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Bynum, Taylor Ho : Enter the Plustet [VINYL] (Firehouse 12 Records)

Cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum draws on a variety of techniques from improvised conduction to big band orchestration to deconstructed fanfares, with a large 15 member ensemble of impressive improvisers embodying a diversity of generations, backgrounds, ethnicities, and gender, presenting three large scale compositions that are ambitious and wonderfully accomplished.
 

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UPC: 0711574819119

Label: Firehouse 12 Records
Catalog ID: FH12-04-08-025
Squidco Product Code: 25139

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: USA
Packaging: Vinyl LP in a Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded January 11th & 12th, 2016 in the Firehouse 12 Warehouse Studio, New Haven, CT


Personnel:

Nate Wooley-trumpet

Stephanie Richards-trumpet

Vincent Chancey-French horn

Steve Swell-trombone

Bill Lowe-bass trombone, tuba

Jim Hobbs-alto saxophone

Ingrid Laubrock-soprano saxophone, tenor saxophones

Matt Bauder-tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone

Jason Kao Hwang-violin, viola

Tomeka Reid-cello

Ken Filiano-bass

Mary Halvorson-guitar

Jay Hoggard-vibraphone

Tomas Fujiwara-drums

Taylor Ho Bynum-composer, conductor, cornet

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track listing:


SIDE A



1 Sleeping Giant 21:10

SIDE B



1 Three (For Me We & Them) 12:11

2 That Which Only... Never Before 10:37
Related Categories of Interest:


Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Large Ensembles
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Drawing on a variety of techniques from improvised conduction to big band orchestration to deconstructed fanfares, Enter the PlusTet relishes in "the simple joy that comes from a big group of artists working together," as Bynum writes in his extensive liner notes. In addition to the purely musical impetus, Bynum wanted to make an ambitious and optimistic statement in a period of personal, political, and cultural uncertainty, a big gesture in an era when artists are too often pressured to think small or "practically." He also wanted to convene some of his favorite musicians to create a shared space of camaraderie, exploration, and discovery. The assembled group embodies a diversity of generations, backgrounds, ethnicities, and gender - a universal kind of creative family unique to the current historical moment and musical community."-Firehosue 12



"Taylor Ho Bynum continues to delve into the endless possibilities of large ensemble writing on Enter the PlusTet, the debut of his newest band of the same name. Following in the footsteps of Navigation, his ambitious multi-format sextet and septet recording (Firehouse 12, 2012), this lean set finds the vanguard cornetist more than doubling the size of his working sextet on a trio of long-form compositions that circumvent the conventions of traditional song forms by way of non-linear episodic narratives.

The fifteen-member roster features the longstanding members of his sextet, including alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs, bass trombonist/tuba player Bill Lowe, guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Ken Filiano, and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. The intrepid Nate Wooley and newcomer Stephanie Richards fill the trumpet chairs, with saxophonists Matt Bauder and Ingrid Laubrock, trombonist Steve Swell, and French horn player Vincent Chancey rounding out the expansive horn section, while violinist Jason Kao Hwang, cellist Tomeka Reid and vibraphonist Jay Hoggard add kaleidoscopic tone color to the lineup's brass-heavy instrumental palette.

The scope of this project was partially inspired by Bynum's work on "Trillium J," Anthony Braxton's massive 4-act opera, although each of the album's individual pieces have their own unique backstory. The lengthy opener, "Sleeping Giant," named after meandering hiking trails near Bynum's New Haven residence, dominates the first half of the record. Using modular structures and advanced conduction techniques culled from Braxton's playbook, the experimental sonic travelogue emulates "the unexpected discoveries of a digressive journey." In true idiosyncratic fashion, Bynum includes a surprise dedication to Prince during the work's second half that seamlessly culminates in a rousing homage, soaring with a purple-hued pop melody.

