Monday, August 14, 2017

MARK GUILIANA JAZZ QUARTET FOLLOWS UP FAMILY FIRST WITH DEBUT FOR MOTEMA MUSIC, JERSEY


For Immediate Release:







"A drummer around whom a cult of admiration has formed" - The New York Times

“For many observers, he’s the guy to watch if you want to know where the great art of drumming is right now— and where it could be headed.” - Modern Drummer Magazine

"What happens when you add hard bop drum masters Elvin Jones and Art Blakey to a 1980s Roland 808 drum machine, divide the result by J Dilla and then multiply to the power of Squarepusher? Answer: Mark Guiliana." - Time Out London





MARK GUILIANA JAZZ QUARTET FOLLOWS UP FAMILY FIRST
 WITH DEBUT FOR MOTEMA MUSIC, JERSEY
Featuring Mark Guiliana (drums, compositions), Fabian Almazan (piano), Jason Rigby (saxophone) & Chris Morrissey (bass)
Available September 29 on Motema Music


Mark Guiliana’s newest album as a leader – Jersey, to be released in September 2017 on Motema Music – features his compelling Jazz Quartet, with saxophonist Jason Rigby, pianist Fabian Almazan and bassist Chris Morrissey. It’s the much-anticipated second album from The Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet, following up 2015’s Family First (and its companion release, Family First: The Alternate Takes).


Describing the Quartet’s modus operandi on Jersey, Guiliana said: “Many of my releases as a leader have been driven by electronic-inspired beats and textures, but with Family First and now Jersey, it felt like the right time to present my music in an entirely acoustic environment. So the Jazz Quartet is my humble attempt to make a personal statement using the traditional palette of saxophone, piano, bass and drums. For the band, this lineup presents the challenge: How creative can we be inside this box – how much freedom and experimentation can we find? And I have to say that it’s always so exciting to hear the guys play this music in ways I never could have imagined.”

The title of Jersey references Guiliana’s center of gravity and his geographical roots. Born in 1980 in Florham Park, New Jersey, and raised there, Guiliana first discovered jazz in high school through his first drum teacher Joe Bergamini, graduated from William Paterson University in Wayne, lived for years in Jersey City and Hoboken, and now resides in Madison with his wife, singer Gretchen Parlato, and their toddler son.

The jazz quartet that played Sunday night at La Nouvelle Scène delighted the packed house with strictly acoustic music that throbbed with imagination and refined but rugged playing.” - Peter Hum of The Ottawa Citizen (on the Quartet’s performance at the Ottawa Jazz Festival)






Beautifully produced by Guiliana, Jersey brims with an energized cohesiveness. “We recorded the album right after a two-week tour of Europe – I really wanted to capture the momentum of the band,” said Guiliana. “I’m beyond grateful that Chris, Jason and Fabian are onboard, since they’re all such excellent leaders in their own right. As a drummer, I’m a big fan of bass players, and I’m lucky to have played with some great ones. Chris is one of my favorites. He always brings an exciting energy to the music, and because he’s also a singer-songwriter, that storytelling sensibility comes out in the way he plays. With Jason, I love his sound and the way he delivers melodies. He’s an effortless improviser with a deep connection to the music at every moment. Fabian is the quartet’s wild card. He has a unique harmonic and rhythmic sophistication to his improvising that makes for really fun interaction. With these guys, we’re always passing inspiration back and forth to each other. We take a lot of chances in the music, developing new ways to play together every night – and that takes trust, a musical and personal empathy. The importance of family was instilled in me naturally just the way I was raised – those sorts of values extend to my bands, and the guys are like extended family for me.”

The urgent rhythms of Guiliana at a stripped-down kit launch Jersey via the stylish opener “inter-are,” one of six compositions by the drummer, along with the lyrical “Jersey” title track, the atmospheric “September,” swinger “Big Rig Jones” and solo drum piece “Rate,” an acronymic, virtuosic tribute to drum heroes Roy (Haynes), Art (Blakey), Tony (Williams) and Elvin (Jones). Two more tracks, “Our Lady” and “The Mayor of Rotterdam,” are characteristically tune-rich contributions penned by bassist Morrissey. “BP,” one of the album’s hook-laced highlights, is a piece by Rich Hinman, a guitarist friend of Guiliana. The lone cover is a moving interpretation of David Bowie’s “Where Are We Now?” (from Bowie’s second-to-last album, The Next Day). “It’s a ‘thank you’ to David, for the incredible experience of working with him,” the drummer explains. “This is my way of paying tribute to him, but in an entirely different sonic context from Blackstar.”


