Renowned jazz drummer, composer, teacher and bandleader Allison Miller is back with a new album, the first since 2013’s acclaimed No Morphine, No Lilies. Alongside a top notch band in Boom Tic Boom, Otis Was a Polar Bear catches Miller at a watershed moment in her life, not just as a growing musician, but now as a parent. Drawing great inspiration from her daughter Josie, Miller explains the departure from her last album to this most recent studio effort. “The last record was about such intense hardship and pain. This record is the other side of all that—it’s the beauty that comes after a storm.”The album opens with the bright, sultry Latin flair of Ben Goldberg’s charming clarinet play on “Fuster.” Inspired by Cuban artist José Rodríguez Fuster, the composition has its origins rooted in everyday life, this particular track, an unshakable melody Miller had sung to Josie in the first weeks of her life. Likewise, “Hoarding the Pod” comes from an over-caffeinated state during a recording session with Natalie Merchant. Its frantic, supercharged intro takes a backseat to a mellow groove supplied by Miller, finally giving way to the controlled chaos of Jenny Scheinman’s violin boiling over, Kirk Knuffke’s cornet beaming and Myra Melford making it rain piano keys.With a beautiful and thoughtful pairing of “The Listener” and “Lullaby For Cookie,” Miller delicately bridges the gap between life and death, the former written for a music-obsessed friend who died suddenly, while the latter was written for Miller’s daughter Josie before her birth. Miller’s relatively minimalist approach on these arrangements packs a significant punch.The album’s title track, “Otis Was a Polar Bear” evokes great imagery, not unlike the Melford-lead “Pig In A Sidecar” or “Shimmer.” Scheinman’s playful strokes and plucks on “Otis” are accented by Knuffke’s and Goldberg’s summit of brass and woodwinds while Miller and upright bassist Todd Sickafoose fill out a highly active and invigorated rhythm section.“Slow Jam” certainly lives up to its name. Miller’s simple, elegant groove is guided through the slow burner by a steady bass line and fantastic interplay with Melford and Knuffke. Miller’s final selection,”Staten Island,” was written after the tragic killing of Eric Garner by Staten Island police. “I sat down at the piano feeling hopeless and filled with rage. This is what came out,” Miller says. As in the case of Garner, there are a lot of moving parts to this track. Scattered flurries from Goldberg’s clarinet are mirrored by Milford’s frenzied piano before Miller is finally set off like a stick of dynamite into a righteous rock groove. When the groove begins its descent it’s left with only the sombre notes of Knuffke’s waning cornet.From traditional rock and jazz themes to the avant-garde variety, Allison Miller’s Otis Was a Polar Bear will present something of significance for the ear of any listener, whether the casual jazz fan or the most hardcore fan of fusion. Her chops are undeniable as is her ability to compose and elevate the separate links of her band in a way that reflects a focused and unrestrained sound.Otis Was a Polar Bear is set for release April 8 on Royal Potato Family. You can watch a behind the scenes video on the making of the album below, and don’t forget to check out Miller’s upcoming tour dates, as she and Boom Tic Boom will be out on the road this coming spring.Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom Spring 2016 Tour4/8 Seattle, WA @ Royal Room 4/9 Portland, OR @ Alberta St. Pub4/10 Arcata, CA @ Kate Buchanan Room HSU 4/14 Santa Cruz, CA @ Kuumbwa4/15 Los Angeles, CA @ The Blue Whale4/16 Berekely, CA @ Freight and Salvage4/17 Half Moon Bay, CA @ Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society4/27 Bloomsburg, PA @ Bloomsburg University4/28 Erie, PA @ Mercyhurst Institute for Arts and Culture: Walker Recital Hall4/29 Lewisburg, WV @ Carnegie Hall4/30 Roanoke, VA @ Jazz Club at Jefferson Center5/1 Baltimore, MD @ Creative Alliance5/3 Charlottesville, VA @ Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church5/5 New York, NY @ Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola5/6 New Haven, CT @ Firehouse 125/7 North Adams, MA @ MASS MoCA5/8 Goshen, MA @ Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares: Institute for the Musical Arts5/13 Philadelphia, PA @ Ars Nova Workshop: Philadelphia Art Alliance5/14 Washington, DC @ Kennedy Center: 21st Annual Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival7/1 Iowa City, IA @ Iowa City Jazz Festival
Oil majors Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and BP were among successful bidders for offshore acreage offered in Brazil on Friday as part of the 5th Production Sharing Round.5th Production Sharing Round in Brazil (Image source: ANP)The Brazilian ANP had offered four blocks Saturno, Titã, Pau-Brasil e Sudoeste de Tartaruga Verde. All blocks were acquired. The Round raised R$6,82 billion in signing bonuses and R$ 1 billion in planned investments on the exploration phase.In the bids under the production-sharing regime, the winning companies are those who offer the Brazilian State, from a minimum percentage set in the tender protocol, the largest portion of oil and natural gas produced (i.e., the largest portion of profit oil). The signing bonuses, also defined in the tender protocol, are fixed.According to the law in force, Petrobras has the right of first refusal to act as the operator in blocks of the pre-salt and those considered strategic. The company opted to be the operator, with a 30% share, in the area of Sudoeste de Tartaruga Verde.See below the results and the winners of the round: Shell and Chevron won a 35-year production sharing contract for the Saturno pre-salt block located off the coast of Brazil in the Santos Basin for a signing bonus of 3,1 billion Brazilian reals, or around $780 million.Andy Brown, Upstream Director, Royal Dutch Shell said: “We are pleased to add another material, operated exploration position to our leading portfolio in one of the world’s most prolific deep-water areas.”Shell said that with the addition of the Saturno block (Shell 50% operating, Chevron 50%), Shell increased its total net acreage off the coast of Brazil to approximately 2.7 million acres.U.S. major ExxonMobil teamed up with Qatar Petroleum, and won the Titã exploration block for the same fee as the one paid by Shell and Chevron, however, the split here is not even; its 64% for Exxon who will be the operator and 36% for Qatar Petroleum.According to ExxonMobil, the block awarded added more than 71,500 net acres to the ExxonMobil portfolio, expanding the company’s total position in the country to approximately 2.3 million net acres.Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company said: “With the acquisition of this block, we continue to increase our holdings in Brazil’s pre-salt basins, which are high-quality opportunities that enhance ExxonMobil’s global portfolio. These resources will benefit from ExxonMobil’s considerable capabilities, which we will employ as we explore and develop them with our co-venturers and the government.”ExxonMobil subsidiary ExxonMobil Exploração Brasil Ltda. has interests in a total of 26 blocks offshore Brazil and is the operator of 66 percent of its net acreage.BP partnered with Colombia’s Ecopetrol and China’s CNOOC for the Pau Brasil block, offering in total around $123 million for the acreage.
Published on February 28, 2017 at 11:15 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] | @Schafer_44 UPDATED: March 2, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.The words follow Chris Clemons of Campbell University wherever he goes. Too small. He didn’t start on his AAU team because of it and, in high school, he didn’t talk to a single coach from a Power 5 program.“Chris is a crazy good shooter and he’s crazy athletic,” said Clemons’ high school coach, Scott McInnes. “But it’s hard because a lot of schools saw his size and they are very concerned.”The 5-foot-9, 165-pound sophomore’s stature isn’t an issue. He earned Big South Freshman of the Year honors last season, averaging 18.5 points per game. This season, his 23.1 points per game average ranks sixth in the nation. Campbell’s (14-16, 7-11 Big South) all-time leading underclassman scorer has posted more than 20 points in 21 of 29 games this season, and his 16 dunks are 10 more than any other player below 6 feet, according to a Feb. 23 article on Kenpom.com.Despite his gaudy numbers, Clemons hasn’t received the same recognition as other leading scorers have. In high school, he notched 36 points against North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr., the top-rated point guard in the 2016 class, per ESPN. Earlier this season, Clemons scored a career-high 37 points against Charleston Southern.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“There’s a chip on your shoulder to do something like I’m doing right here with points,” Clemons said. “Maybe (coaches) go back and think maybe we shouldn’t have overlooked this kid down here from Buies Creek (North Carolina).”Clemons grew up 30 miles north of Buies Creek in Raleigh, where he dominated games in much the same way as he does now. In his senior year at Millbrook (North Carolina) High School, Clemons once scored 40 points, which he thought had cemented himself as the school’s top single-game scorer. But the next day, a local member of the town brought in a newspaper article stating that he had scored 40 points during the 1966-67 season.A few weeks later, Clemons put up 41 in a state tournament game to snap the record.“Chris believes he can hit any shot he takes,” his father, Carlyton, said. “He doesn’t second guess about a shot. He is that confident in his ability.”Clemons compensates for his height with freakish jumping ability that runs in the family. His older brother Carlee jumped over three players, including current Duke player Harry Giles, as a high school senior at the Triad All-Star dunk contest. Chasing Carlee soon became forefront of Clemons’ aspirations. He dunked for the first time as a junior and has since made SportsCenter’s Top 10 three times, one more than CarleeClemons had the No. 5 play on SportsCenter’s Top 10 on Jan. 24, 2015, when he tossed the ball off the backboard, caught it back with his right hand and finished with a slam. He dunked 33 other times that year while setting the single-season points record, with 699. In one game, he clanked a jumper off the rim, followed his shot and jumped past two opponents to flush home the dunk, sending the crowd into delirium.“I was just trying stuff I’d never tried before,” Clemons said.At Millbrook, he played in the same conference as Boston College’s Jerome Robinson and Kansas’ Devonte’ Graham. He also matched up against former Duke standout Brandon Ingram.Now at Campbell, Clemons is still turning heads. Earlier this season in a game against Samford, Clemons used a pick to free himself from his defender. Charging down the lane, he elevated above a 6-foot-8 defender to slam the ball. The video ran on CBSsports.com.Clemons scores in bunches. Two weeks ago at Charleston Southern, Clemons racked up 10 points in the first five minutes of play. He went on to score 21 in the first half and finished the evening with 30.“For a small school like us,” Clemons said, “it’s great to be that person that helps us get our name out there.”For now, he remains in the Big South. But he hopes to once again play against big time opponents. Maybe, in the NBA.“I am able to play with any of these guys, you know Power 5, ACC,” Clemons said. “I’m confident I can go to the next play level.”CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the name of Campbell University was misstated. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+