Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Journey Charts The Remarkable Musical Voyage Of Saxophone Bebop Legend Charles McPherson (Capri Records Feb 17 2015)

From a media release:

The Journey Charts The Remarkable Musical Voyage Of Saxophone Bebop Legend Charles McPherson

• CD to be released February 17, 2015 on Capri Records
Pre-order on iTunes


"Bebop, sharp and driving." - Nate Chinen, The New York Times

"Alto saxophonist/composer Charles McPherson has been playing masterful bop and its extensions for several decades." -Michael G. Nastos, AllMusic


One of the last authentic practitioners of bebop saxophone, Charles McPherson remains at the top of his game. On his new album The Journey, McPherson demonstrates all the vigor, inventiveness, technical dexterity and expressive warmth that drew attention to this brilliant alto stylist during his formative associations with Charles Mingus, Barry Harris, Pat Martino and Art Farmer. The vitality, wit and sheer power of his playing on The Journey belie the fact that McPherson has been in the public eye since the early 1960s. His lyrical and virile improvising throughout the recording asserts that the career upswing that began for McPherson when he added passionate alto statements to the soundtrack of Clint Eastwood's 1998 Charlie Parker bio-pic, Bird, followed by the excellent all-star albums that came in the film's wake, remains in motion. Working with a Denver-based contingent of estimable musicians including saxophonist Keith Oxman, pianist Chip Stephens, bassist Ken Walker and drummer Todd Reid, McPherson demonstrates his laudable command of the bebop idiom, transforming original tunes, songbook standards and bop classics into fresh, invigorating fare.

The origins of The Journey can be traced to a fortuitous meeting that occurred at a musical clinic, featuring McPherson among others, at the Denver, Colorado jazz club Dazzle. There he met the saxophonist and high school instructor, Keith Oxman. Musical encounters with Oxman and local musicians Stephens, Walker and Reid, were so successful that the veteran saxophonist encouraged a recording to document the obvious connection that the five musicians had so quickly established. The April and May 2014 sessions produced a strikingly comfortable blend of standards ("Spring Is Here," "I Should Care"), McPherson originals ("Manhattan Nocturne," "The Journey," "Bud Like"), work from both Oxman and Stephens, and a shout out to McPherson's deepest influence, Charlie Parker ("Au Privave").



Thoroughly comfortable with the intricacies of bebop, Oxman and each of the rhythm team display élan as confident soloists, as an indivisible unit, and as a rock-solid foundation for McPherson.  The star altoist - as fluent as ever on brisk bop performances and lyrically pointed on ballads (hear his lovely duet with Stephens on "I Should Care," a standard favored by Parker) - sounds as robust and bursting with ideas as his devotees, drawn to the authenticity and communicative power of McPherson's characteristic playing, have come to expect.

The presence of another saxophonist adds harmonic and tonal color to the ensemble and further stimulates McPherson's creative juices. Oxman's own "Tami's Tune" is a feature for the tenor saxophonist on which McPherson graciously absents himself, better to train the spotlight on this fine improviser. As McPherson states, "Keith is extremely creative and in possession of a really good technique. But most importantly he has spirituality in his playing, and a depth of feeling that is rare. He should definitely be heard more!" As should McPherson, who, as The Journey clearly exhibits, remains in peak form as he continues his lifelong musical voyage.

http://caprirecords.com/
http://www.charlesmcpherson.com/

The master at a club date early in 2014:

Upcoming Release: CommonUnion59 - Heartbeat Serenade (Independent: February 11, 2015)

Alt-Country/Folk/Pop - Upcoming Release:
CommonUnion59 - Heartbeat Serenade
(Independent: February 11, 2015)


• To be available from their website & on CDBaby

If there's one thing I love, it's sweet harmonies and track #1 on Heartbeat Serenade - It's Alright - begins with the intertwined voices of Steve McKenzie and Laura Malasig in a song with twangy alt-country hooks.

It's one aspect of a kind of dual nature to this upcoming release, the third full-length album by San Francisco based CommonUnion59, with Steve McKenzie on vocals, guitar and banjo)and Laura Malasig on vocals, piano and glockenspiel. Other musicians on the album include Kevin Hayes (drums, percussion) and Jake Leckie (bass). It's coming out on February 11 2015.

