Tuesday, October 17, 2017

NEW RELEASES: DAVID GARFIELD – GO HOME; KATHY KOSKINS - UNREOVERED SOUL; MICHAEL TOWNSEND - WARM FEELINGS

DAVID GARFIELD – GO HOME

Keeping the spirit of old school R&B fresh and alive, David Garfield has a longstanding tradition of creating dynamic re-imaginings of classic songs. Following his Top 10 radio hit “Let’s Stay Together,” which featured Michael McDonald, the veteran keyboardist and arranger digs deep into the great Stevie Wonder’s songbook for “Go Home,” featuring the freewheeling saxophone of Kirk Whalum, Paul Jackson Jr. on Guitar and Garfield, who anchors the vibe on Fender Rhodes. This new project, two years in the making, includes “Go Home” as the first single release from this all-star expansive work that will feature numerous genre superstar collaborators: George Benson, Chuck Loeb, David Sanborn, Randy Brecker, Smokey Robinson, Oleta Adams, Ray Parker Jr., Phil Perry, Eric Marienthal, Marcus Miller, and Larry Coryell. Including a beautiful new cover of Adele’s “Chasing Pavements,” featuring Rick Braun and John Klemmer, and a lush orchestral rendition of Sting’s “Fragile” reprising Michael McDonald on vocals.

KATHY KOSKINS - UNREOVERED SOUL

Former first call session singer Kathy Kosins enters her third decade as a recording artist with Unrecovered Soul, a fascinating concept album driven by the sounds of the musical landscape of her hometown of Detroit in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Working with producer Kamau Kenyatta, who won a Grammy for his work with Gregory Porter, the sultry-voiced Kosins mines deep emotional territory as she shares rarely heard tunes by songwriting legends Curtis Mayfield, Gene McDaniels, Bill Withers, The Neville Brothers, Burt Bacharach and contemporary great Amos Lee. There are also three original songs that carry on the great R&B legacy of that time. The perfect balance of jazz and soul, from one of the most creative souls on the planet. Full album due out in early 2018. ~ smoothjazz.com

MICHAEL TOWNSEND - WARM FEELINGS

After years of being the opening act for R&B greats like Johnny Gill and The Manhattans, Memphis native and longtime Beale Street performer, Michael Townsend shares the full range of his smooth urban jazz and pop/soul blend and artistry on his sophomore album WARM FEELINGS. While the powerhouse saxophonist and vocalist generally keeps the flow sexy and romantic with silky originals and familiar covers, he also hits some inspired highs with some funky grooves. Turn up WARM FEELINGS, and heat up the vibe with this sophisticated collection! ~ smoothjazz.com


Ella Fitzgerald And Louis Armstrong's Beloved Musical Partnership Celebrated In New 4CD Set, "Cheek To Cheek: The Complete Duet Recordings"

By the time Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong collaborated on their first duet together, they were each already jazz giants. Fitzgerald was an acclaimed solo artist for Decca with many hits and more than 200 songs under her young belt, first with the Chick Webb Orchestra and then as leader of her own big band. Armstrong, known affectionately as Pops, was one of the leading singers, trumpet players and entertainers of the day; a star of both sound and screen. Together their talent knew no bounds and propelled them further to stardom, and today are some of the biggest highlights of both of their extraordinary careers.

For the first time, all of Fitzgerald and Armstrong's classic duets are in one place: Cheek To Cheek: The Complete Duet Recordings, a new 4CD and digital set will be available November 10. Part of Ella 100, Verve Records/UMe's yearlong celebration of Fitzgerald's centennial, the 75-track collection gathers their three timeless Verve albums – newly remastered versions of Ella and Louis, Ella and Louis Again and Porgy and Bess – along with all of their Decca singles, live recordings from Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl, recorded as a warmup for Ella and Louis, plus several alternates and false starts from the Decca and Verve eras, illuminating their craft and good humor. Cheek To Cheek also includes unreleased material: "The Memphis Blues," with Bing Crosby, from his radio show; several takes of Armstrong's solo showcase, "Bess, Oh Where's My Bess;" and an instrumental mix of "Red-Headed Woman." The comprehensive collection is rounded out with extensive essay by Ricky Riccardi, the world's leading authority on Armstrong, plus detailed annotations and rare images from the archives.

Armstrong and Fitzgerald were first paired together by Decca label head Milt Gabler when they were both recording for the label. For the inaugural session in January 1946, Gabler had them cut the new song "You Won't Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart)" and a recent Nat King Cole hit, "The Frim Fram Sauce." The former became a jukebox hit and hinted at the magic they could create together. Over the next few years they would reunite for a string of singles – all eight are presented here in order of release – before recording their first album together. Fitzgerald's manager Norman Granz, on the heels of founding Verve Records with his highly successful first release, Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book, put Fitzgerald and Armstrong in the studio on August 16, 1956 to record the entire eleven-song Ella and Louis album in a day. The record was a critical and commercial success when released in the fall of 1956. Down Beat gave it five stars and, in November, the album hit No. 1 on Billboard's Jazz charts. The night before recording the album, Fitzgerald and Armstrong performed together at the Hollywood Bowl, and these rare, impromptu performances of "You Won't Be Satisfied," along with "Undecided," marking their earliest collaborative recordings for Granz, are included on the fourth disc.

Knowing he needed to get them back in the studio as soon as possible, Granz recorded them in several ambitious sessions from July 23 to August 19, resulting in the follow up album Ella and Louis Again as well as Porgy and Bess, the folk opera with music and lyrics by George & Ira Gershwin. Ella and Louis Again once again captured their chemistry and resulted in the irresistible "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off," the joyful "Stompin' At The Savoy," and "Autumn In New York," one of their finest ballad performances. They also each turned in separate solo features, notably extended interpretations of "These Foolish Things" by Fitzgerald and "Let's Do It" by Armstrong. The sessions for Porgy and Bess included their final four duets. The recordings capture their teamwork at the peak of its powers, exemplified in the way they seamlessly traded roles of singing and scatting on "Summertime" and "Bess, You Is My Woman Now." Granz held the album until 1959, when the big-budget film version was in theaters, and it was another success.

In addition to gathering all of Fitzgerald and Armstrong's duets, Cheek To Cheek also gives a unique opportunity to hear what it was like to be in the studio with these two titans. The closing disc is rife with a bevy of alternate takes and false starts, displaying their camaraderie, with many previously unreleased, until now.

