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Bob Barnard

Spike Mason

10/11/2020 Alan Braufman – The Fire Still Burns


New York jazz saxophonist Alan Braufman has released his new album . The Fire Still Burns is out now, two years after the rerelease of Alan's 1975 album Valley of Search. The album is preceded by singles "Sunrise," "Home," and "No Floor No Ceiling."
"When I found out that my 1975 album, Valley of Search, was getting reissued in 2018, I felt a wave of inspiration," says Alan. "In preparing for the first live performance of Valley of Search in decades at both WNYC's Greene Space and Brooklyn's National Sawdust, I realized that, of course, I would need some new music to play as well. I sat down at the piano to noodle around a bit and 20 minutes later, I'd written 'Home.' I gave it this name because, I was coming back home - to New York City - to play music. The other tunes on the album also seemed equally inspired. I've always thought of writing music was more like finding music. The music on this album was easy to find."
Recently, Alan shared a trailer for The Fire Still Burns. The three minute video features footage of the recording of the album at Long Pond (The National's studio) in upstate New York's Hudson Valley.
The Fire Still Burns is only the second album to be released under Alan's own name, following Valley of Search. The new album features Cooper-Moore (piano), James Brandon Lewis (Tenor sax), Andrew Drury (drums) and Ken Filiano (bass) as well as Alan himself (alto sax, flute).
Alan Braufman is an instrumental figure in New York City downtown culture. Born in Brooklyn, after studying at Berklee College of Music he moved to a vacant building at 510 Canal Street in Manhattan alongside several other musicians. Monthly rent at the time was $140 for a floor, and the space was transformed into a practice space and venue. This gritty, improvised set up in downtown Manhattan would blaze a trail for generations of creatives and set a do-it-yourself tradition for young jazz acts in the city that is followed to this day. During this period Alan recorded Valley of Search at 501 Canal Street, and released it with the label India Navigation. The album is a perfect snapshot of the energy and creativity of its era, and would come to achieve cult status. It was highly sought after by vinyl collectors, and in 2018 Alan reissued Valley of Search.

10/11/2020 Avgenicos Brothers – Treading Water


Treading Water is the long-awaited debut from Avgenicos Brothers .Featuring saxophonist Michael Avgenicos and his brother, trumpeter Tom Avgenicos , the joint project sees them alongside some of Sydney’s leading young jazz artists including pianist Novak Manojlovic (Freedman Jazz Fellowship winner), guitarist Felix Lalanne (Montreux International Guitar Competition finalist), bassist Nick Henderson and drummer Alex Hirlian (National Jazz Award Winner). This debut embodies the brothers’ lifelong musical dialogue amongst a love of modern jazz, groove and electronic sound scapes.
The band members all met during their time at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music from 2012 to ‘15, and have since played in many bands together including Colourfields, Arcing Wires, Fryja and other collaborations across the Sydney improvised music scene.
“As friends and peers, we have an implicit understanding of each other’s playing,” explains Tom. “This has helped shape the sound of the group. Michael and I have been playing together from the first days on our instruments, and regularly share ideas and work together, especially in our writing. By the time we bring our new tunes to the band, we have a strong idea about how it will sound and come to life.”
Treading Water represents the feeling of overcoming. It frames the process of perseverance, resilience and reflection through open textural improvisation, expressive solos and thoughtful ensemble playing. “This album is a watershed moment for us, having spent years honing our craft as performers and composers,” says Michael. “Now is the right time for this album to emerge – an honest representation of our musical journeys.”
Michael and Tom Avgenicos are well known fixtures on the Australian jazz scene, both are National Jazz Awards finalists and have performed alongside Australian jazz greats Barney McAll, Jonathan Zwartz and Mike Nock. Michael is an active member of Coast, Eishan Ensemble and Fryja. Tom leads his own projects Delay 45 and Tuckerbox, and is a member of Mike Nock’s NOCTET.

10/11/2020 Alex Moxon Welcome to a New World


"Guitarist Alex Moxon has been a familiar face on the Ottawa jazz scene for more than a decade. The Ottawa-raised 29-year-old guitarist has spent this time refining his artistic voice while performing with a who's who of local and national talent. His debut record, Alex Moxon Quartet, showcases his unique point of view as a player, composer, and bandleader.
Written and recorded during the nine months prior to the birth of Alex’s son, Fraser, the album’s theme is birth, and rebirth: not just the birth of a new family member, but also Alex’s evolution from sideman to leader. The music is imbued with a sense of urgency and excitement for this upcoming chapter in his life. For example, the opening track, Woody Shaw’s “In A Capricornian Way,” was selected as much for its inherent musical qualities and respect for its composer as it was for the knowledge that Fraser's due date was December 22 (which would render him, of course, a Capricorn). Another example: Moxon's composition “Piety in Crescent Park,” conceived after an afternoon spent in New Orleans’ Crescent Park, evokes a sense of wonder and optimism for the future that can be felt even amidst the uncertainty of the Covidian Era.
Moxon is supported on the record by comrades and Ottawa natives Steve Boudreau, piano, John Geggie, bass, and Michel Delage, drums. Together, they have the sort of chemistry that can only be earned from a history of playing together, as over the years they have all worked together both collectively and in split configurations.
Overall, Alex Moxon Quartet delivers an experience that uplifts and excites listeners as it leads them along a path of varying emotional landscapes that mirror the complexities of the world we find ourselves in. Let it be an antidote for gloom and despair, and a reminder that the future will be a wonderful place."

10/11/2020 Dr Dave Young Ides of March


Order of Canada recipient, Dr. Dave Young , is one of Canada’s most celebrated and valued bassists, composers, arrangers, and educators. Originally from Winnipeg, Young has made his name known on both the Canadian and international stages in both jazz and classical music for the last 5 decades, and along the way has worked with some of the world’s top artists in various fields. Known for his elegant tone, impeccable time, and immense knowledge of musical history, Young has been a first-call bassist for the likes of Oscar Peterson, Lenny Breau, Oliver Jones, Cedar Walton , and countless others.
Young’s career has reached the highest of heights in Canada, as he has not only played the best venues across the country, but has worked with an extensive list of who’s who in this country in terms of players. That list includes such names as Peter Appleyard, Renee Rosnes, Don Thompson, Joe Sealy, Molly Johnson, and Guido Basso - and of course, the brilliant players on this new recording.
Ides of March , his brilliant new quartet album, is the follow up to his 2019 disc Trouble in Mind, a trio outing nominated for a 2020 Juno Award. Recorded in early 2020 and named after a composition of Young’s, the choice of title turned out to be prophetic in light of the Covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted the whole world. Regarding the session, Young states that “listening to this music now renews my faith in jazz improvisation and certainly highlights the wonderful talents of Reg, Kevin and Terry. We hope we will come back one day soon and can perform this music “live” for a jazz audience!”
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