In that alt-country mode their lyrics cover the usual romance/Americana beat straight up in country storytelling style - no post-modern irony allowed. There are some clever flashes,

It's a long way back to the stars
From where we are


(from From Where We Are)

The album comes after a year or so of playing and writing songs and comes as a follow up to 2012's well-received Magnolia Waltz.

There is some fine melodic guitar work and strong vocals from Laura with just the right inflection. She turns wistful and thoughtful on tracks like The River Song - the emotional content strong enough to hold interest on a minimmalist tracks like this with its spare, slidey guitar and soft drum beat. American Dream has a nice bounce to it and Little White House - a story about the hard times - has a lovely mournful string line.



The title track Heartbeat Serenade switches vocalists and vibes to a pop/folky genre with an occasional dash of retro Brit-pop feel. Today is an aimiable pop waltz. Catch The Wind and Not Dead Inside combine the two streams with Laura's strong voice in piano pop ballad mode; the latter song with a sad edge despite the optimism of the title.

It's an agreeable collection lit up by the vocals. Look for them to be on the road in support of the new release.

Tracklisting: 1. It's Alright, 2. American Dream, 3. The River Song, 4. From Where We Are, 5. Little White House, 6. Heartbeat Serenade 7. Today 8. Catch The Wind 9. Not Dead Inside 10. This Universe

Websites: www.cu59.com, www.twitter.com/commonunion59, www.facebook.com

A taste from their last CD, Magnolia Waltz

Violinist Jennifer Koh Performs Final Installment Of Bach And Beyond At 92nd Street Y NYC On January 31 2015

From a media release:

VIOLINIST JENNIFER KOH PERFORMS THE FINAL INSTALLMENT
OF HER BACH AND BEYOND SOLO VIOLIN PROJECT
AT 92ND STREET Y ON JANUARY 31 2015

Tickets


Program to include the world premiere of a new work commissioned from John Harbison
Bach’s Sonatas Nos. 2 and 3 and Berio’s Sequenza VIII also to be performed


NEW YORK, NY—Violinist Jennifer Koh returns to 92nd Street Y to perform Bach and Beyond Part 3, the last program of her three-part recital series exploring the history of solo violin repertoire by pairing Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas with modern-day works and new commissions. Ms. Koh debuted Bach and Beyond in 2009 to commemorate the 325th anniversary of Bach’s birth. At this recital, Ms. Koh gives the world premiere of a new Bach-inspired work by American composer John Harbison in their first collaboration together. Mr. Harbison’s work, titled For Violin Alone, was co-commissioned by 92nd Street Y, Cal Performances, and the University Musical Society for the Bach and Beyond project. The program will also include Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIII and Bach’s Sonatas No. 2 in A minor and No. 3 in C major.

The recital takes place at 92nd Street Y’s Kaufmann Concert Hall on Saturday, January 31 at 8 p.m. Tickets priced from $35 to $57 are available online at 92y.org, by phone at (212) 415-5500, or in person at the box office.

Ms. Koh has presented a new installment of her Bach and Beyond series at 92nd Street Y every two years in January since 2011. The Bach and Beyond Part 2 program included Bach’s Sonata No. 1 and Partita No. 1, Bartók’s Sonata for solo violin, and a partita commissioned by Phil Kline titled Dead Reckoning. The first recital in the series featured Bach’s Partitas Nos. 2 and 3 and works by Carter, Saariaho, Ysaÿe, and Salonen with a video commission by filmmaker and video artist Tal Rosner. During the 2014-15 season, in addition to the recital at 92nd Street Y, she performs Part 3 at Strathmore Hall in North Bethesda, for the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, for Music On Main in Vancouver, for Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, at the Athanaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla, and at Oberlin College.

Ms. Koh says, “I have come to understand Bach’s complete works for solo violin as a musical journal of his life and development as an artist. While Bach and Beyond Parts 1 and 2 explored the themes of birth and transcendence, Bach and Beyond Part 3 explores the idea of development by highlighting Bach’s evolution of the fugal form. Bach’s second and third sonatas contain fugues in which he expands upon the fugue in the first sonata in both size and motif. This form reaches it summit point in the C-major fugue, Bach’s largest movement in all his works for solo violin, and a testament of the architectural possibilities of the fugal form. I also wanted to bring attention to the ‘theme’ of Bach and Beyond by pairing these Bach Sonatas with music that had very literal connections to works by Bach that were part of Bach and Beyond Parts 1 and 2. Both Berio’s Sequenza VIII and Harbison’s For Violin Alone are based on Bach’s Partita form: Sequenza VIII is based on Bach’s Chaconne from Partita No. 2 and For Violin Alone consists of six dance movements with an Epilogue to close the work.”

