JWQ Showcase 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

ITALY:Marco Bittelli- Andrea (Pacific Coast Jazz 2017)


The Italian jazz guitarist and composer, Marco Bittelli has a long-standing interest in Latin Jazz music, first touched on with his first CD, Libera, twenty years ago. Andrea expands on that affinity and on the guitarist's interest in Cuban and Brasilian music. The result is this original mix of slow- to up-tempo pieces, limpid original songs that are filled with romanticism and lyricism. The rhythms, typical of Latin music, are combined with melodies rooted in the Italian's melodic tradition. The CD presents three Bossa Novas at different tempos, including Andrea, the title track. To this, Bittelli has added an Habanera, Notte Cubana (A Cuban Night), and a Samba, Che Rumba, arranged by Italian guitarist and composer Davide Brillante. These songs are perfectly continuous with the traditional material. A Waltz for Weiser is written in the tradition of Jazz waltzes, while On the wrong side of Town is a fast Latin Jazz tune with dissonant harmonies. Jibacoa is a song for Piano and Cello, inspired by the music of Cuban composer Ignacio Cervantes, composed with Davide Brillante. The music is enhanced by a series of excellent musicians and guests. Gregory Yasinitsky on Tenor and Alto Sax, Ann Yasinitsky on Flute, Brian Ploeger on Trumpet and Flugelhorn, Brian Ward on Piano, David Snider on Double Bass, David Jarvis on Drums and Percussions. Vincenzo De Franco (Cello) and Dimitri Sillato (Piano) adds their own touch on Jibacoa. Vern Sielert adds its Jazz voice on Trumpet on An afternoon with Charles. Andrea is true to its Latin and Italian inspired origins, while creating its own original moods.

JAPAN: Emi Meye- Monochrome(2017)

With an interesting blend of jazz, soul and pop, Tokyo-based singer/songwriter Emi Meyer has carved out a wide-ranging career in Japan with her songs featured in TV, movies and advertising, and her performances ranging from small jazz clubs to major stages throughout Asia. For her debut U. S. recording, Meyer combines music from a set recorded in Paris with Belgian pianist Eric Legnini's French quartet, and new originals recorded in Seattle and featuring guitarist Dan Balmer & pianist Dawn Clement. From her own compositions to classics like 'I'd Rather Go Blind' from Etta James' songbook, Michael Buble's 'Home,' or 'What A Wonderful World,' Emi's intimate readings project poignancy and grace, tying them all together in an engaging package.

USA: CHRIS ROGERS "VOYAGE HOME" CD-Release Party Thursday, August 31st 8pm @ ZINC BAR

CD Release Party
Thursday, August 31st 8pm
82 W 3rd Street, NYC, NY 10012
(Thompson & Sullivan)

Chris Rogers - trumpet, flugelhorn,keyboards & composer
Roger Rosenberg - baritone & soprano saxophones
Oscar Perez - piano
Jay Anderson - bass
Steve Johns - drums
Willie Martinez - percussion
plus special guests TBA

The concept of Family is so fundamental to musical development, especially in New York City where so many families-by-choice evolve through shared musical experiences in its huge artistic melting pot. For the outstanding trumpeter/composer Chris Rogers, that family essence is at the heart and soul of his personal vision, and in full evidence on his remarkable debut album Voyage Home for Art of Life Records.

Chris has been blessed to be a part of multiple families – his deeply musical birth family that included his father, the legendary Salsa and jazz trombonist Barry Rogers; the extended family surrounding the Brecker Brothers (alongside whom Barry played in the seminal jazz fusion ensemble Dreams); and his own family of collaborators who he has met through his own participation in the ensembles of a virtual who’s who of contemporary music. All of these components are brewed together in the sumptuous feast that is Voyage Home.

“Listening to Mike, Randy and my dad playing together, and all Barry’s great solos on those classic Eddie Palmieri sides pretty much informed my concepts … and have been such towering influences upon me – that the music here can be considered a direct reflection of their incredible spirits.”

Dedicated to Michael Brecker (who lends his spectacular artistry on two tracks that Chris was fortunate to record with him before his tragically premature departure), this album also includes many artists – in person and through some individual track dedications (including Don Grolnick, Lew Soloff Mike Lawrence, Ray Barretto) – closely allied with the expansive Brecker Brothers’ legacy. But like all tributes in their finest form, the real homage is embodied in the creation of a personal statement in a singular vision by an artist honed through that spirit. The nine Chris Rogers originals contained here truly embody that concept. They also reflect the broad palette of personal musical experiences that Chris has had in his own journey alongside such diverse luminaries as Gerry Mulligan, Eddie Palmieri, Frank Sinatra, Buddy Rich, Chaka Khan, Mongo Santamaria, Maria Schneider, Ray Barretto, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell… and the list goes on and on. This long overdue first album as a leader blends all those ingredients into a heady brew that is adventurous, celebratory and captivating.

