For the first time in over a decade – Chiaroscuro Records are excited to prepare two brand new releases for the label! On September 24th, Chiaroscuro is proud to release new works from both Phil Woods and the Festial Ochestra, and The Bill Mays Inventions Trio.
Phil Woods’ New Celebration is the long-awaited follow-up to his 1997 Grammy® Award-nominated release Celebration, and features many of the same players, along with a number of other world-class musicians from Woods’ Poconos home region comprising the 18-piece Festival Orchestra. All but two of the compositions – Johnny Mandel’s “Here’s to Alvy” and Al Cohn’s arrangement of Raye & de Paul’s gorgeous “You Don’t Know What Love Is” (featuring vocalist Najwa Parkins) – were specially written and arranged by Woods for this recording, which was done in April of 2013. Woods’ extraordinary writing creates an ideal setting for his solo virtuosity, as well as some excellent contributions by other members of the orchestra. But more than being a launching pad for solos, the arrangements display a mastery of context that makes each piece a fully conceived and compelling musical story. Woods’ longtime friend Quincy Jones contributes liner notes for the CD, Woods’ second album as a leader on Chiaroscuro.
Life’s a Movie is the third project by Bill Mays’ highly imaginative Inventions Trio, and his first recording for Chiaroscuro. Featuring the versatile and impeccable Marvin Stamm on trumpet, and the excellent young classically-trained and vividly swinging cellist, Alisa Horn, the Inventions Trio embodies the essence of synergy and masterful interplay that is so important to successful “chamber” jazz. The album is centered around an imaginary soundtrack – the title suite – that beautifully displays Mays’ compositional and conceptual skills. There is also a heartfelt tribute to the immortal Bill Evans with a medley of four Evans’ originals; a tour of Spain with the trio’s version of Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” (which earned a permanent place in jazz history through Miles’ Sketches of Spain) and Chick Corea’s own classic “Spain,” inspired by the same piece; and a three-piece medley from the utterly unique Thelonious Monk.
Check back here for all the latest news on both of these exciting releases.