Saturday, April 30, 2016

USA: Rocco John Quartet "Embrace The Change" CD Release Party Fri, May 13th 7pm @ Caffe Vivaldi

Label: Unseen Rain UR-9947
Artist Website:
Release Date: MAY 6, 2016
UPC Code: 7783583260725

Rocco describes each album track in the liner notes:

WINGS 7’21: A free bop piece to free up our thoughts.
CIRCUITS 8’08: However remote or even impossible it may seem, we are all connected.
ESCAPE 8’39:The traps are all set up,wherever we turn. We need to escape the traps and think independently and creatively.
DIALUP 8’00: This represents calling for assistance from the universe.
WHISPERS 4’32: While we all hear the loud voices telling us what to do and how to do it, we really need to quiet down and listen to the whispers of our inner self.
TANGO 9’52: The dance of life.
72’s 10’56: Connection to the Endless.
WINGS (Epilogue) 7:51: The Joy of it all.

All music by: Rocco John Iacovone Recorded: March, 2015 and mixed at Urban Sound Studios, Riverdale, NJ by Todd Urban Mastered at Beanstudio, Wayne, NJ by Jim DeSalvo Cover painting by Denise Iacovone
Produced by Jack DeSalvo

“EMBRACE THE CHANGE is a thought, an idea, and a philosophy. It’s a comment on our evolution as human beings. It seems the only con- stant we experience is change and we constantly need to learn how to deal with it. To do this, we have to dig deep. These were the thoughts behind the compositions as I wrote them, and as we went into the studio.”Rocco John Iacovone’s studies with the legendary Lee Konitz and Sam Rivers as well as studies in composition under the direct disciples of Nadia Boulanger gives him a wide swath of musicial in uences that color each track of EMBRACE THE CHANGE. His stellar quartet gets deep into the leader’s music, designed to elicit unmitigated passion and creativity from Rich Rosenthal, François Grillot and Tom Cabrera. 

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UK: Catch Gwilym in the UK before he heads off on a world tour

Catch Gwilym in the UK before he heads off on a world tour

Gwilym has just a few concerts this Spring ahead of the exciting tour planned with jazz legend guitarist Pat Metheny.  All of the dates with Pat are now on Gwilym's website.

But before the world tour there are some very interesting projects that Gwilym will be performing IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS

On Thursday this week Gwilym will appear with top violinist Thomas Gould both at Kings Place and with a new Baroque project.

On Saturday 23rd April he will be back at his old school Chetham's in Manchester with a fabulous concert with two big bands.

On Thursday 28th April Gwilym will be at the St. James's Theatre in Victoria with legendary singer Norma Winstone MBE as part of their Jazz Divas series. This is a lovely venue with a wonderful intimate feel.

 Just before he heads off on tour with Pat Metheny he will play three nights at the Pizza Express on 2/3/4 May with  guitarist Mike Walker, electric bass maestro Laurence Cottle, drummer James Maddren and the great vocalist Liane Carroll in different combinations over the three nights.

2nd May Launch of New Organ Project "The Bulbous Juggernaut" with Mike Walker, Laurence Cottle and James Maddren

3rd May with  Liane Carroll, Laurence Cottle and James Maddren

4th May Jaco Pastorius Project with Laurence Cottle and James Maddren
“Outside of the piano, Jaco Pastorius is my favourite instrumentalist in the history of Jazz, but his legacy stretches far beyond the boundaries of any one genre. He revolutionised the role of the electric bass in a unique way, developing the instrument from its traditional role as 'goalkeeper' to one where he played melodies, chords, and any manner of special effects and sounds. We're playing tribute to Jaco, his legacy, and also his influence on the legendary band"

More information on Gwilym's website:
Norma Winstone 
One of the Glories of contemporary Jazz” – Jazz Journal
At St James's Theatre in Victoria on Thursday 28th April

USA/MEXICO: Tarana @ Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage (May 1st, 6:00pm)

Tarana @ Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage (May 1st, 6:00pm)

Our performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts last month kicked off our Spring on a positive note! We're excited to keep building momentum and are deeply honored to have been invited to perform at Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage this coming Sunday.
We have also been developing musical communities in Mexico since 2009, when we first performed at the Cultural Festival Zacatecas.  We are very excited to return for a longer than usual tour, with scheduled performances in various cities across Mexico.  The tour will culminate with a performance at the Festival Alfonsino in Monterrey on May 20th.
Please kindly check out Facebook Page for the most up-to-date tour schedule.

(photo below by: Nathan West)

Tour of Mexico 2016
May 6: Jazzatlan, Puebla
May 7: Centro Cultural Pedro Lopez Elias, Tepotzlan
May 8: Feria De San Marcos, Aguascalientes
May 9-12 Teaching Residency, TBC
May 13: Jazz Place, Mexico City, DF
May 14: Departamento, Mexico City, DF
May 16: Escuela Superior Festival, Mexico City, DF
May 17: Baja Circuito, Mexico City, DF
May 19: Sie7eocho, Cuernavaca
May 20: Festival Alfonsino, Monterrey

Tour of Texas, June 21-26, with a confirmed performance at the New Music & Sound Summit in Austin, TX on 6/24;
Mini-Tour of North-East US (NY, PA, OH), late-August;
Tour of Western Canada, Oct 1-8, with a confirmed performance at the Yardbird Suite, Edmonton, AB on 10/8;
Tour of Europe, mid-October to mid-November;

Classicalite Mike Greenblatt (Oct 28, 2015)
“If you had to put a spin on post-rock band Sigur Ros from Reykjavik, Iceland, Jamaican trombone player Vin Gordon (one of reggae’s original rude boys) and the tragic Midwestern electronica pioneer DJ Rashad, it might wind up sounding just like Tarana does on A Fire Of Flowers Grows Around Us. Not that Tarana actually sounds like them. The point is; they sound like nobody. Still, elements of the aforementioned pop up like weeds between city sidewalks. It’s alive. It throbs with static electricity. You can’t stop listening to it. At least I couldn’t..” Read More…

The Big Takeover Chuck Foster (Sept 16, 2015)
“Blips and beeps dance over a percussive plane of sonic haze. It’s the same head-scratching genius of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, only updated for the technological age.” Read More…

Tiny Mix Tapes C. Monster (Sept 8, 2015)
“Off the duo’s newest release, A FIRE OF FLOWERS GROWS AROUND US, Tarana (Ravish Momin & Rick Parker) develops listeners’ hearing with their single, most pleasantly haunting first track, ‘Myvatn.’ ” Read More…

FACTmag (Music Video Premiere) (Sept 2, 2015)

“The duo Tarana nestles into a fascinating space between jazz, electronica, and the Bollywood and Indian folk music of project founder Ravish Momin’s childhood home. They explore it in length on their upcoming album A Fire Of Flowers Grows Around Us due September 18 via Wondermachine Records, but for now, watch the video by Alexandra Momin for ‘Myvatn’ which uses visual distortion as warped and fluid as the music behind it.” Read More…

Friday, April 29, 2016

USA/CUBA Pedrito Martinez Group-Habana Dreams (Motema Music 2016)

The Pedrito Martinez Group follow up their GRAMMY-nominated debut with the release of HABANA DREAMS, pushing forward the group's cutting-edge sound with some of the biggest names in Latin music - Rubén Blades, Descemer Bueno, and Issac Delgado.

Recorded in both Cuba and New York, the album marks the homecoming of Cuban-born conguero and rumbero Pedrito Martinez, and a return to his Afro-Cuban roots. With magnetic personality and dynamic musicianship, HABANA DREAMS showcases the group's impressive range, from contemplative ballads to electrifying rumbas, while remaining irresistibly danceable throughout.

Features special guests Wynton Marsalis, Angélique Kidjo, Román Díaz and Telmary Díaz.

'…dizzying rhythmic webs, songs
within songs, and the thrill of real
Cuban rumba transformed into
something as hip and irresistible
as great pop.' --The Wall Street Journal

JAPAN Masabumi Kikuchi -Black Orpheus (ECM 2016)

Masabumi Kikuchi: piano

A document of a 2012 Japanese solo recital not only the last in his homeland but the last anywhere - by idiosyncratic improviser Masabumi Kikuchi (1939-2015).

