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Smith, Ches / We All Break: Path of Seven Colors [2 CDs] (Pyroclastic Records)

Drummer and composer Chess Smith in a 2-CD set of pieces merging jazz and traditional vodou rhythms, the band featuring Matt Mitchell (piano), Miguel Zenón (saxophone), Nick Dunston (bass), Sirene Dantor Rene (lead vocals), with Daniel Brevil, Markus Schwartz and Fanfan Jean-Guy Rene all on Haitian tanbou drums & vocals, released in a hardshell box with booklets.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Sirene Dantor Rene-vocals

Miguel Zenon-alto saxophone

Matt Mitchell-piano

Nick Dunston-bass

Daniel Brevil-tanbou, vocals

Fanfan Jean Guy Rene-tanbou, vocals

Markus Schwartz-tanbou, vocals

Ches Smith-drums, percussion, vocals


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UPC: 020286234586

Label: Pyroclastic Records
Catalog ID: PR 14/15
Squidco Product Code: 31375

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Box w/ 2 booklets
Recorded at Power Station New England, in February, 2020, by Ron Saint Germain.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"All I know about voodoo I learned from Ben Fountain's wonderful short story The Good Ones Are Already Taken. I recommend this collection of stories‑several of which are set in Haiti‑as companion material for Path of Seven Colors. Drummer and composer Chess Smith is the force behind We All Break, featuring features Matt Mitchell (piano), Miguel Zenón (saxophone), Nick Dunston (bass), Sirene Dantor Rene (lead vocals), with Daniel Brevil, Markus Schwartz and Fanfan Jean-Guy Rene all on drums (Haitian tanbou) and vocals.

The recording is a persuasive blend of hard bop lines with Creole chanting and traditional vodou rhythms. The latter constitute a cultural portfolio of historical and spiritual horizons. Combining them with romantic jazz narratives allows the vodou rhythms to penetrate the heart of someone who has no direct connection with the Haitian story time. I am not claiming that such a person has any authority to speak about or interpret this tradition. I am only speaking about its effect on such a person.

Fortunately, very elaborate notes are available, including translations from the creole. The first piece, woule pou mwen, ties into very recent Haitian politics. It begins with a piano and cymbal setting, with only a subtle rattle to warn you of what is coming, at about twenty seconds in. It helps if you have the lyrics before you precisely because it allows you to see that no written script can do justice to the voices, to the magnificent way that liquid consonants pop into four-dimensional kinesis in this singing.

The second piece, here's the light, is my favorite. Here the drums seem only the natural grass over which Miguel Zenón's horn establishes a steady pace. I cannot do better than this from the notes:

The rhythm is Yanvalou, one of the most well-known in Haiti, played in any Vodou Asogwe ceremony honoring the spirits of Rada (from Allada-the ancient kingdom of Dahomey, modern day Benin). Each section of the composition works around a classic Port-au-Prince-style bass line, with a melodic/harmonic conception that borrows from Ornette Coleman.

Now the horn, now the chorus. Now the piano, now the chorus. All the while, persistent bundles of percussion.

If you don't like African drums and vocals, this is not for you. If you want to walk as many landscapes as you can give it a listen. If you want to see how well jazz can accommodate and mine other, related traditions or, if you just want some inventive and wonderful music, give this one a listen."-Kenneth Blanchard, The Free Jazz Collective


Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective

Artist Biographies

"Matt Mitchell is a pianist and composer interested in the intersections of various strains of acoustic, electric, composed, and improvised new music. He currently composes for and leads several ensembles featuring many of the current foremost musicians and improvisers, including Tim Berne, Kim Cass, Caroline Davis, Kate Gentile, Ben Gerstein, Sylvaine Hélary, Jon Irabagon, Travis Laplante, Ava Mendoza, Miles Okazaki, Ches Smith, Chris Speed, Tyshawn Sorey, Chris Tordini, Anna Webber, Dan Weiss, and Katie Young.

He is an anchor member of several significant creative music ensembles which integrate composed and improvised music, including Tim Berne's Snakeoil, the Dave Douglas Quintet, John Hollenbeck's Large Ensemble, Rudresh Mahanthappa's Bird Calls, Jonathan Finlayson's Sicilian Defense, Dan Weiss's Large Ensemble, Steve Coleman's Natal Eclipse, the Darius Jones Quartet, Kate Gentile's Mannequins, Mario Pavone's Blue Dialect Trio, Anna Webber's Simple Trio, Ches Smith's We All Break, Michael Attias' Spun Tree, Ohad Talmor's Grand Ensemble, and Quinsin Nachoff's Flux. He is also among the core performers of John Zorn's Bagatelles.

