- Best Instrumental Jazz Composition - "Yellowstone: The First National Park and the Spirit of America – The Mountains, Super-Volcano Caldera and Its Ecosystem 1872" Listen to "Yellowstone..."
"A trumpeter and composer of penetrating insight."
- The New York Times
With America’s National Parks, visionary composer and Wadada Leo Smith offers his latest epic collection, a suite inspired by the scenic splendor, historic legacy, and political controversies of the country’s public landscapes. Writing for his Golden Quintet, Smith crafts six extended works that explore, confront and question the preserved natural resources that are considered the most hallowed ground in the U.S. – and some that should be.
America's National Parks : Released:
Oct.14, 2016 on Cuneiform Album Awards 2017/2016:
* 2017 Jazz Album of the Year -DownBeat Critics Poll
* Best Jazz Album of 2016 -The Quietus
* #1 on Dusted's Best of 2016
* #1 Jazz CD by The Wire
* #2 on NPRJazz Critics' Poll
* #6 on Slates' Best Jazz Albums of 2016 *The New York Time's Best Albums of 2016
"Wadada Leo Smith: National Treasure"
- DownBeat Magazine cover feature Nov.2016
"Smith is a true master, and America's National Parks is one of his most visionary works"
"Smith uses his magisterial instrumental voice, his inspirational leadership and his command of classical, jazz and blues forms to remind us of what has gone down and what's still happening." - DownBeat Magazine
Wadada Leo Smith - Awards 2017/2016: DownBeat Int'l Critics’ Poll:
2017 Musician of the Year
2017 Trumpeter of the Year
2017 Album of the Year-America's National Parks Jazz Journalist Association:
2017 Jazz Artist of the Year Jazz Times Critics Poll
2016 Artists of the Year
2016 Composer of the Year
““Arranging is the fun part for me,” [says Palermo] …’ Hearing an arrangement played is the cherry on top, but the process of writing, when the ideas are flowing, that’s the main meal. ...if a day goes by without arranging, I miss it.””
- "Overdue Ovation: Ed Palermo - The Gil Evans of prog-rock",
by Mac Randall, Jazz Times, June 2017
"[Palermo's] skills as an arranger impressed the late Gil Evans, and he’s earned the respect of contemporary heavyweights such as bassist/composer Christian McBride. “I know at least 30 musicians who think he’s one of the greatest musicians and arrangers in the world,” McBride says."
-"Funny as He Goes: Bandleader Ed Palermo laces his seriously good music with wit and irreverence”,
by Michael Roberts, Jazziz, May 2017
The Ed Palermo Big Band's double-disc release, The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 1 & 2, is a big band jazz love letter to the rockers who ruled the AM and FM airwaves in the 1960s via successive waves of the British Invasion. Led by New Jersey saxophonist, composer and arranger Ed Palermo, the 18-piece EPBB lovingly reinvents songs, leaving them readily recognizable and utterly transformed. The stellar cast of players, many of whom have been in the band for more than a decade, bring expert musicianship and emotional intensity to Palermo’s music. Released Feb.24, 2017
“…this ace bandleader-arranger is dead serious about his song-renovations, striving for exceptional music...premium jazz. Palermo bloody well nails it. ...
Palermo’s modern alchemists spin everything they touch into gold…4 stars”
"Palermo… crafts swinging large ensemble jazz interpretations of both well known and obscure tracks…which breathe new life into these older songs. …The results are phenomenal.
…there is undeniable depth as well as requisite wit... These are not throwaway arrangements, and there is plenty of musical virtuosity. … Palermo…proves jazz is alive and well, and can sound funny and serious at the same time.”
“…it’s a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the last 50-odd years of prominent musical Brits filtered through a decidedly modern big band lens. …
It’s a brilliant bit of musical reimagining that has long been the hallmark of progressive jazz figures (John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things,” anyone?) and proves well-suited to Palermo’s strengths as an arranger. ...
There are countless moments of intricately virtuosic instrumental interplay…always in service of the arrangement...
…The Great Un-American Songbook: Volumes I & II is a wickedly enjoyable listen from top to bottom. Rating: 8/10”
"Anyone should be entertained by...the powerhouse energy of the 18-piece EPBB. [Rating: Music 4.5/5Sonics 4/5]“
- The Absolute Sound
Hand-assembled origami recording package.
