Dave Brubeck Quartet – Jazz At Oberlin (1953)

FrontCover1David Warren Brubeck (December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012) was an American jazz pianist and composer. Often regarded as a foremost exponent of cool jazz, Brubeck’s work is characterized by unusual time signatures and superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities.

Born in Concord, California, Brubeck was drafted into the US Army, but was spared from combat service when a Red Cross show he had played at became a hit. Within the US Army, Brubeck formed one of the first racially diverse bands. In 1951, Brubeck formed the Dave Brubeck Quartet, which kept its name despite shifting personnel.

DaveBrubeck1953A.jpgThe most successful—and prolific—lineup of the quartet was the one between 1958 and 1968. This lineup, in addition to Brubeck, featured saxophonist Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello. A U.S. Department of State-sponsored tour in 1958 featuring the band inspired Brubeck to record the 1958 album Jazz Impressions of Eurasia. A later work, despite its esoteric theme and contrarian time signatures, Time Out became Brubeck’s highest-selling album, and the first jazz album to sell over one million copies. The lead single from the album, “Take Five”, a tune written by Desmond in 5
4 time, similarly became the highest-selling jazz single of all time. The quartet followed up Time Out with four other albums in non-standard time signatures, and some of the other songs from this series became hits as well, including “Blue Rondo à la Turk”  and “Unsquare Dance”.

Brubeck continued releasing music until his death in 2012.

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Brubeck’s style ranged from refined to bombastic, reflecting both his mother’s classical training and his own improvizational skills. He expressed elements of atonality and fugue. Brubeck, with Desmond, used elements of West Coast jazz near the height of its popularity, combining them with the unorthodox time signatures seen in Time Out. Like many of his contemporaries, Brubeck played into the style of the French composer Darius Milhaud, especially his earlier works, including “Serenade Suite” and “Playland-At-The-Beach”. Brubeck’s fusion of classical music and jazz would come to be known as “third stream”, although Brubeck’s use of third stream would predate the coining of the term. John Fordham of The Guardian commented: “Brubeck’s real achievement was to blend European compositional ideas, very demanding rhythmic structures, jazz song-forms and improvisation in expressive and accessible ways.”

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Brubeck was the recipient of several music awards and honors throughout his lifetime. In 1996, Brubeck received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008, Brubeck was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, and a year later, he was given an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music. Brubeck’s 1959 album Time Out was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2005. Noted as “one of Jazz’s first pop stars” by the Los Angeles Times, Brubeck rejected his fame, and felt uncomfortable with Time magazine featuring him on the cover before Duke Ellington. (wikipedia)

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Although a touch underrated, Jazz at Oberlin is one of the early Dave Brubeck classic recordings. The interplay between the pianist-leader and altoist Paul Desmond on “Perdido” borders on the miraculous, and their renditions of “The Way You Look Tonight,” “How High the Moon” and “Stardust” are quite memorable. Brubeck’s piano playing on “These Foolish Things” is so percussive and atonal in one spot as to sound like Cecil Taylor, who would not emerge for another two years. With bassist Ron Crotty and drummer Lloyd Davis giving the Quartet quiet and steady support, Brubeck and Desmond were free to play at their most adventurous. Highly recommended. (by Scott Yanow)

Recorded live in Finney Chapel on the campus of Oberlin College in Ohio, this landmark album is essential listening in any collection. A breakthrough in the Cool Jazz style, this event also marked the change in acceptance of this music as both a serious area of study in the classroom and as respected entertainment in the concert hall (Matthew Vacca)

And … Paul Desmond is also a treat here !

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Personnel:
Dave Brubeck (piano)
Ron Crotty (bass)
Lloyd Davis (drums)
Paul Desmond (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You) (Strachey/Marvell/Link) 6.36
02. The Way You Look Tonight (Kern/Fields) 7.46
03. Perdido (Tizol) 7.51
04. Stardust (Carmichael/Parrish) 6.40
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05. How High The Moon (Lewis) 9.01

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Moe Koffman – Solar Explorations (1974)

FrontCover1Morris “Moe” Koffman, OC (28 December 1928 – 28 March 2001) was a Canadian jazz saxophonist and flautist, as well as composer and arranger. During a career spanning from the 1950s to the 2000s, Koffman was one of Canada’s most prolific musicians, working variously in clubs and sessions and releasing 30 albums.

With his 1957 record Cool and Hot Sax on the New York-based Jubilee label, Koffman became one of the first Canadian jazz musicians to record a full-length album.

Koffman was also a long-time member of Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass.

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Koffman was born in Toronto to Jewish immigrants from Poland. His parents operated a variety store. At the age of nine he began his musical studies in his native city, studying violin. He studied with Gordon Delamont, and later attended the Toronto Conservatory of Music, now the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, where he was a student of Samuel Dolin.

Koffman dropped out of school when he found work performing in dance bands. In 1950, he moved to the United States, where he played with big bands including those of Sonny Dunham and Jimmy Dorsey. In 1955, he returned to Toronto where he formed a quartet and later a quintet. He recorded Swinging Shepherd Blues in 1957 which helped establish his reputation as a flautist. “Swinging Shepherd Blues” was a hit in the United States, reaching #38 on the Billboard pop chart and #23 on the UK Singles Chart.

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Koffman was inspired by Rahsaan Roland Kirk to play multiple instruments at once; and had a modified set of straps to hold a tenor and an alto saxophone so that he could put forward incredible chords and improvise at the same time. One of the more famous session musicians in Toronto, he appeared in countless commercials, background music, and film and TV soundtracks. Most work on bass flute in Canadian soundtracks from 1950 to 1990 in Toronto sessions was done by Koffman on this rare instrument. Koffman was also an exponent of circular breathing techniques for his large volumes of sound, and joined fellow Canadian Maynard Ferguson and new age multi-instrumentalist musician Ron Allen in this talent.

During the 1970s, Koffman recorded several albums with arrangements of works by classical composers including Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi. The albums were released by GRT Canada and later by Universal. He also was a guest performer with a number of symphony orchestras across Canada.

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He performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Peter Appleyard during the 1980s, as well as continuing to front the Moe Koffman Quintet. He often performed with Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass. From 1956 to 1990, Koffman booked performers for George’s Spaghetti House in Toronto, where he performed weekly. His compositions “Curried Soul” and “Koff Drops” have been used as the opening and closing themes respectively for the CBC radio show As It Happens since 1972.

He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1993 and inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1997.

