Saturday, April 21, 2018

Gert Anklam: Raum - Space (UNIT RECORDS 2018)

Gert Anklam live in Monument to the Battle of the Nations, Leipzig – 9.7.2017 featuring Pina Rücker

20 years ago, in June 1997, in the domed hall of the Monument to the Battle of Nations in Leipzig, I made a live concert recording that became my first solo CD, „konzert für b”. This recording opened many doors for me all over the world: my many performances on baritone sax included playing at the UN Assembly in New York, in the Forbidden City in Beijing, in South Africa and together with the Freedom Bell in Berlin! The CD was used on documentary film soundtracks, in radio plays, and to accompany dance and theatre performances. And so, my association with the monument was sustained over the years, and I wanted to play there again. Of all the many venues I have had the privilege of playing in, each with its own unique sound, none has moved or inspired me as much as the acoustic of the domed hall in the Monument to the Battle of Nations.

The defining playing technique of my solo concerts is circular breathing. The normal cycle of inhaling and exhaling creates a pulse that affects our individual sense of time. When this discontinuous air flow is then replaced by simultaneous inhaling and exhaling, both listener and player lose track of time. The long low tones of the crystal singing bowls have a similar effect on one s sense of time. It was a great pleasure to welcome Leipzig sound artist Pina Rücker to perform with me at this concert in July 2017.

The video of this concert comes from my friend and documentary filmmaker Salar Ghazi, who is gratefully thanked for his work and the beautiful film. He brings the extraordinary atmosphere of the concert back to life again in a very special way.

1 Fühlung 3:26
2 Weite 9:14
3 Dehnung 6:00
4 Spiralen 6:10
5 Licht im Licht 9:29
6 Bewegung 5:42
7 Verbindung 6:31
8 Zeitlos 1:17
9 Nachklang 8:05

Pina Ruecker, crystal singing bowls (tracks 2, 5, 7, 9)

4 Hey! This week's 'far' out $5.00 album is...

Balázs Balogh Quintet - Borderline Inspirations (UNIT RECORDS 2018)

The band was established by Hungarian drummer Balázs Balogh in 2014 in Graz, Austria. It has been an international quintet from the beginning, having had members from Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro and Brazil since then.

They play mostly Balázs’ compositions and arrangements. The music is based on the hard-bop tradition of jazz, but involves everything that has influenced the composer at a time, such as jazz-rock, free jazz, the folk music of Eastern-Europe, and the Balkans, odd-meters and polyrhythms, etc…

The goal was to create a band with a characteristic sound – using a very ordinary instrumentation, and Balázs found great partners in the recent members of the quintet to achieve this: Tobias Pustelnik (AT) on tenor saxophone, Lajos Tóth (HU) on piano, Márton Fenyvesi (HU) on guitar, and Gustavo Boni
(BR) on bass.

They’ve had appearances in several countries of Central-Europe, including Opus Jazz Club (Budapest), Round Midnight (Trieste), ZWE (Vienna), and a radio appearance in Studio Glas Podzemlja (Maribor). They participated and won second prize at Zilina International Jazz Contest in Slovakia (2015), and won the Best Band Prize at Sibiu Jazz Festival, Romania (2016).

Their first album entitled „Borderline Inspirations” will be released at Unit Records, and contains only original compositions of the band leader. Two compositions of the CD were also arranged and performed by the RTV Big Band Slovejina.

