Friday, April 24, 2009
Zvonimir Tot – guitar; Larry Gray – double bass; Ernie Adams – drums; Orbert Davis – trumpet, flugelhorn; Mark Colby – tenor saxophone; Julie Koidin – alto flute; Stefan Milenkovich - violin.
Zvonimir Tot is a jazz guitarist, composer, and arranger with a style deeply rooted in the jazz tradition but flavored by his European origin. He holds way too many university degrees. Tot is the Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago. As a jazz musician, Zvonimir Tot has performed and/or recorded in The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Croatia. He has performed with many world-renowned artists, including saxophonists Scott Hamilton, Billy Harper and Peter King, organist Joey DeFrancesco, violinists Johnny Frigo and Stefan Milenkovich, drummers Ernie Adams, Paul Wertico and Byron Landham, bassists Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, John Clayton and Hein Van de Geyn, trumpeter Orbert Davis, pianists Larry Novak and Larry Vuckovich, guitarists Philip Catherine, Henry Johnson and Paulinho Garcia, vocalists Jackie Allen, Carmen Lundy and Deborah Carter, and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.
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Friday, April 17, 2009
The Blissters - Vocal Overdubs - Part of a Music Focused Study Course at Flashpoint Academy held at Wall 2 Wall Recording
Aaron Koppel – electric guitar; Matt Nelson – piano; Graham Czach – bass; Robert Tucker – drums; Greg Ward – alto saxophone; Geof Bradfield – tenor saxophone.
“You may have heard small-group compositions as strong and flavorful as the ones on this album, but if you can’t remember exactly when, you should again not worry: it’s probably been a while… Koppel serves more as bandleader and composer/arranger, guiding his small yet versatile ensemble and letting his writing speak louder than his guitar… [Pianist Matt] Nelson’s suave command of his material matches up neatly with his fertile imagination and his knowledge of jazz history; Koppel gives him the majority of the solo space on this disc, and Nelson transforms it into his personal debutante’s ball, emerging as an impressive new voice well worth tracking. He kicks it off with a rangy concerto of a solo on the opening track and doesn’t flag, with a series of improvisations that illuminate (and at times deconstruct) the underlying compositions… All in all, Aaron Koppel and company – most of whom you’ve never heard of – have produced a lovely, lively collection marked by intelligent writing, emotional depth, and sterling musicianship.” – Neil Tesser (from the liner notes)
The Aaron Koppel Quartet is a unique bop driven force that can only be described as what it is: another new exit off the highway of jazz. Founded by Aaron Koppel in 2002, the Aaron Koppel Quartet is made up of Chicago natives: guitarist Aaron Koppel, pianist Matt Nelson (Matthew Santos), Robert Tucker (Matthew Santos), and bassist Graham Czach (Chicago Afrobeat Project). Their debut album released in 2007 "The Wild Call of the Multitasker" received a lot of attention in Chicago, being featured on WXRT's Jazz Transfusion, Chicago's 93.1 FM, XM radio's Beyond Jazz, New Mexico's KSFR 101.1 FM Santa Fe Public Radio, WDCB 90.9 FM College of DuPage Public Radio, PBS 106.7 FM Melbourne, Australia, and several internet radio sites. With the addition of Geof Bradfield (tenor), Greg Ward (alto) and Johanna Mahmud (trombone) the Aaron Koppel Quartet received two nominations for the Toronto Exclusive Magazine Awards, Best International Jazz Group and Best International Jazz Song with Koppel's arrangement of Radiohead's "Myxomatosis (Judge, Jury, Executioner)."
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
VOLUME 5: TONY DO ROSARIO’S NEW CHICAGO JAZZ QUARTET • NEW BEGINNINGS
Tony do Rosario – electric & acoustic guitar; Geof Bradfield – tenor saxophone; Nathan Kawaller – acoustic bass; Greg Wyser-Pratte – drums.
“Brazilian/American guitarist Tony Do Rosario delivers an energetic and engaging performance with his sophomore album New Beginnings… The four musicians come together to produce an album of original modern jazz that is mentally engaging and possesses broad appeal… All of the compositions were written by Do Rosario, and each track brings to light his varied background as a musician. Leading off with the title track, which is very reminiscent of '70s-style ECM, “On This Day” follows as a hard-driving bossa nova that can be directly traced to Do Rosario's ethnic heritage. Do Rosario also enters the funk-jazz realm with “Don't Get Fresh With Me,” and tips his hat to the pop world with the Andy Summers-esque “K.” This diversity of influences only helps to strengthen the appeal of New Beginnings, as each new tune occupies a different corner of the modern jazz world… Far from being simply a vehicle to show off Do Rosario's improvisational technique, the disc comes together because of the total effort from the band as a whole. The ability of the musicians to solo and bring their own voice to each tune only acts to contrast the moments when the group dynamic is so tight that it feels as if they are a single instrument… New Beginnings is a strong sophomore album for Do Rosario and his new quartet. With a seamlessly never-ending supply of creativity at his fingertips, Do Rosario should be a leading voice on the Chicago jazz scene for some time to come.” - Matthew Warnock, All About Jazz, March 2009.
“The sheen draws you in; the depth keeps you from leaving. Do Rosario does this with his guitar, offering a plummy tone and gracious attack as initial enticements; only then does he reveal the sturdy, enveloping improvisations that continue to expand with repeated listenings. He also does this with his compositions, almost all of which sound attractively familiar, and then turn out to be richer and more rewarding than the initial impression… what is beyond dispute is that Bradfield and do Rosario have formed a mutually conducive partnership. You hear it in the way that Bradfield immerses himself in do Rosario’s compositions, but also in the way that their individual styles as improvisers – Bradfield, the busy but cogent deconstructionist; do Rosario, the simpler yet equally analytical melodist – complement each other. You hear it especially in the moments of simultaneous soloing that dot this album… such moments sparkle.” – Neil Tesser (from the liner notes)
Jazz guitar’s elder statesman John Pisano described Tony Do Rosario as “one of the most promising young jazz guitarists on the L.A. jazz scene today." The L.A. Times Jazz Review said of Tony "...he is a hard-core traditionalist, solidly tapped into his roots in the styles of guitarists such as Jim Hall and Joe Pass." Similar impressions were no doubt left with those who’ve heard him at L.A.’s top jazz clubs, including the Baked Potato and Catalina's, as well as New York's world-famous Birdland, Chris’s Jazz Café in Philadelphia, and Fascing in Stockholm, Sweden. Along the way, Tony has shared the stage with the likes of Pisano, Ron Echete, Jimmy Bruno, Paul Bollenback, Mundell Lowe, Jack Wilkins and Howard Alden. It’s no surprise that Brad Walseth of jazzchicago.net ranks Tony “among the very best jazz guitarists of the current generation."
Born to a musical Brazilian family in Atlantic City, NJ, where he took up the guitar at the tender age of twelve, Tony has since left both coasts for Chicago, were he now resides, performs, and teaches. He can be heard at venues such as Pops for Champagne, Katerina’s, Cuatro and other clubs around the Chicago area, but still ventures occasionally to his east-coast roots to play Chris’ Jazz club in Philadelphia and Smalls in New York City.