New York

And....we're back.

Sorry for the brief radio silence here lately. I just returned home after spending ten action packed days in the Jazz capital of the world, New York City. I was extremely busy during my trip as I was interviewing a variety of drummers as part of my field research towards my ongoing DMA dissertation that I am writing through the University of Toronto. It's been seven years since my last time in the Big Apple so I also took advantage of my time there to check out as much live music as I possibly could (there's no better place to do this in my opinion!)

A few of my personal favorites included:

-Vancouver saxophonist, club owner, producer and all-around nice guy Cory Weeds featured with the crack rhythm section of David Hazeltine on piano, John Webber on bass and Joe Strasser on drums followed by the late night set featuring the fearless Kreston Osgood on drums (from Denmark) joined by Johannes Weidenmuller (bass) and Sam Yahel (piano) all at Smalls.

-I really dug pianist Bill Charlap's trio so much with Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola that I ended up going to see them two nights in a row. And I'm glad I did. Kenny's impeccable sense of dynamics, light touch on the ride cymbal and fine attention to articulation was a master class in itself in musical drumming.

The late night set on the second evening I attended featured drummer Greg Hutchinson (a former students of Washington's) with a great guitarist (whose name escapes me...) and Aaron Goldberg on piano.

-I caught another one of my favorite drummers, Billy Drummond with his group "Freedom of Ideas" featuring trumpeter Jeremy Pelt on another return trip to Smalls.

-After spending an afternoon checking out a rehearsal with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and an informative hang with drummer Ali Jackson Jr. I caught their hard swinging, entertaining and informative "Jazz for Young People" concert featuring classic big band music from the swing era.

-On Sunday evening I met up with my old friend Barb Hamilton and we checked out trumpeter Dave Douglas and his Brass Ecstasy band that featured drummer Rudy Royston at the Village Vanguard. Dave is a prolific composer and improviser. I really dig this recent project of his and the whole evening exuded a real sense of joy.

-I returned the following evening to hear the renowned Vanguard Jazz Orchestra featuring drummer John Riley in the drivers seat. This was another lesson in big band drumming and I really appreciated his dynamic playing on the Jim McNeely composition "Mel" (incidentally which is composed around a classic Mel Lewis drum phrase). Tenor saxophonist Rich Perry also shined on a ballad feature and I was all smiles as the band swung through what is likely my all-time favorite big band arrangement, Thad Jones' "Three in One".

-I headed to the Blue Note on Tuesday evening and heard drummer Lewis Nash & bassist Francois Moutin give an impeccable demonstration how a great drummer and bassist can work together while backing up French composer/pianist Michel LeGrand.

Here's a picture of me, Lewis Nash and a bowl of fruit backstage in his dressing room at the Blue Note:

-My New York adventure finished on a high note (sorry about the pun) digging the hard swinging and "greasy" grooves of Mike LeDonne (B3 organ), Peter Bernstein (guitar) and Rodney Green (drums) at Smoke. The highlight of the evening came in the form of a special surprise guest as Jazz legend and tenor saxophonist George Coleman sat in with the band for the last set.

-I also paid a visit to Steve Maxwell's Drum Shop in midtown Manhattan and admired the impressive plethora of vintage drums on display. If you like old drums, this is the place to be! He also had some very cool old sets that belonged to the likes of Elvin Jones and Kenny Clarke. Those are like Holy Relics in my opinion!!! The newer Craviotto drums they had on display are really pieces of drumming art as well.

-Speaking of art, it wasn't all Jazz all the time during my stay. I took some time on Sunday afternoon to make the trek to the Museum of Modern Art and check out some interesting abstract works of art. I'm always interested in checking out the works of Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso. Picasso's "Three Musicians" was impressive to see in person:

-I did something during this trip that I haven't done in a long time. I walked into J&R Music and bought a stack of CDs !!!
Nowadays I usually order my music online or download it off of iTunes. It was a nice feeling to step into a good music store again, browse for a couple of hours and come out with a bag full of great albums to listen to. I miss those days...

Alright. I'm back home and back to work. Regular posts forthcoming.

Pink Floyd Music Phuket Festival: Pink Floyd Music at Phuket .

We were hoping to go with the entire UK line up but forvarious reasons our Bass, Drums and keyboard / sax players couldn't have it. Sothis left the optionof using some guys weused last year .butthen they weren'tavailable due to other gig responsibilities.

Things were looking grim but never say never.

A Drummer called Ricky Haldemann was suggested by thepromoter Andy Anderson in Phuket.

Ricky who lives inPhukethad his Bass buddy from Switzerland willing to start on table and thingswere starting to expect good. They werehappy to go to Pattaya to fill up andrehearse for a couple days prior the the first gig a Burapa bikefest.
After a huge hassle getting his Bass through customs,Patrick joined us for the rehearsals. To present you how committed these guys wereto doing the gigs, Patrick had called national to get his Bass shipped out, ( at hisown expense no less) Rock n Roll man.
So the big night came at BurapaBike Festival Pattaya andafter the usual voltage fiasco with Morten's B3 (bless him) we finally hit thestage at some 2.30am.
The people that were there for the main Thai act had by nowmelted away and we were now playing to an amazing mix of bikers, hippies withchildren and choppers on the vast stage. The Band played well and we werepresented with Burapa MC mementoes' buy the festival organizers.

We're now on a bowl and the gig at The Blues Factory Pattayawent well.

Now we are travelling to South Thailand for our first gigtherefor theKhoa Lak appeal, Khoa Lak is an orbit that was seriously hit by the2004 Tsunami. They do serious work there for the children's schools and we were happyto help out. The gig was in a big Thai society and had good legal system andlights. Glen from USA has united us on keyboards. Glenknows his Floyd and willbe stay with us for Phuket Blues Festival.
So now we get at the height of the tour, the 2011Phuket International Rock and Blues Festival.

After allowing ourselves a night on the town, Patrick and Iheadoff to Phuket Island Radio 91.5 FM for an on air interview which was greatfun.

Now it's time to get down to some tightening uprehearsals.

But expect a minute, Jamie, (singer and guitarist) who hadbeen with me right from the other years of planing this Jaunt, haschecked out ofthe hotel and has left the band. !!!
Shock, Horror and feelings of misunderstanding, confusionand disbelief left me feel pretty low. I wasn't sure if this was a picture from Spinal Tap or Syd Barrett revisited,
Anyhow, because everyone else had put in somuch exertion and enthusiasm, it did not even frustrate my head to cancel thegig. The Point Must Go On!

At the bar for rehearsal the vibration was low, Richy even rodehis motorbike two hours to the airport to try and get Jamie to get second and atfirst was not great to take on without him. While Richywas away looking for Jamie,the balance of us ran through some tracks which soundedgood and we were all agreed that we should go for it! Once Ricky startedplaying, I could sense that he was also sure.
A vocal rehearsal the following day, Glen and Josie worked oncovering more vocal parts, Davesang "Coming Back To Life" and nailed itwhile Igave "Shine On" my best shot .

That night we went to the Festival and for me the highlightwas Disraeli Gears, a Cream tribute from California. From their kick off with "I Feel Free" I washooked, these guys played some tracks that I hadn't heardfor years including my personal favorite "We're Going Wrong". Danny, the Bass player covered the Jack Bruce bass lines andvocalsexceptionally well and harmony vocals from Rich Harper and the Drummerwere spot on . Once the Toms were brought into the mix, the solid sound startedto gel.

The apparatus at the place was impeccable , the stage,the sound, the positioning in the evidence of the Hilton made this a quality event.It was like a great wedding reception for 2500 people, VIP area's Chef's intall hats, tables with white table cloths. this was no ordinaryfestival.

Now we now make full line up Glen- Keys & Vocals, Dave& Josie -Vocals, Patrick - Bass, Ricky on Drums , Sax player Peter and myself on Guitar and Vocals and I'm really looking forward tothe gig,

We arrived on Saturday night and John Meyer's Blues Expressare rocking it up and before you experience it we're on.

I can't review my own gig but what I can say is that thewhole band rose to the function and played out of their bark and gave anEmotiveand Rocking performance. Thank you all x

Although not perfect, it was lively and exciting and I was satisfied that we well considering the short time we had and what we had overcome to gethere.
I had a blast, the voice was kicking on stageand it felt good with the audience. Thanks to all x.

The night continued and the headliner Curtis Salgado with his Blues Harp got theplace rocking. Rich Harper and the boys from the Cream tribute backed him up andthe musicianship was top class and boy! did it groove. Inspiringstuff.

Projects don't ever get to go as precisely as planned to be exciting and a challenge, this was unquestionably one of them. I wouldn't have lost it for the world, met some new friends, had a lot of laughs and played to some great audiences. I will think it constantly as one of the better times I'd ever had.

