GUITARIST/COMPOSER/BANDLEADER PETE MCCANN ON TOUR IN SUPPORT OF HIS FIFTH RECORDING, RANGE
RANGE is available now on Whirlwind Records
CD RELEASE CELEBRATION TOUR!:
Nov 3 - 8PM - Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Nov 4 - 9PM - Denison University, Granville, OH
Nov 5 - 3:30PM - Clinic at Kent State Univ. Recital Hall, Kent, OH
Nov 5 - 8PM - Blu Jazz, Akron, OH
Nov 6 - Clinic for Jazz Arts Group, Columbus, OH
Nov 7 - 10PM - Natalie's, Columbus, OH
Nov 8 - 5PM - Bungalow Jazz, Columbus, OH
Nov 9 - 5PM - Clinic at The Greenwich, Cincinnati, OH
Nov 9 - 7:30PM - The Greenwich, Cincinnati, OH
Nov 12 - 6PM - Birdland, NYC
Dec 9 & 10 - 9:30PM - The Rex Hotel, Toronto, Canada
"Living up to its title, Range makes a compelling case for McCann's manifold abilities, as a crack improviser . . . a noteworthy composer and a magnanimous bandleader."
- Troy Collins, All About Jazz
"McCann can run wind sprints on electric guitar and speak lyrically in the same breath . . . the musicians let loose, and technical precision transforms into a wild energy unleashed."
- Dave Sumner, Bird Is The Worm
"McCann pulls out all the stops on his solos here, which can range from dancing lines to driving rock chords." - Jeffrey Siegel, Straight No Chaser
"Pete McCann has been around quite a while as a Cinderella sideman in New York. You might have seen him at the 55 Bar. But despite having quite a few albums chalked up under his own name, on Range he certainly does go to the ball."
- Stephen Graham, Marlbank
"A tasty set that let's the chops fly with that kind of flow that makes it sound easier than it is, the different styles on display here come together as a nice whole and sitting down jazz has a new high water mark to behold." - Midwest Record
"... the Eau Claire, Wisconsin, native continues to make strong personal statements with his sophisticated harmonic sensibility, blistering chops and improvisational daring."
- Bill Milkowski, Guitar Player Magazine
"McCann's tunes can be both manic and vivid, even when they're in ballad mode. That gives his stuff a cinematic feel - from car chase squall to closing credits poignancy - you often feel like you're walking through a film when this quintet hits its stride."
- Jim Macnie, Village Voice
"This and virtually every tune offered during the performance revealed McCann to be a song writer of considerable gifts." - Steve Feeney, Portland Herald Press
"This talented, multi-faceted group deserves wider attention."
- Jack Massarik, Jazzwise Magazine
Range, available now on Whirlwind Recordings, marks jazz guitarist Pete McCann's fifth release as a leader. Range, which finds McCann exploring the breadth and depth of his formidable artistry as a guitarist, composer and bandleader, features an incomparable cast of some of New York City's finest musicians; John O'Gallagher-alto sax, Henry Hey-piano, Rhodes and organ, Matt Clohesy-acoustic & electric bass and Mark Ferber-drums.
The music on Range encompasses a wide variety of musical styles and genres, showcasing McCann's and the ensemble's "range" as they expertly and delightfully delve into straight-ahead, post-bop, avant garde, Latin, and jazz-rock fusion. Range is the follow up to McCann's previous critically-acclaimed releases, Extra Mile (Nineteen-Eight), Most Folks (Omnitone), Parable and You Remind Me of Someone (both on Palmetto). Range opens with the driving, melodious, Kenny, an homage to the late, great, Kenny Wheeler, with whom McCann had the good fortune to study with in 1988 at the Banff Summer Jazz Workshop. He later performed and recorded with Wheeler in a large ensemble led by the Belgian saxophonist, Erwin Vann in 1997. Wheeler's unique sound on the trumpet and flugelhorn, and his beautiful compositional style, resonates with McCann on a very personal level, as reflected in this composition. Seventh Jar was inspired by the Indian spiritual tale in which a man finds six and a half jars filled with gold. He becomes obsessed with filling the seventh jar never realizing that he should stop and have gratitude for what he already has. McCann and the ensemble perfectly capture the mystery of this ancient story with a contemplative, searching melody. Realm "was written with the great pianist Richie Beirach in mind. I am a longtime fan of Richie's playing and his dark harmonic sensibility," explained McCann. Like most musicians of McCann's caliber, he is an avid listener, and To the Mountains was inspired by a melodic fragment he heard on God Bless America. It is the guitarist's tribute to the true sonic genius of guitarist Bill Frisell, and will stand as a testament to McCann's talent in taking a small melodic fragment and crafting a beautiful, contemplative ballad from it. Mustard is a lively tune with an interesting set of odd meters at the end of the A section: 7/8, 6/8 and 7/8. The bass riff centers around the major 3rd axis split, Ab/C/E.
From L to R: Pete McCann, Henry Hey, Matt Clohesy, John O'Gallagher, Mark Ferber
More on Pete McCann:
A native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, McCann has been an integral part of the New York City jazz scene for more than twenty-five years, during which time he has been a first-call sideman, and an indispensable part of over eighty CDs. He has performed throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe from the most prestigious clubs and jazz festivals, to musicals, award shows, and even an opera. McCann regularly works with Grace Kelly, Chris Tarry, Melissa Stylianou, Dan Willis, Ben Kono, Asuka Kakitani and Alison Wedding, and has performed with some of the greatest in jazz, including Kenny Wheeler, Dave Liebman, Lee Konitz, Patti Austin, Bobby Previte, Brian Blade, and the Maria Schneider Orchestra. He received his Bachelors of Music degree from the University of North Texas, has studied at the Banff School of the Arts, and currently teaches at City College of New York and the New School in New York City.
To Release Familiar Places, The Debut Recording From
Pianist/Composer DAN KAUFMAN
Available on November 6, 2015
CD Release Celebration - November 2
at Smalls Jazz Club, NYC
Brooklyn-based Red Piano Records is proud to announce the release of Familiar Places from pianist/composer Dan Kaufman. This album marks Kaufman's debut as a leader, with a stellar line-up featuring Johnathan Blake on drums, Gilad Hekselman on guitar, Matt Clohesy on bass, Sam Sadigursky on saxophones and Keita Ogawa on percussion, in a program of eight original compositions. Kaufman explains the genesis of Familiar Places, "To put it simply, I wanted to make a record that I would want to listen to. Something that had memorable melodies, that was accessible, but at the same time challenging and stimulating for the players as well as for the listener. A record that felt honest and personal."
Familiar Places is a collection of original compositions that Kaufman has written over the last 10 years. He elaborates, "They are like little places, familiar, yet somehow new and unique. Each tune has a specific character, mood, structure, groove, and concept. The goal of the record was to freely explore these places as an ensemble by capturing the essence of each composition." Together the band and the music take a journey, give the listener a sense of having traveled over time, rich varied places that seem both familiar, fresh, and universal.
To navigate these varied and intimate musical places having the right traveling companions is critical. "The musicians are all players I've had long standing musical relationships with, some going back over 15 years, although before preparing for the record we had never played in this particular combination. We all share a certain sensibilty, selflessness, a compositional approach. Although I had a very specific idea of mood and shape of each piece, I wanted the musicians to not feel restrained, but inspired and liberated by the compositions. Indeed, each musician brought their unique voice to the project and made the music their own."
Sam Sadigursky, one of the most underrated saxophonists in New York City brought a fearlessness, a fire and an impeccable attention to detail. Gilad Hekselman displays his deep sense of time and his organic genre-transcending approach. This album features some of his best playing to date, particularly on "Farmington". Johnathan Blake anchors the band with soulful, swinging, and adventurous drumming, and has an uncanny hook up with Kaufman, as heard on the first track, "Windshadow." Matt Clohesy's playing is clear, precise, intense, funky and smart, and is equally comfortable in a wide variety of groves. Percussionist Keita Ogawa brings a richness and warmth with his combination of inventiveness, tastefulness, and his ability to blend in with a modern jazz ensemble.
Kaufman gives us some insight into each composition on the album: "Windshadow", a modern uptempo jazz waltz, with a floating rolling feeling has a warm folksy quality. It's a tribute to my friend Michael's boat. "Kuumba", (swahili word for creativity) is a happy and simple melody with an Afro-Cuban inspired groove, with deceptively unusual meter and essentially a blues form. It is named for the great trombonist/vocalist Frank Kuumba Lacy who used to sing this tune when we had a weekly gig at Smoke, the uptown New York club. The worlds of Astor Piazzolla and Lennie Tristano collide on "Dansesong", a heady tango in 7/4. "Falling Petals" is a medium waltz, in the vein of the late 60s jazz artists like Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson and Herbie Hancock, which utilizes a series of pedal points in the bass. "Familiar Places" was written back when I was a student at Juilliard, and blends influences of Keith Jarrett-like harmony with Brazilian rhythms. "Dew Eye" takes inspiration from the language of modern indie rock, and alternates seamlessly between 3/4 and 5/4 time. "Farmington" was composed at the Maine Jazz Camp in Farmington, Maine, where I first met Red Piano Records founder Frank Carlberg over 16 years ago. It was the last song we recorded during the two-day recording session, which happened to be in the middle of one of the biggest blizzards in New York history. We let it all hang out. Gilad's solo is remarkable and Sam's wailing improvisation at the coda provides the perfect ending to a joyous session."
