Thursday, October 16, 2014

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Melissa Stylianou: No Regrets

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

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

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

Press photos, sound samples and more available at:

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014



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

To Releases New Recordings From: 

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

CD Release Celebrations:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

# # #

SKETCHES - Volume Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

# # #

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# # #


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 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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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.

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Email, Tel 347 578 7601
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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