Dee Byrne’s Entropi continues Moment Frozen tour tonight + press round up including ★★★★ from All About Jazz and The Jazz Mann

With an invigorating spirit embodying the sequential, macrocosmic concept of ‘order, unpredictability, then descent into disorder’ (originally launched and explored in the debut album New Era), London-based alto saxophonist Dee Byrne’s five-piece Entropi continue their extra-terrestrial flight with Moment Frozen – a sweeping sequence of eight original compositions again frequently inspired by galactic and chronometric themes. The band’s now-established personnel is completed by Andre Canniere (trumpet), Rebecca Nash (piano/keys), Olie Brice (double bass) and Matt Fisher (drums).

 

Latest press highlights for Moment Frozen

“Possesses both maturity and complexity but crucially it’s imbued with its own cohesive energy
★★★★ All About Jazz (full review)

“The album has a stimulating and stellar like quality.”
Bebop Spoken Here (full review)

“Entropi have become a highly cohesive and well balanced unit with the quality of the writing enhanced by the adventurousness of the playing.”
★★★★ The Jazz Mann (full review)

Read the review published in London Jazz of the launch event at Kings Place: here

 

Oli Rockberger’s ‘Sovereign’ released today

 Click here for CDs, digital downloads and more

 

Pianist, vocalist, songwriter and producer Oli Rockberger’s fourth studio release, Sovereign (his first for the Whirlwind label and following on from his self-release Old Habits), takes its title from the viewpoints of transition, growth and independence. The music for this album came together from a decision to return to his native London after sixteen years in the United States where, following successful graduation from Berklee College of Music attended as a Full Tuition Scholarship recipient , his hugely formative New York career developed as sideman to big-name jazz instrumentalists including Randy Brecker, Will Lee (with Steve Gadd) and Nathan East, to working alongside acclaimed singer-songwriters Carly Simon, Jesse Harris and John Mayer. Now based in the UK capital, Rockberger continues to work internationally as an in-demand sideman, with recent collaborations including Becca Stevens, Richard Spaven, Fridolijn and Louis Cole, in addition to his ongoing work with acclaimed UK songstress Laura Mvula, as a member of her touring band (keys/vocals).

These ten, intelligently-crafted songs ­– with stories and lyrics drawn from life experiences and whose music is grounded in a love of soul, jazz, gospel and R&B – might, at times, suggest Steve Winwood or Peter Gabriel, Colin Blunstone or Bon Iver. Yet there’s a personal, affecting integrity to Rockberger’s work which marks it out distinctively, due in part to his compositional detailing and a strong empathy with his personnel. Working closely as a trio with drummer Jordan Perlson and bassist Jordan Scannella, he also invites further trusted names from his ‘New York family’ – album co-producer Chris Abell, guitarists John Shannon and Ryan Scott, vocalist Hannah Read, while ‘​The Garden​’​ (track 7) features bass from Owen Biddle and drums/programming/co-production from Zach Danziger (Rockberger, Biddle and Danziger have put out three albums as collaborative experimental electro-soul group Mister Barrington).

Recorded predominantly as live-in-studio takes, Sovereign’s visceral dynamic, combined with the richness of judicious overdubs, is key to the “perfect marriage” that the pianist hears in his favorite albums. From the country-blues Wurlitzer hook of ‘Let’s Stay Home’, through the buoyant, gospel-infused outpourings of ‘Burned’, to the edgy, soulful groove of ‘My Old Life’, here are songs which explore the push-pull emotion of human relationships, alongside an ever-present sense of leaving places behind and treasuring memories.

As a vocalist, Rockberger leans so meaningfully on his lyrics and drives them with impressive, pianistic fervor – American-rock ballad ‘Right Through Me’ communicating sincerity through the added dimension of Hannah Read’s pure vocal, and reverberant ‘The Garden’ tenderly expressing perseverance. Randy Newman-style ‘Ridiculous’ drolly envisages the heightened-reality ‘what if’ of an imagined coffee-shop encounter, while ‘Vertigo’s pacey vibe becomes underpinned by a darker, unknown quality. ‘Is Anybody Out There’ and tender pop-ballad ‘Let Go’ express themes of searching, moving on and belonging; and broad, rallying Hammond anthem ‘Justify’ is so gloriously uplifting.

