Newvelle Live – Incredible artists. Live in studio.

After a year of having to suffer without live music, our friends at Newvelle Records have found a solution: Newvelle Live. Newvelle is giving music lovers around the world a front row seat to live, jazz concerts, brought to you from their favorite recording studio, East Side Sound! This is a wonderful opportunity to join in on a unique experience, enjoy world-class performances, and support talented artists. 
 
Continue reading to find out all of the details you need to participate in these fantastic events. 


What is Newvelle Live?

Every week in April 2021, Newvelle invites you to experience live concerts at our favorite studio – East Side Sound – where we’ve recorded each of our first five seasons. But for the first time, you’ll have a chance to see Newvelle artists perform, streaming to wherever you are in the world.

With live performances all but eliminated due to the pandemic, Newvelle Live gives you a novel way to support artists and institutions who are preserving the legacy of jazz for a new generation. Anyone can join. All we ask is that you consider making a contribution to support the musicians performing every Friday in April. Contributions will be divided equally among the 12 artists performing throughout the series.

Newvelle, thanks to the generous support of musician and entrepreneur Alex Rigopolous, covers the entire overhead for producing and recording this series. So all of the money that is donated for this streaming series goes straight to the musicians.

This series is designed as a radical experiment: one that explores the relationship between musician and fan, and an attempt to strengthen our communities and support musicians at a critical time.

As society slowly starts to spin forward again, we are given a chance to reassess how we value music.


John Patitucci, Yotam Silberstein and Roggerio Bocato: April 9
Tim Berne and Gregg Belisle-Chi: April 16
Rufus Reid and Sullivan Fortner: April 23

Carmen Staff and Allison Miller:  April 30

www.newvelle-records.com


Nordost Playlist – April 2021

Nordost is happy that we can continue to make our time spent at home a little more enjoyable with the gift of great music. Our products aim to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. Like you, we here at Nordost are music lovers. Each one of us has our own style… we listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone. 

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this April.


You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  | SPOTIFY  |  QOBUZ


  1. FREEDOM—Jon Batiste—WE ARE 
  2. Pay Your Way In Pain—St. Vincent—Pay Your Way In Pain 
  3. It Might as Well Be Spring—Nina Simone—Portrait 
  4. À l’ammoniaque / Mon dieu—La Zarra—À l’ammoniaque / Mon dieu
  5. Days Like This—Van Morrison—Days Like This
  6. Take Me to the Good Times—The Suffers—Take Me to the Good Times 
  7. Colors—Black Pumas—Black Pumas 
  8. Under Pressure—Karen O, Willie Nelson—Under Pressure
  9. The Steps—HAIM—Women In Music Pt. III
  10. Waiting for the Sun—The Doors—Morrison Hotel 

Nelson Brill Reviews New Jazz Orchestra Performances You Can Listen To At Home

Real music lovers can find the melody in everything. From the park to the concert hall, our friend Nelson Brill is always on the hunt for great sound. In this blog, Nelson recommends some exceptional jazz artists to get an authentic live experience in the comfort of your own home.  


JOYS OF HOME LISTENING: BIG ENSEMBLE JAZZ TAKES CENTER STAGE

By Nelson Brill March 2, 2021

There’s something elemental, grooving and beautiful in the panorama of colors and sounds that flourish in a jazz orchestra performance. When recorded with care and experienced on a high quality home audio system, the kaleidoscope of sounds from a jazz orchestra immerses the listener in a special way. The following are a few delectable new recordings, in audiophile quality sound, that bring the blaze and inspired sweep of big band jazz into joyful focus.

First off is a CD that I reviewed in 2019 and continue to return to for its superb sound and its striding-forth grooves. Intrepid pianist and composer Ellen Rowe leads her stellar all-women Octet on Momentum – Portraits of Women In Motion [Smoking Sleddog Records; www.ellenrowe.com] in performance of originals that combine Rowe’s soulful lyricism with her playful joy. Great examples are the soulful opening “Ain’t I A Woman”, (a slow grooving pageant propelled by Tia Fuller’s leaping alto saxophone, Marion Hayden’s rubbery bass and Melissa Gardiner’s powerful trombone) and the churning gem “R.F.P. (Relentless Forward Progress)” riding on the steady pulse of Allison Miller’s creative percussive engine, her sparkling cymbals precise and light. Other highlights include the swank and swing of “The Soul Keepers” and the grooving pluckiness of “Game, Set and Match” (with Fuller’s alto sax and Ingrid Jensen’s trumpet crisp and funky in their blurting play).

