Monday, August 31, 2015

USA: TARANA:- "A Fire of Flowers Grows Around Us" (WONDERMACHINE 2015)

NEW CD: TARANA: "A Fire of Flowers Grows Around Us" "A Fire of Flowers Grows Around Us" sparks a new direction for Ravish Momin's Tarana now in a new format and reaching new realms where the acoustic orbit melts together with the electronic universe. As an open minded musician, Ravish Momin was never confined to a single paradigm. Back in 2006 in an interview with JazzWorldQuest Ravish noted: "For myself, I really don’t prefer one culture over another, though i’ll always have roots in Indian Music." And this is exactly what he did all along his career, inventing, mixing real and non-existing traditions with the most remarkable freedom, like a rebel with a cause, yet one who embraces the genuine diversity of human culture filtered through sensitive personal lens. The new album is another spectacular chapter of his musical journey as a composer, percussionist and above all, experimentalist. An array of soundscapes emerges, with rhythms and effects fused in a coherent mominian atmosphere rising above overheard formulas, reaching dark deep climaxes boosted by a hypnotic layer of percussion, human voices and effects. This is music with imagination but also one that stirs the imagination. Check the synergistic dance of trombone, the intense drumming and synths on the tribal exotic "Batik", "Gara Guna" where trombone and underlying electronics breezes combine in a majestic utopian march, hear "Keherwa's" dark voices and the ascending rhythms rising in darkness, let the hallucinatory "Myvatn" wrap you in haunting synths, dance to the "Nanatronic" shouts and beats. Standing ovation for "Safar" when the trombone takes a melodic turn into a syncopated river of rhytms, let's sink into the atmospheric "Tehrah" flavored by mysterious echoes of another Dead Can Dance, "That Tweaky" spreading a sequence of futuristic crescendos backed by heavy rhythms. Listening is discovering every time a new " Fire of Flowers" flowing high up and free. Ravish Momin tells an endless story made of thousand voices inviting everybody to join his magical universe. Leave any prejudice behind and step in. To be released: Sept. 18, 2015

ITALY: Federico Bertelli Quartet - Living (Millesuoni 2015)

Living, Federico Bertelli Quartet
• Born in the outskirts of Pisa, he has been playing diatonic harmonica since 1987 and gained experience in several blues bands. Few years later he collaborated with the Blues Harbour, Michael Coleman, Nick Becattini & The Serious Fun.
• He approached Jazz by studying chromatic harmonica (as an autodidact) and listening to STEVIE WONDER and TOOTS THIELEMANS, but especially to saxophonists such as C.Parker, A.Pepper, J.Coltrane, Sonny Stitt, and pianists such as B. Evans, Bud Powell.
• In 1992 and 1993 he attended the Siena Jazz summer workshops and played with B. Tommaso’s Lab Orchestra and the Clinics of Boston Berklee College of Music in Perugia for UMBRIA JAZZ.

USA: Jazz Professors-En Plein Air (Flying Horse 2015)

The Jazz Professors - En Plein Air album cover 
En Plein Air, a French expression meaning “in open air,” is the third album from The Jazz Professors. It is a themed recording conceived as a complete project. The charge for Per Danielsson and Richard Drexler was to compose music inspired by the art of Claude Monet, and, along with director Jeff Rupert's composition, these songs debuted live at the UCF-Orlando Jazz Festival. Mike Mossman was a guest on the bill and was excited to join the endeavor.
Rupert selected specific paintings for each composer, art that would evoke different moods, though complementary to each other, as if the works were exhibited together in a gallery.
The French Impressionists captured light at a moment in time. Perhaps the jazz soloist is the American equivalent, playing what he or she hears in the moment.
Flying Horse

USA: Gary McFarland Legacy Ensemble-Circulation: The Music Of Gary McFarland (Planet Arts Recordings 2015)

The Gary McFarland Legacy Ensemble & Michael Benedict | Circulation: The Music of Gary McFarland
Creative Directors: Michael Benedict and Kerry McFarland

The Gary McFarland Legacy Ensemble is dedicated to the preservation of the music of composer/arranger/vibraphonist Gary McFarland. McFarland was a significant force in the jazz world in the 1960s. He was considered an “adult prodigy” by former Downbeat magazine editor Gene Lees as Gary did not start any formal studies until he was in his late twenties. After winning a Downbeat scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in 1959, McFarland spent just one semester of study there before moving to New York City. Through his connection with trombonist/composer Bob Brookmeyer, McFarland wrote his first professional arrangements for Gerry Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band. The rest, as they say, was history. McFarland would go on to be one of the most important jazz forces of the 1960’s with his compositions, arrangements, recordings, and film and stage scores. He was also a prolific producer and part owner of the SKYE record label along with Cal Tjader and Gabor Szabo. McFarland was also one of the first jazz musicians to include pop and rock material in his recordings and performances. His recording, America the Beautiful, combined elements of jazz, rock and orchestral writing that would prove to be one of the most seminal works of the 1960s. McFarland died in 1971 just after his 38th birthday. His career lasted just a little over ten years but his music is timeless.

Percussionist Michael Benedict has studied, performed and recorded McFarland’s music ever since meeting Gail McFarland, Gary’s widow, in 1979. Michael and Gail were married in 1981 for twenty-five years until Gail’s death in 2007. Michael and his stepdaughter, Kerry McFarland, continue to promote Gary’s music to this day.

