<p>May I Introduce to You</p>

May I Introduce to You

When Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play, he couldn’t have foreseen the extraordinary San Francisco String Trio. The Bay Area super-group featuring guitarist Mimi Fox, bassist/vocalist Jeff Denson, and violinist Mads Tolling has found a consistently enthralling vehicle for musical exploration in the 1967 masterpiece. May I Introduce to You is the trio’s debut album and a loving homage to the classic Beatles record on its 50th anniversary. The SF String Trio brings together three celebrated masters who have each recorded critically acclaimed albums as bandleaders. Much like the Beatles drew on an array of traditions and styles in crafting Sgt. Pepper’s, the cooperative ensemble approaches each track as an opportunity to imbue supremely familiar songs with a sense of delight and surprise. The idea was to do something different to shake up these fantastic songs, but not just for the sake of doing something new, says Fox. We’re all coming from a jazz background and we like to mix things up. The trio’s emotional connection to Sgt. Pepper’s is evident throughout May I Introduce to You, and every track sheds a bright and revealing light on the genius of the Beatles. Tolling transfuses some of Joe Cocker’s gospel fervor into his ballad arrangement of With A Little Help From My Friends, and sets a good deal of Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds to a crunching 5/4 beat. Fox evokes George Harrison’s sitar with a sleek modal interpretation of Within You Without You and delivers a ravishing solo rendition of She’s Leaving Home. Denson’s arrangement of Fixing A Hole incorporates his striking vocals, as does his multilayered unpacking of A Day In the Life, another tour de force that distills the song’s essence while winding its way to a surprising climax, with Fox’s twang replacing the famous last crashing chord.

Available 9/8/2017

Download official Press Release
San Francisco String Trio Press Release (word docx)
San Francisco String Trio Press Release (pdf)

Learn more at sfstringtrio.com

Metal na Madeira

Metal na Madeira

Metal na Madeira (Metal on Wood) is more than a portrait of two artists carrying out a project together. It is a portrait of Brazil, more specifically the Brazilian Northeast. The album art was developed based on a traditional Northeastern art called Xylography, in which the artist develops an image by engraving wood with a metal object. Likewise, Ian Faquini and Paula Santoro engrave their music into the listener’s heart as the metallic harmonics of the voice interplay with the wooden tone of the guitar.

The album features all original compositions by Faquini and presents a fresh take on traditional Northeastern rhythms such as Maracatu, Frevo, Baião, Xote, and Toada, maintaining a foot in the past while stepping towards the future with modern harmonic and melodic structures. The lyrics of the CD describe the exuberance and poverty of that region of Brazil –the joy, colors and natural beauty, but also sadness, drought and longing of a people who are accustomed to extremes.

Metal na Madeira counts on an All-Star cast of collaborators and special guests who helped develop the album’s unique sound. It features Saxophone extraordinaire Spok, who arranged the explosively joyous title track and plays soprano sax alongside Harvey Wainapel on alto sax and clarinets on his own beautiful and soulful arrangement of Pinhem-Pinhem, Jeff Cressman on trombone, Vitor Gonçalves on Rhodes and accordion, Scott Thompson on bass, Rafael Barata on drums and percussion, Sergio Krakowski on pandeiro and Sandy Cressman and Viven Monica Golcwajg on backing vocals.

Paula and Ian first met through the Brazilian composer Guinga, with whom Paula collaborated on a record and tour around Brazil and Europe in 2007, launching the composer’s album titled “Casa de Villa”. Ian met Guinga when he was 16 and this encounter changed his life. Ian fell in love with Guinga’s music and began devoting himself deeply to composing and exploring his own Brazilian roots through music.

In 2014, when Paula and Ian were both part of the faculty at California Brazil Camp- a performing arts camp focused on Brazilian music and dance, Paula fell in love with his compositions and their partnership began. The mutual admiration sparked a desire to record an album together and they did so at the famous Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA in September of 2015.

Opaluna

Opaluna

opaluna

Opaluna blends the versatile voice of Susana Pineda, a singer from Medellín Colombia, and guitar maestro Lu Salcedo, from the Bay Area, to create a culturally rich fabric of color and sound. Their music explores the frontiers of folk, rock, Latin groove, as well as the many vibrant colors of jazz. Their audience is invited to join for the adventure through the fusion. Released August 26, 2016

Concentric Circles

Concentric Circles

Concentric Circles is the fifth album by Denson and after the last three where he explored freely improvised music, a unique take on gospels and hymns, and a tribute to the music of Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz, he has returned to exploring his original compositions in the same vein as his initial recording, Secret World.

Denson’s music pushes through the boundaries of conventions in music. By inventively mixing the world of composed and improvised music, Jeff Denson creates a unique language of his own, where intoxicating melodies and rhythms transport the listener away to unknown lands where vivid hues of tone paint the aural canvas of the inner ear.

Arctic

Arctic

Ratatet sprang out of a collective trio, formed in 2014 named Electreo, which consists of of Alan Hall, Jeff Denson and Paul Hanson. In the process of writing music for Electreo, Alan’s desire to write for a larger ensemble grew, and once all the personnel pieces fell into place, the Ratatet was formed. The members of Ratatet include Paul Hanson on bassoon and tenor saxophone, John Gove on trombone, Dillon Vado on vibraphone, Greg Sankovich on organ, acoustic and electric piano, Jeff Denson on acoustic bass, fretted & fretless electric bass, vocals and leader, arranger/composer and drummer Alan Hall.

The members of Ratatet have played and/or recorded  with an assortment of great musicians, groups and organizations, including Geoffrey Keezer, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Art Lande, Minsarah, Paul McCandless, Lee Konitz, Cirque Du Soleil, Kenny Werner,  Kai Eckhardt, Cuong Vu, Ralph Alessi.

The adventuresome spirit exemplified by the band’s novel instrumentation is also reflected in leader Alan Hall’s cliché-free and melody-rich compositions on Arctic, the outfit’s genre-dissolving debut recording. Incorporating prime elements of jazz (from mainstream to fusion), funk, rock, South American idioms and classical music, Ratatet categorically rejects rigid categorization. This co-existence of extremes is evidenced in the range of material, emotive nature, and vibe of the music, composed by drummer and band-leader Alan Hall. The title and music on Arctic embodies a sense of wide expanse, adventure, loss and new discovery. Utilizing the unique sonic nature of bassoon, trombone and vibes with the classic jazz trio back line of piano, bass and drums, new ground is broken. Stellar soloists Paul Hanson and John Gove set the tunes ablaze while Vado, Sankovich, Denson and Hall keep things roiling underneath.

Download official Press Release
Arctic Press Release (word docx)
Arctic Press Release (pdf)

Learn more at ratatet.com

Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz

Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz

After largely focusing on standards for the last decade, the Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz take a fresh look at some of the Music of the “Lennie Tristano School” (compositions by Tristano, Konitz, Marsh and Bauer)

Jeff takes an unusual approach doubling the complex themes of the Tristano School and interweaving the solo lines like the historic duo of Konitz and Marsh.