Now, for the first time ever, “Matt Bianco”, the eponymous, sophomore album by continental, Latin, Jazz, Pop combo MATT BIANCO, has been remastered and expanded. Originally released in 1986, Matt Bianco (UK #26) achieved platinum and gold sales status throughout the UK and Europe. Matt Bianco were part of the sophisticated pop sound that included Sade, Carmel, Swing Out Sister, The Style Council and many others during the mid-80s. This deluxe edition features 31 tracks including the original 10-song album alongside 21 bonus recordings - 13 mark their appearance on CD for the first time, four of which are previously unreleased…
In terms of the scale of his compositions, John Adams' career is somewhat anomalous for a contemporary composer. While the usual pattern tends to be for a composer to begin a career writing smaller pieces (which have a far likelier chance of being performed) and then expanding to larger forms as his or her reputation grows, Adams (with very few exceptions) was writing large-scale operas and orchestral and choral works starting in the early '80s and didn't begin devoting himself to chamber music with any regularity until the mid-'90s.
Some things just get better with time. Red wine and self-confidence, for instance, or Matt Bianco. The legendary British group, named after an imaginary Sixties superspy in the Eighties, is adored around the world for hits like "Half A Minute", "Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed", "Whose Side Are You On?", or "Yeh Yeh". For their fifteenth album "Gravity", front-man, vocalist and songwriter Mark Reilly recruited a superb new band featuring Swedish sax- and flute-star Magnus Lindgren and a large chunk of Jamie Cullum's group. Their mission: reviving and modernizing Matt Bianco's Bossa- and Jazz-roots, while keeping the easy going swing of former successes, built around the singularly recognizable Dry-Martini-voice of Mark Reilly. The result is an energetic, yet relaxed collection of ten original songs, with enough gravity to please their most sophisticated admirers and plenty of new fans, who might have been bitten by the Jazz-bug via a Gregory Porter or Jamie Cullum.
A Pouting Grimace is the audacious new release from pianist/composer Matt Mitchell, whose prior release Vista Accumulation (Pi 2015) The New York Times calls “a bold signature” that “simmers with deep intensity.” Not only is he one of the most in-demand pianists in jazz – Mitchell plays in bands such as Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, Steve Coleman’s Natal Eclipse, the Dave Douglas Quintet, John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, Jonathan Finlayson’s Sicilian Defense, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Birdcalls, and David Binney’s Quartet — he has established himself as a composer of bold distinction. Substantial in scope, the album, which features twelve musicians: five woodwinds, four percussionists, harp, bass, and the leader on piano, Prophet 6, and electronics, weaves an intricate web of off-kilter rhythms and logical frenzy. Produced by the acclaimed guitarist/composer David Torn, the work is completely beyond genre, a daring tour de force that headily mines the interstice between precision-plotted compositions and the thrill of improvisation.