martes, 28 de julio de 2015

Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz release concert August 14, 2015!

After more than a decade as a co-leader of the internationally acclaimed trio Minsarah, bassist Jeff Denson is forging into new territory with his trio that features Dan Zemelman on piano and Jon Arkin on drums. Each season, Jeff will select an outstanding featured guest featuring the project as, The Jeff Denson Trio +1. For the 2015/2016 season the special featured guest will be legendary alto saxophonist Lee Konitz. Jeff has performed with Lee since 2007 and was a member of the Lee Konitz New Quartet, the only permanent group that the eminent saxophonist has ever led.

Upcoming presentations:


viernes, 24 de julio de 2015

Lafayette Harris New CD "Bend To the Light" + Upcoming Live Appearances!

Lafayette Harris
New CD
"Bend To the Light"
+ Upcoming Live Appearances

Label: Airmen Records AIR010
Release Date: AUGUST 7, 2015
UPC Code: 888295143967

Track listing 
1. Bend To the Light 5:06 
2. Take You Out 4:02 
3. We In the House 11:44 
4. 12 Bars 3:26 
5. Achern 5:34 
6. Japanese Love Poem 3:46 
7. Old Devil Moon 6:01 
8. Blues On the Edge 4:08 
9. Tenderley 6:42 
10. Geneva 4:14 
11. Bend To the Light VOC. VERSION 6:04 
12. We In the House SHORT VERSION 5:36 

Musicians: Lafayette Harris Jr.-piano, Lonnie Plaxico-bass, Willie Jones III-drums

Bend To The Light, which is my 7th CD, is a collection with music that is meant to leave people feeling good and inspired. Bending towards that positive energy in life is a lifelong goal for all of us and this music is inspired by that aspiration - especially the title cut. I wrote that tune for my sons who were quite active (thank god they are so strong and healthy) but, they doing the usual troublesome things that parents have to deal with: acting up, shouting, fighting, taking each others toys, etc. (They were about 5 and 7 years old at the time.) 
Anyway, people who have heard my previous CD “Trio Talk”, which is mostly standards, and enjoyed it say that this new one is even better. (I’ll take it. Thanks!) I definitely feel I grew in the years between these discs. And I felt comfortable playing my own compositions in a trio setting rather than relying on the horns to fill out the sound palette. 
A few of the tunes I had previously recorded and wanted to get another chance at saying what I wanted on them. That’s one of the great things about being a musician is you get to try new things and do old things a different way! (Wouldn’t it be great if all life situations had that possibility?) Lonnie Plaxico who played on my first CD (Lafayette Is Here) recorded in 1992 is again the anchor of the disc. His forté as a bassist is his full and natural sound. He is at once, a great accompanist who pushes the music ahead, and great at taking the spotlight with his interesting and passionate solos. I first heard him on record back in the 1980’s on some Cassandra Wilson recordings. His style was perfect for her singing and lucky for me to have him fit right in on my first and 7th release! (Lucky 7 baby!)
Willie Jones III is the youngest man in the band and brings a youthful buoyancy that I just love. He swings great in this session which we did in one afternoon out in New Jersey, just like he has for Roy Hargrove, Ernestine Anderson, Cedar Walton and many others. I really dug his tasty swing and fills on Herbie Nichols’: “12 Bars”. The modulation section is actually an arrangement of the tune by my old friend Roswell Rudd. Roswell was a protege of Nichols and turned me on to this tune that Herbie never got around to recording. 12 Bars gives me a chance to play in the stride tradition, which has always been a favorite piano style of mine.
The reason this CD itself is titled “Bend To The Light” came sort of by accident. I was listening to the takes of the CD and I had thought that “Bend To The Light” would be a vocal performance with no lyrics. So after the initial session with the trio, I brought the singer Jazzmeia Horn into Bear Productions to overdub the vocal. We had done 2 takes in the Jersey session and I had picked the 2nd one as that one sounded more complete to me. Also it had a vamp at the end that I thought would be great for Jazzmeia’s talents as an improvisor. I was quite pleased with her session and was sure I had made up my mind and was done with Bend To The Light, the song. 
A year later when I was putting the finishing touches on the project I still hadn’t come up with a title for the CD. Randomly I thought “what the heck, let me listen to the other take of “Bend To The Light”. Happily I dug that take too. I decided there was room for both takes on the CD if I would start with take 1 and end with the take 2 version with vocals. 
At the same time it came to me that since the tune was about my children and I love them so much, heck... I should call the CD “Bend To The Light”! It was an emotional moment for me alone in my office. I could almost feel the tears coming!!
Bend To The Light! 

