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Bassist Dan Greenspan and Vocalist Mili Bermejo to Release Arte del Dúo

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Bassist Dan Greenspan and Vocalist Mili Bermejo to Release Arte del Dúo

Since first joining forces over a quarter-century ago, vocalist Mili Bermejo and bassist Dan Greenspan have created a recorded library of timeless music with a number of cherished partners.  For those fortunate enough to experience them in live performance, however, the lingering memory of this brilliantly skilled and totally compatible couple is likely to be the moments when they stand alone.  “We have always wanted to make pure music,” Greenspan explains, “and have always included duo tunes in our sets.”  On October 7, 2016 the pair releases their first all-duo program in two decades, Arte de Duo, on Ediciones Pentagrama.

Bermejo, born in Buenos Aires, raised in Mexico City and a professor at Berklee College of Music since 1984, and Greenspan, a New Haven native and classically trained cellist who became one of the Boston area’s leading freelance bassists, have created a unique body of music that applies jazz improvisation to original songs and music from throughout the Americas.  Themes of political liberation, environmental responsibility and interpersonal commitment have defined both their music and their career and led them to a major life decison.  “The business changed so much post-9/11 that we had to decide whether we should reinvent ourselves,” Bermejo notes.  This led to what Greenspan describes as “an entire creative undertaking of another kind” – a move to New Hampshire, where the couple built their own house.

“We decided to live the right way,” Bermejo says of their relocation to a nature reserve.  “It has brought us closer and closer to `do it yourself,’ including growing as much of our own food and making as many of our own clothes as possible.  It has purified us, and removed many of our frustrations.”  But, Greenspan adds, “For a while, the move replaced music.  Finding opportunities to rehearse in Boston when everyone we worked with had so many other gigs became hell.”  The bassist also turned his attention to baking and has built a growing reputation with his Dan’s Brick Oven Bread, while a construction accident also left him unable to play for several months.  The future of their performing partnership became unclear.

“But Mili insisted that we couldn’t let the music go,” Greenspan stresses, and the result is a new focus on the intimate artistry that had previously only been showcased on their 1997 album Duo which was released on Gunther Schuller’s GM Records.  “It got us back to the essence of art,” he says, “and provides the best opportunity to use all of the classical information that we have.”  Yet the new music, developed over a series of monthly gigs at the Lilypad in Cambridge, Massachusetts, takes the pair beyond their previous achievements.  “We didn’t want to repeat ourselves,” Bermejo adds.  “Now we reduce.  I think of the music like my garden, as being all about beauty after years of work.  And nobody told me how to do it.”

The influence of life in New Hampshire is clear in the Bermejo originals “La Casa del Arbol” (“The Tree House”), about “a secret refugeŠamong trees and stars” and “Cosecha” (“Harvest”); but she also contributes two new titles in her string of beautiful love songs, “Los que se Aman” (“Those Who Love”) and “No Dejo de Quererte” (“I Don’t Stop Loving You”).  The duo also links Bermejo’s “Décima Muerte I” from their first duo disc and “Décima Muerte II” by the Mexican poet and playwright Xavier Villarrutiga in a medley linked by a powerful Greenspan solo.

Greenspan’s bass also launches “Las Orillas del Mar” (“At the Edge of the Sea”), a 13th Century feminist poem with music by Hafez Modirzadeh, the composer-saxophonist who featured Bermejo extensively on his acclaimed 2011 album In Convergence Liberation (Pi Recordings).  “Working with Hafez is the most challenging thing I’ve done,” she notes, “and it has opened both of our minds.  Now I’m improvising more, though not `taking a chorus’ in the traditional sense.”  This new improvisational freedom is joyously displayed on “Tres Veces Heroica” (“Three Times Heroic”), written by Mexican composer Charlie Dríguez and previously heard on the 2006 live recording De Tierra (Of Earth) (Ediciones Pentagrama), and “End of the Beginning,” written for the duo by the Armenian-born pianist and composer Vardan Ovsepian.  “Windmills of Your Mind,” by French composer Michel Legrand with Spanish lyrics by Manuel Gurria, was also arranged by Ovsepian.  “Vardan’s arrangement got Dan back in shape after his injury,” Bermejo notes, adding with a laugh, “it also made me get back in shape.”

Two works from Argentina are included, “Equipaje” (“Luggage”) by Juan Quintero and “Cambalache” (“Pawn Shop”) by E. Santos Discépolo.  The latter, a classic tango, gives Greenspan the opportunity to display his skill with the bow. “Candombe para Gardel” (“Candombe for Gardel”), a tribute to Argentinian tango master Carlos Gardel from the Afro-Uruguayan perspective of Rubén Rada, completes the program.

Arte del Duo is Bermejo’s fifth release on Mexico’s Ediciones Pentagrama label, which recently received the Independence Award from the Fundación Mediterránea Mar y Tierra in Tarragona, Spain.  “We’ve stayed faithful to the vision of [label founder] Modesto López: Independence and 35 years of support to Latin American artists dedicated to progressive social change,” she notes.

The album will be released at the Lilypad on Sunday afternoon, October 23, where a new audio system created especially for the duo by sound engineer Art Steele will enhance the performance.  “I asked Art for a minimal system, with just two small speakers, Greenspan explains.  “Now my hands are free, just like my mother’s were when she sang,” Bermejo adds.

Creativity, and the magic that ensues, remain at the heart of Mili Bermejo’s and Dan Greenspan’s music; and Arte del Duo is their most creative and magical statement to date.

Visit online at artedelduo.com

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Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

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Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

Mark Egan, Cross Currents…

It is exciting every time I get a new album from Mark Egan as he is such an amazingly versatile player and I never know what to expect (except for excellent artistry!) In his latest release, Mark has teamed up with Shawn Peyton on drums and Shane Theriot on guitar to bring us “Cross Currents”.

This collection of eleven tracks transports me to the Gulf Coast (New Orleans specifically). Mark’s fretless basses lay down a solid groove and lots of juicy solo work for this rootsy collection of funk, ambient, swamp-rock, second line, ballads, Cajun and even Indian Raga.

This trio is super-tight and the musicianship is flawless as each member has ample opportunity to shine. Even though each player is very talented in their own right, I feel that the collective energy is greater than just the sum of the players on this album. Each musician contributed to composing music for this project but the lion’s share are Mark’s original pieces.

I spent the summer of 1981 in New Orleans and this wonderful music takes me back to those fond memories. I participated in a wacky raft race on Lake Ponchatrain and this opening track elicits images of fun, sunshine, music, and great food.

This is another superb album that everyone will enjoy. Get your copy today! Cross Currents is available online at Amazon.com. Visit Mark online at markegan.com.

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New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album

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New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce "Kingdom of Shred" Album

ALBERTO RIGONI’s New Project NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album, Feat. Super Talented Guests Such as Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner + Many Others

Worldwide known Italian bassist and composer ALBERTO RIGONI (soloist, BAD As, Kim Bingham, Vivaldi Metal Project, etc.) announces the new album “Kingdom of Shred” of his new project NEMESIS CALL. 

Alberto says: 
“Even if my latest album “Unexpected Lullabies”, dedicated to my newborn Vittoria Parini Rigoni, was released on June 4th 2024, I felt the need to compose new music (yes, I really can’t stop!). This time will be quite challenging because I’m willing to release an instrumental shred/prog/rock/metal/melodic album, that will feature many talented top-notch musicians such as drummer Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner, Alexandra Lioness, Aanika Pai (11 years old!), Keiji by Zero (19 years old!), SAKI and many others TBA/TBC). It won’t be easy to manage all such great musicians but I will make it! Are you ready to face a new prog experience? The album will be released in Digipack CD and in high-quality digital format approximately at the beginning of 2025 or maybe for Christmas!.”

As an independent artist, Alberto Rigoni has launched a fundraising campaign to support the project. Support at www.albertorigoni.net/nemesiscall. 20% of the income will be donated to Lega del Filo d’Oro (www.legadelfilodoro.it/it), an Italian association that helps deaf and blind children!

Visit online at www.albertorigoni.net | albertorigoni.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/albertorigonimusic | www.badas.rocks

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New Album: Los Lonely Boys first new album in 11 years, Resurrection

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New Album: Los Lonely Boys first new album in 11 years, Resurrection

Today, Los Lonely Boys announce the release of their first new album in 11 years.

Out August 2nd via BMG, Resurrection marks a return to form for the GRAMMY-winning, multi-platinum trio of Texican brothers, who have performed everywhere from the GRAMMYs telecast to the World Series to recent tours with The Who. Lead single “Wish You Would” conjures the group’s classic sound, combining breezy guitar leads with hard-earned doses of wisdom.

