Album: Chants (2021)
‘Chants’ is Al-jiçç’s fifth album and represents an aesthetic evolution of the band. It was composed and produced during the pandemic, with the musicians individually recording their parts.
The music started with six little themes composed on a electric piano, which served as a harmonic basis for the improvisations. These improvisations were edited and manipulated, with the mixing and post-production playing a fundamental role in the construction of the record.
Keeping the Mediterranean-inspired melodies as a brand, in ‘Chants’ these were fused in a universe influenced by Miles Davis’ electric phase (in ‘Route’), by Dub (in ‘Zadar’) or the more ambient electronics ( in ‘Lost Sign’).
This record represents a new direction for Al-Jiçç, using the melodic side as a starting point for more electronic and contemporary universes.
Guai(Brazil)-Sambar é Bom / Beyond The Thunder / Há Sempre uma Estrada
Composer: Murilo Antunes / Kiko Continentino
Album: Capitania (2021)
Capitania is the second album in the career of Brazilian female singer GUAI. The artist sings the journey of a traveler who ventures into the unknown, leaving Brazil to explore lands beyond the sea. A sensory album that brings original songs that praise Brazilian Music and tell about resilience, faith, courage, loneliness and storms, in a vast sea of emotions and rhythms. Highlights are the original track “Cada Eu” by Carlinhos Brown, composed specially for this project, and a bonus track, an English language version of “Depois dos Temporais” written by GUAI. Production by GUAI and Nema Antunes and co-produced by Telefunksoul. Choose your destiny, let love lead the way and keep the faith. This album is autobiographical and has special guests Ivan Lins, Paulo de Carvalho (well known Portuguese artist), cuban pianist Victor Zamora and Arthur Maia.
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World Music Mix
The JVM Collective(USA)-Into The Night
Label: Blue Canoe Records
The JVM Collective consists of guitarist/producer Denny Jiosa, bassist Roy Vogt, and drummer Tom Moller. This Nashville Jazz trio delivers a creative and powerful album of beautiful original compositions, deep grooves, and inspiring improvisations titled, “Frontiers”. Fans of instrumental, eclectic music will surely love The JVM Collective and their 8 song album titled, “Frontiers”.
Blue Canoe Records
Saxophonist Kevin Sun Imagines Charlie Parker in the 21st Century
on Fourth Album, <3 Bird
Out August 29, 2021 on the 101st anniversary of Charlie Parker’s birth, <3 Bird celebrates the legendary saxophonist with radically inventive compositions inspired by his music
“…Sun swings for the fences with his sense of form and scale.” – Nate Chinen, WBGO
“Sun has a warmth, richness and rhythmic vitality to his playing that at times brings Lester Young or Sonny
Rollins to mind.” – Troy Dostert, All About Jazz
“An outstanding recording…The album acknowledges the past, lives in the present and looks to the future… The
spirit of Charlie Parker is very much alive on this one, an album that seems to bring new discoveries with every
listen. Highly recommended.” – Miguel Zenón, saxophonist/composer
<3 Bird, out August 29, 2021 via Endectomorph Music, is Kevin Sun’s love letter to the towering father of modern jazz, Charlie Parker. In a concise but wide-ranging program of 12 original compositions and three arrangements, Sun draws electrifying and futuristic conclusions from Parker’s musical innovations, assisted by a stellar cast of peers that include trumpeter Adam O’Farrill (Mary Halvorson, Stephan Crump, Rudresh Mahanthappa), guitarist Max Light (Noah Preminger, Jason Palmer), and pianist Christian Li (Adam Neely, Mike Bono), as well as Walter Stinson on bass and Matt Honor on drums
All of the music on <3 Bird was conceived during the pandemic of 2020, the early months of which found Sun digging into all things Bird. “During that time, Charlie Parker became a sort of guiding light for me when we were most isolated and afraid,” Sun recalls. “I tried to find and listen to every recording of Bird, and I found a certain comfort in his consistency
and just the radiance of his sound.”
With plenty of time on his hands, Sun immersed himself in the roughly 72 hours of known Charlie Parker recordings, as well as interviews with Parker’s contemporaries, documentaries, and other historical resources.