One of the uncategorisable greats, Kikuchi occupied his own musical universe and in his final years was quietly and systematically severing his ties to jazz, drifting instead toward what he called - floating sound and harmonies, - introspective and poetic improvisations. Song forms still sometimes materialized. Kikuchi revisits Little Abi, a ballad for his daughter, which the pianist once recorded with Elvin Jones. And there is a surprising and very touching version of the wistfully yearning theme from the 1959 Brazilian film Black Orpheus.

All music by Masabumi Kikuchi except Manha de Carnaval Luiz Bonfa / Antonio Maria

Recorded Live October 26, 2012 at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Recital Hall

USA/CUBA Dominic Miller , Manolito Simonet-Hecho En Cuba (2016)

'Hecho En Cuba' is Dominic Miller's and Manolito Simonet's innovative new album feat. Dominic Miller's (and Sting's) compositions, arranged in a brand new crossover salsa/ Latin American style.

Dominic Miller: guitars
Manolito Simonet: piano
Roberto Vázquez: bass
Robin Feliz Martinez: trumpet
Rafael Arboláez: trumpet
Leonardo Alarcón: trombone
Ivanovis Garzón: trombone
Roicel Riverón: drums
Evelio Ramos: congas
Ricardo Amaray Fernandez: vocals
Pancho Amat: tres
David Bencomo Guedes: flute
Dayron Ortega: guitar
Jose Francisco Amat: bass
Nicólas Gastón & Camerata Escuela Nacional de Arte: strings

Thursday, April 28, 2016

USA Branford Marsalis Quartet & Kurt Elling -Upward Spiral (SONY MASTERWORKS 2016)

Legendary jazz greats Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling collaborate for the first time on a full album, Upward Spiral. They ve been talking for a while about making a record together, and finally at the end of 2015 it all came together. They found time to play the new material in the New Orleans Snug Harbor club for four days and then recorded a variety of songs in the studio, all chosen because of their melodic richness and musical quality. Their versions of the chosen material are simply incredible, as the musicality of Branford and Kurt and their deep understanding of these songs shows through immediately.

About Branford Marsalis:

National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master, renowned Grammy Award®-winning saxophonist and Tony Award® nominated composer Branford Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists of our time. Having gained initial acclaim through his work with Art Blakey s Jazz Messengers and his brother Wynton s quintet in the early 1980s, Branford has performed and recorded with a who s-who of jazz giants including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins. He has also collaborated with such diverse artists as Sting, the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby. His expansive interests are further reflected in his explorations in film, radio and television, including his role as the musical director of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

About Kurt Elling:

Grammy® winner Kurt Elling is among the world s foremost jazz vocalists. He won the DownBeat Critics Poll for fourteen consecutive years and was named Male Singer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association on eight occasions. An international jazz award winner, the New York Times declared, Elling is the standout male vocalist of our time. The Washington Post added, Since the mid-1990s no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling. He has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz.

USA: Bonnie & Clyde & A Whole Lotta Jazz: Live at 54 Below Live (Broadway Records 2016)

Over the past two decades, Grammy® and two-time Tony Award® nominee Frank Wildhorn has given us timeless stories and countless classics set to soaring scores. With eight Broadway shows (including Jekyll & Hyde, Bonnie & Clyde and The Scarlet Pimpernel), twenty original international shows, and almost 100 million records sold of his songs, Frank is one of this generation s most important songwriters. This album, recorded live at NYC's famed 54 BELOW, stars several of Broadway's best singers, including a Bonnie & Clyde reunion of Jeremy Jordan (The Last 5 Years, Supergirl), Laura Osnes (Cinderella), Mimi Bessette, Louis Hobson, and Melissa van der Schyff, as well as Janet Dacal (Wonderland), Emmy Raver-Lampman (Hamilton), Kevin Massey (Gentleman's Guide) and Adrienne Warren (Shuffle Along)! Featuring an all-star band of musicians, you'll hear Wildhorn favorites in addition to brand new songs, never heard before.

USA: Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, Matthew Garrison - In Movement (ECM 2016)

Jack DeJohnette (drums, piano, electronic percussion
Ravi Coltrane (tenor, soprano and sopranino saxophones)
Matthew Garrison (electric bass, electronics)

There is a lot of history concentrated in Jack DeJohnettes adventurous new trio. Fifty years ago, as a guest with John Coltranes group, Jack DeJohnette played with the fathers of Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison, and the program of In Movement opens with Coltranes harrowing and still pertinent elegy Alabama.

