“Freebird” by Walking Distance feat. Jason Moran garners NY Times best-of and more!

Freebird, the new record by Walking Distance feat Jason Moran, produced and mixed by me, has been out now for a few months and has garnered quite a bit of praise.

It was named to the “Top 20 Jazz records of 2018” by the New York Times. The Times also covered the record in their annual “Fall Arts Preview” as well as their “Playlist” column.

Bird is the Worm named the record #2 in his Top 50 of 2018 and also appeared on numerous other 2018 Best-of lists. Bird is the Worm says: “Everything about this album is representative of everything that is great about jazz.”

Also thrilled for many more positive coverage from media, blogs playlists and podcasts from the likes of DownBeat Magazine (2 reviews: print and e-newsletter editor’s pick,) Jazz Times, Jazziz, Financial Times, All About Jazz, NextBop.com, Jazz Bastard Podcast, BandCamp Daily, Club de Jazz, Via Jazz, Jazz Trail, MondoJazz, Modern Jazz Today

“Sound[s] ageless” and “Utterly fresh” – New York Times

“Throughout Freebird, Parker’s signature eighth-note triplets and bold chromatic turns emerge and just as quickly disappear as the bebop icon’s canon is cleverly, and lovingly, mutated.” – Downbeat Editor’s Pick, Oct 2018

“I wouldn’t have thought that a re-envisioning of Parker’s music could reach the heights of Rudresh Mahanthappa’s excellent 2015 release Bird Calls, but this offering from Walking Distance has me wanting to shout this recommendation from the rooftops. I can’t possibly recommend this album enough.” – BandCamp Best Jazz of Sept 2018

“It’s like hearing these tunes in a dream state, where an occasional real-world fact shows up just in time to anchor an otherwise otherworldly narrative.” – Jazziz. Also in Jazziz Winter 2018 playlist

“There isn’t a jazz fan out there who doesn’t recall the visceral thrill of hearing a Charlie Parker solo for the first time. That electric charge bleeds through every note of Freebird.” – BandCamp Daily

Buy or stream the record here:

Bandcamp
Spotify
Apple Music

 

Dred Scott Trio back at Mezzrow November 18

The Dred Scott Trio, with Dred Scott on piano, Ben Rubin on bass and Diego Voglino on drums, returns to Mezzrow, the West Village jazz club picking up the slack left by Bradley’s, on Sunday November 18 with two show at 8 and 9:30 pm.

Dred Scott Trio
Sunday November 18, 8 & 9:30
Mezzrow
163 W 10th St, basement
New York, NY 10014
646-476-4346

“Dred Scott Rides Alone” album release show this Sat Oct 13

Come out to the Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 this Saturday October 13 at 8:30 to celebrate the release of Dred Scott Rides Alone on Ropeadope Records. Join Dred Scott on piano, Ben Rubin on bass and Diego Voglino on drums as we play the new record in its entirety as well as some DST classics.

Dred Scott Trio
Saturday October 18, 8 & 9:30
Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3

185 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
(212) 477-4155
 Buy or stream the record here:

Bandcamp
Spotify
Apple Music

Today is Release Day for Walking Distance ft. Jason Moran & Dred Scott Rides Alone

Big day for me today. Two records I worked hard on are reaching your earholes!

First up is Freebird by Walking Distance feat. Jason Moran, on Sunnyside Records. As the producer and mixer of this record, I worked super-hard on this one. Here’s a brief description:

Freebird, the new recording from Walking Distance, uses the music of Charlie Parker as a springboard – creating modern, contemporary, humorous and vital music, powered by acclaimed pianist Jason Moran. By enlisting Grammy-nominated producer/mixer Ben Rubin to construct a unique sound palate for each song, Freebird became an epic journey of a record, each song its own world. This combination of virtuoso performances and sonic storytelling has resulted in an album that retains the sound and feel of acoustic jazz while setting a new standard for the way jazz records can sound.

