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McKenzie II, Donald Sturge Anthony (feat. Elliott Sharp, Bill Laswell and Vernon Reid): Silenced II (577 Records)

Drummer Donald Sturge Anthony McKenzie II trades off duos with a set of masterful musicians in the second volume of his "Silenced" project, here with guitarist Elliott Sharp for a complex and inspired dialog; with bassist Bill Laswell for a rich and moody soundscape; and with guitarist Vernon Reid in a piece for McKenzie's daughter; plus one solo drum piece.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Donald Sturge Anthony McKenzie II-drums

Elliott Sharp-guitar

Bill Laswell-bass

Vernon Reid-guitar


Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.




UPC: 755491193143

Label: 577 Records
Catalog ID: 5808_CD
Squidco Product Code: 30145

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Orange msuic Sound Studio, in West Orange, New Jersey, during the Summer of 2016, by James Dellatacoma.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Ramarley Graham is the first tune of Silenced II, and it features Elliott Sharp. It is one of those performances that, when I listen back, I think someone else is playing drums. That's how great it sounds, to me. It sounds so good; it just has to be someone else playing drums. The Holy Spirit must have been in the room that day. Elliott and I have been playing for many many years. He's iconic. He's an idol of mine and was Cecil Taylor's favorite guitar player. One take.

Bill Laswell and I created a soundscape that is moody and guttural at the same time. I am in shock and awe that he chooses to consistently perform with me as well as use me as a hired drummer on his productions. One take.

I always want to sound like a piano, when I play solos. Hence my expansive drum set with an array of tones. My kit gives me this. It's on full display in Akai Gurley.

Elektra Jagger McKenzie, the last composition on the LP, features my frequent music collaborator, Vernon Reid. It's an homage to my daughter"-Donald Sturge Anthony McKenzie II



"In Silenced Donald Sturge Anthony McKenzie II has reconnected contemporary improvisational music to one of the most crucial & controversial issues facing us today - the misuse of lethal force by those sworn to Serve & Protect ALL of us. I am proud to be amongst the artists participating in this remarkable project". - Vernon Reid



"Improvising in duo with master drummer Don McKenzie is a heart-to-heart conversation at hypersonic speeds and simultaneously accessing fantastic theory, earthy humor, and the news of the day. As a player, always unpredictable and always gripping".-Elliott Sharp

Also available on vinyl LP.

Artist Biographies

"Donald Sturge Anthony McKenzie II is an American musician and composer from New York City. This world- class drummer and highly skilled beat-smith has been called a "powerhouse" and a "master of deep-pocket hip hop, funk, jazz and rock." According to Vernon Reid (Living Colour), McKenzie is among the best in the industry.

McKenzie began his musical training at the age of ten and was quickly recognized for his virtuosic talent and finesse. Under the tutelage of Everett Collins (Isley Brothers) and world-renowned drumming teacher, Dom Famularo, McKenzie has steadily evolved into a truly great musician with a firm basis in theory.

McKenzie has travelled extensively throughout Europe, North America, Australia, South America and Africa, playing sold out shows at the finest venues in Paris, London, Amsterdam, Carthage, São Paulo and New York among many others.

His illustrious career has led him to tour and record with an impressive list of avant- garde artists such as multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp, celebrated American guitarist Marc Ribot, and Grammy nominated jazz composer, Roswell Rudd, on BBC recordings in the MALIcool project. McKenzie's work in hip hop and R&B includes backing prolific artists such as Pharoahe Monch, P.Diddy, Grave Diggaz, New Kingdom, DJ Spinna, Mr. Complex, Martin Luther, Cody ChesnuTT, Polyrhythm Addicts and R&B legends, Sweetback, and The Persuaders. McKenzie also serves as musical director for Kat DeLuna, and teaches master classes at the Brooklyn Music School when he's not touring the globe.

Don McKenzie is best known however, for his longstanding tenure with Vernon Reid as a member of the band Masque. An accomplished composer who is constantly seeking to push boundaries, his composition, Kizzy, which has been called "dreamy", "atmospheric" and "powerfully evocative", is featured on Masque's third album "Other True Self."

As a bandleader McKenzie is skillful and generous, never overplaying but instead leading with agility and polished sophistication while creating a solid foundation for other musicians to express themselves creatively. Elliott Sharp explains that his firm sense of pocket, "hard hitting asymmetrical jazz flavors and light-fingered sonic abstractions" are what make McKenzie truly great. However, in spite of his accolades, McKenzie's humility is clearly reflected in his philosophy,

"A good drummer needs to be the foundation for the melodic and harmonic instruments while leading the way. It's a dichotomy but it's a necessary one...the older I get the less I want to lead and the more I want to support." It is exactly this remarkable prowess and matching subtlety that have won him the respect and admiration of famed artists such as friend and mentor, iconic jazz composer Cecil Taylor. And it is these qualities which have led him to become one of the most highly sought after musicians in the industry."

-Donald Sturge Anthony McKenzie II Website (http://www.dsamii.com/)
5/23/2024

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

"Elliott Sharp is an American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer.

A central figure in the avant-garde and experimental music scene in New York City for over 30 years, Elliott Sharp has released over eighty-five recordings ranging from orchestral music to blues, jazz, noise, no wave rock, and techno music. He leads the projects Carbon and Orchestra Carbon, Tectonics, and Terraplane and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition and interaction.

His collaborators have included Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt; pop singer Debbie Harry; Ensemble Modern; Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Kronos String Quartet; Ensemble Resonanz; cello innovator Frances Marie Uitti; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; pipa virtuoso Min-Xiao Feng; jazz greats Jack deJohnette, Oliver Lake, and Sonny Sharrock; multimedia artists Christian Marclay and Pierre Huyghe; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jajouka.

Sharp is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2014 Fellow at Parson's Center for Transformative Media. He received the 2015 Berlin Prize in Musical Composition from the American Academy in Berlin. He has composed scores for feature films and documentaries; created sound-design for interstitials on The Sundance Channel, MTV and Bravo networks; and has presented numerous sound installations in art galleries and museums. He is the subject of a new documentary "Doing The Don't" by filmmaker Bert Shapiro."-Elliott Sharp

-Elliott Sharp website (http://www.elliottsharp.com/bio.html)
5/23/2024

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

"Over the course of some three decades, visionary bassist-producer Bill Laswell has been one of the most prolific and restlessly creative forces in contemporary music. A sound conceptualist who has always been a step ahead of the curve, he has put his inimitable stamp on nearly 3,000 recording projects by such artists as Mick Jagger, Yoko Ono, Iggy Pop, Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, Bootsy Collins, Nine Inch Nails, Motorhead, Peter Gabriel, Blur, The Ramones, George Clinton, Pharaoh Sanders, The Dalai Lama, Matisyahu, Angelique Kidjo, DJ Krush, RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, Sting, The Last Poets, Afrika Bambaataa, Julian Schnabel, Whitney Houston, Manu Dibango, Fela Kuti and most notably Herbie Hancock, who collaborated with Laswell for the pivotal 1983 smash-hit single "Rock-It" which introduced scratching to the mainstream, inspired a generation of turntablists and gave the great jazz pianist instant street credibility among the burgeoning hip-hop cognoscenti.

Laswell's sense of creative daring as a producer was further demonstrated on several recordings that have kept him on the cutting edge, including Afrika Bambaataa's collaboration with John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame) on World Destruction and PiL's Album (which brought together an unlikely pairing of drumming greats Ginger Baker and Tony Williams, synth-pop pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame and rising guitar star Steve Vai). His spoken word collaborations with William S. Burroughs and expatriate writer-composer Paul Bowles have gone against the grain of music industry trends while his radical remixes (or re-constructions) of landmark recordings by Miles Davis (Panthalassa), Carlos Santana (Divine Light), Bob Marley (Dreams of Freedom) and a vast scan of dub-related and atmospheric ambient projects have gone on to further defined Laswell's presence as a revolutionary ikonoklast.

Bill Laswell has helped in generating several innovative recording labels such as Celluloid, Subharmonic, Black Arc, and Innerhythmic. Along with Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records (Bob Marley and U2), he established the AXIOM label in 1989. M.O.D. Technologies, his most recent imprint is releasing projects by Method Of Defiance, Lee "Scratch" Perry, PRAXIS, Garrison Hawk with Sly & Robbie, Bernie Worrell, The Process (with Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith and pianist Jon Baptiste) and progressive/futuristic music from Ethiopia (CDs/DVDs).

