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Pablo Aslan ‘CONTRABAJO. Works For Bass and String Quartet’

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Contrabajo. Works For Bass And String Quartet, the new recording by Argentine-born bassist, composer, arranger, and producer Pablo Aslan, is a bold self-portrait of the artist with his instrument.

Recorded in Buenos Aires and New York, Contrabajo features the exceptional Cuarteto Petrus  — Pablo Saraví, violín; Hernán Briático, violín; Adrián Felizia, viola; and Gloria Pankaeva, violoncello —  as well as guests Cuban saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, and Uruguyan bandoneón master Raúl Jaurena. In its wide stylistic and emotional range, Contrabajo suggests a glance back at Aslan´s career but also a glimpse of the opportunities ahead.

The repertory includes new arrangements of works such as Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Prelude No1,” Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday,” and the tango classic “La Cumparsita;” original compositions especially written for this recording such as Gabriel Senanes’ mini-concerto “Riendo Suelto,” Roger Davidson’s “Tango Para Cuerdas,” and Alexis Cuadrado’s “Reflejos,”  and a new version of Aslan’s “Tanguajira,” first recorded on Tango Jazz. Live at Jazz at Lincoln Center, featuring D’Rivera on clarinet.

“I have a very eclectic taste in music. I’ve played jazz, Latin jazz, and works from the symphonic repertoire, but also chamber music, free improvisation, Broadway shows, and Top 40 songs. Even within tango I have a broad range,” says Aslan, whose credits include notable but also diverse figures such as Yo Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Shakira, Lalo Schifrin, Osvaldo Golijov, and Pablo Ziegler. “I’ve played tango for dancers and accompanied singers, but also played Nuevo Tango and, of course, tango jazz. That’s the story I‘ve wanted to reflect in this recording, and while doing that, I’ve also wanted to show the potential of my instrument, not just to provide the foundation in a piece, but to sing a melody or drive the rhythm.”

The double bass is physically demanding (the very title of this recording, Contrabajo, is a pun in Spanish that alludes to it: con trabajo, with work), and has a comparatively small repertoire, so rather than make this recording into a showcase for well-practiced musical routines or an exercise in nostalgia, Aslan turned it into a challenge and an opportunity.

“This album is an exploration of my voice through the bass and also a collaboration with some of my dearest musical mentors and friends,” Aslan writes in his liner notes.

In fact, it’s only natural that for such personal project, he called on several significant figures in his personal and musical story, commissioning them pieces, or enlisting them as players on the recording,  including composer, XXX Gabriel Senanes, an early, influential music teacher who, over the years, became a dear friend and is the artistic producer of the project; as well as pianist and composer Roger Davidson, bandoneonist, composer and arranger Raúl Jaurena, and clarinetist and saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera.

As a player, Aslan set for himself several emotional and technical challenges, none as steep as the concerto-like “Riendo Suelto,” by Senanes, which sums up the searching spirit at the core of Contrabajo.

““Riendo Suelto” was one of the last things Gabriel did for the record and it’s a substantial work, a mini-concerto for double bass. I was feeling good, had been practicing a lot and I might have bragged a bit to Gabriel — and I brought it on myself,” he says as he recalls when he first saw the music. “I had been working on my Ellington, my shoulders were killing me, and I remember seeing the score, all eight pages of it, and thinking ‘And now I have to study this? But it was a wonderful challenge, and I felt we all had such a desire and ambition that the only possible response was to say ‘let’s do it’.”

Aslan has led from behind, as anchor, director, and producer in many different musical settings, including his own recordings Y En El 2000 También  (1996, with the trio Avantango featuring Ethan Iverson and Thomas Chapin);  Buenos Aires Tango Standards (2007), Tango Grill (2009, which was nominated to a GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY) and Piazzolla In Brooklyn (2011), works that have established him as a leading figure in tango jazz.
But he has never set himself and the double bass front and center as he has now in Contrabajo. Works For Bass And String Quartet.

“This recording was a great challenge, many hours of studying, of practicing, and it raised the bar for me,” says Aslan. “And it also opened the door to a larger repertoire, a different setting, a different sound. I wanted to tell my story with my instrument and reflect, in my choices of music and in my playing, how I have lived my musical life to now.”

