Saturday, March 31, 2018

BRAZIL/USA: Duduka Da Fonseca Trio Duduka Da Fonseca Trio Plays Dom Salvador

The 3-time GRAMMY® nominated drummer Duduka Da Fonseca will be releasing what he considers to be one of the most expressive works of his career playing the compositions of the legendary pianist Dom Salvador with his Brazilian based Trio, featuring pianist David Feldman and bassist Guto Wirtti.

Coming Out On April 13th



USA: Cliff Brucker & Jerome Kern-Full Circle, Vol. 2 (Feat. Leo Russo)(2018)

Cliff Brucker & Jerome Kern | Full Circle, Vol. 2  (Feat. Leo Russo)

This project brings together once again world class musicians I have worked with over the past 35 years. The music on this CD is again interpretations of some of the classic jazz standards that musicians have been playing for decades plus one original composition written by our trumpet player entitled appropriately enough, "Full Circle"! I hope everyone will enjoy this very accessible and swinging recording!

The album features and celebrates the great sax player Leo Russo!



GERMANY/UKRAINE/SWITZERLAND: Duo Lit-Das ist Deine Zeit…und die läuft(2018)

Tamara Lukasheva, born in Odessa, Ukraine, Dominik Mahnig born in Willisau, Switzerland. Voice and Drums. Two of the most ancient instruments in the history of music.

So simple, primal and yet still enough with which to tell different stories every time. The music that ensues is an instant dialogue, the two instruments reacting to each other and searching for the music that desperately wants to be played.
All original compositions by the two artist who live in Cologne, Germany.

Tamara Lukasheva - vocals, melodica
Dominik Mahnig - drums, percussion

Recorded at HansahausStudios, Bonn, 2017

Friday, March 30, 2018

USA: HELEN SUNG Upcoming Shows

APRIL 2018
Apr 1 w/guitarist Freddie Bryant at Mezzrow Jazz Club, NYC
Apr 2 Helen Sung: Jazz Workshop at UMass Amherst, MA
Apr 3 Helen Sung: Guest Performer & Panelist for Valley Jazz Network's Jazz Music and Social Change Informance, Old Chapel UMass Amherst, MA
Apr 6 Helen Sung Quartet presents MONK/SUNG with guest vocalist Catherine Russell, Jazz at Lincoln Center Monk Festival, Dizzy's Jazz Club, NYC
Apr 7 Helen Sung & the "Monk Mob" presents MONK ON TAP with guest tap dancer Michela Marino Lerman, Jazz at Lincoln Center Monk Festival, Dizzy's Jazz Club, NYC

USA:PERSON PLACE THING With Randy Cohen – Featuring NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston

Tickets & Info

PERSON PLACE THING With Randy Cohen – Featuring NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston

Thursday, March 29, 2018

USA: Greg Yasinitsky, WSU Regents Professor and director of the university’s School of Music, has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Jazz Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

PULLMAN, Wash. – Greg Yasinitsky, WSU Regents Professor and director of the university’s School of Music, has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Jazz Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.

The composition was premiered in January 2017 by the Baton Rouge Symphony, conducted by Timothy Muffitt with soloist Willis Delony, the Virginia Martin Howard Professor of Piano and professor of jazz studies at Louisiana State University. Both Muffitt and Delony submitted the nomination. Muffitt noted, the Concerto “is a unique work in the American orchestral canon and most deserving of recognition.”

Yasinitsky currently is creating a wind ensemble orchestration of the Concerto.

Recent commissions for Yasinitsky include “Partial Eclipse” for the 25th anniversary of the Las Vegas Academy and his arrangement of “Creepin’” for an upcoming recording by the Colorado Repertory Jazz Orchestra featuring the music of Stevie Wonder. Active commissions include a new work for saxophone and piano for Vanessa Sielert, director of the Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho a new piece for jazz band to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Jazz Education Network, the most important academic organization for jazz.


Greg Yasinitsky, WSU Regents Professor and director of WSU’s School of Music, 509-335-4244,

USA: Jonathan Greenstein-Vol II 2017)

In many ways I see myself as a storyteller. Each one of these melodies is like a little tale, a way for me to take all these feelings, arrange them as sound in time, and present them to you in a song. It’s me, opening up to you, sharing what I feel and how I understand the world, and hopefully giving what you feel a name, a sound, a melody.