1 Intro
2 Evening Song 5:19
3 Remonkable 6:53
4 Daybreak 7:41
5 Passing Fancy 6:37
6 Metamorphosis 7:38
7 Things That Should Have Been Said 4:52

Márton Fenyyesi, guitar
Tobias Pustelnik, tenor saxophone
Lajos Tóth, piano
Gustavo Boni, bass
Ivan Krizic, bass
Marcelo Valezi, tenor saxophone, flute
Andrea Sulvoá. flute
Pippo Corvino, guitar

Michael Moss Accidental Orchestra HELIX CD Release Show Friday, May 18th 7-10 PM Westbeth Community Room

CD Release Party for
Michael Moss / Accidental Orchestra:  
Friday, May 18, 2018
7-10 PM
Westbeth Community Room
(between West St. and Washington St.)
New York, NY 10014

$10 donation

New CD

Multi-instrumentalist/composer Michael Moss, a veteran of New York’s free jazz scene, has assembled a brand-new 22-piece band, the Accidental Orchestra, for Helix, the premiere recording of a pair of his latest extended compositions. Helix kicks off with “The Old One,” which gets its title from Einstein’s name for God. Moss describes this five-piece suite as “an initiation into sacred ground.” He views it as part of a musical tradition stretching from the earliest ritual over the dead to Bach’s Mass in B Minor, through Native American rites of passage into the spirit world, the Jewish mourner’s Kaddish, and Buddhist funeral rituals. 

Moss wrote "See Sharp or Be Flat/C# or Bb" while recovering from a fracture suffered in tripping over a curb. The composer brings a quirky sense of humor to the situation, right down to deciding to name his ensemble the Accidental Orchestra in memory of the incident. Moss aimed to let the band swing on this contrapuntal theme and variations mixing jazz, rhythm and blues, and the joy of dance. “Throughout I refer to 'Norwegian Wood'(The Beatles), 'I Feel Good' (James Brown), and 'Bags Groove' (the Modern Jazz Quartet), but do not resort to familiar big band tropes,” Moss explains.

“This is a type of string orchestra, but with lots of jazz musicians pushing the boundaries.” The Chicago-born, Madison, Wisconsin-educated Michael Moss has been an active member of the New York jazz scene for 50 years, earning recognition for his skill and imagination as a multi-reed player, and for the freshness and intensity of his writing. The self-described “farthest-out cat” was a mainstay of Manhattan’s famed loft jazz scene, playing with Sam Rivers, Dave Liebman, Paul Bley, Annette Peacock, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Richie Beirach and scores of others.

He’s equally at home from a duo setting to an orchestra of 50-plus players. His musical studies have taken him across the globe and through the centuries, absorbing the music of Thailand, the Middle East, Ireland, Europe, East Africa, and elsewhere, with Renaissance orchestras, folk melodies, chants, blues, Latin and other styles catching his ear.

With Helix, “I am extending an American musical heritage, stretching from Charles Ives, Scott Joplin, Fats Waller, and Louis Armstrong into the future,” Moss says. Listeners can’t help but be captivated by what they hear, as they accompany Moss and the Accidental Orchestra on this life-long journey.

1. I INCEPTION 09:32

Jason Kao Hwang, Rosi Hertlein, Fung Chern Hwei (violins)
Stephanie Griffin (viola)
Lenny Mims, Carol Buck (cellos)
Steve Swell (trombone) 
Vincent Chancey (French horn)
Waldron Mahdi Ricks (trumpet)
Richard Keene (oboe)
Elliott Levin (flute, tenor saxophone)
Ras Moshe Burnett (soprano and tenor saxophones)
Michael Lytle (bass clarinet)
Michael Moss (Bb clarinet)
Steve Cohn (piano)
Billy Stein (guitar)
Rick Iannacone (ambient guitar)
Larry Roland (string bass)
Warren Smith (percussion, vibraphones)
Badal Roy (tabla)
Chuck Fertal (drums)
Michael Wimberly (djembe, African bells and percussion)

Recorded: October 10, 2016 at Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY
Recording Engineer, Mixing, Mastering: Jon Rosenberg
Conductor, Music Copyist: John Shea
Graphic Design: Santry Studios and Oshiin Studio

Dave Sewelson Interviews
Michael Moss 
on Little Water Radio: Music for a Free World

Media Contact
Jazz Promo Services
272 State Route 94 South #1
Warwick, NY 10990-3363
Ph: 845-986-1677
Cell / text: 917-755-8960
Skype: jazzpromo
"Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

Friday, April 20, 2018

Luboš Soukup Quartet - Země (ANIMAL MUSIC 2018)

Luboš Soukup Quartet’s  latest release, Země,  features guitar and vocals from Lionel Loueke

Luboš Soukup Quartet has released their third studio album, titled Země (The Earth). The jazz album features guest appearances from guitarist Lionel Loueke, who brings a slightly African touch. As with the band’s earlier releases, all music and arrangements are composed exclusively by the Czech saxophonist Luboš Soukup, and it is the first of the quartet’s offerings to feature vocal arrangements.

