Just in case, you missed it… Wall featuring Dabin Ryu is an award-winning jazz pianist from Seoul, South Korea

Dabin Ryu is an award-winning jazz pianist from Seoul, South Korea. Dabin’s musical journey started at age 3 with classical piano. Eventually, Dabin became interested in jazz and contemporary styles of music, which she is now known for. After high school, Dabin attended Berklee College of Music, majoring in Jazz Performance and Jazz Composition, ultimately graduating in 2018. She then continued her education at Manhattan School of Music, graduating with a master’s degree in Jazz Studies. As a student, Dabin was fortunate to study with Ralph Peterson, Joanne Brackeen, Francesca Tanksley, Kendrick Scott, Buster Williams, Neal Smith, Ted Rosenthal, and Phil Markowitz.

Dabin Ryu’s debut album Wall (out now and on which she produced, composed, and arranged the entire project), features ten original compositions entirely composed, arranged, and produced by the pianist. The compositions settle within the jazz tradition yet refuse the conventional instrumentations of a classic jazz album. In this album, she captures the traces her life-long practice of music has left on her. 1. ‘The Light’ 2. ‘I’ll Never Know’ 3. ‘Temple Run’ 4. ‘Wall (Pt. 1)’ 5. ‘Wall (Pt. 2)’ 6. ‘Moon’ 7. ‘Stillborn’ 8. ‘Suspicion’ 9. ‘Taxi Driver’ 10. ‘We Will Meet Again’ This is a Brand New CD (not sealed, never was) that ships via 1st Class USPS. ~Liner Notes | Amazon

Original Release Date: May 22, 2021

At your leisure, check out “WALL” by Dabin Ryu

[Just in case, you missed it]… the versatile voice of pianist-composer Zela Margossian’s music rises above all these labels as a product of her own unique constellation of influences and lived experiences on her latest recording The Road

Variously described as “ethno-jazz”, “world-jazz”, and “folk-jazz fusion”, Zela Margossian’s music rises above all these labels as a product of her own unique constellation of influences and lived experiences.

Raised in Beirut of Armenian heritage, her childhood years were marked by the conflict and political instability of the region; themes she would later explore in her music. In her early twenties, Margossian moved to Yerevan, Armenia to study classical piano at the Komitas Conservatorium. But it was after class, in the local jazz-clubs listening to artists the likes of Arto Tunçboyacıyan and Vahagn and the Cats, that her love for jazz was stoked. A move to Australia some years later saw her take the bold step to fully transition from her classical roots and find recognition among her jazz peers, as a composer and improviser of note.

In 2017, the Zela Margossian Quintet (ZMQ) was formed and quickly found a warm embrace in the Sydney jazz scene. Comprising renowned, versatile performers: Stuart Vandegraaff (woodwinds), Jacques Emery (double bass), Adem Yilmaz (percussion), and Alexander Inman-Hislop (drum kit), the band has appeared on Australia’s mainstages and internationally including at: the Beirut International Jazz Festival (2018), SIMA’s Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival (2017, 2019 and 2020), Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues (2020), the Sydney Opera House (2020), and Sydney Festival (2021).

In 2019 the band’s debut album, Transition, was released by Art As Catharsis to critical acclaim, also receiving an ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) nomination for Best World Music album.

The Road is their much anticipated second album, promising the rich instrumental textures, the distinct compositional voice, as well as the narrative and thematic depth Margossian, is known for. ~Bandcamp

Released: February 25, 2022

April 27-30: Princeton University Jazz Festival features Gilad Hekselman, Alexa Tarantino, Seamus Blake, Tony Malaby

Jazz at Princeton University, helmed by acclaimed saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa, announces the return of the Princeton University Jazz Festival. Presented in conjunction with Jazz Appreciation Month, the event, which takes place Wednesday, April 27 – Saturday, April 30, features guest artists guitarist Gilad Hekselman, and saxophonists Seamus BlakeTony Malaby, and Alexa Tarantino performing with Princeton University’s stellar student ensembles. ∙ Wednesday, April 27 – Jazz Vocal Collective directed by Trineice Robinson-Martin.The JVC is a small jazz ensemble highlighting solo voices and a rhythm section to create a collaborative musical experience. The 7:30 p.m. performance takes place at Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall. Admission is free. Please visit musicprincetoninfohub.com/covid for the latest safety requirements. For information go to https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-vocal-collective-5. ∙ Thursday, April 28 –Guest saxophonist Alexa Tarantino joins Small Group Zguest guitarist Gilad Hekselman performs with Small Group X. The 7:30 p.m. performance, under the direction of Matthew Parrish, takes place at Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall. Free admission. Please visit musicprincetoninfohub.com/covid for the latest safety requirements. For information go to https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-small-groups-x-z-0. • Saturday, April 30 – Titans of the Tenor SaxophoneA celebration of International Jazz Day the concert includes Princeton’s Small Group I featuring guest saxophonist Tony Malaby and Small Group A joined by guest saxophonist Seamus Blake. The 8 p.m. performance takes place in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall. Tickets $15, $5 students. Please visit musicprincetoninfohub.com/covid for the latest safety requirements. For information go to https://music.princeton.edu/events/small-groups-i-and. “We are thrilled about the return of The Princeton University Jazz Festival,” says Mahanthappa. “In a trio of concerts during Jazz Appreciation Month, accomplished guest artists perform alongside our remarkably talented students, creating a truly special synergy that feels particularly significant given the curtailing of live music we’ve all experienced over the last couple of years.”

