Archive for December, 2012
2011 DownBeat International Critics Poll Rising Star Violin Winner, Jazz Violin Virtuoso, New Media Entrepreneur,
Releases His Third RESONANCE RECORDS Album,
Celebrating The Music of Latin America & Spain,
With Special Guest
French Accordion Master
OUT FEBRUARY 12, 2013
Produced by Label Founder George Klabin
Throughout his life and career, Christian Howes has thrived on venturing outside of his comfort zone. He’s taken the violin into the relatively unexplored territory of modern jazz, combining classical training with soulful expressiveness; he’s emerged from hardships and challenges with an ever-stronger, more individual voice; and he’s been on the vanguard of digital-age entrepreneurship with his online classes and virtual string orchestra.
Ben Goldberg’s career has been shaped by a relentless pursuit of musical truth, a pursuit that for decades has led him past boundaries of genre and era in the creation of beautifully insistent, provocative, and revelatory music. With his two richly compelling new releases, Unfold Ordinary Mind and Subatomic Particle Homesick Blues, Goldberg offers the latest rewards of this quest.
Ask the most gifted composers in any genre of music and almost all would agree that the most difficult challenge is to write with simplicity and clarity. That’s precisely the challenge that Goldberg set himself in writing the tunes that comprise his two new CDs, both available on his BAG Production label. Recorded five years apart but released simultaneously, Unfold Ordinary Mind and Subatomic Particle Homesick Blues offer two distinct glimpses of Goldberg’s evolutionary process. Here we find a composer in full command of his vast ideas, communicating with moving directness stripped of unnecessary complexity, finding stunning beauty in the cerebral and depth within uncluttered lyricism.
Our clients are listed as #1, #2, #5 & #10 in the PopMatters Best Jazz of 2012 list posted today. Congrats to FAM clients Vijay Iyer, Dave Douglas, Rez Abbasi & Linda Oh + past client and all around good guy Matt Wilson & our friends Tim Berne, Mary Halvorson, The Bad Plus & Bill McHenry. We don’t know Brad Mehldau personally but we greatly admire his work! You dig? View the list.
Our clients are listed as #2, #6 & #8 in this year’s Top 10 Jazz Records at Slate.com by veteran jazz critic Fred Kaplan. Congrats again to Vijay Iyer and Dave Douglas and also to new FA client Ron Miles Music on those top spots. List also includes our new friend Ravi Coltrane whom we met at our holiday party at The Jazz Gallery this week and our old buddy Jenny Scheinman. Congratulations to all.
John Hollenbeck didn’t seek out popular music when he was kid, but it was always there, and it became an undeniable part of him. Songs I Like A Lot is an album on which the adventurous and internationally renowned composer, esteemed for his ability to strike upon new sounds, turns instead toward familiar forms, and weaves other peoples’ songs into his own unique tapestry.
Growing up in Binghamton, New York, Hollenbeck frequently heard “Wichita Lineman,” asong originally by pop writer Jimmy Webb, as sung by one of his father’s favorite pop balladeers Glen Campbell. Although he was more interested in music that sounded new to him, Webb’s songwriting left an indelible impression. For Songs I Like A Lot,Hollenbeck scoured his memory in search of songs that had similarly become inextricable from his musical outlook. He compiled a big list, and whittled it down with help from vocalists Theo Bleckmannand Kate McGarry, who are featured on the album, along with pianist Gary Versace.
In the 1980s, Elliott Sharp was the height of New York City cool, a central part of that town’s experimental music scene. His creations were inspired by advanced mathematical concepts. He tuned his guitars according to the Fibonacci Sequence and wrote challenging pieces inspired by fractal geometry.
But Sharp has an alter ego: With his side band Terraplane, he transforms from New York avant-garde aesthete to down-and-dirty Chicago bluesman. Here, he speaks with NPR’s Jacki Lyden about his albumSky Road Songs and former Howlin’ Wolfguitarist Hubert Sumlin’s “pearls of blue wisdom.”
Saxophonist & Sound Artist CURTIS MACDONALD RELEASES THREE SONG EP, TWICE THROUGH THE WALL, February 12, 2013Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
Saxophonist & Sound Artist CURTIS MACDONALD
RELEASES THREE SONG EP,
TWICE THROUGH THE WALL, February 12, 2013
Featuring David Virelles (piano), Chris Tordini (bass), Jeremy Viner (saxophone), Adam Jackson (drums)
Canadian-born jazz composer and sound artist Curtis Macdonald’s new EP, Twice Through the Wall, explores the hidden potential of everyday experiences and the way those experiences can be altered and fine-tuned through metaphysical disciplines, such as classical yoga, meditation and lucid dreaming.
“While I was making Twice Through the Wall, I began to realize that surrender and deep listening are essentially the same,” Macdonald says. “The music I make takes form from many angles.”
As a composer, alto saxophonist, sound artist and production engineer, Macdonald favorsintertwining textures and concepts to create sonic arrangements that hinge on surprise and unexpected movements. His 2011 debut album, Community Immunity (released under Grammy-nominated trumpeter Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music label), is a mosaic of rhythms and competing ideas and aesthetics. In Twice Through the Wall, Macdonald draws inspiration from various Eastern and Western philosophies as well as more technical disciplines—fractal geometry, rhythmic algorithms and chance operations. He approaches the material with the soloist’s reliance on intellect, intuition and refinement, but he’s more interested in watching his band mates translate and reshape his ideas than he is in producing a static product. The result is an EP heavily arranged in concept, but relaxed in its execution, and it’s through this interchange that Twice Through the Wall achieves a near perfect compositional balance.
The now firmly established Curtis Macdonald Group includes virtuoso Cuban-born, New York-based pianistDavid Virelles (Steve Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, Wadada Leo Smith), the highly sought-after bassist Chris Tordini (Becca Stevens Band, Yaron Herman, Matt Mitchell, Tyshawn Sorey), Jeremy Viner (John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Rafiq Bhatia) on tenor saxophone, and drummer Adam Jackson. The group has a growing fan base both at home and abroad. In the last 18 months, they have toured across the U.S., Canada and Europe and been well received by listeners and critics alike.
Macdonald says of the group, “They inspire such an unbelievably ferocious and fearless conviction in my music. Sometimes it feels like I’m assembling a band of musical gangsters. I love that feeling of ‘I’m holding you at the edge.’”
In addition to his role as a saxophonist and bandleader, Macdonald also composes solo sound works and has collaborated with artists in other fields. His projects have ranged from solitary (elaborate arrangements for player pianos) to deeply collaborative, including an original score he composed for the modern dance company Aszure Barton & Artists, who will be performing the piece across Europe and the U.S. for the next two years.
“The exchanges I have with musicians, choreographers, filmmakers, sculptors, mathematicians and digital artists continually influence the music I produce,” Macdonald says.
Like the title of the opening track, Twice Through the Wall gives listeners their own “Social Inheritance” and demonstrates the range and depth an artist is capable of producing even in a short-play format.
· Nov. 28 – Curtis Macdonald Quartet at Barbès, 8 – 9 pm
· Dec. 19 – Curtis Macdonald Trio at S.E.E.D.S. Brooklyn, 8:30 – 10 pm
· Jan. 8 – Curtis Macdonald Trio at the Launch Pad, 9:30 pm
· Feb. 6 – Curtis Macdonald Quartet at Cornelia Street Cafe, 9 pm