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Cheek To Cheek: The Complete Duet Recordings

Disc 1

The Decca Singles
1.   You Won't Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart)
2.   The Frim Fram Sauce
3.   Dream A Little Dream Of Me
4.   Can Anyone Explain? (No, No, No!)
5.   Necessary Evil
6.   Oops!
7.   Who Walks in When I Walk Out
8.   Would You Like to Take a Walk (Sump'n Good'll Come From That)

Ella and Louis
9.   Can't We Be Friends
10. Isn't This A Lovely Day
11. Moonlight In Vermont
12. They Can't Take That Away From Me
13. Under A Blanket Of Blue
14. Tenderly
15. A Foggy Day
16. Stars Fell On Alabama
17. Cheek to Cheek
18. The Nearness of You
19. April In Paris

Disc 2

Ella and Louis Again
1.   Don't Be That Way
2.   Makin' Whoopee
3.   They All Laughed
4.   Comes Love
5.   Autumn In New York
6.   Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)
7.   Stompin' At The Savoy
8.   I Won't Dance
9.   Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You
10. Let's Call The Whole Thing Off
11. These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)
12. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
13. Willow Weep For Me
14. I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket
15. A Fine Romance
16. Ill Wind
17. Love Is Here To Stay

Disc 3

Ella and Louis Again (cont'd.)
1.   I Get A Kick Out Of You
2.   Learnin' The Blues

Porgy And Bess
3.   Overture
4.   Summertime
5.   I Wants To Stay Here
6.   My Man's Gone Now
7.   I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'
8.   The Buzzard Song
9.   Bess, You Is My Woman Now
10. It Ain't Necessarily So
11. What You Want Wid Bess?
12. A Woman Is A Sometime Thing
13. Oh, Doctor Jesus
14. Medley: Here Come Da Honey Man/Crab Man/Oh, Dey's So Fresh And Fine
15. There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York
16. Bess, Oh Where's My Bess?
17. Oh Lawd, I'm On My Way

Disc 4: Bonus Tracks

Ella and Louis Live
1.   The Memphis Blues (Live from The Chesterfield Show) with Bing Crosby *
2.   You Won't Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart) (Live at the Hollywood Bowl)
3.   Undecided (Live at the Hollywood Bowl)

Decca Extras
4.   You Won't Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart) false start and breakdown
5.   The Frim Fram Sauce false starts/takes 1 and 2 *
6.   The Frim Fram Sauce alternate take

Ella and Louis Again Extras
7.   Makin' Whoopee take 1
8.   Makin' Whoopee take 2
9.   I Get A Kick Out Of You take 2 (run-through) and take 3 (breakdown)
10. I Get A Kick Out Of You take 4
11. I Get A Kick Out Of You take 13
12. Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love) take 3
13. Willow Weep For Me take 4

Porgy And Bess Extras
14. I Got Plenty O' Nuttin' (mono master)
15. A Woman Is A Sometime Thing (mono master)
16. Bess, Oh Where's My Bess?  takes 5 and 6
17. Bess, Oh Where's My Bess? take 7
18. Bess, Oh Where's My Bess?  take 8 *
19. Bess, Oh Where's My Bess?  take 9 *
20. Bess, Oh Where's My Bess?  insert for take 9 *
21. Bess, Oh Where's My Bess?  take 10 *
22. Red-Headed Woman instrumental *
* Previously unreleased


Ranky Tanky Breathes Life To the Gullah Culture of the South Carolina Lowcountry

From the South Carolina Lowcountry, where life is laced with African ways, comes Ranky Tanky, a quintet with music rooted in a culture that has shaped American art, food, language and attitude. Their eponymous album on Resilience Music Alliance celebrates that culture, its people and their mother tongue, Gullah.

"Gullah" comes from West African language and means "a people blessed by God." "Ranky Tanky" translates loosely as "Work It," or "Get Funky!" In this spirit the quintet performs timeless music of Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States. From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, the musical roots of Charleston, SC are "rank" and fertile ground from which these contemporary artists are grateful to have grown.

The soulful songs of the Gullah culture are brought to life by this band who mix the low country traditions with large doses of jazz, gospel, funk, and R&B. Fresh out of college, trumpeter Charlton Singleton, guitarist Clay Ross, bassist Kevin Hamilton, and drummer Quentin Baxter originally worked together as an in-demand jazz quartet on the Charleston scene in the late 1990s before splitting off to each make their way as freelance musicians, working with names like Houston Person, Freddy Cole, Cyro Baptista, and René Marie. Gaining years of valuable experience while developing a deeper appreciation for the Gullah tradition they came from, the band reformed with the dynamic vocalist Quiana Parler to celebrate the bone-deep mix of spirituals and gutbucket blues--music made by a self-contained culture of descendants of enslaved Africans that introduced such indelible parts of American songbook as "Kum Bah Yah" and "Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore."

A distinct Gullah pulse anchors each selection of this recording. A pulse originating in Africa, that beats in the heart of American music. This vibrant, life affirming pulse propels Gullah stories, essential to the human experience, through evocative and timeless folk melodies imbibed with the mysteries of nature and the essence of life.
  
Ranky Tanky opens up with the spirited "That's Alright" as it features call and response between the horn section and vocals before breaking down into a tambourine-driven bridge. The ballad "Turtle Dove" begins with a tom drum pattern that carries throughout its entirety and features both trumpet and guitar solos that place the groups unity and cohesiveness at the forefront. Parler's vocal prowess is on display for "Been in the Storm" as she opens the track a cappella but quickly becomes accented with detuned drums and expressive cymbal swells.

The title track demonstrates the band's funky roots as the chorus is consumed with upbeat claps and danceable guitar riffs. Another balled "O Death," uses extensive backing vocal harmonies to highlight the dark and ominous theme of the song, while the use of claps and tambourine returns on "Knee Bone," recalling the Gullah culture before showcasing a Ross solo.

The record continues with the swung "You Gotta Move" and "Watch that Star," both propelled by religious themed lyrics and punctuated with guitar chords and arpeggios. "Sink Em Low" relies on the deep pocket formed between Baxter and Ross as Parler's showcases her beautiful vocal range over it. "Join the Band" once again displays the groove-oriented base that is always at the core of this band, relying on syncopated drums and vocal rhythms. The last three songs on the record are a perfect summation to the release as they boast the full range of the group. They include the soothing guitar ballad "Go to Sleep," the shuffle-based "You Better Mind," and "Goodbye Song," an up-tempo guitar driven dance song.