Compared to their previous release, Through the Mirror, which was recorded with an ensemble of 14 musicians, Země is more intimate and personal. The quartet’s  essence stays the same, but new musical interactions are presented. The instruments featured on the recording (saxophone, guitar, piano, double bass, and drums) are reminiscent of the quartet’s debut album Beyond the Borders, which featured a guest appearance from guitarist David Dorůžka. However, Soukup introduces a new instrument to this project, which has not previously been typical of his music, the voice. 

The saxophonist again joins forces with Danish drummer Morten Hæsum, one of the quartet’s founding members, and German pianist Christian Pabst, who featured on the quartet’s previous album. They are joined by Danish bassist Morten Haxholm, who has been with the band since 2016, and New York-based, Benin-raised guitarist, Lionel Loueke, who accompanies the band for six tracks, including providing vocals for some of them. Luboš Soukup, recipient of the Danish Music Talent Award 2017, first met  Lionel Loueke at a Summer jazz workshop for professional musicians in Vallekilde, Denmark, three years ago. At the beginning of 2017, Soukup invited Loueke to join his quartet for a European tour, during which the five musicians performed at Jazz Festival Brno, the Czech Republic, and in Copenhagen, Denmark, amongst others, and finished the tour in Danish studio, The Village Recordings, where they recorded the music for Země. 

Music that celebrates the Earth 

The CD begins with title track Země (The Earth), which was inspired by Loueke’s music. “I wrote this composition with Lionel in mind,” says Soukup,  “we live in interesting times and our planet faces many issues. My wish is that people strive to be more environmentally-friendly and sustainable, and that we are in closer contact with nature. I think future lifestyles will have to be simpler, which is a rather difficult task in today’s world with all the incredible possibilities we have.” This optimistic song is followed by rather darker ballad, Dark Shark.The track description from the CD insert reads: “A dark shark is floating around your head, waiting for your good thoughts to eat.” Continuing with the marine imagery, following track The Red Sea — inspired by the picture of Moses stretching out his hand over the sea and God parting the waters — is one of the most rhythmically complex pieces on the album.

Soukup borrows the word ‘Shikara’ from the Salman Rushdie classic, Midnight’s children, as the title for a short poem about small colorful boats on Indian lakes, and the dialogue between piano and clarinet is the leitmotif of calm and dreamlike composition, White Horse. The dreamy mood continues in the second part of Smoke, which is also one of the most technically sophisticated compositions. Soukup found inspiration for this tune in the eponymous movie directed by Paul Auster and Wayne Wang. An interesting music development can be also heard in C. The piece opens with the collective improvisation of piano, guitar, and soprano saxophone, and features a main theme of Latin-American vibes, finally graduating in an exposed guitar solo The only tune that bears any hallmarks of the classical jazz of the1960s is Falling star, which captures the impression of a falling star freezing on the horizon. The final track on the album is a positive arrangement of the Czech folk song Na Bílé Hoře (On the White Mountain) which, thanks to Lionel Loueke’s contribution, has a distinctly African feel.


Luboš Soukup Quartet first formed in 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. During this time, the band has changed its lineup several times. The remaining original members of the project are Czech saxophonist and clarinettist Luboš Soukup, who is also the founder, band leader, and exclusive composer of all the band’s music, and Danish drummer Morten Hæsum, who is renowned for his innovative, highly interactive way of playing. In the current line-up, the band also features German pianist Christian Pabst, who brings a fresh, lyrical style to Soukup’s compositions, and Danish bassist Morten Haxholm, who ensures that the music’s foundation is mature and solid.

Soukup studied at three European music schools, The Jazz Conservatory in Prague, Czechia, The Music Academy in Katowice, Poland, and The Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2011, he became the first scholar of the benefit project Chocomusic, which was founded by the O2 Foundation alongside Strings of Autumn, one of the biggest Czech music festivals, and which contributes to foreign studies. During his studies abroad, Soukup fell in love with Scandinavian musical tradition and settled in Denmark.

In addition to the Luboš Soukup Quartet, he also leads the internationally successful quartet Points, and its expanded versions — Points Septet and PointsRataj Quintet (a jazz quartet with live electronics). He is a member of the energetic Scandinavian band MAdHAs, the Czech-Polish quintet Inner Spaces, and the Czech big band, Concept Art Orchestra etc. In recent years, he has been very  involved with composing music for his own bands, as well as other people’s  projects, and he teaches Saxophone and Ensemble at the Music and Dance  Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (HAMU) in Prague.

The Benin-raised jazz guitarist Lionel Loueke makes a guest appearance on Země. Thanks to his originality, outstanding rhythm and well-honed technical skill, he has become one of the most sought after jazz musicians in the world today. He has previously featured in the work of Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Dave Holland, Chris Potter and many more.

1. Země (The Earth) 6:12
2. Dark Shark 6:05
3. The Red Sea 4:12
4. Shikara 6:51
5. White Horse 4:01
6. C 7:03
7. Falling Star 6:05
8. Smoke 7:06
9. Na Bílé hoře (On the White Mountain) 4:53

All compositions by Luboš Soukup, except track 9 (Czech folk song arranged by Luboš Soukup).

Christian Pabst – piano
Morten Haxholm – acoustic bass
Morten Hæsum – drums


Lionel Loueke – guitar and vocal

Alessandro Fedrigo / Secondo Solitario: Il 13esimo CD di

April 2018 / Aprile 2018


solo acoustic bass
basso acustico solo

Playing alone is a bit unconventional for a bass player, since generally the bass is an accompanying instrument. This setting has allowed Alessandro to explore new territories, entering a space free from contaminations, and exploiting the acoustic sound, without any device.

Fedrigo explores the worlds of writers, Murakami and Verne, reinterprets pieces played with the XYQuartet and Hyper+ and finishes with two free improvisations.

Suonare in solo è un po' desueto per un bassista, abituato alla funzione ritmica del suo strumento. In questo caso Alessandro sa esplorare nuovi territori, entrare in spazi liberi da contaminazioni e valorizzare al massimo il suo suono acustico, privo di artifici. 

Qui Fedrigo esplora il mondo degli scrittori, da Murakami a Verne, passando per composizioni suonate con i gruppi XYQuartet e Hyper+, per concludere poi con due improvvisazioni libere.


SKNAIL - Newsletter April and May 2018


SION (Switzerland)

Saturday 12th of May 2018


SKNAIL will present his futuristic and organic jazz at La Ferme Asile in Sion (Switzerland) and take the opportunity to preview a part of his new repertoire from his new album "Mutation" which will be released in September 2018.

Cortex: Avant-Garde Party Music (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2018)

Cortex? No, this isn’t jazz of the cerebral kind – even considering that the approach in “Avant-Garde Party Music” is very much the intelectual one coming from the bebop / hard bop era (when the music seated its users, inviting them to listen and not prioritarily to dance) and approaching our times through the free jazz evolutive line. Avant-garde the music certainly is, but you can still party with it, because this record grooves and swings like hell. Not in the conventional way, of course, but giving a chance to your temptation to shake the body. Having the transitional years going from bop to free as reference, it’s natural that you find on these tracks the influence of what Ornette Coleman did with Don Cherry. But this isn’t as simple as that: Cortex is a Scandinavian band and as such the music has a twist, the same you’ve found before in groups like The Thing, Atomic and The Core: a sort of hyper-realism, turning this jazz born in Europe even more “authentic” than the American original.

