Cuneiform Records is honored to announce that The Claudia Quintet, a jazz ensemble led by composer/ percussionist John Hollenbeck, has been named the Rising Star Jazz Group by Downbeat 56th Annual International Critics Poll. In addition, John Hollenbeck is named as both the Rising Star Composer of the year and the Rising Star Arranger of the year in the poll. Indeed, The Claudia Quintet and its members won a staggering number of awards and nominations in this year's Downbeat's International Critics poll. Other Claudia bandmembers nominated for awards by Downbeat include Chris Speed, nominated for Rising Star Clarinet, Drew Gress, nominated for Rising Star Acoustic Bass and Rising Star Electric Bass, Matt Moran, nominated for both Vibes and Rising Star Vibes, Ted Reichman (accordion), nominated for Rising Star Miscellaneous Instrument. Downbeat's International Critics Poll is the most prestigious jazz poll in the world, and is compiled from votes submitted by many of the world's best jazz journalists.
The Claudia Quintet is signed to Cuneiform Records, an internationally acclaimed record label that releases jazz, improv, experimental rock, avant progressive, electronic, ambient, classical minimalism, 'new weird americana' and numerous other genres 'beyond', by some of the best and most adventurous musicians from around the world. Based in the Washington DC (Silver Spring, MD) area since 1984, Cuneiform was recently honored in the Washington City Paper's 2008 Best of DC as DC's “Best Hyphenate Label’ in recognition of its genre-busting multi-genre music.
About The Claudia Quintet:
The Claudia Quintet's music demonstrates that “Innovative jazz does not have to be harsh, angry, loud, shrill or grating; it can be delicate, witty, ethereal and radiantly lyric, as the Claudia Quintet pointed out” [Chicago Tribune]. Formed by composer / drummer / arranger John Hollenbeck in 1997, this NYC ensemble's sound explores the edge without alienating the mainstream, proving that genre-defying music can be for everyone. Over the past decade, the group has released four CDs that are critically acclaimed world wide and whose appeal extends well beyond, as well as including traditional jazz audiences. The group's first album, "The Claudia Quintet," was released on the Blueshift CRI record label. The group has since established a long time relationship with the Cuneiform label. Since Hollenbeck first presented the band in an internet cafe on Avenue A in Manhattan in 1997, the Claudia Quintet has amazed audiences from Alabama to the Amazon. Their unique sound has inspired dancing hippie girls at a New Mexico noise festival, the avant-garde cognoscenti in the concert halls of Vienna and Sao Paolo, and a generation of young musicians worldwide. In the course of the thousands of miles they have traveled together and hundreds of concerts they've played, the Claudia Quintet has evolved and grown, developing a dynamic live sound based on trust and spontaneity. They bring this powerful energy into the studio, where they record the old-fashioned way, live, playing as a band." In the Claudia Quintet, Hollenbeck has assembled a group of the foremost innovators in this new sound to create a powerhouse band. They are: Drew Gress - bass (Tim Berne, Uri Caine, Ravi Coltrane), Matt Moran - vibraphone (Slavic Soul Party, Mat Maneri, Theo Bleckmann), Ted Reichman - accordion (Anthony Braxton, Marc Ribot, Paul Simon), and Chris Speed - clarinet and tenor saxophone (Human Feel, Bloodcount, Alas No Axis).
John Hollenbeck - drums/composition:
John Hollenbeck's journey has been one of the most remarkable in contemporary music. Building on a wealth of experience in jazz and world styles as well as a deep interest in contemporary composition and spiritual practice, he has forged a lyrical new musical language, as accessible and expressive as it is advanced. After receiving degrees in percussion (B.M.) and jazz composition (M.M.) from the Eastman School of Music, Hollenbeck moved to New York City in the early 1990's. He has worked with many of the world's leading musicians in jazz (Bob Brookmeyer, Fred Hersch, Tony Malaby, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Kenny Wheeler), world music (Pablo Ziegler), and new music (Meredith Monk).