Today, emerging from the heart of this still fertile cultural epicenter, Ranky Tanky is the next generation to illuminate Gullah worldwide. Among them we find some of Charleston's most celebrated and accomplished contemporary artists who share a lifetime of musical collaboration and mutual admiration.


Lisa Hilton Sets Forth On A Journey Promoting Peace, Tranquility and Positive Energy with Escapism

Lisa Hilton often settles in at her piano and riffs on everyone from Miles Davis and Horace Silver to The Black Keys and Green Day, until she can find peace within the notes, letting them fill the room and fall where they languish in this glow of calm with a touch of brooding blues. Then this past year, the world changed a bit and finding that calm seemed a little more elusive.

"Everything is charged with politics, a large portion of our world seems to be emigrating, and climate catastrophe seems constant," Hilton says. "There's been so much turmoil lately; we can't find a sense of peace surfing the internet or social networks--we need really positive sources to balance out this time of disruption in our lives."

For her 20th album--Hilton has recorded an album a year since 1997--she wanted to provide uplift and relief, where listeners can be energized and feel rejuvenated. This became the theme for her latest release, the aptly titled Escapism. The album includes the Alan Lerner and Burton Lane standard, "On A Clear Day" and nine Hilton originals ranging from the high-voltage opener, "Hot Summer Samba" to the introspective and ethereal "Mojave Moon." Each composition seems to generate, by albums end, a mental release or escape all its own.

"Artists have an important role in our culture and community--it is through art and music that our souls and spirits can be energized, balanced and entertained--we all need to "escape" from our challenges. I want our music to be a positive force whether you're listening on the subway, while at work or lounging on a tropical island. Our music embraces the good experiences in our world."

After working solo on last year's Day & Night release, Hilton brought back saxophonist JD Allen, trumpet and flugelhornist Terell Stafford, bassist Gregg August and drummer Rudy Royston into Avatar Studios for one of the last sessions at that revered and storied studio before it became property of Berklee College of Music on September 1st. "It was definitely nostalgic being at Avatar the last few days before it changed ownership since no one really knows what will happen to it--we hope good things. I have recorded ten albums there and I love the rooms, they have a special sound and ambience. I think the entire band knew this recording was a time to savor the sense of the place--there were excellent solos going on, and we had a great sound captured by our engineer, a true sound icon, James Farber. What tremendous musicians and all leaders in their own right--I feel so fortunate to continue to work again and again with them."

Escapism is an audiophile's delight from the team of top engineers that Hilton has worked with for years; besides recording engineer Farber, it was mixed by 23-time Grammy® Award-winning engineer Al Schmitt at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood and mastered by multi-Grammy® Award-winners Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen.

The opening track, "Hot Summer Samba," twirls in multiple Latin rhythms and melodic ideas that Hilton composed to start the album moving; a loosening-up-of-the-collar/inhibitions tune, so-to-speak. That track segues into the fast-paced trio work of "Meltdown." Hilton's melodic touch is evident in "Another Everyday Adventure," and the closer "Utopia Cornucopia," both soundtracks to finding wonderland anywhere, anytime and where you least expect it.

Although Hilton does not record many covers, her arrangement of Lerner & Lane's classic "On A Clear Day" calms and inspires, suggested by the unsung lyrics "On a clear day...you'll feel part of every mountain sea and shore." The track highlights her excellent trio mates while showcasing Hilton's ability to the interpret classics in new ways. The jaunty solo piece, "Escape Velocity Blues," seems to channel Neal Hefti and Count Basie, but is all Hilton with her signature touch on the keys. The beauty of Allen's tenor sax and Stafford's clear flugelhorn, alongside her own performance, shine through on "Zero Gravity." The tracks "Too Hot" and "29 Palms" are envelopes to a different kind of space, reaching in evocative and seemingly narrative directions. 

With all that continues to change in our world, Escapism seeks a journey that is focused on the feelings and positive energy it creates. Hilton allows this journey to be constructed and articulated through her written compositions evoking a sentiment of peace, tranquility and upbeat energy.
  
Hilton's blues inflected trans-genre or poly-genre style influences extend beyond jazz legends Thelonious Monk, Count Basie, Horace Silver and Duke Ellington, to include bluesman Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, minimalists like Steve Reich, current rockers Black Keys or modernists Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Bartok. Originally from a small town on California's central coast, Hilton studied classical and twentieth century piano formally from the age of eight, where she was inspired by her great uncle, Willem Bloemendall, (1910-1937), a young Dutch piano virtuoso. In college though, due to the lack of creativity in the program, she became a music school drop out, switching majors and receiving a degree in art instead. Ever since becoming a professional musician, this background in the fine arts has well informed Hilton's composition process.

Committed to helping students who are often overlooked, for many years Hilton has regularly spent time to help blind students at the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston, The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired, The Junior Blind of America in Los Angeles, Camp Bloomfield for the Blind in California, or The Berklee College in Boston and their adaptive music lab for visually impaired musicians. "I enjoy extending help to those with physical disabilities - music should be for everyone," Hilton explains.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Award-winning jazz singer ALMA MICIC releases THAT OLD FEELING

Award-winning jazz singer Alma Micic 'personifies what jazz singing is all about'" says Ron Della Cheese of WGBH radio.  All About Jazz calls her "first rate, no doubt about it."  Now the sultry, uber-talented Micic has arrived with the sublime new That Old Feeling, her fourth recording and the definitive emergence of an important new voice.  

Born and raised in Serbia, she began singing jazz and the big band as a teen before attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music in the later '90s.  Following her years at Berklee, where she received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance, she moved to New York City, where she polished her ample abilities surrounded by top-class talent. 

Beginning in 2004, she started cutting records, Introducing Alma (2004), Hours (2008), and Tonight (2013).  Her studio performances were unanimously acclaimed in all the right places, with critical notices turning up the pages of Downbeat, Jazz Times, the Boston Globe and the New York Times.  But Alma also began to earn increasing attention from the stage where she performed at the important jazz clubs as well as at festivals and concert halls at home and internationally.  All About Jazz described Alma's performances as "confident, soulful, vulnerable, and rhythmically savvy with the most sensual vibrato you're likely to hear."  She has received numerous awards such as the Cleo Laine Award for outstanding Musicianship and the BRIO award from the NY Arts Council.