Touring to be continued ...........................................................
Mark x

Stacey Kent - The Tender Trap

Stacey Kent has an attractive voice and a lightly swinging style. For Love Is...The Tender Trap -- her debut as a leader -- she is joined by tenor saxophonist Jim Tomlinson (who recalls Scott Hamilton and Stan Getz in spots), guitarist Colin Oxley, pianist David Newton, bassist David Green, and drummer Jeff Hamilton. Kent uplifts each of the familiar tunes slightly but does not add much of herself to the material. Certainly these versions of "I Didn't Know About You," "Comes Love," "East of the Sun," and "They All Laughed" would not qualify as definitive, or dwarf one's memory of earlier renditions. But Stacey Kent has potential for the future once she grows a bit more. A pleasing if insubstantial effort. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Stacey Kent
Album: The Tender Trap
Year: 1998
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Candid
Runtime: 56:54

1.  The Tender Trap (Jimmy van Heusen/Sammy Cahn) 4:42
2.  I Didn't Know About You (Duke Ellington/Bob Russell) 4:43
3.  Comes Love (Lew Brown/Charlie Tobias/Sam Stept) 4:04
4.  In The Still Of The Night (Cole Porter) 5:08
5.  Fools Rush In (Rube Bloom/Johnny Mercer) 4:43
6.  East Of The Sun (Brooks Bowman) 6:36
7.  Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart (James F. Hanley) 4:14
8.  They Say It's Wonderful (Irving Berlin) 4:57
9.  Don't Be That Way (Edgar Sampson/Benny Goodman/Mitchell Parish) 4:22
10.  They All Laughed (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) 4:01
11.  In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning (David Mann/Bob Hilliard) 4:59
12.  It's A Wonderful World (Leo Watson/Jan Savitt/Harold Adamson) 4:20

Stacey Kent (Vocals)
Jim Tomlinson (Tenor Saxophone)
Colin Oxley (Guitar)
David Newton (Piano)
Dave Green (Double Bass)
Jeff Hamilton (Drums)

Jiri Stivín - Reduta Live

Jirí Stivín has been interpreting pre-Classical music on the recorder since 1975. After graduating from the cinematography department of the Prague Film Academy (FAMU), he devoted himself exclusively to music. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music as well as at the Prague Academy of Music, where he studied composition. His flute teachers were Milan Muncingler (Ars Revidiva) and Jirí Válek (Czech Philharmonic). Stivin performs music from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Baroque periods. He has recorded flute concertos (Telemann and Vivaldi on 4 CDs) and has mastered all kinds of flutes and recorders. He has also been intensely involved in jazz, composition, and in the improvisational New Music, using saxophone, clarinet, flute, recorder, and several kinds of folk pipes. As a soloist, he works with renowned musical ensembles and institutions (Virtuosi di Praga, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Slovak Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Madrigalists, Due Boemi, Suk Chamber Orchestra, Talich Quartet, etc.). He fronts his own Collegium Quodlibet and leads the jazz quartet Jirí Stivín & Co. He gives solo recitals with harpsichord, organ, or guitar, and sometimes performs with the sole aid of a tape recorder. For the last ten years, as part of the Prague Symphony Orchestra's concert subscription series, he has been giving a series of performances called 'All Manner of Flutes' and has written a large corpus of film, theatre and concert music. Jirí Stivín teaches at the Prague Conservatoire, at the annual jazz workshops in Frýdlant and is frequently involved in many other projects, including educational concerts for children. - from Stivin's website

Artist: Jirí Stivin & Co.
Album: Reduta Live
Year: 1992
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Lotos (1996)
Runtime: 74:18

1. The Blazing Ravines of Earth (Jiri Stivin) 10:59
2. Lover Man (Jimmy Davis/Roger "Ram" Ramirez/Jimmy Sherman) 13:57
3. St. Thomas (Sonny Rollins) 10:53
4. Collage (Traditional/Lidová) 11:27
5. Polka Dots and Moonbeams (Jimmy Van Heusen) 12:06
6. Sombrero Sam (Charles Lloyd) 11:34
7. Lover Man (Jimmy Davis/Roger "Ram" Ramirez/Jimmy Sherman) 3:20

Jiri Stivín (Flutes, Soprano Saxophone, Sopranino and Recorder)
Alex Dusa (Bass Guitar) - 1-6
Jiri Stivin Jr. (Drums) - 1-6
Jaroslav Sindler (Guitar) - 1-4
Zdenek Fiser (Guitar) - 4-6
Emil Viklicky (Piano) - 2-6
Rudolf Rokl (Piano) - 4
Laco Trop (Drums) - 4
Zuzana Stivinova (Vocals) - 4,7
Vladimir Zizka (Drums) - 7

Trio Ivoire - Trio Ivoire

Born in 1969 in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and raised in Mali, balafon player Aly Keita comes from a Malinké family that has been keeping to the musical tradition of the "Griots." Keita discovered jazz in the eighties and soon started to adapt his self-constructed diatonic instruments to diverse modern styles. He and his brothers also built the biggest balafon of the world. Virtuoso Keita has performed in Africa, Europe and the USA with players like Pharoah Sanders, Paco Sery and Lukas Ligeti. In 1999 he met well-known German jazz pianist Hans Lüdemann who toured West Africa in commission of the Goethe Institutes and the German Foreign Office. A jazz professor in Cologne, Lüdemann has worked with Jan Garbarek, Mark Feldman, Paul Bley and many others and released several CDs with his band Rism. The black and white keys of his piano and the wooden bars of Keita's balafon connected immediately and the first concert together became a great success. So Lüdemann prepared some new music and he and Keita decided to add Steve Argüelles as the third man in this project. An experimental musician and composer, Argüelles is an important part of the London jazz scene but also very active in France where he has been living since 1992. A rather bizarre ensemble, Trio Ivoire gives us a new transcontinental vision far beyond the stereotypes of world music.
Trio Ivoire was finally founded in Germany with the support of the WDR radio who co-produced this recording. During the studio sessions kora master Tata Dindin from Gambia came by and joined the trio on two pieces. He is best known for exploring contemporary music on the kora and for leading the Gambian electric band "Salam." The music on this CD is an original mixture of polyrhythmic textures and motivic improvisation displaying the virtues of West African tradition, American jazz, European classical and minimal music. Some tunes keep within the limits of harmonic traditions, others go into polytonality and throw a totally new light on the balafon. In turn, the African instrument adds a dark and earthy timbre to the piano. The percussionist completes the colors with his rhythmic fire and strange ideas. Trio Ivoire made its live debuts in 2000 in Abidjan upon the 30th anniversary of the Goethe Institute and in Hannover at the EXPO 2000. And that was only the beginning. - from

Artist: Trio Ivoire
Album: Trio Ivoire
Year: 1999
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Enja (2000)
Runtime: 58:11

1.  Ella est la (Hans Lüdemann) 7:09
2.  Kano (Hans Lüdemann/Jobarteh Kunda) 5:14
3.  I Ivory (Suite Africaine) (Steve Argüelles) 1:08
4.  II Malingakan (Suite Africaine) (Aly Keita) 4:09
5.  III Trio Ivoire (Suite Africaine) (Steve Argüelles/Aly Keita/Hans Lüdemann) 3:54
6.  Le signal (Hans Lüdemann) 7:46
7.  L'arrivée (Hans Lüdemann) 5:07
8.  Le mystere (Hans Lüdemann) 5:03
9.  The Touch (Hans Lüdemann) 4:13
10.  Les adieux (Hans Lüdemann) 5:50
11.  The virtual piano I (Hans Lüdemann) 3:14
12.  Le balafon blanc et noir (Hans Lüdemann) 5:24

Aly Keita (Balafon)
Hans Lüdemann (Piano, Prepared Piano, Whistling)
Steve Argüelles (Drums, Electronics)
Tata Dindin (Kora, Voice) - 2,10

Pharoah Sanders - A Prayer Before Dawn

Recorded in 1987, A Prayer Before Dawn is one of Pharoah Sanders' gentle, reflective dates. Some jazz fans may cringe at his versions of "Christmas Song" and Whitney Houston's "The Greatest Love of All," but the music displays a heartfelt spirituality as opposed to financial slickness. It is the opposite of Sanders' characteristic fire-breathing tenor of his Impulse days, but there is nobility in taking this tranquil direction; Sanders refuses to repeat himself. He demands you listen with open ears, dropping preconceived notions. For instance, unlike the adult contemporary direction taken by one-time free jazz tenor titan Gato Barbieri, this date doesn't sound like a polished commercial venture as much as a quiet, meditative one. The use of tabla, sarod, and chandrasarang adds to the session's spiritual nature. - by Al Campbell, AMG

This is a Sanders'cd I would recommend to all those who have heard of Sanders as a wild musician,shrieking through the saxophone. Here,he is in a very mellow, ,not to say soft ,mood. Religiosity or more accurately, spirituality permeates all the numbers on this cd. He reminds us of an evening service in a protestant church. Even those who are not fanatic jazz fans but like music with rythm should enjoy this cd which is definitely,one of the best this African-American Griot has produced. - by A Customer,

Artist: Pharoah Sanders
Album: A Prayer Before Dawn
Year: 1987
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Evidence (1993)
Total time: 56:00

1.  The Light At The Edge Of The World (Piero Piccioni) 5:11
2.  Dedication To James W. Clark (Pharoah Sanders) 5:18
3.  Softly For Shyla (William Henderson) 5:22
4.  The Greatest Love Of All (Linda Creed/Michael Masser) 8:27
5.  Midnight At Yoshi's (Pharoah Sanders) 5:57
6.  Living Space (John Coltrane) 4:35
7.  After The Rain (John Coltrane) 6:37
8.  In Your Own Sweet Way (Dave Brubeck) 7:09
9.  Christmas Song (Mel Tormé/Robert Wells) 7:24

Pharoah Sanders (Tenor Saxophone)
William Henderson (Piano and Synthesizer)
John Hicks (Piano) - 7
Brian McLaughlin (Tabla) - 5
Lynn Tausig (Sarod and Chandrasarang) - 5
Alvin Queen (Drums) - 5

Suns of Arqa - Shabda

Since 1979, Suns of Arqa have materialised as a musical collective, combining the ancient Hindustani raga systems with Piobaireachd and Nyabinghi roots drumming. They appear intermittently at the seasonal festivals and sacred ritual spaces, where they are a vehicle for the positive raising of vibration, connecting with both the sensory and infinite worlds, for the ongoing evolution of all sentient beings...
Shabda a superb album featuring the 1995 Suns of Arqa lineup - Johar Ali from New Delhi on violin, John Snelson on highland bagpipes, Sticksman on drums, tabla maestros Kalu and Sandeep, Wayne Worm on bass, Country Rankin, Angel -Eye and Wadada on vocals, and special guest Dhrupad musicians Reba and Sumit, amongst others. This is the some of the most interesting dub/world/raga/reggae/dance music in the world. - from

Artist: Suns of Arqa
Album: Shabda
Year: 1996
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Arka Sound (1999)
Runtime: 79:15

1.  Tomorrow Never Knows (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) 3:44
2.  There Is No Danger Here (Wadada/Johar Ali) 7:33
3.  Bhairavi Alap (Johar Ali) 2:05
4.  Through The Gate We Go (Angel/Wadada/Johar Ali) 11:01
5.  Bhairavi Live (Dhevdas Nair/John Snelson/ Wadada/SticksWayne Worm) 3:26
6.  Pure Reality (Country Rankin/Angel/Wadada/Sticks/Wayne Worm) 12:03
7.  The Greatest Invocation (Alice Bailey/Johar Ali/Turner) 5:12
8.  Basant Alap (Reba Bhaduri) 4:34
9.  Basant Dhrupad (Reba Bhaduri) 7:02
10.  Beyond The Beyond (Dion Fortune/Wadada/Johar Ali) 5:18
11.  The Great Unique (Wadada/John Snelson) 3:45
12.  Waterloo (John Snelson/Sticks) 3:24
13.  Fire Of Life (Wadada/Johar Ali/Turner) 6:41
14.  Hear The Call (Angel/Johar Ali) 3:23

Wadada (Bass Guitar, Sitar, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals)
Johar Ali (Violin)
John Snelson (Highland Bagpipes, Bombard)
Doctor Q (Hurdy Gurdy)
Gabri Armi (Didgeridoo)
Dhevdhas Nair (Santoor)
Sticks (Drums)
Sumit Bhaduri (Pakhawaj)
Strirangam S. Kannan (Morsing)
Kwasi Asante (Repeater Drum)
Kalu Zeria (Tabla)
Angel (Vocal, Tanpura) - 2,4,6-8,10,11,13,14
Rick the Switch (Guitar, Keyboards) - 7,13
Wayne Worm (Bass Guitar) - 5,6,9
Roly (Bass Guitar) - 5
Sandeep Popatkar (Tabla) - 5
Reba Bhaduri (Vocals, Tanpura) - 8,9
Country Rankin (Vocals) - 6

The Mel Lewis Tapes

Just a quick one to keep you occupied while I'm gone for awhile...

John Riley informed me yesterday that the infamous Mel Lewis radio interview series from the late 80s has now been archived on the PAS website here:

I've had a bootleg copy of these for a few years now and found them to be an exhaustive and very informative series of lessons in regards to the history of Jazz drumming. It takes time, but listening to these interviews with Mel is a MUST for any serious student of the music and of Jazz drumming. Mel's first hand knowledge of the drummers he discusses and his ability to articulate their contributions makes these a great resource. I especially dig the episodes where he deals with one of his prime influences, Tiny Kahn. Check it out. John also told me that these interviews have also been transcribed so I wonder if a published book might be in the works (?)

Toufic Farroukh - Little Secrets

The saxophone player and composer Toufic Farroukh has chosen jazz as his favourite idiom - a jazz with the colours of the Orient, to reflect his career as an artist with his roots in two cultures, and one who is open to all the different forms of artistic expression in contemporary society, particularly dance, theatre and the cinema. A saxophonist since an early age, Toufic studied music at the Ecole Normale Supérieur in Paris, and today he collaborates regularly as a composer with the department of modern dance at the Paris Conservatory (CNR). Although resident in Paris, he keeps a watchful eye on everything happening on the cultural scene in the Lebanon. Toufic has also composed the music for several films and documentaries about his homeland, and has appeared as saxophonist on several albums of well -known artists. For his own albums, he leaves all theoretical dogma aside, assuming instead the various influences at work in his life, and from there going on to create in a strikingly tranquil manner his own utterly authentic universe. - from

Artist: Toufic Farroukh
Album: Little Secrets
Year: 1998
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Auvidis
Total time: 51:26

1.  Dance for my Father 5:31 
2.  What of It(intro) 0:33 
3.  What of It 4:11 
4.  Short Story 0:44 
5.  Paco's Mood 5:10 
6.  Ali au Pays des Merveilles 3:06 
7.  Maissa's Look 1:16 
8.  Daily Life 3:51 
9.  St Elias 4:24 
10.  Fayrouz Blues 3:37 
11.  Green Orange 4:12 
12.  Sugar Dissolvent 5:14 
13.  Don't Worry Baby 4:57 
14.  Take One for Radwan 1:50 
15.  Long Short Story 2:42 
All compositions by T. Farroukh

Toufic Farroukh (Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Percussion and Bouzouki) - 1,3,5-15
Charbel Rouhana (Oud) - 1,5,6,9-12
Bassam Saba (Nay, Flute) - 1,3,6,10,12,13
Etienne Brachet (Drums) - 1,3,5-13,15
Jean Wellers (Double Bass and Acoustic Guitar) - 1,3,5-13,15
Daniel Casimir (Trombone) - 1,5,8,9,11
Serge Adam (Trumpet and Flugelhorn) - 1,5,8,9,11,12
Cécile Daroux (Flute) - 1,3,5,9-13
Vincent Limousin (Vibraphone) - 1,5,9-11,15
Sidney Thiam (Percussion) - 1,5,6,9
Adel Chamss (Percussion) - 1,3,5,6,12
David Venitucci (Accordion) - 2,3,5,8,10,15
Leandro Acouncha (Piano) - 3-5,7-10,12,13,15
Jean-Jacques Sage (Percussion) - 10
Frederic Deville (Cello) - 13

Intermission Riff

Gone to New York City. Full report once I return home next week.

Enrico Pieranunzi Rosario Giuliani Amsterdam 2011

Enrico Pieranunzi & Rosario Giuliani
vpro jazz live weekend bimhuis
amsterdam the netherlands 12.mar 2011


Enrico Pieranunzi - p
Rosario Giuliani - as


01. unknown title 07:17
02. midday moon (pieranunzi) 09:02
03. from e to c (pieranunzi) 08:57
04. announcement enrico pieranunzi 00:57
05. more than ever (giulliani) 06:35
06. announcement enrico pieranunzi 00:36
07. blue waltz (pieranunzi) 08:27
08. dream house (giuliani) 09:27
09. announcement rosario giuliani 00:46
10. the point at issue (pieranunzi) 06:16

Bitrate 320 CBR

Quincy Jones - Big Band Bossa Nova

This record his become much more than just a soundtrack. As pursuit7 already stated it is a symbol of a lifestyle and an era. It might be cooler than any music you have heard. How many records can be played in the trendiest Lounge bars and most conservative country clubs at the same time? at lest we have one here. Soul Bossa Nova takes a special position mostly because it has been used in so many occasion everybody recognises it, it is to say the pop-music from this record, but this track is definately not the (only) reason to buy BBBN. So this all means that how good or bad it is is almost irrelevant since it is sort of a reference itself. A must have. - by Nine-Oh-Nine Tommy,

A byproduct of the bossa nova fad that followed the success of "Desafinado" (and preceded the famous recording Getz/Gilberto), this set finds Quincy Jones utilizing and exploiting bossa nova rhythms in his arrangements for a big band. The personnel includes flügelhornist Clark Terry, altoist Phil Woods, pianist Lalo Schifrin, guitarist Jim Hall, and (on "Soul Bossa Nova") the remarkable Rahsaan Roland Kirk. However, since the selections are all quite brief, and some of the charts are a bit cheesy and inappropriate for the gentle rhythms, this disc (although pleasant enough) is of lesser interest. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Quincy Jones
Album: Big Band Bossa Nova
Year: 1962
Quality: Easy CD-DA flac files, log, artw.
Label: Verve (24bit remastered, 1998)
Runtime: 35:39

1.  Soul Bossa Nova (Quincy Jones) 2:47
2.  Boogie Stop Shuffle (Issued As 'Boogie Bossa Nova') (Charles Mingus) 2:44
3.  Desafinado (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Newton Mendonca) 2:57
4.  Mahna de Carnaval (Luiz Bonfa) 2:57
5.  Se E Tarde Me Pardoa (Forgive Me If I'm Late) (Carlos Eduardo Lyra/Ronaldo Boscoli) 4:25
6.  On The Street Where You Live (Frederick Loewe/Alan Jay Lerner) 2:36
7.  One Note Samba (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 2:04
8.  Lalo Bossa Nova (Lalo Schifrin) 3:13
9.  Serenata (Leroy Anderson)  3:21
10.  Chega De Saudade (No More Blues) (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes) 5:39
11.  A Taste Of Honey (Ric Marlow/William R. Scott) 2:56

Quincy Jones (Arrenger, Conductor)
Jerome Richardson (Flutes and Woodwinds)
Lalo Schifrin (Piano)
Chris White (Double Bass)
Rudy Collins (Drums)
Jack Del Rio (Percussion)
Carlos Gomez (Percussion)
Jose Paula (Percussion)
Roland Kirk (Flute) - 1
Paul Gonsalves (Tenor Saxophone) - 2,4,7
Clark Terry (Trumpet and Flugelhorn) - 2,10
Jim Hall (Guitar) - 3,8-10
Phil Woods (Alto Saxophone) - 6,8,9

Matt Wilson with The Jazz Video Guy

Many who know me well already know that one of my inspirations for this blog comes from the work that Bret "The Jazz Video Guy" Primack has done with with his features that he posts regularly to Youtube. I'm also a big fan of drummer Matt Wilson and was very fortunate to study with Matt during a study project sponsored by the Canada Council for The Arts in 2004. So I was quite excited to see that Bret recently released an inspiring episode featuring drummer Matt Wilson. Matt is always a chalk full of inspiration and words of musical wisdom. Check this out:

Matt is a dynamic voice in the Jazz drumming world today. His playing embodies a spirit that, I think, we should all strive for as contemporary Jazz artists.

A quote by Winston Churchill, I think, sums up perfectly what a musician like Matt Wilson represents:

"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.”

*Thanks to DJD visionary Vicki Adams Willis who showed me that one...

Matt is always looking forward and as far as he's concerned there is no "box" however the depth of his playing also demonstrates a real reverence, knowledge and respect for all the things that make Jazz music what it is.

Anyways, here's a few ones of Matt Wilson in action with an all-star cast from a European performance (where he demonstrates those qualities so eloquently):

Antonio Carlos Jobim - The Girl from Ipanema

It has been said that Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim was the George Gershwin of Brazil, and there is a solid ring of truth in that, for both contributed large bodies of songs to the jazz repertoire, both expanded their reach into the concert hall, and both tend to symbolize their countries in the eyes of the rest of the world. With their gracefully urbane, sensuously aching melodies and harmonies, Jobim's songs gave jazz musicians in the 1960s a quiet, strikingly original alternative to their traditional Tin Pan Alley source.
Jobim's roots were always planted firmly in jazz; the records of Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Barney Kessel, and other West Coast jazz musicians made an enormous impact upon him in the 1950s. But he also claimed that the French impressionist composer Claude Debussy had a decisive influence upon his harmonies, and the Brazilian samba gave his music a uniquely exotic rhythmic underpinning. As a pianist, he usually kept things simple and melodically to the point with a touch that reminds some of Claude Thornhill, but some of his records show that he could also stretch out when given room. His guitar was limited mostly to gentle strumming of the syncopated rhythms, and he sang in a modest, slightly hoarse yet often hauntingly emotional manner.
Born in the Tijuca neighborhood of Rio, Jobim originally was headed for a career as an architect. Yet by the time he turned 20, the lure of music was too powerful, and so he started playing piano in nightclubs and working in recording studios. He made his first record in 1954 backing singer Bill Farr as the leader of "Tom and His Band" (Tom was Jobim's lifelong nickname), and he first found fame in 1956 when he teamed up with poet Vinícius de Moraes to provide part of the score for a play called Orfeo do Carnaval (later made into the famous film Black Orpheus). In 1958, the then-unknown Brazilian singer João Gilberto recorded some of Jobim's songs, which had the effect of launching the phenomenon known as bossa nova. Jobim's breakthrough outside Brazil occurred in 1962 when Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd scored a surprise hit with his tune "Desafinado" -- and later that year, he and several other Brazilian musicians were invited to participate in a Carnegie Hall showcase. Fueled by Jobim's songs, the bossa nova became an international fad, and jazz musicians jumped on the bandwagon, recording album after album of bossa novas until the trend ran out of commercial steam in the late '60s.
Jobim himself preferred the recording studios to touring, making several lovely albums of his music as a pianist, guitarist, and singer for Verve, Warner Bros., Discovery, A&M, CTI, and MCA in the '60s and '70s, and Verve again in the last decade of his life. Early on, he started collaborating with arranger/conductor Claus Ogerman, whose subtle, caressing, occasionally moody charts gave his records a haunting ambience. When Brazilian music was in its American eclipse after the '60s, a victim of overexposure and the burgeoning rock revolution, Jobim retreated more into the background, concentrating much energy upon film and TV scores in Brazil. But by 1985, as the idea of world music and a second Brazilian wave gathered steam, Jobim started touring again with a group containing his second wife Ana Lontra, his son Paulo, daughter Elizabeth, and various musician friends. At the time of his final concerts in Brazil in September 1993 and at Carnegie Hall in April 1994 (both available on Verve), Jobim at last was receiving the universal recognition he deserved, and a plethora of tribute albums and concerts followed in the wake of his sudden death in New York City of heart failure. Jobim's reputation as one of the great songwriters of the century is now secure, nowhere more so than on the jazz scene, where every other set seems to contain at least one bossa nova. - by Richard S. Ginell, AMG

Artist: Antonio Carlos Jobim
Album: The Girl from Ipanema (A Retrospective of AC Jobim)
Year: 1967-70
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: A&M (1996)
Runtime: 66:06

1.  The Girl From Ipanema 4:46 
2.  Look To The Sky 2:18 
3.  Antigua 3:08 
4.  Tema Jazz 4:35 
5.  Caribe 2:44 
6.  The Red Blouse 5:02 
7.  Lamento 2:41 
8.  Carinhoso 2:48 
9.  Takatanga 4:32 
10.  Batidinha 3:12 
11.  Tide 3:44 
12.  Rockanalia 4:45 
13.  Mojave 2:21 
14.  Triste 2:03 
15.  Sue Ann 3:05 
16.  Captain Bacardi 4:29 
17.  Diálogo 2:51 
18.  Wave 2:53 
19.  Remember 3:58 
All compositions - by Antonio Carlos Jobim

Paul Horn - A Special Edition

"The music in these album is special for me because it was recorded live. I have recorded live performances at concerts before but never at a club. This was the end of a concert tour for us and we had settled down to on week engagement in Gastown, Vancouver, B.C. These recordings were taken from the last two nights and we were ready for them - what a relief not moving to a different town each night after having traveled all day to face different acoustical situations.
We were rested and totally familiar and comfortable with the sound of the club. The place was packed every night with warm and enthusiastic audiences which inspered us. You know, audiences are an integral part of a performance. For music to really happen there must be a communication not only among members of the band but between the band and the auidence..." - by Paul Horn

Artist: Paul Horn
Album: A Special Edition
Year: 1976
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Black Sun (1989)
Runtime: 72:47


