Monday, October 31, 2011

TAMARA OBROVAC - MADIROSA (Aquarius Records 2011)

transhistria ensemble / époque string quartet  "MADIROSA"
 jazz, ethnic, classical.. unique musical journey…
Buy MADIROSA at Aquarius Music Shops,
listen online exclusively

an invented word, for the author it means a Mediterranean rose,
representing her personal experience of the Mediterranean as a cultural and musical universe
“Musical Document from Eternity of Universe”

The songs on this album are complex, but in Tamara’s interpretation they seem a piece of cake – they sound flippant, dancing, as if that very combination of words and music was recorded in the eternity of the universe, just waiting for someone to translate it into the language of us mere mortals.
Although the music on Tamara’s seventh album will thrill you right from the very first hearing, its true value, like the value of the most valuable achievements of the world art, will be disclosed only when you hear it again and again, and you will simply keep listening to it time after time because every new listening will reveal some new filigree details, new sounds, new discreet interactions, new emotions, new refinement, new charm...
In the interpretations included in this album, Tamara artlessly and logically unites a serious approach and joke, tradition and modernity, classical music and ethno, formal demands and freedom, melody and improvisation, regional and middle-European.
Her music is unique, but also universal, close to a man who is ploughing the red Istrian soil, but also to every human being who feels the beauty of the fruits yielded by the soil of any colour.

Davor Hrvoj

 transhistria ensemble
Tamara Obrovac , voice ,composer
Uroš Rakovec, guitar, mandolin
Žiga Golob, double bass
Fausto Beccalossi,   accordion
Krunoslav Levačić, drums

époque quartet
David Pokorny,  violin
Vladimír Klánský, violin
Víd Petrášek, violončelo
Vladimír Kroupa, viola

ARGENTINA: Buenos Aires Jazz.11 Festival , Nov 1-6, 2011

Lineup: Charles Tolliver, Kenny Werner, Arild Andersen, Nguyên Lê, Marilyn Mazur, Tommy Smith, Paolo Fresu, Baptiste Trotignon , Masa Kamaguchi,

Pianist and composer Kenny Werner is one of the top world jazz artists featured in the international lineup of the festival. He's leading a trio with the German double bass player Johannes Weidenmueller and American drummer Ari Hoenig, they will perform on Tuesday, November 1 at 8.30 p.m. at the Teatro Coliseo; and the next evening, On Wednesday 2, he will give a solo piano performance at 7 p.m. at Teatro Regio. Tickets for both shows are on sale at,

Mats Eilertsen - Skydive (Hubro 2011)

SkyDive is the sixth album bass player, composer and bandleader Mats Eilertsen is releasing under his own name. His quartet has grown into a quintet since the release of the highly praised 2009 album Radio Yonder (HUBROCD2501) .
The members of the original quartet are still present:
saxophonist Tore Brunborg, who also plays together with Eilertsen in Tord Gustavsen’s current band, the exciting guitarist Thomas T. Dahl and the creative Finnish drummer Olavi Louhivuori, known from the Ilmiliekki Quartet and Tomasz Stanko’s band. The new team member is the extraordinarily sophisticated Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila. Like Louhivuori, Tuomarila plays in Tomasz Stanko’s band.
Mats has found the perfect quintet to play his melodious, intricate and organic music. Intense beauty and fluid virtuosity. In this band the members are all equals and superlative players. The album was recorded at legendary Rainbow Studio by Jan Erik Kongshaug and was produced by Eilertsen himself. All the material is composed by Eilertsen. Highly recommended!


Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen's bassist Mats Eilertsen reconvenes the fine band that recorded last year's atmospheric Radio Yonder, but with the addition of Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila, a sideman with Tomasz Stanko, the Polish Miles Davis. Like Radio Yonder, this is a seductive collection of contemporary pieces – maybe delivered with more muscle than formerly, but without sacrificing the group's power to hold attention by the most obliquely lyrical means.
The Guardian, John Fordham

"This is a group where each player subordinates himself to the overall group concept; no-one has a "starring" role, despite this being a minor galaxy of young stars, but the ear is drawn to the finesse of Brunborg´s floating saxophone lines and more especially Tuomarila´s effortless poise and brilliant, sparkling invention. Here is contemporary European jazz of the highest quality; understated and ccompelling, it is music that makes its point through eloquence and sensitivity."
Jazzwise 4/5 - Stuart Nicholson (UK)

"In turn intimate or playful, introspective or passionate, SkyDive is a particularly evocative and incisive record. At the helm of his formation, Mats Eilertsen is a discreet yet determined leader, and his quintet, itself a gathering of impressive young Scandinavian talents, is extremely tight and effective. With this to convey his well-thought compositions, SkyDive is undoubtedly proving his strongest work to date."
TheMilkFactory 4.4/5


USA: "Misfits" by Jazz Pianist/Composer Enoch Smith Jr. Due Nov. 8‏

Pianist/Composer Enoch Smith Jr.Releases "Misfits,"His 2nd CD as a Leader, November 8

Follow-Up to His 2010 Debut "Church Boy" Features His Working Band of Bassist Noah Jackson,
Drummer Sangmin Lee, & Vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles
October 31, 2011

Enoch Smith Jr. MisfitsPianist/composer Enoch Smith Jr. has taken his own unconventional path to a rising career in music, the latest chapter of which is the November 8 release of his CD Misfits. The new disc, on Smith's label Music4MyPeople Entertainment, is an engaging follow-up to his 2010 debut Church Boy.

Misfits boasts eight originals by the Rochester, NY native, including "Wise Man," inspired by Ellis Marsalis; the instrumental "She Moves Me," written for his wife Gabriella; and "I Want You," composed for the 2007 independent film of the same title.

