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Bassist Chris van Voorst van Beest News – Danny Fox Trio Releases The Great Nostalgist

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News from Bassist Chris van Voorst van Beest – Danny Fox Trio releases third album The Great Nostalgist

Featuring pianist Fox, bassist Chris van Voorst van Beest, and drummer Max Goldman

Hot Cup Records announces the January 19, 2018 release of The Great Nostalgist, the third album by the NYC- based Danny Fox Trio. Since its critically acclaimed 2011 debut The One Constant (Songlines) and 2014 follow-up Wide Eyed (Hot Cup), the group has continued to push the boundaries of the classic piano trio format. The Great Nostalgist, recorded to tape in the living room of a 100-year old house in the Catskills, captures the band’s uniquely personal, genre-defying original music in a warm, intimate setting with no headphones, isolation booths, or overdubs. Falling somewhere between jazz and chamber music, the album’s ten pieces are replete with sonic surprises: quirky rhythms, jaunty yet catchy melodies, haunting harmonies, and out-of-the-box arrangements that spotlight the capabilities of each member of the group, all while maintaining tuneful melodies. The modern yet tradition-embracing music filters themes of nostalgia, early influences, and old haunts through the lens of the present.

Formed in 2008, the Danny Fox Trio, featuring pianist Danny Fox, bassist Chris van Voorst van Beest, and drummer Max Goldman, is a true working band. Whether holed up in a Brooklyn basement rehearsing or touring around the country crammed into a sedan, the trio has spent countless hours developing a rapport that’s immediately palpable in their music.

Though rooted in jazz, the three versatile musicians are also active in chamber music, bluegrass, electro, and New Orleans rhythm and blues, thereby giving the band a sound that is all-encompassing yet strikingly individual. Having committed these intricate and challenging compositions to memory and performed them scores of times, the influence and aesthetic of rock bands is readily appreciated.

The trio explores a wide range of novel techniques to eschew standard forms and roles. The piano, typically both the lead melodic and harmonic voice, rarely performs these two roles simultaneously. Instead, Fox opts for textures that feature the abilities of his bandmates and explore the more extreme ranges of the piano. In addition to fulfilling the traditional role as rhythmic anchor, bassist van Voorst van Beest provides melodies, counterpoint, and coloristic arco effects adeptly. Goldman employs traditional drumbeats effectively, but often opts for a more orchestral approach, mimicking symphonic playing.

The ten pieces on The Great Nostalgist navigate through a vast array of grooves, harmonies, time signatures, tempo shifts, free improvisations, and dynamics while always remaining grounded in the thematic material, giving the music a seamlessness and cohesion that make it both challenging and highly listenable.

The album opens with the rolling piano figures, moody bass melody, and haunting cymbal howls of “Adult Joe,” an homage to old friends and kiddie nicknames. The first six bass notes plucked by van Voorst van Beest provide the theme that spins out into the various sections of the piece. “Theme for Gloomy Bear,” written for a giant pink stuffed
animal with claws, alternates between wistful ballad and pulsating trancelike grooves. In the earliest version of the piece, Goldman conceived the shaker figure using a mint tin which burst open and left stray mints lurking in Fox’s living room to this day.

“Jewish Cowboy (the Real Josh Geller)” summons Fox’s love for minor-key country tunes, tapping into one of his earliest influences: the bluegrass of artists such as Doc Watson that his parents would play on car trips. The ominous bass chords of the middle section evoke a dusty mountain range before the spirited hootenanny-like group improvisation closes the song. The first of two ice cream themed titles, “Cookie Puss Prize,” named for the Carvel mascot Fox won in a fifth grade ice cream eating competition, begins with a swirling contrapuntal duet between the piano and bass before the drums sneak in with a bouncy polyrhythmic Afro-Cuban groove. “Truant” was composed in short bursts in the practice rooms of Harvard University amidst repeatedly being kicked out by a dour front desk attendant. The piece scrambles frantically with tumbling piano/bass melodies giving way to momentary respites of calm. The lone solo piano piece of the album, “Caterpillar Serenade” could be the underscoring for a movie trailer and flashes back to an early family home movie where Fox’s brother sings him a happy first birthday on a caterpillar-shaped accordion. “Preamble” begins with two short improvised piano and bass sections, each set against an off-kilter ostinato. A similar figure resurfaces where the drums improvise over the squirrely, record-skipping rhythm. Named for an impossibly neon green ice cream treat from the 80s, “Fat Frog” is a nostalgic, old-timey piece with an intro that conjures a theater curtain rising up. The hopeful opening notes are quickly hijacked into darker terrain as the melody careens along a windy, breakneck path. “Emotional Baggage Carousel,” conceived at JFK Airport Terminal 4, explores themes of sentimentality and longing alongside a Rocky-like optimism (for receiving your luggage?). Purely by coincidence, The Great Nostalgist closes in the same manner as the group’s second album Wide Eyed: with a song inspired by laundry. “Old Wash World,” an imagining of an earlier, simpler time at Fox’s local laundromat New Wash World, builds a boisterous yet sinister dance party on a simple piano riff mined from a long-ignored voice memo.

The Great Nostalgist is also a reunion of pianist Fox with recording/mixing engineer Tyler Wood, who recorded the first music Fox ever wrote while the two were at Harvard University in 2002.

Pianist Danny Fox was born in New York City where he became immersed in the jazz scene from an early age. In high school, Danny was selected as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and went on to attend Harvard University during which time he became active in the Boston music scene. He formed the Danny Fox Trio in 2008 as a vehicle for his original compositions and since then the working group has performed steadily around NYC and the US, releasing the critically acclaimed albums “The One Constant” (Songlines) and “Wide Eyed” (Hot Cup). Called a “pianist of diverse accomplishment” (NY Times), Danny has established himself as a versatile musician active in a wide variety of settings, co-founding the New Orleans rock and roll group Tubby, playing around the fertile Brooklyn roots and bluegrass scene, performing on Broadway, and collaborating with the cutting edge video artist Meghan Allynn Johnson. He has performed with artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, Cassandra Wilson, Michael Blake, and Kermit Driscoll.

Born in Pownal, Maine, bassist Chris van Voorst van Beest has been an in-demand presence on the New York music scene since moving to Brooklyn in 2005. Chris received his bachelor’s degree at the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s degree in composition at City College of New York, where he studied with Pulitzer-Prize winning composer David Del Tredici. Known for his big sound, lyrical bass lines, and versatility in different musical settings including jazz, rock, contemporary classical, and bluegrass, Chris performs regularly around New York City with a wide variety of jazz, chamber, and new music groups. He tours frequently to Europe, having performed extensively in the Czech Republic, Spain, Turkey and Italy. An emerging composer, Chris is the founder of the chamber music project Hear + Now which features his original compositions for ensembles of various sizes. His most recent work Het Glazen Herenhuis, a sonnet for piano, cello and clarinet, was premiered in Brooklyn in July of 2017. Chris was a nominee for the 2016 Charles Ives Arts and Letters award. In 2009 Chris was awarded a grant to compose the original score for the children’s book “The Lamplighter,” featuring narration by noted folk artist Sam Amidon.

Born in Rochester, NY, drummer Max Goldman was fortunate to study under local greats Jeff Lewis, Steve Curry and Rich Thompson. He moved to New York City in 2001, attending NYU and the New School, where he studied with Tony Moreno, Gerald Cleaver and Kenny Washington. Since graduating in 2006, Max has been active in Brooklyn’s fertile creative scene. He spends much of his time touring Europe, South America, the US, and Canada with a diverse lineup of artists. In addition to the Danny Fox Trio, Max has performed and recorded with Becca Stevens, Tim Berne, The Elan Mehler Group, Old Time Musketry, Midnight Magic, Nomi Ruiz, and Eleanor Friedberger. He has been called “a seriously propulsive force” by the Chicago Reader and his drumming has been described as “beautifully melodic, even pianistic” by the New York Jazz Review.

Visit online at www.dannyfoxmusic.com

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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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New Album: CATTANEO, Tim Lefebvre, Andrea Lombardini, Hypersphere

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New Album: CATTANEO, Tim Lefebvre, Andrea Lombardini, Hypersphere

CATTANEO, TIM LEFEBVRE AND ANDREA LOMBARDINI PRESENT ‘HYPERSPHERE’ EP
The members of Buñuel, David Bowie’s band and a prominent electronic artist are united and have releases their first collaborative release via Freecom Hub.

Hypersphere is an EP created by CATTANEOTim Lefebvre and Andrea Lombardini. Following their conceptual milestone, a dream team of bass players and multi-instrumentalists created fragments of music, coexisting and complementing each other individually and altogether. Having been playing with CATTANEO since 2016, Andrea Lombardini describes the process of their work as “strong musical connection”. Starting with the fully improvised set featuring drum-machine and pedal effects. “Some of Paolo’s keyboards are homemade and he has very unique sounds” – explains Andrea. Getting Tim Lefebvre to produce the EP, the duo simultaneously started another vehicle of their collaboration.

Moving their work organically, three extraordinary musicians managed to reach an almost-perfect balance between sounds of guitar and bass with electronic instruments. Morphing together, numerous guitar riffs, loops of synthesizers. Dominating electronic sounds get united with a rock take, depicting dark moods and ethereal landscapes. All these elements work in tandem to create something new each time.

Order Hypersprehere here.

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New Campaign: Alberto Rigoni, Nemesis Call – Queens Of Strings

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New Campaign: Alberto Rigoni, Nemesis Call - Queens Of Strings

Italian bass master and composer ALBERTO RIGONI is thrilled to announce his brand new project “Nemesis Call – Queens Of Strings”.

Nemesis Call – Queens Of Strings features a super talented drummer from Japan (TBA) and tons of female guitarists such as SAKI, Giusy Busetto, Alexandra Zerner (TBC) and many many others (TBA). Furthermore, Alberto has also launched a Fundraising Campaign for the project. 20% of the income will be donated to Lega del Filo d’Oro legadelfilodoro.it/it, an Italian association that helps deaf and blind children!

Alberto shares:
“Hello friends and music lovers! I’m Alberto Rigoni, an Italian composer and.. a BASS GUY! Between 2008 and 2024 I released 13 solo albums, spanning from progressive, rock, ambient to funky and experimental music, which also features contributions from musicians such as keyboard wizard Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) drummer Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) and Marco Minnemann (the Aristocrats), keyboardist Kevin Moore (ex Dream Theater), singer John Jeff Soto (ex  Goran Edman (ex Y. Malmsteen), bassists Nathan East, Stu Hamm (Joe Satriani), Nik West (ex Prince) and many others. I’m also bass player for BAD As, Sunset Groove Society, Kim Bingham, The Italians bands and co-producer of Mistheria’s Vivaldi Metal Project.”

Alberto on the new project Nemesis Call:
“Even if my latest album “Unexpected Lullabies”, dedicated to my newborn Vittoria Parini Rigoni, will be released on June 4th, 2024, when Vittoria came to life 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 ambient/prog/rock/metal album, that will feature a talented and young drummer (TBA) and tons of female guitarists (that’s why I will call the album “Queens of the Strings”) such as Alexandra Zerner, YOKA 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.”

The Fundraising Campaign:
As an independent artist, Alberto is looking for supporters who can help him reach the budget for the production (recordings, mix, mastering, artwork etc.) of this new album and has started this fundraising campaign that will end successfully on October 15th, 2024.

Get further information about Alberto Rigoni’s new project Nemesis Call Fundraising campaign at albertorigoni.net/nemesiscal

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New Album: Jake Leckie, Planter of Seeds

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Planter of Seeds is bassist/composer Jake Leckie’s third release as a bandleader and explores what beauty can come tomorrow from the seeds we plant today. 

Bassist Jake Leckie and The Guide Trio Unveil New Album Planter of Seeds,
to be released on June 7, 2024

Planter of Seeds is bassist/composer Jake Leckie’s third release as a bandleader and explores what beauty can come tomorrow from the seeds we plant today. 

What are we putting in the ground? What are we building? What is the village we want to bring our children up in? At the core of the ensemble is The Guide Trio, his working band with guitarist Nadav Peled and drummer Beth Goodfellow, who played on Leckie’s second album, The Guide, a rootsy funky acoustic analog folk-jazz recording released on Ropeadope records in 2022. For Planter of Seeds, the ensemble is augmented by Cathlene Pineda (piano), Randal Fisher (tenor saxophone), and Darius Christian (trombone), who infuse freedom and soul into the already tightly established ensemble.

Eight original compositions were pristinely recorded live off the floor of Studio 3 at East West Studios in Hollywood CA, and mastered by A.T. Michael MacDonald. The cover art is by internationally acclaimed visual artist Wayne White. Whereas his previous work has been compared to Charles Mingus, and Keith Jarrett’s American Quartet with Charlie Haden, Leckie’s new collection sits comfortably between the funky odd time signatures of the Dave Holland Quintet and the modern folk-jazz of the Brian Blade Fellowship Band with a respectful nod towards the late 1950s classic recordings of Ahmad Jamal and Miles Davis.

The title track, “Planter of Seeds,” is dedicated to a close family friend, who was originally from Trinidad, and whenever she visited family or friends at their homes, without anyone knowing, she would plant seeds she kept in her pocket in their gardens, so the next season beautiful flowers would pop up. It was a small altruistic anonymous act of kindness that brought just a little more beauty into the world. The rhythm is a tribute to Ahmad Jamal, who we also lost around the same time, and whose theme song Poinciana is about a tree from the Caribbean.

