Wednesday, December 17, 2014



On Motema Music
Click Here to Check It Out!
Saturday, January 10, 2015 @ 8:45 PM
The Minetta Lane Theatre, 18-22 Minetta Lane, NYC

After seven years together, The Cookers, who "embody the serious-as-death commitment that it took to thrive on the New York scene some four decades ago" (Andrew Gilbert, The Boston Globe), entered the studio earlier this year to record their fourth album, Time and Time Again (released on September 16), the follow up album to their three critically-acclaimed recordings, Warriors, Cast The First Stone and Believe. Time and Time Again has now been named iTunes' "JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR" for 2014 - see all of the winners at  This distinguished honor coincides with the launching of the band's new website (check out the plethora of information, photos, videos and more HERE! ), and comes on the heels of massive international outpouring amount of critical acclaim for the group (a small sampling of quotes is below). 

WINTER JAZZFEST performance announced: The incredibly high level of musicianship that The Cookers (as managed and produced by David Weiss) are known for will be on full display as the band takes the stage at The Minetta Theatre as part of the 2015 Winter Jazzfest on Saturday, January 10, 2015 (@ 8:45 PM).  

You can't buy experience, and The Cookers have it in abundance; combined, the group has over 250 years of experience in the jazz world, and has been a part of over 1,000 recordings. The lineup features the veritable jazz legends, Billy Harper, Cecil McBee, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, and Billy Hart, each bandleaders in their own right, and also key sidemen for seminal bands in the exhilarating era of the mid 1960s.  Representing a younger generation of ace veterans are Weiss on trumpet, and the band's newest member, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison.

On Time and Time Again you can hear and feel the decades of living and playing these warhorses have racked up in the bands of jazz stalwarts such as Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock, Charles Lloyd, Max Roach, Art Blakey and many others. Also on full display is the take-no-prisoners approach that the band has become known for worldwide, married with a profound melodic and harmonic sophistication. "If you wondered what has happened to all the passion and intensity, once such essential ingredients of great swinging jazz and now virtually non-existent in so much of today's outpourings, you'll find it all in The Cookers," said Tony Hall in JazzWise Magazine (UK), who rated the release at the top of his year end list, as did iTunes, which has named the release "Jazz Album of the Year" for 2014.

The breadth of the compositions on Time and Time Again spans more than 40 years, from a revamped version of a Billy Harper tune 'Sir Galahad' which he first recorded on his debut album 'Capra Black' (in 1973), to two brand new tunes from bassist Cecil McBee, making their debut on this recording. The CD also features music from the pen of Billy Hart, George Cables and David Weiss. Time and Time Again also marks the recording debut of Donald Harrison with The Cookers, a wonderful new addition to this group of "musician's musicians". "The process of rehearsing this great music and bringing it to life and then performing and recording it is an amazing experience for me, these brilliant musicians still surprise me on a regular basis," said trumpeter/bandleader David Weiss.

"The Cookers are more interested in making history than they are in re-living it . . ." 
(J Hunter, Nippertown), and through the music on Time and Time Again The Cookers produce a mighty force of commitment, to each other, and to the music.

# # # #


"This really is the best working band anywhere at the moment . . . This record is what jazz should always be about." 
- Tony Hall, JazzWise Magazine (named an "Album of The Year 2014")

"This combustible hard-bop wrecking crew - Eddie Henderson and David Weiss on trumpets, Billy Harper and Donald Harrison on saxophones, George Cables on piano, Cecil McBee on bass and Billy Hart on drums - recently released its excellent fourth album, 'Time and Time Again.'"
- Nate Chinen, The New York Times

"Named for a classic 1965 Freddie Hubbard live LP, The Night of the Cookers, this all-star outfit led by trumpeter David Weiss features veteran players who have no difficulty living up to their fiery appellation." 
- Hank Shteamer, Time Out New York 

"The Cookers remain a blast furnace of infectious power and rhythm. Four top-notch horn players erupt together in chromatic splendor . . . while the nonpareil rhythm section of Cables, McBee and Hart keeps finding new ways to stoke and shift the pulse of tune." 
- Britt Robson, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

"On their fourth disc, this Magnificent Seven of gutsy acoustic jazz delivers their most diverse outing yet. The group's superlative soloing is kept at modest length, skillfully serving the exhilarating, shifting arrangements while the ensemble has a startling fullness . . . Each successive Cookers disc is increasingly fiery and forward-reaching." 
- Jeff Potter, DownBeat Magazine (4 stars)

"The Cookers cook, all right, and if anything they've become even more assured, skillful and single-minded with each new offering."
- Jeff Tamarkin, JazzTimes Magazine

"Trumpeter David Weiss corrals some of jazz's most undersung legends into one heavyweight hard-bop supergroup"
- Shaun Brady, The Philadelphia City Paper
"Okay, simply put [this] is a great album. The music, like the artists, featured on Time and Time Again represents both the past, the present and the future. It is timeless in its greatness."
- Geraldine Wyckoff, OffBeat Magazine

"If you've never heard The Cookers, the most authentic hard-bop ensemble in jazz today, 'Sir Galahad,' from Time and Time Again, is a wonderful place to start . . . The Cookers may both honor and embody the old classics, but this music keeps rolling and reinventing itself into tomorrow"
- Britt Robson, eMusic, Wondering Sound

"These guys just want to burn, and on their fourth album together, that's exactly what they do . . . this is a group brimming with creativity and passion . . ." 
- Cormac Larkin, The Irish Times

"This is all the straight-ahead goodness you could ask for. The members, by the way, are giants of Jazz . . ."
- Dave Sumner, eMusic, Wondering Sound

