Legendary Saxman Frank Catalano releases Birdland Jazz Club

In 2022, Legendary Saxman Frank Catalano will be touring the USA, Europe, and Asia extensively as well as releasing a collection of recordings from his many performances at New York’s legendary Birdland Jazz Club. These recordings feature Herbie Hancock Headhunters alum Mike Clark and will be Frank’s 5th album on the Ropeadope label.

Frank regularly teams up with his long-time friend and Smashing Pumpkins drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin. Forbes Magazine profiled Frank for his performances with The Violent Femmes including Riot Fest and Brooklyn Steel.

A documentary was made about Frank by Belgian director Colin Donner. The film is titled “Sugar Jazz” and will premiere at the Tokyo Lift off Film Festival.

“Tokyo #9” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Charts, has garnered millions of streams and topped the Spotify and Apple Music playlists. “Love Supreme Collective” debuted at #1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts and honors John Coltrane. Frank recorded “Bye, Bye, Blackbird” with David Sanborn and teamed up with Jimmy Chamberlin of The Smashing Pumpkins to release “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”. Frank’s Savoy/Columbia recording “Bang!” debuted at #12 on the Billboard Jazz Charts, while his recording, “Mighty Burner” was on the Billboard Charts for 20 straight weeks.

When Frank was 18, he signed to Delmark Records and did a string of critically acclaimed recordings with Randy Brecker, Von Freeman, Ira Sullivan, Willie Pickens and Paul Wertico amongst others. Frank’s co-led album with Von Freeman, “You Talking To Me,” has become a cult classic. Catalano is the only known saxman to have performed with Miles Davis, Charles Earland, Elvin Jones, Junior Wells, Randy Brecker, Stan Getz, Betty Carter, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett, Les Claypool, and Louis Bellson while still in high school!

Frank has been profiled by countless media including: The New York Times, Forbes, Downbeat, CMJ, JazzIz, Jazz Times, NPR, PBS, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, etc. As a sideman, Catalano has been heard by millions of people thanks to his collaborations with Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Maurice Joshua, Destiny’s Child, John Legend, Tony Bennett, Seal, and others.

Frank has received his fair share of accolades, recently winning an IMA award at Lincoln Center and being inducted into the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame. He has appeared on 3 Grammy‐winning and 11 Grammy‐nominated recordings, plus in 2007 he received a Tech Grammy Award as part of the Yamaha Corporation for his numerous patents and developments. He was also the youngest saxophonist to be voted into the Downbeat Critics Poll at age 19.

No stranger to adversity, Frank cut off his right middle finger in an automobile accident. After several surgeries and much effort, Catalano relearned his signature technique, making him one of the most in‐demand musicians today. He regularly donates his musical services to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Peoples Music School, and Off The Street Club.

Frank has written a book series for publisher Hal Leonard, called “Modern Saxophone Techniques” and his song “Mighty Burner” is featured in “The Real Book Volume 6”. He also endorses Yamaha Saxophones, JodyJazz mouthpieces, D’Addario Reeds, and Rovner Ligatures.

Catalano loves composing music and holds a BA in Classical Composition from De Paul University. Frank is the spokesperson for Drambuie Scotch and has a signature cocktail named after him, “The Catalano Sidecar”, which has been trademarked and is featured at hundreds of clubs and music venues. Frank owns hundreds of vintage saxophones and is on the Board of Directors for the National Saxophone Museum in St Louis. Frank and his wife Sona split their time between their homes in Chicago and New York. For more information: visit www.catalanomusic.com – Bandcamp 

Released July 1, 2022

Producers: Frank Catalano and Sona Tazian
Manager: Ryan Paternite
Engineer: Lance McVickar
Mixing and Mastering: Dan Steinman
Cover Art: Tony Fitzpatrick
Layout and Design: Karmann Sloane
Saxophone: Frank Catalano
Piano: Randy Ingram
Bass: Julian Smith
Drums: Mike Clark
Birdland photos by Adrien Tillmann
Frank Catalano uses Yamaha Saxophones, D’Addario Reeds, JodyJazz
Mouthpieces and Rovner Ligatures

 

Just in case, you missed it… Mesmerism is the new album by drummer Tyshawn Sorey with his colleagues pianist Aaron Diehl and bassist Matt Brewer.

