Search Results for: Harmolodic Monk

12 Houses, Harmolodic Monk and Sumari Available at Downtown Music Gallery with Great Reviews by BL Gallanter

Three Super-Fine Discs from Matt Lavelle* and His Chosen Few/Many:

All CDs available at DOWNTOWN MUSIC GALLERY
MATT LAVELLE’S 12 HOUSES – Solidarity (Unseen Rain 9945; USA) In the past Matt Lavelle has worked mostly the solo, duo, trio and quartet contexts as far as being a leader. He has also been a member of several large units led by William Parker and Assif Tsahar. ‘Solidarity’ is Mr. Lavelle’s debut of his own large (16 piece) ensemble and you can tell how much work he put into this grand effort. 12 Houses was originally a 12 piece unit, inspired by the (12) signs of the zodiac. The group has played twelve concerts over the past few years and has expanded to sixteen members. Mr. Lavelle chose a few crew and you should recognize many of the names here: Ras Moshe, Anders Nilsson, Charles Waters and Ryan Sawyer, for starters.
The opening tune is the title piece and it is a grand intro, free yet completely focused with a burning tenor solo (Moshe?) and the powerful piano of Chris Forbes, another unsung local hero. There is a special central melody here which they repeat and slowly transform into something which picks you up and sweeps you away and erupts into an impressive explosion. The central theme continues to appear throughout, expanding and contracting and molded into different forms. A touching version led by the violin (Laura Ortman) and voice (Anais Maviel) is featured on “Knee Braces” and almost had me weeping due to its beauty. “Cherry Swing” is dedicated to the legendary trumpeter Don Cherry and features some of Mr. Lavelle’s most impressive playing. There are a couple of musicians here that I want to mention: the bassoon playing of Claire de Brunner and the voice of Anais Maviel. Both are marvelous and add some of their own special creative spirit to this already wonderful disc. Congratulations to Matt Lavelle for one of this year’s most modest and magical treasures!         – Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Complete personnel features: Matt Lavelle on cornet, flugelhorn, alto clarinet & conduction, Lee Odom on soprano sax & clarinet, Charles Waters on alto sax & clarinet, Ras Moshe on tenor & soprano sax & flute, Tim Stocker on bari sax & bass clarinet, Mary Cherney on flutes, Claire de Brunner on bassoon, Laura Ortman on violin, Gil Selinger on cello, Anders Nilsson on guitar, Jack DeSalvo on banjo & mandola, John Pietaro on vibes & percussion, Francois Grillot on double-bass, Ryan Sawyer on drums and Anais Maviel on voice.  – Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

 

UR9953.CoverA_Flat_for CDB

MATT LAVELLE / JOHN PIETARO – Harmolodic Monk (Unseen Rain; USA)

In the work of both Ornette Coleman and Thelonious Monk, the dichotomy of ancient, pre-western approaches and extreme modernism live side-by-side so comfortably that one mistakes one for the other. Like the story that Ornette told of performing in a psychiatric hospital; once he started playing and looked out into the audience he couldn’t distinguish between the doctors and the patients.
Bela Bartok believed that new music must have deep roots in folk music, music of the earth, chthonic in that sense. Besides virtuosity as servant to meaningful expression, communication and sensitive interplay, what Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro reveal to us through this many-layered concept of uncovering new secrets in Monk’s compositions via the Harmolodic highway is their profound understanding that the root of all this is the Blues.
Ornette’s view of the Blues, like his late friend Buckminster Fullers view of the world, is multi-dimensional, here imbued with both Monk’s and Ornette’s focus on personal expression. Matt and John provide an extended view into myriad musical possibilities when Harmolodic Monk is in the hands of two improvisational masters. (from the liner notes by Jack DeSalvo)
CD $15

Matt Lavelle (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, alto clarinet Jack DeSalvo (mandola, cello, guitars) Tom Cabrera (bodhrán, tar, riq, doumbek, bass drum, percussion)
Matt Lavelle (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, alto clarinet
Jack DeSalvo (mandola, cello, guitars)
Tom Cabrera (bodhrán, tar, riq, doumbek, bass drum, percussion)

SUMARI [MATT LAVELLE/JACK DeSALVO/TOM CABRERA] – Sumari (Unseen Rain; USA) Sumari features Matt Lavelle on trumpets, cornet, flugelhorn & alto clarinet, Jack DeSalvo on guitar, cello & mandola and Tom Cabrera on dumbeq, rik, frame drums & percussion.

No doubt you know Downtown ace trumpet & alto clarinetist Matt Lavelle from dozens of recordings and sessions. Guitarist Jack DeSalvo you might recognize from his work Ronald Shannon Jackson, Herb Robertson and Chris Kelsey’s Electric Miles Project. Mr. DeSalvo produced this disc and runs the Unseen Rain Records label. Percussionist Tom Cabrera is a new name for me.
Stripped down, acoustic and warmly recorded, this is a fine, relaxed trio. Mr. DeSalvo starts off on cello, often plucking out bass lines as the trio quietly soars together. Mr. Lavelle has a solemn, enchanting tone on alto clarinet. The trio plays with somber grace taking their time and letting the ghosts slowly dance together, as if nothing else mattered. There is something precious, rather quaint going on here. A subtle elegance which is soothing, thoughtful, like a cool breeze rustling the leaves in the Fall. Towards the end, the trio does erupt, cast off their chains and dance quickly amongst the ruins of modern civilization. The ancient spirits are slowly being revealed. – Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
CD $15

Harmolodic Monk

Contact – Bio – Gallery – Videos – Reviews – Gigs – Downloads

“Judging from the luminous results on Harmolodic Monk, Lavelle and Pietaro have found—nay, invented—a fertile musical vein that’s ripe for exploration.” – FLORENCE WETZEL

 

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John Pietro, Matt Lavelle

 

“With each track, Lavelle and Pietaro manage to find something new to say, moving away from Monk’s viewpoint and shifting gears from the previous number(s). Primal modernism wins out on “Green Chimneys,” the gentler side of Monk is taken to the outer limits in solo features for Lavelle (“Crepuscule With Nellie”) and Pietaro (“Ruby, My Dear”), and “Let’s Cool One,” bookended with Monk-ish stability, features a stunning brass cadenza at its core. Some classics still exude the charms they were born with (“Round Midnight”), but others lurk in the shadows, shrouded in mystery and veiled with individual expression.” – DAN BILAWSKY


“Matt gives us his beautiful take on a classic burnished tone for his trumpet and flugel playing or he can go for a more punchy, brash sound when he feels the need to energize. He sounds quite well on the alto clarinet too, an instrument he has recently gotten into to replace his former doubling on bass clarinet. He sounds great on it. John plays some very appropriate and accomplished vibes as a key melodic and harmonic presence with Matt or in a solo context. His percussion and hand drumming give the music an additional sound that varies the proceedings nicely…Matt and John have their full artistry on display. The results will absorb and move you. Very recommended listening!” – GREG APPLEGATE EDWARDS

HARMOLODIC MONK Artist Page

“Judging from the luminous results on Harmolodic Monk, Lavelle and Pietaro have found—nay, invented—a fertile musical vein that’s ripe for exploration,”  (FLORENCE WETZEL, allaboutjazz.com).

In the work of both Ornette Coleman and Thelonious Monk, the dichotomy of ancient, pre-western approaches and extreme modernism live side-by-side so comfortably that one mistakes one for the other. Like the story that Ornette told of performing in a psychiatric hospital; once he started playing and looked out into the audience he couldn’t distinguish between the doctors and the patients.

1004654_554474521280669_1839421203_n

Bëla Bartók believed that new music must have deep roots in folk music, music of the earth, chthonic in that sense. Besides virtuosity as servant to meaningful expression, communication and sensitive interplay, what Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro reveal to us through this many-layered concept of uncovering new secrets in Monk’s compositions via the Harmolodic highway is their profound understanding that the root of all this is the Blues.

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Ornette’s view of the Blues, like his late friend Buckminster Fuller’s view of the world, is multi-dimensional, here imbued with both Monk’s and Ornette’s focus on personal expression. Matt and John provide an extended view into myriad musical possibilities when Harmolodic Monk is in the hands of two improvisational masters. – Jack DeSalvo

“With each track, Lavelle and Pietaro manage to find something new to say, moving away from Monk’s viewpoint and shifting gears from the previous number(s),” (DAN BILAWSKY, allaboutjazz.com).


 

MATT LAVELLE (Paterson NJ 1970), began his Music career with a High School Big Band tour of the Soviet Union in 1988, and then a 5 year period of study with Hildred Humphries, a Swing era veteran that played with Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and many others of the time. With over 10 appearances as a sideman on record, Lavelle has 4 records released with himself as a leader. Find his full bio at mattlavelle.org.

JOHN PIETARO is a percussionist, a writer and cultural organizer from Brooklyn, New York. Instruments: vibraphone, xylophone, drumkit, frame drums, hand drums, glockenspiel, multi-percussion, voice. Musical genres of New Music/New Jazz, Free Jazz, Protest song, No Wave, Progressive Pop music. Check out his full bio at dissidentarts.com.

Matt Lavelle (cornet, flugelhorn, alto clarinet) John Pietaro (vibraphone, bodhrán, congas, percussion)
Matt Lavelle (cornet, flugelhorn, alto clarinet)
John Pietaro (vibraphone, bodhrán, congas, percussion)

Reviews of Harmolodic Monk (UR9953)

Harmolodic Monk


By FLORENCE WETZEL, allaboutjazz.com
Published: August 10, 2014

“In multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle’s insightful blog, “That Fat Eb Feels Mahogany to Me,” he discusses a challenge shared by many jazz musicians: “With people doing more and more repertoire projects to get work and for sheer love of that artist, I have been thinking about ways to explore the relationships between the kings without doing a straight cop. Playing obscure tunes is one thing, but there must be a way to look at their work from a new perspective.”

Happily Lavelle and John Pietaro have found the answer in their excellent release Harmolodic Monk, where they infuse Thelonious Monk’s compositions with Ornette Coleman’s harmolodic philosophy. It’s a natural combination for both Lavelle and Pietaro, who have long enjoyed a fascination with Monk’s music, and now finds themselves in mid-career increasingly intrigued by Monk’s distinctive melodies and wide-interval blues-swing. Lavelle has also studied with Coleman for many years, both formally and informally, a relationship that has initiated Lavelle in the harmolodic universe as well as allowed him to find his own voice. In addition, Lavelle plays with the grand master Bern Nix, the guitarist in Coleman’s groundbreaking group Prime Time, providing a hands-on education in the art of free swing.

The combination of Monk and Coleman is delectable enough, but the duo adds other elements that invigorate the music. Monk used tenor sax and occasionally trumpet in his groups, so Lavelle’s alto clarinet, cornet, and flugelhorn saturate the tunes in a wider array of colors. They also dispense with piano and instead Pietaro plays vibraphone, which adds a pleasing dimension to the music, an airy openness that sets up beautiful resonances throughout. In addition to his vibraphone chops, Pietaro is a fine percussionist, adding tasteful accents on a range of instruments including the congas and the bodhrán (Irish frame drum). The duet format is also refreshing, allowing the brilliant corners of these melodies plenty of light to shine without unnecessary embellishment.

The resulting album is a pleasure from start to finish, an hour-and-a-half of fourteen classic Monk tunes, approached with joy and loving care. The album is full of old friends, including “Ruby, My Dear,” “Blue Monk,” “Epistrophy,” “Pannonica,” “Crepuscule with Nellie,” “Nutty”—the cream of the cream. All the songs are strong, including a spirited version of “In Walked Bud,” bolstered by Lavelle’s fat, warm cornet and Pietaro’s nimble chiming. “Monk’s Mood,” the album’s lone overdub, has a lively arrangement where the alto and cornet play hide-and-seek, with nice percussive accents by Pietaro throughout. And the duet’s version of “‘Round Midnight” is just sublime, with Lavelle’s alto perfectly capturing the song’s wistful poignancy, telling a story of lost loves and haunted places, both internal and external.

Judging from the luminous results on Harmolodic Monk, Lavelle and Pietaro have found—nay, invented—a fertile musical vein that’s ripe for exploration. Plans are afoot for Harmolodic Duke, Harmolodic Hot Five, and beyond. And why not? As Monk himself said: “All musicians stimulate each other. The vibrations get scattered around.”


By TIM NILAND, jazzandblues.blogspot.com
Published: Saturday, July 05, 2014

“Trumpeter, alto clarinet player and blogger extraordinaire Matt Lavelle has studied informally with the great jazz legend Ornette Coleman for several years. Coleman’s complex metaphysical and musical theory of harmolodics rubbed off on much of his playing, and on this project he is joined by percussionist and vibraphonist John Pietaro and uses the harmolodic theory on a set of songs by the great jazz composer Thelonious Monk. The Monk tunes are really well suited to this type of exploration since they are filled with spaces and jagged cliffs of sound that musicians can use to rappel from one slope to another. That is the thing about Thelonious Monk’s compositions, thought they have been played many times over the years, when musicians approach the songs with an open mind they are able to see within themselves and use that confidence to explore deeper. Songs like “Let’s Cool One”, “Monk’s Mood” and “In Walked Bud” keep the jaunty nod and wink feel of the originals, darting too and fro, while the moodier performances like on “Round Midnight” are filled with empty spaces, as if they are filled with longing and sadness.”


 

By CHRIS SPECTOR, midwestrecord.com
Published: December 9th, 2014

“They used to tell me Monk’s music was difficult because he wanted to trick Charley.  They also told me his music was difficult because his fingers were to fat to hit’s the keys.  In any case, this improvising duo of horn and percussion have succeeding in making Monk’s music even more difficult.  This is as art’s councilly as improv jazz gets.”


 

By: JOSH CAMPBELLwww.freejazzblog.org
Published: October 1st, 2014

“A very interesting album from Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro. The concept, and I love concept albums, is to use Monk compositions and Ornette Coleman’s harmolodic methods. Interestingly, we find John Pietraro on the vibraphone in addition to percussion leading to a unique duet. Matt Lavelle is found on his standard cornet/flugelhorn as well as alto clarinet which we have been seeing more of from Matt. A healthy offering at an hour and a half, Matt and John work their magic on recognizable standards, with a pleasant twist. Matt’s cornet and flugelhorn have never sounded better, bold and meaty, especially on the excellently executed “In Walked Bud”. Other standouts, “Blue Monk/ Straight No Chaser”, and the spacious and oozing with blues “Round Midnight”, showcase Matt on the alto clarinet. Recorded with an intimate feel it can be hard to remember you’re not actually in the room with the musicians.

Even though the album is worth hearing and adding to your collection, at 1 hr 33 mins it does tend to drag a little. I would have liked to hear more percussion mixed into the album, even with the strong performance of John on the vibes it was a challenge over the span of the album to keep focus. The cornet and flugelhorn, being the main instrument I’m familiar with Matt playing, were much stronger than his alto clarinet. Aside from his stellar showing on “Round Midnight”, I found myself preferring his sax playing.

While not an album that I would return to every day, it is a performance and concept so unique and creative it should be investigated by fans who have yet to hear it. And even though it is not my favorite release from Matt, it reenforces my ever growing admiration for his playing and creativity.”


 

By: DAN BILAWSKY, allaboutjazz.com
Published: December 3, 2014

“Every time it looks like all the gold has been mined from Thelonious Monk’s music, somebody comes along to prove otherwise.

Harmolodic Monk finds multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle and percussionist John Pietaro applying saxophone icon(oclast) Ornette Coleman’s freeing philosophical ideal(s) to Monk’s oft-performed music. To some, the resultant performances may seem far more complex than the originals, complete with mind-expanding abstractions, reductions, and alterations. To others, this music may be very simple to grasp. In truth, both viewpoints are correct. The album-opening “Epistrophy,” painted with molasses and (de)constructed in unique fashion, and the penultimately-placed “Monk’s Mood,” built on a foundation of brooding uncertainty, make the argument for those who may tend to see the radical side of this music. Those same people, however, may feel differently when “Pannonica” begins. Lavelle’s alto clarinet glides through the start of that number with extreme directness.

With each track, Lavelle and Pietaro manage to find something new to say, moving away from Monk’s viewpoint and shifting gears from the previous number(s). Primal modernism wins out on “Green Chimneys,” the gentler side of Monk is taken to the outer limits in solo features for Lavelle (“Crepuscule With Nellie”) and Pietaro (“Ruby, My Dear”), and “Let’s Cool One,” bookended with Monk-ish stability, features a stunning brass cadenza at its core. Some classics still exude the charms they were born with (“Round Midnight”), but others lurk in the shadows, shrouded in mystery and veiled with individual expression.

Those who like their Monk straight, with no musical chasers, may have a hard time swallowing this music, but that’s a shame. There’s tremendous ingenuity and skill behind Harmolodic Monk. Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro deserve a lot of credit for finding a new entryway into the oft-visited world of Thelonious Monk.”


 

By: GREG APPLEGATE EDWARDS, gapplegatemusicreview.blogspot.com
Published: February 26, 2015

“The music of Thelonious Monk, if anything, has taken on increasing stature as a body of compositions central to the modern jazz experience. In the period following his leaving us, we see renewed attention to his recordings and a great array of contemporary jazz musicians who perform his music regularly. Steve Lacy was a pioneer in adventurously featuring Monk’s compositions long before it was fashionable. Nowadays his recordings of Thelonious’s music have achieved classic status.

Yet with the unforgettable melodic and harmonic qualities of his music there is always room for further explorations. It may not be a simple matter to make out of music so well known and widely played something very fresh. Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro have done just that with their album Harmolodic Monk (UR Unseen Rain 9953).

The “Harmolodic” reference goes back to Ornette Coleman and his approach, specifically his freedom to go out of the expected key centers or improvisations around chord changes to modulate or introduce notes outside of the usual frame of tonal reference. It’s more than that but for now that will do. Matt and John approach the Monk material freely in this way, so they can stick to a tonality or general chord sequence and they freely can go outside of it, and that’s what they do and do well.

Matt and John take various approaches to the Monk pieces. Matt on trumpet, flugel and alto clarinet and John on vibes, congas, bodhran and percussion can lope along in tempo, play within the general harmonic structures or advance outwards, go for freetime multitempos or articulate in open tempo with solo horn or vibes, or in tandem.

Matt gives us his beautiful take on a classic burnished tone for his trumpet and flugel playing or he can go for a more punchy, brash sound when he feels the need to energize. He sounds quite well on the alto clarinet too, an instrument he has recently gotten into to replace his former doubling on bass clarinet. He sounds great on it. John plays some very appropriate and accomplished vibes as a key melodic and harmonic presence with Matt or in a solo context. His percussion and hand drumming give the music an additional sound that varies the proceedings nicely.

Throughout there is a great respect for the compositional Monk, due attention to the melodic essentials and a harmonic straightforwardness or an expansiveness as they feel it. It all works beautifully well and shows what two very inventive musical voices can produce when they look at Monk’s music in an open-form way.

I am impressed with the outing. I would love to hear them do something like this with a rhythm section next time, but the music speaks for now very articulately without it.

Matt and John have their full artistry on display. The results will absorb and move you. Very recommended listening!”


By: DON ALBERT, artlink.co.za
Published: February 5, 2015

“Harmolodic Monk is a very fresh approach to the music of Thelonious Monk played by Matt Lavelle (cornet, flugelhorn and alto clarinet) and John Pietaro (vibraphone, bodhran, congas and percussion). You will either love this or hate it. It’s not really my bag but I found it fascinating and compelling – two fine and creative musicians complementing each other and pointing a finger to a different direction for the music. I enjoyed the sound of the alto clarinet and the over dubbing on “Monks Mood”. This is not background music, you have to sit and listen to it.”


By: HOWARD LAWES, sandybrownjazz.co.uk
Published: January 31, 2015

“Harmolodic Monk is an album by Matt Lavelle playing by turns cornet, flugelhorn and alto clarinet and John Pietaro on vibraphone, bodhran, congas and percussion. There are 10 tracks with a total playing time of 72 minutes.

Quoting from the “Dissident Arts” website: “Harmolodic Monk” was the brainchild of noted cornet player Matt Lavelle after years of study with Ornette Coleman and ongoing performance and recording with the Bern Nix Quartet. Matt came across radical vibraphonist / percussionist John Pietaro during their mutual performance with the Ras Moshe Unit and the two quickly realized that their influences weighed heavily on the brilliant compositions of Thelonious Monk and the revolutionary philosophy of Ornette Coleman. Both are also anti-purists who revel in the amalgamation of sounds, genres and styles.

Ornette Coleman was a leading light of the “Free Jazz” movement of the 1960s releasing ground breaking albums The Shape of Jazz to Come in 1959 and Free Jazz in 1960.  In 1967 Coleman won the first Guggenheim Fellowship for jazz music and his “harmolodic” theory has been employed in a range of music genres ever since and with great success at the 2009 Meltdown Festival in London where he received rave reviews.

Thelonius Monk was also seen as an adventurous musician employing unconventional techniques that other musicians found difficult, but over time his compositions have become firm favourites with generations of jazz fans across the world.

The ten tracks on this album are based on some of Thelonius Monk’s “greatest hits” and it is possible that there will be Monk fans who will react adversely to their favourite tunes being given the “Free Jazz” treatment.  Some tracks such as Round Midnight and In Walked Bud are enjoyable new arrangements of classic jazz tunes but others seem to be so far removed from the original as to be almost unrecognisable, the lack of rhythm typically provided by drums and bass giving free reign to Matt Lavelle’s and John Pietaro’s improvisations.

A side effect of listening to this album was the necessity to re-visit the original Monk versions of each track for comparison and noting once again what a great musician and composer Thelonius Monk was.  Another side effect was discovering the Dissident Arts website which is both interesting and unusual.  In particular there is information about the Dissident Arts Orchestra and projects including providing the musical accompaniment to classic silent films such as Battleship Potemkin and Metropolis and publishing on Youtube.

To be honest I do prefer the original Monk versions of these great tunes but for those interested in “Free Jazz” and an application of Ornette Coleman’s harmolodic theories then this example will be well worth considering.

The full track listing is: Epistrophy; Pannonica; Green Chimneys; Round Midnight; Crepuscule With Nellie; Ruby, My Dear; Let’s Cool One; Blue Monk/Straight No Chaser; Monk’s Mood; In Walked Bud.  The US version of the album appears to have 2 more tracks.”


