AMN Reviews: Moppa Elliott – Still, up in the Air [Hot Cup Records]

moppaelliott3Still, up in the Air, the first solo release by Mostly Other People Do the Killing bassist Moppa Elliott, is a largely unedited recording done live at Wilkes-Barre, PA’s St. Stephen Pro Cathedral in February of last year. The seven tracks showcase Elliott’s robust voice, which establishes itself immediately with the mixed pizzicato and percussive strikes that open the set. Whether using bow or fingers, Elliott favors a dense texture built up of multiple notes sounding at once. A signature sound is a variety of auto-counterpoint via creative techniques for plucking, hammering and stopping the strings. When applied energetically, as they often are, these techniques often give the impression of two basses being played simultaneously. Enjoyable enough in its own right, Elliott’s virtuosity is ultimately a means for creating tension-laden excitement and keeping up a relentless forward motion.

http://www.hotcuprecords.com

Daniel Barbiero

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Kevin Shea Artist Profile

Source: Jazz Right Now.

Kevin Shea is valued as being a vital and original artist in the contemporary music scene. Shea’s originality is manifested not only by his personal approach to his instrument, but also throughout his constant search for new musical horizons unifying all the bands he has been involved in despite the parameters set for musicians by genre definition, or by historical icons.

Shea’s artistic interests are rooted in reevaluating what a band/music, musician/performer, artist and audience can and should. Splitting the difference between passion and song, Shea plays multi-dimensional utopian sound in which opposing musical forces integrate to form a new sustainable recipe for sound and social implication. Remaining devoted to his belief that the application of sonic diversity is paramount to the appreciation of human diversity, Shea’s ultimate goal has been to wed disparate ideologies through proficiency, controversy, inquiry, and compassion — an approach perpetuating audiences, listeners, and sometimes fellow band members, to face, question, define, and attempt to defend their own level of tolerance and compassion head-on, no–holds–barred.

March Shows at the IBeam Brooklyn 

Source: IBeam Brooklyn.

Sweet Talk + Sebastien Ammann
Friday, March 4th 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Sebastien Ammann / Dayeon Soek / Lim Yang (8:30 pm)
Sebastien Ammann (piano)
Dayeon Soek (drums)
Lim Yang (bass)
Sweet Talk (9:30 pm)
Jake Henry (trumpet)
Dustin Carlson (guitar)
Cody Brown (drums)

Mara Rosenbloom : FLYWAYS
Saturday, March 5th 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
8:00PM DOORS, HOT TEA & COOKIES
8:30PM & 9:30PM Sets

Anais Maviel – Voice
Daniel Carter – Horns
Adam Lane – Bass
Jeff Davis – Drums
Mara Rosenbloom – Piano

Anti-Social Music versus Andie Springer
Friday, March 11th 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
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ASM Drinks Alone (8:30 PM)
ASM performs a set of solo pieces written by Ty Citerman, Max Duykers, Daniel Felsenfeld, Pat Muchmore, and Ed RosenBerg. Performers include Danica Borisavljevic (piano), Ty Citerman (guitar), Jeff Hudgins (baritone saxophone), Margaret Lancaster (flute), and Pat Muchmore. http://antisocialmusic.org
Andie Springer (9:30 PM)
Called “The best joining of human and machine since RoboCop” (I Care If You Listen), Andie Springer is a soloist and member of ensembles Redshift, TRANSIT and Hotel Elefant. She performs solos written for her to perform on violin by Jacob Richman, Pat Muchmore, and Robert Ashley. http://www.andiespringer.com

Robert Dick / Tiffany Chang Duo
Monday, March 14th 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Robert Dick, flutes
Tiffany Chang, drums

Joe Morris’ ARCADE
Saturday, March 19th 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Joe Morris – Guitar
Joe Moffett – Trumpet
Henry Fraser – Bass

Lena Bloch Quartet
Wednesday, March 23rd 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
IMG_8945
Lena Bloch – Saxophone
Russ Lossing – Piano
Cameron Brown – Bass
Billy Mintz – Drums

McGinnis / Lande / Swallow (night 1)
Thursday, March 24th 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Mike McGinnis – Clarinet
Art Lande – Piano
Steve Swallow – Bass

McGinnis / Lande / Swallow (night 2)
Friday, March 25th 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Mike McGinnis – Clarinet
Art Lande – Piano
Steve Swallow – Bass

Peter Hess Quartet
Wednesday, March 30th 8:30 PM $15 Suggested Donation
Peter Hess – Saxophone, Compositions
Brian Drye – Trombone
Tomas Fujiwara – Drums
Adam Hopkins – Bass

Kronos Quartet’s Fifty for the Future

Kronos Quartet performing in Warsaw, Poland in...

Source: Kronos Quartet.

This April, Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association celebrates spring with events tied to Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, an exciting partnership with Carnegie Hall and others to create 50 new works – by 25 women and 25 men – expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals. Concerts at Zankel Hall highlight the first crop of Kronos’ Fifty for the Future pieces, performed by Kronos (April 2) and a trio of emerging quartets (April 15). Five of the works will be issued online for free on April 15. With a clutch of additional tour performances in the mix, it’s an exceptionally fertile season for the iconic ensemble.