Mesmerism is a beautiful, swinging trio meeting led by drummer Tyshawn Sorey featuring two musicians whom he has considered his closest colleagues: pianist Aaron Diehl and bassist Matt Brewer. Sorey – a 2017 MacArthur Fellow, Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania, collaborator with Vijay Iyer, Kris Davis, Roscoe Mitchell, Hafez Modirzadeh, Myra Melford, Marilyn Crispell, and other musical luminaries – puts forward his vision for Mesmerism as follows: “My intent was to record this project with only an hour or two of rehearsal and with a group of musicians who never performed on stage together. To that end, Mesmerism is a departure from the recordings I produced that contained thoroughly rehearsed, rigorously notated music for the piano trio. For a long time, I felt an intense desire to record some of my favorite songs from the Great American Songbook as well as those by composers whose work I feel should also exist in this canon. Recording Mesmerism with these two wonderful, inspiring musicians inevitably proved to become the finest occasion for me to document my lifelong connection to the ‘straight-ahead’ continuum of this music.

Diehl, known for his close association with GRAMMY winner Cécile McLorin Salvant and his acclaimed work as a leader for Mack Avenue, brings a refined touch and melodic sense to the project. “Aaron and I connected for the first time many years ago,” Sorey recalls, “and from the start, it felt like a brotherly connection. I wanted to make a recording with Aaron for several years after the first meeting and listen to his brilliant performances of all kinds of music from different eras. Aaron’s level of listening and interaction in this setting is unmistakably individualistic – very sophisticated and full of intention, soul, and depth. His playing never ceases to surprise or astonish me.

Brewer, a bandleader and accomplished player with the SFJAZZ Collective, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and many others, is as rock solid as he is creative and searching, having performed alongside Sorey in projects led by Steve Lehman, Ambrose Akinmusire, Lage Lund, Steve Coleman, and more. “Besides how proficient he is on the bass in so many styles of music,” Sorey declares, “I am constantly amazed by Matt’s ability to swing and groove hard, to play contrapuntally, and to be always fully present in the music. For example, I tend to sometimes play phrases that are considered extremely adventurous over song forms and Matt is always right there with me. He’s a musician who brings with him a well thought out sense of adventure, along with incredibly open ears and a solid approach to rhythm.”

Picking songs for Mesmerism would not necessarily become an excuse to make an album of deconstructed, highly clever reworkings. Put another way, “I wanted to keep things simple and let the beauty of these songs remain in our interpretations while including, to a small degree, simple alterations of the song materials,” says Sorey. While a straightforward approach applies to “Enchantment” by Horace Silver, “Two Over One” by Muhal Richard Abrams, and (on CD and streaming only) the closing “REM Blues” by Duke Ellington, such alterations become readily apparent on the remaining selections. On “Detour Ahead,” for example, Sorey, a self-described Bill Evans aficionado, tips his hat to the late master with an arrangement that “constantly ‘detours’ from the original key that we’ve established by harmonically modulating to other keys of the song within its entire structure.” Later, in Sorey’s treatment of Paul Motian’s “From Time to Time,” the song is nearly unrecognizable, in that “the original melody is suspended in feeling and is also simultaneously conjunct and disjunct with no reference to a particular key center until the song’s closing melodic statement performed by the trio.”

Making a jazz piano trio album like Mesmerism is something Sorey’s admirers might not have expected, but his intent was not to throw curveballs for the sake of doing so. The goal, he explains, was “not to reinvent the wheel or prove anything, but to document the unwavering love and appreciation I have for these songs in the most honest, earnest way I can. I have always welcomed the opportunity to play this music, and, after having been typecast as being a so-called ‘avant-gardist’ for nearly two decades, I decided that it was finally time for me to make this recording date happen myself with musicians I deeply respect and admire.