The remainder of the session is no less eclectic. Originally written for James Jabbo Ware's Orchestra, the bluesy abstraction "Three (for Me We & Them)" is an unconventional swinging tribute to creative big bands in the tradition of Duke Ellington and Sun Ra, bookended by Halvorson's psychedelic fretwork and Fujiwara's thunderous variations. The fragmentary title of the closer, "That Which Only ... Never Before," is based on one of the last things visionary trumpeter Bill Dixon said to Bynum before his final concert. The freewheeling tune encompasses a number of dynamic changes, veering from brisk expressionism to languid introspection. Buoyed by a series of probing extrapolations from Bynum, Reid and Hobbs, the piece serves as a reminder for improvisers everywhere to seize the moment."-Troy Collins, All About Jazz


Artist Biographies:

"Nate Wooley was born in 1974 in Clatskanie, Oregon, a town of 2,000 people in the timber country of the Pacific Northwestern corner of the U.S. He began playing trumpet professionally with his father, a big band saxophonist, at the age of 13. His time in Oregon, a place of relative quiet and slow time reference, instilled in Nate a musical aesthetic that has informed all of his music making for the past 20 years, but in no situation more than his solo trumpet performances.

Nate moved to New York in 2001, and has since become one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz, improv, noise, and new music scenes. He has performed regularly with such icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Eliane Radigue, Ken Vandermark, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada, as well as being a collaborator with some of the brightest lights of his generation like Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson.

Wooley's solo playing has often been cited as being a part of an international revolution in improvised trumpet. Along with Peter Evans and Greg Kelley, Wooley is considered one of the leading lights of the American movement to redefine the physical boundaries of the horn, as well as demolishing the way trumpet is perceived in a historical context still overshadowed by Louis Armstrong. A combination of vocalization, extreme extended technique, noise and drone aesthetics, amplification and feedback, and compositional rigor has led one reviewer to call his solo recordings "exquisitely hostile".

In the past three years, Wooley has been gathering international acclaim for his idiosyncratic trumpet language. Time Out New York has called him "an iconoclastic trumpeter", and Downbeat's Jazz Musician of the Year, Dave Douglas has said, "Nate Wooley is one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today, and that is without hyperbole". His work has been featured at the SWR JazzNow stage at Donaueschingen, the WRO Media Arts Biennial in Poland, Kongsberg, North Sea, Music Unlimited, and Copenhagen Jazz Festivals, and the New York New Darmstadt Festivals. In 2011 he was an artist in residence at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY and Cafe Oto in London, England. In 2013 he performed at the Walker Art Center as a featured solo artist.

Nate is the curator of the Database of Recorded American Music (www.dramonline.org) and the editor-in-chief of their online quarterly journal Sound American (www.soundamerican.org) both of which are dedicated to broadening the definition of American music through their online presence and the physical distribution of music through Sound American Records. He also runs Pleasure of the Text which releases music by composers of experimental music at the beginnings of their careers in rough and ready mediums."

-Nate Wooley Website (http://natewooley.com/about)
11/21/2017

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"Exploring spaces between jazz and experimental music, trumpeter and composer Stephanie Richards has become a unique voice in the NYC experimental scene, collaborating with improvisational pioneers Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, John Zorn and Anthony Braxton along with performance artists Mike Kelly, Laurie Anderson and Yoko Ono. Celebrated as an adventurous performer, Stephanies theatrical tendencies often include multi-disciplinary collaborations of sight, sound and movement. An avid collaborator and supporter of new music, Stephanie has premiered new works throughout North America and Europe, while having her own compositions premiered at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Blue-note and Lincoln Center. Stephanie is a founding member of the Asphalt Orchestra, created the collective Bang On a Can, where she has worked with David Byrne, St. Vincent, Susan Marshall and has also performed alongside Kronos Quartet, The Pixies, Kanye West, A-Trak and Common. Stephanie holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, McGill University and the California Institute of the Arts and has held residency at Stanford University. A recent addition to the faculty at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Stephanie also encourages the performance and commissioning of jazz and new music as Vice-President of the Festival of New Trumpet (FONT). Richards is currently working towards the release of a Tricentric Foundation grant for commissioned scents and sounds."

-The Loft (http://theloft.ucsd.edu/index.php/event/1546)
11/21/2017

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"Vincent Chancey - French Horn and Composer

Over the past 25 years I have built a solid reputation as an accomplished and totally dedicated french horn player, performing in a wide variety of musical contexts, and as an increasingly active composer. My first instrument as a member of the junior high school band was the cornet and later the trumpet and fluglehorn. But after hearing the french horn during rehearsals I felt a strong affinity for that instrument and was happily able to make the change. Simultaniously with my band experience in high school, I was first active in Giles Yellow Jackets and later the St. Andrews Hornets and the DesPlaines Vanguard competitive drum & bugle corps. Through high school and college, I lived a kind of musical schizophrenia, studying and playing classical music, but listening to and loving jazz. Continuing in that direction for some time, I finally decided that I needed some instruction on how to approach jazz on this instrument.

Upon graduation from the Southern Illinois University School of Music, I moved to New York to seek out and study with the long-time pioneering jazz french hornist Julius Watkins. I was able to win a N.E.A. grant to begin this study program. After several years of instruction and hard practice, I first came to prominence as a regular member of the Sun Ra Arkestra from 1976 to 1978. After that I worked sporadically for Sun Ra, making a number of recordings with the ensemble, and then worked for six years with the Carla Bley Band. In 1984, I joined Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy and have been featured on all of the group's nine recordings. For many years, I have also been part of the David Murray Big Band in which I am featured on five CD's. I have been able to employ my talent playing with Chick Corea, Cassandra Wilson, Shirley Horn, Randy Weston, The Gil Evans Orchestra and The Mingus Orchestra. In the Contemporary Classical idiom , I have worked with Guus Janssen on varied projects in The Netherlands. I have also performed with popular artists such as Ashford and Simpson, Melba Moore, Peggy Lee, Maxwell, Aretha Franklin, Freddy Jackson, The Winans, Elvis Costello, Brandy, Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra, Dave Douglas, singer Diana Krall and many more. In 2000 I had the honor of playing a performance for Pope John Paul II's 80th birthday concert.

I have recorded as a sideman with various artist on more than 150 albums, CD's and soundtracks. Eventually I came to the point that many musicians reach when they feel the need for more personal creative expression. I began writing music that could best express myself and my instrument. I felt that no one was writing for the french horn the way I knew it could be played. Several bands were put together over many years, which lead to my first CD. This recording entitled "Welcome Mr. Chancey" was released in 1993 on In + Out Records. A quartet was featured on this album using electric guitar, bass and drums. I enjoyed working with this group, but felt that I wanted to do something closer to the music that I had always listened to as a developing jazz musician, classic jazz. I started first by composing music that I thought worked with the way I liked to play my instrument. Soon after I was asked to do a CD of music commemorating my jazz horn teacher, Julius Watkins and his group, The Jazz Modes. In 1996 I recorded my second CD "Vincent Chancey and Next Mode" on DIW records. This one featured a Quintet with tenor saxophone, piano, bass, and drums.

The french horn is my natural voice. Throughout my career I have been devoted to the idea of achieving wider recognition for the horn as a jazz instrument and I have constantly sought to increase the capability of the instrument and overcome the inherent problems of adapting it to the vocabulary of jazz."

-Vincent Chancey Website (http://www.vincentchancey.com/biography.htm)
11/21/2017

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"Born in Newark, NJ, Steve Swell has been an active member of the NYC music community since 1975. He has toured and recorded with many artists from mainstreamers such as Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich to so called outsiders as Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor and William Parker. He has over 40 CDs as a leader or co-leader and is a featured artists on more than 100 other releases. He runs workshops around the world and is a teaching artist in the NYC public school system focusing on special needs children.

Swell has worked on music transcriptions of the Bosavi tribe of New Guinea for MacArthur fellow, Steve Feld in 2000. His CD, "Suite For Players, Listeners and Other Dreamers" (CIMP) ranked number 2 in the 2004 Cadence Readers Poll. He has also received grants from USArtists International in 2006, MCAF (LMCC) awards in 2008 and 2013 and has been commissioned twice on the Interpretations Series at Merkin Hall in 2006 and at Roulette in 2012.

Steve was nominated for Trombonist of the Year 2008 & 2011 by the Jazz Journalists Association, was selected Trombonist of the Year 2008-2010 , 2012 and 2014-2015 by the magazine El Intruso of Argentina and received the 2008 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship Award of the Tides Foundation. Steve has also been selected by the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Trombone category each year from 2010-2016.

Steve is presently a teaching artist through the American Composers Orchestra, Healing Arts Initiative , Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center (Bronx), the Jazz Foundation of America and Leman Manhattan Preparatory School.

Steve was also awarded the 2014 Creative Curricula grant (LMCC) for the project: "Metamorphoses: Modern Mythology in Sound and Words" which was taught in a month long residency at Baruch College Campus High School in Manhattan."

-Steve Swell Website (http://www.steveswell.com/SteveSwellBio.htm)
11/21/2017

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"Bass trombonist and tubaist Bill Lowe has been a major force in the music world for over thirty years as a performer, composer, producer, and educator. He has worked with most of the masters of African-American creative music, across all genres and musical cliques, from musical legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Eartha Kitt, and Clark Terry, to the leaders of the avant-garde like Muhal Richard Abrams, Henry Threadgill, and Cecil Taylor, to under-heralded greats like George Russell, James Jabbo Ware and Bill Barron. He has co-led the Boston Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the Bill Lowe/Phillipe Cretian Quintet, and JUBA, co-produced Boston's annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert, and composed several major works, including his opera, Reb's Last Funeral, his ongoing interdisciplinary project Signifyin' Natives, and the music/theater piece Crossing John at the Crossroads. As an educator, Lowe has taught at several major universities, lectured throughout the world from Cuba to Paris, and mentored countless young musicians."

-All About Jazz (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/billlowe)
11/21/2017

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"Jim Hobbs was born and raised in north-eastern Indiana at the convergence of three rivers. He is a recipient of the Doris Duke New Works Grant for composition from Chamber Music America. After a childhood of chewing hay and catching salamanders he began playing the saxophone. He received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music where he majored in composition. It was there that he met bassist Timo Shanko and started the Fully Celebrated Orchestra (FCO), which has released 10+ recordings on various labels including Silkheart, Skycap and Innova. FCO is also the subject of a children's book. He has performed and recorded with Joe Morris, Luther Gray, Taylor Ho Bynum, Bill Lowe, The Jazz Composers Alliance, Forbes Graham, The Prodigal Suns, Mackie Burnett, Fred Hopkins, Laurence Cook, Jon Voight, Junko Simons, Nightstick, The Death's Head Quartet, Josh Roseman, Curtis Hasselbring, The Lunch Factor, Laura Andel, Brother Blue and many others."

-All About Jazz (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/jimhobbs)
11/21/2017

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"Originally from Germany, Ingrid Laubrock resides in Brooklyn, NY. Between 1989 and 2009 she was active as a saxophonist and composer in London/UK. She performed and/or recorded with: Anthony Braxton, Dave Douglas, Kenny Wheeler, Jason Moran, Tim Berne, William Parker, Tom Rainey, Mary Halvorson, Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, Craig Taborn, Luc Ex, Django Bates' Human Chain, The Continuum Ensemble and many others.

Ingrid's current projects as a leader are Anti-House, Sleepthief, Ingrid Laubrock Orchestra, Ingrid Laubrock Sextet and Ubatuba. Collaborations include LARK,Haste,Paradoxical Frog and Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey Duo.She is a member of Anthony Braxton's Falling River Music Quartet, Nonet and 12+1tet, Tom Rainey Trio and Obbligato, Andrew Drury's Content Provider, Mary Halvorson Septet, Kris' Davis Quintet, Nate Wooley's Battle Pieces and Luc Ex' Assemblée. Ingrid was one of the featured soloists in Anthony Braxton's opera Trillium J.

Awards include the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation in 2004, a Fellowship in Jazz Composition by the Arts Foundation in 2006, the 2009 SWR German Radio Jazz Prize and the 2014 German Record Critics Quarterly Award. Commissions include Jammy Dodgers for jazz quintet and dancers (2006), Nonet music for Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2007, SWR New Jazz Meeting 2011 and "Vogelfrei", a piece for chamber orchestra (ACO/Tricentric Foundation). She won Rising Star/soprano saxophone in the 2015 in the 'Downbeat Annual Critics Poll and won the 'El Intruso Critics Poll for tenor saxophone in 2013. Ingrid was Improviser in Residence 2012 in the German city Moers. The post is created to introduce creative music into the city throughout the year. As part of this she led a regular improvisation ensemble and taught sound workshops in elementary schools. Other teaching experiences include improvisation workshops at Towson University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Baruch College, University of Michigan, University of Newcastle and many others."

-Ingrid Laubrock Website (http://ingridlaubrock.com/about.html)
11/21/2017

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"Reedist and composer Matt Bauder draws upon jazz, free jazz, avant-garde, rock, and pop in his own music, as well as turning to literary and visual arts for inspiration. He studied at the University of North Texas and the University of Michigan where he earned a bachelor of fine arts in Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation. He then spent two active years on the vibrant Chicago music scene before attending Wesleyan University and receiving a masters' degree in composition under the guidance of the legendary Anthony Braxton and Alvin Lucier.

Now based in Brooklyn, Bauder is the leader of Day in Pictures, a creative jazz quintet; Paper Gardens, a chamber quartet; White Blue Yellow and Clouds, which is experimental Doo-Wop and R&B, and he is part of the collaborative trio Memorize the Sky. He has performed with Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Fred Anderson, Roscoe Mitchell, Jeff Parker, The SEM Ensemble, Ken Vandermark, and Phil Minton, among others. As a sideperson he plays and records with Rob Mazurek, Harris Eisenstadt, Taylor Ho Bynum, Jason Ajemian, Neil Michael Hagerty, His Name is Alive, and Bill Brovald. His recordings as a leader and co-leader on 482 Music, Clean Feed and Eye & Ear Records have received wide critical acclaim."

-Jazz Right Now (https://jazzrightnow.com/artists/artists-alphabetical/bauder-matt/)
11/21/2017

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"Jason Kao Hwang (composer/violin/viola) recently released the CD Sing House, featuring his quintet, and VOICE, which features several ensembles with poetry. Sing House performances include the Vision Festival and Edgefest (MI). Burning Bridge, his octet of Chinese and Western instruments was one of the top CDs of 2012 in Jazziz and the Jazz Times. Performances include the Festival International de Musique Actuelle (Canada) and Freer Gallery (D.C.). The 2012 Downbeat Critics' Poll voted Mr. Hwang as "Rising Star for Violin." In 2011 he released two critically acclaimed recordings, Symphony of Souls, for improvising orchestra, and Crossroads Unseen, the third CD of his quartet EDGE. His opera, The Floating Box, A Story in Chinatown, was one of the top ten recordings of 2005 in Opera News. As violinist, he has worked with Wadada Leo Smith, Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Anthony Braxton, Steve Swell, Tomeka Reid, and others. Mr. Hwang has received support from Chamber Music America, US Artists International, the NEA, Rockefeller Foundation and others. Mr. Hwang currently teaches sound design at New York University."

-Jason Kao Hwang Website (https://www.jasonkaohwang.com/short-bio)
11/21/2017

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"Chicago based cellist, composer and educator, Tomeka Reid has been described as "a remarkably versatile player," (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). Equally adept in classical and jazz contexts, Ms. Reid predominantly finds herself in experimental and improvisatory settings and composes for a wide range of instrumentation, from big band to chamber ensemble. Ms. Reid's music combines her love for groove along with freer concepts.

Ms. Reid is an integral part of Dee Alexander's Evolution Ensemble, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble/Strings, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) Great Black Music Ensemble, and co-leads the internationally recognized string trio, Hear in Now with performances in Poznan, Poland; Paris, France; Rome, Venice, Milan, Italy; Soazza, Switzerland; and in the US: Chicago, New York and Vermont. In addition to the aforementioned ensembles, Ms. Reid performs with many of today's forward thinking musicians in the world of jazz and creative music including Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Jeb Bishop, Myra Melford, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mary Halvorson, Denis Fournier, Edward Wilkerson and Harrison Bankhead. Ms. Reid also leads her own trio featuring guitarist Matt Schneider and bassist Josh Abrams, for which she composes. Ms. Reid can be heard on numerous studio recordings.

As an educator, Ms. Reid has led string improvisation workshops in Italy and the US. Most recently she co-directed the 2012 Vancouver Jazz Festival’s High School Jazz Intensive. For seven years, Ms. Reid co-directed the string program at the University of Chicago’s Laboratory School for students grade 5 thru 12. Ms. Reid is also an ABD doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign.

As a composer, Ms. Reid has been commissioned by the AACM, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and has had several opportunities to showcase her work abroad at festivals such as Umbria Jazz, An Insolent Noise and Vignola Jazz. She has been nominated and awarded residencies for composition with the Ragdale Foundation and the 2nd Annual Make Jazz Fellowship hosted by the 18th Street Arts Organization. Ms. Reid was selected as a 2012 participant in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute held at the University of California: Los Angeles."

-Tomeka Reid Website (http://www.tomekareid.net/)
11/21/2017

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"Ken Filiano performs throughout the world, playing and recording with leading artists in jazz, spontaneous improvisation, classical, world/ethnic, and interdisciplinary performance, fusing the rich traditions of the double bass with his own seemingly limitless inventiveness. Ken's solo bass CD, subvenire (NineWinds), received widespread critical praise. For this and numerous other recordings, Ken has been called a creative virtuoso, a master of technique ... a paradigm of that type of artist... who can play anything in any context and make it work, simply because he puts the music first and leaves peripheral considerations behind.

Ken composes for his quartet with Michael Attias, Tony Malaby, and Michael T.A. Thomspon; a collective with Attias and Tomas Ulrich; and for his decades-long collaborations with Steve Adams and Vinny Golia. His prolific output also includes performances and/or recordings with artists including Bonnie Barnett, Rob Blakeslee, Bobby Bradford, Taylor Ho Bynum, Roy Campbell, John Carter, Nels Cline, Alex Cline, Connie Crothers, Mark Dresser, Ted Dunbar, Marty Ehrlich, Giora Feidman, Bob Feldman, Eddie Gale, Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Dennis Gonzalez, Lou Grassi, Phil Haynes, Fred Hess, Jason Hwang, Joseph Jarman, Sheila Jordan (with the Aardvark Orchestra), Raul Juarena, Joe Labarbera, Joelle Leandre, Frank London, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Tina Marsh, Warne Marsh, Dom Minasi, Hafez Modirzadeh, Butch Morris, Barre Phillips, Don Preston, Herb Robertson, Bob Rodriguez, Roswell Rudd, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Ursel Schlicht, Paul Smoker, Chris Sullivan, Peeter Uuskyla, Fay Victor, Biggi Vinkeloe, Kenny Wessel, Andrea Wolper, Pablo Ziegler. With Tomas Ulrich, Elliott Sharp, and Carlos Zingaro, he is a member of T.E.C.K. String Quartet.

Ken has been a guest lecturer, performer, and workshop leader at institutions in the United States and Europe. He earned a MM from Rutgers University and is currently on faculty at Mansfield University."- All About Jazz

-Pi Recordings / All About Jazz (https://pirecordings.com/artist/Ken_Filiano)
11/21/2017

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"One of improvised music's most in-demand guitarists, Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Critics have called her "a singular talent" (Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes), "NYC's least-predictable improviser" (Howard Mandel, City Arts), "one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz-or otherwise" (Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal), and "one of today's most formidable bandleaders" (Francis Davis, Village Voice). The Philadelphia City Paper's Shaun Brady adds, "Halvorson has been steadily reshaping the sound of jazz guitar in recent years with her elastic, sometimes-fluid, sometimes-shredding, wholly unique style."

After three years of study with visionary composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, Ms. Halvorson became an active member of several of his bands, including his trio, septet and 12+1tet. To date, she appears on six of Mr. Braxton's recordings. Ms. Halvorson has also performed alongside iconic guitarist Marc Ribot, in his bands Sun Ship and The Young Philadelphians, and with the bassist Trevor Dunn in his Trio-Convulsant. Over the past decade she has worked with such diverse bandleaders as Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey and Mike Reed.

As a bandleader and composer, one of Ms. Halvorson's primary outlets is her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith. Since their 2008 debut album, Dragon's Head, the band has been recognized as a rising star jazz band by Downbeat Magazine for five consecutive years. Ms. Halvorson's quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon to the trio, has released two critically acclaimed albums on the Firehouse 12 label: Saturn Sings and Bending Bridges. Most recently she has added two additional band members-tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik-to form a septet, featured on her 2013 release Illusionary Sea. Ms. Halvorson also co-leads a longstanding chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew and Secret Keeper."

-Mary Halvorson Website (http://www.maryhalvorson.com/bio/)
11/21/2017

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Vibraphonist, Composer Jay Hoggard's music has touched the hearts and souls of listeners around Planet Earth for 40 years. Jay Hoggard has long ranked with the greatest vibraphone innovators. Jay's music is positive, spiritual, uplifting, and happy. He masterfully draws on traditional and contemporary musical vocabulary to develop new directions for the vibraphone. Jay seamlessly blends jazz and gospel roots with African marimba rhythms. His performance repertoire represents the three B's of the jazz tradition (Blues, Bop, Ballads) with original innovations.

