Category: jazz

New Video: Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Charlie Gabriel to Release Debut Album As Bandleader, Shares Intimate, Behind-The-Scenes Visual for “I’m Confessin'”

88 year-old Charlie Gabriel is a New Orleans-born and-based saxophonist, clarinetist and vocalist, who has had an incredibly lengthy music career: Gabriel’s first professional gig was back in 1943, sitting in for his father in New Orleans’ Eureka Brass Band. As a teenager, he relocated to Detroit, where he played with Lionel Hampton, whose band at the time included a young Charles Mingus. Gabriel then spent nine years with a group led by Cab Calloway drummer J.C. Heard.

For a period of time, Gabriel fronted a bebop group. He has also played with or toured with Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin and a lengthy list of others before joining the legendary New Orleans jazz ensemble Preservation Hall Jazz Band in 2006. Since then, Gabriel, the most senior member of the group has developed a tight musical relationship with creative director, bassist and tuba player, Ben Jaffe, the son of the group’s co-founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe.

Gabriel signed to Sub Pop Records, who will be releasing the jazz legend’s full-length debut as a bandleader 89, which is slated for digital release on February 25, 2022 and a July 1, 2022 physical copy — CD/LP, etc. — release, a few days before his 89th birthday.

Although he’s faced plenty of challenges over the course of his almost eight decade music career, none likely rank with the death of his brother and last living sibling Leonard to COVID-19. For the first time ever, Gabriel put down his horn, filling his days and weeks instead with dark reflection, a stubborn yet understandable despondency broken now and then by regular chess matches in the studio kitchen of Pres Hall leader Ben Jaffe, who was working overtime to bring his friend and bandmate some light.

One of those afternoons also included guitarist Joshua Starkman, who was sitting off in a corner playing his guitar and half-watching Jaffe and Gabriel play chess from a distance. When Charlie returned the next day, he brought his saxophone. “I was just inspired to try it, to play again. It had been a long time, and a guitar makes me feel free. I do love the sound of a piano, but it takes up a lot of a space, keeps me kind of boxed in.”

“We had no particular plan, or any particular insight on what we were gonna do. But we were enjoying what we were doing, jamming, having a musical conversation,” Gabriel adds, further musing, “Musical conversations cancel out complications.”

Interestingly, that day wound up being the first session for 89, almost entirely the work of Gabriel, Jaffe and Starkman, recorded mostly in the kitchen by Matt Aguiluz. Charlie Gabriel plays tenor sax and clarinet on the album, Starkman plays guitar and Jaffe plays bass, drums and keys throughout the album.

The album’s material includes six standards, including “Stardust,” “I’m Confessin'” and “Three Little Words,” which the New Orleans legend describes as “standard material that every musician, if they’re an older musician like myself, will have played throughout their career. Every time I play one of these tunes the interpretation is a little bit different.” The album also includes two originals written by Gabriel, “Yellow Moon” and “The Darker It Gets” — and while being Gabriel’s debut, it also marks a return to his first instrument, clarinet on many of the album’s tracks. “The clarinet is the mother of the saxophone,” he says. “I started playing clarinet early in life, and this [taught me] the saxophone.” 

89‘s first single sees Gabriel and his bandmates play a gorgeous and utterly charming rendition of the old standard “I’m Confessin.'” Centered around a subtle re-arrangement for jazz guitar, clarinet, saxophone and bass, Gabriel’s version to my ears manages to meet Peggy Lee and Louis Armstrong somewhere in the middle, while being roomy enough for Gabriel’s vocals, which balance a wizened raspiness with an sweet tenderness. Simply put, it’s the sort of vulnerable and endearingly honest love song that we just don’t get anymore — and that’s just one why I love it so much.

Directed by Alex Hennen Payne, the recently released video for “I’m Confessin'” is shot in a gorgeous and cinematic black and white and captures the 89 sessions with a warm and loving intimacy.