Hollenbeck's recording career as a leader began in the winter of 2001 with the audacious simultaneous release of three critically acclaimed CDs on CRI/Blueshift: "no images," an ambitious composer's statement that Gary Giddins included in his Village Voice 2001 top ten list, "Quartet Lucy," and "The Claudia Quintet." His second Claudia Quintet recording, "I, Claudia" appeared on Cuneiform in 2004, followed by "Semi-Formal" in 2005. Also in 2005, Hollenbeck was nominated for a Grammy for his Large Ensemble's debut, "A Blessing" (Omnitone) in the category of Best Jazz Big Band CD. His next large ensemble recording, "Joys and Desires, featuring Jazz Big Band Graz and Theo Bleckmann, was released by Intuition in 2006 to critical acclaim. Hollenbeck's numerous commissions include the IAJE Gil Evans Fellowship and the IAJE/ASCAP Commission. He has also received commissions from the Bamberg Symphony Choir, the Windsbacher Knabenchor, Studio Percussion (Graz), the Ethos Percussion Group, and the Bang On a Can All-Stars.
In 2004 and 2006, Hollenbeck was nominated for "Up and Coming Jazz Musician of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association. In 2006, he was also nominated for "Composer of the Year." Down Beat magazine has recognized him as a "Rising Star" in the Composer, Jazz Artist, Arranger, Big Band, and Jazz Group (Claudia Quintet) categories. In 2007, John won the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. Hollenbeck is currently a professor of drumset and improvisation at Jazz Institute Berlin (Germany). In October 2008, John will be self-releasing a CD of chamber music. This CD will be comprised of recent commissioned pieces which feature: The Claudia Quintet, Mark Stewart, Todd Reynolds, Ethos Percussion Group, Youngstown State Percussion Ensemble and Saxophone Quartet.
Chris Speed - clarinet/tenor saxophone:
One of the leading saxophonists and clarinetists of his generation, Chris Speed has appeared on over ninety records and has been voted rising star clarinetist for by Down Beat three years in a row. The legions of artists he has worked with include Jim Black, Tim Berne (Bloodcount), Uri Caine, Ben Perowsky, and John Zorn. Speed is a member of Alas No Axis, The Clarinets, and the recently reunited Human Feel (with Jim Black, Andrew D'Angelo, and Kurt Rosenwinkel). In 2006, Speed founded Skirl Records, a new record label focusing on Brooklyn music.
Ted Reichman – accordion:
Born in Aroostook County, Maine, Reichman's musical explorations started on an upright piano on a bean farm. At Wesleyan University, he studied with Alvin Lucier and Anthony Braxton, who hired Reichman to play accordion when he was nineteen. Reichman went on to record eight albums with Braxton, including "Duo (Leipzig) 1992" and the early documents of Ghost Trance Music. After moving to New York, Reichman became involved in free improvisation (with Marc Ribot, Anthony Coleman, Eugene Chadbourne), Jewish music (David Krakauer, Roberto Rodriguez), alternative country (Sue Garner, Laura Cantrell), and rock and roll (Paul Simon, Sam Phillips, Shivaree). In the process he founded a concert series at alt.coffee and became the original curator of Tonic. Reichman's work as a composer includes the critically acclaimed albums Emigr? (Tzadik 2003), "My Ears are Bent" (Skirl 2006) and the original scores to the films "Rick," "Ren? and I," "States of Unbelonging," and "The Memory Thief." Ted continues his work in film scoring and will be touring this fall with Sam Phillips.
Matt Moran - vibraphone/percussion:
Vibraphonist has a revolutionary approach to the instrument, creating new sounds and techniques and expanding the vibraphone's sonic palette. He has performed and recorded with a diverse range of artists including Joe Maneri, Sufjan Stevens, Theo Bleckmann, Mat Maneri, Saban Bajramovic, the Boban Markovic Orkestar, Mark Dresser, and Combustible Edison. As a percussionist, he leads the brass band Slavic Soul Party!, playing new music inspired by Balkan and American brass traditions. He has released six albums, including Sideshow (songs of Charles Ives) on the CRI label, and four Slavic Soul Party! albums on the Knitting Factory and Barb?s Records labels. In 2006 Moran placed in the "Rising Star - Vibes" category in the Downbeat Critic's Poll, and in 2008 also placed in the "Vibes" category. Moran has received performance, commission, and travel grants from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Meet the Composer, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
Drew Gress - acoustic bass:
Drew Gress is one of the world's most in-demand bassists, currently working with John Abercrombie, Tim Berne, Uri Caine, Ravi Coltrane, Fred Hersch, Ralph Alessi, Marc Copland, and many others. He has also played and/or recorded with Don Byron, Dave Douglas, Ray Anderson, Erik Friedlander, Ellery Eskelin, and many more. As a composer, Gress has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and Chamber Music America. He has released three albums as a leader: "Spin and Drift" (Premonition), "Heyday" (Soul Note), and the recent, critically acclaimed "7 Black Butterflies" (Premonition).
Building on the popularity and critical success of their previous CD's, "For," the group's latest release, continues Hollenbeck's startling development as a composer. John Hollenbeck is a leader of a new generation of musicians who have brought together many disparate threads of contemporary music to create a new sound. They embrace the textural freedom of electronic sounds and improvisation, the structural ambition of contemporary classical music, and most importantly, the joy of bodacious grooves and unapologetically gorgeous melodies. But despite its mercurial versatility, this music is not just technical sophistication and post-modern genre-hopping. In "For," Hollenbeck has created a "musical offering" in tribute to those who have touched his life, some in unusual ways. Teachers, fellow musicians, friends, and family are among the dedicatees, but so are S.N. Goenka (Vipassana meditation founder) and Mary Cheney (Dick's daughter). These connections reflect the emotional and spiritual expression at the core of Hollenbeck's aesthetic. The music of the Claudia Quintet is heartfelt, joyous and thought provoking. "For" is for everyone. "For" is the new CD by the Claudia Quintet, the genre-defying band led by Grammy-nominated composer John Hollenbeck. "For" is a positive message. "For" is driving rhythms, beautiful melodies, and passionate virtuosity. "For" is for all music lovers. "For" is also their fourth CD.
In Semi-Formal, The Claudia Quintet's 3rd CD and 2nd Cuneiform release, Hollenbeck pushes jazz further into the more “formal” New Music/classical camp. All About Jazz has noted that Hollenbeck's compositions reach “beyond jazz, inching up on chamber music but informed by ethnic, rock, and modern composition as well.” At times the membrane between “jazz” and “new music” dissolves, resulting in compositions that ebb and flow between styles while standing on their own, outside rigid genre: “semi-formal” but not semi-formed. Hollenbeck calls Semi-Formal a “listener's record”: a work that reveals its full range of charms and inner logic only in multiple listens, over time. But in typically Claudian fashion, the disc is not a difficult listen and charms on first spin. Dusted remarks: “it's rare to find a band that can actually strike a balance between cerebral challenge and relaxed accessibility.” Rich, complex pieces are punctuated by what Hollenbeck calls “palette cleansers”: brief works that use space, silence, and atypical instrumentation to break from and punctuate Claudia's texturally dense sound. In Semi-Formal, Hollenbeck's compositions range from austere, minimal works, evoking Feldman, to rhythmic, cyclically-generated pieces indebted to electronica and minimalism, to jazz compositions evoking much larger bands.
The Claudia Quintet's 2nd release, I, Claudia demonstrates that "Innovative jazz does not have to be harsh, angry, loud, shrill or grating; it can be delicate, witty, ethereal and radiantly lyric, as the Claudia Quintet pointed out" [Chicago Tribune]. Formed by composer/drummer John Hollenbeck in 1997, this NY ensemble creates music that explores the edge in a manner that captivates and enthralls novice listeners, and keeps experienced fans returning for more. 'Claudia's' I, Claudia is a highly seductive work, ripe with compelling, propulsive grooves, dynamic sensitivity and telepathic improvisation. Remarkably accessible, its music can perhaps be called post-jazz.
Richard Barbieri‘s amazing musical career has spanned four decades, taking him from the seminal recordings he made with Japan in the seventies right through to the current worldwide success he is enjoying with Porcupine Tree. ”Stranger Inside” is his second solo album. Barbieri wrote and produced the album himself but is assisted by a host of familiar faces from throughout his career. Steve Jansen (Japan) mixed and co arranged the album, it was mastered by Steven Wilson () and features guest musician appearances from Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) and the legendary double bass player Danny Thompson, whose incredible CV includes Pentangle, Nick Drake, T-Rex, Kate Bush and many more. In addition to this nearly all tracks, though instrumental in nature, feature the sampled voices of Tim Bowness (No-Man) and Suzanne Barbieri. “Stranger Inside” is in stores from September 15 and will be available digitally from September 8.