Every Tuesday in July 7:30-9pm and
Wednesday's starting in August
Solo piano
163 West 10th street
Tuesday, July, 28 10:30p
with Will Terrill at Little Branch
22 7th Ave S and Leroy
Wednesday, July 29 11:30pm-12:30am
with Will Terrill at Smoke
Sunday, August 23 4:30-6pm
St. Peter’s Church
with Ken Simon 
Saturday, August 29 7pm
130 E 57th St. Lex.
NY NY 10022
with singer Anna Varga


Artist Website: 



martes, 21 de julio de 2015

Monty Alexander: Remembering Nat "King" Cole - Scullers Jazz Club - July 25



With Special Guest Vocalists
Allan Harris & Caterina Zappponi 


with special guest vocalists Allan Harris and Caterina Zapponi, plus
Hassan Shakur (bass), Obed Calvaire (drums) and Randy Napoleon (guitar).

Master pianist Monty Alexander leads a heartfelt exploration of one of his musical hero, Nat "King" Cole. As a boy in his native Jamaica, Monty listened to his parent's Nat King Cole records and saw him perform live. In 2009, Monty released his recording Calypso Blues: The Songs of Nat King Cole. Alexander later went on to play on Natalie Cole's classic tribute album to her Father, Unforgettable: With Love. Vocalists Allan Harris, who recorded a Cole tribute of his own, Nat King Cole: Long Live the King, and Caterina Zapponi are on board in this tribute to one of America's greatest treasures!
"Non Dimenticar," Nat's Italian hit, was lovingly recreated, with Alexander's lovely wife, singer Caterina Zapponi, helping Allan Harris on vocals. On the tune, Monty reprised the lovely, lilting Nat-like piano part that he played behind Natalie Cole on her best-selling tribute album to her father, "Unforgettable: With Love."
- Allen Morrison/DownBeat magazine

Scullers Jazz Club
at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Boston-Cambridge
400 Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02134
For tickets: 866.777.8932
Buy tickets, click here.

Saturday - July 25
Show: $35
Dinner & Show: $75
Show Time 8PM & 10pm
Ticket purchases are non-refundable.

Newark, NJ
Beres Hammond &
Monty Alexander

King's Theatre
Brooklyn, NY


Press Contact: Scott Thompson PR

sábado, 18 de julio de 2015

SUMARI (Lavelle, DeSalvo and Cabrera) New CD + Upcoming Live Appearances

Upcoming Live Appearances

Sumari Features
Matt Lavelle (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, alto clarinet
Jack DeSalvo (mandola, cello, guitars)
Tom Cabrera (bodhrán, tar, riq, doumbek, bass drum

SUMARI (Unseen Rain UR9962)  Street Date June 5, 2015

Sat., Aug. 8th 7PM
225 W. 99th Street
New York, NY 10025
Sun., Sept. 13th 8 PM
18 Whitwell Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(646) 820-9452

Artist: SUMARI
Release Date: JUNE 5, 2015
UPC Code: 783583260657

Track listing 
1. Seth Dance 6:13 
2. Counterparts Are Comparitively Encountered 14:33 
3. Scientific Cults and Private Paranoias 9:54 
4. Reincarnation Civilizations 4:55 
5. Alternate Presents and Multiple Focus 12:14 
6. The Gates of Horn 11:53 
7. The Nature of Mass Events 2:45 

Musicians: Matt Lavelle (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, alto clarinet) Jack DeSalvo (mandola, cello, guitars) Tom Cabrera (bodhrán, tar, riq, doumbek, bass drum)

Produced by: Jack DeSalvo
Executive Producers: Gene Gaudette, Jim DeSalvo, Jack DeSalvo

