Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Motema Music Proudly Announces The Release of UNTOLD STORIES From Pianist/Composer SHAI MAESTRO

Shai Maestro Trio - "Untold Stories" - Behind the Scenes (EPK)


Motema Music Proudly Announces 
From Pianist/Composer SHAI MAESTRO
Available August 28, 2015


" . . .You owe it to yourself to discover the beauty that Maestro, Roeder and Ravitz make." - Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen

"Maestro's classical touch retains an expressive delicacy whatever the mood . . . His solo career is going to be one to watch." **** 
- John Fordham, The Guardian

"Thoughtful and melodic" - Nate Chinen, The New York Times

Shai Maestro is a creator of moods, a shaper of atmospheres and a sculptor of sound. The pianist doesn't merely play music; he creates a world that is distinctly and intimately his. On his new recording, Shai Maestro Trio - Untold Stories, available on Motema Music on August 28, 2015, Maestro, and his trio featuring Jorge Roeder (bass) and Ziv Ravitz (drums), explores a touching and poetic universe of music. Untold Stories contains all that is great in modern jazz today, and truly displays the camaraderie and brotherhood in music that this trio possesses.

As a pianist and composer Maestro has been chasing down beauty his entire life, looking to capture meaningful phrases that are refined, and clearly communicated. With Untold Stories, the third album from his trio, Maestro has turned the page and entered a new phase, taking time, fearing less, daring more, accepting the occasional stumble, and allowing the music to change and be a representation of who the members of the trio are as people, for good or bad. Maestro elaborates, "What happened to us on the road in the last few years is basically a shift in our state of mind. What I want to do today (and also to hear from other musicians as well) is to express who I am, and who we are as human beings. Being human is a complex thing to say the least, and there are many sides to our personalities. Not all are beautiful. So music can and should contain everything; beauty, ugliness, love, violence, etc. So Untold Stories is a point in time of us, an entry into a different journey, one that is much more raw and honest then what I have done so far." The music on Untold Stories was recorded live and in studios in Brooklyn and Paris, offering the listener a complete picture of the Trio today ("Maya's Song"-studio-Paris, "Treelogy", "Painting", "Elusive" & "Looking Back (Quiet Reflection)"-live-Paris, "When You Stop Seeing", "Endless Winter" & "Shades"-studio-Brooklyn).

Untold Stories opens with the compelling triumph, "Maya's Song", co-written by Maestro, Roeder and Ravitz while preparing music for a tour. "When You Stop Seeing"was inspired by a poem Maestro received from a dear friend. The poem speaks about a transparent bubble floating in space. Maestro elaborated, "this idea of transparency fascinated me and I tried to look for a transparent harmonic quality which is how I got to the texture of the song, which is a chord that is made out of 5ths. It's neither major nor minor." This composition was written during the last armed conflict between Israel and Palestine. "As an Israeli, I was born into this realty of conflict and that's the only thing I knew until I started traveling and eventually moved to New York. During the horrible violence of this last 'round' between Israel and Palestine, I was exposed to the voices coming from within Israel and Palestine via social media etc. One of the things that really bothered me is how people referred to people on the other side as, 'The Palestinians', or 'The Israelis'. We know this reality very well here in the U.S. with racism, sexism etc., and I feel that people forget that we are human beings before belonging to a place, race etc. So the extended title of this song, which didn't make it to the album, is 'When you stop seeing other human beings as human beings', explained Maestro. "Treelogy" was written while the trio was on tour in France. After the initial melody is presented it's a study of new harmonic devices that Maestro found, trying to create the contrast between a consonant, slow bass motion combined with a fast dissonant harmony on top of it. Ravitz and Roeder found a way of creating a long, intense build up, allowing the trio to explore the higher register of their instruments, which is something new to Maestro's music. This also displayed a new level of patience that the trio had found. "Painting" is a song Maestro wrote for the group's first album several years ago in his Brooklyn apartment. Maestro explains, "it was composed at 3 AM, while I was staring at a painting I had received as a gift from a friend in Bulgaria. It is a painting that resembles the work of Marc Chagall. The composition is an attempt to write music to what I feel the painting expressed instead of trying to express myself." It is included on Untold Stories mainly because of Ravitz's enthralling drum solo. "Ziv and I were talking a lot about how the drum solo got stuck in a concept in jazz music, usually stuck in the shape dictated by trading or soloing over the form unaccompanied. We spoke at length about how not many people are questioning this concept any more, and that drum solos can be treated as any other instrument, playing and reacting to harmony, melody and space. I felt it's a statement I wanted to make", said Maestro.

Other highlights on Untold Stories include "Elusive", a study in contrasts in registers and harmonic tension; "Endless Winter", inspired by NYC's painful winter, and, "an attempt to deal with harmony in a special manner, finding the harmonic twist only in the middle voices, while the melody and bass movements are completely consonant", explained Maestro; the completely improvised "Shades", which finds Maestro bravely opening the door to presenting an abstract piece that is not "beautiful" and part of his usual aesthetic; and the album's closer "Looking Back (Quiet Reflection)", which is all about time, space and simplicity. Maestro explained, "Together with this 'abstract world' that I'm discovering, I'm simultaneously being pulled more towards simplicity, which has to come with trust. Trust in the band members, and in the music. This is one of the compositions I'm most proud of on this album, as it opens new possibilities for me in how to approach music and composition in particular. It's a new direction that I'm very curious about." 

