Whirlwind Recordings http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:59:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 “Chances are you won’t have heard a more goddam funky jazz record all year”: Paul Jackson Trio debut ‘Groove Or Die’ gets four stars from All About Jazz, Marlbank + features in No Treble, Guitar & Bass Magazine + NOV Euro Tourhttp://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/chances-are-you-wont-have-heard-a-more-goddam-funky-jazz-record-all-year-paul-jackson-trio-debut-groove-or-die-gets-four-stars-from-all-about-jazz-marlbank-features-in-no-treble/ http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/chances-are-you-wont-have-heard-a-more-goddam-funky-jazz-record-all-year-paul-jackson-trio-debut-groove-or-die-gets-four-stars-from-all-about-jazz-marlbank-features-in-no-treble/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:50:42 +0000 http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/?p=14234 Read More]]>

Bassist, vocalist, composer-arranger, producer, and educator Paul Jackson is known as a “Musician’s Musician.” A founding member of Herbie Hancock’s The Headhunters, Paul’s creative output has shaped a new direction in contemporary music. He is one of the world’s most important and influential electric bassists – certainly one of the most studied and copied – and generations of bass players around the globe have been inspired by his signature infectious grooves.

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After years of touring the globe with Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Chick Corea, and countless other visionaries, Jackson has finally assembled a new trio featuring multi-instrumentalist Xantoné Blacq and first-call drummer Tony Match. The Paul Jackson Trio has recently toured to sold-out club and festival audiences in Asia and Europe (some engagements featuring special guests Randy Brecker and Pee Wee Ellis) during which they have developed a new program of Paul’s original music. The result is Groove or Die (click here), the trio’s debut release, recorded at WAX studio in London and to be released next week on NOV 3 worldwide.

We’ve had some great press hit for the album ahead of its release, below are some highlights:

“Chances are you won’t have heard a more goddam funky jazz record all year… staggeringly effortless funk appeal and practically patentable bass line routines.” 4 Stars, Marlbank

Groove Or Die offers plenty of grooves to choose, delivered by a masterful band… bassist extraordinaire.” 4 Stars, All About Jazz

“This, ladies and gentlemen, is what it is all about.” No Treble

“Mixtures of harmonics and deep groove lines marks ​​Paul Jackson as one of the most important and recognized of bassists. His interplay is still frequently copied today and rarely achieved.” Guitar & Bass Magazine (Germany)

Here’s the full article for the Guitar & Bass Magazine:

GB_0814_72-73 copy GB_0814_72-73 copy 555

 

NOVEMBER GROOVE OR DIE TOUR.  CHECK THE BAND ON TOUR, DATES BELOW

(all dates in Nov):

November 6th Thu – Rome Elegance Cafe – Italy www.elegancecafe.it
November 7th Fri – Ascoli Cotton Club – Italy www.cottonjazzclub.it
November 8th Sat  –  Chat Vert Rouen – France www.lechatvert.net
November 9th Sun – Paris Workshop – France
November 11th Tue – Vienna Reigen – Austria www.reigen.at
November 11th Tue – Workshop
November 12th Wed – Linz – Austria
November 13th Thurs – Media Day London – UK
November 14th Fri – EFG London Jazz Fest OFFICIAL ALBUM LAUNCH  Hideaway Club – UK www.hideawaylive.co.uk
November 15th Sat – Circulo de Las Artes  Lugo – Spain www.circulodelasartes.org
November 29th Sat – Helmit Dolphin, Hamamatsu – Japan
November 30th Sun – Mahcous Hall, Shimizu – Japan with G3 Band 

 

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Euan Burton’s ‘Too Much Love’ with Marlbank review ahead of his NOV 17 release + EFG London Jazz Festival launch show NOV 14http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/euan-burtons-too-much-love-with-marlbank-review-ahead-of-his-nov-17-release-efg-london-jazz-festival-launch-show-nov-14/ http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/euan-burtons-too-much-love-with-marlbank-review-ahead-of-his-nov-17-release-efg-london-jazz-festival-launch-show-nov-14/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:15:48 +0000 http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/?p=14223 Read More]]>

Too Much Love (click here) is the eagerly awaited follow up release
(Out NOV 17) from the award winning Scottish double bassist, composer & producer Euan Burton, whose first WWR album Occurrences (May, 2012) was met with high international acclaim. On his new release Burton continues to grow as a musician and composer, blending composition and improvisation in his signature way while creating melodic and harmonic motives that develop thematically throughout the course of the album.

We just received his first great review from Marlbank click here to read the entire review.

Euan will be embarking on a nationwide tour in support of the album’s release and on the 14th of NOV will be appearing at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival for his official album launch concert.  Click here for tickets.

Euan Burton FB

 

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RELEASE DAY: Max Luther’s debut album ‘Orbital’ out todayhttp://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/release-day-max-luthers-debut-album-orbital-out-today/ http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/release-day-max-luthers-debut-album-orbital-out-today/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 11:29:06 +0000 http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/?p=14213 Read More]]> Max Luthert FB

We are pleased to announce the worldwide release and debut album from Max Luthert: Orbital. click here to purchase a copy as CD, FLAC, ALAC, MP3s and more.

Orbital is the debut album from double bassist and composer Max Luthert, one of the UK’s most in-demand young musicians currently known for his work as a sideman in the bands of Zara McFarlane, WWR signed Partikel and Benet McLean. Largely heralded for his skills on the low end providing strong support with his signature dark & husky bass sound, he now steps up with this shimmering debut to showcase his strengths as bandleader, arranger and fine composer.

Luthert’s group features long-standing musical collaborators in fellow Partikel leader Duncan Eagles (tenor saxophone), WWR artists Gareth Lockrane (flute) and Dave Hamblett (drums), Matt Robinson (piano) & Séb Pipe (alto saxophone), and from the first note it’s clear that this sextet is at ease with itself having performed together in a myriad of musical situations over the years. As individuals they shine while navigating Luthert’s emotive originals with wit and aplomb. .

Max explains, “When I started writing the music for Orbital the only elements I had in place were the musicians and the recording date. Being in London there is a plethora of incredible musicians with their own sounds and approaches to music and after working with each of the musicians on the record in various ensembles and guises throughout the last few years I knew that when put together they would create the sound I was hearing when I decided to form my own group.”

“With that in mind I then embarked on writing the music for Orbital. I found myself being inspired the most by books I was reading and as a result a number of the tracks are named after places or phrases. I was very keen that the compositions tried to replicate what I was imaging in the scenes of the books,”

The songs on Orbital blend intricate and modal harmony with sometimes irregular time signatures and forms next to anthemic themes, while Luthert grounds the ensemble with highly personal bass lines matched with poignant improvisations. The blending of the flute with the two saxophones creates a lush soundscape that marks this debut out as a welcomed & ambitious first outing that will no doubt firmly kickstart the career of one of Britain’s finest young bassist/composers.

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Max Luthert’s debut ‘Orbital’ reviewed ahead of it’s launch this monday the 27th + 2015 tour dateshttp://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/max-lutherts-debut-orbital-reviewed-ahead-of-its-launch-this-monday-the-27th/ http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/max-lutherts-debut-orbital-reviewed-ahead-of-its-launch-this-monday-the-27th/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:50:56 +0000 http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/?p=14167 Read More]]>

Orbital (click here) is the debut album (launches in 2 days on the 27th Oct) from double bassist and composer Max Luthert, one of the UK’s most in-demand young musicians currently known for his work as a sideman in the bands of Zara McFarlane (who just won this year’s MOBO award in the jazz category), WWR signed Partikel and Benet McLean. Largely heralded for his skills on the low end providing strong support with his signature dark & husky bass sound, he now steps up with this shimmering debut to showcase his strengths as bandleader, arranger and fine composer. He recently played to a full house at Pizza Express for the album launch and that was previewed in London Jazz here.

We’ve had some other great album reviews come in ahead of the release and we share them here:

“A very mature work for a debut… Luthert has a fine sense of time and a big jazz vocabulary at his disposal, his modernistic sound encompassing the bass tradition that stretches from Richard Davis to Dave Holland.”
4 Stars, Marlbank

“The tunes are all by Luthert and are lyrical, long-lined, melding nicely through written sections and solo space, sometimes running loose, sometimes enclosed by the arrangements… The title track is another really enjoyable piece, packing a punch that has the three woodwinds almost sounding like a big band, such is the richness of the writing.”
The Jazz Breakfast

