Monday, August 11, 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."
-The NYC Jazz Record (formerly 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

Releases New Recordings From: 

Available August 26, 2014

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

BJURecords CD Release Celebrations:
The Eighth Annual Brooklyn Jazz Underground Festival - August 12 & 14:
August 12 @ Smalls, NYC

7:30 PM - David Smith Quintet
8:35 PM - Anne Mette Iversen Quartet
(Appearance is hot on the heels of Iversen's latest BJUR CD, So Many Roads)
9:40 PM - Adam Kolker Quartet
10:45 PM - David Cook Quintet
11:50 PM - Owen Howard's Drum Lore

August 14 @ Shapeshifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY
Presenting bandleaders Tammy Scheffer and Rob Garcia's groups, PLUS, the CD Release Celebration for the new BJU CD, 7 X 7

7:00 PM - Tammy Scheffer Sextet
8:15 PM - Rob Garcia 4 
(performing music from Garcia's latest BJUR recording, The Passion of Color)
9:30 PM - The BJU Celebrating The Release of 7 X 7

August 14 @ An Die Musik, Baltimore, MD
8 & 9:30 PM - Brooklyn Jazz Underground CD Release Celebration for 7 X 7

Rafal Sarnecki - Cat's Dream CD Release Celebrations:
August 21 @ Bar Next Door, NYC

September 2 @ Twins, Washington, D.C. 

Noah Garabedian - Big Butter and The Eggmen 
CD Release Celebration:

September 3 @ The Cornelia Street Cafe

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7 X 7

"They've united to share their skills and see where their discrete chemistry might take them. Turns out it's a place both provocative and pretty." "Some beautifully crafted and passionately played music"
- Jim Macnie, John Corbett, DownBeat Magazine (Hot Box Review, Editor's Pick)

"The CD is full of great tracks showcasing the diverse writing and playing styles of five of the top bandleaders on the Brooklyn scene. Listening to these musicians interpret one another's tunes make it clear that these unique artists are more than capable of supporting all of their individual idiosyncrasies as a cohesive group."
- Ron Netsky, The Rochester City Paper
In 2011 the members of the BJU (formed in 2006) composed new music for their first collaborative effort, the recording, A Portrait of Brooklyn. These performances marked the first time that the BJU members came together as an ensemble, and the result was praised unanimously, with Hank Shteamer of Time Out New York calling the BJU Ensemble, "a valuable collective that spotlights underrated local bandleaders", and Chris Smith adding in The Winnipeg Free Press that, "Brooklyn has a thriving jazz community, and an association of artists committed to building a greater awareness of original music coming from there - the Brooklyn Jazz Underground."

From its inception the BJU, a highly influential group that inspired the formation of other artist collectives around the world, including The Paris Jazz Underground, The Queens Jazz Overground and The LA Jazz Collective, has always placed a premium on original composition. The band's much-anticipated second recording, 7 X 7, offers a collection of seven compelling works conceived by each member of the septet, featuring David Smith (trumpet), Adam Kolker (tenor sax, bass clarinet), Anne Mette Iversen (bass), Rob Garcia (drums), and also featuring the addition of vocalist Tammy Scheffer, who plays a shifting role here as a vocalist and as a third "horn", pianist David Cook & drummer Owen Howard, empowering the ensemble alongside Rob Garcia with a dual drummer thrust.

While each piece exemplifies the character of the individual composer, the ensemble devised a cohesive element to lend unity to the entire recording: "The Shorty," a brief composition derived from each of the seven original works. The creative twist was that these variations were to be composed by a fellow BJU artist. "We literally drew names from a hat to pick which composition was to be our 'assignment.' Whether inspired by a melodic phrase, a harmonic structure or simply the vibe of the initial work, each 'Shorty' in turn, found its own character," explained Owen Howard (from the liner notes).

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Noah Garabedian - Big Butter and The Eggmen

"Noah is a positively organic bass player, an incredible artist . . ."
- David Wiegand, The San Francisco Chronicle

In demand sideman, bassist/composer Noah Garabedian, who has worked with the likes of Ravi Coltrane, Josh Roseman, Ralph Alessi, Andrew D'Angelo, Myron Walden, Nir Felder, Julian Waterfall Pollack and The Amigos Band, is happy to announce his debut recording as a leader, Big Butter And The Egg Men, featuring his sextet of the same name.

The instrumentation of Garabedian's band was inspired by a prolonged Louis Armstrong phase, coupled with the bassist listening extensively to Henry Threadgill's bands Zooid, and Very Very Circus (several of the tracks on the album also reveal Garabedian's love for Bach, and Baroque music in general). He elaborated, "I wanted to create a band where the musicians could all comp for each other, without a traditional chordal instrument, and having a band that can potentially go from being an entire sextet improvising together, to a small duo or trio, was a very exciting prospect for me." Garabedian aimed to compose music that provide a spring board for the improvisers, and that would have a more natural transition between the composed passages and the improvised sections. He explains, "rather than writing in a conventional jazz structures (such as the blues, or AABA forms, etc), I wanted to experiment with several different melodies in a piece, different improvising sections throughout the composition, and a variety of textures within each song."

The Big Butter And the Egg Men Sextet, featuring Garabedian on bass with Kyle Wilson (tenor sax), Anna Webber (tenor sax), Curtis MacDonald (alto sax), Kenny Warren (trumpet) and Evan Hughes (drums), is made up of musicians who are also friends who have been making music together for a long time. Just to cite one example, Garabedian, now based in Brooklyn, and drummer Evan Hughes (both from Berkeley, CA) have known each other since they were teenagers. "Having that band quality is very important to me, especially in an age where so few steady working bands exist. The trust I have in the musicians is something that I value greatly; not only can I rely on them to perform my music at a high level, but I also welcome their input while we are work-shopping new compositions," said Garabedian.

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Rafal Sarnecki - Cat's Dream

"Like Rosenwinkel, Sarnecki ventures far beyond the bebop and post-bop idioms of the past and into a freer - though still chordal - musical language. Sarnecki's original compositions merge the high-flown lyricism of Polish culture with an idiosyncratic, thoroughly disarming way of building long and winding musical phrases. He's clearly at the start of forming an improvisational syntax for himself, but it already shows originality and daring . . ." - Howard Reich, The Chicago Tribune
Cat's Dream is the third album from guitarist/composer Rafal Sarnecki, born and raised in Warsaw, Poland, and now based in Brooklyn, NY. The album was recorded in Brooklyn by Michael Perez-Cisneros (known for recording such albums as Kurt Rosenwinkel's Heartcore and Gilad Hekselman's This Just In). The mix was done by Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Recording (Darlington is known for mixing such famous albums as If On a Winter Night... by Sting, Alegria by Wayne Shorter, for which Darlington received a Grammy Award, and Gershwin's World by Herbie Hancock).

Cat's Dream features eight new compositions from Sarnecki, arranged for a sextet comprised of some of the best and brightest young musicians on the NYC Scene, Lucas Pino (tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Rick Rosato (bass), Colin Stranahan (drums) and Bogna Kicinska (voice). Cat's Dream also marks Sarnecki's first album recorded with American musicians, and the first time he composed for voice. Sarnecki elaborated; "I wrote the music specifically for these musicians, and during the composition process I imagined every musician in the group performing the music and tried to hear how the parts would sound. We have all known each other for many years so I was able to feature their unique abilities and strengths within this music. I definitely felt very privileged to be able to record with such incredible musicians."

Each composition on Cat's Dream represents a different period in Sarnecki's life, and also a different stage of his development as a composer. On the album you can find extended forms ("For Anastazja" or "Plane Crashes and Conspiracy Theories"), typical short form jazz songs ("Ordovician Extinction", "Piazza Verdi"), as well as the first song with lyrics the composer has ever written (the title track, albeit in Spanish, "Sueño de Gatos"). Sarnecki's music is a result of being influenced by both traditional Polish songs, and American music he was exposed to on radio and in American films. Sarnecki explains further, "many American musicians consider my compositions very European in style, while in Poland and in the rest of Europe, my music is often described as very American. I like my music to have an American rhythmic character, and feel that introducing European melodic elements doesn't necessarily have to make the music groove less."

Sarnecki's music is fascinating in that many musicians perceive his compositions as being complex and challenging to perform (perhaps due to Sarnecki having a degree in Physics). However, the composer actually strives to make his music as user-friendly as possible, only using odd-meters if he is absolutely certain that it is necessary, for example. "Nevertheless the music on Cat's Dream is challenging to perform even for myself. I am really amazed by the ability of my bandmates to improvise with incredible freedom and expression over the complex metric structures of these songs," said Sarnecki.

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Please visit:

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




"Player for player, there's no better working band in jazz than The Cookers."
- Andrew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

"A dream team of forward-leaning hard-bop" - Nate Chinen, The New York Times

"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

On Motema Music
Available September 16, 2014

(see dates below)

The Cookers are: Billy Harper (Tenor Sax), Eddie Henderson (Trumpet), David Weiss (Trumpet), Donald Harrison (Alto Sax), George Cables (Piano), 
Cecil McBee (Bass) and Billy Hart (Drums)

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, the follow up album to their three critically-acclaimed recordings, Warriors, Cast The First Stone and Believe. On Time and Time Again the incredibly high level of musicianship has only increased with the latest offering of fresh, challenging, boundary-pushing music from these legendary, revered, veteran improvisers. Available on Motema Music, September 16, 2014. The Cookers will be touring the globe in support of the album, see dates below.