On Saturday, April 2 (7:30 pm) Kronos Quartet brings a program consisting entirely of world and New York premieres to Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. Four of the pieces, including the world premieres by Aleksandra Vrebalov and Yotam Haber, are part of Kronos’ Fifty for the Future. The evening also includes music by Wu Man, Pete Townshend, Nicole Lizée, and others; guest artists include kantele (Finnish zither) player Ritva Koistinen and electronic artist Philip White. The program in full:

Aleksandra Vrebalov: My Desert, My Rose (world premiere, Fifty for the Future commission)
Nicole Lizée: The Golden Age of the Radiophonic Workshop [Fiber-Optic Flowers] (NY Premiere)
N. Rajam: Dadra in Raga Bhairavi (arr. Reena Esmail) (NY Premiere)
Wu Man: “Ancient Echo” from Four Chinese Paintings (arr. Danny Clay) (NY Premiere, Fifty for the Future commission)
Karin Rehnqvist: All Those Strings! with Ritva Koistinen, kantele (NY Premiere)
Yotam Haber: break_break_break with Philip White, electronics (world premiere, Fifty for the Future commission)
Fodé Lassana Diabaté: “Bara kala ta” from Sunjata’s Time (arr. Jacob Garchik) (NY Premiere, Fifty for the Future commission)
Pete Townshend: Baba O’Riley (arr. Jacob Garchik) (NY Premiere)
Albert Behar: Lost Wax (NY Premiere)

The evening forms a colorful snapshot of Kronos’ omnivorous sensibility, with works inspired by Hindustani raga (Rajam), Chinese folk music (Wu Man), string theory (Rehnqvist), and South African rap-rave sounds (Haber). There are tributes to pioneering electronic composer Delia Derbyshire (Lizée), frequent Kronos collaborator Terry Riley (Townshend), Malian warrior-prince Sunjata (Diabaté), and the ethnographic field recordings of Béla Bartók (Behar).

Following the April 2 performance, Kronos will be in residence at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute to lead a weeklong workshop for young professional string quartets. The residency culminates in a recital by a trio of emerging ensembles on Friday, April 15 (9 pm) at Zankel Hall. Under the rubric “Kronos: Creating a New Repertoire,” the Argus Quartet (Los Angeles), Friction Quartet (San Francisco), and Ligeti Quartet (London) will perform Fifty for the Future works by Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Garth Knox, and Wu Man, plus selections from Terry Riley’s Salome Dances for Peace. Each quartet will play a different movement of each piece, enabling listeners to hear different interpretations in the same evening. All together, the program offers a compelling look at Kronos’s Fifty for the Future project in action:

Fodé Lassana Diabaté: Selections from Sunjata’s Time (arr. Jacob Garchik) (NY Premiere, Fifty for the Future commission)
Garth Knox: Satellites (NY Premiere, Fifty for the Future commission)
Wu Man: Selections from Four Chinese Paintings (arr. Danny Clay) (NY Premiere, Fifty for the Future commission)
Terry Riley: Selections from Salome Dances for Peace
The Gift
The Ecstasy
Good Medicine
Note: Kronos Quartet will not perform on the April 15 program. Tickets for both concerts are available at carnegiehall.org.

Also on April 15, Kronos will make the first five Fifty for the Future pieces available online free of charge at kronosquartet.org/fifty-for-the-future. In addition to the Diabaté, Knox, Vrebalov, and Wu Man works mentioned above, the initial set of five includes Franghiz Ali-Zadeh’s Rəqs (Dance). Each piece will be offered in an online module containing the score and parts, a recording, program notes, a videotaped interview with the composer, performance notes/instructions, and other relevant materials about the composition. Over the next five years, the project will result in 50 compositions, all distributed for free in this way.

AMN Reviews: Dan Weiss – Sixteen: Drummers Suite (2016; Pi Recordings)

Drummer Dan Weiss’s 2014 album, Fourteen, topped my best of list for that year. Thus, it should be no surprise that I was looking forward to Weiss’s next effort.  Made available last week, Sixteen: Drummers Suite continues to develop the thematic and compositional approach that Weiss began on Fourteen – in short, if you liked Fourteen, you should not hesitate to pick up this release.

Not unlike its predecessor, Sixteen: Drummers Suite focuses on high-composed, intricate music, and lands somewhere between jazz, modern classical and progressive rock. Weiss is accompanied by fifteen other musicians, including notables such as Jen Shyu, Miles Okazaki, Matt Mitchell, Jacob Sacks, David Binney, Jacob Garchik, Miguel Zenon, and Anna Webber. In addition to Weiss’s drums, the instrumentation includes bass, guitar, piano, synthesizer, saxophones, trombones, tuba, flute, voices, harp, glockenspiel, organ, vibraphone, tabla and percussion.

The album consists of seven pieces, and six focus on the style of a particular jazz drummer. Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Tony Williams, Philly Joe Jones, Kenny Clarke, and Ed Blackwell are represented, while the first track is a minute-long solo drum composition that combines the influences of all of the aforementioned gentlemen. The liner notes cite to specific source material for each track. But Weiss was studying the works of Iannis Xenakis and Per Nørgård during the writing of Sixteen: Drummers Suite. As a result, the compositions do not come off as a drummer’s tribute to icons of the past, or a “drummer’s album” in any sense. Instead, this effort can be listened to and enjoyed without even being aware of Weiss’s influences.

Featuring tightly-written counterpoint, overlapping melodies, dense structures, and wordless vocals, Weiss has achieved a level of sophistication and new-music complexity approaching that of Anthony Braxton. Adding in a hint of Indian classical and minimalism at times, he keeps us guessing which twists and turns he might take through this landscape. Perhaps the most notable track is the 15-minute Ed (for Ed Blackwell), which starts with a warm horn prelude before departing into ominous waters featuring horns, piano, and vocals simultaneously building to something between an orchestral piece and a free-jazz blowout.

For the second time in two years, Dan Weiss has produced an album-of-the-year-level effort. With any luck, this trend will continue.