World Music Mix: Clint Bahr(USA) – Puzzlebox (Moonjune Records, 2022)

clint-bahr-puzzlebox

Inextricably linked to the label, the 2003 self-titled debut of Clint Barr‘s seminal NYC-based power trio, Tripod, was MoonJune Record’s fourth release. Harkening back to the same “reaching beyond” mentality which defined the work, Puzzlebox – bassist / vocalist / composer / multi-instrumentalist Barr’s long-awaited epic – is a fitting way to document this most special of occasions: seeing both artist and label going full circle, and in grandiose style!

Delightfully blurring both stylistic and structural approaches, the tight-knit unit Barr has assembled proves as unpredictable as they are adept, articulate and convicted. Described as “a genre-defying global collaboration of artists; a cross-pollination of diverse instruments and talents,” Puzzlebox recalls prog in its early heydays: when albums as uninhibited and offscript as King Crimson’s Lizard and Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica were celebrated, and the Canterbury renaissance was in full swing. Brilliantly arranged and produced, Clint Barr has delivered a multi-faceted, timeless epic … at such a time as this.

CLINT BAHR’s PUZZLEBOX’s release culminates a 20-year relationship between Clint Bahr and Leonardo Pavkovic, as TriPod’s eponymous CD was the fourth album released on MoonJune Records in 2003.

PUZZLEBOX is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Clint Bahr (former member of TriPod, Andromeda & Flash).

PUZZLEBOX is a rock band, a multidimensional “Tabula Rasa” in both compositional and improvisational formats.

PUZZLEBOX is a genre-defying global collaboration of artists, a cross-pollination of diverse instruments and talents.

Featuring:
Clint Bahr – basses & vocals (TriPod)
Peter Banks – guitar (Yes)
Colin Carter – vocals (Flash)
Marilyn Crispell – piano (Pharoah Sanders, Anthony Braxton)
David Cross- violins (King Crimson)
Stephanie Feyne – dialogue (The Dotes)
Billy Ficca – drums (Television)
Dick Griffin – trombone (Sun Ra, Roland Kirk)
Mike Hough – drums (Flash)
David Jackson – woodwinds (Van der Graaf Generator)
Dan Parkington – sitar & violin (Andromeda)
Jeff Schiller – woodwinds (The Roots)

www.puzzlebox.band

bandcamp

World Music Mix

World Music Mix: The Motet -“Draccus” (single, 2023)

The Motet unveil “Draccus,” the existential second single off their forthcoming instrumental album All Day

Marking the funk-jazz-soul quintet’s 10th studio LP, All Day will release on Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Out now across platforms“The verses in Draccus paint a dark picture of our socio-political landscape. In contrast, the ascending chords on the instrumental choruses hint at optimism for the future.” – Garrett Sayers, bassist for The Motet
For a little over two decades, The Motet have cultivated a fervent fanbase through immaculate live performances and a seamless blend of funk, jazz, soul, and rock. This unique style and cohesive musical chemistry have led to sold-out shows across the nation – including six headlining slots at Red Rocks and sets at festivals such as BonnarooBottlerockElectric ForestBumbershootSummer Camp, and High Sierra.

But even after their 20+ years of accolades and recognition, the legendary outfit – composed of Dave Watts (drums), Joey Porter (keys), Garrett Sayers (bass), Drew Sayers (keys and saxophone), and Ryan Jalbert (guitar) – are still exploring new sonic and thematic ideas.

Now, the band is revving up towards their 10th studio album, All Day, which will release on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. All Day marks The Motet’s first primarily instrumental project since 2009’s electronica-fueled Dig Deep.
Fans got their first taste of All Day with the album’s lead single, “‘79,” a lavish funk and soul epic. With a retro-futurist style, the track takes you into the funky past of the 70s and 80s while fortifying its pastiche with decidedly modern elements.

Today, The Motet release “Draccus,” a hazy, funk-fueled experience. Filled to the brim with lush sonic details and powerful lyricism, “Draccus” juxtaposes grim verses with cathartic, hopeful choruses.



Draccus” embodies what The Motet have concocted with All Day, an album that will retain the infectious grooves and immaculate, layered arrangements that The Motet have become known for. But by recentering the listening experience around the playing and composition, All Day emphasizes the band’s instrumental mastery molded by two decades of shared musical chemistry. As a result, the new LP promises to showcase a world-class band at the peak of their powers while simultaneously adding potent social themes that address modern political strife.

Draccus” kicks off with a growling, deep bass and guitar groove that underlie the dystopian vocoder-synth vocals. The verse then transitions into the song’s cacophonous chorus, which imbues the track with synth and organ chords on top of ascending guitar melodies.

Oscillating between politically-charged verses and optimistic instrumental hooks, “Draccus” speaks to the current social reality while offering a tone of hope and resilience in the face of existential doubt.

“First eat up all the trees, look out I spit fire/The keeper of the keys, flames are getting higher/Draccus does what he wants,” the band sings, a gloomy, poetic message on the state of the world.

But “Draccus” isn’t mere despair. It relates to the socio-political upheaval of the past several years, and uses its arrangements and instrumentation to bring focus to the importance of music and art. For The Motet, society can prosper through community, and music can be that bridging catalyst.

Fans can hear “Draccus” and other All Day cuts on The Motet’s upcoming nationwide tour, kicking off with a two-night New Years run at Crystal Bay Casino in Lake Tahoe and stopping through cities like Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Columbus, and Honolulu. In addition to performing at Tucson’s Gem & Jam Festival, the band will also play a special, hometown doubleheader at Denver’s Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, to celebrate both the LP release and the iconic venue’s 20th anniversary.