GUEST ARTIST BIOS New York-based saxophonist/composer Seamus Blake is recognized as one of the finest exponents of contemporary jazz. Seamus was born in December 1970 in England and raised in Vancouver, Canada. At age 21, while still a student at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, he was asked to record with legendary drummer Victor Lewis. After graduation, he moved to New York, where he rapidly established himself on the New York jazz scene. In February 2002, Seamus took first place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. As the winner, he performed with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. His music is known for its sophistication, bold improvisations, and “sheer swagger.” John Scofield, who hired Seamus for his “Quiet Band,” called him “extraordinary, a total saxophonist.” Throughout his 24-year career, Seamus has garnered critical praise for his masterful playing, his fine compositional skills, and his facility as a leader. Since moving to Paris in February 2018 Seamus has been invited to perform the music of his CD Superconductor with a number of European jazz bands, including the Latvian Radio Jazz Band, the Trondheim Big Band, and The Sibis Alumni Big Band. In 2017 Seamus assembled a new quartet, The French Connection. The band (Seamus, Tony Tixier on piano, Florent Nisse on bass, and Gautier Garrigue on drums) recorded their first CD in Paris in November of 2017 and have toured in France and Spain. As a leader/co-leader, Seamus has released more than a dozen albums. He is featured as a sideman on over 70 releases. He has played and recorded with Bill Stewart, Kevin Hays, David Kikoski, Alex Sipiagin, John Scofield’s Quiet Band, Dave Douglas, Eric Reed, Ethan Iverson, Chris Cheek, and Matt Penman, among others. Gilad Hekselman is one of the leading voices in jazz guitar. Only a few years after his 2004 arrival in New York, this native Israeli was already sharing stages with some of the greatest artists on the scene including Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Mark Turner, Anat Cohen, Ari Hoenig, Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Ballard, Ben Wendel, Gretchen Parlato, Ben Williams, Avishai Cohen, Tigran Hamasyan, Aaron Parks and Becca Stevens among many others. In May 2019, Hekselman featured his quartet at the legendary NYC venue The Village Vanguard. He has also played at major jazz clubs including the Blue Note, The Jazz Standard, Dizzy’s Club, and Smalls. He tours internationally and has played jazz festivals and venues including Montreux, North Sea, Montreal, and SFJazz. Hekselman has released nine critically-acclaimed records as a bandleader, many of which have made it into ‘best of the year’ lists in The New York Times, DowBeat, All About Jazz, and many other publications. His tenth record, Far Star, will be released on Edition Records in May 2022. It’s an all-original album in which Hekselman plays many instruments, and it features special guests such as Eric Harland, Shai Maestro, Ziv Ravitz, and more. The record release will be celebrated with a week-long engagement at the Village Vanguard in 2022. Gilad is the recipient of several prestigious awards and recognitions. In 2017, Gilad placed first in the Rising Star category of DownBeat. In 2018 Gilad was asked by guitar legend Pat Metheny to perform as part of his NEA Award ceremony at The Kennedy Center, alongside some of Metheny’s other favorite young guitar players. Gilad is also the winner of the 2005 Gibson Montreux International Guitar Competition, which led to a string of performances including opening for guitar legend Paco de Lucia with his trio at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2006. In 2009, Gilad recorded three tracks for Walt Disney Records, one of which was included in the record Everybody Wants To Be a Cat (2011). The album features versions of Disney songs played by a top-shelf lineup of musicians including Dave Brubeck, Joshua Redman, Esperanza Spalding, Diane Reeves, Roy Hargrove, Kurt Rosenwinkel, The Bad Plus, and many other jazz legends.