“Rhythmic interplay and complex layers are key features of Guiliana’s style, so these characteristics permeated the entire set. The music is full of surprises, in form and content; in spite of this, the transitions were fluid, even when moving between radically different sections. Sometimes you’d wonder how the music arrived at its current point, so suddenly yet with such ease. Add to this the fact that Guiliana and his bandmates have a gift for intentionally blurring form, and you have an utterly absorbing musical experience, with beautiful twists and turns.”
- Marlowe Heywood-Thornes in JazzWise Magazine (on The Mark Guiliana Quartet’s performance at Ronnie Scott’s)


More on Mark Guiliana: The artist has become recognized as one of the world’s leading drummers, admired and in demand across the spectrum from jazz to rock to electronic music for his rhythmic sophistication, creative impulse and individual sound. He has been in the vanguard of drummers creating a new vernacular on the instrument, blending virtuosity on acoustic drums with artfully deployed electronic beats and processing. Guiliana was chosen as Best Jazz Drummer in the Modern Drummer Readers Poll 2017, while DownBeat Magazine dubbed him a Rising Star in its Critics Poll. JazzTimes aptly proclaimed: “Guiliana, a technical master with a rare sense of musicality, has over the past decade become one of the most influential drummers of his generation.” Along with leading his own groups – the acoustic Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet and electronica-minded Beat Music – the drummer has appeared on a string of acclaimed recordings with others. The verve and precision of Guiliana’s drumming was a prime mover of Blackstar, David Bowie’s multiple GRAMMY Award-winning swan song. Guiliana teamed with keyboardist Brad Mehldau as the duo Mehliana for the Nonesuch release Taming the Dragon, and he has also collaborated with such artists as saxophonist (and Motema label mate) Donny McCaslin, jazz legend John Scofield, Soundgarden/Pearl Jam drummer-songwriter Matt Cameron, neo-soul singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello, guitarist-vocalist Lionel Loueke, bassist Avishai Cohen, reggae/hip-hop artist Matisyahu and jazz singer Gretchen Parlato.


The Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet On Tour in Support of Jersey
(All dates with The Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet, unless otherwise noted)
September 1-Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago, IL (w/Donny McCaslin Group)
September 2 & 3-Detroit Jazz Festival, Detroit, MI
September 7-Jazz a la Villette, Paris, FR (w/ Donny McCaslin Group)
September 8-Festival Batojazz, Chanaz, FR (w/ Donny McCaslin Group)
October 6-7-Blue Whale, Los Angeles, CA
October 8-Kuumbwa Jazz, Santa Cruz, CA
October 10-Yoshi’s, Oakland, CA
October 11-The Fremont Theater, Portland, OR
October 12-The Triple Door, Seattle, WA
October 13-Dazzle, Denver, CO
October 14-Live at the Back Room, Milwaukee, WI
October 15-Constellation, Chicago, IL
October 21-Le Fil, Saint-Eitienne, France
November 2-Cafe Berlin, Jazz Madrid Festival, Madrid, Spain
November 3-Teatro Central, Sevilla, Spain
November 4-Kleine Zaal, Eindhoven, Netherlands
November 6-Jazzclub Fashing, Stockholm, Sweden
November 8-G Livelab, Helsinki, Finland
November 10-Staatsoper Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany
November 11-Rockit Festival, Oosterport, Groningen, Netherlands
November 13-14-Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London, England
November 15-Babylon Bomonti, Istanbul, Turkey
November 16-New Morning Club, Paris, France
November 17-Lantaren Venster, Rotterdam, Netherlands
November 18-Bimhuis, Amsterdam, Netherlands
December 2-Jefferson Center, Roanoke, VA




For more information on MARK GUILIANA and JERSEY, Contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne - Red Cat Publicity


