Apr 28

Charlie Haden, Liberation Music Orchestra – Time / Life (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:53:58 minutes | 1,05 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Impulse Select

Time/Life centers around two live recordings—the final recordings with Charlie Haden and his Liberation Music Orchestra–from the 2011 Middelheim Festival: Haden’s 1979 composition Song for the Whales and Miles Davis’ Blue In Green, both arranged for orchestra by Carla Bley. After Haden’s death in 2014, the LMO, with the help of Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, and Ruth Cameron, recorded three works by Bley to create an album that honored Haden and his concern for the environment. This is that tribute.

Tracklist
01. Blue In Green
02. Time / Life
03. Silent Spring
04. Útviklingssang
05. Song For the Wales

Musicians
Charlie Haden – bass on 1, 5
Carla Bley – conductor, piano
Steve Swallow – electric bass on 2-4
Tony Malaby – tenor sax
Chris Cheek – tenor sax
Loren Stillman – alto sax
Michael Rodriguez – trumpet
Seneca Black – trumpet
Curtis Fowlkes – trombone
Vincent Chancey – French horn
Joseph Daley – tuba
Steve Cardenas – guitar
Matt Wilson – drums

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Apr 28

Bobby Timmons – Holiday Soul (1964/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 42:21 minutes | 935 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Original Jazz Classics

Holiday Soul is an album of Christmas music by American jazz pianist Bobby Timmons recorded in 1964 and released on the Prestige label.

Bobby Timmons became so famous for the gospel and funky blues clichés in his solos and compositions that his skills as a Bud Powell-inspired bebop player have been long forgotten. After emerging from the Philadelphia jazz scene, Timmons worked with Kenny Dorham (1956), Chet Baker, Sonny Stitt, and the Maynard Ferguson Big Band. He was partly responsible for the commercial success of both Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Cannonball Adderley’s Quintet. For Blakey (who he was with during 1958-1959), Timmons wrote the classic “Moanin’” and, after joining Adderley in 1959, his song “This Here” (followed later by “Dat Dere”) became a big hit; it is little wonder that Adderley was distressed when, in 1960, Timmons decided to return to the Jazz Messengers. “Dat Dere” particularly caught on when Oscar Brown, Jr. wrote and recorded lyrics that colorfully depicted his curious son. Timmons, who was already recording as a leader for Riverside, soon formed his own trio but was never able to gain the commercial success that his former bosses enjoyed. Stereotyped as a funky pianist (although an influence on many players including Les McCann, Ramsey Lewis, and much later on Benny Green), Timmons’ career gradually declined. He continued working until his death at age 38 from cirrhosis of the liver. ~ Scott Yanow

Tracklist:

01. Deck The Halls (3:12)
02. White Christmas (7:06)
03. The Christmas Song (5:20)
04. Auld Lang Syne (4:40)
05. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (6:29)
06. Winter Wonderland (5:36)
07. We Three Kings (5:06)
08. You’re All I Want For Christmas (4:52)

Personnel:
Bobby Timmons – p
Butch Warren – b
Walter Perkins – d

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Apr 28

Cyrus Chestnut – Natural Essence (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 1:03:14 minutes | 1,25 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Front Cover | © Highnote

From his emergence in the mid-Eighties to the present, pianist Cyrus Chestnut has declared himself a committed stylist completely infatuated with his instrument and the art he’s sworn allegiance to, jazz. Chestnut has consistently shown himself an improviser of rare ingenuity and grace, yet what most distinguishes him from other gifted pianists of our era may be the sheer pleasure that radiates from all that he plays. While the characteristic cheer that Chestnut displays on “Natural Essence” can be attributed to his undiminished vigor and attentiveness, the presence of his notable cohorts also contributes to the leader’s focus. With the dynamic Lenny White on drums and the redoubtable Buster Williams on bass Cyrus & company breathe new life and vitality into that most venerable of jazz ensemble formats, the piano trio.

Tracklist
01. Mamacita
02. It Could Happen to You
03. Faith Amongst the Unknown
04. I Cover the Waterfront
05. I Remember
06. Dedication
07. My Romance
08. Toku-do
09. Minority

Musicians
Cyrus Chestnut – piano
Buster Williams – bass
Lenny White – drums

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Apr 28

Cuong Vu Trio – Meets Pat Metheny (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:53:19 minutes | 1,02 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Nonesuch

There’s a bit of a role reversal going on with this one. Trumpeter Cuong Vu—a Pat Metheny devotee from the time he first heard the guitarist’s Travels (ECM, 1983) as a teenager—eventually came to join the Pat Metheny Group, enhancing the sound of the band on a pair of Grammy-winning albums: Speaking Of Now (Warner Bros. 2002) and The Way Up (Nonesuch, 2005). Now Metheny returns the favor, joining Vu’s crew for this expansive outing.