Chris has assembled a stellar crew for this maiden voyage, musically connected with him and with each other, powerfully contributing to the remarkable synergy that is at play throughout the album.  The brilliant bass/drums tandem of Jay Anderson and Steve Johns provide flawless, seemingly telepathic support throughout, whether driving ferociously, warmly embellishing, or grooving smoothly Powerhouse pianist Xavier Davis melds with them perfectly on six tracks, adding a few stunning solos as well.  Synthesizer/ keyboard wizard Mark Falchook joins the rhythm section on three.

In addition to the two tracks with Mike, the splendid tenor and alto saxophonist Ted Nash performs on four; while baritone saxophonist Roger Rosenberg and trombonist Art Baron perform on a very special dedication to Barry Rogers – enhanced by the great man himself on an introductory trombone cadenza (thanks to the blessings of technology) with a most fitting statement drawn from Palmieri’s 1965 classic album Mozambique. The great guitarist Steve Khan is included on three tracks, two of which include the fine conguero/percussionist Willie Martinez.

Drawn upon his Miles/Brecker/Harrell/Woody Shaw influences, Rogers’ impeccable trumpet playing – articulate, exploratory, adventurous, utterly musical and virtuosic, but never for its own sake or ostentatious in any way – is eminently showcased, but totally in keeping with the overall context of the album and always leaving plenty of room for the others to offer their own prodigious contributions. The repertoire is terrific, showcasing Chris’ superb compositional and arranging talents in a nicely diverse array of works that are exciting, lyrical and structured to provide inspired launching points for the exploratory tales told within. Ballads, Latin, hard boppish funk and blues, and rip-roaring smokers are all part of the mix.

There is a 3-track “suite” of sorts – the jaunty Rebecca born as a samba, evolving into  straight-up Afro/Cuban; the beautiful love song Ever After; and the intriguingly angular Six Degrees – in which Chris adds his own notable keyboard skills to the mix on two pieces along with his trumpet – Harmon-muted on a pair. Khan is prominently present on all three with exceptional solos and his marvelous signature comping; and Martinez’ percussion mastery adds a fervid glow.

Roger and Art join Chris and Ted in a richly sumptuous 4-horn soundscape on the poignant paean to Barry Rogers, Ballad for B.R. launched by Barry Rogers’ “borrowed” radiant trombone cadenza, and featuring compelling solos by Chris, Nash (on alto) and Rosenberg. Nash – virile, muscular and boldly creative – is prominently featured on tenor with Chris on the front line for three other tracks. The title track Voyage Home is an atmospheric journey that evokes that profound essence of the progressive 60s’ Blue Note music in its daring, fully in-command approach with imaginative and confrontational solos by both hornmen. The Mask is a deliciously jagged funk-fest with soulful tenor, riveting trumpet and vibrant piano solos – in a groove that while relaxed is also high in heat. And the album closer,  The 12-Year Itch is a jubilant funky-hard-bop shuffle with nicely swaggering horn turns.

Michael Brecker, who always brought his all fully to the music, is absolutely sensational on his two tracks. The album opener Counter Change is a straightforward hard-bop blues with some edgy changes that sets the tone for exhilarating Rogers, two-fisted Davis and sinewy, full bodied Brecker. Whit’s End (named for Whit Sidener, one of Chris’ teachers, and dedicated to Brecker) is a deftly syncopated romp driven by an insistent piano/bass ostinato with delightful rhythmic shifting from blazing drive to Latin and peppered with touches of rubato. Rogers’ thoughtful solo is beautifully constructed and sets the path for a monster Brecker solo – gutty, incandescent and absolutely scorching – that epitomizes his indelible and immortal spirit.

It may have taken a long time for Chris Rogers to finally make his own statement on record, but Voyage Home will certainly last in the memory and set the tone for much more to come from this extraordinary artist.
Chris Rogers: “Voyage Home”
(Art of Life AL1045-2)
Street Date: February 3, 2017

Chris Rogers: trumpet, keyboards; Michael Brecker: tenor saxophone;
Ted Nash: tenor & alto saxophone; Steve Khan: guitar;
Xavier Davis: piano; Jay Anderson: bass; Steve Johns: drums;
Barry Rogers: trombone; Roger Rosenberg: baritone saxophone; Art Baron: trombone;
Mark Falchook: synthesizer/keyboards; Willie Martinez: congas, percussion

For more information, visit
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Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services Ph: 845-986-1677

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

USA: For Your Grammy Consideration New Americana CD From Pascal Bokar Afro Blue Grazz "American Shores" American Shores (Savanna Jazz Records)

For Your Grammy Consideration
New Americana CD From Pascal Bokar
Afro Blue Grazz "American Shores"

American Shores (Savanna Jazz Records)

 Throughout his productive musical career, guitarist/vocalist Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam has always understood the connections between West African music and the sounds of the American South. His landmark book Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta discusses the music of the three empires that dominated the culture of West Africa starting in the 6th century, tracing the music from its role in the culture and daily life of Africa to its eventual emergence in the United States. In his teachings, lectures and music (where he displays his own individual voice), Pascal has consistently paid tribute to his ancestors. “As a musician, I have always tried to synthesize the convergence of African esthetics and appreciate their influence in the music of the African American communities of the American South, from the rural sounds of the Blues and Gospel into this music we call Jazz.”

 Pascal Bokar’s American Shores, in the “AfroBlueGrazz” style coined by the album’s producer Greg Landau, is an ambitious fusion of textures and styles that comes from Bokar’s unique cultural perspective. As an accomplished jazz guitarist and scholar of African music and jazz he consistently heard clear examples of African musical concepts and instruments throughout his musical explorations. In this project he brought together accomplished musicians from Appalachia’s bluegrass style with Senegalese master drummers, African-American Rhythm and Blues singers, funky keyboards, and the stomp/clap percussion of a gospel choir. This eclectic cross cultural mix brings together long lost musical relatives as a platform for Pascal’s rich guitar and vocal improvisation.

Pascal Bokar previous recording Guitar Balafonics was selected by Downbeat Magazine as one of the “Best CDs of 2015.” Pascal Bokar is listed in Jazz journalist Scott Yanov’s Book entitled Great Jazz Guitars. Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam is also the owner of the Award Winning Savanna Jazz Club of San Carlos, CA, and is recipient of the Jim Hall Jazz Master Award from Berklee College of Music.  Notable musicians on this record: fiddler Blaine Sprouse (Bill Monroe), bassist Tony Saunders (Eric Clapton & David Crosby), Gospel Hawkins Family, and keyboardist Steve Carter (George Benson & Bobby Womack). 

USA: John Potter -Secret History - Josquin / Victoria(2017)

Secret History - Josquin / Victoria 

Tomas Luis de Victoria and Josquin Desprez were not contemporaries, they lived and worked in different countries, and perhaps shared little in terms of abstract compositional style. Yet throughout Europe, generations of musicians recognized them as kindred spirits, and tablature versions of their masses and motets circulated amongst lutenists. For John Potter, this is the secret life of the music in historical terms its real life. In this characteristically creative project, Potter - joined by Trio Mediaeval singer Anna Maria Friman and three outstanding vihuela players - explores what happens to music after it is composed. The album, produced by Manfred Eicher, was recorded at the St Gerold monastery in the Austrian mountains, where Potter previously contributed to Officium and other recordings with the Hilliard Ensemble and with The Dowland Project.

FRANCE: Anne Ducros - Brother? Brother! (2017)

Brother ? Brother !
01. What's Going On (feat. Olivier Ker Ourio & Paolo Censi) (5:07)
02. Fragile (feat. Giulio Visibelli) (4:44)
03. La Bicyclette (feat. Giuseppe Emmanuele & Franz Minuta) (3:48)
04. You Are So Beautiful (feat. Giuseppe Privitera) (3:56)
05. Samba Saravah (3:36)
06. On Broadway (4:48)
07. Knocks Me Off My Feet (4:05)
08. At Last (feat. Lionel Belmondo) (5:31)
09. D├ęshabillez-Moi (feat. Olivier Ker Ourio & Mimmo Gaglio) (3:50)
10. Petals (feat. Mimmo Gaglio) (6:21)

Friday, August 18, 2017

USA: Posi-Tone Newsletter - August 11, 2017


A burning performance from the magnificent vibraphonist.

Today is the worldwide release of the new album by Behn Gillece, featuring veterans Walt Weiskopf (tenor), and Michael Dease (trombone). Thanks for listening!

Vibraphonist Behn Gillece heads boldly down a courageous path to explore his “Walk of Fire.” With an exciting program of compositions and an amazing group of players, the stage is clearly set for Gillece to confidently demonstrate both his stunning harmonic knowledge of the idiom as well as his total melodic command of his instrument. The amazing musicians in the band are trombonist extraordinaire Michael Dease, saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, trumpeter Bruce Harris, pianist Adam Birnbaum, bassist Clovis Nicolas, and drummer Jason Tiemann. With a dazzling series of performances overflowing with energized enthusiasm, serious listeners will enjoy following along while Gillece leads his merry minstrels down this “Walk of Fire” as a joyous musical experience of inspiration and delight.

link to Behn's appearances:


links to music: