Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bill O’Connell: "Heart Beat" CD Release Show, April 25th @ Subrosa

Bill O’Connell And The Latin Jazz All-Stars
"Heart Beat" CD Release Show
Monday, April 25th @ Subrosa
Shows at 7:30 and 9:30

Former CTI recording artist Bill O'Connell, who played in some of Dave Valentin's best albums for GRP, will be releasing his forth solo album this next monday, in NY. "Heart Beat" is out on Savant Records, the new label by executive producer Joe Fields, founder of Muse Records in the 70s.

Bill O'Connell-piano / Steve Slagle-sax and flute / Conrad Herwig-trombone / Luques Curtis- bass / Richie Barshay-drums / Roman Diaz-congas

Subrosa
63 Gansevoort St,
New York, NY 10014
(646) 240-4264
www.subrosanyc.com
BILL O’CONNELL and the Latin Jazz All-Stars: "Heart Beat"
SAVANT SCD 2154

1.Vertigo 6:57
(B. O’Connell)(O’Connell Music)SESAC
2.The Eyes of a Child 7:37
(B. O’Connell)(O’Connell Music)SESAC
3.Awani  5:30
(B. O’Connell)(O’Connell Music / Roman Diaz)SESAC / BMI
4.Waters of March  6:50
(A.C. Jobim) (Corcovado Music)BMI
5.Tabasco 4:38
(B. O’Connell)(O’Connell Music)SESAC
6.ESP 6:11
(W. Shorter) (Miyako Music)BMI
7.Heart-Beat 7:11
(B. O’Connell)(O’Connell Music)SESAC
8.Wake Up 4:31
(B. O’Connell)(O’Connell Music)SESAC
9.Peace On Earth 7:08
(B. O’Connell)(O’Connell Music / Roman Diaz)SESAC / BMI
CP 2016 SAVANT RECORDS, INC. (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Bill O’Connell – piano
Conrad Herwig – trombone
Steve Slagle – soprano (tr. 1, 4, 7), alto (tr. 3, 6, 8, 9) saxophones & flute (tr. 2 & 5)
Luques Curtis – bass
Richie Barshay – drums
Roman Diaz – congas, percussion, bata drums (tr.2 & 9), vocal (tr. 9)
Melvis Santa – vocal (tr. 3, 6, 9)
Diego Lopez & Clemente Medina – bata drums (tr. 2 & 9)

All arrangements by Bill O’Connell
Produced by Bill O’Connell
Executive Producer: Joe Fields
Engineered by Chris Sulit
Recorded at Trading 8’s Music, Paramus, NJ on June 2 & 3, 2015
Mixed by Kevin Blackler at Blackler Mastering
Photography: Sophie Solomon-O’Connell

Bill O’Connell is a Steinway Artist
Steve Slagle plays Yanagisawa Soprano Saxophone and Van Doren Reeds
Conrad Herwig performs exclusively on Michael Rath trombones
Luques Curtis plays D’Addario strings & appears courtesy of Truth Revolution Records
Richie Barshay plays Canopus Drums, Remo Drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals and Vic Firth Sticks
Roman Diaz plays Latin Percussion

Conrad Herwig appears courtesy of Half Note Records
Roman Diaz appears courtesy of Motema Music

Thursday, April 21, 2016

News From Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

14 April 2016                                    
Cecil Taylor / Portland, Oregon

Steve Dollar reports about the upcoming show "Open Plan: Cecil Taylor" at the Whitney Museum in New York which will feature several collaborations between Taylor and artists from different genres, talking to Lawrence Kumpf who organized the Whitney event as well as to the filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson who is working on a documentary about Taylor ( Stamford Advocate). Ben Ratliff ( New York Times), Charles J. Gans ( Wall Street Journal) and Seth Colter Walls ( The Guardian) report about the exhibition as well. --- John Rosman and Ann McGarry report about the recently discovered photo collection by Carl J. Henniger who documented jazz musicians visiting Portland, Oregon, in the 1950s, and show some of the previously unknown photos such as one of Dizzy Gillespie playing chess, Ella Fitzgerald as well as Duke Ellington on stage, and Charlie Parker being interviewed backstage ( OPB).

15 April 2016
Steven Lugerner / Steve Holt

Andrew Gilbert talks to the saxophonist Steven Lugerner about his latest project focusing on the music of Jackie McLean, about his fascination with the late saxophonist, as well as about working with the pianist Larry Willis, who made his recording debut on McLean's 1966 album "Right Now!" ( San José Mercury News ). --- Peter Hum talks to the Canadian pianist Steve Holt about how he got into jazz, about studying music at McGill University as well as with Kenny Barron, as well as about his return to music after he had been working in the financial sector for years ( Ottawa Citizen).

16 April 2016                             
San Francisco / New Orleans

Max DeNike reports about the current jazz scene in San Francisco and talks to Pascal Bokar Thiam, the owner of the former Savannah Jazz Club in SF's Mission District, about why there are no jazz clubs left in the city and what exactly led to the closure of his own club, to the publicist Marshall Lamm about the SFJazz performance center and how it is different from the former Fillmore District jazz clubs, to the multi-instrumentalist Adam Theis about the Jazz Mafia music initiative, while also reporting about the closing of other Fillmore venues like Yoshi's, Rassela's and the Church of St. John Coltrane ( SF Weekly). --- Jessica Williams reports about proposals to redevelop five vacant buildings in Louis Armstrong Park (former Congo Square) in New Orleans, among them the partially renovated Perseverance Hall, originally built in 1820 ( The Advocate). Franziska Buhre looks at some historic New Orleans maps and quotes from studies about the city and its impact on jazz ( TAZ Blog).
 
17 April 2016
Courtney Pine / Harry Greene / Bill Ramsey

The British saxophonist Courtney Pine answers questions about inspiration, home, food, practicing, future plans and his iPad being the one gadget he can't live without ( Bury Free Press). In the same paper saxophonist Harry Greene answers questions about his inspiration, favorite leisure activities, future plans, and Stevie Wonder ( Bury Free Press). --- Hans-Jürgen Finger reports about the American-German Bill Ramsey who turns 85 these days, a singer from Cincinnati, Ohio, who came to Germany in 1952 as a GI, worked for AFN radio and as a jazz and blues singer in clubs as the Jazzkeller in Frankfurt, then started a second career recording popular songs and performing in German movies, yet never quite leaving the music he loves best, jazz ( SWR).
 
18 April 2016
Esperanza Spalding / Washington, D.C.

Tamara Best talks to the bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding about the approach to her new album "Emily's D+ Evolution", and quotes the musician on some of the songs on it ( New York Times). --- Perry Stein looks at the rich jazz history of Washington, D.C., and talks to musicians such as Aaron Meyers II, the saxophonist Herb Scott, the restaurant owner Andy Shallal, and the city officials Margaret Singleton and Arthur Espinoza about supporting and thus "saving" the US capital's jazz scene ( Washington Post).

19 April 2016
Aaron Diehl / George Shearing

Peter Tonguette talks to the pianist Aaron Diehl about growing up in Columbus, Ohio, about his teachers and his road into jazz, about the call one day by Wynton Marsalis to go on the road with him, as well as about being aware of his roots ( Columbus Monthly). --- Chris Albertson links to the audio file of an interview he did with the pianist George Shearing in 1958 ( Stomp Off).

20 April 2016
... what else ... und sonst noch ...

Tom Reney sends his regards to the pianist Randy Weston on the occasion of his 90th birthday ( NEPR). --- Anja Katzke reports about a new festival initiated by young musicians in Moers, Germany ( Rheinische Post). --- Alex Ross attended the Big Ears festival in Knoxville, Tennessee ( The New Yorker). --- Nate Chinen reports about and speaks to the saxophonist and composer Henry Threadgill who just was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his album "In for a Penny, In for a Pound" ( New York Times). The Pulitzer announcement can be found here ( Pulitzer). --- Charles J. Gans talks to the pianist Vijay Iyer about his collaboration with the trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and their latest album, "a cosmic rhythm with each stroke" ( The Seattle Times). --- On the eve of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Alex Woodward talks to the trumpeter Christian Scott ( Gambit), Jennifer Odell talks to the drummer Jack DeJohnette ( Gambit), and John Wirt talks to the bassist Brian Quezergue ( Gambit).

