Dialogue is my eighth album as a leader (tenth if I count the albums I recently co-signed with saxophonists Miguel Zenon and Sam Sadigursky). This time, I present a duo piano/guitar - a highly demanding orchestration - that turns into an atypical trio with the add of vocal on half of the repertoire. It is the discovery of guitarist Ralph Lavital who was my student in composition at Edim - and through him singer Nicolas Pelage - that motivated this new musical adventure.
These two young musicians from Caribbean descent (French West-Indies) have been a tremendous source of inspiration for the elaboration of an entirely original repertoire that fuses New-York and Caribbean influences. We just came back from a five weeks tour in Austral African and Indian Ocean where we shot most of this EPK footage (see below). The album comes out on NY based Sunnyside Records label end of October 2013. We will be playing at the Jazz Gallery (NYC) on November 14th, 2013.
This new video presents two songs that are not from the album : Coco de Mer that I wrote during our African tour, last june and Big In, a tune by Ralph.
Sandro Zerafa - The Bigger Picture
I am very proud and happy to be part of third album by Maltese - but Parisian based - guitar player and composer Sandro Zerafa. Here is The Bigger Picture recorded like the previous one (Urban Poetics) at Sutdios La Buissonne in Pernes-Les-Fontaines by Gérard de Haro and Nicolas Baillard and mixed and mastered by Katsuhiko Naito at Avatar Studios in New York. For this new Opus, drummer Fred Pasqua takes over excellent Karl Jannuska's seat, and altist Olivier Zanot - already featured on Sandro's first album White Russian - comes and blows his excellence over this Saudade infused music.
Miguel Zenón - Rayuela
I have the great pleasure to be part of Miguel Zenón's new group Rayuela for which he obtained the CMA FACE grant from Chamber America.
Rayuela is the title of the amazing novel by Argentinean author Julio Cortazar that takes place both in Paris and in Buenos Aires. Miguel suggested that we should work on the book and its sophisticated characters as an inspiration for our writting. We both agreed that I would write music based on the Argentinean part as he would focus on the Parisian part.
This new music has been played for the first time in Paris, at the Sunside Jazz club, April 2nd and 3rd, with an atypical quartet featuring cello and trombone player Dana Leong and percussion and tabla master Dan Weiss. We will bring this music in the United States before the summer. More information about these American gigs will be posted soon.
You can listen to a Live version below of Miguel's composition featured in his latest album that just received two Grammy Awards Nominations (Esta Plena, Marsalis Music). This track was recorded live at Ronnie Scott's, in London, in November 2009 where Miguel was invited by the London Jazz Festival. That night I was subbing for his long-time partner pianist Luis Perdomo who could not get a visa on time. Hans Glawischnig is playing bass, Henry Cole is on drums.
Eight Fragments of Summer
The new quartet album is now available in the US on Emusic and Itunes. You can also buy it HERE (it will be shipped to you from France), check out the new review by Mark F. Turner on Allaboutjazz.com, or the schizophrenic one at Chris Kelsey's blog, who offers a really cleaver, funny, and refreshing approach...
It was recorded in September 2008 after an intense New York summer where I got back making music with former mates who recorded Like A Tree in the City some six years ago ; tenor sax Jérôme Sabbagh and drummer Damion Reid. Together along with young bass player Joe Sanders, we worked on a new repertoire specifically written for this band.
These eight new compositions summarize these years of inspiration, work and friendship with these amazing musicians. May these fragments put together make a warm and long-lasting season.
Listen to the full album with the player below !
Sandro Zerafa - Urban Poetics
I am very excited about Malta guitar player Sandro Zerafa's new album that was recorded at Studio La Buissonne (south of France) by Nicolas Baillard last fall, along with acoustic bass player Yoni Zelnik and drummer Karl Jannuska. The mixing and mastering were completed by Katsuhiko Naito at Avatar Studios (New York) in January 2011. It features ten originals by Sandro that could as well have been recorded in NY, for these inventive forms, haunting melodies and daring harmonies sound like they've just come out of a Brooklyn session. The album is being released in April 2011 on French Collective Paris Jazz Underground (PJU) label, and soon will be available in stores around France as well as all the major digital platforms.