Ms. Koh’s Bach and Beyond series is being released on three CDs by the Cedille label. The second recording of the series, to be released in February 2015, includes Bach’s Sonata No. 1 and Partita No. 1, Bartók’s Sonata for solo violin, and the world-premiere recording of Kaija Saariaho’s Frises for solo violin and electronics. The first Bach and Beyond recording, released in October 2012, includes Bach’s second and third Partitas, Ms. Saariaho’s Nocturne for Violin, Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 2, and the world-premiere recording of Missy Mazzoli’s Dissolve, O My Heart, and was named one of the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012 by The New York Times.

At the 92Y in 2012:

Nightwood Theatre Presents: HER2 January 13 to February 1 2015 in Toronto

From a media release:

HER2
By Maja Ardal
Directed by Kim Blackwell


World premiere

January 13-February 1, 2015
Tues-Sat at 8:00 pm, Sat/Sun at 2:00 pm
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St


TORONTO - An all-star cast features in a probing, heart-wrenching examination of the uneasy relationship between medical science and the human spirit.

Seven women with one thing in common—a highly aggressive form of breast cancer—are recruited for a clinical trial of a new drug. While the researcher measures its progress in terms of blood counts and tumour sizes, the subjects of her experiment, struggle to deal with the renewed dread that paradoxically accompanies this sudden glimmer of hope in their lives. As the group under goes the treatment they bond together into a community characterized not by medical statistics but by their human qualities of courage, humour, and wisdom.

TICKETS:
Single tickets are on sale now! Click HERE to buy tickets

Playwright Maja Ardal talks about the piece

Canadian Premiere: Sharr White's psychological thriller The Other Place January. 18 to February 8, 2015 in Toronto

From a media release:

Canadian Stage announces casting for the Canadian premiere of Sharr White’s psychological thriller The Other Place
Daniel Brooks directs with a brilliant ensemble cast at the Bluma Appel Theatre Jan. 18 to Feb. 8, 2015

Tickets

Toronto, ON –
Canadian Stage presents the Canadian premiere of The Other Place, a darkly comedic and emotional thriller by Sharr White, nominated for outstanding new off-Broadway play by the 2010-11 Outer Critics Circle Awards. Helmed by award-winning director Daniel Brooks (RACE), The Other Place is brought to life by a talented ensemble cast featuring, Joe Cobden (Tarragon Theatre’s An Enemy of the People), Tamsin Kelsey (Pietá at Summerworks), Haley McGee (Helen Lawrence) and Jim Mezon (Red) – on stage at the Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front St. E) from Jan. 18 to Feb. 8, 2015.

“A wonderfully unorthodox American playwright, Sharr White's newest play deals with a subject that concerns us to an ever-increasing degree: mental incapacitation and the loss of autonomy over one’s own life,” said Matthew Jocelyn, artistic and general director at Canadian Stage. “With director Daniel Brooks and the support of a superbly gifted Canadian ensemble bringing the complexities of this brilliantly troubling and unexpectedly humorous play to the stage, I cannot wait to share this chilling, emotional journey with audiences.”

Juliana Smithton (Kelsey) is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be falling apart around her. Her husband (Mezon) has filed for divorce, her daughter (McGee) has eloped with a much older man (Cobden), and her own health is declining. But in this brilliantly troubling and unexpectedly humorous play, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, the past collides with the present and the elusive truth about Juliana begins to surface.

Brooks last captivated audiences at Canadian Stage directing David Mamet’s RACE in 2013. In The Other Place he leads a talented cast of Canadian performers, which includes Kelsey’s much anticipated return to the stage. As teacher at Toronto’s prestigious Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, Kelsey was last seen on stage at Summerworks 2012 in Pietá, in a performance NOW Magazine called “staggering” that won her the festival’s coveted Spotlight Award.