“It’s something we think people need to hear—especially the youth,” says bassist/vocalist Jojo Garza, speaking on “Wish You Would” and Resurrection. “When we’re young, we think we have it figured out. When you get older, you start to see things differently. Having kids of our own, we see their ambitions and ideas of what they want to be, so we want to be good parents. The message is, ‘Be careful what you wish for. There could be a false light, and we don’t want you to get hurt’.”

After an extended break from recording, Los Lonely Boys are making a triumphant return with Resurrection. Rejuvenated and more cosmically attuned than ever before, the album rekindles the sonic fire that bonds the Los Lonely Boys brotherhood, while also paying respects to Texas legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Fender, among others. The album was recorded at guitarist/vocalist Henry Garza’s home studio in St. Angelo, TX, and El Paso’s Sonic Ranch (Fiona Apple, Bon Iver, Snarky Puppy etc), and mixed live in Chicago by Chris Gelin at Opus Audio Labs. 

This year Los Lonely Boys will also celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their self-titled debut, which reached double-platinum status and yielded the gold-certified, generational smash “Heaven,” which earned them a GRAMMY Award for Best Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and performance on the awards telecast. The brothers’ follow-up Sacred bowed at #2 on the Billboard 200, paving the way for fan favorites ForgivenRockpango, and Revelation. Along the way, Los Lonely Boys collaborated with legends such as Santana, Willie Nelson, and Dr. John. 

Even as they’ve been away from the studio, Los Lonely Boys have continued to tour tirelessly for decades, and this year they’ve hit the road again for an extensive, months-long run across the US. They will also perform on select shows alongside long time friends Los Lobos. Find tickets here. Pre-order Resurrection

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New Album: Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies

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New Album: Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies

Alberto Rigoni, Unexpected Lullabies…

ALBERTO RIGONI Springs Surprises on “Unexpected Lullabies” Album, Out Today!

Today, Italian bassist and composer ALBERTO RIGONI has released his new solo album “Unexpected Lullabies” via Sliptrick Records, containing songs that are half-sweet and half rock-metal. The album is produced and partially composed by Alberto Rigoni and it’s dedicated to Vittoria Parini Rigoni and all newborn babies. 

Alberto shared: “There are no just tragedies in this world, life is going on!”

Album Design and Artwork created by Mark Barrett at elmtreecreative.co.uk

Among the various bass used one belonged to Randy Coven for the recording of Ark – Burn The Sun. Alberto searched it for years since he’s a great fan of Randy (Rest in Peace and Power)!

Tracklist:
01. Vittoria
02. Fly Me To The Moon
03. Azzurra
04. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
05. Out Of Fear
06. Veni Laetitia
07. Nenia
08. Slap Lullaby
09. Saga
10. Vicky
11. Ocean Traveler
12. Strangers In The Night
13. Peaceful
14. Un uomo che voga

Order the album at deadpulse.com/product/alberto-rigoni-unexpected-lullabies/

This album promises to be a collection of auditory wonders, each track a testament to Rigoni’s genius and his ability to transcend musical boundaries. Featuring a symphony of guest musicians alongside Rigoni’s virtuosic bass, Unexpected Lullabies is poised to be a beacon for lovers of music, an invitation to explore the depths of creativity and emotion. What makes ‘Unexpected Lullabies’ even more exciting is the assembly of musical titans. The album features the legendary bassist Michael Manring, the keyboard wizardry of Alessandro Bertoni (of the Graham Bonnet Band) and Vitalij Kuprij (known for Artension and Trans-Siberian Orchestra), and many more yet-to-be-revealed guest artists.

Alberto Rigoni is:
Alberto Rigoni – Bass | Plus various guest musicians

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

The Chilean bassist, producer and sociologist, Ben Mortiz, celebrates the launch of his latest studio work, “MORENO” an album that mixes jazz, soul, and funk following the characteristic Latin style of  Mortiz. The artist completely produced the album under the label “Fallen Lab Records” in the south of Chile.

“MORENO” brings deep and smooth sounds, expressing a sophisticated and elegant Latin vibe. You will find meditative harmonies and joyful melodic voices. The record’s core is the human vibration that Mortiz feels from the Latin American music. The Caribbean rhythms and strong Latin percussions are the musical glue in every song that emerges with the force of the electric bass.

“MORENO” creates a real connection between corporal reactions and mind sensations, always in reference to the originality of Mortiz to fuse modern and classic Latin sounds.

For more information, visit online at danielbenmortiz.com/

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