Discussing the importance of the project, Oli Rockberger explains: “I absolutely love and am proud to record and tour with other artists; but it’s also essential to have my own identity and creative voice – it feeds my soul in another way, as a songwriter, arranger and producer. Ultimately, I want to make music that gives people a warmth, or a feeling of being understood in some way. For me, songwriting is about making sense of what is going on in your life at that time; and, hopefully, other people that listen to it… can make sense of what they’re doing in their life, or what they’re going through, as well.”
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Ingrid Jensen, Christine Jensen and Ben Monder bring ‘Infinitude’ to Europe Nov 2nd – 13th

“A very personal album with ​skilful arrangements and original improvisations that ​illustrate th​e​ quality of soloists.​”
Le Cri du Port (full review)

With Infinitude, Ingrid and Christine Jensen have realized an ambition to write for and perform in the more intimate setting of a quintet, combining their intuitive, sibling trust with the creativity of renowned guitarist Ben Monder and the foundational artistry of bassist Fraser Hollins and drummer Jon Wikan.

Over the past twenty years or so, as trumpeter and saxophonist respectively, the West Canadian sisters have each shaped prolific careers in contemporary jazz, collaborating with influential names such as Clark Terry, Maria Schneider and Terry Lynn Carrington, working with large and small ensembles, and responding to commissions to compose for jazz orchestras around the globe.

 

From 2nd to 13th November, Ingrid and Christine Jensen with Ben Monder will be touring Europe with ‘Infinitude’.

(full details)

​Thurs Nov 2 – Birmingham Conservatoire

Fri, Nov 3 – Royal Academy of Music, London

Sat, Nov 4 – The Vortex, London

Sun, Nov 5 – Berlin Jazz Festival

Weds, Nov 8 –  Porgy & Bess, Vienna

Thurs, Nov 9 – Sunset Sunside, Paris

Fri, Nov 10 – Jamboree, Barcelona

Sun, Nov 12 – Le Cri du Port, Marseille

Mon, Nov 13 –  Lugo Jazz Festival, Spain

 

Whirlwind Residency at Hull City of Culture’s Middleton Hall – November 16th


The City of Hull is currently enjoying it’s City of Culture Status with a packed 365 days of transformative cultural activity. For this Whirlwind Recordings showcase event curated by label founder Michael Janisch, Music at Hull presents three key artists from the label:

Tickets: Here

 

Simon Purcell’s ​’​Red Circle​’​ Quintet

“Purcell leads and plays with a benign wisdom.”
★★★★ MOJO Magazine

 

Simon Purcell – piano, compositions
Julian Siegel – saxophones
Chris Batchelor – trumpet
Steve Watts – double bass
Gene Calderazzo – drums

Simon Purcell is probably best known as Head of Jazz at Trinity-Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and member of the Pop and Jazz Steering Group for the Association of European Conservatoires. Since the mid 1980s, Simon has performed both as leader and sideman, appearing with amongst others – Red Rodney, Kenny Wheeler, Eddie Henderson, Stan Sulzman, Jean Toussaint and Julian Arguelles. His current quintet features Julian Siegel, Chris Batchelor and Gene Calderazzo.

Purcell originally came to prominence during the UK jazz boom of the 1980s with his band ‘Jazz Train’ (with Martin Speake, Cleveland Watkiss, Dale Barlow et al), a quartet with Julian Arguelles (Loose Tubes), numerous appearances with or opposite visiting American artists at London’s Bass Clef Club and occasional weeks at Ronnie Scott’s.

His debut album Red Circle marked Simon’s return to a more active performing career. His quintet comprises some of the most important contributors to the UK’s creative music scene during the last two decades: double bassist Steve Watts (Printmakers, Loose Tubes, Iain Ballamy) Gene Calderazzo (Partisans, Pharoah Sanders, Joey Calderazzo, Zoe Rahman) Julian Siegel (Partisans, Joey Barron, Kenny Wheeler, Django Bates, John Taylor) and Chris Batchelor (Big Air, Loose Tubes, Brotherhood of Breath, Hermeto Pascoal) They’re also old friends with years of playing experienceare and present robust and individual musical personalities providing conceptual counterpoint that ensures the music-making is always more than the sum of the parts.

