Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Too often, talented young artists succumb to believing so much in their own ability that they lose sight of their true potential as significant contributors to their field. Thankfully, there are others committed to evolving and lifting the music to new levels of appreciation with enthusiasm, engagement, and emotional depth. Enter pianist Joey Alexander, who at the age of 14 has already recorded two GRAMMY-nominated studio albums, 2015's My Favorite Things and 2016's Countdown, as well as Joey.Monk.Live!, a critically acclaimed surprise release from late 2017 to honor Thelonious Monk's centennial. With his third studio effort Eclipse, his most personal statement to date,Joey takes another giant step forward, demonstrating his aptitude as a composer, bandleader, and musician, hinting at the many artistic paths open to him in the decades ahead.

Eclipse, recorded over a three-day period beginning on the day of the solar eclipse of 2017, features the pianist with a stellar rhythm section of bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, and guest appearances by saxophonist Joshua Redman on three tracks. The programranges from jazz classics penned by John Coltrane and Bill Evans, to the Beatles' hit "Blackbird", and a reverent gospel reimagining of the 1875 hymn "Draw Me Nearer." Most importantly though, Eclipse showcases Alexander's significant progress as an astute composer, writing six of the eleven tunes.

Born in 2003 in Bali, Alexander lived in Jakarta from age eight to ten and then moved to New York City in 2014, where he has experienced one of the most ascendant careers ever seen in jazz. Jason Olaine, a GRAMMY-winning producer who serves as Director of Programming for Jazz At Lincoln Center and has produced all four of Alexander's albums, says he continues to be impressed by the pianist's fantastic gift. "Joey is such a huge talent coming out of a young player, however he wants to create and have fun by playing. It's not about the accolades or the applause." He added, "Eclipse shows what an amazing journey Joey has been on, and he's playing with an openness and clarity."

"Joey has an infectious sense of play and a deep fascination with the kaleidoscopic possibilities of jazz," says Motema founder Jana Herzen, who signed the artist at age 10. "What an amazing adventure these four years have been with Joey. Each album his musicality gets deeper and broader. Last year with Joey.Monk.Live!, his sophisticated and vibrant approach to the music of one of the most recorded and respected composers in jazz inspired even the toughest of critics to tip their hats. Now, with Eclipse he's emerging as a multi-dimensional composer. I can't wait to hear what happens next."

For Eclipse, Joey, his family, and producer Jason Olaine decided to change the recording setting from the bustling city to the peaceful Dreamland Studios in upstate New York. "That was a totally different vibe," says Alexander. "Everything was green and it felt like home. It was a relaxing time for all of us. It was a good change. I found inspiration there."

As a pianist, Alexander is neither flashy nor bombastic. He approaches the instrument with discipline, as heard on the opening track "Bali," playing subtly and gently in some stretches with delicate harmonies, playful and scampering in others as he displaces rhythms. He also possesses an elemental sense of melody, as heard on the final track, an original titled "Peace," exhibiting the patience and instinct to get his melodic statements just right. "I've learned how to be a good listener," Alexander says.

Alexander is joined by tenor titan Joshua Redman on the originals "Faithful," about the sacrifices and challenges he and his family have faced in pursuit of his art, and "Fourteen," written on his birthday, and a nod to the number's significance in biblical deliverance. Alexander and Redman also explore a pensive duo take on Ray Nobel's 1934 timeless ballad, "The Very Thought of You."

As on his previous studio dates, Alexander returned to the well of Coltrane with his upbeat take on the harmonic twists and turns of "Moment's Notice" from the master's 1957 album Blue Train. "I love playing Coltrane because he's so spiritual to me," Alexander says. "That to me is what jazz is. There's an uplifting feel to his songs, and I try to put my own take on it."

The tour-de-force centerpiece to the album is the 10-minute "Eclipse," that is a spin through the reflective and the dramatic with the pianist in drive mode. Just after the band took a studio break to view the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, producer Olaine suggested that the trio play free and see where the music would go. The result ended up as the centerpiece of the album, the 10-minute tour-de-force, 'Eclipse.'

"It was totally unprepared," Alexander says. "After we saw the eclipse, we came back to the studio and just started playing without talking. I'm thankful to God that I had the confidence and courage to do this. But it's also about how much we trust each other. I knew they'd be with me even though you don't know where you're going to go on the journey. It's all about exploring the new."

Olaine notes, "This was an amazing experience for a young artist to embrace the unknown the way Joey did."

With the release of Eclipse, Joey Alexander has created an ever more personal and powerful statement of his musical and artistic vision. His work continues to draw from his inspirations of the past, while putting his own progressive stamp on the music by constantly exploring, both on stage and in the studio.

"Eclipse" Track Listing
1. Bali
2. Faithful
3. Draw Me Nearer
4. Moment's Notice
5. Blackbird
6. Eclipse
7. Fourteen
8. The Very Thought of You
9. Space
10. Time Remembered
11. Peace

Tour Dates:
March 23: The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda, MD
March 30: Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, AZ
March 31: Capitol Theatre, Salt Lake City, UT
April 20: Schaeffer Auditorium, Kutztown, PA
April 21: Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center, York, PA
April 22: Exit 0 International Jazz Festival, Cape May, NJ
April 27: Musco Center for the Arts, Orange, CA
April 28: Balboa Theatre, San Diego, CA
April 29: University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) CA
May 5: Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA
May 12 + 13: Yoshi's Jazz Club, Oakland, CA
June 23: Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival, Saratoga Springs, NY
June 29: Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France
June 30: Ajaccio Jazz Festival, Corsica
July 6: Wadowice Jazz Festival, Wadowice, Poland
July 15: Teatro Morlacchi (Perugia Jazz Festival), Perugia, Italy
July 17: Jazz Open Festival, Stuttgart, Germany

Frank Sinatra 'Baby Blue Eyes… May The First Voice You Hear Be Mine'

Frank Sinatra always saluted his audience with a toast: "May You Live To Be A Hundred And The Last Voice You Hear Be Mine."  Envisioned as a child's first musical library to be shared with the generations before, Tina Sinatra curated a special compilation of Sinatra recordings for children and parents alike. Already available digitally, Frank Sinatra: Baby Blue Eyes… May The First Voice You Hear Be Mine is now confirmed for worldwide release in CD and 180-gram 2LP vinyl editions on April 6.   

Frank Sinatra always saluted his audience with a toast: “May You Live To Be A Hundred And The Last Voice You Hear Be Mine.” Envisioned as a child’s first musical library to be shared with the generations before, Tina Sinatra curated a special compilation of Sinatra recordings for children and parents alike. Already available digitally, Frank Sinatra: 'Baby Blue Eyes… May The First Voice You Hear Be Mine' is now confirmed for worldwide release in CD and 180-gram 2LP vinyl editions on April 6.

Frank Sinatra always saluted his audience with a toast: “May You Live To Be A Hundred And The Last Voice You Hear Be Mine.” Envisioned as a child’s first musical library to be shared with the generations before, Tina Sinatra curated a special compilation of Sinatra recordings for children and parents alike. Already available digitally, Frank Sinatra: 'Baby Blue Eyes… May The First Voice You Hear Be Mine' is now confirmed for worldwide release in CD and 180-gram...

After combing the songs from Sinatra's Reprise, Capitol and Sony catalogs, Tina carefully chose 20 songs for 'Baby Blue Eyes' that express a father's love, compassion and dreams for children around the world. The enchanting collection features a baby photo of Frank Sinatra on its cover.

"Dad is perhaps best remembered as a saloon singer. He often referred to himself as such," says Tina Sinatra. "But, first, he was a Father and that emotional connection to the child in all us is ever-present in this collection of songs that I have chosen as a concert to each new generation."

Frank Sinatra:  Baby Blue Eyes… May The First Voice You Hear Be Mine
1. Yes Sir, That's My Baby
2. Ain't She Sweet
3. It's A Wonderful World
4. Isn't She Lovely
5. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
6. Pocketful Of Miracles
7. I Believe
8. It's Only A Paper Moon
9. High Hopes
10. Jeepers Creepers
11. Pennies From Heaven
12. How Cute Can You Be?
13. A Baby Just Like You
14. Bein' Green
15. Hush-A-Bye-Island
16. Fairy Tale
17. Young At Heart
18. Dream
19. Put Your Dreams Away
20. Cradle Song (Brahms Lullaby)



Alexandra Jackson’s debut project: “Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy” channels her 4 primary musical loves and experiences: Brazilian Music, American Jazz & Soul, NeoSoul, and London Soul Jazz … into a music alchemy intended for contemporary audiences worldwide. The project pays homage to Brazil's music legacy and its legends, and offers a path forward with the music … featuring the appearances of music legends: the late Miles Davis, the late Antonio Carlos Jobim, the late Al Jarreau, the late Rod Temperton, the late Oscar Castro-Neves, Ivan Lins, Dona Ivone Lara, Carlinhos Brown, Banda Black Rio, Hubert Laws, Larry Dunn, Al McKay, Siedah Garrett, and The Jobim Trio. Recorded over 3 years in Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, Atlanta, London, New York and Chicago, the project was produced by Robert Hebert and Larry Williams with co-producers the late Rod Temperton, Chris Walker, Arthur Maia, Ricardo Silveira and Max Viana.  The star musician ensemble includes the producers, Robertinho Silva, Darryl Jones, Teo Lima, Armando Marcal, Marco Brito, Marcelo Martins, Jesse Sadoc, Orquestra Atlantica, Pretinho da Serrinha, Darryl Tookes, Curtis King, Paulo Calasans, Marcelo Mariano, and Maestro Charles Floyd conducting The Bossa Nova Noites Orquestra. In speaking about the recording of the project ... Ms. Jackson says: “This experience was poignant and quite meaningful to me.  These songs and the stories behind each is why I’m so passionate about this project.  I’m hoping to take this music and transport it to reach millions of people. Brazil’s music deserves that and more.”


Guitarist Nels Cline debuts a new band with the April 13 release of Currents, Constellations featuring The Nels Cline 4, an intrepid unit that builds upon Cline's acclaimed collaboration with guitarist Julian Lage by adding the versatile rhythm section of bassist Scott Colley and drummer Tom Rainey. Watch the band perform the album's lead track "Imperfect 10" in the studio. The Nels Cline 4 will celebrate the album's release with a show at (le) poisson rouge in New York City on April 16 followed by a European tour.


