Friday, November 10, 2017

Ernesto Cervini's sextet Turboprop new release "REV"..cross-border jazz collaboration

Ernesto Cervini and his sextet Turboprop have released their much anticipated sophomore album, Rev on ANZIC Records.  Following the critical and popular success of their eponymous debut, Rev will continue to cement their reputation as one of the top cross-border jazz collaborations.  The band features top jazz musicians from two of North America’s most vibrant jazz cities:  Tara Davidson on Alto and Soprano Saxophones (Toronto), Joel Frahm on Tenor Saxophone (New York), William Carn on Trombone (Toronto), Adrean Farrugia on Piano (Toronto), Dan Loomis on Bass (New York) and Ernesto Cervini on Drums (Toronto).

Turboprop has already toured Canada multiple times, and they have thrilled audiences from coast to coast; 

“Turboprop demonstrates a wide range of stylistic personas, extending from elegantly crafted orchestrations that make the most out of the presence of three horns to rhythmically crafty outings that catapult the horns into cacophonous crescendos. Cervini's programming was audience-pleasing from beginning to end. The performance was an audacious adventure and fittingly symbolized the fresh outlook and virtuosic musicianship Turboprop is becoming noted for.” Mark Holston – Live Review in All About Jazz 

As Cervini states, “although I am the band-leader, Turboprop truly feels like a collective due to the passion, commitment and love everybody brings to each performance.”  This passion and commitment is front and centre on Rev as each member of the band is given an opportunity to shine, and they all deliver poignant and memorable musical moments.  

Highlights from Rev include Granada Bus, a propulsive a rhythmic piece composed by Cervini.  Inspired by real life, it mimics the dynamic energy of a Spanish bus stop.  The title-track is a rip-roaring affair which features Cervini alone with the horn section.  It was conceived while Cervini was on a walk in Toronto, and is inspired by the busy sounds of Toronto traffic.  

Cervini also features the compositional talents of three of his band mates.  The album opens with The Libertine by Adrean Farrugia.   The song features strong solo moments by Cervini (to open the piece), Farrugia and Frahm, who solos over a raucous groove laid down by the rhythm section.  Dan Loomis pens Ranthem, and anthemic and fun romp, and William Carn contributes Arc of Instability, an epic journey inspired by the American political system that is well worth it’s 9 minutes for the swinging shuffle at the end.

Lastly, the album features three “covers”; Pennies from Heaven, dedicated to Cervini’s 1 year-old daughter, Penelope; No Rain, a great 1990’s hit from Blind Melon; and The Daily Mail, a “b-side” by Radiohead which features a wonderful solo bass intro by Loomis.  

More on Ernesto Cervini: Drummer-composer Ernesto Cervini is making a name for himself as a consummate bandleader and in-demand collaborator, praised for his deep musicality and infectious energy. Downbeat described his fluid style as one that “exemplifies ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’.” Modern Drummer said: “Cervini recalls such old-schoolers as Art Blakey and Billy Higgins… It’s his robust, magnetic personality that fascinates consistently.” After releasing three quartet discs, Cervini made his latest venture a sextet album, with Turboprop released by Anzic Records in 2015. The Ottawa Citizen said: “With his fourth disc, Cervini has strikingly raised his game... With its fetching writing for horns, palpable sense of team spirit, highly focused solos and varied emotional depths, Turboprop is full of jazz pleasures.” 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Pianist Teri Parker new album release "In the Past"...refreshing and playful

Recently released is the refreshing and playful new album from Toronto-area pianist Teri Parker entitled "In the Past".  

Stream and download the album on Bandcamp HERE

The album is a collection of instrumental songs; from nostalgic and mellow to rhythmically driving and harmonically adventurous, and the song titles allude to characters or places in novels that inspired many of the compositions. Majnoun for example is the name of the central character in the novel Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis.  Many of these songs were written during an extremely inspired period in Parker’s life, when she was living in New York City, and studying with some incredible musicians, Aaron Goldberg, Guillermo Klein, Fred Hersch and Sophia Rosoff. 

Teri Parker is a jazz pianist, keyboardist and composer based in Toronto. In addition to leading her own quartet, she also co-leads the Parker Abbott Trio with pianist Simeon Abbott. Both of these groups play frequently in jazz clubs in Toronto and feature all original music. She is also a member of several other bands including Idioteque (Canada’s finest Radiohead tribute band) and the DeHarms (with singer-songwriter Carlie Howell). As a composer Teri actively writes for her own bands, and in 2015 received a Toronto Arts Council grant to write new music for her quartet, which can be heard on this, their debut album.

With the Parker Abbott Trio, Teri has released three albums; Gallery in 2011, The Wayfinders in 2014 and Elevation in 2016. Their latest release took them across Canada, performing at clubs and festivals coast to coast, from Hermann’s in Victoria, BC to the Halifax Jazz Festival. Their music has been called “an ethereal wonderland of sound and texture” (Brent Black, Bop-N-Jazz) and take improvisational music into new areas of exploration.

