Nordost Playlist – July 2019

Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.

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


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


  1. Faithful—Ibeyi—Ibeyi
  2. Dark Cloud—Wyvern Lingo—Wyvern Lingo
  3. Blue Moon (Studio Jam)—The Beatles—The Beatles (White Album / Super Deluxe)
  4. Boundless Love—John Prine—The Tree of Forgiveness
  5. U (Man Like)—Bon Iver—U (Man Like)
  6. Soon It Will Be Cold Enough to Build Fires—Emancipator—Soon It Will Be Cold Enough
  7. Los Ageless—St. Vincent—MASSEDUCATION
  8. Good Kisser—Lake Street Dive—Free Yourself Up
  9. Let You Know—Flume, London Grammar—Let You Know
  10. Seventeen—Sharon Van Etten—Remind Me Tomorrow

Nelson Brill Reviews Blues Music—In Dance, Recorded, And Performed Live

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 takes a closer listen to blues music as it inspires choreography, plays in our home systems, and is performed in concert.


THE BALM OF THE BLUES-PART 1

By Nelson Brill    May 21, 2019

The blues continue to inhabit our musical lives, enriching and uplifting our spirits and keeping us in stride in these difficult political times. One enduring example of how the blues are a spiritual balm (and continue to move people forward) is found in the radiant choreography and dances performed by one of the world’s treasured dance companies, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, (“Alvin Ailey”; http://www.alvinailey.org). Alvin Ailey celebrated their 60th anniversary with a series of performances held at the Boch Center Wang Theatre on May 2nd through May 5th, presented by Celebrity Series of Boston (http://www.celebrityseries.org).

Paul Kolnik

Since its world premier in 1960, Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece, Revelations, (choreographed when their founder was only 29 years old) has been performed around the globe. To commemorate its 60th year, Alvin Ailey performed Revelations to conclude each of its Boston programs. Revelations is an intimate reflection upon Ailey’s childhood growing up in Texas, deeply influenced by his church, its music and the writings of Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. The first scene, (which Ailey described as “getting up out of the ground”) finds a group of dancers dressed in earthen tones aligned in a tight circle. The group raises and lowers its arms and limbs to create a slow-motion wave of rising and falling bodies, like a flock of birds gathering into the sky from some low point in the earth. This evolving action is propelled by music from Ailey’s childhood: church spirituals deep in their majestic pulse and brewing fervor.

dancemagazine.com

In later scenes, male dancers stalk the stage in long, leaping bounds to the striding spiritual, “Sinner Man,” or flow in swirling, entwined pairs to the uplifting pulse of the spiritual, “Wade In The Water” (dipping their toes in flowing blue fabric as it is stretched across the stage).

alvinailey.org-Paul Kolnik

The final scene of Revelations is a dazzling frolic where dancers twirl, swirl and partner in high-stepping glee in celebration of life, love and joy– all to the booming sounds of the spiritual, “Rocka My Soul In The Bosom of Abraham”. The capacity audience at the Boch Center leapt to their feet at the conclusion of Revelations (clapping and singing along to “Rocka My Soul”) clearly moved by the brilliance of the dancers and Ailey’s vision: from sorrow to spiritual uplift in the comforting embrace of the blues.

AXS.com

Seeing Revelations performed after so many years inspired me to listen to one of my favorite audiophile recordings of powerful traditional spirituals re-arranged in brilliant fashion by singer Mavis Staples, herself a veteran of the civil rights struggles and a treasured voice today in the fight against racism and inequality.

On her incendiary recording from 2007, We’ll Never Turn Back [Anti Records CD] Staples and her kinetic band, (which includes producer Ry Cooder on guitars and mandolin) pounce on such traditional songs as “Eyes On The Prize”; “This Little Light Of Mine” and “Turn Me Round” and ignite them into molten-hot music, demanding to be heard. Her original, “My Own Eyes” is another stunner: her own musical version of Revelations as she marches through her own civil rights movement history with her father, Pops Staples, as her inspiration. Her band is a churning boogie of blues and toe-tapping power. Mavis’ guttural growls; her deep gospel vocal plunges and her soaring chants are captured radiant, harmonically rich and kinetic on this great recording, ensnared in an airy soundstage swept by the layered, resonant sounds from her tightly grooving band. This is how a blues album should to be recorded, without the hyped-up treble and thinness of so many marred blues recordings I have heard.

