Monday, February 19, 2018

Fernando García - Guasábara Puerto Rico (ZOHO MUSIC March 9, 2018)


It’s a cold, rainy Saturday night in Spanish Harlem in November 2017, but inside Camaradas El Barrio the scene is a fuego! The wine is flowing, the mofongo is tasting good and Fernando García’s sextet is percolating on the bandstand with a fiery abandon that is palpable to the crowd. As they launch into a wild, whirlwind descarga take on the Duke Ellington-Juan Tizol classic “Caravan,” García fuels the clave with his left foot on the cowbell while traversing the kit with polyrhythmic aplomb as pianist Gabriel Chakarji lays down an entrancing montuno. 

A consummate conductor from the behind kit, García nimbly shifts insinuating rhythms from song to song — chachalokafún to bembé to cuembé to sicá to timba — while never letting the groove slip. Slovenian-born saxophonist Jan Kus adds husky-toned tenor over the top as guitarist Gabriel Vicéns dazzles with single note flurries while conguero/barrilero Victor Pablo stokes the flames. It doesn’t get much hotter than this.

Like a master rhythmatist, García juggles all the intricate polyrhythms, odd meters and quick tempo shifts with assuredness and authority. The Puerto Rico native and New York City resident is fast emerging as a talent deserving of wider recognition for both his remarkable adeptness on the kit and his considerable skills as a composer-arranger. On Guasábara Puerto Rico, García organically blends folkloric bomba rhythms and jazz in a myriad of satisfying ways. Backed by his core group of Kus, Vicéns, Chakarji, Pablo and bassist Dan Martínez, the drummer and his simpatico crew of youngbloods push the envelope on García’s third album as a leader and debut for ZOHO Music. 

Special guest Miguel Zenón, the acclaimed saxophonist-composer-bandleader and native of San Juan, elevates the proceedings on the dramatic and turbulent title track. “Miguel is one of my big heroes,” says García. “I’ve been following his music since 2006. His album Esta Plena is a perfect example of mixing the folkloric Puerto Rican music with modern jazz harmony and polyrhythms. So I’ve gotten a lot of influences from him.”

García is following in the footsteps of innovators like Zenón and other Puerto Rican-born musician-composers like David Sánchez, William Cepeda and Edsel Gómez. Growing up in Guaynabo, he absorbed the music of Hector Lavoe, Cortijo, Ismael Rivera, Willie Colón and the Fania All-Stars and was also hugely influenced by El Sonido Nuevo, the classic 1966 collaboration between Cal Tjader and Eddie Palmieri. Meeting master percussionist and folklorist Rafael Maya in Guaynabo exposed him to bomba, the folkloric music of Puerto Rico, in a profound way. 

“Rafael’s studied a lot of the cultural history of Puerto Rico in the early 1900s,” García explains. “I met him in 2011 when I lived with my parents in Guaynabo and had a recording studio in their garage. Rafael contacted me about recording a bomba CD with his group, Desde Cero, and before I knew it he started bringing all these really famous bomba musicians into my parents’ garage. So I was hanging with these great people who have played those rhythms for their entire life. And it was then that I got hooked on bomba.”

Maya not only taught García the folkloric track Guaynabo Me Tambor, a calindá rhythm arranged for the ensemble by García on Guasábara Puerto Rico, he also contributed the beautiful Se Va to the album. “Rafael sang those tunes on his iPhone to my voicemail,” García recalls. “That’s how I learned them. ‘Se Va’ actually has lyrics, but I did an arrangement as an instrumental where it goes from a yubá rhythm, which has a 12/8 type of feel, and then changes into an accelerated seis corrido rhythm, which gets really intense.”


The time-shifting opener Audubon, written in 2014 when García was living on Audubon Avenue in the Washington Heights section of northern Manhattan, makes use of a device by the composer that creates a kind of rhythmic illusion. As he explains, “I was trying to superimpose the four feel on top of a big 3 feel. It flows perfectly with this pattern based in three, played by Victor mimicking batá chachalokafún rhythm on three conga drums. 

Then there’s this section on the guitar solo where it goes into this Afro-Cuban bembé feel in 3, which actually comes from the 12/8 abakuá rhythm. Finally, it goes into the percussion tradings near the end of the tune. So it’s playing games with the time feel without actually shifting the beat.”

On Ideas Convergentes, García skillfully creates a confluence of odd meters — cuembé in 5/4 with an overlying 7/4 with the snare, then a fast seis corrido in 7/4 for the solos and back to cuembé in 5/4 for the barril solo. “It’s like a delta, where the different streams of a river meet before going out to the ocean,” he explains. 

“It gives a sense to the listener of being in a boat ride and you’re constantly shifting on the tides and the waves. There’s definitely a beat going on but you’re not sure when it all meets. And I think it’s cool that I didn’t solo on that tune because I’m just holding it down in five on the drum kit while Victor on the barril has the liberty on his solo to accelerate or decelerate and not feel that we’re going to lose the groove.”

