Last week was amazing… besides 3 nights at the Cully Jazz Festival with great concerts, jams, encounters and wine, I was lucky enough to see an amazing group of human beings record together. Thanks for letting me be part of it!
Besides Cully Jazz the theme of the week was South African – Swiss collaborations. Below you can find one of the amazing tunes. Performed by a all South African band. Most of them were in Switzerland last week and played in two different bands.
Franz von Chossy Quintet. One of the bands I’ve never heard live so far, but know their music from uncounted plays on my stereo at home.
Franz postet this youtube-link on Facebook today. Just great! He writes:
From our last China tour. My favourite part comes at the end, when Alex takes that extra solo round. Big thanks to all my band members and of course Peng Production for this wonderful memory. Hope you enjoy (turn up your speakers!).
Once a month I will include a tune composed and performed by Ben Wendel and a guest. He started the series with one of my favorite piano players, Taylor Eigsti and goes on with the great Saxophonist Joshua Redman.
Joshua Redman is one of my all-time favorite saxophonists and artists. I listened to his first album “Wish” with Charlie Haden, Pat Metheny and Billy Higgins countless times in college, and became a lifelong fan. To me his playing is an inspiring combination of joy and freedom coupled with complexity.
As the years have passed, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Josh and to get to know him better as an artist and a human. He has a genuine and intense curiosity for the musician’s process and is always checking out new folks on the scene, sharing his time with younger generations & looking for new ways to grow. In spite of his busy touring life, he always been incredibly generous with advice. Just to mention one example, he helped guide my search for the saxophone I currently play.
The inspiration for the February piece is both technical and musical. The former comes from literal elements in Josh’s playing – specifically, his amazing altissimo and ability to leap around effortlessly from the bottom to the top range of the horn. I also wanted the piece to reflect the playful quality I associate with Josh, and I tried to capture some of that essence in the writing.
It goes without saying I’m incredibly thankful to have had the chance to honor Josh’s artistry with this composition.
We recorded the piece in a beautiful private performance venue in Berkeley – the Maybeck Recital Hall. This space is a saxophonist’s dream and I’m very grateful to the current owner for allowing us to use the space!
More info on this project and the artists involved can be found here.
On his website Ben writes:
The idea and goal of “The Seasons” was a simple one: 12 original pieces dedicated to 12 musicians I deeply admire, released over 12 months. Though this ended up being one of the most challenging and complex projects I’ve ever attempted, it also turned out to be one of the most rewarding.
The duos are compositionally (and personally) related to the selected guests and their unique artistry. Each musician I have chosen has had a direct influence on my playing and has been a creative inspiration. Whether it is the rhythmic nuance of a drummer or the intervallic approach of a saxophonist, I’ve sought to match the composition to the selected artist’s voice as I envision it.
SubCulture is a music and performing arts venue located in the historic NoHo neighborhood of downtown Manhattan. Founded by brothers and lifelong music lovers Marc and Steven Kaplan, the venue was designed to foster an intimate connection between artists and the audience by incorporating the absolute best in sound and lighting technology into a room with naturally strong acoustic and architectural features.
Tigran Hamasyan, piano, voice, keyboards, synths, sound effects
Sam Minaie, electric bass
Arthur Hnatek, drums & live electronics
Saghmasavanq is a very famous 12th-century monastery in Armenia, close to Yerevan. It’s a magical place, right on a cliff, surrounded by the most incredible scenery, with hectares of apple orchards. The song starts off very intimate, as a piano solo in a minor key, with a voice singing the melody, but the idea was for it to develop into something quite different. By the end there is a huge wall of sound that is almost turning into white noise!