As a player, Laswell's bass lines resound with rare authority on groundbreaking projects by Tabla Beat Science (with Zakir Hussain and Ustad Sultan Khan), his avant-funk band Material, the apocalyptic assault of Last Exit (with Sonny Sharrock), his progressive dub effected Method of Defiance and the throbbingly intense power trios, Massacre (with Fred Frith and Charles Hayward), Painkiller (with John Zorn and Mick Harris), Praxis (with Buckethead and Brain), Blixt (with Raoul Bjorkenheim and Morgan Agren) and the latest (2014) Bladerunner (with John Zorna and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo).

Laswell's artistic reach has consistently extended to the continent of Africa, creating ground-breaking, evolutionary snd controversial recording projects in Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Gambia and most recently, Ethiopia where he has established a base for developing new as well as legendary artists, just as he did in the South Bronx some 30 years ago.

A veteran of 300 plus journeys to Japan, where he has worked with everyone from The Gagaku Orchestra (Japan's ancient music, only played for emperors for 1500 years), to avant-jazz, rock, hip-hop and DJ culture. An eternal musical renegade, Bill Laswell has always played by his own rules."

-Bill Laswell Website (http://www.billlaswell.net/biography.html)
5/23/2024

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

"As the lead guitarist of Living Colour and a co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition, Vernon Reid has done a great deal to undermine stereotypical expectations of what music black artists ought to play; his rampant eclecticism encompasses everything from hard rock and punk to funk, R&B and avant-garde jazz, and his anarchic, lightning-fast solos have become something of a hallmark as well. Born in London, Reid and his family emigrated to Brooklyn while he was a child; he began playing guitar at age 15, initially studying jazz and progressing quickly. In 1980, he joined drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, a cutting-edge jazz group with whom he appeared on six albums; over the course of the decade, Reid went on to work with a wide variety of experimental musicians -- Defunkt, Bill Frisell, John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, and Public Enemy, among others.

Around 1983, Reid formed the first version of what was to become Living Colour; in 1985, with journalist Greg Tate, he formed the Black Rock Coalition, an organization devoted to opening doors in the music business for black musicians who were not content being confined to the roles of soul crooner or rapper. Living Colour did not really begin to jell until their lineup stabilized in 1986, and when Mick Jagger saw the group perform at CBGB's and invited them to appear on his Primitive Cool album. Jagger went even further, producing two demo tracks and helping to convince Epic to sign the group. Living Colour debuted to massive critical acclaim in 1988 with Vivid; the group lasted through Time's Up (1990) and Stain (1993) before disbanding in 1995. Reid has continued to make periodic appearances on others' recordings, and in 1996, he issued his solo debut, Mistaken Identity. He resurfaced in 2002 as one half of Yohimbe Brothers, a duo also featuring DJ Logic. The two released the Front End Lifter album in September and subsequently toured the United States throughout October. They issued a followup in 2004 on Thirsty Ear entitled The Tao Of Yo.Reid has remained active as both a session guitarist and as a producer, most notably on James Blood Ulmer's recordings since 2001 beginning with Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions in 2001 and continuing through 2003's No Escape From the Blues: The Electric Lady Sessions, 2004's Birthright and Bad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions in 2007. Also in 2007, Reid, bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, and drummer Grant Calvin Weston played a get-together for the closing of New York's Tonic performance space. The show went well enough for the trio form a band called the Free Form Funky Freqs; their drbut album, Urban Mythology: Volume One was released as part of Thirsty Ear's Blue Series in February of 2008."

-All Music (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/vernon-reid-mn0000268762/biography)
5/23/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Ramarley Graham feat. Elliott Sharp 1 10:41

2. Natasha McKenna feat. Bill Laswell 9:25

3. Akai Gurley 4:05

4. Elektra Jagger McKenzie feat. Vernon Reid 15:07

5. Kalief Browder (bonus track) feat. Nick Demopoulos 5:39

6. Stephon Watts (bonus track) feat. Kevin Shea 5:26

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Duo Recordings
Solo Artist Recordings
Percussion & Drums
Guitarists, &c.
Stringed Instruments

Search for other titles on the label:
577 Records.


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