The Squid's Ear Magazine


Schiano, Mario (Schiano / Guy / Lovens / Parker / Tramontana): Social Security (Les Disques Victo)

"Recorded live at the Victoriaville Festival in 1996, this disc features the Italian saxophone and improvisation master surrounded by a band from heaven -- or hell, depending on your view of modern free jazz -- ensuring his own "social s...
 

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Mario Schiano-alto saxophone

Barry Guy-bass

Paul Lovens-drums, percussion

Evan Parker-soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone

Sebi Tramontana-trombone


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UPC: 766405004321

Label: Les Disques Victo
Catalog ID: VICCD043
Squidco Product Code: 23979

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 1997
Country: Canada
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded live at 13th Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville on 17 Mai 1996, by Denis Leclerc and Michel Larivire.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Recorded live at the Victoriaville Festival in 1996, this disc features the Italian saxophone and improvisation master surrounded by a band from heaven -- or hell, depending on your view of modern free jazz -- ensuring his own "social security" (as if, with his abilities, he really needed it). Evan Parker on soprano and tenor, trombonist Sebi Tramontana, bassist Barry Guy, and drummer extraordinaire Paul Lovens round out Schiano's alto saxophone playing on stage. The idea is simple enough: Each horn player sets up a section and the improvisation flows from there. But here is where it gets tricky. As Schiano sets up the first and last of Social Security's four sections, the other two players have the option of extending his contribution altogether or obliterating it entirely and starting over. Parker and Tramontana choose a middle ground by keeping the Schiano harmonic themes while rooting around searching for new modes to employ them in, only giving over to free soloing when they've exhausted all immediate possibilities -- though others return later. Schiano's own solo in "Part 1" is particularly riveting, taking figures from Marion Brown and Ornette Coleman and layering them with a bluesed-out quote-fest from folk songs to Catholic hymns to sections of Ornette's own Free Jazz. Parker goes out to the margins on "Part 4," turning his circular-breathing manipulations into a call-and-response fest from Schiano and Tramontana, bringing them all harmonically within reach of his tonality and timbral affectations, which gives the impression of presenting an absolutely unified front line in the middle of an improvisation -- remarkable! But then, everything about Social Security is remarkable; from the sensitive, singing rhythm section of Guy and Lovens to the complete respect and admiration of the three horn players for each other and their sidemen, this disc is an ultimate exercise in free improv democracy."-Thom Jurek, All Music


Get additional information at All Music

Artist Biographies

"Mario Schiano (20 July 1933 in Naples - 10 May 2008 in Rome) was an Italian alto saxophonist and soprano saxophonist associated with avant-garde/free jazz.

He was born in Naples. A member of the Italian Instabile Orchestra, Schiano recorded with musicians such as Famoudou Don Moye, Eugenio Colombo, Ernst Reijseger, Paul Rutherford, Gianluigi Trovesi and Joëlle Léandre, among others.[1]

He died in Rome in 2008."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Schiano)
6/19/2024

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

"Barry John Guy (born 22 April 1947, in London) is a British composer and double bass player. His range of interests encompasses early music, contemporary composition, jazz and improvisation, and he has worked with a wide variety of orchestras in the UK and Europe. He also taught at Guildhall School of Music.

Born in London, Guy came to the fore as an improvising bassist as a member of a trio with pianist Howard Riley and drummer Tony Oxley (Witherden, 1969). He also became an occasional member of John Stevens' ensembles in the 1960s and 1970s, including the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. In the early 1970s, he was a member of the influential free improvisation group Iskra 1903 with Derek Bailey and trombonist Paul Rutherford (a project revived in the late 1970s, with violinist Philipp Wachsmann replacing Bailey). He also formed a long-standing partnership with saxophonist Evan Parker, which led to a trio with drummer Paul Lytton which became one of the best-known and most widely travelled free-improvising groups of the 1980s and 1990s. He was briefly a member of the Michael Nyman Band in the 1980s, performing on the soundtrack of The Draughtsman's Contract.

