Eighth Blackbird 2014/15 Season Announced

Richard Reed Parry
Cover of Richard Reed Parry

From Eighth Blackbird:

Chicago-based sextet eighth blackbird (www.eighthblackbird.org) is pleased to announce their 2014/15 program and tour. Continuing their tour of Still In Motion, this season features pieces by Bryce Dessner (The National), the late Lee Hyla, Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Gabriella Smith, Tom Johnson, and György Ligeti. Last season’s Heart and Breath, which includes Amy Beth Kirsten’s multidisciplinary work Colombine’s Paradise Theatre, directed and designed by Mark DeChiazza, will also make its debut in several cities.

A partial list of confirmed 14/15 dates:

New York, New York: Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 7/25-7/26
Chicago, IL: Museum of Contemporary Art, 9/8-9/13
New York, New York: Miller Theater, 9/18
New York, New York: Brooklyn Academy of Music, 10/16-10/18
Boston, MA: New England Conservatory of Music, 10/26
Davidson, NC: Davidson College, 11/21
Ann Arbor, MI: University Musical Society, 1/17
Seattle, WA: University of Washington, 2/7
Hawaii: University of Hawaii at Manoa/Maui Arts and Cultural Center, 2/8-2/15
State College, PA: Penn State, 4/2
Interlochen, MI: Interlochen, 4/9


AMN Reviews: Sam Boshnack Quintet – Exploding Syndrome (2014)

a3786960768_2Trumpeter Sam Boshnack (Sam as in Samantha, rather than Samuel or Samwise) has played with  Butch Morris, Eyvind Kang, Oliver Lake, Bobby Previte, Terry Riley, Stuart Dempster, Wayne Horvitz, Jessica Lurie, and Amy Denio among others.  This, the first recording of her quintet, features Beth Fleenor on clarinet and vocals, Dawn Clement on keyboards, Isaac Castillo on bass, and Max Wood on drums.  The collective fits into a growing jazz niche, not free jazz yet far from mainstream, combining both improvisation and composition.

The centerpiece of the album is the three-part, 18-minute Suite for Seattle’s Royal Court. Boshnack manages to show off the quintet’s chops, her compositional angularity, and some granular delicacy. In the third movement especially, Castillo’s bass carries the group on a steady climb through a controlled improv, with a few distractions here and there. Xi is a more introspective piece featuring bowed bass and bass clarinet to good measure. The title track is perhaps the most aggressive, invoking a bit of John Zorn with Fleenor’s death-metal-like scat vocals over the top of heavy riffing.

Not unlike fellow trumpet-wielder Daniel Rosenboom, Boshnack shows what a five-piece jazz band is capable of in a post-Miles world.  Boshnack’s tight writing gives a nod to the traditional sound, but is exciting and fresh.


5049 Records Podcast: Colin Marston

English: Colin Marston of Behold...the Arctopu...
English: Colin Marston of Behold…the Arctopus shown with direct ancestor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From 5049 Records:

If you don’t know Colin Marston, you should. An integral member of essential bands like Dysrythmia, Gorguts and Behold… The Arctopus, Colin is a life-long believer who plays from his heart and stands up for what he believes in. He’s a top shelf musician and a studio owner. Many of the records coming out of NYC these days are cut in his studio, The Thousand Caves, and whether working on improv records or intense technical metal, Colin gives it his all.

Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Doodshoofd – Drukkend
Mortualia – Blood of the Hermit
Francisco López – Untitled #284
Francisco López & Michael Esposito – JAALJTH
Cathy Lane – The Hebrides Suite
Ecoute La Merde/Slee​p Column – Split
Raison D’etre – Mise en Abyme
Tehom – Lacrimae Mundi
Clive Henry – The Police Station
La Goccia D’Acqua – Tradere

The Bang on a Can Marathon Reviewed

Bang on a Can All-Stars
Cover of Bang on a Can All-Stars

From NYTimes.com:

The event is still hands-on for the three Bang on a Can founders — Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe — who run the organization’s sprawling new-music advocacy operations and traded off M.C. duties on Sunday. As the decades roll by, the marathon remains inspiringly rangy, a mix of old and young composers, ensembles and listeners. (A healthy sprinkling of audience members raised hands when Mr. Lang asked who had been at the first marathon, in 1987.) All in all, it’s an irresistible show, whatever the quality of the music. And with Sunday’s consistently excellent performances, it was possible to judge that music on its own terms. So Percussion lavished its talents on Bryce Dessner’s intensely pretty, utterly inert “Music for Wood and Strings.” The ensemble Contemporaneous attacked, with passion, the syrupy, listless lyricism of selections from Jherek Bischoff’s “Cistern.”