Tracklist
01. Acid Kiss
02. Not Crazy (Just Giddy Upping)
03. Seeds of Doubt
04. Tiny Little Pieces
05. Telescope
06. Let’s Get Back
07. Tune Blues

Musicians
Cuong Vu – trumpet
Stomu Takeishi – bass
Ted Poor – drums
with
Pat Metheny – guitar

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Apr 28

Chris Schlarb – Dropsy: Original Soundtrack (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 00:45:10 minutes | 474 MB | Genre: Score / Jazz, Guitar, Ambient
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Bandcamp | Artwork: Front Cover

“I was five years old in 1982. I remember sitting on thick brown carpet, plugging in the joystick, and playing Yars Revenge on the Atari 2600. The music consisted of a single, oscilating drone. Thirty years later technology has granted us the wish of near-infinite possibilities: it’s not uncommon for some games to feature vocal choirs and symphony orchestras. Of course, as Orson Welles famously remarked, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.”

A few years ago my friend Jay Tholen asked me to write music for his adventure game about a mute, handless clown named Dropsy. We talked about junkyards and circus tents, we looked at photos of open country roads and graffiti and neon lights. Jay showed me his early pixel landscapes and it made me think, perhaps video games represented a type of modern folk art. He embraced the limitations of medium and created something honest and beautiful. I wanted to do the same with the soundtrack.

The themes for Dropsy were composed almost entirely on piano. After months of preparation, I booked a single, 12-hour recording session and tried to leave enough space for each musician to contribute their own voice. Everyone looked at the images Jay provided and we talked about the different locations inside the game. I can hear the subliminal influences of Joe Raposo’s early music for Sesame Street in the music now. I hear the mechanical pop of Devo and the doom metal of Earth. I hear the limitations working their magic. The music is alive.”
– Chris Schlarb

Tracklist:

01. Kierkegaard’s Umbrella (02:05)
02. Mothersbaugh on the Beach (01:30)
03. Clown Breath (Variation #2) (00:47)
04. In the Court of the Junkyard King (02:21)
05. Last of the Lonely Tumbleweeds (02:17)
06. Kierkegaard’s Neon Lights (03:00)
07. Home Is Where the Ground Is (02:05)
08. Waltz of Urban Blight (01:35)
09. LF/HF in Four Dimensional Bossa Nova (00:50)
10. Low Fiber/High Fructose (01:33)
11. Sneaky Snacky (01:28)
12. Clown Breath (Variation #3) (00:53)
13. 144 Gears Marching in 14/4 (01:27)
14. Slightly Ominous Theme Heard While Waking from a Dream (00:11)
15. White Dub in the Psychic Temple (01:44)
16. Lee’s Vampire Dub (03:13)
17. Clown Breath (Variation #4) (01:33)
18. The Unmistakeable Scent of Clown Breath (00:46)
19. Home Is Where the Pulmonary Artery Is (01:03)
20. Eric Dolphy Memorial Hospital (02:04)
21. Fugutive Foxtrot (01:02)
22. Kierkegaard’s Fire (01:40)
23. Waltz of Impending Doom (01:33)
24. Home Is Where the Hurt Is (01:24)
25. These Clown Shoes Are Made for Walkin’ (01:06)
26. Tres Monolitos de las Llanuras (02:46)
27. Kierkegaard’s Columnated Ruins (01:30)
28. Obelisk Strategies (01:44)

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Apr 27

Chris Potter, Underground Orchestra – Imaginary Cities (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88.2kHz | Time – 01:11:11 minutes | 1,25 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © ECM Records GmbH
Recorded: December 2013 Avatar Studios, New York

Imaginary Cities, an album of great power and expressive range, is the recording premiere of saxophonist Chris Potter’s new Underground Orchestra. At the core of this larger ensemble is the personnel of his long-established Underground quartet – with Adam Rogers, Craig Taborn and Nate Smith – now joined by two bassists, a string quartet, and Potter’s old comrade from Dave Holland Quintet days, vibes and marimba virtuoso Steve Nelson.

