Tag Archives: jazz

Finely Crafted Modern Jazz Guitar

Fabrizio Sotti Trio  - Forty
Fabrizio Sotti Trio – Forty

Fabrizio Sotti Trio Forty (Incipit Records, 2016)

On Forty, virtuoso jazz guitarist Fabrizio Sotti delivers safe zone jazz with a mix of melancholic guitar, swing, blues and a smooth jazz version of a bossa nova classic, “How Insensitive (Insensatez)”.

The highlights of the album are the ambient guitars sounds on “Intro to the Bridge” and the captivating blues piece titled “The Bridge” dedicated to his wife and the Ponte dei Sospire in Venice, where they got married.

The lineup includes Fabrizio Sotti o guitars; Bulgarian artist Peter Slavov on bass; and Cuban musician Francisco Mela drums.

Forty is a finely crafted modern jazz guitar album.

Pink Floyd Through the Experimental Jazz Prism

Savoldelli Casarano Bardoscia - The Great Jazz Gig in the Sky
Savoldelli Casarano Bardoscia – The Great Jazz Gig in the Sky

Savoldelli Casarano Bardoscia – The Great Jazz Gig in the Sky (Moonjune, 2016)

This recording is a jazz recreation of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece Dark Side of the Moon. The trio behind the project is led by Italian vocalist Boris Savoldelli. He has a gritty voice that’s an acquired taste. On this project Savoldelli teams up with saxophonist Raffaele Casarano and bassist Marco Bardoscia.

Savoldelli’s chameleonic vocal style seems to have a lot of fans. In my case, I liked his vocal effects and found the instrumental sections with trance-like jazz beats, the minimalist chamber passages, Dewa Budjana’s guitar, and electronic atmospheres mesmerizing.

The lineup on The Great Jazz Gig in the Sky includes Boris Savoldelli on vocals, vocal noises and electronics; Raffaele Casarano on saxophones and electronics; and Marco Bardoscia on double bass and electronics.

The album also features special guests Dewa Budjana on guitars; and spoken word by Maurizio Nobili.

Buy The Great Jazz Gig in the Sky

Sri “Aga” Hanuraga’s Universe

Sri Hanuraga – To the Universe (Demajors, 2015)

Virtuoso pianist, composer and arranger Sri “Aga” Hanuraga is part of the new wave of outstanding Indonesian musicians involved with jazz, jazz-rock and progressive rock. On To the Universe, Sri “Aga” Hanuraga uses a classic jazz combo trio featuring piano, bass and drums. Within the album, Sri “Aga” Hanuraga showcases three distinct styles that have jazz as the common language.

During most of To the Universe, Sri “Aga” Hanuraga plays straight ahead contemporary jazz. However, the Indonesian influences are evident in several of the pieces, especially if you pay attention to the piano melodies and the flute solos performed by guest Rodrigo Parejo Mateos.

On the three part suite, “Ever Changing” Sri “Aga” Hanuraga switches from acoustic sounds to full blown electric jazz-rock featuring electric piano, spectacular electric bass and powerful drums. At times, you can hear echoes of iconic Canterbury band National Health.

The lineup includes Sri “Aga” Hanuraga on piano and Rhodes; Mattia Magatelli on double bass and electric bass; Kristijan Krajncan on drums. Guest: Rodrigo Parejo Mateos on flute.

Buy the digital version of To the Universe

A Journey through the World of Distorted Guitar

Ödemarken – Ödemarken 3.0 (Terrorjazz Brewery, 2016)

Swedish trio Ödemarken defies musical boundaries on its second recording titled Ödemarken 3.0. The group plays primarily instrumental music with guitar, bass and drums. However, this is not the power rock that you would expect from such a format. Instead, Ödemarken’s sound is based around a wide-range of distorted guitar, electronic effects and guitar-playing techniques backed by creative bass and drumming.

The musical influences are varied, ranging from blues rock to psychedelia, progressive rock, world music and jazz and even echoes of Frank Zappa. The musicians pour out a rich selection of sounds and combinations that keep the album engaging through the end. The artists define their music as terrorjazz which is the time we’ve heard this term.

The Malmoe-based band includes Thomas Karlsson on drums and percussion; Thomas Augustsson on guitars; and Bartosz Traczykowski on upright bass.




Ödemarken 3.0 is a mind expanding electric guitar voyage by an imaginative progressive music trio from southern Sweden.

Tne digital version of the album is available from itunes.apple.com

Unpredictable Balkan Keyboards

Vasil Hadžimanov Band featuring David Binney - "Alive" (MoonJune Records, 2016)
Vasil Hadžimanov Band featuring David Binney – “Alive” (MoonJune Records, 2016)

Serbian keyboardist and composer Vasil Hadžimanov Band presents a set of music that crosses several musical boundaries. You’ll find jazz, cinematic passages, freeform improvisation, progressive rock, and Joe Zawinul-inspired world fusion. This project features American saxophonist David Binney. Perhaps I’m saxophoned out, but I much prefer the sections where Vasil Hadžimanov takes control of the show using captivating piano and fabulous electronic keyboards.

Aside from Hadžimanov’s work, the album features spectacular bass work by Miroslav Tovirac and creative percussion and drums.

Vasil Hadžimanov is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, in Boston. He has played with celebrated international musicians such as David Gilmore, Antonio Sanchez, Matt Garrison, David Binney, Nigel Kennedy and rock stars of the former Yugoslavia, Dado Topic and Vlatko Stefanovski.

“Alive” was recorded during the Serbian tour in October 2014. The lineup includes Vasil Hadžimanov on piano and keyboards; David Binney on alto sax; Branko Trijić on guitar; Miroslav Tovirac on bass; Bojan Ivković on percussion, vocals; and Pedja Milutinović on drums.

Check out the beautiful saxophone free version of Nocturnal Joy / Tri boje zvuka:

Buy “Alive

Versatile Jazz Trumpet

Shunzo Ohno - ReNew (Pulsebeats, 2015)
Shunzo Ohno – ReNew (Pulsebeats, 2015)

Japanese musician and composer Shunzo Ohno is one of the finest trumpeters in the current jazz scene. ReNew showcases his versatility with a set of modern jazz combined with funk and world music elements. The album features notable performances by Ohno and his colleagues. It’s dedicated to the people of Northern Japan and Nepal who are recovering from natural disasters.

Highlights include “Musashi” where Ohno injects funk, global percussion, spoken word, and electronic processed trumpet. Another high point is “Tairo Bushi”, a folk song from northern Japan. This piece includes Indian tabla, a synth solo and Ohno’s trumpet delivering a Japanese folk melody.

Another high spot is “First Step.” This is the classic jazz piece where practically every musicians gets his noteworthy solo. Ohno uses various trumpet techniques. The electronic processed trumpet is especially mesmerizing.

Lastly, another great track is the final composition, “ReNew Reprise”. It’s a slow tempo piece with a wonderful mix of trumpet, cello global percussion.

The lineup on ReNew includes Shunzo Ohno on trumpet; Buster Williams on bass; Billy Drummond on drums; Cyro Baptista on percussion; Jerome Jennings on drums; Ray Spiegel on tabla; Clifford Carter on keyboards; Ed Howard on bass; David Berkman on piano; Sasha Ono on cello; Paul Bollenback on guitar; Jerome Jennings on drums; Ira Coleman on bass; and George Yamazawa on spoken word.

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
9 rue Basse Porte
Nantes, France
20:00 (8:30 p.m.)

Thursday, March 3
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
Münchener Straße 68
Pfaffenhofen, Germany
21:00 (9:00 p.m.)

Sunday, March 6
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
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

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.)

Wadada Leo Smith and Vijay Iyer Announce New Album and Tour

Keyboardist Vijay Iyer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith have recorded a new album titled “a cosmic rhythm with each stroke,” scheduled for release March 25th, 2016.
Vijay Iyer is a former member of Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet and the two had been looking for an opportunity to collaborate as a duo for some time. They recorded “a cosmic rhythm with each stroke” in November 2015 with Manfred Eicher in the studio.

The key feature of the new album is a suite dedicated to the late Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi, whose work will be on display at the opening this March of The Metropolitan Museum’s Breuer Gallery (at the site of the old Whitney Museum on Manhattan’s Upper East Side), where Iyer will be Artist-In-Residence.

Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith on tour:

March 30-31 – New York, NY – Metropolitan Museum of Art Breuer Building
April 1 – Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival
April 7-8 – Cambridge, MA – Fromm Concert Series at Harvard
April 15 – Los Angeles, CA – Occidental College
April 16 – Fullerton, CA – Cal State Fullerton
Additional dates to be announced

Russian Progressive Duo Iamthemorning to Release New Album “Lighthouse”


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.