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Koffman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2000, and died of cancer in Orangeville, Ontario in 2001 at the age of 72.[13] In 2002, Moe Koffman was a MasterWorks honouree by the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada.

Some of Koffman’s music for Duke Street Records was unreleased at the time of his death. Music for the Night was released and re-issued in 2007, and Devil’s Brew was re-issued in 2009. (wikipedia)

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Canadian Koffman made a great deal of really ordinary classical-themed music which I don’t want to call fusion, e.g. the album Moe Koffman Plays Bach which came out in the early 70s, then went all-out critically-unacclaimed bonkers with advanced modern composition and extreme, and I mean extreme music with orchestra and fusionary visions in the 1974 opus Solar Explorations. The music is very similar to Carlos Franzetti but far more out there, way out into the intergalactic space actually way past the orbit of ex-planet Pluto and even the Oort cloud. And the vacuum of critical acceptance must have been just so rewarding… explaining perhaps why this was his only really experimental album. (http://progressreview.blogspot.com)

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Personnel:
Eugene Amaro (saxophone)
Guido Basso (trumpet)
Arnie Chycoski (trumpet)
Terry Clarke (drums)
Michael Craden (percussion)
Sonny Greenwich (guitar)
Keith Jollimore (saxophone)
Moe Koffman (flute, saxophone)
Bob Livingston (trombone)
Rob McConnell (tombone)
Ian McDougall (trombone)
Doug Riley (keyboards)
Fred Stone (trumpet)
Don Thompson (bass, piano on 02., 05. + 09.)
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Arnie Chycoski (trumpet on 03., 06.)
Rick Homme (bass on 04., 05., 08. + 09.)
Russ Little (trombone on 03.)
Claude Ranger (drums on 02., 03., 06. + 09.)
David Rosenboom (synthesizer on 07., violin on 08.)
Peter Schenkman (cello on 08.)
Al Stanwyck (trumpet on 03.)

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Tracklist:
01. Saturn (Wilkins) 8.40
02. Earth (Riley) 11.06
03. Uranus (Stone) 7.39
04. Neptune (Koffman) 8.21
05. Mars (Riley) 6.40
06. Jupiter (Collier) 12.32
07. Venus (Koffman) 8.10
08. Pluto (Thompson) 6.16
09. Mercury (Thompson) 14.23

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Downbeat (Magazine) – October 1982

FrontCoverDownBeat (styled in all caps) is an American music magazine devoted to “jazz, blues and beyond”, the last word indicating its expansion beyond the jazz realm which it covered exclusively in previous years. The publication was established in 1934 in Chicago, Illinois. It is named after the “downbeat” in music, also called “beat one”, or the first beat of a musical measure.

DownBeat publishes results of annual surveys of both its readers and critics in a variety of categories. The DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame includes winners from both the readers’ and critics’ poll. The results of the readers’ poll are published in the December issue, those of the critics’ poll in the August issue.

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Popular features of DownBeat magazine include its “Reviews” section where jazz critics, using a ‘1-Star to 5-Star’ maximum rating system, rate the latest musical recordings, vintage recordings, and books; articles on individual musicians and music forms; and its famous “Blindfold Test” column, in a which a musician listens to records by other artists, tries to guess who they are, and rates them using the 5-star maximum rating system.

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DownBeat was established in 1934 in Chicago, Illinois. In September 1939, the magazine announced that its circulation had increased from “a few hundred five years ago to more than 80,000 copies a month”, and that it would change from monthly to fortnightly from the following month. In 1972 the publisher of the magazine was Maher Publishers. In April 1979, DownBeat went to a monthly schedule for the first time since 1939.

In Summer 1960 DownBeat launched the Japanese edition.

DownBeat was named Jazz Publication of the Year in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 by the Jazz Journalists Association.

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I think I bought the magazine because I was particularly interested in the article about Jimi Hendrix.

Downbeat … indispensable for understanding the history of Jazz !

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Acker Bilk – The Veritable Mr Bilk (1968)

FrontCover1Bernard Stanley “Acker” Bilk, MBE (28 January 1929 – 2 November 2014) was a British clarinetist and vocalist known for his breathy, vibrato-rich, lower-register style, and distinctive appearance – of goatee, bowler hat and striped waistcoat.

Bilk’s 1962 instrumental tune “Stranger on the Shore” became the UK’s biggest selling single of 1962. It spent more than 50 weeks on the UK charts, peaking at number two, and was the second No. 1 single in the United States by a British artist.

Bilk was born in Pensford, Somerset, in 1929. He earned the nickname “Acker” from the Somerset slang for “friend” or “mate”. His parents tried to teach him the piano but, as a boy, Bilk found it restricted his love of outdoor activities, including football. He lost two front teeth in a school fight and half a finger in a sledging accident, both of which he said affected his eventual clarinet style.

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On leaving school Bilk joined the workforce of W.D. & H.O. Wills’s cigarette factory in Bristol; he stayed there for three years, putting tobacco in the cooling room and then pushing tobacco through a blower. He then undertook three years of National Service with the Royal Engineers in the Suez Canal Zone. He learned the clarinet there after his sapper friend, John A. Britten, gave him one bought at a bazaar and for which Britten had no use. The clarinet had no reed, so Britten fashioned a makeshift one for the instrument from scrap wood. Bilk later borrowed a better instrument from the army and kept it after demobilisation. After National Service, Bilk joined his uncle’s blacksmith business and qualified in the trade.

Bilk played with friends on the Bristol jazz circuit and in 1951 moved to London to play with Ken Colyer’s band.[3] Bilk disliked London, so returned west and formed his own band in Pensford called the Chew Valley Jazzmen, which was renamed the Bristol Paramount Jazz Band when they moved to London in 1951. Their agent then booked them for a six-week gig in Düsseldorf, Germany, playing in a beer bar seven hours a night, seven nights a week. During this time, Bilk and the band developed their distinctive style and appearance, complete with striped waistcoats and bowler hats.

Acker Bilk03After returning from Germany, Bilk became based in Plaistow, London, and his band played in London jazz clubs.[3] It was from here that Bilk became part of the boom in trad jazz in the United Kingdom in the late 1950s. In 1960, their single “Summer Set” (a pun on their home county), co-written by Bilk and pianist Dave Collett, reached number five on the UK Singles Chart,[6] and began a run of 11 chart hit singles. (“Summer Set” was also used prominently in Daniel Farson’s controversial 1960 television documentary Living for Kicks, a portrait of British teenage life at the time).[7] In 1961 “Acker Bilk and His Paramount Jazz Band” appeared at the Royal Variety Performance.

Bilk was not an internationally known musician until 1962, when the experimental use of a string ensemble on one of his albums and the inclusion of a composition of his own as its keynote piece won him an audience outside the UK. He had composed a melody, entitled “Jenny” after his daughter, but was asked to change the title to “Stranger on the Shore” for use in a British television series of the same name. He went on to record it as the title track of a new album in which his deep and quavering clarinet was backed by the Leon Young Acker Bilk02String Choral.

The single was not only a big hit in the United Kingdom, where it stayed on the charts for 55 weeks, helped by Bilk being the subject of the TV show This Is Your Life, but also topped the American charts.[2] As a result, Bilk was the second British artist to have a single in the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. (Vera Lynn was the first, with “Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart” in 1952.) “Stranger on the Shore” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. At the height of his career, Bilk’s public relations workers were known as the “Bilk Marketing Board”, a pun on the Milk Marketing Board.

At the height of his international fame in 1962, he appeared in two theatrical motion pictures. It’s Trad, Dad! (released in the United States by Columbia Pictures as Ring-a-Ding Rhythm) was a Richard Lester musical combining dixieland and rock-and-roll specialties; “Mr. Acker Bilk” and his band were the best represented, with three songs and a speaking role for Bilk. The second picture, Band of Thieves, was a comedy starring “Mr. Acker Bilk” and his group as musicians in prison. His music was also heard on the soundtracks to films such as Bitter Harvest (1963), West 11 (1963), and the musical comedy It’s All Over Town (1964). He also played a cameo role in the latter film.

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Bilk’s success tapered off when British rock and roll made its big international impact beginning in 1964 and he shifted direction to the cabaret circuit. However, he did record a series of well-regarded albums in the mid-1960s. Three of them, including the 1965 collaboration Together, with the Danish jazz pianist and composer Bent Fabric (“The Alley Cat”), were also released successfully in the United States on the Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco. In 1968 the album Blue Acker, produced by Denis Preston and with arrangements by Stan Tracey, illustrated that Bilk remained highly regarded as a musician, even by those (like Tracey) on the “modern jazz” side of things. Duncan Heining rates it as “one of the highlights of British jazz of the period”.

Bilk finally had another chart success in 1976 with “Aria”, which went to number five in the United Kingdom. In May 1977 Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band provided the interval act for the Eurovision Song Contest. His last chart appearance was in 1978, when the TV-promoted album released on Pye/Warwick, Evergreen, reached 17 in a 14-week album chart run. In the early 1980s, Bilk and his signature hit were newly familiar, due to “Stranger on the Shore” being used in the soundtrack to Sweet Dreams, the film biography of country music singer Patsy Cline. “Aria” featured as a central musical motif in the 2012 Polish film Mój rower [pl].

Bilk continued to tour with his Paramount Jazz Band, as well as performing concerts with his two contemporaries, Chris Barber and Kenny Ball, both of whom were born in 1930, as “The 3Bs”. Bilk also provided vocals on many of his tracks, including on “I’m an Old Cowhand”, “The Folks Who Live on the Hill”, “White Cliffs of Dover”, “Travellin On” and “That’s My Home”.

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He was appointed MBE in 2001.

In 2005 he was awarded the BBC Jazz Awards’ “Gold Award”.

One of his recordings was with the Chris Barber band, sharing the clarinet spot with the band’s regular reedsmen, John Crocker and Ian Wheeler. Bilk made a CD with Wally Fawkes for the Lake label in 2002. He appeared on three albums by Van Morrison: Down the Road; What’s Wrong With This Picture?; and Born to Sing: No Plan B.

In 2012 Bilk said that, after 50 years, he was “fed up” with playing his most famous tune, “Stranger on the Shore”.

Bilk died in Bath, Somerset, on 2 November 2014, at the age of 85.[14] He was survived by his wife and two children.

Bilk’s last recorded interview was for Cornish community station Penwith Radio (now Coast FM) and was broadcast on Sunday 16 November 2014 at 9:00 pm.

Bilk married his childhood sweetheart, Jean Hawkins, whom he met in the same class at school in 1954. The couple had two children: Jenny and Pete. After living near London in Potters Bar for many years the couple retired to Pensford.

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In 1997, Bilk was diagnosed with throat cancer, which was treated through surgery and then followed by daily radiation therapy at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre. Subsequently, he had eight keyhole operations for bladder cancer and suffered a minor stroke.

Bilk was part of a consortium which took over the Oxford Cheetahs speedway team in 1972. They were rebranded as Oxford Rebels as part of the takeover.
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Bilk has been described as the “Great Master of the Clarinet”. “Stranger on the Shore” – which he was once quoted as calling “my old-age pension” – remains a standard of jazz and popular music alike. (wikipedia)

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And here´s another pretty goodalbum from the Sixities, a live album (the second after “Live From New Zealand”, 166).

And we hear the great, superb and typical sound of Mr. Acker Bilk (a master of his own) and … an excellent version o the Duke Ellington classic “Caravan” !

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Personnel:
Acker Bilk (clarniet)
Al Fairweather (trumpet)
Tucker Finlayson (bass)
Ron McKay (drums)
Johnny Mortimer (trombone)
Ronnie Ross (saxophone)
Bruce Turner (saxophone)
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Tracklist:
01. Tiger Rag (Original Dixie Jazz Band) 3.51
02. Undecided (Robbins/Shavers) 3.14
03. Bugle Call Rag (Pettis/Mills/Schoebel) 6.17
04. Front Seat Driver (Bilk) 4.11
05. Acker’s Personal Jungle (Bilk) 3.16
06. Caravan (Ellington/Tizol) 5.09
07. The Hucklebuck (Gibson) 9.44
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08. Tarzan’s March (from an EP, 1967) 2.39

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The official website:
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David Benoit – It’s A David Benoit Christmas! (2020)

FrontCover1David Bryan Benoit (born August 18, 1953) is an American jazz pianist, composer and producer, based in Los Angeles, California, United States. Benoit has charted over 25 albums since 1980, and has been nominated for three Grammy Awards. He is also music director for the Pacific Vision Youth Symphony (previously known as the Asia America Symphony Orchestra) and the Asia America Youth Orchestra. Furthermore, crediting Vince Guaraldi as an inspiration, Benoit has participated both as performer and music director for the later animated adaptations of the Peanuts comic strip, such as the feature film, The Peanuts Movie, restoring Guaraldi’s musical signature to the franchise.