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. Billy Harper, Cecil McBee, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, and Billy Hart, each bandleaders in their own right, came up in the exhilarating era of the mid 1960s. 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). David Weiss, and the newest member, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, from a younger generation, match their passion and intensity with aplomb.

From L to R is: Donald Harrison, George Cables, Billy Harper, David Weiss, 
Cecil McBee, Eddie Henderson & Billy Hart

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.


August 2-Belleayre Music Festival, Highmount, NY
August 3-Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI
August 10-Festival Of Jazz, Tabarka, Tunisia
August 12-Jazz in Marciac, Marciac, France
August 13-Oslo Jazz Festival, Oslo, Norway
August 14-Nisville Jazz Festival, Nis, Serbia
August 15-La Petite Pierre Jazz Festival, La Petite Pierre, France
August 17-Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center, West Orange, NJ
September 13-Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts, Rahway, NJ
September 23 & 24-The Blue Note, New York, NY
September 25-The Dakota, Minneapolis, MN

September 26 - October 5: Western Jazz Presenters Network Tour (,
Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation:
September 26-SF Jazz, San Francisco, CA
September 28-Harris Center for the Arts, Folsom, CA
September 29-Kuumbwa Jazz, Santa Cruz, CA
September 30-Redwood Jazz Alliance, Arcata, CA
October 1-Jimmy Mak's, Portland, OR
October 2-Athenaeum, La Jolla, CA
October 3-Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, AZ
October 4 & 5-The Outpost, Albuquerque, NM

October 17-Thelonious Monk at 97 Jazzathon, Brookfield Place, Battery Pk City, NYC
November 1-The Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA
November 7-Exit 0 Jazz Festival, Cape May, NJ

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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




"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

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

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

"(Guiliana) may well be at the forefront of an exciting new style of drumming . . ."  
- Modern Drummer


Available on September 2, 2014

Label Launch Events/CD Release Celebrations:
August 28th & 29th @ The Blue Whale

BEAT MUSIC: The Los Angeles Improvisations
Featuring Mark Guiliana, Tim Lefebvre, Jeff Babko & Troy Zeigler

September 8th @ The Blue Note, NYC
Mark Guiliana's BEAT MUSIC

Featuring Mark Guiliana, Chris Morrisey, Yuki Hirano & Jason Lindner

One would be hard pressed to find a more intrepid musician on the scene today than drummer, composer, bandleader and educator Mark Guiliana. Since audiences were first exposed to his singular drumset and compositional artistry (mainly through his early years with bassist Avishai Cohen), Guiliana has always set the bar extremely high in terms of envelope-pushing, uber-creative playing. Fast forward to 2014, and the drummer has already had a storied career, spending the last decade traversing across six continents with celebrated artists such as Meshell Ndegeocello, Gretchen Parlato, the aforementioned Avishai Cohen, Matisyahu, Lionel Loueke, Jason Lindner's Now vs. Now, Dhafer Youssef, not to mention leading his own groups, Beat Music and Heernt, through innovative sonic explorations documented on two critically-acclaimed releases, Beat Music
(Rockwood Music Hall Recordings), and Locked In A Basement (RazDaz Records).

Guiliana has appeared on over thirty recordings to date, and his forward-thinking, conceptual approach to the instrument is currently featured in Mehliana, the electric duo he co-leads with Brad Mehldau on keyboards and synthesizers.  After first getting together to play in 2008, their highly anticipated debut album, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon (Nonesuch), was released in early 2014. Mehldau elaborates on working with Guiliana, "Mark has his own thing, quite simply-but, I mean, really . . . Mark's already influencing a lot of other drummers, and influencing the scene more generally . . . I consider this a collaboration in the total sense of the word." (From Mehldau's interview with Ian Patterson on

On September 2, 2014, Guiliana will be diving head first into another creative endeavor, the launch of his new record label, Beat Music Productions. The label will be flying out of the gate with two new recordings, My Life Starts Now, and Beat Music: The Los Angeles Improvisations. Guiliana will be celebrating the launch of Beat Music Productions, and the new releases, coast to coast, August 28 & 29 at The Blue Whale in Los Angeles, CA, and September 8 at The Blue Note in New York City.


With the release of My Life Starts Now (which is often referred to as the New York album), and Beat Music: The Los Angeles Improvisations, Guiliana engages in an exercise in duality; two coasts, two albums, two approaches, one completely improvised and one composed, and two sides of this artist's striking arsenal.

On My Life Starts Now, the band, featuring Guiliana on drums and electronics, along with Stu Brooks on electric bass, Yuki Hirano on keyboards, Michael Severson on guitar, the voices of Jeff Taylor and Gretchen Parlato, and spoken word from Meshell Ndegeocello, uses the fourteen original compositions to explore electronic textures married with, and carried by, provoking beats and rhythmic assertions, often augmented with emotive spoken-word performances. The music is reflective of the new beginnings that Guiliana is experiencing in his life now, in 2014; the process of creating new music and launching Beat Music Productions, and the life-altering adventure of starting a family. The music has the potential to move the listener, emotionally, physically, and in its many evocative moments, mentally as well.

On August 19, 2013 Guiliana and three of his favorite musicians set up in a small studio in Los Angeles and improvised for the entire day. The results are here, on Beat Music: The Los Angeles Improvisations. All of the music was performed in real time by four distinct musical personalities creating one "voice", in the moment, with no overdubs. The album captures the confluence of four "rivers", influence, inspiration, risk-taking, and open-minded and openhearted engagement in the avant-garde. Guiliana elaborates, "this session was inspired by a handful of shows throughout the past few years that created many musical moments that I wished had been documented. This specific configuration, with Tim Lefebvre on electric bass, Jeff Babko on keyboards, and Troy Zeigler on electronics, has cultivated a selfless and compositional approach to group improvisation that I think we really captured on this album."


This is just the beginning for Beat Music Productions. Future projects will include the debut album from the Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet (featuring new compositions from Guiliana for an acoustic quartet); 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.

Please Visit:

Please contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne - Red Cat Publicity, 
Email, Tel 347 578 7601
Please visit:

Thursday, May 1, 2014


For Immediate Release:

“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

Available on May 27, 2014

BJURecords CD Release Celebrations:
Rob Garcia: May 31-Toronto, Canada @The Rex, June 1-Rochester, NY @Lovin' Cup,
June 4-Boston, MA @The Bee Hive,
June 5-Boston, MA @Beat Hotel,
June 19-NYC @The Cornelia Street Cafe, July 10-Old Lyme, CT @The Side Door

John Chin: July 1-NYC @Smalls, also every Monday Late Night at Smalls & June 18-NYC @Smoke

Gianni Gagliardi: May 25-NYC @The Cornelia Street Cafe, June 6-NYC @The Neighborhood Church

Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records, which was launched in January of 2008, is poised to release the newest wave of recordings on the label, bringing it's extensive catalog to over forty releases; The Passion of Color, the third recording from New York native drummer/composer Rob Garcia; the sophomore album, Undercover, from Korean born, Brooklyn based pianist/composer John Chin; and Nomadic Nature, the debut recording from Barcelona-born, Brooklyn-based saxophonist/composer Gianni Gagliardi,

With a mix of new and returning artists releasing albums on BJURecords this year, including new recordings from Tom Guarna, and label co-founder, Anne Mette Iversen, the label continues to represent the current streams of jazz, creative and improvised music from artists connected to Brooklyn. The fall will see new releases from Owen Howard, The BJU Ensemble, David Cook, Nate Smith Big Band, Noah Garabedian, Rafal Sarnecki, and the artist collective, Sketches. 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 in Brooklyn, NY. 

Rob Garcia - The Passion of Color

"Garcia is a drummer of invention, grace and considerable fire . . . an engrossing listen that seers the senses"
- Ken Micallef, DownBeat Magazine.

Garcia has released four critically acclaimed albums as a bandleader, including Perennial (BJUR 012), voted one of the “10 Best Jazz Albums of 2009” by The New York Observer, and the critically acclaimed The Drop And The Ocean (BJUR 028). His group has performed at venues such as The Ottawa Jazz Festival, Iridium, Kitano, Smalls, The Rex, Cornelia Street Cafe and Firehouse 12. Garcia has also been the recipient of grants from Meet The Composer, DCA and NYSCA to support his performances. Now, on his brilliant fifth album, The Passion of Color, Garcia offers listeners yet another gem from his working group, The Rob Garcia 4 (formed in 2009), featuring Noah Preminger (tenor saxophone), Dan Tepfer (piano) and Joe Martin (bass).   

The Passion Of Color features music inspired by impressionist paintings & music (such as Van Gogh and Debussy), and the passion that is evoked from the vast variety of colors and flavors of life found in works such as Lines In Impressions, Purple Brush and the title track. The Garden's Poet was born out of a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago where, "I saw and fell in love with the Van Gogh painting 'The Poet's Garden', explained Garcia. The Painter is a drum solo piece dedicated to Max Roach. Garcia elaborates, "Max has always been a strong influence and a huge inspiration, and I once heard Dizzy Gillespie refer to Max as 'The Painter'". Also on the album is Roach's composition, It's Time. The album concludes with the band's take on the Jimi Hendrix's classic, Little Wing. The music on The Passion of Color is characterized by rhythms that create the illusion of a fluctuating tempo or no tempo, while tightly orchestrated musical events happen in tandem. Strong melodies supported by pastoral harmonies and flowing rhythm lead the listener through the music.

Called “a prime mover in the current Brooklyn jazz scene”, by Time Out New York, and "an adventurous drummer/composer with an elastic, resilient sense of time" by The Hartford Courant, drummer/composer Rob Garcia, who grew up in Pelham, NY, continues to be a strong presence on the NYC and international jazz scenes as an in-demand sideman and bandleader. Garcia is a musician who successfully straddles the trad-jazz and modern jazz camps, having performed/recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Woody Allen (playing in Allen's band for eight years), regular engagements with Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks (Garcia can be heard on much of the music for the hit HBO show, "Boardwalk Empire", including the Grammy winning CD, "Boardwalk Empire , Vol. 1"), and recorded "Bye Bye Blackbird" with Diana Krall for the film, "Public Enemies." Garcia is also an integral part of the modern jazz scene, working with creative stalwarts such as Joseph Jarman, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano and many others. Garcia has played on over forty albums, and is a leading force in the successful "artist-run" movement as the founder and executive director of Connection Works, as a member of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground, and as a founding member of the Douglass Street Music Collective.

John Chin - Undercover

"Chin is a fine musician, with a good amount of wit, charm, literacy, and solid musicianship . . . a thoughtful, intelligent, enjoyable date that marks Chin's future as a developing artist, and aligns him with peers such as Aaron Goldberg, Aaron Parks, Bryn Roberts, George Colligan, Toru Dodo, Robert Glasper and Danny Grissett." - Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide (on Chin's debut, Blackout Conception)

Pianist/composer John Chin's sophomore album, Undercover, boasts a unique approach to music that his working band, with Orlando le Fleming (bass) and Dan Rieser (drums), has cultivated over many years of gigs. Recorded live in one room in Brooklyn, with no preconceived arrangements and no edits, Undercover features original compositions from Chin, plus rhythmic, elastic, and ultimately singular takes on music from Ellington ("Caravan"), Shorter ("Edda" & "Fall"), Chaplin ("Smile") and Coltrane ("Countdown"). Chin explains, "All of the tunes began with some kernel that one of us came up with and we would just run with it. It really is a snapshot of the continuing evolution of the arrangements of songs that we had been playing over several years, and it struck me as being important to document what the trio had been working on. Undercover is all about instinct, the moment, just like our live performances. Every tune, even the original compositions are treated as frameworks for improvisation.

Pianistically, Chin has been working on polyphonic improvisation of late, broadening his technique in order to improvise several lines at the same time. Chin explains, "when I was a teenager, I got to hang out with the late, great Dorothy Donegan and she would show me what she was doing in spectacular fashion. I've also read about Keith Jarrett talking about this approach, and have heard Brad Mehldau execute it as well. You hear it all over the place in jazz and classical music actually. Art Tatum and Erroll Garner would pull it off all the time with a counter line in the middle of all this other activity and it would always floor me! In Bach, it's built in. And, some of my favorite moments in music have been found in the works of Rachmaninoff and Ravel. I'd been checking out all this stuff trying to soak it in and wanted to integrate it into my own playing. My approach to it is something relatively new and is something that I explore on Undercover."

John Chin, born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Los Angeles, was introduced to the piano at age four. He began studying jazz at California State University, which he attended at the age of fourteen as part of the Early Entrance Program for Gifted Students. Upon receiving his B.A. in Music at nineteen, Chin continued his musical studies at the University of North Texas, before pursuing a Masters of Music degree from Rutgers University (under the tutelage of master pianist and composer Kenny Barron), and an Artist Diploma from the world-renowned Juilliard School. His extensive experience in the classroom would lay the foundation for his own pedagogy; his experience and reputation have led to teaching opportunities the world over, while helping to sustain a New York studio of his own, located in Brooklyn's history-rich Prospect Park. John has performed internationally as a leader and sideman, at many major festivals, as well as some of America's most important and storied jazz rooms. He has shared the stage with Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jaimeo Brown, Alan Ferber, Mark Turner, Marcus & E.J. Strickland, Dayna Stephens, Irvin Mayfield, Terrell Stafford, Donny McCaslin, Joel Frahm, John Ellis, Chris Cheek, Gregory Hutchinson, and Rudy Royston, among many others. Chin is a prolific composer, drawing inspiration from the jazz, pop, and western classical traditions, with two releases as a leader to-date: 2008's Blackout Conception, and his most recent project, 2014's Undercover.