Tia Fuller: montereyjazzfest

Rowe is also interested in exploring the soft incandescent side of her soulful melodies, as on her beautifully flowing “Anthem” (slowly unfurling on Janelle Reichman’s sweet clarinet) and on the stately “The Guardians” propelled on the quiet bombast of Lisa Parrott’s baritone saxophone and Rowe’s twinkling piano (with Miller’s crisp cymbals always in stride). The recording delivers all of the up-front sparkle and layered tactile flow of this big band in confident bold flight.

Dina Regine photo

Another gifted woman composer exploring the rich palette of the jazz orchestra is the incomparable Maria Schneider, whose original music casts a mesmerizing spell in its combination of unkempt beauty, glittering palette and underlying power of its narratives. The superlative “Maria Schneider Orchestra” (“MSO”) is composed of musicians who have been playing with Schneider for years, many of whom are gifted composers, teachers and band leaders in their own endeavors.

Frank Kimbrough- New York Times

One of the MSO’s original members was the brilliant pianist, teacher and composer, Frank Kimbrough, whose sudden recent passing was a great loss to the jazz community. Kimbrough has a rich discography of his own that is worth exploring. For instance, Kimbrough was the inspired force behind one of my favorite LP labels, Newvelle Records, (check out their full subscription series catalogue at: www.newvellerecords.com) and was the first artist to record on Newvelle Records with his glowing 2015 recording, Meantime.

Another wonderful recording of Kimbrough’s is his camaraderie with the spirited tenor saxophonist, Noah Preminger, on Preminger’s quietly intrepid 2011 CD, Before The Rain [Palmetto Records; www.noahpreminger.com]. On this stellar recording, take a listen to the entangled beauty of Preminger’s lustrous breathy sax with Kimbrough’s soft punctuated rambles on his piano, accompanied by an ace rhythm section of drummer Matt Wilson and bassist John Hebert. Preminger’s burly high calls and creative tumbles nestle beautifully within Kimbrough’s dulcet piano explorations as they explore together the colorful windswept territory of Preminger’s vital, slow-brewing ballads.

I can also recall in my mind’s eye Kimbrough’s fantastic performance as a member of the MSO in their reveling concert held on a glorious summer night at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood (www.tanglewood.org) a few years ago. On this special night, Schneider conducted the MSO in inspired fashion in performance of selections from their boundless recording, The Thompson Fields [ArtistShare; www.artistshare.com], still a favorite of mine in Schneider’s oeuvre. I can still recall the sound of Kimbrough’s piano twinkling in the rear of Ozawa Hall with his notes dancing in inventive dash and sunniness into the quicksilver acoustic of that glorious space.

Schneider and the MSO have now released a new 2- CD set of music, Data Lords, [ArtistShare; available exclusively at www.mariaschneider.com] and luckily for us, this new recording was produced before Kimbrough’s passing so we still get the chance to relish hearing Kimbrough’s artistry with his compatriots in the MSO. Data Lords, like its predecessor, The Thompson Fields, is a beautifully conceived package. Its striking graphic design is by Cheri Dorr; its fascinating artwork (prints of glowing leafs made from acrylic and gouache on masonite) is by artist Aaron Horkey and its inviting session photography is by photographer Briene Lermitte. The entire physical package is a joy to handle and explore, testament to the great craft and care given to this ArtistShare project.

The music of Data Lords is another dynamic work of art from the intrepid Schneider and the gifted musicians of her simpatico MSO. Schneider is focused on the nuances of her themes (our “Digital World” on CD #1 and “Our Natural World” on CD #2) where one might hear upbeat melodies (forging human connection and uplift) in the same measures as more prickly themes and forces that inhabit the beautiful tumult of her music.

Wall Street Journal

For instance, on the “Digital World” side, Schneider composes “A World Lost” with lines of soulful, poignant beauty rising and falling against slow, unfolding mysterious forces of vastness and struggle, building upon Kimbrough’s soft repeating piano figures, Jay Anderson’s deep arco bass, Ben Monder’s electric guitar (like streaks across a night sky) and Rich Perry’s arching tenor sax. All this tension (between contrasting forces of beauty, human potential and struggle) are also embedded in the rambunctious pounces of Schneider’s “Don’t Be Evil,” a defiant indictment of corporate overlords (as Schneider discusses in compelling linear notes) with its spiraling Ryan Keberle trombone solo; Monder’s sweeping angular guitar spread (over a contorted version of “Taps”) accompanied by stomping brass in cacophonous up-roar. “Sputnik” is laced with the eerie beauty and vastness of space with the kinetic Scott Robinson carousing and fluttering deep on his inventive baritone sax, its path lit by the MSO rich brass choruses and Jonathan Blake’s sparkling cymbals. The title piece concludes the first disc in another blaze of colors slippery between the possibilities of human advance and connection (in the unspooling heights of Dave Pietro’s burning alto solo), and a vision of a robotic- dominated future portrayed by Mike Rodriguez’s acerbic trumpet tinged with electronic effects.

