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Molly Sweeney: Gold Rings and Fur Pelts

One of the most compelling new voices to emerge from the Montreal music scene, singer-songwriter Molly Sweeney's debut album Gold Rings and Fur Pelts features nine songs that conjure up an elemental world of longing, passion, and poetry in a classic concept-album format. From a journey foiled by fate to a poignant French chanson of faithless love, these folk-infused torch songs explore the dark side of rapture, showcasing her sultry, dramatic vocals and enigmatic lyrics.
A regular on the Montreal circuit, Molly has shared the stage with a diverse slate of musicians including White Magic, Elfin Saddle, Josephine Foster, Scout Niblett, MV and EE, Simon Finn, Matana Roberts and Sally Seltmann, and performs with Sam Shalabi's Land of Kush both onstage and on their critically acclaimed 2009 release Against the Day and 2010 release Monogamy.
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Track List:
1. Swollen
2. Not Faithful
3. Florida
4. Gold Rings and Fur Pelts
5. Full Moon
6. Eros and Psyche
7. You Mustn’t Worry
8. Spirit, Will I See You
9. Radiant Sun
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Personnel:
Molly Sweeney: voice, guitars, tiple, autoharp
Jérémi Roy: upright and electric basses
Xarah Dion: keys
Molly McGivern: violin and morin khuur
Patrick Conan: drums
Gavin John Sheehan: electric guitar
Miles Perkin: upright bass
Becky Foon: cello
Gen Heistek: viola
Philippe Lauzier: bass clarinet
Jen Reimer: French horn
Jason Sharp: baritone sax
Sarah Wendt: French horn

French Horn Rebellion Release Debut LP & Tour

French Horn Rebellion (Robert and David Perlick-Molinari) kick off 2011 by announcing the US self-release of their debut album The Infinite Music of French Horn Rebellion on April 19th digitally and May 24th physically (Once Upon A Time Records) and a 27 date North American tour supporting French electro pop outfit Yelle starting 17th April.

Written, produced and mixed by Robert and David, The Infinite Music… is a debut album that warps the fabric of dance, electro, rock and funk and may just turn out to be a contender for this year’s most ambitious, multi-faceted and engaging debut album. Crucially, the album also follows an intergalactic narrative that tracks the physical and emotional journey of an unknown French Horn player. “There is a story running through the album, it’s about the Universe. We’re pretty clear on what the story is, but what you take away from it may be something entirely different,” says David.

The album’s artwork features the sculptures of Portland based artist Meredith Dittmar (www.corporatepig.com) who the band contacted after finding her work on the Internet. Dittmar has exhibited in New York and as far afield as, Mexico City and Istanbul.

On the back of just three EP’s to date, these two unassuming brothers, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have already toured and played with the likes of Hot Chip, Sleigh Bells, The Drums, Cut Copy and SebastiAn and have been tipped by everyone from Q Magazine, The Guardian, Time Out and French music bible Les Inrockuptibles to hometown publications such as The New York Times and NY Daily News.

The Brooklyn-based duo already had an illustrious pedigree; David produced MGMT's indie release, Time to Pretend EP for New York indie Cantora Records, and with previous single “Up All Night” they scored a Record of the Week on BBC Radio 1 and an opening slot on the influential Kitsuné Maison compilation series; a big deal for a virtual unknown. The band have also remixed the likes of MEN, Two Door Cinema Club, OMD and Alex Winston, the later resulting in JPlatt of New York producers du jour The Knocks madly tweeting “its like the hottest thing I’ve ever heard”!

Following packed out NYC performances at CMJ, the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival and in support to MNDR at the launch of new Neon Gold / Popjustice party POPSHOP, FHR will visit Europe in March for a handful of shows before heading home to play SXSW and then on to Asia for shows in Hong Kong (w/ MGMT), China, Korea and Japan. Their 27 date North American tour supporting Yelle kicks off in Phoenix on 17th April.]

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The full track listing for The Infinite Music of French Horn Rebellion (USA version) is:

1. Up All Night
2. This Moment
3. Last Summer
4. Geomancer's Compass and Other Quasi-Scientific Findings
5. Running Through The Wild
6. The Cantor Meets the Alien
7. What I Want
8. The Void and Fancy Free
9. The Body Electric
10. Broken Heart
11. New Florida
12. Brasilia Girl
13. Mawson's Peak
14. Antarctica / The Decision

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EUROPEAN DATES

MARCH

Thurs 3rd Paris, France @ Nouveau Casino
Fri 4th Berlin, Germany @ Postbahnhof
Sat 5th Amsterdam, The Netherlands @ 5 Days Off Festival w/ Aeroplane and Hercules & Love Affair
Sun 6th Brussels, Botanique / Orangerie w/ Hercules & Love Affair
Fri 11th Madrid, Spain @ Pop & Dance
Sat 12th Barcelona, Spain @ Razzmatazz

APRIL

Fri 8th Shanghai, China, Mao Livehouse
Sat 9th Beijing, China, Yugongyishan

Further Asian dates to be announced shortly

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR w/ YELLE

APRIL

Sun 17th Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room
Mon 18th Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
Tues 19th Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
Thurs 21st Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
Fri 22nd Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
Sat 23rd Houston, TX @ Fitzgeralds
Sun 24th Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box (FHR show)
Mon 25th Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Hell Stage)
Tues 26th Carrboro, NC @ Cats Cradle
Weds 27th Washington DC @ 9:30 Club
Fri 29th Boston MA @ Royale Nightclub
Sat 30th New York, NY @ The Fillmore New York at Irving

MAY

Mon 2nd Quebec City, QC @ Le Circle
Tues 3rd Montreal, QC @ Le National
Weds 4th Toronto, ON @ Opera House
Thurs 5th Toledo, OH @ Frankie's (FHR Show)
Fri 6th Chicago, IL @ The Bottom Lounge
Sat 7th Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Sun 8th Madison WI @ Majestic Theatre
Tues 10th Denver CO @ Bluebird Theatre
Weds 11th Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
Fri 13th Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
Sat 14th Seattle WA @ Neumos
Sun 15th Portland OR @ Wonder Ballroom
Tues 17th Reno, NV @ Tonic Lounge
Weds 18th Santa Cruz, CA @ Rio Theatre
Thurs 19th San Francisco, CA @The Grand Ballroom @ Regency
Fri 20th San Diego, CA @ Casbah
Sat 21st Los Angeles, CA @ Music Box at The Henry Fonda

Tahiti 80 to Tour US in March

French sextet Tahiti 80 are gearing up to release their new full-length, The Past, The Present & The Possible, but first the ever-prolific group will drop the Darlin EP on January 31st (both will be released on their own label, Human Sounds).  The band is offering one of the EP’s track for free, a banging remix of “Darlin” by Detroit-based producer Jimmy Edgar, who has released music on Warp Records and K7 Records.  If you didn’t catch the premiere at About.com: Dance Music/Electronica, click HERE to stream/download the track.  You can also catch them on the road on a brief US tour this March, when the band hits Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Tahiti 80 whip up a danceable mix of live instrumentation and electronic sounds filled with breezy melodies and intoxicating grooves.  The band’s debut album, Puzzle, was released by Minty Fresh in the U.S. in 1999, and was critically acclaimed as a refreshingly upbeat nod to late 60s West Coast pop (particularly the Beach Boys). The album also placed Tahiti 80 squarely in the center of the  “French Pop Invasion” that was hitting the U.S., along with fellow French bands Phoenix and Air (most notably).  The band has been relentlessly productive ever since, having released an astounding ten EP’s  and The Past, The Present & The Possiblemarking their sixth full-length album.

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Tahiti 80 US Tour Dates:

03/09: Chicago, IL @ The Abbey (11:30 PM)
03/10, New York, NY @  Mercury Lounge (11:00 PM)
03/13:  San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop (10:45 PM)
03/14:  Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour (10:00 PM)

MARCO BENEVENTO | Spring & Summer Tour

On May 11, Marco Benevento will release his third album in as many years, Between The Needles & Nightfall. We couldn't be more excited for you to wrap your ears around this groundbreaking, creative high-point from the acclaimed Brooklyn-based pianist. The pre-order for the album is now open. Pick up your copy on CD, Vinyl or limited edition Red vinyl (only 100 copies), and you'll get a link to download a bonus EP, Spell 579, that features five solo piano tracks recorded by Marco, including his long sought after version of The Shins' "Kissing The Lipless."

Pre-Order BETWEEN THE NEEDLES & NIGHFALL here

Also, Marco Benevento tour dates and lots of them...

