Pancho Molina & Elias Meister | Open for Business (Feat. George Garzone, Ben Street, Leo Genovese)

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Open for Business (Feat. George Garzone, Ben Street, Leo Genovese)

by Pancho Molina & Elias Meister

"★★★★" by Downbeat. Contemporary jazz fused with rock and Latin influences into a fresh, energetic and distinctive sound that transcends stylistic borders
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Ulises (feat. George Garzone, Leo Genovese & Ben Street)
Pancho Molina & Elias Meister
6:21 $1.49
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2. Bedstuy Facilities (feat. George Garzone, Leo Genovese & Ben Street)
Pancho Molina & Elias Meister
6:55 $1.49
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3. Ticket to Timbuktu (feat. George Garzone, Leo Genovese & Ben Street)
Pancho Molina & Elias Meister
3:48 $1.49
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4. Time Traveler (feat. George Garzone, Leo Genovese & Ben Street)
Pancho Molina & Elias Meister
8:19 $1.49
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5. Samurai Tale (feat. George Garzone, Leo Genovese & Ben Street)
Pancho Molina & Elias Meister
6:51 $1.49
clip
6. All My Life (feat. George Garzone, Leo Genovese & Ben Street)
Pancho Molina & Elias Meister
5:53 $1.49
clip
7. Loose Blues (feat. George Garzone, Leo Genovese & Ben Street)
Pancho Molina & Elias Meister
6:02 $1.49
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Daring & Playful" ★★★★ Downbeat

"A genre-bender delivering postbop with rock attitude" NYC Jazz Record

On “Open For Business,” Chilean drummer Francisco “Pancho” Molina and German guitarist Elias Meister deliver an authoritative debut album that showcases their respective talents as instrumentalists and composers as well as their knack for fusing modern jazz, rock and Latin influences into a fresh and distinctive sound that transcends stylistic borders.The two met in 2004 while both were attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston and were joined by saxophonist George Garzone, pianist Leo Genovese and bassist Ben Street on the self-produced CD released on their new label EMPM Records.

The CD features 4 compositions by Molina and 3 by Meister that are informed by their eclectic life and musical experiences both in the US and their homelands. Molina’s compelling drumming - which before devoting himself to jazz was honed over 15 years as a founding member of Los Tres, the most successful and influential Chilean rock band of the 1990s –seemlessly weaves together intricate jazz nuances with the energy of rock and the infectious rhythms of various Latin American cultures. Meister’s inventive guitar playing balances intensity and sensitivity, his versatility taking full advantage of his diverse experiences playing jazz and rock as well as classical music. For example, Molina’s “Ulises” which opens the CD and Meister’s “Time Traveler” both pulsate with Latin rhythms while the guitarist’s “Loose Blues” and the drummer’s “Bedstuy Facilities” celebrate the jazz and blues traditions. Meister’s ballad “All My Life” provides Open For Business with an oasis of serenity contrasted by the funk and fusion dynamics of Molina’s compositions “Ticket To Timbuktu” and “Samurai Tale.”

The title Open For Business refers to the radical changes the music industry has gone through in recent years and how self-reliant musicians are required to be today. “It’s not enough for a musician to just be an artist these days. We have to also be an impresario, a promoter, a booking agent and more,” Molina explained. “This has had a huge impact on my musical career and the way I live my life as a musician now. The scenario is totally different from what it used to be 10 years ago with more and more artists – both emerging and established ones – having to take responsibility not only for writing and playing but also recording, releasing and marketing their own music…it’s really become a “do-it-yourself” industry so Elias and I are announcing that we’re open for business!”

The opening track on the CD, “Ulises,” is a song in 6/8 Molina named after his father that blends jazz and folk elements with a few rock licks thrown in for flavoring influenced and inspired by the drummer’s invaluable association while in Boston with the Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez. The bluesy “Bedstuy Facilities” is what Molina called the apartment in Brooklyn he moved into after he left Boston which was a hangout for - and the site of many a jam session with - his musician friends and where he wrote all the music he contributed to Open For Business. Molina describes “Ticket To Timbuktu,” which starts off with an improvisation by Garzone before the melody is stated, as a “musical journey” based on changes inspired by John Coltrane and influenced by both music from the heyday of the fusion era pioneered by Weather Report and other seminal jazz rock bands as well as by the music of the Malian singer and guitarist Ali Farka Touré. For “Samurai Tale,” a song inspired by books Molina read about the legendary Japanese warriors, the drummer first came up with the 7/4 bass line first and then developed the tune as a vehicle for Garzone to strut his stuff in a rare funk context and provides Meister with a chance to rock out as well.

