The Squid's Ear Magazine


Mahanthappa / Lehman: Dual Identity (Clean Feed)

The New York duo of saxophonists Rudresh Mahanthappa and Steve Lehman in their co-led quintet with Liberty Ellman on guitar, Matt Brewer on bass and Damion Reid on drums.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Rudresh Mahanthappa-alto saxophone

Steve Lehmna-alto saxophone

Liberty Ellman-guitar

Matt Brewer-doublebass

Damion Reid-drums


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UPC: 5609063001723

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF172
Squidco Product Code: 12884

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2010
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded on March 6, 2009 at The Braga Jazz Festival by Joao Ferraz.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Universally hailed as the most innovative young saxophonists to emerge in recent years, Rudresh Mahanthappa and Steve Lehman formed their co-led quintet, Dual Identity in 2004. Clean Feed Records is very pleased to announce the release of their highly-anticipated, self-titled debut recording.

But make no mistake, this is not an old-fashioned alto battle. And this is not a concept album. This live recording is an important marker in Mahanthappa and Lehman's shared history, and documents the work of two cutting-edge composer/performers who have made a commitment to learning from each other and to expanding the possibilities of what their music can be.

Listening to the very first notes of "The General", it becomes immediately clear that Mahanthappa and Lehman have developed a rich, collective language that fuses their highly distinctive voices into one single meta-instrument. We have never heard two saxophonists sound quite like this: turning on a dime, moving in and out of time, morphing tempos, gliding effortlessly between tuning systems. And for that reason, their duo work is a revelation and also a microcosm of the album as a whole. "Foster Brothers", for example, is a diamond-hard miniature that focuses on changing speeds while "SMS" juxtaposes nuanced lyricism with visceral solos. Other pieces like "Circus" and "Extensions Of Extensions Of" showcase Lehman and Mahanthappa's powerful ability to lead their all-star band into go-for-broke territory. And "Resonance Ballad" and "Katchu" highlight the delicate and meticulous attention to musical detail that permeates the entire recording.

Throughout their self-titled release, Mahanthappa and Lehman's hyper-modern compositional vision is brought to life by their remarkable quintet, featuring three musicians who represent the absolute state-of-the-art on their respective instruments: Damion Reid on drums, Matt Brewer on bass and Liberty Ellman on guitar. Ellman, in particular, has become an established master, capable of asserting his one-of-a-kind instrumental voice, while acting as the perfect melodic foil for bandleaders like Henry Threadgill and Greg Osby. Damion Reid and Matt Brewer have also earned an elite international reputation for their unique ability to execute the most demanding compositional materials with dazzling improvisational finesse. These five musicians share a rich collective history in a wide variety of musical settings and it shows.

Dual Identity builds from Lehman and Mahanthappa's recent solo recordings, but also sounds like nothing they've ever done before. This music is bursting with honesty and humor and with the excitement of discovery that ties Rudresh and Steve together. This is the state of the alto saxophone: past, present and future."-Clean Feed


Artist Biographies

"Born in Trieste, Italy to Indian émigrés in 1971, Mahanthappa was brought up in Boulder, Colorado and gained proficiency playing everything from current pop to Dixieland. He went on to studies at North Texas, Berklee and DePaul University (as well as the Stanford Jazz Workshop) and came to settle in Chicago. Soon after moving to New York in 1997 he formed his own quartet featuring pianist Vijay Iyer. The band recorded an enduring sequence of albums, Black Water, Mother Tongue and Codebook, each highlighting Mahanthappa's inventive methodologies and deeply personal approach to composition. He and Iyer also formed the duo Raw Materials.

Coming deeper into contact with the Carnatic music of his parents' native southern India, Mahanthappa partnered in 2008 with fellow altoist Kadri Gopalnath and the Dakshina Ensemble for Kinsmen, garnering wide acclaim. Apti, the first outing by Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition (with Pakistani-born Rez Abbasi on guitar and Dan Weiss on tabla), saw release the same year; Agrima followed nine years later and considerably expanded the trio's sonic ambitions.

Mahanthappa has also worked with Jack DeJohnette, Mark Dresser, Danilo Pérez, Arturo O'Farrill's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, the collaborative trios MSG and Mauger, the co-led quintet Dual Identity with fellow altoist Steve Lehman, and another co-led quintet with fellow altoist and Chicago stalwart Bunky Green (Apex). His exploratory guitar-driven quartets on Samdhi and Gamak featured David Gilmore and Dave "Fuze" Fiuczynski, respectively. In 2015 he was commissioned by Ragamala Dance to create Song of the Jasmine for dancers and a hybrid jazz/South Indian ensemble. He was also commissioned by the PRISM Saxophone Quartet to compose a chamber piece, "I Will Not Apologize for My Tone Tonight," which can be heard on the quartet's 2015 double-disc release Heritage/Evolution, Volume 1."