 

 

By: DOUG SIMPSON, audaud.com
Published: January 20th, 2015

“Just when you think Thelonious Monk’s music couldn’t get a new spin, along comes John Pietaro and Matt Lavelle’s 73-minute, ten-track Monk tribute, Harmolodic Monk. Lavelle states he wanted to explore the musical ideas of both Monk and Ornette Coleman, and came up with the notion of imbuing well-known Monk tunes with Coleman’s harmolodic philosophy. Turns out, the blend is both distinctive and appealing. While Monk’s music is adventurously articulated in a fresh approach, Lavelle and Pietaro’s specific instruments also provide a singular characteristic. Monk made use of tenor sax and sometimes trumpet, and Lavelle’s cornet, Flugelhorn and alto clarinet tint Monk’s compositions with an ample array of auditory paints. Interestingly, the duo does not employ a keyboard setup. Instead of piano, Pietaro has a vibraphone, which brings a satiating aspect to the material. He also slips in percussion devices—including bodhrán and congas—to offer intriguing rhythmic support.

The twosome opens with an azure, atmospheric adaptation of “Epistrophy.” Lavelle plays a sonorous introduction on his breathy alto clarinet, and then Pietaro flicks in light percussive effects which gradually become noisier, before he shifts to vibes while continuing to add occasional percussive accents. This may not be a rendition listeners will recognize, so be forewarned. The theme is imparted, but the arrangement is novel, and it might take a few times for some Monk aficionados to appreciate this. Lavelle’s alto clarinet becomes a bit discordant here and there, and the instrumental minimalism may also take some time for some to embrace. Lavelle’s alto clarinet receives the spotlight on his solo version of “Crepuscule with Nellie,” which is misspelled throughout the CD artwork [Spellcheck anyone?]. Lavelle’s deep, bass notes show Monk’s reflective side and each precisely-placed note echoes and glides. Engineer Jim DeSalvo utilizes a very close microphone for this tune, and if listeners got any nearer to the music, they’d have to crawl inside the clarinet.

Pietaro’s vibes are found on much of the material, but are noticeably pronounced on a trio of tracks in the middle of the CD. His vibes and some sparse percussion are the only instruments during a suitably sublime take of “Ruby My Dear.” Pietaro begins with unhurriedly positioned notes. The tempo picks up slightly here and there, but mostly Pietaro lets his notes linger in the air. The result defines the term gossamer: delicate, ethereal and meticulous as a spider’s filament. Lavelle and Pietaro form a sympathetic musical partnership on a modish and thoroughly modernistic “Let’s Cool One,” one of the album’s highpoints. During his soloing, Lavelle aims toward the main theme but rarely stays there, but familiarity gels when he and Pietaro perform together, and trade lines, swap notes and otherwise show how well vibes and horn can present Monk without further assistance from other players. Another memorable piece is a ten-minute makeover of “Blue Monk.” It is mischievous without being banal. Lavelle displays his witty viewpoint on his horn, while Pietaro fills in the spaces on vibes. But even when there is space which could have been propped up, there is a sense of striking significance. Monk could and did use space, and Pietaro and Lavelle also comprehend that less can say a lot more. The tune escalates near the end, especially as Lavelle reels off twisting notes on his horn, sometimes recalling Don Cherry when Cherry was in Ornette Coleman’s band.

The proceedings also attain an unruly and vigorous activity on “Green Chimneys,” where Lavelle switches between cornet and Flugelhorn while Pietaro ratchets up the energy level with fast-paced hand percussion. This translation has an unrestricting, exultant elation, and swirls with affirmation. Pietaro also exhibits his rhythmic fluctuations on a scratchy “Monk’s Mood,” where Lavelle dubs overlapping horns into the edgy arrangement as Pietaro layers various percussion tools into the ever-increasing track. This is open and demonstrative music: free to go where it wants to go and expressive of both Monk’s and Coleman’s creativity. Of course, music this multihued and direct needs proper production. DeSalvo’s engineering, mixing and mastering gives these Monk tunes a sonic engagement, and he also supplies a method which makes the horns, vibes and percussion very much front and center. The way notes remain in the air or span across the left and right channels is brilliant. Even intermittent hum in the quietest moments does not detract but preserves an honest mannerism. Well done to Lavelle, Pietaro and DeSalvo. [Unfortunately Amazon only has an MP3 version of this.]”


 

By: GEORGE FENDEL, jsojazzscene.org
Published: January 13, 2015

“Monk’s Music is interpreted with thought, creativity and a hint of mystery by this imaginative duo. It’s definitely Monk with all sorts of new shadings and colors, and it works well. Ten Monk classics are newly examined with imagination in high gear. A must hear for Monk fans.”


By: MARK S. TUCKER, acousticmusic.com
Published: January 11, 2015

“Unlike so many past masters tributes which feature some of the subject writer’s work, then a smattering of tunes cherished by the deceased mainman, and finally cuts written by the tributees, Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro’s Harmolodic Monk is 100% Thelonius cuts stretched and refabricated by a horn player and percussionist stripping everything down to bare essentials before getting melodically and environmentally inventive. The baseline is Monk’s mind and work, the rest is a matter of their own chops and cerebrations. The ultra-moody and atmospheric Epistrophy kicks the slab off, giving a clear indication of just what the listener is in for…and I’ll warn right now that if you can’t tune, de-tune, and re-tune your brain and ears, this is not the disc for you.

In the tradition of the more outside Enja, Ogun, and other labels’ works, then the spirit of Lol Coxhill, Anthony Braxton, and of course Ornette Coleman, whose unorthodox talents continue to pervade and open up the extremities of aesthetics, this duo adeptly embraces what a promo sheet writer cited as “the dichotomy of ancient pre-Western approaches and extreme modernism”. I tried my best to upend or at least modify that appraisal but couldn’t. Whoever that cat was, he nailed it to the wall, then put a frame around it. There is indeed a wide time-span of prototypes, influences, and expansions present, sometimes bewilderingly so as things morph and bend. Pannonica is particularly apt, at one moment sounding like the bell music of Alain Kremski (Pietaro and his wondrous vibes), then a boozy Louis Armstrong (Lavelle’s ever-changing horns) leading into a stream-of-consciousness section.

All the cuts flow in that fashion, the listener not for a moment let to wander but instead led from one intriguing section to the next, never knowing what will come but alive and alert for whatever may arise. Harmolodic, if I haven’t made it clear, is free jazz, improvisational to a fault but based in previously set work. I suspect that if Lester Bowie and his Art Ensemble were forced to pare down to a duet, the result would be very much like this. produced the disc but his brother Jim is the engineer, and Jim’s capture of everything is arresting: clear, lucid, adroitly attuned to shifting focal depths, never at a loss, providing everything this work needed to entablature itself with zero ambivalence. The holidays are over, y’all: heave the tabernacle choirs and E-Z jazz fluff and get back to deepening the crenellations in your grey matter.”


By: DAVOR HRVOJ, soundguardian.com
Published: March 20, 2015

“The title says it all! It reminds us of two jazz musicians who have marked the genre musical with innovation and distinctive authoritative work: saxophonist Ornette Coleman and pianist Thelonious Monk. While both early career met with incomprehension, even neglect, today they are celebrated as giants. Monk is one of the greatest composers in history of jazz, an author of a wealth of songs that have become jazz standards. His creativity is still an inspiration for new generations of jazz – and not only jazz musicians. Many of them are recorded themed albums with his compositions, among others the famous soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, who was a great admirer of his work. 

One of the most important representatives of free-jazz, Coleman founded his own musical concept – philosophy – which he called Harmolodics, and based it on his own composition/improvisation principles. Multi-instrumentalists Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro decided to record a theme album that honors both. The Monk’s works are processed in a manner close to Coleman harmolodics concept. The template for improvisation are found in some of Monk’s most famous songs: “Epistrophy”, “Pannonica”, “‘Round Midnight”, “Crepescule With Nellie”, “Ruby My Dear”, “Blue Monk”, “Monk’s Mood” and “In Walked Bud “, but also those less known to a wider circle of listeners, such as” Green Chimneys “and” Let’s Cool One “. 

In addition to  the musical setting, Lavelle, who plays cornet, flugelhorn and alto clarinet, and Pietaro, who plays the vibraphone, bodhran (Irish drum similar to the Arabic instruments related defu), congas and percussion, their approach is based on the philosophy of a grand music. For example, there is the significant Coleman’s story about his appearance at the psychiatric ward of a hospital when, looking at the audience, he could not distinguish between physicians from patients, as well as Bartok’s belief that new music has to be deeply rooted in folk music, the world’s musical heritage. All these experiences and consolidate completely in their vision of contemporary improvised music. 

Although they are virtuosos who play musical instruments, that aspect is secondary. Primary is a new approach to standards, sound research, communication and interaction. The music that We would be happy to listen to some of this music at the upcoming  Zagreb Biennial.”


By: LEONID AUSKERN, jazzquad.ru
Published: December 18, 2014

“Great album that may as well claim the title “Disc of the Year”. Technically, it refers to the category of tribute album, but it was too different from the usual work of this kind. Moreover, a double tribute here. One character of this tribute is quite obvious: his name is on the cover. Interest in the work of Thelonious Monk and his ideas over the years, as a noble wine, is gaining strength. I have never pointed out in reviews the list of songs in the album, but in this case I want to deliver fully. So, this is a program consisting of the following by the famous pianist and composer: Epistrophy; Pannonica; Green Chimneys; ‘Round Midnight; Crepuscule with Nellie; Nutty; Ruby, My Dear; Let’s Cool One; Blue Monk; Monk’s Mood, In Walked Bud – almost all of the most famous and performed of his work. And now for the second hero tribute, whose name is not immediately identify the ordinary, and to some extent the advanced fan of jazz. It is, of course, will link the term “garmolodichesky” with musical and philosophical concept of music, put forward at the time Ornette Coleman. The man, whom many consider the father of free jazz (and only this term in any case, it appeared in the title of his album), created his, frankly, somewhat confused and vague theory garmolodii (this word he combined the concept of “harmony”, “movement “and” melody “, of course, in their English sound). In a nutshell, it is based on the same principles as in the free jazz – atonality, polymodality, rhythmic freedom and so on, but also the crucial role of the individual musician in the music they created. Thus, a collection of great plays Monk performed in this project from the standpoint of theory “garmolodicheskoy” Coleman.

Well, now it’s time to move on to the creators of the project. There are two of them, so we are dealing with a difficult to execute and not always easy to grasp duo format. By the way, Monk – pianist, Coleman – a saxophonist, but you don’t hear these tools in the Harmolodic Monk album. According to the duo toolkit rather trivial. Matt Lavelle plays the cornet, flugelhorn and alto clarinet, and his colleague John Petaro plays the vibraphone, congas and other percussion, including an Irish drum Bowral (according to experts Gaelic word correctly transcribe it that way). Trumpeter Matt Lavelle (r.1970) was in his work through a series of metamorphoses: he began to swing, then played the mainstream, and from the end of the last century became friendly with the Downtown Music, in New York, became inveterate avant-gardist. In 2005, Matt began taking lessons from Ornette Coleman. Apparently, it was then that he was filled with garmolodicheskimi ideas, and certainly since was introduced to the arsenal of tools: alto clarinet, which showcases his sound when you play the first track Epistrophy. John Petaro is not only a musician, but also a publicist. In both guises this Brooklyn native professes the most radical views on art, and also belongs to the circle of brilliant masters of avant-garde jazz.

