Monday, May 7, 2012

Ponty Tribute; Amina's Twelfth - Bob Stewart

Internationally renowned violinist Mads Tolling grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark, and moved to the U.S. at age 20 to pursue jazz studies at Berklee College in Boston. While still in school, Jean-Luc Ponty recommended Mads to join Stanley Clarke's band. Since then, Mads has performed more that 100 concerts with Clarke worldwide. He's also been part of the Turtle Island String Quartet that won two Grammy Awards during his tenure. Mads has also performed with Joe Lovano, Kenny Barron and Paquito D'Rivera. Since 2007 he's led his own quartet, which now delivers its third disc, a neo-fusion tribute to his hero, "Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty: Live at Yoshi's."

Azerbaijan-born pianist and composer Amina Figarova's twelfth release as a leader, entitled "Twelve", celebrates jazz as an international music and New York City as a locale where jazz gypsies may feel most at home. Having collaborated with musicians from the U.S. and Europe over the last 18 years, her sextet has triumphed on the main stage of the Newport Jazz Festival and won critical and audience acclaim in Chicago, Detroit, Paris, Amsterdam and New York. A suite of compositions written last year after moving with her husband, flutist Bart Platteau, to Queens in New York from their long-time home in Holland, the disc depicts the subtleties of her response to the great American metropolis.

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