miércoles, 26 de julio de 2017

Grant Stewart Trio - Roll On (CELLAR LIVE RECORDINGS 2017)

A trio session of standards to match the best of the late ‘50s classics, with exquisite drumming by Phil Stewart.

The name of this excellent jazz label Cellar Live conjures up a pleasing image. It is a Saturday night, we descend the few stairs, slip a sawbuck into the can at the door or give it to the man with the tattoos, and seek a table facing the bassist. Anon the frothy refreshments appear and the three musicians take their places. One, two three… and the air is quickened by tone, feeling, idea. Hush, chattering youngsters, for these are musicians of outstanding merit. And so the glorious evening rolls on to its conclusion. And ascending the few stairs into the evening air we know the world to have been repaired by art and something like love. Preserve the image folks, for the jazz clubs are not well. Like the macaw and the whooping crane they have retreated to the verge of extinction. Even in Portland, Oregon, a town oversupplied with musicians, the last jazz club closed its doors in 2016.

Cellar Live productions is dedicated to preserving the art form and nourishing the creative impulse. It helps that they draw on the considerable talent of the still thriving New York Jazz scene. On the record under review, we have Grant Stewart, a transplanted Canadian (Scarborough, Ontario) leading a trio that includes his younger brother Phil Stewart on drums as well as Paul Sikivie on bass. We at Audiophile Audition were deeply impressed by a recent Cory Weeds recording on the same label, and it is a good sign that he is the producer of this session as well.

Of the many good things that can be said about this record, the first is that it assembles nine stellar tunes, none overly familiar. Three bebop charts by Fats Navarro, Bud Powell and Elmo Hope find the trio in an early ‘50s groove. The tenor style, however, tends towards a relaxed playing off the beat rather than the impatient straining forward which is characteristic of the style and gives bebop its neurotic zaniness. The exemplar here, as cited in the notes, is the Sonny Rollins at his most relaxed on one of his Riverside trio outings. Although, Stewart’s tone is not as hoarse as his predecessor.

The drumming is outstanding throughout, but on Fats Flats the traded fours attain a magnificent hilarity of inspiration. Un Poco Loco balances a straight tenor statement of them with more melodic drumming, the brothers playing together with accord and humor, while the bass holds things together. It is an extravagant seven minutes of fun and inspires me to nominate this track for an award as Best Drumming Performance of 2017.

On the first of three ballads, Here I’ll Stay, the tenor shows great confidence in the melodic line, playing almost without embellishment. His improvisational choruses seem to plumb the meaning of the lyric, rather than to stir up harmonic agitation. On Just As Though You Were Here, he leaves ample space for the rhythm mates who share the leader’s fine sense for both timbre and melody. On Thinking of You, the tenor directs his thinking apparatus toward the construction of some fine thematic choruses with nary an excessive note. Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans channels more mid ‘50s Sonny. Slow but not lethargic, the ballad drifts on currents of longing but the sound of the tenor is so assuring that we don’t feel forsaken by time or loved ones. The title track, Roll On, is just one more display of group rapport on a fine chart. After You’ve Gone is taken at a bright clip; the bass exerts both thews and sinews on a brisk trot, while the saxophone flies ahead on a torrent of crisply articulated 16th notes, reminiscent of the great Sonny Stitt.

This trio has made a deeply satisfying recording, relying on the elements of form and a communication which are products of a specific ‘50s musical aesthetic yet are flexible enough to allow for a spontaneous and fresh treatment like this. You would be stupendously lucky to see a trio like this at your local cellar jazz club.  Kudos to the musicians and the producers for a stand-out release.

Thinking of You
Here I’ll Stay
After You’ve Gone
Just as Though You Were Here
Un Poco Loco
End of a Love Affair
Fats Flats
Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans
Roll On

Paul Sikivie: bass
Phil Stewart: drums

Oliver Nelson tribute from John Vanore: John Vanore - Stolen Moments (August 18, 2017)

Philadelphia Composer/Trumpeter John Vanore Pays Tribute to Legendary Composer/Arranger Oliver Nelson with All-Star Large Ensemble Album

Stolen Moments, out August 18, 2017, brings Vanore's unique voice to songs written or arranged by the prolific and influential Nelson

