Marc Wagnon was born in Switzerland where he started studying music at an early age on the piano; he got his first taste of being a percussionist by playing the drum in marching bands. At the age of fifteen he got his first drum set and formed his own band for which he composed music and lyrics much influenced by the British progressive rock scene of the 70's (King Crimson, Soft Machine, Led Zepplin) and others. He went on to study classical percussion at the Geneva Conservatory where he studied for five years; during those years he participated in many local bands, theater and dance projects as a percussionist. He became attracted to the vibraphone as well as increasingly drawn to jazz and jazz-rock, inspired by artists such as Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
Marc co-founded the band Dr. Nerve with guitarist Nick Didkowski which went on to record 7 albums; he then went his own way to start his band Shadowlines which was stylistically closer to his musical vision. Marc's style developed in both composition and free improvisation in working with numerous musicians in the downtown scene. In the early 90's Marc founded the group Tunnels with world renowned bassist Percy Jones, releasing a critically acclaimed CD in 1994 and has recently put out a second release. Marc also recently recorded a CD with the legendary English band Brand X which was just released earlier this year.
Marc is also involved with the group Nuove Musiche with singer Sarah Pillow which is putting together an ambitious mix of jazz, r&b and early baroque music. Marc and Sarah created Buckyball Music, a music service company designed to bring musicians together on a variety of levels in performing, teaching, exchanging ideas and sound creation.
Marc Wagnon/Earth is a Cruel Master ....CD $13.99
After 5 recordings with Tunnels, Marc returns to his own musical vision, combining great jazz-rock with thought-provoking themes such as recent scientific discoveries, climate change and the human condition. Marc takes on the lion's share of the instrumentation, returning to his first love, the drum set, and is joined by long-time collaborators Van Manakas and Leo Traversa. "Wagnon's style is refreshingly new, innovative to the point of pure brilliance. He has a technique and a dead-on feeling that can be described best in the words of Chuck Berry, 'just like ringing a bell.'" (jazzreview.com)
Jake Hertzog/Patterns ....CD $13.99
Guitar Player Magazine is calling him "...the blazing wunderkind." The Boston Phoenix has declared him "...the WOW! factor." Award-winning jazz guitarist and composer, Jake Hertzog, is making it big in New York City. Jake has just finished recording his second studio album, 'Patterns,' to be released in the spring of 2010. Jake's debut album, Chromatosphere, continues to bring him critical acclaim, including a five-page interview in Guitar Player Magazine (June 2009), highlighting his unique technique and approach to modern jazz guitar. Both albums, recorded and produced by Grammy Award-winner Joshua Paul Thompson, feature some of New York's top musicians. Past achievements include winning the Grand Prize in 2006 for the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition in Switzerland. In the festival's 44-year history, he holds the title as the youngest prize winner at 20 years old.
Morris Pert studied composition and percussion at the Royal Academy in London. While at the Academy he won several composition prizes including the 1970 Royal Philharmonic Award for his first orchestral work 'Xumbu-Ata.' A two-year period working with the world-famous Japanese percussionist Stomu Yamash'ta followed, with performances, recordings and musical collaborations in several European music festivals and in Yamash'ta's own Red Buddha Theatre. This led him to form his own experimental music group, Suntreader, which performed and recorded much of his own and his colleagues' music. He worked for 18 years as a session musician in the major London recording studios, having recorded with (among many others) Paul McCartney, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, John Williams, Kate Bush, Mike Oldfield, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and the jazz-rock band Brand X. He has also done arrangements for the Classic Rock series of records by the London Symphony Orchestra, In 1977 Pert was voted no.4 jazz and rock percussionist in the world by America's Billboard Magazine. He has received five gold albums, an American ASCAP award for a hit song and a nomination by the National Academy of Recording Arts in Washington for his performances on record.
Morris Pert/The Voyage ....CD $15.99
Recorded in the mid 1970's with fellow Brand X sidemen Peter Robinson on keyboards and Neville White on bass. This recording includes four tracks that mix intricate rhythms with extended improvisational developments. Morris shows that he is both an accomplished percussionist and exudes a deep drumming wisdom on the drum kit.
Morris Pert/The Music of the Stars ....CD $15.99
After many recordings for other artists and composing a few symphonies, Morris released in 2001 this solo record, inspired by his love of astronomy, in which he plays all the instruments including percussion, electronics and keyboards. The work as a whole attempts to convey the overall serenity of the starlit night sky. Violence, semi-tamed.
Morris Pert/Desert Dances ....CD $15.99
Morris' latest release takes inspiration from the root of most percussion music: Africa; Morocco in particular. But this is only the start of this odyssey, where the world or contemporary music is never far. Shades of techno and a feverish imagination take your ears along for the journey.
Tunnels/Natural Selection ....CD $13.99
Tunnels' new recording gives you an opportunity to discover a world-class jazz-rock-fusion outfit formed in 1992 and hailed as one of the best in their genre. Its core members are vibraphonist Marc Wagnon, drummer John OReilly Jr. and bassist Percy Jones, who is a '70s fusion pioneer himself and co-founder of the British group Brand X. All three musicians are virtuosos on their respective instruments and boundless in their musical adventures. Tunnels conveys a mix of raw energy and jazz sophistication; these musicians are on an aural odyssey, driven by their kindred interplay and improvisational prowess.
Brand X/Trilogy ....triple CD $25.99
Just when you thought you've heard it all, this special treat arrives for the Brand X aficionados. Not only is this release a three-CD set, including the last two studio releases of Brand X "Manifest Destiny" and "Xcommunication" which has been out of print for quite some time; but the third CD is a live show with the band from 1979 featuring Percy, John, Phil Collins, Robin Lumley & Pete Robinson.
Nicholas D'Amato's Royal Society/Nullius in Verba ....CD $13.99
"Nullius In Verba," is the debut release by Nicholas D'Amato and His Royal Society on Buckyball Records. Keeping in the grand tradition of great jazz musicianship, "Nullius In Verba" is a collection of songs whose themes, written by Nicholas D'Amato, were all expanded upon in an improvisational manner. The experimentation and interplay of the three extraordinarily talented and much in-demand musicians give the disc a personality that transcends beyond the limits of jazz and turns it into something fresh and exciting. Personnel: Nicholas d'Amato, bass; Wayne Krantz, guitar; John O'Reilly, drums.
Tunnels/The Art of Living Dangerously: Tunnels Live ....CD $13.99
Tunnels features Percy Jones (Brand X) on fretless bass, Marc Wagnon on midi-vibes and Frank Katz on drums. After three studio recordings it made sense to put together a live album, as the spontaneity in performance is the true spirit of Tunnels. We started recording our shows in 2003 as we made three different tours- crossing the Mississippi, bathing in the Florida sunshine, and getting snowed on in Philadelphia; but we were always at home on the stage. "The compositions are as unique as the band's sound,...While strong themes abound, the trio feels more openly exploratory than most fusion bands, busy but not self-indulgent. And while everyone contributes strong playing, it is Jones' identifiable and compelling sound that makes The Art of Living Dangerously stand out as a fusion record well worth investigating." John Kelman, allaboutjazz.com
Sarah Pillow/Remixes ....double CD $15.99
The sequel to Nuove Musiche! Hitting third and leading the Buckyball Bombers in total bases is Sarah Pillow's newest project, "Remixes". The Remixes CD takes several classical compositions from the 17th Century and has them recorded first on one disc as they were originally composed. Then, for a pinch of flavor, a second disc with remixed versions of the same songs featuring backup music by an ensemble consisting of members of Tunnels and Brand X. CD1 john goodsall, guitar; marc wagnon, midi-vibes; percy jones, bass; frank katz, drums. CD2 ronn mcfarlane, lute; jennifer peterson, harpsichord; mary anne ballard, viola da gamba; dongsok shin, organ; karen marmer, baroque violin.
Tunnels/Progressivity ....CD $13.99
A new CD from Tunnels - Marc Wagnon (vibes), Percy Jones (bass) and Frank Katz (drums). Music transcending categorization, performed with outstanding musicianship! This is the recording that will make heads turn and ears pop. Progressivity also features special guests John Goodsall (Percy's Brand X bandmate) on guitar and Mark Feldman on violin. Definitely Tunnels' best effort and a must have for any Brand X fans!
Mike Clark, Paul Jackson, Marc Wagnon/Conjunction ....CD $13.99
This CD features the rhythm section team of Mike Clark and Paul Jackson, who are famous for their teamwork in Herbie Hancock's Headhunters. They are joined by Brand X and Tunnels electronic vibist Marc Wagnon. In addition, you get contributions from Dave 'The Fuse' Fiuczynski on guitar, Josh Roseman on trombone, Chris Speed on tenor sax and clarinet, and Jed Levy on tenor sax. Compositions on the CD are by Marc, Jed, Paul, and Neal Kirkwood.
Sarah Pillow/Nuove Musiche ....CD $13.99
This album (which means 'new music') is named after a songbook written in 1602 by the Italian composer Giulio Caccini. Inspired by his and other composer' songs from 17th century Europe, Sarah Pillow mixes beautiful melodies and lyrics with funk, rock and jazz from the 21st to create her version of "Nuove Musiche." She is joined by guitarist John Goodsall (who also wrote half of the arrangements) and bassist extraordinaire Percy Jones, both of whom are founding members of the pioneering fusion group Brand X. Sarah coheseively ties it all together with her unique voice and knowledgeable rendering of present and past musical genres. The original songs were composed by Baroque masters Monteverdi, Purcell, Sances, Rossi, Dowland and Caccini and are sung in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Latin. This album, moving in a fresh new direction, illustrates that on the topic of the human condition not much has changed in 400 years; but great music lasts forever. Sarah Pillow is known for both her her jazz and early music recordings, but "Nuove Musiche" is the first CD of its kind where the crossover is equal and without compromise, creating a captivating concept album. Joining Pillow, Goodsall and Jones on this recording are drummer Frank Katz and vibist/percussionist Marc Wagnon. Think Baroque meets Brand X and you might have an idea as to what this is all about.
Brand X/Timeline ....double CD $19.99
Produced by Marc Wagnon, this Brand X double CD features recordings of two specific concerts in Brand X's history. Disc one is a concert recorded in Chicago on November 16, 1977. The band at that time featured John Goodsall on guitar, Percy Jones on bass, Robin Lumley on keyboards, Morris Pert on percussion and Kenwood Dennard on drums. Disc two was recorded live in New York and features Goodsall and Jones with Frank Katz on drums.
Tunnels/Painted Rock ....CD $13.99
A stellar second outing by Percy Jones' post-fusion quartet with vibist Marc Wagnon, guitarist Van Manakas, and drummer Frank Katz. Benefiting from an excellent overall and low-end bass mix - and Katz's natural backbeat - Percy packs a real groove punch, from the angular funk of the title track to his hard-swinging walking line on "Bad American Dream 2001." - Chris Jisi/Bass Player
Marc Wagnon/An Afterthought ....CD $13.99
For several years handling vibes in Nick Didkowsky's Dr Nerve, there is something of the rhythmic complexity and melodic angularity of that music coming through in this solo effort. Wagnon's music is rooted in '70s fusion in a much more obvious way than is Didkowsky's yet with plenty of longish solos over rock- and funk influenced grooves. But unlike Wagnon writing with Tunnels, the music on this CD features the vocals and lyrics of Sarah Pillow, who turns in a first rate performance. The vocal melodies seemed to have been written instrumentally, sometimes employing large leaps and fast-running notes, and Pillow is able to execute without stumbling and sound forced. Her "scat" singing in the second track, "Slow Burn" is a good example. Pillow's presence also makes the tunes seem more like songs - with section and changes of texture - than like fusion jams. While the music is strongly grounded in jazz, various secondary influences provide a broad stylistic range. this keeps the listener entranced over the almost 52 minutes of music contained here. Two tracks that really stand out are "Venus Incognito" and "The Warrior," which blend great lyrics and vocal delivery with superb rhythm-section playing, masterful solos, and refreshing changes of texture. The result is something I think prog fans with a sense of adventure might really enjoy. Fans of fusion, Canterbury music, and even Frank Zappa are sure to find this album right up their alley.- John Covach/Progression
Marc Wagnon/Shadowlines ....CD $13.99
Marc Wagnon "Shadowlines" Sporting excellent sound, this Swiss vibraphonist offers some uptempo jazz showcasing several great New York players as well as his own composing skills. Side one, differing from side two, is rather the Art ensemble of Chicago-meet-Miles circa Bitches Brew, and toys with a few ideas from Zappa. Using a crew of horns, bass clarinet, guitar, bass, drums and vibes, the music has some very fluid lines on the top, a funky sort of bottom, some honkin' and squealin', hairpin turn etc. "Let's Groove" and "M'tume" are interesting examples of Wagnon's avant eclectic side, and feature some hot Jeff Beck - style guitar."Ode" is a bluesy romantic interlude featuring some pretty sax and electric keyboard work. Side two, except for a blazing dissonant bass clarinet solo on "Galactic Bump", is mainly post-bop fusion. It's joyous music that's hot clear and hoppin'. Marc gets to the forefront more often too."Solstice" is the showcase cut, and everybody winds up to a wonderful climax. "Tom Groove Option"
Tunnels/Tunnels (with Percy Jones) ....CD $13.99
Another renegade bassist, Percy Jones (a charter member of the great British fusion band "Brand X") continues his uncompromising ways with "Tunnels". Powered by monster drummer Frank Katz, this one is teeming with a kind of gung-ho fierceness and risk taking that hasn't been heard too much since fusion heydays. Van Manakas adds some stinging guitar work, particularly on "Prisoners of the Knitting Factory Hallway," an ode to their favorite New York venue. And Marc Wagnon adds rainbows of color and texture with his midi vibes. Everyone in Jones' chops-laden quartet gets a chance to blow on this ferocious, cutting edge slamfest. Bill Mikowski "Tower Pulse"
Sarah Pillow/Paper Cuts ....CD $13.99
Vocalist Sarah Pillow began her career as a jazz vocalist, participating in such festivals as the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Her desire to expand her vocal technique led to a full scholarship to attend Chautauqua Institution in New York, and a bachelor's degree in music from Oberlin Conservatory. Sarah Pillow's ability to sing both in the jazz and classical styles mirrors the current trends of musical innovation - to combine with integrity different musical styles, resulting in a form of "new music". On this, the first release on Buckyball, Sarah explores the world of jazz vocal standards with assistance from Marc Wagnon, Van Manakas, Dave Douglas, Leo Traversa, Adriano Santos and John Romagroli.
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