Portions of this press release borrow text from Bradley Bambarger’s bio on Mark Guiliana

Whirlwind Recordings & Tim Armacost Announce The Release of "Time Being"

           

  



A prolific and powerful presence on the international jazz scene for the last 30 years 
JazzWise Magazine

Armacost catches your attention from chorus one. - Bebop Spoken Here

This is an exciting, imaginative album, both rooted in the history of the music and forward-looking, and deserves to be recognized as a powerful re-invigoration of a noble tradition. - Jazz Views

This is music of the very highest quality . . .Both intellectually absorbing and viscerally appealing. 
- All About Jazz

Consistently fresh, open, and full of invention. - London Jazz

Relaxed and thoughtful, yet spellbindingly exciting... one of the most richly rewarding albums this year. Repeated listening just adds to the enjoyment. - ★★★★★ UK Vibe


Whirlwind Recordings & Tim Armacost Announce The Release of Time Being
Feat. Tim Armacost (saxophones), David Kikoski (piano), Robert Hurst (double bass), Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums)
Available on Whirlwind Recordings: September 8, 2017


The origins of this debut Whirlwind release as a leader, from acclaimed saxophonist/composer, and founding member of The New York Standards Quartet (who’s sixth album, Sleight Of Hand is out now on Whirlwind) Tim Armacost, tell a fascinating tale. A marquee player on the New York City and Japanese scenes for many years, with an extensive discography and countless live and recorded collaborations to his name in the US, Europe and Asia, the clear direction for Time Being arrived, remarkably, out of the blue.

As Armacost elaborates: “I pictured myself, like a scene from a movie, playing Ornette Coleman’s ‘Lonely Woman’ in the studio with a trio – double bassist Robert Hurst and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts. Tain was, in terms of time signature, out on his own, and Bob and I were communicating with each other independently of what he was playing. But what Tain was doing was so incredibly attractive – so eerie and so beautiful – that we both really wanted to go over and be part of that; yet we already had this melody that we had to play together. That whole idea led to these explorations of creating tension by playing in parallel spaces, and then releasing the tension into a beautifully swinging groove by allowing the parallel spaces to merge. It was something I’d never tried before, and the concept was really exciting. We decided to record in Tain’s studio, in an intimate live environment with no separation.” “So for my compositions and arrangements, I needed to imagine the ideas happening in real time; and fortunately, with Tain and Bob on board – some of the most swinging musicians on the planet – there was a great willingness for exploration, to make it happen.” Joining the trio on selected tracks is pianist David Kikoski, providing elegant, rippling color to numbers such as “The Next 20” and “One and Four.”



Through the dedication of these accomplished artists, this concept evolved into a project that is organic, exploratory and swinging. The three ‘Sculptures’ on the album are very much an expression of this structured experimentation. “Phase Shift” is modeled on an
‘X’ formation, as Armacost and Watts converge along the left tempo pathways with Hurst on the right until saxophonist and bassist change places – technical in construction, but an exhilarating listen. On “Tempus Funkit,” Armacost independently visits the rhythms of Tain and Hurst; and the particle-like conflict of “All The Things You Could Become In The Large Hadron Collider” (based on “All The Things You Are”) is also a playful reference to Charles Mingus’, “All The Things You Could Be By Now If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother”.

“Lonely Woman” – the seed of this album that engendered so many possibilities, features a call-and-response between tenor and bass, initiating their own improvisations until the drums home in on the bassist. So the differing musical tensions are intentionally part of the unplanned dialogue present throughout this recording. On the title track, “Time Being,” the trio divides when Armacost moves to a different tempo, with Hurst following, and Watts reaching them later – as Armacost enthuses: “When we all come back together, the pay-off is really delicious!” “53rd Street” is inspired by the blues melody of Thelonious Monk’s “52nd Street”; there’s a fine, percussively buoyant interpretation of Monk’s “Teo”; and the feisty, original composition “Alawain” says so much about this trio’s collective, impassioned spirit.


Tim Armacost describes the session as being playful, wild and serious: “It has been a real source of joy for me to see such open musicians willing to make an attempt at something we’ve never done before; and especially when things got kind of interesting, and we started smiling – that was a really special, even relaxed experience. I hope that, although this has a demanding concept at its roots, listeners can pick up on its lyrical, singing qualities. The audience is very much part of the conversation – we’re doing this thing together, and we invite you in to have fun!”



Please visit: TimArmacost.com, WhirlwindRecordings.com  

Press Enquiries on Tim Armacost & Time Being
Please Contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity

Tel 646 259 2106, Email Redcatjazz@mac.com

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records Announces The New Recording From Violinist/Composer SAM BARDFELD – THE GREAT ENTHUSIASMS


Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records Announces The New Recording
From Violinist/Composer SAM BARDFELD – THE GREAT ENTHUSIASMS
Featuring Sam Bardfeld (violin/compositions), Kris Davis (piano) & Michael Sarin (drums)
Available September 29, 2017


“Sam Bardfeld is a marvelously gifted violinist, composer and arranger.”
—K. Leander Williams, Time Out New York

“Bardfeld has a loose arm and a mercurial mind . . .” **** 4 Stars
—Paul de Barros, DownBeat Magazine

“My advice? Go where he goes.”
—Jim Macnie, Village Voice

“Bardfeld seems at home in a relaxed style that incorporates so much of the history of jazz”
All Music Guide


Violinist/composer Sam Bardfeld is fearlessly unique and expressive. He is the product of an NYC upbringing in the 70s and early 80s, which was, he says, “both a dysfunctional and fantastic place to grow up, specific in time and place but also typical of the violence and regeneration inherent to America and some of the strange beauty it produces. Music was everywhere for a curious kid (Central Park rumba circles, 3 A.M. recording at CBGBs, Don Cherry at Soundscape when the cops raided, Zorn squealing mouthpieces at the Kitchen, high as a kite for Ravi Shankar at Carnegie Hall.) The decrepit splendor left an inescapable imprint on my young self.”

Bardfeld has been influenced by many high-profile musical associations and experiences, including being a member of The Jazz Passengers and a frequent collaborator of Bruce Springsteen (a veteran of three recordings and two tours). Bardfeld's playing is featured in Roy Nathanson's Sotto Voce and Joel Harrison's String Choir, and he has toured or recorded with jazz groups like Michael Attias' Sextet, Butler/Bernstein and the Hot 9, Steven Bernstein's MTO, Anthony Braxton's Trillium Orchestra, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, the String Trio of NY, and Royal Hartigan's Blood Drum Spirit.  Outside the jazz world he has toured or recorded with Calexico, John Cale, Debbie Harry, The Red Clay Ramblers, and Johnny Pacheco, etc. He has also worked with Elvis Costello, John Zorn, Kris Davis, Willie Colon and Hank Roberts among many others. Bardfeld is also the author of the book Latin Violin (Hal Leonard, 2002) on the Afro-Cuban violin tradition.


Bardfeld’s previous recordings, Taxidermy (CIMP, 1999) and Periodic Trespasses (FreshSounds, 2006) have both earned acclaim, including a four-star rating in DownBeat Magazine, raves in JazzTimes, Jazziz and four stars in All Music Guide for both recordings.  Bardfeld has taken his groups to festivals and clubs throughout Europe including Banlieues Bleues Jazz Festival (Paris), Sud-Tirol Jazz Festival (Italy) and Porgy and Bess (Vienna). After a long hiatus of twelve years since his last release, Bardfeld and Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records proudly announce the release of his new recording, The Great Enthusiasms (BJUR 064), featuring pianist Kris Davis and drummer Michael Sarin. Available September 29, 2017.

The trio’s music falls somewhere in the overlapping vectors of inside (‘harmony-based’), outside (‘free’) and downtown jazz. Bardfeld has created his own jazz violin language that lies in between the straight-ahead violinists and the free-jazzers. The Penguin Guide To Jazz (5th ed.) states,Bardfeld has devised a language which takes in classical models, jazz harmony and pure sound”. His playing swings hard and integrates abstraction and expressiveness. One can hear references to a wide range of musicians that stretch from Stuff Smith, Lee Konitz, and Eric Dolphy, to 'post-jazz' contemporaries like Mary Halvorson. Kris Davis is a perfect foil and it's a little bit of a revelation to hear her brilliance and creativity in all the varied contexts Bardfeld creates. Michael Sarin (Dave Douglas, Thomas Chapin, etc) brings his tremendous gifts for orchestration, musical wit, sympathetic dialogue and overall intelligence. The unusual instrumentation, with no bass, creates extra harmonic and textural space and adds intimacy to Bardfeld's unique compositions.

Much of Bardfeld’s favorite American music is eccentric and forward while grounded in the vernacular. “Maybe it’s not a total accident that my three most important employer-mentors are all great musician-poets of weird America and all with significant local roots: Bruce Springsteen, Roy Nathanson (Jazz Passengers), and Anthony Braxton. Bruce is (among other things) a poet of the noir side of the city – the ne’er-do-wells and hookers and guys looking for a piece of the action. Roy’s stories, musical and literate, are infused both by Dolphy and a New York urbanity that is universal in its eccentricity and vulnerability. The time I spent performing and recording (soloing on an ‘avant hoedown’) in Braxton’s ‘Trillium J’ Opera was also a profound education in the lengths to which a complex, idiosyncratic personal language can be developed and yet represent a uniquely American story,” explains Bardfeld in the album’s liner notes.

More on the music on The Great Enthusiasms: The song titles of Bardfeld’s compositions are all derived from Richard Nixon quotes -- principally from his resignation speech, in which Nixon quotes Teddy Roosevelt. “Fails While Daring Greatly” is a bluesy chamber-jazz piece from outer space. Bardfeld's solo is a whimsical post-bop jaunt and Davis' a muscular free jazz statement. Sarin adds his characteristic humor, sympathy and coloristic genius to the whole endeavor. “Resignation Rag” combines a modified second-line groove with a futuristic violin melody that, with its swoops, pops and wide intervals, evokes Stuff Smith and Dolphy. Bardfeld's and Davis' interplay sounds telekinetic. Davis' solo statement and duet with Sarin evoke a freewheeling Monk. "Winner Image" starts out with a slow building and virtuosic violin solo by Bardfeld weaving in and out of harmony. Davis creeps in with an off-kilter ostinato leading to a head with Tim Berne-like tension. The rendition of the classic Springsteen/Patti Smith tune, "Because the Night,” skews the intervals of the original piano vamp, making it a weirder sort of night. The cohesion of the verse turns into a free chant-like chorus summoning nocturnal passions. "The Great Enthusiasms" is an Andrew Hill-like post-bop swing tune with a touch of folksiness. Davis' solo brings out the bi-tonality of the writing while Bardfeld moves from harmony into a short free duet with the pianist. The Band’s “King Harvest (Has Surely Come),” is a playful re-imagining, with Davis covering the proto-synth bass part in her lowest range and splotchy chords in her highest. Bardfeld solos mightily over the verse changes and Davis ends the song with an eloquent solo statement that re-connects with the song's subject matter, the hardships of a depression-era sharecropper. "The 37th Time I Have Spoken" starts with Bardfeld strumming ethereal chords on the violin as Davis and Sarin engage in quiet dialogue. A mix of meditation and mayhem ensues and the piece closes as it started with ethereal dialogue and strumming.

The Great Enthusiasms is Bardfeld’s ‘weird America’ record. A reflection on American music in all of its glorious eccentricities, and simultaneously an affirmation that artists must rise up and create and perform, especially in the face of abject political dissoluteness in the Trump era. Bardfeld elaborated, “Nixon’s resignation speech was my first memory of being part of a collective political body…Though Dick was a paranoid, hateful crook, there’s intelligence and complexity in him that one cannot imagine existing inside our current president. During this current dark stain in our country’s history, let’s continue to make weird, joyous art.”




For More Information on Sam Bardfeld-The Great Enthusiasms & Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records please contact:
Jason Paul Harman Byrne  @ Red Cat Publicity: Tel 646 259 2105, Email redcatjazz@mac.com

Please visit: www.SamBardfeld.com, www.BJURecords.com, www.redcatontheloose.blogspot.com