David Bryan Benoit was born in Bakersfield, California, on August 18, 1953. He studied piano at age 13 with Marya Cressy Wright and continued his training with Abraham Fraser, who was the pianist for Arturo Toscanini. He attended Mira Costa High School. He focused on theory and composition at El Camino College, studying orchestration with Donald Nelligan, and later took film scoring classes taught by Donald Ray at UCLA. His education in music conducting began with Heiichiro Ohyama, assistant conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic, and continued with Jan Robertson, head of the conducting department at UCLA. He worked with Jeffrey Schindler, Music Director for the UC Santa Barbara symphony orchestra.

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He began his career as a musical director and conductor for Lainie Kazan in 1976, before moving on to similar roles with singer/actresses Ann-Margret and Connie Stevens.

His GRP Records debut album, Freedom at Midnight (1987), made it to number 5 on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. Benoit also says that it was his favorite album to produce, because it was when “everything came together,” as he stated in an interview on SmoothViews.com. An earlier “live in the studio” (direct record, no mixing or overdubs) album on Spindletop Records, This Side Up (previously 1986), was re-released on the GRP label.

Waiting for Spring (1989) made it to number 1 on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums chart. Shadows, from 1991, made it to number 2 on the Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.

Out of respect for one of his main influences, Bill Evans, he dedicated his 1992 album Letter to Evan to him.

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Many of his songs employ a string section, most notably on his American Landscape (1997) and Orchestral Stories (2005) albums.

In 2000, after the death of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, he released a memorial album entitled Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years. Collaborators included the chorus group Take 6, guitarist Marc Antoine and trumpeter Chris Botti. He also did the music for “Peanuts” in the later specials, after Vince Guaraldi’s death. The album made it to number 2 on the Top Jazz Albums chart. An earlier cover of Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy”, recorded in 1985 for the aforementioned album This Side Up, enjoyed notable radio airplay and helped to launch the smooth jazz genre.

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Benoit has arranged, conducted, and performed music for many popular pop and jazz artists, including Russ Freeman and the Rippingtons (he was involved with the band in its formative stages, and they often appeared on each other’s albums), Kenny Loggins, Michael Franks, Patti Austin, Dave Koz, Kenny Rankin, Faith Hill, David Lanz, Cece Winans, David Pack, David Sanborn, The Walt Disney Company and Brian McKnight. He paid homage to one of his chief influences, Leonard Bernstein, by playing, arranging, and performing on The Songs of West Side Story, an all-star project produced by David Pack which achieved gold sales status. Benoit contributed to the Rippingtons’s debut album, Moonlighting, which was named the most influential contemporary jazz album of all time by Jazziz magazine.

The Benoit/Freeman Project album was given 41⁄2 stars by AllMusic, the highest rating Benoit has received from the service, and the album made it to number 2 on the Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart from Billboard.

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Benoit’s music can be heard during The Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8s” segments. His version of “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” by Vince Guaraldi is included on the album The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz II (2008). In May 2011, Benoit began hosting a morning program at jazz radio station KKJZ in Long Beach, California.

Benoit has performed at the White House for three U.S. Presidents: Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush Sr. Other dignitaries he performed for include Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, former Los Angeles mayors Tom Bradley and James Hahn, as well as Senator Dick Durbin. (wikipedia)

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Benoit was bitten by the jazz bug after watching a Charlie Brown special on television and listening to the music of Vince Guaraldi in 1965. “I was already a fan of the comic strip,” he says, “but when I heard that jazz piano trio, that was the defining moment when I decided that I wanted to play like Vince Guaraldi.” (press release)

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Is it a Charlie Brown Christmas again for you? It is for David Benoit, the successor to Vince Guaraldi as the musical maestro for the Peanuts specials. It’s A David Benoit Christmas includes all your favorites from the animated shows, both originals by Guaraldi and Benoit and traditional tunes like “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” (somethingelsereviews.com)

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Tremendous fun, lots of memories, and great playing:
David Benoit is a well-known pianist, and when this popped up as a new release I had to listen it. First play through, there’s so many tracks that remind me of watching Charlie Brown specials on TV as a much younger person that it brought back a flood of memories. Benoit takes the themes we know and brings his own take to them, with a little shakeup here and there for fun. And fun is what this CD is, bringing toe tapping to the feet and a smile to the face. Yes, it’s Christmas themed, but this is a CD I will be listening to year-round. An auditory delight, with well-known music. (by Tim Parker)

Yes .. a real superb piano Jazz Christmas album .., I will listen to this album … on Christmas Eve this year !

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Personnel:
David Benoit (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Christmas Time Is Here (from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”) (Guaraldi) 2.58
02. Skating (from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”) (Guaraldi) 2.49
03. O Tannenbaum (Traditional) 2.25
04. Carol Of The Bells (Leontoyych/Benoit) 2.05
05. Christmas Is Coming (from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”) (Guaraldi)  2.50
06. My Little Drum (from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”) (Guaraldi) 2.56
07. My Favorite Things (from “The Sound Of Music”) (Rogers/Benoit) 3.24
08. Peppermint Patty (from “Peanuts”) (Guaraldi) 1.49
09. You’re In Love, Charlie Brown (From “Peanuts”) (Guaraldi) 2.11
10. The Christmas Song (Tormé/Guaraldi) 2.57
11. Pebble Beach (from “Peanuts”) (Guaraldi) 2.40
12. What Child Is This (Greensleeves) (Traditional) 3.29
13. Red Baron (from “Peanuts”) (Guaraldi) 3.41
14. Linus And Lucy (from “Peanuts”) (Guaraldi) 4.03
15. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Benoit) 2.28
16. Oh, Good Grief (from “Peanuts”) (Guaraldi) 2.06
17. Just Like Me (from “Peanuts”) (Benoit) 3.48
18. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Mendelssohn) 2.40

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“Benoit tickles those keys and this is a definite masterclass on how to play the piano with feeling.” (The Jazz World)

“Accessible, adventurous and inspiring.” (Jazz Times)

The official website:
Website

Hans Dulfer – El Saxofon (1972)

FrontCover1Hans Dulfer (born 28 May 1940) is a Dutch jazz musician who plays tenor saxophone.

Hans Dulfer was born on 28 May 1940 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He began at age 17 and has been referred to as “Big boy” because of his album of the same name. At the end of the sixties he and Herbert Noord (Hammond organ) founded a quartet that played saxophone/organ funk. He has performed a considerable amount of cross-over jazz and jazz fusion and has also worked with Punk rockers. He has recorded an album with saxophonist Frank Wright titled “El Saxofón”.

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He has comparatively high popularity in Japan where Hyperbeat was a top-selling CD by instrumental standards. Furthermore, Japanese film maker Masaaki Yuasa stated that he listened to Hans Dulfer’s music while working on Mind Game.

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Hans Dulfer is the father of saxophonist Candy Dulfer and the two worked together on the album Dulfer & Dulfer. (wikipedia)

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Hans Dulfer is an internationally acclaimed Dutch jazz musician famous for playing the tenor saxophone. Since he was only seventeen years old, he was playing the saxophone professionally. In 1971 Dulfer released his album El Saxofón, which features members of Ritmo Natural. Together with Ritmo Natural, they released three albums in total, with El Saxofón being the last out of three. (press release)

This is an iconic and strong jazz album (with powerful rhythms), but it already has many elements of free jazz … so don’t be surprised if our listening habits are put to the test.

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Personnel:
Muhammad Ali (drums)
Steve Boston (percussion)
Hans Dulfer (saxophone, flute, vocals)
Bobby Few (piano, percussion on 03. + 04.)
Groentjie (percussion, vocals, narrator)
Jerome Hunter (bass on 03. + 04.)
Jan Jacobs (bass on 01. + 02.)
John Schuursma (guitar on 03. + 04.Titel: B1, B2)
Frank Wright (saxophone, bells, vocals on 03. + 04.)

Frank Wright

Tracklist:
01. El Saxofón (Dulfer) 8.06
02. Sad Love Story (Dulfer/Jacobs) 7.20
03. Rice Path (Wright) 10.24
04. Very Sad Love Story (Dulfer/Jacobs) 11.47

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More from Hans Dulfer:
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The official website:
Website

Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani – Sound Of Christmas (1967)

FrontCover1Alexander Emil Caiola (September 7, 1920 – November 9, 2016) was an American guitarist, composer and arranger, who spanned a variety of music genres including jazz, country, rock, and pop. He recorded over fifty albums and worked with some of the biggest names in music during the 20th century, including Elvis Presley, Ray Conniff, Ferrante & Teicher, Frank Sinatra, Percy Faith, Buddy Holly, Mitch Miller, and Tony Bennett.

During World War II Caiola played with the United States Marine Corps 5th Marine Division Band that also included Bob Crosby. Caiola served in the Battle of Iwo Jima as a stretcher bearer.

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Caiola was a studio musician in the 1950s in New York City. He released some minor records under his own name in that decade. In addition, he performed under the musical direction of John Serry Sr. on an album for Dot Records in 1956 (Squeeze Play).

In 1960 he became a recording star on the United Artists label for over ten years. He had hits in 1961 with “The Magnificent Seven” (#35 in USA) and “Bonanza” (#19 in USA). The arrangements were typically by Don Costa, using a large orchestral

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Caiola released singles and albums throughout the 1960s and beyond, though no others appeared on the charts except for an entry in 1964 with “From Russia with Love”. United Artists used him to make commercial recordings of many movie and TV themes: “Wagon Train (Wagons Ho)”, “The Ballad of Paladin”, “The Rebel”, and “Gunslinger”. His album Solid Gold Guitar contained arrangements of “Jezebel”, “Two Guitars”, “Big Guitar”, “I Walk the Line”, and “Guitar Boogie”.

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The Magnificent Seven album, other than the title track, consisted of a variety of pop songs with a jazzy bent. Guitars Guitars Guitars was similar. There was a wide variety to his albums — soft pop, Italian, Hawaiian, country, jazz. In the early 1970s he continued on the Avalanche Recordings label, producing similar work including the album Theme From the ‘Magnificent 7 Ride’ ’73. Later, on other labels, came some ethnic-themed instrumental albums such as In a Spanish Mood in 1982, and Italian instrumentals. In 1976, Caiola accompanied Sergio Franchi, Dana Valery, and Wayne J. Kirby (Franchi’s musical director) on a concert tour to Johannesburg, South Africa.

Caiola died in Allendale, New Jersey, at the age of 96. (wikipedia)

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Riziero Ortolani (Italian pronunciation: [ritˈtsjɛːro ˈritts ortoˈlaːni]; 25 March 1926 – 23 January 2014) was an Italian composer, conductor, and orchestrator, predominantly of film scores. He scored over 200 films and television programs between 1955 and 2014, with a career spanning over fifty years.

Internationally, he is best known for his genre scores, notably his music for mondo, giallo, horror, and Spaghetti Western films. His most famous composition is “More,” which he wrote for the infamous film Mondo Cane. It won the 1964 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Theme and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 36th Academy Awards. The song was later covered by Frank Sinatra, Kai Winding, Andy Williams, Roy Orbison, and others.

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Ortolani received many other accolades, including four David di Donatello Awards, three Nastro d’Argento Awards, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. In 2013, he received a Lifetime Achievement from the World Soundtrack Academy.

Ortolani was born on 25 March 1926 in Pesaro, Italy. He was the youngest of six children. Ortolani’s father, a postal worker, gave his son a violin at age 4. Ortolani later switched to flute after injuring his elbow in a car accident. He studied at the Conservatorio Statale di Musica “Gioachino Rossini” in his hometown of Pesaro before moving to Rome in 1948 and finding work with the RAI orchestra. Though the chronology is unclear, he also likely served as a musician in the Italian Air Force orchestra, formed a Jazz ensemble, and came to the United States as a Jazz musician in Hollywood, all before scoring his first film.

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In the early 1950s, Ortolani was founder and member of a well-known Italian jazz band. One of his early film scores was for Paolo Cavara and Gualtiero Jacopetti’s 1962 pseudo-documentary Mondo Cane, whose main title-song More earned him a Grammy and was also nominated for an Oscar as Best Song. The success of the soundtrack of Mondo Cane led Ortolani to score films in England and the United States such as The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), The Spy with a Cold Nose (1966), The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968) and Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1968). He also scored the 1972 film The Valachi Papers, directed by Terence Young and starring Charles Bronson.

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Ortolani scored all or parts of over 200 films, including German westerns like Old Shatterhand (1964) and a long series of Italian giallos, Spaghetti Westerns, Eurospy films, Exploitation films and mondo films. These include Il Sorpasso (1962), Castle of Blood (1964), Africa Addio (1966), Day of Anger (1967), Anzio (1968), The McKenzie Break (1970), The Hunting Party (1971), A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die (1972), Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972), The Fifth Musketeer (1979), From Hell to Victory (1979), the controversial Ruggero Deodato films Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and The House on the Edge of the Park (1980), and the first series of La piovra (1984). In later years he scored many films for Italian director Pupi Avati.

His music was used on soundtracks for Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 (1999), Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004), Drive (2011) and Django Unchained (2012).

In 2013, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Soundtrack Academy.

Ortolani died on 23 January 2014 in Rome, aged 87. (wikipedia)

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And here´s their contribution to christmas music, a real nice one …  with a wonderful jazzy guitar.

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Personnel:
Al Caiola (uitar)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

conducted by Riziero Ortolani

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Tracklist:
01. Sleigh Ride (Anderson) 2.45
02. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Gannon/Kent/Ram) 2.59
03. Buon Natale (Saffer/Linale) 2.04
04. Silver Bells (Livingston/Evans) 2.50
05. One Bright Star (Caiola) 2.52
06. Little Drummer Boy (Davis/Onorati/Simeone) 2.25
07. Holiday On Skis (Holmes) 2.29
08. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.09
09. Christmas Card (Ortolani) 2.37
10. Bossa Nova Noel (Pobliner) 3.51
11. Santo Natale (Hoffman/Manning/Nardone) 2.47
12. The Christmas Song (Tormé) 3.16

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Liner Notes

The official website from Riziero Ortolani:Website Riz Ortoloani

 

Martin Tingvall Trio – Jazz Festival Leverkusen (2011)

FrontCover1A sophisticated jazz ensemble, Tingvall Trio centers on Swedish pianist Martin Tingvall. Also featured in the trio are Cuban bassist Omar Rodriguez Calvo and German drummer Jürgen Spiegel. Formed in 2003, the group came together after the Snarestad-born Tingvall finished his college studies and relocated to Hamburg, Germany. They debuted with Skagerrak in 2006, followed two years later by Norr. More well-received albums were released, including Vattensaga and 2011’s Vägen, the latter of which entered the German charts. In 2010 and 2012, the trio took home the ECHO jazz award for ensemble of the year. After a live album, they returned with the 2014 studio effort Beat. In 2017, Tingvall Trio released their seventh album, Cirklar. (by Matt Collar)

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Omar Rodriguez Calvo, Jürgen Spiegel, Martin Tingvall: a Cuban, a German and a Swede. Three musicians from three different countries, three friends, three people who have made Hamburg their home. Together they play melodies whose beauty first challenges listeners to believe their own ears, only to find that the origins are thoroughly real and disarmingly authentic. That’s the Tingvall Trio.

Founded in 2003, the three musicians’ playing drew a rapidly growing fan following along with a record label, SKIP Records in Hamburg, that was convinced of the ensemble’s potential. “Skagerrak”, the first album, was released in 2006, followed by “Norr” (2008), “Vattensaga” (2009), “Vägen” (2011), the live album “In Concert” (2013), “Beat” (2014) and “Cirklar” (2017). Martin Tingvall has composed all of the pieces for the Tingvall Trio until now.

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A steadily growing listening audience and diverse awards (ECHO Jazz for the “Best Ensemble National” in 2010 and 2012, HANS Hamburg Music Prize in 2011, as well as the ECHO Jazz Audience Choice for the “Best Live Act of the Year” in 2012) attest to the path these three musicians have chosen.

The Tingvall Trio has meanwhile long since progressed beyond local fame throughout Germany and established itself successfully on the European Jazz scene. (taken from his website)

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And here´s a brilliant live recordig by the trio … 

The Tingvall Trio explores the possibilities of the jazz genre again and again with great joy in playing. In doing so, the three musicians consistently process their musical socialisations. Martin Tingvall, the trio’s namesake and composer of all the pieces, relies on the melodic elegance of Scandinavian-influenced jazz. Double bassist Omar Rodriguez is responsible for the colourful and light Latin sounds in the sound concept of the combo. And you can hear the source of the powerful drumming in every beat: Jürgen Spiegel feels right at home in rock music and provides the gritty component for the Tingvall Trio. (wdr.de)

Recorded live at the Forum (Jazztage, Leverkusen/Germany) November 6, 2011
excellent broadcast recording

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Personnel:
Omar Rodriguez Calvo (bass)
Jürgen Spiegel (drums)
Martin Tingvall (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Vägen 6.00
02 Hajskraj 5.18
03 Snarestad Folksvisa 6.33
04 Introduction (Tingvall) 1:22
05 Tuc-Tuc Man 4.25
06 Introduction /  Efter Livet 7.44

Music: Martin Tingvall

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More from the Tingvall Trio:
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The official website:
Website

Christian Weidner – Every Hour Of The Light And Dark (2016)

FrontCover1Christian Weidner is a German Saxophonist and composer who has worked with internationally renowned musicians and bands. His own music projects have been released on the Munich label Pirouet since 2004.

As a musician and teacher, he pursues an integrated approach. Equally central to Weidner’s work are the consolidation of tradition, research into new methods and the dedication to authentic personal expression.

Christian Weidner was born in 1976, grew up in Kassel and discovered the alto saxophone and jazz at the age of 12. At 16 he played in the Hesse State Youth Jazz Orchestra and at 17 in the Federal (national) Youth Jazz Orchestra. At 18 he won first prize in the ‘Jugend Jazzt’ (Youth Plays Jazz) competition and began playing in a duo with Gunter Hampel, a collaboration which would continue for many years. In 1996 he began studying at the Hamburg University of Music. In 1999 he received an Erasmus scholarship to study in Stockholm and from 2000-2002 he studied at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin.

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In 1999 Weidner moved to Berlin and began working together with well-respected contemporaries of the Berlin scene, such as Eric Schaefer, Simon Stockhausen, Chris Dahlgren, Antonis Anissegos, Gebhard Ullmann, Christian Lillinger, Dejan Terzic, Ronny Graupe und Oliver Steidle.

In the following years, he also played in the Franco-German Jazz Ensemble with Albert Mangelsdorff and worked in the bands of Günter Lenz, John Schröder und Rainer Tempel as well as on projects by Henning Sieverts, Kalle Kalima und Sebastian Merk together with international greats such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Hollenbeck und Greg Cohen.

2004 saw the beginning of an intensive collaboration with the jazz label Pirouet Records, which resulted in the first recordings of his trio, together with Daniel Schröteler und Antonio Palesano. The trio then became a quartet and since then, three albums, widely praised by the international music press, have been released. Currently playing with him in the quartet are Achim Kaufmann, Henning Sieverts und Samuel Rohrer.

