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New From Cuneiform Records

Cuneiform Records

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LARS HOLLMER WITH FLOURY HAND (sketches)CD+DVD
RUNE 340/341

“Lars Hollmer was a Swedish composer, accordionist and keyboardist. He was a founding member of the influential “Rock in Opposition (R.I.O.)” movement. His band Samla Mammas Manna, were a huge and hugely popular force on the Swedish progressive rock / avant rock scene for about 15 years in the 70s and into the 80s. After Samla/Zamla/Von Zamla ended in the mid 80s, he founded and performed in a number of other bands. With one or another of his bands he toured throughout Europe, the Americas and beyond.

Starting in the 1980s and concurrent with his band work, he had a solo career where he emphasized his compositions and his accordion playing and he wrote and introduced many beautiful and exciting pieces into the modern accordion repertoire, including a piece that is a modern-day standard in Sweden, “Boeves Psalm”.

“Towards the end of working on Viandra, (Lars) talked about wanting to make a new album that would be full of weird ideas and weird songs. He intended the new album to be a contrast to the melancholy and, at times, dark Viandra that he worked so hard with for several years. He said that he dug deep into his archive and found several hours of unreleased stuff, sketches, demos, and even finished songs, ranging from the early 1980s to 2008. He asked me to listen through the material and suggest a sample. That however did not happen as, in May 2008, my father was diagnosed with severe lung cancer and all plans were put on hold…. This is not With Floury Hand as my father might have imagined it and it is not a finished album. It is my selection from the more than four hours of music my father himself collected for his album. It is a mix of more or less unfinished songs and sketches that I love. It is full of wild and crazy ideas and antics, pieces of utter frivolity, but equally places full of delicate beauty. This is music straight from the heart. Just like how my father was.”-Gabriel Strand Hollmer

With Floury Hand is the final release by Lars Hollmer. In addition to the CD that contains the best recordings of what he was working on before he died and which is a treat in itself, also included is a professionally filmed DVD from 2005 of a performance at the Gouveia Art Rock Festival in Portugal. The beautiful 45′ performance here has six solo pieces, four duet pieces with his long-time friend and musical associate, bassoonist Michel Berckmans (of Univers Zero and Von Zamla), and one track with Miriodor, with all of them performing “Talrika”, the piece Lars specifically wrote for them, plus DVD extras.

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JANEL & ANTHONY WHERE IS HOME
RUNE 338

Janel Leppin
Anthony Pirog

“Both musicians, together and separately, have long been an important and active part of Washington D.C.’s new-music scene. Anthony Pirog, an omnivorous, multi-faceted guitarist who studied jazz at Berklee and has performed country, fingerstyle, rock and surf music and Janel Leppin, a conservatory trained cellist steeped in North Indian and Persian classical music, who also plays electric bass in rock bands, have created a lavishly detailed musical journey, by turns ravishing and harrowing. Janel and Anthony alternately charm and challenge, with music that draws from classical, experimental, jazz, rock and electronic traditions but that ultimately is simply theirs.

Self-recording and releasing their 1st album in 2006 and selling thousands of copies at their hundreds of shows, they spent over 3 years conceiving and recording Where Is Home in a professional, analog studio, giving the album a thoughtful, comfortable and lived in feel. Alternating compositions with brief improvisations and soundscapes, Where Is Home captures the dynamic ebb and flow of their live shows where they artfully employ live looping, an array of effects and prepared backing. Simple musical lines grow into complex blocks of echoing sound which eventually are spun and turned into elegiac melodies. The music is both experimental and elegant and smokily psychedelic in a completely modern way.”

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PIXEL REMINDER
RUNE 342

Ellen Andrea Wang
Harald Lassen
Jonas Kilmork Vemøy
Jon Audun Baar

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“Pixel, the powerhouse indie-jazz ensemble from Norway, makes an indelible first impression with Reminder. Led by bassist, vocalist and composer Ellen Andrea Wang, the band also features drummer Jon Audun Baar, saxist Harald Lassen and trumpeter Jonas Vemøy. Combining indie-rock energy with the improvisational flexibility of jazz, Pixel are earthy and ethereal, wistful and agressive, sensuous and pummeling.

Pixel features the same classic, piano-less, ‘modern jazz’ quartet lineup of sax, trumpet, bass and drums as the epochal jazz quartets led by Ornette Coleman and Gerry Mulligan. Like these antecedents, the band takes full advantage of the harmonic freedom given by the lack of a chordal instrument, but Pixel is more interested in painting scenes than in setting up extended solos. With sharply etched compositions, Pixel has attained preternatural cohesion after two years together, moving seamlessly from composed passages to group improvisation marked by conversational interplay. A radical democracy, no one instrument stays in the foreground for long. With every track but one clocking well under five minutes, Pixel makes every note count, never wasting a moment or letting a tune wear out its welcome.

All four Pixels are ubiquitous on the fiercely creative Scandinavian jazz scene, which has embraced the quartet as an exemplar of Norway’s populist cutting edge. Slated for a series of major festivals and showcases across the region and the UK in conjunction with the release of Reminder, Pixel is poised to take the jazz world by storm. Like similarly forward thinking groups such as The Bad Plus and Rob Mazurek’s Chicago Underground, this is definitely jazz, but it’s jazz that rock audiences can relate to.

Reminder is the debut release by the most exciting band to come out of the insanely active Norwegian jazz scene in recent memory. In a country where jazz talent seems to seep out through the tap water, that’s saying a lot!”

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POSITIVE CATASTROPHE DIBRUJO, DIBRUJO, DIBRUJO…
RUNE 336

Taylor Ho Bynum
Abraham Gomez-Delgado
Jen Shyu
Kamala Sankaram
Mark Taylor
Reut Regev
Matt Bauder
Micheal Attias
Pete Fitzpatrick
Alvaro Benavides
Keith Witty
Tomas Fujiwara

Dibrujo, Dibrujo, Dibrujo… is Positive Catastrophe’s second album. Here, the group combines salsa-derived groove with the intensity of modern jazz for a mix that is both artistic (dibujo = drawing) and magical (brujo = sorcerer). It features new music by both Bynum and Gomez-Delgado, including an extended suite by each.

Throughout the recording, all of the performers in the ensemble receive ample room to feature their musical voices and there are exciting scored passages that roll into rollicking solos; this is new music that knows how to swing and shake!”

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WADADA LEO SMITH TEN FREEDOM SUMMERS
RUNE 350/351/352/353

Wadada Leo Smith • Pheeroan AkLaff • Nels Cline • Michael Gregory • Vijay Iyer • Shannon Jackson • Okkyung Lee • John Lindberg • Don Moye • Brandon Ross • Lamar Smith • Skulli Sverrisson • Suie Ibarra • Josh Gerowitz • Angelica Sanchez • Stephanie Smith • Casey Anderson • Casey Butler • Mark Trayle • Charlie Burgin • Southwest Chamber Music

“Trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith’s Ten Freedom Summers is the work of a lifetime by one of jazz’s true visionaries, a kaleidoscopic, spiritually charged opus inspired by the struggle for African-American freedom and equality before the law. Triumphant and mournful, visceral and philosophical, searching, scathing and relentlessly humane, Smith’s music embraces the turbulent era’s milestones while celebrating the civil rights movement’s heroes and martyrs. This four-disc set documents a stunning, career-capping accomplishment by a jazz giant in the midst of an astonishing creative surge.

An orchestral collaboration with the acclaimed eight-piece ensemble Southwest Chamber Music (harp, clarinet, 2 violins, cello, flute, viola, bass, percussion) conducted by Grammy Award-winner Jeff von der Schmidt, Ten Freedom Summers is built upon Smith’s celebrated Golden Quartet featuring pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg, drummer Susie Ibarra and/or drummer Pheeroan akLaaf (who often expands the ensemble to a quintet). As a child of the Deep South who was raised in the red-hot crucible of the civil rights movement, Smith traces the project’s origins back to 1977, when he wrote “Medgar Evers,” an expansive evocation of the NAACP activist gunned down in Mississippi 14 years earlier.

Working in fits and starts, Smith completed the 19-piece project 34 years later in October of 2011 with a portentous, elegiac piece for Southwest Chamber Music. In designing the huge, multi-movement work, he focused on the transformative decade framed by the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“I was born in 1941 and grew up in segregated Mississippi and experienced the conditions which made it imperative for an activist movement for equality,” says Smith says, who marked his 70th birthday with a presentation of this, perhaps his most ambitious undertaking. “I saw that stuff happening. Those are the moments that triggered this. It was in that same environment that I had my first dreams of becoming a composer and performer.”

After decades of being revered by his peers and colleagues, Smith is attaining his rightful place at the forefront of American music. Ten Freedom Summers is an important work that combines unique, fully scored rigorous passages and great improvisational skills into one huge and cohesive work. It is a thrilling, emotionally charged and satisfying work from a master.”

