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JAZZ DRUMMER KARL LATHAM EMPLOYS LEGACY RME FIREFACE UFX INTERFACE ON PANDEMIC-INSPIRED RECORD ‘TOGETHER’

Home » News » Jazz Drummer Karl Latham Employs Legacy RME Fireface UFX Interface on Pandemic-inspired Record ‘Together’ 

The UFX has been Latham’s main interface for nearly a decade due to its unrelenting stability and neutral sound characteristic 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, July 21, 2021 — Karl Latham is a one-man drumming machine. As a jazz drummer, educator and recording engineer, not a day goes by where Latham isn’t working or recording in his home studio with his RME Fireface UFX audio interface by his side.  Latham first discovered RME’s interfaces in many studios when touring and recording in Northern Europe in 1993. While the original UFX model was replaced by RME in 2017 with the best-in-class Fireface UFX+, Latham still uses his original UFX on a daily basis, with the unit playing a central role in his home studio workflow for the last 8 years.“I can’t express how much I love this piece of gear,” Latham said. “It literally beats every requirement I would ever have — from the stability to the sound quality to the ease of use. I’ve been using my UFX for just shy of a decade, and it’s still completely stable.” 

Hitting Every Beat 

From recording and self-producing his new album with NYC bassist Ryan Berg and pianist Alex Collins “Together” — released in June — to contributing drum tracks for numerous demos, artist releases and jingles, Latham’s RME UFX serves as his main interface, routinely running 24 tracks out of it. 

“I run it as the front end to Pro Tools,” Latham explained. “I have a rather large home studio, designed by venerable studio designer John Stork. My entire house is wired to record in, so the UFX plays a very key role.” 

Collins, Berg and Latham’s new album “Together” features such jazz standards as “Stella By Starlight,” “On Green Dolphin Street” and “Polka Dots And Moonbeams.” The project was born out of Latham’s lockdown livestream concert series, “Concerts from the Cabin,” where Latham invited friends to play socially distanced at his home studio in New York. 

“I created ‘Concerts from the Cabin’ just as a place for musician friends to come over and play socially distanced and provide an outlet for us to stay musically in contact with friends, family and fans,” Latham said. “Basically, it was for my friends who are primarily performers to simply try to stay sane. I learned how to operate [free streaming platform] OBS Studio and, while I knew nothing about video, I bought some lights and a pile of webcams, cables and hubs — it was all trial and error.” 

Latham’s livestreaming series included jazz musicians John Lee (Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Director), Laurence Hobgood, Howard Paul, Freddie Hendrix, Tomoko Ohno, Martin Pizzarelli, Mitch Stein and Roger Squitero. 

“We never rehearsed,” Latham said. “We just simply wrote a short list of each session of songs we collectively knew. We didn’t really discuss interpretations or forms, we just played.” 

Initially, Latham envisioned a compilation ‘best of’ release of the streams, but after going over the streams with Ryan and Alex, he changed his mind. The album “Together” was the result of listening back to one the livestream events. 

“The events with Ryan and Alex were so special that I thought it deserved all of my focus,” he said, adding that all of the streams also utilized the Fireface UFX interface. “I ran my entire studio flow capturing all the live instruments, MIDI for virtual instruments and sent that audio to OBS. Many fans said the livestreams sounded like a recording, not a live concert.” 

While recording and producing “Together” at his home studio, Latham said the UFX’s sonic excellence and stability were key. 

“The unit is ridiculously stable,” he said. “And the sound characteristic is exactly what I’m looking for. It’s completely neutral, letting the nuisances of the music speak for itself. It doesn’t color the audio at all which is important to me as both a musician and a producer.” 

While Latham has been using his Fireface UFX for nearly a decade, he said the sound quality and stability are still bar-none. 

“There’s just nothing like it on the market,” Latham explained. “RME products are unparalleled in their sonic clarity, ease of use and versatility. There is no better bang for your buck.” 

For more on RME, visit: rme-usa.com. 

