Tuesday, March 14, 2017

For Release on Red Piano Records – April 14, 2017: Tetraptych is Bert Seager - piano/compositions, Hery Paz - tenor saxophone, Max Ridley - upright bass & Dor Herskovits - drums

For Release on Red Piano Records – April 14, 2017:
Tetraptych is Bert Seager - piano/compositions, Hery Paz - tenor saxophone,
Max Ridley - upright bass & Dor Herskovits - drums
Tetraptych is also the name of their new recording!

Tetraptych is the work of a true working band. The superb strengths of the individual players - Hery Paz is a revelation and the rhythm section is marvelous - are always in service of the music. I have followed Bert Seager for 30 years, and I feel that this the strongest project yet from an artist who is always searching for a more personal expression. A wonderful album in every way.” – Fred Hersch

"There’s not only smart and well-crafted modern jazz present, but innate beauty and serene confidence in Seager’s music." – Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

"Seager has distilled his lyrical approach into perfectly balanced and unfailingly beautiful music full of quiet subtleties.”
Ed Hazell, The Boston Phoenix

“Seager's group balances fresh immediacy and a whiff of nostalgia”John S. Wilson, The New York Times

For Immediate Release: Grounded in the lineage of the modern jazz saxophone quartet, Tetraptych brings a breathing conversant quality to the music, where movement, playfulness, sensitivity, and deep groove are ever-present in an openhearted chemistry. These core musical values come to life as the musicians relate and venture into uncharted territory.

In 2015, shortly after their second engagement, these four musicians established a monthly residency that includes two recurring gigs. For the past 20 months, they have been getting together for a few intensive consecutive days of music making, rehearsal, discussion, neighborhood walks, and meals, nurturing both their friendships and a musical vision that has been transformative. They perform monthly at The Lilypad, which has been an essential venue for the creative music scene in Boston, and at Spice, in Ipswich, MA, in a bi-weekly jazz series that Bert Seager started six years ago.

The name of the band is Tetraptych (pronounced “Te-trup-tick”). The word refers to a four-paneled painting where each panel can stand on its own. Seen together, the panorama of panels gives greater meaning to the interaction of the parts. The music is democratic. Ones attention moves from instrument to instrument, panel to panel, as the collective improvisation unfolds.

The band prominently features New York City-based Hery Paz on tenor saxophone. Each one of his solos is imbued with a depth of purpose, a sense of patience and a willingness to venture into the unknown. This commitment reflects the essential inner resources that were required of him during his family’s harrowing emigration from Cuba and subsequent struggle here in the United States.

Listen particularly to his solo on Star Wise: by the third chorus Paz has already left the prescribed harmonies far behind. You can still follow his melodic line and grasp the song form, but also sense that he has moved to distantly related keys, creating a tension and energy that makes something entirely new of these chord changes (based on the jazz standard “Star Eyes”). Max Ridley, bassist, immediately joins him in the new keys when Seager drops out. Ridley’s musical intuition is a towering force on this CD - perhaps a reflection of his 6 foot 4 inch frame! He is exquisitely attuned to the shifts in harmony that Paz and Seager supply, all while appearing to get there before they do. 

Israeli-born drummer Dor Herskovits is constantly breaking open and reassembling the time feels he is playing, moving the music to new territory, and helping the band create a coherent dramatic story. Notice how his accompaniment evolves and helps shape Paz’s solo on the first tune, Welcoming the Water. 

Bert Seager wrote all of the songs on this recording except for the free improvisation named Equanimous Botch. It was the first thing they played in the studio for their sound check. They wanted to make sure they could hear each other in the big beautiful room at Futura, and playing free seemed the perfect vehicle for that.

The last tune on this CD, Blues You Can Use, was the closer in their two-day recording session. There is a deceptive simplicity in the way the groove disguises the 3/4 time signature. One senses the joy they feel as a band exploring new places and energies in a familiar form. 