There’s no stopping the 79-year old Mavis and her fiery blues: she has come out with a new album, Live In London [Anti Records] and is set to release another new recording soon.

Her Live In London is another shot of gospel and blues messages (straight to the political heart) with her band captured up-close in searing flow at London’s Union Chapel. Mavis’ voice is still a gale force, (captured a bit thinner here than on We’ll Never Turn Back) with guitarist Rick Holmstrom fierce on his unleashed guitar solos – boisterous and brightly lit – as the charismatic Mavis shouts out: “We’ve got work to do!”

The Tennessean

The elemental force of the blues also took center stage in several Boston area concerts, where volcanic electric guitars and harmonicas served to deliver spiritual uplift to capacity crowds.

James Cotton- pastdaily.com

The first of these concerts was a magnetic gathering of blues musicians to honor the legacy of brilliant bluesman James “SuperHarp” Cotton (1935-2017). This tribute concert was held at the Narrows Center For The Arts in Fall River, MA. (http://www.narrowscenter.org), a venue for live music that is always reliable for its good sound and its welcoming community feel. The show was hosted by Boston rocker and harpist, James Montgomery, and Holly Harris, host of Boston radio station WUMB’s blues show (http://www.wumb.org). Fittingly, an empty chair was kept onstage for Cotton (in case his spirit come by for a listen, as Montgomery urged).

YouTube

Longtime Boston blues legends Annie Raines and Paul Rishell opened the show with their sparkling presence, plying their harp, guitar and vocals in delicate sprays of notes on their sparkling “Got To Fly!”. Harpist extraordinaire Jerry Portnoy moved to a different groove with a silken fluid softness to his harp, pushing it to a regal bluster when fully launched. Harpist Rick Estrin, adorned in a silver suit, took off like a rocket on his harp: snarling, blurting down deep and at one point, holding his harp in his mouth lengthwise (without any use of his hands!) to shimmy and shake his body to his cascade rockous of sounds.

Rick Estrin -Daily Republic

Young California harpist Kyle Rowland was another stunning Cotton protégé with a gale force of sounds to accompany his expressive vocals- sensual and dynamic (coupled with Bob Margolin’s bracing slide guitar) on Muddy Water’s classic, “Mannish Boy”. Another master harp player, Cheryl Arena, (originally from Boston), delivering down-home grit and silvery soars (and the lightest of breathy throbs) on Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Help Me.”

James Montgomery-The Valley Advocate

The bands that accompanied these gifted harp players were also on fire (inspired by Cotton’s spirit) led by James Montgomery’s charismatic and muscular presence on his harp (leading his own boisterous band) and with guitar greats Kenny Neal and Darrell Nulisch adding their own urgency and funk. Another highlight was the reunion of Cotton’s touring band who delivered a slinky-tight rocking focus to the celebration. The finale was a roaring version of Cotton’s classic, “The Creeper”, where everyone gleefully piled in. On this last tune, Cotton’s guitarist, Rico McFarland, jammed with several harpists, including the roguish Mark Hummel, who unleashed a torrent of sounds from his harp (piercing high and mercurial), next to McFarland’s tightly churning guitar.

Tinsley Ellis-In My Time Photography

James Cotton’s spirit also infused another Boston concert of feisty Chicago and jump blues glory. On March 28th, guitar legends Tinsley Ellis, Coco Montoya and their stellar bands played a fabulous double bill at The Center For The Arts In Natick, MA. (“TCAN”; http://www.natickarts.org). TCAN is another stellar venue in the Boston area for getting up close and personal with live blues because the venue is intimate, welcoming and reliable for providing excellent sound.