Musicians with whom he performs and has performed include Jon Irabagon, Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth, John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet + 1, JD Allen, Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bunky Green's Apex, Rez Abbasi's Invocation, Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler, Ralph Alessi's Baida Quartet, Dave King's Indelicate duo, Amir ElSaffar, Marc Ducret, David Torn, Vernon Reid, Clarence Penn and Penn Station, Linda Oh, Rudy Royston, Allison Miller, Donny McCaslin, Brad Shepik, and Darcy James Argue's Secret Society.

He has taught extensively with the Brooklyn-based School for Improvisational Music, as well as at the New School, NYU, and the Siena Jazz Workshop. He is also a 2015 receipient of a Doris Duke Impact Award and a 2012 recipient of a Pew Fellowship from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage."

-Matt Mitchell Website (http://www.mattmitchell.us/bio/)
5/23/2024

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

"Nick Dunston is a Brooklyn-based composer, bassist, and scholar. An "indispensable player on the New York avant-garde" (New York Times), his performances have also spanned a variety of venues and festivals across North America and Europe. He's performed, toured, and recorded professionally with bands led by artists such as Tyshawn Sorey, Vijay Iyer, Marc Ribot, Ches Smith, Imani Uzuri, Ingrid Laubrock, Anthony Coleman, Roman Filiu, Jonathan Finlayson, Amirtha Kidambi, Moor Mother, Dave Douglas, Matt Wilson, Tomas Fujiwara, Allison Miller, Jeff Lederer, Jeff "Tain" Watts, and Darius Jones. He's spent extensive time studying with bassists Linda May Han Oh, Ben Street, Harish Raghavan, as well as with composer Missy Mazzoli.

As a composer, Dunston has written for a wide range of artists of multiple genres and disciplines. He's written for entities such as the New York Public Library of Performing Arts, the Joffrey Ballet School, The Witches, violist Joanna Mattrey, and the ESMAE Jazz and Chamber Orchestras. In 2019 he was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship by Roulette Intermedium, which supported the world premieres of The Floor is Lava! (upright bass quintet), and La Operación (double saxophone trio + soprano voice), referred to as "a work so dramatic and large that is both a response to socio-historical truth as well as a reflection on his own identity..." (I Care If You Listen). As a writer, he's made monthly contributions to Hot House Jazz Magazine from 2016-2019."

-Nick Dunston Website (http://www.nickdunston.org/new-page-2)
5/23/2024

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

"Born in San Diego, CA and raised in Sacramento, Ches Smith came up in a scene of punks and metal musicians who were listening to and experimenting with jazz and free improvisation. He studied philosophy at the University of Oregon before relocating to the San Francisco Bay area in 1995. After a few years of playing with obscure bands and intensive study with drummer / educator Peter Magadini, he enrolled in the graduate program at Mills College in Oakland at the suggestion of percussionist William Winant. There he studied percussion, improvisation, and composition with Winant, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros and Alvin Curran. One of Winant's first "assignments" for Ches was to sub in his touring gig at the time, Mr. Bungle (here he met bassist / composer Trevor Dunn who would later hire him for the second incarnation of his Trio-Convulsant). During his time at Mills, Ches co-founded two bands: Theory of Ruin (with Fudgetunnel / Nailbomb frontman Alex Newport), and Good for Cows (w/ Nels Cline Singers' Devin Hoff). He currently performs and records with Xiu Xiu, and Secret Chiefs 3. He has also performed with Ben Goldberg, Annie Gosfield, Wadada Leo Smith, John Tchicai, Fred Frith, and Trevor Dunn. In addition to Ceramic Dog, he also leads his two of his own projects, Congs for Brums and These Arches. He currently spends his time between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn."

-Ches Smith Website (http://www.chessmith.com/)
5/23/2024

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


Track Listing:



CD1



1. Woule Pou Mwen 2:41

2. Here's The Light 9:06

3. Leaves Arrive 9:39

4. Women Of Iron 6:08

5. Lord Of Healing 13:36

6. Raw Urbane 7:05

7. Path Of Seven Colors 8:57

8. The Vulgar Cycle 11:29

CD2



1. An Opening 9:00

2. Reds 9:04

3. Country Line 9:21

4. Dagger 12:21

5. Ibo 1:53

6. Notions Of Purity 11:36

7. Six A.M. 11:47

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
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Pyroclastic Records.


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