Drawing from his diverse resume as a sound designer, mixing and mastering engineer, producer and gigging saxophonist in R&B, Rock, Jazz and Latin ensembles, Michael Alan’s debut Distant Worlds is one of the most melodically compelling, stylistically eclectic Smooth Jazz albums of the year. While his tech skills translate to the dynamic use of synth, loops, keyboards and drum samples, Alan makes this a showcase for his alternately fiery and heartfelt sax playing, as well as his soulful, perfectly placed flute and EWI performances. Among the vibrant originals are a couple of irresistible covers and a sultry piece featuring Marie Veillard singing in French. You don’t have to travel to Distant Worlds to enjoy the future of Smooth Jazz!  ~

The Quest is the long-awaited third album from guitarist Andreas Varady, a protégé of the legendary Quincy Jones

Resonance Records is releasing The Quest, the third recording from twenty-year old guitar virtuoso, Andreas Varady. With the release of Questions (2010) and his eponymous CD in 2014, the native of Slovakia, and resident of Ireland, emerged from thin air and put the guitar playing world on notice that there was a new force on the instrument to be reckoned with. On The Quest, Varady's artistry has reached new heights, and it's staggering to behold. His unadulterated command of the guitar, his highly-developed skills as a composer, his rhythmic facility (which speaks volumes about his roots in Gypsy music), and his ability to craft an astonishing flow of single-note lines while traversing chord changes, all by ear, has attracted the attention of many legends of this music, not the least of which is Varady's mentor, manager, producer and friend, the esteemed Quincy Jones. The Quest, available on April 6, 2018, features Varady in the company of his father Bandi on bass, younger brother Adrian on drums, fellow Slovak Radovan Tariska on alto saxophone, and Venezuelan native (and current New York City resident) Benito Gonzalez on piano.
At just twenty, Varady has already performed at major festivals and venues around the world. The next exciting new chapter in the journey of this uber-talented musician begins with the release of The Quest. Varady has expressed that this album, comprised of all original music, feels very much like his first fully realized artistic statement, and indeed it showcases Varady's evolution from child prodigy to consummate artist, one with an abundance of fresh, bold energy. "I feel like I'm giving you a piece of me on this album," said Varady. The album title, which also reads like a mission statement is, "about this whole quest that I'm on in music - seeking cool things, playing cool music in cool places, enjoying it all and having fun and doing what you wanna do," said Varady. The album is also his debut release on the boutique non-profit jazz label, Resonance Records, which signals a departure from his self-titled major label debut on Verve in 2014. Two other Quincy Jones protégés, Justin Kauflin and Alfredo Rodriguez, will also be releasing new albums in 2018.

Resonance EVP/GM (and executive producer on The Quest) Zev Feldman said about first hearing Varady, "Upon first listen, I was struck by his talent and artistry. Then getting a chance to meet him in Ireland, and spending some time talking with him, he just fits the mold of what Resonance is all about in terms of promoting younger artists and sharing their music. We're very happy to have him on the label. It's also a great honor to work with Quincy Jones and his team, and partnering with them to get Andreas' music out there is something we're very proud of. Resonance believes strongly in living artists also, not just those from a bygone era, and it's going to be very exciting to continue to watch him develop and we're thrilled to be able to add a chapter to his legacy on our label."

Varady has many influences. As expected, guitarists such as George Benson, Django Reinhardt, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Peter Bernstein have greatly impacted his playing, but Varady explains, "I've always been obsessed with saxophone players. I get as much influence listening to John Coltrane as I get from guitar players. But at the end of the day, I could list every musician that I've ever listened to as an influence. I act like a sponge that way. Whatever I listen to I always pick up some things, no matter if it's Radiohead or A Tribe Called Quest or Trane. It can be from hip-hop to rock and jazz...everything kind of all inspires me and influences me."

A child prodigy of Hungarian Roma descent, Varady picked up guitar at age four and quickly revealed his uncommon gift, learning Kenny Dorham's "Blue Bossa" by ear. At age nine, he moved with his family to Ireland and by age 11, having already absorbed the influences of George Benson and Django Reinhardt, he began busking with his father on the streets of Limerick and Cork. Gigs around Ireland soon followed, mainly with drummer-producer David Lyttle, who produced Varady's first album, 2010's Questions. In 2011, at age 13, Andreas appeared with guitar master Martin Taylor at the Inishowen International Guitar Festival in Culdaff and later that year became the youngest headlining artist at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. Invited to play at the 2012 Montreux Jazz Festival by founder Claude Nobs, he performed for and met Quincy Jones, who signed him to his management company. He was signed to Verve Records in 2013 and his stateside debut, executive produced by David Foster and Quincy Jones and produced by Toto's David Paich, featured guest appearances from singer Gregory Porter and trumpeter Roy Hargrove.

More about the music on The Quest: (with excerpts from the album's liner notes by Bill Milkowski) The opener on The Quest, "Lost Memories," serves as a kind of mini-overture as Varady unleashes a fusillade of notes over the engaging theme. Up next is the dynamic
"Radio Joint" establishing the flexible group chemistry while also showcasing urgent solos from Varady and Tariska over a driving 12/8 groove. Gonzalez pushes the envelope in his harmonically probing solo here, which is fueled by Adrian's intense, whirlwind attack around the kit. "He's in a huge growing place right now," says Varady of his younger brother. "He has this kind of ballsy playing style that I felt was the right thing for the tunes on this album." The 15-year-old further showcases his considerable drumming skills on the modal "Follow Me," which culminates in a kinetic call-and-response between the brothers. (By the way, that's Andreas playing double bass on the hip-hop flavored tag).

Varady combines speed and finesse combine on the driving 6/8 composition,
"The Time Is Now" and utilizes some Frisellian backwards guitar effects on the evocative interlude "Patience." The adventurous title track is a centerpiece for this compelling album. Opening with a rubato free section that has Gonzalez playing inside the piano while his band mates add provocative colors and textures, it resolves to a buoyant theme with Andreas and Radovan tied together in tight unisons while navigating a tricky time-shifting terrain. "He's a great player," says Varady of the Slovakian saxophonist, "and I like his strong, darker sound."