-Rudresh Mahanthappa Website (https://www.rudreshm.com/about)
7/10/2024

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

"Based in Brooklyn New York, guitarist / composer Liberty Ellman has performed and or recorded with a host of stand out creative artists including: Joe Lovano, Myra Melford, Wadada Leo Smith, Butch Morris, Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman, Greg Osby, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Nels Cline, Somi, Matana Roberts, Ledisi, Michele Rosewoman, Adam Rudolph, Josh Roseman, Barney McAll, Okkyung Lee, Steven Bernstein, Ben Goldberg and John Zorn. In 2014 Ellman worked with Jason Moran on Luanda Kinshasa, a video installation by visionary filmmaker Stan Douglas.

Mr. Ellman is perhaps best known for his long tenure in Henry Threadgill's groundbreaking ensemble, Zooid. The group has recorded several critically lauded albums. Their most recent recording "In For A Penny, In For A Pound" earned a Pulitzer prize for Mr. Threadgill. In addition to playing guitar, Mr. Ellman is credited as producer and mixing engineer on that recording. He has mixed and mastered many other recordings as well, including Gregory Porter's "Be Good," which was nominated for a Grammy.

Ellman has released 4 of his own critically acclaimed albums: Orthodoxy, Tactiles, Ophiuchus Butterfly, and 2015's Radiate on Pi Recordings. His compositional style has been described as "At once highly controlled and recklessly inventive," and the Wall Street Journal said: "Ellman, along with his peers, is helping to define post millennial jazz." Voted #1 Rising Star Guitarist in the 2016 Downbeat Critics Poll, he was also honored in the 2015 Jazz Times expanded critics poll, as one of the four guitarists of the year alongside Bill Frisell, John Scofield and Julian Lage.

Liberty Ellman has also worked beyond the jazz world: hip hop artists Midnight Voices, and The Coup, dance producer DJ Joe Claussell, and worked on remixes of N'Dea Davenport, Chico Freeman, Ann Dyer, Ayo and others. He also made an appearance on the Grammy nominated Groove Collective record, People People Music Music."

-Liberty Ellman Website (http://www.libertyellman.com/bio/)
7/10/2024

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

"Matt Brewer was born in Oklahoma City but spent most of his youth in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Born into a musical family, Matt was surrounded by music from an early age, both his father and grandfather being jazz musicians, and his mother an avid music lover and radio DJ (who, even before Matt was born, would play classic jazz albums for him). After graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy, Matt attended the inagural class of The Juilliard Jazz Program and studied with bassists Rodney Whitaker and Ben Wolfe. After spending two years at Juilliard he decided to leave school to make time for his busy touring schedule. Since then he has worked with artists such as Greg Osby, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Lee Konitz, David Sanchez, Terence Blanchard, Antonio Sanchez, Vijay Iyer, Adam Rogers, Steve Coleman, Dave Binney, Aaron Parks, Jeff "Tain" Watts, and many others. He recently recorded his second album as a leader on the Criss Cross Jazz label. He is an adjunct faculty member at The New School, and has been a frequent guest artist/teacher at the Banff Center."

-Matt Brewer Website (http://mattbrewerbass.com/biography/)
7/10/2024

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

"Damion Reid hailing from West Covina, California a city east of Los Angeles. He is the son of well-respected bassist and astute operatic singer and teacher. By the age of three, Damion was already playing in church. It was around the age of twelve that Damion began being mentored by the world-renowned drummer Billy Higgins. During these formative years Billy's spirit for life and music was deeply seeded in Damion's fertile mind. Seeing Damion's ability to grasp the music both, analytically and conceptually it wasn't long before Billy invited him to be a part of his drum collective. As he began to mature musically he found himself frequenting Billy's club "The World Stage," learning and playing with the likes of Billy Childs, George Bohanon and Oscar Brashear.

As Damion continued to cultivate his love for music through his high school years, he managed school life with professional obligations. Damion graduated High School and made the move to Boston, Massachusetts New England Conservatory of Music where he spent time with Cecil McBee, Danilo Perez, Fred Buda and George Russell as well as his musical peers. It was while in Boston between the years of 1998 and 1999 that he received the prestigious Alan Dawson scholarship. He then was accepted into the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California. Soon finding himself trekking to New York City to attend The New School. He then began performing and touring alongside Greg Osby, Terence Blanchard, Robert Glasper, Steve Lehman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Jacky Terrasson, Ravi Coltrane, Reggie Workman, Marcus Belgrave, Lauryn Hill, Robert Hurst, Bilal, Meshell Ndegeocello, Jason Moran, Mark Shim, Mark Turner, Chihiro Yamanaka, Steve Coleman, Bunky Green and many others."

-Damion Reid Website (http://www.damionreid.com/damionreid.com/biography.php)
7/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. The General 8:25

2. Foster Brothers 3:19

3. SMS 7:06

4. Post-Modern Pharaohs 6:27

5. Extensions Of Extensions Of 11:09

6. Katchu 8:31

7. Circus 9:11

8. Resonance Ballad 3:34

9. Rudreshm 4:18

10. 1010 6:44

11. Dual Indentities 4:46

Related Categories of Interest:

Clean Feed

Improvised Music
Jazz
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
2010 Top 40

Search for other titles on the label:
Clean Feed.


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