The title track Guasábara Puerto Rico opens with a dramatic chant feel in the drums. Tenor saxophonist Kus enters, channeling his inner Trane on the meditative vibe before taking off in close conversation with Zenón on the melody. Rhythmically the tune shifts from a yubá in 5/4 to a sicá in 5/4 and finally a holandé in 5/4. Vicéns offers up a cleanly-articulated, fleet-fingered solo along the way that sounds like it’s coming out of the Pat Martino school, and he’s followed in kind by potent solos from pianist Chakarji and alto sax great Zenón. Garcia turns in a crackling solo on this turbulent 9-1/2 minute suite. “The term ‘guasábara’ is from our native Taíno language and it means conflict or even in some cases like a battle,’ he explains. “So that’s the drama of this tune.”

The tranquil 7/4 cuembé vehicle Healing Prayer, which finds Kus on soprano sax, is the calm after the storm of “Guasábara Puerto Rico.” And while García composed both tunes before the terrible events of September 20, 2017 when Maria struck Puerto Rico as a strong Category 4 hurricane, they stand now as a kind of soundtrack to the devastation and recovery of the composer’s homeland. “The first four songs of the album sound like a timeline of what happened in Puerto Rico and what’s happening in the weeks after,” he says. “It’s an amazing coincidence.”

The Element, one of García’s newer compositions, is a churning sicá in 3/4 that morphs into a yubá along the way. He says it was inspired by taking composition workshops with Argentinian pianist-composer Guillermo Klein, leader of the group Los Guachos. “Working with Guillermo opened up a new way of thinking, a new way of writing and exploring rhythmic illusions.”

The album closes on an exhilarating note with the Afro-Cuban flavored timba-jazz number Tiempo, which has Martínez switching to electric bass and features an incendiary drum solo by García against Pablo’s churning percussive groove at the tag.

Throughout Guasábara Puerto Rico, García has one foot firmly entrenched in the folkloric tradition of bomba while striding confidently into more modernist jazz territory with the other. — Bill Milkowski

Produced by: Fernando García. Tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 recorded on June 25, 2017 at East Side Sound, Manhattan. Tracks 3, 4, and 8 recorded on June 28, 2017 at The Samurai Hotel, Queens. Recording Engineer: Danilo Pichardo. Mixed by Bobby Connelly at Little Big Audio, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mastered by Tahir Durkalic at Digital Studio, Denia, Spain. Photography by Claudia Tebar. Package design by: Al Gold. Executive producer: Joachim “Jochen” Becker.


1. Audubon 7:17
2. Ideas Convergentes 5:42
3. Guasábara Puerto Rico 9:35
4. Healing Prayer 5:32
5. The Element 7:17
6. Guaynabo Mi Tambor 3:59
7. Se Va 4:03
8. Tiempo 7:08

DAN MARTÍNEZ upright bass, electric bass (8)
GABRIEL CHAKARJI piano
GABRIEL VICÉNS guitar
JAN KUS tenor sax
VICTOR PABLO barril, congas

Special guest:
MIGUEL ZENÓN Alto Sax (3)


Jemal Ramirez (with Warren Wolf, Howard Wiley, Mike Olmos, Matthew Clark & John Shifflett) - African Skies (JOYFUL BEAT RECORDS 2018)


This new double album is my best work to date. It is always a pleasure to work with my dream team band. On African Skies we explore some of my original compositions–as well as compositions from some of my favorite musicians who compose. Warren Wolf is so amazing here on this recording–you will truly enjoy […]

1. Latina 4:40
2. On the Move 5:04
3. African Skies 6:35
4. It Always Is 6:24
5. A Long Way Home 6:26
6. A Good Time (A.k.a Spliff) 5:30
7. Where Are They 5:22
8. Save Your Love for Me 5:19
9. Speak Low 4:37
10. Isla's Aria 7:48
11. No Time Left 6:33
12. Stasia 5:56
13. Episode from a Village Dance 5:56
14. Don't Shoot the Messenger 6:15
15. Big Girls 7:02
16. Youthful Bliss 7:17
17. The Big Push 7:04
18. Jitney 6:39
19. Sister Cheryl 7:15


Dan Pugach Nonet - Plus One (UNIT RECORDS February 16, 2018)



Dan Pugach Nonet Transforms Proverbial Styles With A Singular Approach and A Secret Weapon On His Unit Records’ Debut, Plus One 
Set for release, February 16, 2018

“I can’t gush enough about the joyful energy that Dan and his Nonet express in the most open of ways. Dan’s music is thoughtful, exciting and immensely engaging.” —Ingrid Jensen

“Dan's writing is sharp, concise and so is everybody's playing. Beautiful album.”—Antonio Sanchez

"His mastery of the music from the subtle inner workings of his horn orchestrations to his command over shaping larger musical statements puts Dan in a league of his own." —Alan Ferber

CD Release Concerts o Sat. April 21 - The Cutting Room, NYC
Sun. May 6 - Urban Artifact, Cincinnati, OH
Thurs. May 10 - Cliff's Bells, Detroit, MI   
Fri. May 11 - Merriam's Playhouse - South Bend, IN
Sat. May 12 - The Jazz Estate, Milwaukee, WI
Fri. June 1 - Piedmont Piano Co., Oakland, CA


Arriving in the US from his native Israel in 2006 to study at Berklee College of Music before earning his Masters at The City College of New York, drummer/composer Dan Pugach played cash-and-carry gigs, traditional ethnic dates, worked coffee shops–anything to keep his drumming and music pure. Eventually teaching himself arranging and orchestration, his complete reimagining of Horace Silver's "Silver's Serenade" led instructor (and renowned pianist/composer/educator) Mike Holober to exclaim, "Your arrangement departed from the original song; it wasn't just an adaptation, but a rearrangement. Dude, you're going to thrive as an arranger/composer."

Roughly ten years later, Pugach's Plus One is the fruit of years of hard work, practice, writing and rewriting, a joyous and thematically diverse recording that expresses Pugach's vision of a "mini big band."   

"What I like the most about the sound and concept of Dan's Nonet is that the playing and the writing is selfless," says five-time Grammy Award winning composer and perennial Pat Metheny Group member, Antonio Sanchez. "It's all about the music. The writing is on point, sharp, concise and so is everybody's playing. Beautiful album."

Gathering some of New York’s finest musicians in his Nonet, Pugach’s Plus One is an exciting ride encompassing a New Orleans second-line strut, expansive arrangements of familiar pop material, and dynamite original compositions performed in classic small ensemble tradition.  

“I’m not trying to be too modernist; I want to have a few surprises,” Pugach says. “But they're hidden. Each tune has a specific vibe I’m staying loyal to. I'm trying to keep everything focused.”

Pugach’s compositions and arrangements mirror his personality as a drummer. Each note flying off his drums, cymbals and percussion is concise, poised and delivered with purpose. A YouTube search yields Pugach’s drumming blowing the lid off various NYC clubs with different ensembles, his collective rhythms a streamlined approach animated (all too briefly) by fiery solos. Similarly, Plus One is music of a stylized, singular principle with moments of absolute burn.

"I believe playing less is more until it comes to my solo—then I explode,” Pugach explains. “And in my music, I don’t want to hear overblown drumming." 

Pugach is aided on Plus One by his plus-one in life, powerhouse singer Nicole Zuratis, whose recent release, Hive Mind, shows her at full force.

“Nicole is my secret weapon,” Dan confides. “Our relationship onstage is part of the conversation. She handles the mic duties; I might come up to speak and she'll cut me off. The audience laughs. It’s our natural banter.”

Pugach goes from strength to strength on Plus One, the album showcasing his beautifully intricate  compositions, peerless arrangements and yes, his drumming, which is funky, on-point and surprisingly restrained for a musician of such skills and gifts. Dan's arrangements for Nonet recall the classic sounds of Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Bob Mintzer, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra–expressed in a far smaller ensemble. Deft compositions, challenging arrangements, brilliant players and Dan's silken rhythmic touch make Plus One a special outing.

The album including moving vocal versions of Dolly Parton’s ”Jolene,” Chick Corea’s “Crystal Silence,” Quincy Jones' "Love Dance" and Zuratis' male-ego-impaling rouser, “Our Blues,” Plus One culminates in the two centerpieces: "Coming Here" and "Discourse This."  The former, a circuitous coming-of-age journey with great solos all around, including a dexterous showing by Pugach; the latter, a blustery, sparse Nonet dance that reveals the musicians' glove-tight interplay and cohesion. Through it all, Pugach’s sizzling drumming drives his Nonet—hard.

The Nonet plays as a single organism throughout Plus One, with plenty of soloing power. The Dan Pugach Nonet, plus one, is comprised of Nicole Zuraitis, voice; Ingrid Jensen, David Smith, trumpets; Mike Fahie, trombone; Jen Hinkle, bass trombone; Andrew Gould, alto saxophone; Jeremy Powell, tenor saxophone, Andrew Gutauskas, baritone saxophone; Carmen Staaf, Jorn Swart, piano; Tamir Shmerling, bass; Bernardo Aguiar, pandeiro; and Pugach, drums.

From his experiences growing up near Tel Aviv to the influences of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band and Bob Mintzer Big Band, Pugach’s compositions and arranging on Plus One are a thrill, including the opening, second-line bruiser, “Brooklyn Blues,” to the closing, full-throated, "Discourse This." An album of such high-level ensemble playing and standout vocal tracks is exceedingly rare. Plus One is pure and powerful—simply exceptional music.   

“People love the warmth and interaction between myself and Nicole and the Nonet,” Dan says. “It's natural. The audience feels the connection. And connection is what it’s all about.”   


Dan Pugach is a Brooklyn-based, two-time ASCAP Jazz Composer Award-winning drummer/arranger. Dan has worked with Ingrid Jensen, Rosa Passos, Airto Moreira, Gregoire Maret, Billy Drews, Jeremy Pelt, Wayne Bergeron, Sloan and Lucy Wainwright, and Dave Stryker, among others.  Originally from Israel, Dan served his mandatory three-year military duty as the drummer of the Air-Force Orchestra. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music and his Masters from the City College of New York, where he studied with Hal Crook, Joe Lovano, George Garzone, John Patitucci, Terri-Lyne Carrington and Ari Hoenig. 

1 Brooklyn Blues 5:32
2 Coming Here 9:06
3 Jolene 5:56
4 Zelda 3:36
5 Belo's Bellow 4:47
6 Crystal Silence 6:44
7 Love Dance 5:54
8 Our Blues 4:34
9 Discourse This 6:19

Ingrid Jensen - trumpet (2,3,5,8)
David Smith - trumpet (1,4,6,7,9)
Mike Fahie - trombone
Jen Hinkle - bass trombone
Andrew Gould - alto saxophone
Jeremy Powell - tenor saxophone
Andrew Gutauskas - baritone saxophone
Nicole Zuraitis - voice (3,6,7,8)
Carmen Staaf - piano (2,3,5,8)
Jorn Swart - piano (1,4,6,7,9)
Tamir Shmerling - bass
Bernardo Aguiar - pandeiro (5)
Dan Pugach - drums

Recorded on August 9, 2016 and March 13, 2017 at Systems Two Recording Studio, Brooklyn, NY
Recorded and mixed by Rich Lamb
Mastered by Michael MacDonald at AlgoRhythms Mastering, Santa Fe, NM
Art Direction by Courtney Ay
Produced by Dan Pugach



Jeff Hamilton Trio - Live from San Pedro (CAPRI RECORDS February 16, 2018)


Drummer Jeff Hamilton's band with Tamir Hendelman and Christoph Luty

takes its place in the trio pantheon with Live from San Pedro

Mainstream perfection as delivered by three spirited virtuosos

Available February 16, 2018 on Capri Records

"The joy is evident in the music itself.  Hamilton, Hendelman and Luty have a sublime rapport." - Bobby Reed, DownBeat Magazine Editor's Pick

"Joy - unbounded, infectious, irresistible - that's what Jeff Hamilton and his trio deliver." - Geoffrey C. Ward, co-author of Jazz: A History of America's Music


Little did anyone imagine that it would take a masterly drummer to pick up the mantle of the late, great Oscar Peterson as a leader of outstanding piano, bass and drum trios. Still, those with attuned ears will recognize that Jeff Hamilton has assembled one of the most meticulous and exciting small ensembles of present day jazz. With the virtuosic pianist Tamir Hendelman and the redoubtable bassist Christoph Luty working in swinging tandem alongside him, Hamilton-one of the most acclaimed drummers of the past five decades-reasserts his role as an invaluable bandleader. Live from San Pedro, available February 16, 2018 via Capri Records, is proof that the chemistry between these three equally gifted and assertive players remains unabated 17 years into the group's existence. Nodding to the grand tradition that predates them, yet eager to put a fresh face on the musical proceedings, the Hamilton trio stakes its place as a classic ensemble within the hallowed history of piano trios.

Captured at a single night's performance at the Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, California, the trio dives deep into an imaginative repertoire that includes bop standards ("In Walked Bud"), a beloved ballad ("I Have Dreamed"), reworked show tunes ("Gary, Indiana"), a classic from the Ahmad Jamal playbook ("Poinciana") and a host of original tunes from group members and others including John Clayton and Joe LaBarbera. The set demonstrates the indivisible unity that the threesome has achieved, as well as the individual virtuosity of each distinguished trio member. While not overtly resembling the trios of Oscar Peterson, the Hamilton trio shares the same rigorous adherence to stop-on-a-dime arrangements, careful dynamics and perfectly framed improvisations.


While asserting his leadership through his extraordinary rhythmic control, not to mention his exquisite taste, Hamilton is the opposite of a grandstanding percussionist. As Geoffrey C. Ward has written, "He's a musician first and foremost, always eager to serve the music, not to make the music serve him." One of the great practitioners of the art of brushwork, Hamilton gets to exhibit his mastery throughout the recording; his feature, "Brush This," composed by the bassist John Clayton (Hamilton's cohort in the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra) is a special treat. His equally renowned stick work is also abundantly on display. With Hamilton navigating the trio through its paces, and Hendelman and Luty locking in with communal exactness, the band becomes a well-oiled, yet creatively inspired, swing machine.