The title composition is a suite, panoramic in its reach, with movements subtitled “Compassion”, “Dualities”, “Disintegration” and “Rebuilding”. The scope of the work, and its contrasting moods and thematic continuity, inspire some of very Potter’s finest playing, including some extraordinary solos. His saxes fly high above his imaginary cityscapes or launch into dialogues or group improvising with its gifted inhabitants. Four further pieces – “Lament”, “Firefly”, “Shadow Self” and “Sky” – extend the feeling of the suite, successfully combining both tightly written material and very open areas involving all members of the orchestra. References are multi-idiomatic and multicultural, and Potter, who counts Charlie Parker with Strings amongst his formative enthusiasms, had Arabic and Indian string sections in mind, as well as contemporary composition, when shaping this material. The track “Shadow Self”, meanwhile, reflects the influence of Béla Bartók.

Potter assembled the Underground Orchestra originally in response to an invitation to present music at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. “There was an idea that it could be something that I hadn’t done before. So I started with the Underground quartet, with Craig Taborn on acoustic piano in this case [as opposed to the Fender Rhodes he usually plays in the small group] and then kept adding more and more players. No bass player in the Underground group? Well, I’ll have two this time. In my mind I was hearing a real thick rhythm section sound, also with vibraphone and piano. The way Fima [Ephron] and Scott [Colley] play together and improvise together makes a lot of things work in this music. And then the strings … eight or nine years ago I’d done an album called Song for Anyone where I’d written a little for strings. I didn’t want a classical-meets-jazz feeling. I wanted it all to be completely integrated. And, in places, the lines between the written material and the improvised material would be a little blurred, and the strings would improvise, too.” Not the least of the achievements of Imaginary Cities is the way in which Potter has extended the tremendous rhythmic drive of his Underground band into his music for the larger group.

The concept of the four movement structure of “Imaginary Cities” emerged slowly: “It really evolved from the writing. I had this idea of imaginary cities, a non-specific utopian idea of how the modern city could be better. Not that I’m writing a manifesto of what I think urban planning could be…It just seemed like a compelling way to organize my thoughts. It started out just being one tune and then I saw how one theme could migrate to another mood and continue it and be another aspect of the same thing. So it ended up being four movements with thematic development through the whole thing.” Potter says that he conceives of the whole album – the suite and the four additional songs arranged for the same musicians – as one unified sound.

Tracklist:
1. Lament 08:06
2. Imaginary Cities, Pt. 1 Compassion 08:35
3. Imaginary Cities, Pt. 2 Dualities 08:45
4. Imaginary Cities, Pt. 3 Disintegration 07:23
5. Imaginary Cities, Pt. 4 Rebuilding 11:33
6. Firefly 08:37
7. Shadow Self 06:10
8. Sky 12:02

Personnel:
Chris Potter, tenor and soprano saxophone, bass clarinet
Adam Rogers, guitars
Craig Taborn, piano
Steve Nelson, vibraphone, marimba
Fima Ephron, e-bass
Scott Colley, double bass
Nate Smith, drums
Mark Feldman, violin
Joyce Hammann, violin
Lois Martin, viola
David Eggar, cello

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Apr 27

Chris Potter – The Sirens (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 1:03:18 minutes | 1,11 GB| Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital booklet | © ECM

The Sirens is acclaimed saxophonist Chris Potter’s ECM debut as a leader. It is an album of mood and melody, inspired by Homer’s The Odyssey, both with its epic atmosphere and timeless humanity. Potter has previously contributed on several ECM albums with Dave Holland, Paul Motian and Jason Moran. Joining Potter are virtuosic musicians Craig Taborn, David Virelles, Larry Grenadier and Eric Harland. Potter declaims lyrical lines over the dynamically inventive rhythm section, as coloristic keyboards shimmer like stars in the night sky.

The Sirens retains the distinctive muscle and firepower that’s made Potter so vastly influential but, unsurprisingly, posits some new perspectives as well. ~~ All About Jazz

Tracklist:
01 – Wine Dark Sea
02 – Wayfinder
03 – Dawn (With Her Rosy Fingers)
04 – The Sirens
05 – Penelope
06 – Kalypso
07 – Nausikaa
08 – Stranger At The Gate
09 – The Shades

Personnel
Chris Potter – soprano and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet
Craig Taborn – piano
David Virelles – prepared piano, celeste, harmonium
Larry Grenadier – double bass
Eric Harland – drums

Recorded September 2011 at Avatar Studios, New York.
Produced by Manfred Eicher.
Engineer: James A. Farber Assistant: Charlie Kramsky.
An ECM Production (P)+(C) 2013.

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Apr 27

Caecilie Norby – Arabesque (2010)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 61:23 minutes | 1,23 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: GubeMusic.com | Digital Booklet | © ACT

Stunning Album from Danish Cæcilie Norby, Queen of Jazz-vocalists in Scandinavia.

Musical pigeonholes have never interested Danish singer Cæcilie Norby: “I have always been in search of catchy melodies – if you want to have a hit in the pop world, you need a strong melody. In jazz the central subject is that which opens a piece and, in classical music, even the grandest orchestral arrangements may become boring and flat if they aren’t carried by a natural melody.” For Norby it is the melody that is the essence of music, and the decisive criteria according to which she evaluates and chooses music which is free of any genre boundaries. It is an approach which mirrors her extraordinary career and is probably also the secret of her success.

Tracklist:
01 – The Dead Princess
02 – Wholly Earth
03 – No Air
04 – No Phrase
05 – Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen
06 – The Tears of Billie Blue
07 – Women Of Santiago
08 – Pavane Opus
09 – Scheherazade
10 – I Will Say Goodbye
11 – Simple Theme
12 – Hvirvelvinden / The Windmills Of Your Mind
13 – Forever You
14 – Nocturne
15 – How Oft [Bonus Track – In Memory Of Erik Norby]

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Apr 27

Chat Noir – Nine Thoughts For One Word (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 48:14 minutes | 957 MB | Genre: Electronic, Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: RareNoise | Artwork: Front cover | © Rare Noise Records

The adventurous trio Chat Noir has for the past 12 years defied easy categorization with its organic mix of ambient music, electronic textures as well as chamber music and jazz. Their singular approach to the piano trio, cinematic in scope and startlingly beautiful, has garnered critical raves throughout Europe. On Nine Thoughts for One Word, their sixth recording overall and second for London-based RareNoise Records, the two founding members, pianist Michele Cavallari and bassist Luca Fogagnolo, are joined in their further explorations by electronic/ambient music composer and producer Jan Peter Schwalm (Brian Eno, Eivind Aarset). Together they make a conceptual leap on what a piano trio can be, with the invaluable input of Schwalm’s studio magic.

This delicate balance of electronic experimentalism with acoustic piano and acoustic bass has been evolving gradually from the group’s initial release in 2006, Adoption, and continued on 2007’s Decoupage through 2008’s Difficult to See You. 2011’s Weather Forecasting Stone and 2014’s Elec3Cities. Their collective experimentation continues on the evocative Nine Thoughts for One Word. “Experimentation has always been a fundamental part of our work,” says bassist Fogagnolo. “We would describe our journey as a ship adrift. If jazz was our starting point we’ve always felt free to explore different languages.”
From the dramatic peaks of “Eternally Tranquil Light,” grounded by the resonant, woody tones of Fogagnolo’s upright bass, to the lyrical delicacy of Cavallari’s piano on “Fundamental Mind,” from the throbbing techno vibe of “Blinking Neon” to the Indonesian gamelan flavored introspection of “Detuning Leaves” and the mesmerizing trip-hop of “Uneven” and “Soft Ground,” Chat Noir explores myriad musical languages on Nine Thoughts for One Word. They also offer a very pleasing vocal number, “Momentarily Continual,” which is underscored by the pure, resonant tones of Fogagnolo’s upright bass, and they close out the program on a gentle note with Cavallari’s sparse piano work on the hymn-like “Crystallized Flow.”
“This album has more spatial sound and compositions, which in turn may sound (paradoxically) more ‘acoustic’,” Cavallari explains. “‘Crystallized Flow’ is pointing towards this different, more spacious dimension, which is also linked to the new lineup and to the role that J. Peter in particular had in our project.”
Though Schwalm trained as a drummer, he is now playing mainly electronic instruments and music. “We met him at a festival in Norway (Punkt 2008) and immediately fell in love with his style,” Cavallari recalls. “As we rearranged our lineup about one year ago, we decided to ask him for collaboration. For Luca and I, it was a natural choice to abandon the classic piano-bass-drums format and try something different, but in line with the evolution of our style, which incorporated more and more electronic textures over the years. Peter brought in his experience with sound processing and treatments, as well as his personal taste as co-producer of the album. Given his strong background in ambient music, his participation in the project sound-wise contributed to the very spacious dimension of the album, in line with the already ethereal vibe of the compositions.”
As for his longstanding musical relationship with Fogagnolo, Cavallari says, “Luca and I are good old pals. Our friendship and music collaboration informs one another. On the one hand, music made our friendship even stronger. On the other hand, we can rely on shared ideas about music, and even more generally about life, when playing together. It’s a constant dialog of spoken as well as unspoken words.
“We often have similar taste for music,” he continues. “But more importantly, when coming from different musical references and preferences, Luca and I have contributed even more to each other’s musical ideas and ways to perform.”
Cavallari adds that his method of playing and recording together with Fogagnolo changed radically four years ago when the two Italians relocated to different countries – Michele to the United States and Luca to Germany. “Our rehearsal room changed from being a shared space, where we used to physically meet quite often, to a virtual place. Nine Thoughts for One Word is our second album recorded through cloud-based sharing of music ideas and sessions. This wouldn’t have been possible without a long-term relationship. But somehow the distance helped to develop even more our personal taste, before sharing ideas for new tunes as we’ve always done. In the process of developing new tunes, we can count on a strong shared basis, established throughout our long collaboration, as well as on a naïve attitude and openness towards different ideas, and potentially surprises.”
He further describes the group’s modus operandi on Nine Thoughts for One Word: “Our approach is to try to understand where the composition is pointing to and to give meaningful contribution to it, by either contrasting or corroborating the original idea. Basically, the process we follow to compose and play together is grounded in the root of two essential and mutually reinforcing aspects: friendship and freedom.” Cavallari also explains that he and Fogagnolo have joint experience working on soundtrack recordings, which may explain why so much of their music has such a cinematic quality. “We did work on movie soundtracks in the past. Some of our tunes were featured in Cristina Comencini’s films – Don’t Tell (nominated for best foreign language film category at the 78th Academy Awards) and Black and White – as well as Francesca Comencini’s documentary In Fabrica. Our music has often been associated with cinematic features. Rather than thinking visually when composing, I guess we approach compositions in away that has similarities with film direction. We try to develop ‘stories’ and ‘plots’ through melodic lines and sometimes more abstract parts that overall follow a dynamically organized flow.
“As to the our way to approach compositions, either one of us usually ‘plants the seed’ of a new tune on his own. Then, from the original basic idea, we let the other totally express himself without limitations. Sometimes we go through multiple iterations of sending music ideas back and forth between us, as additional contributions can inspire new direction of the tune. It never happens that we don’t like what the other brought in terms of contribution to the song. In this sense we are totally connected.”
It is easy to see how such kindred spirits continue to collaborate and thrive, even when living on separate continents. And together with ambient mixmaster Schwalm, they travel to some wholly new musical territory on Nine Thoughts for One Word, the most transcendent Chat Noir release to date.

Tracklist:
01 – Eternally Tranquil Light
02 – Fundamental Mind
03 – Momentary Continual
04 – Blinking Neon
05 – Detuning Leaves
06 – Uneven
07 – Soft Ground
08 – Crystallized Flow

Musicians:
Michele Cavallari – keyboards, piano
Luca Fogagnolo – e-bass, upright bass, trombone
J. Peter Schwalm – electronics, beats, keyboards, acoustic guitar
with
Daniel Calvi – guitars on “3,4,7”
Alessandro Tomaselli – voice on “3”

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Apr 27

Carol Duboc – Open The Curtains (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 00:41:55 minutes | 514 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © SGold Note Music, Inc.

The album features an all star cast of the best musicians on the planet including; Patrice Rushen on keyboards, Sheila E. on percussion, Mindi Abaire on sax, Bibi McGill, the music director for Beyonce and Pink on guitar, Rhonda Smith the bass player for Jeff Beck, Prince and more on upright and electric, Cora Coleman the drummer for Beyonce, Prince and more keeping the beats, Aubrey Logan on trombone and Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson, Les Paul etc) on lead guitar!

Tracklist
01. In Pieces
02. Feeling Good
03. Open the Curtains
04. Forget Me Nots
05. Whisper
06. Faces
07. Fever
08. Miss You Missing Me
09. Precious
10. I’m Gone

Musicians
Carol Duboc – vocals
Patrice Rushen – keyboards
Mindi Adair – sax
Bibi McGill – guitar
Rhonda Smith – bass
Sheila E – percussion
Queen Cobra – drums
Jennifer Batten – guitar on 6, 10
Aubrey Logan – trombone on 7

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