“It was a way to de-stress and take a break from the pandemic reality—just by imagining what was happening on a given day or period in Bird’s life,” Sun says. “I could listen to him on the night of his 30th birthday, playing with a pickup band at the Rainbow Inn in New Brunswick, New Jersey, or check him out trading phrases with a tap dancer on a TV show.”
2020 marked the centennial of the saxophonist’s birth, but tributes to the great artist were limited to remote performances, events, and tribute albums. In using this extended period of time to reflect on Parker’s legacy, Sun saw inexhaustible possibilities in the saxophonist’s music.
“It’s almost like he was hiding these musical Easter eggs for us to find, long after he was gone,” Sun says. “There’s an absurdly broad range of musical references and quotations, literally hundreds, that he slips in; he’s
like the James Joyce of modern jazz.”
In a nod to the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, lightning-quick recordings from the bebop era, Sun erred on the side of brevity for <3 Bird, with half the album’s tracks clocking in under three minutes.
Trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, named among the “25 for the Future” in 2020 by DownBeat magazine, is a brilliant foil for Sun on the album’s opener, “Greenlit,” a shapeshifting take-off on Parker’s “Confirmation,” as well as on “Schaaple from the Appel,” which uses the rhythm of Scrapple from the Apple’s well-known introduction as a diving board for new directions.
Guitarist Max Light—who has come into broader recognition in recent years earning 2nd place in the 2019 Herbie Hancock Institute’s International Jazz Guitar Competition and as a collaborator with artists like Noah Preminger and Jason Palmer—joins Sun on three tracks.
Onomatopoeia” is a burning up-tempo romp with elements of jazz classics “Be-Bop” and “Segment.” “Du Yi’s Choir,” a tongue-in-cheek homage to Parker’s “Dewey Square,” is like “Schaaple” in that it capitalizes on the rhythmic ingenuity of the original recorded introduction; it also features Sun on the Chinese sheng, a mouth organ whose history dates back 3,000 years. “Talck-overseed-nete,” the album’s closer, is an arrangement of Parker’s inscrutably titled “Klact-oveesed-tene” in 5/4 meter, a creative choice inspired by a modernistic drum figure played by Max Roach on the original recording.
Pianist Christian Li, whom Sun has played and recorded with as part of the quartet Mute, rounds out the ensemble on tracks like “Adroitness (I + II),” a slow and then fast two-part piece based on the melody and rhythm of Parker’s “Dexterity.” Li’s brooding yet dynamic pianism comes to the fore on “Dovetail,” an avant-garde take on “Yardbird Suite” and the longest track on the album, which also features the leader on both clarinet and tenor saxophone.
“One thing I discovered was that, if you speed-adjust and superimpose multiple recorded takes of Charlie Parker, the pieces somehow add together into this miraculous counterpoint,” says Sun. “It’s like he planned it out, the way he seems to answer and echo himself, and that’s where the material for ‘Dovetail’ came from.”
<3 Bird includes three 12-bar blues pieces, which were a pillar of Parker’s musical foundation coming from pre-WWII Kansas City. “Composite” features drummer Matt Honor improvising explosive figures set to four-part counterpoint, which is itself made up of fragments of Parker’s compositions “Bloomdido,” “Cheryl,” “Relaxin’ at Camarillo,” and “Big Foot.” “Sturgis” uses Parker’s recorded improvisations on “Mohawk” as the source of new counterpoint, while Sun’s arrangement of Parker’s blues “Big Foot” is rendered here as a grooving boogaloo, with hints of Eddie Harris and ’60s soul jazz
.Sun also includes two other miniatures that were composed for The Jazz Gallery’s Lockdown Sessions, a virtual music series developed by the NYC venue that invites artists to share new works in a curated panel format. Both are trio features: “Cheroot,” a free-wheeling, three-way conversation for saxophone, bass, and drums based on Parker’s “She Rote,” and “Arc’s Peel,” which refashions “Scrapple from the Apple” as a light-humored two-part invention.
Parker’s favored classic quintet format appears just once on the album, for the dazzling interpretation of the Dizzy Gillespie-Kenny Clarke crowd-pleaser “Salt Peanuts.” Sun recreated the intricate arrangement of the 1945 original, replete with interludes and send-offs, but adds a generous dash of rhythmic intrigue for good measure.
With <3 Bird, Sun proves himself a formidable contributor to the continuing legacy of Parker’s music in this new century. In doing so, he also shares his vision for future directions in jazz and even more creative work to come.
