Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Solo Bass Release: Moppa Elliott's 'Still, Up In The Air' & Live Date February 16 2016 in Brooklyn


From a media release:

Hot Cup Records Releases Still, Up In the Air
Debut Solo Album by Bassist Moppa Elliott
Elliott Celebrates in Concert
Tuesday, February 16 at Shapeshifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY

Hot Cup Records is proud to release Still, Up in the Air, the first solo album by bassist Moppa Elliott. The album was recorded on February 16, 2015 at St. Stephen's Pro Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, PA, a space that has served as the venue for several other Hot Cup releases.  Primarily known as the leader of the ensemble, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Elliott demonstrates both his mastery of the double-bass and his personal approach to solo improvisation.  The recording will be released on February 12, 2016 and Moppa celebrates with a concert on February 16 at Shapeshifter Lab in a concert that includes MOPDtK and solo sets by Moppa.

There is a long and storied history of solo bass recordings and Still, Up in the Air adds something new.  While the influence of Barre Phillips, Malachi Favors, Dave Holland, and Barry Guy cannot be ignored, the music on this recording is an attempt by Elliott to improvise in a way that eschews the typical conventions of linear, developmental forms favored by many other players. Elliott cites authors such as David Foster Wallace and Milorad Pavic as influences on his non-linear approach, as both create books that prevent the reader from progressing sequentially from page to page.  Elliott's performances on Still, Up In the Air jump from idea to idea rapidly in order to simulate a similar effect.  Elliott also drew inspiration from the 20th century's Cubist painters to create disjunctive forms that shift in perspective without assembling a unified whole.

Elliott's approach to the double-bass in a solo context incorporates not only all of the standard pizzicato and arco techniques of traditional bass playing, but also explores his own wide vocabulary of extended techniques including several new approaches to polyphony.  The variety of articulations used, both arco and pizzicato, enable him to cover a vast range of sonic space in a single improvisation.  All of the music was recorded live and the album includes a single edit, splicing together "Sequence Six" and "Sequence Twelve" into a single track.  Each piece draws on Elliott's experience performing in a wide variety of contexts including jazz, solo recitals, orchestral playing, and improvised music.  This recording offers the listener both an opportunity to hear Elliott's unique and personalized language of solo improvisation as well as another side of his well-established musical personality.

Moppa Elliott is best known as the composer, bassist, and bandleader for the widely heralded band "Mostly Other People Do the Killing."  The ensemble recently won the El Intruso Critics' Poll in the "Best Band to Hear Live" category and released Mauch Chunk, their eighth studio album.  In 2014, MOPDtK released Blue, a note-for-note recreation of Miles Davis' masterpiece Kind of Blue.  In addition to performing, Elliott runs the Hot Cup Records label and teaches music at St. Mary's High School in Manhasset, NY.

Moppa Elliott plays a late 19th century Bohemian bass and uses a CODA Bow carbon fiber bow. The recording was made using Ron Stabinsky's CAD Equitek E110 stereo microphones and the "Realist" pickup by David Gage.

Sequence Three, the first track

Indie Jazz with a Twist: Jim Wellman Album Release: Dawn To Dusk - Feb 29 2016

Indie Jazz with a Twist:
Jim Wellman
First MP3 Release: Probably Good - Jan 18, 2016
2nd MP3 Release : EP For The First Time - Feb 8, 2016
Album Release: Dawn To Dusk - Feb 29, 2016

From East Sussex, England, comes an album of what can only be called conscious funk, disco and RnB. You'll get your science lessons along with a dash of post-modern sociology to a funky groove in this imaginative concept album from Brand New Heavies founding member Jim Wellman.

Jim Wellman was set to retire from the music biz by the fall of 2014. But, his planned retirement instead became a comeback as a solo artist, inspired in particular by the mainstream media's propaganda on the situation in the Ukraine. According to Wellman's bio,

"The album is social commentary, but viewed through perspectives of human psychological evolution, and analysis of mass communication and propaganda. The core of the work is the understanding that Man lives in a world of amazing technological development, but is still encumbered with medieval forms of government by representatives who serve mainly the interests of the elite."

Sonically, the release is a perfect wave of good old school RnB and funk. Probably Good - the first single - has a great groove in a classic 1970s RnB style. As with the other tracks on the release, the lyrics are a pleasant surprise - quirky and clever.

