Thursday, March 31, 2016

USA: Steve Cohn New Release “ANSPRUCHSVOLL” + Dissident Arts Festival Appearance

Pianist Steve Cohn
New Release
Dissident Arts Festival Appearance August 2016
@ ShapeShifter Lab

Steve Cohn - solo piano 
(Unseenrain Records UR9983) Street Date: May 6, 2016

ANSPRUCHSVOLL – An exquisite recording of solo piano improvisations,
 alternately rhapsodic, pointillistic, reflective, gregarious, yet always Cohn. The hidden marriage of jazz and new music is always lurking beneath Steve's flowing pianism.
At every turn, Cohn surprises and exceeds expectations. Puns and wisps of ideas run through everything. Stutterstep syncopation becomes a uniting factor in a broad range of perspectives... Steve Cohn makes a place for himself among his contemporaries with this recording. He sits very comfortably next to Matthew Shipp or Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus.
Brad Fasnacht, freelance writer in Chicago, former contributing editor, New York Press

Ever innovative, pianist Steve Cohn has developed a unique style of improvisation over the course of his career which has taken him across styles of jazz as well as around the world. With over 25 recordings in his name, Steve has played with the likes of Eddie Henderson, Sonny Simmons, Reggie Workman, Barry Altschul, Oliver Lake, Fred Hopkins, Bruce Ditmas, Denis Charles, William Parker, Bob Stewart, Frank Lowe ,Karl Berger, Steve Lacy among many others. He has performed his own works at venues such as New York City’s Miller Theatre, the Newport JVC Festival, the Great American Music Hall, World Shakuhachi Festivals and other festivals and tours in Europe, Estonia, Japan, Canada, Mexico and the USA.
He has conducted master classes (including the Paris National Conservatory) and has received grants from Arts International, Meet the Composer, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Two of his recordings, SUFI DANCERS and ITTEKIMASU, received four star ratings in Downbeat Magazine and placed on the list of top ten releases in Cadence Magazine. THE BEGGAR AND THE ROBOT IN DIAMONDS was also chosen on the “Top Ten List” by Tracking Angle. His recordings, BRIDGE OVER THE X-STREAM, THE BLAIR RECORDINGS, WIRE, IRO IRO and many more have also received much acclaim.
“Cohn’s intricate counterpoint and drama-infused harmonies are equally efective on muscular jazz-hued sprints and pointillistic passages. There are few American pianists who have Cohn’s talents”
Bill Shoemaker, Downbeat Magazine 

" Cohn's playing is hypnotic and remarkable throughout. He is a true original." Robert Spencer, Cadence Magazine

AVAILABLE FROM: CDBaby, Itunes and Amazon and direct from Steve Cohn:
write to 

About Steve Cohn

Music, art and poetry surge through the spirit of pianist & Shakuhachi innovator Steven Louis Cohn. Creatively he is unchained with a distinct virtuosity that has evolved over time. The unrestricted aspect of his improvisation has not confined him artistically. His talent has been admired and recognized by conventional outlets as well. Steve has conducted master classes at the Paris National Conservatory and has had his compositions commissioned for performance with the Wantanbe Dance Company in Japan. Cohn has been awarded performance grants from the NJ Council of the Arts, performed at ‘Ottawa Jazz Festival (’88 & 2000), Fiesta International USSR. Cohesively, Steve has worked with a number of well-renown musicians: Reggie Workman, Jason Hwang, William Parker Tom Varner, Fred Hopkins, Karl Berger, Oliver Lake, Barry Altschul; Bob Stewart. His invitation to be a part of the Movement meets Musician’s in Amsterdam infused dance and live painting with his music. Cohn’s journey is filled with intrigue and discovery as we chart his professional experience.

A San Francisco native, Steve began playing piano at the age of 8, while uncovering that he had a natural gift, he only became more serious about his craft as a teenager. Influenced by musicians such as Santana, Simon Garfunkel, The Supremes, Led Zeppelin & Howling Wolf Steve’s appreciation for a spectrum of music was imprinted from the start. Cohn’s early musical career began with a spontaneous introduction to the blues in high school. His concentration on creative expression was further piqued by Cohn’s arrival at UCLA in ‘71. The campus ethno-music program and multinational population ignited Steve’s fascination with world instruments. It ultimately led to his study of the Shakuhachi flute during his early undergraduate years. Cohn spent two years in Japan immersing himself in the culture. He later returned to the states and began studying classical piano & 20th century music at San Francisco State University with Pulitzer Prize winner, Wayne Peterson. Here, he further cultivated his affinity for Jazz. Cohn’s brilliance gave way to collaborations with the likes of Sonny Simmons & Eddie Henderson.
When asked to explain his approach to music Cohn remarks, “We don’t plan the music you don’t have to contrive it stands on its own without having to say anything. With my music I know the theory but I start on an unconscious level.” Yearning to expand his musical direction and innovate, Cohn threw away his musical map and plunged totally into improvisational music. He moved to New York City in ‘82 which gave way to performance highlights in New York’s Miller Theater for the New Works October Series. He has also performed at The Newport JVC Festival, Sweet Basil, The Great American Music Hall; Greenwich Village Jazz Festival. The heights of Steve’s improvisation soared as he taught himself how to extend the margins of traditional Shakuhachi playing. That same impulsive element is at the origin of his art work. A packet of felt “Pentel” pens given to him by his mother sparked his desire to paint and sketch. His earliest drawings began with an abstract interpretation of tarot cards. Today, Steve has numerous oil pastels, ink, charcoal, and watercolor pieces in his gallery. Each one is filled with the variation, complexity and theoretical elements that trace his music. Some have compared Cohn’s sound to the sense of floating in space while watching meteors zoom by. The musical landscape in New York became saturated by the end of the 90’s and began to stifle Cohn’s ingenuity. Steve travelled to Europe where he ended up performing primarily in Paris with 2 trios under his leadership. The first one featured Bass Player Stefan Kereki. The other trio with Bass Player J.J. Avenel & on drums John Betsch. His European tour further included a 2008 Amsterdam and Leiden Holland festival/ work-shops and 2010-Prague Shakuhachi Festival. Steve has toured in Chicago 3 times from 2008-2011 working closely in concert venues and recording session with artist Jimmy Bennington, Guillermo Gregorio, Jeff Marx, Dushon Mosely among others. Most recently in 2012 thru 2015 Cohn collaborated with producer Doc Holiday in Norfolk Virginia and Nashville Tennessee for the release of “Electric Jazz Opus" in studio recording, "Please Leave a Message" and soon to be released "Spokenash".  Collectively, Steve’s untethered passion to stretch the musical landscape remains. His adventures in the arena of abstract continue. He is still innovating classical and jazz standards with novel interpretation. Cohn uncovers new levels of improvisation that cast intrigue. That is the magic of his legacy.

Media Contact JIM EIGO, JAZZ PROMO SERVICES 272 State Route 94 South #1, Warwick, NY 10990-3363
Ph: 845-986-1677 / Fax: 845-986-1699 Cell / text: 917-755-8960 Skype: jazzpromo 
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USA: Symposium in the Drum: From Africa to the New World | Randy Weston Artist-in-Residency

New School Jazz Artist-in-Residence Randy Weston says that he and many other jazz performers play the piano like a drum: “The drum never left us”, he says, referring to the influence of the drum and his African heritage. This session will address that tradition as it has traveled throughout Africa, to the Caribbean, South America, and the United States, and will include a conversation among the participants moderated by renowned drumset artist Lewis Nash, demonstrations and a performance by the group, along with Randy Weston (piano) and Alex Blake (bass). 
Featuring performances by master drummers Candido (Cuba), Bonga (Haiti), Marcel Magnat (Guadeloupe), Khuent Rose(Honduras), Neil Clarke (United States), Lewis Nash (United States), Maalem Hassan Ben Jaafer (Morocco), following a discussion by professors Dr. Joseph Gaines and Dr. Acklyn Lynch

Including a screening of FOLI: There is no Movement without Rhythm (2010), a film by Thomas Robbers and Floris Leeuwenberg. Color, 11mins. 

Life has a rhythm, it’s constantly moving.
The word for rhythm ( used by the Malinke tribes ) is FOLI.
It is a word that encompasses so much more than drumming, dancing or sound.
It’s found in every part of daily life.
In this film you not only hear and feel rhythm but you see it.
It’s an extraordinary blend of image and sound that
feeds the senses and reminds us all how essential it is.
–  Thomas Roebers 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

USA/JAPAN: Shunzo Ohno @ Symphony Space Fri, April 1st 7pm

Shunzo Ohno, one of the most versatile and influential trumpeters in modern jazz, presents ReNew in concert on April 1st @ Symphony Space, NYC.
With ‘recovery to discovery’ in mind, ReNew, cd is a testament to those affected by disasters that have taken place throughout the world including the 2011 tsunami in Japan. ReNew embraces elements of the traditional jazz, hip hop, spoken word, and free jazz, woven together to create a tapestry of modern jazz that is distinctly Shunzo Ohno.

News: Shunzo Ohno presently in Northern Japan, visiting refugee centers, schools and families who are currently in the process of recovery, 5 years after the tsunami/earthquake and nuclear failure. His  last two cds are dedicated to people who are experiencing their greatest challenges in Northern Japan. Through his own process of recovery, Shunzo Ohno recognizes this experience has unlimited possibilities to uncover a powerful personal discovery and benefit our global humankind.

The ReNew Concert features bassist Mark Egan, drummer, Billy Kilson, tabla master, Ray Spiegel, pianist David Berkman and Shunzo Ohno on trumpet.

 Win a pair of free tickets to the April 1st Symphony Space concert or a ReNew cd    Winners announced March 28th.
The documentary short Never Defeated, the Shunzo Ohno Story will premiere and kick off the concert on April 1st..
"[Shunzo Ohno]... plays tight, crisply phrased lines with a stabbing rhythmic effect. Without the mute, his open tone has a broad, ringing sound that soars through high-powered driving lines..." The New York Times
Look for tidbits and sneak-peeks on “Never Defeated” and ReNew concert and contest:

USA: Paul Connors Organ Trio- Soulphonic(2016)

Paul Connors Organ Trio | SoulphonicThe Paul Connors Organ Trio performs thoughtful reinterpretations of R&B and Soul classics from masters Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, Shuggie Otis and many more which are featured on the trio's debut CD Soulphonic. The trio’s live repertoire also includes a wide variety of music spanning original compositions, jazz standards, the odd-Beatles tune, and of course some down-home blues taken from the classic organ trio canon of artists such as Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Larry Young, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and Don Patterson. Whether the trio are playing elements of what may be considered blues, r&b, soul, funk, jazz, or gospel the trio are locked into the pocket - it’s all about the groove.

CANADA: John Lee-The Art of Trio (2016)

John Lee | The Art of Trio 

" I feel as though 'The Art of Trio' is a culmination of my younger years as a musician. The aspect of vision and musicianship are so balanced with what I had in mind at that time that I couldn't be more satisfied with this live recording. It's nothing near perfect. There's still so far to go as a musician and human being - I am thrilled to experience that growth. I would like to thank my dear band mates for making this come to life. Without their tireless efforts, none of this would have been possible. I look at this recording as a very clear photo of my musical life that I can always look back on. Enjoy the photo. "

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

USA: Jazz Research Roundtable - Allen Lowe: "WAM, BAM: White American Music, Black American Music Mar 30th 7:00 pm, John Cotton Dana Library

Jazz Research Roundtable
March 30, 2016: Allen Lowe: "WAM, BAM: White American Music, Black American Music: The Restless and Revolutionary Tradition (sic) and the Spirit of Static Change: Deep Sources"
On March 30, 2016 Allen Lowe will present a Research Roundtable entitled: WAM, BAM: White American Music, Black American Music: The Restless and Revolutionary Tradition (sic) and the Spirit of Static Change: Deep Sources.
Jazz's biggest problem is, I think, complacency. Hence a lot of its conservative reaffirmation of certain kinds of 'traditional' values. Yet the music has survived by virtue of its paradoxically revolutionary traditionalism - it's ability to look at its past (and the past, really, of all American music) through the slightly distorting yet transforming lens of sonic variation, out of deeply African and African American sources altered, even as they changed internally, by the pressures of white, Euro-American economic hegemony. The result is a Creolization of certain kind of sonic habits, black to the core yet never shy about their borrowings from both outsiders and insiders. Hence this talk: 

We will play a series of recordings illustrating aspect of varying styles of black American music from the years 1900-1950, and discuss the ways in which they both fit into and deviate from conventional ideas of this American sonic heritage.

Allen Lowe is a historian and saxophonist whose latest CD project, Mulatto Radio: A Jew At Large in the Minstrel Diaspora has been called a work of "genius" by John Szwed. In the past he has recorded with Julius Hemphill, David Murray, Matthew Shipp, Roswell Rudd, Doc Cheatham, Ursula Oppens, and others. Loewe has written several books on jazz, rock and roll, and the blues, and is currently working on a history of country music. He is also a mastering and restoration engineer.

The roundtable will take place in the Dana Room of the John Cotton Dana Library, Rutgers University-Newark at 7PM.