Schneider’s vision of our “Natural World” (on disc #2) also gushes with vital forces. On “Sanzenin”, the sparks of Gary Versace’s lithe accordion flow through a shimmering landscape of woodwind and brass colors (to paint Schneider’s leisurely stroll through a masterful Japanese garden) and on “Look Up”, Marshall Gilkes’ golden trombone leaps and falls (amongst brass choruses and Blake’s cymbal and snare flings) to offer beautiful lyrical wonderings inspired by Schneider’s own joys in taking time to stroll and observe Nature. Schneider’s pulsating landscape of colors on “Look Up” and “Braided Together”, a beautiful little ode (floating on the pulses of Kimbrough’s player piano and Pietro’s glowing sax) to the inspired writings of Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Ted Kooser, all remind me too of the indelible images of Nature by the writer Annie Dillard, from her eloquent classic, Pilgrim At Tinker Creek [Harpers Press, 1974). At one point, Dillard describes how she sees “the tree with the lights in it” – revealing the complexity and beauty of Nature all around us when we take the time to stop and look. Schneider’s “Look Up” and her “Bluebird” (another swirling colorful ode to birdwatchers and preservers of Nature everywhere buoyed by Steve Wilson’s shining, romping alto sax), is on a similar quest to get us to stop, look, refresh and contemplate.

Donny McCaslin – KNEX.org

Sitting at the final turn of Data Lords is “The Sun Waited For Me”, a slow- brewing marvel grounded in the MSO’s regal brass power flowing underneath the passion of Gilkes’ trombone and Donny McCaslin’s charging tenor sax. I have had the good fortune of catching McCaslin at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston (“NEC”) in celebration of his music with the students of the NEC Jazz Orchestra and it is always a joy to hear his creative solo inventions. Here, on “The Sun,” McCastlin gifts us with his swanking R&B and bluesy side with his tenor sax pumping and soaring in dance with Schneider and her vital MSO – upwards and onwards in sunny glory.

Saxophonists Steve Wilson and Dave Pietro, both long time members of the MSO, have also jumped on board to contribute their impeccable swinging presences to another new big ensemble recording, one that shines with the grooving delights of classic big band jazz. On his new 2-disc recording, New Life [Jazz House Records;], legendary guitarist Peter Leitch leads the Peter Leitch New Life Orchestra in performance of originals and standards in rollicking, high-energy fashion. The recording quality here is superb with particular kudos to the recording team for ensnaring all the colors of a sprawling big ensemble (spread on a nicely lateral and impressively deep soundstage), with each player imaged and positioned in their own natural space and air. All instruments have a vivid, dynamic presence on this recording with excellent tactile detail and crisp timbres (with the only exception being Peter Zak’s twinkling piano set back a bit too distant to hear his instrument’s full weight and body).

Leitch’s originals teem with fresh combinations of sounds and colors. He has this great feel in his music to allow the space and time for his intrepid musicians to stretch out and frolic in each other’s company. For instance, if you are into trombone glory, look no further than Leitch’s soulful “Back Story”, combining the unique colors of bass trombone, (plied in growling glory by Max Siegel- testing your loudspeaker’s woofers at every glorious plunge!) with Matt Haviland’s regal trombone in a stirring, bluesy promenade. Other great highlights are the two grooving Leitch originals that launch each set, “Mood for Max (For Dr. Maxim Kreditor)” and “Exhilaration”, both frolicking with loose and grooving solos from Wilson’s cascading alto sax; Zak on his nimble, expressive keys and Duane Eubanks on crisp, soaring trumpet (contrasted nicely with the mellow hues of Bill Mobley’s flugelhorn).

Duane Eubanks -Allaboutjazz.com

Leitch also brings an agile compositional touch to his creative ballads. For instance, he blends the soft lilt of Tim Harrison’s flute with deep brass choruses and an inspired soprano sax solo from Wilson to propel the surging and beautiful ballad, “Elevanses.” Leitch’s “Long Walk Home” is the capstone highlight to this generous set of music. Its laid-back jam session feel gives everyone a chance to step out and soar, aided by the supple and pungent bass work of Yoshi Waki (whose lines are beautifully recorded here without compression), and the anchored-down foundation of drummer Joe Strasser’s creative stick work. This is one gushing joy ride of big band boogie and buoyant companionship swinging under Leitch’s inspired baton.

