Thursday, November 19, 2009

Aboda, indonesian smooth jazz

Aboda ("to serve" in hebrew) is an emergent indonesian group, integrated by four young brothers: Timotius Noya (piano & keyboards), Fanuel Noya (drums), Filémon Noya (guitars) and Clement Noya (bass). It's style oscillate between smooth jazz, fusion and gospel, with an exquisite sound.

The band was formed around 1999, and its main motivation was rearrange old Christian songs, especially hymns, for the new generations that many times consider them as outdated or even prehistoric. This motivation had its first effects, when the band won the first prize in the Psallö Christian Music Festival in Bogor 2004 (at the time the band was still named Worshippers).

In 2006, Victorious Music offered Aboda to make a debut album with them even though the band’s repertoire is limited. This album was titled as "Today in Paradise" and it was released in June, 2007. Today in Paradise contain traditional christian hymns and original compositions of the band.

It's important to mention that today, Aboda is also known not only in gospel music, but also secular music for bringing their mission more widely to all segments of listener.

Official Facebook page of Aboda:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Atrium Jazz Band, an interesting proposal

Sometimes, there are excellent projects that don't have good disclosure. From occasional projects, focused on a single album/appearance, to musicians that don't have a way for make known your projects beyond their friends circle. This was one of main motivations for creating this blog, because I give myself the work of investigate carefully on the web about this kind of projects. One of this are the Atrium Jazz Band, the first brazilian gospel Big Band.

Atrium Jazz Band is a project originally from ABC Paulista, Brazil; that arises from the desire of a christian musicians, united by friendship and christian fellowship, to find their own musical language. Doing rehearsals and performances in the worship atrium of the church, they sought this language for three years, to finish with the release of their only recording: "Atrium Jazz Band" in 1996, an interesting gospel jazz album, which contain various arrangements of christian hymns, and original compositions of the band. No doubt that the genius of this brazilian band, is that using the format of traditional american big band, it converge gospel music with swing, bebop and different brazilian styles as bossa nova, samba, among others; and of course, without neglecting the influences of each musician. In words of flugelhornist, Sérgio Oliveira:

The apparent eclecticism was not intentional, but occurred naturally and represents, in a sense, our influences, our temperament, our excitement and experience.

In relation with the members of the band, Sérgio adds:

We had the privilege of having some very talented musicians, such as trumpetists Severo Raimundo de Oliveira known as Pelezinho, Raimundo Pires de Oliveira known as Quinzinho; saxophonist Sílvio Depieri, and drummer Lenilson Silva known as Simonal.

Websites of some musicians of Atrium Jazz Band

Trumpetist Quinzinho Oliveira:
Saxophonist Sílvio Depieri:
Keyboardist Willians Alves:

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Gozo & Paz: latin jazz from Mexico

Jazz is an universal musical language which has been mixed with different rhythms, styles and cultures, and in its gospel variant also has experienced this. Today I will write about an interesting latin jazz band, originally from Palenque, Chiapas in Mexico: Gozo & Paz.

The beginnings of Gozo & Paz Latinjazz Band date back to 1999, when three friends, guitarist Eduardo "Lalo" Olivares, saxophonist Silvino González and keyboardist Sergio David Aguilar every saturday arranged and played traditional christian songs in latin jazz styles. After a time, the musicians are invited to play in Mundo Maya, a festival performed every year by Municipality of Palenque as a tourist-oriented activity. In that occasion, Eduardo, Silvino and Sergio played with some guest musicians. After this festival, and for various reasons and motivations, were joining the group other excelent musicians: drummer Carlos "Pollito" Aguilar, bassist Saraín Aguilar and keyboardist Ludwig Zarate. The last musicians who became part of the group are percussionist Francisco Tovilla, vibraphonist Luis Augusto Rojas and guitarist José Hinojosa.

Gozo & Paz is a relatively new group with a style still not very defined, musicians play songs of different musician and jazz/fusion genres; however in some original compositions of the group, it's possible listen unique elements originating mainly from the mix of traditional gospel songs, latin music, fusion and even smooth jazz elements. I think this is possible due to different influences of members of the group. Apart of different concert in various mexican cities and appearances on TV and radio, Gozo & Paz has recorded two gospel jazz projects: Gozo & Paz (2004) and Latinjazzeando (2008), and now musicians are working in a third studio album, Sentimiento Cubano, in which cuban pianist David Gálvez will play as guest artist.

Official website of Gozo & Paz:

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Ray Lyon: "Atmospheric" Jazz Fusion

Today I will write about one of my favorite christian jazz musicians: Ray Lyon. This keyboardist and pianist is originally from Virginia, USA, and began play the piano at six years old. He studied classical piano with argentinean pianist Raul Spivak, and jazz piano with Vince Maggio and another known christian jazz pianist, Chuck Marohnic. He studied at Palm Beach Community College, Eastman School of Music, University of Miami (FL), and Florida Atlantic University where in 1982, he got his B.F.A. in Music.

Ray Lyon's music reflects many influences, from contemporary jazz musicians as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny  to classical composers as Claude Debussy, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Igor Stravinsky. Also it's important the influence of popular musicians as Tom Jobim and Gino Vannelli.

Ray also is a engineer and producer with its own studio called Balsam Pillow. In it, he has recorded his four christian jazz projects, and he has produced, mixed and and mastered in projects of another artists as Erin O'Donnell, Jackson Bunn, Randy Bernsen, Nestor Torres, Abaco Music, among others.

The label of "atmospheric" jazz fusion for Ray's music is very precise, because his compositions are an exquisite mix of contemporary jazz sounds with new age and ambient elements. His style is like Pat Metheny Group which transmits delicate textures and relaxing soundscapes. In relation to its inspiration, all Ray Lyon's christian jazz projects have a very strong theological background, from smooth songs for meditation, to compositions that transmit true biblical images. No doubt that to listen his music is a truly inspirational experience.

Ray Lyon's official website: