Featured article in Listen Music Magazine for John O’Gallagher and his latest ‘The Anton Webern Project’

WebernWe’ve recently received an insightful and praising review from Listen Music Magazine for John O’Gallagher’s The Anton Webern Project. The album has already received multiple glowing reviews including 5 stars from Nordwestschweiz and 4 stars from The Guardian, The JazzMann, The Financial Times, Marlbank and O’s Place Magazine, with JazzWax announcing it as “courageous stuff and easily the most innovative album of the year.”

The recent review, spanning two full pages of the magazine, describes the album as “a musical roller coaster” and states that “for non-classical listeners, The Anton Webern Project might be something of a gateway into the world of modernist concert music, but for contemporary-music aficionados, the album would be an ideal entry into modern jazz. “

The review also contains an interview with John, in which he says “I’ve been captivated by Webern’s music ever since I first heard it as a student at the Berklee College of Music in the late eighties… his music is so individual – the melodies unique, the harmonies so beautiful; then there’s the transparency of the orchestrations, his use of space. In transporting Webern pieces into a modern jazz context, I wanted to bring out that lyricism I hear in his music, to highlight the song forms – not underscoring how ‘out’ or avant these pieces are but the beauty of them, the song in them. I also wanted to help show the kinship between what modernist classical composers were doing and some of what’s happening in jazz today. Ultimately, though, no one has to know a thing about Webern or the Second Viennese School to dig what we’re doing.”

Also in the review, contemporary composer Ian Wilson praises the project concept and execution.“I could hear the links to the Webern pieces clearly… John managed to absorb those ‘quotes’ into a strikingly personal approach, so that everything sounds organic. The playing – and singing – is terrific, and the instrumentation locks in the distinctive personality of the music. There’s a sense of freshness to it all, and I like the notion of using these fragments from a hundred years ago as launching points for new ideas and ways of expression”

You can read the full page spread by clicking on the thumbnails below:

To purchase the album please check out the album page, and featured below we have the promo vid that accompanies the release.

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RELEASE DAY for NYSQ ‘The New Straight Ahead’ + New Website & Japanese Launch tour


It’s release day for The New Straight Ahead by NYSQ.
Also check out NYSQ’s new website
And if you’re in Japan, NYSQ is currently on a big release tour, dates below:

Dates in July 2014:

18 Lifetime Shizuoka, Japan

19 Bird & Diz Toki City, Japan

20 Doji House  Suzuka City, Japan

21 Mr. Kelly’s  Osaka, Japan

22 Jazz Spot Layla  Himeji, Japan

23 Live Spot RAG Kyoto, Japan

25 Body and Soul  Tokyo, Japan

26 Karuizawa Jazz Festival Karuizawa, Japan

31 Jazz Bar Spain Club  Morioka, Japan


1 The Cat Walk  Akita, Japan

2 Workshop at Misato Akita, Japan

3 Workshop at Jazz Me Blues Nola Sendai, Japan

6 Gallery Cocon  Tokyo Japan

7 NHK Radio Recording Session 505 Tokyo, Japan

8 Lifetime  Shizuoka, Japan

The New Straight Ahead is the debut WWR release from the New York Standards Quartet (NYSQ) and their fourth album to date. The NYSQ is made up of pianist David Berkman, drummer Gene Jackson, saxophonist Tim Armacost, and double bassist Daiki Yasukagawa. As a band the New York-based unit have developed a near telepathic relationship playing together in a variety of settings since their formation in 2006. Conceptually, the NYSQ strives to develop its own language within the tradition of performing standard jazz repertoire.

The Guardian, in a glowing, four-star review of the band’s recent tour across the UK, asserts the NYSQ is “a group devoted to radical reinvention of famous pop songs and Broadway show tunes. Plenty of contemporary jazz artists do that, but few more divertingly than this vivacious foursome, who delightedly cherish the originals while brusquely deconstructing their harmonies and tweaking their melodies, sometimes only slipping in the original theme on the way out of the piece. This is a collective class act.”

After creating a lifetime of original music (each of the members are notable composers & bandleaders) the NYSQ felt it would liberating to perform music based on simpler, standard jazz repertoire, and in particular the songs that they had learned while growing up learning jazz. By playing tunes such as “Confirmation” or “All the Things You Are,” they put the focus on the playing of the tune and what they do with it, not so much on the tune itself. The songs are therefore blank slates to write on, with a lot of freedom and room for interpretation. They have also expanded their approach to include arrangements and reinventions of these songs, as well as original compositions that have a close connection to forms and harmonies derived from standards. The bond the group shares is further strengthened by a common love for Japanese culture, food, and language.

The NYSQ has been touring and developing together for eight years, and this is immediately apparent from the very first note played on The New Straight Ahead. Audience response has been phenomenal and the band has maintained a hectic touring schedule at festivals and venues around the world, including performances at key venues in New York City and Japan (eight annual tours), as well as tours around the United States, Great Britain and Mainland Europe. The band’s previous three releases include Live in Tokyo (2008), UnStandard (2011) and Live at Lifetime (2013), on the Challenge Records (Netherlands) and D-Musica (Japan) labels.

Meet the members of the NYSQ:

Tim Armacost (saxes and flute): Performances with Kenny Barron, Ray Drummond, Al Foster, Billy Hart, Jimmy Cobb and many others. He has eight critically acclaimed recordings as a leader and recently was commissioned by Wynton Marsalis to write a piece for the Lincoln Center Orchestra.

David Berkman (piano): Performances with Brian Blade, Sonny Stitt, Tom Harrell, the Vanguard Orchestra, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas and countless others. He is an award winning (Chamber Music America: New Works Grant) composer/pianist whose seven records as a leader have appeared on numerous “Best of the Year” lists. He is the author of three books on Jazz on Sher Music Publishing including “The Jazz Harmony Book” (2014) and is and Associate Professor at Queens College in New York.

Daiki Yasukagawa (double bass). Performances with Eddie Henderson and Marlena Shaw, as well as being an omnipresent figure on Japanese jazz recordings. Also is noted for releasing a significant solo bass record titled Voyage. A consistent poll winner in Japan.

Gene Jackson (drums). Spent nine years as a member of Herbie Hancock’s trio and since then has worked with nearly every major jazz figure of the last 25 years including Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, Ron Carter, The Mingus Big Band and Branford Marsalis, to name a few.



More ecstatic reviews for Alice Zawadzki’s ‘China Lane’ from The Guardian, Independent Radar, Jazzwise Magazine, The Jazz Mann + London Jazz interview & sold out launch concerts this week

Alice A2 Poster copyAlice Zawadzki continues to receive rave reviews for her debut album China Lane in the press ahead of her launch shows at the Pizza Express — see the poster left (a few tickets will be made available on the door the night of the 16th but the 15th is sold out.)  Here are some of the highlights:

“A genuine original.”
4 Stars, The Guardian

“This debut album from singer-songwriter, violinist and pianist Alice Zawadzki is a many-splendoured collection that pulls you in a myriad of emotional directions. It would be difficult to imagine a finer introduction to Zawadzki’s music.”
4 Stars, Jazzwise Magazine

“China Lane confirms Zawadzki’s status as a major vocal, instrumental and song-writing talent.”
4 Stars, The Jazz Mann

“Beguiling, unorthodox tunes and pure vocals.”
Highlight of the Week, Independent Radar

Time Out London


Also check out a great interview Alice did for London Jazz. 

See you at the launch shows where all ticket buyers will receive a free download card that features a big sampling of music from our catalog.

Review from The Jazz Breakfast for Bobby Avey’s ‘Authority Melts from Me’

Authority-Melts-from-MeIn today we have a review from The Jazz Breakfast for Bobby Avey’s recent release Authority Melts from Me. The album has already gained 4.5 stars from Downbeat and 4 stars from the Irish Times and has received rave reviews including one from Something Else Reviews who say that “you can’t help but wonder where the last hour went. As you restart the recording, you realize that you just don’t care. Some masterful ensemble work.”avey-articleInline

The Jazz Breakfast states “It’s a thrilling ride from the off” and that “all the music is subtly linked and feels very much of a piece, with the emotional depth and intensity flowing, ebbing, and then flowing ever stronger”. The review rounds up by announcing “he certainly sounds like he has made a valuable contribution with this album.”