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 Marvin Rosen’s Classical Discoveries at WPRB: “SACRED BRIDGES” IV

“The fourth annual program: SACRED BRIDGES Wednesday April 4, 2012
presented during the time of important Jewish and Christian holidays, but focus is on music from multiple religious traditions rather than just two.


Dr Marvin Rosen

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On this program of spiritual music you will hear Four Biblical Tableau by the Russian/American Composer, Aaron Avshalomov (1894-1964), Requiem and Resurrection by the American Composer, Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000), Vous vous invitons a la Pere, Op. 58 by the Indian/English Composer, Hidayat Inyat Khan (1917- ), Miserere (2009) by Scottish Composer, James MacMillan (1959- ), Da Lamentatione Jeremiae by English Composer John Mundy (c. 1555-1630), Gurdjieff: Violin Concerto No. 2 by Australian Composer, Larry Sitsky (1934- ), Requiem by English Composer, Sir John Tavener (1944- ) plus music by Hermann Berlinski, Isabella Leonarda, Meira Warshauer and many others.

The program will also include a number of selections by the Greek/Armenian traveller, Mystic and Composer Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (1877-1949)”

G.I. Gurdjieff
G.I. Gurdjieff

Listen in the Central New Jersey area at 103.3FM, or at wprb.com

From Hammered! at Q2: “Lisa Moore Hosts Hammered!”

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Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

Our second pianists-in-residence curating weeklong programs of piano music for American Mavericks

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“This month on Hammered! we invite three pianists to curate episodes focused on the diverse body of keyboard music generated by some of the twentieth and twenty-first century’s most revolutionary musicians. Listen in 11 am and pm all this week for episodes hosted by the innovative Lisa Moore.

By Lisa Moore

‘I’m thrilled to be curating a week of American Maverick episodes for Q2 Music’s Hammered!. My programs celebrate ‘maverick’ piano music – often with roots in song, ragtime, blues and jazz. Examples are sourced from historic live recordings, hot-off-the-press takes and composers’ private collections. There’s the straight-up 88 keys, player-pianos, prepared pianos, multiple pianos, a harpsichord, an accordion, organs and also marimbas. There’s detuned, well-tuned, and perhaps a little out of tune…(can’t blame us).

Daily from Monday to Thursday Hammered! explores a mix of 20th century examples – from early to late. There’s some Eubie Blake, Scott Joplin, Henry Cowell, George Gershwin, Charles Ives, Conlon Nancarrow, Ruth Crawford Seeger, John Cage, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, Philip Glass, John Adams, Ingram Marshall, Martin Bresnick, William Albright, Jerome Kitzke, Julia Wolfe, Annie Gosfield, Don Byron and more.

On Friday March 23rd I wrap things up with the next new (somewhat younger) 21st century generation of voices – composer such as Daniel Wohl, Paul Kerekes, Hannah Lash and Missy Mazzoli. Alas, it was impossible to include all the beautiful and worthy examples in just 5 hours so my apologies to those not included (next time!).

See the full article here.

This week Hammered! is hosted by Lisa Moore
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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.”

ij
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 Q2 Music: “Listen Live: Mountain Goats and Anonymous 4″

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Q2 is the 24/7 New Music Stream from New York Public Radio

Live from Merkin Concert Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival 2012

“On Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 pm, ET, Q2 Music presents a live audio Webcast of the sold-out Ecstatic Music Festival concert of influential, indie pioneers Mountain Goats and the acclaimed early vocal music ensemble Anonymous 4.

The show centers around a performance of Transcendental Youth, a new song cycle by songwriter John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats presented here in an imaginative arrangement by violinist-composer Owen Pallett for voices, piano and guitar. Pallett, aside from releasing numerous albums under his own name (and previously as Final Fantasy), has worked extensively with such indie-rock icons as Arcade Fire and Grizzly Bear.”

See the full article here.

From Q2 Music: “Listen Live: Dan Deacon, NOW Ensemble and Calder Quartet”

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Q2 is the 24/7 New Music Stream from New York Public Radio

Live from Merkin Concert Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival 2012

On Tuesday, March 20 at 7:30 pm ET, Q2 Music and New Sounds Live present a live audio webcast of composer and indie heavyweight Dan Deacon from Merkin Concert Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival. Following on last year’s collaboration with So Percussion, Dan Deacon now teams up with NOW Ensemble and the Calder Quartet to present a series of world premiere works for chamber ensembles.”

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