Like a good story, I wanted it to have enough space for you to use your imagination to make this music your own. These songs are really for you as much as they are for me. And the core of the song is the melody. That’s the main thing for me as an artist.

People like to look down on Miles Davis, saying he plays the melodies wrong, or think Monk’s phrasing is funny, that Duke’s writing is corny, Wayne’s melodies are too abstract. That’s all wrong. The reason we connect with these artists on such a deep level is the gift of melody. If I can give you a melody, a song, it’s like I’ve given life to a dream.

Neil Gaiman wrote that the right song can turn an emperor into a laughingstock, can bring down dynasties - and he’s right. I see myself as a singer and melody is paramount for me. Having facility is nice, but can I really tell you a story or sing you a song - that’s how I want to connect.


Jonathan Greenstein - Sax, Keyboard ; Michael King - Piano, Keyboard ;
Takeshi Ohbayashi - Piano, Keyboard ;
Joshua Crumbly - Bass ;
Jonathan Pinson - Drums ;

USA: Bob Ivory-Sway with Me (2018)

Bob Ivory | Sway with Me
Influenced by such musical greats as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Michael Franks, The O'Jays and Kenny (Babyface) Edmunds, Bob reaches into his myriad of experiences to encrypt mood, message and melody into songs that linger and latch onto mind, body and spirit. From a glass full of passion and emotion, he pours out to a world thirsting for the re-emergence and re-invention of the "Songwriter". A modern day musical carpenter - Bob Ivory puts it all together and it just works!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

USA/JAPAN: Takaaki Otomo Celebrates The Release Of His New CD New Kid In Town Thursday, May 31st Jazz at Kitano Sets 8 & 10pm

photo credit Enid Farber
Reservation Advised
 $18 cover/$20 minimum

Tickets & Info

New CD

DownBeat Magazine April 2018

Track listing w/ track time
1. Evening Glow 6:23 Takaaki Otomo
2. New Kid In Town 5:00 Bernard Hofer
3. Django 5:13 John Lewis, arr. Bernard Hofer
4. LullWater 6:06 Noriko Ueda
5. Repetition 5:22 Neil Hefti, trans. Bernard Hofer
6. People 5:01 Jule Styne/Bob Merrill, arr. Bernard Hofer
7. Mars  5:57 Gustav Holst, arr. Bernard Hofer
8. Grandma’s Song 4:09 Takaaki Otomo
9. In Your Own Sweet Way 7:03 Dave Brubeck
10. To You 6:01 Thad Jones, trans. Bernard Hofer
11. Rush Hour 3:31 Bernard Hofer
12. Venus 5:09 Gustav Holst, arr. Bernard Hofer
Takaaki Otomo-Piano
Noriko Ueda-Bass,
Jared Schonig-Drums
Composer Bernard Hoffer first heard jazz pianist Takaaki Otomo at a restaurant in New York and was impressed by his musicality, dynamic sensitivity, and beautiful harmonic sense. With bass player Noriko Ueda and drummer Jared Schonig, Takaaki selected five originals, four jazz standards plus one Broadway show tune and two novelties from Gustav Holst's The Planets for this recording. Beginning his training as a classical pianist Takaaki switched to jazz when he was a teenager and won first prize in a jazz competition in Japan in 2007. He moved to New York City in 2014. Originally from Japan Noriko Ueda began playing the electric bass, then switching to upright bass at age 18. She is a graduation of the Berklee College of Music where she majored in jazz composition. She has her own trio and quartet and has performed at the Blue Note Jazz Club. She won the Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize in 2002. Hailing from Los Angeles, drummer Jared Schonig studied at Eastman where he won seven Downbeat Student Music Awards. A favorite among vocalists, Schonig tours with Grammy Award-winners Kurt Ellling and The New York Voices. He is in demand as a drummer for studio recordings and session work.

Born and raised in Kobe, Japan, Takaaki Otomo started the classical piano at the age of five.When he was 15 years old, he changed to jazz music, listening to the music of Oscar Peterson. He was taught by the pianist, Tadao Kitano, who is a famous music teacher in Kobe. In 2007, he won first prize in a jazz competition in Kobe. He belongs to the group Gingerbread Boys, which plays at a number of venues in Kansai area. In 2014, he moved to New York City.

