Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Montreal Sessions December 30, 2008

Free-for-All #2

*Sam Davidson Group - "Seven and Three" (Perceivable Changes)
James Davis Quintet - "For Another Time" (Angles of Refraction)
*Namedropper - "Beginner's Hoot"
Oliver Nelson - "Hoedown" (Blues & The Abstract Truth)
Wayne Shorter - "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum" (Speak No Evil)
Herbie Hancock - "Eye of the Hurricane" (Maiden Voyage)
*Turtleboy - "Drug of Preference" (s/t)
Interview with Jon Lindhorst (Turtleboy)
*Lindhorst/Ryshpan - "Invaders from the Deep" (live on air!)
*Turtleboy - "Etude for Right Hand" (s/t)
Todd Sickafoose - "Warm Stone" (Tiny Resistors)
*Sara Latendresse - "Why?" (Naked)
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society - "Transit" (Live at Le Poisson Rouge)
John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble - "Folkmoot" (A Blessing)
Azymuth - "Os Cara La" (Butterfly)
Ed Motta - "Coincidencia" (Poptical)
Curumin - "Mal Estar Card" (JapanPopShow)
*Indigone Trio & Strings - "Smacked" (Cycles)

Monday, December 29, 2008

RIP Freddie Hubbard

Another master gone. I thought Freddie might have been able to battle back from his most recent bout of illness.

Ethan's already got a great post up in remembrance. Hubbard's moments on Blues and the Abstract Truth and Maiden Voyage were intrinsic parts of my formative jazz years. When I went through my adolescent jazz snob phase, with an avid interest in 1960s Blue Note albums, Hubbard was the beacon of what the trumpet could do in forward-thinking jazz. As I explored the various albums Ethan mentions (many of which I haven't listened to in their entirety, shame on me) Hubbard was one of the first musicians I consciously recognized as breaking the sub-genre "boundaries" that are purported by certain jazz historians and journalists. When I finally listened to Red Clay and the later CTI recordings. the energy and creativity lurking even in the most tepid of settings was fascinating and inspiring. I'm going to go (re-)visit some of those albums in the coming days and weeks.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Montreal Sessions December 23, 2008

Viva Brasil!

Airto Moreira - "Zuei" (Promises of the Sun)
Azymuth - "Partido Alto" (Light as a Feather)
Banda União Black - "Abelha Africana" (s/t)
Caetano Veloso & Banda Black Rio - "Odara" (Bicho Baile Show)
Arthur Veroçai - "Presente Grego" (s/t)
Jorge Ben - "Pais Tropical" (1969)
technical difficulties: when trying to ground oneself from static electricity, don't do it near the DJ mixer. Also, avoid wearing wool sweaters when dealing with electronics...
Djavan & Chico Buarque - "A Rosa" (Djavan)
3 Na Massa - "Estrondo" (s/t)
*Monica Freire - "Beira" (Na Laje)
Jackson Conti - "Berimbau" (Sujinho)
Curumin - "Compacto" (JapanPopShow)
*Monica Freire - "Todo Dia" (Na Laje)
Edmilson do Pifano - "Forró de dois amigos" (Soprando no Canudinho)
Jackson do Pandeiro - "Cabo Tenorio" (O rei do ritmo)
Jean Rohe - "Eta Baião" (Lead Me Home)
Forró in the Dark - "Riacho do Navio" (Bonfires of São João)
Luiz Gonzaga & Camargo Guarnieri - "Paraiba" (s/t)
Ivan Lins - "Formigueiro" (A noite)
*David Ryshpan - "Oceano" (live on air!)
Kiko Continentino - "Soul Niteroi" (El Pulo de Gato)
Interview with Samito Matsinhe
Arthur Maia - "Cama de Gato" (Planeta Musica II)
Mu Carvalho - "Acenda e Fogueira" (Ao Vivo)
Zimbo Trio - "Bebê" (s/t)
Hermeto Pasocal - "Papagaio Alegre" (Lagoa da Canoa...)
Milton Nascimento - "Raça" (Milton)
Timbalada - "Ginga pa Balé" (Rough Guide to Bahia)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Montreal Sessions December 16, 2008


*Moonstarr - "Broken Bossa" (Instrumentals Forever)
Heliponto f/ David Ryshpan & Mara TK - "Algodão Doce" (Eletronia)
Kez YM - "A Cup of Ocean" (Sweetly Confused)
*David Ryshpan - "Serpent's Cave" (BNL MTL remix)
*Arch_Typ - "3333" (Next Stop)
Ron Blake - "Tom Blake [DJ Spinna RMX]" (Sonic Tonic)
Kat Heath/Torreblanca/Sarah Lahey - "Qué Esperas?" (Various Assets 2007)
Luis Davis f/ Ben Lamar - "Hype Clouds" (Peace Love and Sound)
Sly & the Family Stone - "Sing a Simple Song" (Stand!)
Medeski Martin & Wood - "Think" (Shack-Man)
Herbie Hancock - "Watermelon Man" (Headhunters)
Stevie Wonder - "Creepin'" (Fulfillingness' First Finale)
*GrooveAttic - "By My Side"
Interview w/ Dali & Metik
*Dali/Metik/The Doctor - "Use Me" (Live on air!)
*Dali - "How Sweet it Is"
Electric Wire Hustle - "Perception"
Flying Lotus & Andreya Triana - "Tea Leaf Dancers" (Various Assets 2006)
Pat D & Lady Paradox - "Summertime [Think Twice rmx]" (Kind of Peace)
Elektro4 & Bombay Sapphire - "Elektro4 for President" (Drop the Needle vol. 1)
*Dali - "New Beginnings"
Radio City f/ Bajka - "The Hop" (Music is my Art)
*Incubator - "Dakar Pockey" (Next Stop)
Peixe Kru - "Nostaugia"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Attention fellow Brazilian fanatics

As many of you know, I've been heavily into Brazilian music for the past few years, to the point of starting a trio to play my favourite tunes. More on this project to come in the next year. But this post is to share a link I just discovered, a fantastic site created by a team of Brazilian music fanatics (including Zecalouro, the force behind Loronix): Musicos do Brasil. At the moment, it's only in Portuguese (and mine isn't very good) but it seems to be easy enough to navigate.

Muito obrigado to everyone involved. We need more of this stuff. What's always impressed me about Brazilian music is how keen certain people are to preserve and disseminate it. At Upstairs, we premiered a new tune called "Keeper of the Flame," which I wrote as a tribute to Almir Chediak. He took on the project of collecting the music of the great bossa and MPB songwriters and putting them into accurate songbooks, working alongside them to make sure everything was correct. If only somebody would do that for Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon - all the stuff I've ever seen is full of errors.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Montreal Sessions December 9, 2008

The record is out, and winter is here with a vengeance. Time to warm up with music by some influences, colleagues, and friends. A big hello to those coming here from Ropeadope and the Red Bull Music Academy sites. Click around and make yourselves at home.

Theme: Free-For-All #1

Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos - "El Espejo" (Live in Barcelona 2005)
FLY - "JJ" (s/t)
Alison Wedding - "This Fear" (Sometimes I Feel)
Jean Rohe - "Lead Me Home" (Lead Me Home)
*Sienna Dahlen - "One Man" (Off the Floor...Into the Garden)
*Jon Day - "Cantilever" (Exhibit B)
*Ben Hammond - "What I'm Supposed To" ([Reasonably] Honest)
*D.W. Lee Trio - "Speaking Voice" (Somnambulist Love)
*Nista - "Water" (s/t)
Lumi - "Staying Here" (Two Tears in Water)
*Ndidi Onukwulu - "Move Together" (The Contradictor)
*Fieldtrip - "The Lioness, the Hunter and the Wal-Mart"
Interview with Colin Power (Fieldtrip)
*Common Thread - "Gnawa" (The Guessing Game)
Ablaye Cissoko/Volker Goetze - "Faro" (Sina)
Bill Frisell - "Baba Drame" (History, Mystery)
Gilfema +2 - "One Mind's Eye" (s/t)
Punch Brothers - "Punch Bowl" (Punch)

* = Canadian Content

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Montreal Sessions December 2, 2008

Music for Strings

*Indigone Trio & Strings - "Driscollage" (Cycles)
Quatuor Enesco - Debussy's String Quartet in Gm, op. 10, 2nd mvt. (Debussy/Ravel)
Bournemouth Sinfonietta - "Summa" (Arvo Part: Fratres)
Quatuor Enesco - Ravel's String Quartet in F, 1st mvt. (Debussy/Ravel)

Edo de Waart (San Francisco Symphony) - "The Chairman Dances" (The Chairman Dances)
*Byproduct - "Erostratus" (Le Mur)
Interview with Chet Doxas
*Chet Doxas/David Ryshpan - "Eighty One" (live on air!)
*Byproduct - "Le Mur" (Le Mur)
*Quinsin Nachoff - "A River Remembers Rain" (Horizons Ensemble)
The Beatles - "Eleanor Rigby" (Revolver)
Elton John - "Sixty Years On" (Elton John)
Djavan - "Agua" (Djavan)
Ethel - "Arrival" (Light)
Mark Feldman/Sylvie Courvoisier - "Azriel" (Malphas: Masada Book 2)
Osvaldo Golijov/Kronos Quartet - "Tenebrae II" (Oceana)
*Indigone Trio & Strings - "Shahgely" (Cycles)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Notes on Cycles

From the Maria Schneider interview that's been circulating amongst the blogs, this is her perspective on sharing the stories behind compositions:
I like it when people get it because I think it helps bring people inside the music and relates the music to their own worlds. They kind of dive into it as a story, especially people who aren't musicians.
I agree. The majority of my music is programmatic to an extent, be it a full-on tone poem, or merely that the catalyst for the piece comes from something I've experienced or read. Much of the music on the album, Cycles, is coming from a very specific emotional place. Consider these the program notes.

1. Driscollage - Named after our friend, drummer Chris Driscoll, who passed away in January 2005. After former Indigone Trio drummer Liam O'Neill called me to tell me the news, this melody popped into my head. I was thinking of the music Driscoll loved, especially David Binney. He and I shared a love for bad puns in song titles. I wrote the majority of it on the bus to Prince Edward Island for his funeral, finished it at the house where I was staying, and it was premiered at a memorial concert for Chris, in PEI.

2. Bella
- A text setting of a Pablo Neruda poem from The Captain's Verses. It was the first Neruda poem I read, and as I was reading it I immediately heard the voice of Caetano Veloso singing the words, which is the bass solo at the beginning. The rest came from there.

3. Shahgely
- Bassist Graig Earle brought this traditional Egyptian melody into our ensemble at the Banff Centre, and the group, led by Dylan van der Schyff, came up with an arrangement that juxtaposed a drone with burning free-bop. This arrangement is very similar.

4. Love is the Reason
- Written by Alex Mallett for his girlfriend, Lina. As he writes, "When I was in my third year of college, I was exchanging e-mails with my good friend in New York, Dave Moore. Lina had recently moved to Montreal and (as always) I was having trouble balancing everything. I wrote him that things were going well, but I was finding it distracting having Lina around. Dave wrote me back, 'Love is never, never, never a distraction. Love is the Reason.'" Lina's been a great supporter of the band - that's her cheering on the live EP.

5. Smacked
- I wrote this at the Banff Centre, and was really stuck on it. I met with Dave Douglas, and he shared some sage advice that I rely on to this day. But even after the meeting, I was still stuck. I left to go to the club, and while putting on my sweater outside, a bird flew into my head. Once I got to the club, the tune wrote itself. I'm never sure whether to credit Dave, or the bird. Michael Bates came up with the idea for the backgrounds.

6. Piece for Open Strings
- Alex's experiment with minimalism, exploring the basic texture of a string group based on rhythm and timbre, rather than pitch. It was originally written for just strings and bass, but Alex later revised it to have Phil and I improvise texturally to contrast with the strings.

7. Heraclito
- A tone poem based on the Jorge Luis Borges poem of the same name. I was taken with the structure of Borges' poem, and allowed that to guide my writing. I assigned musical phrases to the phrases that repeat in the text.

8. Visions
- All this music grew out of an assignment in advanced arranging class to write for trio and string orchestra. I couldn't decide which song to use, so I booked the recital (which later became the EP) as an excuse to write all the arrangements I had in mind. This was the assignment. Stevie Wonder's melody is gorgeous, and though we're working on achieving the vision in our mind, we're not quite there yet.

9. Erghen Diado
- Dave Douglas gave a lecture on his work with odd meters and Balkan music at the Banff Centre, and gave the names of artists I'd never heard of before, like Le Mystère des voix bulgares. When I got back to Montreal, I found their first record, and this song immediately captivated me. I had a visceral reaction to the music, similar to the first time I heard A Love Supreme. It's really a simple song, and its power and beauty lie in that simplicity.

10. Throughout
- This Bill Frisell song has become incredibly important to me. It was played as part of Driscoll's funeral; saxophonist Becky Noble and I performed it in Banff; and that summer I got to meet Frisell at the Montreal Jazz Festival. The song in all its contexts came to epitomize the cycles of life and death, and provided a means of closure. On another level, it was the last piece on the recital, which was the last concert of my undergraduate studies. In French, undergraduate and graduate studies are sometimes referred to as cycles. I feel that this is my best string writing on the whole album.