The Motet tour dates
12/30/22 Crystal Bay, NV | Crystal Bay Casino
12/31/22 Crystal Bay, NV | Crystal Bay Casino
1/13/23 Telluride, CO | Sheridan Opera House
1/14/23 Crested Butte, CO | Center for the Arts
1/20/23 Denver, CO | Cervantes
1/21/23 Denver, CO | Cervantes
2/3/23 Tucson, AZ | Gem + Jam
2/17/23 Bend, OR | Volcanic Theatre Pub
2/18/23 Bend, OR | Volcanic Theatre Pub
2/24/23 Bozeman, MT | ELM
2/25/23 Missoula, MT | Top Hat
2/26/23 Whitefish, MT | Great Northern Bar
3/1/23 Victor, ID | Knotty Pine
3/2/23 Boise, ID | Olympic Lounge
3/3/23 Salt Lake City, UT | Commonwealth
3/4/23 Salt Lake City, UT | Commonwealth
3/10/23 Buena Vista, CO | Ivy Ballroom
3/11/23 Buena Vista, CO | Ivy Ballroom
3/15/23 Indianapolis, IN | Vogue
3/16/23 St Louis, MO | Delmar Hall
3/17/23 Columbus, OH | St. Fatty’s Daze @ The Woodlands
3/18/23 Columbus, OH | St. Fatty’s Daze @ The Woodlands
3/19/23 Cleveland, OH | Beachland Ballroom
3/24/23 Honolulu, HI | Blue Note
3/25/23 Honolulu, HI | Blue Note

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World Music Mix

USA/TX Alex Coke Carl Michel Sextet- November 30 at the Draylen Mason

Photos: KT Yarbrough

Alex Coke -Carl Michel Sextet

WEDNESDAY November 30, 2022 
7:30pm
41 Navasota Street
Austin TX 78702

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alex-cokecarl-michel-sextet-tickets-404669827347

Saxophonist / flutist Alex Coke and guitarist Carl Michel bring together an exciting sextet of busy Austin musicians including Austin Symphony’s principal harpist Elaine Barber, pedal steel player Bob Hoffnar (Liminal Sound Series), first call double bassist James Suter, and popular percussionist Carolyn Trowbridge performing and recording compelling music.

With origins in jazz, classical, folk, extended technique and improvisation this live performance and recording includes new arrangements of music by Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Valentyn Silvestrov, and Paul Motian with new music by Coke, Michel, and Hoffnar in the mix.

This performance is made possible in part thanks to The Liminal Sound Series, dedicated to the commissioning of new works and collaborations between visionary composers and Austin, TX. based musicians and performers.

JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2021: The JVM Collective(USA)/Album: Frontiers

The JVM Collective(USA)-Into The Night
Album: Frontiers
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

JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2021

JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2021: Kevin Sun- <3 Bird

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.
www.kevinsun.com

JazzWorldQuest 2021 Showcase

Ric DelNero & Chris Cummings(USA) Album: After All

Ric DelNero-After All

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.
Website CD Store

JazzWorldQuest Showcase 20121

Wade C. Long-Happy Go Lucky

Wade C. Long-Happy Go Lucky
Composer: Wade C. Long
Album: Longitude/Keys Please(2021)

https://jazzworldquest.com/music-mix
Keyboardist-Vocalist Wade C. Long has released the first of his 3-part new album, Longitude. Keys Please is a 3-track rendering, with all musical numbers. The first song, Mr. Jones, features guitarist Andres Coca, and is a cool, laid back ode to one of Wade’s musical heroes, the incomparable Quincy Jones. The 3rd track is the lighthearted and playful God Children. Sandwiched in between the two is the album’s lead single, the very fun and danceable Happy Go Lucky. Part Two of Longitude is due this coming fall and highlights Wade’s vocals. It includes another collaboration, this one with bassist Christian DeMesones. For press inquiries and interview requests Mr. Long can be reached via Sealong Music Group, at sealongentertainment@gmail.com.
Website|InstagramTwitter |Facebook |Spotify| Soundcloud| YouTube

2021 Jazz Festival News: USA/SENEGAL/CANADA

Five free shows to see at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival
There are 52 performances free to view at this year’s Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Senegal’s famed jazz festival returns after pandemic delay
Billed as Africa’s biggest jazz festival, it has struggled with dwindling attendance since its days hosting headliners like American pianist Herbie Hancock, who played there in 1996.

The Bay Area’s jazz scene swings back into (live) action
Forced to cancel last summer’s festival for the first time in more than six decades, the Monterey Jazz Festival is back on Sept. 24-26 with a scaled down event taking place almost entirely in and around the fairgrounds’ main arena. The reduced footprint means that MJF64 will have only a fraction of its former capacity, with 2,500 tickets available daily to allow for social distancing.

Alex Coke 4tet plays Monks For Project Safety Net

Alex Coke 4tet at Monks
June 15, 2021 7:30p Monks Jazz
501 East Pedernales #2E
Austin TX 78702

Alex Coke swings originals and standards on sax and flute with a great quartet that includes Bruce Saunders (guitar), James Suter (bass) and Masumi Jones (drums) for Austin Jazz Society’s Project Safety Net.
LIVE from the new home of Monks Jazz in Austin, Texas.
And…ONLINE, streaming in HD from
https://youtu.be/YD_gVOtD3NU

Limited seating available for the live performance with a free archived livestream to enjoy anytime. Donations & emoji’s welcomed and encouraged!

Donations to the musicians via Project Safety Net:
https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/austinjazzsociety
Please add a note saying your donation during the livestream is
for the Alex Coke Quartet.