This first recording focuses on McFarland’s most recorded material as well as more obscure, unrecorded selections.

The recording features Bruce Barth on piano, Joe Locke on vibes, Sharel Cassity on saxophones, Mike Lawrence on bass and Michael Benedict on drums. The music is arranged by Bruce Barth. The recording is produced by Thomas Bellino and issued on the Planet Arts Recordings label.

Future recordings will focus on McFarland’s big band compositions and arrangements including an arrangement of Straight No Chaser that was commissioned by the Downbeat Jazz Festival and an arrangement of C-Jam Blues that was slated to feature Stan Getz.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

USA: Jacques Lesure-Camaraderie(WJ3 2015)

Jacques' latest release, "Camaraderie" is a collaboration of musicians who are near and dear to him for various reasons. The concept spun from his appreciation of their friendship and respect for their compositional abilities and musicianship. His friends,

comrades, recorded with him on the album and composed many of the tunes on the CD.

" When the band stand is full of friendship and love, the music will be even more harmonious. Experience the love."

Jacques Lesure

SPAIN: Jazz from Catalonia 2015 - Various Artists

Jazz from Catalonia 2015 - Various Artists 

“Jazz from Catalonia 2015” contains songs by: Os Meus Shorts, David Mengual Free Spirits Big Band, The Gramophone Allstars Big Band, Celeste, Marcel•lí Bayer, Ignasi Terraza Trio, Nu-Roots, A la Big Bom Band, Bernat Font Trio, Roger Mas Group, D.O New Ensemble, Los Mambo Jambo and Albert Sanz & Félix Rossy. These 13 tracks have been selected by Borja Duñó (music journalist) in collaboration with Olga Àbalos (music journalist), Susanna Carmona (Coordinator of Jazz Terrassa), Martí Farré (music journalist), Pere Pons (Director of Jamboree Jazz Club) and Roger Roca (music journalist).
» Listen on Spotify «
» Listen on Deezer «

USA: Donald Vega-With Respect To Monty(Resonance 2015)

With Respect to Monty
In celebration of the Jamaican jazz icon, Monty Alexander, pianist Donald Vega puts together a hard-swinging compilation of Monty's great, early compositions. With Respect To Monty features an all-star lineup of Anthony Wilson (guitar), Hassan Shakur (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums).

Since his debut on Resonance Records, Spiritual Nature (2012), Vega is entirely his own man, completely in command of his material. As the late, great Mulgrew Miller's replacement in the Ron Carter Trio, Vega has big shoes to fill and does so admirably. His wide appreciation of piano maestros is spotlighted with this new release that includes seven original Monty Alexander masterpieces.
Much like Monty, Donald approaches the piano with technical prowess, yet with a sense of playfulness and light spirit. Both men share a warm touch to the instrument melodic and free. The trio of Vega, Shakur and Nash has an intimate working relationship. Shakur's bass is a solid anchor, while Nash's colorful, rhythmic drumming is chameleon-like, adapting effortlessly to each piece. Add to that the imagination, depth and precision playing of guitar virtuoso Anthony Wilson and you have a winning combination. From thoughtful, slow ballads to bouncy uptempo originals, they cover the bases. Vega smiles, 'My heart is in the swing, no matter what style I play. The goal is always to make it feel good.'
Vega continues, 'The way that Monty plays and writes seems to come from a place of what feels good to him too. At least in the tunes we selected, he likes the lighter, happier keys. There's room to breathe on solos. He's got an incredible imagination; great ears, great chops; and a killer left hand.'
Resonance Records President George Klabin explains, 'The whole challenge was to find a pianist who was willing to do this project and who would fit the style of Monty's music. Monty, I just want to say you've touched my life. You've given me a great deal of happiness. I hope that this music will give back what you've given to the world.'

'I am greatly delighted that the fantastic, inventive pianist Donald Vega has applied his wonderful creativity to compositions of mine. I enjoyed his unique interpretations.' - Monty Alexander

Saturday, August 29, 2015

USA: Mette Rasmussen/Chris Corsano-All The Ghosts At Once (Relative Pitch Records 2015)

Relative Pitch Records
Today's hypothesis states that all free jazz improvisation demands the musicians maintain the music's vigor like a juggler, to all appearances, keeping all the balls in the air at once. Proof of this theory is the opening piece "Train Track" from alto saxophonist Mette Rasmussen and drummer Chris Corsano's release All The Ghosts At Once. The music opens with wavy Evan Parker-like saxophone notes and cymbal scrapes that evolve into unblended energy jazz. The duo produces a buoyant sound, part primal energy drive, part liberation.By

AUSTRIA: Agata Pisko & Werner Radzik (ATS 2015)

Agata Pisko & Werner Radzik | Polish Touch 
 „Polish Touch“ – an elegant and intimate jazz project of piano and voice performing a chic collection of songs of piano players and singers such as Joni Mitchell, Keith Jarrett, Billy Strayhorn, Djavan, Emanuel Schlechter and two original compositions. 