About Synthax, Incorporated 

Synthax Inc. is the exclusive USA distributor for RME digital audio solutions, Digigram broadcast audio systems, Appsys digital audio tools, Ferrofish advanced audio applications, myMix personal monitoring systems and ALVA cableware. We supply a nationwide network of dealers with these products for professional audio, broadcast, music industry, commercial audio, theater, military and government applications. For additional information, visit the company online at http://www.synthax.com.

 

 

Percussive Arts Society Education Committee Appointment 

Percussive Arts Society Education Committee Appointment

I am honored to announce that I was selected this year to an appointment to the Percussive Arts Society Education Committee commencing July 2021. I am honored by the appointment and look forward to serving on the committee and subcommittees within the PAS Education Committee. I finally will start making some instructional videos as I have been promising to my college and private roster students for a long time now.

Humbled and Honored thank you to Dave Stark for recommending me!

CD HotList: New Releases for Libraries Alex Collins; Ryan Berg; Karl Latham  Together  

 Rick Anderson 

CD HotList: New Releases for Libraries 

Alex Collins; Ryan Berg; Karl Latham 
Together 
Drop Zone Jazz 
DZJ202101 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technically, this is a standards album–all tracks except perhaps Wayne Shorter’s “Night Dreamer” are jazz standards–but it’s a standards album with a difference: the Collins/Berg/Lathan trio play these tunes in such a freewheeling way that they’re almost unrecognizable. Please note that I said “freewheeling,” and not “free”; there’s nothing harmolodic or “out” about these arrangements. It’s just that each member of the trio plays in an impressionistic manner and takes great liberties with both melody and rhythm (while remaining nicely tethered to each tune’s harmonic structure). Collins in particular plays in a style that might be characterized as the logical extreme of the Bill Evans approach, except with brighter chord voicings and a somewhat more obviously bravura technique. Bassist Berg plays in a style similarly connected to that of Scott LaFaro, rarely walking and in fact rarely defining a steady meter, while drummer Latham simultaneously holds things together and contributes his own pointillistic flourishes. The result is a program that harks back to tradition even as it lovingly explodes it, and on tender deconstructions of tunes like “On Green Dolphin Street” and “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” the effect is electrifying. Highly recommended.

Spirited soaring diverse jazz Alex Collins, Ryan Berg, Karl Latham – Together  

 

Music Reviews 

Spirited soaring diverse jazz Alex Collins, Ryan Berg, Karl Latham – Together 

By Dick Metcalf, editor, Contemporary Fusion Reviews 

June 30, 2021 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirited soaring diverse jazz Alex Collins, Ryan Berg, Karl Latham – TOGETHER:  Your ears are going to find the recording quality on this album hard to believe, but I can tell you right now that this is one of the most spirited, soaring and diverse jazz sets I have listened to (yet) in 2021… first, I recommend you watch their split-screen video for the opener, “Stella By Starlight“… 

As you saw, these cats REALLY have a love of playing together… you’ll want to make sure you SUBSCRIBE to the Karl Latham YouTube channel, too, where you can find many more exciting performances. 

You’ll hear Alex Collins playing piano, Ryan Berg on bass and Karl Latham does drums; from a “purely jazz” perspective, their performance of Wayne Shorter’s “Night Dreamer” is the hippest song you’ll hear this year… unique talent and ultra-energy make this piece one that jazz DJ’s across the globe will be plugging into their playlists for a LONG time to come! 

“Alone Together” demonstrates the trio’s superior “pacing” ability… every note is an adventure full of the sonic delight that comes from truly playing together… in fact, I haven’t heard a band this tight in many years. 

It was easy to make my choice for personal favorite of the six long performances offered up… their performance of “On Green Dolphin Street” stands out as the best for that tune that I have EVER heard… very unique and sets the trio apart from all the others! 

I give Alex, Ryan and Karl a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.99.  Get more information on Karl’s website.       