Buy or stream the record here:

Bandcamp       Spotify        Apple Music

Next up is Dred Scott Rides Alone, on Ropeadope Records, in which Dred Scott plays all the instruments on a feel-good jazz record. Piano. Bass. Drums. As you probably know, I play bass in Dred’s band, but on this record, I am but the mixer. Do yourself a favor and check this record out. From the label:

Dred’s new album, Dred Scott Rides Alone, was recorded in rural northern California. Dred wrote all the songs and played all the instruments. It is a standard jazz piano trio format – piano, bass and drums. The songs, written during an artist residency at the UCross Foundation in Wyoming, are sublime, perhaps Dred’s most accessible and gentle writing and playing in his storied career. Dred Scott Rides Alone stands as a mature and melodic statement of life, love and the pursuit of beauty.

Buy or stream the record here:

Bandcamp         Spotify         Apple Music

Dred Scott Trio heads back to Ohio and Buffalo

The Dred Scott Trio (Dred Scott on piano, Ben Rubin on bass and Diego Voglino on drums) heads west to play a weekend of shows in Cleveland, OH Akron, OH and Buffalo, NY. Join us if you live in the area!

Friday July 13, 7pm
Blu Jazz+
47 E Market St, Akron, OH, 44308
(330) 252-1190

Saturday July 14, 7pm
Pausa Art House
47 E Market St, Akron, OH, 44308
(716) 697-9075

Sunday July 15, 7pm
NightTown
12387 Cedar Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH, 44106
(216) 795-0550

Today is Release Day for “Deja Voodoo” by Rivers on Mars!

I mixed Deja Voodoo earlier this year and I’m excited for this Ropeadope release to reach your earholes! The label says it best:

The sax man with eclectic plans is back! Avram Fefer plays with the most unique of ensembles, and after delivering his Big Picture Holiday release he has returned with a new project – Rivers On Mars. Avram has teamed up with Greg Tate (Burnt Sugar Arkestra, Black Rock Coalition), On Ka’a Davis (Sun Ra Arkestra), and Chris Eddleton (Red Baraat) to create an edgy and explorative abstract and gravity-free groove. Their new record, Deja Voodoo, is self described as ‘trance-inducing waves of interstellar melody; splashes of searing guitar and harmonic counterpoint; loops and sonic mayhem bubbling up spontaneously via laptop surging above a deep riverbed of rhythm liberated from the earthly traditions of jazz, funk, trip-hop, and afro-beat’. This is a journey to the inner and outer regions, folks.

Go get this one!

Bandcamp
Spotify
Apple Music

LOWER POWER makes its debut in Tompkins Square Park this Sat June 23!

Guys, I’m super-excited to announce that I’m playing bass in a new punk band called LOWER POWER. The songs, by Pat Daugherty, are off-the-charts good and we’re gonna make a record real soon. Jon Heagle will be on guitar and Gintas Janusonis on drums.

The show is in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village at 2 pm on Sat June 23. Be there!

Dred Scott Trio plays Mezzrow Wed February 28

The Dred Scott Trio, with Dred Scott on piano, Ben Rubin on bass and Diego Voglino on drums, will play Mezzrow, in New York’s West Village, on Wednesday February 28 with two shows at 8 and 9:30 pm. The show will web-stream via their website.

Dred Scott Trio
Wednesday February 28, 8 and 9:30 pm
Mezzrow
163 W 10th St, basement
New York, NY 10014
646-476-4346

Dred Scott Trio at Mezzrow Wed August 30

Join the Dred Scott Trio, with Dred Scott on piano, Ben Rubin on bass and Diego Voglino on drums, at Mezzrow, in New York’s West Village, on Wednesday August 30 with two shows at 8 and 9:30 pm. The show will web-stream via their website.

Dred Scott Trio
Wednesday August 30, 8 and 9:30 pm
Mezzrow
163 W 10th St, basement
New York, NY 10014
646-476-4346

Short Ohio stint for Dred Scott Trio coming up Aug 18-19

The Dred Scott Trio (Dred Scott on piano, Ben Rubin on bass and Diego Voglino on drums) heads west to play a weekend of shows in Cleveland, OH and Akron, OH.  Join us if you live in the area!

Friday August 18, 7pm
Blu Jazz+
47 E Market St, Akron, OH, 44308
(330) 252-1190

Saturday August 19, 7pm
NightTown
12387 Cedar Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH, 44106
(216) 795-0550

Dred Scott Trio to play Mezzrow March 27

The Dred Scott Trio, with Dred Scott on piano, Ben Rubin on bass and Diego Voglino on drums, will be playing Mezzrow, in New York’s West Village, on Monday August 30 with two shows at 8 and 9:30 pm. The show will web-stream via their website.

