ARTIST

Becca Stevens Band set to play Berkeley's Freight & Salvage / San Francisco Chronicle


Becca Stevens' successes are a perfect reflection of her career: She's released three solo albums, including "Perfect Animal" last month on Universal Music Classics; and she has made impressive guest contributions to recordings by jazz/proto-soul vocalist José James, saxophonist John Ellis, and trumpeters Ambrose Akinmusire and Jeremy Pelt, among others. "If Becca's playing in a band I'm playing in, or we're playing duo or quartet, I always consider her the strongest musician in the group and one I can lean on musically," pianist and Menlo Park native Taylor Eigsti says. A longtime friend and collaborator, Eigsti featured Stevens on a five songs on his 2010 "Daylight at Midnight" album. On Tuesday June 2, the North Carolina native brings her quartet - keyboardist Liam Robinson, double bassist Chris Tordini and drummer Jordan Perlson - to Berkeley's Freight & Salvage. She will also bring a backstory that is as stylistically diverse as the venue hosting her.      READ THE FULL San Francisco Chronicle ARTICLE
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Snarky Puppy's Michael League interview on WBGO - The Checkout


Sylva, the Snarky Puppy - Metropole Orkest collaboration is the most challenging, dynamic, unique release in Snarky Puppy's entire catalogue. Bassist Michael League talks with Alex Ariff about the new album. Check it out on WBGO: Newark NJ - THE CHECKOUT.
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Jesse Cook - One World / Winnipeg Morning News performance


Jesse Cook recently released his new, highly anticipated album ONE WORLD on Entertainment One Music (eOne Music). The most sonically diverse and distinctive disc in Cook's vast and varied catalogue, which has earned 11 Juno nominations and one win for 2000's Free Fall, One World presents 11 instrumentals, programmed beats and dusty electronic textures interwoven with syncopated handclaps, deep dubby basslines and popping percussion. Sitars and violin share the space with Jesse's unique guitar stylings along with synthesizers and sound effects.  The overall feel of One World is just that, an in depth musical journey of exotic world music. Cook stopped by the Winnipeg Morning News in advance of his Burton Cummings Theatre gig on May 27th to talk about his music, his tour and the new album.   WATCH THE ATTACHED VIDEO
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The Bad Plus play Sydney and Ultimo before appearance@Melbourne JF/ Sydney Morning Herald


For 15 years, The Bad Plus have taken the sound of the piano/bass/drums jazz trio and applied it to music that might, on the surface, be considered at odds with that aesthetic. The punkish and tongue-in-cheek elements implicit in the band's name burst through the music, as does frenetic improvisation, metrical complexity, gorgeous lyricism, zany humour and an almost schmaltzy kitsch. All the material in this performance came from within the band, with bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson and drummer David King composing pieces that define a collective sound rather than individual styles. The Bad Plus play Sydney's Basement on May 27, then move on to Foundry 616 May 28, followed by their appearance at Melbourne International Jazz Festival May 29-30. READ THE FULL Sydney Morning Herald ARTICLE
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Pierre-Laurent Aimard explores Ligeti?s works through new interactive website / New York Times


The composer Gyorgy Ligeti's Piano Études are considered by some scholars to be the most important contribution to the genre since the works of Chopin. But with influences as varied as sub-Saharan African music and fractal geometry, they place demands on the performer that a printed score cannot fully render. Enter the soloist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who worked side by side with Ligeti for 20 years, inspiring some of his most complex Études and recording his entire piano opus. Together with the website Explore the Score, which is hosted and partly sponsored by the Ruhr Piano Festival in Germany, he has created an interactive view into the technical, stylistic and historical considerations that shape these works. The German-language site has been up since mid-April, and the English-language version went live on Wednesday. The platform includes synchronized scores; performances filmed from three different angles; video commentary from Mr. Aimard and other artists and composers close to Ligeti, who died in 2006; excerpts of master classes on Ligeti's piano music; and previously unpublished manuscripts from the Paul Sacher Foundation in Switzerland. Currently featuring material on the Étude No. 13 ("L'escalier du Diable") and Musica Ricercata No. 1, the site will, over the course of the year, add three more pieces each from the Études and the Musica Ricercata, as well as further interviews and manuscripts.   READ THE FULL New York Times ARTICLE
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Michel Camilo Radio Special on SoulandJazz.com promotes Southbank concert


Michel Camilo's career spans three decades, two hemispheres and a range of jazz and classical styles. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, the pianist has crafted critically acclaimed recordings of solo, duo, trio, big band and symphony orchestra performances. A Grammy, Latin Grammy and Emmy Award winner, he performs a solo piano concert in England for the first time.

