Thomas Heflin(USA)-Morning Star
Album: Morning Star
Label: Blue Canoe Records
Tennesse-born jazz trumpeter Thomas Heflin delivers a remarkable new collection of songs, titled, “Morning Star”. This dynamic modern jazz, R&B, CrossOver album features eleven original compositions and one cover song by the late great James Williams. Thomas Heflin is a virtuosic trumpeter, composer, arranger, educator and all of his talents are on full display with his latest release. Jazz and music fans will welcome this creative output from the bright star of Mr. Heflin. Musicians: Trumpet, Programming, Composer: Thomas Heflin, Bass: Steve Haines, Drums: Xavier Ware, Percussion: Jorge Luis Torres “Papiosco”, Piano, Keyboards: Peter Stoltzman, Guitar – Aaron Matson, Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax, Bass Clarinet – Gregory Tardy, Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet – Dan Hitchcock, Vocals – Mavis “Swan” Poole, Ariel Pocock
Album: Matus Can
Composer: Ramsés Ramírez
Matus Can is a musical group founded by Ramsés Ramírez, Mexican musician with a career of more than 20 years long in the International music scene that has led him to perform in Big Festivals, such as: Montreal Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Kansas City Jazz festival, Riviera Maya Jazz Festival and many more. Matus Can is dedicated to spread new Jazz, Folk, Groove and World music tendencies with a unique sound after experimenting with different genres, thus creating new ways of expression releasing his first studio album on 2021.
Matus Can´s music will give you a ride through the confines of traditional Mexican and World music, introducing instruments such as the Jarana and the Zapateado with electric and electronic resources mixed with Jazz, Folk and Funky rhythms. The group has received support from public institutions with the objective of spreading their musical
vision and taking it to several national and international stages, as well as achieving a cultural transcendence in today´s music scene.
Alex Coke & Carl Michel Sextet(USA)-The Emissary
Composer Alex Coke
Album name: The Emissary
Label: PlayOn Records
Carl Michel guitar, Elaine Barber harp. Bob Hoffnar pedal steel, James Suter bass, Carolyn Trowbridge vibes
Performing compelling music with origins in jazz, classical, folk, extended technique, and improvisation, this unique ensemble is an outgrowth of Coke and Barber’s popular weekly Driveway Concert Series that ran from April 2020 through June 2021. The ensemble explores the compositions of Paul Motian, Hildegard von Bingen, Huddie Ledbetter, Alex Coke & Carl Michel.
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At Last I Am Free/Think I’ll Call It A Day/We Are Who We Are
Album: When You Are Who You Are
Composer: Paul Ashley Wheatcroft
Label: TakingHead TV Recordings (2022)
When You Are What You Are’ is the new studio album by Hakim Jamal, slated for release in Spring 2022. The album is a return to Hakim’s jazz roots, and of course nods towards the ever-present influence of black songwriters and the black power movement.
Streaming CD Store Website
Roberto Magris(Italy)-Match Point
Composer: Roberto Magris
Album: Roberto Magris-Match Point
Label: JMood Records
On Match Point, his latest album, Italian pianist and composer Roberto Magris gathered together a brilliant line-up of accomplished musicians: Alfredo Chacon – Vibraphone And Percussion, Dion Kerr – Bass, Rodolfo Zuniga – Drums on what can be described as a festival of rhythms and styles from bebop, to blues, and Latin.
His signature style and imaginative arrangements put a new spin on compositions by Richard Kermode, McCoy Tyner, Thelonious Monk and Randy Weston along with four originals that blend into the mix like a charm.
One of the special beauties of the album lies in the delicate balance and fusion between piano and vibraphone radiating a warm melodic atmosphere filled with generous spaces to improvise.
Plenty of surprises, the album takes off with Yours is The Light, made famous by Santana on his Welcome album. Of course, there’s no guitar here, nevertheless, Roberto Magris takes it to new jazz heights while maintaining its Latin edge and beauty. It is a pity that Kermode died young; he would have been so proud to hear his composition wearing these new clothes. Searching for Peace is a 15-minute long rendition of McCoy Tyner’s ballad, an opportunity for subtle improvising and rhythm changes. The sunny Samba for Jade is another showcase of the virtuosic piano-vibes pair based on a memorable melodic theme signed by Magris. Magic Blues, is exactly what the title promises: blues made magic by a combination of extended solos of vibes and piano. On Thelonious Monk’s Reflections, the pianist takes the liberty to surprise us with an imaginative version that maintains a beautiful fluidity through the fast-changing harmonies. Caban Bamboo Highlife retains the festive mood and alert rhythms of the original piece, bringing forward the outstanding art of Rodolfo Zuniga. Without the horn section blowing on the original, the sound is smoother and graceful yet not losing its playfulness. Match Point the title track, another original, goes vibrant and swinging, the band is going over the top in a frenetic ride. To use just one keyword to describe this album: splendid!
Roberto Magris @ JMood Records
Label: Brasounds Productions
“Limão” is a song written by the great Djavan. It is the opening track for his album “Novena”, announcing the fresh upbeat spirit of that album. This version is an homage to him by these exponents of the new Brazilian Jazz: Ramiro Pinheiro, Rodrigo Balduino, Pedrinho Augusto. Special guest Nahor Gomes is the first trumpeter in SP Jazz Symphony Orchestra, member of Banda Mantiqueira, and has worked with João Donato, Milton Nascimento, Chico Buarque, to name a few.
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Brazzmatazz(Belgium) – Fistycuffs (live)
Album: Live At JGG Studio
Brazzmatazz returns with “Live At JGG Studio”, a selection of brassband bangers from a recent live session containing five brand new songs and two classics.
Join them on this half hour taster of their energetic, steampunk-drenched live shows, with styles ranging from drum ‘n bass over funk to a trip to the Balkans, and even a pirate song!
With new contributions from three of their saxophone players and a lone trumpeter, this truly was a group effort in writing as much as it was in recording.
Expertly recorded live in Johnny Green Giant Record Studio and mixed and mastered by our very own sound tech Jonas Nyaarr (Go To Eleven).
This album is a free online release including live footage, filmed and edited live by Dante Vanquaethem (Genuine Sound).
Artwork by Houckov.
Florian Arbenz(Switzerland)- François Moutin(France)- Maikel Vistel(Cuba) Album: Conversation #4 – Vulcanized
Florian Arbenz’s new Conversation album called Vulcanized reveals to be a fluid interaction of undeniable virtuosity between three well established artists. What a joy to hear Maikel Vistel and François Moutin bright combination of saxophone and bass and Florian Arbenz’s compelling taste and movement.
Besides the five originals we can listen to three inventive fresh takes on well-known compositions of Thelonious Monk, Joe Zawinul and Bill Evans. Last minute changes to the band members makes for a rough-around-the-edges surprise that rejuvenates pumping up the creative juices. The change is exactly what the album needs: to elevate the sound to authentic mastery, the likes of which the jazz fan is looking for. The perfect setting for consuming this music is fireside, with eyes shut, and all senses tuned to the vivid vision that this work imagines. Hackensack is a breakout, powerful piece that entrances the listener with high-energy notes and fast-paced journey through the musician’s mind. The nearly six-minute masterpiece is zany and energetic, and calls the listener to come along for the bumpy ride and enjoy not the destination but the sights along the way. In contrast, Scarlet Woman drags the attention into the piece with a soft intro that quickly becomes a sultry, warm piece filled with musical melodrama.
A special mention of the introspective A Soothing Thrill infused with a range of poetic, mysterious layers. Overall, the arrangements are cohesive yet leaving enough space to all three musicians to showcase their abilities . The feat that was this production by the trio was nothing short of impressive, and creates much promise for Florian Arbenz’s future creative encounters.
Florian Arbenz on Bandcamp
Livio Almeida, Rodrigo Bezerra, Rodrigo Balduino(Brazil)- Radamés y Pelé
Album: Radamés y Pelé
Label: Brasounds Productions
Radamés y Pelé is a song written by the great maestro Tom Jobim for his last album, to render homage to these two geniuses – and friends of his: the composer Radames Gnatalli and the soccer player Pelé.
This mixture between choro and bossa-nova is the first release of the project Jobiniando, and was handled by 3 exponents of the new Brazilian Jazz: Livio Almeida (sax tenor) has a master’s degree in composition at the Brooklyn College of New York and plays with great names of the American jazz scene, such as the Grammy award winning pianist Arturo O’Farril, Ari Hoening, Helio Alves and Romero Lubambo.
Rodrigo Bezerra (guitar) is one of the most prolific guitar players and composers of his generation. Having recorded 6 albums as a leader, he can easily combine jazz and Brazilian music, and have played with artists such as Ellen Oléria and Carlos Malta.
Rodrigo Balduino (bass) is a member of the Esdras Nogueira Quartet. He has shared the stage with names like Bocato and Dominguinhos and has recently produced the new album of Ramiro Pinheiro, released with the jazz label Fresh Sound Records.
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