Bert Seager writes, “The evolution of this music, our sound, and approach to the repertoire is nurtured by our collaboration. We deconstruct our tunes, paring down the elements, inventing new structures, making new combinations, leaving some parts aside to work more deeply with others. The resulting music has a feeling and movement that goes far beyond the musical scores that I write for the band. Our performances reflect an even greater willingness to open – and even surrender – to the higher intentions of our musical purpose, often leaving the planned behind.”

Upcoming Performances:
First Wednesday of each month @ The Lilypad, Inman Square, Cambridge, MA  

First Thursday of each month @ Spice, Depot Square, Ipswich MA

CD release concert - Mandorla Music, Somerville, MA on April 15, 2017

More about the musicians in Tetraptych:
Pianist and composer Bert Seager has been a leading player on the jazz scene in Boston since 1981. His sixteen compact discs as a leader have won him unanimous critical acclaim from the New York Times, Keyboard Magazine, The Boston Globe, and many other publications.  He has performed and recorded with Joe Lovano, Tim Hagans, George Garzone, Bob Moses, Joe Hunt, Jorge Roeder, and Richie Barshay.

Cuban-born tenor saxophonist Hery Paz is currently working in the creative music scene in New York City, playing gigs with Francisco Mela, Gerald Canon, Joe Morris, Kris Davis, and Frank Carlberg. He has performed at Smalls and Cornelia Street Cafe, and at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy.

Drummer Dor Herskovits was born and raised in Israel. Since his arrival to the US in 2010, he has established himself as a sought-after performer, both as a sideman and leader. Dor has performed with George Garzone, Dave Liebman, Daniel Rotem and Jason Palmer. In 2016 several of his own compositions were featured on the CD “Earprint,” named for the modern jazz collective of which he is a founding member.

Bassist Max Ridley is a Boston-based musician who has performed with Kenny Werner, Ingrid Jensen, George Garzone, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Ra-Kalam Bob Moses.  He is part of  The Factory Quartet, The Organically Grown Big Band, and leads his own Basement Show Philharmonic.

Please Visit: www.redpianorecords.com

Press Enquiries on Red Piano Records: Jason Paul Harman Byrne @ Red Cat Publicity

Email Redcatjazz@mac.com, Tel 646 259 2105, www.RedCatOnTheLoose.blogspot.com

Pianist/Composer RANDY INGRAM Set To Release His Most Personal & Enlightening Recording to Date, THE WANDERING, Featuring Bassist DREW GRESS


Pianist/Composer RANDY INGRAM Set To Release
His Most Personal & Enlightening Recording to Date, THE WANDERING
Featuring Bassist DREW GRESS
Available on Sunnyside Records – April 21, 2017

***CD Release Celebration – April 19, 2017 @ The Jazz Gallery, NYC!***

Pianist-composer Randy Ingram has put himself in a position to reveal more about his musical identity by scaling down to record The Wandering, a sophisticated, personal and enlightening duo album with bassist Drew Gress.

While other instrumentalists can choose a different mouthpiece or effects pedal to modulate and personalize their sound, pianists must develop their identity by how and what they play. Ingram has established his identity through his pianistic touch and sense of orchestration, earning many accolades over the years.  As Kevin Laskey of NYC’s Jazz Gallery says, “It’s hard to make a piano sing. You can’t breathe into it, you can’t slide from one note to another. The piano is a mechanical music-maker, and it takes a real artist–an Ahmad Jamal, a Bill Evans, a Fred Hersch–to make it come alive.  Pianist Randy Ingram is one of those artists. He has an immaculately honed touch and an unforced sense of lyricism.”

Ingram explains, “A jazz pianist’s true identity is defined equally by their tone and by the content of what they play:  the specific shades and colorations of their harmonies, the types of textures they favor and the way they think about orchestrating and stating melodies – especially in the context of ‘standard’ repertoire.”

