Tag Archives | modern jazz
“River of January”
CDs: Distribution: NAXOS of America
Mixed Media Client since: 2015
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Unisphere CD Release
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 8p
16 Anawan Street
Fall River, MA 02721 – 508-324-1926
Dave Zinno, bass
Mike Tucker, sax
Tim Ray, piano (formerly with Lyle Lovett and occasionally with Tony Bennett, replaces Leo Genovese for this show)
Rafael Barata, drums
Eric “Benny” Bloom, trumpet$22 advance, $25 day of show
Click link for tickets
with the release of their new recording,
River of January
If there’s one jazz band you’d consider taking a chance to see live, make it Unisphere, Dave Zinno’s tremendous and joyous jazz experience. While the band’s recent recording, River of January—of which this night serves as an official release party—is an immense and beautiful record, there’s no doubt that this music is made for the stage.
The band Zinno has assembled is spectacular and all are citizens/musicians of the world. Unisphere includes the talents of sax man Mike Tucker (Arturo Sandoval), drummer Rafael Barata (Milton Nascimento, Marc Johnson), Leo Genovese (Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spaulding), and Crescent City trumpeter Benny Bloom. Tucker, a co-leader on the date, is frighteningly good and a perfect companion to Zinno. Drummer Rafael Barata is on the Rio jazz scene’s first call list, thanks to astonishing technique and great ideas. Argentine pianist and composer Leo Genovese first worked with Zinno in the band of trombone legend Hal Crook. He’s toured with Spaulding, been a member of Joe Lovano’s band, and played memorably with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Eric “Benny” Bloom, he of quick wit and showmanship, is himself on the verge of stardom. His New England jazz upbringing plays well now in his New Orleans home.
Digging a bit deeper, the recording takes the vibe of traditional jazz and reverses the paradigm, so the songs, while familiar, evolve and explore. There are many highlights here, and while it wouldn’t be a waste of space, it would be easier to say that these tunes all include rushes of adrenaline, sweetness of melody and serious elements of style. River of January is a work of forward thinking tradition and one that has much substance within it to discover. It’ll be fascinating to see how this material translates, what colors it takes on, how Zinno and the band play it and play with it.
Fans of creative license and jazz invention can dig deep into this record, of course. But best would be to see Unisphere live at the Narrows and pick up their CD on New Bedford’s iconic Whaling City Sound label. It’ll be an excellent way to witness some adventurous jazz up close and personal, and it’s certain to leave you with the great aftertaste of pure jazz joy.
Dave Zinno Unisphere River of January WCS101 Sentimental yet devoid of bathos, forward-surging yet never at the expense of thought or taste, River of January flows in two directions, simultaneously. Some laws, including those of hydrodynamics, are written to be broken. Unisphere, the cooperative (in so many ways than one) jazz band led by bassist/ composer/ arranger/pedagogue Dave Zinno, infuses the vanguard of modern jazz with what I hear as a romanticism all too uncommon in artistic expression corrupted by the materialist zeitgeist. “Evolution” and “change” are not synonymous, and these guys know it.
We’re excited about Dave Liebman’s upcoming shows
in support of
|WCS 068 -NEW!|
|Expansions: The Dave Liebman Group|
Oct 9 Fall River, MA- Narrows Center for the Arts
Oct 10 Portland, ME- Woodfords Congregational Church
Oct 11 Rochester, NY- Lovin Cup Brews and Bistro
Oct 12 Old Lyme, CT- The Side Door Jazz Club
Oct 23-24 Denver, CO – Dazzles Jazz Club
Oct 25 San Pedro, CA- Alvas Showroom
Oct 26 Half Moon Bay, CA- Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society
Oct 27 Santa Cruz, CA- Kuumbwa Jazz
Oct 28 Oakland, CA- Yoshi’s
Oct 29 San Jose, CA- The Stritch Cafe
Oct 30 Seattle, WA- Ear Shot Jazz Festival
Oct 31-Nov 1 Edmonton, AB Canada- Yardbird Suite
Nov 7 Delaware Water Gap, PA- Deerhead Inn
Nov 8 Sayre, PA- Sayre Theater
Nov 10-12 New York, NY Dizzys Club
Nov 15 Easton,PA- Lafayette Bar
Dec 18- Brooklyn, NY- Roulette
Twenty Years After
On Samsara, Dave Liebman debuts a long-awaited new group: EXPANSIONS
After over two decades of the Dave Liebman Group (featuring guitarist Vic Juris) the NEA Jazz Master unveils Expansions, a brilliant new adventure featuring members of the new generation of talented musicians eager, like their bandleader, to alter the language of jazz. These musicians, heard on the new Samsara release, include Bobby Avey on piano, Matt Vashlishan on sax, flute and clarinet, Tony Marino on bass, and drummer/percussionist Alex Ritz. Expansions is a remarkable band, not only for its talent, which is ample and evident, but for the fact that they represent an “expansion” of Lieb’s horizons as well as honoring the jazz tradition of a legend mentoring the younger generation.
These new kids know how to flow with the boss!! Liebman’s most direct influences—Coltrane and Miles, instilled in him a need for constant growth and evolution. In this case pursuing edgy rhythms and complex harmonic settings. The directions are unpredictable and dazzling, with an emphasis on collective improvisation…a milieu seemingly built for Liebman as evidenced in his extraordinarily diverse stylistic career.
The effect is especially intoxicating on excursions like the funky “Liberian Hummingbird,” the uniquely styled “Level One,” and “Endive,” (a reworking of Monk’s “Evidence.”) “Simply,” the opening track, is awash with rhythmic surprises while “Child Refugee,” running at nearly eleven glorious minutes, is dedicated to the plight of “the innocent victims of politics and violence worldwide since the beginning of time.” ”Samsara,” recycles and re-orders the twelve pitches of Western music several times in tempo, key and rhythm over a colorful canvas.
Deeply felt, eclecticism is the order of the day here for the sax great, as it always has been. Certainly with this cadre of young musicians, the excitement is palpable. Liebman’s heady concepts underline and reinforce the spectacular playing of his new instrumentalists…a group that will soon enough etch its own achievements in the annals of modern jazz.
Excerpts from recent biographical information from Dave’s website:
Liebman has most notably been awarded the NEA Masters of Jazz, the Order of Arts and Letters from France and has been a perennial name in Downbeat and Jazz Times polls among the top soprano saxophonists since his tenure with Elvin Jones and Miles Davis in the early 1970s. He presently serves as the Artistic Director of the IASJ; is Artist in Residence at the Manhattan School of Music, NYC and guest lecturer at the University of Toronto.
After leading he legendary group Quest in the 1980s, from 1991 through 2012, the Dave Liebman Group was formed featuring guitarist Vic Juris which toured and recorded nearly 20 CDs, ranging from jazz standards to Puccini arias, adaptations from the John Coltrane and Miles Davis repertoires, as well as original compositions in styles ranging from world music to fusion to free jazz. Over the past several decades, Liebman has often been featured with top European musicians such as Joachim Kuhn, Daniel Humair, Paolo Fresu, Jon Christensen, Bobo Stenson, Michel Portal, Wolfgang Reisinger and Jean-Paul Celea among others. His reputation in Europe has led to big band and radio orchestra performances with the WDR in Koln, Germany; Metropole Orchestra, Netherlands; “new music” groups Klangforum, Vienna; the Ensemble Intercontemporain from Paris and Avanti from Helsinki, Finland playing music specially commissioned to feature Lieb’s unique soprano saxophone style. Liebman has been featured on over 500 recordings, of which he has been the leader or co-leader on 150.
Lieb’s published materials include a wide variety of books considered classics in the field as well as instructional DVDs and chamber music; Self Portrait of A Jazz Artist, A Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony And Melody and Developing A Personal Saxophone Sound (which has been translated into multiple languages). Liebman’s biography is entitled, What It Is: The Life Of A Jazz Artist (Scarecrow Press).