1 Grinder 5:49
2 Chaos 3:48
3 Waltz 5:58
4 (If you where) Mac Davis 3:38
5 Disturbanc 4:22
6 Obverse/Reverse 5:01
7 Perception 5:12
8 Off Course 3:54

Thomas Johansson  trumpet
Kristoffer Berre Alberts  saxophones
Ola Høyer  double bass
Gard Nilssen  drums

Maria da Rocha - Beetroot & Other Stories (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2018)

Portuguese, violinist and violetist with parallel careers in erudite and experimental improvised music, besides dedications to fado and tango, Maria da Rocha has in “Beet Root & Other Stories” her first solo album. Successor of the duo recorded with Maria W. Horn, “Pink”, this new title presents one of several versions already established for the work-in-progress “Beet Root”, after the first approaches inspired in “Circe”, by Julio Cortázar, in which the author’s compositions, mainly graphic scores painted with china ink and collages with vegetal paper, were interleaved with others of the Baroque period of composers like Bach, Biber, Uccelini and Corelli. Along her path, da Rocha enhanced the use of analog synthesizers, the processing of both the violin and the viola with effect pedals and the resource to magnetic tapes, and that investigative work is well reflected here. A solist in interpretations of Beethoven, Hindemith, Hoffmeister and Telemann, among others, and a member of several symphonic orchestras, her interest is more and more oriented to the violin’s possibility to «transcend itself in other musical languages besides the classical one». In the present case, she does it with a dramatization «intensively exploring the feminine universe», telling the story of a beet and a witch in an unnusual way and with a distinctive personality. Highly recommendable.

1 Lumen 2:40
2 Wave 7:05
3 Diving 2:22
4 Lost 3:35
5 Fogo 6:53
6 Vertigo 9:34
7 Liq Machina 8:17
8 La Fenix 5:19
9 Peixe Azul 1:56
10 Fulfill 17:21
11 Melancholia 4:46
12 Schaulust 3:01
13 Snowgliss 0:58

Maria da Rocha  violin & synths; viola (track 12)

Tyler Higgins - Blue Mood (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2018)

Known primarily as a guitarist, Tyler Higgins’ skill as a multi-instrumentalist is very much on display in “Blue Mood” – with the late night feel of the album’s cinematic arrangements. This Atlanta native’s approach is an intuitive synthesis of traditional folk, blues, and jazz material through the filter of experimental techniques. Each one of these ingredients is disembodied in order to create a music with no defined name, denying the general tendency to easy labels. It is a personal style that works like film music – distinct from a clear genre the focus is instead on the mood and feel of the music. While instrumental, the music is presented in song format — each piece a miniature that finishes when a particular mood installs itself in our imagination. It unfolds like a road movie with the varying instrumentation of lap steel, mellotron, harmonica, Paul Steven’s brush drums, and Ellen Higgins’ wordless vocals bringing different scenes into focus. Song titles such as “Motel TV”, “Groceries, Milk, Cigarettes”, or “Slow Night” lends the album a visual quality that perfectly resonates with the cover photo by Todd Hido. What results has a sincerity that takes the carpet out from under us instantly. Like a faded polaroid, “Blue Mood” highlights the beauty of the unpolished work.

1 Takeout Chinese 3:31
2 Plan B 2:50
3 Blue Flowers 2:38
4 Too Late Blues 4:34
5 Haunted Heart 2:32
6 Groceries Milk Cigarettes 3:19
7 Motel Tv 3:47
8 Chasing Shadows 3:42
9 Nice n' Easy 3:04
10 Slow Night 2:48
11 Night Sung Sailor's Prayer 3:25
12 Lost & Found 3:24

Tyler Higgins  guitars, bass, mellotron, chamberlin, lap steel, celesta, harmonica, voice
Paul Stevens  drums, piano
Ellen Higgins  voice