Ingram’s thoughts were reinforced by the opening of a new NYC venue, Mezzrow, that featured stripped down performances, mainly by pianists and bassists, filling a void created by the closing in the mid-1990s of the famed Bradley’s on University Place. Mezzrow has become an incubator and stage for pianists of all sorts to display their talents  with the minimum of dressings, typically in duos with bass.  The duo format resonated with Ingram, as one of the formative experiences in his musical development was a steady gig while at the University of Southern California with bassist Billy Mohler. Says Ingram, “I believe much of my stylistic identity started to form through playing that gig my last two years of college, and my memories of it have always made the duo format a very familiar and welcoming sound.”

As Ingram was developing repertoire for the follow up to his previous Sunnyside release, Sky/Lift (2014), he began to feel a pull in a different direction. The music he was writing for his quartet focused on deeper interplay between piano and guitar, becoming more densely orchestrated and heavily structured. Ingram found himself thinking about ways that his pianistic voice could be more clearly and spontaneously be heard.

For Ingram’s debut performance at Mezzrow, bassist Drew Gress was his ideal duo partner.  Universally praised as a master accompanist and soloist, Ingram had long admired Gress’s playing, being familiar with the bassist’s solo recordings and work with Fred Hersch. The duo’s first gig together was exemplary: Gress’s playing was wonderfully supportive but also motivating, pushing Ingram to explore new musical areas.  At the conclusion of the duo’s first performance, Ingram’s friend, the saxophonist Jeremy Udden, described what he had heard as a stripped down, truthful statement on the identity of, “Randy the player–Randy the pianist”. 

Ingram soon decided to record a duo album with Gress. They performed additional gigs and lined up a date at Brooklyn Recording with engineer Michael Perez Cisneros. “I knew that a duo record was not without its challenges: the format is incredibly exposed, and there’s nowhere to hide, especially rhythmically,” explained Ingram. “But I also knew that Drew was as great a partner as I could find for this project.  He has such a warm, nuanced sound and is a tremendously strong soloist, which I set out to feature as much as possible on the record. We chose to record in one session, in one room with no headphones or isolation, and the result, I hope, is an honest representation of who I am as a jazz pianist.” 

“I thought about how the journey to one’s true identity could be described as wandering– a journey with no boundaries and no limits, and that certainly doesn’t take a linear path, “ says Ingram.  “In arriving at the album’s title, I thought about the Japanese haiku poet Basho, the importance of wandering in the creation of his art, and how the same idea of wandering applied to my musical journey.” The Wandering is about this journey, the process of honing and expressing one’s musical voice.

The recording begins with Gress’s “Away,” a composition with a lovely melody and beguiling harmonies that showcases Gress’s unique writing.  Ingram’s enchanting “Guimarães” was written for the Portuguese city, where the pianist was inspired by the juxtaposition of old and new, expressed here with his blend of classical harmony and voice-leading with modern harmonic and rhythmic ideas.

The spirited “Large Father” is Ingram’s tribute to Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz in his last season; it takes a page out of Ornette Coleman’s book on creating freedom without losing melodicism. Jimmy Rowles’s “The Peacocks” is a favorite ballad of Ingram’s, who delivers a wonderfully moody and evocative interpretation.

Ingram’s version of Cole Porter’s “Dream Dancing” is deceptive: it retains the brilliant lyricism of the melody but has been extensively reharmonized. The album’s title track, “The Wandering,” is a tribute to British piano great John Taylor, a player who developed his own language with an astounding melodic sense, crystal-clear touch and multifaceted harmonies, which Ingram represents with aplomb.

Wayne Shorter is one of Ingram’s composing heroes and the saxophonist’s “Chief Crazy Horse,” with its insistent bass line, became the soundtrack of Ingram’s half-marathon training program. It provides a rhythmic juxtaposition to the duo’s repertoire. Ingram shows his lifelong appreciation for pianist Bill Evans through his up-tempo rendition of Evans’ “Show-Type Tune,” a favorite of Ingram’s for its harmonic genius. The recording concludes with Kenny Wheeler’s “Three For D’reen,” a rhapsodic piece that is delicately balanced between ballad and jazz waltz under Ingram and Gress’s impressive hands.

Wherever your path takes you, Sunnyside hopes that it leads you to as enchanting a place as does Randy Ingram and Drew Gress’s music on The Wandering, a lovingly conceived and performed program that achieves new heights of ingenuity through musical collaboration.

Press Enquiries on Randy Ingram & The Wandering, Please Contact:

Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity, Tel 646 259 2105, Email Redcatjazz@mac.com

Thursday, January 19, 2017


For Immediate Release:


Available March 10, 2017 on Clean Feed Records

"In the right hands an alto saxophone can emit airy sounds that are buoyant and light and move smoothly across any disturbances that might intersect their paths. New York reedist Michaël Attias is a fluid, inventive improviser whose performances are marked by that deft and nimble touch.” – Peter Margasak, The Chicago Reader

"Like a high-quality electronic product manufactured by the Panasonic Corporation, the career of alto saxophonist Michaël Attias has always involved being slightly ahead of his time...” – Ken Waxman, JazzWord

Nerve Dance – saxophonist/composer/bandleader/conceptualist Michaël Attias’ sixth album (available on Clean Feed Records, March 10, 2017), which deals with the aesthetics of spontaneity, the theory of elasticity and the concept of equality in music, is an expansive, spirited debut from Michaël Attias’ new Quartet, featuring Aruán Ortiz (piano), John Hébert (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums). On Nerve Dance, we are regaled with hearing four hearts, minds and bodies hooking up at an extremely high level on nine Attias compositions, and two from Hébert. Each piece exercises a different set of muscles and faculties for the band and every member of the Quartet carries within them the historical knowledge and a fluency in the multitude of dialects of this music; consequently we hear them free within the compositions, deep into the zone of this collective creation, transcending their respective instruments and completely surrendering to the music.

Attias has been influenced by literature, film, painting, extensive travel, life in general, and of course, a wide spectrum of music, ranging from Moroccan Gnawa rhythms to Renaissance Polyphony, Ligeti, Debussy and the 2nd Viennese School; the AACM, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor and Steve Lacy, also Andrew Hill, Paul Motian, Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh, plus the first and lasting loves, Ellington, Coltrane, Monk, Miles and Bird. Attias’ music, while dedicated to “creation” rather than “re-creation”, remains firmly rooted in the avant-garde, conceptualized as the true tradition of this music from its earliest recordings onward. Attias asserts that the revolutionary, adventurous spirit of the major figures of jazz, including his aforementioned influences, made bold strokes of genius that only seem inevitable in retrospect, and have paved the way for the audacious improvisers of today who remain singular and fearless in the face of mass conformity. There exists an instinctual, visceral need in Attias and his cohorts to play music that is honest, that rejects inertness and fully embraces the meaning of creativity and evolution. This music is found on Nerve Dance.      

Attias, a quietly fierce, improvising force on the international scene, has worked with Anthony Braxton and Paul Motian, and is a frequent collaborator/sideman for Kris Davis, Ralph Alessi, Tony Malaby, Oliver Lake, Anthony Coleman (and many others), and also leads three bands, his new Quartet, Renku (featuring John Hébert and Satoshi Takeishi), and Spun Tree (featuring Ralph Alessi, Matt Mitchell, Sean Conly and Tom Rainey). He has also composed for theatre, film, big band, and orchestra. So why this new Quartet, and why Ortiz, Hébert and Waits? “There was a particular chemistry I was looking for and a kinship of approach that I can only describe as a fiery mathematics whose combustion is in the blowing itself, a group identity so strong that it becomes the overriding composition. This band is big fun to play with. Everyone has in common a deep lyricism and a very personal way of bringing design to the turbulence and turbulence to the design. We all share a fearless commitment to every moment of the music, to making it breathe and dance – balancing the yins and yangs, fire and receptivity, mystery and clarity... Hébert, Nasheet and I have played together in countless situations over the last fifteen years, and, of course, those two for years played together with Andrew Hill whose music is a big inspiration to us all. They bring a deeply singing quality and dance to everything they do. Aruán is the new agent in this chemistry; he has all the qualities I've mentioned and a kind of visionary approach to sound and time, order and chaos that I really appreciate. Music demands of us, as players and listeners, that we put our emotions, minds, bodies, and nervous systems on the line and give it some attention, but the reward is that we can all share in the dance”, explained Attias.