“An impressively mature début from Luthert. A set of compositions that are rich in colour and texture, the sextet line up allowing for plenty of variation in terms of tone and timbre.”
4 Stars, The Jazz Mann

 

2015 Tour Dates:

Catch Max and his Orbital sextet around the UK in early 2015, here are the dates so far, more to come:

18 January – Ashburton Jazz Club
19 January – North Devon Jazz Club, Appledore
21 January – Dempsey’s, Cardiff
22 January – SoundCellar, Poole
23 January – Sheffield Jazz Club

 

 

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NYSQ ‘The New Straight Ahead’ gets wide acclaim from JazzTimes, Acoustic Music Exchange, UK Vibe, All About Jazz, UK Vibe and more + USA Tour in November & new recordinghttp://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/nysq-the-new-straight-ahead-gest-wide-acclaim-from-jazztimes-all-about-jazz-uk-vibe-and-more-usa-tour-in-november-new-recording/ http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/nysq-the-new-straight-ahead-gest-wide-acclaim-from-jazztimes-all-about-jazz-uk-vibe-and-more-usa-tour-in-november-new-recording/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:35:33 +0000 http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/?p=14163 Read More]]>

The New Straight Ahead (click here) 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. Check the promo video to the left for more info on their new release.

 

 

The band has been busy this year with multiple tours including a three week run of dates across Japan where the band has been very popular for years.  There’s been some great reviews come in as well since the summer release of the album and we reprint some of the highlights below:

“Absorbing and perceptive music… a fresh perspective to a repertoire of standards and jazz classics.”
JazzTimes Magazine

“The music of NYSQ does more than cast old standards with new arrangements, they give old tunes new life, new meaning and a new reason for hearing them again.”
4 Stars, All About Jazz

“A wonderfully inventive and pulsating band… Definitely one to look out for.”
The Northern Echo

“This stellar quartet line up features a some of New York’s finest musicians and is a terrifically fresh revisiting of the standards repertoire.”
4 Stars, UK Vibe

“An example of contemporary jazz that preserves the tradition without being hobbled by it… it is evident from the confident rapport reflected in their playing that these musicians have developed a mature working relationship of the type that characterises the best of the big name combos we have come to revere.”
Jazz Views

“This configuration of musicians has played together before, three CDs worth (this being the debut Whirlwind label release), and the underlying cohesivity shows.”
Acoustic Music Exchange

 

NOV USA TOUR.

The NYSQ is back on tour in just over a week in the USA, this time with WWR’s own Michael Janisch playing double bass.  They will record their 5th album (and 2nd for us to be released in 2015) at the end of the tour in NYC. Check the dates below (we’ll have the final schedule in a few days):

Saturday, November 1 Smalls Jazz Club New York City

Monday 3 – TBC Asheville, NC

Tuesday 4 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Concert) Chapel Hill, NC

Wednesday 5 Charleston Jazz Society (Concert) Charleston, SC

Thursday 6 University of Central Oklahoma (Concert and Workshop) Edmond, OK

Friday 7 Walton Arts Center (Concert) Fayetteville, AK

Saturday 8 Blue Room (Jazz Club) Kansas City, MO

Sunday 9 Murry’s (Concert) Columbia, MO

10 Recording for 5th album, second Whirlwind Recordings release

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Excellent” 4 Stars says All About Jazz about Marko Churnchetz’s ‘Devotion’ in latest reviewhttp://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/excellent-4-stars-says-all-about-jazz-about-marko-churnchetzs-devotion-in-latest-review/ http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/excellent-4-stars-says-all-about-jazz-about-marko-churnchetzs-devotion-in-latest-review/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:20:54 +0000 http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/?p=14160 Read More]]> 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.  The album dropped this summer and features some of New York’s finest younger generation improvisers in saxophonist Mark Shim, bassist Chris Tordini and first call drummer Justin Brown.

 

 

All About Jazz has recently given the album 4 Stars and we reprint a highlight below. Click here to read the entire article.

“Excellent… Musically the first thing that strikes you about the album is the mastery of different rhythmic and compositional settings.”
4 Stars, All About Jazz

 

Check out a full length track from the album to the left.

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“One of the most accomplished homegrown acoustic jazz releases of the year so far.” says Marlbank about Simon Purcell’s debut album ‘Red Circle’ + new preview tracks uphttp://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/one-of-the-most-accomplished-homegrown-acoustic-jazz-releases-of-the-year-so-far-says-marlbank-about-simon-purcells-debut-album-red-circle-new-preview-tracks-up/ http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/one-of-the-most-accomplished-homegrown-acoustic-jazz-releases-of-the-year-so-far-says-marlbank-about-simon-purcells-debut-album-red-circle-new-preview-tracks-up/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:49:07 +0000 http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/?p=14158 Read More]]>

Red Circle is the debut release from international acclaimed pianist Simon Purcell, currently the Head of Jazz at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Dance and Music in London, where he is known as one of Europe’s premier educators.  Purcell’s band is comprised of 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).

 

 

We’ve just been alerted to a great first review for the album which drops next month on the 10th of November from Marlbank and we reprint a highlight quote below.

“One of the most accomplished homegrown acoustic jazz releases of the year so far. The head of jazz at Trinity-Laban’s first album for Whirlwind, the best UK indie jazz label for a while now in terms of the quantity and quality of its output, there’s something timeless about the appeal here in much the way that you can listen to an old Wayne Shorter record and it still seems modern and relevant, the collected wisdom of a lost time where the music sums up the pensive mood but celebrates the musical abandon so persuasively.”
4 Stars, Marlbank

 

Preview tracks now up on the Red Circle page

Now you can listen to previews of the entire album over on the Red Circle page.  Simon and band will be performing at the Pizza Express Jazz Club as a featured act during the EFG London Jazz Festival on Sunday November 16th. This will be his official release concert for the album.

 

 

 

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18 WWR Artists to be featured next month at EFG London Jazz Festival 2014http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/18-wwr-artists-to-be-featured-next-month-at-efg-london-jazz-festival/ http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/18-wwr-artists-to-be-featured-next-month-at-efg-london-jazz-festival/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:22:57 +0000 http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/?p=14144 Read More]]>  

Tornado London Jazz Fest-01(1)

Greetings everyone: We’re happy to announce 18 artists who have released albums on Whirlwind will be featured acts at next month’s EFG London Jazz Festival produced by Serious, with many other label artists performing as either a sideman/woman across the capital.

Below is a snapshot of what’s in store with links to music & video samples, personnel, as well as booking information. Look forward to seeing you at the shows and as always thank you for the continued support.

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14 November: Paul Jackson TrioThe Hideaway, official European launch concert for Groove Or Die.
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14 November: Rachael Cohen QuartetSouthbank Centre, playing music from Halftime.
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14 November: Euan Burton & Occurrences w/ special guest Ryan QuigleyRoyal Albert Hall, official UK launch concert for Too Much Love.
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15 November
: Ollie Howell Group
The Clore Ballroom/Royal Festival Hall (Jazz Line Up event), playing music from Sutures & Stitches.
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15 November: George Crowley BandThe Green Note, playing music from Paper Universe as well as new material for his upcoming 2015 release.
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16November: Jeff Williams SextetThe Green Note, playing music from his recent Brazil trip + The Listener.
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16 November: Simon Purcell’s ‘Red Circle’Pizza Express Jazz Club, the official UK launch of Simon’s long awaited debut album Red Circle.
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16 November: Tori Freestone TrioThe Purcell Room, playing music from In The Chop House.
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16 November: Gareth Lockrane’s ‘Grooveyard Unplugged’The Forge, playing music from The Strut.
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17 November: Nia Lynn’s Bannau TrioPizza Express Jazz Club, playing music from Points of View.
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17 November:  Ollie Howell GroupThe Vortex, playing music from Sutures & Stitches.
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18 November: Andre Canniere BandPizza Express Jazz Club, playing music from Coalescence.
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18 November: Tori Freestone TrioServant Jazz Quarters, playing music from In The Chop House.
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19 November: Alice Zawadzki BandRoyal Albert Hall, playing music from her debut China Lane.
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20 November: Dan TepferWigmore Hall, playing Goldberg Variations (solo piano).  Dan is featured on our recent release with Lee Konitz, Michael Janisch and Jeff Williams, First Meeting.
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20 November: PartikelThe Venue, playing all new music from their upcoming 2015 String Theory. Partikel released Cohesion with us.
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21 November: PartisansThe Vortex, playing music from Swamp.
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22 & 23 November: Zhenya Strigalev’s ‘Smiling Organizm’ band – Charlie Wright’s (22 Info) (23 Info), playing music from Smiling Organizm as well as new music to be released in 2015.
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22 November: John Escreet TrioKing’s Place, playing music from his recent trio record.  John released Sabotage & Celebration with us last year.
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23 November: Robert Mitchell Invocation ft Panacea + Bournemouth Symphony Chorus + Goldsmiths (Big) StringsQueen Elizabeth Hall, playing all new music for a major commission.  Robert released The Glimpse with us last year.
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Alice Zawadzki is ‘something of a phenomenom’ says MOJO Magazine in 4 Star review + headline performance at the Royal Albert Hall Nov 19 at EFG London Jazz Festivalhttp://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/alice-zawadzki-is-something-of-a-phenomenom-says-mojo-magazine-in-4-star-review-headline-performance-at-the-royal-albert-hall-nov-19-at-efg-london-jazz-festival/ http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/alice-zawadzki-is-something-of-a-phenomenom-says-mojo-magazine-in-4-star-review-headline-performance-at-the-royal-albert-hall-nov-19-at-efg-london-jazz-festival/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:13:21 +0000 http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/?p=14119 Read More]]> Alice_Zawadzki_web920x550_920_550shar-20_s_c1

“With her glacial, folksy vocals and puckish fiddle, Alice Zawadzki would be notable enough. Add her compositional range and whimsical hyper-creativity and she becomes something of a phenomenon.”
4 Stars MOJO Magazine

Alice Zawadzki is having a fantastic year since the release of her debut album China Lane, and this latest review in MOJO magazine affirms what many in the international press have exclaimed is the arrival of a truly original new voice in contemporary music.

 

MOJO Alice

 

As her recent sold out shows at Pizza Express Jazz Club have affirmed, Alice and her band are a hot ticket live.

Excitedly, she will be headlining at this years EFG London Jazz Festival at the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room on November 19th.  Please click here for bookings.

And we’ll have news soon on when you can listen to Alice’s live session she just recorded on the Jamie Cullum BBC Radio 2 show.

 

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RELEASE DAY: Jochen Rueckert’s ‘We Make The Rules’ out today, worldwide! ft. Mark Turner, Lage Lund, Matt Penman + reviews from The Guardian, AP Reviews, The Jazz Mann, Bebop Spoken herehttp://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/release-day-jochen-reuckerts-we-make-the-rules-out-today-worldwide-ft-mark-turner-lage-lund-matt-penman-guardian-ap-reviews-the-jazz-mann-bebop-spoken-here/ http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/release-day-jochen-reuckerts-we-make-the-rules-out-today-worldwide-ft-mark-turner-lage-lund-matt-penman-guardian-ap-reviews-the-jazz-mann-bebop-spoken-here/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 09:52:38 +0000 http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/?p=14112 Read More]]> Jochen Reuckert FB

We’re proud to announce today is the worldwide release of We Make The Rules by Jochen Rueckert. Click here for your copy, or digital download in FLAC, ALAC, MP3 and more.

We’ve also had some great press come in, here are the highlights:

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“With each new piece, a world opens.”
Concerto Magazine

“Modern jazz themes cannily reshuffled. Eggshells, for instance, is like Coltrane’s Giant Steps slowed down, Yellow Bottoms has Shorter’s rhythmic capriciousness. Hearing an always-mesmerizing Mark Turner unwrap beautifully balanced long lines over Rueckert’s steady cymbal clip, Penman’s urging basslines and Lund’s guitar-chord chimes is a pleasant diversion. Lund’s buoyant soft-bop solo lines are delightful on Pretty from Afar, the title track stretches a wandering tenor lead over a rocking guitar vamp but tightens as the drums snap, while the ballad Alloplasty features subtle brushwork.”
The Guardian

“This is music that’s contemporary – in the best sense of the word. The guys play with a technique that isn’t misused, a technique that stays true to tradition yet still reaches out to the unknown.”
Bebop Spoken Here

“We Make The Rules is a highly sophisticated album that contains some excellent ensemble and individual playing, one would hardly expect any less from this stellar group of musicians.”
The Jazz Mann

“It radiates an understated warmth and sophistication which is so very appealing.”
AP Reviews

 

We Make The Rules is the debut WWR release from the multifaceted drummer & composer Jochen Rueckert, a German native who’s been based in NYC since 1995, where he’s become one of the preeminent artists of his generation known for his work with Marc Copland, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Nils Wogram’s Root 70, Sam Yahel, Will Vinson and Seamus Blake. Jochen is also renown for his work in electronic music under the alias “Wolff Parkinson White” as well as his long running book series “Read the Rueckert- travel observations and pictures of hotel rooms”.