During the run of The Other Place, Canadian Stage will host a range of ancillary programming designed to engage audiences in the themes of the play and foster conversations about art and theatre. On Jan. 23, playwright Sharr White will participate in a pre-show conversation with the audience. Additional pre-show chats, with guests to be announced, are scheduled for Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, with post-show talkbacks scheduled for the 1 p.m. matinees on Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, and after the 8 p.m. evening performances on Jan. 29 and Feb. 5. Canadian Stage also provides a special preview performance for Educators on Jan. 20 (registration required) that includes educational tools and guides. More information can be found at canadianstage.com/online/education.

The Other Place will be on stage at Canadian Stage’s Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front St. E) from Jan. 18 to Feb. 8. Performances run Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with Sunday, Saturday and Wednesday matinees at 1 p.m. and Friday evenings at 7 p.m. The performance is expected to run approximately 90 minutes with no intermission, but is subject to change. Tickets from $30 to $99 are available online, by phone at 416.368.3110 or in person at the box office. For details visit canadianstage.com.

Website: canadianstage.com
Twitter: @CanadianStage; #csOtherPlace

Shows and Tickets:
2014.15 Subscriptions are still on sale with 4-show packages starting from $114 and 6-show packages starting from $168. Subscriptions and tickets may be purchased by phone at 416.368.3110 or in-person at the Canadian Stage Box Office: Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front Street East) or Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street). Full details on the productions, casting and subscription packages are available online at canadianstage.com

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Saxophonist/Composer Rudresh Mahanthappa Previews Upcoming CD Bird Calls Saturday, January 10 2015 at Winter Jazzfest - New York City

From a media release:

Saxophonist/Composer Rudresh Mahanthappa Previews Upcoming CD Bird Calls
Saturday, January 10 2015 at Winter Jazzfest - New York City
10:00 p.m. at Minetta Lane Theatre, 18-22 Minetta Lane, NYC

Bird Calls examines the influence of Charlie Parker through a 21st century jazz lens
The CD is out February 10, 2015 on ACT
Check out more about the Winter Jazz Festival


“To observe that Mahanthappa fused the incantatory phrase-making and exotic scales of Indian music with the free-wheeling improvisational spirit of American jazz would be an understatement. He's so thoroughly immersed in both worlds that he conjured up a startlingly original merger of the two.” “• Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“An itchy, ambitious, often molten mosaic of styles and cultures.” ⎯ Britt Robson, JazzTimes


Saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa previews his new Charlie Parker-inspired CD Bird Calls on January 10 as part of the Winter Jazzfest Saturday Marathon. He performs at 10:00 p.m. at Minetta Lane Theatre, 18-22 Minetta Lane, NYC with pianist Matt Mitchell, drummer Rudy Royston and 20-year-old trumpet prodigy Adam O’Farrill, each of whom appears on Bird Calls, and bassist Chris Tordini. Festival day passes are $35 and two-day passes are $55. For more information, go to http://www.winterjazzfest.com/marathon2

Through a series of critically acclaimed releases over the past decade, Rudresh Mahanthappa has explored the music of his South Indian heritage and translated it through the vocabulary of his own distinctive approach to modern jazz. On his latest release Bird Calls, available February 10, 2015 on ACT, Mahanthappa trains his anthropological imagination on an equally important cultural influence: the music of Charlie Parker. With a stellar quintet of forward-thinking musicians, which includes some long-time collaborators as well as trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, Mahanthappa offers an inspired examination of Bird’s foundational influence and how it manifests itself in a decidedly 21st-century context.

“It’s easy to say that Bird influenced modern music without dissecting that notion,” Mahanthappa says. “If I had any agenda for this album, it was to really demonstrate that. This music says, “˜Yes, Bird’s influence is absolutely indelible, and here’s why.’ This is music that is all directly inspired by Charlie Parker, but it sounds as modern as anything today.” The album is also a passion project for Mahanthappa, who counts Parker as one of his earliest and most enduring inspirations, saying, “Bird has always been a huge influence on me.”

