World of Jazz 492

The best of recent jazz releases from around the world and a classic live track from Anthony Braxton. Featuring brand new music from George Crotty Trio, Doug Webb, Daniel Carter and The Telepathic Band, Jon Balke Siwan, Queen Kong, Artur Tuznik Sextet, Pasquale Stafano Trio, Carole Nelson Trio, David Murray Brave New World Trio, Tim Berne and Nasheet Waits, Art Hirahara, David Virelles, and John Sinton, Jed Wilson, & Tony Falco.

  • Show Intro 00:00
  • George Crotty Trio “Chronotope” from Chronotope (Self Released) 00:43
  • Doug Webb “New Beginning” from The Message (PosiTone) 05:41
  • Daniel Carter and the Telepathic Band “Alive Hit Alive It” from Telepatica (577 Records) 12:20
  • Jon Balke’s Siwan “Dialogo en la Noche” from Hafla (ECM) 27:09
  • Anthony Braxton “Composition No. 48” from Twelve Compositions (Music & Arts) 33:13
  • Queen Kong “Kavod 19” from Fray (Self Released) 47:22
  • Artur Tuznik Sextet “January” from Spring (Artur Tuznik Music) 53:35
  • Pasquale Stafano Trio “Sparks” from Sparks (Enja) 1:00:00
  • Carole Nelson Trio “Dreaming Of A Snake” from Night Vision (Blackstairs Records) 1:08:45
  • David Murray New World Trio “Seriana Promethea” from Seriana Promethea (Intakt) 1:16:24
  • David Virelles “Cuando Canta El Cornetín” from Nuna (Pi Recordings) 1:21:39
  • Tim Berne & Nasheet Waits “Tangled (Radio Edit)” from Tangled (Screwgun) 1:28:24
  • Josh Sinton, Jed Wilson, Tony Falco “Adumbration 1” from Adumbrations (Form is Possibility Recordings) 1:41:45
  • Art Hirahara “Groundswell/Ascent” from Ascent (Positone) 1:55:26

George Crotty Trio

The George Crotty Trio’s second studio album, Chronotope, emerged from a desire to travel through music at a time when travel was restricted. Recorded in Toronto, the new tunes engage in cross-cultural interplay between post-bop, South American grooves, Indian Raga, and Arabic Maqam. George Crotty has forged his own vocabulary on the cello. Following his graduation from the Berklee College of Music, he immersed himself in New York’s jazz and world music scenes, joining several ensembles such as the Brooklyn Raga Massive and the Detroit-based National Arab Orchestra, in addition to collaborating with Paquito D’Rivera, Anat Cohen, and Darol Anger. Powered by drummer Matias Recharte (Kuné, Jesse Cook) and bassist Jonathan Chapman (Travis Knights, Laura Anglade) their collaborative sound deviates from a trio’s typical hierarchy. The three players intertwine on their own spontaneous terms in an exploration of groove and colour, lending Crotty’s tunes an exciting three-dimensional quality. The album will be released on July 22nd and will be celebrated with a performance at the Rex in Toronto on August 9th, in addition to an October tour in Ontario and Quebec.

MAX SENITT – PERCUSSION on the featured track
GILBERT MANSOUR – PERCUSSION on the rest of the album

Doug Webb

Saxophonist Doug Webb delivers “The Message” loud and clear with the able assistance of an expert ensemble of musicians on his 11th release for PosiTone Records. Highlighted by a full complement of tour de force performances, the album features powerful showings bespoken from the eminent saxophones of Greg Osby and Bob Reynolds, organist extraordinaire Brian Charette, and the steady metrics of drummer Charles Ruggiero. Each musician performs their part seamlessly, with feeling and mind blowing precision. Everyone works to keep the session in the pocket as Webb and company cover a wide variety of styles and moods with effortless mastery and melodic brilliance. This saxophone extravaganza is a hard swinging jubilee of joy that will certainly entertain jazz enthusiasts again and again with amazement and delight.

Daniel Carter and The Telepathic Band

If 577 Records had a house band, this would be it—a group of longtime friends, collaborators, and established jazz musicians who are mainstays of the 577 Records’ catalog, here playing together. The Telepathic Band named themselves after the sort of improvisational style that can only be accomplished with a decade or two of collaboration, playing a signature, boundary-pushing music between friends. Now, with their fifth album, Daniel Carter (Saxophone, Clarinet, Trumpet), Patrick Holmes (Clarinet), Matthew Putman (Piano, Rhodes), Hilliard Greene (Bass), and Federico Ughi (Drums) exemplify the possibilities of in-person improvisation once again. On Telepatica, the group offers extemporized performances live from the 577 Records-organized 2018 Forward Festival. This project displays their imaginative style, following previous albums Telepathic Alliances, Telepatia Liquida, Electric Telepathy, Vol. 1, and Telepathic Mysteries, Vol. 1. Telepatica will be available on July 1, 2022 in digital, CD, and vinyl editions.

Jon Balke

Hafla is the third album from Norwegian keyboardist-composer-arranger Jon Balke’s Siwan, launched in 2007 as a meeting point for musicians of strikingly different backgrounds and experiences. Siwan celebrates the concept of coexistence and cooperation, making the case for the positive attributes of cultural diversity, as it looks back into history and forwards towards new models for shared work. The legends and the poetry of al-Andalus continue to inspire Balke and company, but this is contemporary music shaped by players who choose to listen, respond and adapt.

Jon Balke brings many musical aspects together in his writing for a unique ensemble that includes an Algerian lead singer, a kemençe player from Turkey, an Iranian master of the tombak, an innovative Norwegian drummer and an energetic string section of baroque specialists. The interweaving of their creative contributions – in a delicate play of textures, melodies and rhythms – underlines and envelops verses penned many centuries ago. Repertoire on Hafla begins with Balke’s setting of lyrics by Wallada bint al-Mustakfi, the free-thinking 11th century Ummayad princess of Cordoba and the lover of Ibn Zaydun, the great poet of al-Andalus.

“The story of their relationship is legendary”, Balke notes. “And Wallada also wrote some great, short and precise poems. This time, we were looking for poetry descriptive of life as it was lived in that period. Somebody made the observation that the phenomenon of co-existence begins in the neighbourhood when someone needs help. It begins in the queue to buy bread. On that kind of basic level. It’s a good perspective, I think.”

Composing for Siwan frequently begins with the selection of words to be sung, he explains, as he exchanges ideas with Mona Boutchebak. “Often it’s many processes taking place. I might suggest some poems – perhaps starting from Spanish translations of the words – and then, while walking in Nature, sing or whistle a melody into a recording device. In my home studio I’ll develop that a bit and send it to Mona who’ll look into the translations and send me back a version sung in Arabic. Checking formal Arabic against dialect versions, and other details. Meanwhile I’ll start arranging for strings and imagining how the percussion players might work with material.”

With the musicians coming from diverse traditions, Balke has to be resourceful in his presentation of new pieces. “I’ve had to find ways to write new music for musicians who don’t normally read scores. For the Barokksolistene everything is written down. For the others usually I record demo versions of the material, with me playing percussion as well as keyboards and sometimes cello, so that everybody has at least a sketch of the songs.”

Anthony Braxton

Anthony Braxton – alto saxophone, sopranino saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet
Marilyn Crispell – piano
Mark Dresser – bass
Gerry Hemingway – drums, percussion, vibraphone, marimba

Recorded Live in July 1993 at Yoshi’s in Oakland California) is a double CD live album

Queen Kong

Lorie Wolf – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Michael Winograd – Clarinet
Max Forster – Trumpet, Electronics
Nathan Dell-Vandenburg – Trombone
Tom Richards – Sousaphone
Graham Campbell – Guitar
Beth Silver – Cello (2, 3, 5) not on the featured track
Jaron Freeman-Fox – Violin (2-4, 8) not on the featured track

Led by drummer and composer Lorie Wolf, Queen Kong is a band of klezmorim informed by a wide range of musical styles: the band members’ collective CV spans Balkan punk, hip-hop brass, classical ensembles, reggae, traditional jazz, and Brazilian psych-rock. Their collective experience fills a deep niche: it is music clearly sprung from the world of klezmer, but with migrator y flight paths to destinations yet to be determined. Queen Kong’s uniting musical influence is rooted in radical Jewish culture, drawing from a set of disparate usical influences, including John Zorn’s Masada and Bar Kokhba, Hasidic New Wave and Naftule’s Dream. To be thrown into the fray is to enter into an intense situation without notice. Fray is also the Yiddish word for ‘free.’ For Queen Kong, this double-entendre couldn’t be more apropos. The Toronto band’s debut album Fray was created during a time of worldwide tumult, when all paths forward seemed unclear. During a time of unraveling, Fray stands as a strong unifying statement, merging myriad influences to create something unique and powerful. Joining the band on all tracks is clarinetist Michael Winograd, a singular musical force whose impact stretches across 20 years of klezmer-influenced music in New York and around the world. Cellist Beth Silver appears on three tracks (Bethema, Let Me Take My Time and Kaddish For Jonny.) Her contributions offer the listener a unique listening opportunity, as cello is not commonly heard in klezmer music. Wolf’s ten originals move through moments of odd-metered Balkan groove, (Bethema), Jewish jazz (If/Then), elegiac meditation (Kaddish for Jonny), pizzicato-punctuated funk (“East 3rd and C”), and more. The album also features Wolf’s torchy lead vocals on Di Zun Vet Aruntergeyn, a poem written before the Holocaust and later set to music. Queen Kong will perform at various festivals this spring and summer including Jewish Music Week and the Toronto Jazz Festival, as well as at a variety of venues all over Toronto. They’ll be hitting the road this autumn for an extended tour. Fray released worldwide on Friday, May 27th 2022.

Artur Tuznik Sextet

SPRING – the debut album from the Artur Tuźnik Sextet – takes listeners on an engaging, reflective journey through sounds, sensations, and seasons in a program featuring new music that pays homage to the bandleader and composer’s greatest inspirations. The musical voices of the carefully chosen contributing instrumentalists bring nine original tunes to life in a production that’s intimate, spiritual, and offers something for audiences of all backgrounds. As a pianist, Tuźnik is known for his work with drummer Thomas Blachman as well as saxophonist Thomas Agergaard and has performed with Tomasz Stanko, Chris Cheek, and Tony Malaby, among many others. The lineup of musicians he’s selected for his sextet reads like a modern all-star band of Scandinavian-based players – American tenor saxophonist Ned Ferm, who has called Copenhagen home since 2001, and is known for his work with everyone from Roswell Rudd to Kurt Rosenwinkel; Norwegians Erik Kimestad on trumpet (a member of Kresten Osgood’s Quintet), and Simon Albertsen on drums (Espen Berg Trio, WAKO); Swedish trombonist Petter Hängsel (Danish Radio Big Band, Horse Orchestra); and the legendary Danish bassist Anders “AC” Christensen (Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band, Tomasz Stanko). Each of the soloists shines on this album that is thick with highlights. The songs were recorded in The Village Recording Studio in Copenhagen in early 2020 (just pre-pandemic) by Thomas Vang, and later mixed and mastered by Brian Massaka. The band set up and played together in the same room – a decision made by Tuznik in order to create a musical intimacy among the players and bring that sound to listeners. That incredible closeness is present throughout this album that absolutely sparkles with creative joy while it inspires nuanced nostalgia. The horn arrangements and overall sound of the production harken back to a time when jazz was moving and thought-provoking without being overly challenging on listeners’ ears and brains.

Artur Tuźnik – piano
Ned Ferm – tenor saxophone
Erik Kimestad – trumpet
Petter Hängsel – trombone
Anders “AC” Christensen – double bass
Simon Olderskog Albertsen – drums

Pasquale Stafano Trio

Creative, romantic and cinematic ‘Sparks’ is the latest release by Italian pianist and composer Pasquale Stafano with Giorgio Vendola on double bass and Saverio Gerardi on drums released by German label Enja Records. A contemporary jazz album where, merging together jazz and classical influences with a moderate use of electronic sounds, trio create something of hypnotic, emotional and uplifting. ‘Sparks’ was released on 24th of September and available in all platform. ‘Sparks’ is a metaphor for life. The EP offers a moment of meditation on the world to describe, in a lucid and dreamy way, as when someone admires a painting masterpiece, the multiple emotional experiences, the memories of real and imaginative journeys that all come alive. Everything returns to shine among the engaging sounds like sparks that light up and give the taste of time, immersed in emotions that lead from the frenzy of everyday life to the depth of landscapes of the soul. Pasquale Stafano’s career started in 1996, he performed with his projects globally on the main jazz festivals, theaters and jazz clubs and recorded 7 albums as leader. “With this new album, totally different by my previous six, I want to open a new chapter of my music, trying to focus on the points of contact between jazz compositions and modern classical music always focusing on the beauty of melody”. The 8-track EP is an exploration of emotions where Pasquale Stafano has created his own peculiar style perfectly capable of shape jazz in its various forms of expressions. His compositions, sometimes touching, sometimes sharp, have the unique energy to make his music exciting, communicative and poetic.

Carole Nelson Trio

Set for release on Friday 10th June.

The Carole Nelson Trio made up of Carole Nelson on Piano, Cormac O’Brien on Bass and Dominic Mullan on Drums was formed in 2015 as part of a series in Dublin organised to celebrate the piano trio format. The trio continued and has resulted in three fine albums, Night Vision being the third release. All members of the trio contributed to the writing of the 10 original tracks. The inspiration for the album came from an intrigue into the life of creatures that live in the dark. However the album is both thought provoking and stimulating with a real mix of moods conveyed by a different style approach to each track.

David Murray

Intakt CD 381

David Murray is a giant of modern jazz. His saxophone fuses all the great things that black music has produced: Gospel sounds, free jazz, Afro-Caribbean, blues and soul as well as the beautiful stan- dards of classic jazz. Murray’s colorful tone, unsurpassed intonation, flair for swing, melancholy tones, and improvisational power and ingenuity make him one of the most important voices in music today. The newly formed Brave New World Trio congregates style-setting jazz greats with bassist Brad Jones and drummer Hamid Drake. Together they draw from the African-American tradition as well as from other cultures and with Seriana Promethea they present an impressive musical statement. ”The result shows the intuitive level of understanding achieved. Having reached in his mid-60s a level of technical mastery where a musician ‘can play every note that he hears,‘ Murray saw this pianoless trio as not just a way to keep the notes flowing, but a catalyst for total freedom: that rare configuration that allows him to deliver, through the saxophone, “my most free expression of myself”, writes Derek Schilling in the liner notes.

Released May 20, 2022

David Murray: Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Brad Jones: Bass
Hamid Drake: Drums

All compositions by David Murray. Recorded November 27, 2021, at Hardstudios Winterthur by Michael Brändli.

David Virelles

Nuna is a book of compositions for solo piano by Cuban-American pianist and composer David Virelles. A 2021 recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, Virelles has worked with musicians as distinct as Henry Threadgill, Andrew Cyrille, Ravi Coltrane, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Tomasz Stanko, Steve Coleman, Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Tom Harrell and Milford Graves. His release Continuum (Pi 2012) was named the best jazz release of that year by The New York Times. After three esteemed releases on the ECM label, Virelles returned to Pi with Igbo Alakorin: The Singers Grove (2017), which was voted top Latin Jazz album in that year’s NPR Jazz Critics Poll.

Nuna is the consequence – as with so many others – of Virelles’s time in isolation during the Covid pandemic, which led to the completion of the present work for solo piano. It finds Virelles exploring the totality of his influences on the instrument, from improvisational contexts, Cuban traditional music, African keyboard traditions and European piano practices, all filtered through a modernist harmonic lens.

He describes Nuna as “a metaphor for the piano as an ancient instrument.” While the sonorities of the Steinway Model D concert grand piano are often on full display in his playing, he pays equal emphasis to tempering the instrument’s natural resonance, connecting it more to the sound of folkloric instruments such as thumb pianos, harps and drums. He achieves this purely through touch and pedaling, without any other mechanical manipulation or “prepping.” Indeed, the entire album is a demonstration of Virelles’s masterful control of shading, dynamics and timbre.

The set begins with “Spacetime,” a mysterious invocation played on the marímbula, a large, resonant wooden box with metal keys, that is used traditionally in changüí music. It is followed by a program of original compositions – with the exception of “Cuando Canta El Cornetín,” and “Germania” by Santiago de Cuba composers Mariano Mercerón and Sindo Garay, respectively. Virelles mostly plays solo, except on three tracks where he is joined by percussionist Julio Barreto, a long-standing member of Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s group in the 1990s. Virelles describes each piece as “its own little cosmos focused on one musical approach or idea.” The playing is elegant, favoring clean lines that make clear the music’s rhythmic invention and contrapuntal weave. Each piece is a sparkling précis of their manifold influences, and they never resort to easy cultural or performative clichés. It’s all unmistakably the work of a singular probing intellect. As with each of Virelles’s projects, Nuna bridges the folkloric with the contemporary, while shrouded in an aura of mystery.

Tim Berne & Nasheet Waits

Recorded December 3rd 2021 at The Howland Center in Beacon New York.

Josh Sinton, Jed Wilson, Tony Falco

Adumbrations, an album of free, lyrical and inspired music available June 3, 2022 via FiP
Recordings, is an utterly unique, first-time documentation of a twenty-year-long friendship. Josh
Sinton (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, alto flute), Jed Wilson (piano) and Tony Falco (drums)
have known each other since their student days at New England Conservatory in the early aughts.
And even though they have stayed in touch over the years, it wasn’t until August of 2021 that they
finally came together and spontaneously created their debut recording. Adumbrations celebrates the
importance of friendship and the solace and comfort it provides.

Art Hirahara

Pianist Art Hirahara explores a philosophical approach to music on “Ascent,” his new digital only EP of solo performances.

Hirahara masterfully employs a full palette of harmonic landscapes, melodic motifs, and fascinating rhythms to create a series of brilliant performances that are elegantly lyrical and clearly evocative of the artist’s transcendent musical sensibility.

Groundswell – Written as a piece to pay tribute to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, the composition draws on the urgency of the sound of McCoy Tyner’s clusters of fifths and major seconds as a harmonic soundscape. Interestingly, the introductory section of the piece was recorded as a freeform improvisation. Perhaps this is a window into how newly explored ideas as a composer can sub- consciously seep into other unrelated improvisations. The trio version appears on his 2021 album, Open Sky.

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