The long awaited project REROOTING by composer/leader, percussion, balaphone and kalimba MARILYN MAZUR

Marilyn Mazur’s collaboration with Miles Davis, Gil Evans, and Wayne Shorter established her worldwide reputation in the mid-to-late ‘80s, as did her career with Jan Garbarek later on. But even before that, percussionist and composer Marilyn Mazur had already realized significant projects of her own. Her Primi Band, an experimental music theatre group that existed from 1978 to 1986, left such a lasting impression that the Copenhagen Jazz Festival wanted to reboot the group four decades later. This was unfortunately not possible, but the evocative spirit of that band has been let out of the bottle through a new project.

Shamania is the name of the band that Marilyn founded in 2015. Its shamanic spirit is based on the idea of a modern tribal gathering of female musical forces that focuses entirely on rhythm, body, and voice in an experimental context and the challenge of finding a common ground.

The ten women of Shamania are among the most independent musicians on the Scandinavian scene and live in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. When they meet, they bring – through their formidable energies – a primal power and fascinating rhythms to the stage and enchant the listener with atmospheric moods and moments of pure amazement. The very same qualities have now been captured on their second album:

REROOTING combines 16 songs, a combination of both Marilyn’s brand new and older compositions, which have all been, with one exception, previously unreleased.

Each of these songs has its own story, such as an original song composed for Marilyn’s son when he was a baby, the sunset canon, the world situation, Nordic nights, April 1 – as well as the title track that was created at the first gathering of the Shamania musicians after pandemic-related self-isolation and many concert cancellations.

From the water phone, which combines the principles of the Tibetan water drum, the African lamellophone, and the nail violin from the 18th century, to udu clay pot drums, various bongos, congas, the kalimba, drums, and tuned gongs from all over the world, to the Norwegian goat horn: the extraordinary wealth of timbres, together with the other instruments, primes the songs, shining out of them, glowing and radiating, results in the unmistakable Shamania sound and, with the brilliant rhythms, form Marilyn Mazur’s trademark: often ritual-type music with an unmistakable instinct for outstanding dialogues, solos, and improvisations – as well as an energetic primal force, and the very personal musical language of the great musician that extends into a world that lies far beyond jazz.

JOSEFINE CRONHOLM vocals
SISSEL VERA PETTERSEN vocals and alto sax
HILDEGUNN ØISETH trumpet and goat horn
LOTTE ANKER tenor and soprano saxophone
LIS WESSBERG trombone
MAKIKO HIRABAYASHI piano and keyboards
IDA GORMSEN electric bass
LISBETH DIERS congas and percussion
ANNA LUND drums
MARILYN MAZUR composer/leader, percussion,
balaphone and kalimba

All compositions and lyrics by Marilyn Mazur,
except for the lyrics of Largo of Voices by Josefine Cronholm

Expected Release Date: 9/16/2022

Rising star pianist/composer Connie Han brings the ancient Sumerian culture to the present day by channelling Inanna — the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, beauty and war — on her third release for Mack Avenue Records.

Rising star pianist/composer Connie Han brings the ancient Sumerian culture to the present day by channeling Inanna — the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, and war — on her third release for Mack Avenue Records.

Featuring Katisse Buckingham (alto flute and piccolo), John Patitucci (bass), Rich Perry (tenor saxophonist), and drummer Bill WysaskeSecrets of Inanna creates a new world open to interpretation, harkening back to the ethereal soundscapes’ of 1970s spiritual jazz with the modern composition Han has received praise for since her 2018 debut Crime Zone, creating a truly unique soundscape of great depth. ~MackAvenueRecords

At your leisure, stream her new single “PRIMA MATERIA” from her upcoming album

 

Yellowjackets Enter Fifth Decade Sounding as Fresh as Tomorrow on Upcoming Album: Parallel Motion

Parallel Motion is out on CD / Digital on August 26, 2022

Maintaining a distinct group identity for 40 years is an exceedingly rare achievement, but what sets Yellowjackets apart isn’t their longevity so much as the consistently inspired quality of their music. Born in the age of fusion, the band has thrived through the decades by steadily seeking out new sounds and approaches, combining elliptical lyricism with a sophisticated and evolving harmonic palette all their own. Slated for release on August 26, Parallel Motion is Yellowjackets’ sixth album for Mack Avenue Records and it captures a vibrant creative communion that shows no signs of an impending midlife crisis.
Since Yellowjackets’ eponymous 1981 debut album, the group has hewed its own creative path, influencing colleagues with enviable compositional craftsmanship and an ever-shifting blend of influences. In many ways Yellowjackets embody both continuity and renewal, with founding­ pianist/keyboardist Russell Ferrante providing the four-decade thread first joined by Will Kennedy­, who took over the drum chair from 1987-99 and returned to the fold in 2010. Bob Mintzer, a Jacket since 1990, contributes on tenor and soprano saxophones and EWI. By the band’s standards Australian-born electric bass virtuoso Dane Alderson is still the new kid, though he’s already anchored the quartet for seven years. Parallel Motion is a Technicolor portrait of a working band that’s still stretching its wings.
“The last two projects were collaborations,” Ferrante said, referring to 2018’s luminous Raising Our Voice with extraordinary Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, and 2020’s orchestral Jackets XL with the WDR Big Band of Cologne, Germany. “We wanted to do a project focusing on the quartet. In terms of the material, we wanted to broaden the contributions from everyone. Dane is represented by several tunes. Will is in the mix. Everybody’s involved in every aspect.”
While Yellowjackets recorded the album in the midst of the pandemic, the music looks forward rather than exploring the angst and isolation that accompanied the advent of COVID-19. Of course, resilience and optimism in the face of tragedy is in itself a profound statement. For Mintzer, the new work “represents the commitment to stay together and keep moving forward. It’s really about this four-cornered square that functions no matter what. With each record, all four of us are on the hunt for new ways to put the notes together. The music keeps growing. The focus is this band. A clear, identifiable sound. Four equal parts.”
Indeed, every Jacket is well represented on Parallel Motion. The album opens with Mintzer’s “Intrigue,” a lithe but stutter-stepping tune that offers a little surprise around every shifting groove. Lyrical and street smart, the piece showcases all four players at their most responsive. “There’s a singable component, but these little splashes of dissonance,” Mintzer said. “It doesn’t fit into any categories, which is one of the M.O.s of this band.”
Ferrante’s passionate “Il Mio Amico” is a heartfelt ode written in response to his recently acquired Fazioli piano. It’s a spectacular instrument “and the resonance and overtones and response you get is really inspiring,” he said. “We brought it to the studio and used it on the recording, the first workout it got, and as the title says, it’s really my new friend.”
Alderson’s slyly grooving “Early” grew out of a sketch that had been languishing on his laptop for more than a decade. “I brought it to the band and the guys brought it to life,” he said. “It’s a jammy party tune with an R&B flavor that really evolved in the studio.”
Kennedy transformed a tune originally written with vocals into the ravishing “Samaritan,” a piece that expands on Yellowjackets’ long history of singable lines. “The goal was to have a melody that was simple and warm and I think we achieved that,” Kennedy said. “It’s a really calm and relaxing sort of song. As Dane was saying, it’s always an interesting adventure to present a tune to the band and have it take on a life of its own.”
If Parallel Motion offers a snapshot of a band in mid-flight, it’s also a family portrait that includes Ferrante’s “If You Believe,” a track featuring the supremely soulful vocalist Jean Baylor. No stranger to Jackets fans, she’s recorded with the group several times, and of course her husband, drummer Marcus Baylor, was a member of Yellowjackets from 2000-2010. Her gospel-steeped performance adds another incandescent track to Yellowjackets’ deep roster of vocal collaborations, a list that includes Bobby McFerrin, Kurt Elling, Bobby Caldwell, Randy Crawford, Brenda Russell, Michael Franks, Gino Vannelli, Jonathan Butler and Luciana Souza.
Recorded after a brief European tour, the album documents the process of discovery. “We rehearsed the tunes on the album maybe three times,” Alderson said. “I believe we’re only now on this tour performing these songs live, so what you’re hearing are about as fresh as they can be. Everything really came to life in the studio in those three days.”

Parallel Motion — the new album from jazz fusion legends Yellowjackets — is a true testament to the longevity and resilience of a band that debuted over 40 years ago. Consistently reinventing themselves through elevated instrumentation in their signature electro-acoustic soundscape, the current lineup consists of Bob Mintzer (tenor & soprano saxophone/EWI), Russell Ferrante (piano/keyboards), Will Kennedy (drums, keyboards), and Dane Alderson (electric bass, MIDI Sequencing) showcases a collective at their prime. This album features 9 new original compositions and guest vocalist Jean Baylor (4x GRAMMY® Award Nominee of the Baylor Project and R&B duo Zhané) on “If You Believe.” ~Mack Avenue Music Group

At your leisure, check the single “INTRIGUE” by the Yellowjackets.

