The Squid's Ear Magazine


Halvorson's, Mary Amaryllis: Cloudward (Nonesuch)

The second release from NY guitarist Mary Halvorson's Amaryllis band of Halvorson, Patricia Brennan (vibraphone), Nick Dunston (bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Jacob Garchik (trombone), and Adam O'Farrill (trumpet), with Laurie Anderson on violin featured on one track, for eight exquisitely optimistic, diverse and genre-merging Halvorson compositions.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Mary Halvorson-guitar

Patricia Brennan-vibraphone

Nick Dunston-bass

Tomas Fujiwara-drums

Jacob Garchik-trombone

Adam O'Farrill-trumpet

Laurie Anderson-violin


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UPC: 075597902358

Label: Nonesuch
Catalog ID: NNS902358.2
Squidco Product Code: 35001

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Sear Sound, in New York, New York, on March 27th and 28th, 2023, by Chris Allen.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The album features eight new compositions by Halvorson, performed with her sextet Amaryllis; the improvisatory band that performed on her critically praised 2022 albums Amaryllis and Belladonna comprises Halvorson, Patricia Brennan (vibraphone), Nick Dunston (bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Jacob Garchik (trombone), and Adam O'Farrill (trumpet). Labelmate Laurie Anderson also is featured on the album track "Incarnadine."

"All the music on Cloudward was written in 2022, mostly in the fall and winter, when things started moving forward. Life felt like a creaky machine starting up again," she continues. "Air travel, however chaotic, had resumed, and we were once again cloudward. Performances and tours and recordings were happening after a long hiatus and with a renewed sense of gratitude. This band, for me, was quite simply working, both musically and personally, and the main thing I felt while writing the music was optimism."-Nonesuch


Artist Biographies

"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/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Mexican born vibraphonist, marimbist and composer Patricia Brennan has been always surrounded by music. She inherited a deep love and appreciation for musical tradition from both parents, as well as being exposed to the musical richness of her native Port of Veracruz. She started studying music at 4 years old, playing latin percussion along salsa records with her father and listening to Jimmy Hendrix and Led Zeppelin records with her mother. Also, around the same age, she started playing piano, influenced by her grandmother who was a concert pianist.

At the age of 17, Patricia was selected from musicians all over the Americas to be part of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. During this time, she toured every country in the Americas and performed with renowned musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and Paquito D'Rivera. Before moving to the U. S., Patricia was already performing with the top symphony orchestras in Mexico, such as Xalapa Symphony Orchestra and Mineria Symphony Orchestra. Also, she had already won several awards on marimba competitions and young artist competitions in Mexico and abroad. She was accepted at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was able to perform alongside high caliber musicians from all over the world and conductors such as Simon Rattle and Charles Dutoit. She also performed with the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra and other acclaimed new music groups such as members from Eight Blackbird.

Patricia's search for freedom in her musical expression led her to find her voice through the vibraphone and mallet percussion in improvisational music and composition.

Currently, Patricia is a member of Grammy nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus. She is also a member of Blind Spot with Teju Cole, a project led by renowned pianist Vijay Iyer along with bassist Linda Oh and writer Teju Cole. She has also collaborated with Vijay Iyer in other projects, including the large ensemble project Open City and several small ensemble performances along with renowned musicians like bassist Reggie Workman and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. She is also a member of Phalanx Ambassadors, a project led by pianist Matt Mitchell, and she is also a member of Tomas Fujiwara's 7 Poets Trio along with cellist and composer Tomeka Reid. Among Patricia's own projects include the newly recorded solo project Kaleidoscope and MOCH.

Patricia has performed with many renown musicians including singer and composer Meredith Monk and Theo Bleckmann, saxophonists Jon Irabagon and Scott Robinson, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, drummer Marcus Gilmore, guitarist Mary Halvorson and many others. She has performed in venues such as Newport Jazz Festival, SF JAZZ, and Carnegie Hall, as well as international venues such as Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has also appeared on National Television and Public Radio several times.