To purchase please check out the album page and featured below we have the promo video that accompanies the release. Enjoy!

RELEASE DAY for Marko Churnchetz’s ‘Devotion’ featuring Mark Shim, Chris Tordini and Justin Brown

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Announcing the release day for Slovenian pianist Marko Churnchetz’s ‘Devotion’ Check the Devotion page to hear sound samples and pick up your copy!



Devotion is the debut WWR release from pianist and composer Marko Churnchetz (Črnčec), one of Slovenia’s brightest young stars who currently spends time living between his home country and New York City. Still in his twenties, he’s building a strong reputation as a formidable multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and producer who easily works across genres.

Devotion is a shining example of how many contemporary musicians are throwing genre restrictions out the window. Boasting an exciting stew of influences, the album features a no-holds-barred program of skillfully written music from Churnchetz, performed by some of New York’s finest younger generation improvisers in saxophonist Mark Shim, bassist Chris Tordini and first call drummer Justin Brown. The music races across an eclectic sonic landscape featuring intricate rhythms, virtuosic passages, introspective ballads and free improvisations.

The writing on Devotion is seeded in the influence of Miles Davis’ ‘Bitches Brew’, Herbie Hancock’s ‘Headhunters’, Joe Zawinul’s ‘Weather Report’ and Chick Corea’s ‘Return to Forever’; however, the album is thoroughly contemporary in its delivery, with nods to the latest in rock, soul, hip hop and drum ‘n bass, as well as an appreciation for the contemporary bands fronted by Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Steve Lehman. Marko’s writing is also highly personal (the album is a dedication to his Mother, recently deceased) offering the listener strong anthem-like melodies alongside an attention to deep groove and pulse, ranging from breakbeat to hard swing.

Marko explains some of the concepts behind the songs on the album:

“I consider myself to be a composer who aspires to balance intellect with emotion, while never forgetting that music can make people move, dance, and smile. I try to explore many different moods within a piece that directly translates my musical tastes. For example, ‘Schizo’ is a tune that features a flamenco intro with modern classical style technique and phrasing mixed with a rhythmical approach that was influenced from Indian Classical Music as a result of my studies with the great Guru Pandit Suresh Talwalkar. It also features Mark on the electric midi controller which offers some different sounds compared to the traditional saxophone. For me it is about coming up with the most accurate representation of where I am as a person who loves and has studied a great deal of music.”


Marko Churnchetz (Slovenian spelling Črnčec) is one of Slovenia’s most heralded contemporary musicians and renowned exports, currently spending time living between his home country and New York City. On the international scene he is known as a formidable young multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and producer who easily works across genres and in particular jazz and popular music.

Churnchetz was born May 15, 1986 in Maribor, Slovenia and by the age of age six his musical path began by studying
 classical music on accordion and then piano at the age of ten. A prodigious talent, by his teens he was a multiple award-winner in both national and international competitions, and he earned a classical piano degree in 2005 as well as jazz piano degree at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria in 2009.

Churnchetz has released two albums as a leader, Signature and Moral Interchange (both released in 2010 on B.A.S.E.). His third album, Devotion, featuring Mark Shim (saxophone), Chris Tordini (double bass) and Justin Brown (drums) is due for release on Whirlwind Recordings, the prolific London-based imprint.

Marko has performed or recorded with the following notable musicians: Bob Mintzer, Don Menza, Michael Phillip Mossman, Ron McClure, Luis Bonilla, Gary Chaffee, Damion Reid, Mark Shim, Chris Tordini, Justin Brown, Marco Minnemann, Stjepko Gut, Marcus Gilmore, Armando Gola, Suresh Talwalkar, Jonathan Powell, John Thomas, Chris Jennings, Kenny Grohowski, Gwen Hughes, Stefan Milenkovich, Boško Petrovic, Martin Belic, Andy Hunter, Karmina Silec, Sharat Shrivastava, Gyan Syngh, Bernhard Schimpelsberger, Karlheinz Miklin, Ewald Oberleitner, Bajsa Arifovska, Stanko Arnold.