1.  Prelude (Paul Horn) 3:40
2.  Freedom Jazz Dance (Eddie Harris) 4:23
3.  Summertime (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) 8:29
4.  Tribute To Jobim (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 5:16
5.  Just Because We're Kids (Dr. Seuss/Frederick Hollander) 4:09
6.  Willow Weep For Me (Ann Ronell) 5:43
7.  Rain (Lynn Blessing) 5:35
8.  Dusk (Paul Horn) 18:59
9.  Dawn (Paul Horn) 8:46
10.  Forms (Paul Horn) 7:42

Paul Horn (Flutes, Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Electric Piano)
Lynn Blessing (Vibraphone)
Art Johnson (Electric Guitar)
Dave Parlato (Bass Guitar)
Bart Hall (Drums)

Donald Byrd & Kenny Burrell - All Night Long

Two of guitarist Kenny Burrell's best sessions from the 1950s were this release and its companion, All Day Long. Burrell is teamed with an impressive group of young all-stars, including trumpeter Donald Byrd, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, Jerome Richardson on flute and tenor, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor. In addition to the lengthy "All Night Long" and three group originals (two by Mobley and one from Waldron), the original LP program has been augmented by a medley of "Body and Soul" and "Tune Up" from the same session. Jam sessions such as this one are only as good as the solos; fortunately, all of the musicians sound quite inspired, making this an easily recommended set. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

A dynamite album all around, recorded a week after its companion disc All Day Long, with a different personnel. The title track opens the CD - it's a blues with an 8-bar bridge and sails on at medium-up tempo for over 17 minutes. Everybody gets in on the proceedings: Jerome Richardson is on flute and tenor (his only appearance on tenor on the date), and the tune goes out with characteristic 4-bar exchanges. Two minor-keyed tunes by Hank Mobley (Boo-Lu and Lil' Hank) are handled nicely, both of them taken up, and Byrd's muted solo on Boo-Lu is particularly fine. Two bonus tracks appear, Miles's Tune Up and a slow, introspective version of Body and Soul. There's not a dull moment on this outing; I even find it a tad better than All Day Long, but both albums are near perfect.- by Bomojaz,

Artist: Donald Byrd & Kenny Burrell
Album: All Night Long
Year: 1956
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: OJC (1990)
Runtime:: 54:34

1.  All Night Long (Kenny Burrell) 17:12
2.  Boo-Lu (Hank Mobley) 6:48
3.  Flickers (Mal Waldron) 6:13
4.  Li'l Hankie (Hank Mobley) 8:23
5.  Body And Soul (Edward Heyman/Frank Eyton/Johnny Green/Robert Sour) 10:22
6.  Tune Up (Miles Davis) 5:36

Donald Byrd (Trumpet)
Kenny Burrell (Guitar)
Jerome Richardson (Flute and Tenor Saxophone)
Hank Mobley (Tenor Saxophone)
Mal Waldron (Piano)
Doug Watkins (Double Bass)
Art Taylor (Drums)

Nasheet Waits

Today's post features some nice playing from Nasheet Waits, a great drummer (like his father!) whom I'm looking forward to hearing at the Village Vanguard next week with Dave Douglas' Brass Ecstasy band:

Here's Nasheet in action with the DD Brass Ecstasy from an edition of the NPR Tiny Desk concert series:

Mari Boine - Eight Seasons

Eight Seasons is Mari Boine's first effort for the Minneapolis-based Scandinavian music label Northside. The album was issued in conjunction with Remixed, which features notables like Jah Wobble and Bill Laswell interpreting her work. Boine seems to have been inspired, collaborating with producer Bugge Wesseltoft for a collection of pieces weaving her alternately supple and intimate, angry and otherworldly vocals into moody arrangements tinged with jazz influence and electronic programming. It's been a cliché or a curse of the so-called world music community ever since the days of Deep Forest, but capable people can still integrate traditional melodies and voices with modern electronics for a seamless and relentlessly interesting sound. That's mostly what happens on Eight Seasons. Here, Boine's drifts between languages, using both traditional vocalizing techniques as well as modern singing in an effortless, captivating dance. She wavers in a cappella like the fingers of a chilly wind over the expanse of "Mu Váibmu Vádjul Doppe," before a quiet acoustic guitar joins in; while Boine's vocals are of an entirely different tradition, there's a commonality of strident emotion between she and someone like Sinéad O'Connor. Initially, "Boadan Nuppi Bealde" is one of the more straightforwardly down-tempo affairs here, as Boine's vocals share time, far-away keyboards, and the throbbing bass groove typical of chill compilations everywhere. But when Jan Garbarek's sax joins in, and her vocals become something wordless and amazing, the track has settled in a land unknown to most. "Guovssahasaid Ájagáttis" and "Sáráhka Viina" balance voice and accompaniment perfectly, each element contributing equally to the overall energy that permeates Eight Seasons. It's in the background, or in the darkness, or around a bend. But it's there, the warmth, in every wandering electronic program or expressive vocal trill from Boine, a sliver of flame on the grassland's horizon, snaking into the sky. After the soaring vocal and subtle, almost bluesy grooves of "Duottar Rássi," the nearly eight-minute "Silba Várjala" feels like the emotional heart of Seasons, its most penetrating gaze. It begins with what sounds like a looped field recording, yelping dogs, and footsteps. Boine's voice, filtered at first behind the halting notes of a guitar, builds in strength over the brooding electronic rhythm, until her Joik overtakes the electronics completely, becoming fully responsible for the song's deep, chilly atmosphere. Let's see a keyboard's hard drive do that. - by Johnny Loftus, AMG

Artist: Mari Boine
Album: Eight Seasons
Year: 2001
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Universal
Runtime: 63:13

1.  I Come From The Other Side (Mari Boine/Svein Schultz) 5:37
2.  Song For The Unborn (Mari Boine/Roger Ludvigsen/Inga R. Eira) 6:33
3.  Sárákha's Wine (Mari Boine/Roger Ludvigsen/Risten Sokki) 4:40
4.  By The Source Of Aurora B (Mari Boine/Roger Ludvigsen/Risten Sokki) 6:02
5.  Soul Medicine (Age Anthi/Nils Viktor Holmberg) 5:06
6.  Hymn (Traditional) 4:23
7.  Butterfly (Mari Boine/Roger Ludvigsen/Merle Collins) 4:21
8.  In A Blanket Of Warmth (Mari Boine/Kirsti Paltto) 5:46
9.  You Never Know (Mari Boine/Synnove Persen) 4:40
10. Tundra Flower (Mari Boine/Roger Ludvigsen/Nils Johan Heatta) 4:32
11.  Let Silver Protect (Mari Boine/Roger Ludvigsen/Kirsti Paltto) 7:55
12.  Give Me A Break (Mari Boine) 3:33

Mari Boine (Vocals)
Bugge Wesseltoft (Synthesizer, Programming, Percussion) - 1,4,5,7,8,11
Svein Schultz (Bass Guitar) - 1,2,4,5,8,9,11
Roger Ludvigsen (Guitar, Loops) - 1-11
Kenneth Ekornes (Drums, Percussion, Sounds) - 1-5,8-11
Richard Thomas (Soprano Saxophone, Flute) - 4,5,9
Carlos Z. Quispe (Flute, Charango) - 2,4,5,7,8,10-12
Jan Garbarek (Tenor Saxophone) - 1

Metheny & Moses in Montreal

I thought this was an interesting piece for not only who's playing (Pat Metheny with Steve Swallow and Bob Moses) but where it was filmed:

This footage was taken in 1988 at the now defunct Montreal Jazz club L'Air du Temps. I have many fond memories of that club and of making late night treks through the snowy streets of Old Montreal to catch many memorable shows. I first moved to Montreal during the mid-1990s and by that time the club was only active on a part-time basis but I still managed to experience a lot of great music there nonetheless (hearing drummers such as Jim Black, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Ignacio Berroa and local fixtures such as Dave Laing, Andre White and Pierre Tanguay). My last memory of being in that room was actually playing an extended run there with bassist Brian Hurley's band with Allan McLean on tenor saxophone and Paul Shrofel on piano about ten years ago.

At one point, I recall someone actually purchasing the building with the intention of returning it to its former glory but from what I heard, one thing led to another and I understand that it's now a boutique, Starbucks-like coffee shop/beanery...

Tony Williams

I was thinking back the other day to the time I first saw Tony Williams give a drum clinic at the 1993 IAJE conference in San Antonio, Texas. This is pretty much what he looked and sounded like:

Those big yellow drums (with multiple floor toms all arranged in a pod and with those big black dots gracing all his drum heads) sure caught my attention at the time. And, of the course, his playing exhibited a force of nature, power and sense of urgency that one could easily go one's entire whole life without experiencing. I feel very fortunate that I was privileged enough to witness that as a teenager...

Jimmy Forrest - Night Train

Jimmy Forrest had a tremendous hit in 1951 with "Night Train," a simple blues riff he lifted from Duke Ellington's "Happy Go Lucky Local." Although the tenorman was not able to duplicate that song's appeal with any other recording, he was a popular performer in the R&B circuit throughout the 1950s. Virtually all of his records from the era (originally made for the United label) are on this CD reissue, including five selections not previously released. The tough-toned Forrest was not really a screamer or a honker, and the 17 numbers on the set should be of interest both to early R&B and jazz collectors. Recorded in Chicago, Forrest fronts a rhythm section that includes either Charles Fox or Bunky Parker on piano and sometimes trumpeter Chauncey Locke or trombonist Bert Dabney. The music is very enjoyable and highly recommended. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Jimmy Forrest
Album: Night Train
Year: 1953
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Delmark (1990)
Runtime: 49:10

1.  Night Train (Jimmy Forrest) 2:59
2.  Calling Dr. Jazz (Eddie Davis) 3:05
3.  Sophisticated Lady (Duke Ellington) 2:41
4.  Swingin' and Rockin' (Jimmy Forrest) 2:37
5.  Bolo Blues (Jimmy Forrest) 3:16
6.  Mister Goodbeat (Marion Charles Miller) 2:43
7.  Flight 3-D (Jimmy Forrest) 3:11
8.  Hey Mrs. Jones (Marion Charles Miller) 2:57
9.  My Buddy (Walter Donaldson/Gus Kahn) 3:11
10.  Song of the Wanderer (Neil Moret) 2:15
11.  Blue Groove (Nat Adderley) 3:11
12.  Big Dip (Jimmy Forrest) 2:46
13.  Begin the Beguine (Cole Porter) 2:58
14.  There Will Never Be Another You (Harry Warren) 3:09
15.  Coach 13 (Jimmy Forrest) 2:24
16.  Dig Those Feet (Jimmy Forrest) 2:49
17.  Mrs. Jones' Daughter (Jimmy Forrest) 2:51

Jimmy Forrest (Tenor Saxophone)
Chauncey Locke (Trumpet)
Bart Dabney (Trombone)
Bunky Parker (Piano)
Charles Fox (Piano)
Johnny Mixon (Double Bass)
Oscar Oldham (Drums)
Percy James (Conga and Bongos)
Bob Reagen (Conga and Bongos)

Elek Bacsik - Guitar Conceptions

Hungarian guitarist Elek Bacsik is a cousin of Django Reinhardt, and has continued his tradition of blending swing and gypsy elements into a coherent, expressive jazz mode. Bacisk initially studied classical violin and played gypsy songs in Budapest, then switched to jazz guitar. As a teen, he recorded in a band with alto saxophonist Geza Szabo and trumpeter Jozsef Quitter, then later toured Europe with Mihaly Tabanyi's band. Bacsik moved to Paris in 1959, and through the early and mid-'60s recorded and played with visiting American musicians, among them Art Simmons, Quentin Jackson, Lou Bennett and Dizzy Gillespie. He also did sessions heading his own bands. Bacsik came to America in 1966, and worked from 1967-1974 with Teresa Brewer before cutting his own sessions. He appeared at the 1974 Newport Jazz Festival and 1984 Olympic Games Jazz Festival in Los Angeles. - by Ron Wynn, AMG

Artist: Elek Bacsik
Album: Guitar Conceptions
Year: 1963
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Universal (2010)
Runtime: 40:27

1.  Conception (George Shering) 3:17
2.  Tenderly (Jack Lawrence/Walter Gross) 3:48
3.  Work Song (Nat Adderley) 3:31
4.  Over the Rainbow (Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg) 2:28
5.  Loin du Brésil (Jacques Chaumelle/Valto Latinen) 3:37
6.  La saison des pluies (Serge Gainsburg/Elek Bacsik) 3:58
7.  Three to Get Ready (Dave Brubeck) 2:00
8.  The Midnight Sun Will Never Set (Henri Salvador/Quincy Jones) 3:23
9.  Gemini (Jimmy Heath) 4:08
10.  So What (Miles Davis) 3:54
11.  Goodbye (Gordon Jenkins) 3:57
12.  Room 608 (Horace Silver) 2:21

Elek Bacsik (Guitar)
Guy Pedersen (Double Bass)
Daniel Humair (Drums)
Maurice Vander (Organ) - 2,6,9
Pepito Riestra (Percussion) - 5

Brian Blade with Edward Simon Trio

Some fine playing from Brian Blade here today with pianist Edward Simon and bassist John Patitucci from a recent hit at the Jazz Standard:

I really appreciate the close up "drum" video angles to this footage. It's a great opportunity to see the great finesse and nuance with which Blade plays the drums.

This particular trio also has several albums to its credit including "Poesia" and "Unicity" which are both worth listening to.

The energy and musicality that Blade brings to the music is, as always, inspiring.


For all you Jack DeJohnette fans out there, here's a short interview in which Jack talks about his choice in cymbals:

Ryuichi Sakamoto - BTTB

In a departure from his more electronically amplified works, composer and pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto's BTTB stands as a sometimes contemplative, a periodically nostalgic, and an often new age-sounding acoustic piano album. At the time that Sakamoto began composing for BTTB, he thought that a CD of piano music felt right, though he was not sure of what kind of styles he wanted to play around with. Instead of settling on one or two styles, the renowned pianist and composer experimented with several. For instance, on BTTB, Sakamoto delves into avant-garde piano techniques, playing a prepared piano on the gently circular "Prelude" and "Uetax." With his song "Bachata," Sakamoto interprets folkloric music from the Dominican Republic. Sakamoto's two choral-inspired pieces, "Choral No. 1" and "Choral No. 2," were born out of his fascination with Bach's "St. Mathew Passion" and medieval-esque Gregorian chants. On BTTB, Sakamoto also plays with a variety of themes. On the CD's first two tracks, "Energy Flow" and "Put Your Hands Up - Piano Version," Sakamoto is concerned with issues of healing and therapy. With "Railroad Man," the CD's third track, the pianist and composer attempts to depict the ambience of steam locomotives. All in all, BTTB is a mellifluous CD that highlights Sakamoto's heartfelt dedication to the piano and fascination with various musical traditions. - by John Vallier, AMG

It's somewhat difficult to describe the impression "BTTB" made when I first listened to the album nearly two years ago, but in the very least I can say this: it was, at the time, my single inspiration for learning the piano and proved an accessible gateway into the music of Romantic and Contemporary Classical. For this reason alone I'm deeply indebted to Sakamoto. Yet rather than persuade with articulated opinions....
"BTTB" is nearly a tribute album to Sakamoto's classical influences. Erik Satie, perhaps the single most influential composer on Sakamoto's piano style, can be heard all over the album. Most noticeably on the very French-like "Opus," "Lorenz and Watson," "Chanson," and the nearly Bach-like Chorales. John Cage is also emulated more conspicuously on the album's prepared piano pieces (particularly "Sonata," which sounds very much like Cage's fifth sonata for prepared piano which, as coincidence would also have it, was sampled on David Sylvian's "Pollen Path" from "Dead Bees on a Cake" featuring Sakamoto). But two Romantic composers seem to be more carefully hinted at: a tilt of the hat to Brahms on the beautiful "Intermezzo" and towards Ravel on the challenging "Sonatine" and "Bachata." Yet Sakamoto draws no more heavily from his classical influences than his own output. "Energy Flow," "Put Your Hands Up," and "Railroad Man" are new piano arrangements of recent commercial compositions and are all uniquely Sakamoto, except perhaps for "Aqua," a simple piece originally composed for his daughter Miu's album, but no less beautiful than the more sophisticated compositions. "Snake Eyes," the main theme for the film of the same title, was also recorded as bonus material along with the playful YMO fanfare "Tong Poo," here in a new two-handed piano four-hands arrangement courtesy of a little computer processing. And the too often over-looked "Reversing," a unique track to the otherwise castrated international release, is in my opinion a hidden gym. It's also worth mentioning a little more clearly the differences between the numerous versions of "BTTB." The album was originally released in Japan sans "Energy Flow," "Put Your Hands Up," and "Railroad Man" (which were released separately on the enormously successful EP "ura-BTTB") and featured several tracks not included on the international release: "Distant Echo," "Do Bacteria Sleep?", which features, oddly enough for a piano album, a Mongolian mouth harp, and the prepared piano piece "Sonata." "Snake Eyes" and "Tong Poo" were later included as bonus tracks on the Japanese reissue. For fans of Sakamoto's music, I would recommend buying the import "BTTB" featuring the bonus tracks along with "Ura-BTTB," but you very well might want the international release for "Reversing" alone. Yes, that is how they get you.... Oh, and "Choral No. 3" can be heard in Sakamoto's opera, so I also recommend any of the many, many releases of "Life." Otherwise, the international release provides a decent "best of" from the wealth of piano music either originally composed or arranged for the album. - by A. Rue,