Camilo's latest Sony/Okeh release - What's Up was Produced by Camilo and recorded by GRAMMY® Award winning engineer Phil Magnotti at The Carriage House Studios in Stamford, CT, and the 11 tracks provide a stunning demonstration of the pianist's originality, spotlighting seven original compositions and four uniquely re-arranged jazz and Latin standards. Compositions include an intimate rendition of the quintessential "Alone Together", an exploration of Cole Porter's "Love For Sale" and a deep soulful re-discovery of Compay Segundo's "Chan Chan"; as well as in Camilo's own words, "my take on the perpetual polyrhythmic intricacies of ‘Take Five' – as a personal nod of admiration and awe to the legacy of legendary master Dave Brubeck."  Dr. Brad Stone is back with something rather special – in fact, a Michel Camilo Special for SoulandJazz.com. Ahead of his one-off solo piano performance at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on Saturday, June 13, allow Brad to show you how good this Grammy winning pianist really is.

Listen to Brad's attached comments about the feature

Here's the show Playlist  Michel Camilo – Why Not? – Why Not? – Evidence (1992)/King (Japan, 1985)
Michel Camilo – Suite Sandrine, Part 1 – Michel Camilo – Portrait/CBS – 1988
Michel Camilo – Island Stomp – On Fire – Epic/CBS – 1989
Michel Camilo – Tropical Jam - Rendezvous – Columbia – 1993
Michel Camilo – Take 5 – What's Up? – Okeh – 2013
Michel Camilo – Caribe – One More Once – Columbia – 1994
Michel Camilo – Island Beat – What's Up? – Okeh – 2013
Michel Camilo – Armando's Rhumba – Thru My Eyes – Tropijazz/RMM – 1997
Michel Camilo – Just Kidding – One More Once – Columbia – 1994
Michel Camilo – What's Up? – What's Up? – Okeh – 2013
Michel Camilo – Chan Chan – What's Up? – Okeh - 2013 READ THE Jazzwise ARTICLE
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Comments on the Special from SoulandJazz.com - Dr. Brad Stone

Sharon Isbin: Troubadour, Blu-ray / Audiophile Audition review


The documentary explores the inspiring journey the classical guitarist has taken, which has expanded the landscape of the guitar in classical music. Sharon Isbin has won two Grammys and risen to the top in a male-dominated field thru her performances, recordings and teaching. There's a colorful assembly of talking heads in the film: composers such as Tan Dunn, Christopher Rouse, Joan Tower and John Corigliano; other guitarists such as Steve Vai and Stanley Jordan, and just plain celebrities such as Michelle Obama, Garrison Keillor, and Martina Navratilova.   READ THE FULL Audiophile Audition REVIEW CLICK HERE FOR Troubadour DOCUMENTARY
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Snarky Puppy | Metropole Orkest - Sylvia / Stanford Daily review


They're called Snarky Puppy (I don't know why), and depending on the day they have anywhere from eight to 18 members. It's hard to say what genre they fall under, if any. They won a Grammy for best R&B single of 2014, regularly play international jazz festivals and their compositions bear the fingerprints of a world of influences ranging from Brazilian baião to dubstep to straight-up funk. And just when I think I've figured them out, they go ahead and record a full-length album with a 52-piece orchestra. Who does that? "Sylva," their grand collaboration with the Dutch jazz-pop ensemble Metropole Orkest, is an ambitious project, to say the least. The hour-long, six-track instrumental album is the brainchild of bassist and bandleader Michael League - the realization of a lifelong dream to compose for an orchestra with his own group at the fore. League wrote the entire album himself, inspired by forests around the world like the murky Atchafalaya swamps of Louisiana and the towering redwood groves of Northern California. With the assistance of Metropole conductor Jules Buckley, the bassist's first orchestral effort is remarkably coherent and refined. The change in instrumentation is a massive artistic leap for a band that's most at home on the small stage, but by maintaining the most fundamental pillars of their character - improvisation, swagger and groove - Snarky Puppy manage to thrive in their new form. With arrangements that feature dynamic written interplay between sections yet still leave ample room for spontaneity, the band feels perfectly at home in the orchestra hall. "Sylva" is an evolution of their already expansive sound, a natural next step for an exceptional group as it grows into new realms of creativity.   READ THE FULL Stanford Daily REVIEW
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Becca Stevens Band plays Santa Cruz and Berkeley / KQED