USA: Mark Warren-Portraits (2016)

Mark Warren | Portraits
You hear a lot of people say, “there’s no good music nowadays,” especially when reminded of music icons like Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and Sam Cooke. Mark Warren attempts to crush that myth with a mix of jazz, R&B, soul, and singer-songwriter pizzazz that points to how far music has come through the ages. With artists like Michael Bublé and Harry Connick Jr. continuing a tradition of jazz, to Ed Sheeran and Dave Barnes, who keep the soulful singer-songwriter vibe alive for a new generation, today's generation has so much music to be inspired by.

Meant to be a tribute to so many songs Mark sings on a regular basis as a wedding singer, “I Just Can’t Stop” is a snazzy big band original with obvious influence of Count Basie and his band.

“Here I Stand” was written for his best friend’s wedding. This song pays homage to classic ballads like Unchained Melody.

“Sugar Reacher” is a funky goofy attempt at coining a phrase. His meaning is to immortalize those special people that always selflessly give of themselves. (In this case passing out condiments at the table while everyone else is chowing down…)

“Why Don’t You” shows a deep influence of R&B with cascading falsetto harmonies and a testament to the hardship of chronic disease. Mark’s wife, while suffering from chronic Lyme Disease for over 10 years, uttered those heart-wrenching words, “why don’t you go?” not out of spite but out of a selfless love for his potential. His answer says it all, “I made a vow to be with you even when it’s scary.”

“Wherever” was written for a family member going through the deepest darkest places of depression. When advice is meaningless, “you are not alone” is the anthem of kindness.

“So Close” is a gospel-music driven ode to the hardships of life. No matter how much we try, we WILL fail and continue to fail throughout life, but we must not give up.

“Come to Me” was written at three different times during Mark’s engagement to his wife, Bailey. With a George Benson vibe, he wrote the first verse and chorus when, right after they became engaged, Bailey took the internship of a lifetime in Hawaii. The second verse and chorus were written after Mark was able to take a weekend trip to see her. The last verse and chorus were written the day Bailey returned. Mark first performed this song live on the piano at their rehearsal dinner accompanied by his father, Rick, on guitar, and his brother, Matt, on bass.

“Everything” came out of Mark and Bailey’s time in Hawaii. Hawaiian reggae, with its close harmonies and easy island groove, inspired Mark to write a new song to his beach playlist.

“Katie Rose” draws a funny line between lullaby, two-stepping, and funk. Written for one of Mark’s nieces, this song leaves us a with a sense of his legacy of joy. Albeit also a legacy of musical genre ADHD.

Overall, Mark Warren's first album "Portraits" is a deeply personal adventure into his musical influences.

SPAIN: Melli-Despierta (2016)

Melli | Despierta 
Los temas, originales y arreglados por la propia banda, buscan fusionar el pop con estilos tan diversos como el funk, la bossa nova, el jazz o el latin. El resultado final es un Pop Fusión fresco y único, arropado por dos versátiles y cálidas voces.
Voces: Annelis y Angélica Suárez
Batería y Percusión: Melchor Enrique (Chiky)
Bajo: Alberto Tostado
Pianos y Teclados: Juan Robles
Hammond en "Ahora": Raúl Osuna

“Melli” is the musical project of Angelica and Annelis Suárez (Puerto Padre -Cuba- 18th December 1979). Singers and composers, they graduated in the prestigious Music University of ISA (Instituto Superior de Arte de Cuba), with a first class and maximum qualification in the Speciality of Lyric Singing.
They are both similar not only in the physical appearance, they are twins, but in their vocal and performing talent. Not just their wide vocal range, their tuning and the colour of their voices, but also for the diversity of the genres that they have ventured to interpret with total success, and for the striking, fresh, casual but elegant image they portray. “Melli” represents a very interesting example of a vocal format, fusing the traditional music of their native country (Cuba) and assuming the influences of the European music, jazz, bossa nova, R&B and adult pop.
They have two albums on the market: "In Same Soul" - 2004, Placer de Canos / Karonte - (accompanied by prestigious Cuban musicians) and "Reforms" - 2008, El Pescador de Estrellas / EMI - (from the help of producer Paco Ortega), a simple: "Laugh" - 2009, No Hunger - (with Juan Valverde) and her latest production, "Annelis" - 2012, Melli Music - in which "do everything" lyrics and music composition, arrangements, production, editing ... This, along with the following EP launch ("Angelica") make up the two parts of his next album: a collection of very special and personal songs that describe her musical essence

Monday, March 28, 2016

COLOMBIA: Yaku-Yaku ( Laguna Records2016)

Yaku | Yaku
Yaku teje y combina diversos elementos del jazz, la música clásica y la música tradicional de los Andes, dando origen a un lenguaje sonoro único que captura la sensibilidad del oyente y extiende su percepción.
El repertorio de Yaku es una adaptación moderna de la música tradicional Latinoamericana; es un resultado de múltiples perspectivas musicales, así como de la identidad y el acervo de cada uno de los músicos que hacen parte del proyecto. Yaku teje y combina diversos elementos del jazz, la música clásica y la música tradicional de los Andes, dando origen a un lenguaje sonoro único que captura la sensibilidad del oyente y extiende su percepción.

Yaku's repertoir is a modern adaptation of traditional latinamerican music; is a result of several musical perspectiives, and the identities, and influences of each of it”smusicians as well. Yaku weaves and combines elements from jazz, classical music, and traditional music from the Andes, coming up into a unique sonorous language that captures the listener sensibility and extends its perception.


USA: Peter Bernstein - "Let Loose" - Smoke Sessions Records

Guitarist Peter Bernstein Stays Loose and Relaxed with
All Star Quartet on Smoke Sessions Records
Debut, Let Loose - Available May 6

Album Release Celebration Tuesday, May 3
Through Sunday, May 8 at Village Vanguard

"...a believer in clarity and the essence of a song..."
The New York Times

Guitarist Peter Bernstein is justly renowned as an interpreter of other people's music. His unerring, relaxed swing, his stunning gift for crafting and developing sophisticated melodies, the un-showy but absorbing narrative arc of his solos, the just plain rightness of his in-the-moment choices -- all of these account for his well-established status as one of the most in-demand musicians on the New York jazz scene.

Let Loose, Bernstein's debut release for Smoke Sessions Records, shifts the focus to Bernstein the composer. Five of the album's nine tracks stem from the guitarist's pen, each of them fulfilling the essential criterion that he sets forth for a worthwhile composition: "The tune has to be fun to play." It's a mantra that Bernstein has rehearsed regularly at the club that gives the label its name -- even before it had that name. He's been a regular at Smoke since the days when it was Augie's, and continues to be a regular presence on its stage.

Due out May 6, Let Loose features a quartet of artists who are equally well versed in tradition and innovation, who can breathe ecstatic life into these pieces while simultaneously anchoring them with deep roots. Bassist Doug Weiss and drummer Bill Stewart are longtime collaborators stretching back nearly three decades to their time together with Bernstein at William Paterson College. Gerald Clayton is the newcomer to the fold but brings along a reputation as one of the most respected pianists of his generation. The quartet found their opportunity to flesh out a sound on one of the most revered stages in all of jazz during a weeklong stint at the Village Vanguard, where they quickly forged their collective voice.

The spirit of the session is pithily captured in the title of the album: Let Loose, another case of simplicity masking complexity. The surface meaning suggests an unbridling of passion, an opening of the floodgates of expression that definitely characterizes the playing of all four members of the quartet. But there's also the suggestion of the need to allow oneself to be loose, free, open to whatever may come -- a guiding principle on the stage as well as off.

"That's the only way to get through life," Bernstein says, "to be loose and relaxed, to let things happen. The only way to truly improvise is to deal with the situation at hand and do your best with what's in front of you."

That attitude may help to explain why Bernstein can surface in so many vastly different contexts, always retaining his profoundly individual voice while fitting so ideally into whatever situation he finds himself. From his earliest experiences with saxophone giant Lou Donaldson, Bernstein has gone on to work with countless legends, including Sonny Rollins, Lee Konitz, and Jimmy Cobb, forming a particularly lasting and significant bond with organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith. At the same time, he's worked with a broadly diverse swath of his peers, including Brad Mehldau, Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, Eric Alexander, and a two-year stint with Diana Krall.

The ability to shift so effortlessly from one style to the next has made him in many listeners' minds the epitome of the New York musician, and it's a quality he shares with his band mates. Clayton is a second-generation jazz star, the son of bassist John Clayton and nephew of saxophonist Jeff Clayton. He's become an integral member of their Clayton Brothers band and also spent time on the road and in the studio with Diana Krall; in addition to leading his own bands he's worked with Roy Hargrove, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Charles Lloyd; he was recently tapped to represent the Monterey Jazz Festival as part of an all-star touring ensemble alongside Nicholas Payton, Ravi Coltrane, and Raul Midón.

Weiss has formed rhythm section partnerships with an eclectic roster of drummers, from Al Foster to Brian Blade to Billy Drummond, and anchored bands led by Brad Mehldau, Eddie Henderson, and Marc Copland. The ever-versatile Stewart has worked with everyone from John Scofield to Maceo Parker to Jim Hall, placing his own stamp on the music whether it's swinging or funky or modernist. 

Let Loose is centered on four new originals written by Bernstein that both seemed of a piece and complementary to one another. The pairing of Bobby Hutcherson and McCoy Tyner wasn't far from Bernstein's mind when he wrote the title track, and traces of the two legends' barbed soulfulness are evident throughout. Bernstein's solo rides its roiling momentum with bold, stinging lines, followed by Clayton's sharp-elbowed harmonic convolutions.

Translated from Spanish, "Resplendor" means shine, brightness, glimmer. The obvious English analogue would be "resplendent," and it's an apt description of this warm, sun-dappled ballad with its hint of Latin accent. Bernstein opens "Hidden Pockets" with a lyrical statement cushioned by Clayton's cloud-like accompaniment. The title comes from a line in "Only You," a love poem by the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi. Once the band enters, the tune shifts from the contemplative to the ecstatic, reflecting the consuming passion of the source material.

The last of the four new pieces is "Lullaby for B," a gently lilting tune inspired by Bernstein's young son Bruno. The final original is "Cupcake," a reworking of Bernstein's tune "Carrot Cake" with, as the title implies, the sweetness turned up. It's got a joyously funky swagger that allows Bernstein to show off his tasteful blues licks and spotlights Stewarts ability to elaborate and ornament a deceptively simple groove.

The album is filled out with four well chosen but far from obvious covers. Cuban songwriter Osvaldo Farrés' swooning "Tres Palabras" is best known for Nat "King" Cole's lush rendition, though Bernstein's interest can be traced once again to Bobby Hutcherson, who recorded it on his 1999 album Skyline. Woody Shaw's "Sweet Love of Mine" uncoils at a slow, scintillating burn, while "Blue Gardenia," familiar from Dinah Washington's beloved version, is a gorgeous ballad featuring Bernstein's precisely articulated lyricism and a dose of wry Ellingtonia folded into Clayton's solo. The album closes with Kurt Weill's "This Is New," its briskly played melody sparking a barrage from Stewart that picks up on the acute-angle percussiveness of Clayton's solo.

"Let Loose" was recorded live in New York at Sear Sound's Studio A
on a Neve 8038 custom console at 96KHz/24bit and mixed to ½" analog tape
using a Studer mastering deck. Available in audiophile HD format.

Peter Bernstein · Let Loose
Smoke Sessions Records · Release Date: May 6, 2016

For more information on Peter Bernstein, please visit

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USA: "Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set" | March 25 via Verve

Verve to Release Jazz at the Philharmonic:
The Ella Fitzgerald Set Showcasing
Classic Songs Recorded From 1949 - 1954

Complete U.S. JATP Performance Released
for First Time with 22 Remastered Tracks

As part of Verve's 60th Anniversary, the storied imprint is set to release the complete U.S. Jazz at the Philharmonic performances of celebrated vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. This classic material, which has previously been released on various albums, will be released for the first time in one dynamic live set featuring the original 12-track vinyl LP album cover from 1983. The re-mastered 22-track CD and digital audio collection, with an essay by author Will Friedwald, features a wide spectrum of A-list musicians including Hank Jones, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, and more.

Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set was recorded through various performances between 1949 and 1954, with all original recordings being supervised by the historic label's founder and Fitzgerald's longtime manager, Norman Granz. Highlights include jaw-dropping interpretations of "Old Mother Hubbard," "Oh, Lady Be Good!," "Lullaby of Birdland," and the all-star jam session, "Flying Home."

In 1944, Granz launched the historic Jazz at the Philharmonic series in Los Angeles, which would last 40 years. In the formative years of JATP, Granz invited the vocal icon to join some of the greatest musicians in the world, following in the JATP tradition of Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, and Helen Humes. It wasn't until 1953, when JATP was on tour in Japan that Granz talked to Fitzgerald about managing her career when the singer's contract with Moe Gale at Associated Booking Corporation ran up at the end of the year. She was hesitant at first, but after telling her that it was a matter of pride, the two joined for a historic partnership that lasted more than four decades. With a soon-to-be-ending contract with Decca, Granz launched Verve and announced Fitzgerald as their inaugural signing while they continued work on the JATP series.

The crown jewel of Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set was the September 1949 performance at the famed Carnegie Hall-the engagement provides more than 45-minutes of music for this historic release. Granz opens that performance and this release with a special introduction of "the greatest thing in jazz today," Ella Fitzgerald. Two other introductions of the illustrious vocalist appear on the box as well-another from Granz, and one from Dizzy Gillespie.

Throughout three heavy-hitting tracks, Fitzgerald receives support from an all-star JATP horn section featuring trumpeter Roy Eldridge, trombonist Tommy Turk, and saxophonists Charlie Parker, Flip Phillips, and Lester Young. "Flying Home" showcases remarkable scatting from Fitzgerald and features a Phillips solo. "How High the Moon" shows a new take on the classic chorus while switching back and forth between horn players, and "Perdido" hands the reins to the brass players for the melody, with each player taking a solo while Fitzgerald replaces the published lyrics with fervent scatting.

Some of the vocalist's classic tunes appear in this performance as well. She infuses the 1800's nursery rhyme "Old Mother Hubbard" with modern jazz chord progressions and a number of outside melodies, and also performs her trademark tune, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." Fitzgerald visits two soulful ballads as well, including "A New Shade of Blues" and "Black Coffee," a signature tune for Peggy Lee later on.

Having produced an entire album in homage to Gershwin, it's fitting that the singer includes two of the venerable pianist's tunes. "Oh, Lady Be Good!" has a breakneck tempo that also appears on Ella Sings Gershwin, while "Somebody Loves Me" has a snappy up-tempo that did not appear on her previous Gershwin record. Fitzgerald also explores recordings from Sir Charles Thompson ("Robbins Nest"), Duke Ellington ("I'm Just a Lucky So-And-So"), and Spencer Williams ("Basin Street Blues").

The rest of the release comes from two performances, a year apart, at Bushnell Memorial Hall in Hartford, Connecticut with support from pianist Raymond Tunia, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer J.C. Heard. In 1953, Granz captures two rare songs from Fitzgerald: a moving performance of Jerome Kern's "Bill," and a blues-heavy version of Peggy Lee's tour-de-force "Why Don't You Do Right."

The final five tracks were recorded just a year later. The 1954 performances start off with Gershwin's songbook-standard "A Foggy Day," and move on to showcase compelling contemporary hits. By the time she performed "Lullaby of Birdland" in Hartford, it had already become a success from a recording made just a few months earlier. A beautiful rendition of "The Man That Got Away" is a calm and deliberate recording, while "Hernando's Hideaway" contrasts as a comedy and dance number from The Pajama Game with lyrics exclusive to performance (a 1962 recording of this track did not include this one-time chorus). The set closes with "Later," which elegantly displays Fitzgerald's seamless blend of R&B, pop, bebop, and swing.

The remarkable relationship between an American jazz impresario and the First Lady of Song stands alone as a historically important release and is equally as crucial to celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Verve. Granz produced many consequential performances, however the dynamic live recordings heard on Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set are in a league of their own.

For more information, visit
For media information, please contact:
DL Media  ·  610-667-0501
Maureen McFadden ·
Matthew Jurasek ·
Don Lucoff ·
Serving the Finest in Jazz Since 1988
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Sunday, March 27, 2016

UK: Rick Jensen - Drag Your Dead Through The Streets For All To See (2016)

Drag Your Dead Through The Streets For All To See cover art01. A Momentary Flicker
02. The Sinking Island
03. Do You Know How the Shadows Work
04. Protein
05. I Believe In Something
06. Glide in For the Kill
07. The Silver Circle
08. Everything is Unattended
09. Uncomfortable
10. No Light on the River
11. The Three Worlds
12. Uncivil People
13. The Rail Giant
14. Drag Your Dead Through the Streets for all to See
15. Swimming on Land
16. Metaphorical Lux

NORWAY: Jon Balke - Warp (ECM 2016)

WarpWarp situates the solo piano of Norway’s Jon Balke within a subtle architecture of composed soundscapes, in fluctuating dimensions of space. “As always,” says Balke, “the more you explore and discover, the further you want to go, and things are not so simple anymore. It’s a very interesting process.” And what begins as gently exploratory solo piano gradually acquires an almost hallucinatory aspect. Balke’s solo piano was recorded at Oslo’s Rainbow Studio, and the sound images were recorded and processed by Balke and Audun Kleive. Additional field recordings by Balke were integrated in the mix of the album at RSI Studio Lugano in September 2015. Warp was produced by Jon Balke and Manfred Eicher. 

