Monday, April 23, 2018

Lewis Porter, Joris Teppe & Rudy Royston - Trio Solo (UNSEEN RAIN Records 2018)

Pre-release quotes from a number of Jazz Greats for Lewis Porter's Trio Solo: "Lewis Porter and co. have put together a wonderful recording full of inspired trio excursions and beautiful solo explorations…. It's full of surprises from tune to tune that captured me completely… Bravo !!!" 
- Joe Lovano 

"Lewis and the trio really go for it on this CD. A full panorama of contemporary jazz idioms are wonderfully dealt with here and several solo piano tracks are quite interesting. Lewis is besides a great jazz scholar a wonderful pianist." 
- Dave Liebman 

"After many years as a significant jazz writer and educator, Lewis Porter is becoming an important pianist, where he investigates many styles and concepts with wit and grace." 
- Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus 

"Lewis Porter knows the tradition and lineage of jazz piano playing and has come through it with his own sound and command of the music." 
- Jerry Bergonzi 

"It is a wonderful record. Lewis has accomplished so much in so many ways of playing the piano and expressing this music. It is a compendium, all presented so beautifully. I love it." 
- The late Connie Crothers

Renowned in a variety of disciplines (author of The Coltrane biography and founder of the world’s first jazz history masters program at Rutgers), virtuoso pianist Lewis Porter steps out of his much in-demand sideman roles and offers an album of his own trio and solo performances. The trio, with double-bassist Joris Teepe and drummer Rudy Royston, perform with power and grace while Porter’s intimate piano solos range from lyrical to pointillistic in this, his auspicious debut for UNSEEN RAIN.

1. Blues For Chick 06:17
2. Chasing Lines 06:31
3. Bachiano 03:11
4. Discovery 03:37
5. Cinq Pied 05:41
6. Rachmaninoff 04:01
7. Chasing Myself 04:04
8. Rhapsody 08:20
9. Mixolydian 05:07
10. Outdoors On a Thoughtful Day 02:40
11. Crazy Blues 02:52
12. Reconnaissance 02:46
13. The End of a Love Affaire 06:15
14. Blues For Chick II 05:43

Lewis Porter, piano
Joris Teepe, double-bass
Rudy Royston, drums

Recorded at Tedesco Studio, Paramus, NJ
Mixed and mastered by Jim DeSalvo, Beanstudio, Wayne, NJ
Design by Qua’s Eye Graphics

Produced by Jack DeSalvo

Jack DeSalvo / Joel Shaipira - Inherence (UNSEEN RAIN Records 2018)

This stellar set of duos, that includes music by Wayne Shorter, Ralph Towner, Jack De Salvo as well as Just Friends and two open pieces, sheds light on the rather lofty state of jazz guitar these days.

It’s clear that the progenitor of the modern guitar is the oud, in Arabic al oud - the wood. As “al oud” was taken into south-western Europe during the Islamic conquests, it was taken up by the indigenous Europeans and transformed into the lute. Eventually the oud’s large horn plectrum was discarded in favor of the right hand fingers and by the time of the European Renaissance, players were executing contrapuntal lines on the lute, not unlike the burgeoning keyboard instruments of that period. 

After the great Baroque masters, like Bach, wrote important works for the lute, the instrument fell out of favor for not being able to project within the now larger orchestras favored by the composers and audience of the classical and romantic periods. A close relative of the lute and tuned similarly to viols, the guitar was beginning to appear outside of Spain by the renaissance, but it was generally relegated to folk status. 

By the 19th century, when masters like Francisco Tarrega were sculpting a respected role for the guitar in the classical pantheon, featuring the instrument strung with gut (later nylon) strings, played with the fingers of the right hand in a strict technique and placed on the raised left leg, the steel-string guitar, often played with a plectrum (pick), was starting its soon-to-be huge ascent in the United States. 