"The intriguing trumpeter pushes expressive possibilities in the real of big band culture, armed with a progressive attitude, yet also with clear roots in tradition and timeless musical values."
- Josef Woodard, DownBeat

"Ambitious writing and arranging for the 12-piece ensemble. Hauntingly beautiful well crafted stirring orchestration edgy swinging." - Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes

Though he was only 43 years old when he passed away suddenly in 1975, Oliver Nelson left behind a body of work that is staggering in its breadth and depth. More than 40 years later, his influence as a composer and arranger is still felt, though Nelson's name isn't mentioned as often as his innovations might merit. Bandleader/composer John Vanore is determined to change that with Stolen Moments: Celebrating Oliver Nelson, the first large ensemble recording of Nelson's music in decades.

Named for Nelson's best known composition, Stolen Moments (due out August 18, 2017 via Acoustical Concepts) revisits nine pieces that were either composed or arranged by Nelson over the course of his prolific career. Not even the most iconic jazz artists can boast such a wide-ranging resume: Nelson is revered for his work with jazz greats like Thelonious Monk, Count Basie, Clary Terry, and Jimmy Smith; his own classic albums, The Blues and the Abstract Truth (1961) and Afro/American Sketches (1962); as well as soundtrack work for TV (The Six Million Dollar Man, Columbo) and movies (Alfie, Last Tango in Paris). "Oliver Nelson must be revered as one of the major jazz composers," Vanore insists. ""My charge was to reimagine and arrange for a unique ensemble in the spirit of Oliver, and invigorate the repertoire."

For Vanore, this mission - and the resulting album - is deeply personal. Nelson played a pivotal role in determining the bandleader's path in life. Though he'd played the trumpet since the second grade, Vanore was convinced that working-class guys from Delaware County, PA, couldn't become successful musicians. "That was like saying you want to be a Hollywood actor," Vanore laughs. But then he encountered Nelson's music first-hand one summer via the National Stage Band Camp at Indiana University in Bloomington, with Nelson himself conducting the band.

"I'd never heard anything like that," Vanore recalls, obviously still dazzled almost 50 years later. "It was just unbelievable. It was that kind of moment where you're just taken by everything about it. His writing was never bombastic big band writing; there was so much more content, and that touched all my buttons as an analytical thinker. That was the turning point for me."

As of that moment, Vanore was no longer an engineering student with a future in the sciences; he was a musician destined to arrange thoughtful, inventive large ensemble music. When he founded his own band in the early '80s, he named it Abstract Truth after Nelson's best-loved album. Vanore never strove to sound like his idol, though, which would have run counter to the spirit of Nelson's ground-breaking and constantly evolving life's work. "His main influence was have your own identity and be original," Vanore says.

Through the decades Vanore has rigorously adhered to that message, following his own path in music and performing his own compositions almost exclusively. His Philadelphia-based band Abstract Truth has a unique make-up, with French horn and just two saxophones in place of the usual woodwind arsenal, a line-up replicated with the all-star ensemble he's assembled for Stolen Moments (adding a second French horn): saxophonists Steve Wilson and Bob Malach; trumpet players Tony Kadleck, Augie Haas, Jon Owens and Dave Ballou; Adam Unsworth and George Barnett on French horns; trombonists Ryan Keberle and Dave Taylor; and the rhythm section of pianist Jim Ridl, bassist Mike Richmond, drummer Danny Gottlieb, guitarist Greg Kettinger, and percussionist Beth Gottlieb. Vanore left the podium to take a heartfelt trumpet solo on the title track. This solo is, in many ways, the culmination of Vanore's musical journey, a thanks to the man who inspired it all.

Though the album is dedicated to Nelson, it also maintains that insistence on originality and identity.  Necessary ingredients were instilled in Vanore through study with the great Philadelphia teacher Dennis Sandole, whose most noted student was John Coltrane. Instead of replicating Nelson's charts, Vanore reorchestrated the music in his own voice, taking an approach similar to the one that Gil Evans famously applied to Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain and Porgy and Bess. "I would never take Oliver Nelson's arrangements and record them," Vanore says. "This isn't a ghost band. I kept the identity and essence of Oliver's music but made them my own. I'm trying to tell his story with my words."

The repertoire Vanore chose ranges from throughout Nelson's career. "Repertoire was key," he explains. "I wanted to create an impactful collection of material that would demonstrate Oliver's various points of view." The album opens with the cool swing and powerful explosiveness of "Self-Help is Needed" from Nelson's 1969 album Black, Brown and Beautiful, which offered Vanore, a life-changing introduction to Nelson's compositional abilities. The same album is also the source for "I Hope in Time a Change Will Come," on which Steve Wilson's performance evokes a timeless cultural cry. The much-recorded '60s pop standard "A Taste of Honey" is followed by the immortal title track; the rare treasure "El Gato" was written in homage to Argentinean saxophonist Gato Barbieri. Taken by Vanore's band at a poignantly eloquent slow pace, W.C. Handy's classic "St. Louis Blues" was an obvious choice for St. Louis native Nelson, while the title cut from Blues and the Abstract Truth is a prime example of Nelson's ahead-of-its-time modernism. Vanore masses the horns to lead into the timeless folk song "Greensleeves," which Nelson recorded on 1968's The Sound of Feeling. Finally, "Reuben's Rondo" - the song that changed Vanore's life those many years ago - closes out the album with jaunty, muscular swing.

For Vanore, the title Stolen Moments has a dual meaning. On the surface, of course, it tips its hat to the jaw-droppingly beautiful, achingly expressive tune that will forever be Oliver Nelson's most lasting legacy. But it also carries the bittersweet acknowledgement of the legendary composer's life, cut far too short.

"This year would have been his 85th birthday," Vanore says. "A lot of great jazz artists are still active at 85. When you consider the book he wrote, you have to wonder what his output could have been if he had lived."

martes, 25 de julio de 2017

Andy Adamson Quintet - First Light - Immediate Release

Adamson’s quintet features his original compositions; everything they perform is drawn from Adamson’s vast catalogue of original work that teems with exiting polyrhythms and richly contrasted harmonies.

Featuring: Andy Adamson: keyboards Dan Bennett: saxophone Brennan Andes: bass Jonathon Taylor: drums Ross Huff: trumpet


The saxophone solo soars and cries with abandon, and it is as if the other instruments are determined to intensify in their own ways to meet its fervor.
-Dodie Gould, Lemonwire

The band has a virile and muscular sound, while the leader’s full fisted chords charging ahead with Taylor riding on his back on pieces like the snappy “Twilight in the Making” and the loping “First Light.” Bennett’s searing alto is soulful on the latter, while on tenor he howls like late period Coltrane on the ferocious “High Street Roundabout.” Andes’ work on electric bass gives reflections of Jaco Pastorius as he gets funky with Adamson’s keyboard on the bicep flexing “Dived We Stand.” Huff’s trumpet is bright and clear on the Blue Note-inspired “Sunny Side Up” while the rhythm team shows its more mellow side as the leader floats mellow chords on “Once Through the Changes.” Fans of post modern hard
bop will have a field day with this easy pleaser.
-George Harris, Jazzweekly

Adamson likes to get wild and wooly taking the whole thing to places Brian Auger would think were out of bounds in his jazz/rock excursions. Often taking the church basement to the penthouse, Adamson and his gang sound like the kind of crew that soul easily bring the house down in a live setting. 
This stuff gets your blood flowing.
-Chris Spector, Midwest Record

Andy Adamson is a self-taught Ann Arbor native composer and musician. Starting his original band journey in sixth grade, Andy has composed music for his all original bands and played keyboards for over 50 years. Influenced by the likes of: John Coltrane, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Chick Corea, Andy has composed a vast catalogue of original modern jazz compositions. Over the years Andy has played many styles of music: jazz standards in solo and trio setting, cuban folk music with Melodioso, rockabily swing with Dick Siegel’s Ministers of Melody, funk with Norma Jean Bell and the All Stars, disco and rock with multiple Detroit based club bands, and rhythm and blues with the Ann Arbor band F.U.B.A.R. Andy’s latest release, First Light, features a collection of his traditional and fusion jazz compositions.

Jonathan Taylor is a Detroit-based drummer, improviser, composer, and educator. A tireless collaborator, he co-leads a number of original projects, including the avant-rock quartet saajtak, the multi-media sound and movement ensemble Legs, the electro-acoustic duo Says Things, and his own trio of original music featuring pianist Michael Malis and master bassist Jaribu Shahid. He has performed alongside such luminaries of creative music as: Wadada Leo Smith, Dave Liebman, Karl Berger, and Michael Formanek, and is a founding member of Polyfold, a musical arts collective. Jon earned a BFA in Jazz and Contemplative Studies from the University of Michigan, where he studied improvisation with Geri Allen and Ed Sarath, composition with Andrew Bishop and Evan Chambers, and performance with Sean Dobbins, Ellen Rowe, and Michael Gould. 

Dan Bennett is a saxophonist, and composer. Dan received BFA in saxophone performance/jazz studies from the University of Michigan (2004). Current associations include NOMO (ubiquity records), Colin Stetson’s Sorrow: A reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony, the Planet D Nonet’s Sun Ra and Township jazz projects, and many permutations of his own trio/quartet/quintet that plays regularly in Ann Arbor Mi. 

Brennan Andes has been a part of the Ann Arbor music community for 18 years. He has pursued music locally, nationally, and internationally. Known for his innovative work on stage and in the studio he has performed with Smokestack, Dick Siegel, George Bedard, Rootstand, Chris Good, Frontier Ruckus, Luke Windslow-King, Seth and May, Chris Bathgate, etc. He has an eight year old daughter and plans to continue his life as an active father and a full time musician 

Ross Huff is a composer, arranger, producer, and a performer on the trumpet and flugelhorn. He is a student of piano, guitar, french horn, trombone, percussion & voice. A 2004 BFA graduate with Honors from the University of Michigan School of Music Jazz and Contemplative Studies, Ross has recording credits with the Macpodz, the Tone Farmers, Rhyta Musik, May Erlewine, Friends with the Weather, Darrin James Band, John Latini, Chris Bathgate, Seth Bernard, the Go Rounds, Chris Good, Dave Boutette, Charlene Kaye, the Appleseed Collective, Lindsay Lou & Joshua Rilko and a solo EP (2009) the Muse. Ross has played all over the world the furthest - Haparanda Sweden/Tornio Finland, International Women’s Theater Festival, June 2005, with Josefina Baez at the Ay Ombe Theater (15km from Arctic Circle)! He enjoys baseball, kites, lawn sports, writing, reading & cooking, sitting at sturdy tables eating and drinking, and good talk. Ross is also an occasional freelance journalist & editor.

Adamson’s quintet features his original compositions; everything they perform is drawn from Adamson’s vast catalogue of original work that teems with exiting polyrhythms and richly contrasted harmonies. Listeners will find driving freewheeling precision in his creative pen. Adamson’s current band, featured on his latest album, First Light, includes: Brennan Andes (acoustic and electric bass), known for his innovative bass work with the Macpodz, the Ragbirds, and Vincent York. Drummer Jonathan Taylor, who has studied with pianist Geri Allen and performed with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, is guided by what he calls a “cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary approach to improvisation.”

Ross Huff (trumpet), known for his hot trumpet work with the Macpodz and the Tone Farmers, joined the band near the end of the recording session and contributed a beautiful solo on Sunny Side Up. In addition to Adamson’s fleet keyboard work, First Light provides a setting for the hard hitting, melodically inventive tenor saxophone playing of Dan Bennett, whose powerful tone and astonishing command of his instrument mesmerizes throughout. This is a tight quintet that has developed an intimate rapport. Adamson’s compositions glow with a joy earned though decades of selfmotivation and hard work. He’s clearly in his element, collaborating with creative young musicians in music that is constantly being reinvented.

1. First Light 5:41 
2. Corner Store 6:02 
3. Twilight in the Making 5:25 
4. Velvet Sunset 5:36 
5. Divided We Stand 4:54 
6. Once Through the Changes 3:24 
7. High Street Roundabout 6:21 
8. Transparent Dream 4:12 
9. Sunny Side Up 6:28

Bryant / Fabian / Marsalis "Do For You?" CD Release Show Monday, August 7th Trumpets (JAZZ PROMO SERVICES)

"Do For You?"
CD Release Show
Monday, August 7th
Sets 7:30pm and 9:30pm
@ Trumpets
6 Depot Square
Montclair, NJ 07042
 (973) 744-2600

