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Colin Stetson Named In NPR's Best Of 2011

Colin Stetson is a horn player of uncommon strength, skill and genre-defying creativity. He composes and performs otherworldly songs that combine a mastery of circular breathing technique with percussive valve-work and reed vocalisations, making a polyphonic solo music that combines influences as diverse as Bach, early metal, American pre-war Gospel, and the explorations of Jimi Hendrix, Peter Brotzman and Albert Ayler.
New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges is Stetson's second solo record and his first for Constellation.  Colin has been making his mark as a staggering solo performer for several years now, in front of audiences small and large, from intimate jazz and experimental music venues to big stages, whether opening for Arcade Fire or The National, or playing at jazz and new music festivals like Moers and London Jazz. His talents have been widely recognised and employed by artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, TV On The Radio and Bon Iver.  Colin also plays in Belle Orchestre and Sway Machinery.
The music on New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges was captured entirely live in single takes at Montréal's Hotel2Tango studio, with no overdubs or looping, using over 20 mics positioned close and far throughout the live room. Guest vocals by Laurie Anderson and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) are the only exceptions to this rule, along with one brief french horn that was multi-tracked.
The Judges sessions were co-produced by Stetson and Shahzad Ismaily and engineered by Efrim Menuck at the Hotel2Tango, then taken to Greenhouse StudiosBen Frost.
The result is a highly original, experimental, euphoric record that fires on all levels: a document of an astoundingly strong and gifted player; a compositional tour-de-force; and a studio production bursting with intensity and inventiveness.
New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges features cover art by Tracy Maurice and will be issued on CD in custom 100% recycled paperboard gatefold jacket and on 180gLP with a limited edition screenprinted poster contained in the first pressing. The album will also be available digitally.

Colin Stetson Releases Live Video On Pitchfork

Colin Stetson is a horn player of uncommon strength, skill and genre-defying creativity. He composes and performs otherworldly songs that combine a mastery of circular breathing technique with percussive valve-work and reed vocalisations, making a polyphonic solo music that combines influences as diverse as Bach, early metal, American pre-war Gospel, and the explorations of Jimi Hendrix, Peter Brotzman and Albert Ayler.
New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges is Stetson's second solo record and his first for Constellation.  Colin has been making his mark as a staggering solo performer for several years now, in front of audiences small and large, from intimate jazz and experimental music venues to big stages, whether opening for Arcade Fire or The National, or playing at jazz and new music festivals like Moers and London Jazz. His talents have been widely recognised and employed by artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, TV On The Radio and Bon Iver.  Colin also plays in Belle Orchestre and Sway Machinery.
The music on New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges was captured entirely live in single takes at Montréal's Hotel2Tango studio, with no overdubs or looping, using over 20 mics positioned close and far throughout the live room. Guest vocals by Laurie Anderson and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) are the only exceptions to this rule, along with one brief french horn that was multi-tracked.
The Judges sessions were co-produced by Stetson and Shahzad Ismaily and engineered by Efrim Menuck at the Hotel2Tango, then taken to Greenhouse StudiosBen Frost.
The result is a highly original, experimental, euphoric record that fires on all levels: a document of an astoundingly strong and gifted player; a compositional tour-de-force; and a studio production bursting with intensity and inventiveness.

New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges features cover art by Tracy Maurice and will be issued on CD in custom 100% recycled paperboard gatefold jacket and on 180gLP with a limited edition screenprinted poster contained in the first pressing. The album will also be available digitally.

Tower of Power Celebrate 40TH Anniversary

TOWER OF POWER CELEBRATE ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY WITH ALBUM, DVD AND REUNION.   New Collection Features TOP alumni like Lenny Pickett and Chester Thompson; Special Guests Include Soul Legend Sam Moore.

It’s spring! As we celebrate the start of the baseball season, the end of the basketball season and the release of Tower of Power’s 40th Anniversary album, the operative phrase in everyone’s ears is “We Came To Play.” But then, Tower of Power has “come to play,” every single time they take to the stage over the last 42 years.  The horn driven soul and funk machine has toured consistently playing to so(u)ld out crowds around the world.  And after 40 years, four of the original musicians still play with the band.