Tinsley Ellis and his power trio (bassist Devin McCann and drummer Eric Dravinsky) opened the show with their spirited combination from Ellis’ southern rocking roots to his smoldering Chicago style blues. Ellis is the total blues delivery system. He possesses a big, expressive voice that invites you into the drama of every song. On his opening “Sound of a Broken Man” taken from his new album, Winning Hand [Alligator Records; http://www.alligator.com], his rounded baritone was full of bold expression as his guitar leaped and stung in short bursts around it. Hearing this tune live was much more satisfying than on his CD because, for whatever reason, the blues hero label, Alligator Records, continues to produce magnificent artists with sound that is frequently pop- thin on vocal richness and instrumental tones, along with, at higher volume, treble glare. (Their LP editions tend to be slightly better in this regard). Winning Hand suffers from this same fate, particularly on Ellis’ high guitar notes, recorded thin and unnaturally wiry, instead of tonally substantial and glowing.

ticketfly

Back at the concert, on his sterling “Gambling Man,” (also from Winning Hand), Ellis sang high and fervent with a great feel for the slow brewing nature of this gem as he let it evolve from a pulsating surge to a rumbling furnace of guitar soars and bass drum heat. Ellis’ guitar styling was a perfect foil for his expressive vocals. For instance, he held onto low guitar notes seemingly forever, (like relishing the burnt ends of barbecue) then slid up his neck to scorch high notes and bends. He also loved to let his fingers fall precipitously to create a swift “zing” of metallic sounds. These were all showcased on his fantastic slow cooker, “Saving Grace,” (also from his new album) and on the rocker, “Cut You Loose”. On this last leaping number, Dravinsky’s closed hi-hat and McCann’s bopping bass propelled Ellis into a dancing ride, (hitting sly string bends and quick twisting holds up top), as his expressive vocals ran perfectly in their stride.

The Morning Call

With his own bolt of lightning, guitar legend Coco Montoya swept onto the TCAN stage with his band (Eric Robert on keyboards, Nate Brown on bass and Rene Beavers on drums) and took off with their own stew of Chicago blues funk and swing. Their version of a Sly Johnson song was all slinky funk with rolling bass lines, Montoya’s stinging guitar and Robert’s juicy keyboard romps. Robert was a showstopper all night on his electric keys. He provided rolling and glittering piano grooves to shake the walls of “Love Jail” (written by Montoya for his mentor, Albert Collins). On Montoya’s rolling and grooving “Tumbleweed”, he washed the length of his keyboard with dashing flourishes and tight barrelhouse runs.

KLOTZ

With his guitar nestled against his large frame, Montoya moved effortlessly from jazzy rifts to stinging holds, always on the lookout for another creative riff or bright-hued line. Like a kid, he sometimes gleefully discovered a simple combination of notes or chords which he decided to churn, over and over, to create this rush of crashing sounds and a crescendo of colors. His vocals were a bit thin and less expressive in character than Ellis’, but there was no stopping his enthusiasm for the sharp concise whip of his guitar solos or his elemental back-beat.

Tinsley and Montoya-Baltimore Beacon

The concert’s finale, where both bands took the stage, was an electrifying moment. Ellis and Montoya dueled side by side; each taking a turn. They started deliberately and slowly, feeding slow funky patterns (with Ellis slurring notes and Montoya stinging isolated notes). They then took off on a collective soar, (with their bandmates riding the groove effortlessly), into a gallop of jazz rifts, furious blues swing and cataclysmic high holds that had the capacity crowd on their feet roaring their approval.


If you would like to read Part II of The Balm Of The Blues, or more of Nelson’s blog reviews, visit www.bostonconcertreviews.com.


 

 

 

 

Nordost Playlist – June 2019

Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.

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


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


  1. Johnny and Mary—Todd Terje, Bryan Ferry—It’s Album Time
  2. Thinking—Marian Hill—ACT ONE
  3. Here You Come Again—Dolly Parton—Here You Come Again
  4. Hammer—tUnE-YaRdS—I can feel you creep into my private life
  5. For All We Know—Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway—Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway
  6. One Evening—Feist—Let It Die
  7. Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun—Gaelynn Lea—Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun
  8. Mechanical Heart—Beth Hart—Better Than Home
  9. Glacier—James Vincent McMorrow—Post Tropical
  10. Spontaneous—Flying Lotus—Flamagra

 

Nordost Playlist – May 2019


Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.


