Forum for Electro-Acoustic Research, better known as FFEAR, intrepidly plumbs new sonic territory by “adopting classical compositional techniques into an improvisational setting.” Co-led by saxophonist Ole Mathisen, who has appeared on our stage most recently with Amir ElSaffar, and trombonist Chris Washburne, director of the Columbia University Jazz Performance program, FFEAR released its new album Mirage in 2012, which features the eponymous work by Mathisen, who was the recipient of a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant. Here’s an excerpt from the multi-movement work, “Mirage, Part 4: Scenes,” recorded live at Columbia University in 2010:
On Friday, January 31st, The Jazz Gallery welcomes pianist David Virelles and his Continuum group back to our stage. This past month, David travelled to Park City, Utah to play at the Sundance Film Festival. At an event to celebrate the premiere of the movie “Low Down,” a movie based on the life of jazz pianist John Albany, Virelles performed with with saxophonist Ohad Talmor and bassist Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as actress Glenn Close read from the memoir that inspired the film.
While we can’t promise any movie stars guesting with David this Friday, he has assembled an all-star cast of collaborators for his performance: Thomas Morgan on bass, Nasheet Waits on drums, and Román Díaz on Biankoméko Abakuá (a traditional Afro-Cuban drum setup). This group features a slightly different lineup than Virelles’s 2012 Continuum record, so come out and hear Virelles’s mysterious and ever-changing music in a new way.
David Virelles and Continuum performs at The Jazz Gallery on Friday, January 31st, at 9 and 11 p.m. The group features Virelles on piano, Thomas Morgan on bass, Nasheet Waits on drums, and Román Díaz on Biankoméko Abakuá. $20 general admission ($10 for members). Purchase tickets here.
Pianist Victor Gould is quickly establishing himself as a musical force to be reckoned with, making waves in New York’s renowned jazz scene and across the globe. Gould holds degrees from Berklee College of Music and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in addition to a long list of honorary awards. He has since spent considerable time as a member of the Donald Harrison Quartet and has performed with the likes of Esperanza Spalding, Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Ralph Peterson and many others. Now a New York resident, Gould finds himself a member of the Wallace Roney Quintet and will begin recording his debut album in March 2014.
Not a stranger to The Jazz Gallery, Victor has graced our stage with the likes of Godwin Louis and Kyle Poole . On Thursday, January 30th, 2014 as part of the Gallery’s “Thursday Night Debut Series”, we’ll present Victor Gould as a leader of his own trio, supported by Ben Williams on bass and John Davis on drums in addition to a special guest. Victor will be presenting some compositions he has prepared for the upcoming album. He was kind enough to sit down with us this January in a Brooklyn coffee house and share a bit about himself.
The Jazz Gallery: You grew up in Los Angeles – how did you get involved in music and what kind of opportunities did you take hold of in your youth? Is there a memorable musical experience you had during that period?
Victor Gould: I started most of my jazz studies at The Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles through an after-school program—there they did private lessons and ensembles. I also studied with a great Israeli pianist named Tamir Hendelman starting when I was 12 years old. Also, the high school I went to—L.A. County High School for the Arts—had a great jazz program led by Jason Goldman and that was a great opportunity to be a part of. My father plays jazz flute and he just wanted someone to play with I guess. He got me into the piano when I was about four years old.
TJG: Who have been your primary mentors and what has been most valuable about these relationships?
VG: So I guess my definition of a mentor is a teacher that goes out of their way doing things outside of music, like meeting for lunch—something that’s extra, beyond the call of duty. Donald Harrison has definitely been a great mentor to me. He gave me some of my first experiences on the road. I was part of his band for three years. I first met him and started playing with him when I was 17 years old in Boston, attending the Berklee College of Music. I traveled around the world with him and he taught me a lot. He was really patient with me at a young age and I really appreciate that.
Ralph Peterson (I played in his band and he took a lot of time with me) really went out of his way to mention my name a lot and tried to help me every way he could. I recorded an album with him called The Duality Perspective. Wallace Roney has been a big mentor to me. I’m in his band right now so I definitely consider him a mentor as well. Terri Lyne Carrington (I played with her a group a bit), she’s invited me over to her house for parties, given me a lot of advice, contributed in terms of recommendation letters and things like that. I recorded something with her that was never released. It was supposed to be a project she was going to do for Herbie Hancock. Overall, she’s been a big help and a lot of inspiration. I got to spend a lot of time with pianist Danilo Perez, both in the classroom and out. He’s been a great help. (more…)
On Saturday, January 25, two Jazz Gallery favorites—guitarist Adam Rogers and bassist Matt Brewer—will come together for an evening of acoustic duets. Rogers is perhaps best known for his distinct electric stylings as heard with groups like Chris Potter’s Underground, and Brewer has most recently been working on music for larger ensembles, so it is truly a special occasion to hear these musicians in an intimate, stripped-down setting. Come out to see what surprises Matt & Adam have in store.
Adam Rogers and Matt Brewer perform at The Jazz Gallery on Saturday, January 25, at 9 and 11 p.m. $20 general admission ($10 for members). Purchase tickets here.
Last March, Miho Hazama took the stage at The Jazz Gallery with her group “m_unit” to celebrate the US release of her debut Journey to Journey (Sunnyside). Since then, the album has received numerous accolades among critics including positions on The 2013 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll and Downbeat’s Best New Albums of 2013. This Friday, January 24th, 2014, Miho returns to Gallery with m_unit and special guest Steve Wilson with some new material in store. Miho was kind enough to sit down with us recently and discuss her recent projects.
The Jazz Gallery: This past March you celebrated the release of “Journey to Journey” in the US at The Jazz Gallery. Since then the record has won a lot of praise among critics. What have you been up to since then?
Miho Hazama: Since the CD release, I haven’t been working as much on m_unit but rather other compositions and arrangements – partly for financial reasons. M_unit is a project that I really want to continue and evolve but its not yet financially viable on its own. I really want to put together another recording, maybe in a year so, so I’m trying to get finances in order for that project—with a 13 piece band there is a lot that goes into making that type of record. For the most part, I’ve stayed in New York City and written a lot of arrangements for both Japanese and local clients. I feel like I’m ready to be back writing for my own project and getting excited to move on to the next album in a year or so.
TJG: Have you had time to work some of your own compositional projects as well?
MH: I participated in the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop beginning this past September as it’s been challenging for me to write for big band—it’s not my strength. I used to study classical music, used to write a lot of symphonic music. When I started out at the Manhattan School of Music, I was still writing for string quartets and have had to transition into writing for woodwinds or horns. I’ve learned a lot since then—like how to use overtones more effectively or how to be simpler in my approach. While my compositions are still complex, I try to simplify as much as possible to make it more memorable for the listener. It’s always important that my melody line be really emotional, as if for a singer. (more…)