Tag Archives: classical

Otherworldly Cello

Joan Jeanrenaud – Visual Music (Deconet Records, 2016)

Visual Music is an outstanding recording of cello music by composer and cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, who used to be a member of the famed Kronos Quartet for 20 years.

Joan Jeanrenaud delivers a set of solo cello pieces that range from captivating melodies and cinematic soundscapes to mesmerizing ethereal compositions and neoclassical pieces as well as experimentation using various layers and cello techniques.

There are truly fascinating tracks such as are the beautiful “Solo Prelude,” and the hypnotic pieces “Isola” “Moon Above” and “Ethereal Tree” where Joan Jeanrenaud ventures into deep space and other worlds, mixing her multifaceted cello with ambient electronics.

 

 

The tracks on Visual Music were originally made for Joan Jeanrenaud’s Dance, Theater and Art Museums.

The musicians on the Visual Music album include Joan Jeanrenaud on cello; PC Muñoz on marimbata, cajón and drum kit; William Winant on vibraphone; and Dohee Lee on recorder and electronics.

Buy Visual Music in Europe

Buy Visual Music in the rest of world.

Keyboard Maestro Allan Zavod Dies at 71

Australian jazz-rock and classical keyboard master and composer Allan Zavod passed away on November 28, 2016. Zavod played piano, synthesizers, organ and other keyboards with some of the most iconic jazz-rock artists such as Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Jean Luc-Ponty, George Benson and Frank Zappa.

Allan Zavod was born October 16, 1945 in Melbourne, Australia. He completed a music degree at Melbourne Conservatorium in 1969. His skill as a pianist was much-admired by Duke Ellington, who after hearing him playing jazz piano, arranged for him to extend his jazz studies at the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Zavod later held a post as professor of music in Berklee.

Based in the United States of America for 30 years, Zavod played, recorded and toured with many well-known international musicians such as Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Woody Herman Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson Big Band, Cab Calloway, Billy Cobham, Gary Burton, Herbie Hancock, Jean Luc-Ponty, George Benson, and Frank Zappa.

Zavod played keyboards in Maynard Ferguson’s Chameleon (1974) and Life & Times by Billy Cobham (1976). After that, he joined the Jean Luc Ponty band and appeared on many of the band’s best recordings: Imaginary Voyage (1976), Enigmatic Ocean (1977), Cosmic Messenger (1978), Live (1979), A Taste for Passion (1979) and Civilized Evil (1980).

 

Mirage synth solo:

 

Mirage full piece:

 

In the 1980s and 1990s, Zavod recorded and toured with Frank Zappa. He played in the following Zappa albums: Fits Your 34B, No Matter Which 43B You Are (1985), All You Need is Glove (1985), Does Humor Belong in Music? (1986), You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1 (1988), Guitar (1988), You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 3 (1989), You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 4 (1991), You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 (1992), and Cheap Thrills (1998).

In 1996, Zavod composed the score for the stage adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” that enjoyed tremendous success across Australia.

As a film composer, Zavod wrote scores for over 40 American and Australian films, documentaries, television and theater, including: a US film score with guitarist Eric Clapton; an award winning children’s film for “Shine” director Scott Hicks; a film for Disney; the Theatre production of The Hobbit; and the long running series “A Country Practice”.

In 2009 The University of Melbourne awarded Allan Zavod the Doctor of Music for his international contribution in the field of Classical Jazz Fusion, only one of 5 recipients with an earned Doctorate for composition in the 150 year history of the University.

From 2007 to 2012 Zavod was dedicated entirely to composing. During this period his orchestral works were performed in Australia and abroad.

Allan Zavod passed away at his home accompanied by his wife Christine, his son, Zac, his mother, Annie and close friends.

Donations to the family can be made at: gofundme.com/allan-zavod

Masterful Rock Symphony

Höstsonaten – Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche (AMS Records, 2016)

Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche is the latest album by Höstsonaten, one of the various progressive rock projects developed by the great Italian musician and composer Fabio Zuffanti. The current incarnation of Höstsonaten is a partnership between Zuffanti and Luca Scherani (La Coscienza di Zeno).

Höstsonaten is the most symphonic of Zuffanti’s projects, mixing classical music with progressive rock instrumentation. Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche is an instrumental symphonic suite. This musical work is also envisioned as music that can also serve as ballet music, as great composers such as Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky did in the past.

Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche is inspired by Roman-era writer Apuleius’ “Cupid and Psyche”, which is part of the “Metamorphosis”. Zuffanti came up with a set of musical ideas appropriate for such a suite. He gave this material to Luca Scherani, who arranged it for string quartet, woodwinds and brass, sometimes using Zuffanti’s ideas and at times writing new arrangements of his own.

The final result is an album that beautifully brings together classical music and rock. In addition to the classical music orchestra instruments, such as violins, bassoon, and trumpet, Zuffanti and Scherani added powerful bass, drums, epic guitars and lots of keyboards, including Moog, mesmerizing mellotron, organ and piano.

In addition to classical influences and well-crafted classic symphonic progressive rock, Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche contains engaging jazz elements and avant-garde moments.

The line-up on “Cupid & Psyche” includes Luca Scherani on keyboards; Fabio Zuffanti on bass pedal & devices; Paolo “Paolo” Tixi on drums & orchestral percussion; Laura Marsano on guitars; and Daniele Sollo on bass.

Formus String Quartet:

Sylvia Trabucco on first violin; Alessandra Dalla Barba on second violin; Ilaria Bruzzone on viola; and Chiara Alberti on cello;

Woodwinds section:

Joanne Roan on flute; Luca Tarantino on oboe; and Sofia Bartolini on bassoon;

Brass section:

Marco Callegari on trumpet; Alberto Repetto on horn; Federico Curotto on trombone; Maurizio Zofrea on tenor saxophone.