Guy's interests in improvisation and formal composition received their grandest form in the London Jazz Composers Orchestra. Originally formed to perform Guy's composition Ode in 1972 (released as a 2-LP set on Incus and later, in expanded form, as a 2-CD set on Intakt), it became one of the great large-scale European improvising ensembles. Early documentation is spotty - the only other recording from its early years is Stringer (FMP, now available on Intakt paired with the later "Study II") - but beginning in the late 1980s the Swiss label Intakt set out to document the band more thoroughly. The result was a series of ambitious, album-length compositions designed to give all the players in the band maximum opportunity for expression while still preserving a rigorous sense of form: Zurich Concerts, Harmos, Double Trouble (originally written for an encounter with Alexander von Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra, though the eventual CD was just for the LJCO), Theoria (a concerto for guest pianist Irène Schweizer), Three Pieces, and Double Trouble Two. The group's activities subsided in the mid-1990s, but it was never formally disbanded, and reconvened in 2008 for a one-off concert in Switzerland. In the mid-1990s Guy also created a second, smaller ensemble, the Barry Guy New Orchestra.

Guy has also written for other large improvising ensembles, such as the NOW Orchestra and ROVA (the piece Witch Gong Game inspired by images by the visual artist Alan Davie).

His current improvising activities include piano trios with Marilyn Crispell and Agusti Fernandez. He has also recorded several albums for ECM, which often focus on the interface between improvisers and electronics, including his work in Evan Parker's Electro-Acoustic Ensemble and his own Ceremony.

Guy's session work in the pop field includes playing double bass on the song "Nightporter", from the Japan album Gentlemen Take Polaroids.

He is married to the early music violinist Maya Homburger. After spending some years in Ireland, they now live in Switzerland. They run the small label Maya, which releases a variety of records in the genres of free improvisation, baroque music and contemporary composition.

Guy's jazz work is characterised by free improvisation, using a range of unusual playing methods: bowed and pizzicato sounds beneath the bass's bridge; plucking the strings above the left hand; beating the strings with percussion instrument mallets; and "preparing" the instrument with sticks and other implements inserted between the strings and fingerboard. His improvisations are often percussive and unpredictable, inhabiting no discernible harmonic territory and pushing into unknown regions. However, they can also be melodious and tender with due regard for harmonic integration with other players, and at times he will even play with a straight jazz swing feel.

Similarly, in his concert works, Guy manages to alternate harmonic and rhythmic complexity worthy of 1960s experimentalists such as Penderecki and Stockhausen with joyous, often ecstatic, melody. Works such as "Flagwalk" for string orchestra and "Fallingwater - Concerto for Orchestra" display Guy's compositional skill in handling extended forms and writing for large instrumental groups.

Some of his compositions, such as "Witch Gong Game" for ensemble, use graphic notation in conjunction with cue cards to lead performers into playing and improvising material from numbered sections of the score.

He is also an architect."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Guy)
6/19/2024

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

"Born in Aachen, Germany, 6 June 1949; Drums, percussion, musical saw, etc.

Paul Lovens played the drums as a child. Self-taught, from the age of 14 he played in groups of various jazz styles and popular musics and from 1969 has worked almost exclusively as an improvisor on individually selected instruments. He has worked internationally with most of the leading musicians in free jazz and free improvisation, among whom have included the Globe Unity Orchestra, the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, the Schlippenbach trio, Quintet Moderne, Company, and a duo with Paul Lytton. He has undertaken concert tours in more than 40 countries, is a founder member of a musician's cooperative and has produced recordings for his own label, Po Torch Records since 1976. He has worked with painter Herbert Bardenheuer. Despite very rare solo performances, and although giving occasional concerts with ad-hoc groups and an involvement in projects with film, dance and actors, Paul Lovens' main interest and work is musical improvisation in fixed small groups. In the mid-1990s these small groups numbered around 16, of which a few were part of a special selection, called 'vermögen'.