Released on Cuneiform May 26, 2017.
- Best Music Video -
The Great Harry Hillman
"How To Dice an Onion"
360° Music Video for "How to Dice an Onion" from Tilt
"“How To Dice an Onion” is a zany wedge of experimental rock er, jazz…eh, it almost defies categorization. Pulsing like a strobe light, it’s carefree but carefree with a collective mindset and a melodic pattern you can hang your hat on. It’s even dance worthy, something you can’t often say about such way out music with a heavy improv bent. The music video..puts those qualities of the song into vivid, visual display: the band members merrily strutting about as they perform amidst dancing mimes and people in dogs costumes, a trapeze artist overhead and folks frolicking in soap bubbles. It’s all goofy fun, like the song itself.
If you don’t see everything in the video I just described, just take your mouse and drag it across the video screen. Yes, it’s a 360º video! A panoramic scene that has no top, bottom, left or right. You can spend hours watching..and see something new with each viewing. Pretty nifty, huh? The gumption of the Great Harry Hillman knows no bounds."
- Something Else! 360* Video Premiere
"Swiss post-jazz ready for discovery. This...forward-veering jazz group inexplicably borrowed its name from American Olympian Harry Hillman, who won three gold medals in the 1904 Summer Olympics. ...If you think a foursome who gets its name from an obscure athlete might be a bit different, you’d be correct. ...“How to Dice an Onion”...squeezes experimental rock and jazz together with a touch of Danny Elfman meets Sonic Youth. This is jaunty music which showcases the band’s collective approach and the group’s ability to tinker with expectations and harmonic advancement. “How to Dice an Onion” is nearly dance-ready..."
- Audiophile Audition
"All non- conventional, immediately accessible and, most importantly, fun to listen to. ...The Great Harry Hillman masterfully blends atmospherics with improvisation and Tilt should bring the group some well-deserved recognition in the U.S."
- All About Jazz
"All the sounds melt and morph as if they were fever-dream memories of a tropical street party." - DownBeat
Consisting of Marfa, TX resident Rob Mazurek, Guilherme Granado and Mauricio Takara of São Paulo, Brazil, and the Swiss-born Thomas Rohrer, São Paulo Underground is a multi-national, multi-ethnic, multi-everything band whose music blends elements from cutting-edge and traditional Brazilian music with avant jazz and much more. Cantos Invisíveis, their 5th album, features a glorious program of music evoking lost haunts, enduring love, and the sheer delirious joy of making music together. Released on Cuneiform Oct. 14, 2016.
NPR BEST MUSIC OF 2016: Alt.Latino Picks The Best Latin Music of 2016
Hear the Songs: São Paulo Underground 'Of Golden Summer' from Cantos Invisiveis
"Musicians in every style of the genre we call Latin alternative music are subtly - or not so subtly -challenging expectations and redefining musical rules."
"São Paulo Underground's work...draws from multiple traditions, each of them already porous and absorbent, and combines ideas from each into something utterly new, while keeping it welcoming to almost any curious listener."
- The Wire
"Mixing the opaque with the diffused and blurring the lines between electric and acoustic, Rob Mazurek’s wide ambition continues to race toward the outer limits of what is possible in music." - Something Else
"Cheer-Accident are the quintessential Chicago post-rock band that, sadly, you may have never heard of. Too bad. They've been exploring head-scratching, creatively fucked-up time signatures and sideways guitar shenanigans...leaving a pronounced influence on the Windy City's art-rock scene. Their playful musical approach is a ripe aesthetic of absurdist humor."
"Putting Off Death… bristles with a dynamic mix of jump-cut, quirky rhythms, densely-wrought instrumental orchestration and complex arrangements coupled with uplifting melodies, lyrical and reflective songs whose subject matter ponders questions both ineffable and, as the album title implies, the inevitable."
- Prog Magazine UK
Against all the odds and in the face of an unstable music industry, Chicago avant-rock pioneers CHEER-ACCIDENT have survived over multiple decades to release their 18th album, Putting Off Death. Their new set of songs is as unpredictable, exploratory and viscerally compelling as anything they’ve ever released. The music is action packed and filled to the brim with living, breathing humanity. The band’s continuing hunger bleeds through in the music’s immediacy. As Jones says, "There's still something to prove."
Released on Cuneiform May 12, 2017
“…Cheer Accident’s latest feels like the album Robert Wyatt would have made if he’d...chosen instead to embrace the teen idolhood that could have greeted him post- his hit with “I’m a Believer.”
A lot less strange than either Ruth or Richard, then, and a long way up from rock bottom, Cheer Accident have concocted what could easily rank among America’s best albums of the year-so-far. Indeed, Putting Off Death opens with a haunting triptych of opening numbers that lean towards so many different poles that their sheer coherence is an art form in itself, all the more so since they never lose sight of their essential melodics.”
"Stumbling upon Cheer- Accident’s unique amalgam of prog and pop is like blundering blindfolded into one of Daniel Silver’s alien sculpture parks and finding yourself sniffing blooms in a fantastical flower garden…
There’s the initial tentative touching upon of relics…(echoes of The Beatles, Magma, News From Babel and Talk Talk reassembled into perversely fresh forms)….More than three decades on from their formation...Cheer-Accident continue to exhibit an unbridled enthusiasm for technicality in (e)motion, matched only by their propensity for invention. Without any doubt, Putting Off Death will be one of 2017’s very best. 5/5 stars."
- Record Collector
“With Putting Off Death, ...veteran art-rock oddballs Cheer-Accident continue to confound”
- Chicago Reader
"Yes boy and girls, at long last we have a band that is determined to keep the name “Cardiacs” alive and kicking. ...this is complex, tight, and completely off the wall.
Don’t try to work out what time signature a certain piece of a song may be in, or what chord structure they are using, and instead just relish the total insanity and musical chaos of what is going on. They use a (fairly) straightforward musical line-up, just use the instruments in somewhat unusual manners. ...Yes, they all sing. I love this album, it’s just plain awesome... the songs...manage to be melodic as well as, well, weird. Zappa would love these guys...worth discovering."
Fifteen years in the making, Minnesota eclectic prog / avant-pop / art-math quintet Bubblemath's sophmore sequence, Edit Peptide, provides a worthwhile wait with it's lively textures, wacky and virtuosic musicianship, hypnotically robust vocals and charmingly astute attitude. Blending in-your-face intricacy with eccentric experimentation, dense and poppy harmonies, symphonic vibrancy and tongue-in-cheek foundation, Bubblemath make serious and seriously quirky music that doesn't take itself too seriously and allows the fun to shine through. Released on Cuneiform May 26, 2017
"All manner of minds have been exercised trying to visualize where prog would have gone had exhaustion, punk rock, and a desperate need to escape the genre not conspired to rip its heart out, somewhere around 1975.
Not until the emergence of Bubblemath, however, did any suggestions really seem to fit. …
Bubblemath...hit the nail on the head, and they continue to do so today, with an album that could never have been released at the time, but if you follow an imaginary lineage from then-till-now, Edit Peptide is exactly where we should be today."
"More remarkable than this attention to detail and meticulous sense of imagination is Bubblemath’s reluctance to sound like anyone else in the pantheon of prog. …the remarkable originality at work in this music ultimately prevails. …
What we have, then, is that rarest of musical artifacts, a sophomore release that lives up to its predecessor and may very well supplant it as an enticing and memorable statement." - PopMatters
"…Edit Peptide is an exhilarating white knuckle ride... At times jaw-dropping, the technique is used to service the music and the pop elements are frequently on hand, despite the skewed nature of the compositions. … Edit Peptide is a quite magnificent achievement...it’s a wonder to behold!"
- The Progressive Aspect
Dedicated to cutting-edge, avant-garde music of the highest caliber from around the world, the adventurous and long-standing (founded 1984) Cuneiform Records record label has one of the most impressive catalogues of creative music in the world. Our roster of artists includes established icons as well as fast-rising stars artists, and features some of the world's best and most innovative composers, arrangers, improvisors, and players. Our music spans a wide range of genres, including jazz, rock, electronic and much more, especially music that defies defies, transforms and transcends traditional genres.
For more information about Cuneiform records or Cuneiform artists, email Joyce at our Promotions and Publicity Department: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit www.cuneiformrecords.com for more information about Cuneiform Records, the talented artists that it represents, and the countless adventurous music recordings that we've released over three decades.