Though it pays homage to one of jazz’s Founding Fathers and arrives at the outset of Charlie Parker’s 95th birthday year, Bird Calls is not a tribute album in the traditional sense. There isn’t a single Parker composition to be found on the album, which consists entirely of new music penned by Mahanthappa for the occasion. But Bird’s DNA is strongly present in every one of these pieces, each of which takes a particular Parker melody or solo as its source of inspiration. Each is then wholly reimagined and recontextualized by Mahanthappa and his quintet which, in addition to O’Farrill (son of pianist and Afro Latin Jazz Alliance founder Arturo O’Farrill), features pianist Matt Mitchell (Dave Douglas, Tim Berne), bassist François Moutin (Jean-Michel Pilc, Martial Solal), and drummer Rudy Royston (Bill Frisell, Dave Douglas).

Take the most obvious example, “Talin is Thinking,” whose title is both a play on “Parker’s Mood” and a loving dedication to Mahanthappa’s two-year-old son. The familiar melody of “Parker’s Mood” is essentially intact, but it is transformed into a more somber, serpentine piece by the removal of Bird’s syncopated rhythmic approach. Less immediately recognizable but similar in approach is “Chillin’,” which asks the instrumentalists to navigate melodies derived from Parker’s “Relaxin’ at Camarillo” both in the written material and in their solos.



“Bird’s solos and heads were very advanced harmonically and rhythmically,” Mahanthappa says. “They’re as cutting edge as anything today, and I always feel like we take that for granted as jazz musicians. We know the melody to “˜Donna Lee’ and we know these classic solos like we know “˜Mary Had a Little Lamb,’ but what if we were to dig deeper? If you take an excerpt of one of his solos in isolation, it’s like 21st-century classical music, with a really modern way of thinking about rhythm and melody and harmony.”

“On the DL,” for example, dissects the melody of Parker’s classic “Donna Lee” and builds an entirely new melody on that foundation. The piece is marked by Mahanthappa’s intricate melodicism and vigorous, shape-shifting rhythmic approach; he and O’Farrill weave their lines together in a spirit that wouldn’t feel unfamiliar to Dizzy and Bird, even if the material itself would certainly sound startling to 1940s ears. Mahanthappa describes the even more breakneck “Both Hands” as “Bird’s melody from “˜Dexterity,’ but with all the rests removed,” and it’s every bit as electrifying as that description implies.

Like countless other pieces before it, “Sure Why Not?” sets an original melody against the harmony of Parker’s “Confirmation,” then disguises its source further by slowing the usually brisk tempo to a tart ballad. “Maybe Later” focuses on Parker’s rhythmic originality, changing the notes to the saxophonist’s famed solo from “Now’s the Time” while keeping the rhythm intact. “Gopuram,” with its Indian raga feel, takes its name from the tower at the entrance of Hindu temples as a play on “Steeplechase” (after prayer, Hindus often circle the temple several times, akin to the circular route of the titular race). The album closes with “Man, Thanks for Coming,” loosely based on “Anthropology.” The CD is punctuated by a series of miniatures called “Bird Calls,” solo, duo and group introductions that allow for more open explorations of the compositions’ thematic material.

Charlie Parker was a key influence for Mahanthappa from the time a junior high music teacher handed him the Parker album Archetypes along with a copy of Jamey Aebersold’s well-known collection of transcriptions, the Charlie Parker Omnibook. “I was blown away,” he recalls. “I couldn’t believe the way he was playing, gorgeous with so much charisma and flying all over the horn. I think hearing Charlie Parker was what planted the first seeds of wanting to do this for the rest of my life. It was very powerful.”

Poring over the transcription book, which listed catalogue numbers for the compositions but not album titles, the young altoist noticed that nearly half of them were accompanied by the label Savoy 2201. Not long after, while searching the bins at a local chain record store, he spotted a copy of the collection Bird: Master Takes ““ and there, on the spine, was the magic number: Savoy 2201. He describes the moment as “like finding the Holy Grail.”

Despite the stunning array of influences that have impacted his playing since that time, Parker has always remained an overweening inspiration. “If I ever feel uninspired or down I can always go back to Charlie Parker,” he says. “That always makes me feel invigorated and joyful about playing jazz and playing the saxophone. I always say that what I play still sounds like Bird, just a little bit displaced. It’s coming from the same language and the same foundations. I feel like I’ve always been playing Bird.”

Hailed by the New York Times as possessing “a roving intellect and a bladelike articulation,” Rudresh Mahanthappa has been awarded a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and commissions from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund, Chamber Music America and the American Composers Forum. He’s also been named alto saxophonist of the year multiple times in DownBeat’s International Critics Poll and by the Jazz Journalists Association. His projects include the multi-cultural hybrids Gamak and Samdhi; the cross-generational alto summit Apex featuring Bunky Green; trios MSG and Mauger; the quintet Dual Identity co-led with fellow altoist Steve Lehman; and Raw Materials, his long-running duo project with pianist Vijay Iyer. Mahanthappa also continues to partner with Pakistani-American guitarist Rez Abbasi and innovative percussionist Dan Weiss in the Indo-Pak Coalition, while giants in both jazz and South Indian music have recognized his success: he was enlisted by Jack DeJohnette for the legendary drummer’s most recent working group, while a collaboration with the renowned Carnatic saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath resulted in Mahanthappa’s critically-acclaimed 2008 CD Kinsmen (Pi).

www.rudreshm.com

Recently Released: Argentina's Panda Elliott - Forastera (Independent)

From a media release:

Recently Released:
Argentina's Panda Elliott - Forastera (Independent)

Buy it now and name your price


Panda Elliot is 3 in 1: woman, band and producer. A fresh new face in the music scene, she recently launched her second album “Forastera”. She is a restless, young Argentine artist who participated in numerous bands across the world (Venezuela, UK, Argentina) before starting her own project in 2011. Composer and guitarist, she consolidated her solo career with “Es mi nombre”, her first album.

After a successful 2014 in which she performed at SXSW, Forastera now reveals a more confident Elliot, well established in her own developing style. A personal evolution from her previous recordings is evident. Elliot perfectly balances her urge to create danceable beats and rhythms with her passion for rock music.

“Forastera” shows a more confident Panda Elliot, well established in her own style. A personal evolution with clear goals: lots of dancing, sensuality and rock & roll. Together with producer Gustavo Montemurro (Ruben Rada, Jaime Roos) and celebrity guests Hugo Fattoruso and Facundo Guevara, “Forastera” is a project full of flavor!

After the eclectic single “Ligerita”, she released “Guerrero”, a rockin’ feminine song that forces you to move your head. “Avanzo” is the hit; “Velocirraptor”, the fun; “Marmol”, the sensibility; and the rest is there to discover and enjoy.

Alt/Indie Rock Recently Released: The Torn Images - Reviver (Independent - November 19, 2014)

Recently Released: The Torn Images - Reviver
(Independent - November 19, 2014)

Buy the CD


Alt/indie rock with a splash of neo-grunge - The Torn Images offer an interesting collection of songs on his latest full-length release, Reviver. Torn Images is the altar ego of Briand Arabaca (vocals/guitar) and he's joined on the release by other artists from his native Orange County, California, including Jonathan O’Brien - bass/guitar/keyboard/percussion (the producer in this project, member of indie rock band Workfriend), Andy Hernandez - guitar (audio monitor/engineer of LA indie rockers Grouplove; past: work with Young The Giant) and Tyler De Young - drums. The album was recorded in August 2014.

Stylistically, the album covers a range of modern rock influences with a retro edge to it. I do hear Blur, Nirvana, and Muse but the vocals owe more than a nod of recognition to the late Layne Staley (Alice in Chains). It works well when it's emotive but risks becoming mannered at times. Musically it's fuzzy guitars, heavy on the rhythm and focusing on the edgy vocal style. Much of it is taken from the harder edge of grunge/rock rather than the pop side of things.

This release is a continuation of The Torn Images' solo career after hooking up with producer Jonathan O'Brien (who recently won the OC Music Awards 2014 "Best Producer") and avant-garde drummer Tyler De Young last year. The combination works well together; De Young's inventive drumming adds texture and a fresh energy to the rock mode. Lyrically, the songs cover a kind of poetic take on real life.

Out of Control (Into the Void) is a stand-out track with its punky, drum driven energy. De Young adds a rhythmic complexity that elevates the music. The release features an interesting production aesthetic - a kind of dry sound that suits the music. Life on a Standstill takes a softer approach with harp-like guitar chords and rat a tat snare drum in a syncopated rhythm that works nicely in contrast with a quavering vocal line. It's evocative.



Tracks like Aimless Breath and Blind Fascination are melodic while still retaining that rock edge. Lost love gets The Torn Images treatment in the song, Never Be The Same Again - less angsty than poetic, letting the throbbing guitar do the emoting. The mood is more trippy on The Elusive Vagabond with a nicely insistent drum line underneath the melody.

With the internet, the world of music is expanding all the time; Reviver is a reminder that with talented musicians you can still get a lot of good mileage out of guitar, drums and voice.

Tracklisting:
1. The Drifting
2. Mantle of Disguise
3. Out of Control (Into The Void)
4. Nearly Lost You
5. Life On A Standstill
6. Aimless Breath
7. Blind Fascination
8. Never Be The Same Again
9. The Elusive Vagabond
10. World of Meaning

Websites:
http://thetornimages.com
https://www.facebook.com/thetornimages
https://twitter.com/TheTornImages
http://artistecard.com/TheTornImages

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Nacional Records Celebrates Grammy Nomination for Ana Tijoux

From a media release:

Nacional Records Celebrates Grammy Nomination for Ana Tijoux

Ana Tijoux Nominated for 'Vengo'
'Vengo' Recently Nominated for a Latin Grammy
Ana Tijoux Recently Won "Record of the Year" Latin Grammy for a Collaboration with Jorge Drexler


Buy the album

LOS ANGELES - Leading independent label Nacional Records is proud to announce a Grammy nomination for Ana Tijoux’s ‘Vengo’ for 'Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album.’

‘Vengo’ debuted #1 on iTunes and has earned strong praise at Newsweek, NPR, Billboard, Spin, Rolling Stone, NY Times and many more outlets around the world.

‘Vengo’ is the follow-up to Ana Tijoux's Grammy and Latin Grammy nominated album 'La Bala,' which was widely celebrated by critics as one of the best albums of the year. The buzz around Ana Tijoux has been steadily building since her Grammy nominated debut ‘1977’ was featured in ‘Breaking Bad,’ ABC’s ‘Dancing With the Stars' and EA Sports’ FIFA video game.  Tijoux is fresh off a Latin Grammy win for a collaboration with Jorge Drexler.

“Tijoux is an artist with the promise to cross borders and genres.” - Billboard

“An arresting and self-possessed performer, an MC with impeccable command and flow,whether she’s urging her now-global audience to speak out against injustice and oppression or riding a languorous, acid-jazz groove…” – Washington Post

Named one of the top indie labels in the U.S. by Billboard, Nacional Records is home to rock, hip-hop and electronic music from across the Americas and around the block.

Ana Tijoux - Somos Sur (Feat. Shadia Mansour)

Christmas at the Riverside Church Harlem NYC - Candlelight Carol Festival December 21 2014

From a media release:

Candlelight Carol Festival
The Riverside Church, an Interdenominational, International and Interracial Congregation
490 Riverside Drive (between 120th & 122nd Streets)
Sunday, December 21 2014
Two Services: 3:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.


Prelude Music:
Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon, 2:30 p.m. and 5:50 p.m.
Handbells, 3:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
Harp & Organ, 3:25 p.m. & 6:25 p.m.

Tickets - ($25 Adults/$15 Seniors/$10 Students/ Children 14 & Under)
• For more information, call (212) 870-6784.

The Candlelight Carol Festival, one of the long-standing Christmas traditions at The Riverside Church, celebrates the beauty of the season through song.  This service of music of light combines carillon, organ, harp, and all of the choirs of The Riverside Church and culminates in a ritual sharing of candlelight illuminating the Nave. Music will include traditional songs and selections by composers Lee Hoiby, Amanda Singer, John Rutter and Francis Poulenc.

The Festival will also include a rainbow of Christmas music as five choirs—The Riverside Choir, Soloists, and Instrumentalists, The Riverside Chamber Singers, The Riverside Inspirational Choir, The Riverside Ringers and The Riverside Children’s Choir—come together for the program.

The Offering - Lee Hoiby
Away in the Manger - Amanda Singer
What Sweeter Music - John Rutter
O Magnum Mysterium  - Francis Poulenc

From the 2011 Christmas Candlelight Carol Festival:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Queens Calling a celebration of eight diverse female choreographers February 6 to 7 2015 at Harbourfront Toronto


From a media release:

dance Immersion proudly presents

Queens Calling
a celebration of eight diverse female choreographers
Friday February 6 to Saturday February 7, 2015
at Harbourfront Toronto


TORONTO - Queens Calling is a celebration of sisterhood, kinship and womanhood from eight dynamic and diverse female choreographers from across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. This powerful performance is part of TD Bank’s Then and Now Series for Black History Month and runs February 6 & 7, 2015 at Harbourfront Centre Theatre (formerly Enwave Theatre).

Queens Calling is dedicated to the 219 girls tragically abducted from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria. It features an inter-generational cast of female choreographers who will captivate and transport audiences with their electrifying work, bringing positive energy to the challenges that still exist for women around the world. Eight acclaimed diverse choreographers grace the stage with works that range in style from Contemporary African and Lindy Hop to Modern and Caribbean.

A taste of Zab Maboungou



Audiences will be taken on an emotional and searingly honest journey by eight outstanding dance artists. Our goal is to celebrate women and bring positive energy to the challenges that still exist for women around the world. Eight acclaimed choreographers - Alesandra Seutin (UK), Charmaine Headley (Toronto), Ghislaine Doté (Montreal), Jasmyn Fyffe (Toronto), Michèle Moss (Calgary), Paulette Brockington (USA), Sharon Harvey (Toronto), Zab Maboungou (Montreal) - will grace the stage with works that include Contemporary African, Lindy Hop, Modern, Caribbean and more. Audiences will embark on an emotional and honest journey with vibrant expressions that celebrate the power of sisterhood, kinship, and womanhood.

A taste of Jasmyn Fyffe

A Toronto Holiday Tradition: Theatre Columbus Presents The Dog & The Angel December 11 to 30 2014

From a media release:

The Dog & The Angel by Martha Ross,
presented by Theatre Columbus
December 11 - 30, 2014
Showtime 7:30pm
Evergreen Brick Works - Toronto

 
The tradition of outdoor theatre returns this season with The Dog & the Angel by Martha Ross, writer of the Multi Dora Award-nominated The Story. Featuring: Leah Cherniak, Paul Rainville, Michael Rinaldi, Courtenay Stevens, Jennifer Villaverde & Connie Wang

Tickets & Show Schedule
Directions & Shuttle Schedule


A play about one family’s annual holiday party run amok; the dog is in a coma, the christmas tree angel is missing and the litigious neighbours threaten to crash the party. Featuring an all star cast, six local choirs and George, the golden doodle.

Written by Martha Ross
Directed by Jennifer Brewin
Music Direction by John Millard

THE TRADITION
Each year, Theatre Columbus produces an outdoor processional plays at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works during the December holidays.

These winter shows explore the role of myths and fables in modern life. Our themes are light and darkness, loneliness and community. We visit old traditions and aim to create news ones, inspired by and about contemporary life. Winter theatre is a combination of cross-country skiing, tobogganing, the sleigh ride, and a hockey game. It is about moving and being together; we march into the darkness and generate light.

Theatre Columbus introduced outdoor winter theatre to Toronto in 2011, at the Evergreen Brick Works. Jennifer had directed, written or produced 12 such shows at the Caravan and for Peter Hinton’s inaugural season at the NAC. Our first show in Toronto was Martha Ross’s The Story, which premiered at the Caravan. It drew strong audiences and garnered great reviews and six Dora nominations, including one award for directing. The Brick Works invited us to present winter shows for the next four years. They provide rehearsal, construction and performance space, as well as limited advertising, and a home-base for the winter show.

THE EXPERIENCE

•Show begins at 7:30pm
•Running time is one hour
•Audiences travel 1km over uneven terrain
•Hot chocolate for sale before the show
•Plenty of bon fires throughout the show
•Heated washrooms are on site
Important Tips!

•Dress warmly, no kidding!
•Wear suitable boots for wet and cold
•Thick socks!
•A good hat that covers the ears
•In the event of rain, the show will be performed indoors

VIDEO: A short story about Theatre Columbus' winter theatre tradition at Toronto's Evergreen Brick Works. Filmed during a performance of Haley McGee's play, "Weather the Weather" in December 2013