Other covers include the classic Blue In Green by Miles Davis and Bill Evans (Jack is one of the few musicians to have played in the bands of both men) and Serpentine Fire, from the songbook of Earth, Wind and Fire, a tribute to Maurice White - who also collaborated with Jack in the early years.

The Two Jimmys is an hommage to Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Garrison, innovators both, and Rashied salutes the late Rashied Ali, another great drummer from Coltranes cosmos.

For all the wealth of references, this is indeed a band in movement, taking the music forward. Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison, in their ECM debuts, both respond magnificently to DeJohnettes driving drumming, Ravi with superb solos, Garrison with lean bass lines and imaginative looping electronics.

Jack DeJohnette: We are connected at a very high and extremely personal level that I believe comes through in the music.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016



Produced and arranged by Nat Adderley Jr. & featuring guest soloist Vincent Herring on alto sax

 Nicolas Bearde, originally from Nashville, TN is a San Francisco Bay Area treasure who has long been recognized as a charismatic and versatile performer and a distinctive jazz and soul stylist.

While Bearde has drawn on his love for both R&B and jazz on his previous four CDs, on Invitation, the singer’s fifth release on the Right Groove Records label, he comes out swinging with both feet firmly planted in the straight-ahead jazz milieu.

Invitation was released on January 29th, 2016 and was produced largely by renowned pianist/arranger Nat Adderley Jr. - who spent nearly 20 years as music director for Luther Vandross and who grew up in the musical family of Nat Sr. and uncle Cannonball.

Reviewer Christopher Loudon, in the March 2016 issue of Jazz Times, says, “Nat’s pop sensibility invades all nine tracks; the arrangements are consistently silken, with occasional punchiness courtesy of Vincent Herring on alto sax.  Across a stellar spectrum of standards – such gems as “Dindi”, ‘Lush Life”, “Nature Boy”, “Save Your Love for Me”, Eckstine’s satiny, “I Want to Talk About You” and the cunningly noir-ish title track, Invitation,  Bearde’s interpretations are as affecting as they are elegant.”

The relaxed phrasing and depth of feeling that Bearde brings to these standards including his choice of a rarely heard vocal version of Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” (with pianist Peter Horvath and Bearde as producers) place him in the tradition of such deep-voiced greats as, Billy Eckstine, Arthur Prysock, John Hartman, Lou Rawls and Jon Lucien.

Connoisseurs of fine jazz singing will be thankful to hear Bearde in the uncompromising context of Invitation – his next CD release performance will be at Café Stritch, (named after Rahsann Roland Kirks’ stritch horn) in San Jose, CA on Saturday, April 2nd.

Invitation is available for purchase at CdBaby, Itunes and Amazon.


USA Detroit Jazz Festival Announces World-Class Lineup for 37th Annual Labor Day Weekend Event

Detroit Jazz Festival Announces World-Class 
Lineup for 37th Annual Labor Day Weekend Event

Jason Moran (Clay Patrick McBride)  |  Terri Lyne Carrington (Tracy Love)  |  Alfredo Rodriguez (Anna Webber)

The Detroit Jazz Festival today announced its lineup for the 37th annual Labor Day Weekend Festival that will feature an eclectic array of performers across varied styles and generations from jazz legends, new artists to the scene and those at the height of their careers, once again creating one-of-a-kind performances not seen anywhere else. With Detroit native and jazz legend Ron Carter as artist-in-residence, this year's festival has a decidedly Detroit flair, with the annual Homecoming Series of performances taking an expanded role. With the backdrop of Detroit's skyline, the world's largest free jazz festival will take to the streets of downtown Detroit on September 2nd through 5th, 2016 with hundreds of musicians gracing four stages.

"The jazz tradition in Detroit is iconic and known worldwide. Today, it's a vibrant scene that is constantly evolving and growing and our Festival, continues to nurture and support it," said Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Board of Directors. "With the wonderful Ron Carter as our artist-in-residence, we are taking the music to a new level with the Detroit connection. And, once again, we hope the Festival transcends the music itself and gets people downtown to see and experience Detroit's distinct flavor. We look forward to adding to Detroit's jazz tradition and another Labor Day weekend to remember."

Legendary bassist, Ron Carter--the most-recorded bassist in music history with more than 2,000 to his credit--is the cornerstone of this year's lineup and will perform four times throughout the weekend including a nonet, trio, quartet and big band sets.

In addition to Carter's performances, other 2016 Homecoming Series Performances include:
  • David Weiss and Point of Departure celebrate the music of Detroit legends Kenn Cox and Charles Moore
  • Kenn Cox tribute with Special Guests
  • Stanley Cowell Quintet featuring Billy Harper and Charles Tolliver
  • Kirk Lightsey and Louis Hayes - Homecoming Band
  • Charlie Gabriel Quartet
Other 2016 performers include:
  • George Benson
  • John Scofield, Brad Mehldau, Mark Guiliana
  • Roy Hargrove with Strings
  • The RH Factor
  • Freddy Cole and the Detroit Jazz Festival String Orchestra - The Cole Family Legacy - remembering Nat and Natalie
  • Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano
  • Terri Lyne Carrington's Mosaic Project
  • Chris Potter Underground Orchestra
  • Randy Weston's African Rhythms & the Wayne State University Big Band - 90th birthday celebration
  • Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton
  • Jason Moran Bandwagon Trio
  • Roberta Gambarini and Jimmy Heath - Celebrating Jimmy Heath's 90th
  • Marcus Roberts Modern Jazz Generation
  • Luciana Souza - Speaking in Tongues
  • Alfredo Rodríguez Trio
  • Harold López-Nussa
  • The Soul Rebels
  • John Abercrombie Organ Trio
  • Vanguard Jazz Orchestra: Established by Thad Jones & Mel Lewis Celebrate 50 years at the Village Vanguard
  • Gregoire Maret & the Inner Voice Ensemble
  • Charnée Wade
  • Herlin Riley Quintet
  • United States Air Force Airmen of Note
To see the full lineup, visit

"Each year, we make it a priority to create an artist lineup that's representative of the many forms of jazz. The diverse nature of the genre promotes sonic experimentation and exploration, creating a new experience with every song and performance. It's our responsibility to capture this, to make sure we give that thrilling experience of musical discovery to our attendees, and I think our musicians this year will make that happen," said Chris Collins, president of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Board of Directors and artistic director of the Festival. "We are dedicated to making this a jazz experience to remember, one that is original, expressive and inimitable. We can't wait to share it with Detroit."

To highlight up-and-coming talent, the Detroit Jazz Festival invites musicians from metro Detroit and across the globe to enter an annual jazz competition. This year's competition, The 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival Ron Carter National Bass Competition, is open to bassists 35 years of age or younger whose artistry reflects the commitment to tradition and search for originality that are tenants of Ron Carter's virtuosity.

With the incentive of a performance slot at the Festival and monetary prizes, this year, contestants will submit recordings which will be evaluated on artistic excellence, creativity, group interaction, originality, familiarity with the jazz vocabulary, and stylistic continuity. Applications must be submitted by June 25, 2016 at

The Detroit Jazz Festival not only actively seeks out established and up and coming musicians, but it also participates in education initiatives throughout the year, helping cultivate the jazz culture in Detroit through workshops, student performances and concert showcases. The Festival also has a positive impact on economic activity with weekend activities, performances and initiatives--bringing masses of people to downtown Detroit.

This Labor Day weekend festival will take place in Hart Plaza and Campus Martius, downtown Detroit. Jazz enthusiasts from around the world will be in attendance as these acclaimed artists take over JPMorgan Chase Main Stage, Carhartt Amphitheater Stage, the Waterfront Stage and the Pyramid Stage.

The 37th annual Detroit Jazz Festival's major corporate sponsors, who continue to keep the festival free, include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Quicken Loans, DTE Energy Foundation, Carhartt, Ford Motor Company, Greektown Casino-Hotel, Absopure, Mack Avenue Records and Comcast. Individuals also can support the Festival through Rhythm Section memberships. 