I will not go into details of presentation Monk music duo from the viewpoint of Coleman, and advise you not to dwell on it. It is better to just listen to the sophisticated sounding (wind + vibraphone + percussion), creative interpretation of the original, and just extremely interesting music. I can only say that the version of “Round Midnight” by duo Lavel – Petaro seemed to me one of the best ever heard before. I advise you not to miss this album!”

 

 

 

Harmolodic Monk (UR9953) Downloads

Matt Lavelle (cornet, flugelhorn, alto clarinet)
John Pietaro (vibraphone, bodhrán, congas, percussion)

  1. Blue Monk
  2. Crepuscule with Nellie
  3. Epistrophy
  4. Green Chimneys
  5. In Walked Bud
  6. Let’s Cool One
  7. Light Blue
  8. Monks Mood
  9. Nutty
  10. Pannonica
  11. Round Midnight
  12. Ruby My Dear

From producer Jack DeSalvo’s Liner Notes:

In the work of both Ornette Coleman and Thelonious Monk, the dichotomy of ancient, pre-western approaches and extreme modernism live side-by-side so comfortably that one mistakes one for the other. Like the story that Ornette told of performing in a psychiatric hospital; once he started playing and looked out into the audience he couldn’t distinguish between the doctors and the patients.

Bëla Bartók believed that new music must have deep roots in folk music, music of the earth, chthonic in that sense. Besides virtuosity as servant to meaningful expression, communication and sensitive interplay, what Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro reveal to us through this many-layered concept of uncovering new secrets in Monk’s compositions via the Harmolodic highway is their profound understanding that the root of all this is the Blues.

Ornette’s view of the Blues, like his late friend Buckminster Fuller’s view of the world, is multi-dimensional, here imbued with both Monk’s and Ornette’s focus on personal expression. Matt and John provide an extended view into myriad musical possibilities when Harmolodic Monk is in the hands of two improvisational masters.

Recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Jim DeSalvo at Beanstudio, Wayne, NJ in January, 2014
Executive producers: Gene Gaudette, Jim DeSalvo, Jack DeSalvo

Produced by Jack DeSalvo

Unseen Rain UR-9953

Wonderful Harmolodic Monk Review from Croatia

Sound Guardian Review of Harmolodic MonkUR9953.inside_right_For_CD

The title says it all! It reminds us of two jazz musicians who have marked the genre musical with innovation and distinctive authoritative work: saxophonist Ornette Coleman and pianist Thelonious Monk. While both early career met with incomprehension, even neglect, today they are celebrated as giants. Monk is one of the greatest composers in history of jazz, an author of a wealth of songs that have become jazz standards. His creativity is still an inspiration for new generations of jazz – and not only jazz musicians. Many of them are recorded themed albums with his compositions, among others the famous soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, who was a great admirer of his work.

One of the most important representatives of free-jazz, Coleman founded his own musical concept – philosophy – which he called Harmolodics, and based it on his own composition/improvisation principles. Multi-instrumentalists Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro decided to record a theme album that honors both. The Monk’s works are processed in a manner close to Coleman harmolodics concept. The template for improvisation are found in some of Monk’s most famous songs: “Epistrophy”, “Pannonica”, “‘Round Midnight”, “Crepescule With Nellie”, “Ruby My Dear”, “Blue Monk”, “Monk’s Mood” and “In Walked Bud “, but also those less known to a wider circle of listeners, such as” Green Chimneys “and” Let’s Cool One “.

In addition to  the musical setting, Lavelle, who plays cornet, flugelhorn and alto clarinet, and Pietaro, who plays the vibraphone, bodhran (Irish drum similar to the Arabic instruments related defu), congas and percussion, their approach is based on the philosophy of a grand music. For example, there is the significant Coleman’s story about his appearance at the psychiatric ward of a hospital when, looking at the audience, he could not distinguish between physicians from patients, as well as Bartok’s belief that new music has to be deeply rooted in folk music, the world’s musical heritage. All these experiences and consolidate completely in their vision of contemporary improvised music.

Although they are virtuosos who play musical instruments, that aspect is secondary. Primary is a new approach to standards, sound research, communication and interaction. The music that We would be happy to listen to some of this music at the upcoming  Zagreb Biennial.

– Davor Hrvoj, Sound Guardian
Dragutin Andrić, Editor-In-Chief www.soundguardian.com

Suberb Review of Harmolodic Monk in Highland Magazine

Harmolodic Monk (UR9953)
Emblematic of bebop, growing out of stride piano playing including ragtime styles, Thelonious Monk is a jazz legend, a prolific composer and improviser of the highest level. He remains, in fact, a continual source of inspiration.

How do we then distinguish from the various tributes to his glory? Lavelle and Pietaro have the solution, applying Ornette Coleman’s Harmolodic theory to this music.

Explaining this seeming arcane musical vision is the challenge. It consists of a fusion of harmony and melody in a polyphony sans the usual constrictions. In a free jazz approach, this allows for more than one musician playing the same melody but starting at different pitches, so tonality per-se doesn’t govern the music but instead tones, rhythm, melody, tempo are all equal, which Ornette calls unison.

And what could be more natural than to see multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle present in this project? It is indeed his time with Ornette Coleman, which makes him all the more legitimate to carry this adventure. Playing in turn cornet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet and alto clarinet, Lavelle is joined by John Pietaro on vibes, congas, percussion and the Irish drum known as the bodhran.

Ambitious and promising …

Epistrophy: The spooky atmosphere gives us a glimpse of this concept as Lavelle holds the melody from the top of his clarinet and Pietaro digresses nicely with percussion, together forming an inseparable whole. Captivating, enhanced by mic’ing closer to the instrumentalists. This complex piece is
tamed for us and all its subtlety is revealed.

Pannonica follows this line, with a more digressive Lavelle, though again in a harmonious musical symbiosis. Green Chimneys brings color to the music, thanks to almost tribal percussion followed by a warm flugelhorn at every turn.

Round Midnight is also fascinating with the first vibraphone alone,
suspending the time for three minutes, seemingly more traditional yet still so ethereal. A no less excellent version of a Monk title is Crepuscule With Nellie featuring a break in improvisation that is close enough to the original to be sobering. Lavelle grants himself the right to play solo, shattering everything with musical brilliance. If Monk fans are skeptical of the ownership
of these titles, this should settle them!

Ruby My Dear has the same relevance to original melody, but this time it’s Pietaro’s vibraphone. Equally adept, he repeats the feat by remaining close to the original while applying the theory of harmolodics solo! The result is even more convincing! Let’s Cool One is somewhat less powerful in its rendering, needing a more striking arrival.

Due to its length (nearly 10 minutes), Blue Monk is the most difficult of pieces to grasp. With Lavelle resolutely putting free jazz forward, some listeners may want to leave it on the side of the road on the way. However, if one perseveres, the experience is truly rich and powerful.

The most whimsical moment arrives with Monk’s Mood. With his famous bodhran, Pietaro breathes a different atmosphere into the proceedings, a world music approach, differently from Lavelle is doing. Pietaro plays his instrument fiercely, playing each breath to emit sounds that are amazingly refreshing and gratifying! In Walked Bud closes the album as it began, a harmolodic replica. A beautiful finale.

The bet was risky but it pays off: The formation of a charismatic duo – Lavelle and Pietaro keep their original commitment.

Sublimely produced by Jack DeSalvo, HARMOLODIC MONK is a beautiful album. Monk fans may not appreciate everything, but that’s what makes it so much than just a tribute

Since it may be difficult to approach for the uninitiated it deserves a good
listening because the effort is worth the reward.Though a tad long it lacks nothing in inspiration to keep us constantly surprised. You’ll enjoy a great experience finding out!
– Axel Scheyder

Grego Reviews Harmolodic Monk

Screenshot 2015-02-26 15.24.16The music of Thelonious Monk, if anything, has taken on
increasing stature as a body of compositions central to the
modern jazz experience. In the period following his leaving us,
we see renewed attention to his recordings and a great array
of contemporary jazz musicians who perform his music regularly. Steve Lacy was a pioneer in adventurously featuring Monk’s compositions long before it was fashionable. Nowadays his recordings of Thelonious’s music have achieved classic status. Yet with the unforgettable melodic and harmonic qualities of his music there is always room for further explorations. It may not be a simple matter to make out of music so well known and widely played something very fresh. Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro have done just that with their album Harmolodic Monk (UR Unseen Rain 9953).

The “Harmolodic” reference goes back to Ornette Coleman and his approach, specifically his freedom to go out of the expected key centers or improvisations around chord changes to modulate or introduce notes outside of the usual frame of tonal reference. It’s more than that but for now that will do. Matt and John approach the Monk material freely in this way, so they can stick to a tonality or general chord sequence and they freely can go outside of it, and that’s what they do and do well.

Matt and John take various approaches to the Monk pieces. Matt on trumpet, flugel and alto clarinet and John on vibes, congas, bodhran and percussion can lope along in tempo, play within the general harmonic structures or advance outwards, go for freetime multitempos or articulate in open tempo with
solo horn or vibes, or in tandem. Matt gives us his beautiful take on a classic burnished tone for his trumpet and flugel playing or he can go for a more punchy, brash sound when he feels the need to energize. He sounds quite well on the alto clarinet too, an instrument he has recently gotten into to replace his former doubling on bass clarinet. He sounds great on it. John plays some very appropriate and accomplished vibes as a key melodic and harmonic presence with Matt or in a solo context. His
percussion and hand drumming give the music an additional sound that varies the proceedings nicely.

Throughout there is a great respect for the compositional Monk, due attention to the melodic essentials and a harmonic straightforwardness or an expansiveness as they feel it. It all works beautifully well and shows what two very inventive musical voices can produce when they look at Monk’s music in
an open-form way. I am impressed with the outing. I would love to hear them do something like this with a rhythm section next time, but the music speaks for now very articulately without it. Matt and John have their full artistry on display. The results willabsorb and move you. Very recommended listening!

posted by grego applegate edwards

“fascinating and compelling” – Artlink reviews Harmolodic Monk

By Don AlbertHmonk1
Harmolodic Monk is a very fresh approach to the music of Thelonious Monk played by Matt Lavelle (cornet, flugelhorn and alto clarinet) and John Pietaro (vibraphone, bodhran, congas and percussion). You will either love this or hate it. It’s not really my bag but I found it fascinating and compelling – two fine and creative musicians complementing each other and pointing a finger to a different direction for the music. I enjoyed the sound of the alto clarinet and the over dubbing on “Monks Mood”. This is not background music, you have to sit and listen to it. More info at unseenrainrecords.com

HARMOLODIC MONK Review from Sandy Brown Jazz

Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro

Harmolodic Monk

By Howard Lawes

Harmolodic Monk is an album by Matt Lavelle playing by turns cornet, flugelhorn and alto clarinet and John Pietaro on vibraphone, bodhran, congas and percussion. There are 10 tracks with a total playing time of 72 minutes.

Quoting from the “Dissident Arts” website: “Harmolodic Monk” was the brainchild of noted cornet player Matt Lavelle after years of studyMatt Lavelle Harmolodic Monk album with Ornette Coleman and ongoing performance and recording with the Bern Nix Quartet. Matt came across radical vibraphonist / percussionist John Pietaro during their mutual performance with the Ras Moshe Unit and the two quickly realized that their influences weighed heavily on the brilliant compositions of Thelonious Monk and the revolutionary philosophy of Ornette Coleman. Both are also anti-purists who revel in the amalgamation of sounds, genres and styles.

Ornette Coleman was a leading light of the “Free Jazz” movement of the 1960s releasing ground breaking albums The Shape of Jazz to Come in 1959 and Free Jazz in 1960.  In 1967 Coleman won the first Guggenheim Fellowship for jazz music and his “harmolodic” theory has been employed in a range of music genres ever since and with great success at the 2009 Meltdown Festival in London where he received rave reviews.

Thelonious Monk was also seen as an adventurous musician employing unconventional techniques that other musicians found difficult, but over time his compositions have become firm favourites with generations of jazz fans across the world.

The ten tracks on this album are based on some of Thelonius Monk’s “greatest hits” and it is possible that there will be Monk fans who will react adversely to their favourite tunes being given the “Free Jazz” treatment.  Some tracks such as Round Midnight and In Walked Bud are enjoyable new arrangements of classic jazz tunes but others seem to be so far removed from the original as to be almost unrecognisable, the lack of rhythm typically provided by drums and bass giving free reign to Matt Lavelle’s and John Pietaro’s improvisations.
Matt Lavelle
photograph by Gil Selinger

Matt LavelleA side effect of listening to this album was the necessity to re-visit the original Monk versions of each track for comparison and noting once again what a great musician and composer Thelonius Monk was.  Another side effect was discovering the Dissident Arts website which is both interesting and unusual.  In particular there is information about the Dissident Arts Orchestra and projects including providing the musical accompaniment to classic silent films such as Battleship Potemkin and Metropolis and publishing on Youtube.

I prefer the original Monk versions of these great tunes but for those interested in “Free Jazz” and an application of Ornette Coleman’s harmolodic theories then this example will be well worth considering.

The full track listing is: Epistrophy; Pannonica; Green Chimneys; Round Midnight; Crepuscule With Nellie; Ruby, My Dear; Let’s Cool One; Blue Monk/Straight No Chaser; Monk’s Mood; In Walked Bud.  The US version of the album appears to have 2 more tracks.

Click here for a video of Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro playing Blue Monk.

Click here to sample the album.

Could Become a Milestone of the Genre: Harmolodic Monk

CD Review: UR9953.CoverA_Flat_for CDB
By Vittorio Lo Conte

Between the music of Thelonious Monk and that of Ornette Coleman there is quite a distance, yet the two musicians on this album manage to delete this gap and make a tribute to Monk different from anything done so far – and that’s saying a lot. Matt Lavelle, here on cornet, flugelhorn and alto clarinet, has studied with Ornette Coleman and is a member of Bern Nix‘ quartet, the guitarist in Coleman’s historic group Prime Time. The Harmolodic concept was developed by the renowned saxophonist Ornette Coleman and is applied to the melodies written by Monk. Along with Lavelle is John Pietaro, who performs on vibraphone and percussion, including bongas and the bodhrán, which is a traditional Irish drum. How does this work? Very well! The musicfreed from any tonal center, as well as still preaching Ornette Coleman, breathes, and here the vibraphone does its part very sympathetically with Lavelle’s instruments. It is a pleasure to listen to from start to finish of well known songs, Ruby My Dear, Blue Monk, Pannonica. The only piece recorded with the technique of overdubbing is Monk’s Mood, here the alto clarinet and cornet play together and seek the background percussion of Pietaro. Do not miss Round Midnight, which in this capacity is minimalist and becomes a song of soft beauty, like the late night title implies. The idea of the two musicians and producer Jack De Salvo is realized so perfectly that we are facing a record that could become a milestone of the genre. When hearing so much beauty, who wouldn’t think of a Harmolodic treatment of the music of Duke Ellington or Rodgers & Hart.
Review in Italian:

Fra la musica di Thelonious Monk e quella di Ornette Coleman c´è una bella distanza, eppure i due autori di questa incisione sono riusciti a eliminarla e fare un omaggio a Monk differente da tutto quello fatto finora (e non è poco!) dai colleghi. Matt Lavelle, qui alla cornetta, flicorno e clarinetto alto ha studiato con Ornette Coleman e suonato insieme a Bern Nix, chitarrista nello storico gruppo Prime Time di Coleman. Il concetto armolodico sviluppato dal famoso sassofonista è applicato alle melodie scritte da Monk, insieme a Lavelle c´è John Pietaro, che si esibisce al vibrafono ed alle percussioni, alle bongas ed al bodhrán, che è un tamburello della tradizione irlandese. Come funziona? Benissimo! La musica liberata da qualunque centro tonale, così come predica ancora Coleman, respira, e qui il vibrafono fa la sua parte, molto empatico con gli strumenti di Lavelle. È un piacere ascoltarli dall´inizio alla fine su brani conosciutissimi, Ruby My DearBlue MonkPannonica. L´unico pezzo registrato con la tecnica della sovrincisione è Monk´s Mood, qui il clarinetto alto e la cornetta giocano a cercarsi sullo sfondo delle percussioni di Pietaro. Non poteva mancare Round Midnight, che in questa veste minimalista diventa un brano dalla bellezza soffusa, notturna come vuole il titolo. L´idea dei due musicisti e del produttore Jack De Salvo è realizzata perfettamente, così che ci troviamo davanti ad un disco che potrebbe diventare una pietra miliare del genere. Chissà che qualcun altro, ascoltata tanta bellezza, non pensi ad un trattamento armolodico delle musiche di Duke Ellington o Rodgers & Hart.

Gina Loves Jazz on Harmolodic Monk

Harmolodic Monk

Matt Lavelle Jon Pietaro "Harmolodic Monk"Trumpet and flugelhorn artist Matt Lavelle studied with Ornette Coleman back in 2005 and subsequently took on the alto clarinet as well. The avant-garde musician who also has his own blog, teams up with John Pietaro, the vibraphonist and percussionist for an album of the music of Thelonious Monk. Both are known for their more or less radical views so it only seems fit to take on the music of another radical.

Both totally reconstruct Monk’s music and use Ornette Coleman‘s philosophy of harmolodics which, in his own words, is defined by “the use of the physical and the mental of one’s own logic made into an expression of sound to bring about the musical sensation of unison executed by a single person or with a group.” Which means that tunes like “Round Midnight”, “Monk’s Mood” or “Green Chimneys” are all totally open for free expression and all musical elements have the same value. At times, though, it seems that the melody has more meaning and at other times, speed and time seem to be the main focus only to come back later in the tune to the original idea of bringing the progression of the song into order.

I must confess that I was listening to their record while some heavy construction work was going on in our apartment building so that I had to turn the volume up significantly and only then came close to enjoying their loose feel on the mostly well-known Monk originals stripping them down naked and then putting their own intriguing ideas to them. Pietaro also plays the bodhrán which is an ancient Irish drum made with a wooden body and a goat-skin head, and is played with a double-headed stick.

Lavelle’s alto clarinet is front and center in his solo performance of “Crepuscule With Nellie” telling the story of Monk’s wife and muse Nellie. In “Ruby My Dear”, it is Pietaro taking the solo spot on another ballad which was written for another of Monk’s favorites, this time his first love Rubie Richardson.

A lot of senses are engrossed on this album which puts totally new frames on ten of Thelonious Monk’s tunes.

Download Harmolodic Monk HERE

“A Must Hear For Monk Fans” – George Fendel’s Review of Harmolodic Monk

by George Fendel
 
Harmolodic Monk; Matt Lavelle, trumpet, flugelhorn and alto clarinet; and John Pietaro, vibes and percussion.
Monk’s Music is interpreted with thought, creativity and a hint of mystery by this imaginative duo. It’s definitely Monk with all sorts of new shadings and colors, and it works well. Ten Monk classics are newly examined with imagination in high gear. A must hear for Monk fans.

Deepening the crenellations in your grey matter – Mark Tucker’s Powerful Review of Harmolodic Monk

HMQuinnsUnlike so many past masters tributes which feature some of the subject writer’s work, then a smattering of tunes cherished by the deceased mainman, and finally cuts written by the tributees, Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro’s Harmolodic Monk is 100% Thelonius cuts stretched and refabricated by a horn player and percussionist stripping everything down to bare essentials before getting melodically and environmentally inventive. The baseline is Monk’s mind and work, the rest is a matter of their own chops and cerebrations. The ultra-moody and atmospheric Epistrophy kicks the slab off, giving a clear indication of just what the listener is in for…and I’ll warn right now that if you can’t tune, de-tune, and re-tune your brain and ears, this is not the disc for you.

In the tradition of the more outside Enja, Ogun, and other labels’ works, then the spirit of Lol Coxhill, Anthony Braxton, and of course Ornette Coleman, whose unorthodox talents continue to pervade and open up the extremities of aesthetics, this duo adeptly embraces what a promo sheet writer cited as “the dichotomy of ancient pre-Western approaches and extreme modernism”. I tried my best to upend or at least modify that appraisal but couldn’t. Whoever that cat was, he nailed it to the wall, then put a frame around it. There is indeed a wide time-span of prototypes, influences, and expansions present, sometimes bewilderingly so as things morph and bend. Pannonica is particularly apt, at one moment sounding like the bell music of Alain Kremski (Pietaro and his wondrous vibes), then a boozy Louis Armstrong (Lavelle’s ever-changing horns) leading into a stream-of-consciousness section.

All the cuts flow in that fashion, the listener not for a moment let to wander but instead led from one intriguing section to the next, never knowing what will come but alive and alert for whatever may arise. Harmolodic, if I haven’t made it clear, is free jazz, improvisational to a fault but based in previously set work. I suspect that if Lester Bowie and his Art Ensemble were forced to pare down to a duet, the result would be very much like this. Jack DeSalvo  produced the disc but his brother Jim is the engineer, and Jim’s capture of everything is arresting: clear, lucid, adroitly attuned to shifting focal depths, never at a loss, providing everything this work needed to entablature itself with zero ambivalence. The holidays are over, y’all: heave the tabernacle choirs and E-Z jazz fluff and get back to deepening the crenellations in your grey matter.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com)
Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)
Copyright 2015, Peterborough Folk Music Society.

Available HERE.

Disc of The Year – A Review of Harmolodic Monk From Russia

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This great album may well claim the title of “disc of the year”. Formally it belongs in the category tribute album, but it was too different from the usual work of this kind. Especially because we have a double tribute here. One character of this tribute is quite obvious: his name is on the cover. Interest in the work of Thelonious Monk and his ideas over the years, like a noble wine, gaining momentum.I usually don’t point out in my reviews an album’s tracklist, but in this case I want to bring it out fully. So, a program of the album made the following pieces of the famous pianist and composer: Epistrophy; Pannonica; Green Chimneys; ‘Round Midnight; Crepuscule with Nellie; Nutty; Ruby, My Dear; Let’s Cool One; Blue Monk; Monk’s Mood, In Walked Bud – almost all of the most famous and regularly performed Monk tunes .And now for the second hero tribute, whose name is immediately identifiable if not to the ordinary jazz fan, certainly to the advanced one. He, of course, linked the definition of “harmolodics” with his philosophical concept of music, Ornette Coleman. The man, whom many consider the father of free jazz (and only this term in any case originated in the title of his album), created his, frankly, somewhat confusing and vague theory harmolodics (in this word he combined the concept of “harmony”, “movement “and” melody “, of course, in their English sound). In a nutshell, it is based on the same principles as in the free jazz – atonality, polymodality, rhythmic freedom and so on, but also focused on the  crucial role of the individual musician.

So, a collection of great Monk music performed in this project from the standpoint of Coleman’s harmolodic theory.
Well, now it’s time to move on to the creators of the project. There’s two of them, so that we are dealing with a difficult to execute and not always easy to grasp duo. By the way, Monk – pianist, Coleman – saxophonist, but these are not the tools you’ll hear on the Harmolodic Monk album. Tools for this duo did are quite formidable. Matt Lavelle plays the cornet, flugelhorn and alto clarinet, and his colleague John Pietaro – vibraphone, congas and other percussion, including an Irish drum bodhrán (according to experts Gaelic word correctly transcribe it that way). Trumpeter Matt Lavelle’s (b.1970) work has been through a series of metamorphoses: he began to swing, then played the mainstream, but at the end of the last century became friendly with the Downtown Music in New York, became inveterate avant-garde. In 2005, Matt then took lessons from Ornette Coleman. Apparently, it was then that he was filled with harmolodic ideas, and certainly since then introduced into their arsenal of tools the alto clarinet, to evaluate the sound in his performance you will be able to hear it on the first track Epistrophy. John Pietaro not only a musician, but is also a publicist. In both guises the Brooklyn native professes the most radical views on art and also belongs to the circle of brilliant masters of avant-garde jazz.
I will not go into the details of the presentation Monk’s music in duet in terms of theories of Coleman, and advise you not to dwell on it. Better to just listen to the exquisite sounding (wind +  vibraphone and percussion), to the original creative interpretation and this just extraordinarily interesting music. I can only say that the version of ‘Round Midnight by the duo Lavelle- Pietaro seemed to me one of the best ever heard before. I strongly advise not to miss this album!

– Leonid Auskern
© & (p) 2014 Unseen Rain Records
10 tks / 73 mins
(Matt Lavelle – cornet, flg, alto cl; John Pietaro – vibe, bodhrán, congas, perc;)

“like a shout to the gods” – Michael Dougherty’s Review of Harmolodic Monk

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Matt Lavelle, John Pietaro: “Harmolodic Monk” (2015) CD Review

Harmolodic Monk, the new CD from Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro, is an interesting jazz album taking the musical philosophy and approach of Ornette Coleman and applying it to compositions by Thelonious Monk. The results are sometimes soulful, sometimes emotional. These tracks often have a loose, exploratory feel that gets a bit trippy at times, but is always interesting. They mainly stick to Monk’s most well-known material, such as “Round Midnight,” “Ruby My Dear” and “Blue Monk,” but also tackle lesser known work, such as “Pannonica” and “Green Chimneys.” And it’s worth noting that on an album of Monk compositions, there is no piano. Matt Lavelle is on cornet, flugelhorn and alto clarinet; John Pietaro is on vibraphone and percussion.

Harmolodic Monk opens with “Epistrophy,” which begins with a thoughtful, lonesome horn, and soon adds little touches on percussion that make me think of an alley late at night. Then it’s as if the sounds themselves gather confidence, dare to express more, becoming more sure of their surroundings. Interestingly, there is some work on the vibraphone that is almost haunting, whereas I usually associate that instrument with a happier tone. And those happier tones do exist in this piece as well. The voices of the instruments on this track aren’t always pretty, but are always expressive.

Things get a bit more wild and energetic on “Green Chimneys.” This track has a loose, celebratory feel, like a shout to the gods, with the percussion designed to send dancers into a whirling joyful madness, and the horn like a proclamation.

“Round Midnight” begins slowly, almost tentatively, with largely mellow work on the vibraphone. The horn comes in beautifully, with a gentle, romantic bluesy bent, then rising at moments to passionate, unbridled heights before the song ends softly, drifting off.

A really nice horn solo makes “Let’s Cool One” one of the highlights of the disc, with Matt Lavelle dropping hints of that main theme, then going fully into it as John Pietaro comes back in on vibraphone. “Blue Monk” is another highlight for me, for it is at times playful, with a sense of humor, but also with some great work from both musicians, particularly by Matt Lavelle. Even the pauses are interesting. Monk is of course known for working dramatic pauses into his compositions, and Lavelle and Pietaro are able to make their own effective use of that device. And toward the end there are great short bursts like joyful shouts.

Harmolodic Monk concludes with a cool take on “In Walked Bud,” with moments when they cut loose, trading solos.

CD Track List

  1. Epistrophy
  2. Pannonica
  3. Green Chimneys
  4. Round Midnight
  5. Crepescule With Nellie
  6. Ruby My Dear
  7. Let’s Cool One
  8. Blue Monk
  9. Monk’s Mood
  10. In Walked Bud

HARMOLODIC MONK CD Available HERE

JOSH CAMPBELL’S REVIEW OF HARMOLODIC MONK

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CD Available Soon, Downloads Available Now.

By Josh Campbell

A very interesting album from Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro. The concept, and I love concept albums, is to use Monk compositions and Ornette Coleman’s harmolodic methods. Interestingly, we find John Pietraro on the vibraphone in addition to percussion leading to a unique duet. Matt Lavelle is found on his standard cornet/flugelhorn as well as alto clarinet which we have been seeing more of from Matt. A healthy offering at an hour and a half, Matt and John work their magic on recognizable standards, with a pleasant twist. Matt’s cornet and flugelhorn have never sounded better, bold and meaty, especially on the excellently executed “In Walked Bud”. Other standouts, “Blue Monk/ Straight No Chaser”, and the spacious and oozing with blues “Round Midnight”, showcase Matt on the alto clarinet. Recorded with an intimate feel it can be hard to remember you’re not actually in the room with the musicians.

Even though the album is worth hearing and adding to your collection, at 1 hr 33 mins it does tend to drag a little. I would have liked to hear more percussion mixed into the album, even with the strong performance of John on the vibes it was a challenge over the span of the album to keep focus. The cornet and flugelhorn, being the main instrument I’m familiar with Matt playing, were much stronger than his alto clarinet. Aside from his stellar showing on “Round Midnight”, I found myself preferring his sax playing.

While not an album that I would return to every day, it is a performance and concept so unique and creative it should be investigated by fans who have yet to hear it. And even though it is not my favorite release from Matt, it reenforces my ever growing admiration for his playing and creativity.

Downloads available HERE

JUN 29 HARMOLODIC MONK Album Release Event Whynot Jazz Room

HARMOLODIC MONK Album Release Event

Whynot Jazz Room, Sunday, July29, 7:30PM 14 Christopher St, NYC

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Harmolodic Monk is matt Lavelle (trumpet, alto clarinet, flugelhorn) and John Pietaro (vibes, percussion). The pair will be performing a set of selections from their Unseen Rain Records debut album, one which explores some of the greatest compositions of Thelonious Monk by way of the expansive visions of Ornette Coleman with special guests Jack DeSalvo on banjo and Tom Cabrera on frame drum. According to the album’s producer, Jack DeSalvo:

“In the work of both Ornette Coleman and Thelonious Monk, the dichotomy of ancient, pre-western approaches and extreme modernism live side-by-side so comfortably that one mistakes one for the other. Like the story that Ornette told of performing in a psychiatric hospital; once he started playing and looked out into the audience he couldn’t distinguish between the doctors and the patients.

Bëla Bartók believed that new music must have deep roots in folk music, music of the earth, chthonic in that sense. Besides virtuosity as servant to meaningful expression, communication and sensitive interplay, what Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro reveal to us through this many-layered concept of uncovering new secrets in Monk’s compositions via the Harmolodic highway is their profound understanding that the root of all this is the Blues.

Ornette’s view of the Blues, like his late friend Buckminster Fuller’s view of the world, is multi-dimensional, here imbued with both Monk’s and Ornette’s focus on personal expression. Matt and John provide an extended view into myriad musical possibilities when Harmolodic Monk is in the hands of two improvisational masters.”

This event is part of Andrea Wolper‘s Why Not Experiment? series.

Download HARMOLODIC MONK HERE

HARMOLODIC MONK – MATT LAVELLE, JOHN PIETARO UR9953 Now Available

UR9953.Cover_front_Back   Listen HERE Purchase HERE

In the work of both Ornette Coleman and Thelonious Monk, the dichotomy of ancient, pre-western approaches and extreme modernism live side-by-side so comfortably that one mistakes one for the other. Like the story that Ornette told of performing in a psychiatric hospital; once he started playing and looked out into the audience he couldn’t distinguish between the doctors and the patients.

Bëla Bartók believed that new music must have deep roots in folk music, music of the earth, chthonic in that sense. Besides virtuosity as servant to meaningful expression, communication and sensitive interplay, what Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro reveal to us through this many-layered concept of uncovering new secrets in Monk’s compositions via the Harmolodic highway is their profound understanding that the root of all this is the Blues.

Ornette’s view of the Blues, like his late friend Buckminster Fuller’s view of the world, is multi-dimensional, here imbued with both Monk’s and Ornette’s focus on personal expression. Matt and John provide an extended view into myriad musical possibilities when Harmolodic Monk is in the hands of two improvisational masters.

“…an artistic work of passion.” – LA Jazz Reviews Harmonic Monk

Matt Lavelle & John Pietaro – “Harmolodic Monk”Hmonk1
Unseen Rain Records

Matt Lavelle, cornet/flugelhorn/alto clarinet; John Pietaro, vibraphone/bodhran/ congas/percussion.

Here is another artistic endeavor to celebrate Thelonius Monk’s historic compositions. Right off the bat, Lavelle’s horn grabs my attention, singing “Epistrophe” with Pietaro using percussion techniques and vibraphone to support Lavelle’s solo journey. I enjoyed the simplicity of sound that allowed Monks melodies to shine. For just two people to decide to provide an entire album of Monk’s music for our listening pleasure, I assume they must be improvisational wizards. Here is an artistic work of passion. Some of the songs are eight and nine minutes long. It takes talent, inspiration and tenacity for two people to fill up nearly ten minutes playing a single song. Lavelle takes time to talk to himself with his various horns on a single tune, laying down the cornet to pick up alto clarinet or flugelhorn. Pietaro, an adept percussionist, paints the tunes with various shades of instrumentation on vibraphone, bells, using whistle sounds, congas and various other percussive layers. This is an album of personal expression and passionate improvisation. – Dee Dee McNeil

Get CD HERE

Get Downloads HERE

A new perspective on Monk is persuasive and explorative. – Doug Simpson’s HM review in Audiophile Audition.

Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro – Harmolodic Monk – Unseen Rain UR9953, 73:30 Harmolodic-Monk-at-Dissident-Art-Festival

(Matt Lavelle – cornet, Flugelhorn, alto clarinet; John Pietaro – vibraphone, bodhrán, congas, percussion)

Just when you think Thelonious Monk’s music couldn’t get a new spin, along comes John Pietaro and Matt Lavelle’s 73-minute, ten-track Monk tribute, Harmolodic Monk. Lavelle states he wanted to explore the musical ideas of both Monk and Ornette Coleman, and came up with the notion of imbuing well-known Monk tunes with Coleman’s harmolodic philosophy. Turns out, the blend is both distinctive and appealing. While Monk’s music is adventurously articulated in a fresh approach, Lavelle and Pietaro’s specific instruments also provide a singular characteristic. Monk made use of tenor sax and sometimes trumpet, and Lavelle’s cornet, Flugelhorn and alto clarinet tint Monk’s compositions with an ample array of auditory paints. Interestingly, the duo does not employ a keyboard setup. Instead of piano, Pietaro has a vibraphone, which brings a satiating aspect to the material. He also slips in percussion devices—including bodhrán and congas—to offer intriguing rhythmic support.

The twosome opens with an azure, atmospheric adaptation of “Epistrophy.” Lavelle plays a sonorous introduction on his breathy alto clarinet, and then Pietaro flicks in light percussive effects which gradually become noisier, before he shifts to vibes while continuing to add occasional percussive accents. This may not be a rendition listeners will recognize, so be forewarned. The theme is imparted, but the arrangement is novel, and it might take a few times for some Monk aficionados to appreciate this. Lavelle’s alto clarinet becomes a bit discordant here and there, and the instrumental minimalism may also take some time for some to embrace. Lavelle’s alto clarinet receives the spotlight on his solo version of “Crepuscule with Nellie,” which is misspelled throughout the CD artwork [Spellcheck anyone?]. Lavelle’s deep, bass notes show Monk’s reflective side and each precisely-placed note echoes and glides. Engineer Jim DeSalvo utilizes a very close microphone for this tune, and if listeners got any nearer to the music, they’d have to crawl inside the clarinet.

Pietaro’s vibes are found on much of the material, but are noticeably pronounced on a trio of tracks in the middle of the CD. His vibes and some sparse percussion are the only instruments during a suitably sublime take of “Ruby My Dear.” Pietaro begins with unhurriedly positioned notes. The tempo picks up slightly here and there, but mostly Pietaro lets his notes linger in the air. The result defines the term gossamer: delicate, ethereal and meticulous as a spider’s filament. Lavelle and Pietaro form a sympathetic musical partnership on a modish and thoroughly modernistic “Let’s Cool One,” one of the album’s highpoints. During his soloing, Lavelle aims toward the main theme but rarely stays there, but familiarity gels when he and Pietaro perform together, and trade lines, swap notes and otherwise show how well vibes and horn can present Monk without further assistance from other players. Another memorable piece is a ten-minute makeover of “Blue Monk.” It is mischievous without being banal. Lavelle displays his witty viewpoint on his horn, while Pietaro fills in the spaces on vibes. But even when there is space which could have been propped up, there is a sense of striking significance. Monk could and did use space, and Pietaro and Lavelle also comprehend that less can say a lot more. The tune escalates near the end, especially as Lavelle reels off twisting notes on his horn, sometimes recalling Don Cherry when Cherry was in Ornette Coleman’s band.

The proceedings also attain an unruly and vigorous activity on “Green Chimneys,” where Lavelle switches between cornet and Flugelhorn while Pietaro ratchets up the energy level with fast-paced hand percussion. This translation has an unrestricting, exultant elation, and swirls with affirmation. Pietaro also exhibits his rhythmic fluctuations on a scratchy “Monk’s Mood,” where Lavelle dubs overlapping horns into the edgy arrangement as Pietaro layers various percussion tools into the ever-increasing track. This is open and demonstrative music: free to go where it wants to go and expressive of both Monk’s and Coleman’s creativity. Of course, music this multihued and direct needs proper production. DeSalvo’s engineering, mixing and mastering gives these Monk tunes a sonic engagement, and he also supplies a method which makes the horns, vibes and percussion very much front and center. The way notes remain in the air or span across the left and right channels is brilliant. Even intermittent hum in the quietest moments does not detract but preserves an honest mannerism. Well done to Lavelle, Pietaro and DeSalvo. [Unfortunately Amazon only has an MP3 version of this.]

TrackList: Epistrophy; Pannonica; Green Chimneys; Round Midnight; Crepuscule with Nellie; Ruby My Dear; Let’s Cool One; Blue Monk; Monk’s Mood; In Walked Bud.

—Doug Simpson


Unseen Rain Records and Woodshedd Records

Jack DeSalvo Live at Scholes Street

One Footprint – Jack DeSalvo, Larry Hutter, Tom Cabrera

 

 

  • Quintrepid

     

     

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  • Rocco John Iacovone,  Jack DeSalvo, Mark Hagan,                            Phil Sirois, Tom Cabrera

 

  • Jack DeSalvo, Joel Shapira, Phil Sirois, Tom Cabrera

 

  • Jack DeSalvo, Dmitry Ishenko, Tom Cabrera

 

  • Rich Rosenthal, Phil Sirois, Tom Cabrera

 

SUMARI BIOS

Sumari 2

Matt LavelleJack DeSalvoTom Cabrera

Each member of SUMARI is a veteran of the US and international Jazz worlds with roots in NYC’s Downtown scene.

JACK DeSALVO, hailed in THE WIRE magazine as “masterful”, joined Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society in the 1980s and has toured the world with many artists in his own musical-spiritual journey. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, DeSalvo also studied classical guitar and composition before taking private tutelage with Bill Connors. His pianistic, wholistic approach to performance practice on electric, classical and acoustic guitar led to committed doubling on such instruments as cello and various members of the mandolin and banjo families. DeSalvo appears on more than 40 recordings and has performed with Peter Brötzmann, Karl Berger, Chris Kelsey,  Tony Malaby, Pat Hall, D3 and many more as well at major jazz festivals and clubs.

MATT LAVELLE, having studied directly with Ornette Coleman, was one-fourth of Bern Nix’s band and a founding member of Harmolodic Monk. His haunting trumpet sound is reminiscent of Don Cherry’s, while one can also note the full-throated influence of Rex Stewart. Lavelle’s first teacher was swing-era veteran Hildred Humphries but his foray into the unfettered carries him beyond traditions. Strong doubling into woodwinds brought him to the bass clarinet and ultimately, the alto clarinet. Lavelle makes extreme use of the alto’s natural range, fusing it with the cry of Dolphy’s bass clarinet sound and then into the imaginary realm of Eastern double-reeds painted New Orleans blue. Lavelle’s extensive resume includes Giuseppe Logan, William Parker, Sabir Mateen, Jameel Moondoc, Roy Campbell, and his own12 Houses Orchestra.

TOM CABRERA is a percussionist of striking depth. An in-demand jazz drummer who also made a specialty of the percussion family known as frame drums, Cabrera constructed a drum-set which sports riq, tar, dumbeq, bodhran and various percussives about a small bass drum and hi-hat. With a sonic oeuvre that ranges from the quaking to the sublime, Tom carries the band’s rhythmicity in the best harmolodic fashion. Silences (the sort described by Cage) feature into his wave of sounds. With Sumari Cabrera also plays a standard drumset as well as with the Julie Lyon Quintet, the Rocco John Quartet and others. Besides his own Tom Cabrera Trio album, What I’ve Found, he appears on many Unseen Rain releases.

Matt Lavelle – trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, alto and bassclarinet

Jack DeSalvo – guitars, cello, mandola and mandolin,  banjos, bass ukelele

Tom Cabrera – drums, dumbeq, rik, frame drums, percussion.

 

UNSEEN RAIN FESTIVAL April 12, ShapeShifter

 

February 19, 2015To: Listings/Critics/Features
From: Jazz Promo Services
Press Contact: Jim Eigo, jim@jazzpromoservices.com
www.jazzpromoservices.com 
UNSEEN RAIN FESTIVAL
presents
Visionary Sounds @ ShapeShifter Lab
with Sumari
Pat Hall’s Time Remembered Organ Group,and Harmolodic Monk
Event: Unseen Rain Festival When: Sunday, April 12, 7PM–Sumari, 8PM-Pat Hall’s Time Remembered Organ Group, 9PM-Harmolodic Monk
Where: ShapeShifter Lab
18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Admission: $15.
The artist-directed independent label, Unseen Rain Records, is bold in concept, producing radically expansive recordings of innovative jazz and improvised music. UR’s array of CDs and digital downloads have been hailed as “visionary” in the international media. The Unseen Rain Festival will feature three vastly different improvisational music ensembles that offered recent releases. The event unites them under the label’s banner.SUMARI: The evening will open with the “other-world art music” of Sumari. The channeling of free improv and global folk culture with a boundless sense of the new are the path coursed by Matt Lavelle (trumpet, flugelhorn, alto clarinet), Jack DeSalvo (cello, electric and acoustic guitars, mandola, banjo) and Tom Cabrera (drumset, dumbeq, bodhran, tar, riq, percussion) to conjure abstract yet familiar sound tapestries. The band members individually have held ground with such noted avant jazz strongholds as Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society, the Bern Nix Quartet and Jameel Moondoc’s ensembles, among many others.

PAT HALL’S TIME REMEMBERED ORGAN GROUP: Trombonist Pat Hall, a veteran of the Wadada Leo Smith’s ensembles, will perform with the combo heard on his starkly original album “Time Remembered: a Tribute to Bill Evans”. Hall’s Time Remembered Organ Group—a lasting ensemble, not a one-shot tribute project–will offer unique adaptations of Evans’ immortal music. The album has been acclaimed by critics, celebrating the bold concept and arrangements of this jazz icon’s compositions. Joining Hall are Greg “Organ Monk” Lewis (Hammond B3), Marvin Sewell (guitar) and Mike Campenni (drumset). Hall’s other UR releases include “Multiple Question Choice” and “K3rnel PaN1C” as well as “Happy House” with Chris Kelsey

HARMOLODIC MONK: The evening will close with the duet of Matt Lavelle (trumpet, flugelhorn, alto clarinet) and John Pietaro (vibraphone, hand drums, frame drums, percussion) aka Harmolodic Monk. The pair perform the repertoire of Thelonious Monk, reconstructed by way of Ornette Coleman’s music-liberating philosophy. The pedigree is there: Lavelle spent years studying with Coleman and still performs with Bern Nix; Pietaro is a mainstay of Karl Berger’s Improvisers Orchestra. Harmolodic Monk’s debut release, called “Disc of the Year” by several new music bloggers, compels listeners with blurred harmonies, stinging accents, crushes, soaring melodic lines and at least a little bit of the shock of the new.

UNSEEN RAIN RECORDS: MAKING THE INVISIBLE AUDIBLE…

UNSEEN RAIN is visionary record label offering jazz and improvised music by contemporary innovators on various media. UR is focused on high production values and recognizes the entire process surrounding a recording as art.

UR recordings are available in a number of formats, High Definition FLAC, CD quality FLAC, Apple Lossless and maximum quality mp3 (320k) as well as select titles on CD and soon, audiophile quality LPs.

UNSEEN RAIN’s community of players, composers, producers, engineers, the folks at Qua’s Eye Graphix, Beanstudio and tech/HD sound specialists are committed to the music and the art of sound. Writing in the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange, Mark S. Tucker said this about UR’schief mixing and mastering engineer, “… Jim (DeSalvo) is the engineer, and Jim’s capture of everything is arresting: clear, lucid, adroitly attuned to shifting focal depths, never at a loss, providing everything this work needed to entablature itself with zero ambivalence.”

Unique ensembles like Matt Lavelle’s 16 piece 12 Houses, Harmolodic Monk, Pat Hall’s Bill Evans Project, Sumari, Fulminate Trio, Julie Lyon Quintet and Crossings. Innovators like percussionist/drummer Tom Cabrera bring powerful transcultural elements, widening UNSEEN RAIN’s sonic landscapes. UR’s steadily growing catalog includes records by important artists including Chris Kelsey, Lewis Porter, John Pietaro, Steve Cohn, Bob Rodriquez, Blaise Siwula, Michael Evans, Jack DeSalvo, Joris Teepe, Joel Shapira, Ken Filiano, Anders Nilsson, Lee Marvin, Krestin Osgood and many others.

Unseen Rain’s specially priced Bootleg Series features complete, unedited, authorized live sets featuring Unseen Rain artists recorded by Gene Gaudette.
Honoring the impact that the LP album cover had in its heyday, Qua’s Eye Graphix creates artwork panels, with titles, credits and tracklistings that are included with the music downloads and featured on CD packages and LP covers.

UR’s sister label is foUR Records – friends of UNSEEN RAIN. foUR exists to create a forum for important recordings that were produced independently of the UR staff. Artists on foUR include visionary guitarist/composer Dom Minasi, Chicago-based drummer Jimmy Bennington and Twin Cities guitarist Joel Shapira.

————-
press contact: New Masses Media Relations
John Pietaro (646) 599-0060NewMassesMedia@gmail.comwww.DissidentArts.com

Media Contact
Jim Eigo

Jazz Promo Services
272 State Route 94 South #1
Warwick, NY 10990-3363
Ph: 845-986-1677 / Fax: 845-986-1699
Cell / text: 917-755-8960
Skype: jazzpromo
jim@jazzpromoservices.com
www.jazzpromoservices.com

“Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

Canadian Contact
Glenda Rush, Publicist
mobile: (514) 591-5406, off/bur: (514) 276-6870
glendavivo@sympatico.ca Vivo Musique Int’l

 

MATT LAVELLE ARTIST PAGE

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Matt Lavelle (Paterson NJ 1970), began his Music career with a High School Big Band tour of the Soviet Union in 1988, and then a 5 year period of study with Hildred Humphries, a Swing era veteran that played with Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and many others of the time. Lavelle played Trumpet during this time as a member of Hildred’s band.

Lavelle then made his move on New York City to go through the trials of all new Jazz musicians, and played Straight-ahead Jazz until 1995. When he relocated to Kingston New York, and immersed himself in the study of the Bass-clarinet, keeping the trumpet going, creating the only known successful double of these 2 challenging instruments.

Lavelle returned to New York seeking out what is known as the Downtown community in 1999, which he has been a member of to this day (2009). Along the way Lavelle has played with William Parker, which also consisted of a tour in Sardinia Italy, Sabir Mateen, consisting of a tour of Northern Italy, and also toured in Scotland with an improvisation collective known as Eye Contact.644428_463718597014950_1373420712_n

Lavelle began study with Jazz Legend Ornette Coleman in 2005, having huge impact and transformational impact on the Musician, also resulting in the addition of the Alto Clarinet as another voice.

Matt also was the key in the return and resurgence of Jazz legend Giuseppi Logan, playing on and producing his comeback record after a 40 year absence.

With over 10 appearances as a sideman on record, Lavelle has 4 records released with himself as a leader:

  • Handling the Moment (2002);
  • Trumpet Rising, Bass Clarinet Moon (2004);
  • Spiritual Power (2006);
  • The Manifestation Drama (2009).

Of special note is the record Spiritual Power – top 10 in the Village Voice and also receiving critical acclaim internationally.

Lavelle has played and collaborated with Ornette Coleman, Giuseppi Logan, Hildred Humprhries, William Parker, Eric Mingus, Sabir Mateen, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Jemeel Moondoc, Mat Maneri, Ras Moshe, Potato Valdez, and many others.

MATT LAVELLE on UNSEEN RECORDS

Matt Lavelle (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, alto clarinet Jack DeSalvo (mandola, cello, guitars) Tom Cabrera (bodhrán, tar, riq, doumbek, bass drum, percussion)
Matt Lavelle (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, alto clarinet
Jack DeSalvo (mandola, cello, guitars)
Tom Cabrera (bodhrán, tar, riq, doumbek, bass drum, percussion)
SUMARI (UR9962)
High Definition Apple Lossless Download – $10.99
High Definition FLAC Download – $10.99
CD quality Apple Lossless Download – $9.99
CD quality FLAC Download – $9.99
mp3 320k (recommended for iTunes users) Download – $8.99
Matt Lavelle (cornet, flugelhorn, alto clarinet) John Pietaro (vibraphone, bodhrán, congas, percussion)
Matt Lavelle (cornet, flugelhorn, alto clarinet)
John Pietaro (vibraphone, bodhrán, congas, percussion)
HARMOLODIC MONK (UR9953)
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 CD Quality FLAC Download- $9.99
mp3 320 k (Recommended for iTunes users) Download – 8.99
Matt Lavelle, trumpet, flugelhorn, and alto clarinet Jack DeSalvo, guitar Tony DeCicco, double bass Bruce Ditmas, drums
Matt Lavelle, trumpet, flugelhorn, and alto clarinet
Jack DeSalvo, guitar
Tony DeCicco, double bass
Bruce Ditmas, drums

Listen HERE Purchase HERE

Fearless multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle (trumpet, flugelhorn, alto clarinet) unitesSOS with saxophone powerhouse Ras Moshe (tenor sax, flutes), impeccable double-bassist Tom Zlabinger and legendary drummer Tom DeSteno, sending out signals of of passionate, extemporaneous music on their UNSEEN RAIN debut as a band.
Fearless multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle (trumpet, flugelhorn, alto clarinet) unitesSOS with saxophone powerhouse Ras Moshe (tenor sax, flutes), impeccable double-bassist Tom Zlabinger and legendary drummer Tom DeSteno, sending out signals of of passionate, extemporaneous music on their UNSEEN RAIN debut as a band.

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UNSEEN RAIN is a visionary record label offering jazz and improvised music by contemporary innovators. UR is focused on high production values and recognizes the entire process surrounding a recording as art.

UR recordings are available in a number of formats, High Definition FLAC, CD quality FLAC, Apple Lossless and maximum quality mp3 (320k) as well as select titles on CD and soon, audiophile quality LPs.

UNSEEN RAIN’s community of players, composers, producers, engineers, the folks at Qua’s Eye Graphix, Beanstudio and tech/HD sound specialists are committed to the music and the art of sound. Writing in the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange, Mark S. Tucker said this about  UR’s chief mixing and mastering engineer, “… Jim (DeSalvo) is the engineer, and Jim’s capture of everything is arresting: clear, lucid, adroitly attuned to shifting focal depths, never at a loss, providing everything this work needed to entablature itself with zero ambivalence.”

Unique ensembles like Matt Lavelle’s 16 piece 12 Houses, Harmolodic Monk, Pat Hall’s Bill Evans Project, Sumari, Fulminate Trio, Julie Lyon Quintet and Crossings. Innovators like percussionist/drummer Tom Cabrera bring powerful transcultural elements, widening UNSEEN RAIN’s sonic landscapes. UR’s steadily growing catalog includes records by important artists including Chris Kelsey, Lewis Porter, John Pietaro, Steve Cohn, Bob Rodriquez, Blaise Siwula, Michael Evans, Jack DeSalvo, Joris Teepe, Joel Shapira, Ken Filiano, Anders Nilsson, Lee Marvin, Krestin Osgood and many others.

Unseen Rain’s specially priced Bootleg Series features complete, unedited, authorized live sets featuring Unseen Rain artists recorded by Gene Gaudette.

Honoring the impact that the LP album cover had in its heyday, Qua’s Eye Graphix creates artwork panels, with titles, credits and tracklistings that are included with the music downloads and featured on CD packages and LP covers.

UR’s sister label is foUR Records – friends of UNSEEN RAIN. foUR exists to create a forum for important recordings that were produced independently of the UR staff. Artists on foUR include visionary guitarist/composer Dom Minasi, Chicago-based drummer Jimmy Bennington and Twin Cities guitarist Joel Shapira.

 

 

Review of Sumari from Russia

SUMARI CD Review from Russia
 
By Leonid Auskern
 

Jazz 6/14/2015 

Matt Lavelle (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, alto clarinet Jack DeSalvo (mandola, cello, guitars) Tom Cabrera (bodhrán, tar, riq, doumbek, bass drum, percussion)
Matt Lavelle (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, alto clarinet
Jack DeSalvo (mandola, cello, guitars)
Tom Cabrera (bodhrán, tar, riq, doumbek, bass drum, percussion)

Quite recently I happened to hear all three participants of the Sumari project when I reviewed the JULIE album by the Julie Lyon Quintet. On JULIE their instrumental skill drew attention to these musicians. But it’s one thing to accompany a vocalist in the performance of standards, and quite another to create your own project. We hear quite different music on Sumari and it’s reinforced by a spiritual component common to all participants. To illustrate this thesis, let us remember the extraordinary personality of Jane Roberts. This American writer would fall into a trance and channeled an otherworldly entity named Seth (basically, a name in Egyptian mythology). Roberts outlined Seth’s discourses in “Seth Speaks” and in a number of subsequent books which were of an ethical and metaphysical nature aimed at enhancing the capacity of human self-knowledge. Many years ago, Cabrera and DeSalvo got acquainted with the works of Roberts, leaving them a deep impression, and they casually turned on Lavelle to these ideas. The current CD booklet of the trio is equipped with quotes from Seth and Roberts and the name of the project and the album is a term from the books meaning “Federation of consciousness”. Without touching the more ideological component of the album, let’s go straight to the music.

I listened to this album with great interest and pleasure. All three musicians have already established a solid foundation in jazz, all three are closely connected with downtown culture of the New York avant-garde and all three are adept at free improvisation. To begin with, their instrumentation shows that this is no ordinary project; trumpet (and its variants) plus alto clarinet by Matt Lavelle. Jack DeSalvo on cello, mandola and guitar. Multiplicitous percussion instruments of various timbre and volume are played by Tom Cabrera. This is a three man orchestra of horns-strings-drums. Such a wide arsenal allows these players to make their music unusually rich and diverse. Their improvisations can be ethnically motivated (this is especially noticeable in the Counterparts Are Comparitively Encountered). Without losing the entire freedom of the music, what is visible is the melodic basis of all of the compositions. Impressive is the sky-high steaming trumpet, in which passages of just a few notes sometimes seem infinite, with literally hypnotic themes develop in “Alternate Presents and Multiple Focus”, while a highly energetic finale awaits you at “The Gates of Horn”. In short, a very unusual, very creative recording that is far from free-jazz excesses. This is how I would summarize my impressions of Sumari.

http://jazzquad.ru/index.pl?act=PRODUCT&id=4154

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