Saturday, January 20, 2018

USA: New Release: WM Project From a Familiar Place

WM Project Releases Debut 
From a Familiar Place
Jeremy Pelt, Marshall Gilkes and Rafal Sarnecki 

On November 30, 2017, WM Project released their debut album
From a Familiar Place on WM Records. 

While WM Project is a brand-new constellation, the musical masterminds behind it, pianist Andrzej Winnicki and tenor saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna, go back a long way. In the 90's, they have played together in the fusion group Electric Breakwater ("In the Bush" CD with Mark Egan on bass and Rodney Holmes on drums), and have furthered appreciation of Polish composer and pianist Krzysztof Komeda through their widely acclaimed Komeda Project. KP's "Requiem", featuring bassist Scott Colley, drummer Nasheet Waits and trumpeter Russ Johnson, made the list of Top New Albums in The Village Voice Critics Poll: 2009

Now the time is ripe for another beginning. Their new album From a Familiar Place is a personal project for Winnicki and Medyna whose surnames are ingrained in the name: WM Project. The music sums up a long life lived with jazz, but also looks forward to the future. Winnicki’s own son, Michael Winnicki, is a highly talented drummer and brings youthful energy to original compositions and classics like Paul Desmond’s “Take Five” and Joe Zawinul’s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”. In fact, rhythm is the essence of the group, as Medyna explains: "The only thing I care about is groove which we have in both re-worked tunes. We need to stay in tune with the African-American roots of jazz". 

These roots of rhythm also include hip-hop that provided inspiration for the grooves used on the tunes. As Winnicki says: “Arrangements for both ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’ and ‘Take Five’ started with a groove. Just a drum groove to be exact. I don't actively listen to hip-hop music at all, but it's hard not to be aware of its impact on the culture of today. So consciously or subconsciously I was drawn into the hip-hop beats when looking for the fresh sounding grooves I could use to build my arrangements upon.” 

Another influence is the inclusion of five-time Downbeat & Jazz Journalists AssociationRising Star Award winner trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and 2016 double Grammy nominated trombonist Marshall Gilkes. As Winnicki explains: “Krzysztof, Michael and I all played gigs with Jeremy and Marshall before so we were very comfortable with how they played and some of the arrangements I wrote were done with them in mind (because of their musical personalities). Jeremy is so deeply rooted in the tradition of this great American art form and plays in such a soulful way. Marshall's command of his instrument is just amazing (no wonder he was awarded a name of Rising Star in the latest DownBeat Magazine Poll). I knew no matter how hard the arrangement he would execute it flawlessly and play some great solos to boot.”
The group also includes the melodic dexterity of guitarist Rafal Sarnecki while bassist Jeff Dingler and Michael Winnicki form the rhythm section. Elaborating on their connection, Andrzej Winnicki says: “Jeff and Michael have been playing in different projects together since their time at the Mason Gross School of Arts. They understand and complement each other musically really well so the choice of the rhythm section was easy to make.” 

The most striking proof of their ability to communicate together is “Praeludium” whose complex tapestry of odd rhythm and a catchy theme sounds tightly rehearsed, but is in fact unfolding live for the first time in the studio with Gilkes and Sarneckidelivering glistering solo flights. From a Familiar Place was recorded in Tom Tedesco’s Tedesco Studios and there is a feeling of warmth and spontaneity to the recording like a classic Blue Note-recording, which is supported by the intimacy of the studio and very little separation between the musicians. 

It all adds up to a family of musicians playing modern jazz with strong ties to tradition. A tune like “On Sunday after Church” has subtle shades of Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” with Pelt shaping the melody with his lucid lines, but Medyna and Winnicki also engage with their own catalog, performing reimagined versions of Electric Breakwater compositions “Blind Warriors” and “Looking Ahead”. 

Looking ahead while also looking back is exactly what the album is about. The familiar place of the title is not a comfort zone of nostalgia, but a challenging source of creativity, as Medyna says: “All of us have a kind of ‘familiar place’ in our memories, desires or places left on the path of our lives. To me this title must stimulate the listener's individual imagination and the music shall take the listener to such familiar place." 

With this album, WM Project shows the boundless possibilities of a deep understanding of jazz tradition resulting in memorable grooves and melodies. 

The group will be touring in support of the album.

WM Project on Facebook:
WM Project on
WM project at Trumpets in Montclair, NJ on January 19th

USA: jaimie branch-Fly or Die (2017)

A mainstay of the Chicago jazz scene and an active recent addition to the New York scene, Jaimie Branch is an avant-garde trumpeter known for her “ghostly sounds," says The New York Times, and for "sucker punching" crowds straight from the jump off, says Time Out. Her classical training and “unique voice capable of transforming every ensemble of which she is a part” (Jazz Right Now) has contributed to a wide range of projects not only in jazz but also punk, noise, indie rock, electronic and hip-hop. Branch’s work as a composer and a producer, as well as a sideman for the likes of William Parker, Matana Roberts, TV on the Radio and Spoon, is all on display in her debut record Fly or Die – a dynamic 35-minute ride that dares listeners to open their minds to music that knows no genre, no gender, no limits.

“It’s a true joy to listen to Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die. Jaimie’s masterful trumpet playing sits at the helm of this gorgeous record, richly supported by a stellar cast of musicians, and upheld by strong and provocative composition.” – Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire)

"Super out tunes that continually open new doors to strange, sweet, and psychedelic grooves. Band is constantly cracking some ancient alien code here. Seamless and effortless compositions from Branch. An absolute “must jam” for anyone interested in the... more
released May 5, 2017

Fly or Die is:
jaimie branch - trumpet
Tomeka Reid - cello
Jason Ajemian - bass
Chad Taylor - drums.

Cameos by:
Matt Schneider – guitar
Ben Lamar Gay – cornet
Josh Berman – cornet

Friday, January 19, 2018

USA: Jazz guitarist Chris Standring basks in the positive glow of joyous "Sunlight"

Jazz guitarist Chris Standring basks in the positive glow of joyous “Sunlight”

The March 23 album release, featuring appearances by Bob James and Mica Paris, will be preceded by the rousing radio single, “Love Street.”

STUDIO CITY (18 January 2018): Much like a prism refracts light into a colorful spectrum, guitarist Chris Standring’s “Sunlight” reflects rays of multihued jazz into a vibrant sonic palette of joy and positivity. The Los Angeles-based, native Brit will drop his twelfth album on March 23 on the Ultimate Vibe Recordings label, marking the twentieth anniversary since the release of his debut disc (“Velvet”). Paving the way for the new collection penned and produced by Standring is the jaunty “Love Street,” set to cast an alluring spell as the first radio single.    

Diverse strains of jazz reign on “Sunlight” with Standring’s clean electric jazz guitar shining brightly throughout the ten tracker plus a reprise that closes the session. The prevailing sounds and engaging textures create warm, organic backdrops for his nimble fretwork forays that traverse lush rhythms and grooves. Wave after wave of Fender Rhodes keyboards and Hammond B3 organ wash over the taut beats serving as the rhythmic spine. Vintage elements offer a compelling contrast to the imaginative electronic nuances, deftly making the recordings feel retro, futuristic, experimental and visionary all at the same time while Standring’s cool-toned guitar slices through to the fore cranking out nifty licks, precision fills and impassioned melodic sojourns.        

Helping flush out his vision for “Sunlight,” Standring shares the spotlight with contemporary jazz forefather Bob James (piano) on the stratospheric exploration “The Revisit” and UK soul-pop chanteuse Mica Paris on the lusty R&B, jazz and electronic hybrid “No Explanation,” the latter a tune he wrote with seven-time Grammy nominee Lauren Christy. Also lending their artistry to the platter are noted saxmen Pete Christlieb and Brandon Fields, keyboardists John NovelloMitchel Forman and longtime collaborator Rodney Lee; bassists Jimmy HaslipAndre Berry and Roberto Vally; and drummers Chris Coleman and Dave Karasony.

“For the first time, I feel a huge degree of comfort stylistically. ‘Sunlight’ seems to be a much more refined version of who I am. Musically, I can't shake off who I am. It just is. It's a fusion of my traditional be-bop background with infectious soul and funk grooves, and a sense of arranging and orchestration that comes very easily now. My influences are not from my contemporaries. They come from orchestral music, traditional jazz and European chill, lounge and progressive club music plus a good dose of R&B. It's a weird mix, but I guess that's what results in everything sounding like me when it all comes together,” said Standring who purposely infused the set with uplifting notes of hope and glee.

Perhaps a commentary on our times or just a thoughtful embrace of a longtime personal favorite, Standring reimagines Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows” as a serene guitar meditation.  

“The album is upbeat and joyful for the most part. Perhaps it is somewhat reactionary to these challenging times we are presently living through, but I am inherently a positive soul who tends to see the bright side of things, albeit with a touch of British cynicism. Sunlight represents positivity and joy to me, hence the title.”

Standring celebrated three No. 1 singles in 2017: his solo hit “Like This, Like That,” and duet collaborations with trumpeter Cindy Bradley (“Category A”) and two-time Grammy-winning producer-guitarist Paul Brown (“Piccadilly Circus”). The classically-trained guitarist’s ambitious catalogue of instrumental R&B, soul jazz and electronica includes his hit debut single, “Cool Shades”; the No. 1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Track of the Year in 2010, “Bossa Blue”; and a 2014 Billboard No. 1 single, “Sneakin’ Out the Front Door.” Coming to the U.S. after a lengthy and prosperous run at the BBC and on London’s West End in theatrical orchestras, Standring was a session ace who recorded with Jody Watley and Bebe & Cece Winans among many others. He partnered with Lee to form the acid jazz outfit SolarSystem before touring extensively backing trumpeter Rick Braun. Standring issued “Velvet” soon after, launching his solo mission that continues to climb in trajectory and scope.          
“Sunlight” contains the following songs:

“Static In The Attic”
“Love Street”
“The Revisit” featuring Bob James
“No Explanation” featuring Mica Paris
“God Only Knows” featuring John Novello
“Like Paradise”
“Moon Child”
“Do Not Adjust Your Set”
“The Principle Of Pleasure”
“Static In The Attic (Reprise)”

For additional information, please visit

Contact: Rick Scott 310.306.0375

USA, NY: VINCENT CHANCEY AND NEWMAN TAYLOR BAKER “2/4/THREE” Saturday, February 3rd 8:00 p.m @ Roulette

Vincent Chancey (French horn, pandeiro, composition) and Newman Taylor Baker(washboard and composition) announce their first multi-arts collaboration, “2/4/THREE,” to be presented by Roulette Intermedium, Inc., 509 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, NY, on Saturday, February 3, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. For tickets, contact

To learn more about the project, please visit @2.4.THREE.

At the heart of “2/4/THREE” are two musicians in deep exploration of their instruments of choice—the French horn and the washboard. Their music drives this six-part, 90-minute work-in-progress featuring solo, duo, and ensemble pieces, punctuated by the choreography, spoken text, and media. Their creative team includes Tomeka Reid, cello;Keith Johnston, guitar, spoken word; Cleo Francine Wilson, narration; Maria Mitchell, choreography, dance, spoken word and Bill Toles, audio visuals. The project is organized by Jeanette Vuocolo.

“2/4/THREE” is a story about two musicians, but at the start there were three all born onFebruary 4th—Vincent, Newman and saxophonist John Stubblefield. John passed in 2005 of prostate cancer. Newman credits Stubbs for alerting the jazz community to prostate cancer of which Newman is a survivor. Vincent and Newman dedicate this evening to Stubbs and that joint birthday concert they had planned to do.

“2/4/THREE” tells family stories too—ones rooted in genealogical research and DNA testing that Vincent and Newman have undertaken with the help of family and friends.
From Madagascar to Nicodemus, Kansas, the first all-black settlement in the Great Plains, Vincent journeys with his sister and family genealogist Cleo F. Wilson through a family largely unknown having been raised in foster care. We will meet Maggie and George DePrad, a seamstress and barber who raised themselves up from slavery. And through one of Uncle James’ letters we join an annual homecoming of the Giles Bluford Page clan who descended from the first African American guides of the Mammoth Cave.

It is the washboard that draws Newman to the published writings of his grandfather, the Reverend Dr. T. Nelson Baker, who went from the plantation on Assateague Island, VA, to becoming the only former slave to receive a PhD from Yale University in 1903.  Newman will excerpt from such essays of the Reverend’s as “The Negro Woman” (1908) and “A Negros View of the Race Problem” (1908).  “He is talking about the way I feel today,” explains Newman.

Native Chicagoan, Vincent Chancey moved to New York after completion of a B. A. in Music from the Southern Illinois University School of Music. His classical private horn teacher was with Dale Clevenger, principal French horn of the Chicago Symphony. Chancey has performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Pan American Symphony, the Harlem Symphony, the One World Symphony, the Zephyr Woodwind Quintet, and the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam. He received a NEA grant to study jazz French Horn with Julius Watkins. He was awarded a Meet the Composer Grant, and a CMA/FACE French American Jazz Exchange Grant for a project with Serge Pesce. His has worked with Charlie Haden, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Lionel Hampton, Tom Harrell, Cassandra Wilson, Shirley Horn, Sun Ra, Lester Bowie, David Murray, and Carla Bley in jazz; Aretha Franklin, Patty Labelle, Elvis Costello, Brandy, David Byrne, Ashford and Simpson, and Maxwell. He appears on over 350 albums and CDs. He has also served as composer and player on a number of film scores. Vincent has toured with his groups at the Verona Festival in Italy, the Asilah Festival in Morocco, the Deer Isle Jazz Festival in Maine, and the Wind Festival in Greece. His three releases include LEGenDES ImaginairesNext Mode, and Welcome Mr. Chancey. He is a member of the History Makers.

Newman Taylor Baker is known for his solo drum set project, Singin’ Drums, andWashboard XT, his pursuit of 21st century music for the washboard. He started on the washboard in 2010 when working with the Ebony Hillbillies. His hands “just knew what to do.” Baker’s band, Washboard XThas performed in New York, Ohio, Scotland, Poland and Japan. Supported by a NYFA Music Fellowship Newman’s Singin’ Drums can be heard on Drum Suite Life and The NYFA Collection (Innova). He currently plays with the Matthew Shipp Trio, Vienna Carroll, Jemeel Moondoc, Andrew Lamb, the Deborah Brown Quartet and Sylwester Ostrowski with the NFM Leopoldinum Project, and The Lance Hayward Singers. Baker has toured with Billy Harper, Billy Bang, Sam Rivers, Henry Threadgill, Henry Grimes, Abdullah Ibrahim, Craig Harris, and Monnette Sudler. He has performed with McCoy Tyner, Ahmad Jamal, Joe Henderson, Lou Donaldson, Charlie Rouse, and as part of the Richmond Symphony and the Delaware Symphony. Newman has played in the musical theater works of Leroy Jenkins, Diedre Murray, Henry Threadgill and Jeanne Lee. His 21 year associations with Mickey D. & Friends Dance Company and Avodah Dance Ensemble fostered his teaching in schools and correctional facilities. Newman was raised on the Virginia State College campus (now University).

Photos and video available upon request.

USA:Yazz Ahmed- La Saboteuse(2017)

“..Gilles Peterson will be all over this..” - The Quietus

“…let Ahmed take you on a beautiful journey of forward-thinking jazz compositions.” - Twistedsoul

“its potent mix of post-bop lyricism and modern fusion soundscaping makes connections with both head and heart.” - Dave Sumner, Bandcamp

“Even if you’re not familiar or terribly interested in jazz, Ahmed’s music deserves your attention, and she’ll most likely make you second guess your thoughts on jazz.” - Headphone Nation

Bahraini-British performer, Yazz Ahmed, is transforming what jazz means in 2017. This trumpet and flugelhorn-playing artist has worked with Radiohead and These New Puritans, experiments with electronic effects, and combines sounds from her shared heritage to author a new narrative for the genre. Part of the new wave of artists credited with stirring up the sound, including Kamasi Washington, Yussef Kamaal, Sons of Kemet and The Comet is Coming, Yazz Ahmed is thrilled by the possibilities of making something new. “I feel like I’m a part of modernising jazz and connecting it with audiences today,” Yazz says. “It’s exciting.”

Thursday, January 18, 2018

USA: Cody Carpenter’s Interdependence (Blue Canoe Records 2018)

New Release from Blue Canoe Records

Cody Carpenter is a third generation musician. His father, John Carpenter, is a director and composer and his mother, Adrienne Barbeau, is a star of film, television and in Broadway Stage. His grandfather, Howard Carpenter, was a founding member of the Nashville Strings. His Album, “Cody Carpenter’s Interdependence”, culminates the creative DNA of his past with a focus bent towards his future.
Featuring: Cody Carpenter (keys/guitar)Jimmy Haslip (bass)Scott Seiver(drums)Virgil Donati (drums), PJ D'arti (guitar), John Spiker (mix/master).

80’s Prog-Fusion Reimagined

Atlanta, GA (December 12th, 2017) - Blue Canoe Records will release “Cody Carpenter’s
Interdependence”, the debut effort from Cody Carpenter on January 26th, 2018. Mr. Carpenter
combines the best of 80’s synth-pop with the jazz / rock fusion of that time to create a complex,
breakneck brew that both inspires and energizes.

Cody Carpenter is the son of Adrienne Barbeau, a star of film, television and the Broadway stage, and legendary Academy Award winning writer, actor, compose, producer and director John Carpenter. The Senior Carpenter is best know for classic horror films (Halloween, The Fog, The Thing) and sci-fi thrillers (Escape From new York, Starman). As a composer, he is
known for synthesizer-based pieces and is perhaps best known for the theme song to the movie Halloween (1978). It is not difficult to see how Cody Carpenter comes by his synthesizer based compositions. Cody was introduced to his first musical instrument around the age of three and has been playing and composing original music ever since. In addition to contributing music for two of his father’s films, Vampires (1998) and Ghosts of Mars (2001), Carpenter composed and performed the full-length score for “Cigarette Burns” and “Pro-Life” in Showtime’s Masters of Horror (2005) movie series. Cody co-wrote, co-produced, and performed on the acclaimed Lost Themes (2015) and Lost Themes II (2016) with his father and Daniel Davies. In 2016 and 2017 Cody toured North America and Europe with his father and a six piece band, performing material from both Lost Themes albums and his father’s films.

Cody Carpenter opens his debut with the expansive track “Jinrai Fuuretsu”. The Emerson Lake
and Palmer drenched opener rushes out of the gate like a tornado. Mr Carpenter’s driving synth
melody bashes up against the phenomenal rhythm section of Scott Seiver (drums) and Jimmy
Haslip (bass). Mr. Seiver has worked with current pop stars including Aimee Mann, Jack
Johnson and Jason Mraz. He also drummed on Grammy award winning recordings for
Tenacious D and Flight of the Conchords. Mr. Haslip was a founding member of jazz fusion
superstars The Yellowjackets and has worked with Bruce Hornsby, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau and
Donald Fagen among others. The track opens powerfully and then soars wistfully before Mr.
Carpenter drives the listener back home to its powerful opening theme…only to spin back to a
thoughtful passage. The track resolves only to leave the listener yearning for further insight.
Another track of note is “Thinking Of What Might Be”. Mr. Carpenter’s gracious synth melody
drifts out in front of the tight, pulsating rhythmic punches. While much of Cody’s music is fairly complex, this straight-forward tune harkens a daydream on a sunny afternoon. Mr. Carpenter
even steps out with a contemplative guitar solo midway through that sits perfectly afloat on the
steady rhythmic offering.

“Cody Carpenter’s Interdependence” is a brilliant entry for Cody Carpenter that has been a
long time coming. Drawing on the many years of playing with John Carpenter and his
accomplices, Cody finds his own unique voice all while the accepting the independence he has
come by honestly. “Cody Carpenter’s Interdependence” deserves a serious listen.

Press Contact:
Karen Frieske

PO Box 777143
Henderson, NV 89077
United States

SWITZERLAND/MEXICO: Studio Guitar Sessions "Invisible Element" by Ernesto Cortazar Lara

Studio Guitar Sessions, "Invisible Element" by Ernesto Cortazar Lara

Ernesto Cortazar Lara - Classical Nylon Guitar, Hugo Fernandez - E Guitar, David Gonzalez Cambray - Contrabass Borja Barrueta- Drums

These Studio Guitar Sessions are to show the audience how the featured music is made. In this video Ernesto is presenting a live recording session of an original composition named "Invisible Element" Featured is the main melody, the guitar solo, and the main guitar. Recorded in Madrid Spain at Infinity Studios. Mixed by Pablo Baselga Llidó & E Cortazar L at Infinity Studios Madrid, Spain. YT Link:

USA, NJ: Sons of Jazz Legends Coming to the Bickford Theatre in Morristown

Sons of Jazz Legends
Coming to the Bickford Theatre

Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play
Saturday, January 20, 8:00 PM
Tickets start at $45

T.S. Monk
Thursday, February 22, 7:30 PM
Tickets start at $35
Many performers are children of famous musicians but it is not always easy to carve an independent path in entertainment world. For instance, there was Frank Sinatra, Jr. or Natalie Cole. But this winter, the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Musem in Morristown, New Jersey will present two sons of jazz legends who have become musical stars in their own right: Dave Brubeck’s son Chris Brubeck with his group Triple Play and Thelonious Monk’s son T.S Monk with his ensemble.

Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play will perform on Saturday, January 20. The group brings together three exceptional musicians whose good-time music draws on folk, blues, and jazz.

A Grammy-nominated composer and musician Chris Brubeck has been called “one of the finest jazz trombonists around today” by Downbeat Magazine and “one of the most capable electric bassists” by the Los Angeles Times. He began touring and recording with his legendary father when he was young and has gone onto international acclaim as a performer, composer, and band leader. He has worked with a diverse cross section of artists including opera stars Frederica von Stade and Dawn Upshaw, pop stars Willie Nelson and B. B. King, and jazz greats Gerry Mulligan, Stephane Grappelli, and Bobby McFerrin.

His trio Triple Play delivers an epic sojourn through American music unlike any other band today and includes Peter “Madcat” Ruth, a virtuoso musician who is considered one of the best and most versatile harmonica players in the world and singer/guitarist Joel Brown a much in-demand soloist and chamber musician.

Chris Brubeck explains that Dave was always just dad to him. “I recall a couple of experiences when I was very young that got me thinking differently about my dad. One night after a concert with the famous quartet, we went to a classic New Jersey diner where they had a jukebox. I remember sitting in the booth and noticing “Take Five” on the playlist and being amazed. The other time it hit me that my dad was famous was when the Beatles came to America. When I heard them say in an interview that they listened to Dave Brubeck, I knew that Dad was important.”

Triple Play has one foot in the jazz world and another in the blues world but their repertoire includes many famous Dave Brubeck tunes including “Take Five,” “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” “Unsquare Dance,” “It’s A Raggy Waltz,” and the beautiful “Thank You.” The rare New Jersey concert will include an appearance by their good friend, New Jersey harmonica star Rob Paparozzi. 

Drummer T.S. Monk and his group will pay tribute to his famous father in concert onThursday, February 22. Thelonious Monk is the second most recorded jazz composer (after Duke Ellington) and many of his works have become jazz standards: “RoundMidnight,” “Blue Monk,” “Straight, No Chaser,” “Rudy, My Dear,” and “Well, You Needn’t” to name just a few.

T.S. got his first drumsticks from a regular visitor to their family home, Max Roach, and eventually joined his father’s trio, touring with him until he retired in 1975. Setting out on his own, Monk had two hit records with his R&B group, Natural Essence, before returning to jazz in 1992. He now heads up the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to promote jazz education, provide scholarships for music students, and promote his father’s legacy.

“Thelonious Sphere Monk was just daddy,” says T.S. Monk. “He took me and my sister, Boo Boo [nickname], everywhere, and taught me how to treat girls, spin tops, and change my sister’s diapers, among many other things. I can’t recall even one time in my life when I ever called him Thelonious, or Monk, or pop, or anything other than daddy.”

Both Dave Brubeck and Thelonious Monk were family men and raised their children well. You can see the results in these two great concerts in January and February. Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 973-971-3706 or The Bickford Theatre is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Walk-up hours areTuesday through Friday11:00 am to 5:00 pm. 
# # # # #

Editor’s Note: For more information, interviews or additional photos, please contact Don Jay Smith at

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


January 25,26,27 & 28

Broadway and 60th Street
5th Floor NYC

Fernando Saci,percussion
Craig Handy, tenor & flute
Fabiana Masili, vocals
Jay Ashby, trombone
Julian Shore, piano
Nilson Matta,acoustic bass

Sets, 7:30 & 9:30
Tickets & Info

Nilson Matta is well known as the world-class bassist of Trio da Paz, but his solo career as a composer and bandleader is equally noteworthy. His albums are thoughtful aural masterpieces featuring lush harmonies and contemporary Brazilian rhythms. “Brazilian Voyage” is an apt title for tonight’s performance, as Matta’s expert knowledge of Brazilian jazz unfolds as a varied journey through the music’s traditions and contemporary explorations, demonstrating an evolution in which he continues to play a major role.

USA: Bill Charlap Trio - Uptown Downtown (Impulse! 2017)

Uptown, Downtown

In the world’s jazz capital of New York, Bill Charlap is considered one of the great players of songs for musicals and broadway shows that when detached from their source, become standards. A connoisseur of the American Songbook, he has previously drawn material for albums dedicated to Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein. On Uptown, Downtown, Charlap preserves this love of song while leading the trio he has performed with since 1997 including bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

USA, NJ, NY: Freddie Jacobs Upcoming Appearances

Sunday January 14th 4 to 8 pm,
at the Ideal Lounge, Englewood NJ

17 Bennett Rd, Englewood, NJ 07631

FJ Quartet with Dan Kostelnik keyboard, Mark Hagan bass, and Greg Searvance drums.