Rotcod Zzaj

Midwest Record "COLLINS/BERG/LATHAM/Together" 

 

 

COLLINS/BERG/LATHAM/Together: Three New York jazzbo jazz pros band together to step out of the shadows and more into the spotlight of their own. Serving it up in a piano trio on well known standards that leave room for them to add their own special sauces, they certainly work and play well together---a notation they would want on their permanent records. Easy going but not easy listening, this is what you want to have handy when you're pretending to work from home these summer afternoons.. Smart work. 
(Dropzopnejazz 202101)

Chris Spector 
Midwest Record

‘Together’ Is A Surprisingly Interesting Collection Of Jazz Covers 

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‘Together’ Is A Surprisingly Interesting Collection Of Jazz Covers 

Posted on June 24, 2021 

Courtesy: Dropzone Jazz Records 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month, the trio of Karl Latham, Alex Collins, and Ryan Berg released its first-ever record together.  The group released the record, Together, June 12 through Dropzone Jazz Records.  The six-song record is one more of so many covers collections released by artists within the jazz community this year, but is still a relatively interesting presentation.  That is due in part to the songs featured in the 52-minute record.  They will be discussed shortly.  The arrangements thereof are themselves important to the collection’s presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make Together another interesting addition to this year’s field of new jazz covers compilations and a presentation that is worth hearing at least once. 

Karl Latham, Alex Collins, and Ryan Berg’s debut outing, Together, is a presentation that most jazz fans will agree is an interesting addition to this year’s field of new jazz covers collections.  That is proven in part through the record’s featured songs.  The songs in question are considered to be jazz standards, thought maybe one of the six –‘Stella By Starlight’ – is really truly well-known.  The other songs – ‘Alone Together,’ ‘On Green Dolphin Street,’ ‘Polka Dots and Moonbeams,’ ‘Night Dreamer,’ and ‘Invitation’ – are not as commonly played on jazz stations, ironically.  This is despite the fact that they were crafted by and performed by some very well-known figures.  ‘Night Dreamer’ for instance, was composed and recorded by saxophone great Wayne Shorter.  While popular, it is less well-known than other songs from Shorter, such as say ‘Apple,’ ‘Speak No Evil,’ and ‘Juju.’  To that end, Latham, Collins, and Berg have introduced here, a song that is maybe a standard, regardless, but still one that has received less attention than other Shorter standards over the years.  This makes the song a positive in its introduction/re-introduction. 

‘On Green Dolphin Street’ is another standard that despite having that attribution is maybe not as well-known as other jazz standards.  Miles Davis is credited with bringing the song (originally composed by the team of Bronislaw Kaper and Ned Washington in 1947) to real prominence.  Even keeping that in mind, it has never been considered to be one of Davis’ own greatest hits.  So once again, presenting this “standard” here is a positive way to introduce the song perhaps to a whole new generation of jazz fans and maybe even reintroduce another generation to the song. 

Much the same said of ‘On Green Dolphin Street’ and ‘Night Dreamer’ can be said of ‘Polka Dots and Moonbeams.’  It is another song that despite being called here a “standard” has never really gotten the attention of other well known jazz standards.  In this case, that is especially so, considering that the song – originally composed by the team of Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke in 1940 – was made most famous thanks to Frank Sinatra.  A look at any collection of Sinatra’s biggest hits will reveal that this song is not on any of those collections. So calling the song a standard is somewhat inaccurate.  Even with this in mind, its inclusion in this collection is still positive because it introduces the song to a whole new generation of audiences as well as re-introducing it to its original audiences, just as with the other songs noted here and the compilation’s other trio of songs.  Keeping all of this mind, the songs that are featured in Together may not necessarily be standards in the purest sense, but are still positives because of that very same fact.  On a side note, the credits for the original works are not listed in the compilation’s packaging.  This is something that really needs attention, considering that they are covers.  Credit needs to go where deserved for the original works. 

