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Bassist Lorenzo Feliciati Joins Master Drummer Michele Rabbia on Antikythera

Bassist/Multi-Instrumentalist and Sound Designer Lorenzo Feliciati Joins Master Drummer Michele Rabbia on Antikythera

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Following such visionary projects as 2015’s evocative KOI, 2017’s powerhouse prog-rock outing Elevator Man and 2018’s Twinscapes II: A Modern Approach to the Dance Floor (with fellow bassist Colin Edwin), Italian bassist-producer-arranger and RareNoise recording artist Lorenzo Feliciati joins forces with fellow countryman, master drummer Michele Rabbia, on Antikythera.

Named for an ancient Greek mechanism that was used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendar and astrological purposes, Feliciati’s seventh recording as a leader for RareNoise traverses a myriad of moods, from graceful and haunting soundscapes to dramatic crescendos to intimate piano trio pieces, while showcasing his remarkable facility on fretted and fretless basses, keyboards, electric guitar and samples. Special guests on Antikythera include trumpeter and RareNoise recording artist Cuong Vu, saxophonist Andy Sheppard, Italian pianists Rita Marcotulli and Alessandro Gwis and Feliciati’s Naked Truth and Mumpbeak bandmate, keyboardist Roy Powell.

Says Felicati of his partner Rabbia, whose delicate touch and coloristic approach to the kit have graced various ECM and CAM Jazz albums and underscores this interactive session: “Michele and I met several years ago and immediately felt that our chemistry was something special and that ideas were abundant. To make an album out of them was an easy decision to make. Antikythera is out first collaboration, one stemming from great human and musical interaction.”

The result of several joint studio sessions spread out over two years, Antikythera pieces together recorded improvisations and soundscapes that eventually, after an intensive process of post-production, overdubs and editing, were integrated into an organic-sounding whole. “In the studio we were always in recording mode,” said Feliciati, “so every little idea that came out from this mutual listening and response/interaction process became eventually available to me to work on during post-production, sometimes as a complete composition, sometimes as the improvised starting point for a new construction.”

Feliciati explained his notion for the theme of Antikythera: “My idea was to think of the music we were improvising as a complex machine but that was working in a perfect, fluid way.

Only after I started post-production work on the studio improvisations did I learn about an ancient Greek machine that was found in the ocean near the Antikythera island. I immediately thought it would be a perfect way to convey the idea of the music we were pursuing: a machine coming from the past (I think that improvisation is an ancient human art that changes through the centuries but will always be with us) made of a lot of different parts and gears (like all the musicians that are part of the final result) and able to read the present and predict the future, able to look at the unknown and find useful things in it. And after all, isn’t this what art is supposed to do?”

He added, “I think Antikythera can be viewed and experienced as a psychedelic album of sorts, as it does possess the qualities of a trip.”

The opener, “Irregular Orbit,” introduces a captivating theme that might serve as incidental music for a documentary on the story of the ancient Antikythera. Says the composer, “The idea was to create some sort of opening theme with a mysterious first part, like the dawn before a battle or a start of an eclipse in the sky. And then arrives all the dissonance we have now in our lives and on the planet. And the Antikythera machine is there to study, read and report all this.”

“223 Teeth” makes great use of Andy Sheppard’s soprano sax against at pedaling ostinato before pianist Marcotulli introduces some dizzying arpeggios that suggest the grinding gears of this ancient mechanism. “The idea of a machine that starts with all the gears (from the little ones to the big ones) starting to move together was clear from the start of the improvisation when Michele started the ‘clock’ sound generator he keeps among his percussions. So the pieces goes through the same motions we went through while recording, then when working on post- production and editing: slowly at first but then progressively faster and faster and faster.”

“Corrosion” is a haunting soundscape that showcases Rabbia’s coloristic cymbals playing and percussive approach to the kit. Said Feliciati, “Michele is a master in using the cymbals in a very creative way. There are always so many cymbals and interesting percussions and sound generating artifacts around him when he plays.”

“Prochronistic” opens with Feliciati’s foreboding ostinato on bass guitar before Cuong Vu enters with some very lyrical, warm-toned trumpet playing. As Feliciati explained, “Cuong sent me some tracks of him improvising on the pre-existing track that I had sent him. And then I edited them to the result you hear. He is the ultimate creator of melodies. His sense of melody and counterpoint is so good it never ceases to surprise me, even after all the music we did together.”

Vu also blows with typical authority and melodic brilliance over a soundscape that Feliciati created for “Sidereal.”

As the bassist explained about his modus operandi on this tune and throughout Antikythera: “All you hear from Cuong is the result of him reacting to the music. The tracks I sent the guests to work on were never finished, because I then added new elements that came to me from listening to their contributions and responses. The guests sent me several takes of their responses/improvisations. Depending on the material, I sometimes brought parts from different takes together to achieve a greater sense of organicity.”

“Perigree” is a beautiful showcase for Alessandro Gwis’ delicate touch on piano. “We know each other from way back,” said Feliciati of the Rome native. “We played on hundreds of different releases as session musicians and he has been part of my music and solo albums since Frequent Flyer (the bassist’s 2012 debut on RareNoise Records). Before that he was the pianist of my Wasabi trio featuring me on upright bass. Alessandro is a beautiful soul and a great friend of mine. He is such a pure genius on the piano. His use of additional electronics is unique and adds a lot of poetry to the music.”

“Apogee” features Feliciati’s Naked Truth and Mumpbeak bandmate Roy Powell on organ, Mini-Moog and Fender Rhodes. “It’s a reference to the music from the ‘70s that I know both me and Roy love,” said the bassist. “For this song I imagined some sort of a crazy psychedelic church ceremony and thought Roy could be a perfect master of ceremony for that.” 

The closer, “Parapegma,” is a graceful number with a kind of gentle tango feel to it that features some plaintive tenor sax work from Sheppard.

“We tracked the trio of Michele, Rita and myself in her studio in the countryside of Rome for two days in an atmosphere of great amusement and relaxation,” explained Feliciati. “What you hear is what we created together in her studio, apart from Andy’s contribution, which was added on later. Strangely enough, the working title was ‘Country’ because we were working in the countryside. We thought it was the perfect music to chill out and end the trip, to stop and look out at the stars through the Anykithera machine.”

Feliciati’s latest is a beautifully expansive aural trip that showcases his profound sound alchemy in the studio along with the exceptional talents of his gifted inner circle. Another triumphant undertaking for the bassist-composer-producer, Anykithera is scheduled for an October release on RareNoise Records.

Bass CDs

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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