Other-world art music. Improvisations through space and time. The soundtrack of twilight. These phrases have all been used to attempt to describe this trio known as Sumari. The channeling of free improvisation and global folk culture with a boundless sense of the new are the path Matt Lavelle, Jack DeSalvo and Tom Cabrera course to conjure the sounds heard on their eponymous release on Unseen Rain Records.
Each member of Sumari is a veteran of international New Music and Jazz, with roots in NYC’s “downtown sound”:
JACK DeSALVO, hailed in THE WIRE magazine as “masterful”, joined Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society in the 1980s and has toured the world with many artists in his own musical-spiritual journey. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, DeSalvo also studied classical guitar and composition before taking private tutelage with Bill Connors. His pianistic, wholistic approach to performance practice on guitar led to committed doubling on such instruments as cello, alto guitar and various members of the ukulele, mandolin and banjo family. DeSalvo’s credits beyond Ronald Shannon Jackson include Peter Brotzmann, Karl Berger, Chris Kelsey, Vic Juris, Tony Malaby, Pat Hall, D3 and many more.
MATT LAVELLE, former student of Ornette Coleman’s, is one-fourth of Bern Nix’s band and a founding member of Harmolodic Monk. His haunting trumpet sound is reminiscent of Don Cherry’s, yet doesn’t one also note the full-throated influence of Rex Stewart? Lavelle’s first teacher was swing-era veteran Hildred Humphries but his foray into the unfettered carries him beyond traditions. Strong doubling into woodwinds brought him to the bass clarinet and ultimately, the alto clarinet. Lavelle makes extreme use of the alto’s natural range, fusing it with the cry of Dolphy’s bass clarinet sound and then into the imaginary realm of Eastern double-reeds painted New Orleans blue. Lavelle’s extensive resume includes Giuseppe Logan, William Parker, Sabir Mateen, Jameel Moondoc, Roy Campbell, and his own12 Houses Orchestra.
TOM CABRERA is a percussionist of striking depth. An in-demand jazz drummer who made a specialty of the percussion family known as frame drums, Cabrera constructed a drum-set which sports riq, tar, dumbeq, bodhran and various percussives about a small bass drum and hi-hat. With a sonic oeuvre that ranges from the quaking to the sublime, Tom carries the band’s rhythmicity in the best harmolodic fashion. Silences (the sort described by Cage) feature into his wave of sounds. Cabrera can also be seen playing a more standard drumset with the Julie Lyon Quintet and others. 

AVAILABLE FROM: / CDBaby / Amazon / iTunes

 Media Contact
Jim Eigo  

jueves, 16 de julio de 2015

Pat Bianchi Trio Appearing @ Dazzle Jazz Club Thur/Fri July 16-17 -7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Pat Bianchi Trio
@ Dazzle Jazz Club
Thur/Fri July 16-17
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Pat Bianchi -organ
Dave Stryker – guitar
Byron Landham- drums

Dazzle Jazz
930 Lincoln Street
Denver, CO Performing Music From His New CD
"Higher Standard"

(21-H Records 001) Street Date: June 5, 2015
The time honored legacy of jazz is to look upon its heritage to build its future. The remarkable organist Pat Bianchi is totally dedicated to that tradition, and in full evidence on his extraordinary new CD, A Higher Standardon 21-H Records.
“My goal for this album – like all my others – is to find material that is going to challenge me, but won’t lose the energy, intent and feeling that is associated with the great jazz organists and their recordings.”

Clearly he has met that challenge. With his outstanding arrangements and the shared commitment of the other members of his trio – guitarist Craig Ebner and longtime associate Byron Landham on drums – Pat delivers a scintillating and captivating set of 10 sonic landscapes that defy what might be expected from an organ trio. Building upon Larry Young’s liberation of the instrument from its previous confines, Pat combines fiery adventurousness with a highly lyrical imagination – equally at play on beautiful ballads and blazing drivers… and everything in between. Block chords, smears, single note runs that rival the powerhouse energy of Cecil Taylor, and shimmering musicality are all woven together seamlessly to tell his stimulating stories, but never losing sight of the sense of swing and celebration that keeps the music focused on the audience’s enjoyment.

Pat’s virtuosity is met head-on by his colleagues, with the fluid and spirited playing of Ebner flawless in both his soloing and support; and Landham always vigorously exhilarating and vividly inventive. Together they create a synergy and unity of intent that makes every piece a fully realized and perfectly delineated sculpture of sound.

The repertoire is delightfully varied both in its sources and intent. Jazz classics, a couple of popular tunes, and a pair of Broadway show tunes combine with two Bianchi originals – all brewed together into a seamless whole like continuous episodes of an enthralling story.

Pat’s originals include Will of Landham a surging, dramatically-etched burner with an angular unison line. Marked by a horn-like organ solo with Dolphy-esque intervals and runs and a scorching guitar solo, it closes on ascending/descending rolling hills over blazing drumming from its namesake. Blues Minus One is an audaciously syncopated, buoyant jaunt with a daring organ solo that maintains its blues core without being in any way limited by it.

