AMN Reviews: Simon Nabatov, Barry Guy, Gerry Hemingway – Luminous [No Business Records NBCD 112]

Collective improvisation can take several forms: abstract and textural; linear and polyphonic; dynamic and expressive. None these forms necessarily excludes any others, and much of the most engaging and satisfying collective improvisation will contain all of them, often in unexpected ways. This is true of Luminous, a particularly gratifying set of collective improvisations produced by three of improvised music’s most accomplished and well-rounded players.

The trio on Luminous was put together in 2015 by pianist Simon Nabatov, a Russian émigré who settled in Cologne by way of New York. The other two members are percussionist Gerry Hemingway, an American now resident in Switzerland, and British bassist Barry Guy. All three have extensive backgrounds in contemporary and, in Guy’s case, early, composed music as well as in a broad gamut of improvised musics, all of which tells in the music on this recording.

The twelve tracks range from the driving, percussive sounds of Slip Away, the galvanizing opening piece; through the brooding introspection of Forty Days; and to the timeless, long tones of the title track. Nabatov’s contributions can be forcefully fragmented and dissonant, gently melodic, or skittishly urgent. Hemingway here, as in all his work, shows himself to be a consummate colorist with a refined sense of space. On some of the pieces, he plays tuned percussion, which brings in a fascinating set of pitch and timbre contrasts and resemblances to Nabatov’s piano. Guy’s bass, played conventionally and with extended techniques, rounds out the collective sound with a muscular, often rough-hewn beauty.

http://nobusinessrecords.com

Daniel Barbiero

Firehouse 12 To Present Mauger October 2nd

From Improvised Communications:

On Friday, October 2nd, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present the third event in its ongoing fifth anniversary Fall Jazz Series, a two-set performance by the all-star trio, Mauger. The group brings together acclaimed saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the “Rising Star Jazz Artist” category in this year’s DownBeat Critics’ Poll, with veteran master musicians, and former Anthony Braxton Quartet members, bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Gerry Hemingway. Mauger will be performing music from its 2008 debut, The Beautiful Enabler (Clean Feed).

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Jazz Listings From The New York Times

In the Times:

BISHOP-CLEAVER-FLOOD (Tuesday) As on a recent album, “Time and Imaginary Time” (Envoi), the saxophonist Andrew Bishop engages in an equal exchange with the drummer Gerald Cleaver and the bassist Tim Flood, expanding compositional frames and exploring open space. At 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com; $10. (Chinen)20090409

SYLVIE COURVOISIER AND MARK FELDMAN (Wednesday) Ms. Courvoisier, a pianist and composer, pursues intricacy; Mr. Feldman, a violinist, favors intensity. They have recorded together as a duo, which will be their format for the early set here, at 8 p.m. For the later set, at 10, they will enlist the bassist Eivind Opsvik and the drummer Gerry Hemingway. The Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com; $10 per set. (Chinen)20090409

MARK HELIAS QUARTET (Saturday) Mark Helias is a bassist of adventurous temperament and great rhythmic assurance, as he demonstrates in a band with two longtime associates, the trombonist Ray Anderson and the tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, and a dynamic younger colleague, the drummer Gerald Cleaver. At 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com; $10. (Chinen)20090409

INGEBRIGT HAKER FLATEN (Friday, Sunday and Monday) Ingebrigt Haker Flaten is a Norwegian bassist, and one of the bigger fish in the pool of European free-improvised music. He’s staging a small-scale New York takeover this week, playing in two different places on Friday: first at Monkeytown (with the saxophonist Hakon Kornstad) and then at the 5C Café (with the cellist Daniel Levin). On Sunday he will appear in Double Heart, a group led by the saxophonist Tony Malaby; on Monday he will work in yet another duo, with the trumpeter Jawwaad Taylor. Friday at 7:30 p.m., Monkeytown, 58 North Third Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (718) 384-1369; monkeytownhq.com; cover, $8, with a $10 minimum. Friday at 10 p.m., 5C Cafe, 68 Avenue C, at Fifth Street, East Village, (212) 477-5993, 5ccc.com; no cover, with a $5 minimum. Sunday at 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village, (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; cover, $10, with a one-drink minimum. Monday at 9 p.m., the Local 269, 269 East Houston Street, at Suffolk Street, Lower East Side, rucma.org; $10; $7 for students. (Chinen)20090409

PAUL MOTIAN OCTET + 1 (Tuesday through Thursday) A luminous and mysterious post-bop ensemble that consists of two contrasting pairs of improvisers (the saxophonists Chris Cheek and Bill McHenry, and the guitarists Steve Cardenas and Tim Miller); a couple of welcome stabilizers (Jerome Harris and Thomas Morgan, both bassists); a pair of wild cards (the violist Mat Maneri and the pianist Jacob Sacks); and a wily mastermind (Mr. Motian, on drums). (Through April 19.) At 9 and 11 p.m., Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th Street, West Village, (212) 255-4037, villagevanguard.com; cover, $20, with a $10 minimum. (Chinen)20090409

? SKIRL PARTY V (Saturday) Skirl, a Brooklyn-based label with a ruggedly experimental streak, celebrates its fifth anniversary with four bands from its roster: H-Alpha, an electro-acoustic trio with a new album called “Red Sphere”; the avant-folkish duo composed of the guitarist Mary Halvorson and the violist Jessica Pavone; the New Mellow Edwards, led by the trombonist Curtis Hasselbring; and Andrew D’Angelo’s Gay Disco Trio, led by Mr. D’Angelo, a strenuously upbeat multireedist. At 7:30 p.m., the Bell House, 149 Seventh Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn, (718) 643-6510, thebellhouseny.com; $12. 20090409

KEVIN TKACZ’S LETHAL OBJECTION (Tuesday) The bassist Kevin Tkacz (pronounced tax) features his own compositions in this adventurous and boisterous ensemble, with the trumpeter Ralph Alessi, the pianist Angelica Sanchez and, in his first outing with the group, the drummer Gerry Hemingway. At 7 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth Street, at Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, (347) 422-0248, barbesbrooklyn.com; $10 suggested donation. (Chinen)20090409

TWICE TOLD TALES (Thursday) This expressive quartet, conversing mainly in terms of free improvisation, consists of the tenor and soprano saxophonists Tony Malaby and Louis Belogenis; the perceptive bassist John Hébert; and the ever-ebullient drummer Joey Baron. At 8 and 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com; $10 per set. (Chinen)

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All About Jazz Reviews

From All About Jazz:

07-Mar-09 The Moss Project
Vision (Self Produced)
Reviewed by Roger Farbey

07-Mar-09 Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Tanu Kaljuste conductor
Arvo Part: In Principio (ECM Records)
Reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

07-Mar-09 Trio 3 / Irene Schweizer
Berne Concert (Intakt Records)
Reviewed by Nic Jones

07-Mar-09 Gerry Hemingway
Gerry Hemingway: Buffalo Pearl & Kinetics
Reviewed by Stuart Broomer

07-Mar-09 Frank Gratkowski
Frank Gratkowski: Palae, Wake and Live at the Musik Triennale Koln
Reviewed by John Sharpe

07-Mar-09 Peter Evans
Peter Evans: Oculus Ex Abyssus; Evans/Fei/Smith/Walter; Sparks
Reviewed by Sean Patrick Fitzell

07-Mar-09 Michael Jefry Stevens
Michael Jefry Stevens: Eastern Boundary Quartet, Michael Jefry Stevens Trio, Conference Call & Southern Excursion Quartet
Reviewed by Karen Hogg

07-Mar-09 Multiple Artists
Sax & Piano: David Murray and Mal Waldron; Ellery Eskelin and Sylvie Courvoisier
Reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

07-Mar-09 Multiple Artists
Avant Large Ensembles: Making Love to the Dark Ages, Suites, Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra, Open Port
Reviewed by Ivana Ng

06-Mar-09 Cecil Taylor / William Parker / Masashi Harada
CT: The Dance Project (FMP Records)
Reviewed by Nic Jones

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Jazz Listings From The New York Times

From the Times:

HARRIS EISENSTADT/NATE WOOLEY (Saturday) Mr. Eisenstadt, a restlessly creative drummer, will be leading a promising new chamber group, Woodblock Prints, every Saturday this month. For this first installment he shares the bill with Mr. Wooley, a sharp trumpeter in whose trio he also plays. At 9 and 10 p.m., I-Beam Music, 168 Seventh Street, between Second and Third Avenues, Gowanus, Brooklyn, ibeambrooklyn.com; suggested donation, $10. (Chinen)20090305

GERRY HEMINGWAY QUARTET (Friday) Texture is more of a priority than tempo in Gerry Hemingway’s drumming, and his compositions reveal a fruitful fascination with polytonality. He works here with three longtime collaborators: the trumpeter Herb Robertson, the tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and the bassist Kermit Driscoll. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village, (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; cover, $10, with a one-drink minimum. (Chinen)20090305

ADAM KOLKER QUARTET (Sunday) On “Flag Day” (Sunnyside), his most recent album, the saxophonist Adam Kolker seeks out a spirit of elevated modernity, with an ensemble anchored by the bassist John Hebert. He does the same here, welcoming to the equation the responsive drummer Gerry Hemingway and the fluid guitarist Ben Monder. At 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, West Village, (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; cover, $10, with a one-drink minimum. (Chinen)20090305

? OLIVER LAKE AND VIJAY IYER (Friday) Mr. Lake, a veteran alto saxophonist with a penetrating tone, teams up with Mr. Iyer, a pianist with a complex understanding of rhythm. They represent two generations of the avant-garde, but that should merely be understood as different positions along a continuum. At 7:30 p.m., Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, at 95th Street, (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org; $30 on the day of the concert; $25 in advance; $20 for members. (Chinen)20090305

THE THIRTEENTH ASSEMBLY (Wednesday) This collective — the guitarist Mary Halvorson, the cellist Jessica Pavone, the cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and the drummer Tomas Fujiwara — has a new album, “(un)sentimental” (Important), that irons a noisy new wrinkle in the upstart avant-garde. In performance, the group seems inclined to draw from the album, but also diverge from it in whatever ways feel useful. At 8 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth Street, at Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, (347) 422-0248, barbesbrooklyn.com; cover, $10. (Chinen)

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Two Nights of Braxton in Philly

Anthony Braxton
Image via Wikipedia

From Ars Nova Workshop:

Friday, October 10 | 8pm
Anthony Braxton Falling River Quartet
with
Anthony Braxton, alto/soprano/ sopranino saxophone + contrabass clarinet
Erica Dicker, violin
Sally Norris, piano
Katherine Young, bassoon

Settlement Music School
416 Queen Street

$35 General Admission
Seating is very limited.
All ticket holders will receive free admission to the October 11 brass music concert.

Composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton (b.1945) attended the Chicago School of Music and Roosevelt University. He is a founding member of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), formed the Creative Construction Company with violinist Leroy Jenkins and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and recorded the seminal For Alto, the first-ever recording for solo saxophone. Subsequent collaborations included ‘Circle’ with Chick Corea and Dave Holland, Italian free improvisation group Musica Elettronica Viva, guitarist Derek Bailey, drummer Max Roach, and pianist Hank Jones. Braxton’s steadiest vehicle during the ’80s and ’90s – and what is often considered his most remarkable ensemble – was his quartet with pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist Mark Dresser, and drummer Gerry Hemingway.

He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Tri-Centric Foundation, Inc., a New York-based not-for-profit corporation including an ensemble of some 38 musicians, four to eight vocalists, and computer-graphic video artists assembled to perform his compositions. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and a tenured professor at Wesleyan University. His teaching has become as much a part of his creative life as his own work, and includes training and leading performance ensembles and private tutorials in his own music, computer and electronic music, and history courses in the music of his major musical influences, from the Western Medieval composer Hildegard of Bingen to contemporary masters with whom he himself has worked (e.g. Cage, Coleman). A seasoned master, Anthony Braxton’s name continues to stand for the broadest integration of such oft-conflicting poles as “creative freedom” and “responsibility,” discipline and energy, and vision of the future and respect for tradition in the current cultural debates about the nature and place of the Western and African-American musical traditions in America.

Anthony Braxton is widely and critically acclaimed as a seminal figure in the music of the late 20th and early 21st century. His work, both as saxophonist and composer, has broken new conceptual and technical ground in the trans-African and trans-European (a.k.a. “jazz” and “American Experimental“) musical traditions in North America. Braxton’s extensions of instrumental technique, timbre, meter and rhythm, voicing and ensemble make-up, harmony and melody, and improvisation and notation have revolutionized modern American music. Braxton’s five decades worth of recorded output is kaleidescopic and prolific, with well over 200 recordings to his credit. He has won prestigious awards and critical praise, including the MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, and is a tenured professor at Wesleyan University, one of the world’s centers of world music.

The performance of Anthony Braxton’s Falling River Quartet is made possible by a grant from 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.

Saturday, October 11 | 8pm
Composition N.103 (for Seven Trumpets)
with
Taylor Ho Bynum, Tim Byrnes, Forbes Graham, Sam Hoyt, John McDonough, Nicole Rampersaud, Nate Wooley, trumpet
Costume design by Rosemary Kielnecker

Composition N.169 (for Brass Quintet)
with
Taylor Ho Bynum, trumpet
Nate Wooley, trumpet
Jeremy Thal, French horn
Reut Regev, trombone
Jay Rozen, tuba

Anthony Braxton, conductor

St. Mark’s Church
1625 Locust Street

$10 General Admission

Anthony Braxton’s Composition N.103 (for seven trumpets) features 145 pages of notated music and choreography for seven costumed instrumentalists. Composed in 1983, the 45-minute piece was first performed in 2005, in a fully staged and costumed realization at Wesleyan University celebrating Braxton’s 60th birthday. This ANW performance will be the Philadelphia premiere, and only the third performance anywhere, of this major work.

Braxton’s Composition N.169 is one of the seminal pieces in the composer’s oeuvre, yet has never been performed by the intended instrumentation. Originally written for brass quintet (on swivel chairs), 169 consists of an hour of intense and unrelenting rhythmic complexity, contrasting with sections of lush, static harmonies. Braxton never found an ensemble brave enough to tackle the imposing piece, so instead has performed the work in configurations ranging from saxophone quartet to full orchestra. This ANW performance marks the second time this composition will be staged with its original instrumentation.

Anthony Braxton is widely and critically acclaimed as a seminal figure in the music of the late 20th and early 21st century. His work, both as saxophonist and composer, has broken new conceptual and technical ground in the trans-African and trans-European (a.k.a. “jazz” and “American Experimental“) musical traditions in North America. Braxton’s extensions of instrumental technique, timbre, meter and rhythm, voicing and ensemble make-up, harmony and melody, and improvisation and notation have revolutionized modern American music. Braxton’s five decades worth of recorded output is kaleidescopic and prolific, with well over 200 recordings to his credit. He has won prestigious awards and critical praise, including the MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, and is a tenured professor at Wesleyan University, one of the world’s centers of world music.

The performance of Anthony Braxton’s brass music is made possible by a grant from 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 performance is part of ANW’s Free/Form: Composer Portrait series.

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