And, speaking of a gush of joy, lets end this big band home listening session with a boisterous, brilliant big band treat from another of our jazz treasures, bassist extraordinaire Christian McBride, leading his gleeful Big Band on their rollicking new recording, For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver [Mack Avenue Records; www.mackavenue.com].

Christian McBride: observer.com

Similar to Leitch’s New Life recording, McBride also focuses on placing a small core of players within the context of a big band sound to explore all the glowing funk and grooves in this rich chemistry. Joining McBride’s prodigious bass in his small core of players is the swashbuckling organ of Joey DeFrancesco, the intrepid, spinning guitar of Mark Whitfield and the sparkling drums of Quincy Phillips. This zestful quartet perform alone on a few swanking numbers on this new disc, including a breezy version of Freddie Hubbard’s “Up Jumped Spring” (lightly swinging on Phillips upward swishes of brushes on his tactile snare) and on “Don Is”, a funk fest on the rubbery pulses of a nimble McBride bass solo and DeFrancesco organ runs filled with his patented funky organ quips and bluesy, slippery holds.

joeydefrancesco.com

On all these impeccably funky tunes, Whitfield and DeFrancesco swing with irresistible force. I was fortunate to catch Whitfield a few years ago performing at the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival in Boston and I still recall him standing off demurely to one side of the street stage (joining his son, the dynamic pianist, Davis Whitfield) and captivating the crowd with the leaps of his guitar: spidery yet powerful, slippery and sparkly – all in the inventive service of swing.

Mark Whitfield – democratandchronical.com

The positive vibes and boundless solos continue on For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver when this zestful core of players meet up with the rest of the stellar Big Band in collective, fun-filled flights. Here’s the deeply pulsating “Medgar Evers’ Blues”, the quick cannonball shots of Miles Davis’ “Milestones” and the gutsy trombone-launched “Pie Blues” – a special highlight that ends the disc with everyone in the band, (including a pumping Carl Maraghi on his brawny baritone sax aided by sharp trombone choruses) scorch the blues in slow-brewing delight. For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver is all about the blues, the dance, the funk –in the hands of a razor-sharp big band primed for adventure and joy.

Quincy Phillips – Carnegiehall.com

You can read more of Nelson’s concert reviews at www.bostonconcertreviews.com.


Nordost Playlist – March 2021

Nordost is happy that we can continue to make our time spent at home a little more enjoyable with the gift of great music. Our products aim to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. Like you, we here at Nordost are music lovers. Each one of us has our own style… we listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone. 

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this March

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is playlist_february_2021.png

You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  | SPOTIFY  |  QOBUZ


  1. Ideal Woman—Celeste—Not Your Muse (Deluxe) 
  2. I Walk on Guilded Splinters—Dr. John—Gris Gris
  3. You You You You You—The 6ths, Katharine Whalen—Hyacinths and Thistles 
  4. Chan Chan—Buena Vista Social Club—Buena Vista Social Club 
  5. I’ll Be Your Mirror—The Velvet Underground—The Velvet Underground & Nico 45th Anniversary 
  6. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread)—Bow Wow Wow—Girl Bites Dog 
  7. That’s Life—Shirley Bassey—Let Me Sing and I’m Happy 
  8. Digital Love—Daft Punk—Discovery
  9. Favor—Julien Baker—Little Oblivions
  10. You Make Me Feel So Young—Willie Nelson—That’s Life

Nordost Playlist – February 2021

Nordost is happy that we can continue to make our time spent at home a little more enjoyable with the gift of great music. Our products aim to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. Like you, we here at Nordost are music lovers. Each one of us has our own style… we listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone. 

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this February


You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  | SPOTIFY  |  QOBUZ


  1. Ngui Yi—Black Bassy—1958 
  2. Grapes of Wrath—Weezer—OK Human 
  3. The Power—Elton John, Little Richard—Jewel Box 
  4. Lo Vas A Olvidar (with ROSALÍA)—Billie Eilish, ROSALÍA—Euphoria 
  5. Shake Sugaree—Elizabeth Cotten and Brenda Evans—Shake Sugaree 
  6. Young Americans-2016 Remaster—David Bowie—Young Americans 
  7. Chloroform—Ani DiFranco—Revolutionary Love
  8. hold yourself.—Tune Yards –hold yourself.
  9. The Pebble And The Man—Bridget St John—Songs For The Gentle Man
  10. Skyway—The Replacements—Pleased to Meet Me

Nelson Brill reviews music to listen to in the New Year

Real music lovers can find the melody in everything. From the park to the concert hall, our friend Nelson Brill is always on the hunt for great sound. In this blog, Nelson reviews a bevy of albums recorded by fantastic artists for you to listen to in the New Year. 


