featuring

Hot Sugar Reveals Unique Beatmaking Process

Dame Dash’s Creative Control recently caught up with producer Nick Koenig, a.k.a. Hot Sugar, to document his unique process of making beats and capture his charmingly awkward sense of humor.  If you haven’t checked out the premiere over at Prefix, click HERE to watch Koenig in action (and note that all the sounds used in this video were recorded live at this session.)  Hot Sugar is also releasing a new free mp3 for the song “F**kable” (Feat. Baghdaddy) off his forthcoming EP, Muscle Milk.  Stream or download it HERE and feel free to post and share both.

For the past several decades numerous musicians have created recordings using found audio.  It is usually done in a manner that highlights the unusual nature of the source. Koenig, on the other hand, manipulates his samples until they’re tweaked beyond recognition.  For example, if one of his kick drums sounds like it came from a drum set, it’s more likely to be the sound of a car running over a juicebox, if not a fire cracker pitched down and chopped up, etc.

Having mastered this experimental technique, Koenig has a nearly unlimited palette of sounds to work with and his beats cover a massive array of genres.  New track “F**kable” is a slice of oddball digital funk featuring the blue-eyed soul, come-hither vocals of Baghdaddy.  If you haven’t heard Hot Sugar’s previously released mp3’s, “The Seagull” is a whimsical indie-pop nugget anchored by a music box melody and “Color Wars” pairs a mellow, head-nodding groove with the gritty crooning of The Roots/RJD2 collaborator Aaron Livingston.

All three tracks will appear on the Muscle Milk EP, which will be released for free online later this year.  Hot Sugar’s debut full-length will be out next year and will feature some top secret surprise guests.  Stay tuned for more info!

String Cheese Incident Launches Archival Series

Today, The String Cheese Incident releases the first installment of their brand new live archival series, Rhythm of the Road, which will highlight the band’s most celebrated concerts with re-mastered limited edition releases. Titled Rhythm of the Road: Volume 1, Incident in Atlanta – 11.17.00, this first offering on the historic show’s ten-year anniversary.

2000 was a big year for SCI as they became a true touring force, settling into larger venues for the first time, including Red Rocks in Colorado, The Warfield in San Francisco, and New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre. The band finished off a long East Coast fall tour with three nights in Athens and Atlanta, GA, and it’s the middle night on 11.17.00 that fans still talk about as one of the best in the band’s career. With special guest Tony Furtado on banjo for several songs and featuring covers of Led Zeppelin, Talking Heads, John Coltrane, Peter Rowan, and Peter Gabriel, as well as bluegrass standards and a host of SCI originals, this show is the perfect way to kick off The String Cheese Incident’s archival series “Rhythm of the Road.”

Incident in Atlanta features the entire 11.17.00 performance, lovingly remastered from the original 24-bit multi-track master tapes and made available on CD, download (MP3, FLAC) and, an SCI first, 24-bit FLAC download. It will be released on November 9th in stores, through SCI Merchandise, and www.LiveCheese.com.

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Track List for Rhythm of the Road: Volume 1, Incident in Atlanta – 11.17.00 is as follows:

Set 1: Smile, Joyful Sound > Orange Blossom Special*, Barstool, Pygmy Pony,
Missing Me > Ramble On

Set 2: Outside And Inside, Impressions > Glory Chords Jam > Midnight
Moonlight*, This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) > Miss Brown's Teahouse,
Wake Up, Black Clouds*

Encore: The Old Home Place*, Shenandoah Breakdown*, Shakin' the Tree*

* featuring Tony Furtado on banjo and guitar

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This year, after a three-year hiatus from the touring circuit, The String Cheese Incident played just a few select shows that sold out in minutes. By all accounts, the epic performers were well worth the long wait. Refreshed and inspired and still making music on their own terms, SCI seems to be once again reinventing the music industry model. Stay tuned for announcement of the band’s highly anticipated 2011 plans.

Vince Herman to host KBCO Groove Show

Howdy Halloween freakers, Vince Herman here! The Salmon are swimming into the Fillmore again for a wild night of music, costumes, debauchery and late night parading down Colfax!

Next Saturday is our Zombie Jamboree at the Fillmore Auditorium! We will be celebrating Halloween with Todd Snider featuring Great American Taxi opening the show. There will also be a costume contest with a great grand prize, see details below.