 

Robert Mitchell: Solo ​Left Hand ​Piano

“A very important influential musician”
Gilles Peterson

 

Robert Mitchell – piano

One of the most revered pianists performing in the UK today, Robert has long searched for a way to present music that celebrates left hand only piano playing and has spent much time researching its history. In classical music (Zichy, Wittgenstein, Godowsky) through to jazz (Phineas Newborn Jr, Borah Bergman, Kenny Drew Jr.) there have been a number of great pianists who have defined left hand only composition, teaching and performance. Bud Powell’s style of playing was famously economic with use of his left hand; he performed left hand only in response to criticism from Art Tatum. Fats Waller studied with Leopold Godowsky who famously created left hand only arrangements of Chopin’s classic piano etudes. Bill Evans performed with his trio with only his left hand during a week at the Village Vanguard in 1963 because his right was incapacitated. There are many more moments of left hand only piano playing in the history of jazz but they are not widely acknowledged as being important in the development of the genre. The aim of Mitchell’s debut Whirlwind release The Glimpse is to open up the discussion and bring light to this art from in general.

Over his nearly 20 years entrenched in the art of music, Robert Mitchell has recorded seven albums of his own projects, participated in over 100 projects as a sideman and has performed in more than 30 countries including The Glimpse on Whirlwind. Robert has won awards in the UK – BBC Jazz Awards (Innovation, as part of the F-ire Collective), Best Jazz Album (BBC DJ Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards) and has been nominated for many more. Robert is proud to be a Steinway Artist.

 

Michael Janisch Band

“Awesomely virtuosic double bass.”
The Guardian

 

Jason Palmer – trumpet

Rez Abbasi – guitar

John O’Gallagher – alto sax

Michael Janisch – bass

Clarence Penn – drums

For this European tour Michael Janisch has assembled a stellar new quintet comprising some of the United States’ most exciting performers/improvisers: with the Pakistani/ American guitarist Rez Abbasi – rapidly emerging as one of today’s major new voices on his instrument – alongside Grammy-winning alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher (Joe Henderson, Maria Schneider), trumpeter Jason Palmer (Herbie Hancock, Kurt Rosenwinkel), and the brilliant drummer Clarence Penn (Michael Brecker, ​Stanley Clarke​). This is a project not to be missed; artists of this calibre are usually only seen in the largest concert halls in the UK or at major festivals.

Michael Janisch (nominated in the UK for a MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act 2016 for his electro-acoustic project Paradigm Shift) has established himself as a tireless creative force across the developing international spheres of contemporary improvised and experimental music. Based in London (originally from the USA), he successfully traverses this creative topography as a virtuosic electric and double bassist, composer, bandleader, producer, session musician and record label owner.

As a bassist he is known for his versatility, full-­toned sounds and passion for playing time and groove with authenticity and dedication, no matter the context. A keen improviser, he has been described as “virtuosic and emphatic” (The Guardian) and Bass Musician Magazine asserts “Janisch is one of the few bass players out there who plays both electric and upright with equal facility, passion and musicality.”

As a composer and bandleader he has released five critically­ acclaimed albums to date. In addition to performing Michael is an adjunct Professor of Double Bass at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Music in London, and regularly gives masterclasses and group workshops at universities and festivals around the world.

 

 

 

Michael Janisch’s Autumn tour dates with new band including Rez Abbasi, Jason Palmer, John O’Gallagher and Clarence Penn + EFG London Jazz Festival NOV 10

 

Whirlwind founder, bassist, composer and producer Michael Janisch premiers a new band for their first European tour-date with guitarist Rez Abbasi – one of today’s major new voices on his instrument – alongside Grammy-winning alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher (Joe Henderson, Maria Schneider), trumpeter Jason Palmer (Herbie Hancock, Kurt Rosenwinkel) and the brilliant drummer Clarence Penn (Michael Brecker, Maria Schneider).


The band will be recording Janisch’s next solo album during the tour.

Tour Dates

(Full Details)

November 10EFG London Jazz Festival @ Rich Mix, London

November 14 – Royal Academy of Music, London

November 16 – Hull City of Culture (Whirlwind Showcase), Hull

November 17Leeds College of Music, Leeds

November 17Sheffield Jazz, Sheffield

November 19Cambridge Jazz Festival, Cambridge

 

 

Nov 10 2017 – Whirlwind Recordings blows a storm at EFG London Jazz Festival with triple bill – Michael Janisch Band ft Rez Abbasi, Jason Palmer, John O’Gallagher and Clarence Penn + Henry Spencer’s Juncture + Zhenya Strigalev’s Never Group

Whirlwind founder, bassist, composer and producer Michael Janisch (nominated in 2016 for a MOBO Award in the Jazz category after releasing his latest solo album Paradigm Shift), premiers a terrific Stateside Quartet on their first European tour-date with the Pakistani/American guitarist Rez Abbasi – rapidly emerging as one of today’s major new voices on his instrument – alongside Grammy-winning alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher (Joe Henderson, Maria Schneider), trumpeter Jason Palmer (Herbie Hancock, Kurt Rosenwinkel) and the brilliant drummer Clarence Penn (Michael Brecker, Maria Schneider). The band will be recording Janisch’s next solo album during the tour.

