Featured on the show this week are new releases from Felipe Salles, Robin Nitram, Rudy Royston, Duncan Hopkins, Soft Machine, Mark Dresser, Xavier Charles & Eric Normand, Michael Formanek, Marc Ducret, and Pat Thomas with Chris Sharkey & Luke Reddin-Williams.
- Show Intro 00:00
- Robin Nitram “African Birds” from Sugar Free (Ramble Records) 00:47
- Rudy Royston “A.M. Hours” from Day (Greenleaf) 05:27
- Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble “Re-Invention (feat. Paquito D’Rivera)” from Home Is Here (Tapestry Records) 10:04
- Duncan Hopkins “St. Catharines Suite – Montebello” from Who Are You? The Music of Kenny Wheeler (TPR Records) 21:01
- Duncan Hopkins “St. Catharines Suite – Kitts” from Who Are You? The Music of Kenny Wheeler (TPR Records) 25:06
- Duncan Hopkins “St. Catharines Suite – Salina St” from Who Are You? The Music of Kenny Wheeler (TPR Records) 30:43
- Soft Machine “Hazard Profile” from The Dutch Lesson (Cuneiform) 38:53
- Mark Dresser “Prolotine” from Tines Of Change (Pyroclastic) 52:52
- Mark Dresser “Tynalogue” from Tines Of Change (Pyroclastic) 56:46
- Xavier Charles and Eric Normand “Les amers” from Balises (Ramble/tour de bras) 1:01:10
- Michael Formanek Elusion Quartet “Bury The Lede” from As Things Do (Intakt) 1:06:15
- Michael Formanek Elusion Quartet “Cracked Bells” from As Things Do (Intakt) 1:13:37
- Soft Machine “The Soft Weed Factor” from The Dutch Lesson (Cuneiform) 1:18:03
- Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble “The Promise of Happiness (feat. Chico Pinheiro)” from Home Is Here (Tapestry Records) 1:29:31
- Marc Ducret “L’été, ici” from ICI (Ayler Records) 1:39:52
- Pat Thomas, Chris Sharkey, Luke Reddin-Williams “Album Preview” from Know: Delirium Atom Paths (577 Records) 1:52:00
- Robin Nitram “Love Is Safe” from Sugar Free (Ramble Records) 1:56:11
Paris based guitarist Robin Nitram’s first release for Ramble is a stunning solo guitar exploration that has its feet firmly planted in improvised jazz yet is filled with gorgeously melodic compositions also utilising loops, effects and samples tastefully.
Rudy Royston, first-call drummer with Bill Frisell, Dave Douglas, JD Allen, Rudresh Mahanthappa and a host of others, is proud to present DAY, his fifth release for Greenleaf Music. DAY is the second outing from Flatbed Buggy, the adventurous, sonically varied small group that Royston premiered on the acclaimed 2018 album of that name. Marked by the low-register richness of John Ellis on bass clarinet and Hank Roberts on cello, the tonal subtlety and harmonic depth of Gary Versace on accordion and the virtuosic authority of Joe Martin on bass, the band debuted with a musical evocation of Royston’s youth spent in rural Texas. On DAY, with the same lineup intact, Royston captures the turbulent emotional landscape of a day under quarantine.
Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble
Since founding the Interconnections Ensemble in 2016, saxophonist/bandleader Felipe Salles has used the group not just as a showcase for his powerful big band compositions but as a vehicle for illuminating diverse perspectives on the immigrant experience. The ensemble’s 2018 debut, The Lullaby Project, reflected his personal journey through the lullabies of his native Brazil, while its 2020 follow-up, The New Immigrant Experience, channelled anger and frustration over the tempestuous political climate into a tribute to “Dreamers” – the hundreds of thousands of people protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. With Home Is Here, his third album with the Interconnections Ensemble, Salles draws inspiration from his fellow immigrants in the jazz community. Released May 12, 2023 via Tapestry Records, the album features eight majestic new compositions, each written for and directly inspired by an individual soloist. Salles chose a diverse and compelling cast of special guests for the recording, spanning an array of nationalities, cultures, traditions, generations, and most importantly, stories: legendary saxophonist/ clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera (Cuba); vocalist Sofia Rei (Argentina); saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart (Guadeloupe); flugelhornist Nadje Noordhuis (Australia); vocalist Magos Herrera (Mexico); saxophonist/percussionist Yosvany Terry (Cuba); guitarist Chico Pinheiro (Brazil); and saxophonist Melissa Aldana (Chile).
Who Are You? is British/Canadian bassist Duncan Hopkins’ seventh album as a leader. While his past recordings have consisted almost entirely of original material, his latest offering is a celebration of his mentor, the trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler (1930-2014.)
The band employs two of Canada’s finest guitar players in Reg Schwager (C.M.) and Ted Quinlan, and is rounded out by Michel Lambert on drums and Hopkins on double bass. All four of these musicians worked with Wheeler at some point in their careers, and know his music well.
Most of the repertoire was sourced from Wheeler’s recordings, with the exception of the final three tracks: a suite by Hopkins himself, written at Wheeler’s suggestion. Hopkins had a hand written copy of a piece Wheeler wrote for a six guitar group from Buffalo, NY which had never been recorded. Scrawled on the first page was a message from Wheeler, written with his signature self-deprecating sense of humour: “This could be a part of the St. Catharines Suite, if it is any good.” Hopkins then took a piece of Wheeler’s from a 1976 CBC recording called Kitts – the nickname for the city they both grew up in, albeit forty years apart. He completed the suite with an original of his own called Montebello – the name of the park where Wheeler and Hopkins met at the end of Salina St.
Recorded at De Lantaren, Rotterdam,
The Netherlands, October 26, 1973.
Roy Babbington: Electric 6-string bass
Karl Jenkins: Soprano sax, baritone sax, oboe, electric piano
John Marshall: Drums
Mike Ratledge: Electric piano, organ
By 1973 Soft Machine already had a long history of playing in Rotterdam, appearing at major festivals such as Hippy Hippy Fair (1967), Kralingen (1970) and AHOY (1971, Phil Howard’s debut), and no less than four times at the city’s most prestigious venue, De Doelen, most recently (in September 1972) on a double bill with Robert Wyatt’s Matching Mole. This time, however, they were booked in a smaller venue, which they filled to capacity at around 400. Part of an arts complex originally known as Ons Huis, De Lantaren had recently been renovated into a theatre and music venue.
In attendance that October night was Bert Boogaard, a record store owner at the time, sitting in the front row with a Uher portable tape machine, and we have him to thank for this excellent ambient recording of the performance, only marred by occasional saturation in the drums. But Boogaard can be excused for not anticipating how powerful and loud John Marshall’s playing would be. This recording contains some of his most unashamedly “rock” drumming, likely egged on by Roy Babbington’s frequent use of a fuzz pedal on his bass, a long-time Soft Machine signature.
Released May 5, 2023 via Pyroclastic Records, Tines of Change features a dozen new explorations performed on unconventional four- and five-string basses crafted for Dresser by the Colorado-based bassist and luthier Kent McLagan. The album’s title refers to those basses’ most striking feature, an array of metal tines affixed to a secondary bridge. Like the strings these tines can be plucked or bowed, offering a variety of sounds from the percussive to the ethereal that adds sounds resembling both an African mbira and the stroked rods invented by composer Robert Erickson that Dresser employed on his 2017 release Modicana.
But that’s just one of the modifications that McLagan has made to translate Dresser’s sonic imaginings into reality. In 2001 he embedded hand-wound individual magnetic pickups into the fingerboard of the bass, one set below the nut and the other at the octave. These additional pickups allow Dresser to sound up to three different pitches on each string, as well as amplify subtle tones and pitches that might otherwise go unheard in a live or collaborative setting.
“Prolotine,” the opening track on Tines of Change, is that effort in microcosm, a polyphonic dialogue between the disparate voices of Dresser’s bass. Arco moans give way to pizzicato hammering, shimmering overtones resound from deep, echoing scrapes. “Tynalogue” plunges into the sub-audio range of the tines, resonating below the range of hearing with percussive beats that are felt deep in the body.
Xavier Charles and Eric Normand
Balises is the meeting, offshore, of two musicians who have taken the stand of improvisation: the French Xavier Charles, clarinettist with a thousand sound researches, sounding partner of the greatest improvisers, and Éric Normand, jazz punk bassist from Quebec and noise agitator.
The result is music that aims to be free, peaceful, permissive, all mixed up and gratifying. Music that has nothing to prove.
Michael Formanek Elusion Quartet
With his extensive artistic biography, Michael Formanek is one of the most outstanding figures in American jazz, as a composer, as a bassist in ensembles, and as a soloist. The fact that the bassist has been an integral part of the creative music scene for several decades speaks for his creativity and versatility. Now Michael Formanek presents the long-awaited second album with his groundbreaking Elusion Quartet, which brings together four highly acclaimed musicians from the New York jazz scene – pianist Kris Davis, saxophonist Tony Malaby and drummer Ches Smith. “As Things Do is yet another testament to Formanek’s encyclopedic conception.[…] Michael Formanek is that rare musician who, all the while retaining absolute integrity and focus, can let the music range where it will: in his own words, letting things go where they’re going to go, As Things Do” writes Alexander Hawkins in the liner notes. Released May 19 2023
Marc Ducret – ICI
During the confinements of 2020, an idea imposed itself:
Since it is currently impossible to play THERE, let’s make some music HERE!
HERE, the sea is very close; the river is subject to the fluctuations of the tide, the light is constantly changing, the reflections vary infinitely on the uncovered or submerged mud, the seasons illuminate this little corner of land and water differently: everything is moving, everything HERE is taken in cycles nested in each other, in crossed and concentric rhythms.
The time, the light, the tide, the season: it is the landscape itself that imposes its rhythm, its reflections, its silences on the music.
Fabrice Martinez – trumpet, flugelhorn, tuba
Christophe Monniot – sopranino, baritone & alto saxophones
Samuel Blaser – trombone
Marc Ducret – electric guitars, composition
Pat Thomas, Chris Sharkey, Luke Reddin-Williams
One of the most exhilarating shows he’d ever done, guitarist Chris Sharkey came away from his performance at the Fusebox in Leeds feeling alive. Just a few days before the world would slow, and two weeks before life in London would stop, keyboardist and 577 mainstay Pat Thomas, drummer Luke Reddin-Williams and Sharkey would go on stage to play for the first time together, having discussed and planned nothing. The improvisation, a gamble, worked. Recorded in one 50-minute track, one album, the project is dynamic and experimental—a thrilling exercise in communicating. What happens when three musicians go in without a plan? They give us Delirium Atom Paths. Their new album will be out on 577 Records as an LP and CD in July 2023.