Thursday 28 January 2016

ODG047 : Daniele Morelli / Mision Azul

ODG047 : Daniele Morelli / Mision Azul

Mision Azul is a jazz album inspired by and dedicated to Mexico.
The mood, the arrangements and the color of the tunes are based on the emotions and reflexions coming from a big town like Mexico city to the lost jungle in the south and the indigenous communities in Chiapas.
Blue is the connecting color of the tracks as it was the sacred color of the Mayas. 

Composed and arranged by Italian guitarist Daniele Morelli who is spending most of his time living and playing all over Mexico, Mision Azul was recorded with a band of musicians from Mexico, El Salvador, Panama and Chile. 
An interesting mix of European and South-American Jazz cultures giving birth to a very emotional album of traditionally and contemporary jazz music.


Daniele Morelli-Pic by Pablo Barreiro

Daniele Morelli was born in Tuscany and began to study piano at the age of 7 and guitar at the age of 11.
He used to listen and play a lot of blues from a very early age although improvisation was always a way to approach any style of music when playing with different projects.
One of his first band was Milvus, a progressive rock band which was touring in Italy and Hollande.
Subsequently, he moved to France to study in the Conservatoire de Lyon, then to Brussel where jazz was an everyday appointment. 
He played with his own quartet and others projects between France, Belgium, Hollande and Italy for a while before moving in Mexico City where he is based now.

A nice review in UK Vibe here:
"Italian guitarist Daniele Morelli provides a breath of fresh air on “Misión Azul”; a gentle mix of Western European and South American jazz flavours. Composed and arranged by Morelli, the guitarist recorded this album along with a band of musicians from Mexico, El Salvador, Panama and Chile. The combination of these cultures gives rise to a lovely sounding album, where subtlety and grace win the day. Born in Tuscany, Morelli is a well-travelled musician who clearly brings out some fine moments, musically speaking, from the places he has visited. Initially Morelli focussed on the blues, his jazz chops following later. He participated in the Atmaniam orchestra, playing world music, especially that of Africa, India and Turkey, before later joining several projects playing blues and gypsy music. Moving to France, he entered the Conservatory National de Lyon, studying jazz guitar. He currently lives between Amsterdam, Brussels and Mexico, performing with various jazz groups. There’s a cool, laid-back feel to his playing that suggests a willingness to take on board the many influences from his journeying and learning.
“Misión Azul” is inspired by, and dedicated to Mexico. The title track sums up the mood well, where a subtle and clean guitar is soon met with South American percussion, before the tune develops nicely with the melody provided by a light and airy tenor saxophone. Throughout the album the guitar and sax take turns to create melody with a lyrical puissance, often interchanging, yet happily never vying for attention. “Chiapas e Nuvole (1)” enjoys a joyous sense of hospitality; imagine taking a seat in a street cafe on a warm sunny day, with a cool drink and the subtle colours and textures of a jazz quartet drifting in on a gentle breeze… Morelli has a knack of letting the music gradually gain your attention in a sweet way, never abrasive of asking for attention, just…there. Technically and emotionally at home with the music he writes and performs, “Regreso Lacando” beggins with a short guitar intro, with the tune developing into the kind of sound one would imagine hearing as the distant sun goes down, disappearing behind the mountains. If I had to pick a favourite track from this album, it would be “Popocatepetl”. There’s such a cool vibe to this tune, partly created by the groove of the bass and drums, with the percussion swimming nicely in and out of the river of musicality. But it is the sax, and especially Morelli’s wonderful guitar that sing out on this tune. Think late night jazz club in a Mexican setting, where most of the crowd have dispersed, and the indigenous people sit around drinking and chatting, enjoying the luscious sounds drifting in the air.
There are a few changes of pace along the way, with some welcome piano on the odd tune mixing things up a bit, but overall it’s a fairly easy listening album, not that there’s anything wrong in that at all. The only challenge here is finding a sunny spot to sit and listen, undisturbed, where I can enjoy the music whilst watching the world go by."

Mike Gates

Digital release on the 29th of January 2016.

Track listing:

1 - Pez de madera  5.46
2 - Mision azul 8.17
3 - Ya!! 6.27
4 - Chiapas e nuvole 7.35     
5 - Regreso Lacandon 9.42
6 - El vuelo del quetzal 3.48
7 - Popocatepetl 8.20
8 - Chiapas e nuvole (alternative take) 7.57
9 - Falta de agua 7.48

total: 63.40

musicians: track 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 recorded in Mexico City in La Casa del Arbol by Juan Pablo Aispuro

Arturo Baez - double bass  (Mexico)
Fernando Barrios - drums  (El Salvador)
Jahaziel Arrocha - tenor sax (Panama)
Daniele Morelli - guitar (Italia)

Luis Miguel Costero - tablas on track 2 and 7 (Mexico)

musicians on track 8 ad 9 recorded in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico in 
CultivarteStudio by Javier Velasco Gaona

Romeo Ramos - bass (Mexico)
Abraham Calderon - drums (Mexico)
Roberto Blanco - piano (Mexico)
Cristian Mendoza - soprano sax (Chile)
Daniele Morelli - guitar 

Mastering at Magnetic Bull Studio by Lino Sestini

And in Bandcamp:

Thursday 21 January 2016

OJP003 : Wananabani-en ワナナバニ園 / Wani No Niwa

 Cover art: Tadashi Kumada

OJP003 : Wananabani-en ワナナバニ園 / Wani No Niwa

Wananabani Garden (Wananabani En in Japanese) is a Japanese experimental rock/pop instrumental combo who includes two bass guitars, drums and unique eletric handmade musical instruments Kaisatsuko and Ribbon Controller.
The band was formed in 2010 by musicians who are active in a variety of musical projects in Tokyo. 
At first, they were playing completely improvised music but quickly started to compose music of their own. Their background includes rock, pop, jazz, funk, progressive, alternative, math rock, ethnic, dance, contemporary music, free improvisation and so on. 
The compositions consist of poly-rhythm, irregular bars and unique melodic/chord progressions. The band doesn’t play so much chords because of their instrument characteristics. 
It is, if anything, gathered monophonic lines. Nevertheless, this constraint brings their own emptyness. Their goal is to compose odd/bizarre tunes yet pop/danceable music. 
In late of 2013, they completed their 1st album called "Wani no Niwa (Garden of Alligators)". 
They often have gigs mainly in Tokyo. 
Web Site : Wananabani-en

Band members:

Tadashi Kumada - Drums:
Born in Kanagawa, 1964. Leader and song writer of the band. Started his musical career in early 1980's. He has played in many bands like Gal's Attachment, Copass Grinderz hi-speed, Shuttle Loop, Gnu among others. He constantly appears in the "Morgana experimental laboratory" -  an improvisation music party presided by legendary Japanese rock musician Hiroshi Higo. His compositions are often made full use of poly-rhythmic structure, but he also likes playing the drums freely in bands. 

ALI - Fender Bass:
Born in Osaka, 1969. He became conscious of rhythm in a  local festival called Danjiri. In 1992, he came in Tokyo and started his musical career playing in many bands like The Skullaberrys, Deep Count and Hamonigon. In this band, he mainly plays basic bass line with conventional bass sound. His playing has brought stability to the band.

Yukiya Taneishi - 5 Strings Bass:
Born in Shizuoka, 1970. He started a career of bass player since 1990, playing in many bands like Eric Jacobsen BAND, Gnu, Time Steppers, E-unit. In this band, he mainly plays distorted/modulated bass by using many effect pedals. But he also plays conventional bass with ALI. In spite of two bass lines , their sounds superpose each other beautifully and interestingly. 

Yuichi Onoue - Kaisatsuko and Ribbon Controller
Born in Tokyo, 1969. Started his musical activity since 1980 as a guitar and synthesizer player. Soon after that, he also started to develop effect units and electric handmade musical instruments. His main achievements of development are Kaisatsuko (Electric two strings original instrument) and Ribbon Controller( originally, it was made as an alternative interface of Moog synthesizer in late 60's) which are played in this band. He explores a variety of sounds and music of all ages and all world. He writes songs and plays both improvised and composed music, both solo or in different bands. 

About Yuichi Onoue's electric handmade instruments.

Electric two strings upright fiddle made in 2003. It is not performed with a bow. The rotating wheel (which is rotated by his handling) rubs strings and makes sound like Hurdy-Gurdy. 

The translation of the word is as follows: 
Kai = Rotation    Satsu = Rub    Ko = Oriental fiddle

See here for detail: kaisatsuko
Ribbon Controller
Electric musical instrument which can change an oscillator pitch smoothly, depending on the place which you press down. Ribbon Controller was originally made as a kind of MOOG SYNTHESIZER's controller in late 60's. Yuichi made this following MOOG’s example and self learned to play it.
See here for detail: Ribbon Controller

A video of 'Taru':

'Still Life':


Digital release on the 22d of January 2016.

Track listing:

1: Bum
2: Hafu
3: Dill
4: Ukigumo
5: Aita
6: Still Life
7: Taru Wo Miteita
8: Instant Beetle

And on Bandcamp:

Friday 8 January 2016

OJP002 : Tetsuroh Konishi / Nanso ( feat.Okuni )

OJP002 : Tetsuroh Konishi / Nanso ( feat.Okuni )

Second release on the new Japanese series is Nanso.
Nanso (軟蘇の法) means 'formally / literally' in Japanese.
Japanese trumpet player Tetsuroh Konishi recorded this 38m track for OKUNI. 

Okuni's Haruka Kobayashi is a master of Nanso, a therapy based on renowned Zen master Hakuin who lived 200 years ago. 
Eastern medicine gives great importance to the idea of discharging all the bad things through the bottom of the foot.
In an actual exercise, one imagines that a luminous ball falls down to his head from the universe and that Nanso gradually melt down due to his body heat. 
All the bad things are embraced with the light of Nanso, purified, and discharged through the bottom of the foot at the end.
That's all for the way of doing it, but it is surprisingly effective.
Why would you ask? Simply because this is how the nature works.
It seems that the ancient Chinese people also used this method to rebalance the body energy.

As Haruka Kobayashi quotes:
"The sound of this album should resonate with your body along with the image of the light.
It is a monotonous repeat of the sound, but at the end of the song you will find yourself breathe deeply and easily.
The bad vibes in your body will be gone and you will feel re-energized.
I would recommend that you enjoy this more as resonance rather than music." 

 Tetsuroh Konishi

Haruka Kobayashi

A live video of their work:

Digital release on the 8th of January 2016.

Track listing:

1: Nanso (38min.)

Limited edition of cds available.


Friday 1 January 2016

ODX004 : Women Voices (Songs to Dream On / Songs to Die For)

Pic and cover art by A.L.

ODX004 : Women Voices ( Songs to Dream On / Songs to Die For )

Women Voices is a compilation of some of the best female voices on Off since the start of the label.
Time to discover or re discover some of the most beautiful voices on so many releases.
The mood is smooth , perfect for a mid summer afternoon or a sunday late hour!

Digital release on the first of January 2016.

Track listing:

1: Glow (feat. Dominique Van Cappellen-Waldock) / Les Boucles Absurdes (see OPV010)
2: Wonder Live (feat. Jessica Constable, Philippe Gelda) / Live in Toulouse (see ODG007)
3: What's the Damage / Clara Engel (see ODG058)
4: Never Let Me Go (feat.Himiko Paganotti) / Jazz Songs (see ODG023)
5: Supernova, blackhole, eternity and the space / Excessive Visage (see OCD037)
6: Birthday (feat.Mai Lev) / Birthday (see OCD012)
7: Sign (feat. Delphine Sdika) / Harakiriad (see OVD012)
8: I Cannot Sleep in My Room ( feat. Himiko Paganotti) / SLuG (see OCD011)
9: Die (feat. May Lev) / Birthday (see OCD012)
10: Mistaken for a Dream (feat. Christine Hanson) / The Organ Of Corti (See OCD015)
11: Insane / NOMMO (see ODG073)
12: Infinito nero, pt. 2 (feat. La Diva Christina Van Peteghem) / Quasi Una Fantasia (see ODG046)
13: And the Rain (feat. Dominique Van Cappellen-Waldock) / Kate No Longer (see OCD021)