The opening "A Misfits Theme" -- which contains the lyric "Misfit, misfit, misfit/You will never fit in/Nonconformist creature of peculiar inclination" -- draws on the feeling Smith had when he first attended Berklee College of Music. A self-taught musician with extensive experience as a church pianist, Smith auditioned for admission to the school at the suggestion of his high school choir director and was accepted on the spot. At the time, however, he clearly needed to upgrade his formal musical skills. His years at Berklee were "amazing and intimidating and exciting," says Smith, who possesses a rich touch and profound sense of melody and groove all his own. "I definitely saw that I didn't fit into the mold."

Throughout the album, Smith receives agile support from his rhythm team of bassist Noah Jackson, a former Detroiter whom he first met, and played with, at the Greenwich Village jazz club Smalls; and drummer Sangmin Lee, a Seoul, South Korea-born Berklee colleague who, when not playing jazz in the U.S., tours with Korean pop superstar Rain. The ringing alto tones of Sarah Elizabeth Charles are featured on six tracks. Saunders Sermons (formerly with Maxwell and currently with the Susan Tedeschi-Derek Trucks Band) sings on two selections, Mavis Poole on one ("I Won't Complain," Smith's arrangement of the classic 1990 recording by the late Rev. Paul Jones).

Misfits' other non-originals include the jaunty run through Juan Tizol's "Caravan"; and Paul McCartney's "Blackbird," penned as a salute to the Civil Rights Movement.

"I've always loved the Beatles," Smith reflects. "I always loved the way they arranged music, the vocals, and some of the unorthodox recording techniques. And 'Blackbird' is a song that goes with the Misfits theme. It talks about being free and breaking out of the box and not being chained with the structure you're presented with."

Enoch Smith Jr., 33, is a true "church boy" who was raised in Rochester in the Church of God by Faith, a Pentecostal denomination, where he began singing at age 3 in the children's choir. He later played drums for services, then got a chance to sub for the regular pianist, making his way through trial and error. "Growing up and playing mostly in church, you get a whole different side of what music is all about," he says. "For me, it was always more of a spiritual connection than a connection of the head."

 Smith continues playing piano in two churches, serving as music director for the Calvary Baptist Church in Paterson, New Jersey, and United Palace Cathedral, in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, a large church founded by the late "Reverend Ike."

In addition to his musical pursuits, Smith works as an aide to New Jersey Assemblywoman Elease Evans, for whom he writes, reviews, and researches legislation and meets with her Paterson-area constituents. Law was his original career choice, and he'd done several internships at Rochester law firms while still in high school. Then came that life-altering Berklee audition.

Although Oscar Peterson is his favorite pianist, he has a special fondness for Bobby Timmons, whose soulful music "encouraged me that you can go down this road and be successful with the skills you have," says Smith. "Of course, you'll grow, but you've already got what you need. Just own it."


Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter
Strings session for "I Want You," from Misfits: View our videos on YouTube

Media Contact:
Terri Hinte
Follow us on Twitter

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tania Maria - Tempo (Naive 2011)

Tania Maria  (piano, vocals)
Eddie Gomez  (bass)
Estate  Sentado a beira do caminho
A chuva caiu Yeah Man
Senso unico   Dear Dee Vee
Bronzes e cristais  Tempo 

Giovanni Mirabassi - Adelante ( Discograph 2011)

Engagé ! A tous les niveaux ! Dans la mélodie, l’improvisation, les sens et les idées ! Giovanni Mirabassi offre un piano intègre (jamais intégriste) et d’un raffinement ultime. Et lorsqu’il revisite, comme ici, des chansons et des mélodies révolutionnaires et/ou révoltées, il touche au sublime. De L’Internationale à Léo Ferré, en passant par Violeta Parra et Piazzolla, le pianiste transalpin installé à Paris depuis près de vingt ans rappelle que la musique n’est pas qu’un engagement esthétique…

Keith Jarrett - Rio (ECM 2011)

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

“Rio” is a masterpiece, a jazz recording of such creativity that it is impossible to absorb the enormity of its achievement in one, two or even three auditions.
Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise

“What (the pieces) all have in common, apart from their spontaneity and consistency of invention, is the sense of cohesion Jarrett maintains even in his most expansive flights of imagination. With it he creates stories, portraits, moods which somehow always manage to reconcile surprise with inevitability. In Rio he seems to have been in the Zone, secure in the knowledge that, whenever he reached for something, it would be there."
Ray Comiskey, Properganda

Almost exactly forty years ago, Keith Jarrett’s association with ECM began with the recording of a solo piano album. “Facing You” (1971) was soon followed by the initiation of the solo concerts, evenings of piano improvisations, documented now on a range of influential live recordings which include “Solo Concerts (Bremen-Lausanne)”, “The Köln Concert”, “Sun Bear Concerts”, “Concerts (Bregenz-München”), “Dark Intervals”, “Paris Concert”, “Vienna Concert”, “La Scala”, “Radiance”, “The Carnegie Hall Concert” and “Testament, Paris-London”. The span of music addressed on these albums is vast, but they share a common genesis in improvisation, as well as a most remarkable artistic consistency. If it is no longer uncommon for improvisers to fill an evening’s music-making alone, Jarrett remains unrivalled in his capacity to uncover new forms in the moment: the concept of ‘spontaneous composition’ is more than an ideal here. 
Latest in the series of ongoing solo concert recordings is “Rio”. Jarrett had played in Brazil only once before, more than two decades ago, and said, before his South American concerts, that he felt he had “unfinished business” there: “I really had no idea what I meant, but this concert is it. Everything I played in Rio was improvised, and there is no way that I could have gotten to this particular musical place a second time, or in a different country: not even in a different hall or with a different audience, or on a different night.”
“Rio” documents the entire spontaneous concert at the Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro on April 11, 2011. The music that emerges, on this instance, has an intensely lyrical core, reflected in the fifteen short pieces that make up the concert. There is an intimate quality, too, which draws the listener toward it, from the first moments. Jarrett feels the concert was one of his best: “jazzy, serious, sweet, playful, warm, economical, energetic, passionate, and connected with the Brazilian culture in a unique way. The sound in the hall was excellent and so was the enthusiastic audience.”
The Rio concert was the second show in a short South American tour which also included performances in Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires. Jarrett has always rationed his solo appearances; there have been just seven so far in 2011.
Next up for the gifted pianist is a round of concerts with the long-running trio with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette, including US dates at Chicago’s symphony Hall on October 21, UCLA Royce Hall on October 26, Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, on October 29, and the Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle on November 1. The trio will release a new album, entitled “Somewhere”, in 2012.