More on Shai Maestro and the Shai Maestro Trio:
While he was only 19 years old, Shai Maestro began a five-year stint recording and touring with bass player Avishai Cohen, and is featured on the albums Gently Disturbed (2008), Aurora (2009) and Seven Seas (2011). Maestro moved to New York City in 2010 and created his acclaimed trio with Peruvian bassist Jorge Roeder (Gary Burton, Miguel Zenon), and Israeli drummer Ziv Ravitz (Lee Konitz, Esperanza Spalding). The Trio's debut album for the French label Laborie Jazz, simply titled Shai Maestro Trio, was very well received and set the trio in motion, touring the world, playing major festivals, concert halls and jazz clubs (Jazz In Marciac, Nice Jazz festival, Montreal Jazz festival, Cotton Club-Japan, Duc des Lombards, New Morning, Jazz Cafe-London, A Trane, Smalls, ShapeShifter Lab, The Jazz Gallery, etc), and receiving incredibly positive responses from audiences, peers and the press. In 2012 at the Jazz In Marciac Festival they shared the stage with Chick Corea's group, Tigran Hamasyan's quintet, Esperanza Spalding's group and Diana Krall's band, indicating the echelon they had reached in the jazz world. The Shai Maestro Trio's third album Untold Stories will be released on August 28 on Motema music.

Maestro is based in Brooklyn, and when not leading his Trio, the pianist can be found performing and recording with international artists such as Theo Bleckmann, Donny McCaslin, John Patitucci, Mark Guiliana, Avishai Cohen (trumpet), Anat Cohen, Jorge Rossy, Ari Hoenig, Myron Walden, Gilad Hekselman, Jonathan Blake, Clarence Penn and many others.

Twitter: @ShaiMaestro
Please Visit: &

Press Enquiries on Shai Maestro and Untold Stories,
Please Contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
646 259 2105,
(new phone # please update your records)

Monday, May 11, 2015



Take a look inside the making of Family First

"a drummer around whom a cult of admiration has formed" - The New York Times

"For many observers, he's the guy to watch if you want to know where the great art of drumming is right now- and where it could be headed." - Modern Drummer Magazine

"A leader worth following. A musician with vision. And beats"
- Brad Farberman, JazzTimes Magazine

"Mr. Guiliana, a drummer with an exacting and often inspired approach to groove, recently formed his own record label, releasing two albums of his own music. That's cause for celebration . . ." - The New York Times

"What happens when you add hard bop drum masters Elvin Jones and Art Blakey to a 1980s Roland 808 drum machine, divide the result by J Dilla and then multiply to the power of Squarepusher? Answer: Mark Guiliana." - Time Out London

"Beatmakers will be sampling this guy . . . for years to come" - All Music


Featuring Mark Guiliana (drums, compositions), Shai Maestro (piano), Jason Rigby (saxophone) & Chris Morrissey (bass)

Available on June 4, 2015, available for pre-order on iTunes on May 8, 2015 (mastered for iTunes):

NYC CD Release Celebration for Family First @ Rockwood Music Hall - Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet - "The Rockwood Takeover"
One Night - Three Stages!:
Thursday, June 4, Stage 3 (8 PM), Stage 2 (10 PM) & Stage 1 (Midnight)
Featuring Mark Guiliana, Shai Maestro, Chris Morrissey & Jason Rigby
VIP TKTS - $40 (incl. entry to all 3 shows plus a signed CD & poster), $15 each set,

Painters paint, writers write, explorers explore, but jazz musicians do all three as they create sonic landscapes that delight us, that provoke thought and emotion, and that ultimately enrich our lives. Drummer/composer/bandleader Mark Guiliana brilliantly accomplished just that with the 2014 launch of his new record label, Beat Music Productions, releasing My Life Starts Now, and Beat Music: The Los Angeles Improvisations on the same day.

Guiliana, a modern-day, boiling-over, creative tour-de-force, now offers his first statement as a leader in the acoustic jazz realm with the debut recording from the Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet - Family First, available on Beat Music Productions on June 4, 2015 (iTunes pre-order date is May 8). The album, which presents eight new Guiliana compositions and a stunning version Bob Marley's "Johnny Was", was conceived around, and composed for, the drummer's new band, featuring long-time musical partners and dear friends, Shai Maestro (piano), Jason Rigby (saxophones) and Chris Morrissey (bass). "This music really highlights the strong bonds and sense of brotherhood and family that I share with these guys," explained Guiliana.

The group's chemistry, commitment and cohesiveness provides for nine breathtaking, fervent episodes of acoustic jazz, beginning with the engaging and exciting rhythmic intro of "One Month", and concluding with the emotional pull and subtleness of the title track. In between, "ABED" swings like mad, "2014" shows the group's ability to play a ballad with a searing intensity, "Long Branch" stirs it up with Guiliana percolating underneath a soaring melody, and Bob Marley's "Johnny Was" receiving the most gorgeous treatment one could imagine.

Guiliana's singular drumset and compositional artistry, once again setting the bar quite high, is on glorious display on Family First, as is the playing of his collaborators. The album encapsulates all the best that these musicians have to offer - abundant beauty, ardent propulsion and sheer love of improvisation.

Although this is a new band, Guiliana shares a deep musical history with each musician. "These guys are some of my favorite musicians and I've been lucky to be building a musical bond with each of them over the past decade," he explains. "I've been playing with Chris in my electronic project Beat Music, with Jason in my first band Heernt, and I spent a handful of great years on the road with Shai in bassist Avishai Cohen's trio."

The sonic landscape presented on Family First is quite different from Guiliana's 2014 releases. This purely acoustic music is presented without edits or isolation, as captured in pristine detail by engineer John Davis at the Bunker Studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. While not a tribute recording in any way, this recording is Guiliana's nod to the jazz drummers that have inspired and informed his completely unique approach to the instrument. Guiliana elaborates, "this album embodies the deep inspiration I have taken over the years from my earliest drumming heroes, including Tony Williams, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, and Art Blakey, to name a few."

More on Mark Guiliana:
Guiliana is an acclaimed drummer, composer, educator, and founder of Beat Music Productions. He has earned international acclaim for his innovative and creative style, recognized by The New York Times as "a drummer around whom a cult of admiration has formed." Over the past decade, he has appeared on over 40 recordings and has toured extensively around the world, performing in 45 countries across 6 continents with artists such as Meshell Ndegeocello, Gretchen Parlato, bassist Avishai Cohen and many more, including his own bands Beat Music and Heernt.

In 2014, Guiliana launched Beat Music Productions, his independent record label, as an outlet for his diverse musical vision. In that same year, he was featured on the Grammy-nominated album Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, his duo project with jazz icon Brad Mehldau on keyboards and synthesizers, as well as David Bowie's latest single, "Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)".

Family First, the debut recording from the Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet, will be released on June 4, 2015 on Beat Music Productions, and there are already projects slated for 2016 releases - a solo electronic recording (an exploration of experimental beats and ambient textures); and a long overdue second album from Heernt, Guiliana's experimental-garage-jazz outfit.

Preview the track "Long Branch" here!

contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne - Red Cat Publicity,
Tel 646 259 2105 (new phone # please update your records)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Composer-Arranger Oded Lev-Ari - Producer of Anat Cohen, Marty Ehrlich, Duchess and More - Makes Leader Debut with Inspired Chamber Jazz of Threading


Composer-Arranger Oded Lev-Ari - Producer of Anat Cohen, Marty Ehrlich, Duchess and More - Makes Leader Debut with Inspired Chamber Jazz of Threading
Available on iTunes 

Threading - to be released via Anzic Records on April 28, 2015 - presents Lev-Ari's instrumental and vocal works played by an all-star 11-piece band including Anat Cohen and Matt Wilson

"Putting lightning in a bottle is what Oded Lev-Ari specializes in."
- DownBeat Magazine

Composer-arranger-producer Oded Lev-Ari has crafted acclaimed albums by the likes of hit band 3 Cohens, clarinet icon Anat Cohen and woodwind sage Marty Ehrlich, as well as rising-star singers Amy Cervini, Melissa Stylianou and vocal trio Duchess. Now the Tel Aviv-born, New York-based Lev-Ari steps out with the first recording under his own name: Threading, to be released by Anzic Records on April 28, 2015. The album presents six inspired Lev-Ari compositions - instrumental and vocal - performed by an all-star 11-piece New York band that includes Anat Cohen and the ace Matt Wilson on drums, as well as guest vocalists Alan Hampton and Jo Lawry. Along with Lev-Ari's own pieces, the disc includes his artful instrumental and vocal arrangements of songwriter Gordon Jenkins' classic "Goodbye." The chamber-jazz sound of Threading - which features not only winds, trumpet and a textured rhythm section but also three cellos - hints at varied sonic worlds, from jazz sound painters Gil Evans and Maria Schneider to tango nuevo king Astor Piazzolla and contemporary classical composers. Ultimately, though, Lev-Ari has his own, individual soundprint, one of cinematic richness and open-hearted lyricism.

Lev-Ari, a student of the great composer-arranger Bob Brookmeyer, says what he appreciated most about his teacher was his intrepid musical sensibility. "I love Bob's music, even if mine doesn't really sound anything like his," Lev-Ari says. "He was such an inspiring figure, particularly how courageous he was in the kind of music he let himself make. He was a keen admirer of contemporary classical, and he let that into his work, unafraid to incorporate new sounds into the big-band palette. That sort of open mind and ear is something to aspire to."

With Threading, "space and personality" were bywords in the studio for Lev-Ari and his engineering partner, James Farber. "James and I had worked before on several albums together, and he really knows the studio we used, Sear Sound in Manhattan," Lev-Ari explains. "We're on the same page in terms of quality of sound, with space around the instruments being key. We also share a production credo, in that it's not about perfection - it's about expression, telling a story in music. The goal is capturing the essence of the music, especially in those moments where it builds organically to an emotional impact. We had a band of amazing musicians, who naturally invest personality into everything they play - and that's what makes music come alive, off the page and into the air."
The title track of Threading opens the album with irresistible shades of Piazzolla in the writing for strings and piano; then there's Anat Cohen's dynamic clarinet, her solo building to a peak as it traces lines with Nadje Noorduis's trumpet. There are indigo echoes of Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" in "Lost and Found," with cool-toned solos from Will Vinson's alto sax and Brian Landrus's baritone. "Voices," incorporating a titular and textural homage to contemporary Latvian composer Peteris Vasks, resonates with a dark lyricism, the collective soloing in its middle section a priceless instance of session spontaneity; the bridge of the piece, with the composer voicing a minimalist melody on piano as winds trace arabesques above, is one of the album's most ravishing passages. There's more Vasks-esque writing for the three cellos in "Black Crow," as well as an evocation of Oded's Israeli roots. Lev-Ari's kindred-spirit connection with Anat Cohen - they have been friends and collaborators since high school in Tel Aviv - is mirrored in her Eastern European-tinged lines. "Black Crow" also features a characteristically musical drum solo by Matt Wilson.

"E and A," the title referencing the first initials of Lev-Ari's two children (with singer Amy Cervini), brims with pastoral loveliness, as well as a mix of Old World and New World influences. A melody-rich highlight of Threading comes with "The Dance," a vocal piece for which Lev-Ari wrote both music and lyrics; the gorgeous vocal combination of Alan Hampton (a collaborator with Gretchen Parlato, among others) and Jo Lawry (Sting's go-to backing singer) sees their voices twining around each other to tell an emotional story. Then there are the two versions of "Goodbye," the Gordon Jenkins song made famous by Frank Sinatra on his LP Only the Lonely. Cohen's clarinet takes a vocal role in the instrumental, after a limpid introduction by guitarist Gilad Hekselman. And if Lev-Ari's subtle arrangement is both earthier and airier than the vintage treatment Nelson Riddle made for Sinatra, Hampton's singing is less theatrical, more conversational. Lev-Ari says: "It's an intimate piece of music that I love, and Alan has this quality to his voice that makes it seem as if he were singing just to you, revealing something very personal."

Even with such moments of magic, Lev-Ari called the album Threading to evoke the sense of craftsmanship that goes into making music. "A work of art really is a magical thing, and people don't always want to know how the trick is done," he explains. "But writing, arranging and recording can be exacting, almost physical work, like sewing or weaving. That's something that always comes to mind when I'm writing, particularly for a larger ensemble. I wanted to hint at the tradesman-like craft of the work, those aspects of loving, hard-won detail that you hope add up to something beautiful."

Oded Lev-Ari: Threading
1. "Threading" 2. "Lost and Found" 3. "Goodbye" (vocal version) 4. "Voices" 5. "Black Crow" 6. "E and A" 7. "The Dance" 8. "Goodbye" (instrumental version)

All compositions by Oded Lev-Ari, except for "Goodbye" (by Gordon Jenkins)

Anat Cohen: clarinet; Will Vinson: alto & soprano saxophone; Brian Landrus: baritone saxophone & bass clarinet; Nadje Noordhuis: trumpet & flugelhorn; Alex Waterman, Yoed Nir & Noah Hoffeld: cello; Oded Lev-Ari: piano; Gilad Hekselman: guitar; Joe Martin: double-bass; Matt Wilson: drums; Alan Hampton: voice (3, 7); Jo Lawry: voice (7)
"My debut album Threading will be released by Anzic Records on April 28, 2015. The cover art for the release is a beautiful photo by James Stenson. James also used music from the CD (My tune E & A and my arrangement of Gordon Jenkins' Goodbye with beautiful vocals by Alan Hampton) for a short film called Reflections which you can watch here." - Oded Lev-Ari

Press Enquiries on Oded Lev-Ari & Anzic Records:
Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
646 259 2105;


Friday, March 27, 2015



To Release The Debut Recording From:
Available on April 21, 2015

Brooklyn-based Red Piano Records is proud to announce the release of Shadows and Reflections from pianists/composers Frank Carlberg and Leo Genovese. The recording sessions for this album came about in an atmosphere of friendship, common musical interests, and in anticipation of great fun. Carlberg (also a partner in Red Piano Records) commented, "I've known Leo for many years and have always admired his playing and attitude. Playing with him is very easy and always fun!" Genovese added, "Frank Carlberg is one of my favorite players and composers. I learned so much music when I had the chance many years ago to study with him at Berklee, and every time I hear him play I learn lots of music."

Genovese and Carlberg are two artists who possess very open personalities that embrace everything around them. "The session was so fun and deep as we got a chance to play music from our hearts and to be able to reach higher spiritual ground through the act of listening and playing together," said Genovese. Carlberg added that, "Leo radiates positivity and helps make others reach further. This for me was very inspiring; and when the inspiration threatened to run out we had some claret libations from Mendoza and Patagonia to help steer us right back in to the playing. It is simply so much fun to play with Leo!"

The duo entered into the studio with the notion to accept whatever was happening in the moment, and not impose an agenda or specific direction for the music. "We had not really even decided what instruments we were going to play but made impulsive decisions about that as the session unfolded," said Carlberg. The repertoire was dominated by their mutual interest and love of Monk. "Playing Monk together was like speaking about an old friend while still learning new things about him. A truly exhilarating experience! Both Leo and I seem to have maybe a somewhat cinematic bent to our music so I had also sketched out a few things for us to elaborate on that I suspected would take us on little journeys. Finally, there was the music of the Argentine songwriter Cuchi Leguizamón. Leo knows many of Cuchi's songs while I know only a couple so we decided to play Zamba Para La Viuda, a song that I learned through my association with the great Argentine singer Roxana Amed. Leo helped me see facets of this song that I could only have dreamed of before," said Carlberg.