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


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


  1. Cellophane—FKA twigs—Cellophane
  2. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free—Wynton Marsalis Septet, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Truc, I Wish I Knew How It Was To Be Free
  3. Fancy Man—Devendra Banhart—Ape in Pink Marble
  4. Miss Simone—Sara Bareilles—Amidst the Chaos
  5. Nothing Sacred/All Things Wild—Kevin Morby—Oh My God
  6. Lights—SOHN—Tremors
  7. Walden Pond—Atta Boy—Out of Sorts
  8. Northwest Passage—Stan Rogers—Northwest Passage
  9. Top of the World—Kimbra—Primal Heart
  10. Oh My Love—Riz Ortolani, Katyna Ranieri—Oh My Love

 

Nordost Playlist – April 2019


Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.

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


  1. Keep Coming Back to You—Melissa McMillan—Melissa McMillan-EP
  2. Patience—Tame Impala—Patience
  3. Danza del altiplano—Leo Brouwer, Luciano Tortorelli—Latin Latitudes
  4. Part Of Me—Noname, Phoelix, Benjamin Earl Turner—Room 25
  5. Gwan—Rostam—Half-Light
  6. Sunday—HNNY—Sunday
  7. Lè ma monte chwal mwen—Melissa Laveaux—Radya siwèl
  8. Mist of a Dream—Birdlegs & Pauline—Birdlegs
  9. Nobody—Mac DeMarco—Nobody
  10. Boyish—Japanese Breakfast—Soft Sounds from Another Planet

 

Nordost Playlist – March 2019


Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.

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


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


  1. Stay Flo—Solange—When I Get Home
  2. Lost in the Sauce—King Garbage—Make It Sweat
  3. Glass, Concrete & Stone—David Byrne—Grown Back words
  4. Still on My Mind—Dido—Still on My Mind
  5. Unforgettable—Johnny Hartman—Hartman For Lovers
  6. Ma Mama—Toto Bona Lokua—Bondeko
  7. Come On and Move Me—Monarchs—Those Words, Those Frames
  8. I Found A Reason – 2015 Remastered—The Velvet Underground—Loaded (Remastered)
  9. Pink Moon—Nick Drake—Pink Moon
  10. Like A Fool — Superchunk — Foolish

 

Introducing the System Solution: Set-Up & Tuning Discs

After years of great success with our original System Set-Up & Tuning Disc, Nordost is excited to introduce a newly upgraded disc-set that both improves and expands upon our initial product, offering more content and features, to get your system sounding its best and to keep it that way. The Nordost System Solution is an invaluable tool for the installation, maintenance, and fine-tuning of any hifi audio system. Arranging a new system is a painstaking and exacting task for even the most seasoned audiophiles. This two-disc set, provides you with a unique mix of diagnostic tracks, calibration tools, and system conditioning aids that will help unlock the full potential of your sound system.

The System Solution Set-Up & Tuning Discs include tracks that range from the simple, such as channel checks and pink and white noise, to the more complex and unusual LEDR tracks, timed frequency sweeps, and repeat drum beats. Our sound engineers have incorporated specially designed tracks to facilitate full-range loudspeaker positioning and the integration of subwoofers, and have even included a number of useful “system service” functions.

These functions include degauss and burn-in signal tracks, both of which are essential precursors to fine-tuning your existing set-up or new components. Each of these helpful tracks is fully explained and expounded upon in a detailed instruction booklet, included with every disc set.

Nordost is proud to say that over the years our products have become integral components in preeminent recording studios around the world. This has given us the opportunity to incorporate musical selections recorded using Nordost cables as an exciting new feature on our set-up discs. These carefully curated tracks highlight specific aspects of system performance and will help you to further explore the subtleties of your newly-tuned system. This also means that Nordost users will have the ability to experience performances wired with Nordost from beginning to end!

Includes:

  • Essential channel and phase checks
  • Multiple pink and white noise signals for speaker/room diagnostics
  • Sophisticated LEDR tests to optimize speaker placement
  • System maintenance tracks (Degauss and Burn-In)
  • Low-frequency tones specially designed and configured to map room modes and aid speaker placement or subwoofer positioning and integration.
  • Specially selected music tracks with detailed listening notes to further refine system performance

 

Nordost Playlist – February 2019


Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.