Further Keith Jarrett releases are in preparation from ECM.

Pianist Keith Jarrett is best known for his solo work, but he brings the same sense of serendipity and surprise to his trio work. Jarrett appears with Gary Peacock (bass) and Jack DeJohnette (drums) at Seattle's Benaroya Hall Tuesday, Nov. 1.
By Paul de Barros Seattle Times jazz critic
Pianist Keith Jarrett was so buzzed about his excellent new solo album, "Rio," — released last week by ECM — that it was difficult in a phone interview a couple of weeks ago to get him to focus on his Tuesday trio date at Benaroya Hall, part of Seattle's Earshot Jazz Festival.

USA: American Songbook Celebrated By Top Artists - Suzanne Vega, Ben E King, John Pizzarelli, Tom Verlaine, Matt White - To Fight Cancer New release forges fresh sounds as it explores the past 200 years of American music. 'Pioneers For A Cure - American Songs To Fight Cancer' Now on iTunes.

New York, NY (PRWEB) October 25, 2011
From guitarist GE Smith's opening chords of 'Shenandoah,' to the zeitgeist psycho-blues of Gary Lucas' 'Go Down Moses,' a wide range of American song classics - Jazz to Blues, Rock to Reggae - have been donated by 14 leading artists to fight cancer.
Pioneers For A Cure - Songs To Fight Cancer is pleased to announce the iTunes release of 'American Songs To Fight Cancer' during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The collection features top artists performing faithful or updated versions of classic American songs, with artist portraits by noted artist Mira Sasson.
As with all music released by Pioneers For A Cure, each individual artist selects the cancer charity of his or her choice to receive the proceeds from the sale of the music.
The songs included on 'American Songs To Fight Cancer' are:
1. 'Shenandoah' by Taylor Barton & G.E. Smith
2. 'Now Let Me Fly' by Ben E. King
3. 'The Streets of Laredo' by Suzanne Vega
4. 'Tennessee Stud' by Matt White
5. 'After You've Gone' by Lilias White
4. 'Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho' by Tom Verlaine
6. 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' by Bill Evans
7. 'When You & I Were Young' by Jane Williams
8. 'Wade in the Water' by Chris Potter
9. 'Left My Gal In The Mountains' by Tom Chapin
10. 'Ballin' The Jack' by Oz Noy
11. 'Ballad of John Henry' by Randy Brecker
12. 'Look for the Silver Lining' by John Pizzarelli
13. 'Go Down, Moses' by Gary Lucas
Charities receiving funds from downloads of 'American Songs To Fight Cancer' include St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, American Cancer Society, Susan G Komen for the Cure, National Marrow Donor Program and Hospice of the North Shore & Greater Boston.
Pioneers For A Cure - Songs To Fight Cancer is the largest showcase of cancer charities on the web. Called '[A] stellar model of artist-driven grassroots philanthropy' by National Geographic, the non-profit project records public domain songs, reinterpreted and made available for donations of as little as $1.99. This treasure trove of over 100 songs has been recorded by dozens of artists from around the world including Suzanne Vega, Ben E. King, Tom Chapin, Tom Verlaine, Matt White and David Broza. Fine artist Mira Sasson has painted the Pioneer Portraits of the singers, which are made available as US Postage Stamps to fight cancer. Proceeds from song downloads are donated to artist-selected cancer charities such as the American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children's Hospital, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Susan G. Koman for the Cure.
Mira Sasson's portraits of the artists are available as US Postage.
2012 will bring new collections, one focused on the Jazz selections from our catalogue, and another collection of our best guitar songs.
Please contact Pioneers For A Cure for more information, reviews and other press requests.

ARGENTINA: New Jazz Releases




Saturday, October 29, 2011

USA: Bands to hold New York concert for Van survivors, Nov. 13 2011

The Turkish band Kardeş Türküler, Grammy award-winning musician Arto Tunçboyacıyan and musicians Ara Dinkjian and Feryal Akkaya will give a concert in New York to benefit Van earthquake victims.
The concert was organized by the Moon and Stars Project and the American Turkish Society. All ticket proceeds from the Nov. 13 performance at the Kaufman Center’s Merkin Concert Hall will be given to Van’s earthquake survivors.
Kardeş Türküler will perform in Turkish, Arabic, Kurdish, Armenian and Azerbaijani with the accompaniment of Akkaya as a soloist and Dinkjian on the oud.
Tunçboyacıyan will be on percussion and will sing for the audience. Tunçboyacıyan appeared on more than 200 records in Europe before arriving in the United States, where he went to work with numerous jazz legends, including Chet Baker, Al Di Meola, and Joe Zawinul, while also collaborating on a semi-regular basis with Paul Winter and the Earth Band.
Tunçboyacıyan has also worked with Turkish singer Sezen Aksu.