“Cupid & Psyche” is the first of a series of rock symphony projects that Fabio and Luca would like to work on in the future.

The “Cupid & Psyche” suite and ballet will have its live debut on October 22, 2016 at the Teatro Govi of Genoa under the direction of choreographer Paola Grazzi.

Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche is a masterful symphonic rock suite by two of the most talented musicians in the current progressive rock scene.

Buy Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche

Multifaceted Earthscapes

Julian Julien - Terre II (A Bout De Son, 2015)
Julian Julien – Terre II (A Bout De Son, 2015)

French musician and composer Julian Julien delivers a series of musical vignettes inspired by international photography and cinema. The music crosses numerous stylistic boundaries, depending on the context or theme. You’ll find ambient electronic moods, avant-garde experimentation, new jazz, world music, classical music, minimalism, Zeuhl-style electric bass, and cinematic environments.

Julian Julien uses a mix of wind instruments and percussion performed by musicians who come from a jazz, classical and rock background, including Frédéric Collignon (cornet, vocals), Siegfried Canto (flute), Michaël Havard (soprano, tenor and baritone saxophone) and Rémi Dumoulin (bass clarinet). Other musicians include Hélène Argo (vocals), Guillaume Billaux (guitar), and Adeline Lecce (cello).

Terre II is a beautifully crafted collection of multifaceted music pieces deeply inspired by the various currents in today’s progressive music.

Buy the album from www.julianjulien.com

The Claudia Quintet Announces European and North American Tour Dates

The Claudia Quintet [L-R: Red Wierenga, Matt Moran, John Hollenbeck, Chris Speed, Drew Gress]
The Claudia Quintet [L-R: Red Wierenga, Matt Moran, John Hollenbeck, Chris Speed, Drew Gress]

The Claudia Quintet, an ensemble led by composer and drummer and John Hollenbeck has will be touring Europe and North America in the next weeks.
The Claudia Quintet plays jazz influenced by classical minimalism, new music, progressive rock and post-rock. The ensemble has released seven albums, six of them on Cuneiform Records. The eighth album, Super Petite, is scheduled for release on Cuneiform in Summer 2016.

The available discography includes September, I Claudia, What Is The Beautiful?, For, Royal Toast, and Semi-Formal.

The Claudia Quintet European Tour:

March 2016
Wednesday, March 2
Pannonica
9 rue Basse Porte
Nantes, France
20:00 (8:30 p.m.)

Thursday, March 3
Sunset
60, rue des Lombards
Paris, France
20:00 (8:30 p.m.)

Friday, March 4
West Germany
Skalitzerstr. 133
Berlin, Germany
22:00 (10:00 p.m.)

Saturday, March 5
Kunstlerwerkstatt
Münchener Straße 68
Pfaffenhofen, Germany
21:00 (9:00 p.m.)

Sunday, March 6
Stadtgarten
Venloerstr. 40
Köln, Germany
20:30 (8:30 p.m.)

Monday, March 7
Cafe De Ruimte
Distelweg 83
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
20:30 (8:30 p.m.)

Wednesday, March 9
Le Rocher de Palmer
1 avenue Aristide Briand
Bordeaux, France
20:30 (8:30 p.m.)

Thursday, March 10
Le Rocher de Palmer
1 avenue Aristide Briand
Bordeaux, France
20:00 (8:00 p.m.)

Friday, March 11
Paradox
Telegraafstraat 62
Tilborg, The Netherlands
20:30 (8:30 p.m.)

Saturday, March 12
Teatro Villa de Leoni
Riviera Silvio Trentin, 5, Venice, Italy
21:00 (9:00 p.m.)

Sunday, March 13
Auditorium Villa Widmann
Via Nazionale, 420,
Oriago di Mira (VE), Venice, Italy
10:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m.

Monday, March 14
Narodni dom Maribor
Ulica kneza Koclja 9
Marlibor, Slovenia
20:30 (8:30 p.m.)

Claudia Quintet North American Tour

Thursday, April 14
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St
NYC, NY

Friday, April 15
Boot & Saddle
1131 South Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA
20:30 (8:30 p.m.)

Saturday, June 18-19
San Francisco Jazz Center
201 Franklin St.
San Francisco, CA
20:00 (8:00 p.m.)

Russian Progressive Duo Iamthemorning to Release New Album “Lighthouse”

iamthemorning
iamthemorning

Lighthouse (Kscope) is the title of the new album from Russian progressive duo iamthemorning, scheduled for release on April 1. Lighthouse is the follow up to the band’s 2014 album Belighted. The iamthemorning includes Marjana Semkina on vocals and Gleb Kolyadin on grand piano and keyboards.

Lighthouse includes guest musicians Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson) on drums, Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) on bass and additional vocals on the album’s title track by Mariusz Duda (Lunatic Soul, Riverside).

Lighthouse features classical music, Canterbury-style progressive rock, northern folk, jazz and electronic influences. Featuring a story of the progression of mental illness, the album takes the listener through the stages with the story’s central character, her attempts to fight it, and temporal remission leading to a final breakdown. Lyrically, the works and lives of Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath inspire the album.

iamthemorning - Lighthouse
iamthemorning – Lighthouse

The album artwork for Lighthouse was created by watercolor artist Constantine Nagishkin who the band has previously collaborated with before.

Lighthouse will be released on CD, LP (with MP3 download code) and digitally.