Familiar Places is a most auspicious debut by this considerable talent who skillfully manages to bring the listener into familiar places and then takes them much farther. The recording continues to push Red Piano Records towards the front of small independent labels releasing music that is fresh and fearless.
More on Dan Kaufman:
Dan Kaufman has emerged as a leading and promising voice in jazz piano. His playing is adventurous and dynamic while firmly rooted in the tradition. As a versatile and sensitive sideman Kaufman has performed for audiences around the world, with many prominent figures in jazz such as Jimmy Heath, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride and Mark Turner. He is also an accomplished composer and arranger. Kaufman began classical piano studies at age four and was working professionally as a teenager. He moved to Boston to attend the New England Conservatory where he studied with Fred Hersch and Danilo Perez. Kaufman joined the Grammy-nominated group The Either/Orchestra and quickly became one of the most in demand young talents on the Boston scene, working extensively with Jeremy Pelt, Miguel Zenon and Bob Moses, among many others. After a brief stint as a member of the highly selective Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Kaufman moved to New York to attend the Juilliard School on a full scholarship and joined their inaugural class of jazz studies. At Juilliard he studied with the great Kenny Barron. Kaufman has established himself as an in demand pianist in New York, joining the working bands of Donald Harrison, Ben Wolfe, Wycliffe Gordon, Rodney Green, Wayne Escoffery and Dominck Farinacci. He also works with many of the worlds top jazz vocalists including Nnenna Freelon, Kevin Mahoganny, Robin McKelle, Allan Harris, Gretchen Parlato, Marilyn Maye, and KD Lang. Kaufman has appeared on numerous recordings as a sideman.
RED PIANO RECORDS To Release The New Recording From Pianist/Composer Frank Carlberg - WORD CIRCUS
Featuring Frank Carlberg with Christine Correa, John O'Gallagher, Pascal Niggenkemper & Michael Sarin
Available November 13, 2015
Frank Carlberg Appearances:
This Saturday, October 17th: Frank Carlberg's WORD CIRCUS
@ Sound It Out Series, Greenwich House, NYC
October 21st: Roxana Amed/Frank Carlberg- La Sombra De Su Sombra @ Consulate General of Argentina in NYC
November 19th: Frank Carlberg's WORD CIRCUS
@ Cornelia Street Café (CD Release Celebration)
December 3rd: Frank Carlberg's WORD CIRCUS
@ Bates College (Olin Arts Center) Lewiston, Maine
December 4th: Frank Carlberg's WORD CIRCUS
@ Dimensions in Jazz, Woodford's Church, Portland Maine
Brooklyn-based Red Piano Records is proud to announce the release of Word Circus by Frank Carlberg. This album features a stellar quintet of jazz and improvised music heavy-hitters such as Christine Correa, voice; John O'Gallagher, alto sax; Pascal Niggenkemper, bass; Michael Sarin, drums and Carlberg on piano. Word Circus is a collection of musical settings of poems by contemporary American writers such as Ron Padgett, Joe Elliot, Ken Mikolowski and Anselm Berrigan. Carlberg gives some insight in to the background of Word Circus: "This project, my 10th CD devoted to settings of poetry, is a logical extension of my previous excursions in to words, their meaning and sound. On Word Circus the poems range from light and humorous to existential musings, to meditative ruminations on the state of our world. Word Circus is a continuation of my fascination with American poets, which has informed my work for the twenty-plus years, beginning with the release of The Crazy Woman on Accurate Records in 1995."
From L-R is Christine Correa, Michael Sarin, Frank Carlberg,
John O'Gallagher, Pascal Niggenkemper
The songs on Word Circus were written for this Quintet, which has with a few modifications been around since Carlberg's earliest efforts with text. About the vocalist Christine Correa Carlberg explains: " Christine is the main reason for the existence of this group and this repertoire; my muse as it were. I have by now written over 150 songs with poems by writers such as Robert Creeley, Anselm Hollo, Anna Akhmatova, Rabindranath Tagore, Kenneth Rexroth, Allen Ginsberg, Alejandra Pizarnik etc as well as various other texts such as excerpts from Bill Clinton Grand Jury testimony, fragments from medical journals, pieces from legal documents, cut-up versions of the Bill Of Rights etc. All this work would never have happened had I not had a voice to compose for. Christine Correa provided me with that voice. She was able to execute whatever lines I would dream up and she was able to infuse the words with powerful expression and emotion. The rest of the group has remained remarkably stable as well with drummer Michael Sarin working with us since the "In The Land Of Art" project (Fresh Sound New Talent) in the late 1990's. John O'Gallagher has worked with us since the "Uncivilized Rumination" CD about 6 years ago. Pascal Niggenkemper is a relative newcomer who stepped in to this project after longtime collaborator John Hébert was unable to participate because of schedule conflicts. This group is really a dream come true for me as these musicians are all completely committed to the music while bringing such strong personalities and remarkable musicianship to the plate. A real composer's paradise"
The compositions for Word Circus were commissioned by Chamber Music America through their New Jazz Works program.
The songs on Word Circus cover a broad range of moods and emotions. The opening track You & Me has a short text with some existential over(under)-tones. The poem by Ken Mikolowski is from a series of poems that he wrote titled "Ecology". After a brief F-pedal tone the band throws itself into the declamatory melody with reckless abandon. The melody is followed by a piano solo with bass and drums interjecting in free-time. After a short reappearance of the melody, now as an interlude, a sax solo over a relentless up-tempo pulse by the rhythm section is a flight of brilliantly constructed ideas at breakneck speed. For Even If the pace slows down to a luxurious ballad with a witty, matter-of-fact text by Joe Elliot. It is delivered with intensity while maintaining a certain casual nonchalance. After a melodic bass solo and a playful piano statement Correa re-enters with added urgency. A sax/drum duet leads seamlessly in to On Some Level with an acerbic text by Ron Padgett, one of the great living American poets. The song is performed in an understated way, drawing the listener in to its tiny little verbal labyrinth. The music picks up steam on Things To Do In An Economic Crisis (by Ken Mikolowski) with its simple recommendation: Buy Low/Stay High. The band is turbo charged on this one as sax and piano exchange ideas while the rhythm section propels forward with fearless ferocity. After a short recap of one of the opening melodic statements the Niggenkemper takes over and leads us in to Ecology with a text once again by Mikolowski. After a chant-like vocal opening, Carlberg has a solo that seems to express a certain wistful sweetness before gradually building intensity, culminating in a section of powerful vocal wailing before a return of the somber mood of the opening. The next song, Stop Telling Me, voices a complaint. The poem is by Anselm Berrigan and states: "Stop Telling Me/ I look tired/ I know what I look like/ Tell Me How I Feel". After an edgy and angular melody the band forges into a collective improvisational give and take before the return to the opening melody, which in turn serves as an interlude leading in to an extended drum solo by the masterful Sarin. His solo eventually sets up the closing track, Lullabye. With its gorgeous text by Ron Padgett and the luscious music it serves as a perfect and calming end to this exhilarating set.
With Word Circus, his 10th recording of settings of poetry and text, Carlberg has taken yet another step forward in establishing himself as quite possibly the leading current exponent of combining poetry and jazz. Not since the remarkable oeuvre of the late great Steve Lacy has there been such a sustained and satisfying effort in creating connections between these two spectacular art forms. And make no mistake: this is not just beatniks in berets reading with a backdrop of flutes and bongos. This is an organic effort born out of commitment, passion, skill and vision to both mediums.
RED PIANO RECORDS To Release COSMOPOLITAN GREETINGS
From: Frank Carlberg/Joe Morris/Pascal Niggenkemper/Luther Gray
Available October 16, 2015
Brooklyn-based Red Piano Records is proud to announce the release of Cosmopolitan Greetings, a collective effort by four veterans of the improvised music scene. This album marks the recorded debut of this quartet, with a line up featuring guitar legend Joe Morris, pianist/composer Frank Carlberg, bass wizard Pascal Niggenkemper and unsung drum master Luther Gray, in a program of three Carlberg compositions, and three collective improvisations. In the liner notes Carlberg describes the genesis of Cosmopolitan Greetings, "On a cold January day Joe, Pascal, Luther and I entered the studio with little more on the musical agenda than to just be committed to the moment and open to whatever anyone had to offer the others. I had written a few sketch-like compositions for the session, but mostly we were going to let our improvisational instincts direct the music . . . really start with a blank canvas."
The Carlberg compositions on Cosmopolitan Greetings were written specifically for this session with these players in mind. Carlberg explains, "I wanted the compositions to feel open, and rather than dictate the outcome, feel more like invitations to dialog. I knew that with these masterful improvisers just a hint at an idea would be enough to trigger a creative chain reaction; a whisper of a suggestion rather than a declamatory statement."
The musicians navigate the improvisational explorations as well as the written material with ease and verve. They intently listen to each other with only one goal in mind - letting the moment dictate their next action/reaction. No egos here, just a joy of collective music-making while maintaining their strong distinct personalities. And what musical personalities they are!
Joe Morris, is a true legend in avant-jazz and improvised music world. His guitar work stands apart from any other. A uncompromising original voice who during his 40-plus-year career has worked with artists such as John Zorn, Joe Maneri, William Parker, Ken Vandermark and Evan Parker just to name a few. The Finland-native, Brooklyn-based Frank Carlberg has an extensive catalogue of compositions including pieces for small jazz and improv groups, big band, orchestra, music for dance companies, and over 150 songs with settings of contemporary American poetry. The owner of Red Piano Records has 20 CDs to his name as a leader and countless others as a sideman, and has worked with the likes of Kenny Wheeler, Steve Lacy and Bob Brookmeyer. Pascal Niggenkemper, a German-French artist, has quickly become one of the most in-demand bassists both on the New York and the European creative music scenes. Pascal has performed extensively on the European festival circuit with the likes of Simon Nabatov, Gerald Cleaver and Tyshawn Sorey, and has several recordings as a leader on labels such as Clean Feed, FMR and NoBusiness Records. Luther Gray, originally from Washington DC, is a long-time Boston resident. Gray has been a central contributor to that city's vibrant jazz and improvised music scene, playing with everyone from Jerry Bergonzi to Jorrit Dijkstra to George Garzone. He has also toured Europe and the US with various lineups.
About the music: The first track Cosmopolitan Greetings, opens with an ominous bass statement before the other musicians join in with angular short phrases in conversational exchanges. Soon the group settles in to an intense piano led excursion while the guitar "comps" and the bass and drum team propel the music forward with gradually growing ferocity. After a dynamic highpoint is reached the guitar takes over displaying obliquely resolving lines performed with warm grace. Bass and piano then provide an ascending backdrop to a drum led section which eventually dissolves and we have a short return of the ominous bass statement from the beginning. Cadillac Squawk, one of the Carlberg-penned originals, is a declamatory theme which alternates with an open drum statement. After the thematic exposition guitar and piano engage in a musical cat-and-mouse game while the drums push the intensity to the limit. After the chasing game the piano-bass-drums trio take over in a section with even some blues and stride overtones. Guitar continues with some hyper-kinetic linear improvisations against piano "comping" and the drums probing. The dynamics, but not the intensity, come down a bit for a exhilarating bass statement that lead us back to the thematic statement. Now and Forever, another Carlberg piece, creates a calm and spacious atmosphere. After a solo piano opening the bass and drums join in in a contemporary jazz ballad statement. A gorgeous airy bass statement follows over an elastic pulse by piano and drums. Some slight variations of the theme is stated with the piano in the lead before the music fades out to the distance. Who Eats Who? is an episodic exploration which starts with everybody at full tilt. There are exciting solo statements all around but it is the connection between the musicians that is most astounding. The intensity remain high throughout with telepathic interplay between all, an example of which is the remarkable improvised ending. Research moves at a more deliberate pace and maintains a almost conversational quality throughout, especially between guitar and drums as well as piano and drums. The final track, Get It?, is the third Carlberg composition on this recording. After the thematic statement we find the group settling in to a medium swing tempo and the band swings with a relaxed authority and intensity. After guitar and piano solos they engage in some contrapuntal improvisations before a beautifully crafted drum solo brings us back to the closing theme.
"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 New York City Jazz Record (Formerly AAJ 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
SAM SADIGURSKY DEBUTS NEW BAND AND ALBUM - FOLLOW THE STICK, TO BE RELEASED ON
BROOKLYN JAZZ UNDERGROUND RECORDS
Follow The Stick Features:
Sam Sadigursky (clarinet/bass clarinet)
Chris Dingman (vibes, marimba)
Bobby Avey (piano)
Jordan Perlson (drums, percussion)
Jason Palmer (trumpet on trks 2,5,9,13)
Ljova (viola, trk 7)
Available November 6, 2015 (North America), November 27 (Europe)
CD Release Celebration - November 4
@ The Cornelia Street Cafe, NYC
"Sadigursky reinvents the clarinet for the 21st century" - London Jazz News
"Gracefully high-minded explorations of poetic form"
- Nate Chinen, The New York Times
"Entrancing...hypnotic...a musical world full of riches and you should partake in this feast" - Richard Kamins, courant.com
"Profound...sublime..." - Jazz Magazine (France)
Sam Sadigursky, a first-call sideman and bandleader across a broad spectrum of music, and an award-winning composer (Chamber Music America, The Jerome Foundation), debuts a brand new band on his new recording, Follow The Stick, to be released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records on November 6, 2015.Follow The Stick is a sophisticated collection of original music from one of the most respected musicians on the New York scene. It is also Sam's "coming out party" as a clarinetist, which he has put front and center as of late. He explains, "It was a natural evolution in many ways, both practically and creatively. I started on saxophone, but began studying clarinet pretty early as well my father is a classically trained clarinetist and accordionist from the Soviet Union, who now plays mostly Klezmer and Eastern European folk music. I remember interviewing him for a 5th grade project and asking him what some of his dreams in life were, and he told me about wanting to learn to play jazz clarinet, something he's always loved. About four or five years ago something really clicked for me with the instrument and I've put most of my energies into it, and people have been calling me more and more for my clarinet playing since then. Unlike the endless sea of jazz saxophone players, there aren't that many improvisers today playing clarinet at a high level, so it's allowed me to really create a little niche for myself, and creatively, I feel there's so much more room to explore with it. I really feel that it's my voice as an instrumentalist."
This new recording follows up Sadigursky's five acclaimed The Words Project albums on New Amsterdam Records, where the music is based on text and poetry. With Follow The Stick we now have an opportunity to hear why Sadigursky is considered a "musician's musician", and so revered as a collaborator/sideman. "The Words Project material sort of allowed me to hide behind the singers. There's not that much stretching out on those albums, since I was always conscious of this larger compositional scheme, being faithful to the text and not allowing it to get overshadowed by the music," said Sadigursky. "We stretch on this one."
The music on Follow The Stick is comprised of new, and some not so new, original compositions, plus a modern take on the Glenn Miller hit, "String Of Pearls". Originally, Sadigursky planned on writing all new music for this group; things with a more overt sort of swing associated with this instrumentation (clarinet, trumpet, vibraphone, piano & drums), such as "Do The Dance", but, "when I started to fish through old notebooks for ideas I found so many nearly-completed old tunes of mine that never had life breathed into them. Having focused on those vocal albums for nearly ten years, there is still a huge backlog of instrumental material that I'm sifting through. However, I did write some new tunes for the group, things like 'Deadly Sins' and 'Math Music', and these might better reflect my thinking today - lots of meter changes and metric modulations - where many of the older tunes are more lead-sheet oriented and open," explained Sadigursky.
"Follow The Stick" is musician's slang for following a conductor, but it also applies to the clarinet, which has been subjected to a host of (mostly) derogatory nicknames, due primarily to its unforgiving nature as an instrument (i.e. the licorice stick, the agony stick, etc.). "The clarinet is such an unyielding instrument - the technical difficulty of it can be really controlling; as a player you often have to follow wherever it wants to go. There's just a lot more to trip over technically on it. Really though, I just liked the sound of those words, their directness and the sarcastic suggestion of dictatorship, which is of course so counter to musicmaking. Plus, I wanted this to be a real band, so I figured the first thing that any band needs is a name," said Sadigursky.
The Follow The Stick band began as a trio featuring Bobby Avey on piano and Jordan Perlson on drums, an instrumentation inspired by the great clarinet trios of the '40s led by Benny Goodman, which didn't have a bass player. "Bobby Avey is really the whole package he plays the whole piano with a real sound, has such a compositional sense, and he's an instigator, totally fearless, something I really value in the people I play with. His left hand is so developed that he fills the space left in the group by not having a bass player so naturally, without ever slipping into cliches," commented Sadigursky. "I heard Jordan on Bobby's records, and was really blown away. I had known him for years through his playing with Becca Stevens (who is on several of The Words Project albums), so I called him for one of the informal sessions with Bobby. What I didn't know was that Bobby and Jordan grew up playing together in Pennsylvania, so they go back a long time. It felt like a band to me from the first moment, and immediately after that session I remember taking them out to lunch and basically getting down on one knee and asking them to be part of something more ongoing. Jordan is so well versed in so much music he can play the hard stuff, but then is one of the best rock drummers I've ever heard. 'Math Music', the last tune on the album, is basically a big ol' feature for him, and he kills it."
After a few gigs with the trio, Sadigursky was looking for a bit more color for the group, a musician who could thicken the textures and also give the piano some support during solos, and support the melodic content as well. He elaborated, "I thought about which instrument I would like to try adding, and vibes came to mind first, since they have such a history alongside the clarinet - Benny Goodman/Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw's Gramercy Five, Buddy DeFranco/Terry Gibbs, etc. I had never played with Chris Dingman before, but remember being really impressed by his first album, Waking Dreams. After doing a session with him I knew he was the guy. It takes a lot of sensitivity for a vibes player and a pianist to play well together, and it seemed to come so easily for Chris and Bobby. One of my favorite parts of the record is the extended intro they play to 'Heart' they sound like they've been playing together for years." Boston-based trumpeter Jason Palmer plays on five tracks. Sadigursky had a trumpet player in mind for some tracks, and was blown away by Palmer's playing on a European tour they did with Darcy James Argue's group. "It's rare that I hear a trumpet sound that I love, and Jason's gives me goosebumps every time I hear it," said Sadigursky. Ljova plays viola on just one track, "Looks Can Be Deceiving," an open sketch with no written melody, just a sequence of chords and a vague notion of how they should be played. "Although he's not a jazz improviser, his sense of melody is so great, and I love the sound of the viola, it has a very similar ruminative, dark quality to the clarinet. I love how they sound together."
"In addition to all the different folk traditions that the clarinet is part of, there's such a great tradition of jazz clarinet that I'm still in the midst of discovering. I'm amazed at how much of it goes unnoticed these days - these clarinet greats were so prodigious. However, having come up as a saxophonist listening to Coltrane, Rollins, Henderson, Lovano, etc., I have all these other sounds in my head as well - you play any of that stuff on the saxophone and most people have heard it a thousand times, but play those influences on the clarinet and it actually sounds pretty fresh. To me, at least."
More on Sam Sadigursky - Since moving to New York in 2002, Sadigursky continues to make his mark both as a leader and sideman. His series of albums of original music based on poetry and text entitled The Words Projecthave been acclaimed internationally. Noted music critic Steve Smith called them, "compelling and touchingly intimate...that rare anomaly: a jazz-and-poetry record that sounds utterly natural and convincing", and went on to name Sadigursky's debut album as one of Time Out New York's "Top Ten Albums of 2007". The New York Times has called them "gracefully high-minded explorations of poetic form." Sadigursky has toured and recorded as a saxophonist and clarinetist with artists such as Brad Mehldau, Lucia Pulido, Gabriel Kahane, Tom Jones, Edmar Castaneda, Linda Oh, The Mingus Orchestra, Jamie Baum Septet, Ljova, Pablo Mayor's Folklore Urbano, La Cumbiamba eNeYe, and has been nominated for two Grammy awards for his work with Darcy James Argue's Secret Society. As a composer, he has written for film and modern dance and has also published three books of original etudes for clarinet and saxophone. Sadigursky has appeared at some of the world's most prestigious venues and festivals, has performed for numerous Broadway shows, and appears on over twenty-five albums as a sideman.
MARK GUILIANA FOLLOWS UP FAMILY FIRST with THE RELEASE OF FAMILY FIRST - THE ALTERNATE TAKES FEATURING FOUR ALTERNATE TAKES AND TWO NEW SONGS Available worldwide on September 2, 2015
***PRESS/MEDIA - ALBUM AVAILABLE ONLY UPON REQUEST***
Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet On Tour: September 30 - The Jazz Gallery, NYC(last NYC date before the European tour!) October 3 - Lantaren Venster, Rotterdam, The Netherlands October 4 - Vrijstraat O, Ostend, Belgium October 5 - Fasching, Stockholm, Sweden October 6 - TBA October 7 - Moods, Zurich, Switzerland October 8 - Band on The Wall, Manchester, UK October 9 - Bimhuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands October 10 - Paradox, Tiblurg, The Netherlands October 11 & 12 - Duc Des Lombards, Paris, France October 13 - Whelan's, Dublin, Ireland October 14 - Ronnie Scott's, London, UK
Featuring: Mark Guiliana (drums) Fabian Almazan (piano) Jason Rigby (tenor sax) Chris Morrissey (bass)
The Critics on Mark Guiliana: "Guiliana released an excellent new album called Family First that is resistant to pigeonholing. It's an all-acoustic outing deeply rooted in postbop that illustrates Guiliana's connection to swing-based music, even if he routinely displaces rhythmic patterns and fractures steady time . . . magnificent, elegant results." - Peter Margasak, The Chicago Reader
"Mark Guiliana is a young drummer with a creative command of electronics. Here he debuts an acoustic quartet worthy of admiration. Quiet, minor and processional, Family First is an understated, friendly album ripe with gorgeous melodies. Guiliana's plugged-in music has been a treat, especially last year's My Life Starts Now. Hopefully, we will be hearing more from this acoustic quartet." - Paul de Barros, DownBeat Magazine, Four Stars
"Groove has often been the absolute priority for the drummer Mark Guiliana, to strong effect. 'Family First,' the third release on his own Beat Music label, due on Tuesday, shifts his emphasis toward melody and interplay." - Nate Chinen, The New York Times
"Guiliana the drummer continuously generates compelling, complex content in which violence and quietude reasonably coexist. Guiliana the composer creates complete, detailed, wildly diverse conceptions." - Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes
"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
"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
With the June 4, 2015 release of Family First, drummer/composer/bandleader Mark Guiliana and his Jazz Quartet featuring Jason Rigby (tenor saxophone), Shai Maestro (piano) and Chris Morrissey (bass), brilliantly created a melodic and rhthymic landscape that delighted audiences and provoked rave reviews from critics. Family First marked the third release in a year on his own Beat Music Productions (following up My Life Starts Now and Beat Music: The Los Angeles Improvisations), and Guiliana is now excited to announce the companion/follow-up release to Family First, Family First - The Alternate Takes. The Alternate Takes CD offers up a new listening experience, featuring alternate takes on "Long Branch", "ABED", "The Importance of Brothers" and Bob Marley's "Johnny Was", as well as two new tunes, Guiliana's "1980", and the Quartet's version of Rufus Wainwright's "Beautiful Child".
Guiliana's singular drumset and compositional artistry, once again setting the bar quite high, is on glorious display on Family First - The Alternate Takes, as is the playing of his collaborators. Once again Guiliana has used the freedom of running his own label to bring music to listeners that might never have been heard. "After two incredibly fun and productive days in the studio, I knew we had too much material to fit on one record, " said Guiliana. "Chris, Shai, and Jason consistently delivered inspired performances, making it difficult to choose 'the one,' and in several instances, I felt very connected to versions that didn't end up on the record. It's exciting to be able to share this material that would otherwise just be hiding on a hard drive somewhere in my apartment."
The sound presented on Family First is quite different from Guiliana's 2014 releases, and Family First - The Alternate Takes presents yet another soundscape, giving the listener a different perspective on the music. 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 another nod to the jazz drummers that have inspired and informed Guiliana's completely unique approach to the instrument. Guiliana elaborates, "the music that this Quartet plays 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."
From L-R is Jason Rigby, Chris Morrissey, Mark Guiliana, Shai Maestro
Although this is a fairly 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." Family First - The Alternate Takes encapsulates all the best that these musicians have to offer - abundant beauty, ardent propulsion and sheer love of improvisation.
For more information on MARK GUILIANA and BEAT MUSIC PRODUCTIONS contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne - Red Cat Publicity, Email Redcatjazz@mac.com Tel 646 259 2105 www.RedCatontheloose.blogspot.com
Motema Music Proudly Releases UNTOLD STORIES From Pianist/Composer SHAI MAESTRO FEATURING: SHAI MAESTRO - PIANO, JORGE ROEDER - BASS & ZIV RAVITZ - DRUMS Available now, as of August 28, 2015
CD RELEASE CELEBRATIONS: SEPTEMBER 29 @ THE JAZZ STANDARD, NYC NOVEMBER 7 @ EXIT 0 JAZZ FESTIVAL, CAPE MAY, NJ
"Hearing the Shai Maestro Trio is like awakening to a new world: a world of wonders, excitement, beauty, and uncertainty. Sounds of intrigue, expressions of joy, introspective thoughts, and heightened intensity all come to the fore at one time or another as Maestro, bassist Jorge Roeder, and drummer Ziv Ravitz open up and share themselves through the music . . . these stories are all gripping, exhilarating, and gorgeous in their own way."
- Dan Bilawsky, AllAboutJazz.com
"He's developed on the piano a fluidity and hot intensity normally found in molten lava, with rapid improvisatory ideas spewing as if shot out of a volcano. Maestro's third album as a leader, , features his current trio of bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Ziv Ravitz. The band is a welcome and entry into the hallowed hall of important piano trios in jazz." - Gary Fukushima, LA Weekly
"An Israeli pianist with an attraction to sleek rhythmic forms and bittersweet harmony, Shai Maestro has a fine recent album, 'Untold Stories'"
- Nate Chinen, The New York Times
" . . .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
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 today, 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.
Press Enquiries on Shai Maestro and Untold Stories,
Please Contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
646 259 2105, Redcatjazz@mac.com
(new phone # please update your records)