The guitarist shows his urbane side on "Story" and the uplifting, melodic number
"Her Dream." Then he swings unabashedly on the up-tempo "Radiska," a burner that also turns Tariska loose and has Gonzalez channeling his inner McCoy Tyner. "His soloing is swinging and very interactive," says Varady of the gifted pianist, who turns in a monstrous solo here. "That's the thing with all of us...we're very interactive on the album. No one is told, 'You do this, you do that.' It's more of a sketch and then see where it goes from there. So it was a natural process. This album was really open, like pure jazz...straight in the moment. That's what I was going for."

The closer, "Outro," featuring more backwards effects over a simple, serene melody, serves as a bridge to what Varady plans to explore in more depth on his next recording. "I thought it would be interesting to just add some of the elements that would be for my upcoming music," he explains. "I'm into a lot of electronic music, I'm into a lot of hip-hop. That's also a part of me, and I thought it would be cool to add that color to the album. It's almost like my one foot is solidly in jazz and on my other foot, my toes are in something else. And it's not like I'm crossing genres, it's more of like going from one of my styles to this other style and merging it all together to create this ultimate thing."

The Quest Track Listing:
1.     Lost Memories
2.     Radio Joint
3.     Follow Me
4.     The Time Is Now
5.     Patience                                                                                                        
6.     The Quest
7.     Story
8.     Her Dream
9.     Radiska
10.   Outro

Resonance Records is a multi-GRAMMY® Award-winning label (most recently for John Coltrane's Offering: Live at Temple University for "Best Album Notes") that prides itself in creating beautifully designed, informative packaging to accompany previously unreleased recordings by the jazz icons who grace Resonance's catalog. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Resonance Records is a division of Rising Jazz Stars, Inc. a California 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation created to discover the next jazz stars and advance the cause of jazz. Current Resonance Artists include Richard Galliano, Polly Gibbons, Tamir Hendelman, Christian Howes, Donald Vega and Andreas Varady.

For more information on Andreas Varady & The Quest please contact:
Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
Tel: 646-259-2105, Email:

# # # # 



RC Williams really outdoes himself here – moving The Gritz way past their previous role as the backing band for Erkyah Badu – and finding their own wonderfully strong sense of soul! The groove is fantastic right from the start – funky, but very fresh in approach – with lots of crisp crackle on the edges, but never in that overdone way that sometimes buries other groups – and mixed with plenty more organic instrumentation that changes nicely throughout! The singers shift too, but never in a way that feels schizophrenic – as there's a really collaborative spirit to the whole record – singers and musicians, performance and studio – all coming together to make something really fresh and wonderful. Titles include "The Feel", "Lessons", "Feathers", "Good Day To You Sir", "Anxiety", "Jazz & Reverse", and "I'll Be Waiting For You". ~ Dusty Groove


A really great live set from trumpeter Jeremy Pelt – who seems to use the format to open up with even more bold energy than his recent studio albums! There's a freewheeling vibe here that reminds us of the way that Freddie Hubbard could really transform in a live setting – both searing as a soloist, and this very powerful force as a leader – really urging the best out of his group on the date – a quintet that includes Victor Gould on piano, Vincente Archer on bass, Jonathan Butler on drums, and Jacqueline Acevedo on percussion! The other players have this incessant energy that can't help but drive Pelt forward – and the whole group gels together wonderfully, on titles that include "Black Love Stories", "Sir Carter", "Re-Invention", "Make Noise", "Evolution", and "I Will Wait For You". ~ Dusty Groove


The headier side of the great Roscoe Mitchell – a project that has some of the reedman's compositions transcribed for larger orchestra performance – but at a level that seems to be a natural evolution of the notion of "black classical music" that Mitchell first helped pioneer with the AACM! Make no mistake with that term – this isn't classical music at all – instead, the larger group works here to realize this beautiful balance between improvisation and composition, almost working as a whole to embody the ideas that Mitchell has brought to his music in much smaller settings, carved out of a large group of woodwinds, a touch of brass, and a bit of strings. Gregory Oh conducts the group, and titles include "They Rode For Them", "Splatter", "Nonaah", "Shards & Lemons", and "Ride The Wind". ~ Dusty Groove



Saxophonist Azar Lawrence has been having a hell of a renaissance in recent years – and a record like this only helps move that process forward – providing a mighty large feather in Azar's ever-growing cap! The album's a great one from start to finish – a evolution of the spiritual vibe that Lawrence had in the 70s, with maybe some slight Latin currents in the rhythms – all rolling along with this vibe that's soaring and freewheeling, but never too far outside – just boldly stepping into the cosmos, amidst some great new tunes by Lawrence himself, and a few more by pianist Benito Gonzales – whose work here is a key part of the album's sound! The group also features Jeff Littleton on bass, Munyungo Jackson on percussion, and Marvin Smitty Smith on some tremendous drums – on titles that include "African Chant", "La Bossa", "Eye Of The Needle", "Brazilian Girls", "Koko", "Sing To The World", and "Solar Winds". ~ Dusty Groove.


A pair of 70s soul classics from arranger Gene Page – back to back on a single CD! First up is Hot City – an excellent album of Barry White-styled instrumentals – put together by Barry's right hand man Gene Page, and produced by Barry himself! The record's one of the best that Gene Page ever cut – apart from his seminal blacksploitation soundtracks – and it's very much in the mode of White's Love Unlimited Orchestra albums from the same time, although perhaps with less of a string section – and more of an emphasis on funky drums at the bottom. Players are an all-star cast of LA studio groovers that includes David T Walker and Ray Parker on guitar, Ernie Watts and Wilton Felder on saxes, and Clarence McDonald on keyboards – and tracks are mostly originals by Page and White. Titles include "Jungle Eyes", "She's My Main Squeeze", "I Am Living In A World Of Gloom", "Satin Soul", and "To The Bone". Lovelock features Gene Page at the height of his 70s powers – using all the talents he forged as a background artist for other soul talents, and all the majesty he added to his soundtrack work – all focused nicely into a sweet set of warmly soulful grooves! The style's a bit clubby, but also has some wider depth too – maybe an undercurrent of fusion that comes from players like Lee Ritenour and David T Walker on guitar, Joe Sample and Sonny Burke on keyboards, and Oscar Brasher on trumpet – who find a way to work wonderfully alongside the albums vocals from singers Merry Clayton, Edna Wright, and Jim Gilstrap – all with a style that's not unlike some of the best Quincy Jones material of the time! As with Quincy, there's a sense of care and confidence that really holds the album together – on titles that include "Higher My Love", "Organ Grinder", "Into My Thing", "Wild Cherry", "Fantasy Woman", "Straw In the Wind", and "Together Whatever". ~ Dusty Groove