Born in Washington, DC, Jay Hoggard was raised in Mt. Vernon, New York in a religious family.His father was a Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion denomination. At age 15, Jay began playing the vibraphone. "One night I had a dream that I was playing the vibes. I asked my father to rent me a set and from the first moment, I knew that this was what I was supposed to do." Jay majored in the renown World Music program at Wesleyan University . He toured Europe and played at Carnegie Hall during his freshman year. In his junior year, he traveled to Tanzania to study East African marimba music. Jay graduated from Wesleyan in 1976 and returned to New York City in 1977 to be proclaimed a young lion of the vibraphone.

Jay Hoggard has recorded 22 CD's as a leader and over 50 as a collaborator. His newest CD, released in 2016 on the JHVM label, is HARLEM HIEROGLYPHS. This two disc recording features Gary Bartz saxophones, James Weidman piano,organ, Nat Adderley,Jr piano,organ, Belden Bullock bass, and Yoron Israel drums.

Jay Hoggard's other recordings on the JHVM label, THE RIGHT PLACE, SONGS OF SPIRITUAL LOVE, SWING 'EM GATES, SOULAR POWER, CHRISTMAS VIBES ALL THRU THE YEAR, and SOLO FROM TWO SIDES, give listeners an opportunity to experience the many sides of this significant and vital musician.

[...]

Jay Hoggard has been honored and commissioned as a composer in various contexts. In 2016 he collaborated with choreographer Nicole Stanton and writer Lois Brown on STORIED PLACES, premiered at Wesleyan University. In 2009, he was commissioned by dance troupe Sankofa Kuumba and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra to write THE OTHER SIDE OF THE OCEAN and LET ME MAKE IT CLEAR. Previously, Jay collaborated with choreographer Cleo Parker Robinson by composing THE WISDOM OF THE BAOBAB TREE commissioned by Lincoln Center Out of Doors. He was commissioned by the Hartford Festival of Jazz to compose LA TIERRA HERMOSA, dedicated to Tito Puente. He was commissioned by Wesleyan University to compose JOYFUL SWAMP and CROSSING POINT for Max Roach and percussion ensemble, and VIBARIMBALA for symphonic and jazz orchestras.

As a performer, Jay Hoggard has toured the globe to rave reviews. He has performed in many of the finest venues of music presentation throughout the United States , Africa Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and Asia. Jay has performed in major venues (Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Schomberg Center) jazz festivals (St. Lucia. JVC, Montreux, Mt.Fuji, Pori, Hartford), colleges, universities, churches, galleries, libraries, and clubs around the globe. Jay has been featured on radio (NPR, Pacifica) and television (ABC Times Square, CBS Sunday Morning, BETJazz) nationally and internationally. He led a quintet on an extensive tour sponsored by the United States government to North Africa, the Middle East and India. Jay performed in special concert collaborations with vibraphone masters Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson, Tito Puente and Bobby Hutcherson. He has recorded and toured with creative artists such as Kenny Burrell, Dr. Billy Taylor, Max Roach, James Newton, Hilton Ruiz, Oliver Lake, Bennie Maupin, Sam Rivers, Anthony Braxton, Jorge Dalto, Terumasa Hino, Dwight Andrews, Geri Allen, Anthony Davis, Henry Threadgill, Vishnu Wood, Chico Freeman, Muhal Richard Abrams , Sherry Winston, Ahmed Abdullah, and was a guest artist with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band. Jay has accompanied singers, instrumentalists, and poets and has performed with gospel, theater, dance, percussion, and orchestral ensembles.

Jay Hoggard is a tenured Professor of Music at his alma mater, Wesleyan University. For over 25 years, he has been the director of the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra and has taught and mentored thousands of students."

-Jay Hoggard Website (http://www.jayhoggard.com/?section=bio)
11/21/2017

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"Born in Boston in 1977, Brooklyn-based drummer Tomas Fujiwara emerged during the early to mid-2000s as a valued sideman before forming his own quintet, Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up, which gathered accolades for blending influences such as Wayne Shorter, Taleb Kweli, and Me'Shell Ndegéocello with the experimental and unpredictable spirit of the 21st century Brooklyn creative jazz scene. After studying for eight years with drummer and educator Alan Dawson in the Boston area, Fujiwara moved to New York at the age of 17. His first performing experiences included a five-year stint beginning around the turn of the millennium with the off-Broadway show Stomp, but he also began appearing as a sideman on jazz recordings (e.g., Three Souls by the Adam Rafferty Trio in 2003) and moving in exploratory, adventurous directions.

