Release Date: July 19, 2011
On November 20 and 21, 2010, maverick record label Abstract Logix hosted a series of spectacular performances, featuring an array of artists who handily defy genre categorization in favor of unbridled expression. The first New Universe Festival was a die-hard music lover’s dream, defined by artists who seamlessly mingle compositional ingenuity and improvisational grace and fervor. This coming September, Abstract Logix will release a 2 DVD set, featuring a generous selection of festival performances and bonus material (additional performances, interviews, and more), filmed in high-definition throughout the event.
Among the featured musicians were pioneering guitarist John McLaughlin and his current band the 4th Dimension with special guest, world music legend tabla maestro Zakir Hussain; Widespread Panic guitar hero Jimmy Herring with his electric band; Return to Forever Drummer Lenny White; the all-star quartet Human Element (keyboardist Scott Kinsey, bassist Matt Garrison, percussionist Arto Tunçboyaciyan; fearless guitarist and improviser Wayne Krantz appearing with the amazing Anthony Jackson on bass; visionary Indian composer and drummer Ranjit Barot; and emerging guitar visionary Alex Machacek.
“I feel honored to participate,” says festival headliner John McLaughlin, while on tour promoting his Grammy-nominated album To the One. “My life has been dedicated to my instrument and music, and I continue to devote myself to music in order to be worthy of such a privilege. You will hear the kind of complicity that exists between us all – this is a very special element, and frankly essential for making good music.”
Jimmy Herring very succinctly put it, “This is real music played by real people, happening in real time. We’re up there listening and reacting to one another, and people genuinely respond to the risks we take. This is human music in a mechanized age.”
It was a veritable smorgasbord of fusion, with many of the top-notch artists in the genre coming together for a series of performances. Jazz-rock fans attending the inaugural event heard legends like John McLaughlin and Lenny White, established names such as Wayne Krantz, Human Element and Jimmy Herring, as well as up-and-comers like Alex Machacek and Ranjit Barot. From start to finish, the music was electric, even when it was being played acoustically. There was also a palpable sense of community as artists generously participated in listening sessions and sat in with each other throughout the event. I highly recommend this festival and look forward to seeing and hearing its second incarnation in 2012.
– Lee Mergner, Editor in Chief, JazzTimes
The New Universe Music Festival brought together an astonishing roster of legendary and upcoming jazz-fusion musicians—especially guitarists—in an intimate setting charged with excitement. As might be expected, the music was superb, culminating in a heartfelt tribute to fusion and world music pioneer John McLaughlin. I look forward to attending the next NUMF, though the first one will be very tough to top.
– Barry Cleveland, Guitar Player
ABSTRACT LOGIX TO CELEBRATE THE FIRST NEW UNIVERSE FESTIVAL WITH SPECIAL 2DVD SET TO BE RELEASE IN SEPTEMBER, 2011
(right click on the link and choose “save target as” to download the mp3)
01. Alex Machacek/Neal Fountain/Jeff Sipe: Strafe
02. Alex Machacek/Neal Fountain/Jeff Sipe: Very Sad
03. Ranjit Barot/Bala Bhaskar: Vignesh Kirtanam
04. Ranjit Barot/Wayne Krantz/Scott Kinsey/Matt Garrison/Arto Tuncboyaciyan: Origin
05. Scott Kinsey/Matt Garrison/Arto Tuncboyaciyan/Ranjit Barot: Essaouira
06. Scott Kinsey/Matt Garrison/Arto Tuncboyaciyan/Ranjit Barot: Sometimes I
07. Jimmy Herring/Neal Fountain/Matt Slocum/Jeff Sipe: Rainbow
08. Jimmy Herring/Neal Fountain/Matt Slocum/Jeff Sipe: Gray Day
09. Jimmy Herring/Neal Fountain/Matt Slocum/Jeff Sipe: Within You Without You
01. Wayne Krantz/Anthony Jackson/Cliff Almond: Why
02. Lenny White/Jimmy Herring/Tom Guarna/Richie Goods/Vince Evans: Door #3
03. Lenny White/Jimmy Herring/Tom Guarna/Richie Goods/Vince Evans: Gazelle
04. John McLaughlin/Etienne Mbappe/Gary Husband/Mark Mondesir: Recovery
05. John McLaughlin/Etienne Mbappe/Gary Husband/Mark Mondesir/Zakir Hussain: Mother Tongues
Sydney Morning Herald
jazzfm.com- The Cutting Edge Shows
jazzfm.com- Playlist 28th Aug 2011
jazzfm.com- Playlist 21st Aug 2011
jazzfm.com- Playlist 7th Aug 2011
jazzfm.com- Playlist 31st Jul 2011