About the Detroit Jazz Festival
The Detroit Jazz Festival is an independent, non-profit organization that presents jazz and educational workshops throughout the year. The Detroit Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival in the world and a major tourist attraction for the City of Detroit, with 23% of its audience coming from out of state.

The Festival receives grant funding from the Kresge Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Erb Family Foundation, Arts Midwest Touring Fund, Carolyn P. Wanzo and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. Hundreds of individual donors also contribute to the Festival through membership and donations. Major corporate partners include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Quicken Loans, DTE Energy Foundation, Carhartt, Ford Motor Company, Greektown Casino-Hotel, Absopure, Mack Avenue Records and Comcast. Additional partners include AMTECH International, Central Michigan University, Cliff Bell's, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Detroit 300 Conservancy, Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, Fathead, Great Lakes Beverage, Merrill Lynch, MGM Grand Detroit, Opportunity Detroit, Pepsi, Plante Moran, PNC Bank, St. John Providence, Wayne State University, Whole Foods Market and Woodward Gallery. Media partners include Fox 2, WJR, WDET-FM, WEMU-FM, WRCJ-FM, DownBeat, JazzTimes and Metro Times. The Greening of the Detroit Jazz Festival is supported by a generous grant from the DTE Energy Foundation. 

For more information, visit
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USA Saxophonist Ivo Perelman Revisits Classical Techniques After Extensive Traveling in His Native Brazil on Five New Releases

Saxophonist Ivo Perelman Revisits 
Classical Techniques After Extensive Traveling
 in His Native Brazil on Five New Releases 

Corpo, Soul, Blue, The Hitchhiker and Breaking Point -
Available May 20 on Leo Records 

"A modern day saxophone colossus" (Echoes); "The finest improvisational genius of our time" (Bop-N-Jazz); "one of the great saxophone virtuosi and exponents of spontaneous composition to have emerged in the past three decades" (Jazzwise) - these represent just some of the accolades that pour in with each new set of releases by Ivo Perelman. This extraordinary artist continues to map new territory for his chosen instrument, the tenor saxophone. And by regularly releasing multiple albums documenting his explorations, he provides listeners with multiple avenues into his music. 

But the release of five albums at once (all available on Leo Records) signifies a herculean effort even for Perelman. What's more, each of these albums presents a different array of musical cohorts, a different format, and a different concept. "Interestingly," Perelman notes, "this grouping of albums will feature all of the musicians that I've been collaborating with in the past several years"--a list that comprises violist Mat Maneri, keyboardists Matthew Shipp and Karl Berger, bassists Michael Bisio and Joe Morris (who also plays acoustic guitar), and drummers Gerald Cleaver and Whit Dickey

Three of these albums--the duo discs Corpo and Blue, and the quartet effort Soul--were recorded in a two-week period; they exploit a major theoretical breakthrough that Perelman experienced on an extended stay in Brazil, the nation of his birth. In Autumn of 2015, he traveled to São Paolo to oversee a major exhibition of his work in the visual arts. (Perelman spends approximately half his time producing highly-sought drawings and paintings.) He ended up staying nearly half a year, far removed from the daily grind of his life in New York, and this hiatus "put my brain in a different mode," he said upon his return. "I got away from the need to 'achieve' something. I relaxed." 

Photo Credit: Michael David Adams 

He also began to revisit the serialist (12-tone) composers--Arnold Schönberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern--which led to an important realization. The core tenet of serialism is that each note in the scale exerts equal weight; from that, Perelman focused on the corollary that each interval--the distance between any pitch and the one that follows--should be treated with the same egalitarianism. "The intervallic system has become my dogma now," he explains in the liner notes to Corpo. "Every interval is of equal importance...I don't have to be modal, or tonal, or atonal. All the intervals, a third or a seventh or a fifth, these all have the same importance for me now." This has led to new practice regimens and a corresponding emancipation of Perelman's already fluid approach to melody as well as timbre. 

Corpo, the first album recorded by Perelman upon his return to New York, stars pianist Matthew Shipp, the saxophonist's longtime musical soul-mate. In 14 tracks of moderate length, the disc offers evidence of Perelman's new "intervallic system," as well as a purified distillation of an ever-evolving musical partnership that has been compared to Brubeck/Desmond and Coltrane/Tyner. Says pianist Shipp, in his liner essay for the album: "Corpo is the ultimate coming together of everything Ivo and I have been working on for years. . . . the apotheosis of the Perelman/Shipp duo cosmos. Our [previous album] Callas was a breakthrough for us; Corpo is the ultimate flowering." 

