Friday, April 26, 2019

Jazz guitarist Reza Khan’s “Next Train Home” arrives

Globetrotting guitarist Reza Khan dropped his fifth album, “Next Train Home,” on Friday. The twelve songs that he wrote and produced for the collection symbolize the discovery of his musical home, a multi-genre and multicultural mélange of straight-ahead and contemporary jazz enriched with world music and Brazilian jazz nuances. The album has already climbed into the top 100 on the Jazz Week chart based on radio spins from jazz radio stations while the smooth/contemporary jazz single, “Drop of Faith,” featuring guitarist Nils, has earned most added honors on the Billboard chart.

The Bangladesh-born Khan “daylights” as a program manager for the United Nations, playing a role in peace and conflict operations throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He composed the album during a six-week trek abroad, a trip that included a hospitalization and a forced recovery period after collapsing and suffering from severe dehydration. While traveling, Khan totes in his backpack a folding guitar, a primitive keyboard and a laptop that were used to write and record the material. When he returned to his New York City home, he fully fleshed out his concepts and ideas in the studio where he was joined by an array of first-call session players and prominent soloists. In addition to Nils, Khan called upon saxophonists Jeff Kashiwa and Andy Snitzer, keyboardist Philippe Saisse, pianist Matt King, bassist Mark Egan, horn man David Mann (sax and flute), percussionist Gumbi Ortiz, and drummers Mauricio Zottarelli and Graham Hawthorne to meticulously craft the lush tracks heard on “Next Train Home.” At the core is Khan’s deft nylon and electric guitars plucking lofty melodic statements and strumming harmonic passages with verve. When soloing, he astutely bends notes, indulging his imaginative wanderlust and impulse to riff evocative etchings.

While Khan gears up for an album release concert at the City Winery in New York City on May 9, he’s begun making the media rounds in support of “Next Train Home.” Recently he was interviewed on internet radio show Hybrid Jazz and for the summer issue of national jazz magazine Jazziz.

Funky band BT ALC BIG BAND revolutionizes THE SEARCH FOR PEACE

BT ALC Big Band seeks to breathe new life into big bands and music education with the release of their fourth album, dropping May 17.

Reaching back to the past in order to move a musical artform forward, the BT ALC Big Band turns loose the might and muscle of a 13-piece horn section to huff and puff and blow down any previously held conceptions of what a big band could be. The mission of the 19-piece Boston big band’s forthcoming album, “The Search For Peace,” is part passion, part music education and anything but peaceful. The bombardment of funk and jazz, written by trombonist Brian Thomas and trumpeter Alex Lee-Clark and produced by Alan Evans (Soulive), drops May 17 on Ropeadope.

After researching big band recordings of the 1960s and 70s, Evans decided on an old-school approach to capture the high-volt energy of BT ALC Big Band’s live performance. He propped up one omnidirectional microphone in front of each of the three horn sections - five saxophonists, four trumpeters and four trombonists – in the same

studio as the rhythm and melody players, letting them rip through the seven compositions that comprise “The Search For Peace.” The result is an organic sound that jukes and jives, harnessing the vim and vigor of the powerful posse. The album encapsulates the group’s vintage brand of rhythms and grooves they call “big band funk,” an explosive mashup of Duke Ellington and Count Basie meets James Brown and Parliament Funkadelic. Listen closely and you’ll detect some African funk and reggae inflections on this set as well.

“In recent years, the music that most big bands play, either professional or student, falls into two categories: tributes to the music of the past or new art music meant for the concert hall. We want to play music that's new, accessible and culturally relevant; music that reflects the music we put on in the car when we're zooming around in our day-to-day lives. We want to take the great art form of the big band and breathe new life into it,” said Thomas.

But that’s only half the outfit’s mission. Lee-Clark explains, “Essential to this goal is updating the music we play when we're teaching young musicians. Most of us started out in a band like this in school, and it played a huge part in igniting our passion for music. We firmly believe that the best way we can keep igniting that passion is not just to teach them to play every standard big band chart with precision and good intonation, but to show how they themselves can create new music, how they can push the art forward. We want ‘The Search For Peace’ to be a springboard for us to help bring big band music and music education into the present day.”

BT ALC Big Band walks the walk by regularly engaging in clinics, workshops and performances with students throughout New England. They make their charts available for study and have had their compositions performed at college, university and high school jazz ensembles in the region. Now they are thinking nationally.

Priming the pump for “The Search For Peace,” BT ALC Big Band dropped two standalone singles earlier this month, covers that tip their caps to some of their influences. Evans mans the drumkit on a percussive-heavy excursion through The Meters’ “Africa.” On a superfly take on Fred Wesley & The J.B.’s “Damn Right I’m Somebody,” an incendiary tenor sax throwdown erupts between Mike Tucker and Tucker Antell.

“The Search For Peace” will be launched with an album release concert in Boston on the release date (May 17) at City Winery. After the record streets, BT ALC Big Band will play a residency at Sally O’Brien’s in nearby Somerville on May 20, June 27, July 25, August 29 and September 26.

BT ALC Big Band issued their debut album in 2013, “Superhero Dance Party.” Three years later, they dropped the two-volume “The Herd Sessions.” Thomas and Lee-Clark met while studying music at UMass Amherst and have been collaborating ever since.

Bassist Allen Carman and a masterful collective team to define their own brand of music they call “Carmanology”

Grammy-winning guitar legend Nile Rodgers ignites “State of Mine,” the explosive new single from The Allen Carman Project’s debut album dropping April 5.

It started out as just a few friends having fun making music together but grew into a recording project that to date has placed three singles on the Billboard chart with a fourth, “State of Mine,” certain to follow suit, in part due to the distinctive rhythmic riffing of Grammy-winning guitar legend Nile Rodgers. Bassist Allen Carman shelved his music aspirations twenty years ago only to rekindle them after reconnecting with percussionist Gumbi Ortiz and keyboardist Philippe Saisse a couple years ago. Joined by drummer Luis Alicea, the quartet became The Allen Carman Project, a band scrapbooking contemporary jazz, R&B, Latin, Afro Cuban, funk and fusion with a bolt of added star power from prominent soloists: Rodgers, saxophonist Andy Snitzer, trumpeter

Rick Braun and guitarist Marc Antoine. In the process, the “Carmanology” album, produced by Ortiz and Saisse and featuring eight original songs, introduces the sound of an exciting and creative collaborative that will drop their debut disc April 5 on the ACP Music label.

When Ortiz convinced Carman to work on some new tracks with him and Saisse, expectations were modest. Saisse penned the premiere single “Groove Salad,” a nourishing blend of contemporary jazz tossed with generous servings of Snitzer’s zesty sax. The title track dropped next, defining the outfit’s sound palette as an inventive mix of future meets familiar on a cut that portrays a vividly-realized fantasy where kinetic go-go beats and horn-powered funk coexist with vibrant jazz piano and sax theatrics. On the third single, Snitzer rampages through “Hearsay,” stirring a maelstrom amidst taunting bass, cascading rhythms and exuberant harmonies. Fourth up, Braun’s muted trumpet lends atmospheric elements to “Morning After” while Snitzer’s bellowing saxophone testifies in emphatic support of Carman’s elastic basslines and Saisse’s rapturous keyboard vocalizations. Other highlights on the “Carmanology” collection include the breezy Latin-jazz oeuvre “Carisma” on which Antoine’s nylon guitar leads the exotic exploration; a sprawling aural adventure through “El Fanfaron” boosted by Carman’s boundless bass, Ortiz’s exhilarating percussion attack and the combustive horns of Don Harris and Bill Harris; and just when you think you’ve got the band’s sonic trajectory figured out, they augment “Bodega” with Evan Garr’s mind-blowing electric violin.

“When Gumbi and I started talking about making a record, I was super excited. My only expectation was to make a great record with great musicians. This album has far exceeded those expectations. It has always been a dream of mine to make a record with top-quality musicians and good songs. I put that dream on hold many moons ago when I joined the ‘civilian’ world and became a lawyer. However, I always felt like a musician first and a lawyer second. I never gave up on my passion to play,” said Carman, a South Jersey native who first met Ortiz in the mid-80s on the Tampa music scene when they played in local bands.

Ortiz, Saisse and Alicea established their chemistry years ago while backing guitar great Al Di Meola. Garr was also part of that band. Before deciding to go to law school, Carman toured extensively, performing with an array of artists. He’s looking forward to touring with The Allen Carman Project during a spring trek in support of the record release.

“I can’t wait to get out on the road with these fabulous musicians and play for live audiences. It will be magical.”

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Bob Marley's Legend Turns 35: The World's Best-Selling Reggae Album Of All Time Is Anointed With A Special 35th Anniversary 2LP 180-Gram Vinyl Reissue

On June 14, The Marley Family, Island Records and UMe join collective forces to observe the 35th anniversary of Bob Marley & The Wailers' Legend with a double 180-gram vinyl reissue.  Initially released on May 8, 1984, Legend holds the distinction of being the world's best-selling reggae album of all time with over 15 million copies sold in the United States alone, and over 28 million worldwide. A greatest hits compilation for the ages, Legend is the soundtrack to the remarkable life and recording career of one of reggae music's most important and influential figures. This iconic collection not only serves as the perfect introduction to the music of Bob Marley, it has also become an essential element of every reggae fan's permanent collection.

This vinyl-only 35th anniversary reissue comprises the original "BMW1" version of Legend with the addition of two original U.K.-only cassette bonus tracks ("Easy Skanking" and "Punky Reggae Party"). Taken as a whole, the 16 songs that comprise Legend have literally defined a genre. Among the album's instantly recognizable tracks are "Get Up Stand Up," "One Love / People Get Ready," "I Shot The Sheriff," "Three Little Birds," "Jammin," and "Exodus." Other Legend anthems like "No Woman No Cry" and "Is This Love" feature backing vocals from The I Threes, an all-female trio comprised of Marley's wife Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt, and Marcia Griffiths. Mrs. Rita Marley's own career retrospective, quite aptly dubbed Lioness of Reggae, is being released on limited-edition vinyl by Tuff Gong Worldwide on May 3.

A new visual for "Satisfy My Soul" was recently shot by Pantera as directed by Brian Kazez and produced by Propaganda Films, serving as a conceptual interpretation of the song to show what it means to "feel alright" in Jamaica. This also happens to be the same directorial team that shot a new clip for "Easy Skanking," which was filmed in Kingston and garnered much acclaim earlier this year for the way it shared an authentic look at a day in the life of Jamaica and the indefatigable, uprising spirit of the people who live, love, and work there the whole year round.

To this day, Bob Marley remains one of popular culture's most important and influential entertainment icons. His lifestyle and music continue to inspire new generations around the world. Marley was the first Jamaican artist to give voice to the struggles of his people and introduce Rastafarian culture to the world at large, and his expansive music catalog has sold millions of albums all across the globe.

Bob Marley's legacy truly lives on in the artists and generations he has influenced. Today, the spiritual, political, and musical resonance of the man's work continues to be felt around the world, and Legend is the one true collection that cements his perpetual global legacy.

Bob Marley & The Wailers LEGEND [double 180g vinyl]

Side A
1. Is This Love
2. No Woman No Cry
3. Could You Be Loved

Side B
1. Three Little Birds
2. Buffalo Soldier
3. Get Up Stand Up
4. Stir It Up
5. Easy Skanking

Side C
1. One Love / People Get Ready
2. I Shot The Sheriff
3. Waiting In Vain
4. Redemption Song

Side D
1. Satisfy My Soul
2. Exodus
3. Jammin'
4. Punky Reggae Party

Bob Marley, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is notable not only as the man who put reggae on the global map, but, as a statesman in his native Jamaica, he famously brought together the country's warring factions and simultaneously became a symbol of freedom and justice globally. Today, Bob Marley remains one of the 20th century's most important and influential entertainment icons. Marley's lifestyle and music continue to inspire new generations as his legacy lives on through his music. In the digital era, he has the second-highest social media following of any posthumous celebrity, with the official Bob Marley Facebook page drawing more than 71 million fans, ranking it among the Top 20 of all Facebook pages and Top 10 among celebrity pages. Marley's music catalog has sold millions of albums worldwide. His iconic collection LEGEND holds the distinction of being the longest-charting album in the history of Billboard magazine's Catalog Albums chart and remains the world's best-selling reggae album. Marley's accolades include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1994) and ASCAP Songwriters Hall of Fame (2010), a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award (2001), multiple entries in the GRAMMY® Hall Of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2001).  Marley was also awarded the UN Peace Medal of the Third World for his efforts in Jamaica. 