In his two decades as an integral member of New York City’s improvised music community, saxophonist and composer Tony Malaby has emerged as a wholly unique and singular voice. DownBeat’s “80 Coolest Things in Jazz” article said “[Malaby] is a formidably accomplished soprano and tenor saxophonist with enviable tone and an endless font of compelling ideas [who] steers his music away from perfection” and “his considerable gifts as a melodist tend to sneak up on you.” JazzTimes called him “a hero of today’s improvised music scene.” These accolades are unsurprising given the number of projects Malaby has been involved in since arriving in New York in the early 1990s. Career highlights include being the leader of Tamarindo Trio with Nasheet Waits and William Parker; Tubacello with John Hollenbeck, Chris Hoffman, and Bob Stewart; Paloma Recio with Ben Monder, Eivind Opsvik, and Nasheet Waits; and an improvising trio with Angelica Sanchez and Tom Rainey. Malaby has worked as a sideman in Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, Fred Hersch’s quintet and Walt Whitman project, Mark Helias’s Open Loose, Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth, Eivind Opsvik’s Overseas, Ches Smith’s These Arches, Michael Formanek’s Elusion Quartet, and Kris Davis’s Diatom Ribbons quintet. His latest release The Cave of Winds (Pyroclastic Records, January 2022) features Malaby’s Sabino Quartet with Ben Monder, Michael Formanek, and Tom Rainey. Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. Alexa’s “high-octane [performance]” (Jazziz Magazine) and “sharply plotted but gracefully unencumbered straight-ahead jazz [compositions]” (The New York Times) establish her individual voice which shines through as a dynamic performer and educator. Tarantino was recently named one of the “Top 5 Alto Saxophonists of 2019” by the JazzTimes Critics’ Poll and nominated as a “Rising Star – Alto Saxophone” by DownBeat Magazine’s 2021 and 2020 Critics’ Poll. She has appeared with a wide variety of ensembles including the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Cecile McLorin Salvant Quintet and OGRESSE ensembles, Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Generation Y and Big Band, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, and leads the Alexa Tarantino Quartet. Firefly, Alexa’s third record for Posi-Tone Records was released April 2021, hitting #6 on the JazzWeek charts. Her previous album, Clarity, peaked at #9 on the JazzWeek charts and landed at #54 for JazzWeek’s Top 100 records of 2020. Tarantino is currently on faculty for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Youth Programs (High School Jazz Academy, Let Freedom Swing/Jazz for Young People) and represents the organization as a Clinician and Educator for various schools, festivals, and workshops. She holds a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from The Juilliard School and Bachelor’s degrees in Jazz Saxophone Performance and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. Alexa is Founder and Director of the Rockport Jazz Workshop in Rockport, Massachusetts, and Co-Founder of A Step Ahead Jazz with pianist Steven Feifke. In February 2021, Alexa launched her new virtual community-style jazz education platform, The Alexa Approach. Alexa Tarantino is a Vandoren Artist and Yamaha Performing Artist. Learn more about her at www.alexatarantino.com. Jazz at Princeton University serves to promote this uniquely American music as a contemporary and relevant art form. Its goals are to convey the vast musical and social history of jazz, establish a strong theoretical and stylistic foundation with regard to improvisation and composition, and emphasize the development of individual expression and creativity. Offerings of the program include academic coursework, performing ensembles, master classes, private study, and independent projects. They also have the opportunity to participate in academic courses from the music department curriculum that encourage the study of the historical, social, theoretical, stylistic, and creative issues that pertain to the jazz idiom.

Copyright © 2022 Braithwaite & Katz, All rights reserved.

DoomCannon is a London-based composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist spearheading a plethora of forward-thinking, improvised jazz-inspired music

Brownswood Recordings present the debut single ‘Amalgamation’ by DoomCannon. The born and bred South London virtuoso is behind some of the most innovative music of this time and a pioneer of the nascent UK Jazz scene. Exhibiting his debut solo work, a free jazz composition with a new contemporary flair, reveals DoomCannon’s trailblazing sensibilities. In 2021, a live version of this track was released on seminal indie label Jazz Re:freshed, and now ‘Amalgamation’ is available across all digital streaming platforms on January 21st, 2022 via Brownswood Recordings.

A reflection of how DoomCannon perceives the current state of the world we live in, ‘Amalgamation’ is a social commentary on depleting measures of community spirit in the world, and a sense of separation from each other that DoomCannon deeply wishes to overcome. With this notion as a starting point, the frantic, disjointedness opening the track leads into a symphonic climax that culminates into one consummate soundscape. This mellifluous flow fulfills DoomCannon’s utopian aspiration for everyone to come together in harmony, as he expresses “Amalgamation is about coming together, people being a unit and people facing each other. Each person has a part to play. When we come together we can create greatness.

DoomCannon is a London-based composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist spearheading a plethora of forward-thinking, improvised Jazz-inspired outfits and is now set to present his debut solo project in 2022. DoomCannon dabbled in flute and percussion from the age of eleven and classically trained in piano as a teenager where he joined the prestigious Kinetika Bloco youth performance group and training program, a rite of passage for many of the catalysts of the British Jazz explosion such as brothers Theon and Nathaniel Cross, Mark Kavuma, Sheila Maurice Grey to name a few.