One of the giants of mainstream jazz drumming, Jeff Hamilton has been heard with the big bands of Woody Herman and Count Basie, and as a member of the popular L.A. 4, as well as with such icons as Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Brown, Monty Alexander and Oscar Peterson. In addition to his work with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Hamilton has appeared with Diana Krall both in performance and on recordings.  Live from San Pedro is his third Capri Records album with the Jeff Hamilton trio.

The Israeli-born Tamir Hendelman has played with such luminaries as Tierney Sutton, Teddy Edwards and Harry Allen, and is the pianist for the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Christoph Luty is also a member of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and has worked with Diana Krall, John Pizzarelli and Milt Jackson, among others.



Sunday, February 18, 2018

Giorgio Distante - Meno Mondo Possibile (Desuonatori 2018)




Giovedì 18 gennaio esce “Meno Mondo Possibile”, nuovo disco del trombettista e compositore pugliese Giorgio Distante, prodotto da Desuonatori, collettivo indipendente di musicisti. Una lingua sonora che si compone di piccole frasi di un vocabolario privato. Otto brani inediti che diventano la codifica in musica del mondo di Distante, accompagnato dalla chitarra baritona e dall'elettronica di Valerio Daniele e dalla batteria di Dario Congedo.

Distante ha registrato il disco e si esibisce nei live con uno strumento elettroacustico di sua ideazione e progettazione. HY E.T. - Hybrid Electroacoustic Trumpet o Hello ET! è, infatti, un ibrido, sintesi tra elettronica e tromba. I tre musicisti sono minuziosi e rituali nel loro assoluto senso del nuovo e non sentito. Distante pensa a un mondo sonoro che va dal jazz alla musica di Frank Zappa, passando per sonorità dub e puramente elettroniche. Meno Mondo Possibile – disponibile in tiratura limitata in versione 33 giri e in ascolto e download gratuito su SoundCloud - sarà presentato ufficialmente nel giorno dell’uscita con un concerto ai Cantieri Teatrali Koreja di Lecce (ingresso 10 euro - ridotto 8 euro - info 0832242000) organizzato, in collaborazione con Eraldo Martucci, Maria Agostinacchio e l’associazione culturale Festinamente, nell’ambito di Strade Maestre.

La stagione teatrale è promossa da Koreja e realizzata con il sostegno di Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Regione Puglia Assessorato Industria Turistica e Culturale – FSC Fondo per la Coesione 2014-2020, Piiil Cultura in Puglia. Partner Provincia di Lecce, Istituto di Culture Mediterranee, Comune di Lecce e Distretto Produttivo Puglia Creativa.


Più che un concerto il trio propone la ricerca di piccoli mondi, diversi e riconoscibili: cercare un luogo sicuro, lontano dalla necessità di piacere a tutti i costi e con il peculiare rischio di sbagliare. Meno Mondo Possibile è un punto di vista, uno spiare possibilità diverse e lasciarsi ancora sorprendere.

È un vocabolario di una decina di parole al massimo, per comprendersi immediatamente. Senza più bisogno di perdersi, senza bisogno di capirsi. Sporgersi verso la soglia. Guardare il limite e non vedere la fine. Ma starci in piedi. Saldi, precisi, a tempo. Meno mondo possibile è «il suono dei miei rapporti con le persone», sottolinea Distante.

Il cd si apre con E si comincia sempre parlando del tempo («Incontrando qualcuno che non fa parte della tua quotidianità, di qualcosa bisognerà pur parlare»), e prosegue con Lorenzo («La mancanza improvvisa. Dedicata a una persona che non c’è più»), la title track («Non scendo in piazza, non manifesto, ma sto zitto e medito»), Hitchcock («Omaggio al grande regista, maestro dell’ansia»), Siamo circondati («È il tempo utilizzato per costruire qualcosa prima che qualcuno possa dirti di non provarci perché potresti sbagliarti»), Mi fai una domanda ma non ascolti la risposta («Atteggiamento praticamente giustificato su vari livelli di utenza»), Primo giro di giostra («Una nuova vita che si forma, una nuova speranza»). L’unico brano non firmato da Distante è Somma devozione, regalato al progetto da Dario Congedo.


Giorgio Distante nasce nel 1980 a Cisternino. A cinque anni comincia a suonare il clarinetto e il pianoforte, e a dieci la tromba. Si diploma in tromba nel 1998 al Conservatorio di Monopoli e comincia a suonare professionalmente dal 1997. Ha preso parte a workshop e seminari tenuti da Jimmy Owens, George Cables, Giulio Capiozzo, Cameron Brown, Marco Tamburini, Garrison Fewell, Claudio Fasoli, Eddie Henderson, Hall Crook, Joe Lovano, Annette Vande Gorne, Alvin Curran, Luigi Ceccarelli, Alvise Vidolin. Nel 2000 ottiene una borsa di studio dal Berklee College of Music di Boston dove ha vissuto dal 2001 al 2004, frequentando classi di improvvisazione, arrangiamento e composizione e lavorando con musicisti della zona.

