Over the past decade, Jim (drums) and Chet (tenor saxophone), the Doxas Brothers, have been very busy musicians in their native Canada. Jim has been the drummer in pianist Oliver Jones Trio while Chet has worked with Maria Schneider, Rufus Wainwright, and the late John Abercrombie plus is part of the Brooklyn, NY-based quartet LandLine and has recorded with electronics artist/ sound designer Micah Frank. Together, with Dave Douglas and bassist Steve Swallow, they have released two albums as Riverside for the trumpeter's Greenleaf Music.
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Friday, October 23, 2020
Deep Tones for Peace is a musical initiative that originated in 2009 with a telematic performance between Jerusalem and Manhattan, and has continued with annual iterations until the present day. Deep Tones for Peace 2020 was launched by Mark Dresser and William Parker. A regular streaming of live meditations for peace, healing and transformation is delivered by musicians transmitting deep tones that can strengthen the unseen bonds of our diversity as we oppose economic, educational, and environmental inequities fueled by racism, sexism, and greed.
Contributors play for 5-30 minutes with the intent of musically sending healing vibrations to be felt worldwide. The call for participation is open to all bassists who wish to join in an ongoing musical transmission of vibrations for peace. Any style or form of music and any level bass player is welcome to help promote peace in the world. We truly believe this project will have a positive impact on the balance of life.
To date, the impact of the initiative has been far greater than anticipated, despite being non-monetized and publicized solely via word of mouth and social media. Since its first daily transmission on August 1, 2020, Deep Tones for Peace has broadcast more than 120 individual performances, and membership in the public Facebook group has grown to include nearly 2,100 members in more than 40 countries worldwide. Voluntary contributors have included celebrated artists John Clayton, Christian McBride, Rufus Reid, Robert Black, Pablo Aslan, Kristin Korb, Bertram Turetzky, Thierry Barbé, Jorge Roeder, Scott Colley, and others.
Deep Tones for Peace is a public Facebook group – membership is open to everyone, and listening is possible for anyone via https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeepTonesForPeace2020, whether a Facebook member or not.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
This pandemic has shaken up everyone's world. Illnesses are exaggerated, masks are a necessity (not for all but those non-wearers are chancing fate), and we all know someone or ones who has/ have passed. The past month has been quite an emotional time for our family and, while I have not been able to write, I have been listening to a lot of music. This post will include several that have stood out!
There's plenty of fine music on "Right Now!" from the running start of the opening track "Smoking Gun" to the Thelonious Monk-inspired "You Are Me Blues" to the rambunctious "JFK International" and more. Like the best Black American Music, the rhythm section deserves kudos for lighting the fires underneath Dayna Stephens and Aaron Parks while Stephens gets extra credit for doing such an excellent job mining her repertoire. Live music indeed––enjoy!
For more information, go to daynastephens.net/. To purchase the specially-priced album, go to https://daynastephens.bandcamp.com/album/right-now-live-at-the-village-vanguard.
Click the link to hear the delightful "Tarifa"!
|Photo: Jill Steinberg|
Sunday, October 4, 2020
|Photo: Luke Awtry|
The album is broken into two parts; "Part 1: the pessimist's folly" includes "prelude & fanfare: the Patriot", an adaption of Nine Inch Nails "burn", an orchestral arrangement of Bill Frisell's "Throughout", and the four-part "i can see my country from here (Symphony No. 2 for the Awakening Orchestra"). "Part II: the optimist's folly" includes an orchestra adaptation of Molly Drake's "I remember", the five part title track which carries the subtitle "Concerto for Violin and Awakening Orchestra", the two part "the (desc/diss)ent", and closes with an instrumental adaptation of Eric Whitacre's chorale "lux arumque".
|Photo: Guinara Khamatova|
|Photo: Richard Velasco|
|Photo: Luke Awtry|
"volume II: to call her to a higher plain" closes with the Whitacre chorale. Arranged for the eight brass players, the lovely sounds echo as the melody rises, a spiritual finish to a spirited program. Kyle Saulnier wants the listener to understand the gravity of the political and social issues that plague the United States but he refuses to lose hope. There are moments throughout the album where the music asks questions and others where the music and the Awakening Orchestra seems to hold our hands, saying "be strong."
For more information, go to www.kylesaulnier.com and www.awakeningorchestra.com. To purchase the album, go to https://awakeningorchestra.bandcamp.com/album/volume-ii-to-call-her-to-a-higher-plain.