Sam Sadigursky - Words Project IV
I am proud to have taken part of the recording of Sam Sadigursky's new Words Porject IV, along with American singer Christine Correa, and Yoni Zelnik (acoustic bass) and Kalr Jannuska (drums). This album was recorded at Studio La Buissonne (Pernes-Les-Fontaines-France) by Gérard de Haro and Nicolas Baillard and mixed by Katsuhiko Naito at Avatar (NYC). As for his previous Words Project, this new set of compositions was elaborated based on contemporary poetry to which Sam and Christine give a new birth with their heartfelt engagement. This is genuine and free, daring and generous, challenging and rewarding music.
Sam Sadigursky & Laurent Coq - Crosswords / Mots Croisés
Crosswords - Mots Croisés, the album we co-signed with New York based multi-saxophonist, flutist and clarinetist Sam Sadigursky is available for download on May 15, 2013, on our Bandcamp page.
As for Sam's previous work, this music was written on poems from four great XX century poets : William Carlos Williams, D.H. Lawrence, Blaise Cendrars and Eugène Guillevic. Two poems originally written in English, and two in French. Each one has been later translated in the other language. I've written music for the French versions, sung by Laurence Allison, and Sam wrote music on the English versions, sung by Christine Correa. Rhythm section is brilliantly held by Yoni Zelnik and Karl Jannuska.
This project was initially supported by the FACE programm (French American Cultural Exchange) which allowed us to present the music in Paris three years ago (at Sunside Jazz Club and French National Radio). Afterwards, we felt the need to document this work by reocrding it.
Guilhem Flouzat - One Way... Or Another
Guilhem Flouzat is a young drummer and composer from France who is currently studying at the Manhattan School. We met some five years ago when he was my student at Edim in Paris. Ever since, he's come a long way. Last year, he asked me to take part of the recording of his first album as a leader, which took place at Gimmick Studios in Paris, last August, with sound engineer Sylvain Thévenard.
The group is a cosmopolitan sextet featuring American tenor saxophonist Ben Wendel, young French alto player Antonin Hoang, young French guitarist -another NY expatriate and former sutdent- Michael Valeanu and, alternating (expect on one track where they play together), French bass player Simon Tailleu and Italian bassist Matteo Bortone. Last but not least, Armenian pianist Tygran Hamasyan displays his explosive and unique voice on two tunes. We mixed this awesome music with old time friend and excellent sound engineer Katsuhiko Naito at Avatar in New York.
Repertoire is exclusively written by Guilhem and is far removed from what one usually expects from a young drummer. Absolutely no show-off in these fine tracks, but instead a very homogenous ensemble of tunes that demonstrates a precocious vision and quite remarquable maturity... requiring your full attention !
The album comes out in January 2011 and is available at Onze Heure Onze, a French musicians collective.
David Prez - Awakening
Tenor saxophonist David Prez is releasing his new album Awakening on PJU label (Paris Jazz Undeground). I am very happy to have been involved in its recording, along with guitarist Romain Pillon, bassist Yoni Zelnik and drummer Karl Jannuska. Trumpet player Yoann Loustalot is also featured on four tracks. It was recorded at La Buissonne Studios, Pernes-les-Fontaines, by Gerard de Haro assisted by Simon Lancelot, and mixed and mastered by Katsuhiko Naito at Avatar Studios, NYC. The repertoire is almost entirely written by David except for two songs by Romain, and shows how well our music is doing these days. The group will be at Sunside, Paris, on March 30, 2012.
Julien Lourau Saigon
After more than two years of work, concerts, and traveling together, Julien's project finally sees the light with the release of Saigon at the end of September on label Naïve. Recorded at Studio La Buissonne by Gerard de Haro in December 2008, it features Thomas Brasserie on acoustic bass and Otis Brown III on drums.
It all started when Julien called me to go to Haiti for a week of concerts, six months after he visited us in NY (I was sharing an apartment in Harlem with Thomas at the time). This amazing trip marked the start of a fruitful collaboration.
We have more than one thing in common though ; same age, same number of album as a leader-composer, and a career that often cross-pathed over the course of the past twenty years.
For all these reasons, it was also natural that we would both write original music for this quartet. As a result, the new album features four new originals by Julien, and five by myself. The band will be on the road soon, starting October in Vernouillet (2), in Paris at La Cigalle (7) and in Perpignan (23).