‘Points of View’ from Nia Lynn’s Bannau Trio reviewed by The Jazz Mann

Welsh singer-songwriter Nia Lynn’s latest release Points of View has received a glowing review from The Jazz Mann.  Check out the promo video below to learn more.


Michael Janisch @ 606 Club July 15: ‘First Meeting’ London release + free music + 4 Star Guardian, The Jazz Mann, NYC Record, Wondering Sound

Whirlwind Festival Kings Place London 10 October 2013
Whirlwind Recordings founder and bassist/composer/producer Michael Janisch’s star continues to rise with the recent release of his First Meeting: Live in London, Volume 1, a special collaboration with the legendary Lee Konitz, pianist Dan Tepfer and WWR artist and veteran drummer Jeff Williams.   The album was recorded during Janisch’s Pizza Express Jazz Club residency a few years back and has been received with big accolades in the press from around the world since it’s release in early June.  MJ will be celebrating the release of the album at the 606 club on the 15th of July with a special band featuring Zhenya Strigalev on alto saxophone, Phil Robson on guitar and over from NYC guest drummer Colin Stranahan.  We’re running a special on the night as well– anyone who purchases a copy of First Meeting will receive a FREE download card of two of Janisch’s previous releases with us: Purpose Built and Banned in London.

We’ve also had some great press come in for the record including a 4 star review from The Guardian, 4 Star from JazzMann, and great mentions in both the NYC Jazz Record & Wondering Sound.  After the promo video, we’ve copied the highlights to date.

4 Stars, The Guardian

“This is a live recording that captures the essence of improvisational musical dialogue. Half the fun is guessing the response to various musical gambits and where the conversation will lead next.”
4 Stars, Downbeat Magazine

“This is a collaborative success, but the presence of Konitz will be the main attraction for many listeners, and he makes all the difference to this wonderful album. His mode of expression is remarkably resistant to the passing of the years, and more importantly, no-one in the world sounds remotely like him.”
London Jazz News

“This is the sound of four musicians at the top of their game. Don’t be fooled by the choices of material, this is far more than a routine standards session. There’s a genuine sense of adventure about this music with some of the pieces being altered almost beyond recognition – but in a good way. Individual and collaborative highlights abound with the audiences at the Pizza Express being treated to something out of the ordinary.”
4 Stars, The Jazz Mann

“The dimensions to his [Konitz’s] lyricism continue to become increasingly nuanced and expressive. The set of standards is comprised of your usual suspects, but the unpredictability the quartet lends them in the live setting gives old songs a fresh breath of air.”
Wondering Sound

“A series of stimulating duos, trios and quartet.”
The Northern Echo

“Listen to this valuable album and you’ll want more of: the weariness (‘Billie’s Bounce’); the soliloquising in the jazz soloist’s sense (Konitz’s soprano solo at the beginning of ‘All The Things You Are’); the modernism (Tepfer’s beginning to ‘Stella By Starlight’); the Monkian dimension, again Tepfer setting things up on the intro to the off kilter swing of the trio take on ‘Giant Steps’; the spontaneity (there was no rehearsal or plan); and the tenderness and quietude with Konitz’s entry on ‘Body and Soul’ just beautiful.”
4 Stars, Marlbank

“The first thing that hits you on “Billie’s Bounce”, the opening track of First Meeting, is the provocative nature of the trio, challenging Konitz with a fusillade of rhythmic and chordal textures and clangor. Williams stirs up whirlwinds on his kit, coaxing Konitz into Ornette-like ravenous bluesy lines. Konitz’ lush-toned soprano work is a highlight of the album, featured on a suave “All the Things You Are” with just bass and drums. Compared to Standards Live [Lee’s new live album out on Enja Records], Konitz seems more energized and engaged on First Meeting and the ensemble more adventurous.”
The New York City Jazz Record