Award-winning trumpeter Henry Spencer’s ‘gleaming tone’ (Jazzwise) lies at the core of an exciting young band playing out of the tradition with an invigorating freshness and attitude, whose debut album The Reasons Don’t Change has been called ‘one of the early contenders for album of the year’ by All About Jazz, whilst saxophonist Strigalev’s zany Never Group takes that same tradition by the scruff of the neck, combining “hip jazz virtuosity and surrealism” (Guardian) in equal measures.

Tickets: Here

Michael Janisch Band
Michael Janisch – double/electric bass
John O’Gallagher – alto saxophone
Jason Palmer – trumpet
Rez Abbasi – guitar
Clarence Penn – drums

Henry Spencer & Juncture
Henry Spencer – trumpet
Nick Costley-White – guitar
Matt Robinson – piano, Fender rhodes, Wurlitzer
Andrew Robb – double bass
David Ingamells – drums

Zhenya Strigalev’s NEVER GROUP
Zhenya Strigalev – alto sax & alto box
Michael Janisch – electric bass / effects
Marc Ayza – drums

Euan Stevenson & Konrad Wiszniewski’s New Focus on BBC’s Jazz Nights at the Quay

 “A masterful repertoire of superb instrumentation and sumptuous arrangements.”
Radio REC (FR)

Much of the acclaim received to date for Euan Stevenson and Konrad Wiszniewski’s New Focus has centred on the pair’s ability to write beautiful, haunting melodies where every piece in the sequel balances emotional power with exquisite craftsmanship.

Learn more about New Focus and discover their albums below:

New Focus

New Focus on Song

Click the image to watch New Focus perform live on BBC Radio Scotland’s Jazz Nights at The Quay. 

Latest reviews for Josephine Davies’ ‘Satori’ include ★★★★​ ​from UK Vibe and The Jazz Mann + DownBeat Magazine feature

Official album trailer for Satori (left)

Josephine Davies – saxophone

Dave Whitford – bass

Paul Clarvis – drums

 

 

 

 

 

Latest press highlights for Satori (scroll down to see DownBeat feature)

“Consistently inventive and witty… Testament to Davies’ lyrical flow and to her collaborators ability to go with it.”
Jazzwise Magazine (website)

“Full of ideas, vision, and joyful improvisation​… ​A delightful journey of adventure and discovery​… A recording to experience again and again.”
★★★★​ ​UK Vibe​ (full review)

 A strong statement from Josephine Davies as she takes on the challenge of the saxophone trio format and succeeds brilliantly.”
★★★★ The Jazz Mann (full review)

“‘Satori’ has a cool, detached poise to it’s serpentine melodic explorations… A fine album.”
Jazz Views (full review)

“Strongly supported by Dave Whitford and Paul Clarvis as attentive and inventive accomplices, she [Davies} expresses in lively and generous jazz.”
Culture Jazz (Fr) (full review)

“Bitter-sweet with bristling grooves… A promising debut.”
Citizen Jazz (full review)

Oli Rockberger begins ‘Sovereign’ tour on Weds 11th October + new animated video

Acclaimed London based singer-songwriter, keys man and producer Oli Rockberger starts his Sovereign tour on Weds 11th Oct.