Polish Touch“ – a chic collection of jazz songs with Werner Radzik – piano, Agata Piśko – voice, and two special guests: Axel Mayer – trumpet and flugehorn, and Bernhard Wimmer – cajon.
Songs of singers and piano players such as Joni Mitchell, Keith Jarrett, Radka Toneff, Billy Strayhorn, Djavan, Johnny Mercer, Emanuel Schlechter have inspired Agata Piśko and Werner Radzik to create an elegant and intimate project of piano and voice. Agata’s delicate and flexible voice has a unique
fancy flavor of a European singer who sings lyrics from the Great American
Songbook. With no doubt, however, you can hear the influence of the jazz
masters Agata had a chance to study with, such as Mark Murphy, Sheila
Jordan, Madeline Eastman, Rebecca Parris.
Inspired by sound and structure of jazz vocal music, Agata has begun to
compose music and write clever lyrics on her own. On this record, you are
going to find two compositions of hers: a jazz waltz with a Polish lyric and a
touch of Polish folk music “Czy to jest milość?’, and a boogaloo ‘Time
Werner Radzik is with no doubt a first class jazz instrumentalist, a highly
sought after pianist and arranger. On this CD you will get to know him as
being a careful accompanist and a brilliant soloist.
To make the music more intense, Agata and Werner invited some of the finest
Austrian musicians to be featured in a few songs. You will hear fabulous Axel
Mayer on trumpet and flugelhorn in the ballad “Then I’ll Be Tired Of You” and
“Time Economy”, and expressive Bernhard Wimmer on cajon in “Time
Economy” and in the jazz waltz “Czy to jest miłość?“.
“Polish Touch” is a fresh project of two experienced musicians with Polish
roots: Agata originally comes from Krakow and has lived in Austria since the
beginning of her studies at Kunst Uni Graz in 1999; Werner, an Austrian
musician, on the other hand, has had Polish ancestors – his grandmother came
from Warsaw.

Agata Pisko/Vocals
Werner Radzik/Piano
Bernhard Wimmer/Cajon, Shakers
Axel Mayer/Trompete, Flügelhorn



SPAIN: David Mengual Free Spirits Big Band-Vertebrats (Bebyne Records 2015)

Tracks CD 1: Canicas; En Patufet i sa Lletuga; L'Ira del Bosc; El Resumen; Guantanamo Cell Block No. 34; La Colonia de Formigues; Dimonis fent Foguerons; Cims Escarpats; Com Tu Vulguis; Tomatiga de Ramellet; Terapia No. 1 - Estrats Carabasses; Terapia No. 2 - Miranda Post Nuclear Sard Melody; Climbing The Robles Peak; Toni Melassa; Infant Out. CD 2: Infant In; Plaga de Ratas Siguendo a Flautista Enfermo; Las Cronicas de Saturno; Invisible Tune; Free Spirits Groove; Teo; La Tortuga Ferida; Iratxe; Perfrederic; Black Dog; Heartbreaker; Kashmir; Bouree en Mi Mineur; Blackbird; Little Wing; Hey Joe; Himne.

Musicians: David Mengual: director; Alvar Montfort: trumpet, flugelhorn; Natsuko Sugao: trumpet, flugelhorn; Ivan Gonzalez: trumpet, French horn; Joan Mas: alto saxophone; Pintxo Villar: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Gonzalo Levin: flute, tenor saxophone; Jordi Santanach: flute, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Juan Saiz: flute; Toni Melassa: flute; Aram Montagut: trombone; Dario Garcia: trombone; Amaiur Gonzalez: tuba; Enric Reinado: guitar, cavaquinho; Lina Lomanto: piano, Hammond organ; Toni Vaquer: piano, Hammond organ; Alex Reviriego: bass; Josema Martin: drums, percussion; Oriol Roca: drums, percussion; The Octet: Roseer Farre: violin; Maria Ibanez: violin; Alicia Dominguez: viola; Margarida Marino: cello; Marcel li Bayer: clarinet; Jordi Santanach: clarinet; Pau Domenech: bass clarinet; Alfonso Fernandez Vargas: bassoon.

Friday, August 28, 2015

USA: 8 of 1,725 The Utopian Dreams Band Appearing @ Kuumbwa Jazz August 29th 8:00 PM

Tickets & Info
The Utopian Dreams Band is riding the latest worldwide contemporary jazz wave with their nu-groove sensibilities. This incredible crew of musical artists has been shaped by the San Francisco Bay Area and “live jazz” music scene over several decades. They credit their jazz evolution with nods to old school West Coast jazz, early 70’s Bay Area fusion and the contemporary jazz explosion. Their music is shaped by deeply orchestrated melodic chops expertly layered over the funk, hip hop, soul and Latin grooves of contemporary jazz.
All the tracks of our debut release “From Dreams to You” are blessed with the sax artistry of Eddie Baccus Jr., he is a core member of Utopian Dreams Band involved in also aspects of performance and recording production. Eddie was a core member of the international supergroup “Pieces of a Dream” and has a resume that includes playing with such luminaries as Rick Braun, Grover Washington Jr., George Duke, George Benson, Will Downing, Gerald Albright to name just a few…recently, we were proud to announce that Russ Ferrante, keyboard player and founding member of the Yellowjackets, will be working and recording with Eddie on his solo project due out at the end of 2015.
Joining the Utopian Dreams lineup in 2013 is guitarist Tony Darren debuting with us on “From Dreams to You…Tony garnered a SESAC national performance award as well as a Grammy consideration for best new contemporary jazz artist….Tony has worked with such diverse artists as Shadowfax, Tom Scott, David Sanborn, Jeff Lorber, Freddie Hubbard, Gregg Karukas, Alphonso Johnson, Joe Sample, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta and many others. Now Tony is a core member of Utopian Dreams…
Percussionist “Mombo” (Sam) Hernandez joined Utopian Dreams in 2013. He has performed with vocalist, Slim Man, in the 90’s,. His performance chops also includes performing with Peter White, Steve Oliver, Lou Rawls, Roger Smith, Michael Paulo, Freddie Ravel, Marc Antoine, Greg Vail, and the list goes on! Mombo is considered a core member and long time friend.
In the tradition of the supergroups of contemporary jazz, such as the Rippingtons, Spyro Gyra, Incognito, the Yellowjackets and Fourplay, to name a few…The Utopian Dreams Band brings together a powerhouse of unique players who are accomplished performers in their own name but are drawn to the unique sound of the supergroup…thus The Utopian Dreams Band has evolved…magic
Tickets: $20/Advance
Doors: 7:30 PM
More info: 831-297-2856

