew to expect an unprecedented treat. Unveiling his vision for Zorn’s visionary space, Feigenbaum & company proudly present Cuneiform at The Stone, a music festival/ label showcase that exceeds all musical expectations. From Nov.15-30, 2011 – the two weeks spanning Thanksgiving holiday – Cuneiform serves up a staggering feast of jazz, rock, electronic and beyond-genre music in The Stone. Featuring 25 groups who record for the label, many of them travelling to NYC from across the USA, Cuneiform at The Stone brings to lower Manhattan a sonic cornucopia, packed with revered musical icons and fiery rising stars.

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Steven Feigenbaum

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John Zorn

Festival highlights are numerous, and include performances by special guests normally only seen at much larger venues. Cuneiform at The Stone opens on Nov. 15 with a performance by Ideal Bread, Josh Sinton’s revelatory repertory group dedicated to Steve Lacy. Later that night, trombonist and avant-garde icon Roswell Rudd – who’s featured on several Cuneiform recordings, including a key archival album (Early & Late) by the legendary Steve Lacy-Roswell Rudd Quartet – will perform with Ideal Bread as his backing band. Later in the festival, on the evening of Nov. 27th, award-winning jazz pianist Jason Moran performs with Ergo, Brett Sroka’s jazz/electronics group.

Every evening between Nov.15 and 30th – except Thurs. Nov. 24th, the Thanksgiving holiday – Cuneiform presents two musical feasts, most priced $10 each. There is something here for every avant taste. Nov. 17 is jazz dance party night, with The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble from Boston (New Orleans Second Line meets Ayler & Sun Ra) and Taylor Ho Bynum & Abraham Gomez-Delgado’s alterna-avant-Latino-jazz band, Positive Catastrophe. Jason Adasiewicz, Chicago’s 2011 Musician of the Year (Chicago Reader) brings his group Rolldown to the Stone on Nov. 18th, the same night that The Claudia Quintet + 1 performs with Theo Bleckmann. On Nov. 20th, an all-acoustic version of The Mahavishnu Project performs, while the next night, two legendary avant-rock groups from Denver- Hamster Theatre and Thinking Plague – make an extremely rare East Coast appearance. The last two nights of the festival feature, on Nov. 29th, two avant-rock groups that have been with Cuneiform since its earliest days – Forever Einstein and Doctor Nerve – and on Nov. 30th, two young jazz/rock/genre-bending groups – Zevious and Gutbucket- that are among Cuneiform’s newest signings. And in addition to the groups mentioned in this paragraphs, there are much much more…


Great Jazz at WPRB: The Schedule

WPRB, 103.3FM, Community Supported Radio, Princeton, NJ has the most consistently excellent Jazz programming.

Here is the schedule:

Sunday 10:00AM-1:00PM “Sunday Jazz w/ Jeannie”

Monday 11:00AM-1:00PM “Jazz with Dan Buskirk”

Tuesday 11:00AM-1:00PM “The Outerspace Employment Agency w/ DJ Emmanuel Ferritis”

Thursday 11:00AM-1:00PM “Blues, Bop & Beyond with Will Constantine”
Thursday 3:00PM-5:00PM “Montuno, Mambo y Mas” Latin Jazz with Rico Calamari

Friday 11:00AM-2:00PM “Serenade to a Cuckoo with Jerry Gordon”

Check out WPRB if you love Jazz.


From The New York Times: Marian McPartland Steps Away from “Piano Jazz”

This is copyright protected, so just a few notes.

Piano Jazz has been one of the mainstay programs at NPR since 1979.

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“Marian McPartland, the jazz pianist, is stepping down as the host of the “Piano Jazz” after more than three decades on the air, said a spokeswoman for NPR, Anna Christopher…[she] will stay on as the artistic director of the show…For now, the baton will be passed to Mr. [Jon] Weber, a jazz pianist from Chicago. He has recorded 13 new shows which will begin airing in the first week of January. Mr. Weber’s program will no longer be called “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz,” but will be re-titled “Piano Jazz Rising Stars.” Mr. Weber will perform duets with guests and then interview them, just as Ms. McPartland has done with aplomb for years.”

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Marian McPartland

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Jon Weber

See thew full notice here.


From The Wall Street Journal: Joe Lovano Performs John Coltrane’s ‘Ascension’

This article is copyright protected, so, just a riff or two

By WILL FRIEDWALD
Friday Nov 11, 2011

“Joe Lovano will perform Coltrane’s ‘Ascension’ in its entirety.
at the Jazz Standard 116 E. 27th St., Nov. 16
(212) 576-2232

Joe Lovano… [is]going to be playing the whole piece on Wednesday with a stellar lineup co-starring fellow saxophonists Donny McCaslin, Sabir Mateen and Vincent Herring, brassmen Jeremy Pelt (a good stand-in for Freddie Hubbard), and the double drum team of Billy Drummond and Matt Wilson…Recorded in June 1965 and released the following year, “Ascension” is one of the albums that defined the 1960s…It’s often described as the record on which Coltrane made his final break with every kind of jazz that he’d been involved with up until then—bebop, modal jazz, his so-called “sheets of sound”—and plunged head first and irrevocably into the icy waters of the avant-garde.”

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Joe Lovano

See Will’s full article here.


Revolutionary Snake Ensemble at The Stone

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RSE in full regalia

Thursday 11/17 8pm, Boston’s acclaimed avant second-line street-beat krewe the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble returns to The Stone! The band’s last visit to NYC in May netted a pile of spectacular live recordings that are in the process of being compiled into a third RSE CD release.

RSE’s first two releases, Year of the Snake and Forked Tongue, were included on over 15 best-of-year lists in the US and Europe, including lists in the Village Voice and the Estonian Postiimes. The New Yorker selected the NYC CD release performance for Forked Tongue as their night-life pick of the week. WNYC’s influential new music host John Schaefer included Year of the Snake in his eMusic list of one dozen favorite New Sounds releases.

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Innova 599

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Cuneiform RUNE 269

Led by saxophonist Ken Field, Revolutionary Snake Ensemble is a costumed funk/street beat improvisational brass band performing a unique blend of original and traditional music.

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Ken Field

For this show, the band will be:
Alex Smith elec bass
Joey Lefitz drums
Alex Asher trombone
Ken Field alto sax

As the writer of this blog, I say, give yourself a treat. Buy these two discs. If you can get to The Stone, fine. But buy the two discs. Dixieland in any form is not my cup of tea. But from the first few notes of the first track of Year of the Snake I needed to own this band’s work. It ios the smartness, the hipness, the smudged notes. There is great humor in what they do. I love this band. I have their stuff on my Zune. I play it on shuffle. I like surprises. When one of their track comes up, I am elated. Thank you, Ken and the rest of the band.


New From ECM- Keith Jarrett “RIO”

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Keith Jarrett Rio
ECM 2198_99

New from ECM, possibly the finest recording company anywhere in the world.

Releasing today.

“A fascinating document of Keith Jarrett’s solo concert in Rio de Janeiro on April 9, 2011. The pianist pulls a broad range of material from the ether: thoughtful/reflective pieces, abstract sound-structures, pieces that fairly vibrate with energy. The double album climaxes with a marvellous sequence of encores. 40 years ago Keith Jarrett recorded his first ECM disc, the solo piano “Facing You”. He has refined his approach to solo music many times since then, always finding new things to play. So it is here, in this engaging solo recording from Brazil.”

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From NPR/music and WBGO: “Bill McHenry Quartet: Live At The Village Vanguard”

Watch Live Wednesday, Nov. 9 At 9 p.m. ET originated by WBGO, Jazz 88.3, Newark, NJ

by Patrick Jarenwattananon
November 2, 2011

“When he leads a band playing his own tunes, the New York-based tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry makes uncommon, beautiful music. Call it modern jazz if you must; it can get a bit abstract, a little loose. But “modern jazz” often connotes something hypertechnical, or noodly, or lost in advanced harmony, and this isn’t exactly that. It’s often slow, or at least deliberately spacious, and aspiring to something pretty and aching. And it’s finished by a player who gets a meaty, lustrous sound from the horn.

Later this month, Bill McHenry will release a new album’s worth of this music — his third with his current quartet — called Ghosts of the Sun. But before that, he’ll play a week at the Village Vanguard with a completely different lineup, including the great seasoned drummer Andrew Cyrille. NPR Music and WBGO will present a live video webcast and radio broadcast of the Bill McHenry Quartet from the club on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 9 p.m. ET. Visit this page for the live presentation, as well as a recording afterwards.”

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