Oli Rockberger – piano/vocals

Hannah Read – violin/vocals

Giorgio Serci – guitar

Michael Janisch – bass

Marijus Alaksa – drums

 

 

DATES

October 11th – The Brook, Southampton

October 12th – SoundCellar, Poole

October 13th – Eastside Jazz Club, Birmingham

October 15th – Jazzata, Bristol

October 18th – The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh

October 19th – Pizza Express, Holborn, London (official album launch event)

October 20th – Pizza Express, Holborn, London (official album launch event)

October 22nd – Alexander’s Live, Chester

October 23rd – Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham by Sea

November 14th – Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, London (EFG London Jazz Festival)

 

This recently released video represents an exciting international collaboration between award-winning Tel Aviv based indie animator, illustrator and director Daniela Sherer, and Rockberger. A graduate of both the Royal College of Art (undergrad) and USC (masters), Daniela Sherer counts The Barbican, Warp Records and Harvard University amongst her illustrious client list, while Berklee College of Music Full Scholarship graduate Oli Rockberger’s performing and recording credits include Becca Stevens, Chris Dave and the Drumhedz as well as his ongoing work with prodigious UK songstress Laura Mvula, as a member of her touring band. Rockberger discovered Sherer’s work online and was immediately struck by her visual aesthetic, and felt a strong connection to his music. After making contact and exchanging some initial ideas together via skype, he was delighted when Sherer accepted a commission to direct and animate the video for ‘Is Anybody Out There’.

The song itself is be featured on ‘Sovereign‘, recorded in NY, co-produced by Rockberger alongside Chris Abell, and set for release Oct 20th 2017.

 

 

Rez Abbasi’s ‘Unfiltered Universe’ feat Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Johannes Weidenmueller, Dan Weiss and Elizabeth Mikhael UK/Europe release today

Click here: Unfiltered Universe for CDs, digital downloads and more

 

“An imaginative composer and guitarist of considerable virtuosity, plus an ensemble of immense talent, are all factors that make this high calibre album, imbued with unfettered vigour and intrigue, a most satisfying affair.”
★★★★½ All About Jazz (full review)

 

Completing a trilogy of albums whose compositions are infused with the various, colorful strands of traditional music from his Pakistani/Indian homeland, New York guitarist Rez Abbasi’s Unfiltered Universe presents the line-up of pianist Vijay Iyer, alto saxophonist
Rudresh Mahanthappa, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Dan Weiss, plus guest appearances from renowned classical cellist Elizabeth Mikhael. Previous releases Things to Come and Suno Suno focused, respectively, on Hindustani and Qawwali music, whereas this collection of seven new numbers explores and embraces the more rhythmically exuberant, South Asian elements of Carnatic instrumental music.

Originally hailing from Karachi – and creating fresh, contemporary sounds here with players who themselves are all well-versed in north and south Indian music – Abbasi sees his subconscious responses as an equally important source of inspiration alongside the imprint of his treasured, cultural heritage. “I have an intuitive way of approaching composition – an idea of searching but not searching, being conscious but not conscious. So with all of the influences I’ve absorbed (including Indian music, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Jim Hall, Keith Jarrett, Led Zeppelin), why would I want a tunnel-vision thing happening when I can have this ‘unfiltered universe’? I’ve had the good fortune to play alongside some great Carnatic musicians – a lot of jazz players don’t get to do that. But instead of interjecting specific Carnatic ideas, I use their energy as a foundation.

“Earlier albums featured the distinctive sounds of, for example, tabla and sitar – but on this recording, there’s no Indian instrument at all, so it’s an experiment in camouflaging that exoticism. There’s certainly a rhythmic and improvisational empathy between Indian music and jazz; but here, what you’re hearing is what you’re not used to hearing” – something which Abbasi defines more acutely as ‘creative music with a jazz weighting’ rather than the quite different concepts of ‘Indian jazz’ or ‘Indojazz’.

Abbasi’s complex meters are often based on underlying, architectural structures of expansion and compression which, in propulsive, shifting ‘Thin-king’, give rise to its beautifully searching melody; and enigmatic, tumbling ‘Turn of Events’ finds an exciting, flowing synergy between cello, guitar and sax. Carefully-crafted ‘Propensity’ features a bassline which moves by an eighth note, almost undetected, through multi-time-signatured sections: “There are five-and-a-half beats there, six beats here, like the idea of someone breathing or walking irregularly”. Rock-grooving ‘Disagree to Agree’ is an angular, stoic reflection on prevalent political turmoil; and the contrasting joyousness of ‘Dance Number’ has its roots in Abbasi’s and Mahanthappa’s intense sessions working with a Carnatic dance company, the guitarist’s writing echoing the vitality of their steps and rhythms.

Rez Abbasi concludes: “With Unfiltered Universe, I’d like to trigger an emotional response which, perhaps, could change something subconsciously. If my music can impact listeners on that level, I feel I’ve succeeded. But my essential musical message is that jazz can also be this – it can be creative without being totally improvised and moving without being stylized. I hope listeners will live this record”.