Patricia has appeared on several recordings, including an ECM recording with Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus called "The Distance" and Matt Mitchell's featured recordings "A Pouting Grimace" and "Phalanx Ambassadors" under Pi Recordings. Also, Patricia recorded a new record with the Grammy nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble called "All Can Work" which was released in January 2018 under New Amsterdam Records. Patricia will be releasing her debut solo album "Kaleidoscope" in 2019."

-Patricia Brennan Website (http://www.patriciabrennanvibes.com/bio)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Nick Dunston is a Brooklyn-based composer, bassist, and scholar. An "indispensable player on the New York avant-garde" (New York Times), his performances have also spanned a variety of venues and festivals across North America and Europe. He's performed, toured, and recorded professionally with bands led by artists such as Tyshawn Sorey, Vijay Iyer, Marc Ribot, Ches Smith, Imani Uzuri, Ingrid Laubrock, Anthony Coleman, Roman Filiu, Jonathan Finlayson, Amirtha Kidambi, Moor Mother, Dave Douglas, Matt Wilson, Tomas Fujiwara, Allison Miller, Jeff Lederer, Jeff "Tain" Watts, and Darius Jones. He's spent extensive time studying with bassists Linda May Han Oh, Ben Street, Harish Raghavan, as well as with composer Missy Mazzoli.

As a composer, Dunston has written for a wide range of artists of multiple genres and disciplines. He's written for entities such as the New York Public Library of Performing Arts, the Joffrey Ballet School, The Witches, violist Joanna Mattrey, and the ESMAE Jazz and Chamber Orchestras. In 2019 he was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship by Roulette Intermedium, which supported the world premieres of The Floor is Lava! (upright bass quintet), and La Operación (double saxophone trio + soprano voice), referred to as "a work so dramatic and large that is both a response to socio-historical truth as well as a reflection on his own identity..." (I Care If You Listen). As a writer, he's made monthly contributions to Hot House Jazz Magazine from 2016-2019."

-Nick Dunston Website (http://www.nickdunston.org/new-page-2)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"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)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Jacob Garchik, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger, was born in San Francisco and has lived in New York since 1994. At home in a wide variety of styles and musical roles, he has become a vital part of NYC's downtown and Brooklyn scene, playing trombone with the Lee Konitz Nonet, Ohad Talmor/Steve Swallow Sextet, The Four Bags, Slavic Soul Party, and the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble. In 2012 he released the acclaimed solo CD "The Heavens: the Atheist Gospel Trombone Album".

Since 2006 Jacob has contributed dozens of arrangements and transcriptions for the Kronos Quartet of music from all over the world. His arrangements were featured on "Floodplain" (2009) and "Rainbow" (2010). He composed the score for Kronos for the documentary film "The Campaign" (2013) about the fight for marriage equality in California, which aired on PBS and at the frameline37 film festival in San Francisco.Complete list of arrangements for Kronos

As a trombonist Jacob has worked with many of the luminaries of the avant-garde, including Henry Threadgill, Laurie Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Joe Maneri, Frank London, James Tenney, Josh Roseman, Don Byron, Terry Reilly, George Lewis, and Billy Martin. He has also played in ensembles led by rising artists such as Mary Halvorson, Dan Weiss, Miguel Zenon, and Steve Lehman. In 2013 he was named a "Rising Star" in the Downbeat Magazine Jazz Critic's Poll. Jacob also plays accordion, bass trombone, tuba, computer, and piano."

-Jacob Garchik Website (http://jacobgarchik.com/?page_id=8)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Adam O'Farrill is a trumpet player and composer from Brooklyn, NY. As a trumpeter, he has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mary Halvorson, Arturo O'Farrill, Mulatu Astatke, Brasstracks, Stephan Crump, Onyx Collective, Anna Webber, and Samora Pinderhughes. As a composer and bandleader, he has led the quartet, Stranger Days, comprised of Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Walter Stinson, and Zack O'Farrill. Their eponymous debut (2016, Sunnyside Records) was inspired by film and literature, while the follow-up album, El Maquech (2018, Biophilia Records) covered everything from Mexican folk music to Irving Berlin, as well as O'Farrill's original compositions. Both were critically acclaimed, with the New York Times writing of the first release, "Marshaling a sharp band of his peers, Mr. O'Farrill establishes both a firm identity and a willful urge to stretch and adapt.". The latter album was listed as one of the best jazz albums of 2018 by the NPR Jazz Critics Poll, The Boston Globe, and Nextbop. Adam's newest project, Bird Blown Out of Latitude, is an electro-acoustic nonet, playing original music inspired by the feeling of being pushed off a perceived path.