Ticket Link:

UK: Jazz Clubs Schedules: RONNIE SCOTT'S / SE[TEMBER

ORCHESTRA featuring Robin Eubanks
ANTONIO FORCIONE presents Sketches of Africa
COURTNEY PINE / House of Legends
featuring Mario Canonge
IAN SHAW & his Trio
and special guest Miguel Gorodi
with Strings- the music of Charlie Parker

USA: Nick Finzer - The Chase (Origin Records 2015)

“...a new voice to the pantheon of upcoming trombone greats in the making... Great compositions, playing, and overall leadership of the band... the WHOLE package.”
- Wycliffe Gordon

With a wide-ranging resume that includes performances with Frank Wess, Lew Tabackin, and Terrell Stafford, tours with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall with Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project, New York trombonist/composer Nick Finzer brings a wealth of defining musical experiences to his second recording as a leader. The Juilliard-trained composer's 10 original compositions are brought to life by some of the city's best and brightest young improvisers: saxophonist Lucas Pino, pianist Glenn Zaleski, guitarist Alex Wintz, bassist Dave Baron, and drummer Jimmy Macbride.
Origin Records

FRANCE: Claude Tissendier - Swingologie (Disques Black & Blue 2015)

01. 'Tain't What You Do
02. Begin The Beguine
03. I'm Confessin'
04. Summit Ridge Drive
05. Cherokee
06. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
07. Drum Boogie
08. Special Delivery Stomp
09. Sophisticated Lady
10. Frenesi
11. You're Looking At Me
12. Dr. Livingstone, I Presume

Claude Tissendier (clarinet);
Gilles Rea (guitar);
Jerome Etcheberry (trumpet);
Jean-Pierre Rebillard (bass);
Alain Chaudron (drums).

Thursday, August 27, 2015

GREECE: JAZZWORLDQUEST Featured Artist Video: Alekos Vretos Quintet @ The Megaron, The Athens Concert Hall, 31/5/2014, full concert.

Alekos Vretos and his band performing at the Megaron, The Athens Concert Hall, 31st May 2014, Big Jazz Day Festival.

1. Idea by Alekos Vretos (unreleased)
2. K on top by Alekos Vretos (unreleased)
3. Parfume des Gitanes by Anuar Brahem
4. Invisible Lover by Ara Dinkjian
5. Cactus by Alekos Vretos (unreleased)


Alekos Vretos: oud
Eleni Vassileiadi: qanun
Dimitris Sevdalis: piano
Dimitris Christopoulos: bass
Dimitris Klonis: drums


Contact: Candace Avery
International Songwriting Competition


August 25, 2015 –-- The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is pleased to announce the inclusion of iconic jazz artists Pat Metheny, Stanley Clarke, Danilo Perez, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Concord Music Group’s President, Glen Barros, as judges in the 2015 competition. The panel includes many more high-profile recording artists, as well as Presidents and CEOs from Atlantic, Epic, Elektra, Sony Music Latin, Warner Bros., Tommy Boy, Wind-Up, Alligator, Glassnote, and more.

The 2015 jazz judges are among the most influential and renowned jazz performers in the world, having garnered international awards and critical acclaim.

Guitarist Pat Metheny is the bandleader of one of the most respected musical ensembles of the past quarter century, the Pat Metheny Group. As the only group in history to win seven consecutive Grammy Awards for seven consecutive releases (in all he has garnered 20 Grammys), Metheny has occupied a musical territory that is unparalleled in contemporary and mainstream jazz.

Stanley Clarke is known for his innovative and influential work on double bass and electric bass. He is instrumental in changing the perception of bass as a solo and support instrument due to his innovative techniques and stylings. As a cornerstone figure in electric jazz and fusion (he was a member of the legendary Return To Forever) Clarke has moved on to a Grammy-winning career as a producer, tv and film composer, conductor, and collaborator in many genres of music.

Pianist, composer, and educator Danilo Perez has been a member of the Wayne Shorter Quartet for more than a decade. A Grammy winner, he is one of the preeminent jazz musicians of his generation and is considered to be a piano virtuoso.

Jean-Luc Ponty is a pioneer in the arena of jazz violin and has helped to establish the violin as having a legitimate place in the modern jazz vocabulary. He has released countless chart-topping jazz albums and has also collaborated with many of the jazz world’s top musicians, including Frank Zappa, Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola, Chick Corea, Billy Cobham, and even pop artists such as Elton John and Jon Anderson of the progressive rock band Yes.