SAMBA TO BLUEGRASS: A BOUNTY OF MUSIC TO START THE NEW YEAR

By Nelson Brill January 17, 2021

“One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.
So hit me with music, hit me with music now..”
Bob Marley, “Trenchtown Rock”

Here is a new crop of audiophile quality recording recommendations to “hit you with music” – and enter 2021 with renewed spirit and resiliency:

First up is a kinetic CD that transcends borders with its irresistible grooves and soaring melodies. Lagos Pepper Soup [Worldwind Recordings; www.whirlwindrecordings.com], is a new recording from Michael Olatuja, gifted bassist, composer and arranger, who has gathered a stellar cast to deliver his cinematic creation. Olatuja plays both acoustic and electric bass on Lagos Pepper Soup and his bass propels the reveling drama with playful presence, stutter-stepping electricity and soulful plunges (coherent and tactile).

allaboutjazz

The musical landscape that Olatuja and his companions inhabit on Lagos Pepper Soup is a joy to discover. First, there are dancing R. & B. grooves that blend with soulful melodies on such prancing cuts as “Brighter Day” (with singer Laura Mvula leading the Lagos Pepper Soup String Orchestra in an uplift of string colors and vocal passion) and “The Hero’s Journey” where the effervescent violin of Regina Carter, (gilded with the delicate vocals of Thana Alexa), soars to strike a positive vibe. Roistering blues and Afro-pop are also elemental ingredients in Olatuja’s eclectic Lagos Soup where Lionel Loueke’s prickly guitar lines dance amongst the reveling vocals of Angelique Kidjo (on the title cut) and deftly propel the gracious vocals of Dianne Reeves on the leaping “Soki.”

Dianne Reeves -SFJAZZ

Olatuja’s compositions convey release and restoration in striking ways. He blends playful jazz in his beautiful “Home True” where Olatuja’s bass melds with vocalist Becca Steven’s lithe wordplay and Robert Mitchell’s sprite piano. On “Bola’s Song,” the weightless hues of Gregoire Maret’s harmonica blend spritely with flowing strings, bass and resonant percussion. The mighty Joe Lovano welds his glowing tenor saxophone in Olatuja’s “Leye’s Dance”, a rollicking joy ride propelled by Lovano’s cavorting runs and golden holds.

Joe Lovano- npr.org

Olatuja’s uplifting global feast ends on the soulful caress of his composition, “Grace”, with pianist Aaron Parks shimmering in light keyboard banter in the embrace of Terreon Gully’s steady drum grooves, Samir Zarif’s regal sax and Olatuja’s resounding bass in upbeat companionship.

seatgeek.com

Speaking of upbeat companionship, there is nothing more joyful than exploring the original melodies concocted by another fresh voice: jazz pianist Joey Alexander, on one of my favorites of his rich discography, his 2018 recording, Eclipse [Montema Music; www.motema.com]. Eclipse finds Alexander partnered with drummer Eric Harland and bassist Reuben Rogers, a most marvelous partnership.

I last recommended a recording with Harland and Rogers when they appeared in sterling partnership with saxophonist Charles Lloyd and pianist Jason Moran- on the superb and venturesome 2017 live recording, Passin’Thru [Blue Notewww.bluenote.com], particularly glorious in its vinyl edition for its crackling alive presence to these reveling live performances.

Alexander’s Eclipse is another gem that vividly comes alive and allows one to intimately explore all the sparks of dialogue that flow effortlessly between these three consummate musicians in flight.

Joey Alexander -Eric Morgensen photo

Positive vibes abound on Eclipse. Take, for instance, the opening “Bali”, an original tune that positively gallops on Alexander’s melodic swing and his deft sweetness in the craft of his notes throughout his omnivorous range. Alexander’s “Draw Me Nearer” hits a beautiful gospel stride with Rogers’ deep plucks and plunges, Harland’s sparkling brushwork and Alexander’s soft touches that shimmer and sway. Bold saxophonist Joshua Redman joins the band for a soulful turn on Roy Noble’s “The Very Thought of You,” set to a dreamy pace in Redman’s breathy holds and soulful runs nestled in Alexander’s blocks of blues chords.