Paul Lovens somehow epitomises the free drummer/percussionist who is not there to lay down the beat and kick everyone else into action but to listen, colour, contribute, guide, and occasionally direct, the overall cooperative sound. In concert one cannot fail to be moved by his intensity and concentration and there is an overiding feeling that even the most random events are somehow planned in time. In this respect, there is a nice irony that on the Nothing to read CD with Mats Gustafsson, Lovens describes his kit as consisting of 'selected and unselected drums and cymbals'. Miking seems to be a problem at times with some recordings giving him undue prominence and others insufficient. Good recordings are Elf bagatellen, Nothing to read, Pakistani pomade, and ,stranger than love."

-European Free Improv (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/mlovens.html)
6/19/2024

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

"Evan Parker was born in Bristol in 1944 and began to play the saxophone at the age of 14. Initially he played alto and was an admirer of Paul Desmond; by 1960 he had switched to tenor and soprano, following the example of John Coltrane, a major influence who, he would later say, determined "my choice of everything". In 1962 he went to Birmingham University to study botany but a trip to New York, where he heard the Cecil Taylor trio (with Jimmy Lyons and Sunny Murray), prompted a change of mind. What he heard was "music of a strength and intensity to mark me for life ... l came back with my academic ambitions in tatters and a desperate dream of a life playing that kind of music - 'free jazz' they called it then."

Parker stayed in Birmingham for a time, often playing with pianist Howard Riley. In 1966 he moved to London, became a frequent visitor to the Little Theatre Club, centre of the city's emerging free jazz scene, and was soon invited by drummer John Stevens to join the innovative Spontaneous Music Ensemble which was experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation. Parker's first issued recording was SME's 1968 Karyobin, with a line-up of Parker, Stevens, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland and Kenny Wheeler. Parker remained in SME through various fluctuating line-ups - at one point it comprised a duo of Stevens and himself - but the late 1960s also saw him involved in a number of other fruitful associations.

He began a long-standing partnership with guitarist Bailey, with whom he formed the Music Improvisation Company and, in 1970, co-founded Incus Records. (Tony Oxley, in whose sextet Parker was then playing, was a third co-founder; Parker left Incus in the mid-1980s.) Another important connection was with the bassist Peter Kowald who introduced Parker to the German free jazz scene. This led to him playing on Peter Brötzmann's 1968 Machine Gun, Manfred Schoof's 1969 European Echoes and, in 1970, joining pianist Alex von Schlippenbach and percussionist Paul Lovens in the former's trio, of which he is still a member: their recordings include Pakistani Pomade, Three Nails Left, Detto Fra Di Noi, Elf Bagatellen and Physics.

Parker pursued other European links, too, playing in the Pierre Favre Quartet (with Kowald and Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer) and in the Dutch Instant Composers Pool of Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink. The different approaches to free jazz he encountered proved both a challenging and a rewarding experience. He later recalled that the German musicians favoured a "robust, energy-based thing, not to do with delicacy or detailed listening but to do with a kind of spirit-raising, a shamanistic intensity. And l had to find a way of surviving in the heat of that atmosphere ... But after a while those contexts became more interchangeable and more people were involved in the interactions, so all kinds of hybrid musics came out, all kinds of combinations of styles."

A vital catalyst for these interactions were the large ensembles in which Parker participated in the 1970s: Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO) and occasional big bands led by Kenny Wheeler. In the late 70s Parker also worked for a time in Wheeler's small group, recording Around Six and, in 1980, he formed his own trio with Guy and LJCO percussionist Paul Lytton (with whom he had already been working in a duo for nearly a decade). This group, together with the Schlippenbach trio, remains one of Parker's top musical priorities: their recordings include Tracks, Atlanta, Imaginary Values, Breaths and Heartbeats, The Redwood Sessions and At the Vortex. In 1980, Parker directed an Improvisers Symposium in Pisa and, in 1981, he organised a special project at London's Actual Festival. By the end of the 1980s he had played in most European countries and had made various tours to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. ln 1990, following the death of Chris McGregor, he was instrumental in organising various tributes to the pianist and his fellow Blue Notes; these included two discs by the Dedication Orchestra, Spirits Rejoice and lxesa.