ISC offers 22 categories of music for songwriters to enter, including Jazz. Designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels and promote excellence in the art of songwriting, ISC offers the opportunity for songwriters to have their music heard by some of the most influential recording artists and industry decision-makers. ISC gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes (shared among 68 winners) including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 (US) cash and $30,000 in merchandise and services. More information on how to enter ISC, including frequently asked questions and rules and regulations, can be found at

Candace Avery, Founder and Director of ISC, states, “ISC’s jazz category has become possibly our most competitive category, and the depth of talent is nothing short of astounding. We invite all jazz artists to enter ISC, and we look forward to the bar continuing to be raised in this genre within the competition.”

The complete list of 2015 judges includes:

Recording Artists
Pat Metheny; Stanley Clarke; Danilo Perez; Jean-Luc Ponty; Avicii; Tom Waits; Kesha; Lorde; Bill Withers; American Authors; Sara Evans; Bastille; Casting Crowns; Keb Mo; Boyz II Men; Keane; Robben Ford; Hardwell; Eric Paslay; Rodrigo y Gabriela; Jon Secada; Daddy Yankee; Afro Celt Sound System; Anthony Hamilton; Moby; Gerald Casale (Devo); Sean Paul; Justin Townes Earle; Los Amigos Invisibles; Hawk Nelson; Shakey Graves; Darryl McDaniels (Run D.M.C.); Chayanne; Joy Williams; Alejandro Markovich; Matt Maher; Art Alexakis (Everclear); Far East Movement; Femi Kuti; Mariana Vega; and more to be announced.

Industry Executives:
Craig Kallman (Chairman/CEO, Atlantic Records); Sylvia Rhone (President, Epic Records); Dan McCarroll (President, Warner Bros. Records); Jeff Castelaz (President, Elektra Records); Nir Seroussi (President, Sony Music Latin); Daniel Glass (President, Glassnote Records); Ed Vetri (President, Wind-Up Records); Rosie Lopez (President, Tommy Boy Entertainment); Steve Yegelwel (Senior VP, Island Records); Craig Balsam (Owner, Razor & Tie Records / Washington Square / Kidz Bop); Glen Barros (President, Concord Music Group); Bryan Stewart (VP of A&R, Curb Records); Jason McArthur (VP of A&R, Provident Label Group / Sony Music Entertainment); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Edward Chmelewski (President, Blind Pig Records); Sharon Tapper (Head of Publishing, Glassnote Records); Kevin Welk (Chief Creative, Vanguard/Sugar Hill Records); Angel Carrasco (President, Discos 605); Steve Lillywhite (Producer); Joseph Burney (VP of A&R, RCA Inspiration/Sony Music Entertainment); Richard Stumpf (CEO, Atlas Publishing); Steve Greenberg (CEO, S-Curve Records); Kim Buie (VP of A&R, New West Records); Albert Schilcher (VP of Music and Music Marketing, MTV International); Jamie Masada (Owner, Laugh Factory); Cyndi Nelson (General Mgr., Zanies Comedy Club); Cory Robbins (Founder/President, Robbins Entertainment); Gary Briggs (A&R Executive); Claire S. Green (President, Parents' Choice Foundation); Leib Ostrow (Founder/CEO, Music For Little People); Julie Kertes (General Manager, National Parenting Publications Awards, NAPPA); Nate Dern (News Editor, Funny Or Die News); Wende Curtis (Owner, Comedy Works); and more to be announced.

ISC is sponsored by Ableton, Artist Growth, Berklee College of Music, Celebrity Access, D’Addario, Disc Makers, Focusrite, Gauge Microphones, George Stein, Esq., GigSalad, Indie Venue Bible, Lowden Guitars, Marshall Amplification,, Thayers, and The Music Business Reigatry

For more information about the ISC, please email Candace Avery at or call 615-251-4441.

JazzWorldQuest Free Mp3 List downloads and Playlist update:Skarkali Trio and Tanga Wizi

Musician: Tanga Wizi
Track: Rear View Mirror
Year of release: 2015
Composer: Ginger L. Griffin

Musician: Skarkali Trio
Track: Á hálum ís
Album: Skarkali
Year of release: 2014
Composer: Ingi Bjarni Skúlason
Link to CD Store
Info about the song/album:
Icelandic jazz album

More free downloadsThe Free mp3 List

SWEDEN: Tobias Grim-Brazil lines (Imogena 2015)

Guitarist Tobias Grim is releasing his debut album in close collaboration with the singer Karolina Vucidolac, drummer Anders Kjellberg and bassist Magnus Bergström.
The group is now releasing their first joint album after playing
together since in 2010.

Track Listing: Para Theo; Ishmael; Consciente Amor; Cantar; Autumn; Brazil Lines; Tania; Mother; Deturn; Pra Chega.
Personnel: Tobias Grim: electric guitar, acoustic guitar; Karolina Vucidolac: vocals; Magnus Bergstrom: bass; Anders Kjellberg: drums.