Tornato in Italia entra a far parte della Meridiana Multijazz Orchestra (featuring Louis Moholo e Keith Tippet) e della A.M.P. Big Band (featuring Bob Mintzer, Mike Stern, Peter Erskine and Hiram Bullok). Nel 2009 si laurea con il massimo dei voti in Musica Elettronica al Conservatorio di Perugia sotto la guida del Maestro Luigi Ceccarelli. Scrive i propri software per trattare in modo diverso il suono della tromba e sviluppando il tutto in progetti in Solo, duo e trio, esplorando le possibilità di nuove tecnologie audio e video applicate a strumenti acustici. Collabora con vari progetti che spaziano dal jazz alla musica popolare, balcanica e contemporanea come Talea, Admir Shkurtaj Trio, Nadan, Electroshop. Ha collaborato con la rock/folk band iFolkabbestia. Nel 2012 esce RAV (Random Acts of Violence), il primo lavoro discografico in solo, edito dall'etichetta Improvvisatore involontario.


È nominato tra i migliori 100 dischi dalla rivista Jazzit per i Jazzit Awards 2012. Nel 2013 vince A. R. T. MEDIMEX 2013 organizzato da Arci ReAL e ARCI Puglia in collaborazione con Puglia Sounds. Nel 2016 è invitato all’Horizons Numériques, prestigioso festival di musica elettronica francese. Nel 2017 continua a suonare in giro RAV al Festival Per.se Visioni di Polignano a Mare organizzato, tra gli altri, dall’Apulia Film Commission.

Collabora con il Teatro Koreja dal 2009 su diversi progetti tra cui Brat, l’opera da camera Kater i Rades. Il naufragio, presentata alla Biennale Musica di Venezia nel 2014 e Codice Nero, lo spettacolo itinerante Il Santolivo e la parata di strada Cavalieri Erranti di cui compone anche le musiche. Nel 2014/2015 è il Direttore Artistico della stagione musicale del centro di produzione teatrale Koreja.

Ha partecipato a diversi Festival Internazionali di Teatro, MESS Festival Sarajevo 2016, House of Armed Forces of B&H; Primavera dei teatri – Castrovillari; Euroreginal Theatre Festival Timișoara - TESZT; Napoli Teatro Festival. Dal 2015 lavora anche ad uno strumento elettroacustico di sua ideazione e progettazione: un ibrido, sintesi tra elettronica e tromba. HY E.T. - Hybrid Electroacoustic Trumpet o Hello ET con il quale suona quasi interamente il nuovo album: Meno Mondo Possibile.

Musicista e compositore di musica moderna, colonne sonore per film e documentari, arrangiatore e tecnico del suono, Valerio Daniele è tra i fondatori di desuonatori. Lavora nel campo meno definibile delle mutazioni dei generi musicali, in volontario bilico tra musiche moderne e di tradizione. Ha curato la produzione musicale e la direzione artistica di vari progetti (Marinaria, Dario Muci e Mayis, Anna Cinzia Villani e MacuranOrchestra, Il Viola di Maria, Tirica Ucala solo per citarne alcuni) operanti nel settore della ricerca sulle musiche tradizionali e sulla contaminazione di generi di musica colta ed extra-colta (jazz, contemporaneo, cameristico, tradizionale e world music, rock). Gestisce, inoltre, lo studio di registrazione “Chora Studi Musicali” nel quale ha curato riprese, missaggi e mastering di numerose produzioni discografiche di importanti artisti pugliesi e italiani.



Diplomato in percussioni al Conservatorio “Tito Schipa” di Lecce nel 2005, Dario Congedo ha studiato batteria in Italia con Maurizio dei Lazzaretti, Fabrizio Sferra e Alessio Riccio e a New York con John Riley, Matt Wilson, Jonathan Blake, Jim Black, Ernesto Simpson e Vince Cherico. Ha conquistato numerosi premi e suonato in giro per il mondo e registrato con, tra gli altri, Gianluca Petrella, Flavio Boltro, Rob Mazurek, Javer Girotto, Nguyen Le, Fabrizio Bosso, Marco Tamburini, Rosalia de Souza, Gegè Telesforo, Francesco Bearzatti, Nicola Conte, Lindsey Webster, Enrico Zanisi, Claudio Filippini, Tino Tracanna, Paolo Belli, Antonella Ruggiero, Renato D'Aiello, Rosalia De Souza, Rocco Zifarelli, Cheryl Porter, Arnaldo Vacca, Massimo Carrano, Gilson Silveira, Giovanni Imparato, Fabio Zeppetella, Nailah Porter, Jaques Mauger, Gaetano Partipilo, Arthur Miles, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino. Ha collaborato con molti direttori d’orchestra come Louis Bacalov; Beppe Vessicchio; Monsignor Marco Frisina, Fulvio Creux e con l’Orchestra della fondazione I.C.O Tito Schipa di Lecce.