Todd Rundgren’s new album “Arena” has been licensed to Cooking Vinyl for UK release on Monday 29th September (the album will be released in North America by Hi-Fi Recordings on Tuesday 30th September). The album will be followed by a UK tour in November, with Rundgren playing dates at Manchester Academy 2 (Nov 6), Edinburgh Picture House (Nov 7), Norwich Waterfront (Nov 22) and London Kentish Town Forum (Nov 23). Former Utopia bass guitarist, Kasim Sulton, is confirmed to play guitar, keyboards and sing vocals on Rundgren’s forthcoming American and European “Arena” tours. Sulton, who recently was the musical director for Meatloaf’s North American and European tours, will join Rachel Haden (bass), Jesse Gresse (guitar), former Tubes drummer Prairie Prince and Todd Rundgren (vocals, guitar).
”Isle of Black” is Robin Taylor's 11th solo album so far. Composer and multi-instrumentalist Taylor is probably best known from acts like Taylor's Universe and Taylor's Free Universe, but he has occasionally felt the need to work on projects a little different from his band projects, and ”Isle of Black” is no exception. “Isle of Black” was recorded in winter 2007 with contributions from Universe people Karsten Vogel on saxophones and Rasmus Grosell on drums. Also taking part was Louise Nipper, voices (Taylor's sound engineer for nearly a decade). All other instruments were played by Taylor. “Isle of Black” is a soundtrack-like album of contrasting moods and atmospheres; a journey that breaks barriers between progressive rock, jazz and electronica.
Just a short note to tell you that Univers Zero has a new bass player, Dimitri Evers. The new lineup is: Daniel Denis (drums and keyboards), Michel Berckmans (reeds), Kurt Bude (clarinets and saxes), Martin Lauwers (violin), Pierre Chevalier (keyboards), Dimitri Evers (bass) and Philippe Senayeve (images and projections). “Relaps” is ready, mixing and mastering are finished. It will be out on Cuneiform Records next January.
“Shadowman” is the second solo album from Steve Walsh (Kansas, solo) and was originally released in 2005 but without the benefit of a good distribution channel. A couple years later, Steve recorded two new songs with basically the same people but they were only available digitally. Now Steve has teamed up with ProgRock Records to re-release “Shadowman” and include these 2 new songs as well for a new package that will be widely available.
Spaced Out will be launching their fifth studio album “Evolution” at the Montreal Progressive Rock Festival on Saturday September 13. This, their fifth studio recording, is the result of a collective effort with the goal to achieve a style of music as original and innovative as possible. The music that the band offers keeps evolving. During the creative process, the concept of the band not repeating itself and bringing it's musical ideas to another level are constants. One thing that doesn't change is the presence of each member's personality expressed through his instrument without any compromise. Improvisation is sill an important part of the music performed by the band, while the continuous exploration with unconventional rhythm, highly expressive harmonic colors and intricate interplay is an element that is still present.
“Jazzraptor's Secret” is the forth solo album from Jack Foster III. Jack exploded on the scene in 2003 with his first album “Evolution of Jazzraptor” with Trent Gardner and Robert Berry. His latest album exemplifies the “evolution” that the trio has gone through in their 5 years of doing albums together.
Just a quick update concerning "Overlook", the new album by Fromuz: Jeff Hodges of the band Man on Fire has finished mixing and what he has done with the music is excellent. Now the tracks are out for mastering. The album should be available early this fall on 10T Records. Drop by the band’s website to hear some samples-excerpts of the five tracks. If you would like to see the art for "Overlook" and pages produced by Ken Westphal (for Proto-Kaw, Kerry Livgren and more), click here.
Marillion’s 15th album, the double album “Happiness is the Road”, is due on 20 October 2008, but you can pre-order the Deluxe Campaign 2CD Edition now and get it shipped direct to you as soon as it's released. “Happiness is the Road” track-listing announced:
Volume 1 – “Essence”: Dreamy Street, This Train is My Life, Essence, Wrapped Up in Time, Liquidity, Nothing Fills the Hole, Woke Up, Trap the Spark, A State of Mind, Happiness is the Road.