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


  1. bury a friend—Billie Eilish—bury a friend
  2. Moretown Hop—Noam Pikelny—Universal Favorite
  3. BAGDAD – Cap.7:Liturgia—ROSALÍA—El Mal Querer
  4. Honey—Robyn—Honey
  5. Where’s The Catch? (feat. André 3000)—James Blake, André 3000—Assume Form
  6. Make You Feel My Love—Bob Dylan—Time Out Of Mind
  7. Woman—Cat Power, Lana Del Ray—Wanderer
  8. Beautiful Strangers—Kevin Morby—Beautiful Stranger b/w No Place to Fall
  9. Suzanne—Bermuda Triangle—Suzanne
  10. Pristine—Snail Mail—Lush

 

Nelson Brill Reviews Emerging Artists In The Boston Area

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, Brill takes a look at some young, emerging artists in the Boston area, including Noah Preminger. Preminger is well acquainted with Nordost, as he participated in an A/B test of our Ax Angel Pro Audio cables at EastSide Sound recording studios in NYC. You can watch the A/B test here: Nordost w/ Newvelle Records at EastSide Sound studio.  


YOUNG DYNAMIC JAZZ VOYAGERS SOAR IN CONCERT AND ON NEW AUDIOPHILE RECORDINGS

By Nelson Brill      DECEMBER 8, 2018  

Young jazz musicians are like fledging rock climbers: they hammer in their toe-holds into the granite face of music’s rich heritage and then swing out into free-wheeling space, letting the winds of creative musicianship take them where it will. Several gifted jazz voyagers took to stages in the Boston area recently and brought along their audiences to soar with them in flights of fancy, funk and daring.

On September 29th, artists appearing at the annual Berklee College of Music (“Berklee”) Beantown Jazz Festival (“Beantown Festival”; www.berklee.edu) delivered colorful and vital music before a rollicking multi-racial crowd thronging the streets of Boston’s South End. This show of diversity at the Beantown Festival, in both music and community spirit, brings out the best in Boston.

WBUR


One band that stood out in its fresh funk and energy was Aggregate Prime, a quintet anchored by the magnetic drummer (and Berklee faculty member) Ralph Peterson. Peterson was a swaggering presence at his drum kit along with his grooving partners: guitarist Mark Whitfield; pianist Davis Whitfield ( Mark’s son); sax and flutist Gary Thomas and bassist Curtis Lundy.

Franklin Kiermyer


The young Whitfield was particularly inspired on his keyboard. He dashed from flowing runs to clusters of blues chords with an effortless swing that had the crowd leaning in to hear every dynamic pounce. At one point, Davis dueled with his father in a blistering funky romp that had the elder Whitfield’s guitar (in all its shimmering colors and staccato high picks) curling beautifully around his son’s keyboard hits and the smart snap of Peterson’s snare and hi-hat. Keep an ear out for more from young dynamo Davis Whitfield at his inquisitive, spirited keyboard.

WNPR


Another feisty young juggernaut of creative power is the dynamic duo of Boston-based saxophonist Noah Preminger and trumpeter Jason Palmer (both graduates of The New England Conservatory; http://www.necmusic.edu). These two young lions lit up the bandstand at the Beantown Festival and then, on October 18th, performed a captivating show in the confines of Scullers Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA. (“Scullers”; www.scullersjazz.com).

Republic of Jazz


The young Preminger and Palmer share a special musical synergy that is telepathic – full of curiosity and exploration. Individually, each possesses a fearless reach in their original compositions and in their solo artistry. Their music is challenging, angular and kinetic. On their ballads, entwining their trumpet and sax colors, they can sound deeply meditative and earthy with a directness of soul (saturated with breathy low sax bellows or delicately soft trumpet slurring).

All of this creative play was captured at Preminger’s concert at Scullers which featured Palmer on trumpet, Kim Cass on bass and Dan Weiss on drums. Cass has been a longtime musical partner with Preminger (both in concert and on his recordings) and he always brings a creative bass foundation with funky string slaps, rich harmonic holds and his pungent swing. As for Weiss, I have highlighted him before in these pages, most recently in his performance with intrepid saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and guitarist Rez Abbasi in their beautiful Indo-Pak Coalition concert at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art and on their soulful album, Agrima [www.RudreshM.com].  I can think of no young drummer more zestful of rhythmic spirit than Weiss on his lithe drums.


danweiss.net


At their Scullers show, nothing was beyond the reach of these young explorers: from the blues to bebop to the riches of Baroque music. Preminger focused on his latest recording, Genuinity [Criss Cross Jazz], a spiky sweet and exuberant collection, reflecting Preminger’s searching creativity and his instrument’s boisterous (yet keenly meditative and expressive) range.