Under the watchful eye of musical mentors Matt Fox (Kinetika Bloco) and Gary Crosby (Tomorrow’s Warriors), DoomCannon mastered his craft and endeavored on the Kinetika Bloco Leadership Program becoming a teacher himself. Attending a fateful Jazz Re:freshed weekly session at MauMau bar, DoomCanoon encountered saxophonist Ahnansé, they started playing together soon afterward. DoomCannon garnered the attention of award-winning vocalist, Celeste, where he was invited to become Musical Director performing live at the Brit Awards and Later with Jools Holland. Gaining respect as a leader in the scene, DoomCannon has toured internationally as a member of Nubya Garcia’s band and invited in his own right to run an ongoing bi-monthly residency at the legendary Ronnie Scotts. Presenting his solo project at Abbey Road Studios, selected via Jazz Re:freshed as part of the SXSW/ British Council collaboration, the stage is set for DoomCannon to raise the bar again in 2022 and beyond.

Amalgamation,’ the debut single by DoomCannon is available digitally on January 21st, 2022 via Brownswood Recordings. ~Bandcamp

Musicians:

DoomCannon – Wurli/Synth
Kaidi Akinnibi – Tenor Sax/ Fx
Daniel Rogerson – Guitar
Oscar Ogden – Drums
Marsha Skinns – Violin
Saskia Horton – Violin
Natalia Senior Brown – Viola
Wayne Uquhart – Cello

All rights reserved

Original Release Date: January 21, 2022 (Album release pending)

Composer Chase Elodia Explores Digital Identity on “Portrait Imperfect” – Out May 13th on Biophilia Records       

Portrait Imperfect is notable for the way it foregrounds the voice, with Elodia’s sensitive and insightful lyric writing taking center stage on most tracks. Dickson’s singing, with its airy expressivity, has a way of guiding Elodia’s creative ruminations throughout the album. “I love the drums, and most of my first musical heroes were drummers,” says Elodia, “but I also have a deep and abiding love for language. I studied English literature in college in addition to music, and these days I find myself perhaps just as inspired by the writings of Fernando Pessoa, Jane Hirschfield, and Natasha Shüll as I am by the drumming of Terri Lyne Carrington, John Hollenbeck, and Deantoni Parks. For this project in particular, I was inspired by texts such as Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves To Death, Susan Sontag’s On Photography, and Byung Chul-Han’s Good Entertainment, each of which provides a unique perspective on how we might conceptualize our digitally-mediated subjectivities

These literary influences are apparent throughout Portrait Imperfect, in lyrical references to the “spotless decay” of digital archives, the “placeless modernity and pageantry” of social networking, and the “contingencies of salvation” that are woven into our productivity-obsessed culture. “I’m continually asking questions about the affordances of digital technologies – both in regard to how we live our lives, but also in thinking about the role of music and art in our hyper-connected moment. In what ways do these technologies propagate an increasingly avaricious and materialist cultural disposition? And how, as musicians and artists, might we be able to both attend to and challenge that way of relating to the world?

About Chase Elodia:

Based in Brooklyn, composer-drummer Chase Elodia has garnered critical acclaim since his move to New York in Fall 2019. In 2021 he received ASCAP’s Young Jazz Composers Award for his song “The World Is Now Your Own,” composed in honor of the birth of pianist Glenn Zaleski and violinist Tomoko Omura’s child. In July 2020, he received a grant from the Boulder County Arts Association to record his forthcoming debut album Portrait Imperfect. He was also awarded the MacDowell Artist Residency Fellowship for Spring 2022. In addition to his own projects, Chase has shared the stage with Emma Frank, Morgan Guerin, and Allegra Krieger. He performs regularly with the Alex Hamburger Quartet and the ensemble Echoes. His writing has been published in Music & LiteratureDrum! Magazine and the Percussive Arts Society.

Release Date: May 13, 2022, on Biophilia Records

Saxophonist/composer Jon Gordon confronts our bizarre reality with true beauty on his stunning new nonet recording

Truth has become a bizarrely contentious issue in this divisive era of fake news and alternative facts. Still, as alto saxophonist and composer Jon Gordon points out on his latest album, one oft-repeated maxim may be more true now than ever: that truth itself is indeed Stranger Than Fiction. Over the course of ten original compositions arranged for a stellar nonet, Gordon explores the warped modern existence that we’ve all grappled with during the past several months and years.

The music on Stranger Than Fiction, due out September 17, 2021, through ArtistShare, reflects Gordon’s realization that reality takes twists and turns far more unpredictable than any author would dare write. In both his personal and professional life as well as the topsy-turvy world of politics, the composer has been forced to pinch himself repeatedly to confirm that what he was living was cold, hard truth rather than some strange dream (or, quite often, nightmare).

 Jon Gordon is a master. His compositions, improvisation, tone, and technical virtuosity set him apart as an elite musician for our time.”
– 
Brandon BernsteinJazz Improv NY

Fortunately, that awareness has resulted in a great deal of stunning new music, brought to very real life by a top-notch band of peers and former students and fellow faculty from the University of Manitoba, where Gordon has taught for nearly a decade. On Stranger Than Fiction, he’s joined by trumpeter Derrick Gardner, trombonist, and arranger Alan Ferber, saxophonists Reginald Lewis and Tristan Martinuson, bass clarinetists John Ellis and Anna Blackmore, guitarist and vocalist Jocelyn Gould, guitarist Larry Roy, pianists Orrin Evans and Will Bonness, bassist Julian Bradford and drummer Fabio Ragnelli.

“Around 2000, I began to be aware that things were not as I’d hoped in our country“, Gordon said. “For all the troubles of our past, I had hope that the country was headed in a better direction. But I became disillusioned and angered by so many people seeming to cede to a kind of non-reality. And in the last few years, that’s only gotten more apparent.”

The album’s title track was written at the time of that initial revelation, though like the reality it reflects has only grown in scale and complexity with Alan Ferber’s nonet arrangement. The trombonist, who served as an assistant producer for the project, also contributed the bold arrangement for “Havens,” which Gordon originally recorded in quintet form on 2008’s Within Worlds. Gordon himself arranged the remainder of the pieces.

“Gordon has embraced the history of his instrument, carrying with it the ability to extend music as a universal language.” – Wayne Shorter

“Pointillism” opens the album with gradually accruing fragments of sound from the horns, which finally give way to a tense duel between Gordon and drummer Ragnelli as the ensemble surges behind them. “Havens” settles into a taut groove that belies the fact that the band did not record together thanks to geography and the pandemic. Gordon recorded initially with the core quintet, then added horns and guests who recorded in their own homes. The inquisitive title track follows, leading into the deceptively simple, graceful “Dance.” Referring to a wandering mendicant in the Hindu tradition, the brief, through-composed “Sunyasin” reflects the temptation of renouncing the trappings of modern life while realizing the challenges it presents. Jocelyn Gould, a former student of Gordon’s who won this year’s Juno (Canadian Grammy) for “Jazz Album of the Year,” adds an air of enticing mystery with her wordless vocals.

“Counterpoint” is a self-explanatory title for the tune’s intricately interwoven lines and harmonies, while “Bella” sways alluringly, with one of a pair of guest appearances by pianist Orrin Evans. The massed horns of “Modality” allow a ray of hope to peek through the clouds, leading into the stunning fanfare of “Steps.” The album ends with “Waking Dream,” a summation of the surreal experience that attempts to shake the listener out of their somnambulant reverie and, hopefully, into some kind of constructive action.

While recording with a larger ensemble has been a long-held desire, the impetus for Stranger Than Fiction came with a series of Leonard Bernstein concerts which Gordon was involved in for the composer’s 2018 centennial. He found one famous Bernstein quote continuing to resonate with him: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” Gordon’s first response to that call to aesthetic arms was 2019’s quartet outing Answer, which pushed towards beauty; on Stranger Than Fiction, he aimed for something even more lush but also more urgent and confrontational.

“I feel like we’re in a crisis on many levels,” he says. “And the only way you deal with these crises – the bullying and lies and authoritarian denial of reality – is by calling it out.”

Gordon comes to this with the first-hand experience, as he documented in his 2012 memoir, For Sue. “I grew up in an alcoholic family,” he recalls. “When you’re dealing with an alcoholic or an addict, sometimes they’ll look at you and say one thing, then 30 seconds later they’ll turn around say the polar opposite. You’re trying to argue with somebody that’s not in reality. I feel like we’re dealing with that as a country and a planet, and it causes the same kind of pain in a family relationship, in a community, in society, and in the world.”

Jon Gordon
A native New Yorker, saxophonist, and composer Jon Gordon was born into a musical family and began playing at age ten. Classically trained, Gordon’s love for jazz was sparked when a friend played him a Phil Woods record. He began lessons with the legendary altoist while sitting in regularly with saxophonist Eddie Chamblee at Sweet Basil. Since attending Manhattan School of Music, Gordon has worked with the likes of Maria Schneider, Ron McClure, Clark Terry, Benny Carter, Phil Woods, T.S. Monk, Bill Mays, the Vanguard Orchestra, Bill Charlap, Ray Barretto, Mark Turner, George Colligan, Chico Hamilton, Jimmy Cobb, Ben Riley, Harry Connick Jr., Bob Mintzer, Bill Mobley, and N.Y. Pops Orchestra, among many others. In November of 1996, he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, judged by Wayne Shorter, Jackie McLean, Joe Lovano, Jimmy Heath, and Joshua Redman. He has released more than a dozen albums under his own name and is the author of three acclaimed books.