He has released a number of CDs as a leader and sideman as well. In 2008 his first CD Nightmare was released with Otomo as leader. During his career in Japan, he has performed with Kiyoshi Kitagawa and Lewis Nash.

He has been influenced by Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Fred Hersch and Brad Mehldau.

A pianist friend commented that only in New York can you find a local restaurant that serves elegant food and elegant jazz. It was in that venue that I first heard Takaaki play. Even on his abbreviated keyboard I could sense his musicality, his dynamic sensitivity, and beautiful harmonic sense.

That first night I thought this could make a fine trio recording with Noriko Ueda on bass. What I learned later, when he was on a grand piano, was his technical proficiency. To complete the trio Noriko introduced me to Jared Schonig, who as it turned out attended the same school (Eastman) as I did.

We selected five originals, four jazz standards, plus one Broadway show tune (Takaaki’s suggestion) and two Novelties from Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

The originals include two exquisite tunes by Takaaki, a beautiful LullWater by Noriko, and two of my tunes written for this project. I first heard them play Brubeck’s Your Own Sweet Way in the club and loved the way they played it. For an up tempo, Neil Hefti’s Repetition though we miss Charlie Parker’s great solo. I thought John Lewis’s Django deserved another hearing, and, because we needed something languid, Thad Jones’s lovely To You, which works quite well as a trio, though sans Thad’s beautiful orchestral textures.

At the time of putting this project together the film The Martian was a big hit in theaters, which gave me the idea to use Holst. What was interesting, was that Holst’s harmonies gave us a fresh aspect when used to play jazz upon them.
Bernard Hoffer

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: jazzpr omo
“Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

USA/SPAIN: Bill McHenry- BEN ENTRADA LA NIT(Fresh Sound 2018)

Ben entrada la nit

Bill McHenry (ts), Eric Revis (b), R.J. Miller (d)

From the beginning of my musical associations with Eric Revis and RJ Miller, alongside our professional duties came a fast friendship—the kind where post performance we’d join the social environment, and often continue after in someone’s house or hotel room with spirited conversion, information, laughter, and sharing music, film or basketball. As we went well into the
night, the bluest and brightest moments were all accepted, and we were able to fully enjoy the dignity of good company, like so many musicians have and will forever.

Here we have the example of that passing in music. This is the recording of
the very first notes (and last, so far) played together by Eric Revis and RJ
Miller over a couple days in the fascinating Catalan city where I live,
Barcelona. For our first 3 songs we start in a musician-loved venue named
for its address—Robadors 23—with a live audience, and later we transition
for the rest of the album to saxophonist Sergi Felipe’s recording studio
Underpool in the beautiful hills surrounding the city, and continue well into
the night, or in Catalan they would say “Ben Entrada La Nit”.

-Bill McHenry (From the inside liner notes)

01. Ben Entrada la Nit (William McHenry) 13:45
02. Dancin', Ya'll Come (William McHenry) 14:58
03. Ain't Seen You Since Last Time (William McHenry) 10:30
04. The Elephant (Eric Revis) 6:59
05. John Daniel (William McHenry) 3:35
06. El Mapa (William McHenry) 3:40
07. Mean to Me (Fred H. Alert) 4:28

Fresh Sound

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

ITALY: Paolo Fresu Devil Quartet- Carpe Diem(Tǔk Music 2018)

A breakthrough and acoustic turning point for this wonderful band, that explores new roads, from soap opera to Rimbaud...a crazy journey for this evil quartet
Tǔk Music

USA; The Maguire Twins--Drummer Carl & Bassist Alan--Release U.S. Debut, "Seeking Higher Ground," March 30

The Maguire Twins--
Drummer Carl & Bassist Alan--
Display a Mastery of Their Craft
That Belies Their Age on
"Seeking Higher Ground,"
Due Out March 30 on Three Tree Records
Produced by Memphis Legend Donald Brown,
Twins' First U.S. Release Features
Saxophonist Gregory Tardy, Trumpeter Bill Mobley, &
Pianist Aaron Goldberg

Tokyo-Born, Hong Kong-Raised, &
Currently Memphis-Based,
The Maguires Are Newest Members of
Elite Fraternity of Jazz Brothers

March 7, 2018
Maguire Twins Seeking Higher GroundThe Maguire Twins' mastery of their craft as jazz instrumentalists and composers is in sparkling evidence throughout their U.S. debut recording, Seeking Higher Ground, which will be released by Three Tree Records on March 30. Drummer Carl Seitaro Maguire and bassist Alan Shutaro Maguire, who'll turn 22 on March 19, take their place in the lineage of jazz brothers that includes such illustrious last names as Heath, Farmer, Montgomery, Mangione, Brecker, and Marsalis.
Produced by Memphis legend Donald Brown, the CD finds the twins living up to its title by more than holding their own in the heady company of saxophonist Gregory Tardy, trumpeter Bill Mobley, and pianist Aaron Goldberg. The Maguires contribute two originals each to the program, which includes songs by their bandmates and producer. And without sacrificing cohesiveness, the songs are stylistically diverse.
Tardy's "Theodicy" is a timely commentary on misguided religion. He plays tenor with his usual Coltrane-like intensity and, says Carl, "I try to somewhat embody Elvin Jones, who is one of my heroes." Brown's tricky "The Early Bird Gets the Short End of the Stick" boasts sudden time shifts and dramatic swoops that both twins laughingly said they were greatly relieved to have handled after numerous attempts.
Carl's "Machi no Michi" (translation: "The Road of the Town") is an elegant tribute to his Japanese origins, as reflected in the Japanese scale in the bassline and the traditional taiko drum feel in the composer's playing. "I love the taiko drum's huge sound and the commanding way it is played," says Carl, who tunes his snares tightly to highlight the melody.
Goldberg's composition, "Shed," was the first modern jazz tune the Maguires learned to play, having heard the pianist play it as both sideman and leader. "It has been one of our favorites for the longest time," says Carl. "Just watching Aaron count off his tunes helped me internalize time, made my time stronger," says Alan.

Maguire Twins
Born in Tokyo in 1996 to a Japanese mother and an American father who both worked in the airline industry, identical twins Carl Seitaro Maguire (above left) and Alan Shutaro Maguire(above right) were raised in Hong Kong from age 3 and moved with their family, at 15, to musically rich Memphis. There they enrolled at the Stax Music Academy and started playing jazz. "Memphis is where most of our musical growing happened," says Carl. "I can't imagine us getting to where we are if we hadn't come here."
They learned to improvise listening to musicians at jazz clubs. "The music just took us over," says Carl. "When I heard a bassist, I would tell Alan about it. When he heard a drummer, he would make suggestions to me based on what he saw and heard. We helped each other out.
Maguire Twins"We were open to criticism from each other as well as ideas," he adds. "Friends don't want to be too harsh, but we can criticize each other as much as we want."
Saxophonist Kirk Whalum, then artist in residence at Stax, had much to do with their development as did Donald Brown, whom they met when he came to scout students as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. They went on to study there with him, Gregory Tardy, and bassist Jon Hamar, who composed one of the new album's heartfelt ballads, "Clarity."
"It all goes back to Donald," says Alan. "He has kept us motivated. He's always giving us something new to work on, new CDs to check out, keeps us listening to all kinds of music and encourages us to get as many lessons from as many people as we can."
When the Maguire family made its annual visit to Japan to visit the twins' maternal grandmother in the inland town of Kitaakita City, the boys performed in various spots, building a following among local musicians as well as fans. Requests for CDs led them to record, at 18, The Sound of Music, a demo-style album released in 2014.
With each tour of Japan and Hong Kong, where they began performing on an annual basis in 2013, their Asian following has grown. So has the talent pool they draw from over there. The twins have performed with artists such as guitarist Yosuke Onuma, trombonist Shigeharu Mukai, pianist Yuichi Inoue, and saxophonist Yosuke Sato in Japan as well as pianist Ted Loin Hong Kong.
"Now when we go back to Japan," says Carl, "where jazz has been really important to a lot of people for a long time, we do so as individuals who really appreciate this music. It's been quite an awakening for us, and it keeps getting more fun."

Photography: Jamie Harmon

Seeking Higher Ground EPK

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Monday, March 26, 2018

ITALY: March Festival & Tour

March 2018
Hyper+ Amir ElSaffar
Amir ElSaffar (trumpet)
Nicola Fazzini (alto sax)
Alessandro Fedrigo (electric bass)
Luca Colussi (drums)

A virtuous melting pot made of different musicians, with some fundamental common lines: they all like free improvisation and contamination of styles and rhythms.
Contemporary language and free jazz are mixed with old arabian roots by the ElSaffar's attitude to "maqaam" and to the ancient musical patterns form his birth place, Iraq. 

