viernes, 5 de mayo de 2017

Los 300, anuncian 6 nuevas fechas tras varios "soldouts" en el arranque de "The Fighting Kangaroo Tour"


Los 300, el trio granadino formado por Manuel Collados, Zeke Olmo y Jimi García, también componentes de Eskorzo, anuncian 6 nuevas fechas tras varios "soldouts" consecutivos en el arranque de la gira de "The Fighting Kangaroo"

Los 300 han vuelto con los guantes puestos al cuadrilátero soltando 13 golpes canallas a la música latina, al swing y al estandarizado jazz funk en el elegante “The Fighting Kangaroo”, su nuevo LP.

Tras su sorprendente primer album “The Monkey Howler Times”, con el cual irrumpieron en la escena de la música negra, el jazz y el movimiento tropical, pasando por festivales como Weekend Beach, Imagina Funk o Sonidos Líquidos, llamaron la atención de los espectadores por su auténtica forma de tocar a base de loops orgánicos, sonando en escena como si fueran trescientos músicos, de ahí su nombre de pila. Ahora, Los 300, regresan con “The Fighting Kangaroo”, un disco más festivo y maduro, compuesto por 13 ganchos musicales cada cual con su intensidad que dejarán KO al oyente.

El arranque de esta nueva etapa, ha comenzado de la mejor forma, agotando entradas en sus primeras presentaciones, encantando a su parroquia de seguidores y haciendo nuevos devotos, sonando en medios como Radio 3, Canal Sur TV o Gladys Palmera y siendo seleccionados por AIE Artistas En Ruta para el último ciclo del año. Ahora los canallas del groove nos anuncian 6 nuevas fechas dando comienzo a su nueva gira de verano, entre ellas el Slap Festival de Zaragoza, Festival Las Dalias en Ibiza, Picante Festival y Membrillo en Granada, y muy pronto nos anunciaran nuevas confirmaciones, hay que estar atentos a esta banda.


Próximas actuaciones · Tour 2017

6 de Mayo · HUELVA · Mosquito Club Huelva
10 de Junio · MONACHIL (Granada) · Membrillo Festival
15 de Junio · BAEZA (Jaén) · Café Central
18 de Junio · ZARAGOZA · Slap Festival
30 de Junio · GÜEVEJAR (Granada) · Picante Festival
24 de Agosto · IBIZA · Las Dalias + ESKORZO

Próximamente nuevas confirmaciones



Para solicitar más información : info@rootsound.com
Para contrataciones : ruben@rootsound.com

New Romero Lubambo on Sunnyside!


Brazilian Guitar Virtuoso Romero Lubambo!

New CD - Sampa - Available Today (5/5/17)!


Not many musicians are more enthusiastic about performance and collaborations than Romero Lubambo is. The virtuoso guitarist has been based in the United States for decades but regularly makes it back to his native Brazil for innumerable projects with musicians of all sorts.

On one of these trips, Lubambo met drummer Thiago Rabello. The Rio de Janeiro born Lubambo was greatly impressed by the percussionist from São Paulo during a weeklong residency in Bahia. So when the guitarist was scheduled to perform in São Paulo shortly thereafter, he naturally reached out to Rabello to be his drummer and to help find a bassist. It was with the suggestion and addition of Sidiel Vieira that Lubambo’s Brazilian trio became whole.

In Rabello and Vieira, Lubambo found two musicians who are excellent players and fantastic people. Upon his arrival in Brazil, Lubambo found that his trio mates had not only learned his music but had memorized it, requiring only one rehearsal before they were able to take their music on the road. The trio’s rapport can be heard on their new recording Sampa, an energetic and diverse program recorded in São Paulo (the title being a local colloquialism for the city’s name) at Rabello’s recording studio.

The recording features Lubambo mainly on acoustic nylon string guitar, though he does record a couple of pieces with his solid body Les Paul, an instrument he keeps in Brazil to play for his more electric guitar savvy fans. The music is a mixture of Brazilian music, like bossa nova and forró, and jazz with a little blues mixed in.

The program begins with accordion legend Dominguinhos’s “Gostoso Demais,” an incredibly popular song in Brazil that the trio plays in a hazily insistent manner. The trio shows its dexterity on Mauricio Einhorn and Durval Ferreira’s “Estamos Aí,” a fun piece from the bossa nova era that’s title means “ready for anything.” “Contrato De Separação” is a beautiful Dominguinhos composition about trying to separate oneself from saudade, the nostalgic longing, for someone who is gone, and is appropriately melancholy. The electric guitar is in full swing on Lubambo’s “New Slash Blues,” a grooving piece showing Lubambo’s unfiltered side.

“Paquito In Bremen” is Lubambo’s moving tribute to friend and woodwind maestro Paquito D’Rivera, revisited here in an expanded trio setting. Lubambo’s “P’ro Flavio” is a spirited piece written in the Baião style of northeastern Brazil for the guitarist’s super supportive father. The lovely “Nature’s Beauty” was written by Lubambo and his wife, Pamela Driggs, for their then three year-old daughter. The electric guitar is back on the second line flavored “Dipper Mouth,” a tune from the pen of Lubambo’s “American father,” Herbie Mann.

“Luisa” is another moving lilting tribute to Lubambo’s daughter that he wrote more recently. Lubambo and Paulo Cesar Pinheiro’s dedication to Brazilian legend João Donato, “For Donato,” utilizes a Brazilian meets Latin rhythm that the pianist has used throughout his storied career. The album concludes with another touching ballad entitled “Song For Kaya,” which the guitarist wrote many years ago while on tour with Harry Belafonte.

Guitarist Romero Lubambo regularly makes music that moves listeners with its soul and effervescence. Thus, his meeting with two incredible São Paulo based musicians, Thiago Rabello and Sidiel Vieira, on their new recording Sampa is inspiring and exciting.



Purchase Here:




Upcoming Sunnyside Releases:

June 9 - Dominique Eade & Ran Blake - Town & Country


Jeannie Tanner “Words & Music” New CD Peace And Love + Upcoming Appearances


Upcoming Live Appearances

Saturday, May 13th - "The Peggy Lee Legacy" 8pm @ Davenport's - Jeannie Tanner special guest trumpeter with Jenifer French Dravillas and all-star cast: Daryl Nitz, Johnny Rodgers, Ann McGregor, Joe Policastro & Chuck Christiansen. 

Friday, June 9th - Jeannie Tanner featured vocalist & trumpeter, performing her original songs @ Reggies Chicago - Chicago Women in the Blues Festival / Showtime: 7pm

Saturday, June 10th - Jeannie Tanner Quartet @ the Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine/Jazz Fest - 5:30pm Set, performing songs from new album, WORDS & MUSIC / Copies of the 2-set CD will be available for purchase / http://ottawa2riverswinefest.com/

Friday & Saturday, Aug. 11th & 12th - Andy's Jazz Club in Chicago

Jeannie Tanner's WORDS & MUSIC / CD Release Celebration
(feat. various Chicago artists) / http://www.andysjazzclub.com/


WORDS & MUSIC is a new album released by singer-songwriter, trumpeter and composer Jeannie Tanner featuring the voices of 12 of Chicago's finest singers. The music reflects an eclectic mix of genres reminiscent of the Great American Songbook and N’awlins-style jazz; with soulful ballads, the sounds of Latin rhythms and retro 1960’s Rat Pack swing.  These 2 nights at Andy's will feature musicians and vocalists from the new album: Dan Murphy (co-producer/pianist/Fri), Lisa McQueen (piano/composer/Sat), Cory Biggerstaff (bass), Darren Scorza (drums), Neal Alger (guitar/Fri) and Tim Fitzgerald (guitar/Sat)

8/11 vocalists: Elaine Dame, Paul Marinaro, Tammy McCann & Typhanie Monique
8/12 vocalists: Alyssa Allgood, Andy Pratt, Abigail Riccards & Michele Thomas, with special guest appearances (TBA). Copies of the new 2-set cd will be available for purchase.



"Chicago does not lack for engaging jazz trumpeters, vocalists, pianists, bandleaders, songwriters and arrangers — but how many can do it all? Jeannie Tanner happens to be one... If you've ever been fortunate enough to hear her pick up a horn, or sing a ballad or unveil an original song, you know that she practically exudes music." 
Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

"With a dozen Chicago vocalists and a raft of compositions -- many written with those particular vocalists in mind -- Jeannie Tanner's double-disc constitutes a love letter to the city's jazz singers. And hearing their performances, the feeling is clearly mutual."
Neil Tesser, The Jazz Network 

 "It (WORDS & MUSIC) needs a ground swell to make it a national treasure and focus some love back on Chicago jazz... Killer stuff that’s must hearing for anyone looking for something new and different that doesn’t stray from tradition. Well done throughout."  
Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher/Midwest Record

"Words & Music offers a bounty of melodic jazz blends, from bossa nova to swing. Each track is a singalong tune, making the recording appealing to a wide audience and crossing over many sectors of jazz... It takes audiences back to a time when blues & jazz singers ruled the nightlife of cabarets and jazz clubs far and wide..."  Susan Frances, Blogcritics






Press Contact

Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services
Ph: 845-986-1677 / jim@jazzpromoservices.com

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

The Steve Plews Trio - The Importance of What Is Not (ASC RECORDS 2017)



This album is a tribute to pianist Steve Plews' relative Euphemia Allen, the composer of "Chopsticks", possibly the most famous piece of music for the piano (and most annoying!) ever written. Euphemia wrote Chopsticks at the age of 16 under the pseudonym Arthur de Lulli and was the sister of Steve's Great Uncle; Mozart Allen; the Scottish music publisher.

'The Importance of What is Not' contains two versions of Chopsticks, one arranged more in the style of Don Pullen or McCoy Tyner than the normal simplistic tune is traditionally heard. The second is a heartfelt tribute to Steve's Great Uncle, has a hint of Ravel and harmonic influences of one of Steve's heroes the late, great Paul Bley. The album is a mixture of specifically composed works and free improvisation. 

Steve's trio is completed by Gavin Barras on double bass (a regular member of Matthew Halsall's band) and Johnny Hunter on drums.

1. The Importance Of What Is Not 05:13
2. What Is This Thing Called Trust 06:55
3. The Importance Of What Is 04:54
4. Eastwaite Water 08:47
5. Posthumous Music 03:53
6. Chopsticks 04:45
7. Mussorgsky In Memphis 03:55
8. Lets Start At The End 08:59
9. 84 Carlton Place (Chopsticks) 03:22


Ronny Whyte New CD "Shades of Whyte" + Birdland 5/18 & Midday Jazz 6/21 @ Saint Peter's 1pm


Ronny Whyte
New CD
"Shades of Whyte"
Upcoming Live Appearances
Birdland NYC 5/18 6pm
Midday Jazz @ Saint Peter's June 21st 1pm


Title: SHADES OF WHYTE
Label: Audiophile ACD-353
Artist Website: www.ronnywhyte.com 
Release Date: MAY 5, 2017
UPC Code: 762247235323 

Track Listing
1. THE SONG IS YOU Kern (m) Hammerstein (l) 3:37 *
2. ISN’T THAT THE THING TO DO? Dearie (m) Saltzberg (l) 3:36 #
3. IT’S TIME FOR LOVE Whyte (m) Levy (l) 3:01 #
4. NINA NEVER KNEW Alter (m) Drake (l) 3:30 *
5. I LOVE THE WAY YOU DANCE Whyte (m) Grant (l) 3:47 *
6. LINGER AWHILE Whyte (m) Schore (l) 3:23 #
7. LOVE ME TOMORROW Duke (m) LaTouche (l) 2:53 *
8. I’LL CLOSE MY EYES Reid (m) Kaye (l) 2:35 #
9. I’LL TELL YOU WHAT Whyte (m & l) 3:36 *
10. BLAME IT ON THE MOVIES Whyte (m & l) 3:16 #
11. SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE THE BLUES Byron & Harris (m & l) 5:05 #
12. A LITTLE SAMBA Lamont ( m & l) & SO DANCO SAMBA Jobim (m) Vinicius De Moraes (l) 3:00 #
13. FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE Bretton, Edwards & Meyer (m & l) 3:48 #
14. I’M OLD FASHIONED Kern (m) Johnny Mercer (l) 3:40
15. TOO LATE NOW Lane (m) Lerner (l) 4:06 *
16. DANCING IN THE DARK Schwartz (m) Dietz (l) 3:21 # 

Musicians
Ronny Whyte - piano, Vocals & Arrangements – All tracks
Boots Maleson - Bass - All Tracks
Sean Harksness - Guitar – All Tracks except #14 
Lou Caputo - Tenor & Flute
*Mauricio De Souza – Drums
Alex Nguyen- – Trumpet
David Silliman – Drums (& track #14)

Recorded at: Teaneck Sound Studio, New Jersey December 12 & 13, 2016 Engineer, Mixing and Mastering: Dave Kowalski 
Produced by: Ronny Whyte


Ronny Whyte is of that rare breed: a seasoned performer, comfortable in the concert hall, dinner club, jazz room or cabaret. He doesn’t simply play and sing notes: he understands the lyrics and he tells the story. You believe him when he displays shades of Whyte in this aptly titled CD and exclaims “The Song is You”and “I Love the Way You Dance”. There’s heartfelt sincerity in his requests to “Linger Awhile” and “Love Me Tomorrow”, he no doubt means it in “I’ll Tell You What”. An imaginative arrangement of that ‘50s tale of a young girl’s awakening may strike a nostalgic note in “Nina Never Knew”.

This collection is also seasoned with “A Little Samba” and a trio of songs with a Bossa Nova beat. Some vintage Jerome Kern, Blossom Dearie, Vernon Duke, Lerner & Lane and Schwartz & Dietz round out the program with style and heart. I am delighted to add this bouquet to my collection.  — Elliott Ames WVOX- AM 1460, WVOX.com


Media Contact

Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services
Ph: 845-986-1677 / jim@jazzpromoservices.com
"Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

Gregory Lewis Organ Monk New CD “The Breathe Suite” & Live Appearances


Upcoming Live Appearances

May 14 & 28, June 11 & 25, July 9 & 23
Organ Monk with Gary Samuels at
Bar LunÀtico Brooklyn, NY
2pm Gospel Brunch

May 7,14,13,21,28, June 4,11,18,25, July 2,9,16,23,30
Organ Monk with Peter Valera and The Jump Blues Band
at BB Kings NYC 9:30pm

May 11,18,25, June 1,8,15,22,29, July 6,13,20,27
Organ Monk with Ray Blue
at The American Legion Post
398248 W 132nd St.
New York, NY 10027, 7pm

May 27
Organ Monk at Sistas' Place
Brooklyn NY 9pm

Artist: GREGORY LEWIS ORGAN MONK Title: THE BREATHE SUITE
Label: Self Produced
Produced by: Gregory Lewis
ArtistWebsite: www.greglewismusic.com
Release Date: MAY 05, 2017
UPC Code: 888295537964

Track listing
1. (First Movement) Chronicles Of Michael Brown 18:52
Nasheet Waits Drums, Marc Ribot Guitar Reggie Woods Tenor Sax, Riley Mullins Trumpet Gregory Lewis Hammond B3 Organ

2. (Second Movement) Trayvon 3:22
Jeremy ‘BEAN’ Clemons Drums, Ron Jackson Guitar Gregory Lewis Hammond B3 Organ

3. (Third Movement) Aiyana’s Jones Song 7:28
Jeremy ‘BEAN’ Clemons Drums, Ron Jackson Guitar Gregory Lewis Hammond B3 Organ

4. (Fourth Movement ) Eric Garner 7:19 
Nasheet Waits Drums, Marc Ribot Guitar Reggie Woods Tenor Sax, Riley Mullins Trumpet Gregory Lewis Hammond B3 Organ

5. (Fifth Movement) Osiris AusarAndTheRaceSoldiers 7:50
Jeremy ‘BEAN’ Clemons Drums, Ron Jackson Guitar Reggie Woods Tenor Sax, Riley Mullins Trumpet
Gregory Lewis Hammond B3 Organ 

All Compositions by Gregory Lewis


The 30-minute ensemble showcases at the annual Chamber Music America conference typically run the gamut from string quartets to small jazz combos to the occasional outlier—a reed quintet (which replaces the ute and French horn of standard wind quintets with a saxophone and bass clarinet), a klezmer band, or at the most recent conference, a duo of trumpet and kora (the 21-string harp-lute played in Mali, Senegal, and the Gambia).

But one of the most unusual groups ever to be presented at the CMA conference, in 2016, was an organ trio fronted by Greg Lewis (a.k.a. Organ Monk). A virtuoso on a Hammond B-3 electric organ accompanied by electric guitar and drums set has been a popular instrumental combination for soul, jazz, and R&B for more than half a century, but the material performed by Lewis and his sidemen—a standard, a Thelonious Monk classic, and some Lewis originals—took the format to some unexpected places. The music was contrapuntally intricate yet super funky, and often incredibly loud.

Their rendition of “Lulu’s Back in Town” was joyously raucous and their take on Monk was appropriately o -kilter. But the new material was what was the most revelatory. 

Each of Lewis’s pieces was dedicated to an African American who had been killed during confrontations with police o cers. Of course music, unless it involves singers and sung words or an interpolated spoken word narration, is more abstract and introspective than a news report can ever be. But merely attaching a verbal title to an instrumental composition anchors it for listeners and has the potential to serve as an outlet for a deep emotional interface with a topic that can transcend an immediate reaction to a eeting headline.


Think, for example, how a work like Penderecki’s searing Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima conveys the horrors of atomic warfare in a way that is far more visceral than reading a history book (even though the title was actually an after- thought). Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and the horri c episodes that led to their deaths have been permanently etched into the general public’s conscience. But Lewis, by a xing their names to his musical compositions, provides a platform for their stories to enter our subconscious and for audiences to pay tribute to who these people were.

This music, though at times dirge-like and appropriately angry, is ultimately resilient and celebratory; it allows us not only to mourn their deaths but to remember their lives.

“I can’t protest, because if I protest I go to jail. And if I go to jail, I can’t feed my ve kids. So what I can do is what I do: I write music. ... I want to get this record to each of the people ... Even if it brings joy for just a minute to these families, that’s what I can do.”



Media Contact

Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services
Ph: 845-986-1677 / jim@jazzpromoservices.com

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

Jacob Artved Quintet - Wax Up! (UNITY REC 2017)


DEBUT FROM 18-YEAR OLD GUITARIST JACOB ARTVED. WAX UP! HOLDS 6 ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS AND FEATURES SOME OF THE MOST TALENTED MUSICIANS AROUND. THE ALBUM WAS RECORD ON A SINGLE DAY IN JACOBS GRANDMAS LIVING ROOM, DIRECTLY TO 2-TRACK REEL-TO-REEL TAPE.

1. October Morning 6:20
2. Wax Up! 6:07
3. When Will You Tell Me? 5:38
4. Grandma's Fantasy 6:54
5. Danny Walks In 5:35
6. Late Night Boogaloo 9:50

Jacob Artved, guitar
Søren Høst. tenor sax
Zier Romme, piano
Daniel Franck, bass
Frands Rifbjerg, drums


Trespass Trio - The Spirit of Pitesti (CLEAN FEED RECORDS 2017)



After “…was there to illuminate the night sky…”, “Bruder Beda” and “Human Encore”, this one with Joe McPhee as special guest, Trespass Trio is back to tell us another story without words. There’s a narrative structure developing from start to finish, with a cinematic quality, but everything goes through an emotional level (from rage to a disarming tenderness) and the clear invitation to imagine scenarios, characters and dialogues. Again, that story has political connotations.

Pitesti is a Romanian city which got notorious because the local prison was home of brainwashing experiments during the totalitarian regime. In that process of “reeducation” of the prisoners, violence between the inmates was encouraged by the secret police.

The procedures got so out of hand that the communist authorities stopped everything five years later. The prison staff was pardoned (of course!), but some inmate collaborationists were condemned to death. Combining composition and improvisation, rigor and passion, minor tones and grand gestures, the music touches us deeply. Trespass Trio became one of the most defying units of the contemporary European jazz and each new opus is a masterpiece. “The Spirit of Pitesti” is no exception. Not to be missed.

1. Sounds & Ruins (Take 3)
2. The Spirit Of Pitești
3. In Tears
4. Fri Kokko (Free Retardo At The Koko Club)
5. Centers
6. Sounds & Ruins (Take 2)

Per Zanussi  double bass
Raymond Strid  drums and percussion
Martin Küchen  baritone, alto and sopranino saxophones

All compositions rights reserved by STIM/NCB (Sweden) or TONO (Norway)

Recorded by Audun Rødsten & Morten Brekke Stensland for Mikkis Recording Company at Biermanngården, Oslo, Norway at the 29th of November 2015 | Mixed and mastered by Jakob Riis Produced by Trespass | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Liner notes by Martin Küchen


Brian McCarthy, Justin Kauflin and more mix Civil War history with Jazz



Brian McCarthy Nonet - The Better Angels Of Our Nature (June 13, 2017)

On The Better Angels Of Our Nature, McCarthy arranges Union and Confederate folk songs and original music for his Nonet featuring several Clark Terry alumni

“Saxophonist Brian McCarthy takes a progressive approach to straight-ahead jazz, demonstrating a strong command of the jazz saxophone lineage.” — John Barron, Jazz World Blog

“[McCarthy] touches those roads Joshua Redman travels on with a fresh footing. This band excels at building anticipation… exciting.” — Fiona Ord-Shrimpton, All About Jazz



Looking back on the most divisive moment in American history (no matter how much the current day seems ready to claim that title), saxophonist Brian McCarthy finds the roots of jazz in Civil War-era songs and spirit. On his new album, The Better Angels Of Our Nature, McCarthy pairs insightful new arrangements of vintage wartime folk songs with vibrant new compositions for his skilled Nonet to explore the clashing inspirations and enduring influence of the war that turned brother against brother in a battle over the soul of America.

Due out June 13 via Truth Revolution Recording Collective, The Better Angels Of Our Nature takes its title from the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address. The speech, addressed in large part to the citizens of the Southern states, was offered in a spirit of reconciliation and hope for reunification with the seceded Confederacy. McCarthy’s music locates the better angels at the heart of music representing the North, the South, and the African-American slaves who weren’t considered full citizens but whose fate hung in the balance of the brutal conflict.

A self-professed Civil War history buff, McCarthy found the era an ideal subject for the large-scale project that grew out of a Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant. The war has long served as the starting point for the Jazz History class that McCarthy teaches at Johnson State College, as “a time before jazz existed, but a time that was crucial to its existence.” As he explains, “Jazz came from the African-American experience here in America. Out of the darkness of terrible slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow came this really beautiful art form. 


McCarthy designed the music of The Better Angels Of Our Nature for his nine-piece ensemble, largely composed of longtime collaborators dating from his days at William Paterson University, many of them fellow alumni of legendary trumpeter Clark Terry’s band. Pianist Justin Kauflin (whose relationship with the late CT was documented in the moving documentary Keep On Keepin’ On), tenor saxophonist Stantawn Kendrick and trombonist Cameron MacManus all spent time under the jazz icon’s wing, a shared experience that McCarthy says left them all with “a deep appreciation for history. It was awe-inspiring just to play with him, but there were times when we’d just be hanging out and hearing stories about Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Pops. I realized that he was living jazz history.”

The band also features trumpeter Bill Mobley, one of McCarthy’s teachers and compositional mentors at WPU, along with baritone saxophonist Andrew Gutauskas, one of McCarthy’s earliest friends and collaborators at the school. Saxophonist Daniel Ian Smith is a professor at McCarthy’s wife’s alma mater, Berklee College of Music, while drummer Zach Harmon is a recent transplant to McCarthy’s native Vermont who suggested bassist Matt Aronoff as an ideal rhythm section partner.


Many of the compositions on The Better Angels Of Our Nature date from the Civil War era, in transcendent new arrangements that discover richly emotional harmonies in music from a most disharmonious time. The album begins with Harry McCarthy’s “The Bonnie Blue Flag,” a song adapted from a traditional Irish tune to tout the Southern cause. The saxophonist (no relation) undergirds the piece’s brisk, patriotic swagger with a darker undercurrent evoking the “oppressive foundation of the Confederacy.”

Julia Ward Howe’s familiar “Battle Hymn of the Old Republic,” built on the melody of the Union’s marching song, “John Brown’s Body,” couples the optimistic spirit of the Northern cause with a tinge of mournfulness, hinting at the profound loss entailed by the years-long struggle. Equally well-known to modern ears, “I Wish I Was In Dixie’s Land” was most likely originally penned as a parodic minstrel song before being co-opted as a Southern anthem. McCarthy’s raucous rendition returns the song to its African-American roots with blues and gospel accents and a ferocity inspired by the audacious rebelliousness of Frederick Douglass.

The spiritual “Oh Freedom” becomes a lush chorale for the horn section, while “Weeping, Sad and Lonely” is given an elegiac treatment better suited to Charles Sawyer’s autumnal lyrics than Henry Tucker’s upbeat original setting. Bonus track “All Quiet Along the Potomac To-night” sticks close to John Hill Hewitt’s 1863 setting of Ethel Lynn Beers’ poem recounting the First Battle of Bull Run. One crucial fact turned up by McCarthy’s research was that George Frederick Root’s “Battle Cry of Freedom” was equally important, with slightly altered lyrics, to soldiers on both sides of the conflict. While both original versions were sung to the same tune, McCarthy heightens the divide by splitting his arrangement in half, each reflecting an opposing take on the source.


McCarthy’s original compositions try to imagine the mood and atmosphere of the period when these songs were written. “Shiloh” is a gorgeously aching ballad highlighted by the composer’s yearning soprano, while the title track is a musical interpretation of Lincoln’s first inaugural address in three sections: the driving, no-nonsense opening section, “The Lawyer,” captures the President’s most rational arguments for the Union; the chaotic “The President” depicts the burdens of leading a nation divided; while the tender “The Person” is a portrait of Lincoln the humanist, whose rhetoric soared to embrace the better angels of an embattled public’s natures.

Since graduating from William Paterson University, Brian McCarthy has played a key role in the jazz community of his native Vermont, where he lives just outside of Burlington. He released his acclaimed leader debut, This Just In, in 2013, and plays regularly with his own ensembles and alongside trumpeter Ray Vega. He is a member of the faculty at the University of Vermont, teaches at Johnson State College and is director of bands at Saint Michael's College.