Tim Carman (drums), may be best known for his work with acclaimed Boston-based blues act GA-20, which features Pat Faherty (vocals, guitar) and Matt Stubbs (guitar). Carman’s latest project, Tim Carman Trio — Carman (drums), Steve Fell (guitar) and Ken Clark (electric organ) — can trace its origins back to last year: While quarantining in a New Hampshire cabin, Carman revisited records that his first drum teacher and mentor Bob Gullotti introduced him to during his formative years as an aspiring jazz drummer.

Inspired by 60s like Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and others, The Tim Carman Trio is a no-fills, B3 organ, soul jazz outfit. The trio’s Carman and Dave Brophy co-produced full-length debut, Key Lime is slated for release sometime next year through Color Red Music. Key Lime‘s first single, the original composition “Blues for Bob ” sees Carman playing tribute to Gulloti — and the composition is a cool yet funky strut centered around Carman’s steady and efficient time-keeping and some self-assured and inspired soloing.

New Video: Tony Glausi Releases a Funky New Bop Paired with Sultry Visuals

Portland, OR-born, New York-based musician Tony Glausi is an accomplished jazz trumpeter. But with his latest full-length effort EVERYTHING AT ONCE, which has already seen praise from Soulbounce, Under the Radar, Sonofmarketing, NYS Music, Earmilk, American Songwriter and Ghettoblaster, Glausi steps out into the spotlight as a bandleader, producer and singer/songwriter, boldly pushing his sound and approach into new directions with the album’s material drawing from pop, R&B and funk. “Coming out of high school and studying music in college, I was pretty fixated on jazz trumpet playing, and my earlier releases were heavily oriented around improvisation and swing,” Glausi explains in press notes. “But as I continue to write and explore new sounds, I feel like I get closer and closer to my true voice, one record at a time.”

Sonically, the album is much like a mixtape to the Portland-born, New York-based musician’s life, as a result of his willingness to try anything. But thematically, the album is quintessentially a New York album, full of the places, random faces and random interactions that you’d fully expect here. “The album is literally a two year snapshot of my life. Each story is like a scene from a film, or I guess 10 different films” Glausi says.

“Writing EVERYTHING AT ONCE, I felt like the project wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about Tony, the trumpet player. I just wanted to make fucking songs,” Glausi explains. “I sing on three of them, but I just wanted to produce the music and ultimately let my collaborators shine,” he adds. The album features guest spots from vocalist/saxophonist Braxton Cook, Latin Grammy-nominated artist Nana Mendoza Brooklyn-based vocalist Elysse, British vocalist Max Milner and emcee Charlemagne the Goddess.

EVERYTHING AT ONCE‘s latest single “Backseat Bump” is a slinky, late night funky jam centered around buzzing bass synths, wobbling bass lines, squiggling guitars, soulful cooing from Nana Mendoaz and a strutting trumpet solo from Glausi. Sonically, the track is one part Dam-Funk, one part Future Shock era Herbie Hancock — while being something that just exudes New York flavor.

The recently released video by Evan Hansen follows Morgan Bryant and Glausi on a wild day and night out on the town, with the incredibly attractive pair goofing off and being a carefree young couple, hooking up in the backseat of a cab.

New Video: Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD Releases a Gorgeous and Mind-bending Visual for Expansive “Beside April”

The acclaimed Toronto-based jazz-inspired act BADBADNOTGOOD — currently founding members Chester Hansen (bass), and Alexander Sowinski (drums) with Leland Whitty — have developed and honed a sound and compositional approach that draws from hip-hop, electronica, jazz, acid jazz and prog rock — and famously for jazz based interpretations of hip-hop tracks, which has allowed the acclaimed Canadian ensemble to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar, Tyler The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Denzel Curry, Danny Brown, Mick Jenkins, Ghostface Killah and others.

Interestingly, BADBADNOTGOOD can trace its origins to its founders — Hansen, Sowinski and Matt Tavares — bonded over a mutual love of MF Doom and Odd Future. As the story goes, the band played a composition based on Odd Future’s music for a panel of their jazz performance instructions, who unsurprisingly didn’t believe it had much musical value. Instead of listening to their instructors, the band released the composition as “The Odd Future Sessions, Part 1.” The track eventually caught the attention of Tyler the Creator, who helped the video go viral.

