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An Ancient ObserverNonesuch Records releases its second album from pianist Tigran Hamasyan, An Ancient Observer, in 2017. An Ancient Observer is the follow-up to Hamasyan's label debut, Mockroot, of which the Guardian said, A phenomenal piano player, an irrepressible entertainer, a promising experimenter with hi-tech gizmology and a creative world-music composer. Mockroot plays vivaciously to all those strengths. The musician says of his new solo recording, which features ten new compositions: These songs are musical observations about the world we live in now, and the weight of history we carry with us.
An Ancient Observer's songs-two of which are based on Armenian melodies-were written over the last four years. Some of the pieces are through-composed and completely written out, while others are composed with ample space for Hamasyan to improvise. Many include vocals layered into the mix. As with most of his compositions, Hamasyan cites a wide range of influences, from Baroque dance to hip-hop, with pedals connected to a synthesizer on a few tracks-while the sounds of his native country also are present, as always.
Hamasyan has returned to Armenia, where his daily life inspired these new pieces: I gaze out of my window and see the biblical mountain Ararat with perpetual snow on its peak, with electrical towers with wires in the foreground cutting the picture, and satellite dishes melted onto old and modern houses-ancestral smoke coming out of their chimneys-and birds hovering above the trees along with occasional airplane trails in the vast sky. It is a dialogue, this interaction of God-given ancient nature with our modern human achievements, he says. For me it is an awakening, and a beautiful feeling, to be able to observe the magnificence of this sleeping volcanic giant, which has existed for millions of years and was observed by the Ararat Valley Koura-Arax culture through to the present day citizens of the Armenian republic. I can see and observe the same birds, animals, rivers, and mountains that the craftsman of 4,000 years ago painted on a clay vessel. He was observing the same thing I observe now, and what remains is his or her beautiful work of art.1. Markos and Markos
2. The Cave of Rebirth
3. New Baroque 1
4. Nairian Odyssey
5. New Baroque 2
6. Etude No. 1
7. Egyptian Poet
8. Fides Tua
10. Ancient Observer$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
For GyumriFor Gyumri, the third Nonesuch recording from pianist and composer Tigran Hamasyan, is a companion to 2017's An Ancient Observer. Hamasyan named the new album in tribute to his hometown of Gyumri, Armenia. These songs are musical observations about the world we live in now, he says, and the weight of history we carry with us.
Born in Armenia in 1987 before relocating with his family to Los Angeles in 2003, Tigran Hamasyan currently resides in Erevan, Armenia. He began playing piano at the age of three and started performing in festivals and competitions when he was eleven years old, winning the Montreux Jazz Festival's piano competition in 2003. Hamasyan released his debut album, World Passion, in 2005 at the age of seventeen. The following year, he won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. Subsequent albums include New Era (2007); Red Hail (2009); A Fable (2011), for which he was awarded a Victoires de la Musique (the equivalent of a Grammy Award in France); Shadow Theater (2013); Luys i Luso (2015); and Mockroot (2015), for which he won the Echo Jazz Award for International Piano Instrumentalist of the Year. In addition to awards and critical praise, Hamasyan has built a dedicated international following, as well as praise from Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Brad Mehldau.1. Aragatz
2. Rays of Light
3. The American
4. Self - Portrait
5. Revolving - Prayer$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mehliana: Taming the Dragon
Two 140-gram LPs Pressed At Pallas MFG In Diepholz, Germany
Includes CD Of The Album
Nonesuch Records releases the debut album from the electric duo of Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon. The two have been performing for several years, including a brief US tour this fall and an ongoing European tour, with Mehldau playing Fender Rhodes and synthesizers and Guiliana on drums and effects, as they are on the record. Mehliana comprises 12 original tunes-six written by the duo and six written by Mehldau-and was engineered and mixed by Greg Koller (Jon Brion, Kanye West). The vinyl edition of the album includes two 140-gram LPs pressed at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany, and a CD of the album.
Brad Mehldau played in a number of different ensembles, including label mate Joshua Redman's quartet, before becoming a bandleader himself in the 1990s. The Brad Mehldau Trio, which tours the world extensively, made eight acclaimed recordings for Warner Bros., including the five widely praised Art of the Trio albums with former drummer Jorge Rossy (released as a boxed set by Nonesuch in 2011). The pianist's nine years with Nonesuch have been equally productive, beginning with the solo disc Live in Tokyo and including six trio records Day Is Done, House on Hill, Live, Ode, and Where Do You Start, as well as a collaboration with soprano RenÉe Fleming, Love Sublime; a chamber ensemble album, Highway Rider; two collaborations with label mate Pat Metheny, Metheny Mehldau and Quartet, the latter of which also includes Trio members Jeff Ballard and Larry Grenadier; a CD/DVD set of live solo performances, Live in Marciac; and collaborations with genre-crossing musicians on Modern Music, with composer/pianist Kevin Hays and composer/arranger Patrick Zimmerli. Additionally, he produced saxophonist Joshua Redman's 2013 release Walking Shadows.
According to Modern Drummer, Mark Guiliana is "at the forefront of an exciting new style of drumming." The New Jersey native's unique and un-compromised approach to playing the drums has earned him international acclaim as both a leader and a sideman. In 2004, Guiliana created HEERNT, an "experimental-garage-jazz" trio based in New York. The band's debut record, Locked in a Basement, was called the record "the most exuberant, dramatic, beautiful, sassy, genre-busting little outing that I've heard since I don't know when" by legendary drummer Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson). As a sideman, Guiliana's longest partnership has been with world-renowned jazz bassist Avishai Cohen. He toured all over the world with Cohen from 2003 until 2008, performing on six studio records and a live DVD recorded at the Blue Note in Manhattan. Guiliana has also recorded and/or performed with Meshell Ndegeocello, Dhafer Youssef, Wayne Krantz, Matisyahu, Jazz Mandolin Project, Jason Lindner, Brad Shepik, Bobby McFerrin, Tigran Hamasyan, and many more. His debut solo record, Beat Music, which was co-produced by Ndegeocello, was released in the spring of 2013. Guiliana plays Gretsch drums, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, and Evans drumheads.1. Taming the Dragon
3. You Can't Go Back Now
4. The Dreamer
5. Elegy for Amelia E.
6. Sleeping Giant
7. Hungry Ghost
9. Just Call Me Nige
10. Sassyassed Sassafrass
11. Swimming$29.99Vinyl LP + CD - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now