The Squid's Ear Magazine


Threadgill, Henry Zooid: Poof (Pi Recordings)

The sixth album in saxophonist and composer Henry Threadgill's Zood small ensemble project Zooid, a quintet with guitarist Liberty Ellman, tuba & trombonist Jose Davila, cellist Christopher Hoffman and drummer Elliot Humberto Kavee, following Threadgill's serial intervallic language compositions to create an amazingly intricate yet warmly embraceable avant jazz; exceptional!
 

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Personnel:



Henry Threadgill-alto saxophone, flute, bass flute

Liberty Ellman-acoustic guitar

Jose Davila-tuba, trombone

Christopher Hoffman-cello

Elliot Humberto Kavee-drums


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UPC: 808713009224

Label: Pi Recordings
Catalog ID: Pi 92 CD
Squidco Product Code: 31111

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at The Samurai Hotel, in Astoria, New york, on December 15th and 16th, 2019, by David Stoller.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Poof is composer, saxophonist and flutist and newly-minted NEA Jazz Master Henry Threadgill's latest work with his band, Zooid, his primary musical laboratory for the last two decades. Their last release together, In for a Penny, In for a Pound, was the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music, whose committee called it "a highly original work in which notated music and improvisation mesh in a sonic tapestry that seems the very expression of modern American life." His 2018 releases - large group efforts Dirt... And More Dirt and Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus - were also critically-lauded, with Dirt voted the No. 2 release of the year in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll, who called it "densely packed elemental material; a respite from commercial and manufactured surroundings and a bed of organic possibilities."

With Poof, Threadgill has returned to the symbiotic band, Zooid, the longest-running group of his half-century long career. Added together, its four members - Liberty Ellman on guitar, Christopher Hoffman on cello, Jose Davila on tuba, and Elliot Humberto Kavee on drums, along with the leader on alto sax and flutes - have been playing with him for a total of over 75 years. These are the musicians of his inner-circle, who have dedicated countless hours to mastering the maestro's inimitable music - or at least to the extent that mastery can be achieved in music that is constantly changing and being pushed to the teetering edge. Like In for a Penny, In for a Pound, the composition on the album are described by Threadgill as sonatas or concerti: "Come and Go" for saxophone and cello; "Poof" for saxophone and guitar; "Beneath the Bottom" for trombone; "Happenstance" for flute and drums; and "Now and Then" for tuba and guitar. By this point, the group's reliance on the serial intervallic system that was the basis of the group's unique sound is more felt than prescribed or, as Threadgill describes it, "stripped down to the bones," relying on the musicians to fill in the rest of the corpus. All the other hallmarks of this music are here: unpredictable forms, percolating rhythms, the interwoven melodic strains; there's really nothing else remotely like it. The best part of it all is that Zooid is the one platform where one still gets to hear Threadgill really play. His keening saxophone wail retains that unmistakable gutbucket blues feel, with no small measure of church thrown in to the mix.

As Pi Recordings celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021, we can't help but reflect on this journey that started with our simultaneous release in 2001 of two albums from Threadgill: Everybodys Mouth's A Book with Make a Move, and Up Popped the Two Lips with the then newly-formed Zooid. It has been a privilege to work with and get to know this amazing man, and it continues to astonish how hard he continues to push forward, even at the age of 77. During the pandemic, he photographed street scenes around his neighborhood in the East Village that show the exodus of people and businesses from New York City, which he plans to publish along with his writing in a book entitled "Migration and the Return of the Cheap Suit." His next major project will be the multimedia experience "One" and "The Other One," which will be performed over two nights in May, 2022 at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, NY. It will feature 12 musicians performing his new composition "In Valence," along with sampled heartbeats from four of them that Threadgill will maneuver in real-time, inspired by the work that Milford Graves - who passed away earlier this year - did in this field; his reading and improvising on text while electronically manipulating vocal samples; his films "Plain as Plain in Plain Sight" and "Plain as Plain but Different;" and custom-made masks. It all sounds somewhat preposterous, but we know from our long experience with him that many of his projects sound far-fetched when he first describes them, but they eventually turn out to be glorious works that are nothing like what anyone might imagine them to be. It's also a clear extension to the AACM impulse to break boundaries and be artists in a holistic way, not just in music, a characteristic shared by

Also available on vinyl LP.