The songs featured in Together serve as a positive starting point for the record, and are just a portion of what makes the record worth hearing.  The performances thereof build on the record’s presentation from there.  Case in point is the trio’s performance of ‘Stella by Starlight.’  Victor Young’s original composition is just short of the four minute mark and is a clear, light jazz composition.  The piano-driven piece has a nice, gentle swing at its heart.  The famed rendition featuring legendary singer Ella Fitzgerald shows how much stronger the composition becomes with vocals.  By comparison, the rendition performed by Latham/Collins/Berg is a much longer piece, clocking in at more than nine minutes (nine minutes, 22 seconds to be exact).  Some hint of Young’s original is there.  At the same time though, the trio has given the composition a much more modern sensibility here, beginning with the piano run that opens the song.  The use of the bass and piano as the song progresses maintains that more modern sense.  The subdued nature in the trio’s performance adds even more to the rendition’s unique presentation, making for even more reason to listen, even as long as the song is here. 

The trio’s cover of the Bronislaw Kaper/Paul Francis Webster composition ‘Invitation’ (which closes out this compilation) is more proof of the importance of the record’s featured performances.  The original composition barely tops the three minute mark at three minutes, 13 second.  The updated take featured here runs more than nine minutes at nine minutes, 46 seconds.  In the course of that time, Latham and his band mates took the original, which boasted more of a hybrid jazz/modern classical style approach and sound, and turned it more into a sort of bossa nova style work.  It is a complete change of pace here.  That much more upbeat approach in this rendition gives the whole a whole new identity.  That in itself is certain to generate plenty of discussion among audiences.  It shows that much more, why the performances featured in this recording are so important to its presentation and certainly not the last.  The group’s performance of Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz’s ‘Alone Together’ is yet another example of that importance. 

As with the other renditions examined here, the version presented in this collection is much longer than the original.  The original song, which is a gentle, clarinet-centered work, runs only two minutes, 32 seconds in length.  By comparison, the version presented by Latham, Collins and Berg easily exceeds that run time, clocking in at seven minutes, 54 seconds.  The clarinet featured in the original composition is replaced here by Collins’ work on piano, while Latham keeps time on the drums.  Berg’s subtle bass line adds its own touch to the song.  Even though the trio does stay largely true to the source material, the completely difference instrumentation gives the song its own unique identity, once again showing the importance of the performances here.  Collins’ runs and oftentimes semi-Latin influence on the piano line adds even more to that noted statement about the song’s identity here.  It all comes together to make this performance quite the interesting take on the classic song.  When this and the other performances examined here are considered along with the record’s three other performances, the whole makes this record’s featured performances just as important to the presentation here as the songs themselves.  The production put into each performance featured here puts the finishing touch to the collection and completes the record’s presentation. 

The production used in Together is important to examine because of its role in the record’s general effect.  Each performance is so subtle throughout.  This means that the utmost attention had to be paid to the balance in each musician’s part alongside one another.  Luckily, that work paid off, too.  The focus and painstaking efforts resulted in songs that even being covers fully immerse listeners into each work and leaving them feeling fulfilled from one to the next.  That balance, along with the attention to the dynamics in general from each musician results in the best possible impact.  Keeping all of this in mind, everything examined here makes Together a positive addition to this year’s field of new jazz and overall compilation records. 

Together, the new compilation record from Karl Latham, Alex Collins, and Ryan Berg, is an interesting addition to this year’s field of new covers collections.  The record’s interest is due in part to its featured songs.  The songs in question are considered “standards,” but in reality are less well-known than many other jazz songs composed and performed by those involved.  So in reality, the presentation of these songs is an introduction for many and a re-introduction to others, to songs that in reality are not really standards in the purest sense of the term.  The performances of the collection’s featured songs are quite different from their source material, giving each song a new identity.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, either.  That is because even having those new identities, the performances still strive to stay as true as possible to the songs’ source material.  The production of the featured performances puts the finishing touch to the record.  That is because it ensures each song offers the most immersive experience possible, and succeeds in doing so, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to this collection.  All things considered, they make Together a collection that is worth hearing occasionally, even being a collection of covers.  Together is available now.  More information on the collection is available at https://karllatham.com/alex-collins-ryan-berg-karl-latham. 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com. 

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Martin Pizzarelli Quartet Tribute to Bucky Thursday, July 8, 2021 at 8:00pm 

Martin Pizzarelli Quartet Tribute to Bucky 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, July 8, 2021 at 8:00pm 
Rain Date: Friday, July 9 at 8:00pm 

Bassist Martin Pizzarelli put together a special program of hand-picked tunes that pays tribute to his father, guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli. A member of New Jersey’s first jazz family, Martin’s own impressive career as a bass player spans several decades and includes dozens of record dates and hundreds of concerts around the globe in various formations, often accompanying his father. Among his peers, he is considered one of the most swinging bassists on the scene and a “keeper of the flame” who masters the style like no one else today. 

Linus Wyrsch – sax ,clarinet 
Hyuna Park – piano 
Aaron Weinstein – violin 
Martin Pizzarelli – bass 

Karl Latham - Drums

Tickets: 

All blocks are $50 for an 8’x8′ block which accommodates up to 2 patrons. Patrons are welcome to arrive as early as 6:30PM to set up and enjoy the evening sun. 

Buy a package of eight or more concerts and get early access seasonwide! All processing fees are waived for package buyers. 

Groups that are purchasing five or more blocks for one performance will also have advance access and the option of having a designated pre-performance area to host a reception. 

Click here to purchase tickets online. 

To purchase tickets over the phone, call the box office at 973-971-3706.

Master Files arrived for Alex Collins, Ryan Berg, Karl Latham "Together" 

Files Arrived!

Exciting news here at Firefly Studios! 

The master audio files arrived from master engineer Paul Wickliffe for an upcoming collective trio release. 

It is some spirited music created with young rising starts Alex Collins and Ryan Berg. I am very excited about this release.

Alex Collins/Karl Latham/Ryan Berg “Together” is an inviting creation from live streaming events at “Concerts from the Cabin” during the COVID shutdown. Emerging from diverse musical and generational backgrounds, the trio met in the studio and discovered their immediate chemistry exploring timeless jazz standards. Upon hearing the broadcast of their first event they knew that they wanted to share their collective spirited adventures with the world.  

The explorations are dynamic and moving with creative soaring solos, stunning introductions  and constant interplay, all supported by a bed rock of cohesion provided by drummer Karl Latham and bassist Ryan Berg.  

Featured tracks include “Stella by Starlight”, Wayne Shorter’s “Night Dreamer”, “On Green Dolphin Street and “Alone Together”. 

Alex Collins (Piano) 

Ryan Berg (Bass) 

Karl Latham (Drums); 

1 Stella by Starlight 9:19 

2 Alone Together 7:51 

3  On Green Dolphin Street 6:23 

4 Polka Dots and Moonbeams 12:27 

5 Night Dreamer 6:19 

6 Invitation 9:45 

Alex Collins - Alex Collins is a New York City pianist, composer and arranger, performing with Michelle Coltrane; Gerry Gibbs on his #1 record, Weather or Not (2017) and Our People (June 2019). Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars; Lenny White; Lonnie Plaxico,and Ronnie Burrage.  Alex received the Wynton Kelly Jazz Foundation Award for Jazz Achievement (2003). 

Ryan Berg - Ryan Berg has made himself a 

staple on the New York jazz scene performing with Gregory Porter, Ravi Coltrane, Mark Whitfield, Lindsey Webster, JD Allen, Jeff Coffin, Lenny White, Rashid Ali, Gerald Clayton, Logan Richardson, Roy Hargrove, The Brianna Thomas Band, and Frank Lacy Sextet.  

Karl Latham- Internationally recognized in a variety of musical styles with 

artists including John Lee Quartet; Bernie Worrell; 

The Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars; Jerry Vivino; Andy Snitzer; Wolfgang Lackerschmid; Johannes 

Mossinger; Ali Ryerson and Don Braden/Karl Latham Big Funk. Karl is listed 

in DrummerWorld "Top" Drummers Lists; Latham/Carniaux/Egan “Constellations” 2016 BMW Welt Jazz Award selection; The Best Jazz of 2013/2015 35th/37th Annual Jazz Station Polls: 2013 Drums: #7 Karl Latham ; 2015 Drums: #5 Karl Latham

Here is a Private Sneak Preview of what's to come :)

Events