New Music Releases: Rahsaan Patterson – Heroes And Gods; Lasperanza - Seeds; Carlton Jumel Smith – 1634 Lexington

Rahsaan Patterson – Heroes And Gods

Singer, songwriter and actor Rahsaan Patterson’s career started at the age of 10 in the role of “the Kid” on the long-running TV show Kids Incorporated, along with other future stars Fergie, Martika, and Shanice. His critically acclaimed debut album on MCA sparked a passionate following over a series of excellent albums, Urban AC radio hits, touring and contributions to soundtracks such as Brown Sugarand Steve Harvey’s “Sign of Things to Come” compilation. Heroes & Godsis Rahsaan’s highly-anticipated new studio album; it marks a return to his classic “neo-soul” sound his fans crave. Standout tracks include infectious mid-tempo “Catch Me When I Fall,” the classic soul balladry of “Sent From Heaven” and the innovative title track.

Lasperanza - Seeds

Lasperanza is the brainchild of UK producer/musician Rico Garofalo. Since beginning his career as a sax player he has always dreamed of creating an album on which he would reimagine and reconfigure some of his favourite soul/jazz songs from the Seventies and Eighties. Seeds is the result. “I wanted to change the arrangements, either from a rhythmic or harmonic aspect, while always keeping a soul/jazz flavour. Give the songs a new lease of life rather than just a fresh lick of paint.” Lead single “It Should Have Been You”, featuring vocalist Izzy Chase, is a sultry mid-tempo reinvention of a Gwen Guthrie disco era tune. Influential US website enthuses: “Gwen Guthrie fans will likely appreciate such a refreshing and unexpected cover that is steeped in quality instrumentation, tasteful vocals, and overall musicality.” Other songs newly reimagined for 2019 include “Early Morning Love” (Lou Rawls), “Under The Moon And Over The Sky” (Angela Bofill), “Working Day and Night” (Michael Jackson), “Give Me The Night” (George Benson), “Kilimanjaro” (Letta Mbulu) and “In The Mood” (Tyrone Davis). Eight UK vocalists – and one American – are featured on the album, which is receiving strong advance airplay and very favourable critical reaction from Jazz FM, BBC RadioLondon, Mi-Soul, Solar Radio, Echoes magazine, Holland’s Sublime FM and Italy’s Radio Milano International.

Carlton Jumel Smith – 1634 Lexington

After hitting hard in the soul circles with his deep Timmion debut single “I Can’t Love You No More” and following it with “This Is What Love Looks Like”, Carlton Jumel Smith is back at it with an album full of contemporary soul gold. The material mined here is none other than the vintage groove troves of classic 1970’s r&b, something the Cold Diamond & Mink crew brews up effortlessly. The songwriting and expression by Carlton carry strong echoes of Curtom productions, Memphis soul and naturally Motown. We’re talking about musical traditions he’s incorporated into his expression since witnessing James Brown at the Apollo as an 8-year old. Opening up with the dance floor ready testimony “Woman You Made Me”, Carlton sets the mood up good, whereas “Remember Me” delivers a devastating Chi-Town-styled group harmony groover. Fans of Menahan Street Band will get a kick out of the moody “Help Me (Save Me From Myself)”, which is followed by the beautiful deep “Ain’t That Love”, carried by an intimate folk guitar lick. The album’s b-side sequences the otherworldly shuffler “You Gonna Need Me” with Carlton’s rehash of his mid-Millennium release “I’d Better”, swapping its programmed modern soul for a more organic form. On his album Carlton Jumel Smith explores different shades of the golden era of soul music, and it would be hard to find anyone doing it as fresh in 2019. You know those front to back soul album classics you treasure in your collection? This will stand up with the best of them.


Thus begins the ambitious manifesto behind Theo Croker’s newest album, issued as a preface to the trumpeter, producer, arranger, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s most personal project yet, due out May 17 from Sony Music Masterworks. Available now for preorder, Star People Nation finds Croker at the helm of production, songwriting and performance, resulting in an intimate exploration of “the everyday rituals of blackness.” A translation of Theo Croker’s personal, spiritual and creative experience, Star People Nation is a self-reflective collection of provocative, powerfully passionate and boundary-busting compositions that speak to our greater, shared human existence.

Arriving alongside album preorder is a new track from the forthcoming album, “Understand Yourself,” a politically charged track featuring vocals from Jamaican musician Chronixx, who adds a distinctive Black, folkloric flair as the music merges African percussion, American horns, and Caribbean flavor. “Understand Yourself” is a culmination of much of the album’s themes, carrying a message of death and rebirth – a powerful missive to let your old self die so that you can move on to be your higher self. The song originally made its debut via AFROPUNK, who praise Croker’s “new cool approach,” describing his latest effort as a necessary “upheaval” that allows for the genre “to keep breathing” – read more here. 

“It’s taken me thirty years of analyzing my own identity as an artistic black man to finally fit all of this into my interpretation of Black American Music,” explains Theo Croker of his newest album. As the grandson of the late, venerable, GRAMMY® Award-winning trumpeter Doc Cheatham, former student of legendary jazz trumpeter/composer Donald Byrd and protégé of three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, Croker is an artist steeped in the sociopolitical implications of his art. While deeply rooted in the historical cannon of jazz, Croker reached new levels of transcendence in preparing for Star People Nation.

“I’m embracing my own multicultural-ness within my blackness,” says Croker. “I’m embracing my instrument, my story, and who I am as a player and composer for the first time.” Through artful conversation with the past, both personal and universal, Star People Nation offers listeners a new interpretation of the future, with Croker joining the ranks of contemporary artists redefining the plurality of cultural identity.

Beginning his career with seven years spent in Shanghai, Croker first introduced his singular style in 2014 on the Dee Dee Bridgewater-assisted Afro Physicist. His 2016 follow-up Escape Velocity marked a watershed moment for the artist, with the Wall Street Journal extolling the album as “timeless and of-the-moment.” Returning to the studio in late 2016, he took the reins as sole producer. Playing not only trumpet, but keys, drums, synths, percussion and kalimba in addition to handling background vocals, Croker constructed the album narrative as its auteur, often sampling and re-sampling both live and in-studio performances. Enlisting GRAMMY® Award-winning, multi-platinum producer and engineer Bob Power [Erykah Badu, A Tribe Called Quest, D’Angelo] to mix & master the final product, the album is a seamless pairing of the earthly and celestial, a transcendence of sound rooted in its multifarious eclecticism.

It was during this time that he made his first foray into the world of hip-hop, exposing him to “an entirely different form of creation” in the process. Rap superstar J. Cole enlisted his talents on the platinum-certified No. 1 opus 4 Your Eyez Only, with Croker acting as producer, arranger and performer on multiple tracks. GRAMMY® Award-winning rapper Common also sought out Croker’s talents on his critically acclaimed album Black America Again, co-executive produced by Croker’s Afro Physicist collaborator and producer Karriem Riggins [Kanye West, Paul McCartney, J Dilla].

The eighteen months spent making Star People Nation also included a major shift in location for Croker, who relocated from his longtime home of New York to venture out west to Los Angeles. It’s a move few jazz artists make in their career, especially those as rooted in the New York scene as Croker. “There are situations that happen that allow us to gain knowledge about ourselves, steering us closer to our higher selves. The move was one of those for me,” he explains.

“I managed to foster a new community of creatives in my life since living here. To see how artists from other genres operated really inspired me not to put myself in any type of box,” says Croker. “I opened myself up to all sorts of opportunities. I began really understanding and coming to a higher purpose in music. It made me realize how much farther I can go. You can feel that boundlessness on Star People Nation. How everything and everyone affected me is in the new music.”

Star People Nation’s lead single, “Subconscious Flirtations & Titillations,” illuminates the newly broadened scope of sound. A syncopated drumbeat fuels a simmering groove punctuated by passionate piano. At the center, the trumpet emanates pulses of emotion. Its ebb and flow commutes a moment of sonic seduction, an approach that speaks to the album as a whole. “It’s a very sensual and sexual song,” he explains. “The sound and composition were completely electronic. I transferred it to a band, mixed those elements together, and placed my trumpet in the role of narrator.” Meanwhile, “The Messenger (feat. ELEW)” hinges on smoky blues piano over a rhythm that conjures the spirit of traditional swing, locking into the pocket to showcase “the power of swinging the quarter note.” It’s an authoritative statement from Croker, reminding listeners that this music’s essence remains in the swing, and that no amount of production, backbeat or harmonic sliding can replace the true authenticity of those able to master it.

In the end, Theo Croker creates a haven for creativity, spirituality, seduction and enlightenment throughout Star People Nation. “This is really supposed to inspire others to embrace themselves, their experiences and their community,” says Croker. “As world citizens, we can all be a part of Star People Nation.”

As the grandson of the late venerable trumpeter Doc Cheatham, and former student of legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd, trumpeter, composer, bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Theo Croker naturally follows an internal need to compose. Learning to play the trumpet at age 11 after hearing Cheatham play in New York City, by his teens Croker was studying music formally at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville followed by the Music Conservatory at Oberlin College. Launching his career with seven years spent in Shanghai, Croker first introduced his singular style in 2014 on the Dee Dee Bridgewater-assisted AfroPhysicist. His 2016 follow-up, Escape Velocity, marked a watershed moment for the artist, with the Wall Street Journal extolling the album as “timeless and of-the-moment.” Croker has also lent his talents to the world of hip hop, with rap superstar J. Cole’s platinum-certified No. 1 opus 4 Your Eyez Only, with Croker acting as trumpet arranger and performer on multiple tracks. GRAMMY® Award-winning rapper Common also sought out Croker for his critically-acclaimed album Black America Again.


1. Have You Come to Stay  
2. Getaway Gold (Feat. Rose Gold)  
3. Subconscious Flirtations and Titillations  
4. Wide Open  
5. Portrait of William  
6. Just Let It Ride  
7. Crestfallen  
8. The Messenger (feat. ELEW)  
9. Alkebulan (feat. Eric Harland and Kassa Overall)  
10. Understand Yourself (feat. Chronixx)  


April 17 | Portland, OR | Soul’d Out Festival
April 30 | Melbourne, AUS | Australia International Jazz Day
May 8 | New York, NY | Django (Big Brother Big Band)
May 9 | Norfolk, VA | Virginia Arts Festival
May 10 | Germantown, MD | BlackRock Center for the Arts
May 11 | Washington, D.C. | The Arc
* May 18 | Dudelange, Luxembourg | International Jazz Festival Dudelange
May 22 - 26 | San Francisco, CA | Black Cat
June 13 - June 16 | New York, NY | Jazz Standard
July 20 | Bad Durkheim, Germany | Palatia Jazz Festival
August 24 | Bremen, Germany | Musikfest Bremen (Theo Croker & DVRK Funk feat. Mapei)
September 12 | Santa Cruz, CA | Kuumbwa
September 14 | Los Angeles, CA | Jazz Is Dead @ Lodge Room
September 16 | Springfield, MA | Scibelli Hall
September 20 - 21 | Ann Arbor, MI | Blue Llama Jazz Club
September 23 | New York, NY | Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (Big Brother Big Band)
October 22 | Köln, Germany | Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld
October 25 | Münster, Germany | Hot Jazz Club
October 26 | Hannover, Germany | Jazz-Club Hannover
October 27 | Essen, Germany | Grillo Theater
November 1 | La Jolla, CA | UC San Diego
** November 7 | Dortmund, Germany | Konzerthaus Dortmund
** November 8 | Baden-Baden, Germany | Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
** November 9 | Stuttgart, Germany | Theaterhaus Stuttgart
** November 11 | Frankfurt Am Main, Germany | Alte Oper
** November 12 | Lörrach, Germany | Burghof
** November 14 | Berlin, Germany | Admiralspalast
** November 16 | München, Germany | Prinzregententheater
April 25, 2020 | New York, NY | Carnegie Hall – Zankel Hall (Big Brother Big Band)

*Soweto Kinch Quartet Featuring Theo Croker & Greg Hutchinson
**JazzNights Tour 2019: The Jazz Animals – “It Must Schwing” Tribute to Alfred Lion & Francis Wolff

Freekbass, “the new spiritual warrior for the funk,” is ready to serve up his new album All The Way This. All The Way That

Freekbass, hailed by the legendary Bootsy Collins as “the new spiritual warrior for the funk,” is ready to serve up his new album All The Way This. All The Way That. on the exciting new Color Red imprint on May 31, 2019. The highly anticipated album embodies the past, present, and future of funk music from the creative minds of Freekbass and co-producers Itaal Shur and Color Red founder Eddie Roberts. The ten track album captures Freekbass’ sound and influences traversing funk from different locations and eras, but the result is 100% original Freekbass. All The Way This. All The Way That. has a warmth that hasn’t been captured until now. That’s because part of the record was recorded straight to a Tascam 388, an eight-track tape recorder with a cult following at Color Red studios, that showcases the infectious energy of a live Freekbass show.

Freekbass has cemented himself as a ground breaking bass player and funk guru. His innovative styling including his signature double thumb strumming technique has garnered critical acclaim and a cult fan following. With the new album, Freekbass has devoted his craft to push the funk forward by harnessing the Cincinnati sound and merging it with universal influences that bring the funk to the present with the spirit of the future. Freekbass enthusiastically adds, “this album could have been recorded in 1972 and some of it in 2072. The Funk is timeless to me, and that is what I always want to try to create, both live and in the studio. The combination of a producer like Eddie Roberts with his pedigree and Itaal Shur with his vision, makes for a very eclectic and hopefully, groundbreaking take on groove-based music.” And the Freekbass experience is rounded out by the powerful sounds of The Bump Assembly including all star players Rico Lewis on Drums (George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic), Sky White on Keys (Foxy Shazam), and Sammi Garett vocals (Turkuaz).

All The Way This. All The Way That. merges two sets and sides of a record, but together paint a complete picture of Freekbass. The All The Way That. side was recorded in Cincinnati, OH with GRAMMY award winning producer Itaal Shur (Santana, Maxwell, Jewel) and embodies the vibes and rich history of the Ohio funk sound both Freek and Shur grew up with. The All The Way This. side was recorded at the label’s Color Red Studios in Denver. It was a natural location, home base for co-producer Eddie Roberts, and it allowed the band to create, write, and play to maximum potential. Freekbass reflects, “recording half of the album in Cincinnati, OH and half of the album in Denver, CO was the perfect way to bridge the earth with the stars.”

The Color Red sessions really made an impact on the record as Freek explains, “A goal of mine has always been to capture the raw energy and soundwaves on how we produce live, while pushing the sonic boundaries in the studio. When we go to tape with a song, it would still have that organic excitement you have when playing, live,” Freekbass reflects, “For me, it represents all sides of me as both a bassist, songwriter and performer. I think we got great performances from new creative places, out of everyone involved in the making of this album.” With only a few rehearsal and writing sessions, the musician would lay down the tracks straight to tape in as few as three days. The end result captures the stunning warmth of analog production and a live feel with studio quality that will be released on vinyl with two distinct, yet cohesive sides.

All The Way This. All The Way That. is Freekbass’ seventh full length album and fans can expect a healthy dose of new content from him including ‘Freeky Friday’ track premieres, with a new song from the album dropping every Friday in May until release day. In the meantime, grab your pre-order here:

Freekbass has graced the stage across the country and is a staple in the festival and touring circuit, including notable performances alongside Bernie Worrell, Umphrey’s McGee, Sammi Garett, Turkuaz, Dumpstaphunk, George Porter Jr., Buckethead, DJ Logic and Mike Gordon. Freekbass and The Bump Assembly will be touring nationally in support of the new album. Catch them at a city near you when full tour dates are announced.

Freekbass concludes, “I think folks who have never heard Freekbass before, as well as the folks who have known me for a long time, are going to be happily surprised with what we have come up with, here and the totality in sonics of the Funk!”


American pianist Lara Downes has released her new album, Holes in the Sky, on Portrait, an imprint of the Sony Music Masterworks label.

Holes in the Sky is a genre-fluid collection of music written and performed by today's leading female artists, celebrating the contributions of phenomenal women to the past, present, and future of American music.

The music of Holes in the Sky tells the story of what women and girls can contribute to the world when they are given a chance - their dreams can make holes in the sky. Lara collaborates with an extraordinary multi-generational group of female guest artists on this album, including the iconic singer / songwriter Judy Collins, boundary-breaking violinist Rachel Barton Pine, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, fast-rising cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing, and the urban youth vocal ensemble Musicality.

The album is presented in direct support of PLAN International Because I Am A Girl, bolstering the rights and empowerment of girls and young women around the globe; Women's Empowerment in Sacramento, ending homelessness one woman - and one family - at a time; the Downtown Women's Center in Los Angeles, a permanent and supportive housing and healthcare provider for women; Girls on the Run in Spokane, teaching life skills through fun, engaging lessons that celebrate the joy of movement; and the Lower East Side Girls Club, breaking the cycle of poverty by training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial, and environmental leaders.

Reflections on Holes in the Sky from Lara Downes...

"Sometimes interviewers ask me about being a woman in music - where I find inspiration, and where I face challenges. And my answer, always, is that I'm guided and inspired by the women before me – the ones who were ahead of their time in the courage of their creativity, who paved the way for me to take my own musical journey ...

A few years ago, this quote from Georgia O'Keeffe got stuck in my head and my heart: "I want real things - live people to take hold of - to see - and talk to - music that makes holes in the sky - I want to love as hard as I can."

The world of women has always been my home. But the world of my music, of my piano teachers and the Great Pianists and Great Composers, with their stern, bearded portraits, their hundreds of sonatas and etudes that took up the hours of my days – that was a world of men and I felt not quite at home.

I went looking for the women ... I discovered the women who lived in the margins and footnotes of my music history books. They were so few, in comparison ... To rise up from the weight of petticoats and ladylike behavior, tyrannical fathers, overshadowing husbands, unchecked offspring – they were heroic, these women. They were giants ...

When I make music with other women, I feel a kinship, a common history that brought us here. We have freedoms beyond any of our ancestors – even the mothers who raised us. We have very little, in the scope of things, to hold us down. But still, I think, we feel the weight of the past. Still we rise ...

It feels like such a privilege to pay tribute to the women who preceded us, the pioneers ahead of their time. The ones who dared to want real things, to reach into the sky. Their courage is the ground we walk on. And it feels like a celebration of our own freedom - hard won, still gaining - to make beauty in the world, to take risks and move out ahead of our own time, with the courage that is our legacy - the courage to reach for real things, to dream as big as we can, and to share this music that makes holes in the sky."

Lara Downes is among the foremost American pianists of her generation, an iconoclast dedicated to expanding the resonance and relevance of live music for diverse audiences.A trailblazer on and off-stage, she follows a musical roadmap that seeks inspiration from the legacies of history, family, and collective memory.

Downes' playing has been called "ravishing" by Fanfare Magazine, "luscious, moody and dreamy" by The New York Times, and "addicting" by The Huffington Post. As a chart-topping recording artist, a powerfully charismatic performer, a curator and taste-maker, Downes is recognized as a cultural visionary on the national arts scene.

Lara's forays into the broad landscape of American music have created a series of acclaimed recordings, including America Again, selected by NPR as one of "10 Albums that Saved 2016", and hailed as "a balm for a country riven by disunion" by the Boston Globe. Her recent Sony Classical debut release For Lenny debuted in the Billboard Top 20 and was awarded the 2017 Classical Recording Foundation Award.