Found a good girl
But he was entirely expendable

and the chorus:

Love can change it
Faith won't heal it
Truth's induced it
The law's infused it

The video (below) is equally post-modern quirky, with those naked Bond girl silhouettes and a geeky Wellman playing sax on the beach. Lucy is about... Lucy - that Lucy, our earliest forebear, the ancient female skeleton of the hominin species Australopithecus afarensis found in Ethiopia. Really. The lyrics trace the history of man. Change is diversity... he sings in Lewontin Campbell - the title a reference to two of the pioneers of cognitive biology.

The instrumentation - all by Wellman himself - is nicely fat and spot on in its execution; a full band with groovy keyboards, liquid guitar licks and a horn section along with both male and female vocals to take us through the intriguing concept album.

Tyranny comes with a happy song... 

Happy song is a standout, a duet between Jim and a female voice that trips along merrily to its dark message. Premature Truth is a slow and sexy musing on the nature of ideas. It includes a spoken word section.

It may not grab your emotions, but your intellect and your dancing shoes will be inspired by this clever yet accessible release.

Jim Wellman (All instruments) / Guest vocals: Judy La Rose Vocal on Lucy Only; Tara from studiopros.com - All other female vocals Terron from studiopros All lead male vocals except Cynical Century and Premature truth vocals by Jim Wellman

Track listing:
1 - Lucy
2 - Lewontin Campbell
3 - Probably Good
4 - Premature Truth
5 - Feedback Loop
6 - Night Of The Meme
7 - Red Or Blue
8 - Happy Song
9 - For The First Time
10 - Cynical Century
11 - Let The People Rule Ya

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Alex Anwandter Writing/Directorial Debut Nunca Vas a Estar Solo at the Berlin Film Festival February 11 to 21 2016


 From a media release:

Alex Anwandter Writing/Directorial Debut
'Nunca Vas a Estar Solo' at the Berlin Film Festival
February 11 to 21, 2016

Alex Anwandter makes his writing/directorial debut at the Berlin International Film Festival with the premiere of "Nunca Vas a Estar Solo". The festival takes place February 11-21.

The film follows the story of Juan (Sergio Hernández - “No”, “Gloria”), a manager at a mannequin factory leading a rather regular life, while conveniently ignoring the fact that his son, Pablo, is gay (and secretly cross dressing) - until life forces him to confront reality. Pablo is hospitalized after being brutally beaten by a gang of thugs in his neighborhood. The incident leaves Juan in debt, angered by the failure of the justice system and ready to take matters into his own hands to save his son. The story is loosely inspired by hate crime victim Daniel Zamudio, a Chilean gay youth and fan of Alex Anwandter’s music, whose death following a brutal beating made international headlines.

The film's world premiere forms part of the Berlinale Panorama program, although "Nunca Vas A Estar Solo" has already won awards as a work in progress, including at the Guadalajara Film Festival and the Santiago International Film Festival.

Anwandter states, “This story is not a biopic and shifts its focus onto the father of the boy. This is my way of saying: it was not just one boy, it’s many boys and girls, women and men. And the life we should examine more carefully is not the boy’s, it’s the rest of us. We who allow this to repeat over and over.” (Image - Andrew Bargsted in Nunca Vas a Estar Solo)

Anwandter goes on to say "It is an honor to debut in such a prestigious festival. I want to share this story. Although it is universal, it is deeply rooted in Chilean idiosyncrasy. Personally, I think it's important that our fiction acts as a powerful mirror of our immediate problems."

This year is shaping up to be a big one for Anwandter, with the April 1st release of his latest album, “Amiga” on Nacional Records, as well as the film's international release.

Here's the first single - Siempre Es Viernes En Mi Corazon

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Trendy Valentine's 2016 in Toronto: Nugateau Patisserie Eclair Special


From a release:

Trendy Valentine's
Nugateau Patisserie 
717 Queen Street West Toronto 
Tel : 647-748-7001 nugateau.com

TORONTO - Chic, sleek Nugateau Patisseries is the first éclair-only patisserie in Toronto, owned by former Jelly Modern Doughnuts pastry chef Atul Palghadmal. They've put together a multi-cultural menu that showcases the cream-filled delight with international flair and have come up with the perfect solution to your Valentine's treat needs.

• The Queen West patisserie is offering up two special flavours as a duo ($12 for both) created specially for this love-filled holiday: Champagne (Choux pastry, Champagne and white chocolate cream) and Rose (Wild Strawberry cream with candied rose petals). 

They will also be offering up their other 12 seasonal flavours, including recently introduced savoury flavours Foie Gras and Smoked Salmon.

What could possibly be more romantic? Eat up!

Harlem Haberdashery Presents Third Annual Masquerade Benefit for Harlem Hospital Center March 5, 2016

From a media release:

Harlem Haberdashery Presents 
Third Annual Masquerade Benefit for Harlem Hospital Center
March 5, 2016

Tickets

(New York, NY-- January 27, 2016) Harlem Haberdashery, the award-winning, bespoke boutique, will present its Third Annual Masquerade Ball benefiting Harlem Hospital Center. The Benefit will be presented by media partners AVENUE Magazine and Culumus Media's Radio 103.9fm. The Masquerade Ball will take place on Saturday, March 5, 2016 from 8pm - 12am at Harlem Hospital Center’s Mural Pavilion.

The Mural Pavilion will be transformed into “Casino Royale” festive and fun environment hosted by Radio 103.9fm’s Roxie Digital to welcome up to 250 guests wearing their best Black-tie meets Las Vegas casino chic ensembles who will celebrate the best and brightest of Harlem past, present and future including:

Honorary Award Presentation:
*Man of the Year - “Harlem’s Distinguished Gentlemen”: Khary Lazarre-White, The Brotherhood-Sister Sol
*Woman of the Year - “Harlem’s Inspiring Lady”: Tamika Mallory, Mallory Consulting
*Trailblazer of the Year -“The Spearheader”: Elena Romero, Celebrated Educator and Journalist

In addition to honoring community leaders, the Masquerade Ball will include live deejay performance by Sundae Sermon founder Stormin’ Norman, sumptuous food stations featuring Harlem restaurants: Cheri, Farafina Cafe & Lounge, Harlem Besame, Harlem Shake, Lolo’s Seafood Shack, Make My Cake and Seasoned Vegan with multi-level cocktail bars with spirits by Harlem Brewing Co., Papi Wines and William Wolf Whiskey. Guests will dine, dance and drink as well make memories at Shaken + Stirred Media interactive photo booth. The evening’s festivities will be immortalized with visuals produce by online men’s lifestyle magazine Mr. Refined. Community partners in support of the Masquerade Ball Harlem Run, #TakeCareofHarlem, and The League: DGM.

Event Information:
Harlem Haberdashery’s 2016 Masquerade Ball Benefiting Harlem Hospital Center
Saturday, March 5, 2016:  8pm - 12am
Harlem Hospital Center’s Mural Pavilion, 506 Lenox Avenue (at 136 St.), NYC 10037
Tickets $150 per person; A generous donation from ticket sales will be donated to Harlem Hospital Center.
Ticket link: www.2016hhball.eventbrite.com

Monday, January 25, 2016

Contemporary Art: 8th Annual India Art Fair January 28 to 31, 2016 in New Delhi


From a media release:

8th Annual India Art Fair
January 28 to 31, 2016
in New Delhi

NEW DELHI - The eighth edition of India Art Fair takes place January 28-31, 2016 in New Delhi and welcomes visitors to the largest contemporary art event in South Asia. Offering a unique opportunity to discover the best galleries in the region and beyond, India Art Fair's programme includes lectures, projects and events across the capital with an emphasis on cultural experience and education.

It is the fifth most attended art fair in the world, with the last edition attracting around 80,000 visitors. India Art Fair is South Asia’s leading platform for modern and contemporary art and portal to the region’s cultural landscape. Founded in 2008, India Art Fair has become the bedrock of a now booming cultural community with connections to every level of the market.

Building on these foundations, India Art Fair is expanding its programming to reflect South Asia’s immense diversity in the visual arts and to provide a platform for innovation across disciplines and exchange, throughout the region and the world.

The India Art Fair is as much about the business of art as it is about the art lover's - and especially art collector's - experience and there are a number of events and activities that work towards that goal. The speakers series look at topics that arnage from a look at the new generation of South Asian collectors to the great Indian graphic novel. A film programme rounds out the offerings.

The galleries represent a cross section of contemporary South Asian art from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka with a sprinkling of galleries from Spain, the U.K. and the United States.