“The luxuriously emphatic bass intro to Alone Together is a reminder of Janisch’s musicality and power, and Konitz’s signature song, Subconscious Lee, is a fast-moving and inventive ensemble conversation.”
4 Stars, The Guardian

“A glance at what compositions were played tells you nothing; being in the moment is everything. Among the most enticing moments here are the engaging interplay between pianist Dan Tepfer & Konitz on ‘Billie’s Bounce’ and a hard grooving Janisch solo on on ‘All The Things You Are’.
4 Stars, Downbeat Magazine

“Konitz, Tepfer and Williams are outstanding and Janisch, on whose Whirlwind label the album is being released, is his usual inventive tower of strength.”
Bebop Spoken Here

“Janisch’s breathtaking, unaccompanied introduction to Alone Together is another highlight. He bristles with energy, and seizes the opportunity to raise his game at this significant juncture in his distinguished career.”
London Jazz News





Tori Freestone receives 4 star review plus Taking Off feature in Jazzwise Magazine, reviews from The Girls Are and Airplay by BBC Radio for her latest ‘In The Chop House’

TF-Front-CoverTori Freestone released her debut on Whirlwind Recordings earlier this year with In The Chop House which amassed a collection of rave reviews, including 4 stars from both The Guardian and Marlbank and with The Scotsman announcing that “Freestone’s boldness is amply rewarded. She brings a pleasing freshness and invention to the music.”

We’re happy to announce that she’s received a glowing 4 star review, a taking off feature (which contains a great interview with Tori) and a nice photo feature on the contents page, all in last month’s edition of Jazzwise MagazineScreen Shot 2014-06-27 at 13.24.09 Go Tori!

The album has also received a review from The Girls Are who announce that “In The Chop House is a noteworthy debut – technically impressive and delivered by a musician who’s voice is mature, beautiful, refined and solid from years of honing her craft. This record is a modern jazz treat that will surely keep the purists happy.”

Tracks from the album have also been aired on BBC Radio. To purchase please check out the album page and click here to hear a full length sample track from the release.

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Press Update for JC Sanford: Reviews from Irish Times, Critical Jazz, Avant Music News, All About Jazz, Jazz Inside Magazine, Step Tempest and Diskoryxeion for ‘Views from the Inside’


American composer, trombonist, and new music conductor JC Sanford recently released his debut WWR album Views from the Inside which has gained 5 stars from Critical Jazz, 4 stars from Downbeat, The Observer and The Scotsman, and the Wondering Sound have stated it’s “a recording where Sanford’s reach was achieved by his grasp. Highly recommended.”  

In today we have a plethora of reviews including The Irish Times, Critical Jazz, Avant Music News, All About Jazz, Jazz Inside Magazine, Step Tempest and Diskoryxeion.

The release reached album of the week on Avant Music News, and All About Jazz say that “Views From The Inside is a study in contrasts and opposing forces. It’s a work of compression and expansion, sonic saturation and sparsity, and consonance and dissonance. It’s music that’s alternately grandiloquent and direct, pointing to a place where high art and simple emotional expression aren’t at odds with one another. In short, it’s everything that’s glorious and right about the state of the large ensemble in jazz.” There has also been a great review from Greece’s Diskoryxeion which you can view here.

Jazz Inside Magazine have created a 2nd-part interview in their June issue, and Step Tempest say that “Views From the Inside is truly a magnificent triumph but one that will take listeners time to appreciate. One hears a variety of melodies, imaginative arrangements, splendid musicianship, forceful and emotional solos, and ideas coming at one, seemingly, from all sides.  When all is said and done, I return to my initial response; wow!”

To purchase the release please follow on to the album page, and featured below we have a full length sample track from Views from the Inside.

Jeff Williams plays Smalls Jazz Club in NYC tonight!

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Legendary drummer Jeff Williams career has spanned over 40 years and is still going strong. His latest album The Listener was met with worldwide critical acclaim including multiple 5 star reviews. Jeff and his band will be performing at Small’s Jazz Club in New York on Wednesday the 2nd of July. For a glimpse of what might be in store, check out the promo video below.