Joshua Redman and Reuben Rogers – JarasumJazz

There’s also plenty of bebop glee on Eclipse. One great example is the band’s version of the Coltrane classic, “Moment’s Notice”, in which Rogers glides in quick elastic strides on his elastic bass while Alexander spins the length of his keyboard in swooping pounces. The band digs into Alexander’s “Fourteen” with more up-beat chemistry (highlighted by Redman’s bursting sax) and Alexander’s pulsating “Space” is another gleeful swing fest where each player delights in adding their own twinkling banter.. These romping gems are built from the agile and inventive foundation of Harland at his astonishing drum kit. From the swish of delicate brushes (on the outer rings of his shining cymbals) to his fusillades of shockingly quick, low drum thunder, Harland’s percussive engine is in fine, full throttle form.

NYC Radio

A final highlight from this sterling disc is Alexander’s poignant solo performance of Lennon and McCarthy’s tune, “Blackbird”, a beautiful melody for our times. Alexander turns the indelible melody of “Blackbird” on his keyboard like one would a piece of wood on a lathe, re-casting it and carving his own joyful and insightful moments into Lennon and McCarthy’s inviting vessel. I look forward to auditioning Alexander’s new recording, Warna [Verve Records], where he is joined by another stellar rhythm section, drummer Kendrick Scott and bassist Larry Grenadier, in new trio explorations rooted in Alexander’s open-hearted lyricism and spirited groove.

Ben Rosenblum – photo Greag Drygala

Ben Rosenblum is another young pianist, accordionist and composer with a forward-thinking, lyrical spirit. Rosenblum has created a uniquely joyful and plucky universe on his new recording with his “Nebula Project”, Kites and Strings [One Trick Dog Records; www.benrosenblummusic.com].

Rosenblum’s musical palette is open-eared on this new fascinating recording. His compositions combine the sounds of his sprite and graceful accordion and piano play with a feast of other fresh sounds, including Rafael Rosa’s fuzz ladened electric guitar; Wayne Tucker’s crisp trumpet; Sam Chess’ regal trombone; Jasper Dutz’s frolicking sax and bass clarinet and a sparkling backbone from bassist Marty Jaffe and drummer Ben Zweig – all primed for adventure.

Kites and Strings delivers its fresh colors and playful flow on a recording that has a wide and layered soundstage, natural image dimensionality and an up-front presence where instrumental colors project with crisp outlines and zestful timbres. The opening track, “Cedar Place” is a great example of Rosenblum’s delectable verve. It dances on Rosenblum’s spangled accordion, (breathily delicate in its spins and runs), tumbling in the company of Tucker’s shining trumpet and Dutz’s frisky tenor saxophone.

Dutz’s bass clarinet play in particularly vibrant on a number of Rosenblum’s originals. These include the gorgeous “Halfway To Wonderland” in which Dutz’s bass clarinet dips and flutters next to Rosenblum’s sprite piano runs and deep bluesy chords (reminding of the great Dave Brubeck’s keyboard twinkle) and on Rosenblum’s “Laughing On The Inside” where Dutz’s bass clarinet joins Rosa’s expansive guitar to churn a frolicking Zweig drum solo.

The band also digs its creative toes into inventive, glowing balladry on Kites and Strings. These include Rosenblum’s soft accordion/piano flow on his “Motif From Brahms” and on his lilting version of Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” in which trumpet, bass clarinet and accordion entwine in Bernstein’s sweet melody. Neil Young’s “Philadelphia” is also given fresh treatment: the tune is a sweet, slow swagger (ignited on Sam Chess’ warm trombone dips) where everyone takes a turn to shape Young’s elegiac melody in their fresh rapport.

Diego Urcola – Music Industry

Listening to Wayne Tucker’s clarion and crisp trumpet light up the inventive landscape of Rosenblum’s Kites and Strings inspires a listen to another dynamic trumpeter, Diego Urcola, and his new exciting recording.

On El Duelo [Sunnyside Records], Urcola joins forces with the singular woodwind maestro, Paquito D’Rivera, and the dynamic rhythm section of bassist Hamish Smith and drummer Eric Doob, to deliver a blowing session that is jubilant, bold and soulful.

El Duelo delivers a rich collection of classic and original tunes perfectly suited to focused and sharp improvisations from this tight-knit band. The great dynamic shifts, brazen colors and tactile details on this superb recording allow us to hear deeply into each performer’s technique and playful group magnetism.

nj.com

It’s a special treat to hear every rustling, breathy run of D’Rivera’s clarinet and alto sax. Each instrument in his hands is a vessel of dancing, tumbling wonder. D’Rivera’s clarinet flows with an irresistible dancing pulse on such highlights as Gerry Mulligan’s “I Know, Don’t Know How” (blending with the slow bluesy walk of Smith’s pungent bass) or caresses in slippery plunges and woody leaps (alongside Urcola’s shining trumpet) on the title cut. D’Rivera is clearly inspired by his young compatriots on this special outing as he exchanges musical dialogue with these young lions with consummate ardor, invention and playful charisma.

Urcola’s bold trumpet is a perfect foil for D’Rivera’s inspired presence. Urcola attacks Ornette Coleman’s “Una Muy Bonita” and the Pugliese/Tizol’s classic tune, “La Yumba/Caravan” (arranged by Ethan Iverson), with spirited verve. The recording allows us to hear not only his highest reaches without glare (a rare feat) but also how Urcola loves to punctuate his arching upward climbs with an initial burst of a crisp accentuated note, illuminating his pathway upward.

Argentjazz

In contrast to his crisp trumpet, Urcola’s flugelhorn is a warm embracing vessel, velvety and radiant, on such dusted beauties as Piazzolla’s “Libertango” and Urcola’s original, “Tango Azul”. We can hear deeply into his technique as how he squeezes his lips tight around his flugelhorn’s mouthpiece, (to form a warm, light trill) then relaxes into a slurring, fluttering descent in stately form.

The metallic sear of Urcola’s trumpet, joyful and leaping, is a nice segue to enjoying a batch of sunny new acoustic string recordings, crisp and toe-tapping.

First, there is the balm of bluegrass in the hands of legendary pickers, Doc and Merle Watson, who fire off a bevy of easy-going firecrackers on a new curated recording, Songs Doc Didn’t Sing [FLi Records, www.fliartists.com], which brings to fresh life tunes recorded by the Watsons for Flying Fish Records in the 1980’s.

Doc and Merle Watson – Wikipedia

Songs Doc Didn’t Sing captures the Watsons in crisp, stutter-stepping form joined by a stellar band: fiddlers Mark O’Connor, Sam Bush and Byron Berline; clarinetist Tom Scott; drummer Ron Tutt and bassist Michael Coleman. Songs Doc Didn’t Sing joyfully documents how the Watsons could spin an intriguing tale (of comic shape-shifting urgency or waltzing beauty) in a few bars of music, supremely assured in their telling. For instance, this new collection gifts us with the sly, romping “Sheeps in the Meadow”, “Down Yonder”, “Black Mountain Rag” and “Fisher’s Hornpipe” (where the Watsons are joined in their chivalry by a clacking set of “bones” played by Hank “Bones” Kahn in the far-left of the stage). In these rollicking numbers, the Watsons’ guitar wizardry is transfixing: playful ricochets of fingerpicking glee, crackling string bends and frenzied runs. This barnstorming can also shift from pell-mell sunshine to deep pools of waltzing sway, such as on the gentle “Windy and Warm”; the beauty in the churning depth of “Below Freezing” (with a gorgeous swirl by clarinetist Scott) and the bluesy twang of “John Henry/Worried Blues”. The Watsons can even take an old chestnut like “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” and re-fashion it into a fresh grooving soar. Their sparkling gem, “Talking to Casey” concludes this swanking collection with another sunny pulse, firing away on the Watson’s nylon string hurtles into the slippery uplift of O’Connor’s crisp fiddle.

The Watsons’ merry bluegrass inspires a listen to a final selection for this installation of listening joy: the easy-flowing, splendidly crafted music of virtuoso guitarist, Diego Figueiredo. Figueiredo’s new CD, Compilation, (released on another favorite audiophile label, Arbors Records [www.arborsrecords.com], is beautifully recorded and offers a delectable slice of Figueiredo’s mastery that spans continents and styles with glee.

Hartford Courant

Figueiredo’s pliant guitar is a fresh voice, full of nimble delights and soulful charm. His solo acoustic version of Chick Corea’s “Spain” is a dazzling invention with feisty string bends and crisp strums. His “Samba In New York” is another burbling feast of string snapping pizzicatos (always in the service of melody), blended with the colors of Gabriel Grossi’s spidery harmonica glow. The weightless sparks of Edu Miranda’s mandolin join Figueiredo’s acoustic guitar on a twinkling “Xodozinho” and “Tico-Tico No Fuba” and “Paschoa” bring dancing bursts of Brazilian sway and funk where Eduardo Machado’s bass and Fernando Rast’s crackling wood rims ignite around Figueiredo’s boundless string inventions. In contrast to this toe-tapping frolics, Figueiredo’s version of “Linda Flor” is a molten creation as Figueiredo’s solo electric guitar radiates with sumptuous deep colors and unkempt beauty. Compilation concludes with the shimmering bloom of Figueiredo’s “Picote,” where Figueiredo and his partners explore a flowing lyrical groove that illuminates both the joyful peppery bite and the soulful wanderlust of Figueiredo’s music – sustaining our spirits for another day.