 

[NOTEWORTHY]… With “Dedications” pianist, Alan Pasqua accomplishes the challenging task of leaving his unique and masterful imprint on this homage to the giants of the tradition.

Thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable. . . .From bop to swing, Alan Pasqua & Co. (in trio, quartet, and quintet settings) joyously explore many facets of the jazz tradition, adding zest and their own voices to every one of Alan’s excellent compositions. — The Music Advocate, May 1996

Pianist Alan Pasqua has dedicated his second Postcards CD to the incredibly rich tradition of jazz. On Dedications, his compositions cover the whole stylistic spectrum from swing and bebop through today’s polytonality and modality and are heard in the trio, quartet, and quintet settings. Building from a core trio featuring Dave Holland and Paul Motian (who have rarely recorded together) on four tunes, Pasqua adds Michael Brecker (on seldom-heard soprano saxophone) on one tune, and then creates two different quintets, one with both Michael and Randy Brecker, and one with Randy Brecker and Gary Bartz. From the lush, ducal “Ellingtonia” through the ethereal modality of “San Michele,” Alan Pasqua accomplishes the challenging task of leaving his unique and masterful imprint on this homage to the giants of the tradition. “Dedications,” says Pasqua, turning to his 1996 CD, “is my way of paying tribute to the positive influences on my life. Art, music, spirituality, family . . . I draw upon all of these whenever I’m playing or composing.

I wanted to take tradition and put my own stamp on it,” he continues, describing how he approached the compositions. “I found myself going back to my roots in jazz, back to an earlier perspective on jazz, to the styles I grew up with musically, and then reshaping the traditions, embellishing them — finding my own voice, making a more modern statement. It was like taking one step backward to take two steps forward.” ~Editorial Review | Amazon

Original Release Date:  October 21, 2006

At your leisure, spin “DEDICATIONS” by Alan Pasqua

[NOTEWORTHY] – Tales of Time is the calling car to versatile drummer/composer Greg Germann’s relentless chops and composing skills

New York-based drummer/composer Greg Germann has spent the better part of the last 2 decades touring the world with Broadway shows and then making his mark as a Telly Award-winning film composer, utilizing his background in classical percussion and jazz to guide his hand. With encouragement from an important mentor, drummer Clarence Penn, Greg turned his attention to documenting a collection of his wide-ranging compositions for the modern jazz quartet.

With Penn producing, they pulled together a group of supreme improvisers including saxophonist Donny McCaslin, pianist Luis Perdomo and bassist Yasushi Nakamura to tackle Germann’s rhythmically expansive & melodically rich works. Recorded in November of 2020, the compositions present a dynamic view of life during the Covid-19 pandemic.

From the relentless post-bop opener, ‘Rush Hour,’ to the reflective ‘Quarantine,’ Tales of Time is Germann’s calling card for jazz fans worldwide. ~Editorial Review | Amazon

Originally Released: March 12, 2021

At your leisure, spin “TALES OF TIME” by Greg Germann

[NOTEWORTHY]… Maroon Cloud, a powerful eight-part suite by Afrofuturist & celebrated flutist Nicole Mitchell, is a paean to the human gift of imagination

Maroon Cloud, a powerful eight-part suite by celebrated flutist Nicole Mitchell, is a paean to the human gift of imagination and its ability to foster resistance in our dystopian times. It features a drum-less quartet with Mitchell, cellist Tomeka Reid, pianist Aruán Ortiz, and vocalist Fay Victor, recorded live at National Sawdust in Brooklyn as part of John Zorn’s Stone Commissioning Series (March 29, 2017).

In part, Maroon Cloud refers to the realm of creativity that we can enter simply by closing our eyes — an ability no one can take away from us. Imagination, especially black imagination, is a really vital and undervalued resource, the composer states. It’s very clear that we can’t continue in the same direction that we’ve gone, but we need to return to where imagination and creativity come from, because if we don’t have another vision then we can’t make a different future. What makes us special as human beings are our ability to imagine things that don’t even exist yet. Those future-seeking visions, for now, exist in what we might call the cloud. Maroon, meanwhile, has a number of meanings: it ties into the theme of resistance by referencing the Maroons — those Africans who escaped slavery in the Caribbean and banded with indigenous people to form their own communities as early as the 16th century. Mitchell also cites the alternate meaning of marooned, i.e., people being abandoned to their fate. And then there’s maroon, the rich dark color we might see with eyes closed, imagining social and political renewal. Nicole Mitchell, a longtime Chicagoan, and professor of music at the University of California-Irvine, recently received a Champion of New Music Award from the American Composers Forum. She has been hailed for her Afrofuturist vision and credited as the most inventive flutist in the past 30 years of jazz by The New York Times. Her varied projects and leadership as the first woman to chair the AACM have widened the scope of improvised music. ~Editorial Review | Amazon

Trailblazing UK jazz renegade, saxophonist Sean Khan delivers his scintillating new album ‘Supreme Love: a Journey Through Coltrane’ on BBE Music

Trailblazing UK jazz renegade, saxophonist Sean Khan delivers his scintillating new album ‘Supreme Love: a Journey Through Coltrane’ on BBE Music.

“Who is John Coltrane for me?” asks Khan. “He is man, legend, myth, storyteller, sage, and atmosphere. My road and journey have been rocky one, and like most on this journey, I have carved a path full of mistakes and triumphs. However, throughout my life, Coltrane’s music has been a constant.

Weaving together disparate strands of the UK music scene (jazz, dance, broken beat, and electronic) together onto one record, Supreme Love is presented in three parts: autobiography, homage, and encyclopedia.

A pioneer of the Broken Beat movement early in the new millennium, working with Omar, Bugz in the Attic and 4hero among others, Khan enlisted the input of two old friends, Kaidi Tatham and Daz I Kue, who each contribute a future-minded yet reverential sense of originality to the album.

Also featured on Supreme Love are two legends of UK jazz, Peter King and Jim Mullen, both of whom bring a rich and palpable sense of history to the project. Guitarist Jim Mullen has played with Brian Auger, toured with the Average White Band, and recorded with Terry Callier over his long career. Mullen was also a regular fixture at Ronnie Scott’s, as was saxophonist Peter King, who actually performed at the club’s opening night, as well as working with two of Coltrane’s favorite drummers, Philly Joe Jones, and Elvin Jones. Sadly Peter King’s contribution to ‘Supreme Love’ would be his last recording session, and he passed away in August 2020.

Also featured among a talented and diverse group of performers on the album is Cinematic Orchestra front-woman Heidi Vogel, who adds her distinctive, soulful voice to Khan’s, and Coltrane’s, heartfelt lyrics.

I have always been a strange prisoner to my ambition,” says Seanand most of my recordings bear testimony to this, with this record being the next part of that evolution. I made a conscious effort to represent all of Coltrane’s main artistic periods from hard bop (with Miles Davis), to sheets of sound (Giant Steps, Moments Notice), spiritual jazz (Love Supreme), and finally his last, most experimental and cosmic period (Interstellar Space). I have never heard a record that attempts to reflect all of the great man’s epochs in this way and use the recording artist’s autobiography (my own) as a conduit to these ends, and so here I am, for better or for worse.~Bandcamp all rights reserved

 

Original Release DateNovember 19, 2021

 

At your leisure, check out the ambitious “SUPREME LOVE: A JOURNEY THROUGH COLTRANE” by Sean Khan

[NOTEWORTHY]… Posi-Tone Records rolls out a second volume of “New Faces,” they deliver melodic, descriptive, and harmonious tones flawlessly with their current album New Sounds

Posi-Tone Records rolls out a second volume of “New Faces” with a musical message that stays focused on “New Sounds.” This group of “New Faces” (trumpeter Brandon Lee, alto saxophonist Markus Howell, tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover, pianist Caili O’Doherty, bassist Adi Meyerson and drummer Cory Cox) was assembled and sent off under the supervision of producer Marc Free to explore a wonderland of melodic mysteries and harmonic possibilities.

The performances of these emerging artists are specifically intended to provide you with an insight into the musical aesthetics and operational ethos of Posi-Tone Records with an engaging program of fresh cuts and a few dusky gems from the label’s previous releases. Please take a moment to relax and experience the “New Sounds” of these talented artists as they work to provide you with the opportunity to enjoy a more delightful today and a brighter tomorrow. ~Editorial Reviews | Amazzon

Original Release Date: November 3, 2020

At your leisure, check out “NEW SOUNDS” featuring New Faces

Just in case, you missed it… Italian bassist-composer Dario Piccioni’s latest trio album “Carpet Stories” is the first he records on Auand

https://dariopiccionibassist.bandcamp.com/album/carpet-storiesA piano trio focused on double bass. Upside down structures. Mediterranean flavors. Italian double bass player Dario Piccioni’s new trio album “Carpet Stories” is the first he records on Auand label. Even if the band (with Vittorio Solimene on piano, and Michele Santoleri on drums) might look like the usual piano trio, Piccioni mixes things up by giving his instrument the leading role: «I like to contaminate jazz with specific elements recently: the importance of double bass, rhythmic research, structure overturning, aggressive percussion. And also unisons, progressive hints, Mediterranean sounds, fusion. Everything is put in a dreamy frame and enriched with interplay and improvisation.

These choices shape the entire narrative of his “Carpet Stories”, rooted in his childhood memories. He used to play on his grandparents’ carpet «and I remember the feeling: it was like watching a movie, or playing a video game. But nothing was moving: it was only a motif, possibly a chivalric illustration with some decorations. It was like a Stendhal syndrome that lasted quite long. In the end, everyday objects like a carpet also had that purpose: transmitting stories, like movies, do today. But I had an active role at that moment: I was able to create multiple stories, using and mixing the recurring elements.

Two trusted musicians fully support him: Vittorio Solimene has been on stage with Piccioni since the pianist was18 years old. They also toured Europe, influencing each other. «He is highly contributing to the sound of this project – the leader adds – As for Michele Santoleri, we have a deep spiritual connection. We both keep ourselves away from purism. I feel free to experiment when I play with him.


The trio also features a special appearance by singer Veronica Marini – her lively and dreamy vocals on “A New Ceiba” and on the title track “Carpet Stories” strengthen the melodic and emotional message.
Piccioni’s writing method is now solid. «It’s like following the same path – he says – stepping in the same footprints we left in the past. Only, the path is never the same. Our look on the landscape has changed, as well as our footprints. Everything flows. The artist grows up by listening to himself and the others. And he finds deeper meanings even when analyzing the same structure or form for years. ~Bandcamp 
Released Date: February 5, 2021

Dario Piccioni – double bass, acoustic bass
Vittorio Solimene – piano
Michele Santoleri – drums
Veronica Marini – Vocals

All compositions by Dario Piccioni (ed. mus. Jazz Engine) except #8 by Joe Henderson

At your leisure, check out “CARPET STORIES” by Dario Piccioni



			

[COMPARED TO WHAT?]… a salute to the legendary voice of Billie Holiday comprised by Mal Waldron & Archie Shepp’

https://www.amazon.com/Left-Alone-Revisited-Tribute-Holiday/dp/B0006TPDOI/ref=pd_sbs_1/132-1825047-7468203?pd_rd_w=ETVrj&pf_rd_p=4b6b5072-e9bd-4f30-a3af-a1f5d52978ec&pf_rd_r=46EY6D3303H6RHXQHQTN&pd_rd_r=0d28aa43-e8c3-4ee3-9ec7-d5a994ca5559&pd_rd_wg=sXkrW&pd_rd_i=B0006TPDOI&psc=1Mal Waldron’s first tribute to Billie Holiday, titled Left Alone, was recorded in 1959, mere months before the singer’s death. He returned to salute the legendary vocalist on several occasions since then, with this recording likely being his final tribute, recorded less than a year before his own death. Waldron, who worked with Holiday during her last years, is intimately familiar with her takes of the six standards heard on this disc, along with her own ‘Lady Sings the Blues.’

Archie Shepp’s often gritty tenor sax is reminiscent of the texture of Holiday’s voice, yet he perfectly complements Waldron’s lush piano. They also pack a punch with their stark performance of ‘Left Alone’ (Shepp’s occasional reed squeaks seem deliberate as if to imitate breaks in her voice). Waldron also recites Holiday’s lyrics set to his composition at the conclusion of the LP. Shepp switches to soprano sax for an emotional take of ‘Everything Happens to Me’ and ‘I Only Have Eyes for You,’ with the latter song sounding as if the unheard singer is being ignored by her love interest. Shepp’s ‘Blues for 52nd Street’ is both sassy and swinging. This instrumental salute to Billie Holiday is one of the best albums ever to honor her memory. ~Editorial Reviews | Amazon