On Friday October 29th the debauchery begins with the Drew Emmitt Band and Great American Taxi featuring Todd Snider. We're performing a kickoff party to the Halloween weekend at the Gothic Theatre In Englewood. This holiday is just too much fun for one show, so come out and make a weekend of it.

I’ll be hosting the KBCO Groove Show this Saturday! It’s a jamband show on a mainstream FM station. Hippies are taking over everywhere! Check it out on the web or on your radio here in Boulder. This Saturday from 10pm-12am tune in to 97.3 KBCO Boulder/Denver or on the web at www.kbco.com.  Turn up, Drop in, Freak out!!

Salmon is in its twentieth year of having you great folks to play for! We are eternally grateful for your ears and your time, and hope you all have a great holiday!

See you all soon,

Vince Herman

Get your Fillmore tickets HERE

Slightly Stoopid Perform at Austin City Limits

After a long run on their hugely successful and critically acclaimed Cauzin' Vapors... Legalize It 2010 US amphitheater tour with Cypress Hill, Steel Pulse, and Collie Buddz (where the band performed to anywhere from 5,000 - 20,000 of their most loyal fans), San Diego-based dub/rock/psychedelic-jam phenoms Slightly Stoopid are gearing up to perform at this year's renowned Austin City Limits festival in Austin, TX. Sharing the stage with some of the biggest names around, the band will perform alongside the likes of The Eagles, Phish, Muse, The Strokes, Norah Jones and more. Joining Slightly Stoopid on stage at this year's festival will be funky sax man Karl Denson (from Karl Denson's Tiny Universe / The Greyboy Allstars).

The band has also just announced that they've spent the past few months collaborating in their band-built home studio (equipped with video game room and skate ramp) with the likes of Cypress Hill, G Love, Barrington Levy, The Neville Brothers and more, all in preparation for their upcoming and brand new full-length release due Summer 2011. The band is also planning the upcoming remix of hit song "No Cocaine" (from the band's celebrated 2008 album Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid), featuring legendary reggae star Capleton, set for release November 2 on Hi Grade Ganja Anthems 3.

Slightly Stoopid have recently logged some serious road miles as part of their annual Summer Amphitheater Tours. Since 2007, they have recruited Snoop Dogg, Stephen Marley, G. Love, Sly & Robbie and more on their colossal summer packages, and the band spent the past few months performing at some of the biggest festivals in the country, including dates at Lollapalooza, Denver's Mile High Festival, Outside Lands, the Blackwater Music Festival, Harmony Festival, New Orleans Jazz Fest and more!

The Slightly Stoopid story can be traced to Ocean Beach, California, when childhood chums Miles and Kyle formed the group in 1995, mixing reggae and punk sounds into one smooth stylistic cocktail. Soon after, late/great Sublime frontman Brad Nowell caught wind of the group, and signed them to his Skunk Records label – while the band members were still in high school. A pair of releases soon followed for Skunk - 1996's punk-tinged SLIGHTLY STOOPID (featuring a guest appearance by Nowell on the song “Prophet” - later covered by Sublime and released on their box set, EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN) and 1998's surf-inspired cult classic THE LONGEST BARREL RIDE. Most recently, the band has continued their mainstream successes, seeing their last two albums, 2007's CHRONCHITIS, (which featured guest appearances by Guru of Gang Starr, Angelo Moore of Fishbone, Money Mark of the Beastie Boys and G. Love) and 2008's SLIGHTLY NOT STONED ENOUGH TO EAT BREAKFAST YET STOOPID, charting in the Billboard Top 100, with both albums appearing on the band's own Stoopid Records.

To date, the band has sold over 750,000 records on their own label, has performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and has had their songs appear on hit television series' Scrubs, The O.C., Cribs, and more. Slightly Stoopid has also consistently been selling out venues and ampitheaters across the country for the past 3+ years and consistently appear on Pollstar's top grossing tours.

Greg Lewis Upcoming NYC Appearances

New York native, keyboardist Greg Lewis, a highly accomplished mainstay on the city’s jazz, blues and funk scenes, who has earned a solid reputation for his versatile work around town in a vast variety of settings, steps out front for the first time on his debut CD Organ Monk. Lewis’ sensitive and soulful keyboard playing has made him a favorite among some of the music’s finest vocalists – including blues queen Sweet Georgia Brown, jazz and soul songstress.

Lezlie Harrison and ex-Brooklyn Funk Essentials singer/songwriter Stephanie McKay  -- and earned him a featured role on saxophonist Sam Newsome’s Groove Project recording 24/7.  Now on Organ Monk the spotlight is finally shined on his enormous talents as the leader of his own allstar trio featuring multitalented guitarist Ron Jackson and drummer extraordinaire Cindy Blackman.

Born into a musical family, Lewis’ introduction to jazz came from hearing Monk records from the collection his late father, pianist David Lewis, who was a dedicated fan of Thelonious.  “It all started there,” the younger Lewis proclaims, also naming unsung master Elmo Hope as a major influence.  Lewis started his own piano studies at the age of eleven and began playing professionally around New York as a teenager.  He credits jazz legend Gil Coggins, who sent him as a sub one night to a gig where there was a Hammond B-3, for setting him on the path to becoming a bona fide organist.  These days Lewis has so devoted himself to mastering the difficult instrument with such fervor that he considers himself to be an “organ monk.”

Working weekly for the past five years at the hip Brooklyn club Night Of The Cookers, with his regular trio featuring Ron Jackson on guitar, Lewis has honed his skills on the B 3 to become one of New York’s first call organists.  It was at the club that he first met drummer Cindy Blackman, who was so impressed with his playing that she sat in with the group and made arrangements to later perform with Lewis.  An unwavering fan of the Tony Williams Lifetime group, featuring Larry Young on organ, Blackman is the perfect complement for Lewis’, who names Young as his primary influence on the instrument (along with, of course, Jimmy Smith as well as Sly Stone).  Lewis cites Young’s landmark interpretation of “Monk’s Dream” from the classic Unity album as a further inspiration for his decision to devote this his first date to the music of Thelonious.

Although albums memorializing Monk’s music have become somewhat commonplace since the iconic pianist/composer’s death, Organ Monk is most likely the very first on which the date is led by an organist.   Lewis’ years of familiarizing himself with both his instrument’s expansive capabilities, as well as Monk’s sizable songbook, have led to this inevitable debut recording that breathes new life into the master’s repertory, while exploiting the Hammond B 3’s vast (and somewhat untapped) potential for creating new sounds.

Despite its classic organ-guitar-drum configuration, Lewis’ trio is far from typical in approach to making modern music. His arrangements of the fourteen Monk titles on the record are consciously contemporary in their originality, respecting the composer’s melodic, harmonic and rhythmic voice, while using the different elements of each piece to propel the group into its own unique nexus, one where the customary divisions between soloist and accompanist are blurred, or even erased.   Beginning with “Trinkle Tinkle”, one of Monk’s more intricate melodic lines, Lewis’ mastery of both the B 3’s dual keyboards and its too often neglected bass pedals is clearly evident, as is his fearless approach to arranging for the trio, with Blackman’s powerful drums doubling the intricate melody with him.

Lewis’ unaccompanied introduction to ”Jackie-ing”, slowing building around the chords of the playful Monk march before inviting drums and guitar to join him is an eloquent lesson in dynamic tension and release.  The trio trips around in space with Lewis’ organ at times reminiscent of Sun Ra before sliding smoothly into the infectious melody of “Criss Cross”, with Blackman’s drums offering a jagged contrast to the velvety tone of the B 3, before the trio settles into an earthy mood and then blasts back into the stratosphere to conclude astrally.  The band’s easy swinging reading of the beautiful “Light Blue”, featuring Jackson’s soulful guitar, is a ringing affirmation of the group’s ability to shine brightly in the classic organ trio tradition, as is their burning up tempo rendition of the not often heard “Played Twice” that features an exciting Lewis-Blackman dialogue.

The date’s other nine Monk pieces each offer a different perspective on the master’s work.  There’s the bouncing rhythm that jumps out of the long tones that set up “Boo Boo’s Birthday” and its fittingly funny quote by Lewis of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, followed the lilting rhythms of the bebop masterpiece “Coming On The Hudson.”  Blackman’s energetic drumming on the fiercely burning “Four In One”, reminiscent of Art Blakey’s work with Monk, incites Lewis and Jackson to some of their best soloing of the date.  Lewis’ playing on “Locomotion” with his tonally expansive keyboard work, intelligent use of space and cleverly complementary bass line is nothing short of masterful.  On “We See” the trio once again swings mightily, with Lewis clearly demonstrating the influence of the great Jimmy Smith on his virtuosic playing.

“Monk’s Mood” is the date’s most beautiful ballad, with Lewis displaying the sensitive lyricism that has made him the favorite accompanist of so many of New York’s finest vocalists.  The trio shows off its intuitive split second timing in an edge of your seat dramatic reading of the marvelous melody of “Think Of One”, before digging down into their shared deep blues roots.  Lewis’ harmonic daring is clearly evident on his audacious arrangement of “Work.”  The final Monk piece of the date, “Introspection”, is a fitting example of the unmitigated joy the trio finds in coming together to make great music.

The date’s concluding coda is a Lewis original, “Kohl’s Here”, a fittingly Monkish melody dedicated to his teenage son that gives listeners a brief glimpse into the keyboardist’s own impressive abilities as a composer.  A talent that is sure to be seen in greater abundance on future releases from this extraordinary artist.

Night Of The Cookers Oct 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th, 2010

10pm-1am | 767 Fulton St, Brooklyn 11217 (Btwn Greene Ave & S Oxford St)

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55 Bar Oct 9th & 23rd

10pm-130am
55 Christopher St.
New York, NY 10001

Dead News: Warner Bros. Box Set + Jam Cruise Tixs

It's time to slip into auditory bliss with the five-LP boxed set The Warner Bros Studio Albums! Out now, the collection features The Grateful Dead, Workingman's Dead, and American Beauty, plus the sought-after original mixes for Anthem Of The Sun and Aoxomoxoa on 180-gram vinyl cut from the original analog masters.

Pick it up at Dead.net and you’ll not only get free shipping*, but you’ll also get an exclusive reproduction of the rare 1968 “Dark Star” 7” single AND an exclusive reproduction of a rare 1967 promotional poster.

Take a tour of The Warner Bros Studio Albums boxed set with David Lemieux. Click here.

SIRIUS|XM, home of the Grateful Dead Channel, is giving you and a guest the chance to win a trip on Jam Cruise 9! Featuring performances from over 30 bands and special guests, including Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman & Jay Lane are Scaring the Children, Rhythm Devils featuring Bill Kreutzmann & Mickey Hart, and many more. The cruise sets sail from Ft. Lauderdale January 4-9, 2011 with port stops in Roatan, Honduras & Costa Maya, Mexico. See Official Rules and enter for your chance to win – click here!

Unbroken Chain will be working with charity: water on the Box of Rain Project to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Learn more about the Box of Rain Project - featuring many opportunities to raise funds for a noble cause and bid on exciting upcoming auction packages.

RUE 57 RESTAURANT LAUNCHES JAZZ SERIES

Rue 57, New York’s only brasserie-sushi bar will begin offering live music on Thursday evenings in their downstairs Salon beginning June 17 from 8pm - 11:30pm. For reservations and info, call (212) 307-5656.

The weekly series will feature some of New York’s finest musicians many of international renown. Kicking off the series will be saxophonist Grant Stewart, a hard-swinging tenor saxophonist steeped in the jazz tradition, on June 17. Also featured in the series will be veteran players Frank Wess and George Garzone.

“Excellent food, drink and entertainment from great artists, at great value at one of New York City’s finest eateries - who could ask for more?" asked Charles Carlini, entertainment coordinator for the weekly music series.

Diners will find jazz a sweet addition to this bustling bistro serving superb versions of French classics as well as Sushi.

Music Calendar

June 17 - Grant Stewart Quartet
June 24 - George Garzone Quartet featuring Joe Cohn
July 1 - George Garzone Quartet featuring Joe Cohn
July 8 - Harry Allen/Joe Cohn Quartet
July 15 - Vanessa Trouble Quartet
July 22 - Sarah Hayes Quartet featuring Joe Colianni
July 29 - Jerry Weldon Quartet featuring Joe Cohn

Jam Cruise 9 Announces Dates and Lineup

It’s been 7 years and 8 sold-out cruises since Jam Cruise first set sail as the “floating music festival“ that has become a fan favorite for thousands. Today, Jam Cruise 9 announces that it will set sail on January 4-9, 2011 on the MSC Poesia with stops at two of the cruise’s most beloved port stops: Roatan, Honduras and Costa Maya, Mexico.