More on the music on Nerve Dance with Michaël Attias:
Dark Net is the most recorded piece of Attias’. Previously on Renku (2005), Renku in Greenwich Village (2016) and on Eric Revis' Parallax (2013) with Jason Moran, Ken Vandermark, and Nasheet Waits. “Hearing Eric's version prompted me to revisit the piece both on the last Renku album and on Nerve Dance. It's in 3/4, 24 bars. The melody and bass line are two snakes coiling and uncoiling around a 6-beat phrase inspired by Elvin Jones. Intervals and durations are twinned.”

Nerve & Limbo is a diptych – two radically different approaches to the same harmonic material, which are woven back into the structure of the album later as Le Pèse-Nerfs and Ombilique. “The ‘active’ Nerve section articulates a metric-intervallic structure of variable length and transposition, the ‘passive’ Limbo is a listening to the accumulation of its overtones, inspired by the piano sound of dear departed friend Masabumi Kikuchi.”

Scribble Job Yin Yang - “Another in the series of tunes I've written on the NY subway. They're all definitely New York City tunes. The title echoes the underlying rhythmic chant of 6 against 8. The scribble of the melody is a type of cadence inspired by Charlie Parker.”

Boca de Luna – This track features Attias, solo. “It’s me playing both saxophone (left hand) and piano (right hand) – laying out the harmonic canvas to Moonmouth . . . with erasures . . .”

Moonmouth – “The melody is Ariadne's thread through the maze of a fully notated piano part in 17/8. The harmony explores a sequence of superimposed triadic inversions. It establishes the strictest grid on the album.”

La Part Maudite – Written when Attias was 20. “I had forgotten about writing this until I found the chart in a box when moving Uptown in the summer of 2015. The melody is written across a 6 bar additive cycle (4/4, 2/4, 5/4, 3/4, 6/4, 4/4). The title is lifted from Georges Bataille's book of economics (translated as ‘the Accursed Share’) – in which he says: “The sexual act is to Time what the tiger is to Space.” That line could be the epigraph to the whole album.

Le Pèse-Nerfs – Title of Antonin Artaud's 1927 collection of poems, journal fragments and essays. It can be roughly translated as “the Nerve-Scale.” “Artaud's idea of the poet-artist-actor playing on his/her nervous system, breath, physiology as on an instrument to register and express thought, vision, extreme states of being, is a big influence for me . . . This revisits the material from the ‘Nerve’ section of Nerve and Limbo.

Rodger Lodge – “A beautiful tune by John Hébert, one of my favorite composers of today . . . shades of Mingus ballads, serpentine form and melody.”

Dream in a Mirror – “I was in a recording studio the day Ornette Coleman died. I have loved and revered Ornette since I was fourteen years old. All I could do when I heard the news was to play his ‘Clergyman's Dream’ over and over. This ‘Dream’ is its reflection in minor.”

Ombilique – Revisits the material from the “Limbo” section of Nerve & Limbo.

Nasheet “is a tribute in 3/4 to our great drummer by John Hébert. It explores a similar rhythmic terrain and serpentine counterpoint to ‘Dark Net’, which opens the album. I feel a deep kinship to John's playing and writing, and we all love Nasheet!

For a full-length bio, itinerary, photos and more, please visit:  

Press enquiries about Michaël Attias and Nerve Dance
Please Contact Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity:
Tel 646 259 2105, Email Redcatjazz@mac.com, Website www.redcatontheloose.blogspot.com