Forever a wildcat and wild card, Los Angeles’ bassist/songwriter/vocalist Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat, is impossible to tame artistically. A true master of his craft, he can be found playing bass with Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu and Suicidal Tendencies, in the same breath as performing live with the likes of Stanley Clarke, Snoop Dogg or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. His 2011 solo debut (The Golden Age of Apocalypse, co-produced by Flying Lotus) created an equally genre-blurring enigma of indie rock and jazz, with a touch of electronica.
On his second album, Apocalypse, Thundercat pairs up with executive producer Flying Lotus to pull the veil back and reveal the simple truths of the cycle of life, for all its beauty and destruction. An album about loss and rebuilding, trying to gain something back, and capturing that moment of clarity where one finally finds feet back on the ground again. Bringing a fusion of pop, soul, electronica, prog rock and funk into an unexplored dimension, the album slowly descends and tunnels to the core of what it takes to grasp peace, at a time that it seems most far.
mp3 320 kbps | 76 MB | UL
UK guitarist Ray Russell, a composer and studio specialist for much of the past three decades, broke cover for some dynamic live shows last autumn. He’s aided on a jazz-rock fusion programme here by gifted guests including Gary Husband (sharing the drumming with Ralph Salmins), and the excellent Jim Watson on keyboards. Naturally there are plenty of machine-gun melodies rattled out in unison, galloping drumming and wailing sustain-guitar anthems, and Russell the composer is so eager that some pieces restlessly bubble with sub-themes that could have been tracks on their own. But the leader’s own playing is strong as ever – eloquently nuanced in vocalised long tones, nailed to the beat on swerving fast runs. The Island mixes a wide-horizon melody and a fast funky one, Shards of Providence has a good raunchy hook, Slow Day is a slow bluesy thump with Watson’s Hammond whirring beneath, and Suddenly They Are Gone and Cab in the Rain are graceful rock ballads for Russell in Roy Buchanan mode. Rupert Cobb’s excursion into trumpet electronics – somewhere between Nils Petter Molvaer and 1980s Miles – on Odd Way Out sounds as if it was hastily conceived to vary the prevailing sound, but jazz-rock devotees will certainly want to hear Ray Russell out in the open more often.
Pianist, composer, arranger, and bandleader Keith Tippett’s first album, You Are Here…I Am There, was issued in 1969, and received some notice as the work of an ambitious composer looking for a voice. Apparently, by the time he recorded Dedicated to You, But You Weren’t Listening, which was released in 1971, he’d found it in spades. Tippett has become one of the great lights of the British free jazz movement, and for more than 30 years he has led groups of improvising musicians, from two to 40 in number, on some of the most exploratory and revelatory harmonic adventures in musical history — whether those in America know it or not. The band here is comprised of 11 pieces, including Elton Dean, Robert Wyatt, Nick Evans, Roy Babbington, Gary Boyle, Neville Whitehead, and others. The commitment to jazz here is total, as Tippett grafts the dynamic sensibilities of George Russell, the textural and chromatic palettes of Gil Evans, and the sheer force of Oliver Nelson onto his own palette. The interplay between soloists and ensembles is dazzling — check “Thoughts for Geoff,” with blazing solos by Nick Evans, cornetist Marc Charig, and Tippett himself in a series of angular arpeggios interspersed with chordal elocution. Wyatt’s drumming, which opens the record with a bang on “This Is What Happens,” is easily the most inspired of his career on record. The nod to Mingus on “Green and Orange Night Park” is more than formal; it’s an engagement with some of the same melodic constructs Mingus was working out in New Tijuana Moods. In sum, this is an adventurous kind of jazz that still swings very hard despite its dissonance and regards a written chart as something more than a constraint to creative expression. Brilliant. The CD reissue by Disconforme is fantastic in sound and in package.
Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce a newly remastered edition of the debut album by The Keith Tippett Group. Famed Jazz pianist Keith Tippett is one of the greatest and innovative figures in modern jazz. His work has also seen him cross into the world of Progressive rock, working with King Crimson and his own outfit Centipede.
The Keith Tippett Group’s debut album was recorded in 1969 and featured a line-up of Keith Tippett on Piano, Elton Dean on Alto Saxophone, Marc Charig on Cornet (also in Soft Machine), Jeff Clyne on bass (later in Nucleus), Nick Evans on Trombone and Alan Jackson on drums. “You Are Here… I Am There” is rightly hailed as a classic of the genre.
A superb and highly sought after modern jazz – rock work, “You Are Here… I Am There” has been newly remastered and the booklet fully restores the original album artwork and includes a new essay.
Four O’clock & Hysteria is the first solo album by Alan Morse, well known as lead guitarist extraordinaire of Spock’s Beard. With Spock’s Beard, Morse has released nine successful studio albums and a pair of live CD / DVDs. He has also played in the past with Spencer Davies, Chad & Jeremy and even Chuck Norris. The instrumental tracks on Four O’clock And Hysteria feature brother Neal (keyboards and acoustic guitars) and all of the Spock’s Beard members.