Similar to sports teams, however, Tower of Power has had numerous players take free agency with other musical prospects. So the 40th Anniversary show gave the band an opportunity to stage their version of “Old Timer’s Day,” bringing 20 former members to work with the ongoing ten player line-up.

“When we were young and we’d lose somebody, it seemed like the end of the world,” TOP founder Emilio Castillo told Gary Graff.  “But it started happening at such an early age in our career, and we always overcame it and always got great people to come in.”

Captured live at the Legendary Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in 2008, this extraordinary show welcomed such former members as Greg Adams, TOP’s trumpeter and arranger for 20 years and subsequently one of the architects of the “smooth Jazz” sound; Chester Thompson, who moved on to play keys for Santana and Elton John; and chart topping “smooth jazz” sax player and first call session guy Richard Elliott.

At a show recorded on the band’s actual anniversary, former TOP member Lenny Pickett, long time sax player for the Saturday Night Live band, joined in. He’s in the bonus footage and is interviewed.   Legendary vocalist Sam Moore, of Sam and Dave, added to the funkified festivities with “I Thank You,” and Otis Redding’s “Mr. Pitiful.”  The DVD is dedicated to Steve “Skip” Mesquite, long time alto player for TOP, who made the show and passed on shortly afterward.

The CD and DVD package is a slam dunk of soulful funk, with such great Tower of Power hits as “What is Hip?” “You’re Still A Young Man,” the ever timely “Only So Much Oil In The Ground,” and “This Time It’s Real.” After 40 years, this band can clearly still hit it out of the ballpark.

“It was probably the most special night of our entire career,” said Castillo. “Getting together and playing again with those guys we’d spent so much time with on the road. It was magic.”

Vincent Minor Live in NYC This Thursday, Debut AlbumOut Today!

Vincent Minor’s self-titled debut album is out today Social Science Recordings! In celebration, he is playing Piano’s in NYC this Thursday 9/23. The gorgeous indie pop meets Tin Pan Alley melodies juxtaposed with witty and insightful naratives have garnered praise from The Advocate, Venus, CMJ, and many others.  He recently released the “Heavy Metal Lover” MP3 which premiered on PopMatters.  He also recently released the spellbinding first video from the album for “The Trap” which you can see HERE.

Vincent Minor assembled some amazing LA area talents to round out his grand vision for the album including producer Tom Biller (Fiona Apple, Sean Lennon, Where the Wild Things Are), keyboardist Zac Rae (Annie Lennox, My Brightest Diamond), horn player Stewart Cole (Edward Sharpe, Rachael Yamagata), and upright bassist Ed Maxwell.  The result is a collection of wryly humorous and troubling tales carried by Minor's tuneful baritone and his lush orchestral production.

Don’t miss Vincent Minor Live at Piano’s in NYC This Thursday!

Jake Hertzog Trio Saturday September 11th Midnight Set at Iridium Jazz Club

Guitar Player Magazine is calling him "…the blazing wunderkind." The Boston Phoenix has declared him "...the WOW! factor." Award-winning jazz guitarist and composer, Jake Hertzog, is making it big in New York City. Jake’s second studio album,Patterns (Buckyball, 2010), is Guitar Player Magazine’s Editor’s Pick. As a monthly contributor to Guitar Player's ‘Lessons’ section under the alias Hey Jazz Guy, Jake has been coined as the Jazz ambassador to the non-jazz world.

Jake’s debut album, Chromatosphere (That's Out Music, 2009), brought him critical acclaim including a five page interview in Guitar Player Magazine (June 2009)highlighting his unique technique and approach to modern jazz guitar. Both albums, recorded and produced by Grammy Award-winner, Joshua Paul Thompson.

Furthermore, he served as musical director and lead guitarist for Nickelodeon's The Naked Brothers Band stars, Nat and Alex Wolff. They have concluded two national tours and have performed on national television shows including Good Morning America, The View, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, The Today Show and many others.

Past achievements include winning the Grand Prize in 2006 for the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition in Switzerland. In the festivals 44-year history, he holds title at 20 years old as the youngest ever prize winner. He was invited back in 2007 to showcase his original music in the Montreux Jazz Festival. Jake is an Alum of the prestigious Berklee College of Music and recipient of several performance scholarships.

Jake Hertzog Trio  
Saturday September 11th | Midnight Set

Jake Hertzog - guitar
Harvie S- bass
Victor Jones - drums

Iridium Jazz Club | 51st and Broadway

Vincent Minor News & MP3!

Singer/songwriter Vincent Minor, will release his self-titled debut album, September 21 on Social Science Recordings. The album fuses indie pop with classic Tin Pan Alley tunesmithery and then lights the bonfire with colorful, often discordant orchestral arrangements. Unexpected passages of strutting brass, apocalyptic strings and malfunctioning kitchen appliances bring subtlety and life to Minor's stories of danger and heartbreak.

From the fuzzed out guitars and driving beat of “Late Night Show” with it’s tale of LSD in the desert and double-dutch with Morrissey to the gorgeous “Pin Drop Silence” with its escalating piano and strings that sonically recall Bowie’s epic “Rock’n’Roll Suicide”, the album never stops evolving, surprising and mesmerizing. Humor, an unusually wry and dark variety, is also pervasive, as evidenced in tunes like “Heavy Metal Lover” which tells the tale of someone who manipulates through drugging a lover's tea with arsenic rather than dealing a kosher break-up.

Vincent Minor assembled some amazing LA area talents to round out his grand vision including producer Tom Biller (Fiona Apple, Sean Lennon, Where the Wild Things Are), keyboardist Zac Rae (Annie Lennox, My Brightest Diamond), horn player Stewart Cole (Edward Sharpe, Rachael Yamagata), and upright bassist Ed Maxwell. The result is a collection of wryly humorous and troubling tales carried by Minor's tuneful baritone and his orchestrally lush production.

To introduce this album to live audiences Vincent Minor will be embarking on a national tour this summer. He will spend a week in each city and assemble an entirely new band for each show. For an early listen, check out the “Late Night Show” MP3 premiered on the Advocate yesterday. You can download the MP3 here. We encourage you to post & share this MP3 & look out for one of the year’s most exciting debuts!

Listen to Vincent Minor's 'Late Night Show.' {play}images/mp3/Late_Night_Show.mp3{/play}

Programme Gent Jazz 2010

The programme for the Gent Jazz Festival (July7-July18, Gent, Belgium) is now complete with names such as Madness, Gil Scott-Heron, Soil & “Pimp” Sessions, Vive Le Jazz (the new jazz project by Vive La Fête), Cibelle, Odean Pope and his All Star “Odean’s List”, Julian Lage Group, radioKUKAorkest and Root. Earlier the festival had already announced names such as Norah Jones, Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub, Ornette Coleman, Kruder & Dorfmeister and Gilberto Gil.

The first part of the festival welcomes the young guitar talent Julian Lage July 10. The same day Toots Thielemans headlines the day with a ‘Special Project’ with pianist Kenny Werner and guitar player Oscar Castro-Neves. The ensemble radioKUKAorkest and an all star band with saxophone player Odean Pope, Odean Pope and his All Star “Odean’s List” complete the remaining open spots July 11.

In the second part of the festival the young and eccentric Brazilian Cibelle opens July 15 before the earlier announced Mariza and Gilberto Gil. Friday July 16 we can find the premiere of Vive le Jazz, the new project by the electro-pop band Vive La Fête, on the programme. They open the day before The Cinematic Orchestra and Kruder & Dorfmeister. Root, the Belgian trio with keyboard player Dominique Vantomme, is the first band of the day July 17 followed by Gil Scott-Heron and the infectious sound of the British band Madness. On the last day of the festival the Japanese “death jazz” of Soil & “Pimp” Sessions is added to the line-up before Joe Bonamassa and Daniel Lanois.