Jon Gordon – Stranger Than Fiction
ArtistShare – AS0190 – Recorded October 2020
Release date September 17, 2021

Copyright © 2021 Braithwaite & Katz

What are you listening to? A Traveler’s Tale by Linntett (feat: Kira Linn)

“Kira Linn is a very talented young baritone saxophone player. In her compositions, she explores the jazz language in depth while developing her own distinctive musical vision.” ~Jorge Rossy

[Biography] ]Kira Linn was born in 1993 and has been playing baritone saxophone since 2008. During her school days, she was able to gain a lot of big band experience at concerts, competitions, and tours.

After graduating from school, Kira studied jazz saxophone and pedagogy at the University of Music Nuremberg with Klaus Graf, Steffen Schorn, and Stefan Karl Schmid. From 2018 until 2020 she has been studying the master’s program at the Jazzcampus in Basel under the guidance of Guillermo Klein, Domenic Landolf, and Mark Turner.

As a member of the “Hessian State Youth Jazz Orchestra“, Kira was able to play concerts in South Africa and New York City. From 2018 to 2020 she was a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (Bundesjazzorchester) under the direction of Niels Klein and Jiggs Wigham. In November 2018 the band played together with Randy Brecker at Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and in June / July 2019 they went on a tour to Tel Aviv, Berlin, New York, Rochester, and Chicago for the 100th Bauhaus anniversary.

In addition to some engagements in smaller formations, she played regularly with the “Sunday Night Orchestra” from Nuremberg and the “Swiss Jazz Orchestra“, subbed at the “Frankfurt Radio Bigband” and the “Zurich Jazz Orchestra” and works as a bandleader.

In 2016 she founded her own Sextett (Linntett). Kira is composing and arranging for her band, which released their first album in June 2017 with “Double Moon Records” in the “Jazzthing Next Generation” series. They are touring regularly and already played at „Jazzclub Unterfahrt“ in Munich, the “Jazzrally Düsseldorf“ and the”International Jazz Week Burghausen“. In October 2020 the second album was released with Laika records featuring Domenic Landolf and Jorge Rossy. ~BandCamp.com

Line up:
Kira Linnbariton-saxophone, bass-clarinette, composition
Christopher Kunz tenor-, sopran-e
Nino Wenger -alto-saxophone
Domenic Landolf -tenor-saxophone (#1,#3)
Lukas Großmann – piano
Lukas Keller – doublebass
Jorge Rossy – vibraphone (#3,#6)
Johannes Koch – drums

At your leisure, do check out “A TRAVELER’S TALE” by Linntett

TROMBONIST JOE FIEDLER CONTINUES SPINNING JAZZ GOLD FROM HIS STORIED SESAME STREET CAREER WITH FUZZY AND BLUE

Following up 2019’s warmly received Open Sesame, the EMMY-nominated Fiedler highlights an expansive trombone voice, richly interpretive arrangements, and keen orchestration chops.

With Steven Bernstein (trumpet), Jeff Lederer (tenor/soprano sax & clarinet), Sean Conly (bass), and Michael Sarin (drums), plus guest vocalist extraordinaire Miles Griffith.

Available from Multiphonics Music on November 12, 2021

Left to right: Michael Sarin, Sean Conly, Joe Fiedler, Steven Bernstein, Jeff Lederer
(Photo: Scott Friedlander)

In 2019 trombonist Joe Fiedler released Open Sesame, packed with inventive jazz readings of material drawn from his longstanding “day job” as an EMMY-nominated music director and staff arranger for the famed children’s show Sesame Street. The effort was equally beloved by lay listeners and the jazz world alike. DownBeat praised the music’s “diverse aesthetic,” in which Fiedler blends “elements of funk, rock, free-jazz and New Orleans polyphony into a potent mix that gives depth and texture to the lighthearted compositions.” When Fiedler and the band toured the music, including a stop at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola with guest luminaries Wynton Marsalis and none other than Elmo himself, the realization set in that the project would be no one-off. “I have these songbooks from the Sesame Street office,Fiedler says, “and if you whip through the first 30 tunes, absolutely everyone knows them. But there are six or seven thousand songs they’ve done over the past 50 years, with plenty of gold in there to do a second album for sure.”