Artist: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Album: BTTB
Year: 1999
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Sony Classical
Runtime: 64:50

1.  Opus 4:25 
2.  Sonatine 3:38 
3.  Intermezzo 3:44 
4.  Lorenz and Watson 3:56 
5.  Choral No1 2:27 
6.  Choral No2 2:04 
7.  Do Bacteria Sleep? 4:17 
8.  Bachata 8:14 
9.  Chanson 2:23 
10.  Distant Echo 5:53 
11.  Prelude 4:08 
12.  Sonata 3:30 
13.  Uetax 0:26 
14.  Aqua 4:28 
15.  Snake Eyes 6:06 
16.  Tong Poo 5:03 
All compositions by R. Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)

Tain' - Vodeville

A nice but all too brief clip of Jeff Tain Watts dishing out like he does as no one else does on his original tune entitled "Vodeville":

Archie Shepp - Yasmina, A Black Woman

Archie Shepp is in the running as one of my favorite jazz recording artists, due to his creative control and his strong easily discernable political message, not to mention his deeply emotive and not-yet-successfully-emulated tone. It's very easy to get what's left in print of Shepp's Impulse catalogue and call it a day, and although not all of his efforts on other labels are necessities, this is. These obscure French sessions feature some of the very best Shepp has ever played with, a bold statement considering previous company like Ron Carter, Roy Haynes, Reggie Workman, Cedar Walton, Woody Shaw, Marion Brow, Grachan Moncur, and his other impulse fellows. For example the first track features Phillie Joe Jones on set, Arthur Taylor on Rhythm Logs, and Sunny Murray on African Percussion. Three of the best drummers of the era are all playing at once. Needless to say it's a monster of a groove, with a proto-hip hop baseline, and some avant-funky soloing from Shepp who blasts into the song just befor the 4 minute mark with a tone that sounds like its electrically distorted, but it's all acoustic here, no worries. Some of the sections where the band drops out leaving Archie with just the rhythm section sound about 20 years ahead of their time in funkiness, just listen at 9:50. Dave Burrell also does some killer piano work. I have yet to hear improvisation from Shepp this crazy, intense, funky, and varied anywhere else. The second track is a wonderfully unique occurrence. Shepp has what amounts to a Sonny Rollins style piano-less blues duel with hard bop giant Hank Mobley. You will never hear this meeting anywhere else, and while this 14 minute blues out is less varied than the first track, at his heart, Shepp says he's a bluesman and it shows here. The composition incidentally is one of Grachan Moncur's first, making its first appearance on record here. Phillie is still on set here, and this track could easily be issued under his name too, absolutely insane drumming. The last track on the first LP reissued here is a great and highly emotive reading of Body and Soul by Shepp, and this track really rounds out the album with a bit of Shepp's Ben Webster balladry, making these three tracks a great summation of Shepp's best skills- afro percussive jazz and funk, expressionist blues, and new twists on old standards/ballads. At this price I can fully recommend this disc for the first LP alone, as Yasmina a Black Woman is an absolute 5 star album from Shepp. - by Gerrit R. Hatcher,

There is some intriguing music on this Affinity recording. Tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp met up with members of the Chicago avant-garde school for the first time, including Art Ensemble of Chicago members Lester Bowie, Roscoe Mitchell and Malachi Favors, on the lengthy "Yasmina," a track that also includes drummers Philly Joe Jones, Art Taylor and Sunny Murray. On "Sonny's Back," there is an unlikely tenor tradeoff between Shepp and Hank Mobley, while "Body and Soul" gives Shepp a showcase opportunity. Although this set is not essential, it is unique enough to be recommended to avant-garde collectors. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Archie Shepp
Album: Yasmina, A Black Woman
Year: 1969
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Charly (1995)
Runtime: 40:43

1.  Yasmina, A Black Woman (Archie Shepp) 20:12
2.  Sonny's Back (Grachan Moncur III) 14:07
3.  Body and Soul (Frank Eyton/Johnny Green/Edward Heyman/Robert Sour) 6:23

Archie Shepp (Tenor Saxophone, Vocals)
Dave Burrell (Piano)
Malachi Favors (Double Bass)
Philly Joe Jones (Drums)
Clifford Thornton (Clarinet) - 1
Lester Bowie (Trumpet) - 1
Arthur Jones (Alto Saxophone) - 1
Roscoe Mitchell (Bass Saxophone) - 1
Earl Freeman (Double Bass) - 1
Sunny Murray (Drums and Percussion) - 1
Art Taylor (Rhythm Logs) - 1
Laurence Devereaux (Balafon) - 1
Hank Mobley (Tenor Saxophone) - 2

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Hello everyone. Hope you enjoyed your weekend. It's been busy around here with lots of things on the go these days:

-I am currently playing with the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks company in their recent production of WILDS, running at Calgary's Grand Theatre until March 20th. Our first few shows went very well and the reception so far has been very positive. I'm really looking forward to getting deeper into this music as the shows go by. The level of musicianship and overall artistic talent is very high in this production.

It's a real fun challenge to play with dancers in a situation like this. The music, tempos and forms all have to be relatively consistent night-to-night or else it really throws the dancers off in a serious way (!) The challenge is to not only take care of business in those regards but to also keep things fresh and creative within those structures. It is a Jazz show after all ! All in all it's a great experience to be part of.

-I've been getting numerous inquiries lately about my private teaching availability. Yes, I am always accepting students and interested in working with you and answering whatever questions you might have. Drop me a line and we can get together at my studio here in Calgary or arrange for a long-distance web lesson via Skype.

-With Joe Morello's recent passing this weekend, I thought back to the impact that Mr. Morello's drumming has had on myself. I first heard Joe play on the Dave Brubeck album "Time Out" (the first CD that I ever owned that my father purchased for me 20 years ago) and was immediately impressed with his sound, feel and tremendous drumming ability. Being primarily a young drumline snare drummer at the time, his approach not only impressed me but exposed me to the wider musical possibilities of being a drummer.

Several years later I had the opportunity to hang out and take a lesson with Joe while he was doing some teaching in Kingston, Ontario. My good friend Chris Smirnios was smart enough to bring Joe up for a weekend worth of master classes and private lessons during the fall of 2007. I had a great time learning from Joe over several bottles of Heineken in a hotel restaurant with him showing me his basic sticking techniques (playing on the table nonetheless!) and telling many stories from the days of drumming yesterdays gone by. His comments on my grip and arm/wrist/finger movement still resonate today. His methods, instruction videos and book "Master Studies" have since become an important part of my practice routine.

I feel very fortunate and privilege that I had the opportunity to learn from Joe. He will be missed.

-Thanks to Jim Rupp who forwarded this oral history clip of Joe Morello from NAMM

-A few albums that I've been checking out lately (in between learning music for the DJD dance show!):

Pat Metheny & Chick Corea "Like Minds"- Roy Haynes, drums & Gary Burton, vibraphone

Seamus Blake "The Call" - Bill Stewart, drums

Elvin Jones "Live at The Lighthouse", vol.1 & 2 - Elvin Jones, drums

Don Grolnick "The Complete Blue Note Recordings" - Bill Stewart & Peter Erskine, drums

Joe Dukes "The Soulful Drums of Joe Dukes" - Joe Dukes, drums

-Here's a fun little clip of Gene Krupa to get the week off to a good start featuring an old-school novelty piece entitled "Big Noise From Winnetka":

Larry Coryell & The Eleventh House - At Montreux

Guitarist Larry Coryell's Eleventh House was a particularly interesting fusion group of the mid-1970's for, in addition to the leader, keyboardist Mike Mandel, bassist Danny Trifan and the dynamic drummer Alphonse Mouzon, the unit featured trumpeter Michael Lawrence. Their appearance at the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival makes for a rather brief CD (under 34 minutes) but has its moments of interest. Coryell starts the proceedings by playing his unaccompanied acoustic guitar on a classical piece, that number is followed by four passionate group originals full of fire and dated electronics, and the set finishes with the strongest piece, "The Eleventh House Blues." Although the music is not essential nor particularly innovative, the mixture of straightahead elements with prime period fusion is often stimulating. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Larry Coryell & The Eleventh House
Album: At Montreux
Year: 1974
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Vanguard (1979)
Runtime: 36:14

1.  Intro 0:31 
2.  Improvisation on Villa-Lobos (Larry Coryell) 3:18
3.  Tamari (Alphonse Mouzon) 4:45
4.  Joyride (Mike Mandel) 9:42
5.  Rasputin (Mike Mandel) 4:23
6.  Song for a New York Rainmaker (Danny Trifan) 4:42
7.  The 11th House Blues (Larry Coryell) 8:50

Larry Coryell (Guitar)
Mike Mandel (Keyboards)
Alphonse Mouzon (Drums)
Michael Lawrence (Trumpet)
Danny Trifan (Bass)

Chris Potter Quartet Village Vanguard 2011

Chris Potter Quartet Village Vanguard 2011

Thursday Feb 10, 2011
The Village Vanguard


saxophones, flute Chris Potter
bass Larry Grenadier
drums Eric Harland
piano David Virelles

Bitrate 320

Taped By And Supplied By


Many Thanks A Very Nice Recording

Joe Morello 1928-2011

Thank you Joe !