Henri TEXIER Nord-Sud Quintet - CANTO NEGRO (Label Bleu 2011)

En hommage à tous ces grands musiciens et créateurs africains ou d’origine africaine qui ont tant apporté et pas seulement à la musique.
Hommage résonne avec mémoire.
Que seraient devenus les artistes occidentaux sans la découverte de l’Art Nègre ?
Quelle merveilleuse et essentielle stimulation.
Pour évoquer ces musiques, jouer avec mes fidèles et si talentueux “Compañeros” me semble le plus juste.


Superbe chronique de Francis Marmande dans Le Monde daté du 11 mars
"Et ça chante, et ça swingue, et ça Ornette (Anda, Compañeros), et ça lyrise, et ça déménage. L'ennui avec Henri Texier, contrebassiste et compositeur de fond, c'est qu'il ne se complique pas la vie. Il joue avec son fils Sébastien (soufflant), doublé de Francesco Bearzatti (ténor), reste fidèle à Christophe Marguet (batterie) et au plus poète des guitaristes, Manu Codjia. Texier pratique la fidélité avec l'énergie que d'autres mettent au donjuanisme. Comme tous les grands fidèles, privilège de la basse, il a joué avec tous les grands. Texier pratique aussi la reconnaissance (à ses sources, à ses incitations, aux grandes musiques afro-quelque chose). Il aime l'amour comme un animal. Il joue comme un savant. Tant de bonté n'est acceptable qu'à cette condition : depuis dix ans, depuis vingt ans, cent ans, la démarche de Texier reste celle d'un aventurier, d'un radical libre, et d'un dénicheur de talents."

Sébastien Texier: alto saxophone, clarinet
Francesco Bearzatti; tenor saxophone, clarinet
Manu Codjia: guitar
Christophe Marguet: drums
Henri Texier: bass

FRANCE: Jazz en Chantereine / Du 4 au 12 novembre 2011

Du 4 au 12 novembre 2011 
5 formations de prestige : 
- Mélanie Dahan avec Giovanni Mirabassi 
- André Ceccarelli 
- Electric Epic avec Mederic Collignon 
- Les Pommes de ma Douche 
- Moutin Réunion 

More info

Takadimi – New Common Sense(2011)

The debut album from Sydney-based instrumental quintet Takadimi, New Common Sense, mingles a broad profusion of folk, jazz, Latin and African influences in a wildly vibrant blend that is all their own. Although made in the spirit of the mainstays of seminal European label ECM Music, including Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, or Tomasz Stanko, the record also reflects the group’s love of the New Acoustic bluegrass of Béla Fleck, the contemporary jazz of James Muller and John Butler’s pounding tribal rhythms. However, New Common Sense exceeds the sum of its various sources of inspiration, the band working from a solid understanding of traditional styles to forge their own innovative approach to music-making.
Written collaboratively, the songs on New Common Sense are grounded in composed structures that give each member of the group the opportunity to lose themselves in mesmerising moments of improvised spontaneity. On tracks such as ‘Into The Night’ the group play with the tala rhythms of Indian classical music (the system from which they take their name), while delving into more recognisable folk or jazz forms in ‘Gone Swimmin’’ or ‘Therese’. Meanwhile, the spiralling rhythmic complexity that develops from a single arpeggiated chord on ‘Leaves To Fall’ reflects a preoccupation with the pains of spiritual growth and the freedom that comes with ‘getting in the zone’.
New Common Sense was recorded by Dax Liniere of Puzzle Factory Sound Studio (sleepmakeswaves, John Moran Corporation) at a weekend-retreat-cum-recording-studio in bush near Wingello in the Southern Highlands, a stone’s throw from Sydney. Working at a breakneck pace over three jam-packed days – “it was a real test of focus,” Kieran (guitar) drily remarks – the band sought to capture the dynamic immediacy that fuels their live performances, the finished recordings largely consisting of live takes.
With a Scandinavian tour in their sights following their official album launch at Sydney’s 505 in August, Takadimi are keen to enter the next phase of their musical journey. New Common Sense is a tribute to the skill, friendship and quiet optimism of a talented group of young musicians that reflects, as Brianne (violin) puts it, “the fact that life is actually pretty cool after all”.
Takadimi are:
Curtis Argent (bass guitar/double bass)
Jeffrey Argent (percussion/drums)
Brianne Curran (violin)
James McKendry (guitars)
Kieran Ryan-Colton (guitars)
..written by Oliver Downes..

CHINA: Where Is Jazz At? 2011 JZ Music Festival Shanghai

Nearly 70 groups of artists joined the festival, including both globally renowned jazz masters and smashing young artists of various genres
The seventh JZ Music Festival Shanghai Green Note just ended last weekend in the Expo Garden Park. Nearly 70 groups of artists joined the festival, including both globally renowned jazz masters and smashing young artists of various genres of music. The musicians gave great performance on five distinctive stages. By the river and the bridge, with boats passing through, thousands of music fans enjoyed two days' of jazz in the coziest weather of Shanghai.

The first day started with Jack Prior, a British folk singer, on the Blue Grass stage. His warm voice, fluid guitar, and improvised lyrics gathered quite a few people together. During the show, he taught the audience to sing a simply happy song called 'Love Love Love is Calling Your Name' with him, which was so impressive that even after two whole days' of the festival, the lyrics and melody of that song were still hovering in many people's mind.

On the River Side stage, the French jazz musician Laurent de Wilde played some top classic jazz for us. Beginning with several tributes to Duke Ellington, the three musicians held appeals to all real jazz fans. Followed by them were the new jazz group J3, featuring three excellent young artists. Besides the enthralling saxophone, keyboard, and drum, they also put in some funky vocal sound to their music. J3 finished their last song with the audience participating in the vocal melody part.

The popular soul and R&B singer Tia from Beijing appeared on the River Side stage with her multi-national band Tha Knutz. Their music blends hip-hop, funk, R&B with jazz and soul, displayed by sexy and sweet voice of Tia, drawing lots of people to the stage and swing with the music.

On the second day, Long Shen Dao, the king of Chinese reggae, put on the first show at the Green Note stage. Their reggae music is characterized by abundant Chinese elements, especially the fantastic use of Guzheng, an ancient Chinese string instrument, which makes them so conspicuous among all other reggae bands. According to the vocal, they hope that the listeners could recognize them at once as a Chinese band, and thus bring Chinese music to the world.

The well-received Mongolian band Hanggai returned to the stage of Shanghai after the Black Rabbit Music Festival, with hundreds of fans craving for their performance. Their perfect mixture of Mongolian tune and rock again aroused people's emotion, and the fans gathered round dancing to the drinking song as the tempo went faster and faster.

On the stage of the Earth Lounge, various DJs played their groovy remixes without interval. DJ Gary Wang brought some really cool funk music, leading to people, including quite a few kids, swaying and jiving freely. DJ Youdai did remix versions of several classic hits, such as 'Smell Like Teen Spirit' by Nirvana and 'Axel F' by Crazy Frog, which were appealing to people of any country or age.

Moreover, the amazing views of the Expo Garden Park were also a plus to the jazz music festival. Several abstract sculptures made up of steel were presented around the Bao Steel Stage, while the River Side stage was set up by the Tadiao Café, which was comprised of two large cranes. From every stage, both artists and the audience can see the largest river and the symbolic bridge of Shanghai, with big boats steaming along. Environmental protection was another distinguishing feature of the festival. Not only were there environmental booths and reusable bags were distributed, but also people could get free water if they brought their own water bottle.

Comfortable weather, beautiful scenery, abundant food and entertainment, remarkable music, what more can you expect from a music festival? And that's what 2011 Jazz Shanghai Music Festival provided for all music lovers.
@MusicDish China

Noah Kaplan Quartet - Descendants (HatHut Records 2011)

The transparency of the quartet’s intent and mode of operation allow hearing inside the music, from which details of descent and association emerge. In response, memory, and imagination, memory’s mirror, suggest familiar analogies – such as the guitar’s Appalachian folk arpeggios in “Pendulum Music,” the tenor saxophone’s vocalization and the raga-like development of “Descent,” the bluesy edge of “Esther,” the multiple meters in “Rat Man.” Or the way “Wolves” comes together – the fluid electric bass fitting hand-in-glove with the guitar’s fluttering modalities, the groove and textural incident of the drums, the soprano saxophone’s shofar cry. As the improvisational mode coheres, everything relates to melody, even the rhythm section, urging without forcing, alert to alternatives in the moment. — Art Lange
Noah Kaplan saxophone Joe Morris guitar Giacomo Merega electric bass Jason Nazary drums
Noah Kaplan website

Friday, October 28, 2011

HUNGARY: Theo Bleckmann (USA) Concert, Trafó Budapest, 6 November

"On Sunday (6 November) the American musician, Theo Bleckmann arrives to Trafó in the frame of his European tour. He has been the singer of Meredith Monk's band for 15 years and works with fantastic musicians on the current project he is bringing: they will play the music of Kate Bush.

"Bleckmann possesses a technique so colossal, yet so meticulous, he can seem otherworldly, an android-like embodiment of sci-fi vocalism, a bodily vessel for that voice.” AllAboutJazz/Phil DiPietro
"His wonderfully flexible timbre, his emotional dedication and vocal competence go way beyond the usual measure of expression” JAZZTHING / Ralf Dombrowski (about Las Vegas Rhapsody)
"Vocalist Theo Bleckmann is one of the most flexible and uncategorizable figures on the New York scene; since the mid-90s he's been doing his thing in a niche of his own invention, somewhere between jazz, cabaret, classical, experimental, and improvised music. He's got a strong, precise voice and impeccable pitch control, and [...] I can't help but admire his range and curiosity. It's tremendously rare for a singer to realize the potential of the voice so thoroughly." CHICAGO READER

Philip Catherine plays Cole Porter (Challenge Records 2011)

John Kelman of Allaboutjazz wrote about Catherine: "Catherine [has the] ability to reference traditional markers from Reinhardt to Wes Montgomery, while sounding like nobody but himself." This pure musician releases his touching vision of Cole Porter on Challenge Jazz with "The Cole Porter Songbook". 

"The beauty of a wonderful and seasoned musician like Philip is the fact that anything he plays will have a strong flavor and character. Philip's unique sound is always recognizable, deeply expressive and so very personal. By surrendering to the tune, by simply trying to give the honest rendition of these timeless songs, Philip proved himself to be a great singer. For me making this album was a wonderful experience." - producer Hein Van de Geyn

Challenge Records

DENMARK: Jazz & World at WOMEX

Jazz and world will be in the limelight at this year's WOMEX, with a special programme dedicated to the array of jazz professionals who have been coming to WOMEX for years. WOMEX 11 will offer them many new opportunities, including performances by top jazz artists, a Conference Session and a Networking event. 

A Conference Session presented by Europe Jazz Network will addresswhere jazz sits within the rubric of world musicBlues & Roots: The Fertile Ground of Jazz & World Music, will be led by Gerry Godley (Ireland), Improvised Music; Mehmet Ulug (Turkey), Pozitif Productions; and Oliver Belopeta (Republic of Macedonia), Skopje Jazz Festival. It will question how we respond to artists whose music easily straddles both jazz and world music definitions.

The Jazz & World Networking Meeting at WOMEX, also organised by Europe Jazz Network, will provide a valuable opportunity to make contacts, discuss and develop new ideas.

The WOMEX 11 Artist Award will honour a legendary artist: Hugh Masekela, the trumpet prodigy, fiery denouncer of Apartheid and Afro-jazz pioneer from South Africa. He will also perform on Sunday morning, 30 October 2011, at Koncerthuset during the WOMEX Award Ceremony from 12:00 - 14:00, which is accompanied by a WOMEX Networking Breakfast - both are open to WOMEX delegates only.