The language of saxophonist Nat Birchall has always been pretty cosmic – but this time around, he seems to be reaching out even more – working on these long-spun tracks with a really unique quartet! The group features sublime work on harmonium from Adam Fairhall – an instrument that we don't normally associate with jazz, but which works perfectly in Birchall's slow-building spiritual style – really shading in the tunes with otherworldly sounds which are then cut through by Nat's searing, soulful work on tenor! The album moves at a meditative pace, but there's also plenty going on, too – and the tracks draw plenty of energy from the work of Michael Bardon on bass and Andy Hay on drums and percussion. We've been following Nat on his musical journey for over a decade, and he's never let us down – and this time around he takes us to even farther reaches – on titles that include "Dervish", "A Prayer For", "Man From Varanasi", and "Humility". ~ Dusty Groove

Friday, March 09, 2018



The Lullaby Project, a program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, pairs expectant and new mothers with professional artists to write personal lullabies for their babies, supporting maternal health, aiding child development, and strengthening the bond between parent and child. Now operating nationwide with partner organizations, the Lullaby Project began in New York City, reaching mothers in hospitals, homeless shelters, schools, and at correctional facilities. Born of this program, Hopes & Dreams: The Lullaby Project features a selection of these original lullabies as recorded by a range of artists representing a variety of genres and styles, including Fiona Apple, the Brentano String Quartet, Lawrence Brownlee, Roseanne Cash, Joyce DiDonato, Janice Freeman, Rhiannon Giddens, Angélique Kidjo, Patti Lupone, Natalie Merchant, Dianne Reeves, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Pretty Yende, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Pre-order the album and instantly receive a lullaby from Janice Freeman (as seen on NBC’s The Voice).


Fantastic work from this avant jazz supergroup – their first album away from the Jazzland label, and a set that maybe seems to show a whole new direction for the quintet! Some of the music here has a stronger set of arrangement at the core – balanced between the completely incredible individual strengths of the members – a bit, maybe, like the way that Charles Mingus could strike that rare balance in his prime – even if there's nothing Mingus-like about this music at all! The interwoven spirits of the players is completely sublime – as much a lead feature as the breakout solos – which include work by Fredrik Ljungkvist on tenor and clarinet, Magnus Broo on trumpet, Havard Wilk on piano, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Hans Hulboekmo on drums. Titles include "Stuck In Stockholm", "Falt Strid", "Be Wafted", "Sinusoidal Arches", and "Ten Years".  ~ Dusty Groove, Inc.


A pretty great little collection – put together by Memphis music expert Robert Gordon in support of his book of the same name! The sounds here aren't overdone Memphis cliches – no Elvis hits or Stax Records standards – and instead, the record showcases those criss-crossing modes that have always been the most interesting thing about the city – rural bluesmen going urban, country singers going rock, and even rockers picking up all the earlier elements to craft something very different and personal. The tracks are pulled from recordings that span the early 60s to the present, and many of them are previously unreleased and provided to Gordon by the artists themselves – making the whole thing a completely essential set, even if you already love some of these performers. Titles include "Chevrolet" by Luther Dickinson & Sharde Thomas, All Night Long" by Junior Kimbrough, "Desperados Waiting For A Train" by Jerry McGill, "Johnny Too Bad" by Alex Chilton, Harbor Lights" by Jerry Lee Lewis, "Little Bluebird" by The Fieldstones, "Same Thing On My Mind" by Mose Vinson, "Defrost Your Heart" by Charlie Feathers, "I'd Love To Be A Hippie" by Jim Dickinson, "Frame For The Blues" by Calvin Newborn, "Why Don't You Come Home Blues" by Furry Lewis, and "Drop Your Mask" by The Panther Burns. (Indie exclusive "rent money" green vinyl pressing – with download!)  ~ Dusty Groove

Mystic Bowie To Release Debut "MYSTIC BOWIE'S TALKING DREADS" Album Featuring Reggae Versions Of Talking Heads Hits And More

Reggae artist Mystic Bowie will release his debut album titled MYSTIC BOWIE'S TALKING DREADS, featuring classic Talking Heads songs, and more, reggae-style, on June 15.  The debut single, "Once In A Lifetime," will be released on May 4. 

As a former member of the Tom Tom Club, a band that included former Talking Heads founders Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, Mystic Bowie infuses fresh life into Talking Heads' classic catalog with his high octane mix of roots reggae, ska and lover's rock.

The Talking Dreads album features a lineup of legendary reggae figures including singer Freddie McGregor; ska guitar master Ernest Ranglin (Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Monty Alexander); Soul Train Award nominated Tarrus Riley ("Start Anew," "Good Girl Gone Bad"); and saxophone great Dean Fraser. The album also features drummer Kirk Bennett and Lincoln Thomas, McGregor's longtime guitarist. Cindy Wilson of the B-52s special guests on a duet with Mystic for "Heaven."

The album will include 11 Talking Heads songs with Mystic's own unique, Jamaica-fied spin; plus two additional tracks, including: "Love Goes to Building On Fire," "Slippery People" (Feat. Tarrus Riley): "Burning Down The House," "House In Motion," "This Must Be The Place," "Once In A Lifetime," "Pulled Up," "Life During Wartime" (Feat. Freddie McGregor); "Crossed Eyed And Painless;" Grateful Dead's "Shakedown Street," "Psycho Killer," "Piece of My Heart," "Heaven" (Feat. Cindy Wilson). 

Says Salon of a recent Talking Dreads live performance: "Talking Dreads covers Talking Heads songs as shimmering one-drop reggae jewels…swapping out urbanity for roots and sincerity."

Since introducing his musically revolutionary Talking Dreads project at the High Times Music Festival in Negril in 2015, the Jamaican-born singer has performed at more than 100 shows across North America – spinning the heads of initially skeptical Talking Heads fans, and getting everyone grooving along to the rhythms and jubilant spirit of his native island.

With the success of these performances, Mystic Bowie, based in the Northeastern U.S., headed back to his homeland to the famed Barry O'Hare Studios in Ocho Rios. Gathering old friends he had played music with since childhood, along with younger musicians, legendary Jamaican artists and other special guests, Mystic captured all the magic of his live performances on MYSTIC BOWIE'S TALKING DREADS.

"Talking Dreads is much more than a cover band," Mystic says. "I am very much drawing on my own musical culture and history to make these amazing songs my own, while at the same time preserving the integrity of the Talking Heads songs."  He continues, "I've always felt that reggae's dance-inspiring, feel good vibe is universal, as are many of the band's songs. And don't forget their intelligent, powerful lyrics, which are fun to sing and shine fresh light on through this new fusion of styles."

Mystic's close personal and professional relationship with Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of began when he joined the Tom Tom Club as a singer in 1996. He appeared on their 2000 album THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE FUNKY and performed with them for nearly 20 years.

In conjunction with the release of MYSTIC BOWIE'S TALKING DREADS, the band will tour the U.S.; following are dates/venues for 2018, with additional performances to be announced.


XamVolo Announces 'A Damn Fine Spectacle' EP

Rising Neo-Soul polymath XamVolo releases new single Lose Love, the first track to be taken from his upcoming debut EP A DAMN FINE SPECTACLE.

Written and produced by XamVolo during sessions in LA alongside heavyweight producer Freddie Joachim (J Cole, Aloe Blacc, Joey Bada$$), Lose Love’s bouncing groove opens up the EP.  Released via Universal on the 13th April, A Damn Fine Spectacle is an inventive concept EP and serves as a teasing distillation of what is to be explored on his forthcoming debut album, All The Sweetness on the Surface.

A testament to XamVolo’s cinematic method of creating worlds within his music, across four songs, it tells a neo-noir story of a young girl who finds herself confronted with a hive containing a black honey substance, (which XamVolo has named ‘Slaize’) that can grant her every desire.

XamVolo explains “Everybody wants something, whether it’s money, power, justice, a clean slate, or a new pair of shoes. Some people would go to great lengths to acquire the things they want, but whenever there's an easier option available, most people would rather save themselves the hassle. This EP [and the album to follow] are all about the nature of our desires. When someone is told of this black honey – of an easy way to obtain everything they’ve ever wanted – their curiosity is piqued.”

The accompanying artwork for the EP features four bespoke illustrations, one for each track, from prolific London artist Illustrator, animator, designer and exhibitor, Koby Martin. Described as ‘what art has been missing’ and nominated for the Artist Extraordinaire Award, Koby has worked with the top names from the creative and music industries. Koby says, “Xam’s sound is completely different from anything I have worked. His music threw me in the deep end, one that feels like I have been missing on my creative journey in the music industry.”

Mixing together elements of neo soul, jazz, and pop the Liverpool based singer, songwriter and producer is a truly unique artist. In 12 short months, he has risen to the attention of critics and music fans the world over, been compared to everyone from D’Angelo to Anderson .Paak, racked up hundreds of thousands of streams, landed countless places on influential playlists and been championed by a wealth of tastemakers – from Annie Mac and Gilles Peterson to Notion, Dummy Magazine and Esquire .

This week Xam begins a huge arena support tour across the UK with Paloma Faith culminating in his own headline show at London’s Omeara on the 11th April. His debut album All The Sweetness on the Surface is due for release via Universal worldwide in 2018.

Perhaps, beyond the infectious big hits and staggering vocals, it’s the attention to detail and flourishes of genius that will keep garnering XamVolo so many comparisons to the greats of music.



The a new album from Sean Khan, the London based multi-instrumentalist who recently ventured to Rio de Janeiro to collaborate with iconic Brazilian polymath Hermeto Pascoal. Taking its title from the escaped slave settlement ‘Palmares’ in the Northeast of Brazil during the 1600s, Palmares Fantasy is Khan’s utopian jazz message for the world, and features Azymuth drummer Ivan ‘Mamão’ Conti, bassist Paulo Russo, guitarist Jim Mullen, and guest vocals from Brazilian singer Sabrina Malheiros, and Cinematic Orchestra frontwoman Heidi Vogel.

Like Hermeto Pascoal, Sean Khan is a self-taught musician. Never able to afford his original dream of studying at Berklee, and having been turned away from Guildhall School of Music for being ‘too raw’, he became disillusioned with what he saw as the exclusivity, elitism and dangerous institutionalisation of the jazz world. Yet Sean’s love for music and the drive to create never faltered.

Hermeto Pascoal, the man Miles Davis once dubbed “the most impressive musician in the world”, is a similarly independent artist. A true maverick whose ingenuity and freedom from conventional restraints is so great that he has essentially conceived his own musical language, made him the dream collaboration for Khan.

A vision of inclusivity and equality also informs the message in the music. Inspired by the 17th Century settlement of Palmares in Brazil’s Bahia region - the birthplace of Capoeira - which resisted the Portuguese and Spanish crown’s murderous exploitation of South America for a century, Khan notes his fascination with the fact that "while majoritively made up of escaped African slaves, many deserter conquistadors joined the settlement, and women had equal rights in the community, which was unheard of for this time."

Listening to the deep-grooving title track 'Palmares Fantasy' with this history in mind, you're transported to Khan's futuristic musical eden, with Mamão’s insatiable 10/8 rhythm back-boning Hermeto’s beautifully wild improvised vocals, rhodes and whistles.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

HUDSON: Jack DeJohnette, Larry Grenadier, John Medeski, John Scofield Announce "Record Store Day" Exclusive

HUDSON, the supergroup collective co-lead by Jack DeJohnette, Larry Grenadier, John Medeski, and John Scofield (four of the world's top instrumentalists), is proud to announce the "Record Store Day" exclusive release of their eponymous album in 180 gram double-disc gatefold vinyl format on April 21, 2018 (via Motéma Music). Hudson was one of the most talked about jazz/rock albums of 2017, charting in Top 3 positions on Billboard's Jazz charts every week since its June 9, 2017 CD/digital release. The group toured extensively in North American and received critical accolades from outlets such as NPR Music, Pitchfork, The New York Times, Rolling Stone,, and many more.

The "Record Store Day" exclusive release of Hudson will feature an exclusive bonus track of the band's interpretation Jimi Hendrix's classic "Castles Made of Sand" and will be packaged in a gatefold sleeve with a souvenir poster featuring printed signatures from each member of the band. A download card and will also included. The complete track listing can be found below.

Hudson is an awe-inspiring collective that brings together four of the world's most influential jazz musicians who are writing a new chapter in the marriage of jazz and rock which began with Miles Davis in the 1970s. The group captures the atmosphere and beauty of the Hudson Valley region while celebrating the iconic music that has emerged from it, inspiring original music and creative takes on Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix and The Band.

Members of HUDSON Reflect on their Audiophile Vinyl
"Record Store Day" Release:

Jack DeJohnette:
"I am excited our Hudson album is being released on vinyl. Much of the material we rediscovered was released originally in an analog format. There was a warmth and depth to those sonic sounds not transparent with a digital release that we hope fans will appreciate in this configuration"

Larry Grenadier:
"The music on Hudson definitely harkens back to the era when vinyl ruled. The repertoire and the overall vibe represent a time when there was a Side A and Side B. I'm really glad listeners will be able to experience the music in this format."

John Medeski:
"Record Store Day has a unique audience and it's a special opportunity to share Hudson in a sacred format. The dimensions of the recording take on a whole new life on vinyl. I'm especially excited since we really only listen to records at home."

John Scofield:
"I really enjoy the sound of my tube guitar amp on vinyl more than any other format. My earliest music listening experiences were on records and I'm happy they are back."

HUDSON - Vinyl Release Track Listing
SIDE A: "Hudson" / "El Swing"
SIDE B: "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" / "Woodstock" / "Castles Made Of Sand"
SIDE C: "Lay Lady Lay" / "Tony Then Jack" / "Song For World Forgiveness"
SIDE D: "Dirty Ground" / "Wait Until Tomorrow" / "Up on Cripple Creek" / "Great Spirit Peace Chant"

Hudson · Hudson (vinyl)
Label: Motéma Music · Release Date: April 21, 2018

The Maguire Twins-- Drummer Carl & Bassist Alan-- Display a Mastery of Their Craft That Belies Their Age on "Seeking Higher Ground"

Maguire Twins Seeking Higher Ground The 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.

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 Lo in 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."



Created at the request of the original composer, the April 13 release features Eddie Gomez, Jack DeJohnette, Marc Johnson, Satoshi Takeishi and Manolo Badrena

Following her 2015 GRAMMY®-winning Made in Brazil and 2017’s Latin GRAMMY®-winning Dance of Time, Eliane Elias returns with Music from Man of La Mancha, set for release on April 13, 2018, via Concord Jazz. Recorded with two different trios—one that finds the piano virtuoso accompanied by bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette and the other featuring Marc Johnson on bass with Satoshi Takeishi on drums, with Manolo Badrena joining on percussion—the nine-track collection is a unique all-instrumental reinterpretation of songs from the legendary Broadway musical.

Dance of Time, which debuted at number one on two Billboard charts, the iTunes Jazz Albums chart and the Brazilian and Latin Jazz charts, and Made in Brazil, also debuting at number one on the iTunes and Jazz Albums charts, were recorded in Elias’ homeland. The back story for the new release adds another chapter to the prolific pianist-singer-composer-arranger and producer’s résumé: Although Elias has, in the past, recorded tributes to such giants as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Chet Baker and Bill Evans, Music from Man of La Mancha marks the first time she has put her own spin on a specific set of songs from a Broadway musical.

Elias’ 26th album in a highly distinguished career, Music from Man of La Mancha was recorded in 1995 and produced by Elias with co-production by Mitch Leigh, the late composer of the music for the original Broadway production.

Man of La Mancha premiered in 1964 and was inspired by an earlier, non-musical stage production, I, Don Quixote, itself inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th-century masterpiece Don Quixote.  Among the classic songs authored by Mitch Leigh for the musical was the oft-recorded “The Impossible Dream,” reimagined by Elias for this project.

 The concept for the album came about, Elias recalls, when she was asked out of the blue to meet with the Tony Award-winning Leigh. The composer came to the musician’s New York apartment with a proposition: that he commission Elias to arrange, perform and record a new album of songs from the show. The Brazilian pianist, who had already been living in the United States for more than a decade, immediately warmed to the idea.

“Of course, I knew about the show, and was flattered when Mitch, who was accompanied by Neil Warner, the arranger for the original musical, chose me for the project he had in mind. He said he liked what I had done with the music of other composers,” Elias recalls. “I’d made a recording called Eliane Elias Plays Jobim and he was inspired by that as well as other things I had done.  He was taken by the way I treated songs and he loved the arrangements. He wanted me to do something like that with his music. He gave me a copy of the original Broadway cast recording and I chose the songs I felt I could create more around.”

Upon re-familiarizing herself with the material, Elias ultimately focused on nine pieces including “The Impossible Dream,” as well as the show’s title track and such favorites as “A Little Gossip,” “The Barber’s Song” and “It’s All the Same.” Each track bears Elias’ indelibly personalized touch. “This record is Brazilian/Latin/jazz,” she says. “It has all the elements together, which felt like a natural blend to me.” 

Music from Man of La Mancha begins with back-to-back arrangements of “To Each His Dulcinea” and “Dulcinea,” the former featuring the Johnson-Takeishi-Badrena combo and the latter Gomez and DeJohnette.  “When sequencing the tracks, I thought it was a beautiful way to start by showcasing the two trios,” she says. Elias approached each arrangement differently, based on what the music said to her. “A Little Gossip,” Elias explains, “felt just perfect to be set within the Brazilian rhythm of frevo.  In general, arranging the songs was a combination of applying different rhythms, re-harmonizations, new improvisational sections, inventing completely new parts such as introductions, interludes, endings, using modulations to create color and overall momentum, lift and interest while staying true to the original melodies. Some of the songs have more Latin flavor; others have more of a Brazilian flavor. ‘The Barber Song’ is more like a Brazilian baião where I harmonize every note of the melody and freely play over the bar-line. ‘The Impossible Dream’ is a samba. Every tune has its own treatment. ‘What Does He Want of Me’ and ‘Man of La Mancha’ have a lot of interplay. There’s a lot of variety.  I really enjoyed preparing the arrangements for this recording because Mitch gave me artistic freedom.”

All of the music was recorded live in NYC’s Power Station Studio and it was mixed at Leigh’s Secret Studio in New York City. “For the most part, we usually ended up using the first take,” she says. “That spontaneity and freshness when you first record something is hard to beat. Of course, the musicians were prepared and rehearsed. My choices as to which musicians played on which songs were based on the type of arrangements that I wrote. I played to the strengths of each trio. It brought beautiful and varied interpretations, different feels and colors to the music by having two different bassists and two different drummers.”

Due to contractual circumstances, the album was not released at the time of recording, and Leigh has since passed away. Elias says that she was gratified to see how much Leigh enjoyed what she had done, saying, “I was thrilled to see Mitch’s excitement, enthusiastic approval, joy and delight with these arrangements and interpretations. Speaking from the arranger’s chair, it is the highest praise when the composer is enamored with the reimagining of his work.” Leigh’s children have stated, “Our dad loved this album, playing it for guests, with pride, but also when he was on his own, listening to it again and again. We all feel sure he’d be very proud it’s being issued for the public.”

Guitarist LENI STERN with her trio featuring Mamadou Ba and Alioune Faye release "3"

Critically acclaimed guitarist/composer returns to SXSW with her trio featuring Mamadou Ba and Alioune Faye. They are excited to be performing music from Leni Stern's latest album, "3" (LSR), to be released on April 27th.

With "3", guitarist/composer Leni Stern offers us her most authentic recording to date, a true trio collaboration, featuring Mamadou Ba on bass and Alioune Faye on percussion and vocals. This band weaves the rhythms of Senegal into the music of NYC, creating the brilliant follow up to Stern's critically acclaimed "Dakar Suite" (2016). For more than two decades Stern has been a beacon of inspiration and a nomadic force, spreading the beauty of her music from her native Europe to her adopted home of NYC. Since the mid-2000s, Stern has followed her heart to Africa and her travels have harvested many rewards, not the least of which is her brilliant new album, "3".

Leni Stern is an unstoppable force of bottomless energy. Her long-time fans know her from a successful jazz career that saw her touring the globe on the stage of every major festival and legendary club with bands that included some of the biggest heavyweights on the scene (Dennis Chambers, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell... to name a few). Everything changed when in 2005 Leni was first invited to perform at the Festival au Desert in Timbuktu, Mali. It was there that she would meet Bassekou Kouyate and his wife Ami Sacko, embraced by their family and their bands, she dove headfirst into the traditions of West African guitar and later the n'goni (African banjo). It was a natural path from jazz, a personal journey to where her playing and the genre all began, a sort of spiritual exploration coupled with devoted study and practice.

In the past 13 years Leni has worked her hardest, forging a new sound that is all her own, composing, studying, practicing, with the rhythms and tonalities of West Africa through the chops of an accomplished jazz guitarist. It is finally, with "3", that her most authentic voice can be experienced.  Joined by her regular NYC-based trio of Mamadou Ba and Alioune Faye, Leni's compositions pay humble homage to the drum patterns of traditional Senegalese folk songs. What emerges is a new repertoire of cross-pollinated ideas and reverence to jazz, to blues, to Africa, to a folk music of today's diaspora.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...