USA: Christian McBride Trio Celebrates Long Term Residency at Historic New York City Venue with Live at the Village Vanguard - Available September 18 via Mack Avenue Records

Christian McBride Trio Celebrates Long Term
Residency at Historic New York City Venue
with Live at the Village Vanguard -
Available September 18 via Mack Avenue Records

When Philadelphia-born bassist/bandleader Christian McBride arrived in New York in 1989 as a Juilliard student, he was the "Godchild of the Groove" with unlimited potential. Today, with over 300 recordings as a sideman and 11 critically acclaimed albums as a leader, he now reigns supreme as the "Lord of the Lower Frequencies." He's the influential and ubiquitous bassist of his generation, as evidenced by his quintet Inside Straight, his big band, his trio and his work with everybody from James Brown, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis to Sting, The Roots, Bruce Hornsby and Paul McCartney.

It is fitting that the four-time Grammy® Award-winning McBride would eventually record at the Village Vanguard, the most hallowed and historical nightclub in jazz: an underground Mount Olympus where the gods and titans of the music - from John Coltrane to Bill Evans - have cast their syncopated spells. 

"You can literally feel the ghosts of all of the legends that played there," McBride says. "You feel Coltrane hovering in the vortex. You feel Monk hovering in the vortex. Miles Davis, Mingus... you feel all of that in the air."

And with his new Mack Avenue Records album, Live at the Village Vanguard, you can feel and hear McBride in the same air, along with his magnificent trio, which features drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. and pianist Christian Sands. They swing and swoon on nine tracks of originals, jazz standards and some surprise R&B/pop selections.

This record is the fruit of McBride's long association with the Vanguard, where his first appearance as a leader for the historic club was in 1995. In 2007, the bassist and charismatic club owner Lorraine Gordon started an annual one-week residency, which featured McBride's quintet, Inside Straight. "Lorraine enjoyed my trio and my quintet, Inside Straight. We had such large crowds, so after a few years with such supportive audiences, we added an extra week. Instead of doing the same band for two weeks, I just started bringing in a different band. This has been an ongoing relationship that I look forward to maintaining as long as I can."

As encouraging as this association was, McBride's fear of being typecast as a Ray Brown clone almost caused this trio to not be. "I thought the very last thing I wanted to do was to put myself in a trio, because then I'll never be able to shed the Ray Brown comparison," he says. "And then one day I decided that that's sort of a silly reason not to start a trio, if musically that's what makes sense. There were a few gigs that [saxophonist] Steve Wilson and [vibraphonist] Warren Wolf were unavailable for, so I decided to play with the rhythm section. Peter Martin was playing piano and Ulysses was playing drums. In 2010, Christian Sands started subbing for Peter in Inside Straight. So we started doing trio gigs and that's how the group was born.

"In trying to find repertoire for the trio in our early stages, I tried to come up with songs that were easy to learn and that you can put your own spin on them," he says. The opening track, Wes Montgomery's "Fried Pies," originally released on the guitarist's 1963 LP, Boss Guitar, burns with a quicksilver, straight-ahead groove, as does the trio's torrid take on J.J. Johnson's "Interlude" from Cannonball Adderley's 1965 Domination album.

Sands' lilting composition "Sand Dune" would make a perfect companion to Coltrane's "My Favorite Things" on any playlist, while the well-worn standard "Cherokee" is rendered at a blistering, swing-at-the-speed-of-sound. In contrast, the trio's take on the spiritual "Down By The Riverside" grooves in a medium tempo buoyed by Owens' expert and inspired drumming. Billie Holiday's "Good Morning Heartache" is reborn by the trio with a ghostly, rubato intro, which evolves into a soulful, sonic séance.

Two selections from the album aurally illustrate how McBride's outward embrace of non-jazz material harkens back to a time when jazz had a long-standing engagement with pop music. The trio's treatment of the Rod Temperton-composed ballad "The Lady In My Life," (from Michael Jackson's uber-LP Thriller) resonates with the same kind of noir nuance Bill Evans was known for. "If anyone can get over the fact that it's not 'a jazz tune,' they'd be able to notice that it's got one of the most gorgeous melodies," McBride says. The album concludes with a spirited take on the funky title theme song the 1977 movie "Car Wash." "This was one tune where even my band members looked at me side-eyes [laughs]," McBride says. "Even my wife said, 'so what's next? 'I Will Survive'?"

McBride's inspirations Ray Brown and James Brown, his respect for non-jazz genres and his outgoing personality account for this sensational recording and for his growing stature as a jazz spokesperson and ambassador.

McBride hosts and produces "The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian," on SiriusXM satellite radio and National Public Radio's weekly show, "Jazz Night In America." He also serves as Artistic Advisor for Jazz Programming at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), and he works with Jazz House Kids, a nationally recognized community arts organization founded by his wife, vocalist Melissa Walker, dedicated to educating children through jazz.

"I'm glad to have these vehicles, like the NPR show, like the SiriusXM show," he says, "where I can tell people who may, or may not be into jazz, 'hey, come on over and play with us'." Live at the Village Vanguard is the titan bassist's infectious invitation to come swing with him.

About Christian McBride Trio:

"When I first met Ulysses, he was a student at my summer camp in Aspen, CO. He had a lot of maturity in his playing, particularly the way he played brushes," says McBride. "I could tell he spent a lot of time with Lewis Nash and Kenny Washington and really studied the legendary drummers. And it was a relief to hear a young drummer who wasn't coming out of the same bag as other drummers.