Title: Do for You?
Label: CAP Records
ArtistWebsite: www.christianfabian.com
Release Date: JULY 4 2017
UPC Code: 6-30183-10572-0

Track Listings w/composer credit and track time 
1. Five Minute Blues (Fabian) 4:39
2. Never Again (Marsalis) 5:14
3. Of A Certain Age (Bryant) 6:21
4. The Cat Hatter (Bryant) 6:07
5. Do For You? (Fabian) 5:49
6. If You Never Come To Me (Jobim) 6:25
7. Resolvence of the Old (Fabian) 6:30
8. Weather Forecast (Bryant, Fabian, Marsalis) 5:46
9. Moxie Inside (Bryant) 6:21
10. Hey It’s Me You’re Talking To (Victor Lewis) 4:30

Lance Bryant: tenor sax and vocals
Christian Fabian: bass
Jason Marsalis: drums
Gates Thomas: keys on Track #3 & #6

Lance Bryant and Christian Fabian met in the Lionel Hampton Big Band, and were brought up like Jason Marsalis in old school jazz roots. And they religiously practice the first commandment of the old school: “Thou shalt give the audience a great show!” do for you? is proof that jazz roots grow into exciting new tunes, thrive in new times, and produce new jazz masters.

The album showcases new compositions by Bryant and Fabian, with a tune by Marsalis, and the Trio’s collective mastery and virtuosity is consistently front and center. These artists have not only mastered every corner of the tradition—they can do anything. The virtuostic Bryant on saxophone, a groovy solo by Fabian mixing funk and hip-hop flavor, expert punctuation by Marsalis on drums, lightning speed as quick and exciting as it is clean—they can do anything. Of A Certain Age by Bryant, with its nostalgic ballad feel and an artful performance by the Trio, could easily pass for a jazz standard.

The Band never loses its tightness...through impressive solo fills from Marsalis, Fabian’s gloriously clear pizzicato, pitch bends and grooves...Marsalis’ skillful Brazilian rhythms and timbres...unrelenting and funky drum and bass grooves, blazing saxophone melodies...the Band keeps surprising and amazing, and leaves us wowed.

From the liner notes by — Kabir Sehgal & Latin Grammy Award® winner New York City, June 2017

Media Contact
Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services
Ph: 845-986-1677 / jim@jazzpromoservices.com
"Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

Odradek Records eNews

Award-winning pianist Muriel Chemin offers a fascinating insight into her deep love and understanding of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.

Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations represent one of the greatest works for solo piano ever to be written. Throughout this monumental work, Beethoven dazzles us with his ability to make Diabelli’s theme become anything he wants it to be. Diabelli’s waltz has often been dismissed as rather primitive, even by Beethoven himself. The theme is, therefore, a wonderful example of the irrelevance of where a great composer’s musical material comes from, and the corresponding importance of how the composer manipulates and develops that material. Just as composers of the Renaissance could build profound Mass settings from trivial secular tunes, so Beethoven develops a vast musical edifice from an apparently unlikely source. The sheer variety of musical directions which he finds possible in a set of variations is breathtaking. At times he seems to confront, even mock, the rustic nature of Diabelli’s theme, but in the next breath transforms it into something dignified and sublime.

For award-winning pianist Muriel Chemin, these variations are really “transformations” and, alongside Beethoven’s sonatas, have become an integral part of her repertoire. She is considered one of the most convincing and original interpreters of Beethoven and Mozart, described by Hervé Pennven as: “Simply one of the best interpreters of Beethoven in the world.” 

“A superb musical personality [...]” Classica

“[...] the combination of rigour, richness and analytical awareness are astonishing”. Le Monde de la Musique

“Her clarity, precision, dynamism and artistic authoritativeness are formidable”. Repertoire

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Tom Ossana – The Thin Edge – July 26, 2017 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m.

http://www.kzmu.org/listen.m3u ~ Use this link to access the show online.

Simon Eskildsen Trio - Introducing The Simon Eskildsen Trio (2017)

1. Goru 6:37
2. Fredet Land 6:20
3. Jeep Dirts 7:23
4. Grannystyle 3:34
5. Helle 6:43
6. Blanche 3:53
7. Sterling No. 1 7:04