Kevin Sun is a saxophonist and composer living in New York City. His music has been called “…intense, harmonically virtuosic and compositionally complex” by DownBeat Magazine, and he has released three albums to date—most recently (Un)seaworthy in November 2020. Sun has recorded four albums with the ensembles Mute, Earprint, and Great On Paper, and he appears on recordings led by Jacob Garchik, Dana Saul, and Xiongguan Zhang. In addition to performing in the U.S., Sun has performed extensively in China and is the Artistic Director of the Blue Note China Jazz Orchestra. Most recently, Sun was named a Finalist for the 2021 Jerome Hill Foundation Artist Fellowship.
Guy Buttery(South Africa)-December Poems
Composer: Guy Buttery
Album: One Morning in Gurgaon
Label: Riverboat Records (2021)
A beautifully spontaneous collaboration between acclaimed South African guitarist Guy Buttery and Indian master musicians Mohd. Amjad Khan (tabla) & Mudassir Khan (sarangi), One Morning In Gurgaon was inspired by the trio’s shared appreciation of the musical wonders and landscapes of the subcontinent.
Guy Buttery is a “National treasure” according to South Africa’s leading newspaper The Mercury. As an internationally recognised guitar innovator, he enjoys invitations to play sell-out performances all over the globe. The USA, UK, Australia, France, Brazil, and Italy have all welcomed him back year after year. Guy Buttery has evolved into an ambassador of South African music, inspiring people across the world with his homegrown style at the very heart of his talent and tenacity.
It was whilst Guy was embarking on his 2019 tour of India, as part of a trio with the highly acclaimed Indian classical musicians Mohd. Amjad Khan and Mudassir Khan, that the seed was sown for One Morning In Gurgaon. Remarkably, all three musicians had never met before, let alone made any music together, and before their first concert they had only “practised” via voice recordings and exchanged texts somewhere between Hindi and English to break down the various parts of the set. Ultimately it was this unrehearsed approach combined with the inauspicious and eleventh-hour nature of their first meeting which provided the stardust for this collaboration as Guy explains, “Due to Delhi traffic, our intended dry run was shaved right down to a single 60 minutes giving us just enough time to shake hands, share a chai and tune our instruments. As a result, we went in totally blind to that first concert yet what unfolded on stage over the next hour left me in complete awe. So much so that after our performance I immediately set about asking anyone who would listen, how we could track down a local studio to capture our newly formed trio. As luck would have it, the very place where we had performed that first night had a basic recording set-up and we somehow managed to secure a single morning to record.”
Guy’s fascination and love for India’s musical wonders and myriad landscapes are deep rooted and go back to his first brush with the subcontinent when he was just twenty-one. Talking about the synchronicities of his first encounter with Amjad and Mudassir and the unexpected studio session that followed to create this album, Guy explains the importance of that first trip, “I don’t believe any of my prior or subsequent travels have impacted and shaped me as much as that trip did. I came back a vegetarian, 10 kgs lighter, with a severe case of lockjaw and a deep love for a land, its people and its intoxicating music.”
Both Mohd. Amjad Khan and Mudassir Khan are renowned masters of their respective instruments, steeped in the Indian classical traditions from a young age. Although guardians of their musical heritage, One Morning In Gurgaon highlights their willingness to push the envelope of their instruments, expertly highlighted by Amjad whose tabla playing is marked by uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity. Likewise, Mudassir has harnessed the improvisational potential of the rare and notoriously difficult sarangi (Indian box cello), an instrument whose sound most resembles that of the human voice, and an instrument which Guy confesses to, “Being overly obsessed with.” The combined experience of Guy’s acoustic guitar wizardry with these two Indian master musicians culminates in an album which is as pure and uninhibited an example of empathetic collaboration as you’ll find anywhere: a musical conversation between musicians exchanging each other’s ideas on the spur of the moment and feeling out the areas of crossover with a depth that goes far beyond pure mimicry. The album also highlights Guy’s mbira (thumb piano) playing on the beautiful ‘I Know This Place’, providing a sublime and hypnotic melody which seamlessly blends with the tabla and sarangi accompaniment.
It seems impossibly fortuitous that the celestials and traffic gods aligned to allow One Morning In Gurgaon to be. All the music you hear contained within is the result of singular takes, as time didn’t allow for more. Everything had to be spontaneous as Guy describes, “Amjad chose what songs we would play. Our rendition of “Raag Yaman” presented here was the first and only time we ever played it together. Mudassir gave me a skeleton idea of the raga in spoken word and what unfolded is what you hear here. Everything else was almost certainly telepathic. I was well aware of the intuition and openness in the room that consequential morning in Gurgaon. I feel incredibly humbled to have shared in sound with these two masters and am forever grateful to them both for their profound musicianship, their warm hearts and their spontaneous spirits.”
Calabó(Puerto Rico)-Red Sky
Album: Mind Colors
Mind Colors is a collaboration between artists forging in this way a refreshing musical conversation with a new vision of the improvisational jazz genre. Featuring Artist: Jandro Rivas, Danel Díaz, Letzer Cartagena.
JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2021
Nastazio Gkoumas Trio-Escape
Nastazio Gkoumas Trio(Greece)-Chicken Bucket
Composer: Nastazio Gkoumas
Nastazio Gkoumas : guitar
Demetris Papanikolaou :double bass
Rafael Kyriakides : drums
JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2021
The Moreira Project
Moreira Chonguiça aka The Moreira Project(Mozambique)-Relaxante
Composer: Moreira Chonguiça
Album: Vol 2: Citizen of the World
Label: Morestar Entertainment 2008
This song is from Moreira’s second album Vol 2: Citizen of the World which won Best Contemporary Jazz Album in South Africa in 2009. It is about a beautiful area in the north of Mozambique called Pemba with brilliant white beaches and palm trees and soft lapping water.
Moreira Chonguica The Moreira Project: Vol 1 – The Journey (2006) – Moreira Chonguica
Moreira Chonguiça-02 360 Degrees (What Goes Around Comes Around)
Album: THE MOREIRA PROJECT: VOL 1 – THE JOURNEY
Ric DelNero & Chris Cummings(USA)-Nero
Composer: Ric DelNero & Chris Cummings
Album: After All
Label: Orenled Music
After All is a collaboration between composer/guitarist Ric DelNero and drummer Chris Cummings. The music featured on this recording is an instrumental fusion of Jazz and Rock in a power trio setting.
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Imaginably is the 2nd album of Utopia, NY based duo project formed by Japanese musicians Yuto Mitomi (sax) and Yuto Kanazawa (guitar) who share the same first name.
The first track Karatachi no Hana is written by Japanese composer Kosaku Yamada in 1925, Mitomi originally arranged this piece for his octet and later he started to play together with Kanazawa. Title track Imaginably is the original composition by Yuto Mitomi, other tracks are a collection of jazz standards and pop covers.
First two tracks are played in a similar aesthetic, free improvisation based on the melody and form. It is a similar approach to their influence, the music of Paul Motian trio with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano. Mitomi and Kanazawa focused on listening to the momentum of each other’s performance and improvised freely along with the flow of the melody.
In contrast to the first two tracks, I Want You Back, Black Bird, Dralice and Isn’t She Lovely have steady rhythms with the styles of Funk, Latin, Country and Brazilian Music. Mitomi and Kanazawa express their respect and love for jazz with Thelonious Monk’s Ugly Beauty and Cliff Burwell’s jazz standard Sweet Lorraine that was written in 1928.
Their unique repertoire was formed while performing gigs in NYC and touring in Japan where they play music for audiences who love all genres of music. Utopia’s intention on this album was to introduce jazz and improvisation to a broader audience with the familiar melodies and cultural music. Mitomi plays tenor and soprano sax and Kanazawa plays Brazilian 7 string guitar on this album.
Their mutual friend pianist Noah MacNeil gave notes to the album inner cover; For both standards and cover songs, there is no limit to what one could imaginably play.
Album Release Date: 3/12/21 on major streaming websites.
Pre-release available at Bandcamp on 3/5/21.
Yuto Mitomi (Tenor & Soprano Saxophone)
Yuto Kanazawa (Brazilian 7 string guitar )
Recorded by Jason Borisoff
at Conveyor Recording Studio in Brooklyn NY, on January 21st, 2020
Mixed & Mastered by Yuto Kanazawa
Art designed by Yuto Kanazawa,
Special thanks to Noah MacNeil,