Hey! This Weekend's Phenomenal $5 Album is...

Liepāja Concerti Vol. I - Liepāja Symphony Orchestra (ODRADEK RECORDS 2018)


Liepāja Concerti Vol. I
Liepāja Symphony Orchestra

The story of the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra began in this special region of Latvia, in the Baltic countries.... 

We are confident that the fine, wordless substance of this symphonic music is the best means of reflecting the sacred memories, elusive yearnings and deepest expectations of our nation. These recordings represent a token of our love to Latvia and its statehood on its centenary.

Uldis Lipskis


One can communicate about Latvia in verse, prose, memoirs, observations; but one can also draw a sound-picture of Latvia. Globally, sharing wordless information has the most immediate impact. The mission of the Liepāja Concertos is to capture music that has its roots in the Latvian cultural soil and to introduce it to the world.

For his Liepāja Concerto No. 3, Rihards Dubra has written for piano and orchestra music of elemental beauty: we hear water in the sonorities of harps and chime-bells, earth in the rhythmic formulae, and fire in his colourful harmonic sequences.

Vilnis Šmīdbergs has composed his Liepāja Concerto No. 8 for violin and orchestra. In his music, fragmentary elements come into play, a will-o’-the-wisp’s dance juxtaposed with moments of electrifying drama.

Ēriks Ešenvalds chose clarinet, orchestra and electronics for his Liepāja Concerto No. 4 ‘Visions of Arctic Night’. Before its first performance he told the audience, “Liepāja colours, paths under linden trees, sand, winds – all this is still soughing within me. My concerto is partly Kurzeme, partly Arctic…”. This tender and imaginative work features a Mozartesque second theme which is perhaps one of the most beautiful moments in all Latvian symphonic music.

Juris Karlsons chose to write a Liepāja Concerto No. 9 ‘Gliese 581’ not for a solo instrument, but for the symphony orchestra itself. A few years ago, global media was buzzing with the story of the planet Gliese 581, a red dwarf on which there may be conditions suitable for life. This story inspired Karlsons to write music “about the necessity of searching, erring, finding, and longing”.

Opposite the symphony orchestra, composer and avid runner Kārlis Lācis puts two instruments: flute and oboe. The marathon distance is 42.195 meters, and this number is included in the title of Lācis’ Liepāja Concerto No. 10 ‘42.195’. The episodes run like views outside the window of a fast train; the movement of the music is active, instrumentation at times primitive, the motifs catchy, the stylized episodes colourful.


he Liepāja Symphony Orchestra is the oldest continually performing symphony orchestra in the Baltic States, and the only professional orchestra in the country outside Latvia’s capital Riga. Its debut Odradek album, Kurland Sounds, was praised by BBC Music Magazine as “A bracing selection of contemporary Latvian music combining Eastern colour and Western sonorities in dazzling combinations with an operatic intensity that will leave you breathless”.

Atvars Lakstīgala, a prolific conductor both at home and overseas, has been the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Conductor and Music Director from 2010 to 2017. He has won many international competitions, received numerous nominations for the Latvian Grand Music Award, and in 2010 won this award for Debut of the Year.

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



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

1 Home 4:35
2 Carpe Diem 3:51
3 In minore 4:15
4 Enero 4:35
5 Dum Loquimur, Fugerit Invida Aetas 3:02
6 Lines 3:39
7 Secret Love 5:34
8 Ballata per Rimbaud 4:57
9 Ottobre 4:18
10 Un tema per Roma 5:39
11 Human Requiem 3:09
12 Quam Minimum Credula Postero 2:03
13 Giulio Libano 3:47
14 Un posto al sole 3:28

Paolo Fresu : Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Bebo Ferra : Acoustic Guitar
Paolino Dalla Porta : Double Bass
Stefano Bagnoli : Drums


Akira Tana - JAZZaNOVA (March 1, 2018)


Born and raised in California, Akira Tana earned degrees from Harvard University and the New England Conservatory of Music. Tana has worked with among others,SONNY ROLLINS, ZOOT SIMS, HUBERT LAWS, , JIM HALL, ART FARMER, THE PAUL WINTER CONSORT, PAQUITO D'RIVERA, JAMES MOODY, J.J. JOHNSON, LENA HORNE, THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER, RUTH BROWN. More info: www.akiratana.com


1. Aguas de Marco
2. Love Dance
3. Chega de Saudade
4. Bilhete
5. Corcovado
6. Condename a Callar
7. Waiting for Angela
8. Jangada
9. Carminhos Cruzados
10. Aquele Frevo Axe
11. Por Causa De Voce
12. Diride
13. La Gloria Eres Tu


Christopher Ali Solidarity Quartet - To Those Who Walked Before Us (2018)


To those who walked before us
Always look back, always look forward
In the struggle, in the music
Always in solidarity


1. To Those Who Walked Before Us 06:37
2. Gaza 02:05
3. Al-Maghrib 04:28
4. Looking Back 01:15
5. Güzel aşık 07:45
6. Maqam Hijazz 01:19
7. Jan 25th 07:56
8. Looking Forward 01:37
9. 3° 03:40
10. To Those Who Come Next 06:57

Christopher Ali Thorén - tenor & soprano saxophone 
Filip Bagewitz - oud & fretless electric guitar 
Alfred Lorinius - double bass 
Anton Davidsson Norén - drums 

Produced by Christopher Ali Thorén and Mappe Persson 
Recorded and mixed by Mappe Persson at Elementstudion, Göteborg 
Mastered by Linus Andersson at Elementstudion, Göteborg 
Cover art by #studiocutup (instagram) 
Graphic design by Ronja Svenning Berge 
Cover art post production Sebastian Thorén 
© 2018 Christopher Ali Solidarity Quartet, all rights reserved

Peter Kuhn Trio – Intention (FMR RECORDS 2018)


The Peter Kuhn Trio is back with Intention, in this exciting new release on FMR Records.

In this music, Kuhn, Motl, and Hubbard display an ever-deepening rapport and nuanced communication that reflects their clear commitment to musical excellence as individuals and a working trio.

Firmly grounded in a number of traditions, musical and otherwise, the music on this record develops from the seed of intention. Every stroke, breath, or pluck is placed just so; with meaning and purpose: to honestly reflect the fragility, resilience and grandeur of our human experience, expressing the inexpressible tapestry of life and our collective capacity for spiritual awakening. This music is a cry for our planet and all beings, encouraging us to embrace the moment with an ever-deepening intention.

May this music aid listeners in achieving freedom from duality through the opening of the ears and softening of the heart. Released from attachment, may we harmonize with all; growing our compassion, helping one another to find freedom from afflictions.

Peter Kuhn is a survivor of the NYC Loft scene where he played and performed with the likes of William Parker, Billy Bang, Frank Lowe, Lester Bowie and Denis Charles. After well-received albums on Hat Hut and Soul Note records he found his career derailed by drug addiction.

With decades of recovery and a dedicated Zen practice Kuhn’s return has been marked by a vibrancy and depth that bears the mark of his life experiences unencumbered by aspirations of fame or fortune. “The music insists on being played”, he explains. Recent recordings and performances include collaborations with Alex Cline, Abbey Rader, Eddie Gale, Dave Sewelson, William Parker and Gerald Cleaver.

In this trio Kuhn has found stalwart collaborators in master musicians Motl and Hubbard; both prolific composers and bandleaders in their own right. The trio’s years of experience playing and performing together is evident in the deep listening, dynamic chemistry and development of their music in this offering.

Their much heralded debut release, The Other Shore on NoBusiness Records, was a triumphant return for Mr. Kuhn and included on “Best of 2016” lists by a number of prominent Jazz reviewers including Cisco Bradley of Jazz Right Now, Paul Acquaro of The Free Jazz Collective, Derek Taylor of Dusted Magazine, Robert Bush’s Sound San Diego and Tom Hull – On The Web.

“Kuhn’s every bit as vibrant as he was as a force on the avant scene of the late 70’s and early 80’s! As before, Kuhn handles a lot of -flat and bass clarinet- but he also blows a bit of tenor and alto too – shaping sounds in very open territory, in a trio with Kyle Motl on bass and Nathan Hubbard on drums, in a mix of freedom and spirituality...” - Dusty Groove, Jazz Chill

“Kuhn’s present work on The Other Shore is relaxed and assured. His bass clarinet is capable of languid insouciance or corkscrew runs. His tenor can be as slack as a junkie on the nod, as on “unstrung heroes,” or hard-edged. Nathan Hubbard’s drums push against Kuhn, while bassist Kyle Motl is both percussive and harmonically challenging to the horns.” - Kirk Silsbee, Downbeat

1 Intention 4:33
2 ChaWang 6:31
3 The Stream 4:47
4 Perception Deception 5:45
5 The Path 5:11
6 Arise 4:49
7 Gift In The Wound 5:46
8 Resilience 8:00
9 Disaster And After 4:19

Bass – Kyle Motl
Clarinet, Bass Clarinet – Peter Kuhn
Drums – Nathan Hubbard