youtube


The young lad can play. On his version of Lightning Hopkins’ “Trouble In Mind,” Preminger’s tenor sax shrieked up high to start his solo, then built on slow rolls and raspy tones down low (with several belches) to capture the full arching motion of this slow blues romp. On Preminger’s “Halfway To Hartford,” (the frenetic opening salvo on Genuinity), Preminger first checked his instrument’s neck-string (to make sure it was in place for his furious ride) and then plunged into a rollicking, wacky colorful duel with Weiss, flinging huge carouses of splintered runs, blaring trills, breathy spills and fury in the direction of Weiss’ light/dark pulses on his nimble snare and wood rim hits.

“Hartford” was also a platform for trumpeter Palmer to soar where he formed metallic short bursts and colors up and down his fluid register – bursting, slurring and staccato bright – chasing fragments of melody in his dreaming. There is always something bright, inventive and expressive contained in Palmer’s solos; sparks that are never out of the firmament of the melodic themes he explores.

jazz speaks.org


For instance, on Preminger’s soulful piece inspired by the Baroque composer, George Frideric Handel, Palmer climbed his nimble register to deliver a raw blast of high blurts, (rapid fire against Preminger’s tender rolls and slow descent), throwing in a bit of creative molten heat to this otherwise tender and glowing ballad. From the meditative glow of Handel, the band effortlessly shifted gears to careen to the grooves of Preminger’s fast little ditty, “Happy Happy!” with Palmer scorching his staccato metallic phrases up high and Weiss tying everything together with his nimble snare and cymbals; his crackling wood rim hits and a flash of swirling brushes (light as a spider alighting on a web).



To fully explore these young voyagers’ sounds, take a listen to Preminger’s Genuinity.  It captures the creative range of Preminger’s original compositions and his colleagues’ majestic play in a recording that delivers all the up-close energy and tactile heat of this forward thinking band. The recording is excellent with only a lack of depth and at times, a bit of too-wide panning of Weiss’ drum kit (with one cymbal far left from the rest of his drum kit) that can, at moments, distract from all of the great creative action.

More naturally recorded is Preminger’s 2016 CD, Meditations On Freedom, [Dry Bridge Records; http://www.noahpreminger.com ] where Preminger, Palmer, Cass and their burbling pal on drums, Ian Froman, explore Preminger’s original tunes (and a few choice rock and soul nuggets) that speak to Preminger of our political times and inspire calls for social change. This particular recording is more intimate in that it was recorded in the beautiful space of Futura Productions in Roslindale, MA. (www.futuraproductions.com) and presents all players naturally without the distraction of any artificial panning of instruments. Preminger’s arrangements (such as on the bluesy swing of George Harrison’s “Give Me Love, Give Me Peace On Earth” or the stoic majesty of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”) are astonishing in their compositional skill and their bracing expression. The entwining of Preminger and Palmer on these originals is beautiful to hear as sax and trumpet meld in slow meditative flow (as on “Mother Earth” or “Broken Treaties”) or in nimble swing (with Cass and Froman adding their dapper swing) on Preminger’s elegantly strident, “We Have A Dream”.

Berkshire Fine Arts


And speaking of elegance and swing, (with firepower to spare), there is nothing more sonically fun and inventive than hearing sparkling new compositions emerging from the mind of young Boston-based composer (and Berklee faculty member), Ayn Inserto, writing for her talented Jazz Orchestra. The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra squeezed into the intimate confines of the Lilypad in Cambridge, MA. (http://www.lilypadinman.com) on November 12th and took the place by storm. The group heated up the capacity audience with their blasts of woodwind and brass colors, all taken from their new album, Down The Rabbit Hole ( “Rabbit Hole”)  [Summit Records]. Rabbit Hole was recorded at a Berklee College of Music studio and delivers all of this vivacious band in crisp open sound, with good width and depth to its soundstage and excellent image dimensionality (where, with a quality component audio system, you can visualize each player on the layered stage with nice pockets of air surrounding each instrument’s attack). Of particular highlight is drummer Austin McMahon with his granite time foundation and effortless burble. On this new recording, McMahon propels the orchestra from deep in his pocket position, with nice depth and natural dimension to his light sway on his drum kit.