Double Bassist and composer André Carvalho, originally from Lisbon, Portugal and residing in NYC since 2014, is proud to present his third recording as a leader, The Garden Of Earthly Delights, to be released on May 17, and featuring his band of internationally acclaimed musicians, saxophonists Jeremy Powell and Eitam Gofman, trumpeter Oskar Stenmark, guitarist André Matos and drummer Rodrigo Recabarren.

His first two albums, Hajime and Memória de Amiba showed Carvalho's highly personal perspective in music featuring an original blend of contemporary jazz with elements from Portuguese music. Both projects received rave reviews from Portuguese and International critics. Carvalho was awarded the "Carlos Paredes" prize in 2012, a prestigious honor that recognizes Portuguese music projects, as well as a "Best Group" recognition in the Bucharest International Jazz Competition.

Now, with The Garden Of Earthly Delights, the double bassist and composer presents an inspired aural universe, inspired by the enigmatic work of the artist Hieronymus Bosch, particularly one of his most famous paintings - "The Garden of Earthly Delights" (1490-1510, housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid). Carvalho wrote a suite of music that serves as an invitation for a journey. Shifting between softness and harshness, simplicity and complexity, harmony and conflict, the music flows between soundscapes inspired by the triptych.

AllAboutJazz has asserted that Carvalho's compositions are, "impressively well-structured", and that, "his writing offers scope for different textures and layers of sound that often give the sensation of a much larger ensemble, but he's not afraid to give space to just one or two players at a time, creating some memorable performances as a result." Indeed, on The Garden Of Earthly Delights, Carvalho's "attractive compositional voice well founded in the modern trends of jazz" (JazzTrail), gives us a dark, brooding landscape, full orchestral textures with just a sextet, polyphony worthy of New Orleans, a dose of avant-garde and the drama of Fado; all of this on the first track, "Prelude".  

As to the genesis of the work, André said: "I always wanted to write a larger piece, with several movements, connected by a common concept. By mere chance, when revisiting Bosch's works, I was urged to express his singularity through music." The Suite wanders between antagonistic dichotomies such as improvised vs. composed music, between the influence of jazz and contemporary music. Unlike André Carvalho's previous works, The Garden Of Earthly Delights is an exploratory piece, leaning towards a different direction, showing the evolution of his creativity, imagination and prodigiousness with his composer's pen and his bass.

André Carvalho's credits are in abundance, his pedigree unassailable, having worked with Chris Cheek, Will Vinson, Ian Froman, Colin Stranahan, André Matos, Tommy Crane, Vinnie Sperrazza, Mário Laginha, Billy Mintz, Maria João, Gilberto Gil, European Movement Jazz Orchestra, among many others. The Fulbright grantee (with a Master of Music in jazz performance at the Manhattan School of Music) has also worked extensively outside the jazz world with the Ibero-American Orchestra (under Gustavo Dudamel), Anton Webern Orchestra (under Franz Welser-Most and Heinrich Schiff), Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra (under Michael Zilm), among others, as well as contemporary ensembles such as Octothorpe. His interest in Fado, Portugal's traditional music, led him to perform with important names of this genre, such as Carlos do Carmo and Cristina Branco.

In recent years, Carvalho has also been performing intensely around Europe, performing as a bandleader and sideman in Portugal, Spain, Austria, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, England, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Serbia, Romania, as well as in the U.S. and Egypt.

The Garden Of Earthly Delights - Track listing:
1. Prelude
2. The Fools of Venus
3. The Fountain
4. Dracaena Draco
5. Of Mermaids and Mermen
6. Cherries, Brambles and Strawberries
7. The Towers of Eden
8. Evil Parade
9. The Thinker in the Tavern
10. The Forlorn Mill
11. Phowa

The recording sessions for The Garden Of Earthly Delights took place in April 2018 at The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn, NY. The album was mixed by the amazing producer, engineer and pianist Pete Rende, and mastered by the musical polymath Nate Wood.



Angélique Kidjo has released Celia (Verve/Universal Music France), an album that honors Celia Cruz, widely known as "the Queen of Salsa" and the most popular Latin artist of the 20thcentury.  On Celia, Angélique explores the African roots of the Cuban-born Cruz and reimagines selections from Cruz's extraordinary career in surprising new ways, infused with an explosion of sounds and rhythms from Cuba, Africa, the Middle East, America and beyond.  The album includes performances by Tony Allen (Fela Kuti) on drums, Meshell Ndegeocello on bass, and British saxophonist Shabaka Hutchins plus his band Sons of Kemet.  

Says Kidjo: "As a child I saw Celia Cruz sing in Benin and her energy and joy changed my life. It was the first I was seeing a powerful woman performer on a stage. Her voice was percussive and her songs resonated in a mysterious way with me. Many years later, I learned she was singing the Yoruba songs that were carried out of Benin 400 years before. I felt she was a long lost sister from the other side of the world. Like me, she experienced exile from a dictatorship and she was always proud of her roots, of her African roots. In the same way I wanted to bring back Rock and Roll to Africa with my Talking Heads' Remain In Lightproject, I now want to pay homage to this incredible voice and those songs that reunite with their juju and Afrobeat roots."

Celia was recorded in New York and Paris, produced and arranged by David Donatien and mixed by Russell Elevado (D'Angelo, Kamasi Washington).  Angéliqueis joined by a host of musicians including Tony Allen and Meshell Ndegeocello, who appear on a number of songs, plus her longtime guitarist Dominic James, the GangbéBrass Band from Benin, British saxophonist Shabaka Hutchins as well as his Sons Of Kemet trio, and more.  

Over the course of 10 beloved songs from Cruz's extensive catalog but with special focus on her work from the 1950s,Angélique's voice soars in lockstep with a grand presentation of rhythmic touchstones that delve deep into the history of music from Africa and it's influence on the music of Cuba.  Each song celebrates this idea – from the tight afro-beat groove of "Baila Yemaja," the high octane take on "Quimbara," the frantic energy of "Bemba Colora" to "Oya Diosa," a lushly orchestrated ballad. 