“Big Sur Jade” was written on a trip Leckie took with his wife to Big Sur, CA, and is a celebration of his family and community. This swinging 5/4 blues opens with an unaccompanied bass solo, and gives an opportunity for each of the musicians to share their improvisational voices. “Clear Skies” is a cathartic up-tempo release of collective creative energies in fiery improvisational freedom. “The Aquatic Uncle” features Randal Fisher’s saxophone and is named after an Italo Calvino short story which contemplates if one can embrace the new ways while being in tune with tradition. In ancient times, before a rudder, the Starboard side of the ship was where it was steered from with a steering oar. In this meditative quartet performance, the bass is like the steering oar of the ensemble: it can control the direction of the music, and when things begin to unravel or become unhinged, a simple pedal note keeps everything grounded.

The two trio tunes on the album are proof that the establishment of his consistent working band The Guide Trio has been a fruitful collaboration. “Santa Teresa”, a bouncy samba-blues in ? time, embodies the winding streets and stairways of the bohemian neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro it is named for. The swampy drum feel on “String Song” pays homage to Levon Helm of The Band, a group where you can’t always tell who wrote the song or who the bandleader is, proving that the sum is greater than the individual parts. Early jazz reflected egalitarianism in collective improvisation, and this group dynamic is an expression of that kind of inclusivity and democracy.

“The Daughters of the Moon” rounds out the album, putting book ends on the naturalist themes. This composition is named after magical surrealist Italo Calvino’s short story about consumerism, in which a mythical modern society that values only buying shiny new things throws away the moon like it is a piece of garbage and the daughters of the moon save it and resurrect it. It’s an eco-feminist take on how women are going to save the world. Pineda’s piano outro is a hauntingly beautiful lunar voyage, blinding us with love. Leckie dedicates this song to his daughter: “My hope is that my daughter becomes a daughter of the moon, helping to make the world a more beautiful and verdant place to live.”

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Debut Album: Nate Sabat, Bass Fiddler

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Debut Album: Nate Sabat, Bass Fiddler

In a thrilling solo debut, bassist Nate Sabat combines instrumental virtuosity with a songwriter’s heart on Bass Fiddler

The upright bass and the human voice. Two essential musical instruments, one with roots in 15th century Europe, the other as old as humanity itself. 

On Bass Fiddler (Adhyâropa Records ÂR00057), the debut album from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and bass virtuoso Nate Sabat, the scope is narrowed down a bit. Drawing from the rich and thriving tradition of American folk music, Sabat delivers expertly crafted original songs and choice covers with the upright bass as his lone tool for accompaniment. 

The concept was born a decade ago when Sabat began studying with the legendary old-time fiddler Bruce Molsky at Berklee College of Music. “One of Bruce’s specialties is singing and playing fiddle at the same time. The second I heard it I was hooked,” recalls Sabat. “I thought, how can I do this on the bass?” From there, he was off to the races, arranging original and traditional material with Molsky as his guide. “Fast forward to 2020, and I — like so many other musicians — was thinking of how to best spend my time. I sat down with the goal of writing some new songs and arranging some new covers, and an entire record came out.” When the time came to make the album, it was evident that Molsky would be the ideal producer. Sabat asked him if he’d be interested, and luckily he was. “What an inspiration to work with an artist like Nate,” says Molsky. “Right at the beginning, he came to this project with a strong, personal and unique vision. Plus he had the guts to try for a complete and compelling cycle of music with nothing but a bass and a voice. You’ll hear right away that it’s engaging, sometimes serious, sometimes fun, and beautifully thought out from top to bottom.” 

While this record is, at its core, a folk music album, Sabat uses the term broadly. Some tracks lean more rock (‘In the Shade’), some more pop (‘White Marble’, ‘Rabid Thoughts’), some more jazz (‘Fade Away’), but the setting ties them all together. “There’s something inherently folksy about a musician singing songs with their instrument, no matter the influences behind the compositions themselves,” Sabat notes. To be sure, there are plenty of folk songs (‘Louise’ ‘Sometimes’, ‘Eli’) and fiddling (‘Year of the Ox’) to be had here — the folk music fan won’t go hungry. There’s a healthy dose of bluegrass too (‘Orphan Annie’, ‘Lonesome Night’), clean and simple, the way Mr. Bill Monroe intended. 

All in all, this album shines a light on an instrument that often goes overlooked in the folk music world, enveloping the listener in its myriad sounds, textures, and colors. “There’s nothing I love more than playing the upright bass,” exclaims Sabat. “My hope is that listeners take the time to sit with this album front to back — I want them to take in the full scope of the work. I have a feeling they’ll hear something they haven’t heard before.”

Available online at natesabat.bandcamp.com/album/walking-away

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