April 21 | Bennie's Boom Boom Room | Hattiesburg, MS *w/ Dave Dreiwitz & Billy Martin
April 23 | Tipitina's French Quarter | New Orleans, LA *w/ Dave Dreiwitz, Mark Mullins & Billy Martin
April 24 | Tipitina's French Quarter | New Orleans, LA *w/ The Slip & Surprise Me Mr. Davis
April 28 | Howlin' Wolf | New Orleans, LA *
Megalomaniac's Ball w/ Garage A Trois
May 2 | Hi Ho Lounge | New Orleans, LA
May 5 | The Space | Portland, ME
May 6 | The Stone Church | Newmarket, NH
May 7 | Main Pub | Manchester, CT
May 8 | RISD | Providence, RI
May 9 | Parima | Burlington, VT
May 12 | The Hideaway | Louisville, KY
May 13 | Southgate House | Newport, KY
May 14 | Martyr's | Chicago, IL
May 15 | Wilbert's | Cleveland, OH
May 16 | Club Cafe | Pittsburgh, PA
May 19 | The Nightcat | Easton, MD
May 20 | 8x10 | Baltimore, MD *w/ Xylos
May 21 | North Star | Philadelphia, PA *w/ Xylos
May 22 | Bowery Ballroom | New York, NY *w/ Xylos
June 16 | Sellersville Theater | Sellersville, PA *w/ American Babies
June 17 | River Street Jazz Cafe | Plains, PA *w/ Steve Kimock
June 18 | The Bearsville Theater | Woodstock, NY *w/ Charlie Hunter
June 24 | Tractor Tavern | Seattle, WA *w/ Surprise Me Mr. Davis
June 25 | Doug Fir Lounge | Portland, OR *w/ Surprise Me Mr. Davis
June 26 | Axe & Fiddle | Cottage Grove, OR *w/ Surprise Me Mr. Davis
June 27 | Winnipeg Jazz Festival | Winnipeg, Canada
June 28 | Montreal Jazz Festival | Montreal, Canada
June 29 | Toronto Jazz Festival | Toronto, Canada
August 8-10 | Fly Me To The Moon | Telluride, CO ***SOLD OUT
August 12-13 | Dazzle | Denver, CO

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.

Tim Reynold & TR3 w/ On the One @ Tipitina's French Quarter!

timTim Reynolds has been playing music all of his life. Starting as a bass player in a gospel band in his hometown of St. Louis to his break through band in the 80's, TR3 and forward to recording and touring with Dave Mathews Band, Reynolds is a guitarist who rises above the mere mastery of chops to a virtual state of communion with his instrument. Since earning the reputation as a musical virtuoso alongside Dave Matthews, Tim Reynolds has been recognized for his mind-bending guitar techniques, his trademark ability to improvise on any instrument, and his uncommon command of melody and dissonance. He makes use of every capacity the guitar possesses from progressive rock, straight-up jazz and high-powered funk fusion guitar. Tim Reynolds founded TR3 in the 80's and brought back a new version of the band in 2008 to rock and funk the house down. Don't miss this master of psychedelic improvisation on the acoustic guitar!

Opening for the funky rock of Tim Reynolds and TR3 will be San Diego Music Award Winners for Best Jazz Album (2007), ON THE ONE. Drum King John Staten (Karl Denson's Tiny Universe) teamed up with long time friend and sax aficionado Jesse Molloy (Giant People) to create ON THE ONE in the summer of 2006. Bassist Andy Irvine (Giant People) and the recent addition of guitarist Pete Lombardo square this funky soul rock quartet. With music industry heavy hitters calling him one of the best drummers in the business, Staten's hard hitting hip-hop beats drive ON THE ONE's sound. Sax, groove bass, and effortless guitar team up to bring generations of music lovers to the dance floor.

Don't miss the Funkdown at Tipitina's French Quarter!

And remember, this year the Backbeat Jazzfest Series will be offering music lovers and the musicians they love smoke-free environments at all shows.

Advance tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.backbeatpresents.com or www.ticketweb.com.

Additional details and information about the events can be found at www.backbeatfoundation.org or by visiting the Foundation's Myspace and Facebook pages. Additional information and updates about the series can be found at the BackbeatJazzfest Series 2009 group page.

For information about the Tim Reynolds please visit his official website at www.timreynolds.com. Additional information about TR3 can be found at www.myspace.com/timreynoldstr3. For information on One the One please visit www.myspace.com/ontheone.

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Tobacco Control Program (LTCP) coordinate their efforts in tobacco prevention and control by providing statewide coordination of existing tobacco control initiatives, funding innovative community programs for tobacco control, and improve the overall health and quality of life in Louisiana. For more information visit, www.tobaccofreeliving.org.