Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year 2017 from Cuneiform Records!


[Sunrise at Thor's Hammer, Bryce Canyon National Park - Courtesy of National Park Service]

ALL of us at CUNEIFORM RECORDS

wish music lovers & creators &

EVERYONE

around the world

a Happy New Year 2017!


Dear friends in music;

LOOKING BACK: 2016 was a year of DIVISION and DIVISIVENESS
Social, economic, political, racial and religious differences served as flashpoints worldwide this past year. Anti-social commentary polluted the cyber world and hate crimes, terrorism and civil wars scarred the physical world, all poisoning social discourse and trust. During the US presidential campaign, public discourse sunk to the gutter, stoking further division.



LOOKING FORWARD: May 2017 be a year of CONNECTION and COMMON GROUND
May the New Year renew our hope in the goodness of mankind, and bring healing to our planet’s ravaged social, political, and physical fabrics. We are one on this planet.



We can find hope for 2017, and inspiration for a brighter global future, in two 2016 Cuneiform albums that focus on finding common ground, connecting with humankind, and embracing and caring for our planet: Connection by Empirical, and America's National Parks, by Wadada Leo Smith.

Early in 2016, Cuneiform released an album by the British jazz quartet Empirical. Called Connection, the album's name, cover, and music says it all. Empirical connect with each other as humans and musicians, and they work to connect jazz tradition with its future in part by connecting busy working people with jazz music. In February 2016, Empirical pioneered a means to make music/culture/art fully and freely accessible to the general public, by opening a jazz pop-up lounge for a week in one of London’s busiest subway stations, as documented in the video below. (Additional pop-up jazz lounges are planned for 2017.) 2016 was a memorable year for Empirical, who also won two notable jazz awards: the 2016 APPJAG (Parliamentary) Jazz Award for “Jazz Ensemble of the Year” and the 2016 Urban Music Awards “Best Jazz Act”.



Towards the end of 2016, Cuneiform released Wadada Leo Smith's America's National Parks, a two-CD set honoring our nation's precious common property, America's shared public grounds. Its release coincided with the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, which oversees America's National Parks. The idea to establish national parks by setting aside the nation's most magnificent places as a shared heritage for everyman instead of privately reserving them was a radical and uniquely American innovation that spread worldwide. The concept captivated Smith. Smith’s work celebrates these public spaces, and advocates for expanding and preserving them for the future of our diverse Nation and of generations to come. These public lands are our national heritage, and whatever and whenever political, religious and/or social differences divide us – as they do now—it’s essential to remember that we literally, figuratively, and spiritually come together as One People on these truly Common Grounds.


2016 has been a stellar year for Wadada Leo Smith. He received several awards, including the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and the Hammer Museum's 2016 Mohn Award for Career Achievement, and an honorary doctorate from CalArts. He released an album with Vijay Iyer on ECM, called A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke, which is appearing in countless Best of 2016 lists worldwide. America's National Parks is likewise appearing on countless Best of 2016 lists worldwide. To cite but a few: America's National Parks was named #1 Best Jazz Album of 2016 by The Quietus ; #1 on Dusted's Best of 2016; #2 on NPR Jazz Critics' Poll; #6 on Slates' Best Jazz Albums of 2016; and in The New York Time's Best Albums of 2016.

2016 was a year of GREAT MUSIC RELEASES
Despite the past year's distressing socio-political developments, 2016 proved to be a banner year for high-quality music at Cuneiform. We released 15 albums of adventurous, genre-defying jazz, rock, electronic & beyond music, nearly all of which appeared on numerous Best of 2016 lists around the world. Notably, Cuneiform's 2016 releases won slots on prominent BEST ALBUMS of YEAR lists in several different categories: in BEST JAZZ ALBUM, in BEST ROCK ALBUM, and in BEST LATIN MUSIC ALBUMS. To cite but a few examples, Bent Knee's Say So was #8 on POPMATTERS' BEST PROGRESSIVE ROCK & METAL FOR 2016, Sao Paulo Underground's Cantos Invisiveis was on NPR ALT-LATINO'S BEST LATIN MUSIC OF 2016, Wadada Leo Smith's America's National Parks appeared on the New York Times' and countless other Best Albums of the Year list. Numerous Cuneiform albums appeared on Best Jazz Albums of the Year lists. For instance, Thumbscrew (Mary Halvorson/Michael Formanek/Tomas Fujiwara) Convallaria; Ed Palermo Big Band's One Child Left Behind; and Gary Lucas’ Fleischerei Music from Max Fleischer Cartoons all appeared in Downbeat 's Best Albums of 2016, while The Claudia Quintet's Super Petite appeared in the Huffington Post's Best Jazz of 2016.


   


IN GRATITUDE FOR THE PRESENT & OPTIMISM FOR THE FUTURE

Cuneiform would like to thank the journalists, editors, dj and other music professionals and music lovers who voted for our releases in the Best of Year polls; the music professionals who’ve supported us in 2016 in the press or on radio, and to all those who have purchased our music in any and all formats. We know that there is a lot of music and other concerns vying for your time, attention and finances; THANK YOU for the interest that you show in our label, our music and our artists.

If you'd like to see a comprehensive list of all our 2016 releases, scroll below.

We would also like to thank all of the musicians that we've worked with over the the past year; we're honored to have been able to release your superb music.

Working together with ALL of you - music fans, music professionals, and musicians - we can bring many positive things – including a lot of great music – to life in 2017. We’ve already scheduled some amazing jazz and rock releases for February 20917: new recordings by the Microscopic Septet (Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues); the Ed Palermo Big Band; Chicago/London Underground; and Thinking Plague. TOGETHER, all of us in the world of music CAN and WILL create a lot of GOOD. We thank you for continuing your very special CONNECTION with Cuneiform Records, a connection which we treasure.
Best regards

Joyce, Director of Publicity & Promo
for the Cuneiform Records Team

visit us online:
www.cuneiformrecords.com
www.twitter.com/cuneiformrecord
www.facebook.com/cuneiformrecords

--

Cuneiform's Year in Review 2016

Rock & Beyond: New Recordings
Bent Knee
Say So
Genre: Rock / Indie Rock /
Art-Rock / Pop / Avant-Progressive
Release Date: 5/20/2016
"Leak Water"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
Deus Ex Machina
Devoto
Genre: Rock / Progressive / Fusion
Release Date: 6/24/2016
"Figli (Sons)"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
Richard Pinhas
& Barry Cleveland
[Featuring: Michael Manring & Celso Alberti]
Mu

Genre: Avant-Progressive / Art Rock / Experimental / Fourth World / Psychedelic
Release Date: 9/16/2016
"Zen/Unzen" [excerpt]
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
Richard Pinhas /
Tatsuya Yoshida /
Masami Akita [Merzbow]
Process and Reality
Genre: Rock /  Electronic / Experimental / Noise
Release Date: 9/16/2016
"TVJ 33 (Core Track)" [excerpt]
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

Jazz & Beyond: New Recordings
Rez Abbasi & Junction
Behind the Vibration
Genre: Jazz / Jazz-Rock /
Electric Jazz / Fusion
Release Date: 5/20/2016
"Self-Brewing"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
The Claudia Quintet
Super Petite
Genre: Jazz / Post-Jazz
Release Date: 6/24/2016
"JFK Beagle"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
Empirical
Connection
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 2/5/2016
"The Two-Edged Sword"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
Ergo
As subtle as tomorrow
Genre: Jazz / Electronic / Minimalism
Release Date: 2/5/2016
"That never came"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
I.P.A.
I Just Did Say Something
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 6/24/2016
"Sir William"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
Gary Lucas' Fleischerei
[featuring Sarah Stiles]
Music from Max Fleischer Cartoons
Genre: Jazz / Musical
Release Date: 2/5/2016
"The Broken Record"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
Naima
Bye
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 1/22/2016
"Bye"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
The Ed Palermo Big Band
One Child Left Behind
Genre: Jazz / Big Band
Release Date: 1/22/2016
"Dirty White Bucks"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
São Paulo Underground
Cantos Invisíveis
Genre: Jazz / Tropicalia / Electronic / World / Psychedelic / Post-Jazz
Release Date: 10/16/2016
"Olhaluai"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
Wadada Leo Smith
America's National Parks

Release Date: 10/16/2016
"New Orleans: The National Culture Park USA 1718 [Excerpt]"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
Thumbscrew:
Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek, Tomas Fujiwara
Convallaria
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 5/20/2016
"Sampsonian Rhythms"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

and...
This 15 song compilation album, Cuneiform Records: The Albums of 2016, features over 80 minutes of simply great and utterly creative music made by musicians from around the globe; selected from albums that Cuneiform Records released in 2016.

It is now available to stream or download at a price of YOUR OWN choosing via Cuneiform's Bandcamp page.