Tomchess Podcast 211

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As NYC and the world woke up to the results of an election, we gathered, as always, on Wednesday night, our inclusive, diverse music scene taking on a new meaning.    Tomchess and his quartet rose to the occasion and captured the moment with stunning soulful maquam based compositions informed by the free jazz improvisations of of Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane.  Hear the beauty and the promise from this set at the Art Cafe.

Tomchess – Oud, Ney Morsing, Composer
Zachary Swanson – Upright Bass
Abraham Faure Mennon – Tenor Sax
Dan Kurfirst – Drums/percussion

NYC based Multi-instrumentalist/improviser/composer Tomchess has played and recorded with some of the heaviest players in the improvisational scene (Dewey Redman, Butch Morris, Pharoah Sanders, Drew Gress, Ronald Shannon Jackson), as well as Morrocan Sintarist Hassan Hakmoun. Having deeply studied the Near Eastern, and North African traditions he incorporated the tonal palette, rhythms, and forms of these traditional musics while never losing sight of his American roots and the importance and freedom of improvising. He has performed in Africa, Canada, Holland, India and Italy. He has performed at Lincoln Center, The David Rubinstein Atrium, The Turkish Embassy, The Pakastani Embassy, the Asian Society, The Natural History Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, The Himalayan Museum of Art and The United Nations among countless other venues in NYC and the United States.

“…Chess is a superfine improviser with total command of his instrument…Chess leads the group through a buoyant assortment of song-forms as they sustain a high level of interest amid a suspenseful sequence of progressions…. They also mix it up in a jazzy sort of way. …one of those magical efforts….They hit all the right spots while kicking out the proverbial jams via a fresh slant that yields gratifying results. ”

-Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz.

Zachary Swanson is a double bassist residing in Brooklyn, NY. Using gut strings and a personalized technique, Zachary has developed a conception of the double bass that heightens the integrity of various musical environments. Zachary attended Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with double bassist Michael Formanek and saxophonist Gary Thomas.

Abraham Mennen is a South African saxophonist, improvisor and composer currently living in New York. He mostly plays free jazz, improvised and experimental music. Abraham has worked with Louis Moholo, William Parker, Joe Morris, John Lockwood, Herbie Tsoaeli, Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan and many others.

Dan Kurfirst is an NYC based percussionist, composer and improviser. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, His playing incorporates aspects of Middle Eastern, West African and Indian music, while being clearly rooted in the American traditions he grew up with. He regularly performs with top musicians in NYC’s world-music scene including Tomchess, Matt Darriau, Gabriel Marin, Brian Prunka, Brandon Terzic and Kane Maths. Dan currently serves as creative director of the American Sufi Project, a cross cultural, interfaith ensemble dedicated to re-interpreting traditional Sufi music in a modern context.

 

Dan Weiss Teen Taal Drumset Solo – Ragas Live Festival #4 Podcast 209

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itunes-button1The fourth set of the historic, Ragas Live Festival 2016, live at Pioneer Works.  Dan Weiss (Drumset) and Michael Gam (bass).

Weiss has been studying tabla and Indian classical music with his Guru (teacher) Samir Chatterjee since 1998. With his Tintal Drum set Solo,  Dan takes the concept of a traditional Indian tabla solo and migrates it to a conventional drum set.

When listening to Tintal Drum set Solo, the trick is to reverse more conventional roles. Whereas, in a typical Western context, one would expect the guitar or bass to be the melodic centre and the drums to be the rhythmic support, here one needs to place Weiss’ kit up front, with the other melodic instruments in the supporting role.

Ragas Live Festival 2016 is produced with the support of The Rubin Museum of Art

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Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound

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itunes-button1AMIR ElSaffar

 Amir ElSaffar brings his deep knowledge of Iraqui maqam to the context of jazz, creating a fresh, new, vibrant style of music.  The multi-instrumentalist (vocalist, trumpet player and dulcimer) joined me for an intimate, at home, interview.  He shares tracks from his stunning new album Crisis. His  17 piece ensemble is coming to Pioneer Works this Friday!

Arun Ramamurthy Trio -Ragas Live Festival # 3 Podcast 198

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itunes-button1The thrid set of the historic, Ragas Live Festival 2016, live at Pioneer Works. Arun Ramamurthy (violin), Sameer Gupta (tabla), Perry Wortman (bass).

The Arun Ramamurthy Trio (ART) performs Jazz Carnatica. Rooted in the style of the virtuoso violinist Dr. Mysore Manjunath, Arun brings a fresh approach to the age-old South Indian classical repertoire. The trio’s collaborative sound is driven by the propulsive rhythm section of drummer Sameer Gupta & and bassist Perry Wortman. The Carnatic canon is remixed in this seamless integration of styles as the group expands on the traditional compositions in explosive, improvisational flights of fancy. Arun’s original compositions pay homage to Carnatic rhythmic structures and rich tonalities while expanding the music with a modern jazz backbeat.

Ragas Live Festival 2016 is produced with the support of The Rubin Museum of Art

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The Raga Jazz Messengers Podcast 177

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itunes-button1Recorded a few days ago at Brooklyn Raga Massive’s weekly concert and and jam session at  ShapeShifter Lab, this set of music suggests new directions in the  between raga and jazz.

It will be broadcast in New York City, on Sunday Dec. 6 on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY 7-9PM and stream at www.wkcr.org

In the 1960’s, led by the Art Blakey, The Jazz Messengers led the movement of hard bop which returned the music to its blues and gospel roots.     The Raga Jazz Messengers too are exploring soulful territories, blues, swing and different emotional spaces which are not often associated with Indian-Jazz collaborations.

The Jazz Messengers are, Sameer Gupta, drums; Jay Gandhi, Bansuri, Pawan Benjamin – Saxophone, Sharik Hasan, Piano and Michael Gam, Bass.

 

Hadar Noiberg Trio Live – Podcast 175

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itunes-button1To celebrate the upcoming release of her new album, From the Ground Up.    musical polymath Hadar Noiberg brought her trio to Continental Records, to record a special live set just for us!  This special podcast will also broadcast this week on the radio,  WKCR 89.9 FM-NY and stream www.wkcr.org at 11pm EST on November 8.

It was really exciting to have her bring in an all star band:

With Phil Duke at the controls, we recorded 4 songs with Hadar Noiberg (flutes), Allison Miller (drums)  and Haggai Cohen Milo, Double Bass.   We also hung out with Hadar as she shares some gems from wide and varied musical journeys.