The Showcase Festival line-up includes the maestro of the quarter-tone trumpet, Ibrahim Maalouf (Lebanon/France), at the crossroads of jazz and Arabic music

Matthew Shipp – Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear; 2011) Review by Steve Dalachinsky

What Is This Thing Called Shipp?
by Steve Dalachinsky

Matthew Shipp – Art of the Improviser
Thirsty Ear 57197 – 2cds

Matthew solo live in Paris January 28, 2011
Matthew Shipp Trio live at (Le) Poisson Rouge March 7, 2011

Recognizable materials:
Standards / or at least fragments of such

Recently I had the pleasure of seeing a Matthew Shipp solo gig in Paris. This was followed a bit more than a month later by a trio gig at (Le) Poisson Rouge in Manhattan to celebrate his most recent cd Art of the Improviser, which itself celebrates Shipp’s now more than 20 odd years as a major force on the “Jazz” scene. The solo concert which was part of the 20th anniversary of the French Sons D’ Hiver Festival was one of the highlights of my more than two month stay in Paris but not so for everyone who heard it as the following account will show.
The day after that gig Shipp received a Facebook message which I am sharing in its entirety with Shipp’s permission.

We don't know each other (and probably never will), but I just HAD to write to you after hearing your piano solo at the Sons d' hiver festival last night at Choisy le Roi. I'm a pianist/percussionist working for the past 35 years in contemporary dance, so I'm naturally attracted by improvisers who belong to NO category. I actually went to the concert to hear what Geri Allen was going to do with  the tap dancer, and after reading some very interesting reviews of you, thought it would be great to discover an innovative  pianist I'd never heard before. What followed was beyond description. The first few moments I was captivated by your completely 'organic' visceral approach, your physical relationship with the piano, your obviously monstrous technique and completely personal voice. I very quickly began to hear and feel a sense of an anger (even rage) coming directly from the stage. I felt overwhelmed by the sheer force of rage and couldn't get out of the hall without falling over the latecomers who were sitting on the stairs, so I had to sit it out. It was like being stuck in a nightmare. After an hour I was secretly pleading with you to STOP. At one point they even put the lights on briefly, but you didn't take the hint. After some mild applause, you went right back, but I could get out and ran for the door! I was physically shaking and feeling totally aggressive to the extent that I had to discuss my feelings with the guy who was selling some books in the hall. (He couldn't have cared less, but at least I was evacuating some of the negativity I felt.) I was furious and shaking and feeling MEAN. So why am I writing to you? Because I've never felt that from a performance and I think you have the right to know how you can affect people. I'm not criticizing your choices or trying to put you down, I just need to let you know how NEGATIVE the whole experience was for me in terms of whatever 'vibes' you were putting out. You may be a 'genius ' and an innovator and far ahead of the rest of the crowd, but all I felt was a monstrous technician in a total egotistical rage who was in the middle of a primal scream. I would have preferred not to have shared such an intimate moment with you, but then I had no idea what I was in for.

Shipp’s reply was essentially that “the negativity she felt was her own and that she should assume he was a genius and that obviously his music brought up a bad feeling of inadequacy in her she being a pianist herself.” He also told her to check herself out because she must be disturbed to begin with.
Well she did get a few things right however. Shipp is “innovative” and can be dark and aggressive. Certainly has a “completely visceral organic approach” as well as “monstrous technique.” “A completely personal voice” and his “physical relationship with the piano” is so well integrated, even at times childishly clumsy, due to his complete intimacy and oneness with it at this point. It’s sort of like playing with your private parts to the fullest capacity possible.

Shipp’s most recent cd Art of the Improviser consists of two live concerts discs recorded in 2010. Disc One a trio recorded at The Arts Center of The Capital Region in Troy New York and Disc 2 a solo recorded at (Le) Poisson Rouge (which I attended). Both like the two recent gigs from 2011 were also coincidentally were only a month or so apart.

On both cds and in the recent live performances what you have is a similar distillation of energies. In all cases the contents of these concerts put forth a portrait of Shipp not for what he is or was but what he has become and will be. A dynamic force of well integrated improvisation(s) dealing with light and dark, lighthearted seriousness and the apex of what I term chaotic structuralism at its best.

As the title of the cd suggests this is about a man who has made his work into his art. Here we have a new type of jazz as well as a new brand of improvisational structuring within the already fairly compact, barely unlimited boundaries of jazz. A re-invention of the classic mold begun and broken by the likes of Armstrong, Tatum, Powell, Monk and Taylor to name but a few.  A reconfiguration of the solo. A synthesis of bop, hard bop and avante garde or as Shipp has often termed it Nu Bop, which I have finally come to understand. 