Dred Scott Trio
Wednesday August 30, 8 and 9:30 pm
Mezzrow
163 W 10th St, basement
New York, NY 10014
646-476-4346

Dred Scott Trio does Mezzrow Wed November 30

Join the Dred Scott Trio, with Dred Scott on piano, Ben Rubin on bass and Diego Voglino on drums, at Mezzrow, in New York’s West Village, on Wednesday November 30 with two shows at 8 and 9:30 pm. The show will web-stream via their website.

Dred Scott Trio
Wednesday November 30, 8 and 9:30 pm
Mezzrow
163 W 10th St, basement
New York, NY 10014
646-476-4346

Dred Scott Trio is Ohio-bound, Nov 4-6

The Dred Scott Trio (Dred Scott on piano, Ben Rubin on bass and Diego Voglino on drums) will be playing a short tour next weekend with shows in Cleveland, OH and Akron, OH.  Join us if you live in the area!

Friday November 4, 7pm
Blu Jazz+
47 E Market St, Akron, OH, 44308
(330) 252-1190

Sunday November 6, 7pm
NightTown
12387 Cedar Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH, 44106
(216) 795-0550

Ergo’s “As Subtle As Tomorrow” is out now.

Last year I had the chance to work on this record with Brett Sroka and his band Ergo. This record is a really cool mix of live trombone, piano and drums along with a bunch of cool electronics as effects. Sam Harris on piano and Shawn Baltazor on drums. Shawn mixed the record with Brett and then they came by the House of Cha Cha to run all the mixes through my Neve and do a bunch of other various sweetenings.

This record is out today on Cuniform Records.

Go listen to and buy this record here.

Pre-order “Someone Else” (the film) now!

Someone Else, the film I scored in 2014, is finally being released to the masses. It is available for pre-order from iTunes here.
It will also be screening for a week in Los Angeles in March. Not clear on the details yet but I’ll keep y’all posted.

The New House of Cha Cha is ready!!!

So happy to announce that the all new House of Cha Cha, new room, new monitors, new awesome sound and vibe, is all done a ready to make music.
Pics to follow as soon WordPress will accept my uploads.
So now’s a great time to hit me up so we can work together on your project!

Someone Else’s New York premiere is tonight!

I’m very excited to be attending the New York City premiere of Someone Else, the feature film I scored last year for director Nelson Kim. This is definitely the kind of movie to see in a theatre, especially so you can experience the low end of my score!

The screening is at Village East Cinemas on 2nd Ave and you can by tickets to the 9pm screening here. It’s part of the Asian American International Film Festival.

This film also features a brand-new track from Mudville. It’s our first one in several years and it closes the film. The song was recently released as a single on Ropeadope Records and you can hear it on the embedded player at the bottom of this page.

New Mudville music out today!

I’m very happy that this day is finally here. New Mudvillemusic is here today via Ropeadope Records. It’s the end titles track for my friend Nelson Kim’s film Someone Else, the feature film I scored last year. It’s available now from iTunes as well as our bandcamp store.

Enjoy!

Bob Wijnen’s record is done!

NYC Unforeseen, the debut record from Bob Wijnen that we’ve been working on since last November, is DONE! I’m producing, engineering and mixing on this one. Just got it back from ace mastering engineer Gene Paul and it sounds great. I went over there last week as I love to hear Gene tell me stories about “the old man” (Les) and recording Aretha and MJQ at Atlantic back in the day once the work is done.

I’m really happy with how this record came off. The Steinway D at the Samurai Hotel sounds great and we had a fun two days of recording without headphones in the same room, old school. Never hurts to have the likes of Peter Bernstein on guitar, Dezron Douglas on bass and Billy Drummond on drums. Makes things go quite smoothly actually.

This one should be out in the next couple of months so look for it. I have the title track in my producing/mixing playlist so you can go here to listen to it right now.