BADBADNOTGOOD followed up with their full-length debut, 2011’s BBNG, which featured interpretations of A Tribe Called Quest, Waka Flocka Flame and of course,. Odd Future. Building upon a growing profile, the members of BADBADNOTGOOD recorded a live jam session with Tyler The Creator in Sowinski’s basement, with videos from the session amassing more than a million views each.

The Toronto-based act’s sophomore album 2012’s BBNG2 was recorded over a course of a ten-hour studio session. Featuring guest spots from Leland Witty (saxophone) and Luan Phung (electric guitar), the album was a mix of their own original material, as well as renditions of songs by Kanye West, My Bloody Valentine, James Blake, Earl Sweatshirt and Feist. That year, the band was the official Coachella Festival house band, backing Frank Ocean and Odd Future over the course of its two weekends.

Their third album, 2013’s III featured “Hedron,” which was featured on the compilation album Late Night Tales: Bonobo. They also assisted with the production and composition of The Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack.

The band’s fourth album, 2015’s Sour Soul saw them collaborate with Ghostface Killah on what has been described as a hip-hop album that nodded at jazz. They ended the year with covers of a handful of holiday standards, including “Christmas Time Is Here” with Choir! Choir! Choir!

Leland Whitty joined the band as a full-time member in early 2016, and the band quickly went to work producing “Hoarse” off Earl Sweatshirt’s full-length debut Doris and “GUV’NOR,” a remix, which appeared on JJ DOOM’s Keys to the Kuffs (Butter Edition). Capping off a busy year, they released their fifth album, the somewhat ironically titled IV, which featured Future Islands’ Sam Herring, Colin Stetson, Kaytranada, Mick Jenkins and JOVM mainstay Charlotte Day Wilson. The album was also named BBC Radio 6’s #1 album of the year.

The Canadian outfit’s highly anticipated psych jazz album Talk Memory is slated for an October 8, 2021 release through XL Recordings. Composed in conjunction with legendary Brazilian composer Arthur Verocai, the album features features guest spots from Karriem Riggins, Laraaji, Terrace Martin, and a list of others. Perhaps more so than their previously released material, Talk Memory sees the acclaimed act actively capturing some of the focus, energy and improvisation which is at the heart of their live show.

For the band, a song is a living, breathing entity that naturally changes and evolved as it’s played in different settings. The album plays with that thinking. After years of relentless touring, the band paused and refreshed and looked at their history and experiences before starting out on the creative process for the new album. And as a result, a sense of reflection and renewed communication is at the heart of their new creative approach. Interestingly, that led to the album’s title. While their earliest material took place very quickly, the band took on a much more international approach: The album was written over a two year period, with the band expanding upon the album’s material in the studio, rather that on the road.

Talk Memory’s latest single “Beside April” is an expansive and breathtakingly gorgeous composition featuring a cinematic string arrangement, skittering syncopated drumming and a mind-bending and expressive guitar solo. The end result is a song that — to my ears — is one part indebted to Brazilian psych rockers and JOVM mainstays Boogarins, one part jazz fusion, one part shimmering film score.

Directed by Camille Summers-Valli, the accompanying visuals draw some inspiration from the first motion picture, Horse in Motion 1878. The video itself manages to be simultaneously surreal, trippy and gorgeously shot. Plus, there’s a majestic horse that’s really the star of the entire affair. “There was really special energy around this video,” Camille Summers-Valli says. “The band wanted to do something with horses and equestrians. That’s where this begun. Funnily enough, I am petrified of horses. But it felt like a good way to overcome my fears. Subconsciously through a process of reading, finding references and discussing with my team, I started to piece together the puzzle of what this video could be. We shot this in Georgia; where the casting was incredible. The horse also was wonderful. So strong and majestic, we just wanted to do this beautiful creature justice. The magic aligned, so many great hard working people pulled this video together.”