"When I first met Christian, I was told he was a protégé of Dr. Billy Taylor, Hank Jones and Oscar Peterson, all of those legendary elder statesmen of the piano," McBride says. "But then, I heard him playing all of this esoteric, angular music coming out of an Andrew Hill/Paul Bley bag. And then, I found out he'd been studying with Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. I thought man; this cat knows the whole language.

"I realized that with guys like Ulysses and Christian, we can go anywhere we want to go: angular, swinging, esoteric, blues, impressionistic and funk." 

Christian McBride Trio · Live at the Village Vanguard
Mack Avenue Records · Release Date: September 18, 2015
For more information on Christian McBride, visit:

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MACK AVENUE · the road to great music

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

USA: Jazz Players Unite For The 2015 Hudson Valley Jazz Festival Aug 27-30

Hudson Valley Jazz Festival In The News

Times Herald Record
Jazz Fest: community and music in harmony

The Warwick Advertiser
Four days of jazz Hudson Valley Jazz Festival featured in seven towns, many venues

USA: "Cheerin' Up the Universe," New CD by Trumpeter/Vocalist Bob Merrill, Due Sept. 4 from Accurate Records

"Cheerin' Up the Universe,"
New CD by Trumpeter/Vocalist Bob Merrill,
Due for September 4 Release by
Accurate Records
Merrill's 4th CD as a Leader
Includes Support from John Medeski, Drew Zingg,
Nicki Parrott, George Schuller, Russ Gershon,
& Special Guests Harry Allen (Tenor Sax),
Roswell Rudd (Trombone),
Gabrielle Agachiko (Vocal)

August 19, 2015

Bob Merrill Cheerin' Up the Universe Trumpeter/vocalist Bob Merrill has had an amazingly varied career in and around music -- mentored by his late father-in-law Joe Bushkin, Jaki Byard, and Red Rodney; starting and operating Hip Pocket Recording Studios in New York City; and recording as a leader himself. Cheerin' Up the Universe, his new CD and fourth to date, is being released September 4 by Accurate Records, which has also reissued two of Merrill's earlier albums (Catch As Catch Can, Got a Bran' New Suit).
In the great tradition of trumpeter-singers, going back to Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker, and Louis Prima, Merrill is both a carefree entertainer who wants to lift up his audience and a serious artist who pays the deepest respect to jazz tradition with his mastery of forms.
On previous albums, the New York-based artist mined the jazz mainstream, sometimes with a stylish Rat Pack-era sound, sometimes with a deeper blend of late swing and hard bop -- and always, says Accurate Records honcho Russ Gershon, who has known Merrill since they were classmates at Harvard, with real jazz and real blues feeling. "He has a passionate attachment to the real thing," said Gershon, leader of Either/Orchestra, who lends his saxophone skills to the album.
Backed by such one-of-a-kind guest players as trombone great Roswell Rudd and keyboardist John Medeski, Merrill indulges himself-and anyone who has grown up loving the likes of James Taylor ("The Secret o' Life"), Steely Dan ("IGY [What a Beautiful World]"), Burt Bacharach ("I Say a Little Prayer"), and Stevie Wonder ("Overjoyed") -- by applying his personal touch to a selection of pop hits that in spirit and title promote happiness. For a little icing on the cake, he covers Pharrell's inescapable "Happy," with the lyrical bassist Nicki Parrott harmonizing and a touch of Lee Morgan's infectious "Sidewinder" informing the bridge. The title track, a fetching Merrill original, aims to cheer up the universe "one star at a time."
Bob Merrill, Russ Gershon, Roswell Rudd
                               L. to r.: Bob Merrill, Russ Gershon, Roswell Rudd. 
Merrill has deep history with the musicians on the date: guitarist Drew Zingg was a grade school classmate; his friendship with drummer George Schuller dates back to boarding school; keyboardist/arranger John Van Eps first connected with Merrill at the New England Conservatory.
John Medeski, who contributes to four tracks on piano and two on organ, met Merrill in 1989, when the keyboardist was hired, at Gershon's suggestion, for a gig in Cambridge. "Russ also suggested some bass players who were all booked," Merrill explains. "But my last call was to Chris Wood, who was free. It was on that gig that Medeski met Wood, and they later added Martin -- the rest is history."
Bob Merrill Bob Merrill has had similar encounters with kismet throughout his life, which began in 1958 in Manhattan. He grew up in the Upper East Side building where Benny Goodman lived, and once he'd heard Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing," young Bob was hooked on jazz. After his head was turned by Doc Severinsen's trumpet playing during a Tonight Show taping his father took him to, Bob devoted himself to the horn. He took lessons and played gigs with local trumpet guru Felix Sangenito and also studied with William Vacchiano, first trumpet chair at the New York Philharmonic.
While attending Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, he jammed with saxophonist Thomas Chapin. Accepted at Harvard, Merrill deferred for a year to study jazz at the New England Conservatory of Music, where his teachers included George Russell and Jaki Byard. He formed a group with drummer George Schuller, son of the late Gunther Schuller, then president of NEC.
Merrill began singing, he says, when he played wedding gigs and discovered that attractive women on the dance floor turned to hear what someone on stage was singing more than they ever turned to hear what someone was playing. His relaxed vocals add an important dimension to his art. He modestly says that his understated style is a concession to his vocal limitations. But with his Mel Tormé-influenced smoothness and Kurt Elling-like articulation, he is an appealing and distinctive interpreter of the Great American Songbook.
After marrying Christina Bushkin in 1991, Merrill coaxed her father, the fabled swing pianist Joe Bushkin, out of retirement. One of their first gigs was a memorable run at Tavern on the Green in Central Park with a group featuring bass immortal Milt Hinton, who credited Bushkin for bringing him to New York in the early '50s for an extended run at the Embers with Jo Jones. Merrill produced CD reissues of Joe Bushkin's classic LPs, and they played the jazz festival circuit until the pianist's death in 2004.
The release of Cheerin' Up the Universe opens a new chapter in Merrill's musical life. "We now embark on the process of cheering up the universe in various venues, until we reach Pluto," says Bob. He'll be appearing in support of the new album at the following: 9/17 Caffe Vivaldi, NYC; 9/24 Oak Room Tavern, Sea Cliff, NY; 10/22 Treme, Islip, NY. Additional dates are in the works.

