Jambase – Club d’Elf Announces New Live Album ‘Night Sparkles’ & Adds Dates

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Club d’Elf Announces New Live Album ‘Night Sparkles’ & Adds Dates
By Scott Bernstein
Mar 26, 2019

Boston’s Club d’Elf will release a new live album entitled Night Sparkles featuring slide guitarist David Tronzo on April 5. The Moroccan-dosed dub-jazz ensemble will celebrate with a series of performances in four states over the next few months.

Night Sparkles was recorded at the collective’s home base of the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Club d’Elf has hosted a bi-monthly residency at the venue for 21 years. Each show finds bassist/composer Mike Rivard and drummer Dean Johnston joined by a rotating lineup. Rivard and Johnston performed with Tronzo, Paul Schultheis, Vicente Lebron and Moussa Traore on the December 2011 evening the forthcoming set was recorded.

“Moussa was someone I had heard a lot about, but had never met or had the chance to play with,” related Rivard of the master djembe drummer from Bamako, Mali who made his d’Elf debut that night. “A friend brought him down to the show, and on the recording you can hear me drop out for a bit as I set up a mic for him after I saw him arrive mid-way through the set. It was immediately apparent that this was going to be serious, and he and our conga player Vicente Lebron had an amazing simpatico. It seemed like a good idea to let the percussion drive the music, and it was one of the more open and organic sets we’ve played.” Night Sparkles is a digital-only release.

Rivard also revealed the band began sessions for its next studio album back in February by recording on an analog tape machine. “I recently had the opportunity to record at this studio outside Boston on an old 2″ tape machine, and it was like going back in time to when all music was recorded this way, and I realized what a Faustian bargain we’ve been sold with digital recording. It was revelatory, and I knew I had to record the new D’Elf music in this fashion,” Mike said. The sessions are expected to run through the spring with the resulting album due this summer.

Club d’Elf are heading down to New Orleans for a performance during Jazz Fest at The Howlin’ Wolf featuring John Medeski and Skerik on April 29. The band also plays their usual gigs at the Lizard Lounge on April 5 and 19, makes an appearance at Some Kind Of Jam in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania on April 29 and visits Riverwalk Cafe in Nashua, New Hampshire on May 4.

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