Not a derived content or language. Not a suspended imagination like most of his colleagues but one that floats. Not a fixed reaction to one’s surroundings or instrument but a constant urgent immediacy. A new speaking in tongues. In other words an organic  language predicated entirely on a transfixed set of unruly rules rather than a mere how-to primer. 
In both cds and recent concerts Shipp displays his mastery of composition as well as his knowledge of the classics. In his solo performances he smashes us with his 4D world then flies us gently though quirkily to the moon after which he takes us on the usual unusual ride of complexity with such wild spontaneous compositions as Wholetone, Module and Gamma Ray. In both settings he always fills us with his own philosophical musings fragmenting, pounding the music into shape as a sword-smith pounds molten metal into the shape of a fine honed blade.
In his trio performances he applies the same patterns only the ideas flow less densely, more quickly and perfectly integrated with the fine backing of the great rhythm section of Michael Bisio on bass and Shipp’s long time associate Whit Dickey on drums.
On the trio cd, made up mostly of Shipp originals we are given the New Fact(s) as Shipp sees them and then lead into an exemplary trio piece 3 in 1 with Dickey taking a totally splendid full out drum solo. After a furious but gently flowing Circular Temple Shipp leads the trio on a wild ride uptown with one of his many renditions of a perfectly intact “Take the A Train” bringing us back downtown with his probing study entitled  Virgin Complex.
At the recent trio gig at Poisson Rouge Shipp went from a slow balladic start into an immediate flurry of runs, faltering at times then straightly yet crookedly driving a path that follows many passionate trajectories. And once that passion begins to flow it never lets up and we leave the concert or get up from the couch if experiencing the cd, flooded by wave upon wave of musical complexity and scary beauty. The Nu bop language both here and on the new cd is displayed with all its flashes of brilliance and displacement which includes Shipp’s unique down stroking of the mid-range keys and his gentle plucking at the inside strings, which he is getting better and better at and which he now almost always places in just the right places. Bisio fans the flames while Dickey splashes color all over the room. This is a music of shifting paradigms, of stopping and starting on a dime, of insane inconsistencies that shouldn’t work but do. Taking the piano apart and at times beating it mercilessly with a choppy, frail sometimes unattractive ambience. Bisio’s crunching arco bowing heightening the tensions already created by Shipp. The set augmented by Shipp’s signature fragmenting of standards in this case a sudden dive into “What is this thing called Love?” Then after a wonderfully flashy Dickey solo Shipp re-enters with his usual gloom/doom type chords which miraculously lead into a both playful and frightening version of “Frere Jacques” bringing the set to a close.

On all of these occasions Shipp has once again shown us all aspects and facets of his playing, his intellect, spirit and soul. He has provided us with this new concept of space.
This feeling of spaciousness while at the same time leaving us little space to breath.   
His complete ability to ramble allowing his muses to take full control or at least making them think they are in control all the time pulling the strings while seemingly exercising total abandon, jabbing those major chords while manipulating and dismantling the minor ones.
I wonder what that gal who Facebooked Shipp would feel/do if she played these cds over and over again in her tiny little room. Jump out the window in an ecstatic frenzy or simply walk over to the Seine go insane and throw herself and the cds into the drink?

After this recording any similarity to things/materials/ musics alive or dead is purely coincidental.
So what is this thing called Shipp you ask? Buy the cd and find out.

Dave Liebman & Richie Beirach - Unspoken ( Out Note Records 2011)

Liebman and Beirach—forty plus years of musical history and collaboration! There are other saxophonists and pianists who have worked together as a duo (for example,Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock toured and released a CD in ’97), but I don’t know of any with such a long track record. Dave and Richie’s previous duo albums were Forgotten Fantasies (1975),Omerta (1978, released in Japan), The Duo Live (Germany, 11 April 1985; and transcribed completely in a book by Bill Dobbins), Double Edge (standards in Copenhagen, recorded just ten days later, 21 April 1985), and Chant. That last was in 1989, so it’s high time to have another offering from them.

This CD has a dreamy, while at the same time dramatic quality. Both feel it is their best duo yet. The depth of sound is enhanced by the luxuriant piano tone, captured so well by master engineer Walter Quintus. Richie is playing what he describes as “an amazing 25-year old Bechstein piano” The repertoire is an unusual mix of styles.
Dave Liebman website

The John Santos Sextet-Filosofía Caribeña, Vol. 1 ( Machete Records 2011)

Dazzling compositions, arrangements, and musicianship with a politically progressive edge that demands repeated listening because of its infectious rhythms and erudite intents.

Filosofía Caribeña Vol.1 (Machete Records 210) by San Francisco Bay Area based, five-time Grammy nominee, John Santos and his Sextet is a landmark recording for several reasons. It is the eleventh release on John's Machete Records label and documents the first group of original compositions from John's work-in-progress of the last year-and-a-half, Filosofía Caribeña, commissioned by the East Bay Community Foundation, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the Ford Foundation, and dozens of enthusiastic individual donors, in cooperation with the Eastside Cultural Center in Oakland. 
The May 1st release date in honor of International Worker's Day, gives a hint of the dominant political overtones of the thematic content. 

The John Santos Sextet is made up of some of the finest players, composers, and arrangers in the field:
Dr. John Calloway - composer, arranger, flute, piano
Melecio Magdaluyo - all saxes, flute
Saul Sierra - composer, arranger, bass
Marco Diaz - composer, arranger, piano, trumpet
David Flores - drumset
John Santos - composer, percussion, coro

Special guests:
Steve Turre - trombone, Claudia Gómez - vocals, Pável Urkiza - guitar, vocals, arranger, Joey DeLeón - percussion, Javier Navarrette - percussion, Willie Ludwig - coro, Beatríz Godinez Muñíz - coro,
Raul de la Caridad Gonzalez Brito - composer

CD Baby

Thursday, October 27, 2011

USA, Hawaii : Second Annual Pacific Rim Jazz Festival

(HawaiiNewsNow) -  Apaulo Music Productions (Michael Paulo - Owner/Producer) presents the Second Annual Pacific Rim Jazz Festival on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at The Hawaii Convention Center, Kalakaua Ballroom, 4 til 10 p.m.

This spectacular event will offer an incredible line-up of international artists, national stars and local favorites. The Festival will be benefiting The Kapolei Foundation: an organization that grants scholarships to deserving students in the Leeward Community of Oahu. One of the goals of the Festival is to raise funds to provide a music scholarship program that will help to promote and nurture Hawaii's culture and art.