In early jazz groups the picked steel-string began to replace the banjo with players like Eddie Lang. When the microphones known as pick-ups were placed on the guitars of advanced improvisors like Charlie Christian, a revolution occurred. Guitarists could now solo like horn players and be heard over the rhythm section. A couple of generations of great jazz guitarists followed in Christian’s footsteps, with only a few slight exceptions like Wes Montgomery right hand thumb instead of a pick, and they essentially used Christian's technique. 

Though the 60s and 70s brought additional electronics to the disposal of guitarists, to those in jazz the adherence to the archtop guitar with pick-up and played with a pick, remained strong. A notable exception is a jazz pianist who didn’t take up guitar, and it was the classical guitar, until his early 20s, and that is Ralph Towner. 

Towner’s influence touches this recording, Inherence, in a number of ways. Both Joel Shapira and Jack DeSalvo are jazz and classical guitarists who play the music here, all pieces by jazz composers and one jazz standard, with classical right hand technique, that is to say sans pick. DeSalvo, who wrote several of the tracks, including the title piece Inherence, admits to Towner’s influence in his writing. The duo also play a piece by Towner, Celeste. 

Another giant of a jazz composer whose music plays a role in this recording is Wayne Shorter. His pieces Fee Fi Fo Fum, Virgo, House of Jade and Nefertiti appear on this album. Besides Just Friends, Shapira and DeSalvo also offer two improvised pieces, Joja and January East. 

On this recording Jack plays a Godin Multiac ACS SA nylon string and Joel plays a Gibson 1948 L-12 archtop steel-string.

1. Instance 05:13
2. Naiads 04:40
3. Fee Fi Fo Fum 03:31
4. Virgo 06:57
5. Inherence 03:20
6. House of Jade 05:37
7. Just Friends 02:17
8. Celeste 05:39
9. Joja 03:39
10. January East 02:58
11. Nefertiti 05:50

Jack DeSalvo - Godin Multiac ACS SA nylon string guitar
Joel Shapira - Gibson 1948 L-12 archtop steel-string guitar

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Jim DeSalvo at Beanstudio, Wayne, NJ

Chris Kelsey / Jack DeSalvo - Live at Magnolia's (UNSEEN RAIN Records 2018)

Chris Kelsey and Jack DeSalvo have been performing and recording together since they met at the Bunker in the East Village in the early 90s. In 2012 they played Sundays at Magnolia's, a restaurant in Pawling NY owned and run at the time by Kelsey and his wife Lisa. Here the duo perform riveting versions of Monk tunes (Blue Monk, Bemsha Swing, Friday the 13th and Nutty) a piece each by Sonny Rollins (Doxy) and Wayne Shorter (Footprints) and two tracks improvised on the spot (Yonder Train 1 and 2) that have all the integrity of pre-composed music.

1. Blue Monk 05:44
2. Doxy 05:34
3. Yonder Train 1 09:52
4. Yonder Train 2 08:14
5. Footprints 08:36
6. Bemsha Swing 08:04
7. Friday the 13th 07:39
8. Nutty 05:12

Chris Kelsey - soprano sax
Jack DeSalvo - guitar

Recorded live at Magnolia's, Pawling, New York by Chris Kelsey
Mastered by Jim DeSalvo

Chris Kelsey - 1UP1DOWN (Live From Nowhere) UNSEEN RAIN Records 2018

Chris Kelsey on straight alto saxophone; Jack DeSalvo, electric guitar; Lewis Porter, on Kimball electric combo organ and Crumar Roadrunner electric piano; Joe Gallant, six-string electric bass; Alan Lerner, drums are some of the most versatile and passionate musicians on the New York City creative music scene…1UP1DOWN’s music reflects the inclusive nature of the jazz we all grew up loving – a music that ruled everything in and nothing out, whilst maintaining the rhythmic thread connecting the music from Armstrong to Ornette. It’s all good. It’s all jazz.

1. Alfie's Theme 09:39
2. Waltz Frisk 13:05
3. India (John Coltrane) 12:18
4. Easy Bake Burnt Pie 11:44
5. Blessing In Disguise (Sonny Rollins) 11:23

Chris Kelsey - straight alto saxophone
Jack DeSalvo - electric guitar
Lewis Porter - Kimball electric combo organ and Crumar Roadrunner electric piano
Joe Gallant - six-string electric bass
Alan Lerner - drums

Recorded at Magnolia’s, Patterson, NY, October 6, 2013
Engineered by Gene Gaudette
Edited by Chris Kelsey
Mastered by Jim DeSalvo at Beanstudio, Wayne, NJ
Photos & Design by Qua’s Eye Graphix
Executive producers: Gene Gaudette, Jim DeSalvo, Jack DeSalvo
Produced by Jack DeSalvo

Chris Kelsey / Jack DeSalvo / Tom Tedesco - Stutches (UNSEEN RAIN Records)

Though today he performs on the entire array of saxophones centered around his straight alto sax, when he was first on the New York City Downtown scene Chris Kelsey was an avowed soprano-only player. Chris met Jack DeSalvo and Tom Tedesco at ABC No Rio, then known also as The Bunker. DeSalvo was fresh from the road, playing guitar in Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society while Tedesco just finished recording with Karl Berger, Anthony Cox and DeSalvo at Carla Bley's Grog Kill Studio. Tedesco had just opened his own studio in New Jersey, so the trio decided to record sans-bass, with DeSalvo playing electric and classical guitars adding banjo and mandolin while Tedesco played tablas and drum set. Kelsey's sinewy soprano soars over and weaves through the proceedings in this seminal album of improvised music.

1. Jelly Snake 07:23
2. Walking Trees 08:10
3. Red Feet 06:57
4. A Name Will Come 08:18
5. Stutches 04:30
6. Cantolin 10:36
7. Breatheover 18:05
8. Slaughtyville FD Part One 02:03
9. Slaughterville FD Part Two 08:22

Chris Kelsey - soprano saxophone
Jack DeSalvo - electric and classical guitars, banjo, mandolin
Tom Tedesco - drums, tabla

Recorded at Tedesco Studio, Paramus, NJ by Jon Rosenberg
Mastered by Jim DeSalvo at Beanstudio, Wayne, NJ
Design by Qua’s Eye Graphix

Produced by Chris Kelsey, Tom Tedesco, Jack DeSalvo

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Brötzmann / Uuskyla - Dead And Useless (OMLOTT 2018)

Peter Brötzmann and Peeter Uuskyla have played together in different constellations for more than fifteen years. Peter Brötzmann has been playing his own fire music since 1966. He started out with European free jazz musicians such as Han Bennink, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, Sven-Åke Johansson, Albert Mangelsdorff, continued with American musicians such as Sonny Sharrock, Shannon Jackson, Andrew Cyrille, Hamid Drake and Japanese musicians such as Keiji Haino, Akira Sakata, Toshinori Kondo, Takeo Moriyama. Peter Brötzmann produced his two first LPs all by himself. After that he teamed up with Jost Gebers to start the FMP-label, Free Music Production, in 1969. Brötzmann has created numerous album-covers and posters in his personal unique style, so his artwork became the FMP visual profile.

1. Dead And Useless part 1 19:09
2. Dead And Useless part 2 18:18

Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone
Peeter Uuskyla: drums

Brötzmann / Uuskyla - Red Cloud On Silver (OMLOTT 2018)

Before we start talking about the music on this album, one thing which is hardly mention is the fact that Peter Brötzmann is also a great fine artist. Recently he had an exclusive exhibition of his art in China, I also saw one in Wuppertal once. Like his saxophone/clarinet sound, his visual artistic style is also unique and has a high recognition value. The covers of all the albums reviewed here are designed by Brötzmann himself. So, when you buy a Brötzmann album you get a piece of fine arts as a bonus.