"These guys are difficult to beat for straight­up, consummate
playing - top to­bottom . . . like a collective machine in a giant groove . . . we have cats who can blow and deliver gorgeous solos and yet truly understand the meaning of operating as an ensemble. As good as 'Time & Time Again' is, if you have a chance to check out The Cookers live, don't hesitate to do so."
- Jon W. Poses, Columbia Daily Tribune

"Every one of their albums to date has been a winner, this one definitely included."
- Philip Freeman, The New York City Jazz Record

"Classic hard bop jazz is alive and well - and in the capable hands of this all-star septet of major jazz figures."
- Jack Garner, The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

"Led by trumpeter David Weiss, this fierce all-star band of jazz hard-bop survivors have a depth of experience second to none."
- Marcus Crowder, The Sacramento Bee

"The name Cookers applies to the musicians, the material and the mindset that produces such consistently great jazz."
- Chris Smith, The Winnipeg Free Press

"Enough experience in jazz as music and lifestyle to comprise the greatest jazz music faculty ever assembled anywhere in an institution of higher education . . . the ensemble playing is uncommonly rich . . . hugely appealing."
- Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News   

"A multi-generational powerhouse band of hard bop icons"
- Weekly Alibi

"A program of music whose vitality is convincing proof that the band's name is deserved on the basis of the nine performances heard here . . . The mix of strong compositions, solid ensemble playing and the superb rhythm section, along with the mix of technical mastery, passion, imagination and inventiveness make 'Time and Time Again' another outstanding recording by The Cookers."
- Ron Weinstock, The Jazz & Blues Report

"This all-star septet features the fully evolved talents of a core team of seasoned veteran instrumentalists . . ."
- Mark Holston, Jazziz Magazine

"The Cookers is a superband of savvy veterans who have released four CDs together since forming seven years ago. There's not a weak track here, and the playing is quite something. Time and Time Again is a most-worthy successor to their prior CDs, Warriors, Cast The First Stone and Believe."
- Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
"This hard-hitting septet wears its name like a mission statement. Rich with a mix of classic elegance and exploration, the group might reference the past by name, but it never sounds less than current."
- Chris Barton, The Los Angeles Times
"A remarkable band at the height of its collective powers."
- Chris Waddington, The Times-Picayune

"This is the greatest jazz super-band working." 
- Charles L. Latimer, Detroit Metro Times

"Together these guys mix lava rich dark harmonies with adventurous rhythms and solos that makes most of today's material seem antiseptic."
- George Harris,

"The Cookers' fourth album, Time and Time Again, is another great hard-bop workout."
- Paul Weideman, The Sante Fe New Mexican

# # # #


Please visit:,

Press Enquiries on The Cookers and Time and Time Again
Please contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne - Red Cat Publicity,
Email, Tel 347 578 7601

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Joel Harrison Announces The 5th Annual Alternative Guitar Summit



Joel Harrison Announces
The 5th Annual Alternative Guitar Summit
February 4, 2015 @ Shapeshifter Lab
And February 6-8, 2015 @ Rockwood Music Hall

"When Nels Cline and Fred Frith played their first public duet it didn't always sound like guitar music. It sounded, at times, like a sanitation truck's trash compactor, like an orchestra tuning up, like a collapsing carillon, like a slowed down train wreck. That's the beauty of the Alternative Guitar festival...which features guitarists who don't just pick and strum" - Jon Pareles, The New York Times

"It was all too beautiful for words, but I will still be blabbing about it forever."
- Guitarist Nels Cline (Wilco) on The Paul Motian tribute, AGS 2014
Joel Harrison, guitarist/composer/bandleader and founder of the annual Alternative Guitar Summit, is happy to announce the 2015 Alternative Guitar Summit, taking place at Shapeshifter Lab (February 4), and Rockwood Music Hall (February 6-8)!  This festival of daring, inventive guitarists, who emphasize new and unusual approaches to the instrument, will once again celebrate the guitar’s enormous range, beyond style or genre. The 2015 AGS will feature Lee Ranaldo, Liberty Ellman, David Gilmore, Joel Harrison, Miles Okazaki, Kenny Wessel, Doug Wamble, Adam Levy, Sheryl Bailey, Michael Gregory Jackson, Anders Nilsson, Marco Cappelli, Gyan Riley, David Fiuczynski, Prasanna, Ava Mendoza, Adam Rudolph, and others.

The AGS will present three master classes as part of its ongoing educational initiative:
February 5 (7:30 PM): Composing for the electric guitar with Steve Mackey, Scott Johnson, Ben Monder
February 7 (1 PM): Incorporating techniques from India and Middle East into jazz guitar playing w/ Dave Fiuczynski, Prasanna and Joel Harrison
February 8 (1 PM): Accompanying singers, and incorporating blues, country, and funk into your jazz playing: Doug Wamble, Adam Levy and Joel Harrison

All master classes will take place at The Drama League of New York
Located at 32 Avenue of the Americas, NYC, Tel 212 244 9494 - Prices TBA

NEW for 2015!: Joel Harrison has inaugurated a new monthly podcast series as part of the Alternative Guitar Summit entitled, "Say What You Mean." "My first interview is with the eminent composer Henry Threadgill in two parts. In part one he discusses his new guitar concerto featuring Liberty Ellman, which enjoyed its premiere on Thursday, December 4 at Roulette in Brooklyn. I'm really excited to share his vision with everyone. Threadgill is beyond unique, and it's amazing to launch the podcast with him. Click here to check it out:
Lifeforce Arts Inc., a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by Joel Harrison in 2013, is the fiscal sponsor for the Alternative Guitar Summit.  The AGS Board of Directors is: Pat Metheny, Vic Juris, Elliot Sharp, Dave Tronzo, Bill Milkowski, Ben Monder, Nels Cline and Fred Frith.

# # # #

Alternative Guitar Summit 2015 Schedule of Events:
TKTS are, Feb. 4 - $15, Feb. 6 - $20, Feb. 7 - $25, Feb. 8 - $20
Or, a three-day pass at Rockwood Music Hall for $50

February 4: Shapeshifter Lab @ 7:30 PM
Shapeshifter Lab is located at 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn, NY, Tel 646 820 9452

Three 40 minute sets
Three Ground-breaking Duos

Anders Nilsson and Aaron Dugan - Hot and Cold
Marco Capelli and James Ilgenfritz - Unplugged
Ava Mendoza and Chris Corsano

Fusing their common love of improvisation and composition in Hot & Cold, guitarists Anders Nilsson and Aaron Dugan create musical layers that transgress denominations and -isms and embrace the universe’s constant mandate to create anew. "Our musical process is a total democracy with lots of fun sessions bouncing ideas back and forth. And, we share the same birthday, 6/20!"

Unplugged Duo is Marco Cappelli (classic guitar) and James Ilgenfritz (double bass). The Duo join their mutual creativity and large range of musical experience to explore a repertoire from different folk traditions, with a simple and deep commitment: every deviance through improvisation is possible, and no electronic device is admitted.

Ava Mendoza is new on the NYC scene from the Bay Area. She became known to Harrison through rave reviews from Fred Frith and Nels Cline. Enough said!

February 6: Rockwood Music Hall @ 7 to 9:30 PM
Rockwood Music Hall is located at 196 Allen St., NYC,, Tel 212 477 4155

Three guitarists blending jazz improvisation and composition with techniques and sounds from India and the Middle East

Probosci: Gyan Riley and Timba Harris
Prasanna (solo): South Indian music meets modern jazz
David Fiuczynski Planet MicroJam trio: with Adam Matta - beat boxer, vox, mouth bone, real time sonic manipulations and Utar Artun-microtonal keyboards

Probosci is a collaboration between violinist Timba Harris (Secret Chiefs 3, Estradasphere) and guitarist Gyan Riley (Dither, Terry Riley). Both composers, whose work is featured in John Zorn’s Tzadik Records Composers’ Series, contribute to the interplay between composition and improvisation, steeped with intricacy, subtlety, and shape-shifting energy. Their new album, Time to Feed, ranges from purely acoustic music to electro-acoustic textures, dancing between delicacy and hullabaloo.

Prasanna is a pioneer in performing South Indian Carnatic music on the guitar. He is part of a trio with Vijay Iyer entitled Tirtha.

David Fiuczynski (fretted and fretless guitars) is the director of the Planet MicroJam Institute at Berklee College of Music, a 2011 Guggenheim fellow and moonlights as the leader of the Screaming Headless Torsos. Adam Matta is a Grammy nominated (w/The Carolina Chocolate Drops)   beatboxer/vocal percussionist from NYC, merging hip-hop, house, drum n' bass, jazz, Middle Eastern and rock. Utar Artun is an emerging force from Turkey, a microtonal keyboard player who is also a percussionist that writes symphonic suites and tone poems. “New musical ideas are on the horizon at the crossroads of new beats, microtonal harmonies, and Eastern melodic inflections and improv concepts.

February 7: Rockwood Music Hall @ 7 to 9:30 PM
Rockwood Music Hall is located at 196 Allen St., NYC,, Tel 212 477 4155

Lee Ranaldo Solo: (of Sonic Youth fame)
Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra, featuring Damon Banks, Marco Capelli, Tomas Doncker, Liberty Ellman, David Gilmore, Joel Harrison, Jerome Harris, Miles Okazaki and Kenny Wessel

Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra is a 21st century vision of a kind of future orchestra: an original orchestral concept of world music improvisation started by Rudolph in 2001. Since then he has taught and improvisationally conducted hundreds of musicians in both Europe and the United States. The music is composed as thematic material that provides a spontaneous orchestral context and inspiration for improvisational dialogue. The multicultural dynamic of Go: Organic Orchestra expresses a creative vision of a world without boundaries: of culture as the vessel for human understanding, empathy and sharing.

February 8: Rockwood Music Hall @ 7 to 10 PM
Rockwood Music Hall is located at 196 Allen St., NYC,, Tel 212 477 4155

Four improvisers debuting singer/songwriter projects

Doug Wamble (guitar & voice) and Mino Cinelu (percussion)
Joel Harrison (guitar & voice) w/Glenn Patscha (keyboard)
Adam Levy (guitar & voice) w/Sheryl Bailey (guitar)
Michael Gregory Jackson (guitar & voice) and Keith Witty (bass)

A native of Memphis, TN, Doug Wamble has always been fascinated by the intertwining of American music styles, and how those blues fundamentals stretch across the musical divide in the U.S., but also across the globe. “Mino Cinelu has long been a musical hero of mine because he can step into any groove, any time, any place, and bring something special to it.” Artists from Sting to Miles Davis to Kate Bush have employed Mino’s talents as a drummer and percussionist, and Wamble has played with everyone from Wynton and Branford Marsalis, to Cassandra Wilson and Norah Jones. This special and rare duo performance of songs and improvisations promises to be a magical event.

Joel Harrison, though best known for his instrumental prowess, has written and sung songs his whole life. He will debut a new songwriting project, which is a compendium of American sounds, styles, and geographies.

Adam Levy is best known for his tenure in Norah Jones’ Handsome Band (2001–2007), though his diverse career has also included music making with Joey Baron’s Killer Joey, Tracy Chapman, Trevor Dunn’s Trio Convulsant, and Rosanne Cash, Sex Mob, and Ani DiFranco.