2012 album from the Australian Rock ‘n’ Roll band. Taking cues from the sounds of Humble Pie, The Faces, The Black Crowes, Led Zep and The Stones, My Dynamite draws a healthy respect for the greats and turns it into a contemporary and irresistible sound with a firm focus on getting the party started. Be assured, My Dynamite is more Rock stomp that boot scoot, having already built a solid following by conquering some of Australia’s toughest and most loved venues.
mp3 192 kbps | 72 MB | UL
Kevin Eubanks – guitars
Bill Pierce – tenor/soprano saxophone
Rene Camacho – bass
Robin Eubanks – trombone
Duane Eubanks – trumpet
Alvin Chea – vocals
Marvin “Smitty” Smith – drums
Joey De Leon, Jr. – congas and percussion
HBC is the new fusion super group comprised of three virtuoso musicians: Scott Henderson, Jeff Berlin, and Dennis Chambers who join to together to create one of the most phenomenal trios in the history of jazz-fusion.
Scott Henderson – guitar
Jeff Berlin – bass
Dennis Chambers – drums
Randy George, bassist for the progressive rock band Ajalon and contributor to several Neal Morse solo projects, has recently posted a studio diary. This diary records the development and recording of Neal Morse’s current upcoming release (September 2012), tentatively named Momentum. George and drummer Mike Portnoy are each contributors to the release.George reported that Momentum will be a song oriented album rather than a concept album consisting of six short songs and one 33-minute epic. Song titles, some tentative, reported by George are “Momentum,” the album’s title track, Thoughts – Part 3, Smoke and Mirrors, Weathering Sky, Lunar Creek, and what is intended to be the album’s final track, Freek. George didn’t give the name of the epic.One of the interesting tidbits George shed light on from the recording process is the amount of time the trio spent revising arrangements so they wouldn’t sound like previously recorded tunes. This is the sixth album the trio has recorded together (Testimony, One, ?, Sola Scriptura, Lifeline, and Testimony 2). I imagine after recording that much music together repetition might begin to creep in.
Frank Gambale – guitar
Scott Henderson – guitar
Alex Acuna – percussion
Luis Conte – percussion
Eric Marienrhal – tenor, alto and soprano saxes
Mike Miller – guitar
James Hogan – guitar
Christian Fabian – bass
Mitch Forman – keyboards
Steve Hunt – keyboards
Lance Crane – drums
No other guitar player has weaved through the jam-band scene quite like Jimmy Herring. Starting with Aquarium Rescue Unit, Herring has cranked out twin-guitar rock with the Allman Brothers, explored spacey jams with The Dead, and is currently with Southern rockers Widespread Panic. Although his previous gigs showcased a down-and-dirty Americana approach, his personal tastes lean more towards jazz/fusion. On Subject to Change Without Notice Herring takes his spot next to Beck, Morse, and McLaughlin as one of jazz-rock’s guitar royalty.The core of Herring’s group revolves around a virtuoso rhythm section consisting of drummer Jeff Sipe, bassists Neal Fountain and Etienne Mbappé, and keyboardist Matt Slocum. On “Miss Poopie,” Sipe, Slocum, and Fountain lay into a groove that would make it difficult for Sly Stone to sit still. No matter the direction—from faux-Gypsy swing (“Red Wing Special”) and chicken-pickin’ country (“Curfew”) to the Beatles and McLaughlin covers—Herring leads through every musical challenge with authority, taste, and conviction.
Members : Michel Herr (electric piano, keyboards, percussion), Richard Rousselet (trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion), Robert Jeanne (tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone), Nick Kletchkovsky (electric bass), Bruno Castellucci (drums, percussion), Félix Simtaine (drums)
mp3 320 kbps | 87 MB | DF
De Phazz is a jazz ensemble integrating modern turntablism and elements of soul, Latin, trip hop and drum and bass into a lounge music sound. De Phazz is led by Pit Baumgartner, a German producer who has varied the lineup of artists for every new album. Some regular members are Barbara Lahr, Karl Frierson and Pat Appleton. Since the release of Detunized Gravity and Godsdog, De Phazz have appeared on the radar of listeners of equally innovative and sample-driven jazz by the likes of Amon Tobin and The Cinematic Orchestra. The band has released records on Mole Listening Pearls and Universal Jazz Germany along with single releases on Edel Records and United Recordings, and also remixes existing material.
The artist page for Dinosaur Jr. axeman J Mascis‘ new side project offers up a somewhat incredulous origin story involving the guitarist forming Heavy Blanket with high school friends who smoked weed out of a tuba. The songs on the record were allegedly written in 1984, but brain damage to one member and another’s incarceration for counterfeiting low-denomination bills prevented them from ever being recorded.These six completely instrumental tracks are largely Mascis’ frantic, distorted guitar solos over lurching bass and plodding drums. The already-released “Dr. Marten’s Blues” is a good indicator of what you can expect from the whole album. Whether the story about their formation is true or not, the record does sound like a collection of songs a gifted guitarist like Mascis might have composed in high school. The songs have little to no melody, serving just as a nonstop display of manic fretwork skills, like a geeky rocker kid trying to impress a pretty classmate at a gymnasium talent show. We already know Mascis is a great guitarist, but we also know he’s a great songwriter; this mishmash of tracks feels like stoned improvisations that don’t show that at all.
mp3 VBR~279 kbps | 78 MB | DF