Jazz After Hours


Inserto’s compositions are like whirligigs: one moment they point in a pensive direction with simmering woodwind and brass colors supported by big chunks of deep bass and piano pulses. When the winds of change come, her compositions fire up with bebop glee, spinning and soaring with brass, woodwinds and piano colors galloping around unpredictable tempos or whiplash melodic turns. At such moments, members of her Jazz Orchestra always glance at each other with knowing smiles all around, clearly honored to be a part of Inserto’s challenging and joyful creations.

Inserto led her Orchestra at the Lilypad in tunes from Rabbit Hole in their album’s sequence, beginning with Inserto’s “Three And Me.” This tune combined all elements of Inserto’s fresh and colorful music: tight, curling and punchy grooves that left space for improvisations to soar. The piece combined contrasting colors of Inserto’s fancy: a glittering bright solo from trumpeter Daniel Rosenthal; a gutsy, over the top brawl (of fluid register chaos) from tenor saxophonist Mark Zaleski and a warm last lap from John Fedchock’s soft trombone.

John Fedchock


Fedchock also lent his glowing trombone to turn the soft churn of “Mister and Dudley”, a curvaceously swinging number that also contained Inserto’s love for a swelling undertow of deep brass colors. The title track whizzed by on a hurtling groove pumping on Sean Farias’ bass; Kathy Olson’s baritone sax and Jennifer Wharton’s bass trombone. This dazzling gem ended with the band holding a unified high trill, in bone-rattling fashion. Also tumultuous was the duet between soprano saxophonist Alan Chase and alto saxophonist Rick Stone as they took “Part 2” of Inserto’s “Ze Teach and Me” to its ultimate knotty height by sending their frenetic conversation of trills, squeals and comic rolls into the packed hall.

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Leave it to the ever-creative Inserto to conclude the concert, (and her Rabbit Hole), with a soulful arrangement of the classic, “I’ll Be There”, originally recorded by the Jackson Five. Her arrangement started with a softly meditative solo from pianist Jason Yeager, using his soft touch to illuminate glowing blues chords and meditative note combinations. Yeager left his last note hanging precipitously to be plucked in the air by trumpeter Jeff Claassen as he cast the chorus of “I’ll Be There” (with his deep Fluegelhorn tone) out into the swirling colors provided by his partners. Inserto’s creation ended on a chorus of clarinets in woody, upturned crescendo – soaring with youthful energy and promise.

*FURTHER LISTENING*
-Noah Preminger continues his association with the stellar audiophile label, Newvelle Records, (http://www.newvelle-records.com ).  See Newvelle’s website for all details regarding their upcoming 4th season of subscription LP releases, including this new one from Preminger. Note too that Newvelle Records and the reference audiophile cable company, Nordost (www.nordost.com) have collaborated by utilizing Nordost cabling in the recording studio to further improve the sound quality of these intimate recording sessions.

-Jason Palmer has just released his recording, Rhyme and Reason [on GiantStep Arts; a non profit organization dedicated to supporting musical projects of its artists – see more at http://www.giantsteparts.org . The recording is a double album of Palmer originals recorded live at the Jazz Gallery in NYC with the superb lineup of Mark Turner on tenor sax; Matt Brewer on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums.

Nordost Playlist – November 2018

Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.

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


  1. Rang Tang Ring Toon—Mountain Man—Magic Ship
  2. Try a Little Tenderness—Dee Dee Bridgewater—Memphis…Yes, I’m Ready
  3. Right Now—Dirty Projectors—Lamp Lit Prose
  4. A Pirate Looks At Forty—Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Tim Reynolds—Jack Johnson & Friends: Best of Kokua Festival, A Benefit For The Kokua Hawaii Foundation
  5. Trampled Underfoot—Vanessa Fernandez—When the Levee Breaks
  6. Yip Roc Heresy—Slim Gaillard And His Orchestra—Laughing In Rhythm: The Best Of The Verve Years
  7.  Love Is For Me—The Meters—Rejuvenation
  8. Alien (Hold On to Your Dreams)—Gil Scott-Heron—Nothing New
  9. Over Everything—Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile—Lotta Sea Lice
  10. Freelance—Toro y Moi—Freelance