Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Manfred Eicher To Be Interviewed By Gary Giddins At Proshansky Auditorium 11/19/09

Don’t miss a rare opportunity to hear Manfred Eicher (Producer and Founder of ECM Records)in conversation with Gary Giddins (critic /author)

November 19th, Thursday, 6:30pm
Proshansky Auditorium
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Ave (at 34th St)
Information: 212/817.2005

Manfred Eicher founded ECM Records in 1969 specifically aiming to record jazz with great attention to sonic detail. Now 40 years later, the ECM catalog contains well over a thousand recordings of jazz, classical and world music from around the globe. The imprint is known for not only for the stellar musicianship of its roster and the clear, rich recorded sound, but also for remarkable artwork and graphics.

Gary Giddins is a critic and author widely recognized as a leading voice in jazz criticism.

Rare Blend To Release New Album Titled Sessions

Cleveland, OHIO USA

Scheduled for December 14th, 2009, instrumental music group Rare Blend will release their 5th CD album SESSIONS, an impressive 14 track disc of LIVE recordings from stage and studio. Unlike the group’s previous CD’s, SESSIONS highlights Rare Blend’s “one takes”, and “in the moment” jam-fusion instrumentals.

SESSIONS features new songs and improvisations from shows in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and “in-studio” improvs recorded at Odyssey Studios in Cleveland. Also included are selections from a taping for the Crooked River Groove television program (title track - Hipster Spinster), as well as performances during their 2008 Bridging The Gap music/film series against the backdrop of such classic films as; “Phantom of the Opera” and “Metropolis”.

Taking a hiatus this year to review hours of collected recordings, mix and master the release, Rare Blend did pop up for an amazing show opening for Ozric Tentacles at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland. Here the group snuck out a few SESSIONS tracks that were very well received and solidified Rare Blend’s eagerness to finish the disc by the end of the year and to bring the spontaneous side of their music to audiences in 2010.

“What a supremely tight, high energy (Rare Blend) performance yesterday evening at the Beachland Ballroom. Incredible band!” -(Robert Menser - WJCU 88.7 FM Cleveland)

Coming soon, distribution of SESSIONS and digital downloads will be available through CD Baby and the Rare Blend website.

Musicians involved with ‘Sessions’ are:

Vic Samalot ~ Electric / Acoustic Guitar
Bobbi Holt ~ Keyboards, 2nd guitar on “Neon Noodle”, percussion on “ Hide & Seek”
Jeffrey Scott ~ Bass
Ivan George ~ Drums & Percussion
Vince Broncaccio ~ Drums & Percussion on “Neon Noodle” & “The Timekeeper”
Phil Quidort ~ Trumpet on “Market Square”

Iona To Play Nearfest 2010

Philadelphia-November 17, 2009
NEARfest is proud to announce the addition of Iona to the 2010 lineup! Hailing from England, Celtic symphonic progressive rock band Iona was formed in 1989 by multi-instrumentali sts David Fitzgerald and Dave Bainbridge and joined soon after by lead vocalist Joanne Hogg. The inspiration for the band and its name came from a visit that Fitzgerald made to the serene and beautiful Scottish island of Iona the year prior. By the time Iona released their self-titled debut album in 1990, Nick Beggs (bass), Fiona Davidson (Celtic harp), Peter Whitfield (strings), Troy Donockley (Uillean pipes) and Frank Van Essen (drums, violin) had joined the band.

In 1992, the band released "The Book of Kells," a concept album based on the legendary Irish tome . Terl Bryant took over on drums and percussion for this album after the departure of Frank Van Essen. Fitzgerald also left the band to pursue a degree in music. The band's third album, "Beyond These Shores" (1993), which included guest musician Robert Fripp, was loosely based on the voyage of St. Brendan. "Journey into the Morn" (1995) was a more straight-forward release inspired by the hymn "Be Thou My Vision," which bookends the album in Gaelic and features Máire Brennan, lead singer of Celtic/New Age band Clannad.

After two live albums, Bryant left the band and Van Essen returned to play drums on 2000's "Open Sky," which was followed in 2002 by a boxed set called "The River Flows," the first release on the band's own label. The box contains their then-out-of- print first three albums remastered, as well as a fourth disc of unreleased tracks. After six years without a new studio album, the band released the gorgeous "The Circling Hour" in 2006 as well as a 2-disc live DVD "Iona: Live in London," featuring a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround mix.

Since then, the band has continued to play live shows across Europe to enthusiastic crowds. The band has also returned to the studio to begin work on a new album which will see the light in 2010 to coincide with their 20th anniversary. In helping to celebrate the band's milestone, NEARfest is very pleased to welcome Iona to the stage to treat us to their wonderful stylistic weave of Celtic music and symphonic rock.

Iona website: http://www.iona.

Bassit Jeff Clyne Passes At Age 72

Jeff Clyne was a self-taught musician, although he spent some short periods studying with orchestral players. In 1955, he became a military bandsman in the 3rd Hussars for his National Service. During that period, he played in London with Tony Crombie's Rockets and with Stan Tracey. In 1958, he joined the Jazz Couriers, a group co-led by Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott. He continued to work with Hayes' various groups for about ten years. In the early 60's, Clyne also worked with such avant-garde groups as the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and Amalgam, led by John Stevens and Trevor Watts. In 1965, he was a member of the Stan Tracey quartet, which recorded the classic album Under Milk Wood. In the late 1960's, he worked with Gordon Beck (playing on his influential Experiments With Pops album alongside John McLaughlin and Tony Oxley in December 1967) and Tony Kinsey.

In 1969, he took up bass guitar, joining Nucleus at its beginning and staying until 1971. The group won first prize at the Newport Jazz Festival the same year, and at the Village Gate in New York. He also gigged with Keith Tippett's acclaimed sextet alongside Elton Dean, Mark Charig and Nick Evans. In 1972 he was a founding member of Gary Boyle's Isotope, playing on the band's first album and gigging around England. He joined Gilgamesh in 1975 in time for the recording sessions of the band's eponymous album. In 1976, with singer Pepi Lemer and former Isotope acolyte Brian Miller on keyboards, he formed Turning Point, a fusion band for which he composed much of the music and which recorded two acclaimed albums, Creatures Of The Night and Silent Promise. The band broke up after an Arts Council sponsored UK tour in October 1980 for which an augmented line-up (including Neil Ardley and Allan Holdsworth) performed mostly new material that sadly remains undocumented on record.

He has accompanied singers Blossom Dearie, Marion Montgomery, Annie Ross and Norma Winstone, and worked with many US musicians, including Lucky Thompson, Zoot Sims, Phil Woods, Jim Hall, Lockjaw Davis, Taj Farlow, and with the Belgian, Toots Thielemans. He has been active in education of several years and is currently co-director of the Wavendon Summer Jazz Course, and also on the faculty of both the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music jazz courses. In 1987, he recorded the acclaimed Twice Upon A Time album with ex-Gilgamesh guitarist Phil Lee. In 1990, he toured the UK as part of Gordon Beck's trio, with John Marshall on drums. He still plays jazz gigs regularly with various groups, often with drummer Trevor Tomkins. In 2003, he resumed his partnership with John Marshall in John Etheridge's quartet.
Jeff Clyne died on November 16th 2009, of a heart attack.

Mike Keneally's Amazing "Scambot 1" Due out Nov. 24

Calling the first volume of Mike Keneally’s Scambot trilogy "ambitious" might be understating things a bit. For five years Mike held it close to his heart as his main project, employing nine engineers and many musicians at six studios.
"We devoted intense energy to every second of the album," says Mike. "There is a plot, and a bunch of characters. The CD booklet contains a very long story I wrote which lays out all of the action. Musically speaking, it's about two-thirds instrumental. It encompasses a little bit of straightforward-ish rock and pop, a lot of rigorous composition and arrangement, some obsessively intricate vocal and instrumental harmonies, some improvisation which has been orchestrated, some digitally-manipulated musique concrete, some purely uncategorizable stuff and, I think, some of the most interesting melodies I've come up with. It is a peculiar album but I think very satisfying as a journey, and emotionally it hits a lot of different moods."

And here's another clue for you all: Scambot 1, Mike adds, is "dedicated to anyone who still listens to entire albums with their headphones on."

One of the music world's most creative, intense and unique artists, Mike's achievements as a composer, arranger, producer and multi-instrumentalist are nearly unequalled. Known chiefly as a guitarist through his work with Frank Zappa and Steve Vai, since 1992 Keneally has built a body of solo work of remarkable inventiveness and originality. His live performances, featuring brain-bending performances on a variety of instruments, have delivered consistently reliable thrills to his passionate fanbase.

Enhancing his virtuosity is Keneally’s sheer joy in exploring all types of sounds. He is equally at home singing and playing guitar with some of music’s top acts as with improvising or meticulously arranging solo piano recordings, as on 2004's Vai Piano Reductions Vol. 1, specifically commissioned by Vai, or creating The Universe Will Provide, Mike’s lauded album-length composition for guitar and Holland’s 52-piece Metropole Orchestra.

Mike is currently touring as guitarist with the [adult swim] metal band Dethklok; the new album The Dethalbum II recently debuted at #15 on the Billboard pop chart.

For more information about Mike, please visit, and for Mike Keneally music online 24 hours a day (including fun unreleased things), tune in to
** MIKE KENEALLY SCAMBOT DEBUTED AT #9 in the Gagliarchives Weekly Top 20 located here:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Peter Gabriel To Release CD Of Cover Songs

Written by Tom Breihan at
Peter Gabriel fronted Genesis when they were astral prog travelers. He also did time as one of the weirdest, least likely pop stars of the 80s and early 90s, looking like a bank manager but cranking out hallucinatory art-funk videos like "Sledgehammer" and "Shock the Monkey". More recently, he teamed up with Hot Chip to cover Vampire Weekend's "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa"-- a song that namechecks Gabriel himself. Suffice to say, Gabriel's weirdo credentials are fully in place.
Early next year, he'll reemerge with an orchestral covers album that will include Gabriel's versions of songs by Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, and the Magnetic Fields, as NME reports.
According to The Guardian, Gabriel's Scratch My Back is part of a "song-swap project" in which Gabriel will cover other people's songs, and they'll cover his. That means there's at least an outside possibility that we could hear Bon Iver take on "Red Rain"-- which would be awesome. According to NME, Scratch My Back, due January 25, is the first release in a planned series, so maybe the other folks covering Gabriel will come later.
Composer John Metcalfe tells the BBC that the album will be recorded acoustically, and that Gabriel will stick with orchestral instruments rather than drums or guitars. Says Metcalfe: "The songs are not simply covers. They are major reinterpretations of some famous stuff. It's quite radical ..."

NME has confirmed the tracklist, and it'll be fascinating to hear what Gabriel does with these songs:
Scratch My Back:
01 Heroes (David Bowie cover)
02 The Boy in the Bubble (Paul Simon cover)
03 Mirrorball (Elbow cover)
04 Flume (Bon Iver cover)
05 Listening Wind (Talking Heads cover)
06 The Power of the Heart (Lou Reed cover)
07 My Body Is a Cage (Arcade Fire cover)
08 The Book of Love (Magnetic Fields cover)
09 I Think It's Going to Rain Today (Randy Newman cover)
10 Après Moi (Regina Spektor cover)
11 Philadelphia (Neil Young cover)
12 Street Spirit (Radiohead cover)