On this show a varied selection of new releases from Jane Ira Bloom Mark Helias & Bobby Previte,Scatter, Chembo Corniel, Roy McGrath, Fella Cederbaum, Greenhouse Ensemble, Nick Maclean Quartet, Michael Sarian & Matthew Putman, and, Ally Fiola & The Next Quest featuring Jeff Coffin.
Show Intro 00:00
Jane Ira Bloom, Mark Helias, Bobby Previte “Ground and Distance” from 2.3.23 (Bandcamp) 00:54
Phil Minton, Pat Thomas, Dave Tucker, Roger Turner – Scatter “On A Clear Day” from On A Clear Day Like This (577 Music) 06:56
Chembo Corniel Quintet “Volando Con Don Pancho Terry” from Artistas, Músicos Y Poetas (Chemboro Records) 23:32
Roy McGrath “Linda Morena” from Menjunje (JL Music) 30:31
Fella Cederbaum “Speech Acrobats” from Speech Acrobats (MahniVerse Productions) 38:53
Greenhouse Ensemble “Lucioles” from Rez-de-chaussée (MCM (Believe Digital)) 42:37
Nick Maclean Quartet “Dolphin Dance” from Dolphin Dance (Browntasaurus) 52:03
Michael Sarian & Matthew Putman “Aboard” from A Lifeboat (Part II) (577 Music) 1:00:00
Ally Fiola & The Next Quest featuring Jeff Coffin “Intuition” from Interblaze (Self Released) 1:04:46
Jane Ira Bloom, Mark Helias, Bobby Previte “The Call Back” from 2.3.23 (Bandcamp) 01:09:50
Michael Sarian & Matthew Putman “On Dry Ground” from A Lifeboat (Part II) (577 Music) 01:14:55
Greenhouse Ensemble “The Cost Of Lies” from Rez-de-chaussée (MCM (Believe Digital)) 1:21:08
Roy McGrath “Guamani” from Menjunje (JL Music) 1:28:04
Ally Fiola & The Next Quest featuring Jeff Coffin “Interblaze” from Interblaze (Self Released) 1:35:19
Jane Ira Bloom, Mark Helias, Bobby Previte “Akimbo” from 2.3.23 (Bandcamp) 1:40:19
Michael Sarian & Matthew Putman “Solid Footing” from A Lifeboat (Part II) (577 Music) 1:45:43
Ally Fiola & The Next Quest featuring Jeff Coffin “Underground” from Interblaze (Self Released) 1:56:11
Jane Ira Bloom, Mark Helias, Bobby Previte
2.3.23 was an outgrowth of the improvisational recording project that emerged between myself and Jane Ira Bloom beginning at an early stage of the pandemic in April/May of 2020. We struggled to come to terms with the technological limitations of playing remotely over the internet. The initial motivation was to play music with another musician, something that we had become accustomed to and took for granted until the pandemic arose. As we became adept at the advances in software and the tamping down of the inherent latency of remote recording we managed to produce two wonderful collections of spontaneous duos that documented our shared need for human and musical connection in a trying time. As things opened up we continued playing and recording remotely and ended up with a large body of pieces that we needed to disseminate in some form. At one point I sent a duo track of myself and Jane to Bobby Previte to see if he might want to add drums and percussion to the track. It was just a thought on my part but the result was stunning. Bobby was able to interact so deftly with our improvised duo that I felt that we were now venturing into new territory conceptually that brought into question many suppositions about improvisation, interaction and issues of time and being. The duos were conceived as conversational improvisations which, of course, required no conversation. We were creating pieces through interaction informed by the background intelligence that allows improvisors to create an arc of unfolding while being in the moment and taking care of business in the here and now. Having an improvisor and composer of Bobby Previte’s considerable skills and experience added on after the fact was an intriguing idea. His strategy was to do one or two passes interacting with our tracks while being mindful to avoid the obvious. He had the advantage of knowing the general unfolding of the pieces without approaching it in didactic way dictated by the events. One could have felt hamstrung by the fixed nature of the tracks, however flowing and unpredictable, but Bobby played like a true creative musician and wove an interactive narrative that sounds as present as the original tracks. We realized that it was not the same as if we were all playing together in real time and that it also doesn’t simply manifest as if he had added tracks to something that already existed. He changed the music and transformed it into new pieces in a free flowing spontaneous manner that is constantly surprising and beautiful. We discussed the fact that we have played a lot as a trio in Jane’s ensembles and have developed a musical intimacy and appreciation that allows us to feel comfortable taking chances and being present with the results. However, this process was fundamentally different, all the while sourcing all of our common experience playing together as well as skills acquired over long careers. The pandemic was a tragic and trying time which forced us as artists to develop new strategies for creative work and this recording is the result of those new approaches.
The group ‘Scatter’ was formed in 1992 by keyboard maestro Pat Thomas with the intent of approaching the sonorities and energy of rock music with quiet intensity via non-idiomatic improvisation. This project fuses the phenomenal Phil Minton on voice, Roger Turner’s insistent percussion, and Dave Tucker’s otherworldly electric and acoustic strings to create a sound that is as truly original as it is haunting. Throughout their many years together, Scatter has continued to develop and nurture a philosophy of pure group improvisation. The music is never discussed before creation. Scatter has toured England and Europe, becoming one of the most interesting contemporary improvising ensembles in the process.
This new album ‘On A Clear Day Like This’, recorded live at Cafe Oto in London in 2017 fully showcases the dynamic ability of the band, shaping the music from subtle whisper to raging density. Don’t be surprised if while listening to the album some of this material sounds very foreign to your ears and yet so familiar. The musical body Phil Minton, Pat Thomas, Dave Tucker, and Roger Turner create might be a scary one but it’s also profoundly human in its primal nature and core.
‘On A Clear Day Like This’ will be available in CD and digital editions on March 31st, 2023 via 577 Records
Chembo Corniel Quintet
Artistas, Músicos Y Poetas, his sixth release as a leader, features Chembo Corniel at his best, both as a dazzling percussionist and as the head of a quintet that is augmented by many of his favorite musicians. The core group, consisting of tenor-saxophonist and flutist Hery Paz, pianist Carlos Cuevas, electric bassist Ian Stewart, and drummer-percussionist Joel E. Mateo, is a mighty force by itself. Add to that the guests (which on “Pa’La Ocha Tambo” includes an additional trumpet player, Agustin Someillan Garcia and guest pianist/arranger Hector Martignon) and one has quite a musical feast.
Roy McGrath’s Menjunje blends together the traditions and rhythms of Puerto Rican music with passionate jazz solos and stirring percussion. The tenor-saxophonist heads an Afro-Caribbean Octet that performs four originals and four arrangements of songs by the renowned singer-songwriter known as “El Topo” (Antonio Cabán Vale).
Roy McGrath – Saxophone, Constantine Alexander – Trumpet, Eduardo Zayaz – Piano, Efraín Martínez – Drums, Kitt Lyles – Acoustic Bass, Victor Junito González – Conga, Punteador, Barril, Javier Quintana-Ocasio – Barril, Requinto, Bongo, Quinto, Campana, José A. Carrasquillo – Cuatro
Poetry set to music
All music composed, played and produced by Fella Cederbaum
On March 3rd, the newly born Montréal-based septet Greenhouse Ensemble released its debut album, “Rez-de-chaussée“. Comforting, earthy, moving and enchanting, this six-piece opus is a very promising introduction into the Greenhouse Ensemble’s jazz yet very songlike melodicity. In French, “Rez-de-chaussée” means “ground floor”. It is a warm place where you can leaf through a book with a cup of coffee, but also receive friends with a glass of wine. For the septet, it’s where it all begins. With this strong musical proposition, the group anchors its cross-current aesthetic with maturity and a touch of childlike wonderment.
A fresh addition to the Canadian and international jazz scene, the Greenhouse Ensemble presents seven up-and-coming artists from the province of Québec, Canada: Camille Brousseau (violin), William Lussier (trumpet), Roxane Reddy (voice), Louis-Martin Ruest (guitar), Christophe Magnan-Bossé (piano), Benjamin Lavoie-Doyon (bass) and Simon Desrosiers (drums). With its unique instrumentation, the collective brings stunning orchestral and folk colours to its modern jazz compositions. Under the umbrella of their friendship, the group finds a healthy, respectful and familiar space to improvise, explore and create without any limits.
This contemplative and often thrilling quartet’s explorations of modern, original repertoire is led by fast-rising piano star Nick Maclean — an 8x Global Music Award winner, a Toronto Independent Music Award winner, and one of the most in-demand young jazz piano players in Toronto — the group delivers jazz between the two poles of thoughtful introspection and powerhouse conveyance, taking influences from Herbie Hancock’s primordial 1960’s Blue Note era recordings, while frequently being lauded for the strength of their collective improvisatory vision. Maclean’s quartet heavily features one of Canada’s most provocative improvising trumpet players — Brownman Ali, heralded as “Canada’s preeminent jazz trumpet player” by New York City’s Village Voice. Recognized as an internationally acclaimed jazz iconoclast, this decorated veteran is best known globally as the last trumpet player with the legendary jazz-hip-hop group GURU’s JAZZMATAZZ. Ali & Maclean stand shoulder to shoulder with two of Toronto’s top-tier rhythm section 20-somethings: Ben Duff on bass and Jacob Wutzke on drums.
Matthew Putman and Michael Sarian
Matthew Putman and Michael Sarian found a home in a makeshift studio, using a borrowed 20-year-old keyboard, a good microphone, and in cramped apartment acoustics, to improvise throughout the pandemic. What they called their “weekly pilgrimages” gave them a sense of much-needed sanity, grounding their friendship and keeping them afloat, as Sarian describes, “much like a lifeboat.” The resultant project was an exploration of cadences, rhythms, and full of searching and synchronicity. This album, A Lifeboat (Part II) follows the duo’s first release, and explores many of the same themes, balancing Putman’s velvety keyboard with Sarian’s character-driven trumpet and flugelhorn. This follows their 2020 project (Improvisations Volumes I & II). Both the CD & LP editions feature poetry by 577’s Daniel Carter, and will be available April 7, 2023.
Ally Fiola & The Next Quest featuring Jeff Coffin
Interblaze is the exciting new full-length album from Nova Scotian saxophonist and composer Ally Fiola. It considers themes of grief, wonder, fear, and passion through the exploration of one’s inner fire. The album includes seven of Fiola’s original compositions, and concludes with a tribute to her late grandfather. Also featured on this record are Grammy nominated saxophonist Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), keyboardist Glenn Patscha (Bonnie Raitt), Kurdish rock guitarist Shvan Kaban, and a number of top-tier Nova Scotian musicians including co-producer and saxophonist, Chris Mitchell.Fiola’s music, with its quirky melodies, joyous grooves and unexpected twists and turns, is influenced by the music of Maceo Parker, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and the New Orleans brass band tradition. An experienced film composer, Fiola’s music is emotionally charged, infused with personality, and is widely accessible.