Volume 2 – “The Hard Shoulder”: Thunder Fly, The Man from the Planet Marzipan, Asylum Satellite-I, Throw Me Out, Half the World, Older than Me, Whatever is Wrong with You, Especially True, Real Tears for Sale.
British drummer Bill Bruford and Dutch keyboardist Michiel Borstlap are two of the leading lights in progressive improvised music. Since their first meeting at the Nijmegen Festival in Holland in 2002, the duo have recorded on both CD and DVD, and gone on to play major Festivals and concerts in Japan and Europe. By the tender age of 27, Bill Bruford's musical character had already been forged in the fiery furnace of four of the biggest progressive rock groups of the 1970s: Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, and UK. This early success propelled Bill, by nature a restless innovator uncomfortable with the well-worn path, into a fascinating 30-year search for the innovative, the unusual, and the unpredictable with groups such as Bruford, Earthworks, and the Bruford-Borstlap duo. Pianist Michiel Borstlap graduated Cum Laude from Hilversum Conservatory in 1992. He has had his music recorded by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, and has released eight albums, including “Every Step a Dance, Every Word A Song”, and the DVD “In Concert In Holland” with Bill. He may appear one day in a duo improvising instant compositions with Bruford, the next in a trio with Jeff Watts on drums, and a third day behind his Yamaha grand improvising over techno and house beats with the group Soulvation. “In Two Minds”, the second CD to come from this pairing of fine musicians, will no doubt be hugely anticipated by the large and dedicated fan base built up by these two artists in addition to their own separate respective fan bases who have witnessed them in concert since the duo's first formal collaboration back in 2002. Recorded in 2007, “In Two Minds” features eleven intimate and conversational tracks of new, original material, and a stand-out reading of the Miles Davis classic All Blues. Released on the Summerfold imprint, the Bruford-Borstlap duo will again be playing selected live dates in the run up to the release of this album, including their London debut at the London Jazz Festival on 24th November 2007.
Latest news (coming from Kim Petersen, er King Diamond):
Hail to all of you. Now that it's been made official, yes, I will participate in the tribute to "Dimebag" at OzzFest. It's an honor to have been asked to participate, and my back is steadily getting better, definitely good enough for a short appearance, and it couldn't be for a better cause. I live only 7 minutes by car from the soccer stadium where OzzFest takes place, so there is no way in hell I would miss this opportunity to pay tribute to "Dimebag".
Some other good news: Massacre Records have taken their option for another King Diamond album. Negotiations with Metal Blade Records to extend the King Diamond recording deal has been completed, and are practically ready to be signed. Further, contracts between King Diamond and Mercyful Fate and Metal Blade Records and Massacre Records have been agreed upon and are almost ready to be signed for a double DVD of King Diamond and a double DVD of Mercyful Fate, consisting of mainly never before seen private recordings in very high quality (King Diamond 1986-‘90, Mercyful Fate 1982-‘84). If all goes well, the King Diamond DVD set might hit the stores before the end of this year, and the Mercyful Fate DVD set would probably hit the stores early next year.
Another project we've been working on is to create remastered versions of “The Spider's Lullabye” and “The Graveyard”, plus “Voodoo” and “House Of God”. Andy La Rocque is undertaking this project at his Sonic Train Studio in Sweden, and so far I have heard his version of “The Spider's Lullabye” and it kicks some serious ass. It was as if I was listening to a brand new album, it sounded exactly like it should have sounded back when it was released (we did not at that time master our albums ourselves, and let me tell you, they suffered by it). For the first time ever, I heard all the things we actually recorded (certain vocal harmonies and guitar overdubs; all the details are there now). In my opinion, this one is gonna be a must have. You know I wouldn't say this if it wasn't true. Andy has just told me that the remastered version of “The Graveyard” is in the mail for my approval.
There is another project in the making which I unfortunately cannot speak about yet. If it comes true though, it will be a very big thing for King Diamond / Mercyful Fate. It is not a new Mercyful Fate album or tour, but it is something that could be very big for us. It is more like being a part of someone else's very big project, and which can only be announced by them.
Rock Legend Ozzy Osbourne (of Black Sabbath and solo fame) will be honoured this year with the Living Legend award in the Classic Rock Roll of Honor. Alice Cooper, who is a previous recipient of the honour, revealed that Osbourne would get the award at November’s Classic Rock awards where Whitesnake, Led Zeppelin and Def Leppard are also nominated for three awards. As for Ozzy himself, well he’s over the moon: “I couldn’t be happier to know that Classic Rock haven’t written me off!” BBC quoted Ozzy, as saying “Seriously, it’s a great honour, and I’m looking forward to going to my first Classic Rock Awards in November. Can’t wait to see you there”, the singer added. Led Zeppelins famous guitarist Jimmy Page, whose broken finger was the hot topic of the evening, was last year’s recipient of the living legend award.The event would also see rockers Def Leppard and David Coverdale’s Whitesnake performing. On the other hand Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Black Crowe, Alice Cooper as well as six others have been nominated in the category of Album of the Year. Ozzy Osbourne would be awarded with others winners at the gala ceremony, which would be held at Londons Park Lane Hotel on the 3 rd of November.
America's Prog Rock band Rocket Scientists, with special guest Lana Lane, return to the Northeast in August for two concerts. The first show will be headlined by Rocket Scientists at the prestigious Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main Street, Buffalo, NY on Friday, August 22nd beginning at 7:30 PM. Also performing are Navigator and Tiles. Rocket Scientists' second concert, also with Lana Lane, will be at the 3 Rivers Prog Festival in Pittsburgh, PA on Sunday, August 24th. The band takes the stage at 3:15PM for a matinee performance. Rocket Scientists' core members Erik Norlander, Mark McCrite and Don Schiff will appear in concert along with select guest musicians including singer Lana Lane and guitarist Jim Williams. This concert follows on the heels of several very successful shows in Mexico, Cleveland, San Francisco, and New York, and the recent release of Rocket Scientists' 5-disc multimedia box set "Looking Backward" through Think Tank Media and ProgRock Records.
SPV Records is proud to announce the U.S.A. release of “Secret Voyage”, the new album by Blackmore’s Night – the duo of award-winning singer / songwriter Candice Night and legendary guitarist / songwriter Ritchie Blackmore (of Deep Purple fame) – is available now. Other members of the band include Bard David (keyboards, vocals), Earl Grey of Chimay (bass, vocals), Gypsy Rose (violin, vocals) and Squire Malcolm (percussion). This kaleidoscopic musical journey through time and space incorporates traditional folk music from around the world. The album blends haunting ancient melodies with newly-written Night lyrics inspired by nature and fantasy, partially recorded on renaissance-period instruments, and arranged with a contemporary dramatic flair that features the brilliant acoustic and electric guitar stylings of Blackmore.
Classic prog rock / AOR band Asia Featuring John Payne has contributed the track Long Way Home to the CD release "A Musical Tribute to the Olympics 2008 Summer Games - A Commemorative Compact Disc". The CD has been released by Morada Music and is available at Audiofidelity. It is also available at Wal-Mart and Amazon. John Payne replaced vocalist / bassist John Wetton as the front man of the supergroup Asia in 1992 at the invitation of keyboardist Geoff Downes. Asia extensively toured the world for the next 14 years performing new classics and old favorites. With John Payne fronting the band, Asia released 8 studio albums and several live recordings. In 2006, Geoff Downes left the band to reform the 1982 line up for their 25th anniversary. On the 9th of May 2006, John Payne, Geoff Downes, John Wetton, Carl Palmer and Steve Howe contractually agreed that John Payne would continue his 14 year legacy with Asia as ” Asia Featuring John Payne”. Asia Featuring John Payne has commenced touring in North America and a new studio album, “Architect of Time” is planned for release in late 2008.
The launch of ”Shooting Albatross”, after quite a long lay off period for the band, had made us wonder what kind of reception we might expect. We are very happy to tell you that the response has far exceeded even our wildest dreams. Indeed things have been going so well with the sales of this CD that we are almost sold out of all the copies we had pressed. Besides that, we have been absolutely overwhelmed by the number of e-mails we have received from people wishing us good luck and offering their best wishes. So, once again, please allow us to say a big thank you.
Latest news (coming from Hugh Hopper, of Soft Machine fame):
Dear All, I have been suffering from back pain for a couple of years, and it has suddenly got worse. Also, while having blood tests for that, hospital discovered I have pre-leukaemic cells in my blood and very low platelet-count. My love Christine is researching like mad to find the best alternative therapies, but meanwhile there is no possibility of traveling for the foreseeable future. Text or phone on my mobile is much easier for me than computer. +44 0770 925 1232 Please let others know, but say we are putting maximum positive energy into this!
