Roy Nathanson Releases New Sotto Voce Album on Enja + Poetry Book

Fully Altered Media is very pleased to announce the addition of renowned New York multi-instrumentalist, singer and poet Roy Nathanson (a co-founder of The Jazz Passengers) to our May release schedule.  Nathanson will release his 2nd Sotta Voce album on May 12.  The group will then perform at Joe’s Pub in New York City on Friday May 15th at 7:30 PM.

More information on the release show at Joe’s Pub

Roy Nathanson’s Sotto Vocce – Subway Moon (Enja Records)
Release Date: May 12, 2009


Nathanson’s new release is his second by his new ensemble, Sotto Voce.  The album is entitled Subway Moon and was originally commissioned by Chamber Music America’s New Works .  It pairs members of his new ensemble, Sotto Voce, with guests from his longtime Jazz Passengers to inhabit internal monologues about the New York City subway system, bringing a remarkably multilayered world to life.

The CD gleans material from Nathanson’s new poetry collection of the same name, published by German publisher, Buddy’s Knife Editions. Spoken word sections drift over the saxophonist’s signature meter-changing grooves as the instrumentation dances through the landscape of image and memory.  Consistent with the language of the first Sotto Voce release (AUM Fidelity, 2006), human beatboxer Napolean Maddox’s brilliant vocals morph out of the spoken word sections and allow the instruments to be part of a continuous storytelling voice.

Following a series of personal journeys through tragedy and transformation, Nathanson moved back to the Brooklyn neighborhood where he was born; into an old house right above the subway tracks. While teaching music in a New York school, and amid the crush of working people going to and from Manhattan, Nathanson wrote the poems that make up Subway Moon.  Producer Hugo Dwyer’s wonderful samples provide actual sounds of the subway as backgrounds for Nathanson’s reflections and observations about people, place and the passage of time.

Beginning with a heartbreaking, minimalist rendition of the Gamble & Huff classic “Love Train,” Subway Moon takes listeners on a wild ride through Bush-era Orange Alerts, past the “Why are you killing me?” chant of a man dressed in a blue plastic bag, into a proto-disco lament about a failed subway romance.  Part audio-film, part radio-play, part song cycle, Subway Moon treads some very new ground.

The lineup: Roy Nathanson – alto and soprano sax, vocals; Curtis Fowlkes – trombone, vocals; Brad Jones – bass; Tim Kiah – vocals, bass on “Love Train”; Sam Bardfeld – violin; Napoleon Maddox – human beatbox, vocals; Bill Ware – vibes, vocals; Hugo Dwyer – keyboard sampler; Sean Sondregger – tenor sax, flute; Marcus Rojas – tuba; Gabriel Nathanson – trumpet on “Love Train”

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