Info & tickets:www.gentjazz.com

Tickets cost 29 euros per evening (excl. booking costs), except for those of July 7 (concert day with Norah Jones) which cost 42 euros (excl. booking costs). A Three-Day Pass costs 73 euros (excl. booking costs). Tickets are available as of today. Tickets can be booked via www.gentjazz.com, or at FNAC. Just as last year, the last festival weekend coincides with the opening weekend of the Ghent Festivities.

Jazz Guitarist Jake Hertzog tours Midwest

It’s almost safe to say that this sounds like nothing you’ve heard before.  To say that Hertzog is a shredder that can’t be stopped is just to get the conversation started.  Playing somewhere between jazz and rock, this is what “Metal Machine Music”  might have sounded like if Lou Reed had intended it to be something more than a pile of shit to get him out of his contract.  Wanna hear young Al DiMeola on speed?  What else can I say?  This is the guitar record you play when you absolutely, positively need to have your mind melted.  Yngwie Malmsteen and Charlie Christian rolled into one, all this kid has to do is not run so fast that he trips over himself and the world will be his oyster.  Hot stuff for shredder ears.

Guitar Player Magazine is calling him "…the blazing wunderkind." The Boston Phoenix has declared him "...the WOW! factor." Award-winning jazz guitarist and composer, Jake Hertzog, is making it big in New York City. Jake’s second studio album, Patterns, just released this April 2010, is already Guitar Player Magazine’s Editor’s Pick. Jake is a monthly contributor to GP Magazine’s ‘Lessons’ section under the alias Hey Jazz Guy and has been coined as the Jazz ambassador to the non-jazz world.

Jake’s debut album, Chromatosphere (2009), brought him critical acclaim including a five page interview in Guitar Player Magazine (June 2009) highlighting his unique technique and approach to modern jazz guitar. Both albums, recorded and produced by Grammy Award-winner, Joshua Paul Thompson.

Furthermore, he stands as musical director and lead guitarist for Nickelodeon's The Naked Brothers Band stars, Nat and Alex Wolff. They have concluded two national tours and have performed on national television shows including Good Morning America, The View, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, The Today Show and many others.

Past achievements include winning the Grand Prize in 2006 for the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition in Switzerland. In the festivals 44-year history, he holds title at 20 years old as the youngest ever prize winner. He was invited back in 2007 to showcase his original music in the Montreux Jazz Festival. Jake is an Alum of the prestigious Berklee College of Music and recipient of several performance scholarships.

Tour Dates:

Saturday, May 29, 2010
The Jazz Kitchen - Indianapolis, IN
http://www.thejazzkitchen.com
7:00-10:00pm
$18

Sunday, May 30, 2010
Nighttown - Cleveland, OH
http://www.nighttowncleveland.com
7:00pm & 8:30pm
$15/each

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The Iron Post - Champaign/Urbana, IL
http://www.theironpost.com
7:00pm
$8

June 1 from 2-4pm
Free Clinic @ University Laboratory High School Music Room
Open to public

Wednesday, June 2, 2010
The Iron Post - Champaign/Urbana, IL
http://www.theironpost.com
7:00pm
$8

Bela Fleck: An African Edification

I first became immersed into African music from the influence of an amazing musician, friend, and teacher Matt Wasowski currently with Mohammed Alidu and the Bizung Family, and Zivanai Masango and Pachedu and formerly with Jaka and Jyemo amongst other groups. Matt who plays mostly guitar, also dabbles and even builds with his students many African instruments such as the Mbira or thumb piano and Marimbas.

Jazz & Sounds Festival | Gent, Belgium

Beginning in 2010, Gent Jazz Festival, De Bijloke Music Centre, Vooruit Arts Centre, University College Ghent - Faculty of Music and the University College Ghent - Faculty of Fine Arts (KASK) will work together in the annual initiative, the Jazz & Sounds Festival. This new festival will focus on the versatility of contemporary music. The first edition takes place from March 22 - 28, 2010.