Gianni Gagliardi - Nomadic Nature

"Finally, Gianni's Debut CD! It's about time as I've been enjoying his music and playing for several years now. 'Nomadic Nature' is a collection of great music played by a superb band!" - Drummer/composer Jorge Rossy

"Gagliardi is a wonderful player and composer with a unique lyrical voice. Here on his debut album he shines with a first rate band. His playing has a natural, unhurried, organic quality. His solos unfold very naturally and beautifully. Looking forward to hearing more from this significant new player on the jazz scene." - David Berkman

“A powerful talent at his early twenties . . . Gagliardi is without a doubt the great hope of our jazz: the truly ‘Saxophone Colossus” of (the) XXI century” - Chema Garcia Martinez, El Pais

Nomadic Nature, the debut CD from tenor saxophonist/composer Gianni Gagliardi, is comprised of original music charged with autobiographical stories of places and people that have impacted Gagliardi greatly. It is through his compositions that he reflects on the experience of being an artist with no fixed residence; a sojourner who roams the world with his horn in search of the next experience or encounter that will inform his art. Nomadic Nature features Gilad Hekselman (guitar), Luke Marantz (piano), Alexis Cuadrado (bass) and Mark Ferber (drums).

Gagliardi was born In Barcelona in 1987, and is now based in Brooklyn, NY. He began to study violin and baroque/renaissance flute, switching to saxophone at 14. Two years later he moved to the Netherlands to pursue a degree in jazz performance at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. In 2009 Gagliardi studied at SUNY Purchase with Eric Alexander, Hal Galper and Arturo O'Farrill, leading to studies at Le Conservatoire National Superior de Paris. After moving to Boston to attend Berklee College, Gagliardi was awarded a presidential scholarship in 2012 to the new Berklee Valencia school as a Student/Ambassador, charged with performing for and promoting the college around the world, with appearances at the European Parliament in Brussels, the MIDEM Convention in Cannes, France and many others.

Gianni is the Director of the Barcelona Jazz Collective, a platform for rising musicians to produce and release albums, and has been invited to perform at prestigious international jazz festivals around the globe, such as The North Sea Jazz Festival, the Luxembourg Jazz Festival, Guatemala and Nicaragua Jazz Festivals and Eurojazz Festival (Mexico), as well as leading jazz venues, such as Bimhuis, Porgy & Bess Vienna, Jamboree. Gagliardi has also played in Europe, South America and USA with musicians such as John Clayton, Eric Alexander, Dick Oatts, Phillip Harper, Terell Stafford, Jorge Rossy and many others. Now, Gagliardi is determinedly making his mark on the Brooklyn/NYC scene with the release of his debut CD, Nomadic Nature.

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Please Visit:,,,

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

John Ellis & Andy Bragen Present MOBRO A Narrative Chamber Piece for Nine Musicians & Four Singers


John Ellis and Andy Bragen Present MOBRO
A Narrative Chamber Piece for Nine Musicians and Four Singers

A New Work Commissioned by The Jazz Gallery in 2011, MOBRO marks the first CD release on Ellis' newly formed label, Parade Light Records (distributed by RED)
Available Everywhere on May 13, 2014

***NYC CD Release Celebration, May 30 and 31 at The Jazz Gallery*** 

Please visit for more info and to view the promotional video

Saxophonist/composer John Ellis is proud to announce the release of MOBRO, Ellis' and librettist/playwright Andy Bragen’s seventy-five-minute through-composed piece, for nine musicians and four singers, which was commissioned and created at one of NYC finest jazz venues, The Jazz Gallery, in April 2011.  MOBRO marks Ellis and Bragen's third collaboration (the others being Dreamscapes and The Ice Siren, commissioned by the Gallery in 2007 and 2008, respectively).

MOBRO was inspired by the intriguing 1987 journey of a garbage barge of the same name that became a national news headline, sparking intense interest in, and action on, a multitude of environmental issues.  Ellis and Bragen composed, work-shopped, rehearsed and performed Mobro at the Jazz Gallery in April 2011 (to sold out audiences), making use of the space on a prolonged basis, not only for the performance, but also as an integral part of their creative process. 
The work was commissioned by The Jazz Gallery as part of its 2011 Residency Commissioning Series, which was supported by grants from the Jerome Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. It was developed with additional support from The Playwrights' Center, Minneapolis, MN in partnership with the Network for Ensemble Theaters.  This epic work enjoyed a second staging at The Jazz Gallery over four nights in December of 2011.

Ellis and Bragen's MOBRO uses the historical journey of the Mobro 4000 as a thematic launching point, examining issues of what we consume, what we waste, and what we reject.  However, the environmental issues are primarily secondary; the historical journey of the MOBRO is used as metaphor: this is an epic quest told through the eyes of the garbage - a story of yearning, of escalating rejections, of self-knowledge, and ultimately of redemption. 
After receiving the commission, Ellis and Bragen spent several months researching the historical journey and drafting a twelve part narrative super-structure that provided the framework for the piece.  Ellis selected musicians for their gifts at communicating the widest range of emotion, and then wrote with their individual temperaments in mind.  Conceived of as one continuous seventy-five minute work, the transitions are of critical importance; events flow into each other in surprising ways and the widest palate of color and tension is used to pull the listener into another world.  In order to appreciate the vision as intended, MOBRO should ideally be listened to in one uninterrupted sitting.

More on Mobro:  The Mobro 4000 was carrying the trash no one wanted; refuse from an overflowing city that sailed the seas for five months and 6,000 miles.  Denied port repeatedly, the barge's contents were viewed as hazardous and infectious.  This “Flying Dutchman” of garbage barges returned home close to twenty five years ago, but the questions it raises about what we consume, what we waste, and what we reject are still urgent and relevant.  The odyssey of our trash may also serve as a metaphorical microcosm for western society, with a particular focus on those that we expel or deny.

Ellis and Bragen use as a thematic launching point the journey of the infamous New York garbage barge which hauled over 3,000 tons of trash from Islip, New York to North Carolina in March 1987, then down to New Orleans, Mexico, Belize and ultimately back to Brooklyn where the trash was finally incinerated and hauled back, as ash, to where it started: Islip.  This new work is a narrative chamber piece with song, jazz compositions and jazz improvisation.  The musical ensemble consists of nine musicians and four singers.  The piece also features sound design by Roberto Carlos Lange.

Bragen explains further: “There is a strong story behind this piece: the journey of the Mobro 4000.  We’ve taken the real story, and re-imagined it as a kind of ODYSSEY type voyage, far out into the world, and ultimately back home, to be burned.  We gave the trash a voice, and in a way, the trash stands in for all that we throw away and reject, all that we look past.  The piece has a great emotional scope, and there’s something about a long sea journey that allowed us to find the epic nature of it all.”

Ellis adds: “I think it has the potential to resonate on a lot of different levels, including a global warming/consciousness of waste level.  It’s a pretty intense rejection story, but it also has some comic relief.  It really does feel like an amazingly satisfying ride.”

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John Ellis is widely recognized as one of New York’s premiere tenor saxophone voices. A sideman to artists as diverse as bass icon John Patitucci, organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith, and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenon, John has performed extensively around the world for the last 20 years.  With more than 100 album credits as a sideman, John can be heard with artists as wide ranging as Charlie Hunter, Robert Glasper, Darcy James Argue, Edward Simon, and Sting.  John was the 2nd place winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition in 2002, was the recipient of three composition grants through The Jazz Gallery for the creation of new work (“Dreamscapes”, “The Ice Siren”, and “MOBRO”) and was selected as the 2014 Make Jazz Fellow by the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.  John has released seven albums as a leader, two of those featuring his wildly popular New Orleans-centered band Double-Wide, which has toured extensively and was featured on the Main Stage of the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.  For more information:

Andy Bragen's honors include a Workspace Residency with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission, a Tennessee Williams Fellowship from Sewanee: The University of The South, a Jerome Fellowship, a New Voices Fellowship from EST, a Dramatists Guild Fellowship, and residencies at Millay Colony and Blue Mountain Center. His plays and translations have been seen and heard at numerous theatres across the country, including The Guthrie, The Goodman, PS122, The Playwrights Center, Queens Theatre in the Park, Rattlestick, EST, Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep, Repertorio Español, Studio Roanoke, The University of Rochester, Soho Rep and the Lark.  He has an MFA from Brown University.  For more information:

Press Enquiries on John Ellis and MOBRO:
Contact Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity,
Tel 347 578 7601, Email

Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records Announces The Release of SO MANY ROADS, the Grand New Recording from Bassist/Composer Anne Mette Iversen's Double Life


Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records Announces The Release of 
the Grand New Recording from Bassist/Composer Anne Mette Iversen's Double Life
Available April 22, 2014

Featuring:  Anne Mette Iversen (acoustic bass, compositions), John Ellis (soprano & tenor saxophone), Peter Dahlgren (trombone), Danny Grissett (piano), Otis Brown III (drums)
& 4Corners - Tine Rudloff, Sarah McClelland (violin), Anne Soren (viola), Mats Larsson (cello)

"Anne Mette Iversen brings instrumental dexterity as well as sharp compositional and band-leading skills with her"- The New Yorker

"Iversen’s playing is constantly subtle and suggestive, dropping hints that seem to linger in the air . . ."- DownBeat Magazine

"A hard-swinging, conceptually ambitious bassist-composer . . ." - Time Out New York

"Iversen’s solos are suitably meaty, her compositions are artfully lofted passes . . . beautiful and rewarding."- Nippertown!