Obituaries / Nachrufe

We learned of the passing of the German photographer Erika Rabau ( Der Tagesspiegel).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

Last Wednesday we held the 22nd edition of our Darmstadt Music Talks at Galerie Netuschil. The conversation with classical guitarist, composer, musicologist, educator and concert promoter Tilman Hoppstock was announced as "The eight-armed guitarist" and evolved into a lively discussion with the audience ( Darmstädter Musikgespräche). Our local newspaper reports ( Darmstädter Echo).

From this Thursday you can meet us at the annual trade fair jazzahead! in Bremen, Germany. There will be a closed meeting about the project "Jazz for Kids" as well as the meeting of Bundeskonferenz Jazz. There will also be public events we participate in such as a panel discussion on Saturday (23 April 2016, 12:30-2:00pm, Conference Room 1) introducing the jazzstudie2016 which we co-initiated and which will be presented by Thomas Renz from Universität Hildesheim and discussed by Uli Kempendorff of the IG Jazz Berlin, Sebastian Scotney of LondonJazzNews and Urs Röllin of Schweizer Musik Syndikat. Should you happen to be in Bremen this week, say hello!

The 14th volume 14 of our Darmstadt Studies in Jazz Research is at the printers. We expect the 320 page book titled "Gender and Identity in Jazz" on 9 May 2016 ( Wolke Verlag).

Laurie Antonioli in Concert Saturday Night!

In Concert! Laurie Antonioli
Saturday, April 23rd, 8pm

California Jazz Conservatory
2087 Addison Street
Berkeley

Rumors that Claus Ogerman has passed away

Very worried because I received, a couple of days ago, a message from a director of Verve Records saying: "Just heard a rumor that Claus Ogerman has passed away but there's nothing on the net yet..."

I'm trying to receive a confirmation from Ogerman's family.

Monday, April 18, 2016

DeSoto live @ The Mint, LA, April 28

Join us for beats, chimes and life on Thursday, April 28th at 8:15pm at The Mint LA:
6010 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

The full band will be rockin it:
Matthew Silberman, saxophone, EWI, APC40
Jessica Antunes Martins, vocals, guitar
Orbel Babayan, guitar
Mike Tree, drums

Some new music, some music from "sense of space" [EP]:
http://desoto.bandcamp.com/
http://www.desoto.is/
http://www.themintla.com/

Stay after for:
9:00 PM - Pet Tigers
9:45 PM - The New West Collective
10:30 PM - Goodnight Kiss
11:15 PM - Red Eyed Light
12:00 AM - Electric One

Pianist Satoko Fujii performs in New York, Berkeley and Los Angeles next month

Satoko Fujii Returns to US for five concerts
May 17 - 23 in NY, Berkeley and LA
Concerts part of 20th anniversary celebration for Fujii's Libra Records label

Internationally acclaimed pianist/composer Satoko Fujii -- "one of the most original voices in free jazz" (Boston Globe) -- continues her yearlong celebration of the 20th anniversary of her Libra Records label with five concerts in the US from May 17 to 23. She will perform with her Orchestra New York in Brooklyn, and in NYC, Berkeley, and LA with groups especially assembled as part of the anniversary celebration.

Libra was launched in 1996 with Something About Water a duo recording with Fujii's mentor Paul Bley with whom she studied at New England Conservatory. In the years since then, Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura have released 41 albums on the label, featuring some of the most innovative and iconoclastic free jazz of the past two decades. They have recorded as a duet, with their numerous working small bands, as well as orchestras on three continents. It is an achievement few composer-improvisers have ever equalled.

In addition to maintaining her regular performance and recording schedule, Fujii is marking the label's anniversary with three types of special concerts. In October 2015, she began a series of monthly completely improvised piano solo concerts that have taken place globally in Tokyo and Mito, Japan; Berlin, Germany; Lille, France; and Sydney, Australia. With a special concert in Tokyo with trumpeter Kappa Maki and extraordinary Japanese percussionist Yoichi Okabe, she launched 20/20, a series of 20 concerts in 20 cities worldwide, each featuring the duo plus a special guest musician.

The second 20/20 concert took place in Fukuoka, Japan with Shota Toyama.   She will begin a series of revivals of all of her past projects in concert beginning with the Satoko Fujii Quartet (trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, bassist Takeharu Hayakawa, and drummer Tatsuya Yoshida) on July 31 in Tokyo. On her stateside visit in May, Fujii will also record a solo piano CD as well as a CD with the Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York, both to be released later this year.  Also coming this year is a recording with the Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo.

May performances include:

Tuesday, May 17 at 8:30 p.m. - Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York - IBeam, 168 7th Street, Brooklyn 
Featuring Oscar Noriega - alto sax; Ellery Eskelin, Tony Malaby - tenor sax; Andy Laster - baritone sax; Dave Ballou, Herb Robertson, Kappa Maki - trumpet; Joe Fiedler, Curtis Hasselbring, Joey Sellers - trombone; Nels Cline - guitar; Stomu Takeishi - bass; and Aaron Alexander - drums.
$20 suggested donation. http://ibeambrooklyn.com/

Wednesday, May 18 - Fujii with Ikue Mori and others - The Stone, Avenue C and 2nd Street, NYC
8:00 p.m. - Ikue Mori - electronics; Satoko Fujii - piano; and Ned Rothenberg - sax.
10:00 p.m. - Ikue Mori - electronics; Kappa Maki - trumpet; Satoko Fujii - piano; Jim Black - drums.
Admission $20. http://thestonenyc.com/index.html

Friday May 20 at 8 p.m. - 20/20 Vol. 2 - Berkeley Arts, 2133 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA
First Set:  Kappa Maki - trumpet; Satoko Fujii - piano; and special guest Gino Robair - drums
Second Set:  Larry Ochs - sax, Jason Hoopes - bass, and Jordan Glenn - drums
Third Set:  Both groups perform together.
 $15 donation. Co-sponsored by the Center for New Music San Francisco.
This is the 3rd concert of 20/20 - a series of Libra Records 20th anniversary events, each with a different special guest in 20 cities worldwide.

Saturday, May 21 at 3 p.m. - Satoko Fujii: A Tribute to Paul Bley - Maybeck Studio, 1537 Euclid Ave, Berkeley, CA
In this completely improvised solo recital, pianist/composer Satoko Fujii pays tribute to her mentor Paul Bley. "I was able to find my musical voice because of Paul Bley. He always encouraged me to express my music, and to sound like myself, not like others. It was a real 'revolution' in my life.
General admission: $20.
This concert is the 8th in a series of completely improvised solo piano concerts performed monthly by Fujii to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her Libra Records label. http://www.maybeckstudio.org/2016/03/satoko-fujii-improvised-piano-solo.html

Monday, May 23 at 9 p.m. - Fujii, Maki, Cline - Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St, No. 301, Los Angeles, CA
Kappa Maki - trumpet; Satoko Fujii - piano; and special guest Alex Cline - drums.
Tickets: $15. Presented by Angel City Arts. http://bluewhalemusic.com/
This is the 4th concert of 20/20 - a series of Libra Records 20th anniversary events, each with a different special guest in 20 cities worldwide.

Critics and fans alike hail pianist and composer SATOKO FUJII as one of the most original voices in jazz today.  She's "a virtuoso piano improviser, an original composer and a band-leader who gets the best collaborators to deliver," says John Fordham in The Guardian.  In concert and on approximately 80 albums as a leader or co-leader, the Japanese native (now based in Berlin) synthesizes jazz, contemporary classical, avant-rock and Japanese folk music into an innovative music instantly recognizable as hers alone.