Singer/songwriter Becca Stevens possesses an enviably talent-laden fan club. Jazz vocal peers like Kate McGarry, Gretchen Parlato and Kurt Elling have publicly hailed her as one of the most original young singers on the scene, and heavyweight players like Brad Mehldau, Esperanza Spalding, Ambrose Akinmusire and Eric Harland have recruited her for projects and recordings. Whatever context she's working in, Stevens makes a vivid and enduring impression with her rhythmically charged guitar work and translucent sound. Now, the 29-year-old New Yorker is about to break out as a bandleader in her own right. She celebrates the release of her gorgeous new album Perfect Animal at Santa Cruz's Kuumbwa Jazz Center on May 28 and Berkeley's Freight & Salvage on June 2. READ THE FULL KQED ARTICLE
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Michael Daugherty feature on WRTI: Philadelphia


Classical composer Michael Daugherty writes music about ideas, people, and places from popular culture. Daugherty's Grammy-winning symphony called Metropolis references the Superman comics. Other orchestral works have intriguing names such as American Gothic, Ghost Ranch, and Sundown on South Street, which is part of Philadelphia Stories. As WRTI's Susan Lewis reports, his works invite listeners to engage with the music through their own experiences.  LISTEN TO THE WRTI INTERVIEW PIECE ADDITIONAL LINK
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Jack Gallagher - Symphony No. 2 | Quiet Reflections / Gramophone


Born in Brooklyn in 1947, Jack Gallagher studied composition, counterpoint and orchestration with Elie Siegmeister (1909 91). It's hard not to be won over by the prodigious energy, long-term thinking and melodic fecundity of Gallagher's exuberant inspiration, to say nothing of the breathtaking skill and swaggering confidence with which he handles his forces. JoAnn Falletta directs with contagious dedication and encourages the LSO to give of its considerable best; indeed, these players would appear to be having a ball, with standout contributions from the flute and horn principals in particular. Phil Rowlands, too, can be proud of the splendiferously sumptuous, detailed and wide-ranging sound he has achieved within the helpful acoustic of Blackheath Concert Halls. In other words, if you like the sound of all of this, don't hesitate for a moment. READ THE FULL Gramophone ARTICLE
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Henrik Schwarz - Instruments / Audiophile Audition review


In an unusual twist, Henrik Schwarz has pursued a career in German deep house music, while exploring classical and jazz formats. His skill at remixing music for clubs (including songs by James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Boy George) has brought him eminence as a DJ. Additionally, he has produced with Mary J. Blige and Coldplay. Schwarz became a pioneer in the live laptop performance scene. His music embraces minimalist format, but he collaborates with orchestras for his own compositions, some of which are commissioned. For his latest album, Instruments, Schwarz has taken a classical large chamber approach to interpreting his electronic dance music. With the Tokio Secret Orchestra (conducted by Emi Akiyama) providing violins, violas, cellos, double basses, woodwinds, bass clarinets and percussion, the sessions were recorded at Tsukiji Hongahji Temple. Arranged by Johannes Brecht, seven tracks are interpreted in an organic, "kick drum free" frameworks. The opening track, "Walk Music Four" (a reworking of "club" material) begins with a vibraphone/string counterpoint that builds a repeat refrain. At the 2:00 mark a rhythmic shift transition with bass clarinet and concise 4/4 percussion sets against accented strings. In the third part (or movement), the atmospheric dynamics return with the expanded instrumentation of the previous segment. "Marvin Two", comprised of bass, flute, viola and cello surround a single note with syncopated accents. This mood is interrupted (for a long second) with a gong. There appear to be transitions from theatrical festiveness and whimsy to dramatic accent. At nearly ten-and-a-half minutes, it is the longest track on Instruments.  READ THE FULL Audiophile Audition REVIEW
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Top 10 Albums for May

Tiempo Libre :

Panamericano

Three-time Grammy-nominated Afro-Caribbean group Tiempo Libre will release Panamericano, their first album for Universal Music Latin Entertainment in partnership with Universal Music Classics on June 30.  Tiempo Libre are seven classically-trained musicians internationally renown for their critically acclaimed, dance-inducing, Latin-fused music. "We have always written songs about our lives – both past and present.  But Panamericano is truly about Tiempo Libre today – living a culturally rich and fulfilling life, personally and musically, in Miami.  We are surrounded by people and influences from all over the US and Latin America who inspire us. And the featured artists on the album reflect that amazing diversity and inspiration.  This is possibly our most personal album yet – and to have it released by Universal Music Latin Entertainment is a dream come true," says band founder Jorge Gómez. 15 TOTAL Markets include: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Salt Lake, Knoxville TN Online: New World Buzz  
Craig Leon :

