Zzaj Happenings!!!

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Dad & Daughter Team Up for Delightful New Christmas Song
I Want Snow

Dad (Jason) & daughter (Isabella) argue over where to spend Christmas.
Track #5 on Jason’s new album – These Christmas Days
Featuring Jeremy Ragsdale as guest pianist. Drops November 24!

Pre-order from Amazon HERE

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Dad & Daughter Team Up for Delightful New Christmas Song
I Want Snow

Dad (Jason) & daughter (Isabella) argue over where to spend Christmas.
Track #5 on Jason’s new album – These Christmas Days
Featuring Jeremy Ragsdale as guest pianist. Drops November 24!

Pre-order from Amazon HERE

Copyright © 2017 Jazz Promo Services, All rights reserved.
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE ON THIS MAILING LIST PLEASE RESPOND WITH ‘REMOVE’ IN THE SUBJECT LINE. IF YOU ARE RECEIVING DUPLICATE EMAILS OUR APOLOGIES, JAZZ PROMO SERVICES ANNOUNCEMENT LIST IS GROWING LARGER EVERY DAY…..PLEASE LET US KNOW AND WE WILL FIX IT IMMEDIATELY!

Our mailing address is:

Jazz Promo Services

Warwick, Ny 10990


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November 20, 2017

To: Listings/Critics/Features
From: Jazz Promo Services
www.jazzpromoservices.com

 

Chris Pasin and Friends
“Baby It’s Cold Outside”
CD Release Show
Saturday, December 2nd 8 pm
@ Maureen’s Jazz Cellar

2 N Broadway
Nyack, NY 10960
Featuring
Chris Pasin – trumpet
Patricia Dalton Fennell – vocals
Armen Donelian – piano
Ira Coleman – bass
Jeff Siegel – drums
The following weekend with the same personnel…
12/9@Hudson Hall (Hudson Opera House) 7 pm
12/10#Ossining Public Library 2 pm
with special guest Eric Person – saxophone and flute

New Christmas Jazz CD
From Chris Pasin and Friends
“Baby It’s Cold Outside”

Jazz trumpeter Chris Pasin spreads warm holiday spirit with his new CD
of seasonal classics, Baby, It’s Cold Outside 


Artist: CHRIS PASIN AND FRIENDS
Title: BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
Label: Planet Arts
Artist Website: www.chrispasin.com
Release Date: OCTOBER 6, 2017
UPC Code: 820428301714

Track listing w/ track time
1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 5:44
2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town 5:21
3. We Three Kings of Orient Are 6:31
4. Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel 6:34
5. Baby It’s Cold Outside 4:22
6. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear 4:41
7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 4:48
8. Greensleeves 4:10
9. Christmas Time is Here 4:24

10. I’ll be Home for Christmas 3:24
11. The Christmas Song 7:18

Musicians:
Chris Pasin – trumpet, flugelhorn, vocal, Armen Donelian – piano, Ira Coleman – bass, Je Siegel – drums, Rich Syracuse – bass, Peter Einhorn – guitar, Patricia Dalton Fennell – vocal
From subtle to sexy to swinging, Chris Pasin and friends’
shine a brilliant light on the best yuletide favorites

Nothing gets music lovers in a celebrating mood like listening to their favorite carols, and this brand-new CD, Baby, It’s Cold Outside, delivers a whopping dose of holiday cheer. On 11 of the most-beloved sounds of the season, trumpeter Chris Pasin and friends show they have a real gift for making such familiar material their own, while maintaining the spirit and warmth that’s such a major part of the yuletide celebrations.

Equally comfortable on both trumpet and flugelhorn, leader Chris Pasin has proved himself among the most versatile of musicians. Besides fronting his own bands, he’s been a mainstay of ensembles led by the likes of Buddy Rich, Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin, George Russell, and Brother Jack McDu . Pasin has also appeared with legendary gures including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme and Ray Charles, to name a few.

For Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Pasin has assembled a stellar ensemble of some of the most in-demand musicians on the New York jazz scene. Among them: pianist Armen Donelian (Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Paquito D’Rivera); bassists Ira Coleman (Freddie Hubbard, Betty Carter, Herbie Hancock) and Rich Syracuse (Mose Allison, Bernard Purdy, Kurt Elling); drummer Je Siegel (Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Sheila Jordan); singer Patricia Dalton Fennell (Dave Holland, Giacomo Gates, Pete Levin); and guitarist Peter Einhorn (Joe Lovano, Placido Domingo, Jim Hall).

