clarinet

Dr. Michael White's "Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 1" Out 6/21

Basin Street Records is pleased to announce the June 21, 2011 release of Dr. Michael White’s Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 1 (Part 2 will be released in early 2012).  This is the fifth release of Dr. Michael White’s on the Basin Street Records label following A Song for George Lewis, Jazz from the Soul of New Orleans, Dancing in the Sky, and Blue Crescent.

Adventures in New Orleans Jazz is an exciting journey of sound which blends traditional jazz with influences and songs from diverse sources, like Africa, the Caribbean and popular music from the 1960s and 70s.  This idea of converting tunes from other genres into the New Orleans jazz language goes back to early pioneers like Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong – who all contributed their own unique variations of the style.

White has recorded 10 projects under his own name and has participated on over 40 recordings including the latest projects of Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, and Marianne Faithful.

Dr. Michael White is a leading figure in traditional New Orleans Jazz and one of only a few to creatively carry on the rich clarinet sound and style of that city.  He is a descendant of several first generation jazz musicians, including clarinetist Willie Joseph and reedman Earl Fouche.  He studied clarinet with noted band director Edwin Hampton and was a member of the esteemed St. Augustine High School Marching 100 and Symphonic Band.  In line with New Orleans tradition, White began his jazz career by playing for several years in local brass bands for social club parades and jazz funerals.

Among the numerous awards and honors White has received are the French Chevalier of Arts and Letters and the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship Award. In 2010 he was named Louisiana Humanist of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and he also won the Offbeat Magazine Best of the Beat Award as Clarinetist of the Year, and Gambit Magazine’s Big Easy Entertainment Award for Traditional Jazz Artist of the Year.

Basin Street Records is a New Orleans based label that is currently the only label with 3 projects on the Billboard Jazz Chart (printing 5/21/11 #10-Rebirth Brass Band’s Rebirth of New Orleans, #11 Irvin Mayfield’s A Love Letter to New Orleans & #16 Kermit Ruffins’ Happy Talk.

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Download “West African Strut” HERE

My Morning Jacket's Carl Broemel to Release Solo Album

“It takes a lot of time to know your mind.”  Its a simple statement, yet earnest and profound in its offering.  Sometimes it’s the spaces in between, the subtleties and ambiguities that provide us with the most meaning.
 All Birds Say (ATO Records) is an intimate collection of musings on life from My Morning Jacket guitarist, Carl Broemel.

 Broemel reflects on things as they are with Zen-like contentment, making no judgment on how they should be...he gives pause for introspection but stops short of preaching. The songs are firmly planted between past and present.  It’s in these little fractured moments that the listener bears witness to thoughtful contemplation that give rise to epiphanies on larger themes.

Broemel could’ve taken the easy road and penned a lyrical triptych to the remarkable journey he’s experienced over the past several years, but instead All Birds Say is an incredibly honest and sincere insight into the artist’s inner-most thoughts as he attempts to reconcile his role in life.
 “Where do you start?  Or where do you stop?  And how do you reconcile the things you do versus the things you don’t?  It’s something I’m constantly thinking about.  I think there’s a lot of trying to be aware of what you’re doing now versus dwelling on things or worrying about what’s gonna happen later.  A lot of the songs are really just me talking to myself, trying to make sense of things in my head.”

Deft in its presentation, the songs on the album unfold in a dream-like stream of consciousness with lush and elegant arrangements.  The album’s brilliance is displayed in Broemel’s effortless delivery.  It’s the perfect amalgamation of lazy sophistication…whimsical poise and grace.  The instrumentation serves as the ideal complement to Broemel’s well crafted set of modern-folk standards; complete with pedal steel, dobro, strings, autoharp, clarinet, bassoon, vibraphone, and baritone sax, among others.  Think Ron Sexsmith, Neko Case, Neal Casal, Andrew Bird, Mose Allison, and early Boz Scaggs singing an orchestrated chorus of breezy ballads and waltzes.

The guitar figure of the instrumental title track that opens the album serves as a natural introduction to “Life Leftover,” an introspective meditation on the importance of being more present in life that’s at the heart of All Birds Say.  The album also afforded him the chance to collaborate with his own father, a former member of the Indianapolis Symphony who provides rich color and depth to the music with clarinet, baritone sax, and bassoon.

“To me, making records is like alchemy.  It’s something that no one can ever perfect, but you have an insatiable desire to keep doing it and get better at it.  I really believe that everything we experience contributes to what we do next, so this album is really a result of all the records and tours I’ve done so far.“

The best records always seem to be the ones that slowly reveal themselves like a pleasant surprise and allow the listener to peel through deeper layers upon repeated listen…the kind of records that you grow with and can go back to months later and hear something then that resonates with you in a way that wouldn’t have otherwise.  It’s an interactive process between the listener and the artist, and one to be thankful for.  This is the kind of album that epitomizes the vinyl experience; an instant classic that is sure to stand the test of time.

Listen to Bromel's 'Heaven Knows'

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