Visit online at www.pabloaslan.com

Bass DVDs

Triumph Feature Documentary Rock & Roll Machine Now Available

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Triumph Feature Documentary Rock & Roll Machine Now Available

Triumph Feature Documentary Rock & Roll Machine Now Available On Video On Demand 

The much-talked about Triumph feature documentary, Rock & Roll Machine is now available worldwide ex Canada for purchase and rental via iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Prime.

Directed by Banger Films’ Sam Dunn and Marc Ricciardelli, ‘Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine’ delivers on revisiting a band that sold millions of albums, played for millions of fans, and never put themselves above their audience.

“Triumph lays it all on the line in this endlessly fascinating documentary, in turn cementing their legacy as a tireless Canadian rock trio whose galvanizing magic power — as evidenced on both the live stage and within the grooves of their many brilliant albums — could simply not be contained. Triumph’s ongoing, lasting musical impact resides well beyond their native border.”
–Mike Mettler, Sound & Vision Magazine

“The Triumph story was compelling to me, Marc, and the Banger team because it was an opportunity to piece together a broken puzzle,” says Dunn. “We wanted to know how and why the band dissolved at the peak of their powers. It was quite the ride!” 

“Sam and Marc did an outstanding job documenting what it has been like to have been aboard the Triumph train for the past near-50 years,” raves Triumph bassist Mike Levine. “For fans old, new, and those to come in the future, this is all they’ll need to know about the band.” 

The Triumph line-up –  Rik Emmett,  Gil Moore, and Mike Levine – rocked the world, and in the process, gave us countless classic hard rock anthems (“Fight the Good Fight,” “Hold On,” “Magic Power,” “I Live for the Weekend,” “Lay It On the Line,” and of course, “Rock & Roll Machine,” and albums (Just a GameProgressions of PowerAllied Forces, Never Surrender, Thunder Seven, etc.).

Originally formed in 1975 and hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, the trio was always proud of their Great White North roots. And seemingly ever since their inception, Triumph was on the cutting edge of technology when it came to their live show – particularly lighting, sound, and effects.

Sophisticated lasers, pyrotechnics and moving lighting rigs, all computer-controlled – Triumph was one of the first arena rock bands to incorporate all of these elements into their shows. Triumph’s headlining tours were legendary, and the band was featured on many memorable stadium/outdoor shows – including the US Festival, the World Series of Rock, the American Rock Festival and Texxas Jam, Day on the Green, to name but a few.

“One of the best music documentaries I’ve ever seen, ‘Rock & Roll Machine’ is a superbly crafted documentary – an in-depth look at a band that makes me proud to be Canadian…a true TRIUMPH of a story!” — Jason Rockman, iHeart Radio / CHOM FM.

The film is produced by Banger Films in association with Revolver Films, Bell Media’s Crave, Live Nation Productions and NBC Universal Canada, along with the participation of the Rogers Documentary Fund and Slaight Communications Inc. 

Go here to choose your preferred movie rental or download service: roundhill.ffm.to/triumph-doc
The digital soundtrack can be streamed here: triumph.lnk.to/soundtrack

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT: triumphmusic.com

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New Film: TRENCHES OF ROCK, The Metal Mission of Bloodgood

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New Film: TRENCHES OF ROCK, The Metal Mission of Bloodgood

TRENCHES OF ROCK…

I was set to interview Michael Bloodgood this past February, the bassist and co-founder of the band Bloodgood, only one week prior to him suffering a hemorrhagic stroke and subsequent brain bleed, from which he never recovered. After a valiant fight, we lost Michael this past July. While I am saddened that I did not have the opportunity to talk with him, his son Paul Michael Bloodgood will get to tell the story of his father’s legacy in the upcoming film, TRENCHES OF ROCK. …Michael will be missed.

Executive Produced by Oscar® and Grammy® winner James Moll (FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH) and the recipient of 14 film festival awards, TRENCHES OF ROCK depicts the story of 1980s heavy metal band BLOODGOOD, who was targeted not only by a mainstream music industry that found their blatant use of faith-based lyrics an unfitting marriage with heavy metal, but also by religious extremists who believed their music was the work of the devil.

BLOODGOOD became a trailblazer of Christian Heavy Metal – touring the world and facing adversity head-on while confronted by death threats, picketers and protests against these “metal missionaries”. TRENCHES OF ROCK had its world premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival and garnered the attention of festivals worldwide, receiving numerous accolades including multiple “BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY” and “BEST DIRECTOR” awards. TRENCHES OF ROCK is directed by Lone Star Emmy® winner Paul Michael Bloodgood.

Available online at trenchesofrockfilm.com

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Shinedown Announces ATTENTION ATTENTION Film With Bassist Eric Bass

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Shinedown Announces ATTENTION ATTENTION Film

Shinedown ATTENTION ATTENTION…

Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios Company, has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Shinedown’s film ATTENTION ATTENTION, a cinematic experience of the band’s 2018 studio album of the same name. Directed by Bill Yukich and featuring band members Brent Smith [vocals], Zach Myers [guitar], Eric Bass [bass, production], and Barry Kerch [drums] along with actresses Francesca Eastwood and Melora Walters, Gravitas Ventures will release ATTENTION ATTENTION on digital and cable VOD on September 3, 2021.

Multi-platinum band Shinedown invites viewers into the world of ATTENTION ATTENTION in their new film, bringing to life the story of the acclaimed chart-topping album, which simultaneously hit #1 on Billboard’s Alternative, Top Rock, and Hard Rock Albums Charts, debuted Top 5 on the Billboard 200, and has racked up more than 355 million global streams. A stunning sonic and visual work of art, the film weaves the 14 songs from the album into a provocative, visceral and thought-provoking journey that brings viewers along on a psychological, emotional and physical ride from life’s lowest lows to the highest highs. As anxieties dissipate and demons disappear, what emerges is a powerful and enduring statement about humanity, overcoming struggles, the importance of mental health, not being afraid to fail and the resolve of the human spirit.

“When we created ATTENTION ATTENTION, our vision was always to present the message as a sonic and visual experience. We’re really proud of what we created and are beyond excited to partner with Gravitas Ventures to finally bring the film in its entirety to the world,” said Shinedown. 

“ATTENTION ATTENTION the film is where the songs of the album come together with people this music has had a profound impact on. What begins as many stories, many voices, steadily becomes one message, one voice from many. Years in the making, I am beyond pleased to be able to share this vision, which was inspired by this amazing band,” said director  Bill Yukich.

 “Shinedown found the ideal director in Bill Yukich to turn their acclaimed album into a dynamic cinematic experience. It’s a testament to their continued innovation as artists, and we look forward to unveiling the film to audiences worldwide,” said Tony Piantedosi, Vice President of Acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures.

Gravitas Ventures Vice President of Acquisitions, Tony Piantedosi negotiated the deal with Billy Offer and Nick Shumaker of United Talent Agency. 

For more information, visit online at shinedown.com.

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New Album: Bassist Derek Frank, “Eleven Years Later”

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Bassist Derek Frank, “Eleven Years Later”

Derek Frank, “Eleven Years Later”…

Derek Frank, “Eleven Years Later – Releasing on September 18th, 2020.

Veteran Los Angeles touring/ session bass player Derek Frank will release his first solo album in over a decade. Aptly titled “Eleven Years Later”, this follow-up to his 2009 release “Let the Games Begin…” is an exploration in organic instrumental groove music drawing influence from many genres; Funk, Soul, Jazz, Blues, Southern Rock, and 70s soundtrack music are all strongly represented.

‘Eleven Years Later’ is not a “Bass” album per se, but rather an interactive and collaborative effort between Derek and several of his close friends and musical cohorts.

This team includes Joshua Ray Gooch on guitar (Shania Twain), Ty Bailie on keyboards (Katy Perry), Randy Cooke on drums (Ringo Starr, Colbie Caillat), along with a special guest appearance by guitar hero Joe Bonamassa and a handful of other notable musicians from Derek’s various circles.

Feature: Interview with Bassist Derek Frank

Derek enlisted the legendary Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Sting, Wilco, Tedeschi Trucks Band, etc.) to produce, record, and mix the album at his Southern California studio “PLYRZ”, a veritable playground of vintage instruments and analog recording gear. Recorded start-to-finish in less than two weeks, this sophomore release of Derek’s is an eclectic representation of his many musical influences, all wrapped up in an overall sound that is ohso-seventies.