01Heliolatry (Balke) 03:19
02This Is the Movie (Balke) 05:18
03Bucolic (Balke) 04:05
04On and On (Balke) 04:57
05Bolide (Balke) 04:51
06Amarinthine (Balke) 03:03
07Shibboleth (Balke) 02:47
08Mute (Balke) 01:15
09Slow Spin (Balke) 04:23
10Boodle (Balke) 02:26
11Dragoman (Balke) 03:41
12Kantor (Balke) 04:05
13Geminate (Balke) 00:53
14Telesthesia (Balke) 01:29
15Geminate var. (Balke) 01:58
16Heliolatry var. (Balke) 03:51

USA: Anthony Braxton-3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011 (Firehouse 12 2016)

3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011 cover art

3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011 features the first studio recordings of Braxton’s Echo Echo Mirror House Music—the latest conceptual innovation in Braxton’s five-decade career. With his Ghost Trance Music, Braxton created a framework for his musicians to freely explore his entire compositional output in each concert; with his Diamond Curtain Wall music, he brought his own interactive electronics into his improvisational palette. Now with Echo Echo Mirror House Music, Anthony Braxton brings these ideas to the next level. In this ensemble of longtime collaborators, all the musicians wield iPods in addition to their instruments, while navigating scores that combine cartography and evocative graphic notation, creating a musical tapestry combining live performance and sampled sound from Braxton’s extensive recorded discography.

Impeccably recorded at Firehouse 12’s state-of-the-art studio, the music is available in two formats: a traditional three-CD box set and a 5.1 Surround Sound audiophile Blu-ray disc. “As a culture, we are slowly moving away from target linear experiences that are framed as stationary constructs that don’t change on repeated listening, to a new world that constantly serves up fresh opportunities and interactive discourse,” Braxton says. “American people have made it clear that the new times will call for dynamic inter-action experiences.”
releases April 1, 2016

Anthony Braxton: composer, sopranino, soprano and alto saxophones, iPod;
Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet, flugelhorn, trumpbone, iPod;
Mary Halvorson: guitar, iPod;
Jessica Pavone: violin, viola, iPod;
Jay Rozen: tuba, iPod;
Aaron Siegel: percussion, vibraphone, iPod;
Carl Testa: bass, bass clarinet, iPod

Firehouse 12 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

UK/ISRAEL: Ziv Taubenfeld, Shay Hazan, Nir Sabag - Bones (LEO RECORDS 2016)

CD LR 743
This album is a first document of the trio's wanderings in the Orchard. A journey where one finds a simple melody, a hint to the past, subject to personal interpretation. A secret. Space and a wide range of dynamics are made possible thanks to the unique instrumentation of bass clarinet (Ziv Taubenfeld), double bass (Shay Hazan) and drums (Nir Sabag). The session has been recorded in an intimate living room during a tour in The Netherlands.

FINLAND:New music from vocalist Johanna Elina with a contribution by Sigur Ros producer

Expanding the boundaries of alternative pop, traditional song formats and idea of jazz, Johanna Elina builds up her own universe questioning the idioms of the already known. Sigur Ros producer Birgir Jon Birgisson provides mastering for her second album "Belonging".

Landing into Copenhagen 6 years ago and hooking up with the innovative and open-minded musicians has led to her to e.g discover the new platform for vocal improvisation and with IKI (winner of the Danish Music Grammy 2011), many improv. and modern jazz collaborations including the legendary Tomasz Stanko experience and many others. Johanna's attitude towards music is about personal sound, that gives the freedom to cross the borders between different genres.

With her own group "Johanna Elina" she released her first solo album 2011 and is now about to release the second one. Inspiration for music is drawn from the intimate, personal experiences, exploring the circle of life - birth and  death, alienation and travel towards "Belonging." She's discovering the new studio techniques and post production, and the mixture of analog synths, drums and guitar with big respect for the melodies is the core of this album. Johanna traveled to Island to finish up the work at the Sundlaugin studio with Birgir Jon Birgisson, who's also known as being the producer/ sound engineer of Sigur Ros.

Her second album "Belonging" will be out in May in Finland and Estonia via Eclipse Music. Danish label DME will release the album in the autumn in Denmark, The UK and other territories.

Rytmihäiriö Helsinki 11.5.
Flame Jazz Turku 13.5.
Philly Joe's Tallinna 14.5. 

Tapio Ylinen / Eclipse Music
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