Bach To Moog

In January 2015, Moog Music, the 60-year-old analogue synthesizer company, announced that for the first time in more than 30 years, it would once again build the large format modular synthesizers that were first introduced by its founder, Dr. Robert Moog in 1964. 2015 also marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of Dr. Robert ‘Bob' Moog (1934-2005), inventor of the Moog synthesizer. To mark these anniversaries, Sony Classical is releasing Bach to Moog. The new album showcases the reissued Moog Modular Synthesizer as well as the modern generation of Moog synthesizers and presents the glorious works of Johann Sebastian Bach in a compelling and contemporary way. Bach to Moog is produced by American-born composer, arranger and record producer Craig Leon, famous for his work with The Ramones and Blondie, as well as his work in the classical arena with such leading artists as Luciano Pavarotti, Joshua Bell and Sir James Galway.  17 NEW -  23 Total SYND: Classical 24, CBC, Stingray Direct: Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, Baltimore, Austin,  Online: ClassicallyHip
The Catalyst Quartet :

Bach/Gould Project

Through a collaborative arranging process, the Catalyst Quartet has created the first fully realized 4-voiced version of the Goldberg Variations for string quartet. The album features this special contribution to the string quartet repertoire along with Glenn Gould's only published composition, his String Quartet Op. 1, completed just before recording his own debut album of the Goldberg Variations in 1955. Having been collectively inspired by Bach's genius and Glenn Gould, the artist responsible for bringing the Variations into our collective consciousness, we have decided to explore and highlight this three dimensional relationship amongst Bach, Glenn Gould, and the medium of the string quartet. 22 NEW -  24 Total SYND: Classical 24 Direct: Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, Denver, Austin, Buffalo Online: ClassicallyHip
Snarky Puppy | Metropole Orkest :

Sylva

When Snarky Puppy won a Grammy in January of 2014, the question I was asked most was, "Was this on your bucket list of things to do before you die?" And my answer to each of them was, actually, no. I have only one thing on my list. The only thing I want to do before I die is make an album with an orchestra. It had been a topic of discussion for three months at that time. During the October 2013 recording sessions for "We Like It Here" in Utrecht, our good friend Friederike Darius had invited two of the Metropole Orkest's managers to join us as guests. Within ten minutes of the performance's end, we had already crafted a plan to make a record together. Sometimes life is that easy. Not always, not most of time, but every once in a while, it is. 13 NEW  107 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours, Jazz Variations, CBC Markets include: Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Portland, New Orleans, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Detroit, San Diego, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Long Island NY, Hartford CT. Rochester NY, Buffalo NY, Honolulu, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver Online: MOJA, artsdesk, Taintradio, Jazz From Gallery 41, DirtyDog INTER: Canada, UK, France
David Sanborn :

Time and the River

After saxophonist David Sanborn recorded the well-received Quartette Humaine acoustic jazz album with pianist Bob James as a one-off for OKeh Records in 2013, the label continued the conversation with the renowned six-time Grammy winning alto sax star who released eight gold albums and one platinum. That exchange led to Sanborn to link up with his old collaborative friend, electric bassist Marcus Miller, to serve as producer in creating the superb jazz-meets-R&B recording Time and the River. "I felt like I was in good hands," says Sanborn. "Marcus can cover all the bases-as arranger, composer, instrumentalist, producer-and since we have a lot of history together, working together was like shorthand." 8 NEW  142 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours DIRECT: In-Flight Markets include: New York, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Miami, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Portland, Houston, Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Orlando, Memphis, Albuquerque, San Antonio, El Paso, Omaha, Raleigh NC, Honolulu, Toronto, Vancouver, UK Online: Jazz From Gallery 41, GreenArrow, MOJA, JazzBreakfast, TheJazzIntersection, JazzRadio.com, JazzWeekly, Taintradio, SoulandJazz.com INTER: Canada, UK, Australia 55 JazzWeek ADD's Reported by New World 'n' Jazz Promo
Pablo Marquez :