One week after Corpo, Perelman and Shipp returned to the studio; they were joined by bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey to record Soul, which, as its name suggests, constitutes a companion piece to Corpo (the Portuguese word for "body"). More than simply "fleshing out" the Perelman-Shipp duo, the added musicians - whose many sessions with Perelman have given them intimate knowledge of how his music takes shape, in the studio, and without pre-existing blueprints for the improvisations - effortlessly integrate themselves into these performances. "Bisio underscores the music with supple muscle, finding valuable notes in between those that make up Shipp's chords," writes liner annotator Neil Tesser, while "Dickey adds color and texture that peer into the swirl of melodies and light them from within." 

Then, one week after the Soul date, Perelman met with bassist/guitarist Joe Morris to record Blue. The album marks the first time Perelman, despite all the shifting contextual landscapes shaping his career, has ever recorded in a duo of tenor sax and unamplified guitar. "With an instrument that has resonance, where the notes have a long decay," Perelman explains, "you're always being fed and nourished as the sound remains in mid-air. But with acoustic guitar, the moment that Joe lifts his finger from the string, the sound dies. You're all alone. So that was the challenge for me, to play with something so soft-spoken." None of the tracks are actual 12- or 16-bar blues compositions, of course, since nothing was composed prior to what took place in the studio; rather, says the musician/painter, "It has the feeling of the color blue," in all the variations of that hue. 

The Hitchhiker marks another "first" for Perelman; it pairs him with Karl Berger on vibraphone to mark the only time in the saxophonist's career that he has recorded with that instrument. Perelman first worked with Berger - the pioneering composer and arranger of new music (within and beyond jazz) and co-founder, with Ornette Coleman, of the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York - on Reverie (2014), but on that project, Berger played piano. The vibraphone has a reduced potential for the thick chords available to a pianist, so in that sense, says Perelman, "he's giving me a condensed scheme" of harmonic potentialities. A possible pitfall? No; it only "made me focus more," says Perelman. 

The final album in this release, The Breaking Point, continues Perelman's highly successful partnership with violist Mat Maneri, but this time in a quartet format; previous Perelman-Maneri matchups had occurred only in duo or trio settings. "I had in my mind what it would sound like in a more powerful setting, with drums," says Perelman. With bassist Joe Morris and drummer Gerald Cleaver, the disc constitutes yet one more rarity for Perelman: in his entire discography, this is the third time he has ever employed the "traditional" free-jazz format of bass and drums supporting two front-line melody instruments. In the progression of its seven tracks, the album functions as a sort of expanded symphonic suite.

Ivo Perelman · Corpo, Soul, Blue, The Hitchhiker, The Breaking Point 
Leo Records  ·  Release Date: May 20, 2016
For more information on Ivo Perelman, please visit:

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

USA Jaimeo Brown Transcendence Releases Music Video for "Be So Glad" From Critically Acclaimed Sophomore Release Work Songs

Jaimeo Brown Transcendence
Releases Music Video for "Be So Glad" From
Critically Acclaimed Sophomore Release Work Songs

Album Available Now via Motéma Music

Watch Video Below for "Be So Glad"

"'Work Songs' is one of the most exciting, experimental,
and important albums set to drop this year." - VICE

"... compelling music that feels very of the moment yet has
potent historical roots." - Wall Street Journal

At a time where it feels like history is repeating itself and the world has lost its way, drummer, composer, educator and activist Jaimeo Brown asks, "What is important?" For Brown, the answer is to tell the unheard stories in the name of those who need them. To tell the stories of life and the human experience. To tell the stories of the forgotten: to honor the workers and the music of their lives.

