Thursday, April 18, 2013

Liner Notes (18/4/2013)

New Work from Rattle Records

Tim Gummer, Keith Hill and Steve Garden shared a vision for a music label that would champion a carefully chosen but diverse range of contemporary instrumental music - compositions and performances unfettered by commercial pressures or constraints. Tim and Steve operated a small recording studio in downtown Auckland where Gitbox Rebellion and From Scratch were recording. Inspired by European music label ECM (and New Zealand's own maverick label, Flying Nun), Rattle sought to create an empathetic framework for music that wasn’t adequately supported by the labels of the day.

Encouraged by the critical success of Pesky Digits and Songs For Heroes, we recorded a number of composers and performers for our next release, the compilation CD, Different Tracks. This album set the tone and direction for the majority of projects that followed. The first was Te Ku Te Whe, the seminal debut of Richard Nunns and Hirini Melbourne.  Since then Rattle has gone from strength to strength - you can read the whole story here ...

Mantis - Reuben Bradley

MANTIS is a celebration of the music and memory of Drew Menzies. These recordings are by no means definitive. They are an example of how open Drew’s compositions are, and a representation of the collective response to his music from the assembled musicians and arrangers.

Reuben Bradley’s vision for this project was so infectious that each collaborator were willing to take time out of their busy (in some cases crushing) schedules to freely support Reuben’s aspirations. The results speak for themselves – warm, lucid, generous performances, captured and presented with great affection and skill. But the primary motivation for their unconditional support for the project was the memory and music of a much loved and dearly missed friend.

“In 2007, Drew and I talked about the huge scope possible in arranging for string quartet and jazz quartet. Searching for a way to bring recognition to Drew and his music, I remembered our discussions and decided that his music would suit such arrangements – a fantastic way to showcase both his jazz & classical sides.” – Reuben Bradley.

“After Andrew left for America, we found several hand written manuscripts in our rubbish bin at home – these were all recovered and have been included on the recording. We are both pleased and proud to know that people will get to hear Andrew’s music due to the dedication and commitment of his friends.” – Glenda & Peter Menzies

Click here to learn more ...

The Gaia Theory - Omar Carmenates

THE GAIA THEORY is inspired by of the scientific theory of the same name that contends all living and non-living things on Earth work together to sustain life. This controversial theory, named after the Greek earth goddess Gaia, suggests that each organism on the planet is intertwined with every other. The Gaia Theory seeks to demonstrate a similar connective force through music.

Every selection in The Gaia Theory was chosen for having a link with some aspect of our world. From the cross-cultural connections in the music of John Psathas, to the unique recycled found objects in Christopher Deane’s The Scavenger’s Footprints, it is my hope that my album provides a musical means to contemplate the significance of our relationships with each other and with our planet. - Omar Carmenates, 2012

All music performed by Omar Carmenates
with Brian Nozny and the Florida State University Percussion Ensemble
Justin Alexander, Luis Rivera, Sidonie Wade, Tommy Dobbs, Matthew Filosa, and Melinda Leoce

Under the artistic direction of Conservatorium Staff member, David Theak, the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra commissioned Canadian composer Dr. David Lisik to write an extended composition for jazz orchestra, featuring US jazz luminaries Alex Sipiagin (trumpet) and Bob Sheppard (saxophone). Walkabout was inspired by the James Vance Marshall novel, The Children. The ten movements of Walkabout form a unified suite that follows the original storyline yet work well as individual pieces, from the dramatic opening track (which establishes the core themes of the work) through to the complex but coherent closing piece, the rhythmically hypnotic, Ritual Dance.   Click here to learn more ...


Walkabout - Dave Lisik

Dave Lisik
Canadian composer and trumpeter, Dr Dave Lisik is Lecturer in Jazz Composition, Arranging and Theory at the New Zealand School of Music. Dave's diverse portfolio of compositions and arrangements includes 400+ works for jazz, classical and electronic groups of all types. His Dave Lisik Orchestra released a debut CD in 2010 entitled Coming Through Slaughter, featuring Tim Hagans, Donny McCaslin, Luis Bonilla and Matt Wilson. The Orchestra has two new projects underway, Origin of Species and Metropolis, both planned for release in 2013.

Bob Sheppard
A household name for saxophonists worldwide, Bob Sheppard has done it all. Superstar names such as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Perter Erskine, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder and many, many, many legends pack his world-class resume. Splitting his time between Los Angeles, and New York, Bob's forged working relationships with the best musicians on both coasts and has appeared on several grammy award winning CD's most recently with Joni Mitchell.

Alex Sipiagin
Russian born, New York based trumpeter, Alex Sipiagin has a reputation as the leading post-bop jazz trumpet player in the world through his work with Dave Holland Big Band, Dave Holland Quintet and the Mingus Big Band. As a soloist, Sipiagin has released 11 recordings under his name, mostly with Criss Cross Jazz including his latest release "Destinations unnown", and has toured extensively throughout Europe, Japan and Russia as a bandleader and sideman.

The Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra
Th Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra is widely acknowledged as Australia's leading jazz orchestra and was nominated as Australian Jazz Ensemble of the Year in 2006, 2007 & 2009. Musically this ensemble represents many of the finest youngimprovisers Australia has to offer, and features original music from Sydney's most dynamic and creative large ensemble composers all packaged into one exciting super-ensemble. Individually, the orchestra's members have dominated Australia's top prizes over the last decade.

Flaubert's Dance - Phil Broadhurst Quartet

If the Phil Broadhurst Quartet’s previous outing, Delayed Reaction, was a little hesitant in places, this new album sweeps all uncertainty aside. The quartet is fully and confidently on their metal, and each of Phil’s Broadhurst’s new compositions are finely written, deeply attractive pieces. Cameron Sangster replaces Alain Koetsier on drums, Oli Holland and Roger Manins return on acoustic bass and tenor saxophone respectively, and trumpet player Mike Booth guests again on three tracks.

Where Delayed Reaction was a tribute to legendary jazz pianist/composer, Michel Petrucciani, the compositions on Flaubert’s Dance reflect a wide diversity of influences in Phil’s writing and performing, from Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett to Many Katché, Elaine Elias and Tomaz Stanko. The title track pays homage to Enrico Pieranunzi, First Shot updates the rhythmic feel of Herbie Hancock’s Toys (from Speak Like a Child), Integrity and Scoreless reflects Phil’s enthusiasm for the ECM label and the music of Katché and Stanko, Stretched by the joyful music of Elias, while Loping was written with a number of musicians and composers in mind.

While one might recognise the flavour of these giants of jazz peeking in around the edges from time to time, the music on this album resolutely belongs to Phil Broadhurst and his exceptional quartet. What’s more, this is a very mature piece of work, showing great style, concentration, articulation and beauty. Flaubert’s Dance is an autumnal gem, graceful and restrained, but with bags of passion and unfettered enthusiasm for jazz.

“Despite his many achievements, Broadhurst is not content to rest on his laurels, which is perhaps the key to his continued growth as a musician. [His music is] a testament to the global language of jazz, which crosses international boundaries with enviable ease.” – Florence Wetzel, All About Jazz


The Rodger Fox Wellington Jazz Orchestra

Under the artistic and musical direction of Rodger Fox, the Wellington Jazz Orchestra is arguably the tightest, brightest, most musically literate exponent of big band jazz this country has seen. Their debut recording, Journey Home (featuring compositions and arrangements by ex-pat jazz-giant, Alan Broadbent), won Best Jazz Album at the 2012 NZ Music Awards, but this second album raises the bar even higher.

The Capitol Sessions marks Rodger’s 40 years of unwavering commitment to big band jazz, and it’s only fitting that it should have been recorded in one of the world’s great studios. As John Fenton so aptly put it in his liner notes, Capitol Studios is an iconic studio, where the ghosts of Les Paul, Nat Cole and Frank Sinatra hover over every note.

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