O'Farrill comes from a rich musical background, with his grandfather being the Afro-Cuban-Irish composer and arranger Chico O'Farrill, his father being the cultural boundary-pushing composer and pianist Arturo O'Farrill, his mother Alison Deane being a classical pianist and educator, and his brother Zack O'Farrill being a drummer, composer, and educator. Adam is of Mexican, Cuban, and Irish heritage on his dad's side, and Eastern European Jewish and African-American on his mom's side. This, combined with growing up in a place of immense cultural diversity, has shaped his tendency to break stylistic borders within not only his original music, but also in terms of who he works with a sideman. O'Farrill was subject of an article in Jazztimes entitled, "Adam O'Farrill Does Not Play Latin Jazz", where he spoke about the unfair treatment and pigeonholing of Latinx musicians.

Adam made his professional recording debut on Chad Lefkowitz-Brown's debut album, Imagery Manifesto, in 2013. In 2015, he appeared on two critically acclaimed records; Rudresh Mahanthappa's Bird Calls and Arturo O'Farrill's Cuba: The Conversation Continues. Adam toured internationally with Mahanthappa's band from 2014 to 2017, performing at the Newport Jazz Festival, Chicago Symphony Hall, North Sea Jazz Festival, Cape Town International Jazz Festival, and more. In 2016, in addition to releasing Stranger Days, O'Farrill appeared on Stephan Crump's album, Rhombal, also garnering acclaim. Other projects he has recorded include Stimmerman (eponymous debut), Olli Hirvonen's New Helsinki, Gabriel Zucker's Weighting, and Onyx Collective's Lower East Suite Part One. Adam will also be featured on upcoming albums from Mary Halvorson, Anna Webber, Raf Vertessen, Thomas Champagne, and Idan Morim.

Adam studied at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, and obtained his Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He's studied trumpet with Jim Seeley, Nathan Warner, and Thomas Smith, and composition with Reiko Fueting and Curtis Macdonald. In 2014, O'Farrill won 3rd place honors at the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Trumpet Competition. He was also a recipient of the ASCAP Herb Albert Young Jazz Composer Award in 2013.

-Adam O'Farrill Website (https://www.adam-ofarrill.com/bio)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Laura Phillips "Laurie" Anderson (born June 5, 1947) is an American avant-garde artist, composer, musician and film director whose work spans performance art, pop music, and multimedia projects. Initially trained in violin and sculpting, Anderson pursued a variety of performance art projects in New York during the 1970s, making particular use of language, technology, and visual imagery. She became widely more known outside the art world in 1981 when her single "O Superman" reached number two on the UK pop charts. She also starred in and directed the 1986 concert film Home of the Brave.

Anderson is a pioneer in electronic music and has invented several devices that she has used in her recordings and performance art shows. In 1977, she created a tape-bow violin that uses recorded magnetic tape on the bow instead of horsehair and a magnetic tape head in the bridge. In the late 1990s, she developed a talking stick, a six-foot (1.8 m) long baton-like MIDI controller that can access and replicate sounds.

Anderson started dating Lou Reed in 1992, and was married to him from 2008 until his death in 2013."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurie_Anderson)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. The Gate 4:32

2. The Tower 8:08

3. Collapsing Mouth 5:55

4. Unscrolling 5:19

5. Desiderata 6:36

6. Incarnadine 4:12

7. Tailhead 4:35

8. Ultramarine 8:16

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Quintet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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(Riti Publishing)
Joe Morris wrote this book to discuss aspects of free music, including responses to his questionnaire written by Joe McPhee, William Parker, Jamie Saft, Ken Vandermark, Marilyn Crispell, Nate Wooley, Jack Wright, Matthew Shipp, &c.



The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

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