Tag Archives: Nelson Veras

Florian Arbenz – Two New Albums

Swiss drummer Florian Arbenz has released two very interesting  albums in the last few months.

The first album “Convergence” was released in June and presents a handpicked sextet of contemporary jazz musicians from Cuba, Brazil, Switzerland, Australia and the UK.


At the heart of this project is Florians collaboration with the Cuban Vistel brothers: trumpeter Jorge and tenor saxophonist Maikel. They are joined by Brazilian guitarist Nelson Veras, English vibraphonist Jim Hart and Australian bassist Rafael Jerjen.

Florian explains:  “Despite the difficult themes and complicated forms that needed to be mastered for this Convergence project, the music has a very playful and almost party-like aspect. You can really hear and feel the fun we had together in the studio.”

An excellent album with a lot of positive energy, interesting melodies and motifs, a pushing rhythm section and great improvisations. A fine contemporary jazz album.

Florian produced a nice video of ‘Little Idea’ which is the first song on the album:


The second album “Reflections of the Eternal Line” was released this month and features saxophonist Greg Osby on soprano & alto sax and Florian on a classic jazz drum kit with a huge balinese gong, some tuned kalimbas and other custom-designed percussion instruments which add a sense of bass lines and even harmony.


The album was inspired by a series of paintings by Swiss artist Stephan Spicher, whose workshop was the location of the recording sessions.

Florian has some more details: “I met Stephan around 2004 through a common friend and immediately felt drawn to his art. Stephan’s main themes in his paintings are lines and nature and he has followed those ideas very consistently for many years now, working on different aspects and diving extremely deep in those subjects. I visited Stephan in his workshop and he showed me a new series he was working on with the theme of the interaction of a red and a black line.
Seeing those paintings it was obviously clear to me that this must be my subject, because what Greg and I do is exactly the same: We search for a communication and interaction of our two lines, leaving the freedom to each other, but also clearly inspiring each other.
So I organized a recording session with Greg in Stephan’s workshop and we immediately felt a great vibe.”

Florian and Greg work together now for more than 20 years and their collaboration on this album is outstanding and shows the deep relation and understanding these two musicians have.

A beautiful video is available to see what happened during the recording of the song “Wooden Lines” :

And I have two playlists from Spotify for you for each album. Please enjoy:


New Releases Spring 2018

A lot of new material has been released in the 2nd quarter of this year. Here comes a short list of albums which are noteworthy.

Ben Rosenblum: River City


Release date: June 15

Ben Rosenblum is a jazz pianist and composer based in New York City, and a recent graduate of the joint program between Columbia University and Juilliard School of Music.”River City” is Ben’s second trio album as a leader, featuring two of Ben’s long-time collaborators and contemporaries, Kanoa Mendenhall on bass and Ben Zweig on drums. The album features three original compositions and six tracks from the jazz canon, selections chosen from the group’s repertoire after years of touring together.

Played very tasteful and sophisticated, that album shows how a piano trio should sound.

Kreisberg meets Veras


Release date: May 18

The “KREISBERG meets VERAS” project promises to be one of the most exciting guitar duos in the jazz and guitar worlds. Jonathan Kreisberg and Nelson Veras are both highly acclaimed artists on their instruments, and they have combined forces to create a program of original works and rarely played classics which welcome the listener to experience the start of a beautiful musical friendship.

Extraordinary playing of two guitar champions. For those who love guitar duos this is the best you can hear at the moment.

Shamie Royston: Beautiful Liar


Release date: June 15

Originally from Denver, Colorado, pianist Shamie Royston has been an integral part of the New York jazz scene as a performer and educator. Beautiful Liar is her second release and it is a testament to perseverance and the proposition that learning from mistakes will help in the pursuit of goals and subsequent triumphs.

The core sound of the album is that of the piano trio, embellished by one or two horns. Drummer Rudy Royston provides a strong rhythmic foundation and centric fire when paired up with bassist Yasushi Nakamura, whose strong bass presence is essential to the leader’s compositions. Royston expands the ensemble on a number of pieces with saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and trumpet player Josh Evans.

Rather traditional line-up but with straight modern sound and excellent playing.

Kamasi Washington: Heaven and Earth


Release date: June 22

And finally the second album by Kamasi Washington. “Heaven and Earth” comes with 2 CDs full of music. The arrangements are again bombastic with choir and orchestra and an incredible band with intense playing. Definitely one of the highlights of this year.