Tropical ports and luxury cruise ship amenities are only part of the Jam Cruise experience. Ultimately, Jam Cruise is about celebrating the MUSIC and incredible community that comes together each year to share in this special musical experience. Jam Cruise 9 returns with as strong and eclectic a lineup as ever. Performing artists include Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman, & Jay Lane are Scaring the Children, The Rhythm Devils featuring Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Galactic, The Greyboy Allstars, Stockholm Syndrome, Lotus, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Anders Osborne featuring sets with Stanton Moore & Robert Walter and with George Porter Jr. & Johnny Vidacovich, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Zach Deputy and many more. Full lineup details are below.

With so many returning fans on Jam Cruise, pre-booking has been strong for Jam Cruise 9 and the event is on track to sell out for the 9th straight cruise. All remaining cabins will become available for sale to the public on June 2 at 12 noon EDT at www.jamcruise.com. Visit www.jamcruise.com for more details.

Jam Cruise 9 Confirmed Lineup:
Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman, & Jay Lane are Scaring the Children
The Rhythm Devils feat. Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart
Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Galactic
The Greyboy Allstars
God Street Wine
Stockholm Syndrome
Lotus
JoJo's Mardi Gras Band
ALO
Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk
Easy Star All-Stars
Lettuce
Garage A Trois
The New Mastersounds
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Anders Osborne featuring sets with Stanton Moore & Robert Walter and with George Porter, Jr & Johnny Vidacovich
Big Sam's Funky Nation
Cornmeal
Some Cat From Japan featuring Ron Johnson, Will Bernard, Scott Metzger, Eric Bolivar & Nigel Hall performing a tribute to Jimi Hendrix
Greensky Bluegrass
Big Gigantic
Zach Deputy
The Pimps Of Joytime
Maceo Parker Super Jam
Special Guests:
Leo Nocentelli
Fred Wesley
Col. Bruce Hampton
Jennifer Hartswick
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

Dierks Bentley Shares Details about UP ON THE RIDGE

Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will release his artistically daring, acoustic new album UP ON THE RIDGE on June 8, 2010.  His fifth Capitol Nashville studio project is steeped in the bluegrass and roots music that moved Bentley to become a country musician in the first place.  The lead single and title track, inspired by time spent on a plot of land in rural Tennessee, will be released to country radio on April 12.

“I fell in love with this kind of music the first time I walked into the Station Inn with a fake I.D. at 19 years old … these guys, who were my age, were playing their instruments so hard it knocked your head back.   After that, I never missed a Tuesday night there in almost eight years,” explains Bentley.  “Without the whole bluegrass community taking me in, I would have had no place to start from.  It is my foundation.”

To preview a short film on the making of UP ON THE RIDGE, click here.
Produced by Jon Randall Stewart and engineered by Gary Paczosa, UP ON THE RIDGE is a document of an artist who’s using some well-earned freedom to write in a fresh vein and cook up collaborations with the musicians who fascinate him the most.  Dozens of talents have contributed in some way to this project.  Besides the five co-written by Bentley himself, the songs come from such varied sources as Bob Dylan, U2 and Kris Kristofferson. The monumental Kristofferson is here as a guest vocalist as well, along with a slate of today’s best traditional country singers, including Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson and Miranda Lambert.  And then there are the players, recruited from the top echelons of bluegrass and acoustic music. Among them: Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers, the Del McCoury Band, the legendary Sam Bush, dobro player Rob Ickes, guitarist Bryan Sutton, fiddler Stuart Duncan, and mandolinist Ronnie McCoury.

UP ON THE RIDGE TRACK LIST:
1. Up On The Ridge
(Written by Angelo Petraglia, Dierks Bentley, Background Vocals by Alison Krauss)
2. Fallin’ For You
(Written by Shawn Camp, Paul Kennerly, Background Vocals by Chris Stapleton)
3. Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) (with The Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile)
(Written by Bob Dylan)
4. Rovin’ Gambler (with The Punch Brothers)
(Written by Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley)
5. Draw Me A Map
(Written by Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley, Background Vocals by Alison Krauss)
6. Bad Angel (Featuring Miranda Lambert, Jamey Johnson)
(Written by Verlon Thompson, Suzi Ragsdale)
7. Fiddlin’ Around
(Written by John Scott Sherrill, Shawn Camp, Jeff Austin, Background Vocals by Vince Gill)
8. You’re Dead to Me
(Written by Tim O’Brien, Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley, Background vocals by Tim O’Brien)
9. Pride (In The Name Of Love) (with The Punch Brothers featuring Del McCoury)
(Written by Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Dave Evans, Paul David Hewson)
10. Love Grows Wild
(Written by Julie Miller, Buddy Miller)
11. Bottle to The Bottom (featuring Kris Kristofferson)
(Written by Kris Kristofferson)
12. Down In The Mine
(Written by Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley, Background vocals by Sonya Isaacs)
Bentley will hit the road for a run of 24 shows in 30 days previewing the new music for fans across the country as part of his UP ON THE RIDGE tour. For a full list of tour dates, visit www.dierks.com.

Dreyfus Jazz Presents European Modernists

Jazz, once a singularly American invention and one of the United States’ greatest exports, has become a truly international phenomenon, with important players from all over the world making valuable contributions to the music’s evolution.  Europe, previously home to many of the most devoted connoisseurs of the art form, is now also the producer of some of the most innovative voices in jazz. With the inauguration of its European Modernists series Dreyfus Jazz is proud to bring U.S. audiences some of the best creative music being made on the continent today.  The first releases in the collection showcase musicians from Belgium, France and Italy, spotlighting two long respected veterans and a pair of important younger voices.  Taken together, Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine, French pianist Jean-Michel Pilc and Italians, drummer Aldo Romano and saxophonist Rosario Giuliani, these artists represent the continuing trend of noteworthy original music emanating from European environs.

Born in Belluno, Italy on Jan 16, 1941, Aldo Romano is the most senior of the four leaders, well known to audiences worldwide since his earliest recordings as a member of Don Cherry’s internationalist quintet featuring Argentinean saxophonist Gato Barbieri, German vibraphonist Karl Berger and French bassist Jean Francois Jenny Clark.  A resident of France since a young age, he’s played swinging drums with visiting American giants like Jackie McLean, Bud Powell, Lucky Thompson, J.J. Johnson, Johnny Griffin and Woody Shaw and avant garde explorations with Steve Lacy, Charlie Mariano, Frank Wright, Bobby Few and Bill Dixon through the years, giving his far reaching music a distinctively freewheeling flavor. His associations with fellow Europeans Michel Petrucciani, Rolf and Joachim Kühn, Enrico Rava and Michel Portal make him a particularly representative artist for this series.

Origine, Romano’s fourth effort for Dreyfus, finds the versatile artist returning to a romantic setting similar to that of his debut effort for the label, Chante, leading an expanded ensemble that displays his considerable capabilities as a composer.  Augmenting his jazz sextet featuring saxophonist/flutist Lionel Belmondo (who arranged all of the disc’s thirteen compositions) and trumpeter/flugelhornist Stéphane Belmondo (the date’s primary soloist), altoist Géraldine Laurent, pianist Eric Legnini and bassist Thomas Bramerie with a classical wind ensemble of clarinet, flute, English horn, bassoon, French horn and tuba, plus percussionist Xavier Desandre-Navarre.  The music is lush and beautiful, a decidedly successful melding of American and European sensibilities reflecting Romano’s wide ranging talents, which also include (like one of his influences, Bill Higgins) playing guitar and singing, the latter of which is heard to great effect on the final track, his “Jazz Messengers” with French lyrics by Yves Simon.

Guitarist Philip Catherine, born in London in 1942 to a Belgian father and British mother, was raised in Brussels’s where he began playing professionally while still a teenager.  Dubbed the "young Django" while still a youth, by the great Charles Mingus (on whose Three or Four Shades of Blues the guitarist recorded), Catherine came into his own voice playing in variety of settings, from bebop to fusion, including work with American expatriates Dexter Gordon and Chet Baker and European violin maestros Jean Luc Ponty and Stephane Grappelli. Since gaining recognition with American audiences for his two guitar work Larry Coryell, he has gone on to become one of the most highly respected artists on his instrument in both the U.S. and Europe.

Catherine, who has recorded over twenty albums under his own name since his 1974 Warner Brothers debut Stream (produced by the legendary French guitarist-vocalist Sacha Distel, who worked with Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and John Lewis) and dozens more as a valued sideman, makes his sixth appearance as a leader on Dreyfus with Concert In Capbreton.  The live recording, featuring the guitarist’s working band with his longtime collaborator, Dutch bassist Hein Van De Geyn, Italian piano maestro Enrico Pieranunzi and former Bill Evans drummer Joe La Barbera, is a swinging affair documenting the group’s 2009 appearance in the charming seaside resort town in southwestern France.  The group stretches out on four standards from the Great American Songbook – “My Funny Valentine”, “My Foolish Heart”, “You’ve Changed” and “Speak Low”, along with two modern jazz classics, Sam Rivers’ “Beatrice” and Richie Beirach’s “Broken Wings” and a beautiful Van de Geyn solo bass piece “Change.”

Since moving to New York in 1995, virtuoso pianist/composer Jean-Michel Pilc has steadily earned a reputation one the city’s finest musical imports, working and recording regularly in many of the most important venues in the jazz capital of the world, including Sweet Basil, Small’s, Iridium and the Jazz Gallery, both as a leader and with the likes of Roy Haynes, Michael Brecker, Kenny Garrett and Richard Bona.  Born in Paris in 1960, where he taught himself piano, Pilc truly came into his own after moving to the United States and forming his longstanding trio featuring fellow Frenchman, bassist François Moutin (with whom he recorded his debut album, Funambule, in Paris in 1989) and the flexible Philadelphian drummer, Ari Hoenig.  An innovator with a deeply personal style of his own, Pilc has been called “musical genius’” by the Washington Post, while the New York Time’s Ben Ratliff astutely described him as “a splashy stunner who also has a Rubik's-cube mind for chord substitutions."

True Story, Pilc’s sixth album as a leader for Dreyfus since he began recording for the label back in 2001 with his Welcome Home, introduces the pianist’s remarkable new trio featuring veteran drummer Billy Hart and the great Russian born Mingus Dynasty bassist Boris Kozlov.  The program, predominantly composed by the leader himself, including the five part title track suite, continues on the idiosyncratic path blazed on his previous dates, with music that is both dazzling and unpredictable.  In addition to his other compositions, which include the classically tinged tribute “Mornings With Franz”, he also performs an original arrangement of Schubert’s “Relic” and typically unconventional interpretations of Cole Porter’s “My Heart Belongs To Daddy” and Tom Jones’ pop hit “Try To Remember”, with the former reimagined as a tango and latter serving as an Evanescent impressionistic journey.

Perhaps the least known artist presented in the European Modernist series, Rosario Giuliani is nonetheless an important new voice on the international music scene.  Born in Terracina, Italy in the saxophonist achieved deserved recognition when voted the best new talent in the 2000 critics poll Top Jazz conducted by Musica Jazz magazine. Since then he has gone on to garner attention for his work with artists like Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Cedar Walton, Marc Johnson, Charlie Haden, Phil Woods, Mark Turner and Jeff "Tain" Watts, as well as many of Europe’s best players.  Possessing a virtuosic technique reflecting a range of influences from Charlie Parker and Lee Konitz to John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, Giuliani has proven himself to be a significant addition to the lineage of jazz saxophonists, capable of contributing valuably in a variety of situations.

Lennie’s Pennies, Giuliani’s tenth album as a leader and his fifth for Dreyfus, may well be the saxophonist’s best effort to date. Leading a quartet featuring Paris born Pierre de Bethmann on piano and Fender Rhodes, with expatriate Philadelphian Darryl Hall on bass and Joe La Barbera on drums, Giuliani proves himself to be a first rate on alto saxophone (which he plays exclusively on the date, eschewing the soprano sax that he has doubled on excellently on previous cd’s).  Opening with a blistering tempoed reading of Lennie Tristano’s title track, the leader leaves no doubt whatsoever concerning his powerful voice and technique. Elsewhere he expresses both a dreamy sensitivity, as well as a willingness to stretch boundaries when appropriate.  The program, which includes four originals penned by the leader and two from de Bethmann, as well as a couple of standards, Heyman and Young’s “Love Letters” and Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is The Ocean” and a pair of modern jazz classics, Joe Zawinul’s “74 Miles Away” and Jimmy Rowles’ “The Peacocks” is one that should satisfy forward looking fans of straight ahead jazz.

Ironically, as modern technology and the internet makes the planet seem smaller and smaller, the jazz world continues to expand exponentially with creative artists from all over contributing their individual voices and homegrown influences to the music’s ever growing canon. The four artists featured on the Dreyfus European Modernist series, Aldo Romano, Philip Catherine, Jean-Michel Pilc and Rosario Giuliani, are each important voices in this once all-American music, reflecting the new wide world of contemporary jazz.