All of which points directly to her stunning performance on That Old Feeling, an album which does indeed product feelings, just not "old" ones.  Micic is nothing if not a contemporary stylist with a refreshing approach and modern flourishes.  Her vocal skill is effortless and understated.  Her timing and sense of melody are precise.  Throughout the recording, her performances on classics like the searing 'Cry Me A River" and the coy "Honeysuckle Rose" are bewitching.  At times she sounds young and playful, at others she sings with the wiles of someone who has seen it all.  Even on two Serbian tracks, one original and the Romany anthem "Solnishko" - the only departures for Micic, but satisfying ones - she embraces peaceful and playful moments.  She is flirtatious at times and solemn at others.

Joined by guitarist Rale Micic, bass player Corcoran Holt, drummer Johnathan Blake and vibist Tom Beckham, the ensemble is also impressively calm, with Micic's accompanists surrounding the singer with a warm embrace.  Recorded and mixed by Dave Stoller at Samurai Hotel Studio in NYC and mastered by Greg Calbu, Micic's Whaling City Sound debut boasts an impeccable pedigree and is every bit the recording you'd expect it t be.


Norwegian jazz singer Silje Nergaard releases For You A Thousand Times

In her album ‘For You A Thousand Times’, Norwegian jazz singer Silje Nergaard portrays people or scenes who inspired her and describes past encounters or personal experiences from images in her heart.

“I’ve seen a picture in which families from North and South Korea meet again after decades apart. Everyone’s crying with joy despite such a long time without any contact. That’s where the song ‘For You A Thousand Times’ originated from,” says Nergaard as she recalls the key moment from which the inspiration for the album arose. “Many people are separated from one another by war. Their love for one another, however, does not fade.” With this awareness, Nergaard started to find similar stories about the magical power of memories, which she began to portray through her songs. ‘For You A Thousand Times’ is full of such stories about unseen relationships, yearning and love.

One of the most intimate moments of the album can be found in the song ‘Hush Little Bird’, a lullaby for her Ethiopian adopted son Jonah, who babbles in the language from his earlier life just before falling asleep. His words can be heard as an intro to the song. Nergaard also used real life samples in the light summer ballad ‘Cocco Bello’. On the beach in southern Italy, Nergaard recorded an African coconut seller advertising his produce in singing ‘Cocco Bello’ and constructed a song around it. “This is a meeting between two very different
cultures but for a brief moment they melt into one”.

With ‘For You A Thousand Times’ Nergaard enters into a more electric world. Her rousing melodies are placed into subtly arranged soundscapes made of warm analogue keyboards, electric bass, funky drums and African percussion. An long musical journey through landscapes spanning from tropical heatwaves to the winter nights of Norway in which Silje is accompanied by Andreas Ulvo (keyboard), Audun Erlien (bass), Sidiki Camara (percussion), Wetle Holte (drums and percussion), Mathias Eick (trumpet), Håkon Aase (violin) and Håkon Kornstad (saxophone).


Thursday, October 12, 2017

FRANCOIS BOURASSA QUARTET NUMBER 9

Award-winning, critically-acclaimed pianist/composer Francois Bourassa's new album - Number 9, his ninth album of all original music, dropping on October 27, 2017 on Effendi Records (distributed worldwide by Naxos), features his Quartet of longtime collaborators, saxophonist, clarinetist, and flutist André Leroux, bassist Guy Boisvert and drummer Greg Ritchie. This elite squad of musicians, and their singular telepathy and esprit de corps, was first revealed to the world on their album, Indefinite Time (2002). Since that time Bourassa has built significantly on the power, agility and emotional range that garnered him a JUNO award in 2001 (for his recording, Live). With the release of Number 9 The Francois Bourassa Quartet stake a claim as one of the most compelling groups active on the global jazz/improvised music scene today.

In the album's liner notes, esteemed journalist Howard Mandel describes Number 9 as offering, "sensuous imagination supported by sterling technique." Indeed, the compositions crafted by the Montreal-born Bourassa, empower the members of his Quartet to express themselves to the fullest extent on this collective journey. Together they explore pure lyricism, open sonic landscapes, swing, free improvisation, and more - all played with empathy, and big ears! The members of this ensemble are so dialed in to one another's instincts and mannerisms that they offer the listener a plethora of moods, settings and styles that are all indispensable elements of the glorious entity that is Number 9.  

More on the music on Number 9 with Francois Bourassa (excerpted in part from the album's liner notes by Howard Mandel): Given the album's title, we of a certain age must wonder if it's a nod to another four-man band that celebrated variety while maintaining its singular identity. Does Number 9 refer to the haunting musique concrete collage on the Beatles' White Album?

"I love 'Revolution 9" by John Lennon," acknowledges Bourassa, who is of that age (b. 1959). "It was influenced by Stockhausen's electronic music." Then are the other names of the opening track, "Carla and Karlheinz" referring to Bley and Stockhausen? "I love Carla Bley's music of the early '60s like 'Ictus' and 'Barrage,' played by Paul Bley," he says. "I also love 'Mantra for two pianos and electronics' by Karlheinz, among many of his early pieces."

So yes, the first track's jaunty yet oblique line (try humming it!), as improbable yet inevitable as Eric Dolphy's angular melodies, or Ornette Coleman's, achieves its affect purposefully, linking two 20th-21st Century innovators, never mind the gulfs between their worlds or "styles." They may even conflict - the parts of "Carla and Karlheinz" fit together unpredictably yet organically.  Bourassa's deft, initially dry touch may imply that of Paul Bley (another Montreal native), but he claims many other piano modernists, bluesmen and prog rockers, too, as inspirations, and clearly is steeped in Western European classicism. Consequently, the composer-pianist's position is not bound or limited, and this Quartet achieves something beyond genre: Collaborate as only its four members can. No justification necessary for such an approach - we listen, accept, enjoy and are deepened.

The pleasures provided by this group make it easy. Applying himself to Bourassa's themes and concepts, Leroux wields his tenor saxophone masterfully; he's especially sensitive to attack and dynamics, floating the theme of "5 and Less" (in 5/4, explains Bourassa, " with bars of 3 and 2") gently, but builds to blasting on the darkly epic "Frozen" (which Bourassa says was titled by "a six-year-old little girl who was playing with my son when she heard me run through it; maybe for her it had something to do with the Disney animated movie, but if so I don't know").