You can read more of Nelson’s concert reviews at www.bostonconcertreviews.com.


Nordost Playlist – January 2021

Nordost is happy that we can continue to make our time spent at home a little more enjoyable with the gift of great music. Our products aim to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. Like you, we here at Nordost are music lovers. Each one of us has our own style… we listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone. 

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this January.


You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  | SPOTIFY  |  QOBUZ


  1. Treat People With Kindness—Harry Styles—Fine Line
  2. Words—Barry Gibb, Dolly Parton—Greenfields  
  3. Courage to Change—Sia—Hey Boy
  4. Fantino—Sébastien Tellier—Sessions
  5. Baby—Ariel Pink, Dâm-Funk—Mature Themes
  6. Lullaby for String Quartet—George Gershwin, Alexander String Quartet—Gershwin & Kern
  7. The King of Rock ‘N’ Roll—Prefab Sprout—From Langley Park To Memphis
  8. evermore (feat. Bon Iver)—Taylor Swift, Bon Iver—evermore
  9. uuu—Field Medic—Songs from the Sunroom
  10. It’s Coming It’s Real—Swans—leaving meaning.

Nordost Playlist – December 2020

Nordost is happy that we can continue to make our time spent at home a little more enjoyable with the gift of great music. Our products aim to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. Like you, we here at Nordost are music lovers. Each one of us has our own style… we listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone. 

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this December.


You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  | SPOTIFY  |  QOBUZ


  1. I Can’t Stand the Rain—Ann Peebles—I Can’t Stand the Rain
  2. Nessun Dolore—Lucio Battisti—Una donna per amico
  3. Only The Strong—Laura Marling—Song For Our Daughter
  4. Under Lime—Elvis Costello—Look Now
  5. Comptine d’un autre été: L’après midi—Jeroen van Veen—Tiersen: “Pour Amélie” Piano Music
  6. Her Love—Alex Ebert—I vs I
  7. Creole Moon—Dr. John—Creole Moon
  8. Pink Pony Club—Chappell Roan—Pink Pony Club
  9. I See A Darkness—ROSALÍA—Los Ángeles
  10. Love Like A Sunset Part 1—Phoenix—Wolfgang Amadeus Phoneix

Nordost Playlist – November 2020

Nordost is happy that we can continue to make our time spent at home a little more enjoyable with the gift of great music. Our products aim to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. Like you, we here at Nordost are music lovers. Each one of us has our own style… we listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone. 

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this November.


You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  | SPOTIFY  |  QOBUZ


  1. Run—Joji—Nectar
  2. BULL$HIT—Evann McIntosh—BULL$HIT
  3. Bluebeard—Cocteau Twins—Four-Calendar Cafe
  4. anything—Adrianne Lenker—songs
  5. The Court Of The Crimson King—King Crimson—In The Court Of The Crimson King (Expanded & Remastered Original Album Mix)
  6. Are you going to tell her (feat. MC Zaac)—Tove Lo—Sunshine Kitty
  7. Cry Everything—Kindness—Something Like A War
  8. Lost without You—Freya Ridings—Freya Ridings
  9. Spend Some Time—Amaarae, Wande Coal—Spend Some Time
  10. Avril 14th—Aphex Twin—Drukqs

Nordost Playlist – October 2020

Over the past few months, Nordost  has been happy that we can continue to make our time spent at home a little more bearable with the gift of great music. Our products aim to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. Like you, we here at Nordost are music lovers. Each one of us has our own style… we listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone. 

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this October.


You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  | SPOTIFY  |  QOBUZ


  1. Ghost Dance—Patti Smith—Easter
  2. How Do You Sleep—Sam Smith—How Do You Sleep
  3. Season of the Witch—Donovan—Sunshine Superman
  4. Avratz—Infected Mushroom—Converting Vegetarians
  5. Fancy Man—Devendra Banhart—Ape in Pink Marble
  6. A Whiter Shade of Pale—Annie Lennox—Medusa
  7. You Were Meant For Me—Jewel—Pieces Of You
  8. Me x 7—Alicia Keys—Alicia
  9. Autumn In New York—Billie Holiday—Recital
  10. My Lady’s On Fire—Ty Segall—Freedom’s Goblin