Sheryl Bailey has released nine critically acclaimed releases as a leader and has toured the world with her many projects. She has worked alongside Richard Bona, David Krakauer’s Ancestral Groove, Abraham Inc., Irene Cara, George Garzone, Jack Wilkins, Shingo Okudaira, Steve Slagle, Harvie S, Ken Peplowski, Kim Plainfield, and Gary Thomas.

For the Alt Guitar Festival, the guitar duo of Levy and Bailey will be reinterpreting several of the tunes from Levy’s recent ‘Town & Country’ CD—an instrumental travelogue.

One of the most influential and innovative guitarists to emerge during NYC’s avant-garde loft scene in the 70s, Michael Gregory Jackson has embraced everything from avant-garde, creative music, jazz, blues, rock and electronica soundscapes to harmonically rich and lyrically deep vocal tunes. Rolling Stone Magazine called Jackson, “the most original jazz guitarist to emerge since the sixties.”

For more information about The Alternative Guitar Summit Please Visit:

To schedule an interview with Joel Harrison and to receive more information on
Harrison and The Alternative Guitar Summit 2015, please contact:

Jason Paul Harman Byrne
Red Cat Publicity
Tel 347 578 7601

Thursday, October 16, 2014

NY Chanteuse Melissa Stylianou - Backed by an All-Star Band - Sings Favorite Jazz Standards and More on the Stylish, Spontaneous "No Regrets"


New York Chanteuse Melissa Stylianou - Backed by an All-Star Band - Sings Favorite Jazz Standards and More on the Stylish, Spontaneous No Regrets

The singer's fifth album - to be released October 28, 2014, by Anzic Records - captures Stylianou in a live-to-two-track studio session backed by Bruce Barth, Linda Oh and Matt Wilson, plus guests Anat Cohen and Billy Drewes

Stylianou - and musicians from the album - will perform an album release show at New York City's Jazz Standard on December 2

For the Canadian release of No Regrets, Stylianou will perform a three-night stand at Toronto's Jazz Bistro, November 20-22

"Melissa Stylianou has it all - a gorgeous instrument, superb
musicianship and great taste." - pianist Fred Hersch

The fifth album from singer Melissa Stylianou - No Regrets (to be released Oct. 28, 2014, Anzic Records) - is all about the joy of spontaneity and making the most of the moment. The Canadian-born, New York-based vocalist recorded a set of jazz standards and other favorites in a live-to-two-track, noon-to-night studio session - old-school - backed by an ultra-simpatico trio of New York all-stars: pianist Bruce Barth, double-bassist Linda Oh and drummer Matt Wilson, with stylish guest spots by clarinetist Anat Cohen and alto saxophonist Billy Drewes. The New Yorker has described Stylianou as "an unmannered and affecting jazz singer with a taste for choice material," and past albums have seen her put a personal spin on songs from Björk and Joanna Newsom to Johnny Cash to Tom Waits, not to mention her own lovely original compositions. Jazz standards have been a part of the mix, too, but No Regrets - intimately produced by Oded Lev-Ari - sees Stylianou delve into vintage material like never before. She sings songs by likes of the Gershwins, Jerome Kern and Duke Ellington, along with a Billie Holiday tune, a vocal twist on Thelonious Monk, the indigo-hued chestnut "A Nightingale Can Sing the Blues" and, as a left-field inclusion, a folk setting of Yeats, "Down by the Salley Gardens." This beautiful album once again underscores why DownBeat Magazine has called her a "sophisticated storyteller" and an "original."

Stylianou - a 38-year-old Brooklyn resident initially schooled in acting - has been turning heads since the turn-of-the-century, her skills as a performer honed over a five-year Friday-night residency at the Rex Hotel jazz club in her native Toronto and, more recently, in an ongoing multi-year run at the 55 Bar in New York's West Village. Reviewing Stylianou's Silent Movie, her previous Anzic album, JazzTimes declared that she had advanced to "the forefront of contemporary vocalists, rivaling the storytelling élan of Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon." With No Regrets, Stylianou builds on her varied New York experiences while revisiting the repertoire she learned and loved in her early Canadian club days.

"This album, both the material and the way we recorded it, are very different from my previous four - it's like coming full circle for me," Stylianou explains. "Singing jazz standards in clubs was how I really learned to be a singer, since I studied acting instead of going to music school. Spontaneity and a sense of play were the rule in that environment, and I absorbed the style naturally. 'Remind Me,' 'I'll Never Be the Same Again,' 'Polka Dots and Moonbeams' and 'Humming to Myself' are songs I've been in love with ever since those days - they're inside my voice, inside me. Even 'Down by the Salley Gardens' comes from my days in Canada. We're lovers of Irish culture up there, and I learned the tune during tipsy singalongs on St. Patrick's Day. I did it on this album as just a duo with Matt Wilson on drums. It's very elemental, highlighting its merits as a lovely story in song."


No Regrets is the sound of Stylianou letting go and "having the most fun I've ever had in a recording studio," she says. "I tend to be an over-thinker in my personal life, but I'm drawn to living in the moment when it comes to music. The title No Regrets refers to that sense of leaping in, being fully yourself and taking risks without second-guessing. Oded Lev-Ari, who also produced Silent Movie, is so good at fostering a sense of spontaneity and ease in the studio, even when you're recording live with no overdubs and doing the whole album in a day. He manages to be both hands-on and hands-off. The session felt so free, with everyone giving so generously of themselves to the songs and to the moment. Everybody approached the music seriously - but without taking ourselves too seriously. There was a blend of humor and urgency, as if we were playing a really great gig in the studio."

