Saturday, October 6 | 8pm
Crispell / Helias / Cyrille Trio
Marilyn Crispell, piano
Mark Helias, double-bass
Andrew Cyrille, drums
Lytton / Wooley Duo
Paul Lytton, percussion
Nate Wooley, trumpet
Rose Recital Hall
University of Pennsylvania
34th and Walnut streets (southeast corner)
$20 General Admission
Marilyn Crispell is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music where she studied classical piano and composition, and has been a resident of Woodstock, New York since 1977 when she came to study and teach at the Creative Music Studio. She discovered jazz through the music of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor and other contemporary jazz players and composers. For ten years she was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet and the Reggie Workman Ensemble and has been a member of the Barry Guy New Orchestra and guest with his London Jazz Composers Orchestra, as well as a member of the Henry Grimes Trio, Quartet Noir (with Urs Leimgruber, Fritz Hauser and Joelle Leandre), and Anders Jormin’s Bortom Quintet. In 2005 she performed and recorded with the NOW Orchestra in Vancouver, Canada and in 2006 she was co-director of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute and a faculty member at the Banff Centre International Workshop in Jazz.
Aside from her work as a soloist and leader, Crispell has performed and recorded extensively with well-known players in the American and international jazz world. She has performed and recorded music by contemporary composers Robert Cogan, Pozzi Escot, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Manfred Niehaus and Anthony Davis (including four performances of his opera “X” with the New York City Opera). She has taught improvisation workshops and is a guest lecturer at universities throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada and New Zealand, and has collaborated with videographers, filmmakers, dancers and poets. Crispell has been the recipient of three New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship grants (1988-1989, 1994-1995 and 2006-2007), a Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust composition commission (1988-1989), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005-2006). In 1996 she was given an Outstanding Alumni Award by the New England Conservatory, and in 2004, was cited as being one of their 100 most outstanding alumni of the past 100 years.
Genres are meant to be bent. Thatâ€™s what ground breaking British percussionist, Paul Lytton and New York trumpeter Nate Wooley believe. The two musicians, from seemingly different backgrounds and musical circles met up earlier this year to record their eponymous debut lp for Detroitâ€™s Broken Research Records.
Paul Lytton, known primarily in the US as the drummer for the long running Evan Parker trio, has been forging new ground as a free jazz percussionist, electronicist, and maker of instruments for almost 40 years. Along with Paul Lovens, Tony Oxley, and John Stevens, he is firmly entrenched in the British tradition of experimental improvisers who have gone beyond the jazz tradition to deal with a new way of improvising, and a new language that has now become a jumping off point for the generations of experimental musicians to come. Over the years, he has played with such improvising luminaries as Parker, Barry Guy, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, and Ken Vandermark.
Nate Wooley is a relative newcomer to improvised music circles, breaking into that publicâ€™s consciousness with his solo recording, â€œwrong shape to be a storytellerâ€ (Creative Sources Recordings) two years ago. Growing up in a small fishing town in Oregon, Nate got a solid jazz education from his father in a northwest coast dance band, but eschewed the tradition of jazz trumpet to concentrate on extreme sound, touring and recording with such hard noise and rock groups as Melee, Graveyards, and Akron/Family. He is currently working in New York with everyone from post-rocker David Grubbs to new music composer/bagpiper Matthew Welch to free jazz guitarist Joe Morris.
The performance of the Marilyn Crispell Trio is made possible by a grant form the Philadelphia Music Project, a program of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts. This event is made possible with the collaboration of University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Music.
Thursday, October 11 | 8pm
John Hollenbeck, drums/composition
Gary Versace, organ bass
Matt Moran, vibraphone/percussion
Chris Speed, clarinet/tenor saxophone
Ted Reichman, accordion
Philadelphia Art Alliance
251 S. 18th Street
$12 General Admission
Please join us for the record release celebration for “For” (Cuneiform), the new CD by the Claudia Quintet, the genre-defying band led by Grammy-nominated composer John Hollenbeck. “For” is a positive message. “For” is driving rhythms, beautiful melodies, and passionate virtuosity. “For” is for all music lovers. “For” is also their fourth CD.
Since Hollenbeck first presented the band in an internet cafe on Avenue A in Manhattan in 1997, the Claudia Quintet has amazed audiences from Alabamato the Amazon. Their unique sound has inspired dancing hippie girls at a New Mexico noise festival, the avant-garde cognoscenti in the concert halls of Vienna and Sao Paolo, and a generation of young musicians worldwide. In the course of the thousands of miles they have travelled together and hundreds of concerts they’ve played, the Claudia Quintet has evolved and grown, developing a dynamic live sound based on trust and spontaneity. They bring this powerful energy into the studio, where they record the old-fashioned way, live, playing as a band. The legions of people who have been won over by the music of the Claudia Quintet live and on CD attest to the fact that genre-defying new music need not be “inaccessible.” “For” is for everyone.
Building on the popular and critical success of their previous CD’s, “The Claudia Quintet” (CRI, 2001), “I, Claudia” (Cuneiform, 2004), and “Semi-Formal” (Cuneiform, 2005), “For” continues Hollenbeck’s startling development as a composer. John Hollenbeck is a leader of a new generation of musicians who have brought together many disparate threads of contemporary music to create a new sound. They embrace the textural freedom of electronic sounds and improvisation, the structural ambition of contemporary classical music, and most importantly, the joy of bodacious grooves and unapologetically gorgeous melodies. In the Claudia Quintet, Hollenbeck has assembled a group of the foremost innovators in this new sound to create a powerhouse band. They are: Drew Gress, bass (Tim Berne, Uri Caine, Ravi Coltrane), Matt Moran, vibraphone (Slavic Soul Party, Mat Maneri, Theo Bleckmann), Ted Reichman, accordion (Anthony Braxton, Marc Ribot, Paul Simon), and Chris Speed, clarinet and tenor saxophone (Human Feel, Bloodcount, Alas No Axis).
Using acoustic instruments – accordion, clarinet, tenor saxophone, upright bass, vibraphone, and drums – the Claudia Quintet’s sound on “For” ranges from the outer reaches of electronic ambient music, as in “For You,” to the subtle interaction of chamber music (“August 5th,” “Pass”), to the cathartic expression of free jazz (“Rug Boy”), and of course the mind-bogglingly grooving combinations of all of the above (plus much more) that is their trademark (“Cool,” “Be Happy”). And in a nod to contemporary sampling culture and his youthful musical obsessions Hollenbeck has included “Rainy Days/Peanut Vendor Mashup,” a combination of the Carpenters hit “Rainy Days and Mondays” and Stan Kenton’s arrangement of “The Peanut Vendor.”
But despite its mercurial versatility, this music is not just technical sophistication and post-modern genre-hopping. In “For,” Hollenbeck has created a “musical offering” in tribute to those who have touched his life, some in unusual ways. Teachers, fellow musicians, friends, and family are among the dedicatees, but so are S.N. Goenka (Vipassana meditation founder) and Mary Cheney (Dick’s daughter). These connections reflect the emotional and spiritual expression at the core of Hollenbeck’s aesthetic. The music of the Claudia Quintet is heartfelt, joyous and thought-provoking.
Sunday, October 14 | 8pm
Kidd Jordan Trio
Kidd Jordan, saxophones
Joel Futterman, piano/saxophone/Indian flute
Alvin Fielder, drums/percussion
Philadelphia Art Alliance
251 S. 18th Street
$12 General Admission
Edward ‘Kidd’ Jordan is probably the single most under-documented jazz musician of his generation, a fact that is even more remarkable when you consider that he is also one of the busiest musicians in the world. The list of bands and artists Jordan has performed with reads like a 40-year Grammy program, from Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder to Aretha Franklin and the Supremes. Aside from his early affiliation with the AACM, Kidd has played with Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Ellis Marsalis, Cannonball Adderley, Ed Blackwell, Julius Hemphill, Alvin Batiste and many others. He is a featured performer every year at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and plays concerts in the USA and abroad.
The French Ministry of Culture recognized Jordan as a Knight (Chevalier) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1985. The French government bestowed him with their highest artistic award for his impetus as a visionary educator and performer. In fact, his imaginative sense of listening first brought together four outstanding saxophonists: Julius Hemphill, Hamiet Bluiett, Oliver Lake, and David Murray, who as the World Saxophone Quartet would be one of the most outstanding jazz ensembles throughout the 1980s. In addition to his live performances, Kidd Jordan has long been associated with music education due to his position at Southern University at New Orleans, his work with children, documented by 60 Minutes, and his educational programs in Sierra Leone, Senegal and Mali.
A quiet genteel man, Kidd has always remained faithful to the sounds in his soul. The honesty in Kidd Jordanâ€™s playing is only matched by a tone that has rarely been heard in the history of his instrument. When audiences talk about Kidd Jordan, sometimes it is necessary to stop and think for a moment…are they referring to Kidd the prophet, the artist, or the teacher? Fortunately for all those that are privileged to know and hear him, they are all the same, all one.
Joel Futterman is recognized internationally as one of the foremost innovators and adventurous artists shaping the improvised music scene. He is known for his spirited, highly imaginative, and radical technique that pushes the limits of the piano. This technique is based on autonomous playing between the hands and is the result of an intense practice regiment he has maintained for the past 40 years. Yet for Joel, technique is invisible. It is only a means for full creative expression unencumbered by physical limitations. Fifteen years ago, he added the curved soprano saxophone to his repertory. He has performed across North America and Europe including such noted music festivals as The Tampere Jazz Festival in Finland, the Visions Festival in New York, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and the North Sea Festival in Denmark. He has compiled a discography of 45 recordings including work with such notable jazz innovators as Jimmy Lyons, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Joseph Jarman, Richard Davis, William Parker, Hal Russell as well as â€˜Kiddâ€™ Jordan and Alvin Fielder with whom he has had a highly productive association since 1994. Also, Joel is the author of two books. One a mystery, The Design and Creative Patterns.
Alvin Fielder and other jazz musicians founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) in 1963. â€œThe purpose of this was for groups to market the music, set up the concerts, and have a forum to play, owning the music, without relying on the music of others. We wanted it to be free.â€ The Roscoe Mitchell Sextetâ€™s landmark album, Sound (1967) was the first recording that Al was on and it was also the first album release from the AACM.
Improvisational music is what describes the type of music Al enjoys playing. Reflecting on his preparation activities, Alvin indicated that when a show is coming up he trains like a boxer. He undergoes intense practices. â€œI get to my drum set and I practice the rudiments of getting around the drum. I donâ€™t practice the music. I am open minded, and improvise on the spot. Music is like painting a portrait or creative writing. Drumming is not beating on something. I think in terms of actual music and rhythm. Like writing there is form to it. There has to be a vocabulary to have good music.â€ Alvin has performed with Sun Ra, Eddie Harris, Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Anderson and many others. Alvin has been playing with Kidd Jordan for over 25 years. His association with Joel Futterman began in 1994.