Derek is currently serving as bass player with both Gwen Stefani and Shania Twain, and is in the midst of residencies with both artists in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theatre (shows are currently on hold due to the pandemic). Derek has also toured/performed with: Air Supply, Shakira, Daniel Powter, Mindi Abair, The Boneshakers, Victoria Justice, Palaye Royale, Dancing With the Stars, Aly & AJ, Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, and many others.

Pre-orders for “Eleven Years Later” are available on all digital download and streaming platforms now, and the album will officially be released on September 18th. Special edition USB drives (packaged with souvenir 8-track tapes) are available via his website, and a 2-disc vinyl release will be available in October.

For more information on Bassist Derek Frank, “Eleven Years Later” visit online at derekfrank.com

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“Immediate Family” Follows Up On “The Wrecking Crew”

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"Immediate Family" Follows Up On "The Wrecking Crew"

NEW DOCUMENTARY IN PRODUCTION: IMMEDIATE FAMILY FOLLOWS UP ON THE ACCLAIMED DOC THE WRECKING CREW

Photo: The Immediate Family. L-R: Russ Kunkel, Steve Postell, Danny Kortchmar, Waddy Wachtel and Leland Sklar.

Filming has begun on the feature film documentary Immediate Family, director Denny Tedesco’s follow-up to his award-winning music documentary The Wrecking Crew, which chronicled the most iconic session musicians of the 60s, playing with virtually every major American artist of the era including The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Sonny & Cher and others. Immediate Family picks up where The Wrecking Crew left off, with Tedesco turning the lens toward another group of recording studio pros who first came to prominence in the early 1970s and still work constantly to this day: Danny Kortchmar, Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel, Waddy Wachtel, and a handful of others.

Kortchmar, Sklar and Kunkel made up three-quarters of The Section, best known for both their studio and live work in support of some of the top-selling singer/songwriters and solo singers in the history of music, as well as their own acclaimed instrumental albums. (They were later joined by Wachtel). Collectively, The Section helped define the sound of a generation by supporting the top singer-songwriters of the last five decades: James Taylor, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Keith Richards, Neil Young, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Don Henley, Phil Collins, Bonnie Raitt, Warren Zevon, Stevie Nicks, Bryan Ferry, Lyle Lovett and Jimmy Buffett, and producers Lou Adler and Peter Asher – many of whom have already been filmed for the doc. In this illuminating documentary, many of these super-star artists reflect on their relationships and deep history with these legendary players, sharing why they’ve trusted them to shape their sound, and in many cases, extended their roles to include writing, co-writing and music producing.

However, Immediate Family is not a nostalgia piece.

Unlike other eras, where players fell out of fashion, this particular crew never did; their phones still ring with artists and producers looking for a piece of the magic they’ve come to expect from players five decades in as hitmakers.

But what really separates their story from the pack is their close friendships; tight bonds further bolstered by shared performances on massively influential, modern classics. In recent years, Kortchmar, Sklar, Kunkel and Wachtel have again teamed up, joined by guitarist Steve Postell (David Crosby, John Oates), to perform on stage and record as The Immediate Family. Kortchmar quips, “we’re like a cover band that plays all originals,” referring to the band’s repertoire of hits they either wrote or co-wrote for artists like Jackson Browne (“Tender is the Night” and “Somebody’s Baby”), James Taylor (“Honey Don’t Leave L.A.”), Don Henley (“Dirty Laundry” and “All She Wants to Do is Dance”), Warren Zevon (“Werewolves of London” and “Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead”), as well as a slew of others.

The most exciting segments of the documentary may be the tales told by the session aces themselves, who have moved forward for so long by rarely looking back on their storied careers, but now can reflect on the major impact they’ve had on contemporary music. As James Taylor said to the doc’s director Denny Tedesco at the end of his interview, as mics were being taken off, “This is a great thing that you’re doing. It’s so interesting.”

The Immediate Family documentary is produced by Greg Richling and Jonathan Sheldon of Pfonetic, producer Jack Piatt and co-executive producer Elmo Lovano, both of Jammcard, executive producer Cliff Burnstein, co-executive producer Caroline Hoste, and executive producers Matthew Helderman and Luke Taylor of BondIt Media Capital. Sales agents/EPs Dan Braun, Josh Braun and Ben Braun of Submarine are representing the film globally.

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