The Squid's Ear Magazine


Nagano, Sana (w/ Apflebaum / Matsuno / Filiano / Herternstein): Smashing Humans (577 Records)

The debut of a new electric jazz quintet from NY violinist Sana Nagano, with Peter Appfelbaum on tenor saxophone & megaphone, Keisuke Matsuno on electric guitar, Ken Filiano on acoustic bass & effects, and Joe Hertenstein on drums, an inventive and energetic album of joyful urgency and tremendous group dynamic, fueled by Nagano's exuberant and lyrical compositions.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Sana Nagano-violin, effects

Peter Appfelbaum-tenor saxophone, megaphone

Keisuke Matsuno-electric guitar

Ken Filiano-acoustic bass, effects

Joe Hertenstein-drums


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Label: 577 Records
Catalog ID: 5855_CD
Squidco Product Code: 29814

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at BC Studios, in Brooklyn, New York, on July 1st, 2019, by Martin Bisi.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The Brooklyn-based noise-jazz violinist Sana Nagano often finds herself at the center of the storm. As other instruments crash and careen around her, her assuredly melodic violin works to ground and stabilize the overall sound. And nowhere is this better heard than on Smashing Humans, her new quintet album coming March 19th on 577 Records. Featuring Peter Apfelbaum on sax, Keisuke Matsuno on guitar, Ken Filiano on bass, and Joe Hertenstein on drums, it's an LP full of gorgeous chaos and explosive energy, with Nagano controlling the flow. It's music of great power, but also balance."-577 Records



"The Brooklyn-based noise-jazz violinist Sana Nagano often finds herself at the center of the storm. As other instruments crash and careen around her, her assuredly melodic violin works to ground and stabilize the overall sound. And nowhere is this better heard than on Smashing Humans, her new quintet album coming March 19th on 577 Records. Featuring Peter Apfelbaum on sax, Keisuke Matsuno on guitar, Ken Filiano on bass, and Joe Hertenstein on drums, it's an LP full of gorgeous chaos and explosive energy, with Nagano controlling the flow. It's music of great power, but also balance.

Born and raised in Tokyo, Nagano moved to the U.S. in 2001, as an exchange student in Oregon. Her studies later led her to the University of Memphis and Berklee College of Music in Boston, but she has spent the last decade in New York City, working with veteran avant-jazzers like Karl Berger and Adam Rudolph and peers like violist Leonor Falcon and guitarist Harvey Valdes. As far as her time with Berger, a legendary vibraphonist and the founder of Creative Music Studio, Nagano sees it as a collaboration, not an apprenticeship.

"I like to think of him as a friend as much as I can, because whenever I think of a musician in an equal place, I think I can be a little more honest in terms of my performance and my existence," says Nagano. "And I think that's important, and I feel like that's something that maybe he appreciates as well. For me to be honest. And so I guess I try to pay attention to that."

Transparency is also at the core of Smashing Humans. One finds squealing guitar, rapidfire sax, bashing drums, and psychedelic bass in the music, but Nagano is always there to reel everyone in with calm, voice-of-reason violin. Even the album title, which doubles as the band name, is all about being real.

"It kind of means smashing our egos," explains Nagano. "I think that's what it means at the end of the day. It means that we try so hard, but then we get into our agony and just going in a circle. We wanna mean it well, but it's difficult, and we're always being questioned by our egos."

The stories behind the songs on Smashing Humans are as diverse as Nagano is sincere. "Dark Waw," the title of which is meant to evoke the word "awkward," is "a lot about feeling a little bit different from others but being able to connect with everybody." "Humans in Grey" was inspired by fantasy author Michael Ende (The Neverending Story). "Heavenly Evil Devil" is about a "trickster" who's "not really evil, but cute evil." And "The Other Seven" stems from her relationship with Berger.

"He is really into numerology, and we had this conversation talking about numbers and all that," recalls Nagano. "And he found that my number is seven. So it casually means that. Seven means to listen, to meditate. It just kind of meant well, and I liked it."

Nagano, of course, is not the only good listener in Smashing Humans. Matsuno, whose guitar is never anything less than a threat, has also worked with drummer Jim Black and saxophonist Briggan Krauss.

"He's easy to work with, and he's fun to work with," says Nagano on Matsuno. "He's fun to play with. He will add a lot of fun ideas when we're playing, but organically. And I enjoy that very much."

Hertenstein, who has also appeared with Rudolph and Berger, has also proven himself a sympathetic foil.

"A lot of the stuff I write, it's not the easiest to read," says Nagano. "But Joe will look at it. And he tries to understand what I meant. And he wouldn't mind about discussions. He doesn't play it just because he wants to sound good, he plays it because he wants to make good music. And I have the same goal. And it's not that good music is the best, but it's more about kindness and the adventurous spirit."

More than just a musician, Nagano sees herself as a positive force in the world. And as global events get crazier and crazier, she finds stability in the creative urge.

I wanna be useful, because I think being an artist is important," says Nagano. "It is. I think every day, 'How can I contribute?' Because when I play my sound, I do my best to be honest. Try to be honest as possible. And I think that means a lot that's difficult. It's not easy. I think that attitude is important because a lot of the time, I think, 'This is a difficult time. And I'm feeling a little bit off tonight, because of what has been happening in this world. And it's hard.' I just think it's still important that we create and we exist. There's a beauty to it. That we keep creating and sharing. Because, for me, art really helped me to be where I am." "-Broadway World

Also available on vinyl LP.
Get additional information at Broadway World

Artist Biographies

"Sana Nagano, violonist: Ever since she moved in New York City (2010), violinist and composer Sana Nagano has been performing actively in NY jazz, classical and underground music scenes. Her latest collaborations include with Karl Berger, Adam Rudolph, William Parker, Daniel Carter, the Manhattan Symphonie, Nioka Workman, John Ehlis, Federico Ughi, Harvey Valdes, Marius Duboule, Brittany Anjou, Jeffrey Shurdut and others.

Nagano holds MA degree from Aaron Copland School of Music of Queens College, BA degree from Berklee College of Music, both in jazz performance/composition major. She had studied with Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Mat Maneri, Dave Fiuczynski, Mark Feldman, Antonio Hart, Chris Howes, Hal Crook, Darren Barrett, Jeff Galindo, Rob Thomas, Matt Glaser, David Berkman and others."

-New York Jazz Workshop (https://newyorkjazzworkshop.com/faculty/sana-nagano/)
7/10/2024

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

"Keisuke Matsuno is a Brooklyn based guitarist, sound artist, and composer. His aesthetics in music have been described as 'the salt of the earth' (Bird is the Worm) and 'most extravagant, mind-blowing, and unheard-within-the-unheard' (Blow Up). He is the founding member of the post-krautrock band Trio Schmetterling, core member of bands such as the Jim Black Guitar Quartet, John Zorn's Bagatelles, Briggan Krauss' The Need Trio, Vertessen / Tammen / Matsuno, and has further collaborated with artists such as Chris Speed, Thomas Morgan, Grey McMurray, Peter Apfelbaum, and Red Baraat. Besides having performed in over 30 countries on five continents and having released over 20 records internationally, he also stars in Misaki Matsui's 'mit Kenji und Keisuke,' a short film exploring identity, multiculturalism, and life in New York City. Born in Berlin, Keisuke grew up in the divided, then reunified city before moving to the United States in 2010. As an ERASMUS and DAAD scholar, he holds master's degrees from both Hochschule Luzern and New York University."

-Keisuke Matsuno Website (https://keisukematsuno.tumblr.com/about)
7/10/2024

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

"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)
7/10/2024

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

"Joe Hertenstein is among the busiest and most versatile drummers and band leaders of the improvised-music scene of New York City. Trained at the Hochschule for Music and Dance in Cologne, Germany, he came to New York in 2007 to complete his Master of Arts studies at City University of New York. His mission was to learn from and explore music with many master musicians, some of which he calls friends and colleagues by now. He hopes to encourage and experience the dialogue with all cultures through music, through the abstract, through friendship and inspiration.

Joe has released five albums as a leader with the bands HNH, POLYLEMMA, Future Drone and TØRN and many more as a sideman on labels such as MoersMusic, Cleanfeed, Red Toucan, jazzwerkstatt Berlin, Creative Sources, 2nd Floor/Loft-Cologne, Skirl, Leo, Engine, and Konnex.

He has performed at the Philharmonic in Cologne, and at the Moers Festival in Germany, the Warsaw Jazz Summer Days, the Bush Hall London for BBC, the Opera House in Toronto, the World Trade Center in Dubai, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, as well as Carnegie Hall, Webster Hall, Roulette, Issue Project Room, Dizzy's Club, The Stone, Nublu and the Vision Festival in New York City among many others.

In 2005, the magazine AllAboutJazzNewYork hailed his drumming style as "...shaping the music from the bottom up." and for April 2011, the Managing Editor of TheNYCJazzRecord, Laurence Donohue-Greene, selected Joe's album Crespect by TØRN as "Recommended New Release". The same year, the website www.allaboutjazz.com praised his album POLYLEMMA as thus: "The soloists' focused interactions intimate a highly artistic game plan that supersedes the tried and true." POLYLEMMA won Belgian music critic Stef Gijssels' freejazzblog's Happy-New-Ears-Award 2011 for most innovative listening experience. Joe's latest album HNH2 made it on Gijssels' list of top 10 albums of 2015: "Fantastic trumpet, bass, drums trio redefining the format through inventive music."

Some of the international festivals Joe has performed at are the Hoeilaart Jazzfestival Brussels (BE), JekerJazz Maastricht (NL), the Leverkusener Jazztage, Moers New Jazz Festival, Triennale 2007, ViveLeJazz (GER), Portalegre Jazzfest (PGL), Warsaw Jazz Summer Days (P), Vision Festival, Red Hook Jazz Festival and Nublu Festival NYC, Clean Feed Festival at The Stone NYC, and many more.

The growing circle of international musicians he has worked with include Ravi Coltrane, Kenny Werner, Chris Potter, Tim Hagans, Rufus Reid, Steve Wilson, Jay Anderson, Butch Morris, Juini Booth, Kenny Wollesen, Graham Haynes, Brandon Ross, Matthew Shipp, Elliott Sharp, Alvin Fielder, Doug Wieselman, Ken Filiano, Anthony Coleman, Tristan Honsinger, Damon Choice, Damon Smith, Daniel Levin, Michael Attias, Daniel Carter, Mossa Bildner, Phil Gibbs, Sylvain Leroux, Steve Swell, Mat Maneri, Darius Jones, Jon Irabagon, Sean Conly, Todd Neufeld, Leo Genovese, Mikko Innanen, Achim Tang, Thomas Lehn, Frank Gratkowski, Scott Fields, Dieter Manderscheid, Matthias Schubert, Thomas Heberer, Achim Kaufmann, Sebastian Gramss, Thomas Helton, Damon Smith, Blaise Siwula, Carsten Radke, Terrence Ngassa, Adam Rudolph's GO:Organic Orchestra and Karl Berger's Improviser's Orchestra. He was a member of Butch Morris' ensembles Nublu Orchestra and LuckyCheng Orchestra as well as Cologne's The James Choice Orchestra.

Hertenstein is a member of the Tim Hagans Quintet with Steve Wilson, Luis Perdomo/Leo Genovese and Jay Anderson. He is also the drummer for Thomas Helton's The Core Trio with Seth Paynter, which will release its second album featuring pianist Matthew Shipp in the summer of 2016 on Berlin's EvilRabittRecords.

2015 Joe was artist in residence at The Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida. "

-Joe Hertenstein Website (http://joehertenstein-bio.tumblr.com/)
7/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Strings And Figures 5:22

2. Loud Dinner Wanted 7:49

3. Dark Waw 7:46

4. Humans In Grey 10:25

5. The Other Seven 6:59

6. Chance Music 8:04

7. Heavenly Evil Devil 8:29

8. The Other Humans 5:46

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quintet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Top Sellers for 2021 by Customer Sales
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

Search for other titles on the label:
577 Records.


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