Highlights from Baby, It’s Cold Outside include:
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”: Here’s a subtle, sensitive and understated version of a classic that steers clear of the overly sentimental, right from Donelian’s heart-felt piano opener. “We Three Kings”: Uptempo and bursting with energy, the band brings great drive and brilliant feeling to this beloved carol, which features an excellent solo from leader Pasin. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”: Check out the sexy and playful collaboration between Pasin and vocalist Patricia Dalton Fennell. The twosome demonstrate their wit and camaraderie as they work their seductive skills on the lyrics. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”: A very welcome new take on a traditional tune turns it into a cooker; the great rhythmic drive makes it downright danceable. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: Pasin and Einhorn shine on solos in this unique treatment of a 1940s-vintage hit.

Pasin and friends’ fresh take on the greatest songs of the season celebrate the beloved classics in an original and vastly appealing style. Listeners will enjoy old favorites in a new way this holiday season, thanks to the great renditions performed by this talented and creative ensemble.

 

 

NATIONAL PRESS CAMPAIGN:
JIM EIGO, JAZZ PROMO SERVICES,
272 State Route 94 South #1,
Warwick, NY 10990-3363
Ph: 845-986-1677 jim@jazzpromoservices.comwww.jazzpromoservices.com
“Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

NATIONAL RADIO CAMPAIGN
Michael J. Hurzon The Tracking Station

3223 NW 31st TERRACE, OAKLAND PARK, FL 33309 954.463.3518 trackst@comcast.net

Available From: Amazon • iTunes • CDBaby • www.chrispasin.com 

 

 

 

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For Immediate Release

DOWNES BRAIDE ASSOCIATION Release New Album Skyscraper Souls Feat. Guest Appearances By Andy Partridge (XTC), Marc Almond and Kate Pierson (B52s)! OUT NOW!

Front cover artwork is by Roger Dean!

London – Super-duo Geoff Downes & Chris Braide, known as the Downes Braide Association (DBA), release their new album Skyscraper Souls on 17th November through their own label X2X Records via Cherry Red. This is their 3rd collaboration and follows their two previous critically-acclaimed releases Pictures of You (2012) and Suburban Ghosts (2015).

Both members have an immense body of work. Chris Braide is a British singer, songwriter and producer, now based in LA, who has written and produced songs for Beyonce, Lana del Rey, Paloma Faith, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, David Guetta, Sia, Afrojack & Marc Almond… to name a few. Geoff Downes is the prog legend who has played keyboards in The Buggles, Asia & Yes… he co-wrote the hits “Heat of the Moment” and “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

Skyscraper Souls is a more traditional progressive/classic rock/band album than their previous material, but retains a strong pop aesthetic and features many great guest contributions, including Marc Almond, Andy Partridge from XTC and Kate Pierson from the B52s. The front cover artwork is by Roger Dean.

Watch the new DBA video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9tNHEvBquE

The idea for the album started as a series of sketches Geoff had been working on after a break from touring last year. By the time he returned from the road he directed the subsequent pent-up energy into composition and the ideas literally poured out. As a kid, Chris had always loved expansive pieces like “Close To The Edge” and “Tubular Bells.” While he is a huge pop fan and has written multitudes of pop hits for pop stars, his heart has a special place for those big studio epic productions.

On this album, Downes & Braide were joined by drummer Ash Soan (Trevor Horn, Squeeze, Faithless, Del Amitri, Adele, Cee Lo Green, Will Young, Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow and many more) and bassist Andy Hodge. Chris says, “Having such an amazing rhythm section really brought the songs to life. With previous albums we always used drum machines and samples. There is so much warmth and movement in these recordings. They breathe!”

The fact that their ‘association’ has always had to fit around their extensive commitments has never dulled their remarkable musical creativity. This album went a step further and was co-written remotely – at no time were the pair ever in the same room! Chris explains, “Geoff would send me folders full of stuff such as the magnificent piano pieces which turned into ‘Glacier Girl’ and ‘Prelude.’ As soon as I heard the chords I was writing lyrics like a mad man and before long the album started to materialize.” Geoff adds, “The ideas themselves were in a very rough format, but with the melodies & basic harmonies. Chris started playing around with these, and often, they came back with some radical changes, but Chris was always very conscious to retain my original idea.”

The pair feel Skyscraper Souls is their strongest album to date, which is no mean feat! This album contains constant motifs and themes that recur and flow throughout. Keeping strong melodies to the fore they have created a wonderfully interesting soundscape.

Track list as follows: 

1. Prelude (ft Andy Partridge – XTC)
2. Skyscraper Souls (ft Kate Pierson – B52s)
3. Glacier Girl (ft Andy Partridge)
4. Angel On Your Shoulder (ft Matthew Koma)
5. Tomorrow (ft David Longdon – Big Big Train)
6. Lighthouse (ft Tim Bowness)
7. Skin Deep (ft Marc Almond)
8. Darker Times (ft Andy Partridge)

Outside of DBA Downes and Braide remain in high demand.

Geoff has been pretty much flat out touring the world with Yes and Asia for the last few years. Any breaks have been filled up with other projects, including putting together some new Buggles ideas with Trevor (Horn). He is also writing film and library music.

Chris has been writing music for movies in LA, the most recent being a new animation called LEAP. He wrote “UNSTOPPABLE” for the Olympics with the artist SIA and has co-written and produced the new single for DJ Robin Schulz. He also wrote and produced a new Marc Almond album, due out next year as well as Marc’s next single “Embers.” He produced a single for Elle King for a big ad campaign featuring Kendal Jenner, and is currently scoring a movie soundtrack at his studio in LA. He has written a song for Trevor Horn called “Sky Show” for an animation he was working on. With more new ventures, Chris has had no break this year, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

To purchase:
CD: http://geni.us/DBA3
Digital:   http://geni.us/DBA3dig
LP: http://tinyurl.com/DBA3vinyl

For more information:
Official website: http://www.downesbraide.com/
Twitter: @TheRealDBAMusic

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

 

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For Immediate Release

John Wetton & Geoff Downes’ iCon Zero Now Available on CD and Download!

iCon Zero is a revised presentation of the Wetton/Downes album and is a precursor to their iCon series of albums. It is essentially a collection of tracks mostly recorded in the late 1980s through the time of their brief reformation in 1990.

The original version of the album was released in 2002 and in retrospect seemed like an iCon album from a previous era, so both John and Geoff readily agreed to it being brought into the iCon family. John came up with the name Zero, and both John and Geoff approved the new front cover artwork.

The album has received a 2017 remaster and includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks.

Geoff Downes reminisced about this time period in their joint career with these comments: Icon Zero brings back many fond memories of working with John back in the early-mid 80s. Despite being the principal writers for Asia, we both felt there was at least one other string to our bow. This manifested itself in later years as the Icon project, and this album is an insight into the inner workings of our early relationship, not just as members of Asia, but also as songwriters. These recordings were made largely at weekends when we rented demo studios to try out our ‘other’ ideas and simply – have some fun time away from the pressures of the music business. Most of these songs were put together in a few hours, and written on the fly. Then, they were recorded straight down that same day. One great aspect of this was, we always seemed came up with something new, and as the inspiration flowed it was captured there and then even in its embryonic form. 

Sadly John Wetton passed away in January 2017, but this release was already on the cards, with his Estate and Geoff Downes approving it going ahead as originally planned.

Geoff Downes had these further comments about his late bandmate: “John was a genius in every sense of the word, and I am most privileged to have been a big part of his career. The Icon project in itself stands alone as a complete cycle of our work together, and this album (Icon Zero) displays an important part of that development. The great John Wetton’s unique presence can be felt on every note and lyric of these songs. Please enjoy.”

iCon Zero will be followed by definitive edition re-releases of the subsequent three iCon albums, with bonus tracks, during 2018 with Geoff Downes’ personal approval.

To purchase John Wetton & Geoff Downes iCon Zero:
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/icon0
iTunes: http://geni.us/icon0dig

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

 

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Contact: Rick Scott 310.306.0375

rick@greatscottpr.com

 

 

Saxophonist Justin Young pours his heart and Detroit soul into “Blue Soul”

 

The single, “High Definition,” from the album released on Friday gains ground at radio amidst positive reviews.

 

SEATTLE (17 November 2017): Several years in the making plus nearly a full year of paving the way for a successful release by issuing a trio of infectious singles throughout 2017, saxophonist Justin Young finally dropped his fourth album, “Blue Soul,” on Friday. The JustnTime Records platter packs a two-fisted punch of potent pop, jazz and R&B hooks along with the heart and soul of Young’s Detroit upbringing. The vibrant new single, “High Definition,” is presently impacting playlists nationally, adding powerful Billboard-reporting radio stations weekly. Enhancing the buzz are favorable record reviews and the announcement of a December 10 album release concert celebration at Columbia Winery near Seattle (Woodinville), Young’s adopted hometown.

 

A hardworking hustler and a charismatic contender deservedly on the cusp of a major breakthrough in the smooth/contemporary jazz realm, Young grew up in Hitsville USA, the son of a musician father. Spending his formative years in close proximity to Motown became a major influence on how he makes music. He recorded “Blue Soul” live in the studio, collaborating with a talented team of first-call players and accomplished musicians, songwriters, producers and mix engineers, including fellow sax players and Billboard chart-toppers Jackiem Joyner and Darren Rahn, former Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist-vocalist Sheldon Reynolds, noted bassists Alex Al and Hussain Jiffry, and the late drummer to the stars, Ricky Lawson. Young plies his soprano, alto and tenor sax to a songbook that spans ebullient instrumental pop, deep R&B grooves with a sniff of Detroit funk, and unfettered jazz soloing.

 

The dozen tracks on “Blue Soul” – originals with all but one co-written by Young – are slickly produced and thoughtfully textured, presenting readily-accessible melodies and lush harmonies. Bubbling with enthusiasm and positive energy, the saxman climbed the charts during the first quarter of the year with the undeniable “Always There.” He cruised through summer by dropping “Jazz Along the 101.” Radio outlets were recently serviced “High Definition” and the chart ascension has begun. The strength of the material on “Blue Soul” bodes to continue Young’s momentum and magnify his growth well into the New Year.

 

Below are excerpts from some of the initial album reviews:

 

“Saxophonist Justin Young’s new album, Blue Soul, is a neat package… beautifully highlights the warmth and delicacy that comes flooding through…One of the neat things about Young’s playing is the way he will toss time around. Playing on the offbeat in little staccato phrases one minute then effortlessly running a continuous smooth refrain over that same backbeat the next… Quality work from a quality artist.” – The Smooth Jazz Ride

 

“One of my top 3 albums of this year.” – Exclusive Magazine

 

“The great attention to the smallest detail coupled with highest musicianship and the passion for quality…This album is a fresh approach to how smooth jazz has to sound nowadays.” – Smooth Jazz Daily

 

“Catchy, memorable…delivered with the slickness that the best smooth jazz is noted for.” – Soul and Jazz and Funk

 

“The smoking young sax man rounds the edges off his Detroit soul/jazz past and delivers a solid entertainment disc that serves up old school smooth jazz.” – Midwest Record

 

“A fine smooth jazz album, and recommended for saxophone fans.” – Keys & Chords

 

“Soulful smooth jazz.” – Jazz Weekly

 

 

For additional information, please visit www.JustinYoungSax.com.

 

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Peace, love, hope & joy,

 

 

Rick Scott

Great Scott P.R.oductions

310.306.0375

www.greatscottpr.com

 

(JM2)

 

 

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With the Ravishing Second Album Eternal Life | Jeff Buckley Songs and Sounds the San Francisco Bay Area’s Negative Press Project Takes a Revelatory Instrumental Journey into the Heart of the Singer’s Music

CD Release shows:
Friday, November 17 at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco; Sunday, November 18 at Avonova in Oakland; Sunday, December 3 at Chez Hanny in San Francisco

Jeff Buckley released one album during his all-too-brief life, but 1994’s Grace catapulted the beautiful young artist into the pop cultural firmament, where he remains an incandescently glittering presence two decades after drowning in the Wolf River. Dozens of singers have covered his songs in the ensuing years, but there’s never been a tribute like Negative Press Project’s Eternal Life | Jeff Buckley Songs and Sounds, which was produced by bass master Jeff Denson will be released on his non-profit label Ridgeway Records on November 17, 2017.

Co-led by bassist Andrew Lion and pianist/keyboardist Ruthie Dineen, the expansive electro-acoustic ensemble brings a supple textural palette to Buckley’s material, transforming his emotionally wrought, show-stopping vocal vehicles into strikingly beautiful instrumental settings. Erasing distinctions between jazz and chamber music, rock and instrumental pop, NPP expands Buckley’s legacy by tapping into his beatific lyricism.

With a background in rock and pop, Lion came up with the idea of a Jeff Buckley project while “looking for music underserved in the modern jazz canon,” he says. “I’ve heard Brad Mehldau play some Buckley but not too many other instrumental versions. I think it’s such exalted material with a certain generation that it felt off limits.

When he approached Dineen, a player versed in classical music and Latin jazz, about arranging some Buckley songs for a concert he found an eager co-conspirator and fellow Buckley aficionado. NPP was already a talent-laden working ensemble with its original cohorts, tenor saxophonist Tony Peebles (of the Grammy Award Winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra), trumpeter Rafa Postel (Katchafire), and alto saxophonist Chris Sullivan; but this was further affirmed after a series of concerts with the addition of saxophonist Lyle Link, drummer Isaac Schwartz, and the brilliant young guitarist Luis Salcedo (who introduced his gorgeous collaboration with Colombian vocalist Susana Pineda on the 2016 eponymous Ridgeway album Opaluna).

One reason the Buckley material succeeds so vividly is that Lion and Dineen have attracted a similarly stellar community of musicians to augment the ensemble, bringing their vision to life in the studio, with performances from the highly musical drummer Mike Mitchell, veteran altoist James Mahone, and trumpeter Max Miller-Loran.

Eternal Life opens with Lion’s original requiem for Buckley, “Wolf River,” a haunting theme that evokes the beauty of Buckley’s sound and the inconceivable tragedy of his death at the age of 30. Chris Sullivan’s solo alto sax delivers the aching prelude for “Mojo Pin,” a languorous dreamscape that seems to waft in the summer breeze. “Grace,” one of several pieces that Buckley co-wrote with guitar explorer Gary Lucas, is one of the album’s most intricate arrangements, a gossamer matrix of guitars, effects and intertwined saxophones. While staying close to the original song, Lion’s arrangement also gives the players a degree of freedom to improvise around the edges. “Many of the players didn’t have a direct connection to the source material and they could bring their own voices to the project,” Lion says.

“We had some opportunities to make choices about where to open it up,” Dineen adds. “With all the voices, we could arrange as densely or as open as we wanted. Sometimes decided to play a shell game with the instrumentation and pared it down to a quintet.”

Dineen’s simmering arrangement of “So Real” is one of the sinewy quintet tracks, a piece that takes considerable liberties with the song by unleashing Salcedo’s expressive guitar while remaining entirely recognizable. Lion’s three-horn interpretation of the harmonium prelude to “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” provides a moment of reflection before his passionate, gospel-infused take on the song. The album closes with Dineen’s rapturous arrangement of “Anthem (For Jeff Buckley),” a piece that feels like it could have come from the pen of Abdullah Ibrahim, if he’d been an indie rocker.

Negative Press Project is the latest singular ensemble to emerge from the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. The band released an impressive debut album see evil eyes | civilize in 2015 focusing on original compositions by Dineen and Lion. He first hit on the idea of assembling the music collective while preparing for a hike up Yosemite’s iconic Half Dome, but “it didn’t really come together until I connected with Ruthie at the CJC,” Lion says, “and because of her we’ve been able to establish a purpose and mission.” He also credits Jeff Denson, the bassist, CJC professor and founder of Ridgeway Records, as the driving force behind their latest recording, Eternal Life, as he approached the band about producing the album after they performed several Buckley arrangements at the CJC.

With encouragement from their closest associates in the group, Lion and Dineen “started writing a lot,” she says. “The format meant we were working with great musicians, creating arrangements based on our experience in the Bay Area. That’s my favorite thing in the world, pulling people together who are serious to create group identity and group story. There are many voices, but we all come together to tell one story. We’re both really driven to create new art.”

Born and raised in the Northern California town of Fairfield, Ruthie Dineen was drawn to music as a child, studying and playing jazz and classical music throughout adolescence. Music remained a central force in her life throughout her undergraduate years at UC Berkeley studying history and music, and graduate studies in social work at Cal State East Bay. Over the past decade she’s focused on music performance and community arts, and since the fall of 2011 she’s served as deputy director of programs at East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, Calif.  At the same time, she immersed herself again in jazz, earning a performance degree in jazz studies from the California Jazz Conservatory (where she received the Jamey Aebersold Scholarship).

A prolific composer, Dineen is also a founding member of RDL+, a collective quartet that hosts the monthly Bay Area Bridges concert series at Oakland’s Studio Grand (where Dineen collaborates with different performing artists each month creating new multi-discipline works encompassing theater, music, dance, poetry, and visual art). When not working with NPP or RDL+, Dineen can be found collaborating with a wide range of jazz, Latin, and classical musicians, including vocalist Amie Cota, members of the Amaranth String Quartet, Bululú, and the salsa groups N’Rumba, Candela, and Somos el Son.

Fellow CJC alumnus Andrew Lion was born in Oakland and raised on a rich musical diet from his parent’s record collection, absorbing the sounds of Motown, Led Zeppelin, Duke Ellington, the Beatles, David Bowie, and Pat Metheny Group. He started his musical journey on piano, then tried out the guitar before settling on electric bass as a young adult. A mainstay on the Bay Area music scene, he’s toured with the rock band Spoke and the Dave Tweedie-directed pop combo OONA featuring vocalist Oona Garthwaite. He’s also worked widely with San Francisco singer/songwriter Jeff Campbell, with whom he performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

In the midst of his rock and pop career (which continues today), Lion decided in 2006 to expand his instrumental arsenal to include double bass under the guidance of veteran bass expert Glenn Richman. With encouragement from pianist Susan Muscarella, the founder of the California Jazz Conservatory, Lion plunged into jazz studies and graduated from the CJC. Steeped in the expansive history of jazz and creative music, he continues to look for new ways to build on the music scene, such as his long-form interview series and podcast On the Scene SF/O. Presented by Ridgeway Radio (part of Denson’s 501c3 Ridgeway Arts organization), the series features discussions with established artists such as jazz saxophonist Dayna Stephens, drummer Michael Shrieve (Santana), trumpeter Cuong Vu (Pat Metheny), and many others. More information can be found at www.otssfo.com, and on Apple iTunes.

Lion has found an ideal creative partner in Dineen, and a subject ripe for musical exploration in Jeff Buckley. In many ways, Eternal Life is an arrestingly vivid snap shot of a tableau that continues to evolve. As the ensemble continues to distill and expand the arrangements “we have to reevaluate notions of how we perform and play every note, even how we set up in a performance,” Dineen says. “We’re still learning how  our different voices can build together. Performance is really exciting right now.”

With Eternal Life as the starting point, music fans of every stripe can experience Jeff Buckley’s music with new ears. It’s a sonic sojourn unlike anything else in jazz and beyond.

© Clayton Lancaster
Negative Press Project
Copyright © 2017 Braithwaite & Katz, All rights reserved.
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For Immediate Release

The Ed Palermo Big Band Releases The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren, a Dizzying and Ingenious Reinvention of Music by Frank Zappa and Todd Rundgren!

Featuring Zappa Vocal Legend Napoleon Murphy Brock!

Ed Palermo may have gained an international following with his ingenious orchestral arrangements of Frank Zappa tunes, but he’s hardly a one-trick pony. Earlier in the year, the saxophonist released an uproarious double album The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 1 & 2, a project celebrating an expansive roster of songs by successive waves of British invaders, from the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jeff Beck to King Crimson, Traffic, and Jethro Tull.

With his new big band project, slated for release on Cuneiform Records on October 6, 2017, Palermo is back on his home turf, but the landscape feels strange and uncanny. He’s reclaiming the Zappa songbook, filtering Frank through the emotionally charged lens of the polymathic musical wizard Todd Rundgren in a wild and wooly transmogrification, The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren. Working with the same stellar cast of players, Palermo somehow captures the essence of these iconoclastic masters, making Zappa Zappier and Todd more Rundgrenian.

He sees the Zappa and Rundgren as embodying a ying and yang approach to life that played an essential role in helping him navigate the minefields of teenage angst in the 1960s. “For most of my high school days my favorite musicians were Zappa and Todd Rundgren,” Palermo says. “Rundgren had his songs about self-pity, which were exactly what I needed back then. I’d go out with a girl and whatever party I brought her to she’d go and hang out with another dude. Todd understood. At the same time, Zappa had these snarky songs like ‘Broken Hearts are for Assholes.’ It was tough love. You gotta broken heart? Deal with it. Todd Rundgren’s music was there to give you a hug. I wanted to contrast the hard-bitten Zappa followed by a bleeding heart Rundgren ballad.”

Though the title suggests a forced merger, The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren doesn’t mashup the oeuvres of the two masters. Rather, the album mostly alternates between the composers, creating a deliciously dizzying whipsaw as the two diametrical stances sometimes blur or even switch. Zappa’s soaring fanfare “Peaches En Regalia” is more inspirational than smarmy, with a particularly eloquent alto sax solo by Cliff Lyons, while a brisk and forthright version of Rundgren’s “Influenza” showcases the muscular lyricism of violinist Katie Jacoby, one of the orchestra’s essential voices.

Palermo reaches deep into the Rundgren songbook for “Kiddie Boy,” a stinging blues from 1969’s Nazz Nazz, the seminal second release by his underappreciated band Nazz (an album which originally bore the Zappaesque title Fungo Bat). Drawing directly from the maestro’s original horn arrangement, Palermo displays some impressive guitar work on a vehicle for Bruce McDaniel’s blue-eye vocals. Napoleon Murphy Brock delivers a poker-faced rendition of Zappa’s surreal “Montana,” the tune that turned a generation on to the lucrative potential of floss farming, and McDaniel and Brock join forces on Rundgren’s deliriously silly “Emperor of the Highway,” an homage to Gilbert and Sullivan.

The contrasting sensibilities of the Zundgrens comes into sharp focus in the center of the album. While Palermo has recorded Zappa’s “Echidna’s Arf (Of You)” this time he replaces the horns with McDaniel’s intricately layered vocals via the miracle of multi-tracking. From Zappa’s playfully odd metered work out the big band saunters into Rundgren’s greatest ballad “Hello It’s Me,” an arrangement for McDaniel’s most impassioned crooning based on the original version from 1968 album Nazz (not the hit from his solo Something/Anything? album).

Tenor saxophonist Bill Straub swaggers through Rundgren’s “Wailing Wall,” which is sandwiched between two slices of Zappa at his snarky best, “Big Swifty Coda” and “Florentine Pogen,” another superb feature for Brock. Palermo spotlights a dark and wondrous Zappa obscurity with “Janet’s Big Dance Number,” a brief piece recovered from 200 Motels featuring Ben Kono’s noir tenor solo. From that unified hedgehogian arrangement Palermo unleashes the multifarious fox on Rundgren’s “Broke Down and Busted,” a portmanteau arrangement that touches on Rundgren’s “Boat on the Charles,” the Ramsey Lewis hit “The ‘In’ Crowd,” Zappa’s “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It,” and even traces of Steely Dan’s “Pretzel Logic.” It’s a tour de force that feels like stream of consciousness journey, though the id truly emerged on the closing hidden track. In what has become a Palermo tradition, he includes yet another version of an enduring lament about the difficulties of relationships, arranged this time in Nazzian style by McDaniel.

The seamless ease with which Palermo and his crack crew navigate between the Zappa and Rundgren shouldn’t come as a surprise. Over the years Zappa’s music has proven supremely pliable in Palermo’s capable hands, as evidenced further by a recent concert at Iridium that paired his songs with standards indelibly linked to Ol’ Blue Eyes (is there an album The Adventures of Zinatra in the future?). Everything he brings into the big band is a labor of love.

“Todd Rundgren holds a very special place in my heart,” Palermo says. “I realized I was in love with my girlfriend (now wife) listening to his album Something/Anything? It was about 2 years ago doing our regular hit at The Falcon that I decided to have Zodd Zundgren night. A lot of people who like the music of Zappa also like Rundgren and Steely Dan, but there are enough Steely Dan cover bands out there.”

Born in Ocean City, New Jersey on June 14, 1954, Palermo grew up in the cultural orbit of Philadelphia, which was about an hour drive away. He started playing clarinet in elementary school, and soon turned to the alto saxophone. He also took up the guitar, and credits his teenage obsession with Zappa to opening his ears to post-bop harmonies and improvisation.

Palermo caught the jazz bug while attending DePaul University, and took to the alto sax with renewed diligence inspired by Phil Woods, Cannonball Adderley, and Edgar Winter (the subject of an upcoming EPBB project). Before he graduated he was leading his own band and making a good living as a studio player recording commercial jingles. But like so many jazz musicians he answered New York’s siren call, moving to Manhattan in 1977. After a year of playing jam sessions and scuffling Palermo landed a coveted gig with Tito Puente, a four-year stint that immersed him in Afro-Cuban music.

An encounter with trumpeter Woody Shaw’s septet at the Village Vanguard in the late 1970s stoked his interest in writing and arranging for larger ensembles, and by the end of the decade he had launched a nine-piece rehearsal band with five horns. Between Don Sebesky’s well-regarded book The Contemporary Arranger and advice from Dave Lalama and Tim Ouimette, “I got a lot of my questions answered and I’ll love them forever,” Palermo says. “Then the real education was trial and error. I lived in a little apartment with no TV or furniture. All I had was a card table, and once a week I’d rehearse my nonet, then listen to the cassette of the rehearsal and make all the changes.”

Palermo made his recording debut in 1982, an impressive session featuring heavyweights such as David Sanborn, Edgar Winter and Randy Brecker. As a consummate studio cat and sideman, he toured and recorded with an array of stars, including Aretha Franklin, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Mel Tormé, Lou Rawls, Melba Moore, The Spinners, and many others. As an arranger, he’s written charts for the Tonight Show Band, Maurice Hines, Eddy Fischer, and Melissa Walker. Employed frequently by bass star Christian McBride for a disparate array of projects, Palermo has written arrangements for a James Brown concert at the Hollywood Bowl, a Frank Sinatra tribute featuring Kurt Elling, Seth McFarland, and John Pizzarelli, and a 20-minute medley of Wayne Shorter tunes for the New Jersey Ballet.

Palermo had been leading his big band for more than a decade before the Zappa concept started coming together. Inspired by electric guitar master Mike Keneally, who performed with Zappa on some of his final concerts before his death in 1993, Palermo decided to arrange a program of 12 Zappa tunes. When the time came to debut the material at one of the band’s regular gigs at the Bitter End in early 1994, a sold-out crowd greeted the band.

He earned international attention with the ensemble’s 1997 debut The Ed Palermo Big Band Plays Frank Zappa on Astor Place Records, which received a highly-prized 4-star review from DownBeat. With Palermo’s brilliant arrangements and soloists such as Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, Dave Samuels, Mike Stern, and Mike Keneally, the album made an undisputable case for the Zappa jazz concept. In 2006 he released another collection of Zappa arranged for his jazz big band, called Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, on Cuneiform, thus beginning an ongoing collaboration with that label. While Palermo has written more than 300 Zappa charts, he’s cast an increasingly wide net for material. Recent releases like 2014’s Oh No! Not Jazz!!, 2016’s One Child Left Behind and 2017’s The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 1 & 2 – all on Cuneiform and all recipients of DownBeat’s coveted 4-star ratings – featured a bountiful selection of his original compositions and material by composers not named Frank Zappa.

Nothing demonstrates the ensemble’s ongoing vitality better than the stellar cast of players, with longtime collaborators such as violinist Katie Jacoby, baritone saxophonist Barbara Cifelli, drummer Ray Marchica, and keyboardist Ted Kooshian. Many of these top-shelf musicians have been in the band for more than a decade, and they bring wide-ranging experience, expert musicianship and emotional intensity to Palermo’s music.

The band’s following continues to expand with its monthly residency at Iridium and bi-monthly gigs at The Falcon. In addition, performances (some headlining) at jazz festivals across the USA are winning new fans of all ages for the band. Palermo’s profile in the jazz press is also rising fast, with articles and feature stories appearing this past year in such publications as Jazz Times and Jazziz. Regarding recordings, albums by The Ed Palermo Big Band have been critically acclaimed and also embraced by the general public-jazz and rock fans alike. Palermo has already recorded dozens of new tracks for The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 3 & 4, and is hoping Zodd Zundgren helps introduce Rundgren’s ingenious, heartfelt music to a new generation.

To purchase Ed Palermo’s The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren:
http://a.co/30Oggdq
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-adventures-of-zodd-zundgren/id1281745553
https://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-adventures-of-zodd-zundgren
http://www.waysidemusic.com/Music-Products/Palermo-Ed-The-Adventures-Of-Zodd-Zundgren__Rune-spc-440.aspx

For more information on The Ed Palermo Big Band
http://www.palermobigband.comhttp://www.facebook.com/palermobigband – Twitter: @palermobigband
http://www.cuneiformrecords.com – Twitter: @cuneiformrecord

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

 

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Marc Smason – trombone/vocal 

December   2017

“…building community through music…”

Friday    December 1      6 – 8 pm        Los Buhos    Laura Oviedo  Marc Smason  Bruce Barnard  Jim Parfitt      Victrola Coffee     3215 Beacon Ave S     206-654-3100

Wednesday    December 13      6 – 7 pm       Klez Kids     Hannukah Menorah Lighting     Central Plaza – University Village

Tuesday    December 19      noon – 1 pm       Klez Kids     Hannukah Concert     Armory – Seattle Center

Saturday    December 23      7 pm       Los Buhos    Christmas Party!     Stone Way Café    3510 Stone Way N     206-420-4435

Christmas Day – Monday    December 25     Noon       Marc Smason Quartet   Marc Smason – tbn/vox   Bruce Barnard – guitar   Michael Barnett – bass   Laura Oviedo – perc  & guests     The Christmas People’s Luncheon & Concert for Community    Alki Masonic Center   4736 40th Ave SW      206-719-4979   donations accepted

all ages      no cover & seattle, unless noted     www.marcsmason.com

Our new CD is fresh off the presses – taking orders!

 

“Genes are not destiny!”   Me

 

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November 15, 2017

To: Listings/Critics/Features
From: Jazz Promo Services
www.jazzpromoservices.com

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

This E Mail Is Being Sent by:

Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services T: 845-986-1677 E-Mail: jim@jazzpromoservices.com
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