Cuneiform Records Winter Releases

English: Mike Johnson, composer/guitarist and ...

Source: Cuneiform Records.

The Microscopic Septet – Been up So Long It Looks Like down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues

The Ed Palermo Big Band – The Great Un-american Songbook: Volumes I &Amp; II

Chicago / London Underground – A Night Walking Through Mirrors

Thinking Plague – Hoping Against Hope

Cuneiform’s Winter 2017 releases include 3 jazz titles by The Microscopic Septet, The Ed Palermo Big Band, and Chicago / London Underground; and a rock album by Thinking Plague.

Our new albums by two long-standing and widely beloved NYC-based ensembles – The Microscopic Septet and The Ed Palermo Big Band – should appeal to popular audiences and jazz afficionados alike. A wide embrace is welcome antidote to polarized times. In Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me, The Micros Play the Blues AND jazz, brewing both home-grown musics into an uplifting, surrealistically swinging and distinctly American potion: Great American Music from a city and country that remain Great. To celebrate this release, the Micros (co-led by co-composers Joel Forrester and Australia-based Phillip Johnston) will reunite in April 2017 for record release gigs in NYC (Smalls’ Jazz Club, 4/1+2/17) and at The Falcon in Beacon, NY (4/6/17).

In the double-disc release, The Great Un-American Songbook: Volumes I & II, the distinctly American Ed Palermo Big Band smiles broadly and takes a determined Anglophile stance. Palermo selected his favorite tunes from across several decades and styles of British pop and rock and playfully re-arranged them for his 18 piece jazz big band. EPBB will present record release parties at both NYC’ The Iridium (2/11/17) and The Falcon (2/13/17) that will undoubtedly be highly entertaining events.

Fans of experimental jazz and improv will welcome our release by Rob Mazurek’s new Chicago/London Underground, an Anglo-American augmentation of his longstanding Chicago Underground Duo with Chad Taylor, featuring British improvisors Alexander Hawkins and John Edwards. Called A Night Walking Through Mirrors, the album transcends genre, national and sonic borders; Mazurek’s visionary 21st century trans-global music serves as antidote and antithesis to a dystopian future with medieval walls.

Last but not least, our February 2017 releases include Thinking Plague, a Denver-based post-rock group led by composer Mike Johnson. Their music – sometimes described as avant progessive or Rock in Opposition – fuses rock and classical influences, instrumentation and vocals. Hoping Against Hope provides us with an example of how to survive 2017’s Strange New World, making poetry amidst poison: “The Great Leap Backward” laments a “rising tide of ignorance” and a time “When commerce swallows culture”.