On the track "Be So Glad," from Jaimeo Brown Transcendence's breakthrough sophomore album Work Songs (available now on Motéma Music), Brown and Chris Sholar (the production team that comprises Jaimeo Brown Transcendence) sample inmates from the Parchman Farm Prison in Mississippi in 1959. "Be So Glad" is a prime example of common repetition in work songs creating a type of mantra that changes the feeling of labor -- a vehicle to transport people from the high walls of despair to personal awakenings of freedom. The duo teamed up with prodigious animator and filmmaker Fons Schiedon for a truly compelling video that captures the emotion and theme of a spiritual breakthrough in the midst of struggle. See below for a full artist statement from the team: 

About Collaboration and Process
It was clear that we were looking to combine and reference elements from different eras and genres. And we share a preference in working quite organically, combining high end technology with tactile, DIY methods. We wanted to make sure to not lose the humanity in production, while while also trying to maintain a sense of "imperfection" within the filmmaking. If you want to make a comparison: the crackling sound of the old chain gang sample in the music for me relates to the turbulent noise of the snow storm in the video. There's emotionality built into elements like that.

We were actually hit by a freezing snow storm while shooting. It could have been reason enough for cancelation, because it made things so much harder. But instead we feel it gave our endeavor more pertinence and provided a visual rhyme that was a real gift. You can't control circumstances like that, but there is a choice in how to act on it.

Concept for the Video
The main motif of the song has a very strong connotation of pain and suffering. But in the way the song evolves, it provides an escape from that into a state of transcendence, of new hope, to a way of coping. That's the emotional basis that we wanted to touch on. And doing that without being too literal. We felt the need to leave a certain breathing room for interpretation, because when you want to speak of hope, a certain level of distance helps to make it more universal.

Fons always looks for a narrative structure, and found that the song essentially accommodated three acts. You start with the almost hypnotizing sample of the chain gang song, that expresses a sense of being locked in a status quo. Then it gradually loosens up and builds toward this transcendental stage, which is expansive and explorative, it's an escape. The screen literally opens up and the material world is deconstructed and reformats itself in a continuous flow. At the end we come back down again to the former structure, but with a transformed, maybe more hopeful perspective. That's the journey: through the struggle in the storm, to the part where form becomes free and transformative, up to the end when it's a new dawn.

History, art, technology, the future... this video perfectly captures the themes that are at the core of Transcendence.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Meek

About Jaimeo Brown Transcendence
Jaimeo Brown Transcendence is the product of long-time collaboration between Brown and co-producer/guitarist Chris Sholar (who won a GRAMMY® Award for his work on Kanye West and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne). Both emerging from a generation that appreciates the jazz in hip-hop, the artists with whom this duo has collaborated with speaks for itself. Brown, as drummer, has sat behind the skins for Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Q-Tip, Carl Craig, Kenny Garrett, Geri Allen, and Bobby Hutcherson, among others. Sholar's work as guitarist and producer has spanned the likes of Beyonce, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, A Tribe Called Quest, Robert Glasper, D'Angelo, Just Blaze, Common, Dr. Dre and more.

More than just music, Jaimeo Brown Transcendence is a movement, a moment, and an imperative: home to a variety of collaborators and contributors, from different eras and across the globe. Work Songs is a call to action, a call to transcend: transcend traditional limits of creativity; transcend oppression; transcend to come together through the essential humanity that unites us. Work Songs samples the unknown laborer, the jailhouse, the coal miner, gandy dancer, and stonemason. The album resonates with echoes of protest and rhythms of a call to freedom.

Borne of oppression and sung in conditions of hardship, the music is visceral but inherently uplifting. It weaves the present through the past to the future, teaching us how to transcend an immediate suffering through strength and mutual support. "The music of Transcendence, on a social scale, allows us to reach out to communities and help restore culture and identity. Work Songs tells powerful stories of perseverance and human ingenuity," explains Brown. "Tales of enduring communities through song, from African-American slaves to the stonemasons of Japan. These songs paint a picture of struggle we still feel today."

In search of new sounds, Work Songs deftly weaves together the acoustic and the digital, connecting jazz and classic blues with contemporary rock, hip-hop and electronic music. Inspired equally by the beats and samples of J Dilla, Dr. Dre, and DJ Premier, and the raw eloquence of John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Art Blakey, he found shelter in creation: the epicenter of his spiritual awakening.
Jaimeo Brown Transcendence · Work Songs
Motéma Music · Release Date: February 12, 2016

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