 24 March 2018 h 21.00
San Vito Jazz - San Vito al Tagliamento 

  25 March 2018 h 14.00
Jazz Area Metropolitana - Dolo 

  26 March 2018 h 21.00
Carambolage - Bolzano

Jazz Area Metropolitana, 2nd edition
March - May 2018

Jazz Area Metropolitana is growing to the second edition, starting on 23th March in the area cross the Riviera Miranese. A nice and original way to enjoy this part of Veneto's territory, through art, music, city life and staying together as a community.

The first concert is about Tango mixed with jazz texture (Paolo Giaro TangJazz, 23 March), the other ones are more orientated to "without border" music: free jazz and charming contamination between jazz and electronics (Helga Plankensteiner "Plankton", 24 and 25 March) and improvisation melting with ancient traditional arabian music (Hyper+ Amir ElSaffar, 25 March)

the whole program of March 

FRANCE/USA: Pierre-Yves Plat US Tour

Pierre-Yves Plat is a French pianist who reinterprets classical masterpieces into jazz.

He is a true performer ! Pierre-Yves Plat succeeds in creating a musical cross between humour and fantasy, classical and jazz, a real show! His speciality: adapting classical pieces into Jazz. His dexterity and astonishing swing make him surely one of the most talented pianists of his generation


25th of march : La Jolla Library, Shaun Briley, manager, 7555 Draper Avenue, San Diego 92037 – Phone: 858-552-1657

28th of march : Encinitas Library – City of Encinitas, 540 Cornish Dr, 92024 Encinitas – Phone: +1 760-753-7376

30th of march : San Diego French-American School, 6550 Soledad Mountain Road, La Jolla, San Diego (La Jolla) CA 92037 – Phone: + 1 858 456 2807

31st of march : Dizzy’s, 1717 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110 – Phone: 858.270.7467

4th of april : Pacific Regent La Jolla • 3890 Nobel Drive • San Diego, CA 92122 – Phone : 858-597-8000

5th of april : Del Mar Powerhouse Community Center, 1658 Coast Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014 – Phone: +1 858-755-1524

7th of april : Private party – San Diego

USA: Lauren Henderson Comes Into Her Own as Vocalist & Composer on "Ármame," Due March 30

Lauren Henderson Comes Into Her Own
As Both Vocalist & Composer
On "Ármame,"
Set for Release March 30
On Her Brontosaurus Records Imprint
Henderson's 3rd Recording,
Produced by Mark Ruffin,
Showcases Her Facility with Jazz,
Latin Jazz, & Other Styles
On Sensual Set of Originals & Covers;
Pianist & Longtime Associate Sullivan Fortner
Anchors the Band

CD Release Show at the Regattabar,
Cambridge, MA, Friday, March 30

March 1, 2018
Lauren Henderson ArmameOn her lovely and coolly sensual new recording, Ármame, vocalist Lauren Henderson delivers an eclectic set of jazz, Latin jazz, and other styles in a program reflecting her African-American and Caribbean heritage and her omnivorous musical tastes. Produced by veteran broadcaster and Sirius/XM jazz host Mark Ruffin, the CD will be released March 30 on her new label, Brontosaurus Records.
The album's title translates as "Arm Me" (as from a broken heart), and the subtitle "Songs of Love and Loss" provides insight into Henderson's repertoire choices. In addition to premiering three new originals, the vocalist adds to her already impressive credentials as a deft interpreter of others' songs with heartfelt arrangements of "Love Is a Losing Game" by Amy Winehouse, Blossom Dearie's heartbreaking classic "Inside a Silent Tear," and Donny Hathaway's "We're Still Friends."
The two songs on which Terri Lyne Carrington sings backup vocals -- "To Wisdom the Prize," by Larry Willis, and "Better Days," a nod to Chaka Khan, who's a favorite singer of Henderson's -- are a particular highlight. "There's this special, natural thing about how our voices go together," Henderson says of working with Carrington.
One of Henderson's major influences, Shirley Horn, is represented by two mid-tempo selections from that master of restraint's songbook: Curtis Lewis's "The Great City," a onetime Nancy Wilson vehicle Henderson personalized with Spanish lyrics, and Bart Howard's "Let Me Love You," which was also recorded by Johnny Hartman."I've always loved Shirley Horn's delivery," says Henderson. "There are a lot of layers to her singing."
Ármame is anchored by the great young pianist Sullivan Fortner, a friend and colleague since Lauren first arrived in New York. "Not all pianists are as good playing with singers as they are working as solo artists," she says. "He is." Bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Joe Saylor of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert round out the rhythm section; the CD also features a strong set of soloists in alto saxophonist Godwin Louis, trumpeter Josh Evans, and guitarist Nick Tannura, plus percussionist Nanny Assis.

Lauren Henderson
Lauren Henderson was born on November 5, 1986 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, a town outside of Salem. Her father, of African-American and Caribbean ancestry, and her mother, the daughter of immigrants from Panama and Montserrat, are lovers of jazz and Latin music and exposed their daughter to these and other genres when she was growing up.
While at Wheaton College, where she double-majored in Music and Hispanic Studies, she says, "I discovered my voice." Enrolling in classical voice and musical theater classes, she became the musical director of a gospel/R&B singing group and a member of the school jazz band.
Henderson spent a year abroad in Mexico, where she studied the traditional music of the Yucatán at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, and in Spain, studying flamenco singing and dancing at La Universidad de Córdoba. After graduation, she moved to New York and got a day job with MTV, studied with such jazz notables as Paquito D'Rivera, Barry Harris, and Jane Monheit, and began performing at jazz clubs and restaurants.
Her first album, Lauren Henderson (2011), which featured Fortner, included funky treatments of "Skylark" and "Born to Be Blue" among more traditionally rendered standards. DownBeattouted Henderson as "an inviting singer whose low-level dynamic draws the listener in."JazzTimes compared her to Peggy Lee, saying she appreciates "how to swing hard without swinging too hard."
A La Madrugada ("At Dawn," 2015), which she produced and arranged, featured an expansive cast of players, Fortner among them, and seven original songs including the sleek, smoothly grooving "Accede." Acting on a hunch, Henderson sent a copy of A La Madrugada to Mark Ruffin while he was a music supervisor on the indie film The Drowning. Ruffin was able to place "Accede"onto the soundtrack and would eventually produce Ármame.
"I love her tone, her heritage, the quality of her voice," says Ruffin. "She's so talented, and one of the smartest singers I've ever worked with when it comes to the business of music. Also, there are very few folks singing in Spanish the way she swings it. I thought that was something that could not only expand her audience, but also expand jazz."
Henderson, who divides her time between New York and Miami, changes her approach to music depending on her audience. "Everyone has a different level of experience with Latin music," she says. "In Miami, with its strong Cuban presence, I sing very differently than I do in New York, where the cultural influence is so much broader. It's partly a matter of brightness versus darkness."
Lauren Henderson will be performing a CD release concert at Regattabar in Cambridge, MA on Friday 3/30. Upcoming New York City shows include the Blue Note, Sun. 5/27, 11:30am, and Minton's on Sat. 8/4, 7pm. Lauren will be touring Spain and Italy for most of March, and appearing at several Miami venues during April (Ball and Chain 4/12, Le Chat Noir 4/14, Lagniappe House 4/15). She'll return for another European tour in November. 


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FRANCE: Quatuor Ébène-Eternal Stories(2017)

A tango is a precious thing—its delicate timbres and robust flourishes need to be handled with care, and by skilled, passionate musicians. French Ensemble Quatour Ebène elegantly swings and sways through these tunes, anchored by intoxicating accordions, groovy rhythms, and dreamy, jazzy harmonies.

    Sunday, March 25, 2018

    USA: Spin Cycle Further Refines Its Adventuresome Sound on "Assorted Colors," Set for April 6 Release

    Spin Cycle Further Refines
    Its Adventuresome Sound on Sophomore Album
    "Assorted Colors,"
    Set for Release April 6 on
    Sound Footing Records
    Co-Led by Drummer Scott Neumann &
    Saxophonist Tom Christensen,
    The Quartet Also Includes Guitarist Pete McCann &
    Bassist Phil Palombi

    CD Release Gig Scheduled for April 13,
    Smalls, NYC

    February 22, 2018
    Spin Cycle Assorted ColorsOne of the freshest sounding bands to emerge on the jazz scene in this or any decade, Spin Cycle follows up its critically acclaimed eponymous debut from 2016 with the release on April 6 of Assorted Colors(Sound Footing Records). The new recording, coming after two years of intensive touring that further refined their distinctive take on jazz, sustains the praise bestowed by DownBeat's Ed Enright in his rave review of their first album that hailed the band as "a cohesive unit that commands an exceptional stylistic range and exhibits a go-for-broke attitude."
    On their sophomore release, the piano-less quartet delivers more of the "bright melodic lines, deep-seated grooves, catchy rhythmic devices and sophisticated harmony" cited by Enright, who praised them for "improvisations run wild, as soloists embrace aggressive and daring ideas from the realms of modal jazz, free-jazz, second-line and soul, not to mention good old-fashioned swing."
    Founded in 2014 and co-led by drummer Scott Neumann and saxophonist Tom Christensen, who have known and played with each other in various settings for well over 25 years, Spin Cycle is rounded out by guitarist Pete McCann and bassist Phil Palombi. The four musicians are mainstays of the New York jazz scene.
    The title Assorted Colors alludes in part to the broad and eclectic stylistic palettes Christensen and Neumann each draw upon while crafting the compositions that define Spin Cycle's musical direction. (Christensen contributed six tunes to the session, Neumann five.) "One of our aims was to develop the songs not by adding sections but by building on the form itself via solos or concepts," Neumann says. "We wrote things that got to the heart of the matter, but also were vehicles that allowed us to stretch," Christensen adds.
    Spin Cycle
                  L. to r.: Phil Palombi, Tom Christensen, Scott Neumann, Pete McCann.
    Spin Cycle's decision to use a guitar rather than a piano in the band enables the creation of unusual blends of airy textures that are a trademark of the band's tonal tapestries. "Guitar chords are more sparse than piano chords, they're more open sounding," says Christensen.
    Among the Christensen tunes on Assorted Colors are the arresting minor-key "Possum Dark," in his words a "swaggering bad ass blues" named after the enforcer in the post-apocalyptic novella Ginny Sweethips' Flying Circus, and the stripped-down, minimalism-streaked "Two Pan Man," on which he lets it rip on tenor while guitarist McCann, according to the composer, "sounds almost like a second wind player."
    Neumann's compositions include the sharp-angled, Monk-inspired "Break Tune," whose infectious swing and sense of fun provide a spirited introduction to the album. Neumann, who spent a week in Cuba in 2017 studying with Cuban drummers, also composed "To the Puente," an intriguing blend of the son montuno and modern mambo accents à la Chick Corea. "Affirmation" has a cool, rolling vibe recalling some of Pat Metheny's classic recordings.

    Scott Neumann Tom ChristensenTom Christensen (b. 1961, Ventura, California; at right in photo) studied classical music and jazz at both undergraduate and graduate levels at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and moved to New York in 1989. For eight years, he was a member of the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, appearing on five of their albums. He also has played on such notable recordings as Joe Lovano's Celebrating Sinatra, Rufus Reid's Quiet Pride, and the David Liebman Big Band's Tribute to Wayne Shorter. His 2000 debut, Gualala, and 2002 effort, Paths, team him with multi-reedist Charles Pillow. His other recordings include Americana (2003) and Kailash (2007), on which he joins the Kailash Trio.

    Scott Neumann (b. 1962, Bartlesville, Oklahoma; at left in photo above) attended North Texas State and, before moving to New York in 1988, played with the Woody Herman Orchestra for a year. On his 2006 album, Osage County, he led a quartet including pianist David Berkman and saxophonist Sam Newsome; he recorded Blessed in 2014 as part of the Neu3 Trio, with Michael Blake and Mark Helias. A busy player on the New York scene who has collaborated with such luminaries as Kenny Barron and Ben Allison, Neumann has also accrued impressive credits as a vocal accompanist, a Broadway musician, and educator (he directs the drum studies program at Lehigh University).
    Spin Cycle will be performing a CD release show at Smalls, NYC, on Friday 4/13. They've also scheduled several appearances in Ohio, including a concert and master class at Youngstown State (Bliss Hall), in Youngstown, 1-4pm on 4/5; concert at Andrews House, Delaware, OH 4/6; concert with Denison University Jazz Band, Granville, 8pm on 4/7; and the Bop Stop in Cleveland, 4/7
    Photography by Dennis Connors
    CD graphic design by Fanny Chiari-Gotschall


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