Celia Cruz was born in Havana in 1925 and left Cuba for the U.S. when Fidel Castro took power in 1959.  She joined Tito Puente's orchestra in 1966, and her recordings for the Fania label helped to construct the legacy of salsa music.  Cruz released over 60 albums, 23 of which went gold.  Her image was featured on a commemorative U.S. postage stamp, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts, and won 6 Grammy Awards in addition to the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Angélique Kidjo has been recognized as one of the world's 100 most influential women by The Guardianand dubbed as "Africa's Premiere Diva" by Timemagazine.  Her last release, 2018's radical reimagining of the Talking Heads album Remain In Lightwas deemed "transformative" by The New York Times, "visionary" by NPR Music and "one of the year's most vibrant albums" by The Washington Post.  It led to a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, an interview with David Byrne on the New Yorker Radio Hour and more.  In November she performed at the World War I Armistice Centenary at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, in front of some 70 dignitaries and heads of state.  

Angélique will tour various projects through 2019 and she will open for Vampire Weekend at Madison Square Garden on September 6.

Friday, April 19, 2019


Ahead of the May 31st release of her forthcoming album Ámbar, multitalented vocalist, songwriter and instrumentalist Camila Meza debuts today, "Milagre dos Peixes," a breathtaking version of Milton Nascimento's early 1970s composition. Culled from Meza's Quartet repertoire and refashioned here for the Nectar Orchestra, Meza's rendition of "Milagre dos Peixes," or "Miracle of the Fishes," brilliantly captures the passion, beauty and wailing sense of urgency found in Nascimento's vocals. It is both momentous and affecting, with enthralling solo contributions from pianist Eden Ladin and drummer/percussionist Keita Ogawa. Originally making its debut via DownBeat Magazine, who said that Meza's version, "maintains some of the original's folk feel through the inclusion of the Nectar Orchestra's pair of violins, even as some dark electricity creates tension during the song's middle portion," (Dave Cantor) -  listen here.

"It felt very intuitive to bring 'Milagre dos Peixes' to this setting," explains Meza of the track. "There's something powerful and urgent about it. Nascimento was part of a movement in Brazil - they were writing songs with hidden political messages to avoid censorship from the dictatorship, but they still succeeded in boldly criticizing the regime. So there's a kind of surrealism to the imagery in Fernando Brant's lyrics, but with a devastating sense of reality. One of the messages I get from this song is that Nascimento is also singing about the imminent loss of the human connection to nature, and how a new generation is lured into worshipping the "new saints" that come in the form of TV, isolating them and diminishing their reverence for nature. The lyrics say, 'they no longer talk about the fishes and the sea, they don't see the flower blooming, the sun rising, and I'm just one more who talks about this pain, our pain.'"

Available now for preorder, Ámbar, the fifth studio album from Camila Meza, showcases the Chilean-born talent's ever-evolving artistic sensibility. Set for release May 31 via Sony Music Masterworks, Ámbar finds Meza reaching new virtuosic and expressive heights as a singer, a stirring guitar soloist, an ambitious songwriter and a producer. Accompanied by the Nectar Orchestra, a hybrid ensemble with string quartet, with string arrangements by bassist and frequent collaborator Noam Wiesenberg and features from pianist/keyboardist Eden Ladin, drummer/percussionist Keita Ogawa, violinists Tomoko Omura and Fung Chern Hwei, violist Benjamin von Gutzeit and cellist Brian Sanders, Ámbar is distinguished by its extraordinarily close attention to sonic detail. Steeped in metaphor, romance and complex emotion, Ámbar is Meza's boldest artistic statement to date, a breakthrough, rooted in the incredible agility and interplay of Meza's state-of-the-art jazz group.

"What's amazing about this project," says Meza, a native of Chile, "is the friendships I've developed with all of these musicians - I've been 10 years in New York, so at this point you can really say that colleagues of yours are also really good friends. In Noam, I'm collaborating with an incredible musician but also one of my very best friends. Ámbar is half his intention as well - he worked on it as much as I did."

The intimate, familial bond Meza speaks of is at the heart of the album's title track "Ámbar": it means "amber" in Spanish, a translation of her adored grandfather's last name, Bernstein. Meza lost him just months after moving to New York, and, unable to return to Chile at the time, was forced to grieve on her own.

"I had to mourn by myself," she recalls. "And I turned to music - it was the place I needed to go - and I wrote a song about connecting and reaching the spirit of a lost loved one. By singing, you can give a proper farewell, or even meet them whenever you want. We don't necessarily die."

Years passed and Meza encountered that word again, Ámbar, "a resin that becomes petrified," she says.

"It's a response of trees to injuries and wounds," she continues. "They cover the wounds with this resin, and I thought of how my song had become like amber for that moment, how it petrifies, and the song also remains forever. It all revolved around the idea of healing, which is important individually but also as a society. We are in that moment where we need to see ourselves, look at our wounds and try to heal them."

Following up Traces (2016), which won two Independent Music Awards for Best Adult Contemporary Album and Best Latin Song ("Para Volar") and established Meza as a Rising Star in both guitar and female vocal categories in the esteemed DownBeat Critics Poll, Ámbar continues to reflect Meza's immersion in jazz, American pop and Latin American music across eras and genres. On the album's lead offering, "All Your Colors," Meza begins calmly as keyboards and then strings surround her, easing into tempo with bright pizzicato figures. Wiesenberg's arrangements have strings providing warm legato and enveloping harmony but also percussive rhythm. Elsewhere "Kallfu" was inspired by a trip to Patagonia and the feeling of peace that Meza found there, reminding her of the "essential aspects of our lives that become clear when immersed in nature." Meaning "blue" in Mapudungun, the language of southern Chile's native Mapuche people, the track also pays homage to the Mapuche people, who continue to this day fighting for the protection of the land and their rights.

Along with her own vibrant and infectious originals, Camila covers material by Elliott Smith, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento and Mexico's Tomás Méndez, along with a pointedly topical rendition of "This Is Not America" by Pat Metheny and David Bowie. Previously included in Meza's quartet repertoire, "Milagre dos Peixes," one of Nascimiento's most rapturous melodies, now features as one of the album's most powerful tracks in its new iteration with the Nectar Orchestra, an adaptation the musician reflects "felt very intuitive."

"This Is Not America," which Metheny and Bowie contributed to the 1985 film The Falcon and the Snowman, is set to a slow backbeat that grows to a sweeping crescendo in the ending rock-tinged vamp, with the lyrics becoming a kind of "catharsis," in Meza's words. Her rendition was inspired in part by a personal connection to Metheny, who enlisted her talents to perform and act as musical director for his 2018 NEA Jazz Masters induction ceremony at The Kennedy Center.

Equally prized as a vocalist, guitarist and composer, Meza has uplifted audiences worldwide with her assured and beautiful singing, highly advanced guitar (both self-accompaniment and blistering solo work), and vivid, melodic songwriting that reveals complex layers with every listen. She's been hailed by The New York Times as "a bright young singer and guitarist with an ear for music of both folkloric and pop intention." In 2019 she releases her fifth album, Ámbar, on Sony Music Masterworks, producing it herself and proudly unveiling the Nectar Orchestra, a collaboration with bassist and arranger Noam Wiesenberg. Meza moved from Chile to New York at 23, graduating in 2013 from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where she studied with Peter Bernstein, Vic Juris, Sam Yahel, Steve Cardenas and Gil Goldstein, among others. Bringing a sound full of warmth and clarity to the New York jazz scene ever since, she has distinguished herself as a member of Ryan Keberle's Catharsis and Fabian Almazan's Rhizome, and has also worked with Kenny Barron, Paquito D'Rivera, Aaron Goldberg, Sachal Vasandani and many more. She has appeared at festivals worldwide as well as NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series and WBGO's The Checkout, garnering praise from The Village Voice, The Wall St. Journal and many other outlets. In 2018, Pat Metheny enlisted her to perform and act as musical director for his NEA Jazz Masters induction ceremony at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Swiss Minimalistic Jazz Ensemble Akku Quintet To Release Fourth Album “Depart” On Trey Gunn's 7dMedia Label

The Akku Quintet was founded by drummer and composer Manuel Pasquinelli. Says renown writer Sid Smith, “Best-known for his work in Swiss post-rock minimalist outfit, SONAR, Pasquinelli's writing contains an almost cinematic dimension that encompasses bittersweet moods and moments of unfolding drama.” The band is based in Switzerland, from where they dispense a minimalistic jazz groove to great effect.

Since their first concerts in 2011 the band gained more and more international attention (North-America tour in autumn 2018). Their debut album “Stages of Sleep” was released in May 2013 (Morpheus Records). The quintet then set the different phases of sleep to music. Following their acclaimed 2015 album “Molecules” Akku Quintet released their third record “Aeon” in 2017. In October 2018 the band toured Canada and USA.

Their fourth album “Depart” is the first to be released on Trey Gunn's (King Crimson, Security Project) 7d Media label on May 17th.

Says Manuel, “We have chosen 'Depart' as the album title because it describes very good the general feeling/spirit of the album. I'd say compared to our previous albums, 'Depart' is more driving and expressive. I think one can hear a forward-moving undertone on all the tracks. The title track 'Depart' comes along in a courageous and at the same time doubting and mysterious mood, performed with lots of playfulness. 'Depart' was the best word to describe the mood of this track and the album in general.”

“The group connect and lock together yet remain constantly in motion, maintaining a balletic poise and grace that skilfully builds and adds line upon line of long, sonorous notes. Though each one on its own might be gossamer-thin, when combined, they create something strong and enduring, something substantial and memorable.” - Sid Smith 

Akku Quintet's new album still has a minimalistic touch, but you'll hear more of the soloistic qualities of the group members. It's a colourful, powerful album of a well attuned band. Recorded live in the studio April 16-19, 2018, the compositions were written by Manuel Pasquinelli.

Says Manuel, “We recorded the album within 4 days. All the songs were performed live in the studio, playing all together as a band. We rehearsed/developed the music in a short but intense rehearsal phase. At the weekend before the studio we played one concert with the new material. In the studio we were well prepared but the songs were still new for us. The music was finally shaped while playing as a group in the studio. I've written the music over a period of several months. Some sketches I already had long before, but there are also parts or songs that I've written just one or two weeks before the studio session.”

Line Up:
Michael Gilsenan: Sax
Maja Nydegger: Keys
Markus Ischer: Guit
Andi Schnellmann: Bass
Manuel Pasquinelli: Drums

Manuel Pasquinelli is also known as drummer of the band Sonar which is currently collaborating with David Torn and Bill Laswell. Andi Schnellmann is regularly touring with Schnellertollermeier (Cuneiform Records). In support of the new release the Akku Quintet will have some album-release gigs in Europe in May and will be touring in Europe and Russia in autumn. The band also hopes to play North America again soon.

In closing Manuel has this to impart, “My goal is to impart a specific mood to the listener. Not a concrete story, but a mood and a progression with changing conditions/colors to dive in as a listener. And I hope one can listen a tune on the album several times and discover always new things in the song and look at it/listen to it with a different focus/perspective.”

New Music Releases: Layale Chaker & Sarafand - Inner Rhyme; Silvio Caroli - Flowing; Benjamin Deschamps – No Codes

Silvio Caroli - Flowing

Here’s a new album from 33-year old Italian pianist Silvio Caroli. In May 2016, Caroli won a prize in an italian music competition and the prize was a CD recording. This release, entitled Flowing, is a result of those sessions. There are six tracks in total: Into the Dark (8:03); Martha (4:45); Part of Your World (7:19); Beirut (4:11); And Sammy Walked In (3:12); and PorzGoret (5:26).

Layale Chaker & Sarafand  - Inner Rhyme

Violinist and composer Layale Chaker's debut album "Inner Rhyme" is woven as a suite that explores aesthetics of Arabic poetry. Composed between Beirut, Paris and London over the past two years and recorded in New York over the summer of 2018, the album unveils musical threads that are mapped through the rhythmical cycles of the twelve classical Arabic poetic meters, the fluidity of oral and free forms, the abstraction of language into the physical contour of verses and the percussive potential of words. Beyond expression, the composition process tries to capture the shape and essence of epic testimonials on life, death, war and love that make the heart of Arabic poetry. "Inner Rhyme" was awarded the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture 2018 Grant. 

Benjamin Deschamps – No Codes

Following the release of his last record Demi-Nuit in 2017, Benjamin – who was named Révélation Radio-Canada Jazz 2017-2018 – puts together the music collective No Codes. The quartet, made up of Deschamps (alto sax), Frank Lozano (tenor sax), Sébastien Pellerin (bass) and Louis-Vincent Hamel (drums), takes its inspiration freely from the standards of the great American song book to recreate new compositions. Borrowing from the rhythms and the colours from the Andes, Motown or even Free Jazz, No Codes offers a musical research inspired from the Jazz tradition without actually copying it in its form. The band, without any instrumental or harmonic support, bets on its interaction, its listening and its spontaneity. The record No Codes is the product of a collective work of research and a desire to explore and to push the boundaries of music.



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