Metal Mind Productions present “Old School Fusion Live” – the first DVD by the Polish jazz-rock legend Laboratorium.The band was born in 1970 in Krakow. From the very beginning their music was very kindly received by the public. The band quickly gained a huge popularity. Appreciated by both rock and jazz fans the band played extraordinary progressive jazz music. Their debut album was recorded with the help of Zbigniew Seifert. Achieving recognition in the country, the band begun to gain popularity in the Western Europe, performing on various festivals with the greatest jazz stars. The group’s latter albums document their constant and wild artistic search. This DVD, “Old School Fusion Live”, features a collection of unique archival footage, documenting the band’s concert at the prestigious Jazz Jamboree festival in 1978, the recording of the live album “Blue Light Pilot” at Stu Theatre in 1982, as also their 25th Anniversary concert in 1996 (also featuring interviews with band members). The DVD also includes bonus video “Late coming” (performed at a TV studio), photo gallery and more. Virtuosity and imagination: brilliant compositions and the one-of-a-kind sound of Laboratorium – one of the most important groups in the Polish rock and jazz music. The DVD will be released by Metal Mind Records on 18th August 2008 in Europe and 30th September 2008 in USA (via MVD).
Todd Rundgren (of Utopia and solo fame) will perform four UK concerts following the September 29th UK release of his new studio album “Arena”.“Arena is a definite return to riff-oriented guitar rock", says Rundgren. The Arena Tour band will feature Todd (guitar, vocals), Jesse Gress (guitar), Matt Bolton (keyboards), Rachel Haden (bass) and Prairie Prince (drums).
Various Artists (International) – “Psychedelica Three” 2CD
Northern Star Records are proud to present the third installment in their now legendary Psychedelica series, “Psychedelica Three”, featuring an eclectic selection of the best in contemporary psychedelia. The compilation features The Lea Shores, The High Dials, The Quarter After, Youngteam, Belles Will Ring, Maison Blanche, The Black Angels, The Dolly Rocker Movement, The Electric Soft Parade, The Stevenson Ranch Davidians, House Of Fire, Sunsplit, Sunray, Louis Gordon, The Cush, The Deaths, God Is An Astronaut, Sennen, Mono In VCF, The Nova Saints, The December Sound, The Butterfly Explosion, Soundpool, Perfect Blue, The Telescopes, The Insect Guide, Mugstar, The Zen Circus & Brian Ritchie, Say, Hopewell, Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring, Aspen Woods, Hush The Many.
Swedish music industry veterans join forces with former Inside Out Music America staff to form Blistering Records. Stockholm, Sweden – August 18, 2008 - Blistering Records is pleased to announce the launch of their exciting new record label, with a focus on signing and developing recording acts in a wide spectrum of rock music, including but not limited to: Melodic Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Progressive Rock, Metal and all combinations of these styles. The label has a simple philosophy: “Treat the artists the way we would like to be treated. We all started out as struggling musicians in bands so we know all-to-well what it feels like to be on the other side of the desk. More than ever with today's tough and ever changing music market survival is determined by understanding, appreciation, innovation, commitment and team-work. We are true supporters of the scene(s) that we help represent and are determined to prove ourselves to be survivors by becoming one of the leading independent record labels for Rock and
Metal.” The principals of Blistering are individuals with self proclaimed life-long love affairs with music, and extensive industry experience to put their philosophy into action.
Chairman of the Board, Tomas Sunmo started his career in 1984 at Tandan/Alpha Records as label manager for artists like Metallica, Sepultura, Frank Zappa etc. Tomas then went on to Reel Records and then MNW ILR before co-founding Scandinavian Record Distribution company, Playground Music where he also acted as the Director of Business Affairs between 1999 and 2007. Label President Lars Chriss is widely known as a recording and touring artist with his band Lion's Share (Century Media, JVC, AFM Records, Avex etc). Lars has a sound engineering degree at SAE and has extensive industry experience from working at various labels, booking agencies and artist management companies. North American Managing Director Jim Pitulski has done marketing and artist development for companies like Columbia Records and the Polygram Label Group where he worked hands-on with acts such as Alice in Chains, Judas Priest, Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), Warrant, Britny Fox and Kingdom Come. Jim also started management company Roundtable Entertainment where he handled Dream Theater, Spock's Beard and Fish. He then went on to become the managing director of Inside Out Music America, perhaps the world's top label for progressive rock and metal. Blistering Records is also looking to generate and foster strategic relationships with like-minded labels for licensing and distribution in North America and Europe. Recent alliances with Italy 's Frontiers Records and Germany 's Massacre Records are examples. Blistering will release its first titles in the U.S. through Ryko/ Warner Distribution on October 7. Among those titles will be new releases from Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Michael Kiske (Helloween), House Of Lords and Revolution Renaissance which features former Stratovarius guitarist Timo Tolkki.
Rewiring Genesis (USA) – “A Tribute to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”
Nashville-based recording engineer/producer and a Los Angeles-based performer have teamed up to create a unique twist on a classic Genesis album. This fall, Nick D'Virgilio of Spock's Beard fame and engineer/producer Mark Hornsby are re-recording the Genesis classic “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”, in its entirety. Produced at Java Jive Studio in Nashville, the album features some of Music City’s best musicians, taking the songs in a whole new direction. Although all of the original elements of the songs are still included such as drums, bass, guitar and piano, the recordings now take on a more "theatrical" vibe. Coupled with orchestra, rock guitars, and some fantastic horn arrangements, the songs now enter an entirely different place.
10T Records is proud to announce the release of the brand new full length CD release by Fromuz, entitled “Overlook” on September 9, 2008. This will be the Uzbekistan-based band’s 2nd official release on 10T Records. Fromuz burst onto the prog and fusion scene last year with the release of their live debut CD “Audio Diplomacy,” garnering spots on many critics’ top 10 lists and drawing comparisons to such stalwarts as Liquid Tension Experiment, The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report. Newly reenergized, Fromuz returns with a new selection of intensely melodic hard prog-rock fusion. Displaying nearly 70 minutes worth of blistering instrumental prowess, Fromuz continues in the musical direction they have already established, while simultaneously stretching into adventurous new territory on this, their first studio release. All original members of Fromuz are back for the five epic tracks that make up “Overlook”, as they once again prove themselves to be among the most passionate and talented musicians on the planet today. The CD features outstanding production, with mixing by Jeff Hodges (Man On Fire). The final tracks were mastered by veteran mastering engineer, Brad Blackwood (Evanescence). “One of the highlights of 2007 for 10T Records was having the honor to introduce the world to Fromuz,” says label president Steve Carroll. “Anyone who enjoyed their debut will be ecstatic after hearing this new material. It really focuses on just what an amazing musical force these musicians are. We couldn’t be happier to be associated with Fromuz as they represent everything that we created this label to showcase.” Selected tracks from “Overlook” are immediately available to preview in their entirety on this page. Additionally, “Overlook” is available for immediate shipping to distributors and pre-sales are now being taken. All pre-sales will ship prior to the official release date of September 9, 2008. After September 9, “Overlook” will be available at your favorite retail outlet for immediate purchase.
The first new release from Anathema for five years is now available on K-Scope Music. Taken from the new semi-acoustic album, “Hindsight”, the two track download features the brand new track Unchained alongside a new arrangement of Flying. “Hindsight” will be released on CD by K-Scope on August 25 2008 and will be available to download from Agst 11. The Pineapple Thief have also released a download EP this week following the success of their recent album, “Tightly Unwound”. In addition to featuring a single edit of the lead track, Shoot First, and an alternate version of My Debt to You, the EP also features two completely new tracks, Second Chance (which was written and recorded during the Tightly Unwound sessions) and Too Far Gone – a completely new piece that Bruce has recently written when starting work on the new album.
Presto Ballet (USA) – “The Lost Art of Time Travel”
Kurdt Vanderhoof of Metal Church is back with a second album from his Presto Ballet project, "The Lost Art of Time Travel". Still keeping to his classic 70's progressive rock roots, Kurdt Vanderhoof serves up another hard rocking classic prog album. With more epic arrangements this time around, but always with a focus on melody, this album was made using only classic analog synths, Mellotrons, and other similar gear.