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In addition, Weidner plays in Frank Gratkowski’s experimental microtonal saxophone quartet ‘Four Alto’, in Frank Möbus’ trio ‘Der Rote Bereich’, in the harpist Kathrin Pechlof’s trio collective, in Johannes Lauer’s orchestra ‘Lauer Large’, in Norwegian Karl Ivar Refseth’s trio and in Robert Landfermann’s quintet with Elias Stemeseder, Sebastian Gille and Jim Black.

Since 2008, Weidner has worked regularly with the voice actor Christian Brückner. He composed the music to audio books by Kazuo Ishiguro and Ror Wolf and performed an E.E. Cummings programme as a duo with Brückner at the 2013 Berlin Jazz Festival.

Weidner has received numerous studio advancement prizes as well as a composition scholarship from the Berlin Senate. He has led workshops at the Colleges of Music in Dresden, Hanover und Danzig, as well as while on tour for the Goethe Institute in diverse locations in South East Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. Since 2014 he acts as external expert and member of the jury at the Bern University of the Arts as part of the Bachelor examination process.

From 2013-2018 Weidner also co-curated the Berlin concert series ‘Serious Series’.

In autumn 2015 Christian Weidner was appointed Professor of Saxophone at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart. (press release)

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When it comes to so-called “free” jazz, there’s a lingering misconception among some listeners who’ve only heard Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, or late-period Coltrane – there’s the belief that “free” means “fiery,” and that all of the music, by necessity, comes out of the same white-hot barrel as Peter Brötzmann’s Machine Gun. Of course, that’s not true; while some of the genre’s best recordings are, indeed, explosive, there are just as many that evade that descriptor. In short, there are many shades of freedom. Some sound like spiraling shrapnel from a hand-grenade, and others are closer to the lazy flights of migratory birds.

Christian Weidner is one of those artists who sticks to the cooler, calmer side of the free jazz spectrum. His compositions are, well, composed, and they always seem to maintain a certain reserve, an equable demeanor that lends itself well to the late hours. On this, his latest album, Weidner returns with the trusty group that helped him deliver the enchanting Dream Boogie: Achim Kaufmann on piano, Henning Sieverts on bass, and Samuel Rohrer on drums. Dream Boogie was a stellar effort, with pieces that ranged from the architectural elegance of ECM, to pieces that wandered down more unpredictable paths.

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After one or two listens, there might not seem to be much to distinguish Every Hour of the Light and Dark from the previous album; both exist in a world of dreams, and the compositions themselves mirror this fact – sometimes, they glide along with a sensible, transparent beauty. Other times, they come to us in fractals, shards of melody that skip and stutter and swirl. Like the duo of Ivo Perelman and Matthew Shipp, Kaufmann and Weidner have a certain simpatico when they play together, and they tackle all this stylistic variation with astounding proficiency.

Though this newest album shares many attributes with the 2012 outing, I would say that it’s a refinement of what made the last one so compelling. It’s even more ethereal, and it strikes me as (yet again) an album that is practically made for nocturnal musings. “Tethys” is lovely, yet slippery, with Kaufmann’s notes sometimes clustering, sometimes cascading, but never spoiling the listener with a straightforward progression. In many ways, the crystalline delicacy of his playing on this piece recalls Debussy’s compositions – impressionistic tonal swaths that are near-spectral in their lightness. The title track develops in more direct ways, but still maintains a heart of inscrutability; Weidner is endlessly expressive here, but he is also laconic – each note arises as if it were the last drop of water squeezed from a damp towel. This terse approach is shared by the rhythm section: Henning Sieverts plays with great economy, not often taking solos or busying up the compositions with undue complexities. Likewise, Samuel Rohrer has a soft touch – he plays just what is necessary to maintain the foundation of Weidner’s shadowy sound-world.

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As its title implies, “Weightless” is a sparse affair, and its success owes perhaps more to the vacuum between the notes than to the notes themselves. Although it stretches to seven minutes, it never loses its enchanting quality – like being stranded in the depths of space, watching the Earth move from marble-to-pea-to-speck, it’s enchantment of a somber sort, but enchantment nonetheless. “Dance Fantasm” is a quick antidote to the solemnity, injecting the album with a burst of primal energy. It’s only a burst, however, being soon replaced by the elegiac wails of Weidner’s alto on “In Memoriam.” In this piece, the other players are slow to appear, giving Weidner and Kaufmann an opportunity to show just how deep-seated that aforementioned simpatico truly is. When Sieverts and Rohrer do arrive, it’s not to tie a rhythm to Weidner and Kaufmann’s productions, but to accent them with sibilant splashes (in Rohrer’s case) and leaden lumps (in Sieverts’). The final piece, “As Long as Now,” finds the album closing in much the same way that it began – somberly.

Weidner’s compositions are pleasant, and they never veer off into the harsh, uncompromising landscapes that many other albums lumped under the “free jazz” label tend to do. For that reason, Every Hour of the Light and Dark might strike some listeners as overly safe. While my first couple of listens seemed to be leading me to that same opinion, it was with a few more that I started to see the complexities buried in these compositions – yes, they are (for the most part) calm, but there is a knotty, mystifying heart in the center of this album. As with any exceptional recording, it is in the untying of those tangled threads that we receive the greatest sense of fulfillment. (by Derek Stone)

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Personnel:
Achim Kaufmann (piano)
Samuel Rohrer (drums)
Henning Sieverts (bass)
Christian Weidner (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. Tethys 5.01
02. Every Hour Of The Light And Dark 6.31
03. Fuzzy Membership 4.33
04. Weightless 7.07
05. Dance Fantasm 1.51
06. In Memoriam 8,12
07. Fairy Tales Friends 5.48
08. As Long As Now 4.29

Music: Christian Weidner

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The official website:
Website

 

 

 

 

 

 


“Weidner is a musician with a very developed and finely focused artistic vision; an owner of a rare original voice.” (Dan MacCleaghan, All About Jazz)

Joe Robinson – Christmas au chalet (2021)

FrontCover1Joseph Robert Robinson (born 25 May 1991), is an Australian guitar player and vocalist. A largely self-taught musician from Temagog, NSW, he is best known for his virtuoso guitar abilities and for winning the 2008 season of Australia’s Got Talent.

Robinson was born in Temagog, New South Wales, Australia. He started playing piano at the age of six, only because he was told his fingers were too small to play the guitar. Aged ten, he quit piano and began to play the guitar. He outgrew his guitar teacher in less than 12 months, and started to teach himself from the internet.