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The album features Reuckert’s quartet, a truly stellar cast of players which has been together since 2009, featuring long standing musical cohorts Mark Turner on tenor saxophone, Lage Lund on guitar and Matt Penman on double bass, all three guiding lights of their generation. Rueckert explains, “I’ve known Mark for about 18 years, I’ve played in his band occasionally and also got to know him while playing in Kurt Rosenwinkel’s band. He’s my favorite tenor player and I used to be at Smalls Jazz Club every Tuesday when he would play in Kurt’s famed group when I first got to NYC in the 90s. Lage I’ve known for 10 years and I love both his tone and the harmonic flow he brings to my songs. We’ve played together a lot, especially in alto saxophonist Will Vinson’s band. Matt is the first great bass player I ever played with and it was an eye-opener. We’ve known each other for over 20 years and were roommates for about four years. We have been playing in Nils Wogram’s band ‘Root 70′ for over a decade and in Sam Yahel’s trio for about 10 years. Playing with him is like riding a bicycle.”

Indeed this playing history and group cohesion is immediately apparent on We Make The Rules, which features all original music that was written by Rueckert around 2011 and subsequently toured internationally before going into the studio to record. “I’m getting a little allergic to ‘project style recordings’, where you play music in the studio without being able to fine tune it on the road,” Rueckert adds. “All said and done, the music on the album was recorded in only seven hours and six of the tracks are first takes, the rest second takes. The perks of having a working band!” The album boasts a pristine sound quality to boot as a result of post production work carried out by one of NY’s all-time sonic gurus James Farber.

Compositionally, the music was conceived with each of his band members in mind and covers a lot of ground while featuring the use of Rueckert’s penchant for writing understated melodies. ‘Yellow Bottoms’, for example, is reminiscent of early 60s compositions by Wayne Shorter or Herbie Hancock, who are among Jochen’s favorite influences. Drawing from the compositional styles of his peers Hayden Chisholm and Nils Wogram, who churn motives and rhythms around while adding a lot of contrast throughout a song’s sections, ‘Pretty From Afar’ implores these devices by starting out anthemic, then dissolves, picking up again just to ultimately peter out in the last section which ends softly with almost a sense of despair or disappointment. Other influences can be pinpointed to Rueckert’s formative years in the 1990s: Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner and Reid Anderson; there are even hints of 1900s classical music and a quote from a Deftones song on ‘Saul Goodman’. Rueckert’s experiences working in the bands of other musicians come into play as well: “I get frustrated as a sideman when I have to read overly complicated forms, or when the solo sections are then simplified or some separate thing. I purposefully wrote most of the music so that the solos are on the actual forms of the songs, making them more of a complete and cohesive piece. I also tried to not shy away from having a fair amount of swingers which I really miss on many recent albums.”

As much as the songs on the album were written as vehicles for his bandmates to take on improvisational flight (and in that capacity they shine brilliantly), they were also inspired by Jochen’s life experiences. As he explains: “‘Alloplasty’ is meant in the psychoanalytic way, not the surgery. I am plagued by intense fear of flying and it’s one of the things that comes up in therapy. ‘Pretty From Afar’ is about a girl I saw once in Helsinki at a gig. The band was watching her throughout the set in the back of the club, intrigued. We were all talking about her but later she came up to us and was ugly as sin. ‘Manong Twilight At The Whatever Hotel’ is named after a piece of art by my uncle Carlos Villa from San Fransisco. He was an enthusiastic jazz fan and saw everybody play in the 60s. He passed away when I was writing that tune.

One of Jochen’s catch phrases is the ability to “have many moods to choose from” and as a composer he succeeds greatly at presenting an album that reflects this notion as well as tackling the great challenge of coalescing life’s concepts and feelings with instrumental music. No doubt We Make The Rules will further solidify his reputation as one of the premier drummer/bandleaders working in jazz and improvised music today.

 

 

 

 

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