The Entertainers featured on October 29 are Jeffrey Osborne (Five Gold and Platinum Records and numerous hits including "On The Wings of Love"), Boney James (Three Grammy Nominations, Four gold records and several #1 Billboard chart topping records), David Benoit (Five Time Grammy nominated pianist and his rendition of "Linus and Lucy" from the Charlie Brown Series has become his worldwide signature hit), Mindi Abair (Leading Lady of Smooth Jazz is a Saxophonist/Vocalist and was a hit with her guest appearances on "American Idol" this year), Gregg Karukas (12 Solo Releases to his credit and several Top Ten jazz radio hits - most sought after jazz keyboardist around), Michael Paulo (One of the most prolific and successful Saxophonists from Hawaii and an Internationally Recognized Musician), Rene Paulo (Hawaii's "King of the Keyboard" and one of the most respected musicians of his generation), Pauline Wilson (Grammy Award Winner and longtime member of the legendary band Seawind known for her rendition of "Follow Your Road") and many more surprise guests.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at or call 951-696-0184. General Admission is $60.00. Gold Reserved Seating is $75.00. VIP Reserved Seating is $130.00 and includes gourmet food tasting stations prepared by Prominent Chefs and VIP charity fundraising from 4 - 6 p.m. Platinum Seating is $300.00 per person and includes Reserved Table Seating with the best view of the stage and five-course plated dinner and VIP charity fundraising from 4 til 6 p.m. All tickets are non-refundable. Parking is available at The Convention Center for $5.00.

This is a concert that you will not want to miss! Fantastic entertainment, great food in a centrally-located venue and a selection of wines is the perfect combination for an exciting night for music lovers and smooth jazz enthusiasts!

For more information,

check out our YOUTUBE version

Second Annual Pacific Rim Jazz Festival

With the sold out success of its inaugural year, the Pacific Rim Jazz Festival continues its tradition of bringing in world class entertainment to Hawaii as well as continuing to support the local community through its charitable contributions.  With its goal of bringing in diverse talents from Pacific Rim nations the festival hopes to continue its reach and popularity to the international community as well as the USA.  It is also the intent of the festival to highlight and feature many of Hawaii's own talented artists and musicians and in the process allowing them the opportunity to share the stage with world class artists.  We are proud to announce our new and bigger venue, The Hawaii Convention Center Ballroom.  We hope to substantially grow our audience and increase accessibility to Hawaii's tourist center in Waikiki.

CYPRUS: The Limassol Jazz Festival 2011

14 – 20 November
7 days, 5 Venues, 13 events, 40 artists
Music, Workshops

Within its first year the Limassol Jazz Festival captivated its audience and musicians alike in becoming a highly anticipated happening within the city limits launching a creative platform for international and local artists to entertain, educate, collaborate and communicate an inspirational message of intercultural musical exchange.

In its second year running the Limassol Jazz Festival 2011 will be held from the 14th – 20th of November and consists of three main entities, Music (being the predominant), Open Workshops/Seminars & other art forms. The ‘Limassol Jazz Festival’ is an annual music & arts festival taking place on the third week of November and is quickly becoming a landmark in Cyprus’ cultural landscape and the leading winter Jazz Festival in the Mediterranean and the Middle East region.

With 13 events from Monday-Sunday the festival activities will be presented at 5 multiple varied locations and venues around the city centre ranging from concert hall (Rialto Theatre) to music clubs (7 Seas), (jazzyB) and introducing jazz to a number of new spaces including, the (Londa Hotel) ,and even street corners & city landmarks (Plaza Café & Columbia Plaza) the Limassol Jazz Festival is set to be a landmark in Cyprus’ cultural landscape, launching a creative platform for international and local artists to entertain, educate, collaborate and communicate an inspirational message of intercultural musical exchange.

At the Limassol Jazz Festival 2011 you can catch a mix of premieres, commissions, new collaborations, impromptu jamming sessions, Bi-communal projects, a dance performance, master-classes, family events and an exceptional program of free concerts across the 7 days, with 13 events and over 40 participating artists which make up Limassol’s biggest music festival and Cyprus’ largest celebration of jazz.

As last year, this years Limassol Jazz Festival 2011 sees the participation of some of the most prominent and greatest world renowned local & international Artists. Some of this year’s highlights include:

Marios Takoushis – Gabriel Karapatakis project featuring David Lynch, Zacharias Spyridakis and Stelios Xydias, come together for a commissioned premier comprised of band leaders and contrabassist Gabriel Karapatakis and pianist Marios Takoushis featuring legendary saxophonist David Lynch and Cretan lira virtuoso Zacharias Spyridakis with Stelios Xydias on Drums.“…extending their lyricism and developing new musical fields of interaction…..”

The Amos Hoffman Quartet is one of the greatest Ethnic Jazz groups and the musicians are some of the finest musicians on the scene. Hoffman who himself is unquestionably one of the greatest instrumentalists of our times is a multi award winning and recording Artist and has played and recorded with the likes of Dennis Charles, Evelyn Blakey and Juma Santos and up and coming talents like Jason Lindler, Omer Avital, Sam Newsome, Jay Collins, bassist Avishai Cohen, Duane Eubanks and many others

One of the most fascinating and charismatic pianists to emerge on the Jazz scene in the past few years, the Anna Elis de Jong group meets Nelson Faria Musical bridges between countries through the international language of jazz by the multicultural group that consists of the virtuosi Anna Elis de Jong (piano), Tie Pereira (bass) and Andreas Stefanou (drums) meet the guitarist Nelson Faria in a program based on Brazilian music with jazz influences

Other festival participants include among others The Funk Sessions, The Limassol Jazz Festival All Stars Band, Marinos Neofytou, The JazzyB House Band, Leonid Nestorov, Evilena Protektor, Cuba Tropical Sextet and many more.……

Impromptu jamming sessions between the Artists are also expected!

Without doubt the most impressive collaboration of artists ever to take place on the island. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy some of todays greatest ever musicians performing live in Limassol!!

More Cyprus News here