The virtuoso rhythm section supporting Stylianou throughout No Regrets - pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Matt Wilson - had never played together as a trio before, coming together specifically for the singer. Characteristically, Wilson's participation helped set the high-spirited tone. "Matt's good vibes are famous - he approaches music with a sense of play, as something fun," Stylianou says. "More than that, he listens so hard that he inspires everyone else to do the same. Working with Matt is like working with a magician - he makes incredible things happen that you'd never expect."

Regarding Bruce Barth, Stylianou enthuses: "I've had a musical crush on Bruce for a long time. The man swings so hard, and he's great with on-the-spot arrangements, like for 'Remind Me.' Plus, playing with him is so easy and joyful because he's an incredible accompanist who genuinely loves singers and songs." New to Stylianou, bassist Linda Oh was Lev-Ari's suggestion for the session - a happy introduction. "I was so impressed with Linda's musicality and her beautiful sound, as well as how much she put into the music," the singer says. "Her long solo intro for 'I Wish I Knew' is wonderfully personal."

The guest horn players brought further personalized virtuosity to several tracks, with clarinetist Anat Cohen soloing on "Somebody's on My Mind" and "I'll Never Be the Same" and saxophonist Billy Drewes on "I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)" and "A Nightingale Sings the Blues." Stylianou says: "Anat was a key part of the sound of Silent Movie and to have her back was a treat. She's a kindred spirit with Matt - this seriously playful, or playfully serious, musician. Her sheer pleasure in making music spurs everyone around her to go for it. On the spur of the moment, Oded suggested having 'Somebody's on My Mind' be just clarinet, bass and voice - and I think it turned out special that way." As for Drewes, the singer says: "Billy brings a distinctive edge on alto, contributing so much soul and feeling."

Stylianou will present No Regrets on December 2 at an album-release show at New York City's Jazz Standard, with Bruce Barth, Linda Oh and Matt Wilson reprising their roles from the recording - as will Billy Drewes. Stylianou's fellow singers in the vocal group Duchess - Amy Cervini and Hilary Gardner (with whom she has a new album in the can) - will add more color. Prior to the Manhattan show, Stylianou will celebrate the release of No Regrets in Canada with three nights at Toronto's Jazz Bistro, Nov. 20-22. The band for the Canadian shows will be pianist Jamie Reynolds, bassist Andrew Downing and Matt Wilson on drums.

"I'm so looking forward to performing the songs of No Regrets live with these musicians," Stylianou says. "I gave myself permission to let go while making this album - because I've found that the emotions of the songs come through best that way. I hope listeners feel something of the freedom and fun that we experienced making it."

Melissa Stylianou: No Regrets

1. "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (George & Ira Gershwin)
2. "Remind Me" (Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields, arr. Bruce Barth)
3. "I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)" (Duke Ellington, Paul Francis Webster)
4. "Humming to Myself" (Sammy Fain, Herb Magidson, Monty Siegel)
5. "I Wish I Knew" (Mack Gordon, Harry Warren)
6. "Somebody's on My Mind" (Arthur Herzog Jr., Billie Holiday)
7. "Down by the Salley Gardens" (William Butler Yeats, traditional)
8. "A Nightingale Can Sing the Blues" (Dick Charles, Larry Marks)
9. "I'll Never Be the Same" (Matt Malneck, Gus Kahn, Frank Signorelli)
10. "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" (Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke)
11. "I Mean You" (Thelonious Monk, Jon Hendricks)

Melissa Stylianou, voice
Bruce Barth, piano; Linda Oh, double-bass; Matt Wilson, drums
Anat Cohen, clarinet (6, 9); Billy Drewes, alto saxophone (3, 8)

Produced by Oded Lev-Ari
Recorded by James Farber at Sear Sound, NYC
Mastered by Mark Wilder at Battery Studios, NYC

Press photos, sound samples and more available at:

Press Enquiries on MELISSA STYLIANOU & Anzic Records: 
Please Contact Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
347 578 7601;, Blog - 


Bassist/Composer OMER AVITAL Delves Into The Culture of His Homeland Through Jazz On His New Recording, NEW SONG, available on Motema Music - November 4, 2014


Bassist/Composer OMER AVITAL Delves Into The Culture of His Homeland Through Jazz On His New Recording, NEW SONG, available on Motema Music - November 4, 2014

NYC CD Release Celebration!!
January 13 & 14, 2015 @ The Jazz Standard
116 East 27th Street, Tel 212 576 2232,
"This album is full of euphoric energy, timeless melodies, and group interplay that that makes big sounds bigger and the beauty found in nuance shine brightly."
- Dave Sumner, Wondering Sound, eMusic

"One of the most exciting musicians to come onto the jazz scene in the last 20 years" - DownBeat Magazine
"Duke Ellington made Far East Suite in 1966. Omer Avital's Suite of the East was recorded in 2006 but not released until now. The differences between the two albums reveal how the jazz art form evolved over 40 years. Far East Suite is sophisticated orchestral American jazz with exotic colorations and subtle inflections drawn from Ellington's exposure to Eastern cultures on a State Department tour. Avital's album is a deep organic fusion of Middle Eastern and North African music with current cutting-edge jazz. It is not coincidental that Avital's band contains both Israelis and Americans. Jazz has globalized." 
- Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes Magazine (on Suite of The East)

Bassist/composer Omer Avital, one of the most celebrated and revered musicians on the global jazz scene, offers his current creative tour-de-force, New Song, to be released on Motema Music on November 4, 2014. New Song, the follow up recording to Suite of The East, signifies a giant leap in Avital's quest to "mine the deep interconnections between jazz and the music of the Middle East and North Africa." (Jeff Potter, DownBeat Magazine, July 2013).

Upon Avital's arrival in New York City in 1992, the rapid growth of Israeli jazz was set in motion in a profound way. Avital quickly forged an indelible mark on the scene, mainly through his legendary performances at Smalls, where he lead one of the most celebrated groups of the time, a sextet with a front line onslaught of four saxophones (an early gem from this time in Avital's early days is the tune "Kentucky Girl", featured on the compilation, Jazz Underground: Live at Smalls,on Impulse!)."Years from now, when folks are remembering the early days of the West Village jazz haunt Smalls, bassist Omer Avital's name will be as synonymous with the club as Bill Evan's is with the Village Vanguard, and Thelonious Monk's is with the original Five Spot Café." - Time Out New York.

Avital went on to cast a wide net of influence in NYC and beyond with a consistently creative and prolific output (releasing nine albums of original music since 2001, and at least eight others as a co-leader), and a steady stream of influential live performances at the finest jazz venues and festivals around the world. Avital also recorded and toured with Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Brian Blade, Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Roy Haynes and many others. Avital has since been hailed by The Los Angeles Times as, "a pioneer in combining jazz with myriad world music elements," with The New York Times adding that, "Mr. Avital and his group are producing some of the most original music being heard in New York," and that, "outside Charles Mingus and the free-jazz bassist William Parker, such dramatic violence on the instrument is hard to come by."


In 2002, around the ten year anniversary of moving to New York, Avital returned to his native Israel, where he was the co-founder and musical director of the highly unique and successful group, Yemen Blues, as well as the New Jerusalem Orchestra, and involved in Israel's "piyut" scene (often collaborating with some of the legends of this genre, including Haim Louke, Aharom Amram, and others), to study classical European composition and Middle Eastern and North African Music. The bassist spent three years studying folk songs, dance rhythms and rituals, and these invigorated his imagination in the same way that jazz had sparked his passion before. He now looks to the East as well as to New York, toward the West as much as toward the Arab world, toward the solitude of the desert as much as the urban mêlée. The latest result of this extensive study is Avital's ambitious new recording, New Song, an electrifying, highly creative next step after the release of his previous recording, Suite of The East (released in April 2012 on Anzic Records).

The band on New Song is exemplary, and one that Avital has led for many years, featuring trumpeter Avishai Cohen ("I've been playing constantly with Avishai since 1999. We co-lead some groups together for a decade, and he has played in most of my bands and on most of my albums. Our musical chemistry was there from the first notes we ever played"); saxophonist Joel Frahm ("I've known Joel from my first days in NYC in the early '90s. We nicknamed him 'Soul Frahm' because he has such a warm, soulful sound. I absolutely love what he brings to my music"); pianist Yonathan Avishai ("there's no doubt that Yonathan is not only one of my favorite musicians, but someone who has been a great influence to me in recent years. He understands my compositions and his input elevates everything we play"); and drummer Daniel Freedman ("I've known Daniel for over twenty years. We became rhythm section mates and friends during the important early days of Smalls in the '90s, and shared the bandstand playing with the Jason Lindner Big Band and many others. His understanding of Middle Eastern and North African rhythms make it easier for me to bring my musical vision to life.") The esteemed journalist Peter Margasak said of the band (of their performance on Suite of The East) in The Chicago Reader, that, "They bring a plangent eloquence and easy rapport to the seven pieces, which alternate between delicate, soulful ballads and soaring, high-energy anthems and whose thick ensemble arrangements ratchet up the intensity with every chorus."

For Omer Avital, jazz is a music, and a medium, which has allowed him to honor his roots and delve into the culture of his homeland without limitations. With New Song, Avital, a true citizen of the jazz diaspora, makes his homeland resonate through his voice - a voice that no one could mistake for any other. His songs speak to us about his true self, and about the world of music in which he lives, and that is but one of their many glorious virtues.

Omer Avital - New Song
All compositions by Omer Avital (published by Abutbul Music, ASCAP)
1. Hafla, 2. New Song, 3. Tsafdin, 4. Avishkes, 5. Sabah El-Kheir (Good Morning), 6. New Middle East, 7. Maroc, 8. Ballad For a Friend, 9. Bedouin Roots, 10. Yemen Suite, 11. Small Time Shit

Omer Avital - bass/compositions, Avishai Cohen - trumpet, Joel Frahm - tenor saxophone, Yonathan Avishai - piano, Daniel Freedman - drums

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Press Enquiries on Omer Avital, Please Contact: 
Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
Email, Tel 347 578 7601

Wednesday, October 15, 2014



"Brooklyn jazz is happening and those who venture across the bridge will be delighted by the hard-edged ethnically-flavored jazz that they find on the other side."
-All About Jazz New York
" . . . The spirit of the organization is firmly rooted in Brooklyn. All of the members reside there, and they wanted to give a nod to the vitality of its scene." 
-The Wall Street Journal

To Releases New Recordings From: 

Press/Media - Digital & Physical Copies Available
Please Contact Red Cat Publicity

CD Release Celebrations:

Saturday, October 25 @ An Die Musik, Baltimore, MD
Tuesday, November 4 @ Korzo (Konceptions), Brooklyn, NY
Wednesday, November 19 @ The Cornelia Street Cafe, NYC
Owen Howard:
November 7 @ The Cornelia Street Cafe, NYC

Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records, which was launched in January of 2008, and now boasts a catalog of more than forty-five recordings, proudly releases the newest wave of recordings on the label; Not Dark Yet, the debut recording from Brooklyn based composer/bandleader Nathan Parker Smith, the sophomore album from the Brooklyn based collective jazz quintet, Sketches: Volume Two, and the much-anticipated follow up to Drum Lore from drummer/composer/bandleader Owen Howard, Drum Lore Vol. 2.