Here's the Nine Inch Nails song:
Kyle Saulnier: compositions, arrangements
Seth Fruiterman; voice
Julie Hardy; voice
Nathan Hetherington; voice
Brooke Quiggins Saulnier; violin
(Reader, take note––I have known Mr. Saulnier for around six-seven years as we were both teaching at Quinnipiac University in Hamden CT. He's spoken to my classes about contemporary music and we have talked about his writing process and the issues one has trying to get his/her music heard. He's since moved on but we stay in touch. Our discussions barely scratched the surface of how hard he has worked to get this music performed and recorded. Kudos to Biophilia Records and to Nick Lloyd plus Greg DiCrosta for their efforts in bringing this project to fruition.)
Tenor and soprano saxophonist and composer Marius Neset, a native of Bergen, Norway, has been living in Copenhagen, Denmark, since he began his collegiate career there in 2003. While in school, he met numerous artists and performers, including British keyboard master Django Bates who featured him in his student band at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory. Upon graduation, Neset began playing in various ensembles (including one with Professor Bates) throughout Europe including several that he lead or co-led. His debut as a leader, "Suite for Seven Mountains", was issued in 2008 on Edition Records––the saxophonist went on to record several more albums for the British label before signing with the German ACT Music label in 2014, recording his debut album for them , "Lion" with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra.
In 2019, Neset decided to move back "home" to Norway but, before leaving, he created a program to record with the Danish Radio Big Band with its newly-appointed chief conductor Miho Hazama. "Tributes", his sixth album as a leader for ACT, features five new original compositions, one ("Bicycle Town") in two parts and another ("Children's Day") in three parts. The program opens with "Bicycle Town", Neset introducing the song with a circular line that suggests Sonny Rollins without imitating the great master. He goes it alone for several minutes, expanding the melody and his sound until the reeds of the Big Band begins to flutter around him. The playful flutes and the bouncing baritone sax are soon joined by the low brass and eventually the rest of the band. The music now has a funky feel suggesting Weather Report, especially Joe Zawinul's more rhythmic songs.
|Photo: Nicolas Koch Futtrup|
". After its formal opening, "...Part 1" is a delightful and playful piece that suggests the Caribbean with a rollicking solo section for guitarist Per Gade and Neset. The somber theme also opens "...Part 2"––this time, the piece is a ballad with solos by Valdsholt (acoustic bass) and an excellent spotlight for trumpeter Gerard Presencer that covers a lot of time and ideas. No formality or somber feel as "...Part 3" rides in on hand percussion and thumping bass. Neset dances through his sweet solo with the sections jumping in from time to time. The tenor sax leaps in and out of the sections short phrases before moving into the next part of his solo. The rhythms and the solo are irrepressible and irresistible pushing the band to a rousing climax.
"Tributes" certainly does not sound like a sad goodbye to Denmark for Marius Neset. He celebrates his growth as a person and musician, hails his friendships, refers to his musical partnerships, shows how his twin influences of jazz and classical are easily intertwined in this 50-minute program. A big bow to the work of the Danish Radio Big Band and conductor Miho Hazama (herself an excellent composer-arranger). Music can be and should be a joy to listen to: this recording certainly is!
For more information, go to www.mariusneset.info.
Marius Neset; tenor saxophone, compositions
Danish Radio Big Band:
Miho Hazama, conductor
Erik Eilertsen, Thomas Kjærgaard, Dave Vruels, Mads LaCour, and Gerard Presencer
Vincent Nilsson, Peter Dahlgren, Annette Saxe, and Jakob Munck Mortensen
Peter Fuglsang, Nicolai Schultz, Hans Ulrik, Karl-Martin Almqvist, and Anders Gaardmand
Per Gade: guitar
Søren Frost; drums
Kaspar Valdsholt: bass
Henrik Gunde: piano
Here's Marius Neset and the DR Big Band in concert with a song that's not on the album:
Friday, October 2, 2020
|Photo Mark Lazarski|
"The Unidentifiable" is one more high point in the creative career of Matthew Shipp, not just for the music he composed for the Trio but also for his continued dialogue with Michael Bisio and Newman Taylor Baker. There is no compromise, no cliches, just a powerful message of creativity in uncertain times.
For more information, go to www.akamu.net/shipp.htm. To purchase the music, go to https://matthewshipp.bandcamp.com.
Here's the opening track:
|Photo: Theresa Keil|
For more information, go to www.sonicbids.com/band/lafayette-gilchrist-music/.
Here's the powerful opening track:
The trio of Geof Bradfield, Ben Goldberg, and Dana Hall reminds us that when like-minded musicians get together, magic can happen. Magic does happen on "General Semantics"––this delightful and musical recording is well worth your attention!
For more information, go to geofbradfield.com.
Hear the album's closing track: