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CD/DVD Releases: New Releases From Cuneiform Records

Posted on Tuesday, May 11 @ 22:00:00 UTC by nightowl

Below are five new Cuneiform releases which are not going to be generally released for another few weeks, but which you can buy directly from Wayside now.

"Our [Cuneiform Records] releases are available from us to our direct mail customers several weeks before they are generally released or available from other sources. We spend a small fortune on our releases and your direct purchase from us via Wayside Music helps us tremendously and is extremely important to our being able to continue our work and our release schedule. Thank you for your interest and support of our work."

The Claudia Quintet with Gary Versace - Royal Toast ($15.00) :: "Throughout the decade of the 2000s, the Claudia Quintet recorded, toured, and became one of the top five progressive jazz units in the U.S. and the world. For 2010 they continue with Royal Toast, implying elegance and a golden brown, perfectly prepared, even buttery music.

...Versace's role is that of shading or propping up these melodies, and one should listen closely to his contributions here. It's another extraordinary musical experience from the Claudia Quintet, who deserve all the high marks they receive as an innovative, thought-provoking, singularly unique contemporary ensemble."- All Music Guide

"...one of the most characterful small jazz groups of recent times."- The Guardian

"The references span from surf rock, to chamber jazz to hyperarticulate 'acoustica' club beats, all rendered with exquisite precision and heedless abandon ... there are too many moments of brilliance to list here..."- Jazz Times

"John Hollenbeck's New York based ensemble, founded in 1997, continues to trace an original route through contemporary jazz."- The Wire

Royal Toast is the long-awaited fifth release by this wonderful and undefinable ensemble. Led by twice Grammy-nominated drummer/composer John Hollenbeck, who The Village Voice called, "...superb, technically ingenious... passionate and serious, but also playful and funny...", the band features four other versatile and acclaimed players: Drew Gress (bass), Matt Moran (vibes), Ted Reichman (accordion) and Chris Speed (tenor sax, clarinet), all of whom are bandleaders in their own right in addition to their work with Claudia. The quintet is here supplemented by pianist Gary Versace, a longtime collaborator of Hollenbeck?s. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the addition of piano to the group's now quite well known "standard" sound is actually just how naturally it fits in! It's not a shocking thing at all to the long-time listener; the piano just becomes one more voice in the multi-musical-line stew. The addition of Versace means that half of the band is now essentially playing percussive instruments, giving Hollenbeck more opportunity than ever to follow his polyrhythmic muse; it absolutely and dinstinctly still sounds like Claudia, but now there's even more to love!

You can hear their music here: www.cuneiformrecords.com/realaudio/ClaudiaQuintet-Sphinx.mp3
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Curlew - A Beautiful Western Saddle / The Hardwood / Live In Washington, DC (CD + NTSC (all region) DVD; $17.00) :: "Curlew?s A Beautiful Western Saddle is one of those New York genre-bending records that?s ridiculous to categorize. Whatever you call it, it?s the most delightful hour of music I?ve heard all year. To start with, the melodies are gorgeous.... The record is full of brilliant performances too ... magnificent"- The Boston Phoenix

This package brings together two great releases which have been unavailable for a very long time and adds unreleased material as well, all at single disc price!

For about five years in the mid 80s/early 90s, not enough people seemed to realize that the best live band in the USA was Curlew. Their heyday featured the classic line-up of leader George Cartwright (saxes), Tom Cora (cello) (who also played with Holland's legendary art-punk band, The Ex, as well as being half of Skeleton Crew, with Fred Frith), Davey Williams (guitar), Ann Rupel (bass) and Pippin Barnett (drums). Curlew were one of the groups that defined 'the Knitting Factory sound', along with Naked City, Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society, James Blood Ulmer, Last Exit, etc. They packed the clubs (CBGBs, Mudd Club, The Knitting Factory), toured hard throughout the world, and thrilled audiences and critics alike with their unique, infectious blend of punk-jazz/downtown sound, roadhouse blues & a distinctly Southern esthetic. A Beautiful Western Saddle was the last album by the classic lineup, and it differs from all of their other works in that it's an album of songs, with lyrics by Paul Haines (Escalator Over the Hill, Tropic Appetites, etc) and with wonderful singing by Amy Denio. For me, this is the best-ever musical usage of Paul's words (yes, even better than his great work with Carla Bley). ABWS brings the concept of the "art song" into a whole new light. The second disc releases on DVD for the very first time, the group's live video, The Hardwood. It has been remastered from the original video master files and sonically remastered as well. This is a valuable document of a amazing, long-gone scene and this is a good of a time as any for this to be rediscovered and appreciated as the best quality video that exists of the great music that came out of the early punk/jazz cauldron of NYC and the Knitting Factory in the mid-80s. Featuring an entire 80' show, The Hardwood was shot by a four camera crew on March 23, 1991 and is about as good looking of a program as was possible to get in the sweaty, unbelievably crowded, old Knitting Factory. Also included is an hour of previously unreleased foot December 9, 1991 during the Saddle tour. You get two 30' programs; one features Amy and the other is by the quintet.

"It's been awhile since anyone has written such compelling SONGS. I still can't believe (Western Saddle) is as magnificent as it is. Should be a massive hit in every kitchen...." -Mike King

You can hear their music here: www.cuneiformrecords.com/realaudio/Curlew-StillTrying.mp3
You can watch a song from the DVD here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vK5OOwKcJC4&feature=player_embedded
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Ideal Bread - Transmit: Volume 2 Of The Music Of Steve Lacy ($15.00) :: "Like a baker makes his bread, I make music ... If I make the same bread tomorrow, that bores me ... I have to remake it, I have to do better ... I?m always looking for ... the ideal bread."- Steve Lacy, April, 1976

Transmit is the second album from the Steve Lacy repertory band Ideal Bread. This quartet of expert improvisers is made up of four strong players, all considered notable up 'n' comers to watch on the modern jazz scene. Steve Lacy is considered one of the 3 greatest soprano saxophonists of all time and is a modern jazz legend, but his many compositions have not found the kind of favor in the repertoire as it deserves. Founded in 2006, the group consists of leader and baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton, trumpeter Kirk Knuffke, bassist Reuben Radding and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. Sinton studied with Lacy from 2002-2004 at the New England Conservatory, and upon moving to New York, would bring Lacy?s music to many of his introductory jam sessions. ?Not many people were playing Lacy?s pieces in New York at that time,? states Sinton. ?Really, it had to do with the paucity of scores, and that no one was transcribing what didn?t exist in score.? Sinton proceeded to do just that, amassing a formidable library of transcriptions from which Ideal Bread draws inspiration. The music is a continual source of challenge and inspiration to Sinton and the group; they adhere to Lacy?s unique vision while giving each composition new life with their unique approach. They approach Lacy's rarely covered compositions with wit and swing; this is 'freebop' at its finest.

"The disc functions both as an exacting yet refreshingly unfussy homage to Lacy?s work and a snapshot of four versatile, highly sympathetic improvisers in their prime."- The Wire

?They really own this music, turning each tune inside out, never paying stale homage to Lacy but celebrating the multi-faceted nature of his music."- Signal to Noise

"The Ideal Bread lays down a serious marker for the posthumous evolution of Steve Lacy?s music."- Point of Departure

You can hear their music here: www.cuneiformrecords.com/realaudio/IDealBread-AsUsual.mp3
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Mats/Morgan Band - The Music Or The Money? (2CD, $21.00)

"... influenced by Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Earth, Wind & Fire. (They are) tight and precise and seem capable of playing absolutely anything with great gusto ... the Mats/Morgan men integrate everything and make it their own."- Audiophile Audition