Headed to Miami for the premiere of “Someone Else”

I’m very excited to be some of the cast and crew of Someone Else at its world premiere tomorrow night at the Miami International Film Festival. Marilyn Carino from Mudville will be joining me. Not only did I write, produce, record and mix the entire score for the film, but Mudville wrote a new song for the end credits as well. (We also have “Joy” and “Duke” from Iris Nova in the film.) We’re expecting to see writer/director Nelson Kim, lead actor Aaron Yoo (who is amazing) and producers Geoff Quan and Brandon Harris.

The film is screening at the historic Tower Theatre in Little Havana and I’m really excited to see it on a big screen and hear my score in surround! H/T to Eli Cohn for the sound mix on the film.

Check my social media for pics and updates!

Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet:

“Someone Else,” the film I scored

So I wrote the score to this film last year, Someone Else.  Written and directed by my friend Nelson Kim, it’s a great city mouse/country mouse story about two Korean-American cousins. The buttoned up law student  comes to New York City for the summer to visit his relative, the playboy actor. Drug use and girlfriend-switching ensue and the film has a Mulholland Drive-esque twist two-thirds of the way through. I’ve been told the score is “creepy” and “disturbing”. You be the judge.

The film’s World Premiere is at the Miami International Film Festival on March 13 and I’m very excited to be attending.

There’s also a Kickstarter campaign right now to raise marketing money for this labor of love. [Fully funded as of 3.11.15]

Here’s the trailer:

So I wrote this article for DownBeat magazine…

On the heels of producing and mixing over thirty live records for SmallsLive, the record label of the New York jazz club Smalls, late last year I was asked by the magazine to write a story for their “Recording School” section on how to produce live jazz records. While my approach to producing isn’t much different for studio and live records (though there are some different technical considerations,) I was happy to oblige. The piece ran in their February 2015 issue and they even put my name on the cover! Read on…

Downbeat 1502 p91Downbeat 1502 cover

What I did in 2014

Hey Everyone!

Happy New Year! It’s been so long since I’ve written (I plead: Baby) that I thought an update from the House of Cha Cha was in order. Here goes…

FILM COMPOSING:

In September I finished composing, performing, and mixing the score for the feature film Someone Else, written and directed by Nelson Kim. It’s a psychological drama about two cousins. One moves to NYC to be more like the other and craziness ensues, including a Mulholland Drive-esque twist and a lead actress who plays two roles to great effect. Someone Else will be premiering at a major film festival in the spring, but I can’t reveal which one until the official announcement.

Mudville, my longtime partnership with Marilyn Carino, has composed a new track for the movie’s end credits, aptly titled “Someone Else.” It’s our first new music in quite a while, and I’ll let you know when the track becomes available on iTunes, etc. The film also includes “Joy” and “Duke” from our last record, Iris Nova.

Also, back in 2012, I scored, recorded, and mixed 7x6x2, a short film written by the great graphic novelist Paul Pope and directed by Paul and Sridhar Reddy. It’s a really cool little space western and was finally released online in early 2014 by the digital arm of Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Films. Watch the entire film here.

PRODUCING AND MIXING:

I was fortunate to be a co-producer on Emilio Solla‘s fantastic new Grammy-nominated record Second Half, a blend of tango, jazz and contemporary classical composed by pianist Solla and performed by his amazing nine-piece band. Watch the record’s promo video here.

After ranking high in the DownBeat Critics’ Poll “Rising Star Producer” category for the third year in a row (because of the 30+ SmallsLive records I’ve produced and mixed), DownBeat asked me to write an article on recording live jazz for the February 2015 issue, which is on newsstands now. Read the story here.

In November I produced Tim Ries‘ Quintet with Nicholas Payton for SmallLive and after I mix it, it will be released spring/summer 2015. Other artists I’ve produced and/or mixed for SmallsLive in the past couple of years include: Johnny O’Neal; Scott Hamilton; Peter Bernstein (solo guitar); David Berkman with Tom Harrell; Frank Lacy; Rodney Green; Will Vinson; Harold Mabern; Alex Sipiagin; and Joe Magnarelli with the late and sorely missed Mulgrew Miller and Dwayne Burno.