"Recording Shadows and Reflections was a truly delightful experience and I am grateful to Leo for sharing this music with me." - Frank Carlberg

"I feel so happy and honored to be able to explore sound and textures with Frank in this setting of piano, electric piano and organs. The recording was a very magical night. With a little malbec friend, we became music and sound." - Leo Genovese


More on Frank Carlberg and Leo Genovese:
Originally a native of Helsinki, Finland, Frank Carlberg has carved himself quite a niche in the New York City jazz community. As a leader, he has released almost twenty albums, and his groups include the Frank Carlberg Quintet (performing settings of a wide variety of texts including poetry), the Tivoli Trio (a classic jazz piano trio playing an eclectic mix of Carlberg's compositions drawn from cinematic and circus inspirations), and the Frank Carlberg Big Band (performing original compositions as well as arrangements and re-compositions of standards and folk materials), Monk Dreams, Hallucinations and Nightmares (a large ensemble project with the music of Monk as its central source both in terms of reinterpretations of Monk's music and inspiration for new original compositions), as well as recent collaborations with Argentine vocalist Roxana Amed, and the Dutch Clazz Ensemble.

In addition to his own bands, the Brooklyn-based pianist has been involved in many crossover projects throughout the years, and some of his most notable collaborations have included performances and recordings with the likes of saxophonist Steve Lacy, trombonist Bob Brookmeyer and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler.  Carlberg has been commissioned to compose music for big bands, small ensembles, symphony orchestras as well as modern dance companies. In addition to his playing and composing activities the pianist also serves on the faculty at the New England Conservatory. He is also a member of the Douglass Street Music Collective and a partner in Red Piano Records, an artist run cooperative label in Brooklyn, NY.

Early on Carlberg came under the influence of jazz masters such as Paul Bley, Ran Blake, Geri Allen and Jimmy Giuffre.  The music and thinking of these musicians had a profound impact on Carlberg and set him on a path in search of a personal expression.

Leo Genovese was born in Argentina in the farmlands of Venado Tuerto, Argentina. His first encounters with music and freedom where in the Genovese family band, where the spectrum of sonic possibilities is as wide you want to imagine and without limits, if you wish. Leo was, and is, a student of music in history, ecology, politics and economics around the clock and around the world. Genovese went on to study at the Berklee College of Music where he learned from masters such as Hal Crook, Frank Carlberg and Danilo Perez. He has also had the opportunity to make some noise and go crazy with some amazing people on the scene today, such as Esperanza Spalding, Wayne Shorter, Jack DeJohnette, Milton Nascimento, Herbie Hancock and many others.

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Please Visit:

Press Enquiries on Red Piano Records: 
Please Contact Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
NEW Tel # 646 259 2105,

RED PIANO RECORDS To Release The New Recording From: Pianist/Composer RAN BLAKE & vocalist CHRISTINE CORREA: The Road Keeps Winding


To Release The New Recording From:
Pianist/Composer RAN BLAKE & Vocalist CHRISTINE CORREA
The Road Keeps Winding, the second volume in their ongoing tribute to Abbey Lincoln
Available on April 21, 2015

Brooklyn-based Red Piano Records is proud to announce the release of
The Road Keeps Winding from pianist/composer Ran Blake and vocalist Christine Correa.
This album represents the second volume in the duo's ongoing, respectful and creative tribute to the late, great Abbey Lincoln. In addition to paying tribute to Lincoln, The Road Keeps Winding is the latest yield from Blake and Correa's remarkable friendship and superlative musical collaboration that has thrived for more than three decades.

Blake and Correa are a united force in paying tribute to Abbey Lincoln. Correa is able to capture the unique timbre of Abbey's voice, yet still retain her own uniqueness. Together, they capture the raw emotion ("Love Lament") and abundant confidence of Abbey's delivery, and the drama of her demonstrative vocalizations (most notable on "The River" and "In The Red"). Blake's pianism on "Throw It Away" (perhaps made even more poignant as Blake plays it solo, sans vocals), which has possibly become Abbey's best-known composition, is sublime, passionate and fierce, much like Abbey Lincoln herself.

Abbey Lincoln holds a special place in the hearts and souls of these artists; a place where her music, her sound and her aesthetic, resonates resoundingly. Blake said, "The fact is that Abbey always spoke the truth, nothing but the truth, openly, unabashedly, honestly, unreservedly, and most importantly, with dignity and conviction. Abbey had raw anger ("Driva Man"/"Triptych"), immortal vision ("Down Here Below" - title track from Blake and Correa's first tribute to Lincoln,
Down Here Below, also on Red Piano Records), passionate displays of the great American tragedy ("Retribution" and "In The Red"), and also addressed issues of memories lost and gained ("Throw It Away"). I listened to a lot of Abbey's music when I was a student at Bard College. I particularly liked the album Abbey is Blue, but was astounded when she and Max Roach brought out the
Freedom Now Suite. Around late October 1960, Roach and his group were hired at The Jazz Gallery.  The group which included Julian Priester, Booker Little, and a man who eventually became my teacher, Mal Waldron, performed at the club for five or six weeks. The entire Freedom Suite was performed, as was the entire material from the Straight Ahead album.  Although Abbey didn't scat or improvise dramatically, there were nights when her lyrics were more pungent, others when they were more tragic.  Often I would leave the club at 3:30 or 4:00 AM to catch the IRT Broadway line back home, trying to recreate in my head much of the material I had heard earlier that evening. The last time Abbey and I met was in February 2006 at Scullers.  She came over to the table for a cognac, mentioning she had adopted a dog called Sako and had moved to Riverside Drive and then she publicly thanked me . . ."

Correa elaborated, "my first exposure to Abbey Lincoln was in 1979 through Ran Blake, almost as soon as I arrived in the U.S.  I had never before listened to anything as intense as the Freedom Now Suite and Straight Ahead recordings.  Abbey's delivery was passionate and expressive and she had a power all her own! Beginning with her association with Max Roach, her style and repertoire changed from a nightclub act ("The Heel"), featuring selections from the Great American Songbook to performing songs with a social context ("Freedom Now Suite", "Mendacity", "Straight Ahead"). Her later meditations on life and humanity showed yet another facet to this remarkable artist. Abbey's powerful voice had a lasting effect on me, and her music has continued to be a source of inspiration. It seems only fitting to record a second tribute album, as she was a presence, a great singer, musician, actress, poet and human being.  For me this project with Ran is a dream come true."

More on Ran Blake and Christine Correa:
In a career that now spans five decades, pianist Ran Blake has created a unique niche in improvised music as an artist and educator. With a characteristic mix of spontaneous solos, modern classical tonalities, the great American blues and gospel traditions and themes from classic Film Noir, Blake's singular sound has earned him a dedicated following across the world. In the tradition of two of his idols, Ellington and Monk, Blake has incorporated and synthesized several otherwise divergent styles and influences into a single innovative and cohesive style of his own, ranking him among the geniuses of the genre. Ran Blake is a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" grant. He was the founder and long-time chairperson of the Third Stream Department (currently called Contemporary Improvisation Department) at New England Conservatory in Boston, MA.

Christine Correa has been involved in a variety of improvisational contexts and is currently teaching in The Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program at Columbia University. She has been widely recognized as a leading interpreter of the works of a range of modern American and European poets as set to music by some of today's most innovative jazz composers, such as Frank Carlberg, Nicholas Urie, Sam Sadigursky, and Steve Grover among others. Correa has also recorded and/or performed with artists such as Steve Lacy and John LaPorta and appeared at numerous festivals, concert halls and clubs in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America and India. She is currently at the faculty in the jazz department at Columbia University in New York City.

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Please Visit:

Press Enquiries on Red Piano Records: 
Please Contact Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
NEW Tel # 646 259 2105,

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Motema Music Proudly Announces The Release of JOE LOCKE'S Most Personal & Emotive Work To Date, LOVE IS A PENDULUM

Motema Music Proudly Announces The Release of 
JOE LOCKE'S Most Personal & Emotive Work To Date 
Available May 26, 2015


Featuring Joe Locke (compositions, vibes), Robert Rodriguez (piano),
Ricardo Rodriguez (bass), Terreon Gully (co-­producer, drums)
With Special Guests Rosario Giuliani, Donny McCaslin (saxes), Paul Bollenback (guitar), Victor Provost (steel pan) and Theo Bleckmann (voice)


Joe Locke - Love Is A Pendulum Official EPK:

Joe Locke is a musician's musician, an artist for the ages, a man who has been gracing stages and studios with his immense talent, and uplifting spirit, since he was fifteen. Locke is a man who has gathered no moss as he evolved into a communicator, a conceptualist, a composer, and a modern virtuoso who defies categorization, creating music with small groups to symphony orchestras, and with artists as diverse as Cecil Taylor and The Beastie Boys. Derk Richardson said of Locke in The San Francisco Bay Guardian that, "not only has he mastered an instrument that has catapulted only a handful of players to the forefront of modern jazz - but he has done so in a way that transcends mere technique and establishes him as a unique and adventurous musical voice." With more than thirty acclaimed recordings to his credit, it is no wonder The Times (London, U.K.) proclaimed that, "there seems little doubt that Locke, with his ability to play cool and funky, heady and relaxed, is set to become the pre-eminent vibraphonist in jazz." Joe Locke's new recording, Love Is A Pendulum (available on the Motema Music imprint on May 26, 2015), is just over an hour in length, but has taken a lifetime to make, as it encompasses all of Locke's joys and sorrows, and utilizes all of his slings and arrows.

Love Is A Pendulum is an arresting collection of all original music, the centerpiece of which is a five movement suite, based on a poem by the writer and musician Barbara Sfraga (from her Subway Series work), a multi-dimensional artist who Locke has long admired. Locke explains further, "each verse begins with a metaphor describing love - its properties and tendencies - and how (possibly) to navigate them. As is so often the case in my composing process, the genesis of a musical idea comes from words, whether it be a novel, a poem, or even a simple phrase uttered in a certain way. I feel that Love Is A Pendulum is my best work thus far and I am eternally grateful to Barbara for the inspiration her poem has provided."

This recording is the most personal, most compositional and most emotive work of Locke's career, and it features a hand-picked cast of outstanding musicians that bring Locke's vision to life in spectacular fashion: special guests Rosario Giuliani, Donny McCaslin (saxes), Paul Bollenback (guitar), Victor Provost (steel pan) and Theo Bleckmann (voice), with Locke's core working quartet, featuring Robert Rodriguez (piano), Terreon Gully (drums and co-producer) & Ricardo Rodriguez (basses). Locke commented in the liner notes about the musicians featured on Love Is A Pendulum, "as tightly composed as much of this music is, it would not have risen off the page without the creative contributions of the musicians here. Robert, Terreon and Ricky, the core of this group, have been hugely important to the realization of this project. Working together with a great natural chemistry, they sculpted the shape of each piece into something beyond what I had imagined. Their ability to deal with the written material while at the same time injecting it with soul and spontaneity was (and continues to be) remarkable. I'm also grateful that all of my first choices were available (with a bit of juggling!) to be guests on Love Is A Pendulum."

More on the music from Love Is A Pendulum:
Variation On Wisdom is a through-composed chamber piece and a re-working of the material from "Last Ditch Wisdom" (track #7). On Love Is The Tide, "I wanted to convey the surging power described in this particular verse of the poem. There are a lot of shifting rhythms occurring, but its essence is the Blues," said Locke. Love Is A Planchette (featuring Theo Bleckmann) depicts the movement of a planchette as it moves across a ouija board. This melody is beautiful and gentle rather than spooky, as it, "describes the light touch we must keep on love in order for it to move us from one place to another," explained Locke. Love Is A Pendulum was the first movement Locke composed for the suite. As with the movement of a pendulum, the band goes back and forth between the sections of this composition. Played as a rubato ballad, Love Is Letting Go is a meditation on love's eternal nature. "For the beginning of Love Is Perpetual Motion I wanted a wide open canvas for the two saxophones to have a conversation, interspersed with written material. The main melody of the piece does not occur until after the 4:20 mark, where it emerges from 3/4 time into a 9/4 clave, followed by vibes/pan trading and a piano solo before a restatement of the melody," explained Locke. For Jesse Mountain is dedicated to Locke's nephew Jesse. "Big man, big heart," said Locke. Last Ditch Wisdom speaks for itself - "NYC hardball, start to finish." The album concludes with the lovely ballad, Embrace, a composition based on George Gershwin's "Embraceable You", and conceived by Locke as a vehicle for Victor Provost. Pianist Robert Rodriguez's lyrical ride, on top of Gully's creative groove, concludes the recording on a consonant note.

More on Joe Locke:
Joe Locke is widely considered to be one of the major voices of his instrument. Long known to be a soloist capable of stunning physical power and broad emotional range, it was not until the last decade that he emerged as the composer, bandleader and conceptualist that he is considered today.

This is in no small part due to his recent solo projects, notably the three distinct albums he has released since joining Motema Music in 2011, which display his immense stylistic versatility and ability to create artistic depth in a variety of contexts: Signing (2012, the long awaited follow-up studio album of Live In Seattle), Wish Upon A Star (2012, Locke's first ever symphonic project, featuring Locke's Quartet with the Symphony Orchestra of Lincoln, Nebraska), and Lay Down My Heart (2013, jazz radio chart's #1 Blues & Ballads album). Locke's latest Motéma release, Love Is A Pendulum is already being hailed the most important work of his career. Other notable recordings in Locke's extensive discography (more than thirty albums as a leader) include, Four Walls of Freedom (Sirocco), a six movement suite featuring the late tenor saxophonist Bob Berg; Live in Seattle (Origin) by The Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group, which won the 2006 Ear Shot award for Concert of the Year, and his eloquent and vibrant quartet, Force Of Four (Origin).

Locke has won numerous awards and polls, including the 2006, 2008 and 2009 "Mallet Player of the Year" award from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2013 Hot House NYC Jazz Awards for best Vibes Player. He is active as a clinician and educator in the United States and Europe and has been the International Vibraphone Consultant at the Royal Academy of Music, London, on a visiting basis since 2008, holding the title of Honorary Associate of The Royal Academy of Music since 2013. Locke endorses Malletech instruments, and Love Is A Pendulum is the first recording to feature the innovative OmegaVibe (also endorsed by Stefon Harris, Tony Miceli and Warren Wolf).

Joe Locke - Love Is A Pendulum
All compositions by Joe Locke
1. Variation On Wisdom 2. Love Is The Tide 3. Love Is A Planchette 4. Love Is A Pendulum 5. Love Is Letting Go 6. Love Is Perpetual Motion 7. For Jesse Mountain 
8. Last Ditch Wisdom 9. Embrace 

April 11 - Fayetteville, AR, Walton Arts Center

April 12 - Columbia, MO, Murry's

April 18 - Kansas City, MO, The Gem Theater

April 24 - Germantown, NY, Jazz Workshop at Germantown High School
April 25 - Germantown, NY, Central House Historic Hotel

May 29-30 - Cape May, NJ, Exit 0 International Jazz Festival

June 3 - Ocean Grove, NJ, Leigh Howard Stevens 36th Summer Marimba Sem.

June 8 - Burlington, VT, Discover Jazz Festival

June 9 & 10 - NYC, The Jazz Standard

June 13 & 14 - Hollywood, CA, The Hollywood Bowl  
(Joe Locke with Eddie Palmieri Group)

June 22 - Rochester, NY,  Xerox Rochester Int'l Jazz Festival

July 10-12 - NYC, Smoke Jazz Club - special guest with the Jim Rotondi Group

July 30 - NYC, 92nd Street Y - Swing Into Summer Series
(Joe Locke performing with Bill Charlap)

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Press Enquiries on Joe Locke and Love Is A Pendulum
Please Contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
347 578 7601;

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Trombonist/Composer JOE FIEDLER Announces The Release of His New Trio Recording, I'M IN


Trombonist/Composer JOE FIEDLER Announces
The Release of His New Trio Recording, I'M IN
Featuring Joe Fiedler (trombone)
Rob Jost (bass) & Michael Sarin (drums)
Available on Multiphonics Music on April 7, 2015

CD Release Celebrations!!:
Sunday 4/6: Quinn's, Beacon, NY, 2 sets starting at 8 PM

Friday 4/10: Official CD release show @ The Jazz Gallery, NYC, 
2 sets at 8 & 10 PM

Wednesday 4/22: Juniper at Hotel Vermont, Burlington, VT, 
2 sets starting at 8:30 PM

Thursday 4/23: Lilypad, Cambridge, MA, 2 sets starting at 7 PM

Friday, 4/24: Firehouse 12, New Haven, CT, 2 sets at 8:30 & 10 PM

Sunday 4/26: Why Not Jazz Room, NYC, 2 sets starting at 7 PM

"Pointing a way toward the future of the trombone."
- Stephen Loewy/Cadence Magazine

"Trombonist Joe Fiedler has been an MVP in configurations that range fromsalsa bands to the jazz avant-garde."
- Time Out New York

"With only three instruments, these extremely talented musicians have made a thoroughly enjoyable album that will appeal to fans of mainstream, bluesy jazz."
- All Music Guide

"Fiedler's latest, Sacred Chrome Orb, the leader seasons the mix with a remarkable array of timbral effects, including mind-bending multiphonics inspired by his idol, Albert Mangelsdorff."
- Time Out New York

From the opening notes of I'm In, trombonist, composer, bandleader Joe Fiedler, bassist Rob Jost and drummer Michael Sarin make it clear that this is going to be an adventurous, imaginative, funky and fun listen. Fiedler's new recording, the fourth from his trio, and the second album on his label, Multiphonics Music, presents a departure from his previous trio sessions, as Fiedler set out to play tunes with more traditional jazz forms, and that possessed more blues elements. With I'm In Fiedler has once again used his curious mind and explorer's heart to great advantage, finding brilliant new approaches on his horn, and new heights of mastery with his composer's pen.   

I'm In follows Fiedler's highly acclaimed trio recordings, Plays The Music of Albert Mangelsdorff, The Crab and Sacred Chrome Orb, so it is an album that has a lot to live up to; and it delivers brilliantly on many levels. The repertoire is as perfectly balanced as a culinary masterpiece, with just the right amount of Latin tunes ("Erstwhile", "In Walked Cleo" - written for his daughter), funky explorations ("Completely 'Peccable"), swing ("I'm In"), and more than a dash of free improvisation for good measure ("Moving In Silence").

I'm In also provided an opportunity for Fiedler to utilize, to great effect, several extended trombone techniques that he has mastered. He elaborated, "I wanted to return to my use of the plunger mute, which I really love, and to explore all of its textural properties with this trio, which is showcased on the first tune, 'Grip'. Another example is the melody to 'Erstwhile'; as I got deeper into it I thought it would be great to have the entire melody ride over a long drone. But instead of having the bass play the drone I chose to play it myself using circular breathing and having the bass play arco, doubling the sung/multiphonic melody, down an octave." Although an expert at using multiphonics, Fiedler still found ways to challenge himself on this recording. He commented, "for this album I wanted to return to some free improvisation that had been missing on some previous recordings of mine. On 'Moving In Silence' I incorporate some multiphonics to build the drama of the composition, and as it turned out what I wrote was the most challenging use of multiphonics that I have ever attempted."

Other highlights on I'm In include "The New Denizens", a Fiedler composition that incorporates two of his loves in music, free playing and Latin. Fiedler said, " I wanted to try and capture the tongue-in-cheek, yet still serious vibe that predominated many groups in the early 90's downtown scene, like the Jazz Passengers. I've always dug that. But the structure was influenced by my love of the music of Carla Bley"; "The Box", which challenged Fiedler, and sent him to the shed for a spell. He commented, "The box is the name that I gave to my little writing/practicing studio at my house. I was thinking very pianistically when writing this tune. The trouble was that once it was done I had to figure out where to breathe when playing it on the trombone. In the studio Rob and Michael commented that the melody was like overlapping horn sections from a Latin band, but with all of the parts played by me! Needless to say, this one took some time in the shed to bring to life"; and "Tensegrity", a blues with a bridge, set up amazingly with a drum intro by drummer Michael Sarin, that wraps up I'm In in a thrilling way.

More on Joe Fiedler: Few musicians possess the incredibly diverse and vast resume that trombonist/composer Joe Fiedler boasts. The perennially in-demand artist has worked with "everyone", from Wycleff Jean, Jennifer Lopez, to Celia Cruz, Ralph Irizarry, Eddie Palmieri, and from Andrew Hill, Lee Konitz, Maria Schneider, to Borah Bergman, Anthony Braxton and Cecil Taylor. He is also an active member of some of the most revered ensembles working today, including Fast 'n Bulbous - The Captain Beefheart Project, the Satoko Fujii Big Band, David Weiss and Endangered Species, the Jason Lindner Ensemble, The Mingus Band, the Ed Palermo Big Band, the Charles Tolliver Big Band and many others. Suffice it to say, it would be a challenge to meet a musician today that hasn't crossed paths on stage or in studio with Mr. Fiedler.

In addition to this bustle of activity that comes with being one of the first call trombonists in the world (his eclectic discography easily exceeds 100 recordings), Fiedler has been making his mark with a string of compelling recordings under his own name, including, Sackbut Stomp (on his own Multiphonics Music), Big Sackbut & Sacred Chrome Orb (both on the Yellow Sound Label), and Joe Fiedler Plays the Music of Albert Mangelsdorff and The Crab (both on Clean-Feed). Fiedler is also in the planning stages for a solo trombone project, and is a regular contributor to The Mingus Big Band. Fiedler's "day job" is Music Director: Arrangements (serving as arranger, orchestrator and trombonist) for Sesame Street. Over four seasons he has written more than 400 arrangements and crafted more than 4000 underscoring cues.

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Press Enquiries on Joe Fiedler,
Please contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne @ Red Cat Publicity
Tel 347 578 7601, Email