The guitarist’s three contributions to Open For Business complement Molina’s and also offer opportunities for the members of the quintet to display their instrumental versatility and virtuosity in a variety of stylistic settings. “I wrote ‘Time Traveller’
shortly before the rehearsal phase to the album started and even though I didn’t start out this way the choice of musicians for the album influenced the composition greatly while I was writing it,” Meister explains. “The song’s 6/8-feel was inspired by the music Pancho and Leo grew up with in Chile and Argentina while the longer, almost modal sections were intended to provide Leo with the space and time for his adventurous ideas in harmony and sound creation. The angular melody that weaves in and out of the harmony is a wink to George's avant-garde playing and the central bass riff was written with Ben in mind.” Meister characterizes the form and feeling of “All My Life” - in which the only improvisation occurs when the quintet plays the coda of the tune together, - as being “closer to a pop song than jazz” as reflected by the tune’s relaxed waltz tempo and its verses-and-choruses structure. “I wanted this song to be a point of beauty, rest and simplicity in between the other compositions on the album which are mostly more energetic and engaging with more complicated forms and compositional devices.” Finally, as its name implies, ”Loose Blues,” which concludes Open For Business and is the only track on which Genovese plays the Hammond B3 organ, is Meister’s take on blues harmonies, melodies and feeling, a major influence on him and the other players.

ABOUT FRANCISCO “Pancho” MOLINA
Born in Concepción, Chile, in 1969, Francisco “Pancho” Molina started playing drums when he was 11. He cites the rock of
Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and The Police as well as the jazz of Art Blakey, Wayne Shorter, Weather
Report, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea as early inspirations. When he was 13 he and two friends in Concepción formed
the band Los Tres (The Three), eventually moving to the Chilean capital of Santiago and spending 15 years with the group
which would become the most successful and influential rock band in Chile and Latin America during the 90's, touring
extensively in Chile, Argentina, Perú, Colombia, México, the USA, Spain and Italy and releasing 8 albums on Sony Music,
several of which went Platinum. Parallel to his career as a rock drummer, Molina continued his love affair with jazz and he
with the other members of Los Tres formed a jazz trio and he released three albums in Chile as a leader - Los Titulares,
Perseguidor and Bipolar - on his own independent jazz label Columbus Records.

Molina left Los Tres in 2000 and in 2004 moved to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music from which he graduated in
2007. In Boston he met guitarist Elias Meister, saxophonist George Garzone, pianist Leo Genovese and bassist Ben Street who appear on Open For Business, the drummer’s US recording debut. Another important connection Molina made at this time was with the Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez who invited the drummer to join his big band and with whom he performed and recorded the acclaimed work “Panama Suite.” In addition to playing with different jazz, blues and rock musicians in Boston, he also worked as a percussionist for the dance departments of The Boston Conservatory, Wellesley College, and Harvard University as well as with the Boston Ballet, Prometheus Dance Company and Zoe Dance Company.

Molina moved to New York City in 2007 and has performed at Fat Cat, Smalls, Teddy's Bar, Tea Lounge, NU Blu, and S.O.B.
among other venues. Since 2010 he has been working closely with the German guitarist Elias Meister whom he met at
Berklee in 2005 in an ongoing workshop setting involving different musicians and performances and the production and
release on their label EMPM Records of their album Open For Business.

ABOUT ELIAS MEISTER
Born in 1983 in Munich, Germany, guitarist Elias Meister attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston on a scholarship
from 2003-07 where he studied with Joe Lovano, Mick Goodrick and Hal Crook and earned a B.M. summa cum laude. Playing electric, nylon and steel string guitars, he utilizes a diverse and eclectic palette of sounds he explores and develops in a variety of genres ranging from the intricacy of classical and Brazilian finger-picking to jazz improvisation to a powerful rock sound.

Since settling in New York City in 2007, Meister has been active as a jazz musician in contemporary, traditional and chamber settings including a frequent gig at the Williamsburg Bar Teddy's; playing in the rock band Mon Khmer; collaborating with Portuguese vocalist Rita Maria; and producing pop music for the German movie production Company Bavaria Film. Since 2010 he has been working closely with the Chilean drummer Pancho Molina whom he met at Berklee in 2005 in an ongoing workshop setting involving different musicians and performances and the production and release on their label EMPM Records of their album Open For Business. Meister’s recording debut as a leader, Illumi's Journey, was released on the German label Konnex Records in 2011.

Meister plays on Mon Khmer’s self-titled album and the EP "Birthplace" (2010) and performed across the US on a tour that
included an appearance at the prestigious SXSW Festival in Austin, TX. He has also performed with the band at the Bowery
Ballroom, Le Poisson Rouge, Mercury Lounge, Glasslands Gallery and Littlefield in New York, the Dragon's Den in New
Orleans and at Princeton and Yale Universities among other venues and appeared on concert bills with Secret Machines,
Nicole Atkins and Micachu And The Shapes among many other bands.

Since 2004 Meister has composed, co-produced and recorded together with the musician Jakob Anthof pop songs for films
including Die Wilden Huehner (2004), seen by over a million viewers in movie theaters throughout Germany, Austria and
Switzerland. They also contributed to the soundtracks of "TKKG" (2006), "Die Wilden Huehner und das Leben" (2009),
"Summertime Blues" (2009) and "Hier kommt Lola" (2010).

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