Saturday February 3rd 8pm
at Maureen's Jazz Cellar

2 N. Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960
(845) 535-3143

FJ Quartet with Mike Holober piano, Ratzo Harris bass, and Richie Morales drums.

Just returning from San Diego trip, playing at Northern Spirits with drummer Duncan Moore, and the Prohibition Lounge with Mike Benge, trombone.

Recently back from a Europe tour, playing at Club Agharta, and the Jazz Dock, Prague with guitarist Libor Smoldas. Also Club Unterfahrt in Munich with bassist Peter Bockius, Cafe Classen, Arnheim Netherlands, with Emiel Wienholtz, sax, and Sounds Jazz Club, Brussels.

Fred has been playing locally at the Old 76 House, Tappan, and the Turning Point, Piermont,  In NYC at Mezzrow with Jon Menegon, Fat Cat with Alex Hoffman, Cleopatra's Needle with Bob Albanese, the Blue Note with Judi Silvano, and Moore's Lounge, Jersey City, with Roseanna Vitro.
In Nyack, back in the day, Fred was an integral part of the Jazz Scene at the Office Jazz Club, with drummer Jackie DePietro and the late guitarist Chuck Loeb.

Fred toured with jazz greats Lionel Hampton, Buddy Rich, Jimmy McGriff, Eddie Palmieri, and Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers.

His recordings TIME CHANGE, with Dave Kikoski, Rufus Reid and Bill Stewart, and JACOBS' LADDER, with John DiMartino and Harvie S, are available at CDbaby.


Freddie Jacobs

New Zealand: The Besser Three-Time Travels(2017)

Monday, January 15, 2018


Award-winning trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Marquis Hill is a highly skilled jazz musician with a bent toward soulful post-bop. A native of Chicago, Hill earned his B.A. in music education and jazz studies from Northern Illinois University in 2009. Three years later, he received his Master's degree in jazz pedagogy from DePaul University. A highly lauded performer, Hill won first place in both the 2012 International Trumpet Guild's Jazz Improvisation Competition and the 2013 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition. As a professional musician, he has performed with a wide array of artists including Benny Golson, Rodney Whitaker, Steve Turre, and others. He released his debut album, New Gospel, in 2011, followed by Sounds of the City in 2012. His third full-length album, The Poet, appeared in 2013. In 2014, Hill gained even further acclaim by winning the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute's International Jazz Competition. As part of his prize, Hill earned a recording contract with the Concord Music Group. On the heels of his win, he released his fourth studio album, the hip-hop-infused Modern Flows EP, Vol. 1. In 2016, he delivered his Concord debut, The Way We Play. ~ Matt Collar


Christian Scott, also known as Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is a two-time Edison Award winning (2010 and 2012) and Grammy Award nominated jazz trumpeter, composer and producer.

The Fall of 2015 marks Christian’s debut release on Ropeadope titled Christian Scott Stretch Music. The album demonstrates of Stretch music compositions that is sure to be an impactful statement of the genre.

USA: George Small & Sarah Larson - Jazzcats (2017)

George Small & Sarah Larson: Jazzcats
01. Toby (4:34)
02. Little Gigi (4:09)
03. Metromance (4:52)
04. Bopilection (6:04)
05. Lazy Daze (5:12)
06. Sami's Waltz (4:59)
07. Smunday Driviar (5:22)
08. Mitzi Eyes (5:16)
09. Angelized (5:23)
10. Flyover (6:19)
11. Intuit Now (6:26)
12. Metromance (5:02)

George Small - keyboards
Sarah Larson - electric violin
Warren Vaché - cornet
Marc Daine - guitar
Chip Fabrizi - drums

Sunday, January 14, 2018

USA: Bay Area Guitarist George Cotsirilos to Release "Mostly in Blue" (OA2 Records), Jan. 19

San Francisco Bay Area Guitarist/Composer
George Cotsirilos
To Release "Mostly in Blue,"
His Sixth Album,
January 19 on OA2 Records
CD Features His Working Trio of
Bassist Robb Fisher & Drummer Ron Marabuto +
Pianist Keith Saunders