Voted the #1 "fusion" drummer in the 2010 Modern Drummer reader's poll: Morgan Agren. Keyboardist/vocalist Mats ?berg and drummer Morgan ?gren have been playing together for nearly 30 years, since Mats was 10 and Morgan was 14! They were "discovered" at a very young age by Frank Zappa, who invited them to join his band (Zappa's ill health ultimately cancelled these tour plans) and they are musical legends in their native Sweden and beyond, known for their wild and funny musical performances. The Music Or The Money? was their second album (which to this day is still Mats' favorite of their releases), which was originally self-released in 1997 and only available at their shows. The album showcases two different halves to the musician's work; spontaneous playing on compositions and improvisations by the duo with and without additional musicians and as a sort of stylistic counterpoint to that, music that relies on heavily programmed electronic materials, in the vein of Frank Zappa's synclavier works. Both are top drawer players, but their music is not simply a chops-fest of blurred, fast notes - there is a lot of humor and restraint mixed into the virtuosity, which gives them a unique sound. This new edition of The Music Or The Money? adds over 45' of unreleased material, all of which features the current version of the Mats/Morgan Band; Mats, Morgan and bassist Gustaf Hielm, who was the bassist of technical metal legends Meshuggah for many years. "I am floored by their ability to legitimately execute everything from light jazz to super-human staggered 16th note hell to the most violent Pantera-like machine-gun groove to overly-complex synclavier Zappa music? This band can do everything; and it?s just two weird guys from Sweden."- Ink 19

You can hear their music here: www.cuneiformrecords.com/realaudio/Mats-Morgan-Paltsug.mp3
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Soft Machine - NDR Jazz Workshop - Hamburg, Germany, 1973 (CD + NTSC (all region) DVD; $21.00) :: Soft Machine were one of the greatest UK avant/jazz-rock bands of all time and their work continues to be name-checked by today's hip experimentalists.

Released for the very first time here is the Soft Machine's television broadcast, recorded for Germany's famous NDR Jazz Workshop on May 17, 1973. This performance was one of the earliest shows by the quartet of Roy Babbington (electric bass), Karl Jenkins (oboe, baritone sax, soprano sax, electric piano), John Marshall (drums) and Mike Ratledge (electric piano, organ). This was a very high profile appearance by the group and for this performance Soft Machine made it a special show. They performed a set of their repertoire in their quartet format and then for the second set they were augmented by two guests: guitarist Gary Boyle (who had just started Isotope) and saxist Art Themen. This addition brings an exciting & different sound to the repertoire and make this more than "just another live release." Additionally, Hugh Hopper had just left the group, but he makes an guest appearance (unfortunately audio only) performing 1983; the only known live version of this composition. This long sought-after performance has never been seen since its original broadcast over 35 years ago, not even in poor quality bootlegs. It is the single best quality video document that exists of the group, featuring clear and beautiful visuals and superb live stereo sound. The film footage is so clear and sharp that you can actually see the tape loops that Hugh had set up, hanging from the scafolding next to the band and you can read the address on the box next to Mike Ratledge's echoplex!

You can hear their music here: www.cuneiformrecords.com/realaudio/SoftMachine-StanleyStampsGibbonAlbum.mp3
You can see our promotional trailer for the DVD here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKDuevCr90Q&feature=player_embedded
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Cuneiform new release bundle (for USA & Canada only) 5 CDs $82.00. Save $10.00 (in costs + postage combined), when you buy this package of all 5 new Cuneiform titles (Claudia Quintet, Curlew, Ideal Bread, Mats/Morgan Band, Soft Machine). Product Link

Cuneiform new release bundle (for customers outside of the USA and Canada) 5 CDs $96.00. Save $10.00 (in costs + postage combined), when you buy this package of all 5 new Cuneiform titles (Claudia Quintet, Curlew, Ideal Bread, Mats/Morgan Band, Soft Machine). Product Link

[Source: Cuneiform Records]

Posted in Album Release News