Bob Merrill:
Bob Merrill: "Cheerin' Up the Universe" EPK

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USA: The Sun Ra Centennial Dream Arkestra to Release Live at the Babylon, Documenting 2014 Centennial Tour

The Sun Ra Centennial Dream Arkestra to Release
Live at the Babylon, Documenting 2014 Centennial Tour

Available September 4 on IN+OUT Records
Recording Marks First Album Released in Eight Years

Forever alterable, young again and freshly strengthened, The Sun Ra Centennial Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen presents itself on Live at the Babylon, the only live recording from the Centennial Dream Arkestra tour. Recorded at Istanbul's Babylon music club, marking the hundredth birthday of it's founder, Sun Ra, the tour kicked off in 2014 and lead the band around the globe. The ensemble sparked with a briskness that is a testimony to the timelessness and infinity of their mission. 
Live at the Babylon is an aural illustration of the enthusiasm of the brothers Mehmet and Ahmet Uluğ. The tenacious Sun Ra fans indeed made it happen. They wanted to bring the Sun Ra Arkestra to Istanbul for the first time since 1990. Both, however, were inexperienced promoters. They drove the band on a flat bed trailer down the arterial road to Taksim-Square and the nearby concert hall they had booked. The unusual promotion campaign drew thousands of curious spectators. Sun Ra's blessing turned out to be fruitful with the concert being a great success. In consequence, the Uluğ brothers founded the music promotion enterprise Pozitif and later on the Babylon. An Istanbul myth had come to life. Therefore, this CD/DVD special edition is dedicated to the late Mehmet Uluğ, whose untimely death occurred in 2012. 
The Sun Ra Arkestra performing in the streets of Istanbul in 1990

Terrific talents grew up in the well-kept house of 91-year-old Maestro Allen in Philadelphia, including piano player Farid Barron, Ra's current representative on planet Earth. Barron's exceptional sense of timing, phrasing and timbre puts him on the same level as piano players such as Art Tatum. Before he started to travel to the opposite side of the jazz continuum, Barron had contributed to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra under the direction of Wynton Marsalis. It was Allen who also discovered violin player and highly gifted vocalist Tara Middleton, whose vibrant and velvet, impressive alto voice is capable of claiming the chairs of two Arkestra legends; June Tyson and Art Jenkins. Within the sequence of brilliant solos, James Stuart convinces with a mighty overblown, circular-breathing stream of strength on tenor saxophone. Band veteran Vincent Chancey, Sun Ra's favorite on the French horn, displays archaic charisma in sounding like a siren's singing or conch shell trumpet. With Wayne Anthony Smith Jr. on the drums, Allen took in a young and versatile timekeeper, who is potent to act as the kicking and the supporting leg while also simultaneously providing a confident rhythm base for the music spectacle. The entire rhythm section dives deep into the band's history, which has always closely tied together place and time to gain singularity. 
Attracted by rhythm layers which reach into each other, the listener gets into the musical cosmos in a quite gentle way, as if sleepwalking. The pieces build upon each other and grow into each other. Microtonal sequences oscillate across the entire interplay of compositions, they emerge and dive, change perpetually, as if the tones were alchemical ingredients of a lively and ever more self-generating primeval soup. The merit goes to Allen, who is tirelessly evaluating and interpreting the immeasurable treasure of the tone-documents Sun Ra left behind. These recordings stem from the never-ending rehearsals in Sun Ra's headquarters, and their musical treasure has never before been unveiled in front of an audience. Being reconstructed from the original compositions such as "Ra #2" and "Carefree #2," the Arkestra is an experience of splendid resurrection whether it is the live concert or on the recording Live at the Babylon. It is a sensation. It is Sun Ra rediscovered.
The Sun Ra Akestra · Live at The Babylon
In + Out Records · Release Date: September 4, 2015
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USA: Johannes Wallmann - Town Musicians (2015)

Available from iTunes,, or directly from the Fresh Sounds record label.

01. Water Music - For People Without Aquariums
02. Wookie's Groove
03. Interlude #1
04. November Song
05. Paper Balls
06. Lakeshore
07. I Could Have Danced All Night
08. Interlude #2
09. A House For Men And Birds
10. Town Musicians
11. Interlude #3
12. Concurrencies

Johannes Wallmann – Piano; Gilad Hekselman – Guitar; Russ Johnson – Trumpet; Sean Conly - Bass; Jeff Hirshfield – Drums