As to the music: Brötzmann  has worked quite often with Swedish drummer Peeter Uuskyla (e.g. on Dead  and Useless) since 1997 and in general the reeds/drums line-up is something he feels very comfortable with. His duos with Han Bennink, Hamid Drake, Paal Nilssen-Love and Steve Noble belong to best releases in free jazz.  Uusklya cannot quite keep up with these drummers because they are able to challenge him. Uuskyla is more the supporting kind of a drummer on this album. 

My favorite passage is on side B when Brötzmann plays a particularly tender version of the “Master of  a Small House” theme, one of three or four themes he likes to integrate especially in solo and duo performances, Brötzmann once told me. Uuskyla simply drops out here, then he adds a just a few sparse few sounds, which is just perfect. And then it is him who pulls Brötzmann back to rougher waters. In  general Red Cloud on Silver is a rather  rough, torn and bumpy album.

1. Red Cloud On Silver part 1 20:23
2. Red Cloud On Silver part 2 14:45
3. Home Of Snake 05:35
4. Thistel And Thorns 11:42
5. Mind Is A Monkey 10:43
6. Striding Along 08:02

Dog Life - Dog Life (OMLOTT 2018)

Mats Gustafsson’s Fire! Orchestra featured some of the promising, young musicians in the Swedish left-of-center scene. Sax player Anna Högberg was one of them, blowing her alto sax as strong as experienced fiery blowers Fredrik Ljungqvist, Martin Küchen, Jonas Kullhammar and Gustafsson himself. 

Högberg leads few bands - the modern jazz all-female sextet Attack! and the Se & Hör (see and hear in Swedish) quartet, but it is the Gothenburg-based Dog Life trio that feature her operating and extending  Gustafsson’s sonic aesthetics. The trio, with electric bass guitar player Finn Loxbo and drummer Mårten Magnefors, follows the legacy of Peter Brötzmann power trios and Gustafsson’s The Thing action jazz, with similar intense and aggressive interplay but with a punky-metal attitude. 

Högberg leads this explosive trio on its debut album with a charismatic, rich tone that explores the full range of the saxophone, from the most brutal onslaughts and wild shrieks to the rhythmic and soulful blows. Her assured, high-octane playing is full of ideas that frame the manic drumming of Magnefors and the distorted, mean bass of Loxbo in focused narratives that often culminate in sudden codas .

There is no way but to surrender to the uncompromising energy of Dog Life and the sheer fun of being engulfed by its intense conviction, always spiced with dark humor (the second piece is called “Bakgrundsmusik” and another aggressive, restless piece is titled “Waltz for Blubby”). It is only symbolic that the last piece on the album is called “Barrikad”, sending all the message that Dog Life is going to stand proud for its aesthetics, in its own words, “building new ways on how to play improvised music” and fight against “shitty politics”.  I can recommended warmly to be on Dog Life side of the barricade.

1. New Public Management 05:57
2. Bakgrundsmusik 07:37
3. Piston Honda 08:24
4. Cigg Eller Filter 04:54
5. Waltz For Blubby 02:02
6. Face Plant 03:36
7. Barrikad 05:03

Dog Life
Anna Högberg: Saxophones
Finn Loxbo: Electric Bass
Mårten Magnefors: Drums

Peeter Uuskyla - Daydreaming Nerves (OMLOTT 2018)

Swedish drummer Peeter Uuskyla performs all alone on this double-LP. The opening track ”The Dream” features two takes of drumkit mixed with one take of his piano-playing. The triptych ”Nerves I-III” presents Peeter Uuskyla´s everyday rituals as a drumkit-concerto. His primal, natural, basic, archaic music is illustrated by Johannes Brander´s cover art.

Peeter Uuskyla has played many years with legendary saxophonist Bengt Frippe Nordströms group in Sweden. He has worked and toured internationally with US-pianist Cecil Taylor, bassists Barre Phillips and Peter Kowald, Polish altosax Mikolaj Trzaska, altosax/flute-player Biggi Vinkeloe. Since last year he collaborates in trio with Biggi Vinkeloe and French trombonist Francois Lemonnier, their album ¨Space Way Messenger¨ is released by Gérard Terronès French label Futura/Marge. Peeter Uuskyla has worked, recorded and toured with Peter Brötzmann, the father of European freejazz, for the past 15+ years. LP comes in heavy gatefold cover. Limited to 300 copies on LP and 200 copies on CD.

1. The Dream 05:32
2. Nerves 1 22:29
3. Nerves 2 15:12
4. Nerves 3 12:39
5. The Dream 02:40

Danny Kusz: Time to buy some PINK!

Vinny Raniolo's Album Release Party Friday, April 27th 7pm-11pm The Reckson Center Museums at Mitchel - Cradle of Aviation Garden City, NY

Acclaimed classic jazz guitarist Vinny Raniolo celebrates the release of his new CD, Air Guitar, with April 27 concert at
Long Island’s Cradle of Aviation Museum

With Air Guitar, his long-awaited debut album as a leader, stellar guitarist Vinny Raniolo displays his passion for early jazz and flying

Friday, April 27th 7pm-11pm
The Reckson Center Museums
at Mitchel - Cradle of Aviation
Garden City, NY

Vinny Raniolo - Guitar, Elias Bailey - Bass

Virtuoso guitarist Vinny Raniolo has built a widespread global fan base, thanks to his engaging approach to early jazz, his regular appearances on PBS specials, and his collaborations with six-string giants including Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola and Tommy Emmanuel.

Vinny’s love of flying is just about on par with his devotion to music, and with the release of his brand-new CD, Air Guitar, the 6-string wizard and pilot has found a way to connect his two passions.

Air Guitar, Raniolo’s much-anticipated debut recording as a leader, features a cache of 15 classic tunes related to flying and the wild blue yonder, by composers ranging from Benny Goodman to John Denver. The selections travel from the birth of aviation (the 1910 rarity “Come Josephine in My Flying Machine”), through gypsy jazz (into the clouds with Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages”) to the easy swing of Jimmy Van Heusen (“Come Fly With Me”). Raniolo also delves into the Great American Songbook with classic tunes by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael, and more.

Though Air Guitar is Vinny’s first album as a leader, he’s far from a newcomer to jazz. The Nassau County guitarist got interested in jazz at age 16 after a teacher introduced him to to records by masters of jazz guitar such as Joe Pass, John Pizzarelli, Bucky Pizzarelli, Herb Ellis and others. Vinny fell in love with the music immediately and realized, “That’s what I want to do.” He began gigging as a teen, and his career really took off when he paired up with fellow guitarist Frank Vignola at age 22.

Since then, Vinny Raniolo has garnered widespread attention and praise from critics and fans alike for his playing with Four Generations of Guitar, Rhythm Future Quartet and other ensembles. He maintains a busy international touring schedule, and appears on numerous albums, including duos with Vignola, and as a sideman and a sought-out accompanist for singers. Vinny is also recognized as an educator and is the author of several instruction books.

As for his other obsession, Vinny grew up around pilots, flight instructors and planes, but the flying bug didn’t bite till recently. He was hooked from his first lesson, about three years ago; now the brilliant guitarist is also an instrument-rated pilot, currently working toward obtaining a commercial license.

The flying guitarist’s passions are more closely connected than they might seem. “My background in music definitely helps with my overall understanding. It’s learning another language, and there are a lot of crossover skills such as coordination and math,” Vinny points out. “ I think that in life we are always playing jazz: You are alert to the environment around you and quickly improvise based on your knowledge of the situation. Just like music, aviation is a lifelong study and takes a lot of dedication.” 

The choice of concert venue is as special and as personal as the music: Audience members will have a chance to view a full exhibition of aviation history during a pre-concert cocktail hour, with hors d’œuvres, plus a cash bar.  

Bassist Elias Bailey, an in-demand player who has performed and studied with many of the top names in jazz, joins Vinny on Air Guitar, and onstage at the Reckson Center at the Cradle of Aviation Museum concert, as they celebrate the release of the new CD.

Media Contact
Jim Eigo
Jazz Promo Services
Ph: 845-986-1677
"Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

Dona Ivone Lara's last recording

Dona Ivone Lara recorded her last two recordings in collaboration with the American singer Alexandra Jackson, on the album “Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy” which pays homage to the great Brazilian music’s legacy and perpetuates Dona Ivone Lara’s biggest compositions in the songs “Sonho Meu” and “Força da Imaginação”.

The singers (Dona Ivone and Alexandra) are accompanied by the most prominent names of the Brazilian and American music such as Pretinho da Serrinha, Arthur Maia, Ricardo Silveira, Max Viana, Marcelo Camargo Mariano, Chris Walker, Darryl Tookes, and Curtis King. The songs were mixed in Los Angeles by GRAMMY Award winning engineer Ed Cherney. An EP was released in 2017; the full length drops May 25, 2018.

Robert Hebert, President of Legacy and Alchemy issues this statement: “We are saddened by the loss of Dona Ivone Lara. She was a light onto the world and, a great treasure of Brazilian music. We have been motivated for 3 years to tell her great story to the world. We have felt a great responsibility to do that. We will not let her down.”

Alexandra Jackson issues this statement: “I am incredibly saddened to hear of the loss of our Queen of Samba, Dona Ivone Lara. She was a legend, an inspiration, a pioneer, and a fighter. Even fighting to reach her 97th birthday, just a few days ago. I am humbled and honored that she gave her voice to Legacy & Alchemy, singing with me; and I will forever remember her dearly. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to her loved ones, and everyone who was touched by her spirit, just as I was.”

Dona Ivone Lara

The vocals of Dona Ivone Lara were recorded in Rio de Janeiro in December 2015. “Sonho Meu” is a classic Dona Ivone Lara song that Max Viana suggested. Max Viana and Robert Hebert produced the song in Rio de Janeiro. Backing Vocals by Alexandra Jackson, Chris Walker, Darryl Tookes and Curtis King were recorded in New Jersey in January 2016. Alexandra’s Lead Vocals were recorded in Rio de Janeiro in February 2016. 

“Força da Imaginação” is a Dona Ivone Lara-Caetano Veloso song that Robert Hebert and Max Viana also produced and arranged for the álbum. Dona Ivone’s appearance of course signal the “LEGACY” of this music. Also, it is noteworthy that the appearance of Pretinho da Serrinha (considered part of the next generation of Samba) presents the “ALCHEMY” of our musical vision.

Ella Fitzgerald Exclusive Record Store Day Vinyl! (VERVE RECORDS)

Happy Record Store Day!

In honor of Record Store Day, we’re bringing you the debut vinyl release of the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald singing and swinging in front of an animated, adoring crowd at Zardi’s Jazzland on Hollywood Boulevard in 1956. Available in extremely limited quantities at your local record store!

Fischermanns Orchestra - Tiefenrausch (UNIT RECORDS 2018)

Since 2007 the Fischermanns Orchestra has been running through the streets, spicing up stages and festivals all over Europe. The incredible, unstoppable Fischermanns Orchestra is always on the move, musically free and footloose. The Fischermanns Orchestra draws upon many different cultural influences and inspiration to form its own distinctive sound, which is in constant flux, changing as the musical evolution takes its course. A conscious risk is taken to sail through deep waters without compromise.

1 Nitrogen Narcosis 03:12
2 Koon 06:28
3 Tauchgang 05:59
4 Fnorc 03:01
5 Gualalepo 04:53
6 Tromsö 06:23
7 Blau Sein 07:12
8 The Beauty of the Beast 04:14
9 Der Oger 05:20
10 Float 02:38
11 Squeezy Fish 06:19