February CD Release Shows  
Planned for Several San Francisco &
East Bay Venues

January 3, 2018
George Cotsirilos Quartet Mostly in BlueJazz guitarist/composer George Cotsirilos had previously recorded mostly in a trio setting with longtime associates Robb Fisher on bass and Ron Marabuto on drums. For his forthcoming sixth CD, Mostly in Blue, he expanded to a quartet, with pianist Keith Saunders, to shake up his approach a bit but also in the interests of being true to the music he was hearing in his head. OA2 Records will release the new CD on January 19.
"I started hearing a little different sound connected to the tunes I was writing," Cotsirilos says. "It seemed more amenable to a quartet, with a little more harmony underlying the melody line."
The trio tested out its chemistry with Saunders, a mainstay of the New York jazz scene with whom the guitarist had never played but both Fisher and Marabuto had. "When we first got together, it wasn't hard to tell it was working," he says. "We kind of jelled immediately. In the studio, even before we started playing tunes, when we were playing to get the sound, the chemistry was there. It's stunning how quickly Keith was there, on top of everything." Every track on the album was recorded in one or two takes.
In addition to six Cotsirilos originals, the repertoire includes a luminous arrangement of the Harry Warren-Mack Gordon classic "I Wish I Knew," where Saunders's presence liberates the stylistically wide-ranging guitarist to play legato more than he usually does. Another highlight is a feverishly fast performance of the Charlie Parker classic "Crazeology."
The band worked as their own producers in collaboration with engineer Dave Luke, a decorated veteran of Fantasy Records with whom Cotsirilos had worked several times. "We wanted the album to have a live feel," says Cotsirilos, and this live-in-studio sound can be heard as much in the playing as in the engineering, whether on Bird's bebop burner or the guitarist's slinky "Ms. Luna," written for his "troublemaking" cat.
"Blue Dusk," another Cotsirilos original, is a darkly shimmying tune with a swaying movement that puts the listener in the best kind of mood to greet the evening. And then there's "Down, Not Out," which in speaking to and for the underdog in these agonizing times suggests a cure for the melancholy many people are feeling today.
George Cotsirilos 
George Cotsirilos was born in Chicago in 1951. Under the influence of his aunt, a classical music devotee, he chose violin as his first instrument. His involvement in jazz was elevated when an uncle who'd played drums with the Woody Herman Orchestra took him to hear Louis Armstrong. Seeing Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner play at Chicago's venerated London House turned him on to the piano. But during his teen years, with local notables including the Butterfield Blues Band and Michael Bloomfield making a national noise, he became strongly involved in blues guitar.
In 1969, Cotsirilos enrolled at UC Berkeley as a sociology major. He taught himself blues riffs, using his background in piano to improve technique. A turning point for him came when he commenced music studies with Warren Nunes, a phenomenal jazz guitarist and prolific writer of guitar books.
Nunes shifted Cotsirilos's attention to jazz and had him listen not just to great guitarists such as Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass but also luminaries on other instruments, among them John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Bill Evans. Cotsirilos studied classical guitar privately as well through the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. 
George CotsirilosMusic wasn't the only thing vying for Cotsirilos's future. Born into a family of lawyers -- his late father, George, Sr., the son of Greek immigrants, was a prominent Chicago defense attorney -- Cotsirilos acquired a law degree with thoughts of getting involved in social causes. He became an assistant public defender, then moved on to a successful criminal defense practice in San Francisco and a faculty position at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, where he taught criminal trial practice for fifteen years. At the same time, Cotsirilos continued to practice, perform, and record jazz, releasing co-led quartet and quintet albums featuring venerated drummer Eddie Marshall, and, in 2003, his first solo album, Silenciosa. He subsequently released three trio recordings with Fisher and Marabuto.
While he finally retired in recent years from practicing and teaching law, he has remained deeply involved in music. "I have done what I have for a number of reasons, both personal and socio-philosophical," he reflects. "Involvement in criminal law, while still trying to maintain and grow as a musician, was a life experience that was intense, often very rewarding, but also frenetic. Music, which was always there as a salvation, really, remains and now gets my full attention."          
The George Cotsirilos Quartet will be performing CD release shows at the following: 2/10Bird & Beckett, San Francisco; 2/18 St. Albans Church, Albany, CA; 2/25 Chez Hanny, San Francisco.  
Photography: Billy Douglas    
George Cotsirilos
George Cotsirilos "Mostly in Blue" EPK
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