Thursday, October 12, 2017

FRANCOIS BOURASSA QUARTET NUMBER 9


For Immediate Release:








 “A pianist and composer of high stature in his native Montreal, Mr. Bourassa favors avant- gardism of a liquid and often lyrical sort.” - Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“Quebec’s vibrant music scene is too easy to overlook in the Anglophone world, but language is no excuse for sleeping on Montreal piano virtuoso Bourassa . . .” – Andrew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

FRANCOIS BOURASSA QUARTET NUMBER 9
 Featuring Francois Bourassa (piano, compositions), André Leroux (saxophones),
Guy Boisvert (bass) & Greg Ritchie (drums)
Available October 27 on Effendi Records (distributed worldwide by Naxos)


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/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.



Please Visit:
(Management & Booking)


For more information on The FRANCOIS BOURASSA QUARTET and NUMBER 9,
Please Contact: Jason Paul Harman Byrne – Red Cat Publicity



Monday, August 28, 2017

RED PIANO RECORDS TO RELEASE HENRIQUE EISENMANN THE FREE POETICS OF HENRIQUE EISENMANN



RED PIANO RECORDS TO RELEASE
HENRIQUE EISENMANN
THE FREE POETICS OF HENRIQUE EISENMANN

                                                    Henrique Eisenmann piano
                                                    Jorge Roeder bass
                                                    Rogério Boccato percussion
                                                    Gustavo D’Amico saxophone


“Fascinating influences; obviously carrying the Brazilian gene, and interests in poetry, art and dance.” (Julie Lavender, NPR)

Henrique Eisenmann, a truly impressive Brazilian pianist” (Latin Beat Magazine 2013)


"The Free Poetics of Henrique Eisenmann" introduces the music of Brazilian pianist Henrique Eisenmann, a groundbreaking voice in the today’s jazz community. Drawing inspiration from different folk world rhythms, chants, voices, poems and animal sounds, Henrique creates a unique musical universe, modern, thought-provoking, but at the same time lyrical and playful. The idea of using the piano trio instrumentation with percussion instead of drums adds a new layer of subtlety and complexity to the sound, and at the same time suggests sounds and images from several traditional musics from around the world. 

Henrique's virtuosic piano playing is completely unconventional, featuring an impressive array of creative techniques, gestures and independence; hands juxtaposing multiple rhythms, playing different melodies simultaneously, all with an extreme freedom and mobility over time, but still committed to the groove. 


The opening track Introduction - Niños Peruanos immediately throws the listener into a completely new world by featuring a recording of 6-year-old Peruvian boy reciting a poem in Spanish, underneath which Henrique freely improvises and suddenly starts a joyful musical conversation with the kid. Words gain a complete new musical sense, and slowly a wonderful musical fabric starts to unveil, leading to a celebratory explosion over Hermeto Pascoal's Zurich

Sarabande No. 2 offers a strong contrast, introducing a lyrical and classical melody with intricate chromatic harmonies, elegantly accompanied by Jorge Roeder, the Peruvian born Grammy-nominated bassist. The piece arrives to its climax, in which the polished Sarabande is transformed into a rhythmic outburst led by percussionist Rogério Boccato, who is able to emulate the sound and energy of fifty percussionists. Born in Brazil, Boccato has performed with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento and jazz legends such as Kenny Garrett and Joe Zawinul, operating a daring fusion of traditional percussion with improvisation and experimental sounds.

Jeneupti is perhaps the most mysterious and fascinating piece on the album, featuring a perplexing field recording of a Ghanaian girl hoarsely singing a hypnotic melody. Henrique is in the background playing a series of repetitive chords extracted from Charles Ives' song Serenity (1919), as he slowly starts to seamlessly harmonize the voice revealing an entirely new hidden character in the melody hitherto unnoticed by the listener. 

“I’m always searching for creative alternatives for re-composing music, to not get stuck in scales and traditional harmonies, and human speech is a great source of inspiration because of repeated notes, unexpected leaps, and sometimes sequence of notes that you would never imagine otherwise; so transcribing to voice is a great exercise to expand your musical horizons.” (Eisenmann).

According to Henrique, Afro-Latidos was inspired by mbira music from Zimbabwe, emulating the peculiar sounds of the thumb-pianos. The piece unfolds into an energetic groove, featuring a magnetizing solo by saxophonist Gustavo D’Amico that recalls the sonority of Roscoe Mitchell’s or John Coltrane's collaboration with North African musicians. 

Anthropophagy is the album's ballad. The weird title – anthropophagy means cannibalism – is a reference to the Modernist movement in Brazil, which used the metaphor of foreign culture being devoured and digested by natives, becoming a new national identity. The piece is actually a recomposition of Charlie Parker's Anthropology, played six times slower than the original tempo. The result is a completely new lyrical piece, completely unrecognizable. Perhaps the few bebop phrases at the very end may hint some of Parker's original melody to the attentive listener. 

Dans un Fracas de Plumes (birds) was inspired by the poetry of Israeli poet Hadassa Tal, who has collaborated with Henrique on his 2013 solo record Notes for Pina Bausch. The central idea is to recreate the chaotic interaction between groups of birds, in which there's no real pulse, harmony, and order, but somehow it creates a sort of meta-organization, with humor, spontaneity and abrupt musical gestures. The highly crafted unison phrases played by Eisenmann and D’Amico demonstrate a fantastic work on precision and rhythmic freedom. 

Zumbi describes the life of Zumbi dos Palmares, an important pioneer in the resistance against slavery in Brazil. Henrique introduces by the piece by imitating the sounds of a Brazilian berimbau (one-stringed percussion instrument) on the piano, and slowly developing it into an enigmatic melody, recalling ancient African Brazilian grooves. 

Epilogue - Pífanos is a short and perfect closing piece, a synthesis of the idiosyncratic musical worlds created by Henrique. While playing and whistling a simple folk melody on the piano, Henrique simultaneously introduces a utterly wild improvisation on the left-hand, slowly taking over and transforming the piece into a turbulent musical blast; a demonstration of incredible virtuosity and independence. In the background, one can hear the distant sounds of the old Brazilian "pífano" bands, traditional marching bands playing small bamboo flutes.




As a nostalgic yet transformed musical exploration, The Free Poetics of Henrique Eisenmann features the virtuosity and fertile creativity of the young pianist, able to bring together the complexity of improvisation and a wide array of musical genres, sculpting a voice of artistic liberty that celebrates imagination, affection and the joy of making music together.

“Poetics is the raw essence behind a piece of art; the purpose, the fresh energy that allows art to free itself and fly opening new paths; a praise of freedom.” (Henrique Eisenmann)


Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Henrique Eisenmann has always been intrigued with the idea of translating different musical sonorities to the piano. Henrique focuses on unique collaborations with artists from various fields including dancers, poets, and actors. Among his latest releases, the 2015 solo album Notes for Pina Bausch (inspired by the poetry of Hadassa Tal) has drawn large recognition from the dance community, being used in several dance and theater spectacles around the world. Henrique has performed and recorded with dozens of outstanding musicians such as Gunther Schuller, Luciana Souza, Bob Moses, Luis Bonilla, Matti Caspi and Tom Zé. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the New England Conservatory in Boston.




   Please Visit: www.redpianorecords.com, www.henriquepiano.com

Press Enquiries on Red Piano Records and Henrique Eisenmann:
Jason Paul Harman Byrne @ Red Cat Publicity
Tel 646 259 2105, www.RedCatOnTheLoose.blogspot.com

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