Gustavo Leguizamon - El Cuchi bien temperado

Guitarist Pablo Márquez celebrates the work of a remarkable figure in Argentinean music: Gustavo "Cuchi" Leguizamón. Leguizamón (1917-2000) was a composer, pianist, guitarist, poet - and also a lawyer and teacher in the city of Salta where Marquez grew up.  It was in his teaching capacity that Márquez first encountered him in person: "He was my history teacher at the Collegio Nacional when I was thirteen years old. When I saw Dr. Gustavo Leguizamón come into the classroom for the first time, I had no idea that I was in the presence of one of one of Argentina's greatest musicians, the composer of famous zambas I'd known and sung since early childhood. Cuchi liked to say that ‘the ultimate accolade for an artist is that people think his work is anonymous.'" 28 New:  33 Total SYND: PRI/Classical 24, Stingray Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, Baltimore, Austin, Detroit Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip
David Chesky :

Jazz in the New Harmonic Quintet - Primal Scream

Once again pianist/composer David Chesky courts a dark, masterful muse on this second recording by his Jazz in the New Harmonic quintet. The noirish atmosphere prevails from his first dissonant stabs at the keyboard with cool solos from veteran jazz artists Javon Jackson and Jeremy Pelt, while Peter Washington and Billy Drummond lock down the time. This is a different kind of cool jazz, one that grooves along steadily. Close your eyes and you can feel the pulse of the New York streets colliding with 21st century ethereal classical harmony. 12 NEW  117 Total SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours, Westwood One Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Detroit, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Madison WI, Honolulu Online: Jazz From Gallery 41, MOJA, Party 934, KUHS, Taintradio, Jazz Weekly, SoulandJazz INTER: Canada, Italy, Germany
Jesse Cook :

One World

Jesse Cook releases his new, highly anticipated album ONE WORLD on Entertainment One Music (eOne Music). One World is the most sonically diverse and distinctive disc in Cook's vast and varied catalogue, which has earned 11 Juno nominations and one win for 2000's Free Fall. On these 11 instrumentals, programmed beats and dusty electronic textures are interwoven with syncopated handclaps, deep dubby basslines and popping percussion. Sitars and violin share the space with Jesse's unique guitar stylings along with synthesizers and sound effects.  The overall feel of One World is just that, an in depth musical journey of exotic world music. 11 NEW  61 TOTAL SYND: Jazz Variations, Echoes, Stingray Markets include: Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Portland, Houston, Minneapolis, Detroit, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Madison WI, Honolulu Online: GreenArrow, Party 934, KUHS, Smoothjazz.com, Taintradio
Angele Dubeau & La Pieta :

Ludovico Einaudi - Portrait

Portrait is a string of recordings presenting contemporary composers with a unique musical signature. Ludovico Einaudi is one of them. A music that captivates the listener, a sonic landscape to discover"says Angèle Dubeau. Driven by the works of this grand and prolific Italian composer, the internationally renowned violinist shares once again her passion with the excellent musicians of her string orchestra, La Pietà. For her 39th album in career, Angèle Dubeau offers a unique revisit to Ludovico Einaudi's music, "changing its texture, rethinking its character, while bringing a new sonic dimension." 25 NEW  61 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC Direct: Music Choice, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Austin, New Orleans, Memphis, Albuquerque, Columbus OH, Canada Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip
ZOFO :

Plays Terry Riley

ZOFO is at it again, this time with an all Terry Riley album, which includes original compositions, arrangements and a special commission by the duet. It is quite evident in this music that the composer and the performers were personally engaged in the making of this electrifying project. From the very beginning, Terry Riley worked in collaboration with ZOFO in the making of this album. Mr. Riley himself said: "There is nothing quite like hearing the full 8 octaves of a piano sounding in all its orchestral richness." He certainly makes full use of the sounds of the piano in the pieces originally written for piano-four-hands, from The Heaven Ladder, Book 5, which include the varying "Cinco de Mayo," "Jaztine," "Waltz for Charismas," "Tango Doble Ladiado," and "Etude From the Old Country." Keisuke arranged "G Song" and "Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight," which were originally composed for the Kronos Quartet, and Eva arranged "Simone's Lullaby," originally for solo piano. The arrangements were both challenging and fun to create, but ZOFO managed to keep the transparency and flavor of Riley's originals while exemplifying the unique potential for four-hand piano. The "Praying Mantis Rag" was composed especially for ZOFO, and actively illustrates their vibrant character as a duet.
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