Though he has worked extensively in both large and small ensembles, Parker is perhaps best known for his solo soprano saxophone music, a singular body of work that in recent years has centred around his continuing exploration of techniques such as circular breathing, split tonguing, overblowing, multiphonics and cross-pattern fingering. These are technical devices, yet Parker's use of them is, he says, less analytical than intuitive; he has likened performing his solo work to entering a kind of trance-state. The resulting music is certainly hypnotic, an uninterrupted flow of snaky, densely-textured sound that Parker has described as "the illusion of polyphony". Many listeners have indeed found it hard to credit that one man can create such intricate, complex music in real time. Parker's first solo recordings, made in 1974, were reissued on the Saxophone Solos CD in 1995; more recent examples are Conic Sections and Process and Reality, on the latter of which he does, for the first time, experiment with multi-tracking. Heard alone on stage, few would disagree with writer Steve Lake that "There is, still, nothing else in music - jazz or otherwise - that remotely resembles an Evan Parker solo concert."

While free improvisation has been Parker's main area of activity over the last three decades, he has also found time for other musical pursuits: he has played in 'popular' contexts with Annette Peacock, Scott Walker and the Charlie Watts big band; he has performed notated pieces by Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman and Frederic Rzewski; he has written knowledgeably about various ethnic musics in Resonance magazine. A relatively new field of interest for Parker is improvising with live electronics, a dialogue he first documented on the 1990 Hall of Mirrors CD with Walter Prati. Later experiments with electronics in the context of larger ensembles have included the Synergetics - Phonomanie III project at Ullrichsberg in 1993 and concerts by the new EP2 (Evan Parker Electronic Project) in Berlin, Nancy and at the 1995 Stockholm Electronic Music Festival where Parker's regular trio improvised with real-time electronics processed by Prati, Marco Vecchi and Phillip Wachsmann. "Each of the acoustic instrumentalists has an electronic 'shadow' who tracks him and feeds a modified version of his output back to the real-time flow of the music."

The late 80s and 90s brought Parker the chance to play with some of his early heroes. He worked with Cecil Taylor in small and large groups, played with Coltrane percussionist Rashied Ali, recorded with Paul Bley: he also played a solo set as support to Ornette Coleman when Skies of America received its UK premiere in 1988. The same period found Parker renewing his acquaintance with American colleagues such as Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy and George Lewis, with all of whom he had played in the 1970s (often in the context of London's Company festivals). His 1993 duo concert with Braxton moved John Fordham in The Guardian to raptures over "saxophone improvisation of an intensity, virtuosity, drama and balance to tax the memory for comparison".

Parker's 50th birthday in 1994 brought celebratory concerts in several cities, including London, New York and Chicago. The London performance, featuring the Parker and Schlippenbach trios, was issued on a highly-acclaimed two-CD set, while participants at the American concerts included various old friends as well as more recent collaborators in Borah Bergman and Joe Lovano. The NYC radio station WKCR marked the occasion by playing five days of Parker recordings. 1994 also saw the publication of the Evan Parker Discography, compiled by ltalian writer Francesco Martinelli, plus chapters on Parker in books on contemporary musics by John Corbett and Graham Lock.

Parker's future plans involve exploring further possibilities in electronics and the development of his solo music. They also depend to a large degree on continuity of the trios, of the large ensembles, of his more occasional yet still long-standing associations with that pool of musicians to whose work he remains attracted. This attraction, he explained to Coda's Laurence Svirchev, is attributable to "the personal quality of an individual voice". The players to whom he is drawn "have a language which is coherent, that is, you know who the participants are. At the same time, their language is flexible enough that they can make sense of playing with each other ... l like people who can do that, who have an intensity of purpose." "

-Evan Parker Website (http://evanparker.com/biography.php)
6/19/2024

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

"Sebi Tramontana (born December 12, 1960) is a jazz trombonist most often associated with avant-garde jazz and free improvisation music. A member of the Italian Instabile Orchestra, Tramontana has also recorded with such musical artists as Jeb Bishop, Joëlle Léandre, Mario Schiano, and Carlos Zingaro."



"Born 12 December 1960 in Rosolini, Sicily; trombone.

Sebi Tramontana started playing guitar as a child and then moved to the soprano saxophone in the late 1970s. He switched to trombone in 1982 and during a radio production with Bruno Tommaso met Giancarlo Schiaffini, who convinced him to move to Rome and study with him at A. Casella Conservatorio in L'Aquila. In Rome he calloborated with Martin Joseph, Eugenio Colombio and Mario Schiano and in 1986 was a member of the New Talents Orchestra, performing at the Rocella Jonica Festival. He guested with Gruppo Romano Free Jazz for their 30th anniversary in 1996.

In 1987 he started a trio with Daniel Studer and Roberto Altamura which played at the Contraindicazione Festival in Rome and subsequently performed with Paul Rutherford, Barry Guy, Gerard Siracusa, Eugenio Colombo, Co Streiff and Martin Mayes.

Tramontana was invited by Mario Schiano in 1988 to take part in the recording of Red and blue with Vladimir Tarasov and Vladimir Chekasin. In 1990 he completed his studies at A. Casella Conservatorio and joined the Italian Instabile Orchestra.

His first solo performance was in Rome in 1992 and this has been followed by performances in Zürich, Mulhouse, Clusone, Köln, Ruvo Di Puglia, Roccella, Jonica and Göttingen. In 1994 he was invited by Georg Gräwe to "Two Nights Of Random Acoustics" in Köln, subsequently joining the Georg Graewe Quintet and touring Europe. In 1998, he recorded a duo with Graewe for the Italian Splasc(h) label and in July 2003 became a member of the Georg Graewe new quintet, with Tobias Delius, Kent Kessler and Michael Vatcher.

In 1996 Tramontana performed at the festival di Roccella Jonica with Barre Phillips, Michel Doneda and two dancers and then at the Victoriaville festival with Mario Schiano, Evan Parker, Paul Lovens and Barry Guy. He also appeared at the Empty Bottle in Chiacgo with Hamid Drake, Kent Kessler, Ken Vandermark and Mars Williams. In 1997 he performed the 'Art Of Dialogue' in Munich with Joëlle Léandre.

In 1999 he received a scholarship from the City of Munich for 6 week residence in the US and as a result visited Chicago (playing at the Empty Bottle festival and recording with Jim Baker, Fred Lonberg Holm, Michael Zerang, Lou Mallozi, Jeb Bishop, Ken Vandermark and Kent Kessler), San Francisco and New York. From 1999 to 2002 he was Artistic Director (with Ch.Hofig department of Culture of the City of Munich) of the festival "Come Sunday" and during this period he also founded the group XAXA with Phil Wachsmann, Mats Gustafsson and Paul Lovens.

In 2001 Tramontana undertook concerts and recordings in Chicago with the "Night People" project (a homage to Dickie Wells), a string quartet with Guiellermo Gregorio on clarinet and in duo with Jeb Bishop (Chicago defenders). He also began to play in duo with Paul Lovens (with the Buster Keaton The General project), performing in Munich, Ljubljana, Graz, Cologne, Regensburg, Rome, Maribor, Kassel and Göttingen. In 2002-03 he was a member of the Mats Gustafsson's Nu Ensemble.

