From Cuneiform Records:
Raoul Björkenheim / eCsTaSy
eCsTaSy is Raoul Björkenheim’s new electric, ecstatic jazz band, which features some of the younger talents on the Finnish jazz scene. The group consists of Raoul, Pauli Lyytinen (saxophones), Jori Huhtala (contrabass) and Markku Ounaskari (drums) in a repertory of original compositions painting swirling polyrhythms with a free-tonal palette. With influences ranging from Korean and African music to contemporary chamber music, new jazz and free rock, eCsTaSy’s mission is to elevate its audiences with their high energy and dedication to adventurous sound.
Sonar – Static Motion
Sonar is a progressive, post-minimal band from Switzerland. Their name stands for SONic ARchitecture, a name which alludes to their intention of creating polymetric and highly structured avant-rock. Static Motion is Sonar fusing a rigorous minimal esthetic with the power of a rock band, every note and rhythm is precisely composed and performed, all of which are designed to move you from one rhythmic and / or harmonic tension to the next. Sonar is the last word in a rock band that works by building their music out of blocks consisting of slowly rising and unfolding musical tension and relief.
Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek, Tomas Fujiwara: Thumbscrew
While Michael Formanek (double bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums) and Mary Halvorson (guitar) are all known for their prodigious capabilities as leaders/improvisers on the new jazz/new music scene, Thumbscrew is more of a composer’s vehicle. With each musician contributing tunes, Thumbscrew encompasses an array of textures and strategies, while maintaining a consistently open and transparent sound. Generating tremendous intensity without necessarily increasingly volume or density, Thumbscrew buzzes and crackles, burns and croons. As DownBeat says: “…the bonds are already strong.”
The Ed Palermo Big Band – Oh No! Not Jazz!!
Oh No! Not Jazz!! consists of two albums of musical performances. The first further explores Ed’s distinctive, big band interpretations of the music of Frank Zappa and for the most part, he concentrates here on Frank’s initial burst of creative works from original Mothers Of Invention era of 1966-1970. In addition, two notable pieces from later are performed here. One of Frank’s most loved works, “Inca Roads,” with a vocal by guest Napoleon Murphy Brock contrasts with one of his most ‘notoriously difficult’ works, “The Black Page #2.” All of the performances and arrangements of these great pieces are fun, musically witty and masterful. The second album features Ed’s own colorful compositions, which are here featured on a recording for the 1st time in over 25 years!