With a mix of new and returning artists releasing albums on BJURecords this year, including new recordings from Tom Guarna, Rob Garcia, John Chin, Noah Garabedian, BJU, Rafal Sarnecki, and label co-founder, Anne Mette Iversen, the label continues to represent current streams of jazz, creative and improvised music from artists connected to Brooklyn. 2015 will see new releases from David Cook, Jeremy Siskind, Alex Norris, David Smith and others. As always, the label has taken a hands-off approach, adhering to their core principles of artist control & ownership, and giving priority to the artist's vision. BJURecords proudly offers the listener the newest recordings in the catalog, all-singular, and linked by being contemporary explorations and representations of 21st century jazz from Brooklyn, NY.


Featuring Kevin Russell, Chris Shade, Michael Thomas, Justin Flynn and Alden Banta (woodwinds), Augie Haas, David Smith, Josh Deutsch and Matt Holman (trumpets), Matthew McDonald, Nick Finzer, JC Sanford, James Rogers (trombones), Landon Knoblock (Rhodes), Kenji Shinagawa (guitar), Russ Flynn (bass), and Jared Schonig (drums)

Brooklyn based composer and bandleader Nathan Parker Smith will be releasing his debut large ensemble album, Not Dark Yet, on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records this October.  The group's live shows have been widely acclaimed for their unapologetically aggressive and engaging style, heavily informed by European heavy metal, 20th century classical composition and progressive rock. Not Dark Yet was recorded in Brooklyn, NY by Luke Moellman (Great Good Fine OK), and Grammy-Award winning engineer Brian Losch (Maria Schneider, Winter Morning Walks).

Nathan Parker Smith's compositions are devised, both formally and conceptually, to rely heavily on collective group improvisation and to avoid many of the techniques that have become the status-quo approach for modern big-band writing. The Ensemble conjures images of both disturbance and intensity, while simultaneously providing an undercurrent of ephemeral optimism, evoking the subtle comfort that the world has not yet gone dark, hence the album's title. Often pushed to their limits, the musicians collectively thrash and roar through Smith's compositions, the soloists soar over powerfully churning distortion ladened ostinatos, ever-changing mixed meters, feedback squeals and anthemic melodies. A powerful, compelling debut from a serious new composer on the Brooklyn/NYC scene.

More on Nathan Parker Smith: A native of Northern California, Smith is an active performer and composer currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. In 2009, he formed the "Nathan Parker Smith Large Ensemble," an eighteen ­member ensemble regularly performing original music throughout New York, including recent performances shows at Fat Cat, Spike Hill, Cameo, the Tea Lounge, Shapeshifter Lab, and the Greene Space at WNYC. Smith has received the Billy Joel Scholarship for Composition, the Raymond and Maxine Schirmer Prize in Jazz Composition, the 2010 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composers Award, the 2010 BMI Foundation Charlie Parker Composition Prize, the 2011 Manny Albam Commission, and special recognition by the Jazz Advisory Committee of the New York Youth Symphony for exceptional accomplishment in music composition.

Smith's compositions have been performed by ensembles throughout the United States, including the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, the Eastman Studio Orchestra, the Shrine Jazz Club Big Band, the University of Reno Jazz Lab Band, the Reno Jazz Ensemble, Saxology, the BMI New York Jazz Ensemble, the Humboldt State University Jazz Orchestra, the University of Wisconsin Eau­Claire Jazz Ensemble, and the University of Connecticut Jazz Ensemble.  His music has also been featured at the Vancouver Jazz Festival and the Rochester International Jazz Festival.

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SKETCHES - Volume Two

Sketches is: Matt Holman (trumpet/compositions), Jeremy Udden (saxophone/compositions), Jarrett Cherner (piano/compositions), Martin Nevin (bass/compositions), Ziv Ravitz (drums/compositions)
"The results are poised, balanced, intimate conversations."
- Jon Garelick, The Boston Globe

"These songs may have all started life as unfinished bits and pieces, but they've grown into wondrous creations under the watchful eyes of these men. Hopefully a Volume Two will follow." - Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

Started in 2011, Sketches is a Brooklyn-based collective jazz quintet in which each member writes music based on another member's musical idea. Inherent in each piece is the challenge of blending two distinct musical personalities, yet with an ensemble of strong composers and sensitive performers, the results have been as engaging as they are unpredictable. Scott Yanow commented in Jazz Inside Magazine that, "these five musicians all have compatible styles and listen closely to each other, two qualities that give Sketches its own group sound . . . With consistently fine solos (pianist Cherner is particularly inventive) and worthy themes, Volume One is an excellent start for Sketches."

On Volume Two, Sketches continues its investigation and exploration of their unique collaborative compositional process. The music on the band's sophomore album is a result of the growth that they have experienced while touring and performing music from their debut, appearing not only in New York City, but also performing in Washington D.C, Baltimore, Portland, and Boston. Volume Two reflects a deepening understanding between the band mates, building upon the critically-acclaimed music they offered on Volume One. As with the music from Volume One, each member shared a sketch from his notebook (e.g. any musical fragment, a collection of fragments, an incomplete tune) and another member used that as the basis for a new composition. The band then rehearsed and developed the compositions further. In this process, no tune is deemed complete until the band plays the composition and each improviser finds a way of coloring the pre-written material. Although the compositions start as "sketches", they are forged into complete compositions with ample room for improvisation. The band recorded all of the music on Volume Two in one day, a big indicator of the band's brilliance as ensemble players, and the unmitigated virtuosity they posses on their respective instruments.