When he was eleven years old, Joe began touring with different Australian artists, including Tommy Emmanuel, who became his mentor.

When Robinson was 13, he won the Australian National Songwriting Competition.

In 2006 he recorded his debut album, titled Birdseed, produced by Parris Macleod at Cloud Studios in Wyong, New South Wales.

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At the age of seventeen, Robinson won the Australia’s Got Talent grand finale on 1 July 2008, performing a fingerstyle cover of “Classical Gas.”

In August 2008, Joe travelled to Nashville, Tennessee, and recorded his second album “Time Jumpin” with producer Frank Rogers. “Time Jumpin'” was released in 2009.

On 19 July 2009, Robinson was awarded the 2009 Senior Grand Champion Performer of the World at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles and also won the instrumental category among seniors in the same competition, as well as the male instrumental categories Contemporary, Jazz, Open and Original Works in the class of 16- to 24-year-old con

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In September 2009, he formed the Joe Robinson Electric Project with Sam Marks on drums and Chris Haigh on bass, embarking on an Australian national tour. Joe was the opening act for Australian music icon John Farnham in a series of six consecutive shows at the Burswood Theatre in Perth in October 2009 as part of Farnham’s comeback tour.

After moving to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 18 he was invited to perform at the prestigious Bonnaroo Music Festival in June 2010.

Robinson was named “Best New Talent” in Guitar Player magazine 2010 Reader’s Poll. Lenny Breau and Tommy Emmanuel have inspired him to develop his own harmonic technique.

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In September 2010, he performed at Live on the Green in Nashville, TN, alongside “The Wailers.” Then in November, Robinson began “The Houdini tour” in Europe, traveling through Germany, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Serbia and Italy. From the beginning, Robinson’s concept of this tour was to “escape the expectations” of him as a performer. He added vocal selections and brought along two musicians from the United States, bassist Bernard Harris and drummer Marcus Hill. After the month-long acclaimed European performances, Robinson continued on to Japan for a stint of highly anticipated solo appearances in Tokyo and Osaka through mid-December. His first time in Japan proved to be widely lauded and well received for the 19-year-old musician. From those shows he landed a recording contract with P-Vine Records. Returning to his Australian homeland for the holidays, Robinson resumed his tour on 5 January in Eumundi and ended it on 29 January in Melbourne.

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He spent much of 2011 in the studio recording his third album featuring vocal bass material and a rhythm section Keith Carlock and Michael Rhodes bass. The first single, “Out Alive,” was released in Australia on 2 December 2011 with the full CD “Let Me Introduce You” released through Australian label ABC on 20 January 2012. Robinson toured Australia to promote the release, including a five performances at the Woodford Folk Festival in late December 2011.

In 2012, Robinson released the “Toe Jam”  on which he wrote, produced and played most of the instruments. Upon completion of the EP, Joe and his two musicians, Sam Marks (drums) and Marcelo Bakos (bass guitar) toured the US, headlining shows in New York, Chicago, DC, and Boston. While in Boston, Joe gave a seminar at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

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He returned to Australia in late 2012 for a series of headline dates and festivals, which included the Festival of the Sun in Port Maquarie, NSW. Robinson released his new EP through the independent distributor MGM to coincide with the tour.

Robinson spent the majority of 2013 touring North America. Headlining clubs all over the North East, as well as stints in Texas and the West Coast. After a short headlining run in China and Japan, he spent most of the summer playing festivals, including Canada ‘s Ottawa Bluesfest (alongside The Black Keys and Dixie Chicks), Nashville’s Live on the Green with Robert Randolph and Fender’s celebration event leading up to the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden.

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In 2014, he released the “Gemini Vol.1” EP,.[18] Although a strong vocal performance carries the EP, it is his driving guitar – a mix of blues, rock, jazz, and R&B all his own – that ties it to his previous releases. Robinson played almost every instrument on the self-produced EP, lending a level of intimacy to the album.

Following up “Gemini Vol.2” was released 31 October 2015. Joe played all the instruments, produced and mixed the 4 song EP.

Touring extensively with his solo show in 2016, Robinson also collaborated with ‘Guitar Army’, a trio of triple threat guitar players, writers and singers; Robinson, Robben Ford and Lee Roy Parnell. (wikipedia)

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And here´s his Christmas album from 2021, “Christmas au chalet” (“Christmas in the chalet”)

For about 2 years, my fiancée Genevieve and I have been trying to secure her a K-1 VISA so we can get married and live in the US – 2020 was a particularly tough year to be not able to see each other because of closed borders—I live in Nashville. In August 2021, I drove up to Canada to visit her and help her with the VISA process and getting moved to Tennessee.

During my three-month stay we visited a small chalet and I realized how much quieter it was than Genevieve’s apartment in the art district of Quebec City. Sitting there in nature I couldn’t put my guitar down. There is something about being away from the hustle and bustle that makes me love playing music so much more! This is the way I grew up in rural Australia.

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After a nice stay in the chalet, we returned to Quebec City and as I was working on my Christmas arrangements I kept thinking how cool it would be to actually record this music in the chalet. So we loaded up my car with enough food for the week, my Maton JR Signature guitar, some high-fidelity recording equipment and a pair of DPA microphones and headed into the Quebec mountains. Because of the cabin’s remoteness, it runs on solar power. It’s a cool setup and was fun routine turning my equipment on to record then switching itall off to not risk running the batteries down. I set about recording 13 Christmas songs over 5 days in October 2021. The weather was absolutely perfect–it was a really special time.(Joe Robinson)

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Joe Robinson, an Australian guitarist, delivers an assortment of familiar Christmas songs — among them “Silent Night,” “Let It Snow” and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” — with self-effacing virtuosity on “Christmas au Chalet.” His versions are real-time acoustic guitar solos, filled with so much springy counterpoint that sometimes it’s hard to believe he’s playing alone. (nytimes.com)

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Personnel:
Joe Robinson (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Jingle Bell Rock (Beal/Boothe) 2.01
02. Let It Snow (Styne) 2.21
03. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.09
04. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (Lennon/Ono) 3.38
05. The Christmas Song(Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (Wells/Tormé) 2.10
06. Silent Night (Gruber) 2.31
07. Winter Wonderland (Bernard) 2.33
08. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (Traditional) 1.55
09. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree (Marks) 2.00
10. Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 2.39
11. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (Marks) 2.37
12. Silver Bells (Livingston/Evans) 3.01
13. Away In A Manger (Murray) 2.16

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The official website:
Website