Since she burst onto the scene in 1996 after earning her graduate diploma from New England Conservatory, Fujii has led some of the most consistently creative ensembles in modern improvised music. In 2013, she debuted a new ensemble, the Satoko Fujii New Trio featuring bassist Todd Nicholson and drummer Takashi Itani, the first piano trio she has led since her trio with Mark Dresser and Jim Black last played together in 2008. With addition of her husband trumpeter Natsuki Tamura in 2014 the core trio expanded into a new quartet called Tobira. The all-acoustic Satoko Fujii ma-do quartet, together from 2007 to 2012, showcased the latest developments in her composition for small ensembles in an intimate acoustic setting. Another acoustic quartet, the Min-Yoh Ensemble with trumpeter Tamura, trombonist Curtis Hasselbring, and accordionist Andrea Parkins is dedicated to developing written and improvised music in the collective spirit of Japanese folkloric music. Fujii also led an electrifying avant-rock quartet featuring drummer Tatsuya Yoshida of The Ruins from 2001 to 2007.

Fujii has also established herself as one of the world's leading composers for large jazz ensembles. Since 1996, she has released a steady stream of acclaimed releases for jazz orchestras and in 2006 she simultaneously released four big band albums: one from her New York ensemble, and one each by three different Japanese bands.  In 2013 she debuted the Satoko Fujii Orchestra Chicago at the Chicago Jazz Festival. In 2015, she released a CD by her new Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin and worked with orchestras in the Oakland, Calif., and Beilefeld, Germany.

In addition to playing accordion in Tamura's Gato Libre quartet, she also performs in a duo with Tamura, as an unaccompanied soloist, with the international quartet Kaze, and in ad hoc groupings with musicians working in different genres. Her special projects have included collaborations with ROVA saxophone quartet, violinist Carla Kihlstedt, pianist Myra Melford, bassist Joe Fonda, and Junk Box, a collaborative trio with Tamura and percussionist John Hollenbeck.

She is also a member of a collaborative quartet, Dos Dos, which features flamenco-trained percussive dancer Mizuki Wildenhahn, and percussionist Faín S. Dueñas, a founder and former member of the Grammy-nominated band Radio Tarifa. She has also toured and recorded with saxophonist Larry Ochs' Sax and Drum Core, and appeared on albums by drummer Jimmy Weinstein, saxophonist Raymond McDonald, and Japanese free jazz legend, trumpeter Itaru Oki.

"Whether performing with her orchestra, combo, or playing solo piano, Satoko Fujii points the listener towards the future of music itself rather than simply providing entertainment," writes Junichi Konuma in Asahi Graph. She tours regularly appearing at festivals and clubs in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Europe. Her ultimate goal: "I would love to make music that no one has heard before."

http://satokofujii.com/

Chloe Mercedes @ Club Lambi, next Saturday

Chloe Mercedes will be performing as part of the Landmark Showcase Festival next Saturday, April 23rd, with Chris Sean on the piano. Don't miss if you live in Montreal or will be there this next weekend.

Club Lambi
4465 St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec
Set time: TBD - Will be after 10pm.
Tickets: $15 at the door.

Stay tuned for her upcoming album 'Evolve' and more shows this Summer.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

R.I.P.: Jeremy Steig (1942-2016)

(born September 23, 1942 in New York, NY, USA;
died April 13, 2016 in Yokohama, Japan)

So sad to be informed about the passing of one of the world's greatest flutists, Jeremy Steig, to whom I was introduced through his recordings for the CTI label in the 70s; his own "Firefly" album, that was released in my native Brazil, as well as sessions with Art Farmer, Lalo Schifrin, Urbie Green, Idris Muhammad and Hank Crawford.

Son of famed cartoonist William Steig, he started playing a recorder at age 6, and begun studying flute seriously at 11 with Paige Brook, then a member of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He went to high school with Eddie Gomez, something that later would lead him to play often and even record with both Bill Evans and Gomez.

"I bought a Clifford Brown/Max Roach record, and realized that I had been playing jazz all along, without knowing the word. Back in the 60's, I used to sit in with everybody. Back then, musicians weren't so protective of their territory, and they all let me sit in with them. I sat in with a wide variety of musicians, and with rock bands, too. I found I could keep my "soloing integrity" while playing over a funky beat, "Steig told in an excellent interview to Scott McIntosh.{http://www.angelfire.com/ny/bolinfan/interviews/steig.html}
Early in his career he played in a band which included Paul Bley and Gary Peacock. Discovered by producer John Hammond, he signed with Columbia and released his debut solo album in 1963, "Flute Fever: Introducing The Exciting New Sound of the Jeremy Steig Quartet," with Denny Zeitlin (piano), Ben Tucker (bass) and Ben Riley (drums), playing mostly bop standards by Miles Davis ("So What"), Thelonious Monk ("Well, You Needn't") and Sonny Rollins ("Oleo"). Steig himself did the drawings for the album cover and back cover. And, btw, he continued to paint till his final days.
Steig also joined the Paul Winter Sextet (recording "Jazz Meets The Folk Song" in 1964), and toured Brazil with that group in 1965, when he, Winter and other members of the band were invited by arranger Eumir Deodato to record on Marcos Valle's second album for Odeon, "O Compositor E O Cantor." [none of the musicians were credited on the original pressing....]

In the late '60s, Steig played with Richie Havens before joining Tim Hardin's backing band and then forming his own rock-influenced band, Jeremy And The Satyrs, with Adrian Guillery, Donald McDonald, Eddie Gomez and Warren Bernhardt.
According to Ron Wynn on the prestigius All Music Guide website, "One of the earliest and finest jazz-rock flutists, Jeremy Steig is an outstanding soloist. He's mastered the entire flute family, including bass, and also plays piccolo well. He has a similarly rich, classically pure tone and timbre as James Newton or Hubert Laws [I disagree completely, 'cause they have very different styles], and uses almost as many devices, such as tongue fluttering, humming, and swirling lines."

Actually, Steig also incorporated electronics such as the wah wah peddle and ring modulator. He has continued to work as a soloist and with his own groups, although he has also performed with Mike Mainieri, Bill Evans and Art Blakey in the 60s, and with Jan Hammer, Pierre Courbois' Association PC and Tommy Bolin in the early 70s. Below, he is pictured with Eddie Gomez.
"I sat in with the Bill Evans Trio (their last set) every night, for about 10 years, whenever they played New York," he told Scott McIntosh. Steig also played a lot with Joe Chambers during the '70s, and did sessions with Mike Nock, Karl Ratzer, Naná Vasconcelos, Ray Barretto, Steve Gadd, and Jack DeJohnette in the '80s.
Steig's brilliant discography includes 26 albums as leader or co-leader, for such labels as Columbia, Reprise, Blue Note, Solid State, Capitol, Verve, Atlantic, CTI, Enja and CMP. Among them, the Grammy-nominated "What's New?" recorded for Verve with Bill Evans' trio (with Steig's long time friend Eddie Gomez on bass and Marty Morell on drums) in 1969.
Other famous albums are "Legwork" (Solid State), "Energy" (Capitol), Wayfaring Stranger" (recorded for Blue Note in 1971), and "Outlaws" (a duet with Eddie Gomez for Enja in 1976.)
A somehow obscure 2-LP set, "Jazz Wave, Ltd. On Tour" was recorded live in Europe in December 1969, and released in 1970 on Blue Note, with previously unreleased tracks by Jeremy Steig, Kenny Burrell, Freddie Hubard, Jimmy McGriff and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. The highlight is a killer version of Edu Lobo's "Reza" performed by Steig with a trio that includes Ron Carter and Louis Hayes, and which runs for over 12 minutes! The flutist returns on "Once Around," which has Steig, Hubbard, McGriff, and Burrell all soloing madly over a 16-minute side-long number written by Thad Jones and supported by the Jones/Lewis big band.
"Howlin' For Judy," the much sampled opening track from Steig's 1970 LP "Legwork" became an acid jazz hit and hip-hop favorite in the 90s, after it was sampled on Beastie Boys' "Sureshot," the opener from their 1994 album "Ill Communication." It was used as title track for a best-selling Steig CD compilaton released on the Blue Note label in 2008.
When Hubert Laws left CTI, Creed Taylor felt he needed a new flute player for his label and signed Steig in 1976. As usual on CTI, the producer featured the recently signed artist on various albums by other artists: Urbie Green's "The Fox" (one of the best tracks, "Another Star," I've included in the "CTI Acid Jazz Grooves" that I produced in 1997), Lalo Schifrin's "Towering Toccata," Art Farmer's "Crawl Space," Idris Muhammad's best-selling album ever "Turn This Mutha Out," and "Hank Crawford's Back."
However, Steig released only one album as a leader for CTI: "Firefly," arranged by David Matthews in March/April 1977, and featuring an all-star cast that included Steve Gadd, Gary King, Eric Gale, John Scofield, Hiram Bullock, Richard Tee, Cliff Carter, Richie Beirach, Ray Mantilla, Joe Shepley, Lew Soloff, Sam Burtis, vocalist Googie Copolla and many others. The stellar project yielded a jazz radio hit (Dave Grusin/Earl Klugh's "Living Inside Your Love," made famous by George Benson), the funk-disco title track co-written by Steig, Matthews & Coppola, and my favourite tune, Joe Chambers' acoustic post-bop "Hop Scotch."
As a sideman, he can be also heard on albums by such artists as Nat Adderley, Richie Havens, Mike Mainieri, Yoko Ono, Johnny Winter, Eddie Palmieri, Bob Moses, Art Garfunkel, Ray Mantilla and several others, often performing on projects by Eddie Gomez. He also wrote the soundtrack for the movie "The Amazing Bone" in 1984.

"Late in March, Jeremy asked me to make videos of him drawing at home on his last days. He talked about various things while working on pictures and suggested that I add soundtracks using his archival flute music to show on his official website," "As if nothing had happened," he said. His home-recording continued for many years in both U.S. and Japan, and it will take time to just listen. Putting together clips will be a slow process. But if you take a look from time to time, you may discover something new that Jeremy has left to us," his widow Asako Steig wrote in a short statement.
"The rose in the photo is called My Garden, his favorite in our little garden in Yokohama," she said. Rest in Peace.

The Blues Farm All-Stars in NY, tomorrow!

This Sunday, April 17, kicks off the Blues Farm's Two City/One Day/World Tour!
Double groovilation, twice as nice!

At first @ The Falcon (1348 Route 9W, Marlboro, NY), 11am-2pm
Then @ Brian's Backyard BBQ (1665 Route 211 East, Middletown, NY), 5pm-9pm

Featuring John Tropea (guitar), Pete Levin (organ), Lee Finkelstein (drums) & Rob Paparozzi (vocals)!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Barbara Fasano live @ Kitano NY, April 16

Message from singer Barbara Fasano, who performs @ Kitano, NY, April 16, sets at 8pm and 10pm:
"I'm so happy to be returning to Jazz at Kitano! We'll be continuing our celebration of my new CD BUSY BEING FREE and there might even be a suprise guest! I'm thrilled that pianist/arranger John di Martino is with me, along with Martin Wind on bass & Vince Cherico on drums."

Jazz at the Kitano
66 Park Ave [Southwest Corner of 38th and Park Avenue], New York

Made in New York Jazz Gala, May 21

The Made In New York Jazz Gala became one of the most significant International jazz events in New York, featuring legendary Jazz Artists. This year we celebrate the 3rd Annual International Jazz Gala!

The winner of the competition João Barradas, one of the most recognized young accordionists in Europe, will be performing this year.

“I regard João Barradas as a beacon in the future development of accordion as a serious instrument.  He is a master of all styles from classical repertoire and is the most convincing jazz improviser I have heard to date on the instrument.” – Gil Goldstein

João Barradas and other participants TBA of Made In New York Jazz Competition will be joined by stellar lineup of American jazz masters:

Rufus Reid, one of today’s premiere bassists on the international jazz scene, with his reputation firmly established in the education arena.

Tommy Campbell (known for his work with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and others), Philip Harper (The Jazz Messengers and Charles Mingus Big Band),

Bobby Sanabria 7 times Grammy award nominee, composer, arranger, educator and writer specializing in Latin jazz. Yaacov Mayman, art director of the competition (Yaacov has performed and/or recorded with Joe Lovano, Benny Golson, Ray Santiago and others).

The host of the GALA 2016 will be George V Johnson Jr., one of the most recognizable jazz voices who mentored and performed regularly with “James Moody & Lou Donaldson”.

Special guest from Italy: Federico Malayalam from Italy! Internet sensation and one of the most watched jazz, fusion bass players on YouTube and social media. Some of his videos performing have well over a million views, displaying great musicianship and a technical ability that is jaw dropping.

The Made in New York Jazz Competition enters its fourth year in 2016, featuring a worldwide audience of jazz fans, as well as a slate of musicians from 47 countries and counting.

“The talents keep surprising us every year! It’s great to be part of this discovery process. Our community grows very fast, just last year the competition was ranked as number one jazz competition in Google, Yahoo and Bing. This is an incredible feeling to see some of the artists succeed after participating in Made In New York Jazz Competition” – says Misha Brovkin, founder of the competition.

Ticketing Services: 212.220.1460

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kristin Korb & Friends in Southern California, April 20-24

Kristin Korb is back in California with Los Angeles' finest for 5 concerts this month, featuring Patrice Rushen (piano) and Aaron Serfaty (drums). It is going to be a continuous party through Southern California. You'll get a first hand sneak peak of her new material!

20 April Rancho Mirage Library
21 April The Merc, Temecula
22 April House Concert, LA
23 April Alvas, San Pedro
24 April House Concert, San Juan Capistrano

Sonny Rollins' "Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4" out April 15

For his new album "Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4," the great tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins once again taps into his vast archives of his own concert recordings to compile superior performances for release in the acclaimed Road Shows series. The album encompasses some 33 years (1979-2012) yet coheres with all of the compelling logic and narrative force of an extended Sonny solo.

"Holding the Stage," to be released by Doxy Records  digitally April 8 and on CD April 15, the second album in a distribution agreement with Sony Music Masterworks and its jazz imprint OKeh, is truly a treasure chest that includes tunes Rollins has never before recorded and musical relationships previously undocumented. “This album consists of various periods of my career, with something for everybody,” says Rollins. “It’s who I am, and the music represents just about every aspect of what I do.”

Three Rollins originals pay tribute to departed friends and colleagues. The soulful blues “H.S.,” for Horace Silver, has been a concert staple since its appearance on Sonny’s 1995 Milestone album "Sonny Rollins +3." Saxophonist/arranger Paul Jeffrey, who died last year at 81, is remembered in the funky “Professor Paul,” a new composition making its recorded debut here. Of “Disco Monk,” from 1979’s "Don’t Ask" (Milestone) and rarely performed since, Rollins told CD annotator Ted Panken: “It was disco-disco-disco then, everywhere you went, but I heard something juxtaposed with [Thelonious] Monk within this disco craze, and I wanted to meld them in a way that both styles would be themselves and yet be one.”

Another highlight is a previously unreleased 23-minute medley (and concert closer) from his September 15, 2001 Boston performance, most of which had been immortalized in Rollins’s final Milestone album, the Grammy Award-winning "Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert."

“Sweet Leilani,” introduced on his "This Is What I Do" album of the year before, morphs into a richly evocative solo cadenza and an epically ecstatic “Don’t Stop the Carnival.”

In the Harlem of his youth, Rollins told Panken, “music was happening on every street corner. So the idea of ‘keep the music going’ is in that song. Don’t stop the carnival. In the case of 9/11, that was especially  prophetic.”

Since launching his Doxy Records imprint in 2006 with the Grammy-nominated studio album "Sonny, Please," Sonny Rollins has been turning to his concert recording archive dating back nearly 40 years for release on the label. The selections in Volume 1 (2008) spanned nearly three decades and included a trio track from the saxophonist’s 50th-anniversary Carnegie Hall concert, while Volume 2 (2011) focused primarily on his historic 80th-birthday concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre. Volume 3 (2014) marked the first recording of “Patanjali” and hinged on a stunning 23-minute excavation of Jerome Kern’s “Why Was I Born?”

"Holding the Stage: Road Shows Vol. 4" was produced by Rollins and his longtime engineer, Richard Corsello. Personnel includes trombonist Clifton Anderson; pianists Stephen Scott and Mark Soskin; guitarists Bobby Broom, Peter Bernstein, and Saul Rubin; bassists Bob Cranshaw and Jerome Harris; drummers Kobie Watkins, Perry Wilson, Victor Lewis, Jerome Jennings, Al Foster, and Harold Summey Jr.; and percussionists Kimati Dinizulu, Sammy Figueroa, and Victor See Yuen.

Website: sonnyrollins.com
EPK: doxyrecords.com

Album Purchase Links
iTunes - http://smarturl.it/sr-road-vol4
Amazon - http://smarturl.it/sr-road-vol4-cd

Cecilia Coleman Big Band returns to Gillespie Auditorium, April 12

Join us when NY welcomes back Cecilia Coleman's exciting Big Band at Jazz Tuesdays on Tuesday, April 12. There will be two shows at 8:00 and 9:30pm. For advanced sales and information call 212-222-5159. Admission is $15, $10 for Students.

In 2010, Cecilia became a big band leader of significance. She told her friend, trumpeter/music publisher Don Sickler, that she'd love to pen some big band arrangements and asked for his thoughts. "The most helpful thing that Don said to me," she recalls, "was to make sure that I started with a sketch. I looked at my quintet arrangements and realized that they all had potential for a big band. I wrote two arrangements right away - and then things snowballed."

After having written many arrangements in a short period of time, Cecilia naturally wanted to hear what the music sounded like, so she recruited her own ensemble. "What essentially started as a rehearsal band quickly turned into a serious endeavor, due in large part to the overwhelming support I received from other musicians. After rehearsals, they'd phone or write to say how much they enjoyed my music and tell me that I had to keep this thing going. They've been extremely supportive and enthusiastic, which makes this extremely rewarding for me. In fact, the big band has become the love of my life."

With New York's pool of accomplished jazz players to choose from, she expanded her arranging scope and palette. The eighteen-member CeciliaColeman Big Band, which includes six saxophonists (one of them a fulltime soprano player) has a regular gig at The Garage in Greenwich Village. They've also played at Zinc Bar, Fat Cat, the Baha'i Center, Trumpets and the Saint Peter's Church "Jazz At Midday" concert series.

"Oh Boy," the band's debut recording, recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's famed New Jersey studio, was released in 2011 on the PandaKat label.  "Cecilia has done a lot of work for me," says Sickler, who served as producer.  Though it's really tough to have a big band these days, she works extremely hard.  She's determined to do this thing and will never give up!"

In short, Cecilia Coleman has developed into an exceptional composer whose distinctive, varied pieces reflect where jazz has been - and where it is going.
www.ceciliacolemanbigband.com

Tickets will be sold at the door,or call 212-222-5159 for reservations and information.
For more about acts at "Jazz Tuesdays", check out their website at www.jazzbeat.com

Jazz Tuesdays
in the John Birks Gillespie Auditorium
The New York Baha'i Center
53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway)
Two shows: 8:00 and 9:30 p.m.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Spin Cycle to Release Debut CD on May 6

With its strong melodies, tight rhythms, intriguing textures, and sophisticated interplay, Spin Cycle has got everything covered. What makes the band special is how everything fits together -- or, by intention, doesn't. For listeners and band members alike, every tune is an adventure.

Spin Cycle is the new quartet co-led by drummer Scott Neumann and tenor saxophonist Tom Christensen -- and also featuring fellow veterans of the New York jazz scene Pete McCann on guitar and bassist Phil Palombi -- whose self-titled debut CD will be released by the leaders' Sound Footing Records on May 6.

Spin Cycle boasts six compositions by Christensen, a consummate multi-instrumentalist who mostly plays tenor saxophone here, and four by Neumann. Having performed in all kinds of settings including the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Jazz Mandolin Project, the Gil Evans ProjectMadeleine Peyroux's touring group, Broadway pit bands -- and Cheap Trick -- the co-leaders know how to dig deep, swing hard, and put a shine on a ballad.

After finishing a CD of his own in 2013 with Michael Blake and Mark Helias [the Neu3 Trio's Blessed], Neumann "got the thought of collaborating on an ongoing basis with musicians I liked and respected -- with friends who would get along sharing business responsibilities as well as creative ones.

"I naturally thought of Tom. In addition to playing together, and playing with many of the same musicians, we've spent a lot of time backpacking and hiking together. He had tunes, I had tunes. They went well together because we share a lot of the same musical influences."

Once they decided on the format of the band, getting McCann on board was the next step. Neumann has played with the Wisconsin native for more than 30 years, going back to their days at North Texas State (now the University of North Texas). And Christensen had played with the guitarist in Maria Schneider's big band. Palombi, a gifted bassist with whom Neumann had played in trumpeter Bill Mobley's big band during their four-year run at Smoke, was the final inspired piece to fall into place.
Spin Cycle
Spin Cycle outdoors: saxophonist Tom Christensen, drummer Scott Neumann, guitarist Pete McCann, bassist Phil Palombi.

Spin Cycle is bookended by lighthearted tunes inspired by the composers' daughters. Neumann's "Rainbow Shoelaces" features a simple melody and funky B section. Christensen's "Hamsters, Hamsters" is a straight-ahead, uptempo minor blues.

The title track, written for this session by Christensen, shows off a deeper and more complex side of the band via its intricate and varied cycle of chord changes. Neumann's "Crystalline," which features McCann on nylon-string guitar, is distinguished by its lingering over-the-top melody. And then there's the punk rock-like composition, "Smart Aleck," with its bellicose guitar opening and other aggressive effects. "This lineup gives us a lot of room to try out different things," says the drummer.

Scott NeumannBorn in 1962 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Scott Neumann started on the drums as a youngster and was exposed to what we now call classic rock by his older brother. Scott eventually found his way to the jazz-rock fusion of bands including Weather Report and Return to Forever.
Neumann went on to blossom in the esteemed music program at North Texas State and moved to New York in 1988. He's been a busy player on the New York scene ever since, playing with such luminaries as Kenny Barron and Ben Allison and accruing impressive credits as a vocal accompanist (for Ann Hampton Callaway, among others), Broadway musician (he made Swing!swing), and instructor (he directs the drum studies program at Lehigh University).
Tom Christensen
Tom Christensen was born in 1961 in Ventura, California. Like Neumann, he was drawn to rock early on; he became interested in jazz-rock fusion and straight-ahead jazz while attending high school in the Napa Valley. Frequenting clubs in nearby San Francisco, he heard such legends as Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon, and Art Blakey and had the opportunity to take private lessons from tenor saxophone great Joe Henderson.

Christensen attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, studying classical music as well as jazz on both undergraduate and graduate levels. Since moving to the New York City area in 1989, he has established himself as a go-to player in jazz and commercial settings. For eight years, he was a member of the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, appearing on five of their albums. He also has played on recordings by Joe LovanoDon Sebesky, and the David Liebman Big Band. Christensen, who is on the faculty of the Fieldston School in New York, first recorded as a leader in 2000 (Gualala).

Spin Cycle will be performing a CD release show at Smalls in New York on Friday 5/6, as well as a mini-tour taking them to the Jazz Room in Waterloo, Ontario, 6/25; the Rex in Toronto. 6/26; and the Rochester (NY) Jazz Festival, 6/27.

"After playing with Scott for many years around New York," says Christensen, "I'm really excited about our new band Spin Cycle. We are both committed to the band and its musical vision. This is the first in what will be a long line of great recordings."
Scott Neumann & Tom Christensen: Spin Cycle EPK
Scott Neumann & Tom Christensen:
Spin Cycle EPK
Sound Footing Records  Spin Cycle


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Record Store Day @ Other Music, April 16


RECORD STORE DAY 2016: SATURDAY, APRIL 16

We're just about a week away from Record Store Day 2016! As always, Other Music will have a ton of amazing and very limited RSD exclusives on hand, and keeping in the spirit of the day, there will be no pre-orders, holds or mail order for RSD releases. Just come on by Other Music on Saturday, April 16 and join us for this annual celebration of indie record stores!

15 East 4th Street, NYC, NY
Ph: (212) 477-8150

Mike Longo's Funk Band @ Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ, April 9

Mike Longo's funk band is playing Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ on April 9. Featuring Christian Fabian, Sam Burtis (yessss! the trombone master who recorded those fiery solos on Deodato's "Havana Strut" and "Amani" in the 70s), Bryan Davis, Mike Campenni & Daniel Walsh. Not to be missed, specially if you are a fan of Longo's cult albums from the 70s!

MIKE LONGO FUNK BAND
April 9, 2016 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Trumpets Jazz Club
6 Depot Square
Montclair, NJ

COST: $20 pp music charge $12 pp minimum

Mike Longo Funk Band
Daniel Walsh -tenor & soprano sax
Bryan Davis -trumpet
Sam Burtis -trombone
Mike Longo -keyboard
Christian Fabian -bass
Mike Campenni -drums

Mike Longo has performed with a list of jazz legends that include Cannonball Adderley, Henry Red Allen, Coleman Hawkins, George Wettling, Gene Krupa,  Nancy Wilson, Gloria Lynn, Jimmy Witherspoon, Joe Williams, Jimmy Rushing, James Moody, Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto (on her "Now" album for Perception) and many others.

It was in the mid-60s when Longo’s trio was playing at the Embers West, that Roy Eldridge told Dizzy Gillespie about this new pianist he had heard.  Dizzy came to hear him play and soon asked him to become his pianist. This started a life-long musical relationship and friendship. From 1966 through 1975, Longo worked exclusively as Dizzy’s pianist and musical director.

Mike left the Gillespie group officially in 1975 to venture out on his own, but continued to work for Gillespie on a part-time basis until his death in 1993. Since that time Mike has recorded numerous albums and CDs on various labels with some 45 recordings with artists such as Gillespie, James Moody etc. At present he has over 20 solo albums to his credit. He is sought after as a music instructor and is in demand for jazz clinics and concerts at universities and music schools throughout the world, and has appeared at the Lincoln Center’s new jazz room “Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.”  

Longo is founder and President of Consolidated Artists Productions (CAP), an independent recording label, that has released great albums by Russ Kasoff, Mark Sherman, Wally Dunbar, and the late Havana Carbo, among others.

Acoustic Guitar Instros + Muzak-Style for $1,000 Placement

Do you have any music that would work for these requests?
1. Reflective Acoustic Guitar-Based Instrumentals with some Spanish influence for a 5-Star Music Licensing Company that has a great track record of placing music by TAXI members in Film, TV, and Commercials.
2. Original, Kitschy, Muzak-Style Instrumentals for a Non-Exclusive, $1,000, Direct-to-Supervisor placement in a Hit TV Series.

REFLECTIVE ACOUSTIC GUITAR-Based INSTRUMENTALS with some Spanish influence are needed by a 5-Star Music Licensing Company that has a great track record of placing music by TAXI members in Film, TV, and Commercials. They’re on the hunt for well-executed, full-length, Down-to-Mid-Tempo Instrumentals in the general stylistic wheelhouse of the extremely talented artist, Gustavo Santaolalla. Please listen to the reference tracks they gave us to get in the general vibe of what they need:

“Partida del Leprosario” (from The Motorcycle Diaries) by Gustavo Santaolalla
“Alma” by Gustavo Santaolalla
“Cordon de Plata” by Gustavo Santaolalla

Quoting the source: “We’d like quiet, intimate, reflective, and moody acoustic guitar with a Spanish flavor. It should have an organic sound, with a sparse, atmospheric sound. Real, authentic instrumentation only. A great example would be the Gustavo Santaolalla pieces on the The Motorcycle Diaries soundtrack.”

TAXI Tip: they are NOT looking for copies or rip offs of Gustavo Santaolalla. Just ask yourself, “Would somebody who loves Gustavo’s work also love this?” if the answer is “Yes,” you’ve got what they need!

Please submit intimate, airy, sparse, atmospheric Instrumentals with a well-performed Nylon or Gut-String Guitar as the primary focus, and a little Latin flavor to boot. Authenticity is important for this pitch, so please only use organic sounding instrumentation, typical of the references above. Light, delicate string parts (violin, viola, or cello) could work, but they’re not necessary. Anything that sounds stiff, synthetic, or MIDI-driven won’t work well for this pitch. Keep your melodies on the simple, sparse side, and shy away from anything that’s busy or frenetic. No fades, please. A natural ending on the root note with the guitar’s ring out and reverb’s decay should do the trick.

Your submissions should be at least 2 minutes in length. Do NOT copy or rip off the referenced artist or music in any way, shape, or form. Use the reference tunes only as a general guide for tempo, texture, tone, and vibe. Broadcast quality is needed (great sounding home recordings are fine.

This Library offers an EXCLUSIVE deal, so the material you submit for this pitch CANNOT be signed with any other publishers or catalogs. Sync fees will be split 50/50. The Publisher will get the Publisher’s share, and you’ll get the Writer’s share. You must own or control your Master and Copyright to pitch for this opportunity. Please submit one to three Instrumentals online or per CD. All submissions will be screened on a Yes/No basis - No full critiques. Submissions must be received no later than 11:59PM (PDT), on Saturday, April 16th, 2016. TAXI #U160416GI

Now, Part 2:
ORIGINAL, KITSCHY, MUZAK-STYLE INSTRUMENTALS are needed for a NON-Exclusive, $1,000, Direct-to-Supervisor placement in an extremely popular, Award-Winning TV Series. They’re hunting for Mid-Tempo Instrumentals that you’d expect to hear coming out of those cheesy ceiling mounted speakers in your dentist’s office. Please listen to the compilation they gave us to get an idea of what could work for this pitch:

Elevator Music – MUZAK – Stimulus Progression

Quoting the source: “Looking for some Mid-Tempo Muzak background source music to place in a dental office scene. It can be elevator style or jazz.”

Give them original, well-performed Instrumentals that instantly sound just cheesy enough that anybody who hears it would instantly think, “Elevator Muzak!” MIDI sounds are fine for this pitch, but not so much that it feels too stiff or robotic. Repetitive, memorable hooks will work really well for this pitch. Please avoid submitting Instrumentals that are frenetic so you don’t distract from any dialog in the scene. Think, mellow, pleasant and relaxing Instrumentals, possibly with lush strings and some muted trumpet. Make sure you listen all the way through the reference to hear a range of possibilities. Your submissions should be between 1:30 to 3:00 minutes in length. Broadcast Quality (in the context of cheesy Muzak-style) is needed.

The estimated license fee for this placement is $1,000, depending on the ultimate placement. This is a Non-Exclusive, Direct-to-Music Supervisor placement, so you’ll get 100% of the sync fee, you’ll keep 100% of your Publishing and Master ownership, and you’ll also get 100% of any applicable performance royalties. You must own or control the Master and Copyright to pitch for this opportunity. All Submissions will be screened on a Yes/No basis by a Music Coordinator working directly on the Show. No full critiques. Please submit 1-3 Songs no later than 11:59PM (PDT), on Sunday, April 10th, 2016. TAXI #U160410MZ

For further details, please visit www.taxi.com
Good luck!

Sarah Neufeld performs @ Other Music in NY

SARAH NEUFELD
FRIDAY, APRIL 15
Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker St., NYC

Next Friday, Montreal violinist and composer Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre) will be performing at Le Poisson Rouge, joined by renown saxophonist and collaborator Colin Stetson who will be sitting in on her set.