Artist Biographies

"Henry Threadgill (born February 15, 1944) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer, saxophonist and flautist, who came to prominence in the 1970s leading ensembles with unusual instrumentation and often incorporating a range of non-jazz genres.

Threadgill studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, majoring in piano, flute, and composition. He studied piano with Gail Quillman and composition with Stella Roberts. He has been a bandleader and composer for over forty years. He was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition In for a Penny, In for a Pound, which premiered at Roulette Intermedium on December 4, 2014

Threadgill has performed and recorded with several ensembles: Air, Aggregation Orb, Make a Move, the seven-piece Henry Threadgill Sextett, the twenty-piece Society Situation Dance Band, Very Very Circus, X-75, and Zooid."

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

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/)
6/19/2024

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

"Tuba player and trombonist Jose Davila is a versatile New York-based musician whose work spans across a broad spectrum of musical genres; everything from traditional to cutting-edge jazz, to salsa and classical music. He is currently a member of Henry Threadgill's Zooid and bands led by guitarist Liberty Ellman and alto saxophonist Steve Lehman. His work with both Threadgill and Ellman extends the tuba from its traditional role as part of the rhythm section to a front-line solo voice. His playing can also be heard on the Grammy-nominated salsa recording "Un Gran Dia en el Barrio” from the Spanish Harlem Orchestra and "Remembranzas” and "Siguendo la Tradicion” from Soneros del Barrio.

Davila has also worked in the bands of Ray Charles, Andrew Hill, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Marc Anthony, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Anderson, Butch Morris, Ted Nash, along with the Lincoln Center Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and the American Symphony and New York City Opera Orchestras.

A native of Puerto Rico who was raised on the East Coast, Jose received his formal musical training from the University of Connecticut and Mannes College of Music."

-Pi Recordings (https://pirecordings.com/artist/Jose_Davila)
6/19/2024

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

"Christopher is a cellist, composer, producer, engineer and filmmaker. He currently performs in Henry Threadgill's Pulitzer Prize winning ensemble Zooid, Anat Cohen Tentet, Kenny Warren Trio, Tony Malaby, Michael Blake, Darius Jones and his own projects. He has worked with Martin Scorsese, Yoko Ono, Bleachers, Iron & Wine, Ryan Adams, Marianne Faithfull, Michael Pitt & Pagoda, Marc Ribot, Butch Morris, Lee Konitz, Rudy Royston, Anna Webber, Ryan Scott, Anthony Coleman, Jeremiah Cymerman & many others."

-Christopher Hoffman Website (https://www.christopherhoffman.com/new-page-1)
6/19/2024

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

"Elliot Humberto Kavee has performed/recorded ground-breaking new music with Omar Sosa, Joseph Jarman, Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor, Francis Wong, Ben Goldberg, John Tchicai, Glenn Horiuchi, Elliot Sharp, Tim Berne, Jon Jang, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, and his own projects. Before moving to New York, he was the drummer of choice among the San Francisco Bay Area's most gifted creative musicians, playing on over 40 critically acclaimed recordings. In addition, Kavee was a musician, composer, musical director, actor and writer with the Tony award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe for seven years - the only musical director in the group's 40 year history to win a dramalogue award. He was a percussionist, cellist and composer with the Club Foot Orchestra, who performed their score for G.W. Pabst's Pandora's Box at Lincoln Center. His collaboration with Asian-American Jazz pioneer Francis Wong has yielded 20 recordings and countless performances. As a founding member of the trail-blazing Omar Sosa Sextet, Kavee recorded four CD's and has toured the world. For his debut recording as a solo performer (on Eliasound records), "not only did Kavee make his skin and metallic percussion instruments sing by effecting a polytimbral/polyrhythmic approach, he further mixed up the program by doubling on cello. (Yes: drums and strings, one player, at the same time.")"- SF Weekly

-SF Weekly (https://pirecordings.com/artist/Elliot+Humberto_Kavee)
6/19/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Come And Go 07:27

2. Poof 08:18

3. Beneath The Bottom 08:48

4. Happenstance 07:55

5. Now And Then 05:34

Related Categories of Interest:


Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quintet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

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