In 2003 he appeared at the Banlieues Bleu Festival in Paris and Ghent (Belgium) with Joëlle Léandre's European Quartett featuring Carlos Zingaro Paul Lovens and special guest Irène Schweizer. He played a duo with Léandre at the Ulrichsberg Kaleidophon and also performed in the Trombone Trio - in Ljubljana and Maribor - with Vinko Globokar and Johannes Bauer.

Since 1999 Sebi Tramontana has toured Germany and Austria with TV and movie actor Udo Wachtveitl and, since 2001, been a musician and actor with the Dance Company En Knap of Iztok Kovac from Ljubljana. He appeared in the film of Under my skin, directed by Saso Podgorsek, in 2004. 2004 also saw a collaboration with the electronic 48 nord group in Munich.

In November 2004 he will exhibit his paintings in an exhibition in Chicago entitled Stop, Look & Listen: Artwork by Musicians alongside works by Pee Wee Russel, Hal Rammel, Han Bennink, Peter Brötzmann and others. In April 2005 he will tour with Joëlle Léandre and Paul Lovens and will be in Chicago to perform with a new project of Lou Mallozzi."

-Wickipedia, European Free Improv Page (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/musician/mtramon.html)
6/19/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Social Security Part I 20:51

2. Social Security Part II 19:15

3. Social Security Part III 13:51

4. Social Security Part IV 11:17

Related Categories of Interest:

May 2017
Victo
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Jazz
Quintet Recordings

Search for other titles on the label:
Les Disques Victo.


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Tsahar, Assif / William Parker / Hamid Drake
In Between The Tumbling A Stillness [VINYL]
(Hopscotch Records)
A fierce free jazz concert recorded live at Levontin 7, in Tel Aviv by three players with a long history of collaboration and dynamic trio settings, from Israeli saxophonist formerly based in NYC Assif Tsahar, bassist William Parker and Chicago drummer Hamid Drake, in two extended, energetic and inventive improvisations and a concise closing "Stillness".
Ward, Alex
Gated
(Discus)
A stunning solo album showing the widely diverse interests of UK clarinetist and guitarist Alex Ward, recording in the studio in 10 multi-track pieces using clarinets, saxophones, guitars, keyboards, electric bass and assorted software instruments in a mix of pre-composed and improvised approaches, burning the spectrum from contemplative to aggressively assertive performance.
Leimgruber / Turner / Dorner / da Boff / Flesh
London / Leipzig / Luzern
(Euphorium)
A powerful concert of free and electroacoustic improvisation from Urs Leimgruber on tenor saxophone, Axel Dorner on trumpet, Roger Turner on percussion, and Ra Ra da Boff (aka Oliver Schwerdt) & Ribo Flesh on electric organs, performing live at NuR in Leipzig, Germany in 2015 for two extended performances; see all Axel Dörner-Untitled (Berlin) & Urs Leimgruber-Untitled (Luzern).
Taylor, Cecil Ensemble
Gottingen [2 CDs]
(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
A double CD of the complete Cecil Taylor Ensemble's 1990 performance at Junges Theater in Gottingen, Sweden, with personnel similar to his 1989 Cecil Taylor Workshop Ensemble album Legba Crossing, here in an adventurous concert of large group improvisation with Taylor performing on piano while directing and conducting the extended orchestration that includes balafon & elephanthorn!
Smith, Wadada Leo
Trumpet [3 CDs]
(Tum)
Pure Wadada Leo Smith in a 3-CD box set of solo recordings from 2016 captured at and using the natural resonance of the St. Mary's Church in the town of Pohja, on the Southern Coast of Finland, presenting fourteen new compositions, including four extended multi-part works, as Smith demonstrates his incredible authority, investigative spirit and spiritual approach to the horn.
Trilla, Vasco
Unmoved Mover
(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
A dramatic set of improvisations performed on timpani and gongs from Spanish percussionist Vasco Trilla, from the quietest of moments to massively profound and encompassing events, Trilla's timing evoking both meditative passages and moments of power, in a rich and spiritual album that impresses by both technical ability and by the sense of story he reveals.



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