A beautiful example of the modern piano trio, led by in-demand drummer, Jim Black, with Elias Stemeseder the pianist and Thomas Morgan on bass, in a lyrical album that uses Black's compelling and elusive drumming on 9 original Black compositions and one unexpected standard, as all three deliver complex playing that sounds accessible and engaging, a true achievement.
Shipping Weight: 4.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Log In to use our Wish List
Catalog ID: Intakt 268
Squidco Product Code: 24115
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Water Music, New Jersey on December 9th, 10th and 11th, 2015, by Amandine Pras.
Jim Black-drums, composition
Highlight an artist name or instrument above
and click here to Search
1. High 4:09
2. Song H 4:57
3. Falls 4:52
4. Chinchilla 4:04
5. Medium 4:15
6. Song O 3:14
7. Song M 7:45
8. Song E 4:15
9. Low 4:36
10. Bill 7:27
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers
sample the album:
"The Constant, a suitelike collection of 10 new pieces, is a meditation on song - a celebration of plain-spoken melody but also an interrogation of the fragility of musical order. The Constant is a narrative of competing currents. On one hand, there is melody, most prominently a wistful, winding line that appears in opening track "High" and reoccurs throughout the album. As "High" begins, we hear Morgan dreamily plucking out this theme. The drummer, using brushes, adds whispering free-time textures, while the pianist makes his own way toward the motif. But there is also a gentle turbulence at work - a sense of the elusiveness and instability of song."-Hank Shteamer, linernotes
"The Constant is living proof that the piano trio, "the minimum complete jazz orchestra," is still a dynamic, vital format. Granted, the band here is not exactly a piano trio. The leader, composer and auteur is the drummer, Jim Black. The bassist and pianist are Thomas Morgan and Elias Stemeseder, respectively-two of the most gifted young artists in jazz.
Bill Evans is most often credited with liberating the bassist and drummer within the piano-trio format. But Black's ensemble takes it all the way, to a tripartite endeavor among equals.
Black has been on the leading edge of the progressive scene for more than 20 years. In person he is fun to watch because he is theatrical in his movements, a ballet dancer. On record, the drama and diversity of his percussion content still comes through.
When Morgan leads, on a piece like "Falls," he is as melodic as a pianist, but in a darker language fraught with ambiguity. Stemeseder is a 25-year-old with the highly developed reflexes to play music as fluid and elusive in the moment as Black's. In the liner notes Black says he "likes songs," but his nine originals are unstable forms that aggregate to a suite like a network of hard turns and contradictions. There is a haunting motif that recurs across the nine movements, usually entrusted, however fleetingly, to Morgan. "Song M," like most of these pieces, stops and starts over. Stemeseder veers from delicate treble ascents to ringing trills. He hovers, then plunges into hammering grooves. No groove lasts for long.
After the wild collective creativity of the suite, the last thing you expect to hear is Jerome Kern's "Bill," from the 1927 musical Show Boat. It really is "Bill," all of its tenderness intact, but now with suspenseful hesitations and revelatory releases. Irregular, mutable lyricism is this trio's chosen domain.'-Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes
Get additional information at JazzTimes.com
• Show Bio for Jim Black
Jim Black is at the forefront of a new generation of musicians bringing jazz into the 21st century. In addition to being one of the most influential drummers of our time, he is also the leader of one of the world's most forward-thinking bands, AlasNoAxis, featuring his longtime collaborators Chris Speed, Hilmar Jensson and Skúli Sverrisson. Based on the foundation of his virtuosic but highly personal approach to jazz drumming, Black's aesthetic has expanded to include Balkan rhythms, rock songcraft and laptop soundscapes. Though he is revered worldwide for his limitless technique and futuristic concepts, what many listeners treasure in most Jim Black's work is the relentless feeling of joy and invention he brings to his performances. Jim Black's smiling, kinetic, unpredictable presence has enthralled and inspired audiences worldwide for over twenty-five years.
Since the mid-90's, Black has played a major role in the incorporation of new sounds and techniques into the jazz/creative music context. As a member of the collective group Pachora (with Speed, Sverrisson, and guitarist Brad Shepik) Black was one of the leaders in the study and adaptation of Balkan music into jazz-based music. His advanced techniques abstracted the odd time signatures of the Balkans into a new polyrhythmic language equally informed by modern jazz, drum&bass and the dumbeks of the Balkans. Black has also been an innovator in the use of electronics in improvisation, bridging the gap between electro-acoustic improv and more jazz-based traditions. Today, Black's performances are just as likely to feature his laptop-based electronic textures as his drumming.
Born in 1967, Jim Black grew up in Seattle alongside future colleagues Chris Speed, Andrew D'Angelo and Cuong Vu. After cementing their personal and artistic relationships in Seattle's various youth jazz ensembles, in 1985 they moved to Boston, where Black entered the Berklee School of Music. In Boston, Black, Speed and D'Angelo formed Human Feel with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, which rapidly attracted the attention of the jazz cognoscenti in Boston, New York and beyond.
By 1991, Black and the other members of Human Feel had moved to New York City, where they electrified the Downtown music scene then centered around the Knitting Factory and rapidly became among the city's busiest sidemen. Black's early years in New York saw him take featured roles in some of the most critically acclaimed bands of the time, like Tim Berne's Bloodcount, Ellery Eskelin's trio, and Dave Douglas's Tiny Bell Trio. Thus began fifteen years of near-constant touring and recording, with the above bands as well as artists like Uri Caine, Dave Liebman, Nels Cline, Steve Coleman, Tomasz Stanko, and Laurie Anderson.-Jim Black Website (http://www.jimblack.com/Jim_Black_dotcom/BIO.html)
^ Hide Bio for Jim Black
• Show Bio for Elias Stemeseder
"Elias Stemeseder: Born in Salzburg, Austria in 1990, Elias lived in Berlin from 2010 and moved to New York in 2015. Besides his main instrument, the acoustic piano, he also plays synthesizers. He performs in a variety of musical idioms ranging from the song-oriented music of Jim Black's trio to contemporary classical pieces by John Zorn to the electric music of Eyebone.
Current projects include collaborations with John Zorn (John Zorn's Bagatelles), the Greg Cohen Quintet, Philipp Gropper's "Philm", Jim Black's "Malamute" Anna Webber's "Percussive Mechanics", Robert Landfermann Quintet and "OTIS+WEDDING".
Elias Stemeseder has performed solo concerts at the Nuoro Jazz Festival (IT), Haus Der Berliner Festspiele (DE), 12points Festival Dublin (IRL) and Südtirol Jazzfestival (IT). He leads a Berlin - based quartet with Eldar Tsalikov, Igor Spallati and Ugo Alunni and co-leads the bands Jagged Spheres (with Anna Webber and Devin Gray) and Eyebone (with Nels Cline and Jim Black).
Since 2008 Elias has been working extensively with the American drummer Jim Black. The Jim Black trio (with Thomas Morgan on double bass) has released the critically acclaimed recordings Somatic and Actuality on the German label Winter&Winter Recordings and The Constant on the Swiss label Intakt Records. In 2013, Elias formed the collective trio "Eyebone" with Jim Black and guitarist Nels Cline, in which he plays the Wurlitzer piano and bass synthesizers.
Elias has received scholarships and grants from SKE/austro mechana and BKA Österreich Kunst und Kultur."-Elias Stemeseder Website (http://eliasstemeseder.com/)
^ Hide Bio for Elias Stemeseder
• Show Bio for Thomas Morgan
"Thomas Morgan (born 14 August 1981 in Hayward, California) is an American jazz musician (upright bass, cello) in contemporary jazz.
Morgan began playing the cello 7 years of age, before switching to upright-bass at 14. In 2003 he received his bachelor's degree in Music from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Harvie Swartz and Garry Diall. He also took lessons with Ray Brown and Peter Herbert. Morgan worked with David Binney, Steve Coleman, Joey Baron, Josh Roseman, Brad Shepik, Steve Cardenas, Timuin ahin, Kenny Wollesen, Gerald Cleaver, Adam Rogers and Kenny Werner throughout his career. He is also cooperating with Jakob Bro, Dan Tepfer, Jim Black, John Abercrombie, Masabumi Kikuchi and the Sylvie Courvoisier-Mark Feldman Quartet. Morgan lead his own trio."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Morgan_(bassist))
^ Hide Bio for Thomas Morgan
Search for other titles on the Intakt label.