So Many Roads, the grand new album from bassist/composer Anne Mette Iversen's Double Life, to be released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records on April 22, is a very personal recording for Iversen.  The artist explains, "Its conception and realization has been a long journey.  Along the road I had many ideas about how to present it to you: which story to tell you, which words to describe it with and which pictures to paint in your head.  In the end, I rejected them all to let the music speak for itself, and, hopefully, to leave space for it to become your own personal journey." 

The music on So Many Roads has the ability to conjure up and provoke emotions, feelings and vivid images.  In a word, it is picturesque.  Good art transforms within the listener, viewer or reader, to become a deeply personal experience and bring them on a journey as well.  "It is my hope that the art, the music, on this album is strong enough to give the listener an experience that sends them on their own personal journey; and therefore, in this context, my personal journey is irrelevant," commented Iversen.

So Many Roads was composed specifically for Iversen's group Double Life, which consists of her long running quartet, the Anne Mette Iversen Quartet, featuring John Ellis (soprano & tenor saxophone), Danny Grissett (piano), Otis Brown III (drums & cymbals) and special guest, the outstanding Swedish trombonist Peter Dahlgren, of the Norrbotten Big Band (who also appeared on the bassist's very first recording, On the Other Side, ten years ago); plus, the string quartet, 4Corners, featuring members of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, who also appeared on Iversen's 2008 recording, Best of the West.

Iversen's band members always claim that the critically acclaimed bassist/composer has a quick turnaround time with her new recordings.  This may seem to be the case due to her unblinking dedication to her craft, her professionalism and her admirable skill at seeing a highly creative project through to accouchement.  However, So Many Roads has in fact been nearly five years in the making.  "I remember clearly when I first sat down and wrote the first notes in our apartment in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  It was the section that gave the thematic material which became the theme that connects the piece, and characterizes the entire musical journey," explained Iversen.

So Many Roads, "started out with the idea of being a journey through a mythological world, an imaginary description of travel and related experiences, but it ended up being so closely connected to my own personal life and actually describing a very special period and special experience of my life instead," said Iversen.  One could say that a journey, as a theme, has been a part of Iversen's music all along, but So Many Roads became both a premonition and a resolution to 57 months of her own life instead of some fantasy world.  "During the protracted period of creating this album, the subject matter quickly changed from the imaginary to reality!," said Iversen.

The music on So Many Roads is quite unique in that it utilizes a one-movement compositional form, and boasts an exquisite balance of integration and interaction between the string group and the jazz group.  Take note of the musicians’ excellent blend, and exchange of ideas and emotions.

The album opens with a solo bass statement (a way of leading the listener into the composer's universe), before the presentation of the main theme, which comes fully orchestrated and lush, and sets up the framework for the piece.  Out of the main theme grows new themes and songs with their own identities, orchestrated in various ways by selected combinations of the musicians from the jazz quintet and the string quartet.  One example is the lovely ballad, indicated on the physical disc by Chapter Three, which is played by trombone, string quartet and drums.  The music is also characterized by the many transitional sections/elements that serve to connect the piece, but also reveal their own identity.  The evolution of the music throughout the album takes you through states of uncertainty, peace, fun, beauty, stress, running the emotional gamut, similar to what one experiences in life. 

On So Many Roads, Iversen sought to strike a fine balance between improvisation and composition, and between the jazz quintet and the string quartet.  The jazz quintet leads by their expertise with improvising, but are also given important written ensemble parts, which they perform equally well.  Conversely, the classical string players contribute to the jazz sections with a deep understanding of phrasing and rhythm.  A wonderful example is the strings' interaction with Otis Brown III during his solo towards the end of the piece.  The carpet they provide for him is full of playfulness and humor, and reflects a strong sense of mutual respect and enjoyment inherent in these musicians’ collaboration, which is apparent on and off the stage/studio.

Iversen knows very well that these days details about an artist's life can be just as important to public perception and acceptance as the art itself, especially in pop-culture.  Fortunately within the jazz genre the fan is still a genuine lover of the music, so the attachment and devotion is very much about the music and the experience.  Iversen elaborates, "getting deep into something, in general, is rewarding.  But although there is plenty of expertise found in our societies today, I wonder how much in-depth study is being spent on art and music.  Understanding an art requires commitment and time, something not always easily found in our lives, but the reward for taking this time is high, and I strongly recommend it.  Therefore, I only hope that you will give it 36:31 focused minutes of your time, to go on a journey with us, and hopefully find it an emotional enriching experience."

For More Information on Anne Mette Iversen & So Many Roads, please contact:
Jason Paul Harman Byrne  @ Red Cat Publicity
Tel 347 578 7601, Email