Also in November, I produced, recorded, and mixed NYC Unforeseen for the excellent Dutch pianist and composer Bob Wijnen. It features a murderer’s-row rhythm section: Peter Bernstein, Dezron Douglas and Billy Drummond, and will be out in April 2015.

Coming out this month is Neighborhood, Walking Distance’s debut that I mixed for Ropeadope. It’s a great chordless jazz record, with a rock ’n roll attitude and quite a few surprises. Pre-order it here.

I’ve also started doing mix consultations as well, so even if you don’t have the budget for me to produce and/or mix at this time, feel free to give me a call about this service.

And of course, even with all my composing, producing, and mixing work I still continue to play the bass. Check out Amy Kohn‘s beautiful new Plexi Lusso for an example of my recent playing. And although this has been a jazz-heavy few years, please keep in mind that I love, and work on, all kinds of music, and welcome new opportunities to collaborate.

I look forward to hearing all about what you are working on in 2015!

Best wishes,

ben

www.benrubin.com
@bennychacha
facebook.com/bennychacha

Emilio Solla’s “Second Half” nominated for a Grammy!

So excited that Emilio Solla’s excellent record “Second Half” has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Record of 2014. I was fortunate to be a co-producer on the record. I oversaw two days of very intense record at Systems II in Brooklyn and edited all the final takes together. With a nine-plus-piece band and eight through-composed tracks, some over twelve minutes long, there was a lot to do to keep the session moving and get a monumental amount of music on tape in a short time. With a well-rehearsed band and great engineers, we pulled it off. And now it’s Grammy-nominated. Go Emilio! Below is a great promo video for the record. I make an appearance at the end.

  1. Bigment *producer/mixer/engineer* *jazz movie* Walking Distance feat. Jason Moran 4:22
  2. Wicked *performer/co-writer/producer/mixer/engineer* *trip-hop* Mudville 4:27
  3. Businessman of the Heart *producer/bassist/mixer/engineer* *loud rock n roll* LOWER POWER 3:05
  4. Manifest (Benny Cha Cha Remix) *bolly-hop* Karsh Kale 6:09
  5. Someone Else *performer/producer/mixer/engineer* *electronica* Mudville 4:12
  6. Simple Ghilnooorty *producer/mixer/performer/engineer* *jazz meets nine inch nails* Walking Distance feat. Jason Moran 3:20
  7. Deja Vu (Benny Cha Cha Remix) *hip-hop* Killah Priest 3:53
  8. My Favorite Waste of Time *producer/performer/mixer/engineer* *dance pop* Marshall Crenshaw feat. Keva Hargrove 3:10
  9. The Hero Of The World *performer/co-writer/producer/mixer/engineer* *trip-hop* Mudville 4:29
  10. "Long Distance" - End Credits *composer/producer/performer/mixer* *film score* Ben Rubin feat. Michael Blake 1:19
  11. Be Free *producer/bassist/mixer/engineer* *punk rock* LOWER POWER 4:04
  12. Beautician's Blues (Live @ New York Botanical Gardens) *bassist/mixer* *blues* Paul Josephs Blues Band 5:27
  13. Today Means More *producer/bassist/mixer/engineer* *country* Stripmall Ballads 3:19
  14. Fantasia *mixer* *electric bossa* Shawn Baltazor 4:29
  15. "Someone Else" - Opening Titles *composer/performerproducer/engineer/mixer* *film score* Ben Rubin 1:39
  16. Pussy (Benny Cha Cha Remix) *hip-hop* Brazilian Girls 5:41
  17. Goodbye America *mixer* *light jazz/rock* Dred Scott 6:25
  18. "7x6x2" - End Credits *composer/producer/perfomer/mixer/engineer* *space western rock film score* Ben Rubin 4:33
  19. Doggie and Cookie *bassist/mixer* *jazz* Dred Scott Trio 6:46
  20. When I'm Writing (Benny Cha Cha Remix) *hip-hop* Killah Priest 4:30
  21. On the Other Side of Time *mixer* *space jazz* Caleb Wheeler Curtis 2:10
  22. Goodbye Blue Sky (Benny Cha Cha's Hee-House Remix) Luther Wright & The Wrongs 4:03
  23. That Lick I Invented *bassist/co-producer/mixer* *jazz* Dred Scott Trio 6:12