More videos on YouTube channel HERE

Official website:

Monday, October 9, 2017

Toronto-based collective, Collective Order, new release "Volume Two"..multi-talented collaboration

Volume Two is the first all-original album by Collective Order. The band initially formed in 2016 to make Volume One, a self-produced recording of jazz standards. Upon releasing the album they realized the potential the project had to be a diving board for collaboration and creativity. For many of the band members, Volume Two was their first opportunity to compose/arrange music for a full-length studio album. Drawing from a roster of nineteen musicians, each track features diverse instrumentation within ensembles that span from a quartet to a thirteen-piece. Volume Two provides the listener with an eclectic musical experience, offering a vast and varied stylistic range.  Every member of the group is under the age of 30, although the music defies their collective youth!  

It all started in the kitchen of a house in the heart of Toronto. There was a jam space in the basement and five rooms rented out by a rotating cast of musicians. This was the scene of many late nights spent drinking glasses of red wine talking about how the gig went. Between the players who lived there and the ones who just came to hang, a significant part of the Toronto jazz community had shared moments listening to records, trading thoughts on music, and expressing their goals. One of those goals was to get a group of players together to record an album of standards. The idea was to go into the studio and try to capture the magic that happens when players who have never met get on a stage, choose a standard they all know, and then somehow make it come to life. Last year, we made that record.

Stream and download the album on iTunes HERE


Official website:

After releasing ‘Volume One’, we had seventeen musicians that were keen to do it again, only this time with original compositions. The ensemble grew with the addition of Jocelyn Barth and Nebyu Yohannes and then, with our crew of nineteen, the planning for ‘Volume Two’ began. For many of us, this album is our debut as composers, arrangers, lyricists, and producers. This newness brought an exciting energy to the project and with the shared experience of making an album together already, we had developed a strong sense of community. There was collaboration, creativity, and input at every step of the process, which led to the album you’re holding right now. 

Community is the prevailing theme of our project. Looking ahead, we hope that Collective Order will continue to become more inclusive and reflective of the musical and cultural diversity that Toronto has to offer.

Volume Two was released worldwide on Friday, September 29, 2017. The release will be celebrated with a performance at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Instrumental group Hutera from Helsinki, Finland debut release "Here It Is"...R'n'B, Jazz, Funk, Soul

Founded in 2011, Hutera is a Helsinki-based rhythm & jazz band with a groovy attitude. The musicians are hard working professionals, known from all sorts of different groups. (Marjo Leinonen Huff 'n' Puff, White Knuckles Trio, Lenni-Kalle Taipale Trio etc.)

The debut album consists of 10 new instrumenal songs, all written by the band members. One can here different styles from rhythm & blues and jazz to funk and soul. All of the songs were recorded live in studio.

The album was released as a LP-record and digitally. (one extra track on digital release).

Johannes Salomaa: Saxophones, flute
Petri Pietilä: Guitar
Risto Kumpulainen: Keayboards
Timo Tuppurainen: Bass
Niklas Ahlsved: Drums
Markus Jaatinen: Percussions

Recording & mixing: Niklas Ahlsved, Paahtimo.
Mastering: Hannu Lamminmäki
Cover art: Matias Nystedt

Vasara Records

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bassist Mike Downes' new album release Root Structure....exploring lyrical compositions

The much anticipated new album from Canadian bassist Mike Downes entitled Root Structure is set for release.  Featuring four of Canada’s top jazz musicians – Mike Downes (JUNO award winner 2014), Robi Botos (JUNO award winner 2016), Ted Quinlan (JUNO nomination 2003) and Larnell Lewis (Grammy award winner with Snarky Puppy 2017), “Root Structure” explores lyrical compositions with a deep underlying structural integrity. 

Downes undertook an extensive study of large ensemble writing (including the work of Gil Evans and Maria Schneider), culminating in a Master’s degree in composition and the release of his recording “In the Current,” (Addo Records, 2014) featuring a 12-piece chamber jazz ensemble. Inspired by new approaches to form, structure and the interweaving of improvisation and melodic development, Mike brought these ideas into his latest quartet recording.

In music and life, I’ve always been interested in what lies beneath the surface: the underlying structures that hold everything together, the strength that resides deep down. The music in this recording was composed and performed in this spirit.  - Mike Downes

The Mike Downes Quartet has been performing in various incarnations since the mid-90's. The original quartet toured Canada extensively and recorded their first album “Forces” (A & M Counterpoint, 1995) to great acclaim. This was followed by “Then” and “The Winds of Change.” Downes formed a new trio/quartet in 2012 and released “Ripple Effect” (Addo Records, 2013) which won a JUNO Award in 2014. His next recording “In the Current,” (Addo Records, 2014) featured compositions for a 12-piece chamber jazz ensemble, and his latest recording “Root Stucture” brings a return to the quartet format.

Downes has been active as a bassist, composer, arranger and educator since the 1980s, performing with visiting artists such as Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, John Abercrombie, Peter Erskine, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Dave Liebman, Jack Dejohnette and with virtually all of Canada's top jazz musicians, including Oliver Jones, PJ Perry, Renee Rosnes, Don Thompson, Terry Clarke, Guido Basso and Pat LaBarbera. His musicality, emotional depth and melodic approach to the bass have thrilled audiences in Europe, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Iceland, the United States and Canada. 

Root Structure will be released internationally on September 27th, 2017 and will be celebrated with 2 nights performance at the Rex Hotel and Jazz Bar in Toronto, Canada on Thursday, September 28th and Friday, September 29th.  

Find out more on the official website:

download FREE information sheet HERE

Friday, September 8, 2017

Creative new album from Swiss jazz trio VEIN entitled VEIN plays Ravel

Announcing an incredible and breathtakingly creative new album from Swiss trio, VEIN entitled VEIN plays Ravel.  Since forming more than 10 years ago, VEIN has played over 450 shows around the world, with many guests including Dave Liebman and Greg Osby.  Now, this genre-bending trio turns their focus towards the works of the impressionistic French  composer Joseph Maurice Ravel.  The album features one of Europe's greatest voices on the saxophone, Andy Sheppard.

Ravel is an obvious choice for VEIN.  One of the most enigmatic figures of classical music, his compositions share much common ground with their soundscape. Ravel lived in an era during which tradition transitioned into abstract modernity, just as VEIN breaks new ground without rejecting the traditional values of jazz. Likewise, Ravel encompassed many styles of music into his compositions including baroque, Spanish music and jazz. VEIN's influences are similarly multifaceted. 

Check out the video about the album here...

....and a video about working with Saxophonist Andy Sheppard here..


You can find out more on the official website:  

There certainly is no special need any more to mention the fact that today most jazz piano trios are deeply attached to musical interplay (even though this fact should never be taken for granted!)  And yet, even with the most subtle, most distinguished form of interplay, there is always one in the trio who plays the part of the primus inter pares – the pianist, of course (usually and by definition leader of the group).  

That's exactly where pianist Michael Arbenz, drummer Florian Arbenz and bassist Thomas Lähns come up with their own idea of musical interplay. In fact, what they aim to achieve with their music - their understanding of music - is nothing less than the greatest possible balance of their three voices - starting with the way they work out their own compositions and arrangements, and going right through to the soloistic parts, fully assigned to all three of them.  The result is a stupendous musical togetherness, packed with surprising melodic, rhythmic and dynamic turns, played with highest precision even in the most complex, distorted and twisted passages of their compositions, arrangements and solos.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Pianist Jamie Reynolds' new release Grey Mirror, featuring Matt Stevens and The Westerlies

Grey Mirror is the incredible new album from Toronto-born, NYC-based pianist Jamie Reynolds. Melding the modern jazz sounds of his trio (with special guest Matthew Stevens on guitar) with the intimate sounds of brass quartet, The Westerlies, Grey Mirror is an awesome collection of original music that takes the listener on a sonic journey through consonance and dissonance, the harsh and the smooth, the spontaneous and the carefully wrought. The album is an incredible mix of driving modern jazz and beautiful brass playing as the 2 bands take turns with beautiful and creative renditions of Reynolds' compositions. 

“Instead of writing new pieces for The Westerlies to play, I wanted to see what it would be like to hear the same songs expressed from two angles on the same record. Hence the mirror-image nature; the versions by the brass and the jazz quartet are recognizably the same song, but could not be more different in timbre and feeling. There is consonance and dissonance, the harsh and the smooth, the spontaneous and the carefully wrought." - Jamie Reynolds

Jamie Reynolds is a Canadian pianist, keyboardist and composer who has lived in New York City since 2005. He graduated with honors from the University of Toronto in 2004, where he studied with David Braid, Mike Murley, Phil Nimmons, and many others. Jamie moved to New York in 2005 to study privately with Fred Hersch and Craig Taborn. He has performed at New York's top jazz clubs and has toured extensively in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, including a performance at the Newport Jazz Festival.

Since moving to New York, Jamie has collaborated with many wonderful musicians, including the jazz saxophonist Rob Scheps, of whose Core-tet Jamie is a longstanding member; the singer/performer Laila Salins, whose album “Elevator Into the Sky” set the poetry of Anne Sexton to music; the bassist and composer Michael Oien; the Emmy-winning Irish tenor Michael Londra and many others. 

Jamie released his debut album, “Time with People”, an acoustic piano trio recording of original music, in 2012. His second,“Counterpart”, features electric instruments and effects and was self-released in 2013.  Jamie lives in the Bronx with his wife, singer Melissa Stylianou, and their young son. 

Find out more and sample the music on the official website:

Stream and download "Counterpart" on Bandcamp HERE

Grey Mirror will be released worldwide on the Fresh Sound New Talent label on Friday, August 4th, 2017.