On "C & K," Leroux's flute has the urgency of a jungle bird, and he uses the clarinet on "11 Beignes" (in 11/4 time) as an instrument of deliberation. He isn't troubled by the odd time signatures, nor need you be, because Boisvert phrases firmly and gracefully on his bass, and in flowing concert with drummer Ritchie, who never lets on there's anything to count, merely rhythms to discern and enhance. He's a talented, restrained colorist, barely touching his cymbals on the languid "Past Ich" ("an old melody which I've never used before," Bourassa mentions), offsetting the subdued piano vamp and Leroux on soprano sax.

"Lostage" is a word Bourassa invented, as he says, "half-English, half-French, meaning loss of control," a state the quartet depicts but doesn't venture - the lines connecting the four are too strong. "18 Rue De L'Hotel de Ville" is the address of the Studio du Quebec in Paris where Bourassa resided for six months in 2015. In this perhaps most ruminative episode of Number 9, we are privy the strongest, most personal emotions - the music evokes doubts, regrets, disappointments, fears, sadness, and also puts them to rest. After that, "11 Beignes" is like a cat-and-mouse hide-and-seek game set in a maze. Bass clarinet and piano tag each other, slip off, and return, while bass and drums keep them from straying far off track.

Ultimately, the songs on Number 9 speak for themselves. The quartet covers a lot of ground from a complex of perspectives, new details unveiled with each turn of the ear. Hear Bourassa, Leroux, Boisvert and Ritchie commune. Return, repeat, replay, dig in . . . a world of remarkable music awaits you.



The Sound Of Vinyl Launches New Way To Discover And Buy Records Through First-Of-Its-Kind Text Message Service

The Sound of Vinyl today launched in the U.S. with a first-of-its-kind music service that provides a personalized and curated platform for discovering and buying vinyl records.
The Sound of Vinyl (http://thesoundofvinyl.us) provides a powerful and convenient solution to help music enthusiasts discover vinyl and build their record collections. The service offers new and classic albums from a vast catalog of over 20,000 titles from all major labels and dozens of indie labels. In addition to being a full-service online store, The Sound of Vinyl provides an innovative recommendation engine that suggests albums based on a user's personal tastes, and features exclusive content and album suggestions from top music experts.

The Sound of Vinyl's recommendation service uses cutting-edge technology to send personalized album picks by text message. When a user enters their mobile phone number and creates a taste profile, The Sound of Vinyl begins sending daily texts with album recommendations that feature album artwork, information and price. Users can reply LIKE or DISLIKE to improve future picks, or simply reply YES to instantly buy an album, creating a seamless shopping experience. The service is powered by Seattle-based startup MessageYes.

The Sound of Vinyl will also host exclusive vinyl records from rock, jazz and classical to R&B, rap and hip-hop. Limited edition color variations of albums by Arrested Development, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, Iggy Pop, KISS, Grand Funk, and The Go-Gos are slated for release, with more titles launching every month. Quantities are extremely limited; recent exclusives by Interpol and ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead sold out in less than a week.

Additionally, The Sound of Vinyl's website will host exclusive content from music experts including Henry Rollins, Young Guru, Don Was, Ahmet Zappa, and more, as well as artists, producers, radio DJs, and music journalists. The website will also feature videos, interviews, editorial, and hand-picked album recommendations. More content will be available on The Sound of Vinyl's blog and social media channels.

Henry Rollins, punk rock icon and accomplished author, and Gimel "Young Guru" Keaton, renowned audio engineer and DJ, are The Sound of Vinyl's first featured vinyl curators. Rollins will recommend his favorite albums, share stories from his life in punk rock, and interview music veterans like producer Don Was and legendary Capitol Studios vinyl mastering engineer Ron McMaster. Young Guru will tap into his experience engineering music for iconic artists like Jay Z, Beyoncé, and Alicia Keys, as well as his deep history as a DJ and producer, to showcase albums that form the foundation of his work.

"Vinyl is the ultimate delivery medium for music's limitless greatness," Rollins says. "I came into music via vinyl, and that's how I'm going out! The Sound of Vinyl allows music enthusiasts of all levels of interest or experience to not only get records easily, but to learn about every aspect of vinyl from extraordinarily unique and informed sources."
Young Guru added, "Since the earliest days of DJs mixing on turntables, vinyl has played an important role in hip-hop's evolution. So many of the albums that built hip-hop's foundation were intended to be heard and experienced on vinyl. I'm excited to cast new light on some of these iconic albums and give fans new insights into classic records that built hip-hop." The Sound of Vinyl was created by Universal Music Enterprises, the global catalog division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the global leader in music-based entertainment.

Michele Anthony, Executive Vice President of UMG, said, "Until today, music fans haven't had a personalized and curated experience for discovering and buying vinyl albums. Sound of Vinyl solves that problem for consumers by providing daily suggestions tailored to their individual tastes, recommendations from music experts and exclusive albums and merchandise that can't be found anywhere else. With Sound of Vinyl, music fans will have a simple, easy and engaging service that provides instant access to the very best in vinyl."
"The passion for the vinyl experience remains contagious, and now, with Sound of Vinyl, fans will have a unique and accessible way to discover and buy vinyl albums tailored to their music tastes, without a membership fee," Bruce Resnikoff, President and CEO of Universal Music Enterprises, UMG's global catalog division. "Of all the music formats out there, vinyl most closely reflects the artist's original vision for the quality and experience of listening to an entire album. It's an experience that demands a listener's attention and provides a robust physical connection to the artist and music."




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah Releases The Emancipation Procrastination, Third and Final Album in The Centennial Trilogy

Grammy nominated trumpeter, composer, and producer Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah will release the third installment of a trio of albums commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first jazz recordings. Collectively titled The Centennial Trilogy, the final album in the series The Emancipation Procrastination will be released on October 20th via Ropeadope.

"The Cypher," the second single from The Emancipation Procrastination just premiered at Mass Appeal. The track was first written for a 2016 Complex City Cypher video, featuring Christian alongside A$AP Ferg, Wiki, and Your Old Droog.

Stream or embed the track via Soundcloud:

Ruler Rebel (released 3/31) presented to us the artist – WHO we are listening to.

Diaspora (released 6/23) identified the listener – ALL the people of the world.

The Emancipation Procrastination the third and final chapter in the trilogy deals directly with the social and political issues of the day. Rather than descend into identity politics, Adjuah sees many disparate cultures in New Orleans being underserved and exploited. This worldview transcends New Orleans, as Christian has traveled and toured the world for almost 20 years, starting as a child and performing with extraordinary players (McCoy Tyner, Donald Harrison, Eddie Palmieri).

The scope of The Centennial Trilogy is not limited to the music; Adjuah uses broad strokes to present his vision of the world. Growing up in New Orleans' Upper Ninth Ward, he witnessed people enduring the same challenges regardless of their race or ethnic background: He saw a community of people undereducated to serve the tourist culture, facing food insecurity, yet viewing each other as different through the lens of race. Seeing this around him, Adjuah came to understand that race is a social construct, and that people could work together to build and move forward.

"I’m not interested in harming anyone," Adjuah says. "I have a responsibility as an artist to create a space where people feel welcome. When I walk outside this hotel room, that is not the reality. There is a difference when music is made with love. When people come into my space they are going to feel that. We are trying to figure out a way to treat each other better. We are all responsible for healing each other.”

The vision of Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is clear – that this is an opportunity for all of US to come together and address issues that affect ALL of us. Emancipation Procrastination means that we all have an opportunity to liberate ourselves from old world ideas. Let the healing begin.

Christian is about to head out on a world tour throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. 

US Tour Dates:
October 12 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish
October 13 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's
October 15 - Troubadour - West Hollywood, CA
October 24 - Jazz Market - New Orleans, LA


Saxophonist Justin Young’s “Blue Soul” powered by “High Definition”

Justin Young is hungry. The energetic and enthusiastic saxophonist is all about hustle and hard work. For over a decade, he’s put out quality soul-jazz albums, but his forthcoming disc, “Blue Soul,” captures an artist hitting his stride on the cusp of a major breakthrough. Mining his Detroit roots, Young’s fourth album, due November 17 via JustnTime Records, features a dozen new songs recorded live in the studio with premier musicians, producers and songwriting collaborators. Paving the way for the collection is the new single, “High Definition,” a vibrant R&B/pop confection just shipped to radio stations, a tune that Young penned with fellow soul-jazz saxman Jackiem Joyner and keyboardist Matt Godina.  

The release of “Blue Soul” caps a lengthy recording odyssey for Young. His approach for this outing was purposely different and taps into the Motown lore that influenced his musical discoveries while growing up.

“I started work on this album three and a half years ago. There have probably been about 40 different songs written for this album. In the past, I would write twelve songs, and then enter the studio quickly and put out an album. But for ‘Blue Soul,’ I wanted to take a different approach and put the absolute best songs out, really push myself to elevate the standard this time around,” said Young, who had a hand in writing all but one song on the album. “‘Blue Soul’ goes back to my roots in music, Detroit, the home of Motown. I loved the creativity of musicians recording together in the studio, creating an amazing vibe. The opportunity to put high-quality musicians together along with amazing producers has always been my dream. I watched this growing up and listened to the Motown stories. ‘Blue Soul’ goes back to my love of jazz and soul music. It’s organic, it’s played by consummate musicians and it truly is soul music with saxophone at its beating heart.”

Throughout “Blue Soul,” Young’s alto, tenor and soprano sax is embedded amidst rhythms and grooves constructed by the likes of bassists Alex Al and Hussain Jiffry, and the late drummer to the stars, Ricky Lawson. Former Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist-vocalist Sheldon Reynolds is another notable player who fortified Young’s lilting harmonies and undeniable melodies. The first single, “Always There,” one of four cuts written and produced by Joyner - a Billboard chart-topper in his own right - hit the Billboard Top 25 and the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown. “Jazz Along The 101,” one of three tracks shepherded by gospel producer Noel Hall (Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond), kept Young’s momentum motoring along with both singles garnering daily spins on SiriusXM’s Watercolors. In response to Hurricane Harvey, he released the hopeful “Song For A Better Tomorrow” (https://youtu.be/PoL8NtcUwFw), donating the track’s proceeds to the American Red Cross. “High Definition” promises to take him into 2018 on a high note with a wealth of potential singles in the offing.

Young began in music as a drummer and was introduced to a wide array of styles - from R&B and pop to jazz and gospel – by his father, Jim Young, who led and played in a variety of bands, encouraging his scion to play sax. Landing his first professional concert at age sixteen, Young put himself through Michigan State University by playing weekend gigs. He issued his debut album, “Rendezvous,” in 2003. After winning a competition at the famed Capital Jazz Fest in 2007, he released “On The Way.” A move to Southern California helped his following multiply quickly when he booked a year-long residency at Spaghettini, a hot spot for the contemporary jazz crowd south of Los Angeles. Gigs on the national festival circuit ensued as did subsequent recordings, “Home for the Holidays” and “Nothin’ But Love.” Young previewed music from “Blue Soul” at a Detroit show held at Chene Park last July with 5,000 people in attendance and at a sold-out date in August when he returned to Spaghettini. Now based near Seattle, he will support the new record with a series of local concerts at nearby wineries this fall. Resourceful and brand savvy, Young produces and plies his effervescent personality as the host of “The Justin Young Audio Experience,” a podcast that teaches musicians about the business of music. For more information, please visit www.JustinYoungSax.com.

“Blue Soul” contains the following songs:

“Always There”
“Nothin’ But Love”
“Razzmajazz”
“Jazz Along The 101”
“Paradise Found”
“New Life”
“Blue Soul”
“Sorento”
“Sweet Release”
“India”
“Song For A Better Tomorrow”
“High Definition

 


Wadada Leo Smith´s new album Najwa features tribute to past masters of creative music, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Ronald Shannon Jackson & Billie Holiday

The first two extended compositions that open the album are dedications to two great masters of creative music, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, and each takes the form of a mini-suite. "Each has a second movement within the context of the overall shape," says Smith. "They´re shaped like miniature suites within the context of a single album. And then the whole album has the shape of a tribute. It´s all about people and, therefore, it´s also organically unified, based around these people who I respect."

Next is the brief but touching "Najwa," followed by a dedication to the sometime drummer of Smith´s Golden Quartet, Ronald Shannon Jackson. The CD closes with the achingly beautiful "The Empress, Lady Day," one of Smith´s several compositions dedicated to Billie Holiday. "I´ve written more compositions for Billie Holiday than maybe any other person," Smith says. "She was a great performer/composer."

Although Wadada Leo Smith has worked with electric guitars in the past, including in his Organic ensemble and in Yo Miles! which he co-led with Henry Kaiser, Najwa puts the guitar in an even more central role. All four guitarists have worked with Smith before; Michael Gregory Jackson since Smith´s early years in New Haven in the 1970s, Henry Kaiser in Yo Miles!, and Brandon Ross and Lamar Smith (Smith´s grandson) in Organic.

In addition to the guitars, Bill Laswell´s electric bass takes a central role in the sonic world of Najwa and Laswell also played an important part in the post-production and mixing of the music on the album. Smith says that he enjoyed "the idea of making this session and then going back and re-recording some of the areas and then sitting down with Bill and allowing him to tweak it in certain ways and re-reference it in a whole different way. I very much like that notion, that idea or that philosophy." This was the first time Smith and Laswell recorded together but their collaborations have continued both live and in the recording studio.

Wadada Leo Smith´s new album Solo: Reflections And Meditations On Monk features his solo trumpet on four classic Thelonious Monk compositions

"Most people would never realize that I am closer to Thelonious Monk than to any other artist," says Smith. "What connects us is a vision of composition and its forms, music psychology, and our articulation of the ensemble as a trashing field for new information." From the time he listened to the early masters of modern jazz as a teenager, Smith felt that "It was Monk, his ideas of a band and composition, that were the closest to what I dreamed of being as an artist. His history of composition and his knowledge of how to use sound were a prime motivator, really, for me wanting to be a composer. I would go back and forth between him and Duke Ellington on this, but Monk had the upper hand in the end."

Smith´s fascination with Monk´s solo recordings began more than five decades ago, when he purchased the recording Thelonious Monk Alone In San Francisco. "The essence of Monk is, I believe, in his solo performances"says Smith. "All those pieces, the solo music, follow the primary formula of the compositions, but they all stray, they all lead to expansions and further explorations - allowing the compositions to grow and become renewed each time he plays them. The way in which I play Monk´s melodies on this recording, they are all personal: they are not based on chord progressions, they evolve essentially by proportion - long notes, short notes. Each of them is played, they move, in a way in which I can celebrate his melody, but seen through my expression of it."

In addition to four classic Monk compositions, "Ruby, My Dear," "Reflections," "Crepuscule With Nellie" and "'Round Midnight," the album includes four new compositions by Smith inspired by Monk and his personal history - whether real, imagined or dreamed. Together, the pieces form a unique collection wherein the two composers seem to communicate with each other through Smith´s solo performances.

Smith´s first recording as a leader was also a solo album (Creative Music-1 in 1971). Since that time, he has continued to perform solo concerts and record additional solo albums (Solo Music/Ahkreanvention in 1979, Kulture Jazz in 1992 and Red Sulphur Sky in 2001). Solo: Reflections And Meditations On Monk is, however, Smith´s first solo recording that includes another composer´s music. Smith has also begun performing Monk´s compositions live for the first time.

Wadada Leo Smith (b. 1941), who was part of the first generation of musicians to come out of Chicago´s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), has established himself as one of the leading composers and performers of creative contemporary music. In the late 1960s, Smith formed the Creative Construction Company together with saxophonist Anthony Braxton and violinist Leroy Jenkins and, since the early 1970s, he has mostly led his own groups, which currently include the Golden Quartet, the Great Lakes Quartet, Mbira, Organicand the SilverOrchestra, among others. In 2012, Smith released his most extensive recording to date, Ten Freedom Summers, a four-CD collection which was one of three finalists for Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2013. In 2013, he released Occupy The World (TUM CD 037-2), a two-CD recording of six extended compositions performed by Smith with TUMO, a 22-member improvising orchestra. The Great Lakes Suites (TUM CD 041-2, a double-CD with Henry Threadgill, John Lindberg and Jack DeJohnette) was broadly hailed as one of the top albums of the year in 2014 as was the duo recording with bassist John Lindberg, Celestial Weather (TUM CD 046), in 2015. In 2017, Smith received awards for Jazz Artist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year (for America´s National Parks) and Trumpeter of the Year in DownBeat´s 65th Annual Critics Poll and was named Music


Acclaimed Recording Artist Latice Crawford Performs Special Tribute to Music Legend Oleta Adams on ‘Black Music Honors’

Acclaimed recording artist Latice Crawford is part of a tribute performance to multiple award-winning music legend Oleta Adams in the national broadcast of Black Music Honors on October 15th on the cable network, Bounce TV.  Additional airdates will run throughout the fall season. The award special recently aired a series of nationally syndicated broadcast dates throughout the country.

Crawford’s performance of Adams’ gospel song, “Holy Is The Lamb”, which Adams recorded on her Come Walk with Me album, released in 1997, moved the multi-genre artist to tears. During and following the taping, Adams expressed her gratitude to Crawford: “Thank you for transforming the Tennessee Performing Arts Center from an entertainment place to a place of worship. I forgot where I was; and felt honored just being there worshipping with you. With a gift so special much is required. Thank you for honoring me; and everyone else in such a beautiful way. I can still hear you singing.” The musical tribute also included performances by Avery Sunshine and Leela James.

“It was a huge honor for me to perform in the musical tribute to Oleta Adams,” says Crawford. “She is the epitome of musical excellence and an inspiration to me in many ways. She defines a lot of what I would like to do with my recording career—to sing jazz—and to sing songs about life that are positive and not derogatory.   I also like that I was able to appear on another television show that paid tribute to music and legends across multiple genres.”

In addition to Crawford’s concert schedule, she has ties to both the fashion and beauty industries. Crawford recently made her second runway appearance during New York Fashion Week with famed fashion designer Byron Lars for his “Fairy Tales Ending” Collection. Crawford is one of Lars’ go-to models for his various fashion events and presentations. Lars is well-known for his fashion designs for former First Lady Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, Angela Bassett, Anika Noni Rose, Gabrielle Union, Katheryn Winnick, Cicely Tyson, Natalie Portman, and numerous others.

As Crawford begins the creative process to record her new album, the Stellar Award nominee continues to promote her current project, Diary of a Church Girl, which includes two top 20 singles, “Choose Me” and “Author.”  Best known as the second runner-up of Season 2 of BET’s Sunday Best, Crawford’s Diary is a follow-up to her 2014 debut self-titled album, which entered on three Billboard charts and peaked at No. 12 on the Gospel Albums chart. Diary of a Church Girl is written by Crawford and produced by Bruce Robinson (Alexis Speight, The Showers, Justin Bieber, and Brittany Spears).

Latice Crawford’s Website:

 

Moppa Elliott's Mostly Other People Do the Killing Presents New Album Paint

Hot Cup Records is proud to present Paint, the first release by the piano trio configuration of Mostly Other People Do the Killing. Paint features seven new compositions by bassist/ and composer Moppa Elliott written after pianist Ron Stabinsky joined the ensemble in 2014. Also featured on the recording is drummer Kevin Shea. Each composition on the album is named after a small town in Pennsylvania that contains a color, and the town of "Paint, PA" lent its name to the title. All of the compositions are by Elliott, except "Blue Goose" which was written by Duke Ellington who apparently also had a fondness for strangely named places in the Keystone State.

Jazz listeners often remark that the piano trio format allows each of the members more space than other, larger ensembles, but in the case of MOPDtK, their unrestricted style is instantly recognizable in configurations ranging from trio to septet. The trio does afford each member more time in the spotlight, and none more than pianist Stabinsky who provides the lion's share of lead and solo work here. Elliott continues to eschew bass and drum solos, utilizing them only in compositionally specific sections of music. 
The album opens with the lilting "Yellow House," a composition consisting of four distinct sections and a melody that recalls the hard bop era of the 1950s.  The solo form of the composition alternates between the initial melody and an Afro-Cuban feel in a minor key.  Stabinsky's solo builds to a climax and dissolves the form before bassist Elliott restates the opening theme. The interplay between the members of the trio is easy to hear as drummer Shea and Stabinsky exchange high-pitched interjections.

The slow blues "Orangeville," written in 5/4 time, has undergone several revisions and represents the oldest composition on the recording. First composed for the original pianoless quartet configuration of the band, the tune was heavily rewritten for the band's current incarnation. The two solo sections are over vamps and Stabinsky was instructed to "play as many notes as possible" at the beginning of his improvisation before cuing a modulation leading to the bass solo.

"Black Horse" is based on a rising chord progression that provides the framework for both the opening vamp and the first melodic statement. The bridge of the tune is more blues-based and draws from the compositions of post-bop musicians of the 1960s. The ensemble maintains the up-tempo groove and moves through the different sections of the form before becoming stuck on a two-chord vamp which Elliott escapes by restating the melody. 

The Duke Ellington composition "Blue Goose" may or may not be named after the eponymous location in Pennsylvania, but Moppa Elliott hopes so. Regardless, Elliott composed a piece with this title only to find out that America's greatest composer already beat him to it. He changed the name of his composition to "Whitehall" (since the titles have nothing to do with the music, anyway) and decided to record a trio version of Ellington's piece. The original recording was made by the "Blanton/Webster" version of the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1940 and adapted for trio by Elliott.

The slow, minor key waltz "Plum Run" begins the second half of Paint. Elliott states the initial theme and takes the first solo over a form that alternates between a diminished chord section and the changes to the A section. Again, Stabinsky's solo builds to a spectacular climax before returning to the mellow, bluesy theme.

"Green Briar" is an up-tempo tune based on several repeated note figures that are harmonized in a variety of ways. This performance serves as a vehicle for Stabinsky to improvise over a repeated form with relatively stable harmonic and rhythmic support.

The last composition written for this album was "Golden Hill," a lyrical melody in triple meter. The melody is played first by the piano followed by the bass with extensive embellishments featuring tremolos and other flurries of notes. This may be the most lyrical playing ever heard on a MOPDtK record, but the ending interplay between Shea and Stabinsky eventually removes any trace of sentiment.

The album ends with the aforementioned "Whitehall" that began life as Elliott's "Blue Goose."  The piece consists of a single melody that is reharmonized and expanded each time it is stated with short interludes in the key of A. The solo form incorporates all of the harmonizations of the melody as well as an open section over the note "A" used as a pedal-point.

Over the past thirteen years, MOPDtK, led by bassist/composer Moppa Elliott, has earned a place at the forefront of jazz and improvised music, performing in a style that is at once rooted in the jazz tradition and highly improvised and unstructured. Billed as a "Bebop Terrorist Band," their music melds history and tradition with cutting-edge vibrancy and the underlying imperative that jazz is alive and well, and most of all, fun. Their initial albums explored the intersection between common practice hard bop compositions and free improvisation, incorporating a kaleidoscopic wealth of other influences from pop music to the classical European repertoire. In 2010, Elliott expanded the group's framework and began exploring specific eras of jazz, resulting in 2011's Slippery Rock (an investigation of smooth jazz and fusion styles) and 2012's Red Hot (featuring an expanded lineup recalling the jazz and blues recordings of the late 1920s and early 1930s). 

2014 saw the release of Blue, a note-for-note recreation of Miles Davis' classic album, Kind of Blue that evoked a wide range of strong responses from both the public and critics and will likely be a part of the discussion of the state of jazz in the 21st century for years to come. In 2015, the band returned to a quartet format for the album Mauch Chunk, which explored the hard bop styles common in the 1950s. Since the release of Mauch Chunk, all four members of the core quartet have released solo recordings including Moppa Elliott's Still, Up In the Air, and pianist Ron Stabinsky's Free For One, both on Hot Cup Records. In February 2017 MOPDtK the band released the septet album Loafer's Hollow to wide critical acclaim.

Pianist Ron Stabinsky first joined MOPDtK in 2013 as part of a project at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam commemorating the anniversary of Eric Dolphy and Booker Little Live at the Five Spot. In addition to his work with MOPDtK, Stabinsky is an accompanist in virtually every possible context from classical recitals, to community choirs, to improvised music, jazz, pop, and rock. Stabinsky lives in Plains, PA and is a member of the Peter Evans Quartet and Quintet, Charles Evans Quartet (no relation), and recently recorded his first solo album Free For One on Hot Cup Records.

Kevin Shea was named "Best Drummer in New York" by the Village Voice and regularly tours with the noise-rock-improv duo, Talibam! Shea recently released a third album with the band People featuring Mary Halvorson.

Bassist Moppa Elliott teaches music at St. Mary's High School in Manhasset, NY and double bass and trombone at the Long Island Conservatory.  He also produces and releases albums on Hot Cup Records including his solo bass recording Still, Up in the Air.


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