Tyshawn Sorey has been praised by Modern Drummer Magazine as a musician who “explores the inner and outer reaches of modern jazz and serious contemporary music…[y]et no matter how far he travels, he remains anchored by a firm sense of tradition.” Hailed by The New York Times as “an artist who is at the nexus of the music industry’s artistic and social concerns,” Sorey has numerous extended concert pieces to his credit, including Monochromatic Light (Afterlife), For Roscoe Mitchell, Songs for Death, and For George Lewis. He has also held composer and artist residencies with Opera Philadelphia, the Seattle Symphony, and Harvard University. His recent major appearances on disc as a drummer include Uneasy (with Vijay Iyer and Linda May Han Oh), Tyshawn & King (with Philly DJ and innovator King Britt), and On Common Ground (with Mike Sopko and Bill Laswell). Sorey’s trio with pianist Cory Smythe and bassist Chris Tordini has earned critical acclaim for their releases Alloy and Verisimilitude. His varied ensemble recordings The Inner Spectrum of Variables, Pillars, and Unfiltered have cemented his reputation as “an extraordinary talent who can see across the entire musical landscape” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker).

Credits

Released: July 8, 2022
Tyshawn Sorey – drum set
Aaron Diehl – piano
Matt Brewer – bassExecutive producer: Tyshawn Sorey
Producer: Michael Carvin

[Just in case, you missed it]… Charles Owens Trio will release 10 Years, a set of passionate, hard-grooving recordings that showcase the group’s signature jazz-funk sound

On June 11, 2021, the Charles Owens Trio will release 10 Years, a set of passionate, hard-grooving recordings that showcase the group’s signature jazz-funk sound. Traversing a constellation of styles — from afrobeat to jazz ballads, to psychedelic rock — the Trio brings the unbridled energy and fierce musicality that have made them a mainstay of clubs in New York, Charlottesville, and their beloved hometown Richmond, VA.

At the heart of 10 Years is a decidedly celebratory spirit. The Trio went into the studio to toast a decade of existence together, and to document the powerful chemistry they’ve cultivated through countless hours on the bandstand. They built their tracklist as a loving ode to some of their favorite songs, drawn from all across their lives. “The music you learn when you’re really impressionable — like when you’re a child — it sticks with you forever,” says bandleader and saxophonist Charles Owens. “It’s in your soul. When I choose all these songs now for the record, I choose them because they mean a lot to me.”

From the opening note, Owens, bassist Andrew Randazzo, and drummer Devonne Harris pack a gut punch. They kick off with Cameron the Wise, an afrobeat original and live-show favorite captured for the first time in studio. Track after track, they flex their unique ability to be both supremely melodic and deeply groove-oriented. Owens can go tender and mystical on John Coltrane’s classic Central Park West, then turn around and throw haymakers on Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic trip If 6 Was 9. Randazzo can anchor tunes like Caught Up in the Rapture, then bust out a gorgeous, extended electric bass solo such as he does on Continuum. And Harris moves seamlessly between funk, swing, thundering solos, and more — sometimes within one track like he does on Angelica.

Recorded in a single, blistering six-hour session, 10 Years is a legitimate musical journey and a testament to the powerful connection that exists between members of the Trio. “What was going on in the studio that day was me being really vulnerable and okay with it because I have a band that I’ve been together with for ten years, and man, they were so right there for me the whole time,” recounts Owens. Rarely can a group take on such a diverse slate of material and sound so utterly themselves at every turn? This is an album not simply for lovers of a certain genre or time period, but for people who enjoy music played with skill and the realest of passion. ~BandCamp

Original Release Date: June 11, 2021

[Just in case, you missed it…] Accra, Ghana jazz trumpeter Peter Somuah’s debut album Outer Space gives music lovers a satisfying gumbo of jazz, funk, electronic, and traditional Ghanaian rhythms

Peter Somuah is a gifted jazz trumpeter hailing from Accra, Ghana, and currently based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Somuah, who learned to play by listening endlessly to his trumpet heroes Roy Hargrove and Miles Davis, stands out with his warm and melancholic sound, as well as the rhythmic prowess reflecting his upbringing surrounded by the music styles native to West Africa. He touches his audience and makes them groove.

At 25, Somuah has already shared the stage with many local and international acts and toured in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Among others, he has performed and recorded with Akwasi, Bridget Kearney, and Yung Nnelg. Somuah will be releasing his debut album ‘Outer Space‘ this Spring. On the record, he explores the boundaries between jazz, funk, electronic music, and traditional Ghanaian rhythms with his band. ~Bandcamp

Peter Somuah – trumpet
Anton de Bruin – keys
Danny Rombout – percussion
Jesse Schilderink – saxophone
Marijn van de Ven – bass
Jens Meijer – drums

Originally released: April 29, 2022

[Just in case, you missed it]… During the pandemic pianist-composer, Armen Donelian’s approach to Fresh Start sharpened his ears in the context of a supremely sensitive new trio with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Dennis Mackrel

When the history of Jazz during the COVID-19 pandemic gets written, Armen Donelian warrants a detailed chapter. Though he composed more than a dozen new pieces through the spring of 2021, the veteran pianist and educator didn’t use the downtime to reinvent his repertoire as much as he deepened his pianistic approach and sharpened his ears in the context of a supremely sensitive new trio with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Dennis Mackrel. The group’s unabashedly beautiful debut, Fresh Start, is Donelian’s 14th album and his 11th for Sunnyside, the label that has documented the bulk of his work as a leader since the mid-1980s.

Like many musicians facing canceled tours and gigs, Donelian sought to push back against the initial depression by redoubling his efforts on his instrument. Before long he’d suffered a practice-induced shoulder injury, which led him to concentrate on composing while he healed. When he started playing again after three months, Donelian continued honing his new pieces, but with a new mindset “that had nothing to do with technique and content,” he says. “Instead of focusing on what I was playing, I was focusing more on how I was playing, on touch, expression, and storytelling, allowing the sound to happen in its own way. That was the main focus of this album.”

Transforming one’s sound is a major undertaking for any musician, but for an acclaimed improviser stepping into his eighth decade, it’s downright audacious. While his name might not be as widely known as some of his contemporaries, Donelian possesses all of the attributes, gifts, and paid dues of a heavyweight improviser, from formative stints with Sonny Rollins, Billy Harper, Chet Baker, and Mongo Santamaria to a discography marked by sublime and unmistakably personal projects documenting enduring relationships and ever-evolving compositional investigations.

Taking a year-long sabbatical from teaching responsibilities at the New School during the pandemic, Donelian solidified the Fresh Start trio, a group that renewed an old friendship and established a new one. Donelian and Anderson, one of the New York scene’s most sought-after bassists, got to know each other in the early ’80s when they worked occasionally as a duo. Though their career paths diverged, they reconnected about a decade ago via saxophonist Marc Mommaas, “which reminded me how much l liked Jay’s playing and planted an idea in the back of my mind,” Donelian says.

Fellow piano master Jim McNeely had recommended Mackrel, whom Donelian knew by reputation as a first-call bandmate. But their paths didn’t cross until about four years ago when the drummer came to hear Donelian’s trio at a Hudson Valley performance. “One of Dennis’s children was a student in the program that was sponsoring that concert and afterwards he said, ‘Armen, I really enjoyed your playing. Anytime you want to play, let me know.’ I saw a door opening. So I got together with Jay and Dennis to see if there was any chemistry between us. I loved what I heard, playing without ego or an agenda other than beauty and sound.”

With Mackrel and Anderson bringing a good deal of bandstand and studio history to Fresh Start, the trio’s foundation couldn’t be stronger. Since first making a mark together on Maria Schneider’s 1994 debut album Evanescence, they’ve played hundreds of gigs as a rhythm section tandem, including dates with pianist/arranger Russ Kassoff, pianist Ted Rosenthal, saxophonist Steve Wilson, and many other leading players. Their deep connection and conversational rapport are evident on every Fresh Start track produced, arranged, and led by Donelian.

In responding to the calamity of the pandemic, the trio offers a balm in troubled times. Healing and stimulating, it’s music that both soothes the soul and sparks the imagination, starting with the bittersweet bossa nova “Noviembre,” a moody piece that culminates in a taut exchange between Donelian and Anderson. The title track is a post-bop workout with a serpentine melody that keeps snaking back on itself. Anderson and Donelian take masterly solos while Mackrel keeps the narrative thread spinning.

Donelian has devoted himself to teaching from the earliest stages of his career. A proud champion of his former students, he includes two alluring pieces by rising musicians that serve the trio well. Vatan Rajan Singh’s winsome 5/4 ballad “Ferry Maiden” features a joyful solo by Anderson that displays his expansive lyricism. And Sophia Bondi contributes “In the Western Night,” a vehicle for the trio to ascend, awestruck, into a blues-drenched skyscape (an excerpt from another take of the piece, capturing some particularly lovely blues passages by Anderson and Donelian, serves as the album’s striking closing track).

No tune better captures the trio’s venturesome spirit than “Madagascar,” which uses Donelian’s two-chord vamp as a magic carpet carrying them deep into modal realms. The tension builds to a sumptuous climax, with a Mackrel passage that’s a marvel of textural calibration. No stranger to small group recordings, Mackrel is best known as one of the era’s finest big band drummers. Long before he directed the Count Basie Orchestra (2010-2013), he’d distinguished himself via his work with the American Jazz Orchestra, the Carla Bley Big Band, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Buck Clayton’s Swing Band, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, and most notably the McCoy Tyner Big Band (whose Grammy Award-winning CDs The Turning Point and Journey feature four Mackrel arrangements).

Donelian takes the opportunity to offer a tribute to his former teacher, pianist Richie Beirach, with a gorgeous rendition of “Gale,” a tender melody that belies its fierce, gusty title. It’s been recorded by several other musicians, but not with such exquisite interplay. Harry Warren’s beseeching ballad “Never Let Me Go” offers another master class in melodic invention. And late saxophonist Makanda Ken McIntyre’s “Day Break,” which he recorded as a boiling up-tempo swinger on the 1976 album Open Horizon, gets reimagined as a luminous, spiritually charged ballad.

Donelian got to know McIntyre, a brilliant multi-instrumentalist when they were on faculty together at the New School, and he’s one of several departed masters whose spirit inhabits Fresh Start. The samba-powered “Tirado” is dedicated to the late Brazilian Jazz masters, Cidinho Teixeira and Claudio Roditi. And Donelian dedicated the buoyantly celebratory “Janet Left the Planet” to the memory of two other exceptional musicians, vocalist Janet Lawson, and bassoonist Janet Grice. The album’s biggest surprise is Donelian’s debut as a singer on Herb Magidson and Allie Wrubel’s “I’m Stepping Out with a Memory Tonight,” an overlooked American Songbook gem that was recorded by Ray Eberle and the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1939 before quickly being forgotten. His pleasing vocals along with his formidable pianistic skills should put the delightfully wistful tune back in circulation.

Born to Armenian parents living in New York City’s Jackson Heights neighborhood on December 1, 1950, Armen Hrant Donelian grew up in a household full of intellectual ferment. His Ottoman Empire-born father Khatchik Ohannes Donelian, who lost dozens of family members during the Armenian genocide, was a Columbia University-trained physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project. Growing up, Armen was surrounded by Classical and Armenian music, and from seven to 19 years old he studied piano at the Westchester Conservatory of Music in White Plains, NY.

Jazz entered the picture for Donelian at 12, through his older brother’s clarinet work in a Dixieland band directed by the great guitarist Arthur Ryerson Sr., a studio ace who recorded with everyone from Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to Charlie Parker and Fats Waller. Ryerson’s daughter Ali, now an eminent Jazz flutist, played in the band along with her three brothers. Entranced by the music’s energy, Donelian eventually joined the combo, where he learned numerous standards and more significantly how to swing.

Following his father’s path to Columbia University in 1968, Donelian immersed himself in music history, theory, composition, choral arrangement, and conducting, while supporting himself with a regular gig as a lounge pianist (and as a Blues and Folk guitarist). But his Jazz studies didn’t really commence until after graduation when he fell under the sway of Beirach, a brilliantly probing improviser with a rarefied harmonic vocabulary who opened up a vast new musical universe for Donelian.

“But there came a point when I had to break away,” he says. “That’s a very natural process that I often see as a teacher myself. After Richie, I focused on developing my own sound. It was a long process of experimentation from 1980 until the mid-’90s when I feel I really came into my own voice after investigating contemporary Classical music more deeply, and my own Armenian roots.”

While studying with Beirach, Donelian absorbed a series of bandstand master classes with Jazz giants, starting in 1975 with Afro-Cuban percussion legend Mongo Santamaria. Touring internationally with the conguero’s Latin Jazz octet, he recorded four albums on the Fania label, including the Grammy Award-nominated Sofrito, which features three Donelian compositions.

After leaving Santamaria, Donelian immersed himself in Brazilian music, collaborating with artists such as pianist Dom Salvador, trumpeter Claudio Roditi, saxophonist Justo Almario, guitarist Amaury Tristão, and drummer Portinho. Freelancing around New York, he worked with established stars like Chet Baker, Lionel Hampton, Ted Curson, and Ray Barretto, and rising players such as Tom Harrell, Bob Berg, Rory Stuart, Keith Copeland, Ratzo Harris, Dennis Irwin, Jeff Williams, and Harvie S.

He reached his widest audience yet upon joining tenor titan Sonny Rollins’s band in 1977, a thrilling yet daunting experience for the young pianist. Some years later, tenor sax master Billy Harper hired him for a four-year run that brought Donelian to the attention of audiences in Europe and Japan and resulted in four acclaimed albums. “With Billy I felt that I was able to really bring in my own voice,” he says. “He’d take these 20-minute solos and I had to come in afterward. Billy’s music is very powerful and very soulful. That was a really great time in my life.”

In the midst of his tenure in Harper’s band he made his recording debut as a leader with 1981’s Stargazer on the Japanese label Atlas, a trio session with drummer Billy Hart and bassist Eddie Gomez focusing on Donelian’s original compositions. He’s kept the format in play over the years, recording the highly regarded Trio ’87 with Norwegians Carl Morten Iversen (bass) and Audun Kleive (drums), and 2007’s Oasis and 2014’s Sayat-Nova: Songs of My Ancestors with bassist David Clark and drummer George Schuller. The latter project, featuring Donelian’s arrangements of songs by the legendary 18th-century Armenian poet and musician Sayat-Nova, was his last recording, and expanded on his longtime engagement with the music of his ancestral homeland where he resided as a 2002 Fulbright Scholar. After the decade-long endeavor, he took his time before starting his next album.

“I let the feeling develop organically,” he says. “I had all these thoughts about what I might want to do next, lists and lists of ideas like a Leonard Bernstein project or an album of Richard Rodgers tunes. There’s only so much you can do. Then the pandemic came and it was an opportunity for me to reexamine my approach to the piano and composing. But more than that I was looking to deepen how we listen and interact with each other in a responsive way, taking every particle of time as an opportunity to connect with and support each other, contributing in some way to a more beautiful sound.” • ~BandCamp

Released: April 1, 2022

Armen Donelian – piano
Jay Anderson – bass
Dennis Mackrel – drums

[Just in case, you missed it]… “Insight”, featuring pianist Giulio Gentilereleased by Auand Records, will be available on CD and on Bandcamp on January 28, 2022

Now an established name in and outside his country, multi-awarded Italian pianist Giulio Gentile has recently focused on exploring the possibilities offered by the trio, along with longtime collaborators Pietro Pancella on bass and double bass, and Michele Santoleri on drums.

They have been essential – Gentile says –, both musically and as human beings, to complete this work. They have always believed in my music, adding the right energy to the project. We’re good friends. At first, we simply met to play something together, and then we developed a repertoire focused on my compositions and arrangements, which led to this trio. Playing with them makes me feel like the trio as one person. There’s a lot of interplay and listening, which I love!»

Insight”, released by Auand Records, will be available on CD and on Bandcamp on January 28, 2022. Singles will be released on all streaming platforms starting on January 14.

Trying to avoid specific shapes, this album works on identity: «The key to this project – Giulio Gentile adds – is about us finding our musical identity. I didn’t limit myself too much when writing these tunes because I believe in composition as freedom. I didn’t wonder if it was “jazz enough” or anything, I simply put down things on paper: ideas that could mirror something about me, trying to find an original sound and leveraging everyone’s strengths.»

Although difficult structures and polyrhythms abound, “Insight” is centered on melody, both in themes and improvisation. And it gets personal. «After writing some of these tunes I realized I put a lot of myself in them: ideas, thoughts, wishes, fears. This is why I picked this title: it’s me trying to communicate my vision through my music. I imagined “Mankind to Earth” as a dialogue between humanity and Planet Earth. Mankind begs for mercy, trying to be forgiven for everything that has been (and is being) done to Earth. And there is a response, in “Earth to Mankind”, which I made more chaotic and rough, insisting on one melody that repeats from beginning to end. This sense of chaos and mess made me think of the inner, stronger, and destructive face of nature, which I tried to convey using a 9/8 clave rhythm.~BandCamp

Released: January 28, 2022

Giulio Gentile – piano
Pietro Pancella – double bass, electric bass
Michele Santoleri – drums

Just in case, you missed it… Melbourne-based saxophonist-composer Anton Delecca makes his Earshift Music debut with The Offering

Melbourne-based saxophonist-composer Anton Delecca makes his Earshift Music debut with The Offering, an emotional yet powerful dedication to the passing of his parents. Recorded in New York City, the album features pianist Caili O’Doherty, drummer Cory Cox, special guest Blue Note artist, alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, alongside Melbourne ex-pat bassist Matt Clohesy. The album bursts with power, groove, and passion, paying homage to the memory of his parents who were major supporters of his life in music.

The Offering is the sister album to his award-winning 2013 release The Healer and represents the artistic culmination of living in NYC from 2017-19. Recorded over two freezing days in Brooklyn in December 2019, the album consists of seven original compositions from Delecca along with Barbara by the great Horace Silver, and Skylark, the Hoagy Carmichael classic ballad. “This album represents the spiritual connection and meaning that New York holds for me,” explains Delecca, “much of the music that I have connected to in my life has been made there.” He felt that his musical growth in Melbourne had stagnated. “This album represents the breaking free of some stagnation I was feeling. Living in NY was like coming into the daylight and this recording is the musical representation of that.”

The band consists of some of the best young musicians that New York has to offer. Matt Clohesy played on Anton’s first album released in 2001 and was a fixture in his band for several years. Caili O’Doherty and Delecca undertook their masters together during which time Anton met and played with her husband, drummer Cory Cox. Anton heard Immanuel Wilkins play during a masters recital of a friend at the Juilliard School. Blown away by his playing, and in particular his level of maturity, he asked him to be a part of this recording. “Recording this album was like hanging out with friends whilst making music for two days!” explains Delecca.

This album is the culmination of several years of writing and playing. Some of the material had already been played extensively in Melbourne by his quartet. There’s also a personal element to the album, as Delecca explains, “it is dedicated to the recent passing of both of my parents Marg and Bill. It is in a sense a gift to them both, as they had been major supporters of my life in music from the start.”

Anton Delecca has undergone some personal challenges over the years and music has always been a counterbalance to these. The creation and performing of music is a necessary, life-giving process for Delecca. His sister, who was a musician, studying at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, passed away when he was a child. He was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in his early 20s which has required ongoing treatment. Through the years he has encountered other challenges including, addiction, the passing of his parents and recently a major operation for bowel cancer.

Anton Delecca has performed with many local and international greats and appeared with his band at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz among many others. He was also a member of Melbourne funk outfit The Bamboos for 13 years which involved extensive touring and recording commitments.

“The strongest piece for me is the title track, ‘The Healer’……..It is lovely, transporting, spiritual, and has exactly nothing to do with the way much of jazz is played today. Which makes it a truly unique musical experience, beyond genre, as much great music is” ~ John Hardakeraustralianjazz.net  | Bandcamp

Anton Delecca – tenor saxophone
Caili O’Doherty – piano
Matt Clohesy – acoustic bass
Cory Cox – drums
Immanuel Wilkins – alto saxophone tracks 2, 6 & 8

All compositions Anton Delecca except Skylark composed by Hoagy Carmichael, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, arranged by Anton Delecca

Barbara was composed by Horace Silver, arranged by Anton Delecca

Original Release Date: November 5, 2021

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 first release Different, Us captures the experiences of the 4 artists thriving in this context Bo!led

Bo!led is the 4-piece group that has come out of the most contemporary jazz scene in Milan, which brings together the use of electronics and is instrumental to the vibrant nature of the multicultural generation. The first release Different, Us captures the experiences of the 4 artists thriving in this context; Bo!led epitomized their sound in a genuine and moody mini-album that easily recalls the expansive blend of jazz and hip hop of Badbadnotgood as well as the rawness of the UK jazz scene.

Broken Days is the first track: syncopated drums, slick guitar chords, and rich textures set the pace for the bustling life in the city. Just around the corner is She’s Lying, with its delicate modulations and whimsical turns creating an intimate connection with the listener. The alternating rhythms roll into the smooth synths of Interi Ora that along with Tales sound like the most playful sequences. Blue Room does the trick: bouncy bassline, sparse drums, and the exotic feel take the groove to an impromptu jam session in the backyard of a familiar location. The plot ends with Different, Us which sums up a busy day in the metropolis shifting from high to low peaks, reflecting the variety of shades we encounter when living outside of the box. ~Bandcamp

Meet the band...

Matteo Castiglioni | Keys, Synth
Maurizio Gazzola | Bass
Amedeo Nan | Guitar
Andrea Gamba | Drums, Electronics

Different, Us is written and produced by Bo!led.

Originally Released: November 11, 2021

At your leisure, check out Different, Us by Bo!led

Just in case, you missed it… After The Night, The Day Will Surely Come, Shepherd embodies much of South Africa’s piano tradition with visionary clarity

A solo piano performance is an act of faith, a pregnant musical proposition with the potential to orient the alert listener towards higher human ideals. It’s a faith in pianism as a process — so that by daring to physically shape sound into form, into the coherent interplay of sonority, rhythm, inflection, and phrasing, the pianist as sonic pilgrim may point us to discover a path toward more. This path we discover as listeners by being alert. It’s a promise rooted in the axiom that there is a revelation in improvisation. Kyle Shepherd is a devoted improviser.

After The Night, The Day Will Surely Come, recorded as the world wrestles with death, disease, and losses occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, marks Shepherd out as a pianist and musician committed to hope in positive human possibility. In this way, he offers this bouquet of 10 songs as an elixir against darkness and despair.

Shepherd’s compositions explored in this album include new articulations of well-liked familiar melodies like Sweet Zim Suite, Cry of The Lonely, along with improvised marvels in Zikr, and Desert Monk. Shepherd displays a rare ability to push towards adventurous tonal harmonies while preserving the pulse and keeping the music listenable; emerging here as more than just a pair of feet and two hands-on pedals and keys. It’s in how he embodies the well-traveled compositions with renewed brilliant order and athleticism, retaining the supple filigree of their cherished earlier versions.

By being attentive listeners, we may discover the pianist as a mind at work: intelligence and taste allied with formidable technical command; pursuing known sonic routes, but eschewing easy and predictable note choices on that journey — alert, alive pianism. Shepherd crafts a base of superbly controlled chordal underpinnings to every bit of sweet lilting lyricism in laments and levities, or a faintly echoed call of the adhan; the staccato of the incantatory Xhosa, or the faded IXam- ka tongues and modern Cape Malay street scamto.

Shepherd embodies much of South Africa’s piano tradition with visionary clarity. More than his own ingenuity, he holds up an appreciation of the richness of a shared musical inheritance. This must be underscored by an understanding that all pianists, in fact, all artists of real commitment, have a wish to be distinctive, along with a real rootedness. The selection of tunes treated here shores this up about Shepherd. It also points to a deeper, loftier revelation: jazz, and creativity as the ultimate articulations of human hope. ~PERCY MABANDUBandcamp

Release Date: September 1, 2021