Improvisation and creation are important mainstays of the Jazz & Sounds Festival combining the interaction from and to jazz, contemporary, classical, alternative rock, electronic music, improvised music, non-western music and more. The festival offers not a linear but an organic whole of concerts each day, where several concerts and performances can coincide. Visitors will have to make choices within the programme or will be guided by the surprise of the moment.

The festival starts March 22 in the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music with Impressions of a Blue Kind, a prestigious project spotlighting students from the faculties of music of Ghent, Tilburg and Maastricht. The next day, March 23, a presentation by Eddy Van Oosthuyse is planned in the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music with soloists from the Brussels Philharmonic showcasing the role of contemporary clarinet in chamber music.

From then on the Jazz & Sounds Festival moves to Arts Centre Vooruit March 25 and 26. The first day starts with a documentary about Han Bennink. The same day Jazz & Sounds delivers a jazz and literature project by trio Ben Sluijs/Jules Deelder/Remco Campert and concerts featuring saxophone player Colin Stetson and the duo of Erik Truffaz/Malcolm Braff. The festival concludes this first day by presenting Hairy Bones with among others Peter Brötzmann and Toshinoro Kondo.

Friday March 26 in Arts Centre Vooruit finds the duo Eric Thielemans/Josse De Pauw in performance, double bass player Joëlle Léandre and the premiere of Flat Earth Society’s new venture with John Watts. Elliott Sharp’s Carbon concludes the Jazz & Sounds Festival in Arts Centre Vooruit.

March 27 and 28 the festival is hosted by Music Centre De Bijloke. Saturday starts with Cage Aria by Françoise Vanhecke. Afterwards, visitors can choose between a documentary on Charlie Haden and a creation by Sophie Allour and Jozef Dumoulin together with drummer Dré Pallemaerts. This project was crafted especially for the Jazz & Sounds Festival in collaboration with the Tourcoing Jazz Festival.

Later that day on the programme, there is Dutch cello player Ernst Reijseger, Spectra with work by Mantovani and Alexandros Markeas, a project by El Negocito Records and Foundation Logos, Fred Van Hove together with Barry Guy and Wilbert de Joode, and a presentation by the students of the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music on Julius Eastman conducted by Alexandros Markeas. Ending this festival day is an improvisation workshop by Joëlle Léandre with students of the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music and Miroslav Vitous with his Remembering Weather Report.

Sunday March 28, is the last day of Jazz & Sounds and it starts with a concert by Ellery Eskelin and his group. Following this, the students of the University College Ghent, Faculty of Music play John Cage’s Songbooks and attendees can view a documentary on photographer Leonard Herman. Continuing the programme  on  this last day, there is trombone player Wolter Wierbos, a project by El Negocito Records in collaboration with Foundation Logos, and the duo of Ben Sluijs/Tom Van Bauwel exploring the writings of Paul Van Ostaijen. Nadar, Arsis4, Peter Jacquemyn and Jan Pillaert will interpret work by Daan Janssens and Stefan Prins.  Music by Rik De Geyter performing clarinet artistry for Stockhausen’s ‘Little Harlequin’ will be also be presented. Enescu re-Imagined by Lucian Ban & John Hébert is the closing act for the first edition of the Jazz & Sounds Festival. Pianist  Lucian Ban revised the musical legacy of Romanian composer George Enesco and created a bold contemporary jazz composition. Ban gathered an impressive group of musicians from the New York jazz scene around him for this project: among others featured are John Hébert, Nasheet Waits, Tony Malaby, Mat Maneri and Ralph Alessi.

On March 22 the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music organises an Open Lab on artistic research in Music Centre De Bijloke. March 26, a panel discussion on the same subject is organised in the Bijloke. Both activities are free and were organised in collaboration with IPEM-UGent, Foundation Logos and Ghent University Association.

Students and teachers of the University College Ghent – Faculty of Fine Arts (KASK) will participate as well in this first edition. Different departments of the faculty helped to create a visual festival identity and installations which serve as communicative machines were created. The Media Art Department confronts visitors to the festival with installations in which sounds, rhythm and timbre call the tune.