A new kind of gro(o)ve
After almost 10 years with label Cristal, I'm proud to announce the birth of 88TREES, my own label. The new quartet album entitled Eight Fragments Of Summer will be available (physically and digitally online) in April 2009 on 88TREES, as well as Verstatile, Blowing Trio Live at the Duc, Like A Tree In The City, and Spinnin'. Only the second Blowing Trio recording The Thing To Share remains on Cristal. Why ? Because that's the only one I didn't produced. More soon...
What's the true value of music to you ?
Emusic is a subscription-based service that offers a wide variety of good quality Mp3 from independents labels such as Obliq Sound, Sunnyside Records, Fresh Sound, Naxos... It even provides a Download Manager software that makes downloading very easy. Way cheaper while offering a much better catalogue of non-DRM files, this is just the best alternative to Itunes. If, like me, you still believe music has a cost and a value - therefore a price attached to it - you will love Emusic.
Sweet Sounds Of New York
For those who like me, feel NYCity-sick sometimes, NY Sound Map is an awesome website that offers a wide variety of sounds from the city that not only never sleeps but sounds like no others. You'll hear sounds taken in the streets, at a museum, a train station, in a bus ride through Brooklyn... You'll even get a sens of how the city sounded like in... 1970 ! With these selected recordings the site drows a different picture that avoid the commonplaces and rather shows a more genuine view of the city. If you want to embark on a fast trip, check out the Sound Map Mix.
Less peculiar and yet pretty effective, the Sounds Of New York will provide all the clichés that make New York's signature.
finally, a totally hypnotic website that mixes in real time an ambient sound track with a police car radio... quite crazy and yet very effective.
Recent releases we can't quit listening to :
Ben Monder oceana
Brian Blade Mama Rosa
Jesse Elder The Winding Shell
Fly Sky & Country
Dan Weiss Timshel
David Binney Graylen Epicenter
Nate Wood Fall
Paul Motian | Chris Potter | Jason Moran Lost in Dream
Walter Smith III III
Ben Wendel Simple Songs
Scott Colley Empire
Bruce Barth | Steve Wilson Home
Chris Lightcap Big Mouth Deluxe
Lage Lund Unlikely Stories
Karl Jannuska Streaming
Rudresh Mahanthappa & Steve Lehman Dual Identity
Nelson Veras Solo Session (Volume 1)
Pete Robbins Do The Hate Laugh Shimmy
Steve Lehman Travail, Transformation, and Flow
Miles Okazaki Générations
Sean Wayland Expensive Habit
Logan Richardson Ethos
Marcus Strickland Idiosyncrasies
Kneebody Low Electrical Worker
Tigran Hamasyan Red Hail
Donny McCaslin Declaration
Fred Hersch Plays Jobim
John Hollenbeck Eternal Interlude
Tony Malaby Paloma Recio
Gabriel Kahane Gabriel Kahane
Christian McBride Live at Tonic
Joshua Redman Compass
Jimmy Greene The Overcomer's Suite
Rebecca Martin The Growing Season
Brian Blade Fellowship Season Of Changes
Miles Okazaki Mirror
Christian Scott Live at Newport
Bill Carrothers Home Row
Mark Murphy To find you there
Ambrose Akinmusire Prelude To Cora
Dan Weiss trio Now Yes When
Guillermo Klein Una Nave
JD Allen I Am I Am
Chris Lightcap Big Mouth
Eivind Opsvik Overseas III
Leron Thomas Dirty Draws Vol. 1
Leron Thomas Dirty Draws Vol. 2
Chris Potter Song For Anyone
Joshua Redman Back East
Steve Lehman On Meaning
Ralph Alessi | This Against That Look
David Doruzka Hidden Paths
Vijay Iyer Tragicomic
Gonzalo Rubalcaba Avatar
Kurt Rosenwinkel The Remedy
Danny Grissett Encounters
Larry Goldings Awareness
Miguel Zenon Awake
Rosa Passos | Ron Carter Entre Amigos
Donny McCaslin In Pursuit
Greg Osby Inner Circles
Antonio Sanchez Migration
Fred Hersch Leaves Of Grass
Sam Sadigursky The Words Project
Joe Lovano and Hank Jones Kids - Duets live at Dizzy's