Fujiwara developed a particularly strong collaborative relationship with New Haven, Connecticut-based cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, whose own avant-leaning ensembles have featured a number of top Brooklyn improvising musicians. Fujiwara first appeared with Bynum on two 2007 recordings, The Middle Picture by the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet (Firehouse 12) and True Events by the Taylor Ho Bynum/Tomas Fujiwara Duo (482 Music). During the following years, the drummer appeared on the Bynum Sextet albums Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths (hatOLOGY, 2009), Apparent Distance (Firehouse 12, 2011), and Navigation (Possibility Abstracts X & XI) (Firehouse 12, 2013), and the Bynum/Fujiwara Duo album Stepwise (Nottwo, 2010). Fujiwara is also a member of Positive Catastrophe, a ten-piece outfit co-led by Bynum and percussionist Abraham Gomez-Delgado and inspired by Sun Ra and Latin jazz; the group has released two albums on Cuneiform, Garabatos Volume One (2009) and Dibrujo, Dibrujo, Dibrujo... (2012).

Another musician with whom Fujiwara has often worked, guitarist Mary Halvorson, also often travels in the same creative orbit as Taylor Ho Bynum; like Fujiwara, Halvorson is a member of the Bynum Sextet, and along with Bynum and violist Jessica Pavone, the drummer and guitarist formed the collective quartet the Thirteenth Assembly, which has recorded two albums for the Important Records label, 2009's (un)sentimental and 2011's Station Direct. Fujiwara, Halvorson, and Bynum also appeared as members of the Chicago-New York nonet Living by Lanterns, whose New Myth/Old Science album -- based on fragments of music recorded by Sun Ra in 1961 -- appeared on Cuneiform in 2012. In 2014 Cuneiform released another album featuring Fujiwara and Halvorson, the eponymous debut of Thumbscrew, a collaborative trio also including veteran bassist Michael Formanek.

Fujiwara first assembled his Hook Up quintet in 2008, later describing the bandmembers as "some of the most important musicians in my life" -- and given all of Fujiwara and Halvorson's recorded appearances together in various settings, it was no surprise that the guitarist was in the lineup. Also featuring tenor saxophonist Brian Settles, trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, and bassist Danton Boller, Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up released their debut album, Actionspeak, on 482 Music in 2010. Featuring Trevor Dunn on bass in place of Boller, the group's sophomore album, The Air Is Different, arrived (also on 482 Music) in 2012.

The many other projects in which Fujiwara has played as a collaborator or sideman include the Steve Lacy tribute band Ideal Bread, the eight-piece "bhangra funk dhol 'n' brass" outfit Red Baraat, and saxophonist/clarinetist Matt Bauder's acoustic jazz quintet. "

-All Music (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/tomas-fujiwara-mn0000909926/biography)
11/21/2017

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"Taylor Ho Bynum (b. 1975) has spent his career navigating the intersections between structure and improvisation - through musical composition, performance and interdisciplinary collaboration, and through production, organizing, teaching, writing and advocacy. As heard on over twenty recordings as a bandleader, Bynum's expressionistic playing on cornet and his expansive vision as composer have garnered him critical attention as one of the singular musical voices of his generation. He currently leads his Sextet and 7-tette, and works with many collective ensembles including a duo with drummer Tomas Fujiwara, the improv trio Book of Three, the UK/US collaborative Convergence Quartet, the dance/music interdisciplinary ensemble Masters of Ceremony, and the trans-idiomatic little big band Positive Catastrophe.

His varied endeavors include his Acoustic Bicycle Tours (where he travels to concerts solely by bike across thousands of miles) and his stewardship of Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation (which he serves as executive director, producing most of Braxton's recent major projects). In addition to his own bands, his ongoing collaboration with Braxton, past work with other legendary figures such as Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor, and current collective projects with forward thinking peers, Bynum increasingly travels the globe to conduct community-based large ensembles in explorations of new creative orchestra music. He is also a published author and contributor to The New Yorker's Culture Blog, has taught at universities, festivals, and workshops worldwide, and has served as a panelist and consultant for leading funders and organizations. His work has received support from Creative Capital, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Chamber Music America, New Music USA, USArtists International, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation."

-Taylor Ho Bynum website (http://taylorhobynum.com/)
11/21/2017

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