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New Album: Hazelrigg Brothers – SYNCHRONICITY: An interpretation of the album by THE POLICE

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New Album: Hazelrigg Brothers - SYNCHRONICITY: An interpretation of the album by THE POLICE

New Album: Hazelrigg Brothers – SYNCHRONICITY: An interpretation of the album by THE POLICE

SYNCHRONICITY: An interpretation of the album by THE POLICE, featuring George Hazelrigg (piano), Geoff Hazelrigg (bass) & John O’Reilly Jr. (drums).

Commemorating and Celebrating the Fortieth Anniversary of the Fifth & Final Studio Album by The Police

What The Critics Are Saying About the Trio’s Debut album, Songs We Like

“…the group has searched for – and found – a process of recording that captures to perfection the experience of hearing a piano trio in the real world – warm and interactive, organic, the bass embracing drums like it does from the seat in one of the front rows of a small jazz club, with the piano dancing inside that musical abrazo, on this highly-engaging debut”
– All About Jazz

“I can’t recommend this album highly enough and I hope to see the Hazelrigg brothers live on the European stage’s sooner rather than later.” – Jazz in Europe

“…one of the best pure trio recordings of the year” – Audiophile Audition

Perfectly expressing the political and social temper of the early 1980s, the original landmark album, Synchronicity, was a near-constant soundtrack to George and Geoff Hazelrigg’s upbringing, and a huge influence on their artistic future. Hazelrigg Brothers celebrates the 40th anniversary of this classic album with Synchronicity: An interpretation of the album by The Police, an audiophile experience full of the fire, power and dynamics that have become their trademark. The album was recorded in one room using two stereo microphones, captured in DSD. Available June 2, 2023 on 180 gram vinyl (mastered from DSD), CD, and digital download through Native DSD, on OuterMarkerRecords.com. “Murder By Numbers” will be available only in digital formats (CD and download).

The origins of this recording go back forty years to Princeton, NJ with two precocious kids tuning into MTV and discovering a whole world of music. The opening notes and images of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” captivated their young minds, and they were entranced by the videos for “Synchronicity II” and “Wrapped Around Your Finger.”

“There were a ton of videos that we saw on MTV, but those had such major influence. That shapes your brain when you’re a kid. That record is in our blood,” said Geoff. George added, “Synchronicity I is punk as f*ck! It’s so exciting when you hear that riff in the intro. Also, that is the bit of music that Geoff used to test VLCs in the first years of Hazelrigg Industries.” On that note, outside of playing music, the brothers’ “day job” is Hazelrigg Industries HazelriggIndustries.com, as designers and manufacturers of high-end studio recording gear used by top producers, engineers and artists around the world.

The Hazelrigg Brothers did an arrangement of “Synchronicity II” for a recording they made in the nineties, so the idea for this album had been marinating for a while. George elaborates, “We’ve been on this kick with The Police for a long time. We worked on the arrangement for “Miss Gradenko” for years. It went through dozens of iterations before we wound up with what we have on this record.”

This album was born out of love for Synchronicity, arguably The Police’s crowning achievement, and a desire to commemorate and celebrate the album’s fortieth anniversary. “I remember being in high school and having that record on nonstop; I had it in my Walkman forever,” said Geoff. Getting right to point, George added, “I think so many of the songs on the record really resonate, I mean, they’re all so good,” a sentiment most of us can wholeheartedly agree with.

More on the music with the Hazelrigg Brothers:

Synchronicity I
Geoff: It’s got that sequencer part, and we do some of that mechanical kind of playing, but it draws you in, in a hypnotic kind of way. It’s a cool opener, and as a group I think we excel at playing really dynamically. It’s not about how loud you are, it’s how soft you get, because everybody’s always playing as loud as they can. But how soft can you get? And with that tune, we really go from here all the way down. You know, it’s this kind of push pull dynamic thing that happens while maintaining that level of intensity the entire way through. That’s the trick.

Walking in your footsteps
George: It’s about dinosaurs.
Geoff: Yeah. Who doesn’t like dinosaurs?

O My God
George: It’s an illustration of how they were still an underground punk band. “O My God” is questioning religion during the Cold War, which was still a taboo thing to do at the time.

Mother
Geoff: That was the blues on the record, because every jazz album needs a blues, right?

George: This was a challenging one. That song is way too f*cking punk-ass. And it’s a 12 bar blues.

Geoff: That song is about the lyrics, right? And it’s not just the lyrics, it’s the lyrical performance.

George: He doesn’t sing it, right? He speaks it: “The telephone is ringing. Is that my mother on the phone?” And so we had to adapt a melody that wasn’t actually part of the song. But how were we going to capture the lyric of it, and then how were we going to frame it so there was something to grab onto? It was like we need to make it sound like… Chopin, you know?

Miss Gradenko
George: The ultimate Cold War song.

Geoff: You know, it’s only two minutes, but that song has more notes in it than probably any other song on the album.

George: When we first arranged this song, I did not have the facility, the technique, to play it. I went through years of piano studies to finally get to the point where I can play it as well as I can now. I credit that two-minute piece for more of my later technical development as a piano player than almost anything else.

Synchronicity II
George: It has elements of the other songs before it, and sort of puts a bow on that entire first half of the record. There’s a lot of chaos. The breakdown section is the same as the ending of “O my God.” It’s like this chaos that you’re barely, barely holding onto. And so I’m doing a lot of muting and stuff and Geoff’s doing all this screechy bass stuff and John’s playing screechy cymbal sounds. It’s a lot of sound design.

Every Breath You Take
Geoff: The mega-hit from the record.

George: There’s that iconic guitar line, which we carry through the entire song, other than the bridge section and the outro. I don’t play any other notes. It’s a monophonic line that I carry the entire time. Geoff’s playing that melody in that baritone range that has a certain sinister element to it, and it becomes this two-voice piece.

King of Pain
George: Well, we didn’t have a marimba, so John played an mbira. That is the tune where we wind up sounding most like a jazz trio. By the time the outro hits, we’ve distressed the song completely.

Wrapped Around Your Finger
Geoff: Another song that has a lot of lyrical imagery, and our job was to just take that mysterious imagery and do our best to apply it without the words.
George: When Geoff plays the melody on the second verse, he hits the high note and slides to that next note. There’s something in the piano that echoes his high note, and it sounds like there’s an echo on the bass.

Geoff: If you listen to the last chorus, it sounds like we overdub a synth in the middle. It’s just the way the composite sounds come together.

Tea in the Sahara
George: What “Tea in the Sahara” captures is how beautiful all the instruments in that room sound. It captures what is so phenomenal about that 1887 Steinway and just the massive size and tone of Geoff’s 7/8 bass and the delicacy of that birch Gretsch kit, and how John approaches playing cymbals. It’s all just the delicate – impossibly quiet at times – detail, of just how fine those instruments are.

Murder by Numbers
Geoff: I think harmonically and form-wise, it already lends itself to the format probably more than any other song on the record. I mean, it starts with a drum solo and it ends with a drum solo.

Please Visit: Hazelriggbrothers.com

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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