The compositions on Volume Two reflect a very personal tone and approach. The highlights include Ravitz's "Hail from Plainville" (based on a sketch by Jeremy Udden), a tribute to Udden's personality and his compositional approach - a rare ability to combine jazz and folk music in a seamless way - that Ravitz admires. On Holman's "Y&H"(based on a sketch by Ravitz), the use of "power chords" are a tip of the hat to Holman's angst-loving teenage years. Ravitz's sketch inspired Holman to create a simple, open-form composition that has a passionate grunge feel but also pays tribute to the drummer's Middle-Eastern sensibility (Ravitz originally titled his sketch "Y&H" as a dedication to Israeli-born musician Yaron Herman). Bassist Martin Nevin's "Dyson Ritual" (based on a sketch by Udden), is meant to evoke a tribal ritual with the opening theme summoning the members of the tribe and a call to the forces that the ritual honors. Cherner's "Caught In The Storm" (based on a sketch by Holman) depicts the drama and volatility of either an internal, or actual, storm. Cherner was drawn to the harmony that resulted from the various permutations of the pitch set and the rhythm that Holman's sketch included. The band enters gradually as the storm brews, crackles with dissonance, finds moments of lyricism, gains momentum, and eventually dies down. In the coda, the listener is left with the tranquil space that's left in the storm's wake." Throughout Volume Two, the band delivers, "impressive post bop material, with rich and intelligent arrangements and a clever mix of melody and improvisation . . . You'll like these guys!" - George Harris, JazzWeekly.

More on Sketches: The members of Sketches are leaders of their own bands, and in-demand sideman as well, having performed and/or recorded with Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Fred Hersch, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Steve Lacy, John Hollenbeck, George Garzone, Aaron Goldberg, Aaron Parks, & Esperanza Spalding, among countless others. The artists have also garnered multiple accolades from the Young Jazz Composer Awards, the BMI Foundation's Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize/Manny Albam Commission, as well as both national and international performance competitions. United in Sketches, these five musicians become a formidable force of creativity.

# # #

Owen Howard - Drum Lore Vol. 2 - More Lore
"A good jazz drummer works with form and color along with pulse, applying compositional principles on the fly. Some take it further, as Owen Howard, one such drummer, illustrates with 'Drum Lore'." - The New York Times

"Owen Howard has put together, from his perspective seat, a fantastic collection of creatively executed compositions by the most influential drummers of our time. Some of the hippest bandleaders and composers in jazz have come from the drum chair. With Drum Lore, Owen Howard makes a beautiful and honest statement with his ensemble. It captivates you throughout and feels great!!! Bravo . . ." - Joe Lovano

Owen Howard, originally from Edmonton, Canada, has performed and recorded with the likes of Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Tom Harrell, Kenny Wheeler, John Abercrombie, Dave Liebman, George Garzone, Dave Holland, Eddie Henderson, Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton and many others. He has appeared on over forty recordings to date, including five under his own name, and has toured extensively throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. With more than twenty years of successfully leading his own bands, Howard is clearly an artist successfully following in the footsteps of legendary drummers/bandleaders such as Tony Williams, Peter Erskine, Billy Hart, Jack DeJohnette, Paul Motian, Al Foster, Shelly Manne and others.

Now with the release of his seventh CD, Drum Lore Vol. 2 - More Lore, the follow up to the critically-acclaimed, 2011 Juno Award Nominated, Drum Lore (on BJURecords), Howard continues to celebrate and interpret music composed by drummers, and also feature more of his own compelling compositions. Where Vol. 1 was conceived as a studio recording of sorts, with each piece featuring a different configuration and concept, the second installment of the Drum Lore project gives the listener a taste of what the group sounds like in its working quintet format, featuring Adam Kolker (soprano & tenor saxophones, bass clarinet), John O'Gallagher (alto saxophone), Frank Carlberg (piano), Johannes Weidenmueller (bass) and the leader Owen Howard (drums).

Drum Lore Vol. 2 offers up seldom heard originals by Philly Joe Jones and Joe Chambers, as well as popular works by Victor Lewis, Paul Motian and Tony Williams. The remainder of the recording is comprised of recent original compositions by the leader. Highlights include, "Hey, It's Me You're Talkin' To", one of Victor Lewis' most well known compositions; Joe Chambers' "Ungano" (from the Bobby Hutcherson Blue Note album, Medina); "Haiku", a composition that Howard composed at the piano in about ten minutes. "After stating the 5-7-5-syllable form, the soloists are free to interpret at will. It's quite different each time we perform it", said Howard; "Like Buttah","my take on rhythm changes, which incidentally pays homage to Sonny Rollins' 'Oleo' (which was a butter substitute back in the day)"; and "Got To Take Another Chance", "a fun little piece by Philly Joe Jones that is based on the chord changes of 'Take The 'A' Train'. I extracted the horn riff and ending bit from the Max Roach/Clifford Brown version of 'A Train' (from the record, A Study in Brown). I love Max's train ending on that cut. Straight up fun!," said Howard; "Mumbo Jumbo" by the late great Paul Motian, and "Pee Wee" by the legendary Tony Williams.

More on Drum Lore: The birth of Drum Lore took place at a summer jazz workshop where Howard was one of the several "artists-in-residence". The drummer explains further, "As we were getting ready for a discourse on the finer points of our various approaches to composition, one of the participants said to me. 'Owen, why are you here? You're a drummer, and this is a composition class? Well, how does one answer a comment like that? Rather than being offended, I took it upon myself to dispel this myth that drummers can't, or don't, compose." The brilliant result was Drum Lore (released in 2010 on BJURecords), a recording of great stylistic diversity, dedicated to exploring compositions exclusively by many of the revered drummers of our time. As Joe Lovano has stated, "some of the hippest bandleaders and composers in jazz, have come from the drum chair"; so many that Howard now offers Drum Lore Vol. 2, and has at least several more CDs worth of music composed by drummers that he'd like to record, so be on the lookout for the possibility of "Drum Lore, Vol. 3" in the future.

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For more information on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records 
Please contact Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
Email, Tel 347 578 7601