Wednesday, February 3, 2016

JUSTIN MULLENS PUSHES THE BOUNDARIES OF THE FRENCH HORN & OFFERS NEW COMPOSITIONS ON THE CORNUCOPIAD





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."
-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

  
  

JUSTIN MULLENS PUSHES THE BOUNDARIES OF THE FRENCH HORN & OFFERS NEW COMPOSITIONS ON 
THE CORNUCOPIAD
ON BROOKLYN JAZZ UNDERGROUND RECORDS - MARCH 11, 2016

The Cornucopiad Features The Justin Mullens Octet:
Justin Mullens (French Horn), Chris Cheek (Alto Sax & Clarinet), Peter Hess (Bass Clarinet), Ohad Talmor (Tenor Sax), Peter Thompson (Guitar), Desmond White (Bass), Matt Ray (Piano), Marko Djordjevic (Drums)

***CD Release Celebration - March 7 @ Smalls, NYC***


"An innovative musician who not only has established a style of his own - one of narrative layers and unpredictable metrical shifts - but also has on this first project produced perhaps his epic creation." 
- Don Williamson, JazzReview.com

"Duke Ellington's famous characterization about music being "beyond category" immediately springs to mind when considering the highly personal art of Justin Mullens." 
- Harvey Siders, JazzTimes Magazine

"The music is complex, fascinating, even innovative . . ." 
- Marc Meyers, AllAboutJazz.com

   

Through his innovative and intrepid approach, French hornist / composer / bandleader Justin Mullens is pushing the boundaries of the French horn as an improvising instrument in jazz. On his new album, The Cornucopiad, due out on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records on March 11, 2016, Mullens offers new through-composed pieces alongside well-known standards (such as "Hub-Tones", "You Stepped Out of A Dream" and "Naima") that highlight his imposing flair as an improviser and composer.

The Cornucopiad is a big departure from a typical jazz album that features the French horn, mainly due to the striking artistry of Mullens. One of the main features on The Cornucopiad are Mullens' solos on the French horn, rooted deeply in the jazz lexicon, guiding the listener through a myriad of harmonically rich passages that are accentuated by the mellifluous sound of this instrument. To say that Mullens has raised the bar considerably, in terms of what can be achieved as an improviser on the French horn, is an understatement.



The theme and structure of The Cornucopiad is almost a kind of twofold "concept" album. A trilogy of originals by Mullens based on the Greek myths of the metamorphosis of the Cornucopia are intertwined with a trilogy of standards that compliment the mood of their counterparts. The glue that binds the two trilogies takes the form of five "shorts" composed by Mullens for French horn and guitar. The album features The Justin Mullens Octet: Justin Mullens (French Horn), Chris Cheek (Alto Sax & Clarinet), Peter Hess (Bass Clarinet), Ohad Talmor (Tenor Sax), Peter Thompson (Guitar), Desmond White (Bass), Matt Ray (Piano), Marko Djordjevic (Drums). Mullens said of this incredible band, "It is the deep musical insight of the musicians on this recording that bring life to these compositions."


More on Justin Mullens & The Cornucopiad:
Through his work as an improviser Mullens has been at the forefront of the development of the French horn as a vehicle of expression in the jazz idiom. Mullens has borrowed the technique and phrasing that is more in line with what one would hear from a tenor saxophonist or trumpeter, yet retaining the unique richness and mellifluousness of the French horn.

Over the span of his vibrant career, Mullens has had the opportunity to play with many amazing artists such as, Wallace Roney, David Sanborn, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins, Steve Turre, Dizzy Gillespie, Chris Cheek, Ohad Talmor, Robby Ameen, and Tootie Heath. As well as recording and performing with many groups as a sideman, Mullens has also led, and composed for, his own projects, including The Delphian Jazz Orchestra, The Justin Mullens Quintet, and more recently, The Justin Mullens Octet. Mullens has recorded two albums of his own with The Delphian Jazz Orchestra and his newest creation, with his Octet,
The Cornucopiad, on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records.

Mullens has been featured often as a composer and has had his pieces performed in a wide spectrum of settings, including commissions for film, dance, big bands, and chamber ensembles. As a composer, he is perseverant in his endeavor to break the formal confines of traditional jazz composition, bringing an arresting mix of sounds, textures, and images to his audience. The mercurial innovations of this original music are brought to life by some of NYC's most illustrious musicians on his new album, The Cornucopiad.




Please visit: 
  

Press Enquiries on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records:   
Please Contact Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
Email Redcatjazz@mac.com, Tel 646 259 2105


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The New York Standards Quartet Celebrates Ten Years of Touring & Recording With New CD - POWER OF 10




















The New York Standards Quartet Celebrates Ten Years of Touring & Recording With New CD - POWER OF 10
Feat. Tim Armacost (saxophones), David Berkman (piano), Michael Janisch (double bass), Gene Jackson (drums)
Available on Whirlwind Recordings March 18, 2016 (US & Japan) 
(December 4, 2015 in Europe)

***CD Release Celebration - April 28 @ Smalls, NYC***

NYSQ Upcoming "Power of 10" Japan Tour:
July 15-Shizuoka-Lifetime
July 16-Osaka-Always
July 17-Himeji-Layla
July 19-Okayama-Cafe Soho
July 20-22-Kita Kyushu-Workshop and Two Concerts
July 24-Kyoto-Live Spot RAG
July 29-Tokyo-Body and Soul


"NYSQ are the New York Standards Quartet - a group of American virtuosi who can stick pretty close to a classic-jazz approach while sounding as if they're discovering the fun of those straight-ahead methods rather than simply polishing them up. This time, the New York lineup - early Coltranesque saxophonist Tim Armacost, pianist David Berkman and sometime Herbie Hancock drummer Gene Jackson - are joined by a Big Apple expat: double bassist Michael Janisch."
- John Fordham, The Guardian (UK)

"The quartet's ethos remains at once coherent and undiminished, providing modern updates to the classic standards as well as laying down some meaty originals from within the group. Pianist Berkman, who has performed with both Tom Harrell and the Vanguard Orchestra, is particularly prolific with no less than four compositions." - Tim Stenhouse, UKVibe.org


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - On March 18, 2016, Whirlwind Recordings proudly releases The New York Standards Quartet - Power of 10, celebrating ten years of touring/recording together. Power of 10 is the NYSQ's second recording for the label and the much-anticipated follow up to The New Straight Ahead. The New York Standards Quartet is: Tim Armacost (saxophones), David Berkman (piano), Gene Jackson (drums), and Michael Janisch (double bass, and also the owner of Whirlwind Recordings). "We were thrilled to team up with the great Michael Janisch for this project. He was a perfect fit with the group and he brings his unique voice to the music," said the NYSQ.

"Bands are like weeds," New York Standards Quartet pianist David Berkman says, "a lot of the time they come about accidentally, because of luck and circumstances, without much pre-planning." In the case of this band that circumstance was a shared love of, not only jazz, but also Japanese culture. Tim Armacost is a Grammy nominated saxophonist who has performed with Kenny Barron, Bob Hurst and Ray Drummond among many others, and is the NYSQ's founder. He has lived in Tokyo several times and has performed there for years. Gene Jackson, a drumming powerhouse well known from his nine years with the Herbie Hancock trio, as well as his performances/recordings with Dave Holland, the Mingus Band and Wayne Shorter, is married to a Japanese woman and splits his time between New York and Tokyo. David Berkman, a fiery pianist who is both rooted in the jazz tradition and a harmonically adventurous improviser and composer, is a thirty-plus year NYC veteran of many bands including Tom Harrell, The Vanguard Orchestra and countless others. Berkman, also married to a Japanese woman, frequently travels to, and performs in, Japan.




Of course, coming together is one thing, staying together, is another. What began as a happy coincidence of three friends, three master musicians, playing together in a foreign land (documented on Live In Tokyo), has grown into a mature, imposing collective that has become far more than the sum of its impressive parts. Arguably, the most cherished moments in the history of recorded jazz have come from bands, due to the time these groups have had to reach a level of mutual understanding, respect and affection. It is this way with the New York Standards Quartet, as evidenced in their four previous acclaimed recordings, and the impassioned responses from audience across the U.S., U.K., Europe and Japan. "This band was a weed that hung in there through difficult conditions with a lot of perseverance in order to flower into the band it is today. It is a source of great pleasure and pride for all of us that we are still together and going strong, learning and developing and making music," said Berkman. Gene Jackson added that, "one day I was driving my car listening to a special radio show about the Modern Jazz Quartet. It became clear to me that reaching the type of interplay and communication the MJQ had can only be accomplished by developing together as a band for many years. I realized that if we committed to keeping the NYSQ together there could be many benefits, musically and otherwise. Often when things got difficult, when we had reached points where the thought of disbanding seemed plausible or even reasonable, I'd repeat my views to Tim and Dave on staying together, no matter what. I am grateful the NYSQ has chosen the road less travelled. Every time we hit the bandstand together it is obvious we made the right choice. I look forward to the days when, through our commitment to this band, we inspire other bands to stay musically connected, just as the example of the MJQ inspired me."







The mission of the New York Standards Quartet has always been to interpret standards and traditional jazz tunes in a way that would allow audiences to connect and be engaged, while at the same time, playing in the contemporary jazz style the members have developed through their many decades on the New York jazz scene. While Power of 10 celebrates the 10th anniversary of this band, it also shines a spotlight on the group's incredible ability to explore music, together. Tim Armacost explains further, "David was explaining what being a band for 10 years means: that the result of staying together is that we've become totally familiar with each other's playing. When one of us is going for something new, reaching for a different take on a tune, or just pushing the moment forward, everyone hears it immediately. You can feel what the other players are thinking. So when one of us gets inspired and starts a search, or finds a new angle on a tune, everyone jumps in to see where the music will go, or moves over and makes a space for something different to happen. Participating in those moments of discovery is intensely exciting, and that spark is what gives the music its life."

Berkman, who writes much of the band's original repertoire, has a distinctive flair for re-casting well-known jazz standards in new and unexpected settings. On Power of 10, songs like "Deep High Wide Sky" and "Hidden Fondness" are melodies based on the chord progressions of "How Deep is the Ocean" and a reharmonized, "Secret Love". In the hands of the NYSQ, his arrangement of the well worn standard "All of Me" becomes a daring, harmonically tense vehicle for Armacost's mighty soprano playing and Jackson's powerful drumming. Armacost's arrangement of "Lush Life" brings a new perspective to this classic Strayhorn ballad, and his "Green Doll's Phone" is a playful treatment of "On Green Dolphin Street," written to showcase the brilliant technical prowess of bassist Michael Janisch. Gene Jackson, the band's rhythmic center who drives the music forward with fire and infectious good spirits, is in fine form (as always) throughout the session and contributes his brilliant arrangement of Elvin Jones' "Three Card Molly."



***PLEASE CONTACT RED CAT PUBLICITY
FOR A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD LINK***


Press Enquiries on the New York Standards Quartet and Power of 10
Please Contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity, 
Tel 646 259 2106, Email Redcatjazz@mac.com 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Holidays from Red Cat Publicity - Wishing You Peace, Love & Happiness!




HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM 
RED CAT PUBLICITY 

WISHING YOU PEACE, LOVE & HAPPINESS
 THIS HOLIDAY SEASON AND IN THE YEAR AHEAD

Journalists/Critics/Editors/Bloggers/DJs - Thank you for your incredible coverage of my artists, and for writing about their music in such an insightful, meaningful way

Artists - Thank you for creating, with your music, so much happiness, enrichment & contemplation . . . the world is a better place because of you!  I am truly honored and proud to represent you! 

To my colleagues, fellow publicists, agents, managers, label owners, club owners, radio folks and bookers - bravo for working so diligently, passionately and tirelessly to present, publicize, broadcast, record and manage these great artists and their music.  We are behind the scenes but are a vital and integral part of bringing this music to the public!     
  

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and I wish you the best of everything in 2016

Please note that my last day in the office is this Tuesday, December 22, reopening on Monday, January 4, 2015 - I will have limited access to voice mail and email


     
The RED CAT PUBLICITY Team
Jason Paul Harman Byrne, Samantha Fischer & Buddy Lee Blakey 
Tel 646 259 2105



Please be on the lookout for great new music in 2016 from:

FRANK CARLBERG & RED PIANO RECORDS
CAMILA MEZA
THE NEW YORK STANDARDS QUARTET 
(TIM ARMACOST, DAVID BERKMAN, GENE JACKSON, MICHAEL JANISCH)
ALEXIS CUADRADO
BEN WENDEL
WILL VINSON
JOE FIEDLER
BROOKLYN JAZZ UNDERGROUND RECORDS

& many others . . .







Monday, December 21, 2015

Vocalist/Guitarist/Composer CAMILA MEZA Takes Flight With New Album, TRACES, on Sunnyside Records









FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

Vocalist/Guitarist/Composer CAMILA MEZA
Takes Flight With New Album, TRACES
Traces is Camila Meza's Debut for Sunnyside Records, available on February 26, 2016

Featuring Camila Meza (guitar & vocals), Sachal Vasandani (vocals on "Away"),
Shai Maestro (piano, Rhodes, wurlitzer, mellotron, pump organ, ampli-celeste),
Matt Penman (bass), Kendrick Scott (drums), Bashiri Johnson (percussion),
Jody Redhage (cello), Matt Pierson (producer)


***CD Release Celebration***
February 24, 2016 @ The Jazz Standard
Click here for more info and reservations: 

Also appearing at The NYC Winter JazzFest 
on January 15, 2016 (Django at The Roxy Hotel)


***PLEASE CONTACT RED CAT PUBLICITY
FOR A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD LINK***



Vocalist/guitarist/composer CAMILA MEZA is a rarity, a glorious triptych of an artist.
She possesses a gift for composing brilliant musical landscapes, a captivating, soulfully pure vocal instrument, and a consummate prowess on guitar, ablaze with irresistible melodies and improvisations. Camila Meza, originally from Santiago, Chile, has garnered rapt attention from her colleagues, the press, and audiences in South America, New York City, and internationally, for her distinctive ability in blending jazz with her broad musical world (that includes Latin American, Brazilian, folk and pop), and for the emotional depth of her music. This rising star on the global jazz scene has been described by The New York Times as, "a bright young singer and guitarist with an ear for music of both folkloric and pop intention," and called, "a natural multi-talent, an improvising singer-guitarist who is one of the finest in the world in both creative realms," by pianist Aaron Goldberg.  He added that, "she unites North and South America in a multilingual mega-continent, a pangaea of swing and harmony." Being called to join your peers on stage and in the studio remains one of the true tests that any NYC jazz musician will face, and Camila has passed, summa cum laude, staying very busy as an in-demand side musician, working with the likes of Ryan Keberle, Fabian Almazan, Aaron Goldberg, Sachal Vasandani, and many others. On February 26, 2016 Sunnyside Records proudly releases Camila Meza's debut recording for the label (and her fourth overall), Traces, produced by Matt Pierson and featuring Shai Maestro, Matt Penman and Kendrick Scott, with special guests Bashiri Johnson, Sachal Vasandani and Jody Redhage. 



At the inception of creating and crafting the music on Traces, Meza had a vivid dream of a seashore full of colorful, precious stones, each of them with their own size and particular design. She wandered through this beauty, wanting to carry every stone back home with her. But then she looked closer, and decided to take only the ones that she really loved, those that made her feel something special. "This dream was the beginning of my journey to the core of myself, getting closer to what moves me, accepting my own truth and embracing my intuition. This album represents the path traced, the moments, hopes and melodies that have marked my journey," said Meza. Traces is comprised of eight new original compositions, plus "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" (Sondheim), "Amazon Farewell" (Djavan), "Luchin" (Victor Jara) and "Little Person" (Jon Brion).

A songbird takes flight . . .  Traces opens with the Meza composition, "Para Volar," on which she sings these words in Spanish (she also sings beautifully in English): "let the wind take you, fly free until you find truths with no fear or time, freedom in its essence, let the wind take you, fly and dream again." Camila writes about a failed attempt to rescue an injured bird, but these sentiments also speak of new beginnings, and of embracing your dreams. Traces was born from her joyous journey from a young, accomplished musician in Chile (inspired by Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Pat Metheny, Led Zeppelin, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, Bjork, Elis Regina and Chet Baker), to becoming part of a new generation of adventurous jazz musicians in New York who are fearlessly imposing their disparate influences and experiences on jazz, with glorious results. 

  
 

Up next is Camila's wonderful duet with vocalist Sachal Vasandani, "Away," also featuring Jody Redhage on cello. Camila and Sachal sound as if they were born to sing together, and the sparks fly on this song about how romantic love can come and go, but true love doesn't fade away, but transforms into something else in our lives.

The title track, "Traces," expresses themes of finding space and beauty, especially as a respite from city life. Also, how small, conscious acts can change your life and make the world a better place. Or, as Camila sings, "It's a blessing to do little things and feel that they can change the world around." This song, and "Away," also features some of Camila's most compelling guitar solos on the album.

Camila was moved to sing Djavan's "Amazon Farewell" from Betty Carter's powerful version of the song performed at The Nice Jazz Festival. Camila and her band offer up their own robust version on which you can feel how much the lyrics resonate with Camila. She elaborates, "I remember I couldn't stop watching this video of Betty after I discovered it, she absolutely inspired me to no end, and it was exactly what I needed at that moment. I think it's important to address in my music the things I care about. In this case the injustices, the destruction of nature, and the unconsciousness towards native people."

"Mar Elastico" is dedicated to Camila's loved ones. "This song conjures up imagery and memories of afternoon games with my sisters, an orange light following their steps. There's this idea of brief meetings, telling each other where we're going, but then their steps become larger and we're apart again. But after all, a realization of the elasticity of our relationships; that distance just makes us come back stronger when we meet again," said Camila.

Other highlights on Traces include the lullaby-like "Luchin," a beautiful, powerful Chilean song written by singer/songwriter Victor Jara, an emblematic figure in the history of Chile. This song represents the higher hopes of justice through the story of a little boy named Luchin living in harsh conditions; Sondheim's "Greenfinch and Linnet Bird" (from "Sweeney Todd"). "It felt very interesting to use a more contemporary Broadway song and do my own 'jazzier' treatment on it, with no reference of another version. The lyrics totally grabbed me, and it fit into the recurring theme of flying on this album, with the lyric, 'if I cannot fly, let me sing'", explained Camila; and "Little Person," the closing theme from the movie "Synecdoche New York" (starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman), which Camila fell in love with for its beautiful heaviness.   

On the breathtaking "Emerald," Meza sings, "I've decided to stay, stay in this open place, here's where my heart sings, here's where there's no mistake." Camila explains, "this was one of the last songs written for the album, and it became like a hymn about actually having found the place I was looking for; the openness, the reassurance, the freedom, the passion and love for what I am and what I do."

Throughout Traces Camila offers the listener a remarkable gift; her true self and her abundant talents, as expressed through these songs, with no less than luminosity, passion, honesty and love.    







Management and Booking: Karen Kennedy, 24 Seven Artist Development


Press Enquiries on Camila Meza & Traces:  
Please Contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
Tel 646 259 2105, Email Redcatjazz@mac.com




Wednesday, December 16, 2015

BEN WENDEL - THE SEASONS PROJECT: NOVEMBER W/AARON PARKS + THE SEASONS LIVE AT THE JAZZ GALLERY!





For Immediate Release:  





"Those who wish to be called creative musicians should actually create music, and hardly no one has done that better recently than Ben Wendel...The record (ACT II) builds on the drama created from their first (ACT), with the ACT-ors developing and deepening their roles and chemistry in this superb three-man play." 
- Gary Fukushima, LAWeekly 




BEN WENDEL is incredibly happy to announce the November installment of his video art project, THE SEASONS. Previous guests on The Seasons include 
Gilad Hekselman, Julian Lage, Shai Maestro, Matt Brewer, Joshua Redman, 
Mark Turner and many others. 

This month features a duet with one of Wendel's 
favourite pianists and composers, AARON PARKS
  
Click on the image of Ben and Aaron below to watch the video:





***COMING UP COMING UP COMING UP COMING UP*** 
THE SEASONS LIVE - WITH THE BEN WENDEL GROUP
CELEBRATING 12 COMPOSITIONS, 12 ARTISTS & 12 MONTHS

Featuring:
Ben Wendel - Saxophone
Taylor Eigsti - Piano/Fender Rhodes
Aaron Parks - Piano/Fender Rhodes
Matt Brewer - Bass
Eric Harland - Drums

@ THE JAZZ GALLERY - JANUARY 22 & 23, 7:30 & 9:30 PM
The Jazz Gallery is located at 1160 Broadway, NYC




Ben Wendel on The Seasons Project:
The idea and goal of "The Seasons" was a simple one:  12 original pieces dedicated to 12 musicians I deeply admire, released over 12 months. Though this ended up being one of the most challenging and complex projects I've ever attempted, it also turned out to be one of the most rewarding.

The impetus for this work came through one of my favorite classical composers.  I fell in love with a set of twelve piano pieces written by Tchaikovsky called "The Seasons" - each piece was written for a different month in 1876 and at the time published in a music magazine.  Inspired by this idea, I decided to compose a twelve-part cycle of chamber duos dedicated to some of my favorite musicians.  Instead of a magazine, I am using the medium of video to publish the works.  

The duos are compositionally (and personally) related to the selected guests and their unique artistry.  Each musician I have chosen has had a direct influence on my playing and has been a creative inspiration. Whether it is the rhythmic nuance of a drummer or the intervallic approach of a saxophonist, I've sought to match the composition to the selected artist's voice as I envision it.

Some of the pieces are direct nods to the Tchaikovsky works, be it writing in sonata form, or taking a melodic or harmonic stem and re-contextualizing it in the duo setting.  On other pieces, I've written contra-facts that relate to the name of the month - for example the month of April is loosely inspired by the standard "I'll Remember April."  Under each video you'll find additional text that explores the specific musical inspiration I drew from each guest.

I want to express my sincere thanks to the incredible artistry and generosity of the musicians who joined me on this project, and to the beautiful video and audio work of director Alex Chaloff.  I have been overwhelmed by the generosity, musicianship and inspiration that have come from this experience.  Further thanks are due to The Jazz Gallery, who allowed me to participate in their residence program and write many of these pieces.  




# # # # 

Ben Wendel is featured on a new collaborative album between his group Kneebody and electronic artist Daedelus, just released on Friday, November 27th on the Brainfeeder label. Wendel is also one third of ACT who just released their sophomore recording, ACT II.  This album aligns the orbits of three of the most creative forces in our vast galaxy of music, Ben Wendel (tenor saxophone, melodica, bassoon), Harish Raghavan (bass), and Nate Wood (drums). ACT II fulfills one's need to hear imaginative, adventurous music, and also stands as a shining example of what it means to play selflessly in a trio setting; they are that in tune and sympathetic to one another, and together they conjure up another winner with this recording.


Please Visit: 



Press Enquiries on Ben Wendel, The Seasons, ACT and ACT II, Contact: 
Jason Paul Harman Byrne @ Red Cat Publicity
Tel 646 259 2105, Email Redcatjazz@mac.com




Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Kendrick Scott's World Culture Music To Release LOTUS From Guitarist/Composer MIKE MORENO Featuring Aaron Parks, Doug Weiss & Eric Harland




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
     



Kendrick Scott's World Culture Music To Release LOTUS
From Guitarist/Composer MIKE MORENO
Featuring Aaron Parks, Doug Weiss & Eric Harland
Available December 4, 2015

***PLEASE CONTACT RED CAT PUBLICITY 
FOR A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD LINK***


  
"There are many other guitarists out there pushing towards a modern ideal, but none with the precise coordinates that Mike Moreno has charted."
- Nate Chinen, JazzTimes

"A guitarist of commanding technique and almost architectural expression." - The Village Voice

"A really talented guy who impressed me beyond the notes, for his general feeling and what he's going for." - Pat Metheny, JazzTimes

"He's so incredibly lyrical, and he's always reaching for something."  "I told him I transcribed some of his stuff" - Mike Stern, JazzTimes


Kendrick Scott's World Culture Music is poised to release Lotus, the much-anticipated fifth album (& third self-produced project) from guitarist/composer Mike Moreno. Moreno is a musician who has established himself on the global jazz scene in a profound way, garnering high praise from critics, fans, colleagues, and from none other than Pat Metheny and Mike Stern. As a leader, Lotus brings Moreno's creative output to five recordings, and one could argue that they should be considered must-have recordings for any serious collection.   


Lotus, featuring musicians that Moreno has a long and happy history with, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Doug Weiss and drummer Eric Harland, is a documentation of Moreno's most honest music to date.  "This is Aaron's fourth record with me," Moreno explains, "and it sort of continues what we started on Aaron's Blue Note Records debut Invisible Cinema, which featured both myself and Eric Harland. That was a defining record for both Aaron and I, and everywhere I go, that's the most talked-about record of my career to date. So in a way, this is part two of Invisible Cinema. It certainly has the same appeal, a great band with a set of melodic songs and the always strong rhythmic concept from Eric Harland." "Eric, from Houston, like myself, also attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts, and we began playing on his visits back to Houston after he moved to NYC. He was the first great drummer I played with. I still remember feeling that force coming from the drums for the first time. It was incredible. Lotus marks the first time Eric has recorded with me on one of my own projects. It was long overdue." "Doug Weiss has been a part of my band almost from the beginning, starting when he was one of my teachers at the New School. I loved his playing and asked him to do some gigs with me when I started to work with my own band. He ended up playing on my first two records, and is just one of most solid bassists out there, always playing beautiful supportive notes and exactly what is needed."

Lotus is comprised of all original Mike Moreno compositions. Some were composed during an artist residence that Moreno took part in at the Rockefeller Estate, Kykuit Gardens, in Pocantico Hills, NY ("The Hills Of Kykuit" and "The Empress"). The guitarist/composer explained, "The more I compose the simpler my music gets and the more it sounds like me, rather than a mix of my influences." "Can We Stay Forever?" is a ballad that didn't make the cut for Moreno's previous release, Another Way, but fit very nicely in the set for this record. The rest of the recording was written in the years since Another Way was released in 2012. The most recent composition is "Epilogue-The Rise", which was finished just a week before the record date, and composed by Moreno specifically for this band.

Moreno wants Lotus to be a recording that people from all walks of life can listen to and enjoy over and over again. "This is meant to be a record you can listen to like any other genre of music, whether your a jazz fan or musician, a lawyer, whatever. It is an album of which I'm extremely proud, and I hope that when the listener walks away from their computer, stereo, car, iPod, etc., that these melodies stick with them, even after the first listen."


More on Mike Moreno:
Originally from Houston, Texas, Mike Moreno began studying music formally at the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a school renowned for its musical alumni, which includes such luminaries as Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, Brian Michael Cox, Eric Harland, Chris Dave, Kendrick Scott, and Beyoncé. After graduating he moved to NYC with a scholarship to attend the New School University. While still in school he began getting calls to perform and tour with some of the most venerable names in the jazz world, as well as rising stars firmly en route to establishing their careers. 

Recognized as one of the leading voices in the jazz guitar world, Moreno has toured and recorded extensively as a leader, playing original music to high critical acclaim. As Nate Chinen describes in his column in JazzTimes Magazine ("The Gig"), "There are many other guitarists out there pushing towards a modern ideal, but none with the precise coordinates that Mike Moreno has charted." 

Over the years, Moreno has performed and/or recorded with numerous major artists, both inside and outside of the jazz genre, including Claudia Acuña, Bilal, Terence Blanchard, Ralph Bowen, Leonardo Cioglia, John Ellis, Kenny Garret, Robert Glasper, Jimmy Greene, Stefon Harris, Frank Locrasto, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Jason Moran, Me'Shell N'Degeocello, Greg Osby 4, Gretchen Parlato, Aaron Parks, Nicholas Payton Quartet, Jeremy Pelt, The Joshua Redman Elastic Band, Bob Reynolds, Kendrick Scott, Marcus Strickland, Yosvany Terry, Myron Walden, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Lizz Wright Band, Sam Yahel, and others.

Additionally, Moreno has appeared on three Grammy-nominated recordings. In 2010 both Q-Tip's "The Renaissance" and Geoffrey Keezzer's "Aurea" were nominated for Best Album in their categories, as well in 2008, Eldar's "Re-Imagination" received the same nomination in the Jazz Category.

In 2007, Moreno released his debut CD on the World Culture Music label, Between The Lines, which Chinen featured in The New York Times as one of his top 10 jazz albums of 2007. He recorded his second and third albums, Third Wish (2008) and First In Mind (2011), for the European jazz label, Criss-Cross Records. His most recent album, Another Way, was recently released by World Culture Music, and was named one of the 25 "Best of 2012" Jazz Releases on iTunes.




Press Enquiries on Mike Moreno & Lotus:  
Contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity
Tel 646 259 2105, Email Redcatjazz@mac.com




Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Guitarist/Composer PETE MCCANN ON TOUR in Support of RANGE!














FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
  






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.

   
   

  
Press Enquiries on Pete McCann and Range Please Contact:
Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity 
646 259 2105, Redcatjazz@mac.com 
(new phone # please update your records)