The Squid's Ear Magazine


Lewis, James Brandon Quartet: Code of Being (Intakt)

With a clarity in both improvising and in composing, NY tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis' second album with the rock solid quartet of Aruan Ortiz on piano, Brad Jones on bass and Chad Taylor on drums further explores his concepts of Molecular systematic music through powerfully solid compositions that lead to both lyrical and ardent soloing; exceptional.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



James Brandon Lewis-tenor saxophone

Aruan Ortiz-piano

Brad Jones-bass

Chad Taylor-drums


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UPC: 7640120193713

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: ITK371.2
Squidco Product Code: 31390

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Hardstudios Winterthur, in Switzerland, on May 16th and 17th, 2021, by Michael Brandli.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The charismatic saxophonist and composer James Brandon Lewis is the musician of the moment in the broad field of contemporary jazz. With Code of Being, James Brandon Lewis now presents his second album. The debut CD Molecular, which Lewis recorded with his quartet in 2020 just a few months before Lockdown, was roundly acclaimed as one of the most exciting releases in 2020 (Intakt CD 350). Code of Being is a powerful work consisting of eight compositions by James Brandon Lewis. Beautiful melodies are responsible for the magic of the songs. The four exceptional musicians, each with personalities of their own, create an urgent ensem ble sound, moving through a broad palette of sound-colours, rhythms and moods,a

"The charismatic saxophonist and composer James Brandon Lewis is the musician of the moment in the broad field of contemporary jazz. With Code of Being, James Brandon Lewis now presents his second album. The debut CD Molecular, which Lewis recorded with his quartet in 2020 just a few months before Lockdown, was roundly acclaimed as one of the most exciting releases in 2020 (Intakt CD 350).

Code of Being is a powerful work consisting of eight compositions by James Brandon Lewis. Beautiful melodies are responsible for the magic of the songs. The four exceptional musicians, each with personalities of their own, create an urgent ensem ble sound, moving through a broad palette of sound-colours, rhythms and moods, charged with energy. With a profound sense for lyrical melodies, tonal concision and dynamics, the quartet develop a spirited interplay, reacting to the tiniest atmospheric oscillations on the sound and groove level."-Intakt



"Despite the challenges we all know, this is definitely the year of James Brandon Lewis, who is ranked well up among the most creative saxophone players working today. On the heels of the incredible Jesup Wagon (Tao Forms, 2021), comes Code of Being, a quartet effort that largely plays by the same rules defined in Molecular (Intakt, 2020), as he continues to invigorate spiritual and conceptual sonic crusades in jazz. Having penned all eight selections on this album, Lewis not only shines individually but also achieves a highly inviting group sound in the company of pianist Aruan Ortiz, bassist Brad Jones and drummer Chad Taylor.

"Resonance" starts off as a splendid jazz waltz turned into a groove that wafts along in quintuple meter. Lewis' lines are passionate and rhythmically intense. And then it's Ortiz, who first seats a peculiar harmonic tapestry on top of the rhythmic foundation as he prepares for an individual statement with coiled figures. It all funnels into an enlightened finale.

There are three dedications on the album: the intimate "Every Atom Glows" is for painter Norman Lewis - a figure of the abstract expressionism who mainly focused on black urban life - and features Taylor's classy manipulation of cymbals and toms as well as Jones' thoughtful bass deliberations; the slightly romanticized "Where is Hela" is dedicated to Henrietta Lacks, the African-American woman associated to the first immortalized human cell line; and the lyrical, sometimes prayerful "Tessera" finds its ways to champion the abstraction of American painter/sculptor Jack Whitten.

The innate spirituality that erupts from "Archimedean" draws inspiration from the civil rights movement and the African-American artistic collective named Spiral (1963-1965). The tune is set in motion by a polyrhythmic bass-piano texture before fixating in a modal flux delivered at a medium 6/4 tempo. Lewis conjures Coltrane and his A Love Supreme here.

A trio of compositions resulted from Lewis' Molecular systematic music concept. One of them, "Per 4", kicks off with unaccompanied swinging tenor, proceeding with polyrhythmic detail via the tribal force of Taylor's drumming and the pianism of Ortiz, who also reacts spontaneously to the saxophone expressions. This avant-garde irreverence is also felt in the maniacally infectious "Per 5". The title track is infused with rhythmic glare and inside/outside flexibility, revealing qualities of Americana and modal jazz. It's natural to think of Archie Shepp and McCoy Tyner at some point due to the transcendental mood and nature of sound.

This is another stunning offering from a brilliant saxophonist still in his thirties and fated to be a jazz giant."-Filipe Freitas, Jazz Trail

charged with energy. With a profound sense for lyrical melodies, tonal concision and dynamics, the quartet develop a spirited interplay, reacting to the tiniest atmospheric oscillations on the sound and groove level. "This is captivating music which it is hard to resist,especially the melodies with their thematic beauty.,"-Florian Keller, liner notes.


Get additional information at Jazz Trail

Artist Biographies

"James Brandon Lewis (b.1983 Buffalo NY) is a critically acclaimed saxophonist, composer, recording artist and educator . Lewis has received accolades from New York Times, Q Magazine and cultural tastemakers such as Ebony Magazine, who hailed him as one of the "7 Young Players to Watch" in todays scene. Lewis has shared stages with Ken Filiano, Darius Jones, and Jason Hwang, William Parker, Hamiet Bluiett , Hamid Drake , Ravi Coltrane , Jimmy Heath Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Joe Lovano Dave Douglas, Marc Ribot, Anthony Coleman and many others. James Brandon Lewis Lewis has been endorsed by Jazz legend Saxophonist Sonny Rollins " Promising young player with the potential to do great things having listened to the Elders". - Jazz Magazine (France). New York Times had this to say about Lewis " James Brandon Lewis , A Jazz Saxophonist in his 30's, Raw Toned But Measured, Doesn't sound steeped in current jazz academy values There's an Independence about him." James Brandon Lewis Leads numerous ensembles and is the Co- Founder of Poetry Music Ensemble Heroes Are Gang Leaders Lewis attended Howard University and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts."

-James Brandon Lewis Website (http://www.jblewis.com/bio/)
6/12/2024

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

"Cuban-born, Brooklyn-based pianist, violist, and composer Aruán Ortiz has written music for jazz ensembles, orchestras, dance companies, chamber groups, and feature films. His work incorporates influences from contemporary classical music, Cuban-Haitian rhythms, and avant-garde improvisation; and consistently strives to break stylistic musical boundaries. He has been called "the latest Cuban wunderkind to arrive in the United States" by BET Jazz and "one of the most versatile and exciting pianists of his generation" by Downbeat Magazine.

He has received numerous accolades such as the Doris Duke Impact Award (2014); Composers Now Creative Residency Award at Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (2014); the Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant (2013); Latin Jazz Corner's Arranger of the Year (2011) for his contribution on the album, "El Cumbanchero" by flutist Mark Weinstein (Jazzheads, 2011); Fundación Autor, SGAE, and Generalitat de Catalunya Grant study grants (2002); Semifinalist, Jas Hennessy Piano Solo Competition, Montreux, Switzerland (2001); and Best Jazz Interpretation, Festival de Jazz in Vic, Spain (2000)."

-Aruan Ortiz Website (http://www.aruan-ortiz.com/)
6/12/2024

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

"New York born Brad Christopher Jones is a bassist, composer, and educator. He has recorded, performed, and toured around the world with a diverse array of artists that include Ornette Coleman, Elvis Costello, Elvin Jones, David Byrne, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sheryl Crow, Deborah Harry, Dave Douglas, Vernon Reid, John Zorn, Don Byron, Marc Ribot, and The Jazz Passengers.

Brad has released three recordings under his own leadership with two seperate projects:"UNCIVILIZED POISE" and "THE EMBODIMENT" with his band Aka Alias, and"POURING MY HEART IN" with the Brad Jones Quartet.

Brad is also an experienced educator who has taught workshops and master classes in France, Italy, Canada, and Mexico and is part of the music faculty at Columbia University in New York City."

-Brad Jones Website (http://bassjones.com)
6/12/2024

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

"Chad Taylor (b. 1973) is a composer, educator, percussionist and scholar who is a co-founder of the Chicago Underground ensembles. Originally from Tempe, AZ, Chad grew up in Chicago where he started performing professionally at the age of 16. Chad has performed with Fred Anderson, Derek Bailey, Cooper-Moore, Pharoah Sanders, Marc Ribot, Peter Brotzmann, Malachi Favors and many others. Chad leads his own band Circle down which debut recording was given a 5 star review by All music:

"What is remarkable is that there is no wasted motion, no histrionics or grandstanding, as pure emotion is translated to superlative music making on this most highly recommended recording, one for the ages." Allmusic.com

Chad has a BFA from the New School in Jazz Performance and a MFA in Jazz Research and History from Rutgers University."

-Chad Taylor Website (http://www.chadtaylordrums.net/html/about.php)
6/12/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Resonance 07:42

2. Archimedean 07:34

3. Every Atom Glows 05:18

4. Per 4 08:36

5. Code of Being 07:52

6. Where is Hella 13:03

7. Per 5 08:25

8. Tessera 08:47

Related Categories of Interest:

Intakt

Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

Search for other titles on the label:
Intakt.


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