NYC’s Eartheater opens the night making for a must-see show that lovers of adventurous sounds won’t want to miss.

Other Music is giving away one pair of tickets and to enter, just email giveaway@othermusic.com

Monday, April 4, 2016

Kenny Barron Trio's date in Beverly Hills, on April 16, selling out fast

Catch NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron in the 1st Movable Feast at the new Wallis Annenberg Center. Promoted by Jazz Bakery.
Tickets going fast. Special number: 310 746-4000

Kenny Barron - Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 8:30pm
Tiered pricing $25 to $55

THE KENNY BARRON TRIO
KENNY BARRON - piano
KIYOSHI KITAGAWA - bass
JOHNATHAN BLAKE - drums

VENUE: The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Wallis Direct ticket Line: 310 746-4000

The Wallis Theatre is an extraordinary reworking of the Beverly Hills post office.
Self Park $8 Valet $16.
Street and city parking also available.
KJAZZ 88.1 - official media sponsor.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

R.I.P.: Gato Barbieri (1932-2016)

(born Leandro J. Barbieri on November 28, 1932 in Rosario, Argentina;
died on April 2, 2016 in New York, NY, USA)

Sad, sad, sad, very sad news. Less than one month after the death of percussionist Naná Vasconcelos, with whom he established a solid collaboration documented in such albums as "Fenix" and "El Pampero" in the early 70s, now Gato is gone too. At age 83. The cause was pneumonia. He had great technique, but the most important thing was that he played soaring melodies with visceral beauty, his huge tone reflecting his huge heart, always with great emotion and passion. Something that, unfortunately, is now "out of fashion," outdated in the aseptically technical contemporary jazz world.

Gato's most popular effort is the marvelous soundtrack for one of Bernardo Bertolucci's masterpieces, "Last Tango In Paris," but his fantastic body of work goes far beyond that movie, including the superb albums he recorded for the Flying Dutchman and Impulse! labels from 1970 to 1976 with such sidemen as Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter, Jorge Dalto, Lonnie Liston Smith, Grady Tate, Paul Metzke, Chuck Rainey, Bernard Purdie, Lenny White, Chico O'Farrill, John Abercrombie and Dino Saluzzi.

Besides Naná, he recorded with Brazilian drummers and/or percussionists Airto Moreira, Portinho, Guilherme Franco, Mayuto Correa, Paulinho da Costa and Cyro Baptista. Gato loved Brazilian music so much that he recorded tunes by Sergio Ricardo ("Zelão"), Jorge Ben ("Maria Domingas"), Pixinguinha ("Carinhoso"), Ary Barroso ("Brazil" aka "Aquarela do Brasil"); from Villa-Lobos' classical masterpiece ("Bachianas Brasileiras #5") to samba gems by Geraldo Pereira ("Falsa Baiana") and Ismael Silva (a haunting rendition of "Antonico".)

He visited Brazil many times during that period, to the point that, in 1973, decided to cut half of the "Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre" album at the Odeon Studios in Rio, inviting such musicians as guitarists Neco and Helio Delmiro, bassist Novelli, and drummer Paulo Braga, plus unidentified percussionists that were members of a "Escola de Samba de Niteroi" (Niteroi Samba School.)

Later on, in 1978, Gato covered Caetano Veloso's "Odara" on his "Tropico" album, one of his best dates for A&M along with "Ruby, Ruby" (that includes a stunning version of Stevie Wonder's "Es Una Historia") and "Euphoria." Herb Alpert, a big fan of Gato, produced most of those sessions, assembling musicians like Gary King, Steve Gadd, Lee Ritenour, Paulinho da Costa, David Spinozza, Joe Caro, Jon Faddis and Lew Soloff.

During the 80s and 90s, he recorded for Fania, Doctor Jazz and Columbia ("Qué Pasa," from 1997, included Romero Lubambo and Cyro Baptista.) In 2010, he released in his native Argentina, "New York Meeting," a session of jazz standards (by Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane) recorded for the Melopea label with Carlos Franzetti, David Finck, and Nestor Astarita. And he continued to perform concerts until recently, always wearing his trademark fedora hat. Rest in Peace.




Friday, April 1, 2016

Vinyl Reissue of the Month - "Ron Carter: All Blues"

Vinyl Reissue of the Month
Ron Carter: "All Blues" (CTI/Pure Pleasure) 1974/2016

Rating:
***** (musical performance)
**** (recording & mix, new pressing)

Reissue Date: March 24, 2016
Distributed by Speakers Corner

Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded (October 24, 1973) & Mixed by Rudy Van Gelder @ Van Gelder Studio (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA)
180gram vinyl Pressed by Pallas (Germany)
Mastered by Ray Staff @ AIR Mastering
Audiophile Limited Issue
Cover Photo: Alen MacWeeney
Album Desugn: Bob Ciano

Featuring: Ron Carter (acoustic bass & piccolo bass), Roland Hanna (acoustic piano), Richard Tee (Fender Rhodes electric piano on track A3), Billy Cobham (drums) & Joe Henderson (tenor sax)

Released in early 1974, but recorded in a single day session on October 24, 1973, apparently with no out-takes, "All Blues," Ron Carter's second solo album for CTI is being reissued on an audiophile vinyl by Pure Pleasure Records, and licensed through Sony Music, who handles the rights to the CTI catalog from 1970 to 1979.

Ron, heard on both acoustic & piccolo basses, leads an impeccable quartet with Roland Hanna (acoustic piano), Billy Cobham (drums, plus tambourine on "117 Special" only) and Joe Henderson's glorious tenor sax, with Richard Tee (Fender Rhodes) guesting on the lightly funky "117 Special."

Top tracks: "Light Blue" (actually, a haunting ballad that fits like a glove for Hanna's romantic Chopinesque style), "Rufus," Miles Davis' "All Blues" and Matt Dennis/Tom Adair's standard "Will You Still Be Mine," (originally a hit for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1941, with vocalist Connie Haines) and here turned into solo number for the leader. Ron Carter was voted Bassist of the Year in Downbeat’s Readers’ Poll in 1973, 1974 and 1975, highlighting his work with CTI.

It's also interesting the note the low-profile concept of the cover conceived by CTI's art director Bob Ciano for this album, in perfect sync with the mainstream jazz mood of its content, using a discreet pic by master photographer Alen MacWeeney in the front cover, instead of the usual Pete Turner's exuberant shots. And, curiously, the liner photo (by Dean Brown) doesn't comes from the recording session, but from a live concert performed by Ron as a member of the CTI All Stars some months earlier.

CTI's expert Doug Payne wrote a beautiful text about this reissue:
http://dougpayne.blogspot.com/2011/01/celebrating-cti-records-40th.html

"Bassist Ron Carter had long been Creed Taylor’s first-choice bassist on record dates stretching as far back to the classic Gil Evans recording Out of the Cool in 1960. Carter was the first bass choice for many Creed Taylor productions throughout the 1960s for the Impulse, Verve, MGM and A&M/CTI labels, even while the bassist was recording and touring as part of the Miles Davis Quintet. And it was Ron Carter’s dulcet tones and swinging accompaniment on the double bass that drove nearly every CTI album since 1970 into the overdrive that its soloists are often given sole credit for.

Surprisingly, though, Ron Carter’s second CTI recording, All Blues, fell well below the radar. It was hardly noticed when it was first issued in early 1974 (his 1973 CTI debut, Blues Farm, which was hardly a hit, still remains better known). Interestingly, it’s probably among the best of the albums the bassist waxed for the CTI label between 1973 and 1976. This is due in no small measure to the commanding presence of tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson on “A Feeling,” “117 Special,” “Rufus” and “All Blues.” Carter here also solidifies a simpatico musical kinship with pianist Roland Hanna, who he’d first played with on a European tour in 1969. Hanna is especially featured on the florid trio feature, “Light Blue” (not the Monk piece), as well as Carter’s bop-y “Rufus” (not the Archie Shepp piece). Not surprisingly, Ron Carter dominates the proceedings, with his especially distinctive bass helming any number of attractive solo features (not to mention the overdubbed bass “solo” of “Will You Be Mine”)." ~ Doug Payne/Jazzonline
*************
"One of bassist Ron Carter's better albums as a leader, this CTI LP features a very compact quartet comprised of tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, pianist Roland Hanna (keyboardist Richard Tee sits in on one number), drummer Billy Cobham and Carter. All of the music (even the ballad "Will You Still Be Mine?") has a blues feeling although several are not really blues. However, the quality of the solos is high, and this date lives up to one's expectations." ~ Scott Yanow/AMG

"Ron Carter's "All Blues" is one of the greatest recordings of the '70s and a perfect introduction to jazz for those who don't know it, or don't think they would want to. The musicianship is flawless, the recording quality is tops, and the music performed on a single afternoon in October 1973 by Joe Henderson, Billy Cobham, Richard Tee, Roland Hanna and the leader just keeps getting better with age. Nearly 40 years on it still rewards every time." ~ Eric May

Vocal CD of the Month - "Oriente Lopez: Abracadabra"

Vocal CD of the Month
Oriente Lopez: "Abracadabra" (OHL Music 003) 2016


Instrumental Jazz CD of the Month - "Shunzo Ohno: ReNew"

Instrumental Jazz CD of the Month
Shunzo Ohno: "ReNew" (Pulsebeats Records) 2016

Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)

All tracks composed & produced by Shunzo Ohno
(except "Song For Sensei," composed by Buster Williams)
Executive Producer: Pulse 21 Inc.
Recorded by Tom Tedesco (Tedesco Studio) and Danny Kapidus (Pod Noise Recording Studio)
Mixed & Mastered by Dave Darlington (Bass Hit Recording)
Photos: Keiko Yoshizumi
Graphic Designer: Anne Hasegawa/Zerofive Design
Artwork: Eiko Miyazaki
Art Caligraphy: Yukiko Ishihara

Featuring: Shunzo Ohno (trumpet), Clifford Carter (keyboards), Buster Williams, Ed Howard & Ira Coleman (bass), Billy Drummond & Jerome Jennings (drums), Cyro Baptista (percussion), Paul Bollenback (guitar), Ray Spiegel (tablas), Sasha Ono (cello), George Yamazawa (rap & spoken words vocals)

Tonight, April 1st, at 7pm, trumpeter extraordinaire Shunzo Ohno celebrates the release of "ReNew" (his 16th album as a leader) at Leonard Nimoy Thalia @ Peter Norton Symphony Space, located at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025.

Tickets, which range $25-35, are available by visiting www.symphonyspace.org or by calling 212-864-5400.
***********
"This recording is dedicated to the families and communities of Norhern Japan, Nepal, and all who have experienced their greatest challenge," Shunzo Ohno writes in the digipak booklet. "Recovery is our united journey to discovery. Let's live undefeated, as we transform, renew and inspire a magnificent future for all."

I was introduced to Ohno's artistry in the mid-70s, through his recordings with Norman Connors, Sadao Watanabe, and, later, with David Matthews and Gil Evans; mostly on Evans' live dates with his Monday Night Orchestra, but also on a wonderful session by the supreme arranger with Helen Merrill for EmArcy alongside my friends Joe Beck, Jay Berliner, and Lew Soloff. On that album, "Collaboration," the bassist was Buster Williams, one of the main collaborators on Ohno's brilliant new CD, "ReNew."

After facing many health issues, the trumpeter is back on the block with a fascinating album. Although Ohno is his own man, Miles Davis lives on the project as a huge influence, specially when the man with the horn applies electronic devices like the wah-wah pedal.

And Ohno's connection with Williams and guitarist Paul Bollenback provide moments of great intensity such as the joyful opener "Easy Does It," with Ohno's trumpet floating over infectious hip-hop grooves.

Likewise, the trumpet/piano interaction with Cliff Carter (who was David Matthew's keyboardist in the late 70s) on the haunting ballad "Alone, Not Alone" -- written after the 2011 tsunami in Japan -- is one of the album highlights, a quiet ode of encouragement to the those affected by the terrible natural disaster. Both reach the peak of expressiveness, with Carter adding extra colours through the use of synthesized flute and strings.

"Song For Sensei," written by Buster Williams, is dedicated to the bassist's mentor, Daisaku Ikeda ("Sensei" means "teacher" in Japanese.) With their 40-year friendship, Ohno and Williams unite stretching the melody, but also give space to a sharp guitar solo by Bollenback.

"Tairyo Bushi," a folk song from Northern Japan, is recreated with refreshing pulsing excitement provided by Ray Spiegel's tablas and contemporary Brazilian master Cyro Baptista's percussion arsenal in a rhythmic ballet. George Yamazawa is featured doing a strong spoken word testament (a la Mark Murphy) on "Musashi" -- a tribute to the self-taught historic-heroic samurai with touches of Rhodes, tablas, triangle & bells -- and rapping on "Lea's Run," on which Ohno alternates open and muted trumpet.

On another road, "First Step" features Bollenback, Carter and Ohno soloing ferociously on a fusion-bop vein. Composed by the trumpeter after the birth of his children, reflects on the old saying that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step" and speaks to optimism played with a fearless energy.

The powerful title track "ReNew," a poetic free melody, evokes Wayne Shorter's etheral ballads. A "ReNew Reprise" closes the disc in an gentle way, with a quasi-bolero groove played by Ray Spiegel's tablas, with Sasha Ono on cello and Cliff Carter on keyboards. A flawless album, already one of the best releases of this year.

DVD of the Month - "Eberhard Weber: The Jubilee Concert"

DVD of the Month
Eberhard Weber: "The Jubilee Concert" (SWR Jazzhaus/Naxos) 2016

Rating:
***** (musical performance)
**** (sonic quality & video editing)

Arranged by Michael Gibbs, Ralf Schmid, Rainer Tempel and Libor Sima
Conducted by Michael Gibbs and Helge Sunde
Featuring: Pat Metheny (guitar), Gary Burton (vibes), Jan Garbarek (soprano sax), Scott Coley (bass), Danny Gottlieb (drums), Paul McCandless (English horn & soprano sax), Klaus Graf (alto sax), Ernst Hutter (euphonium), and the SWR Big Band

After the ECM release, in September 2015, of the CD "Hommage A Eberhard Weber," voted one of the best albums of the year in the 37th Annual Jazz Station Awards, now SWR gives us the extra pleasure to savour the concert (filmed live @ Theaterhaus Stuttgart in January, 2015) on DVD format.

This wondrous event celebrated Weber's 75th birthday, and the famous bassist (forced to retire due to health issues) showcased his huge talent as a composer. There are 8 tracks on the 90-minute long DVD, while the CD had "only" 6 marvelous tunes. From the opener "Résumé" (also the title of a great book released this past January by Sagas Edition) to the final "Notes After An Evening," a document of an historical night.
Im Januar 2015 feierten Musiker und Musikfreunde an zwei aufeinanderfolgenden Abenden im Theaterhaus Stuttgart den 75. Geburtstag Eberhard Webers. Im Mittelpunkt der beiden Konzerte stand eine 35-minütige Suite, eigens zu diesem Anlass komponiert von Pat Metheny, mit dem Weber in den 1970er Jahren auf Tournee und im Studio zusammengespielt hatte. Metheny hatte die Komposition um Aufnahmen von Originalsoli Webers herum arrangiert und spielte sie in Stuttgart zusammen mit der SWR Bigband, dirigiert von Helge Sunde, Gary Burton, dem Bassisten Scott Colley und Danny Gottlieb am Schlagzeug. Webers langjährige Weggefährten Jan Garbarek, Paul McCandless, Manfred Schoof und der Arrangeur Michael Gibbs traten zudem mit Stücken aus dem umfangreichen Oeuvre des Bassisten vor das Publikum, das mit wiederholten Standing Ovations dankte.