This year there'll be high-level representation from Guggenheim and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, Carnegie Museum of Art, Palais de Tokyo, London's Victoria and Albert Museum, art auction powerhouse Christie's, the Colombo Art Biennale and Lahore Biennale Foundation, to name a few.

Zain Masun is the IAF's new international director and has overseen new initiatives and directions. To this end, IAF offers a much more tightly-curated fare this year, stamped clearly with the global clout of Masud, who worked previously for five years as assistant fair director of Art Dubai.

The 2016 edition is the most inward-looking one held so far, and engages with India’s folk and traditional arts. Foremost is Kalam Patua : From The Interstices Of The City-II, a solo show on Kalighat painter Kalam Patua curated by art historian Jyotindra Jain. A postmaster in West Bengal’s Chandpara sub-post office by day and artist by night, Patua’s works have featured in international museums such as V&A. Patua is a contemporary exponent of the 19th century style that originated outside Kolkata’s Kalighat temple. “Kalighat artists represent the syncretism unique to the subcontinent—Muslim artists paint scrolls with accompanying folk songs on Hindu gods and goddesses. Kalam, however, is a contemporary artist, choosing subjects such as communalism, dowry, urban life, eroticism in his works, using the language of Kalighat art,” says Jain.

THE DETAILS
VENUE
NSIC grounds, Okhla Industrial Area, New Delhi

VISITORS HOURS
29th - 30th January, 2016 (Friday and Saturday) - Public Hours: 2 PM - 8 PM
31st January, 2016 (Sunday) - Public Hours: 11 AM - 7 PM

Accommodations
There's a good choice of hotels and other accommodations available not far from the industrial area where the India Art Fair is being held. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Jasmine Boutique Hotel
50, Pocket-I, Jasola Vihar,
New Delhi- 110025, INDIA
Email : sales@jasmineboutiquehotel.com
Tel (24x7): +91 11 41641601/2/3/7

About 2km from the Art Fair site, you'll find comfort and contemporary luxury at the Jasmine Boutique Hotel. The mid-priced hotel offers value and personalized service in a small boutique hotel.

Eros Hotel
Nehru Place, American Plaza,
New Delhi, 110019, India
TEL: 91-11-41223344 / FAX: 91-11-26224288

About 4km from the Fair, the splendid Eros Hotel overlooks the Lotus Temple in Nehru Place with a palatial sense of style. You'll find five star contemporary grandeur throughout with a distinctly Indian flair, with all the usual amenities, including a spectacular outdoor pool.

Electro-Africa: Baaba Maal's new album The Traveller out now! (Palm Recordings - Jan 15, 2016)


From a release:

Baaba Maal's new album The Traveller out now!
(Palm Recordings - Jan 15, 2016)

Order via iTunes

Baaba Maal, the Senegalese master-musician and cultural warrior, has an electrifying new sound and exhilarating live presentation.

The Traveller, his latest album, Baaba’s eleventh, released January 15, 2016, is a mixture of roots African sounds and cutting-edge western electro elements.

Complementing the record Baaba has a tight new road-band, a six piece, a departure from his previous larger line-ups, that will express the fresh sound, soulful truth and pulsating excitement of his latest innovative music.

A number of keynote headline concerts were scheduled. These included a performance in December 2015 at the Blues du Fleuve, the festival Baaba Maal has established in his home town of Podor, on the river Senegal.



The Traveller was recorded in London and Senegal; in making the record Baaba Maal has collaborated with Johan Hugo Karlberg from The Very Best. The Very Best’s two albums were genre-shattering, bright meshes of Afropop and electro; Karlberg has also worked with M.I.A, Coldplay, and Amadou and Marian, among many others.

‘Baaba is an amazing guy: he’s seen it all and done it all,’ says Karlberg. ‘He’s heavily involved in amazing projects all over the world that help people, so he’s a very inspiring person to be around and work with. It was just an honor to be able to have so much fun together and make music.’

‘I am so inspired by The Traveller,’ says Baaba Maal. ‘Working with Johan I feel we have achieved a perfect blend of sensibilities drawn not only from Africa and Europe but from all over the globe: I feel The Traveller defines how the planet looks at this time from the point-of-view of Senegal, Africa’s most westerly country. And despite many problems in many places, that view is extremely positive and inspiring.’