Get to know Anton Goudsmit in Jazzheld Vertelt

The concept is simple, you take your favorite jazz hero put him or her in a room filled with their fans, add a bathtub, a turntable, video’s, photo’s, Twitter, an open mic, MC John Buijsman and there you have it “Jazzheld Vertelt”. With this new concept Stichting Jazz hopes to give the public more insight into what motivates their favorite jazz hero and add an extra layer to their jazz experience.

Anton Goudsmit, winner of the 2010 Boy Edgar prize is the first cab of the rank. On the 25th and the 27th of March in the Sugar Factory in Amsterdam, Goudsmit will take the public on a journey through his sources of inspiration, his high and low points and as we can expect from Goudsmit a healthy dose of craziness and humor. An evening with Jazzheld Vertelt gives the public the opportunity to get to know their favorite Dutch jazz artist from inside out, for example, did you know that Anton spends at least one hour per day in the Bath and uses this time to do his administration! Anton will also present some inspirational home video including street musicians playing instruments using their feet due to the fact that their arms are missing or Ugandan musicians using some strange techniques and creating some amazing things.  

The public will also have the opportunity to participate. You can send comments and requests via Twitter or engage in the conversation via the Open mic. You can also win prizes with the Jazz Quiz. All in all this will be a great night. I love this idea and as a big fan of Anton Goudsmit will be sitting in the front row. I hope that this is a great success for Stichting Jazz and look forward to the time that Jazzheld Vertelt is a permanent feature on the Dutch jazz scene.

Friday 25 March, show starts at, 20:30
Sunday 27 March, show starts at 13:30
Sugar Factory, Lijnbaansgracht 238 Amsterdam
Entree 12,50 euro

Dana Hall Tears It Up


Dana is a fantastic Jazz drummer from Chicago who was first brought to my attention from his great playing with brothers Jim & Craig Brenan on their release "The Throwdown":

Dana has also been doing great work with the likes of Ralph Bowen and Terell Stafford. Check out Hall's release as a leader "Into The Light":

You can find out more about Dana's music at his website

There are also some very nice drum solos that stream on his site while browsing that are really worth checking out.

Woven Hand - Woven Hand

David Eugene Edwards, the long-time front man for those remarkable gothabilly rockers Sixteen Horsepower, has taken his loyal fans on a thoughtful side trip in "Woven Hand." The curious but colorful album art may give one a hint that this project is of a slightly different breed than previous efforts. This work features a keyboard-oriented sound that lends the songs a lighter touch to complement the underlying drone. The lyrics are at times David's most spiritual and even sentimental, but what a distressing sentimentality. Yes there is a romantic element here, but this is not a picnic free of dark and threatening skies. David, as always, has taken this chance to do some soul searching, but here it seems focused and thematic. "Blue Pail Fever" is a travelogue of sorts, taking us with him to the uttermost parts of his own journey as an artist, contemplating the sacrifice and confidence of his savior. The inspiration is clear, even in the darkness of his despair. "Arrowhead" is an immediate favorite, asking questions and telling the story of a young pilgrim's progress, reminding us how mistakes often have consequences. Similarly, "Glass Eye" laments human frailty and hubris in the presence of grace. Even more compelling is "Wooden Brother" with its bright but haunting melody, driving this brooding memoir to an intensity that is hard to deny. "Story and Pictures" sounds like the song David Edwards has been working on his whole career long. Boys growing up too soon, repentance coming far too slow, grace burning it all away. "The Good Hand" is similar in its tale of persistent mercy and loving-kindness in the face of death, decay and corruption. The bookends of "My Russia" and "Your Russia" recount personal conviction and promise ultimate sanctification with an intensity and plain sincerity only David Edwards might be capable of producing. The slip and the grip of grace. The project itself is woven together by the recurrent sounds and sonic themes, one of which might be described as locusts on a warm summer's night that take on different moods and intensities as the album progresses. Some songs simply blend together (a technique that drives DJs crazy) an effect that lends the work a continuity that would otherwise be lost. A curious addition here is the cover of "Ain't No Sunshine," one that would make Bill Withers sit up and take note. But the melody line is there and so is the intention. I guess hillbillies can get lonely too. - by Daniel S. Russell,

Woven Hand is former 16 Horsepower man David Eugene Edwards, who plays almost everything on a disc that could sometimes be called bluegrass gothic. Dark and portentous, Edwards broods over his songs, ensuring that the shadows are dark and long. The mood isn't a million miles from a lot of Nick Cave's work, although the acoustic textures (electric guitar occurs sparingly on a few tracks) tend to diminish the impact a little. What's certainly outstanding is his feel throughout, especially on a cover of "Ain't No Sunshine" where the golden orb rarely gets a peek in. "Arrow Head" starts with an Appalachian nod to a Celtic past before heading through as white gospel church, then down the holler to the graveyard, and the striking opener, "The Good Hand," lays out Edwards' musical manifesto with an almost funereal grace. It's good, often very good, but it could have been better if Edwards had been willing to let a few more chinks of light into the hermetic world -- and also a greater variety of instruments. He's a strong mandolin player, but it often doesn't suit the mood he's trying to convey. Still, it's worth repeated hearings. - by Chris Nickson, AMG

Artist: Woven Hand (David Eugene Edwards)
Album: Woven Hand
Year: 2003
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Glitterhouse Records
Runtime: 40:42

1.  The Good Hand 4:10 
2.  My Russia 3:43 
3.  Blue Pail Fever 4:58 
4.  Glass Eye 3:00 
5.  Wooden Brother 5:06 
6.  Ain't No Sunshine 2:54  (Bill Withers)
7.  Story And Pictures 4:54 
8.  Arrowhead 3:26 
9.  Your Russia 4:15  (D.E.Edwards/Stephen Taylor)
10.  Last Fist 4:12 
All compostions by D.E. Edwards, except 6,9

David Eugene Edwards (Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Drums, Keyboards)
Stephen Taylor (Electric Guitar) - 1,2,7-9
David McMahon (Piano, Vocal, Organ) - 5,8

The Hands

Having good hand technique and proper stick control is paramount to being a good drummer. For me it's a constant process of refinement. These days I find myself continually trying to tweak how I grip my sticks and physically use my hands when moving around the drums and it always translates into my getting a better sound and feel coming out of the instrument.

I've been fortunate to spend some time with Joe Morello and John Riley over the past few years and it's exciting to hear how my drumming improves after making seemingly subtle little adjustments to the way I physically play the drums. Tommy Igoe's DVD "Great Hands for A Lifetime: The Lifetime Warmup" as well as practicing through Alan Dawson's Rudimental Ritual have also been very helpful in applying these techniques to playing rudimental patterns in a musical way while refining my grip and motion.

With all that in mind the following clip comes from percussionist Beverly Johnston via the Facebook:

This lesson is obviously taught by a cello teacher and comes from Tai-Chi but I think the concept is an important one and could easily be applied to drumming as well.

Furthermore, here's a good one of drummer/educator Danny Gottlieb in a recent clinic demonstrating his approach to basic, fundamental drum strokes:

Speaking of traditional grip, last month I had the opportunity to work with some university percussion students in Saskatchewan over a series of master classes and workshops at the University of Regina. I came across a student with a strange looking left hand traditional grip that I had never seen before that looks something like this:

You'll notice that the most significant part of this grip is the position of the thumb. In this grip the thumb and the index finger don't touch whereas I was always taught to keep the thumb on top of the index finger and to use the index finger on top of the stick to provide a center and focus to the stroke. Instead the thumb places over the stick.

Apparently this is the left hand traditional grip commonly found in Scottish pipe snare drumming and (according to John Riley) similar to how Mel Lewis gripped his sticks as well.

I've been messing around with this approach and find it quite useful and practical for playing fast, loud and messy press rolls. I think the added pressure required of the thumb to keep the stick place at the fulcrum point helps a lot in that regards. Something to think about anyways...