Fuzzy and Blue, Fiedler’s second volume of Sesame Street songs, shines still more light on the extraordinary wit and melodic gift of the foundational Sesame Street composers Joe Raposo and Jeffrey Moss, among others. The album boasts the same top-tier lineup as Open Sesame, with a couple of twists. Trumpeter Steven Bernstein, who played on only part of Open Sesame, now becomes an integral cog in a nimble three-horn section, expanding and varying the palette and allowing Fiedler to bring his seasoned orchestration skills to the foreground. Reedman Jeff Lederer plays tenor and clarinet and relies more heavily on soprano sax this time out, helping achieve the ideal blend of colors and registers that Fiedler was seeking. Drummer Michael Sarin and bassist Sean Conly keep the rhythms locked and creatively churning, from Dr. John/Professor Longhair vibe of “Fuzzy and Blue” to the reggae feel of “Elmo’s Song” (by Tony Geiss), to the Hugh Masekela-inspired Afropop of “Ladybug’s Picnic” (originally a peppy country novelty by the late William “Bud” Luckey).

The ensemble also gets a visit from vocal powerhouse Miles Griffith, the very model of a guest on Sesame Street. On the “I Love Trash/C Is for Cookie” melange (a one-two shot of Moss and Raposo), Griffith’s singing is unabashed, larger than life, uproariously funny but insightful, and firmly in control. He’s equally compelling in a sociopolitical vein on “I Am Somebody,” in which Fiedler combines an original song with the lyrics of Reverend William Holmes Borders — words recited to powerful effect on Sesame Street in 1972 by Reverend Jesse Jackson. Fiedler felt a need on Fuzzy and Blue to acknowledge social tumult at the close of the Trump presidency and the still-tentative aftermath of the COVID pandemic. “We Are All Earthlings,” a gentle and idyllic Jeffrey Moss folk ballad from 1993, accomplishes this as well, though Fiedler brings a stark added tension with his Stravinsky-esque horn voicings.

Together, Bernstein and Fiedler present a veritable master class in the use of mutes for endless color and timbre subtlety, in the spirit of early jazz. “We’re playing these Harmon mutes with the stems in,” Fiedler says, “which nobody does — that’s from the ’20s.” Bernstein plays his signature slide trumpet on Raposo’s “X Marks the Spot” (the only minor-key song) but otherwise is heard on valve trumpet and flugelhorn, not to mention the lower and darker G-trumpet on Raposo’sI Am Blue.” That song opens with beautiful muted trombone and is distinctly Ellingtonian in orchestration, with horns placed outside their more common registers.

Throughout the album there’s an atmosphere of fun, “a sense of burlesque” as Fiedler put it in the Open Sesame liner notes, that flows from the trombonist’s deep love of Ray Anderson, the Jazz Passengers, Carla Bley, and other major influences. Steven Bernstein’s Sexmob is another. The improvisational openness and risk of Fiedler’s trio dates Sacred Chrome OrbThe CrabI’m In and Joe Fiedler Plays the Music of Albert Mangelsdorff also carry over to this more song-oriented endeavor. Fuzzy and Blue, like its predecessor, is Fiedler’s way of bringing it all together, reminding himself and all of us that inspiration can and does come from everywhere and that everything is connected.

A native of Pittsburgh, Fiedler is an accomplished jazz improviser and bandleader with sideman credits including Andrew Hill, Charles Tolliver, Satoko Fujii, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, and a host of others. In addition to his trio and other small-group lineups, Fielder leads the low-brass quartet Big Sackbut (three trombones & tuba), which has released the albums Big SackbutSackbut Stomp and Live in Graz. He was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Music Direction and Composition in a Children’s Series in 2013 and 2016. He plays lead trombone on the 2021 movie soundtrack album for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, contributing horn orchestrations for five major numbers and underscoring cues as well. While playing the In the Heights stage production in 2008 he met chief arranger Bill Sherman, who went on to hire Fiedler for a reboot of The Electric Company and then Sesame Street as well.

 

 

BIOGRAPHY: Jazz vocalist Jazzmeia Horn

Blessed with a fitting name for her chosen path – it was Horn’s jazz-loving, a piano-playing grandmother who chose “Jazzmeia” – the singer was born in Dallas in 1991, grew up in a tightly knit, church-going family filled with musical talent, and began singing as a toddler. She attended Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts, known for launching such musical greats as Roy Hargrove, Norah Jones, and Erykah Badu, then later attended The New School in New York City. Her education included steering herself to the mentors who would guide her passion for jazz, like Bobby McFerrin, Abbey Lincoln, and Betty Carter. Winner of the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition and the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, Jazzmeia was signed to Concord Records and released her debut album A Social Call to great critical acclaim.

In the two years since Jazzmeia Horn bowed with her first album, the GRAMMY Award®-nominated A Social Call, she’s been busy on the road, honing her vocal skills to a finely tuned level, writing songs of personal relevance and social message, and perfecting a fearless approach to improvisation and performance in general. The convergence of this drive and development has resulted in what has brought Jazzmeia her second GRAMMY Award® nomination, Love and Liberation—filled with songs of daring musicality, emotional power, and messages of immediate relevancy.

Horn chose the title she did for her second album because “Love and Liberation is a concept and mantra that I use consistently in my everyday life. For me, the two go hand in hand and they both describe where I am in my life and career right now. An act of love is an act of liberation, and choosing to liberate—oneself or another—is an act of love.” ~Biography

If you haven’t, discover the dynamic voice and fearless artistry of vocalist Jazzmeia Horn. 

Lisa Hilton and her Trio with Rudy Royston and Luques Curtis Masterfully Blend Traditions in an Inspiring New Recording

As America and other countries re-emerge from the limitations of 2020, Lisa Hilton and her trio with Rudy Royston and Luques Curtis, enthusiastically embrace the moment with a vibrant new jazz offering titled Transparent Sky, that will inspire, uplift, and motivate us all. Rich with glorious harmonies and unique compositions, Hilton’s swinging band radiates a sun-bleached aura to listeners. Throughout the album Hilton, Royston and Curtis develop a surprisingly wide range of rhythmic ideas from a variety of genres, masterfully blending classic traditions with new approaches and upbeat style.

The recording jumps in with the Latin-tinged “Santa Monica Samba,” quickly following with the equally energetic “Random Journey” on this collection of nine originals, plus one cover. “What developed this year was a LOT of movement and richer chords and harmonies – which makes sense when you consider how static last year was. As musicians, we need to challenge and also entertain ourselves, so I think that’s why I subconsciously wrote in so many rhythm changes and multiple harmonic directions,” says Hilton. “Living In Limbo,” “Chromatic Chronicles,” “Fall Upon a Miracle” and “Infinite Tango,” highlight the multiple creative rhythms of Hilton’s compositions and showcase ample opportunities for Curtis’s agile bass and the delightful details of Royston’s drums.

Hilton has a way with ballads, and “Nightingales & Fairy Tales” is no exception. With its slight nod to Bill Evans in the sixties, this has the making of a jazz classic for a twenty-first-century audience. In the same vein, a cover of “God Bless The Child,” co-written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr, is a charmer, and like all the tracks here, is skillfully and originally presented without being forced. “For a long time, I’ve been trying to record cover songs by women who were composers because there is very little attention paid to them in jazz. I think it’s important to give women recognition for their range of talents, and by promoting them, maybe we will see less discrimination in music”, Hilton muses.

Slowing towards the album’s end, “Extraordinary Everyday Things” is a calm and expressive soundscape, but with a surprise twist, Hilton finishes up with the title track, “Transparent Sky” as a sonorous piano solo. “The melody is beautiful and has a bit of swing, but the harmonic ideas are quite chromatic and dissonant with overlapping/lingering sonorities between bar lines.” She says. “This piece needs to be played sensitively or it will sound harsh, but that is like our lives today – we are living in sensitive times and need to be aware of how we connect and communicate. The solo piano clearly delivers those delicate harmonies along with the emotions. It’s about accepting our world as it is, whatever may be happening at that moment. Tomorrow will bring what it will, but there is still beauty to be found if we look for it, amid the dissonance of our times.” Hilton explains.

Lisa Hilton’s new album, Transparent Sky, is available everywhere on September 3rd, 2021.

About Lisa Hilton
Lisa Kristine Hilton is a distinctive composer of jazz, an acclaimed pianist, bandleader, and producer. Growing up in a small town on California’s central coast, she originally taught herself to play piano with a colored keyboard guide, writing her first simple songs around six years, before beginning studies in classical and twentieth-century music starting at the age of eight. In college, she switched majors from music and graduated instead with a degree in art. This art background informs her musical creations: she describes “painting” compositions using improvisation, and harmony or “sculpting” with multiple rhythmic ideas from different cultures. Hilton’s music draws on classical traditions, and twentieth-century modernists as well as classic American jazz greats such as Cole Porter, Thelonious Monk, and Horace Silver, as well as blues heroes Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. Hilton’s music annually tops the jazz charts and appears on popular shows such as Apple Music’s Pure Jazz Playlist. In the book, “The New Face of Jazz: An Intimate Look at Today’s Living Legends and Artists of Tomorrow” by Cicily Janus, states that Hilton has been “compared to some of the best pianists in history.” Noting that the overwhelming majority of music performed in jazz clubs and concert halls today are of compositions written by male musicians, Hilton is outspoken about the importance of presenting and listening, to music composed by women in these fields as well.

For more information on Lisa Hilton, please visit: