Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Monday, June 18, 2018
2018 release. Tenor saxophonist JD Allen's output on Savant Records has been steady since his 2012 album The Matador and the Bull, and this beautiful and intensely interesting ballads album is an assured milestone in his career to date. There are patented JD-isms: that almost operatic-like swoon and smear of tone; deconstructed themes full of non-linearity and melodic asides arriving unforeseen. As in all of Allen's recordings, there is also a spare Chopin-like quality, with a shadowy, crepuscular character to much of the material. An album made up entirely of ballads requires a first-rate harmonic foundation and guitarist Liberty Ellman once again proves himself to be the most sensitive of accompanists, alternating between full harmonic richness and skittering, almost pointillistic lines which merely hint at the harmonies. The depth of Allen's timbre and phrasing is such that the absence of a keyboard is not really felt, and his quartet proves again that it is one of the most highly accomplished small groups in contemporary jazz.
USA: Verve Jazz Ensemble Showcases Jubilant Group Sound on 5th Album, "Connect the Dots," Due July 20
Verve Jazz Ensemble Showcases
Jubilant Group Sound on Its 5th Album,
"Connect the Dots,"
Set for Release July 20 by LightGroove Media
Album Features Originals &
"Underserved" Jazz Compositions,
With Saxophonist/Flutist Alexa Tarantino &
Trombonist Willie Applewhite
Joining Quintet Led by Drummer Josh Feldstein
CD Release Show Set for
June 12, 2018
Always highly polished, the Verve Jazz Ensemble's timeless straight-ahead jazz reaches for exuberance as well on LightGroove Media's release Connect the Dots. The fifth album by the VJE, a modular New York-based ensemble led by drummer Josh Feldstein, features upbeat performances of band originals, standards, and lesser-known works by classic jazz composers -- each characterized by the musicians' palpable delight in playing together.
Connect the Dots also finds the VJE expanded to seven pieces, with alto saxophonist/flutist Alexa Tarantino and trombonist Willie Applewhite making their VJE debuts alongside the existing quintet of trumpeter/flugelhornist Tatum Greenblatt, tenor saxophonist Jon Blanck, pianist Steve Einerson, bassist Elias Bailey, and Feldstein.
The exuberance is amplified by the tunes themselves: catchy melodies, imbued with deceptively rich harmonies and finger-snapping grooves. This, according to Feldstein, is part of the band's reason for being. "Beyond the joy of playing the music, one of our goals is to make the music more widely accessible," he says. "Brighter and with melodic and rhythmic structures people can immediately connect to, whether the listener is new to jazz or an aficionado."
To that end, Connect the Dots includes new arrangements of some of jazz's most beloved standards -- Lee Morgan's "Ceora," Cole Porter's "Love for Sale," Harold Arlen's "My Shining Hour" -- alongside intoxicating originals like Feldstein and Greenblatt's lush bebop title track and Blanck's subtly funky "Autumn Left."
However, the album also features "underserved" tunes by jazz royalty of the likes of Benny Golson ("Little Karin"), Stan Kenton ("Intermission Riff"), and Gerry Mulligan ("Disk Jockey Jump"). Here too, says Feldstein, is one of VJE's missions: "To find music that is fresh, with melodies we love, and blow the dust off it. There's so much amazing music that people haven't heard."
L. to r.: Alexa Tarantino, Tatum Greenblatt, Steve Einerson, Elias Bailey,
Josh Feldstein, Willie Applewhite, Jon Blanck.
The full septet appears on four of the album's 13 tracks. The remainder feature three different quintet configurations, as well as trio settings for Einerson, Bailey, and Feldstein. The drummer, along with Greenblatt and Blanck, contributed the arrangements for these configurations as well as providing the original tunes.
The Verve Jazz Ensemble is the brainchild of Josh Feldstein, born and raised in New York City. He began studying drums at 11; a year later, his drum teacher told him that Josh's drumming style reminded him of Gene Krupa. Josh immediately immersed himself in the recordings of the legendary "Sing, Sing, Sing" soloist. That was it: At a time when most of his friends were listening to pop artists like Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson, Josh "withdrew into jazz."
Through junior high and his years in Queens at Bayside High School, Josh continued his drumming. He attended Queens College where he got his undergraduate degree in English. Later, while living with his wife in DC, and after they moved to Connecticut, Josh continued sitting in at local clubs.
A turning point came in 2005 when Josh saw a recent West Conn jazz grad named Jon Blanckperform. Impressed with Jon's playing and musicianship, he introduced himself to the young saxophonist, and soon struck up a great friendship and musical connection. Together with bassist Chris DeAngelis, they formed a trio that became the core of the Verve Jazz Ensemble-- a name Josh chose to express his love of the music and the recording legacy put out by the storied jazz label.
The band's lineup steadily evolved from their 2013 debut, It's About Time, a quintet outing that included the VJE debuts of New York's Tatum Greenblatt on trumpet and Matt Oestreicher on piano. East End Sojourn followed in 2014, with Elias Bailey taking over from DeAngelis on bass and Oestreicher alternating with Steve Einerson. The latter became the sole pianist on 2016's Perimeter (a breakthrough for the VJE, featuring five original compositions along with their usual well-chosen tunes). Their fourth album, Swing-A-Nova (2017), a trio feature with three tracks adding Greenblatt on trumpet, reached #6 on the JazzWeek radio charts. Now, with Connect the Dots, Alexa Tarantino's alto saxophone and flute and Willie Applewhite's trombone fill out the VJE's exhilarating classic jazz sound.
Web Site: verve-jazz.com
Sunday, June 17, 2018
|Pablo Aslan Presents|
2018 Latin Music Showcase
Some of the most exciting Latin musicians in NYC present their latest CD for consideration for the current Latin Grammy awards.
Wednesday, June 20th 6pm
212 E 52nd St
(bet 2ndand 3rdAve)
COVER is $15 - 2 drink minimum
Sofia Tosello & Franco Pinna’s “Chuño” (Chuño)
Hakon Skogstad’s “Two Hands to Tango” (Avantango Records)
Roger Davidson’s “Oraçao Para Amanhã” (Soundbrush Records)
Oscar Feldman’s “Gol” (Zoho Music)
Fernando Garcia Rodas’ “Guasábara Puerto Rico” (Zoho Music)
New Caracas’”Mas Alla del Sol” (Rockaysms Music)
ABOUT EACH ARTIST
Chuño is an experimental music duo originated by two Argentinian, New York City-based musicians, percussionist Franco Pinna and singer Sofia Tosello. Chuño es a genuinely on-of-a-kind, unlike anything the listener is likely to have heard before. At it's heart is an original instrument, the arpa legüera, that Pinna created four years ago in search of new sounds for his drum set. It is a percussion string instrument that uses the bombo legüero, a traditional South American drum, as a resonating chamber, creating a sound reminiscent of both harp and drum, but with its own transcendent qualities. On the other hand Sofia Tosello brings the warmth, the storytelling and the passionate interpretation of the lyrics. Pinna and Tosello have just released an album on April 16th, 2018 called Chuño on April 16th, 2018.
OSCAR FELDMAN Known for his splendid tonalities and melodically outstanding charts, the Argentinian native demonstrates his superb skills on alto, tenor and soprano saxes, while employing a wide range of Panamerican references, from straight ahead to tango to candombe to samba to mambo. Feldman studied at Berklee College of music where he graduated cum laude in 1995 with a Major in Professional Music.
Oscar has recorded and toured internationally with notable artists such as guitar legend Al Di Meola, Grammy winner and top producer/arranger Eumir Deodato, Jeff Tain Watts, Avantango, Paquito D'Rivera's
United Nations Orchestra, Alex Acuna at prestigious venues such as the Opera Vienna House, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Town Hall in New York, Park La Villette in Paris, the Blue Note as well as many International Jazz Festivals in Europe, the Americas and Africa.
FERNANDO GARCIA RODAS GUASABARA PUERTO RICO
“Puerto Rico native García organically blends folkloric Bomba rhythms and Latin jazz in a myriad of satisfying ways. His simpático crew of youngbloods push the envelope on García’s third album as a leader and debut for ZOHO music.”
– Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times
“Fernando has put together a very focused and cohesive recording, surrounded by a talented group of young musicians. The music is rhythmically inventive and extremely smart, built on the rock solid drumming by the leader. In all a very well rounded album, which I hope you enjoy listening to as much as I did.”
– Miguel Zenón
As a performer of tango music I have always been fascinated by the unique sound of the bandoneón and how the instrument is used in solo arrangements and compositions. Performing together with bandoneón players and writing for the instrument as an arranger/composer has inspired me to adapt the technique and the interpretational aspects into my own piano playing. I wanted to see if I could incorporate the multilayered, flowing and improvisational manner of playing - constantly changing focus between the bass, chords, and melodic structures, rather than trying to do all at once as often as possible, like an orchestral reduction. This approach can be heard throughout the album and is taken to the extreme in El Marne, which is a bandoneón arrangement adapted for the piano. The melting point is the tribute composition “Tristezas de un doble S” where Piazzolla’s «Alfred Arnold» bandoneon is replaced by «Steinway and Sons».
Inspired by the rhythms that flow across Latin America, New Caracas was founded in 2012 by Luis D’Elias, PJ Duffy, Brendan Pajak, and Evan Waaramaa in 2012 and defines itself as a collective of musicians, that craft a vast soundscape of melodies and sounds drawn from the South American experience, its folklore, and its traditions. For their debut album under their former name Luis D'Elias Ensemble, the band was nominated to the Independent Music Awards, the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, and the Premios Pepsi Music in Venezuela. Currently they are working on their new album after being completely funded through IndieGogo in 2017. The release will showcase the talents of singers of all over North and South America telling stories of immigration and the Latin American Diaspora. With an eclectic backdrop of musicians from the NYC area, New Caracas imbues their music with the unique vibrance and energy of a multicultural cast of artists under one vision: to expand latin music to new frontiers and create a community based around the sounds and colors of América Latina.
A song about finding meaning to the word 'Hope', “Más Allá Del Sol”is the first single released from New Caracas' upcoming album, NOS, and features Colombian singer-songwriter, Alea. It was brought to life with the participation of Grammy winning producer Emilio Miler and Latin Grammy winning mixer Darío Peñaloza and features a 10 piece orchestra that blends classical sounds with vibrant latin rhythms, showcasing Luis D’Elias’ musical storytelling as performed by a multicultural cast of NYC based musicians.
Prayer for Tomorrow (Oraçao para Amanhã)
The album is the first by Davidson’s new trio, with stellar Brazilian musicians based in New York. The first-call rhythm section of Eduardo Belo (bass) and Adriano Santos (drums) is joined by another mainstay of the New York Brazilian jazz community of artists, harmonica and vibraphone extraordinaire Hendrik Meurkens, as featured soloist.
These recordings came about after the trio played several engagements in and around New York City. Recorded over several nights at NYCs famed Zinc Bar, a haven for Brazilian jazz, the musicians rejoice in each of Roger’s original compositions.
Roger Davidson explains:
“This album is a collection of my most recent compositions, recorded with my trio at one of my favorite venues in New York City. I am constantly inspired by the music of Brazil, and by having the chance to play with some of the best Brazilian musicians. This new crop of compositions are inspired directly by my travels in Brazil —and by my beloved Brazilian wife, Nilcelia Davidson.”
"Meeting of Minds" focuses on the integration of voices with the big band. The combination of the dynamic writing styles of Bob Mintzer and Darmon Meader, from New York Voices, produces a very dense yet very fresh sonic palette. There are subtle harmonic and rhythmic nuances in the arrangements that blend together to deliver an engaging musical journey. The repertoire draws on the Great American Songbook from the 1930s and 1940s. Each arrangement transforms a classic song into a modern-day hit revealing the lasting power of a great song. In addition to the wonderful arrangements, the album showcases over a dozen powerful improvised solos from some of the top musicians in the world. The collaboration is truly a musically rich Meeting of Minds.
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Unknown until 2004 and unheard until now, these recordings by the John Coltrane Quartet are, as Sonny Rollins says in the liner notes, like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid. Featuring the Classic Quartet – John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones – and recorded at the end of a two-week run at Birdland, the music on this album represents one of the most influential groups in music history both performing in a musical style it had perfected and reaching in new, exploratory directions that were to affect the trajectory of jazz from that point forward. The standard version (available in CD and LP formats) incorporates 7 tracks, 2 of which are two completely unheard, brand new original compositions as well as Coltrane classics like Impressions and Vilia. The deluxe version (also available in CD and LP formats) incorporates 7 alternate takes of some of the tracks from the standard – a must have for any Coltrane fan.