The jazz classics include Horace Silver’s Blue Silver in a deliciously laid back and respectfully blue mood; John Coltrane’s Satellite with a dynamic organ solo of briskly syncopated chords and sparkling runs; a gentle and appropriately introspective take on Bill Evans’ Very Early; and a romping version of Oscar Pettiford’s Bohemia After Dark. 

The Broadway gems include Victor Youmans’ Without a Song (from the 1929 show GreatDay) that opens the album in a brisk groove, built on Pat’s vibrant bass pedal bottom. Leonard Bernstein’s score for On the Town provides the exquisite Some Other Time, delivered with the filigreed poignancy it deserves.

Sergio Mendes’ Brasil ’66 hit So Many Stars unfolds atmospherically on cymbal swells, with the Brazilian feel slowed to a tantalizing gait, as gentle as a misty rain in a tropical forest. And Stevie Wonder’s From the Bottom of My Heart closes this brilliant album on a soulfully impassioned, backbeat driven and infectiously rhythmic note.

In addition to his five previous albums as leader or co-leader, Pat’s performing history includes a litany of jazz giants. A member of the great Pat Martino’s current ensemble, Bianchi has also worked frequently with the legendary Lou Donaldson, as well as George Coleman, Houston Person, Tim Warfield, Red Holloway, Harvey Mason, Mark Whitfield, Javon Jackson, Chuck Loeb, and so many more… all of which has had a tremendous influence on what he feels is essential to bring to the table as a leader.
“I have spent a long time being a sideman to some incredible musicians and they have all taught me that as a musician/leader I need to hold myself and my music to a higher standard.”

A Higher Standard most definitely lives up to that objective.

For more information, visit 

Pat Bianchi Upcoming Live Appearances

Saturday, August 15
Pat Bianchi Trio feat. 
 feat. Byron Landham and Craig Ebner
Rochester NY

Jim Eigo
Jazz Promo Services

lunes, 13 de julio de 2015

The Gary McFarland Legacy Ensemble & This Is Gary McFarland Film Showing tomorrow Tues., July 14...

The Gary McFarland Legacy Ensemble & This Is Gary McFarland Film Showing
CD Release Show Tues., July 14th 7:00PM
Madison Theater
1036 Madison Avenue
between South Main and South Allen
Albany NY

Tickets & Info

Sharel Cassity, saxophones
Bruce Barth, piano/arrangements
Mike Lawrence, bass
Michael Benedict, drums

Circulation: Music of Gary McFarland
The Gary McFarland Legacy Ensemble directed by Michael Benedict

(Planet Arts)

Tickets & Info
The Gary McFarland Legacy Project is dedicated to the preservation of the music of composer/arranger/vibraphonist Gary McFarland.  McFarland was a significant force in the jazz world in the 1960s.  He was considered an “adult prodigy” by former Downbeat magazine editor Gene Lees as Gary did not start any formal studies until he was in his late twenties.  After winning a Downbeat scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in 1959, McFarland spent just one semester of study there before moving to New York City.  Through his connection with trombonist/composer Bob Brookmeyer, McFarland wrote his first professional arrangements for Gerry Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band.  The rest, as they say, was history.  McFarland would go on to be one of the most important jazz forces of the 1960’s with his compositions, arrangements, recordings, and film and stage scores. He was also a prolific producer and part owner of the SKYE record label along with Cal Tjader and Gabor Szabo.  McFarland was also one of the first jazz musicians to include pop and rock material in his recordings and performances. His recording, America the Beautiful, combined elements of jazz, rock and orchestral writing that would prove to be one of the most seminal works of the 1960s.  McFarland died in 1971 just after his 38th birthday.  His career lasted just a little over ten years but his music is timeless.

Percussionist Michael Benedict has studied, performed and recorded McFarland’s music ever since meeting Gail McFarland, Gary’s widow, in 1979.  Michael and Gail were married in 1981 for twenty-five years until Gail’s death in 2007.  Michael and his stepdaughter, Kerry McFarland, continue to promote Gary’s music to this day.


If the name Gary McFarland is unfamiliar to you it is because he and his musical legacy have been far too neglected in the years after his premature death in 1971.  An “adult prodigy” as coined by Gene Lees, McFarland had dabbled in everything from minor league baseball to being a wine sommelier, when in 1959, at the urging of bandleader Santiago Gonzalez, he applied for a Downbeat scholarship to Berklee School of Music.  He won the scholarship and was off and running.

Drummer and leader of this recording, Michael Benedict, who married Gary McFarland’s widow Gail in 1981, has peppered his previous recordings with McFarland originals, so it is only natural that we now find him leading a date featuring material exclusively composed by McFarland.  He and McFarland’s daughter Kerry continue to advocate for greater exposure of his rich legacy.

The opener on this album Dragon Head along with Summer Day, Notions and Circulation are all early compositions from McFarland’s time at Berklee.  Pianist Steve Kuhn remembers McFarland giving him Dragon Head when he was briefly a member of Stan Getz’s group and Summer Day was recorded by McFarland for an early Berklee compilation LP.  Notions was recorded by John Lewis, who was an early and enthusiastic advocate for McFarland’s music.

Why Are You Blue? and Blue Hodge were both first recorded by Johnny Hodges for Verve in 1961.  McFarland had this to say about Hodges, “I get so hung up just from the sound that he produces, a lot of times I don’t even care what he plays.”  Why are you Blue? has been recorded by the Modern Jazz Quartet, Bob Brookmeyer, and singer Nancy Harrow among others.

The Sandpiper was originally recorded by McFarland in 1963 for his Impulse record “Point of Departure” and was inspired by the sight of the titular birds dodging the waves on the beaches of Long Island where he divided his time between Manhattan and the recording studios.

One I Could Have Loved was a theme McFarland revisited many times in his career, first surfacing as the main title of the 1967 David Niven/Sharon Tate thriller Eye of the Devil.  Additionally, McFarland recorded it with Steve Kuhn on the classic The October Suite, on his own Soft Samba Strings album for Verve, and for Cal Tjader’s Skye Records debut Solar Heat.  It is a haunting and lovely ballad that never gets old and stays in your head long after the final notes have faded.

Both Chuggin’ and Bridgehampton Strut were originally recorded by the Gerry Mulligan Concert Big Band.  Mulligan gave McFarland his first big break when he recorded two of his arrangements in 1960.  Not long after that, he caught the attention of Verve’s Creed Taylor and soon landed such plum assignments as Anita O’Day’s All the Sad Young Men and Stan Getz’s follow-up to Jazz SambaBig Band Bossa Nova.

Last Rights for the Promised Land is given a stunning solo interpretation by vibraphonist Joe Locke.  Originally appearing on McFarland’s 1968 masterpiece America the Beautiful, it is a poignant finale to this record.

Gary McFarland’s prodigious output came to an abrupt end on the afternoon of November 2, 1971 when, under murky circumstances, he ingested a methadone-spiked drink.  He was only 38 and no doubt had much much more music to share.

Michael Benedict, Bruce Barth (also the arranger on this album), and Mike Lawrence have played together for quite some time in and around the New York area and it really shows.  They have a strong empathetic bond and shine a fresh light on McFarland’s material.  With Joe Locke and Sharel Cassity along for the ride, this group is, to steal the title of one of Gary McFarland’s records, Simpatico.

Michael Benedict - Notes

This recording has, in a sense, been in the making for over thirty-five years.  I became acquainted with Gary McFarland’s music when I met my future first wife and Gary’s widow, Gail, in 1979.  After being introduced to his music I immediately became enchanted with the sounds.  It was unlike anything that I had ever heard before and thus began a life long journey into the study and promotion of Gary’s music.  I knew that eventually I would produce a full album of his work.

With the help of my producer, Thomas Bellino, I assembled what I believe to be the perfect band for this small group recording.  The group, which includes vibes, piano, bass, drums and saxophone, was a common instrumentation for Gary especially in the middle of his career.  With Bruce Barth’s arranging talents, I believe that we stuck a perfect balance of honoring the integrity of the compositions while adding a modern touch to the performance of the scores.  It just proves that Gary’s writing is timeless and sounds as current today as when they were written five decades ago.

The Gary McFarland Legacy Project will be an ongoing entity that will hopefully show the genius of the man who had a professional career that was just over a decade long and bring back a name that was once being talked about in the same vein as Duke Ellington.

I would like to thank Thomas Bellino for his vision, Joe Locke, Bruce Barth, Sharel Cassity and Mike Lawrence for their artistry and passion, Scott Petito for his ears and technical expertise, Kristian St. Claire for his liner notes and devotion to all things McFarland, Alek Speck for the CD layout and Rudy Lu for his photography.  Also, special thanks to my wife Ginger Benedict for keeping me on the right path and always supporting and encouraging my dreams.

This album is dedicated to Kerry McFarland and to the memories of Gary, Gail and Milo McFarland.

For More Info Visit
Planet Arts

Michael Benedict

 Media Contact
Jim Eigo