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

[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

Just in case, you missed it… An international award-winning saxophonist & flutist Lucas Figueiredo Santana versatile voice soars with Reflections

Versatility, energy, and musicality define Lucas Figueiredo Santana, 1993. Saxophone and flute player, the young Brazilian musician based in Amsterdam has shown a unique way to express himself through music, crossing over the Brazilian samba-jazz, Bossa Nova, and Choro with Jazz.

 

An international award-winning musician such as Downbeat student award 2021, Keep an Eye Records – 2020 and Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation – 2016, Lucas had the chance to share the stage with big names of the jazz and Brazilian scene, for example, Miguel Zenón, Dick Oatts, Seamus Blake, Jasper Blom, Hermeto Pascoal, Metropole Orkest, and Four Tops and Temptations.

 

For the coming year, Lucas is dedicating his time to the release of his debut album named “Reflections which will be out on April 23rd. “Reflections” is an album composed and recorded during the lockdown period of 2020 due to the Covid-19 world crises and aims to deliver some of Lucas’ personal reflections of himself and of the world through his music. ~Bandcamp

 

Original Release Date: September 4, 2021

 

At your leisure, spin “REFLECTIONS” by the versatile  Lucas Figueiredo Santana

 

Pianist composer Danilo Pérez w/The Global Messengers release New Recording “Crisálida” on March 18th, 2022

Pianist, composer, humanitarian, and activist Danilo Pérez believes that a united global perspective for the arts and social justice are the keys to moving humanity forward in harmony.

With Crisálida, Pérez has convened his Global Messengers – several gifted Berklee Global Jazz Institute graduates mentored by Danilo hailing from Palestine, Greece, and Jordan — to contribute their respective cultural learnings and personal experiences with the goal of building community through music, without borders. ~Mack Avenue Records

Available: March 18 via Mack Avenue Records
PRE-ORDER NOW

Listen to Danilo Pérez’s singleLA MURALLA SUITE: MONOPATIAfrom his forthcoming albumCrisálida

[NOTEWORTHY] …dynamic trio Sakésho pushes their impassioned polyrhythmic sound without compromising

Sakésho is a quartet built around the characteristic sounds of the steel pans, as played by Andy Narell. He’s the band member most familiar to American audiences, but this is truly a group enterprise, and the roles of pianist Mario Canonge, bassist Michel Alibo, and drummer Jean Philippe Fanfant are all well matched.

Their self-titled debut features the polyrhythmic music from the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe called biguine. It’s a sort of near cousin to the calypso and includes some assorted Afro-Cuban strains.

There is a celebratory nature to the music, with all of the players except Narell contributing vocals–primarily as melodic choruses that add another syncopation to the proceedings. Recorded with warmth and clarity, the genuine and friendly interplay between the four musicians is nicely captured as well. ~David Greenberger | Amazon

Originally Released: January 1, 2002

At your leisure, listen to the infectious Caribbean sounds of Sakésho

 

 

Cairo’s Maurice Louca Shares “Higamah (Hirudinea)” — From ‘ Saet El-Hazz (The Luck Hour)’ out 9/24 via Sub Rosa & Northern Spy

Genre: Arabic, Psychedelic Folk, Electronic, Free Improvisation
RIYL: Sun City Girls, Tortoise, Nadah El Shazly, Amirtha Kidambi, Don Cherry, Jaubi, Pharoah Sanders, Sunil Ganguly

Maurice Louca shares “Higamah (Hirudinea),” the second single from his forthcoming full-length album, Saet El-Hazz (The Luck Hour), out September 24, 2021, via Sub Rosa and Northern Spy.  At once cacophonous and cathartic, this psychedelic outro swirls across imaginary landscapes with a rich and melodic spirituality—it’s a good example of why Louca has been called the heart of Egypt’s thriving alternative music scene.

Saet el Hazz is a coded saying in Egypt to refer to a good time and usually implies a great deal of debauchery. “When you mention to someone that you’ve had a saet hazz, there are no questions asked. It is what it is.”

The initial spark for Saet El-Hazz was Louca’s desire to collaborate with “A” Trio, the Lebanese improvisational group featuring Mazen Kerbaj on prepared trumpet, Sharif Sehnaoui on prepared guitar, and Raed Yassin on prepared double bass. “When the three of them come together they create a sonic cosmos entirely their own. I started by composing music that I wanted to have existed within this sonic world—at times in harmony, or clashing with it, and all the emotional ranges in between.

Just as “A” Trio served as the spark, a commission from Mophradat, an arts organization based out of Brussels, was the tinder. The commission was for a new composition to be performed using instruments that Louca would modify to play microtonally. This led him to Turkey and Indonesia. In Istanbul, he worked with a Lutheran to custom-make a guitar. In Surakarta, he ended up with an instrument maker tuning a Serang—referred to as the Indonesian xylophone, part of the family of Gamelan tuned percussion instruments.

While the intention had been to render these instruments to play in the Arabic tradition of maqam, what Louca found was that the modifications opened up the composition to new tonal possibilities that were not necessarily rooted in any specific cultural tradition. He then expanded his lineup to include Khaled Yassine, a longtime collaborator and versatile percussionist and drummer, Christine Kazaryan, a dynamic harpist whom he met via Praed Orchestra, and Anthea Caddy, a cellist who came highly recommended from the Berlin free improv scene.

“Maurice Louca is a composer and musician who goes beyond Arabic jazz to create his own singular cross-wiring of evocative experimental music.” –Bandcamp Daily

“There is something about linking luck to decadence that resonates with me, and even if I can’t fully articulate it in words, the drive behind the music of this album and how it came to be, and the energy between us at the studio rehearsing and recording it, was in a lot of ways for me a saet hazz.”

Saet El Hazz is a long-form composition of six movements, recorded over the course of a week in August 2019 at A/B studios in Brussels. Preorder for Saet El-Hazz (The Luck Hour) is now available here.

Credits
Composed, arranged, and produced by Maurice Louca

Mazen Kerbaj – Trumpet/Electronics
Sharif Sehnaoui – Guitar
Raed Yassin – Double Bass
Anthea Caddy – Cello
Christine Kazaryan – Harp
Maurice Louca – Guitar

Featuring guest appearances by
Ayman Asfour – Violin on “Bidayat (Holocene)”
Devin Brahja – Alto Sax on “El-Gullashah (Foul Tongue)”

Album art by Maha Maamoun and Mohamed Gaber

Tracklist
1. El-Fazza’ah (The Slip And Slide)
2. Bidayat (Holocene)
3. Yara’ (Fire Flies)
4. Sa’et El-Hazz (The Luck Hour)
5. El-Gullashah (Foul Tongue)
6. Higamah (Hirudeinea)

Select Praise
“a dazzling, trance-like triumph.” –MOJO Magazine

“remarkable Egyptian indie collaboration is a triumph” –The Guardian (Five Star Review)

Links
mauricelouca.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/mauriceloucamusic
twitter.com/mauricelouca
instagram.com/mauricelouca

Listen to the single “HIGAMAH (HIRUDINEA)” by Maurice Louca

NOTEWORTHY: Moving Cities is an authentic blend of aesthetic grooves without boundaries featuring Antoine Berjeaut & Makaya McCraven

Bridging the spaces between the Paris and Chicago scenes, Moving Cities brings together the best of both worlds and is emblematic of a new, utterly modern jazz going through a true aesthetic revolution. Moving Cities started as a live laboratory set up by Berjeaut and McCraven; it echoes the recent evolution of international metropolises constantly torn between individualism and collective endeavors, in disrupted geography.

In today’s musical landscape, there is a strong push to reassess and redefine musical genres. Incorporating all kinds of influences has become a driving force, and jazz, like other genres, is now experiencing an explosion of its aesthetic boundaries. It has moved away from its ponderous legacy and now fully channels the spirit of the times – as it once used to. ~Editoral Reviews | Amazon

Original Release Date: December 6, 2019

At your leisure, check out this explosive gumbo of genre-bending grooves “MOVING CITIES” by Antoine Berjeaut and Makaya McCraven 

 

Just in case, you missed it…Brazilian pianist/composer Amaro Freitas’ “Sankofa”

Sometimes visually represented as a heart, or a bird flying with its head facing backward (or taking an egg from its back), the Akan principle of Sankofa states that in order to move forward, we must look back to our ancestors and traditional practices to help guide the way. For Brazilian pianist Amaro Freitas, Sankofa not only provides the title for his latest release but also acts as a guiding principle for his approach to the music.

Working in a trio with bassist Jean Elton and drummer/percussionist Hugo Medeiros, Freitas’ playing throughout Sankofa straddles the cultural and historical intersections of post-bop and samba batucada. The title track is a beautifully understated piece, in which Freitas’ rich chords and melody lines swing hazily against the rhythm section. On “Ayeye,” the trio dances over Medeiros’ funky midtempo groove, while “Cazumbá” combines imaginative playing with delightfully irregular rhythms. “Batucada” builds tension with a dramatic opening before giving way to a truly open-concept arrangement guided by Freitas’ Cecil Taylor-Esque playing.

The music here is consistently inventive, both rhythmically and melodically engaging, delivered by a trio more than capable of commanding a wide range of African diasporic musical traditions. ~Daily.bandcamp.com

As time allows, become acquainted with the imaginative voicings of “SANKOFA” by pianist/composer Amaro Freitas

NOTEWORTHY: Eliane Elias has grafted various elements of jazz, pop, soul, and other styles to her deep Brazilian roots to create a hybrid groove

Since the mid-1980s, pianist/vocalist Eliane Elias has grafted various elements of jazz, pop, soul, and other styles to her deep Brazilian roots to create a hybrid groove that exists comfortably in any hemisphere. Borrowing from an array of sources and singing in a variety of languages, Elias consistently forges a sound that appeals to listeners of every geographic locale and cultural persuasion. Her new album, Light My Fire – wields this universal sound to explore the various corners of the human heart – from romance and passion to the shared joy of being alive and embracing everyone into the dance of life. Along with four compositions written or co-written by Elias herself, the album also includes covers of familiar works by songwriters as diverse as Jim Morrison and the Doors, pop icon Stevie Wonder and jazz saxophonist Paul Desmond. Elias weaves it all together into a cohesive whole by injecting each of the twelve songs with distinctly Brazilian grooves that alternate effortlessly between the fiery and passionate to the cool and sophisticated.

Some of the tunes are cool and laid back, but others are quite rhythmic and joyful,” says Elias. “And they have some different grooves. I tend to gravitate toward romance – beautiful melodies, beautiful harmonies, and rhythms with a great feel. But more than anything else, I’m singing about love on this record in its different aspects and dimensions. I’ve made more than 20 records in my career. I’m proud of all of them, but I’m especially excited about this one. It feels like it has a life and an energy all its own. With very few exceptions, nearly all of the songs were first taken. Everybody in the studio was so focused, and it was such a fun record to make. The music was really flowing, and we all felt very relaxed. From the very first day, not a note was wasted by anyone. It was an amazing experience.

Backing Elias on Light My Fire is a crew of twelve high-caliber players, including special guests guitarist/vocalist Gilberto Gil and trumpeter Randy Brecker. The rhythm section – which has accompanied Elias on several of her most recent recordings – includes guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves, bassist Marc Johnson, and drummer Paulo Braga. Also on hand to sing with Elias and Gil on “Toda Menina Baiana” is Elias‘ daughter, singer-songwriter, Amanda Brecker. New to Elias’ team are percussionist Marivaldo dos Santos, drummer Rafael Barata, guitarist Romero Lubambo, and Ross Traut, and flutist Lawrence Feldman.

At your leisure, submerge your soul into “LIGHT MY FIRE” by Eliane Elias 

REFLECTION: Do you remember Brazilian trombonist/composer Raul de Souza?

Raul de Souza Generations Band, PLENITUDE (RELEASE: May 21, 2021)

I vividly recall the distinct yet brisk tonality provided by trombonist/composer Raul de Souza from his days playing with keyboardist George Duke, mostly his 1977 Brazilian, Jazz, and Funk flavored album “SWEET LUCY was the first of three followed by DON’T ASK MY NEIGHBORS & ‘TIL TOMORROW COMES (not available)” projects produced by Duke in the latter 70s. Until today, considering that he’s been recording since 1965 I was unaware of the Rio de Janeiro native’s impressive catalog that has unmeasurably blessed music lovers globally even though most of us only knew him during his short-lived success in North America.

Today, I’m thrilled to present the mysterious Raul de Souzas latest endeavor aptly titled “PLENITUDE” which by the way embodies the familiar accents, catchy hooks, and Latin rhythms he was known for. If contemporary jazz and fusion bend by contagious voicings of Latin jazz spread throughout is your bag, there are six interludes plus Souza serves up ten infectious gems guaranteed to satisfy even the most discriminating jazz enthusiasts.

Out of the box, Souza doesn’t hesitate for a moment with the sassy “NANA.” It burst right away with glowing and illuminating tones colored with Latin attributes. With an artist of his stature, his versatility is quickly exposed on “APESAR DE VOCE” which basked in the rhythmic brilliance of the aforementioned piece. A tune titled “DAISY MAE” adjacent to “NETINHA AURA” arrives it seems out of nowhere as my overall favorites are explorative, robust, and punctuated by contemporary accents. What I hear underscored through this magnificent recording is Souza’s uncanny gift to layer alluring tones, contoured shapes, polychromatic lyricism evitably captures your attention with every evolving note makes this album a poetically appealing, beautiful, and joyous listening experience. ~Reviewed by Rob Young

Check it out, as time allows listen to PLENTITUDE by trombonist/composer Raul de Souza